Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Hurdles Before The Destination....

Was thinking this week how strange human nature is when a single event or activity can mean so much to us that it literally takes over our lives on so many levels.

It's different for all of us and changes as our lives take on different directions.  It may relate to a family occasion, a sporting event, one of lifes' milestones, achieving a goal or just getting over a hurdle at work. Where ever you are at, it seems that that one thing starts to take over daily life - a wedding, a baby, a new job, a Grand Final.

In our lives at the moment, it's heading off to the Hawaii Ironman.

We are counting down the days (13). We are discussing it with family and friends. Travel arrangements need to be checked and locked in. Work load has increased and school holidays need to be managed. Kids scheduling needs to begin (in our case since kids aren't coming)  - and at the back of the mind the thought of what to pack sits hovering. A lot of lists need to be made!

Of course the actual event and all the hype surrounding it is the key topic of conversation. It's a big event with top athletes from around the world competing so there are articles to be read, social networking to be kept track of and my Ironman's excitement needs to be kept contained! It can get overwhelming!!

I'm not complaining (far from it), just illustrating how life can be taken over by the next destination on your calendar.

On the flip side, we all need something to work towards. We need to set goals, follow our passions, celebrate life's milestones and escape from routine. Human Nature thrives on this and in the Western World we can get so busy with daily living that we forget to look at the big picture, appreciate the world around us and step out of our comfort zone.

We need the goals,  the hurdles to jump, and the event to work towards  - otherwise life would be pretty boring. These challenges make our lives richer.

So, whether it's the last few weeks before a holiday, a wedding, having a baby, a Grand Final, achieving a goal, moving house or whatever it may be that has taken over your life - remind yourself that you set the goal, you have put the plans in place and once you have ticked all the boxes, you will eventually reach your goal and reap all the rewards! It's worth it.

What's keeping you busy? What's your next goal?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Marathon Memories and some First Timer Tips

Running season has kicked in here in the Southern Hemisphere. Seems every weekend there is race….

Next big one here in my home town Sydney is the Blackmores Running Festival this weekend. I love this race because not only do you get to run through our beautiful city and its famous landmarks but it involves all ages and all skills offering a 4km fun run all the way to a Marathon.

I have competed in this run festival for 4km, 9km and the Half-Marathon over the years but not yet the Marathon (I did my first Marathon last year on the Gold Coast). This year,  I won't be getting to the start line at for any distance which is disappointing. Following a winter of sickness and little training I now wonder how I will ever return to my former marathon self!

I do know a couple of people aiming to run their first Marathon this weekend which has bought flashbacks to me on my Marathon training and the the taper weeks when you are mentally trying to get your head around the task ahead.

I wrote a blog of my experience (read it here) and looking back I still can't believe I ran the distance and just finished under my goal time. As I train today, I still can't quite figure out where I ran my 36km training sessions or how I trained through winter. Also, life got very busy. As a working mum - and selling our house amongst it all - I wonder how I managed to get enough training done to feel confident at the starting line! 

However, I made it (and they say just getting to the starting line really is an achievement in itself) and I completed it, and can now be proud of myself for setting the goal and ticking the box (as they say). I think I will attempt it again - just not this year!!

For my friends and everyone out there who are about to reach for the same goal for your first time, I wish you all the best. 

Hoping that the training schedule was not interrupted by too many hiccups and you are looking forward to the challenge ahead. Remember to savour the day, push through when you hit the lows and know that at the finish line you will be oh so PROUD when you see that finish line!

Here are a few personal tips which may useful this week and on the day:

1. If you are like me and need music to keep the pace, make sure you put together a playlist that will last the distance and has all your favourites - I even repeated the ones I know keep me pumped near the end so I didn't have to find them during the race.

2. Don't wear anything or try anything new (especially new runners!) - we all know this newbie mistake but I think at times we have all regretted that last minute decision to do something differently.

3. Take more gels than you will need and keep them in different places - they may fall out and it will play with your mind (lesson learnt in last half marathon!)

4. Know what pace you want to run for your target time but know that this will vary during the race. Despite wearing a super duper race watch borrowed from hubby I still loved also wearing the time band I picked up from the Runners magazine stand at the Expo. If you see them there - get one! It was just another indicator I could refer to and check where I was at.

5. Have some supporters on the course, it helps you to be looking out for people and they certainly give you a boost with their cheers as you pass!

Think that's enough advice from me.

Who else has run a marathon? Any other tips? 

All the best you marathoners! Love to hear how it goes. Will be thinking of you. Lisa xxx


Friday, September 7, 2012

When sickness hits....

This has probably been the worst winter of sickness I every remember experiencing and it's almost too boring to write about.

Apparently I am not the only one however. It seems everyone around us has stories to tell and many of those effected have not been able to shake it - like me. I am in week nine still with symptoms, kids have been on and off with it all winter, but what amazed me is that Ironman kept it all at bay all winter.....until this week.

Prior to this week, I had the perfect post planned to tell you all that I think Ironman in training managed to avoid the nasties due to a few key things that he has changed in regards to his health and eating habits. And although I have decided it's not appropriate to write about now, I will eventually as I still think its worth noting.

Of course, four weeks out from the Hawaii Ironman is not a great time to get sick, but then again at least he has managed to have an unbroken winter of training which is pretty impressive.

If you live with someone on a heavy training schedule in the lead up to a race you will know how it can mean low immunity and susceptibility to getting sick if they are not careful, this then forces them to stop training, which they just can't cope with. So, they push through when still sick and get sicker, and so it goes on.....they just can't stop themselves from training and give their bodies a rest!

So this week as reality hit that he hasn't avoided the latest virus in the house, the mind games have been in full swing. The body is feeling weak and the rest of the family aren't much hasn't been pretty!

Today however, I feel that we are all coming out the other side. My fingers are crossed. Nobody wants their months of training and peak fitness to be knocked sideways just as the final weeks before a big race are looming.

For me, I am just dreaming of the sun, sea and sand, cocktails by the pool, a good book and a break from being the hope it will bring me back to good health. What race? Ha Ha !

Have you been struck with sickness this winter? Tips for a speedy recovery? I have tried so many things that aren't working....I have open ears for new ideas :-)