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!