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