If you want to do it – do it!

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Yesterday I hit the treadmill for my intervals. 5 x 800s. I secretely hoped that I would achieve a 2 minute 45 second interval but in the end I had to settle for a 2 minute 47 second one as my best (on the plus side there is room for improvement!). It was a tough session, partly because mentally I was drained and partly because I pushed SO hard I was at my absolute limits but MOSTLY because it was hot.

Make no mistake about it I am not a hot weather runner. I fall apart. I get stomach cramps, feel light headed, dizzy and lose pace dramtically. I know what you are thinking – hydrate better right? I could run with an IV of fluid and still not be a “hot weather” runner. I am the queen of hydration… One of my nick names is “glug glug glug”! In the first few months of breast feeding I would put down 5 litres a day like it was no ones business.

So by the time I had finished my last interval yesterday, I was feeling pretty terrible. Little A was asleep and as much as I wanted a nice long relaxing cool down (and to clock up some extra Ks Miles for September Miles Madness) I wanted to stop MORE.

Then it occured to me – how am I ever going to become a better runner in the heat if I don’t run in the heat. Don’t get me wrong I am not suggesting choosing the hottest part of the day to head out or continuing to run when you are faint or dizzy. But after my last interval I had demolished a bottle of water and I wasn’t feeling ill just sluggish…couldn’t be bothered, too hard!

Moving my running around the weather is easy. Get up at the crack of dawn, take your rest day on the hottest day and do your hardest longest sessions on the coolest days. But what happens when one day I line up for a race and it is freakishly HOT. I have never “sucked up” a run in the heat. I dare say it would be my first DNF (which I am not scared of… I accept this will one day happen!) but I don’t want “too soft to run in the heat” to be the reason!

I realised the only way I was ever going to be able to run in the heat is if I run in the heat. Genius hey? So I continued on for my long and “relaxing” cool down.  Amazingly as every minute passed I felt a little bit better. Yes some of it was recovering from my awesome but crazy intervals but some of it was also my body adapting to the heat. If well hydrated and realistic about your pace running in the heat can be quite good (yep I am trying to convince myself!) Decreased chance of injury is definitely a big plus for warmer weather running!

In 2 weeks I will be following NO training plan but I will definitely be “training” to be an ALL conditions runner. Time to toughen up!!!

Are you a freak hot weather runner?

Three Things Thursday

Three things that are making me smile today…

1. Building up the Ks.

I think I may be a long distance runner stuck in the body of short distance runner. I can clearly achieve far more over the shorter distances but I just LOVE the feeling of clocking up some serious Ks.

Even though fitting in the longer runs are much harder I have come off all my long runs on such a high!

2. Fruit fruit and more fruit

Ok so there isn’t actually any fruit in sight YET but this week we have welcomed 4 new fruit trees to our garden.

This is in addition to our apple tree and 4 types of grapes that we have also planted this year. I know we have years of waiting for anything edible but geez it makes me so happy to look out the window in the morning and see these little babies…

Oranges, Lemons, Limes & Mandarins

3. This little Lion

I have recently developed an unhealthy obsession with all things Lion. This is probably because Little A roars like a little lion and lions make me think of him. When I saw this little Lion in the shops I just couldn’t leave him there…

I refuse to put this outfit away because I just want to look at it… so cute!

Happy Thursday… it’s almost the weekend which for runners means races and long runs… WAHOO!

So needed this…

Have you ever pulled out the entire contents of your wardrobe on a mission to have a big clean out and then half way through (when everything is scattered everywhere) completely lost your mojo and wished you hadn’t started?

Well that’s how I was feeling about this whole transition to Word Press for most of today. But even though it wasn’t love at first sight I am starting to like this Word Press thing and whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks was WRONG. I’ve already mastered a few new exciting things.

Anyhow I was majorly in need of a smile this evening as I plodded my way through the chaos that lies somewhere between “Blogger” and “Word Press”. A smile is just what I got when I stumbled across this and I just had to share…

Have a great weekend!

DOMS

Its time for a training week fortnight wrap.

Since the last training update I have managed to get some longer runs under my belt and I am starting to feel ready for this half marathon!

Thanks to the September Miles Madness I have been motivated to tack a few extra Ks on all my sessions and not just my long runs and this has seen me achieve my highest mileage week EVER!

With the exception of some specific ‘post baby’ soreness (apparently all the kegels in the world don’t strengthen you for DISTANCE running) my body has adapted well to the higher mileage.

The Hill sessions on the other hand completely shocked my body and left my hamstrings screaming. I chose very gentle hills, did extra long warm ups and kept the reps low. Even though I felt like I didn’t push very hard IN my hill sessions my legs talked about divorcing me for days after. Given how much of a shock the hills have been I am only going to squeeze two more hill workouts in between now and the race. I certainly don’t want sore tired legs like that close to the race. Its been a long time since I have experienced DOMS and in some sick and twisted way it sure felt good to know that I pushed my legs in running.

When Sunday rolled around I was planning on heading out for 90 minutes on my own while Big A took care of Little A. But cuddling up with Little A on the bed (in the morning when he is just ALL smiles) was just too much fun… how could I leave this little guy behind???? So I suggested to Big A that I take the stroller and he come along on his bike. We decided to run/ride in to the City and have breakie along the River Torrens and run/ride home. Running home on a “big breakkie” and a belly full of coffee was a bit rough but it certainly was a nice way to mix my running up and squeeze some more time in with my two favourite people!

Tempo and Intervals are going well. I had a great Interval session last week in which I attempted 3 minute 30 second Ks. I failed. My fastest was 3 minutes 35 seconds. How amazing are these Olympic female athletes… they run 42.2km at a pace that I can’t even maintain for 1km!!!

This morning my Tempo Run included 30 minutes at 15kmp/h which is another personal best for me… Suddenly a sub 20 minute 5km seems possible and dare I dream of a 40 minute 10km!?!?!

All in all I am mentally and physically in a great place for this half marathon. Now the only problem is making sure I am geographically in the right place for this half marathon… an unexpected trip away might mean I wont be able to race the McLaren Vale Half. Fingers crossed though! Anyone know of any Virtual Half Marathons on the weekend of October 14th? I need a back up plan!

World… Hold On!

Just a quick post to assure my 2 readers (Hi Mum!) that I haven’t fallen off the blogosphere.

Apparently my relaxed pace is a bit too slow for this fast pace world. Over the last week I just can’t seem to find time for much more than eating, playing & running!

No cleaning, no blogging and no pureeing. So I am putting myself on “house arrest” for a couple of days to catch up.

Running is going great guns. Last week I clocked up 70km which is my biggest mileage week since returning to running post baby.

In other news (you mean there is something other than running!?!?)….

Spring is here and Little A and I are lapping up the beautiful weather and spending every second we can outside!

I took my lunch break outside while Little A slept… Clearly I’m a very busy woman!

I am very proud to announce that our Apple tree is sprouting green which is great news considering Little A is the first thing I have successfully kept alive ever!

Training week wrap to follow soon…

Mindful Mothering

“By the time we have children, many of us have become so achievement-orientated, so goal-driven, so addicted to busyness that we lose out ability to relax along with our capacity to notice what is going on in the now. One of the greatest gifts children bring is the way they guide, if not force, our attention back home to the present. Young children live in the present moment, oblivious to the past, unconcerned about the future. They see objects, people and events with fresh eyes, and with wonder. If we choose to, we can take on their viewpoint and see our surroundings as if for the first time. Once jaded, world-weary parents can find themselves lying in their backyards, fascinated at the proceedings of an ant colony. If we let them, children can teach us the value of time with no objectives, a skillful kind of laziness free from the need for productivity.”

This is an extract from Sarah Napthali’s book Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children, becoming a mindful parent which I was gifted from a beautiful friend and mother.

Am I buddhist? No, but this book is definitely my #1 recommended read for any new parent. Getting up multiple times in the night to a teething child is always easier when you are filled with compassion and understanding. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t bounce out of bed smiling to tend to Little A and lets face it, sleep deprivation can make all rational thoughts go out the window. But empathy, understanding and compassion can help how we experience those difficult times.

This year I set a New Year’s resulotion to have inner peace. The goal was NOT to be happy but to be at peace within myself which in turn has bought about greater happiness. I don’t believe feeling happiness all the time to be possible and or even appropriate… should we be happy when faced with loss? I don’t think so!

Earlier this year I did a meditation course run by buddhist teacher Kelsang Norjin. I was 35 weeks pregnant at the time and if meditation wasn’t challenging enough trying to meditate with an active little boy in your belly was near impossible. That was ok though, I didn’t go for a day of meditation but instead I had enrolled hoping to learn the art of meditation. I knew I would have lots of practice to do outside of the course. What I didn’t know was just how hard true meditation is.

Going in to this class I believed meditation to be a relaxing process in which you let your mind free. I quickly discovered I was wrong. In actual fact it is the exact opposite…training your mind and FOCUSING on one thing. There is nothing relaxing about learning and trying to master meditation. It takes discipline and perserverance. I found it to be extremely difficult and frustrating.

By lunch time I was ready to give up. After 2 morning sessions of meditation I think I had achieved up to 3 breaths of “true” meditation. Luckily I bumped into the teacher on lunch break (before I made my planned escape) and after being informed that 21 breaths is “master level” of meditation I was starting to feel a little more encouraged. “Bugger it” I thought, I might as well have another crack… so I stayed for the afternoon session.

By the end of the day I was feeling much more comfortable and relaxed with meditation. Whilst I hadn’t progressed past 5 breaths in a row I felt I had learned a lot and couldn’t wait to try it out without the interruptive kicks from my belly!

How did my head get filled with so much stuff that I could’t truly focus on ONE thing (my breathing) with NO other thoughts for more than 5 seconds?!?!

Fast forward 7 months and life is much different. When Little A was a newborn I could pass hours just gazing at him and feeling him breath on my chest, then it was hours spent engaging with him as he became more aware. Now it is hours sitting in the high chair experiencing food and watching him discover and experience everything for the first time. Life is lived at a much more relaxing pace and such simple things bring me joy.

Yes there is lots of chaos here too. Days when I can’t wait for bath time to come around because I feel so stretched and exhausted. Days when the endless washing and folding makes me feel so unispired.

Luckily, they are dispersed between moments of absolute wonder and amazement and I am so grateful to be aware of and capable of fully experiencing these.

My journey to living mindufully started before Little A was even in my belly (not long before) but Little A’s arrival has only enriched it and assisted me to slow down and live in the present.

If you are looking for a beautiful book to read, I highly recommend Sarah Napthali’s Buddhism for mothers of young children, becoming a mindful parent.

If you are looking for a “challenge” to enrich your life I highly recommend learning the art of meditation… just don’t expect results over night!