Thumbs up Running photos and enter a giveaway!!!

This month I am so super excited to announce that I am a sponsor of the Runners Tell All link up and I am also super stoked to have any new readers along on my blog, so thanks for stopping by ya’ll!

This month we are asked to share a running picture… I’ve got to say, I am ‘that person’ who absolutely ALWAYS looks awful in running pictures… There has never been a good one of me ever, that I can recall anyway. I just don’t understand how there are people out there who always look amazing in running photos, it’s just not real life!

So here is my photo for you: GE DIGITAL CAMERATo be honest, it’s probably one of the best looking photos I have of me running which is sorta why I picked it. I also picked it because it was a super proud race for me. It was my first half marathon after having my son. I ran this when he was about 6 months old and managed to sneak in just under 2 hours… Stoked! I also picked it because I am doing my classic running pose: The thumbs up… I don’t know why I always have to be such a dork and do thumbs up but it seems to be my token running pic shot… It’s way too dorky, I really should come up with something better! And to prove that it is my classic running pose, here are a few more of the good old thumbs ups in race pics…

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My second and favourite Marathon, only less than a quarter of the way in

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The same marathon as above, about 200m from the finish, so happy to get there!

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My first race 4 months after having my baby – 12km… We had so much fun, can you tell??

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Before the half marathon mentioned above, with my awesome running buddy.

Apparently I always run in the same t-shirt too… That’s awkward! And not only do I do thumbs ups in races but I do them before races too! You can just call me Curious Cheesy Runner!

What I have learnt about running photos is this (and I still never look any good in any photos so take this with a grain of salt):

Never try and look awesome, just look straight at the photographer and smile because you will always look much nicer. Even do thumbs up if you must but don’t say that I told you to!

Some other exciting things happening in the link up this month is that every reader, no matter which part of the world you are in, gets the chance to enter an awesome giveaway. Amanda and Beka, the hosts, are giving away a mystery bag full of running goodies! It is a secret what is in it, thus the word ‘mystery’ but they have told me and trust me, you WANT and NEED to win it, it’s very cool stuff!! You can enter here or here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good Luck!!

You can also link up your blog if you are part of the Runners Tell All already, or if you want to begin now. Do that here:

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

What have you learned from running pictures?

What is your classic running pose?

The real reason for my loss of running and blogging mojo…

A couple of months ago I did a post about losing my running mojo. I later followed that up with a post about how to get it back… Turns out I wasn’t quite ready to get it back. In fact, not long after that I found out I had Glandular Fever which was the reason behind my lack of energy and enthusiasm for, well pretty much, everything!

I pretty much started the year feeling less than great, sluggish, tired a lot, appetite all over the place, nauseous and constant tonsillitis… I am not one to moan about sickness (to many people, only to the ones who have no choice but to listen), or things getting me down, but this really was a downer. It took a couple of months and the third-time-lucky-doctor to finally be able to tell me what was wrong and get blood tests to confirm it. As much as I didn’t want to be unwell I was rather relieved to actually know what it was and not just constantly be feeling terrible and wondering what on earth was wrong with me.

So with some advice from doctors and people that had had it before, I have been resting as much as I can with a one year old and a part time job in tow. Needless to say the running took a major back seat and my shoes are enjoying a change of pace from running to walking.

I am through the worst of it now but still have the odd day where I am just tired and am ready for a lie down by the arvo. I was mostly gutted to miss a few big runs that I had my heart set on racing this year, such as the 50th Rotorua Marathon that was held yesterday. This is my all time favourite marathon course and I so desperately wanted to be a part of the 50th but just knew I didn’t have it in me to get out there and train and even if I did, it would not have been wise.

I am really surprised to say that I have actually been enjoying walking lately but would really like to start looking at some small races to run in the upcoming months. Start slow and work back into it I figure. And I’m sure this will be me when I do eventually get back into running:

Anyway, I know this is a super boring post but just thought I would let you know why I have been slightly AWOL lately and that I am still around.

In more exciting news, I am going to be the Sponsor of The Lady Okie’s Runners Tell All link up for this month so make sure to check out my post on that later in the month for your chance to get in the draw for an awesome giveaway of some sort… YEOW!

Next time my post will be a lot cheerier, I promise!!

Thanks to all the people who keep coming back to read on, I really appreciate you all reading my schmack talk! You are all wonderful!

Ever had a sickness that has put you out of running/sports for too long? What?

Any runners out there ever had Glandular Fever? How did you go getting back into running?

 

The Body Edition Part One

As a runner, and just a general female I suppose, I have a lot of body hangups. I have these ideals in my mind of what the body of a runner should be like. It has taken me a long time to realise that runners come in all shapes and sizes and your shape or size can have everything or nothing to do with your running ability.

So that little spiel has led me to starting a series (and by series I mean possibly more than just one post) about body image, and anything else I can think of relating to body stuff. So here is Body Edition Part One – All about ‘The Runners Body’…

The Body Edition
What is a runners body? Is it legs as long as a man on stilts? Legs as muscly and toned as ____________? Is it being able to see all your boney bits? Is it a six pack underneath your running clothes? Is it a bootay you could sit a cup on? Is it sculpted muscles like Michaelangelo’s David? I could go on and on, trust me!

But the simple answer is: It’s NONE of those!

I am not a tall person at all, I’m 5’3. I have moments where I wished I was taller but generally I am happy with my height. However, when I was a child growing up I was a tad bit on the chubby side. That was something I did worry about and was very conscious of it. I may have been made aware of it a few times by certain people, and this led to a bad body image.
I have never had eating disorders, but I suppose I have grown up with an unhealthy body image of myself. Always criticizing my own body, comparing it to and looking at others’ wishing my legs were more like theirs, or my arms, or my butt, and the list goes on.

When I started running, about 5.5 years ago I didn’t feel like I could call myself a runner because I didn’t have ‘A Runners Body’. It took me quite a while to actually realise that Runners didn’t have a body type. Yes, there are stereotypes and generalisations. And obviously an Olympic Runner is going to look a bit different to Joe Blogs who just runs casually to keep fit, but generally, runners come is all shapes and sizes. In several races I have been in I have been at the start line looking around at the other people eager to get started and I start thinking ‘I can definitely beat that person who’s a good 10-20 kilos heavier than me’ or ‘she doesn’t look like a hard core runner so I’m sure I can beat her’, and so on. Ha! It did not take me long at all to realise that these thoughts were ones that would laugh right back in my face while that ‘bigger’ or ‘unfitter’ looking person was happily relaxing at the end of the race while I was struggling across the finish line.

I have seen all sorts of shapes and sizes at the start line of a half marathon, marathon or other race and there is no formula, no telling whatsoever about how well they will do in the race. You can be utterly surprised if you let yourself.

You can also be utterly surprised in yourself to see that your body, no matter how heavy, skinny, short or tall, can carry you 10, 20, 30, 40 or even 50 kms or miles, and still feel amazing at the finish. You may not finish fast but just getting yourself out there and across that finish line means you are a runner and your body is doing just what you want it to do.

What a Runners’ Body really is is this:

  • A body that is strong, both physically and mentally
  • A body that has put in the hours of pavement pounding, aka training, to get them across that finish line
  • A body that is confident in its ability
  • A body that is determined and disciplined
  • A body that is healthy
  • A body that wants to be out there running and that enjoys a challenge.

So next time you are at a race have a look around you at the people lined up to run with you. They are all runners and they all have a Runners’ Body, just like YOU!

I am happy to report that in the last 5.5 years my body confidence has grown tremendously when I have seen what it’s capable of. I have run umpteen half marathons, 3 marathons and birthed a human! I am extremely proud of my body and can happily say that I am a Runner and I have a Runner’s Body.

What do you think makes a Runner’s Body?

Do you have a good body image or lack confidence there?

Why or why wouldn’t you call yourself a runner?

 

3 Unessential Running Essentials – Runners Tell All

This month’s topic in the Runners Tell All Link Up is Favorite Running Gear/Products. I have lots of these, but some that are particularly high up on the list than others. Obviously you need to wear clothes and shoes and underwear, etc. And particularly if they are specifically made for running then that can help a lot more, but this is not always essential. I am not going to go through the obvious bits of gear that I wear the most as a) I have done posts on this before, and b) it’s probably just boring.

Instead I am going to talk about my unessential running essentials…

1. My Garmin

This is a relatively new unessential running essential I have acquired (if you want to know how I acquired this see this post). When I first began running I did it to just keep going and make it to the finish. Since then I have started to set goals for myself in terms of time and distance so a GPS watch is ideal for this. I am also a bit OCD so once I have decided I want to do a specific time then I need to have a way of tracking it, Garmin is the answer for all your OCD running needs!

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2. My iPod Shuffle

I love my little pink shuffle that my husband bought me about 5 years ago. It’s still going strong and it goes with me whenever I am running on my own. Some people are totally happy to run, and prefer to run, music free. I, on the other hand, prefer to have music, unless I am running with a buddy. The shuffle is awesome because it just clips easily onto the band of my shorts or tights and you barely even know it is there. It’s easy to skip to the next song and adjust the volume. ‘Nuff said! P.S. uinfortunately I am not being sponsored by Apple for this plug but I swear you got to get on that shuffle wagon, it beats a bulky thing around your arm any day!

3. My adidas visor

I know this one is super nerdy but I LOVE this visor. I have a weirdly small head and always have trouble trying to find hats that fit me and that don’t have Dora the Explorer or Mickey Mouse on them… First world problems! I had been hunting for a hat ever since I started running because I hate the sun in my eyes but don’t like running in sunglasses… Second first world problem right thur! So my Mum actually gave me this visor a couple of years ago and it goes with me on all my runs too. It fits AND it keeps my hair off my face – the other thing i can’t stand when I’m running.

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There it is folks, the visor in all it’s glory

Those are just three of my unessential running essentials. Here are a few of my favourite brands that I like the wear:

  • Nike – they make the best shorts (as you can kinda see in the above photo), called tempo shorts. I do not like short shorts or clingy ones so these are perfect for me. They also make great tops (also seen in above picture and below). I would totally wear their shoes because of how cool they look but they are just not right for my feet… Third first world problem!
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  • Asics – I wear their shoes and always have. I love them, although am about to change it up a bit and give mizuno a try

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  • Adidas – they made some good hats, jackets and tops.
  • Gu – I love the Gu chews and now take these as a staple on long runs and in marathons.

What are your unessential running essentials?

Favourite brands for running gear?

5 ways to get your running mojo back

I recently mentioned in a blog post about how I had lost my running mojo. Don’t be fooled by the title of this post though, I still haven’t entirely gotten it back. What I have got, however, is the desire to get it back, and I’m finally just realising that it’s not something that just automatically comes back on its own (usually), but something you have to go out and get for yourself. So here are my 5 tips on how to get your running mojo back…

1. Start running…

I know this sounds so basic, but when you have lost your desire to run, then it’s actually quite hard to get out and do it. Tell yourself you are only going to run one minute, if it helps, and then walk the rest of the way. But I guarantee you that most of the time once you actually get your gear on, get out that door and get going, you will always want to run more than that! It’s a good start.

2. Sign up to a race…

You don’t have to break world records, or even your own, but a race can often be a great kick starter to getting back on track with your running. Also, if you have lost some fitness, seeing that in a race can make you want to get back to running fit again and fast. There’s nothing worse than running a race and feeling like you are not at your running best.

Last weekend I ran a 9km race as a bit of a kick start to my running again. When I originally signed up for it, almost 2 months ago, I had decided I wanted to get a new PB and absolutely nail it. Lots of things happened – like holidays, me being lazy, books, tonsillitis, life and more life, and therefore on the day I ended up just running it because I had signed up for it. I didn’t actually do as bad as I thought I may have but I definitely was a long way off the goal I had originally set… Motivation right thur!

Coming up… Orewa Half Marathon, April 13th!

3. Get a/some running buddies…

IMG_7682I am desperately missing my amazing running buddy that I trained for the Auckland marathon with last year, as she has moved town (and not because of me… Or at least that’s what she said??). However, this weekend just gone my sister in law came to stay and we went for a casual 8km run together and I loved it. It was lovely to have a buddy to run and chat with and make me not think about how hot it was or how I thought the hill would kill me. So I have a spot going… Running buddy wanted! Must enjoy running!

4. Revisit the past for some motivation…

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One of my favourite quotes this one. It’s all in the mind!

Since freshening up my blog a little I have been reading over some of my old posts. I read about my running story, how I got started, some of the races I had done, and even some posts I had done on motivation and it made me want to be ‘that runner’ again. If you don’t record stories of past runs then get out medals or t shirts or any memorabilia that you have of past runs. Look at some photos or something to get you back in that frame of mind. It really does help!

5. Be inspired by others’ running stories and successes…

Sometimes it’s easy to feel jealous of other peoples’ running stories and successes *guilty* but they can actually be a great source of inspiration and motivation. I am 99.9% certain I will never be a 3-hour-marathoner, but I can definitely keep getting my own PBs and becoming a better runner. Reading about other peoples’ running often makes me think that if they can then I can too. It also makes me feel pretty darn lazy if all I am doing is sitting at my computer or on the couch reading their stories instead of actually being out there myself.

Check out the blogs I follow for some stories from other amazing runners!

Be the runner whose story inspires others! That’s what I want to be!

Lost your running mojo?

How do/will you get it back?

It’s Officially Official…

I just had to use this title again because I still can’t believe it…

IT’S OFFICIAL…

As of yesterday, I now have a ONE YEAR OLD!!

IMG_0371Say whaaaaat! I know right, I still look feel like I’m 19 and now I have a one year old! Where did this last eight years year go!

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Not to make this the ‘crazy baby lady blog’ or anything like that, but I really just had to tell you all about the craziness that is my life right now, having a one year old and all (and put in some pictures so you can all see how cool he is). It really has been the greatest year of our lives and we wouldn’t have changed a thing!

Running on the other hand…
Eek! I have been sick for the last two weeks with some awesome things such as tonsillitis and strep throat… Gross! So have been totally whacked! I thought I was just a bit worn out and had overdone things somewhere along the lines only to be told I actually was a bit sick. My doctor knows me so well too when she says: ‘You need to take it easy, and by that I mean NO running’. Dang!

So the last week and a half have consisted of some lovely walks coupled with some lovely book reading and on demand TV watching. I have never been a day sleeper or lier downer but have surprisingly loved having a few of those the last couple of weeks.

This has also made me think twice about the half marathon I was going to be running in 2.5 weeks. I am very out of running fitness for it already, then with 1.5 weeks out of action I am thinking I will leave it and set my sights on another one in May so I can really do well at it.

This weekend I have a 9km race which I think I will still run as am already starting to feel heaps better thanks to good ol’ anti-biotics, however I don’t think I’ll be breaking any speed limits or anything. I will run and enjoy and probably get over taken by someone’s granny along the way.

I’m normally not one to take doctor’s orders either but am happy just relaxing and not running at the moment… Weird! Maybe I should go and see the doctor about that??

Anyone racing this weekend? What distance?

What’s the longest sickness or injury has every put you out of running/exercise for before?

Isn’t my child just the cutest one year old you’ve ever seen!?!

Runners Tell All: My Running Story

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Runners Tell All is a monthly link up that my wonderful friend Amanda, over at The Lady Okie Blog, is hosting with a friend. It will run for the whole year and it is a monthly thing, on the 21st of each month. It’s going to be awesome and there are also going to be heaps of prizes up for grabs over the year, as well as the chance to get to read and know a whole lot of other running bloggers… I love it already!

So if you are keen to get involved, or just read other peoples’ running stories, then head over here and get amongst it!

This is the first month of it and here is the topic:

How and Why You Started Running in 250 words or less.

I love telling my running story, mainly because the short of it is that 5 years ago I could barely run 1km without having to stop and catch my breath, and now I am a marathon runner! And here’s the slightly longer of it…

I began running when we lived in Italy in 2008. My husband was a pro rugby player there and I was doing extramural study. That meant that I was often cooped up in our tiny apartment all day with my nose in the books, whilst Tim was out training for, and playing, rugby with a team.

I decided that I needed something to keep me sane (apart from just going to the gym every/every other day). I had a friend there that was a marathon runner and she mentioned that there was going to be a marathon (along with some shorter distances) in our town soon. After getting up my running on the treadmill to about 20 mins (and being darn proud of that), I decided I might just be able to tackle the 7km distance, and with a bit of arm twisting from my friend.

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Come race day I was super nervous but also super excited. Little did I know that was the start of my life as a runner. I was super slow on the day but ran the whole way and that little 7km run led into soooo much more. Four months after that I ran my first half marathon and I haven’t looked back on running since.

Before my time in Italy I could barely run the 800m (half a mile) around my block at home without my husband having to piggy back me the rest of the way. Now I have 3 marathons, 8 half marathons, and many other shorter races under my belt with plenty more lined up for the future. Now I spend my time running and posting cheesy photos and quotes like these:

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 How did you get into running, what’s your ‘story’?

I’m Moving On: How to Choose New Running Shoes

I think it is well and truly safe to say that I have over done my dash in these bad boys…

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They have accompanied me on many a good time and a tough time. They have been there through thick and through thin, witnessed my ups and downs, my achievements and proud moments, and the not-so-proud moments too. The time we have spent together is priceless, however it’s time for me to move on. I am fickle, yes! I change shoes like the change in seasons (OK, maybe not that often but it sounded very poetic in my head).

This is not just about me getting a new pair of shoes – I don’t get all poetic just whenever I need to buy new shoes, no! It is actually about me trying a new brand of shoe altogether. I have been wearing Asics for well over 5 years and when I decided I needed to get new shoes (late last year – yes it has taken me ages!), I realised Asics no longer made the shoe of theirs that I had been wearing. I had been thinking about playing the field for a while and this just confirmed for me that our relationship had gone stale. It was time to move on.

Some time or another ago (I know that doesn’t make much sense) I must have signed up to a Mizuno running email thingee and yesterday I got an email with a link to this in it: Mizuno Precision Fit Online.

It was brilliant. It’s pretty similar to what they do when you actually go into a shoe store and get your running style/foot type analysed. Except, you do it all from the comfort of your couch!

So after taking the precision fit test, I realised that I think I might actually like to give Mizuno shoes a go and try out one of the styles that the results from the test recommended for me. Now how do I pick which one I will go with out of the 3 different styles recommended? It’s a very scientific process this one, I go with the colour I like the best! Don’t say you didn’t realise I was that smart!?!

The best thing in selecting new running shoes is to go and get fitted by someone professionally. I actually found Precision fit online to be pretty accurate but if you are new to running shoes and you don’t trust the online tool, then definitely go to a sports shoe store and get checked out. Sometimes they like you to run barefoot across the room so you look like a dork they can analyse your style, or they might get you to run on a treadmill. Picking shoes just because they look pretty is a great idea if you love injuries not really the best way to go about it, but once you know which shoes you need, then hopefully they come in a nice selection of colours for you. And if not, suck it up and wear the darn shoes! It beats any sort of injury you could get from wearing the wrong shoes.

That’s how I ended up with the lovely shoes pictured above… The only colour I could get – not my first choice that’s for sure! If I was going to pick shoes based on looks then it would probably be Nike, there are some super funky Nikes out there but Nike running shoes and I are just not meant to be!

What running shoes do you wear?

How do you pick your brand/shoe?

Ever been professionally fitted/tested?

10 reasons why people run marathons

Think running is ridiculous and running for 42.2kms (26.2 miles) is a cruel idea of punishment, or a joke? Think again my friend! Here’s a list of 10 reasons why people (and by people I mostly mean me) run marathons… Agree with any?

I run for feather boas?!?

I run for feather boas?!?

1. To actually get your butt moving…

Ever been guilty of saying this:

‘I really need to start doing more exercise’.

Or making this New Year’s resolution:

‘This year I am going to exercise every day’, or ‘I will do more exercise this year’… And what happens? Nothing! You are too vague so it never happens. Running a marathon MAKES it happen! Set goals people and not lame NY resolutions!

2. To eat all you want and more without severe reasoning…

When you are at a dinner party and the ladies (and some guys) are all like ‘well I did go for a half hour walk this morning so I guess I have earned a piece of this cheesecake that is the size of my head’. Yip, you know fair and square you’ve earned yours!

3. For bragging rights…

That’s right, I RAN a marathon this weekend! How was your Grey’s Anatomy Marathon that you did on your couch??

4. To challenge yourself beyond what you thought you could ever achieve…

You may possibly not actually be able to believe you are capable of running a marathon until you do it… Or even after you do it!

5. The thrill of the chase

Running makes you become competitive, if not with other runners then definitely, in fact mostly, with yourself. You smirk and smile and count (in your head) when you pass people. You are forever after that PB (PR).

6. Because who isn’t impressed by someone who has (or does) run marathons – put THAT on your CV!

7. The bling – who doesn’t love a good race medal?

Something to show for all the hard earned $$ you forked out to run the thing in the first place! Saddest day of my life = running my second marathon and only finding out after crossing the finish line that they only do medals every 5th marathon… This was not one of those. I felt cheated!

This guy certainly loves a good medal!

This guy certainly loves a good medal!

8. If P-Diddy, Oprah and Will Ferrell can do it, then so can you…

Or more importantly, if I can run one then you definitely can!

9. Because who needs toenails anyway?

10. The classic ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. 

So true! I am very happy to announce that a marathon has not killed me… Yet!

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and run a marathon!

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