Saturday, January 31, 2015

ACT Veteran's Athletics Handicap and other events

On Sunday the first monthly handicap of the  year was held at Campbell Park. It was a new out and back.course this year.  It was a bit rough in parts but there were only a couple of tough hills and it wasn't too bad although it was rather hot and muggy. I had been re-handicapped several groups due to winning a silver medal at the last handicap of the year in November which meant that from Group 23 I had little chance of placing in the top half. In fact I came in at 76th which was a pretty poor effort. I didn't walk at all but I guess my pace was pretty slow, probably due to tired legs perhaps after yesterday's very long 34km run. The longer run for the handicap was only 6km so was over fairly quickly!
It was fun catching up with everyone and a group of us enjoyed great coffee afterwards in Ainslie.
This brought my total distance for the week to 81km.

Campbell Park Handicap - that's me at the back!

There are less than 11 weeks to go until the Canberra Marathon and this week is my easy week.
On Tuesday I took Teddy with me on a gentle 10km run from home. The temperatures this week are much cooler than we have been experiencing lately. Running is much more pleasant!

Wednesday I managed a slightly faster pace for a 12km mid week run. It feels a bit strange not running further for my middle distance run but I'm sticking to the shorter distances this week to freshen the legs.

On Thursday I entered the 1500m fitness walk at track and the 10,000m run championships. I needed some distance but wondered if I should perhaps have just stuck to the 3,000m at the beginning of the evening. However, my late arrival time made my decision for me and 10,000m it had to be, a bit of a last minute decision!  Ewen lap scored for me and I finished in 57:20 managing to come in ahead of three others. It's always debatable when I start as to whether I will come in last so that was a relief! I wore my newest Hoka Cliftons making a spur of the moment decision to ring Mr B to bring them to me and changing out of my track shoes. I'm not sure if they helped or hindered but I did have a sore foot and thought perhaps it was better not to feel the ground too much. There was a nasty head wind on one side of the track which may have slowed me a little. As I started my last 400m I made Bryan my target. He was just ahead of me and as I came into the final strait we were neck and neck and I put on a sprint. What I didn't realise was that he had another lap to go but at least he made me push myself at the end! Because it was a championship event and I was the only female in my age group I scored a gold medal! Woo hoo!

On Friday I just went to a Body Balance class at the gym and took Teddy for his daily walk which I made a bit longer than usual, but no running was involved. Instead Mr B and I went to see Still Alice at the movies in the afternoon - a moving and thought provoking experience.

This morning (Saturday) Dave and I decided to join Margaret at the Gungahlin Parkrun instead of our local one. After only a 1km warm up my legs felt stiff and sore. However they loosened up a bit during the run and in fact I managed a 35sec PB for that particular course finishing in 28:02. I still can't beat my PB from Ginninderra but one day perhaps! The conditions were ideal this morning - cool, crisp and not windy. Later Marg, Mr B and I headed for the local Italian cafĂ© and enjoyed great coffee, food and the excellent company of  Julia, Janene and Gregg, a very pleasant interlude indeed.

Mr B at Parkrun
Parkrunners at Gungahlin

Marg racing to the finish while very speedy Janene does her cool down!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Logging up the kilometres!

I knew if I didn't blog every day that I would get behind again and sure enough another week has gone. Thank goodness for training diaries or I would never remember what I had done this week!
Last Saturday(17th)  I ran from home to Lake Burley Griffin and met Miranda and speedygeoff who were running from the Ferry Terminal. I joined them for their run toward the east past Molonglo Reach and down towards the airport track before returning to the ferry terminal. For some reason my stamina disappeared and I just lost my oomph and knew nothing would be achieved by attempting to run any further. Instead speedygeoff gave me a ride home after I had run 25km.
Next morning (Sunday) was another early start as Mr B was taking part in the ACT Sprint Triathlon Championships and I was doing the run leg (only 5km) for CJ. It was a lot of fun being part of this event and our team did really well thanks to CJ's amazing cycling and swimming ability! After the event was over we headed over the bridge for a coffee and joined some friends there for a lovely little social gathering.
Monday morning was my Body Pump class (strength work which included far too many lunges and squats with weights until my knees were hurting). In the afternoon I managed to arrive at speedygeese in time to run the 4km warm up again. The main session was made up of 24 minutes of hill repeats through the tunnel by the lake and up a steep grassy incline to a cone where we turned and jogged back. I did a couple of short cuts as I was very aware that I had a track session to go to after training. The night had been changed this week and as the spiral handicap was being held I didn't want to miss out. After a warm down loop (giving the session total 11km) I headed straight for the track and took part in the 4 lap spiral. There were not many taking part so it was a good opportunity to gain a few extra points!
Tuesday I managed a 1.2km swim although the first few laps were interrupted when I had to keep adjusting my goggles - very frustrating!
On Wednesday I rose early to fit in an 18km run before work. It was disappointingly slow even though I hadn't run the day before. I just ran down to Lake Ginninderra, round the lake and back home via Giralang with an extra km past the tunnel to give me the distance.
Thursday I ran 10km and included 10 x 1minute hill sprints aiming to get a little further each time. It was tough but I actually felt better than the previous day.
On Fridays I always do a Body Balance class if I'm not rostered on to work. It's a great way to include stretching and flexibility. I have also been including the January challenge in my daily routine, sometimes this is just a brisk walk with Teddy, other times it includes abs, dips and back exercises. There's only another week to go of this.
And so we reach today (Saturday) when I ran my long run. It felt much better than last week. I ran from home to Lake Burley Griffin again but this time I ran the west basin and included the Weston Park loop (a pretty little run)and managed to run back to the ferry terminal and home via Lyneham. After reaching 34km, however, I walked the last km home. That seemed quite enough. Although I wore a hydration pack today I made the mistake of only filling the side bottles as I knew I could stop at bubblers round the lake. However, next long run I will fill the hydration pack as well as I was really thirsty and it was a very hot, humid run as the morning progressed. I may have started out at 6.30am but because I am so slow it was really hot by the time I finished! Later in the afternoon I took Teddy for his aerobic walk. It was a bit difficult to feel motivated but those pleading eyes made me relent!
Tomorrow is the vets' handicap run. A sleep in would have been good!

Lake Burley Griffin

speedygeese training (Ewen's photo)


Friday, January 16, 2015

A Few Undulations and a Zippy Little Car!

Here it is Friday again already and another weekend approaches. Today I had a full day shift at work and used it as my rest day from training apart from Day 16 of the January challenge which I have been following daily. Today included a 90second plank, crunches, leg extensions, superman and dips - all good for strength.
On Wednesday I completed my middle distance run - 17km including the Lake Ginninderra loop and the long way there and back from home. I started early in the morning to allow plenty of time to prepare for work. It was pretty slow in spite of not having run the day before.
Yesterday evening, Thursday, I ran fartlek on rolling hills selecting North Lyneham Ridge which is off-road and definitely undulating, a total of 10km. I spotted a few cows but only a couple of runners on the trails.! After that run I detoured home to collect Teddy and take him out for another 2km extra run as my additional aerobic exercise for the day, making a total of 12km.
Excitingly I also collected my brand new car yesterday - cornflower blue - a little VW Polo. I love it!

Loving my Car!

It feels like the country so close to suburbia!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Speedygeese with lots of little goslings!

Each Monday morning, when I don't have a work shift. I take part in a 60 minute Body Pump class at the local gym. It's tough but I am hoping the strength training will translate to improvement in my running. Yesterday was no exception and it hurt but pain is good within reason!
Late in the afternoon after taking Teddy for his daily brisk walk I managed to arrive at Speedygeese training in time for the early warm up of 4km. There were a few of us running at that time and it was a good way to prepare for the main session 30 minutes later. During the school holidays we have been enjoying the company of some 8-10 year old speedygoslings. It's such fun watching them enjoying themselves and running in the fresh air. Tonight there were enough of us to have three person relay teams running the diagonals on the grassy bank in front of Parliament House. I was in a team with Cathy and Rae (the plus 60 ladies) and it was all good fun. We had 30 minutes of the relays, running the diagonals either up or down and jogging the straights before being tagged. To finish we had a 1.8km warm down loop of Parliament House. I do enjoy those sessions, competitive but fun with a great group of people.
This morning before work I returned to the pool. It must be more than twelve months since I last went for a proper swim and the first 100m was hard work, especially as I had to stop to adjust my goggles. However, I soon found my rhythm and slowly completed 1km of freestyle. My reward was the spa afterwards - heaven.
I am going to experiment for the next couple of weeks and cut down on the "junk" kilometres and replace them with some cross training. I'm hoping it will keep me going injury free and maintain my enthusiasm. I certainly won't sacrifice my long or middle distance runs or the important interval, speed and hill sessions. I just want to find out if this works better for me as I need to train smarter.
A few speedygeese at a hill repeat session a few months ago

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Greening up Canberra!

Today it rained and rained and rained! However, there was no thunder or lightning and it obviously wasn't going to ease off in a hurry. A long run was on my schedule so it had to be done! Out I went to face the elements starting off in a spray jacket which really didn't protect me much at all. I ran down to and round Lake Ginninderra and  then ran back towards the tunnel to Gungahlin. The entrance to the tunnel was completely flooded so I did a slight detour to continue on to Nicholls where I ran round the lake there and promptly lost my bearings. As anybody who knows me well would understand I have no sense of direction. Thank goodness for mobile phones. I made a call to Margaret who lives in that area and she set me in the right direction to head towards home. I had run further than I intended and by the time I finished had completed 30.33km. Talk about a drowned rat - I was so drenched. One thing about running in the rain it keeps you cool. I had no problems with overheating today.

Everywhere was so green and the ducks were loving the new little lakes created by puddles, supposedly just for them. There were intricate cobwebs woven on the trees at Lake Ginninderra and the drains were overflowing with water. My shoes and socks were sodden as there were many puddles I could not avoid so I splashed through them instead. It was a slow run but time on my legs must be a good thing.

Late in the afternoon the rain finally eased and I took Teddy out for a brisk walk to fulfil Day 11 of speedygeoff's January challenge. I didn't forget to balance on one leg and touch my toes too.

This evening Mr B and I enjoyed a delightful French movie at the cinema and I didn't fall asleep!

With LL after the Bowral Parkrun.

Finishing the Bowral Parkrun yesterday (photo courtesy of Ewen)

Flooded drains

speedyducks enjoying their new puddles

pretty cobwebs


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Thunder, lightning and a memorable Parkrun at Bowral!

What an interesting week it has been!
At Speedygeese on Monday we ran our intervals under stormy skies and we all ended up drenched! Tuesday it was perfect and cool early in the morning for my run with Teddy but when I ran 10km after work it was very hot with just a few raindrops to cool me down. My mid-week run on Wednesday stayed rain free but was pretty warm by the time I finished. It was a bit of a struggle running 15km.
On Thursday I ran in the evening to avoid the heat and as my program included hill repeats I decided to run them at North Lyneham Ridge. As I approached the off road ridge I did observe very black clouds above me.   However, I continued with my plan and managed to complete 3 x 1 minute hills and 3 x 2 minute hills jogging down the hill between each repeat, before the thunder started rumbling very loudly! As the sky darkened I continued to run around the ridge taking a few wrong turns and feeling just a tad frightened as the lightning flashed and then down came the rain, not just rain but a head wind pelting it against me so that I couldn't see in front of me. I was so relieved when I reached the gate to climb through and head on the cycle path back home with the heavy rain falling on me, thunder roaring and lightning so close it made me jump. I have never been more pleased to reach my doorstep and stumble inside absolutely drenched like a drowned rat! I peeled everything off before heading straight for a hot shower. That is not an experience I am keen to repeat in a hurry!
A far better experience was the road trip Margaret and I took to Mittagong after work yesterday in order to run the Parkrun at Bowral this morning. This is LL's local Parkrun and Ewen, Jim and Bryan drove from Canberra this morning to run too. Last night it had poured most of the night and as the Parkrun starts and finishes on grass we expected it to be very soggy underfoot. However, it wasn't nearly as bad as expected and  it was so much fun to be part of LL's regular run. The narrow grassy start lasted for about 500m and then we ran on a concrete cycle track until the 2.5km turnaround point when we returned the way we came. This is when we realised that the path sloped slightly downhill as we ran out and the slight incline was quite noticeable on the return culminating in a steep little finish on the grassy slope. Not being used to grass or concrete all of us Canberrans had slower times than usual. However, Margaret smashed the previous W65 record so that was fantastic. We plan to return to repeat the experience in a few months. I need to train more so that I can beat the W60 record. They are such a friendly, welcoming group of Parkrunners. My favourite part of the morning was definitely the excited greeting Norma gave us when she arrived and spotted us. It was indeed a memorable event.
LL and her Canberra friends after the Bowral Parkrun

Street art in Bowral


Olive Groves at Grandma's Little Bakery in Collector

Margaret in the arbor overlooking the gardens at Grandma's Little Bakery


Sunday, January 04, 2015

Another Canberra hot summer's day!

During 2014 I enjoyed taking part in the 5km Parkrun which falls at 8am every Saturday morning.
I don't run it every week as I enjoy having company on my long runs which often means a clash with Parkrun. However, yesterday I ran Parkrun at Gungahlin (my home run is Ginninderra) and found lots of different fellow parkrunners there. It was stinking hot at that time which resulted in a slower time than I would have liked but I will give that course another go later in the year as it is flatter than my home run.
A long run was therefore on the schedule for today and I decided to run at Lake Burley Griffin which I haven't done for months, Ewen accompanied me on the last 10km of my 23km run which I started in the cool at 6.45am. However by the time we met up the temperature had soared resulting in a very slow time over all. Maybe I need to start even earlier to avoid this problem.
Ewen and I spotted lots of familiar faces out there including some friends who are in training for the Paris Marathon in April. In the early part of my run I also spotted lots of cute bunnies. I know they are a pest but I do love them.
This afternoon we had a little relief from the high temperatures when the stormy grey clouds actually produced some much needed rain!


Saturday, January 03, 2015

New Year - New Start!

My poor little Blog has been corrupted, probably through lack of attention, but thanks to the advice of speedygeoff I have finally managed to sort the problem and now I will make a fresh start for 2015. Happy New Year to all who wander here. Here's to a healthy, happy and injury free year.
My Marathon training has begun again for the Canberra Marathon in April. I have sourced my old program and hopefully I can keep up the training without injury. I do enjoy trail running but have a bad habit of tripping over and have permanently scarred knees.
I ran at the Cotter last weekend with a group of lovely running mates and enjoyed the scenery so much. The water is rising and the original route is no longer possible to run but there are many interesting trails. I will run there again during the course of my training but I am very slow on those hills!
On Wednesday I ran 21km on the bitumen - not my favourite surface but the marathon will be on road so I do have to consider that when training. In the meantime I have been faithfully following our speedy leader's November, December and now January 30 day exercise challenges. I need all the help I can get!