rebel Run Sydney | 2014

44m53s PB

Next time, please remind me not to drink the night before a race.

OK. Water is fine. Just tell me go easy on the wine.

I reluctantly arrive at the Start line having consumed two Panadols for breakfast.

Thinking that I’ve undone months of hard training my mindset is now to just enjoy the race as best I can.

Forget the PB. Forget beating last year’s time. Forget breaking 45 minutes.

After scorching hot temperatures the day before we’re very fortunate and grateful that a cool change overnight has provided us with ideal running conditions: the skies are clear, the sun is shining, and it’s a pleasant 16 degrees Celsius.

Awaiting the starters gun taxes our patience as we’re all eager to get underway.

And we’re off!

As per usual my pace is much too fast but I slow it down and establish a comfortable rhythm from the outset.

The theory is to run even or negative splits: the time for the first half of a race is meant to be the same or marginally slower than the second half.

I figure I’ll aim for 4m35s km splits and see how I’m feeling at the halfway mark.

Yet I’m surprised that my 4m30s pace feels remarkably good.

So I maintain the speed, slowing a little up a gentle hill but making the time back on the way down.

Like the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k the course is relatively flat as it loops it’s way around the Sydney Olympic Park precinct at Homebush.

The course can be somewhat confusing at times. Signage has 10k runners going off in one direction and half-marathoners – who started a couple of hours earlier – heading down a different route. At one point I wonder if I’m now on their section of the course.

Yet I carry on, realizing that, despite my late night transgressions, a PB is a distinct possibility. I even pick up the pace around the 7km mark.

I’m passing other runners, some in the same 10k race. Others doggedly finishing the half-marathon.

I even pass my friend Jamie who shouts out my name. But no time to chat as this is the last km and I have to put in an all-out-effort if I’m going to bag this sub-45 time.

The last couple of hundred meters is on a running track which is great. I sprint to the Finish line knowing that I’ve done it.

The consistent training has paid off. I astonish myself: beating last year’s time; establishing a new PB; and cracking the 45 minute barrier.

Now it’s time to celebrate!

Kim | marathon runner

Coastal Classic | 2014

3h56m03s PB

What’s with races being scheduled so early? I can understand the logic during the summer when the days are longer and the temperatures become significantly hotter once the clock ticks towards noon. But right now it still feels like winter.

As I lie in bed deliberating the pro’s and con’s of not only getting up but then driving for an hour, waiting on a train platform for 1/2 hour, catching a train for another 1/2 hour, and then registering, preparing, warming-up and waiting for 1 1/2 hours before starting, I seriously question my sanity and consider ditching my second Coastal Classic.

After all, it has been raining heavily all night and it’s still raining now. The track will be slippery. I haven’t prepared specifically for this event. I don’t want to get injured. I haven’t prepared sufficiently for this event. I would hate to not finish.

What’s more, I was out the night before celebrating a friend’s birthday: drinking beer (my preferred method of carb-loading). So here I am subsisting on 4 1/2 hours of sleep. All good excuses but pretty lame reasons to pull-out.

End of discussion. Tired and grumpy, out of bed I crawl, reassuring myself that now that the hard part is over everything from hereon in will be much, much easier.

The run (now in its 5th year) follows the picturesque coastal walk from Otford to Bundeena through the Royal National Park in Sydney’s south. To say it’s a a stunning location doesn’t really do it justice. It is quite simply magnificent!

Yet weeks and weeks and weeks of rain will play havoc with the trail. I envisage deep puddles and squelching mud that will add to our challenge. And that’s exactly what we encounter.

It’s not even remotely like a typical road race: there is no smooth bitumen, gently undulating and pleasantly even. It’s jagged rocks and wind-scoured sandstone platforms; sandy trails followed by sandy beaches; steel-mesh walkways and timber planks laid across muddy tracks. Running creeks and stagnant puddles. Greasy grass and precarious palm fronds underfoot. Broken branches to trip us up and fallen trees to clamber over. And a bit more mud that acts remarkably like quicksand.

Up and down and up and down again.

Given the conditions, I’m surprised at how dry the route is in many sections. And yet, just when I think we’ve seen the last of the mud, we’re confronted by another section that is worse than the last.

To be honest, I don’t think anything could have truly prepared me for this. All the same, the beauty of the scenery, the soothing sound of the crashing waves, and my determination to not only finish the course but complete it under 4 hours, spurs me on to run when I would much prefer to walk.

I also have visions of leeches writhing all over my shoes as one runner describes (whilst we’re on the train from Sutherland to Otford) how his friend (who recently ran this course) looked down at his shoes in horror at a Medusa-like scene. Great!

Despite the arduous nature of the event the competitor enthusiasm is high and the banter amongst fellow runners is light-hearted and friendly; encouraging and inspiring.

The weather, for the most part, is now favourable. The sun shines at the start and the occasional rain shower does little to dampen our spirits. The cool breeze is bracing and invigorating.

Volunteers at the four checkpoints hand-out water and fruit, lollies and kindness. They help keep us going when all we want to do is throw-in the towel and call it a day.

And not surprisingly, it’s around the 21 km mark that I decide the fun has stopped and it’s becoming a lot like hard work. But that’s OK. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is.

Although the race is billed as roughly 29 km I know that with all our side-stepping and slip-sliding it’s at least an extra km. And my GPS watch confirms this when I stop it at 30.1 km.

The nature of the race means the finish times are similar to those of a marathon. And, as always, finishing is a blessed relief.

Collapsing with exhaustion at the end my legs cramp up from the sheer exertion. An ice-cold dip in the ocean would be a great idea right now but I have neither the energy nor the ability to get myself back down to the beach. Instead, I’m looking forward to the steaming, hot bath when I eventually get home.

And although I don’t feel like it right now, I do envisage doing it again. But I may wait a couple of years so I can fully recover.

Kim | marathon runner

goals | december

20121101-194359.jpg

image credit : loosenyourwhitecollar.com

It’s been a while since I last updated this blog and a lot has happened.

Although I finally achieved my weigh-in target last year it has drifted a little since then.

And my Japanese has taken a back-seat in the last month.

What’s more, I was doing pretty well updating my three blogs but since my return to Sydney they have not been a priority. Unfortunately, everyday life has crowded out my creative outlet.

However, I did manage to maintain my training and complete the Rebel 10k Run.

So all-in-all I am satisfied with my accomplishments.

I think one reason I’m feeling some lack of direction is because I have not set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely (SMART) goals.

So I have decided, with a new month on hand, to buckle-down and create a comprehensive set-of-goals for the rest of the year, starting with two major priorities.

A. Do not overcommit by having too many goals.

They need to be realistic and achievable. Otherwise I’m just setting myself up to fail.

B. Once my goals for the month are set, I need to generate a plan of action.

To outline in detail (in my calendar) when I’m going to run, study, photograph, and blog. It may be that after doing this I see there’s too much given the limited time available.

OK. So, with this in mind, I’m going to create new goals for both November and December. Wish me luck:

1. weigh-in at 70kg

2. complete & pass Japanese Language: Certificate I TAFE Course
3. learn to read & write a total of 1000 Japanese Kanji characters

4. create outline for portrait photograph project
4. update all three blogs once a week

6. run 21m15s PB for 5km
7. run 44m30s PB for 10km

8. 50 push-ups
9. 6-minute plank

Phew. It’s going to be a busy couple of months.

Kim | 72.8

Emily’s Song

v.1
You’re a seed bursting forth in spring
Seeking all that life will bring
You greet the world with arms stretched wide
Branches lifting to the sky

v.2
Memories fresh as summer showers
Blossoms rich like scented flowers
Tender in the breeze you sway
Breathing in, you’re borne away

chorus
Your smile it lights up this big, big world
Shining bright, around it swirls
Sunlight streaming through your heart
Bringing joy to near and far

v.3
With energy you abound
Somersaulting across the ground
Dancing with autumn’s faith
Making friends with ease and grace

v.4
Learning ways of a teenage girl
Winter’s tears yet unfurled
Eyes of hazel reflect your love
Mirrors to your LORD above

chorus
Your smile it lights up this big, big world
Shining bright, around it swirls
Sunlight streaming through your heart
Bringing joy to near and far

fill
Seventeen, and who would have thought it
Seasons pass us so quickly, now you’re here
A stunning beauty, a real fine woman

chorus
Your smile it lights up this big, big world
Shining bright, around it swirls
Sunlight streaming through your heart
Bringing joy to near and far

end
Your life is patched as if a quilt
Future dreams are hopes to fill

Kim | father

the “I Quit Sugar” ebook

If you’re looking for a useful, easy-to-follow guide on how to break your sugar addiction then I highly recommend the “I Quit Sugar” ebook by Sarah Wilson.

Based on an 8-week plan it outlines the “why?” as well as the “how?” without getting too technical.

The ebook is packed-full of helpful tips and ideas and supplemented with her personal experiences in kicking the habit.

Check out her website to learn more.

You can even sign-up for an 8-week program if that would give you the added motivation to get started.

And if you don’t think you need to give-up sugar then try it for a week or two. See how you go. You’ve got nothing to lose: except a few pounds of course!

Kim | marathon runner

perceived rate of exertion

When I’m running I always like to use a heart rate monitor.

I don’t necessarily keep a close eye on my heart rate (HR) but glancing at it every now-and-again means I maintain my level of exercise within a predetermined target band.

There is an alternative measure that is more subjective called the Perceived Rate of Exertion (PRE).

For me it’s a scale that coincidentally equates pretty closely to my heart rate: 100 + (PRE x 10).

Thus I’ll warm-up at a PRE of 23 and then do an aerobic run at a PRE of 35.

If I’m running at a heart rate of 150 then I find I can talk but it’s not conversational. So I treat this as a limit. To go faster means I’m leaving the aerobic zone and climbing into the anaerobic zone.

Keep in mind that your heart rate is affected by hills, heat and humidity – and the subsequent dehydration that can occur – as well as altitude.

It’s a simple way of ensuring that those runs that should be easy to moderate don’t end up being too hard.

Kim | marathon runner