Turning Fear to Focus!

Last Sunday, I ran my second half marathon. It was awesome, it was fun, it was empowering, it was everything I’d hoped it would be and I can’t wait to do it all over again….

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If you are a regular follower of my blog you’d know my story. In a nutshell, I was diagnosed with a heart condition while pregnant with my third baby and instead of dwelling on my condition and wrapping myself up in cotton wool, almost 4 years ago I turned to running, to help me keep fit and lean, which helps keep my blood pressure down, which is a trigger in my heart deteriorating.

The year I was diagnosed, I oozed with fear. I couldn’t bare the thought of not seeing my babies grow into adults. I was scared of needing open heart surgery. So many emotions went through my head. But with the help of my amazing cardiologist and regular testing and appointments, I’ve maintained my heart condition with only a slight variation since diagnosis over 4 years ago.

Running has been my savour (of course as well as my incredible family) but it’s really kept me fit both physically and mentally! I only started slow and over time as I became more fit and confident, I slowly increased my kilometres one by one. For the first three years, my limit was 10k and I was totally satisfied with that. The thought of running any further placed fear back in me so I didn’t push it any further. Then towards the end of last year, I started being cheeky and got to 12k, within a few months I’d reached 15k and then the seed was planted…a half marathon could be achievable!

I got in contact with my cardiologist who has always been very happy with my progress and gave me the green light to enter the Gold Coast half marathon…it was finally going to happen! But of course I couldn’t wait that long so a few months ago I ran my first one by myself in the streets of my suburb and ran it in 1 hour 57…first goal achieved under 2 hours! This set a benchmark for me when it came to the event. Leading up I was very happy with my training. Everything had gone to plan and bit by bit I was chipping away at my pace. I was as ready as I’d ever be!

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We are so lucky to have wonderful friends who live on the start and finish line and gave us their apartment for the weekend. I will forever be grateful for that. It made the morning of the race so calm and easy! The kids were so excited to see me run and were more nervous for me than I was! And god bless them they said several times…”we hope you win mummy!” Lol They looked at me a little weird when I explained to them that I was racing myself no one else:/ lol

I was so excited that race day was finally here!!! A few days before, the anticipation of the race was starting to kill me! The weather was absolutely amazing, not cold at all, perfect weather actually to run a half marathon! I was again very lucky to get a good spot about 100m from the start line. This helped in getting a good start which is what I wanted. It took about 1 minute to get to the start line and then once I clicked my watch to start it was game on!

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The first kilometre was slow – 5.20 mins, I normally like a 5-5.05, but you have to expect that when you are running along side thousands of people! My Second kilometre made up for it – 5.02 and I was well on my way then. For the first 7 kilometres I was maintaining 5.10-5.15 kilometres which I was surprisingly happy with. My first goal was to reach 10km in 52 minutes – tick that was done! I was so happy to have reached 11k by 58 minutes and as I looked up, the 1 hour 50 minute pace runner was only a metre from me. 1 hour 50 is my dream time and for a moment there I thought I may have had a chance!!

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I hit a bit of a wall quite suddenly at around 13k. Between not having my tunes in my ear and grabbing cups of water from the drink station I was losing concentration. Mind you at 13k – 1 hour 8 mins, I had made my first PB. The PBs kept rolling out then for every kilometre after that until I reached the finish line! Eventually the 1 hour 50 pace runner became a speck in the crowd lol, but when I reached 17k at 1 and half hours which was my second goal, I knew my final goal was achievable. As I took my last sip of water and all my fuel was taken, I put my head down and ploughed through the last 4k as best as I could.

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Once I saw the apartment we were staying at, I knew that I had to hold on as my family would be waiting to cheer me on. I always get excited as I’m getting close to finishing, especially when I know I’m about to achieve the time I’m aiming for. As I got closer and closer to the finish line I knew the Running Mums Australia (RMA) tent was in sight and as I ran past and heard the cheers from all the wonderful ladies, it steered me on to run as fast as I could to the end. I was going fast, hundreds of people lined the roads and I’d conditioned myself that I probably wouldn’t see my family. But with a call of my name I looked up and there they were…what a moment! I was so excited to see them and high fiving my babies was a definite highlight! Seeing my family made the last 300m the easiest I’d ever run. As I looked down at my watch at 21.1km I’d reached it at 1 hour 53 my final goal of the race. I did it, I really did it…4 mins off my PB!!!!

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Crossing that finish line was a moment I’ll never forget. Who would have ever thought me, who hated long distance running when I was younger and was a sprinter and netballer, can now say I’ve run a half marathon…twice…and I’ve already got my sight set on another. I now know I do have it in me to run my dream time of 1 hour 50 and I’m not giving up until I do! I use to run with fear after I was diagnosed with a dilated aorta and if I was never diagnosed with my heart condition I probably would never have started running. It turns out, my heart condition has been a positive experience for me…I do not fear it anymore, it only keeps me focused!

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This whole experience, from the first day I decided to run a half marathon to the moment I crossed the finish line has been the best experience of my life. I’ve achieved things I thought would never be possible. My mental strength is as strong as it’ll ever be and physically…I can run a half marathon, need I say more! I encourage anyone who wants to start running or exercising of any kind to start now…you won’t regret it! Exercise is such an important part of our bodies health and well-being – you really have nothing to lose! The benefits far out way the alternative and all you have to do is believe and remember anything is possible if you put your mind to it!

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It’s a week on now and I’ve recovered so well. My legs were sore for a couple of days and my first run back was quite slow and easy lol, but I’m ready to tackle a new challenge! I’ll be having a break from any marathon training at this stage until I have my next heart scan in August and see my cardiologist. Next week, I’ll be starting a new running/exercise routine which will assist in preparing me for a 10k twilight race I’m entering in September….the kids loved every bit of the GC Airport Marathon, they want to start entering to! It makes me so happy that the kids look up to me as a good role model. If I can teach my children to set goals, work hard and those goals will be achieved, then I’m satisfied my job as a mum is being done!

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Close Call….

I would consider myself a thrill seeker. One who loves adventure and isn’t scared by much – other than creep crawlies!! But on Saturday, for the first time in my life, I saw my life flash before my eyes and it was far from thrilling and I was scared out of my wits!!

I set out for my normal weekend long run at 6.15am. It was a cold quiet Saturday morning where traffic was concerned – clearly people had the right idea to stay in bed all snuggled in the warmth. I had 15k in front of me to get through. I had no expectations other than to not stop and get it done. As I set off I was feeling good. I was reaching each kilometre within 5.15 – 5.30 minutes and I had plenty to think about and good tunes to listen to so the kilometres were ticking by quickly.

Before I knew it I was into my 5th kilometre and making a good time. I was at the part of my run where I was about to cross a main road to take me back into the back streets of Runcorn, to head towards home for my fuel! As I looked to check for traffic, I had nothing coming to my right and only one car coming towards my left. I crossed the first part of the double lane road to the island and waited for the car to pass me. As the car, which was in the outside lane when I first looked passed, I stepped out onto the road to cross the remaining road. What I didn’t realise is that the car had changed lanes!!!

I shit myself!! If I had of taken another step or a wider stride, the car passing would have taken me out. I can’t believe how close I came to being hit by a car! I was so dirty at myself. It was completely my fault as I hadn’t looked for a second time to double-check where that one single solitary car was. There wasn’t another car in sight. I felt bad for the driver who didn’t communicate at all with me and just kept driving. I made a split second wrong decision which could have done some serious injury to me or even cost me my life!

For a moment all that went through my head was OMG, f$&@, OMG, that was so close, f$&@, I’m so lucky!!!! Then for the next 15 minutes my life seriously flashed before my eyes and I realised how serious that could have been. What if luck wasn’t on my side? What would have my life turned into? My children…they may not of had a mother, my husband a wife! I felt scared, frightened, fragile and still so angry at myself that I would put myself in this situation.

I ploughed through my 15k and never stopped like I planned. But I was shaken, annoyed and embarrassed. I’m an adult and should know better. I’m a mum and should be more vigilant. When I came home and told Kane I required cuddles, lots of cuddles and I coped the constructive criticism on the chin from my family and I took the cuddles from my babies all day.

I learnt a valuable lesson from my run and close call. Life is here not to be messed with and no matter what never leave anything up to chance. You have to make sure everyday all your ‘T’are crossed and all your ‘i’ are dotted. I will always thank my lucky stars that someone was looking over me on that cold crisp morning in winter…must of been my guardian angel…must of been my nana!

My message to everyone….be careful, be vigilant and always be cautious!

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Cuddles from my babies were a calming comfort after my close call…my wake up call!!!

My First Half…

Today I achieved something I thought I never would be able to. Not only because of my heart condition, but I never thought I’d have the ability to. But I do and now I can say I have run a half marathon, without stopping and under 2 hours!!!!

I’ve been working towards this since the beginning of the year with 20k as my furthest run which I did a month ago! I’ve been running 15-17k runs each weekend and slowly increasing my pace. I had actually planned to run 20k next weekend, but with so much rain around this week and I’d only run 5k on Wednesday, I figured my legs would be as ready as they’d ever be.

I spend the last two days fuelling my body with lots of water, protein and of course fruit and veggies. I was as ready as I could be. I got everything ready as I do the night before, which included my water bottle, sachet of fruit and a charged watch and iPod! I woke to overcast conditions this morning which I was completely happy about and set off at 6.15. This is how it played out….

I really thought by not running much this week, my legs would be feeling great – not so much. They were a bit achy and when I reached my first kilometre at 5.15mins I was a bit disappointed. By my third kilometre (which was 5.38mins) I was really disappointed! I even remember saying to myself “oh well today isn’t the day – just get these 20k under your belt!” It wasn’t until I got to the eighth kilometre that I was starting to get a nice consistent pace that I felt in control of the run.

It was during this eighth kilometre that I started to make my way home to fuel my body with water and fruit. I didn’t want to at first as it meant going up two hills which made a total of three hills in the first 9k. But thankfully I kept up my pace and even with a dropped water bottle, which cracked the lid and I lost half my water and I almost dropped my iPod, I stayed on track. But after this comic of events, I started to feel sore again. I found myself thinking again “I don’t think I’ll be keeping up this pace!”

It wasn’t until I saw my time at 11k under an hour that I thought “you might just have this!” From there I kept up my pace. My next aim was to make it to 15k which is where I had the rest of my fruit sachet – and note to self – suck don’t pour in your mouth – not as easy as it seems lol! From this point the rest of the run couldn’t have gone any better.

Last week I ran 16k (more hilly) in an hour and a half and this week I hit 16k at 1 hour 26mins. I was stoked with a 17k pb of 1 hour 31mins – my previous pb was 1 hour 36 mins!! By this time I knew I was about 5 mins in front of the last 20k I had run a month ago…I was pumped!!! I was so focused I couldn’t let myself get excited! It wasn’t until I got 17k that I told myself “you are making it to 21.1!!” My goal was to run my first half marathon under 2 hours and if I knew I wouldn’t make this time I would stop at 20k just like I did last time. When I reached 20k at 1 hour 51 taking almost 5 mins off my pb, I knew that I could achieve my half marathon goal.

That last kilometre wasn’t pretty. I was sore. I was ready to stop. I kept looking at my watch every minute and counting down the metres. When I reached 21k I counted down the last 100m from 10 out loud and at 21.1k I stopped my watch and let out the loudest cheer – a couple were walking past and I think I scared them but I didn’t care – I’d just run a half marathon under 2 hours!!!!!

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I was in disbelief. I did it…I really did it!!!! And I know that I can do better!!! This week I got the confirmation from my cardiologist to run the Gold Coast half marathon. As soon as he confirmed it and after a check up with my doctor on Wednesday, who was very happy with me, I’m now all signed up!!! I’m so pumped and ready to take on the challenge again. My aim…to beat today’s time:)

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When I was diagnosed with my heart condition, no one knew how I would be effected. I have many limitations and work really hard everyday to keep it at bay. But one thing is for sure, my heart condition hasn’t made me scared, it’s made me a stronger, more determined person to achieve things I thought wouldn’t be impossible. My heart condition doesn’t control me…I control my heart condition.

To achieve anything all you have to do is believe and never give up!

Courage shown…lessons learnt!

Friday was a long time coming. After hearing about cross-country for the past 4 years, Bailey was finally old enough to compete. At Runcorn Heights, the first time for a student to compete in cross-country is the year they turn 9. Bay has been waiting in anticipation for so long to take on this challenge. He couldn’t wait to start training for it. Due to my work commitments and Bay’s music commitments, he wasn’t able to get to school for the scheduled training sessions, so he trained with me.

We’ve had a ball training together. It’s been so awesome teaching him about something that is my passion. It’s also been a great time to bond and spend quality time together. I’m just so proud of how far he has come with his perseverance and determination. He really inspires me:)

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When we started training together 6 weeks ago, Bay was in quite a bad way. His anxiety was overwhelming and his motor and vocal tics were at their peak. Watching him struggle each day was breaking our hearts and we were doing everything we could to keep him calm and happy. At times cross-country training brought out the best and worst in him depending on his state of mind. But when he was focused he was amazing. To date his longest tun without stopping is 3k and his fastest km is 5.16 mins…am so chuffed for him:)

This past week leading up to cross-country has been a trying one. Anxiety started kicking in early in the week as he was worried that he wouldn’t know where to run. He was worried that he would get lost – which is his biggest fear in life! But once he was reassured by his PE teacher who walked the course with him, he started to settle. Then two mouth ulcers formed in his mouth and the morning of the cross-country he woke with a sore throat.

My whole speech to him all week was “mate it doesn’t matter where you place as long as you do your very best and have FUN!” That is my mantra for everything!!! He had his little heart set on age champion – dreams are free right?!? We all wished things like this didn’t we?!? Bay puts so much pressure on himself to be the best. It’s great to be passionate and have goals, but I worry that he misses the fun of it all!!

His race wasn’t until after morning tea at 11.30 – it was such a hot and humid day, really it was too hot for cross-country! He sat very quiet and patiently watching all the races before him. He was taking it ALL in. As he lined up on the line, the tallest 9-year-old by far, his face told the story! He wanted it soooo bad. The gun went off and all you saw was my son and his bright watermelon shoes shoot off like a canon. The first thing I thought was “not too fast Bay!!”

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He led for a fair bit of the race but the speed he started with was starting to punish him at the half way mark. Mum saw him with about 300m to go and he was hurting. As I stood at the finishing line waiting for the brightness of his shoes to catch my eye, three other boys came round the corner one by one. I was worried Bay was collapsed somewhere on the course but alas, he was still upright. As he ran the last 100m he had two boys right on his coattails, but he never gave up and pumped those legs to cross the line and receive 4th place…that’s when he did collapse….He was pale. He was delirious. He ended up vomiting. He ran that race with every bit of fighting fibre of his being and he did us bloody proud!

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Once he came back to earth and was back to being coherent, we debriefed the race. I told him how proud I was of him for never giving up. I know what running pain, stitches and heat exhaustion is like. It’s so easy just to stop and walk, it’s the hardest thing to keep going and push through that pain and he did! We spoke about the art of long distance running and how you have to pace yourself and not go out so hard and even though we trained to pace and sprint at the end, I think nerves may have gotten the better of him! Although he didn’t say it out loud, I could tell he was disappointed, but after lots of encouragement and praise from so many people, Bay went to bed that night feeling very proud of himself and super happy that Cunningham won the cross-country carnival!!!

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An added bonus was having his older cousin KB as vice captain:)

As his mother, and a running mother as well, this whole experience has left me inspired. If my son can push through that pain he did on Friday, I’ll always be able to as well. So when I set out to complete my 17k yesterday morning, there were times where I was hurting, but thinking of Bay helped me to push through and take over 2 mins off my 17k pb! Kids are inspiring…no mater what age or ability they have, they really are courageous little human beings!!

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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?

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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