Monday, April 30, 2012

A slow gentle run for a Monday.

It was cool when I started out on my run this morning and I wore a long sleeve top for the first ten minutes. However it didn't take long before the top was tied around my waist and the sun came through the clouds. In fact it was a perfect morning for a run. I just ran from home, round Lake Ginninderra and back again. It's a route I used to run a lot and although it is quite mundane it was lovely this morning as the sun was out, it wasn't too busy and there were some very pretty coloured Autumn leaves surrounding the lake. I listened to the radio on my ipod and it was a very enjoyable, if gentle, run.
Total distance: 15km
Time taken: 1:35
Average pace per km: 6:20 - yes, a gentle slow run.
It's quite strange getting used to a different night for Parliament House training and no longer having it on a Monday, but I enjoyed being able to just take it easy out there. Later I took Teddy for his last walk before taking him to his next little holiday adventure to enjoy the company of our grandchildren for twelve days while we are in Western Australia. Yes, Perth and Busselton, tomorrow evening we are on our way! 
I have also entered the half marathon in Canberra on 20 May so lots of running will need to be done in WA. CJ will be joining us so I will have company or Dave will. I might just be watching them fly past!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Engagement celebrations

Mandy and Liam's engagement party in Sydney

We have had a very busy few days spending this weekend in Sydney celebrating our daughter's engagement. 
On Thursday I joined the speedygeese at Parliament House. There were only seven of us plus our speedycoach, the smallest number for some time. Winter must be coming! We ran our warm up loop of PH and then we ran a very tough session of 20 x 100m uphill on 90 seconds at one of the more difficult east side hills. As always I found the second 10 much easier than the first 10 - I must have still been warming up! However, the cool down after the main session was really hard as my legs didn't want to keep moving!
Total distance: 8km

I decided to go for a very short run with Teddy before we left Canberra to drive to Sydney for two nights to meet the 'other parents' for dinner that evening. They are lovely.
Total distance: 5km
I took Teddy to stay with Miranda and her Andy for the weekend and he had a great time playing with Blondie (their dog) and going for long walks with them. I think he wore Blondie out though!
Teddy and Blondie exhausted after their walk!

It was a stunning day in Sydney and ideal weather for a run before breakfast. I followed Mr B from our younger daughter's apartment in Woolloomooloo down to the wharf, through the botanical gardens and round the Opera House. It really was a beautiful run. We even ran through the setting up of the corporate triathlon which was held today.
Total distance: 8km
In the evening it was party time with lots of very beautiful young people!
After a delayed start this morning when the car wouldn't start and we had to wait two hours for the NRMA, we drove home collecting a happy Teddy on the way and here we stay for less than two days before heading off to Busselton in Western Australia where Mr B will be competing in the Half Ironman. It's all happening here!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Anzac Day Run

This morning was bleak, as befits Anzac Day. One can almost guarantee that on Anzac Day the winter woollies come out. I remember it was always the day that summer school uniforms were put away for winter uniforms and winter clothes came out for work. Nothing's changed in all these years. Today was really cold and didn't reach more than 13deg at any time throughout the day.
When I met Jen and Ewen at the ferry terminal for a run it felt really cold. I wore shorts and singlet but kept a spray jacket on throughout the run although at one stage briefly I did unzip it! We left the ferry terminal at 10.40am hoping that the day would have warmed up by then - no such luck! It was not so much the temperature as the wind chill factor. It was so blustery going in one direction that we turned and ran the other way towards Molonglo Reach endeavouring to keep the wind behind us. Poor Ewen was suffering and running very slowly as he had a fall last night tripping over his furniture and badly bruised his ribs. He swears he wasn't drinking at the time! Gosh, we even ran back for him at one stage on the way out. However, as we reached the trails round Mt Ainslie after running past Duntroon, he ran a little faster and while I struggled more on the undulations Ewen picked up his pace. We ran back via the War Memorial where hundreds of people were leaving the Anzac Day service. It was very busy but also thought provoking.
We ran on back through Civic, past Hotel Rydges, over the bridge and back to the ferry terminal.
Total distance: 16km (my longest since the marathon) - at a very slow pace.
I had to take my distance from Jen's garmin as I had left mine at home charging. It's terrible running without a watch as I keep checking my wrist expecting it to be there!
After our run we donned some warmer clothes and headed for Urban Foods over the bridge to enjoy hot soup and toast to help Ewen celebrate his birthday tomorrow. Then we headed for coffee at the Espresso Cafe a little nearer the bridge as the coffee is so much better there. I think we were delaying the brisk walk back over the bridge in the bitter wind!
Ewen showing off the book I gave him for his birthday:)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Catching up with the week

The grandchildren have been staying with us since Sat as well as a few days last week during the school holidays. I have therefore been working my running around Mr B's activities. On Sunday I took Teddy with me for my run from home. Of course he loved it and it was lots of fun. We ran partly on the oval where he could run lead free but mainly on the cycle track apart from a detour to the drain for a drink and splash in the water (for Teddy that is).
Total distance:  8.2km
Time taken: 51:33
Average pace per km: 6:18

As speedygeese training has changed from Mons to Tues, I went for the same run as the day before only this time Teddy went out with Mr B and the grandchildren so I took the opportunity to run on my own. It didn't actually make much difference to my pace but I didn't have to stop at every tree!
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 48mins
Average pace per km: 6mins

This afternoon I collected Yelena and we joined the speedygeese for training at Dickson Oval. We arrived about 20mins early so had time to run a few laps of the oval before the session started at 5.30pm. We spotted Miranda towards the end and she joined us for a lap as did Susan soon after that. It was a good opportunity to chat before the main session began. When everyone arrived we all ran a couple more laps of the oval followed by 4 x 1.1km fast (2.5laps of the oval in lane number 4) on ten minutes which gave us a little recovery time when we jogged before the next sprint. It was hard but as speedygeese called out our times I noticed that my last 1.1km was my fastest. That was a relief as my hamstring was hurting all through the session. At the end of the session I ran just a little further with speedygeoff to make an even distance!
Total distance for night: 12km

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Gaggle of Geese for a longer run!

Saturday speedygeese near Molonglo
Hi Ewen - saying "cheese"

Canberra Marathon Day

Am I flying? I don't think so!

Running with Cathy M

Yesterday I had a massage and it was wonderful. The massage therapist managed to find lots of tender spots and even massaged my shoulders and back which was so good.
This morning I felt very ready for a run and drove to the ferry terminal to meet up with quite a big gaggle of geese for a Saturday. We ran out for 5km, turned and ran back before those who were running for longer continued. I ran an extra 2km but felt that was quite enough for breaking myself in gently after last weekend. The first 10km felt great but I did struggle over the last couple and it did ruin my average pace but never mind, gently does it!
It was a perfect morning for a run - no wind and gentle sun. The company was good and I usually found I had someone to talk to. On the return 5km I ran with Justine who was new to speedygeese on Thursday night. She has 8 children from 2-12 and has her own business. She is an amazing young lady and very interesting to talk to. I also spent some time running and talking to Abby and to Thach, both lovely and good company.
After the run Jen, Ewen and I headed for Urban Foods for coffee and a snack. We were disappointed in the coffee today. It's always overpriced but I don't mind that if the coffee is good. Today it wasn't, so on the way back to the cars we stopped off at another cafe nearby and had an excellent coffee as compensation. Hmmm, two coffees in a morning is not quite what I usually do! At least we will know where to go next time however!
Total distance: 12.5km
Time taken: 1:21
Average pace per km: 6:29
Calories burned: 700

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Running as a Griffin

My 11th Canberra Marathon is now done and dusted. Some of my run was not pretty, some was painful and all of it was slow but I finished still upright! Since Sunday I have been struggling with a cold and a very sore throat. The only running I have been doing, until tonight, has been running around at the oval with Teddy and my grandchildren who are on school holidays this week.

However tonight I returned to speedygeese training which is now held on Thursdays in non-track season, at Parliament House. It was wonderful. I think I must have been suffering withdrawal symptoms without realising it. I had been feeling sore and a bit down and the minute I started the warm up with the speedygeese I could feel the endorphins set in and although we got caught in the pouring rain during the hill repeats and the session was stopped early after only 5km I felt absolutely fantastic afterwards - dripping wet from the rain but on a real high! There were three new people tonight and they were all lovely. What a difference a run makes.  I'm ready to return to training for the half in May now.

Back to the marathon, this was the first year that Mr B had not been out there supporting me at the marathon. Instead he was competing in an Olympic distance triathlon in Sydney on the same day in preparation for the half ironman in Busselton, WA in May. He did really well too. However, my daughter and her new fiance, who live in Sydney, came to stay and it was great to see them out there cheering me on.

The support during the marathon was amazing. There was a field of 3,300 runners in the half and full marathon which started at the same time. The volunteers were fantastic too and so many people knew my name and cheered me on, keeping me going when I was struggling, which seemed to happen often this year. Then there were my buddies who helped me get through the training and the day, some running with me in training, some just encouraging me and cheering me on during the long run. Cathy M was out there and even ran 3km with me in the early stages which was lovely. It was also fantastic to see Ewen pop up in different places, camera in hand. I haven't seen those photos yet speedyewen! Nadine came running in from the side to give me jellybeans before one of those short sharp hills.

The weather was beautiful although the sun felt almost too hot as the hours went by. The marathon started at 7am which meant a 4.40am wake up for me except I was already awake when the alarm went off. In fact I managed a grand total of 3 hours sleep as I tossed and turned for the majority of the night with my brain working overtime and all sorts of weird thoughts buzzing round in my head.
I was therefore feeling a little bit drained before a refreshing wake up shower and some toast and honey for breakfast.

I found CJ in the toilet queue before the marathon. She was running the half and it was good to be able to start beside her as the starter gun went off. I listened to some very strange music which my daughter in law had downloaded for me with the help of Miss Nine. There seemed to be a few LPS or Littlest Pet Shop vocals coming through! In fact I did everything one is advised not to do on this run. I ran with music I had never heard before, new shorts and the Griffin singlet which I had received the day before with no time to run in it.

I was so proud to run in my Griffin singlet after waiting over twelve months to receive it. It's a very cute little light grey singlet and we also were given a lovely blue non-running t-shirt. Evidence at last that I have run ten Canberra marathons - eleven now!

The first 10km of the marathon felt ok and I ran it in just under 60mins but it was all downhill (metaphorically speaking) from there. I have no idea why although I do wonder now if I already had a cold bug lurking. My hamstring really hurt and I just felt sluggish. At the 28km mark I really wondered if I was going to make it. I have never felt this bad running a marathon before. I even walked through the drink stations and struggled to run.

That last km felt like it was going on forever. My quads were sending out shooting pains (that was new) and I kept saying to myself, "keep running, don't walk" - it was the hardest finish ever. BUT I finished, I ran it and I have never been so glad to run over a finish line. Eleven Canberra Marathons done!

My son and my daughter were there to meet me and I received a lovely greeting from Mrs speedygeoff. Speedygeoff finished his first 50km ultra in a great time and was stretching after his brilliant run.

After a wonderful hot shower I joined my family and a few close running buddies for lunch in Kingston and my favourite coffee - a great way to relax after a long long morning!

Distance: 42.195km (Garmin said 42.73km!)
Time taken: 4hrs 29:51 (my slowest yet)
Average pace per km: 6:24 (Garmin said 6:19)
Calories burned: 2325

Running in my Griffin singlet

During the marathon with the sun still low in the sky

The afternoon before with some interstate and local running friends

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Five More Sleeps!

This morning was FREEZING - 1deg overnight but it had reached nearly 8deg when we ran from Black Mountain Peninsula at 9.15am. I wore my spray jacket as a wind break as the wind chill factor was bitter but I warmed up eventually although it took a while for my hands to thaw out! I still wore singlet and shorts under the spray jacket and ran with it unzipped but didn't take it right off. 
This morning's run was to Haig Park and back. I ran with Marilyn and Alan and there was plenty of conversation on the way. However my schedule was to run only 40mins so at 42mins when I knew my whereabouts I walked while the others ran. However I couldn't resist running just another 500m on the way to round up the kms and relieve the frustration a little!
Total distance run: 7km
Distance walking: 2km (plus another 4km with Teddy later)
No birthdays today but still plenty of lovely morning tea. I confined myself to two tiny sandwiches and some grapes! There were a number of people running the half on Sunday but just Carol and me running the marathon. Yes, just five more sleeps!
Meanwhile Mr B has made a trip to Bunnings and is building a DIY wardrobe with shelves and towers and I so far filled 6 garbage bags of clothes etc for St Vinnies. There's still loads more to go through yet!

Monday, April 09, 2012

The Countdown Begins!

Six more sleeps! The program says today should have been a rest day. However I'm mixing things up a bit and decided instead to meet Jen at Parliament House for a run before the speedygeese session. As the speedygeese training was a hill session I decided to run the easy run scheduled for Wednesday. We ran a pleasant run through the trails round Parliament House and down past the yacht club and on for a slightly undulating 4km before turning and running back the same way. The wind chill factor made the air quite chilly and we ran in spray jackets although I was pretty hot by the time we returned to PH. I managed to say 'hi' to everyone running the main session before heading home an hour earlier than usual and actually enjoying a meal with Mr B as, being a public holiday, he didn't have squash tonight.
Total distance: 8.07km
Time taken: 51:40
Average pace per km: 6:24
Calories burned: 450
I didn't eat any chocolate today. The rest of the Easter eggs can wait. My plan now is to hold off on any junk until after the marathon. Healthy food is on the agenda.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Chocolate Overload!

Happy Easter to you all. I started the day well with a lovely run with Teddy. He was pulling and stopping for the first few kms but after that he got into his rhythm and we ran much better together. We turned at the 4km mark and ran back via two ovals. At each one I let him off the lead so he could run across the grass with me with the odd detour for him to roll in the grass! At the Kaleen oval I let him off the lead again as I ran round the oval a few times to make my distance up to 8km before finding a marked 100m on the soccer track for my strides. The best part was that I called Teddy over, made him sit, said "go" and we raced 100m, jogging back to the start and repeating this 6 times. He was a great racing companion. He started at "go" and ran as fast as he could in a straight line beside me - awesome fun! He outran me most times but it made me try hard which was the object of the exercise!
We then jogged home with him back on his lead and trotting happily by my side panting hard.
Total distance: 10.2km
Calories burned: 550
Total distance for second week of taper: 64km
This wasn't nearly as many calories as I consumed later in the day as I ate chocolate eggs and bunnies - far too many so that I ended up feeling quite sick - entirely self inflicted. Later in the day my little local family came over for dinner. It was so lovely to spend time with the grandchildren and their mum and dad but I now have still more chocolate waiting to be consumed. Maybe I can hold off until after the marathon or I won't be able to waddle to the start line!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

One Week from Tomorrow!

On yet another stunning morning (sorry to be boring Ewen) I met up with speedygeoff, Miranda, Andrew (briefly) and Abby for a last longish run before the marathon next Sunday. I had trouble with my garmin and it took at least 500m before I could make it work as it kept blanking out. I'm having lots of trouble with it lately. Here's hoping it behaves on marathon day!
Andrew just ran with us for ten minutes as he had already run 6km and was heading off to his 6 year old's birthday party. I ran some time with Abby, some time behind everyone, some time with Geoff and most of the way back with Miranda. It was lovely to catch up with everybody. We decided to head out towards the war memorial and then to check out Reid Oval which is an option for winter training under lights. It seems like a lovely green spongy oval with lots of car parking available and lots of interesting looking spots, including hills, nearby for warm ups and a variety of training. It does look like a strong possibility if it is available when we want it.
We ran on around some of the streets of Campbell, including hills and at 8km headed back down to the lake and back to the ferry terminal. Here we spotted Liz who was just finishing her run. Miranda and Geoff ran a further 3km with me to make up the distance. I definitely felt sluggish and slow today - no excuses apart from lack of sleep and lots of weird dreams last night and an apparent bad reaction to the magnesium tablets which I started taking a few days ago. They seem to make me feel queasy which might explain the nausea during Thursday's run. I'm not taking anymore. I'll just take extra salt instead!
Total distance: 16km
Time taken: 1hr 48mins!
Average pace per km: 6:45
Calories burned: 860
The best part of the morning was definitely meeting up with CJ and Liz for coffee at Urban Foods after the run. Liz and I were both bemoaning our sluggish runs but hey, it will be all right on the day. As Liz so wisely said "a bad dress rehearsal usually means a good show on the day". We will soon know!

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Importance of Hydration and Food Input!

It was really hot in the middle of the day yesterday when I ran in the weekly BBQ Stakes handicap run. I managed a 3km warm up run before the race and really felt the heat even running slowly.
Being the first Wed of the month we usually run in the opposite direction but this time we ran an out and back course. Now I was running with a good handicap near the front with not many people to follow and being me with no sense of direction whatsoever I managed to take a slight wrong turning on the way back giving six guys the opportunity to pass me and call out to let me know I was going the wrong way once I was at the bottom of a hill. Grrr, back up I ran to tail behind them and I came in at 18th. Before that little detour I was going quite well but that definitely upset my equilibrium.
Distance of run: 6km
Time taken: 36:32
Average pace per km: 6mins
Calories burned: 339
Total distance including warm up: 9km

The day started well with a delightful brekkie with CJ and Mr B followed by the delivery of our new bedroom suite. After all this excitement I headed off for a run at about 1.30pm not having yet eaten lunch. That was a big mistake as I felt quite ill during the course of the run. I ran from home and past the AIS and on to the city before I turned. I stopped at the 5km mark and Geoff B rode up on his bike. He rescued me by giving me a sip from his water bottle which contained a cordial and salt mixture - so refreshing at that stage. I was very hot and very dehydrated.
I included 1 x 4mins fast, 1 x 3mins fast, 1 x 2mins fast with 2mins slow jog between each set. I felt sick again on the way home and it was just a long slog. I was really glad to arrive home and drink lots of water - not the best way to train! Lunch input was pretty damn good too!
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 1:02
Average pace per km: 6:12
Calories burned: 560
Later in the afternoon I arrived home from a long walk with Teddy to find Mr B had been refilling our water bed in its nice new frame on the nice new carpet and hadn't realised it would fill so fast. He had walked away leaving it to fill and it had overflowed. Hmmmm, the new carpet is wet and the bed is being emptied to start again. We need to dry everything out before refilling it. I'm sure eventually we will move back into our own bedroom with our lovely new ensuite, repainted walls, washed curtains, new carpet and new bedroom suite. This just might delay things a few more days!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Tuesday Group on a Beautiful Day

Autumn has been just beautiful so far in Canberra, a big improvement on summer when it rained and rained and only ever reached above 30deg once. We have had really pleasant temperatures over the past few weeks in the mid 20s and lots of sunshine. It's also a very pretty time of year and the mornings are cool enough to enjoy lovely running.
This morning was no exception. It was just lovely. Our run today was from Black Mountain peninsula past the museum and to and round the "round the world" monument and back again. There were people ahead of me and behind me but I ran alone. Thus to relieve the boredom I decided to run some fartlek intervals - 2 x 60secs fast/60secs float, 4 x 30secs/30secs float, 2 x 60secs/60secs float, 4 x 30/30 and 2 x 60/60. This kept me honest and I ended up passing quite a few people during the fast bits and managed to stay in front of them. It also made the run much more interesting and a little tough when there were a few little rises.
Total distance: 11km
Time taken: 1:06:22
Average pace per km: 6:02
Calories burned: 613
There was only one birthday to celebrate today. Ian turned 73. There was plenty of cake, bikkies and champagne however.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Speedygeese return to the hills!

After another gorgeous sunny afternoon the speedygeese session at Parliament House was a hilly one. We ran our usual warm up loop of Parliament House before heading for the rose garden. Here we ran a trial loop of the 700m course. It felt so hard - a run to the first short sharp hill and up and over it before running round the corner to the next hill which was twice as long but not quite as steep. I found the longer hill easier as you gained momentum as you ran further uphill whereas the shorter hill was too short to gain anything except breathlessness! Then round the corner and down the hill - a lovely finish each time. The first two loops were slow and tough work going up those hills but the next three times felt much easier and I was feeling quite strong for some strange reason. I didn't even come last!
With the main session over we just ran a warm down loop of PH. Because daylight saving has finished it was becoming quite dark by the time we finished!
Total distance: 8km

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Women's and Girls' Fun Run

It was another glorious morning for the annual W & G fun run from Stage 88. Hundreds of women and girls of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels gathered at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park ready for the fun run. It was a great atmosphere and there were lots of familiar faces out there. I ran a 2km warm up before chatting happily to Gwen when I realised everyone was ready at the start waiting for "go". We wore timing chips but it took a while for me to pass the start line and then I was stuck in a huge crowd and had to run very wide to pass anybody. On hindsight I should have been further in the front so that I didn't have to try to pass prams, bunches of walkers and people spreading right across the path in front of me. I didn't really mind what time I achieved and it is supposed to be a "fun run" but it was a bit frustrating when I had trouble going round people well into the race as well. 
As it happened it took 6:05mins for me to run the first km and that meant I had to spend the rest of the race trying to make up the lost time. A lot of the vets runners started near the front and did really well finishing in the top 20. It was much hotter for the run than what we have been used to lately and the fact that it didn't start until 9am meant that the overnight coolness had almost disappeared even at the start and the sun was shining brightly. It was a beautiful day if a little on the warm side for a race. The last hill to the finish felt rather tough. I was a bit disappointed with my time but I still managed to come 5th in my age group in spite of the slow time.
Distance of run: 5km
Time taken: 28:26
Average pace per km: 5:36
Finish place: 127th (out of 680 finishers)
Finish place in age group: 5th (out of 21)
Total distance for day: 7km
Total distance for first taper week: 72km