Tag Archives: Running

Some podcasts to run to…

I’ve been running with podcasts lately. It’s an interesting change to having the crazy disco and dub step pumping in your ear. Sometimes it can leave you running and nodding, or laughing out loud as you turn a corner in the conversation. I do notice that I tend to run a bit slower with a podcast (I think – that could just be correlation not causation). And you can’t listen to a podcast when you have the intervals lady telling you to “sprint…now…GO!” Or actively ticking off every KM. So podcast listening helps me be a bit less focused on the minute-by-minute and more on the journey.

So what am I listening to, and why?

Ultrarunner Podcast
No, I’m not an Ultrarunner. But it does intrigue me.
These are around an hour, and always include an interview with a prominent ultra runner.

Get the podcast – but don’t linger on the website to check out the “black toenail” gallery.

Run run live
This is kind of interesting. Chris Russell is a marathoner, writer, and a bit of a thinker. He talks about running from different angles – the experience, the strategies, the shoes and the lifetime goals.

Also – zombies.

If you’re in the mood to learn and reflect, why not enjoy the writerly qualities of this podcast?

The runners roundtable
I’ve listening to one of these where they tackle the controversial minimalist/maximalist shoe question. Kind of hilarious, although it was hard to keep the participants straight once the discussion got heated.

Try it here.

Another Mother Runner

I can’t give enough love for this podcast. Two ladies chatting about running, mothering, and all of the business that goes with it. Its conversational, not confrontational, often poignant, often funny. This one speaks to a place I am in my life right now. These ladies also kick monster butt (IRON MAN, anyone?) – but also have plenty of room to celebrate those of us who think a run around the block is a biiiiig deal.

Try the podcast, stay for the community.

Happy listening folks!

Early morning run

Thursday morning saw me waking up before 5am for some reason. I didn’t think – I just went. Dawn started to break, around 3.5km into my run. I took out my phone to snap a photo and it promptly died. But here is a little sketch.

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Suddenly I didn’t have my podcast. I didn’t have a friendly voice my my ear checking off the KMs, and I don’t know exactly how far I ran – I think it was between 8 and 10km. Fairly slow, with tired legs and a light cough tickling my throat. I realized just how un-ready I am for the Glow Worm half in 2 weeks time. C’est la vie!

Yarrrrrgh! Recovery is SO HARD

Recovering from a half marathon plus being generally stressed out at work means I haven’t run much over the previous week. I’ve been fantasising all week long about spending an evening with a Valium and a bucket of ice cream.

Yesterday I took took it easy – staying at home with the kids to play Dr Who versus the dinosaurs. But my mood and stress kept getting the better of me. It took some very focused stretching and breathing to banish those demons for even a few moments.

Idyllic moments despite renovation blues

Idyllic moments despite renovation blues

Today at work, I felt a fair bit better. I had even arranged a lunchtime massage coz my massage guy is going overseas for a month! He tenderised my quads and glutes enough to last till he gets back. Ouch!

But I have really been struggling with the emotional eating lately. I’m not even hungry. I just WANT FOOOOOOOOOD.

I even had a muffin for afternoon snack today.

FOOOOOOOOOD.

Time to go to the fridge …

…for a look at my AMR magnet…

…”DON’T THINK JUST GO”.

SMH Half – Race Report

On Sunday I ran the SMH Half Marathon. I do like a half marathon. I really do! I had a number of challenges before, during and after the race. As always, there were some happy moments and lessons learned too.

Challenge! Waking up was a challenge. I got myself to bed early, and then I woke up at 12:30, 3:30 and finally 5am. Each time thinking “ok, gotta get up and get to the train!”. I did make it to the train with plenty of time to spare, feeling pretty awesome since I ran there.

Lesson Learned! I travelled very light – just a running bumbag and what I wore during the race. This was shorts, running sleeves, short sleeve tshirt and a small drink bottle. Also on board – keys, phone, headphones, emergency decorum, Opal card, race nutrition and breakfast (aka homemade protein balls). This worked really, really well for me. No bag drop to worry about.

Happy moment! This run was a bit interesting for a few reasons. Its a bit of a smaller, runners’ run than other Sydney events like the City2Surf. I met a couple of cool runners at the start line – I imposed on their conversation after I heard one of them mentioning Glow Worm, and we chatted about various running events around the place.

Spotted! Any race attracts awesome people. This one had a few.

  • There was the power-walking granny who was dressed head-to-to in black lycra and holding…a banana.
  • A victorian gentleman athlete – complete with waxed moustache and straw boater hat.
  • A lone wheelchair chicky wearing a t-shirt inviting “push with me”. I passed her going up a hill, and then was almost run over by her zooming down the other side. She easily wins my “coolest half marathoner ever” trophy.

Urg moment! The SMH Half race course is like a winding snake. I think I was at about the 4 or 5km mark when I started applauding the leader running in the opposite direction. At this point, the leader was 46 minutes into his race and would be running for another 17 before winning the whole thing in only 63 minutes. My last 10km was 62 minutes!! So the point is that I saw the “head” of the snake early in my race. Since I was at the snake’s bum, from then every corner felt like it must be the one where we turn around and go home. But of course it wasn’t. At the very end when my hip flexors had gone on strike, the race detours past the finish line not once, but TWICE. Its cruel.

Happy moment! I managed to bump into a friend from work who was also running the half. Out of 12000 runners, its kinda cool that our paths crossed.

Creepy moment! Feeling social, I spotted a woman who am am SURE I recognised and decided to introduce myself. “Hi don’t I recognise you from xxx run?” No, and no to the 4 other places I felt I might have seen her. Sorry lady – have a good race!

Lesson Learned! This was the first race I used race nutrition. I bought a bunch of GU gels at the race expo 2 days before (and slurped one for a snack to test out it wasn’t going to make me sick). It worked pretty well. They are light to carry and did pick me up at the right times. A GU is no substitute for breakfast though.

 

Despite being under-trained and slightly injured, I had a great time out there. I do love a half marathon. There is an easy atmosphere about it. Runners know its going to be tough. They know they have to take it slow from the start and that finishing is winning. There is a sense of community about it that is different from other races. Unlike the City2Surf, we don’t have Sydney turn out en masse to cheer us on, but we still get out there at 7am to run 21km without the accolades. Its the love of running. The love of distance. The love of pushing just a bit further and just a bit longer.

…and the feeling that you deserve a chocolate laksa afterward.

Quick update

1. Squee! Just as my AMR t-shirts arrive, they announce a new challenge! Thirteen point FUN gets you ready for a half marathon. I’m pretty interested in signing up to fill the training plain void in my life right now. 

2. I just bought some pics from Kamay – and updated the post about it

3. The SMH Half Marathon is REALLY CLOSE, but I am feeling very un-ready. Is that a word? I am kind of viewing it as a training run for the Glow Worm. Is that wrong? 

Kamay Botany Bay

Oh Kurnell. What a beautiful spot for a morning run.

The Big Run folk are hitting their stride in terms of organising the STS events. Kamay Botany Bay / Kurnell this morning had great parking and a very efficient start wave progression. The 10k and 7k runners were sent off within a timely 2 minute window.

As usual for me, the first couple of K were pretty unhappy. My friend John caught up with me and told me the joke about 2 pigs in a warm, sunny field – they were bakin’! He also told me that my sis was close behind, so I decided to wait for her once I hit the cliff-top portion of the run. I had earlier promised I wouldn’t let her run off! What a gorgeous view, looking out over foamy ocean breaking up against the sandy cliffs. I did a little yoga and obliged a couple of people who wanted a photo of themselves enjoying the majesty.

Source: Sydney Trail Series

There was a reason sis wanted a guide on the clifftops

I enjoyed this course. It was absolutely beautiful. The water views were reward enough for getting out there first thing to run through the bush. Although, just as we headed inland, the course confronts you with a hill made entirely of sand. Ok, its not totally sand – just the narrow trail is sand. Urgh. WHERE DID MY SPECTACULAR VIEWS GO? WHO PUT ALL THIS SAND AT THE EDGE OF THE WATER? Seriously though, Sis overheard someone complaining that they didn’t realise there would be sand.

The sandy climb was interesting. I had to keep jumping out of the way of people returning from the turnaround point. So I knew that it wouldn’t last forever. On the other hand, there was no one in front of me, no one behind, only people going the other way. I did become a bit paranoid that I had gone the wrong way around the loop! It turns out not. Near the top, a fellow calls out “doing well – 300m to the turnaround”, and sure enough – I was soon greeted by a sign with a U-shaped arrow on it.

Now it was time to hurtle DOWN those sandy hills! At one point, I found myself in a leafy tunnel, leaping down a soft-sand corridor on my own private roller coaster, gliding effortlessly toward a field of grass that shimmered with many colours in the sun.

I decided I would finish strong. The MC for the say made a comment that my running strong to finish was “just what you want to see, good for the sport”. Hell yeah.  He might have been talking about the free bacon sarnies, but I’m taking the compliment anyway!

I got some fruit, asked Sis to buy me a coffee from the Pablo & Rusty van (pour over – very fresh ad delish), and we chatted while stretching. I even practised by yoga headstand with great comedic effect!

The photographers were hiding everywhere on the course – I am looking forward to some really nice photos when they appear on Geosnapshot.

Being a trail run, I thought it would be a good time to test out my new running backpack. Despite not really having anything essential to carry in it, I used it to hold my jumper, water, chapstick and phone. It was super comfortable. I am winning at backpacks!

Verdict: Another great morning!

Update: I downloaded some pics of myself from Geosnapshot.com – very happy!

Some impulse purchases and zen night running

In my search for mandatory running gear, I decided to treat myself to some arm warmers. I’ve wanted these for ages, and finally took the plunge. I wanted to get some funky coloured ones, but after spotting this very warm and functional offering from Skirt Sports, I went with basic black (with a built in mitten!)

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In the picture they look sturdy, sleek and warm.

In real life, they are sturdy, sleek and warm, with a great fit, comfortable silicon grippers AND AN IPHONE POCKET ON ONE ARM. Wow.

I took them out for a test run this evening. Wearing long pants, tshirt and the arm warmers, I felt more than dressed. The arms stayed very toasty and warm for my entire run. The iPhone pocket was slightly uncomfortable until I rotated it toward the back by about 1 degree, and then it was instantly unnoticeable.

Verdict: Winning at warm arms

Also in pursuit of my mandatory running kit, I purchased a waterproof jacket and a running backpack. I went to an outdoors store after work on Wednesday. I was in a bit of a state – very tired, maybe a bit stressed, but determined to at least feel some jackets. I felt some jackets, didn’t love any of them, and stumbled off to look at backpacks when I was picked up by Yuri, the lovely salesperson. He is a soft-Spoken, non-judgey trail running person. He took me in hand and showed me an Osprey backpack and I kind of fell in love. It’s a 9L capacity in a really pretty green. It can hold a water bladder if I decide I want that at some point. It has lovely supportive hip panels with pockets for food and things, lots of adjustable straps, a whistle, a toggle to lock on your bike helmet and not one but TWO places to hang your walking poles. Note: I don’t use walking poles. Best of all, it is sized, so I got one that fits very nicely on my back and doesn’t rub at all. You can’t even feel it’s on.

Maybe I was over-tired, maybe I was falling in love with soft-spoken Yuri and his amazing knowledge of backpacks, but when he showed me the jackets, it didn’t take long for me to choose one. At first I was repelled by the jackets, but after a while I realized that none of them would make me “happy” in terms of look or feel. All of them made me look somewhat cartoonish, and all of them made me feel like a duck. Quack.

I usually go for slim, tailored (or at least fitting) clothes. Rain jackets are NOT my thing.

After I realized I couldn’t buy for looks, I started to evaluate which offered the most comfort, least noise, and best value. Yuri explained what the requirements for mandatory race gear, going so far as to explain the exact definition of a “waterproof” jacket. He even went and got a fleecy jumper for me to try on under the jacket to give a realistic feel of running with warm clothes on. I tried them all on a few times – even the very expensive ones, but found that price didn’t equate to “best for me”. I found a lovely-looking and expensive jacket with luxurious fabric that just felt…wrong. I found a light lilac jacket by North Face was shaping up well, and I committed right then and there. I am so glad I decided to go to a store instead of taking a punt at online shopping. Just going by the online specs, I wasn’t even interested in The North Face jackets on offer, but in the flesh, it’s the jacket that fitted me best.

I didn’t get the fleecy jumper, but I am having flashbacks to the feeling of snugness and warmth coupled with its light and soft feel. It was like wearing a hug.

Green and lilac… I will look like a suffragette out on the trails! I managed to get a bit of colour and fashion into my running kit, and quite a bit of comfort as well.

If I am honest, I am a little scared to take the expensive purchases out for a test run! But in spite of that, I actually feel confident that I made the right calls. Bring on the rain!