Sunday, December 05, 2010

Fun Times Abound!

There is no doubt that this is a busy time of year preparing for Christmas and all that entails. I have been busy making gingerbread men and decorating our Christmas tree this afternoon. Just before lunch I sped off for a run in the sun - yes, that yellow ball in the sky bravely appeared today and it was hot and humid. There were still huge puddles and fallen tree branches to avoid and as I had scheduled a 1km time trial it was difficult to find an unbroken km stretch. In the end I ran two 1km time trials and chose the second one which was marginally faster.
This is my last week of my 12week body transformation program. I'm not exactly transformed but I have definitely lost weight and am eating much better. Next weekend is the culmination of all that hard work when CJ and I head for Sydney to take part in "pain in the domain" before the celebration party that night with an after party to follow. On the Monday night Mr B and I have tickets to see U2 in concert at Homebush. That too should be an amazing experience. Good times, fun times!

It has been a couple of weeks since I blogged and the weather has been wet. That is an understatement. We have had the wettest spring on record and since the start of summer it has rained almost every day and more is expected. The grass and gardens look amazing but I have to admit I love it when the sun shines and we can run without heading for cover when the thunder roars.
Back to my blog continuing on from my last entry -
Tuesday 23 November
I started the morning with yoga before work.
At 6.15pm I headed for the last official ACT Cross Country Club spring series run. It was held at Weston Park and after a 1km warm up on rough ground the main event was 5km. I ran it even slower than the week before in 28:51 which is an average pace of 5:52 per km. After the run Ewen, speedygeoff and I ran a 4km cool down to make a total for the day of 9km.

Wednesday 24 November
Because I went to a gingerbread house making class this evening I couldn't make my usual Wed group run after work. I did however go to the gym in the morning for strength work followed by the abs class.
Thursday 25 November
I wasn't feeling 100% when I went to track tonight (probably from nibbling at the lollies while making the gingerbread house) and as a consequence didn't compete in the walk or the 1500m events. Instead I ran the 3000m and the spiral at the end of the night. My 3000m time was slower than usual 15:19 (average pace 5:06per km) - no PB tonight! However in the spiral I felt much stronger and ran the 7 laps (2.98km) in 14:48. I must have had a second wind (no pun intended)!
Friday 26 November - Bodybalance or my weekly stretching class - great!
Saturday 27 November
I met up with Ewen, Andy, Jen and CJ at the War Memorial from where we ran round the Mt Ainslie track and down to the lake and round the wetlands, Kingston etc. It was good to have all that company and later Liz joined us for coffee at the Campbell Shops.
Total distance: 16km
Sunday 28 November - Vets' Handicap Run
It was not a pleasant day weather-wise and not many people lingered afterwards as the heavens opened. The last handicap of the year was held at Weston Park and because the ground was soggy and the weather had been so bad the course was changed slightly to an out and back course. It was fun to catch up with people but it was also very muddy and slushy and I ran with due caution as I didn't want to slip and fall. Later I enjoyed a very pleasant coffee with some of my running mates at the War Memorial cafe where we warmed up again after shivering in the rain.
Handicap group: 27
Finish place: 57th out of 87
Distance: 7km (plus 1km warm up)
Time taken: 39:44
Average pace per km: 5:41
Age percentile: 72.7%
Monday 29 November
6:30am - strength work at the gym
7:30am - swim 600m
5.30pm - speedygeoff's training at PH
As it was still raining when it was time to start the training and a few soggy runners had just returned from their early run we opted to train in the carpark - round and round for the warm up and cool down and the main session was hill repeats as fast as possible for one side of the carpark which slopes upwards - 12 of them. We ended up racing each other in pairs and it turned into an excellent workout. Naturally we all prefer to be outside in the fresh air but preferably without the rain!
Approximate distance: 8km
Tuesday 30 November
It was another very wet day and instead of heading to the cross country run at a soggy Stromlo I headed for the RPM class at the gym - probably a wise decision! It was a really good work out.
Wednesday 1 December - First day of a wet summer!
6.30am - strength work in gym followed by 15mins abs class
No running tonight as our Wed group had a party instead which proved to be heaps of fun - lots of food, laughs and charades which turned into an absolute hoot. We have such a great little group.
Thursday 2 December
Another really really wet day and this time track at the AIS was officially cancelled. Instead I once more headed for the gym and ran 5km on the dreaded treadmill. I did hill intervals and I absolutely dripped. I felt like I had run 20km by the time I ran 5km. I am not at all used to the treadmill and it felt like really really hard work, not something I would ever choose over running outside but it could happen more often if the rain and storms persist. At least I have the option.
Friday 3 December - my usual body balance class - I love Fridays.
Saturday 4 December
I met up with Ewen and Andy at 7.45am for a run to the lake from the War Memorial. This time we ran an out and back course to the hill near Scrivener Damn and just past the ferry terminal we met up with speedygeoff heading towards us. He turned and ran another 5km out and back with us which was great. The best part is it didn't rain. It was overcast but very very humid as obviously a storm was brewing later in the day. We were all dripping wet (especially the boys) on our return journey. We left speedychief at the ferry terminal and continued on back to the war memorial to meet up with CJ at the cafe for a great coffee and chat. It was a slow run but good to be building up the distance again.
Total distance: 20km
Time taken: 2hrs 12mins
Average pace per km: 6:37
Later in the afternoon I had just left the house to take Teddy for his walk when the thunder started rumbling in the distance. I had no jacket or rain gear with me so we started to run. Then the heavens opened, the rain pelted down and the inevitable happened. Teddy ran across me, I tripped on his lead, sprawled on the soggy ground, partly landing on him. He yelped and pulled away on to the road - eek, fortunately I still had hold of the lead, pulled him back, scrambled up and we jogged on to the corner and home. We both looked like drowned rats, literally. Teddy has very long shaggy hair and it was all sticking to him and as for me, when we finally reached our front door and Mr B let us in, he burst out laughing at the sight that greeted him. I had to peel everything off before daring to go any further indoors. Oh boy, wet, bruised and very sorry for myself I towel dried the poor dog (who didn't seem to mind one bit) and headed for a hot shower! Not great timing - so lucky to get in that beautiful run this morning!
Sunday 5 December
This is where I started this blog entry and my total distance including two time trials was 8km.
Monday 6 December
This morning I headed for the gym to spend over an hour pumping iron and working on my abs before going to the pool and swimming a km. Woo hoo, I was very happy to manage a km as that's the furthest I have swum in over twelve months. Tonight is the speedygeese Christmas party at Pialligo - we are so lucky to have a wonderful venue. Here's hoping the rain stays away. It has rained again today of course but currently the sun is struggling through. It should be another fun night.
This is my last week at work. Yay, I may finally be able to keep my blog up-to-date and catch up with all the Christmas "to do" list after we return from Sydney on Tuesday.
Photos: Richard, Ewen, Andy at our Wed group celebration.
Gingerbread houses

Monday, November 22, 2010

I cycled 23km today on cycle paths but at least it was a cycle. Half way I stopped and had a coffee with CJ and Mr CJ - not a good place for coffee as it happened but great company and a chance to have a chat before CJ later headed for the final run leg of the triple tri. The only other exercise today was a long hot walk with puppy Teddy.
This morning I headed for the gym for an hour's weight session including abs and 10mins on the cross trainer. Next I went to the pool for a swim and managed 500m in the 50m pool. Woo hoo - it's been so long since I swam properly as a shoulder injury had prevented me swimming freestyle. It felt wonderful to finally be able to swim again. I will continue to try to increase the distance gradually every few days.
5.30pm - speedygeese at Parliament House
It was hot today, much hotter than what we are used to and it will take a little while for us to acclimatise to the warmer weather. The temps are gradually rising all week.
Today after our warm up lap of PH we headed for the rose garden and ran around the 750m course where we were to do our main session. We ran this loop four times, running fast on the uphills and slow on the downhills. The first 120m was fast, then we ran slowly before speeding up for the next 160m, slowing down on the downhills again and running fast up the hill and the steps before a short warm down back to the start. We repeated this loop five times with a little rest between each interval until speedychief blew the whistle every six minutes at the start.
We finished with a cool down loop making a total of 9km.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Here we go "Loop the Loop"!

Today's speedygeese session at Parliament House avoided the rain again. We have been very lucky fitting in our sessions between showers. Tonight after our warm up we ran a 950m loop six times - three fast loops and three slow loops followed by a cool down lap round PH.Total distance: 10km

This evening the Cross Country Spring Series run was at Barrinjoey Drive - another true cross country accessed via a long windy dusty road. It was a looped course which we had to run three times. Parts of it were uneven and stony but it was certainly interesting. The climate was perfect but my run was still slow. After the race I ran a 4km warm down run with Ewen and Jen.
Total distance for day: 9km
Time for 5km race: 28:31
Average pace per km: 5:36

6.30am - Gym - strength work
7am - abs class

5.45pm - I met up with Chris and Ewen at Parliament House for our mid-week run. We ran and talked and did not break any records. Chris stopped after 10km but Ewen and I continued on for a loop of PH to finish making our total 12km.

This evening was the track and field session at the AIS. I arrived on time to compete in the 1500m fitness walk (10:56) - always fun then I thought I would eat a banana and relax until the 3000m event later in the evening. However, just after I had finished eating Maureen approached me and roped me in for the 4 x 800m relay team. I am definitely not an 800m runner. However, the W55s needed me to make up their team of four and I agreed very reluctantly to join them. Although I am in the next age group apparently one person is allowed to run in a younger age group. I ran in number two spot after Kathy and passed the baton to Maria, followed by Maureen. It was hard work but fun to be part of it. Of course I was the weakest link, my time for the 800m being 3:40. After the race I started coughing and even after sucking on peppermints I just couldn't stop.

I lined up at 8.15pm for the 3000m event. I didn't break my PB but I guess I had already run and that may have slowed me down.
Time for 3000m: 15:10

I managed a short warm down after the run before announcements and supper were held.

I went to Body Balance class this morning which always makes me stretch heaps. I'm quite sure this is a good thing! Friday is my rest day from running.

It was a stunning day today and at 7.45am I met up with Ewen and Andy at the War Memorial. There were quite a number of runners there who usually run at the Cotter and have moved to the War Memorial now to run at Mt Ainslie. They started off before us and we saw some of them at various spots throughout the run. We ran a loop of Mt Ainslie then headed over a stony rough trail where we hadn't run before. Part of the hills were unrunnable but it was great to be on the trails. The view at the top was stunning.

It was a lovely morning and later we met up with CJ for a coffee at the War Memorial cafe.
Total distance: 15km

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekend Fun!

At 6am I went for a bike ride, on the cycle track, before work. I managed to squeeze in 18km to try out my nice new gatorskin tyres which supposedly are tough and should not puncture easily - good plan!

My schedule demanded that I had to fit in a 1km time trial today and I decided to do this before my longer run a little later. Thus at 6am I ran 2km gently before turning and running back as fast as I could for 1km and jogging back home. I ran along cycle tracks from home as this is the time trial I have done on other occasions. I managed 1km in 5:03 - not exactly earth shattering but at least the time was recorded.

I then whizzed home, had a piece of toast and a quick shower before driving to the War Memorial to meet up with CJ, Ewen and Andy for a run round the base of Mt Ainslie and past Molonglo Reach through the wetlands and back for a total of 15km. It was tough as my legs objected and by 12km I had really hit the wall. Fortunately Ewen wanted to run slowly too so I had company when I was tagging along for the last few km.
Total distance for day: 19km

This morning I met up with friends at the Yacht Club as we had entered the Tour de Femme, a 20km all women's bike ride. Six of us entered as The Motley Crue. We all wore pink tops and tried to stay together for the duration of the ride. It was heaps of fun. We had only had one training ride together and for me the only other riding I had done this year was on cycle tracks. We felt quite happy with our time of 48mins. There were about 650 women and the start was a bit hairy and about 3km into the run one of our team had something caught in her wheel so we waited to fix it, probably losing a couple of minutes. That was the only snag and at times we were cycling over 42km an hour - great fun indeed!
In the evening we all met up for dinner at a local Balinese restaurant where far too much wine and food was consumed but the company was fantastic!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Slowing Down!

I made it to track with about five minutes to spare for a warm-up before the 3000m event at 6pm. It was really hot tonight compared to what we are used to, still 27deg at 6pm when we ran. Because we are not yet acclimatised for the warm weather it felt really hot and muggy after all the rain we have experienced lately.
I did not run well taking 15:23 (5:10 per km average pace) which was almost 14secs slower than last week. I think I run better when it is slightly cool. However, it wasn't windy and it certainly didn't rain!
Immediately following the 3000m I took part in the 2000m fitness/race walk. This took me 14mins but was a great warm down.
My final event was the 6-lap spiral handicap. My handicap group was 28. I felt slow and sore initially but by the final couple of laps I felt much better and put in a bit more of an effort. There wasn't a breath of wind and the sun had gone down but the air was still very warm. Of course Bronwyn raced me to the finish as did Maria who just raced me over the finish line. It is always a fun event.
Total distance with warm-ups and cool downs: 9km

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A True Cross Country Run

6.45am - Yoga class before work.
6.15pm - Cross Country spring series at Weston Park
It had been raining on and off most of the day but when we ran at 6.15pm the rain had stopped and humidity had taken over. It was sticky weather and the course was "cross country" in the true sense of the word. It was undulating, grassy, potholes and uneven surface. I ran carefully as I do have a habit of tripping over. I found it much more difficult than last Tuesday and my disappointing time reflected this.
Total distance of run: 5km (plus 1km warm up and 4km cool down)
Time taken:29.1mins
Average pace per km: 5:45
Total distance for day: 10km
6.15am - Strength work at gym
7am - Abs class
6pm - Run from Parliament House with Jen, Ewen and Chris.
We just ran a gentle run this evening. Again, it had rained earlier and the weather was sticky but the company was good.
Total distance: 8km

Monday, November 08, 2010

Gaining Confidence

Yesterday morning at 6.30am I met up with five other girls at the yacht club where we rode a practice run of the Tour de Femme course which is being held next weekend. I was very nervous as this is fully on the road and I haven't been riding on the road for years. However, we rode as a group and it was great fun. We have entered the event as a team. The course is 20km but we rode 22km with a couple of stops to regroup. It was good company and lots of fun. It certainly boosted my confidence for road riding and afterwards we had a beautiful coffee in Yarralumla.

Later, after taking Teddy (puppy) for a 45min walk/run, Mr B and I decided to go for a swim at the CISAC Pool. Again, it's been years since I went swimming, partly due to my left shoulder being painful. I swam in the 25metre pool and the water felt really warm, like a hot bath, not the most conducive start! However, I managed 30 laps and then we dashed home to change and drive to the China Tea Club for a delightful dinner with a couple of friends. Next swim I will attempt the 50m pool which will be much cooler.

Although I am supposedly working four days a week, today was an unexpected work day as I was asked to work an extra day this week as we are very busy. Thus I went to the gym early for my strength session and did not make the early speedygeese session tonight, instead arriving in time for the 5.30pm start.

The rain had slowed when I arrived and we were about to venture outside when thunder reverberated across the sky and the heavens really opened. Therefore we initially ran a 4km warm up under the carpark in the shelter. Then once the rain eased we ran to the rose garden and ran 4 x 800m undulating intervals as fast as possible before the rain started pelting down again. Then it was a quick dash to the underground carpark, as the thunder clapped around us, where we ran a couple of km cool down to finish off our session.

Total distance: approx 9km
The forecast is for showers off and on for the rest of the week, a bit frustrating for our running sessions.

Photo: Warrick and Chris at the speedygeese dinner in October

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Adventures of the long-lost blogger!

Ok, here goes - it has been TWO months since I last blogged. I can't believe the way time slips past. Since that time I have been working four very busy days a week on a three month government contract which finishes at the end of November and I am now in Week 8 of a 12 week Body Transformation Course with Michelle Bridges on-line. She's the trainer from Biggest Loser. I've lost 5 kilos and feel much better and stronger.

However, leisure time has been at a premium and as a consequence my blog has definitely suffered from gross neglect!

Since September I have run 453km, resumed RPM/spin classes at the gym, yoga weekly classes, Bodybalance, abs classes and strength work. I have also very recently started cycling again and just crazily signed up for the Tour de Femme in a week's time. Considering I have only been cycling on cycle tracks it will probably be a bit scary. Tomorrow I am meeting up with friends at 6.30am for a cycle round the course on the roads. Hopefully most people will still be in bed and there won't be too much traffic!

A few of us went to Melbourne for the Half Marathon on 10 October (great date - 10th of the 10th of 2010). We stayed a few days and had heaps of fun. I ran the half a few minutes faster than the Vets' Athletics Half, in 2hrs 2mins. I still didn't break the two hour barrier but it will happen again.
Track has resumed at the AIS and the Cross Country spring series on Tuesdays will continue to the end of the year. My goal is to break 15mins for the 3k on the track (I ran it in 15:09 on Thursday) and 25mins for the 5km cross country. That will be tougher - my first run on Tuesday was 26.32 so I have a wee way to go!
Last Sunday the monthly Vets handicap was held at O'Connor Ridge, one of my favourite courses. It had rained heavily overnight and was still raining hard early on the Sunday morning. However, the rain cleared just before the run and the conditions were perfect - cloudy, cool and great off road running. Apparently this is the most difficult course on the Vets calendar but I prefer it to a lot of others and I felt really strong and ran comfortably for no obvious reason. I just had a good day but just before the finish Debbie came whizzing past me and scored a bronze medal. I was just pipped at the post and finished 4th eligible but consquently have now been re-handicapped back seven groups. Next month's handicap will be tough!!
I have been running on Sat mornings with Ewen and Andy and sometimes Jen. Last week Thea joined us and it was great to catch up with her. We always enjoy our coffee afterwards at the War Memorial cafe where the lovely Liz joins us after her long run. These are the best times - the coffee breaks after our runs.
My intention now is to keep my blog updated and to never let it get back to this state again. To sum up keeping fit and running with excellent company is keeping me healthy and happy. These are the best of times.

Photos: Jen and Richard; strewth and Yelena - at the speedygeese dinner in October
Mr B, strewth, CJ and her son Robbie at The Press Club for a sumptuous dinner in Melbourne

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Rain, rain, go away!

All night long and all today it rained and rained. Tonight it is still pouring down and the wind is blowing fiercely outside. This morning I drove to the War Memorial and met up with Margaret, Jen, Andy and Ewen for a very wet soggy run. We didn't end up starting the run until after 9.30am by the time everyone arrived. Fortunately the wind had not picked up at that stage but it was raining really hard with no sign of letting up. We ran from the war memorial along Anzac Parade down to the lake, over Commonwealth Ave bridge and on to the Wetlands detouring along the new path instead of the very muddy trails. Past Molonglo we took a shortcut through Duntroon - still very soggy underfoot. There were large puddles everywhere and we had fun splashing each other and ending up absolutely sodden right through to the skin - shoes and socks squelching! We only counted six other runners out there although we know there were lots of other crazy people running earlier.
After the run we all had to completely change at the War Memorial before heading inside the warmth of the cafe for great coffee, cake and conversation. We felt like we had run twice the distance we did. Here's hoping next Sunday is a lot better weather than this for the Canberra Times fun run! It was pretty dreadful weather today!
I am so glad I have hardy running mates because it would have been really tough running on my own today.
Total distance: 14.44km
Time taken: 1hr 39mins
Average pace per km: 6:50 (lots of stopping and clambering through mud and puddles)
Wednesday Run
Today was my first day back at work in a new job. I enjoyed the challenge and the company. I think it will be ok. I just have to get back into routine again. That could be interesting!
Today was not a wildly pleasant day weather-wise but the evening was not cold as I set off from Parliament House at 5.45pm with Ewen, Chris and Andy. We ran down to the lake, along Anzac Parade and on through Commonwealth Park where they are setting up floriade which will open to the public in a couple of weeks. It was good to have enjoyable company and the rain held off so that we could run slightly further than we have lately on Wednesdays.
Total distance: 11km
Time taken: 1:11
Average pace per km: 6:28
Thursday with the speedygeese
After work I quickly changed into my running gear in the very fancy changing area downstairs in our brand new office block before driving to Dickson Oval to join the speedygeese training. I haven't been to Thursday training for ages, the main reason being that the oval keeps being closed due to rain. We really have had a lot of rain over the past few weeks. There were 13 of us including our speedycoach.
After a couple of warm up loops of the oval the main session consisted of inverse pyramids with reverse recoveries. These were:
80secs fast/60 slow; 60fast/40slow; 40fast/20slow; 20fast/40 slow; 40fast/60slow; 60fast/80slow; 80 fast.
Fortunately we just listened for speedygeoff's whistle to know when to change speed!
After a short break we ran 440m fast/440m jog x two.
We finished with another warm down loop of the oval.
I felt like a bloated slug and was by far the slowest tonight. I had far too much soup at lunchtime and that was a big mistake. I'll remember just to have a sandwich next Thursday.
Total distance: 8km on a surprisingly warm evening.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vets' Monthly Handicap at Mt Taylor

On Saturday I enjoyed a bike ride with Mr B, a long walk with Teddy and saved my run for the Vets monthly handicap at Mt Taylor on Sunday. Mount is the operative word. The run started uphill and continued that way until the last km when it was a lovely downhill finish. I ran slowly in my usual fashion lately. I enjoyed the trails and would have loved the course if I had trained more on hills and was uninjured. It was a struggle but I still enjoyed it on a pleasant almost spring-like morning with the sun shining. The handicap runs are always a great opportunity to catch up with heaps of people who I only see once a month. Later CJ, Jen and I enjoyed a pleasant coffee in Kingston where Mr B joined us after competing in a duathlon.
Total distance: 7km
Time taken: 43:42
Average pace per km: 6:15
Handicap: 22
Finish place: 79th (out of 89)
Monday training with the speedygeese at Parliament House
I arrived at PH just before 5pm and ran a short 4km warm-up with Ewen before the main session.
Because it was a lovely day today there was a good turnout of geese tonight. We totalled 21 which was great and that included three new starters which is always interesting and fun. After our warm-up loop we headed for the grassy bank in front of PH where we were divided into relay teams and ran fast diagonally down the grassy slope, jogged across the bottom short straight, fast up the long straight, jogged across the top straight and ran fast down the other diagonal. We repeated this for 30 minutes - tough but fun.
We finished with a cool down loop of PH.
Total distance: 12km (including early warm-up)
Today I went for a pleasant 21km bike ride with Margaret. On our return trip we came across Rad and Friar waiting for the start of the Lake G monthly handicap. It was a lovely day out there apart from the cold wind!
Tomorrow reality bites as I return to the work force for three months for four days a week. Ho hum!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Long Run on a Friday!

After a fantastic evening with a few Wednesday running friends I treated myself to a sleep-in this morning, making the most of a few more days before returning to the workforce. Instead I ran out the door after 11am for my long run. As my hamstring troubles me every day now I decided to give it a rest yesterday and not run my long run tomorrow as the Vets handicap is being held on Sunday morning.
It wasn't the best day to choose however. I started in the cold struggling against a bitter head wind and headed down to the lake where it started to rain, firstly sleet then steady rain. However, it soon eased off and for a very short time the sun shone through. In fact for about ten minutes it felt quite warm. It took nearly 9km before my leg felt reasonably comfortable and I could run more or less painfree. At 12km I took off my spray jacket and tied it round my waist but I kept my gloves and earwarmers firmly in place! I had no music so instead had to listen to the sound of my own breathing!

After completing the lake run I headed towards Gungahlin through the tunnel and on for a few kms before turning and heading home. Just 1km before reaching home Mr B ran towards me with Teddy running happily to greet me and run home with me. He is now four months old but still very much a puppy so a 2km run is quite far enough to wear him out but he can run really fast so I finished with a quick sprint!

Total distance: 20.02km
Time taken: 2:07:23
Average pace per km: 6:20
Calories burned: 1,175

Photo: Andy, Jen and Richard

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bring on the warm weather!

6.45am - Gym - 15mins on the rower
7am - 15mins abs class
7.15am - 15mins upper body strength
5.45pm - Running from Parliament House
Only two of us turned up to run tonight and a nasty cold night it was too. I thought we might be running in the carpark but Chris said we should try running outside. It was COLD! I wore my gloves, beanie and spray jacket and off we ran for good conversation and a cold run with splatters of sleety rain on the way out. The wind was nasty at first and it probably took nearly 5km before I warmed up enough to unzip my spray jacket and feel comfortable. We ran from PH through the rose gardens to the lake across Kings Avenue Bridge, Commonwealth Park, Commonwealth Avenue and back to Parliament House. Parts of the run were in shelter and when the wind dropped it was "almost" pleasant.
Without company I would not have been brave enough to face the elements but lots of political discussion made the time pass remarkably quickly.
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 51.09
Average pace per km: 6:23
I have just been offered a three months contract working four days a week in a government dept starting next Wednesday. Oh dear, I need some warm weather early in the mornings and late in the evenings to make running at that time more pleasant! There are magpies nesting and daffodils blooming - signs of spring everywhere. Hurry up spring weather and lots of warm sunshine!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hanging Parliament!

Thirty seconds after leaving the house for a run the rain came down. Fortunately it stopped after only a few minutes but the temperature was really cold and on the way out I was struggling against a head wind. I wore a few layers and eventually was able to take off the gloves, ear warmers and spray jacket! On the return journey the wind eased and it became more pleasant as the sun shone in brief bursts.
Total distance: 12km

I did forget to mention that over the past two Wednesdays, due to constant rain, I ran with Chris and Ewen for 7-8km in the Parliament House carpark. When we were tired of running in one direction we turned and ran in the other direction. Great conversation made for good company and helped pass the time. There was even some political discussion which put me in the right frame of mind for when I was asked to meet with speedygeoff and Roger as representatives of the baby boomer generation to give our views of the election campaign to the Canberra Times. They had also interviewed the Y and X generations earlier. It was fun and resulted in an article in the paper just before election day.

Of course now we are still waiting to find out the final results of the election. In the meantime it looks like we have a "hung" parliament.

Photos show Roger, speedygeoff and strewth in Parliament House ready to be interviewed

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's Been More than Two Weeks since I last Blogged.....

And so much has happened in that time. However the title could well be the same as my last one - it's still cold, windy and raining a lot. I am so looking forward to warmer weather - not HOT but warm and still - I have had quite enough of this cold weather!

A brief outline of my runs since I last blogged:

Wednesday 4 August
Total distance - 16km
Friday 6 August
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 47:45
Average pace per km: 5:58

Sunday 8 August - City to Surf
We had a fun weekend in Sydney catching up with Canberra friends and our daughters who live in Sydney. I felt very comfortable throughout the run but decided to run gently as my hamstring still hurts when I try running with any speed especially up hills. Instead I was happy when Margaret caught up to me and we ran and talked most of the way together. At the start of the run while running alone I thought it felt quite tough starting on a hill but with company (and I don't mean the 70,000 other runners) the real hills felt easy. I just decided to enjoy the day and it was fun with no records broken!! What is more, my hamstring felt ok. I lost Marg in the last 2km when we were interweaving among the runners ahead but our times were only 30secs apart.

Total distance: 14km (plus a 2km walk/jog to the start from our hotel)
Time taken: 86:37
Average pace per km: 6:08
This was one of my slowest C2S runs ever but sometimes it's more about the fun and friendships than the time taken. It was lovely to catch up with Marg's identical twin Gwen from Queensland who also ran a little way with us. Their beautiful mother had died just a couple of days before and they decided that she would have wanted them to run anyway. They are two very brave and special ladies.

Tuesday 10 August
We made it a long weekend in Sydney and drove back in the late afternoon on Monday arriving too late to attend the speedygeese session. Instead I ran from home on the Tuesday for a total of 8km.

Friday 13 August - Jen's birthday
Today, for something different and in order to catch up with Jen on her birthday, I decided to run the weekly Customs Run in the middle of the day. I used to run this event years ago in my lunch break when I worked in the city and it was fun to return. I will try to do this run as often as I can when I'm not working. They are all such a friendly group of runners. It is a handicapped event and I had to guess my start time. Jen ran at my pace to show me the route and it was lots of fun. Later we enjoyed a good coffee at The Deck.
Total distance: 5km (plus 1km warm up)
Time taken: 28:36
Average pace per km: 5:49

Saturday 14 August - Off to Melbourne to crew for Liz
Before heading for the airport I ran from home and down to Lake Ginninderra for a lap of the lake. I haven't run this course for ages and it felt good. The only problem is that my ipod has been playing up and it stopped dead after 4km so the majority of the run was without music. This happened to me at the C2S too but at least there I had company. This time I just had to listen to the sound of my own breathing!
Total distance: 17km
Today (14 August) was our 39th wedding anniversary but no time for fanfare on the day as at lunchtime Mr B took Ewen and I to the airport where we flew to Melbourne to meet up with Liz at the lovely apartment where she had organised for us to stay in order to head for the Tan (a track round the botanical gardens) the next morning to crew for her 100km run.

It was such an exciting weekend. The weather was dodgy to say the least and Sunday (event day) was no exception. Liz had arranged for her brother to bring us a canvas shelter to protect us from the elements. However, the organiser of the run requested that it be taken down as the council would not allow it to be erected. Fortunately Steve's wife had a table on which we could store the refreshments and food for Liz and protect the bags under it during the inclement weather.

We did experience four seasons in one day - rain, wind, sun and cold. It was definitely good to have several layers of clothing and umbrellas for protection! The run started with a 500m out and back before they had to cover 26 laps of the Tan within a 12 hour cut off time. It was great to see Steve and Nick in the 100km event and John and Di in the 53km event which started a couple of hours later. There was one big hill on the lap of the Tan - Anderson's Hill - and it must have felt like a mountain after running it a few times. Many runners selected to walk the hill which was a wise decision!

Liz ran a brilliant run finishing as first female in an amazing time of 9hrs 47mins 10secs. It was a real buzz being her support crew and we had a ball. Her brother ran a couple of laps with her, Ewen ran four laps and I managed three. We had to wait until she had run 70km before we could possibly keep up with her pace!

It was a great day and an awesome experience. We managed to fit in a little shopping, good coffee and yummy food over the course of the weekend. It was a memorable time indeed.
Monday 16 August
Liz flew home first thing on Monday and Ewen and I flew back at lunchtime after enjoying a lovely coffee and chat with Bev (Liz' mum) and a little local shopping. I joined the speedygeese for their main session at 5.30pm running in teams of three. My team was made up of Yelena, Ewen and me and we had to run fast diagonals and up the long straights by the grassy bank in front of Parliament House. The grass was full of potholes and we ran with care.
Total distance: 8km

Thursday 19 August
Today the Dickson oval was closed again due to yet more inclement weather over the last few days. Margaret and I decided to run earlier in the afternoon from my place and down past Giralang and through the tunnel which has been closed for renovations for some time. It was a slow run but good to chat.
Total distance: 10km

Sunday 22 August - Vets Half Marathon
For some bizarre reason I had decided to run in the ACTVets Half Marathon, mainly as a training run for the half marathon in Melbourne in October. It turned out to be a beautifully sunny day, cold - yes, extremely but no rain and little wind - ideal conditions. At 7am I had distress call from Marg who had a flat battery and couldn't start the car. I fast tracked and dressed quickly and drove out to collect her before heading for the start. It was probably the closest we have ever been to missing the start. We had opted for the "over 2 hour" start at 8am and after collecting our numbers and the quickest loo stop ever we ran to the start line just as the starter called out "go". Phew - there was a quick adrenalin rush and no time to feel nervous.

We ran together most of the way. The first 5km felt tough because the only warm-up we had was the run to the start!
The course is a run to the carillon and back and then a run round Lake Burley Griffin which is quite undulating. That last hill at 18km feels very tough indeed. Towards the end I put on a little spurt and finished in 2:06:40 - slow but comfortable. The amazing part was that I still managed to win gold for my age group. The fast 60 year olds obviously stayed home! Margaret was only a few seconds after me but won the bronze - the silver medal went to another Margaret who had run in a later group. CJ, Jen and Michelle ran awesome times and won well-deserved medals. The lovely surprise for the day was that Norma W80 (Luckylegs) turned up from Mittagong to run and in 2hrs17mins not only won gold but beat her own Australian record. Wow!
Total distance: 21.1km
Time taken: 2:06:40
Average pace per km: 6:01
Calories burned: 1231
Later Marg and I headed for the Deck for a relaxing coffee and cake! After that rushed start we needed a coffee break. :)
Nick, Steve and Liz
Liz receiving her medal for first woman finisher at the 100k Tan ultra
John and Di after their 53km ultra
Margaret, Ruth, Margaret medallists at the Vets Half Marathon
Ruth, Margaret, CJ, Jen - medallists
Norma, Ruth, Marg admiring Norma's trophy for age percentage
Liz running the Tan - in the rain!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Battling the Cold Air!

Yesterday I met up with Margaret and we went for a very pleasant cycle. Roy joined us half way through and my total distance was 32km. Mind you I had to wear four layers to keep the cold at bay!
The temperature today has been no better. It's just plain cold. I went to the gym at 6.30am for ten minutes on the rower and upper body strength work followed by a 15mins abs class followed by more upper body strength work. Then it was home to change into running clothes and Marg joined me on a run in the mid morning.
We ran from my home past the back of the AIS to O'Connor Ridge and Bruce Ridge where we ran lots of trails and hills on both sides of the ridge. We then returned via Dryandra Street, through Lyneham and back home past North Lyneham along the undulating cycle track. It was tough and slow and very cold especially in the exposed areas of the hills! However, we ran it all and there were lots of steep hills and the company was good. Hopefully that will be good training for the City to Surf on Sunday! At least Sydney will be warmer!
Total distance: 16km
Calories burned: 910

Monday, August 02, 2010

Winter has returned in full force!

Brrrr, it was a cold bleak day today - nasty! I went to the gym for a 6.15am cross-training class. This is a new class for me and is apparently different every week. It's a full hour of a variety of exercises. We started by warming up jogging backwards and forwards across the gym. We followed this with drills, high knees and butt kicks. The main session consisted of all sorts of contortions with the fitball - some very difficult and some requiring balance - lots of abs work and leg and hip exercises. It was quite tricky.
4.30pm - Early training at Parliament House
I made it to the early session tonight and met up with Craig, speedygeoff and Ewen for a gentle 8km run. It had been raining during the afternoon but stopped for our training tonight. It was only 4degrees and I didn't remove my spray jacket and leggings all night. My legs felt tired and the hamstring very sore but fortunately speedygeoff ran slowly with me as his hamstring was hurting too. We ran towards Kingston and back by the lake, a total of 8km.
5.30pm - Hill training session
There were only nine of us for the main training session tonight. I think the cold and unpleasant conditions kept everyone away. It wasn't too bad once we warmed up once more but nobody stripped their top layers off! After a couple of loops of PH we ran up a 100m hill 15 times on 2 minutes. I found it hard work but managed the whole session without coming last!
Total distance for both sessions: 15km

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Bush Capital Running Festival

Talk about lucky! After huge threats of rain and bleak conditions the weather for the bush capital events yesterday were ideal especially at 9.30am for the start of the 16km. It was cool but still and overcast with a very light splattering of rain - in fact quite ideal conditions really for a very undulating bush capital run on the trails and hills of Mt Ainslie. Margaret and I started together and finished only 6 secs apart. I managed to run almost all of the way leaving Marg behind on the hills but she caught me on the downhills and flat. I still have no speed! I did have to walk a little on the very steep rough rocky part of the course but I was happy to at least have finished it in one piece although my hamstring was pretty sore in the evening. It was, as always, a well run event with lots of lovely cake, fruit bars and soft drinks at the finish and of course the bush capital mug!
Total distance: 16km (plus 2km warm-up)
Time taken: 1hr 44mins
My time was 8 minutes slower than when I last ran it in 2008. Age has defnitely wearied me!!
After the run I enjoyed coffee with Liz and Ewen at the war memorial cafe where we discussed plans for our pending trip to Melbourne in a couple of weeks where Ewen and I will crew for Liz' 100km ultra run of the Tan. This should be an amazing experience and I am so excited and very flattered to be asked - wow!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Running through Puddles!

6.45am - A warm-up on the treadmill at the gym before the 15mins abs class followed by some upper body strength work.
5.45pm - I met up with Chris and Ewen at Parliament House for a run in the steady constant rain. We ran down past the national gallery, Kings Avenue, Anzac Parade, Glebe Park, the library and back to PH. We ran carefully trying to avoid the biggest puddles and mud. It was a very mild evening temperature wise, just wet! In fact it was quite pleasant as we all wore spray jackets for a little protection from the rain. I was very wet by the finish but a quick towel dry and change of top meant I was ok to drive home relatively dry.
Total distance: 11.2km
Time taken: 1:15:41
Average pace per km: 6:45
Today was not such a good one. I didn't make it to training as I was struggling with a bad headache. I also had to take Teddy to the vet with a sore eye. He's now wearing one of those large plastic collars to stop him rubbing his eye and I have special ointment for him. I'm hoping tomorrow will be better. On the up-side Mr B arrived home today after six weeks in Europe spent following motor racing and the Tour de France. He had a wonderful time. However, his plane was delayed over two hours due to a very foggy morning in Canberra. It has been another grey intermittently wet day and the forecast is not good for the weekend. It doesn't bode well for the bush capital running festival on Saturday! i hope it improves.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Hills are Alive....

........with the sound of heavy breathing! Yes, tonight at Parliament House we ran hills again. Jen and I met up before the main session and ran down to join the early group on their way back from Kingston, managing to squeeze in 4km before the start.

There were 16 of us for the main session at 5.30pm which consisted of a couple of warm-up laps before we headed for the hills.

Tonight we ran 15 x 100m hills on 2minutes giving time between each hill sprint to catch our breath. It certainly is a good way to warm up on a crisp winter's night. It had been a glorious sunny day - perfect for puppy walking but the night air was very cool!
Total distance including warm-up: 11km
Photos of my puppy Teddy and Jen

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ups and Downs

CJ creates Masterchef recipes - beef stroganoff and opera gateau - yum!

speedygeoff, CJ and Kermit at Blewitts

I went to my usual early morning gym session which included a 15mins abs class. I need all the help I can get.
Just after 5.45pm I met up with Jen, Ewen and Richard at Parliament House. Chris' car was in the carpark but no sign of Chris so we left for our run just before 6pm and headed down to the lake. It was a much milder evening than last Wednesday fortunately and half way through our run we met up with Chris on his return trip. He had left exactly on time tonight and we were running a few minutes late so missed each other at the start.
Total distance: 10km

Tonight I returned to training at Dickson Oval. After a couple of warm up loops we headed for the grassy bank to one side of the oval. It was a fun session. We were divided into relay teams of three and ran in zigzag format up and down the hills round white cones. The ups were tough but the downs were fast and it was lots of fun. I really enjoyed the session tonight.
Total distance: 8km

As I was on a time frame today I ran from home past the AIS and on to the O'Connor Ridge for a very pleasant hilly run through the trails. Then home again along the cycle tracks. I ran without music as my friend was downloading extra songs for me but I enjoyed the run.
Total distance: 10km
Later I headed off to a cocktail engagement party which turned into a surprise wedding -lots of fun!
Sunday - Vets' Monthly Handicap Run
I drove Marg and CJ to Blewitts for our July handicap run. This was definitely undulating - lots and lots of ups and yes, there were downs. It was a bit rough and muddy in parts but it really was a glorious winter's day. The sun was out and I ran in singlet and shorts, anticipating I would warm up on those hills! I didn't have to walk at all although some would argue that my running was their walking pace. It didn't matter, I was happy just to do it.
Jimmy was celebrating his 200th handicap run by dressing and running the event as Kermit the Frog. It was very funny.
Total distance: 7km (plus 1km warm up) = 8km
Time taken: 44minutes
Handicap: Group 23
Place: 89th out of 104
Later a few of us headed to Weston for coffee and a snack and a lovely catch up. Thanks for organising this Janene. It was fun. :)

It was exciting to watch the final episode of Masterchef in the evening - edge of the seat stuff and I was happy with the result. To me both boys were winners. CJ has been creating some of the Masterchef dishes and I was lucky enough to be invited for a delicious meal to sample some of her creations last weekend.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Almost Worth it??

On Monday at training we ran our usual warm up loops before heading for the steep grassy bank leading us to the top of Parliament House where it's all happening at the moment. Actually, that's not true as it's all 'not-happening' as Parliament as been dissolved and we await the outcome for the new Prime Minister!

We ran up those hills for 25minutes varying the distances as numbers were called from 1-5 and each number represented the length of the hill, 5 being straight to the top. 25minutes can be a long time running up and down hills. It was tough but fun and 15 of us participated. On the last sprint to the top we were allowed to stop and count to 5 at two points on the way making the last part of the sprint to the top as fast as possible. We were then told to admire the view from the top. Yes, it was gorgeous up there looking down on the twinkling lights. It almost made the effort worth it!

We finished with a little run away from Parliament House. Although it was a shorter session than usual it was definitely a quality one! It was good to see our speedycoach joining in part of the run after coming back from injury.
Total distance: 6km
I have now visited a sports doctor and as a consequence have an appointment for an MRI next week. I also have a script for some medication. Hopefully we will solve this niggling pain once and for all!

Yesterday I went for a leisurely cycle ride with Margaret. Oh, when the sun is shining winter in Canberra can be very pleasant, especially when one is able to take puppy for a walk and go for cycles in the middle of the day!
Photos are from the Gold Coast over the running weekend
Saturday waiting for coffee:
Ewen, Roger, Victoria and Liz
Sunday after Liz, Roger and Victoria had run the marathon:
Liz, Ewen, Andy, me, Roger, Victoria, Heidi

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunshine and Laughter

Ah, what a difference it makes when the sun shines bravely on a cold winter's day. Yesterday morning just before 9am I met up with Ewen and Andy to run from the war memorial for the majority of the bush capital 16km course. We started at a different spot from last week shortening the distance by a couple of km. It was a good time of day to run although even at that time we had to avoid a bit of black ice on the trails. We ran more of the course than last week only having to walk a couple of times on the very steep rocky bits. The sun was glorious as the day progressed and later we met up with Kelley, Mick, Liz, Steve and Michael at the war memorial cafe. It was great to catch up with our running friends who had all been on their various runs first. Later in the day Andy flew off to the UK for three weeks to visit his children and I spent time with my family as my daughter came to visit me for the weekend - a lovely day.
Total distance: 14km
Time taken: 1:36
Average pace per km: 6:58

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Bitterly Cold Snap!

7am - 15mins abs class with a new instructor who is standing in place of our usual one for two weeks. Wow, she was tough - ouch, she chose different moves and it hurt but it was good pain! I then spent 20mins working on upper body weights.
5.45pm - running
Today it was really cold, bleak and not pleasant at all. It drizzled on and off constantly and by the time I drove to Parliament House to run with the Wednesday group it was raining without stopping. I arrived expecting them all to change their minds and run in the carpark. Oh no, not this hardy lot, we set off with long sleeves, leggings, spray jackets, beanies and gloves to face the elements. This was a different sort of pain to the abs class. As we approached the lake the biting westerly wind blew the rain into our faces and oh boy, it stung like hail stones. It was freezing. During part of the run the wind eased and it was reasonably mild but as soon as we moved out into the more exposed areas it was totally unpleasant. I'm sure I would never have run at this time without my hardy buddies. Ewen, Andy and Chris kept me honest and although we only ran 8km it felt much further and it was a really tough run.

I was drenched right through all my clothes to the skin and did a complete change into warm clothing before we headed off to the Italian Club for yummy pizza and a warming glass of vino. Aaah, we deserved it!!
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 54:50
Average pace per km: 6:51 (blame it on the head wind and sleet)!
Thursday (today)
Training at Dickson has been cancelled as the oval is officially closed. It's probably flooded! Instead I had the opportunity to run while the sun was still out. After taking Teddy for a brisk walk I changed into running gear and set off. Now the sun through the window is very deceptive. It was cold out there and the wind was nasty. Running into a head wind was tough. I decided to warm up (?) for about 15mins before running a few intervals - 1 min fast, 1 min slow x 6 - then ran home again. The return journey was considerably more pleasant with the wind easing off. I couldn't say it pushed me along but at least I had warmed up a bit by then.
I am really delighted that I don't have to run in the dark and cold tonight. I can stay home and watch Masterchef instead! :)
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 50:37
Average pace per km: 6:19 (that will be the slow bits inbetween!!)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back to the serious stuff!

It's now time to get serious after a fantastic week at the Gold Coast with great running buddies. With injuries preventing a couple of us running the proposed marathon and half marathon we opted for the 10km run on the Saturday instead. The Gold Coast weather was considerably warmer than Canberra but the evenings were still cold, especially in our apartment, until we figured out how to turn on the reverse cycle heating!
We caught up with lots of Canberra running friends and spent lots of time having fun times. It was great fun cheering on our friends in the marathon on the Sunday and of course meeting up for lunch afterwards and numerous coffee breaks along the way.
Apart from the 10km race we enjoyed other runs including 7km, 15km and 17km runs by the beach enjoying the sea air. We also went for a bush walk up in the mountains. Then there was the casino, the views from the top of the Q1 building, the cocktails, the movies, the shopping, the walking, the expo, the beach, the restaurants, the card games, the food, the wine, the coffee - did I mention the shopping? We even enjoyed a swim in the ocean. Yes, it was all good fun and great company.
Since returning to the cold weather in Canberra on Thursday night I have returned to the physio and been given a referral to a sports doctor who I see next week. I am hoping to finally sort out recurring problems with my hamstring and run faster without pain.
On Sat morning I met up with Ewen and Jen at the War Memorial and we ran the 16km bush capital course. Actually, in my case, "run" is probably a generous term. I defnitely had to walk some of those hills. Then it was a coffee catch up with Andy and the amazing Liz who ran the marathon in 3:11:57 (wow!). Next Sat hopefully we will run the same bush capital course slightly faster!! If that happens I may enter the actual event which is held at the end of July.
Last night (Monday) it was a return to speedygeese training at Parliament House. After a couple of warm-up laps weaving in and out the trails our main set was hill repeats.
This involved 15 x 100m hill sprints on 90secs.
Now hills are definitely something that need more work for me considering the approaching Bush Capital Run followed by the City to Surf a week later. This was therefore a great session for me and I managed all the repeats slowly.
We finished off with a warm down loop of PH.
Total distance: 8km
Today I cycled 23km with Marg in the rain. It was cold, wet and the hot shower later was absolute bliss!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cows, Kangaroos and HILLS!

It was bleak out there today, cold, damp and generally grey! I went to my Body Balance class at 6.15am at the gym and thought this might help loosen me up for my run later - wrong!
After taking Teddy for his walk I set off for a hilly run - big mistake! It hurt, in fact it hurt heaps. I headed towards North Lyneham Ridge and seeing a herd of cows in front of me I headed in the opposite direction. At 2.5km I faced a very large group of kangaroos eyeing me suspiciously. I 'walked' past them (some were VERY large) and once safely past continued on my slow hilly jog. Of course eventually it was inevitable I would return to the cows as it was a loop after all. Now one of those cows had horns and looked suspiciously like a bull. Again I walked past talking calmly to them and then I broke into a run. I've heard enough stories of bulls to know I didn't want to argue with one. That was probably the fastest 100m of the run. When I found a hole in the fence I leapt through it and only then dared to look back. Those cows and Mr Bull had not moved a centimetre. They just stared at me with big brown eyes thinking "silly old woman"! Oh well, it made for an interesting morning.
Actually, there was a lot of walking involved in today's "run". I found the hills extremely hard and I worry about Sunday's hilly handicap as it is one of the hardest on the calendar and I have not been training on hills since my hamstring has been playing up so much. There could be lots of walking involved!
I'm so lucky to have squeezed in my run this morning as now the rain is bucketing down, absolutely bucketing.
Total distance: 7.5km

Thursday, June 24, 2010

History has been made in Australia today!

7am - abs class at the gym followed by upper body strength work
After the physio in the morning and Teddy's walk I went for a run, along the cycle path past Giralang where I met up with Margaret and we ran down to the lake and part of it before turning back and separating at the cycle track again to return to our respective homes. It was great having company for part of the run.
Total distance: 15.3km
This was the furthest I have run for some time and although it was a slow pace I was happy to have run that far. The physio had been using the elbow treatment in my butt (ouch) and this did loosen up the hamstring to a certain extent although there was still a fair amount of discomfort. I am currently only running every second day.
Today, after Teddy's walk, I cycled down the track to meet Margaret again and this time we cycled around the lake stopping halfway for the most delicious date and walnut toast and coffee before continuing on round the rest of the lake. I could get very used to this not working life!
And this morning it was announced that Australia has a new Prime Minister. Yes we now have a red haired female to lead our nation - the first female Australian PM ever - an historical day indeed. Congratulations Julia Gillard - long may you reign!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Moving forward ever so slowly!

I have slowly been returning to running without walking, managing about a slow 11km, sometimes with Ewen, sometimes on my own and yesterday I finally returned to the speedygeese training still injured but running slowly. It was lovely to see everyone after such a long break. We ran the warm up loops of Parliament House followed by a 450m loop from the rose garden with the flat sandy stretch (200m) by the road supposedly being run fast. This was repeated as many times as possible in 20minutes. My 'fast' is still slow but it was good to be back.
The physio has decided my problems with the hamstring stem from the sciatic nerve so my 'friend',who is cruel to be kind, has become the tennis ball. In fact I am sitting on one as I write this so it may be a bit erratic as I wriggle in pain!

I have also returned to bike riding. After a little taster on Sunday afternoon I decided to go for a longer ride today with Margaret. It was fun and now I have the bug. It was cold out there but with several layers and a great coffee break on the way it was defnitely to be repeated! At this stage I am only running every second day until I can run with less discomfort so the cycling is good cross training as will be more regular trips to the gym.

Mr B has arrived in Nice, France with his bike. He will be away some weeks, following some of the Tour de France on his bike and going to car races in Italy and the UK. He's also attending the Alfa Romeo centennary in Milan. I envy him the warm weather as we shiver here in Canberra!
My puppy Teddy is now nine weeks old and can now walk for 30minutes but he does need a little rest half way through. I can relate to that little Teddy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Slow Return!

I am slowly returning to running after a hip injury and a continuing hamstring problem. Injuries are a pain literally and I have been walking/running very slowly every second day. I ran/walked 11km with Ewen on Saturday followed by a great catch up coffee with Liz, Victoria, Andy and Ewen. I have been really missing running with the speedygeese and do hope to return gradually to proper training next week.

Today I managed to run an hour without stopping so I guess that's progress finally. However, I can't imagine running the Gold Coast Half in a few weeks so I still expect to have to downgrade to the 10km and even that will be slow. I am finding this very frustrating indeed.

On the upside my new little labradoodle puppy Teddy came to live at our home on Saturday (just 8 weeks old) and he has settled in very quickly. He's funny, cuddly and ever so cute. I'm really looking forward to the day he'll be able to run with me. So far I have managed to persuade him to walk to the corner and back (only about 5 houses away) so it could take a while!!
Photos: A Bali temple, Teddy our puppy, notsospeedy geese at a massage parlour, Balinese woodcarver

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Reflections from a Senior Citizen

I qualified for the above title a couple of weeks ago when I celebrated my 60th birthday in Bali. It was a lovely relaxing week with massages, cocktails, swimming and lots of long walks. The temperature was 31deg every day but we did encounter daily storms and overcast skies. The Balinese people are delightful, always smiling and friendly.

After a visit to the physio just before the trip I was advised not to run until visiting him on my return. This I did on Wed and was told to just run/walk a maximum of 40mins every second day until I see him again this coming Wed. To make matters worse I went to Bali with a sore throat which gradually became worse and this past week back in Canberra it has turned into a nasty cold. I have also been advised that my current part-time job, where I have been working for just over 12 months, is being reinvented into a full-time position and consequently as from Friday I will be retiring for the second time, for a few weeks anyway as I'm sure I will continue to work somewhere else for a few days a week.

However, I do have some exciting news. From next weekend I will have a new addition joining our family in the shape of a cute cuddly puppy called Teddy. Teddy is a gift from my children for my birthday and he is just beautiful. He is a labrador crossed with a poodle and as his mum is a gorgeous gentle dog I am hoping for the same - no doubt with a little puppy mischief on the way!!

Yesterday I ran/walked my first 40mins and it was uncomfortable and strange. I will run again in the morning but it is frustrating as I have been advised not to return to training sessions for a while. As I have entered the Gold Coast Half Marathon already I may have to do a re-think nearer the event and change to the 10km race instead perhaps.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Shorter Session with the speedygeese!

Tonight I arrived at training in time for the main session only. My hip is painful and I am being a bit careful until I have advice from the physio on Wednesday.
We ran two loops of Parliament House before the main session which was one practice loop then three 954m undulating loops incorporating a different exercise station on each loop - push-ups, chin-ups and tricep dips - eight of each.
We then ran a cool-down loop. It was really dark down there on the trails so it was good that a few of us had headlamps to light the way.
Total distance: 8km

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Sunny Weekend of Running and Coffee ....

Or should that be coffee and running?? Canberra really excelled itself this weekend. The mornings were cold and crisp but as the sun came through the misty haze both days turned out to be gorgeous, sunny and a mild 17deg - fantastic Autumn weather for the middle of May.
I met up with Andy at the War Memorial at 8.30am and we ran down to Molonglo Reach where Ewen joined us to run round the Duntroon Golf Course and past Campbell Park offices on the flat part of the trails and back again. Andy and I continued back to the war memorial while Ewen headed to Molonglo Reach where he collected his car and drove back to join us for coffee.
Total distance: 17km
Time taken: 1:50:59
Average pace per km: 6:30
It turned into a stunning day and we enjoyed great coffee and cake sitting outside the new cafe at the war memorial.

This morning I met up with Thea, Ewen and Andy at the War Memorial at the very civilised hour of 9am. Although it was cool to start the sun soon warmed us up and it was just lovely out there. We ran along some of the Mt Ainslie track, past Campbell Park offices, through the wetlands, Kingston, Kings Avenue and back to the War Memorial along Anzac Parade keeping off-road as much as possible.
Total distance: 15km
Time taken: 1:36:52
Average pace per km: 6:27
Of course after the run we again headed for coffee at The Terrace restaurant at the War Memorial. Later Jen joined us for soup and a chat. It's so lovely sitting outside in the sunshine on these glorious days. It was also great to catch up with Thea again after such a long time. She is so well and happy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday training with the speedygeese

Tonight at Dickson Oval training we ran a couple of warm-up loops before running 850m repeats on handicaps. I started the first couple at zero handicap because my hamstring was hurting and I thought it would slow me down. However, after winning the first two repeats speedychief rehandicapped a few of us and gave me a handicap of 30secs for the next two repeats. I still won on the next 850m just sprinting past Caroline at the end but she was a long way ahead of me in the last round as she had truly warmed up by then!
My first 850m was 4:28, next 4:17, next 4:10 and last one 4:08.
Total distance: 7.5km
Strangely once I had warmed up properly my hamstring didn't feel so bad and I found I could push myself.
It was a cold night but very still and we became warm quite quickly!

A Few More Geese!

On Wednesday morning I returned to the gym for some strength work followed by the 15mins abs class and after work it was off to Parliament House to meet up with Jen, Chris and Andy for a short run in the cool of the evening. It had been a sunny but cold crisp day and I wore 3/4 length leggings and a long sleeved top and ear warmers throughout the entire run. We missed the company of Richard and Ewen tonight as we ran down past the lake and managed to keep in the reasonably well-lit places with the help of headlights.
Total distance: 10km

Photos: A few more speedygeese at the dinner. From top - chatting to Peter and Roger; with Chris; some of the geese at the table - Jen and Katherine, Jenny and Helen on the right, Peter talking to Caroline on the other side with Michelle in the distance; speedygeoff with Richard

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Some Happy Geese!

I decided to go for a pleasant run in the sun on Monday morning as we had our speedygeese dinner in the evening instead of training. It was a gorgeous sunny day and I was so lucky not to have to go to work. I found as many off-road trails as I could, some new discoveries behind the streets. It was fun. In fact I felt on a real high in the sunshine. It's not often I have the opportunity to run at that time of day in the sun in a perfect temperature. I ran down past the AIS and on to the O'Connor Ridge where there were some lovely undulations. I was almost sorry to turn and run back over even more trails home again but I have been very careful to run only short gentle distances since the marathon as my hamstring is still uncomfortable. It was a lovely run.
Total distance: 10.7km
Time taken: 1:08
Average pace per km: 6:20

The speedygeese dinner attracted a record number of 35 speedygeese with some partners. As always it was a very enjoyable evening. Thank you speedycoach!

Photos: two grinning geese - strewth and Yelena; Warwick; Cheers - Katherine; speedyjen; speedygeoff and Jenny