Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Blog

I've decided to start a new blog ... my life is pretty full, marathon training being a big part of it - but it is full of lots of other things as well, so I've decided to combine everything into one blog.  Hopefully it will make interesting reading (or not! ha ha).

You can follow me there if you want to :)

My new "Not a Yummy Mummy" Blog

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Two Years

The photos say it all ... two years ago, proudly running a 1:04 10km and winning a spot prize to run the London Marathon.

Sunday, many half marathons, two marathons and two years on ... a 1:58 half marathon.

As an aside, I'm not running this week, I'm delivering so I'm getting a little bit of exercise ... but what have I learnt? I eat too much crap and balance it with my running, I've been extra careful this week and its made realise that I'm not nearly as "good" as I think I am.  Also, running takes a lot of time - might be only a little 5k run, but its still getting out there, running, cooling down, stretching ... etc ... I've had SO much more time this week.  Biggest thing though? I miss it pretty quickly - nothing beats getting out there and getting sweaty for feeling good :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wellington Half Marathon

Sneaking in again - I really do want to try and be a regular blogger, and always have good intentions ... but you know, good intentions don't always = actually doing!

It was supposed to be a busy morning this morning with physio appointments for Charlotte and I and then rushing home to take Cameron to his specialist appointment (follow up on a nose operation - fixing it so he can actually breathe through it) - turns out Charlotte's physio was sick, and the specialist was called away to a family emergency which means I got my physio appointment (yay for me! ha ha), but nothing else was done.

Anyway - a quick Wellington Half Marathon report -

I've been training pretty hard for this, I came home from London with the body slowly fixing itself, with help from the physio's "magic" hands (might hurt, but he really seems to know how to hit the spot to loosen those pesky muscles causing the problems), a bit of rest and strengthening exercises.  So the past couple of months I've been pushing the training, trying to go harder and faster.  Last year I got a PB at this race (1:57:27) and was hoping to beat that time on Sunday.

I ended up with a Stampin' Workshop to be at in Palmerston the night before (just over an hour away from home), and really didn't do well at all with the pre-fuelling - a vege/kumara/potato "greasy cake" was the best carbs I could find at the service station, along with a chocolate peanut slab ... not the best at all ;)  Plus yummy pavlova and cream for supper after the workshop (and I wonder why I don't lose weight?).  Then home about 11pm, and asleep about midnight with the alarm set for 6.00am - definitely not the best lead up to a hopeful best race!

Got up with the alarm, had a couple of pieces of toast for breakfast - got the two girls up and going, Nic, a running friend, was getting a lift with us - we got away right on time at 7.00am.  Picked up biggest son who was running the 10k from his flat in Wellington, parked at work, made good use of the no queue, clean, toilets at work and then walked to the Stadium ready to start.

It was raining all the drive in, kind of stopped as we got into Wellington, but was wet and cold waiting at the start line.  The poor girls were a bit overwhelmed by the crowds of people all trying to huddle in the dry, but I assured them that once everyone left to run they would find a friend we knew would be there, and hoped that was the case as I left! (they did, Jamie and Rhiannon are friends from school - Jamie's mother started running a few years ago, and she is speedy! She ran a 1:32 half marathon on Sunday - anyway they hung around with her and her Dad while their Mums were running).

So off we ran!  What can I say, wet, wet, wet, windy, windy, windy - pretty typical horrible Wellington day (nothing beats Wellington on a nice day, but when it is wet and windy it is yucky).  Didn't really notice the wind on the way out, I swear it wasn't pushing us! It was more sideways and a couple of times it would be a head wind, but all in all wasn't bad at all.  I was aiming for 5:35/km - and was sitting at about 5:30 pretty much all of the first half.  Checked my time at halfway and was on track for a very nice 1:56 half marathon time ... and then we turned around to head back - at first the wind was actually quite good, it had been against us for a couple of k's leading up to the turn around.  But after that it was straight into it.  I'd figured even if I kept at 5:40/km I would be right where I wanted to be - but there were a couple of ks where the wind was so strong I slowed right to nearly 6:00/km.  I was checking with my watch at every so many k's to go and quickly calculating what I had to keep to, at first for a PB, and then pretty quickly to make sure I was going to beat two hours.  I'm VERY pleased with myself, in that I kept pushing hard the whole way - the heartrate monitor pretty much stayed the same the whole race - so when I went slower it was purely fighting the wind, not less push from me.

By the time I finished it was starting to rain hard, so no nice children cheering for me at the finish line - they'd all gone inside to escape the wet! I finished with 1:58:22 and am actually very happy with that.  Everyone I've spoken to said they were slower and that it was a hard race.  Also - according to my Garmin, last year I ran 20.8km, this year, 21.25km - not saying the course was different or wrong at all, but what it meant is that although officially (and I definitely take the official time) I took longer, unofficially my pace/km was actually faster.

Just a couple of months ago I ran a little 5km a couple of days before I ran London and was happy that I managed to push (and it was a push) for 1km and manage a 5:30min km - all the hard work must have paid off to be able to run a half marathon at 5:35/km!! (and yeah, I love my numbers!).

Where to from here?  I've entered the Auckland Marathon which is 30th of October.  Next week I'll start my 18 week training programme for that.  I also have a quiet little goal of doing the bike around Taupo (160km) this year which is four weeks after the marathon.  So my main goal will be training for Auckland, but I'm also planning on fitting in some biking (especially one long bike ride a week) and doing Taupo as well - I figure the marathon training will take care of the endurance, and hopefully the spin classes and a once a week long bike ride will be enough to complete Taupo as well - and it will be only "complete" I don't have any sky high goals of doing it really fast or anything ;)  Also, have a wee obstacle in that I don't actually have a road bike - but hopefully I'll take care of that in the next couple of months, meanwhile my old decrepid delivering bike will do to start off with!

This week I'm taking complete rest - no running, no spin.  Now my knee is better than it has been in months (almost ready to say all better, but not quite), my glute has been sore - I just can't seem to win, as soon as one injury goes away another takes it place.  The physio looked at it today and as I suspected it is linked to the hamstring, he did some work on it and we'll keep an eye on it - hopefully a week off, plus maybe a week of "easy" running will be enough.  Strangely enough (and yeah, the physio said it was very strange too) it was less sore after Sunday than it was before ... very weird!

So, I'm warily excited about starting a new training programme and hoping that it all goes well this time!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Patellar Tendonitis (jumper's knee)

Darn, just as I'm finally on a "maintenance" every 2-3 weeks visit to the physio for MY knee, I took Charlotte (Miss 9yo) this morning to have her knee looked at and diagnosis is Patellar Tendonitis, looks like my weekly (or more) visits to the physio aren't quite over yet! I guess when you do gymastics training 6hrs/week, cheerleading 3hrs/week, play netball a couple of times a week, and a couple of dance classes - something has to give, and two weeks out from our first gym competitions for the season, its her knee - 4 weeks rest (eek!) and see from there, just as bad as being told not to run for four weeks!  I'm hopeful that after a week of complete rest she'll at least be able to carry on conditioning and taking it easy and heal from there.

Thanks for the comments on the privacy thing - now I have to work out how to do it (haven't had any success doing that yet, for a person who's job involves being on a computer all the time, I'm seriously technically backward with this sort of stuff!).

As for running - my best news this past week has been I managed to run two days in a row, first time since January 1/2 when I first hurt my knee, its amazing how good that wee accomplishment felt! I ran a really easy 5km on the treadmill one day and then a harder, faster 8km the day after - and all was well.  Stupid knee still isn't quite right, but getting better all the time.  Enough so that the physio said today to really push myself in the half marathon I'm planning on running in a couple of weeks as afterwards will be a really good indication on how the body is holding out before I start training for the Auckland Marathon pretty much straight after that.

I've invested in a heartrate monitor and the numbers are really interesting - as is trying to be VERY disciplined with the long slow distances and keeping my heartrate low for those runs.  Hopefully I'm learning to train a lot smarter which will keep me running, and running better in the future!

... and yeah, London report, still to come ...

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Why hello there! Yes I'm still here, I've run the London Marathon (4:25 - yay!) ... and should have updated here.

One of the reasons I've got very slack at updating my blog is I started getting the feeling that all sorts of people, from all parts of my life, were reading it. Which would be fine - but it made me too conscious of what I was sharing, I'm a pretty private person at the best of times and don't always want "everybody" to know what strange stuff goes on in my head - but I also don't want to sugar coat my blog, I wanted it to be an honest, feelings out there, time to reflect, place I could look back on kind of place.

Not everyone gets it, gets how hard it is, to keep running, keep eating right etc - some people I get the feeling have a slight "tall poppy" feelings towards my success at sometimes winning the continous battle.

Anyway - because I want this to be a diary, plus a place I can get ideas and thoughts from like minded people, I'm going to (when I work out how) make it more private, and by request to read it. That way I can feel more comfortable with the info I put out there.

I think if you let me know via the comments I can invite you? It'll suck big time if I don't get any response won't it? LOL

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Two Sleeps

Two sleeps until we get on the big aeroplane and begin our journey to London ... the quick part of the journey, the huge journey has taken two years - but I'll reflect on that some other time!

I've trained as much as I possibly could, not nearly as much as I'd like, but definitely as much as I could. I count myself lucky, yes, lots of stupid niggling injuries - well, really just one, a very tight ITB which has caused countless other problems. But we've managed it, and I'm going to line up at the starting line with two 20 mile training runs done, a reasonable half marathon done ... and a body full of anti-inflammatries!

It will be a slower marathon than my first one a year ago, it will probably be more painful - but wow, the experience of running *the* London Marathon should make up for all of that, I plan to enjoy it - I'm so lucky to have the opportunity, and so lucky to have what seems to be a strong, quick healing body.

I have to share my physio love - I couldn't have done this without him and his great attitude - our conversation at my last session this week went something like this -

Me: Thank you so much for all your hardwork.
Him: Well, I think you did all the hard work really, my part was pretty easy.
Me: But really, thank you for not ever rolling your eyes and telling me I was nuts and should just not do it.
Him: That's okay, I know how I'd feel if I was in the same position.

and that bolded part is why he has been so good - he runs, he loves to run, he understands, he understood this was a huge event and not one to give up on ... that makes such a huge huge difference.

I'll probably still do some work with him when I come back - they are getting equipment so they can analysise gait etc, plus once I've had time to rest and hopefully get rid of all the niggles we'll work on what to do to make sure they don't happen again - work on prevention, rather than the continual "band-aiding" we've been doing.

S0 - this is it ... one dance costume to finish, lists to write out for the kids who are fending for themselves (Mr 19yo will be head supervisor), packing to do, a couple of small runs ... and we are off!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Injuries Shoomizees

Sooooo ... injuries ... right now my physio knows more and sees more of my legs than my husband!

Three weeks into training (just after Christmas) - bam! knee hurt, swelled up, heated up ... didn't look good at all. I waited until the Monday after the New Year break and rang the physio at the gym to get an appt as soon as I could, he had a look, a prod, few bends, squats etc and diagnosed Patellofemoral Syndrome aka Runners Knee - probably caused by the tight ITB pulling the knee cap over, ouch. I let him know that I had a very important marathon in about 15 weeks and there was no way I couldn't be running - gave me some exercises, said to rest it for about a week and then start off with a short run every second day.

I waited until the 9th of January - it was about a week, and also my birthday, I figured that had to be a lucky! and off I went for a 5k run around the block, knee lasted until about 2k before it started hurting off and on, lasted until about 4k before it really protested ... I was seriously worried. Lucky for me I struck a really good physio, who most important runs, and has run a marathon and didn't look at me like I was some strange being when I was pleading to fix it so I could run again. Next run was about the same, kept doing the exercises, the physio did some massage and said (surprising me!) try adding a k each run ... so I ran 6k, then 8k (I've always had trouble with maths) and it was feeling "okay", still twinges but definitely getting better.

It was about then I said to him, do you think I could run a 16k race in about a week? Kind of kidding, but he said, yeah - why not - give it a go, just ease into it over the week though ... yayyyy! Only problem, over this week, I still can't really pinpoint when, my hip/back started hurting, I was getting the dreaded limpy, gait :( I did run the 16k, and paid for it afterwards with my hip/back ... back to the physio, now two appointments a week, one for my back, one for my knee.

I tried to keep running, until my personal trainer (who I see once a week for core/strenthening work) said take two weeks off, went and then went and had a chat with the physio who managed to negotiate me to 10 days. By now, time was marching on and I was getting really worried. Lots of deep massage for the ITB to keep the knee going, and massage/realigning through the back and hip and 10 days rest ... and I tentatively ran again. Not too bad, getting better ... but what is with the pain around the groin area?

Uggghhhhhh Adductors ... more massage (and gees when I say massage, no sleeping "spa" massage, it hurt! and I was walking around looking like someone had been battering my legs which were lovely and bruised).

Sooooo finally the last couple of weeks things seem to have stopped hurting, physio has signed off the back/hip issues and adductor issues they are all good now. Knee has never really totally stopped being swollen, but seems to be holding up.

I ran the Rotorua Off-Road Half Marathon on Sunday and had an awesome run, slowest half marathon I've done - a combination of the fact I have lost all the speed I had gained and it was a hilly off-road course - but I did it, and felt pretty strong. Thought my ITB was tight around the knee again after it, but the physio after MORE poking, proding, etc thinks it might be an inflamed ligament (I swear, you couldn't make up this stuff). Good news is that he thinks it will pretty much fix itself, with a bit of rest, ice and anti-inflammatories - and I should be okay to run my 32k I planned on this Sunday ... although he has said to maybe run circuits close to home in case something does flare up.

Big fat SIGH ... so where I'm at, with just FIVE weeks to go until the London Marathon?

I'm running about 40-50k a week.
I'm running just 3x a week and doing a spin class 2x a week.
My longest run so far is 25.5k, I'm upping that quick (too quick probably!) to 32k this Sunday.
I'm stretching, doing hip stabiliser, core and thigh building exercises and foam rolling every night.
I'm now seeing the physio ONCE a week instead of twice.
Funny enough, I think I'm okay for London - I'll be slow, I'm probably going to hurt more than I did after Rotorua, but I'm pretty sure I can do it!

So, that, is the long sad story of my marathon training!

I'm looking forward to being able to take a good week or two off and just let my body heal (which it is screaming to do, hence injury after injury) and then building back to some pain free running. There will be another marathon - I want to do a training cycle that I can just relax and enjoy ... I think this has been the hardest thing I've ever done, to get this far!