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