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!


  1. Thanks for the update. That was harder than reading "War and Peace" ;) I thought you'd "done a CJ" - no, not fallen over, forgotten about your blog!

  2. Only 47 days to go! Argh!

  3. Great to read your 2+ week update. No wonder it has taken you awhile to get back to blogging - you have been soooooooooo busy running and supporting other runners. Thanks heaps for crewing for me @ the 100km Tan Ultra Marathon. You and Ewen were "the best"! So .... what's next??? There's still plenty of running events between now and the end of the year. What's next on your running agenda?