Monday, November 25, 2013

Exploring New York

On Monday, the day after the marathon, Mr B, CJ and I met up with KT (from Melbourne)and her hubby for a farewell breakfast as they were heading off to Vegas that afternoon. It had been lovely to catch up with them on the other side of the world and share experiences. Later Mr B and I packed our bags and headed off to a guest house on the East side of  NY. Our room was several floors up but fortunately our host met us and helped carry our bags. Our Canberra friends were on the floor below us which was great. That evening the five of us enjoyed a great middle Eastern meal together in our new local area.
We had another week in NY but as it was CJ's last night on Tuesday we decided to go to a show. We took the subway to Times Square that day and bought cheap tickets for Kinky Boots. The five of us went together and found it lots of fun. Later we finally had our celebratory drink at a pub nearby.
It was sad to say goodbye to CJ next day when she flew off to Paris. 
Over the next few days we explored New York City, Madison Square, took long walks in Central Park, browsed the shopping centres and enjoyed a beautiful meal at Brasserie Les Halles in Park Avenue, where famous chefs have trained, with our daughter Em and her fiancĂ© who arrived in NY a few days before we left. They had been celebrating her 30th in Vegas!
We had a great time exploring Greenwich, SoHo and the Chelsea Markets. We walked the High Line on a very cold day which required buying a beanie first! We had lots of lovely meals with our Canberra friends including one memorable one in Little Italy. We also had an opportunity to spend some time with Em & Court, shops, pubs and meals.

We spent a long time at the Guggenheim  Museum but our favourite visit was probably the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). (Thanks for the recommendation LL). Coffee has improved so much in the past four years when we were last in NY. I have enjoyed many great coffees in NY this time and some beautiful meals.
On our last full day in NY, a week after the marathon, I went for my first run - an 8km undulating run with Mr B, taking in some of the north side of Central Park and a few hilly detours. It was pretty and I felt happy although a little sad to know we were leaving this great city next day.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The New York Experience!

For some months I have been training for the New York marathon. This training has been encumbered somewhat by lower back pain caused by the sciatic nerve and recurring problems with my left hamstring. Early in my training I decided I would follow a walk running program and followed this for some weeks. I even downloaded Jeff Galloway's book on my iPad and read it with interest. However, after several visits to the physio, gradually I was able to run more than walk and eventually returned to speedygeese training and resumed running training for the forthcoming NY marathon.

The plan to run this marathon took place about 16 months ago, while we were in Turkey, when our friends emailed us to suggest that we go with Travelling Fit which meant making the decision way back then! It has been a big build up which has finally come to fruition.

We left Canberra for New York on 30 October arriving on the same day! It was great being able to fly in the company of several friends who were also taking part in the marathon, including CJ.

Next day we collected our race numbers and spent lots of time and money at the extensive expo, before heading for Times Square. This being Halloween we were treated with some fantastic costumes being worn everywhere that evening. It seemed that nearly everyone was dressed in the spirit of the occasion and there were lots of brightly cut out pumpkins and pumpkin lanterns in the shop windows or in market places.

On Friday we met up with the Travelling Fit crew and did a familiarisation run in Central Park and through the finish line of the marathon. Later after checking out local running stores CJ, Mr B and I went by boat to visit The Statue of Liberty and afterwards we visited the 9/11 memorial. It was a lot to cram in to one day, so much to think about. The memorial had not been built when we were last in NY in 2009.

Marathon Day turned out to be the coldest day in New York since April! We had to meet at 5.45am in the hotel foyer which meant our alarm was set at the ungodly hour of 4am to give CJ and I plenty of time to get organised. The buses set off for the venue at 6am. We met up with another Canberra friend on our bus and it was a great way to keep distracted on the journey. The roads closed at 7am which was why we had to leave so early. The start was from Staten Island and here we went to our various corales. Sadly I was in a different coloured group from my mates and thus filled in time by running up and down to keep warm and making several visits to the loo to relieve the nerves more than anything else! There was four hours of waiting involved! It was freezing and on top of my singlet and shorts I wore a long sleeved top, a jacket, trackie pants, beanie and gloves plus a plastic cape. Even with all that gear I still had to keep moving to keep warm.

Eventually my wave was called to the line to head for the start. However there was a bit of a language problem (not mine) and a large group of us were not allowed past the rope until the last wave was due to start. It was most frustrating! As I stood waiting in line a gentleman approached me and said, "hi there you sold me my shoes at The Runners Shop"! Yes he was an Aussie from Canberra and we were very pleased to see each other. What a small world! It was great to have company for the next ten minutes before we were finally herded to the start area.

The run started with the bridge from Staten Island to the mainland. I threw away my top layers but kept on one long sleeved top, gloves and beanie until we were over the bridge. As we approached the end of the bridge I could hear a low buzz which increased to a roar and then we were in the open and suddenly there were hundreds of screaming spectators. It was awesome. All along the way the spectator support was amazing. It just carried me along and the first 20km seemed to fly by. I would like to be able to say that the rest of the run felt like that but after all a marathon is still 42.2km no matter how much support there is and later in the run I started to feel the pain in my hamstring, stitch in my side which kept recurring and general niggles which are par for the course really. I managed to drop my jellybeans and gu chomps so I only had gu gels on the way. I sipped water at every second drink station but never felt too dehydrated until near the end.

We ran through the five boroughs and a lot of the run has since become a blur but I do clearly remember running through the Jewish community in Brooklyn where the men were dressed in their long black coats and tall top hats and were totally oblivious to what was happening around them.

There were bands and music all along the way except on the bridges where no spectators were allowed although on one bridge a Scottish piper led a band to keep us entertained. It truly was an amazing experience with nearly 50,000 finishers and thousands and thousands of spectators everywhere you looked, high fiving us, cheering us on by name, holding up signs and always encouraging us. As I finally reached the finish line I felt fantastic. I knew it was my slowest time ever for a marathon but I managed to raise my arms and smile for the camera. I had achieved a dream, I had held since our last visit to New York four years ago, ticked another box on my bucket list, yes I had run New York marathon and that was a great feeling!

I have to add that after crossing the line the cold set in again. A medal was placed around my neck, a photo was taken, we were shuffled on to collect a food bag, given a foil wrap for some warmth, and then we walked again for what seemed ages before being wrapped in a lovely warm bright orange cape. This didn't help the shivering bare legs but certainly helped the upper body. I drank the supplied sports drink, chewed on a protein bar and gradually started to feel a little more human.

I was so happy to see Mr B at the appointed meeting place. He walked me back to the hotel which was ages away before returning to meet CJ while I sunk into a blissful hot bath!

Marathon 14 done and the holiday begins!

Time taken: 4hours 39mins
Average pace per km: 6:36
Calories burned: 2460
Second half 7mins slower than first half!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Inclement Weather!

Brrr, it's been cold, wet and windy over the past few days. On Wednesday I had the afternoon shift at work and it rained and it rained. In the morning, just by way of a change, I went to a Cross Training class at the gym. It was a mix of cardio, weights and abs work and was quite challenging. It was a good workout and quite different from what I usually do. 
On Thursday all sportsgrounds were closed due to the recent steady rain. I worked until 2pm when I met Ewen for a coffee catch up before driving home to take Teddy out with me for my run. I was lucky in my timing as we avoided the rain. It was a good run and we both enjoyed it.
Total distance: 7km
This morning I went to my usual Friday Body Balance class for necessary stretching. Of course Teddy still had his long walk with me this afternoon. It was not a very pleasant day but there were only a few drops of rain as we walked.
Tomorrow the plan is to run a longer run incorporating the Parkrun. Fingers crossed the weather isn't too unkind.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My 1000th Post

Wow, I've finally reached 1,000 posts for this blog. It's taken a few years! This morning it was cold and bleak outside, a day for catching up with things around the house, but as mid-day approached the sun came out and it was time to take Teddy out. It was stunning at that time of day and he had a great off lead run on the grass and in and out of the drains.

Teddy ready for his run

I made it to Speedygeese at Dickson Oval by 5.10pm and managed to fit in a large loop outside the oval giving me a good warm up before the session began. It was a mild evening although there was one very cold patch on the straight.
Only 7 of us turned up for the main session of training plus our speedy leader. Miranda had run early for the 8km with speedygeoff and Kelley had joined them. Miranda left after our warm up leaving Colin, Kelley, Kym, Margaret, Mick, Rod, speedychief and me. After our warm up loop our main session consisted of 400m fast loops of the oval with 400m slow running in the opposite direction between each rep. This was for a total of 30mins. Then we ran a warm down loop of the oval. Colin and Rod were much speedier than anyone else and were neck and neck most of the way.
Total distance including my early warm up: 9km
It's a rare occurrence these days to be able to make it to the Dickson training as I often have the afternoon shift at work and as it's the other side of town it makes it impossible to make it in time for the session so I was particularly happy to be able to run with the speedygeese today!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Speedygeese on a public holiday

After my push ups and planks this morning, I prepared lamb shanks for the slow cooker and put it on to cook for the day. Mr B and I then went for a swim at CISAC. It was busy when we arrived as it was Queen's birthday weekend and a public holiday but people were drifting off by lunchtime and it was a bit quieter for the last few laps. Initially I had a few problems with leaking goggles but finally I sorted them out and had a good swim - 1200m in total. Mr B swam 1500m. Then I sat in the spa for ten minutes of luxury before we headed home. 
This evening after visiting our grandchildren in the afternoon, I headed off for training at Parliament House. There were very few of us there tonight, only five plus our speedyleader - Andrew, Craig, speedygeoff, Jen, Me and Sarah - all fast runners, except this slow goose! Ewen had run 8km earlier with speedygeoff but left before the main session as he is only just returning to running. 
We ran the usual warm up and then headed down to the lake through the tunnel. I was glad I was wearing a headlamp as in parts it was quite dark. Our main session was running from the other side of the tunnel up through it and on the grass up to the cone left by our speedyleader and jogging back to the start. The distance to the cone was 140m and it was on an incline which felt quite steep after a few repeats and my hammie complained! We repeated this 12 times, each on 2minutes. Then we ran back to our starting point at Parliament House.
Total distance: 7.5km
Oh my, it was so lovely to arrive home to the smell of slow cooked lamb wafting out to greet me. Mr B had cooked the veges to go with it and after a quick shower dinner was served - mmmm, so yummy!

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Trailing the Hills

This afternoon, after a successful shopping expedition with Mr B, buying necessary homewares in the sales, we headed off with Teddy for an undulating trail run. I wanted to test my new Brooks Adrenaline trail shoes in some tough hilly conditions. We ran from home to North Lyneham ridge and over that through North Lyneham to O'Connor Ridge and round part of one of  the vets' monthly handicap courses, returning past the AIS and home through the suburbs, off the hilly trails where I put Teddy back on his lead. He had a great run and I must say it was good to run the trails again as it's been ages. Gee I noticed all those hills though. Mr B was flying but I managed to keep him in my sights although he did have to stop and wait for me a couple of times.
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 1:04 (yes, I was very slow on those hills) 
Average pace: 6.30
Calories burned: 563

Running in the Parkrun on Saturday

Saturday, June 08, 2013

No PB for me today

Last night I watched the movie The Green Mile on telly and I absolutely loved it. Trouble is it ended at 12.20am this morning (being almost 4 hours long) and my alarm was set for 5.55am - not much time for a good sleep! However I was up as soon as the alarm rang, did my planks, had a piece of white toast and half a banana and prepared for my 5km run to the start of the Gindy Parkrun. It was minus 2 degrees outside and I layered up with skins under shorts, t-shirt, long sleeved top, spray jacket, ear warmers, cap and gloves. At least I had warmed up by the start of the event. I met up with Marg there and Mr B was a volunteer. I stripped down to a t-shirt but kept on my long skins under my shorts and wore my earwarmers and gloves. I felt as though I was running well but my time definitely did not reflect this. After the Parkrun finished I chatted to a few friends before running back home. Marg ran well achieving a PB and was only a minute behind me. Next Friday night the goal will be an early night! Let's see if I can improve my time finally.
Distance of Parkrun: 5km
Time taken: 28:30
Age percentage: 70.06%
Place in age group: 1st (I'll have a shock if someone else runs in my age group)!
Overall place: 80th (out of 111)
Total distance of run: 15km
Once home I had a quick shower, donned my uniform and drove off to work for the rest of the day at The Runners' Shop.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Speedygeese at Kaleen - Better Late than Never!

I managed a short run before heading off to the dentist and then a lovely lunch with CJ in the city. It was not warm and I was on a time frame so had to be brief.
Total distance: 7km

I started the day with an early breakfast with good friends (a belated birthday treat) before heading for the hairdresser. I started the afternoon shift at work at 12noon. Today I worked with Kathy and as we both wanted to join the speedygeese for some of the training we were glad it wasn't too busy and we could lock up on the dot of closing time before heading for the busy parkway and back to Kaleen oval. I detoured home and ran from there as the oval is only 800m from my house. It was quite a mild evening and well lit although busy tonight and we had to avoid a few dogs and soccer balls. We arrived 30minutes after the start time but at least some training is better than no training. After an 800m further warm up round the perimeter of the oval I ran five 200m sprints with Kathy and Maria (I use the term "with" loosely as I ran behind them but it was a good way of making me run as hard as I could). We then ran a few more loops of both ovals joining the rest of the participants. Speedygeese tonight were Clint, Colin, Rod, speedychief, Kathy, me, Maria and Susan. I was glad I made it for half of the session. I tried out my brand new Brooks Adrenaline ASR trail shoes tonight. They were great on the uneven ground and didn't feel too heavy. I'm looking forward to trying them out on the hilly trials.
Total distance: 7km

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A Speedy Session at Parliament House

Kim, speedygeoff, Me, Marg & Andy waiting for the start of the Australian Mountain Running Championships - photo courtesy of Ewen
Sunday dawned bleak and wet. It had rained overnight and continued for most of the morning making it very cold and miserable weather for the Australian Mountain Running Championships at West Stromlo. I collected Marg and we drove there at 8am to watch our speedy buddies. We had planned to go for a gentle run inbetween events but that didn't happen. Instead we shivered on the sidelines huddled under brollies and wearing gloves and several layers under rain jackets. It was amazing to watch. Our speedygeese - Kelley, Mick, Kym and Caroline all ran really well. In fact Kelley and Caroline won their respective age groups. It looked like a really tough steep course.
After we had watched our friends finish Ewen, Marg and I headed to Scope for a coffee as it was walking distance. After last week's bad experience it was a bit of a risk. However, this time we were pleasantly surprised. We sat at a table inside in the warm and the service was reasonably fast, probably due to less people being there, possibly because of the weather!
As we sat there looking through the window the sun came out and it turned into a pleasant afternoon, perfect for taking Teddy for a brisk 6km walk.
That night Mr B and I went to see The Great Gatsby at the movies. We saw the original of this movie in 1974 with Mia Farrow and Robert Redford. This was a remake and came to us quite fresh after so many years.It was a great night.

Yesterday, Monday, the sun shone and it was lovely for the majority of the day after an overnight temperature of minus 2 degrees. First up I took Teddy to the vet to check out his ear and buy some drops. Next stop the pool where I swam 1200m before enjoying a spa followed by a coffee. Then off to deliver some Avon before enjoying my yummy pumpkin and ginger soup for lunch which I made yesterday. This was followed by a 7km brisk walk with Teddy as I walked to Miranda's house to deliver Avon.
Then off to Parliament House for a speedygeese training session. It was great to see Marilyn there as I didn't expect to see anyone near my slow pace and she is good company. I forgot my Garmin which I had left charging. However, judging from speedychief's garmin our session was about 6.5km - short and sharp!
After our warm up we were put into relay teams of three. I was with Clint and Andrew who are both extremely fast. I chose to run as first runner as I figured the boys could do the catching up roles. We ran 200m sprints to tag our team member who ran the next 200m back to tag team member 3. It meant a little break but not long as I had fast team members. It was hard work and I was pleased to stop after 20minutes when we headed to a little hill which SG had discovered by accident on our warm up loop. It was about 40m and we ran up it several times doing different drills on the way up to make it interesting. We finished with our usual cool down loop of PH and jellybeans!
Total distance by SG garmin: 6.5km (short and sharp)

This morning, Tuesday, I woke to a white frosty world. I didn't run out the door with Teddy until 9am when the sun was shining brightly but it was still very crisp and cold and some of the grass on our way was still white where the sun hadn't yet shone. Both my ankles were painful and my left hamstring is really playing up but it still felt great to be alive this morning. There's nothing quite like running with music in one ear and Teddy running off his lead as we ran off road and enjoyed the feel of the sun on our skin. Now I am heading off to work for the afternoon shift leaving Teddy happy to lie in the sun after his lovely little run.
Total distance: 6km

Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Week (and two days) in Review

On Friday morning, a week ago, Mr B and I drove through to Berry in the Alfa for my birthday surprise. We stayed in a delightful  Bed and Breakfast overnight in the little country village. On the way we stopped for lunch at The Green Grocer, one of our favourite cafes in Goulburn. Here we contacted our good friend Charlie who called in to sit and chat with us.It was so lovely to see her.
Berry is such a pretty place. We arrived in pouring rain and the plush green countryside reminded me of New Zealand. We had an explore before going out for a delicious meal in one of the few restaurants that were open.

Berry B & B
Next morning, Saturday, the sun was shining when we went for a 7km run along the undulating country trails working up an appetite for breakfast. Later we had more of an explore of the quaint little shops and drove home with a detour to check out Shoalhaven beach. We drove home a different way avoiding some of the very big undulations.
Shoalhaven Beach                                                                                                                

On Sunday we headed out to the Veterans' Monthly Handicap run at West Stromlo, an undulating course that finishes uphill. We were lucky with the weather as although it was foggy and cloudy it didn't rain and the wind was slight. Later a group of us went for a disappointing coffee at The Scope. We had to sit in the foyer and it was really cold. Some of us girls used provided crocheted rugs to wrap around us to give us some warmth.
Total run: 7.5km
Time taken: 46:25
Average pace per km: 6:11
Finish place: 18th (out of 92)
Handicap group: 15
Age percentage: 70.4%
The best part of the morning was that Margaret won the Bronze medal. That was exciting but her handicap will be amended accordingly!

This Week in Review - Planks every day of 2mins 15secs; daily walks with Teddy
Monday - 
Swim 1.1km
Run with Margaet - 11.5km
No training at Parliament House as we had our SG dinner at Phnom Pen - a lovely night.
Run with Teddy - 5km
Run 8km from home
Night - Thank you nibbles and drinks at the Tradies for volunteers and officials at the Australian Masters Athletics which were held two months ago
Body Balance at gym

Saturday - Park Run
I ran from home to the lake for the Ginninderra Parkrun. There I met up with Marg and several other familiar runners. 
Parkrun: 5km 
Time taken: 28:27 (PB remains at 27:50)
Place: 61st (out of 90)
Place in age group: 1st
Age graded score: 70.18%
Total distance including warm up: 10km
After the run I joined the others for coffee at Birrigai Cafe. We were lucky that the rain held off until after the run and since then the rain has not stopped. It has been constant. We need the rain but tomorrow at Stromlo will be soggy for the mountain running championships which I am planning to go to watch.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

YCRC Half Marathon

Loot from the barrel draw plus medal and lucky run number

With Margaret just before the start. Photo by Ewen.

It was so cold early in the morning of the Canberra Running Club's Half Marathon on Sunday. In fact it was minus 4 degrees when I was eating breakfast and wondering how many layers to wear! I selected a singlet and shorts with a long sleeved top and gloves to be removed at the 4km mark.
It felt so cold when I met up with Marg to run our warm up after collecting my race number. Mr B was a volunteer and was put on bag duty. This did mean he could catch my jacket and gloves when we ran past the 4km drinks station. It also meant he could trot out for a 10km run while we were running the half.
I was sorry I didn't retain my gloves for a bit longer as it took at least 10km before my fingers had any feeling. They were numb with cold. The toes on my left foot were also numb but strangely running in singlet and shorts felt fine. 
The sun struggled through a little later and it actually turned into a glorious morning for running with no wind at that time. We ran hospital hill instead of running round the museum as we did in previous years. The aternative route would have been much flatter. We started at 8am and ran a 4km loop round some of Canberra's icons before heading off round the West Basin of the lake on the undulating track. I had forgotten how many hills there are running that loop. I had extra music loaded on my ipod and I listened to it from one ear only so that I could be conscious of my beautiful surroundings and all the people out there. I actually really enjoyed the run although it was a bit of a shuffle at the start. I chatted to quite a few people on the way and I felt good, yes I actually felt good. I am sure I ran the second half quicker than the first. I only consumed one gu and my tummy felt fine which is definitely a plus for me so I'm not quite sure what I did differently. I guess it was just a good day and the cold weather must have suited me. My only problem was that for the entire run my left hamstring hurt and I was a bit worried I would really hurt it if I tried too hard so I decided to just enjoy the day which I did!
After the run I found Marilyn, Margaret, Caroline and heaps of running mates who had all run well. Although I only came 5th in my age group I was happy to have beaten my time by 2 minutes from the Weston Creek Half a couple of months previously. It was also very exciting to score a barrel draw prize and it was a beauty. I won a $25 Runners Shop Voucher (that may have to be a gift for someone else tee hee), a $40 massage voucher and a bottle of white wine. Woo hoo! How lucky am I!
Distance: 21.1km (plus 1km warm up)
Time taken: 2:05:47
Average pace per km: 5:56
Calories burned: 1226

I had some very exciting news on Saturday morning while at work. My youngest daughter rang me from Singapore. She had been flown there as a surprise and taken to one of the world's best restaurants to celebrate her tenth anniversary of going out with her boyfriend. She rang to say they are now engaged! Big excitement and we are delighted.

On Monday I showed up at speedygeese training at Parliament House. As it was the nearest Monday to my birthday I took a bottle of sparkling wine to share after our training so it was important I showed up. The session included pyramids along the straight grassy edge by Parliament House. I just ran gently for 7km but as my hamstring was tight and sore I definitely did not push myself!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Autumn is turning into Winter!

Brrrr - it's not getting any warmer in Canberra now. The pretty Autumn leaves are falling rapidly from the trees and the quicker we sweep them up the quicker they fall. It's a question of crunching through the leaves and remembering to remove shoes at the door. And it's so cold. The sun shines less brightly and we are lucky to have much warmth in it. We have had some rain and bitterly cold wind and cloudy overcast skies. It's not nearly as conducive to running in the cold evenings. Even taking Teddy for his daily walks requires a thick jacket and gloves. I haven't located my woolly beanie yet but that will be next.
I managed 4 x 1min 45seconds for my daily plank this morning. Next week I increase to 2minutes. It's definitely becoming harder!
Our speedygeese session was at Kaleen Oval tonight. Marg drove to my house and ran with me to the oval. Sadly CJ really hurt her hamstring on Tuesday evening and won't be running for some time. The girls well and truly outnunbered the boys tonight. There was Janene, Kelley, Miranda, Maria (who turned up a little late and ran long timed sprints), Margaret, Me, Susan, Rod and speedygeoff braving the cold.
We ran 1200m loops and some shortcuts crossing the ovals in the middle. Marg and I basically took it easy. She had already run 11km today and I was more interested in the distance than the speed. It was good to have company or I would have struggled at the idea of braving the cold weather!
Total distance: 8km

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday at Dickson

Today was cold. The sun was shining for most of the day which provided a little warmth but as the afternoon went on it became colder and by the time we started our warm up at Dickson Oval it felt bitterly cold. I wore gloves, running beanie, 3/4 tights, t-shirt, long sleeved top and spray jacket. Only the top layer came off during the course of the session but I definitely warmed up. The wind dropped and the bitterly cold air seemed to diminish somewhat.
There were 9 of us tonight plus our fearless leader - Marg, Kelley, Cathy, Miranda, me, Colin, Rod, Roden, Mick and speedygeoff. Parts of the oval were soggy from the rain we had experienced last night but most of it was spongy and very runnable. We ran a couple of warm up loops before starting our main set.Three of us were given batons and three started at a point 100m away on the flat. The goal was to run as fast as possible to pass the baton to the first person at the other end who would then run back and pass it to the next person etc. We repeated this for 15 minutes and then we ran zigzags up and down the hilly bank for 5 minutes before repeating the relay but this time for 10 minutes.
It was certainly tough to keep sprinting short sharp bursts and unfortunately poor CJ pulled her hamstring in the final 100m. She had to leave before the warm down to go home and ice her leg. Fingers crossed it will feel better tomorrow as she has entered the half marathon on Sunday - not good timing at all. Not that pulling a hamstring is ever good timing. That is definitely the danger with 100m sprints!
Total distance: 7km

Monday, May 13, 2013

We frightened off the rain!

I am now into week 4 of my 'plank a day' program and this morning's plank was 1min 45secs. This morning I went for a swim at the local pool and managed 1km very slightly faster than last week. Then I enjoyed a relaxing spa and "enjoy" is definitely the word as, while in that soothing water, I was suddently invaded by ten very healthy, fit young men (footy players would be my guess) who had been instructed by their coach to have a spa. There was no way I was emerging from that water while they were there and certainly no way I was going to walk up the steps in front of them to get out of the spa so I waited until their coach told them they had to leave before I emerged. Phew - enough excitement for one morning! It required a quick coffee after my shower so that I could continue my day.

Today it rained. Lately this is an unusual sight in Canberra and as a consequence the garden is very dry and will benefit hugely from the lovely downpour. I did manage to give Teddy his walk when it eased off at one stage. However, as I drove to the Speedygeese session at Parliament House it began to rain quite heavily and I was worried we might be running in the underground carpark. There were only eight of us brave souls including our speedychief. In fact we had equal numbers of male and females. We decided to risk a warm up loop wrapped up in appropriate rainwear and see if it was possible to do our session outside. As we approached Parliament House after one loop the rain had eased and by the time we headed out for our next loop it had stopped completely. Fantastic! We had scared the rain away just in time for the main part of our session. SG led us to the hill in front of PH and here we had to run 20 x 100m hill repeats on 90seconds. It was tough of course and our shoes were soggy but I'm sure these hills are doing me some good!!
We ran a cool down loop back to our cars and the rain continued to hold off. How lucky!
Total distance: 8km

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Classic Mothers' Day

Mr B and I both ran the 10km run in the Mothers' Day Classic this morning. CJ, Marg and I had entered as part of Team MamaMoves and were given a pretty pink t-shirt to wear in the event. I have never run in this event before and couldn't believe the huge turnout. 
It was a really foggy day and there was an eerie mist covering the lake as we lined up for the start. Us girls started in the middle of the pack which is something we would not do again. It was indeed a mistake as we were barely shuffling for a few kilometres. In fact because of the fog we were instructed to stay on the overbridge over Kings Avenue. This bridge is very narrow and squeezing over a thousand people into a narrow space is not an easy ask. There was definitely no way we could move in anything more than a jog for quite some time.
However, in spite of a very slow start it was fun and a great event bringing out so many people to run for their mums or people who had been touched by breast cancer in some way. There were three events - a 10km run, 5km run and a 5km walk so lots of volunteers were out there helping on the course.
Mr B ran a PB of 45mins 27secs and came first in his age group - a fantastic result.  He had the commonsense to start nearer the front and didn't have the problem with congestion over the bridge.
After we had finished we managed to watch Lucky Legs run along the finish line of he 5km run. She never fails to impress me with her determination and endurance at 83 plus. Unfortunately we couldn't stay talking for long as it was time to rush home for a shower and drive to Bungendore to meet our son and family for a delicious Mothers' Day brunch at the woodworks. Later we walked round looking at all the shops. It was such fun.
Veggie Benne (poached eggs, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes and benedict sauce - yummo)
I was very spoilt for mothers' day. My children know their mum well! Flowers, a running singlet, gorgeous cards, delicious food and itunes vouchers. I am indeed truly blessed.
Total distance: 10km
Time taken: 59:46
Overall place: 782 (1322 finishers)
Place in age group: 7th female (22 finishers)
Later I took Teddy for a lovely walk while Mr B cooked dinner and my youngest daughter chatted to me on Skype!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Parkrun on a gorgeous Autumn Day

This is the first time I haven't run to the start of the Parkrun from home. Instead Mr B and I drove there and I only ran about 300m before the start of the run, hardly a warm up at that crisp time of day. However, it was great to be there and the sun was soon beautiful and we warmed up quickly. Deek and his female indigenous group were there as helpers today. They are running the Mothers' Day Classic tomorrow as are we and will also soon be training to run the New York marathon later this year! Maybe we'll see them there. 
CJ and I had been promised a coffee at the end of the run by our good friend Gary because we finished the Canberra Marathon and this was our first opportunity to get together. Of course this was lovely to look forward to and we were joined by Marg and Mr B at the Birrigai Cafe. It was a very pleasant way to spend a relaxing time with great friends. Thank you Gary!
I didn't run the Parkrun as fast as usual. It felt ok but I was holding back a little as we are running in the MD Classic 10km run tomorrow. At least that was my excuse for not running as well this week!
Total distance: 5km
Time taken: 28:17 (PB 27:50)
Place overall: 72nd (110 finishers)
Place in age group: 1st (probably the only one)
Later Mr B and I took Teddy for a long walk while I was delivering Avon. It was yet another stunning Autumn day. 
In the mail yesterday I received a parcel from my newly married daughter for Mothers' Day tomorrow. I have restrained myself and will open it in the morning. And today I was delivered a gorgeous bunch of flowers from the other daughter. Yay I love being spoilt. 
Tomorrow after the run we are going for brunch with our Canberra family. Woo hoo! What a fun weekend.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

A New Session with the speedygeese at Kaleen Oval

I started the day with 4 planks of 90seconds each. Then off to work until 2pm and on the way home I detoured to deliver Avon. Later I changed into running gear for our next speedygeese training session. This time we trained at Kaleen Oval which is only 800m from my house. Marg parked her car at my place and we ran to meet the others at the oval. It was great to see Yelena, Susan and Janene there. The best part of our SG sessions is all the lovely people who train.
The oval was well lit and there were just a few young soccer players practising in the middle of the field. We ran round the perimeter of the oval a couple of times and then our main set was doing just that. It was a distance of 1200m and we ran firstly in an anti-clockwise direction with a short cool down before running in a clockwise direction, another short cool down and then ran back in the other direction. The 1200m were the fast ones (or faster at least). Then we ran a few 100m strides before our cool down 1200m loop. Then we had a pleasant chat and some stretches before everyone went home in their various directions. Marg and I ran home rounding up the distance for the run.
Total distance: 9km

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Speedygeese at Dickson Oval with lots of buddies

It was lovely to find so many running buddies at Dickson Oval for our speedygeese session last night. There was Maria (who had run the early long run and was just about to leave when I arrived), Kelley, Kym, Margaret, Miranda and CJ all there to run the session which made it extra good especially as we outnumbered the boys! We ran a long and short warm up loop of the oval before running a timed 2 laps in the 4th lane making a total of 850m for each loop. We then ran 6 x 850m off our handicap, jogging inbetween and starting every 6 minutes. It was a good session and the lungs certainly got a work out!
We finished with a cool down jog of the large oval.
Total distance: 8km
Today (Wednesday) I am up to 3 x 90secs for my planks. I did them before heading for work this morning. When I arrived home from work the sun was still shining and I took Teddy for a run on the trails of North Lyneham ridge. He loves it there as it's dusty, undulating and he can run off lead. My legs felt a bit heavy after last night's session but I managed to run through it at a slow pace.
Total distance: 6km hilly

Monday, May 06, 2013

Hill Repeats at Parliament House

Today was a good day. I started it with a swim at CISAC. Now I haven't swum in the pool for months and was surprised that I managed to swim 1km comfortably albeit slowly but "slow" is my middle name so not a problem. I will improve with practice!
Later after a great walk with Teddy in the sunshine it was time to head for the speedygeese session at Parliament House. It was a good turnout with more girls than boys for once. We ran a warm up loop around the trails by Parliament House before heading for one of the grassy hills. Uh oh, we all knew what that meant. Sure enough the main session was hill repeats - 20 of them in fact on 90secs. It was tough but I managed to run every one. It was good that Marilyn, Kerrie, Yelena and Rae were there as well as all the regulars. That's what makes these sessions fun - all the lovely people who go.
Total distance: 8km

Sunday, May 05, 2013

A Wedding in the Family

The happy couple

Son Peter and his lovely wife Jo at little sister's wedding
Last weekend we celebrated the marriage of our eldest daughter and her lovely man in Sydney. It was a very small ceremony set by the beach at Watsons Bay - just a few close friends and direct family - less than two dozen of us and a perfect day.
Mr B and I drove to Sydney in his new Alfa on Anzac Day and stayed with our youngest daughter. Next morning she joined me for a short run. That's the very first time we have ever run together as Em has only recently taken up running so that was a very special time and lots of fun.
On Sunday after all the excitement had died down Mr B and I drove out to the beach and managed to fit in an awesome swim before heading off for a family barbeque at the new bride's apartment. The weather for the entire weekend was stunning  It was really special family time.
Proud parents of the bride and groom
Cutting the cute cake!
Proud dad
Little sister Em and her partner

On Monday it was back to speedygeese training where we ran relay team diagonals on the lawns in front of Parliament House. Next day I worked late and was unable to go to SG training at Dickson but managed to run on Wednesday off road with Teddy for 11km after work,
On Thursday  I went to a new session which speedychief is holding at the Uni of Canberra's oval. The aim of this was to run with the triathlon group, the Bilbys, and to share their lights. However Miranda and I arrived at the same time and when we finally found our SG friends they were running in the dark. No Bilbys turned up and our SG group eventually ran around the perimeter of the lit up soccer field which was being used for training at the same time. We ran a warm up and then ran 3 fast laps followed by 1 slow lap and did this 3 times. It was difficult as I was conscious all the time of avoiding the soccer ball and watching the rough ground underneath. I think there may be a change of venue next week.
Friday was Body Balance and a rest from running before a long run next day.
On Saturday I incorporated the Ginninderra Parkrun with a longer run. I ran 5km from home to the start, ran the 5km Parkrun catching up with lots of friends before and afterwards and then ran the rest of the lake with CJ (a great opportunity for a chat) before heading home.
Total distance: 20km
Time taken for 5km Parkrun: 27:57 (7seconds outside my PB - grrr)
Age percentage: 70.42%
It was a great day for a run although at 8am it was still cool and there was a bit of head wind at one stage which was annoying. I do hope to improve that time eventually. 
This morning, Sunday, I just took Teddy for another trail run on the hills on North Lyneham ridge - only 8km this time but Teddy is no longer a lovely clean dog after rolling happily on his back on the dusty trails! Later Mr B and I went for a little drive out to the country for a delightful lunch in the sunshine. I really am enjoying this pleasant Autumn weather.
In the past couple of weeks I have been following a program called "plankaday". This starts with anything from Level 1 (15seconds) to Level 4 (60seconds) and progresses by 15seconds per plank each week. In Week 1 Monday I started at Level 4 and did one plank of 60secs. On Tuesday this increased to 2 x 60secs, Wednesday was 3 x 60secs, Thursday 4 x 60secs then Friday reduced to 3 x 60secs, Saturday 2 x 60secs and Sunday back to 1 x 60secs. In Week 2 the same program except the time was increased by 15secs to 75seconds per plank. 
Tomorrow I start Week 3 which is 90seconds per plank (1minute 30seconds). I imagine by Day 4 (Thursday) that will feel quite tough. The break in between each plank can be anything up to 5 minutes although so far the most rest between has been 1 minute. We shall see. One thing is certain though; it is helping me feel my abs!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Speedygeese at Dickson Oval - a first for me this season.

I seem to have recovered quickly from any after effects of the marathon. I went on a gentle run on Wednesday of just 24mins and on Thursday had a recovery massage before running another gentle run on Friday for 25mins with Teddy. On Saturday I was on duty at the Parkrun and it was great to be able to cheer on so many people I knew. CJ was on roster too so after the run we headed for coffee to join our friends. It was fun on a very cold windy morning. It would have been hard to run a PB in that wind.
On Sunday I headed from home for a slightly longer run but still at a very slow pace. I felt a bit sluggish as it was first run of any distance. The first half was really slow but I felt better after that 5km was done.
Total distance: 10.12km
Autumn colours on one of my runs
This afternoon I returned to my first speedygeese session since the marathon. It was the Tuesday session at Dickson Oval - another first for me this season. There had been a few early starters who left before the main session but Miranda stayed to run a few warm up loops of the oval with us before only four of us (Clint, Colin, Susan and I) ran a pyramid session like an 'M' ie we ran 200m fast/200m slow, 300m fast/slow, 400m fast/slow, 300m fast/slow, 200m fast/slow and then back up and down again the same way. That was 5km or 30mins of pyramids. Those 400m sprints were the hardest but the thought that the distance would reduce in the next one kept me going. Colin outsprinted everyone but I ran my best and didn't feel too bad. It was a cool evening but there was no wind and we had lights as the Bilbys were out there training in large numbers so it was all good!
Total distance: 9.2km

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Canberra Marathon Number 12

Post marathon dinner with friends at Ellacure

Pre-marathon tweet up with friends from interstate and locally
In the final stretch
Canberra Marathon
With  Mr B (who ran the Half) and our son Peter after his first marathon

Mr B's brand new Alfa Giulietta
Another Canberra Marathon has come and gone. It was my slowest time yet and the last few kms were very slow and painful but I finished with the encouragement and support of very good friends on the way.
The weather on Sunday was perfect. Early in the morning it was cool and crisp and it warmed up gradually to a very pleasant morning. There were thousands of starters as the half marathon and marathon runners all started from the same place at the same time. Of course this meant there were also lots of familiar faces. For the first 4km I ran and chatted to CJ and it was great. As we reached the slight rise towards Parliament House she ran ahead and I listened to my music with only one earplug as I wanted to be aware of the all the interesting conversations going on around me. 
At one stage Jen, Kerry and her dog came running along near me to give me encouragement and it was great to have their company. I felt fine until my stomach started to feel a bit strange at about the 30km mark. I tried to have a drink at every drink station but did find the water at a few of the stations tasted disgusting. I'm not sure why as at other times the water tasted fine. I wanted to keep hydrated but could only take small sips as it really made my stomach feel worse. 
I was really struggling when there was about 6km left to run and it was great to see speedygeoff and Ewen out there to keep me going. I have never been more glad and relieved to see the finish line. I truly thought I might not make it. Maria and Charley were so lovely when I really felt quite ill at the finish. They made sure I was ok before leaving. So many people kept me going and made it all worth it.
Soon after I crossed the line I spotted my son who had completed his very first marathon in 4:08. He had been in pain for the last 10km with plantar fasciitis. However, he too was very happy to finish and I felt so proud of him. There's nothing quite like the feeling of finishing your very first marathon. 
Mr B finished the half marathon in 99:06 finally reaching his goal of beating 100mins. Later that evening, after a relaxing bath in our brand new bathroom we had a lovely dinner in a restaurant with very good friends celebrating birthdays and a big day out and discussing plans for our next big event in New York City!

Total distance: 42.2km
Time taken: 4:31:11
Average pace per km: 6:25
Calories burned: 2443

Postscript: Since I wrote this we have heard the devastating news of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. It is such a sad, senseless and tragic thing to happen. My heart goes out to all those poor people who took part in the marathon and the supporters and spectators. What an abhorrent act!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Carbo loading with two sleeps to go!

I had a morning shift at work this morning so decided to do my short run early. I left the house by 6.30am and ran from home. It felt really pleasant even at that hour and as daylight saving has finished for now it was light outside. In fact I wore sunglasses and a sleeveless top.
Total distance: 6.1km
Time taken: 38:29
Average pace per km: 6:18
Calories burned: 359
That is my last run before the Canberra Marathon on Sunday. There's nothing more I can do so I will just hope for good weather, no wind, an injury free run and a good day out! 
Later in the afternoon Mr B drove me out to Telopea Park in his brand new bright red Alfa Giulietta which he picked up this morning. It is fabulous! The expo hadn't started but I did meet up with Liz and we walked to Manuka for a great coffee and chat before I met up with Mr B who had been doing the supermarket shopping - lovely man. We drove into Woden and ended up eating a 'healthy' burger for dinner - carbo loading indeed!
I now feel very full of water, gatorade and lots of white starchy carbs which I have been consuming throughout the day. I hope to burn a few off on Sunday!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Tempo Run at BBQ Stakes on a stunning Autumn Day

Today was a stunner. It was cool and foggy early as I drove into the city to meet up with Liz and CJ for a very pleasant breakfast. It was such a lovely catch up. Later in the morning I headed out to run in the BBQ Stakes handicap run in Woden. By this time it had reached 25deg and felt very warm indeed in the gorgeous sunshine. I had only managed to run 800m before the race and then I accidentally started in the wrong group which means my place won't be counted anyway. However I expect I will find out my official time eventually. My calculations indicate it was almost the same time as last week.
I forgot to take my garmin today, one of the problems of packing your bag the night before a run, trying to remember everything. At least I wasn't as bad as Jen who had to whizz to Rebel and buy a crop top before she could run, having forgotten to pack it in her bag!
After the run I ran a warm down of 3.3km with Gary (for half of it), Helen and Jen. This gave me a total distance of 10km which is what I needed.
After the run Jen and I headed to one of our favourite cafes for a light lunch and coffee. Then it was home to bring in the washing and take Teddy for a very enjoyable walk on a very balmy evening. Part of our walk was on trails which meant Teddy could run freely without his lead and he does enjoy that so much. It was a good day.
On the bathroom front, the plumber came today and installed the vanity unit, taps, towel rail, hooks and toilet. It's definitely starting to take shape. Tomorrow I think the man is coming to resurface the bath.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Massage Time

This morning I took Teddy with me for my run as it was only a short easy run scheduled. I decided not to go to Speedygeese training in the evening as I had a massage in the morning and wanted to make the most of it. 
Teddy and I ran from home to the oval and here I let him off the lead so that he could run and have fun. I did end up with wet grassy shoes though. We ran on past the shops before returning home.
Total distance: 6.3km
Time taken: 41mins
Average pace per km: 6:30
Calories burned: 348
The massage was great. He managed to find all the sore bits which I didn't know I had and ease out the pain.
Today the plasterer came and fixed the cornices in the ceiling and patched up a few holes. The bathroom is progressing.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Parkrun Number 3

Gindy Parkrun today

This morning I rose very early yet again in order to fit in my longish run before starting work for the day. Today's long run was my last before the marathon next weekend and of course was a taper run so much shorter than usaul. I ran down to the lake from home at 7.10am and found Marg and CJ at the start of the Parkrun which I had decided to incorporate in my run. Conditions were perfect; it was cool but the sun was starting to shine and there was no wind. The mist was swirling over the lake making it quite eerie and picturesque. 
After the Parkrun I ran the 5km back home again before showering and heading off to The Runners' Shop for work. My goodness, I now know what it is like to work there on a Saturday. It was really busy today. I think everybody is stocking up on shoes and guus for the Canberra Running Festival next weekend and the Canberra Running Club's half marathon a few weeks later.
Distance of Parkrun: 5km
Time taken: 27:50 (32sec PB)
Average pace per km: 5:35
Age percentage: 70.72%
Total distance of run including warm up and cool down: 15km

Thursday, April 04, 2013

An "Easy" run with Teddy!

This afternoon after work I decided to incorporate Teddy's outing with my run as I only had an 8km easy run scheduled. I use the word "easy" loosely. It was actually anything but easy to keep an excitable dog focussed on the track ahead.
Teddy  wanted to check out the lamp posts, trees and every passing dog and would suddenly pull across my path when he spotted something of interest. This is a bit disconcerting when trying to stay upright and run in a straight line! However we managed to get into a reasonable rhythm eventually and completed the required distance without too much drama. It turned out to be a bit slow due to a few doggy detours!
Total distance: 8km
Time taken: 51:32
Average pace per km: 6:26
Calories burned: 456
Tomorrow I have a rest day scheduled (at least from running)! Unfortunately I will miss out on Body Balance as I'm working in the morning. I'm looking forward to meeting a friend for coffee after my shift.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Tempo Time with less than two weeks to go!

And so it was! Work until 2pm, followed by collection of Avon orders, followed by a chat to the tiler after admiring his handiwork (the wall tiles are looking great), followed by changing into running clothes and heading off for a run. I followed the cycle track from home and headed towards Gungahlin for 5.5km before returning. I ran a warm up for 2km before picking up the pace and running a tempo run for 8km and a warm down for 1km. 
The temperature was cool to start (our top temperature was only 17deg today) but the sun was out and I warmed up fairly quickly.
Total distance: 11km
Total time taken: 1:06:50
Average pace per km: 6:04
Best pace at the 10km mark: 5:42
Calories burned: 642
And after all that I quickly changed into something much warmer and took Teddy for a walk until the sun was too low in the sky and I headed home to hang out washing and cook some dinner.
I'm not sure about all this working business. It doesn't leave many spare hours in the day and as Mr B is doing a 3 month stint working too I don't have a magic fairy to make the housework disappear!
Tomorrow morning the carpenter comes followed by the electrician so there should be even more progress on the bathroom when I arrive home from work tomorrow afternoon before my next run.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A Stunning Autumn Day in Canberra

I ran a short run this morning as per my schedule. It was just a run from home and out towards Gungahlin turning at the 4km point and heading home again. I ran slowly but the conditions were ideal - a gorgeous Autumn day. It was very fresh but the sky was gradually becoming bluer and by the time I was on my last few kms the sun was bright in the sky. I love mornings like this.
Total distance: 8km
Then it was off to work after a quick chat with the bathroom tiler. The bathroom is progressing and looking good. By the time I arrived home from work in the evening the floor tiles had been laid.

Tomorrow morning and in fact every morning this week I am working until 2pm so it looks like afternoon runs may need to happen. The forecast for tomorrow is also for much cooler temperatures than we have been having.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Easter Weekend

This has been quite a weekend! On Good Friday I spent the day volunteering at the Australian Masters Athletics Championships at the AIS track. In the morning this meant lapscoring for the 10,000m events for all age groups. It was very exciting and some amazing times were achieved. This took most of the morning and then Margaret and I headed for the lower track where we assisted with the discus and later returned to the East field of the track where we assisted with the javelin throwing. It was a busy but fun day and we witnessed some very exciting records and PBs inbetween our duties.
Caroline wins Gold in W70 10,000m
Kelley Silver and Debbie Gold in W50 10,000m

Sue Archer wins Gold in W60 10,000m
Thea wins Gold in W30 10,000m

I only managed to take a few photos before duty called but it was great to have the opportunity to see a few presentations. Everyone was so happy with their great results.

On Saturday morning I ran from home to Lake Ginninderra and managed to incorporate the Parkrun into my long run. This was my first taper run so obviously the distance was much less than the previous Saturday. I managed to beat my last time for this run by 34 seconds and was placed 53rd (17th woman) in a field of 74 winning my age group which probably meant I was the only one in it lol! 
My time for the 5km was 28.22 which was an average pace of 5:40 per km.
I continued my run with CJ for company for the next few kms before running back home to make a total of 22.3km for the day.
Later I delivered Avon and had a great coffee and lunch with CJ and Mr B at one of our favourite cafes.

On Sunday it was back to the track for more lap scoring, this time at the 5000m events. In the first race I had three people to lapscore for and that makes for a lot of concentration as we don't choose our competitors and are often given people we don't know, from interstate. The first time they run past us we are all seeking out our people, checking their numbers and colours and ensuring we recognise them as they pass us next time. I was lucky when it came to the women as I was able to lapscore for Kathy and that made it very exciting.
Being Easter Sunday we had our Canberra part of the family over for dinner and a little Easter egg hunt for the grandchildren later in the day. As we are currently having bathroom renovations done there is a lot of dust and debris about so a fair bit of cleaning was involved before our guests arrived for roast lamb and chocolate dessert followed by Easter eggs!

Today I headed out for an easy 10km run. The first half was anything but easy. Whether it was an overload of chocolate I'm not sure but my legs felt heavy and I felt very sluggish. However, I ran past the AIS and down towards the city before returning and felt a lot better on the return trip. Later in the day I took Teddy for an undulating 7km walk. Maybe tomorrow I will be able to eat more cleanly as the chocolate has finally been consumed! I will be working the afternoon shift so a morning run will be a necessity and just a short run is scheduled.

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Very Brief Overview of the past few weeks!

Team MamaMoves after Women's and Girls Fun Run CJ and strewth top right and Marg kneeling in front of us.
Coffee after the Parkrun with Ewen, CJ, Norma and Marg

A curious goose in Centennial Park
I have started this blog several times and deleted many drafts. The time has come to return to frequent blog updates. It has been such a busy few weeks with trips to Sydney to see Ronan Keating (fantastic) and to Wollongong for an Olympic distance triathlon for Mr B where he scored a bronze medal. Mr B also scored a Bronze at the Olympic distance tri at Mooloolaba in Queensland.
More recently we returned to Sydney to see Bruce Springsteen (The Boss) and that has to be one of the best concerts we have ever seen. He sang non-stop for over 3 hours and really played to the audience with his amazing personality.
While in Sydney I ran several times to and round Centennial Park for enough laps to complete 18km each time. The Canberra Marathon is now only two weeks away and my final really long run before the marathon was last Saturday when I ran 36km with CJ keeping me company for 26km. Company makes such a difference and of course the coffee afterwards with Ewen, CJ and Mr CJ made it all worthwhile. 
Currently we are having our bathroom renovated and there has been a lot of time spent selecting tiles, vanity, taps, colours etc. Mr B returned to work on Monday for four days a week. Life is definitely busy and full.
This weekend Canberra is hosting the Australian Masters Athletics Championships. We had stunning conditions for Day 1 today. I was out there from 7.45am until nearly 5pm volunteering. It was surprisingly exhausting but great to be able to give something back to all those inspiring athletes. I will be back there on Sunday but tomorrow I have my first taper run of 20km and will include the Parkrun for a bit of a tempo run. I also have Avon to deliver!