Sunday, March 01, 2015

Women's and Girls' Fun Run

On Thursday night I met up with Marg some time before the track events were due to start and we went for a 5km warm up run on O'Connor Ridge behind the AIS. It would have been pleasant just to continue running there but we had to return to take part in a few events. Somehow I was roped into running in the mile run (something I don't normally do) and immediately after it finished I lined up for the 2000m fitness walk. To finish the evening I ran the 3000m run. It was a combined meet with the ACT Athletics club which included some very young, extremely fast competitors - a little intimidating to be lapped several times but quite exciting too knowing the potential of some of these bright young runners setting incredible PBs.
As this was my pull-back week I only ran a total of 20km for my Saturday long run this week and included the local Parkrun after the first 7km warm up. I ran my slowest time ever and after running another 3km with the lovely company of friend Bron, I ran the remaining 5km home feeling just a tad sore and disappointed in myself. My left foot has been troubling me for a while indicating plantar fasciitis which concerns me somewhat with only six weeks until the marathon.
Today (Sunday) I ran in the annual Women's and Girls' Fun Run in support of a cure for ovarian cancer. There were 762 finishers. It was a rather strange day weather wise. At times it was really hot but when the sun went behind the clouds it was quite pleasant. Fortunately for the majority of the run the conditions were perfect. I finished in a time of 28:13 and was 7th in my age group out of 40 finishers. Not great but a few seconds faster than when I last ran this event in 2013 and I felt a whole lot better today than I did yesterday.
Ewen and I on duty at the February ACT Veteran's Monthly Handicap


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February Fun

Considerable time has passed and a lot of kilometres have been run since I last posted at the start of February!
In the first weekend of February I took part in the Sprint Marathon Relay. This is held annually and organised by one of our amazing vets, Jim. It is always good fun and this year was no exception. We were put into 9 teams of 6 runners and each runner had to run from one spot to the next (either 1 or 2km usually) passing the baton to the next person in their team. There is quite a gap between runners where one can go for a jog while waiting or socialise with all the other team members waiting for their respective runners and cheering everyone on. It was great weather for the event if a little hot but we were lucky with lots of shady trees. The lake track was very busy with cyclists and other runners but fortunately there were no collisions!
Ewen was the official photographer and he did a great job!

The following Friday (13th) Mr B and I drove through to Melbourne as he was competing in the Australian Triathlon Champs there on Sunday. We had a pleasant trip and stayed in a basic but adequate apartment in St Kilda about 4km from the start. For the first nine years of my life I lived in a little suburb called St Kilda in Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand. It too is a coastal town but very different from St Kilda in Melbourne! I remember trolley buses in the St Kilda where I was a child but in St Kilda, Melbourne there are trams and tramlines everywhere making transportation very easy and convenient.  (As a point of interest there is no actual Saint Kilda. The name  is purported to originate from a corruption of the Old Norse name for the spring on Hirta, Childa in Scotland).
I digress! On the Saturday morning I rose very early after checking out a route the day before, and ran along a track mainly beside the ocean in one direction and then changing direction for a total of 33km. When I stepped out the door in the very early hours of the morning the rain was falling very heavily. On the Friday evening there had been lightning and thunder and heavy driving rain as we walked to a local restaurant for dinner but at least the storm had subsided by Saturday and instead it was just steady rain although I had to battle a head wind. The rain subsided for about an hour in the middle of the run but returned to just a light drizzle for the remainder of the run which was actually quite a pleasant cooling relief.
On Sunday morning I ran to the start of the triathlon while Mr B cycled. It was only 4km so I continued on for another 4km while Mr B racked his bike and was numbered up. It was such a different day weather-wise to the day before. The sun shone and the weather was warm. The ocean only had a slight ripple and basically the conditions were almost perfect for a sprint distance triathlon. Mr B had a good race, no podium finish but a good experience and certainly it appears he has enough points to make him eligible for the world triathlon championships in Chicago later in the year.

Since returning from Melbourne on Tuesday last week we have experienced some very hot weather in Canberra. Running has continued, with a middle distance run last Wednesday of 20km, track races and a very long run of 34km on Saturday which proved to be rather a disaster. I was really struggling with the humidity even though I had left home by 6.30am. I really do not want to feel like that on marathon day!

Sunday was the Vets Handicap but as I was on roster I only ran a short 6km run with Ewen before the event so as not to miss out entirely and to keep my legs moving.

Speedygeese on Monday at Parliament House was hot. As I pulled up in the carpark the temperature read 31deg. After our warm up we had a really tough session of 400m intervals including a nasty hill towards the finish. There were 20 of us which was a great turnout but oh boy it was hard and hot! And then at about 10.30pm that night it rained. As soon as I heard it pelting down I ran outside just to stand in the cool air and smell the rain - oh so lovely! Pity it was so short lived.

This is my easy week in theory and today's run was only 13km. Before I met Marg for the last half of the run I incorporated some fartlek sprints of 2 x 60sec with 60sec float and 2 x 30sec with 30sec floats twice. Marg and I ran round Crace and later enjoyed a lovely coffee. And just after I hung out the washing it started to rain! It lasted all of ten minutes after which I took Teddy for a lovely walk on the trails at the back of our suburb.

Sprint marathon relay

A birthday treat for Marg's birthday this month


Melbourne Art Gallery

St Kilda Beach run

Mr B at the start of the sprint triathlon in St Kilda

Sunset in St Kilda



Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Speedygeese and some cross training

On Monday I arrived at speedygeese about 25mins before the start to find speedycathy stretching in the carpark. I encouraged her to go for a gentle warm up run with me before the main session and we managed 3.4km before heading back to meet all the speedygeese waiting to start. We ran a warm up loop and then headed for the rose garden. Our main session was 10 x 400m loops with 200m fast on the straight, jogging back to the start for a very short rest before the whistle each time. The speedier geese ran on 2:30 and the rest of us ran on 3mins. We finished with a cool down jog.
Total distance including early warm up: 11km
speedygeese on a cool down on a hill training run recently (photo by Ewen)
Today (Tuesday) is my cross training day. This morning, before work, I swam 1km at the pool and when I arrived home after work it was such a beautiful evening that Mr B and I went for a cycle from home and round the lake. Now I haven't been on my bike for well over 12 months so I even had to relearn the gears. I definitely felt like I was doing a work out and enjoyed the challenge.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Centenary Trail Stage 3

I had such a lovely day today. It started with a very pleasant, tough but enjoyable run and walk on the third stage of the Canberra Centenary Trail with Margaret. We met at Hall Village, left my car there and drove Marg's car to Mulligans Flat carpark from where we started our run. We ran to the official start point of the third stage start of the Centenary Trail located at the Northern Border Campsite which is a few kilometres off-road from Forde. The conditions were perfect - overcast, cool and wind free. It was rougher and hillier than we expected and took us a few hours to complete just over 20km. Along the way we saw lots of mountain bike riders and curious kangaroos. It was such a pretty course. We incorporated a climb up to One Tree Hill and the view was glorious. From there it was all downhill back to Hall Village. After a quick freshen up we crossed the road to the monthly Hall Markets and enjoyed gozleme and a coffee before checking out the markets.
In the afternoon Mr B and I had fun celebrating a friend's 60th and catching up with lots of friends we hadn't seen for ages. I have also started February's challenge - an alcohol free month!

Margaret climbing the last of the 191 steps to One Tree Hill

Attempting a selfie!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

ACT Veteran's Athletics Handicap and other events

On Sunday the first monthly handicap of the  year was held at Campbell Park. It was a new out and back.course this year.  It was a bit rough in parts but there were only a couple of tough hills and it wasn't too bad although it was rather hot and muggy. I had been re-handicapped several groups due to winning a silver medal at the last handicap of the year in November which meant that from Group 23 I had little chance of placing in the top half. In fact I came in at 76th which was a pretty poor effort. I didn't walk at all but I guess my pace was pretty slow, probably due to tired legs perhaps after yesterday's very long 34km run. The longer run for the handicap was only 6km so was over fairly quickly!
It was fun catching up with everyone and a group of us enjoyed great coffee afterwards in Ainslie.
This brought my total distance for the week to 81km.

Campbell Park Handicap - that's me at the back!

There are less than 11 weeks to go until the Canberra Marathon and this week is my easy week.
On Tuesday I took Teddy with me on a gentle 10km run from home. The temperatures this week are much cooler than we have been experiencing lately. Running is much more pleasant!

Wednesday I managed a slightly faster pace for a 12km mid week run. It feels a bit strange not running further for my middle distance run but I'm sticking to the shorter distances this week to freshen the legs.

On Thursday I entered the 1500m fitness walk at track and the 10,000m run championships. I needed some distance but wondered if I should perhaps have just stuck to the 3,000m at the beginning of the evening. However, my late arrival time made my decision for me and 10,000m it had to be, a bit of a last minute decision!  Ewen lap scored for me and I finished in 57:20 managing to come in ahead of three others. It's always debatable when I start as to whether I will come in last so that was a relief! I wore my newest Hoka Cliftons making a spur of the moment decision to ring Mr B to bring them to me and changing out of my track shoes. I'm not sure if they helped or hindered but I did have a sore foot and thought perhaps it was better not to feel the ground too much. There was a nasty head wind on one side of the track which may have slowed me a little. As I started my last 400m I made Bryan my target. He was just ahead of me and as I came into the final strait we were neck and neck and I put on a sprint. What I didn't realise was that he had another lap to go but at least he made me push myself at the end! Because it was a championship event and I was the only female in my age group I scored a gold medal! Woo hoo!

On Friday I just went to a Body Balance class at the gym and took Teddy for his daily walk which I made a bit longer than usual, but no running was involved. Instead Mr B and I went to see Still Alice at the movies in the afternoon - a moving and thought provoking experience.

This morning (Saturday) Dave and I decided to join Margaret at the Gungahlin Parkrun instead of our local one. After only a 1km warm up my legs felt stiff and sore. However they loosened up a bit during the run and in fact I managed a 35sec PB for that particular course finishing in 28:02. I still can't beat my PB from Ginninderra but one day perhaps! The conditions were ideal this morning - cool, crisp and not windy. Later Marg, Mr B and I headed for the local Italian cafĂ© and enjoyed great coffee, food and the excellent company of  Julia, Janene and Gregg, a very pleasant interlude indeed.

Mr B at Parkrun
Parkrunners at Gungahlin

Marg racing to the finish while very speedy Janene does her cool down!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Logging up the kilometres!

I knew if I didn't blog every day that I would get behind again and sure enough another week has gone. Thank goodness for training diaries or I would never remember what I had done this week!
Last Saturday(17th)  I ran from home to Lake Burley Griffin and met Miranda and speedygeoff who were running from the Ferry Terminal. I joined them for their run toward the east past Molonglo Reach and down towards the airport track before returning to the ferry terminal. For some reason my stamina disappeared and I just lost my oomph and knew nothing would be achieved by attempting to run any further. Instead speedygeoff gave me a ride home after I had run 25km.
Next morning (Sunday) was another early start as Mr B was taking part in the ACT Sprint Triathlon Championships and I was doing the run leg (only 5km) for CJ. It was a lot of fun being part of this event and our team did really well thanks to CJ's amazing cycling and swimming ability! After the event was over we headed over the bridge for a coffee and joined some friends there for a lovely little social gathering.
Monday morning was my Body Pump class (strength work which included far too many lunges and squats with weights until my knees were hurting). In the afternoon I managed to arrive at speedygeese in time to run the 4km warm up again. The main session was made up of 24 minutes of hill repeats through the tunnel by the lake and up a steep grassy incline to a cone where we turned and jogged back. I did a couple of short cuts as I was very aware that I had a track session to go to after training. The night had been changed this week and as the spiral handicap was being held I didn't want to miss out. After a warm down loop (giving the session total 11km) I headed straight for the track and took part in the 4 lap spiral. There were not many taking part so it was a good opportunity to gain a few extra points!
Tuesday I managed a 1.2km swim although the first few laps were interrupted when I had to keep adjusting my goggles - very frustrating!
On Wednesday I rose early to fit in an 18km run before work. It was disappointingly slow even though I hadn't run the day before. I just ran down to Lake Ginninderra, round the lake and back home via Giralang with an extra km past the tunnel to give me the distance.
Thursday I ran 10km and included 10 x 1minute hill sprints aiming to get a little further each time. It was tough but I actually felt better than the previous day.
On Fridays I always do a Body Balance class if I'm not rostered on to work. It's a great way to include stretching and flexibility. I have also been including the January challenge in my daily routine, sometimes this is just a brisk walk with Teddy, other times it includes abs, dips and back exercises. There's only another week to go of this.
And so we reach today (Saturday) when I ran my long run. It felt much better than last week. I ran from home to Lake Burley Griffin again but this time I ran the west basin and included the Weston Park loop (a pretty little run)and managed to run back to the ferry terminal and home via Lyneham. After reaching 34km, however, I walked the last km home. That seemed quite enough. Although I wore a hydration pack today I made the mistake of only filling the side bottles as I knew I could stop at bubblers round the lake. However, next long run I will fill the hydration pack as well as I was really thirsty and it was a very hot, humid run as the morning progressed. I may have started out at 6.30am but because I am so slow it was really hot by the time I finished! Later in the afternoon I took Teddy for his aerobic walk. It was a bit difficult to feel motivated but those pleading eyes made me relent!
Tomorrow is the vets' handicap run. A sleep in would have been good!

Lake Burley Griffin

speedygeese training (Ewen's photo)


Friday, January 16, 2015

A Few Undulations and a Zippy Little Car!

Here it is Friday again already and another weekend approaches. Today I had a full day shift at work and used it as my rest day from training apart from Day 16 of the January challenge which I have been following daily. Today included a 90second plank, crunches, leg extensions, superman and dips - all good for strength.
On Wednesday I completed my middle distance run - 17km including the Lake Ginninderra loop and the long way there and back from home. I started early in the morning to allow plenty of time to prepare for work. It was pretty slow in spite of not having run the day before.
Yesterday evening, Thursday, I ran fartlek on rolling hills selecting North Lyneham Ridge which is off-road and definitely undulating, a total of 10km. I spotted a few cows but only a couple of runners on the trails.! After that run I detoured home to collect Teddy and take him out for another 2km extra run as my additional aerobic exercise for the day, making a total of 12km.
Excitingly I also collected my brand new car yesterday - cornflower blue - a little VW Polo. I love it!

Loving my Car!

It feels like the country so close to suburbia!