BRF aka Best Running Friend.
I received the best message last night, it read:
Even when Im out drinking, songs come on and remind me of running with you, properly remind me of my running addiction. Can I be your BRF again? J
Awwwww, of course you can I think. We have had some fantastic adventures together so I am dead keen to restart anew. Then I realize I better get my arse into gear too. It’s been a big year and a very relaxing couple of weeks, I’m in fairly average shape at the moment.
Since completing my first half ironman in June I really felt like I needed a break. Its been a huge year with my first long course triathlon in February, my first half ironman in June, writing and publishing my first book and seeing a counselor for a few months to finally deal with some long buried deep grief and anger I had locked up from my mothers death. It just felt like the time was here to relax a little, sleep in, catch up with some friends, and spend some well-needed time with my gorgeous girls.
My BRF has also had a run of it with a promotion turning into ridiculous demands being placed on her at work, buying their first home, her son starting school, trying to juggle kids around 14 hour days, working till 1am and getting up and doing it all again the next day. The ongoing sickness from being so run down and stressed, and then a leg injury that had her in pain every time she ran.
So fair to say we lost our way a little and became quite out of sync. It was hard but we had a lot going on individually and our times just never matched. But great news is we are finding our way back again. We ran the city to surf last Sunday as is our tradition. We reconnected over a few beers and here we are again talking our next goal race and best of all running together again.
So lesson here is sometimes things happen that can sway you from one path a little in pursuit of another. Sometimes your priorities can sway a little temporarily, and the timing becomes a challenge. Sometimes you might just need a bit of a rest. Only you know what is real and what could just be excuses. You and a good BRF.
A good BRF will act as a beacon and call you back to what you love doing eventually. A good BRF understands the difference between just slacking and really needing some time to deal with some stuff. A good BRF will give you time to do what you need and just quietly assure you she is there when you need. A good BRF also knows that none of it will matter as soon as its just the sound of your feet and the scenery buzzing by. A good BRF will welcome you back no question and just move forward to the next shared goal and vision.
If you don’t have a BRF, I recommend finding one if you can. Start asking people you know on ‘run dates’. See if you click and find the right fit. It’s a rare and special friendship based on something unique from other friendships. I wish you will in your mission and hope you can enjoy the laughs, achievements, pain, sweat, joy, dirt, love and peace that I have found and shared with my BRF.
When you hear the term Super foods, how do you react? Do you imagine a little floret of broccoli flying around in a cape? Or do you wonder if they really are super and where you can get your hands on some of that?
A month ago now I completed my first long course triathlon and coming up to the race I really struggled with energy levels so had to significantly increase my carb intake; well triple it was the recommendation. It helped. I found the energy I needed for training and finished the race feeling happy and strong and half an hour faster than I hoped.
Following the race I had a rest. My body, mind and family needed me to slow down for a while so I spent a good week sleeping in past my 5am alarm and waking up with my family. It felt good. I continued the trend into week 2 only finding the energy to train twice! From twice a day to twice a week gave me far more time and things started falling into place in my business and my family were loving having me around more.
Trouble was the resting seemed to lead my diet to hell. I started eating white bread, chocolate, ice cream, cakes, chocolate all the high sugar, white refined carbs not really good for anything except instant and short lived pleasure. That ‘pleasure’ was short lived though as I began to feel very lack lustre indeed. I was bloated all the time, felt lethargic, cranky and so tired.
I am now finishing off the recipe section of my book and I have found myself cooking up a storm in the kitchen. All my usual favourites and a few extra special recipes I have borrowed from my inspirations and it feels good to be back on track. Clean, wholesome, gluten free, sugar free, super foods, and packed full of all the right ingredients to keep me smiling and energized for my busy life.
My stomach has gone down, I feel energized all day, I’m finding patience with my girls (even when they lose their brush again), today I even found myself singing as I was walking down the street! Best of all I have started training again and feel good. And even though I’m out training hard for 60-90 minutes each morning I’m still having productive work days. If I hadn’t cleaned up my nutrition and got rid of the trash I would never have the energy to get as much done each day as I do.
As I say repeatedly to clients and now I have made one of the steps in my new book, Food is fuel. Treat your body well and fuel it with the best nutrition you can. If you look after your body, it will look after you. Besides it’s the only body you get so so its crazy not to look after it. It’s win-win.
A quick super food hit that will have you feeling recharged and fantastic is my acai smoothie in a bowl. Its my version of a smoothie I had at Noosa when I went up for the triathlon last year. It could have been the magic in the bowl that led me to a new PB!
Energy Smoothie in a bowl
Acai berries- I frozen packet of (these are found in the frozen section of a good health store and come in packs of 4)
Banana – 1 frozen (I buy overripe bananas and freeze in snaplock bags ready for use as I need them.
Apple juice – 1 dash/shot or to taste
Chia seeds – 2 teaspoons
Whiz all the ingredients up in a blender till thick and smooth.
Pour in a bowl and eat or sprinkle muesli, or a power seed mix.
For a different spin on energy and flavour you can also add a bit of raw cacao.
Go do something great for your body and your mind!
Last weekend I finished my first long course triathlon in Husky. 12 weeks of training and preparation left me feeling ready to get on with it when the day finally came and I couldn’t wait to get started. A long course triathlon is a 2km ocean swim, 83km ride, and 20km run. My only goal was to finish strong and happy. And I achieved this. I had a ball. Of course there were snapshots on the run that hurt like hell, and getting kicked in the jaw on the swim was no picnic but these escape your mind as soon as you cross the line, or finish that leg even.
In my head I broke the race down into sections and had one goal for each. Not big lofty goals but just get it done goals and I think it paid off. The swim is not my favourite leg and I can get spooked if caught in the middle of the pack and feel trapped. So I decided not to ‘race’ it but to just swim the distance on the outside and just approach it calmly. It worked, my time was fairly slow at 40 minutes but I came out happy, which set me up for a good bike leg.
My goal on the bike was to try and keep a steady but firm pace for all three 28km laps. I was using a friends race wheels too and the sweet spot was 32km/hr so my aim was to sit over that as much as I could (when not going up hill anyway!!)
I have grown to love the bike but it’s not my strongest leg. Quite the contrary, as often I drop several places on the bike leg. At Husky though I maintained pace for the first two and even got faster on the third lap, yeeha! But best of all I only dropped one place which is my best result ever on the bike. Happy days.
Now to my favourite leg, the run. This is where I usually pick up a few places and really hit my straps. Husky was no exception, although a 20km run after a long fast ride was a bit more challenging than past efforts. What can I say except it bloody hurt, the view was amazing -its my favourite run, the cheering from my team mates was heartwarming and inspiring, I gained 4 places and loved giving my daughter and hubby a high five in the finish chute. It was fantastic. I couldn’t get the smile off my face. Even as I chomped my way through half a watermelon and several cups of coke I was grinning from ear to ear. My eldest daughter was in the finish area too and was beaming at me which made the experience all the better.
The whole experience was the best one I have had to date with any of my fitness pursuits. Working for a big goal and getting there is truly satisfying. Seeing and feeling what your body is capable of when you give it the right prep is awesome. But the main thing that gets you there is your mindset. You have to decide to get up in the morning and train. You have to decide to ignore the pain and keep pushing. You have to tell yourself over and over you CAN do this. Especially in that last 10kms on the run, or last section of whatever goal you set yourself. I only finished that race because my body just did what my mind told it to.
What are you going to tell your body to do next?
This last weekend I participated in the biggest triathlon in the southern hemisphere – the Noosa triathlon. It was my first time at this event and boy did it deliver on the wow factor.
People came from far and wide, each with their own story, varying abilities and fitness levels, first timers, 10th timers, big bold goals, and major motivations to finish this, one of the flashiest most exciting triathlons there is on offer. My age group was one of the largest, women 40-44, from what I could tell most with children either at home or on the sidelines cheering mum on.
Transition was like bike porn. There were huge wads of money dressed up in shiny bike frames and flashy race wheels. It was mind-blowing. If not a little embarrassing as I set my very ordinary roadie up next to one of the top of the line Trek bikes that I can only dream about owning one day. Sighhhh..!
An Olympic distance triathlon is a 1.5 km swim, 40km ride and 10 km run. Its hard to wing this one, you need to train. Train I did, but by the time the race spun round I felt like I should have done more. When I was racing, especially on the hot run, I realized that I should have done more. But I also had a fantastic, enlightening, invigorating, and empowering realization. I could not have done more. The last few months have been incredibly hectic for me. My daughter broke her leg and has needed a lot of help with a lot of life stuff. 6 weeks later it was still broken so we needed to recast it and have another two weeks. I have joined a new business mentoring group which is fantastic and motivating but has a solid time commitment each week too. As much as I benefit from this its time to find each week. I have also started to write a book. I have a 1000 words a day challenge so the only time I can do this is at 4.30 in the morming most days, before early clients or my training. These things on top of the regular demands of working in and running my own business, raising two girls and meeting all their needs and commitments and trying to squeeze in a conversation or two with my poor neglected husband and life has been crazy busy these last few months.
So yes I felt a bit underprepared. To cater to Kate and her appointments I had to miss some training sessions. To just stop and have dinner with my husband once or twice I also missed a swim squad or two. To have breakfast with my daughter before she left for school camp for a week I also missed a run session. I would usually feel guilty missing training and I know I am definitely happier days when I train earlier but my family needed me, and lets be honest I needed the time with them too. Some mornings at 5.30 I had been on a roll with my writing so skipped a ride to do 2000 words that day.
The swim was long. In my first few strokes I stroked straight through a snake! Oh good god, just keep swimming. Where are the frigging buoys? How long is this swim?
Ok now that’s over, lets hit the bike. Come on legs work.
Wow this is fun, what a great course. Oh this is awesome. What pretty forest. Hill, that’s not a hill, have you been to lilyfield rd? weeeeeeeeeee! Hey I think only two people in my age group overtook me, tops! Oh shit is that the finish line already? Awesome now lets hit the run.
Now bear in mind I consider myself a runner first and triathlete second so I always look forward to the run. So off I went to the following dialogue.
Cool, nice pace Joan keep up the good work.
This isn’t too bad actually, not bad at all.
Oh, hang on, its pretty hot.
Oh dear what if I have to walk. How embaressing.
Oh good lord its hot.
Shit here come the bricks.
Ouch. Shut up legs. Ouch. Shut up heart.
What actually hurts Joan? Yes but its bearable just keep going.
I should have trained more
Have to train more before the next race.
Shut up legs.
Oh no! I really need to go to the toilet.
Its only 6 k’s just keep running.
Stuff this I’m going back to running.
Oops no, I really need to go or I’m going to wet myself.
How about those bushes.
Or those bushes.
Half way – woohoo!!!
Could I go into the servo?
Down by the bank.
Do I care who sees my bum?
Thank god a portaloo.
Go go go, oh shit someone is in there…
ooooohhhhhh, what a relief!
Ok let’s go, no excuses now lets finish this mofo.
Doo doo doo.
Oh shit who put that dirty big brick wall in the middle of the path? Ouch.
Legs? Hello legs?
Loving those sprinklers, thanks guys.
Oh that poor woman she has a mud beard.
Hey 7kms, only three to go. Woohoo!
I should have trained more.
Well you know what Joan, I disagree. You have been really busy. You have a lot on your plate. You trained the best you could. You made some choices. You are nearly finished a book for goodness sake. Kates leg is better. She is happy now. Its onwards and upwards for her and you from here on in. You rock! You are in Noosa with your family and some lovely friends running in a beautiful race, you are one lucky bugger. You have a LOT to be grateful for, least of all your ability to do this MOFO race in the first place. Far out you are awesome. Life is awesome. Woohoo, lets fucking finish the best you can. Go.
Set some goals and enjoy the journey of getting there. Its not about the result its about you. It makes training more focused and fun. Finishing gives you a feeling of achievement and a sense of pride that you cant get anywhere else.
The celebrations afterwards with your friends are enjoyable too!
So the best result for me was not my PB on the bike , or to keep swimming after the close encounter with my swimming scaled friend, but the spin from quite negative to positive self-talk. The self-congratulations and realization that I had done the best I could with the choices I made and was more than a good result. I’m ecstatic.
Most mums I’ve met could benefit from being a bit nicer to themselves and drowning out their negative self talk. Book an event and get started on your journey today. If you need help with your training program give me a hoy, I would be more than happy to see you achieve your goal.