Run Melbourne 10K

Me and the nearly 9 month old Pippa post race!

Me and the nearly 9 month old Pippa post race!

Last Sunday was the BIG day.

I had been nervously anticipating Race Day for a little while, and when I woke just before 7am I was considerably pleased that the original forecast for rain & hail had indeed been incorrect, as the skies greeted me with frost and sun. I ran around getting ready, and decided to only eat two pieces of toast for the fear that my usual breakfast of porridge would not sit well in my stomach during the race. I had put my clothes out the night before, pinned on my race number, even making sure I had the right underwear. I didn’t want to run around disorganised in the morning and miss my train. After breastfeeding Pippa, and saying goodbye to the family I headed off to the train station. It really was a beautiful morning, albeit cold!

I arrived at Flinders Street Station at around 8:30, and with my wave of the 10K starting around 9:30 I was fairly confident I had enough time to do the things I needed to do. First stop, like just about every other female in Australia, was the toilet. The line at the Station was huge, so I ran around and found some at Hungry Jacks. There were even lines there! The solidarity of a group of ladies, clearly in their running gear, standing at a Fast Food Restaurant toilets early on a cold winters morning was great. We smiled knowing smiles at one another, and laughed about the hunt for a toilet, and trying to avoid queues, all the while standing in one.

The next step was bag drop-off, so I headed back to Flinders Street, trying to get to Federation Square. It was so congested. Due to safety, we couldn’t simply cross the road at Flinders, but go down via an underpass and there was a terrible bottleneck. It took maybe 15 minutes simply to get over to Fed Square. I was really glad that Paul had decided to come in later with the girls and the giant double pram (which I love by the way), and would be able to miss the worst of the crowding.

After finally getting across to the bag drop off area, and convincing myself that despite the chilly temperature and icy wind, that I was not cold and didn’t need a jumper, I still had about 20 minutes or so until the race, so I had a look around the place.

I have only done a few Fun Runs – maybe 5 all together. But I think this one might have been the biggest! There were stands for all different kinds of things – charities, companies etc. There were bands playing, games happening, and the atmosphere was generally quite exciting. I tried not to get carried away in it too much, not that I could really as I was feeling increasingly nervous as the time approached.

But before heading over to the Start I made my way down briefly to the World Vision tent to say hello to some friends, who had finished the Half Marathon already (!!), and then off I went.

There were a lot of people doing the 10K (about 7,000), and so that meant that despite having 4 waves of runners, it was still very crowded. I began running with a wave and a smile to a photographer, guessing that I might not want to smile in any of the other photos! Those of you who run a bit will know that some days you step out and feel good from the start. Some days every step you take is hard, and your body seems to fight it the whole way. Unfortunately, I felt pretty rubbish the whole run. I’m not sure why – maybe I was a little hungry, hadn’t gotten enough sleep, was not hydrated enough – whatever it was, it was yuk. So I knew I wasn’t going to be making a good time. So I focused on getting it done as well as I could, and tried to have a good time.

Around the 3K mark my knees were feeling sore (sometimes happens, sometimes doesn’t), so I had a short walk break, but no longer than 30 seconds. I did this a couple of times during the run, as my knees respond well to just a little break and then I can keep on going.

The kilometres felt loooonnnngggggg. Each time we came to a distance marker I felt as though I had done double! Not knowing the course well, or ever having run that way, might have contributed to it.

Towards the end (last few K’s) I was keeping my eyes out for Paul and the girls, but wasn’t sure if I was see them. So I was super excited when I heard “Melly!” and say Paul next to the road with the girls. A big smile and a wave made my day. And as I cam back past them, Heidi was out of the pram and waving too, and that really helped me keep going. By that stage of the run I was just trying to finish and have fun. I spoke with a few people running alongside me, encouraging them to keep going, and that they were doing a great job. I would have been thrilled had someone done that to me, so just figured it would help some others along too.

As I neared the finish line (gotta love a downhill finish!) I was quite eager to stop running! I got across the line and moved on through the crowds, collected my medal and show bag, had my tag taken off my shoe, and slowly (gingerly) made my way to the World Vision tent where I had planned to meet Paul. After a little stretch (not enough!), a banana and some water, Paul found me and I chatted with some friends.

It was a great morning, and although I didn’t make the 60 minute time that I had originally hoped for, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I was happy to finish in 1:13 – a time that I can hopefully improve on one day! More importantly though, I am so proud, with the help of family and friends, to have raised over $400 for World Vision and the amazing work that they do around the world to help vulnerable and impoverished people. If I had walked the whole thing I would still be proud to have raised the money. What a joy it is to give to others!

I am also so glad to have reached my second (of two) major fitness goals for the year: To run a 10K before Pippa turns 1. Pippa is almost 9 months old, so I have beaten my deadline by 3 months! Yay! And I am happy to be an example of a healthy lifestyle to my two little girls. I love it that when I put on my running clothes Heidi says, “Mummy’s going for a run!” I am FAR from perfect, but I hope to encourage them towards an active and healthy lifestyle.

Finally, thank you for all of the support, encouragement and donations that you have given to this great cause. May we do what we can to make a difference, somehow. Thank you for giving your change to make a change.

PS. In case you were wondering, donations can be made up until the end of August…


Thank You!

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who encouraged me, asked me how I was going, and donated to World Vision as I trained for and ran the Run Melbourne 10K over the weekend.

So far I have raised $415 with your generous support. Thank you.

Fitness Fill-in & Fundraising

This is the most true statement of all true statements. About running. And treadmills.

This is the most true statement of all true statements. About running. And treadmills.

Quite obviously I have sucked at blogging each Friday about Fitness. There is no denying, avoiding or ignoring it. I tried that for a little while, but have chosen to move on. Ha. So I have oh-s0-intelligently named this post “Friday Fill-in & Fundraising” because I know that a wonderfully creative post title will help you to forgive me more easily. Thank you.

As many of you will know, largely due to the countdown on the main blog page, the 10K is coming up in 6 days!! This Sunday!! And here is how I am feeling.

10 weeks is a long time to be in training. Maybe it’s not really, but I feel like it is. Well, it’s a long time to stay on task with something that is difficult. Perseverance is required. Perseverance is hard. My perseverance may not have been perfect. But I’m still here.

Running is a mental battle. How a run goes depends almost entirely on my mental state at the time, with slight input from my physical state. A few weeks ago I was still struggling to get back into the habit of a long slow run without walking breaks, as I had been doing lots of quick runs-walk break type running/training. So I decided to go for it, and did 7K fairly comfortably and easily. I was somewhere new and different, with a route more scenic than the usual footpaths around home, and had left Paul to bathe the girls and cook dinner, so felt obligated to really go for it and make the most of the run. My mind determined before my run pretty much if it would be a good one or a bad one.

Fundraising is hard. Much harder than I was expecting. On that note, please think about donating to World Vision! I have no shame!

My motivation has risen and fallen – currently low. I am counting down until Sunday, so I can stop thinking about the training I have to be doing, and how it is all going to go. I know I should be getting more excited, and I think that is beginning, but mostly I am just not feeling great about how my training has gone. I am super glad to be raising money for World Vision, and to attempt a 10K race on Sunday, but it’s not been easy.

What I find hard is finding a balance between being sensible, and making godly decisions, and just doing something regardless. It’s hard not to feel like taking time off from running because my girls have been sick, and I have had a cold/cough for a few weeks (almost cleared up now), and with Pippa not sleeping well. So am I just giving up/weak/looking for reasons and failing at my preparation? Or is that wise when I think about my family? Urgh, it’s so difficult to know. Probably it’s a mix. Sometimes I should have pushed harder, other times I made the right decision.

Running on a treadmill is not fun. I have done it once. I did not like it. See above funny yet true picture.

Running is a family sport. In the sense that Paul really supports me well, and without that I wouldn’t be able to do it! If he doesn’t make time to look after the girls, (and then occasionally encourage me to get out for a run), it doesn’t happen.

I have kept at it. I have run usually 2 or 3 times a week, but my distances have not been long, with 7K being my longest. I am hopeful I can do the 10K! Any advice for my last week, having just recovered from a nasty cough? And what the heck do I do if it pours with rain all through the race – cold, wintery, blustery Melbourne rain? I’m not sure how I feel about this very real possibility…!

Thanks again though for all of your support. And please, any amount of support for World Vision would be life changing to someone, somewhere in the world. And encouraging to me. Thanks.


Fitness Friday #2

This week was my last week of a relaxed exercise program (read: no program), as I will begin my 10 week running program next week. So this week’s exercise consisted of:

2 x 4/5K runs – moderate intensity

1 x 3K walk with the double pram – with somewhat flat tyres…which increased the required energy significantly!

1 x 2 hour Horse Ride 🙂

I would have liked to have done at least 1 more run this week, but didn’t really have motivation for serious running efforts when I am beginning my countdown program next week.

I am worried about being able to pull off the training required to run my 10K in under 60 minutes. I don’t know if I can stay motivated, or even just run quickly enough. And then I got my Runners World magazine today, and it had a lot of different articles about the mental side of running (as opposed to the physical side). It was great to read some ideas, suggestions and tactics for how to combat getting over mental hurdles that can hold you back physically as well. It was a great reminder to me that running can be much more connected to mental barriers than physical ones.

When I started running I used to think, “I could never run a 5K” because I ‘wasn’t a runner’, because I was unfit, and because that was something that other amazing people who were somehow blessed with a supernatural ability to run did. I now know that I too can run 5K, but somehow that similar mental barrier is there for a 10K!

I love the motto, or mantra, “More effort, more reward” and I often repeat it to myself in my training. Those times were I am physically really feeling it, remembering that I am getting one step closer to my goal can be just what gets me through. But the mantra applies to my mental strength as well. If I can practice on building mental stamina during training, as it too requires effort and practice, then hopefully that will also pay off on race day.

And when I think too, that I am running for an even bigger purpose – to raise $700 for World Vision, that helps things to stay in perspective too. That if my time isn’t great, and if 10K is difficult the whole way, than at least some good will come out of it anyway. It’s not just about me this time! And that is a very good thing to remember.


Fitness Friday

This is the first of a hopefully weekly type of post I will write on Fridays, simply for alliterations sake – I know my creativity knows no bounds – about my current fitness happenings.

And so I present to you my most exciting and wonderful news: I have entered into the Run Melbourne 10K race on July 21, 2013!

Well, it’s a little exciting, somewhat wonderful, and considerably scary! But I have paid my dues, signed on the dotted line and officially registered now. There is no going back. Oh dear!

How Will I Do It?

I have never actually run 10K before. I know to some people 10K is not particularly far, but when you haven’t done it before, it seems quite a big deal. And I am really hoping to be able to run it in 60 minutes or less, which, considering I haven’t ever run 5K in 30 minutes, may be quite a task. But I am going to do my best to train hard. When I run, actually mostly when I do intervals, my motto is “More effort, more reward”. I tend to repeat it over and over again under my breath when I want to quit or give up. And so I think I might stick to that motto.

I am planning to use this running program: RM2011_10kBeginnerv2-1. It looks good to me for these reasons:

1. Only 3 days a week of required running. With 2 little girls it is hard for me to get enough time to run, and so if I can do more, I will, but most of the times 3 runs a week is a stretch. So this suits me well.

2. It tells me the time needed (usually) for each run. This is helpful when I need to say to Paul, “I will be back in X minutes”.

3. This program is free! 🙂

I think the biggest challenge for me won’t be actually going to distance, but will be improving my time and running it in under 60 minutes. I seriously suck at running fast. So this is the challenge for me. It is not going to be easy! Apparently the only way to get faster is to simply run faster. I need to practice running faster! So that’s going to be fun and easy…

And heading into winter is also not a particularly fun time to be gearing up for running outdoors, but that’s life I guess!

Why Do It?

1. There are a group of people from my church who are going to run the Half Marathon, and I was asked to join them. I would love to do that one day, but right now I just can’t manage the time required to train for longer runs, so decided to instead aim for a shorter distance but a quicker time. A doable challenge – I hope!

2. It’s a good way for me to be motivated to exercise. I sometimes find it quite hard to get out of the door, and because I have only a few opportunities where I can get out (like many people), if I don’t seize the moment than often it passes me right by. And let’s fact it, I am still hoping to get back into pre-baby shape, and exercise helps that!

3. Most importantly though, I am trying to raise $700 for World Vision. World Vision do some amazing work amongst needy and vulnerable communities and people groups. We have a lot more to give than we realise I think, and I hope that I can encourage others to dig deep, give a little, and learn that it really is more blessed to give than receive.

What Can You Do?

1. I am so thankful for the many varied readers of my blog. I have been encouraged of late by some dear friends saying, “I love reading your blog” etc. It warms my heart to think that you can be blessed/encouraged or even just have a laugh or enjoy some cute stories of the girls (Hi Emily A!). But in this case I am also very hopeful that you might consider joining me in supporting World Vision by making a donation, however large or small. You can click on the link here on the blog if you are able. Thank you!

2. Join me! I think it would be great to encourage some others to run the 10K with me. If we all try together we can get fit, raise more money for good causes, and have fun together too!

3. Encouragement is huge. Don’t just encourage me either, although that’s nice – encourage others you know who are working towards goals, be it fitness or otherwise. An enthusiastic word of encouragement can make anything seem possible sometimes. It also helps to keep me accountable. I don’t want you to kindly ask how it is all going and to have to confess that I just haven’t been bothered…that’s not a great feeling.

And So…

I’m looking forward to writing an update each Friday about how the training is going, both physically and mentally, and checking in on the number of runs I have done, how they have gone and what has been difficult. I think I will have a lot to say about what has been difficult!

Are there any topics related to fitness you would like to hear more about? If you are keen to start running for the first time you can take a look at this honest and helpful blog, written by Jean who has gone through the Couch-to-5K program herself. Or maybe a gentle walk tomorrow in our lovely unpredictable Melbourne weather could do you some good? Either way, let’s get out there and get moving!