Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Return to RPM

This morning I attended my first RPM class in two weeks - ouch, I noticed it! I also noticed the temperature - 4deg - soon the frosts will be here. Next it was the 15mins abs class which felt ok. I'm finding the planks reasonably easy these days. At 5pm promptly I started running from the office and down to Lake G which is only a short distance away. I managed to run more than half the distance before darkness set in and there was only a short timeframe when there was no light at all. It felt ok although I was even slower than last night.
Total distance: 7.8km (plus 200m warm-up) - 8km
Time taken: 47:30
Average pace per km: 6:06
Calories burned: 475
Tomorrow is my day off work and brekkie with CJ - woo hoo!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Running in Darkness

This morning (brrrr) I went to the gym very early to follow CJ's upper body strength program before going to work. I'm currently working 3 days a week to bring in some spending money for our trip to the States next month. I'm enjoying it but now I have to go back to fitting in 3 days of my training around working hours - bother!

After work today I ran from home. At first my glutes and my left hammie hurt like crazy but at about 3km I began to feel comfortable and decided to keep going. Originally I thought I would only make 5km but I ended up running my usual little 8km route. After the turn around point the track was quite dark and I ran a bit cautiously. I must organise myself and wear a headlamp. Darkness comes early these days.
Total distance: 8:04km
Time taken: 47:24
Average pace per km: 5:54
Calories burned: 474
I defnitely ran the second half of the run much faster than the first half in spite of the lack of light so that was good.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back to Training in Wintry Weather!

Brrrr - another freezing day in Canberra today. It barely reached 9deg outside and was very bleak and gloomy. I joined speedygeoff for the early start of training at Parliament House in order to fit in a bit more distance with company. It's always good to have company and makes the time go quicker. We ran 8km for a warm-up and although it was cold the wind had dropped and it wasn't too bad. I wore gloves, ear warmers and for the first time this season I wore leggings and was glad of them.
For the main session we had a few new people and a number of regulars weren't there, possibly because it was a public holiday in Canberra today in lieu of Anzac Day being on a Saturday this year. There were ten of us plus our speedyleader. We ran the warm-up lap of PH and then headed for the rose garden and ran 2 x 930m undulating loops at a reasonable pace with a slower lap between using the exercise options if desired on the way. It became too dark to run more than four laps so we then proceeded to the hill where we ran attrition runs. The slowest person was eliminated on each hill sprint. Of course I was the first person eliminated - I had no legs left!
We then ran a warm-up loop back to the start.
Distance of warm-up: 8km
Distance of training session: 7km
Total distance for day: 15km
Total calories burned: 875

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rocking the Boat on Ewen's Birthday!

I couldn't resist copying this photo from Katy's collection with Mark doing his thumbs-up in the background!
Yesterday afternoon I ran my first very short run since the marathon from home in the afternoon in the blustery wind!
Total distance: 4km
Time taken: 23:53
Average pace per km: 5:57
Calories burned: 236
I had a few little twinges and couldn't have run any further. Besides the wind was just bitter.
Today I ran in the Masters' Handicap held at Mt Majura - the location gives some indication of the undulating course but no hints about the weather. It was just dreadful, raining lots of well-needed rain during the night and this morning bleak and very windy and COLD! In fact the majority of sensible runners were wearing leggings, long sleeved tops and some even wore beanies. I did start off in a long-sleeved top and gloves but I still wore shorts - it's not minus degrees yet! The long-sleeved top came off as I warmed up at about the 5km mark and I tied it round my waist for the rest of the run.
I ran in Group 21 and felt reasonably comfortable athough I don't much like starting on an uphill! Fortunately Marg and I ran a warm-up before the run and I knew what to expect at the start.
Total distance: 10km plus 1km warm-up
Time taken: 59:46
Average pace per km: 5:59
Handicap: 21
Place: 40th (out of 92 finishers in the long course)
Calories burned: 604
Being such a bleak and wintry day Mr B and I decided to go to the movies later in the day and saw "The Boat that Rocked". I would highly recommend it - absolutely brilliant movie about pirate radio set in 1966 - fun and great music! Perhaps I enjoyed it because it was my era!

And last but not least HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Ewen today - everybody's running buddy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A few Photos from the Marathon

CJ, Clairie, Strewth, Lucky Legs

CJ, Strewth, Sue - all with medals for achieving places in age groups of Masters' Athletics

CJ, Mark, Strewth, Ewen, Katy. CJ, Katy, Strewth, Sue

Total distance: 42.2km
Time taken: 4:15:28
Average pace per km: 5:58
Calories burned: 2492
Place in marathon: 858
Place in age category: 3rd (10 in age group)
Place in age group in Australian Masters' Athletics: 1st

Monday, April 20, 2009

Canberra Marathon Number Eight

CJ, Katy (with Clairie's medal), me and Sue (winner of W60) at Rydges

I'm another year closer to becoming a Griffin as yet another Canberra Marathon bites the dust! It was quite a pleasant morning for a run apart from a bit of headwind over the bridge a couple of times which felt like a gale at the time! There were almost 1300 entrants in the marathon which is apparently the largest number in 25 years. It didn't rain and the temperature was ideal and the wind didn't pick up for a couple of hours.
I started off with speedygeoff beside me, my music plugged in and I felt fine. At about the km mark the white 4 hour balloon appeared behind me and I decided to attempt to keep it in sight. I was on track for four hours until about 15km when I slowly started slipping behind the correct splits. At this stage I was just 40secs behind so still had a little hope of catching up. By 18km I was 1 min behind and I realised my chances were defnitely diminishing. At the half marathon point it had taken me 2:00:49 - still behind time - but I felt quite happy. I could still do a respectable time if I kept plodding along at this pace. However at the 25km mark I was 2mins behind - I was obviously slowing down even more. It took me 2:55 to reach 30km and although I was plodding I was also relaxed, enjoying the atmosphere, the music and especially the cheer squad and the awesome Katy in her different set-ups under the bridge. She truly is amazing and makes everyone smile or indeed laugh.
The headwind over the bridge was annoying and the little undulations felt like hills. I had forgotten the repetitions could feel so long. I was starting to visualise the finish and kept reminding myself this was marathon number eight, a step closer to my ultimate goal, no matter what the time. I was still going to finish and I felt ok although there would be no PBs this year for me. At about 41km I heard a bit of chatting nearby and realised the 4:15 balloon was right there behind me - good grief, I really had slowed down. I tried to keep them at bay or at least run with them and as I rounded the final bend my ipod was very aptly playing, "the long and winding road". I ran through the finish line at 4:15:28 (net chip time). I felt comfortable, I wasn't in too much pain and I didn't fall over. I was just glad to stop and have someone else remove my time chip before I posed for the photographer with my marathon medal. Ok, so it was my second slowest time but I felt happy anyway. It's always such a great atmosphere and there are always so many inspirational runners out there.

Later CJ and I went to Rydges for the awards and to catch up with all our lovely interstate friends. Lucky Legs looked awesome and ran a great run. She is always an inspiration. It was great to catch up with Katy and Mark and Tesso and Clairie too. Then CJ and I had the surprise of our lives when we both received Masters' Athletics medals for our respective age groups - wow - that was certainly unexpected, especially with a time like mine! CJ's was well-deserved as her time was a very respectable 3:39 but my medal was definitely a fluke!!
To sum up it was a good day thanks to the fantastic support out there. I will download some photos soon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I can do no more so bring on the marathon!

I ran a very gentle 20 minutes this afternoon. My drink bottles are labelled, my nails are painted a coordinating colour to my outfit and my last run is done and dusted. I just have to make up my personal drinks for the bottles, cut up my jelly snakes, charge my ipod and report to Registration for my goodies bag and timing chip tomorrow afternoon before cheering on the 5km and 10km runners on marathon eve. It's very close - two more sleeps - and I'm starting to feel those butterflies in my tummy!
Best of luck to all competitors this weekend. We can only do our best and smile when we finish - whatever the result let's just do it. Bring it on!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time to Load Up on the Carbs!

Yesterday there was quite a wind storm and it turned out to be a good day not to run. By this morning the wind had calmed down and the weather was much better. I left my run today until quite late in the afternoon and by then there was a bit of a head wind on my outward journey. I only had a 30min run scheduled with 6 x 100m strides after that.
Total distance: 6:06km
Time taken: 37mins
Average pace per km: 6:06
Calories burned: 358
I ran 15mins out from home then turned and ran 15mins back. After that I chose a nice flat piece of cycle track near home and ran 6 x 100m at a reasonable pace jogging back to the start each time. That's about all I can do now. I have a 20min run left to run and then it's 42.2km to face on Sunday! Now I have started carbo loading so it's countdown time!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trying to Stick to the Plan!

I ran at 5.15pm today when the conditions were perfect - cool, overcast and the sun setting in an orange glow in the distance. It was lovely. I turned up my music and just ran. I just couldn't hang off a minute longer. The schedule was to run for 40mins with the last 10mins at marathon pace and that's exactly what I did!
I ran from home for 20mins then turned and ran back again to make my total of 40mins.
Total distance: 6:76km! (not like me to not round it up but I religiously stuck to the 40mins)
Average pace per km: 5:55 (with last 10mins averaging 5:38per km)
Calories burned: 400
Tomorrow, as I have a few appointments, I will have the rest day from running that I didn't have on Monday! Why is it that I always want to run more when I'm tapering? I'm also hungry and have to stop myself from nibbling at that chocolate!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Fun Run to Start Last Taper Week

It was one of those drizzly grey days in Canberra today when the grey clouds hover, there's a slight chill in the air and the day can't make up its mind whether it will rain or stay murky. As it was the Easter long weekend and a number of speedygeese were in Adelaide competing at the nationals, training at Parliament House was cancelled. I had a rest day scheduled but because I didn't run on Sat I figured that I could run this afternoon to make up for it. Besides, by 5pm I was desperate for a run and the conditions were ideal as it was cool with light rain falling.
I put the mustard honey chicken and veges in the oven and took off for my run. It felt so much better than yesterday and I was so glad I ran. I had loaded my ipod with more music and I could enjoy some different songs as I ran along. In fact if anyone had seen me they would have thought I was going crazy as I was singing and leaping about like a woman possessed. It was fun, I enjoyed it and although the rain stopped as quickly as it started the air was cool and very pleasant. I arrived home just before it became really dark.
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 48:12
Average pace per km: 6:02
Calories burned: 470

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Hope the Easter bunny was good to you, but not too good! My plan is to save the majority of my choccie until after the marathon if I can restrain myself for that long! However, I still managed to eat more than is good for me!
After a lovely but brief visit from my daughters and an interesting visit with one of them to the National Portrait Gallery somehow this resulted in two rest days from running in a row - not good! Today I therefore went for a very gentle 16km run and every step hurt. It was ridiculous. After a two day break I was jumping out of my skin and yet when I ran it was really uncomfortable. I was so slow and if I run like that next weekend I'll be in big trouble!
Distance: 16km
Time taken: 1:39
Average pace per km: 6:13
Total distance for second taper week: 52km

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Desperately Seeking .......Shade!

If only I could bottle this perfect weather and release it for marathon day. It has been such an amazing week weather-wise and I have been lucky enough to have had the time to appreciate it. Yesterday morning I rose at some silly hour to go to the 6.15am RPM class at the gym. I used yesterday as my 'rest from running' day in place of Monday but I still worked hard at RPM and the 15mins abs class following it.
Today, as I met CJ and Mr B for brekkie, I went for my run at about 1.30pm when it was quite hot. I decided to run to find some shade and headed for the back of the AIS where I found some undulating shady paths and ran down to Belconnen Way which proved to be exactly 5km from home. My session today was 15mins warm-up followed by 4mins fast, 3mins fast and 2mins fast with 2mins slow recovery jogs between. Then it was a steady run home with a bit of a head wind and a few undulations slowing me down. However I did have a little negative split as I took 29:30 on the way out and 28:27 on the return trip.
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 57:57
Average pace per km: 5:49
Calories burned: 582
Tonight I had an appointment with personal trainer CJ at the CIT gym where she supervised me going through my strength/weights program and adjusted it accordingly. I can actually see my abs these days - wish they could help me run faster!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Autumn in Canberra - Perfect!

This morning I went to the gym at the very civilised hour of 9.30am to take part in the Total Body Conditioning (TBC) class - gosh, it's tough. The first 30mins is cardio and this is followed by 30mins of squats, hips, butt and abs work and it HURTS. The class is taken by a blonde Canadian lady who doesn't stop for breath. I'm sure it does some good though, at least it will eventually.
It was another absolutely stunning Autumn day in the low 20's with bright sunshine and no wind, just perfect. Just as I was deciding it was time to go for a run my mobile beeped at me and Marg was asking if I had run yet cos she was in the area. Yay, I ran to meet her and had company for most of my 10km run. It was fantastic. We just talked and ran gently but it was fun and the conditions were ideal. I arrived home just as the sun disappeared and the light was growing dim - good timing!
Total distance: 10.37km
Time taken: 1:04
Average pace per km: 6:13 (oops, too much talking)
Calories burned: 615

Monday, April 06, 2009

Monday's Training and Less Than Two Weeks Left!

It's quite scary how fast this year has flown and knowing that there's now less than two weeks left until the marathon. Today was another lovely sunny Autumn day in Canberra. Let's hope this weather can stay for another couple of weeks at least!
This morning I followed CJ's exercise program at the gym trying to tone up the flabby bits!
This afternoon I went to early training at 4.30pm where I joined Ewen, David P and Miranda for an 8km warm-up down to the lake and round Kingston foreshore before the main session. The main session was similar to last week consisting of a warm-up lap of PH before heading for the undulating trails where we (18 of us now) ran a 933m loop fast three times with a slow run between which included two lots of exercises such as sit ups, push ups, stretches, chin ups or step ups. I opted for the sit ups, push ups and stretches. By the third fast loop the sun had gone down completely and it was quite dark as of course daylight saving has finished. We finished with a short warm down lap of PH.
Total distance (including warm-up): 15.3km

Women's and Girls' Fun Run

photos courtesy of speedygeoff

There were 1300 starters for the very successful W & G Fun Run yesterday in ideal conditions. It was overcast with no wind for the run and later the sun shone brightly as we sat around waiting for the barrel drawers and catching up with friends. I started in quite the wrong spot this year and had to struggle through lots of runners and walkers who were taking up the whole pathway at the start of the run. I did lose a bit of time here but felt fine after the first km when I managed to run steadily. I thought I was running quite well, especially when I finally passed Yelena in the 4th km. However my time across the finish line was a little disappointing as I felt so comfortable and thought I had run better than that. Later we ate hot cross buns and fruit and queued for great coffee from the very welcome Cafe2U van which comes to events sometimes.

I was very excited when my name was called for one of the barrel draws - a bag of goodies from ACTEWAGL - yay, it's always fun to win a surprise!

Total distance: 5km (plus a 1.2km warm-up)
Time taken: 27:09
Average pace per km: 5:18
Place: 150th (out of 1300 starters and 1160 recorded results)
Total distance for first week of taper: 68km

Friday, April 03, 2009

Finally - a Break Through!

Last night was the final session at track for the season and there were impressive results and awards presented to some amazing athletes including M80, M85 and W80's - so inspiring to all of us. I entered the mile fitness walk and came in 3rd. When I can't run anymore I think I'll take up walking - it's fun although it does hurt!
Marg and I ran a few warm-up laps before entering the 3000m event. It didn't feel too bad and I happily surprised myself by finally managing to come in under 15mins - woo hoo! I'm not sure what the exact time was yet as the official results haven't been posted but I think it was 14:58. Anyway I was very happy to have finally broken that elusive 15mins!
Total distance including warm up laps: 6km

Friday is usually my rest day but this week I decided to run as I have entered the Women's and Girls' Fun Run on Sunday and will have my rest day tomorrow instead. It was mid morning before I left the house and it was quite hot (about 29deg). I struggled a bit with tired legs and unquenchable thirst. I ran from home to Lake G, round the lake and then a bit further towards Gungahlin before running home the long way. At the lake I stopped to say "hi" to speedy Sue who was cycling in the opposite direction. She is also doing the marathon but was resting a sore knee by cycling instead.
Total distance: 21km
Time taken: 2:07
Average pace per km: 6:05
Calories burned: 1235

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Seventeen Days Nine Hours To Canberra Marathon!

This morning I went to the 6.15am RPM class followed by the 15mins abs class at the gym. Then later this afternoon I went for a gentle run to stretch the tight glutes and legs stopping to visit a girlfriend on the return journey - very pleasant! I also actually achieved a couple of things on my never-ending list of things to do - finally!

Total distance: 7.8km
Time taken: 47mins
Average pace per km: 6:05
Calories burned: 460