Monday, June 30, 2008

Six Sleeps until the Gold Coast!

Saturday Run
Gollygosh, the weekend has come and gone and I haven't had a single opportunity to update my blog. After a very late night at a formal awards night on Friday I decided to run late in the morning on Saturday when the sun was shining warmly and it was really very pleasant indeed. I found the first half of the run hard work probably due to over consumption of food and wine the night before but the second half felt much more comfortable and considerably faster.
Total distance: 16.65km
Time taken: 1hr:36:45
Average pace per km: 5:48
Calories burned: 980

Unfortunately I was not able to go to the Masters' Handicap run on Sunday as I was on babysitting duties but I believe there were some great achievements out there on another sunny winter's day in Canberra.

Monday Parliament House Carpark!
This afternoon the heavens opened and the rain came down in a steady stream. It was also extremely windy with a bitterly cold wind. Thus we ended up running in the shelter of the underground carpark at PH. We ran 4 loops clockwise, 4 loops anti-clockwise followed by 21 x 93m up a gentle hill, jogging to the bottom each time. Then another 3 loops warm-down. I really tried hard running up those hills and it felt quite good.
Total distance: Approx 9km

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ten Days Before the Gold Coast!

This morning I met up with CJ and Mr B for a yummy brekkie before a day full of meetings! Then off to Dickson Oval with Rachelle after work to speedygeoff's training group. However, after the warm-up loops, Rachelle and I ran several laps of the large oval at a reasonable pace while the others ran their 1km sprints. I didn't want to risk the sprints as my knee is still a bit sore and Rachelle is also taking care of an injury. I want to make sure everything is ok for next weekend. How scary that I can say "next weekend" - aaaaah - so soon!
Total Distance: 8km
Calories burned: 485
The wind was bitterly cold tonight and we wore leggings and long sleeved tops for the first 4km although the long sleeved tops did come off in the second half so we ran fast enough to feel hot.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Coldplay in Milan!

Another early morning start yesterday for strength training at the gym and this morning for RPM followed by the abs class. After work I ran with Ewen who parked his car at Parliament House and ran to my office where we ran for an hour (I'm tapering) before he ran back to PH (20mins) to collect his car. This way he fitted in his training run and I ran my scheduled taper run. I just couldn't believe the number of bunnies we saw tonight. There was a group of about ten of them together and we also spotted out favourite apricot one and a couple of other ginger coloured ones. If all these bunnies produce more bunnies running towards Molonglo in springtime will be very interesting indeed.
Total distance: 10.7km
Time taken: 1:06
Average pace per km: 6:13
Calories burned: 635
Tonight was cold enough not to remove my long sleeved top or leggings. The wind was bitter and I even wore ear warmers. Ewen wore gloves and I think that was a good plan!
My big news of the moment is that we have purchased tickets to a Coldplay concert in Milan two days after Mr B competes in the world championship duathlon in Rimini. How awesome! It will be such an exciting trip!

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Forgot Today's Run!!

Oh dear, I thought I had updated my blog then realised I had forgotten to write about tonight's run from Parliament House. I ran the warm-up loops with the group and then Ewen, Caroline and I decided to run gently elsewhere as the main set was 20 hill repeats - not a wise move so close to the GC and speedygeoff agreed that it would be better just to run in this instance, especially as my knees were worrying me tonight. Thus we chatted and ran for a gentle 10km run - very cool evening (only 8deg) but we warmed up enough to find it quite pleasant.
Total distance: 10km
Calories burned: 592
Time taken: Just over an hour!

This morning I did an RPM class at the gym just to get my legs going to start the day bright and early!

I note that Ewen has tagged me in his blog. I will try to respond appropriately!
How would you describe your running ten years ago?
I only started running 12 years ago and ten years ago in 1998 I note from my training diary that every entry is described as a "jog" including the Weston Creek Half Marathon which took me 2hrs 8mins and the Terry Fox run which took me 58.42mins on a cold very very wet day. I was running 3 or 4 times a week for a total of between 30-35km and swimming and cycling a couple of times a week. I always ran the monthly jog-along and also ran with our border collie, Rascal who died a few years ago. I used to run longish runs in the weekends with CJ.
What is your best and worst run/race experience?
I think my best experience was in 2003 when I broke the 4hours in the Canberra Marathon (3hrs 58mins). It was such a fantastic experience to actually do this. That same year I also did a PB in the Weston Creek Half marathon five weeks before the marathon so it was a good indication that I had a chance of doing well in the marathon.
One of the worst experiences would be tripping in November last year out past Molonglo and tearing my hamstring. The pain was incredible and it took so long to get back and the frustration of missing out on the Canberra Marathon this year was huge!
Why do you Run?
I run to keep healthy, fit and for the fun and friendship. I also run so that I can eat well and live the good life. I have discovered parts of Canberra I would never otherwise have known existed and have seen wonderful sights and sounds of nature and hidden wonderlands. I run because I love the feeling it gives me and the way it makes me feel afterwards.
What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
My doctor doesn't think women or cows should run. I have since changed my doctor! My sister thinks I should hang up my running shoes before I damage myself permanently. Fortunately she lives in NZ! I have had conflicting advice on how to run but I think the best advice I have had which works for me is to cross-train. This helps prevent injury and keeps me motivated. It is also a great fall-back to have an alternative if indeed I am unlucky enough to be injured and unable to run for a time. Triathlon training ie swimming and cycling and indeed gym work really does help the enjoyment of running. I also agree with those who tell me that off-road running is much easier on the body than always pounding the pavements.
Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know!
I'm a kiwi? Nah, you all know that although I am actually a naturalised Australian and have lived here since 1981. In my early 20's I was a table tennis champion but I doubt if I could hit a table tennis ball now! And I have absolutely NO sense of direction.
I'm supposed to tag five friends and I will tag our speedycoach, luckylegs, twofruits, jenruns and tesso!

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

And fun it was - my weekends are far too social - too many lunches, dinners, coffees and catch-ups but lots of fun too. After a late night dinner on Friday night I didn't run on Sat until about 10am. I ran from home to and round Lake G and back past Giralang through the tunnel heading for Gungahlin and home again. It was deceptively sunny as I was battling a head wind going out and a side wind knocked me about on my return. My music kept me going however - it was great!
Distance: 20.27km
Time taken: 2hours
Average pace per km: 5:55
Calories burned: 1195

Sunday - Canada Run (formerly known as Terry Fox)
The day dawned so bright and sunny that I decided at the last minute to enter the Canada Run. I knew a lot of people running including Mr B so thought I would give it a go at approximately marathon pace without pushing myself too much. I started off with Marg and we ran together for about 5km until I decided I felt comfortable enough to try a little harder. I saw so many people out there and had an opportunity to catch up with a few people afterwards who I hadn't seen for such a long time. Mr B ran a PB in 46mins and CJ ran just over 47mins. I was happy enough with my time although it was pretty slow by most people's standards. The conditions were perfect.
Distance: 10km
Time taken: 55mins
Average pace per km: 5:27
Fastest km: 5:14
Calories burned: 600

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Easing back into Tapering!!

Tonight I went to Dickson to meet with the speedygeese but instead of running the sprints Jen, who was here from Sydney for the weekend, and I decided to go out for a gentle run. My knee and hamstring were playing up and I didn't want to risk the speed work making it worse. Thus, after the warm-up we left the group and ran across the oval and along the reasonably lit cycle tracks to Downer, along Philip Avenue and back to Antill Street and the oval, not realising we had gone quite so far! When we arrived back at the oval Mr B and speedygeoff were waiting for us and everyone else had long gone - oops - we hadn't realised we had taken quite so long. Jen is a good talker and we lost track of time. Tonight both my foot and hamstring are sore and tight. I think I must be running differently due to my stiff knee and it's affecting other joints - most annoying.
Total distance: 8.7km
Calories burned: 520

Wombat Wednesday
This was my first run since Saturday and I was a little nervous. Ewen and I ran at a gentle pace and although I did feel a bit stiff and sore I was pleased to last the distance. Afterwards I felt a bit unwell but that may have hunger pains. We ran to the bridge past Molonglo Reach and over it then turned and ran back. There has been lots of work done clearing dead trees and shrubs and weeds by the side of that end of the lake and it's opened it all up giving a great view back towards Parliament House. It's so much nicer round there. We think they should build a beach and bring in lots of sand! The carillon, library and museum were all lit up in blue tonight and the reflections in the perfectly still lake were awesome. Canberra is a really really pretty place to run. We also spotted our apricot bunny all grown up - soooo cute.
Total distance: 15.2km
Time taken: 1:35:55
Average pace per km: 6:20
Calories burned: 902

Monday, June 16, 2008

With a Little Help from my Friends!!

Dinner at Cape Cod to celebrate Tony Booth's 70 birthday - congratulations Tony!
And today is Mr B's birthday so we had our family celebrations last night and a lovely lunch today.
Back to Saturday and the reason for the title of this post. Mr B and I both met up with CJ, Steve and Michael (the mountain goats) at Molonglo Reach for a scheduled 2hour 30mins run over "gentle" (!!) undulations. We ran out past the golf course, Campbell Park Offices and to the saddle between Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura. We also followed part of the course of the Bush Capital Marathon and the Mt Ainslie and Majura monthly handicap courses. Some of those undulations did not feel gentle at all although compared to last week's effort it was definitely a lot more "runnable". However, the cold southerly wind did tend to make us glad we had taken our long sleeved running tops.
About 19km into the run my foot hit a rock on the very uneven surface and I felt the ground coming up to meet me and with a very loud heavy thump I landed face down in the dust and lay there very still not daring to move just thinking "damn, damn, damn (or words to that effect) - the Gold Coast is in 3 weeks"! Mr B was nearby fortunately and helped me up when I decided to lift my head and gave me a much-needed hug and assisted me to walk very slowly until I managed to start running again with blood dripping from my knee and elbow and dirt all over my face, which he kindly brushed off! We caught up with the others who were waiting patiently at the top of the hill and after stopping to admire the blood we all continued on our way for the remainder of our 27km run.
Back at Molonglo the mountain goats and I stood thigh deep in the icy cold water where I could wash off the blood and last five minutes until the numbness set in and we clambered out again. At this stage I didn't feel too bad and thought the cold water aided recovery.
Distance: 27km
Time taken: 2hrs 54mins (approx) - I kept forgetting to turn my garmin on!
Average pace per km: 6:20
Calories burned: approx 1500
In the afternoon I went out for coffee in Kingston with friends but while driving there I felt my knee stiffen up and it was difficult to limp to the table. During coffee I started to feel worse, the pain increased and those dear friends of mine had to help me to the car and drive me home to lie flat on my back with my leg raised and an ice pack. Needless to say not much sleep was had that night and my knee swelled up like a balloon! The pain subsided yesterday somewhat and although it is still stiff the swelling is going down and I think I'll live!! However, I will rest it for a couple of days before running again - dammit! With only three weeks to the Gold Coast here's hoping I can run again by Wednesday!
Yesterday Mr B drove me out to meet up with Marg, Barb and Carol for a final coffee before Barb returns to live in Aotearoa. I will miss her heaps. It's great having another kiwi accent around. I spent the rest of the day preparing Mr B's birthday dinner very slowly!!
Today the interesting part was negotiating the 48 steps to my office - hmmm. However, I definitely feel improvement happening. I will be back!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Short and Sweet!

I arrived at Dickson just in time to run the first two short loops of the warm-up missing out on the long loop. Our main session consisted of 3 x 1km fast with a gentle warm-down between starting every 5 minutes. Our speedycoach timed us for the first 1km and then handicapped us accordingly. I started at 24secs being one of the slowest.
My km times were: 5:06, 5:02 and 4:59 (yay!) which was better than last time I did this which was a couple of weeks ago.
I felt heavy on my legs tonight and I made the mistake of wearing a high necked t-shirt. I wanted to pull it off - I feel much more comfortable in a singlet when I'm trying to race. In the last 1km sprint Jodie, Andj and I all started at 24secs. Right on the home straight Jodie sprinted past me to beat me by 4secs - rats!! I take that as a challenge for next time! Andj joined us for the first time tonight having just moved here from Queensland. We have quite a few ex-Queenslanders in speedygeoff's running groups. I wonder which is harder - to run in the intense heat or in the freezing cold?
Total distance: 5:37
Calories burned: 314

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pitter Patter Raindrops - Just a Few!! But I'm still wet through!

RPM this morning with our usual nice (but not gentle) instructor followed by the 15mins abs class where we were taught a new method of torture to make us taut and terrific!
Then after work met up with Ewen for our mid-week run. Since Monday the tops of my legs have been quite stiff and sore especially when walking down the 48 steps from my office. Going up them is no problem, it's the coming down which has hurt every step of the way. Today they were still sore although RPM wasn't too bad and I'm sure the run with Ewen probably stretched them out and by tomorrow they should feel normal again - that's my theory and I'm sticking to it!
We ran towards the museum to start our run, well-equipped with our headlamps and leggings (or long pants in the case of Ewen) then round the museum and beside Lake BG past Molonglo Reach and across the bridge before returning to the ferry terminal and over the bridge back to my office. I managed to step knee deep in a puddle (AGAIN) after carefully avoiding most of them - obviously Ewen's constant cry of "watch out for puddles" had the opposite effect! We also had problems with the wind tonight - the head wind followed us all the way out to Molonglo but when we turned expecting a tail wind the wind changed and we had a head wind on the return journey too. It was also a cold wind as the temperature dropped considerably well into our run. Obviously the combination of lack of light, a head wind and the drizzly rain that started on our return lap slowed us down considerably but it was still an enjoyable run even though by the time we stopped we were both pretty wet! Never mind, our Wed run is always a great opportunity to catch up on the goss!
Total distance: 18km
Time taken: 1:50
Average pace per km: 6:08
Calories burned: 1100

Monday, June 09, 2008

Mountain Goat Country!

At 8am I fronted up to Molonglo Reach to join the mountain goats (Ewen, TwoFruits and Softshoeshuffle) in an off-road "hill" (understatement of the year) run. Wow - it was quite a challenge.
I haven't run from Molonglo and over those Mt Ainslie hills since I tore my hamstring there last November so it was with some trepidation that I trotted off gently towards the hills. We ran through the golf course, past Campbell Park Offices and on towards Mt Ainslie past the water tower and reservoir behind Hackett. Then we followed Ewen along a single file track and on over the roller coaster (aptly named) up, up, up, down, down, down and again and again - interesting, then on to Mt Ainslie Road where Ewen left us after 1hr40mins. He missed the best bit (hmmm)!
My schedule said 3hrs15mins so the other mountain goats obligingly led me up more mountains along a rough track which ended up in a patch of rough sticks and a decision needed to be made on directions at this point. We headed up the most likely track until we came to a sign which read "No abseilling on the Quarry" - not much danger of our doing that! Now we had to make another decision - right or left. The track to the right, although narrow, definitely looked smoother than the one to the left so I suggested trying that one. Ever obliging the mountain goats agreed and up we went - HUGE mistake!! Up, up, up until we just had to walk up the cliff face. There was no turning back, that would have been scarier. At various vantage points we had stunning views over towards the lake but looking down we also viewed a great chasm, obviously the quarry and alarmingly close if we should lose our footing. Did I ever say that I'm terrified of heights? I no longer looked down but clambered up those cliffs like a good little mountain goat and we eventually reached the top which turned out to be the top of Mt Ainslie (863m) where we were greeted by cheers and appreciative comments from a bunch of mountain bike cyclists, comments such as "you guys are machines" - YES - damn right - it was a good feeling! They were about to cycle down the Mt Ainslie track but further along from us where there was a real track. We turned and looked down at the way we had come up - sheer cliffs - sheer drops - blimey, it looked scary!
Now as we headed off again we knew that this would definitely make our km rate look bad at the end - after all we had walked (slowly) for about 15mins to make it up that cliff face but there were parts of the rest of the course where we could pick up our pace a bit so although we had taken up to 11mins per km at that stage we managed to knock some time off our average pace on the way down.
We returned via part of the Bush Capital Marathon course - a bit rough in parts but nothing compared to that cliff face! When we finally reached Molonglo again we pulled off our shoes and socks and headed for the water. Now the mountain goats are used to this but this little chick felt like her toes would drop off, then her calves, then her knees, then her thighs - but after 10mins standing in one spot the numbness set in and the icy cold worked absolute wonders. When I was given permission to walk out of that water my legs felt fantastic - not a single ache - wowee, apart from tiredness I feel absolutely fine. Here's hoping I'll still feel like this tomorrow!
Thanks mountain goat friends for your patience. The sun came out, it was unseasonably warm and the company was fantastic.
Total distance: 30.34km
Time taken: 3:23:34
Average pace per km: 6:42
Fastest km: 5:13 (on the 19th km - that must have been that downhill bit!)
Calories burned: 1766

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Interval Training

This morning I ran some intervals in place of Monday night training as speedygeoff is away and I have decided to do my long hilly run tomorrow morning with "the boys"! I just ran from home towards Lake Ginninderra, past Giralang and back - a 10km loop. I ran gently for a 15mins warm-up then ran 60secs sprints with 60secs jog between repeating this twelve times - I counted about five lamp-posts for my 60secs on the road but there were no lamp-posts by the lake so I had to keep looking at my garmin. It worked ok and was a good workout. It was a cooler morning and not as sunny as yesterday but no wind which is always a good thing!
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 56:17
Average pace per km: 5:37
Calories burned: 590
Fastest km: 5:17 (km 4 and km5)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Avoiding the Puddles!

Actually, I didn't avoid the puddles at all as I ran with Ewen on Wednesday, both with headlamps which reflected in the lake on our return trip. Blindly I followed Ewen trying to avoid running into the lake and instead splashed right into the muddy puddles, not once but twice and the second time ankle deep. Talk about the Pied Piper of Tuggeranong! We started our run by heading towards and round the museum then we ran to Molonglo Reach and over the bridge and as we had both remembered our headlamps, safely (!) ran in the dark back to the ferry terminal, over the bridge and along London Circuit to the start. The run was slightly longer than my scheduled time but it was comfortable (apart from the sloshy shoes) and although we ran against a head wind for a short time mostly we ran in mild conditions. We'll go that way again and there probably won't be puddles to avoid as we had a rare rainfall the previous day.
Total distance: 18km
Time taken: 1:49:19
Average pace per km: 6.04
Calories burned: 1066

Thursday Run
I wasn't able to go to training at Dickson after work as today was my grandson's 2nd birthday and we had celebrations to attend. Instead I flexed off early (again) and squeezed in a tempo run from home along the cycle track towards Giralang, through the tunnel on the way to Gungahlin and home again.
Total distance: 8.01km
Time taken: 44:30
Average pace per km: 5:33
Fastest km: 5:18
Calories burned: 466

Myattempt at a Racing Car cake (at least Sam recognised it as being a car!)

Friday RPM
The dreaded Sylvia returned as our replacement instructor this morning. Although it was so hard I nearly passed out from dripping exhaustion, at least I knew it was a good workout and I felt ready to face Friday knowing I had started well!
This was the night of 'Sex and The City' at the movies with my daughter and daughter-in-law. Although I had bought tickets a couple of weeks ago we queued for an hour with a glass of champagne and an icecream (how healthy is that) waiting for good seats. It was worth the wait - a fantastic night - woo hoo!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Winter in Canberra - mild and pleasant

The cycle yesterday with Rachelle and Dave was good fun. We rode 23km gently and it was a good stretch for the legs. This morning I was back on the bike at the gym doing an RPM session, this time with our usual instructor who works us hard.
After work off to speedygeoff's training group at PH. After a couple of warm up loops the main session was 8 fast laps of the rectangular grassy bank in front of PH. We started at one corner of the rectangle and ran as fast as we could down the long edge, across the short edge, up the next long edge and across the short edge to the start, then a gentle jog to the next corner to start again on the whistle. Each time the whistle blew we started from a different corner. It was challenging but fun and certainly a good work-out.
Total distance: 9.3km
Calories burned: 542
Total distance for week ending Sunday 1 June: 73.79km