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Epic Quest 2015 – Week Seven

13 December, 2014
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This week hasn’t been a good week. In many ways.

I managed three runs this week including a 5km PB of 37:47. I also got to go to a High Tea to raise funds for the music therapy organisation Josiah uses. I didn’t get to parkrun because after the gig on Friday night I didn’t get home until 1am.

Three runs – 30 points
High tea – 40 points
5km run under 40 mins – 10 points
New 5km PB – 10 points

That gives me a total of 90 points for the week. And a running total of 895 points. Just 105 points and I can level up again (partly because I didn’t concentrate when setting up the levels system. lol) I’m on 85.8km for my 1000km challenge and am poised to hit my 100km mini goal by Christmas, instead of New Year.

Running Ettiquette

11 December, 2014
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Runners are generally a pretty friendly bunch.  All those great hormones your body releases after a workout help with that. Still, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re going to attend a fun run or something like parkrun.

Unless you think you’re going to complete the run in 15-20mins (or less than 4-5mins per km in lengths other than 5km), don’t push yourself to the front of the starting group.  At fun runs, your time won’t start until you cross the start line and at free events like parkrun, it’s just good manners.

If you’re walking or going slowly, it’s good to stick to the left. It lets the faster runners come past you.  If you can hear a faster runner coming up behind you and there is room to get around you but you’re not exactly sure on which side of you they are running, then stick with your line you are currently running.  Sure, the best thing to do is get out of the way, but if you can’t then it’s easier for the faster runner to go around you than to trip over you as you both move to the left.

If you need to stop to tie your shoelaces, adjust your clothing, fix something on your phone, then move over to the side, off the track if possible.  You don’t need to trip others over.

Specific tracks events will have their own rules. Some allow kids/dogs/prams, some don’t.  Some require you to join a starting group based on your ability to complete the course in a certain length of time, and some don’t allow you to listen to music while you run, usually due to the course crossing areas of traffic.

On the whole, running ettiquette is pretty straightforward and helps everyone to have a good time.  So don’t be scared, get out there and run!

Epic Quest 2015 – Week 6

6 December, 2014
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I haven’t had nearly as much time as I would have liked to work on progression towards my epic quest this week.  It’s the silly season, and that means not only Christmas/New Year but plenty of parties and end of year get togethers but also several family birthdays (five between 10th Dec and 1st Jan).  And there’s also the usual appointments and commitments as well as a house to maintain.

So this week’s points are:

parkrun – 10 points. I was a volunteer this week as “tail runner” (it means I come last and make sure no one gets left behind) so I got a time but it wasn’t under 40 mins.

Another run this week – 10 points

Duolingo – 4×5 points – 20 points

Rosetta Stone 3×5 – 15 points

Going to a live music performance – 30 points.  I went to see my BIL play at the Bald Faced Stag in Leichhardt in the grand final of a band competition.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY – I went to a “jam session” for parents at our local music therapy centre where Josiah gets regular music therapy.  I had a great time and it was something I hadn’t really done before.  – 30 points.

Reading In Defence of Food by Michael Pollan (non fiction) – 20 points.

I’ve also added another 8.8km to my 1000km challenge, bringing me to 71.1km.  I’d love to hit the 100km mark before new year to give me a good solid base from which to launch into the other 900km for the year.

This week’s total: 135 points.

Running total: 805 points. I now level up to level three. Another movie ticket for me too 😃

Get a runner’s body

4 December, 2014
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Someone, a health professional, told me I wasn’t built for running, so I shouldn’t run.  Apparently, because I don’t look like an Ethiopian marathon runner, I shouldn’t run. (Just for clarification, that’s not my words, that’s the words of my former health professional – it’s not me being racist).

That person is no longer my health professional.

You see, if I did what I was built for right now, I’d be sitting in front of the TV eating corn chips, or ice cream.  But I refuse to succumb to that.  I am not spending the rest of my life sitting on my well padded backside, doing nothing.

The way to get a runner’s body is to run.

My body is not ready for running 20kms, so I don’t.  My body isn’t ready for more than a run or two each week, so I generally run once a week (hoping to increase that to two next year).  I don’t push my body more than I should.  I respect my body, and I don’t run to punish it.  On the odd week I have niggling injury or something just doesn’t feel right, I walk.  I listen to my body and take it easy.

Maybe one day my body will be too worn down to run, so I’ll walk.  It wont be the end of the world.  But as long as I am capable of running, I will run.

Epic Quest 2015 – Week Five

29 November, 2014
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I’ve been having some real technical difficulties with my Couch to 5k app – unless I actually have my phone screen active and the app on screen, I can’t hear the walk/jog cues.  Which is a real pain because it’s really not helpful to have to be holding my phone or having the screen constantly on and hoping I don’t accidentally bump something on screen.

So, I’ve made a decision to scrap that goal, and any future points, and replace them (I’ll update the respective blog posts accordingly).  In the future (from week 6), any 5km run under 40mins gets me 10 points, and any extra 20min + run also gets me an extra 10 points, and any new PB set at parkrun will earn me an additional ten points, all working towards my long term goal of runnning 5km in 30mins or less (which will take me longer than this Epic Quest lasts).

My new goal, to replace the completing the Couch-to-5k app completion, will be to compete in 4 (or more) fun runs this year.  Each fun run will be worth 30 points, although there is one specific event that will be worth more points than that – more information to come.

At the end of week 5 I’ve worked up 62.3kms towards my 1000km goal.

This week has been a better one than last week.  Points are as follows:

parkrun – 10 points
My final attempt at Couch to 5km – 10 points
Duolingo 2×5 points – 10 points
The Gifts of Imperfection (non fiction) – 20 points
Rosetta Stone – 8×5 points – 40 points
Trying a new exercise class – Zumba Step – 30 points
Extra run in the week – 10 points

Week total: 130 points.
Running total: 670 (Level 2). If I can get another 130 points next week I can level up again! IMG_9688.JPG

How to start running

27 November, 2014
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Maybe last week’s post inspired you to run, or maybe you’ve always wanted to run but just didn’t know where to start.  I’m NOT an expert, just someone on a journey, maybe a little further ahead than you.

Before you begin, if you haven’t exercised for a while, or have any injuries, you should see your GP to make sure that they are happy for you to begin running.

Next is a pair of shoes.  The heavier you are and the more you run each week, the more important it becomes to have a good pair of supportive shoes that fit your feet.  If you can afford it, get your shoes properly fitted and make sure the podiatrist or salesperson knows that you’re after a pair of shoes for running.  Ask for their recommendations for socks also.  My personal favourite socks for running are the All Day Superlite Sport Socks.  While cotton socks are good for everyday wear, my feet blister less in technical fabrics designed for sport.

Third is a bra.  Only for women, of course, but a good, supportive bra will make the whole experience a lot more comfortable and will help prevent neck and shoulder strain as will as stretching of the ligaments and tissues in the breast.

After that, all you need is some comfy clothing you can move in and a place to run.

However, if you’d like a few pointers beyond that, I have a few recommendations.  My first is to find a local parkrun.  Beginning in the UK ten years ago, parkrun is a free, weekly, timed 5km run that is open to all.  Walkers are welcome.  While there are some experienced runners there (recently I spoke to someone who has been running for over 44 years and has completed 170+ marathons) there are also total beginners – just like you.

If running solo is more your thing, I can recommend the Couch to 5km App  (Andriod app here) or Podrunner First Day to 5k podcast.  They are all based on a program that’s designed to take you from a being a couch potato to being able to run 5km, all in nine weeks.  I haven’t finished the program yet (I’ve actually gone back to the start to work on my speed, but I have nearly finished the program in the past) but I’m working towards it as a part of my Epic Quest in 2015.

If you know me, in real life, and you want to get started – let me know!  I’m happy to go out for a run with you and I’ll be patient with you.  I’d love to have a running buddy, even if it’s only once in a while.

Epic Quest 2015 – Week Four

23 November, 2014

I didn’t have a great week last week and didn’t make as much progress as I would have liked towards my goals, but I did make progress.

My points were as follows:
Parkrun – 10 points
Read a biography – A Walk With Jane Austen – 20 points
Went to the movies to see The Maze Runner – 30 points
Worked on Spanish with Duolingo – four times 5 points – 20 points
Read a non-fiction book, Simplify by Joshua Becker – 20 points

This week’s points – 100 points
For a grand total of 540 points (Level 2).

I didn’t make much progress towards my Walk to Mordor. I only did my 5km parkrun and because it was run naked week (more about that later but I ran without GPS tracking) it’s not counting in my app. I’ll see if I can fix that for next week.

I’m hoping the coming week is better!

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