Tag Archive for melbourne

Hard-core is Boring. Also – Dinosaur Onesie.


Oh man have I missed chatting to all my runner friends online! I’m not going to apologise for not blogging because 1. as if you care whether I blog every day or not, it’s my problem, and 2. Hollie told me not to.

In a nutshell, the problem is this:

Emails

Thousands of unread emails and more accounts and folders than I care to count.

This, my dear #goalgetter2013 friends, is why I try to pick the pertinent emails to respond to. And man I wish I could respond to everything!

In Australia, school starts in a week, and all of a sudden…I have work. This crazy running lady now owns a tutoring business, and sleep is for the dead.

However, I’m not totally stupid, and I like to have fun, so I put blogging on the back-burner for the week as I tackled my work life, and spent my spare time hanging out with the people I love the most.

2013-01-13 15.39.34

Mr The Rake took me on a date to the beach. And the mini-golf course!

My eyebrow has an expression of its own. I winder if I just walk around looking incredulous on a daily basis?

 

And this included going to Melbourne to be with Little J for his 18th birthday.

Jenga

Little J and Mum about to face the inevitable reality of Jenga

But there was plenty of exercise too. And for me, this week has been a wake-up call when it comes to taking on the world.

 

 

I am so freakin’ hard core

This week, I was tempted to complete a ‘hard core’ challenge at my gym – 15km rowing, 80km cycling, and 40km running.

As I headed out for an 18km run yesterday, I realised just how ridiculous I was. Here I was, spending my morning out on the road, instead of enjoying the limited time I had with my family – not working. I had nothing to train for, no-one counting on me, and it wasn’t like I was bored. How stupid. I was forcing myself to run to keep up with a random challenge designed to motivate the unmotivated (there were easy and medium challenges as well).

 

[Tangent - I have many problems. Motivation is not one of them. 

So 7km in, I stopped, grabbed my phone, and got a lift out of my stupid run. I swear the first 5km were vertical anyway. No-one said anything about hill running.

I quit the challenge. And it was the best decision I’ve made all week. 

Moderation is key right? So long as we just glaze over the fact that Dad and I rode 54km this morning instead of sleeping in.

Yeah, my one cycling top came out. I'm too sexy for my shirt...

Yeah, my one cycling top came out. I’m too sexy for my shirt…

 

 

Today’s Moment:


No caption required. This is Big J, my big little brother.

 

Your Turn!

When have you been proud of quitting?
When is it important to live life rather than run?
Are you guilty of inbox overload?

 

What Happens after a Marathon?

 

So here I am, alive to tell the tale.

I’ve posted a couple of times about the things that you might not be told before embarking on marathon training. I’ve given you the race in all its ugly glory. So what happens after? Everyone’s experience is different of course, but here are a few hints!


The road now behind you

 

The post-marathon let-down

I have to be honest, I haven’t really experienced this one. It may because I’m a person constantly living in the future (I immediately updated the site to include my next race goals), or it may be because I already have 101 things on between commuting, thesis-writing and work. It may simply be that it hasn’t hit yet!

I feel tired (like, totally wiped out), I feel stiff, but I don’t feel ‘down’. In fact, I feel the opposite – strong, and more relaxed than I have been in a long time.

Marathon

However, this isn’t the only response to the marathon, and Dorothy from Mile Posts has some very honest words about her post-marathon blues.

 

It hurts!

I knew it was going to hurt, but I didn’t realise what that feeling would be like. After long runs, I’ve felt stiff and sore. I’ve been injured and unable to climb stairs. But immediately after crossing that line, the stiffness set in, and Every. Single. Step. Was painful.


Kate and Mum

I told you that straight after the race I hobbled down a ramp, left the arena and sat down on the concrete. The act of moving my body into a sitting position was agony, but staying upright felt impossible. Even sitting hurt. My butt was on fire. I had no idea so many muscles were used during a run! All the obvious places hurt, but so did my back, my arms, my abs and my ribs (not a muscle, but whatever).

As I shuffled away from the line, a fellow competitor looked at me:

You’re walking funny

…no shit. Also you’re looking a bit sideways yourself.

The following day was worse, and Mr The Rake spent the day laughing at me attempting to get up, sit down and walk sideways down stairs. Sitting on the toilet has never been so difficult.

I’m sure I could have minimised this with stretching, massage and/or icing, but to be honest, that thought was too much to bear, and I had nothing I had to run to!

 

The queen of sleep

This one’s a misnomer; I haven’t been sleeping all that much, but I am wickedly tired. At first, I was completely chirpy. Exhausted, but not sleepy tired. It wasn’t until day two that the real exhaustion set in. On that second night I hit it hard, and it took all my mental strength to drive home from the city, where I was visiting friends.

Every little thing I received via email sounded like an attack; from a supervisor, from work, from uni, and I had to step back and remind myself I was just feeling the effects of wearing myself out – it was nothing personal!

 

Again, again!

Here’s something I didn’t expect! Within an hour or so of finishing, I was planning my next races and goals. Not necessarily a marathon (though once I was safely in the car I felt amenable to the idea – if I didn’t move), but other distances.

If I can do that, what else can I do? How fast can I get? What other races can I try? When is my next big race?

Oh – gross pic alert

Marathon Blisters

Nothing deters me…

 

Mine

The best is last! Nothing beats that feeling of having finished. Of being done. Of knowing that your body can do that. For me, it has made me respect my body more, and looking at that medal (and the new tatt!) reminds me that no matter what, I can get through.

That feeling? It’s yours for life.

Finisher's Medal

 

And the answer is…

Yesterday I asked if you could guess the double meaning.

Tattoo

Almost all of you got that a marathon is 42.2km, hence 42.

Only Mary and Tri-Girl remembered that 42 is the answer to the question of the universe in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

For me, it symbolises that all things end, that anything is possible, that I am tough, that sometimes I will have the answer before the question, and that it’s ok for things not to make sense. Oh, and that I ran a marathon ;-)

 

Your Turn!

Have you ever felt down after a big event?
What makes you feel strong?
What is your next race?

 

A Foot to Remember


Well, what a ridiculous day.

First of all, I’m a featured blogger on Healthy Living Blogs today – check out my ‘Day in the Life’ post.

Secondly – BEST finish line face EVAH

Also, I’d like to link you to another Melbourne Marathon race recap – my wonderful twitter friend Lars smashed his goals with a 3:29 in his first marathon. 

Finish line face

 

I am a day late with my post – by the time I got home last night I couldn’t string a sentence together, let alone write my thoughts coherently. I had no idea just how exhausted I was!

Let’s start with Mental Monday, shall we? I am fully aware it’s Tuesday, but just for a tic, and for alliteration’s sake, it’s Monday. Ok?

Mental Monday

Here’s my Mental Monday negative:

I am not going to see Mr The Rake for 12 days.

As much as I laugh at him, I adore him, and not having your best friend around can be tough. Long stretches without him suck. No question.

Instead, I am going to focus on a positive thought:

In 3 weeks, uni will be over. For good. All I have to do is get through.

What’s your Mental Monday (or Tuesday!) moment?

 

The Key

Today I went out for lunch with a friend. Amanda and I went to kindergarten together when we were 4. 20 years later, we can still catch up over lunch and talk about anything.

 

At 1:30pm I caught the bus home. No drama. Dad was heading home at 4 to take me to the airport, and I was going to do some work.

I jumped off the bus (slowly, ever so slowly) and walked home to find that not one of the ten keys Dad had given me fit in the lock on the front door.

I tried them all again. And again.

Nothing.

Everyone can break into their own house. Fact.

At this house, plan B is to jump a fence and get to the back door (to which I had a key).

These legs were up to NO fence jumping today.

With no-one due home for an hour or so (I had to get to the airport), I made a decision. I walked the two kilometres into Diamond Creek, found myself in front of a tattoo parlour, and walked in.

40 minutes later:

Tattoo

Can you figure out the double meaning?

 

Dad called me to tell him he was on his way to pick me up. He asked where I was, and then asked if I’d been to the gym.

No, I’m at the tattoo parlour, on the corner opposite Shell.

Dad is a calm man, and it was clearly too late to discuss this. His response was perfect:

Oh shit.

Immediately followed by

Ok, I’ll be there at 3:20.

He took me home to pack, and as we got out of the car, I handed his faulty keys back. He looked at them for a second, and then put one in the front door.

It opened instantly.

 

Today’s Moment:

Definitely this!

Tattoo

 

Your Turn!

Best impulse decision you’ve ever made?
What’s your Mental Monday Moment?
Have you ever locked yourself out of the house?
The Tattoo has 2 meanings – can you guess them? Answer tomorrow. (Yes, anyone can guess – it’s not a personal one!)

 

Did That Just Happen? (The Melbourne Marathon Race Recap)

 

Ready for an epic race recap? I’ll do my best not to make it too drawn out ;-)

.

Start Line

 

Time to go!

I feel like I could not have been any more prepared for this race. I was ready to go – plenty of carbs, well hydrated, well-rested and feeling … springy.

Some time before 6am, my fabulous Mum and Dad drove me to the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground – our huge Melbourne sporting arena) along with my cousin Emily, who was running the 10km.

This was Australia’s biggest marathon in history – 7000 people lined up for the marathon, and 30 000 people participated across all events.

Emily and Kate

Emily and I before the race

All too soon it was time to line up, find the 4 hour pacer, and chat to the people at the start line.

Some douch-bag with a microphone blathered on about pacing and being a smart runner. It may just be me, but seriously, if you aren’t running, shut the hell up.

There were 3 4 hour pacers. I followed the first one I saw. To get through in 4 hours, we needed to run each km at about a 10.6km/h pace.

This guy was running well over 11km/hour.

I dropped back to the second pacer (with Cait on my shoulder telling me to run my own pace and chick ‘em later!) – this guy was also going quickly, but at a very comfortable pace. Until 30km, I think I averaged around 10.7/10.8km/h. Each 10km was around 57 mins.

Time

Finish time and splits

As I moved back, an older man came up behind me:

You aren’t doing much chicking. Looks like you’re getting bloked. 

Stuff ya mate! He wished me luck as he moved on, and just for kicks, I passed a few more blokes.

 

10km

At the 10km mark, I freaked out – my foot was tingling.

What the hell? This was something I hadn’t experienced before. I toyed with the idea of loosening my laces. But reminded myself I had intentionally kept them loose (and tightly knotted!). Passing through a drinks station, I quickly forgot, and after that my feet were totally fine (you know, for someone pounding the pavement for four hours).

I passed some people, and others passed me. There was a lot of luck and lot of smiling.

At this point, my fuel plan was flawless. I wanted a gel at every 8km, and a drink at each station (whatever I felt I needed).

At 16km I was 2 gels down. My stomach twinged, and I figured I should listen to it and let the stuff dilute a bit. I intended to split my gels after this, rather than to take them all at once.

Ready to run

Totally prepared with the gels!

 

20km

The 20km mark was magic – I felt great, I hit the line at 1:53:00 and everything was good. As I hit the half marathon point, I thought of our friend Jes at rUnladylikelast week she ran a half iron-man (you know, a couple of weeks out from her marathon – no biggie Jes!). When she hit the ‘half-marathon to go’ point, she had swum AND just been on an epic ride.

That’s it Kate, imagine jumping off a bike, this is just the beginning of the run – go for it!

And then I got to 23km and everything fell apart.

This is also where we go into TMI.

I have stomach problems, and have had since I was 10. Generally I have them under control these days, but if anything is going to set it off, it’s running.

I downed 2 immodium before even staring the race, but at 23km I had that horribly urgent thought -

I need a bathroom. NOW.

Naturally, as soon as I finally saw a bathroom, the pain went away, and I hit my pace again. I downed my third immodium and moved on.

Gear

I was so prepared for this – oh dear!

At the next drink station, I pulled out my gel.

Nope. It wasn’t going to happen. I was sure that it would be the end of me, my breakfast and my race if I tried to swallow any more. I chucked it aside and hustled to get powerade at the aid station.

 

30km in

Until about 32 or 33km, everything was ok, I was on pace, and apart from an occasional twinge, all was dandy.

However, I knew my wall was coming up, and yet there was no way in hell I could get another gel down. All I could hope for was as much powerade as I could get.

St Kilda Road is a long stretch, and it was a looooong time until I found my drink. By this point I was slowing down dramatically. I was running on empty and I knew it.

I almost got mad at myself, and then remembered all the advice I had going into this – forget about time; just run and enjoy it. I imagined Superwoman urging me on, and I hit the drink station, dumped a cup of water over my head, grabbed some powerade and chugged along.


Oh man it hurt

Around 35km, some poor sod in front of me let one rip in a BIG way. Poor guy, I think he might have sharted (best word ever), and feeling sick, I wasn’t sticking around to find out. I chicked him.

In the high 30s, Mum and Dad were there, cheering me on. It was awesome to see them, knowing that I had run further than I ever had before.

High 30s

Dad photography (thanks Dad!)

All of a sudden, we were in the botanic gardens. Giving up on my 4 hour goal, I just focused on chugging along, one foot in front of the other. Single digits left, one drink station to the next.

Run your own race, go your own pace. 

Then it happened. The terrible choice – run, or follow in the poor sod’s footsteps. I was furious with myself. I looked desperately for a porta-loo, but none in sight.

Instead, I walked for about 200m and concentrated on breathing. A man with the best of intentions encouraged me along – I didn’t have the heart to tell him that if I ran, he did NOT want to be behind me.

 

40km in

I picked it up again, only to have the same thing happen at about 40.3km. I gritted my teeth, had a quick walk, and figured there was a drink station within the next km.

When I first saw the course map, I was shocked that there was a drink station so close to the end.

Holy crap was I glad it was there.

At this point there was no turning back. Somehow, some way, I made it into the MCG.

We had about 300m to run once inside. I thought I had nothing left, but then I saw the clock – 4:08:45. I have no idea why I could push then, but I did. I crossed the line a little after 4:09, and immediately lost the plot. I don’t know what I looked like, but a volunteer grabbed me immediately after I crossed the line. Embarrassingly, she sat me down at the first aid tent, where I was told to sit still and drink slowly.


 

Done!

None of that! I tried to get up as soon as I could, only to find my legs wouldn’t work. With no thought other than ‘get out’, I shuffled down the ramp slower than I thought was possible. I cried.

I looked up, and saw Mr The Rake and Chelsea banging on the glass. I waved, and continued shuffling.

I finally got through the medal carriers, the drink stations and the clothes pick-up (which I didn’t use) and found myself outside.

Mum, Dad, Chels and The Rake were nowhere to be found.

I walked toward the expo, found a doorway, sat down, and bawled. I had nothing left. Nothing.

After what seemed like an eternity I stood up, and shuffled directly into Chels and Mr The Rake. I have never been so glad to see anyone in my life! They had phones. I could sit.

Realising I was in bad shape, they offered the world’s best advice:

You’ve just run a marathon! Feel free to shit yourself. 

I loved them so much at that point (and no, I did not).

 

You know what? I finished. I finished a freakin’ marathon.

Kate and Mum

With Mum at the end

Anyone up for the Gold Coast half next July? Or the Rozelle 10km in December?

Give me a few weeks  - this runnerchick is a runnerchick for life.

 

I’m running a marathon tomorrow

 

It’s that time! 12 hours from now I will be running. Thank you so, so much for all of your good luck messages over the last few days – I can’t tell you how much that has meant to me!


And a BIG thank you to everyone who has donated to the Butterfly Foundationwe’ve raised $2200, and I’m going to keep that in mind when I run tomorrow.

 

Housekeeping!

If you would like to track me tomorrow, head to The Melbourne Marathon App Tracker and enter my bib number – 2451.


I start at 7am AEDST and expect to finish around 11am.

Mr The Rake will have control of my twitter account during the race – he’ll keep you updated ;-)

 

Tales from Melbourne

You’ve probably gathered that I’m staying with my family. If you’re yet to meet them, here’s a full run down.

This morning, Big J surface around 11am, and I convinced him to go for a shake out run with me (about 2km at marathon pace).

Big J was having a rough morning – he woke up to a speeding fine, and told us how he’d

high-beamed the cops

the night before while delivering pizzas after work, and been pulled over. Apparently the cops like pizza – he was off the hook.

He finally found a long pair of compression tights, and after Mum convinced him to hide his shame and add some shorts to the mix, he downed a coconut water and off we went.

Big J hasn’t been running for awhile.

He did well though – it was over a km before he had to walk, and he kept pace! I suggested he just come along and run with me tomorrow.

He wasn’t so sure.

 

Like a Boss

I warned you that I was going to carb-load like a boss

My diet over the last few days has been disgusting – and so worth it. I feel fueled, hydrated, and ready to go.

Check out some of my food today:


Breakfast pancake – double strength!


The only day, ever, that I will drink this stuff full strength


Dinner – rice and chicken



I spent the day high on sugar.

I also got to hang out with a few people I met via twitter! The wonders of the internet. So I had a late lunch with Mel, Ros, Jarrod and Darryn, also running the full tomorrow.

Expect a full recap in a few days – I’m off to bed!

 

Today’s Moment

Meeting online friends – once upon a time I thought that was just weird online dating stuff. Nope = these people were not, I repeat not, serial killers.

 

Your Turn!

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve seen in a race?
Have you ever raised money for charity? If so, who?
What’s your favourite pre-race day ritual?