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