Monday, May 30, 2011

Waiting, waiting to fly to Barcelona!

I am currently at Canberra airport waiting for the flight to Melbourne which has been delayed twice due to fog in Melbourne. Fortunately Mr B has Qantas club membership and we have had a relaxing brekkie and there's still time for me to update my blog before the first leg of our long flight. We fly from Canberra to Melbourne, on to London and then Barcelona arriving about 10.15am tomorrow (Tuesday) if everything goes to plan! The predicted forecast for tomorrow is 22deg and raining - hmmm, glad I've packed my spray jacket and umbrella!

Yesterday I ran in the Vets' monthly handicap at West Stromlo. Mr B was on roster. We had to rush off straight afterwards but I still had an opportunity to catch up with a few people and it was lovely that Jen brought her baby Daniel out. The ground was a bit rough and there were a few undulations but it was good to be out there with so many familiar faces and I didn't stop and I managed to run all the course even if I was a bit slow. I was also a few seconds faster than Ewen who was caught walking on the hills!! He did have a good excuse however as he had raced the day before and was racing again in the afternoon.

Handicap Group: 23

Total distance: 7.5km

Time taken: 45:01

Average pace per km: 6mins

Finish place: 67th (out of 93 finishers)

I couldn't go to coffee afterwards as Mr B and I were joined by our entire family and drove to Collector to Grandma's Little Bakery at the Olive Farm, for a delightful family lunch celebrating birthdays, return from overseas and farewell to us. The girls had driven through from Sydney and we had a very special time together. I do love my family:)

In 20mins our flight should be called and we will be off. Having gone to bed at 2.30am and risen at 6.30am I'm hoping for some catch-up sleep on the plane (unlikely, but I can but hope)!

We are spending four days in Barcelona, then we travel by train to Valencia, Madrid and Seville staying a few days in each place. We will hire a car in Seville and drive on from there. Hopefully I will be able to blog on my way. Bye for now.:)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Birthday Week and too much food!

On Tuesday 24 May it was my birthday and I had a rest from running. This has been a week of eating starting with a birthday brekkie with a good friend. Mr B took me out for a delicious dinner in the evening. Oops, bad habits are forming before I leave for Spain. I have had celebratory lunches all week and tomorrow after the veterans' handicap run we are heading off for a family lunch in Collector where my daughter will drive through from Sydney to join us.
I took Teddy for a lovely long walk in the morning and at lunchtime CJ collected me and took me out for a really yummy lunch. The run in the evening was a bit of a struggle but it felt better than Monday's effort. I met Chris, Andy and Ewen and we ran from Parliament House anti-clockwise round Central Basin and along Constitution Ave.
Total distance: 8.5km
Time taken: 53:06
Average pace per km: 6:15
I spent an hour at the gym in the morning doing chin ups, push ups, chest press, shoulder, triceps and biceps exercises and abs work. This was followed by a very busy day organising overseas money, lunching with yet another friend, hair appointment, nail appointment, optical appointment and shopping for last minute bits and pieces for my trip. I didn't make it to training, instead cooking a roast dinner and continuing with the packing.
First thing in the morning Teddy and I went for a run to make up for the one I missed last night and to make it up to Teddy who had missed out on his walk yesterday. We ran with minimum distractions for 8km.

Next it was off for a remedial massage in Kingston and after that a lovely lunch with Marg and Jeni, who was here for work on her fortnightly trip from the coast. In the evening we had our beautiful grandchildren overnight. They were so good and such fun and slept really well. I will miss them a lot when we are overseas.
This morning, after organising the children, I drove to meet Ewen at the War Memorial at the civilized hour of 9.30am. The sun was out and it was a glorious day with no wind although it was icy cold and we both wore gloves. I wore a t-shirt and shorts and felt ok but never too hot. We just ran down to the lake and towards Molonglo Reach and back. It is taking me longer to recover from this half marathon than it usually does. I'm still a bit stiff and sore.
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 64.29
Average pace per km: 6:27
Tomorrow's hilly run will be interesting and very slow! Only two more sleeps until Spain!

Monday, May 23, 2011

One Week to Go!

This morning I spent a couple of hours at the gym working on my shoulders, chest, triceps, biceps and abs. This was followed by an industrious afternoon of defrosting the freezer, ordering a replacement Garmin ant stick, sorting out paperwork and clothes and bits and pieces to take overseas.

Later I went to the speedy geese session at Parliament House. I met them on their return from the first warm up loop and joined them to run to the hills where they were sprinting hill repeats. I opted to run along the flat well lit area at the top of the hill and along the footpath opposite PH. My hamstring was really painful and I didn’t want to risk making it worse by pushing on the hills. Instead I ran very gently backwards and forwards until the others had finished their hills when I joined them on the final loop of PH back to the carpark. It took until about 5km before my hamstring started to feel a bit less painful.
Total distance: 7.6km
And now there are just 7 more sleeps until Spain and still a lot left on my list of things to do!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Worth Waking Up For!!

The forecast for today was "rain developing"! Fortunately it didn't develop during the half marathon and the conditions were perfect for the YMCA Canberra Runners' Club 42nd Half Marathon which started at Lennox Gardens, going round the square of the National Library, Portrait Gallery etc and then on round the undulating west basin of the lake. I was so happy it didn't rain. The first 5km felt hard, possibly due to the concrete underfoot but after we headed for the track round the lake I felt comfortable even on the hills. The bright blue strapping on my hamstring must have helped and I played CJ and Tori's game of passing the person in front of me whenever I could. It gave me a little burst of speed as I came closer each time making it fun. In the first few km I realised I had lost the little rubber stopper for my left earplug of my ipod so I ran with only one earplug and listened to all the interesting conversations and heavy breathing around me out of one ear!

At the half way mark I had run one hour exactly so I was very happy when I finished in under two hours giving me a negative split!

Time: 1hr 58:52 (official time)

Average pace per km: 5:38

Place overall: 223rd (out of 327)

Place in age group: 1st

Not only did everyone receive a medal for finishing but I received a medal for winning my age group plus a $25 voucher from the Runners' Shop. Then, I won a lucky barrel draw of another two $25 vouchers from the Runners' Shop. Woo hoo, I have $75 to spend. I may wait to browse through the shop on our return from Spain.

After the run a group of us headed for Dobinsons in the city for lunch and coffee and lots of good conversation. Unfortunately we had to split into two groups a long way from each other because it was so busy but it was still fun. Jen joined us with baby Daniel and he is just so adorable. I was so lucky to have lots of cuddles!

During the week just gone I ran with Teddy on Tuesday incorporating Fartlek of 5 x 2min surges with 2min easy run between. Teddy was puffing and running nicely after the 5th surge until he spotted two yappy dogs behind a fence then he just about pulled me over in his eagerness to get to them. That was definitely another surge!!

Total distance: 5km

On Wednesday I ran my usual course with Chris, Andy and Ewen from Parliament House and part of the lake. It felt comfortable and the lights in the darkness made the lake look just stunning and mirror still and the carillon glowed.

Total distance: 9.5km


I incorporated Thursday's 200m strides in my plan (as I couldn't get to training on Thursday) with Friday's easy run taking Teddy with me. It was just 6 x 200m strides with easy jogs between and a 3km easy run.

Total distance: 5km

I then had a physio appointment and lessons on putting on my super blue tape so Mr B can do this for me while we are running overseas. It does seem to help.

We have 8 more sleeps until we fly to Spain - woo hoo!

Monday, May 16, 2011

speedy geese hills

This morning I did a solid weights session at the gym followed by abs and stretches.

Tonight I arrived for training just as the other speedygeese were leaving for the warm up. Fortunately Chris started running with me and we met the others on their return round the loop of Parliament House. After the warm up we headed for the steep grassy bank leading up to the very top of PH. It has four levels and we ran right to the top the first time. After that we ran two levels (ie 100m) twenty times jogging down between each hill to repeat on the whistle. It was steep and hard work and 30mins of steady running. We finished with another loop around PH.

Total distance: approx 8km

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's all been happening!

I have to go by memory this week as I no longer have a Garmin stick to download my week’s runs. I had everything written in draft on my little laptop but unfortunately on Tuesday we had a break-in and our house was burgled. One of the losses was my lovely little laptop with my Garmin stick attached although they didn’t take my Garmin which was charging nearby. All the history of my runs and my photos are on that laptop which is very frustrating.

I think home invaders are the scum of the earth. The fear and loss of trust that has been installed in me is worse than the theft. I jump at every noise and no longer feel comfortable at home on my own. I guess I am very lucky that I have lived nearly 61 years and this is the first time we have been burgled. We are also lucky that nobody has been hurt and Teddy is still here, as the side fencing had been moved and he could easily have run away. Instead he remained as a faithful “watch” dog, no doubt happily “watching” as the burglers trashed our bedroom and removed anything of value that they could find! If only dogs could talk!

The most inconvenient part of all this is that we leave for Spain on 30 May and all our passports (five current ones between us) and relevant documentation was in a steel safe which has been pulled from the wall and removed. We are now in the process of having new passports organised and old ones cancelled - such a pain!

Anyway, back to what I can remember of the week just gone.

Saturday 7 May
Andy and I ran from the War Memorial at 8.45am and just ran for 15 minutes before returning to meet Ewen at 9am and from there running to the ferry terminal where we met Emma and a little later speedy Geoff. It was a cold crisp morning but the sun shone and it was a good run once we got into our stride. We ran through the ANU grounds, which are always interesting, and back to the War Memorial.
Total distance: 20km
We tried a new venue for coffee today at Wilburs by the Hackett Shops. It was quite a pleasant change except that it was very cold outside and we needed extra layers.

Sunday 8 May
I took Teddy with me on my run during a sunny part of the day.
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 50mins

Monday 9 May
In the morning I went to the gym and spent a couple of hours doing upper body strength work. At 5.30pm I joined the speedy geese for our training session at Parliament House. After our warm up loops we headed for the hilly grassy bank opposite PH. Our main session consisted of 12 x 100m hill sprints on 90secs followed by attrition sprints won by Joel who was narrowly followed by Colin and Abby. We then ran a warm down loop in and out of the trails round PH.
Total distance: 8km

Tuesday 10 May
Due to the circumstances described at the start of this blog entry I didn’t manage a run today. The house was no longer secure as the door needed repairing and I even had to miss out on the speedygeese dinner that night which was very disappointing!

Wednesday 11 May
Fortunately the insurance company sent a builder to secure the door and although it still needed a replacement lock I was able to join Ewen at Parliament House for a warm up (?) run at 5.30pm before Chris and Andy joined us for our usual run. I have to say that it was great to get out but oh boy, it was a cold night. I wore leggings, gloves, long sleeved top and tee shirt and never felt it was too hot. I did remove the spray jacket that I had worn on the warm up. Gee, it was minus 2deg and it felt very cold indeed!
Total distance: 10.2km
Time taken: 63mins
Average pace per km: 6:16

Thursday 12 May
Tonight I arrived at the speedy geese session at Dickson Oval just a little late and missed the first warm up lap. I was greeted with lots of hugs and felt so loved. I do think it makes a huge difference to know that people are so caring. I have wonderful friends. Everyone has been so supportive and this does help so much.
After another warm up loop of the oval our main session was a pyramid type session round the track.

60secs fast/60 jog
50secs fast/50 jog
40secs fast/40 jog
30secs fast/30 jog
40secs fast/40 jog
50secs fast/50 jog
60secs fast/60 jog

This was repeated for 20minutes with speedycoach blowing the whistle at the appropriate changes of speed. It was tough but enjoyable. I was lucky to have the company of speedygosling Jeni for the entire run.
We finished with a warm down lap of the oval and didn’t wait around too long afterwards as the air was very cold indeed!
Total distance: 6.5km (a short session as I missed the long warm up at the start)

Friday 13 May
Today was my rest day but I did go to the gym at 6.15am for an intensive RPM/spin session. This was followed by a remedial massage and oh boy I have a lot of very sore touchy spots right now. Tomorrow is only a middle distance run, a week before the half marathon.

Saturday 14 May
Today only two of us left the War Memorial at 9am for my last longish run before the half marathon next Sunday. Ewen and I wore our long sleeved tops on a crisp but sunny morning of only 5deg as we ran along Anzac Parade to the lake, along Kings Ave, the south side of the lake past Lotus Bay, over Commonwealth Bridge and back to the War Memorial. It was relaxing and we enjoyed good conversation which continued when we were joined for coffee by Liz and CJ at the War Memorial café later.
Total distance: 15km
Time taken: 1:36:48
Average pace per km: 6:27

Sunday 15 May
This afternoon I took Teddy with me as it was a scheduled easy run. After a couple of early distractions he ran quite well veering off and pulling me with him when he spotted another dog to bark at but apart from that we enjoyed a good run. He’s improving!
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 48:55 (Teddy will make the 6min per km mark yet!)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

speedygeese at Dickson

Today was a gorgeous day after the initial very cold start to the morning. When I walked with Teddy round North Lyneham ridge it was t-shirt weather - gorgeous. However, by the time I ran with the speedygeese at Dickson Oval it was time for long sleeves and leggings. Brrr! After a couple of warm up loops of the full oval we ran our main session in relay teams of two. I was paired with Miranda and our session was as follows:

6 x 600m fast (1.5 laps of the oval) with approx 200m jog between while we waited for our partner to pass us the baton at the starting point.

We finished with another loop of the oval.
Total distance: 8.5km
Amazingly Miranda and I were not the last team home - woo hoo!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Happy Birthday Speedycoach!

I started writing this on Easter Sunday but was obviously side tracked in the interim. I just don't know how the days disappear so quickly! Easter Sunday was a stunning day. I met Andy (who had just returned from the UK) at the ferry terminal and we went for a gentle catch up run.
Total distance: 11.3km

Easter Monday
A public holiday and I took advantage of this by running in the morning while the weather was pleasant.
Total distance: 15km

Anzac Day
Yet another public holiday and and Mr B and I enjoyed the great outdoors by going for a very enjoyable cycle down to Lake Burley Griffin and round the bridges before heading home. I went for my run later in the afternoon and took Teddy dog with me. This is the furthest distance he has run and apart from a few distractions on the way he managed well.
Total distance: 10km

Wednesday 27 April
I returned to the gym in the morning and in the evening met up with Ewen, Andy and Chris to run our usual route from Parliament House.
Total distance: 10.3km
After the run Chris had choir practice but Andy, Ewen and I met up with Jen and bub at a lovely pizza restaurant. It was great that Richard could also join us. We haven't seen him for ages as he's been injured.

Thursday 28 April
Tonight was our first speedygeese session at Dickson Oval this season. It was a good turnout on a cool drizzly evening - 14 including a few new starters and some geese who we haven't seen since last year. It was great to catch up with everyone and meet new people too. We started with a large loop of the oval for a warm up and the main session was as follows:

12 x 200m fast with 100m recovery jogs between.

We were told to concentrate on our form running on toes and keeping tummies tucked. I found that eased the pain anyway although of course I was still last finished! It started to rain during the main part of the session - lightly, but we were all dripping wet by the end. We finished with a warm down of the small part of the full oval.
Total distance: 8.5km

Friday 29 April
Fridays are my rest day but this day I went to an RPM/spin class at the gym for the first time in several weeks. It was a really good work out.

Saturday 30 April
This morning I met Emma P at 8am for an early run of 9km before returning to the War Memorial and meeting Andy and Ewen to run further. We ran the short-cut to the Ainslie track staying on the trails to Campbell Pk, Duntroon, through the Wetlands and back along Anzac Pde.
Total distance: 24km
It was a pleasant run but unfortunately I couldn't wait for coffee afterwards as I had a prior commitment:(

Sunday 1 May
Once more I incorporated my run with Teddy's walk. He does enjoy being worn out running in between walking days. Today we just ran from home to the tunnel heading for Gungahlin and home again. He was better today as there weren't as many dogs out to distract him and he managed to run all the way after the first couple of kms of tugging towards trees!
Total distance: 8km

Monday 2 May
Morning - long strength session at gym
Evening - Back to speedygeese session at Parliament House. This time there were only a few of us running round PH. Next week I really must remember my spotlight as it is becoming dark much earlier now and difficult to negotiate the footing when we run around the hidden tracks.
After our warm up our main session was as follows:
6 x 680m on five minutes, using a couple of steep slopes as part of the loop.
The cool down afterwards brought the total distance to 8.5km

Tuesday 3 May
Having entered the ACT Half Marathon on 22 May I have been endeavouring to follow a program of sorts for the past few weeks. Today all I had to do was a short fartlek session as follows:
Warm up followed by:
6 x 2min surges with 2min easy run between.
Warm down
Total distance: 4km!

Wednesday 4 May
Today is speedygeoff's birthday and it really was a lovely sunny day - cool, but sunny with a slight breeze - a good day for a birthday.

I went to the gym in the morning.
6.50am - warm up on xtrainer
7am - 15mins abs session
7.20am - warm up on rower
7.30am - strength work and upper body weights
8.15am - brekkie at the gym
9am - rower followed by push ups, chin ups etc. It was great to meet up with Miranda who had come to do the Body Balance session which I had planned to do.
9.30am - Body Balance (what a civilized hour for a class)

11am - finally left gym and headed for a coffee!

After my daily walk with Teddy and catching up with this long overdue blog I headed for Parliament House to meet Ewen, Chris and Andy for a run. It was cool enough to wear 3/4 pants instead of shorts and a t-shirt instead of a singlet but it was pleasant running weather. We ran round the bridges, past the carillon and along Anzac Parade to the war memorial before heading back to PH. On the return trip Victoria caught up with us on her third lap of bridge to bridge. She was running 20km as she is training for the Gold Coast marathon in July.
Total distance: 11km