Tag Archives: sunrise

At the Start line


Alarm beeps its familiar tune before the sun has any ideas of shining. Even a little earlier than the usual morning training starts that have become routine, there’s no hesitation in rising today. Even my kids have agreed to come along to cheer me on and to run a shorter race themselves.

Race day is here!

IMG_3282Clothes prepared and laid out ready for a quick change. A check of the weather conditions. Comfortable, 11C and slight breeze. As I rise there’s still the residual effects of a cold, but the medication I started taking has improved the symptoms greatly.

Athletes and supporters swarm the event area, with staggered start times for the various distances. Greetings and well wishes are exchanged, both to familiar faces and new ones. Seeing so many of the people I have trained with, the spirit buoys me in anticipation. Especially Mr J and Ms T, who began the journey with me months ago. Marathoners are the first to gather at the Start line, as the sun works its way past a bank of clouds. Nearby, many other lines form leading to the ‘Port-a-loos’ as other runners prepare for their races.

A quick warm up and suddenly it’s time to find the Start line and the right section. I weave my way to a place just before the 2:00 time section, with the intention to finish in under 2 hours. Without a moment to pause and reflect, the announcer advises 30 seconds to go, and it’s now or never. Months of training and the moment has arrived.


IMG_3280And the race begins. Strava timer activated. Fitbit timer activated. It takes nearly 20 seconds to actually get past the start line, as the pool of about 2000 runners edges forward. Eventually reaching pace, the crowd moves as one along the road and towards the hill – one that I struggled with early on, but have done countless times and now I can handle it. Running along familiar terrain almost seems like just another day training. Only with hundreds of runners surrounding me, and hundreds of supporters cheering on the sidelines.

Finding a steady pace, I put one foot after another and feel comfortable and managing it. The drink station approaches and I always struggle to run and drink without choking, but I know the importance of hydration, especially fighting off a cold.

Round and back, past the 10km mark – nearly half way. I still feel comfortable, and notice my time (about 54 mins) and mentally note that already I have done a faster 10km than last year when I was running the 10km event. It also means that I’m on track towards my target finish time. Trying to pace myself with a few runners just ahead of me, I gradually realise they are getting a little further ahead, and also a number of other runners begin to pass me.

IMG_3301A group of supporters has a basket with lollies/ candy of some sort, so I grab one in hopes that a sugar fix will spur me on. I’m not particularly out of breath, or sore in the legs or knees, just a bit fatigued overall. Keep moving the feet, one after the other. It’s tough going for a little while, and soon I realise that it’s only about 3km to go and it hits home that I’m nearly there, and I know I can make it. My pace picks up a little and I pass familiar landmarks as the finish draws nearer.

Approaching the home stretch, the crowd of supporters thickens and the cheering and atmosphere carry me through the last few hundred meters. Suddenly the Finish line is in sight and I just keep moving towards it,  sights and sounds blurred into the background. I don’t even register the time on the giant clock, though I know I’ve beat 2 hours.IMG_3311

Elation and exhaustion as I cross the line and stop to walk it off and catch my breath. Emotion takes over me for a moment. My running buddies Ms T and Mr J help me with water and congratulatory hugs. We made it!

Time to relax and celebrate after a long journey.

It Runs in the family

It runs in the family


Team ‘JATs’ – we all did it!

Getting closer


Running, yoga, boot camp. Eat. Sleep.

Seems I have been so busy running, there’s hasn’t been time to blog! Now only 3.5 weeks to go…


Sunrise… worth getting out of bed for

Much of my time and energy has gone into training for the upcoming half marathon. Overall I feel pretty ready – ready as I’ll ever be – and have enjoyed the journey. It used to be a somewhat of an effort to get up early once a week to train, whereas now on the days that I don’t have to get up early, it’s a bonus. Though seeing the sunrise over the ocean has a magical charm to it.

Already I’m looking beyond the horizon thinking ‘what happens afterwards?’. How much will I continue to run (not as much I suspect!), will I do other activities, will I train for another event? I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie with my running buddies and meeting other new people along the way.


Sunset... never get tired of this view

Sunset… never get tired of this view

It’s the month of July and most years I partake in a social awareness campaign called ‘Dry in July’ – as in No Alcohol for the whole month.  This year in particular I find it ideal timing to fit in with my training, and feel all the better for it. I have had a couple lapses for special occasions (never said it was iron clad!), but otherwise the wine will have to wait.

The plan is to extend ‘July’ for a few more weeks into August, then enjoy a big celebration post event. These days, my beverage of choice is not cabernet sauvignon, but electrolyte replacement drink! (Not to worry, I suspect the situation is temporary and will revert to normal in due course.)



Numbers crunching…

Stats (over the last 6 weeks or so):

Average km per week: 36

And another sunrise over the river with a bank of clouds

And another sunrise over the river with a bank of clouds

Longest run: 15.3km

Fastest time for 5km: 25:30

Average weekly steps: 120,000

Average daily flights of stairs: 22

And the best part – calories burned per day: 2400

Injuries: 0 (very pleased about this one)






Post-training session when the local radio crew turned up with snacks


More promotion of the Sunshine Coast Marathon is evident all around, starting with social media and continuing with radio an tv crews coming along to check out the morning run sessions.

And the news crew is also interested in what's we're up to

And the news crew is also interested in what the runners are up to









Countdown: 12 weeks to half-marathon


Singing Running in the rain

Rain mixes with sweat in the pre-dawn haze. Dampness turns to wet, then turns to soaked, before there’s any IMG_2630chance to really think about it. Even though that weather app on my phone predicted 90% rain when I checked the night before, the morning appears starts out overcast but somewhat devoid of rain activity. Hence the prepared rain gear stayed warm and dry in the back of the car.

Indeed, the first 5-6km in 15C dark overcast skies only hovered without threatening moisture. Approaching the turnaround point and the weather app proved its superior prediction ability and the skies let loose generous drops of pent up precipitation. Facing nature doesn’t

I run because it's glamorous... NOT!

I run because it’s glamorous… NOT!

particularly overwhelm me, but thinking of that rain gear in the car makes me annoyed at my arrogance that I wouldn’t require pr


Work commitments beckon Mr J and Ms T is under the weather (literally), hence my running companion today is a mutual running companion, Ms B. Though not as well acquainted, easy conversation comes as the pavement rolls underfoot. Nominally we have had about the same running pace, though I’m pleasantly surprised that just these last couple months of longer and somewhat faster pace have increased my pace. Other little benefits include adjusting my watch band tighter and clothes fitting looser. My appetite also craves more protein, and more food overall.

Countdown: 12 weeks

Reminders come through that the half marathon at the Sunshine Coast marathon festival (the main goal of this training regime) is now at the 12-week countdown stage. My eyes glaze over as I attempt to absorb a recommended training program chart. When to run. How long to run. When to rest. What other exercises to do. Various such programs exist – this is just one example.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 2.03.07 pm

Not a program-follower by nature, I wonder how closely I should follow these recommendations vs doing my own thing. No doubt I will make it there and across the finish line either way, though it could be a matter of how fast I get there and how well I recover afterwards. Already I’m pleased with the progress I’m making in overall fitness levels, pace and strength. Another 12 weeks of training – let’s see what it take me!

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.


Time to get started


Beep. Beep. Beep. The noise disturbs my slumber and I groggily wonder if it’s a delivery truck reversing. But it’s pitch black out – surely there must be regulations about noise in the middle of the night. Oh no wait. It’s not a delivery truck at all, but my alarm going off! Where is that snooze button?

Not quite coherent yet, my body moves on autopilot to locate the running gear cleverly laid out the night before. Otherwise, who knows what combinations might come out in the dark? The light will eventually appear, exposing a random mismatched outfit.

A hint of daylight appears while driving to meet my training partners, Ms T and Mr J, at the designated beachside location. No hint of chill in the air, a comfortable 19C/66F. A few stretches warm us up and we chat about nothing in particular as we put one foot in front of the other on the pavement. In semi-darknes, we casually acknowledge the handful of other early runners/walkers a they pass, with a nod or a muttered ‘Morning.

Increasing lightness hints at the impending dawn behind a bank of clouds. Keeping a steady pace and IMG_2136reasonable effort, we calculate it’s a good halfway point and stop to admire the sun coming up through the clouds beyond the beach. Sunrise. Over the beach. Worth getting out of bed for every time.

Replacing fluids and another brief stretch and we turn and retrace our steps back to the start. That hill we came down on the way now taunts us as we chug back up it like the little engine that could. Ascending isn’t twice as hard, it feels 10 times as hard on tired legs.

The easy chatter in the first few kilometers dissipates and quiet sets in the further we go. Mr J observes that as the day fully sets in and more feet occupy the path, the neighborly greetings seem to disappear, each person maintaining in impersonal distance. Contemplating why that happens, we churn up more path underfoot.

Familiar stretches of path appear and soon we’ve reached our destination, back where we started. We congratulate one another on a successful first session and commit to repeating the routine next week. Ms T has been charged with researching an actual training regime.

There’s vague mutterings about seeking out coffee, but other commitments beckon and we head off separately out into the sunny morning.