Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Fueled on cake

It was cake o'clock at 9.30am today. A work colleague likes to bake cakes using new recipes and we are the guinea pigs. I'm not complaining because she is such a great cook and we haven't had a bad cake yet. Not sure if this is part of a marathon training diet but I do tend to improvise! Anyway the first cake was at 9.30am - now I have to say, at this point, that I don't usually eat cake this early in the morning but how could I resist, when everyone else was sitting around me doing just that - eating cake. The next cake was at 11am for our section manager's birthday - this was a very rich, very chocolatey mud cake. So rich, in fact, that I could only eat half my slice and left the rest for later on.

This afternoon was the first of the Cross Country series at Weston Park. It was a very warm and sunny 29*C. I managed to show up about 30mins before the 5km event started, which gave me plenty of time to go to the toilet (always a pre-race necessity) and a teensy warm-up. Then I chatted to Margaret, Roy, and Geoff before Strewth and JD showed up. Also met Erin, from USA, who is here for 12months with her husband and children. Looking around before the start, noticed that the event also attracted the gun runners such as Sarah Fien, Jackie Fairweather and others that I know of by sight but can't think of their names. Lucky I was planning on doing my tempo run and not racing!

My program called for a run of 11km in total including 2 x 7mins tempo with a 3min jog in between. So my plan was to start at 5min/km for the first 5min; then run 7mins at my tempo pace (around 4.30-4.40min/km); run at 5min/km pace for 3min; then repeat the 7min tempo and finally, finish at 5min/km pace. Then I would continue on and run 6km, to complete a total of 11km. Did it work?

Time / weather - 6pm / warm, sunny, 29*C
Session - Cross country run, Weston Park
Distance - 5km
Time taken - 24.24min
Av pace - 4.44min/km
AHR - 169; MHR - 178
Calories - 270
Place - 80th

1st 5min - ran 1km - av 4.59min/km (spot on)
7min tempo - av pace 4.33min/km (yes!)
3min jog - av pace 5.07min/km (almost spot on)
7min tempo - av pace 4.36min/km (a bit slower but still ok)
2.24min jog - av pace 4.37min/km (too close to the finish and found it hard to slow down!)

The hardest part was slowing down for the jog parts. I felt like telling people who passed me, who I'd passed only seconds before, that no, I hadn't gone out too hard and was now paying the price, but that what I was doing was quite deliberate! It was a comfortable run and I passed quite a few people who would normally outrun me but were obviously suffering in the heat. So it was an interesting race, not the least because I wasn't shattered by the time I had finished........a good thing considering I had a further 6km to run.

I stopped long enough to have a drink and then headed off again, this time along the cycle path which goes through Westbourne Woods, up past the Governor General's house and out to Scrivener Dam. This is a very pleasant run because most of it is run in shade, which was very welcome. Obviously many of the gun runners, who had finished the event ages ago, headed out this way to do their cool down run as I passed quite a few running back the other way. Lots of cyclists went whizzing past as well, most heading home after work.

Session - rest of tempo run (run at easy pace)
Distance - 6km
Time taken - 34.07min
Av pace - 5.38min/km
AHR - 159; MHR - 171
Calories - 305

Next instalment:
Tomorrow - 16km medium long run before work.
Can CJ do it? Can she get up early (ie 5am), eat and then head out the door by 6am?
Watch this space!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Good intentions...........

The radio came on at 5am...Mr CJ turned it off, yawned, rolled over, and got up. My plan had been to also get up at this time, have something to eat and then head out on an easy 12km run. Hah! Evil CJ was having nothing of that......You're tired....do the run after work....its so comfy in bed.......just close the eyes for a little.....

Damn, woke up again at 6am. Couldn't possibly do the run now, have a shower, and meet Strewth and Mr B for breakfast at Red Belly Black. I'll run after work instead.

Good plan until I heard the weather forecast, 34*C. No way am I running 12km in that heat. Ok, let's reconfigure the program. Friday is a rest day but realistically Monday works better as a rest day for me. Usually I've either raced or done a long run on the weekend (sometimes both) so I need a break. Ok, problem solved - Monday is now officially my day off from running, I'll run the 12km on Friday morning instead.

Its amazing really when I think about it - all these thought processes occurring before 6am and even more startling, before caffeine. Scary stuff but that's what marathon training can do to a person!

It was back to the gym at lunchtime today - the first time in over 3 weeks. The plan was to do an upper body weights workout and ab exercises. Where the exercise called for an exercise bench I substituted a swiss ball for stability purposes, so getting more bang for my buck!

* Dumbbell Fly (chest) - 15reps/4kg; 15reps/4.5kg
No problem - managed these fairly easily so will probably increase the weight next time I do these

* Seated dumbbell lateral raise (shoulders) - 10reps/4kg; 10reps/4kg
Hmmm - some work needed here! I found it really difficult after about 5 reps to lift my arms up to the sides, and that was the first set!

* Dumbbell pullover (back) - 15reps/4kg; 15reps/4.5kg
No problems - probably can increase the weight a little.

* Dumbbell extension (triceps) - 15reps/4kg; 15reps/4.5kg
First set was fine. Arms a little shaky after about 10 reps on the second set.

* Seated dumbbell curl (biceps) - 15reps/4kg; 15reps/4.5kg
Love 'em - I've got biceps people and I'm very proud of them! Woohoo! Shame about the rest of the bod but hey, I'm working on it!

Then it was on to ab exercises using Pilates principles - 5 exercises, followed by Devil Crunches, as mentioned on DGC's blog.

After showering, changing and grabbing a protein drink, I headed back to work feeling very smug and virtuous (Saint CJ would've been very proud) and then about an hour later I was ready to have a nana nap. Huh? What's this about being fit and having more energy?!

Tomorrow afternoon the ACT Cross Country Summer Series begins, with a 5km race at Weston Park (yes, I've double-checked the website, Friar's email, and asked around - it is definitely 5km!). I'll be incorporating this into a 11km tempo run, which is part of my program. *Memo to self - don't race hard, race smart!*

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The 8km run that was really a 6km run.......doh!

I did KIT's trick this morning ie getting the finish line confused! I had thought the run today at Campbell Park was 8km and that was how I ran the course. So you can imagine my surprise when we came around the bend and the finish line was just ahead - I put on a finishing burst of speed (all of 25m!) to get across the line. No wonder I could hear pounding feet behind me; everyone except me seemed to know it was only 6km! Doh!!! *bang forehead on keyboard repeatedly*

Time / weather - 8.53am / a warm and sunny 21.2*C
Session - Thomas Series run at Campbell Park
Distance - 6km (hrmph)
Time taken - 28.08min
Av pace - 4.33min/km
AHR - 170; MHR - 180
Calories - 322
Start Group - 25
Place - 21

Well, as already mentioned, I thought the run was longer than it actually was. I ran comfortably, even from the start, which is unusual for me! The course was run off-road and was a little uneven under foot. I nearly came to grief when I heard some yelling behind me, turned my head to look but also kept on running - no, no, no, not advisable *smack on wrist* I almost tripped and fell.

My average pace per km as follows:
1 - 4.33
2 - 4.38
3 - 4.56
4 - 4.19
5 - 4.28
6 - 4.37
* Garmin Girl actually said that I had run 6.17km so......
the last 166.9m took 34sec at an av pace of 3.27min/km!

I was happy with my run and didn't feel the heat like I expected to, so all that running in the heat on those interminably long runs must be doing something. And because I felt cheated because I had only run 6km, I ran a 4km warm down run with Griffin. Strewth and speedygeoff did start with us but turned back earlier and ran 3km, I think.

*Just downloaded Pump It by Black Eyed Peas - that song has definitely grown on me*

Anyways, my total distance for:
today - 10km
the week: 49.42km
the month: 233.42km

Next week (ie tomorrow) Cycle 3 begins (each cycle lasts a month) - the focus is endurance and anaerobic threshold (yikes!).
The maximum kilometres run in a week will be 100km (double yikes) - week 3
Each week will include:
1 long run
1 medium long run
2 x speed sessions
1 x strides

Saturday, January 28, 2006

My 5km retro run

Time/ Weather - 9.20am / very very humid, 23*C, overcast
Workout - easy run
Distance - 5km
Time taken - 26.55min
Av pace - 5.22min/km
AHR - 150; MHR - 169
Calories - 272

Didn't sleep very well last night; it was hot and humid, and certainly hadn't improved by this morning. However, it was only a 5km run today to turn the legs over before the first Veteran's handicap run tomorrow, over 8km. I only had coffee to fuel myself this morning because it was an easy short run so figured I didn't need too much in the tank. Besides according to that Runners World article you burn more fat when you run on empty because you have higher levels of free fatty acids in your blood and a hormonal environment favouring low use of carbohydrate. Though not sure whether this really applies to a 5km run!

I have a large playlist on my ipod which I have set on shuffle so I never know what songs I'm going to hear next. This morning it was really weird - definitely lots of 80's music -
Bon Jovi songs Living on a Prayer and Its My Life;
You Could Be Mine by Guns'n'Roses;
Break My Stride by Mathew Wilder (.....ain't nothin gonna to break my stride, Nobody's gonna slow me down, oh-no, I got to keep on movin, Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride, I'm running and I won't touch ground, Oh-no, I got to keep on movin'....); and
Mylo vs Miami Sound Machine (2005 version of an 80's song - ......I just can't control my feet when I hear the beat, when I hear the beat....).

So it was a fun run in all senses of the word - I had a ball. Not quite bongo drums iliketoast, but disco lights instead!!!
Stretched when I finished then had rolled oats, dried apricots and honey for breakfast.

This afternoon I went down to Commonwealth Park, Lake Burley Griffin, to watch and support Strewth and JS in the triathlon they had entered. JS was actually doing this one (300m swim/10km cycle, 2km run) as a warm-up for tomorrow's olympic distance tri (1,500m swim/40km cycle/10km run). It was so hot and I was so glad that I wasn't doing it - there were none of those 'gee I wish I was doing it' sentiments from me! Also discovered that Mr B had entered the tri as well, his first at this distance. And what a day to attempt it! By the time the first swim wave was due to start the easterly wind had picked up markedly and there were whitecaps out on the lake. Competitors would be swimming directly into them. I was soooo happy to be standing on the shore assigned to camera duties! Strewth was looking more and more worried the closer it got to her wave starting. I probably didn't help the situation by commenting on the size of the waves, the strength of the wind, and the fact that there was lightning and thunder off in the distance.

Managed to have a capuccino while they were out on their bikes. Hey, this spectator business is actually not bad - I could really get used to this! Then it was back on camera duties when they started heading back into transition and off onto the final leg, the 2km run. I saw JS head off on his run but never managed to see him finish; I missed Mr B coming in after his bike leg but saw him finish the run; and Strewth, well I managed to see her come in on her bike, start and finish her run. Yay!!!

Tomorrow its the 8km run at Campbell Park. Hopefully it won't be too hot or humid.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Australia day run

 Posted by Picasa
Fireworks at Lake Burley Griffin - Australia Day

 Posted by Picasa Photo taken last year when travelling across the Nullabor.

There was an organised fun run on yesterday, the Medibank Private 8km/4km fun run/walk but it was a little exie so decided to follow my program instead.

Week 8 of 18 weeks - Easy week
Day 4 of program

Time/weather - 9.28am / sunny, warm
Workout - easy run
Distance - 10km
Time taken - 1hr 3.50min
Av pace - 5.19min/km
AHR - 157; MHR - 173
Calories - 659

No problems getting out of bed and running this morning because a) it was a holiday and b) I got to sleep in. I also did something I don't usually do for shorter runs and that is eat before I run. I did this for 2 reasons - one, I had the time and two, I had read an article in the latest Runners World magazine, which suggested that eating before a workout results in a better quality workout. Lately my morning runs have been a little lacklustre, or more precisely, I have been a little lacklustre so I was interested to see whether eating prior to running would make any difference. It was suggested that a low fat, carbohydrate-based snack would boost my blood glucose and ensure I got the best from my workout. So I had toast with honey and then waited for about an hour before running out the door on my 12km run.

Did it make a difference? Probably too early to tell but I think it did. I certainly started faster and with more oomph, and lasted the distance without feeling blah, but that could also be attributed to not having to get up at some ungodly hour to run. However, I will persist with toast and honey before quality early morning workouts, so this will mean getting up a bit earlier.

Later that day Mr CJ and I had lunch with Strewth and Mr B in Kingston. Then later that night we went down to Lake Burley Griffin to watch the fireworks.

Today's run
Week 8 of 18 weeks - Easy week (I love it!)
Day 5 of program

Workout - Fartlek session
Time/weather - 8.44am / 23*C when I started, felt a lot hotter by the time I finished
Distance - 12.42km
Time taken - 1hr 4.55min
Av pace - 5.14min/km
AHR - 162; MHR - 178
Calories - 723

The fartlek bit consisted of:
(2 x 60sec / 60sec float; 2 x 30sec / 30 sec float) x 2 - the program said to do this on flat terrain so ran this part on the local oval.

Wore my red/white DS trainers so obviously felt like I was running faster. Oh, and I had eaten again before venturing out so was fueled up and ready to go. But oh it was so hot and the sweat was pouring off me. What's that saying - men sweat, horses perspire and women glow?! Or is it horses sweat, men perspire....? Anyway, my point (yes, I do have one!) is that I wasn't glowing, I was literally dripping sweat! Whoever came up with stupid saying anyway? Obviously not a woman who runs!

For the 5km out and back warm up I ran on the cyclepath and it took me underneath the cover of shady trees. However the fartlek session on the oval was out in the open and even though the grass looked very very green, it felt very very hot. I don't think I was very consistent with my pace for the fast bits - my fastest time for the 1min efforts was 4.23min/km; the slowest effort was 4.48min/km. For the 30sec efforts it ranged from 4.21min/km (fastest) to 4.56min/km (slowest). I think next time I have a fartlek session I might run the efforts over a measured distance for the set amount of time. Anyway, I finished the session running another 5km out and back underneath the shady trees again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Consistently inconsistent

I'm in week 8 of my 18 marathon training program and I'm yet to complete a full week of the program because of one thing or another. Well at least I can say I am being consistently inconsistent. Though I hope to be able to finish this weeks training, to the letter *fingers crossed*.

Knee update
Finally succumbed and went to the doctors on Monday. I am now on antibiotics and have a gel dressing on my knee which is to stay on as long as possible, up to 3 days at a time, unless it starts oozing (sorry, can't help myself - had to say it!). I had to change the dressing this morning and it was disgusting, even by my standards! So I hadn't run for 3 days but thought I'd give it a go this morning.

Session - easy run
Distance - 10km
Time taken - 53.44min
Av pace - 5.22min/km
AHR - 146; MHR - 183
Calories - 582

I would like to say that I jumped out of bed this morning, changed into my running gear, raring to run 10km. Reality was though that I finally got out of bed after searching for a reasonable excuse to stay put, spent forever trying to find all my running bits and pieces (memo to self - put out running gear the night before), finished off my coffee (an absolute necessity otherwise I would trip over my own feet due to insufficient caffeine consumption), and finally headed out the door half an hour later. One I got going it wasn't too bad though I was behind Garmin Girl for the first 4 kilometres. However, the pace picked up, I left her behind and I really enjoyed the run. Why does it have to be so hard getting started - you would think I would remember the feel-good feeling I get from running. Getting out of bed shouldn't be such a problem.

I have 4 days off after today - tomorrow is Australia Day (public holiday), I'm taking Friday off, and then there is the weekend. Yay!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Highly strung? Me?

Thanks to RunDave ;-)

You Are an Espresso

At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic

At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung

You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping

Your caffeine addiction level: high

Though I love a good capuccino.......

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by Hilda.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago? - Hmmm, I was working with the ABS and travelling to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to train interviewers for one of our surveys. Sons #1 and#2 were about to start high school.

2. Five snacks I enjoy - Easy.....coffee, chocolate, fantales, avocado on sesame crispbread, Red Belly Black's homemade muesli (ok its not a snack but I love it)

3. Five songs I know all the words to - I'm one of those who makes up words when I forget or don't know the words to songs (which is most of them)....ummmm...the happy birthday song, insy winsy spider, jingle bells, waltzing matilda, Its raining men!

4. Five things I'd do as a millionaire - pay off the house, take my friends on a holiday to Italy, buy my boys a house, go shopping!!!, and like Hilda, run marathons in many different parts of the world and catch up with fellow bloggers! (ok technically that might be 6 things..). Then there's donating money to favourite charities.....

5. Five things I like doing - running, triathlons, blogging, getting together with friends, reading.

6. Five favourite toys - Garmin, ipod, laptop, camera, mobile phone (texting, taking photos, organiser, even has a training program!)

I tag Strewth, Cirque, KIT, Rae, DGC, and speedygeoff.

Damn - she beat me!

Garmin Girl beat me hands down in the long run - I was well and truly dragging my heels. The message that flashed on the screen at the finish was "Goal not met" - hrmph, I did run 34km as planned, just not at the pace I would've liked, which was 5.30min/km. Oh well, another day, another run.

Session - long run
Distance - 34km
Time taken - 3hr 12.39min
Av pace - 5.40min/km
Calories - 2,034
Weather - very very warm; by the end it felt like hell!

Total kms for the week - 80km

Out Stromlo way

I have had better long runs; a lot better. I decided to run out to Stromlo via the cork plantation. I ran on cycle paths for about the first 7km, then offroad for the next 20km, and finishing the last 7km on the cycle path again. Its a very exposed area heading out to Stromlo, ever since the 2003 bushfires, so there is no chance of shade until you're back on the cycle path. Its also very undulating, especially on the return trip so it makes it a very challenging run - good for leg strength and endurance.

I started off in a relatively good mood; I was running slowly and I don't think I ever got ahead of Garmin Girl but I managed to stay within 300m of her until near the end when it blew out to over a kilometer - oh dear! I was still feeling the after effects of the hill session on Thursday (however the physio was very pleased with my progress ie the complaining glute). However, on the return trip my mood became darker the more tired I got, I felt like shite, and then the continuous arguments between Evil CJ and Saint CJ began. Evil CJ kept whispering that I didn't have to run up the hills, that in fact my glute would appreciate if I took it easy - and hey, walking is not so bad, after all it is a hot day. Then Saint CJ would start - she would tut-tut, waggle her finger and pontificate about the virtues of not giving in, just ignore the tiredness and it will go away, don't be so weak, think about the end goal, blah, blah, blah. Not only that, my glute which had been just a little tetchy during the week was working up to a major tantrum - honestly if its not one thing its another lately with my running! Anyway I ignored Evil CJ as long as I could and it wasn't until I was back on the cycle path that I gave in and walked a teensy little bit - though I could hear that evil giggle (honestly, its only Gatorade in my drink bottles and I haven't been consuming any mind altering substances!)

Coming out of the Cork Plantation, before getting on to the cycle path) I have to open and close a gate. What I didn't realise as I was standing there closing the gate was that I was standing on an ants nest, and they were very angry black ants. They quickly swarmed over my shoes and up on to my legs to bite me - ouch, ouch, ouch! I was busy flicking ants off left, right and centre - the little blighters.

The gate!

I finally made it home without resorting to ringing Mr CJ to come and rescue me. He did make some comment about how long the run took and I just put up my hand and said "don't say any more". One look at me and he figured that remaining silent was probably the best and safest course of action to take!

One thing that did bother me was how puffy my fingers were by the time I had finished. What could be causing this? I took GU sachets and 3 small bottles of Gatorade and 1 small bottle of water with me and had drunk them all.

Had a lovely cappucino and fruit salad with yoghurt at Beppe's Tuscan Kitchen later that morning.

Next week's program - Week 8 of 18 - Easy week
Monday - rest day
Tuesday - 10km easy
Wednesday - 12km
Thursday - 10km total including 12min fartlek
Friday - rest day
Saturday - 5km
Sunday - 8km race (Vet's monthly run)

The Weirdest Dream

I had the strangest dream Friday night - maybe it had something to do with the thought of running 34km the next morning or the fact that I consumed about a third of a packet of Tim Tam balls before going to bed.

Anyway, it was the Canberra marathon - except I didn't recognise any Canberra landmarks. In fact, it looked like Esperance, my home town in WA. Strewth and I were late for the start of the marathon (no surprises there!) and we were about 2.5km behind the runners when we started. The strangest thing was I was riding a bike with the idea of catching up with the other runners, except I never caught up with them and the gap always remained at 2.5km. Every drinks station I passed reminded me that I hadn't prepared my own drinks and the volunteers were having a party. I don't know what happened to Strewth - she was probably running! Strange, very strange! I hope its not an omen!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

That was so much fun.....not!

My new DS trainers - bought them a couple of weeks ago

All day yesterday I was thinking about much fun the 10 hill repeats would be. So much so, that I ate my way through half a box of Tim Tam balls and sticky date biscotti (to die for) and a slice of chocolate rum truffle mousse cake. It didn't help that we had a birthday morning tea for a work colleague, then I went out for coffee with another work colleague as it was her last day in the public service and then finished off the day with a branch afternoon tea for said colleague. So much for my healthy diet!

Session - Run from home to hill
Distance - 5.24km
Time taken - 27.33min
Av pace - 5.15min/km
AHR - 152

This run is in three parts. The first 5.24km was along the cycle path to a long hill - not overly steep but a grindingly long uphill. The creek levels had dropped sufficiently that I didn't have to detour via roads. A good warm up run. No niggles.

Hill repeats
10 x 1min repeats
AHR - 156; MHR - 177

The first 3 repeats were run at a very pedestrian pace and then I hit my straps *haha*. It felt like my heart rate was maxing out but looking at the stats it wasn't that bad, and I was still upright and breathing! Two songs that really were appropriate for this section of my run were Twisted Transistor by Korn and We're Not Going To Take It by Twisted Sister. But I did take it and made it through the repeats. The glute was starting to get a little tetchy by the end so gosh, lucky I wasn't doing 20 repeats!

Run home after hill repeats
Distance - 5.01km
Time taken - 25.24min
Av pace - 5.04min/km
AHR - 158; MHR - 195

I love running on the flat after doing hill repeats - it all feels so much easier. I guess I have also well and truly warmed up by this point! The run home was a lot easier than the run out and my average pace was also quicker. And hopefully I had run off all that junk I had consumed earlier in the day. After all, a Lindt ball or two was looking mighty fine!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Soggy froggy weather

I don't believe it - I had finished the entire entry for today and then lost it - !@#$%. Grrrrrrr!

Knee update - its looking very icky and yucky. In fact for the run this afternoon I covered it with an extra large bandage so not to offend anyone's sensibilities or delicate constitution while running around the lake. The knee is also feeling quite sore so if it doesn't improve over the next 24 hours I may have to resort to visiting the doctor. So no photos but then on second thoughts maybe that wouldn't be such a bad idea - then I could rename my blog CJ's Little Blog of Horrors!

The program called for a medium long run of 18km today. The thought of running 18km before breakfast held no appeal for me, which is just as well because we had quite a deluge of rain this morning. Priorities, priorities - my bed won out this morning! So this became an afternoon run.

It has been soggy froggy weather here lately - we have had some very heavy downpours. Poor Mia - she hates thunder and heavy rain and we had both this morning. Then to add insult to injury the man who was giving us a quote on removing some trees from our front yard rang the doorbell. This is a big no-no for Mia - it means getting under the couch (which is quite a squeeze for her these days) and not budging for hours. All you can see when you look under the couch is two large green eyes looking back at you and hear the occasional growl. She is such a little stress ball.

Session - medium long run
Distance - 18km
Time taken - 1hr 37.01min
Av pace - 5.23min/km
AHR - 146; MHR - 192
Calories - 985

As usual it was slow going to start with but I improved as the kilometres ticked over. Mind you I was counting down the kilometres from about the 10km mark. The cycle path I run along to get back home runs alongside what is normally a little stream with 2 crossings. As a result of the rain we have had lately it was a raging torrent and the two crossings were well under water. This meant taking detours across 2 roads.

It was perfect weather for running - cool and no wind. It looked like it might start raining at any time but fortunately this held off. If I had run this morning I would have been caught out in a heavy downpour. The body held up well - the glute and ankle are still behaving themselves.

Tomorrow I have a 10km run with 10 x 1min hill repeats - this will be another afternoon run as the thought of running 10 hill repeats before breakfast does not appeal at all. I'm having a hard time convincing my body that the holiday is over!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Gotta be happy with this.......

Marathon training update - Week 7 of 18 (OMG!)
Today's run - 10km steady run plus 6 x 100m strides
Time taken - 48.30min
Av pace - 4.51min/km
AHR - 165
Calories - 542

I was a little worried about doing this run because I thought I would struggle with the pace - I'm not an afternoon runner. Mind you, I wasn't a morning runner today either - I needed a double espresso just to get out of bed! Anyway, according to my program, a steady run is one that is "just within [my] comfort zone, but [I] should not be able to chat too much while [I am] running along. They are a step up in intensity from the easy run." And according to Macmillan's calculator a steady pace for me is anywhere between 4.44min/km to 4.52min/km. So I set Garmin Girl for 5min/km pace with the hope of trying to stay under that pace.......AND I DID!!!!!!!

I felt comfortable and strong for most of the run, only going above 5min/km in the last kilometre (5.02min/km). The glute and ankle felt okay *touch wood*.

Once I had run the 10km I did 6 x 100m strides on the local oval. Again I surprised myself by actually running these slightly quicker than I have on the last couple of occasions. I think I should have holidays more often!!!!

So for having such a good run I had a Lindt Lindor ball (or two or three..) tonight ;-)

Monday morning run - start of week 7

Distance - 8km
Time taken - 42.35min
Av pace - 5.19min/km
AHR - 146
Calories - 440

A 'back to work' run - groan! I was so disorganised - having a month off has thrown my morning routine out of whack! I was meant to be meeting Strewth and Mr B for brekkie at 7.45am but I was still at home trying to get organised at 7.40am, and it takes more than 5 minutes for me to get into Civic!

Sunday afternoon run - end of week 6

Distance - 8km
Time taken - 43.01min
Av pace - 5.22min/km
AHR - 146; MHR - 162
Calories - 452

The 'post-coast' run. I wasn't going to run but once we got home from the coast, had unpacked, been to the Mall to get some fresh fruit and vegies, I thought a run wouldn't be too bad. Besides Mr CJ was starting to dismantle the Christmas tree (I know, I know...) and I thought making myself scarce would be a great idea! I avoided the spot where I fell the week before - didn't want to jinx myself. (Friar - I don't know why I fell - there might be a slight rise there, I might have been tired, who knows...But as far as cycle paths go, the section where I fell is in pretty good condition).

It is good to be back running :-)

Drizzle one day; sunny the next...

Merimbula - Main Beach

Ok its not Queensland so its not perfect weather.

We had a lovely relaxing break in Merimbula, despite the 54km I ran over 3 days! The weather was variable - it was drizzling but warm when we arrived Wednesday afternoon, blue skies and sunshine on Thursday, very overcast on Friday, blue skies and sunshine but also a brisk southerly wind on Saturday, and finally very overcast again on Sunday, when we left.

Naturally we checked out the various little cafes in town, looking for that elusive great cappuccino but I have to say, sadly, that the cappuccinos in Merimbula were very ordinary. Great views (of the ocean or the lake) but very mediocre coffee. The biggest disappointment was the coffee we had at Truffles, a chocolate and coffee cafe - we thought getting a great coffee here would be a sure thing but unfortunately the coffee was weak and the froth was very bubbly :-( However, we had 2 very good coffees in Eden, a fishing town a little further south - at Seaview cafe and the Wharfside cafe. I also managed to get a Tofu burger!

Eden wharf

We ate out every night (and for lunch as well, come to think of it!) and every where we went we received great service and lovely food - even vegetarians were well catered for (and at seafood restaurants, no less!). I had an absolutely delicious meal of Tuscan Vegetables at Wheelers Seafood Restaurant, which is halfway between Merimbula and Pambula - gorgeous setting, great food. Tuscan Vegetables was a mix of roasted zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, macadamias, raisins, tiny little figs, among other things. Naturally we had fish and chips our first night in Merimbula (well I had potato cakes and chips) - they were great. Another night we went to Zanzibar cafe at the top of the main street and for dessert I had a Baileys Creme Brulee - yum! It was divine! Another day I had a Baileys and almond gelato. See why I had to run so much!

I also managed to get in the ocean - rather tentatively to start with but surprisingly the grazes on my knees didn't sting. I think it helped!

Anyway, to the running.......

Thursday morning run
Distance - 8km
Time taken - 42.28min
Av pace - 5.18min/km
AHR - 155
Calories - 446

Initially felt some discomfort in my right knee but it improved the longer I ran. It was a very pleasant run along the cycle path to Pambula and return with the sounds of plentiful birdlife in the background. Felt confident of resuming my marathon training once I completed this run. Yay!

Friday morning run
Distance - 16k
Time taken - 1hr 26.22min
Av pace - 5.24min/km
AHR - 163
Calories - 882

Very overcast and looked like it might rain but it didn't. Ran along the cycle path to Pambula and then crossed the road to follow another cycle path through Ben Boyd National Park to Pambula Beach. There was a short but steepish hill near the start of this particular cycle path - hmmm. My glute and ankle, I am happy to report, were niggle free. They had obviously appreciated the enforced break from running thanks to the fall. Wore my new fuel belt for the first time - this takes 4 small bottles. I found this very comfortable, and while I still endured some chafing, it was nothing like the chafing I got from my previous fuel belt that held one larger drink bottle. Another satisfying run!

Saturday morning run
Distance - 30km
Time taken - 2hr 43.21min
Av pace - 5.27min/km
AHR - 155; MHR - 191
Calories - 1,695

The boardwalk

This was the big one! I felt very ordinary when I first started this run (probably because it was my 3rd run in as many days, and each time I was doubling the distance) and Garmin Girl and I swapped the lead a number of times in the first 10km. I started by running along the boardwalk which runs alongside Merimbula Lake and goes for a couple of kilometres.

Pambula Beach

Then I headed down to Fishpen Beach (or something to that effect) and returned the same way before heading off along the cycle path to Pambula and then the path that goes to Pambula Beach, before returning to Merimbula. There were lots of people out walking or cycling, and occasionally I would pass another runner. One of two cyclists that were obviously doing laps of the cycle path (we crossed paths several times) yelled out "you're very fit" as he went past me for about the 3rd or 4th time. No kidding! I finished off the run by running the boardwalk again and tried to pick up the pace for the last couple of kilometres. It was a long run but I had my ipod for company and the scenery was a change to what I was used to, so that helped.

National Park

Monday, January 16, 2006

I'm baaaaack!

Back from Merimbula, back at work (yuk), back to training.

This is a short entry, more details to follow but, in short, we had a great time at the coast; my knees still look disgusting and I got quite a few stares!; and I managed to run a total of 54km while away, so no rest for the wicked!

Watch this space for more to come!!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Injury update :-(

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I appreciate all the comments and well wishes, so please don't stop! *just joking!*

My knees are still sore and mucky; the right knee, more specifically the bony prominence below the kneecap is sore and swollen, and the graze looks revolting (I will not inflict any photos on you!). The grazes on the left knee are ok, they just keep oozing which is a bit annoying. The grazes on the elbows are healing; the bruise on the left hip is turning purply-green.

So, in short, there has been no training and I'm beginning to feel a little tetchy. Fortunately Mr CJ arrives home tomorrow (6am - can't wait) and then we are off to the coast (Merimbula) from Wednesday until Sunday.

Thank you again!

Saturday, January 07, 2006


....repeated very loudly and passionately.

At 10.37am this morning, on the Florey bitumen cycle path, while running, I fell flat on my face, with a sickening thud. Actually, my face is fine, its my knees, elbows and hipbone that are grazed and sore. My right knee is also swollen - I landed heavily on it.

So how did it happen? I have no idea. One minute I am running along comfortably listening to Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger on the ipod, next thing I know I am lying face down on the cycle path, too stunned for words. I do recall my initial thought was, thank goodness the ipod is ok (because it was still playing the damn song!). Then I checked my garmin, and apart from the indignity of it telling me I was now about 17m behind Garmin Girl, it too was ok. Next, my brand new sunnies - check, no they're fine too. Then the pain and the realisation of what happened sunk in and I moved - after all, I didn't need a cyclist bearing down on me at that point.

I started limping back home (I had only gone 1.5km!) but had only gone about 50m before I had to sit down. I thought I was going to pass out - everything was going blurry, I had got very clammy and there was a strange buzzing in my head. I also thought I was going to throw up. Not good. So I sat on the side of the path with my head between my knees and resisted the urge to lie down. I didn't have my phone with me - after all, I was only planning on running 8km. Eventually I decided to move again and get home - with a horde of horrible little black flies following me. I must've looked a sight - bloodied knees and elbows, blood dripping down my right shin. I noticed I was getting some surreptitious glances my way from other people out for their daily walk.

I finally made it home and then had to sit down again - same faint feeling, and feeling nauseous. Then I made a strong coffee and had some chocolate (Lindt 75% dark chocolate no less) - that made me feel a bit better! Son #2 wandered inside at this point and I displayed my wounds - he was very impressed! Son #1, when he finally arose and was in a communicative mood, lectured me about being more careful when out running and that I should always take my phone.

I am supposed to be doing my 26km run tomorrow morning - I will make up my mind when I get up in the morning and check out my right knee. I think today was one of those days when I just should have stayed in bed. :-(

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A death in the family

Priscilla #2 has died. The largest of the goldfish flipped herself out of the pond on Monday. I found her lying on the paving but I don't know how long she had been there. I put her back in the pond and wiggled her a bit and she came to, sort of - I drew the line at resuscitating, besides how do you resuscitate a fish? By the afternoon she was zooming around and I thought she'd recovered. However, Tuesday afternoon she was lying on the bottom of the pond not looking great. I mentioned this to Mr CJ when he rang and he said leave her, she might recover. Hmmmm... I was not surprised when I looked out yesterday to see Priscilla #2 floating and looking very....well, dead. So, I looked for a small spade to bury her but couldn't find one so there I was with a shovel, digging a hole to bury a goldfish!!! Thank goodness we have a high Colorbond fence!

Back to marathon training.....

Session - Hill repeats
Distance - 11.7km inc 3 x 1min hill repeats (walk/jog down recovery); 3 x 2min hill repeats
Time taken - 51.16min for 9.5km; 14.21min for repeats
Av pace - 5.24min/km (9.5km)
AHR - 149
Calories - 639

Run went well - headed out on the cycle path towards Macgregor. A couple with 2 children went by me on bikes and I thought they looked familiar - then realised it was my friend Viv, her husband and their daughters! Viv had done the same thing as me so we both yelled out greetings behind us. I must catch up with her sometime soon, its been a long time. The glute and ankle presented no problems.

The hill repeats were hard - its been a while since I've done any sort of hill work because the glute doesn't like it. It niggled a bit (and ached a bit for the best of today) - must get on that tennis ball! The 2min repeats seemed to go on forever - in fact, during the first one I thought Garmin Girl was playing tricks on me because it felt a lot longer than 2min but no, I still had about 30secs to go at that stage!

Rest day tomorrow - no running, yay! However, I do have a 26km run on Saturday.

This afternoon

Session - LSD swim
Distance - 1km
Time taken - 21.01min

It was a cool day today and cold in the pool. I didn't feel as though I warmed up at all. I got out promptly after finishing my kilometre, headed off for a warm shower followed by a cappuccino. Its hard to believe that a few days ago we were sweltering in 40+*C weather and now I'm sitting here in jeans and windcheater, thinking seriously about turning on the heating!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Looking back; looking forward....

But first, today's activities.

Morning - easy medium long run
Distance - 14km
Time taken - 1hr 15.45min
Av pace - 5.24min/km
AHR - 144; MHR - 162
Calories - 777

Very sluggish this morning; so much so that Garmin Girl was ahead of me for the first 3 kilometres, I was struggling. So I decided to have a GU at this point rather than wait until I had run 10km. This seemed to help as I picked up the pace and gradually moved ahead of garmin girl. It was overcast and coolish this morning - such a change from earlier in the week, when it was soooo hot. It seemed like everyone was out walking their dog this morning - such an assortment of breeds and sizes from those the size of an overgrown rat to pony size, from the over-friendly to the snapping and snarling (and fortunately on their leash), from pedigrees to scruffy bitzas. Tomorrow is a 10km run with some hill repeats - hmm, wonder what the glute is going to think of that.

Had a lovely lunch (Greek salad) with MrB and then it was off for my nail appointment. I have to confess that this was a first for me - my nails have been very neglected over the years so I finally decided to treat myself to gel nails in a french polish. They look so good!

Then it was off to the gym.....
for a lower body weights session (stability) and abs workout.
There were a lot more people in the gym this afternoon, probably because I had gone later in the day. I had initially arrived in the carpark, got out to swipe my membership card to get my free parking voucher and then realised that my membership card was in the other bag, at home. !@#$% - got back into the car and headed off home to get my card and then back to the gym. It was really humid in the gym - sweat was dripping off me, especially during the abs workout. But I'm glad I went because earlier in the day I had made up my mind just to run and not go to the gym.

Looking back....2005
It was a mixed bag last year.
* My dad passed away suddenly from a heart infection in March - he was 63. I miss him terribly.
* Started Iyengar yoga and loved it.
* #3 son completed his IT diploma and started work for the first time.
* After a lot of hesitation started blogging - probably one of the best decisions I made as I've met, either virtually or in person, some really lovely people :-)
* Bought a Garmin - a wonderful gadget that has made a difference to my training.
* PB at Sydney marathon - woohoo!!!! Totally unexpected but oh so good!!!
* Injury-wise, the first part of the year I was coming back from surgery; rolled my ankle in September; R glute has been causing a bit of grief for the last few months. Grrr!
* Got to Lindt cafe - coffee and chocolate, bliss!
* Son #3 graduated in November, also turned 21, accepted into an IBM traineeship and started uni...all in the space of a couple of weeks, whew!
* Placed 1st veteran (ie old) woman in the Belconnen Community fun run - received a 1 month gym/pool membership (which I'm currently using)
* Lost 5kg and kept it off!
* House plans approved and building contract signed...scarey!
* Despite being careful with my diet I managed to get iron deficiency anaemia...back to the drawing board.

Looking ahead....2006
* The year of the house - building starts in February...omigod, that's next month!
* More 'me' time - I don't do enough of that.
* Stretch, stretch, stretch and continue with yoga.
* Enjoy my running.
* Healthy diet, with the occasional chocolate, rather than the other way around!
* Its our 25th wedding anniversary this year - definitely something worth celebrating!
* A PB in the Canberra marathon.
* Work on stability/strength issues with the goal of being injury-free.
* Try not to stress out too much.
* Will keep in touch regularly with friends and family, here and far away.
* To laugh more and grumble less.
* Christmas at Surfers!!!
I'm sure there are others that I haven't thought of but this is a good start.

Here's to a wonderful 2006!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy new year!!!!!!

Ok, ok, so I'm a little behind with my blogging!!!! I hope everyone had a great new year's eve - mine was a quiet one - watched the 9pm fireworks with son#3 then pottered around at home trying out my new purchases until midnight!!! All 3 sons had gone out and Mr CJ is on the other side of the country. Sad, I know, I have no life!

Anyway, rewind to Saturday, New Year's Eve morning:
Session - long run
Distance - 16km
Time taken - 1hr 24.01min
Av pace - 5.15min/km
AHR - 159; MHR - 174
Calories - 669

From what I can remember it was a good run. I started the run at 7.30am to avoid the heat as the forecast was for 38*C (100*F) - not good for running. After the run, shower and change of clothing, I met up with Strewth, JD and MrB for coffee at Bayswiss - this place has the creamiest, thickest cappucino froth and its consistently reliable. After a long gossip and chitchat I hit the shops to check out the after Xmas sales (again - just in case I missed anything!) and managed to buy cargo pants, 2 strappy tops, 1 very girly top, underwear, skirt and belt. Met up with Strewth and MrB again (they had gone home to shower and change) and then we had another coffee at Bayswiss (after Strewth had indulged in a little retail therapy!), where we caught up with MrT and HK. Then it was off to the movies to see Just Like Heaven in airconditioned comfort!

Sunday - New Year's Day

It was hot, hot, hot - eventually got to about 40*C (104*F) and windy. Not a nice day at all. So I did what any smart thinking person without a hangover would do and went swimming!

Session - 600m freestyle; 100m kick; 200m pullbuoy; 7 x 100m on 2.10min; 100m freestyle
Distance - 1.7km

Good swim :-)

Monday 2 January
Week 5 of 18 of marathon training (already!) - start of Cycle 2
Focus - endurance and strength

Session - easy run
Distance - 8km
Time taken - 42.46min
Av pace - 5.20min/km
AHR - 150
Calories - 427

I started the run a little later than usual because I had to take son#3 to the airport - he was heading back to Surfers for another 6 weeks of sun, surf and study! Note we were there in plenty of time for him to check in and to have a coffee - a far cry from the manic dash of the other day!! Anyway on the run my glute was noticeable but not as bad as it has been so fingers crossed its on the mend. I have a very close relationship with my tennis ball - I am often to be found lying strategically on the ball throughout the day!

Monday afternoon - gym
Headed back to the gym for an upper body weights session and ab exercises.

Tuesday morning - run

Session - Steady run plus 6 x 100m strides
Distance - 10km plus strides
Time taken - 54.51min plus strides
Av pace - 5.28min/km
Time for strides (in seconds)- 25/26/26/27/24/24
AHR - 146
Calories - 618

Not much to report - probably a little sluggish this morning. Didn't read my program properly and this run was supposed to be run at 'steady' (ie 4.50min/km) pace but instead I ran it at 'easy' pace - quite a bit slower. Oooops!

Had my regular monthly massage at lunchtime - bliss! It was great torture - she has the greatest hands!!! There were times when she was working on my calves when I had to stifle a yelp but otherwise it was relaxing........in a strange and bizarre way!

Tuesday afternoon - Swim
Session - 300m warm up; 3 x 200m on 4.20min; 100m kick
Distance - 1km

I felt yesterday's upper body weights session in my arms and shoulders when I started swimming but the massage had certainly ironed out some of the tight spots. Improved the longer I swam but decided to call it quits after swimming a km. After all, I'm not swimming the marathon :-)

And if you have made it this far (someone else that doesn't have a life!!!!) then here's an excerpt from an item that was in the local paper a couple of days ago:

Generous Gourmet Gift

Diners at Rocksalt restaurant in Hawker [not far from where I live] nearly fell of their chairs last Thursday night when a man came in and offered to pay for everybody's meals. A spokesperson for the noshery, which is regarded as one of the city's finest, says there were about 8 tables - 38 people - dining at the time.

Apparently the man had been to a charity event earlier in the evening and wanted to take the people attending it out to dinner. When they politely declined, he set out for Rocksalt and paid for the meals of strangers. The total cost came to $1,400.

The benefactor wished to remain, and asked that his act of generosity not be mentioned to diners until they had finished their meals and sought the bill. The response? "They were ecstatic", the spokesperson said. "It inspired one table to donate the amount of their bill to their favourite charity".

A great story! But why do these things never happen to me!!!!