I won’t run without….

Today I’m linking up with April from Run the great wide somewhere, Patty from My No-Guilt Life and Erika from MCM Mama Runs for their Tuesdays on the Run link up and the topic is ‘I won’t run without….

So what won’t I run without?

  • my flipbelt. Absolutely love it and feel lost without it. It securely holds any little bits I need to take with me and doesn’t move, rub or get in my way. And, when it regularly gets thrown in the washing machine, it comes out as fresh and sparkling as it first arrived.
  • my phone. I didn’t used to run with my phone but often worried about what I’d do if I rolled my ankle. Or, more likely, had run too far and couldn’t be bothered running home. It fits neatly into my flipbelt and is also frequently popped out for pictures of the gorgeousness where I run.
  • my iPod shuffle, yurbuds headphones & awesome playlist. I need music when I run, mostly to mask the gasps and gulps that pass for breathing when I exert myself. My shuffle is perfect because it’s light and unobtrusive and my yurbuds are the best headphones I’ve found so far – they really don’t fall out.
  • my Garmin. There’s a phrase often quoted in my running group – ‘If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen’ so my Garmin is a necessary item for me to keep track of when/where/how long I’ve run. And I do love a little statistical analysis while recovering on the couch back at home.

If I’m heading out to parkrun on a Saturday morning I also make sure I’ve got my barcode #dfyb

And that’s it. I’ve got it down to a fine art – all the bits are kept in the same spot so I can grab them on my way out the door.

What won’t you run without?

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training plans – changing plans

Having signed up for my next half marathon a couple of weeks ago, I hunted out a training plan and got to it. I opted for the my asics plan which is very easy to use – you put in a current time for a distance, put in the date of your event and what your training commitment is (3 or 4 times a week, easy, medium or hard effort) and it gives you a calendar of training runs which gradually increase in distance and intensity. Logging runs is straightforward and it lets you know how you’re progressing towards your overall plan.

So far, so good. However, only into week 3 and I started to notice that my foot hurt. Again. I have spent most of the last year nursing my achilles and calf through their various bursts of drama and it was clear that, regardless of how slowly this program was pushing me on, it was too fast for my temperamental foot. It wasn’t the speed – that was definitely kept low but the distance it pushed me to was a bit too much, too soon.

Instead of pushing through it or giving up totally, I’ve changed plans and, so far, have noticed my foot calm back down again. I’m back using Jeff Galloway‘s training plan with planned run/walk. I used this while getting ready for the Maui half marathon in January so I know that it works for me. Most importantly, it feels flexible. I know that, technically, all plans are flexible as you do as much or as little as you want but I have a tendency to do things because it says to. A perfect example was my run on Tuesday where I kept pushing on even though I didn’t feel like running and I was tired and my foot was hurting and I wasn’t enjoying it. Any one of those factors should have been enough to stop me but, once I’d seen that I had to run 7km, I had to run 7km.

With Jeff’s plan, I don’t feel I have to stick to times or paces so I end up running a lot more on ‘feel’. Tonight’s run was magical – lots of bits where it felt completely smooth and almost effortless (almost!) and any pain was fleeting and fixed by throwing in an extra walk break. I know it’s a long road ahead – will keep you updated on how I travel along it 🙂

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parkrun touristing & catching up with new friends

I kicked off my school holidays perfectly with a parkrun road trip back to Altona Beach to meet up with a bunch of fellow five30 runners including Matt who was down from Newcastle.

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As is always the case when catching up with five30 friends, it was a great morning – perfect conditions for a run on a beautiful course and then a catch up over delicious breakfast.

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We welcomed a new runner to fold and helped him finish and celebrate his first parkrun – always a very rewarding feeling. It really is funny to think how far I’ve come in my year of parkrunning – I might not look all that different on the outside but feel very different on the inside. Who can possibly be unhappy when running?

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parkrun birthday

Next weekend, I celebrate a little milestone that makes me quite proud – my first parkrun birthday.

I had registered for parkrun months before as I loved the concept but it took me quite a while to actually make myself go to an event. I spent a long time looking up times to find an event with enough runners that matched my times for me not to feel like I was holding everyone up. I picked Albert Park parkrun in Melbourne and, despite a drizzly morning, I tentatively made my way to the meeting area. I shouldn’t have been nervous as the welcome was as friendly and supportive as I could have hoped for. It must have been obvious that I was new and nervous as I was approached by lots of other parkrunners who introduced themselves and chatted about what it was all about.

Briefing time

Briefing time

More importantly, I felt nothing but encouragement as I did my run/walk around the course. And, crossing the finish line, I could hear someone cheering my name – one of the fabulous people I’d chatted to at the start had stuck around after her run to make sure I had encouragement over the finish line.

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So, a year later, I’m well and truly hooked. I’m just home from my 21st parkrun (with another 7 spent as a volunteer). I have been a parkrun tourist numerous times, sometimes in a group but also on my own which shows how far I’ve come in overcoming my nerves. I’ve also become very attached to my local parkrun. It has become a big part of my weekend and, through it, I’ve met some great friends and had some wonderful adventures. And, as much as my work colleagues get sick of hearing about it, I can’t help but share how awesome it is – if you haven’t been to a parkrun before, find one and do it!!

on your marks. get set. GO!

I’ve signed up for my next half marathon. You may (or may not!) be surprised by the fact that I think I’m just as excited and nervous about it as my first one. I know I can cover the distance but I’m already putting pressure on myself to do better, even just by a little bit. A little bit quicker, a little bit stronger, a little bit more confident.

I started my training plan tonight and am sorry to say that my achilles is already making its presence felt. Other than that, I felt good and strong, managing to run 4km with 2/1 run/walk intervals. It’s amazing how rubbish you can feel after a long day of work, only to have that feeling completely reversed by a refreshing run out in the great outdoors.

It does help that I got to play with my new toy – my Petzl headlamp which I got a little while ago. Makes night running so easy – I absolutely love it! I turned it off for the pic so I didn’t blind you all 🙂

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Selfies in the dark are somewhat more flattering than those in the daylight!