Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Park Run & Yoga

Before I went to Tasmania, the Myotherapist I see on a monthly basis to assist with keeping by running niggles under control suggested I take up yoga.  

While my ITB (which was causing the knee pain) seems to have recovered, the upper hamstrings in particular on the right side (same side as ITB) have been grumpy for the past few months.

I had noticed a little yoga studio just around the corner from my house & had actually grabbed a timetable earlier in the week that Brit suggested it.  Great minds think alike I say.  My gym (that I haven't been attending) also runs a Sunday morning yoga class which I did once before we went on holidays - I'm not overly fond of the instructor - but over summer the class is run outdoors overlooking the water.  I had made a start....

The new yoga studio however is lovely & I love the Tuesday/Friday instructor!  She's probably younger than me & a bit of a hippie chick.  The style of yoga is pretty vigorous & class goes for an hour which suits me perfectly & some of the head stuff she says has really resonated with me (sorry for the lack of eloquence in explaining that!).

I've been twice a week since I got back from leave & I feel it's been helping my tail bone & hammie issues.  Already my upper body is feeling stronger too; & my core.  It's a good thing.

I've also been to making it to park run on Saturday mornings!  Plumbing Boy mentioned last year that perhaps this year I could have a day or a half day off during the week so I've based my long run timetable on doing that on Thursday mornings & then coming into work when I'm ready.  This free's me up for Park Run!!  Park Run then doubles as my threshold training run & has a smallish hill in it so it's a win/win course.  BTW I forgot I wasn't supposed to be doing hill training til I got the all clear from the chiro.  Double Oops.

The week before lasts park run; and my time was the fastest it has been in I recon at least 12 months & certainly since I've had my new watch!

The week before's long run was entertaining.  I saw Jake & Elwood having a beer on a balcony so had to stop & take a picture!

The morning of last weeks long run dawned even hotter than forecast - it was 27 degrees C at home at 5am & the wind was a quite gusty.  I asked plumbing boy after standing out in the street for a few minutes testing out the conditions if he had any appointments on Friday morning in the view of switching my run to the following morning when it would be much cooler.  He was like Meh.  Which I took for what doesn't kill you makes you stronger & the weather's not likely to kill you LOL.

So off I trotted.  Had my sunglasses on to keep the flying particles out of my eyes, hydration pack on my back, some Xtend (fuel) in my pocket & off I set at 5.20am for a 20km run.  I had the wind at my back for the first 5kms then cross wind for the next 6; the balance was mainly against the wind & I felt like I was running in the spot in places!  

I was pretty slow, but that's OK considering the conditions.  I took a few walk breaks & stopped at the 3 drinking fountains along the route to drink in addition to drinking from my hydration pack.  While the Great Ocean Road Marathon (which I'm training for) will never be that hot on the day, it might be that windy so I'm glad I just got out there & did it.  Thanks for the tough love PB!  Afterwards he said to me "I knew you could do it!"

I really prefer running early in the morning, despite it being so hot.  Watching the sunrise is good for the soul & starting the day with a run is too I recon!

While last weeks Park Run was my fastest in ages, this week I was 10 seconds slower but came first in my age group!  I'll take that (last week I was second)!  There was a bit of rivalry in the last km between a guy & myself - we kept over taking each other, spurring each other on.  I was in front with 20 metres to go & again he was about to overtake me.  He came level with my shoulder & I yelled out to him COME ON!! SPRINT!!!!!  We both belted down the finishing chute to some applause at our efforts.  He quit 2 steps behind me at the finish line, but we gave each other the thumbs up & a bit smile.  This Park Run business is growing on me!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Catch up continued

Found the camera cable, charged the battery & now I have some more pic's of our trip to Tasmania to share with you.

This is the house we stayed in.  Isn't it lovely?  Usually we'd have stayed with our friends, but the Mother In Law needs a place where her bedroom has an ensuite with walk in shower & on the same level as the living area/kitchen.  This can be quite difficult to find in a coastal area as everything is 2 storey to take advantage of the ocean views!  If you look to the right on the second last picture you will see our car, level with the 2nd storey.  There was a ramp to drive up to the second level eliminating the stairs for her!

Despite being in a beanie in Hobart on the day of the Cadbury (half) Marathon, the sun did come out & I swam in the ocean in Bicheno without a wetsuit - post swim evidence!

I also went rock hopping one afternoon while MIL was at the pokies & Plumbing Boy was off dirt bike riding.

That's a pelican on a rock above, I couldn't zoom in any further & he wouldn't come any closer funnily enough!

I had 3 days back at work before the Australia Day long weekend over which we'd rescheduled MIL birthday farm stay weekend in central Victoria.  Unpack & repacked & off we went to spend the weekend with my parents, sister & family, an aunt & another couple of friends.

I didn't take any pictures of the homestead itself, but it was well appointed & could sleep 14 in the main house + 2 in the adjacent cottage where MIL stayed.  We had a wonderful time, eating, picking mulberries, playing cards & scrabble, walking, & catching yabbies!

Trixie ended up with socks on her feet as she kept licking them.  She's been doing it on & off since Christmas (licking one in particular that is).  Just when I think she's stopped she starts again.  I think we may have to put an Elizabethan collar on if she persists!  Poor sock dog looks so happy!

My friend & I went into Castlemaine for park run on Saturday morning.  My niece came too & ran the course as a non registered participant & my aunt did the same but walked.  It was 3 laps of the botanical gardens which were very picturesque & we were happy for the shade!

It was a lovely weekend away & topped off a pretty cruizy January.  As you can see I am still running & am theoretically in week 6 of marathon training.  

I've had an out of square coccyx (tail bone) since we were in Tasmania.  I saw someone after the long weekend & have been to the chiropractor weekly since then.  Pelvis out & rotated making one leg shorter than the other in conjunction with the jammed up tailbone. Not sure in which order they occurred. 

I haven't been cycling or horse riding (nor fallen off either) nor fallen over, so I have no idea really what happened.  I do however suspect that running on out of camber roads + weaker core + weaker overall muscles that generally support my pelvis (due to no weight training & general slackness on my part) are the most likely cause.  I have one more Chiro apt next week then hopefully will go onto monthly maintenance then & will be allowed to get on with hill training as I've had to stick with flat running while it's mending.  

To be honest I think the chiro might have a heart attack if I told him how far I've run - he didn't put a limit on my distance & said to stop if I had pain.  Everything upright doesn't hurt, only sitting, so therefore I've run my scheduled long runs of 18 & 20kms the last two weeks respectively.  Oops.  Let's hope I get the all clear next week!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Catch Up

Forgive me blogger for I have been a bad blogger of late.  Life seems to have gotten in the way, which isn't a bad thing.  I still compose posts in my head while I'm out running, but rarely find the time to actually post.

The end of 2017 passed without much fuss.  We had a fairly quiet Christmas which was held at my cousin's house this year although I still helped out with the cooking.  

New Years Plumbing Boy was on call as per usual & we stayed home.  I was actually still awake at midnight & heard some fire works go off, but didn't bother trying to see them & took myself off to bed (but this is what they might have looked like from my side of the bay).

PB & I took his Mum on a holiday to Tasmania mid January.  Actually, I flew over with a couple of girlfriends as we'd planned to run the Cadbury Half Marathon a couple of days before they came on the boat.  The run was good, not my fastest, not my slowest & I enjoyed it for the most part.  My legs were protesting a little by the 18th km & I was looking forward to the end!

I had a great time with the girls; we got to do all the things I missed out on last time (the only other time) I was in Hobart with PB.  We went to Mona (Museum of Old & New Art).  Highly recommended.  Everyone is given a head set & an ipod (type gadget); nothing is labelled & you hit the refresh button as you wander around to learn about the art that is near you.  Even if you don't particularly like modern art, I found the interviews & explanations of what & why really really interesting.  The piece below was my favourite visually.

We also went to the Salamanca Markets & generally took in the sights as we wandered the city.  In particular we loved St David's Park.  So much history in this city.  We spent the rest of our weekend on all things running.  Shopping the Stiegen sock sale at the running store where we collected our race packs was a daily activity.  With a buy 2 pairs get one free deal we ended up with 24 pairs of socks between us!  We also perused a few book shops & each bought a running related book (& I a few general reading). 

PB & his Mum collected me from the hotel in Hobart (they'd come over on the boat & brought the car) & proceeded to Bicheno on the East coast where another friend lives where we'd booked accommodation for a week.  We spent the week sleeping, reading, running (me), dirt biking (PB) & catching up with our friend & his family.

I flew home out of Launceston, but not before catching up with Mrs & Mr Wanna.B.Slimmer, a long time blog mate (who doesn't really blog any more).  Thanks again guys for meeting us half way!  We had coffee halfway between Bicheno & Launny, then Mrs & Mr Wanna took me to the airport via a cafe for lunch.  Was great to catch up but not long enough!  And we forgot to take a picture......

It was a lovely break although somewhat different than our usual type of holiday with a 92 year old in tow.  We had to slow down quite a bit & missed out on doing some of the more physical activities as the MIL just doesn't have the mobility.  She loved the boat trip over & the house we stayed in.  Photo's to follow when I find my camera cable.....

How was your January?

Friday, December 9, 2016

Love the Skin you're in

I'm pretty sure most of you would agree that as women, we are our own worse critic's.  I ran my final event for the year last Sunday & it took a while for me to decide whether or not to purchase any of the formal event pictures.  I am usually very supportive of other women/people & try to promote positive body imagery, yet when I saw the pictures the first thing I saw were negatives.

Instead of seeing air, OMG I GOT AIR!!! Or the smile on my face, all I saw was hips/thighs, the bit of a belly roll that has crept on of late & less firm arms than they were.  I really had to give myself a bit of a talking to: seriously - those hips & thighs have run 3 marathons.  Yes 3.  What bloody svelte model has run 3 marathons?? And if you do know of any, please don't tell me LOL.  Yes, I know I am pretty lean anyway, but I've been leaner, fitter & faster.

I am not barbie.  I don't want to be plastic.  I want to be real, authentic & I do want to love the skin I'm in.  Sure, I'd like to have my flatter belly back & my arms a little more toned & my hips/thighs a little smaller, but you know what; I could if I wanted to.  I could train 10 times harder than I do now, I could not each chocolate every day.  I could not drink wine, eat pizza etc etc.  But I also want to live & enjoy my life.

So.  Get on board people.  It's time to stop being so critical of yourself.  Sure, being a healthy weight is something we should all strive towards, but we also need to love ourselves no matter what & enjoy the life we have been given.  

Peace, Love & Dune Buggies my friends!!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Running

I decided to run 10kms last night as I'd missed the first run of the week due to Melbourne's current inclement weather.  Lately every run has been hard work.  I went out slow & my average pace was 5.55 mins per km but I did my first negative split in forever (that means I ran faster in the 2nd half than the first).  Lately I've been going out too fast despite being mindful of not doing that & fading in the second half.  

My mind was clear, my legs felt OK (not great, but OK will do for now) & the other thing was I didn't need to stop at the drinking fountains.  Lately I've been hanging out for every single one - the first one isn't even 1km in, the second at 4kms, the 3rd at 5kms (on this distance); I stop on the way back at them too.  When I first started running I used to run 21.1kms without any drink stops.  I have no explanation for that as I'm still eating & drinking the same amount as I have been for the past couple of years.  Well, maybe a little more chocolate & a little more wine on occasion LOL.

I spent a lot of my run thinking more about the bucket list & a few other drama's that are going on around me, but I also focused on how the wind felt on my face; the smell of the ocean; the beauty of the waves rolling into the beach; the 14 kite surfers at the beach.  I even got wet feet twice crossing the little ford - normally I'd have turned around & run back the way I came, but I really wanted to keep going in the direction I had chosen - it didn't look that deep, but was deep enough to soak my sneakers.  They were dry by the time I returned, but this time I just ran & splashed through with a smile on my face much to the amusement of the cyclist coming the other way.  I was a wilderness explorer!!!!  Something has shifted.  I hope this brings more good things & better & happier running!!!!

I'm standing on the footpath, but this is where the ford floods & my feet got wet!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bucket List

I created a new page today.  Head on over & have a look.  There is a bit of a post about it there.  I plan on updating it now & again.  What's on your bucket list?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Melbourne (half) Marathon Recap

I ran my first half marathon since July's Gold Coast Half, 3 weeks ago at the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival.  

This was the first time I'd done the event with friends running too - last year I was in a wedding so didn't run at all & the year before it was my first attempt at the Marathon distance.  I'm not up for 2 marathons in a year (may never achieve it) & have been resting my stubborn ITB in hope that it will settle down & less likely reoccur, hence the unusual (for me) long time between halfs!  

Our running family met outside the MCG at the crack of dawn as one of our group was doing the full marathon starting at 7am.  We amused ourselves taking pictures of ourselves with the Bill Ponsford Statute while bag drops were done & runners sent off.  

I couldn't believe my eyes when out of the crowd appeared Carol!  Of all those thousands of people, fate placed us in each others paths!  We do have a photo - but it's on Carols phone.  Oops.   While we were having a quick catch up, more of my running family arrived & I was instructed to download the Marathon App & plug in everyone's race numbers as I was to be first runner home. 

I really don't know why I didn't twig then, (as one of our family had pulled out of the 10km event citing she wasn't feeling it, plus she was supposed to have done the event with her daughter who wasn't well & couldn't run - but had decided to come along & support the rest of us, so was there, but not running so) why was I the one tracking everyone.  

I'm a bit slow at the best of times & it took a while & some prompting before the penny dropped: my friend M was indeed going to run, but her sister had talked her into upgrading & running/walking her first half marathon!!!!!!!  OMG!!!  It must have been quite amusing watching me catch on as the others (besides Carol) were all in the know bar our Marathon runner, who over took them on the course & found out mid run.  Wish I'd been able to see his face!

Anyhoo.  In all the excitement & laughing about what had transpired we were a little late getting to the starting chute.  I started at the back of the pack with the other 3 girls & before long we were off!  We wished each other luck & I took off ahead of them aiming for a 2 hour give or take finishing time.  It was quite warm & very windy.  I ditched my jumper (for charity) just before we started & was wishing I'd run in shorts by the end!  I made it to 15kms before my brain started to complain - or is that my body started to protest & my brain said - yeah - this is a bit hard, I think we should walk.

I told my brain to stop being ridiculous & that if we slowed down a little it would all be fine.  There were far fewer spectators on course this year than when I'd last run it so had less kids to high 5 & keep me distracted which was a little disappointing, however the weather gods weren't conducive to spectating.  

I realised that it wouldn't be long until the RMA cheer squad would appear & also Carol & co's cheer squad (dressed up as Frisian Cows!) wouldn't be far off either (I hoped).   I ran on keeping a keen eye out for them & eventually there they were - together I think!  Here I am in action high fiving one of the RMA cheer squad!  I think I was yelling out "more Warrnambool cows" to someone behind her, who may or may not have been part of Carol's cheer squad!!  LOL

Finally it was up & over the footbridge at Birrarung Marr towards the MCG hard left, under the bridge, around the outer along the road & into a tunnel to arrive onto the hallowed turf of the MCG!  So much fun running on the grass & then sprinting for the finish line!!!!  

I grabbed my medal & quickly picked up my bag as I had to race back to one of the girls car & pick up 3 more runners bags & get back into the ground to see them finish!  I was watching the App & still missed the 3 girls run onto the MCG.  They made great time & I didn't have to wait long.  

Here is M with her first half marathon completed!

All the half runners made it back in time to see the last member of our running family that day over the finishing line after PB'ing in his 3rd Marathon.  I am so thankful I now have a running family.  While you all run your own race, having the support of friends really means so much.  We all celebrate each others milestones & have a lot of fun along the way. 

 My time was 2 hours 3 minutes & 48 seconds which is not my fastest my any means but I was happy to have run it without any knee pain.  We all went our separate ways after the event with various commitments.  I met Plumbing Boy & his Mum for a well deserved celebratory brunch.  A wonderful day with wonderful people.  I truly am blessed.