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Project Accountability Check In Time

October 29th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Fitness | Iron Mum Training - (Comments Off)

Project Accountability is in full swing – though I have noted that I missed a few days of checking in on the Facebook page over the weekend (whoops!)

 The results are already starting to be evident.

I am feeling much more positive, my training has been bang on, and my work isn’t quite as overwhelming as it was starting to be.

 I find that the days I start with a green smoothie, and then have coconut water or another green smoothie in the evening are the best options. The freshness of the vegetables and water make me think twice before opening the bottle of wine. Its all habit forming I know, and the easiest thing is to slip back into bad habits in the interest of being simple, particularly when life feels ‘tough’

I am starting to add a few more ‘rules’ back into my days. My rules are tried & tested, there’s nothing extreme or life stifling.

For example tonight I implement the no wine on a weeknight rule again.

I’ve been doing 10-20 minutes most nights core work and stretching

I try to read a few pages of my book prior to turning the light off each night

Green smoothie and avocado on toast to start my days

I’ll take my supplements every evening whist making dinner

A new rule that I’ve been forced to implement is that 8.30pm is NOT too late to start my training session (though at 8.45pm I call it too late!) I’ve had to pull this one out a few times when I’ve had trouble getting Worm to sleep at a reasonable hour – previously it was 7.30 start, but I was missing too many sessions (and then opening the wine)

In addition to the general diet rules I’ve also had look at my 2014 schedule. It’s always exciting to plan out the year ahead, and with our impending move back south it was even more important this year to be prepared.

To try to make it a little easier this year I’m only picking 3 ‘A’ races to participate in. I will get to as many local triathlons and fun runs as possible, but only 3 major events. By major I mean an event I need to purchase airfares to participate in!

So 2014 will bring the following:

Mooloolaba triathlon – March  – This will by my mums first Olympic Distance Triathlon, and I am so excited to be heading back to the Sunshine Coast to participate with her. I will be working really hard to beat my time from last year, and particularly to run up that Alexanders head hill.

Busselton 70.3 – May – Busselton became a bit of a ‘bucket list’ type race for me when I started training for the 2013 Yeppoon 70.3. The Farmer & I love the coastline of Western Australia and the opportunity to participate in such an iconic race was too good to refuse – particularly when the Farmer reminded me to enter!

Gold Coast Marathon – July – I have never participated in a full marathon, and it seams to be a logical next step to my endurance fitness endeavours. Mum will probably run with me, and there is no doubt this will be another superb event that I can catch up with friends at.

So it appears that Project Accountability is right on schedule. Keeping the focus on my nutrition, exercise and emotions has lead me to become more aware of myself and also more flexible to deal with the daily challenges.

What do you do to keep yourself accountable? Tell me below, over on Facebook, or via twitter.

Xx

Sara

Half Marathon Mother

September 28th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Fitness | Iron Mum Training - (1 Comments)
Coming under the bridge with about 5km to go

At the beginning of the year I put together a wish list of all the events I wanted to complete in 2013.

The list wasn’t just thrown together – it was specifically designed around having me in peak fitness for the Yeppoon 70.3 in August, anything after that date was dreaming.

I held off entering anything after the triathlon as I honestly wasn’t sure how I would pull up and when I saw that the early bird entries for the Blackmores Half Marathon closed on the same day as the half ironman I was certain that I would miss out on a place in the run, but I simply couldn’t commit to getting to Sydney.

I was then very lucky and was invited to run in the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Half Marathon as a guest of Blackmores. This came as a HUGE surprise and also relief – it meant that I could accept the spot, and if by chance I did break down in the half ironman I wouldn’t risk losing my entry fee.

As it would happen my concerns about breaking down were (thankfully) untrue, and I was able to head down to Sydney last weekend feeling fabulous. I hadn’t done too much in the way of training between the 2 events. Between Worm being sick, transitioning to the big bed, and my general lack of mojo I hadn’t really spent any time focusing on the event at all – I think I was so excited about the night away from my family that it offset any nerves I had about having to run 21.2km at 6.15am Sunday.

 

My flights to Sydney were uneventful, I got to stop, read a book and enjoy the hospitality of the airline. After all the travelling with Worm I had completely forgotten how relaxing it can be to simply get onto a plane solo.

Saturday afternoon Mum & I caught the train to the city to check out the event expo, do a bit of shopping and continue the relaxation that I had started that morning.

Every I was going to need in the morning, set out ready to go

Every I was going to need in the morning, set out ready to go

The usual Saturday night pasta dinner went down brilliantly and then it was early to sleep for Mum & I.

 

When the alarm went off at 4.30am on Sunday I was up and rolling. Mum had come prepared with WeetBix and bananas for our breakfast, and as we wandered down to the start line I was as ready as I could be. I felt no pressure for this race, just to make it to the start felt amazing, and my only goal was to run with purpose. I really wanted to beat my time from last year (2hrs 26min), and internally I was aiming for a 2hr 15min half marathon time.

Pre race view

Pre race view

I was planning on taking a drink at each water stop, have a Dextro liquid gel at 5km, 11km & then have a gel if I needed it at the end. Even as I was planning this I was amazed at how far I have come in the past 12 months – last year I didn’t have any fuel on board, instead tried to grab a jelly bean to get me by!

From the start I felt strong. I gently pulled away from mum (actually this happened a lot faster than I thought, as usually I am the one trailing her). As I made it over the bridge I allowed myself to wallow in the moment, I looked over at the opera house & thought “I’ll see you later” and I spent time looking around myself.

Running in any event this big is fantastic for people watching. I was surrounded by all types big, small, stinky, stylish, unco, fluid, all different people from different backgrounds with different goals, we all had the same goal though – to get through the next 21.1km. There is something about running, I can’t quite put the words to it – but you are never alone, here I was in a field of thousands of strangers and I didn’t feel alone I felt safe & secure that I was among like minded people.

As I made my way around the course, the thought of stopping crossed my mind occasionally, but I was able to push it away fairly easily, focusing instead on my surroundings, and trying to maintain good form. I skipped the first drink station, I didn’t want to get caught up in that rush, and with the Sydney weather being about 10 degrees cooler than I was used to I was feeling great.

I settled into an easy stride, and was occasionally glancing at my splits, I knew I was running around 6 minute kms, but more importantly to me, I was running effortlessly. It wasn’t work, it was fun. I pushed up the hills, and tried to stretch out on the flats, picking up some time as I went. My dodgy foot screamed at me some times, my hip flexors talked at others, and on one partially strange occasion my left rib thought I needed to know about it as well, but still I ran.

Coming under the bridge with about 5km to go

Coming under the bridge with about 5km to go

I grabbed water at each of the drink stations, barely breaking stride it seamed, I found a good strategy of running past the early tables of water on the far right side of the traffic, and then ducking across for the last water table – this kept my pace up and I avoided the traffic jams around the tables. My hat has to go off to all the volunteers and organizers – considering the huge number of people coming around the course they worked fast and efficiently to keep water up to us, and to keep the roads clear of discarded water cups.

As I hit the 18km sign I felt amazing, I was able to slightly improve my pace, and I noticed I was passing more people. There was one man who I had being leapfrogging with through the whole race, he would speed up pass me, I would keep plodding and then he would stop and I would pass him. As we hit Circular Quay, I called out to him walking – ‘come on mate – we can do this’ he wasn’t keen to run then though, so I just kept going.

A quick look at my watch as I came past the 20km mark saw that I was running well, I was within a whisker of my goal time, but I knew I would have to put my foot down to scrape in under the 2.15 goal I had set. I started sprinting with no abandon -I was going to leave it all out on course, I was not going to have any regrets about this race.

Jumping for joy at the finish I felt AMAZING - Pity about the man in front blocking my photo.

Jumping for joy at the finish I felt AMAZING – Pity about the man in front blocking my photo.

It felt like I was blitzing past people – I had to jump dropped water bottles, and ducked in and out of other competitors as I ran around the boardwalk, as I crossed the line I jumped as high as I could. I was thrilled, I stopped my watch and it was 2.14.30. I had done it! I had run 21.1km with care, efficiency, followed my race plan and finished within the time I had allowed myself. I can’t describe how empowering this was to me.

Official time

Official time

I walked through and gratefully took the bottle of water, and power aid from the volunteer- again these people were AMAZING, the man who gave me my water smiled & said something along the line of “dude you just ran a half marathon!” The atmosphere at this event is electric, there are SO many people, supporters, competitors, volunteers – everyone was smiling and the finish line was so much fun. I quickly moved through the crowds to the grassed area so I could stretch out a bit. I didn’t know where my mum was – I didn’t want to call her, so I called The Farmer instead. Talking to him & Worm was so wonderful – I do miss them when I have a big event, but talking to them on the phone immediately after was just as good (without having to carry the 12kg Worm!)

Half Marathon Mothers!! I'm so blessed to be able to participate in events with my mum.

Half Marathon Mothers!! I’m so blessed to be able to participate in events with my mum.

I caught up with Mum after a short wait, she had run the end with one of her friends and did brilliantly, they have a great photo running together, and I think it is great to be able to share that experience. I am so blessed to be able to run with my mum. Its always a highlight of any visit to her, as I know that she will push me both in the pace, distance and mentally to keep up. These are all good things!

Before long it was time to head back to the hotel for a shower and then to board the plane to head back north & home. My body was aching, my hip flexors, and foot was very tender, and it felt like I had to physically lift my legs up each step to get onto the plane. I was SO happy. I knew that I had run the best race I could have and I had achieved my goal time as well. There were no regrets, and also no chance of running the next day!

Enjoying the hospitality of the Qantas club on the way home

Enjoying the hospitality of the Qantas club on the way home

My next major event will probably be Mooloolaba Triathlon, until then I will be sticking close to home, participating in local races and events to keep my fitness up. My plans for 2014 haven’t been considered yet – at this stage I am happy to just live in the moment and enjoy each step of the way.

Thank you to Blackmores for inviting me to run in the Sydney Running Festival. I probably wouldn’t have entered if it wasn’t for their support. I am now using the My Blackmores program and have already accessed their free naturopath service to ensure I’m getting the right nutrients for my body.

If you’re looking for a little more motivation to help achieve your goals- check out the #littlelesslittlemore hashtag on twitter and make your commitment here today.

 

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I am a 70.3 Ironmother!!!

August 20th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Fitness | Iron Mum Training - (2 Comments)
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My husband has given me a week before I come up with the next big grand adventure. Last night I was like ‘never again’ but this morning when I’m awake at 6.30 I’m thinking ‘what’s next’
Our family expansion plans are being pushed back, so I’m wondering if there’s time for another something epic before I hang up the bike for good?
……

Race morning was here!! I woke full of energy & roaring to go. We had made plans that the farmer & I would head to the beach for race start & my parents would bring Worm down later so mum could fit her run in.
My bike & everything else had already been packed into the car so it was simply a matter of up eat breaky (small bowl of porridge) & go.
The benefit about Yeppoon as my first race is that it’s my usual tri clubs course, and only 30 min drive from home. It was very civilised to wake in my own bed & head down to the beach for what would be the biggest race of my life.

Bike ready in transition

Bike ready in transition

When we got there I placed my bike & gear into transition, everything was ready & my ball of energy continued. It was a strange feeling. I didn’t have any nerves at all. Just excitement to get started.
The 2km walk down the beach continued to relax me. The weather was perfect, the ocean flat & chatting to friends continued to build my excitement level. Still no butterfly’s in my tummy. No anxiety just pure energy.

As they called my wave up to the start I kissed the farmer good bye & I was ready. As I jogged into the water (I’m not one to sprint as I can’t keep up with the fast swimmers anyway!) I knew that the swim was just the beginning. I focused in keeping calm & enjoying the water. I have swim in that beach many many times and never have I noticed it to be so calm clear & blue. It was the first time I ever had been able to see the sand at the bottom of the ocean, Yeppoon is rarely that perfect.

Swim Start

Swim Start

About 1.5km into the swim I started to get really really bored & uncomfortable. The cold water made my face freeze & I think that combined with my virus from the previous week made me intensely want to get out of the water!! I kept swimming. Changed my breathing to keep my face out of the eater more but kept swimming. I had no energy to run up the beach after the swim. So I took the time to pull my suit down and mentally prepare for the next leg.

Some of my ankle tape had loosened during the swim & the run up the sand dune hadn’t helped so I had a longer than usual transition & pulled some off.
Then it was onto the bike. As I exited the resort there was a photographer so I waved & gave a thumbs up. I was feeling good.
The first lap of the bike course was good. I remembered to eat at the 5km mark, and the bike felt good. I knew I was riding slower than I had hoped but I was happy with my cadence & bike fit. It went down hill from there! I found the road coming back into the resort was awful. Cobblestone like. I had ridden the route a few times but never had I ridden on the right side of the road & that was the awful side. Each lap of the bike course had the wind increasing and it got harder. As I passed my family on the 4th lap I nearly burst into tears. I saw Worm. She gave me a big smile & wave. I wanted to stop & get a cuddle. But I kept pushing. One more lap one more lap was my mantra here.

Cycling in Aero

Cycling in Aero

I actually nearly fell off as I turned over the timing mat for the last time, I moved back into aero position & promptly slipped my elbow off the rest & onto the bar. Careering across the road (thankfully away from the runners who were sharing the road)

This was enough to make me laugh & refocus. I was ready for the run. The bike had taken me just under 4 hour which was about an hour slower than I had planned.

As I set out for the run I felt great. The legs were relaxed & apart from some dehydration I felt ok. I ran into a friend who was struggling on his 2nd run lap, he was suffering cramps in his calves. I actually stopped and walked with him for a while. I probably should have kept running. I know in my heart I wasn’t pushing as hard as I should have been. I knew that I had limited time to get through the course to meet the cut offs & I was mentally doing the math on my pacing. I ran and walked and ran and walked my way through to course. Each lap felt a little harder & also a little easier. As I ran down the road for the final time I looked behind me & NOONE was there!! I was almost last!

Run leg

Run leg

I kept running, trying to increase my pace now. I saw someone ahead so my friend Louise’s voice popped in. ‘Pick em, pass em & find another’ the lady ahead was in my sights.
I pushed where I could. Keeping her in eyesight. As I passed her in the bush I tried to say something encouraging, but kept moving even though she was walking. I had my eyes out for another one to pass. About 1km ahead my wish was granted & I saw 2 men walking. I kept pushing & overtook them too – one of them said ‘mate you’ve been overtaken by a chick’ the other guy said ‘as long as she not coming last’ I then replied ‘nope I’ve passed a girl just behind. It felt good to pass her too!’ As I put on a false bit of energy & kept running.
Over the next 5 km I passed about 3 or 4 more people each time forcing myself to push a little harder. As I finally turned back into the resort paths I was feeling fabulous. I picked up my heals & pushed hard toward the finishing shoot. Crossing that line felt so so good. It was everything I had hoped for.

Can't get that grin off my face!!

Can’t get that grin off my face!!

My legs were shaking & I felt fabulous. My grin was unmovable it was set & the beautiful pool beckoned.

I struggled I pull my socks off. What tape was left had stuck to my sock. I hopped up & down whilst mum pulled my sock off & then I jumped into that pool.
Th cold water NEVER felt so good.

I had been dreaming of floating in this pool for the last 2 run laps

I had been dreaming of floating in this pool for the last 2 run laps

Champagne in the Pool was my mantra for much of the race- it was worth it

Champagne in the Pool was my mantra for much of the race- it was worth it

Worm was asleep as I crossed the finish line but when she woke & saw me in the pool she came straight over asking to come in. I was so looking forward to her cuddle & it was beautiful.

Cuddles with my biggest fan

Cuddles with my biggest fan

So there it is. My race report for Yeppoon 70.3. I’m still reflecting and running through it in my own head. It now Tuesday. My legs feel fine, I feel fine. I ran yesterday & again today & felt brilliant. I honestly didn’t expect to feel this good after self propelling myself over 113km in 7hours 38minutes.

Finishing medals (I also took out 3rd in the QLD State Long Course Championships)

Finishing medals (I also took out 3rd in the QLD State Long Course Championships)

So what’s next?!?? I don’t know. I feel I could do another 70.3 this year, it’s just a matter of figuring out which one, and how it will fit into out our little family life.

 

 

2 sleeps to go

August 16th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Fitness | Iron Mum Training - (1 Comments)

I almost can’t believe that it’s nearly here. I’ll soon be a 70.3 Ironman finisher with the towel & medal to prove it.

I have been relatively happy with my training and preparation to date. My coach tells me that there’s no such thing as the perfect prep and as I entered my taper weeks I certainly proved that again.

Worm was sick last week with a nasty cough, and chest wheeze so she ended up in my bed more often than not.

I missed a couple of swim sessions last week due to Worm being sick & then when I went for a run on Saturday afternoon (after a gorgeous friend offered to play with Worm for me) it felt awful! My body was aching & my legs felt like lead. I only managed 6 km in 45 minutes, far from the speed I’m hoping to maintain in the race. When I looked at the data later that night I saw that for 15 minutes my heart rate was in zone 5 (>184).

I spent most of Sunday curled up on the couch, coughing my guts up, I had the sweats, the fever, the aches everything that indicated that I had succumbed to Worm’s disease.

 

Monday I took myself off to the GP. I rarely ask for antibiotics, but I felt given the circumstances and my need for a quick recovery they were warranted on this occasion. The GP disagreed….. “Oh you’re one of those types are you” was his response to me coughing & spluttering my way through my symptoms & need for drugs.

Well it was $77 wasted, I walked out without my prescription, with a certificate for 3 days rest, and orders to not compete. (Although he did say that I wouldn’t listen to him anyway – he got that bit right!)

 

The diagnoses, and my subsequent coughs, splutters, pains and groans have lead to a week of complete rest. I can’t remember the last time I did NOTHING for a week. I’ve taken the instruction to taper to a whole new level, its been rather strange, even though I have been hitting the pillow before 9 each night (before 8 on 3 nights, as soon as Em was asleep, I was crawling into bed myself)

 

It’s now Friday, and I suddenly am FULL of energy. My snotty nose appears to have cleared, my cough is now just an annoying tickle, and although I’m still struggling to turn my head to the left, the general pain level has decreased dramatically. I am feeling confident, and ready to tackle this challenge that has been over 9 months in the making!

All those hours on the bike, long kilometres in the run, and countless laps going back and forth in the pool. The result of those efforts will soon be clear come Sunday afternoon when I WILL be a 70.3 Ironman finisher!!

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Oh & before I forget – I’m so excited to be interviewed by the lovely Kate at Fit Parents Aus today. Head over & check me out there too!!

FPALogo

 

 

 

 

3 Weeks Out

July 30th, 2013 | Posted by Sara in Iron Mum Training - (1 Comments)

3 weeks….

19 days….

456 hours…..

27360 minutes…..

 

This is what I have left in my half iron mum journey.

 

These next few weeks are where I will see everything come together; I’m already starting to feel the giddy pre-race emotions. A cross between anxiety, excitement, and dread.

Mostly excitement really, I think I’m ready; well I’m as ready as I’m going to be anyway. I have one more week of intensive training, and then I slip into taper mode.

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My name is on that list!

Do I think I’ve done enough? Well not really, but I’ve done what I can, in the time I have available.

I’ve managed to juggle full time work, mothering, being a wife and training over the last 7 months. I fully admit that at one time or another I haven’t balanced everything as perfectly as I’d like, but I’ve managed to stay on the tight rope.

I’ve had my share of mother guilt, slipping off before light to ride my bike with friends, missing swimming lessons, and not having the energy to keep up with a sprightly toddler as much as I’d like.

I’ve snuggled into bed before 9pm most nights ignoring the washing, folding, ironing and cleaning duties. Most of these have been left to the fortnightly cleaners visit.

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This could also say “You Know You’re a Mum”

The Farmer has stepped up and supported me EVERY step of the way. He never complains about my not being around on weekends. Rarely complains about my early to bed & don’t touch me attitude, and where possible he adjusts his schedule around being home on weekends to give me the time I need for my longer sessions. He relishes the time he spends with Worm, and she loves it too. I think with him travelling during the week, the weekends are even more important for their relationship.

My Coach has never let me down. Every panicked text message, email or tweet has been met with a calm response. Every step back I’ve taken due to injury, lazyness, or lack of time has been accounted for within the schedule, with the odd kick up the butt for good measure.

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.

Some of my favourite sessions have been the hardest, particularly on the wind trainer but my lovely Sparta PT manages to make them as interesting as possible, I’m particularly liking the recent 10 & 20 second intervals thrown in for good measure.

I’m starting to let my mind drift into the ‘what’s next’ phase…. Prior to this week I had full intentions of hanging my sneakers up and locking my bike in the back shed on August 19…. Now I’m not sure what’s next, I am sure that I won’t be able to resume my position on the couch though, I think this bug has taken hold and the possibilities are endless.

 

3 weeks….

19 days….

456 hours…..

27360 minutes…..

 

This is what I have left in my half iron mum journey.

 

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Every stroke, push or step

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