Please help!

I am participating in the 2012 Adelaide Marathon Running Festival being held on the 19th August (my birthday!) as part of the Muscle Team. As a member of the Muscle Team I will be raising money for adults and children with a neuromuscular condition.

It is hard to imagine that everyday tasks such as walking, driving and getting dressed can be so difficult but unfortunately this is the case for many people with a neuromuscular condition.

This is why I have taken this opportunity to use my muscles for someone who has less muscle power and raise funds along the way to help provide specialist services such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, speech therapy and counselling which are crucial for MDSA’s clients. You too can help by sponsoring me in this event!

If you could spare even $1 please click here to donate.

Thank you to all the wonderful friends and family who have already donated. Your support means the world to me and to those whose lives will be greatly improved because of your generosity.

Exciting times

Guess who dropped in to talk all things running?

My new Lil Running Buddy.

I did ask him to do a guest post but unfortunately he is too busy with his eating, playing and sleeping schedule. However he did agree to answer a few questions…

Have you experimented with different approaches to your sessions
Yes. There are 2 main styles I use:

The first one I don’t do often but it looks like this…

and the second one is a much more relaxed approach …

People say you are determined. Would you agree?
Yes. I know what I want and I have ways of making sure I get it…

How do you deal with runners belly?
Don’t tell anyone but I wear nappies on all runs!

How are you enjoying running with your new running buddy?
Can I take the fifth?

Yes, Little A and I have enjoyed our first run out and about in the stroller. It went better than I could have hoped for. I did feel the difference pushing the pram but it only knocked about 30-40seconds off my pace. I loved the sympathetic looks from fellow runners as I hit the hills!

Now that we have had our test run, as long as the weather allows I will try and do my Easy Runs with Little A in the stroller. The stroller running will help to keep my pace where it needs to be for the Easy Runs and it will also allow me to get some Ks out on the pavement. I can’t believe I am saying this but I have grown very fond of my treadmill runs and have even opted to do my weekend runs (when Big A is home and I can go out) at home on the treadmill. Hopefully I will find my groove back out on the pavement again. With 60km of awesome running track on my doorstep its a waste to confine myself to the treadie by choice!

Little A wasn’t the only baby to join the running community this month. Check out this gorgeous little girl. She does it with style!

Thanks and No Thanks

I hope we raise our children to be grateful. I believe gratitude has a positive impact on how we experience life. I don’t keep a daily gratitude diary but a day doesn’t go by when I don’t feel grateful for:

-> My gorgeous family
-> My health
-> Beautiful friends and
-> The ability to live my dreams

This week though there has been a few things that I am not grateful for:

No thanks to the stranger at the shops who publicly told me to “feed the poor child” when Little A let out a little cry from the pram. Too bad he didn’t see me sitting at a cafe 30 minutes earlier doing just that!

No thanks to the man at the shops yesterday who told me that my child is hungry and I should feed him. No, Little A was not crying or even making a noise. He was simply chewing on his finger which is pretty standard for him these days! “Give him something sweet, maybe some chocolate” he said (!!!)

No thanks to the same man who checked with me 5 minutes later outside the shop “have you fed him yet? Did you give him something sweet?”

Starving child? I don’t think so!

What makes anybody an expert on my child or his needs when they have laid their eyes on him for all of 5 seconds?!?! Just for the record Little A is demand fed which is still about 7 times per day and he is above the 50th percentile for his weight. Trust me, there is no starving child here.

Little A does grizzle when he’s hungry but he also grizzles when he wants attention, when he’s tired, when the sun is in his eyes or for 100 other reasons I can list off!

The worst thing is I KNOW these people have good intentions. They are well meaning and are just trying to be helpful but seriously NO THANKS! Sometimes my gorgeous little boy will cry or grizzle but rest assured he is not starving and in a minute or two when I have tended to his needs he will be ok… NO NEED TO PANIC!

Luckily there’s been a lot recently that I am grateful for to balance out this tirade of unwanted advice. In a material world there is nothing like parenthood to remind you what is important. Here are just a few gestures that have have really touched me recently:

-> Friends and family who have cooked meals for us. It is such a thoughtful gesture and in my opinion the best present you can give parents with a new baby.

-> A phone call from a friend telling me to come with Little A to her house in my running gear. On arrival I was sent off for a run while she looked after Little A. It was a real treat to have a “pavement” run and recharge for a little bit.

-> Hanging up washing, folding washing, cooking dinner, drying dishes and all the other wonderful things my mummy did while she stayed with us. It was amazing!

Thanks to all our beautiful friends and family who have offered unconditional love, support and guidance as we have started our journey into parenthood. We are so grateful to have such an amazing support network.

SO BLESSED.

Re – jigging

I have re-jigged my training program . . . AGAIN!

My goals are still the same (see here), I’m not injured and I am getting amazing gains. Why change?

I am a big believer that how many “hard” sessions you can manage in your training is very individual. Age, injuries and fitness level etc all play a role. Since Little A arrived I have focused on the speed work to try and regain my fitness quickly. This has meant that I have had 4 hard sessions each week and 1 easy session with 2 rest days. For a “seasoned athlete” I’m sure this would be a breeze but I definitely don’t fit in to that category. But even as a recreational runner I am very pleased with how my body has handled the higher intensity training load. All the speed work has seen me not only achieve pre-baby paces but far exceed them. But now I feel its time to back it off a smidge and for this reason I have decided to trade one of my “hard” sessions for an Easy Run.

How did I know it was time to back it off:

– Niggles are brewing. They are not injuries (yet) and they can easily be managed with stretching and foam rolling but I don’t have copious amounts of time to spend on my recovery so I need to keep niggles at bay in the first instance.

– I was struggling to space an easy session or rest day before each “hard” session. There are so many other factors that dictate which run I can get in on which day and changing the ratio of hard and easy sessions will help me to go into my hard sessions adequately rested.

So what does an “average” week of training look like now:

Easy Run
Tempo Run
REST
Long Run
REST
Easy Run
Intervals

Of cousre I may have to change the order of these sessions around each week as need be to fit them in around the mummy and wife duties but I am just happy these days to complete my planned sessions (read all about that here).

So that said its time for a tempo run. . . here goes!

Post race high

I am taking a little break from whimpering in the corner after my interval session yesterday to share my training week wrap up. If I had to use one word to describe my 10 x 400s it would be BRUTAL. I know intervals are meant to be tough but I was digging so deep to get this session out there were almost tears.

Rough intervals aside it has been a great week of running coming off a PB race. Training has generally been going well but last Sunday’s race has breathed new life into my training. I am so hungry for each and every run.

On Monday I enjoyed an Easy Run. I love a run the day after a race to stretch out any tight bits but after the 5k there was nothing complaining. Honestly I felt like I hadn’t even raced!

Tuesday I cranked it up with my Tempo run which included 25 minutes at 14kmp/h. Tomorrows run I am shooting for 30 minutes at 14kmp/h . . . So excited!

Wednesday I took a rest day and Thursday I woke up feeling a bit average so I decided to postpone my run. By evening I was feeling a lot better and hit the treadmill. The great thing about running in the evening is Little A is down for the night and my runs can be longer. So I jumped on the opportunity to get my long run done and saved a shorter session for the weekend.

Friday was a cold, wet and miserable day. I decided to make it a rest day and enjoyed a relaxing day at home with Little A in our PJs. After feeling like I was on the verge of getting sick all week I was glad to have a restful day and just enjoy cuddling and playing with the little guy!

“Not getting dressed today?”

Saturday I did an easy run and Sunday was the interval session from hell. I didn’t think I had 10 x 400s in me let alone at my goal speed of 17kmp/h but my hunger to achieve the session got me through. I think it was the hardest session I have attempted since returning to running.

After last weeks race I have re-jigged my training a bit. The plan is to drop one speed session… I will share my new plan and reasonings with you in my next post.

Winter Running

We are half way through winter and the weather didn’t waste anytime getting cold, wet and rainy this year. There have been some absolutely FREEZING days and more rain than I can remember for a while.

Luckily I lurrrrrrrve winter running. I don’t even mind the odd run in the rain. Once the temperature starts to creep over 20degrees (celsius) my running slows so this is a great time of year for running.

Yes I miss daylight and yes I don’t like being cold when I’m not running and I absolutely HATE wind but there is a lot to be enjoyed about Winter:

-> Electric blankets – a warm toastie bed, what more could you want?
-> Hot showers and trackies after a run
-> Hot drinks, blankets and snuggles
-> Soups, stews and slow cooked meals

If you ask me Winter is good for the soul.

As for running there are some adjustments to make to survive and stay motivated in the cooler weather. Here are my top 5 winter running tips:

1. Layer. Put on any amount of clothes you need to so that you can get out the door but just make sure you can peel them off because once you get going you’ll be ready to ditch them. If you aren’t running with a pram and don’t have somewhere to stash your unwanted layers plan your warm up around your block so you can drop anything off before you head off on the rest of your run.

2. Gloves. Not sure if its just me but my hands can get so cold in winter I have trouble bending my fingers around the steering wheel! Gloves are a must. I know gloves and a running singlet can look odd but hey I’m willing to commit a fashion crime if it means I can use my hands after my run.

3. Turn the heater off before you go. When you get home you will be grateful you did. I can never imagine it when I’m leaving home but walking into a heated house after a run is like walking into a sauna.

4. Rug back up. If you are finishing your run out and about make sure you have a jacket on hand. Once you stop you will be warm at first but all the sweat in the cold air will have you freezing in no time.

5.Adjust your warm up. It takes your muscles longer to warm up in the cooler weather so you need to increase your warm up accordingly to prevent injury. The colder the weather and the faster I intend to go the longer the warm up. For me an easy run in warm weather only needs a 5 minute warm up but an interval session on a cold day may need 15minutes.

Happy Winter Running!

Adelaide Parklands 5km loop

Such a little distance yet so much to say. . . But first let me share this with you

Yep not only did I achieve my goal of sub 25 minutes. . . I smashed it! With 32 females in the field I came in 2nd with a time of 22 minutes and 56 seconds.

I woke up this morning feeling PUMPED, which was suprising since I didn’t get to bed until midnight and was up at 2.30am and 5.30am with Little A! After enjoying lots of cuddles and playtime with the little guy I headed off to the race. . .

I arrived with enough time to do a 10 minute warm up jog before lining up at the start line. The course was a 5km loop and already out there were the 10km and 25km runners. It sure makes you feel fast entering a field of runners who have already been going for an hour and are doing double or five times the distance you are!!!!!

I really wasn’t sure how to pace myself for the distance and ended up deciding to run it on “feel”. Heading out I felt great and for the first time in all my race history my first km wasn’t my slowest and my last km wasn’t my fastest.

My splits were:

4.27
4.38
4.34
4.37
4.40

Even though this isn’t my typical style I raced well and finished knowing that I gave it my all. I am loving this shorter distance racing. . . I have enjoyed the post race high all day without the tired sore legs that come from longer distances. I am looking forward to a nice easy run tomorrow and working towards my next goal. . . Sub 50minute 10km!