Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tell me why.......

One thing has got me fascinated when at the gym and its those people who sit on the exercise bikes with a magazine and look like they are going for a gentle cycle. So, what exactly are they achieving by doing what appears to me to be a pointless exercise as they are hardly raising a sweat and I doubt their heart rate gets about their resting rate? As for me, there is no doubts about what I’ve been doing – working my butt off as the sweat is pouring off me – not pretty but effective. I just can’t see the point of going to the gym to read a magazine – there are a lot more comfortable places to do that and sitting on an exercise bike is not one of them…or the stepper for that matter.

This morning’s session – gym – legs/arms + abs/core

The biceps curl exercise is coming along slowly – I am managing to do a couple of extra reps on the 2nd and 3rd sets. I’m still lifting girlie weights but its such hard work. The ab exercise using the 3kg medicine ball ain’t a lot of fun either – buts again, its effective. I think of all the people that annoy me as I’m sitting and twisting (with feet off the floor and sitting leaning back) and lugging the medicine ball from side to side – seems to help!

Yesterday afternoon – cardio session, elliptical trainer

Duration – 20mins
MHR – 167

I was meant to do 40mins: 20mins on the elliptical trainer followed by 20mins on the stepper but after waiting around for what seemed like ages for someone to finish on the stepper machine I decided to cut my losses and do the session the next morning after my weights session (which I did). It was one of those hot and sweaty sessions!

If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it.
(Jesse Jackson, American civil-rights leader, baptist minister and politician)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Runners aren’t obsessed…..are we?!

The reason I say/ask this is because last night at speedygeoff’s interval session at Parliament House it was hilarious listening to people’s comments/questions re the distance we were running around the various tracks. There was checking and double checking people’s times against estimated distances and then comparing these against distances tracked by Garmins. Nah, we’re not obsessed, its called ‘attention to detail’!

Anyway it was quite a fun session, even if I say so myself. Many of us were prepared for night-time running this week and had torches or headlights for the dark stretches of the runs. The short intervals were just as hard as the longer ones because these included a nasty little hill near the finish. In all, we ran 3 longer intervals (approx. 800m) and 3 shorter ones (approx. 400m) and in total we probably ran about 8km, including the warm up and cool down.

Last Friday 26 May

Session – Gym – legs/arms plus core/abs

I think it well – seems so long ago now!


Session – Moderate run

Distance – 9.5km
Time – 50.21min
Av pace – 5.15min/km
AHR – 152; MHR – 168

This was left later in the day because I desperately wanted to sleep-in and then we had to go shopping and before I knew it, several coffees and lunch later, it was getting late in the afternoon and I still hadn’t run. Hmmm. The glute was ever so sore which is really frustrating because I have cut back on my running and I am stretching all the rest. Anyway it was a reasonable run.


Session – Vets’ monthly run – Oakey Hill

Distance – 7.5km
Time – 38.12min
Av pace – 5.06min/km
AHR – 167; MHR – 180
Started in Group 25
Place – 85, I think

It was a very undulating run but a lot of it I was familiar with, from running the Barbecue Stakes – parts of this course was similar to that run. I ran it very conservatively mainly because my glute was sore and it didn’t like hilly courses. This meant that I was passed by a lot, if not all, the back markers – they all hurtled past at some point, huffing, puffing, and generally making a lot of noise. At one point, when crossing a wooden style-type thing, I looked behind only to see a group of very fast, very focussed men charging towards me – I moved very quickly to avoid being run over! All in all, it was a comfortable run, though definitely not one of my fastest.

Monday 29 May

Our kitchen arrived today – though you would be hard pressed to know it was a kitchen – it looked like a lot of lengths of wood of varying lengths.

Session – gym – back/chest/shoulder plus abs/core

Increased the weights on my most of my exercises knowing that I was going to pay the price the following day.

"Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself."
Harvey Fierstein

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Q. How long is 2 minutes?

A. An excruciatingly long time when I am doing intervals on my bike!

Last night I was scheduled to do an interval session on my bike, on the windtrainer – 10 x 2min intervals with 1min RI. However, after getting home from our site meeting with the builder and architects I was thinking that maybe I could re-schedule this session to another day. However I had apparently mentioned that I should get on my bike and so Mr CJ had very obligingly set up my bike and windtrainer in the spare room, as it was very cold outside. What could I do? Looks like I was doing the bike session after all!

The last time I got on my bike was 10 December last year! I felt very rusty when I first started and my legs felt very heavy and slow. Not only that, I was experiencing the muscle burn and I had only just started! I would start the 2min interval, pedal madly, feel my heart rate rise rapidly (though it only maxed out at 157), think 'I must've done about a minute by now', look at my watch, nup, still another 1min 20sec to go, and so it would go with me checking my watch about every 20sec!

Time: 40min inc 5min WU; 10 X 2min intervals (1min RI); 5min CD
AHR: 132; MHR: 157

By the time I had finished I had jelly legs, sweat pouring off me (again) and I was definitely not cold! However it was another night of falling asleep in the lounge, under the pretence of watching TV!

Wednesday morning – gym session

Now this was a morning that I would have stayed in bed if I had known what was ahead of me. I arrived at the gym for my back/chest/shoulders session plus abs, loaded with my work gear and showering stuff, only to be told that there was no water and it wouldn’t be back on until about 10am due to a burst water main. Great! This probably meant there would be no water at work either – my other option for a shower. So I did my session and then drove home for a shower – the traffic was a bit heavier now so it took a bit longer. Then I drove back to work in Canberra peak-hour traffic only to spend the next 20mins looking for a car park. Once I found one it was a great hike to my office lugging all my bags containing all very necessary stuff. Grrrr.....

Apparently, what you think about most moulds your attitude.
So today's affirmation: My thoughts are positive and self-empowering. :-)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sweat baby sweat

Because of the cold and inclement weather yesterday afternoon I decided to forgo the run outdoors and do my 40min cardio session at the gym. I lugged my backpack (containing my running clothes), my ‘Shop til you drop’ tote bag containing stuff I need during the day at work such as food containers, organiser, work shoes (I wear joggers to the car) etc, my green shopping bag containing food items I had bought at the supermarket during my lunchbreak, and my shoulder bag to the car – it was a weight training session in itself.

Once changed and with my trusty ipod strapped on I hit the elliptical trainer for 20mins getting faster and increasing the resistance the longer I was on there. The sweat was pouring off me – looked pretty gross. Then I followed this up with 20mins on the stepper, again increasing the intensity. It looked pretty funny when I increased the resistance for the final hard 5min session – I could barely push the pedals down! And then when I reduced the resistance I nearly drove the pedal through the floor! By the end I was hot, sweaty and feeling pretty chuffed with myself for completing a hard cardio session.

After dinner, dishes and making my lunch for the next day I lay on the carpet in the lounge to watch TV, in front of the heater, and promptly fell asleep.

Tuesday morning

Session – SWIM
Distance – 500m (!)
Time – 11.29min

The 5th of January was the last time I went swimming and on that day I swam 1km. Tuesday morning I swam 500m and I felt every metre of that 500m! Well, actually, the first 50m was great – no worries, this will be a breeze. The 2nd 50m was a bit more difficult and by the 3rd 50m I was finding it hard work. How on earth did I manage to synchronise breathing with moving arms and legs and actually moving down the pool? I thought these processes were imprinted in my muscle memory – I guess my muscles were having a senior’s moment ie short-term memory loss! However by the 450m I was beginning to improve but that may be because I could see the end in sight. Next week I have set myself the challenge of swimming 600m. The best thing about swimming in the morning is the breakfast afterwards with Strewth and Mr B. It was at Sabayon and I had a cappuccino and french toast with berries and maple syrup – yummo.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fun, fun, fun

Gosh I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun running hills as I did at last night’s session at Parliament House. It was a crisp night (read – bloody freezing cold) but the company and the actual session soon warmed me up. (How’s that Geoff – have I gushed sufficiently?!)

Seriously I’m glad I showed up for speedygeoff’s session last night. I think I need some company when running at the moment – takes my mind off all my niggles and provides motivation that is sadly lacking.

The session involved intervals of about 600m on 5mins and this included 3 times up the hill for each interval. It was hard work but I felt myself improving with each one. However my glute complained bitterly about the hills and in fact is still complaining this morning.

Monday morning – gym session
Lower body weights plus arms session plus core stability and strength exercises.

More fun than I can handle on a Monday morning! Did my leg press, leg extension, swiss ball squat with weights, biceps curl and overhead triceps extension, concentrating on form. My biceps curl is pretty sad – I start well with 12 reps in the first set but by the third set all I can manage is about 3 reps.

Sunday – rest day – this involved sleeping in and retail therapy later in the day!

Saturday – long run
Distance – 12km
Time – 1hr 08.51min
Av pace – 5.45min/km
AHR – 144; MHR – 192

A pleasant run that I did early in the morning. I ran down to Lake Burley Griffin and then anti-clockwise, stopping at the top of the hill going down to Scrivener Dam, and then retraced my steps. I didn’t look at my watch while running – preferring just to run comfortably and if that was at a slow pace, so be it.

Thanks for all the encouraging comments I received following my whinge. I’ve decided to just run for fun and pleasure at the moment and not train for anything until the glute and foot settle down again. I’m looking to running the Vet’s half marathon in late August with several runs before including Terry Fox 10km next month, Bush Capital 25km in late July and City to Surf in August. While I’ll hope to run a decent half marathon time, I’m not planning on great times for the other races.

Meanwhile I’ll enjoy being a gym junkie for a few months!

Friday, May 19, 2006

I am so over running

*Warning – a whinge coming up*

I know, I never thought I would utter those words so I should wash my mouth out with soap – oh such blasphemy. But honestly, I’m sick of the little niggles I have that just won’t go away, like my glute problem and the new problem with my left foot – I seem to have irritated a nerve (I have the tendency to do that!) under the ball of my foot and when I run I get a burning pins and needles sensation – not pleasant. And lately when I run, its more like plodding. Its such hard work.

Ok, enough of the whingeing. I’m sure I’ll get over it. I think its lack of chocolate that’s making me grumpy. However, the fact that I also helped another runner to a PB at the half marathon last Sunday (yay Liza!) has cheered me up a little.

This morning at the bright and early hour of 6.30am I was back in the gym doing an upper body session followed by core stability and strength exercises (yes Ewen, I’m not solely focusing on my abs!). Observed a touch of gym rage, if you could call it that, when an older woman and a young one argued over the length of time the younger one was on the cross-trainer. Thought it might come to fisticuffs but then the older woman huffed and puffed and plonked herself on the bike and waited, looking at her watch every now and then just to make a point!

Moderate run

Distance: 8.6km
Time: 49.10min
Av pace: 5.42min/km
AHR: 140; MHR: 161

Felt like I had lead weights tied to my legs – it was miserable. I have never felt so slow and awkward as I did when running yesterday. I think my average pace says it all.


Morning session: gym – lower body weights plus core stability and strength exercises

Lunchtime session: run inc 7 x 2min intervals (1min RI)
Distance: 6.6km
Time: 34.14min
Av pace: 5.09min/km

It was actually not too bad a run. I think I prefer running in the middle of the day as opposed to the end of the day, after work. Hungry all afternoon though and felt like a nana nap.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Desperately seeking abs

If I take a deep breath, suck in my stomach, squint my eyes, breathe in a little deeper, turn sideways to the mirror, squint some more, suck the stomach in even harder until I’m blue in the face and in danger of passing out, I can just glimpse an ab muscle there. Trouble is I can’t walk around like that – apart from suffering from extreme oxygen deprivation, I’d look a little strange.

So I was back in the gym at lunchtime lifting weights, then getting all hot and sweaty on the elliptical trainer and stepper, and finally finishing off with the all-important ab exercises. I’ll find those ab muscles or die trying!

I went for a run yesterday afternoon, after work. Now I’m a hardcore morning runner so running after work was a major challenge for me but I did it (the many excuses I had just didn’t stand up to logical analysis!). The bizarre thing was that I felt really slow but in actual fact, my pace was no slower than the other days when I do this session before work. Hmmm, strange.

Distance: 5.7km inc 7 x 2min intervals (1min RI)
Time: 29.29min
Av pace: 5.10min/km
AHR: 150; MHR: 167

Ps: Just to set the record straight, in case anyone thought I was having a right old whinge about Sunday’s run –I was happy with my time, it was just the way I felt – like crap! But I’m glad I played a part in Aki getting a PB. Can’t ask for more than that!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Not pretty

Run: Canberra half marathon, 21.1km
Time taken: 1hr 44.44min
Av pace: 4.55min/km
AHR: 172; MHR: 224

I’ve decided that sometimes its probably better to listen to your body. On Sunday morning it was telling me that it really didn’t want to run a half marathon. Seeing as it was Mother’s Day all it really wanted to do was sleep in and get breakfast in bed. However I ignored the nagging little voice in my head (bad move) and reluctantly got up to have breakfast and get ready for the run. I certainly wasn’t going to be firing on all cylinders today…….

There were lots of people milling around the start near the yacht club when we arrived. It actually wasn’t as cold as I imagined it would be so it wasn’t too hard removing my jacket: 5*c instead of minus 5*c! There was the usual jostling for places, banter about times people were hoping to run and then we were off – for me it was to the Korn song “Twisted Transistor”.

Aki ran alongside me, just ahead or just behind me for most of the way. Liza, who I hadn’t seen since the half marathon in August last year, ran past me near Scrivener Dam. She did say something to me but I couldn’t hear because of the music playing so she said she would see me at the end. She was running really well and looked very comfortable. I, in the meantime, was feeling like crap and probably looking it and everything hurt – my feet, my hamstring and my ever-present companion, the niggly glute. At the 15km mark I would’ve been quite happy to finish – I really wasn’t interested. Aki was storming ahead and looking so good – that girl has improved out of sight over the past year. Mr B passed me not long past the turnaround near the Carillon. In fact, it felt like everyone was passing me.

After what seemed like an eternity pounding the pavement it was wonderful to see the finish shute. It’s hard to believe that a little over a month ago I ran twice the distance faster and a whole lot better than I ran this race. Spoke to a jubilant Liza who had run a great race and a PB. Also spoke to Mr B who had run about 1hr 42min for his first half marathon. Whereas Strewth and I looked like we were over the whole running thing!

Something I did learn: Lots of gym work, no taper, a high protein/mod carb diet and half marathons don’t go together! C’est la vie....and back to the gym tomorrow.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Dead legs

Session: 7 x 2min intervals (1min RI)
Distance: 6km
Time taken: 31.40min
Av pace: 5.17min/km (it felt faster than this!)
AHR: 154; MHR: 191

This morning’s interval session was bloody hard work after the lower body weights session yesterday. However I worked my arse off during the 7 x 2min fast intervals and mentally ticked them off as I completed each one. Some days are like this – I persevere and push through the tiredness, the heaviness and slowness and yet on other days I just completely wimp out. So a good short session this morning.

Tomorrow: Rest day though will do ab/core stability and strength exercises

Sunday – Canberra half marathon & Mothers Day. So happy mothers day to all the mothers out there!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Gym junkie or gym monkey?

I fear its probably the latter – I’m still familiarising myself with the large assortment of equipment in the upstairs gym (it’s a lot bigger than the women’s gym and contains bigger, scarier and heavier equipment), let alone trying to work out how to use what looks like torture equipment. Also, I’m so uncoordinated when it comes to some of the cardio equipment – especially the elliptical trainer. If I don’t think about what I’m doing I’m okay – my arms and legs know what to do. Bust as soon as I start thinking about what I am doing or even look at what I’m doing my arms and legs refuse to work together. One day I’ll manage to wrap myself around the bloody machine!

Anyways…this morning’s workout – Gym

Lower body and arms weights session:
·Leg press
·Leg extension
·DB squat with swiss ball
·DB biceps curl
·DB overhead triceps extension

This was followed by ab/core strength and stability exercises:
·Back extension with swiss ball
·V-sit – twisting with medicine ball (character building)
·Bicycle crunches
·Modified plank – 3 x 40sec

Tonight: yoga

Tomorrow: 30min interval run

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A balmy morning

Dream on.....but it was a lot warmer than yesterday. This morning at 6am it was 10*c. I had a great sleep last night thanks to flogging myself at some ungodly hour at the gym yesterday morning.

A conversation between Mr CJ and myself at night, in front of the TV, usually goes something like this:
Me: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Mr CJ: snore, snort, mumble, snore, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Oh yes, we lead interesting lives!

This morning’s run:

Distance: 9km
Time taken: 49.14min
Av pace: 5.26min/km
AHR: 150; MHR: 173

I ran down to Lake Burley Griffin, taking the cycle path alongside Clunies Ross Rd. Once at the lake I headed toward Regatta Point before turning and heading back the same way. This route takes me over several hills and I’ve come to realise that I am very much out of practice. Honestly I sounded like a chain smoker the way I was huffing and puffing and wheezing up the hills – almost had to stop for a breather at the top!

No after effects from my gym workout yesterday – unlike last week when even getting dressed the following day posed a challenge because my arms, back and shoulders were soooooo sore.

Four sleeps to the Canberra half marathon. And I've entered the Terry Fox 10km run which will be on Sunday June 18.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Its unnatural……..

…to be at the gym at 6.30am doing a weights session but that’s where I found myself this morning, bleary eyed and definitely not bushy tailed. The 6.30am slot was the only one I could get with a trainer (funny that), though the trainer Nicole insisted that there were always people queuing outside the doors at 5am waiting to get in. Sick!

This morning it was an upper body weights session consisting of:
·Lat pulldown to front
·Cable seated row
·Machine bench press
·Pec deck fly (mean machine - its so cool)
·Seated dumbbell press (these are so hard!)
·Barbell upright row

This was followed by ab/core strength and stability exercises:

·Back extension with swiss ball
·V-sit – twisting with a medicine ball (character building to say the least)
·Reverse crunch

And then this was followed by:
·10min on stepper (increasing resistance)
·20min on elliptical trainer (increasing resistance)
·10min stepper (again increasing then decreasing resistance)

And all this before 8am! The downside is that by 3pm I’m in dire need of a nana nap.

Yesterday (Monday)
Run including 7 x 2min intervals (1min RI)

Distance: 6.3km
Time taken: 33.26min
Av pace: 5.17min/km
AHR: 154; MHR: 208

Chilly, chilly, chilly. Gloves, headbands, and tights weather - okay I'm a wuss! But it was about minus 1 at 6am. Not too many people about at that time – even the cyclists seem to have given away their riding until later in the morning. Just as long as any weirdos also find it too cold to be roaming about as well. A good run and nothing out of the unusual happened (eg no alien abductions).

What are my plans? Hmmmm…… I am running in the Canberra half marathon this coming Sunday. I’m still weighing up my options with the Gold Coast marathon. At the moment I’m just enjoying running relatively injury-free (which I’m sad to say appears to put me in the minority at the moment). So everyone out there (Tesso, Jen, Lulu, Kit, Cirque, Hilda, and anyone else I have forgotten) with injuries, whether niggly or major, I sincerely hope it gets better and you can get back to running. Hang in there guys - positive vibes coming your way! ;-)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Earth to CJ........

No, I have not been sucked up by any spaceships for testing by aliens; I have not fallen off the face of the earth; I have not given up all of my earthly possession and sworn a vow of poverty; I have not gone into self-imposed exile due to over consumption of chocolate; but I have been very very busy! And not having internet access at home also makes it difficult to update my blog.

So rather than bore you to tears with what I have been up to since god knows when, here is a brief update of the life of CJ:

Friday 28 – 6km run; 33.06min; av pace – 4.46min/km

Saturday 29 – 16km run; 1hr 27.23min; av pace – 5.28min/km

Sunday 30 – monthly vets run at Majura nature park, 10km hilly course
Went off in Group 25; Finished in 36th place
Time – 47.43min; Av pace – 4.46min/km

Monday 1 – Operation May Day begins
This means cleaning up my diet; and increasing my exercise because I have put on 3kg and feel like a fat and lazy blob. So for 12 weeks I will clean up my act.
pm – did ab exercises

Tuesday 2 – 25th wedding anniversary!!!!!!!
Interval run including 7 x 2min hard (1min easier)
6.3km; 32.54min; Av pace – 5.09min/km
Noon – Gym – did upper body weights plus abs

Went out for dinner so put diet on hold for one night!!!!

Wednesday 3 –
8.9km run; 49.14min; Av pace – 5.31min/km
pm – ab exercises

Thursday 4 –
Noon – Gym – lower body weights session followed by 20mins on elliptical trainer, 10mins on rower and 10mins on stepper. I was knackered when finished!
Pm – yoga

Friday 5 –
Interval run including 7 x 2min hard (1min easier)
6.4km; 33.31min; Av pace – 5.13min/km
pm – ab exercises

Saturday 6 –
Long run – 20km; 1hr 50.08min; Av pace – 5.30min/km

Sunday 7 – Rest day (and I hab a cold...sniff)

So I have been busy – at work and outside of work. But I will try and keep my blog up-to-date and not get so far behind in future.

In short – I’M BACK!