Thursday, September 28, 2006

Running off the Chocolate!

After a full-on day in Sydney we had half an hour to spare before catching a cab to the airport. This meant there was time to walk down Pitt Street where we found Haighs Chocolate Shop - big mistake! I bought some choccie for Mr B but couldn't resist some for this chocoholic as well - not good, not good at all but oh so yummy!

In spite of allowing plenty of time for me to arrive in Canberra in time for training, the plane was delayed an hour due to mechanical problems and a change to a smaller plane (don't you hate that) and as a consequence by the time I arrived home it was too late to make it to training on time. Thus I had to change and run from home instead and only managed one loop of the block before it became dark. I also felt quite ill (from eating too much chocolate and drinking too many coffees no doubt)! I do have to admit that I had two excellent cappuccinos in the Sydney CBD followed by a lovely flat white at the airport - three out of three aint bad!! However that is probably two more coffees than I should have had and definitely too much chocolate!

Distance: approx 6km
Time taken: 32:27
Average pace per km: 5:35
Calories burned: 340

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

10km Before Breakfast!

This morning I decided it was time I went for an early morning run. It's lighter much earlier in the mornings now but it's still pretty cool so leggings and long sleeves were still required at 5.45am. I decided to take a different route from usual and ran to the AIS and along the new cycle track to Haydon Drive and home to Kaleen past the CIT and back on to the cycle track. The track is worth another investigation on the bike as it's pretty hard concrete on the feet but in spite of the roadworks and concrete world there were still lots of magpies and beautiful rosellas in plentiful supply. My fingers remained cold for most of the run although the rest of me eventually warmed up!

Distance: 10km
Time taken: 57:21
Calories burned: 598
Average pace per km: 5:44

Evening - Yoga
I was so hungry during the class tonight. My tummy was rumbling like crazy and I was very much looking forward to eating my dinner! This was the last session for this term and we now have a couple of weeks break. It was a good session with lots of much-needed leg work - standing and stretching poses and a very long shoulder stand.

Tomorrow morning I'm catching the 7.15am flight to Sydney for a meeting so no swimming this week! Now I had better book a cab!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Week in Progress

Today I have developed a sore dry throat which is very irritating. There's been a few nasties going round the office and it's inevitable that the air conditioning will spread them around - I am not impressed!

Monday 6.15am - Body Pump class at the gym
This was a good class but the eventful part of the gym session was when I discovered I didn't have a towel when I emerged from the shower. Holding my t-shirt in front of me I called out to be rescued. Fortunately I had a friend there who could collect me a towel. At least it created a giggle from those nearby! I'm glad Club Pink provides towels!

Evening - VIP Movie Preview of "The Devil Wears Prada". We had to wear a touch of red - I probably wore more of a splash as I have lots of red in my wardrobe - red leather jacket, red shirt, red jewellery, red bag, red shoes .... ! We met up with CJ and Bec in the foyer but we managed to lose each other in the queue when the doors opened! There were nibbles and champagne to start and a little fashion show. The movie itself was fantastic. Talk about the boss from hell - hope I'm not that bad!!

Tuesday 6.15am - RPM/Spin Class at the gym
Now this was such a good work-out. I was dripping by the time we reached our cool down. I had help setting up my bike and it definitely made a huge difference. I worked much harder than last week and the music was great.

I had intended going for a run after work but I came home feeling pretty ordinary so it didn't happen! An earlier night than usual might be a good plan!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Go for Gold!!

This has been a busy week work-wise and a bit interrupted training-wise but I must have done something right as today I hit the jackpot at the monthly Vet's Handicap Run and won the GOLD medal - yay, yay, yay!! I'm very excited and happy about that.

It was a cloudy, windy, drizzly morning but not too cold for running in a singlet. The course was at Blewitts Pine Forest (minus the pines these days) on a good surface and very undulating. The first half of the race was up and down and really quite pleasant but at about the halfway point it started going up, up, up, up for the next 3km. I just kept my eyes on one person in front of me at a time and decided to aim to pass that person. It was fun and rewarding but as I reached about the 5.5km mark the lady I passed said, "you are heading for a gold" and I realised there was nobody in sight ahead of me. Panic attack, nobody to follow, will I get lost - where is everyone? I decided they must be round the next bend but round the next bend and running up the hill cheering loudly were speedygeoff, speedygoose and Griffin - "come on Ruthy, you can do it". Well, that was it - there was a lovely downhill stretch then an uphill finish and I felt really determined and strong. I saw someone walking a long way ahead but apparently she had entered the short course of 3.5km (the Frylink series) and was not counted. I couldn't believe it when I was told I really had won the gold medal. A photo was taken of the winners but as I left my camera at home (after all I didn't expect this result) Mr B took a photo in the lounge room (above) before I changed out of my running gear.

We finished our run just in time as a huge windstorm swept through as the last competitor finished blowing everything everywhere and there was a long wait before the notices and results were read out as the tents were being dismantled. CJ, Mr CJ, Mr B and I then headed off to Musica e in Belconnen for a cappuccino - yes, yes, yes - such a good day and such a great feeling! I have such wonderful supporters and friends. Life's good!

Stats for today's hilly course
Distance: 7:05km
Time taken: 39:12
Average pace per km: 5:34
Fastest km: 4:50
Calories burned: 465

The week in Brief
Nothing can quite compete with today but on the whole it's been a pretty good week.

Monday morning - Bodypump class at the gym - heavier weights now as I'm getting the hang of it and enjoyed the class.
Monday evening - Dinner at Belluci's with speedygeoff's training group - delicious food and great company - a lovely evening - thanks speedygeoff.

Tuesday morning - my first attempt at an RPM (or spin) class at the gym - hard work on those bikes especially on the uphill parts but it felt like a great work out.
Tuesday later in the morning - I test drove a VW Golf which I will soon have as my work car (my choice). It is sooooo lovely and smooth to drive. I'm trading in my Nissan Pulsar which is a couple of years old and will soon proudly drive a new blue Golf. It's due to arrive late next week hopefully - how exciting!
Tuesday evening - ACTVAC sub-committee meeting - an offshoot of the VETs' main committee - Tuggeranong Don has now joined and it's a lovely little group although we need more members

Wednesday morning - A short run before flying to Sydney for a couple of days for a work function.
Distance: 6km
Times taken: 32:35
Calories burned: 340

Friday morning - Gym

This was my weights session - an hour of leg press, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps and abs exercises with a warm up on the stepper and a cool down on the treadmill followed by brekkie in the gym which is part of the deal.

Saturday - My first cycle outdoors this season!
Yes, Mr B and I went for a quick cycle to stretch the legs before the grandchildren were delivered to be looked after for a few hours. They are so gorgeous!
Distance: 10.90km
Fastest pace: 32kph
Average pace: 20kph
Considering it was my first ride since about February I was happy to at least be riding my bike again. It was such a great sunny Spring day and I'm looking forward to my next ride now.

And that brings me back to today which I had to put first while it's fresh in my mind. I have another work conference in Sydney for just one day this coming week which again puts paid to my swimming. However I should be back in time for training at the oval on Thursday evening. Tomorrow morning I will go to Bodypump but will miss speedygeoff's training at Parliament House after work as CJ and I have tickets for "The Devil Wears Prada" tomorrow evening - a special VIP night. We went to a VIP fashion champagne breakfast yesterday and were given a show bag which included the tickets. I'm taking my daughters too so it should be such fun! Have a good week everyone!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunshine, Flowers, Great Friends and a PB!

What more could one want? We do live in a beautiful world. Today was an example of that. It started just a little misty but turned into a stunning Spring day of 23deg. The Canberra Times Fun Run started in the south of Canberra at Phillip and ended in Commonwealth Park in the city. As yesterday was the start of Canberra's Spring Flower Festival - Floriade - just a short walk from the finish line was a haven of sweet smelling gorgeous flowers. There was not a breath of wind and conditions for the 10km run were really perfect even running over Commonwealth Bridge which other years has been a struggle against the wind. As a consequence I think a number of us achieved a PB.

I saw so many people I knew out there on the run and at the finish. This event brings all sorts of people out of the woodwork and I kept bumping into people I hadn't seen for months, some since last year's event. It was great fun catching up with everyone. There were also a number of CRs out there and TD, speedygeoff and his team, PRB, FD, Aki, CJ and a lot of our running friends from our triathlon group and a large contingency of vetrunners were there too.

The start of the run was a bit difficult as there were crowds of people and I was not near the front so it was a matter of trying to aim for a spot between people and was a bit reminiscent of the start of C2S in Sydney though obviously Canberra can't quite manage that many people!

However I had a really good run, I felt comfortable and just aimed to keep people I knew in sight and aimed to pass one at a time. It was such fun. There was even a band near the start to provide some entertainment and lots of people were dressed in interesting costumes such as a whole family of pirates! I really enjoyed myself. I pushed as hard as I could and feel confident that one day I will make this run under 50mins. That is now my goal!

Today's stats:

Distance: 10:09km (so says Gandalf)
Time taken: 51:27
Average pace per km: 5:06
Calories burned: 595

Lap 1: 5:20
Lap 2: 4:42
Lap 3: 4:58
Lap 4: 5:23
Lap 5: 5:29
Lap 6: 5:09
Lap 7: 4:36
Lap 8: 5:04
Lap 9: 5:05
Lap 10: 5:13

Very happy with those splits. I think the faster ones must have been on the downhills!!

After the race and all the barrel draws Aki, Barb, Marg, Mr B and I headed for The Deck for an excellent coffee and a light lunch after which we walked back to our cars through Floriade smelling the flowers. It was such a lovely day!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Sixty seconds' worth of distance run.."

Thursday morning - swimming 6.30am
Yes, I finally returned to the pool after weeks and weeks of slacking off. In fact I enjoyed it and surprised myself by actually managing to swim a kilometre in two sets of 500m to break it up a little. I met CJ there and after our swim we enjoyed brekkie at RBB where Mr B joined us - a good start to the day.

After Work - speedygeoff's training session - 5.30pm
I arrived too late for most of the first warm-up loop of the oval but managed the second loop. It was good to see Marg and Barb there tonight as well as the usual suspects. It was a good session made up as follows:

2 warm-up loops of oval

1 x 30secs fast; 60secs slow
1 x 40secs fast; 80secs slow
1 x 50secs fast; 110secs slow
1 x 60secs fast; 2 minutes slow
1 x 50secs fast; 110secs slow
1 x 40secs fast; 80secs flow
1 x 30secs fast; 60secs slow

Then we repeated all the above set one more time before a cool down loop.

Total distance: 8.53km

As speedygeoff was running beside me at one stage he quoted a line from Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" which I remember so well from my childhood when my mum offered half a crown for the first of us siblings to recite the poem in full. My brother won the prize and coincidentally went on to become a Professor in Linguistics - maybe that was his start in the world! Following is the poem which still is one of my favourites.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat these two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it in one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on where there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run;
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Where does the time go?

I can't believe it's Thursday again tomorrow and my blog is a week behind again already. It's been such a busy week. Saturday night was a fund raising dinner, Monday night the Chef's Awards dinner, Tuesday night an underwear party - it's been go, go, go and oh boy, how am I supposed to avoid all this food and wine?

Friday 8 September - Gym
Gym session - followed the program that had been designed for me and was a bit lost at first but managed to work things out eventually! I think I will enjoy this once I'm organised.

Saturday 9 September - Easy Run - 8.45am
I met up with Barb and Marg and we had a lovely easy social run from Marg's place in Palmerston. It was a windy cold morning and a bit of a battle against the wind but it was lovely to catch up on all the week's events. Barb had just returned from her dad's funeral in NZ so it was good to be able to run with her and gave her a chance to release her emotions. At times like this I believe these sort of runs are great therapy. Later we stopped at Marg's for a cuppa and home baked cookies - yum!

Distance: 10.15km
Calories burned: 591
Average pace per km: 6:04 (yes, it was a social run)

Sunday - Fun Day
This morning was the MS Fun Run round Lake Tuggeranong and it WAS fun! I can't believe that I enjoyed it so much. Mr B, CJ and I cut it really fine with our timing, only just making it to the start with 1 minute to spare. We had all been out to a fund raising dinner/dance the night before and had imbided in a few glasses of wine. I was decidedly worried it would affect my running and if it had been raining I might have found an excuse not to go. However, although the morning dawned cold and windy there was no rain so no excuse and I'm just so glad we ran in this event. There were a large number of familiar friendly faces and after the run, some of which was into a nasty head wind, among lots of other vetrunners and friends we caught up with Tuggeranong Don, Caroline, Q'land Barb and our PRB who looked really great and seems to be recovering remarkably well. He had a friend's little girl on his shoulders and it was so good to see his smiling face.

The run itself was mainly flat and I was quite excited with the result as I finally made the distance averaging exactly 5min per km which I don't think I've ever managed before. Yippee!

Distance: 6.62km (so says Gandalf)
Calories: 381
Average pace per km: 5mins (made up as follows):

Lap 1: 5:06
Lap 2: 4:37
Lap 3: 4:50
Lap 4: 4:56
Lap 5: 5:00
Lap 6: 5:25 (must have been the headwind here)

I was pretty happy with those times. If I had run faster in the sixth km I could have beaten that 5min km pace - one day...........

Monday morning - Body Pump - 6.15am
This is quite a new session for me and I found it just slightly scary at first. It was suggested I use light weights for my first session. It is a group class and takes an hour and involves lifting barbell weights using different muscles in time to music. I can see how the heavier the weights the more difficult it will be so I will gradually build up to heavy weights. Next time I will increase a little. I was surprised at how busy the class was so early in the morning. Is everybody crazy like me?

Wednesday morning - A run to start the day at 5.45am
Actually by the time I ran out the door it was almost 6am and I wore leggings, a long sleeved t-shirt and ear warmers cos it felt jolly cold although the temperature peaked at 21deg today which is pretty impressive - beautiful!

Distance: 10km exactly
Time taken: 57:40
Average pace per km: 5:46
Fastest km: 5:34
Calories burned: 562

I ran from home along the cycle track towards Gungahlin through the tunnel near Giralang and on to the bridge and returned the same way. It was quite a misty cold morning and not looking a bit like it did later in the morning when the sun was streaming down. I did notice a number of magpies hovering around - Spring is here and those maggies are building their nests and will soon be swooping. It's nearly time to carry a stick above my head for protection!

Wednesday after work - yoga
I was so tired today that I almost nodded off at my desk. Last night CJ and I went to an underwear party in Jerrabomberra which is on the other side of Canberra from us. It was held in a gorgeous home and was a lot of fun as we were able to try on the garments which sometimes created a bit of giggle! However it did mean two late nights in a row and lack of sleep is starting to catch up with me. Monday night was the Chef's Awards Dinner and oh boy what a night. It was a seven course dinner each course cooked and prepared by a different finalist and with each course there were a couple of different wines to drink. Each table was completely covered in wine glasses. Not being used to all that gorgeous rich food and definitely not being used to all that wine - red, white, dessert wine, port AND champagne - I was not a well lady later that night and my planned visit to the gym on Tuesday morning did not eventuate. In fact I didn't cruise into the office until 10am! It was an amazing experience though but next year I must remember to keep my hand over my glass!!

Anyway I digress! Yoga was another restorative session - definitely my favourite, especially when so tired. Today CJ and I were emailing each other trying to keep each other awake as she was suffering from the "tired" bug too although her problem was probably heaps of running not heaps of wine!! We both had difficulty keeping awake during those relaxing poses tonight but it was a lovely session.

Tomorrow morning I am going for a swim for the first time in months. That will be interesting! Afterwards CJ and I will have the much loved brekkie. Then of course being Thursday it will be speedygeoff's training session after work. I think speedygeoff is such an amazing man. He gives up his own time freely to take our training sessions and is so dedicated to his training groups and helps us all such a lot with running tips and patience. Sometimes people like him are so taken for granted and we forget to say "thank you". So just in case you read this blog a big THANK YOU speedygeoff. Your running sessions make such a difference to our lives and certainly keep us motivated.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to it!!

I'm not sure where to start as it's been over a week now since I updated my blog. We had a lovely time at Daydream Island in the Whitsundays although the weather was disappointing. It was cloudy and windy most days and even rained at times. However we still managed to make the most of every minute enjoying all the activities at the resort including the day spa where we both had massages and a body treatment being covered in mud (or seaweed in Mr B's case) and wrapped in gladwrap. That was great especially the amazing showers with all the massage gadgets inside. We enjoyed cocktails each evening and music and amazing food. We took advantage of the free snorkelling and scuba diving lessons although we couldn't actually do the real thing due to the inclement weather. I did beat Mr B in mini golf although he beat me in pool! We spent an hour or so in the very modern gym and even fitted in a couple of 6km runs which was made up of two loops of the island! We went on a day trip to Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island and managed to swim inbetween showers! It was fun, we relaxed, ate and drank too much and had a lovely break in spite of the weather returning to Canberra on Sunday afternoon. In fact on Monday the weather here was much sunnier and more pleasant than Queensland although it is considerably colder today which means it's probably beautiful back in the Whitsundays this week!

On Monday evening we returned to speedygeoff's running group at Parliament House. After two warm up laps we ran our main session on the grass in front of PH. We ran up and down and diagonally across the spongy grass several times then ran in the reverse direction. The diagonals which were uphill slopes were fast and the straights easy. It was a good session with the usual great company including a very welcoming CJ.

Distance: 9.44km
Calories burned: 595

This morning I went for my first visit at my new gym. I had an assessment done and a program designed for me although I intend to add a few classes such as the Bodypump Class and the RPM cycle class which sounds hard! It looks like a very nice gym but it will take me a while to get used to all the fancy equipment. I'm used to pretty basic machines. I'm looking forward to the challenge though.

Evening -Yoga
Tonight I really enjoyed the session. It was a restorative session with lots of breathing techniques and lying down rather than balancing and leg work. It was a great way to finish a hard day at work.

This morning I met CJ for brekkie at RBB - lovely. I chose normal scrambled eggs on spinach and Turkish toast and a flat white coffee - lovely after eating white scrambled eggs for so long. I am still watching what I eat but not to the same extent. I am sticking to the five meals a day (ie morning and afternoon tea of rice cakes, yoghurt or apple) which I find helps keep me from picking at other less healthy food inbetween meals although while on holiday we just relaxed and enjoyed all the good food.

Evening - speedygeoff's Running at Dickson Oval
Warm up of a couple of loops of oval then session as follows:

8 x 70m fast with a slow run back to start.
20mins of 30secs fast, 2mins slow
4 stride throughs to stretch of about 70m each

Cool down of another 1km loop of oval
Total distance: 7.44km
Calories burned: 476

It was a good session tonight. I found the long recoveries great between each sprint making it quite manageable.

Tomorrow I'm off to my first proper gym session bright and early! I did try to upload some photos but Blogger took too long then rejected them. Will try again another time. Now I'm off to bed at last!