Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friends make running fun!

Today it was another early start to be at the War Memorial to meet the others by 6am. It was still dark and I ran with some trepidation watching the ground all the time determined not to trip! Since yesterday I have been suffering from a sore dry throat and as a consequence felt very dehydrated and appreciated all the fluid I took with me. I ran with Cathy M, Graeme, Nad & Brett for the first 11km then left them at the steps to climb Mt Majura as usual. I felt a bit more sluggish today, could be related to my cold but plodded on alone and met up with Ewen back near the start. From here we headed to Campbell Park, Duntroon, Molonglo Reach and through the wetlands and round the lake heading back to the War Memorial - a 17km loop. It was great to have company and this meant I only had to run alone for about 8km. In the first part of the run over the Mt Ainslie trails there were large numbers of curious kangaroos and a few frisky bunnies. I was really tired and slow but achieved the required distance so that's good.
After the run we met up with the others at the picnic area for a little while then when everyone dispersed Ewen and I enjoyed beautiful coffee and cake at the Outpost Cafe.
Now I'll take my time recovering before going on a train ride with Mr B's squash group this evening to a French restaurant - should be lots of fun.
Total distance: 34.4km
Time taken: 3hrs 45mins approx
Average pace per km: 6:50
Calories burned: 2000

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Echidna instead of a Wombat!

Wednesday without Wombat
6.15am - RPM
6.15pm - Medium/Long Run
I ran all alone (no ipod, no Ewen) from home to and round the lake and an extra loop round Kaleen. It's very quiet without music but I had lots to churn over in my mind so it made for great thinking time. It started off hot and sunny but was quite cool and dark by the time I reached home. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of runners, walkers, cyclist and dogs out there.
Total distance: 20km
Time taken: 2:05
Average pace per km: 6:14
Calories burned: 1198

I decided not to enter any events at track tonight as my schedule suggested hills. However, I still had to go to track to deliver and collect a few things for people and decided to make it a base and ran from there out to O'Connor Ridge and hilly trails. I kept losing the correct path back to the start as there are too many opportunities to go down the wrong turn-off and if there's a way to become lost I will find it! However, it was a great surface and it completely blew me away when a gorgeous little echidna waddled across my path with its nose poking straight ahead. How exciting. That was a first on any run I've done. There were lots of steep hills which obviously slowed me down considerably although Idid try to push myself up them as quickly as possible. I ran back to the track in time to see the last half of the 10,000m. Some of the times were amazing.
Total distance: 13km
Time 1:26
Average pace per km: 6:39
Calories burned: 760

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gainfully Unemployed!

Sometimes life doesn't turn out quite the way you planned! I was so glad I went to RPM at the gym yesterday morning because I didn't make it to training after work as I was held up at work - my last day at work in fact as although I had put in my notice of retirement to finish in four weeks, due to my managerial position and the company "protocol" this afternoon I was escorted off the premises - not the best way to end my full-time working career and a very sad day. It was too late to go to training and I was rather distressed so no running happened.
Tuesday - Cross Country Summer Series
Location: Boathouse running towards Commonwealth Park.
Distance: 5km (plus 1km warm-up) = 6km
Time taken: 28:02
Average pace per km: 5:34
It was lovely to catch up with Marg, Cathy M and Carolyne before and after the run. There was a tough head wind heading out to the carillon but on the way back it eased off. Overall I was glad I ran as it really helps having those endorphins released!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Strewth - I did a CJ!

Saturday's run at Mt Ainslie started at 6am and suddenly 6am is still quite dark. Our little group started off and I chatted happily with Cathy M as we enjoyed the trails in the semi darkness. About 1.5km into the run I tripped on a tiny hidden rock and couldn't stop myself from falling flat on my front, arms splayed, flying dramatically to the dirty ground. I lay there quite stunned but eventually managed to stand with help with water poured from Chris and Graeme's bottles. They led me to sit on a branch of a tree as the world was defnitely going round - just shock I guess although I was in some pain! Roy in the meantime ran back to fetch his car and drive it closer but by the time he arrived I was feeling much better and ready to continue running. Roy rejoined us and we continued on the trails.
I know I looked quite a sight covered in dust and dirt and blood and scratches. My knee was stiff and sore but after Roy returned to his car at 17km I continued on slowly and found a great trail on the other side of the road. Next week I will run further along it. This week I was on a time frame as I needed to take Mr B to the airport for a triathlon in Brisbane. However I did manage to fit in 30km and all of it off-road which was fantastic. On the way back towards Roy's car after our turnaround point we came across CJ, twofruits and softshoeshuffle all looking extremely fit and healthy as they are nearly at the tapering stage for 6' track. Twofruits did point out that I might need a shower before taking Mr B to the airport!
At the picnic ground after the run I caught up with Cathy M, the two Graemes and all the 6' track group briefly before heading off for that shower! My knee felt a bit stiff and I have a big bruise in a spot where the sun doesn't shine but the only bad after effect is a very stiff neck - wierd - where did that come from?
Total distance: 30km
Average pace per km: 7mins (blame the stiff knee)
Today - Masters' Handicap at North Curtin
This morning I collected CJ and we drove out to the monthly handicap at Curtin. It was different to the Cross Country run on Tuesday although part of the off-road hill was the same route. There was quite a lot of the run on cycle track and I have to admit I definitely prefer the trails. The concrete is so hard on the feet (can't believe I said that). There were plenty of hills at the start but the second half of the run was almost boring even if it was much faster being both flat and downhill. However, I did pass a few people but was pipped at the post by speedy CJ who sprinted past me just before the finish and no way could these dead little legs catch her. I did enjoy the run and I do love seeing people I haven't seen for ages at these events. Later CJ and I enjoyed the most beautiful and welcome coffee at Black Pepper and a little piece of yummy loaf to go with it.
Starting group: 21
Distance of run: 6km
Warm-up: 1.5km
Time taken for run: 34:05
Average pace per km: 5:27
Finish place: 30th
Total distance for day: 7.5km
Total distance for week: 76km

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Decision time!

Here it is Sat night and I haven't blogged since Monday. It's been quite a week - dreadful work-wise and big decisions made. My notice is in and I retire on Friday 20 March - woo hoo - so now it's countdown time! Already I feel better having made that decision!
Tuesday - Summer Series
Cross country race at North Curtin. This started with a 2km hill which seemed to go on forever and speedygeoff ran with me encouraging me to go faster. I enjoyed the run but it was tough trying to run fast after the training session the night before. I kept Caroline in sight and managed to finish just 6secs behind her. Speedygeoff let me run in just before him and as it turned out that wasn't necessarily a good thing as the number called for the barrel draw was our speedy leader. Being a gentleman gains its rewards!
Total distance for race: 5km
Time taken: 27:44
Average pace per km: 5:32
Warm-up: 1km
Total distance for day: 6km

After an 11 hour day at work and no Ewen to run with I ran from home starting much later than I had intended. I felt tired and cranky and it was good to run. However I only managed to fit in 10km which again was shorter than my original intention.
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 59mins
Average pace per km: 5:54
Calories burned: 586

Thursday - Track
Tonight I arrived just in time for the 5 lap spiral and decided to run it as I always find it fun.
Total distance: 2.08km
Time taken: 10:29
Average pace per km: 5:08

Next Marg and I went for a gentle jog to keep the legs moving until the 3km event later in the evening. We ran 3km out of the AIS and met Ewen going out as we returned. He did however arrive back in time for the race and unbeknownst to me kept me in his sights. This was a handicap event according to age and he started well behind me. Just as I was coming to the finish line I heard these pounding feet coming up behind me. I put on a mad sprint but the long-legged wily wombat just pipped me at the post! I will plot my revenge!
Total distance: 3km
Time taken: 15:28
Average pace per km: 5:10

I never seem to manage that elusive under 15mins for 3km.

Total distance for day: 8km
And now it's late and I have the Masters' Handicap in the morning so I'll write about my eventful Saturday run tomorrow - goodnight!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Nine Weeks to Canberra Marathon - Focus Endurance and Anaerobic Threshold

6.15am - RPM
5.10pm - short warm-up run to meet Ewen and Miranda
5.30pm - speedygeoff's PH training
I was held up at work and didn't arrive at PH on time to do the 8km early warm-up, only time for 3.2km to meet up with the other early birds.
The training session started at 5.30pm with a bit of extra warm up before our main session at the grassy bank in front of PH. We ran (40secs fast/80secs slow x 3) x 4 up and down the slopes. Then we ran quite a long warm down loop - a bit different and quite fun.
Total distance: 14km

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sprint Marathon Relay

It was another early start this morning as we needed to be at Govt House for the organisation of the teams for the sprint marathon relay by 7.15am. Mr B had to leave even earlier for the triathlon which started at 6.30am. Rachelle and I went together and arrived exactly on time. It was great to see Marg's stunt double who had come to Canberra with Ron from Queensland for the weekend to celebrate their birthdays.
There were 8 teams with 6 in each team starting in order of estimated speed per km. The aim was to mix fast and slow runners in each team to make them as equal as possible. I started as No 4 in my team. It was lots of fun although the morning was very fresh and a long top was necessary for some of the long waits between runs. Our runs were split into 1 and 2km laps and in the last lap each runner picked up the next one so that all the team ran over the finish line together holding hands. Our team came 4th which was exactly in the middle and a quite exciting finish. Marg's team won which was so fantastic considering that she was asked to stand in for someone who had to drop out at 8pm last night.
Total distance: 6km (with about 1km run inbetween) = 7km
Total distance for week: 76km

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cool hilly trails!

After extremely hot temperatures last weekend it was quite bizarre running in positively cool temperatures this morning. It was in the low teens at 6am as we set off on the trails of Mt Ainslie, cloudy and cool - actually quite ideal running conditions because we warmed up quickly on the hills but never dehydrated or became too hot. I felt really comfortable today and ran with (not behind) Cathy and Maryanne managing the hills with ease. I'm sure it was because the temperature was so much cooler. Roy ran with me on the return loop when we left the others at the steps leading to Mt Majura. Roy and I ran on following the Masters' Handicap run and then on to Duntroon golf course where we ran all round it before running through the grounds of Duntroon and back to Mt Ainslie for the return to the War Memorial. I had to run 700m past the carpark at the end to make the exact required distance. It was a good pleasant run and we saw bunnies, curious kangaroos and the most stunning coloured parrots as well as some lovely views from the hills.
We joined the others later (with the two Graemes - the 'small' one had started at 7am) at the picnic area where we enjoyed drinks and a good chat - lots of fun.
Total distance: 28km
Time taken: 3hrs 11mins
Average pace per km: 6:50
Almost forgot - Happy Valentine's Day! I have some Lindt choccies which I will hide away from myself until after the sprint marathon relay tomorrow!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Little Bit of Bling!

The temperature has dropped and this week has been so much cooler. So many tragedies have happened with dreadful floods in Queensland and horrific fires in Victoria and the devastation of so many lives lost. It makes us realise just how precious and fragile life really can be.
Sunday was still extremely hot, 40deg in Canberra and I just ran a very short run early in the morning.
Distance: 5km
Monday - speedygeoff's training at Parliament House
4.30pm - warm up run with Miranda, Geoff and Ewen
5.30pm - speedygeoff's training
warm up loop of PH followed by main set - 1 practise loop and 4 x 930m hilly repeats with 100m slow/200m fast repeated 3 times for each loop. Then off to the steep hill for attrition sprints. As usual I was eliminated in the first bunch but it was exciting cheering everyone else on and just like last week the two winners were Bronwyn and Tim with Tim the overall winner narrowly racing past Bron at the top of the hill - an exciting finish.
Warm down loop of PH
Total distance: 16.3km
Tuesday - Summer Series No 2 Race
Tonight this was held from The Boathouse and we ran to Molonglo Reach and over the bridge and back
Distance: 5km
Warm-up: 1km
Total distance: 6km
My calf felt very stiff and sore and as a consequence I didn't run a cool-down instead I treated it with a bag of frozen peas at home (having mislaid the ice pack) and gave it a bit of self massage and a soothing shower.
6.15am - RPM
7am - Abs class
6pm - Run with Ewen.
After some confusion re our meeting place Ewen and I finally met up at Regatta Point and started our run a litte later than intended. The conditions were cool and pleasant, so different from the week before. We ran very gently as I was treating my calf with caution. We ran out past Mollonglo and through the wetlands running the full loop - pleasant and after the initial twinges felt comfortable.
Warm-up: 1k
Run with Ewen: 13km
Total distance: 14km
Average pace per km: 6:25

Thursday - Track at AIS
Tonight for some crazy reason I had pre-entered the 15oom ACT Masters' Championships at the track. I ran 3km for a warm-up and ran the 1500m at about 7pm. It was a bit scary but I enjoyed the challenge. The best part was that as I walked down from the kitchen later Rachelle called out to me, "go collect your bling". Sure enough there was a silver medal waiting for me - 2nd in my age group (number in age group = 2) - tee hee! That was a lovely surprise - a medal for second place in spite of a slow time compared to everyone else. I wasn't last - one person finished 2 minutes after me!!
Total Distance with warm-up: 5km
Race distance: 1500m
Time taken for event: 7.09:53
I did look up my past events and find that in 1996 I ran this event in 7:08:34 so I have a bit of work to do to better that time! I have only ever run 1500m once since then before tonight.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Hot, hot, hot - but there's a cool change coming!

The heat in Canberra this week has been extreme and the problem here is that there's not a beach round the corner and it's difficult to cool down. Running in the heat has been a problem this week with every day soaring temperatures reaching well over 35deg. I'm just glad I had a relatively easy week scheduled!

6.15am - RPM
7am - abs class
6.15pm - Run with Ewen
It was still very hot (30deg) at 6.15pm when I met up with Ewen and I felt more comfortable running in a crop top. However, I took my singlet with me and when we reached the water fountain I soaked it in water to keep me cool. We met at Regatta Point and ran out past Molonglo Reach and on the track towards the airport before retracing our steps.
Total distance: 13km
Time taken: 1:21
Average pace per km: 6:14

It was still very hot in the evening and I decided to go to track a little later than usual. After a short warm-up and the excitement of watching the speedygeeese run fantastic times in the 800m relays, I lined up for the 3000m event. It was challenging but quite fun really in spite of the heat. It took me 15:38 - a bit slow.

At the end of the track session Ewen, speedychief and I went for a cool down run outside the track. It was really pleasant and a good way to finish the evening.

Total distance: 1km warm up, 3km race, 5km warm down = 9km


Last Friday my Body Balance lady was away and we had a Power Yoga class in its place - rather challenging to say the least. However, this week it was back to Body Balance and those amazing stretches - great way to start the last day of the working week. I love Fridays!

Saturday - Back to the Hills

I met up with the Mt Ainslie group and Marg and Roy for a 6am start. Good decision as after the first km I was already dripping. I only had 20km scheduled today and managed to keep Cathy M in sight or run with her until leaving that part of the group who were climbing up ladders and heading for the top of Mt Majura. At that stage there had been a lot of undulations but it was all manageable and I enjoyed the surface of the trails and off road. However, I did manage to lose Marg and Roy and I hoped to catch them on the return journey but they were nowhere in sight. I did see Graeme heading out. He started out at 7am instead of 6am but I'm so glad we had started an hour earlier. It was so hot and later reached 40deg.

I managed to find my way back to the war memorial on my own for the last 10km - I did check with one runner out there as to where I was heading and felt so relieved when I realised I was on the right track! My sense of direction is non-existent and it's always a good feeling to know I'm not lost. Back at the start there was still no sign of M & R and I ran back a little way looking for them. However, eventually they turned up having taken a different turn with Marg limping from turning her ankle on the uneven surface.

We enjoyed a pleasant drink at the Outpost Cafe and joined the others in the picnic area to welcome back Cathy M etc who had run about 30km including both hills. It was certainly a very hot morning but lovely to see everyone and I felt comfortable in my run.

Total distance: 20km/Average pace per km: 6:42


Just a short run from home - still far too hot. Next week the temperature is due to drop and from Tuesday should be much cooler and easier to run.

Total distance: 5km

Total goal for week: 50-57km

Total achieved for week: 60km

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Easy Week Scheduled

My training program includes 3 weeks hard with the 4th week easing back. This week is my scheduled easy week and my distance drops back The focus of the past 3 weeks has been Endurance and Strength. My Monday started the usual way.
6.15am - RPM
5.30pm - speedygeese at Parliament House (I didn't make it to the early session tonight)
After the warm up loops we did four lots of four by twenty second sprints with a twenty second jog recovery between each sprint; then we were taken to a short steep hill to sprint to the top as fast as possible. There were 10 of us and 5 of us were eliminated after the first hill as we were the slowest. After that one person (the last one each time) was eliminated each time until we had a winner - Tim - good fun! Then it was a cool down loop back to the start.
Total distance: 7km
Tuesday - Summer Series Begins
This morning I actually went for a swim - I haven't swum at the pool for about 12 months and I only managed 600m before I emerged from the pool and sat in a soothing wonderful spa for 15mins. However I will return to swimming as it felt really good.
Tonight was the first of the ACT Cross Country Summer Series races. It was held at Stromlo Forest Park and although it had reached 31deg earlier in the day by the time of the run it had clouded over and was considerably cooler. There was a bit of a breeze but the conditions were pretty good and so much better than the extremely hot weather we have been experiencing lately. It was lovely to catch up with friends there although there were a number obvious by their absence.
Total distance for race: 5km (5.22km according to garmin)
Time taken: 27:11
Average pace per km: 5:13
Warm down: 1km making total distance 6km

Sunday, February 01, 2009

One Perfect Day!

My Preparation for a long run:
Night Before
Charge ipod
Charge garmin
Make up gatorade
Put 4 little drink bottles in freezer with half gatorade in bottom
Fill up water bottle
Lay out all gear ready for run

Day of Run
Rise 2 hours before scheduled run. Eat banana and honey on white toast and cup of tea. Drink lots of water.
Quick wake-up shower
Put voltarin cream on likely sore spots
Put body glide on toes and any bits likely to chaff
Cover exposed parts of body with sunblock
Lipgloss to prevent sunburnt lips
Deodorant (of course)
Put on toe gel cover to prevent toes rubbing
Band-aid on heel
Put on running clothes
After tying shoe laces with double bows thread through rest of lace so that there are no dangly bits (can't stand dangly bits)
Adjust running cap
Get satellite for garmin by placing on window ledge
Clip on ipod shuffle and thread cords through crop top
Remove drink bottles from freezer and fill up with gatorade
Ensure drink belt contains house keys or car keys (if driving somewhere), jelly beans and tissues as well as drinks of course

Forgotten Saturday - guu (for carbo loading - left in running bag), 'cool-it' for keeping neck cool (left in fridge)

My Preparation for short run
Rise 30mins before
Quick wash
Put on running gear (laid out night before)
Put on ipod and garmin
Run out door - no drinks needed, house keys in shorts pocket

On Saturday after doing all the above I drove to Rydges near the lake and started my long run from there. I was on a bit of a time frame as we had decided to drive to the beach in the early afternoon and I was soooo looking forward to that swim. I ran to Molonglo Reach and took the little track down to the airport then turned and ran back and over the bridge and round the wetlands then back past the yacht club and round the west basin end of the lake. I was constantly thirsty and stopped whenever I found water filling up my water bottles and pouring water over me. The first two hours of the run were great as the sun hadn't shone in its full force but after 20km it became a struggle. However, although my speed slowed down considerably and I was hanging out to finish I managed to last the distance and breathed a huge sigh of relief as the kilometres ticked over to the required distance.
Total distance: 34km
Time taken: 3hrs 37mins
Average pace per km: 6:24
Calories burned: 1996
Sunday - today - my perfect day!
Yesterday afternoon we drove to the beach and stayed the night. We had a wonderful swim in the cold waves yesterday and it soothed my tired muscles.
This morning after an early brekkie I went for a short run beside the beach just to keep moving and to feel the coolness in the air. It was a great morning with plenty of cloud cover until lunchtime when the sun started streaming down. We spent the afternoon in the surf and the sand. We went for long walks along the beach and when we felt too hot we jumped back into the waves. In the late afternoon we bought fish and chips before driving home after a fantastic day feeling refreshed and ready to face another hot week in Canberra.
Total distance: 5:56
Goal for week: 86km
Total distance achieved for week: 90.56km!! Yay!
And now there are 11 weeks until the marathon.