Ability & Potential

Video

It is not about what we can’t do, but what we can.

I really believe that the mind and the power of positivity is essential in realising our potential. What we are capable of, what we can achieve in our lives is dependant on our attitude, and honestly if we dedicate our minds,  our will, leaving behind personal prejudice about what is possible we can reach what we think is not.

I think that sometimes we give up too early on our personal quests, whatever they may be… and that when we listen to what others say is possible, what is impossible, or improbable, we then limit our minds and our actions by others standards.

When we limit ourselves in our minds eye we begin to put the brakes on, we begin to believe the limit – we lose sight of our potential.  Personally I used to believe that I would never be fit enough to run, cycle or compete in a triathlon, that I would always be fat… I listened to my own negative self talk and that of others. I limited my mind in believing that a whole life was possible.

Then when faced with the prospect of changing my life  or dying from obesity complications, I decided that I would listen to people who had won the battle. That choice changed my mindset – the barriers came down. Sure there are times when I fell, heck we all but LIFE IS about learning to fall, then learning to get back up and keep going anyway.

This video of a young teenage skater reminded me of this lesson – It is not about limiting ourselves, it is about choice – making a decision to seek the edges of what we are capable of and living that life.

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

Crazy…No just committed

Love this Quote

I got called “Crazy” tonight. Just because I wanted to go home after shift and run, and that it was likely to be still raining,. Many of you know that I have a habit, a pattern of coming home after shift and doing my running then. I have blogged about it, I have talked about it, I like it. Running in the wee hours of the morning works for me. I can unwind from work, push it all out and leave it on the pavement.

It was wet again tonight. I am not a fan of working in the rain. I work outside and wear 5 – 6 layers of clothing which consists of wool thermal tops, singlets, hoodies, t-shirts, and wind/water proof jackets. Whilst I don’t like spending hours walking around the city in the rain, I make every effort to stay as dry as possible, no one wants to be wet for hours, then drive home wet and cold.

But running – that is different. It is a time framed thing. I did 5.5km this morning. When I got home it wasnt raining, by the time I changed and walked outside it was the slow steady drizzle rain that soaks you through. I ran anyway, I said earlier I would run, even if it was raining. I did. I like it when it drizzles like this. I feel that my body stays cool, it is not crazy – it is committed. Plus when you get back home and you can deal with the wet then…

Crazy is sitting on the couch making excuses.

Crazy is the way i used to live, – if you could call it living, looking back i can’t, it was more of a sad existence. I was sick, tired, obese, stuck and making excuses… That was what was crazy, that Lin was lost – She was crazy and all her systems were unhealthy.

SO – if i tell you about my training, it is not crazy, it is committed. If I tell you about my events coming up and trying to squeeze them all in, it is not crazy it is taking life with both hands and living it with vigour.

I am not crazy – I am committed – committed to living a full and healthy life, having fun – and realise that to have a healthy mind and emotional life I first must live a physically healthy life. Running in the rain – that is just the tip of the iceberg. Being stronger and healthier is my goal… weight loss is the natural by-product of living a committed healthy lifestyle.

My goals at the moment are to work towards getting back to running a 10km before the 15th of May, strengthening my core, and improving on my shoulder and upper body strength after surgery. I am still having a little discomfort and pain with the arms and tummy… Not all the time – but strength is the key and working with the physio is helping.

So dear readers, find your commitment, call it crazy if you like… In fact I think I will embrace the word crazy now – Yep call me crazy; crazy about being healthy, fit and strong enough to live the life I want.

BTW the run was awesome! the key when running in the rain is getting home, stripping off the wet gear straight away and jumping into a warm shower. Now for sleep…

Till next time, Crazy Lin xox

The Best Medicine (is half an hour)

23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? – YouTube

Seriously, Watch the link above, it is a great watch; I love an easy to follow, informative animated presentation – and I am not going to write about the ins and outs of the video – Just watch it, it is better than any summary I can write. Surprisingly  it does touch on a post  I wrote a while ago in relation to TV and health…But If you don’t watch it the premise is that one half hour a day is the best medicine for us, it’s free (ie walking) and will save us our health and hip pocket!

I just got the big thumbs up from my surgeon this week to go ahead with exercise. I had reconstructive plastic surgery of a tummy tuck and arm lift 6 weeks ago. He let me know I can get back into everything: slowly building up my running and weights… I did my first 2.5km run back after 6 weeks off this week – I Loved it, I went without my Garmin running watch which calculates distance, pace, heart rate etc. I went just for the love of running and not looking at numbers allowed me to relax and let my body go at its natural pace whilst I continue to recover and build up.

Exercise for me is not just about losing more weight or weight control. For me exercise just makes me feel really bloody good! I am addicted and get a bit of a high off it 🙂

Exercise has improved my quality of life and improved my overall fitness. It gave me my life back, and I would much prefer to live a 21 -23.5 hour day (giving the balance to exercise) than ask for more hours in a day – Honestly there ARE enough hours in a day; and I am willing to bet that a large majority of people who would ask for more hours would end up giving those hours over to their TV habit anyway. 😦

We cannot change the clock to give us more time (unless you have the DeLorean with a flux capacitor in your garage), but we can change our priorities, our lives, families and communities by becoming healthier. Every minute counts, and it is up to us what we do with them.

Till next time

Lin xox

Crispy Bacon & Face! – Summer Running Tips…

Red Faced - Burnt and Embarrassed at my own stupidity!

Saturday morning started off perfectly… It was a blissful start to the weekend, I met a friend for breakfast at the beach cafe and overlooking the water we caught up. I ate a delicious corn fritters, with crispy bacon and sipped chai lattes.

Then pulling out our books or in actual fact our kindles, (I do love my new kindle) we sat reading and sharing the best bits of our books… Perfect morning, weather was just warm, slightly overcast and the plan was after the 3 hour breakfast to go home, change and head out on a run.

So that was what I did. Went home, got changed and while it was still just warm and overcast I headed out… Rookie mistake for summer running #1 – I forgot to put on sunscreen and clear zinc…For some reason it didn’t occur to me – I am not used to running in the afternoons, and prefer night or early morning before dawn.

So out I headed, into the overcast Melbourne weather down to my beach path to run.

Before I started I decided to try for 8km today rather than the 6km I thought of earlier in the day, my rationale was if I was not going well at the 3km point I could turn around and shorten it to a 6km run.

Recently I have been struggling to run in summer, my heart rate has been topping out causing me to stop briefly, so I set my Garmin watch to just show my heart rate, and ran to keep it stable rather than focus on time, it was a pleasant run, it was warming up and I was working up a great sweat, at the 3km run I felt great, strong and ready to take it to the 4km turn around. Then the clouds cleared and it got warmer, It was just before the 4km turn around that I realized that I had not put on my zinc or sunscreen… There was not a lot I could do about it now, as I was just as far from home as I was close.

I didn’t feel like I was burning (I found out later I was), and my heart rate was climbing, but still under control, so I turned at 4km and headed back. I ran back to my start point at Mordi beach, then very hot – hopped straight into the water to cool off… It wasn’t enough, the damage had been done, and despite feeling great about completing the 8km I was headed for trouble .

Getting home I noticed that my nose and forehead were a little red. I had some water, quick shower and nap before heading to work at 6pm. I woke redder than I thought I would, and continued to crisp up as the night went on, Initially at work I felt sick, but after 2 hours felt better – that is until 1am – I was sicker than I have been in a long time, couldn’t stop being sick and had to call my parents to come pick me up and drive me home….

My work colleague believed that I had heat stoke and that despite all the water I was drinking my body (face, neck and chest) were still cooking and had become redder as the night went on.  I was crispier than the bacon I had for breakfast.

So now I am at home, it is Sunday night, I have had to call in sick and I am trying to sip water – sit in the air con and give my body time to recover… my face is puffy and red and I am very grateful for good friends who will deliver Gatorade and Icypoles 🙂 which have made me feel a lot better!

What I have learnt about summer running –

*Always, always always wear sunscreen and clear zinc – wear a hat or visor if hats make you too hot.

*Listen to your body – Run to a heart rate marker not time, – you still run hard and workout, some days you can’t do your usual pace and this is ok.

*Be smart about the time of day you run… If I must run during the early arvo – loop around water bottle stops or stop along the route more often to hydrate.

*Make sure I am adequately hydrated before the run.

*Still walk out to cool down stretch out after the run despite being hot.

*Re-hydrate after the run and cool down quickly if over hot.

*If you feel sick – rest – (don’t try to stay at work, no one wants to throw up in front of colleagues, and no one wants to see that)

Well till next time, I am off to watch the tennis and keep hydrating..

(A Very Crispy) Lin xox

(Dancing) Running in the Dark

They say it changes when the sun goes down!

I loved the song by Bruce Springsteen when I was a kid… But what I love more now is running in the Dark.

I love to get home from shift, and before I can make any excuses throw on my running kit and head out onto the streets.

The brain game to get out of the door and actually run, usually begins at the Hwy turn off about 1km from home. This is how it plays out…

Fit Lin – Mmm I should go for a run now.

Lazy Lin – Nah you had a hard shift  (is there any other kind?) don’t worry about it!

Fit Lin – Comon, You know you love a run, It’s that old attitude that helped keep you fat.

Lazy Lin – Oh yeah, your right thanks for the reminder.

Fit Lin – No worries..

Somedays It is harder than that – I get home and am still back and forth – Friday morning after a Thursday night shift was one of those mornings. I walked to the fridge to get some cold water and saw a Post It note that I put on there a few weeks ago – the quote was something I picked up off a TV show – the football coach said “All it takes is all you got” It stuck a chord with me at the time –  and again when I read it this morning.

What is All I Got? – Well if i am breathing and healthy enough to go for a run I should damn well be out there. So I put on my gear and walked out the door… As soon as I started to turn the legs over, I felt happy and remembered that I LOVE TO RUN….

One Big Plus is that I really love to run in the dark..  I came across an article on Nike a few days ago that talks about how we think we run faster in the dark. (see link below)   It is all about how our brains perceive the world around us, depth perception and the difference the dark makes to that. I don’t really care why, but I always prefer to run in the dark. And on Friday morning I ran the quickest back half that I have ever done over 6km. My back end (the last 3km of my run not my butt 😉 )  was all run in sub 7min k’s… A goal I have been working towards cracking by the end of this year. Whoo Hoo!

Till next time – Lin xox

Nike Running – News Blog – Night Speed Ahead: Why We Run Faster in the Dark.