Wednesday, February 25, 2015

February Fun

Considerable time has passed and a lot of kilometres have been run since I last posted at the start of February!
In the first weekend of February I took part in the Sprint Marathon Relay. This is held annually and organised by one of our amazing vets, Jim. It is always good fun and this year was no exception. We were put into 9 teams of 6 runners and each runner had to run from one spot to the next (either 1 or 2km usually) passing the baton to the next person in their team. There is quite a gap between runners where one can go for a jog while waiting or socialise with all the other team members waiting for their respective runners and cheering everyone on. It was great weather for the event if a little hot but we were lucky with lots of shady trees. The lake track was very busy with cyclists and other runners but fortunately there were no collisions!
Ewen was the official photographer and he did a great job!

The following Friday (13th) Mr B and I drove through to Melbourne as he was competing in the Australian Triathlon Champs there on Sunday. We had a pleasant trip and stayed in a basic but adequate apartment in St Kilda about 4km from the start. For the first nine years of my life I lived in a little suburb called St Kilda in Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand. It too is a coastal town but very different from St Kilda in Melbourne! I remember trolley buses in the St Kilda where I was a child but in St Kilda, Melbourne there are trams and tramlines everywhere making transportation very easy and convenient.  (As a point of interest there is no actual Saint Kilda. The name  is purported to originate from a corruption of the Old Norse name for the spring on Hirta, Childa in Scotland).
I digress! On the Saturday morning I rose very early after checking out a route the day before, and ran along a track mainly beside the ocean in one direction and then changing direction for a total of 33km. When I stepped out the door in the very early hours of the morning the rain was falling very heavily. On the Friday evening there had been lightning and thunder and heavy driving rain as we walked to a local restaurant for dinner but at least the storm had subsided by Saturday and instead it was just steady rain although I had to battle a head wind. The rain subsided for about an hour in the middle of the run but returned to just a light drizzle for the remainder of the run which was actually quite a pleasant cooling relief.
On Sunday morning I ran to the start of the triathlon while Mr B cycled. It was only 4km so I continued on for another 4km while Mr B racked his bike and was numbered up. It was such a different day weather-wise to the day before. The sun shone and the weather was warm. The ocean only had a slight ripple and basically the conditions were almost perfect for a sprint distance triathlon. Mr B had a good race, no podium finish but a good experience and certainly it appears he has enough points to make him eligible for the world triathlon championships in Chicago later in the year.

Since returning from Melbourne on Tuesday last week we have experienced some very hot weather in Canberra. Running has continued, with a middle distance run last Wednesday of 20km, track races and a very long run of 34km on Saturday which proved to be rather a disaster. I was really struggling with the humidity even though I had left home by 6.30am. I really do not want to feel like that on marathon day!

Sunday was the Vets Handicap but as I was on roster I only ran a short 6km run with Ewen before the event so as not to miss out entirely and to keep my legs moving.

Speedygeese on Monday at Parliament House was hot. As I pulled up in the carpark the temperature read 31deg. After our warm up we had a really tough session of 400m intervals including a nasty hill towards the finish. There were 20 of us which was a great turnout but oh boy it was hard and hot! And then at about 10.30pm that night it rained. As soon as I heard it pelting down I ran outside just to stand in the cool air and smell the rain - oh so lovely! Pity it was so short lived.

This is my easy week in theory and today's run was only 13km. Before I met Marg for the last half of the run I incorporated some fartlek sprints of 2 x 60sec with 60sec float and 2 x 30sec with 30sec floats twice. Marg and I ran round Crace and later enjoyed a lovely coffee. And just after I hung out the washing it started to rain! It lasted all of ten minutes after which I took Teddy for a lovely walk on the trails at the back of our suburb.

Sprint marathon relay

A birthday treat for Marg's birthday this month


Melbourne Art Gallery

St Kilda Beach run

Mr B at the start of the sprint triathlon in St Kilda

Sunset in St Kilda



Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Speedygeese and some cross training

On Monday I arrived at speedygeese about 25mins before the start to find speedycathy stretching in the carpark. I encouraged her to go for a gentle warm up run with me before the main session and we managed 3.4km before heading back to meet all the speedygeese waiting to start. We ran a warm up loop and then headed for the rose garden. Our main session was 10 x 400m loops with 200m fast on the straight, jogging back to the start for a very short rest before the whistle each time. The speedier geese ran on 2:30 and the rest of us ran on 3mins. We finished with a cool down jog.
Total distance including early warm up: 11km
speedygeese on a cool down on a hill training run recently (photo by Ewen)
Today (Tuesday) is my cross training day. This morning, before work, I swam 1km at the pool and when I arrived home after work it was such a beautiful evening that Mr B and I went for a cycle from home and round the lake. Now I haven't been on my bike for well over 12 months so I even had to relearn the gears. I definitely felt like I was doing a work out and enjoyed the challenge.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Centenary Trail Stage 3

I had such a lovely day today. It started with a very pleasant, tough but enjoyable run and walk on the third stage of the Canberra Centenary Trail with Margaret. We met at Hall Village, left my car there and drove Marg's car to Mulligans Flat carpark from where we started our run. We ran to the official start point of the third stage start of the Centenary Trail located at the Northern Border Campsite which is a few kilometres off-road from Forde. The conditions were perfect - overcast, cool and wind free. It was rougher and hillier than we expected and took us a few hours to complete just over 20km. Along the way we saw lots of mountain bike riders and curious kangaroos. It was such a pretty course. We incorporated a climb up to One Tree Hill and the view was glorious. From there it was all downhill back to Hall Village. After a quick freshen up we crossed the road to the monthly Hall Markets and enjoyed gozleme and a coffee before checking out the markets.
In the afternoon Mr B and I had fun celebrating a friend's 60th and catching up with lots of friends we hadn't seen for ages. I have also started February's challenge - an alcohol free month!

Margaret climbing the last of the 191 steps to One Tree Hill

Attempting a selfie!