Thursday, September 30, 2010

Listen to Your Body? I'm Having a Spiritual Moment

Corny as it may seem if there's anything I have learned from the last few weeks of injury it's this: "Listen to your body" a way this is the lesson i have been learning for the last 18 months, to tune in a hear what it's saying to me... screamed "DONT SMOKE YOU FUCKING IDIOT" for decades and I didnt listen, "YOUR TOO FAT" and most importantly "DO YOU HAVE TO WORK SO BLOODY MUCH"

...but lately Im finally learning to tune in to a quieter more subtle that says "push it hard, youve got alot left" or " woah on the food, your overdoing it", "take a rest and go slow", " have a sleep", " dont go out again, its too much" etc....... many this would seem obvious, but its quite a revelation to me at the moment, the fact that listening in this way can be a kind of spiritual experience..a reconciliation with a friend you've had for a long time but have ignored

.......too corny and melodramatic ? Maybe.... but Mind/Body/Spirit or (Father/Son/Holy Ghost if your that way inclined) seems to make up a threesome that eventually need reconciliation....out of every challenging time comes something good and as i rest my weary body Im getting mine... celebrate Im listening to one of Van the Man's ultimate spiritual songs

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Monday, September 27, 2010

Not Much Progress

Its been 10 days now since i last run and getting physio said to cycle and use the gym cross trainer but this seems to be aggravating my all I'm left with is upper body weights and swimming in the hope that this will settle everything ankle 50% better but i can still feel its potential to come undone again......this is a very irritating process although I know i need to learn its all a part of being a Friday where Im pretty sure he'll prescribe more rest.......feel like I have ADHD at the moment.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Breaks Are Good!!

After some days of grief given my injured ankle and knee things have changed quite abit. Firstly, I definitely on the mend and should be right for a test run in 7 days. Secondly, to my surprise, Im really enjoying having a break. Im hopping on my bike more, cycling to the pool or the gym and generally feeling like it's a well earned change of scene.

Its funny how obsessed you have to get while training for the Half, but now I plan to come back slowly over the next two weeks, get my new robot style running down and drift gently into full marathon training which should start mid November.....if the physio is right I should eventually come back more efficient and a little bit faster so theres nothing to stress about....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Second-Order Change Thanks to My Physio: No More Salsa-Running!

In my work life (child psychology/family therapy) we say there are 2 types of changes: first order (symptomatic) and second-order (more fundamental systemic change)......this is what was promoted at my excellent physio appointment this ankle and knee injuries are a product of my running posture which has more similarities with salsa dancing than running..apparently i swing my arms, push my elbows out, dont tighten my core, swing my feet out the back (im an "In-y") and generally place strain on my knees and ankles........from now on I will have to run like my running mate Frank....loose arms, tight core........straight feet, straight back....before that a good 10 days rest relying on cross training to keep my Voltarin, Ice, Exercises...........

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Im an Addict

Ok, its been only 4 days since the Blackmores Half and since my ankle went sore and clicky, the only 4 days in a row I havent run since October 2009 and Im feeling very unusual.....I know injuries are all part of being a runner but it's a part i definitely hate and havent really had to face before...this isnt helped by my friend telling me a similar story of being injured doing a Half and having to stop for a month.......or reading lots of other blog stories of people doing the same.......

Im very keen to see the physio tomorrow who I am hoping he will tell me I am catastrophising and that it'll all be better soon after a weeks rest.

So what if it takes longer? How is an A-type personality supposed to cope ?

Of course I already have a just-in-case plan involving swimming, building up my legs in the gym and spin classes but what Ive really realised so far this week is how much i really love to run.....

The other issue, of course, is that each small setback (ok, it might not even be that yet) is an opportunity to learn something youve missed. In my case I think it's about posture when Im fatigued........we'll see what the physio says tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Time to Take Stock: Notes to Self

Now that running season is pretty much over (ok, still the SAN run and Run4Fun 10 k'ers left) it's time to take stock......I have run just under 1500kms so far this year and am really happy with my times but after the second half marathon just done its time to do a review and work out where to from here.

Firstly, the next goal has to be a full marathon. To do this I think I will need to change a few things about my running style to make it sustainable. At the moment I have a sore ankle and knee from last weekends Half, a symptom, I think, of my style and posture going out the window when fatigued and also of we pushing the envelope on the bike right before the Half doing sprints with the Ive booked myself in to the physio on Friday to ask for a review of my posture and style, just to make sure this doesnt cause me injury as I up the ante..

Secondly, I really want to include trail running in the schedule and to keep the longer distance in the bush. Also I would like to run some competitive trail runs, not always on the road.I am on a sabbatical from work end of next year and will probably go to England or Wales and would love to try some running there (Lakes District ? Snowdonia?)

Thirdly, I need to learn to be more comfortable with rest days, taking a break when sore or injured and generally learning when to chill out abit (like now Im stressing because I shouldnt run tonite because of sore ankle)

Fourthly, I need to try running without music to see if my reliance on it is holding me back. I noticed when I forgot my shuffle the other night that I really focussed on listening to my body instead of the music...this will be a hard one..........................

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Blackmores Sydney Half Marathon Race Report

What a perfect Sydney spring day for the Blackmores Sydney Half Marathon, kicking off at 620 am in Milsons point, accross the Harbour Bridge and finishing at the iconic Opera House
Ten Westleigh Warriors ran today (here we are in the carpark looking like something out of Fight Night), all psyched after months of training, much of it on hilly courses. This held us all in good stead given the flat Blackmores course, making the run feel pretty good and leading to many PB's (a couple that were pretty beyond belief!) know who you are!

My own plan was to go under 2 hours and to hold a steady pace the whole way..whispering ("Run within yourself" about a million times to keep me steady...)....this worked pretty well, crossed the 10km mark in 53 minutes feeling strong then made the steady slog to 15kms (my mantra had then changed to "just get to 15"), past the Rocks and over the expressway to Ultimo ("just get to 18").....slowed considerably at this point but kept watching the clock and very happy that I knew I could come in under 2 hours...spurred on by my playlist (Mantra: "The Ace of Spades, The Ace of Spades"_ !) I ran the rest 6kms at 5.8'ish minute pace, clocking 1hour 57 minutes at the end....6 minutes faster than the last Half Marathon, although many less hills, pace of 5.57.....

All up a thoroughly enjoyable morning, a few feelings of despair on the last few KM's but none ofthe utter exhaustion of the City2Surf or last Half Marathon (although doing a full Marathon seems abit daunting ?!)....well done to all the Warriors.........onwards and upwards from here, we knocked 'em out!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Half Marathon Playlist

AS usual I have been putting some thought into the playlist for this weekends Blackmore's Sydney Half rule is to always take at least as long as the actual run to work it out. Here's what Ive come up with....

1. Ventura Highway: America
2. Ridin Solo: Jason Derulo
3. Sound of Muzak: Porcupine Tree
4. Stillborn: Black Label Society
5. Dont Sweat the Technique: EricB and Rakim
6. Listen to the Lion: Van Morrison
7. Freebird: Lynyrd Skynyrd

This takes me half way. ready to crank things for a negative split...

8. Wont Get Fooled Again: The Who
9. Tears Dont Fall: Bullet for My Valentine
10. Dont Believe the Hype: Public Enemy
11. Paranoid: Black Sabbath
12. Everybody Dies: Type O Negative
13. Highway to Hell: ACDC
14. Dreams: Van Halen
15. Colours: Calvin Harris
16. Born to Run: Bruce
17. Romeo and Juliet: Dire Straits
18. Ace of Spades: Motorhead

...................but the ultimate track will be

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Protein Blues

Spoke to an ex-ultra marathon/crossfit friend the other day about my inability to drop below 100kg weight and he revealed something to me i had been suspecting for a while, Im eating way too many carbs....

Breakfast: 1 piece toast and a MASSIVE bowl of oats
2nd Breakfast: Banana bread
Lunch: lots of fruit, nuts, more fruit, raisins, wasabe peas
Dinner: 2 glasses wine, big load pasta or rice with whatever, yoghurt and fruit

Today and yesterday:

Breakfast: three eggs, two pieces of toast, 2 pears
Snack: handful cashews
Lunch: Wrap with chicken, seeds, rocket, tzatziki, green peas
Dinner: spaghetti marinara light on spag massive amount of seafood (still 2 glasses wine), yoghurt & fruit

Problem is...Im still bloody starving even 30mins after i finished dinner....more bloody eggs anyone ? Might just sneak in a tiny bit of porridge?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Im Ready

Proud of myself this week as i clocked up the most K's since I started 18 months ago and hit my lowest weight of 101 kg (down from 119 at my fatbastardest)....

Sunday: 20.5 kms in 1hr19mins
Tuesday: 7kms hilly run in 35mins
Wednesday: 10kms hilly in 53mins
Friday: 7kms hills only
Plus Saturday: 2kms swim
Monday:upper body gym
Friday: Upper body gym

The great thing niggles and Blackmore's Half a week away...feeling strong and ready to go!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Is There Such a Thing as a Natural Runner ?

Have you ever had the experience of running with a group. slogging your guts out for every second of improvement, then someone new comes along and chews thru his/her own time like the clappers each week, smashing his/her pb by 20seconds/km every run ?

Gee whiz, this week I marked one year since joining the Westleigh Warriors and ran a loop I ran a year ago.....Im about 50 secs per km faster which Im extremely pleased about but watched a newer runner enter into a whole new dimension with a run of 45mins over 10kms.........a time that Im pretty confident is completely out of my league.........Im not writing this because Im worried about it, in fact Im really enjoying running at my pace at the moment, running comfortably and not stressing about times..Im just wondering what accounts for this kind of tremendous improvement....? Ever had this experience?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

2 Weeks Left to Blackmore's Half Marathon!

This morning marked the end of the long runs in our prep for the Blackmoore's Sydney Half Marathon, Ive been running 40-45 kms a week for 6 weeks or so and have lost 2kg.....the last two 20km runs have brought me to a 2hour and 2 hour 1 minute half pace which puts me at about the same speed as during the prep for the May Sydney Half.....not sure if our plan to go under 2 hours is really possible given my race speeds are usually abit slower than training but Im feeling pretty content either way....

Ive been gradually coming to a realization over the past few weeks that will power and effort are really not the way to run and weight are...yes, I know...obvious right...but its quite a relief and ive been really enjoying my runs more than ever......anyway......not long to go and then the next challenge will have to be the full Marathon

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Run Within Yourself ?

“Do not compare yourself to others. Run within yourself and for yourself first."

I found this quote on a Facebook running page and its probably the best quote ive seen about running, one that really captures the attitude I am trying to develop at the moment.

Tonite's run was a perfect case in point. We are doing an 11km training run, lots of hills..usually when we run less than 20 or 15kms I pace myself based on other runners in the group...for the last couple of runs, however, I have been really trying to listen to my own body instead, gauging how much fuel I have left, pulling back if Im going too hard, speeding up when I have extra left.....sounds simple I know but after 18 months Im still learning to trust my own body and am only just learning that flogging yourself really isn't the way to approach things...

The verdict tonite...11kms in 57.5..a pace of 5.2 which has to be close to my record and felt so much better