Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday's Activities

6.15am - RPM class at the gym - yes indeed, even on holiday I rose at 5.30am and went to my RPM class and raised a sweat - phew!
7am - killer abs class - ouch!
5.50pm - Run
I met up with Ewen, Chris and Andy at Parliament House for our mid-week run. We tried to keep in the shade where possible as it was still really hot at that time of day but it was great to catch up with the "boys" before the New Year. We ran down to the lake and through the wetlands, Molonglo Reach and back to PH - a pleasant little run with good company.
Total distance: 13.14km
Time taken: 1:22:20
Average pace per km: 6:15
Calories burned: 771

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Warm days, balmy evenings!

Yesterday the plan was to go to the movies in the late afternoon. However, when we arrived the theatre was packed and all the movies we wanted to see were full. Next time we'll plan it a bit better!
This did mean that at 7.40pm I took off for a run. It was still quite light and warm although I battled a head wind during the course of the run. However, I did manage a marginal negative split on the return trip - a very pleasant time of day and I was extremely hungry for my dinner on my return. Leftovers are still in my fridge which results in very little meal preparation - one of the benefits of over-catering at Christmas time!
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 46:12
Average pace per km: 5:46
Calories burned: 469

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Return of the wayward blogger!

As we approach the end of December it is time to update my blog once again. A big thank you to Susan and Ewen who have helped me sort out my lost header and motivated me to return to my long overdue blogging. I have continued running, gym sessions and training including speedygeoff's sessions and Ewen's drills. It would be too tedious to record them for the past three weeks so once more I will start fresh and restart my blog from yesterday.

However, I will include my total distances over the past few weeks to help me compare them when I check this space next year!
Week ending Sun 13 Dec: 68km
Week ending Sun 20 Dec: 55km
Week ending Sun 27 Dec: 33km (oh dear - that was Christmas week!)
Monday 28 December
Early run with a few speedygeese: 7km
Main session at 5.30pm: We ran relays from the Rose Garden Steps, a repeat of our last week's session: teams of two running two laps fast and one lap slow, repeated over and over for 20 minutes. My team member was Jodie. It was good fun but hard work especially running up the steps on the course.
Total distance for day: 14km
Belated Christmas wishes to you all! I know I will now need to run that little bit further to counteract that over- indulgence to which most of us succumb!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

And tonight it's raining!

Monday training at Parliament House
I arrived at 4.30pm, in time to run the 8km warm-up in the heat of the sun with Helen, Ewen and speedygeoff. Then back to PH for the main session. There was a great turn out tonight, many more than last week and even a couple of new starters - always good.
We ran our usual warm-up loops of PH before heading for the grassy slopes in front of PH. We ran in teams of three. I was in a team with Bron and Jodie. Bron kept us honest speeding up the hills. We ran in zigzags down the grassy slope and up the straight edges as fast as possible to tag the next team member and jog slowly down the hill as we waited for our next tag. It was exhausting but fun and good to do something different avoiding the frisbees flying across us and runners from other teams as we crossed diagonally down the grassy slope.
Total distance: 16.14km
Calories burned: 922

As I had babysitting duties in the evening I ran early before work and managed to squeeze in 8km listening to my music and thoroughly enjoying the pleasant temperature at that time of day.
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 48mins
Average pace per km: 6mins (can't go wrong with that maths Ewen)!
Calories burned: 470

Monday, December 07, 2009

Ending the week well

Thursday - A big night at Track

On Thursday at track I decided to enter a few events. First I ran the 3000m at 6pm. It was hot and dry and I only managed a very short warm-up first.

Distance: 3000m
Time taken: 15:27:20
Average pace: 5:12

Next I entered the 2000m walk - an event I really enjoy and it's a great way of warming up for the next event.
Distance: 2000m fitness walk
Time taken: 13:44:42

And for some strange reason I felt the urge to enter the Higgins Handicap 800m event which attracted a huge field.
Distance: 800m
Time taken: 3:44

800m is not a distance which I find easy. I did my best and picked up in the last 200m but I am still very slow. After the run I coughed and coughed and coughed. I know a lot of people suffer from the 800m cough but this was ridiculous as I wasn't even fast. I sucked on a mint, drank water but the dry air didn't help. My throat was still dry and tickly when I lined up at the start of the Parlouf Relays, a new event for me.
We were divided into mixed ability groups of five and each team member had to run 400m, 300m, 200m and 100m making a total of 5000m It was lots of fun. Our team did end up coming last but it was a really good fun event and nobody minded about the end result!
Distance: 1km

Total distance for night including warm-up: 8km

Saturday Run
The majority of the Molonglo group started their run at 7am but Ewen, Andy and I started at 7.30am giving us an extra half hour to rest! Ewen led us over 13 bridges, the extra 2 bridges being in Telopea Park where we ran through the "finish" of the Canberra Marathon which sadly probably won't even happen next year due to dispute about ownership.
We ran and talked and didn't worry about the pace.
Total distance: 20km
Time taken: 2:16:49
Average pace per km: 6:50
Calories burned: 1174
Later we joined the rest of the group for a picnic morning tea by the lake enjoying Carol's yummy Christmas cake.

Sunday - Drills

On Sat night I went with a friend to see Glen Campbell in concert. It was fantastic and scarily enough I knew nearly all the songs! On Sunday as I had a load of things to do in the morning we decided to do our drills session in the late afternoon. I met up with Jen, Janene and Ewen at Parliament House and off we ran for our warm-up run and drills session on the flat grass by the road near the portrait gallery. Lots of cars drove past but we just kept going probably providing plenty of entertainment!

Unfortunately I had to run off soon after the session started, back to PH carpark where the nearest toilets were situated and ended up missing part of the session but was still able to complete some strides, schoolyard skipping, tricky high knees, butt kicks and carioca - I think I might be improving just a little. Janene was a star at carioca. After a few wines I think we might be quite an act, just need to call LL to join us! We also ran a little session of forwards/backwards with Ewen clapping behind us to indicate a change of direction. It was all quite fun. Then off we ran to a steep hill on the west side PH where we ran 6 x 10 sec 'Brad Hudson' hill sprints with a full recovery between each sprint. After that we ran gently back to the start. It was a fun session and great company.

Total distance: 8km

Total distance for week: 77km

Thursday, December 03, 2009

A New Starter for our Wednesday Group

Tuesday - Run and Drills
As I was on rostered duty at the cross country run in the afternoon I decided to give the gym a miss and do my Peter Magill drills this morning before work. I ran 2.5km to a reasonable oval and selected a flattish grassy area of about 50-60m:

3 repeats of the following jogging or walking back to the start each time
  • 3 x strides to start then 1 length of strides between each set
  • schoolyard skipping
  • high skips
  • flat foot marching
  • carioca (left and right - slight improvement I think but still a bit weird - good for the hips)
  • high knees
  • butt kicks
Then I ran home. As my hammie was a bit dodgy I omitted the skip kicks this time.
Distance: 8.5km

After doing my roster duty at the cross country by recording names before and after the event and inserting ID numbers I joined Ewen and Maria for a short warm-down run - great conditions.
Distance: 4km
Total distance for day: 12.5km

6.15am- RPM at gym
7am - 15mins abs class
5.45pm - Run from Parliament House
Tonight Richard joined Jen, Andy, Ewen and I for a pleasant run past the National Gallery and on to Lake BG anti-clockwise through the Wetlands, Molonglo Reach and back via Kings Ave Bridge. The temperature was at its hottest for the day but was a very manageable 24deg - still and beautiful. We discussed plans for our picnic/bbq next Wed. It was fun and great company as always.
Total distance: 12.5km
Time taken: 1:18:34
Average pace per km: 6:17
Calories burned: 729

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Wet Training Session!

At about 4.25pm in true Canberra style it rained just in time for the early warm-up for training. Helen, Craig, speedygeoff and Ewen were the other starters and we ran in spray jackets through the rain to the yacht club and back to PH in less time than it usually takes for our 8km warm-up, probably due to the drop in temperature and the rain soaking us through. We arrived back at PH thoroughly soaked to the skin. I only wore a spray jacket and that doesn't stop heavy rain. However, I had brought a spare singlet and shorts with me so could at least change into something drier before the main session at 5.30pm.

It was a pretty small turn-out for the main session, just the hardy ones willing to run in the rain. The rain stopped and started and didn't fall nearly as heavily as earlier. In fact the sun came out in very brief patches. After our warm-up loops of PH we ran a tempo run of 5 x 935m fast, slow, fast, slow. In my case I only ran 4 loops as I had to answer a call of nature. However, I still managed to run 8.35km for our main session. The ground was muddy and very slippery in parts so was treated with due caution.

Total distance: 16:35km
Calories burned: 960

Photo: Proud recipient of the Bronze medal in the Vets' Handicap at Weston Park. That's me on the right!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Woo Hoo - Bling's the Thing!

speedygeese at Yarralumla Bakery after the run

It was a cooler rather windy morning at Weston Park this morning for the final Vets' Athletics monthly handicap of the year. It was a new course and different from the cross country although it incorporated parts of it. I actually enjoyed the out and back course, a little rough in parts but interesting and not too hilly. Marg, Ewen and I ran a short warm-up but as we started in early groups couldn't run for long before the start.
I surprised myself as I felt quite comfortable and found myself passing a few people. I started in Group 18 which was a good handicap and gave me an opportunity to do well. I finished seventh across the line but it turned out that a few people weren't eligible and I was called out as the bronze medal winner. Wow, that was an exciting surprise - yay!
A number of our speedygeese won trophies at the final presentation, including Ken (for pointscore in the short runs) and our speedycoach (who won two trophies) so we felt pretty happy and a few of us enjoyed a lovely relaxing coffee at the Yarralumla Bakery later.
Distance of race: 7km
Time taken: 39:16
Average pace per km: 5:37
Calories burned: 404
Total distance with warm-up: 8.3km
Total distance for week: 72km
Photo 2: strewth, Marg, speedygeoff, Heidi, Ken, Janene, Ewen

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lost and Found!

This morning I met up with the Molonglo group at 7.30am. It was great to see people I haven't seen in ages, including twofruits who was looking so tanned and fit. I ran with Andy and Jen to the war memorial where we met up with Ewen, twofruits, Michael and Liz briefly before the mountain runners took off in the distance. It was good to finally meet the awesome Liz (aka Superwoman) who is an ultra distance mountain runner like twofruits.
Jen, Andy and I followed the others talking lots (as we do) and managed to lose sight of them. In spite of "cooees" we could not find them anywhere. Just as we were heading back to Mt Ainslie after ending up on the road we spotted Ewen in the distance out looking for us. That was a relief as we had visions of running endless kms trying to find our way round the trails. The four of us ran through the nature park and back past the war memorial again down to the lake, on to Kings Ave bridge and the wetlands and back to Molonglo.

Total distance: 19.7km (bother I should have run 300m extra at the end!)
No idea how long it took as I forgot to stop my watch when we stopped to regroup etc.
Calories burned: 1200 (that's important)

We joined those who had returned before us at the picnic table by the lake for drinks and fruit but there was no sign of twofruits and the others by the time we left an hour later. I think they were running another of their very long hilly runs out there. It was hot but not too hot but the wind was quite strong as we ran over Kings Ave Bridge.

A good run with good company but now I'm surprisingly tired. Vets' Handicap tomorrow at Weston Park - should be fun.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Doing things a little differently!

On Thursdays I have a day off work but this evening I'm going to a work function at the Boathouse which will clash with track. Normally I would opt for track but every time we run past the Boathouse restaurant by the lake there is a function there and happy people are enjoying the serenity and views. I weighed it up - I really did - track 5km (current temp 31deg) or nibbles and champagne by the lake - ummmmm! In the end I'm afraid the function has won and thus it was that I ran early this morning instead. I met a friend for breakfast at the civilised hour of 9am so this enabled me to run a pleasant easy 8km first.
It has been simply ages since I have run from home in the morning all alone with my music and I did enjoy it in spite of having run yesterday evening thus running a back-to-back run.
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 48:31
Average pace per km: 6:03
Calories burned: 468
Good luck to everyone running at track tonight - I hope the temperature drops for those longer races at 8pm.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Strange changes of temperature!

6.30am - upper body strength and abs work at gym
6.15pm - Spring series cross country race at Boathouse
Total distance: 5km
Time taken: 26:35
Average pace per km: 5:19
Place: 79 (out of 102 finishers)

I felt less than ordinary this afternoon and although the weather had been quite cool during the day at 6pm it was the hottest part of the day and felt very humid. I had taken a couple of pain killers before driving to the Boathouse venue as I was suffering from a headache probably from being on the computer at work for too long.
My legs felt a bit leaden during the warm up and for the first half of the race, so I was pleasantly surprised when my time proved to be almost a minute faster than the previous race at the Boathouse a few weeks ago.
It was great to catch up with friends and to see Thea running really well. I haven't seen her for ages.
Total distance for day including warm-up: 7km

6.15am - RPM class at gym
7am - 15mins abs class
5.45pm - Run
I met up with Chris, Andy and Ewen at Parliament House at 5.45pm for a gentle run. It was back to 31deg and felt very very hot at the start. However after about 6km Ewen managed to find us some lovely shady spots to run and that made such a difference. I was actually really enjoying myself half way through. It was fun to run with such good company. Unfortunately Jen was unwell and couldn't make the run tonight.
We pulled our names out of a hat as we are going to have a Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle) at our bbq in a couple of weeks - should be great fun!
Total distance: 12.55km
Time taken: 1:24:18
Average pace per km: 6:45
Calories burned: 745

Monday, November 23, 2009

Just a Running in the Rain - oh what a feeling!

Yes, tonight it rained. I arrived just 5 mins after 4.30pm so had to run 4km on my own before the boys met me on their return - no chance of catching them before that! I ran this part of the early warm-up with speedygeoff, Ewen and Craig. The temp had dropped from 38deg yesterday to 14deg today and I even wore a spray jacket. Oh but how much easier it is to run when the weather is cooler. I felt quite comfortable. I managed to squeeze in 7.33km before the main session at 5.30pm.
The main set was a 3.3k group warm-up followed by 1 test run of the 935m circuit before running 5 x 935m of the west side circuit (3 fast and 2 slow alternating). Then we ran a gentle 1.4km warm down back to the start as the rain became heavier. We were quite drenched at the end and cooled down very quickly.
Total distance of warm-up plus session: 16.5km
Calories burned: 963

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kicking butt with Ewen!

This was track night and hot and dusty with temps still in their high 30s as the time came for the 3000m at 6pm. It was tough out there and my throat felt like sandpaper during and after the run. Needless to say I did not set any PBs or earth shattering times as I don't cope too well in the intense heat. However I was pleased to take part in three events.

Distance: 3000m (at 6pm)
Time taken: 15:34:62

Distance: 1500m (at 7.15pm)
Time taken: 7:26:36

5 lap spiral (approx 2.07km)
Time taken: 10:45
Handicap group: 32
Place: 26 (34 finishers)

Total distance for evening including warm-ups between events: 10km

Friday - rest day from running
6.15am - Body Balance class at gym including abs, stretching.

7.30am - Run from Molonglo Reach. Met up with large group and ran together until Campbell Park where Jen, Andy and I followed Ewen in a different direction. We ran around the '11 bridges' from there along the Mt Ainslie track (great surface), past the War Memorial, Commonwealth Ave Bridge, through the Wetlands and back to Molonglo. Jen was struggling with stomach cramps and she and Andy walked/ran the last 4km. We did run very gently to keep them in sight.
Later we joined the main group and had a pleasant picnic morning tea by the water's edge watching the kayakers go past.
Total distance: 16.2km
Calories burned: 947
Time taken: 1:43:29
Average pace per km: 6:23
Sunday (today)
This morning I met up with Ewen at Parliament House at 9.30am for a drills and hills session. We followed the Peter Magill drills but this week only did two repeats of each instead of three, as Ewen planned hill repeats afterwards!
We ran a warm-up around PH to the shaded grass opposite Portrait Gallery and did 35 mins of drills as follows
3 x 50m strides followed by 2 each x 50m of schoolyard skipping, high skips, skip-kicks, flat-foot marching, high knees, butt kicks and carioca (with 50m of strides between sets). We then ran a 100m sprint along some flat grass before jogging back to a steep hill on the west side PH for our hill repeats. Here we ran 5 x 10 sec hill sprints with a full recovery between each sprint. This was tougher than it sounds as the hill was very steep but we made it to the top and jogged back down for our recovery before the repeat.
After this we ran a gentle jog back to PH before driving to a nice spot by the lake for a coffee and after lingering too long and checking out the styles of passing runners we ended up staying long enough to buy a sandwich and turning it into lunch!
We were very lucky today as there was complete cloud cover and it was comfortable running even at that time of day. As I write this the wind has picked up and the temp has cooled. We may be in for a temporary cool change!
Total distance: 8.2km
Total distance for week: 73km

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hump Day Wednesday!

6.15am - 45mins RPM/Spin at gym
7am - 15mins abs class
5.55pm - Run from Parliament House with Chris, Jen, Ewen and Andy. We ran to Lake BG, Kingston, the Wetlands, Molonglo Reach past the Carillon, over Commonwealth Ave Bridge, to Reconciliation Place and back to PH. It was hot, in fact very hot to start, but once the sun became low in the sky on the return journey it felt a little more comfortable. We all walked 1km at the end to stretch our legs. I didn't have much energy and felt very tired after burning the candle at both ends!
Total distance: 14km
Time taken: 1:32
Average pace per km: 6:35
Calories burned: 825
We did discuss ideas for a Christmas BBQ after one of our runs - sounds like a plan!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A True Cross Country Run at Weston Park

6.30am - upper body strength session at the gym
6.15pm - Spring series - Cross Country run at Weston Park
I arrived just before 6pm, in time to run a warm-up 2km with Ewen before the start of the race. It had been an extremely hot day in the 30s but about half an hour before the race was due to start the wind picked up and clouds covered the sun. Yes, the conditions improved considerably and after the start the wind dropped as well. It was a different course from last year, an out and back course over undulations, a lot of off-road uneven ground avoiding tree roots but some on the path and some on the grassy turf. We even had to leap over a ditch. It was a good course with lots of variety as long as we watched where our feet landed!
Total distance for race: 5km
Time taken: 26.42
Average pace per km: 5:20
After the race Ewen and I ran another 3km cool down. In fact when we stopped the weather really had cooled down quite considerably.
Total distance for day: 10km
Postscript: I have just entered the Canberra Marathon for April 2010 - no turning back now!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Another Hot Week Ahead!

In this extremely hot weather it's nice to find a few shady spots on our runs even if it means running in the heat to find them. I met up with speedygeoff, Jen, Ewen and Craig for the early hot run at 4.30pm. We ran seeking shade past the yacht club and back to PH for a total of 7.5km.
At PH we joined the main group at 5.30pm. We ran another warm-up loop of PH before our main session which was similar to last week. 5 x 690m starting every 5 minutes including 5 push-ups on the fitness trail each lap.
Total distance for session: 7km
Total distance for day: 14.5im
Calories burned: 830
Today the temperature was 33deg and the forecast for the next few days is rising rapidly!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Drills with Ewen

I met up with Ewen at Parliament House just after 9.30am to practise our drills. We started with a warm-up around PH to the shaded grass opposite the Portrait Gallery. We did almost 50 mins of Pete Magill drills: 3 each x 50m of schoolyard skipping, high skips, skip-kicks, flat-foot marching, high knees, butt kicks and carioca. We ran strides between sets and finished with a jog back to PH. It was surprisingly hard work but Ewen assures me it will do me good and I have to try to do this at least once a week.
Total distance: 7.2km
Calories burned: 370
We rewarded ourselves with a very nice coffee at Kingston Markets afterwards.
Total distance for week: 64km

Trails and Tales with The Mountain Goat!

Yesterday morning (Sat) at 7.30am I met up with the Cotter group who have moved to Molonglo Reach for the summer. Ewen, Jen, Andy and I joined Chris (the Mountain Goat), Marianne, Elizabeth, Graeme and Stuart for a run before the sun became too hot. We "ran" around Duntroon to Campbell Park, Ainslie saddle, the rollercoaster, straight up to Ainslie summit (defnitely NOT running at this stage, more like clambering up rock faces) through the streets of Campbell and back to Molonglo via Duntroon. Our mountain goat leader pointed out all the interesting spots and sights on the way, especially from the magnificent view from the top of the mountain. He has so much history and knowledge at his finger tips and makes the run/walk very interesting.
Jen, Andy and I also stopped to ogle at a huge lizard on our path on the way up the mountain before we reluctantly left it to chase the others before losing sight of them.

As we headed down Mt Ainslie Jen was feeling considerably ill so we left her at the picnic area in the shade near the War Memorial and took a short cut back to Molonglo to enable someone to drive back to collect her.

As we were running on the flat near the end of the run I tripped on a tree root and landed flat on my face in the dry dirt. I didn't suffer any undue damage except to my dignity as I was completely covered in dry dirt from head to toe (literally). Back at Molonglo Ewen, Andy and I went straight into the cold river water and in fact Andy and I went right under the water, clothes and all - one way of washing the mud off! It was really refreshing and I felt so much cleaner after that - albeit wetter and cooler!

We then joined the others, including Jen, for a drink and nibbles at the picnic table - very pleasant. Next week we will run further but as our mountain goat will be away, Ewen will ensure we don't walk up vertical hills and we will run all the way on the undulating trails instead. I have to say it's great to get back to the trails though - so much easier on the legs and feet (when I don't trip over them)!!

Total distance: 13.61km
Calories burned: 744
Time taken: 1:45 (walking involved!)

Now I'm off to do drills (and hopefully not spills) with Ewen!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun on the Track!

After some initial indecisiveness I opted to run 3000m at track and enjoy the 1500m fitness walk rather than running the 10,000m. I made the final decision when the sky clouded over a little and the heat didn't feel quite as intense as it did earlier in the day. I managed a short warm up with Janene and Marg before we headed for the start at 6pm. I felt good tonight, no record breaker but at least I was a little faster than last week. If I just knock a few seconds off each week I will go under that 15mins eventually hopefully!

Distance: 3000m
Time taken: 15:28:25
Average pace per km: 5:10

Activity: Fitness Walk
Distance: 1500m
Time taken: 10:17
Average pace per km: 6:45 (that's faster than some of my training runs!!)

Total distance including warm-up: 7km

Later in the evening I lap scored for one of the entrants in the 10,000m. It was great fun sitting on the sidelines cheering on the competitors and taking times on each lap - quite different from being on the other side!

And finally, at supper afterwards, I was one of the lucky recipients of the barrel draw - two weeks in a row! Woo hoo, I won a movie ticket - yay!

Things are Really Hotting Up!

6.15am - RPM/Spin class at gym
7am - 15mins abs class
5.45pm - Run from Parliament House with Jen, Chris and Andy.

Ewen decided to run from home as he plans to race the 10km at track tonight. I think I may opt for the 3km although it will be run at 6pm when the heat is really on!

Jen and I ran in crop tops as it was over 30deg when we set out on our run with Chris as our leader. We ran past the National Gallery, along Kings Ave, Parkes Way, Anzac Pde and past the War Memorial then down to Commonwealth Park, Commonwealth Ave, through the streets of Reid past Regatta Point heading in a roundabout way back to the start. We included a stop to dislodge hundreds of biddy bids pricking into our toes through our shoes and socks from the dry dry grass.
It was hot, there's no denying this and we didn't stop for water until after the 9km point by which time I felt really dehydrated. We ran gently although Jen powered up the hills. It was an interesting run as we always manage to run past new places when Chris is leading and often stop for a little history lesson on the way!

Total distance: 13km
Time taken: 1:30
Average pace: Slow
Calories burned: 745

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tough and Rough!

6.15am - Gym - upper body strength work and abs
6.15pm - Cross Country Spring Series Run at Barrenjoey Drive near the zoo.
Distance: 5km
Time taken: 28:55
Average pace per km: 5:40
It was 33deg at the hottest part of the day today and had not cooled down at all by the start of the run. Fortunately the course was partly in the shade of trees but it was a 3 lap course on rough uneven ground which meant treading with caution to avoid tree roots and sticks. I didn't want to trip and fall flat on my face which is a very likely scenario for me!
I ran a slow 2km warm-up before the race but it didn't help my pace. Today I was over a minute slower than in last week's run.
Total distance for day: 7km

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's all about feeling good!

Today was hot. It was a non-working day for me so I decided to cross one thing off my 'to do' list and baked my Christmas cake. The kitchen smells pretty good!
Later it was off to early training at Parliament House where I ran for an 8km warm-up with Ewen, speedygeoff and Craig on our original route to Kingston and back. For some reason it felt much easier today, possibly because they ran slower but it was a really pleasant warm-up run in spite of the heat.
We met up with the training group at 5.30pm and ran a warm-up loop of PH before the main session which was 5 x 690m starting every 5 minutes. The loop included two steep hills (one a double hill) incorporating 5 push-ups on the fitness bars on each loop. It was tough, especially those hills, but a good session and different from the past few weeks. Variation is always good and I needed the hills as I missed my hill repeats yesterday.
As I just finished my last set of push-ups and was proceeding up the hill I called to Jodie, "Remind me again why I am doing this?"
"To make you feel good" came the response.
And that sums it up really. During the hot session it feels tough but afterwards there is this warm glow of achievement - yes, it's all about feeling good. That is so important!
Total distance for session: 16km

Total distance for week ending yesterday: 72km - yay!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Dancing the Night Away!

On Thursday morning I did strength work at the gym to make up for missing it on Tuesday. Then in the late afternoon I headed off to the AIS for track. I managed a few laps of the track before we headed to the start for the first event - the 3000m. The temperature was ideal really although there was a bit of wind. However I still didn't manage to break 15mins.
Distance: 3000m
Time taken: 15:33:82
Next I ran in the 1500m event - slightly faster than last time but a long way to go yet.
Distance: 1500m
Time taken: 7:16:42

And at 8pm I ran in the 6 lap spiral.
Total distance: 2.514km (I think)
Time taken: 12:55
Handicap group: 31
Place: 10th (out of 35)
Total distance with warm-ups between races: 11km

Friday - Rest day
I still did my early morning Body Balance class at the gym however - necessary for me!

I met up with Jen and Andy at the War Memorial at 8.30am to go for a longish run. Ewen had had an unfortunate accident concerning a chicken and was unable to join us. Thus, without our guide, we decided to run down to the lake and turn right for a loop round the central basin. This should normally have been a 16km loop with a few extra kms to the lake and back to the War Memorial. However, somehow we managed to run a few extra detours and although we started well once we reached 24km we stopped and walked the last km. It was just too far yet and defnitely not planned.

It was a perfect running morning and we spotted lots of spring babies - goslings and fluffy ducklings. We took it easy and the company was pleasant. Next run, however, our leader will help our sense of direction hopefully!
Total distance: 24km
Time taken: 2:40:34
Average pace: 6:40 (probably due to struggling the last few km)
Calories burned: 1399
No time for coffee today as we all had things to do and places to go.

In the evening Mr B and I joined 150 others at the Veterans' Athletics 30th anniversary Dinner/Dance where we danced the night away burning up the calories we had just consumed hopefully!

Photos from Vets' dinner
Mr B and strewth
Jen (from the coast), Jenny and speedygeoff
strewth, Janene and Heidi
Brett and Nadine (who marry on Friday)
Janene and Heidi

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mid-week middle distance at Parliament House!

I met up with Jen, Chris, Ewen and Andy at Parliament House just before 6pm when we ran through Kingston, Telopea Park and the Wetlands anti-clockwise. It was quite hot but there was a cool breeze wafting around which kept the temperature to a reasonable level although I was still quite deydrated throughout the run with one quick stop for a drink at Molonglo Reach. The best part about these mid-week runs is that someone will always run at the back with me and the conversation is always fun and interesting. Time is not important as we are trying to build up the base kms. Ewen and I certainly didn't want to push it tonight as we are running at track tomorrow and need to have legs for that!
Total distance: 12.3km
Time taken: 1:20
Average pace per km: 6:32
Calories burned: 720

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

First of the Spring Series

After a pleasant Melbourne Cup lunch with Mr B's cycling group and the excitement of the race (Mr B had backed the winner 'Shocking' and his winnings covered the cost of his lunch), I headed for The Boathouse for the first of the Cross Country summer series races. The hot weather had blown over and in fact it was drizzling and blowing a gale when I arrived. I ran a warm-up run with Ewen and Caroline joined us for part of the way. Ewen and I ran 3km and by the start of the race the wind had eased and the temperature was pleasant, not at all like yesterday.
I ran a bit tired and slow but it was the first of the series so hopefully my times will improve.
Distance of race: 5km
Time taken: 27:27
Average pace per km: 5:29
Place: 67th
After the run I ran a cool down of 2km with Ewen and speedygeoff.
Total distance for evening: 10km

Clairie brings a heat wave!

The outside temperature, according to my car thermomoter, was 34deg as I pulled up at Parliament House for the early warm-up at 4.30pm. It was probably complete madness to be running at that time in that temp as we are just not yet acclimatised. The hot weather has come very suddenly.
It was great to welcome Clairie from Brisbane to join us for our full session before she flew back to Brisbane in the early hours of this morning. It was interesting that she suffered in our heat especially after coming from much warmer climes.
We ran a different loop for our early run, trying to find shade heading out to Lotus Bay and beyond but it was still dreadfully hot and I was plodding by the end. Yelena, Ewen, speedychief, Clairie and I ran early for 7.7km before joining the main group at 5.30pm. My average pace was only 6:22 per km but it felt so hard in the heat.
We had about 4 new starters for the main session and 23 turned up which was a really good turnout. We ran our usual warm up loop before heading off for the rose garden and repeating last week's session only this time I stopped for a sip of water on every single loop and only managed 10 repeats of the 460m loop. I was very dehydrated although the conditions were much better for the main session as the temperature had dropped a fraction.
Total distance: 14.7km
Calories burned: 830

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Drills and Hills

It was a stunning day in Canberra today. The sun shone brightly all day and it was actually was quite hot. I decided to do some drills which Ewen had suggested to me and some short hill sprints. I wasn't too concerned about the time as I wanted to give those drills a go after a short run. I chose the North Lyneham oval for the drills and this was a bit of a mistake as the grass was long and the ground uneven. However, I spent a short time looking crazy with skipping and high knees, butt kicks, strides etc before running off to find a hill and sprint six repeats up the hill jogging back between each repeat. After this I ran an undulating course along North Lyneham ridge before returning home.
Total distance: 9km
Calories burned: 512
Total distance for week: 52.6km

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Catching up on the week in brief

Oh dear me, how time gets away sometimes and when writing up my blog becomes this far behind again it makes it so much more difficult to catch up. I will record briefly what my activities were as it's great to refer back to when I'm checking on my training in the future.
Wednesday 21 October
5.45pm - Run with Chris, Ewen, Jen and Andy from PH
Distance: 13km
Calories burned: 741

Thursday 22 October
Track at AIS
3000m - 15:42
7 lap spiral (approx 3km) - 15:52
I ran 4km between races but it didn't help with the speed!
Total distance: 10km

Friday 23 October
6.15am - Body Balance at gym

Saturday 24 October
Run before driving to Sydney for weekend.
Total distance: 16.50km
Time taken: 1:45:48
Average pace per km: 6:25
Calories burned: 970

Tuesday 27 October
5.45am - Run before work
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 50mins
Average pace per km: 6:20

Wednesday 28 October
6.15am - RPM
7am - Abs class
5.45pm - Run with Ewen, Andy and Jen from PH
Total distance: 13.2km
Not sure of pace as I forgot to take garmin in my running bag this morning. However, it was hard work keeping Jen and Ewen within sight! They ran at 5:50pace so I guess my pace was nearer 6min per km.
Thursday 29 October
Track at AIS
The only event I was interested in running tonight was the 3000m and that didn't start until 8.15pm. I arrived about an hour before and ran a gentle 3km outside the AIS with Marg. We then ran the 3000m. I was a little faster than the last couple of weeks so if I can just keep improving a little bit each week eventually I should go under 15mins (that's my theory anyway)!
Distance: 3000m
Time taken: 15:32
Average pace per km: 5:11
Total distance: 6km
Friday 30 October
6.15am - Body Balance at gym for necessary stretching!
Saturday 31 October
8.15am - Run with Jen and Ewen from War Memorial.
It was a stunning day today - sunshine and it later reached 27deg although at this time of day it was a pleasant 17deg - perfect! We ran the Ainslie track, Duntroon, through the Wetlands, Comm Ave and back along Anzac Pde. I felt great until the last 3km when I suddenly felt quite unwell and slowed down considerably which was disappointing. I felt a lot better after water, coffee, a snack and lots of talking at Hudsons after the run. Nothing like great friends and sunshine to make a run a good experience!
Total distance: 16.4km
Time taken: 1:45:19
Average pace per km: 6:25
Calories burned: 960

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Enjoying the Pain!

I'm not sure what happened to me tonight at RPM at the gym but for the first time ever I actually enjoyed it. I enjoyed pouring with perspiration, I enjoyed the steep climbs on the bike and the speedwork and the loud music and the challenge. Somehow half way through the class the endorphins set in and I felt something like a runners' high! I couldn't believe it, I worked so hard and felt just great after the class. I even felt myself smiling DURING the class - unheard of for me! The instructor even commented about how well I worked. Wow, I wish those same endorphins could set in while I'm running and give me some well-needed speed.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunshine and singlet tops - YES!

Today the sun shone all day. It was lovely. Ewen, Geoff, Miranda and I were about to set off on our 4.30pm early warm-up run when Maria arrived which was a lovely surprise. We waited for her to change and as a consequence were about ten minutes late to start. This of course put pressure on the speed as we had to be back in time for the main session at 5.30pm. Thus the pace was set. Ewen, speedychief and Maria ran in front, Miranda next and I was at the back running fast enough to keep them all in sight. It was hard work and this was only the warm-up. For the last km Miranda and I ran together slowly to finish well behind the others bringing the average pace down but by that stage I just needed to get back, have a drink and be prepared for the main session.
Warm up distance: 7.83km
Time taken: 47:45
Average pace per km: 6:05
Fastest km: 4:57
Calories burned: 455
Just after 5.30pm a much larger group of us ran a lap of Parliament House before heading for the rose gardens to repeat last week's session. The loop is an undulating 460m and the goal is to run as many loops as possible in 30mins with the 200m straight part by the road being sprinted. I managed 11 loops again - same as last week. Some managed 14 but a couple only reached 10 so I wasn't the slowest tonight for a change!
Total distance: 9.26km
Calories burned: 529

Total distance for session: 17.09km

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Sun has Returned!

The sun stayed out and just before 5pm I set out on a short run to include a few short hill sprints as suggested by Ewen. I ran from home, past the AIS and on to O'Connor Ridge where I had to avoid my normal spot as there were lots of young boys on BMX bikes whizzing down the hills and likely to take me with them. Instead I stayed on the other side of the gate where I felt safer and found a short steep hill to sprint quickly with high knees - just 4 repeats with a jog down between. I found a little bit of flat to practise a few strides to stretch the legs out before and after the hills. Then I ran back to the track and continued to the city turn-off where I turned and ran back home the same way instead of running over more hills on the return journey.
It took me ages to warm up and find my legs (possibly due to a late dinner out and a few wines last night) but I felt much better about half way into the run. The pace didn't really matter anyway as it was more about the training aspect today.
Total distance: 10:06km
Time taken: 1:04:13
Average pace per km: 6:22
Calories burned: 592
Total distance per week: 62km
The weather forecast for this week is looking positively sunny and warm. We may even start complaining that we're too hot soon!!! :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Importance of the Warm-up!

On Thursday it poured and poured very solidly from 5pm. Now, as track started at 6pm there were some doubts as to whether it would go ahead. I arrived there very close to the start of the 3km to spot some very soggy runners who had been "warming up" before their races started. It was also a "Come and Try It" night so there were a few hardy Bilbys triathletes on the track giving it a go. I competed in the 3000m at 6pm and the only warm-up was my jog to the start (about 200m). As a consequence I did not run a good time but at least I have something to improve upon.
Distance: 3000m
Time taken: 15:48
Average pace per km: 5:20
Goal to achieve: Under 14:58
I returned to cheer on those still running 5000m before piling on warmer clothes. Forgetting that my garmin was not on daylight saving time I thought there was too bigger gap for me to hang around and after chatting with various people (there were very few starters at track tonight) I was just deciding to leave when the 1500m start was announced. I decided to compete although again I was caught short without a warm-up as I had cooled down considerably since the 3000m at the start of the evening. However, I ran it anyway and the result gives me loads of room for improvement!
Distance: 1500m
Time taken: 7:33 (according to garmin)
Average pace per km: 5:03
Goal to achieve: under 7mins
This was not a particularly auspicious start to the track season but I do hope to improve in the weeks to come. In future weeks I will ensure that I warm up properly before the races start!
Total distance: 5km
I met up with Ewen at the War Memorial at 9am for a pleasant mid-distance run. For once the sun was out and I could run in singlet and shorts - yay! We ran the Mt Ainslie track on through Duntroon, through the wetlands to Commonwealth Avenue and along Anzac Pde back to the War Memorial - a good little run but I was struggling. My legs felt heavy and I felt very sluggish. We only ran 16km which is a little short but that was definitely enough for me today.
Total distance: 16km
Time taken: 1:41:24
Average pace per km: 6:20
After the run and catching up on all the news we enjoyed a coffee and snack at Hudsons cafe sitting outside to try to soak up a little warmth from the sun's rays. Is Spring actually coming at last??

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Turn up the Heat!!

Last night I decided to attend an RPM/Spin class at the gym to save my legs for today's longish run. There was a different instructor and it was so tough. By the time I had finished the 50mins I felt like I had run 10km - fast!!
Wednesday (today)
6.15am - strength and upper body work
7am - 15mins abs class
5.45pm - Run with Chris, Andy, Jen, Carol, Amanda and Frances. Yes, seven of us turned up for Chris' group at PH tonight. Jen and Andy had to leave after an hour but the rest of us kept going. We ran from PH round central basin to the War Memorial. Amanda and Carol ran ahead but the rest of us ran back to PH gently. From there Chris, Ewen and I ran a lap of PH in and out the tracks and back to the start. It was great to catch up with Carol after such a long time and to meet Amanda and new starter Frances.
The weather during today has been bitterly cold, windy and drizzly - not at all conducive to a pleasant run. However, by the time we ran it wasn't too bad, a little drizzle but not much and the wind had eased. It was still cold enough to keep jackets or long sleeved tops on for the entire run however.
Total distance: 13.4km
Time taken: 1:28:29
Calories burned: 763

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Good Start to another Cold Week!

Tonight I arrived in time to run the warm-up run with Miranda and speedycoach at 4.30pm. We started in the cool and ran the majority of the 8km run in the rain. Back at Parliament House we quickly changed into dry clothes for the main training at 5.30pm. This involved a warm up loop of PH before heading to the rose garden where we ran a similar session to last week with 200m sprints on the flat next to the road and a jog between up and down the winding track to the rose garden. This time I managed to run 11 loops. It was hard work and I really appreciated my hot shower on returning home!
Total distance including warm-up: 17.07km
Calories burned: 984

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Few Hill Repeats

This morning I ran from home past the AIS and on to O'Connor Ridge where I found an appropriate off road hill to start practising hill sprints. Today I just ran straight up for 30secs then jogged down repeating this 6 times, quite enough for the first time. The trouble was I next returned to the cycle track, ran to the city and then had to return home via lots of undulations around the back of O'Connor. There were several more hills so good training for my slow legs which need all the help they can get! I wasn't too interested in my pace as I was trying to concentrate on those hills!
Total distance: 11km
Time taken: 1:11:56
Average pace per km: 6:32
Calories burned: 633
Total distance for week: 60km
Congratulations to all those running friends who ran so well in the Melbourne marathon and half marathon today. It sounds like a number of PBs and great results were achieved!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What is a baby pelican called?

6.15am - RPM/spin class
7am - 15mins abs class
6pm - Run with Chris, Jen and Andy from Parliament House. After a cold windy day with threatening rain clouds we were lucky as the rain disappeared for our run and it was ok weather-wise. However, I was dragging the chain a bit, especially when Chris led us up steep parts of Mt Ainslie to give us a challenge on our run. I was struggling this afternoon and although the company was fun I was glad to finish. The last few kms were the easiest in fact! During the run we spotted some cute fluffy cygnets. When speedygeoff and I saw some of these fluffy babies on Monday's warm-up run a discussion arose as to the names of various babies - goslings, cygnets, ducklings to name a few but we struggled on naming baby pelicans. After research I have discovered that they are in fact called chicks! Spring is certainly here with baby birds and animals, pretty blossom trees, windy days, green grass and swooping magpies but there is not much warmth in the sun yet!
Total distance: 12.2km
Time taken: 1:25:12
Average pace per km: 6:59 (very very slow)
Calories burned: 695
Tonight I was on gate duty at track so unable to take part in the events. Instead I went for a short run in the late afternoon just around the local block. It felt much warmer then than it did later when the wind picked up and I wore my bright yellow beanie and lots of layers on gate duty.
Total distance: 6.76km
Time taken: 39:32:48
Average pace per km: 5:51
Calories burned: 395
Today, with my running buddies competing in Melbourne, I enjoyed a bit of a lie in after a late dinner with friends last night. I ran from home at about 10am and the sun was out. Although cool, it was warm enough to run in a singlet top. I ran the Lake Ginninderra route which I haven't run for a long time and found it quite pleasant.
Total distance: 15km
Time taken: 1:31:23
Average pace per km: 6:05
Calories burned: 875

Monday, October 05, 2009

Cutting it just one loop short!

On a bleak public holiday Monday in Canberra it was good to get out for an early run with speedygeoff and Ewen before the main training session at Parliament House. As we started to run at 4.30pm the sun came through the clouds and it was just lovely for the entire 8km of our warm-up run.
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 50:56
Average pace per km: 6:22
Calories burned: 467
We arrived back at PH with ten minutes to spare before all the speedygeese who hadn't left Canberra for the long weekend, turned up to run.
There was a surprisingly good turn out and after a warm up loop of PH we resumed our main session which was to be 10 loops incorporating 100m fast on the flat before heading slowly back to the start in 3mins. The loop was about 300m. On about the 7th repeat the dark clouds above us were looking extremely ominous and we kept half an eye on them as we ran the next loop. However by loop number 9 the heavens opened and the rain intermingled with hail just pelted down. Saturated we huddled under shelter like drowned rats before deciding a 10th loop would not be a wise decision. Instead we ran as fast as possible back to the underground carpark to put on warmer clothes before driving home for a hot shower and dry clothes. On my drive home there was quite a heavy hail storm so we left just in time!
Total distance: 7:26km
Calories burned: 409
Total distance of training plus warm-up: 15.26km

Sunday, October 04, 2009

First day of daylight saving and it's still cold!

This afternoon I plucked up the courage to run out the door with Mr B quite late in the day. The first day of daylight saving allowed us to run a little later while still in daylight, albeit cloudy, drizzly and cold. I think Mr B's influence helped me move a bit faster - that and the fact that I was trying to warm up. I succeeded on both counts.

Total distance: 6km
Time taken: 34:53
Average pace per km: 5:48
Calories burned: 349
Now if only I could keep up that pace for 42km!!

Total distance for week: 62.5km

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Fun on our Run with NO Sun!

This morning, on a bleak and drizzly Saturday, I met up with Thea and Ewen at the War Memorial where we braved the weather and went for a leisurely longish run. The wind had dropped, the rain was only a drizzle in short bursts and it turned into ideal running conditions. Next month we'll be complaining as it will be too hot. I must admit it did not look very promising weather for a run but with a spray jacket and 3/4 leggings it turned out to be fantastic. We even spotted speedysue running in the opposite direction a couple of times.
We all caught up with the goss as the three of us haven't run together for ages. One little bonus was just when I needed it most Ewen spotted a workman's portable loo on the side of the road and it even had a "lady" on the door - must have been conjured up just for me! Inside the sign on the wall made me giggle. It read: " Fun in the sun but when you're done, please don't flush if it's Number One!"
Our run was loads of fun (without the sun) and later we went to Hudsons for coffee and lingered long enough for it to turn into lunch - a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours on a grey cold Saturday.:
Temperature at maximum: 12deg
Total distance: 17km
Time taken: 1:52:49
Average pace per km: 6:38
Calories burned: 968

Friday, October 02, 2009

Follow the Leader!

6.15am - RPM/cycle class
7am - 15mins abs class
6pm - Run with Jen, Chris and Andy from Parliament House. It was a perfect evening, the wind had dropped and it was calm and pleasant. Chris led the way and we ran an interesting loop weaving in and out and down past the lake where the brightly lit museum looked absolutely stunning in the moonlight and the reflections in the lake made the night very beautiful. It really was a lovely run with excellent company. Back in the carpark Chris discovered he had locked his keys in his car and had run with his house keys by mistake! After a few mobile phone calls and some jellybeans for sustenance he eventually managed to contact his son to rescue him and drive him home for his spare keys!
Total distance: 13.26km
Time taken: 1:28
Calories burned: 775

As I was unable to attend the first track session tonight, due to entertaining guests, I decided to take a window of opportunity after preparing the evening meal and go for a run. Who should I meet on the way but speedygeoff going for a warm-up run before track started. He kept me company for 4km which was fun and next we met Roger on his bike cycling home from work to change before track. I took just a tad longer than I should have but it was fun. I was even shown a little uphill track off Dryandra Street on my return run which made for an interesting detour.
Total distance: 10.22km
Time taken: 1:05:38
Average pace per km: 6:25
Calories burned: 596

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy!

Woo hoo - a tiny bit of warmth and the wind has eased. It looks like we're in for a pleasant change of climate and the temperature is rising again after a freezing weekend.
I wasn't able to attend speedygeoff's training last night as we have interstate visitors this week. Instead I ran early in the morning before my physio appointment, just a short run from home.
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 50mins
This morning I went for run just like yesterday, running early before breakfast and work.
Total distance: 8km
After work I did some strength work at the gym.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Here comes another one - just like the other one!

Indeed, the conditions this morning were similar to yesterday although even colder and more bleak.It was blustery and barely 6deg with an even colder wind chill factor - not at all pleasant at the Vets' Handicap run this morning. For very brief moments during the hilly run the sun peeped through and there was a little warmth but it didn't last and after the run I became freezing again very quickly. However, it is always good to catch up with all my running buddies and see people I only see at those monthly runs.
Total distance: 8km
Handicap group: 19
Place: 63rd (out of 88)
Time taken: 48:42
Average pace per km: 6:05

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Battling a bleak and blustery day!

I faced the elements, wore 3/4 leggings, a t-shirt and spray jacket and took off into the wind at about 9.45am. Boy, it was cold. Where has spring gone this weekend? Tomorrow's forecast is much the same - nasty!

I ran from home past the AIS into the city where I turned left and ran along a hilly Dryandra St at the back of O'Connor Ridge and back home via O'Connor and Lyneham. I was caught in a shower of rain a few times and had to battle a head wind other times and when the wind came on the uphills it felt like I was barely moving. I didn't take off my spray jacket at all but when the sun peeped through very briefly I did unzip it a little! Tomorrow's vets' handicap run will be interesting!

Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 1:05
Average pace per km: 6:30
Calories burned: 592

Photos from speedygeese dinner: Craig and Neil; Yelena and Ken; Neil and Peter. All these speedygeese will probably be at the vets' run tomorrow.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last session at Dickson this season

The oval wasn't open tonight which meant there were no lights and the toilet block remained closed. In spite of the sudden cold change it was quite reasonable weather wise and we had enough natural light to see our way around the track.

We ran a long lap followed by a short lap as a warmup. Our main set was: 200m fast 200m slow, 400m fast, 400m slow, 600m fast, 600m slow, 400m fast, 400m slow, 200m fast/slow, 400m fast/slow and 200m fast/slow. We then did one more cooldown lap.
Total distance: 10.8km

Then to finish off Janene produced an enormous chocolate cake with cheesecake inside - just magnificent! This was to celebrate three recent birthdays in our group - Brett, Heidi and Bronwyn's 40th and also the fact that tonight is our last session at Dickson for the season. Next Thursday is the first week of track.
Photos from speedygeese dinner: Janene and Heidi; Bronwyn sporting her Disneyland Half Marathon medal

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A fun run after the dust settles!

This morning I did an RPM class followed by an abs class at the gym and after work I joined Chris, Andy and Jen at Parliament House for a training run. The strong winds from earlier in the day had eased and the rain never eventuated. In spite of the storms of the last two nights and the dreadful dust storm that hit Canberra yesterday it was a very pleasant evening and I really enjoyed the run even when Andy and I lost the others and ran back to the start a slightly different way due to serious lack of direction from both of us!

Photos from speedygeese dinner: Mr B and Jen, Chris and strewth.
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 1:03
Average pace per km: 6:20
Calories burned: 570

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Hear Thunder!

Last night instead of training we had a speedygeese dinner at La Capanna in Kingston. Only 16 of us attended but it was lots of fun. We arrived home just before a huge storm struck. I went for a run again after work this evening and home just before another storm and at this moment I can hear huge claps of thunder outside which probably means I should turn off the computer!

However, I will just record the stats first as it was only a short run tonight.
Total distance: 6.03km
Time taken: 35:56
Average pace per km: 5:58
Calories burned: 350

Photo: Our speedycoach with his lovely Jenny

Monday, September 21, 2009

Running in the spring sunshine

Floriade - springtime in Canberra

World Age Group Championships Triathlon

Today, Monday, I have just been for a 15km run from home and round the lake. Tonight is the speedygeese dinner so there is no official training session. It has been a lovely day in Canberra today but now there are threatening black clouds on the horizon.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Such a Busy Little Life!

Having been gallivanting once again, this time in Noosa and the Gold Coast, in stunning weather, it is now time I returned to some serious training and healthy eating habits. CJ and I joined Mr B at Noosa for four days before driving on to the Gold Coast. I ran and walked every day in Noosa on lots of hills and undulations and the weather, shopping and coffee was fantastic. Then on to the Gold Coast for a week - lots more running and walking but this time on the flat - no hills whatsoever.

The world triathlon championships were great. Mr B took part in the age group championships and was placed 31st out of 43 in his age group. His cycle and run were really good but his swim let him down. However, the whole experience was fun and we enjoyed the social activities with him. My daughter joined us from Sydney for the weekend of the race and we all had a really good time.

I returned to Canberra late on Monday when Mr B then flew to Melbourne for a squash competition for the rest of the week and I returned to work and routine. I ran on Tuesday, returned to the gym for RPM and abs on Wed and to training on Thursday.

At training only four people turned up and we ran on the oval without lights against a nasty wind and threatening rain. In fact we just finished our session before the rain really came down - excellent timing. Craig led us as our speedy chief was on holidays. We had two warm up loops of the oval, one long, one short before our main session of 10 x 300m fast and 100m slow.

On Friday it was back to the gym for a Body Balance class and yesterday I ran an 8km run. Today we enjoyed a visit to floriade as spring has come to Canberra. It was really beautiful. Tomorrow the plan is for a long run and more constant blog entries. Yes, twoapples, I am alive!

Monday, August 31, 2009

How can she possibly be turning 80??

It's about time I caught up with my blog. I think I'll just start from yesterday and forget the last few weeks. I'm too far behind now.
Yesterday was a fantastic adventure. I ran early (8km) instead of going to the Vets handicap today as Ewen and I decided to go for a road trip and visit LL in Mittagong for an early birthday surprise. As I leave for Noosa and the Gold Coast on Thursday, this weekend was my only opportunity to visit.
A few weeks ago I made a ladybird birthday cake for my grand-daughter and posted a picture on my blog. LL commented facetiously that she would like one of those for her 80th. Now, I thought about this and originally thought that I would make 80 cup cakes, one for every year and then I reconsidered. How would she cope with that many ladybugs, what if she didn't like them?? Thus it was that on Sat I made a mummy ladybird and lots of little babies instead. My girlfriend came over to help me decorate them and it was such fun.
After our respective runs on Sunday Ewen and I drove off to Mittagong to surprise LL. And surprise her we did. LL was in the shower when we arrived having just completed a 20km training run (she boggles my mind). Jim showed us inside to wait and this gave us an opportunity to set up the cake, cards and wee gifts in the kitchen for when she emerged. It was a wonderful reaction and we had such a lovely afternoon enjoying a cuppa, a ladybug each and a tour of her pretty garden. We also met their three beautiful little dogs. What a pretty location and what a great place to run. How can this lovely lady be turning 80? She is such an inspiration and a treasure. We just love her.
And as for running, today I went to training at Parliament House to join the speedygeese in about 14 x 200m sprints in relay teams of three - challenging, tough, exhausting but fun! Is that possible?
Total distance: 7km
Calories burned: 390

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spring is springing!

This morning as the sun was shining I decided to dust down the bike and go for a ride. It's been a very long time! The sun was deceptive as it was bitterly cold and I fought against a head wind on the outward trip. The return trip was much more pleasant as, apart from the fact that the wind had dropped, I had warmed up considerably and my legs were starting to work. However, I had forgotten the discomfort of a bike seat - ouch! I will get back to cycling as the weather warms up as it is a quite pleasant form of exercise and is good cross training. Today I only rode 10km but it's a start!
5.30pm - Parliament House training
This evening after the warm up loops our main session was 8x400m with 400m jogs on a 600m course. It was tough but the pain was completely alleviated when we celebrated Helen's pending 50th birthday with champagne and dip - very civilized! Thank you Helen.
Total distance: 8.64km
Today - Tuesday
6.15am - Gym - upper body strength and abs exercises
5.30pm - I ran from home. It had been an absolutely glorious day with little wind but at this time it had cooled down somewhat and I needed a long sleeved top. However, it was still an enjoyable run. As I ran along listening to my music I was shaken from my 'stride' when a lady cycled up beside me and said, "excuse me, can I ask you something? I noticed your strides are much shorter than mine. When I run I get sore joints." I asked if I looked funny - after all, I've been told I look like I'm 'running in a bucket' and I know my style is less than ordinary.
"Oh no" she replied. "I thought to myself that this woman looks like she knows what she's doing so I thought I would ask about the short strides."
"Ah", I said "Our coach says that short strides are more efficient."
"Thank you so much. I will defnitely try that next time. I appreciate your help!"
Wow, thank YOU speedycoach, you have taught me something which I could pass on to someone else.
I continued on my way feeling quite motivated and happy to finish my run in the dark.
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 49mins
Average pace per km: 6.18
Calories burned: 467

Saturday, August 15, 2009

38 years on!

Hmmm - dreadful fashions back then! However, here we are 38 years on and so much has happened in the interim!
Last night we went out for a lovely dinner and came home to watch old black and white videos of Route 66! This morning I went for a long slow dodgy run - tight hammies, sore quads and dodgy tummy (probably too much wine and rich food) - not the best way to run but it was a stunning day - sunny but breezy.
Total distance: 16.29km
Time taken: 1:46:59
Average pace per km: 6:34
Calories burned: 970
A very slow time but at least I didn't waste the sunshine!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Short and Sharp!

Tonight's speedygeese session was a mix of 100m and 50m sprints in relay teams. After our warm up loops we were divided into four relay teams. We were evenly matched in terms of gender, being six guys and six girls, but we were obviously mixed up in terms of speed. Marg and I ran as one person splitting our 100m into 50m each as speedychief supervised the relays which meant an uneven number otherwise. Thus it was that in the first ten 100m sprints Marg and I ran 10 x 50m. This was followed by a reshuffle of teams where we were next divided into two teams and everybody ran 10 x 50m sprints - short, sharp, challenging but fun. Afterwards however the hammies twinged and I knew I had really worked!
Total distance including warm up and cool down: 7km

City to Surf - Slow but Fun!

Golly gosh, it's a week since I last blogged - oops, where do the days go? On Saturday CJ and I caught the Murrays bus to Sydney Central where we were met by Mr B (who had driven to Newcastle a few days earlier to try out his wetsuit in the sea) for the start of a great weekend. As our daughters live in Sydney we managed to spend some time with them as well as some Canberra friends before and after the run. It was a great day for the C2S - rather chilly to start but ideal really - just very crowded with 75,000 starters. I felt very comfortable even running up the hills (although Ewen did comment that was because I was running so slowly - quite true) and enjoyed the atmosphere. This was one of my slowest results for C2S, proably due to lack of training and excess kilos, six minutes slower than last year. However, it was fun and I was just happy that I ran it. CJ, who has an injury, walked briskly and we all had a fun weekend. It was amazing too that we came across quite a few Canberra friends in such a big crowd. The evening before we had met up with a couple of friends and as we were deciding where to eat we were suddenly bombarded by a large crowd of running friends including a number of speedygeese - it was such fun seeing them there!
I think my happiest moment was when my daughter (who is not a runner) managed to run almost the entire 14km without stopping in a time of 89mins. She trains in the gym doing RPM classes and has never run more than 5km in her life! It was a great achievement for her and made me feel very proud.
CJ, Mr B and I had rooms in the Hilton Hotel where we had a special deal - two nights for one - and it was just amazing. The shower even had a television on the wall - aquavision! The hotel also had a huge gym and on the Monday morning before a delicious breakfast CJ and I did an hour's workout. We had a luxurious and fun weekend.
Distance: 14km
Time taken: 86:07
Average pace per km: 6:07
Calories burned: 813
Yesterday was my son's 32nd birthday - eek, now that makes me feel really old. Steak and kidney pie was the request for the family dinner at our place. We are the only family I know who all love steak and kidney (apart from our vegetarian daughter-in-law)!
In the morning before work I went to the gym for my RPM class followed by the abs class - always a good way to start the day!
I'll start my diet (again) this weekend!

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Yesterday was my grand-daughter's seventh birthday - how the years fly! I squeezed in a short run after work before joining in the family celebrations. The conditions were ideal, cool but no wind and I made it home just before dark!

Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 48:19:64
Average pace per km: 6:04 (almost down to 6 Ewen)
Calories burned: 470

This afternoon I have been making ladybugs - a mummy and lots of little babies for Talia's birthday party. It was lots of fun but as I was in the throes when it was time for training I missed it tonight. Looks like I may have to go for an early run before work tomorrow - a last hit out before City to Surf on Sunday.

It was a gorgeous sunny day today - maybe, just maybe, the coldest days are over but I won't hold my breath. Anything can happen in Canberra!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Bring on the Warmer Weather!

Tonight at Parliament House I ran just a little warm-up, meeting up with five other early geese on their return run just by the lake. Our main session consisted of the usual warm up laps before a similar session to last week in the same spot, except tonight it was 5 x 600 repeats as fast as possible with jogs back to the start each time. I managed 4 repeats before the warm down loop.
Total distance: 11.2km
Calories burned: 662
It was good to see Cathy M and Ewen for the first time since I returned from the States except Ewen didn't stay for the main session having already run 8km with speedychief earlier. Quite a number of speedygeese are heading for the City to Surf in Sydney this weekend. It will be fun even if I am totally unprepared this year.
I am so looking forward to the warmer weather. I am so over the cold and I've only been back in Canberra three weeks.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sunshine and Great Friends!

With a very full weekend ahead I squeezed in a longish run early Saturday morning before reuniting with a friend we hadn't seen for more than 22 years. I just ran my usual route from home and round the lake. The sun was out early and although there was a bite in the air with a cold headwind in parts I still warmed up enough to run in singlet and short (and gloves!) for the majority of the run.
Total distance: 16.54km
Time taken: 1:48:32
Average pace per km: 6:34
Calories burned: 982
Obviously I'm not getting any faster and I used up those calories on a very full-on weekend - too much food, wine and loads of fun!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Geese Outnumber The Bilbys

We had 15 starters at Dickson Oval for training tonight (including a couple of new people) and outnumbered the Bilbys triathlon squad by 3 which I believe is a first! Perhaps us runners are pretty hardy people on these cold Canberra evenings.
Tonight after our warm-up loops we ran round and round the 400m track up to 12 times with a sprint on the straight. I managed 10 laps after being lapped twice by the fast runners. We finished with a cool down lap of the oval in the opposite direction.
Total distance: 7.7km
Calories burned: 450