Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Change of plans

Today's session - anaerobic threshold session inc 4 x 4min efforts (2min RI)

Time / weather - 6.30am / 12*c, cool, no wind
Distance - 10.7km
Time taken - 59.20min
Av pace - 5.30min/km
AHR - 147

4 x 4min efforts:
1st - 960m / av 4.10min/km
2nd - 940.9m / av 4.15min/km
3rd - 1.02km / av 3.56min/km
4th - 944.6m / av 4.14min/km

Normally I would do the weekly cross country run - which today is a 5km near the National Library. However, son #3 flies in from Sydney this evening and I will be picking him up from the airport which meant a change of plans - the cross country race was off.

Also normally I wouldn't run 2 hard sessions back to back but oh well, can't always follow the perfect program can we. And the fact that it was forecast to be 31*c today convinced me that an early morning run would be much more pleasant, despite the pain of having to get out of bed way way too early.

I had an easy 5km warm up before starting the 4min intervals, and then it was on. There was a stretch of cycle path that wasn't too undulating that I could use for the intervals. After each interval I walked slowly to recover. It was hard work but the advantage is that the session is over pretty quickly despite the pain.

Because it is Pancake Day today a friend and I went out for a pancake breakfast this morning before work - cinnamon sugar pancakes with banana and maple syrup. Believe me, I had earned that breakfast!

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
40 days to go

Workout 1 - Cycle - Haydon Dve loop x 1; Coulter Dve loop x 1

Time - 5am / easterly wind, overcast, 12*c
Distance - 27.4km
Duration - 74min
Av spd - 22kph

I have 'dead' legs today so I was very slow on the bike. I had to cut my ride short because the bike light had died and also I had forgotten to wear gloves - my hands were beginning to hurt (I'm a wuss).

Workout 2 - Swim session

Time - 7pm / Belconnen pool
Distance - 4.5km
Duration - 1hr 40mins

Comfortable swim - no problems. It was fairly quiet at the pool so I wasn't bothered by any other swimmers.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Today's recipe

Recipe: Steady 8km inc 6 x strides

* a sunny 25*c afternoon, no wind
* an out and back course on the cycle path through Melba
* a scheduled 8km steady (ie 4.44 to 4.52min/km pace) inc 6 x 100m strides
* Garmin plus ipod
* a runner that is raring to go(?!)

Well, 4 out of 5 ain't bad!

Start Garmin and ipod and then run!

The first kilometre was taken at an easy warm up pace of 5.09min/km. The fact that the first kilometre is mostly run down a very gentle slope is neither here nor there.

The second kilometre I ran in 4.52min so I had picked up the pace a little - probably because I was running past walkers - had to make a good impression!

Began my 100m strides from the third kilometre - this kilometre took 4.35min. Hmmm, not bad.

My fourth kilometre took me 4.38min - must have been those little undulations that slowed me down. Anyway half way there - time to turn.

Passed a bunch of young boys mucking around on bikes during my 5th kilometre - another boy was on his skateboard with his two dogs, on leashes, pulling him along. Ran this kilometre in 4.36min.

When I felt myself slowing in the 6th kilometre because I was getting tired I decided to throw in another 100m of strides, forcing myself to pick up the pace. Perverse I know but it worked - this kilometre took 4.26min.

7th kilometre - kept telling myself to 'hang loose'. In other words, stop tensing up and to relax my body - its amazing the amount of energy you expend when you tense up. This kilometre was run in 4.35min.

Last kilometre - visualised this as the last kilometre of the marathon and toughed it out for 5 looong mins. Then the Garmin beeped and it was over.

Distance - 8km
Time taken - 37.59min
Av pace - 4.44min/km
AHR - 163; MHR - 175
....and one very happy CJ!

Looking Back - Road to IM 2004
41 days to go

Workout 1 - long swim

Time - 6am / Civic 50m pool
Distance - 3.6km non-stop
Duration - 1hr 20min

The pool was very murky this morning. I had a good night's sleep but still felt physically tired when I got in the pool. I was probably swimming slower than last week. Started to feel really tired after 3km.

Workout 2 - Medium run, Nth Lyneham

Time - 6pm, strong easterly breeze blowing
Distance - 16km
Duration - 1hr 53.57min

This was quite hard after yesterday's ride. The hill was a struggle initially but I did improve.

Last weeks total training distances/times:
Swim - 10.5km
Cycle - 385km
Run - 6hr 47min

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Straight ahead; one direction

A great dance (and running) track by Tube & Berger featuring Chrissie Hynde which basically described my run this morning.

Session - long run

Time / weather - 6.50am / 18*c, very pleasant
Distance - 21km
Time taken - 1hr 49.56min
Av pace - 5.13min/km
AHR - 151; MHR - 166

You would think after having 2 rest days from running that my legs would be raring to go this morning but not so; I think they had been lulled into a false sense of security of thinking they were on holidays. The rest of me, however, was pretty accommodating this morning - getting out of bed with no internal arguments at 5am, having a pre-run meal of banana and honey on toast plus the essential caffeine hit; and then heading out the door just before 7am. Shame the legs didn't want to run - it took at least 2km to convince them that we were running 20km this morning. Sheesh - I don't know - sometimes my body just doesn't like being told what to do.

Again I focused on my music rather than the run and before I realised it I was heading home having run 21km. Where did the time go? I know I ran down to Lake Ginninderra and around it before heading back but that's about it. I can't remember if I saw anyone or if I even said 'good morning' - I ran on automatic pilot this morning.

The run was followed by breakfast at Babars in Woden - had ricotta hotcakes with banana and syrup and a cappuccino. Makes running worthwhile!

Total distance for the week: approx 44km (it was an easy week and I took that literally!)

Next week:
Moving into Cycle 4 and the focus will be on anaerobic threshold (sounds painful) and race preparation (is she for real - are we really that close? Eek!)
Each week for the next 3 weeks will include:
* 1 long run
* 1 medium long run
* 2 x speed sessions
* 1 x strides
It is the hardest 3 weeks of the program

Late edit: Forgot to mention I tried a new GU flavour today - Espresso Love. Now I can have a coffee on the run, sort of. For GU it tasted ok. ihatetoast wondered whether I would sleep after my caffeine consumption - as long as I don't have a coffee after about 7pm I sleep like a baby. I'm an Ironman remember!

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
42 days to go

Session - Long cycle - out to Murrumbateman and Gundaroo

Time - 5am / Overcast and muggy
Distance - 192.3km
Duration - 8hr 24.12min
Av spd - 22.8kph

Today's cycle was a lot better than one I did 2 weeks ago. The weather wasn't too bad; a lot cooler than yesterday (max 27*c) and there was cloud cover. A brisk westerly was blowing later on which made for easy cycling back to Gold Creek. I still find it immensely uncomfortable sitting on the bike for that long so had several very brief stops - to eat and drink as well.

I rode to the end of Murrumbateman Rd, turned onto Sutton rd and then rode past Gundaroo before turning and heading back to Nanima Rd. I then rode 11km along Nanima Rd before turning back to the turnoff at Murrumbateman Rd, before riding the entire length of Nanima Rd, on my way back to Gold Creek and food and coffee!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sleep in vs short run

..and guess what won out! It was a lovely sleep in followed by a leisurely coffee with Strewth, Mr B and JD, before heading to the markets for fruit and veg, and another coffee and gelato. I love easy weeks! And no, I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about missing today's run. :-)

20km long run

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
43 days to go

Workout - Long run, Lake Burley Griffin

Time - 7am, 25*c - 32*c, hot, no wind, cloud-free
Duration - 3hr 22.49min
Distance - 32km

It was very hot running today but I am getting used to running in the heat so it wasn't too bad. I also ran a lot slower than last week so feeling pretty comfortable. Roy refilled my drink bottle with cold water at Yarralumla Nursery, on my way back, as I was almost out of water and what I did have was hot.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fartlek Thursday

Thanks everyone for advice on the bruised toenail - greatly appreciated.

This morning's session - Fartlek

Time / weather - 6am / 17*c, overcast, no wind
Distance - 13km
Time taken - 1hr 7.32min
Av pace - 5.12min/km
AHR - 149

Session included:
2 x 60sec effort/60sec float
4 x 30sec effort/30sec float
Repeat x 2

A really good run - even in my warm up I was running well. Garmin Girl told me to slow down several times. This is unusual - my warm-up is normally at plod pace until my body realises its not a bad dream but that I am actually outdoors running. Even during the fartlek bit I ran hard so by the end I felt like I had a really good workout.

Now I need a nana nap!

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
45 days to go

Workout - Swim - endurance
Time - 8pm, AIS 25m pool - Cindy (coach)
Distance - 2.6km swim + 200m water run

I felt tired today after yesterday' session. Also felt headachey - I probably didn't drink enough after the session. I decided to miss the aquathlon in favour of the swim session as I won't be swimming next Thursday. Tonight my stroke felt all over the place - Cindy told me to focus on my pull and also not to cross hands at entry. I improved near the end of the session - it took a while!

I was really hungry when I got home - more so than usual. I had toast with peanut butter and then some ricecream with fruit.

I am starting to worry whether I've done enough training for the IM - particularly cycling. Is this normal? I know I've put the work in - I think I'm still feeling guilty about missing last Sunday's 180km cycle - I will make up for it this Sunday.

[late edit - looking back I find it hard to believe that I thought I wasn't doing enough training. I also had a coach who was preparing my training schedules.]

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Life is too short to drink bad coffee

This morning's session - medium long run

Time - 6am / 18*c, muggy
Distance - 12km
Time taken - 1hr 6.32min
Av pace - 5.32min/km
AHR - 149

Toyed with the idea of running after work but I'm glad I made myself get up and run - its 31*c now (4.25pm). Felt tired after yesterday's cross country event and my glute ached for the first couple of kms. What was really bothering me though was the bruised toenail - god it hurts. Are there any remedies for a bruised toenail - it's so goddamn tender.

Gradually got into my stride and the run was uneventful, apart from the throbbing toenail.

Had a coffee this morning that would have to rate as one of the worst I've ever had - it was disgusting. It must've had about 3 grains of coffee in it - it tasted like a mixture of water and milk. Yech! Life is too short to drink bad coffee. I read this morning that Rob de Castella has opened a bakery/cafe that sells gluten-free bread etc plus coffee. A comment he made that attracted my attention was something along the lines of he's had too many bad coffees in the past so he's very particular with the quality of the coffees they sell. I plan on visiting this place because I do so love a challenge!

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
46 days to go

Workout - Brick session - long cycle/run

Time - 5am / 28*c when running; clear skies, breeze
Cycle distance - 150km
Cycle duration - 6hr 32.17min
Av spd - 23kph [this is so embarrassing]
Run duration - 1hr 1.34min

It was going to be a warm day (34*c) so I left early on my ride - about 4.50am. Had a few twinges in my left knee late in the ride but it didn't affect my run (I hope my L ITB isn't deciding to rebel as well). I saw a few cyclists on my way to Murrumbatemen - I wonder if they are doing IM. The seat was very very uncomfortable as per usual.

I decided to reduce my run time from 2hrs to 1hr because of the heat, being the middle of the day. Good run. No problems.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lake Ginninderra run

Marathon training - Week 12 of 18
Easy week

Today's session - Cross country event at Lake Ginninderra

Time / weather - 6pm / sunny, 28*c, warm
Distance - 7.1km (inc warm & cooldown - 9.5km)
Time taken - 32.07
Av pace - 4.31min/km
AHR - 172; MHR - 180

I deliberately parked just over a kilometre away from the start of the race so at least I'd get a warm-up in - something I don't usually do. Felt very sluggish during the warm-up run - this didn't bode well for the actual event.

Caught up with JD who was returning after rolling his ankle 2 weeks ago, and with Strewth and Mr B just before the start of the race. Then we were away and I thought I started reasonably well - my biggest problem is going out too fast and then dying in the last few kms. Still felt very sluggish and slow on the way out to the turnaround - must be all the long running I'm doing.

Coming back from the turnaround it was interesting to see who was behind me and this spurred me on for a km or so and then tiredness set in. Crossing the bridge was hot and hard as there was no shade from the sun. It was about this stage that negative thoughts started drifting into my consciousness - I'm not a hot weather runner; this is all too hard; I went out too fast; running marathons is easier than this, etc. Once I hit the shade again I began to feel much better and managed to come home strongly. But by golly it was a hot, hard run. Mr B came in about 50 secs behind me - he had a great run. Strewth was feeling very dehydrated when she finished and gulped down the first cup of water she grabbed - which happened to belong to Mr B! Aki had a good run and JD finished the run with ankle feeling fine - which is good news.

Ran back to my car with speedygeoff for company - he was continuing around the lake. I'm glad I ran the race but wish it wasn't such hard work!

My km splits:
4.25 / 4.34 / 4.43 / 4.21 / 4.29 / 4.41 / 4.36min

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
47 days to go

Workout 1 - Cycle - Haydon Dve loop x 2; Coulter Dve loop x 1

Time - 5am, 12*c, slight breeze
Distance - 42.9km
Duration - 1hr 45min
Av spd - 24.4kph

Rode with H - great to have company. I felt we rode a little faster but its frustrating because our average speed doesn't seem to have increased greatly.

Workout 2 - Swim - endurance, AIS 50m pool

Time - 7.20pm
Distance - 4.4km
Duration - about 1hr 45min

The swim session included:
1,000m warm up; 5 x 200m variable pace; 5 x 400m steady pace; 400m cooldown. I swam strongly even when I was feeling reeeaaalllly tired. Amanda (coach) said that I looked like I had lost weight - guess IM training can do that!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Its baaack!

The wandering sidebar is back where it belongs and I have fixed the problem - gosh, I wish the rest of my life was that easy!

Its a rest day today and also my regular visit to the physio. The elbow-in-the glute treatment was applied as well as more spinal twisting and massage.

I've borrowed some words from Bolder's blog which I think are very relevant and that I probably should take notice of more often!

"From this March 'Runners World' magazine: "Running doesn't make your fitter. If it did -- if you actually got fitter while you ran -- you would be stronger in the last mile of a marathon than the first... It's recovering from running that makes you fitter. The stress of running flips a number of hormonal and genetic switches in your body, allowing it to adapt to ways that make you better prepared for the next workout. But these adaptations occur only when your body is at rest."

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
48 days to go

Workout 1 - long swim
Time - 6am Civic pool
Distance - 3.5km
Duration - 1hr 17min

I found the first kilometre was okay but the second kilometre was hard work, and the third kilometre I lost count, so could've swum further than I thought. It was a case of "60 laps.....hang on, was it 62 laps; no, didn't I pass that woman who is breastroking down the MIDDLE of the lane and not moving over, on the 61st lap, oh hell, 62 laps and be done with it". I swam an extra 100m just to be sure I'd done enough - that's my obsessive-compulsive streak coming through. Anyway, was feeling quite tired.

Workout 2 - Medium run, North Lyneham
Time - 6pm, with JD and Strewth. It was warm with a strong easterly wind blowing.
Distance - about 16km
Duration - 1hr 50.19min

For people who are not familiar with this course, its an undulating off-road 3km with a killer hill that goes on and on and ever upwards. We ran 5 laps of this course today. It was a good run and I had no problems. I worked hard up THAT hill 5 times, visualising the hills on the IM marathon course - it was not going to beat me!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Lost - one sidebar

Has anyone seen my sidebar?! It's gone missing and I don't know why. Does anyone have any words of advice re my missing sidebar? Thanks :-)


The amazing thing is, what has taken me all week to achieve, Tesso did in 12 hours. Way to go, Tesso!

Today's workout - long run with last 30mins steady

Time / weather - 7am / very sunny and very warm, 16*c when I started, 26*c when I finished
Distance - 34km
Time taken - 2hr 58.37min
Av pace - 5.15min/km; times for the last 6km - 4.41/4.52/4.54/4.57/5.02/5.02min/km
AHR - 157; MHR - 177

I decided to run around Lake Burley Griffin today because it had shade, wasn't too undulating which was important because the last 6km were to be run at steady pace, around 5min/km if possible. It was a bloody hard run, especially the last 6km. It was hot, sunny, the wind had picked up and I was running into it for the last 2km, and I was thinking as I was running, that a 4hr marathon sounded like a very good idea! The 28km took me about 2hr 30min to run and so the challenge was to finish the 34km in 3hr or less - 30mins. I initially counted down the kilometres but in that last kilometre I was counting down in 100m segments. Never have I been so happy to finish. I was dreaming of Magnum icecreams and diet coke!

....and this saying kept repeating over and over in my mind - "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"!

However, the first 28km was fine - no problems apart from a bruised toenail which was giving me some grief. There were lots and lots of cyclists out enjoying the fine weather this morning; it was very busy on the cyclepath. As I ran past Yarralumla Bay, swimmers were preparing to start the Sri Chinmoy lake swims - something I took part in 2 years ago.

Total distance for the week - 100km yay!
Next week - its an easy week and I am so looking forward to it. It means TWO rest days, a mid week medium long run of only 12km (bliss) and a long run on the weekend of only 20km (double bliss!).

Saturday session - easy run

Distance - 7km
Time taken - 42.43min
Av pace - 5.50min/km - a real doddle
AHR - 138; MHR - 151

A very easy and very slow session - plodded along enjoying the scenery. It was actually a beautiful morning and I thoroughly enjoyed being out in it.

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
50 days to go (Saturday)

Saturday workout - long run

Time - 7am / Lake Burley Griffin / warm, not a lot of cloud or wind
Duration - 2hr 48.55min
Distance - 30km

It was a good run though my L hip flexor/glute felt tight for most of the run. I also ran it too fast - it should've taken me 3hrs to run the distance particularly as I'm walking for 1min every 10mins.

Total training time/distance for the week:
Swim - 8.3km
Cycle - 136.8km
Run - 6hr 38min

Friday, February 17, 2006

Blame it on the scarab beetles...

Today's session - Yasso 800's x 6

Time / weather - 6am / clear, no wind, 15*c
Total distance - 14km
Time taken - 1hr 17.03min
Av pace - 5.29min/km
AHR - 144

Times for 800's:

I ran to the oval in Melba to do my Yasso 800s and was confronted with signs saying the oval had been treated for scarab infestation and due to the watering in of chemicals, STAY OFF THE OVAL. What to do? I decided to run my 6 x 800ms on the cycle path instead. This was actually harder than I thought because I had no idea how fast I was going for each 800m, and when I looked at my times afterwards, I was way off target. No wonder I felt fine after the workout! The plan had been to run the 800m in 3.30min or thereabouts - I was all over the shop. Admittedly there are more undulations on a cycle path than there is on an oval but I was still disappointed that I didn't actually meet my target on any of them. So I'm blaming it on those scarab beetles!

For the uninitiated ie rundave and gronk, here is a description of Yasso 800s from the mcmillanrunning site:

"The theory behind Yasso 800s is that your time in minutes and seconds for a workout of 10 times 800 meters (two laps of the track) with equal recovery time is the same as the hours and minutes of your marathon time. For example, if you can run 10 times 800 meters in three minutes and 20 seconds with three minutes and 20 seconds recovery, then this predicts that you can run three hours and 20 minutes for your marathon. Run 2:40 for the 800s and you can run 2:40 for the marathon.

My experience, though, is that Yasso 800s predicts about five minutes too fast for most marathoners. Using the example above, my experience has been that 10 times 800 meters in 3:20 with 3:20 recovery yields closer to a 3:25 marathon for most competitive runners. Because this workout is easy to do, I try to include it two or three times in a marathon training cycle. It not only provides a good predictor of marathon pace but allows you to chart your increasing fitness - a big confidence builder."

Thursday, February 16, 2006

ardho mukha somethingorrather

Tonight's session - yoga

Two yoga sessions in one week - I'm trying, I'm trying. Flexibility has never been my strong point but as I get older *groan* and run further and more often, it has become very important. Anyways we spent a lot of time on leg stretching poses tonight including the dog pose - the ardho mukha something-or-rather. Our instructor uses the sanskrit terms for the poses and usually the only bit of fairly lengthy names that sounds remotely familiar is 'asana' or 'pose' (usually the last part of the very long and complicated sounding name). I tend to look and see what other people are doing and hope that our teacher expands on what she wants us to do.

Tonight was a good session except from the one occasion when I toppled over as I had one leg propped up on a chair. Hmmm balance needs some work.

This morning's session - easy run

Time / weather - 6am / 17*c, cloudy, muggy
Distance - 12km
Time taken - 1hr 7.25min
Av pace - 5.37min/km
AHR - 139; MHR - 163

Compared to the same run last week, this one was so much better. Its hard running back to back runs (medium long run one in the afternoon and then running again the next morning) but today I felt comfortable. The pace and time taken to do the 12km is about the same as last week's run but my average heart rate was lower today and I didn't feel blah (which was, I think, the title of last week's blog entry!).

Diet - still lolly and chocolate-free though nearly slipped up when my work colleague (who is deliberately trying to sabotage my efforts, I might add) offered me some lollies and I nearly accepted without even thinking. Just as I was about to put my hand in the bag I remembered - nearly caught me out. Will have to be on my guard. Someone had also left me a Fantale but reluctantly I gave it to my friend. I have had pizza for lunch the past 2 days but they have been gourmet cafe-style pizzas, with lots of vegies and good things like cashews so surely that can't be considered as junk food.

I don't do 'elegant' - today was one of the very rare occasions when I wore a dress to work. Virtually everyone at work noticed and commented on how 'elegant' I looked. Now this is tantamount to putting a hex on me - I am then guaranteed to either fall down steps, spill food or coffee over myself, or any number of other klutzy things. And it happened - my grand entrance into a meeting this afternoon with a cup of coffee nearly resulted in my work colleague wearing it as I tripped. Miraculously I managed to keep the cup upright. However about 5 minutes later, after sitting down, I somehow managed (don't ask me how) to then spill coffee on myself.

Yasso 800s x 6

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
52 days to go

On this day 2 years ago:
Workout - swim - overdistance
Time - 8pm, AIS 25m pool, swim squad
Distance - 2.3km

The session included the following:
16 x 25m (Distance per stroke; kick; max speed; run)
4 x 300m Time trial + 50m max (2min RI)
5 x 100m (75m swim; 25m run)

Good swim even though I felt tired and a bit like a ping pong ball swimming in a 25m pool. My times for the 300m were between 5.35min and 5.51min.

Susan mentioned a chamois cream called Assos which might help with cycling comfort (oh boy do I need it - the comfort, that is). Lonsdale Cyclery has it apparently so I must check it out and see if it works. I told Susan that I would be eternally grateful if it does work.

The path of least resistance

Wednesday session - medium long run

Time / weather - 4.27pm / hot, sunny, no breeze, 31*c
Distance - 20km
Time taken - 1hr 49.48min
Av pace - 5.29min/km
AHR - 156; MHR - 171

It was hot - the heat reflected off the cycle path just added to the heat from the sun. I stopped in the shade at about the 5km mark to reassess the situation. I decided to keep going but to run it very easy and take a route that didn't include too many hills. I don't know how Queenslandites do it - I'm not a very good hot weather runner.

And despite my best efforts in running the path of least resistance I still managed to come across hills that I couldn't remember being there!

Post-run I was sooooo tired - I was in bed by 8.30am. Managed to watch The Biggest Loser and the new Jamie Oliver show.

Diet - still managing to avoid chocolate, lollies and other delicious-but-junk food but I seem to be always hungry. Yesterday at Belucci's I avoided ordering a coffee after my meal because they come with a plate of chocolate buttons, swirls and freckles and if they were sitting in front of me I wouldn't be able to resist them.

Looking back - Road to Ironman 2004
53 days to do

On this day:
Workout - Cycle/run - to Murrumbateman (inc 2 laps of Haydon Dve loop and 10km one way past bridge)
Time/weather - 5am / very muggy; threatened to rain during cycle; rained during run
Cycle distance - 136.8km; duration - 5hr 47.47min
Run duration - 2hour

I started earlier this morning to avoid running in the heat of the day. Traffic was quieter so it was a good time to start though it does mean getting up at 4am. Felt strong on the cycle. Rain was threatening by the time I finished the cycle though it was only spits'n'spots until about 80mins into the run when it became a steady drizzle. It was still very muggy but at least it wasn't the heat of the sun beating down. The run started slowly but improved.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentines Day!

Marathon training update - Week 11 of 18

Today's session - hill repeats inc 4 x 1min, 3 x 3min repeats

Time / weather - 6am / cloudy, 15*c
Distance - 13.5km
Time taken - 1hr 16.34min

Decided against going the Cross Country race this afternoon, instead will go to yoga. So this meant getting up unbelievably early to run hill repeats - oh joy! Ran a 4km warm up and almost rolled my ankle in the first kilometre - sort of went over on my ankle but fortunately bounced back up without doing any damage *fingers crossed*!

The hill repeats went well but I did have to make things harder for myself. Instead of programming 3 x 2min hill repeats in to the Garmin, I programmed 3 x 3min hill repeats. And let me tell you, that extra minute can make all the difference between a hard hill repeat and a bloody hard and never-ending one! (note to self - read program instructions more carefully)

After this I ran another 5km as a warm down and called it a day.

Yesterday I went to the gym for an upper body weights and ab session.

Diet - Have sworn off junk food (inc lollies) for the next 8 weeks. Currently going through withdrawal symptoms - not pretty! [I am so proud of myself - at our team meeting this afternoon I selected a candy cane from the bowl and then realised that I wasn't supposed to have it so after a second or two of hesitation I put it back *sigh*]

House update - work on the foundations for the extension started yesterday - very exciting!

And no, I didn't get flowers or a card.............. (not that I was expecting anything, mind you)

Tonight - yoga

It was pretzel night tonight - flexibility is something I severely lack at the moment...and it showed. My instructor even had me doing a different type of stretch to everyone else because I could not get my leg very far above the horizontal (everyone else had their legs vertical) - very sad, considering there were people there with at least 20 years on me.

Had planned on running 20km before work but the idea of getting up at 4.30am to do this just did not appeal. So it will happen after work.

Looking back - Road to IM 2004

Workout - swim session, AIS swim squad
Distance - 3km
Duration - about 70mins
Workout rating - L8.5-9 (feeling tired)

Session was as follows:
2 x 500m warm up
2 x 50m pacd (15sec RI)
5 x 100m paced (20sec RI)
500m cooldown

Felt tired by the end of the sesison, especially during the cooldown so decided against swimming the 4.4km session.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Slaying the demons

Today's session - long run, Stromlo

Time / weather - 7am / overcast, 15.6*c when I started, 21.4*c when I finished
Distance - 32km
Time taken - 2hr 54.06min
Av pace - 5.26min/km
AHR - 156; MHR - 178

To make my run more interesting this morning I mentally dealt with it in 5km sections, with an additional 2km at the end.

1st 5km - I really don't want to do this
I was definitely not in the right headspace for a long run this morning and so I spent most of the first 5km convincing myself that this was not such a bad thing. I ran part of the Jogalong course again including down the hill that used to give me all sorts of problems when I used to run the monthly Jogalong event. I started my run with "Sisters (are doing it for themselves)" by the Eurythmics - I needed all the help I could get at this stage of the run! I defeated the "I don't really want to do this' demon.

2nd 5km - Found my running legs
Started heading out to the cork plantation. Passed a couple of women heading up a hill - I still had spring in my step at this stage. Was feeling comfortable.

3rd 5km - Gunbarrel Hill awaits
I decided that today I was going to run up this hill and not stop. Its a loooong steep hill but I felt I was up to it. Disturbed some kangaroos as I was heading up but I didn't stop to take photos (sorry Rae but you do not stop running up this hill!). As I was going up "The Best of You" by the Foo Fighters was playing - very appropriate. Oh sweet jesus it was good to get to the top of that hill. Even better, when I was heading downhill on the other side "I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy was playing! I briefly toyed with the idea of running up Dairy Farm Hill (or whatever its called - I'm not very good with names) but commonsense prevailed. Anyway, another demon slayed.

4th 5km - Why am I even having this phone conversation?
This was the Thistle Run part of my run. There were more cows grazing today, though I'm sure they multiplied on the return trip - I couldn't for the life of me remember that many on the way out. My phone rang. "Did you ring me?" asked Mr CJ. "No". "Are you sure?" he asked. Excuse me, I'm running 32km on a very undulating course but I am still aware of what I'm doing and I know I wasn't make a phone call as I was running up a hill. A but further on a little stone somehow worked its way into my shoe - try undoing laces, then balancing on one leg and emptying said shoe, after running up and down hills for the past 17km. Not easy. After clambering over the gate I stopped to loosen my laces - had tied them too tight and was at risk of cutting off the circulation.

5th 5km - Giraffe and snake sightings
This was my zoo run - where I run down by the river/creek(?) to the zoo and then return the same way. Today I saw the giraffe - its not often I can say I saw a giraffe on my long run! There's also a nasty little hill near the zoo - very short but also very steep - not fun but I didn't stop. God I'm getting good at this! On the return trip I saw what looked like a long thin black-grey stick on the road. Funny I can't remember that stick being there on the way out. Then it moved. Ok, snake - well it had right of way as far as I was concerned. Once it had slithered across the road and into the grass I took off again, making sure the snake was not in hot pursuit.

6th 5km - A striking resemblance
Further along the road a huge gangly dog was heading toward me - ohmigod this dog was as big as me - what to do? Then the owner came running around the bend in the road. Ever heard the saying about the owner looking like their dog (or the other way around) - well these two were definitely related! Both were tall and gangly with goofy grins - perfect match! Glutes were feeling a touch tender by now and I was starting to have fantasies about coffee.

Last 2km - Why is this so hard?
The biggest demon yet to slay - overwhelming tiredness in the legs. It hit me in the 31st km - I didn't want to run the last kilometre, it was too hard, it was getting to hot, I wanted coffee, Evil CJ was playing all cards at this stage, it was too hilly (in reality at this stage they were very gentle undulations but felt twice as steep as Gunbarrel Hill). Oh god, I wanted to stop so badly.......but I didn't. And finally, Garmin Girl beeped to let me know I'd done 32km. Heaven! (Which was also playing on my Ipod at this point - very appropriate). I would've done a victory dance or cartwheels but I was too damn knackered. I walked to my car!

Week 9 completed
Total distance for the week - 94km
Next week - 100km
Looking back - Road to Ironman 2004
56 days to go

Sunday workout - long cycle (2 laps of the long course, inc Coppins Crossing both times), + 3 laps of the large loop + 1 lap of the small loop
Time / weather - 6am / warm to start with but hot and windy later, 35*c
Total distance - 170km
Duration - 7hr 39.56min
Av spd - 22.1kph (soooo slow!)
Workout rating - L8-9 (tired, hot, windy, so not enjoying it)

It was a hot and hard cycle - very tiring and I'm very sore. It was also boring, boring, boring so maybe good for me psychologically? So glad when it was over. I couldn't believe how tired I felt after the ride - just wanted to lie down and never get up again. Sore feet, sore arse [late edit - gosh it was all about me, what a whinge!] I drank heaps - 4 water bottles = 2.8litres plus I ate 2 fruit bars, 2 fruit sticks, 1 jam sandwich and 1 banana. Who was the bright spark that wanted to do an Ironman?!

Totals for the week:
Swim - 8.4km
Cycle - 281km
Run - 54km

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Short and sweet

Today's session - short easy run inc 6 x strides

Time / weather - 9.10am / sunny, blue skies, 15*c
Distance - 5km
Time taken - 26.46min
Av pace - 5.20min/km
AHR - 142

After a lovely, much-needed sleep-in, I eventually got up and got ready for a short run - 5km. As I ran down past the local oval I remembered that I was also meant to include 6 x 100m strides, something I usually do after the run on the oval. Today, however, the oval was host to a juniors cricket match and spectating parents. Hmm, what to do. Easy, I'll just incorporate the strides during the run. So after a short warm up I would increase my pace for 100m then slow down before going through this process again 5 more times. Before I knew it the run was over and I was home looking forward to breakfast.

Looking back - On this day 2 years ago - CJ's Road to Ironman

I found my ironman training diary the other day and started reading through it. For one, I was amazed at the distances I was doing in training, and two, most of my sessions seemed to be prefaced by the words "I'm tired."

Anyway, here is what I did 2 years ago (pre-Garmin):

Saturday 7/2/04
57 days to go

Time / weather - 7am / clear, no wind
Workout - Long run at Stromlo (9min run/1min walk)
Duration - 2hr 46.51min
Distance - about 28km
Workout rating - L8 - L8.5

It was a good run today. I ran with Strewth and Margaret out at Stromlo - Roy was on his bike. We started from Roy's place in Macquarie and headed out to the toilet block at Stromlo (where the Jogalong used to be held) and back again. I went a slightly different route to Strewth and Margaret on the way back because I had to run a further 5km. There were no problems with the run - I ran at a consistent pace throughout. Roy had me running up a long hill near the end - this was unexpected!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Waddling with the ducks

Yesterday I crashed headlong into a brick wall - figuratively speaking. In the end I didn't go to yoga either but went home and indulged in chocolate mousse - it was the Weight Watchers version so felt that I could have 2 tubs :-).

Anyways, today is another day and I was up again at 5am and out the door at 6am to do Yasso 800s. I decided to improvise on my program and instead of doing a tempo run and hill repeats (my glute was in no mood for hills) I thought a Yasso workout would be a nice change.

Today's session - Yasso 800s x 5

Time / weather - 6am / clear, no wind, 4*c
Distance - 15km
Time taken - 1hr 21.10min
Av pace - 5.23min/km
AHR - 148; MHR - 173

I started with a 5km warm up run and headed towards an oval in Melba. I was feeling fine this morning and enjoyed the run along the cycle path. Mind you, it was a bit chilly. Once I got to the oval I thought I'd map out my course and noticed that there was a 400m oval marked out - yay! My plan was to run around 3.30min per 800m.

This is how I fared:
3.30 / 3.37 / 3.27 / 3.26 / 3.34min

There was a flock of ducks wandering around on one side of the track and so every lap at this point it looked like we were waddling together - very cute! The grass was also very soggy as the sprinklers had obviously been on earlier so I was probably a little heavier by the time I finished and headed home. I know I was squelching as I ran! My ipod battery died on the run home :-(.

Lolly intake - 4 Kool fruits before 10am; 2 Sherbies and 2 Milkshakes at 11am. I seem to need a sugar hit this time every morning lately.
This afternoon - 3 Sherbies and 3 Milkshakes.

No gym today - having coffee with Mr CJ instead.

Because I ran 3km further today (due to a miscalculation - maths was never my strong point) I only have to run 5km tomorrow (instead of the 8km). Lookig forward to sleeping in!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Today's session - easy run

Time / weather - 6am / overcast, humid, about 13*c
Distance - 12km
Time taken - 1hr 7.19min
Av pace - 5.36min/km
AHR - 144

Started run - ran 12km - finished run. Felt blah the entire way.

Was meant to go to the gym at lunchtime - nup. Changed that - will go tomorrow. I have yoga tonight - will try not to fall asleep, but if I do, then I'll try not to snore.

Lolly quota for the day - no Fantales but several Milkshakes and Sherbies (before lunch).

....one dark chocolate bar (after lunch).

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Fugly run......

...until I got in my groove which wasn't until about the 9km mark - can't half tell I'm a long distance runner!

Session - medium long run

Time / weather - 5pm / sunny, no breeze, about 27*c (felt about 37*c halfway through the run)
Distance - 18km
Time taken - 1hr 34.54min
Av pace - 5.16min/km
AHR - 155; MHR - 171
Calories - 989

I felt good for the first kilometre and then I experienced that feeling I usually get during the run leg of a triathlon - the lead legs syndrome. I slogged along - it wasn't pretty but I can be pretty stubborn and it was a case of putting one foot in front of the other, and ignoring the tiredness and heaviness, and the relentless sun beating down on my head. A toilet stop at the 7km mark and then I was on my way again, and things were slowly starting to improve. Had a GU at the 10km mark - oh yummo - warm GU...mmmmm.

The last kilometre was pretty ugly as well but I knew it would soon be over so slugged it out...and then I was finished. yay! Another session done.

However, I have decided to change my Thursday and Friday sessions around. Tomorrow I was supposed to do a 12km hills and tempo session before work but my body is threatening to rebel. So, instead I will do an easy 12km tomorrow morning and the tempo and hills session on Friday - much more civilised.

So, tomorrow I have:
(am) - easy 12km run before work
(lunchtime) - gym session - lower body workout plus abs
(pm) - yoga

Oh, I have to confess - I did have one Fantale today - the last one in the box! Evil CJ made me do it! ;-)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


This will be a quick entry because I am so tired and my bed is calling.

Today's session - anaerobic threshold run
Time / weather - 6pm; sunny, cool breeze, about 21*c
Distance - 12.9km total; warm up - 3.5km; Cross country race - 5.2km; Cool down - 4.2km
Time taken - 65.22min (total); warm up - 18.37min; race - 23.32min; cool down - 23.13min
Av pace - for race - 4.31min/km inc 4 x 4min efforts (2min RI)
AHR - warm up - 151; race - 169; cool down - 148
Calories - 694

Today's race was held at Eddison Park which is close to where I work. I decided to do a warm up before the race so I could start the interval sessions as soon as the race started. There were lots of runners again today. The weather was much kinder than last week as well, which helped.

Av pace for my 4min interval efforts - 4.26min/4.16min/4.15min/4.22min/km. Happy with this.

As usual, I would pass people on my faster efforts only to have them overtake me on my rest intervals. However, it certainly makes the race go faster as I'm usually concentrating on the interval session rather than who is around me, or how far I still have to go. I also tend to try harder on the faster efforts than I would if I was doing this session on my own.

Late edit - results for the cross country run:
Place - 16th out of 59 females.
Official time - 23.33min / av pace - 4.27min/km

Lunchtime - massage

Bliss, bliss, bliss. It was so good that I almost fell asleep on the table, and it wasn't that she was being very gentle. On the contrary she was working deeply into my muscles but I was so tired. It was with great reluctance that I got off the table after the hour was up.

I am eating so much crap lately - I really must focus on eating better quality food. Today it was chocolate macadamia biscuits and too many fantales (though admittedly less than yesterday's fantale consumption!). Tomorrow it will be salad and fruit and not one fantale will pass my lips (its Fantale Free Wednesday!).


Monday, February 06, 2006

Back to the gym

Today might be a rest day from running, and I still can't go swimming because my injured knee is still gunky, so it was back to the gym for an upper body weights workout plus ab exercises. I had received the Core Strength Basics book in the mail last week and decided to start incorporating some of the exercises into my routine. I also decided to try out The Abs Plan in this month's Runners World magazine.

Today's session - Gym, lunchtime

* Dumbbell fly on swiss ball - 4.5kg/15reps x 2
Increased the weight by 500g from last week - no problems.

* Seated dumbbell lateral raise on swiss ball - 3.4kg/15reps; 3.4kg/12reps
I took TA's advice and used a lighter weight today and it certainly made a difference. Instead of flinging the dumbbells up and out to the side after about 5reps I managed to hold form.

* Dumbbell pullover on swiss ball - 4.5kg/15reps; 5kg/15reps
No problems

* Bench dip with swiss ball - 1 set x 15reps; 1 set x 12reps
This is a variation on the triceps dips done on a bench, with legs resting on a swiss ball. Have to work a lot harder and I really felt it in the second set.

* Dumbbell curl on swiss ball - 4.5kg/15reps; 4.5kg/12reps
Again I increased the weight which meant the second set was harder.

Ab exercises:
* Oblique bridge - 2 x hold for 20secs.
* Stick crunch - 15reps
* Lying draw-in with hip flexion - 10x each leg
* Running supine - 10x each leg
* Hip twist - 10x each side
* Medicine ball twist - 15reps (this was hard work).

Physio update - very stiff in lumbar spine this morning, especially the right side. He prodded, twisted, and massaged and finished the session with his elbow in my right glute - oooohhhh the agony.....

Cross country run at Eddison Park, 5.3km - will be incorporating an anaerobic threshold session in this run (4 x 4mins with 2mins slower jog) and then running for an additional 7km, to make a total of 12km. Fortunately the weather forecast is for a cooler day of 22*C - I hope they're right.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A run down memory lane.....

....or more precisely, the Thistle Run course. Strewth would know what I was talking about - it used to be a regular marathon training run for us (and Kezza) back in 2001, when we were training for our very first marathon. The landscape has changed a lot in that time - back then we were running on gravel roads through pine forest; today I was running on gravel roads with very small pine trees beginning to grow. The one thing that hadn't changed was the hills - I'd forgotten how many there were! I don't know why I bothered with downhill strides yesterday as I got lots of practice today, as well as uphill repeats.

Today's session - long run with the last 20mins at steady pace ie about 5min/km pace.

Time / weather - 7.30am / overcast and very pleasant though got very warm by the time I finished.
Distance - 28km
Time taken - 2hr 26.18min
Av pace - 5.13min/km (the final 4km in 1km splits: 4.56/5.02/4.42/4.43min/km)
AHR - 155; MHR - 187
Calories - 1,752

As I mentioned, my run this morning took in the old Thistle Run we used to do, as well as running up a hill parallel to the Gunbarrel Hill (?) and then running down GBH, and then heading down by the river and running along that until I reached the zoo. Then I turned and headed back towards Deeks Drive where I began my last 4km at steady pace up to the start of the old Jogalong course, where I turned and headed back to just past the carpark at Deeks Drive.

Heading out on the Thistle Run I passed a black cow who slowly ambled across the road. I checked behind me just to make sure he wasn't following and continued on my way. However, on the return trip I passed him again, and another cow who popped out from behind a large bush. They started to amble behind me - most disconcerting. Its alright guys, I don't need an escort, I can find my own way out, I was thinking. I like cows but from a distance, not so close that I can count their eyelashes. This feeling goes back to when I was younger and we lived on a farm. The school bus stopped on the main road and we had a walk of a couple of kilometres to get home. One hot summers day my brother and I decided to take a shortcut through the paddocks, not realising there were cows in there. Next thing we know we are surrounded by a large group of very curious cows. We took off at a hundred miles per hour with cows in pursuit! Mum said she's never seen anything so funny in all her life. I beg to differ.

Anyway I digress. The two cows decided against following me (thank goodness) and I carried on, with the occasional glance behind just to make sure. I felt much better once I had clambered back over the gate!

It was a good run - I was starting to feel a bit achey in both glutes by the 24km mark, and I still had the faster 4km to do yet. I was mentally plotting routes that would not involve hills for this part of the run. The way I eventually ran wasn't too bad but even so it did involve a gradual incline which is reflected in my average pace for the 2nd of the 4km - 5.02min/km, when the other 3km remained below 5min/kms. F...far out but it's a hard way to finish a long run.

So, today on my run I saw runners, walkers, horse riders, a 4 wheel drive, a woman walking the most enormous looking dog I'd ever seen - from a distance it looked the size of a lanky pony......but no spiders!

Tomorrow is a rest day - yay! I've been running so much lately I'm even starting to to run in my dreams!

This week I ran a total of 85km.
Next week it will be 94km, including an 18km medium long run midweek, a 12km anaerobic threshold run on Tuesday, a 12km temp + hill run on Thursday and a 32km long run on Sunday.

Bought the book The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella today - sounded like me!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Hairy huntsman encounter

Today my spider encounter involved a hairy huntsman - I opened the car door, about to get in when I spotted the spider sitting at the bottom of the door (actually given its size it was pretty hard to miss). It gave me such a fright I almost fell backwards onto the car parked next to us in my hurry to get away! Mr CJ had to remove the spider before I would get near the car. Where are they coming from?

Today's run session - easy run plus 6 x downhill strides

Time / weather - 6.30am / overcast and 16*C
Distance - 8km plus downhill strides x 6
Time taken - 42.06min for the 8km (didn't time the strides)
Av pace - 5.15min/km
AHR - 151
Calories - 452

It was an early start today because I had other commitments later on. It was a good run and partway through the run I stopped at a reasonably long gentle grassy slope to do my downhill strides. The tricky bit was trying to avoid holes hidden in the grass. Also decided to say good morning to everyone I passed today and got a variety of reactions - from a good morning in return, to smiles, to 'hi's, to the let's avoid eye contact and pretend that no-one is talking to me.

Tomorrow - 28km run with the last 20min run at steady pace.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Session - Easy run
Time - 6.10am / overcast, about 16*c, felt muggy
Distance - 12km
Time taken - 61.23min
Av pace - 5.07min/km
AHR - 153; MHR - 168
Calories - 670

No problems getting up this morning - I am slowly getting into a routine. Today was an easy run but just when I was about to run out the door it started raining. Evil CJ thought I should just go back to bed but Saint CJ dug her heels in pointing out that it was only a little shower and that it would soon be over. She was right, as always. It was a great run - I really enjoyed it. I love it when a run comes together with no particular effort :-).

And if I am ever up Qld way and Tesso offers me a coffee, I'll be sure to check the jug and the cup before the coffee is made!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Hot, hot, hot

This morning I succeeded in getting up at 5am because I enlisted Mr CJ's help - he woke me up and then turned on the bedroom light. So it was actually 6am when I headed out on my 10km tempo run - it was also 21*C and humid.

Session - tempo run
Distance - 10km
Time taken - 52.17min
Av pace - 5.13min/km
AHR - 153
Calories - 549

The session involved:
* 5km warm up - 26.41min; av pace - 5.20min/km
* 2 x 60sec effort (60sec float)
* 4 x 30 sec efforts (30sec float)
* then 2 x 60sec efforts (60sec float)
* 1.02km warmdown - 5.36min

I felt the gym work I did yesterday in my legs. My legs felt like lumps of lead to start with though it did improve. I had toast and honey before the session and certainly felt a lot better for it. It felt like I was running in a sauna - it was very warm and muggy which didn't bode well for the rest of the day. Fortunately I only had yoga later today.

5.45pm - Yoga

And not before time, judging by the stiffness I was exhibiting tonight. It had been a while since I had done any sort of yoga and I certainly felt it tonight but it was a good pain. I was like one large bundle of knotted muscles and Karen, our teacher, was forever coming over to push me, prod me, press on me to get me into the appropriate poses. It was also very hot - there was no air conditioning or fans in the hall, only open windows, but there was no breeze. So we also spent a lot of time in resting pose, which was fine by me.

Some spider trivia...

The Starlight Foundation lollies box was refilled at work today which meant I was faced with Fantales every time I made myself a cup of green tea. Finally I succumbed and bought some. The wrapper on one had this to say about spiders:
"Not one of the 200 spiders used was killed during the making of Arachnophobia. The one spider "crushed" underfoot survived thanks to a hole cut in the "killer's" boot. Potato crisps were used to simulate the squish!"

The vegetarian pizza to die for

Cirque asked what was on the vegetarian pizza - roasted eggplant, capsicum, zucchini, pumpkin, goats cheese, spinach. It is really delicious. The other plus about lunch at Belucci's is that when you order coffee you also get a plate of chocolate buttons (white and milk chocolate), caramel buttons and freckles. I have such sophisticated tastes, I know!

'Year of the house' update

We had a meeting with our architect and builder this afternoon and it looks like work will begin the week after next. Which means we had better find accommodation soon!

The never-ending glute problem aka the pain in the butt (literally and metaphorically speaking)

Hilda asked whether I train through pain with my glute or whether its some types of training that aggravate it. If it was very painful I wouldn't run; usually its just a nagging ache especially if I have run a fairly hard session the day before or hills. Hills do seem to aggravate it so I have to be careful and I'm not doing as many hill runs as I would like. The problem actually is with my back, especially around L3 which is very stiff and then sets off a chain reaction down my right side. Which is why yoga is good for me - lots of sustained stretching and proper alignment.

And Tesso,what was the name of that chocolate cake - it sounds divine!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Aaaargh!!!! Spiders......

Can I just state up front that I hate spiders - big ones, little ones, hairy ones, fat ones, daddy long legs, and I avoid then as much as possible. This dislike of spiders goes back to when I was little and I was behind mum in the hallway when a spider either lost its footing and fell off the ceiling or deliberately jumped on her (I'm for the latter), and she screamed and screamed and screamed (not an unnatural reaction).

This morning I woke up at 5.30am (I did briefly open my eyes at 5am when Mr CJ got up and I thought it wouldn't hurt just to close them briefly.....) So by the time I started my run, after toast and honey and coffee (of course), it was 6.30am. I grabbed a cap off the bedroom door handle on my way out and shoved it on my head. I thought I could feel something on the top of my cap and quickly brushed it with my hand, thinking it was a twig or something from the trees I ran under as I left the yard.

It was a slow start to the run and my right glute was complaining bitterly about doing two runs back to back, something I normally try and avoid. This was starting to look and feel like a very slow 16km run.

1km went past, 2km went past, 3km went past and then I noticed a long brown thin leggy looking thing hanging over the top of the brim of my cap. Well, I yanked that cap off, saw a h-u-g-e white tail spider on it, promptly slapped my cap against the ground to dislodge said spider, and then proceeded to stomp on the spider (apologies to any Buddhists, pacifists, and spider lovers reading this). I'm sure my heart rate was maxing out at this stage. Then I calmly put my cap back on, after searching the surface thoroughly for the presence of any other spider, and proceeded on my run. For the first few kilometres i imagined spider legs crawling up my back, down my legs, across my cap, I was paranoid - I felt like I was starring in my own version of Arachnophobia. However, looking on the positive side, I certainly picked up the pace after my spider encounter!

Session - medium long run
Time / weather - 6.30am / 18*C, started off overcast but the cloud soon burnt off
Distance - 16km
Time taken - 1hr 26.14min
Av pace - 5.23min/km
AHR - 150; MHR - 240
Calories - 893

Lunchtime - Gym
Session - lower body weights and ab exercises

Today I did the following exercises:

* Swiss ball one leg squats - 4kg / 15 reps; 4.5kg 15 reps
Apart from trying to stay steady no problems. Concentrated on form so did them pretty slowly.

* Swiss ball hamstring curls - 2 sets of 15 reps
No problems

* Swiss ball one leg bridges - 2 sets of 15 reps
My right glute complained about this exercise and I did appear to lack strength on this side.

* Stationary lunges - 4.5kg / 15 reps x 2
Concentrated on form ie keeping knees facing to the front, not bending front knee too far over foot, slow and steady.

Then I did the ab exercises and stretches. A good session.

There was no cake today - only oatmeal and dried apricots for breakfast; fruit salad and yoghurt for morning and afternoon tea;, cottage cheese and salad, and avocado on crispbreads for lunch; plus a protein drink after the gym, and a high protein banana smoothie for tea. However, I'm off to Belucci's for lunch tomorrow and they have a vegetarian pizza to die for :-).

Lately I've been so busy that all I'm managing to do blogwise is update my own blog and quickly glance at some of my favourites. So I haven't fallen of the face of the earth and I am trying to read everyone's blogs but adding comments is just a bit beyond me at the moment. Hopefully this situation will right itself very soon :-).