Friday, September 26, 2008

Food consumption high, coffee to die for!

At the moment in Italy it is Friday afternoon and Mr B and Caroline have gone for their final briefing before their respective races. It's blowing a gale and has already rained today. I'm so glad I brought my spray jacket with me - it's had constant use! Mark (Caroline's son) and I have found an internet site inside a games parlour so we are being entertained at the same time as we blog! This morning we walked into the city for great cappuccino and to browse. It's about 2km each way and we have done that twice a day so are using up a few of the calories we're consuming! Last night the pasta party was set in a large venue near the beach. There were well over 800 people there and it was fairly chaotic. It was fun socialising with everyone and I met more people but mainly in the queue for food! This morning we also spent some time perusing the Expo between showers of rain! Caroline's race tomorrow is at 4pm and Mr B races at 7.30am on Sunday. Fingers crossed the wind and rain will ease off and the temperature will improve!

Rimini, like most Italian towns, has a main square and although it is apparently a tourist resort and very busy during the summer months it is currently quiet and the shops close for 3 hours for siesta in the middle of the day. However, the coffee is great and yes, Griffin, we have tried yummy chocolate, pastries and had a good gelati a couple of nights ago. Temptation is everywhere and some of the designer shops are mind boggling and so beautifully set out. It is quite flat here and the duathlon course is looped and flat and goes in and out and round about - not easy to navigate the run course but hopefully it will become clear after the briefing today.
Mr B brought his bike tools, bike pump and of course international plug with him. He has been in constant demand for all of the above. The nearest bike shop is some kms from the hotel and as a consequence he has become Mr Popular as he has all the necessary gear with him, even down to his international charger - it's been a great way to get to know people!

Rimini - sunshine and rain

After a very long trip we were safely met by Mr B in Rome and driven to Perugia where we delivered Mandy to her friends for a few days. We explored Perugia for a little while, a pretty little town with cobbled streets and lots of history. Lisa's apartment is set very close to the mini metro which is a cute little tram running on its own up and down to the city without a driver ie fully automatic - great fun. After lunch in a delightful little pub with awesome coffee (sublime - we have truly arrived in Italy) Mr B and I drove on to Rimini and I must admit I dozed a lot on the journey utterly exhausted! On the plane trip I managed to watch about 4 movies and several episodes of Sex and The City but I slept very little and was very tired.
Rimini is busy preparing for the duathlon. Our hotel is full of athletes from all over the world. We have met lots of interesting people and of course there are lots of people we know from Canberra too. Caroline, Rad and Lachy are here and we have met lots of other interesting people from Aussi, NZ and Canada especially. I have run the route a couple of times, once with Caroline at a gentle 6min km pace and today with Mr B at 5:37 pace - 5km each time. We have experienced every season so far - extreme cold, wind, rain, storms and this afternoon the sun has shone and finally we enjoyed running in a singlet and felt the warmth of the sun. Mandy, in Perugia, on the other hand has had hot sunny days every day and it's only 2 hours drive away - grrrr!
Yesterday Mr B and I drove to San Marino, a fascinating independent city set high on a hill with a tower at the top where we walked to explore. It was such an interesting place. We visited it in 1974 and it was just a distant memory. There were lots of interesting nooks and crannies and it was a lovely little city to explore. We saw lots of cyclists struggling up the long steep hill no doubt enjoying the thought of riding down again rather fast trying to avoid those Italian drivers on the way!
Last night we had the Aussi team dinner - a great way to meet everyone. There are only 25 entrants from Aussie and 45 from NZ! Tonight is the pasta party and this involves everyone from every country so should be heaps of fun. Already we have met heaps of people - it's a bit like being in a mini Olympic village! Today was registration day and another opportunity to meet yet more people. Mr B has been training hard and is ready to go. This is all very exciting! Tomorrow we will explore the Expo. And now I will leave this as people are waiting. Mandy and her friends arrive on Sat to support Mr B too - our supporter singlets are ready - woo hoo!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's Now or Never!

Indeed, this is my last opportunity to update my blog before "leaving on a jet plane" tomorrow. Yes, one more sleep and then my daughter and I head to Rome where Mr B will meet us and drive us to our destinations, Mandy to Perugia to a friend for a few days before joining us and Mr B and I to Rimini where we stay until after the duathlon next weekend. I think I have almost packed - weighing the bag will be interesting. I have to leave some weight and space for the return trip!!
Running over the past couple of weeks has been a bit intermittent. I seem to have heaps of interruptions. However, it has included a good 13km run with Ewen where I found $20 on the return lap (woo hoo) and speedygeoff's bi-weekly training sessions although I did miss last Thursday's group as I managed to squeeze in a hair appointment to have my hair cut ultra short ready for summer!! Besides it's so much less trouble short!

Last Sunday was the Canberra Times Fun Run - not a very successful result. The weather was pretty bleak after a gorgeous day on the Saturday. Overnight there were huge flashes of lightning and the heavens opened. In the morning the rain had stopped although it fell heavily just prior to the start of the race. Rach drove Marg and I to the start and took the car to the finish which was fantastic except that it didn't go quite as well as planned. For a start I left my ipod in the car which meant running without music. That felt strange for a while as I'm not used to hearing myself breathe so loudly for 10km but the advantage was that I could hear other people breathe too and acknowledge others along the way. After being caught in the rain and wind towards the finish, to add insult to injury a number of walkers spread across the track up to seven abreast in front of me, causing several runners to have to detour up the slippery muddy bank to avoid them and in my case this definitely meant walking for a bit as I was sliding in the mud - not happy! However, on a positive note, it was great to catch up with so many people who come out of the woodwork annually for that event and there were heaps of familiar faces. At the end I met up with Marg and we then searched for our driver. We became cold very quickly and it took a very long time to meet up with Rach again. We were shivering and PRB came to my rescue with his jumper which helped a lot - lovely man. No PB for me this year, in fact I ran nearly a minute slower than last year but next year will be better and over all it was a good day.
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 55:29
Average pace per km: 5:30

This morning I ran a final run before leaving tomorrow. I had heavy legs from an exhausting week and felt every step of the 10km. However, I did listen to my music before packing my ipod. Now I'm off to repack and weigh that suitcase. I will be blogging when possible but from now on my titles will be travel related - farewell for now, Elvis. There are heaps more song titles but I will go with the flow. Back soon my friends!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

It Hurts Me!

This morning RPM was a killer after far too much over indulgence yesterday. I have also been suffering from a sore hamstring all day - the same spot as last year - not a good sign! Tonight I was a bit nervous as we headed for the oval after our warm-up loops round Parliament House. Our main set was 25 x 50metre sprints with a jog back between each. It was fun and being on the grassy oval was a bit gentler on the hamstring. I lasted the distance and enjoyed catching up with lots of people during the jog backs and the warm down at the end.

Total distance: 8km
Calories burned: 450

Now I need to stretch lots more!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Doing the Best I Can!

This morning Mr B and I left for our run a little later than usual and headed for some off-road hilly running. We ran past the AIS and through to parts of Lyneham and O'Connor Ridge and further. There were lots of hills but the off-road is so much better than the cycle paths where we had to start and finish. Of course the rough surface and the hills slowed down the pace but on the return Mr B took off and I ran as fast as I could to try to keep him in sight at least. It felt like a good work out and the second half was definitely much faster than the first.

Total distance: 14.12km
Time taken: 1:24:52
Average pace per km: 6mins exactly
Slowest km: 6:47 (up hill obviously)
Fastest km: 5:13 (in the 11th km)
Calories burned: 818

Happy Fathers' Day tomorrow to all those dads out there. On Wed Mr B leaves for Italy and ten days after that I follow him - not long now - woo hoo!!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Peace in the Valley!!

Wednesday - RPM, Abs, work, run - in that order! Ewen and I ran our usual route from my office keeping the pace slower than last week to fit in with Ewen's low heart rate. This suited us fine as that meant more chatting was involved! Ewen explained the technicalities of his training and how he will reach his 3km goal. We also stopped briefly to gaze at the magnificent sunset near the Boathouse and spotted a lone rower on the water. It was very beautiful. The wind was a bit nasty on the way out but surprisingly it was calmer on our return loop. On the whole it was a pleasant run.
Total distance: 12.10km
Time taken: 71:30
Average pace per km: 5:54
Calories burned: 720

Monday, September 01, 2008

All Shook Up!

This morning I found RPM even harder than usual. I started off tired and the first two tracks were really hard. Once I warmed up it became better but certainly never easy. And after work it was back to speedygeoff's training at Parliament House.
It was a lovely sunny day for the first day of Spring but the air definitely had a strong chill to it by the time training started. I ran in shorts tonight but most people continued in leggings.
We ran a couple of warm-up loops before our main set which was 20 x 100m fast/slow with a short rest at the half way point. It was competitive, with short and sharp repeats - we pushed ourselves and it was hard but 100m is a great distance cos it's over so quickly and the 100m jog between each sprint was a good opportunity for a chat with lots of different people. We finished with another loop of PH.
Total distance: 9km
Calories burned: 530