Monday, September 4, 2017

Seizing moments

Sometimes simple words strike hardest.
During a fb chat my friend said to me "Everyone in your life is busy. If you don't make time for you - no one else will"

Damn she was right .

My biggest excuse in my 12wbt preseason was about everyone else. My daughter had dancing, hubby has to train. There is no time for me.

So now I'm being selfish . Claiming the space.

Today's victory . A 3.5k walk through allora while my daughter does art class.

The weather is magnificent and it is sooo flat!
I can't wait to come back to run it!

And it's as pretty as too!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The courage to start ... again?

Well the last few years have been a journey. I've had some amazing adventures and done some incredible things! Gold coast half marathon ... Warwick pentathrun (all five!) ... Glowworm trail half ..

But what I haven't done is lose the weight. In fact I've  gained.

And .. for a while you think you are doing ok. It's just a number right?

Well - that number is coming back to bite me. Health problems keep firing at me ... and to be honest most of them will be eased by getting that weight off. It isn't a game anymore ... this is life.

It's time to (wo)man up and get the job done.

This isn't about vanity - this is quality of life.

Hello 12wbt. Hello going back to basics. Hello giving up my caffeine overload. And hello to putting me first again.

Time to find that focus. And that courage again.

I know how sweet the rewards can be - it's time to hunt them down.

Claiming space - 12WBT chicken rice bowl

Every mother knows how easy it is to make food on the run, or eat what makes the kids happy.

But that isn't what fuels me.

Today I stopped and made space to prep lunch. Best part is it will make leftovers too!

12wbt chicken rice bowl. I LOVED this! Fresh, clean and fast prep. And it packs a flavour punch too!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Gold Coast Half Marathon - race wrap up

How hard is it to write a race report - for an event that seems to have occupied my thoughts for over a year ...?

Apologies in advance. This one will be long.

My half marathon journey started a full year ago.  One year ago I was following my friend Sonja and her journey to her first half marathon at Gold Coast. And that day - as she finished - I decided I was going to run again. It wasn't so much knowing she ran it - and how epically she did. It was seeing the work that had gone in. The sacrifice and commitment she had made, and how running was so much a part of her life. And THAT is what I wanted. And so I made a promise I would run again. And secretly, I promised I would run that half in 2015.

So plans were quietly made, and supporters were gathered. I know the people in my life who truly "get"running, and who understand the journey - and they were the people who knew. And babysteps were taken - that led to this day.

In the few days before Gold Coast I was a basket case. Every bit of "what if"that my mind could think of was gone through. It wasn't until my final training run - that I felt I could do this. I ran and I felt strong. I ran and I went through every step of my journey in my head. I ran and realised what an epic journey the training had been. And at the end of that run - I was ready for race day.

Our day began crazy early. Like stupid o'clock. 4am wakeup, dress and breakfast. And then I met these two beautiful girls in the lobby of our hotel.

How amazing was I to have these two ladies to run with? Rell on the left is my running coach, supporter and cheer leader. She wrote the plan that got me to my half and supported me in daily text messages. Love her dearly and so grateful she came to run with me all the way from country Victoria! Ness on the right just adores running! Her smile is infectious and she radiated joy the whole day. Beautiful lady that gave me peace on race morning!

Initial plan was to walk from our hotel and catch the light rail to the start ... but the shuttle bus pulled up at the door just as we hit the street! Perfect! And can I just say runners are awesome - the second we walked on the very full bus several men stood up and gave us their seats. Chivalry is not dead!
Next step was a pre race photo with the five30runners! One of my favourite parts of the day was allt he cries of Go five30! on the course and all the high fives! Truly got me home! Love the power of red!
My first 10 k was fast. Some pbs in there. I ran with the crowd and the atmosphere and absolutely soaked it in.
Turnaround tho was hard and that was when the mental race began.
The training had been done though and I ran every step.
And when the finish line opened up before me it was all I could focus on.

I actually thought it would be more emotional - finishing my first half. But instead of tears ... it just felt complete. Big huge goal accomplished.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Race Report: Twilight running series

Twilight Running Series! Now THIS is a fun run I won't forget!

Twilight Run at St Lucia has been a run I've had my eyes set on in the lead up to Gold Coast Half. Really trying to get that balance between solid training, and race experience going.

It was a good solid lead up. The plan by #coachrell had been excellent at keeping me focussed, and despite needing to shuffle it a lot - I had stuck to it solidly. I had come to accept a lot of slow runs - I just wasn't getting the speed increases I wanted and after several 10k runs in the 1hr20 vincinity I had set my eyes on a dream goal of 1hr 15 for twilight.

The week before race week my legs felt tired. Rell kept telling me the plan would give me speedy legs Sunday ... can't say I was too convinced but what do you do! Can't force speed from a tortoise!

Race day was set for 4pm for Miss E (running the 5k) and 5pm for me. Earlier rains had made the day hot and humid. It was sticky and awful. I was NOT looking forward to the run.

What I did enjoy was the social. Catching up with our five30runners was fantastic! Being with friends gives a new energy to fun runs I never had when I first started running. I love how we can share the excitment before had ... and then go on and run our own races at the start.

E and I had plenty of time to check things out first ... and then she was the first to start!

Big thanks to local parkrunner Sandi who took E to the 5k start line and made sure she didn't get squashed! I love how my running family looks after my girl!

I was a bit worried about how she would perform. It was SO hot out there. But she was off - and let's face it - she is too fast for me - nothing I can do about it once she is gone!

And then - we saw her coming down the straight. She was running easy - and it made me laugh when my friend told me she could see her - she was the one checking her garmin!

She told me afterwards she loved it. Her favourite thing was the people singing at the water station! Funny thing is - it was mine too. She finished in 25:49. 13th in her age category (which was under 14! She is 9!)

Then it was our turn. It was so hard to get your head into race mode at that time of the day. It just felt like a big social catch up!

And how good was it to go to the start line with friends! five30runners family !

This is our last picture dry. At the start line. Seconds before the rains came in.

And when I say rain I mean pouring downpour.

 To start with it was awesome. The heat broke and the rain was gentle. And then it got harder. And harder. And we realised we were going to get VERY wet. Soaked before the start gun went. Absolutely drenched. So what was there to do - but run?

The first k was awesome. I was running strong. It felt good. My body which had been niggling for days was behaving and I was making very good pace. I did pretty well at not getting too caught up in the crowd. Although it was a fast pace km for me - it was one I knew I could do and wasn't ridiculously speedy. It was more about finding legs in the rain (and funnily enough - me trying to keep my feet dry! Really! What a joke!)

The first couple of k's of the race were just run. Running in the rain. Avoiding puddles. And embracing the atmosphere. The water stops were incredible and really added to the fun. (not that I stopped for water - there was enough falling on my head!) There were a couple of little hills but they felt strong. All those bloody hills in Warwick are paying off I think. It would have been a very pretty route (if you could see past the rain!) but really - the weather meant scenic was not happening that day.

Km 3 was one of my slower splits. The reason was really that I kept getting caught behind groups of runners and prams. It took a little bit to get past them and get my momentum. I do think that slower k helped me still have energy later in the race.

By now - after crossing the main bridge - the rain was bucketing. Water on the path/road became a real hazard. There were rain made waterfalls in several places. Water was often above my ankles for long stretched and at times mid shin. There was no way to avoid it - some puddles were 5m long. You just had to embrace it.

Getting close to the turnaround point was awesome. Seeing my friends and getting to shout encouragement was great! And I got to high 5 Sonja which was awesome! It did of course leave me wondering HOW MUCH FURTHER to turnaround!

At 5k there was a timing mat and I reckon I hit it very close to 35/36min. It made me realise how strong I was running. It was just past the turnaround point I heard the first rumours that the race was cancelled and that there was a bigger storm coming. Not the news you wanted to hear - especially after hearing a fair bit of thunder on the course. A few people slowed to a walk then. I figured that I could NOT get any wetter, and quite frankly there was no other way home so I better keep going and try to keep it strong. I did NOT want to be stuck out there. So back it was. Through the puddles. Or lakes. Creeks? On we went. I heard someone saying "I better still get a medal". All I could think was "I better still get my hot cross bun!" as these were promised in the recovery area.

I really can't believe how strong I kept going. Around 8k I realised I had a hope of smashing my 1:15:00 and that really kept me going. That and the thought of getting my family and friends out of the storm!

Towards the end it was dark. And wet. And slippery. And then I heard the best sound ever. The first water stop (which had men playing "drums" on plastic bins as we ran past) were drumming in the distance. And singing in beautiful harmonies. It was magic. They sang us past and it brought tears to my eyes.  They sang and smiled and cheered us home.

I LOVE the names on the bibs too - Go KATHARINE. You can do it - I heard my name over and over. The volunteers rocked.! With about 500m to go - I could hear the crowds cheering and see the lights. I pushed home as hard as I could I wanted done.

And then I saw the finish line. And Sonja and Linda right there under it waiting for me!

Best ever! Done in 1:11:37. Goal smashed!

Then the funniest bit of the night. Sonja's husband PP trying to gather us up - like herding kittens he said. The whole stadium was being evacuated and he wanted us out of there! Hot cross buns were collected, and he got us away to an underground carpark where our family and friends were waiting.

Most crazy fun run ever done.

(almost as crazy - I ended up piggybacking a stranger back to the car. She was barefoot in a prickle patch. Guess that post race adrenalin was still pumping.)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Starting the year right! Resolution Run!

Before we start let me tell you a secret. I almost didn't do this run.

I had been struggling on my long runs in the heat and I didn't think I had it in me.

A couple of weeks before hand, my friend Sonja and I went running and cracked out a very nice 10k. After a brief walk she suggested we shuffle the rest of the way home. 1k later she said - "see there's your 11k - you've got this". I signed up that night.

Other funny thing - I thought I booked a different hotel to the one I did. So what should have been a nice 1k walk to the start was actually closer to 3. Seems it didn't matter. It was funny walking to a fun run tho and seeing people heading home - still suffering from the night before though!

I got there nice and early - I was worried about being late! It was humid and hot before we started. Ridiculous for that time of day. I was really dreading it - it was going to be a hot hard run. Dream time was 1 hr 20 ... and that would be pushing it!

It was great to catch up with Kathleen - a five30runner from Sydney who had come up for the event. She had done the event last year - and gave me a few tips before we started

It was also awesome to catch up with Sonja and my Operation Move buddies before the run.
Sonja stayed with me at the start while we waited to go ... even though she is much faster than me. Chatting to a friend did a LOT to calm my nerves. In fact - we didn't even hear the start and got a shock when the crowds started moving!

Just as we started we were given the best gift ever!

The heavens opened and it rained. It was heavy enough to get wet - but not to feel drowned and it was so lovely and cooling. Completely changed my run for the better!

The run felt strong. I really love being part of fun runs .. running alone but together with hundreds of others. At one stage one of Paul's running buddies from Brisbane found me and ran along  - it was good. Well - it felt good apart from the hill back to the start for lap two ... I walked that bit!

The second lap had the funniest piece of motivation ever! As we were running through the gardens again a man was there practicing yoga. He was in a strong headstand and he said as I passed "running is like the practice of yoga.  You need to take it one step at a time". Yes guru!

So that is what I did. 

I had the BEST fun running. I realised as I was going that my pace was strong. I was going to smash 1:20.

And I did. 1:15:50 for 11.5 k! Ecstatic!

Even better was having my friend waiting at the finish line for me!! Running with friends is amazing. Running with friends who believe in you ... that's the best!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The one in which I finally blog! Twilight Bay Fun Run

Oh boy has it been a long time between blogs.

I think because this time ... I truly am doing this for me. I'm accountable to me. And the biggest reward I can get ... is the quiet knowing in myself that I am sticking to my word and following the plan.

But this I have to share.

I've learnt to run again.

It's not always pretty. I'm definately not fast. But I am loving it. When I am on the road I feel like me again.

Way back before I started my baby 1 minute running intervals I signed up for a fun run - even though I couldn't run.

Why? Well one - because my friend Sonja ran her first half at Gold Coast - and through rejoicing with her I realised how much I missed it!

And two - because I knew without a deadline ... I just would flounder again.

So I signed up for the Twilight Bay Fun Run. And with the support of the Operation Move girls I got going. Baby steps. But moving towards the goal.

When I signed up my goal was to run most of the way. At least 3k. And come in under 45 min.

But by race day - 12 (ish) weeks later - I knew I totally had this one.

How did I know this? Because for once I had found a plan. Stuck with it. Done the hard yards. Before the race had started I had a pretty good idea of how i

For me - one of the most exciting things - was I was sharing this day with my daughter and my friend. My girl has become an awesome runner. She is determined and focused and she LOVES it. What more could I want?

We got there early - we were organised. The sun was shining and life was good!

It was funny. When I entered this race I wanted to tell no one. And ALL these people I knew entered too! It drove me bonkers! But ... by the time the day came I was glad to have my sole sisters with me. They were my best encouragement and I think they were truly joyful to see me out there again!

And by the time we started I just wanted to run. I wanted to do it - and prove to myself that I could.

Now - pre twilight  not everything was smooth. I've been working through injuries (plantar fasciitis and shin splints!) and even a few days before was having issues. In fact I ended up running in my besties shoes! It was an interesting week.

And then we started. And it was fun.
I had decided to run without music. And I'm glad I did. The sound of feet hitting pavement was almost meditative. It calmed me and got me in a rhythm. It pushed me forward against a headwind and got me a very nice first split. Sub 7min km! My fastest yet!

I maintained a similar pace for the second 5k, and then the headwind truly hit in. It was hard. But I was determined I wasn't stopping.

Around the 3k mark my friend's husband and their boys were sitting on the sidelines with their motivational posters - (worst parade ever!). It was the boost I needed. PP had told his wife he was sitting there cause that would be where we needed him and he was right. Just before an uphill session and the wind hitting us hard.

The run to the turnaround point took FOREVER. I really should check out the course maps better.I kept expecting to see it any moment ... and I was always wrong.

Normally a turnaround point is a joyous thing. The last 2ish km's home should have been a breeze. Except ... for the breeze ... or the wind that had turned into something to combat.

Passing PP and the boys again - PP got up and gave me a high 5. Best Ever. To all the sideline encouragers in any event - you are awesome!
And then - it was time to slog it home. I kept trying to pick up the pace - but that wasn't going to happen. I tried popping a song on to see if it would help get me home (it was MEANT to be Footloose!) but instead ... a colour meditation track came up on my phone! Whoops! That wasn't going to work - so music went off again.

I swear the course measured long (by my garmin) and those last 100m were hard. But there is nothing as sweet as a finish line. Well except for a finish line with your friends waiting at it to rejoice with you. I truly didn't expect to see them there . They had a half about to start. And they waited for me. I hope they know how much that meant.

My girl of course finished way before me. She is awesome. I am so proud of her - as she ran most of it on her own (her dad helped her get started and made sure she was right to go on) Sub 26min. Rockstar

And me? I finished in a net time of 36:45, A big pb. My previous 5k pb was 38min.

Very very happy!

I have lots of new goals. Big goals. Like running Gold Coast again. And maybe - just maybe tackling the half.
And a LOT of goals that lead up to that one big goal. But I have a plan - and faith that it could happen.

It was a joy to run again. I think it was an even BIGGER joy to hang around and cheer my friends on as they ran their half marathon! THEY ROCKED IT. I honestly think that was more fun than running it.

So there you go. First run report post baby. As my friend told me. Back in the game baby.