Monday, May 29, 2006

More Hills at Parliament House

Distance: 8km
Calories: 424
Time of session: 46mins

Session: Warm-up loop of Parliament House, stretching, more warm-up to Rose Garden where we ran a practice loop of the 800m hill course.

Main set: 3 x 800m hilly sprints
3 x 400m hilly sprints

Warm down loop of Parliament House

Comments: It was barely 3deg tonight - brrrr! This morning it was minus 3 so I guess the plus was better than the minus! It was cold but with all those hills we soon warmed up and stripped off the long sleeved tops! It was a good training session - lots of hills sure, but this time most of us had torches, in fact lots of us had torches on our heads, like the miners wear. They are very effective and it helped considerably to light the way in the dark. It certainly helps to see where you are going! Those hill sprints sure are killers but I'm sure they build stamina and leg strength! There were about 20 people at speedygeoff's training in spite of the cold weather. Hardy people, these runners!

Vets' Handicap Run at Oakey Hill - The Real Thing!

Distance: 7.52km
Time taken: 44:34
Average pace per km: 5:57
Place: 57th with a handicap of 14
Calories burned: 477
Best km: 5:26

Comments: As expected it was a tough run. It started on a hill and kept on going. However, I have to admit that I was very glad that I had gone out and run the course last weekend so at least I knew what to expect and actually it didn't seem as bad the second time around! The sun was out and although the air was cold it was still and pleasant. There were lots of friends to chat with afterwards and I finally met Tuggeranong Don as he raced past me on the event and also stopped to talk to me afterwards. Mr B ran a great time and our friend Ian won the bronze medal in the long course. A group of us went for a very welcome coffee later at Babars in Woden where we met more of the runners and enjoyed quite a social get-together.
In the evening we had my family birthday dinner at Belluci's in Dickson. The service was lousy, the food lovely and the company fantastic. Nothing quite like having all the family together for a meal and lots of fun. And the best part was when little Talia aged 3 said as she was leaving our place after cake (oh dear) later, "That was the best party ever grandma"! I'll drink to that!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Too Much Birthday!!

And boy did I feel it at training tonight! I felt sluggish and blobby and oh so slow! I arrived 15 minutes late as I was caught in that wretched peak hour traffic again and missed the first warm-up lap. However I was on time for the 2nd warm-up lap and after stretching it was onto the track for relay teams of two - a fast runner teamed with a slow runner. In my case I was partnered with the fastest runner in our group and I am probably the slowest runner so it meant not a lot of rest break for little old me! There were about 25 people at the session and I caught up with quite a few runners who I hadn't seen for ages which was great.

Distance: 6:21km
Calories burned: 393

Session: Relay teams of two with a baton. First runner ran 600metres anti-clockwise while the second runner ran slowly for 200m to meet up on the other side of the track to have the baton passed to them.

5 x [600m fast; 200m slow]

I felt like a slow slug although I ran as fast as my poor little legs would go. The first 400m in each loop felt ok but then I slowed down for the last 200m and found it really hard. I'm sure I'll run faster when I'm not carrying all this cake and chocolate inside me! However the company was good and the evening was really quite pleasant, not as cold as it has been lately.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

YES! YES! YES! Thank you Susan!!

How exciting - my title works. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now I have a title and can be like everyone else. I'm really excited!
Thank you for my birthday wishes CJ and Ewen. I just thought I would check my blog, emails etc before I go to bed. Yes, I did go to yoga tonight and as it's such a small class (only 7 of us tonight) really enjoyed it. My oldest daughter visited me at home with a birthday cake after my class and we have just pigged out on Baileys, dark Lindt choccie balls and cake! I went out for brekkie with a girlfriend and lunch with two other friends and this morning had another birthday cake at work. Mr B is playing squash tonight so we will have our family dinner on Sunday night. I now feel like a big fat lazy blob - could be a sluggish run at training tomorrow night. Next week I will aim to become a new woman starting my new program. In the meantime I am writing off this week as a general pig-out week of gluttony!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Back to the Swimming Pool

First of all, Ewen, I checked out the link you sent me in your comment but my blog doesn't have a separate title box. It's just the main box. How do I get one of those??

Today I met CJ at the pool and went for a swim for the first time for months. It was a really really cold day today and it was great that the water was actually quite warm. It was hard work swimming with leaden arms and legs and I only managed 600 metres but hey, we're back in the pool and that means brekkie - yay - and the brekkie was sooooo good!

Monday, May 22, 2006

What's with all these hills??

Okay, first of all Ewen tells me I should have a title on my posts entered in a separate box. Nowhere can I find a spot to put a title. There's just this space as far as I can see so being technologically challenged no doubt somebody like CJ or Ewen will point me in the right direction. In the meantime I'll just plod on the way I always have. No doubt all will be revealed to me soon!

Anyway back to tonight's session!
Location: Parliament House (PH) at 5.30pm
Distance: 7.5km
Calories: 396
Session: Warm-up loop of PH followed by 6 x (2 x 330m) hilly loops in the dark (glad I took my torch)
Warm down loop of PH

Comments: It was a lovely surprise when I pulled up into the carpark under Parliament House to find CJ walking towards me all ready to join in the training session. Great to have her back there again. It started off really freezing but after a few hilly runs we soon warmed up and I took off my long-sleeved top and wrapped it round my waist. After yesterday's hilly run I found the hills quite tough but yes, speedygeoff, it's good for me and great for leg strengthening!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Hills, Hills and More Hills!!

Distance: 11.22km
Time taken: 1hour 12minutes
Calories burned: 723
Location: Oakey Hill, Weston

This morning Mr B and I decided to go to the familiarisation run for a new course for the Vets' Handicap next Sunday. It started at 9am under clouds but turned out to be a lovely sunny day. The course was very very hilly (surprise surprise) and the ground was uneven and stony - off-road of course but definitely a case of watching the footing. Quite a large group of us turned up including the two Barbaras. After the 7.5km actual race course a few hardy stayers decided to run another 4km. I joined them. Big mistake! The start of that extra bit was the steepest hill of the lot. Admittedly at the top the view was magnificent and I was sorry I didn't have a camera! This was only a practise run so Kiwi Barbara and I ran it slowly - not that I felt capable of running it fast! Gee it was so steep and rough - will be interesting next weekend when we attempt it again at the actual event.
After our run the two Barbaras, GS, Mr B and I went for coffee in Babars in Woden. Now that was definitely well-earned!

Thursday - speedygeoff's Training at Dickson Oval

Distance: 8km
Calories: 487
Interval training

Session: Tonight I was almost on time and could sight the runners in the distance. Fortunately I had company and Pam and I ran as fast as possible to catch the others still managing to complete the correct distance for the warm-up. After meeting the others and stretching we took off for another loop of the oval before our main set:
9 x 400m (200m fast, 100m slow x 12 times).
3 x 400m (100m fast, 200m slow x 4).
After this we ran another warm-down full loop of the oval. My only problem was that I had to run to the loo as I had a dodgy tummy so I missed one of the 400m loops in the first set.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lack of Motivation, a Sore Leg, Lovely Dinner and a Great Yoga Class!

I don't have much to say tonight. It's already Wednesday and I have done very little since Sunday in the way of training. My left leg has really been sore and this morning I visited the physio for some intensive treatment. It hurt heaps but helped loosen it up for a while although later in the day it started hurting again. She worked on the glutes, hamstrings and ITB area in the left side as she is trying to pinpoint the problem. I have another appointment next week.

Dinner on Monday night with speedygeoff's training groups was a lot of fun. We dined at a Thai restaurant and the company and food was lovely. More than 30 of us turned up. It was a very pleasant alternative to training!

Tonight I had a really good yoga session, the best part being we had some very intensive hamstring stretches - very appropriate timing! Tomorrow I will attempt speedygeoff's Dickson oval training session after work. I'm a bit worried about my leg but I'm also worried that I'm having too long a break! I need some more motivation. I really don't like this blobby feeling so I may just start a new approach next week. I will work on the "new me"!!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mr B is my Hero!

Event: Canberra Half Marathon

Distance: 21.1km
Time taken: 2hours and 36seconds
Average pace per km: 5:41
Calories burned: 1237

Photo Two: John S, Strewth, Mr B and CJ

Comments: It was a superb morning in Canberra today - ideal conditions for running a Half Marathon by the lake. I ran most of the run with Flashduck. She was great company and kept me going. Trouble is I wasn't at my best and at the 17km mark I just couldn't keep up the pace and had to let her go. I came in just over a minute behind her not quite making the 2 hour mark which was a bit disappointing. However this was more than compensated by the fact that Mr B ran an awesome time for his first half marathon of 1hour 43mins. He was really happy and so was I. To think that he started running at age 55 and has been running for less than a year. He used to consider running was a terrible idea - now he's well and truly hooked. Running has that effect on people!! Aki ran an 8 minute PB - her improvement is amazing.

Today, being Mothers' Day, we joined the rest of the family at the Botanical Gardens for lunch including a glass or two of wine. It was just lovely - still sunny and pleasant so we sat outside which meant that Talia (age 3) could run around happily. It has been such a lovely relaxing afternoon. We were there until 5pm and Mr B managed to squeeze in a nap before a light tea. Now we're watching "Love Actually" on telly - a really feel-good movie. We also had a Baileys and a tim tam - ho hum! Tomorrow night is the dinner with speedygeoff's training group - a lovely alternative to running at Parliament House!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Last Little Run Before the Half

I just ran a gentle 3km at 9am this morning to stretch my legs and oh boy if it's that cold at the same time tomorrow for the Half I will turn blue! I wore leggings and a long sleeve top with a sleeveless windbreaker on top and it took me most of the session before I could feel my fingers! I think I may wear gloves tomorrow as the overnight forecast is for zero!! I am not hoping for a great time but it's all about doing it. Mr B will be running his first ever half marathon and I hope it will be a great experience for him.

I realise I forgot to say I went to yoga on Wed night and we had the teacher who I had in my very first Beginners' class - Polly. There are only 8 of us registered in this class and 5 of us turned up on Wed. It's good having such individual attention. This intensive stretching is very good for me as I am not very good when it comes to stretching after training.

Mothers' Day tomorrow and after the Half Marathon all our family is going to lunch at the restaurant at the Botanical Gardens. It will be lovely and hopefully we will have sunshine like today. Happy Mothers' Day to all those who celebrate Mothers' Day tomorrow.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Training on the Oval

Distance: 7.11km
Calories burned: 425

Session: I was running a bit late after work and was caught in the traffic on the way to speedygeoff's Dickson Oval session. Every traffic light was against me and I missed the first warm-up loop. However Mr B had just arrived on his bike and we were on time for the next warm-up loop before starting the session.

Warm-up: - 1 large loop of full oval
Main set: 7 x [80secs fast: 160secs slow]
Warm down: 1 large loop of full oval

It was hard trying to run my fastest for the 7 x 80secs part not helped by the fact that I still have a very sore left hamstring. I can start fast but have difficulty maintaining the pace and by the 7th time I was running out of puff! I'm sure the speed sessions are good for me however! It was a good long break between each 80secs. I stayed with Marg and Jenny (who lives in Sydney during the week as she goes to Uni there). The three of us ran at a similar pace for that distance and it was good motivation to push myself.

Tonight I keep nodding off every time I sit down. It's taken me ages to write this blog as I keep falling asleep in the middle of a sentence. I must go to bed!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Short and Sweet!

Distance: 5.8km
Time taken: 33:52
Location: Kaleen block at 6pm
Average pace per km: 5:51
Calories burned: 344

Comments: I have a brekkie first thing tomorrow morning so I had to run tonight instead. I ran from home after work and just ran the block. It was a bit uneven under foot and a bit dark but not too bad temperature wise although I did wear leggings and a long sleeved top. I had a lot of trouble with my ipod. The ear plugs kept falling out of my ears and I kept losing the sound - most frustrating! I think winter has come to Canberra early - gee it's cold!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Speedygeoff takes it easy!

Distance: 6.76km
Calories: 378

Session: Two warm-up loops of Parliament House then we ran down to the fitness track where we split up and those who chose ran some more loops at different paces and four of us ran with speedygeoff round the fitness track three times carrying out all the instructions on the way - stopping to do sit ups, chin-ups (attempts), push ups, leg stretches etc. We also ran a couple of loops of the oval afterwards before running a warm-down loop round Parliament House again. It was a very cold night after a very cold day (only reaching 12degrees maximum during the day and much cooler at night with a wind chill factor making it seem much colder) and although we warmed up I still wore gloves, leggings and a long sleeved top for the entire session! It was a comfortably easy session as speedygeoff was suffering from an injury so took it gently - no complaints from me!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Long Slow Run on a Beautiful Autumn Morning (emphasis on the "slow")

Distance: 20:14
Time: 2hrs 5mins
Calories burned: 1151
Average speed per km: 6:13

Comments: John S, Marg, Mr B and I met at CJ's place in Turner at 9am from where we ran to Lake BG and round the lake and back to her place in Turner. CJ and Mr B ran ahead while JS, Marg and I ran at a much slower pace having a good chat on the way. It was a lovely sunny autumn morning with no wind and perfect conditions for a run with the still lake and the orange and brown leaves, but I still felt slow and found the distance quite challenging. This is my longest run since the ultra and my left hamstring hurt and I really didn't run my best. However, the company was great and after the run we went to Black Pepper for coffee and brekkie - yum. After that we went to the markets for fruit and veges and bumped into CJ again with Mr CJ so that meant more coffee - good too!

We were lucky to run when we did as the wind picked up in the early afternoon and it was quite cool in the shade.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dickson Oval Training with the Birthday Boy and The Need for Speed!

Tonight Mr B and I decided to attend speedygeoff's Thursday training group session. There were about 20 of us meeting together at Dickson Oval with speedygeoff taking the group in spite of the fact that today is his birthday! He never lets his training groups down.

Distance: 8.64km
Calories burned: 514

Session: We did two full loops of the oval and then we divided into teams of three with speedygeoff and Colin running separately as a back-up in case of drop-outs which of course there weren't! He chose 6 team captains and gave them a baton each (I was one of the lucky chosen ones!) and we selected two other team members. I chose Caroline and Marg.

The captain with the baton had to run 400m on the marked course in the fourth lane as fast as possible while the other team members jogged gently round the sixth lane or up and down in the case of team member two until it was their turn. The goal was to each run fast for a 400m lap passing the baton to the next runner then slow for a 400m lap repeating this six times but our team only managed it five times before the whistle was blown as the leaders had finished. We then ran another warm down loop of the full oval. It was good to be back training on a marked course. This is the first time I have run in the Thursday group and I would like to continue providing I can leave work on time. I do enjoy running with company and speed sessions are necessary if I am to become faster. Thanks speedygeoff for giving up valuable birthday time to take our group. We hope you thoroughly enjoyed your well-deserved birthday dinner.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I will survive!

Morning Activity: Slow run
Distance: 6km
Time taken: 36:26
Calories: 342

Comments: I set the alarm for 5.30am and dragged myself out of bed and out the door with arm warmers, leggings, cycle top, gloves and a bright yellow sleeveless windbreaker on top to run round the block. The wind chill factor was bitter although the temperature was well above zero. I think it was about 6deg this morning but it felt so much colder. I was warm by the time I reached home but I wasn't warm enough to take off any layers, surprisingly, throughout the run. As I approached my street the sun was rising and the light was shining through the autumn leaves on the trees and it looked really beautiful. Autumn in Canberra is so very picturesque, scrunching pretty leaves underfoot and glorious colours everywhere and it is peaceful at that time of day even if I didn't want to roll out of bed and out the door!! My throat is still sore but I'm managing it although I know my running is suffering. It could be an extremely slow half marathon in a couple of weeks.

Evening Activity - Yoga (eventually)
I had a dreadful day at work, not helped by the fact that our IT technician turned up at 5pm trying to sort out a massive problem we are having with emails at the moment. He took over my office and of course I had no access to the computer so nothing left to do but file while I waited for him to finish. At 6.45pm I was starting to panic. My new yoga term started at 7.30pm and of course my gear was at home because I had expected to leave the office by 5.30pm, go home, change, have something to eat - yeah sure! No such luck. I managed to lock up just before 7pm after running back up the stairs to collect my car keys from my desk then I had trouble finding my car which someone had borrowed and reparked in a different spot.

Finally I arrived home, changed and drove back to town in a mad rush and made it spot on 7.30pm - not a good way to start a new yoga term with a new teacher! Actually at the end of the class she said the usual teacher would be back next week - a pity really as I really liked this one. I have no idea of her name but I assume she introduced herself before I arrived? Anyway there were only six in the class and it was really cosy and I enjoyed it. I've decided next week I'll take my yoga clothes with me to work in case I'm held up at the office again. It's good to be back to yoga. After a frustrating day I felt much better after the session in spite of the fact that my tummy was rumbling loudly all the way through the quiet time in the last ten minutes! At least I didn't cough!!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

speedygeoff's session - Monday

Location: Parliament House
Distance: 9.2km
Calories burned: 333 for the first 6km before Gandalf lost the satellite!
Fastest km: 5mins

Session: I nearly missed it! I was held up at work and arrived about 5 minutes after the start and there was not a runner in sight. I grabbed my little torch, forgot my cap and took off in the usual direction and ran straight round Parliament House without the little side detours as I wanted to catch the group. It took a whole loop then there they were at the top of the stairs stretching. Woo hoo - I was so pleased as I didn't much fancy running on my own up there. We ran another loop of Parliament House then it started to drizzle and speedygeoff hesitated but decided to risk the onslaught of rain and we ran the stretch down to the road and up the grass facing Parliament House. We managed this about 4 times before we trotted down the steps to the underground carpark. That was 6km and at that stage Gandalf went on strike as we were underground and he lost the satelite! However speedygeoff assures me that our next loops were 350m. We sprinted the 100m uphill bit then ran the rest of the loop a little more gently repeating this 5 times. We then did a cool-down run in the opposite direction 4 times. It was a good session although I'm still struggling with this cold.

I must tell a little story about what "almost" happened to me today. I belong to a schoolfriends site on the web and recently had email contact with somebody in the same class as me in Year 4 (age 10) in NZ at Primary School. Mr B went to high school with him so was interested when he sent me an email on Sunday to say he would be in Canberra for a few hours only for a board meeting today. He telephoned me from Sydney last night to confirm the arrangement of meeting briefly for lunch after his meeting at 11.30am. He had to be at the airport for his return flight to NZ at 2pm so there was a small window of opportunity there. I found an old school photo (now we are talking 46 years ago here I might add) and I realised we were only in the same class for that one year (1960). That little dark haired boy in the back row and the little girl in the front row with long plaits might look slightly different since then!! Mr B was going to come and join us for lunch. We were really quite excited. At 11.15am I had a phone call to say that H was still sitting on the plane as Canberra Airport was closed all morning as there was a long queue of planes arriving as this morning we had a very foggy start to the day. So the meeting never did eventuate as time ran out! Maybe next time? In the meantime there is a school reunion over there next Easter - maybe we should go if it doesn't clash with the marathon!! The world is becoming smaller every day.

Tonight (Tuesday) I have such a sore throat. It's been gradually feeling worse all day - not encouraging! Tomorrow night I return to yoga.