home or away?

I’m linking up with Patty, Erika and Marcia this week for Tuesdays on the run and the topic is….racecation or local runs?

This is a perfect topic for me at a perfect time. If you’re familiar with any events I’ve done, it will be clear to you that I do love a bit of travel (and, by a bit, I mean a lot). For my first half marathon, I flew to Hawaii. I love running in places where I don’t know how far away anything is and what landmarks I might pass. I like the thrill of new courses (and discovering new places to eat afterwards!). I obviously do run locally quite often but see these primarily as training runs for my real adventures.

However there is a dark side to this and it is one I’m experiencing at the moment – the pressure of travelling to an event. My friends and I have our hearts set on running the Disney marathon next year – our first marathon. I want to do it so much that I find myself grinning whenever I think about it. I’ve read countless blogs on the topic and feel ‘ready’ (albeit without having yet started any training) and prepared.

However I’m already getting worried. It’s an expensive, extravagant trip which will mean tightening our belts significantly – things involving flights to the other side of the world tend to work out that way. What if I get injured during training? What if I wake up with a cold the day before? What if…..just fill in the blanks – there are untold numbers of potential worries. When it’s a local event, I don’t worry – I can always do it next time and haven’t put much into the logistics. When it’s a racecation, it’s a huge logistical exercise, this one being even bigger because it involves other people. Once booked, we’re going, even if I have to cheer from the sidelines which would be heartbreaking.

In fact, this one is so big, I’m still very much undecided about whether or not to do it. I’ve always been a ‘just do it’ kind of girl but I’m not sure that I’m up for a year of stress leading up to an event. I have until February to decide and I suspect, having weighed up everything, it will actually come down to instinct. For now, I’ll continue pondering. As I pack for Cadbury half marathon in Hobart which we fly out to on Friday. Yep, clearly a fan of the racecation!

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Hanging out with Freddo at the 2016 Cadbury half marathon

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Scenes from my run

I live in an amazing part of the world and am so lucky to run where I do. Hence why I’m very excited this week to link up with Erika, Patty and Marcia for Tuesdays on the run to share ‘scenes from my run’.

I’ve got some picturesque neighbourhood runs through man-made wetland areas which I tend to stick to during the week as they’re close (although are starting to get a little too familiar!). On weekends, I like to take my long run somewhere a little different so head either for the hills (5 minutes drive) or the beach (from about 20 minutes drive). My absolutely favourite place to run at the moment is along the Surf Coast trail & Great Ocean Road – they can only be described as stunning!

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In fact, I’m about to do something a little crazy and sign up for the Surf Coast trail half marathon in June. I’ve got the Great Ocean Road half in May along some amazing coastline so this just seems to make it the perfect pair. I’m a little nervous about it being a trail half (including some beach running!) but I used to think 5km seemed like a ridiculously long way so I just have to keep remembering that I’ve overcome self-doubt before and can do it again. Wish me luck!

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?

Checking in on my goals for 2015

I’m linking up today with April from Run The Great Wide Somewhere, Patty from My No-Guilt life and Erika from MCM Mama for their Tuesdays on the run link up party. Today’s topic is 2015 goals update.

So, how am I going?

  1. Finishing a half marathon
    Done. Feels like a long time ago now but really did set my year up beautifully. I’d still like to do another one but it’s hard to top running in Maui! There’s a great one in Tasmania in January so perhaps I’ll start my year off with it again!
  2. Reducing my 5km time. Anything closer to 30 mins will make me happy
    My fastest time was in March this year but I haven’t really been anywhere near it again for a while.
  3. ‘Run sensible’ and injury free – listen to my body and do what it needs, not necessarily what I feel like
    This one is still my hardest challenge. My achilles is again being annoying and taking a few days off running feels like forever so I really have to make myself take any longer amount of time. But I’m trying.
  4. Increase my running habit, gently and carefully. Aiming for 4x per week
    I did for a while but it resulted in my current bout of achilles annoying-ness.
  5. Try out a trail event
    Funnily enough, I’m supposed to be going to a night trail event tonight but am having to pass because of my foot. I have done a few solo trail runs over the last few months and have absolutely loved them.
  6. Get back to my happy running weight (which was about 10kgs ago – oops!)
    Er, no. I think I’ve managed to lose 1kg since January. But, on the up side, I haven’t put any more weight on!
  7. Run as many parkruns as I can
    Definitely. I’m up to 16 – 50 club is a long way off yet but I’ll get there!
  8. Volunteer at parkrun
    4 times and another coming up soon. I’m even being brave enough to try new roles – timekeeper up next.
  9. Be a parkrun tourist at any opportunity I get
    I’ve run 4 courses other than my home one and am off to Canberra this weekend so will be trying to do my first interstate run (achilles willing!).
  10. Most importantly, ‘run happy’ (as the lovely people at Brooks say) and remember why I run – because it clears my head, makes me smile and makes me an all-round nicer person to be around.
    Definitely. And this goal is still so much more important than any of the others – so important to remember why I run and not just do it mechanically. I really am a better and happier person for running, which is why I get so frustrated when I can’t!

How are your 2015 goals going? Any you want to change or add to?

running solo vs with a group

I’m linking up this week with April from Run The Great Wide Somewhere, Patty from My No-Guilt Life & Erika from MCM Mama and their ‘Tuesdays on the run’ link up. The topic today is running solo vs with a group.

It’s interesting that this isn’t a topic that would have even caught my eye a couple of years ago. When I started out on this running adventure, I was definitely a solo runner. While I like fun runs and being surrounded by a few thousand people, my headphones were firmly in and, effectively, I was still running alone. I ran my own race, at my own pace and followed my own rules, without fear of disappointing or holding someone else back.

That all changed when I actually found people I liked to run with. I don’t really have friends who are runners so it wasn’t until I joined a fabulous online running group (five30runners), went to parkrun regularly and started to meet runners who then became friends that my attitude changed. Since that, I’ve loved the opportunities I have to run with (and not merely surrounded by) others.

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The great group of parkrunners I ran with during Run for the kids this year in Melbourne

Running with a group is awesome because….

  • I tend to run further and faster when I’m not the one setting the pace;
  • the tedium of waiting around for the start of an event is so much more fun when you’ve got someone to chat to;
  • finish lines feel even more amazing when you have someone to cheer for you (or someone you’re cheering for);
  • it’s a bit like having your own personal cheer squad to keep you going. And you get to be that cheer squad for others;
  • they get it. I can’t stress this one enough – I love my non-running friends but those I run with get the whole running thing without me having to explain (eg, why you would want to hang out in the cold and rain so that you can go and run an 8km race).

This doesn’t mean that I don’t still enjoy running alone – my weekday runs tend to be alone are a chance to clear my head, turn off the noises of the world and focus on simple stuff – breathing and moving forward. But my weekends are now often taken up with running with a group of one sort or another and, despite being a generally quite introverted person, I really look forward to those times.

Do you prefer to run in a group or solo?