Friday, April 30, 2010

Two More Sleeps!

Thus it was that this morning I ran a gentle 20mins - 10mins out and 10mins back home again before work. That's my last run done and dusted. After work I had a massage which felt great. Hopefully the hamstring will last the distance. I am certainly still very aware of it. My personal drinks are all labelled and tomorrow afternoon is registration time where we collect our running chips and race numbers from Manuka Oval. I will also be cheering on the 5km runners in the afternoon. Go speedyewen go!
The temperature for Sunday sounds perfect with minimum 6deg and peaking at 22deg which will probably be after the marathon is over. It will be cold and crisp to start and hopefully the wind will stay away.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Winding down towards the big day

I ran from home at 6.45am just to sense the temperature on marathon day. It was cold enough to keep long sleeves on all the way - won't be doing that on Sunday. I'll just have to shiver at the start but the forecast on Sunday is for about 7deg reaching 22deg later in the day and sunny - sounds pleasant.
Total distance: 8.02km
Time taken: 46:28
Average pace per km: 5:47
The run felt comfortable although my hamstring is still niggly. I had my last physio appointment today and on Friday I have a massage which should hopefully ease out the sore bits for the big day.
This morning I only had to run an easy run for 30mins. It was cold and windy but it felt pretty strange to run for such a short time. I bought all the bits to put on my personal drink bottles today. There's only three more sleeps! I do hope my hamstring holds out for the race.
Total distance: 5km
Time taken: 30mins
Average pace: 6mins per km

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Wombat

Today is Ewen's birthday but it didn't stop him coming out to the Vets' Handicap Run at Mt Majura today. I opted to be on roster duty as it is less than a week to the marathon now. There was quite a good turn out considering today was the Anzac Day public holiday. It felt like a Sunday as we are accustomed to running this event on a Sunday morning. Although it was cold early it turned out to be a gorgeous sunny day. Later a group of us had brunch at Carlo's - beautiful.
At 4.30pm I ran the early speedygeese warm up session only with Jen and Andy while Geoff and Craig led the way. It felt good although my hamstring is still sore and tight. Lots of stretching and exercises will be necessary this week I think.
Total distance: 8.17km
Time taken: 49:06
Average pace per km: 6mins

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Weekend and the countdown continues!

This morning I had a little sleep-in as we had arranged to run a little later. I met up with Ewen, Thea and Andy at the War Memorial for a mainly off-road run along Mt Ainslie track to Campbell Park, around Duntroon and through the Wetlands to Kingston, along Kings Avenue, past the carillon and along Anzac Parade back to the War Memorial.
It rained intermittently throughout our run, at times fairly steadily but it was great to catch up with Thea again after so long and the rain kept us all cool.
The only disappointing part of the run was the nasty concrete bridge which has replaced the lovely old wooden swing bridge in the Wetlands. The demand for progress can be so sad at times. The concrete alternative is ugly and hard on the feet. There was more concrete on the other side but we managed to avoid that by heading for the edge and the trails.
We arrived back at the War Memorial very wet and soggy but managed to find a bit of dry gear to change into before heading for the new cafe at the War Memorial. Andy had to leave at this stage but Thea, Ewen and I met up with Liz for much needed coffee and cake - lots of fun.
Total distance: 15km
Time taken: 1:35
Average pace per km: 6:20
Sunday - Anzac Day
This afternoon I ran from home along the cycle track past Giralang through to the tunnel heading towards Gungahlin and back again. After that I ran 6 x 80m strides jogging between each stride. I felt comfortable and the temperature was pleasantly cool which helped.
Total distance: 8km plus strides = 9.1km
Time taken for 8km: 46:30
Average pace per km: 5:49
Total distance for week: 55km
One week today until the marathon and counting!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Short sprints at the oval

It was a gorgeous day today and the temperature was still pleasantly warm after 5pm when I headed for speedygeese training at Dickson oval. Margaret and I managed to run a loop warm-up before the main session started. My ankle had been niggly all day and it took quite some time for it to feel more comfortable on the run.
We started with a couple of warm-up loops and then divided into relay teams, the fastest one with four team members, the next with five and the "take it easy" team with six members. Now, there were some very speedy geese in this team and a couple of slow ones including me of course. We had to run a fast 100m, pass the baton to a team member then jog a further 100m to the next cone to wait for the next person to pass on the baton. The plan was to run 10 x 100m but I think our team only finished 9 before the fastest team finished. Afterwards we ran another cool down loop of the oval.
To make my distance up to 10km Jen and I ran another couple of large loops of the full oval.
Total distance: 10km

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Continuing the Taper

This morning I went to the gym for an upper body strength session including using the rowing machine. Then I took part in the 15mins abs class before joining some of the gym girls for brekkie at Black Pepper - lovely.
At 6pm I met up with Richard and Jen for a run but unfortunately Jen had to leave us as she had brought the wrong bag with her - the one without her running gear!
Colleen, William, Chris, Andy and Ewen had already run 3km but ran back to meet us at Parliament House before venturing out again for an 8km anti-clockwise loop of Central Basin at the lake. Richard, Andy and I ran an extra 2km loop of PH at the end to make the distance up to 10km. I wore my headlamp as it was dark when we ran but it was surprisingly warm for the time of day. Next week's forecast is a different story!
Total distance: 10km

Monday, April 19, 2010

Last speedygeese relay session

This afternoon I met up with Jen and Ewen prior to speedygeoff's training to run a short warm-up of 3km before the main session. We met up with the group at 5.30pm for a similar session to last Monday. We ran a couple of warm-up loops and then headed for the grassy bank in front of PH. Here we divided into three groups of six approximately and ran a 20 minute relay of 115m diagonals down the grassy bank, steep 100m uphills and 60m straight across the top after being tagged inbetween each section. We then ran a warm-down loop in and out the trails back to PH carpark using headlamps in the dark.
Distance including early warm-up: 10.4km

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Only Two Weeks to the Marathon

Some places where we run - strewth and Jen

On Wednesday before work I did a bit of a workout at the gym followed by a 15mins abs class. Then at 5.30pm I met up with Ewen, Chris, Jen, Richard and Andy for a mid distance run. We ran from Parliament House over Commonwealth Ave Bridge to the University along Northbourne Ave through the city and back to PH.
Total distance: 16km
Time taken: 1:40:22
Average pace per km: 6:15

After the run we all decided on impulse that we felt like pizza and we piled into Richard's car and zoomed off to Kingston to find somewhere to eat. It was loads of fun and considering our state of dress we made sure we sat a long way away from anyone else!
Thursday - speedygeese at Dickson Oval
I ran a warm up of 2km before the rest of the geese arrived for our training. Geoff and Craig had already run a 12km warm-up earlier but I didn't need quite that much distance this week.

After a couple of warm-up loops of the full oval we were divided into teams of two (Margaret and I were put together) of similar speed and ran a fast 300 passing the baton to the next team member and jogging back 100m before they arrived to pass the baton back. The idea was to run 12 repeats if possible. We barely managed 10 but it was a good speedy interval session.
We finished with another wam down.
Total distance: 11km

Today's long run was the start of my taper for the National Capital Marathon in a couple of weeks. I met up with Ewen, Andy and Jen at Regatta Point and we ran in a westerly direction past Black Mountain on the cycle parth turning right at the underpass and heading toward the Corkwoods Plantation on a dirt trail to the Arboretum and Stromlo Forest then back past the zoo and on to the cycle path again to the Museum and back to Regatta Point where we left Ewen and Andy while Jen and I ran an extra 4km. It was great to run off road again although there were a number of undulations which slowed us down considerably. Later Ewen and I enjoyed brunch at The Deck enjoying the lovely views on a spectacular Autumn day in Canberra.
The weather lately has been nothing less than perfect!
Total distance: 26:18
Time taken: 2:47:41
Average pace per km: 6:24
Calories burned: 1515
In the evening Mr B and I visited the Paris Masterpieces on display at the National Gallery - our last opportunity. I am so glad we didn't miss out. It was fabulous. We are so lucky to live here in Canberra and be given such amazing opportunities - beautiful.

Sunday - drills
At 11am (how civilized) I met up with Ewen at PH again and we ran down to the front of Questacon to meet Jen to run some drills. After a few kms warm up run we did the following drills and everyone struggled a bit as it's been some weeks since we've done our drills.
2 x schoolyard skipping
2 x high knee skipping
2 x flat foot marching
2 x high knees
2 butt kicks
2 running forwards/backwards
2 x carioca
We used a distance of about 60m and ran 2 x strides between each set. Next we ran to the west side of Parliament House where Ewen found us a nice steep hill and we used it to run as fast as possible to the top (about 40m) x 6 times jogging back down and fully recovering between each repeat. It was tough.

We finished with a gentle warm down to make up our distance before heading for the coffee shop by the lake to enjoy sitting in the sunshine before walking through the Italian car and motorbike exhibition near old PH. Wow there were some amazing cars - those ferraris - what can I say? AWESOME!!
Total distance: 8.5km
Total distance for first week of taper: 77km

To top off the day Mr B and I took our grand-daughter to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D - such fun!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Speedygeese on Monday

There were 7 of us at the early session tonight for the 8km warm up and a cracking pace was set as all the other runners were fast. I managed to keep up although after the 4km turnaround Geoff dropped back to run with me as I was at the back although still keeping the others in sight.
Back at Parliament House we were joined by the others and ran a warm up loop of PH before the main set. There were 18 speedygeese for the main session and we did a similar session to last week, dividing into three teams of six to run three at a time in relays with very little break between taggings by our team member running down the diagonal and up the hill and across the flat on the grassy bank in front of PH for a solid 20 minutes. It was quite dark by the time we were 3/4 of the way through the session so I was glad of my headlight to light the way. We finished with a warm down wending in and up the loops and banks round PH and back to the carpark.
Total distance: 15km (including warm-ups)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Fun Day!

This morning was the Women's and Girls' Fun Run starting at 9am from Stage 88. There were 1073 finishers on a gorgeous morning. There was a bit of wind on the second half but the conditions were mainly good. With all those women and young girls it was difficult in parts to pass people. However, I managed to start up the front and as a consequence started too fast. My km times went like this:
4:57, 5:19, 5:24, 5:32, 5:33
Oops, obviously I was worn out by the uphill near the finish! There was lots of fruit and hot cross buns at the end and it was really cool having lots of male helpers out there. It is always such a well organised event.
Distance of run: 5km
Time taken: 26:46
Average pace per km: 5:20
Place in age group: 3rd
Place overall: 119th (out of 1073 finishers)
Plus 1km warm up and 1km cool down
Total for day: 7km
Total distance for week: 102km (woo hoo!)
The most exciting part of the run was that Norma (Lucky Legs) drove from Mittagong to take part and it was so good to catch up with her. She won her age group (W80) in an inspirational time of 31.25mins. I might add there were 3 entrants in the W80+ category but they were all much slower than Norma. After all the awards and barrel draws had finished Ewen, Norma and I enjoyed a beaut brunch at The Deck. Yes, today was a fun day.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Running Friends Rule!

This morning at 7.30am I met up with Andy at the carillon. It was a stunning Autumn morning. Andy and I started the run enjoying the gorgeous views of the blue lake, blue sky (at that time of day) on a backdrop of the Canberra icons with the hot air balloons floating above them in the sky - just gorgeous. Jen joined us at the ferry terminal and the three of us ran a lovely run together round the West Basin of Lake Burley Griffin. We saw just so many people we knew - lots of speedygeese and females in training (FIT ladies) out there running and lots of cyclists too. It was a perfect time of day before the wind picked up later in the morning.

Back at the carillon Andy left us and Ewen joined us running round the Museum and the north side of the lake. Jen ran all except the last 4km with me and I only had to run the last km on my own. Running friends are so cool!

At the carillon Ewen and I enjoyed cold drinks, hot drinks and snacks before walking over to watch the Cross Country race near Stage 88 and collecting my chip for the Women's and Girls' Fun Run tomorrow. By then it was lunchtime and we decided to enjoy the most yummy pancakes ever at The Deck restaurant overlooking the lake. While there we caught up with yet another of our running friends. It was a great way to wile away a few hours on a pleasant day. By the time we walked back to our cars at the carillon the clouds were dark and threatening but we didn't have any rain, just a bit of wind - a good day.

Total distance: 34km
Time taken: 3:30:57
Average pace per km: 6:12
Calories burned: 1987
Photo: Jen, strewth, Ewen (photo taken by Ewen)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Speedygeese at Dickson Oval

I arrived just before 5pm to give me time to run a gentle 5km before the main group arrived. Speedygeoff and Craig had gone for a long run at 4pm but I didn't want to run quite that far tonight. Instead I enjoyed the main session with quite a large turnout of speedygeese. It was really pleasant and still sunny at 5pm but after a couple of warm up loops after the 5.30pm session started I discarded my sunglasses. We ran a long warm up loop and a short loop of the oval before the main set which was a group of pyramids as follows:
60secs fast/60secs slow
50secs fast/50secs slow
40secs fast/40secs slow
30secs fast/30secs slow
40secs fast/40secs slow
50secs fast/50secs slow
60secs fast/60secs slow
repeated like a 'W'!
This part of the session lasted a solid 20minutes and we finished off with another cool down lap. By this time the temperature had dropped considerably and it was chilly at the end.
It was good to see so many speedygeese, some who we don't see often if ever at training, turning up for a solid session at Dickson.
Total distance including my warm-up lap before the start: 12km

Wednesday Double Up!

I ran early in the morning before work, instead of going to the gym, in order to build up the required kms for the day.
6am - Run from home for my usual loop to Giralang and back via the track and running on the grass where possible. I plugged in my music and it was light enough not to have to use my headlamp this morning.
Distance: 8km
Time taken: 49:56
Average pace per km: 6:14 (where has all my speed gone?)
Calories burned: 472
In the late morning I had an appointment with the physio and had 'the elbow in the butt' treatment which really hurts but does seem to help loosen up the sore bits.
6pm - Run from Parliament House with Chris, Andy, Jen and Ewen.
Chris had limited time but ran about half the distance with us before heading off to choir practice. The rest of us wore headlights and struggled on in the dark. We ran a loop of Central Basin at Lake Burley Griffin then along Anzac Parade, round the back of the War Memorial and back over Commonwealth Ave Bridge to PH. It was a slow run. I was very sluggish and found it difficult until the last km when I started to pick up as I wanted to ensure I ran the full distance.
Distance: 12km
Time taken: 1:18
Average pace per km: 6:32 (dear me)
Calories burned: 693
Total distance for day: 20km

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Navigating in the Dark!

Yesterday I joined speedygeoff, Ewen, Jen, Miranda, Craig and Andy for the early run at 4.30pm. At this stage I was feeling very lethargic and had already had three tablets for a nagging headache. The warm-up was difficult and slow. Andy was happy to run with me at the back of the pack but we did run a slight detour and lost sight of the others at about the half way point. However, we managed to return to Parliament House with time to spare for the 5.30pm session. Here we were joined by seven more speedygeese for the next warm up before the main set.
We were divided into two relay teams of six with Miranda and speedycoach being reserves in case anyone needed to pull out. We had three people in each team running at the same time using the diagonal grassy bank and the flagpoles in front of PH. There was very little rest before the next team member was tagged and it was a tough 20 minute workout. However, I felt a lot better for making the effort and found the fast running actually helped clear my head. We finished with another warm down loop of PH. At this stage it had become quite dark as we ran in and out of the trails. With daylight saving ended we will need to carry our spotlights next week to light our way.
Total distance: 14.78km

6.30am - Upper body strength work and abs works at gym
5.30pm - Run from home.
It was dark really early tonight as rain was threatening. However, the rain never eventuated and I was able to run with my spotlight lighting my way for the last half of the run when it had become really dark on the unlit paths. I was actually a bit nervous and think I will run in the lit pathways when I run on my own in future. My imagination was working overtime when I ran along long stretches of unlit cycle paths and my heart skipped a beat every time a cyclist or motorbike whizzed past.
I ran 15mins for a warm-up and then 5 x 4mins fast with 2 mins jog between each set. I followed this with a tempo 'nervous' run home!
Total distance: 13.44km
Time taken: 1:18:15
Average pace per km: 5:49
Calories burned: 784

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Stretching out the sore spots on Easter Sunday!

After icing my knee heaps last night and tossing and turning during the night, it seemed a bit better this morning, not puffy but still very stiff. I decided to put it to the test and go for a short run to ease out the sore bits. The first half was painfully slow but the running helped and I was running freely on the return trip. I just ran from home along the cycle tracks past Giralang (our neighbouring suburb) and turned as I approached the tunnel to Gungahlin (exactly 4km) and returned home. It was a stunning morning for a run. Daylight saving has ended and it was light early although I didn't go for my run until 8am. It was really quiet in the streets and extremely pleasant.
Total distant: 8km
Time taken: 47:20
Average speed: 5:54
Calories burned: 468 (not enough to counteract the chocolate)
Total distance for week: 95.86km
Happy Easter to all my friends. Stay safe and don't over-indulge in chocolate or you'll feel like I am right now. I think I'll have to go for a bike ride next!
I have entered the National Capital Marathon on 2nd May and only have one more big week of training before I start tapering. Oh dear, here's hoping I can do it!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Fish are leaping; balloons are floating; leaves are falling!

In other words Autumn is in full swing. The trees have beautiful colours and the leaves were falling in the slight Autumn breeze this morning. I arrived just before 7am with the plan of running for an hour with Chris before joining the main Molonglo group at 8am. When I arrived there was one other runner waiting - Amanda. She used to run on Weds before my time and has run once with us on a Wed but found us a bit slow and I haven't seen her again. Oh dear, the pressure! Chris arrived soon after and we set off on our early run at 7.09am at a good pace. We ran through the wetlands over the new concrete bridge (all that concrete - such a shame) then came to a flooded road so we detoured round Kingston and returned to Molonglo past the boathouse. In the lake beside us we saw fish leaping really high out of the water - huge leaps! As we ran round the back streets we came across four hot air balloons being prepared for take off. Later as we ran on the other side of the lake we saw them floating in the air - such a beautiful sight.

Soon after running past the boathouse Chris sent Amanda ahead to let the others know we were coming as it was approaching 8am. We had run just under 10km at that stage. At Molonglo Chris and Amanda had to leave before our next run with the Molonglo group. There were about 8 of us who set off together although we all had different distances to run.
We ran past Duntroon and round the base of Mt Ainslie. Graeme ran with Andy and me for most of this section but left us after the big hill to run on back to the others who had taken a short cut. As I watched him disappear over the hill I lost my footing and did a 'CJ' landing flat down in the dust and gravel. Not much damage done but yes there was blood - dripping from my elbow and knee. However it was mainly surface gravel rash although my knee is going to have a big bruise and is very tender tonight!
Andy and I ran down to Lake Burley Griffin and past the ferry terminal and turned after just over 3km to return to Molonglo Reach by which time everybody had dispersed. We then decided to drive to the National Carillion and enjoy a coffee and muffin at the outside cafe there. It was lovely sitting on the steps in the sunshine. It truly is very pleasant running weather at this time of year - not too hot and not too cold!
Total distance: 32km
Time taken: 3:26:47
Average pace per km: 6:27
Maximum elevation: 683m

Friday, April 02, 2010

Running back-to-back

Wednesday - Hills, hills and more hills!
6.30am - Gym -upper body strength work
7am - Gym - 15mins abs class
5. 15pm - Run!
I arrived at Parliament House early enough to do a short warm-up on my own looping in and out and around the trails of PH for a few kms before meeting up with Geoff, Ewen, Chris, Richard, Jen and Andy for a "different" run.
We ran along Melbourne Avenue and up to the summit of Red Hill Lookout. After admiring the view we continued running (using the term generously at this stage) up, up, up along trails and to another summit. It was rough stony terrain and parts of it were also steep rough downhills giving me a taste of what some of the Six Foot Track surface would be like, putting me off for good! After reaching another peak we ran down again to the lower north trail and headed west back to PH. The last part felt positively easy and comfortable. The hills were really tough for me. I remember cycling up Red Hill when I was training for triathlons some years ago. I also remember the fear of losing control as I cycled back down! I have no idea how I ever did it - it seemed very steep to "run"!!
Later I passed round mini Easter eggs and drank lots of water to revive!
Total distance: 15km (including my warm-up run)
Maximum elevation: 765m above sea level
Calories burned: 823
It was a good run to do before the end of daylight saving as the views were magnificent.
I had to rise early this morning for a back-to-back run as I had a function to attend later in the day and couldn't make it to training in the afternoon. I ran from home, past Giralang and through the tunnel towards Gungahlin, gently for 15mins before running 3 x 8mins tempo runs with 3mins of jogging between each set. Then a run back home.
Total distance: 12:11
Time taken: 1:12:43
Average pace: 6mins per km
Calories burned: 704
The temperature was cool and I kept my spray jacket on throughout the run. I haven't run early in the morning for ages and it was still dark at 6.30am. I guess with daylight saving finishing this weekend it will be lighter earlier for a few weeks.