Monday, May 28, 2007

Vets Handicap at Oakey HILL

Yes, this was definitely a hilly course. Mr B opted to compete in the duathlon happening at the same time as the vets' run but I collected CJ and we drove out to Oakey Hill. It was really cold at this time of day but later the day turned out to be absolutely stunning - warm and sunny! I ran off group 24 and came in at 78th place. It started on a hill which was ominous and every time I thought it was flattening out we started climbing again. At the 7.2km mark CJ came whizzing past me from Group 36 - I swear she sprouts wings! It was a tough run but I enjoyed it and at least I ran all the way even if it was pretty slow!

Distance: 7.5km
Time taken: 44:19
Average pace per km: 5:55

Later in the afternoon I met up with a couple of girlfriends for a coffee or two and a few hours catch up as two of us have a birthday a week apart. It was lots of fun. Then it was off to dinner at Belluci's with the family - all this food, all these kilos. Run rabbit run!!

Monday - speedygeoff's group without speedy!
I missed the warm-up loop again - damn work, most frustrating. However, luckily I caught the group just finishing the first loop (the normal way this time) and ran the second loop with them. Speedygeoff is on holiday in sunny Queensland but Ken led our group admirably in his place. After our warm-up the main set was 12 x 40secs uphill sprints on 2 minutes - more hills - it was exhausting! Then we ran a warm down loop of PH to finish off. I still have to figure out a few more logistics on my new Garmin. Back to the instruction manual I think!!
Total distance: 8.3km

Saturday, May 26, 2007

An Exciting New Toy and One Very Spoilt Gemini!

Thank you so much for all those lovely messages. My birthday is going on and on. We changed the date for the family dinner which is now tomorrow evening. On Thursday morning I met up with Mr B and CJ for brekkie (where CJ gave me a fantastic Italian recipe book) before Mr B took me to the airport. The family did come over on Thursday night after I returned from Sydney. My daughter baked me a cake and there were pressies galore. My 'speedycoach' had even paid a visit during the day to drop off a "sweet" surprise. When I arrived at work next morning (after a birthday breakfast with a couple of friends and more pressies) there was an enormous bunch of flowers from the staff and of course we had more cake in the afternoon.

Last night Mr B and I went to the movies to see "Paris je t'aime". It was a series of short stories - a mix of funny, sad and weird! We enjoyed it. Today another friend visited (more pressies) and this afternoon we sat with the CJs at a coffee bar and planned last minute details of our trip. The CJs leave in a week on Monday and we leave a week after that!

Tomorrow afternoon (after the vets' run in the morning) I'm going to yet another afternoon tea with two other friends. On Tuesday night No 1 daughter is taking Mr B and me out for dinner at a fancy restaurant to thank us for letting her stay so long while her apartment is being completed. All this food - I haven't a single hope of losing the extra kilos before I leave the country!

One of my friends has given me a yoghurt maker so I have yoghurt making happening right now. I'm looking forward to trying it out. I love yoghurt.

For my birthday Mr B gave me the very latest Garmin 305. He will inherit Gandalf of course! It's very exciting and now I will have to think up a name for my newest toy. This morning I went for my first run with him. It was a slow and painful run actually. The weather was stunning but my throat was very sore and I was very tired and slow. I do hope my Vets' run in the morning is considerably better.

Distance: 10.06km
Time taken: 1 hour (ho hum)!
Calories burned: 744

I have changed all the mile readings to km readings on my new Garmin and have been fiddling with it for ages. I still have to adjust a few more settings. It's very fancy! I am very spoilt indeed!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Brrrr - a crisp early morning run

Distance: 9km
Time taken: 53mins

It was difficult venturing into the dark cold air before 6am this morning. I wore gloves, leggings, a long sleeved top, a bright yellow sleeveless cycle windbreaker, headlamp and cap. Yes, I warmed up after a few km but I was never actually hot. It was 3deg so it will be much colder in a few weeks (when I am enjoying summer in Italy) and will no doubt be frosty in August when I will be back here still running in those early mornings - yeeek! At the 5km point my ipod decided to stop. Nothing I could do would make the music return so hopefully it's only the battery which is now charging. It was a very quiet 4km home - nothing but the sound of heavy breathing and fortunately it was my own!
I'm having trouble deleting the old records from Gandalf and as a consequence he is not working well at all. Poor thing has used up his memory - I know the feeling!!
Tomorrow I am a year older and I have to fly to Sydney to attend a meeting. At least it's a day out of the office and I'll be home in time for a late dinner. We will celebrate with a proper family dinner on Friday night instead. I really don't want to be a year older!! In my opinion after we reach a certain age we should start counting backwards instead!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm Just a Girl Who Can't Say No - to Cake!!

This morning was absolutely bitterly cold. I'm not much looking forward to running tomorrow morning. This morning I joined in a Bodypump class at the gym at 6.15am. I find some of those moves really tough. On the up-side my gym workouts do include breakfast and that does make a great start to the day. My day at work consisted of a meeting all morning, a lunch, conducting an interview and consuming a large piece of birthday cake for one of our office colleagues. As a result of all that time wasted (or was it "waisted") I needed to stay rather late to put the work load back in control. This is not a good month for eating the healthy stuff. There's far too many birthdays. Tomorrow we have an 18th in the office - more cake! And when it comes to the sweet stuff I'm just a girl who can't say no!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Better Late than Never!

I was five minutes late for speedygeoff's training at Parliament House tonight and everyone had already left so I set off in the opposite direction of our usual warm-up lap thinking I would meet them coming back. A whole loop - nobody, so I waited for a while then set off in the other direction and coming from down amongst the dark bushes I heard a faint whistle - aha - that sounds familiar. I ran down into the dimly lit pathways and finally came to a bunch of our runners coming towards me - yippee. They had already started their 10 x 40secs sprints but I joined them and managed to fit in quite a number - lost count so it must have been a few and I felt pretty hot and puffed by the end. We then ran the warm down loop back to PH and Maria, Helen, Adam and I decided to run one more warm-down loop as we had finished a wee bit earlier than usual to allow for a meeting. We had a great chat on this loop and it was very pleasant.

Total distance: 8km approx
Gandalf tells me his memory is almost full and I have to delete some entries so that way it may work quicker - I'll try that soon!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Walk for a Cause and a Bit of a Run!

Friday I went to an RPM (cycle) class at the gym and as I haven't been to one for ages I really had a good work-out. It was HARD work to say the least.

Sunday(today) Mr B and I participated in a walk to raise money for the family of Evan Hourigan who died tragically about six months ago while competing in a triathlon. He was only 34 and left a 15month old son Kai and a wife who is expecting another baby in July. It was a sad but uplifting occasion and there were heaps of Canberrans out there on a sunny, but cool and slightly windy morning. There were a large number of walkers also participating in the Million Paws Walk for the RSPCA at a similar time so we saw lots of dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds having the time of their life! Our walk was 5.5km long and was over in 53 minutes so Mr B and I decided we needed to add a bit of run to the end of it. Thus we ran from the finish at Commonwealth Park to Molonglo Reach and back again - a total of 8km - at a comfortable pace fighting a head wind for some of the way.

Total distance walk: 5.5km
Total walk time: 53minutes
Calories burned: 280

Total distance run: 8km
Total time taken: 46:28
Average pace per km: 5:48
Calories burned: 460

After a sausage in bread (!) we headed for a restaurant where we enjoyed bread and butter pudding with cream to regain all the calories we just lost!! Hmmm - it was just that sort of day!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Thursday's "speedy" pyramids!

Thursday speedygeoff's session was a pyramid session. I arrived on time for the full warm-up. In fact when I arrived (just on time) I was the only female and had a moment of panic when I thought I was amongst all those fast men (no pun intended). However just as we started the warm-up Kathy, Annette and Marg joined us and soon after Yelena arrived - phew, much better! The main set was a set of pyramids - 400, 600, 800, 600, 400 on 5 minutes. Conditions were good although there are a number of potholes in the grass track at Dickson Oval and I'm always a bit cautious in case I roll my ankle! After the main session we had another warm-down loop to finish.
Total distance. 6.5km

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Canberra Half on Mothers' Day and food galore!!

Sunday was a lovely day. I do hope all the mothers out there enjoyed their day as much as I did! Admittedly no sleep-in was permitted as the Canberra Half Marathon was held today. Mr B and I both competed and there were heaps of friends to socialise with after the event. It started quite cold but we soon warmed up and in fact the conditions were ideal. I wore my ipod shuffle and felt comfortable and good for most of the run although I started to struggle towards the end. However there were definitely times during the run when I felt absolutely fantastic. I kept thinking how lucky we are in Canberra to have so many beautiful places to run, how stunning the Autumn colours were and what a fantastic running community we have. Yes, I think I was on quite a high and although I ran a bit slower than the Weston Creek Half (that was 1hr53mins) five weeks before the marathon I did enjoy myself. I always find I run this half (five weeks after the marathon) slower than the Weston Creek, probably because I'm not training as hard. I did however beat last year's time for this run by 4 minutes! I also won a lucky barrel draw at the end and what a beaut prize - a commemorative coffee mug, a bottle of wine, a finishers' medal (which was every bit as good as a winner's medal) AND a $30 voucher from the Runners' Shop! Wow - how about that - I was pretty happy! Mr B ran a PB by 50secs running in a time of 1hr41:50. His goal is to go under 100minutes.

Distance: 21.1km
Time taken: 1hr 56mins (to be confirmed)
Average pace per km: 5:33 (TBC)
Calories burned: 1243
Fastest km: 5:11

1km - 5:22
5km: 27:55
10km: 55:50
15km: 1hr:23
21.1km: 1hr:56:34

Later Marg, Barb, Mark, speedygeoff and I had a very pleasant lunch, chat and coffee at Hudsons. Then it was home to shower, change and go to afternoon tea with my daughters - yummy cake and more coffee. Later still my son and grandchildren came over and we ordered in pizzas. With all this food it's a very good thing I run!!

Monday I did not run. Training was cancelled and instead speedygeoff's group went out for an absolutely beautiful meal at The Banana Leaf (a Sri Lankan restaurant in the city). The food, company and service was fantastic and I would strongly recommend this venue to anybody. I have eaten there when it was previously an Italian restaurant but not since it changed ownership. I was definitely impressed. It was a great night indeed - excellent decision speedygeoff!

Tuesday - today - I went to the gym in the early hours of the morning and participated in a Bodypump class - ouch - but I'm sure it does me good doesn't it?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dickson Oval without Gandalf

I actually arrived on time for the warm-up loop tonight but I did forget to pack Gandalf so it was a bit weird running without him. However speedygeoff tells me the long warm-up loop is 1.8km so I can work out the approximate distance. We ran a shorter extra loop before starting the main set which was made up of 5 x (700m on 2mins) . We then ran another cool-down loop. There were a few less people tonight for some reason and some of the usual suspects were not there. However, I was happy cos Marg was there and as we run at almost the same speed it's good company. At the end of our main session speedygeoff explained to each of us the errors in our running style - constructive criticism I believe it's called. I need to concentrate on running on my toes.
Distance approximately 8km

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mid Week Slow Run

Distance: 8.61km
Time taken: 52:29
Average pace per km: 6:05
Calories burned: 510

It was damp underfoot as I set out before 6am this morning. I had to be careful of the slippery autumn leaves. There was a slight drizzle to start although it stopped fairly early into the run. Actually, it was more of a plod than a run but the music was good. I wore my headlight and avoided a few dogs but on the whole, although slow, it was quite an enjoyable run with a surprising number of walkers and runners out there. I was more interested in just running a few kms than going for speed (obviously)!

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Sunny Start to another new week!

It was a gorgeous sunny day in Canberra today and was still very temperate when I set off for speedygeoff's training. I made it in time for the warm-up tonight which made a pleasant change. We ran two warm-up loops of PH followed by Fartlek training on the undulating stretch in front of PH. After our session we toasted Ewen and speedygeoff's birthdays with champagne - very civilized!
Distance: 9.2km
Calories: 600

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Italy - Here we Come!

Saturday's Run
Distance: 20.61km

Time taken: 2:01
Average pace per km: 5:53
Calories burned: 1225

Next sunday is the Canberra Half Marathon and I needed to put a few more km in the bank. I also had to attend an Enjo Party (haven't been to one of these before!) at 10.30am which meant I had to run early to be back in time. Thus no sleep-in this morning as I set off at 7.15am in a singlet top and shorts. It felt a little chilly at first but didn't take me long to warm up and my music kept me going. I didn't run fast but I quite enjoyed the run and was surprised at how many people were out there walking their dogs or running in the opposite direction. There was a bit of a head wind at one stage which had an adverse affect on my already pretty average pace! I ran from home to Lake G, round the lake and then on past Giralang, through the tunnel on towards Gungahlin until reaching the 15km mark when I turned back towards Kaleen, along the cycle track and home.

Today, Sunday has been a gorgeous sunny autumn day - fantastic weather. We had a bit of a sleep-in this morning (luxury) after a late night babysitting and then visited the markets before CJ and Mr CJ came over for the afternoon so that we could talk all things Italian. Our trip is now only 5 weeks away and we had some organising to do. Thus after sitting on the deck in the sunshine eating too much and drinking too much coffee we pored over maps of Italy and gooed over gorgeous villas and bed and breakfasts on the web, making a few bookings and planning our itinerary. It was quite a productive afternoon and we finally feel as though we really are going and very soon, what's more! Woo hoo!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Speedygeoff's Dickson Oval Session

I was caught on the telephone by a client just as I was trying to leave the office and as a consequence missed the first warm-up lap of the Dickson Oval. However, I was on time for the next lap before the main part of the training session. The toilet block wasn't opened tonight and I felt decidedly uncomfortable as we set off for our 2km time trial followed by sprints. However, having set a pretty average pace for my first time trial I should not have too much trouble beating it next time hopefully. Speedygeoff intends having a time trial every four weeks.

2km time trial - 10:30
Average pace per km: 5:07 (next time I will aim for 5min ks)

Total distance run: 6km

This was followed by 9-12 x 50m sprints in relay teams of three. Normally this would have been fun but I was still pretty uncomfortable. After this we had a warm-down loop before singing "Happy Birthday" to our speedy leader for tomorrow he turns 59 - one more year before a new age group speedygeoff. Have a great birthday tomorrow - don't run too far!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Woeful Wednesday Waddle!

This morning the alarm woke me at 5.10am but it was 5.45am before I emerged into the brisk morning air with headlight and ipod attached. It was actually quite a still pleasant morning in spite of the lack of light. I had intended to run 10km but had to make a mad dash home to finish at the 9km mark instead as I was suffering intense tummy cramps. My run was decidedly slow - more like a plod when I look at my pace but I guess it's a few more kilometres in the bank or something! I just ran part of the Kaleen block then out on the cycle track (a little dark here) past Giralang towards the tunnel heading for Gungahlin then back home. I did have to avoid a couple of dogs which were off their leads and heading my way - a bit scary - but fortunately they listened to their owners and left me alone!

Distance: 9.07km
Time taken: 54:34mins
Average pace per km: 6.01
Calories burned: 540