Monday, April 30, 2007

Parliament House Monday

Early this morning I returned to the gym spending 15mins on the treadmill (boring) before doing some weights and abs exercises. I found it difficult as I have definitely been slack about my gym sessions lately!
After work I just made it to training to join the back of the pack for the two 1.7km warm-up loops of Parliament House before heading for the sloping grass in front of PH. There speedygeoff blew the whistle every two minutes. The main set was two minutes fast, two minutes jog six times. Murphy's Law was that I kept landing on the upwards hill for the sprint - ouch! It was quite a long tough session but good and it was followed by another warm-down loop of PH.

Total distance: 10.12km
Calories burned: 635

Disappointedly our plans for surprising Ewen with some birthday celebrations were thwarted when he disappeared before our warm-down loop. He started early and consequently finished early. I think the real reason he left early was to dash home to watch BB which started at 7pm. Then again maybe he suspected something! We'll catch you Ewen. You can't escape that easily!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Running between the raindrops!

This morning I rolled over at 6am, listened to the steady fall of rain, stuck my pillow over my head and went back to sleep! Yes, I wussed out on going to the Cotter and snuggled down in bed instead. It was sooooo good to sleep in and then to lie there listening to the rain. I ate a banana at 8am and at 11.30am Mr B and I started off on our run.

We ran down to Lake Ginninderra more or less together then took off in opposite directions running round the lake. The light rain soon stopped and it was pleasantly cool but not cold. I wore a long sleeved running top but took it off and wrapped it round my waist over the last 6km. I tried to keep up a reasonable pace but had to be a bit cautious running on the slippery Autumn leaves as I wanted to avoid "doing a CJ". The colours of the trees by the lake were stunning. It really is a very beautiful time of year in Canberra and the grass is already turning a wonderful green after 20ml of gentle rain overnight. As I ran up the little hill heading past Giralang I was very pleasantly surprised when Marg appeared beside me and we ran together for a few km before I turned towards the home stretch. She had run to Page to visit her parents and was now running back to her home (a 20km round trip). She too is running the Half in a couple of weeks. It was a good run but I have been feeling tired, hungry and thirsty for the rest of the day.

Distance: 20.17km
Time taken: 1:57:26
Average pace per km: 5:49 (not quite fast enough but better than the last run)
Calories burned: 1167
Fastest km: 5:19

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Half a Century Ewen!

And so today Ewen turns 50 - hope you're enjoying your day Ewen - very pleased to read you had a rest from running! I've been thinking of you and hope you make the most of the top of the hill! Cheers!!

Yesterday, Anzac Day, Mr B and I met up with Jill at Lake BG and ran the 16km loop relatively slowly but it was very pleasant company and the Autumn colours were just stunning. However, I really noticed those hills.

Distance: 16km
Time taken: 1:35
Average pace per km: 5:56
Calories burned: 962

I have now entered the Canberra Half Marathon and as it loops around the lake like yesterday's run I'm a tad worried as I did struggle on those hills yesterday. My left hamstring is not liking this much. This afternoon after work I managed to go to speedygeoff's training at Dickson oval. I was about 5 mins late and the group were already well into their warm-up loop so I joined them in the finishing stages and ran the second warm-up loop.

The main set was 3 x 1km laps made up as follows:
200m strides
100m float
400m fast
200m strides
100m fast

or something like that!

Inbetween each set we had a 600m float. After this we ran another warm down loop of the oval.
Total distance - 7.6km (for me, as I missed most of the first warm-up loop)
Calories burned: 462

Monday, April 23, 2007

Return to Parliament House

This evening I was on babysitting duties from 6.30pm so I decided to leave work early and go to speedygeoff's training group at 4.30pm instead of the usual 5.30pm start. Geoff and Ewen joined me and we ran about 6km down to the lake and back round the loops of Parliament House. It was lovely having such good company. The rest of the group arrived at about 5.30pm when we continued our run with a couple of warm-up loops in and out and roundabout Parliament House. It felt great. I had to leave before the main set began but I was happy to have run 10km and not to miss out completely. I did enjoy the company and the conversation!

Distance: 10km
Calories burned: 600
Time taken: 59mins

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Bit of a Challenge

Marathon Photo courtesy of John Kennedy

Distance: 15km

Time taken: 1:28:45

Average pace per km: 5:55

Calories burned: 905

Today I ran my first run since the marathon. For the past three days I have been in Melbourne at a conference so missed Thursday at the oval with speedygeoff's group. I had intended that to be my first run. However this morning I made a lazy start at 9.15am and took off with Mr B. I'll rephrase that. Mr B took off and I trudged behind him with my little ipod shuffle trying to keep me moving. It was a stunning Autumn day - beautifully sunny with no wind but not too hot. However I was doing it tough. I ran in my new Brooks Adrenaline off-road shoes for the first time and it took about 7km before I suddenly realised they were light and comfortable. Initially I kept tripping over my right foot and they did take a bit of getting used to.

It was a slow run and I'm glad I opted not to run the Cotter this morning. I would have really struggled. However, next week I'll be back there giving it another go. There's only four weeks until the Canberra Half Marathon. After that I will focus on Italy!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Canberra Marathon - A Day of Mixed Emotions!

Time: 4hours 7mins 10secs! :(
Average pace per km: 5:50

5km: 27:02
10km: 54:01
15km: 1:21:50
20km: 1:51
25km: 2:19:20
30km: 2:48:11
35km: 3:20:09
40km: 3:52:08
42.2km: 4:07:10

Well, it's over for another year. I gave it my best shot but something just wasn't right on the day. The atmosphere was great, the support amazing and the CR cheer squad and friends helped tremendously with their enthusiasm and loud cheers of encouragement. It was a warmer than average day with little wind and blue skies. The balloon festival was in full swing and balloons of all shapes and sizes were colourfully floating in the sky. It was really quite a lovely Canberra day.

I kept the 4hour pacing balloon in my sights sometimes even running ahead of the pacer but at the 30km mark I started to lose my pace. Checking my splits after the marathon I see that I was well on target for a sub 4hour prior to 31km but at that stage I lost the pace and slowed considerably finishing slowly and painfully at 4hours 7mins and 10secs. Disappointed? Yes, I definitely am but on the positive side I have now completed 7 Canberra Marathons in a row and only have 3 more to become a Griffin and that after all is my ultimate goal! And I finished it, so next year will be better. My training was erratic - January was disastrous and I had not been 100% for some time so I guess it all adds up to a less-than-perfect run on the day. However, I am happy that I finished, that I met and became re-acquainted with so many wonderful people from the running community, both locally and interstate.

After I ran through the finishing chute I felt less than ordinary. My children and grandchildren were there to meet me as of course was Mr B who had been cycling out there and popping up in all sorts of places on the way. I also saw Ewen and Aki popping up all over the place. They were running in between spots and it was great seeing them and hearing them. Steve was there too with his arms waving and his enthusiastic and encouraging smile. Katy from Queensland was that wonderful colourful character dressed in amazing gear holding up intriguing signs and keeping us all amused. She was such fun and made us laugh which is so important at times like that.

As I struggled to maintain my equilibrium I was led to the steps to sit down and after that I don't remember a lot except I know there were a lot of people helping me. I know speedygeoff lent me his bag for my head and Roy, Emma, Alice and numerous others were helping me. I was carried away to the First Aid Tent on a stretcher and there I was gradually aided to recovery. I don't know quite what happened to me, I know on the way I drank at every drink station yet still felt dehydrated. I had difficulty breathing at the finish and had pins and needles in my feet and hands. When I tried to stand I cramped severely but finally I was able to walk out of the tent with my children and recovered quickly after that. I have so many people to thank for their concern and care - the first aid people, the medical student and doctor in the tent and most importantly all those people who assisted me then and sent me messages and rang me all through yesterday and today. I was overwhelmed by so much kindness and feel quite humbled that there are so many caring people out there.

Big congratulations to those who achieved their goals and PBs, to the first time marathoners and to all those runners who just went out there and did it. Well done! speedygeoff's geese - Maria, Charlie, Griffin, Roger, Emma, CJ and of course speedygeoff himself are legends! Tesso, Liza, iliketoast, Mr Lulu and so many more inspirational runners setting so many PBs - wow!

In the afternoon CJ and I went to the Rydges after party where we met up with lots of the CR community from interstate. It was great to get to know Katy and Mark. They are such lovely and interesting people. We also caught up with Tesso and Jen and of course Ewen and Aki were there too. It was fun. We left in time to quickly go home, collect Mr B and go to Belluci's for dinner with Aki, Ewen, Joseph (from Q'land) and CJ - another great meal with great company although the service was abysmal!

Today I took a recovery day off from work - heaven! In the morning I soaked in a herbal bath and at lunchtime I met up with CJ, Lulu and Mr Lulu (who ran 3hrs 3mins in the marathon) for a two hour lunch at Tossolini's. It has been a lovely marathon weekend.

Oh and one more thing. I left before the medal presentation yesterday and after I left my name was called out as winning the silver medal for my age group in the masters' athletics! Ewen collected it for me and brought it to dinner last night - unreal, considering my slow time!! I believe the gold medal winner in my age group ran the marathon in 3hrs 30mins - quite a time difference!

And way over there in Boston Tuggeranong Don is about to run the marathon of his dreams in freezing wintry conditions possibly in the snow. Don, we are thinking of you in your gloves and beanie and hope so much that you will fulfil your goal and live your dream!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

One Sleep left!

With less than 12 hours to zero hour I am feeling more than a tad nervous. Good luck everybody out there competing tomorrow. It was fun today out there cheering on the 5km and 10km runners and catching up with a number of our CR friends from interstate. This morning I ran a gentle 20minute run just to keep my legs moving. They (my legs I mean) stood in one spot several times this afternoon but we had good company to share the spectating and cheering. It was quite warm today and I felt glad that we are running early in the morning hopefully before the temperature soars to 26deg as per the forecast.
Thank you for all the lovely comments and special thanks to speedygeoff for his creative poetry and Tuggeranong Don sending messages all the way from Boston. I just have to pin my number on my singlet and then there is nothing more I can do except hope for a good night's sleep and a great run for everyone tomorrow! Bring it on!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Carbo loading time!

This morning I ran the Kaleen block before going to meet Mr B and CJ for brekkie. I stayed on the main lit paths and wore my headlamp as well to ensure I didn't lose my footing! I have made the decision to run in my older running shoes as I noticed a few twinges while stretching after training in my new shoes on Monday night. So, hopefully I'm making the right decision and my feet won't suffer too much. I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. I'll wear the others in the Canberra Half Marathon in May.

Run at 5.30am
Distance: 5.93km
Time taken: 34:12
Average pace per km: 5:46
Calories burned: 342

Today I started carbo loading - jam sandwiches, jelly snakes, yoghurt, gatorade, rice, lots of vegies as part of the plan. I already feel rather bloated at the end of day one of three.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Had to do a CJ!

Ok so it wasn't quite a CJ as I now seem to be almost totally unscathed but I did have an awful fright. I was running in the dark with new batteries in my headlight when a cyclist approached in the opposite direction. To avoid her I decided to veer off the cycle path onto the rough grassed area next to the road. So far, so good, but unfortunately as I returned to the path I tripped on a stick and landed on my side, saving my fall with a bit of a somersault reaction. It was a freezing cold morning and I think the cold dulled the pain a bit but ouch, my hand hurt like crazy and I was a bit worried I may have done some damage. Although it stayed red for a long time it appears to be fine now. I was just a bit frustrated with the slow run. I almost didn't run this morning either as I went to bed with a sore throat and kept waking during the night either too hot or too cold. Perhaps I should have just stayed in bed!

Distance: 8.25km
Average pace per km: 5:52
Calories burned: 475

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Monday - Tapering Training

After a lovely couple of hours at CJ's drooling over Italian plans, Mr B and I reluctantly sped off to change and drive to Parliament House for speedygeoff's training. It wasn't that we didn't want to go to training, it was just that we were just getting into the research on interesting places to rent and amazing cars to hire at all sorts of costs in all sorts of exotic places! CJ had baked some yummy little chocolate cupcakes and beautiful banana bread. Since she has had her new kitchen her culinary skills have excelled and it's always a treat to visit for her highly impressive afternoon teas with her home baking skills.
Mr B and I arrived a little late to Parliament House but managed to catch the others half way round the warm up loop. We then ran down to the oval where we ran 3 x 1km undulating loops of the fitness course doing push-ups on the way. Then it was just the cool down loop back to the start.

Total distance: 8km
Calories burned: 480

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Eight More Sleeps!

Distance: 15:59km
Time taken: 1:28:06
Average pace per km: 5:39
Fastest km: 4:57
Calories burned: 950

This morning was quite brisk, in fact one could call it positively cold. Mr B, CJ and I started off together just after 8am from the ferry terminal at Lake Burley Griffin running with long sleeved tops. By the time we reached the yacht club our tops were tied round our waists and we were running separately as we found our own pace. It was a bit windy but it certainly felt quite warm enough to run in singlet tops. There were quite a number of runners and cyclists making the most of the autumn weather and I recognised a few of the runners out there obviously in training mode. I ran with music today as I knew I would be running the majority of the distance on my own although I did keep Mr B in sight and he waited for me to catch up a couple of times. I felt quite strong and ran in new shoes which actually felt fine so now I have a decision to make. Do I run in two week old shoes or four month old shoes? Hmmm, dilemma!

After the run CJ, Mr CJ, Mr B and I drove into Civic and had a very long wait for a disappointing coffee. However the company was good which always helps!

This afternoon I visited the Runners' Shop and bought some Brooks off-road running shoes. I can't wait to try them out after recovering from the marathon. They should be fantastic at the Cotter.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Easter Fellow Bloggers!

Happy Easter to everyone and, if you are travelling, stay safe. There's a lot of crazy people out there! This morning Mr B and I went for a fairly gentle run in the pleasantly cool air at the civilized hour of 8.45am.

Distance: 10km
Time taken: 58:03
Average pace per km: 5:48
Calories burned: 594

Later in the morning my brother and his wife stopped for lunch on their way from Newcastle to Albury. My son and grandchildren came over to join us and we had a yummy pumpkin and ricotta lasagne (I was experimenting with a new recipe) followed of course by hot cross buns! After they left my little grand-daughter stayed on to watch Harry Potter followed by nine Little Miss Books read to her by a now croacky-voiced grandma! It was a lovely way to spend a fairly cool, cloudy Good Friday afternoon. The temperature only reached 18deg. Tomorrow I plan a 16km middle distance run round Lake BG - only one week before the Marathon!

Wednesday - 5.45am -Run
Distance: 10.05km
Time taken: 59mins
Average pace per km: 5:52
Calories burned: 564

This was not such a good run. My hamstring hurt and I struggled a bit. However, I managed to complete the distance, albeit slowly and at least the mornings are still reasonably light at this time now that daylight saving has ended.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday Training

Distance: 7.5km
I struggled through the training session tonight. I had to make regular loo stops after each loop! After the warm-up we ran round the fitness circuit doing push-ups and sit-ups on the way. I avoided the chin-ups! I ran gently as I was fighting my tummy but it was great to see everyone. We ran the loops about three times before a warm down lap of Parliament House.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Cotter Experience!

Distance: 28.7km
Time taken: 3hrs 9mins
Average pace per km: 6:40
Calories burned: 2000

It was a perfect morning for a run in the hills. It was cool, clear and still - a beautiful Canberra Autumn morning. Six of us met at the Cotter to start our run just after 7.30am. Jill, Steve, CJ, Ewen, Chris and I set off together although pretty soon Ewen, Steve and CJ ran ahead. We ran up a gradual incline at the start for about 3km up a gravel road and it felt quite steep and seemed to go on for ages and that was before we even reached the real run. The surface then changed and was much easier on the feet. There were lots of ups and downs with some very steep hills. CJ, Steve and Ewen waited for the rest of us at the 9.5km mark where Jill and Chris branched off to run a shorter loop. The views from this spot were amazing. Without the trees, which had been destroyed in the bush fires a few years ago, you could see all the hills and undulating tracks and we had a perfect view of Black Mountain Tower in the distance.

CJ and Steve took off again at a faster pace and Ewen very generously offered to run with me otherwise I was in great danger of becoming lost out there in the great beyond! At Vanity's we ran ankle deep through water keeping our shoes on so for a while after that my feet felt like lumps of lead but the socks soaked up the water surprisingly quickly and felt ok. I've never run through water in shoes before so that was a new experience and not too unpleasant as the water was icy cold and quite refreshing at that stage in fact. After that there were only a few kilometres left but that included a number of steep uphills and they felt so tough at that stage. In fact when there was only 3km left to run Ewen and I looked at each and said "pity we can't phone for a ride from here!" However, that last couple of km was actually quite pleasant as it was slightly downhill and fast.

We found CJ and Steve sitting in the cold river in the sunshine and we were quick to join them. The water was absolutely freezing but gee, it felt soooooo good - damn cold, yes, but it numbed the aching legs and butt and was beautifully refreshing. Later we just sat, talked, nibbled on fruit and drank refreshing drinks (Ewen and I had our favourite ginger beer). It was a lovely morning.

So now I have experienced the Cotter and I feel encouraged and quite enthusiastic to give it another go some time! That was my last long run before the marathon - only two weeks to go - scary!