Monday, August 28, 2006

One proud and happy Strewth!

Week 12 is over. I have stuck to my program and achieved well over my desired goal weight and bodyfat reduction. I am delighted with the result, the only problem being that I have to put on a few kilos now cos I lost a bit much in this last week with the carbo depletion stage. However I'm sure that putting it on won't be a problem at all!! I have dropped from 55.3kg to 46.8kg and lost nearly 10cm off my waist!

Yesterday I whizzed down to watch the end of the Vets' half marathon. I couldn't compete this year as my last 3 days stated "no cardio" so that was bad timing. However it was great to see speedygeoff, Marg, Flashduck, Tuggeranong Don and CJ all doing so well. Well done all of you and to all those other competitors out there who ran a great race in perfect conditions. Next year I will be part of it for sure.

This week has probably been the hardest of my 12 weeks. On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I spent nearly 2 1/2 hours at the gym each day working on the upper body and the abs. I also had the cardio training as usual. Tuesday was "intervals" on the windtrainer in the morning and gym after work until I was thrown out as they wanted to close up!

Wed was gym in the morning and yoga after work. I think both CJ and I were fighting the sleep muscles when it came to the relaxation for the last 15mins. I know if I had entirely relaxed I would have definitely fallen asleep. CJ had been to the gym and run at lunchtime as well so was definitely feeling the same way.

Thursday morning another 2 1/2 hours gym work but this time I rose at 4.45am and spent the time with free weightsand abs improvising the exercises at home as my current gym doesn't open early enough - can't wait til Sept when I change gyms! I left work early that day as I went for a run from home with Mr B as I had to go to a formal awards presentation dinner that night. I had spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday carbo depleting and drinking 5 litres of water a day so I surprised myself when we ran the Kaleen block at a reasonable pace.

Distance: 6km
Time: 33:39

Friday, Saturday and Sunday I had no cardio or weight training and started on the rice cakes for starchy carbs. Today at about 3pm after I had finished at the photographer Mr B and I went for a nice lunch at Black Pepper to celebrate the success of my program. I ate pasta for the first time in 12 weeks and even had an apple and cinnamon cake for dessert - yum - and the best cappuccino in the world! However I think my stomach objected to all that rich food all of a sudden. I probably should have broken it in more gently!

Tomorrow morning at 6.30am we fly out to Daydream Island in the Whitsundays so this blog may again be quiet for a week but we have packed our running gear so don't intend to be idle although we may become dizzy as the island is only about 2km round I think. I'm so looking forward to relaxing and just having a wonderful time together belatedly celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. Life is good and I feel fantastic!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Week 12 Day 1

Monday morning - 5.10am
Roll out of bed, shower, brekkie, carry gym bag, work bag, work clothes on hanger, lunch bag, running bag and struggle to car. Drive to gym to carry out following program:

Warm-up on treadmill - 5 minutes
DB Bench Press - 4 set x 20 reps
Pec Dec Fly - 4 sets x 15
DB Fly - 4 sets x 15
Knee push-ups - 2 sets x 20

Lateral pulldown - 4 sets x 20
Cable seated row - 4 sets x 15
DB One Arm Row - 4 sets x 15
DB Pullover - 4 sets x 15

Crunches - 4 sets x 20
Bicycle crunches - 4 sets x 20
Back extension - 4 sets x 20

4 sets of each takes ages and I didn't arrive at work until nearly 9.30am. Tomorrow I have to work on shoulders/biceps/triceps/abs. This is the week when I have to double the number of repetitions but decrease the weights. Tomorrow I start carbo depletion for 3 days and I'm not looking forward to it!!

Monday after work - 5.30pm - speedygeoff's training session at Parliament House
Today has been another lovely Spring day although overnight temps dropped to minus 4degrees - brrrr! Speedygeoff's session as follows:

Warm up - 1 1/2 loops of PH
Main set:
10 x 1minute fast and jog back to start for 2 minutes on whistle
Cool down of extra loop of PH
Total distance: 9.3km
Calories burned: 606

It was pleasant not to be running hill repeats for a change. There was a smaller turn-out than usual but it was good company - a lovely group of people.
I was quite pleased with my fast intervals. I aimed to reach a certain spot when we ran on the grassy uneven verge next to the road. On the last repeat I reached my goal - woo hoo! No idea of the distances for each 1 minute repeat but it was challenging as it was in semi darkness and we had to avoid lamp-posts with nasty sharp metal signs sticking out on them and pot holes in the grass. It was a good session though.

Tomorrow morning is an interval session on the bike and after work another long gym session.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sunshine and Flowers!

Friday - Gym Day
This morning I worked on the legs and arms at the gym as follows:
10mins warm-up on treadmill
Leg Press - 3 x 15 (60kg - yes, I finally made the next level)
DB lunges - 3 x 15 (20lb)
Seated Leg Curl - 3 x 15 (30lb)
Lying Leg Curl 1 x 12 (only 10lb - don't like these)
DB Standing Calf Raise - 2 x 15 (20lb) - ouch!
DB Triceps Kickback
Bicycle Crunches 3 x 15
Crunches - 3 x 15
By then I had run out of time so couldn't complete all the abs. Will have to continue those at home!

I love Fridays cos I usually only do one session and have a free evening - lovely. Besides the end of Friday means the start of the weekend!

Saturday - Medium Run at 8.50am
Distance: 12.20km
Calories burned: 718
Time taken: 77mins
Average pace per km: 6:20 (yes it was very slow)

I drove over to Marg's and met up with her and Barb for a medium distance undulating run from her home. I didn't quite expect to be running up a very long hard hill but the view at the top was well worth the climb. It was a stunning Spring morning and the view was breathtaking. I had to stop to admire it and did wish I had my camera with me. In fact the run was lovely. I felt a bit tired and we certainly didn't run fast, in fact we chatted most of the way and turned it into a very gentle pleasant run. The golden wattle was out and pink blossom was everywhere. It was a great day to be alive and running with friends.

Tomorrow is the Vets' Monthly Handicap Run but CJ and I are on roster duty which suits me very nicely as it's such a tough course. I'm sure we'll still manage coffee afterwards!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Training, training, training.

I forced myself out of bed at 5.30am in order to fit in interval training on my indoor bike (windtrainer) before brekkie with CJ. I really didn't want to roll out of bed but knew I would be very cross with myself if I gave in to that nagging voice in my head saying, "stay in bed a little longer, more sleep, more sleep" - NO - I will ignore that voice and persevere. So there I found myself on the windtrainer dripping with perspiration and knowing this was good for me or something.

5 minutes warm up
1 1/2minute easy, 3 mins hard (working on a hard gear) x 6 repeats
5 minutes cool down
Total of 37mins

Shower, dress and off to Red Belly Black to meet CJ for lovely company and white scrambled eggs and a flat white - I do love starting my day like that (at least with the brekkie, not so sure about the interval training).

Evening Training - speedygeoff's group at Dickson Oval
I arrived late again (too much work and too much traffic) but arrived in time for the second warm-up loop of the oval.
Main session:
8 x 400m on 4mins which meant inbetween each 400m we had a gentle jog before the next 400m.
We had to practise running through the finish line without being tempted to slow down until we were well past the line. Apparently a large number of people tend to slow down just before the finish line so it was a case of pushing very hard for the last 50m to ensure we were well and truly over the line before stopping or slowing down to a jog.

On our last 400m speedygeoff timed us to see what time we would achieve when tired. Tricky! I managed that last 400m in 1min 49secs - not exactly earth shattering time but I was stuffed!

We ran a cool down loop to finish.

Total distance 7km
Calories burned: 523

Postscript: I am now well into Week 11 of my 12 week fitness/nutrition program and feeling good. The time has gone so quickly.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sydney Rocks!

City2Surf - What a Day!!

Mr B, CJ and Mr CJ decided to make a real weekend of this run. We had a ball. We booked the Avillion Hotel in Pitt Street into a special "Winter Warmer" package which included a room upgrade, valet parking, a late check-out and a full breakfast each day. It was also situated in a very convenient location near the shops and very near the start of the run.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny - cool to start but very pleasant. More than 63,000 people competed in the run and the atmosphere was amazing. Mr B and I ran in the Green Group which was the second start. We were fairly near the back of the group as we didn't want to be standing round waiting for the start for too long. This way we avoided the loo queue as we could leave it to the last minute before walking from the hotel. CJ started from the red group which started on the starters' gun at the correct time. Our start was about 10 minutes later.

To start with it was a shuffle and very difficult to weave through the crowds. It took a while before it was possible to break into a jog and finally a run. There were bands playing and the usual cry of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oy oy oy" echoing through the tunnel. There were also quite a few people dressed in fancy dress. One lady I passed was sporting a large hat covered completely in flowers matched up with flowers hung round her neck and on her top. There were quite a few interesting sights on the way and many interesting t-shirts to read!

The best part of the City2Surf is the atmosphere and the discovery of so many happy chatty people and the amazing CR community including a great cheer squad calling our names during that last tough kilometre which seems to go on forever. It certainly helped push me on hearing the encouraging cheers of our CR cheer squads. Thanks guys. It really is appreciated.

I really enjoyed the race and felt very strong - must be all that hill training. Gandalf told me my time was 78:16. However the official results in the paper state that my time was 79:47. I was placed 9638th out of over 63,000 starters. At least I came in under 80minutes which pleased me! I felt comfortable throughout the entire run stopping for water at nearly all the drink stations on the way. I didn't find Heartbreak Hill difficult but I was frustrated trying to weave my way through all the crowds. I did find this year that there seemed to be more people than usual and it was more difficult to find a space to run my own race. However, the people are what make this particular race so special. It may be difficult to achieve a great time in these groups but it is amazing fun. I loved every minute of it. I also passed a number of people I knew from Canberra. I saw Marco, Roy and Marg on the way which was exciting.

After running through the finishing chute and receiving my finishers' medal I found PRB (or he found me) walking to our meeting place. This was his last run before major surgery and he was very happy with his time. We came in virtually together. It was so good to see him and be able to wish him well. We walked to the meeting spot and sure enough there were so many people there we knew. I had seen The Owl on the run and called out to her where we were meeting afterwards and several CRs turned up there including Jen, Lulu and Tuggeranong Don who came over to talk to us while we were waiting for others. It was great to chat with all these lovely CRs and yummo to Owl who had made the most beautiful apricot slice which I did not resist after buring all those calories. We also caught up with Roy, Graeme and JS from Canberra - lots of Canberra friends turned up at the City2Surf. It really is a great day.

My stats according to Gandalf:
Distance: 14:31
Calories burned: 812
Average pace per km: 5:28
Fastest km: 4:18 (must have been a downhill!)

We were joined by Barb, Mark and Marg and we all took the free bus back to the city where we found a nice spot for lunch and coffee. After a quick shower back at the hotel we went to Darling Harbour where the boys visited a Ferrari display while CJ and I managed some retail therapy and also managed to bump into Ewen and Gordon who were "loitering with intent"! In the evening we enjoyed a beautiful meal back at the hotel before finally going to bed tired but still on a high from the wonderful day we had all enjoyed.

Monday 14 August
Today Mr B and I have been married 35 years! We're celebrating the occasion in style at the end of August when we're flying to the Whitsundays for 5 nights and staying on Daydream Island which sounds pretty idyllic. It sounds like heaven to me! CJ and I managed some very satisfactory retail therapy this morning. We both bought gorgeous shoes. Mine are red, pointy, high heeled and just beautiful. I also bought a flat pair to wear with jeans. They are Italian and were half price and are soooo comfortable - green, navy and white and soft soft leather.

We took advantage of the late check-out and finally left Sydney in the early afternoon stopping at our favourite spot in Berrima on the way home. Then straight to visit our son with pressies as he turned 29 on Saturday. We also detoured to the CISAC gym in Belconnen where I had organised to collect a special membership which includes both gyms and the pool. I'm starting it on 5 September and having an assessment and program done for me that morning. This will be a very different experience from my current gym. Club Pink is the ladies' part of the gym and it's just so pretty and looks fabulous with lots of classes and great modern equipment, treadmills, bikes, weights, breakfast every day etc. Club Blue is for the pool and includes the solarium, sauna and spa pool. Club Lime is the main gym with lots more classes and weights etc. My membership covers all three gym memberships - should be fantastic.

This morning I went for a run and oh boy, my calves hurt, my hamstrings hurt and I ran slowly in the freezing cold with long sleeves, ear warmers, leggings - very different from Sydney. However although the nights and mornings are so cold I have to add that we are experiencing delightful Spring weather right now with today's temps reaching 18deg.

Stats as follows:
Distance: 6km
Calories: 350
Time taken: 36:18
Pace per km: 6:04

Oh dear, this was a tad slow - I think my legs are suffering!!

This morning I went to the gym and did my chest/shoulders/back program. It felt hard and I felt tired. However I managed to cover all the appropriate program including my abs. However I was a bit late for work!

Today was another stunner once the fog cleared in the morning. Tonight I went to yoga. There were fewer people in the class this evening so a bit more personal attention. CJ was caught up in meetings at work so couldn't make it tonight. As it turned out I was very glad I had attended as I will miss one session when we're in the Whitsundays.

Something else I have noticed lately is that the days are starting to get longer. It's becoming light earlier in the mornings and staying light later in the evening. Spring is just around the corner!

Friday, August 11, 2006

One More Sleep til Sydney!

It was a lovely sunny Spring day today but it was still jolly cold at 5.30am this morning when I ran out the door. I decided I should do one last run before City to Surf on Sunday as I had to miss speedygeoff's session last night due to a Board Meeting - oh joy!

Wednesday morning
Gym - Legs/Arms/Abs

Yoga - stretches, stretches, shoulder stands and more stretches
Great to have the company of CJ.

Thursday morning - 5.30am - Run
Session: Hill repeats
Calories burned: 542
Distance: 6.12km

I reluctantly rolled out of bed and ran out the door at 5.30am (it was absolutely freezing and I wore lots of layers) . Session as follows:

9 minute warm up run to a good hill which was just under 400m to the top.

Run slowly to the top of the hill twice, jogging back to the start
Run fast to the top of the hill twice, jogging back to the start
Sprint to the top of the hill twice jogging back to the start
Slow run to the top of the hill twice, jogging back to the start

Cool down back home for about 9 minutes.

This morning there was a full moon which helped light the way as I ran on the cycle track where lots of roadworks are currently taking place and there's a few obstacles on the way to the start of the hill.

After a shower I quickly drove into the city to meet CJ for brekkie (scrambled egg whites and toast and a skinny flat white) - a great way to start the working day.

Friday morning - 5.30am - Run
Session: Interval training
Calories burned: 362
Distance: 6km

I ran for 5 minutes then sprinted for 3 minutes, jogged at an easy pace for 1 1/2 minutes and repeated the sprint and easy jog six times before doing an easy jog home. It didn't take long to warm up with my brightly coloured vest over a long sleeved CR top, my headlight showing the way, a band to keep my ears warm and a cap to cover my light and head. Under all that headgear I wore my ipod and the music kept me going! I am currently almost asleep as I write this so need to go and pack for the morning.

Good luck to all those friends out there who are competing at the C2S on Sunday. It should be a fun day with lots of familiar faces. I will definitely wear my CR gear!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Census Day - Interval Training

I rose early to complete an interval session on my indoor windtrainer before meeting a couple of friends for breakfast at Red Belly Black.

5 mins warm up
27 mins intervals - 1 min easy/2 1/2 mins hard (repeated 6 times)
5 mins cool down
Total time: 37 minutes

And oh boy it was hard work! I rode the "hard" sections in a difficult gear and really pushed through it. Thank goodness for my ipod. It helps make that 2 1/2 mins go faster! Now we must fill in our census forms - on the net I think.

Monday, August 07, 2006

And so another week begins - And Spring is coming!

Before Work - Gym Session
10mins warm up on treadmill
Later Pullodwn - 3 x 12 (25kg)
Cable seated row - 3 x 12 (50kg)
DB Bench Press - 3 x 10 (20lb)
Pec Dec Fly - 3 x 12 (25kg)
Upright row - 3 x 12 (10lb)
DB Shoulder Press - 3 x 12 (10lb)
Stretches for all parts of body
Abs/Core - Back extension - 2 x 15; modified plank - 3 x 60secs;
bicycle crunches - 3 x 15; crunches - 2 x 15

After Work - speedygeoff's running at Parliament House
Distance: 8.46km
Calories burned: 529

Session: Two warm up laps of Parliament House then off to the grassy hill for another hill repeats session of 20 uphill sprints x 20 repeats on 90secs including the downhill jogs back to the start at the bottom of the hill. There was a large turnout tonight - could be something to do with the balmy weather today. There were lots of running friends there and it was fun catching up with them on the warm-up and cool-down but everyone was working hard on those grassy hills with very little breathing space between each repeat! The forecast overnight is for minus 6 degrees (!!) but tomorrow the temp is supposed to reach 17deg - positively spring-like. How lovely!

I think I'm finally shaking my cough. It was much better tonight after the running session - I could even breathe properly for once - woo hoo! And it was so nice today to meet Mr B for lunch.

I have now lost 5.7kg in weight and believe me I'm eating heaps - lots and lots of veges and salads and protein. It seems to be working!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My Man Has Returned to Moi!

Mr B managed to miss his flight on Friday and as a consequence flew in on Saturday instead. However he is now back safe and sound with lots of goodies to distribute and it's lovely to have him home again. This morning we even went for a run together and he has certainly not lost any fitness!

I haven't had a very good week with this lingering cough but time still seems to have disappeared rapidly leaving me behind with my blogging! I took Monday and Tuesday off work at the recommendation of the doctor and apart from doing a few weights at home I did very little in exercise for those two days.

On Wed I returned to the gym and worked on chest/back/shoulders but I did struggle with the weights as I didn't have much energy. I coughed so much during the day and my tummy reacted badly to the antibiotics and I ended up missing yoga which was frustrating.

Thursday - interval training
This was done on my windtrainer (bike) at home before work as follows:
5 min warm up followed by 27mins intervals - 1 1/2min easy, 3 mins hard (repeated 6 times)
5 mins cool down - total of 37 mins.

5.30pm - speedygeoff's training session - Dickson Oval
I arrived a little late and missed the first warm up loop. However I made it to the second warm up loop. In spite of coughing lots I really enjoyed the session. It was just good to be running again for the first time since Sunday.

We divided into groups of 3 or 4 again and ran 3 x 1200metre loops changing leaders each time speedygeoff blew his whistle. It was tough but fun and challenging. We finished with another cool down loop.

Total distance: 6.11km

Calories burned: 390

Friday - Gym - Working on legs/arms.
Warm up on treadmill for 6 mins
Leg press - 3 x 15 (55kg)
DB lunges - 1 x 15, 2 x 112 (20lb)
Seated leg curl - 3 x 12 (30lb)
DB standing calf raise - 2 x 15 (20lb)
DB Biceps Curl - 12 x 10lb, 10 x 15lb, 8 x 15lb
DB triceps kickback - I only did 1 x 12 of this as I think this is where I hurt my shoulder and it's been hurting ever since
Abs/core and stretches
Back extension 2 x 15
Bicycle crunches - 3 x 15
Crunches - 3 x 15

Sunday - Medium Distance Run
Mr B and I went for a run from home to and round Lake Ginninderra and home again. It was a stunningly sunny day with a clear blue sky and it was lovely to be running although Mr B definitely didn't let me slack off. Next weekend is, after all, the City to Surf in Sydney - not long now. It is so cool to have my man back home again!

Distance: 15km
Time taken: 1hr 24mins (84mins)
Average pace per km: 5:37
Calories burned: 866
Fastest km: 5:24

Later in the day we visited CJ and Mr CJ in their beautifully renovated home. It's just fantastic. Then later still we visited our little grand-daughter who has just turned 4. All our family came too and we had lots of fun. It was a lovely weekend. I wish it didn't have to end.