Sunday, July 31, 2005

Who put all those hills there?!

Plan - Vets' monthly handicap run
Location - Mt Taylor, 6.8km
Weather - blue skies, sunshine but a cold breeze blowing
Time - 33.14min
Place - 11th
Group - 25

Was feeling very tired this morning but not as stiff as anticipated after yesterday's run. The thought of running more hills wasn't helping the situation either - felt tired just thinking about it. It had been a couple of years since I had run that course so was a bit vague on the details - I knew there was a killer hill somewhere in the 6.8km but that was about it. After last month's win I had moved from Group 18 to Group 25. Peter was also running in this group but I lost him at the first downhill - he is a lot faster on the downhills than I am.

Anyway, the start has us going uphill for a bit - cruel. Then we turn off into the nature park and up and over more 'little' hills (as opposed to the 'big' hill coming up). Everyone seemed to be passing me at this point so I decided to settle into a comfortable pace and not worry about what was going on around me. I was running up the hills better than I thought I would and gradually upped the pace. The 'big' hill was just as steep and seemingly endless as I remember but I didn't walk - not once. Wasn't surprised when Maria passed me (from Group 27) and I said in passing that I had expected her sooner! The challenge for me then was to keep Maria in sight and this helped to focus me for the rest of the run. But who put all those extra hills in the way?! I truly could not remember it being so hilly - this is what I meant about being vague on the details!

The final stretch seemed to go on forever. Saw Flash Duck, who was on roster duty for today. Passed Peter near the end (thanks for the encouragement!). Crossed the line in 11th place, in a time of 33.14min. I am very happy with that time considering the course I ran yesterday and the fact that the week leading up to it wasn't the greatest, health-wise. Yay!!! For the rest of the week though I am going to run f-l-a-t courses!!! Tomorrow will be a well-earned rest day from running - sorry Geoff, but I'll be there Thursday evening!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

25km Bush Capital run

Event - Bush Capital 25km run
Route - through Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura bushland (undulating to say the least!) - start and finish at Campbell High School
Time - 2hr 10.45min
Place - 3rd woman

Today, well this morning to be exact at 9am, was the start of the Bush Capital 25km run which would g through bushland around Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura. The temperature was around 10*C at the start and about 12*C when I finished -positively balmy after what I've been running in lately! Blue skies and sunshine, and no wind - a perfect morning for running. I managed to fit in a 10min warm up before the start which is very unusual for me but I was wearing a long sleeved top over my CR singlet and was tossing up the idea of removing said long sleeved top before the start. Hence the warm up!!! And I did remove the long sleeved top so was definitely outed as a CR today - was wearing CR cap, singlet and crop top! Hard to miss! Caught up with Flash Duck and Aki before the start - I looked for the CR gear, so easy to find people! Also managed to say hi to Wombat at the start - lucky I did because once we started he took off and I never saw him again (very elusive) - he was doing the 16km.

I felt okay when I woke up this morning so had finally got over the lurgy but decided I would take it easy over the 25km. Definitely an undulating course - the first part took me over the course I had run and won in last month's vets' handicap. I confess I walked very briefly after the final Mt Ainslie course hill, when we took a right and headed up and up and up. It was also a very rocky and uneven surface. Had to admire that Flash Duck actually rode over this course on Thursday - tough on a bike!

Some amazing scenery and outlook at various points on the run though I didn't stop to take in the view. Could see Susan ahead of me every now and then (I had a mental block and couldn't remember her surname and therefore spent most of the run trying to think what it was - isn't it funny what we think about when we run!). Once the 16km runners turned left and headed off back to the finish runners were very few and far between and so I was running by myself for quite long stretches to the turn around point. It was also at this point that I felt I was actually enjoying the running rather than thinking about what particular body part was aching, hurting or tiring - I had stomach aches, stitches, and tight hip flexors to start with and felt like absolute crap up until this point. Saw Flash Duck not long after the turn around - looking good FD!

After the turn around, it was a gradual steady uphill climb for a while and I began running with a guy whose name I think is Ken (but I could be wrong - I am so bad with names and particularly so when I've been running, something to do with oxygen deprivation!). Anyway kept pace with him and chatted a bit about triathlons and how he is hoping to do the Ironman triathlon next year - I talked a bit about my experience last year at Forster. Anyway all this chatting interspersed by puffing (from me) actually helped me - I began picking up the pace and closing the gap on Susan who was not that far ahead of me now. The other 2 women I had no hope of catching - they're good runners. I passed Susan after the last drink station, muttering something about being over hills in a big way - I think she agreed with me! The run back to the finish wasn't too bad - not as hilly (there was still the slight undulation - I use this word loosely) but I couldn't believe that I could feel so good (okay, okay, there was some tightness happening at the top of my right calf but that's normal for me), at this point of the run, on this undulating course. Passed another runner (male) in the last couple of kms. Had no idea how far I had left to run (I need my Garmin!) but was relieved when I passed the sign stating there was 1km to go (I was feeling good but I didn't want to push my luck!).

Arrived at the finish line in 2hr 10.45min - thanks for the cheer Friar, a lovely way to finish! I was the 3rd woman home and got a trophy - woo hoo!!!! Not that I ever planned on trying for a place - this was a training run after all, just slightly faster than I usually do my long runs (hmmm). Managed to catch up with Friar, Aki and Flash Duck after the run, but no Wombat! Also thanked Ken for running with me for a bit and taking my mind off the tiredness I was feeling at that point. It was a well run event and I would definitely do it again if they hold it next year. A challenging offroad run but amazing surroundings to be running in - we are so lucky!

Tomorrow - 6.8km Mt Taylor vets' handicap run *groan* Hope I recover okay from today's run - feeling a bit tired.....and I am so over hills!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Back in the land of the living.....sort of

Went for a short run this morning to reassure myself I could still run AND I CAN!!!!!! Ran for 28min and felt fine tho' feeling a bit blah now (could be because I'm at work). It was a frosty morning (about -1*C) but with leggings, arm warmers, coolmax t-shirt and Dri-fit long sleeved top plus gloves and headband, I didn't really feel the cold today. Heading back home I almost came face to face with a kangaroo bounding down the street the other way. Don't know who got the biggest fright!

So, not a lot to report this week - a swim and run session on Monday, and a short run this morning. Tomorrow I have the 25km Bush Capital run.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Thieves in the night - a timely warning!

*This was sent to me today - great for a laugh*

This is a heads-up to those friends who haven't experienced it yet, and an explanation to those friends and family who have: Most of you have read the scare-mail about the person whose kidneys were stolen while he was passed out. Well, read on.

While the kidney story was an urban legend, this one is not. It's happening every day.

My thighs were stolen from me during the night a few years ago. It was just that quick. I went to sleep in my body and woke up with someone else's thighs. The new ones had the texture of cooked oatmeal. Who would have done such a cruel thing to legs that had been mine for years? Whose thighs were these and what happened to mine?

I spent the entire summer looking for my thighs. Finally, hurt and angry, I resigned myself to living out my life in jeans and Sheer Energy pantyhose. Then, just when my guard was down, the thieves struck again. My butt was next. I knew it was the same gang because they took pains to match my new rear end (although badly attached at least three inches lower than my original) to the thighs they stuck me with earlier. Now, my rear complemented my legs, lump for lump. Frantic, I prayed that long skirts would stay in fashion.

It was two years ago when I realized my arms had been switched. One morning I was fixing my hair, and I watched horrified but fascinated as the flesh of my upper arms swung to and fro with the motion of the hairbrush. This was really getting scary. My body was being replaced one section at a time.

How clever and fiendish.

Age? Age had nothing to do with it. Age is supposed to creep up, unnoticed, something like maturity. NO, I was being attacked repeatedly and without warning. In despair, I gave up my T-shirts. What could they do to me next?

My poor neck disappeared more quickly than the Thanksgiving turkey it now resembled.

That's why I decided to tell my story. I can't take on the medical profession by myself. Women of the world, wake up and smell the coffee. That really isn't plastic that those surgeons are using. You KNOW where they are getting those replacement parts, don't you? The next time you suspect someone has had a face "lifted," look again. Was it lifted from you?

I think I finally found my thighs... and I hope that Cindy Crawford paid a really good price for them!

This is not a hoax. This is happening to women in every town every night.


P.S. I must say that last year I thought someone had stolen my breasts. I was lying in bed and they were gone! As I jumped out of bed I was relieved to see that they had just been hiding in my armpits as I slept. Now I keep them hidden in my waistband.

Still feeling blah.... no track session tonight. Hopefully I can get out for a short run tomorrow to remind myself I can still run. :-(

ps Thanks everyone for your best wishes

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

#4008 is not well.....

I received my C2S number in the mail - #4008 (red group) so can relax now.

However, I'm not feeling well - stomach virusy thing; feel very blah and so did not go to the gym yesterday lunchtime, yoga last night or for 50min run today. Instead, will be crawling back into bed, hoping that tomorrow will be better. :-(

Monday, July 25, 2005

go go gadget girl!!!!

That's what my friends are calling me after the purchase of my new Nokia 5140 phone that takes photos and videos, has a thermometer, compass, a fitness coach application, FM radio and other things; a Garmin 301; and my mini iPod (this was a birthday present from the family). Now I've discovered these really cool sunnies - Oakley Thump MP3 sunnies so no worrying about dangling cords etc when running. Mind you, the cost is a bit offputting - between $550 - $690. You wouldn't want to sit on them or lose them! (no, I haven't bought them - I would have a lot of explaining to do!)

This morning I went swimming. Swam 1km in 21.04min so happy with that; its a bit faster than it has been for a couple of weeks. I got in the pool thinking that I wouldn't worry about time (mind you, I still timed it!) but just to ease into the swim and maybe do a fartlek session.

Run session this afternoon - a case of will I, won't I?
Plan - 3 x 20/40/60/80sec efforts with 40/60/80/100sec rest intervals
Where - Parliament House, 5.30pm
Weather - cold, windy

Felt very tired this afternoon and even contemplated just heading home after work rather than go to my regular run session at Parliament House. Even as I was driving toward PH I was thinking that maybe I would just give it a miss for today - after all, I felt justified missing a session because I had run an 8km race on Saturday and a long run yesterday. But my car had different ideas and headed towards PH car park. Ok I'll take it easy; no need to do a hard session. Warm up went well then into the interval session which again involved uphills and downhills, on grass. Felt ok so went fairly hard on the efforts and eased up during the rest intervals. Tiredness did hit during the 60/80sec efforts on the second repeat, especially as the efforts seemed to happen uphill. However, I found I ran the 3rd repeat easier; probably because it was the last repeat and I knew the pain was going to end. A good session and I'm glad I went. At least I don't have to get up early tomorrow and run - yay! Wore my new LineBreak running tights - comfortable and more importantly kept me warm.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Long run and pancakes

Plan - long run, 2hr 55min
Time - 7.30am
Route - Scullin - LBG (via cycle path) and return; then to LG and around the lake
Weather - frosty, foggy at first, followed by blue sky and sunshine

I love long runs! And after yesterday's gutbusting 8km I love long runs even more. After toast, honey and banana as a pre-run feed, I headed out the door with 3 coolmax tops on (one short-sleeved and 2 long-sleeved tops - gotta love coolmax), leggings, cap, headband, fuelbelt and mini iPod. Didn't feel stiff or achey after yesterday's run - a good sign. Careful to avoid icy patches on cycle paths and headed toward Lake Burley Griffin along the cycle path that goes through Macquarie. Heading to the lake is a lovely run - mostly gently downhill, surrounded by trees and bush, passing horses and kangaroos, hearing the noisy cockatoos in the distance.

The return run was a little harder - felt really tired about 75mins into the run (I had been heading steadily uphill at this point) but listening to fast tempo music really helped turn my legs over. Headed down toward Lake Ginninderra to meet up with friends to run the 7.1km around the lake at 9.30am. It was good to catch up with Helen and Steve, chat about all sorts of things and think about the pancakes I was planning to have after the run! The fog had definitely lifted and I had managed to discard one of my long sleeved tops before the lake run. The run went quickly - amazing how time flies when running with other people at a comfortable pace (I have run with other faster people and its a case of hanging in there and hoping you make it to the finish without dying).

Met up with Mr CJ, changed into dry clothes and headed for brekky - best part of the day. I did have pancakes - banana pancakes with caramel sauce - yummo! Oh, and several cappuccinos! A satisfying morning, in more ways than one. I love long runs!

PS I've ordered the garmin 301 and also splurged on a pair of LineBreak leggings. According to R4YL they "give the feeling of holding everything together". Hmmm, we'll see!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Cross Country Championships

Today I ran myself ugly, according to a certain Nike ad - it certainly didn't feel pretty!

Plan - Cross Country Championships
Distance - 8km (2 x 4km laps)
Location - 12.10pm at Weston Park
My time - 37min (4.38min/km)
Place - 20th female (of 35)

Had an unsettled night, especially from 3am onwards, no thanks to our neighbours so didn't get out of bed until about 9.30am, and not feeling really enthused about running. Thoughts of missing the 8km race passed briefly through my mind but decided that I should show because I'd regret it later.

It was blue skies, sunshine but very cold. Saw a few familiar faces when I arrived at Weston Park - Maria, Charmaine, Roy, Geoff, Alice and Margaret. Did a little warm up run to the toilet block with Charmaine and then it was time to head to the start. Lots of very fit looking, fast runners, young and not so young, standing around me. Then we were off and I broke that cardinal rule - "Do not go out too fast". I knew I was doing it but would I slow down - oh no, just kept on going knowing that eventually it was all going to come crashing down! I found the surface really hard going too - grass, uneven surface, twists and turns, boggy patches - it had it all. Guess thats why its a cross country run!

The first lap went well - managed to keep up with a group of other women and even pass a couple of them but I knew as I headed down for the second lap that I was going to start feeling it. Also I'm sure the course was extended for that second lap because it felt a helluva lot longer and it took me a helluva lot longer to get anywhere. Kerrie passed me somewhere on the second lap but gave me some encouraging words which really helped. I tried to stay with her, then behind her, and then the aim was to keep her in my sights, which I managed to do. I was very very glad to finish the race and not disgrace myself by throwing up, passing out or falling over. I much prefer longer distances. Charmaine was really happy with her time - a PB I think. She looked really comfortable even though she assures me she wasn't feeling it.

Tomorrow - a 2hr 45min long run with company for the last 45min, followed by coffee and brekky at a lakeside cafe. Pancakes are looking good!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Slow, slow, slow swim

Plan: swim 1km comprised of 200m wu; 4 x 200m
Location: Civic pool
Time: 7.30am
Weather: cold, cold, cold, frosty, foggy, cold, v cold
Feeling: very, very, very tired (there's a pattern happening here)

Didn't want to get up. When I eventually did get up, I didn't want to leave the house. It took several trips to clear the ice from the windscreen, driver's side window, rear window - car heaters on full blast. It looked colder and got foggier the closer I got to Civic. When I finally got in the pool, the first 200m warm up was slow but that's normal. It will get better I thought. hah! The plan originally was to swim 200m off 4.05min, the theory being I would at least get 10sec rest intervals before starting again. Double hah! First 200m I got back with 1 sec to spare; 2nd 200m right on 4.05min; 3rd 200m with 4sec to spare; and the last 200m with 1sec to spare. I was sooooooo slooooooow!

Was planning on going to the gym at lunchtime but with the way I'm feeling (very tired and blah) I've decide to miss the gym and instead indulge in a little retail therapy and coffee with friends. Also, I've got my tax refund (triple yay!!!) and will be ordering the garmin 301. And, I think chocolate might be on the cards tonight.

Hopefully tomorrow I will wake up in a different mindset - I hope so because its the Cross Country Championships and I foolishly said I would run the 8km.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Track session debut

Plan: track session with Geoff's group - 1500m time trial (6min 11sec)
Location: AIS track
Time: 5.30ish pm
Weather: cold but no wind

Had been looking forward to this session but also dreading it. It has been well over 12 months since I had done a track session of any sort and my memories of these sessions usually include a great deal of pain. You know, the "if it doesn't kill you it must make you stronger" type of session. Had also been to a farewell lunch and had a delicious pizza (not your standard Pizza Hut pizza) followed by cappuccino and choccies. Passed on the wine though - didn't think it would sit too well with a track session.

The session involved a couple of laps warm up then for those of us who weren't at the track last week, a 1500m time trial. I'm not keen on time trials because I always seem to run badly when someone is taking the time. I also got Geoff's instructions mixed up and started off on my own time trial, well, that's what someone (who shall remain anonymous) told me to do. However, after 800m Geoff stopped me, and a couple of others who had also started, to say that the time trial hadn't started yet so what we had done essentially was a warm up. Good start. The time trial did eventually get underway and off I went again, this was all starting to feel very familiar. I tried to pace evenly and not go out too fast nor get caught up racing whoever was next to me. I felt fairly comfortable over the 3 and 3/4 laps and was happy with my time - room for improvement but at least I didn't feel like death warmed up when I finished - always a good sign! We finished off with 4 x 200m efforts with 100-200m recoveries. I am not a sprinter! I felt so uncoordinated when trying to 'sprint' the 200m - I'm a marathon runner so why does 200m seem to take forever?!

All in all, a good session - I have lots of work to do but hopefully these sessions will help my speed, which is sadly lacking at the moment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Be true. Be real. Be great.

Well, that was the 'thought starter' on the Pria chocolate bar that I bought after gym today!

Plan for this morning - a moderate run of about 80mins (was actually 76.30min)
Time - 5.20am
Temperature - minus 4*C
Route - round the suburbs

Winter running in Canberra:
Thicker leggings - check
Gloves - check
Headband - check
beanie - check
croptop, coolmax t-shirt, coolmax long sleeved top - check
running jacket - check
thicker socks - check
shoes - check

It was frosty, there was no wind, but it is getting lighter a bit earlier in the mornings, always a good sign. I wasn't cold, apart from the lack of feeling in my cheeks and lips. However, the rest of me was toasty warm. Had a good run - in fact, ran the route 3min faster than a couple of weeks ago.

Lunchtime plan - gym
Time spent at the gym - about 45mins (not including changing, showering time)

Back to yoga - Beginners 2 classes begin

Memo to self - do not eat dinner before going to yoga class.

It was back to yoga tonight. I had progressed to Beginners 2 classes on a Tuesday evening, 7.30pm - 9pm. I had also been at an off-site work planning day where food was provided so my diet during the day included:
* mini danish at morning tea
* vegetable/cheese filo pastry and salad for lunch
* scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea (I did pass on the champagne and birthday cake though)
+ lots and lots of Koolmints throughout the day and far too much coffee.

Then to top it all off when I got home I had dinner before realising that I had a yoga class to go to - oops. However, it was a good class. Not as intimidating as the very first time I went to yoga, in Beginners 1, when I really didn't know what we were doing. The teacher, Karen, is a lot more gentle than my previous teacher (who is a wonderful teacher too), and has a great sense of humour. It was legs up the wall; down dog; triangle pose, warrior 2 pose; childs pose; some others whose names I can't remember; and one that was a good hammy stretch. All that up and down movement, and twist here, twist there, played havoc with the food in my stomach! Otherwise a good class - looking forward to next week.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

A [non-running] win!

This is not an exercise post but I've had a win with a telecommunications company which shall remain nameless. My mobile phone has been playing up for the last couple of months - it has an annoying habit of freezing during a phone call, the screen goes blank, the keys don't work and I lose the phone call. I'm 15 months into a 24 month contract. I went into one of the company's shops on the weekend to explore my options but was basically told that since my warranty had run out (after 12months) either put up with it or pay out my contract. When I questioned whether it was satisfactory to have to put up with a crappy phone until March next year, the sales woman's response was "well you chose the phone". #$%&*......However, I remained remarkably calm and didn't respond with anything remotely rude or inappropriate but instead went home and sent off an irate email to said company. Their response, by email and phone, has resulted in them paying out my current contract allowing me to update my phone on a new 24month contract. Yay!! :-)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Running round a rectangle

Plan - speedygeoff's run session
Session - 3 x 20sec/40sec/60sec/80sec efforts with corresponding rest intervals
Location - Parliament House

Wore my new pink Nike top to the session tonight - don't know if I was hoping it would help make me faster or the session easier! Did the usual warm up lap around PH and then headed back down to run between the flag poles again - similar to last week. However, tonight the session was far more interesting and felt that it went quicker because of the variation in times of the efforts and rest intervals. Felt twinges in R glute tonight - will I ever run a session without any niggles, twinges or aches or is this welcome to old age?! Good session tonight - didn't feel blah, didn't feel like throwing up, legs didn't feel like jelly, lungs not burning - yep, good session. Actually looking forward to Thursday evening's track session at the AIS - haven't done one of those in over a year. Yikes!

Late edit: Just remembered - the lights went out on us during the session so we were running in the dark. Interesting! However, it wasn't a problem as I had done several laps by then so sort of knew where I was going.

This morning I went swimming at Civic pool before work. Had to scrape ice off the windscreen before leaving home - it was -3*C (the upside being that it was blue sky and sunshine today). Had a lane all to myself the whole time - bliss! Swam 1km - 30.26min.

Total for last week:
Swimming - 2.1km
Cycling - who am I kidding?!
Running - approx 5hr 25min
Gym - Tues/Fri

Plan for the week:
Mon: am swim; pm run session (done)
Tues: pm yoga
Wed: am med long run (approx 1hr 20min); pm gym
Thurs: pm track session, AIS
Fri: am swim; pm gym
Sat: pm Cross country championships, 8km
Sun: am long run (approx 2hr 45min - 3hr)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

A (briefly) beautiful morning

Plan today - long run, approx 26km, 2hr 36min
Route - from Scullin down to Lake Burley Griffin and Commonwealth Park and return
Time - 7.30am
Weather - 4*c and no wind when started, about 9* degrees and windy when finished

It was very briefly a lovely morning - blue sky and sunshine (couldn't feel the sun but could see it). Had toast, honey and banana for breakfast. Really enjoyed run and had no problems getting into my stride today. Met up with Roy, who was riding his bike, on the cycle path in Macquarie and we headed off down to Lake Burley Griffin following the cycle path. Its a really pretty run and you are surrounded by trees, green paddocks, horses, black cockatoos - you feel like you're out in the country. There are several hills on this run - Black Mountain peninsular, Hospital Hill (being an out and back course I got them both ways), the run back up through Cook/Aranda, the steady climb back up Belconnen Way to Scullin, and finally the final bit of Petterd St heading towards Chewings St and home (I must admit I was over hills by this point). The run down to Commonwealth Park was great, it was a little harder on the return as I was running into the wind, which had picked up. Also, the sky had clouded over and it looked to be another cold and wintry day. Felt some tiredness/soreness in the glute/top of hamstring area on the final stretch of run but otherwise I felt I ran strongly today (actually still have some tightness in that area - 7hrs after run). Had sports drink and 2 energy gels, followed by coffee and crumpet and jam when I got home. Have been feeling very hungry all afternoon.

Went birthday shopping after long run as it is #1 and #2 sons' birthday tomorrow (twins) - they will be 23. Also managed to buy the latest Harry Potter book. Will read it once I've finished Dirt Music by Tim Winton.

Tomorrow - looking forward to a sleep in and chocolate mousse cake later in the day (#1 and#2 sons' birthday cake preference). #3 son feeling much better today. He bought me a book about HTML - what is he trying to tell me?! (He's our resident IT expert).

Friday, July 15, 2005


Plan - swim 1km: 200m wu; 4 x 200m
Time - 7.10am
Location - Civic pool

Son #3 looks like death warmed up this morning - he's not a happy little bunny at all today. Complaining of aches and pains, headaches, stuffed up nose, sore throat and is a picture of abject misery. Left him with a supply of painkillers, throat lozenges and cough medicine to go swimming.

Foggy everywhere - looked amazing driving down towards Glenloch Interchange, with the Brindabella ranges rising above the fog in the valleys.

Times for 200m:
Rest intervals varied, depending on whether there was a faster swimmer turning (in which case I'd wait til they turned and had swum off) or waiting for a slower swimmer to get at least halfway down the pool before I started.

Went to the gym at lunchtime. Though still very cloudy, the sun was shining and I could see little patches of blue sky. It's about 10*C, the breeze is a bit chilly. Long run planned for tomorrow morning and then NOTHING until Monday morning, when its back to the pool. Yay!

Started on my tax return last night and early signs indicate that a Garmin is on the cards. Double yay!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

One of those days.

Plan today - easy run, 62min
Time - 5.20am
Weather - Breezy, wet, about 6*C but felt colder

Was planning to get up just after 5am but not in the way I expected ie gently and gradually - Mr CJ dived out of bed at 5am muttering something about the bed leaking (this is a new waterbed) and was madly pulling up the sheets and doona at the foot of the bed. I was still trying to come to some sort of conscious state and was definitely not used to such frenzied activity, nor the expletives about the bed, at such an early hour!

Discovered that plug was not closed properly (or something) in the mattress so mopped up excess water (it really wasn't much) with paper towels. Mr CJ then hopped back into bed as he didn't have to get up till 6am. I, meanwhile, feeling very blah-like, plodded around, changed into running gear, made a strong black coffee, and then headed out the door.

(Note - the dreaded lurgy has descended on our household with son #3 coughing, snorting, sneezing, sniffling and snoring most of the night and proclaiming this morning that he is 'dying').

First 10mins of run - going so incredibly slow that if I was going any slower I would've been running on the spot or worse still, going backwards.
20mins into run - remembered to bypass the big mud puddle at the bottom of the hill. Appropriate that Gloria Gaynor's song "I will survive" was playing on mini ipod as I struggled up the looooong hill.
30mins into run - thinking over a work issue that I will have to deal with later in the day. Legs still turning over albeit slowly.
40mins into run - hands feeling very cold - tuck them into the long sleevesof top. Thinking about vegetarian Pad Thai that I will be having at lunchtime - going to a birthday lunch today.
50mins into run - more hills...groan, moan, huff'puff....feeling some tightness around L hip flexor area. Hmmm, must stretch after run.
55mins into run - #$@%&*....forgot about muddy puddle at bottom of hill - nearly fell headfirst into said muddy puddle and now have wet muddy shoes. Coffee is looking good at this stage.
60mins into run - almost home - can see it in the distance. Mr CJ and son #2 leaving for work - blind me (deliberately) with headlights on high beam, then honk (it is 6.30am - god knows what the neighbours think).
62mins - finished run. Feeling very ordinary. I think it was about 1min slower than I normally run it. Had coffee.

Rest of day - things have improved marginally. Still feeling very ordinary but had regular Thursday morning cappuccino with Son #1 in Civic, followed by bomb evacuation drill at work which meant another coffee at a nearby cafe, followed by lunch at a Thai restaurant with a great bunch of women, followed by another coffee at nearby cafe with some of the aforementioned
women, followed by some retail therapy on the way back to work. However, I might add, there was work interspersed in the above too; it wasn't all coffee, food and shopping today!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

A 6km time trial

Plan - run Barbecue Stakes at lunchtime
Distance - 6km
Hcp start time - 12min
Time - 28.11min; Place - 8th (of 48 runners)
Weather - cloudy, cold, about 9*C

Made up my mind this morning that I would run the Barbecue Stakes regardless whether it rained or not. After reading of the types of weather other CR bloggers have been running in lately I felt a bit wimpish if Ididn't run just because it rained. Besides my training program said a 3km time trial so I figured a 6km one would do just as well. Wasn't sure though whether to wear leggings or shorts. Finally, opted for shorts with both short and long sleeved coolmax tops and I'm glad I did because I would've been too hot in leggings. At least I remembered to bring them to work because I managed to leave my running cap, towel and soap (for shower afterwards), and hairdryer at home.

There were 48 starters for the run today - not bad for this sort of weather but then runners are a strange lot. The worse the weather, more of them show up to run! Discovered to my delight that my start group had changed from 12.15min to 12min.

The first couple of kilometres were okay and I was not as sore I as I thought I would be from yesterday's gym workout. The offroad sections were a bit muddy and I slipped and slid around a bit but managed to stay upright, preserving my dignity! It would've been very embarrassing otherwise. I have a fleeting memory of a burning feeling in my lungs and my legs feeling incredibly tired as I headed up what seemed like the umpteenth hill but once off the offroad section and on to footpaths, settled into a comfortable rhythm again, though I slowed down near the end. Only 2 other runners passed me over the 6km so happy with that. Finished in 8th spot in 28.11min. Good run on a cold day. I must admit coming back into the office building after the run I did get some strange looks from people rugged up against the cold but one woman at least did say I had inspired her!

However, have decided against swimming tonight. Too tired, too cold, too many excuses....! Its really hard sometimes to go out at night in this weather for swimming and tonight I succumbed. Oh well, there's always Friday morning.

Got a very rare phone call from my brother in WA the other morning. He rang to ask what cheese we used to grill on the barbecue (we were back in WA in March this year). I said Haloumi, why? Well, he couldn't remember the name of the cheese but thought he remembered the packet but apparently ended up buying Feta cheese - didn't work so well on the barbecue!!!!!

Tomorrow - hour run early in the morning, before work. Must try and watch a bit of the TdF tonight.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Testing my limits!

Plan - go to the gym - increase weights
Time - lunchtime
Weather (getting there) - cold, grey, about 7.5*C

Had an awful night's sleep - woke every hour, on the hour, so consequently felt blah when it was time to get up this morning. Thankfully I wasn't running as it was about -2*C - bit nippy. Had to scrape ice off the car's windscreen before leaving for work. Gym day today and I decided it was time to increase the weights ie test my limits. I hope I won't be regretting this decision tomorrow as I'm planning on running the Barbecue Stakes at lunchtime. My gym routine includes 2 sets of between 10 - 15 reps of the following exercises, with stretches between each set:
  • leg press
  • swiss ball squats with weights
  • swiss ball single leg lifts
  • calf raises
  • seated row
  • lat pulldown
  • swiss ball dumbell press
  • reverse flyes (yuck, hate them but they're good for me)
  • swiss ball crunches
  • swiss ball walkouts
  • swiss ball bridge
  • lower body russian twist

The plan is to go to the gym twice a week. I know it does me good, its just convincing myself that I 'enjoy' it!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Round and round and round we go

Plan - Geoff's run session: 12 x 40sec efforts (80sec RI)
Time - 5.30pm
Location - Parliament House
Weather - cold, no wind, about 6*C

Yawning most of the afternoon. Certainly didn't feel like going to Geoff's run session after work, would've been very happy to just go home. However 5.30pm found me, rather reluctantly, at Parliament House, feeling cold and tired. Good to see everyone - some like Charmaine and Rae I hadn't seen for a very long time. Margaret was feeling very happy after her PB at the GC half marathon. Flash Duck showed up near the end of the warm up run. The session consisted of running a loop, uphill one side and downhill the other, on the grass - 40sec efforts followed by 80 sec at a slower pace, 12 times. Downhill efforts - not a problem. Uphill efforts - required a little more work. Had certainly warmed up by the end of the session. A cool down lap and then home for a hot shower and something to eat.

This morning I went swimming before work. Plan was to do 1km but I lost count of my laps and did 1.1km - 23.51min. Arrived at the pool a bit after 7.30am so missed the early morning rush - I virtually had the pool to myself. For this reason, I really enjoyed my swim this morning. I didn't have to worry about getting in anyone's way, or overtaking anyone, or try to avoid random kicks from swimmers in the lane next to me, or rope burn from swimming too close to the lane ropes, etc.

Plan for the week (already looking shaky and its only Monday)

Mon - am swimming; pm run session (done)
Tue - gym at lunchtime
Wed - will either be an hour run before work or Barbecue Stakes 6km at lunchtime (may be having lunch with friends); pm swim
Thurs - will either be a run before work or run session at Dickson oval after work (depends on weather); no gym - have another lunch date
Fri - am swim; maybe gym at lunchtime (to make up for not going Thurs)
Sat - long run
Sun - rest day (at long last!!)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Easy run to finish the week

Plan - easy run
Time - 4.15pm
Duration - about 50mins
Route -Florey cycle path, heading towards Lake Ginninderra and return
Weather - about 10*C, windy, cloudy but with patches of blue sky

Training program said a 50min easy run so a 50min easy run it was. Initially I wasn't planning on running today because I had too many other things to do (ie life gets in the way!) but a small window of opportunity opened up this afternoon so I grabbed it. The first 20min of the run was fairly typical - felt tired, wanted to stop and go home but then it all came together and the rest of the run felt really really good.

Total for the week:
Swimming - 3.5km
Cycling - big fat zero....again
Running - 5hr 40min
Gym - twice this week....yay!!!
Yoga/stretching - after runs, when I can fit it in, at the gym

Niggles/injuries/illness - nothing. Unbelievable!

Feeling :-)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A long run with Flash Duck

Plan - a long run with Flash Duck.
Time - a very civilized 11am (I could sleep in!)
Route - around Lake Burley Griffin
Distance - 26km
Time - 2hr 30min
Av km rate - 5.40 min/km
Weather - cold, grey, windy (in parts) but no rain

I was really looking forward to running with FD this morning but also very nervous - what if I couldn't keep up with her, what if we had nothing to talk about, what if she didn't like me, etc, etc. Well, I needn't have worried - FD is a lovely person, there was plenty to talk about, so much so that the time went quickly and I really can't remember any difficult sections of the run (which is how a run should be). I was probably overdressed for the run, wearing leggings, short sleeved coolmax top, long sleeved coolmax top and lightweight jacket, but I wasn't taking any chances!!! The rain held off and the wind was really only troublesome on the return trip back to our cars. We saw some type of waterbird who had been fishing (successfully I might add, with a fish in its beak), a pair of swans with some gorgeous grey fuzzy goslings, and a guy practising on his trumpet. Some hardy cyclists were also out enjoying the break in the rain and a few families rugged up in jackets, beanies and scarves, laying out picnics (very keen I thought).

I was really taken with FD's Garmin 301 Forerunner. I have been thinking about getting one and having seen one in action and the great things you can do with it after the run (eg the maps and the info that can be downloaded), I'm sold! It is definitely on my shopping list.

After the run we had a couple of coffees to warm up - always a good thing. All in all, a great day. I'm so glad the weather held out and we could run. Thanks FD :-)

Friday, July 08, 2005

Running, no; swimming, yes

Plan - swim 1km inc 200m WU; 4 x 200m variable pace (25m slow; 25m fast; 25m fast; 25m slow; 50m slow; 50m fast) with 15sec RI

Time - 7am

A wet, grey, cold and miserable day - at least I'm not running. Swimming went well - felt stronger in the shoulders. The fast bits were quite slow to start with but I did gradually increase my speed with each rep!

Shocking news about the bomb blasts in London. Have friends who are in Florence at the moment (Strewth and Dave) and work colleagues who are in the Czech Republic but heading to London shortly. Very scary times.

Had a lovely lunch with friends at Milk & Honey. My friends had a delicious looking chicken risotto and I had panini with roast pumpkin, feta cheese and other yummy fillings and two great cappuccinos. It was good to get together and have a laugh. Life is good.


It is still raining. I have planned to run with Flashduck tomorrow. At this rate we'll be swimming. I've also just heard that it will be 9*C and snow on the ranges. I'm over Winter - bring on Summer!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Back to the gym

Didn't feel at all inspired to go to the gym today and if anyone had suggested going out for a coffee, I would've been there like a shot. However, that didn't happen *sigh* so headed off to the gym at lunchtime. Did feel a little rejuvenated heading outdoors (there is something about being stuck indoors that makes me feel tired and blah sometimes).

However, had to modify my exercise regime because the club had decided to recover some of the seats on the machines "for our comfort" and therefore would be without padded seats for 48hours. Hmmm, wasn't planning on sitting on metal to exercise so used alternatives to those exercises where I usually use a machine (not that many actually). Surprisingly not that sore fromTuesday's session though could feel it when doing some of the exercises. Nearly fell off the swiss ball when doing crunches - why do balls have to be so round (no comments please). Decided that I hate reverse dumbbell flies with a passion - too hard.

When I got back to work to eat my well-earned lunch of feta cheese salad (yummo), a work colleague commented that I looked tired - I was supposed to look rejuvenated!!!! (admittedly I am tired and looking forward to vegeing out in front of the TV tonight *yawn*).

Eeeeek! Cold shower this morning!

Plan - 1hr 20min easy run this morning
Time - 5.15am
Weather - Light drizzle that got slightly heavier the longer I ran
Route - Around Scullin and Page, including a few little hills
Best music to run to - "Turn up the radio" - Master Apprentices and "What's my scene" - Hoodoo Gurus

Actually wasn't a bad run given the time of day and that I had just crawled out of bed, dressed on automatic pilot and downed a black coffee before heading out the door. Listened to music and generally turned the legs over and before I knew it, I had finished.

However someone, unintentionally I'm sure, had turned off the hot water system last night so I had to have a cold shower before work. It was a case of sticking bits of me under the water - couldn't cope with the whole body effect. It was the quickest shower I've ever had and I'm still trying to warm up - after a cappuccino with Son #1 in Civic and a hot chocolate once I got to work.

Sight of the day - On the way to work, saw a beat up old stationwagon with the number plate "genuine".

Wednesday afternoon

Had regular fortnightly meeting with Anna and Lisa, our architects, about pending house renovations. We had made a decision on which of the three concept drawings we liked and now it was a case of trying to come up with a compromise so it wouldn't cost us a large fortune (just a small one instead). Then it was time to get practical and inspect the house infrastructure to ascertain what would work in our favour and what would cost more to rectify in terms of what we want to do structurally to the house. Mostly, however, it seemed to work in our favour. Next meeting in a fortnight's time. Anna and Lisa would produce a more detailed drawing of what we want.

Wednesday evening

Plan - Swim. Extend 1km swim to 1.1km.
Time - 7pm
Location - Belconnen pool

Was feeling tired so didn't really want to go swimming but went anyway. Pays not to think about it too much. Did 300m warmup alternating between board and fins and pullbuoy. Decided would extend distance of my longest swim by 100m, ie from 1km to 1.1km. Will increase slowly, ie 100m, each week. Swim went well - have no idea how long it took because I wasn't timing but I was in and out of the pool in about 30mins. Did a 100m cooldown with board and fins. Saw Naomi from Bilbys in the change rooms - I commented that I had been thinking of joining a club, especially for swimming. She assured me that they are very friendly and I should come along. Will think about it - it is easier swimming with a squad but I do like the freedom of doing what I want, when I want too.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Baby Elephant runs Barbecue Stakes!

Plan - run the Barbecue Stakes 6km course (anti-clockwise)
Result - 28.04min, 11th place (43 runners)
Hcp - 12.15min

Thump, thump, thump.........that was how I sounded while running the Barbecue Stakes today, a 6km undulating course. Its a regular Wednesday clock-wise run and on the first Wednesday of every month the course is run anti-clockwise. Not sure which way is best though running it anti-clockwise means starting with a hill that seems to go on forever. Perfect running weather - bit of a breeze, blue sky and some clouds. 43 runners showed up for the event. Discovered that I was running off 12.15min. I watched everyone else leave and it seemed that only fast looking male runners were left.

I felt fine until I hit the off-road section of the course - the bit that undulates unmercifully. Then it sounded like a baby elephant was on the loose - thump, thump, thump. My legs felt really heavy - the after effects of yesterday's gym work I wonder? I was passing other runners but to be honest, I wasn't feeling that comfortable and contemplated slowing down to a walk at times. Once I was off the off-road section it was mostly downhill all the way to the finish. I expected to be passed by lots of runners as I'm not strong on the flat. However, only one or two others passed me and I finished in a time of 28.04min (11th place) - only 9secs outside my PB for the anti-clockwise course, set back in 2002. So felt crappy but ran a reasonable time!

News of the day - Doug "the Legend" Fry awarded t-shirt for completing 1100 Barbecue Stakes runs. Incredible! I think I've run 20!!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Blue skies and sunshine

Plan - weight training + core strengthening exercises on swiss ball at the gym

What a beautiful day it is today - blue skies, crisp, everything is looking so green, just love it! Mind you, I spend most of it indoors working but was able to get out at lunchtime and head to the gym - about an 8min walk (made it longer on the way back because it was so gorgeous outside - I love blue skies and sunshine!)

The gym. It has been about a month since I've made my presence felt there and lately I have been finding lots of excuses not to go. I'm not a gym junkie by any stretch of the imagination but I have come to realise that weight training is good for me. I also do core strengthening exercises. Took it easy with the weights but I think I'm going to feel it tomorrow. Really struggled on the Swiss ball single leg raises - I can't remember them being this hard! Anyway now feeling virtuous 0:-) having been to the gym, and then consuming a salad for lunch. However FD, have taken your advice (rant) onboard and will try and increase my carbs. I used to be a carboholic but since I've been trying to improve my diet I have unintentionally cut back on carbs more than I should have, given the activity I do. Looking forward to tomorrow's 6km run at lunchtime, hopefully the weather will be like this. Perfect!!!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Monday running session

Training plan for the week ahead:
Monday - swim am; Geoff's run session, pm
Tuesday - gym at lunchtime
Wednesday - Barbecue Stakes 6km run; swim pm
Thursday - 80min easy run am; gym at lunchtime
Friday - swim am
Saturday - long run am
Sunday - easy 50min run pm

Monday run session
Plan - Geoff's Monday running group at Parliament House. Today it was to be 6 laps of a loop course (about 800m) which involved running downhill one side and going hard uphill the other side.

Started off with a bleeding blister - after effects of yesterday's run. Had forgotten about it until I put socks and runners on and then noticed it was bleeding. Ouch! Also have some bad chafing on lower back from drink bottle holder - ouch, ouch!! Still felt a little tired from yesterday's run and the after effects of a restless night - didn't sleep very well. Fuelled up on coffee today and chewy lollies eg Sherbies and Milkshakes. Had a bad attack of sugar cravings after lunch.

Was a clear, crisp evening, the sky punctuated by fireworks from the nearby US embassy (Independence Day). Started with a one lap warm up around Parliament House, then a familiarisation lap around the loop course before starting the repeats - 6 of them (on the bright side, at least it wasn't 20!). On the uphill side, we ran hard uphill until we reached the bridge, slowed down, and then ran hard the rest of the way up the hill to the top. The downhill side was a recovery run before doing it all again. What fun! Concentrated on running lightly and relaxed uphill and was happy with my speed, although I did slow down a bit on the last two laps. Finished the session with another lap around PH. A good session.

Swam this morning - 1km, 21.46min. A very pedestrian time but enjoyable. Mostly had the lane to myself and concentrated on stretching out on each stroke.

Had avocado and bocconcini salad with crispbreads for lunch, and apple for afternoon tea. Felt hungry all afternoon - not sure why. Maybe after effects of yesterday's long run? Had tofu and lettuce tortilla wrap for tea, followed by yoghurt, strawberries and grapes.

Some results from the Gold Coast:

Margaret - 1hr 56.36min in the half - a PB apparently. Well done!

Wombat - 1hr 42min in the half. Great time!

Nerida - her 2nd half - 2hr 16.52min. We'll have you doing a marathon yet!

Geoff - 4hr 01.23min in the marathon. Way to go!!! Done well guys!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Started in the fog; finished in the fog

Plan for today - a 2hr 30min long run with Roy

It was cold and foggy this morning (1*C) when I ran from home down to Lake Ginninderra to meet up with Roy, who was going to keep me company on his bike. However, when I got there (35mins later) there was no bike and Roy didn't look like he was going anywhere. Seems like he had problems with the bike tubes and so wouldn't be able to accompany me this morning - would be shopping for new tubes instead. Oh well, nothing like a 2hour run by myself, without an ipod (I had briefly flirted with the idea of running home again to get the ipod) but decided I would enjoy the scenery instead, even though the scenery was shrouded in fog! Decided to follow the path around the lake until after the peninsular and then follow the cycle path into Mackellar (I think), following the creek.

To start with everything seemed to ache (I never notice these things when I run with company) but I soon hit my stride. Passed several runners coming the other way, some cyclists that appeared from out of the fog, people out walking their dogs, saw lots of different birdlife - black cockatoos, magpies, galahs, willy wagtails, teensy wrens, water fowl. It was an undulating course and I tried to remain light and relaxed running up the hills - worked for the most part; probably not as well in the latter stages of the run. Reached the turnaround and headed back, after calling Mr CJ to tell him of the change in plans - he was going to pick me up from the lake, after a coffee with Roy, but instead I would now just run home. The return trip was just as uneventful - I really enjoyed running the peninsular, in among the trees and next to the lake, which was still shrouded in mist.

Almost home, had run for 2hr 30min when I met up with JD who was out for a run as well. Stopped for a chat then headed home as I was feeling cold (it was 10am and 3*C). Took me ages to warm up - a long hot shower, a coffee, a crumpet topped with fig jam (I had been looking forward to this for about the last hour of the run), and a little bit later, when I was feeling really hungry, some spicy lentil and vegie soup.

Had 2 energy gels and one bottle of sports drink on the run. Felt strong and comfortable for most of the way; a little tired near the end. No tightness, sore muscles, niggles, etc. Tired later in the day.

Total for the week:
Swim - 2km
Cycle - natch, nada, nothing
Run - about 6hrs (very rough calculation)
Gym - thought about it
Yoga - Saturday

Saturday, July 02, 2005

A cappuccino and maltesers kinda day

Yoga this morning - last beginners 1 class. Everyone seemed tired this morning and it required more effort to get into the poses. I also found that when I was in the resting pose (savasana) my mind wandered off on to a million and one other things when it should've been following my breath. Sigh, sometimes this yoga thing is just too hard.

This afternoon Mr CJ and I went to the movies to see Star Wars 3 - Revenge of the Sith. We thought that most people would've seen the movie by now so there would no trouble finding a decent seat. Had a coffee at Babars before the movie and then waited on the end of a very long queue to buy tickets for a movie that supposedly had started, oops. Seems like there were quite a few people who thought the same as us and left seeing this movie until now - we found we were sitting about 3 rows from the front when we finally got into the cinema. Mr CJ also made the helpful suggestion that we should buy a packet of Maltesers to share - of course the only size pack you can buy is a family size and it costs a small fortune. Movie was great, sitting down the front wasn't bad and I ate far too many maltesers - didn't roll any down the aisles!!! Had another cappuccino at Babars after the movie (the coffee is really good) before heading home. Now to watch Hell on Wheels on SBS followed by the start of the TdF - Yay!!!

Ordered a CR singlet (for a friend) and a CR t-shirt (for myself) yesterday morning on-line. When I came home from the mall early this afternoon the parcel had arrived - now that's service!!!!

Tomorrow I have a 2 1/2 hour run with Roy - hope its not too cold!

Friday, July 01, 2005

It's raining again

Not that I mind rain but I like sunshine more! We need some drying out time. Yesterday ended up being a rest day by default. I know that I said that I would go to the gym but when the opportunity arose to have lunch with a very good friend, well what could I do? So, I have promised myself that I will go to the gym Tuesday and Thursday next week. Then I was supposed to go to run training after work but that was cancelled due to the rain. For about a nanosecond I thought about doing a spin session on my bike but changed my mind.

So because I didn't run yesterday I decided not to go swimming this morning but instead do what looked to be a fairly doable run session before work. The session involved 10min at 75%-80% effort, then a 5min effort, 2 x 2.30min efforts and finish with another 10min effort (with 1.30min rest interval between each effort). I began at 80% effort but by the end of the session I was struggling with 75% effort, though it felt like 95%! My legs felt like wet concrete, I was just so sluggish. A very deceptive workout.

Best music to run with, this morning: "One Way or Another" - Blondie; "Run to Paradise" (not!) - Choirboys, and "I'm Still Standing" (barely!) - EJ.

Have also been thinking about buying a Garmin Forerunner 201 thingy - have been reading about it on the net; sounds good. A new toy! Trouble is, I bought a HRM last year and still don't use it properly. Hmmm, do I need one?