City to Surf to Cider

What an awesome weekend of running, friends and food! 

Josh and I went out to Bondi Pizza for a delicious Saturday night pre-race dinner meal. We kind of splurged, and took carb-loading to the next level 😉

 

We couldn’t pass up this dessert, especially on a cold, winters night.. chocolate brownie scrolls

And then we had to brave the rain and bitterly cold wind to make it back home for an earlyish night before race day

First thing I did when I woke up was check the weather, which didn’t sound promising by the sounds of the rain on the roof

I made us breakfast.. Yoghurt, banana and my homemade muesli for Josh and warm banana oats for me 🙂

We managed to get a lift into the city which was amazing (Thanks Mike and Tez)! We then enjoyed the pre-race half-an-hour-or-so crowd watching and pumping ourselves up and trying not to get jumpers and track pants face-planting us.

SO cool to see SO many people ready to run! It never fails to amaze me how such a massive event runs so smoothly.

As 8:30 approached jumpers were pretty much flying everywhere and some even managed to get caught in the trees. It was most entertaining 🙂

The race began and we spent the first km dodging people. It was our longest km but we managed to clear through the crowds and settle into our pace. The vibe was electric.. with cool bands and entertainers keeping our spirits up throughout the race. These guys were hilarious and since they went to so much effort I had to sneak a pic.

There were lots of drink breaks along the way, however Josh was running to his watch, so I did compromise a few drink breaks for a bit of extra ground.

We finished strong! It was such a good feeling crossing the line together. Last year I finished the race in 77 mins. My goal for this year was to finish in less than 75 mins. We totally smashed it and finished in 71 mins and 58 seconds! 

It was a great race. Lots of hills, a lot of self talk and plenty of heavy breathing! I ran faster and further than I had in quite a while.. and contrary to my own advice I wore relatively newish shoes. My feet paid for it. I took off my sock to discover the biggest blister I have ever seen in my life!

Taking a look at the stats, we ran a pretty steady pace throughout the race. Our first km lost us a bit of time which is expected when you are running with 79 998 other people, and the 6-8 km splits were the infamous ‘Heartbreak Hill’.

After the race we headed to Josh’s work tent for food, drinks and a massage :). Perfect way to wind down after the race. We then continued the celebrations at Josh’s place where we enjoyed post race music, beer and cider. Mmm. Pictures ended there.

But before I conclude, the day sounds all dandy but I do have a confession.  On Saturday I shared my Race Day Tips. But I didn’t take my own advice! I wore my fairly new sneakers, which I possibly had not worn in enough and ended up with the BIGGEST and most painful blister of my life. Poor Josh, put up with my crying  and treated it with disinfectant, a non-adhesive bandage and a lot of love and patience!  I was tossing up whether or not to share the picture as it is quite graphic.. but after all, it is a battle wound.. so here is a mini one 🙂

I leave you with a few questions..

1) Any suggestions on how to treat my battle-wound??
2) How do you like to celebrate after a race?
3) What is the funnest sporting event you have participated in?

Thanks for awesome day Sydney! Race days like City2Surf truly make me feel proud to be Australian 😀

Firing up for Race Day

Before any race it is important to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. I have always got butterflies in my stomach in the days leading up to a race, not for the running itself but for the logistical preparation that requires a bit of organisation, especially for an early morning race start.

Here are some of my tips to make the day go as smoothly as possible.

1. Fuel your body substantially.  In the days leading up to a race, we do need to increase our carb intake, as carbs are stored in our muscles and liver as glycogen which is the form of energy our body can access and use most easily. This doesn’t meaning having to stuff your face and overhaul your usual eating plan. Rather, focus on redistributing your calories by increasing your carbs, eating smaller amounts of protein and reducing your fat intake.  Check out my post on Hi and Low GI Carbohydrates for some ideas. Remember the morning of the race is not a good time to try out new breakfast ideas, be safe and stick to something you know will sit well with you!

2. Hydrate! It is important to stay well hydrated in the days leading up to your race, to prevent dehydration and improve perfromance. Not convinced? Check out this article from Runners World. If you find normal water boring, try adding fresh citrus fruit such as lemon, lime or orange slices to your water 😉

3. Prepare EVERYTHING the night before. Layout your clothes, socks, shoes, underwear, running bib, safety pins, old jumper (often throw it to the side just before the start of the race), Ipod, watch etc. Make sure any tech stuff is fully charged.

4. Set 2 alarms! Often waking up for a Sunday run at 4am can feel like it is part of a dream, so be safe and set 2 alarms 🙂

5. Workout logistics. Often roads are closed and parking is restricted so I always try and use public transport on the day which is often free *bonus*. If you are meeting people after the race, make a meeting spot as for big races the crowds are usually quite big.

6. Mentally prepare yourself. Accept the training you have done, be confident in your physical and mental strength and forgive yourself if you are regretting not have done more.

Check out my last half-marathon race recap for some more race day info.. and remember to just enjoy the day. Soak up the atmosphere, smile at the spectators and thank the volunteers 🙂

What is your next race?
What does your prerace meal look like?
What is your top tip for running a race?

*Please note, I am not a dietician or fitness expert, I have simply fallen in love with running and these tips are based on my personal experiences and research. If you have a query, comment or suggestion please feel free to leave it below.

Good luck to all those running the City2Surf in Sydney this Sunday!

Running with new toys

Just headed out for my first run using my new Garmin Forerunner watch which I got for my birthday a couple of days ago.

It was a good run. A bit slower than usual, but I guess all the logistical stuff like stopping to take photos and check the watch is working does take a bit of time.

I stopped by to say hi to the neighbourhood horse.. He was quite friendly this time, usually he doesn’t give me much eye contact. Was glad to see he was well rugged up.

I threw in a few solid hills…

In preparation for the City2Surf (Check out my training plan), I need to make sure I include hills into my training as there is the infamous 400m ‘Heartbreak Hill’ which let’s just say is quite the challenge.

Running up hills are what really get my heart-rate up and remind me that I am running.. As I do tend to get a bit lost in thought and music.

I finished off my run with the reverse ‘Cliff’ route, which included another big hill at it’s backside. So by the end I was exhausted!
 After a quick stretch on my driveway, I raced upstairs to plug in my watch and check out my stats. It is so cool how it breaks it down into km splits, so you can see time and speed for each km. The 3rd km was significantly slower, because that was where I stopped to say hi to my horse friend 🙂

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 38:18.6 6.12 6:15
1 5:24.3 1.00 5:24
2 5:49.0 1.00 5:49
3 8:12.1 1.00 8:12
4 5:47.9 1.00 5:48
5 5:50.6 1.00 5:51
6 6:25.3 1.00 6:25
7 :49.5 0.12 6:43

You can also see a whole lot of other cool things like a satellite picture of your route, elevation chart and pace chart. I am looking forward to trying out the heart rate monitor that came with the watch.. but i have never used one before so thought I would first read up about it.

Have you ever used a heart rate monitor?
Pros/cons/Interesting information?
Please share!

In general, don’t you reckon running with new toys is always exciting… check out Why I fell in love with running for some other motivators to get you moving and if you are still struggling to get your foot out the door read this!

Now I am off to run some last minute errands with my sister before she jets off to Europe this evening. Wishing Amy and Ari an amazing trip!!

Happy Friday!

Run, coffee and cruise through Sunday

Sunday winter morning… Chilly 7 degrees celsius and a crisp blue sky. What better way to get the day started then a beautiful 6km run from Bondi Beach to Bronte?

Being able to enjoy my surroundings on foot and in my own time is just one of the reasons Why I fell in love with running!

The half way mark always calls for a good stretch..

And the end mark,  calls for a good coffee 🙂

This whole-in-the-wall coffee shop ‘Birichino’ makes great coffee in eco-friendly take-away cups. If you are in the area, check it out.  The decor is defs my style and the staff were nice and friendly!

We were then lucky enough to spend the rest of the day enjoying Sydney in the best way possible.. On the water with Josh’s family.

Josh’s mum always throws together a delicious lunch. Today was Tuna Niçoise salad, with bagels, olive dip, humous and triple-cream brie cheese. Delish! Thanks Cheryl 🙂

We had the most wonderful day and enjoyed soaking up the sun.
Who would have thought  it was winter??

Well that was my Sunday and I definitely feel reengerised for the week ahead 😀

How did you spend your Sunday? 

Don’t forget to leave me a comment, and check out my Training plan for City2Surf – Only 7 weeks to go!

My Training Plan for Running a Race

Good Morning, friends!

Entering and running in races are a great way to up your training regime, set goals and test your determination and motivation.

For us Sydney siders, the Annual City2 Surf race is just around the corner (August 12th).  It is a beautiful 14km course from City CBD to Bondi Beach, and it is open to all who enter!

Start in the CBD
End at Bondi Beach

It is one of those races where people from all walks of life, with differing abilities (and even disabilities) join together to run and enjoy Sydney. It welcomes the most elite of athletes to walkers, joggers and mums with prams.   Last year my Dad and I ran it and we both loved it (this year we welcome Josh to our team 🙂 ).

CSBE0386.jpeg

So, if you live in Sydney or intend to holiday here in the coming months be sure to enter!

I thought today would be a good day to set some training goals for the race. Last year I completed the race in in 74 minutes. So this year I would love to see myself break  70 minutes (5 mins/km). This means I need to push myself and work on my speed.

My training regime is usually very flexible but I always try to include the same components:

1) Leisurely Runs – Usually about 30 minutes or 5/6 kms
2) Cross Training – Some sort of group fitness class; Body Attack, Step, Cycle or Dance
3) Long Run –  I try to  include 1 long run a week, and this is usually on a Sunday (I increase the distance as I approach the race, and then taper in the week leading up to the race).
4) Resistance Training – Either I do this in weight section at the gym or I take a Body Pump class.
5) Rest days– On these days I ideally like to focus on stretching, meditation and relaxation.

If you have trouble sticking to your exercise goals, check out this post on ‘How to make a date with exercise and stick with it’.

Well that’s all from me today.  Enjoy the sunshine and don’t forget to leave me a comment to let me know:

What race is happening in your city and how do you go about training?
Or
Will you be joining me in running (or walking) the City2Surf?

Happy moving peeps!

** Please note I am not a personal trainer; this is my training regime based on my own experiences and training preferences.