Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Internal shenanigans

I feel like crap; shite; blech; blah. My digestive system has gone into riot mode and my head is alternating between sledgehammers and feeling full of fairy floss. C'mon guys - I have a marathon in 12 sleeps time, don't pull the pin on me now.

No running today - maybe tomorrow. :-(

Looking back - CJ's Road to IM 2004
12 days to go
Week 3 of taper


Workout - Long swim

Time - 6am, Civic pool
Distance - 2km
Duration - 41min

It was very busy in the pool this morning and it felt like I was in a boxing match - very physical. However, I kept thinking this would be a very good experience for Forster so persevered. Besides I knew I only had 2km to swim so wasn't going to be in the pool for too long (compared to other weeks).

Had lunch with SW today - it was an eyeopener, particularly when it came to training distances/times. The longest she probably rode in training was 150km and her longest brick session was a total of about 5 hours (compared to my 200km and 9hr 20min respectively). Anyway I learnt a lot but also realised that I've been on the right track with food during training.


Workout 1 - Fartlek cycle inc 4 x 60sec efforts

Time - 5.45am, about 6*c, cold, clear, no wind
Distance - 18.7km
Duration - 48.59min
Av spd - 22.8kph

Wore leggings, vest and arm warmers in addition to my normal cycling gear. Average speed a little slow - it felt faster. No problems other than usual problems with bike seat. Got Mr CJ to change it in the afternoon to a narrower seat. Will see how that goes tomorrow. It was great not having to start at 5am!

Workout 2 - Swim session

Time - 7.20pm, Belconnen pool
Distance - 2.2km
Duration - about 45min

Session included:
500m wu
5 x 100m
3 x 200m variable pace
10 x 50m
100m cd

Feel like I'm getting a cold so took it fairly easy tonight. Had a massage this afternoon.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Chasing kangaroos; seeing zebras

...as a result of going cold turkey on chocolate?!

This morning's session - long run
14 days to go!

Time/weather - 7.12am / 11*c, clear skies, beautiful morning for running
Distance - 26km
Time taken - 2hr 17.19min
Av pace - 5.16min/km

Decided to run out at Stromlo this morning as I hadn't done this for a couple of weeks and I felt the urge to do an off-road run. Mind you, partway through the run I wondered how I could've forgotten about all those hills.

It was a perfect morning for running - not too warm and no wind. I ran from Cotter Road to the cork plantation and then back along the river to the zoo and finished with part of the old Jogalong course. Along the way I came across a couple of kangaroos sitting in the middle of the road. When they saw that I wasn't stopping they bounded off down the road with me in hot pursuit - okay a slight exaggeration - with me plodding on waaaaaay behind them! Then when passing the zoo I spotted a zebra watching me with great interest - particularly as I passed him twice. Also passed a small running group labouring up a very steep nasty little hill as I was running down it - mind you, I had run up it about 10mins earlier.

Even though it was shorter by 8km compared to last week's run I was still glad to finish - this course is a lot tougher than running around Lake Burley Griffin.

Mr CJ and I met up with Strewth, Mr B, The Hare and N, and JS for lunch then we went home and I had a much-needed nana nap!

No chocolate today but came across some delicious chocolate recipes which I have put away for 'after the marathon'! These Donna Hay recipes include Orange and Chocolate Pillows (dark chocolate and ricotta cheese in gow gee wrappers and oven-baked), Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches, and Chocolate Fudge Biscuits.

Total kms for the week - 73km

Looking back - CJ's Road to IM 2004
14 days to go
Week 2 of taper

Workout - Long run

Time - 3.45pm, overcast, breezy, about 21*c
Duration - 2hr 20.35min
Distance - about 24km

I decided to have a sleep-in today so I didn't run until later in the afternoon. I felt a little stiff in the legs about an hour into the run - it can't be the cycle yesterday, surely, as it was only 150km[!]. Otherwise, no problems. Had GU at the 1hour and 2 hour marks. I realised that in 2 weeks time that I would actually be running at that time of the day so I visualised running strongly on the day.

I am having lunch with SW tomorrow - so looking forward to it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Tempo time

15 sleeps to go!

This afternoon's session - tempo run inc 2 x 10mins tempo (3min RI)

Time/weather - 4.57pm / 21*c, sunny, breezy
Distance - 11km
Time taken - 54.51min
Av pace - 4.59min/km
Av pace per km for tempo intervals: 4.24 / 4.21min
AHR - 156; MHR - 185

Slept in this morning and in the end it was only someone nagging in my ear (hmmm Mr CJ) about everything we were supposed to do today that finally got me out of bed. Spent the morning at tile shops looking at, pricing and selecting tiles for the bathroom and kitchen. Spent the afternoon trawling supermarkets and chocolate shops ogling, but not buying, chocolate (well, okay, maybe an exaggeration - not the entire afternoon!). Bought myself a skirt from Colorado to compensate! ;-) After reading comments to yesterday's entry I have decided on a personal challenge: from now to the marathon I will not eat any chocolate - it will taste that much better after the marathon!

But I digress...back to running. A good session this afternoon - 2 x 10min tempo intervals which were hard but also comfortable, if that makes any sense. Had downloaded some new music to run to:
Coming Undone - Korn
Spare Me The Details - The Offspring
Believe Me - Fort Minor
and some golden oldies:
Nutbush City Limits - Tina Turner
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper

(am) 26km long run

Looking back - CJ's Road to IM 2004
15 days to go
Week 2 of taper

Workout - long cycle

Time - 4.40am, cold and foggy to start with but then clear skies and warm
Distance - 150km
Duration - 6hr 21.55min
Av spd - 23.6kph

It was very foggy out Gold Creek way to Nanima Rd but it cleared up after that. Uncomfortable on bike seat as usual so no changes there. Saw a few cyclists, mainly as they passed me - Sarah Fien was one of them. I didn't stop at the bus stop but kept on going. It was ideal weather for cycling as there was no wind. It would be great if Forster was like that.

Had coffee and fruit cake at H and Mr T's place in the afternoon.

Friday, March 24, 2006

No ifs or buts.....

This morning's session - easy run

Time/weather - 5.56am / 12*c
Distance - 8.3km
Time taken - 48.38min
Av pace - 5.50min/km
AHR - 158

Familiar scenario - up at 5am, make a coffee, grab the paper and head back to bed. The difference though is that at 5.45am I got dressed in my running gear (tights, arm warmers, running shirt, shoes, etc) and headed out the door; no excuses.

It was a slow run but as it was meant to be an easy run I didn't worry about my speed. However, looking at my average heart rate after the run it did seem to be a bit on the high side considering my slow pace. So I've decided to sleep in tomorrow morning and run in the afternoon.

Another thing - I have this constant craving for chocolate at the moment which I have so far managed to resist but for how long?!

(pm) 11km tempo run inc 2 x 10min tempo (3min RI)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kicking butt....mine

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

Time / weather - 5.45pm / 22*c, windy, sunny
Distance - 12km
Time taken - 1hr 46sec
Av pace - 5.02min/km
AHR - 157; MHR - 177

5km warm up - av pace - 5.16min/km
4min efforts - av pace - 4.16/4.22/4.42/4.26
2.05km cool down - av pace - 5.06min/km

Same routine this morning - its starting to feel like Groundhog Day! Woke up at 5am, made a coffee, went back to bed, decided to miss yoga tonight and run instead, and then dozed off.

So this afternoon I decided to put some effort into the session so I didn't feel like a complete loser. Also I had been out for breakfast with friends and had pancakes, and then went out for lunch with friends and had Thai. I needed to run!

The first 5km felt surprisingly okay considering this is usually when I experience those 'ugh' kilometres until I warm up. Not today but I certainly didn't feel like I was running fast. When it came the 4min efforts I took off but ran the first 2 efforts in a controlled fashion. Not so with the 3rd 4min effort - I felt like I was all over the place and it showed in the split time - this one was slower at 4.42min/km. The final effort I again I made sure I ran solidly and I felt much more comfortable though did have to have a teensy walk break once I had finished that interval. The last couple of kms home I felt like I was really plodding so was surprised to see that my average was just over 5min/km.

So a pretty good workout. Must have been the thought of Lulu standing at the finish of the marathon with that block of Lindt chocolate and coffee that motivated me ;-)

For those who asked what a Magnum icecream was - its creamy vanilla icecream covered in smooth, rich, thick Belgian chocolate and its to die for. Mind you, at almost 300 calories I can really only justify one after a loooong run.

(am) Easy 8km run

Looking back - CJ's Long Long long Road to IM 2004
17 days to go
Week 2 of taper

Workout - Swim inc pyramids

Time - 7pm, Belconnen pool
Distance - 3.4km
Duration - 77min

I seemed to lose my balance a lot tonight and was buffeted around in the lane. I have problems swimming in the outside lanes of this pool for that reason. There were no other problems with the swim - the grumpy shoulder felt fine. I tried to swim the second 50m of each 100m set faster for the final 5 x 100m. I probably wasn't pulling through as much as I should've been.

I have been in contact with SW who did the IM for the last 2 years. We are having lunch next Monday so I can quiz her about the IM - looking forward to it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Desperately searching for the 'on' switch

Marathon training update - week 16 of 18 (getting closer!)
Taper Period
Focus - race preparation
Week 1 of taper - approx 75% of biggest week

Today's session - medium long run

Time / weather - 5pm / 21*c, overcast, bit of a breeze
Distance - 16km
Time taken - 1hr 25.46min
Av pace - 5.22min/km
AHR - 148; MHR - 172

I have to confess that my motivation levels are pretty much rock bottom at the moment so thank goodness for tapers! I haven't run since Sunday. Every morning this week I have got up at 5am, made a coffee, gone back to bed and convinced myself that I can run later that day (which never eventuated yesterday) or later in the week (was supposed to have my other rest day on Friday however I ended up having rest days Monday and Tuesday). Is this a good thing 3 weeks out from the marathon? I don't know, but I am desperately looking for that elusive 'on' switch, that little spark that will fire me up once again.

I did run this afternoon - I ran out of excuses (no pun intended!). After the first few 'ugh' kilometres I managed to cruise along. There were lots of people out running and it got me wondering how many of them may be training for the marathon, like moi. Close to home and I could see a dog sprinting towards me at warp speed - what to do as he certainly didn't look like he was going to slow down. I stopped and braced myself for the impact but somehow he managed to pull up right in front of me and then started jumping up, tail wagging. This was one seriously happy dog! The owner came jogging over feeling very embarrassed and managed to restrain his dog, apologising profusely, concerned that this may have affected my time!

Tomorrow (sometime):
12km anaerobic threshold run inc 4 x 4mins (2min RI)

Looking back - CJ's Road to IM 2004
18 days to go
Week 2 of taper

Workout 1 - Swim session, non-stop distance
Time - 10am, Belconnen pool
Distance - 3km
Duration - 1hr 5mins

A good swim - felt comfortable. No problems with grumpy shoulder. I really noticed the difference in speed if I concentrated on my pull stroke.

Workout 2 - Medium run to Lake Ginninderra and return
Time - 5pm, about 25*c, breezy, warm
Duration - 1hr
Distance - approx 10km

Slow run - legs still tight from half marathon.

Workout 1 - Cycle - fartlek inc 8 x 60sec efforts
Time - 5am, 12*c, no wind
Distance - 34km
Duration - 1hr 23.34min
Av spd - 24.5kph

Did the 60sec efforts today as I was riding by myself. These were hard work especially as my legs are still a little stiff and tired post-half marathon on Sunday. However I rode this circuit quicker than last week - by 6mins.

Workout 2 - Swim session inc pyramids and variable pace
Time - 7pm, Belconnen pool
Distance - 3.4km
Duration - 74min

A good swim - felt fresh. I got through the session with no problems. I'm happy with my stroke and I didn't feel tired at the end. I quite like tapering!

Workout - Brick session - long cycle/run
Time - 4.30am, Overcast, no wind while in town but the wind had picked up at Murrumbateman
Cycle distance - 128.4km
Cycle duration - 5hr 26.11min
Av spd - 23.6kph
Run duration - 1hr 41.47min

Not cold this morning but it seemed to be dark for a lot longer. I did the Haydon Dve loop x 2 and the Coulter Dve loop before leaving town. I rode to the bus sop at Murrumbateman Rd but I didn't stop this time. Suffered discomfort on the seat as per usual. I ate 1 jam sandwich, 2 fruit sticks and a handful of raisins. Drank 1 bottle of sports drink and 1 bottle of water.

The start of the run felt awful - my whole body ached and I had some pain underneath the toes on my left foot - this did improve. I had 1 GU sachet before the run and 1 hour into the run. Also had 1 bottle of sports drink and half a bottle of water.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Last looooong run - hurray!

Ballons over Lake Burley Griffin

This morning's session - long run with last 6km at steady (4.44 - 4.52min/km) pace

Time / weather - 7.18am / 15*c to start; 19*c when finished, very still, overcast
Distance - 34km
Time taken - 2hr 56.04min
Av pace - 5.10min/km
AHR - 152

I felt really unmotivated to run long this morning and so it took me forever to get out the door. I was up at 5am to have toast, honey and banana but it was well and truly after 7am by the time I started running. There were lots of hot air balloons in the sky over the lake and Parliament House this morning - it looked really amazing seeing them all suspended in the sky....I took a photo with my phone so apologies for the quality. Ok, wasted enough time - time to run..slowly, slowly. Passed Strewth and the Hare plus some other guys running in the opposite direction all looking strong and fast. I plodded on.

Started counting down the kilometres and I hadn't even run 10km at this point. It was not looking good. However, I was starting to feel more comfortable. Passed Mr B and his female running companions plus dog running in the opposite direction. It was not long after this that I started feeling like I might just be able to run the 34km - I had also an Espresso GU at this point.

Stopped for a toilet/drinks/GU stop at the 21km mark - back at the ferry terminal where I had parked my car. Then it was off for the last 13km. My R glute was feeling quite sore but its something I can run through so I persevered - there were times when I felt really good and periods when I felt really tired. And this was before the last 6km when I had to pick up the pace.

Surprisingly I did manage to pick up the pace - god knows how. Again there were times when I felt great and was cruising along and other times when I just wanted to slow to a gentle jog.

Kilometre times for the last 6km:
1 - 4.43
2 - 4.46
3 - 4.41
4 - 4.45
5 - 4.39
6 - 4.46

Finally it was all over. That's my last 34km run - next week the long run is 26km.

After a shower and change of clothes it was off to lunch at Black Pepper with Strewth, Mr B, the Hare and N. Then later today I had a Magnum icecream - bliss! This is what marathon training is all about!

Rest Day - yay! I can sleep in!

Total kms for the week:

Looking back - CJ's looooong Road to IM
21 days to go
Week 1 of taper

Workout - half marathon

Time - 7.30am / no wind
Distance - 21.1km
Time taken - 1hr 45.41min

I didn't have a plan of how I was going to run the half - I thought I'd just wait and see. One thing I was definite about and that was as it was only 3 weeks to IM I was not going to be silly.

My legs, particularly my quads, felt quite stiff and unresponsive and it probably wasn't until the halfway mark before I felt like I was running ok.

I stopped at all the drink stations, except the last one, for water. I had GU at the halfway mark. I felt strong on the return trip - was passing runners all the way. I have run quicker in previous years but then I hadn't cycled 160km the day before either and I was still experiencing some residual tiredness. I won a barrel draw prize - a marathon entry which I gave to Ruth, and a $25 Runners Shop gift voucher.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Short and sweet

..and no, I'm not talking about me! ;-)

This morning's session - steady run with 6 x strides

Time / weather - 7am / 11*c, chilly
Distance - 8km
Time taken - 37.54min
Av pace - 4.44min/km
AHR - 154; MHR - 175

Experiencing writer's block so this will be brief!

Kilometre rate:
1 - 5.11
2 - 5.03
3 - 4.59
4 - 4.36
5 - 4.35
6 - 4.18
7 - 4.33
8 - 4.34

Encouraging to see I have some speed back in these tired old legs!

(am) 34km run inc last 6km steady pace

Looking back - CJ's Never-Ending Road to IM
22 days to go
Week 1 of taper

Workout - Long cycle, via Nanima Rd and Murrumbateman Rd

Time - 4.30am; v cold to start with; little to no wind
Distance - 160km
Duration - 7hr 2.14min
Av spd - 22.7kph

I was uncomfortable on my bike right from the start today. I was also lacking a little in motivation so I broke my ride up into 'legs', such as each loop (I did Haydon Dve loop x 2 followed by the Coulter Dve loop x 1); then from home out to Barton Highway; etc. I mentally ticked off each leg as I completed them, along with a "yay!" and pumped my fist in the air - anyone following me would've thought I'd gone mad! Anyway it seemed to help. The weather was perfect with very little breeze - usually I'm battling a stiff headwind at some stage.

I was very tired this afternoon. When we were having a coffee at the Mall I could've so easily fallen asleep at the table. I had a 2hr 'nap' later today.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Found - 1 pair of sunnies!

Yep - it seems that apparently they were still on my head when I got home but when I pulled the soggy cap off my head the sunnies went flying into the garden! Doh!!!

As I'm sitting here typing there are men making one helluva racket up on our roof - they are doing the roof structure on the extension (....when I started this entry before work this morning. However it is now evening and I'm having all sorts of problems trying to publish the damn thing). We will be moving out in a fortnight's time to a place in Turner where we'll live for the next 3-4 months while the renovations happen, so its busy, busy, busy here at the moment.

This morning's session - tempo run

Time/weather - 6am / about 7*c (a bit chilly)
Distance - 14km
Time taken - 1hr 16.10min
Av pace - 5.26min
AHR - 146

Tempo session inc 5 x 4min efforts (2min RI):
Av km rate - 4.58 / 4.50 / 4.58 / 4.46 / 4.35min

Good run - it was chilly and I wore a short sleeved running top and a long sleeved one as well. Must look at the tempo program on the Garmin though - I think its set at too fast a pace for the warm up and cool down sections of the run. I cannot go from bed to 5min/km just like that - it took me at least 5km to get going this morning.

Other than the slow start it was a good run with no major problems - yay!

8km steady run with 6 x strides
34km run with last 6km run at steady (ie 5min/km) pace

Looking back - CJ's Long and Tortuous Road to IM 2004
23 days to go
Week 1 of taper

Wednesday's workout - Brick session: long cycle/run

Time - 4.30am / no wind, it started to clear but then clouded over again
Cycle distance - 150.4km
Cycle duration - 6hr 26.15min
Av spd - 23.3kph
Run duration - 1 hr 42.40min

It was a good session. It was perfect cycling conditions today - very little wind, which made for a pleasant ride. No problems. Even the seat pain didn't seem as bad today!

My run was interrupted by calls to my mobile to and from Forster (site of IM) re accommodation. Because I was out running and decisions had to be made immediately and not wait until I got back to the house, I wrote contact numbers in the sand with a stick! Anyone going past must've wondered what on earth I was doing! However, I now have accommodation - a 2 bedroom unit right in the town, which is great. The run was comfortable - there was a slight breeze blowing so it wasn't too hot - about 22*c.

"I have accommodation - hallelujah!!!!"

Thursday workout - Swim session - pyramids

Time - 7pm, Belconnen pool
Distance - 3.6km
Duration - 1hr 23mins

Another comfortable session tonight - no problems with my grumpy shoulder. I thought I would be tired but it didn't affect my swimming.

Yay - I have accommodation (believe me, this has been quite a saga and I was getting a bit worried that I would be camping in a tent!)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Soggy socks

Session - medium long run

Time / weather - 5pm / 27*c when I started, 19*c when I finished; thunderstorm from the 15km mark
Distance - 21km
Time taken - 1hr 53.41min
Av pace - 5.25min/km

A much better run - while I still felt tired I didn't feel like I was plodding along. The black clouds were gathering which probably spurred me on as well but at the 15km mark the rain pelted down, and the thunder and lightning show began. The rain was so heavy at times that I couldn't see very far in front of me and much of the cycle path was covered with puddles of water. I was soaked and my socks and shoes were absolutely saturated - I was squelching as I ran. I was worried about my ipod though it is encased in neoprene and plastic and this protected it sufficiently. However I should have been more concerned about my sunnies - I had sat these on top of my cap as the rain pelted down - there really wasn't much need for them. When I got home I discovered that I no longer had my sunnies - damn. So someone out there will score well today - a good pair of sunnies lying somewhere along the cycle path. I did retrace my steps for a short way but the weather really discouraged me from continuing, besides I was getting very hungry.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Plodding along

Marathon training update - Week 15 of 18 (yep, its that close!)

Today's session - easy run

Time / weather - 5.50pm / 21*c, overcast, breezy
Distance - a loooong 12km
Time taken - a slooooow 1hr 7.10min
Av pace - 5.36min/km
AHR - 139; MHR - 150

It was a wise decision not to run the Cross Country 5km event this afternoon but do a gentle 12km recovery run because I couldn't have run any faster if I tried. In fact, when I started running it was so embarrassingly slow and close to 6min/kms! Everything ached though mind you I had had a massage earlier today - bliss!

It was about the 5km mark that I felt that I was running comfortably and didn't have the constant nagging little voice in my head encouraging me to stop, give up and go home. But gosh, I was tempted!

Q and A's
robert asked whether the discrepancy in distance was due to an inaccurate course or the Garmin. I have to admit its the latter as the half marathon course is a certified accurate course. I'm also hoping the weather will be cooler for the marathon - and it most likely will be given its still another 3 and a bit weeks away. Fingers crossed!

A few of you asked whether I got any bling for winning my age group - I received a medal featuring a redback spider(!) - the race is organised by the Weston Creek redbacks athletics club. I also received a voucher from the Runners Shop so will be indulging in some retail therapy very shortly - probably another pair of Asics GT shoes.

Hows my recovery? Well, I'm feeling tired and my legs are a little stiff, mainly in the quads and I have some tender spots in my calves but on the whole I feel pretty good. But the mere thought of getting out of bed before the sun rises to go running just does not appeal to me at the moment so it will be afternoon running this week!

And finally, thanks for the lovely comments :-)

(pm) 20km medium long run

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
26 days to go

Week 1 of taper

Workout 1 - Long swim
Time - 6am, Civic pool
Distance - 3.2km
Duration - 1hr 10min

Good swim - felt strong. No problems.

Workout 2 - Medium run, Nth Lyneham
Time - 6pm, 29*c
Distance - about 17km
Duration - 1hr 53.23min

I was tired to start with and the hill was hard. However, I gradually improved and the hill didn't seem so bad from the 3rd lap on. On the 4th lap I was able to get into a steady rhythm and felt good.

Workout 1 - Fartlek cycle
Time - 5am, no wind; H joined me
Distance - 33.3km
Duration - 1hr 29min
Av spd - 22.4kph

My legs felt heavy from running the previous evening. I felt as though I worked harder having H there but my average speed doesn't show that. Cycling is just hard work and I don't seem to improve.

Workout 2 - Swim session
Time - 6.53pm; Belconnen pool
Distance - 3.6km
Duration - 1hr 22min

I seemed to be swimming all over the lane tonight - my balance wasn't crash hot.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

One happy CJ!

Today's session - Weston Creek half marathon

Time / weather - 7.30am / 19*c, cloudy to begin with but then very warm and sunny
Distance - 21.1km
Time taken - 1hr 38.13min
Av pace - 4.36min/km
AHR - 170; MHR - 178

After a couple of days of feeling slightly below par I woke this morning feeling a bit better. Had some toast with honey and banana for breakfast (plus the obligatory caffeine hit) and then we headed down to the Irish Club in Weston for the annual Weston Creek half marathon. It was an overcast morning to begin with, however the clouds were soon to burn off exposing a very hot sun. Saw FD, Aki, speedygeoff and Strewth before the start. I strapped on my trusty Garmin and ipod and went for a very short warm up before the start. Yep, didn't feel too bad.

Kilometre times:
1 - 4.37
2 - 4.35
3 - 4.39
4 - 4.37
5 - 4.43
6 - 4.48
7 - 4.36
8 - 4.38
9 - 4.34
10 - 4.42
11 - 4.39
12 - 4.34
13 - 4.27
14 - 4.25
15 - 4.18 (!)
16 - 4.20
17 - 4.26
18 - 4.34
19 - 4.38
20 - 4.42
21 - 4.57
330m - 1.35 (av 4.49min/km)

I thought I started conservatively though when I look at my kilometre times it doesn't look that way. However I did run at a consistent pace most of the time. I grabbed water sachets at every drink station that I went through and had an Espresso GU at the 10km mark. I made a game of trying to catch up with the person ahead of me and then passing them - this got easier in the second half of the race when many people were tiring. It was a helluva lot warmer in the last 10km because the cloud cover had burnt off and the sun was hot. Also there is little shade out there and in the last couple of kilometres the course does undulate a bit.

While in the first part of the race I checked my watch every kilometre to make sure I was under 5min/km pace, for the last half of the race I never checked my watch so didn't have any idea of what my time was until I rounded the bend at the end and saw the large time clock. Yay - not quite a PB (although a PB on this course) but I had run under 100mins so I was one very very happy CJ! And I won the W45 age group!
And what's even better, Mr CJ had a cappuccino ready and waiting for me! (He knows me so well!)

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
28 days to go

Workout - long run, Lake Burley Griffin
Time - 7.30am; overcast, humid and no wind
Distance - 30km
Duration - 3hr 6.46min

It was difficult running in the first lap - my legs were very tired after yesterday's cycle. I ran the 16km loop, then 7km to Scrivener Dam and return. JD joined us for the first lap. Anyway the run did improve and I felt better in the final 14km.

A month to go!!!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Woke this morning with a woolly head and a scratchy throat - it has not been one of my better days. Tomorrow I run the half marathon - I hope I'm feeling better.

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
29 days to go

Workout - long cycle inc 2 laps Haydon Dve and 2 laps Coulter Dve before heading out to Murrumbateman

Time - 4.30am / overcast, easterly breeze
Distance - 130km on the road + windtrainer (about 200km in total)
Duration - 5hr 24min on the road; 3hr on the windtrainer
Av spd - 23.9kph

Because I was unsure of the weather I decided to do part of this session on-road and part on the windtrainer. There was a brisk breeze blowing out Murrumbateman way however I did have the breeze behind me on the way home.

The 3 hours on the windtrainer were hard because I had already cycled 130km and my legs were feeling tired. Plus there was the boredom factor. However I did it!

I have been really tired since doing the session.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Never say never

Woke up yesterday morning and so did not want to get out of bed and run, so I didn't. I listened to my body and decided that it was probably better to rest rather than run tired. The plan was to go to yoga after work and generally have an easy day.

However, come early afternoon and I started thinking about the missed run. Maybe I should do a run after work, but it is getting quite warm. Yoga would be better but then I'm missing a run and my weekly kilometre rate will be down (talk about being governed by my program!). And so, what won out?

Yesterday's session - fartlek run

Time / weather - 6pm / 30*c, sunny, blue skies
Distance - 12km
Time taken - 1hr 3.11min
Av pace - 5.16min/km
AHR - 152; MHR - 171

Despite the temperature it was a pleasant run - it didn't feel that hot. The fartlek part of the run helped make the time and distance pass quickly.

The session consisted:
2 x [2 x 60sec effort (60sec float); 4 x 30sec effort (30sec float)];
1 x 60sec effort (60sec float)

Finished the run about a kilometre from home and walked home as part of the cooldown. Met up with H and Mr T who were out walking their dogs so talked to them for a while before heading inside for a shower and something to eat. I'm glad that I decided to run - I felt better for it.

This morning's session - short run with strides

Time / weather - 6am / 10*c and cool (tho' will get to 30*c again today - love this weather)
Distance - 8km
Time taken - 42.15min
Av pace - 5.16min/km
AHR - 162

Short run this morning as I have the Weston Creek half marathon on Sunday. Threw in 100m strides every kilometre for some variety.

I've been asked how I will run the half marathon on Sunday, ie hard, or steady. To be quite honest I don't know - I think I will decide on the day, depending on how I feel.

Canberra weather
A few people have asked about the weather here. Its starting to get cooler overnight (ie around 10*c and sometimes below) but during the day it has been late 20's*c to early 30's*c. It is very pleasant weather and great for running, particularly in the mornings.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Last night at yoga I managed to do a supported headstand - yay! This is a big thing because last year I couldn't do any sort of headstand without someone lifting my legs up to the wall. Last night it just came together so well. I was so impressed I did 2 headstands! Okay so its not the fully fledged unsupported headstand but I'm getting there. Gosh I feel good!

This morning's session - medium long run

Time / weather - 5am / 10*c, chilly and misty
Distance - 18.5km
Time taken - 1hr 47.22min
Av pace - 5.46min/km
AHR - 135; MHR - 154

I got up at the ridiculous time of 4am today so I could have some toast before my run - I must be absolutely stark raving mad. I wore a long sleeved running top for the first time today - it was very cool outside, and it seemed to get colder the longer I ran. I ran at a very pedestrian pace most of the time, mainly because it was dark and I was scared of tripping.

Once at work Bec and I made short work of a bag of Haigh's chocolate freckles that someone had brought back for us from Adelaide. Haigh's chocolate freckles are soooo good and its very hard to stop at one or two or three.....or a whole packet. They were gone before 10am!

Thanks for your comments on the long run - I am planning on running for around three and a half hours Sunday week. According to Macmillan I should run this somewhere between 5.18 and 5.55min/km.

am - 12km fartlek session
pm - yoga

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
32 days to go

Workout - Brick session - cycle/run

Time - 4.45am / it was cold to begin with but it warmed up to 26*c
Cycle distance - 158.4km
Cycle duration - 6hr 59min
Run duration - 2hr 20min

I found it really hard to sit on the bike for a long period today plus I was also experiencing backache. I was wearing the new Cannibal nicks that had bought at the triathlon expo on the weekend. I rode the entire length of Murrumbateman Rd - to Sutton Rd turnoff.

The run was in the middle of the day but it wasn't too bad unless I was in a sheltered position and got no breeze - then it was hot. The run was extended to Giralang before turning back. Another workout out of the way - IM is getting closer!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tempo Tuesday

This morning's session - Tempo run inc 3 x 8min efforts (3min RI)

Time / weather - 6am / 8*c but it felt cooler
Distance - 13.8km
Time taken - 1hr 15.20min
Av pace - 5.26min/km
AHR - 141; MHR - 179

I did not want to get up this morning. It was a real struggle, mentally and physically, to get up and dressed for a tempo run. However, I remembered I had birthday cake and more chocolates awaiting me at work so that motivated me enough to get out the door!

Av pace for 8min efforts:
4.52; 4.38; 4.43min/km (not too bad for an early morning effort).

* Another question - I have decided I will do a long run of about 3hr 30min the week after next (I have a half marathon this coming Sunday). This means that the long run will be 3 weeks out from the marathon - is this too close to be doing a 3hr 30min long run? Would appreciate any comments.*

Tonight - yoga, thank goodness. I am very stiff in the back which is aggravating my R glute.

Yesterday's session - Easy run

Time / weather - 5pm / 30*c but there was a brisk breeze, it didn't feel as hot as I thought it would be
Distance - 12km
Time taken - 1hr 5.37min
Av pace - 5.28min
AHR - 145; MHR - 165

I had the day off so there was no need to get up early and run, so I didn't! However I had a physio appointment at 9.30am so it still required an earlyish start. But it was worth it - I am soooo stiff and my glute is sooooo sore so I really appreciated the 'elbow in the glute' treatment.

Met Strewth for lunch at Bayswiss, did a little shopping, watched my coffee DVD and finally decided that I could no longer put off my run, so got changed and headed out the door. I was running this at an easy pace so apart from ensuring I didn't run slower than 6min kilometres I didn't really focus on my time. It was a very pleasant run given the temperature - it was actually 30*c but didn't feel that hot.

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
33 days to go

Workout - long swim

Time - 6.45pm / Belconnen pool
Distance - 4.5km
Duration - 1hr 45min

I thought I'd be really tired after doing the long course triathlon on Sunday but actually I didn't feel too bad. My swim was okay though my left shoulder was a little troublesome near the end of the session. Very happy with swim.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Post-birthday long run

Thanks everyone for your birthday greetings - it was a great day! Now its back to business - I have a marathon to train for! (and I don't think I ran too badly for a 45 year old!)

Today's session - Long run (run in 2 parts), Lake Burley Griffin

Time / weather - 7am / 10*c when I started; 20*c when I finished; blue skies
1st run distance (solo) - 26.1km
Time taken - 2hr 13.11min
Av pace - 5.05min/km
AHR - 155

2nd run distance (with Strewth) - 8km
Time taken - 44.45min
Av pace - 5.35min/km
AHR - 155

I had organised yesterday with Strewth to meet up with her this morning for the last 13km of my long run - it ended up being the last 6km that we ran together. All I can say is thank goodness for mobile phones! Strewth was starting her run at 6.30am and I was starting at 7am and we planned to meet back at the Ferry terminal for the next 13km. It was a very cool start to the day and very pleasant for running. I did a figure of eight of the lake cyclepaths to get in my 21km. I passed by Yarralumla Bay where the long course triathlon was in progress. I also passed speedygeoff and then Strewth and Marco running in the opposite direction. I was running really well today and feeling very comfortable - I like to think it was all the chocolate I ate the day before!

Got my first phone call from Strewth just after I had run past Black Mountain peninsula - she was already at the Ferry terminal, I still had about 3km to go. So it was agreed that she would continue on to Molonglo Reach and I would catch up with her. I stopped to refill my drink bottles and have another Espresso GU at the Ferry terminal and then continued on - still no Strewth in sight. My pace had certainly picked up - where I was doing around 5 - 5.15min/km pace before, now I was running under 5min/km pace. But I felt so good! Probably not a good idea in retrospect as I have the Weston Creek half marathon next Sunday so may have run my race a week too early - oh well.

Next phone call from Strewth came as I was just heading past Duntroon - she was at Molonglo Reach at that point. Ok, so I wasn't too far behind her! Ran past the toilet block at Molonglo Reach and continued over the bridge and heading towards the wetlands - still no Strewth. My turn to ring! Apparently she wasn't too far ahead so I suggested that she turn and head back as I didn't want to go any further - I only had 34km to do whereas Strewth was planning on running 38km at least.

Finally we met up! We ran together for the last 6km - it was great to have company for a change. I was starting to feel a bit achey in the legs and glute but we were running at a very civilised pace now.

Then Garmin Girl beeped, signalling 34km - I could stop. Strewth continued on for another 4km while I walked back to the car, had a protein drink, and then headed over to the kiosk to buy a cold drink. Strewth had just arrived back and while she was standing in the water I bought 2 Pepsi max drinks, one for Strewth and one for me (not my preferred option but that's all they had) - it tasted so good!

This was followed by coffee at Black Pepper cafe in Belconnen - I collected Mr CJ on the way. This has to be the best part of a long run! It was so nice sitting outside enjoying the company, though it was getting a bit hot. Geoff came over to say hi and stayed to have a coffee as well - he's tapering for the Six Foot track. Then Mr B showed up, after officiating at the triathlon this morning.

Total kms for the week - 92.5km
Next Sunday, 12 March - Weston Creek Half Marathon

* One thing that is starting to bother me is that I haven't done a long run over 3hr yet. I have done 5 runs of 30km and over - the longest I've run is 34km (which I've done 3 times now). Should I do a run of more than 3hr before the marathon? Any advice welcome please! *

And good luck to Steve A, Geoff and Ewen for Six Foot next week - hope it all goes well! I'll be there next year!

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
35 days to go

Workout - Sri Chinmoy Long Course triathlon
Distance - 2.2km swim/80km cycle/21km run
Duration - 5hr 44.08min
Swim - 41.04min
Cycle - 3hr 10.09min (this includes both transitions)(av spd - 26.2kph)
Run - 1hr 52.55min

This was a training session so there was no taper before the event. My swim was fine though I couldn't see a thing on the way back to shore because the sun had risen and I was looking directly at it. My strategy was to follow other swimmers but it would seem we were all experiencing the same problem - we had swum off-course and had to be re-directed.

The bike leg was a shocker - my quads were burning and I had real doubts about getting up the Coppins Crossing hill, not just once but twice. My legs did not feel right until Adelaide Ave and everyone passed me on the bike. It was also probably about this stage that I was cursing my coach for talking me into doing this event without a taper. I felt physically tired. However, this was meant to be a training session and my focus for this event was maintaining a constant speed of 25kph on the bike, which I did; eating and drinking on the bike leg; and, in the run practising walking for a minute through drink stations and running between the drink stations.

The run leg was great - I really enjoyed it and I felt fine. I passed quite a few people and I felt really comfortable when I finished. Goal accomplished!

Next event will be the Ironman in April. Bring it on!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A V.I.D!*

* A Very Important Day, aka my birthday!!!!!

It is my birthday today - I have moved up an age group and I am now 45. I have in the last 2 days been out for the following meals:

Friday lunchtime with Strewth and Mr B at Bernadettes (a vegetarian restaurant) where we had really delicious pizzas and where I also managed to drop one slice down the side of my chair onto the ground. Hmmm, true to form and I hadn't even had a glass of wine at that stage - soon to be rectified however! The pizza was followed by a small slice of lemon & lime baked cheesecake. It was delicious!

Out to dinner at Antigos in Civic with friends from work - a girls' night out. It was raucous and lots of fun, the food was okay but the service was really really slow. I received a box of dark chocolate Lindt balls and Bodyshop nut butter from the girls - they know me so well ;-)!

Out for breakfast at da Cellinis this morning with Mr CJ where I had Bircher muesli with berry compote - yum. Mr CJ tucked into poached eggs, bacon and grilled tomatoes on toasted Italian bread. Naturally we had a cappuccino.

For lunch we met with Strewth and Mr B at Bayswiss where we had lunch and more coffee. They gave me some some great presents: a book called "The Last Book About Italy" by Ann Rickard, Bodyshop foot gel, foot cream, foot scrub, foot spray and feet fizzies (I'm assuming its because I'm clocking up the kilometres running and not because I have a problem with my feet that my friends won't tell me about!) and a very cool DVD. The DVD is called Coffee Crazy and its about the Australian 2004 World Champion Barista Paul Bassett's journey to find the world's best cup of coffee!What I'm particularly interested in is the section on The World's Worst Cup of Coffee!

Tonight we went down to Lake Burley Griffin to watch Skyfire 18 fireworks put on in honour of my birthday! (well okay a slight exaggeration!). We met up with friends of ours, Bec and Mat, who was also celebrating his birthday today.

So what other presents did I get? From good friend Bec I received the latest Jamie Oliver cookbook about Italy. From the family I received a small hot pink suitcase (matched my large hot pink suitcase), a very large box of chocolates and The Silver Spoon Italian cookbook. I am planning on becoming a domestic goddess in the cooking department - weekends only! Should be interesting!

Its been a lovely day but you know what? Thank goodness I have a scheduled run of 34km tomorrow because I'm going to need it to run off all the food I have eaten in
the last couple of days, including my birthday cake which was a pavlova. But its been a lot of fun!

Yesterday's session - easy run

Time / weather - 6am / very very cool
Distance - 12.1km
Time taken - 1hr 4.24min
Av pace - 5.19min/km
AHR - 146

It was very cool running down by the creek yesterday morning - the mist was swirling around and it was very easy to imagine swamp monsters emerging from the mists! However the closest I got to seeing swamp monsters were dogs being walked by their owners.

No problem with the run or the crop top, my shoes were in their rightful place and I remembered to take a key to let myself in after the run. This was to be my last run as a 44 year old.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Early morning debacle

Today's session - Yasso session

Time / weather - 6.30am / 14-15*c, cool, cloudy
Distance - 11.2km inc 4 x 800m in 3.30min (3.30min RI)
Time taken - 1hr 3.40min

The program for this morning was to run 8 x 800m in 3.30min, with the same recovery time. Simple, not complicated, yet I managed to stuff around and then had to cut the session short because I was running late. Instead of running 8 repeats I ran 4. Instead of running the repeats on the oval (the sprinklers were on) I had to measure out a 400m section on a cycle path.

Some things to remember next time I run:

1. Do not attempt to get dressed in the dark - wrestling with a twisted crop top while still half asleep is a tortuous endurance effort in itself. Once I had extricated myself from the lycra nightmare (picture one arm stuck up in the air, the other caught behind my back, before realising I had my head through an armhole), I proceeded getting dressed, only to realise, once I did turn on the light, that I had my top and shorts on inside out. Aaaargh!

2. Always have your shoes where you can find them easily. I had left them outside after yesterday morning's run because they were damp and covered in grass cuttings. Some helpful person had decided to move them into the shed overnight in case they should get stolen(?!) or it might rain but didn't alert me to this fact. I spent a good 15mins retracing my steps yesterday morning, thinking I was losing my mind (must be that 45 phenomenon happening, Geoff and Ewen!) because I was positive I had left them on the step next to the back door, when I just happened to look in the shed. Oh look, a pair of running shoes - gosh, I wonder who they belong to. Aaargh!!

3. If you are going to lock all doors, remember to take a key because your sons lapse into a comatose state when asleep and would not hear a bomb going off outside their window, let alone in their room. I spent another 15mins trying to rouse one of them to let me in - after banging on windows and doors, ringing the doorbell and yelling out their names for what seemed an eternity I finally managed to elicit the following mumbled response - "Whatcha doin' outside?" or something to that effect. I probably had also managed to wake up the rest of the street. Aaaargh!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

*yawn* Early start *yawn* today

This morning's session - medium long run *yawn*
39 sleeps to go!!!!!

Time - 5.30am / 12-13*c, clear, cool
Distance - 16.5km
Time taken - 1hr 34.03min
Av pace - 5.41min/km
AHR - 137

Up at 4.30am this *yawn* morning so I could have something to eat *yawn* before heading out for a run at 5.30am.

Decided to take it easy on the *yawn* run this morning so wasn't concerned with pace or time *yawn*.

Good run - no problems. Looking forward to getting into bed tonight!

* 3 sleeps to go to a V.I.D!

Looking back - Road to IM 2004
39 days to go

Workout - Brick session - cycle/run (cycle on windtrainer)

Time - 7.30am / rain, 14*c
Windtrainer duration - 4hrs
Run duration - 2hrs

It was way too wet to be out cycling on the roads this morning so I sat on my windtrainer for 4 mind-numbingly boring hours! I broke the time down into 15min segments when I would have a drink and maybe something to eat. Otherwise I listened to the radio. Sweat was pouring off me - I was saturated. I even had to change my socks for the run.

The run wasn't too bad - I must have run it slower (based on previous runs), judging by where I stopped for my walk breaks.