Friday, 21 September 2012

Moving, moving, moving

Its not my legs moving for a change...

Thats right... Mummy Loves to Run is packing up and trundling over to Word Press.

What does this mean?

1) We can now be found at mummylovestorun dot com
2) The new sight wont be "aesthetically pleasing" for a wee while... looking THIS beautiful doesn't happen overnight
3) If you follow by email please sign up to follow by email on the new site
4) If you use a reader or have Mummy Loves to Run saved in your favourites (like you all would!) please update to our new address

Changing to Word Press was on my "when I have some spare time" to do list. Then last night I realised my next spare time is scheduled for 2018! So I bit the bullet and started the process.

Word Press is much more sophisticated but also looks a little more complicated so bear with me as I learn.

I hope you enjoy our new home!

Any advice on moving from Blogger to Word Press? What other things should I be thinking about?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Its time for a training week fortnight wrap.

Since the last training update I have managed to get some longer runs under my belt and I am starting to feel ready for this half marathon!

Thanks to the September Miles Madness I have been motivated to tack a few extra Ks on all my sessions and not just my long runs and this has seen me achieve my highest mileage week EVER!

With the exception of some specific 'post baby' soreness (apparently all the kegels in the world don't strengthen you for DISTANCE running) my body has adapted well to the higher mileage.

The Hill sessions on the other hand completely shocked my body and left my hamstrings screaming. I chose very gentle hills, did extra long warm ups and kept the reps low. Even though I felt like I didn't push very hard IN my hill sessions my legs talked about divorcing me for days after. Given how much of a shock the hills have been I am only going to squeeze two more hill workouts in between now and the race. I certainly don't want sore tired legs like that close to the race. Its been a long time since I have experienced DOMS and in some sick and twisted way it sure felt good to know that I pushed my legs in running.

When Sunday rolled around I was planning on heading out for 90 minutes on my own while Big A took care of Little A. But cuddling up with Little A on the bed (in the morning when he is just ALL smiles) was just too much fun... how could I leave this little guy behind???? So I suggested to Big A that I take the stroller and he come along on his bike. We decided to run/ride in to the City and have breakie along the River Torrens and run/ride home. Running home on a "big breakkie" and a belly full of coffee was a bit rough but it certainly was a nice way to mix my running up and squeeze some more time in with my two favourite people!

Tempo and Intervals are going well. I had a great Interval session last week in which I attempted 3 minute 30 second Ks. I failed. My fastest was 3 minutes 35 seconds. How amazing are these Olympic female athletes... they run 42.2km at a pace that I can't even maintain for 1km!!!

This morning my Tempo Run included 30 minutes at 15kmp/h which is another personal best for me... Suddenly a sub 20 minute 5km seems possible and dare I dream of a 40 minute 10km!?!?!

All in all I am mentally and physically in a great place for this half marathon. Now the only problem is making sure I am geographically in the right place for this half marathon... an unexpected trip away might mean I wont be able to race the McLaren Vale Half. Fingers crossed though! Anyone know of any Virtual Half Marathons on the weekend of October 14th? I need a back up plan!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

World... Hold On!

Just a quick post to assure my 2 readers (Hi Mum!) that I haven't fallen off the blogosphere.

Apparently my relaxed pace is a bit too slow for this fast pace world. Over the last week I just can't seem to find time for much more than eating, playing & running!

No cleaning, no blogging and no pureeing. So I am putting myself on "house arrest" for a couple of days to catch up.

Running is going great guns. Last week I clocked up 70km which is my biggest mileage week since returning to running post baby.

In other news (you mean there is something other than running!?!?)....

Spring is here and Little A and I are lapping up the beautiful weather and spending every second we can outside!

I took my lunch break outside while Little A slept... Clearly I'm a very busy woman!

I am very proud to announce that our Apple tree is sprouting green which is great news considering Little A is the first thing I have successfully kept alive ever!

Training week wrap to follow soon...

Monday, 10 September 2012

Mindful Mothering

"By the time we have children, many of us have become so achievement-orientated, so goal-driven, so addicted to busyness that we lose out ability to relax along with our capacity to notice what is going on in the now. One of the greatest gifts children bring is the way they guide, if not force, our attention back home to the present. Young children live in the present moment, oblivious to the past, unconcerned about the future. They see objects, people and events with fresh eyes, and with wonder. If we choose to, we can take on their viewpoint and see our surroundings as if for the first time. Once jaded, world-weary parents can find themselves lying in their backyards, fascinated at the proceedings of an ant colony. If we let them, children can teach us the value of time with no objectives, a skillful kind of laziness free from the need for productivity."

This is an extract from Sarah Napthali's book Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children, becoming a mindful parent which I was gifted from a beautiful friend and mother.

Am I buddhist? No, but this book is definitely my #1 recommended read for any new parent. Getting up multiple times in the night to a teething child is always easier when you are filled with compassion and understanding. Don't get me wrong, I don't bounce out of bed smiling to tend to Little A and lets face it, sleep deprivation can make all rational thoughts go out the window. But empathy, understanding and compassion can help how we experience those difficult times.

This year I set a New Year's resulotion to have inner peace. The goal was NOT to be happy but to be at peace within myself which in turn has bought about greater happiness. I don't believe feeling happiness all the time to be possible and or even appropriate... should we be happy when faced with loss? I don't think so!

Earlier this year I did a meditation course run by buddhist teacher Kelsang Norjin. I was 35 weeks pregnant at the time and if meditation wasn't challenging enough trying to meditate with an active little boy in your belly was near impossible. That was ok though, I didn't go for a day of meditation but instead I had enrolled hoping to learn the art of meditation. I knew I would have lots of practice to do outside of the course. What I didn't know was just how hard true meditation is.

Going in to this class I believed meditation to be a relaxing process in which you let your mind free. I quickly discovered I was wrong. In actual fact it is the exact your mind and FOCUSING on one thing. There is nothing relaxing about learning and trying to master meditation. It takes discipline and perserverance. I found it to be extremely difficult and frustrating.

By lunch time I was ready to give up. After 2 morning sessions of meditation I think I had achieved up to 3 breaths of "true" meditation. Luckily I bumped into the teacher on lunch break (before I made my planned escape) and after being informed that 21 breaths is "master level" of meditation I was starting to feel a little more encouraged. "Bugger it" I thought, I might as well have another crack... so I stayed for the afternoon session.

By the end of the day I was feeling much more comfortable and relaxed with meditation. Whilst I hadn't progressed past 5 breaths in a row I felt I had learned a lot and couldn't wait to try it out without the interruptive kicks from my belly!

How did my head get filled with so much stuff that I could't truly focus on ONE thing (my breathing) with NO other thoughts for more than 5 seconds?!?!

Fast forward 7 months and life is much different. When Little A was a newborn I could pass hours just gazing at him and feeling him breath on my chest, then it was hours spent engaging with him as he became more aware. Now it is hours sitting in the high chair experiencing food and watching him discover and experience everything for the first time. Life is lived at a much more relaxing pace and such simple things bring me joy.

Yes there is lots of chaos here too. Days when I can't wait for bath time to come around because I feel so stretched and exhausted. Days when the endless washing and folding makes me feel so unispired.

Luckily, they are dispersed between moments of absolute wonder and amazement and I am so grateful to be aware of and capable of fully experiencing these.

My journey to living mindufully started before Little A was even in my belly (not long before) but Little A's arrival has only enriched it and assisted me to slow down and live in the present.

If you are looking for a beautiful book to read, I highly recommend Sarah Napthali's Buddhism for mothers of young children, becoming a mindful parent.

If you are looking for a "challenge" to enrich your life I highly recommend learning the art of meditation... just don't expect results over night!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

6 months

It feels like yesterday Little A gave us his first smile. Now he just can't wipe that cheesy grin from his face.

Mind you he does have a lot to smile about. This month Little A got his first set of wheels! No longer happy to "sit" back in his rocker we decided it was time for a walker. After test driving a couple...

"Not my style mummy"

"Does it have power steering"

We finally settled on this one...

He loves standing up in it and is slowly figuring out that if he "pushes off" he moves. Mind you he can't seem to get it out of reverse at the moment which causes him great frustration!

Also making the Little guy smile is his new Jolly Jumper...

Anything that tires that bundle of energy out makes mummy happy too!

This month saw the arrival of two teeth! Teething is joyful... NOT!!! Bucket loads of drool, bright red cheeks, short naps, frequent night waking and a sad and grizzly boy.

The Womens and Childrens Hospital teething gel worked wonders for us when his second tooth cut through. Little A has never really taken to "teething toys" which is strange because he his happy to put just about anything else in his mouth...

We are only one tenth of the way through the whole teething process but I can tell you the best advice and treatment for a teething baby (in our limited experience) is CUDDLES!

we have continued to introduce Little A to new foods and he is now enjoying 3 meals a day. New on the menu is Pumpkin, Carrot, Banana, Pear, Broccoli & Lentils.

We have also introduced rusks. I love them because they will keep Little A entertained for at least 20 minutes but I hate them because the aftermath takes about 20 minutes to clean up!

"What mess mum?"


Last month I was left wondering if we would still have to wrap this boy when he was 13! Turns out that teething may have just helped Little A to move out of wraps. One night Little A grizzled until he had his arm free (to put in his mouth!)

The next night I wrapped him with an arm free and the night after that we said good bye to wrapping and are now using sleep sacks. I love Sleep Sacks! Apart from being super cute they are so practical. Although after 5 months of having him pinned down it was a little scary to walk in and find him down the other end of the cot or on his belly playing...

I would love to say that Little A has been sleeping through the nights and we have all been getting loads of sleep but that would be a FAT LIE! In reality we are all getting the least amount of sleep since Little A came along.

Rewind a month or two ago and the only reason Little A woke was to feed. Easy... feed and back in cot. Now it feels like there are 100 different things going on. Teething. Growth spurts. Seperation anxiety (yep, Suddenly he is aware he is all alone in his room and if he cries mummy & daddy come).

As much as I am happy to demand feed, I don't want to be used as a human dummy so it's been a challenge to establish what's really going on each night and tend to him in a way that I am comfortable doing long term. We seem to have gotten on top of it... for now!

Finally, here are some of my favourite pics from this month...

"who changed the channel?"

"Mummy & Daddy will never find me here"

"Can you get my phillips head?"

"mummy will be in BIG trouble when dad sees this photo!"

"Hmmm... Everything looks a bit orange."

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Running East

Time for a training week wrap up...

My long run this week was 90 minutes and I am pleased to say has left me feeling quite confident about building up distance again. After 2 rough nights with Little A I was itching to let loose on the track. I decided to run East for a change (toward the hills, not away from them). But I was hoping to hit my turn around point (halfway) before I hit any big hills. No such luck! Instead about 4 Ks of my Long Run resembled more of a hill session. And as if the hills weren't enough at about 60 minutes it started to spit... despite the weather man assuring me that there was NO chance of rain (I even double checked again as I left home). So the final 30 minutes felt more like a tempo run as I powered home in a race against the weather.

On the positive side the unexpected hills proved that running hills with the stroller was possible... Two new challenges for me that I hadn't planned on mixing (hills & stroller running). So the next day when I was due for my first hill session in 2 years I decided to head out with Little A in the morning rather than wait for Big A to get home so I could run 'sans stroller.

I ran for 3Ks to warm up before I found a suitable hill for my repeats. Depending who you ask my hill may have looked more like a mound but it was enough for this novice hill runner. I certainly feel that I have mixed up my training... my calves will tell you all about it.

For speed work this week I did 800s. I managed all of them around the 3 minute mark but I am looking forward to coming back to these again in a couple of weeks as I held back a smidge due to a hammie niggle (which has thankfully buggered off now!)

The training week ended with a rest day for fathers day... Big A's first. It was an awesome day filled with lots and lots of yummy food (a Polish FEAST). Thanks to leftovers it is a never ending feast! Let's just say I am well fuelled for my runs this week!

Little A has his 6 month immunisations today. I will probably take a rest day to be on hand for extra cuddles and to work on his 6 month update... Coming soon!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The last HooRah

Little A is just shy of 6 months which means I have been back running for 5 months already. There is nothing like having a baby to make time fly! I have well and truly made my "comeback" and can now shift my focus from regaining strength and fitness to building on and growing it.

Post baby my goal was to regain my fitness as efficiently as possible.
Enter Speed Work!

5 months of running with a program built around Tempos and Intervals has paid off and now I feel ready to crank up the Ks!

And crank up the Ks I will do as I am only seven weeks out from my next goal... The McLaren Vale Half Marathon.

So whats the plan going to look like now?

Well you may remember me saying that I want to become a Stronger Runner?
Enter Hills!

It has been nearly 2 years since I have ran a hill session. I'm not expecting these to be fun but I am looking forward to pushing myself in a new way.

I am also going to keep two "easy" runs but do these with the stroller. I am finding stroller running physically quite challenging but I know it is making me a better runner.

I will also keep one "speed" session each week and will alternate these between tempo and intervals.

Finally of course there is the long run in which I will build up my distance. My longest run since Little A came along has been 80 minutes. In the next 7 weeks I would like to increase that by 30-40minutes. So all up for the next 7 weeks my training plan will look something like this:

Tempo or Intervals
Long Run

With 2 rest days thrown in there too I should be able to comfortably manage this load.

So why the last HooRah?

After this race I'm not going to train for anything. I may or may not race but I wont be following a training program. Runs will be done when and if I feel like them for as long or short as I feel like. There's a few reasons for this change of approach:

1) Little A will be nearly 8 months and summer will be just around the corner. I can't wait for our first summer together... trips to the pools, walks to the playgrounds and runs to the beach. Bring it on! I know we are going to have a blast and I know there will be lots of physical activity in there and lots of Ks put on the pram but I want our activites and days to be dictated by the weather and what WE want to do not my running program.

2) I have never really done much "unstructured" running. Generally I have been training for something and following some program. I want to learn to embrace running without striving for a race or an achievement.

3) The BIG reason for the change - Big A and I have made no secret of our desire to grow our family. The last 6 months have flown by and I know the next 6 months will too. When that time comes around I want to be ready physically and mentally. Breastfeeding, Pregnancy and Running individually are all demanding of the body. For me I am finding the combination of two of them an energy burning fest(!!!) and would dare not attempt all 3 at once (Honestly I don't have time to eat & drink anymore). As I am not ready to wean Little A from feeding just yet I am going to wean the running first. Hopefully I can find my "sweet spot" where my body can manage running and baby growing responsibilites.

4) Finally mastering "unstructured running will be essential if I choose to run through my next pregnancy. Running while pregnant requires you to listen to your body and each run will be taken on a day by day basis (if at all!). I suspect following a plan would be futile.

So here goes my last HooRah before I attempt to master "unstructured running"!

Any unstructured runners out there? Whats the secret?
Did you run through pregnancy?

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Adelaide Marathon 10km Race

Pre - Race
Like all races these days I try not to think about them or more specifically get excited about them until its the morning of. Mostly because now I have this little guy who is completely dependant on me and quite frankly "unpredictable", I know that there is always a chance that something may crop up and I will have to forgo a race.

"Go run Mum, I'll look after daddy"

So as I walked to the start line with Big A and Little A, I had a mini-panick attack. I had no race plan, I hadn't even spared this race a thought! Arriving at the start with only 5 minutes to go didn't leave much time to do anything either. I said goodbyes to the boys and made a dash for the loos. Cutting it fine .... I know!

I made it back just in time for the count down. Usually I would join the back of the pack but today I was going for a PB and negotiating traffic can chew up precious seconds so I nestled in to the middle of the eager to start (it was about 9 degrees!) pack of runners.

My race plan was formulated in the first 500m. I was going to run at a pace that I thought I could JUST maintain for 10km and then give anything I had left in the last km. A 10km race pace for me is running at about 7/10 for perceived effort. In the first Ks I glanced at my Garmin and was a little freked to see the number 13 on my speed screen... but I felt comfortable so I went with it.

This turned out to be the perfect plan.

My Time
I crossed the line in 46 minutes and 22 seconds. My race pace must have been smack on as my splits were very even:

9.24 (oops missed a km marker! average = 4.42)(2.06km)
4.27 (.95km)

The Course
Do you remember me saying that I was scared to run the Adelaide Marathon because of the twisty turning course. Well the 10km still had some loops and turns (but nothing like the marathon). I think the course was inspired by the London Olympic Marathon course with its 111 turns!

Despite the winding nature of the course and nearly colliding with a pole in the middle of the foot path AND nearly being taken out by a runner who didn't see the fountain in the middle of the path, I loved the course. The South East corner weaved through the botanic gardens and was all new running territory for me.

The last 200 meters came off the road, up a path and into an oval. It was awesome to finish a race along a path lined with supporters and friendly faces.

Looking back on the race there are so many things that make me smile. Here's just a few:

1. Shaving 13 minutes and 38 seconds of my last 10km time in just 17 weeks! I know this is largely thanks to the massive "returning" to running gains after baby but I still put in all the hard work and clearly my training program (written by me!) wasn't too shabby either!

2. How in tune I have become with my body and pace in all things running. To achieve those (almost) EVEN splits on "feel" I was pretty happy!

3.Seeing hubby and bubby at the 9km marker. Even though I had arranged to meet the boys at the finish line. Big A surprised me a couple times along the course. The 9km sighting was completely unexpected and gave me that final kick I so needed!

4.This was my first race in which I have associated myself with a charity and run for a reason. It added a whole new dimension to the experience and I thank everyone again for their support. It sure feels good to mix my passion with giving back to the community.

Final thoughts
I have to confess I didn't go into the race confident of achieving my goal. In the 2 weeks leading up to the race Little A had been teething and quite unsettled. This meant that a lot of my runs were done with the stroller (at a slower pace). Having not ran much at my desired race pace I was a little psyched out as to whether or not I still could. Turns out the thing that "did my head in" actually makes me a better runner. But I'll tell you all about that in another post dedicated to the wonderful BUT challenging world of "stroller running".

So now that I have achieved my 10km goal whats next? Well this is worthy of another post too so stay tuned to hear about the next training goal and race in 7.5 weeks... my last HooRah!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Running... the answer to everything

Hmmm maybe this wonder week only lasted 3 days I thought to myself as I washed Little A's breakfast bowl. The little guy was playing happily in his high chair and after only waking for one feed the night before it was a nice contrast to the grizzly bub I had encountered on and off over the last few days. Little A was just shy of 23 weeks and I had put his grizzling and desperate need for mummy and cuddles down to a wonder week.

After the breakfast clean up, I took Little A in to Big A who was enjoying a snooze in. The two boys played and cuddled while I got dressed for my run. It was Sunday and I was due to do my long run. I was keen to crank out some Ks so I decided I would do a treadmill run. The plan was 90 minutes and my goal was 18km.

With everything in place for my run I offered Little A his pre-sleep feed. After a whole lot of fussing and not much feeding I decided it was time to wrap and settle the obviously over tired baby.

As soon as I laid the little guy on his wrap grizzling turned to screaming. I sat in the nursing chair cuddling and rocking confident that he was just over-tired and would settle soon...

10 minutes later and no sign of settling Big A came in to take over. I was happy to trade places by this stage. I paced the hallway waiting for my cue (silence) to jump on the treadmill... 10 minutes later we were no closer to having a sleeping baby.

The longer it took to settle the worse it was getting. I decided to bite the bullet and started packing the pram. I told Big A of my plan and he happily placed the "unsettleable" baby in to the pram.

By the time I hit the end of the street the little guy was fast asleep. Once we reached the river I plugged my hands-free in and called Big A to make plans. We hadn't managed to exchange a word over the screaming baby and I wanted to make sure he was on stand-by in case the miserable-looking sky decided to leak on us. I decided I would do an hour run (if the weather allowed) and meet Big A at Macdonalds for raison toast and coffee (we earned it!)

11km later I pulled off the track and started the recovery walk to meet Big A. The little guy was still fast asleep and stayed that way for another hour while we enjoyed our coffee and toast. Apparently screaming at the top of your lungs for 30 minutes is tiring work!

About a week later Little A's bottom 2 teeth cut through his gums. Was it a wonder week, was it teething, was it separation anxiety or was it just a REALLY over tired baby? I don't know. Either way I thank god for stroller running. The little guy settled and got what he needed (sleep), Big A got what he needed (caffeine) and I got what I needed (a run).

I know there will be a next time and when that comes around I want hesitate about getting Little A in that stroller!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I'm a mixed breed

I have always enjoyed my tempo and intervals sessions but despite my love of speed sessions I have never considered myself a "short distance" runner. Although I would do shorter distances I always thought I was a half marathon runner who was trying to become a marathon runner.

Then Little A came along and my focus changed from quantity to quality. I knew 2-3 hour long runs wouldn't be on the cards for a while. What I didn't know was how much I would enjoy the shorter distances. Or more importantly that I can achieve more over these distances than I could in the longer.

Problem solved... Become a short distance runner! But its not that easy!!!

Despite absolutely loving my current training I just can't shake this nagging desire for a marathon. I ache for that 42.2km. Adelaide only has one marathon each year which happens to be this weekend. So any desires for another marathon would mean travel. Shorter distance races though are much easier to come by with at least one suitable race each month.

When looooong runs were out of the question it was easy to focus on the shorter distances but now that we have reached a point where training for a marathon is possible I feel torn. Little A and I are now running together in the stroller which gives me a lot more flexibility for length of runs. Intervals and Tempo Runs on the other hand are a bit more a challenge with a stroller (or at least they are for this beginner!).

At the end of the day the problem is I love it all. I loved the 5km, the marathon and everything in between. I wish I was a "pure" short or "long" distance runner but I'm not.

Marathon Runner Vs The Sprinter

For now though my focus is the 10km race this weekend. If I achieve my goal time then it will move to a half marathon in 8 weeks. If I don't achieve my goal time then I will do another 10km in 8 weeks instead of the half.

After that... I don't know.I have 8 weeks to work it out. What I do know is this:

- I want to become a "stronger" runner
- I want to have peak health to grow our family when we choose to
- I want to continue to enjoy running without it ever becoming all consuming
- I want my training to be efficient... if I am going to be away from my family, then damn it I will make it worthwhile.

I'm not sure what distances and styles of training will best suit these goals but I will let you know when I do!

Are you a short or long distance runner?
Do you ever want to do it all?

Monday, 6 August 2012

5 months

Make yourself a cuppa and put your feet up this is going to be a long one! It has been an exciting and eventful month for our little guy.

After weeks of staring at us eating and even trying to steal rice off my plate we decided it was time to introduce Little A to the wonderful world of solids. The process has been a gradual one as we are introducing one new food each week. Starting with Farex, Little A has since enjoyed Sweet Potato, Apple and most recently Avocado. He happily devours everything on offer and lets out a desperate wail if you haven't reloaded the spoon by the time he has swallowed his last mouthful. His obvious LOVE of food is a sure sign he is my son (in case that experience of child birth ever fades and I am ever left wondering!!!!) However it is not all smiles and smooth sailing at food time. Here is how a typical mealtime plays out...

"Is that for me?"

"Bring my bib back... I'm not done!"

Speaking of bibs I discovered very quickly that they don't cover much and when you are an OCD mother dealing with curious little fingers and sweet potato they just don't cut it. Enter the painting smock...

"I thought you were just kidding about wrapping me in plastic"

Here is some more mealtime fun for you:

"Any chance of seconds?"

"Okay no seconds then. What about some dessert?"

"What about that banana over there"


Little A's appetite isn't the only thing that has developed this month. Now that he has well and truly mastered the grasping of things he wants to grab everything in sight. This is making simple things like trying to read a book a bit more of a challenge! On the plus side though he is starting to enjoy his toys on a whole new level...

Tummy time is turning into a desperate bid to get moving. Luckily (for us) he is a little way off actually getting anywhere just yet but its super cute to watch him try his little heart out. Most attempts to draw his knees up and lift his hips result in a face plant which is quite entertaining!

In regards to sleep I have finally adjusted to the 2 feeds per night which hasn't changed since it started last month. Apart from the feeds Little A is more settled at nights again. We did have one night this month that gave me insight as to what its like to get up 5 times in the space of a 2.5 hours! Luckily things returned to normal again the next night. Sleep deprivation doesn't suit me!

As for daytime sleeps we have now dropped down to 3 sleeps per day. These sleeps can vary in length from 30 minutes up to 2.5 hours. Generally I find that his first sleep in the morning is his best sleep for the day. Like all mothers I just adore a sleeping baby! Here are my favourite snoozing shots from this month...

All in all it has been an amazing month filled with lots of special memories. I can't wait to see what next month holds.

When did you stop wrapping baby for sleep time?
Any tips on helping them adjust

Thursday, 2 August 2012

The ultimate runners network

On my post pregnancy to do list was a trip to my podiatrist to get re-assessed. After having my hips and core plied apart I figured "structurally" I wouldn't be the same. Turns out I was right! The extra weight I carried, the physical changes that happened and all that relaxin that pumped through my body have a bit to answer for. All in all I was happy to discover that all my core work has paid off but I still have some work to do. Let me say though, there is nothing like a knowledgable health professional to help you establish what needs to be stretched, tightened or adjusted. I left my appointment feeling confident that I can get back on top of these few niggles that I have acquired post baby that I just haven't been able to shake.

Today reminded of a post by pavement runner about surrounding yourself with greatness (see here). Its amazing how much we as humans can feed off and be inspired by others. I mean who isn't sitting on their couch at the moment feeling uber-inspired watching our olympians!?!?

At the moment I am training on my own. I am not part of a runners club and I am only doing the odd race here and there. So I am not getting to socialise in person with many other runners much. But I AM SURROUNDED BY GREATNESS and do have an amazing network of people who inspire, motivate and assist me.

Firstly there is the amazing online community of bloggers and tweeters. I love sharing in other peoples journeys and I love being inspired by them. On the occassion when I just lack that motivation there will always be another runner who tweets or blogs something that I swear was written just for me. It doesn't matter if our mileage, goals or paces are different I can always rely on these people to give me a kick in the bum when I need it.

Then there are those allied health professionals who keep us on our feet. Now I have met a few in my times as a PT but there is nothing like working with a fellow runner who "gets it". Yes runners can be "slightly obsessive" by nature and not the most reasonable people to deal with when we are injured. Sometimes rest is the only answer but a fellow runner sure understands how much you just want to get back to running!

Finally there are my amazing supportive friends and family. They are magnificent and are always there to encourage me. This in itself inspires greatness in me. I want to strive to be the best I can just for them!

No, I am not aiming for the Olympics or any elite level for that matter. But that doesn't mean that I don't still benefit from being surrounded by amazing people (athletes or not!). I might be the one to go out there and do the Ks BUT I only got out there because my husband understands and supports me, because I read that inspiring tweet that motivated me, because my podiatrist removed my corns and I am pain-free again!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Please help!

I am participating in the 2012 Adelaide Marathon Running Festival being held on the 19th August (my birthday!) as part of the Muscle Team. As a member of the Muscle Team I will be raising money for adults and children with a neuromuscular condition.

It is hard to imagine that everyday tasks such as walking, driving and getting dressed can be so difficult but unfortunately this is the case for many people with a neuromuscular condition.

This is why I have taken this opportunity to use my muscles for someone who has less muscle power and raise funds along the way to help provide specialist services such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, speech therapy and counselling which are crucial for MDSA’s clients. You too can help by sponsoring me in this event!

If you could spare even $1 please click here to donate.

Thank you to all the wonderful friends and family who have already donated. Your support means the world to me and to those whose lives will be greatly improved because of your generosity.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Exciting times

Guess who dropped in to talk all things running?

My new Lil Running Buddy.

I did ask him to do a guest post but unfortunately he is too busy with his eating, playing and sleeping schedule. However he did agree to answer a few questions...

Have you experimented with different approaches to your sessions
Yes. There are 2 main styles I use:

The first one I don't do often but it looks like this...

and the second one is a much more relaxed approach ...

People say you are determined. Would you agree?
Yes. I know what I want and I have ways of making sure I get it...

How do you deal with runners belly?
Don't tell anyone but I wear nappies on all runs!

How are you enjoying running with your new running buddy?
Can I take the fifth?

Yes, Little A and I have enjoyed our first run out and about in the stroller. It went better than I could have hoped for. I did feel the difference pushing the pram but it only knocked about 30-40seconds off my pace. I loved the sympathetic looks from fellow runners as I hit the hills!

Now that we have had our test run, as long as the weather allows I will try and do my Easy Runs with Little A in the stroller. The stroller running will help to keep my pace where it needs to be for the Easy Runs and it will also allow me to get some Ks out on the pavement. I can't believe I am saying this but I have grown very fond of my treadmill runs and have even opted to do my weekend runs (when Big A is home and I can go out) at home on the treadmill. Hopefully I will find my groove back out on the pavement again. With 60km of awesome running track on my doorstep its a waste to confine myself to the treadie by choice!

Little A wasn't the only baby to join the running community this month. Check out this gorgeous little girl. She does it with style!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Thanks and No Thanks

I hope we raise our children to be grateful. I believe gratitude has a positive impact on how we experience life. I don't keep a daily gratitude diary but a day doesn't go by when I don't feel grateful for:

-> My gorgeous family
-> My health
-> Beautiful friends and
-> The ability to live my dreams

This week though there has been a few things that I am not grateful for:

No thanks to the stranger at the shops who publicly told me to "feed the poor child" when Little A let out a little cry from the pram. Too bad he didn't see me sitting at a cafe 30 minutes earlier doing just that!

No thanks to the man at the shops yesterday who told me that my child is hungry and I should feed him. No, Little A was not crying or even making a noise. He was simply chewing on his finger which is pretty standard for him these days! "Give him something sweet, maybe some chocolate" he said (!!!)

No thanks to the same man who checked with me 5 minutes later outside the shop "have you fed him yet? Did you give him something sweet?"

Starving child? I don't think so!

What makes anybody an expert on my child or his needs when they have laid their eyes on him for all of 5 seconds?!?! Just for the record Little A is demand fed which is still about 7 times per day and he is above the 50th percentile for his weight. Trust me, there is no starving child here.

Little A does grizzle when he's hungry but he also grizzles when he wants attention, when he's tired, when the sun is in his eyes or for 100 other reasons I can list off!

The worst thing is I KNOW these people have good intentions. They are well meaning and are just trying to be helpful but seriously NO THANKS! Sometimes my gorgeous little boy will cry or grizzle but rest assured he is not starving and in a minute or two when I have tended to his needs he will be ok... NO NEED TO PANIC!

Luckily there's been a lot recently that I am grateful for to balance out this tirade of unwanted advice. In a material world there is nothing like parenthood to remind you what is important. Here are just a few gestures that have have really touched me recently:

-> Friends and family who have cooked meals for us. It is such a thoughtful gesture and in my opinion the best present you can give parents with a new baby.

-> A phone call from a friend telling me to come with Little A to her house in my running gear. On arrival I was sent off for a run while she looked after Little A. It was a real treat to have a "pavement" run and recharge for a little bit.

-> Hanging up washing, folding washing, cooking dinner, drying dishes and all the other wonderful things my mummy did while she stayed with us. It was amazing!

Thanks to all our beautiful friends and family who have offered unconditional love, support and guidance as we have started our journey into parenthood. We are so grateful to have such an amazing support network.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Re - jigging

I have re-jigged my training program . . . AGAIN!

My goals are still the same (see here), I'm not injured and I am getting amazing gains. Why change?

I am a big believer that how many "hard" sessions you can manage in your training is very individual. Age, injuries and fitness level etc all play a role. Since Little A arrived I have focused on the speed work to try and regain my fitness quickly. This has meant that I have had 4 hard sessions each week and 1 easy session with 2 rest days. For a "seasoned athlete" I'm sure this would be a breeze but I definitely don't fit in to that category. But even as a recreational runner I am very pleased with how my body has handled the higher intensity training load. All the speed work has seen me not only achieve pre-baby paces but far exceed them. But now I feel its time to back it off a smidge and for this reason I have decided to trade one of my "hard" sessions for an Easy Run.

How did I know it was time to back it off:

- Niggles are brewing. They are not injuries (yet) and they can easily be managed with stretching and foam rolling but I don't have copious amounts of time to spend on my recovery so I need to keep niggles at bay in the first instance.

- I was struggling to space an easy session or rest day before each "hard" session. There are so many other factors that dictate which run I can get in on which day and changing the ratio of hard and easy sessions will help me to go into my hard sessions adequately rested.

So what does an "average" week of training look like now:

Easy Run
Tempo Run
Long Run
Easy Run

Of cousre I may have to change the order of these sessions around each week as need be to fit them in around the mummy and wife duties but I am just happy these days to complete my planned sessions (read all about that here).

So that said its time for a tempo run. . . here goes!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Post race high

I am taking a little break from whimpering in the corner after my interval session yesterday to share my training week wrap up. If I had to use one word to describe my 10 x 400s it would be BRUTAL. I know intervals are meant to be tough but I was digging so deep to get this session out there were almost tears.

Rough intervals aside it has been a great week of running coming off a PB race. Training has generally been going well but last Sunday's race has breathed new life into my training. I am so hungry for each and every run.

On Monday I enjoyed an Easy Run. I love a run the day after a race to stretch out any tight bits but after the 5k there was nothing complaining. Honestly I felt like I hadn't even raced!

Tuesday I cranked it up with my Tempo run which included 25 minutes at 14kmp/h. Tomorrows run I am shooting for 30 minutes at 14kmp/h . . . So excited!

Wednesday I took a rest day and Thursday I woke up feeling a bit average so I decided to postpone my run. By evening I was feeling a lot better and hit the treadmill. The great thing about running in the evening is Little A is down for the night and my runs can be longer. So I jumped on the opportunity to get my long run done and saved a shorter session for the weekend.

Friday was a cold, wet and miserable day. I decided to make it a rest day and enjoyed a relaxing day at home with Little A in our PJs. After feeling like I was on the verge of getting sick all week I was glad to have a restful day and just enjoy cuddling and playing with the little guy!

"Not getting dressed today?"

Saturday I did an easy run and Sunday was the interval session from hell. I didn't think I had 10 x 400s in me let alone at my goal speed of 17kmp/h but my hunger to achieve the session got me through. I think it was the hardest session I have attempted since returning to running.

After last weeks race I have re-jigged my training a bit. The plan is to drop one speed session... I will share my new plan and reasonings with you in my next post.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Winter Running

We are half way through winter and the weather didn't waste anytime getting cold, wet and rainy this year. There have been some absolutely FREEZING days and more rain than I can remember for a while.

Luckily I lurrrrrrrve winter running. I don't even mind the odd run in the rain. Once the temperature starts to creep over 20degrees (celsius) my running slows so this is a great time of year for running.

Yes I miss daylight and yes I don't like being cold when I'm not running and I absolutely HATE wind but there is a lot to be enjoyed about Winter:

-> Electric blankets - a warm toastie bed, what more could you want?
-> Hot showers and trackies after a run
-> Hot drinks, blankets and snuggles
-> Soups, stews and slow cooked meals

If you ask me Winter is good for the soul.

As for running there are some adjustments to make to survive and stay motivated in the cooler weather. Here are my top 5 winter running tips:

1. Layer. Put on any amount of clothes you need to so that you can get out the door but just make sure you can peel them off because once you get going you'll be ready to ditch them. If you aren't running with a pram and don't have somewhere to stash your unwanted layers plan your warm up around your block so you can drop anything off before you head off on the rest of your run.

2. Gloves. Not sure if its just me but my hands can get so cold in winter I have trouble bending my fingers around the steering wheel! Gloves are a must. I know gloves and a running singlet can look odd but hey I'm willing to commit a fashion crime if it means I can use my hands after my run.

3. Turn the heater off before you go. When you get home you will be grateful you did. I can never imagine it when I'm leaving home but walking into a heated house after a run is like walking into a sauna.

4. Rug back up. If you are finishing your run out and about make sure you have a jacket on hand. Once you stop you will be warm at first but all the sweat in the cold air will have you freezing in no time.

5.Adjust your warm up. It takes your muscles longer to warm up in the cooler weather so you need to increase your warm up accordingly to prevent injury. The colder the weather and the faster I intend to go the longer the warm up. For me an easy run in warm weather only needs a 5 minute warm up but an interval session on a cold day may need 15minutes.

Happy Winter Running!