Social Experiment Wk 4 – Back To Nature

Feel as if I’ve turned a mental corner this week, as I realised I’m only 6km off my longest training run – yippee :) To prevent ‘over training’ the majority of programs I found stick to 35km for the longest run. Perfect and taking it week by week.

This week was a bit light on the kms, with only 2 runs instead of 3, as had other work & life commitments this week. So I’m remaining flexible in the process.

Monday was a total recovery day after Sunday’s long run. I’m very mindful of energy dips during the day, and eating accordingly as well as more sleep on Sunday & Monday nights to recover. Monday morning was a quick visit to the gym to use the Vibrogym, a vibratory massage on my legs to help prevent ‘delayed onset muscle soreness’. It worked a treat and my legs felt brand new. Highly recommended.

Bellarine TrialRun 1 – Tuesday morning, 9km with 5 x 1km sprints. Mentally I found it easy to break the reps down, and just power through. I’ve come a long way for sprints, as this was one of my biggest challenges when I started running. Happy feet are back :)

Wednesday night I made up a couple of batches of some energy balls – blissful, totally kept me off the chocolate during the day.

I was actually glad of the break this week, and felt fresh going into Sunday’s long run. Back to nature on the Bellarine Trail, one of my favourite places to run. I feel so rejuvenated running in nature, and today I was blessed with great weather, scenery, rabbits, sheep, horses, cows and lorikeets.

I was aiming for 30-32km and as this route didn’t have water fountains, I carried an additional GU gel and a 330ml water bottle. I was going out and back from Drysdale towards Queenscliff, so placed my water bottle at 10km mark, ready for the return trip. This worked well and I was grateful of the additional water & energy boost.

My Garmin watch didn’t charge up properly overnight, so consequently had a flat battery at around 12km, and had to ‘guesstimate’ what I thought would be 15km for the turnaround point. I ended up running 29km total, and even though short of my original total, I was happy with my effort.

Continuing to ‘show up’ week after week, increasing the distance, stretching outside my comfort zone and still enjoying the run. This week I’ll be watching my recovery and food intake a bit more closely so I don’t get energy dips.

Until next time – Happy Running :)


Argh 2.47am can’t sleep!

So it’s week 3, Tuesday morning and I’m awake at 2.47am what’s going on.

Voices in my head going overdrive……. Can my body cope, what am I going to eat, what have I committed to, OMG just ran 24km, furthest I’ve ever run and you’re expecting me to front up and run sprints in 5 hours time…. yeah right. I already have ‘delayed general soreness in my legs’ from that run…. will my right knee hold up, will the lead up be too much, what fuel do I need on the day… and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

After a deep breath I realised all these concerns were just in my head, I was right on the edge of my comfort zone and can relate this to looking back over my running journey to now. 5km to 10km, double the distance, same concerns. 10km to 1/2 marathon, double the distance again & same concerns. Each time my body grew stronger, fitter and adapted to the workload, this is no different.

If it was easy what would I do?

Man, I love that question, as it always snaps me right out of my head crap to see another perspective.

Well if it was easy, I’d enjoy it, I’d be in the flow, I’d just make it happen, it would be a piece of cake, no dramas, everything would be in sync, I would trust, everything would happen in its own way, peaceful, cause set in motion, break it down in stages, cue one foot in front of the other, just run, happy, laugh, body in sync.

So this training is no different……Body – Mind – Spirit in sync. At least now I can sleep………

Run 1 – Yes I did front up to sprints on the treadmill, Tuesday morning before work for 4.5km run – 1200m/1000m/800m sprints and pulled up ok. Hungry every couple of hours, combination of exercise & lack of sleep I reckon.

Wednesday – PT session – weights strength training

Run 2 – 7.7km steady pace, felt good and looking forward to Sunday’s long one.

Eating more this week, to keep my energy up. Bananas are always my best friend.

Run 3 - Scheduled for 27km. Rolled out 28km, holy crap where did that come from. I know exactly why, at 27km I was at least another km from home & the thought of walking, it would just take longer. I just wanted to get home ASAP so I could rest and eat.

This 28km was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It took a while to settle into this one, mentally I’ve been comfortable running for just over 2 hours, so this was another stretch. I was glad to see 9km on my watch, 3rd done 2/3rds to go. It helps me to split a run into 3 – Body – Mind – Spirit. So I settled in letting the mind take over.

I remembered the film I watched last night – “Running Blind” EJ Scott who set out to run 12 marathons in 12 months in 12 American states raising $150,000 for charity, and he did them all blindfolded.  EJ suffers from Choroideremia, a hereditary retinal-degenerative disease that causes blindness, and several years ago, EJ was diagnosed as legally blind.

Amazing, inspiring man, if EJ can do it, then I can at least run 27km today.

PelicansI was in a bit of pain at 19km, developing a very unglamorous ‘Sue Shuffle’ just keep putting one foot in front of the next and I knew I would finish, another 9km to go. I can do this :)

Saw a good friend Jen, also training for the Melbourne Marathon, coming the other way, although she was on a roll so we just had a quick hello & kept running.

At 21km it felt as if someone had jabbed a knife through my right knee….. and so far from home…… so visualised an oil can oiling my joints. Man you got to do what you got to do to keep going being mindful of what could be behind the pain. It worked and made it home.

Grateful of the sunny weather, the wildlife on the way, and succeeding stretching to a new comfort zone.

Enjoy your week and remember Wish It…Dream It…..Do It!

Marathon Training Log

I always thought I wouldn’t, however in true girlie fashion, I’ve changed my mind and decided to run my 1st marathon – Sunday 12th Oct – Melbourne. :)

Melb Marathon logoIn the lead up to the Great Ocean Road 1/2 marathon, I was training well and started to love hills, I know sick, right, who would have thought!!!! So started saying to myself if I pull up OK after the Great Ocean Road 1/2 then I’d run my 1st marathon in October. I was looking for the next challenge.

Chatting with a good friend Anne, she convinced me to write a journal of my thoughts, training etc between now and then – so here it is…… a weekly diary of how I’m going, warts & all. So hopefully you can get something out of it to, to know that anything is possible, to inspire you to make your dreams happen, whatever they may be :)

16 Week Training Plan

After the Great Ocean Road 1/2, I took a couple of weeks break. After that my long runs were kept at 18kms to keep a good base leading into my marathon training. Usually I take the winter off running, and cross train on the bike. So juggling the winter weather & dark mornings would be interesting.

My weekly training is split into 3 key runs – 1) sprints or hills 2) tempo run 3) long run. On top of this my aim is to fit in 1-2 weight sessions, 1 cross training (bike) and poss. a yoga/body balance class a week. Monthly massages are also high on my requirement list too.

My aims for the next 14 weeks are to follow my training program to the best of my ability remaining flexible to other commitments, eat 80% clean diet, get to the starting line injury free and enjoy the race.

Week 2 – w/c 30th June

Run 1 – 3 x 800m sprints @ 5-5.12min per km pace on gym treadmill 1.0-1.5 incline. Fresh legs & felt good.

Run 2 – Scheduled for 9km tempo run, actual – 4km before going to work

Run 3 – As the last couple of weeks were pretty light on kms, I really needed to stick to the plan & bang out 24km (the furthest I’d ever run). So this morning I set off at 7.45am wearing 2 tops, 2 pairs of gloves, my SKINS long pants, tunes via my IPhone, Garmin watch & fuel belt. Off & racing to one of my favourite routes – Barwon River Loop.

Hmm……by 2km I needed a ‘nature break’, 4km my hands were overheating, so down to 1 pair of gloves. By 7km I was wishing it was over. Then I found my rhythm, got into the groove, next thing I knew I had run 16kms, wow where did that time go. One of the best things about long runs, is that it is my time – Me, Myself & I, time to meditate & reflect. A lot of women I’ve  spoken to agree, that their running is their only time for themselves during the week, having to balance children, family and work commitments.

My pace was good, relaxed and consistent for me during the middle of the run. Even though I started to feel a bit tired at 18km, I knew I only had another 6kms to go, time to dig deep. WOW, I’ve travelled a long way, I remember the 1st 6km race I ever ran, I thought it was hell and spent half of it walking. It’s amazing what’s possible with commitment, persistence & trust…..

The last 5kms, the heavens opened, thank you……. and a killer hill to finish on. Many people ask me what gets me up the hills, or my ability to keep going when I’m tired. From experience I know that your mind will always give in long before your body & spirit, so you really have to be your best friend, coach and encourage yourself.

I have a few mantras….


- I’m a lean mean running machine

- It’s only another 5kms, 30mins tops and you’re done

Visualisation – Move my arms like pistons, place one foot in front of the other to keep moving my engine

And then I was home, phew. Pleased, happy and knew that I had turned a corner, I was entering uncharted waters, every long run from now on would be a stretch. So my aim is to look only one week ahead, the rest will take care of itself when I get there.

And just to enjoy the process :) Sunday recovery consisted of stretching, pancakes (post run), eating every 3 hrs after that, reading and evening drinks with our neighbours. Nice :)