Friday, March 30, 2007

From Windy Queensland to Cold Canberra!

Training Interruptus!!
I've just spent a lovely few days at a wedding in Brisbane then on to the Gold Coast for a few days relaxation. The weather was warm but very windy and certainly not conducive to swimming in the ocean. Even Mr B struggled to swim against the very strong current. It has been a week of overeating, socialising and not a lot of running! Yesterday I had to fly to Sydney for a meeting so squeezed in a short run before my flight. Tomorrow the plan is to run at the Cotter which should be an interesting experience for me!

Thursday 29 March
Distance: 10.09km
Time taken: 1hour
Average pace: 6:01
Calories burned: 585

Slow run, sore hamstring and tired body - not good at all, but I guess I at least made the distance before heading off to catch yet another plane.

Monday 26 March - Gold Coast
Distance: 35.4km
Time taken: 3hours 42mins
Calories burned: 2046
Average pace per km: 6:22
Fastest km: 5:26

This was a very boring run. Fortunately Mr B kept me company for the first 20km and my ipod shuffle kept me company the rest of the way. It was really a run along the boulevard by the beach for 5km in one direction with a tail wind then turning and running back against a very strong head wind. It was so difficult fighting the wind and sometimes it felt as if I was hardly moving. Yes, it was tough and seemingly endless and at the end the relief was immense. My legs ached and I pulled off my shoes and struggled into the ocean. However I could barely stand up against the strong current and had to keep Gandalf and my ipod from getting wet. The water wasn't cold enough, not like our Canberra lake water, to ease the aches and I was happy to find a cold beach shower to wash off the sand and ease the muscles a bit more. I felt glad I had managed the distance but oh boy, in spite of myself, I think I prefer hills!!

April looks like being a series of short weeks for me. I can cope with this! This week I had one day in the office, next weekend is Easter so that's two short weeks, the following Sunday is the marathon (how scary) and traditionally I always take the following Monday off work to recover, then the following week is broken with Anzac Day. What a month! May will be a full month but in mid-June we are off to Italy so that's another six weeks out of the office. Then in September I plan a week in Perth as Mr B will be spending a couple of weeks there at a squash tournament and I will join him for a week afterwards. I think I'm in training for retirement!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Final Cross Country and a Medium Run!

Cross Country Race - Acton Ferry Terminal - 6pm
I decided to run to the start from work and join in the final Cross Country Race for the season, then run back to work to collect my car before rushing home for a shower and heading off for a Vets' sub-committee meeting - bit of a rush and did arrive half an hour late but all was forgiven! The conditions were surprisingly humid and I discovered it was a mistake to wear the Cross Country singlet. It's not as light as the Cool Running singlet. However it was only 5km so not too bad. My Gandalf told me I actually ran 5.21km but the official distance was 5km so I will go by the official time according to the results.

Distance: 5km (Gandalf distance: 5:21)
Time taken: 26:07
Average pace per km: 5:13 (Gandalf pace: 5:01 - doesn't that sound so much better!)

Total distance including warm-up and cool down - 7km

Wednesday - Medium Run - 5am
An early start this morning as I woke just before the alarm at 4.25am. I waited that extra five minutes before rolling out of bed and ran out the door at 5am with ipod shuffle, headlamp and flashing armband attached. After leaving the main road I ran down to the lake where it was pitch black. I was so glad I was wearing my headlamp but it really wasn't sufficient to see much and I still ran with extreme caution. It was so very dark. The intention was to run 20km but I felt quite uncomfortable in the dark and I also had stomach cramps so opted to run only the 15km distance instead and headed for home the shorter way. Bit wussy I know but I seriously prefer at least a little bit of light. It also meant I ran quite slowly as I didn't want to trip over. I think my headlamp must need a new battery (or maybe I do)!

Distance: 15.07km
Time taken: 1hr 33mins 59secs
Average pace per km: 6:14 (oh dear me)
Calories burned: 891

Monday, March 19, 2007

And It Rained and It Rained and It Rained!

Total distance: 13.2km!
Yes, it was a public holiday in Canberra and the heavens opened! However, training was still held and Mr B came with me to the early start at 4.30pm as he didn't have squash tonight. Due to the rain we ran round and round the underground carpark which still has undulations on each side. However, running round the carpark ad infinitum can be pretty boring even though once we started the main session speedygeoff made it more interesting by incorporating alternating fast laps with slow laps. Altogether I ran 35 laps x 377m including the warm-up.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Long Run, Lovely Lunch and Party Time!

Saturday 17 March - St Patrick's Day!
Overnight there was lots of rain and the ground was quite wet as just six of us set off from Molonglo for a run round the base of Mt Ainslie. About half way round the loop it started to rain again, just a lovely refreshing light rain to cool off the humidity in the air. The run was pleasant, chatty and taken at a comfortable pace. In fact, it was so comfortable that I sprinted back to Molonglo just before Steve and Ewen (who were recovering from the Six Foot) - absolutely unheard of in the normal course of things. Back at Molonglo I attached my little ipod shuffle, had a loo break and then set off on the next leg of my run. Just after I passed the boathouse Mr B cycled out to meet me and cycled beside me for the rest of my run. It was great to have both music and company and it made me try that little bit harder.

Distance: 34km
Time taken: 3hrs 29mins 52secs
Average pace per km: 6:10
Calories burned: 1995

Back at Molonglo I went for a beautiful paddle in the lake water to ease the aching muscles. Then it was home for a quick shower before going to meet CJ, Ewen, Lulu and Mr Lulu for lunch at Tosolini's. It was fantastic to catch up with Lulu and meet Mr Lulu. They are such a lovely couple. Two and a half hours later we reluctantly parted company (nothing like a long lunch with great company after a long run to make one feel totally relaxed) and I rushed home to make a rice salad to take to Griffin's 50th birthday party that evening. It was a great night in a beautiful home with loads of fantastic running friends, an excellent band, amazing food and new people to meet. In fact altogether it was a really good day!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Not a Drop of Alcohol passed these lips!

I decided to go for a 12km run after work. However, the best laid plans .......! I ran out the door, down the street, turned to adjust the volume on my ipod shuffle and WHAM I ran straight into a pole - owee! Who needs a car to run into poles - I can do it just as well on my feet! I was momentarily stunned but fortunately it was my shoulder that hit the pole and not my head - (although it may have knocked some sense into me)! I ran on but the momentum was gone. I ran to Lyneham then turned and ran back and investigated a short distance of the new road going towards Gungahlin. I felt decidedly blah and extremely hungry. My hamstring was really worrying me so I opted out and ran home only managing to struggle through 6km - half the distance planned!

Distance: 6.04km
Time taken: 36:45
Average pace per km: 6:05 (slooooow and painful)
Calories burned: 340

Yesterday I decided to give my leg a rest which means my distance is not what it should be this week. However, after work today I decided not to go to track but instead attempt a longer run again and see if I could last the distance. I ran from home and down to and round Lake Ginnnderra and back home via Giralang, by which time the sun had gone to bed. Although the hamstring was painful for the first few kms I found it improved gradually with distance and I started picking up speed in the second half of the run.

Distance: 16.76km
Time taken: 1hour 37mins 37secs
Average pace per km: 5:49
Calories burned: 980

Tomorrow I have another brekkie and a rest day (another one of those too) before my long run on Saturday followed by brekkie with Lulu and CJ.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Training continues

This morning I went for a half hour relaxing spa before work. I didn't want to emerge from the pool. It was divine but I did discover that my hamstring was very tight and stiff. At lunchtime Mr B and I met with CJ and heard about her amazing day and adventures at Six Foot and she showed us some great photos. She looks so good and seems to be recovering really well.

After work it was back to speedygeoff's training session but a number of us chose to take it quite gently as we had competed yesterday.

Distance: 9km
Session: 1.8km warm-up
5 x 370m undulating loops (x 2) (first loop fast - in my case "not very")
with laps of the oval in-between (no stopping)

I think this session made me realise that my hamstrings are definitely tight and sore and I may not run in the Cross Country race tomorrow. I'll see how the legs feel in the morning. A gentle longer run may be the way to go. I do need the distance.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weston Creek Half Marathon

Yesterday morning (Saturday) Mr B and I ran a short run just to make sure the legs were working properly for today.
Distance: 4.06km
Time taken: 23:48
Average pace: 5:52

And today, Sunday, we both ran in the Weston Creek Half Marathon. The conditions were perfect, not a breath of wind, cool and crisp early although later it turned into a hot sunny beautiful day. There were lots of familiar faces out there including Liza who came to Canberra from the coast especially for the run and ran a great time too. Mr B and I ran a very short warm up and then lined up at the start. I guess today was one of those runs when everything felt right - the weather, the company and for the first time ever I ran a race with my ipod. I wore a little shuffle which just clipped on to my shorts and it was fantastic. The only problem I had was that the ear phones kept popping out of my ears so I'll have to explore that further but I really think the music helps. I had the stitch SIX times but managed to block out the discomfort with the music and it really did help me run through it. I was very happy with my time. It was just 17secs off my PB for this course in 2003!

Distance: 21.1km
Time taken: 1hr 53mins 17secs (damn those 17seconds!!)
Average pace per km: 5:24
Calories burned: 1281

The exciting part was that I won the gold medal for my age group - woo hoo, amazing! And Maria won W50 and Helen won W45 so there were quite a few of us from speedygeoff's training group. Another three from his group won the team race and speedygeoff ran in under 90 minutes so was pretty happy. I caught up with Tuggeranong Don, Liza, Flaskduck, Peter, Aki, Barb, Marg and heaps of others. It was a great morning. Then in the afternoon we babysat the grandchildren so there was no rest for the wicked!

Congratulations to the awe inspiring CJ on a fantastic result in the six foot and congratulations also to Jen, Ewen and all those other amazing runners out there who had fantastic runs. You are all awesome! Wowee - it must have been such an amazing day.

Friday, March 09, 2007

We Lost the Net!! Good luck to all Six Footers!!

Now this has been a difficult week as I haven't been able to blog or even check out what has been happening in Blogland as our internet has been down. The Transact man came and replaced our "black box" yesterday and now we are back in action. It's been terrible not reading up on everyone's news, especially during the last week before Six Foot. Best of luck to everyone out there running tomorrow. It will be such an amazing experience and I'm so looking forward to reading all about it.

Now I have to go right back to Sunday to update this week.

Sunday - 8.20am - Run
After a nice little sleep-in I decided to go for a pleasant run from home.

Distance: 10km
Time taken: 56:46
Average pace per km: 5:40
Calories burned: 584

Monday - speedygeoff's Parliament House training - 5.30pm
Total distance: 8km
Calories burned: 400

I was running five minutes late and missed the start of the warm-up so ran in the opposite direction to meet up with the group on their return of the start of the warm-up lap. We then ran down to the start of our main set which was a follows:

8 intervals of 45 seconds, starting each on 2 minutes. We reversed direction each time, so as to ensure everyone did the full recovery. Each time we ran the 45secs my aim was to run a little further. speedygeooff blew his whistle at the 45secs mark so we knew when to jog back to the start to wait for the whistle again before running our next interval.

To finish we ran a few stride-outs on the grassy 200m oval. Then we jogged back to the start for our cool down.

Tuesday - Cross Country Run - 6pm
Location: The Boat House
Distance: 5km
Time taken: 27:01
Average pace per km: 5:24

It was a much better ran than the last time I ran a Cross Country but there was a head wind to struggle against on the second half return lap of the run. It was enjoyable though because there were heaps of friends out there and lots of people to talk to afterwards - very social and pleasant.

Wednesday - Middle Distance Run - 5.30am
Distance: 16.77km
Time taken: 1hr 36mins
Average pace per km: 5:44
Calories burned: 989

This morning I had a new playlist on my little shuffle (thanks to speedygeoff) and I really enjoyed my morning run. Although it was quite dark for most of the time, as the lights round the lake did not appear to be working, I watched my footing and was surprised at the number of people out walking with friends or dogs or both. I enjoyed listening to the music and it was a perfect temperature - a great time of day. However, I will have to hunt out my headlamp for running at these times as it really is quite dark quite late in the mornings now.

In the evening, after Italian lessons, I drove to Belluci's to meet up with Lucky Legs, Ewen, Flashduck and Flashdrake, Aki, speedygeoff and Tuggeranong Don, just in time for dessert and coffee. This time I chose tiramisu. Talk about heaven! I hadn't eaten and was really hungry and this hardly touched the sides. It was absolutely yummo! It was a lovely evening and such fun to catch up with everyone. LL looked fantastic. It always boggles my mind how absolutely amazing she looks and how much younger than her actual years.

Thursday - Track
The ultimate aim of going to track was to cheer on LL when she ran the mile event in an attempt to break the record. However I managed to arrive just in time to compete in the 3000m event at 6pm. It was extremely hot at that time of day, although it had rained heavily during the course of the afternoon. The sun had come out an hour earlier and the temperature had shot up and it was really really hot. I struggled in the heat and with the time of day which is not my favourite time for running. I felt heavy and slow and I did not beat my PB but I did beat Marg - just!
Event: 3000m
Time taken: 15:06 (TBC)

At 7pm LL entered the mile event. Unfortunately she had an off-day and although she looked great out there and we cheered her on loudly she didn't manage to beat her record. However we were all very proud of her for making the attempt and there will be other races and other opportunities to break records. The important thing is for her to keep enjoying her running. She is such an inspiration to so many people. I hope I look that good and can run like her in twenty years!

At 8.15pm the weather had cooled considerably. In fact we had jackets and long pants to take off in order to enter the 5 lap spiral. Now the spiral handicap is my favourite event so Marg and I decided to give it a go. I'm so glad I went in it as I ran so much better in this event than in the earlier 3000m.

Distance: 3.02km
Time taken: 14:43
Place: 16th
Handicap: 30
Average pace per km: 4:52 (so much better)!
Calories burned: 176

I felt good and all the run I felt someone just behind me which made me determined not to let him pass me so I kept pushing myself. I was so happy with the result and felt much more comfortable during this run. It must have been because the temperature had dropped and also because Aki was leading a group of school children from Gippsland in a very loud cheer squad from the sides. It was really fun!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A Most Enjoyable Saturday Run!

Run - 5.45am
Distance: 6km
Time taken: 36mins
Average pace per km: 6mins
Calories burned: 336

Disastrous run this morning. I was out of action yesterday as I had to attend day surgery but decided I was ok to run first thing this morning - on hindsight probably a mistake! I felt sluggish and definitely not 100%. I couldn't manage more than the Kaleen block from home and even that felt difficult. Tomorrow will be better!

Saturday - Today's Run - 7am
Distance: 20.4km
Time: 2hours 5mins (forgot to stop Gandalf when we stopped to wait for each other)
Average pace per km: Approx 6:10
Fastest km: 5:17
Calories burned: 1292

Today was perfect early in the morning for a lovely run off road. We met at Molonglo at 7am and ran to Mt Ainslie and round the loop in an anti-clockwise direction. The surface was wonderful because it had rained. It wasn't dusty at all for a change and although for the start of the run the weather was very misty which made it impossible to wear "misted" up sunnies after about half an hour the mist cleared and it was beautiful. There were lots of kangaroos and great company. I ran with CJ who was doing her last long run before 6' and we chatted and took it gently. I thoroughly enjoyed the run, hills and all and felt quite comfortable. Back at the start Mike ran with me for an extra 4km to make it up to 20.4km. I will probably have to run again in the morning to make up the kms but today I wanted to spend time enjoying the picnic afterwards with all the 6footers before their event next weekend. It was one of those runs where you just feel great afterwards and it was most enjoyable to sit and talk and share lovely fruit and goodies afterwards.
Later I met up with CJ and Liza for lunch in town then partook in some serious retail shopping with CJ - aaaaaaaah - beautiful red boots, gorgeous blue shoes, dress for a wedding - aaaaaaaaaaaaah (definitely a successful day)!!