2015’s Running Go

With each new year, brings a new start for everything. It’s the perfect opportunity to set new goals to work towards. I have many personal goals that I’ve set myself this year and my running will play a big part with achieving them!

I’ve decided I’m going to start from scratch with my running PBs. Now that I’m into my fourth year of running, I thought it was time to clear the slate and set new goals to achieve PBs. I have a new running log set up, new watch, new shoes, new items of clothing….I’m officially ready to take on my challenge for 2015!!

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20150201-200040.jpg Running is one of those exercises that can become boring if it’s not changed in any way. As running is my therapy, I’m always challenging myself and setting new goals so I don’t become bored with it! My goals for this year are:

*To run sub 5min kms for every km up until 12km.

*1km under 4 mins

*2km under 8 mins

*3km under 14 mins

*4km under 19 mins

*5km under 24 mins

*And if my cardiologist supports me, run the Gold Coast half marathon in July!!! Thankfully I have a whole year to work on these goals lol!

While we were overseas, I spent the month continuing to run but I didn’t track my kilometres. I would set myself a time frame and run for that. It was awesome. There was no pressure. But because of that, I have lost some of my speed, but that’s what makes this challenge even more challenging!!

At the end of last year, I set myself a challenge to run 100k for the month of November. This is also another goal that I’ve set myself to continue to run – 100k each month this year. So far I’m pleased to say that I’ve just completed my biggest week of kilometres 33k, which has taken me to a total of 110k for the month of January, which is also the biggest month I’ve ever run!!!

Now that I’ve started on the front foot and now that I’ve gotten over the most annoying sinus infection, I’m ready to face the challenge ahead of me!!!

My final goal I’ve set for myself is to include the kids on one of my runs each week. So far last week Sienna rode 5k with me while I ran. We had a ball. She loved the first 4k but didn’t quite get my enthusiasm during the last kilometre lol! Mia waits for me each morning I run and we do a few laps of our street before we heading inside to stretch and this afternoon Bailey and I started training for his cross-country. I was so proud of him. He ran 2k in just over 12 mins and didn’t stop once! I’m so excited for what’s ahead!

20150201-200152.jpg I hope 2015 brings us all good fortune with keeping fit and healthy and be sure that I will keep you up to date with how my progress is going!

What goals or challenges have you set yourself for 2015?

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100k November Challenge – Challenge Complete!!!

A month ago I set myself a challenge to run 100k in the month of November. Not only have I successfully completed my challenge, I’ve run 101k to be exact!

This week was my final week. I’ve been averaging 25k a week over 3-4 runs each week. I left my biggest challenge to last which was to run my longest run to date of 15k. It’s been another massive week which started with Mia waking at 4am on Monday!!! She then proceeded for the next three mornings in a row to wake between 4.30am and 4.45am, add in a ladies night out with my school mums, a massive week at work, taking the kids to specialist appointments and squeezing in a visit to see my grandad in hospital, to say I was tired by the end of the week is an understatement…oh and with only 6 more sleeps now until we board the plane for America, my mind is about to explode!

But once again my running has kept my head above water. It’s my therapy to keep me sane. It allows me to gather my thoughts, plan things out in my head and it keeps me relaxed and focused…although my family probably don’t notice that at the moment lol!

This weeks running consisted of two 5k runs – Tuesdays hill run was done in 25.05mins and Thursdays hill run was a naked run (no watch) but I checked the time on my iPod when I left and when I got back and I would have run that in about 26 minutes! I was happy with anything this week. My aim when I run is to just do that. I still hold a record of not stopping and now I’ve been running for 3 years, I have put pressure on myself to live up to those expectations every run!

By Friday, my mind was consumed with getting ready to celebrate an early Christmas with my family on Saturday and completing my 15k run the next morning. Thankfully I had a good night sleep on Friday night and as soon as I woke at 5am on Saturday I set off on my run. The weather was perfect. No humidity, a nice light breeze, but the sun was shining. I had no expectations for the run other than not to stop until I was finished. I decided to run my 4k flat route three tImes and then three extra kilometres to make the 15k.

I started off slower than I usually do. My first kilometre was 5.05mins and with each kilometre I became slower and slower. To be completely honest I wasn’t feeling it for the first 4k and when I saw 21.36mins I knew I had to pick up the pace. I finally picked up my pace and started to sit a lot more nicely into the run and when I reached 10k at 52.20 minutes, I was happy enough. As I approached the 12k mark, which was three times my 4k route, I told myself you can do one more lap…and I did!!

I was stoked when I got to 13k at 1 hour 9.30 minutes – new PB set!! The next two kilometres were so much easier than I anticipated. I would have loved to run 15k in 1hour 20mins or less so when I looked at my watch and it was 1 hour 20.50mins I was cheering to myself. I didn’t care how I ran the last kilometre I just didn’t want to stop until I reached 16k, but once again it’s amazing where that last bit of fuel comes from and when I reached my 16k mark, four times my 4k route, I was overjoyed that not only did I complete it without stopping but in 1 hour, 26 minutes and 10 seconds!!!! Was such a fist pump moment…until my legs started to buckle a bit lol (which surprisingly they feel great today!!!)

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I did it I really did it and it wasn’t a disaster, it wasn’t painful like I thought it would be, there were times where I couldn’t wait for it to be over, but for most of it, I was so determined to be successful. I am a competitor and I compete against myself, so when I set out to run 100k for the month I had to do one better…and that I did…even if I ended up with war wounds!!!

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I was so excited when I got home, the kids always run to me to see how I went – they always ask “how many did you run today mum?”…my response “I did it!!! I ran 16k!!!!!” “Wow mum!!!” they replied with:) My excitement was short and quick as my mumma duties kicked back in quickly as we had Christmas celebrations to get ready for…and what a great day it was!

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Where to from here??
If my cardiologist approves, I am going to start training for my first half marathon in March for July next year. I’m quietly confident he will let me. Now I know I can run 16k that’s only 5.1k off a half marathon so hopefully I’ll be able to pull one-off! But for now, I will spend this week finishing off getting ready for our holiday we’ve been planning since we returned from our holiday to America 5 years ago!! My goal is to run at every place we visit over there…I shall keep you posted!

I hope everyone has had a great month challenging themselves to achieve new goals!

100k in November – week 3 progress!

75k done and dusted….

What a week! This week has been a normal busy one which started off ok, but slowly went downhill starting from when I got a call from the school to say Bay was in sick bay with an ear ache! 1 – I’ve only ever had one other call from the school in 4 years and that was from the school’s PE teacher, asking my permission for Bailey to be changed to Cunningham sports house, after he asked to be in the same house as his cousins (bless him) and 2 – I’ve never had a child go to sick bay!

Poor Bay he has had a such a rough year. He has now ended up with an outer ear infection (swimmers ear) which the doctor said is very common in this extreme heat we are having! In all the years of my children getting ear infections, this has to be the worst I’ve seen one of my children suffer. He has been on pain relief for four days, ear drops, antibiotics, he’s had a leaking ear, jaw pain and you can’t touch his ear as the pain has been excruciating – poor kid. When he wakes in the night you know something is wrong and he has done several times this week;(

It’s been one of those weeks that consisted of unfortunate news for loved ones around…grandad developed an infection (but is finally on the mend) and my Aunty was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer (she now will fight the toughest battle of her life). This week in particular is always a week that leaves our hearts feeling heavy as it’s my cousins memorial day and my late aunty’s birthday – mother and son taken way too soon…may they be dancing in the heavens above with nana by their side!

But all this aside, I kept my 100k challenge as my focus to not let the week get the better of me!! I started on Monday afternoon this week. After running my longest run ever of 13k two days previous, I thought this 5k run would sting. I purposely did a naked run (no watch) as I didn’t care how long it took, I just wanted to get it done and under my belt! Surprisingly I didn’t feel bad at all. And from the time I left and got back, I would say it would have taken me about 26mins and I was happy with that!

Two days later I got up early to run 7k before my husband went to work! My aim for this run was to go out hard and try to maintain 5 minute kilometres!! When I ran my first kilometre in 4.44mins I was feeling great! I was happy to reach 5k in 24.44mins and this gave me the confidence to achieve my goal. The next 2ks couldn’t have gone any better…6k 29.08 mins and OMG 7k 34 mins!!!!!!!! Two PBs in one run – definitely my best run in a while!

I had planned to run the next day in the afternoon, but Kane didn’t get home until 5.45pm and I was simply tired! After being up with Bay in the night with his ear, I dragged myself out of bed Friday morning to run a quick short 3k. I would have loved a PB but after running a super 7k 2 days beforehand, I couldn’t expect too much. I was happy with 14.28mins…my PB is 13.53mins which I’ve run twice now – I will conquer this PB!!! I ran as fast as my legs would take me during this run and that’s what my plan was!

Technically I always like to have a day off between runs, but I also like to finish my weekly running on a Saturday and because I didn’t run Thursday afternoon, this meant running 13k in 24 hours. This was also day 19 from when I started my challenge which meant 75k of running complete in 19 days!!! I’m not going to lie this 10k hill run which consisted of 6 hills hurt. When I reached my 1st kilometre at 5.15 mins I knew this would be a slow and painful run. But to my surprise I didn’t pick up the pace much but my legs started to ease nicely into the run….until the 8th kilometre. I swear my feet barely lifted from the ground during the 8th and 9th kilometre as my legs were spent! They were screaming at me and my mind was screaming back at them. I was so glad to be finished and in 54.09 minutes I was pretty happy considering!

After my 10k was done I took the girls down to the footy field for a training session. Over the last 8 weeks my dad has done a fitness program with Bailey, Sienna and my nephew Kaleb. Mia was always promised to go for the last one and sadly Bay missed out because he was laid up with his ear! They trained their little hearts out and it makes me so proud that my children love leading a fit and active lifestyle and I appreciate everything my dad does to help this!

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Poppy shouted the kids to lunch at Maccas as a treat for their awesome effort!

3 weeks down and 1 to go….or should I say 25k to go! This week will be my toughest challenge yet as I plan on running two 5k runs (easy) and a 15k run (not so easy) which will be my longest run to date….wish me luck I’m going to need it!!! I hit a brick wall this morning and felt so flat and tired but after a quiet morning, a swim at mum and dads this afternoon and hopefully a good night sleep tonight I’ll be ready to tackle another massive week as we are now down to only 2 weeks to go and I’ll be running in America!!!

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Would love to hear how everyone else is going with their challenges this month!

100k in November…week 2 progress!

Please someone tell me where did this week go???? Mid November already and what feels like in a blink of an eye I’ve gotten to this point!

I’m so happy to report my week 2 November 100k running challenge to be very successful!!! After starting the week with terrible sinus (thank you dry allergy season weather) I didn’t let this steer me off track. My first run for the week was a 7k hill run that I ran in 36.50mins. I thought my legs would be murder after the first week, but surprisingly they felt great! I ran the first 5k in 25.37 and was hoping to run closer to 36mins but the last two hills in the last 2k slowed me down just a touch, all in all I was happy with this run!

Two days later I set off at 5am for my usual 5k hill route…the days you think you’re going to run slow you end up going fast and vice versa!!! I was stoked when I saw 24.51mins on my watch…where the hell that came from I’ll never know lol! That was the day I came home to a little running partner who I ran up and down our cul-de-sac with until her little legs couldn’t run any further. She did so well!!! A runner in the making for sure:)

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By this stage I was feeling great and had one run left of 13k to complete two days later…

13k, I have never run any further than 12k and have only done that twice on complete flat ground and it’s been a while since I did! But once I say I’m going to do something I do and I did!!!!! Due to the weather being so hot this weekend, as soon as my eyes opened at 4.50am I got up, got ready and was out by 5am! Thank goodness I did cause I was so hot by the end! I decided to run my 5k hill route twice and a 3k route that I use to run all the time when I first started running – in total this consisted of 5 hills…damn you Runcorn lol!

I ran the first kilometre in just under 5 minutes and was happy with my pace until I told myself “my legs are bit sore”!!! Why why why?? Lesson to everyone never tell yourself that you are in pain always tell yourself you are feeling great!! This mental thought slowed me down a bit and although I was 20.38mins at 4k I felt my legs tiring with each kilometre…my legs were starting to buck at my challenge. But I didn’t let this defeat me. My goal was to reach 10k by 53mins where I’d placed a water bottle to take with me for the last 3ks. I made it to that point in 53.37mins, my eyes were right on the prize which was to reach 13k by 1 hour and 10mins!!!

As I ran up the last hill in the 11th kilometre I kept telling myself “come on 3k this is easy!!!” I started to convince myself that I wasn’t going to reach my goal but when I made 12k in 1hr and 5mins, I gave that last kilometre everything I had left. I was getting quite delirious though. At one point in the end I tripped and almost fell face down again (story for another day lol), rolled my ankle on a ditch and what I thought was a blue heeler dog running at me it was a shih tzu lol…like I said delirious!!

It’s amazing where you find the energy to finish that last kilometre. I could feel my legs going faster and faster until they were at their peak. I gave it my all. I looked at my watch with 100m to go and had already clocked over 1hr 10mins, but only just. I finished in 1hr 10.50mins…I was stoked with that!!! I proceeded to walk the last kilometre home which I always do a good walk to warm down after each run and I was on top of the world….running any distance is such a great accomplishment!

You ask…how are my legs today?? They are great! I thought for sure I’d feel it but surprisingly they don’t feel any different after any long run. I swam in mum and dad’s pool today and tread water for 25mins which felt so nice. No rest for the wicked though. I’ll be back at it tomorrow to start my 3rd week’s 25k. This week I will be doing 4 runs….5k, 7k, 3k, 10k! Wish me luck…I shall keep you posted!!!

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How is everyone going with their challenge for the month?

100k in November – week 1 progress!

First week of November is over already!!! And I’m happy to say although the week threw some ups and downs, I still managed to fit 25k of running in, therefore I’m on par with achieving my 100k for November!!!!

I started my running week on Monday morning, running 5k in 24 minutes…I’m so determined to run a sub 24 by the end of the year. I’m chasing my PB of 23.25, but I’d be happy with anything in the 23s!!! I had my days set but of course life always gets in the way and things don’t always go to plan! Kane ended up going to Sydney for 2 days, but thankfully I squeezed another 5k naked run (no watch or music) in before he left otherwise I would have done a lot of cramming in at the end of the week! After two days with just me and the kids – who I don’t know about your children, but mine are getting more tired as each day goes past, I got up at 5am Friday and fit a 53.30mins 10k hill run in before Kane went to work, which meant my long run was done before the weekend – yay! I finished my first 25k for the first week of this challenge with a nice steady paced 25.20mins 5k this morning and felt better than I thought I would!

I’m going to enjoy my day off tomorrow as I have a massive day at work and shall put all my energy into that! I will be starting my next lot of 25k for the new week on Tuesday. This week I plan on running three days instead of four but increasing my kilometres per run. The plan is 7km Tuesday, 5km Thursday and 13k Saturday which will be my longest run to date! But of course that is the plan….I shall keep you posted with how I go!

I’d love to here if you have set yourself a challenge this month and how it’s going!

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100km in November!

It’s time! Time to set a challenge!

Now that it’s November (I still can’t believe that) and only one month away from the festive season, I have set myself a challenge to run 100k this month! A month ago I wrote a blog 20/20, which was an insight into my school holiday challenge for myself – 20 days straight of exercise! Now that I’ve achieved that and made it to the other side of a massive but awesome October, I’m ready to push myself a little further than I normally run and instead of running an average of 18-20k a week, to successfully achieve this challenge I need to run an average of 25k a week!

Today I started my challenge with a fast 5k of 24 minutes and felt fantastic!! My plan is to run either three 5k a week and a 10k or two 5ks a week a short distance of 2,3 or 4k and a long distance of 11 or 12k! I have not put any pressure on myself to run any major PBS this month but would love to increase my longest run to 15k.

If you are a regular follower of my blog you would know the love I have for running and keeping fit and healthy. It’s been 3 years since I started on this journey and I’m so happy that one I started and two that I’m still going strong. But every now and again I like to mix things up and throw a challenge into my already crazy busy life – cause clearly I am crazy and not busy enough lol!

So now I challenge you! I challenge you to choose some form of physical activity that you wish to challenge yourself with this month. Create a goal, make a plan and stick to it! I’d love to hear about it if you do!!

I shall keep you posted with how I go:) Happy exercising!!!

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My Longest Run To Date!

Well I did it! Last Sunday I completed my longest run to date….10 kilometres!!!

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It’s been just under a year now since I put my running shoes back on for the first time in many many years. That very first attempt of running was nothing shorter than painful. Every inch of my body, every muscle, every ligament and tendon felt that run, but that didn’t stop me from going back the next day and the next to slowly build on something that I to this day can be very proud of! For the first few months my aim was to run non stop for 20 minutes. Once I became more confident and felt myself becoming fitter and fitter, I started measuring the distance I ran. My pet run is 4km which I can now run in 20 minutes (pb 19.50) and occasionally I like to run 5km which I can run in 25 mins (pb 24.36)! For a long time a 5km run scared the hell out of me let alone anything higher!

Then slowly but surely I started to want to challenge myself to running longer distances. I slowly increased over time from 6, to 7km and up until last weekend my longest run was 7 and a half kilometres which I did in 40mins. My goal was to run my first 10km run by Christmas and I wanted to run it in under an hour! Well I’m happy to say that it’s only September and not only have I completed my first 10km run but I ran it in 53.40mins!!!

I sit here, three days later, still in disbelief that not only did I complete it, I didn’t once stop, feel like stopping and felt so good the whole time I was running! If someone had of asked me 12 months ago lets go for a 10km run I would have laughed in their face….how things change! I had it in my head that day that I wanted to increase my run to 8km. I was running a decent pace (2km in 10mins) feeling pretty good, but when I got to 6km it felt like I had run 12! I was feeling fine but it felt like I’d been running for 2 hours! When I finally reached my target for the day of 8km I knew I still had running in me so I kept going! I was 43mins at 8km so my last 2kms I really brought it home considering….the adrenaline obviously had kicked in!

As much as running is a physical challenge, it is one of those physical activities that is very mentally challenging! Something that seems easy at first or when you speak about it in conversation is actually really hard! It’s the same thing over and over again – left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot! If you think about the pain the run is harder, if you tell yourself I want to stop you most likely will! All this is controlled by how we think during running! I remember those days at first thinking, wishing my run was over, but now I’m the opposite! With the help of happy thoughts, my tunes and thinking about my loved ones or what I have to do for the day, my run is over in the blink of an eye and I enjoy every moment of it – of course I’m only human so there are still times where a run can seem harder than normal, but not on Sunday – my mind would not let me give up, I was so determined to do it! I felt so empowered after it as 10kms is a long distance!

So often I’m asked how do you do it? Or people will say I wish I had your motivation! You have to find something that motivates you and you have to want to do it! For me it’s my heart. In order for my aorta not to dilate any further, I need to prevent high blood pressure. By keeping fit and eating healthy this keeps my weight down and blood pressure down. While this happens my heart doesn’t get any worse and at the end of the day I need, I must be healthy for my children to have a mother….that’s a massive motivator!!!

So where to now?? I’ll just keep running 4-5 times a week. I’ll keep up my pet 4-5km runs and do a longer run each fortnight like I’ve been doing for a while! I get bored really easy so I keep changing my routes which really helps! My aim is to run a 10km run each month to see if I can improve my time! But my real challenge to myself now is to keep improving on all my PBS and get myself ready for 2013, as next year will be the first time I will enter into competitions! I never started running to compete against other people, it’s always been about competing against myself for myself, but I figure by entering in competitions, my money will be going to charity and it will be another great excuse to do what I love the most and that is running!

Thought for the day:
Believe in yourself by saying “I can do this!” Because the minute you say I can’t, you won’t!

Maintaining the Groove!

It’s been 7 months now since I took the first and hardest step of putting on my running shoes and getting the courage to become fit again. It’s been a fantastic 7 months and I’ve been able to achieve some great goals! Since my ‘Jackpot’ post, I’ve achieved my goal weight by losing 10kgs and new PBs for both my 4km and 5km runs! My new PB for 4km is 20.38 mins and for 5km is 27.33 mins!
I’m so close to achieving my new goals which are 4km in 20 mins flat and 5km in 25 mins flat:)

When I say it’s been a fantastic 7 months it has been, up until the last month. I was doing so well. Keeping up my exercise plan of half an hour a day 6 days a week, which included running 3-4 times a week and power walking the other days! But three bouts of illness has proven to be a challenge, but I was so determined not to let any of my hard work be jeopardised!

I’m not a silly person and I know when my body needs rest or not. On the days I was sick I rested but when I felt well, I would exercise even if it meant walking more that week than running. I only ever run when I know I feel awesome! As long as I move in some way each day for half an hour, I am happy:) Even after a whirlwind month I’ve managed to maintain my fitness and goal weight loss. I don’t find it difficult anymore, it’s a part of my everyday life now….I’ve officially got my groove on!

In the past week or so I’ve changed my running routine a bit. I was starting to get a little bored with my route and was wanting a new challenge so I’ve changed my running route which now includes hills…7 of the suckers to be fact! I run this route about 1-2 times a week and it’s already making a difference to when I go back to running my original 4 and 5 km route. I’m hoping this will help me reach my new goals.

I believe that everything we do is mind over matter and once you become comfortable in a good mind set, things will fall into place how you want it to! It then becomes a matter of maintaining the groove that you originally worked so hard to get!

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