Monday, December 31, 2007


End-of-year Training Group Dinner - Dec 07

Yesterday afternoon I squeezed into my Speedos (ouch) and accompanied Mr B to the pool. Yes, I actually went for a swim. I can't remember the last time I swam laps. It felt comfortable and refreshing - the ideal occupation when the outside temperature is 34degrees! I managed to swim 1km and felt very proud of myself. Ok, so it took me 30mins but at least it's a start. We then showered quickly and rushed off to the movies to see "Two nights in Paris" - fun!

This morning I ran 12km - yes, slowly but surely I am increasing my distance. There were even some very slight undulations today. I try to run on the grassy verge beside the cycle path when there's grass or gravel available avoiding the concrete surface when possible. My average pace is only 6:28 per km and has been for a while but I'm more concerned about increasing my distance at the moment. The speed can come later when there's no pain, hopefully!

Anyway, we are just going to eat a light meal before rushing off to a friend's party and to see in the New Year. Fortunately our friends live within walking distance so there'll be no problem about who is driving! Happy New Year to you all and have a safe and fun evening if you are celebrating!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Breaking the Silence!

Firstly thank you for all your comments and good wishes. I do hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that 2008 will be a year full of fit, healthy injury-free training.

After several visits to the physio and three different diagnosis – the first a Grade II strain to the lateral head of the Biceps Femur(?) muscle, the second a torn hamstring and the latest problems with the sciatica; being prodded, manipulated and stretched on a machine (and I still can’t reach the top shelf in the supermarket!) I am now running very slowly and cautiously off-road and mainly on the flat. Today I ran 10km which has been my longest run since the injury in November. The 8-10 days off running turned into several weeks. I have been on a number of 20-30km cycles and was going to the gym regularly until the last few weeks which have been frantically busy at work.

However, now I just have to increase my distances and speed and am running every second day gently. It still hurts if I push too hard or run on hills so it is going to be a slow process. I am determined to run in the Canberra Marathon in April so I will do this!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Twang - ouch!

Molonglo Reach - 7.30am
Distance: 12.38km
Time taken: 1:19:27
Average pace per km: 6:25
Calories burned: 715

It was perfect conditions for a run this morning and there was a good turnout including Steve, Ewen and Barb. Barb had the best news ever - she's not returning to NZ to live after all but is staying here in Canberra. That's such fantastic news! I was really enjoying running and talking with Barb and Ewen with the others in the distance in front of us, when suddenly I felt a distinct "twang" and my hamstring sent a shooting pain through my left leg. I couldn't even walk let alone run and the others had to assist me hopping and limping to the road. It took ages but any pressure on my foot sent immediate pain through my leg again. Ewen ran at a fast pace (so much for his Hadd training) back to his car and drove back to collect us and drive us back to the start where my car was parked. I iced my leg frequently at home, went out to vote and shop, can now put weight on it and walk but it's aching and painful so disappointingly I think it would be safer not to run in the Vets' Handicap Run tomorrow. Instead I'll watch Mr B in his triathlon then join the Vets after their run for the Xmas celebrations as it's the last handicap run for the year. Damn, damn, damn - a physio appointment is obviously in order! But hey, on a positive note, it's moments like these that I realise how lucky I am to run with such wonderful friends!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

We should be glad it rained but .....................

Monday 19 November
6.15am – Gym – Fitball

4.30pm – Early warm-up - speedygeoff’s training – Parliament House
5.30pm – Main training session
Total distance: 13.8km
Calories burned: 820

I managed to run in the early warm-up session with Ewen and Geoff. We ran up and round the course and then down to the lake and for a gentle 6.5km run.

The main session consisted of the following (borrowed from speedygeoff’s blog)

Lower level - bitumen path - 4 x 40 secs on 2 minutes, alternating directions-2 minute break
Middle level - gravel path - 4 x 40 secs on 2 minutes, alternating directions -2 minute break Higher level - dirt (was grass) path - 4 x 40 seconds on 2 minutes, alternating directions.

It was a really hot night but fortunately we were not too far from water and the company was good. We finished with a warm-down lap of PH.

Tuesday 6.15am – Gym

I couldn’t run in the Cross Country tonight as I had to attend a work function but I wasn’t too sorry as the temperature soared to 33degrees today!

Wednesday 5pm – Run with Ewen
We decided to run gently and for a shorter distance tonight for two reasons, the main one being that we were both planning to run the 10,000m at the track tomorrow and the other being that I had a Vets’ sub-committee meeting to attend at 7.30pm. However, there was a very strong head wind on the way out and we chose to walk for a short distance after the 5km mark. It was decidedly pleasant just walking and talking too. During our outward run near the carillon we spotted a bright orange bunny. There were a number of bunnies but this one looked like it had been crossed with a marmalade kitten. It was so cute and distinctive. I was sorry I didn’t have my camera although it moved rather fast. We ran the return trip via Regatta Point so that we could spot some of my young workmates at the start of their Boot Camp session and give them an encouraging wave.

Total distance: 9.1km
Time taken: 55:28
Average pace per km: 6:05
Calories burned: 530

This afternoon it rained solidly and steadily. It took me twice as long as usual to drive home through very very deep puddles of water and avoiding crazy drivers. I prepared for our track event and listened for cancellations - none broadcast. The rain was coming down steadily but veteran runners are hardy creatures and I thought the race would still go ahead. Ewen travelled from the other side of town and at 6.45pm messaged me at home, where I was still debating as to whether to brave the elements, to say that the gates were locked and the track was cancelled. I assume there must have been some flooding as it had rained for several hours. No doubt the full story will be revealed. I felt sorry for Ewen especially as I know he was looking forward to the 10km run tonight. We had both organised our "speedy" lap counter. It is very rare for the track to be cancelled completely so I will be interested to hear what happened and who made the final decision. I had an unexpected "rest" day as I deliberately allowed myself an extra hour's sleep this morning so that I could be fresh for the run. And now the rain has stopped!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Struggling in Canberra's Heatwave!

I can't believe I just typed an entire week's blog and lost the lot! I have no idea what button I pressed but I just lost the lot - aaaaaaaaaaaaah! I thought Blogger was supposed to save drafts but only one word is there so i have to start again and now I'm cranky - grrrr!
Tuesday 13 November
Morning - 6.15am - gym
This was tough after a week's break.

After work 6pm - Cross Country Run
Location: Weston Park
Distance: 5km (plus 3km warm down)
Time taken: 27:13
Average pace per km: 5:36
Temperature: 30degrees
I found this tough in the hot temperature. The location was great, the company excellent but I struggled in the heat and was not pleased with my time which was more than a minute slower than last week.

Wednesday 14 November
Morning - 6.15am - Gym
Spin/Cycle class followed by 15mins abs

After work - 5.15pm - Run with Ewen
Distance: 16km
Time taken: 1:41:27
Average pace per km: 6:20
Calories burned: 895

We ran from work, down to the ferry terminal at the lake and past Molonglo covering the East Basin and back via Kingston. It was extremely hot to start and a struggle at first but the return journey was more pleasant. We saw lots and lots of bunny rabbits and noticed that our black swans had moved location from the carillon to further down the lake.

Thursday - Track
I had an extra 45mins sleep this morning as I met CJ and Mr B for brekkie - lovely. The 3000m event at the track was still run at a very hot time of day and my running suffered accordingly.
Time taken: 15:56
Average pace per km: 5:23

Later in the evening I ran the 6 lap spiral handicap event which I really enjoy. The temperature had dropped a bit and it was much more pleasant.
Distance: 2.5km
Time taken: 13:13
Average pace per km: 5:18

Saturday - Run - 7.30am
Location: Molonglo Reach and round base of Mt Ainslie etc
Distance: 16.7km
Time taken: 1:45:44
Average pace per km: 6:20
Calories burned: 962

There was quite a large group there this morning, my first run out there this season. It was a good time of day to run as the temperature increased during the day. Ewen was kind enough to run with me at the back of the pack. At first I found it difficult as I'm out of practice at running at that time of day. We walked a little on some of the hills but ran slowly on most of the course. Later we all shared morning tea and perused Liz and Cathy's photos from their amazing trek in Tasmania earlier in the year - inspirational stuff. It was a good morning. In the afternoon I had a hot stone massage (a gift voucher that needed to be used). It was an amazing experience - I loved it - a full hour which just flew by - beautiful.

Today, Sunday, I made a trip to the Runners' Shop and bought not one pair, but TWO pairs of running shoes - a racing pair for the track (hope it helps me run faster - I'll try anything) and a medium light pair for training - how exciting! Then later in the day I spent a decadent few hours over lunch and coffee with running friends in a very civilized manner in the middle of the sunny city. What stunning weather. Later still there was a thunder storm and it rained - perfect!

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Week, New Challenges, Seeking New Body after all that chocolate!

Back to it!
Monday 6.15am - Gym
Fitball - Abs, abs, abs

4.30pm - speedygeoff's training at Parliament House
Made it to the early start tonight where speedygeoff, Ewen and I ran round the course and a little more of a warm up before the official warm up. The actual session after the warm up lap of PH was 4 x 700m undulating/partly flat repeats alternating directions. It was very hot tonight and felt quite uncomfortable. However it was good to be running.
Total distance: 13km
Calories burned: 762

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Chocolate slows me doooown!!

Wednesday 7 November
Run after work
Ewen met me at the office and we ran around the East Basin of the lake via the ferry terminal and on past Molonglo Reach - no sign of our swans this afternoon. They must have sought shelter from the headwind which we battled on the way out. We still saw our bunnies running rapidly across the path on our way to Molonglo. I wouldn't have liked to be swimming in the lake today - definitely a tad undulating! (Can water be undulating??) The return journey was calmer but we had lost a little time by then - not a problem really as it gave us more time to catch up on the goss!
Distance: 16.35km
Time taken: 1hr 40mins
Average pace per km: 6:07
Calories burned: 970

It was just as well I burned a few calories on this run as I consumed a few more than I used over the next few days when I was in Hobart for a Training Awards Night. A few of us stayed on until yesterday afternoon and had a wonderful time on a boat cruise, visiting the chocolate factory, eating far too much chocolate and exploring the Salamanca Markets. Far too much food was consumed and absolutely no running took place!

Sunday - Slow Run
Yes indeed, Mr B accompanied me on a painfully slow run from home to North Lyneham Ridge and on over O'Connor Ridge up and down hills and trails - normally a lovely run but I suffered every step of the way. I felt exceptionally slow, everything hurt and the last few days of over-indulgence really showed - oh dear, back to the drawing board tomorrow and I must not look at all that chocolate which I somehow managed to bring back cos it was such a bargain!!
Distance: 10.14km
Calories burned: 560
And I won't even go there when it comes to the time taken!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

After the Weekend - Cross country series begins

Monday - speedygeoff's running group at Parliament House
As we didn't return from a fantastic weekend (in spite of generally inclement weather) at the South Coast until 4.45pm it was a bit of a rush to make it to training at 5.30pm - no hope of making it to the early start. We ran our usual warm-up laps and then ran five intervals (plus a trial lap of the course) of 670m on an undulating circuit including one nasty little hill. We started each interval every five minutes. Those hills were a bit painful. We finished with a warm down lap.
Distance: 8.4km
Calories burned: 500

Tuesday - Cross country - start of Spring series - 6pm
Location: Boat House, Menindee Drive
Distance: 5km (plus warm up and cool down giving total distance of 10km)
Time taken: 26mins
Average pace per km: 5:08
Calories burned: 300

Tonight was the first of the Spring series cross country runs. As it was a public holiday in Canberra for Melbourne Cup Day (ok, they're calling it Family and Community Day) I had a nice relaxing day (including a very nice lunch) and collected Rachelle on the way through from home. I had a little flutter on the cup and chose the winning horse - yay, a very exciting win, but I saved the champagne until after the run tonight!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Track session at the AIS

Tonight was my first track session this season and of course, being a Thursday night, it rained gently but steadily during the 5 lap spiral but it was pleasant and cooling and quite welcome really. I do enjoy the social side of track season. It's lovely to have an opportunity to catch up with lots of people in-between events. I even met another kiwi tonight - a brand new starter to the track.

Events entered
3000m (3km) handicapped according to age
Time taken: 15:29
Average pace per km: 5:07
Calories burned: 180

5 lap spiral
Total distance: 2km
Time taken: 10:30
Average pace per km: 5:07
Calories burned: 122
Handicap group: 30
Place: 19th

Hey, at least I'm consistent! As this is my first track session I hope to improve. My goal is to run 3km in under 15mins. However it won't happen before Christmas as I'm in Hobart next Thursday so will miss another track session dammit!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The best and the worst of nature!

The Empty Nest!
Another week has gone and life has once more interfered with my blogging. Last Thursday it rained and it rained and next morning when I arrived at work I was devastated to discover that the baby magpies had disappeared from their nest. There was no sign of them on the ground and no sign of mum or dad. Neither has been sighted since. The nest remains deserted!

Saturday 27 October - short run
Distance: 8.22km
Time taken: 49mins
Average pace per km: 6:02
Calories burned: 482

Sunday - Vets' Handicap Run
Location: O'Connor Ridge
Distance: 8km
Time taken: 47:25
Average pace per km: 5:50
Place: 33rd
Handicap Group: 23

Calories: 488

This run was on familiar territory and in spite of the fact that I had an extremely late night, due to daughter-in-law's 30th birthday dinner party followed by an early morning due to the commencement of daylight saving, I really enjoyed the run aside from the tiredness. The surface was rough and there were lots of hills but it was challenging and I kept thinking if I hadn't eaten so much the night before and if I had more sleep, I could have run a lot better. Never mind, it was fun being surrounded by running friends. Later in the day I had a lovely time at Barb's get-together in spite of getting very lost finding my way to her new temporary home!

Monday - speedygeoff's training at Parliament House
Because of work commitments I didn't manage to go to the early session. However, I did run with the main group at 5.30pm starting with our usual warm-up lap. It was a great turn out and a good chance to catch up with a number of people. After the warm-up the main session was four x 640m repeats from the road and through the rose garden then jogged back to the start. Marg, Jodie and I only managed to squeeze in 3 repeats before the rest completed their 4. We then did a warm down loop of PH. After our warm-up we completed a number of stretches - yes, we are doing proper stretching at training now - great stuff!

Distance: 8:34km
Calories: 530

After the training session I had to return home to clean up our deck. How fortuitous that daylight saving started the day before and I had enough light left for over an hour. A huge storm last night had whipped through our yard and our outdoor umbrella smashed through the glass topped table on the deck. I was left with one swinging enormous umbrella and shattered glass absolutely everywhere – shards of it on the deck chairs and shattered glass covering the deck. I climbed precariously up the step ladder to untie a million knots to release the umbrella off one hook and then it swung ominously close to my good ceramic pot so, wearing galoshes and leather gloves, I balanced myself pulling it out from the table frame (no glass top left at all) and then moved the ladder to release it from the other hook. Then the fun started – to try to fold up the umbrella. Oh dear, it went half way and stuck. I was almost in tears of frustration and ended up ringing Mr B (currently in NZ) who told me the ropes had to be loose and released so it would then fold. So I crawled under it in my running gear (must have looked an interesting sight if the neighbours saw me!!) and untwisted a very knotted rope from the inside top of the umbrella then after about 15mins it released and folded up on top of me!! So I pushed and shoved my way out from the umbrella and then rolled it up and dragged it into the garage where it now lies in state (but not nearly the same state as I was in at that moment)!! Then back to the garage for the outdoor broom, the kitchen shovel and lots of newspaper and bags. It took over an hour more to sweep up the glass and carry it through the house (cos I had shut the back door into the laundry and I had to go through the sliding doors and through the living area) holding a huge bag of several paper loads of glass and praying I didn’t drop the lot all over the carpet. I made it and for the next bag loads I made sure the back door was open!! I was utterly stuffed by the time I finished and it was now dark outside cos of course the outside light bulb had gone!! After all that I made myself some dinner and had a well-deserved shower!

Tuesday - Bodypump class at gym
I missed last week's session and found it really hard this morning especially as I decided to attempt to increase my weights. It was very painful!

Morning 6.15am - RPM - Cycle class
7am - 15mins killer-abs class
Our abs coach is being married in 6 weeks and is determined that we will all share her perfect abs. Consequently we worked extremely hard in that 15minutes! Her motto is "no pain, no gain" which may give some indication of how hard she works us!

After work - 5.15pm - Run with Ewen
Ewen met me at work and we ran down to the lake, over the bridge to the ferry terminal and on to Molonglo Reach doing a U-turn and returning to the start.
Distance: 14km
Time taken: 1hr 24mins
pace per km: 6mins
Calories burned: 830

It was another good run. I started off feeling very slow with my knees hurting after yesterday's gym session. I also had two pit stops which was annoying. However, the return journey was much better and we picked up the pace. At the carillon we stopped for a moment on the bridge and watched fluffy little goslings with their mum and dad - very cute. One of the highlights of our run, for me, was the tin mounted on a telegraph pole containing bags for 'doggie do' clean-ups. I have never seen these before and think they're a wonderful invention for assisting to keep our environment clean and fresh.

Tomorrow morning I'm meeting CJ for brekkie and I'm so looking forward, not only to catching up, but to that extra 45mins sleep in the morning!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Where do I start?

I have just realised I haven't blogged for a week. How on earth did that happen?? The last week has been a bit disjointed and didn't exactly go according to plan.

Friday 19 Oct - Run
Distance: 6km
Time taken: 35mins
Average pace per km: 5:50
Calories burned: 355
I just ran round the local block at 5.45am before work instead of going to the gym as I missed my run yesterday.

Sunday - Run
Distance: 14.3km
Time taken: 1hr 34mins
Average pace per km: 6:39
Calories burned: 818

Mr B and I went for a very hilly trail run around North Lyneham Ridge and O'Connor Ridge. It was hot, dusty and hilly but it felt very good especially after an excess of food yesterday as we had a bbq to celebrate youngest daughter's forthcoming birthday.Unfortunately I probably won't be able to go to attend the first track session at the AIS tomorrow as we'll be having a family dinner for same daughter's actual birthday.

Monday - gym - Fitball - abs
A very late night attending the presentation dinner of the Graduate Cooks' Awards - six courses of absolutely divine food with the appropriate wine to match each course! Needless to say I did not rise early for a gym session on Tuesday morning!

Wednesday (today) 6.15am - Gym - RPM/Cycle class
Tough, aerobic and a great session.

After work today - Run
I met Ewen and we spent the first 600m walking until my garmin found a satellite. Then we ran a similar run to last week. Again we saw tiny baby bunnies but only sighted 6 baby ducklings presumably to a different family from the 10 we saw last week. It had cooled down and there was plenty of cloud cover. In fact apart from a head wind in parts it was ideal conditions for a gentle longish run.
Distance: 16.62km
Time taken: 1hr 43mins
Average pace per km: 6:12
Calories burned: 990
It was a little slower than last week (perhaps we talked too much or perhaps it was the wind) but it was still a pleasant run. This time next week it should be much lighter at that time of day with daylight saving coming into effect. Thanks Ewen for yet another lovely run.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A 'Feel-Good' Run in the Bush Capital!

Morning 6.15am - Gym
RPM Cycle class
45 minute tough cycle class followed by a 15mins abs class with the original coach who has been on hols for a few weeks. Boy, is she enthusiastic and tough but every part of our abs was worked upon and it was such a good session. She's one tough lady!

5.15pm - Run
Distance: 16.3km
Time taken: 1hr40mins
Average pace per km: 6:09
Calories burned: 970
I met Ewen near my office and we went for a run to the lake and round the East Basin loop. Wow, what a run! It makes one really appreciate living in the bush capital. Running that part of the lake is almost like running in the country, it's quiet, it's off road, has a country smell and about the only person we met was running in the opposite direction. That person was none other than Emma Carney and Ewen assures me we were running faster than her! However, the best part of our run was yet to come. We saw pelicans, swans, ducks and then two very proud ducks taking their family of at least 12 tiny fluffy ducklings for a fast waddle. It was so beautiful. Then to top it all as we ran further on past Molonglo two rabbits crossed our path quite close to us and a little further on we saw three tiny baby bunnies running for cover. It was so exciting - what a fabulous run. We talked, ran gently, the company was great and altogether it was one of those feel-good runs which is what is what running is all about really!

Monday, October 15, 2007

We have Babies!!

Yes, the magpie mummy in the tree outside my office window has produced two babies. Two of her four eggs hatched over the weekend and there was big excitement this morning with the staff crowding in to have a peep at the babies through some little binoculars. Now these babies are not exactly beautiful, in fact they look like tiny skinned rats with a bit of white hair sticking out. One is pink and one is grey. However, I am confident they will develop into beautiful teenagers. The other two eggs are unhatched - not sure if they will still hatch or whether mummy will give up on them. In the meantime she has been feeding her babies today with daddy's help and it's quite a nature lesson to watch them - a slight distraction from the normal work load!

Morning exercise - 6.15am - Gym
Fitball - lots of nasty abs

Afternoon - 4.30pm - Run - Parliament House
Distance: 16.3km
Calories: 960

I managed to leave work early again which was great as it was a lovely sunny day today and it meant I could run with Ewen and Helen who also turned up early. We ran nearly 8km in the warm up run down through Kingston. It was very thirsty weather and I felt quite dry. At 5.30pm we met up with the others and ran the warm-up 1.7km loop of PH before the main set where we divided into relay teams of two. I ran with Ewen as my partner and we ran the usual diagonal laps across the grass and back up the hill to tag the other person. Those uphills felt hard especially as we really tried to race the person closest to us. After the winners finished ten repeats of this the whistle blew and we ran a cool down loop of PH. Then Ewen and I ran the loop again to make the distance over 16km in total.
Tonight I am very tired!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

On Ya Bike!

Yes today for the first time in months and months (probably over a year) Mr B pumped up my bike tyres and I took my bike out for an airing. We just rode to the lake, had a drink, then cycled home again. The outward trip was tough as there was a nasty wind and I felt a bit insecure. I had to become used to using gears again avoiding pitfalls and glass on the way but on the return journey I began to relax and speed up and felt good that I had actually made a start. The first cycle is always the worst and out there in the real world feels quite different from cycling in the safety of a gym!
Distance: 17.5km
Max speed: 37kph
Average speed: 19kph (caution prevailed)
This afternoon Mr B and I met up with Rachelle, Kelley and CJ at KokoBlack for a yummy feast of Belgian chocolate to die for. Ewen opted to watch the motorcycle racing instead - never mind Ewen, we'll do it again, I feel confident of that! In the meantime I'll just have to run more to use up those calories!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Trails rule!

Friday - Gym
RPM - Cycle class
This morning I forgot to take my trousers to the gym so considering a shirt and jacket would not be a good look on their own I detoured home after my RPM class to shower and dress there instead consequently missing out on breakfast - grrrr!

Saturday - Trail Run
Mr B and I ran from home to North Lyneham ridge where we ran a loop and a half of the hilly route there before running on and crossing the road to O'Connor Ridge where we ran the trails there - lots of steep hills and a bit of uneven surface with loose stones and rocks but gee, I enjoy trail running. It's so much more pleasant than running on hard concrete. However, it's also much slower struggling up those hills! There were a few interesting signs on the way, one warning us about swooping magpies so for a few kms we ran carrying sticks above our heads looking a bit like Olympic Torch bearers - nah, we didn't look a bit like that really but it did make me giggle thinking of the comparison!
Distance: 15.34km
Time taken: 1:36
Average pace per km: 6:15
Calories burned: 880

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gym, Gym, Run, Run ....... How original!

Tuesday - 6.15am - Gym

Wednesday - 6.15am - Gym
RPM (spin/cycle) followed by 15mins killer abs

6.15pm - Run
Just a short run round the block to finish the day.
Distance: 6km
Time taken: 34:50
Average pace per km: 5:50
Calories burned: 360

Thursday - 5.30pm - Run
Training at Dickson oval
Distance: 6.8km

Only 8 people turned up for training tonight, probably due to the threatening black clouds. During the warm-up it started to rain (what a beautiful smell) and it was a fairly good downpour which only lasted for the duration of the first warm-up lap - just enough time to become drenched! Then the rainbow appeared and the sun shone briefly through the clouds. We continued training without any more rainfall. After another warm-up short lap our main set consisted of:

5 x 400m laps on 6mins
Thus we had quite a long rest between each 400m and ran one less than last week.

Lap 1: 1:57
Lap 2: 1:51
Lap 3: 1:49
Lap 4: 1:51
Lap 5: 1:48

At least I was faster than last week but that could have something to do with the fact that we ran from the opposite side of the track which meant we finished on a slight downhill rather than a slight uphill. I also had the motivation of racing against Jodie who is a similar pace to me and I wanted to race her against the finish line!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Slightly Off Training!

Monday 6.15am - Gym
Fitball - This is another name for abs exercises using an exercise ball. It's painful and intensive but presumably it works! I found it so hard to make the early start this morning and felt tired all day at work, probably due to a very full-on weekend!

Early and Late Training - 4.30pm
I arrived at training at 4.30pm which enabled me to run a 7km warm-up with Ewen. It was great to hear all about his Melbourne half and Norma's marathon. They both did really well.

It was pleasant weather with some warmth still in the sun but unfortunately I felt a bit blah and had to stop a couple of times at nicely-placed toilets! In fact I was unsure if I would manage the main training session but I was really pleased to be able to complete the whole session, albeit with slow caution! We ran a warm-up loop of PH then our main set was 10-12 repeats of about 200m zigzag runs across the grass in front of PH. We divided into teams of two and ran it as a relay. I didn't push myself too hard as I still felt a bit dodgy but it was fun and I'm glad I lasted the distance. I even managed the cool-down loop to finish off. There was a great group there tonight. Rae was there for the first time for ages and Caroline was there too. In fact I think there were about 20 tonight and after the session a few of us stayed to drink a glass of champagne in honour of Ken's birthday yesterday.
Total distance (by Ewen's garmin as mine had a flat battery): 14km

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Memorable Weekend with the Whales!

Friday - 6.15am - Gym
RPM -cycle/spin

I left work early, although a meeting delayed me longer than planned, to enable us to drive through to Merimbula in the South Coast while it was still daylight. There we stayed a couple of nights with two other couples (including CJ) on a whale watching package tour.

We had a wonderful time on Saturday, saw lots of amazing whales but oh boy, it was a rough boat trip in extremely windy, stormy conditions out there on the ocean. However, it was a fantastic experience and we had a ball. The whales put on a real show for us. It was great. The package included a very nice meal in an Italian restaurant where we exchanged travel stories over a few glasses of vino!

Sunday - Run

Mr B and I managed to squeeze in a run before breakfast. We ran down to the Boardwalk and along to the end through bush and then round the Merimbula inlet. It was a pleasant early morning run.
Distance: 9km
Time taken: 53:10
Average pace per km: 5:54
Calories burned: 530

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I Don't Like 400metres!

This I have now decided after tonight's session! After our usual long loop and short loop of the oval our main set was 6 repeats of 400m on the uneven and rough surface of Dickson Oval track on 5minutes which gave us a long rest inbetween each set to jog lightly. Then to we ran a warm-down loop of the oval. Those 400m repeats were very tough in the nasty wind after a hard day in the office!

My times were slow but I was still stuffed!
lap 1: 2mins
lap 2: 2mins
lap 3: 1:56
lap 4: 1:56
lap 5: 1:55
lap 6: 1:56

At least I was consistent - consistently slow!
Total distance: 7.6km

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Spin, spin, spin!

Stationary bike climbing up, up, up then intervals and fast spin, spin, spin! Yes, that was part of our session in the RPM cycle class at the gym at 6.15am. After the 45mins of "dripping" exercise on the bike I went to the 15mins abs class in the next room for more pain including a reverse plank which is an absolute killer.

I worked late to finish an important project so couldn't fit in a run after work today and tomorrow morning I'm meeting CJ early for brekkie so no gym - yay! No doubt however I will be going to training after work at the oval so will have to work extra hard!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Continuing the good start to the week!

Tuesday 6.15am - Gym
Bodypump (including abs)

Tuesday 5.45pm - Run
Yay, I collected my repaired tyre after work and as the shop officially closed at 5pm I left work early. However, the lovely gentleman there obliged by changing my tyre for me ever so quickly with his super duper mechanical wheel brace and a jack that was just like a foot pump only bigger. How easy it looks with the right equipment! What's more I didn't even need a new tyre. They could mend the puncture even though I could see daylight through it where the glass had embedded - amazing - I was impressed! Anyway to cut a long story short I made it home while the sun was still out and could squeeze in a run.

I ran from home and past Giralang to the 4km turnaround point near the tunnel heading for Gungahlin and then returned home the same way. I don't particularly like cycle tracks but for some reason I was running quicker than usual probably because nature was telling me I needed to get back home quickly!

Distance: 7.9km (not sure why I was short-changed here - must have cut corners)
Time taken: 44.2mins
Average pace per km: 5:37
Calories burned: 455

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Windy Labour Day in Canberra

Actually, it's been a windy weekend altogether - sunshine but nasty cold wind. We took the grandchildren to Floriade ( the annual spring flower festival in Canberra) today for a picnic and fun in the animal petting area and the children's parks. Out of the wind the sun was warm but I wouldn't have liked to be battling the wind in the Sri Chinmoy 10km race earlier. Instead of competing in that I chose to join Ewen at 4.30pm (or just after) and run an extra 7.3km before Ken took speedygeoff's training group for our session at Parliament House. Only five of us turned up tonight, probably due in part to the race in the morning and in part to the public holiday. We ran our warm up loop round PH and headed for the rose gardens where we ran 12 x 350m loops with 40secs fast and 80secs round to the start. Then we ran a warm down loop back to the carpark.

Total distance (including warm up before training): 15.3km
Calories burned: 950

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Trail running requires food!

Mr B and I didn't leave home until after 9.30am this morning battling a bitter head wind. We ran to the AIS where we found some trails leading us out to O'Connor Ridge. There we found lots of undulations. We ran several loops of varying degrees of difficulty before heading back to North Lyneham ridge where we ran more hills (slowly) before heading home. Once back on the cycle track the wind hit us in full force again but at least we had some shelter up in the hills.

Distance: 17.25km
Time taken: 1hr 51mins
Average pace per km: 6:29 (it was tough)

Having worked up a considerable appetite and thirst on those dusty, windy (in both meanings of the word) hills I was looking forward to a wonderful lunch with CJ, Kelley, Rochelle & Ewen at Tosolini's in the city. Great company, excellent food (including tiramisu to die for), lovely wine, good coffee and three leisurely hours of fun and conversation - excellent way to spend an overcast windy afternoon when most others were tucked indoors watching the grand final on telly. I think our alternative was much better.

I offered to drive Rochelle home and we had gone only a short distance from the carpark when we realised that one tyre was definitely very flat. Between us we managed to jump up and down on the tyre lever to loosen the wheel nuts and set up the jack resulting in us both having very black hands, just as a runner and his lady friend came by and stopped to help us. He turned out to be a motor mechanic specialising in VWs (which I drive) and he efficiently finished the job for us. Just goes to show that runners are very versatile people - how lucky was that!

Today was definitely a good day!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Inverted Pyramids!

Tonight's session at Dickson oval we ran a long warm-up loop followed by a short loop then the main set was a pyramid session made up as follows:

2 mins fast, 2 mins slow
1:40mins fast, 1:40mins slow
1:20mins fast, 1:20mins slow
1min fast, 1 min slow
40secs fast, 40secs slow
20secs fast, 20secs slow
40secs fast, 40secs slow
1min fast, 1 min slow
1:20mins fast, 1:20min slow
1:40 fast, 1:40 slow
2mins fast, 2mins slow

Finishing with a cool down loop of the oval.
Total distance: 8.75km
Calories burned: 520

It was a lovely sunny day earlier but by 5.30pm there was a bitter wind blowing as we ran and it took a while to warm up.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Birds' Eye View!

Tuesday 6.15am - Gym

Wednesday 6.15am - Gym
RPM - Cycle class 45minutes
Abs Class - 15minutes
Great big ouch!

Outside my office window a magnificent feat of engineering has taken place. A magpie and her mate have built the most intricately designed nest for their babies. I have been watching with awe as the nest has developed from a few plastic spoons and straws to a deep wire netting based work of art firmly entwined in a tall tree. Last weekend the eggs were laid and now Lady Maggie spends a lot of hours sitting on her eggs in her cosy nest while her mate protects her from the nasty currawongs and brings her food. From my window I can ensure no nasties visit in her absence and on occasion have been known to hammer on the window to frighten those currawongs away. Each morning I greet Mrs Maggie and the office staff visit my office at regular intervals to check on any progress. I read that magpie eggs take about three weeks to hatch and the chicks spend about four weeks in the nest after birth. It is so exciting having such a view from my window and keeps us all entertained during working hours!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Starting the Week Right!

Morning 6.15am - Gym
Fitball - lots and lots of abs work - a necessary evil!

After work - 4.30pm - speedygeoff's running at Parliament House
Two weeks in a row I have made it to the early warm-up with Ewen and Geoff. It's great to run that extra 8km before the training session. It's sociable but still a good pace for slow me to try to keep up. We also run away from PH and out past Kingston making it scenic and interesting. Then back to PH for a warm-up loop with the rest of the group before the main set. Tonight this was tough. It was 20 x 100m uphill sprints on the grassy bank jogging back downhill to start each hill on 90secs. It was so hard and then we ran a slow warm down lap back to the carpark.

Total distance: 16.06km
Calories burned: 945

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Mr B Wins Gold!!

This morning we had a very early start. Mr B entered the duathlon championship event which started at 8am which meant we needed to be there by 7.15am to give him a chance to set up his bike and be organised in plenty of time. In order to see the competitors start I followed in my car at the same time. There was a good crowd and about 200 entrants, 50% of which were interstate competitors.

Having seen them safely take off I drove just a bit further down the road to where the Vets' Monthly Handicap Race was held at Deek's Forest. This course used to be surrounded by bush and trees before the 2003 bush fires. Now it is completely exposed. However, the surface is still great and it was a perfect day for the run. It would be dreadfully hot in summer with no shade but today it was lovely - sunshine but a little bit cool because it was still only 9.25am by the time my group (with only me in it) was called. I wasn't eligible for points today as I have missed a few monthly runs this year being on holiday and out of Canberra too often! The first half of the run was great but the second half was definitely tough with nearly 4km of gradual incline to the end. I did enjoy it however and it was lovely to catch up with everyone even if it was briefly as I had to rush off after I finished so that I could catch Mr B in transition from the bike to the final run.

Distance: 8km (undulating) Time taken: 44:22 Average pace per km: 5:31 Place: 42nd (from Group 23) Calories burned: 480

The end of the duathlon was very exciting with Caroline, Bob, Robyn and Mr B all winning their respective age groups for the ACT. Dave won a bronze medal for his age group overall but won a gold medal for the ACT. Now this may well mean that he will qualify for the World Duathlon Championships in Italy next September and of course he WILL need spectators!!
Mr B - proud finisher

Winning the Gold!

Caroline and Mr B - gold medalists!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Too Many Commitments interfere with my Running!

Tuesday morning - Gym

Tuesday evening - Vets' sub-committee meeting

Wednesday morning - Gym
RPM - cycle class

Wednesday evening - work late

Thursday morning - short run before meeting CJ for brekkie - Kaleen block plus detours
Distance: 6.28km
Time taken: 38mins
Average pace per km: 6:03
Calories burned: 375

Thursday evening - work function

Saturday morning - Run
Distance: 12.6km
Time taken: 75mins
Average pace per km: 5:58
Calories burned: 740

Mr B had a gentle ride on his bike leading me on my run from home past Giralang, McKellar and on to Evatt shops before turning and returning on the cycle track to Kaleen. It was a really stunning day in Canberra today - sunshine and no wind. Hope it's another beauty tomorrow for Mr B to take part in the duathlon championships (10km run, 40km cycle, 5km run) and for me to take part in the Veterans Monthly Handicap near to his race start in Stromlo. Looks like a very early start in the morning as I will watch the start of his 10km run before heading off to my 8km run. Then I hope to return to the duathlon course to see the finish.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Recovery Run!!!

Monday morning: Gym - Fitball Class
This class concentrates on the abs by doing strange and uncomfortable exercises on the fitball. I find it quite challenging and am hoping so see some results one day!

Afternoon - speedygeoff's running training at Parliament House
This afternoon I left work early and managed to meet up with Ewen and speedygeoff at 4.30pm for their early warm-up session before the proper training session started. It was great as my legs needed a good stretch and we fitted in 8km before the session running from PH, down to the lake and past Kingston and back to PH with a few undulations to make it interesting. The company was good and I enjoyed it. I needed to fit in the extra kms to make up for the fact that I won't be running tomorrow as I have a meeting in the evening and gym in the morning.

The others joined us at 5.30pm and we then ran a warm-up loop of PH before heading for the oval where we started our main set. For this we were divided into relay teams of two and one person ran a longer loop of approx 800m out and round the undulating tracks as fast as possible while the other person ran a short loop of about 300m slowly meeting at the start to change positions. This was repeated four times before the cool-down lap of PH.

Total distance: 16km (including the warm up session at the start)

Calories burned: 950

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The batteries ran out!! more ways than one! The music on my ipod died in the second song during the Canberra Times Fun Run today so I tucked the cord into my top and listened to everyone's heavy breathing (including my own) instead. It was a great day for the 10km run with a slight breeze and fantastic conditions reaching 19deg. Later it clouded over and became quite cool but the run started at 9.45am and was great.

Ok, so my time was a bit slow (maybe it was the lack of music!!) but I really enjoyed myself. There were so many people out there I knew and so many familiar faces at the end, who come out of the woodwork to herald the Spring and enjoy the atmosphere. In fact the majority of my family turned up, the girls walking the babies and dog, our son running the 5km and Mr B running the 10km. Barb, Marg and I ran as "Three Slow Geese" and later we sat with friends and enjoyed a picnic, coffee and companionship. It was a pleasant way to spend the morning and some amazing times were achieved. This year, for the first time, we all wore timing chips on our shoes so accurate times will be recorded which will be interesting to see.

Today was also the first day of Floriade, Canberra's Spring festival of flowers and there were crowds of people out to see them. I have just checked last year's results and I ran this same run three minutes faster then - oops! I need some work but I know I can do this - just a few kilos to lose and a bit more training. I also noted from last year that the temperature was 23deg. Wow, that's two years in a row that the weather has been lovely for the CTFR - must be a good omen. Tomorrow's forecast, however, is for 12degrees - ouch!!

Today's stats:

Distance: 10km
Time taken: 54:30 (TBC)

Average pace per km: 5:27

Calories burned: 590

Spring has sprung (see below)!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two Posts in a Row - It must be Spring!

Tonight was speedygeoff's training at Dickson Oval. It was a gorgeous sunny spring day in Canberra and the evening was still very balmy and pleasant - ideal conditions for training. We ran a large loop of the oval and surrounds followed by a shorter version before running the main set of 6 x 400m with 400m recovery runs between each faster 400m. Then it was another chatty cool-down run. There was a great turn-out this evening. The new people from last week returned - that's always a positive and it was great to see so many people out there, the majority wearing shorts what's more!
Distance: 9.3km
Calories burned: 550

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mid-week already!

Monday morning - Gym - 6.15am
I tried a new class this morning - a Fitball Class. It was 45mins of abs work and stretches etc using a fitball. It was a good class as I never do enough abs exercises and they definitely need work!

Monday evening - 5.30pm - Running - speedygeoff's Parliament House training
This evening Ken took the class in speedygeoff's absence. We ran a warm-up loop of PH and then ran intervals of 40secs fast and a gentle run back to the start on 2mins. This was repeated 12 times and we finished with a cool-down loop of PH.
Total distance: 7.3km
Calories burned: 480

Tuesday morning - 6.15am - Gym
This morning I attended a Bodypump class - hard work, sore muscles but it must be doing me good!
In the evening I was on babysitting duties so no chance to run.

Wednesday morning - 6.15am - Gym
RPM - Cycling class. Our instructor used a new tape today and it was pretty tough but I always feel as though it's doing me good - a great aerobic workout.

Wednesday evening - 6pm - Run
I ran a short run from home round the block - great conditions.
Time taken: 35:09
Distance: 5.95km
Average pace per km: 5:54

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Week's Update

Wednesday - Gym - 6.15am
RPM - Hard cycle class

- speedygeoff's running - Dickson Oval
A long loop warm-up followed by a short loop
Main set - divided into relay teams of two and ran up to 12 x 330m sprints with 110m recovery jogs. Our team of two managed 10 repeats by the time the fastest team finished their 12. We followed this with another cool-down loop of the oval. There were a number of new people tonight which made it interesting.
Total distance: 8km

- Gym - 6.15am
RPM - Another cycle session - twice in one week - surely this must be doing some good. It's killing me!

Saturday - Long Run
This morning I ran at the civilized hour of 9.30am. It was a dull drizzly morning and as I set off the ground was still wet from the early morning rain. It didn't start really falling again until about the 12km point but I was warm by then and it didn't worry me unduly nor did it last the whole way home. In fact I really enjoyed my run this morning. The music was good and I felt at peace with the world after a stressful week at work. It was just so good to block my mind to other issues and focus only on the music and the run.
Distance: 20km
Time taken: 1hr 59mins 52secs
Average pace per km: 6mins
Calories burned: 1185
And yes, I finally managed to run 6min kms again. It's taken a long time to return to that pace for the longer distances. Here's hoping I can improve again. For now I am happy with that!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monday training
At speedygeoff's training at Parliament House tonight we ran a couple of warm-up laps before the main set which was run on the grassy slope in front of PH. We divided into teams of two and ran 260m zig zag diagonals across the grass. Marg and I ran 10 sets but the fastest pair ran 12 sets. This was followed by another cool-down loop of PH.
Total distance: 8km exactly

Tuesday gym - 6.15am
This morning I did a tough Bodypump class to help me face the auditors who were in our office today!
My Race Number for the CTFR has arrived along with the racing chip - seems far too serious to me! Marg, Barb and I are running as "Three Slow Geese" - slow being the operative word!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Springtime in Canberra

Today was the first day of Spring and it was a gorgeous morning for running. Mr B was practising for his duathlon so he ran 10km, cycled 40km and ran another 5km whereas I just ran - slowly!

Distance: 16.2km
Time taken: 1hr 41mins
Average pace per km: 6:17

My legs felt like lumps of lead and my throat burned but I did want to run on such a beautiful day so I ran down to the lake then on past Giralang and on to the turn-off at Palmerston before turning round and heading back to Kaleen. It was a pleasant run but I had to stop a few times as my legs felt heavy and my body tired. Damn, damn, damn, I so need to pick up my pace. Bring on the healthy bugs.

Happy Fathers' Day tomorrow to all those dads out there. I hope the sun shines for you.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Challenges

Tuesday - Bodypump - 6.15am
This morning I rose early to go to a Bodypump class at the gym and oh boy I found it so hard after such a long break. It was a new program and ouch, ouch, ouch, everything hurt!

Wednesday - RPM - 6.15am
Another early morning, this time for an RPM cycle class and if yesterday was difficult today was massive. I worked so hard and for the entire day my legs hurt!

Thursday - Run - speedygeoff's training session at Dickson Oval - 5.30pm
It was a stunning day in Canberra today and a very mild evening. We ran two warm-up loops and then divided into teams of three for a relay session of 8 x 200m round the oval passing the baton to each team member as we reached them or vice versa. After this we used the same teams and batons and ran 8 x 100m straight changing batons for each runner. And after all that we ran another cool-down loop. It was a tough session but enjoyable although I was struggling with a sore throat. I found it really challenging as my team consisted of two fast men and slow me. I also raced against Marg who was in an opposing team running in the same spot as me so of course that meant we both had to try harder. However I really did enjoy the challenge and it was great to see that Allrounder has joined our Thursday group!
Total distance: 6.5km

Monday, August 27, 2007

Trying to return to a normal routine!

Thursday 16 August - Run 5.45am - Distance 6km
I couldn't go to training today as I had an ACT Awards night to attend. However I did run early in the morning instead, a gentle 6km around the local block.

Sunday 19 August - Run in Noosa
Distance: 10.09km
Time taken: 63mins
Calories burned: 535
Average pace per km: 6:19
After a long weekend in Noosa and the rest of the week in Melbourne I am now back in sunny Canberra trying to return to a normal routine. Noosa was wet and became much wetter after I left on Tuesday while Melbourne was pleasantly sunny. Mr B ran the Noosa Half on Sunday 19th but was disappointed in his result although for me it would have been a good time, so it's all relative! Dressed in our CR gear CJ and I found some trails to run on before running down to the race to cheer on the runners and run part of the course on the edge of the road. At the start we met up with some of the CR cheer squad, Cirque and Vege Girl and a few others. It was great to put faces to CR names. We also met up with ILikeToast and had a great meal with him and a few others from his training group the night before the run and a relaxing coffee after the run as the rain started to fall.

Tuesday 21 August
This was our only other opportunity to run in Noosa as the sun came out in the morning and it was gorgeous for a brief amount of time, so lovely that Mr B went for a swim while CJ and I found some hills to run in the Nature Park after running from our apartment down to the beach.In the afternoon I left CJ and Mr B to the Noosa storms and headed back to Canberra before flying to Melbourne.

Distance: 10.18km
Time taken: 64mins
Calories burned: 588
Average pace per km: 6:19

Wednesday 22 August

Back in Canberra briefly I managed a short run before flying off to Melbourne for yet another Awards ceremony.

Distance: 10.16km
Time taken: 62:17
Average pace per km: 6:08
Calories burned: 602

Saturday 25 August
Back in Canberra knowing I was incapable of running the half tomorrow I decided to try a longer run this morning - still painfully slowly.
Distance: 16.67km
Time taken: 1hr 45:15
Average pace per km: 6:19
Calories burned: 987

Monday 27 August
The extra kilos from all these social events lately do little to help my running pace. Today I started my diet with the aim of losing 4 kilos. Then I might find it easier to run at a reasonable pace!!
Tonight I went to speedygeoff's training session at Parliament House. After our warm-up loops we ran some undulating loop repeats (approx 500m) winding through the tracks - (six times) incorporating 4 push-ups, 6 push-ups then 8 push-ups in the middle. Then a warm down loop incorporating a run right up the grassy verge to the fence surrounding PH at the top where we stopped to admire the stunning view of the city lights below and the bright full moon shining above on a balmy Canberra evening almost akin to Spring weather.
Total distance: 7.3km
Calories burned: 425

Tomorrow morning it's back to the gym!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Weekend Shenanigans!

Friday: Gym
I just missed the last bike in the RPM session this morning so I did my own thing instead. I spent 15mins on the treadmill (boring cos I didn't take my ipod as I thought I was doing a class), 10mins on the bike then shoulder press, chest press and lots of abs and stretches.

Saturday - Run
It was a dreadfully windy day and a real battle for the first half of the run. I started off with Mr B but he lost me by the end of our street! I ran from home, round Lake G then back towards Gungahlin before turning and running home. The last half of the run was much more pleasant as the wind had calmed down and it wasn't such a struggle.

Distance: 17.28km Time taken: 1hr 47:05 Average pace per km: 6:12 Calories burned: 1019

Monday - speedygeoff's training at Parliament House
Tonight after our 2km warm up loop we ran on the grassy loop in front of PH. Our session was as follows: 30secs sprint, 40secs sprint, 50secs sprint, 60secs sprint with the same amount of time running a recovery run inbetween. We repeated this three times then ran a cool down loop of PH.
Total distance: 9km exactly! Calories burned: 530

My calorie intake is still greater than I'm burning. This weekend was my son's 30th birthday (eeek) and party time. The theme of his party was the letter "P" (P being the first letter of his name) thus Mr B went as the Pope and I went as Pocahontas. It was loads of fun. After the party it was babysitting duties and a family dinner next night. Last weekend our grand-daughter turned 5 and tomorrow is our 36th wedding anniversary - another celebratory dinner coming up! How am I supposed to lose these extra kilos with all these celebrations going on!!

A Pink Elephant for Talia's 5th birthday Family dressing up as "P" - Pocahontas, Pope,
Pupil, Policewoman, Pacman, Prisoner, Pussycat

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"Strewth! This is good for you!"

Thus spake the speedy chief as he watched me struggle to run the 8 x 300m sprint relays in our training session tonight. Oh I felt such a slow goose as I plodded as fast as these little legs could carry me. We ran a couple of warm-up loops of Dickson Oval then divided into relay teams of three with batons. Marg and I were put with poor Colin who is probably the fastest of the speedy geese. I say 'poor' because he was lumbered with the slowest goose ever!! However I just kept on running and managed the session without stopping.

After the 2km warm-up it was 8 x 300m, pass the baton to the next team member, then jog back 200m to wait for the baton - not enough rest for some of us! The session was followed by one long loop for a cool-down.

Total distance: 8km
Calories burned: 490

Wednesday - 5.45am - Run
With gloves, ear warmers, arm warmers, long sleeves and leggings I struggled out the door and ran the Kaleen block of 6km slowly but surely enjoying my music on the run! I'm not getting any faster!

Distance: 5.9km
Time taken: 36:47
Average pace per km: 6:14!
Calories burned: 350

Tuesday - Return to the Gym
This morning I returned to the gym for a Bodypump session - oh boy, it was hard. I used really light weights. Having a 7 week break is like starting all over again. But I'm sure it's good for me!!

Speedy pelicans preening themselves in Mykonos!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Couple of Runs to Keep Me Going!

CJ and Mr B running in Italy

Distance: 14.88km
Time taken: 1hr 31mins
Calories: 872
Average pace per km: 6:08

Mr B and I ran from home, round Lake G and back home except that Mr B ran an extra 5km in training for Noosa. It was actually enjoyable. I was finding it a bit difficult towards the end but at least I'm gradually running further.

Monday - speedygeoff's running training at Parliament House
Distance: 8km

We ran a 1.9km warm-up of PH and our main set consisted of up to 12 x 300m diagonal laps across the grass in front of PH. We ran it like a relay with our partner running the opposite diagonal when we met on the corners. It made for an interesting speed session. We next ran another 1.9km cool-down lap. It was great to catch up with all the PH group again after a 7 week break. Now I just have to improve!

Today Mr B bought himself a new bike with a view to training for duathlons and perhaps qualifying for the duathlon championships in Italy next year ...........!! Hmmmmmm!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Enjoying Running Again and The Black Knight's Family

The Black Knight and his lovely Daniela with Sir Giorgio and Anneliese at the lovely Italian restaurant in the hills.

T-shirt presentations for CJ and Strewth


Yesterday morning I actually rolled out of bed at 5.30am and went for a short block run in the freezing cold complete with ear warmers, leggings, long sleeved top and gloves. I only managed a short run as my tummy was complaining but it was a start albeit an extremely slow one!
Total distance: 5km

Distance: 8.5km
Location: Lake Burley Griffin (no sunsets Ewen)

Mr B ran from home and met me after work when we ran to the lake and round the two bridges and back to the office. Apart from one loo stop I managed the whole run comfortably and felt great. Yay, at last a good run. Now I feel better. Mr B ran 16.5km and obviously has had no ill effects after our trip. Must be cos he doesn't have to go back to work!

Note I am not recording my times until they improve more. Currently they are over 6min km and I'm not happy with that! But I will just keep on running and hope for improvement. The extra 3 kilos I put on overseas probably doesn't help!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Let Me Share My Perfect Day With You!

We are home, back to a welcoming family and a very comfortable bed and are pleasantly surprised that Canberra has turned on the sunshine even if it's not exactly what one could call "hot" right now! We arrived home on Thursday evening and unfortunately I have been suffering from complete lack of sleep, an extreme case of jet lag and a nasty little bug. However today I returned to work and am finally starting to actually feel human again.

Tuesday 17 July
Mykonos, although touristy, still has considerable charm. The town is full of little cobbled alleyways and people everywhere studying maps and looking totally lost as every little alleyway looks remarkably alike. We had great views from our delightful little hotel - all blue and white - perched on a hill about ten minutes from town. It had one of those 'infinity' swimming pools where the water looks like it's flowing over the edge into the ocean far below.

This was the day we took a boat to the island of Delos and toured the 'ruined' village. In fact the whole island is an ancient site totally uninhabited apart from a few guards. The museum there has held excavations since 1873.

We spent another wonderful afternoon swimming at Paradiso Beach and from about 7pm the partying started. The DJ, dressed in nothing but a g-string, led heaps of very gorgeous briefly clad young people of both sexes in dancing to loud and exciting music while we drank cocktails (or 'coctails' as they spelt them there -' two for one' after 5pm) and 'enjoyed' the scenery.

Later in the evening we dined in a lovely restaurant and had a great conversation with a Melbourne couple sitting at a table next to us resulting in a rather late night. Incidentally we never did find out what time the shops closed - most were still open well after midnight which was time for we old folk to head for bed!

18 - 19 July
Our boat trip to Santorini on another Australian built catamaran took only three hours this time. Our hotel in Karterados, just out of the town of Fira, had less character than in Mykonos but we were comfortable. In Santorini, because of Greek plumbing, one is not allowed to put paper down the toilet, instead bins are provided. The trick is remembering! This called for some interesting signage in places and one loo in a public bar read "No paper or rugs or any other useless material to be put down toilet"! The mind boggles!

Fira town was a 15 minute walk from our hotel and from here we took a bus to Kamari Beach where we enjoyed great swims in gentle waves. Although the beaches in Santorini were not as sandy as in Mykonos (in fact they were positively rocky in parts) the gentle waves and refreshing water were heaven. We found a great bar in Fira serving beautiful cocktails as we watched a magnificent sunset over the water. We also enjoyed fabulous traditional Greek food.

Santorini's official name is Thira but the locals refer to it as Santorini after Saint Irini. When we arrived at the port our initial impression was of a very barren volcanic island but as the bus drove us up the narrow steep winding road (reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast road) towards Fira we were met with stunning views of the bright blue water and the changing landscape as civilisation approached. Santorini is nestled among volcanic rocks and the houses and shops are not all white, like Mykonos, rather there are a lot of shades of pinks and sandstones as well as the predominant white and blue. It is positively gorgeous.

Friday 20 July
Today we took a full-day excursion on a fishing vessel from Fira to see the active volcano, the thermal pools, Thirassia and Oia. This was a great day. First we visited the volcano which last erupted in 1950. We walked and walked through lava and rocks and enjoyed stunning views of the blue water below. There was lots of molten rock, lava, black, red, grey and large stones. It was quite magnificent.

Our next stop was the thermal pools. Here we were able to jump off the side of the boat into clear deep water and swim about 30metres to the brown muddy warm thermal pool. As we swam to the far end of the mineral pool it seemed a shame to miss so many great photo opportunities. Up on the hills were a couple of old-fashioned wooden loos, a surprising sight, way out there. It would have been great to have taken photos of the heaps of people (me included) covering themselves in the dark brown mud which is full of minerals and very therapeutic for the skin - it also has a strong smell! We swam back to the boat in the clear water to be taken to our next destination - Thirassia - more walking here (or a donkey ride) for those who chose to visit the village. We opted for the walk and enjoyed the uphill challenge. The town was virtually deserted - nothing was open - no shops, no restaurants, no people - quite deserted except for lazy cats and the occasional sound of Greek music wafting through open windows. It was a good walk with lovely views and we next headed back down to the beach for a fabulous swim.

Our last stop was Oia (pronounced "ee-a") where we were recommended the ideal spot for watching the sunset. Oia is a very scenic and tranquil village with some houses built into the near-vertical cliff face. The views are stunning with blue-domed Byzantine churches, views of the volcano lagoon and crater with white-washed houses. We enjoyed a cocktail at a restaurant overlooking the water and as the sun became lower over the water we walked to the castle to watch the most magnificent sunset ever. My camera has been working overtime trying to capture the perfect sunset. The castle walls were an ideal sunset-watching spot but several hundred others obviously thought so too. A tour load of boisterous fellow Aussies were enjoying lavish helpings of Greek salads and cold meats and copious amounts of alcohol while waiting for the big moment! Everybody burst into spontaneous applause as the sun eventually disappeared in a red glow. We then hurried to catch the bus to return us to Karterados after an exhausting but fabulous day. We were too tired to walk back up the hill to town and instead we thoroughly enjoyed a Greek version of wood-fired pizza and local wine in the nearby pizzeria.

Saturday 21 July - The Perfect Day!
I thought nothing could top yesterday but today had to be the one that did and it didn't even involve shopping!

We took your advice, Lulu, and decided to walk to Oia from Karterados - a total of 13km. The problem was finding a walking trail. We kept being directed to the bus stop. Walking to Oia? No way! However through perseverance we found a track which headed in the general direction.

It was a stunning day and the views the entire way were mind-boggling. In fact there are just not enough adjectives to describe the beauty of this place. At times we actually walked on red volcanic rock (I think we lost the main path at this stage) and it was quite slippery and required some caution. It took us a few hours to finally reach Oia as we kept 'stopping to stare' at the awe-inspiring cliff faces and blue water with tiny boats in the distance and little villages perched on hilltops far away. We stopped for a spot of lunch and asked again for directions - again we were shown where to catch the bus. No, we wished to walk. "No, very far, too far to walk". At that stage we were well over half way. Eventually we were vaguely directed to a path. Obviously walkers are not a common sight as when we walked the last few km, now beside the road, we became aware of people staring out of bus windows and from the back of motorcycles. We saw only one other couple on foot on our entire journey and they were sitting contemplating their guide book at the time, having come from the opposite direction.

When we finally reached Oia we felt fantastic. That walk was absolutely stunning the entire way. Thank you for the suggestion Lulu - I agree with your analysis! And yes, we consumed copious amounts of water.

After a walk through Oia we caught a couple of buses to Parissa Beach for a much-deserved heavenly swim. There we were still swimming at 7.30pm at night, absolute bliss under the slowly setting sun. We threw our clothes over our swimmers, caught a bus back to Fira and walked to the top of the hill just in time to watch our final Santorini sunset - perfect!

We walked back to the hotel, showered, changed and walked slowly back up to town to find an absolutely gorgeous restaurant overlooking the water. The service, atmosphere, food and a bottle of Santorini wine were absolutely fantastic. We decided to splash out for our last night here and I could not fault this restaurant - sheer good luck in finding it. Somehow it was the icing on the cake on what had turned out to be an absolutely perfect day!

Homeward Bound!
Santorini will be etched in my memory forever. It is somewhere to which I would like to return one day and perhaps stay in an apartment perched on the hill with constant stunning views at a cost of thousands per week - soooo romantic!! Every day here has been beautiful, sunny days with a very slight breeze but the time has gone so quickly. It certainly felt like paradise - the views and sunsets breathtakingly beautiful.

Sunday 22nd we set sail back to Athens after a wonderful ten days in the Greek Islands. It was a four hour trip on the fast ferry, twice the pace of the ferry from Athens to Mykonos and far more comfortable. We spent a night in Athens, then on to Rome for a night and home via Hong Kong - one final day for shopping but by then we were starting to feel tired and irritable and were longing for the comfort of our own bed. Sleeping in aeroplanes is no fun and in my case impossible.

Our return luggage weight was impressive compared to our last trip two years ago when we were refused 80kg and had to leave some behind - this time only 47kg of checked luggage between us - no problems through customs although there were a few heart-stopping moments declaring certain wooden items!

And so now we are home. Yesterday I attempted to run the block in the afternoon knowing I would never make Mt Taylor in the morning (especially after crawling out of bed at 1.30pm) - an abysmally slow 6km and I felt dreadful. Until last night I slept and unpacked and slept the entire weekend. Last night the family came over for an Italian meal then I slept only one hour the entire night (not related to my cooking I hope). My time clock is definitely way out - here's to a good night tonight - to sleep, perchance to dream - of sunsets, stunning views and paradise!