Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hilly Trails win over Track in the heatwave

It was far too hot for me to run at track tonight. Instead I waited until a more reasonable hour and set off for the North Lyneham Ridge hills. I found a nice off-road hill and after a 15min warm-up I ran 10 x 1min hill repeats. Even well after 7pm it was still very hot and a bit of a struggle. After the hill repeats I continued round the 3km undulating hill where the speedygeese used to train some years ago. It was a bit dusty but I enjoyed the hilly trails and was pleased to stay on the right track and not become lost on the little off-shoot trails. I finished with a gentle warm-down run and arrived home dripping like a wet rag. Boy, did I enjoy the cool shower afterwards!
Total distance: 10km

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Look Blog for a Slow Strewth!

I now have a new-look blog thanks to Ewen. I wish it would benefit my running speed! Tonight I had a shocker of a run - a real struggle in the still-hot evening. My legs felt like they were still recovering from the RPM class this morning - so heavy and slow and the heat was oppressive. Mr B ran with me or in front of me after his hot cycle home so at least I had some company as Ewen couldn't run with me tonight. Poor Mr B kept slowing down to wait for me - I really did it tough tonight - not good!

6.15am - RPM
7am - Abs class

6.45am - Run from home.
Distance: 15km
Time taken: 1hr 33mins
Average pace per km: 6:13

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Running when the sun don't shine!

This morning I had a window of opportunity to run early as I didn't have to run back to back due to training at PH being cancelled last night and running long in its place yesterday morning. Thus, I ran at 6am from home past Lake G and back via Giralang - a 10km loop. It was a fantastic time of day to run - no hot sun and lots of cloud cover - perfect!
Distance: 10km (incorporating 6 strides or 1 min bursts of speed)
Time taken: 60mins
Average pace per km: 6mins

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Australia Day!

This morning Marg and I joined speedychief and some speedygeese at the zoo at 8am to run a supposedly gentle loop around that end of the lake. It was quite pleasant at that time of the day although felt pretty warm towards the end. The main group set a steady pace and I dropped to the back of the pack fairly quickly. However I did keep the group in sight until I decided to turn back to join Marg briefly and ensure all was well before chasing after the others again. I ran the last couple of kms with Al and caught up with lots of family news after many years. Ewen arrived about 3mins after we left from the start and he had to run a brisk catch-up and caught us at the first drink/nature stop at the yacht club.
After the run Marg, Cathy M, Graeme, Ewen and I spent a very pleasant hour at the cafe at Reconciliation Place enjoying good coffee or milkshake or gelato or more than one of the above. We had a prime view of the lake happenings and ducked as two fighter jets suddenly roared low overhead and soon after that we watched and heard canons being fired on the opposite side of the lake. We were also joined briefly by a gentleman on his bicycle decked with Aust flags and a carpet lined basket carrying two very cute little dogs complete with helmets having a "birds eye" view and the time of their lives. It was a great location - a lovely break by the lake in excellent company.
Total distance: 16km
Average pace per km for 14km: 6:05
A bit unsure of the total time taken as I forgot to turn on gandalf after one of the drink stations and lost about 2km before I realised - rats!
Later in the afternoon Mr B and I returned to Rec Place for a pleasant little walk, another round of refreshments and some people watching - very civilized - although by then the wind had picked up and it was very breezy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Masters' Handicap for 2009!

This morning CJ and I headed out to Campbell Park for the first Masters' Handicap for 2009. The weather was positively cool with cloud cover, no wind and perfect conditions for running. It was really good not to be battling the wind or struggling in the heat. I went off in Group 21 after
CJ and I had run an easy 2km warm-up. CJ was in Group 33! I caught up with a few people which was great and I felt comfortable and enjoyed the run. It was hilly on the way out and the last hill before the turn-around was tough but I didn't walk once and felt fairly strong most of the way - lots of lovely downhills! I finished in 38th place in the 'long course' field of 107. CJ and I ran a warm down run of 2km making the total for the day 10km.
Total distance of race: 6km
Time taken: 33:53
Average pace per km: 5:39
Place: 38th (out of 107)
Total distance including warm up and down: 10km

After the race CJ and I whizzed off to watch the last few finishers in the Olympic triathlon at the lake. We saw quite a few people we know and I caught up with a few people Mr B and I had met in Rimini last year, which was exciting. Caroline competed and did a pb for that course but when they called out the age group winners, due to some computer error, they didn't go above W60 and as she is in the W65 group her name was not called and she missed out on a medal - most disappointing, especially when she did so well.

In the early afternoon the sun came out and the temperature rose. It was hot again. We were so very lucky to have such ideal conditions for our first handicap of the year.
Goal for week: 82km
Achieved for week: 83km - woo hoo!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Whistle down the Wind!

I should have known it was a bad omen when 3.5km into my run my ipod stopped dead and I had to run the rest of the way without music. Obviously I hadn't charged it properly. All I could hear was the sound of breathing, strong winds and faint bird songs.
When the alarm went off this morning I pressed the snooze button three times before reluctantly crawling out of bed. After all this procrastination I didn't actually start running until 8.45am - rather later than planned. The wind was already blowing and I headed out from home towards Lake BG which was probably a mistake on hindsight as the wind was worse there. I hoped the wind would die down before the triathlon events later in the afternoon. Running beside the lake the choppy waves splashed me and it felt good. I found my thirst was unquenchable and stopped at every available bubbler in spite of carrying water with me. I battled the wind in both directions but on my return journey past the boathouse I could hardly move one foot in front of the other as the wind was so strong. In fact it blew my cap off and I just managed to rescue it before it before it fell in the lake - no way would I have jumped in after it! Thus it was that although there were few hills I felt just like I was climbing them as I battled the wind.
It took me longer than last week's long run even though the first half was quicker. Later, While Mr B was officiating at the triathlons, I spent a lovely afternoon with CJ. We headed off to buy new shoes at The Runners' Shop - maybe that will cure the blister problem. After a few more purchases we enjoyed a relaxing coffee and caught up with our news.
Total distance: 30km
Time taken: 3:13:55
Average pace per km: 6:27
Calories burned: 1770

Friday, January 23, 2009

Running with the Kangaroos!

6.15am - RPM
7am - Abs
5.20pm - Run with Ewen
Met Ewen at Rydges where we crossed the bridge to the ferry terminal and ran out past Molonglo Reach and a little way along the new track towards the airport. I didn't want Ewen to fire me as his running partner so I put on a bit of a burst of speed and we covered the distance a lot quicker than last week. It was hot, windy and hard work but the company helped considerably. After 14km we reached Ewen's car and I ran the last couple of km gently to make up the required distance.
Total distance: 16km
Average pace per km for 14km: 6:06
Calories burned: 850

As I had fartlek on hills scheduled I decided against running at track. This was just as well as a most impressive storm hit in the early evening and the hour run at track was called to a halt after 40mins.
I ran a 15mins warm-up then headed for the hilly trails on North Lyneham ridge. My run went as follows:
2 x 60sec hard/60sec float
4 x 30sec hard/30sec float
2 x 60sec hard/60sec float
4 x 30sec hard/30 sec float
2 x 60sec hard/60sec float
Warm down.
Total distance: 10km
During the course of the run I was running with kangaroos beside me, I just couldn't keep up with their agile speed. During the warm-down I found a better trail than the first part of my run which was a bit steep and rough. I will head there for more hills in the weekend. My timing was perfect as I made it home just before the heavens opened!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Woo hoo - anybody out there?

Rush, rush, rush arriving at PH with only seconds to spare only to discover the usual underground entry had been blocked off due to preparations for the Australia Day concert. I parked the car outside and ran round PH looking for my running companions, water bottle in hand. I couldn't find any way into the carpark past the barriers so I ran back to return my bottle to the car and saw two familiar figures about to disappear in the distance. I quickly stored my bottle and took after the others at speed. I didn't catch them until I was through the tunnel and running by the lake - "woooo hoooo" I called loudly and fortunately speedychief heard me. I caught them and could therefore run the rest of our 8km warm-up with them or just behind them, in parts. It was very hot and I positively gulped the water down at the fountain on our return trip back to PH for the start of the real session.
After meeting up with our training group we ran a warm-up loop of PH before running a similar session to last week - one trial loop followed by four 900m loops of 100m gentle/200m hard. The loop is undulating and the weather was hot and oh boy did I enjoy that bubbler! It was a good way to start the week!
Total distance: 16.6km

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Building up the Distance!

I decided against running at Mt Ainslie yesterday as we drove our daughter through to Sydney where both girls have now moved to this weekend. Instead I ran from home past the AIS incorporating a few trails there and running on to Lake BG, past the ferry terminal and on towards Molonglo Reach then back home via Lyneham. There was a bit of a head wind towards Molonglo but the temperature was much more pleasant than it has been of late, not as hot, making it more comfortable to run although my time was still very slow. I was very happy to squeeze in the distance before a very busy exhausting weekend and trouble with removalists!
Total distance: 30.33km
Time taken: 3hrs 12mins
Average pace: 6:22
Admittedly I did receive a call on my mobile and forgot to stop my garmin so it may have been marginally faster than that.
Goal for week: 76km
Achieved: 78km

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hill Repeats

Today's session included hill repeats. The temps reached 37deg today but I left home at 6.30pm when it had cooled very slightly although it still felt very hot at that stage. I ran for 15mins then ran 3 x 1min hill repeats jogging back to the start followed by 3 x 2min hill repeats. How can two minutes last so long? It was hard hot work. I followed this with about a 20min recovery run.
Total distance: 9.55km
I just could not manage that extra 500 metres to make it to 10km. However, I'm still ahead of schedule so don't feel too guilty! I should have run an hour later when the temperatures had dropped to a far more pleasant level. In fact the next few days should be much cooler in the mid 20s. Tomorrow is my scheduled rest day so I will go to Body Balance at the gym in the morning which includes some much needed stretching.
Footnote: After some very helpful advice I bought and tried a gel toe protector tonight for my rubbing toes. Yay, it solved that issue and now I've cut one to cover another toe which has developed a blister. Thank you softshoeshuffle. You are a legend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Battling the Rising Temperature!

With temperatures of 35-38deg running has been tough this week!

6.15am - RPM at gym

4.30pm - Early warm-up at PH with speedychief and Ewen -8km
5.30pm - Training with speedygeese
Warm up loop of PH and a test run of 900m loop followed by main session as follows:
4 x 900m made up of 100m easy/200m hard
Cool down (nothing cool about it) back to PH

Total distance for day: 16.3km

7pm - Run from home - temperature still over 30deg.
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 49mins

The best part of this hot run was when I ran past a house in a little cul-de-sac and noticed a man watering his shrubs. "Can I be a tree?" I called out and he obligingly turned the hose on me for a quick spray and it was fantastic - not sure if it was quite legal with water restrictions but I wasn't complaining!

I drove to Molonglo Reach and met Ewen there just before 7pm The temperature in my car said 39deg - still very hot outside. We ran out past the wetlands and round the East, Central Basin of the lake., It still felt really hot even when the sun was dim. The lake actually looked inviting! We saw tiny fluffy cygnets with their mum on the lake and dozens, yes dozens, of bunnies near Molonglo on the return trip. I'm having trouble with two of my toes rubbing against each other and was in a bit of pain throughout the run but we made it and good company always makes it easier.

Total distance: 14km
Time taken: 1hr 30mins
Average pace per km: 6:28

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Track, Hills and Trails - What doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

Track on Thursday
I didn't manage to make it to track in time for the 3000m and therefore decided to run the 1500m race instead. The track races tonight included ACT Athletics as well as ACT Masters so ages, sizes and abilities were very varied! There were only three grades at the start - the elite, the very very fast and the very fast. I lined up at the start in C Grade wondering why I was out there making an idiot of myself. However, I guess I'm there to make everyone else feel good. The temperature had dropped but the wind had picked up so that we started with the wind behind us but faced a head wind in the opposite direction. It was challenging but I wasn't quite last. I don't yet know my official time but it was about 7:35 which is considered very slow by anybody's standards but I just did the best I could.
I warmed up for a few laps after the race as I didn't have a chance beforehand. I cheered on the 400m runners with awed respect then entered the 4 lap spiral which is something I always enjoy. I had a handicap of 30 so was one of the first runners to start and came in 9th place. I followed this with more gentle running for a warm down. It was good to welcome Jodie and Lance, our new arrivals from Melbourne, for their first time but the temperature dropped considerably during the course of the evening and we were really cold by the time we left for our homeward trip.
Total distance: 7km

Saturday Long Run
This morning I timed it correctly and met the War Memorial group at 7am to tackle Mt Ainslie and beyond. It was a small select number of competent hill/track runners and with a bit of trepidation I ventured to join them. Fortunately for me Kelley was there and although she is normally a fast and competent hill runner she kept me company and ran at my pace. This was so good as the others sped ahead and sometimes we lost sight of them and I'm sure if Kelley hadn't been beside me I would still be out there in the hills trying to find my way home! We had a lovely companionable chat on the way or at least I chatted during the times that I could breathe! Conditions were ideal and it was good to be back on the trails but oh boy I noticed those undulations!
We started at the picnic area at the base of Mt Ainslie and ran/walked all the way to the top, drew breath and then ran an extra loop before running out to the highway. We ran parts of the Bush Capital marathon and covered lots of hilly trails. It was a lovely area and when I am fitter (hopefully this will happen sooner rather than later) I know I will benefit from these hard, hilly trails. It's certainly easier on the limbs than running on the cycle paths. The company was great and we all met up at the picnic area afterwards for a drink and chat. Twofruits arrived with some of his SFT training group having run 25km but then they continued on for another 16km - phew! My total distance was only 20km but it felt like hard work and it took 2hrs 21mins which is the same time as I took last week to run 23km on the flat!
Total distance: 20km
Time taken: 2:21
Calories burned: 1116
Tomorrow I will spectate at the sprint triathlon where I know heaps of people taking part, including Mr B.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

15 Weeks to Canberra Marathon!

I have been continuing training as per my schedule but unfortunately we’re having heaps of trouble at home with our computer which keeps logging off. It will have to be rescued by our son as it’s driving me crazy! It doesn’t help that I can’t access the internet at work either as we have just packed everything up in boxes, including our computers, and will probably not be operational until Friday in our new office and even then we will be busy unpacking – no opportunity to blog there!!

Back to my training for the first week of the New Year.

Saturday 3 January
I parked my car at the War Memorial by 7.20am thinking I had plenty of time to join the group to run Mt Ainslie and beyond. After waiting 20mins I decided I had missed them somehow and set out on my own running down Anzac Pde and on to the lake and round the wetlands. I found out later that in fact the group starts at 7am not 7.30am as I had thought. Never mind, I’ll try again this coming weekend. I turned on my music and ran alone and was extremely pleased not to get lost as I have no sense of direction, as those who know me well, would definitely affirm. I managed to run East and Central Basins of the lake including Kingston and back past the carillon crossing over to Anzac Pde and back to the War Memorial. I avoided Mt Ainslie as I prefer to run that with company.
Total distance: 23km
Average pace per km: 6:09
Calories burned: 1350
Then I treated myself to a beautiful coffee all on my own at the Outpost Café.

Sunday 4 January
Just to make up the distance for the week I ran at 6.45pm hoping to avoid the intense heat of the day. It was still very hot but definitely not as hot as earlier in the day. I ran a very short run just to make my total for the week and was very happy to do so!
Total distance: 4:37
Time taken: 27:09
Average pace per km: 6:12 (slower than the 23km the day before!)
Calories burned: 258

Goal for week: 72km
Distance achieved for week: 75km! (Yay!)

Monday 5 January
6.15am - RPM at gym
After a disastrous working day I was held up in a meeting and didn’t leave the office until after 6pm which meant that I missed speedygeoff’s training at PH. Instead I ran from home at about 7.15pm and it was still 32deg and unpleasantly hot. I needed to run as my mood was dismal – nothing like a good run to clear the head!
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 1:03
To top off a rotten day my Gandalf Garmin was not properly charged and I had to run without it. It’s amazing how often you look at an arm expecting to see the average speed pop up!!

Today - Wednesday 7 January
Early morning run when the temperature was manageable.
Total distance: 10.13km
Time taken: 1:02
Average pace per km: 6:12
I ran early today as Ewen wasn't able to run with me in the late afternoon. As the temps were 35deg by the afternoon and the wind is furious I was glad I had run when it was very pleasant. Today is my oldest daughter's birthday and we have a pleasant family evening planned, trying out the updated Belluci's Suburban restaurant tonight.
This week I have an easy week scheduled and my total distance for the week reduces. I have three weeks hard, one week easy in my current training plan.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Another Year Bites the Dust!

I can't believe it's 2009 already. Happy New Year to one and all! Although we have had warm sunny weather there has been a nasty wind following us about, especially when running!
Yesterday, I finished work early and met up with Ewen at Molonglo at 2.30pm to go for a run . It was a nice leisurely run battling the wind in parts (of course, doesn't the wind always blow when we run together)! We firstly ran the new path to the airport then ran clockwise round the East and Central Basin of Lake BG. There were a few tiny fluffy cygnets on the lake being protected by their parents and we also noticed some teenage cygnets with protective swans swimming closely by them. Perhaps they were causing their parents some grief on New Year's Eve!
During our run we passed someone eating a very tempting looking icecream which made us decide that we would head to Reconciliation Place after our run to enjoy very yummy gelato followed by an equally creamy and delicious coffee - a great discovery of a location! While we were sitting there idling the afternoon away two young runners came up excitedly recognising me from Rimini in Italy! They had been at the duathlon there and indeed Jodie had gone on to compete in the Hawaii Ironman soon afterwards. They moved to Canberra from Melbourne two days ago and are very keen to get into the running/triathlon scene here. Thus we exchanged numbers and will keep in touch after they move from their hotel to Bruce on Friday - very exciting that they remembered me - such a lovely couple.
Total distance: 16km
Time taken: 1:42:12
Average pace per km: 6:23
New Year's Day - Thursday
We saw 2009 in with CJ and Mr CJ quietly at our home with nibbles, chocolate, Baileys, wine and champagne - a pleasant evening indeed. CJ and I also decided, as we both had 10km scheduled, that we should run it together today.
Mr B dropped me off about 3km from our meeting place to give me a little extra distance and the three of us ran gently round Lake G battling a nasty persistent strong wind. It was another sunny hot day but that wind is really strong and annoying. It's ages since CJ and I have run together and it was such fun being able to chat all the way and not worry about the pace. We couldn't run much faster anyway as the wind was a head-on battle.
Total distance: 10.4km
Average pace per km: 6:23
This pace appears to be consistent - consistently slow!