My FIRST Race Report – The Melbourne Marathon

The start line

The start line

The whole day was perfect. Not a cloud in the sky, not too hot, not too cold.  The start line was buzzing with anticipation and everyone seemed so excited. I ran with my buddy Cam, who smashed me in the half marathon, so I was keen to try and keep up with him.

As soon as the gun went off, we fell in to a steady pace right behind the 4.30 pacers.  The plan was to stick with them for as long as possible, and just to finish.

The pacers are incredible people.  They were full of encouragement, they pointed out hazards that might trip us (road cones, wing mirrors, banana peels) and they shared jellybeans with us. They were generally so cheerful that you almost forgot that you were running a marathon.

The Gidders Cheer Squad

I stuck to the plan, I trusted my training, I soaked up the atmosphere. It’s an amazing thing to have strangers in the crowd lock eyes with you and call out “you’re doing great, you’re almost there!” Even more exciting was to see your running buddies in the crowd, with banners and yelling you home.

I loved every second, even the tough and painful moments.  And I managed a sprint finish, sneaking in with a time of 4.55.

My sprint finish

It’s safe to say that I’m completely in love with myself now.  I’m 37 years old, I’ve got two little kids, and I only started training in January.  And I just ran a marathon. Nothing is impossible now.

Sure, I had some massive advantages.  I’m married to the best myotherapist and sports massage therapist in the country – Jimmy Wilson.  I had the benefit of having a dedicated run coach – Chris Wright, who I can’t thank enough for all the work he put into me.  I had functional movement expert Michael Jephcott school me on my weak spots and tape me up so my legs ran straight, and I had technique coach Nathan from Enfer Running give me the once-over to sort out my form.

I also had access to our Recovery Centre.  And I made good use of it – I hit the ice and contrast bath every time I had a long run, I dived in the far infrared sauna whenever I was free.  And I spent a fair bit of time on the lounges with the Recovery Pump boots on, flushing out my legs.  It made a huge difference.  Not only did I finish the marathon, but I’ve come out of it with absolutely no injuries. I’ve even kept all of my toenails.

I didn't take my medal off
Kept it on in the ice bath
It burned a little in the sauna
I'm even wearing my medal to bed tonight

So this little experiment really worked.  I’m not a runner.  I hate running.  But with the help of the professionals, and professional-grade recovery equipment, I got there.

And I’ve just entered the City 2 Sea next month, as well as the Carmen’s Women’s Fun Run half marathon in December.  Mostly because the finish line for both races is outside my house, and, I guess, I still am pretty lazy.

 

 

 

Lauretta and Regina Running
Lauretta Hignett

I’m smiling because I’m not running

The Melbourne Marathon is less than a week away.  I’m feeling good, all my little niggles (hip, ankle, knee, entire body) have settled down. Taper has been good to me.

I feel like this is a good time to reflect on how much of a miracle it is that I’ve made it this far. When I first started this journey, I was so blissfully ignorant at how much of a battle I’d taken on. Before the start of this year, I wasn’t a runner at all.  I hated running.  Oh, I’d do the odd 4km fun run every year or so, but that’s about it.  As far as physical activity goes, I was more a yoga-and-pilates kind of girl.  And before I had kids, I was more of a shaking-my-ass-and-waving-glow-sticks-to-techno kind of girl.

But thank god I was so ignorant, otherwise I wouldn’t have tried it at all.

So I think I’m pretty qualified to give some tips on marathon training for first timers who are as lazy as I am.

Number 1 – Don’t do it.

I’m just kidding.

Sort of.  It’s true, if I had’ve known how much work it was actually going to be, how much time, effort, pain and money that it takes, I wouldn’t have tried it.  But now that I’m almost there, I have to say that the personal growth I’ve gotten from this journey is incredible.  My confidence has soared. I’m really testing my limits for the very first time in my life, and I’m genuinely surprised at how much I’ve accomplished. It’s a strange feeling – I kind of want to try everything now, all of my weird dreams and odd bucket-list items.  No matter how long they might take or how hard they might be to accomplish. Because if I can do this one, I can do anything.

So look out world, you’re getting yourself a new indie horror silent film director!

Number 2 – Get yourself a coach

If there’s one thing you need, it’s proper support. I got this guy:

Chris Wright

Running Coach Chris Wright

Coach Chris is literally the only reason I’m still going.  Here are the reasons why:

  1. You need the emotional support.  He’s always pinging my messenger and leaving notes on my Insta posts, saying encouraging and wildly inaccurate things like “you smashed that run!” and “you’re a champion!”
  2. You need to be held accountable.  Chris is always stalking Strava (the app I use to record and pace my runs) to make sure I’ve done my scheduled run, so he can see how well I’ve done.  And if I haven’t done it, he’ll message me and give me a prod. And I’ll make up some excuse, which he never believes, then I’ll feel bad, like when I was a teenager and I disappointed my dad or something.
  3. You need someone to design your training plan so it’s appropriate for you.  It has to be personal, and it has to fit in with your schedule and lifestyle.  It has to cover all the long runs, the tempo training, interval training, fartleks, yasso’s and all the other amusing words I’ve learned.  You need to cover all these to make sure you build your strength and endurance properly.
  4. You need someone to make sure you don’t get injured.  Chris is always checking in to see how my body is feeling, if I’m sore in any spots, and he works to correct whatever I’ve done wrong.  It’s usually to do with low tempo – how many steps I’m turning over – or to do with form – how shit my posture is when I’m running.  And we’ll work on it, and he’s referred me to technique coach Nathan at Enfer Running to sort out my form a couple of times.  And it’s worked!

In summary, unless you’re extremely disciplined, wildly confident and have a will of iron, get yourself a coach.  It’s the best thing I’ve done.

Number 3 – Get yourself a crew

605 Running CrewWhen I met Chris he hooked me up with a running group that meets at 6.05am on Tuesday mornings, appropriately named the 605 crew.  Running with these guys never feels like a chore.  It’s social, fun and beautiful.  They’re all inspiring human beings from all walks of life.  We connect over messenger throughout the week, we celebrate each other’s achievements and commiserate the hard times.  Getting up at 5.30am to meet them is never a hard thing for me to do, and watching the sun rise on the beach at Port Melbourne is the best way to start the day. For motivation, encouragement, socialization and general goodwill, I recommend you join a crew.  Come to mine, we’re awesome!

Number 4 – Cross Train

If you’ve got a coach, this will be in your training plan.  You have to make sure you’ve got the muscle strength in your core and glutes to take on this distance.  If your ass is weak,  your whole body will collapse.  On that note…

Number 5 – If a professional gives you exercises to do,  DO THEM.

I failed at this one a few times.  When I first started, I got the run-down from Functional Movement Expert Michael.

Michael on a bike

Michael Jephcott – Functional Movement Expert

He tested me and picked up weaknesses in my glutes and core, and problems with my hip stability.  He gave me exercises to strengthen my weak spots. I did the exercises for a bit then stopped, because, of course, I’m lazy.  And I had to face his wrath when I pulled up injured.  So now I do my exercises.

Similarly, I saw Nathan at Enfer Running for my technique training when I first started (you can read about it here).  But it was a bit hard to change my running style so I pretty much did my own thing after a while, and of course my injuries had me heading back to Nathan for a tune up.

Number 5 – Diet!

Donut

Yaaaaaassssss

You think that running all those kilometres would take the weight off, but for me it did the opposite.  I’ve been so bloody hungry the whole time.  And because I’m a female over 30, all I have to do is look at a donut and I’ll put on weight.  Over the space of ten months, I put on five kilos.  Some of it is muscle (I hope), but most of it is because my metabolism went crazy, I got hungry, I justified bad food choices because I was doing so much exercise.  And I got fat.  I’m short, so a few extra kilos on my frame makes a huge difference, and it’s very hard to carry extra kilos for 42.2 kilometres.

Because I have the kind of husband who’s not afraid to constantly harangue me about my weight, I finally took control of myself and managed to lose a couple of kilos.  And now that I’m on taper, I have to watch myself like a hawk.  I’m not doing as much cardio, but I’m as hungry as ever.

Number 6 – Recover Well

Recovery Pump boots

Recovery Pump boots

I’ve been incredibly happy to have access to the recovery centre.  If it wasn’t for the ice baths, the far infrared sauna and the recovery pump boots, I think I’d have gotten injured and dropped out a long time ago. When you’re training for something as big as a marathon, recovery is just as important as putting in the hard yards on your legs. Inevitably you’ll get tight, unbalanced, things will cramp up, and you’ll be on the fast track to injury.

Even something as simple as getting on the roller, and rolling out your legs after every session will make a huge difference to your body.

Fluid Health has memberships available for as little as $25 per week for a yearly membership, so you can come in whenever you’ve had a hard session and treat yourself to the contrast baths and sauna, and chill out in the recovery pump boots.  If you don’t want that kind of commitment, try a mini membership – $455 for 3 months.  Perfect for the lead up to that big race.

 

So that’s it, we’re almost there! Good luck everyone, let’s smash this mara to bits!

(Book yourself a pre-marathon prep massage, or a post-marathon flush out by clicking here)

 

Pregnancy Massage

Prenatal Massage – Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy is a glorious journey, one filled with hope and love and trepidation. It’s a special time, a whole nine (ten) months where you can celebrate the miracle of being the Bringer of Life.   You are a goddess, the gateway of existence, a vessel of pure treasure.

But…

Let’s all take a moment to appreciate how much of an effort it is to grow a baby.  Things swell, joints ache, muscles cramp, you get kicked and pummelled, and if the heartburn doesn’t kill you, then needing to pee twenty times in the night just might finish you off.

Pregnancy Massage

You need special care when you’re pregnant.  That’s where we can help.

Prenatal Massage incorporates both remedial and relaxation techniques to ease some the aches and pains caused by the pressures of pregnancy, providing a multitude of benefits for both mother and baby.

Massage reduces peripheral swelling, soothes the nervous system, helps to prevent insomnia, muscle cramps and back pain, and can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Regular massage throughout the pregnancy is also said to shorten labour time and help with the return to optimal fitness after birth.

And wouldn’t we all love a shorter labour time.

You should take care during the first trimester, but Prenatal Massage is beneficial throughout your whole pregnancy, including in the months after you’ve had your baby.  Let’s face it, you’ve now got a tiny bundle that weighs a few kilos that you’re going to be juggling on a permanent basis, so your neck and shoulders are going to get tense.

Pregnancy Yoga

Your Prenatal Massage at Fluid Health

If you’re not already a client of ours receiving regular massages, we’d want you to take care during your first trimester.  You wouldn’t want to start doing something new and different in the first delicate stages, so just take care of yourself and relax.  In the second trimester, we can treat you to a beautiful and very therapeutic massage.

We have a special pregnancy mat that we can set up on our massage tables that will allow you to lie on your stomach without any discomfort. The mat looks like a normal massage table, except with an egg-shaped dip where your belly will go.  If you prefer, we can perform the massage with you lying on your side, which is also very relaxing. Once the pregnancy is advanced, however, we discourage you from lying on your back as this may cause pressure on deep blood vessels.

Our massage therapist will then perform a relaxing and therapeutic massage treatment based on your needs and comfort level.  You’ll walk out feeling a million bucks!

So take care of yourself during this special time.  Call us on 03 99391133 or click here to book a pregnancy massage now.

Maria Savva“Regular treatment during pregnancy has meant my body has been able to cope with all these changes, including minimising the usual aches and pains associated with pregnancy. It makes me feel mobile and ‘normal’.”   – Maria Savva, 36 weeks.