Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Splashing in the Puddles!

It's not often I can use that blog title in Canberra but this afternoon it rained and rained. There was no avoiding it when I set off on my early evening run at 5.20pm. I wore a spray jacket and became soaking wet but it was great. The rain and breeze kept me reasonably cool and I felt quite comfortable. There were lots of puddles to splash in and muddy trails on the ridge.

I ran about 20mins past the AIS and on to O'Connor Ridge and did a fartlek session on the hills as follows:
2 x 60secs fast/60secs slow
4 x 30secs fast/30secs slow
2 x 60secs fast/60secs slow
4 x 30secs fast/30secs slow
2 x 60secs fast/60secs slow
Then I continued running around the undulating trails before heading back home.

Calories burned: 777
Total distance: 13.24km
Time taken: 1:21:29
Average pace per km: 6:09

Monday, March 29, 2010

Intervals at Parliament House

Tonight I ran the early 8km warm-up run with Miranda, Yelena, Ewen and speedycoach. It had rained earlier in the afternoon and as a consequence was really humid and we were all dripping by the time we finished the warm-up. Then it was on to the main set which was similar to last week's session.
We ran another warm-up loop of Parliament House then started from the oval where we ran an undulating 935m circuit with cones marking each 100m and 200m interval. We ran each 100m slow and each 200m fast for the circuit and ran the circuit four times without stopping. It was a short but tough session. Leanne was selected to introduce everyone tonight and she managed perfectly.
Total distance including early warm-up: 15.5km

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Vets' Monthly Handicap at Stromlo

This morning our monthly handicap race was back at Stromlo Forest Park. I ran just over a couple of km warm up with Miranda and Ewen which helped loosen up my rather stiff, sore legs. Miranda ran off Group 24 and I didn't catch her, I ran off Group 25 and Ewen ran off Group 26 and didn't catch me! However Steve and CJ caught and passed us all on the return loop. The course started with the same course as the cross country then we ran out on an undulating dirt track and turned at 4km running the cross country course in the opposite direction which involved a very steady climb in the last 2km. In fact the majority of the course was undulating and pretty tough in the humidity. We were all dripping wet at the end. I was surprised that I didn't feel much worse after yesterday's run. In fact after the warm up I didn't feel too bad although the last 2km was a bit of a struggle!
Later Mr B and I joined Janene, Heidi, Ewen and Ken for a very pleasant coffee and light brekkie in Weston. I always enjoy the vets' monthly handicaps as it's fun catching up with so many inspiring running friends.
Handicap group: 25
Finish place: 69 (out of 104 finishers)
Total distance of race: 8km
Time taken: 45:45
Average pace per km: 5:43
Calories burned: 473
Total distance including warm-up: 10.5km
Total distance for week: 95km

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An exciting couple of days!

Thursday - last track session for season
I arrived at track in time to run a short warm up before competing in the fitness walk 1500m championship. This is always a fun event.
Total distance: 1500m
Time taken: 9:58:60

Very soon after this finished the Turkey 2000m run was held. I was pretty knackered after the walk so I estimated a comfortable 9:55 in spite of Ewen suggesting I could run it in 9:49 if I ran my hardest.
It turns out I should listen to Ewen (sometimes) as my actual time was very close to his estimate.
Total distance: 2000m
Time taken: 9:48:67
Average pace per km: 4:54
Marg's estimate of her time gained her first place and my estimate came in 2nd place!
After this event Marg and I went for a 5km run out of the arena before coming back to cheer on the 5000m competitors. There were some fantastic times and many PBs from our speedygeese - great to watch.
After all the events were over the awards were presented and it was really exciting receiving a trophy and a keepsake engraved glass for winning the pointscore for the spiral handicap females. My name had already been engraved on the trophy - so cool!
Total distance for day: 9.5km

Saturday - Long run
I arrived at Molonglo a little early which allowed me time to run 2.5km before meeting the others at 7am. I ran with Chris, Cathy, Graeme and Nadine around the base of Mt Ainslie. Cathy and Graeme left us after about 8km while the rest of us ran round the streets of Campbell before heading for Anzac Pde and down to the lake enjoying the sight of hot air balloons in the distance. Here we met up with Ewen and Jen, while Chris and Nadine turned left to head back to Molonglo. Ewen, Jen and I next ran all around the undulating West Basin end of the lake and back over Kings Ave bridge to where their cars were packed. We then walked down to the mobile cafe by the carillion where we had cold and hot drinks and a snack by the lake before Ewen drove me back to my car at Molonglo. It was lovely on such a stunning Autumn day.
To top off a great day our daughter from Sydney stayed one night with us and we had a lovely lunch together in the city.
Total distance of run: 35.55km
Time taken: 3:47:08
Average pace per km: 6:23
Calories burned: 2093

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Slow mid-week Run

6.15am - RPM class at gym
Our previous instructor took the class this morning and made us work really really hard. It was a great session but I think it took its toll on my afternoon run.
5.50pm - Run with Wednesday group from Parliament House.
Tonight's group consisted of speedygeoff, Chris, Jen, Ewen and I. I was so slow; my legs didn't want to push too hard and I was always in the slow end of the group.
We ran from PH and down to the lake to the wetlands and anticlockwise round Central Basin.
Total distance: 14.5km

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Last of the Summer series

6.30am - Gym - upper body strength work
6.15pm - Stromlo Forest Park - Last summer series race
I arrived in plenty of time for a warm up which I ran with speedychief - just a couple of the short loops of the course. After the race I ran a warm down with Ewen and the other Geoff. The grass was a bit more spongy tonight but the ground was still uneven and required some caution to avoid turning ankles! I ran the first lap of the race with speedycoach and we talked all the way. After that I thought I should make a concerted effort to catch a few people so I chased Cathy and Graeme and passed them as they were taking it easy after their amazing 6' track effort last weekend. Next I aimed to catch Caroline but she put on a last minute burst of speed and I came in two places behind her.
It was a lovely evening but there was a bit of wind which was annoying.
Distance of race: 5km
Time taken: 27:15
Average pace per km: 5:27
Place: 72nd (out of 90)
Total distance for evening: 8km

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Madness - or Looping the Loop!

The weather is stunning at the moment - cool mornings and gorgeous sunny days in the mid to late 20s. Today was no exception. In fact it was positively hot as Miranda, Geoff and I ran the 8km warm up at 4.30pm when it was still 26deg. We ran a slightly different route from usual crossing the roads at pedestrian crossings down to the lake and then on towards Kingston for 4km before turning and running back again. It was a mad rush for a cold drink before the main session started at 5.30pm.
To start this we ran another warm-up loop of Parliament House before heading for the start of 900m undulating loops where we ran 100m slow, 200m fast x 3 within each loop. We ran this four times plus a warm-up loop of the route and a warm-down loop of the route. Then we ran another in and out loop of PH before heading back to the carpark. It was quite a tough, long session but interesting and fun - a good start to the week.
Total distance for evening: 17km

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Over a Week in Arrears!

Where do I start? I need to go back to Tuesday 9 March I guess when it was the Cross Country race at Acton Ferry Terminal. This was on the cycle track heading out to and round the museum and out a bit further towards Black Mountain before turning back the way we had come. My time was a little slower than last week but it's difficult to compare on a different course.

Total distance: 5km
Time taken: 26:52
Average pace per km: 5:22
Place: 86th (out of 108)
I ran a 2km warm up with Maryann and a 2km cool down with Maria, Margaret, Geoff, Jen and Ewen.
Total distance for day: 9km

Wednesday 10 March
Geoff, Chris, Andy, Jen, Colleen, Richard, Ewen and I ran from Parliament House to Daltons Book Shop near Marcus Clark Street to listen to Melanie's book launch. It was lots of fun. She's such a good speaker. Most of us bought a copy of her book and I'm really enjoying it. Mel has had lap band surgery done and has recently moved to Canberra from Darwin and has joined the speedygeese running with us, when work permits, on Mondays. She is certainly inspirational. The book is called Fat Chance and is the story of her journey to lap band surgery and beyond. It's written in a light humorous way and is very easy to read.
After a few nibbles (and in Ewen's case a glass of wine!) we ran back to PH. It was just a short run but a fun event although Ewen felt decidedly seedy when we arrived back - a result of wine and three egg sandwiches!
Total distance: 8.44km
Time taken: 57:39
Average pace: 6:49
It was a slow run but my legs were hurting and I was glad we did a gentle run tonight.

Thursday 11 March
Tonight was the final spiral handicap for the season. I was nervous and under pressure as it was a race against Helen and Bronwyn to win the pointscore. I ran a 3km warm-up with Margaret before the start of the race but didn't enter any other events.
I started in Group 33 while Helen and Bronwyn started in Group 43. As soon as they called my group I ran for my life, or my place! I really tried hard and was so happy when the girls didn't catch me at the end. I ended up running a PB for the 7 lap spiral which pleased me heaps.
7 lap spiral (distance 2.97km)
Time taken: 14:31
Average pace: 4:53 per km
This will make me the female winner of the spiral handicap. Yay, how exciting!
Total distance for night: 6km
Sunday 14 March - Weston Creek Half Marathon
Today was the Weston Creek Half Marathon starting at 7.30am. The conditions were perfect with cloud cover and cool to start. I was chugging a bit to start but by the second half of the race I felt very comfortable. I just wish I had run a few seconds faster as I really felt good in the second half.
Total distance: 21.1km
Time taken: 2:00:16 (1 second faster than last year!)
Average pace per km: 5:42
Calories burned: 1233
After the race there were lots of barrel draws and my name was the first one called. I was lucky enough to win a lovely bottle of NZ sauvignon blanc. Woo hoo!
Total distance with warm-up - 23km
Total distance for week: 62km
Monday 15 March
I ran gently with the 4.30pm speedygeese and we just ran 6km for our early warm-up tonight. There were lots of tired legs at the 5.30pm training after yesterday's half marathon event. However, we split into teams of three and ran a similar training session to last week using the sloping grass in front of Parliament House. We ran fast on the diagonals and uphills tagging our team member after each fast leg and ran slowly across the straights inbetween. My team members were Caroline and Jen. It was fun. This main session lasted 30minutes. Then we ran a gentle warm down to finish off and I ran a bit extra to make up the distance.
Total distance: 15km
Wednesday 17 March
Yesterday I had an extra rest day as my body objected to more racing. This afternoon I met up with the Wednesday group at Parliament House and we ran a gentle undulating run through the Australian University grounds with speedygeoff as our leader as neither Ewen or Chris were there tonight. Ewen had run 6' track in the weekend so was definitely still recovering. It was just speedygeoff, Richard, Jen, Colleen, Andy and me.
Total distance: 15.7km
Time taken: 1:47
Average pace per km: 6.5mins
Thursday 18 March
There were no track events tonight so Jen drove to my house after work and we ran from home to and round Lake Ginnninderra and home via Giralang. It was a beautiful evening but was very dark by the time we headed home and we had to run with care as there was no lighting. It was great having company.
Total distance: 16.53km
Time taken: 1:43:36
Average pace per km: 6:16
Calories burned: 967
Saturday 20 March - Long Run
I met up with the Molonglo group at 7am and started running with Chris, Maryann, Andy, Michelle and Stuart. We all ran from Molonglo Reach and to Mt Ainslie where Maryann and Stuart went in different directions. Chris, Michelle, Andy and I ran the Mt Ainslie loop before running past the war memorial, down Anzac Parade and down to the lake where Michelle, Andy and I turned right to run the west basin but Chris headed back to Molonglo. Michelle ran ahead and I ran the rest of the way with Andy. After a call from Ewen he met up with us near Scrivener Dam and ran with us for about 4km before turning back to his car and organised to meet up with us later for coffee.
It was a beautiful morning. The lake was still and the air was cool and didn't become too hot until later in the run. By about 25km we were stopping at every drinking fountain for water as our supply was becoming low and we were very thirsty. That's one advantage of running by the lake, there are plenty of water fountains available. The last few kms were difficult and it was slightly further all round west basin than we had anticipated but we made it and freshened up at Molonglo before driving to Campbell to meet up with the patiently waiting Liz and Ewen for coke, coffee and omelette - beautiful!
Total distance: 35.42km
Time taken: 3:48:28
Average pace per km: 6:26
Calories burned: 2,057
Sunday 21 March
This afternoon I ran from home down to the AIS just in time to watch the 800m vets' sprinters race with amazing results. It was fun to catch up with a few people and after the race I ran with Nadine and Brett round the back of the AIS and up O'Connor Ridge on the trails. It was a lovely run and the views were magnificent. I left them after about 4km to run home again. Although the start of the run was difficult as my legs felt tight I found the hills helped me and I felt ok for the second half of the run.
Total distance: 12.45km
Time taken: 1:22:14
Average pace per km: 6:36
Calories burned: 728
Total distance for week: 95.1km

Monday, March 08, 2010

Start of an easy week!

Tonight there was a record number of speedygeese for a public holiday both at the early session at 4.30pm and the main session at 5.30pm. Today was Canberra Day and there were a lot of tourists in the PH grounds. There were nine of us at the early session including Mr B as he didn't have squash tonight. It was also Liz' first visit and it was great to have her there. Our warm-up session was at a faster pace than usual with Liz, speedycoach, Jen, Craig and Andy leading the way. Yelena, Ewen and I ran behind and we ran to Kingston for 4km where we turned and ran back to Parliament House to make a total of 8km.
Here we did some necessary stretching before the main session.
Next it was another warm-up loop of PH before running to the western side and running 12 x 40 secs sprints in two different spots with 40 secs recovery. I didn't push myself as my hamstring was very niggly tonight and this is supposed to be an easy week with the half marathon on Sunday.
We finished with a warm-down loop and more stretching.
Total distance: 15km

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Skipping in the Rain!

This afternoon I met up with Jen and Ewen at Parliament House for a drills session. Ewen and I ran a warm up loop round PH before Jen joined us and we ran another warm-up and down to the flat grass in front of the Portrait Gallery. It was raining lightly at this stage and we found a grassy verge near the road. We ran 3 x 60m strides before our drills as follows:
2 x schoolyard skipping
2 x high skips
2 x flat foot marching
2 x high knees
2 x butt kicks
2 x carioca
Ewen also did 2 x 60m skip kicks while Jen and I did an extra couple of schoolyard skipping drills.
In between each set we ran 60m strides.
As it was a long weekend to celebrate Canberra's 97th birthday there were a number of curious tourists and cars slowed with several comments being called out as we skipped in the rain. As the rain became heavier we moved to the slight shelter of trees to finish our drills and Ewen decided to video our leg movements - slowly and speedier. See Video with Ewen's comments.

We then jogged to the Portrait Gallery for the all-important coffee and cake feeling rather soggy from the rain. We sat outside under shelter and watched the rain falling more and more heavily before we stepped back into it and ran back to PH - drenched but pleased with our efforts. I had to run about an extra km to make up my distance for the week.
Total distance for today: 10.54km
Total distance for week: 93.36km (yay!)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Perfect Running Weather

I was first to arrive at Molonglo this morning. It had been raining but although the ground was damp and there was a light drizzle for the early part of the run it was mainly fine, overcast and for the first half of the run there was not a breath of wind. The lake was like a mirror - very calm.
There were 12 starters which is the most at one time for this group for quite some months. In fact most of us ran together for the first few kms- it was great to catch up with everyone - some running or spectating at 6' track next weekend, a few going to Queenstown in NZ for another hilly event and some of us running in the Weston Creek Half Marathon next weekend. Nearly all of us have an event next weekend. I am using the Half more as a training run although I will make next week an easy week and cut down the kms a bit - no long run the day before obviously!
We all started together and ran via Duntroon and Campbell Park avoiding the wet grass underfoot then we ran on to the Mt Ainslie summit trail. We went in separate directions at the turn-off to the War Memorial.
Ewen, Andy and I ran down to the lake and headed in the direction of the Museum taking a lovely dirt trail through the bushes which I didn't know was there! Andy was running a shorter distance as he is cutting back for the half marathon next weekend so he headed back to Molonglo while Ewen and I continued on round the lake anti-clockwise incorporating Kings Avenue Bridge to make the distance a little longer. When we reached Molonglo I ran an extra 500m just to make it the same distance as last week. I need to save a little bit for next weekend!
I did have a lot of trouble with my Garmin during the first half of the run. It decided to record "lap error" and beeped several times every 30secs. Eventually I had to turn it off and restart to make the beeping stop as it was driving us both crazy!
When I reached Molonglo our group was still at the picnic table. I spent ten minutes standing in the icy cold lake soothing a sore foot before joining them. It was heaven!
Later Ewen and I went to Campbell Shops for brunch and a couple of coffees. The sun came out and it was very pleasant and relaxing indeed.
Total distance: 31km
Time taken: 3:17:45
Average pace per km: 6:23

Friday, March 05, 2010

Random photos

Birthday girl - cj

Yesterday was CJ's birthday and a gluten-free ladybird cake was requested. The trickiest part was finding the gluten-free confectionary for decorating it but it was fun!
On Wednesday I met up with Ewen, Andy and Geoff at Parliament House for an easy run through the underpass at Commonwealth Avenue and, with speedygeoff as our leader, on through the Australian National University (ANU) grounds which were really pretty. We ran past the Lennox Gardens and back to PH. It was really good to run somewhere different. Unfortunately Jen, Chris and Richard couldn't join us today.
Distance: 12.5km
There weren't any events at track that I particularly wanted to enter tonight and instead I met up with Ewen at 5pm at PH again and we ran down to the lake and on to the bridge past Molonglo Reach where we turned and ran back again. It was a perfect evening, cool and still and I really enjoyed the run. It had been a very busy day. I don't go to work on Thursdays usually and today I met a friend for brekkie then dashed home to decorate CJ's cake before meeting her in Kingston for lunch, then I was off for an hour's remedial massage before driving home to change into running clothes, collect the cake and deliver it to CJ's home before heading to meet Ewen for the run.
Total distance: 12.09km
Time taken: 1:15:55
Average pace per km: 6:16
Other photos -
  • 100th Vets' Handicap Run displaying the t-shirt.
  • With Anitra who also earned her "100 runs" t-shirt.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Weston Park Summer Series in Autumn

Yes, a bit of a misnomer really, as yesterday was the first day of Autumn and the temperature has continued to drop. It was pleasantly cool this evening for the run at Weston Park. I met up with Ewen before the race and we had a short warm up followed by some 60m drills:
2 x run throughs
2 x schoolyard skipping
1 x run through
2 x high skips
1 x run through
2 x flat foot marching
1 x run through
2 x high knees
1 x run through
2 x butt kicks
1 x run through to finish off
Then a short run to the start before we lined up for the 5km run.
It was an undulating uneven course but there was a bit of downhill in the second half and there was quite a lot of shade which was great.
Distance of run: 5km
Time taken: 26:13
Average pace: 5:24
Place: 82
This was better than last week but still a bit slow. Each week the course is different so it's a bit hard to compare times.
After the race Susan, Geoff, Richard, Ewen and I ran a 2.5km slow warm down with plenty of chatting - lots of fun.
Total distance for night: 11.23km (oops - we should have rounded it up!)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Lots of honking but no frisbees!

I met up with speedycoach, Miranda, Jen and Ewen for the early speedygeese session where we ran a new route out to Mugga Way, Girls' Grammar School, Red Hill and back to Parliament House. There was a bit of wind but it was mainly slightly cooler than usual and quite pleasant. Today is the first day of Autumn and the temperature has dropped accordingly!
We met the main group back at PH at 5.30pm to run just under 2km warm up loops of PH before heading for the sloping grass in front of PH where we selected a couple of people of similar speed for relay teams of three. I was in a team with Miranda and Ewen. We ran fast diagonally down the grass, tagged our team member, then ran a gentle jog across the straight before being tagged by our next team member and running up the straight slope as fast as possible to tag again and jog across the short straight at the top. It was fast and steady for 30mins with little rest between sprints.
Tonight there were no frisbee throwers to just miss us as we sped across the grassy diagonals but there was plenty of honking from the geese when someone was running in the opposite direction or we were cheering on other team members. It was fun!
Total distance: 16km