Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Much ado about nothing really

Not a lot to say really. I've been running, eating, sleeping and all the rest of it. A temporary respite until I get back into it all on 1 May - Operation Mayday. Feeling like a fatty bombatty and have put on a number of kilos since the marathon.

Saturday run - my 'long' run

Distance - 10.7km
Time taken - 1hr
Av pace - 5.38min/km
AHR - 142; MHR - 164

Ran with my good friend Kezza who is back from Alice Springs - a bit of a change in weather for her. It was apparently minus 6 that morning though by the time we started running it was about minus 3 and quickly warming up. It was a great run at a very leisurely pace around Lake Ginninderra, with a little out and back section added on. Afterwards we had a coffee at Black Pepper cafe, went home, showered, changed and then met up again with Kezza and Strewth for lunch at Bayswiss in the Mall.

That evening we went to a surprise 50th birthday for the The Hare.

Monday run

Distance - 8.4km inc 7 x 100m strides
Time taken - 45.20min
Av pace - 5.22min/km
AHR - 149; MHR - 184

I've been sort of following the post-marathon program in last month's Runners World so this week the aim is to introduce some faster running and get the legs moving a bit quicker than they have been lately. So I elected to run 7 x 100m strides evenly spread out on this run. The first one was a bit rusty but I gradually found my stride by the 7th! Notice the average pace of each run is slowly getting a little quicker.

This morning's run

Distance - 6km
Time taken - 32.03min
Av pace - 5.18min/km
AHR - 144; MHR - 158

Had a long debate with myself this morning about whether or not to go for a short run. Evil CJ wanted to stay in bed for as long as possible, then shower, have breakfast and get to work in record time. Saint CJ meanwhile wanted to get out in the brisk morning air and burn some calories before breakfast - she won the argument........eventually.

That's it....nuff said.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Another long weekend!

Its a 4 day weekend for me - yay! Back to work on Wednesday.

Its a chilly, windy day - much nicer to be tucked in bed with a good book rather than out running in the cold and wind or going to work. But guess what I did - yep, the latter two!

This morning's run

Time - 6am
Distance - 6.8km
Time taken - 39.05min
Av pace - 5.44min/km
AHR - 144

Ran out towards Lyneham and back amid the swirling leaves. Autumn in Canberra is a lovely time save for the chilly mornings. What spoils it though is knowing that winter is just around the corner. Good run - I'm starting to feel like a runner again which is reassuring.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Once upon a time.......

.......there was a runner called CJ who trained and trained and trained for the Canberra marathon and on the day managed to run a personal best. CJ was very happy. As to be expected, CJ was feeling a little sore after this massive effort and the little holiday on the coast was very therapeutic, though the left calf was still being bothersome (some smart alec pointed out that her left calf was over-compensating for the hardware CJ was wearing on her left arm ie the Garmin and the ipod).

The self imposed 2-week chocolate denial had also come to an end and with Easter just around the corner, CJ went slightly overboard with chocolate consumption (this is a huge understatement). Combined with very little exercise, apart from the occasional stroll, this was beginning to create havoc with CJ's waistline. The expanding waistline, in turn, was making running even more difficult than it already was. Poor CJ - what to do? Fit CJ was rapidly morphing into Fat CJ.

Then the fairy godmother of lost causes came to CJ's rescue. With a wave of her wand she........

Damn, time to get out of bed. And the dream was getting interesting too. Mind you, it was mostly true except for the bit about the fairy godmother of lost causes. This means that I actually have to put the work in myself and so since Sunday I have run three times.

Sunday's run
The left calf and ball of foot complained from about the first kilometre and I was tempted to call it quits at this point. However pigheadedness kicked in and I persevered and gradually things improved. Mind you it was difficult to believe that this shuffling jogger was the same person who ran a marathon PB the week before. Ran for 27mins.

Monday's run
A little better today and I managed 31mins, looking much more respectable. I even managed to stay ahead of someone who looked like an original resident of Turner, complete with walking frame. Calf was still sore.

Today's run

Distance - 5.9km
Time - 35min
Av pace - 5.55min/km
AHR - 132; MHR - 150

Bit of a doddle but enjoyable, even for an early morning run (it was daylight). Still finding my way around the suburbs of Turner, O'Connor and Lyneham but it is a very pleasant area to run.

The chocolate consumption is continuing but I do have a little project in store for myself beginning next month aptly titled "Mayday, Mayday!" More news on this closer to the time.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I still can't believe I did it!!!!!

Yes, I am still uttering those inane words almost a week after the marathon, but to myself now. I inflicted enough pain on friends and acquaintances, and lets admit it, strangers, on the day. And many many thanks to my very good friend, and ultramarathoner extraordinaire, Strewth, for posting my results while I was away at the coast. Tough life, I know!

Thank you all for the great comments - it was really lovely to read them all.

Also happy easter - I have got so much chocolate it won't belong before Fit CJ becomes Fat CJ!

Finally good luck to Run for Chocolate and Elizabeth for the Boston marathon. You go girls!

Now, on to the boring details, yet again (because I can’t believe I did it!):

Distance - 42.2km
Time taken – 3hr 26.40min
Av pace – 4.50min/km
AHR – 164; MHR – 176
Place – 238 (of 864 competing on the day)

Time at same marathon in 2005 – 3hr 54min (a 28min improvement)
Previous PB – Sydney, September 2005 – 3hr 40.11min (13min improvement)

Music played on the day (only those I can remember; it’s a bit of blur):
To start – Living on a prayer – Bon Jovi
The first couple of kms, when running with Tesso and JD – You’re the reason I’m leaving – Franz Ferdinand; In your honour – Foo Fighters; Walk away – Kelly Clarkson; Born to run – Bruce Springsteen
Somewhere in the middle of the marathon – Smells like teen spirit – Nirvana; Minority – Green Day; Twisted transistor – Korn
Catching up with Robert Song at about the 39km mark – The car song – Cat Empire
To finish – Get the party started – Pink (very appropriate).

It was a chilly morning – I wore my Cool Running singlet, crop top and cap, Linebreak cycle pants, Asics Kayano socks, gloves and my trust running companion, my ipod mini (I sound like an advertisement!). The nerves started to kick in when I arrived at the Telopea Park school for the start and saw lots of fit people milling around – why is it that everyone always looks so much fitter than yourself at these events? Instead of a warmup I made 2 trips to the toilet (“just in case”) and then went searching for Mr CJ who had my bag – he was standing in the coffee queue; I should’ve known.

Last minute strip – removing my long sleeved top, jacket and long pants, and then it was off to join the rest of the starters. I positioned myself ahead of the 3hr 45min pace group but behind the 3hr 30min group. There was very little time to stand around getting more nervous – the gun had gone off and the 30th annual Canberra marathon had started. I knew I had put the training in but a lot can happen in 42km.

The first 10km was uneventful – it wound around the parliamentary precinct affording some great views of Canberra on a typically crisp but stunning morning. Several hot air balloons hung suspended above us. Caught up with JD and then Tesso and ran with them for a little while. JD was looking very comfortable; Tesso was aiming to run for as long as she could but was anticipating pulling out at some stage due to her troublesome ITB. I could also see Clairie up ahead and that was the way it was going to stay for the entire event – she ran a 3hr 23.15min debut marathon – how awesome is that!

I managed to catch up with the 3hr 30min group and I briefly worried that maybe I was going out too hard – it was certainly faster than I had run in previous marathons. The 10km mark went by in about 47min – hmmmmm. However I was feeling comfortable so decided that it couldn’t hurt to sit with the group – if it got too hard I could always drop off a little. So I ran with Griffin for a while. My major problem early on was the drink stations – or more precisely, trying to get to the tables without being bulldozed by runners behind me and then finding my drink bottle among the many on the table. This only occurred at the first couple of drink stations – later on the volunteers would see me coming, find my drink bottle and hand it to me personally – it was so good!

I’m not sure where I managed to get ahead of the 3hr 30min group but once I had I decided to try to keep them behind me. I was still feeling comfortable and the crowds really helped. The Cool Runner cheer squad was amazing as usual – I’m sure they are the cause of many PBs because I find I always lift a notch after passing them *thanks guys*. And also big hugs to the Lovely Lulu who was out there supporting (and clutching a block of Lindt Lemon Intense chocolate!).

20km mark – my left calf had decided to tighten up so much I was worried it might cramp, and the balls of my feet were burning. Neither of these things had ever happened to me before so I’m not sure why they decided to raise their ugly heads now – but they had. So along with my testy glute, I had the Terrible Trio to deal with for the next 22km. Fortunately I had my music and I used this to zone out from the aches and pains I was experiencing. But I kept smiling – I figured if I stayed positive this could only help. I had also stuck smiley faces on my drink bottles which I collected at the designated drink stations (every 5km of the route).

The course has a 2 lap out and back loop and this is a great opportunity to see others in the race – those speedy front runners (my god, how do they run so fast for so long and so far?) to the middle of the pack runners (like moi) to the slow and steady plodders at the rear. Saw Strewth and JS looking comfortable, speedygeoff in his very important role of pacer for the 4hr group, Plu, Wobbly, Kit (looking remarkably fresh), The Hare, and many others. I caught up with Robert Song at about the 39km mark and mistakenly called him Greybeard – terribly sorry about that!

Special thanks must go to Eagle who I generally ran behind, with, and in front of, for practically the entire way. I made it my goal to try and at least keep him in sight though mind you, he was making it look so easy – he looked way too comfortable. There was a time whenever I looked around he was there (that’s when he wasn’t in front of me!).

The 37km mark of a marathon has been a bit of a problem for me in the past – I don’t know about hitting a wall; it feels more like running through mud! However I managed to avoid the 37km wall in Sydney last year so I knew it was possible to run a marathon without ‘dying’ at this mark. During my training for this marathon there were 3 or 4 long runs where I had to pick up the pace for the last 5-6km and so I decided that when I hit the 37km mark I was going to pick up the pace, just like in training. My drink bottles on the 35km and 40km drink stations contained flat Coke – a refreshing change from sports drink and the caffeine and sugar must help. That, and Espresso Gu!

Splits of the last 5km of the marathon are as follows:
* 4.47min/km
* 4.43min/km
* 4.49min/km
* 4.44min/km
* 4.56min/km

The Terrible Trio had upped the ante now but I knew I didn’t have far to go and I was not going to let the 3hr 30min group catch me up! When I saw TA filming at the side of the road not long before the 40km drink station, I yelled out that I was doing a PB – I was feeling very very happy. Poor TA probably wondered what I was on!

The longest road – I hate Telopea Park Rd. It goes on and on and on and on and on, and there are potholes to avoid. I’m sure it also rises just ever so gradually but enough to be a pain. But then I turn the corner and……

The finish - I can see the finish line about 100 or 200m down the road! What a great feeling. And the time on the clock is indicating that I’m going to finish in under 3hr 30min! No-one can wipe that smile off my face now and I can barely feel my feet touching the ground – I’m sure I’m flying to the finish line. And then its over…….I give Ian B a huge hug, I receive my finishers medal and I can’t believe I did it! Mr CJ misses getting a photo of me finishing because I came in too early!

3hr 26.40min!!!!

Afterwards I get hugs from Tesso, the Lovely Lulu, Roy, Vicki, Mr B, and Nerida. I talk briefly to Clairie and Iliketoast, Eagle, and JD. A little later on I see Plu. I keep uttering “I can’t believe I did it!” to all and sundry, because I really can’t believe it! It feels so surreal. The Lovely Lulu and Mr Lulu present me with the block of Lindt Lemon Intense dark chocolate – divine! (and it is!) And then they buy me a cappuccino. Gosh, my day can’t get any better!

We cheer Strewth through the 42.2km mark, which she completes in 4hr 05.17min, and then she continues on to complete the 50km. She is truly amazing and she was looking good. JS was running with her and looking good too. I had no doubts that they would finish the 50km and in under 5 hours.

Finally Strewth finishes the 50km – 4hr 56.11min, looking as good as when she left after completing the marathon. As well as being a very very good friend she is also my role model – she is one amazing woman. Onya Strewth! I am so proud of you – you said you’d do it and you did in your usual gutsy style!

And did I say my day couldn’t possibly get any better? Well it seems I was wrong!
First, I find out I came 2nd in my age group (woo hoo!) (Strewth also came 2nd in her age group); and then at the Marathon After Party, Wobbly Man gives me a block of KokoBlack chocolate. This chocolate is truly divine and melt-in-the-mouth bliss – Strewth and Mr B can vouch for that. I do share…sometimes! So thank you Wobbly!

The after party was a lot of fun – I really enjoyed catching up with everyone and it was so good to finally put faces to names – Cato, Courtlylove, Greybeard, TA and Gnome, Kit (finally we meet!), Owl, Tesso (thanks for your belief in me!), JD, Wobbly (of course), Robert Song, Wombat, Lucky Legs (another amazing 50km effort – an Australian record) and others. Apologies if I have left anyone out – blame it on advancing age!

Later that evening Mr CJ and I meet up with Strewth, Mr B, the Hare, Nerida, JS, Roy and Brenda for a celebratory dinner at Carlo’s. A great night and I drank my one glass of wine veeeerrrryyy slowly.

Mr CJ and I headed off to the coast for a few days R&R before Easter. Note to self – do not book a unit with steps next time. There were 14 steps up to our unit – going up was fine but going down was very slow and painful. My calves had gone on strike – they were tight as. In fact, it seemed wherever we went in Tuross we were walking downhill or down steps. Not that it stopped me – after all down one set of steps was a boatshed cafĂ© which sold a very nice cappuccino.

I managed to fit in a couple of walks when I wasn’t sitting at cafes drinking coffee, sitting on the rocks watching Mr CJ fish, or lying on the couch reading. Running? What’s that?!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Goal Achieved - One Happy CJ!


Hi, this is Strewth! CJ has left town - off to the coast for some R & R. With no internet access she has asked me just to enter her results as there are probably a few interested CRs out there!

Marathon time: 3hours 26mins 35secs - a PB of 14mins!
Average pace per km: 4:50
Place in age group: second

CJ ran a great race and had an absolutely wonderful day in ideal conditions. She met up with lots of CRs before and after the race and had a long chat with Wobblyman at the after party. Lulu greeted her with chocolate at the finish line and Wobbly presented her with chocolate at the after party so she hasn't stopped smiling. We had a fantastic night at dinner later and she is on a great big high.

Woo hoo - one very happy CJ - calves a bit tight but feeling great and very relaxed as she's enjoying coffee by the beach. I am so proud of my awesome friend. CJ is a legend!

Friday, April 07, 2006

TWO SLEEPS TO GO!!!...and a weather update

Canberra marathon 2005

Day 2 of carbo loading diet

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

Time / weather - 6am / cold, 8*c but with wind chill felt like 4*c
Distance - 6km plus 6 x strides
Time taken - 30.59min
Av pace - 5.09min/km
AHR - 156; MHR - 198

Wore tights, short sleeved top, arm warmers, and long sleeved top along with all my normal running gear. Definitely not used to this chilly weather. Ran along cycle paths through Turner, O'Connor and Lyneham - a nice change from my usual runs around Scullin and Florey. A good run - glute didn't feel too bad, thanks to the stretching session at yoga last night.

When I got home I had a phone call from Mr CJ who was at work asking whether I'd seen a large grey rabbit in the front yard. He had seen the rabbit as he was leaving for work and was worried that cats might get it. Went out front to check and no, there was no large grey rabbit to be seen and goodness knows what I was supposed to do anyway, if there was one there. Hopefully it has bounded off back from where it came or at least found a safe place to hide.

Weather update

From the Canberra Times this morning:

"The Bureau of Metereology is predicting the cold and windy weather to stick around until Sunday when the winds should drop. But less wind means colder temperatures at night and local frosts are expected on Sunday morning.

A deep low pressure system near Tasmania was creating the cold winds. A BOM spokesperson said "It is quite unusual for this time of the season, generally it doesn't get this cold until late April. The temperature is well below the average for this time of year, which is 21*c.....It will get close to zero on Saturday night.'"

Pack your winter woollies!!!

Late edit:
Thanks for all the support - it will be a great day and you will get to hear all about it! I can hear the groans already! :-)

Just calculated that I have clocked up 1,151kms as part of my marathon training!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Away with the fairies....

Well I was, briefly, after my lunchtime massage yesterday. However I am now well and truly back in the real world.

I have started carbo loading today


Yesterday's session - easy run

Time/weather - 5pm / windy, cloudy, 20*c
Distance - 9km
Time taken - 45.59min
Av pace - 5.06min/km
AHR - 151; MHR - 169

Good run. For the last 3km I felt like I was flying, such a good feeling. So there is some life in these tired legs! The long range forecast currently says "3*c-19*c for Sunday, frost then sunny". It better be warmer than today because its bloody freezing right now (11.5*c at 1.30pm).

This morning a friend gave me a Lindt Gold Bunny (dark chocolate) and an Old Gold chocolate rabbit for Easter, plus a block of Lindt dark chocolate (85%) for after the marathon. Can't wait!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bloggus Interruptus

Hi all! I am still alive. We have also moved house while our house is being gutted and renovated. *Memo to self - do not plan renovations and house moves while marathon training!*

I have well and truly tapered - so much so I feel like a slug and I'm also running like a slug ie very slowly! Last week I think I ran a total of 36km and this week so far its been 7km. I had a blood test on Monday to check my iron levels - should find out the results either today or tomorrow - fingers crossed its all normal.

Anyway, in our temporary abode we have no internet access so I'm restricted to looking and checking blogs and updating my own when I am at work. I am so far behind in what's happening out there in blogland. I am in withdrawal - first it was chocolate, now its blogging.

But the marathon is still on course and I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone and meeting some new people this weekend. Oh, and eating chocolate!