Hills v Me…. Who won?

If the truth be known, in the past I’ve really avoided running up hills, as I thought HILLS = PAIN. When I did run up them, I was slower, and in the early stages thought I was going to have a cardiac arrest as I felt my heart pounding more. I heard people say to get fitter and run faster, you must incorporate hills in your training. Hmm…

Fast forward to earlier this year when I made the decision to run the Great Ocean Road 1/2 marathon…. man there are some serious hills there…… with a very steep sudden incline to Cape Patton at 80m, so I knew I was going to be challenged.

GOR Half Course png

 

From Wk 3 of a 18 week program, I swapped my weekly sprint training for hills and started to incorporate hill repeats on the smallest of slopes to get my body used to the increased load & pressure. It wasn’t until Wk 6 that I started to see improvements in my training threshold and mindset.

I slowly incorporated running steeper hills on my long runs, so that mentally and physically I was starting to prepare for the weeks ahead, with the increased load, mileage and race day.

So this week (3 weeks away from the race) who’s winning the hills or me? I’m happy to say it’s me, and if I can do it, you can too.

So what was the shift I hear you ask, how did you go from “HILLS = PAIN” thinking to  ” I love running hills”. Put simply – baby steps, loving the challenging, acknowledgement, mindset and having fun.

Think about how babies learn to walk.

1. Baby – Lie on their back, kicking their legs, building leg strength and firing up their muscles memories for the months to come. Runner – strength & weight training.

2. Baby – Roll over onto stomach and start to crawl, fall over and repeat. Runner – Find a small hill and run up it. Gradually increase your repeats of this hill over time.

3. Baby – Pull themselves up on a taller object to stand, then fall. Runner – Find a steeper hill to run up, stretch yourself outside your comfort zone. You might only make it up half way up the hill before stopping. The fact is you stretched yourself and you’re moving forward.

4. Baby – Take 1st steps, holding on to something for balance, then fall, repeat. Runner – Run all the way to the top of the steep hill. Repeat over time.

5. Baby – Take steps and balance on their own, then fall and repeat. Runner – Set out a course of several hills. Start with a small number of hills and distance before extending the number of hills and distance.

Along the way babies always get encouragement from their doting parents and onlookers. When they fall, the 1st time, they’re encouraged to get up and start again, they never give up.

I also learnt to give myself the acknowledgement of small wins along the way – whether it was my 1st small hill I ran up, stretching myself to a massive hill and only getting half way up to now running that same steep hill for 3 repeats.

Give yourself the same acknowledgement of taking baby steps forward, building momentum, to achieving your goal. You can do it, I believe in you.

Love to hear how you go in the comments below in breaking your goals down into baby steps, starting small and building momentum.

What are you grateful for today?

It’s a proven science that by being grateful for everything in your life, more great things are attracted into your life. My grandma always used to say, count your blessings, and that was when she was severely suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

It wasn’t just a case of looking at the bright side of life, it was a case of truly appreciating things in your life, rather than taking them for granted and bitching and moaning about your life. Like having a roof over your head, food on the table, ability to walk, talk, your family etc.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy

So what are you truly blessed and grateful for in your life right now.

Even when I had a crap day at work, I would always look for at least 5 positives from that situation. What did I learn from it, what could I have done better etc. Trust me it certainly shifted me from being in a bad mood when I left the office, to feeling balanced and peaceful when I arrived home.

3 Tips For Being More Grateful

1. Write it down

Keep a daily journal of at least 3-5 things you are grateful for. The best time to do this is 1st thing in the morning, as it sets you up for a great day, and/or last thing at night as you recount the day, and all the things you were grateful for in the day.

2. Share

Tell others – loved ones, your children and/or friends what you appreciate about them on a daily basis.

3. Tell Yourself

Tell yourself what you are grateful for, something you like about yourself, something you did well or you’re proud of.

 

 

The Toffee Principle

ToffeeYou can learn a lot by watching how babies and animals interact with their surroundings. Our neighbour’s cat, who we call Toffee, is a prime example of this.

Everyday is a new day when Toffee chasing butterflies, and through watching her persistence I came up with the T-O-F-F-E-E principle which you can relate to anything in life, especially running & preparing for your next race.

T = Target

Have a target. In Toffee’s case it’s a white butterfly . For running, it could be your next race or a new PB……

O = OPTIMISE

Optimise all your skills, experience and training. Toffee would crouch down, suss out the distance between her and the butterfly, watch and prepare. For running, it involves your mindset, your training plan and the best nutrition – everything working in perfect balance.

F = FOCUS

Focus intently on your target. No matter what else is happening in the garden, Toffee has 100% attention poured into watching this butterfly. The same must be true for your goal. Have 100% focus on your running goal, whatever that goal is for you.

F = FUN

Have enjoyment in everything you do. There are so many things to do in life, so if you’re not having fun, choose something else. Find the ‘fun’ in every activity.

E = EXECUTE

At some point you have to execute, taking everything you’ve optimised, moving forward towards your target maintaining your focus. For Toffee this would be a wiggle of the bottom, running a few steps, keeping low to the ground then launching at the butterfly. For your running, it could be optimising your running training, nutrition and mindset taking that into “Race Day” and running your race at your individual peak performance.

E = EVALUATE

To be able to improve, it’s always good to evaluate what’s just happened. Poor Toffee clearly misses this step, because she always looks so bemused every time the butterfly flies away, licking a paw. However she never gives up and she’s always ready to start over again as soon as  she spots the next butterfly. How did you perform in the race? What worked, what didn’t? What   small improvements can you make next time?

Enjoy your running, and remember to introduce some T-O-F-F-E-E into your goals.

Body Mind & Spirit Running

Today was the Lara 10km Fun Run. This time last yr, I ran my fastest 10km ever – 56mins – 2 x 5km loops around Serendip Sanctuary at Pirra Homestead. A stunning location.

Lara3 021113

 

So my aim this year was to finally run under 55min and I believed it was in my grasp. I was training well – weekly sprints, tempo, long run until…… every runner’s nightmare – in the last month, a distinct lack of energy, where I was struggling to even run 3km, let alone walk upstairs, wanting to fall asleep at my desk as soon as I arrived at work. :(

A trip to the docs, & blood tests soon had me diagnosed as anaemic, given iron tablets, more blood tests and a review in 2 months. Hmm where did this leave me with the run. 2 days off running & 3 days into the iron tablets, I decided to give it a go, take it easy, enjoy the run, listen to my body, and worse case scenario I knew I could always just do 1st loop of 5km.

Lara2 021113

 

Arrived in the most relaxed state…. probably due to the ‘Inner Peace” hypnotherapy CD I listened to that morning.  In the past I’ve been pretty wired before races, no sleep night before and pre race nerves. 1st stop – queue for the portaloo, before a quick stretch….. then the rain & wind started so all the runners were taking cover before the start. As if by magic 5 mins before the start of the race, the sun started shining. I love the vibe of race day, a whole load of runners, different ages, shapes & sizes, all with different goals and reasons to run coming together to run a race.

Lara1 021113Gun went off, and my ultimate aim was to enjoy the race, the amazing scenery and wildlife. Going flat out wasn’t an option, as the last month had left me completely wasted. However, the 1st 2km I set off at a faster pace and had to reign myself back in, pacing myself.

For me this race was all about Body – Mind – Spirit Running, splitting the race into 3 as always.

Body - With good training, your body is prepared for the run ahead, this time my challenge was preserving my energy & not blowing out.  So I just kept a consistent pace, listening to my body all the way.

Mind – 4km – 8km. The settling in period of the race, when you have to keep your mind on track, and stop it from wandering or worse still tricking you to stop. After the 1st 5km loop, “half way through, one down, easy bring the other 5km home. You’ve run it once you can run it again”….. “Just put one foot in front of the other (bit like life in general really), and Run Babe Run” You can always draw on the energy of the other runners in a race, the spectators and my ITunes … I can, I will, I must YES……

Spirit – 8km to finish. No matter what I’ve physically done in the past, I’ve learnt through my own experience and through the excellent advice of other Personal Trainers, you always have more in the tank than you give yourself credit for. “DIG”, Chris, our spin instructor would say at the peak of our sessions. “Come on Moorie, you’re nearly there” Adam, my PT would say. Those words rang in my ears, as I peeled back the final 2 km, and brought my training to the forefront of my mind…. and somehow found a sprint in my legs for the finish.

Lara4 021113Not a PB, finished with 58:05, and considering the last month, was very happy with that result.

What’s next, some R&R in the Grampians before Run Geelong on Sun 17th November.

Have a great week, and remember ….

Wish It…Dream It…Do It! :)

 

 

Today’s a New Day

Hi there

Back in 2010 I started taking up running again. Throughout my life I’ve loved exercise – cycling, ski-ing, snowboarding, aerobics although I always seemed to have a love hate relationship with running….. always wanting to, and when I did run, would run flat out and end up injured, sore or thinking I was having a cardiac arrest by over doing it.

So I decided to run smarter, joined a gym – signed up with a Personal Trainer,and started seeing improvements in my health, physique, attitude and running… all having a ripple effect on other areas of my life.

I progressed through fun runs 5km to 10km and over time up to 1/2 marathons. On this journey, I shared what I was doing with friends and family, in turn it inspired them to either run or to take up other exercise.

So that’s why I’m starting this blog, by sharing my journey with you, inspiring people around the world to improve their health & wellbeing, take up exercise and eat nutritious food.

Williamstown Half Mara 1a 290510

My 1st 1/2 marathon :)