Race 4 Life 5km

I am seeing a bit of a pre-race trend… Little A doesn’t sleep well the night before my races! Maybe he gets pre-race nerves for me?!?! This morning I lined up for my 5km race on not much more than 5 hours sleep. Lack of sleep the night before a race is no big deal to me if I have slept well during the week. In fact I am generally on such a pre-race high I run on nervous or excited energy anyway.

Running in the heat on the other hand IS a very big deal for me. And when it comes to running I use the word “hot” very loosely. In fact anything over 20 degrees to me is hot! So seeing a weather forecast of 36 degress for today was not very comforting.

Luckily for me I had just read The Arty Runnerchick’s post on 5 ways to make sure your race doesn’t suck (nice timing hey?). So I had adjusted my expectations and devised a race plan. In my few races since Little A came along I hadn’t really bothered with race plans. This was partly because I didn’t want to think or get excited about races and then not be able to run them (little babies are so unpredictable). But now Little A is much older and much less reliant on ME, having little periods of time away while I race are much more achieveable. So back to race plans for me.

Before bed last night I said to myself…. “tomorrow I am getting up and running the hardest and fastest 5km I can”. Yep, that was my race plan. I didn’t want to pace myself, I wanted to go out and try and achieve as close to 4 minute Ks as possible. Even if this meant my last Ks were 5 minutes Ks. I knew this approach was risky and not the smartest race plan but it was time to try something different (usually I am well paced and or finish stronger than I started).

Since I was going to run like a crazy fast woman (at least for the first few Ks) I had to dress for the occassion…

Chicking shirt and game ON!

Race for Life donates part of the entry fees to the Breast Cancer Foundation which has Pink as its super cool corporate colour. So I arrived at the race to a sea of Pink… AWESOME! Even some of the guys sported some pink tops – very big of them.

I collected my bib and made a dash for the loos for my “nervous pee”. Yep even if I have only been minutes before I left the house I always need to go pre-race now!!!

Ready to go I headed to the start line where I found Big A and Little A.

Soaking up the atmosphere

I took my final sip of water (while Big A took happy snaps) and then I headed for a warm up…

Can I get an IV with this stuff?

After a 5minute warm up my throat felt DRY already. I had drank water through the night and knew I was well hydrated. This was not going to be pretty!

At the start line I battled my first case of SERIOUS pre-race nerves. I had nervous energy in my arms and legs and felt sick to my gut. “It is just a run, go out there and do it” I told myself.

The commentator babbled away and I half-heartedly listened. At this point I just wanted to get going so this sick feeling in my gut would go away. He asked the girls in the front row what time they were hoping for… “under 20 minutes” they said. “Great, there goes my chance of placing” I thought. Big A who was standing on the sidelines next to me must have seen my face sink. ” Go Blitz em!” he said and with a bang of the gun we were off.

A beautiful morning in Adelaide (just not for running)

I just want to take a moment to THANK all the speed work for some pretty awesome quads. I have to say I never use to be a lover of my legs but now they are performance machines and I totally respect and appreciate them for what they do not what they look like. When I saw this photo – I was a little bit excited to see some serious quads are starting to develop. Wahoo!!!!

All the better to chick you with

Anyhow back to it. Apparently I was running so fast Big A mostly got photos of my back. Which is fine because that is the best view of my Chicking Shirt….

I’ll slow down a little so you can read the back of my shirt

I wasn’t in the lead pack but I had them in my sights….

A pack of runners ahead = a “chickers” dream

My first Km was my best. By the time I had knocked out 2Ks my mouth was SO DRY. It was horrible. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would stop at a drink station in a sub 25 minute race but when I saw that arm holding out a cup I snatched it like I hadn’t seen water in a week! I actually hate the whole race hydration thing. It is such an art to get in enough to maintain performance but not too much that it sits in your gut. I chucked back a mouthful, ditched the cup and ran on.

At this point I got some serious eye candy. Just ahead was a recreational runner with the running stroller I have been drooling over all week (see here). I couldn’t help but comment on his super cool wheels as I passed chicked him… I didn’t make out all of his response but I think he said “Its the best – its my sanity machine”.  Like I could be sold on this one anymore!! Funnily enough when I crossed the finishing line one of the first things Big A said was “Did you see the Chariot CX?”

Anyway as I was approaching the final Km I looked up to see the runners in front running downhill – my heart sank! Downhill meant there was going to be an uphill….NOOOOOO!!!!! But before I knew it I was on the final 400m. Now if there is one thing you must know about me I LOVE a sprint finish. So I put it into gear and brought that baby home!

So it wasn’t a great run but it sure was a great finish

Across the line I shook hands with the awesome runner chick who finished ahead of me. I had her in my sights the whole race but she was always out of reach. She ran a great race. I was pleased to hear though that she was feeling as crappy as I was!

My finishing time was 22.03 which put me:

2nd out of 100 females and

7th out of 147 runners overall

It wasn’t the time I had hoped for and finishing knowing that I didn’t run my best isn’t great but I ran my best in the conditions and at the end of the day it is still a PB!!!! More importantly it was a race experience that I learned a lot from. I set out for the first time aiming for a positive split (I was experimenting with whether positive splits work better for me over shorter distances). It was the hottest race I have ever ran in and it was the first time I have ran “competitively” and wanted to or even dared to dream about placing. It was the first time I had SERIOUS pre-race nerves.

If you are looking for a great race in Adelaide around this time of year I highly recommend this one. Not only does it support a great cause but it is one of Adelaide’s nicer running courses around the Torrens.

Did you race this weekend? What has been your worst race?

What awesome changes have you seen in your body since starting running?

Ever been to Adelaide?

Body Image

“You wear tight clothes, usually (pregnant) women buy bigger dresses and hide their bodies but you are proud of it”

This was a comment I got yesterday from a a dear and special 88 year old man. So yes his views and opinions are a little dated and probably don’t apply today but his comment still stopped me in my tracks and I would say it has been the highlight of my week. Let me explain…

Firstly I might just clarify that I wasn’t exactly strutting around in a tight mini dress or a skimpy outfit at the time. I was actually in a “training” singlet and long tights. So whilst I was covered up and modest, yes it was a figure hugging ensemble.

Whether the comment was meant as a compliment, criticsm or whether I was meant to respond by going to the nearest Target and buying up on oversized clothes – I didn’t care! I was too busy marvelling in his last five words!

I am proud of it…. very proud of it! That very statement still surprises me. I truly don’t believe “proud” and “my body” have ever been in the same sentence before. For the first time in years I honestly admire my body (and do so in the mirror every night before bed).

For all the changes that pregnancy brings the transformation to your body is definitely a big one. I have always wondered and speculated how I would feel about the changes, especially being a body conscious Personal Trainer who has never been classified as “overweight”. And although I have never been classified as “overweight” I have always struggled with my body. Even at my lightest and lowest body fats I have always looked in the mirror and seen the things that I want to change. I have never appreciated and genuinely loved my body in that moment. Pregnancy has been the greatest gift in so many ways but it is my relationship with ME that it has had the biggest impact on.

For me PREGNANCY IS LIKE A BIG RELIEF. A relief that there is something bigger and more important in my life than me! My body’s purpose is so much more than aesthetics and how fast and well it can perform. It is growing and nurturing a life and it truly blows my mind. I feel so indebted to my body for being able to give me and my husband something we so desperately want. Every thought I have ever had about how my body should look or behave seems so trivial and insignificant now. For the first time in my life I have no expectations of my body and I just want to support and look after it in hope that it will support and look after our child.

I am now nearly 6 months pregnant and “officially” the heaviest I have been in my life yet completely in love and in awe of my body. It is an amazing feeling and provides me with so much hope for the future. My self worth is not measured by how I look but who I am. It is not real happiness or real living when you are at war with your body. Your body should be loved and appreciated for something more than how it looks. Only then can we every “truely” be happy.

“He who lives in harmony with himself, lives in harmony with the universe” Marcus Aurelius

My Post-baby body will no doubt be different and how I feel about it will be compltely different again. I just hope that I have the ability to continue loving and appreciating my body for the miracle it is. Whether its growing a child or not it does amazing things every day (like keeping me alive and running 42.2km) and for that I am very grateful!

In the meantime I am going to continue to enjoy and admire the softer, rounder more feminie version of me!