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?

Three Things Thursday: Deadly Sins

LUST

A running stroller that turns into a bike trailer …. need I say more? Ok you twisted my arm. It can also be used for skiing and hiking (strapped to you!) DROOOOOL!

GLUTTONY

No “Trick or Treaters” showed up….Hmmm what is a girl to do?!?!

PRIDE

Yep this ridiculously good looking little guy is with ME!

Have you comitted any of the seven deadly sins this week?

Did you celebrate Halloween or did you hit the gym to avoid the candy temptations?

Any experience with the Chariot? All feed back would be appreciated… Seems TOO good to be true.

on ya bike

I may be a mixed breed runner (short and long distance lover) but I am PURE RUNNER. I don’t dabble in other things in any way other than for recreation with my family or something that directly improves my running. I was born to run – I know it and I love it.  So in the busy life of mummyhood getting on my bike has been far from a priority. If I had a spare moment I would rather squeeze in another run. Today I got on my bike for the first time in 12 months.

This morning Big A and I were spoiled with some “us time” while Little A went and hang out with Granny. Hands down our favourite thing to do with such time is to go and have a lazy big breakfast. Big A will ride his bike and I will run (usually with the stroller) to one of our favourite eateries but this morning I decided since I didn’t have Little A I should take this opportunity to get on my bike.

I’m so glad I did for so many reasons…

1.By getting on a bike I realised just how much my fitness had improved. We cycled to our usual breakkie place in a record time and I wasn’t even working for it. The consistent small gains when running make it hard to appreciate how far you have come. Getting on a bike after nearly 7 months back of consistent running showed much more dramatic results

2. I remembered how much I love x-training. Getting a great cardiovascular and leg workout without the impact of running… Not a bad deal getting the benefits of the session and the “rest”.

3. Little A has been SUPER SAD with new teeth pushing through and it was nice to know that if need be I could get to him twice as fast than if I were running. Yes this Mama suffers separation anxiety at times! Meanwhile he has a blast with Granny and doesn’t even notice that I’m not there!!!

Unless we invest in a little wagon or baby seat for the bike getting on the bikes probably wont be a regular gig for some years yet. All the same, today I was reminded of the wonderful world of fitness that exists outside of running (that can also benefit my running). So in the future when the opportunity presents itself I will happily trade a run for a x-training session.

Do you x-train? If so what is your favourite? Deep water running and spin classes for me!

Are you a pure runner or do you dabble in other things? Tris? Body Sculpting?

Plus 5

Since Little A was born my training motto has been a hashtag acronym I discovered on Twitter… #JFDI

In the interest of keeping this family friendly I wont write the full version but suffice to say its just the Nike slogan with a little bit of colour.

When I didn’t feel like going for a run or I was thinking of the 100 other things I needed to do, I told myself #JFDI (you know you use twitter too much when you think in hashtags!)

Now my training has changed its not about “Just Doing It”. If I don’t feel like it – I don’t run. So that training motto just doesn’t seem appropriate anymore and it has now been replaced with…

Plus 5

Another sweaty 5? Hell Yeah!

I have had quite a few runs lately when I am in the zone. Feeling amazing and just wanting to run forever. Last Monday on my first day of what I am labelling “intuitive running” I decided I was in the mood for a nice easy run. I had a few jobs to do too so I thought I’d knock out 8km and if the little guy was still asleep I could get dinner in the crock pot and hang out some washing.

At 8km I was feeling great. I really wanted to get some things done but I really wanted to run longer too.  I decided to go for another 5 minutes. After 5 minutes I decided to go for another 5 minutes and after that 5 minutes I wanted another 5. 20 minutes later I finally slowed the treadie, stretched and went into my waking baby.

It is so easy to make up 5 minutes of jobs in my day. I can stay up later by 5 minutes or I can put Little A in his walker while I do them. There are 100s of ways I can find 5 minutes to do other things. But making up 5 minutes of running is not that easy.

For me to go for a run I have to have a fed and sleeping baby (which only happens twice per day now… the sleeping that is not the feeding) and me be dressed in my running clothes ready to go. Its not as easy as “baby’s asleep I’ll go for a run now”. If I did that I’d be lucky to get out 20 minutes. Instead it is planned from the moment I wake up and decide I am going to run.

By the time Little A goes down I am in my running clothes and fed with my sneakers, water, phone and baby monitor at the door. If I am lucky Big A may have uncovered and switched on the treadie for me too. If by any chance I am running behind and haven’t done the breakfast dishes I dare not glance in the kitchen on my way out as I can’t afford even a minute. Lets not even talk about the preparation of a stroller run. Although I am getting this down to a fine art.

If I am running then there has been a lot of preparation and deliberate activities that have got me there. So if I am feeling great and Little A is asleep and I am keen to push out another Km then I will guilt free add on another 5 minutes. Yes, I could achieve a lot of things around the house in 5 minutes while Little A is asleep but this one sleep a day belongs to me and my running.

I would rather get to bed 5 minutes later or not have folded a load of washing than go to bed and wish I had down another Km when I had the chance because those chances only come by once a day. My washing, well thats there all day every day!!!

So tell me…

Do squeeze out every possible Km or do you cut runs short to fit in other things?

Do you have a training motto? Has it changed over the years?

 

Fail

You know you have failed as a housewife when you get in your car to get take away for dinner and it still smells of last nights take away.

Yes it was not my finest moment. Purely and utterly disorganised.

Life is not even chaotic but rather just constant at the moment. I seem to move straight from one thing to the next thing all the while trying to find a spare minute to work on the big projects in the background.

On Friday I put my head in the freezer to discover my pureeing stash for Little A had dwindled to almost nothing. 6 weeks ago I was whinging that I couldn’t fit even a tiny tub of ice cream in the freezer as Little A’s food took up ALL of it. Now I have my tub of ice cream but am back in the kitchen doing a daily batch of pureeing.

I have to confess I am hopless in the kitchen. Big A didn’t marry me for my cooking abilities. We eat simple meals that take little time to prepare. Nothing I cook or bake will ever end up on pinterest. Luckily though I love food and the desire for it forces me to at least try. I salivate at some of the recipes I see on people’s blogs and when I am feeling game I venture into my kitchen. Sure mine never looks as good as the picture but I try.

Luckily for Little A there isn’t much you can mess up when it comes to pureeing…

Peel

 

Cut & cook

 

Blend

 

Freeze

 

Mix and match for serving ( Sweet Potato, Brocoli, Carrot & Pumpkin)

While it is not difficult it is mundane and timely. I don’t love it. But I love Little A and I love that I am preparing food for him that is nutritious and brings him joy. Not every aspect of parenting is going to be magical and for me pureeing is not magical its mundane! Although I am becoming a bit of an expert… the other day Big A asked me how I could tell the difference between the Sweet Potato, Carrot and Pumpkin. I quickly informed him which shade of orange was which. Yep, move over 50 Shades of Grey cause we’ve got 50 shades of Orange and thats way “hotter” than grey!

Anyhow between preparing Little A’s meals and projects around the house I had given little thought to what the rest of us (Big A and I) were meant to be eating. For the last two nights after Little A has gone to bed I have realised I hadn’t organised anything for dinner and the supermarket was closed. So we have had to resort to takeaway. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have anything against takeaway but I prefer to enjoy it when I am craving a good indian meal or a pizza and wine night. I don’t enjoy takeaway when I really don’t feel like it and its purely as a result of me being disorganised.

So I am giving myself a big fat “F” for organisation this week! My punishment will be when I get in my car and it smells like a horrible mix of Chinese and Pizza.

So I ask…

Have you had a failure moment? Come on make me feel better!!!

Are you good in the kitchen?

Whats something Mundane that you do out of love for yourself or others?

The stars finally aligned

Over the last 3-4 weeks I have began to wonder if my love of running has turned into an addiction. Rest days started to get ugly! 2 weeks ago I thought it was a coincidence that rest days just happened to be crappy days for me. But after another 2 weeks of that pattern I was a little worried that I was “addicted” to the high I get from my runs and not able to enjoy a day to its fullest without getting my run on. That is not even the worst of it. On these rest days I was short fused. crabby and dare I say it resentful!

Sound like an addict?

It  wasn’t good. I was wondering what to do and short of just running every day I wasn’t sure how to fix it. Then it happened… an awesome rest day. One when you wake up and you are grateful that you don’t have to fit a run into your day and your body is sufficiently fatigued you couldn’t imagine running anyway. Mentally you have so many other things that seem more important and you enjoy every moment of your day without even a twinge of guilt for not clocking some Ks.

What was so different about this day? It was the first day in months when MENTALLY I had wanted to rest.

I don’t have set rest days. I have 5 runs to do each week and 7 days to do them in.  Which days become my rest days are usually determined by these things ( and usually in this order)

1. How busy my day is – if it is super hard to fit the run in then it becomes a rest day

2. My program where I am in my session mix in terms of coming off or going in to a hard session

3. Physical. If my body is tired or in need of rest (you think this would fit in nicely with #2 but my body always surprises me how it recovers from different sessions!)

4. Mental. If I am just shattered or not got my running mojo

The problem with doing it this way is that I am taking rest when it is convenient first and NOT when I physically and mentally need it. No wonder 4 weeks passed before the stars aligned and I finally got a rest day on a day that I mentally needed it too.

Hopefully my new approach to running will fix this. Next week I am throwing the program out the window and running to no plan. I am literally going to wake up each day and ask myself these questions:

1. Do I feel like running today?

2. If so, what kind of run? Fast, Hills, intervals, Easy, Stroller, Treadmill etc?

3. When can I fit it in to my day?

I don’t care what I ran the day before, I don’t care if I have taken no rest days or 10 rest days and I don’t care if my training is not structured or lacks direction. I just want to run ( or not run as the case may be).

I always follow a plan. To achieve the optimum out of your running you need to. You need to make sure you are getting the right rest, completing the right kind of sessions and building at the right rate. BUT for the first time in my life I am not about achieving the optimum. I just want to run. Will I race? Maybe! Does it completely terrify me the thought of lining up at a start line not having followed a structured plan (as flexible as they must be) – HELL YEAH!

I love plans and I know I will look forward to a new plan in the not too distant future but for now my only plan is to lace up my sneakers and see where they take me… I know it will be RUNNING and that’s enough for me.

Image
My pretty sneakers I mean

As an added bonus I’m hoping this “Do I feel like it approach?” rather than “can I fit it in?” approach will weed out that nasty “I can’t cope on rest days” monster. I am probably not the only one hoping for this result either. Apparently the only thing worse than a running addict on a rest day is living with a runner addict on a rest day!

What determines your rest days?

Do you run to a plan?

Clocked and Rocked it

For a couple of weeks I have been on a quest for that 3 minute 30 second Km. I have so wanted to experience the speed that our awesome female olympic marathoners run at… if only for a few minutes.

Well today I did it. Not one but FOUR x 1km intervals at sub 3 minute 30… JUST. Now all I need to do is get rid of the 3 minute breaks I had between each Km and then run another 38 of them and I will be olympic ready…

But I am not packing my bags for RIO 2016 just yet. Apparently it is not that easy!?!?! Actually if I can EVER run a 5km race at that pace I will be STOKED! How these olympiads not only do it but make it look effortless is a mystery to me!

Anyway today I was hoping to get out 5 of these killer intervals but as I slowed the treadmill for my recovery after my fourth one I heard the “Just letting you know I’m awake so come get me” cry over the baby monitor. So it was a super quick recovery and back to mummy duties for me.

BUT little guy aside I would have gone for one more today. Why? Not because I like pain and not because I hadn’t given my ALL on the first four but because I am a little bit inspired to push that little bit harder at the moment. Here are some quotes that have popped into my world over the last few days…

1) The human body is capable of so much more than we ever give it credit for

2) Most people never go long enough to find their second wind

3) Most people give up when they’re just about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line.

4) That voice in your head that says you can’t is a liar

5) I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I am done

So after my third one when I was feeling pretty spent, I got to wondering what if I really am capable of so much more. What if I am not tapping in to my “everything”. I often determine how many more intervals based on how I felt in the last one. Makes sense right? But what if I am not done, what if that was just a crappy interval and I’ll find my groove on the next one – then I will have ripped myself off!

So should I flog myself until I pass out? No, that is not my point. I am all for train SMART not HARD. But maybe, just maybe I am capable of and got more in me than I think.

I guess the positive side of not racing this weekend (apart from spending time with Big and Little A of course!) is that by not being in pre-race mode I can be experimental with my running and push and stretch myself without fear of needing to be in “peak” condition. And geez if I want to wake up and run hills tomorrow after an interval session today – I can! (ok so that would probably be stupid but just trying to make a point). Not running to a plan could just be my opportunity to grow as a runner or at least grow what I believe my capacity is as a runner (mentally).

Pregnancy taught me a lot about my body. Its a lot smarter than I ever gave it credit for and it knows exactly what it needs ( #1 reason why I am all about “intuitive eating”). I have to wonder though if my mind thinks it smarter and holds me back… just a little.

Please don’t go and crank that treadmill up to 20kmp/h or run so long you can’t walk all week BUT maybe do ask yourself what am I really capable of? It may be more than you think. AIM HIGH… You might just get there!!! But always build and train sensibly and with PATIENCE and consistency.