Tag: running

Sound Mind, Sound Body

While training for the Two Oceans, I kept telling myself (and anyone who would listen), that I was quitting running and that I don’t know why I do this to myself.  I will definitely never run another half-marathon (or more), but then I saw the Slow-Mag 10km race in Benoni.. (more…)

Running on Gu

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or paid-for post. 

One thing I noticed while training for the Two Oceans is how the runs were taking it out of me. I sweat a lot (overshare?) when I run – as in, I pour with sweat (more overshare?), and I realized that this could mean my electrolyte levels drop quite a bit, and need to be replaced. This could result in feeling tired, fatigued, and just plain sore. When you train around your neighbourhood, it is not easy to stay hydrated because there aren’t water points conveniently situated every 4km. I managed to work in two petrol station stops into my routes, but this is hardly sufficient for a 20km training run. (more…)

The (Long) Road to the Two Oceans

As you all know, I broke my foot last year October, but this didn’t stop me from entering the Two Oceans when entries opened in November. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy journey, especially because I needed to take a decent amount of time off to heal. (more…)

Cape Town, Here I Come!

I have been wanting to participate in the Two Oceans marathon for a while now, and things have always just gotten in the way – work, finances, or entries just selling out too fast.  So, I soon learnt that by joining a running club, I could have access to entries a week earlier than the general public – thereby, greatly increasing my chances of getting an entry. (more…)

A New Year, A New Fitness Challenge

The year is starting off with a bang.  I really feel this is the year to get my A into G, and get strong, fit and healthy.  Working such great hours (07:00-15:00) means I have quite a bit of extra time on my hands which I plan on devoting to my health.

In February, I’ll be running the KFC Randburg Harriers 10km Valentine’s Race.  I’ve never run it before but a couple of people have told me it’s a very hilly race.  This is something I really need to get my head around and work on – I loathe hills, so I reckon it will be good practice.

In March, I’ll be competing in the IMPI challenge – this consists of a 12km run with 18 obstacles in between.  Hard work.  I don’t have a lot of muscular strength, so I definitely need to train for that.  On top of this, I have never run more than 10km, so I’m going to have to start running longer distances to get ready.

In April, I am hoping to be running the Two Oceans Half Marathon (21km).  There are so many entries for this race, that they have entered all the entries into a draw.  Fingers crossed I get selected in the draw – I think this would be an incredible race to run, despite the big distance.  If I don’t get into the Two Oceans, then I’m going to consider doing the Knysna Forest run which is also a 21km.

In order to get ready for these races, I’ve drafted another training schedule which gradually sees us increasing our running distance.  On top of that, though, I have included weight training at the gym, in order to build strength and burn fat more than running does.

I must remember to buy some trail shoes for IMPI – somehow, I don’t think my roadrunners will hold up for that.  It’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m excited.  I also like drafting these training schedules because it ensures I stay committed and stick to the plan.   Another new challenge for me is to train without music – more and more races stipulate that you can’t use earphones during the run, and this is usually something I rely on to keep me going.

At the end of the day, I just have to buckle down and just run.

justrun

A New PB

So, we ran the Sportsman’s Warehouse on Sunday as planned!

We trained for four weeks according to the programme I drafted, and although it wasn’t easy, we did it!

programmeHere’s Lani and I before the race:

laniandyThe route was said to be ‘flat’ but this didn’t seem the case, as there were hills galore – the first half was almost entirely uphill.  It was run in Roodepoort, starting at Princess Crossing.  It was a nice vibe and atmosphere though.

I ran the first km in 5min20sec which is RIDICULOUS for me, I wasn’t trying to run fast but I find the adrenaline and the pace of the other runners makes me run faster.  I tried to keep up at that pace, which was a stupid idea and I got tired fairly fast.  Then, the weirdest thing happened – at 3km, both my feet went completely numb.  It was the weirdest feeling.  Now, I must have started running differently due to the numb feet as once I got to 7km my ITBS started acting up badly.  I insisted on pushing myself through the pain and managed to complete the 10km and got a PB of 1hr4mins (and 7 seconds if you must be nit-picky).  This is a massive improvement from my last time of 1hr10min, and it felt great.  Although, I was slightly disappointed in myself and felt I really could have done better – if my knee hadn’t acted up I’m sure I could’ve pushed those last 3km.

photoIt was a good race for all, I’d say – Ross and his sister Jenni both got pretty impressive PBs, Lani completed her first 10km ever and Stef completed 10km after falling really badly and busting up her knee – resilience!

Here’s our obligatory ‘biting the medal’ pic after the race:

postraceUpcoming races are the Sisters with Blisters 8.5km walk/run on the 23rd of November, as well as the World Aids Day 10km race on the 1st of December, who will I be seeing there?

Two Oceans Entries have Opened!

This morning, I bit the bullet, and entered myself and Ross (he didn’t really have a choice) for the Two Oceans half marathon.  Unfortunately, because we are novices and haven’t run it before, this means we might not get to ultimately run it as our names will be entered into a random draw.

They have so many entries, that they have to do a draw to choose 6000 novices (out of the 10000 odd entries) that can enter.  Fingers crossed we are picked!

Also, I may just be doing it for the T-Shirt.

Have you entered yet?  If not, go here.  Entries are known to go FAST (unlike the speed at which I ‘run’).

Halloween Trail Run

Last night, Ross, Lanz and myself took part in the Mag-Lite Halloween 8.5km Night Trail Run (hosted by Ilumin8 events).

While we’re training for our 10km, we knew it’d be a good idea to vary our training and move away from the regular road running and try out a trail or two.  Last weekend, we took part in the Delta Run which sucked didn’t go quite as planned.

It was with massive hesitation that we entered this Halloween run. We didn’t dress up (apart from having a spider on our headlamps), which we immediately regretted because we found most people went all out on their costumes.

Fearing for our lives..
Fearing for our lives..

Overall, it was pretty difficult.  There were massive inclines and declines.  One or two declines were extremely steep where I very nearly saw my ass.

I think I did a decent time – an hour and 6 minutes.  I was super happy, because my knee didn’t give me any problems.  I got stuck behind a couple for about a km or so – walking side by side and holding hands while she giggled, and kept saying, “Does my bum look big!? Don’t look at my bum when I walk baby! Heeheehee.” Cue death stares from Andy.

Once I got past them, I was much happier and managed to finish, despite being completely exhausted.  I also was genuinely concerned that I was lost once or twice, because as the crowds dispersed, I found myself in pitch black forest ALL ALONE.  Plus, I knew there was a guy running around wearing a ‘Scream’ mask.  That may have made me run faster.

Have a look at the ridiculousness that was the route last night:

Are You Freaking Kidding Me!?
Are You Freaking Kidding Me!?

 

Foam Rolling

After my issues with ITBS, a few people recommended that I acquire a foam roller which helps with self-myofascial release (SMR).  Basically, the foam roller provides similar benefits to that of a deep-tissue massage (without the expensive price tag).  This means it breaks down scar tissue and adhesions often caused my injury or overuse.  You can roll before you run, after you run, or both!  You can use it for any tight or sore muscles – but my main focus is on my ITB.  Now, the ITB is a ligament (and not a muscle), however, many people claim it can help release a tight ITB and I myself have felt the benefits of this.

ITBS
ITBS

It isn’t a pain-free process, and it is quite tender (especially over an inflamed ITB), but I have literally felt the incredible effects of rolling.  The foam roller is particularly helpful with ITBS when you use it for the glutes, TFL and hamstrings.  By removing tension from these muscle groups, you can decrease the ITBS you experience.

Although this helps greatly with ITB, you shouldn’t use it as a long-term treatment – rather seek professional advice as to what is causing your ITBS.

Here I demonstrate how to use the foam roller for ITBS – I cover the hamstrings, the TFL and the ITB itself.

Support yourself with your arms and hands behind you, and roll up and down the hamstrings slowly with moderate pressure until you feel a tender, tight or painful area.  Stop over this area and although it’s uncomfortable, try relax.  You will eventually feel the muscle release and relax – this can take a varying amount of time, but most people say between 5 and 30 seconds.  Go with what feels right for you.

Hamstrings
Hamstrings

If you want to increase the pressure you’re putting on your hamstrings, you can advance the move by putting one leg on top of the other.  This isn’t a pain tolerance test, though, and if it is too painful for direct pressure, rather change angles and gradually move over that area until it releases.

Hamstrings - Advanced
Hamstrings – Advanced

The TFL or ‘Tensor Fasciae Latae’ muscle is situated on the front of your thigh, more or less where your pocket would be and helps stabilize the hip in extension.  It is often thought to be a big contributor to ITBS in conjunction with the Gluteus Maximus, so it’s a good idea to roll out any tightness that may be in this muscle.

TFL
TFL

Lastly, is the ITB itself.  Now, remember that this isn’t a muscle, but I have found major relief from rolling over the ITB.  If you suffer from ITBS, this is a warning that it is extremely sensitive, and this should be done slowly and carefully, putting a lot of weight on your hands to reduce the pressure on your ITB.

ITB
ITB

If the pressure is too much, you can cross the unused leg over and place it on the floor in front of you for extra-stabilization and to reduce the pressure felt while rolling over the ITB.

ITB - Beginner
ITB – Beginner

Always seek medical attention prior to using a foam roller to ensure it is safe to use in your individual circumstances.  I bought my Foam Roller from Dischem for R299.99, but they are not hard to come by, and you can find them at all major sportsware outlets.  Check out breakingmuscle.com – I found this site very informative and helpful in understanding how to foam roll safely, and why it helps.  I’m definitely not looking back!