Tag Archives: fitbit

Ups and Downs


Ups and Downs

Run up the hill, then down the hill. 


Up the hill, down the hill. 


Uphill. Downhill.

Breathe! Finish and cool down by running a bit further.

Tuesday morning group training and the form of punishment being inflicted has been varied, just to keep the regime interesting. Around 30 dedicated athletes gather in the cool-ish pre-dawn prepared to undertake whatever instructions they are given by the Guru. Today, it is a set of running up and down a hill six times (three up, three down). Total of about 9kms for the morning.

SCMtraining2      SCMtraining1

Already I know a few fellow runners joining in the activity, and some new faces are starting to get familiar. Conversation revolves around predictable running-related topics: Blisters. Sore muscles. Physio appointments. Breathing technique. What’s the next event you’re running in?

IMG_2740Is it worth it when the alarm goes off in the cold and dark? Getting out and pushing hard? Certainly I get satisfaction out of reaching the recommended 10,000 daily steps before even starting work. And if there happens to be some cake around at morning tea time, I don’t mind indulging, with a clean conscience!IMG_2287

Like many athletes, especially runners, I have devices and apps to tell me about my performance. Time. Distance. Maps. Heart rate. For the first time today, I used a new app (new to me) that all the cool kids are talking about…Strava. In addition to all the features listed above, it links up with anyone else using the app in the same place at the same time. Whether I’m ‘friends’ with them or not, their details come up on my screen any mine on theirs. In some ways it’s cool, yet in others I find it a little disturbing in terms of privacy. I guess the old saying ‘if you don’t like it, don’t use it’ applies. Will try it for a while and see how I like it.

Running makes you smarter (True!)

While many claim that runners are crazy, and I can’t deny it, at least there seems to be research evidence at least they aren’t stupid. According to research on The Conversation, the physical benefits of running can actually make you smarter.

Here’s an excerpt explaining why:

While intense exercise will create brain cells, they are basically stem cells waiting to be put to use. Exercise doesn’t create new knowledge; rather, it gives you the mental equivalent of a sharpened pencil and clean sheet of paper. It prepares you for learning, but you have to actively do some learning yourself, too. Integrating exercise into your working or studying day would seem like a sensible option, if this particular benefit is of interest to you.

Well, I haven’t heard any evidence to say it’s not good for you, unless you go to extremes and injure yourself, so I’ll keep getting out of bed and putting one foot in front of another.

Word of the Day: Struggle


Today’s Word of the Day is… Struggle 

An extra training run, with a later start than usual today. In fact it’s full daylight.  As Ms T, Mr J and I set out, there’s talk of going even further. But still maintaining the same pace. We pushed hard. Well certainly I did, attempting to keep up with my jelly legs and tightening calf muscles as we progress.

Recalling the wine I indulged in last night, I ponder whether it was really that advisable after all.

A pleasant distraction provides a different focus along the way: the Australian national surf-life saving competition, ‘The Aussies’ #Aussies2016. Across several beach areas and various events in the water and on the sand, competitors and tourists occupy the usual paths. Some minor detours are in place to avoid clashing or crashing with events but we weave our way through.


Words of wisdom

Blisters niggle my toes as I concentrate on picking up and putting down one foot after the other. [I could upload photos, but let’s face it, no one wants to see someone else’s blisters.] No words come from my mouth, as breathing is it’s essential function for the time being. Conversation and the usual random thoughts abandon me, and it’s almost a meditative step-step-breathe-step pattern. Repeat.

My wrist begins to vibrate and I realise I’ve reached my 10,000 steps for the day. Nice to have that out of the way by 8am! For a brief moment, it spurs me on to keep moving.

I watch as Mr J, then Ms T, work their way up that demon of a hill ahead of me. My pace slows right down, lifting my knees higher the best I can, til eventually I reach the summit. Gracefully, they wait for me at the top and we continue on the home stretch.


The run took us all the way around the bay.

Breathing heavily, sweat dripping and a bright red face, I finally register that we’re in reach of the end of the path. The end is in sight! I struggle over to a tap to wash off and cool my face. Dehydration may be creeping in as well and I gulp the refreshing liquid.

Checking our devices and comparing stats, we determine that we extended the run by 2.5km today. This may be contributing to my struggle today. Still only just over half-way to a half-marathon. Making progress but I don’t need to visit a fortune teller to know that more training is in my future.

I knew it wouldn’t all be fun and games, and today wasn’t a walk in the park for me. On the positive side, I’m still vertical, a little worse for wear, but beginning to feel a sense of  satisfaction after my breath returns and heart rate slows.

Suddenly it occurs to me, that this is the furthest distance I have ever run!

Small steps lead to bigger ones and each little achievement marks a milestone and closer to the goal.

Keep it rolling


Just above the opaque horizon a crescent moon smiles at me as I drive towards the morning run. Smiling at me, or mocking me? Either way, it’s a bonus to start the day and foreshadowing the beauty of the sunrise on its way at Mooloolaba Beach.

Warming up to a steady pace, I strive to keep pace with Ms T and Mr J, both faster and more experienced runners. This week we add one more kilometer to make it an even 10, and it seems the pace is just a tad IMG_2287quicker. Or I wonder if it’s just me, working hard to match the movement of my partners’ feet and legs.

Gradually the sky lightens and the orange sun appears beyond the clouds and we settle into a rhythm of steps and breathing. Salt air provides the steady backdrop aroma, occasionally giving way to the scent of coffee as we pass park benches occupied by those who have completed their morning routine.

At this stage, there is no real ‘training plan’ other than to ‘run regularly, preferably further and faster each time’. Sounds a bit vague but I suppose is the general idea. We’ve nominated Ms T to research something more specific in terms of a running strategy. She has the research skills and experience with running magazines and websites to explore something suitable.

Comparing technological devices, we each have our own ways of monitoring progress – watch, phone apps, Fitbit. A million and one ways can track what you’re doing these days – how far, how fast, how long. The ultimate trick is to get out there and do it.