Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Back to Back Running

It was quite difficult to drag myself out of bed at 6am and go for a run before our grandchildren arrived for the day. I was surprised that I actually didn't feel too bad after last night's undulating run. I ran to and round Lake Ginninderra stopping briefly for a chat with Roger A who was about to walk round the lake as I reached it. I didn't have to stop for any nature breaks and could run the entire way just listening to music and drifting into my own space. The temperature at that time of day was very pleasant although I still managed to arrive home dripping wet! It was a good way to start the day.
Total distance: 15km
Time taken: 1:43
Average pace per km: 6:54
Calories burned:879

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

YMCA Canberra Runners Club Summer Series Starts

This evening, after a fun day with the grandchildren,  Mr B and I drove to Stromlo Forest Park for the first of the YCRC summer series. This is a 5km run in various spots around Canberra. The first and last one of the season is usually at Stromlo. Tonight the grass was spongy and felt quite good. I was expecting potholes and puddles but the surface was beautiful. I'm not used to running on grass but I found it surprisingly pleasant - pity I can't pick up speed. There was a bit of wind but we were lucky with the weather. It would have been good to have had some light rain but that occurred about an hour earlier and the sun was out again by the time we ran. Fortunately it wasn't too hot at 27deg as it's very exposed at Stromlo and can be quite unpleasant when it's too hot.

The course today was two 2.5km undulating loops. I arrived in time to run one of the loops for a warm up plus an extra 500m. After the event I ran a gently 1km cool down with Cathy.

Total distance for race: 5km
Time taken: 29:35
Average pace per km: 5:53
Calories burned: 291
Total distance including warm up and cool down: 9km

It was great to catch up with Janene, speedygeoff and Cathy and to see lots of other running friends out there. That's the best part of running events - the social interaction:)

Monday, January 28, 2013

New York! New York!

It was a cloudy overcast day today but the humidity was high. Even my walk with Teddy felt very humid. I enjoyed a lovely coffee in the late morning with good friend Cathy and discussed our forthcoming adventure for today we booked our flights for New York at the end of October in time for the marathon on 4 November. There's no going back now! It is very exciting.

I arrived at speedygeese this evening about 10 minutes early which allowed me just enough time to run a 1.6km loop of Parliament House before the start of the session.

We all ran another loop incorporating the inner trails before jogging to the start of our main session which was held near the tennis courts by the oval. We firstly ran a 600m very undulating loop to test the course and after that we ran the same 600m another 5 times each time on 6 minutes which gave enough time to jog inbetween until speedycoach blew the whistle to run fast again. On the last loop we started at the bottom of two hills just to add a bit more of a challenge in case we needed it!

It was a perfect evening for running. There was a gentle light rain for the entire session and it was really refreshing and pleasant after the humidity before the rain started. We warmed down with another 'in and out' loop around PH.
Total distance: 10km

Sunday, January 27, 2013

First Monthly Handicap for 2013

 I haven't yet christened my new running shoes. Today I wore my trusty old Asics as I knew there would be mud and puddles involved! 

New Adidas running shoes
When I drove from home I noticed lots of damage from the violent storm last night. In fact I had to detour as the road I had intended to take was blocked due to debris.

The Vets' Monthly Handicap run was held at Aranda Bushland and the longer run was only 6km. However it was quite tough in that there were lots of undulations and the surface was a bit rough and very uneven and I had to watch my footing all the time so that I didn't face plant! Although there was cloud cover it was still very muggy, sticky weather. The run was 3km out and back on really pretty trails. I enjoyed it in spite of running with caution and splashing through muddy sloshy puddles. There were so many familiar faces and friends I only see once a month, in this case since November as we don't have a handicap run in December. Unfortunately I was unable to linger after the run as I wanted to say goodbye to my daughter before she and her fiance returned to Sydney this morning.
Total distance: 7km (including 1km warm up)
Time taken:  38:13 (for 6km)
Average pace per km: 6:22

Mr B competed in a national championship sprint triathlon early this morning.He came 4th in his age group this time but it was a very competitive field and he certainly appears to have gained enough points to qualify for the London triathlon world championships in September.

Later in the afternoon Mr B and I went to a friend's housewarming party to catch up with more friends we don't see  often. It was lovely.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Shorter Pull-Back Week!

On Thursday evening I went to track but in the 35degree heat I did NOT take part in the 3000m although Mr B ran very well in it as did all the other amazing entrants - far too hot for me at that time. Instead I jogged around the outside of the track inbetween events. At 6.30pm I took part in the 1500m WALK. That was quite hot enough.
Total distance of walk: 1500m
Time taken: 10:27
Average pace per km: 7:10
The only other event I entered on this hot night was the 5 lap spiral which took place just after 8pm. I finished about 2nd last as my handicap is still too high.
Total distance: 2:02
Time taken: 11:49
Average pace per km: 5:51
Although the sun had gone down I still found it hot at that time of night. I don't seem to have any "get up and go" in my legs at all lately!

This morning (Saturday) I only had an 11km easy  run scheduled, a bit different from running 30km last week. However I did round it up by a km as I prefer even numbers! I left home before 7am and ran past Giralang on through the tunnel along Gundaroo Drive and to Crace before turning and running home. There was cloud cover but it was extremely muggy and I was dripping by the time I arrived home and it had nothing to do with speed! Later this afternoon however Teddy and I were caught in the rain and had to make a quick unexpected run home before becoming too soaked!
Total distance of morning run: 12km
Time taken: 1:23
Average pace per km: 6:56
Calories burned: 713
Tonight we had an unexpected thunderstorm and an absolute deluge of much needed rain. It could be a soggy triathlon for Mr B in the early hours of tomorrow and a very soggy bush run for the Veterans Athletics Monthly Handicap!
I took a trip out to the Runners' Shop this afternoon and bought some new running shoes which I won't be testing tomorrow in the mud. I found an Adidas pair the most comfortable as Asics appears to  have changed the shape of my favourite DS Trainers and they felt a bit snug. It will be quite strange running in a different brand for the first time in years.
I also collected my uniform as next Friday I am starting work there in a casual position. Woo hoo, I feel quite excited!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Short Mid-week Run

I started the day with a short run under cloud cover but it still felt very humid. I arrived home just in time to have a shower and be ready for the grandchildren as Mr B had left for his morning bike ride by then.  I just ran from home along the cycle path through Giralang and down through the tunnel and on the road towards Gungahlin turning at the 5km point and returning home.
Total distance: 10km
Calories burned: 555
Later in the day we took the children to Weston Park and they had a train ride and fun at the park. We were really seeking the Maze but apparently that closed six years ago. Oops, it's obviously been a while since we visited!
Weston Park

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Gentle Lake Run and Swim

This morning I met my Tuesday group friend Marilyn at Black Mountain Peninsula at 8am to run round the West Basin of the lake with her before it became too hot. I also had babysitting duties at home so was unable to stay for cake and champagne afterwards. Our run was very social and pleasant and deifnitely gentle. However although the temperature was only in the early 20s at that stage it still felt very humid and we stopped at every single drinking fountain. We were both dripping by the time we had run the lake. It was just that sort of day. We saw a few of our fellow Tuesday groupers and cyclists during the run, obviously with the same idea of avoiding the intense heat of the day.
Total distance: 16km
Time taken: 1:52:34
Average pace per km: 7:02
Calories burned: 909
It felt quite hard after last night's speedygeese session but we were both happy to run slowly this morning. 
Later we took the grandchildren to the pool where they had lots of fun on the waterslide and Mr B and I alternated in swimming while the other supervised.
Total distance swiim: 1km

Monday, January 21, 2013

Lizard Spotting and Speedygeese Relays

It was another scorcher in the nation's capital today. This afternoon we took our grandchildren to the Botanical Gardens to do some lizard spotting. It was lovely in the rainforest and walking through the shady forest with tiny streams below us and little wooden bridges to cross. What is more we saw lots of lizards and some quite big ones! I'm not sure who was more excited, the children or me!
A large lizard in the Botanical Gardens

This evening it was back to the speedygeese session at Parliament House. I managed to squeeze in 1km before the start of the session joining Speedygeoff as he was finishing a much longer early run. Tonight after our warm up loop of PH (and as it was still 35deg it certainly was warm) we were divided into teams for relays on the lower grassy hill below PH. The top half was blocked off in preparation for the Australian Day concert in the weekend.

I was put in a group of four and had to run the uphill straights every time inbetween running across the top short straight and down the hill diagonally and across the bottom straight in a zigzag to be tagged by my next team member (Cookie) who was running really fast so I couldn't have too much rest! It was very hot and hard work running the uphills but at least they were reasonably short. We had to repeat this for 24minutes and this was followed by a cool down which felt almost toughest of all.
Total distance: 9km (including warm up)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Twelve Weeks to Canberra Marathon

I just gave myself a fright by checking and double checking the calendar and my training schedule and realising it is only 12 weeks until the Canberra Marathon. That seems to be creeping up so fast and I have so much improvement to make before then.

This morning (Saturday) I set my alarm for 4.45am and after a few hours sleep ate a couple of pieces of white toast, honey and a banana. I haven't had that brekkie since last year's training but it seemed to work as I only had one loo stop this morning which is very unusual for me!!

I ran out the door at 6.40am when the temperature was pleasantly cool. I used my new yurbud earphones which I love. The only problem I have now is that I need to download lots more music. Twenty songs over and over becomes a little repetitive after all that running!

I ran via Lyneham and the cycle track into the city, past the Uni and on to Lake Burley Griffin waving to Lucia running in the opposite direction on the way. By the time I reached the ferry terminal I had only run 8km. There I turned left and headed for the wetlands spotting the cutest little bunnies on the way. One seemed quite brave and I'm sure I could have taken a photo but I didn't want to linger so I just kept running past Molonglo Reach and through the wetlands to Kingston. I haven't run that way for a long time and there's so much concrete now. The little wooden bridge has been rebuilt in concrete and there is a concrete pathway all through the wetlands. It's great for cyclists but I think it has been spoilt a little for runners as the trails were so lovely. The surroundings are still very pretty though. 

When I reached Kingston I had a momentary panic as the road I wanted had been blocked off and I had no idea how to return to the lake. Just when I was starting to phone a friend, I spotted two familiar runners heading towards me (friends from triathlon days) and I ran with them until they turned off and I was once more on familiar territory. At that stage speedygeoff, Ewen and Andy went running past and I kept them vaguely in my sight as I continued my run round the lake and back to the ferry terminal. Speedygeoff ran back to meet me and ran the last few metres with me and we met the others near the ferry terminal. Here Andy ran a few kms with me as I continued on past the museum and on towards Black Mountain to gain more kms. He turned a couple of kms before me and I finished back at the ferry terminal when I had completed my required distance. Oh boy was I ready to stop! 

Total distance: 30km
Time taken: 3:23:58
Average pace per km: 6:48
Calories burned: 1756

Andy, Ewen and I next headed for Urban Foods for a coffee, a snack and a good catch up.

I'm slower even than last year but I guess that's because I had such a long break with illness inbetween runs. I may never pick up that speed again but I will persevere. The endurance seems to still be there and at this stage the main goal is to be able to finish the Canberra Marathon and then I may concentrate on speed before training again for the New York Marathon in November. I have to remember where I was a few months ago and think positive!

I had a craving for a spider (coke with icecream) so later at home that's exactly what I made myself. It was sooooo good! During the course of the evening I am quite certain I refueled my body with all the calories I had burned in my run! I will say that this long run felt a lot better than last week and that was probably related to the fact that the temperature was a lot more pleasant for running. I was so lucky that it cooled off for my long run as next week it's back up to the 30s again.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Track running to keep me honest

First thing in the morning I took Teddy for a brisk 5km walk to start the day before driving him to the groomers which had moved location and is no longer in walking distance. He looks and smells such a lovely clean dog now although that won't last long when there's so much world to explore!

In the early evening I headed for AIS track. I didn't compete in the 3000m at 6.15pm as it was still 34deg and the sun was burning down on the exposed track. Instead after a short warm up jog I took part in the handicapped 3000m walk. I am a fitness walker and wear a yellow number to distinguish me from the race walkers who are judged to ensure they have the correct style and don't lift their feet etc. I find fast walking hard and hot and it takes a long time to cover 3000m. However, I did end up crossing the finish line first of the fitness walkers, probably due to my handicap but I caught up and passed the people who had started ahead of me, just! It took me 21mins 54secs to walk.

I just had time for a quick drink before the next event, the 1500m run and as I had definitely warmed up Sheryl and I lined up at the start with all the fast runners. I'm not sure I would have done it if Sheryl hadn't been there but as it was I quite enjoyed it. It's over quickly and we ran neck and neck most of the way. I just managed to finish before her by a few seconds. My time was 7:59:59 so there's a huge scope for improvement - maybe when the weather's cooler!

There wasn't a lot of time before the last event of the night which started 5mns earlier than planned but I did manage to run around the outside of the track for another 1.5km before we were called to start the Spiral Handicap race. As I have missed a few of these and have been given a very tough handicap I am not in contention for the points score. I started from Group 25 (Sheryl for example started in Group 18 and is very similar speed to me) and finished near the back of the runners. It was just a 4 lap spiral tonight, which works out to be 1800m according to the results in the supper room later. The times are not yet up but it was about 9mins.

My total distance for the night was about 8.6km including warm ups which isn't quite as much as I would have liked but it was tough!  I ate like a horse later, not helped by the fact that there were Lindt chocolates put out at supper - my favourites!!