Tag Archives: Running

The Ups and Downs of Running

4 Apr

I’ve had a bit of a rough trot (again!) with my marathon training and so I’ve reluctantly signed myself up for the 10KM race at the Geneva Marathon in May instead of the half-marathon I’ve been training for. *sigh*

I haven’t really posted anything related to running or my half-marathon training recently because, well, there’s nothing report on as I’ve managed only 5 runs in the past 4 weeks. According to my dear husband, I’ve been going too hard (again) and haven’t given my legs a chance to really strengthen up for the speeds I want to be running at. I know he’s right but there are some days, very few days, but there are some days when I have a really amazing run at my goal speed and it fills me with so much hope and thoughts of being able to continue forever. But then there will be one day, just one day, when my calves start cramping at 10KM or 12KM mark just to spite me and force me to a halt for at least a week. This up and down cycle of running has been happening for a few weeks now, to the point where I now no longer run to a set pace, where I am no longer following any sort of training plan and where I am no longer running more than 12KM. And so my half-marathon in May has flown out the window and doesn’t look like returning any time soon.

I’m really enjoying my runs at the moment – the one’s that don’t hurt. The spring weather in Geneva is gorgeous and I’m having such a great time running along the lake and taking in the beautiful surrounding mountains, newly planted spring flower beds and boats out on the lake. I love being outside, filling my lungs with fresh air, wind in my hair, dodging the tourists crowding the Jardin Anglais.

I’m happy to be running and signing up for races but I just wish I could do more. I just wish I could run for more than 1 hour without a hiccup. I just wish my legs would once and for all sort themselves out so that I can get in some damned proper training.

I’m off to run in Zürich this weekend. The husband will be running his 4th Marathon whilst I run the 10KM and then wait patiently for him at the finish line.

Wish us luck x

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Keeping It Real

19 Mar

I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook and magazine articles and blogging news about body image and the phrase “keeping it real”.

I don’t usually concern myself with tyring to lose weight or build muscle or have a gap between my thighs but every now and then when I look at pictures is sports magazines or advertisements and I see a really nicely toned and buffed woman I think “damn she looks good” followed by “wish I could look like that” followed closely by “never going to happen“. I know the amount of hard work it would take for me to ever look anything like those unrealistic photos and I simply don’t have enough hours in the day to achieve that (or the money or the willpower for that matter). But why are we always so hard on ourselves, always wanting to look like someone else, always striving for what we don’t have, and never being satisfied with what we do have?

This is exactly what people have been posting/blogging/writing about recently and last week my inbox surprised me with a Runner’s World update that I actually wanted to read (truth be told I usually just delete them!). The title “Female Runners Keep It Real” was instantly attractive – I guess all the hype and activity on this topic helped in obtaining my attention – and the synopsis “Pro runner Lauren Fleshman challenged runners to post unflattering photos of themselves in an effort to “keep it real” and redefine the meaning of beauty” made me click the link to read more. The link directed me to a stream of selfies posted by runners of varying shapes and sizes and they were all beautifully “normal” looking people. It reassured me that THIS is what normal is and not the fantasy, fake tanned, photoshopped, not eaten in 3 days photos of women we see everywhere else.

I don’t have a picture perfect body and I certainly don’t like most of my running photos – tight pants and ill-fitted tops – but you know what, I’m ok with that because that’s me and I’m happy with how I look (most of the time) and I can shrug off those photos and suggestions that say I should look otherwise. Sure I’m jealous of the girl next to me on race day at the start line in just a sports bra and shorts and looking all fine but she either won the lottery in the genes department or has 10 hours a day to kill at the gym. However there are many women who still believe in the media and the image they portray which saddens me but which is also why I am so grateful for the many women out there who are actively trying to redefine beauty and say what is REAL.

It doesn’t need to be said since all my running photos are pretty horrible but I will continue to post unflattering photos of myself here on my blog and I won’t apologise if that causes anyone any offence.

Here’s to keeping it real.

Running Memes

11 Mar

I’m back into training for another race, this time the Geneva Half Marathon in early May and whilst I’m enjoying running in the gorgeous sunshine gracing our skies recently I’m struggling again with tight calves and sore shins *sigh*. I’m starting to think that I should change sports because I’m clearly not built for running long distances. And for some strange and unexplainable reason, I keep putting my shoes on and keep heading out the door for another run and keep coming back sore and tired. I don’t know what it is about running (or “runners” if I can call myself that) that keeps me coming back for more. It’s as if after that very first time you tie your laces and finish your first run that you’ve signed some secret, invisible document saying “I will hereby forever be a runner” with no regard to climate, kilometers, injuries or social calendar. But if I wasn’t a runner, then I wouldn’t be able to laugh (out loud) at these…

Enjoy!

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Courtesy ilovetorun.org

Foulées Automnales de Meyrin 10KM Race

2 Jan

Autumn was packed full of activities. We started off with the Berlin Marathon, followed by a weekend of hiking in and around Kandersteg, then there was the Lausanne Marathon where I ran the 10KM, followed by another weekend of hiking in Emmental and another 10KM race at the end of November.

The Foulées Automnales de Meyrin is a little local fun run around Meyrin – Meyrin is our neighbouring commune and a short hop, skip and jump from our apartment. Just over 100 women participated in the race while almost 300 men dominated the course. It was a beautifully clear day and we were due to set off at 13h30. I wasn’t feeling up to running though, after a girl’s night out the night before, and knowing all the hills that were part of the course did not help to ease my thoughts of wanting to hitch a tram ride back to the apartment. I didn’t really prepare for this race either; I did maybe 3 or 4 short runs in the 4 weeks leading up to this race… so yeah, not ideal.

It was a nice course (apart from all the hills), touring around Meyrin and finishing at the stadium (official name but by no means a “stadium”). My legs held up their part of the bargain but I had a stitch for the most part of the race so again not ideal conditions. Must have been the wraps I had for lunch just before the race.. normally I don’t eat before a midday run. I finished in 51m13s and could not have been happier to have finished!

Note to self : It pays to have a good sleep and proper practiced nutrition before a race 🙂

Coming up next.. The final run for 2013 and Christmas in Australia

Lausanne Marathon 2013 : 10KM Race + NEW PB!

31 Oct

Lausanne 10KM Run | Sunday 27 October 2013

OK so I didn’t actually do the full marathon, I’m not that silly, not like my husband (sorry babe!), but I did run in the 10KM race. This was my first 10KM race and to be honest I didn’t really know how I would go. I have been pretty lazy when it comes to running since the marathon and for weeks my husband had been saying “just take it easy, you don’t want another injury…”. With that in mind my registration said 55 minutes for my goal time. But I knew I could do better than that and decided to just “go for it” on the day.

Those of you living on the European continent will know that Sunday’s weather was crap. The forecast was crap and sure enough the actual day was crap. It pretty much rained (steadily) until around 11am. I seriously considered just not running. I mean come on, would you? The warm up area and bag drop was in a park, which was well and truly flooded and my socks and shoes were soaked through after 5 minutes. Goodbye white shoes 😦 Poor marathon runners started off at 10:10am and were followed by rain for at least the first 10KM (as told by my husband). Our start time was 10:45am. I held onto my umbrella until the last possible moment and fortunately for me and my fellow 10KM runners the rain eased and completely stopped by the time we started off! HA!

So you know how all the advice in the world tells you not to go out too hard or too fast in a race? Well I’ve been pretty good at sticking to that up until Sunday. Yep, I went out hard and didn’t stop. I figured I’d just see how it went. I could always slow down towards the end if I was really buggered.

It was a pretty uninteresting course to be honest. It was straight up the lake towards Vevey and back again. We started in amongst buildings and houses and just when we were getting to the vineyards and lake views we were turned around for the return. There were quite a few hills too which slowed quite a few people, but not me! Ha ha!! I actually felt really good going up the hills and tried to power up downhill as much as possible. But the one thing powering me all the way was my dire need for a bathroom. I went just before the race but I obviously didn’t get everything out *sigh*. The last half of the race was a serious “I need to finish and FAST” situation. I wasn’t concentrating on my time, my speed or the hills and perhaps this is why those hills didn’t phase me.

I crossed the line in 47:55, my fastest 10KM run ever but certainly not my most enjoyable. I picked up water, a banana, a medal and a cap en route to the nearest porta-loo.

I had a ham and cheese crepe while waiting to see my hubby finish his second marathon in 4 weeks!! He’s an absolute star and even though he didn’t yet crack the 3h15m he’s still a speedy champion in my books.

I was unfortunately not snapped by any of the paparazzi but here’s a few other pics from the day

I’m pretty excited about the next 10KM run we have on the 30th November but I won’t be back running in any of the Lausanne Marathon events any time soon.

Post-Marathon Running

24 Oct

Oh guys, I don’t know what’s happened to me since I finished the marathon nearly ONE MONTH ago.

So what’s been happening? Not a lot to be frank. I’ve been on two runs in the last three weeks which is a pretty dismal effort but on the plus side I’ve signed myself up for two more races!! My “over-eager overachiever” husband wanted to run in the Lausanne Marathon taking place this Sunday so instead of going along with him as a spectator (I’m not ready to run another marathon just yet!) I decided to sign-up for the 10km run. My first 10km race – a lot of “firsts” for me this year! I’m obviously not taking it very seriously because let’s be honest, two runs in the last three weeks is not sufficient training to run a good time but I’m hoping to hash it out in about 55 minutes. And then I’ve signed myself up for the Escalade in December. The, almost, biggest event of the year in Geneva. I wrote a few lines on the Escalade and the associated race around the Geneva Old Town last year which you can read about here and here.

Now that the marathon training is all over I’m getting back into the spinning classes and pilates classes and next week I’m going to try my hand at BodyPump (a Les Mills weights class). I’m aiming to build up more “all over” body conditioning and strength so that next time I start training for a marathon I won’t get injured!! My physio also gave me a heap of strengthening exercises to do which I haven’t been very consistent in doing yet so I need to pull my socks up on that one.

Hmm.. having just said all that it seems I need to find my mojo and get back on the fitness bandwagon before I go too far the other way.

Help required!

Training for My First Marathon; the Stats are in!

26 Sep

16 is the number of weeks I have been training for this race;

465 is the number of kilometers I have run in those 16 weeks;

44 is the number of hours it took me to run all those kilometers;

23,000 is the number of calories I burned during training but 98,000 is the approximate number of calories I consumed in chocolate in 16 weeks… hmm…

15 is the number of visits to my physiotherapist ouch!

4 is the number of thank you presents I need to buy for my amazing supporters;

3 is the number of days to go until the race; and

1,000,000 is the number of buckets I’m sweating in anxiety and anticipation!

Countless training sessions were missed due to injury, countless hours were spent in misery after missing a training session, countless words of encouragement and support were received and countless will be the joy and exhilaration I will have when I cross the finish line on Sunday!

Marathon Training Week 17 : My New Frenemy (aka Foam Roller)

16 Sep

2 weeks to go…

Eeeek! It’s getting closer now. With less than two weeks to go it’s fair to say that I am nervous. Actually, sorry, I lied, I’m not nervous, I’m terrified! I had another bad week of training so it’s no wonder I don’t feel ready for this race.

What I Was Suppose To Do:

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What I Actually Did:

Tuesday, 8 x 800m did not happen. I was tired and my legs were still a bit sore from the long run last Saturday. I struggled through 6 rounds before calling it quits. I was annoyed at myself, well actually my legs, but I knew that stopping short was better than injuring myself further. Smart move! I was not so smart on Thursday though. I didn’t get out for my run during lunch so I had to go after work. The problem was that I was going to farewell drinks for a friend of ours that night also, so I needed to get this run over and done with quickly. Bad move! I was running well and completed the 13KM in just over 1 hour and made it to the drinks by 8PM. I was pretty happy with myself until I woke up on Friday morning with sore shins and a sore right hip (newest addition to the family of injuries). I rested all day Friday and headed out early on Saturday morning for my easy 21KM run. Right from the first step I knew I was in trouble. The pain in my shins and in my hip was more than what I had been experiencing lately and after only 2KM I turned around and headed for home. My total 4KM felt like the last 4KM of a 40KM run, not the first 4KM of a 21KM run. Seriously, what has happened to me?! One good run is all it takes to set me back a week. Now do you understand why I’m packing my dacks?!

One thing that has helped slightly is the arrival of a new friend-enemy in our house. Enter foam roller aka tower of terror, inflicter of pain, your worst nightmare.

bigstock-Cartoon-caveman-running-away-f-34232420

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Running in Geneva

13 Sep

Just a few pics from my run along the lake last night. Love running in my “current” hometown.

Marathon Training Week 16 : Race Fueling Strategy

9 Sep

3 weeks to go…

My Plan

Untitled

What Actually Happened

If you remember from last week, I had a rather poor week of training thanks to my shin splints, and after a weekend of walking around Budapest I decided to give my sprints a miss on Monday.  I was happy to get to spinning on Tuesday as it has been a few weeks since I was at a class but boy did I have a sore butt on Wednesday 🙂

I decided to run a little further than the planned 8KM on Wednesday and managed a very comfortable 12KM with an average pace of 5:46min/km. Not too shabby at all.

If you’re following my blog regularly you’ll know that Thursday was actually a holiday in Geneva so no Pilates for me. Instead, we took a leisurely day trip to Yvoire, a medieval French town on Lake Geneva. It was probably the last day of summer too b

ecause the weather forecast for this week is for days below 20 degrees C!!

Now comes the long run. I felt really good on Saturday morning, full of energy, no shin pain, the clouds were clearing from the overnight thunderstorms and I had even planned a new route for my last long run. New route huh? Big mistake! I got lost pretty quickly, took one turn too early because most of the “roads” I had planned to follow turned out to be unmarked trails, and stayed lost until 13KM mark. I wasn’t able to get into a rhythm because I was constantly having to stop to read road signs or look at trail maps to figure out where I was and deciding in which general direction I should be running etc etc and at around 13KM, once I had found a road that was actually on my list and I had taken my first correct turn, I need a bathroom stop. Haven’t needed one for the past few weeks but can I just say that I won’t be eating beans before a long run ever again. Ever! Thankfully I was in a fairly secluded spot away from any roads and could easily take a quick dip into a field of Sunflowers and I am doubly thankful that I always carry toilet paper in my pocket. Moving right along, my getting lost added about 5KM to my route which therefore reduced my 13KM grass running to just 8KM. By the time I got to the rugby field at 23KM I knew I was going to have a hard time finishing the next 16KM. I decided to finish at 38KM instead of 39KM but by 32KM my pace had increased to 6:45min/km and I felt like I was dragging my feet and legs behind me. Nothing wanted to move. At 35KM I was shuffling along at 7min/km pace and called it quits at 37KM and 4h08m. I felt OK energy wise but my legs could just not carry me any further. I was disappointed to have not reached 39KM and was equally disappointed that I did not run as well as I did just a few weeks before. Can I run the whole distance on race day? I think I can.

That was my last long run and my last opportunity to sort out my race fueling strategy.

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