Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekend Review

Wow, quite a weekend really. After Friday's spin class I had a call from speedygeoff which set my thoughtwaves in action and that evening I checked the Cross Country calendar, contacted a couple of friends and decided at about 9pm to run the 10miler early next morning.
Saturday - Cross Country Run - 7am
Distance: 10miles (or 16.22km according to Garmin)
Location: Black Mountain Peninsula round Lake BG
Time taken: 1:32:33
Average pace per km: 5:42
Place: 68th (out of 108)
Calories burned: 965
It was a cold morning that early (what an uncivilized hour for a race) but actually the conditions were absolutely ideal - not a breath of wind and the sky remained overcast until towards the end. It was lovely - undulating (those hills can be tough for that distance) but for a last minute decision I enjoyed the run and was pleasantly surprised with my time. Later a few of us enjoyed a coffee and chat (as we do) at Tilleys - a good morning. Oh and we remembered to turn everything off at 8pm for earth hour and enjoyed the sounds of silence!
Sunday - Vets' Handicap Race
Location: Kowen Forest
Terrain: Very hilly
Distance: 7.5km
Place: 76th (out of 100)
Handicap Group: 23
Time taken: 45minutes
Average pace per km: 6mins
This was a tough hilly uneven run but the weather was ideal. I probably found it more difficult as I arrived very close to the time it started and didn't allow enough time for a reasonable warm up. However, I was pleased to have run it and it was great to catch up with heaps of people who I only ever see at the handicap runs.
The afternoon was spent on grandparent duties followed by a family dinner and a big family working party packing up furniture and pulling up carpet as Mr B is painting walls and laying floorboards as his next project resulting in rooms full of boxes and books and furniture being stored while this project takes place. We have one very empty echoey (is that a word?) family room and several very cluttered rooms as a result! I'm sure it will be worth it when he finishes!
Monday - speedygeoff's training at Parliament House
Distance: 7.6km
Calories burned: 450
I arrived too late for the warm-up loop due to work commitments so this cut the distance very short. The main set was a number of 950m fast undulating loops alternating with slow loops. I struggled a bit tonight but every little bit helps. This was followed by the warm down loop of PH.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wombat Wednesday

In the morning I struggled out of bed to attend the RPM/spin class at the gym. Gee, it was hard work after missing Friday's class!
After work Ewen met me for our mid-week run round the East Basin of the lake. It felt slow and tough initially but once we were in a rhythm and involved in all our long weekend catch-up session it felt good, although we were battling a head wind on the return journey. We beat last week's time by 4secs per km!
Total distance: 16km
Time taken: 1:37:20
Average pace per km: 6:05
Calories burned: 950
I do enjoy those Wednesday runs and the company is great but once I finish I just can't seem to eat and drink enough. I'm hungry all evening!!
I think our hot snap is defnitely over. The mornings and evenings are becoming exceedingly brisk (unlike my running) and our overnight temperature tonight (Thursday) is forecast to be 3deg - ouch - back to boots and jackets for the office and I must look out that long-sleeved running gear!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fun at the Coast!

We had an awesome weekend - great company with lots of walking, running, swimming, wining and dining, kayaking and far too much chocolate! The weather was fairly average - some rain, some cold snaps, some sunshine but on the all-important kayak lesson day it was beautiful. The sun came out and we had a fantastic time even including swimming during our morning tea break and later in the afternoon at the local beach.
On the Friday morning seven of us set off for a run, all running various distances according to our needs. Mr B and I were running at a gentle pace and decided to go on to run almost 22km. We ran several kms on the beach bush track that Ewen had recommended and it was just beautiful, set amongst the trees in the shade. The surface was a bit rough at the start but great later and it was sad to emerge back on to the pathway where we headed for Huskisson before we turned back. I had to run another km at the end up a very steep hill before heading for the beach to stand in the cold surf while Mr B went for a proper dip. It was very refreshing.
Distance: 21.43km (yes, I know I should have run that extra 600m)
Time taken: 2:18
Average pace per km: 6:28 (parts of it were a bit rough and parts were on soft sand which was tricky)
Calories burned: 1270
During the course of the weekend I went on a 9km walk with one of the girls and a few swims in the surf. It was just a lovely social weekend.
Tuesday - Back to work!
I managed to run between showers this morning before work. Later it absolutely pelted down so I was lucky to run when I did. It had been raining overnight and the ground was wet but it was really pleasant temperature-wise.
Distance: 8.8km
Time taken: 57mins
Average pace per km: 6:30 (no excuses, just tired I think)
Calories burned: 525
I need to burn heaps more calories to work off a lot of extra chocolate intake. I've been desperately trying to eat up all the chocolate so that I can be good again. If there's none around I can't eat it. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it, but I don't think it quite works, somehow!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Easter to you all!

This has been a stressful week - far too many hours at work, auditors in the office and lots of other dramas. I was unable to go to training on Monday night which was very sad so instead I ran a short run early in the morning. It was only a short run as that was all I could fit in but at least it was something.
Distance: 6.79km
Time taken: 40:22
Average pace per km: 5:57
Calories burned: 398

6.15am - spin class - 45mins of hard work on that bike!

5.20pm - Run with Ewen round East basin of Lake.
Distance: 16km
Time taken: 1:38
Average pace per km: 6:07

Now that's a better pace for that distance. We'll be down to 6min pace soon. it's great to have Ewen back running with me again after his awesome SFT. We only had one stop and that was on the return trip. It was a really good run on a perfectly still balmy evening - bunnies, lizards, kayaks, good conversation - a lovely run altogether.
Tomorrow afternoon Mr B and I are off to Hyams Beach near Jervis Bay with three other couples (including CJ and Mr CJ) - should be a fantastic weekend, with plenty of exercise involved as everybody going is training for something - duathlons, ironman, marathon and half marathons - so it will be lots of fun. Oh and there'll probably be a bit of chocolate involved too somewhere in there! Happy and safe Easter everyone!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Flat batteries, lack of fuel, empty radiator; overheating!

That was me on my run this morning! I started way too late in a 33deg temp and suffered accordingly! Last night we met up with friends for a great meal at a local restaurant and of course a few wines were consumed. I guess the combination of the wine, the temperature and lack of food as I didn't eat before my run, caused me to struggle this morning. I can only describe this run as an exhausting exercise in determination! I ran from home to Lake Ginninderra, round the lake, back past Giralang through the tunnel on the way to Gungahlin and back down to Kaleen shops where I bought another bottle of water as I had drunk all four of my little bottles from round my waist, on towards the AIS then back home. I just couldn't seem to drink enough and the moment I reached home I drank gallons of water and gatorade. It was a HOT run but at least I did it (slowly)!

Distance: 22km
Time taken: 2:20:14
Average pace per km: 6:22
Calories burned: 1300

Friday - Yesterday morning early I had a mammoth session at the RPM class. I'm sure the air conditioning wasn't working Although the fans were operating all the glass windows steamed up and we were just dripping. It was a new track and it's great music but an extremely hard workout! Am I losing weight with all this hot hard work? - nah, not a gram, not a kilo, zilch!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Putting things in Perspective

Yesterday morning I went to see Jimmy at the Clinic and he seems pleased with me. I now have two different strengthening exercises, one involving a tennis ball. I don't need to work out what spot to roll on it as there's a nice little bruise where Jimmy used his elbow which is the exact spot - ouch!
After work today I decided to go for my middle distance run without the company of Ewen who is still recovering from his mammoth effort at SFT. So I plugged in my faithful ipod and set off from work alone running to the lake heading East past Molonglo Reach and over the bridge before returning the same way. Sometimes running alone gives one time to reflect on the important things in life. I've had a tough week at work and for the past couple of days I have had a bad headache and have been feeling a bit below par. However, as I ran by the lake on a very hot Canberra afternoon I saw so many friendly people out there - runners, cyclists, walkers, orienteers all responding to my "hi" with a smile and a very elderly lady being pushed along in her wheelchair who smiled brightly as I ran past. There were people fishing, kayaking, dragonboat racing and even kite flying. It was a stunning evening to be out there amongst it and I felt really lucky to be running on such a day.
Distance: 15km
Time taken: 1hr 33mins
Average pace per km: 6:12
The temp reached 33deg today and it still felt very hot when I started my run but there are some shady parts and that certainly helped! Interestingly enough by the time I finished running my headache had gone!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy Canberra Day!

What a stunning day it was for a holiday - just perfect. After a much anticipated "lie-in" and a leisurely breakfast Mr B and I decided to go for a short bike ride. Hmmm, now my idea of short and Mr B's idea of short are obviously slightly different! We headed off towards the city via the cycle track past the AIS then on to Lake Burley Griffin where we enjoyed an icecream before cycling all the way round the lake via Kings Avenue and West Basin then back home again via Lyneham making a grand total of 40km! Yes, it was a leisurely pace (according to Mr B) but I did cycle at 35kph for some of the way and I was completely exhausted when I arrived home as my last bike ride was about 17km so it's a big leap for me! Anyway, after a couple of hot cross buns and lots of cold water we showered and changed for Geoff's running group at Parliament House.
speedygeoff's running at PH - 5.30pm
Distance: 9.2km
After the warm up lap of PH we headed for the grassy bank, ran a loop of that then did quite a different session from usual. We all lined up on one side of the grass and ran to a pole on the opposite side (about 60m) as fast as possible. We did 12 repeats of this, jogging back to our starting pole between each sprint. It was quite fun and because the sprints were short it was manageable even in our tired state! There were only a few at our training session tonight, possibly because of the public holiday or more likely as lots of the group had run in some or several events over the weekend and were recovering.
We ran a long warm-down similar to last week's run which increased our total distance. It was a good session in spite of the heat which today reached 31deg. Summer has come late to Canberra this year!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Weston Creek Half Marathon

Wow - awesome results in the SFT with Ewen doing a PB in 5:41 and twofruits a time of 4:50 - amazing times for such a tough 45km.
Today was the Weston Creek Half Marathon with a different start and a variation in the course this year. Mr B and I entered as a team and for a moment there I thought I was going to have to run it on my own as Mr B did a very big "CJ" during our 6km run yesterday morning. He was very badly grazed and bruised and feeling stiff, sore and sorry for himself last night. However this morning he felt a bit better and fortunately decided to run - phew! His leg started at Black Mountain and I ran the second half which started in Curtin. I quite enjoyed the run and the variation of the course made it more interesting. There were quite a few undulations but I didn't feel too bad. We came in about 6th in the teams and there were about 29 teams so that wasn't too bad. I'll revise this when the official results come out soon. I think our overall time was 1:53:20 giving Mr B a time of 53:56 for his leg.
Distance of my leg: 10:60
Time taken: 58:24
Average pace per km: 5:31
Calories burned: 625
Later we spent a pleasant few hours over lunch at Belluci's with a few of our running buddies before rushing home to cook an ambitious and very successful meal for the WDF tonight. Tomorrow is Canberra Day - a holiday - a sleep-in woo hoo!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wednesday is Wombat Day

This morning I just missed the RPM class by one minute so I did weights and stretches instead and followed this with the 15mins abs class - very important for me!!

5.30pm - Ewen met me after work and we ran from my office to the lake and along to the bridge past Molonglo Reach where we turned and returned to the office.
Total distance: 15km
Time taken: 1:33:05
Average pace per km: 6:12 (a bit better than last week)
Calories burned: 891
It was a good run tonight and I felt very comfortable. We talked all the way (as one does), spotted bunnies and fluffy baby ducklings and it was altogether most pleasant. Ewen is running the 6FT on Saturday along with twofruits and many others including some of speedygeoff's running group. Very best of luck to my very good friends. Run, walk, climb well, stay safe and enjoy the day. I'm really looking forward to reading all about it!

Monday, March 03, 2008

It's good to be alive even on a Monday!

This morning it was so difficult to struggle out of bed to go to the gym after a four day weekend which just flew by! I could get used to those extra days off work. Actually there's a few four day weeks coming up with Canberra Day on 10 March then Easter a couple of weeks later. Ah and it's such a lovely time of year NOT to be working. Autumn in Canberra is one of the best seasons weather-wise. The temperature lingers at about the mid 20s and it is just lovely to run or to sit out in the sun.
6.15am - Gym
RPM class
45mins of hard work on the bike and I actually was having trouble with pains in my hammie this morning which didn't go away. I was a bit worried about the training tonight but I managed to run through the pain and it's not too bad now although I am very aware that it's still not 100%!
5.30pm - speedygeoff's training at Parliament House
Distance: 10km precisely
Calories burned: 600
Session: 1.56km warm up loop followed by 4 x (30secs fast, 80secs slow x 3 with rest between each set). This session was run on the grassy slope in front of PH and fortunately I only had to do my 40secs sprint on the uphill slope twice!
We followed this session with a long warm down running away from PH and in and out off-road undulating paths. I had no idea where we were but it was a pleasant run and with so many of us nobody became lost fortunately. I enjoy those long gentle runs much more than the actual sprinting part of the session!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Jen and the Mangoes visit Canberra

A lovely afternoon at Tilleys with Mango, mini Mango and Jen_runs - all looking awesomely fit. Mango is in training for the Ironman in April and Jen is in training for her HUGE adventure next year (see her blog). Ewen has the 6foot next Sunday, CJ has the Canberra Marathon next month and Mini Mango runs awesome track times. I am privileged to be in such inspiring company!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Alone on a Saturday Night!

After an awesome performance by Santana at Homebush in Sydney we arrived back to a busy weekend. Mr B has a squash tournament all weekend and he is refereeing a triathlon early tomorrow morning before his next game. Tonight he's out at a squash dinner/dance and here am I all alone drinking the odd glass of wine and reading everybody's blog! What a stunning day it was here today for the first day of Autumn. This afternoon we had visitors from the Central Coast who we haven't seen for some years. Fay used to teach my 30yr old son in pre-school and her 18yr old son is now at ADFA in Canberra and they watched him in his passing out parade today (I keep calling it 'coming out' parade which is a bit of a faux pas but is it worse to come out or pass out??) Anyway, I digress. Mr B managed to come home between squash games and we had a great afternoon catching up with the family.
This morning I ran from home, round Lake G and out towards Gungahlin before returning home. I felt the occasional twinge in my hammie today so eased off a bit and tried to find the grassy edges beside the cycle paths. It was a great day for a run, quite crisp and cool in the morning.
Distance: 20km
Time taken: 2:05:04
Average pace per km: 6:15
Calories burned: 1188
Tomorrow Jen-runs is in Canberra and a few of us are catching up for lunch at Tilleys - woo hoo. It will be so good to see her.