Tag Archives: running

Great Strides for Cystic Fibrosis: Race Report

Because I am what is known as a totally very serious runner don’t you know, I thought it would be vital for my loyal blog following to get an in depth report of my longest fun run to date. Jokes aside, what is a personal blog if not a space online where I can reflect on my life? I’m really proud of what I achieved today, and so lucky you, you’re going to hear all about it.

I spent yesterday dithering around and relaxing, which was much needed after an intense week at school rehearsing and then with 2 performance nights for my lovely drama girls. I felt pretty relaxed about the run, but a little bit nervous that I hadn’t managed to get out and train as much as I had liked, partly due to school and partly because of my recovery from shin splints. So I decided to myself that I wasn’t setting too many goals for myself, and was just going to take it as it came, so to speak. In my secret part of the brain – you know, that bit where you lie to yourself – I hoped to do the full 8kms without walking, and in under an hour.

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I got to Perry Lakes Reserve at about 8:15, for a 9:15 start, as they’d cautioned crowds and for some strange reason I really wanted a race T-Shirt! I’d walked there, so used it as an opportunity to get a nice slow warm up. I’d had a niggle in my right ankle on Saturday, and I could feel it again this morning, so wanted to give myself as long as possible to get warm and prevent a further flare up. The walk took longer than I expected, but in spite of that I was ridiculously early and found myself at a loose end after the ordeal of the 30 second encounter of checking my name off and getting my T-Shirt. Glad I listened to their advice about crowds….er….

The crowd did perk up after a bit, and very soon it was time for a group warm up and we headed over to the starting arches, which were weirdly inflated, but resting on the ground. I don’t think they were quite ready for the hordes to descend! In terms of organisation, it would have been great for the MC to spell things out a little better for the racers, by pointing out exactly where the start line was. I managed to get to the right spot by following the crowds, but when you’re psyching yourself up for a run, feeling like you don’t know where you’re going is not the greatest!

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The route was fantastically well marked, however, and this is the time where it can be quite helpful not being the fastest person there – you just follow the pack. There were heaps of helpers dotted around the course as well, armed with high fives and smiles – I never realised how much they actually help! I got a little cheer from the waiting 4km route crowd as I made my way past the half way mark, which was totally invigorating. At the very least, it made me too embarrassed to stop and walk – I just had to keep running!

Get ready for a photo of me looking SPECTACULAR mid-run:

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believe it or not: I was trying to *not* look as bad as I felt

 

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I found the second lap a lot easier, I found my stride and started to enjoy it more. Even though I walked part of the second lap, I used my Run Keeper app updates to keep me on track. I started the race with an average of 6:10 per km, which was great but I knew from the beginning was unsustainable. By the last couple of kilometres my average was up to 7:06 and I really wanted to try and get it down into the 6 minute range again by the end. Alas, not to be, but at 7:03 I’m not too disappointed. I was suffering terribly with blisters on the soles of my feet by then and so just remaining on the trot was a win!

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The best lollipop in the whole world. Much needed.

I really pushed myself for the last 300m, and went from a shuffley jog to a proper run home. This is something I’ve taken from my primary school days – even if you’re at death’s door, you bloody well run it home. Finish strong. I was chuffed to bits to make it under the hour, and it felt great to raise a bit of cash for a worth cause.

Stats:

8km in 56:34

Average pace per km: 7:03 ~ PB!!

Course: Flat route around Perry Lakes Reserve, Nedlands Perth.

A Funny Old Time

It has been a funny old week, the beginning of my last assessed period of university, and the start of the last interminable stretch before Mr Hello gets his cosy little toosh on a plane to come and pick me up. A mixed bag of tricks, if you will.

GOING UP:

All of my assessments (bar one, rather critical one, my school placement) have been submitted. There is now nothing I can do about it, and my results are in the hands of the gods. Or my lecturers, which is somewhat one and the same, if the stories are to be believed. I’m so freaking relieved, it’s incredible how we put the pain of assignments out of our minds once they’ve been completed. It can be QUITE torturous. Oh well, all done now, and qualification is just around the corner! Hoo-friggin-rah.

I’ve semi-successfully changed my sleeping hours so that I wake at a reasonable hour, not the 1:30pm that had become my norm. It’s quite a pleasure to be awake as the world rises, and although it means I’m yawning at 10:30pm. Not quite such a pity seeing as I have renounced every possible form of a social life. Over my first few years in the workforce I realised I much prefer having extra time to get ready rather than more time in bed, and so when I get in a habit of waking up on time I like to linger over an extra cup of coffee or reading one more blog post. I realise this is what is known as an INCREDIBLY BORING THING TO SHARE but at the same time, such is my life, and I daresay most people’s lives tend to revolve as much around the mundane in life as mine. At least I hope so!

 

GOING DOWN DOWN DOWN:

I am totally and utterly obsessed with the thought of seeing Mr H again. He’s my default thought with every mental break I can get. I don’t know if any of you have undertaken a long distance relationship (LDR) before, but let me tell you, it’s not something I would recommend. I’ve luckily (wonderfully and gratefully) been in the position to never once question my partner’s fidelity, but the terrible thing has been the intense boredom that has pervaded my life since we parted. Sure, life is beautiful and glorious without him being next to me, but it sure as hell ain’t half as interesting. Recounting a funny incident on the train isn’t quite the same as laughing uncontrollably over a shared experience. Catching someone falling asleep just as you’re waking up does not make for particularly fulfilling conversations. You begin to live on faith, despite your belief system. You just have to trust that you’re still in love with someone, even though you KNOW that you are, but you somehow don’t feel it quite so much as you do when you can roll over and kiss their hot cheek next to you in bed. It’s agony, truth be told. Boring, hellish, and seemingly never-ending agony.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the fact that my right shin had developed shin splints, which caused me to take a break from my new running regime. Unfortunately I took it upon myself to discount numerous medical recommendations and took a mere 1 week break from running, which has proven to be totally insufficient. I was struggling on with the pain before I realised that in combination with the terrible blisters I was still developing, there was no hope for me to run in the future if I didn’t take a proper break. My blistered feet aren’t quite recovered yet (mores the pity) but the status of my shins is yet to be determined. I’m not sure if the self-inflicted break is a balm to my lazy-leaning temperament or stressing me out even more, but I feel anxious about it and I want to get back to running as soon as possible, if only to prove my inner lazy yet critical demon wrong.

Lastly, someone in my close family is going through a terrible time with chronic depression at the moment. I don’t feel totally comfortable sharing more details online at the moment, but I want you all to know that if you’re in the same boat, you sure as hell aren’t alone.

~

 

How I Developed a…Hobby?

A few years back, I got my first adult bike, and started cycling to and from work every day. I very rarely cycled on weekends, mostly because my partner at the time didn’t have a bike and so we like to walk around Rochester together. Around the same time I got on a bit of a health kick, losing about 7 kilos, which I found easy to maintain with the weekly cycling. I felt great for the first time in ages, physically fit and sleeping really well.

I had become a pretty confident cycler, and could pretty much have cycled home every day with my eyes shut, except for y’know, all those cars on the road. Apparently I began to disregard them, which culminated in a stupid minor crash with a car full of delightfully lovely and non-angry boys. Sorry about that chaps. Anyway, my bike was off the roads for a few months while I saved up the money for repairs, and ANNOYINGLY it got pinched from it’s lock at my flat. Damn. It was the pause I really didn’t need, because it took me about another year to replace the bike, by which time my exercise mojo had totally dissipated.

Over the next year or so I changed jobs at my firm, upped the stress levels and my long term relationship ended. These factors, plus a new ability to eat shocking amounts of pizza, meant that I say 2014 in at a new low of fitness and a new high weight. Oh dear. It wasn’t so much that I felt bad about myself, more that it was bloody annoying to be overweight because none of my clothes fit any more and I couldn’t afford to replace them. I also was returning home to sort out some visa issues and retrain as a teacher.

The last six months of this year have been spent in my hometown of Perth, which has been rather excellent despite the distance from my new BF (now fiancé!!). I’ve spent this time working myself up to a new activity that I had really wanted to try for ages. It was a name I really wanted to give myself, but I couldn’t. You have to earn it. Ladies and gents, I took up running. I have started to become a runner.

I run the same route 3 – 4 times a week, which is about a 5km run. But boy, I certainly didn’t start off running. It was 80% walk, 20% run, but over the last 8 weeks it’s nudged up and up until this week, where I am so close to non stop running that I can almost taste it! This might seem like a long time to work up to a mere 5k run, but to be honest, I never wanted to push myself so hard that I was crippled the day after. I didn’t want to put myself off. So I’ve always given myself more time than needed to run an extra leg, only doing it when I still felt amazing at my old resting spots. I’m really really really enjoying it.

This week however, was my first fully fledged week after some really dodgy runs last week. I hadn’t been feeling particularly well, and had had an extra day off. It felt like my body was sticking two fat fingers up at me, with my fitness totally obliterated. By the second run last week I felt like I never wanted to run again (despite still not quite running 5k), but I was determined to push through. This week had been great, I felt energetic and had an excellent 2nd wind which brought my pace up unexpectedly. But then…..dun dun DUN….I had a mysterious pain in my shin…..

Turns out I have developed shin splints in my right shin, which is a literal pain. I feel a little  afraid that I will lose my mojo, but I guess that you only fail if you give up, so if I just trust that once I’m healed I’ll get back into it, hopefully it will happen! I have no goals as such, I just want to continue on. I think somewhere down the line, probably before my wedding in August, I would like to do an official 5k or maybe even a 10k run, just to see if I can!

I absolutely adore sewing, although I haven’t had much opportunity to do so this year, and via that interest I stumbled upon Melissa Fehr of Fehr Trade. She designs and sells activewear sewing patterns, and is also an avid London-based runner. I have been utterly devouring her blogs this week!

Varying Shades of Ugh.

Let’s start on a positive note today, shall we? Then perhaps the inevitable decline into the low points of the week won’t be quite so upsetting.

UP:

My family’s application for Polish citizenship is now IN. What excitement. For those of you who are lucky enough to be EU citizens, this is what’s known in Australia as a BIG DEAL. Dual nationality has to be one of the most useful things you can pass on to your children. Oh, to never again have to deal with the UK Home Office! To never again need a visa! I hardly dare imagine it. On a practical note, assuming it goes through without a hitch (one, should never assume, but still, I bloody well am) I will be able to get a job, go home to the FH and get married without a hitch. What a relief.

Several blessed reliefs this week: three more days added to an assignment deadline, and an extra week between the end of my uni classes and the beginning of practicum. Time to prepare – what bliss. Now to see if this will actually be the case. I don’t hold out much hope, but still. You never know.

This week’s shockingly superficial observation: I am in the midst of a rather fantastic hair phase. It’s growing out, partly for the wedding and partly because I am too stingy to go to a hairdresser, and I’m really loving it right now. It just seems to be behaving itself, which is an entirely new experience. Curly hair = dry ratty ends in my experience, but hey ho, I’ll accept smooth hair, if that’s what the universe sees fit to bestow me with right now.

My new ritual of jogging 3 -4 times  per week remains unbroken. Rather unusual, considering my typical laziness.

The weather in Perth is reaching near-bliss levels.

 

DOWN:

No progress to speak of on growing pile of urgent assignments. This must be rectified immediately, but instead the sudden urge to blog has come upon me.

I have totally succumbed to the marketing strategy of Apple. Ugh. But still, YAY SO EXCITING.

The number of weeks until I see the FH is still in the double digits, which I find frustrating in the extreme. Why is it that the weeks until assignments are due miraculously pass without notice, but the weeks until you see someone you love seem to stretch out endlessly? Totally unacceptable.

I’m fortunate enough to not have to work while I study this year, but instead of using that extra time to dedicate to improved assignments, I seem to be perpetually in a state of “ugh”, “meh”, “blergh” and even sometimes “hmm?”. It is most annoying. I’m finding it difficult to be around myself, so I can’t even imagine what it must be like for everyone else.

Soon, my pretties, life simply MUST deliver me the needed kick up the bum, and hopefully by then I will have developed a new outlook!

Un/Ravelled.

Going Down:

An overwhelming inability to work solidly for more than 10 minutes at a time. Just as I progress into the hardest four weeks in all of my studying life. Thanks brain, it’s so great of you to come to the party like this. You’re also being tremendously helpful with your obsession with iPad games and staying up to 1am consistently. Honestly, what is my problem? Severely need to get my A into G, but this is looking less and less likely to happen. May or may not turn my late-semester stress levels up to 11. JOY.

I have been running (yes, running!) semi-solidly for five weeks now. Long enough that I can see improvement in my runs, but sadly not long enough that the poor, tender skin on the soles of my feet have been able to sufficiently harden up against the blight of the blister.  I am absolutely covered in the damn things, which makes me want to refrain from running to let them heal, which also makes me feel like a total wimp. Dilemma. What to do, oh wise internet? Send me tips etc, for running bliss. Sadly there has been no discernible change in my weight, which is now at an all time comfort-eating high. Ho hum.

My bank balance is at a near-ruinous level once again. No comment.

Going up:

I have had at least three rather delightful conversations with teacher recruiters for the UK, which is an oxymoron if ever I have heard one. I’m feeling decidedly positive about my work prospects, and in fact it seems like my return to my adopted home will in fact happen, despite the general never-ending-assessments feeling that has swept over me regarding uni work.

My first assessment for semester 2 came back with a (totally unexpected) fantastic grade. I am particularly delighted, because I was close to tears about it, practically from the moment we received the task sheet. I don’t, however, hold any high hopes for my latest effort.

I have a JOB INTERVIEW on Thursday evening for a teaching position next year. It all feels a little unreal, but it’s in the diary so I guess I better buck up my ideas and get preparing. Funnily enough I am having no trouble planning things for next year, which probably says something about my state of mind. My mother used to say ‘don’t wish your life away Sam’; rather good advice which I have faithfully ignored for approximately 15 years.

It’s all happening, so it seems, at HSGS Headquarters. But it’s a damn struggle, so many threads to keep track of. How’s life treating you?