Remembering ‘Why’?

I often liken marathon running to riding a roller coaster, with it comes incredible highs and unfortunately at times some lows.  Sometimes you just have to hang on tight for the ride.

Roller-coaster-track-clipart

This year due to a significant injury,  I have experienced a lower point on that ride.  At these times it can be hard to remember my ‘why’, ‘why do I want to run a marathon again’?  

An injury, a challenging training week, tiredness, or end on end days of wintry training conditions are some of those moments that can make me question ‘why?’

Recently I have looked past my own Asics running shoes (which haven’t been able to go anywhere for a while) to answer my question.

In doing so I am grateful to my friends and family for giving me the answers.  Over the past 6 months I have had several individuals, consult or confide in me about their personal running goals.  These goals have included things such as;

  • To run their first ever marathon, half marathon, or a 10km.
  • Target a personal best.
  • Tackle a marathon post a major injury, or several set backs.
  • Challenge their training by trying speed work.

Being fortunate to share their journeys with training updates, war stories, questions and least I forget seeing them smash their goals has been a true inspiration to me.

It is through these friends I am quickly reminded of my ‘why’.    Just because something is hard or challenges us, doesn’t mean we can’t do it, but simply that we have to work harder.  It is with a little bit of hard work that we can all get to experience that truly unbeatable high that comes when you cross that finish line.

finish line pic

Thank you to my friends and families for keeping ‘running real’ and sharing your road with me.

Real Fuel Keeps Team Kemp Running

 

 

As a Marathon runner, not only do I spend a lot of time running, I also spend a lot of time thinking about food!  How I can get the best from my food intake to optimize recovery from training and my performance.

Fueling has been a real learning curve for me.  In my earlier days of running I struggled with gut issues, multiple stress fractures.  Obstacles that made me think ‘things can be done better.’ I began reading more on nutrition, met with Sports Nutritionists and learning through trial and error.

Fast forward on a couple of years and my motivation for getting fuel right, was intensely motivated by three extra littler stomachs we had in the house.

I figure it is simple, if the changes I have made to my fueling are;

  • Making me stronger in training.
  • Keeping my energy levels balanced (I’m not struggling with big highs followed by those energy slumps).
  • Aiding better recovery
  • And I am avoiding nasty bone injuries,

then this recipe is a must share with these three precious bodies.   Their bones, muscles and minds seem to be growing faster than this lady will ever run!

 

 

Our family recipe is ‘real food’, high in the foods that we can source from the weekly vegetable/fruit markets (also home to our regular egg supplier) and our local butchers.   We aim to keep processed and packaged food items to a minimum in our regular daily eating.   Our plates are an attractive rainbow of colour, balancing carbohydrates, fat, protein, “a bit of everything please”.

More recently I have become more aware as to the importance of the good sources of protein and those quality fats.  By adding a bit extra from these food groups to my meals and snacks, I found I was recovering better and staying full for longer.

Our answers to that common statement; “I’m still hungry’, or ‘that isn’t enough” (probably said most often by their marathon mum) are;

  • A handful of mixed nuts (mixed with a few pretzels can be a tasty combo).
  • A few more slices of avocado, sliced chicken, or cheese with that.
  • Painting a carrot, apple or banana with nut butter or hummus. (pic below an attempt to make a peanut butter filled banana look as good as it tastes)
  • Full fat natural yoghurt, handful of almonds, or nut butters in smoothies.
  • Cracking an egg on it – boiled egg on multigrain crackers afterschool, poached egg on a salad, or toast.
  • Dressing things up with olive oil, avocado oil.
  • I like adding tinned salmon.
  • To improve the quality of our home baking I sub or add almond meal, nuts, full fat youghurt, nuts, dried fruit, dark choc.

Keeping it ‘real’ for a family of five, requires a training plan of its own and rest assured just like a running training programme we are realistic, you need to be flexible and expect sometimes we will fall off the track which is ok too.

I plan our weekly meals and shopping lists, batch cooking meals/sauces to freeze for busy weeks. I often double recipes to make lunch leftovers for all and keep the freezer stocked with healthy baking for snacks.

It is fortunate Jimmy (hubby) and I have healthy appetites for great food!  Simply enjoying to eat our meals was a big step towards getting the kids on board. Our evening meals are a time for sitting together, talking and sharing food, sometimes we talk about the good stuff on our plate and what it helps us to do.  Our lunch boxes are packed together, we experiment, taking turns to select new recipes and keep food interesting.  All done knowing we will treat ourselves every now and again too!

As I see our family thriving and enjoying the goodness of real food, I know this is another part of my marathon journey worth travelling, not just for me but for all of Team Kemp. @katiekemprunner

The Marathon Journey Begins Again

This is the post excerpt.

The journey has begun towards my next big goal, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2017.  This year I am choosing to return to a 42.2km path already traveled.  In 2016 I ran 2.40 on the Gold Coast, winning the Oceania Marathon title and placing 7th female over all.

20x30-GCAV4592
Gold Coast Marathon 2016

The goal this year is simple “to do it better”. With 13 weeks to go until the start line on July 2nd 2017, coach Matt Dravitzki and I have discussed and set the plan.  My incredibly supportive husband Jimmy, our three girls, families and friends are on board.

For me the marathon journey is an incredibly motivating one.  I thrive on the physical and mental challenges of training harder, yet smarter.  By smarter, how can I navigate through this marathon training with maximal benefits and no unwelcome interruptions such as injury or illness?

This year, I have reflected and chosen three areas I want to ‘do better’ in my marathon journey 2017.

  1. Plan for rest and recovery: As a wife and Mum, it can be tempting to spend all day post training still running, checking of the ‘to do’ list. In discussion with my coach we plan to ensure harder/longer sessions are scheduled on days where I can take a moment to sit, eat and recover.  I will use this time to schedule in jobs that can be done ‘seated’ and let those legs recover.

JUSTLIVE2

 

  1. Fuel Well: The recipe for my success is fuel that is as real and whole as possible for best recovery and performance.  To keep this up in more tiring periods of training I find it invaluable to plan ahead with a weekly meal and snack plan. Online shopping ‘seated’ can be welcomed over more time on my feet! Sunday afternoons I find are a good time for me to get organized, prepare a couple of meals in busier weeks, restock the freezer with good post run snacks.

Snacks 2

 

  1. Run to Feel: No day is the same in training, even if the session reads the same as last week.  My goals this year is to run to feel, not to compare work outs too closely.  If the body feels stronger today then I will work to it, similarly if I am tired then I need to accept this, adjust and eliminate any guilt or thoughts that I have not trained well.

Training diary

If you too are on the marathon journey right now, well done for embracing this exciting challenge. Here’s to working harder and smarter on and off the road.  Happy Training.