Sunday, 19 February 2017

Wellington Round the Bays, 10km

Finally today, I ran my first 10km since my injury in April last year (10 months ago!) and it was awesome!

Wellington Round the Bays is not an event I had considered before, mainly because of the distance from home, but as I was asked to be an ambassador for the #StepItUpNZ campaign which came with two free entries to the event, it was an easy decision!  (Who doesn't love a freebie?!).

I trained carefully for this event - being aware that overtraining could set me back, I stuck to two or three runs a week, with cross training, and only did two longer runs of 8km and 9km each.  

Hubby would be my "plus one" for the event, and it would be our first fun run together. I kept telling him he could go on his own, (he is much faster than me!) but he insisted on running it with me (how sweet!).

The obligatory flat runner post for instagram!

All week the forecast had been for rain or showers.  I definitely avoid running in the rain whenever I can, so I wasn't sure how I'd cope with a 10km in the rain.  Thankfully, the conditions were overcast and still (no wind in Wellington?), the harbour was just beautiful and flat.

On our walk from the car to the start line

After the warm-up and race briefing, we were off!  I usually run with music, so it was kind of strange only hearing the huffing and puffing and foot slapping of the other runners around me.  

Hubby was wearing the Garmin, so I couldn't see what pace we were doing.  It was kind of refreshing to just run by effort rather than numbers. He just kept updating me after every kilometre with "you're doing well".  I didn't really know what that meant, but he knew I wanted to go under 60 minutes so I assumed we were at least going to meet that.

The crowd thinned a little around the 5km mark as we passed people (and other people passed us too!).  It was at this point I muttered the words "I'm feeling it!" but hubby either didn't hear it, or ignored it (actually a good move on his part!).

The final 3.5km of the race was a small out and back section, where you got to see the half marathoners and the 10km leaders on their way back in (some seriously fast guys and girls!).  I was so relieved to see the turn around marker that I think I said "yay!" out loud.

With one kilometre to go, my husband asked "How much have you got left"  meaning: "Start running hard now!"  I picked up the pace a little but it wasn't until about 200m to go when I could see the finish line that I gave it my absolute all.  

I approached the line telling myself not to grimace, (because race photos!) but I'm pretty sure I was grimacing!  I crossed the line with nothing left in the tank, and a new PB of 56:26!

Official results. Pretty stoked to be in the front half of the field for once!

After the race. Still smiling!

After the race I got to catch up with some old friends and meet a lot of runners from the Instagram runners commmunity.  So awesome to meet these people in real life!

Hubby and I bought a medal each ($5! Why wouldn't you?).  Nice one, Cigna.

Funky medal for the non half-marathoners

Overall it was a well run event, I'd love to go back next year!

So what's next?  I'm signed up for the Greatest Virtual Run virtual run in April (I'll do the 10km) and I'm keen to pop down to Great Forest Events at Waitarere Beach for the 10km there (8th April).  

As for the rest of the year, who knows? I'll keep building my running base and see what happens from there.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

My first 5km 'race'

Months ago I would have scoffed at the idea of entering a 5km event, when this distance was pretty much an 'everyday, easy' distance.  However, months off from running certainly gives you a bit of perspective, and I was excited to enter the 5km portion of the Feilding marathon event this past weekend.  

My friend Sonia was running her 7th half marathon there so it was a good excuse to catch up with her and support her too!

Me and Sonia a little while before she started her race

I'd only just gotten up to the 5 kilometre distance, so the plan was to just have fun and finish with a smile.  I was wary of starting out too fast and possibly injuring myself, so I had a pacing plan for the day:  Start off at 6 min for the first kilometre, then try and run each subsequent kilometre 10 seconds faster.

It was a pretty small field for the 5km.  The gun went off, and so did all the wee kids and teenagers.  I settled into a nice rhythm near the rear, across the grass (about 100m) then up the short sharp hill for the first long straight.  It was a fairly mean headwind, with a little drizzle, but altogether not too bad.  A couple of road crossings, a few sweeping corners with nasty camber, then I was at the turn around point already!  

The second half was awesome, with a net downhill (gradual) and tailwind.  I started picking off runners as I went, which is always fun.  Just another reason to plan negative splits for a 'race'!  I had the watch set to show 'average pace' as a feedback to see how I was going. It was dropping gradually as I ran which was encouraging.

Finishing on the grass was hard work but I tried to put a bit of a sprint on to finish strong.  28:11 on my watch and I was thrilled.  Faster than I was expecting and a new record for Terry's watch:

Hubby's watch is awesome! He hasn't been able to use it yet, so I have the records on it!

I connected the watch data to my phone to look at my splits, and was extremely happy to see that I'd achieved what I'd set out to do:

Nailed it!

A quick drink and photo at the finish, then it was time to go and meet my family at McDonalds for a coffee and something to eat.  Hubby and the big boys went off to the Steam Rail open day, and I took Mr 2 back to the park to watch Sonia finish her race.  So proud to see her finish strong, 7 half marathons is pretty amazing!

All in all, it was a great day out, and I was on a bit of a high for the rest of the day afterwards.  Can't wait to work torwards the next event, probably a 10km.

So excited to be back!

Monday, 24 October 2016

I'm a runner again!

I'm back to running again.  Only once or twice a week; but I'm running again.

The physio gave me the all clear to begin again, at the end of August, with the following guidelines:
- Easy running
- on grass/dirt whereever possible
- slow build - about 10% increase per week

I took these instructions very seriously, starting with a 5 minute run on 31 of August.  It felt so weird! So incredibly jarring and uncomfortable after months of very low impact fitness training.  I could have easily kept going at the 5 minute mark - thankful to have maintained some fitness over the injury period! - but I was a good girl and stopped.

My first run was along the top of this stopbank and back. Such a beautiful evening!

The next few days I felt really sore, around the front of my hips and groin.  However it wasn't the same pain that I'd felt when I first had the bone bruise.  It felt much more like a muscular pain, which I figured was probably because running is NOT the same as a cross trainer where the movement is always in exactly the same plane of motion.  I gave myself a good few days for everything to settle down again then went for another run.  Afterwards my muscles were sore again but not NEARLY as sore as the first time - very encouraging.

The next few runs I spent doing laps around a school field.  Boring, but at least I knew I could run on the grass.  It was such a milestone reaching 10 minutes!

I'm not sure my gifting is in running selfies!

We went to New Plymouth for a little holiday in early October and whilst there I managed to get out for a couple of beautiful runs - one 15 minute run around a walking path with my hubby, and a 3km run along a stream on my own. Just beautiful!

#runhappy in New Plymouth

One of my favourite runs. It was so peaceful and quiet along this stream. Good for the soul.

It's now 25th of October, and yesterday I finally reached that next milestone of 30 minutes continuous running.  I ran in my favourite place, along the river, taking the off-road options wherever possible, as I'm still trying to stay off the hard concrete/asphalt as much as I can.

Yesterday's run along the river.   I should have kept going to 5km!

My next goal is 5km, (which perhaps I should have done yesterday as I was so close!). There's a local event in two weeks time that I'm thinking about entering.  At the height of my running I would have scoffed at paying money to enter a 5k event!! But perspective is everything isn't it.  

I still plan to stay with the gym for at least the next wee while - I'll keep cross training with the bike and/or the cross trainer, and aim to run only twice a week for now.  But I'm very happy with how everything is feeling!  

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Runner not Running

It's probably time for an update on where I'm at. A lot has happened since I posted last.  Not a lot of running though. It's been nearly four weeks since my last run. 

Six days after the half marathon I started experiencing pain both on the outside of my hip, and on the inside (let's all it the groin crease). The pains were not constant but certain movements would set off either side, with sudden stabbing pains that often times had me either pause in my movement, gasp, or even yell. After a long weekend out of town, hobbling around like an old lady and popping pain relief like nobody's business, I made an appointment to see my sports medicine specialist (the same one I'd been seeing for my numb foot). 

Upon examination, he performed a hip quadrant test on both sides and we were both surprised by my reaction when he twisted my left hip inwards (I nearly leapt off the table!). I was sent off for an X-Ray to see if there was anything visible there causing the pain. 

A couple of days later, I was met with the words 'cam deformity' (this is basically a spur or lump on the ball of the ball-and-socket hip joint.  It can mean that there can be inpingement or pinching if it can't move freely) and 'arthritis'. The radiographer reported on both of these but the specialist wasn't convinced they were significant on the films. The next thing to worry about though was any damage to the hip joint cartilage wise. So I was referred for an MRI. 

I was pretty freaked out at this point. I mean, I love running. I never expected to be deformed!! I guess it's always been this way? Why hasn't it been a problem until now? Let alone the actual MRI procedure. I've only ever seen this in movies. It looked a bit claustrophobic and scary. 

Less than a week later I was lying on a gurney being slowly inserted into a tunnel. I'm really thankful how quickly I got an appointment. I'm thankful for a great specialist and a great healthcare system!

The MRI was very noisy, even with earmuffs on. I entertained myself by listening to the noises as a rhythm or even as words. I spent time praying for or thinking of others. It was a great trick because had I been focusing on myself, the anxiety would have taken hold. 

Half an hour passed quickly, check out my tired but happy face afterward. We had the rest of the weekend child free (thanks mum and dad!) which was totally awesome, we really needed it. 

My MRI was at 7am on a Saturday.  There's no filter that can disguise tired eyes and messy hair!

The following week I was met with "the good news is, there's no arthritis and no labral tears present" (yay!!) "but there's bruising on your bone". 

It's somewhat puzzling as this is usually an impact injury (like a bruise to the skin) but I simply cannot think of any injury that may have caused this. 

So, obviously running is out for a bit, while it heals. I've no idea how long this will take. I'm allowed to exercise with pain as my guide, which is good. Thankfully I'm not required to be on crutches or anything as there's no way you could do that as a mum of three!

I've joined up with one of the local gyms. Great timing as they had a no admin fee and 2 week free special running the day I popped in.  I've so far tried out the stationary bike (no good, so sore the next day), cross trainer and treadmill for walking. There's yoga and boxing classes that I'll try out too, for something different. And of course I'll swim once or twice a week as well. 

I'm getting better at being kind to myself, letting a lot of fitness go, resting when I'm in pain, trying not to worry about the future. The exercise aspect for me is mostly to give me an outlet for my stress and anxiety now. It's true for me at least - physical activity really helps with mental health. 

I should have more of an idea next week when I see my physio as to how long things may take to heal. In my head I'm thinking months, because is I'd rather be over prepared for a long layoff. So I'm thinking of a quiet winter fitness wise, focusing on healing and strength. 

In the meantime, I'm seeing the positives of being a gym bunny. No worries about the weather with winter on our doorstep. No worries about running in the dark. Cool classes and different equipment to try out. And an opportunity to use all the weights equipment too!  (I had a program made for me by a Personal Trainer this week. Yeouch is all I can say on Day 3!).  Last but not least, it's an excuse to wear these cool pink tights I bought when indulging in a little retail therapy!

Because everyone knows if you don't 'gram it, it didn't happen!  (haha)

So, watch this space.  I'll update it with news and progress as time goes on.  Hopefully I'll be back to running by the time Spring hits!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

My fastest 5km!

As part of the running course I am doing, we took part in a 5km time trial at the athletics track.

We had less than a week's notice, and it was going to be 2 days after I had run the Great Forest half marathon, so I went into it not really expecting too much.  

My PB over 5km was from last year, 26:13. The fastest I had recorded a 5km this year was 27:30 (as part of an interval run, not a straight out time trial). I thought I was capable of somewhere between these two times. 

You can imagine my surprise and excitement to see under 26 minutes! 25:32 to be precise! (Note the app recorded 5.18km, so the average pace looks far more complimentary sub 5:00min/km! 

Our group was split into two - with one person running and the other person recording the number of laps run (12.5). I wanted to record it on my phone so I could look at my splits later, so I went ahead and tracked it in runtastic. (Lucky I did! My partner tried to tell me I still had two laps when I was finished!!)

I lined up with about ten others, and we all took off. There's a few really speedy runners so I watched them speed ahead.  I checked my phone after the first lap and saw I'd run a 4:40 lap - tried to slow it down a bit so I'd have something left at the end!

Half way through I wondered if I was going to make it - boredom was beginning to set in, but I knew i would be annoyed with myself if I gave up, so I just kept pushing. 

As you can see from the splits, I positive split like a champ 😂 but not too drastically. Not sure about that pace of the last 0.2km, suspect that was a GPS thing as the last section of every run I do always over reads :-)

It's quite nice running on the track. It's a great surface with a lot of grip. And it's all level, so no worries about tripping on anything (apart from the inside rail!) or watching for cars. Plus, it makes for a super cute ring map:

I lapped a few people once or twice. I got lapped by a couple of people, once or twice. Everyone gave it their all out there, which was awesome. Such a varied group of individuals, with different abilities, but everyone was so supportive and encouraging of each other. Loved it.  

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Half Marathon #2

Well, another day, another half marathon done.  Below is my race recap for yesterday's Great Forest Events half marathon, April 9 2016.


I caught a ride down with Sonia and her husband.  I hadn't been there before and I liked the idea of having someone to drive me home after a tiring run.  We arrived with 90 minutes to spare, so it was a nice relaxing time at registration, wandering around, and a few toilet breaks.

Just before 9am we were walked out to the start area.  Time for a quick selfie before it all began!  Then I headed back about 20-30 metres in the pack: a) because I didn't want to get caught up with the faster runners and b) I didn't want to get stressed out trying to keep up with Sonia (as it happened, I didn't see her the whole race!).


I started off with a grin, and quickly settled into the work. The first 10km felt great, and I was running well.  I knew it was probably a bit too fast, but my legs felt so good that I kind of went with it.

I ran without my camelbak, but I'd studied the course map and knew that the water stations were approximately 3km apart.  So I had a bliss ball around the 8km mark then grabbed a quick drink at the next aid station to wash it down.

At the 10km marker I checked my phone and I'd passed it in about 58:30.  I was feeling quite good at this point. On track for a PB!

Sadly, somewhere around the 11-12km mark, my mood started to decline and I started focusing too much on how far there was to go.  I really wanted to give up and walk, but I knew that I would be annoyed at myself if I did. So I kept plodding along.  

However in kilometre 17 of the race I gave in and had a walk break.  We'd run in some exposed areas and the sun was getting to me.  It was around this point that the conditions under foot changed back to gravel - a little slippery and a few larger rocks to avoid. Not long - about 20 seconds. Long enough to get on top of my breathing, then start running again.  I had three more of these between 17-20km, the last one was the longest at about a minute of walking. Then I knew I had to run the last kilometre and a bit to the finish.  I raced up the last rise and down towards the finishing chute - I could see Sonia waving and hear her cheering (thanks Sonia! It was awesome!) and finally I was done.  

Crossing the finish line.  Bit blurry, but the joy on my face is pretty clear.

Hubby and my youngest son travelled down to see me finish.  They were there in time but sadly he missed me! He was looking for a bright pink top (because that's what I often wear on training).  Still, when I finally tracked him down (tricky with no cell reception on site!) I gave him a big hug.

Official finishing time was 2:10:10.  So, between my A and B goals of 2:05 and 2:15 respectively (the C goal was to finish).  So I have to be happy with that, though I can't help but feel I could have done better on the day!  Still, I will chalk that up to experience - I now have 2 half marathons under my belt.

I've copied and pasted my kilometre splits below.  It's quite clear that the first 10km were much faster than the second 'half'.  Average of 5:48 for 10km which is not too far off my PB (from last year) for that distance.  So, definitely faster than I should have been going!

The major lesson I will take from this race is to really try to ease into the first half, and not get caught up in prospective finishing times too early in the race.

For the next half marathon I'm also going to 
a) run with my camelbak. I think frequent small sips is less taxing than grabbing a water cup and trying to drink it in a hurry (and feeling compelled to drink half a cup when I wouldn't normally.. just because it's there!
b) just run with my music.  I got really grossed out by hearing other people breathing behind me, LOL.  Also there were some bags with annoying knocking or jingling sounds.  (Clearly I was not in a great mood yesterday!)

Still, with all that, I ran a half marathon yesterday.  I am extremely proud of myself and the best thing is, I want to do it again!

Sonia and I showing off our race bling
Smiling and happy after a coffee, some bacon, and a chocolate milk..

Tuesday, 5 April 2016


A bit run-nerd, but here's my flat runner photo.. What I'll be wearing for the half this weekend. 

Forecast is for 19-20 deg (though it won't be this warm when we start running at 9am). Conditions should be perfect. 

My new Running bare tank (from trademe), marmot run skirt, spibelt for my bliss balls, and a cap to keep hair under control (and also because I feel naked without it!). 

Still undecided about the camelbak, I've trained with it so I am used to it, and it will save me having to pull off to water stations, but I do love the idea of getting to run without it! I'll likely decide on the day. 

As it's an off road half marathon, my new shoes will probably get all mucky but I think this will be better than the lesser grip and cushi-ness of my old shoes.. I'll take both with me in the car in case I change my mind though.