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September, 2012
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So from my last post you will know that my lower back pain is back! And just when I was starting to get back into the run!

I need to recognise that if I am to have a chance of completing my long term goals I need to be consistent. It is no good if I start off too strong and burn out or injure myself. So in this case I think it is better to be the tortoise and not the hare.

To complete my travel around Australia, it is better to be the Tortiose than the Hare.

Sometimes it is better to be the Tortoise than the Hare!

If It Is Not Working Change Your Approach!

They say that the definition of insanity is “to continually do the same thing over and over again but expect a different result”. So if what I am doing is not working… then I need to do something different. What can I change to help reduce the strain on my lower back?

  1. Firstly, I could run slower as the faster I run the harder the impact is when my feet hit the ground,
  2. Secondly, when I run I could try and lean forward a little. That way some of the impact can be taken by my abs (and who wouldn’t like better abs?),
  3. Thirdly, I could take a bit more of the impact with my feet, legs and knees,
  4. And finally, I was listening to cd and the speaker told of how he ran and also had back problems and he found that he needed to stretch more. At this stage I am happy to try anything so…

So the basic goal for this week was to try and end it with my back feeling better that at the start of the week. The secondary goal is to see if I can still do three runs for a total of 24km.

Well as it turned out it was a good week as I did finish the week with my back feeling better that at the start of the week. Even better, I also managed 24km. But best of all I learned something…

Stretching really did help. As I work at a desk during the day, the simple task of periodically getting up and stretching did help.

Another win is that at the start of the week I could not touch my toes, by the end of the week I was a lot closer to them. I could see a noticeable difference in just one week.

End of Week 248:- 24.9 km / 15.4 miles
Total to Date:-  1,895.7 km / 1,177.9 miles

Still got a little way to go but it is a good start,

Steven

P.S. So more of the same for next week. take it easy, be a totoise, and complete my travel around Australia.

 
When it comes to reaching any goal, especially big or long term goals, it is important to measure your progress, which is why I needed to Map my run. Thanks to Google Maps I have been able to map my run.

This is a fully operational map of the first stage of my run around Australia challenge. You can zoom in and out move it left or right. Each flag represents a run. So please feel free to play around and explore my progress as I tackle my goal of running around Australia.


View Stage 3:- Sydney to Brisbane in a larger map

This is the third stage of the Run Around Australia Challenge, starting from Sydney in the New South Wales and heading up north along the coast passing through Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and then to Coolangatta / Tweet Heads where i leave New South Wales and head into Queensland. From There it is up to Brisbane, which marks the end of this stage.

This will bring my total of States and Territories visited to 4 out of 7 and the number of Capital Cities to 3 out of 7.

1

When it comes to achieving goals, denial is not a river in Egypt. This is a title of a book that I have never read but just from the title alone have gained so much… [Note to Self:- need to get the book who knows what else I might learn]. But before I get too far into that I need to give you a little background and start with my running diary….

This week has been a very interesting week as it started with the threat of the flu, my lower back problems started to play up again and yet with the slowly increasing distance I still managed to get my three runs in this week and managed to cover 24.5km.

The trouble that I had last week was that even though I managed to complete my goal for the week, I could feel the effects of the flu creeping in. Sore throat, running a slight temperature, headaches. Even though it had not hit I could just feel it coming on.

To make matters worse I saw firsthand the effect it had taken on my daughter who despite being very fit, was out of action for almost 2 weeks.  Having run on Saturday morning, I spent the rest of Saturday doing as much as I could to conserve energy and take it head on. Plenty of rest, soup and vitamin C. Same thing on Sunday.

By Sunday night it was night it was starting to really take hold, I was running a fever so I tried to sweat it out. I have found when I was running before that if you caught it early on you could sometimes run it out (although it was a bit like Russian roulette as if you got it wrong it could make it worse).

The good news is that by Monday the fever had broken and despite the night before, I was actually feeling good. Still minor traces but in the spirit of Russian roulette… thought I would test it out and go for a run on Monday night. Well it worked. I did back off a little in speed but still managed the 8km required for the run.

Then on Tuesday… My lower back pain had started up again, Now I have had runs where I have had a sore lower back before, but this was different. This is where the book title comes in… you see the fact is that it is becoming more common. Last time I was stopped by lower back pain due to a gradual build up over time. So if that is what is happening here then I need to recognise this. I cannot be in denial, pretending that it will fix itself. I need to accept that there is a problem and do something about it.

Funny thing is that when I stopped and thought about it I realised that I had fallen into old habits. I was almost back to my old running style. So the last 2 runs for the week were done a bit slower, as the faster I run the harder I land. And I just played around with different running techniques to try and lower the impact on my lower back…

End of Week 247:- 24.5 km / 15.3 miles
Total to Date:-  1,870.8 km / 1,162.5 miles

Bit of a challenging week, just happy to get to the end of this week …

Steven

P.S. So stop being in denial, try and see things as they really are, and start achieving goals.

When it comes to achieving goals, how much is too much? You see the easiest way to achieve my goal sooner is to increase the number of runs that I do each week. I could also finish quicker if I run further each run. In fact I could do both run further and more often.

This will make sure that I finish my run around Australia challenge quicker. But what if I push too hard and break down? What if I then have to take time off to recover? Time goes by and the end result is that I am not making any progress.

This is effectively what happened at the end of my first year. I pushed too hard and my lower back gave out. I had to stop running. Even worse is that each time I tried to start running again I would break down very quickly. So I had no choice but to stop so that I could recover.

It took a long time before my lower back pain went away. Even longer before I could run again. And then life gets in the way and the goal fades. It then takes much more effort to even get started again. For me it took three and a half years to get moving again. That’s a long time and I was not even sure I could do it.

So for me, I am always asking how much is too much? Am I pushing too hard or can I go harder? I am like a yoyo. That is why I have decided to limit it to 3 runs a week and 24 km for now. Sure I could try and get a 4th run in every now and then. Push for a longer run. But the reality is if I do a minimum of 24km for at least 50 weeks then I would have covered 1,200 km in a year.

achieving goals - coffs harbour

As I Leave Coffs Harbour

That is more than enough to get me into Queensland, through Brisbane and up towards Townsville which would mark the completion of the East Coast. It would also get me close to 3,000 km since I started and signify that I am well on the way in my run around Australia.

This week 3 runs and 21 km completed. I have left Coffs Harbour and heading towards my next goal of Byron Bay. Another milestone for this week is that I passed the 1,100 mile mark.

End of Week 243:- 21.0 km / 13.0 miles
Total to Date:-  1,778.3 km / 1,105.0 miles

Given that I am a little behind in getting my posts up I thought that I would combine a few weeks to help catch up.

2 September 2012

So Week 244 sees me leave the township of Woolgoola, NSW and head inland for a little to my next target of Grafton, NSW.

End of Week 244:- 22.0 km / 13.7 miles
Total to Date:-  1,800.3 km / 1,118.7 miles

9 September 2012

This week sees me continue up the Pacific Highway and pass through the city of Grafton, NSW. I then follow the Pacific Highway along the Clarence River, heading back to the coast.

End of Week 245:- 22.5 km / 14.0 miles
Total to Date:-  1,822.8 km / 1,132.6 miles

16 September 2012

I continue to follow the Pacific Highway along the Clarence River this week and manage to to reach Mclean just short of the bridge to Chatsworth Island.

End of Week 246:- 23.5 km / 14.6 miles
Total to Date:-  1,846.3 km / 1,147.2 miles

Still running strong…

Steven

P.S. So steady as she goes, keep running consistently, and enjoy achieving goals.

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