Monday, 21 May 2012

Monday Mileage...

I'm not going to lie to you good folk out there...

My weekend was a bit on the slack side. I didn't play hockey on Friday night as I was at a fundraising auction. However, I did do a 10km run on Saturday morning. I enjoyed it after I was able to drag my butt out of bed - which was extremely hard, a far cry from a few weeks ago! But once I got going it was enjoyable and I felt good. Also, since I have been doing bootcamp I have homework to complete each week for it. This week I had to do these things: (the number is a minimum number but pretty much everything I did double, or more, of):

25 pull ups
1 x Parihaka hill run (a crazy steep mountain in our town that takes about 15-20mins to run up and has HEAPS of steps)
2.5km run
100 bicycle leg ab crunches
5 x 1 min ab bridge
50 squat and calf raise

I have been doing these over the week and also over the weekend.

I also did another type of exercise this weekend - what I like to call the
NEW JEANS WORKOUT!! This include lunges, squats and any other stretches that you can think of to help loosen up new jeans a little (all you girls out there will know what I am talking about - and Emo boys who like to wear girl's jeans).

See how the jeans pretty much look like tights here? They basically are!

Trying to stretch without ripping - that could be awkward!
So I went out on Saturday to buy a present for my friend's baby shower and came home with a new pair of jeans... Woops! They were/are still majorly, seriously, ridiculously (maybe a little too) tight! Thus the reason for the new jeans workout. Perhaps I actually just need to eat less to fit into them better instead of trying to stretch them more??? Or maybe even buy a bigger size... Haha, jokes - that's NEVER the solution!

The lunge jean walk - the best jean stretcher move out!

Oh but don't worry, I did get my friend her present! I think a very cool one too - got (for the Mum since everyone else buys for the baby) a hair voucher and a massage voucher - some post baby pampering will be in order for sure!

So what exercise/s did you get done over the weekend? Did anyone compete in an event or have a particular workout they did? And have you ever had to do the NEW JEANS WORKOUT???

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Fuel for mind and body...

Here is my promised post about fuelling for your races...

When you are training for a race you not only need to think about the physical training but you also need to think of things such as mental training - e.g. how the heck am I going to get myself across that finish line? And nutritional training - what am I going to eat/drink before, during and after races to get through them?

This post is focussing on the 'during part' of race fuelling, but you can visit this post or this post  if you want to read more about the 'What the flip am I doing?' or the 'how the heck did I think I could do this' side of things.

My fuels of choice so far

In your training, particularly for a marathon or half marathon, you will need to practice with what you will be using on the day of the race. One of the biggest no-nos for marathon runners is trying something new on race day - especially when it comes to things going INTO your body (which could result in nasty things coming OUT of your body).

Me and my mate powerade, just chillin'
For me personally, I use powerade as my fuel of choice. Mostly because it was the sports drink they were using in my first marathon, so I started training with that and it worked. Also because it is reasonably cheap, easy and tasty to drink, and it is easy to get here in NZ. If you are doing runs over 1 - 1.5 hours, taking a glass or so of this will help you during the run, or having straight after to help your muscles recover and just replenish lost energy.

When going on my long long runs I tend to take use my awesome fuel belt which I fill up 2 bottles with powerade and two with water. Generally for every sip of sports drink you have you want a sip of water to wash it down, otherwise you can end up feeling thirstier.

This is what awesome looks like - fuel belt, iPod, awesome pose - it doesn't get any better!
 In terms of long distance running - such as marathons or further - you generally tend to need a little more refuelling than what you can get in an energy drink (this isn't the same for everyone, but we'll call it rule of thumb - whatever that means). I didn't really know where to start with this sort of fuelling, still don't really know that much about it, but have been using these gels to get me through.

Don't you just love all my cheesy poses in this post??

My first marathon I only used these gels once in training (probably a bit naughty), and they were the ones without caffeine. I thought they tasted yum, although they are rather sweet and sticky - trust me when I say you do not want this sticky stuff all over yourself in a run so OPEN AND CONSUME WITH CAUTION!! Then in my second marathon I grabbed the ones with caffeine in thinking they would give me a bit of an extra boost - which they seemed to have done. The only thing was that the added caffeine made them taste not so nice - didn't think of that now did I?!? You need to be careful with caffeinated products and running, especially if you tend to be a little (or a lot) intolerant to caffeine, as they can really upset your tummy, which you DO NOT want to happen in the middle of a marathon!

They seemed to be ok for me, which was lucky since I didn't try the caffeinated ones in training - PHEW!
And the same rule for these - you really need to wash them down with a big cup of water as they are uber sweet! Pop one just as you are coming up to a drink station and you'll be right.

In the Rotorua marathon I took four of them. My first one I took at around 14km, then 21km, then 28, then the last at 36km. Seemed to do the trick too.
What I got told about gels is that once you start with them you kind of need to keep going with them as they give you a spike in energy (from all the sugar) but then you can drop of you don't continue taking them. I believe it too as it did come from a very seasoned pro!

 Now we get on to another topic of fuelling all together - something I have been doing to fill my Sunday afternoon. I have been baking. Yes, I did mention I have a slight addiction to this but it's all in the name of generosity and fun, I swear! I have been baking a red velvet cake for my friend's baby shower tomorrow night which has the theme of red, black and white, therefore I thought it was rather fitting. It's a pretty messy cake to make though, so I was caught wearing this little gem of an apron:

Thanks to my lovely sister-in-law
The red velvet cake has two layers and is stuck together and covered with the most HEAVENLY cream cheese frosting - yum! I must just say again that this is not race fuelling what-so-ever but you may enjoy a little treat every now and then right?? Here's what the first layer looked like fresh out of the oven:

May not look that great but I'm happy with how it turned out!

And here's the finished product. Ok, so that's not MY finished product per say (it's still a work in progress) but that's what it'll look like plus some cute decos when it's all done.

Hope it tastes and looks as good as this one does!

What is your fuel of choice for your races? Do you like to have caffeine or not? Do you recommend any great brands or products? How have you spent your Sunday afternoon?

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Monday mileage and mothers day...

A day late, yes I know and I do apologise. My computer and I were taking a 'break' yesterday - well actually I was just so busy I never got to the computer. But alas, here it is...

I have decided to start a new thing for my blog and it's called monday mileage. It's all about the mileage I, and my fabulous readers, did (or for some reason didn't) do over the weekend.

To start it off I am going to tell you about the 12km race I competed in on Sunday, which also happened to be mothers day here in little ol' NZ.

I wasn't sure how I'd go only 2 weeks out from the marathon so I didn't put a time goal on it. I was happy to finish it in just under 1 hour and 5 minutes. Next time I'd like to be able to finish in under an hour. It was a great run but started with a very steep 250m hill. Literally we started at the bottom of the hill. Got a bit of a puff on going up but a good way to warm up. Thankfully it was a gorgeous day too (a bit hot at times) but we managed to get in a tail wind at some points too - bonus!! AND... For a mothers day treat my Mum-in-law (a.k.a runner Mum) did the run too... Just what every Mum wants to do on the one day of the whole year dedicated to them... HA!

Posing like a dork way after I'd actually finished

Super runner Mum crossing the finish line - Yahoo!

My lovely sister-in-law (brother's wife) and gorgeous friend also walked it so it was nice to have some company with the three of them at a race for once (instead of not knowing any other competitors). And the quote of the day (not naming any name's but was from my friend...haha) 'did you just get really sun burnt or are you usually that red after you finish a run?' Oh shame on my name - that's right you couldn't really tell where my t-shirt finished and my face began... Story of my life - HA!

Sarah and Saskia cruising across the finish line still looking as gorgeous as ever!
So it was a pretty great day all around and a nice time was spent with the girls.

My wonderful runner Mum-in-law and I
 Later on that day I took my Mum and her partner out for a devonshire cream tea which was a nice treat for us all. A lovely way to end the day.

So what miles did you clock up over the weekend and how did you treat your Mum for mothers day? Would your Mum enjoy running a race on mothers day?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Ok, ok, I will leave it alone now... Promise!

Yes, I've been faffing around again, as you will have noticed. I thought my blog could still do with some slight improvements so here they are. I am finally happy and hope you are too! Here's to a fresh new page, a fresh new name and some fresh new blog posts coming soon!!

What do you think of the new look and name??

Until next time,

CRG (Curious Runner Girl)

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Warning: Running is addictive!!

A week and a half out from running my second marathon I am contemplating what I will do next... I am ADDICTED!!! 

I am registered to run the Baylys to Dargaville 12km this Sunday, but with no pressure on myself for a target time. This is because it'll only be two weeks after the marathon, in which case I should still be in 'recovery mode'. I am looking forward to it though and have some friends walking it - yay!

So now I am trying to figure out what my next big race will be to get me on the road to my ultimate goal of a sub 4 hour marathon!!! 

If you are wanting to find yourself an event to run in, or a goal to train for, no matter what the distance and no matter where in NZ you live, then you need to check out this fantastic website right here! It is my go-to whenever I want to plan a run to do and see what is going on in the running world around the country. 

I am contemplating the Auckland Marathon again which is in 5 months time, so watch this space to see what I decide and when my training will commence. 

After the Auckland marathon 2011 - hope they have better coloured t-shirts this year!!

Do you have anything you are currently training for? Have you discovered a new found addiction to running? And are there any great runs that you can recommend as a MUST do?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

A fun marathon... Is that an oxymoron???

In finding my last marathon a bit of a struggle (that's an understatement - it was a MAJOR struggle), I had decided that for this one I wanted to try to beat my time, but most importantly I wanted to enjoy it and even try to... wait for it... MAKE IT FUN!! Gasp!

Slugging it out in the Auckland marathon - not even at half way yet!

So here's what I came up with to make a marathon fun... And yes, IT IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE!!
(warning, some photos beyond this point may offend)

10 musts for a fun marathon:

1. The first is the most obvious - train hard so you know you have put the effort in to actually get you to the finish
2. Smile every chance you get - if not for the WHOLE marathon
3. Encourage other runners - this always makes you feel so much better
4. Have a laugh at the funny signs people are holding up along the course. For example, these two guys were carrying a sign on the sidelong along several parts of the course that said: 'Hurry up, we want coffee!' Didn't really get it but thought it was worth a laugh. Or my all time favourite at the Auckland Marathon: 'Nek minnit... Finished!' Classic.
5. Make sure you look good before you start. Have a good looking kit to wear and make sure you feel GOOD in it!
6. Or if the running gear ain't doing it for ya' dress up if there's a theme or just because you feel like it - such as the tinman seen in this post, and like this guy:

or this guy:

7. Fist pump whenever you get the chance - such as when you see someone you know, someone cheers for you, or just because you CAN!
8. Encourage, cheer for and even offer lollies (if you have them) to the marshals and drink station peeps - trust me, they LOVE it! Especially if there are kids!
9. Have some funkadelic beats playing on your iPod, or run with a buddy so you can have company. If all that fails, do what I do and just make mates with someone along the course - that's fun and then you have someone to encourage and someone to encourage you!
10. Last but definitely NOT least, and probably the most important especially for your first marathon... CROSS THE FINISH LINE WITH YOUR ARMS IN THE AIR!! 'I throw my hands up in the air sometimes...' You know it, sing along :)

So... That's about all I can think of for how to make a marathon (or any other race) FUN! That's right folks, you heard it here first, running CAN BE FUN! How do you make running fun? Is there anything you can think of that I didn't? Would love to hear what sorts of fun things you do to get you through.

Happy Runner Girl

There it is, 'The Im-having-fun-running-this-marathon thumbs up and smile!' 

If i can do it you can do it too! 

Runner Girl

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Funny business

I saw some funnies when I was running the marathon that I thought I'd share with you. Two girls in matching singlets were just ahead of me at the start and on the back of one singlet said:

'I over train so I can over eat'.

On the back of the other girl's singlet it said:

'Life is short but running makes it feel longer'.

Thanks for the funnies girls, I couldn't have put either one better myself. The more runs I do the more I realise that a lot of the runners competing are very similar and think the same.   
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