a measurement of fitness

For the first time in around 8 weeks I went our for a run last night.
Oh. My.God.
It wasn’t just hard, it hurt.
Yeah it was warm, but not excessively so to cause a problem, yet I struggled like it was 40C. I felt like a fat slug trying to run through quick sand. It wasn’t that I wanted to go fast, I just wanted to go out. I honestly didn’t think it would be so hard.
I had to push through the mental pain, the inner struggle at how much I had lost. The idea that I had lost so much fitness hurt, that I was back at the beginning.
I struggled to get to 3.5kms, pulling the pin at that point and I learnt right then, that I have so much further to go.

When it gets hard I just have to tell myself I’ve done harder.

I’ve run a marathon.

I’ve done P2P on the hottest day.

I. Can. Do. This.


Even when I first started running it wasn’t this hard.
It was hard when my knee played up.
It was hard when my ITB played up.
It is hard now my hammy is healing.
My cycling is keeping me feeling fit, yet last night I felt the un-fittest I have ever.


I have put on over 7kg, and am struggling with the added weight gain and the difficulty in shifting it.
I am struggling with the feeling that I am starting from scratch again..
What I am happy with though is that I know how to move forward. I know what exercises I have to. I know what to do with my diet.
I am positive that I can get this back on track. I know I can make this work for me in a way I am happy with.
I don’t have to be skinny, the fastest, the strongest…I just have to be the best I can be at any given time, embrace the strength my body has, what I have achieved already. Knowing it is nothing short of amazing.
I. Can. Do. This.

In just over a week I have a 5k race. Once upon a time, and even as late as October last year, my goal was to get a pb, finish strong and have fun. Now, my goal is simply to finish, no matter my time, even if I have to walk part of it. Which I will be. I’m not going to be cocky, I’m being honest with myself. I have to be if I am going to get stronger, and get back to running properly.
I have done 3 of the four race distances* at this location and be buggered if I am not going to finish this one.


Onwards and upwards.
To be stronger than I was yesterday.
To keep fit and healthy.


*while I started the marathon, I didn’t finish it due to injury. I did receive a medal with iTab insert stating what happened. So I have all medals so far.

onwards we adventure

The year that was.
Time to reflect.
Think about the future.
Discuss what we want to do.

Yeah, these are all things we do at the end of one year as the clock ticks over to midnight and 365 days are sitting there in front of us. Just waiting to be filled with our good intention.
And there are always lots of them.
Even for me, when I say I don’t want to make those kinds of plans, think those good intentions. We all fall into the trap in some way. It’s time to get moving and do better things for ourselves.

I am only planning a few things.
They are small but simple things.
I want to be more consistent with everything I do.
Be more consistent with my strength exercises.
Be more consistent with my running training.
Learn more with my cycling.
I’m not sure if this means I have to do a roster, or planning calendar. It has to be something to make sure I do my strength. I know it is good for me, but sometimes most times, I feel I would rather be out doing the actual activity. This is where I need to kick my own butt, and say, “..look what happened last year when you disregarded the workouts…do you want to repeat that..?” Well, no I don’t. I started the yer, just like this, saying I have to do something about it, and I did. A bit hit and miss but I did stuff. Then I did my hammy.
I just decided. Right then as I was typing. Go back to basics. Back to where I started with push ups, sit ups and squats. Then add in the rest bit by bit.

I wrote a post a while back about Fit not skinny.
That’s what I want to work on. Sure I do need to lose a few kilos, there’s being healthy and fit and there’s being over weight. No matter by how much.
Since seeing this new physio I have learnt a whole lot more about what I need to do to keep the injury at bay.
My fitness is important so I can keep going for years to come, whether by running or cycling. I have to decide on whether I join the gym and do pilates/yoga amongst other things.
I know what the problem is with my diet and I have to get super strict with it again. I tell people I like to eat and want to enjoy this life. There is a line between enjoying life and being a glutton and going too far.
A version of portion size and low carb is what I am aiming for. Not the low carb I was doing before, but more of a carbs for 1-2 of 3 meals a day.

I look back at what I have just written, and have a little laugh to myself. It is all well and good to write these things, but then think and say, well am I actually going to do them. You know, good intentions and all that. It takes 21 days to make a habit. Can I do that? Well that becomes my choice.
I have only 4 races this year so far, and I’m leaving it at that. Not worrying too much about other ones unless I choose to at the time. Taking this year off almost. At least from real life races. There are always plenty of virtual races to do.

Be the best version of you, and work hard at what you love.
Jen

Days turn into weeks turn into…

…Months and before you know it, the year has ended, your goals have changed, and your mind set is in a whole new place.
I had big plans for this year. Some I have kicked, some have changed and one or two have fallen off the wagon.
I’m a little lost at the moment hence my lack of race recap posts. Add to that, my last race there were no finishing photos of me. Or any out on the course. Out of 500 odd pictures, and wearing my most fluro gear there was not one of me. (Yes I’m still a little pissy about this, thankfully hubby is there when I cross the line xx).  I need to shake things up a bit and really get my body into gear again.
My last two races have been average, with both leaving me feeling icky, physically. Mentally, not so bad, as I have the understanding of why they ran the way they did.
I started, I wasn’t injured during, and I finished both with a sub 60 time so still happy with that I can manage it.

The first run was an interesting course, quite pretty really but with a nasty throat issue that made breathing hard, meant I was struggling to get a nice rhythm going.
The second was long and boring. It was hot and the heat was coming off the highway in waves, I was under-prepared fitness and training wise, I didn’t have my pocket drink bottle, and I have this nigggle in my glute/hamstring that drives me crazy when I run.

My goals for this year was to have fun, start and finish my races and get a decent race pb for the 10k distance. I have done that, with two runs left for the year. One is the toughest race and the other an easy downhill run. Literally.

Another goal was to work on my strength and diet.
Well, I worked on them, just not always in the right direction. I went through LCHF (fantastic but too strict for me, I like a little bit more leniency for simply enjoying life… and food).  Deciding that I did indeed some decent carbs in my diet I ended up way off the scale, not just falling, but crashing spectacularly off the wagon.
Meal prep days/evening has to start again. Sundays are not always good and the fridge is gettting low by then. Grocery day meal prep is a much better option.

My strength has gone all over, a month here, a month there and more days that I’m happy with where I do nothing.  My visit to the Physio today confirmed what I thought. My strength is shot. I was hoping that was all it was, but you never know til you ask.  More exercises to do, and concentrate on all the others as well.  I was honest and said I hd been less than consistant with the previous things she’d given me, or anything else for that matter.

While running is what I love totally and find it ‘easy’, it’s the other aspects I have to really push myself to keep up with.
I have always wanted to try boxing for fitness even though I am not a fan of the sport. I have done Pilates before, loved it! and have realised that something like yoga will be extremely good for me.ay be something for me down the track.
I have joined the local Sports Centre on a one month trial to see how I fair with classes.  I have never been one to do classes, always feeling that self consciousness, everyone is watching me. I know that no one is watching or judging (and really, who cares if they are), and as a woman in my mid forties I really shouldn’t be worries about what others think. If I did, then I wouldn’t run, but classes are a whole different thing, don’t ask me why, they just are. So I have to just bite the bullet and get in there amongst it and give it my best shot.

         I’m working on myself, for myself, by myself.

 

For my running, the less is more approach is something I’d like to do, especially if I can get in two classes a week.  The basis of less is more is running 3 times a week (short, tempo/fast and long) with two cross training type classes inbetween. Two days off.

My goals for next have changed now. I really need to get back to running basics. I have registered for 3 (5k, 10k x 2(?)) runs already, including a 25k trail run and at the moment will leave it at that. I have decided to take it easy on the races. Sign up if I feel like it at the time, rather than like this year and have it all booked up early.
I am quite liking the virtual races where I can support charities but run the distance at my pace over the course of a month, rather than training for one day.

If you haven’t already guessed, I’m at a cross roads. A loss of direction.
Some days I feel like I am running for other people, which I don’t need to do.
I’m trying to impress someone..who, I have no idea.
Like I’m running because I feel that I should. I need to find my ‘why’ again.
I need to go out there and run when I feel it, and get back to me.
I feel like I am burnt out.
These injuries aren’t going to fix themselves, and I need to get serious about other activities to keep me in a better physical shape.
So here I am at the end.
I will be working on the physical and mental me, a better body, a new lease on life.  Revamping my fitness.

 

 

Earned not Given – My marathon finishers picture.

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A reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to. 

Ross 10k – 2/9/18″

It’s been a week since and I’m only just getting around to posting this. I’d actually forgotten, being busy with work and trying to calm my quad.
I’d done the training but missed hills and strength. Ok, so all I’d done is some running. I arrived on the day half an hour early, perfect time really. Having been here before I knew where everything was and what to go was.

Grabbing my bib I head to the toilet – standard practice really. This year they had a 2km race for the kids so we registered Mr 14 and headed out to stretch and listen to the usual pre race talk.
As we set off I aim to go slow and cruise, knowing my leg would niggle pretty quickly before I settle into an easy pace.
The turn around is further along than I remember and I’m starting to hurt.
By the second kilometre I am feeling ok and start the turn for ‘the hill’. I get up it ok, walking just a super short bit before taking the down hill and grabbing a drink at the 3km mark.
I call out and wave to hubby and Mr 14 at the drinks station and continue on.
The roads are so long and flat that it feels like it takes forever but my watch buzzes 5km at 27 min, and I head out again for the second lap.

I’m cruising along, still feeling the pain in my leg and notice at around the 9k mark that my watch has died.*
I kind of pick up the pace as I head down main street, but that last corner and heading to the finishers chute is what does it for me.
They call out names where they can, and I hear mine. I’m smiling all the way and there is a good picture or two (yay!) of me finishing.

I glance at the clock and think that I’ve blown my time by 2+ minutes so don’t worry about it till the next day.
Imagine my surprise when I see I missed my PB by 90 secs. If my watch was still alive I would have definitely pushed to try for 3 pb’s in a row. Had my watch not die when it did, I would have been able to push myself just that little bit and get another pb. Aaah, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I would have yo say I am pretty happy with this result despite going in under prepared.

Mr 14 oh so closely missed his dream of 10 mins for 2k by 2 seconds. His goal for this weekend’s 2.5k race is to get it in 12 mins.

*my watch had been giving me grief all week. It wasn’t holding it’s charge and it felt like I was hooking it up every day. Finally realised that one of the charging pins was all out of whack, so straightened it up and bingo…watch is charging once again. Thank fook for that. Didn’t need the headache that could have caused.

Train hard, train regularly, don’t miss the important things, Jen x

Favourite run vs favourite medal

What makes a race your favourite?
The crowd support? Your perfect weather conditions? Having a good mindset the whole way through? Getting a PB?
Each race has its own story which almost makes them all memorable – for different reasons. Sometimes it can be hard to make a choice and if i tried to do this last year it would have been hard. Not so much this year.  There is a definite winner for each for this year.

Favourite race this 6 months: It has to be my last one. Launceston 10 – pb, great atmosphere, well organised, not too crowded at any point from start to finish, I ran it strong and comfortably, my mind was good to me (not crazy negative talk)

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Nearly there.

Does your favourite race come with your favourite medal?
Unfortunately mine doesn’t. I’m going to pick 2 medals – 1 virtual race and 1 actual race.
My virtual races are usually done over a week or more and are what I would consider a training run for any other purpose. Actual races, are…well, actual races with lots of people which changes everything when you normally run on your own.

Favourite medal this 6 months:
Virtual – Run like the Wind. My windmill for organ donors, turning obstacles into opportunities.  This medal has become the key feature for my next tattoo, I love the shape, and design. Simple but detailed. More on that another day.

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Actual – Cadbury. It’s my third medal of the  four Cadbury runs and while different from the last two years is just perfect – purple with a map of Tassie.

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Post run smiles with my bling and bag of chocolate

 

What is your favourite medal and race?
What is it that makes them a favourite?

Keep training, running and being active, Jennifer

 

 

Launceston 10 – 3/6/18

There’s the point in each race, at the starting corrals where you think “what did I sign up for”
There’s the point in each race just after the gun goes off where you think “what am I doing”
There’s the point in each race near the half way mark where you think “I can do this”
There’s a point in each race near the end where you think “are we there yet?”
There’s the point in each race where you turn that last corner and think “I can see the finish, make it strong”
Then there’s the point in the race where you realise you’re not just going to get a PB, you’re going to smash the last one.

That’s the point when you realise that the hard work was worth it, the strength workouts, the consistency in your training. It’s all down to this last two hundred metres.
You smile and keep pushing along, not rushing, following your new ‘no-pressure’ plan. You cross the line with a grin a mile wide and fist pump yourself, knowing you did it. Knowing it was quick even though there were points where your legs felt like lead. Where you thought your lungs would pop.
When you pushed through the stitch from gulping too much water.
When you pushed up that last hill on tired legs, willing yourself to not stop and walk. Where you round that corner and saw the finish line ahead.
Kept the pace even and steady.
Smiled the whole way,  not having that ugly ‘I’m about to poop I’m working so hard’ look captured for eternity by the photographers.
Crossed the line and hugged your husband and kid, giddy with the knowledge of a fast run.  Medal around your neck you get the obligitory picture and head back to your hotel.
You then struggle out of sweaty clothes for a shower, snooze several times in the car on the way home, then get that need to #eatallthefood. All the sweet food.

I had such an amazing time on this run, there was a quiet confidence about my pace, and how I felt.  I was striding out well, I was running so comfortably and strong.  I didn’t feel too tired at any particular point. There are definite tired points in any race, but my training is working out the way I want – giving me more in the tank once I’m finished, and helping me feel stronger for the duration of the race.  The next 3 months are going to be full of hard work before my next race. I am hoping for good things. I want to get stronger and more consistent.
I have only ever bought the complete package of my race photos once, and that was for my only to date interstate run at GCAM. I’ve done it again though. All the pictures were so good. No ugly faces, a little bit of struggle picture, a wry smile as I head to the finish line, that big grin as I’ve crossed the line. I like them all.

Keep chasing that PB, it’s worth all the hard work.

 

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Rounding the last corner – the end is in sight!

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Nearly there.

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Yes!! OMG I did it. So glad to finish. Gun time on left, net time on right. Massive PB acheived.

 

 

 

Do you walk when you run..?

A quick question. It is asked all the time for various validation purposes.
If you walk during a running race does the distance still count?
If you want to complete a certain distance then you have to run the whole thing?
I’m not doing a marathon until I can run the whole distance.

Yes, No and if that’s what rows your boat.

Does it really matter if you take a short walk break?
Does it make you any less of a runner?

NO and NO

I put these questions out there after a conversation I had the other day with some other runners and also reading about those who worry about whether they are real runners or not.
If you are out there running, slow or fast, then you are a runner.
If you want to take a short breather then go for it. It’s your body, you know how it feels and performs.

Kudos to you if you can run a distance without stopping – no matter how long or short it is. That’s called dedication and major stamina. I certainly don’t think any less of you of you walk sometimes, or can’t do a half or full marathon without the odd walk break.
Hell, my last flat half I walked each of the water stations and still got myself a decent pb. And don’t try telling me I am not a runner.

As for the comment about not wanting to do a marathon until you can run the whole distance – well, that’s entirely up to you. I find it’s putting too much of an expectation on yourself, and feeling the need to push too far. This is for the layman runner – the elites, well they run marathons in their sleep. I only mention about the expectations because you never know what can happen on race day. All your training might go super well and on the day it falls apart. You are then majorly disappointed in yourself instead of saying ‘I did it! I ran a marathon!’
I ran a marathon, even though the last 5kms were more of a walk-shuffle, I still did it. I never expected to run the whole way, I followed my body. I never once thought ‘I have to run the whole way’.

My thoughts on it. If you run then you are a runner.
Fast or slow, you are a runner.
5k or 100k, you are a runner.
Take walk beaks occasionally, you are a runner.

So, run or walk and have fun, as you are all lapping everyone on the couch.

Jennifer

City 2 Casino 11k (7k)

It was all going well until it wasn’t.
Sometimes it works.
Sometimes it all falls in a heap.
And sometimes it gets all muddled up.
Which is what happened for my last race.
I was all over the training, and then I was over the training.
Life and general busyness got in the way and my training fell somewhat by the wayside.
The plan was written up, the first two weeks went well and then I just got sick of it. I spose it got to feeling too much like hard work. My aim for any race these days is to have fun and finish the distance.
Now I know I can do a 10K distance, I’m not overly fussed about getting too much faster – because I am having fun at this speed – I want to just run.

I keep up with running several times a week and incorporating several stretch or gym sessions as well, and feel reasonably confident heading into Sunday’s run.
Then it happened.
Sunday morning started like any other race day, a few nerves, several trips to the loo and then settling in to the inevitable of what would happen.
We got to town and I randomly checked my phone only to have a message pop up from a friend.
Our race was cancelled.
A burst water main had exploded all over the highway where we were to be running.
……What was this… A bad dream, a sick joke…
I quickly got onto Facebook and… No, the same news was all over my feed.
11k cancelled and we are to do the 7k instead.
Holy Moses.
I wasn’t prepared for 7km.
Now you might think that being a shorter race meant it would be easier and all that. But I find it’s a whole ‘nother mind set. Seven is a squidge past 5 so I am more likely to run it faster. Ten is a long run and I work on the first 2-3k to get into a rhythm and settle into pace.  Now I had to push it quick and with an uphill start.
I told my friends – when questioned on my thoughts of time – I don’t really train this distance so I’d try around the 6min pace mark and go from there. Just play it by ear.

This was a tough one for me, I think I let the mental get a hold of my head and it put me off. Well, I put me off really.  I decided to ‘run to feel’ which worked for most of the way. I still pushed harder than I would on a ‘run to feel’ and I’m glad I did. I felt really good after finishing and was so proud of my consistent pace. I suppose it helps that I enjoy the 10k and it’s a comfortable distance. You need to train but not too much, and it’s over relatively quickly.

All in all it’s a good result and it now means I can wait another year or two before I do the 7 for real. While properly training for it.

Keep the training going, be strong.  Jen

2km to go. Getting tired.

Oh my, the last 50m is in sight, time to smile and actually look like I’m enjoying this.. I did, really.

Run Devonport – 18/3

There’s a lot to be said about not putting expectations on yourself and having fun while you run. You never know, you may get a pb. The same goes for strength workouts and intervals.

You probably get where I’m going here.
I raced on Sunday.
I did really well.
I’m proud of myself.

The forecast was not good and the closer it got, the more nervous I felt. I’ve run in the rain before, so if I had to I would. It’s just really uncomfortable and makes you really cold. “Pull up your big girl panties and get on with it, I said, what kind of silliness is this, take note of that tatt on your ankle. Mind over matter. It’s only water after all”. Having got that out of my head, I felt better, and then the weather cleared up.

By the time the 10k started it was only a little windy, and there was 5 mins of rain during the race. As I lined up I decided subconsciously that I would not look at my watch, I was going to concentrate on not falling over myself and face plant into a puddle.
Last time I thought of that, I kept sneaking peaks after the first 4kms. This time, I didn’t look at all, even when I finished. Saved the workout and looked for my husband. And only when he said what he did, did I look at my time.

The course we ran had changed to the parkrun x 2 laps as the wind had been blowing the road signs everywhere as they set up. I didn’t mind as the whole thing was new to me. And two laps of 5km is not too bad, better than two of 10 or 20k.

Its a beautiful course, winding along the river bank for 2.5kms, completely flat and easy to run. I ran by feel as I’ve tried before, not thinking about anything but being at ease, resting the shoulders, moving forward with good movements. My only thought was to try and keep the 60min pacer close by or behind me slightly.

On my way back in the first 5 a friend was waiting and getting pictures of the RMA’s on course. I waved and gave thumbs up, smiling and continuing on. Not thinking about it until I saw her again on the last lap. I was having fun and feeling good so had a go at the jump shot. She got both attempts and it was great to see the joy in my face for once. I tend to look so serious during races that to see a picture with the inside feelings coming out was just amazing.

I kept cruising, self talking the ‘stay steady, don’t race, enjoy the finish’. So up the finishers chute with a big grin and feeling damned good. Tired, but good.

I wandered out to find hubby and he was looking pretty pleased, a big hug and photos with him saying “that was fast” I questioned, and said I never looked at my watch, his reply was that I wasn’t too far behind the 50min pacer…a check of my watch and Omg! Another pb! I was fast. The thing is, I didn’t feel fast, I felt comfortable, I wasn’t too tired. These are the things I am after. Finishing a race with more in the tank. Doing a race easier, steadier.

There is a lot to be said for not putting expectations on yourself.
For having fun when you run.
Most importantly, for those strength and interval workouts.

My official time? 56.47.

A new pb by 1.07. While I am not worried about being quicker than 55mins, you never know what might happen with 8 or so more races to go this year.

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Have you done a race where you’ve completely surprised yourself with a result?
Have you tried the jump shot? Did you succeed?
Let’s share some feel good stories (and pictures if you want).

Train well and have fun running

Run the Bridge, Feb 18

The usual pre race nerves set in a few days before hand. The weather, my bib, clothes, food and hydration, getting there on time.

My training had gone well and I was feeling good, ready to start and finish the race – enjoying it all the way.

We arrived at the start with plenty of time and I did some stretches and chatted with hubby before he had to leave – making sure he got to the finish line in time.

I headed to my usual mid pack starting position and loosely jiggled on my toes.
The 4 minutes between the elites and us starting were painfully long.
The start of this race is always tough because the route turns the first km into a bottleneck where you have to jump and weave to not be tripped or trip anyone else.

I decided right on the start that I would not check my watch at each km notification, I would listen to my body and go with the flow. The km markers were pretty spot on as my watch buzzed almost exactly at each one.

I slowed for a drink at the first station then paced myself up the first hill. It’s a sharp incline that is worse than the main event (the height of the bridge), and I didn’t want to walk too much. A short couple of walks and I was at the top and getting into cruise mode again.

Coming up towards the bridge and there was a huge crowd – 5k walkers and runners and cheer squads – the place was pumping. People cheered us as we passed them making our way up to the crest. Just past the top and the next race started. They surged past us, sprinting down the bridge. It was most off-putting, after settling into a rhythm and then having it all go out of whack – I lost the runner I was following and felt a bit lost and slow in all the speedsters around me.

It was at the 7km mark that I saw the 60 min pacer and knew I was reasonably on target – I will admit, I had checked my watch one around the 5k mark.  Losing them while I grabbed another drink was no great drama and I continued on my way. I was  happy knowing I may or may not make the sub 60.

The next two kms were tough, the end is so close yet so far away. The last km is though a mass of support and cheers, and really keeps you going.  Five hundred meters away from the crown to mini incline and turnaround and then it’s the race to the finish.  Most of the time anyway. As I headed back down to the corner and finishing, I gave myself a talking to. “Slow down, don’t rush it, smile, relax, finish strong, finish smiling”. I loosened my shoulders and off I went. Smiling the whole way down the chute, no weird sprint and angst face, just smiling and feeling good.

There is 1 good picture – the other 2 I have my eyes shut. Go figure, I don’t even know where the photographer is and I still have my eyes shut.

Crossing the line I save my tomtom, only to discover is says 9.98kms – but the time, 57.57 is all I’m worried about. Woohoo, pb time, for both the distance and race.

The official time was 57.54. I’m very happy and rest a few days before getting back into training for the next race. I think it shows what the plan can do, I was consistent and adding in the strength and interval workouts really helped.


Back to it. Happy training and finish strong.