Thursday, 21 November 2013

'Wiggling' like the happy little runner that I am.

Yesterday, I was feeling down in the dumps. Call it exam stress, grieving, who knows.

But then. my wiggle package arrived!

Is there anything more motivating to a runner than new gear? Woo!

So here's  run down of what I purchased and a review of how I have found it so far. Please excuse the endless selfies. My photographer was away!

1. Waterbottle and handheld carrier/strap

I really thought having a water bottle hanging off me would be really annoying. But, it as surprisingly great. It's very comfortably padded and also a small zip pocked which can hold a gel or two. The strap is adjustable so there is no hand cramping trying to hold onto the bottle as you ran. This was only $10 (bottle and holder!)

2. High 5 'Race Nutrition Pack'.

As I haven't really 'raced' seriously as yet, I haven't gotten too serious about gels and chews etc. I usually take homemade chia muesli bars to munch along the way. I have used gummi bears and jelly beans and they have made my stomach hurt. I thought it would be a good idea to try out some gels just in case I ever need to use them in a race, which I probably will. This pack was only $13 and has over 10 gels and over 15 electrolyte powders for mixing up for drinks (the large white water bottle was also included). So one of these gels (raspberry and caffeine) and a chocolate orange energy bar are packed for a trial on tomorrows long run.

3. Capris, t-shirt and cap.

These capris are probably the most comfortable I have EVER worn. They are "Ronhill Ladies Aspiration" capris and were $34. They have a wide waistband so no digging in or discomfort. Stretchy, soft and moisture wicking material makes for a very smooth ride!

The shirt was new Balance Momentum shirt in coral. Super light, flowy and comfortable.

The cap is Orca and has a really think hairband that soaks up sweat like anything and is really comfy. Performs very well is the hot sun!

4. This is the "Nike Ladies Element Shield" jacket. And yes, I know it's nearly summer. But at 40% off it's original price, I felt like it would be a good investment. Obviously I haven't tried this one out yet but so far it feels good.

I also got a back Shock Absorber Max Support Bra. No pictures of that one for you, sorry!

So there you have it! I'm a happy little runner kitted out in my awesome gear. Money so well spent, in my opinion.

Tomorrow I have a long run (15km) and a funeral to go to. Thank god for running it definitely keeps me from needing therapy, lol!

Enjoy your friday tomorrow everyone and the weekend that follows!


Sunday, 10 November 2013

What A Juggling Act

Hi to any new readers!

So some background information for those of you who don't know too much about me...

I'm studying a double degree in psychology and criminology and am about to complete my third year. My first exam is tomorrow.

I work as a 'nanny' for a little girl 2 or 3 mornings a week. I have to leave my house before 6am to get there and then I drive her to school for 8.30am.

I also work as a supervisor and cash officer for a supermarket.

The starts of my weeks are usually the most hectic.

Monday mornings I have my nannying job (I usually try to sneak in 5-8kms before or after)

Tuesdays: Nannying job 6am-9am; Supermarket job 4:30pm until 9:30pm

Wednesday: Nannying job in morning. (Usually after this is when I get to relax a little for the week but this week I said yes to babysitting for the same family this night).

Sigh. I know it's not that much work for those of you who work full time, but considering I exercise more than 15 hours a week usually, that in itself is a part time job ontop of my two other part time jobs - and 6 hours of study a day is also meant to be a part time job - some days I'm awake for 18-20 hours!

It's exhausting. Usually around exam time I would take time of work and drop the nannying too. Unfortunately this time I cannot turn down the money, we just can't afford it. We need every cent possible.

My point is - it's a juggling act but my favourite and priority ball is my running - because it shows me that with persistence, I can do things that are hard, that are tiring, that I never thought I could do. It shows me that I'm strong, to keep going when I'm tired, to be brave.

It's my stress outlet which is great because some days I have lots of stress!!!

Today is my last rest day after my half marathon. Will do some puppy walking, swimming and stretching. Tomorrow will be a short run before nannying and my exam.

Well it turns out I dont have to nanny this morning - so I'm off for an early morning walk with the puppy and then I'll hit the books.

Have a great monday everyone!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Half Marathon Complete! :)


So I've been super busy working and studying for exams so I haven't had a chance to update my blog for two weeks!

Yesterday I did a mock half marathon, as there are no events in my area this time of year (which is unfortuate because I think the race atmosphere would have really given me a boost!).

So the 21kms came and went in 2:28:48 and alot of pain!

This run had followed a week consisting of a taper week of a 5km run, lots of bike riding and walking.

Run Review.
I hydrated brilliantly the day and night before, drinking lots of water. Carbloading was done via roast sweet potato and pumpkin pizza with pesto the night before.

I ran without my fuel belt as I haven't had a chance to test it yet, and I also knew my route had water fountains along the way. For fuel I took a couple of small pieces of strawberry and coconut slice with me.

So 4.15am friday morning came and I jumped out of bed, had a glass of water and got ready. Was running by 5am. It's been pretty hot weather lately and I knew it was important to finish my run before the sun was too hot.

How I handle these long runs is I break it up in stages. I have to. I cannot start out and think "You've got 21kms of running to go", and then count down. Hell no!

So I go - only 5kms until you're halfway to the turn around! I try to break them up into two different runs, one out, one back. I know that must sound silly, but running is a head game and if anything helps, I say do it!

The run went well. My goal was 2:30 so around the 7km mark I pushed a little harder to make up for my slow start to make sure I hit my 10.5km in atleast 1:15, knowing that I wouldn't have it in me to pull sub 6:30 kms at the end of the run - I wanted to do a little of the hard work early on and then be able to enjoy a slightly slower pace.

Around 17kms in I started HURTING. I wonder - do ultrarunners get to the point where their bodies are so conditioned that they don't experience pain after 50, 60, 100kms? I don't know much about it but my gut tells me no. I'm sure they feel pain and just have to push through it. So that's what I tried to do as well. My hips, knees, feet, ahhh they were aching. Luckily I had my phone and headphones with me, so at 19km my earphones went in and one of my favourite bands "Of Mountains and Men" sang me along to the 'finish line'. My partner Kadin and my puppy were waiting 500m away from it, so they ran with me until the end. Kadin kept looking over at me, probably a little bit concerned at the look of determination and focus on my face - there were no smiles until I was finished!

Boy oh boy did I feel sore but very happy to have finished my first half marathon distance in less than 2:30. I kept an average of 7:04/km. This means that maybe, just maybe, one day I could finish a marathon in 4 hours. Who knows.

After my run I made some wholegrain pancakes and had one with some peanut butter, strawberries and maple syrup. Lunch was a spinach, mushroom and sweet potato wrap with a raw kale, beetroot and carrot salad topped with pinenuts. Dinner, another veggie pizza. And a froyo, to keep with post-long-run-tradition.

This past week I have tried to eat as little meat as possible, and I surprised myself by going 7 whole days with no meat! I'm so happy with this, it's good for the budget, body and environment so I am going to keep going with this as much as I can. Tonight however we are having free range roast pork as a celebration of Kadin handing in his thesis (it's his favourite meal) and he begged me to partake. So I will have a small amount of pork and then fill the rest of my plate with the rainbow that is in my crisper and vegetable garden!

I have been researching marathon training plans. It's tricky because I know I will have a fairly good base and wont need to be starting with my long runs much shorter than what I'm doing now. After much debate I think I am happy with this one

I would probably start from week 5, with the long run being 10 miles. In the plan it then has a mini taper/rest and then a race and shorted following run - however I doubt there will be many races around in January so I will probably commence at week 5, then do week 7 and week 9. That leaves me with 12 weeks of training. 

Special things I want to include in this plan are some speed and hill work as these are my weakness. - The first run of the week will be easy pace of set distance
- The second run of the week will be speed/tempo of set distance
- The third run of the week will be medium pace and then a few hills included of set distance
- The fourth run of the week will be the long, slow run of set distance.

Counting backwards from the first marathon I am aiming to do on the 13th of April next years, means I will need to start training on the 20th of January.

Now that I've done my 'half' I am aiming to maintain my current level of fitness and keep my long runs to around 15kms, once a week.

Looking at this plan makes me nervous, especially the 10 mile and 20 mile run within three days of each other.... ohhhh it's going to hurt! I'm sure once I get there I'll be ready! ;)

Another important thing I want to focus on in this plan is cross training. I want core strength and muscles, they're so important for runners! And swimming is my favourite post run workout.

Ok so I think that's everything for this week. I'm off the enjoy dinner and some planks and pushups!