Tag Archives: running

Guest Post: Whoa-Oh Running On a Prayer

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Guest Post: Whoa-Oh Running On a Prayer

By Dane L.

When Amanda asked for some challenges for her birthday some 10 and a half months ago, it seemed like such a good idea to give her one with a healthy kick. Probably for the best given that other challenges included such indulgences as “Blow a stack of cash”, “Eat McDonalds-esque food” and “Watch 100 movies”.

Still, 10 and a half months ago, a 21.1km (don’t forget the .1) “fun” run didn’t seem like an impossible task. And given the amount of time we had to train and prepare, it was sure to be a positive experience for her, and myself. Yet, life gets in the way (or 29 other challenges) and we both found our training a little lacklustre. I have at least run the City2Surf in the past, and Amanda has done the Central Coast Bay2Bay, but we are both far from fitness freaks. As the date drew nearer and nearer we both felt a growing sense of dread, much rather than excitement for the challenge itself.

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Crossing the Finish Line

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Crossing the Finish Line

Okay so Dane and Andy looked cool as cucumbers at the half marathon… and I looked about as cool as…. a beetroot!

So, if you’re curious to see exactly how fast a beetroot can run, check out this video!

(Skip to 2:27 if you’re short on time and see if you can spot me!)

What did you think of my “marathon” effort? Leave me a comment below!

 

Run to Paradise

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Run to Paradise

Yesterday I completed one of the most difficult challenges of my life, and it’s all thanks to my little brother. When he first set the challenge I just thought he was being cruel. Run a half marathon?! You’ve got to be joking! His alternative challenge, “Have a baby”, was starting to look pretty good, but I’d made a pact to accept each challenge as it came and not get picky. So, much to the dismay of the would-be grandparents, I’d have to run that half marathon!

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Haters Gonna Hate

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Haters Gonna Hate

Since kicking off my training for the 2013 Sydney Half Marathon, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon.

I’m going to call it the ‘Haters Gonna Hate’ phenomenon.

Essentially, what I’ve noticed is that human beings don’t particularly enjoy the sight of other human beings striving for, or even achieving success. Despite the fact that I am redder than the most super of super tomatoes when I run, and clearly struggling for gasps of air, all many fellow pedestrians see is “She’s doing something to better herself. This makes me feel bad about myself. Ergo, she must be stopped”.

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An ode to my Dad on Fathers Day

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An ode to my Dad on Fathers Day

How do you thank someone for giving you life and then teaching you how to make the most of it?

I must admit, I am a little sad this Fathers Day. Not a lot sad, mind you, just a little.

My Dad is really the inspiration for the list of Top 30 things to try before I’m 30. There’s nothing like a good old case of the Big C’s to get you appreciating life, and that’s exactly what happened to my Dad (and my family) all through last year and the better part of this year. It’s a little reminder of the “bucket” part of the term “bucket list” I guess. A gentle nudge to appreciate the things you have before they’re gone.

Anyway, that’s why I’m just a little sad today. I’m a little sad because I just got off a Skype chat with both of my parents who are currently in France living life to the fullest, and I’ve realised that I’m missing them a lot. I’m only a little bit sad because the all-too-real alternative could have been so much worse.

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Songs to wheeze to: My exercise playlist

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Songs to wheeze to: My exercise playlist

One thing I’m finding as I (figuratively) race towards that half-marathon finish line is that music really helps to get my motor runnin’.

Initially, when I started training for the half marathon (kindly added to the list by my little brother, Dane), I went without the old iPod. The only sounds that could be heard were the slapping of my feet against the footpath and the wheezing gasps for air as I hit each hill. Sometimes I even managed to cough out a brief “Kill me.” to Andy, but apart from that it was basically silent.

I’ve never been a huge music fan (my friends will tell you I’ve pulled out of more concerts than Nicki Minaj) but it definitely helps to make a long run seem shorter and a wheeze fade into a quiet huff and/or puff.

I have a separate playlist, cleverly entitled ‘Exercise songs’, which I now take with me each time we run. Since I’m usually too puffed to say much to Andy anyway, it’s not really as anti-social as it sounds.

I know a few of you have exercise goals of your own so I thought I’d share some of my favourites from the playlist – perhaps they’ll come in handy to you too?

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The original M.C.

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The original M.C.

So, I should probably be running right now, as per schedule. Instead, I’m on my way to dinner at Grandma’s after a lovely dinner with the soon-to-be in-laws, a champagne breakfast and fish and chips for lunch by Lake Macquarie (oh, and did I mention the mudcake for afternoon tea?)

Oh well!

The thing about running is that it’s just so bloody tiring!

I also experience this other strange problem when we’re doing our usual 3km “around the block”. Since I’m on the way to my Grandma’s it seems to be an appropriate time to mention it.  (The problem is a mathematical one, and my Grandma was a high school maths teacher for many years).

The problem is that our “around the block” route is an M.C. Escher drawing! (Or, for the less mathematically inclined among us, the climactic baby-Toby-with-crystal-ball scene from ‘Labyrinth’). The main issue being, of course, that we ALWAYS seem to be running up hill!

And yes, I do think about maths when I’m running, which is probably another reason sport and I don’t mix. Then again, yesterday I heard an Olympic shotput champ describe her method as “believing in (herself) and executing the throw”. Apparently that was advice given to her by another sporting great… If it’s that simple maybe I could be an athlete after all!

Then again, I hear the dinner bell ringing…

Have you been watching the Olympics from the comfort of your lounge like me? What has been your favourite Olympic moment?

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Grandma and I with one of Escher’s works

Against the wind…

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Against the wind…

I’m still runnin’ against the wind!

(Ok, I’ll try to refrain from starting my blog post with song lyrics next time, since that is more the realm of my father).

Seriously though, have you ever had a song stuck in your head for 40 minutes while you were doing the very thing the song was describing? And, when I say “song stuck in your head” I really do mean “the only 9 words of the song that you remember”…

We’ve been sticking to our running routine fairly solidly since our very first run on my birthday on 1 July. We had a little hiatus on our holiday to Cairns, but other than that I’ve been quite proud of our progress. I usually feel like rubbish during the run, but I’ve been recovering fairly quickly. Today, however, was a whole new world of pain!

Please bear in mind that the most cardio activity I’ve had in about a year is getting overly worked up about the happenings on Neighbours (the whole ‘Troy’/’Sonya potentially losing the baby’/’Toadie getting booted from Ramsay Street’ saga got my heart racing about as fast as it has since I last participated in regular exercise 2.5 years ago).

Today we smashed out 6.4 kms at an average speed of 10.1 km/hour, which I was extremely chuffed (and puffed) about! That’s well on track for my target average of 10.5 km/hr… although still well off the distance of 21 kms.

It helps that my boyfriend fiancé is some kind of machine, so he certainly pushes me along. Would you believe that, while I was stumbling along and wheezing with every step of those 6.4 kms, he was challenging himself to 100m sprints?!

Show off.

I have to be nothing but grateful though, because I’m sure, had I gone it alone, I would not have achieved that pace today. Sure, I nearly collapsed at the end, and sure, my face is “50 shades of purple” right now, but it was worth it when I did the calculations and discovered that we’d kept pace for the whole distance (and beaten our previous time on the same route with an extra 200m up our sleeves)!

It is not uncommon, on these runs, to hear me puffing out “I. don’t. know. how. I’m. ever. going. to. make. 21. k’s”… but I suppose I will (eventually).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to go and die quietly in a corner somewhere.

What are your fitness goals? How do you stay motivated?