Monday, 30 April 2012

Rest and recovery...

So after my big run adventure on Saturday, followed by a 5 hour car drive yesterday I thought my body was in need of a little TLC. So here's what I came up with...

After the run I felt great - nothing hurt too much, needed to be amputated, operated on, popped, numbed, or anything else you can think of. However after the car drive home the next day, sitting all squashed in the back of a car, things were starting to stiffen and tighten a little. Eek! So I started today with a 1km easy swim at the pools, very relaxing and no pressure to perform as the only people around were all over 70 and they were doing their own funky aquarobics moves to help them with their own aches and pains.

Following the swim I went and got a great 1 hour massage courtesy of my wonderful friend Kate from Revive Massage Therapy (the best sports massager in town). This got rid of a whole lot of knots and tightness and nastiness that had built up in my legs from all the running. So now I am feeling all relaxed and bendy and flexi like those bendy rubber key ring people you get... You know the ones?

How do you like to recover after a hard training session or big run?? What is the best thing for a sore body?

I then also had a wee lunch date with my husband at work which was delightful.

Starting tomorrow I am joining in on a bootcamp with some peeps from my church for a 10 week bootcamp challenge in which I will help motivate and encourage my team mates (as well as have a good go myself!). That will be fun so we'll see how the body holds up after that. My other wonderful friend Halle from this awesome personal training studio is running the bootcamp so will probably cause me to not want to be her friend anymore... Which could never happen ONLY because I happen to like the feeling of pain from doing such a great exercise. Plus, if she wasn't so good at what she does there would be no pain. And I am a firm believer that...

No pain no gain!

So for the next couple of weeks I will take a wee break from running and focus on the gritty stuff I'll be doing at STOMP! bootcamp, as well as getting back into playing some good, solid hockey. My running will start up again in a little while, but for now watch out abs chick because soon my abs will be visible (and by visible I mean with x-ray glasses)and STILL faster than yours (I hope)!!

Ciao for now,

Runner girl

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Rotorua marathon race recap...

Me crossing the finish line - YAY!
Well people, I did it! I 'conquered the lake' as the people from the Rotorua marathon said. Such a great achievement, and the best part is that I actually CUT OFF HALF AN HOUR from my previous marathon time... STOKED!

Here I am crossing the finish line - I totally sped up for the last 200 meters to beat the chick behind me who my Uncle and husband were calling the 'ab chick' - moral of this story - your mean abs won't win you a marathon! (although I will still try to get them!)

I have to be honest, after my first marathon I thought I should be on the TV programme 'I shouldn't be alive' because I actually thought I was going to die at the end (or even before it). But this race I thoroughly LOVED and I felt I ran really well - bonus! I fuelled well and had plenty of energy to boost over the finish line too - what more could you want? Eat my dust abs girl... muahaha! Overall it was the perfect day for it - good conditions, good temperature, only a small head wind for about 4-5 kms in the last 10kms and I had the best supporters crew! (Photos of them to come but in the meantime here is one of my cousin cycling along side me for a few hundred meters).

Now here's a bit of a run down of the rest of the trip...

At the hot mudpools and geysers - being totally touristy and nerdy!

Husband jumping in for a self-shot pic - a must in tourist land!

Just had to put this one in of Tim looking like he should be on the catwalk - *proud wife*

Always the rebel!

A spot of mini golf with Tim, Uncle and Grandad - the boys giving Grandad some unwanted tips.

Mini golf cheese
Here's a low down of some of the race...

At the start line a little nervous and cheesy

Still in the pack around the 5km mark

The tin man

Look at that scenery! Lake Rotorua

My best supporter and the gel sachets I used - there will be a post on these to come

Trying to be cool as I approach the last 200m - looks like I'm walking but I promise I was running!
And that's all folks - second marathon done and dusted. Watch this space to see what the next adventure will entail.

Anyone keen to join me in an event or even in some training? I would love to run with you and even help you to achieve your goals!

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. - Romans 8:37

Ciao for now,

Runner Girl.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

True Grit...

I am currently staying with my Uncle and Aunty and two cousins in Rotorua - the city of Saturday's marathon. My Uncle asked me this morning as I was strapping on my running shoes to head out for my last light run before the race: 'What makes you want to just run a marathon?'

'Well', I said, 'great question'. But what is the answer to that I then thought? I told him my story of how I got into running, but then he was still like 'But why a marathon, what is wrong with you girl?'... Haha. I love how whenever you tell someone you are going to run a marathon (that's not a runner or sport-minded) they automatically assume there's something wrong with you.

So I thought about it and here is what I came up with:

Perhaps it is craziness that made me first decide to run a marathon. Or maybe I thought I had something to prove to the world (or just myself, I honestly don't think 'the world' actually cares what I do). But to actually go out and do it takes what I like to call True Grit! AKA determination.

This definition of determination is as so:

Definition of determination

In terms of running a marathon, my true grit/determination is defined as:
  • Getting up out of bed on a Saturday morning (which to everyone else is sleep in day) at 5.30am and hitting the road by 6 (so I can be back by the time everyone is up from their sleep-ins - lucky so and sos!) and running for several hours. 
  • The sore feet, joints, muscles and whole body from the enduring training
  • The 'Can't stay out too late tonight as I have to get up for a long run in the morning' attitude
  • It's putting your running first 
  • It's putting down that cupcake the size of your head
  • It's having your apple crumble and ice cream without the crumble or the ice cream 
  • It's carrying snacks all the time like a mother with a mini van load of children. 
  • It's constantly thinking about how your next move is going to impact on your training and running...
  • It's saving up or sacrificing other things to pay for the race you've entered, new running shoes, sports supplements, clothing, massages, physio, etc. etc.
  • ALL totally worth it!
That is grit, to say the least. But... Here's the catch:

Crossing that finish line knowing you had true grit and determination to get you there without dying is one of THE BEST feelings in the world.  AND... It's addictive, which is where the need to run a second marathon (and possibly more after this one) comes from.

So there you have it people - the short version to answer my Uncle's question is craziness or mild insanity followed by true grit and determination. Viola!

Although I say that I have true determination and grit, I also have God helping me too. This is what the Bible has to say...

Zechariah 4:6b -
'Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit', says the Lord.

So if all else fails God's word never does!

Stay cool kids,


Marathon countdown: 2 more sleeps!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Packing and remembering...

Getting all excited for the up-and-coming race and it is my first 'big travel' race... Woop!

Today we are heading down to Rotorua, about a 5 hour drive, and run is on Saturday. Packing was successful last night - never want to forget anything important for a big race so had everything I need (and plenty more) laid out on the bed for double and triple checking (plus plenty more things not included in this photo).

Running essentials - including double ups - can never be too careful.

But before all of the race buzz begins, today my day started with the alarm sounding at 5am to get up and get to the ANZAC dawn parade. Time to remember the real heroes of our country and history before heading off on a big trip. Also time to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us, just like all those very brave soldiers 97 years ago.

Field of remembrance

Me in the field - looking rather tired, yes, but alas... I was!
So now that I have begun my day I will quadruple check that I have all I need for Saturday's race, get in a hearty breakfast and then off we embark on a fun little road trip.

Marathon countdown: 3 more sleeps... Eek!

Monday, 23 April 2012

I put my new shoes on and suddenly everything's right!

NEW SHOES RULE!!! Soooo... Thanks to this awesome website I got myself some stylin' new pumped up kicks... YEOW!

As you can tell I rather enjoy a new pair of shoes. It's the simple things in life I tell ya. However, whoever said running is free obviously was a barefoot runner (and perhaps even a naked runner?!). Shoes are not cheap and when you are clocking up some serious (or not so serious) mileage you really do need to have a good pair, which means replacing them a bit more regularly than your wallet would probably like to. Thus the reason I love these new shoes so much - I had to save for them!

This is also the reason I love the aforementioned site - I got my shoes for approx $96 cheaper than they are here in stores.. But wait, there's more - they also included FREE postage - that's right - FREEEEEEEEE!! They did take 3 weeks to get here but if you want them earlier you can just pay a few extra bucks (or live in the UK where they come from), and Bob's your Uncle (or Aunty in some cases - awkward!).

I know you are dying to see them so here you are:

Thanks Asics for my super new GT-2170 running shoes. They are a dream. And sooo bright white they're like a black man's teeth (even on my pasty white legs which makes them look tanned!).

I thought my old running shoes weren't doing to badly, but when you look at this comparison you will see why I was in need of a new pair...

Yeesh! Talk about run down on The Run Down! It's recommended that you change your shoes every 800 kms and I may or may not have done slightly over that number... You decide :)

This brings me to my next part:

Wearing in new running shoes...

As I had to save for these shoes (and because I was stingy and opted for the free delivery) I ordered them a little later than I was hoping and they only just got here last week. I was hoping that I could chuck them on and they would feel like they were made for me and I would be able to run a million miles in them, however this is not the case.

Rule Number One in running: Shoes DO NEED TO BE WORN IN before a big event. You cannot and should not expect to be able to just throw on a new pair of shoes the morning of a race and be fine. Some shoes might give you blisters your first one, two, or three wears, they may rub in funny places, they may be too tight or you may need to adjust certain things.

My new shoes have not given me any blisters on the few runs I have worn them on, however they do cause my toes - particularly on my left foot which is my 'big' foot - to go numb and tingly. NOT what you want in a race! When they have stretched a bit more they will be perfect, but until then I can't go taking any risks in this weekend's marathon.

So me old faithfuls will have to do the trick! We've had some good times and this last run will just top it all off (cue tacky romance music from a Zac Effron love movie). And then what will be the fate of me old faithfuls you ask? They become my fishing shoes! Yes - that's right, they are great for getting around rocks in and walking along the beach. They might even get a bit of the old backyard action... Gardening, lawn mowing or just some casual slouching around - you name it, they're good for it!

What do you do with your old running shoes? And what is your favourite pair of kicks to pound the pavement in??

Happy running readers.

Marathon countdown: 5 sleeps to go!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

bigger and better things...

Hi readers,

Just to let you all know that over the next little while I'll be trying to make my blog bigger and better so you will be seeing some changes to come. I hope you like the new look when it is completed. Are there any things you would like me to include in the blog or any things you'd like to see? Would love to hear.

Ciao for now,

Runner girl.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

A little bit of inspiration - Or what I like to call 'Runspiration'...

With my second marathon looming in just over a week there's nothing more in the way of physical training that I can do to help me to do better on race day. Now the training is all just mental - gearing my mind up for enduring 42.2km of running.

I have been hunting for some inspiration to get me fired up and excited for the big day. So I thought I would share it with you, my readers, and I hope it encourages and inspires you too :)

My personal favourites:

And trust me, it really does!

I cannot explain the feeling of achieving your own personal victory after putting in all of the hard work, courage, sweat and tears - experience it for yourself - it's amazing!

Couldn't have put it better - thanks Nike!

 My quote from last week's post - This is so very true. If you believe you can then you will! Just go for it!

Happy running :)

Thursday, 12 April 2012

What is your mind telling you??

Hello fellow runners (or wish-to-be runners)...

This quote above is my favourite and it can relate to absolutely EVERYTHING I think, but is particularly applicable to this blog post.

It's been a pretty up and down past couple of weeks but thought that I was in need of a blog update for all you devout followers out there (or follower - singular???).

So a couple of weeks ago I got quite sick... turns out that when you are running long distances it takes a wee toll on your immunity, but alas, I am not the type of person to get into my way... Until some terrible fevers stopped me from emerging from my bed... DOH!! So this put a little halt on my training in which time my mind (or the little evil guy on my shoulder) started saying:
'Don't you think that your body is trying to tell you something getting this ill this close to your marathon?' And 'You probably shouldn't really be doing the marathon anyway, but especially with all this time out of your training', and then my favourite... 'You CAN'T do this, especially not now!'

Even my doctor was trying to tell me that perhaps I should just think of doing a half marathon... Sheesh! Who does he think I am?!?!

I considered it and had a little battle with my mind. But I was due for a long (35km) run so I thought I would see how I went in that and then make my decision from there. Turns out that the early bird discount closed the day before I was to do that long run so the lovely little guy on my shoulder (and my ever encouraging husband) said: 'what the heck, just go for it  after all, you have put in the training hours and you KNOW you can do it!'

Although I was a little unsure that I could do it I still went ahead and registered anyway. Then, with much prayer, a supportive running buddy, and a super awesome husband supporter, the next day I completed my super long (longest) training run and felt great! I was a little sore but I finished the run feeling like I could have kept running, which I think is the main thing, as the actual marathon is still a bit longer than 35kms. Phew!

So after all my considerations, my trials and tribulations, my doubts and my struggles, I am only just over two weeks away from completing my second ever marathon and getting more and more excited about it by the day. Still trying to be wise and stay healthy but squeezing in a couple of training sessions here and there too, such as spin class, short runs and some fitness like hill repeats and sprint sessions. Now it's all downhill until the BIG day! Woop!

So, if you are pondering a run, struggling with your mind and not really believing you can achieve what it is you want to then let me leave you with some inspiration... Including this quote:

'Your body cannot achieve what your mind cannot believe' (sorry, not too sure who said this but isn't it great?!). It's sooo true too, 90% of the battle is mental, 10% is physical! Ok, well maybe not quite to those percentages but mentality plays a HUGE part! Have you ever had to overcome any mental struggles when it comes to sports or training or anything like that? I'd LOVE to hear!

Monday, 2 April 2012

The business of running...

Hey all,

I know it has been a little while since my last post but not to worry as I am back with more tails of running trials and tribulations....

Running, as some of you may know, is a great way to keep fit, healthy, and in good shape. However, when you get into the serious business of running longer distances you will face some trials. It will take its toll on your body in more than one way. It can cause injury or pain in your body, whether it be muscles or joints, it takes its toll on your immunity, as well as the mental challenge of keeping going for 1, 2, 3 hours plus.

In the last couple of weeks I have been facing some of these trials. Last weekend I went for a 3 hour run, which I felt was a little boring, to be honest, and it was a real mental struggle. I hadn't really fuelled well before or during it either so after two hours of running I was getting really tired. My body, however, was pretty good in that I wasn't too sore or nothing felt broken or overworked, as sometimes is the case. So apart from getting tired and probably running waaaaay slower than I should have been, I was happy to have been able to stay on my feet for that length of time.

My trainings through the week went ok too, got in a sprint session, a 5km time trial and some cross training. But, when it came to my long weekend run again I was just not feeling the groove.
I got up nice and early, as per usual, and was even out the door before the sun woke up, but my body was just not enjoying it. My friend joined me about 6km in which was great, but even then I just felt bored and tired. My body was asking to stop.

I kept going though, having someone with me really helped and kept me going (if she wasn't with me I probably would have stopped and walked home... Eek!), but perhaps I should have listened to my body because I have spent the last two days ill... The thing I was saying about your immunity, it can get a bit hammered when you are doing lots of training!

Anyway, after that run I told my husband that I might not do the marathon that I have been training for and that is coming up in less than 5 weeks now. He encouraged me that I have put in the training, the effort and the hours so I may as well. I think in training for this marathon running has felt more like a chore than an enjoyment and my mind was getting out of the game. I know I can physically run another marathon but can I mentally?? I AM still going to do it, despite my thoughts that perhaps I wouldn't. But after this one I have decided that I really want to just get back to running for enjoyment, and remember why I liked it in the first place.

So as far as my goal of two, maybe three marathons, goes this year, I think that one would be a great achievement :)

What are your running goals? Do you have any trials or tribulations to speak of in achieving your goals?

I hope this hasn't discouraged anyone from running or achieving whatever goals you may have, I am just being honest with you about MY running journey and my journey to this next marathon. Trust me, it's not always like this and more often than not I have really positive things to say about how much I LOVE running - which I still do by the way. So be encouraged that if you are feeling a little run down, a little like your goal is too far out of reach, step back, take a deep breath, have a rest if you need one and get back out there. I can guarantee you that for every bad run I have ever had, I have had about 4-5 good ones. Yay!

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