Getting back together…

I know that it has been a while since we caught up, months actually, and If I’m honest, I was a little nervous about tonight, and I wasn’t sure it would be the same, feel the same.

I know that when things got hectic, and I got sick – I let us slip…  That’s why coming back was so hard. What if it wasn’t the same? You know we had great times together. What if something else comes between us again?

I made the decision to see you at the last minute. I think it was so I wouldn’t talk myself out of meeting. My stomach was a knot, my head a bit of a mess… What if doesn’t feel as good as the last time, what if the magic was gone…

I wore the outfit you like, Ha, no, You don’t really care what I wear do you? You just want me to turn up. I think I wore that outfit for me, I always feel great in that top and those pants – ready to take on the world, confident, strong…

Before I know it, the dream is reality again. We are together, my knees start to shake, I kind of stumble, and I am slow, but slow can be good, right? I know I am rusty, but the rhythm comes back, my arms, legs, hips all start to work in sync – it feels wrong, but right at the same time, such a cliché!

After a while I realize I am so tense, Damn, I know I am over thinking this. I just want it to be good, like it used to be –  like I used to be. I use a little mantra, relax Lin, relax, I feel the tension in my shoulders go, then I relax some more – just feeling every moment with you…

When we finish I can feel those endorphins kickin’ round in my system, I almost forgot how good it could feel – just you and me…

My body quiets down, the feel good wearing off as my heart rate returns to normal. I am lying on the bed, and it starts; I know you never criticise me, – it’s never you – but the doubts creep in, and those critical voices come out to play,

“You started out too fast, your pace was off.”

“There was no rhythm – towards the end you were lagging, you know you were.”

“HA the ending, well you didn’t…you didn’t finish well dear”…

I almost scream, SHUT UP! – But it is now 2:30am and the apartment below would probably hear… So I scream it in my head… I remind myself, it’s ok to be rusty, it’s been a while, and that you don’t care, It doesn’t matter how long I lasted, or that my rhythm was off, that I was slow, or so hot and sweaty at the end that it was a little embarrassing…

What matters is that I came back to you tonight, in the wee hours of the morning, I came back to you, and you welcomed me with open arms, no judgment, no laughter, no “You should have come back sooner”.

You don’t judge me, never have, never will, and that, that is why I love you Running.

Lin xox

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The issue with tonsils – Advice needed

My tonsils are inflamed and toxic, they are actually poisoning me, and are now resistant to antibiotics . I have seen an ear nose and throat surgeon and have a surgery date for the 1st of August to have the buggers taken out.

My issue is at the moment, every time I push myself to exercise, do my long runs and training sessions, I end up getting sicker. My Doctor has advised me to stop stressing my body and ease off my training… This is difficult and is upsetting me. I want  to do a half marathon in 3 weeks that I have entered, but every time I push myself I get sicker and taking 3 – 4 days to get better;  The tonsils get worse, I find it hard to swallow and I get a temperature and headaches that don’t go away..

It seems like a no brainer, stop pushing myself… But that is what I do now – I push myself, I love the feeling of pushing my limits, long runs and proving I can do it…

I am really unsure about continuing my running training at the moment, or if i will be able to compete in the half marathon… this makes me want to cry a little…

To all my runner friends out there, Any one got any advice here? Should I keep going with some 10km & 15km and then push it on the day? or stop and take a break on the long runs until the tonsils are gone???

Till next time, Lin.

When the going gets tough

Remember that 80’s song that Billy Ocean sang, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going, when the going gets rough, the tough get rough… Argh Billy, you are the best who would have thought that your cheesy love song would get me through my tough run this morning. Thanks mate 😉

So let me tell you a little of my latest training run. I was supposed to meet up with my running group on Sunday morning, but with work it didn’t happen… This meant that I had to squeeze the run in sometime and soon. I decided that After my Sunday night shift I would go out and pound the pavement for the 14k that I missed. I got home from work around 2:30am and was out the door roughly 15mins later. It was cold – super cold actually with the mercury hitting 2 degrees Celsius (or 36 Fahrenheit)  it was close to freezing out, but there was no wind so it wasn’t unpleasant, plus I knew that within the first 2km I would warm up enough.

I did a simple out and back track, given the hour of the morning I like to stick to roads and paths that are well-lit and not isolated. After talking to friend that runs earlier in the week, I decided to try a tip he gave me (thanks DW). I have had trouble trying to regulate my pace a little or speed up when I feel myself slowing. He suggested that I visualise myself running just in front of myself, and speed up to beat the me in front… Well I am happy to report that this worked, especially on the 3rd km which is always my toughest.

I often visualise and see the course laid out in my head, play mind games of how far till the next point and visualise good running form, this helps me in a number of ways, to stay distracted, to change posture and not slouch, and to complete the run.

I was running, loving it and all was good, I was enjoying the beat myself game and running at a good consistent pace for me, actually at my best overall pace yet (matching it from last season) Feeling good I turned around at the 7km mark and headed back… it was all good until I started the eleventh kilometre. I completed the 10th well, but then felt like my body hit a wall,, my legs were heavy, I felt zapped and I just kept telling myself that I only had 4k’s more… I was using all my metal arsenal to keep me out there. Fat Lin was screaming at me to give up, and walk a short cut home, But Fit Lin kept trying to hush her and say you have already done 10km what is another 4…

I was on struggle street – Big time… I kept saying to myself, this is tough, my legs were heavy as rock and I felt that I was running through mud (tough mudder is still a few months away) but then, somehow I heard Billy Ocean in my head. I was listening to some Dance music at the time, all my running playlists are hand-picked mind you, designed to pick me up and push me forward. But Billy, oh Billy – you came to the rescue… I heard his little love song and the chorus was ringing in my ears and It helped me push through. It wasn’t the only thing that helped, I also decided that finishing was more important to me than my time. This gave me permission to run at the slower pace (a pace that I couldn’t seem to speed up beyond anyway) and get the job done.

I did make it home, did the full 14km… and even though it was a little slower than I would have liked, after stretching and rolling out I was very pleased that I did not defeat myself and used the mental toughness that I have been building up to get me home…

Now to start visualizing running further again next Sunday… The battle is in the brain sometimes 🙂

Keep running, Till next time – Lin

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin…Running & Injury Prevention.

A little runners joke! – I would love this on a running singlet…

Running is great, learning to run long distances is challenging and can place new strains on your body. As you increase distance your body begins to adapt to running, while this is good for some areas like building cardio fitness and leg stamina, there comes a point where running will begin to shorten your muscles and tighten other areas of tissue.

I was training for my first half marathon last year, when 3 weeks before the event I experienced extreme knee pain. I was running hills at the time and had never experienced this before. I got to roughly 8km and could not take the pain anymore. I stopped and walked back to the car, very despondent about my situation.

I booked straight into see my physio, who went through a bunch of tests, finally diagnosing me with a tight IT band. Basically this band of tough fibres run along the outside of the thigh – from the glute muscles along the outside of the thigh and attach to the tibia just below the knee. It works as a stabilizer when running, and helps the knee to track properly. When this tissue becomes tight it can pull out of alignment and cause rubbing – hence the pain, for me I felt this in the knee.

I saw the physio 3 – 4 times a week for 3 weeks prior to my race last year… This was expensive but worth every penny to relieve the pain and complete my goal. My physio also gave me one piece of equipment that I use all the time now before and after runs to make sure that I can work the IT band out myself and prevent any issues in the future. The magic piece of equipment is my foam roller.

Honestly I have a love / hate relationship with my blue roll of foam. I have a link below that shows you how to use a foam roller for the IT band from the runners world website. Personally I use this dense foam roll in a number of ways to work through my lower body. I use it to release my IT Bands, Hammies and Glute Muscles.

Honestly It hurts like hell to work out the tightness, but I know that it is releasing the muscles and fibres – allowing my body to stay supple and ready for the next run. A few minutes of rolling is a small price to pay for preventing injuries and stopping me reaching my goals. I try to roll out most days, but always after a run, sometimes both before and after plus I stretch out several times over the day and often for up to 15 – 20mins after my extended runs.

So if you are upping your kilometres, or increasing the number of runs you do each week; consider talking to your physio about options for stretches, foam rolling and yoga to avoid muscle tightness that can impacting on running. An ounce of prevention is worth it when you consider the alternatives 🙂

Injury Prevention Video | Runner’s World.

Stay supple, till next time – Lin

10km training run; Hill Running.

Today was my longest run since surgery… And I feel great.  I actually don’t mind running hills. I like the satisfaction of beating them, and while I don’t actually carry a stick, I do beat them in my mind with a big, big stick.

Up at 7am this morning, a little reluctant to get out of bed, but I got out from under that warm doona and I headed down to the coast.

Mount Eliza has some great hills for running and our trainer mapped a course that is challenging and makes you work.

The first 1.5km is up a hill, a long gradual climb of roughly 70m in elevation. It keeps going after a short reprieve up a few more hills to roughly 80m elevation, then back down to sea level… It was a 5km course that we got to do twice… As the Run Melbourne Half Marathon is a twice around course, this is how we train.

So after I did it once, it was back to that long gradual hill, I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I did not stop once this morning, I did not walk any hill or section of the run (with the exception of the slippery set of stairs) I might have been the slowest in my group, but I am not competing against any one, just myself, and my mind.

When running hills I may slow down a little, but I don’t stop and I don’t walk – I keep that running action and use my glute muscles like pistons to push me up the hills. It is not how fast you are, It is not about who beats you, it is about getting it done! and today, well I got it done!

Hill runs are great for building power and endurance into your legs because as you run you are using your body weight as resistance up the hills. I have found in the past that after a hard hill run, I run better the next week. It improves my strength and then when I go back to flats I notice an improvement in my time.

It would be easy to take the easy option when planning training runs and avoid the big hills, or map an easier route, but I encourage all you runners out there to put in some hill work every couple of weeks and notice how it improves your running. Here are a few tips; Make sure you warm up properly before setting out. Drop your regular speed a little on the hill and take a shorter stride. On the down hill avoid placing your foot way out in front and opening up the speed, while this is tempting this can cause a lot of stress to be placed through your knee and makes you more prone to injuries. Listen to your body and if your heart rate is climbing then slow the pace down a little but try to keep up the running action because this is not about speed as much as getting it done!

Finally – stretch out properly after the run, take your time to add a few more stretches over the day and the next day… and allow your body some time to recover before your next run.

Here is a good article from Runner World too!  Can Hill Running Make You Faster?.

Till next time, Lin xox

PS – I am no Dr, so if you are starting to run make sure you get cleared to exercise and all that jazz, don’t just listen to me!

One Year On – Here I go again!

Well kids, the time has come to begin training for the half marathon in July, leading into the full marathon in Oct. The July event is called Run Melbourne and the half marathon (21.1km) course consists of two laps on the course around my beautiful city.

I did this event last year, but competed in the 10km run… This year I am running the half distance. The run package I started last year was building up to run the 10km, we started week 1 of training with 4km.

I did my first training run on Monday (was sick Sunday so couldn’t run with my group) and I did 8km… It was a great feeling to know that I am fitter and healthier and love running, and that because of the hard work I have put in, I can start training at the distance that I worked up to this time last year. Sometimes reflecting on how far you have come is a great way to think about where you can be in another years time. I love the saying above – so true – I can look back and be grateful for all my hard work from last year, and continue to live a life that will bear fruit a year from now!

Striving for something more, being passionate, working towards new goals is something that gets me excited. Sunday’s are my long run day. Every Sunday I meet up with the Step Into Life Mordialloc training group for the runs. This coming Sunday – 10km on hills in Mount Eliza… Bring it on

Till next time, Lin xox