Friday, June 30, 2006

Its Friday

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” (Dr Seuss)

Have a great weekend. Good luck to those competing at the Gold Coast and to anyone else who may be competing this weekend.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Energizer bunny

Session: Intervals, 6 x 2.30min fast (1min RI)
Distance – 6km
Time – 31min
Av pace – 5.09min/km
AHR – 152; MHR - 190

It was another cold and frosty morning – apparently minus 2 degrees but it looked and felt a lot colder. Because I was meeting Strewth for brekkie at 7.30am I ran my interval session at 6am, in the dark, with my Energizer head lamp for light. Not quite the pink bunny playing a drum and wearing shades and blue sandals (the Energizer bunny) but I was wearing pink; and I kept going and going (the Energizer slogan!) tho’ the battery was getting low.

It was a good run through the frost and fog. Brekkie with Strewth at Sabayon was even better – its one of the highlights of my week.

Wednesday evening
Session – cycle intervals
Time – 30mins
AHR – 124; MHR – 149

I may as well have been doing hill climbs on my bike because that’s exactly what it felt like. For each 3min interval I had to increase by 3 gears and then for the rest interval I could drop 2 gears – the legs were burning and by the end it was really hard pushing the pedals around. Fortunately its all over in half an hour.

"Victory isn't defined by wins or losses. It is defined by effort. If you can truthfully say, 'I did the best I could, I gave everything I had,' then you're a winner." - Wolfgang Schadler

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More hills……

Obviously I just can’t enough of hill running at the moment. There was the Mt Ainslie run on Sunday, then speedygeoff informs us at running last night that we would be doing laps that include hills (I don’t care what you call them speedygeoff – last night they looked and felt like hills to me!), and then this morning as part of a 10km run I was also doing 12 repeats of Black Mountain peninsular hill. And, get, this is really bizarre, *Twilight Zone music playing* but every time I do these hill repeats the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” song by Cindy Lauper starts playing, just as I’m doing the 2 hill sprints. Yep, at 6.30am in minus 4 degrees I am having soooo much fun sprinting up and down a very long hill – NOT! Actually when the going got tough I imagined speedygeoff running behind me nagging (sorry – encouraging) me on! It was cold – I had about 3 layers of clothing on plus my bike gloves and my fingers and face still went numb and I wouldn’t have been able to talk to anyone because my lips were frozen together. But I did it and before breakfast too. Mind you, by the time I made my breakfast (rolled oats plus protein powder and sugar-free maple syrup – yum!), it went down without hitting the sides! I was soooo hungry.

This morning’s stats:
Session – 12 hill repeats (gradually increasing the pace with each repeat until I’m sprinting)
Distance – 10km
Time – 58.43min
AHR – 156; MHR – 220!

Last night’s stats:
Session – speedygeoff’s session at Parliament House
Distance – 8.6km (from when my Garmin found a satellite)
Time – 55.30min
AHR - 138; MHR - 190

After a 2 lap warm-up around the House we then headed to the flagpoles for a session that involved running down the hill towards old PH and then turning and running back up the hill on the other side towards the flagpoles, increasing and decreasing the pace along the way (I can’t be any more specific because I don’t think I was actually doing it correctly). I have to admit I did improve with each lap but I certainly didn’t warm up – my fingers gradually lost all feeling because I forgot my gloves.

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy." - Dale Carnegie

Monday, June 26, 2006

Just a little hill or three…….

Distance – 9.3km
Time – 43.31min
Av pace – 4.40min/km
AHR – 168; MHR – 181
Group – 25
Placing – 15th

Strewth very kindly picked me up on Sunday morning for the monthly vets run, this month at Mt Ainslie. It’s a challenging run – there are hills throughout and one big hill near the end. What I had forgotten was how many or how big some of the other hills were! It was soooo cold to begin with that I didn’t want to part with my tracky pants, long sleeved top or jacket. As it was, I ran in a long sleeved top and gloves as well as the usual running gear.

I started off well but it wasn’t long before the cold gave me a headache – similar to when I eat icecream. Plus it didn’t help that my breathing felt constricted from the cold as well. Anyhoo I slogged along, with Mick - the other person who started in group 25. Little did I know it at the time but I was going to be very grateful to him in the latter stages of the run.

So up and down and up and down we went, through the bush – I love running through the bush. Slowly but surely the sun was trying to shine through. Passed a few people I knew along the way. I was feeling okay though the thought of that last big hill was always there at the back of my mind. Eventually it had to happen – the big hill was ahead of us and I was starting to feel tired in the legs. Up until now they had been doing a great job considering what I had inflicted on them during the week. But now they were starting to complain….Up and up we went, the pace getting slower and slower until I finally reached a point where all I wanted to do was stop and walk. I took 3 steps and then Mick was saying “c’mon you can’t give up now not after all the work you’ve put in – you’re not far from the top and then you can rest.” Heck, what could I say – I picked up the pace again and with head down just got up the rest of the hill the best way I could – not pretty but it did the job. Actually, we hadn’t been too far from the top when I gave in very very briefly. So thanks Mick – sometimes I need a kick up the butt like that. Then it was about a downhill run of about a kilometre to the finish line – now that was fun!

Afterwards we had coffee at Carlo’s and then Mr CJ and I headed off to King’s Furniture to look at lounge suites and we purchased one for our ‘new’ house - a black leather modular lounge. It’s so cool. Later in the afternoon I visited Strewth who was busy organizing her meals for the week. We went out to our house so Strewth could have a look at what’s been done since she was last there a week ago – the decks have been completed, the feature wall in the entry has been painted (a bright red!), the wardrobe shelves have been completed, some of the tiling in the bathroom has been done inc the glass mosaic tiles. Its all looking good.

"If you doubt you can accomplish something;then you can't accomplish it.
You have to have confidence in your ability,and then be tough enough to follow through" - Rosalynn Carter

Friday, June 23, 2006

Today's thought

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." - Dr. Seuss

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Working my butt off?

Wednesday morning

After the site meeting with our architect and builder I managed to fit in the hill repeats. I had been to the gym the day before for a hard leg session (leg press, hamstring curls, lunges with dumbbells) so my legs were feeling a tad weary. However the spirit was strong so I set off for a 15min warm up which took me to the bottom of the Black Mountain peninsular hill. There were 12 hill repeats with the 7th and 8th being sprints – it was probably at this point that “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” popped up on my ipod. I don’t know about having fun – its not a lot of fun when the lungs and legs are burning from the effort of sprinting uphill, but it did spur me on!

Distance – 10km
Time taken – 58.49min
AHR – 144; MHR – 201

Yay! I survived the session.

After seeing Mr CJ up to the day surgery unit in the afternoon I went to the gym for a chest/triceps and abs/core session. It was a great time to go to the gym – everyone had gone back to work and I had my choice of equipment.

This morning
Interval session

Session – 6 x 2.30min efforts (1min RI)
Distance – 6km
Time – 30.53min
Av pace – 5.12min/km
AHR – 156; MHR – 192

Surprisingly I could still run after all the leg work I’ve been doing lately. This session was done in the dark (its still very dark at 6am these days) so I wore my headlamp – what a handy little item it is. However I have to say that now my butt and my legs are so sore – DOMS has definitely set in. So I have literally been working my butt off – well at least I hope so! ;-)

"It is the `follow through' that makes the great difference between ultimate success and failure, because it is so easy to stop." - Charles F. Kettering

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The best laid plans……

I had worked out the perfect training plan for this week – everything slotted perfectly into place and I was happy. Then life got in the way……

Yesterday, Monday:
Noon – easy run with a work colleague, 6.5km
Pm – gym session

Hmm, yes, well it started well – the run at lunchtime was great. We ran the Barbecue Stakes course very gently. It was a lovely day and I really enjoyed it. Then I left work in the afternoon, all set to meet my gym instructor and do an upper body weights session. Fine, except I forgot my shoes. The girl behind the reception desk said in all seriousness; “you’ve got closed toe shoes on haven’t you?”. When I nodded she said “Well you could wear them”. (I kid you not!) I just shook my head – I’m sorry but shorts, t-shirt and ankle boots with heels was not quite the fashion statement I had in mind. And she was serious! Okay, so no gym session – I decided to have the evening off.

Am – hill run
Pm – cycle intervals

Ok, no hill session because I got a call from the builder asking if I could meet with the painters early in the morning. I decided to bring the cycle intervals forward and do them before breakfast (ohmigod, what a hard session to do before eating. I focused on the fat burning that it surely must be doing!) The gym session I missed yesterday I would do after work.

Am – gym session
Pm – long run

Ooops, forgot – Mr CJ goes in for day surgery tomorrow afternoon so looks like the long run might be out. Never mind I will move that somewhere. Then a call from the architect – can we have a site meeting early in the morning because she has another meeting afterwards. Right, the planned gym session with the instructor is canned yet again but I will go to the gym later in the morning. Will try and fit in the hill run sometime in the afternoon, in between getting Mr CJ to the hospital and then collecting him afterwards.

Am – swim
Pm – yoga

Actually this will probably work unless Strewth has other plans for the morning – I hope not! But I might have to fit in a long run at lunchtime as well.

Am – gym session

Looking good but I might also have to add in the interval session at lunchtime, otherwise I’ll have to do it on Saturday.

I am trying to keep this as my rest day *fingers crossed*

Mt Ainslie run, 9.3km.

"How committed are you? There is a remarkable difference between a commitment of 99% and 100%." - Vic Conant

Monday, June 19, 2006

Goal achieved: 16th female and a PB!!!!!! :-)

Distance: 10.12km (maybe that takes into account where I started in the pack)
Time: 45.20min (8sec PB!!!!)
Av pace: 4.29min/km
AHR: 172; MHR: 188

1 - 5.07min/km (conservative start)
2 - 4.39
3 - 4.26
4 - 4.31
5 - 4.25
6 - 4.21
7 - 4.18
8 - 4.21
9 - 4.28
10 - 4.12
11 - 4.29 (0.12km - 32sec!)

I had a great run yesterday at the Terry Fox 10km fun run. Believe me, it was fun – I thoroughly enjoyed my run. Its days like that that make me really appreciate my running. My goal was to place in the first 25 women so I could have my time officially recorded. Saw Flash Duck, Strewth, Mr B, John Boy, Allrounder (who I might say had an awesome run), speedygeoff, Katie (speedy goose?) and Running Girl. It was perfect running weather. I started conservatively and a fair way back in the starting pack – I have decided I need to start slowly and come home hard – works for me. Mr B accidentally(?!) tried to nobble me not long after the start by treading on my foot and I almost got my legs in a twist! Fortunately I managed to untangle myself and keep on running, keeping a respectable distance between me and Mr B!

Naturally I was listening to my ipod and it was playing a lot of 80’s music such as Break My stride, Round and Round, Counting the Beat, etc – as you can see, perfect running music! Heading towards the turnaround point I started counting the number of women that were heading back to the finish and it was looking a bit worrying –there seemed to be quite a few ahead of me, including Allrounder. I started to pick up my pace for the second half of the race and would try and catch the next woman in front of me. Fortunately I picked up quite a few running in a group not long after the turnaround and then after that it was one or two here and there. The hills didn’t bother me – my legs felt really strong and I felt so comfortable. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire race. And to come in 16th woman topped it off – it was a great morning! And……wait for it….I didn’t have the post-race pancakes with maple syrup. But I did have a coffee! :-)

Well done to everyone else who ran – just getting out there and doing it is an achievement in itself.

How did others go over the weekend? Did anyone else run…in any event, or even a training run?

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." - Herman Cain

Friday, June 16, 2006

Its Friday

Another cold night in the icebox (aka the house) followed by another morning at the gym. Below are some words I came across and they really struck a chord. Enjoy!

Now is the time

Whatever happened on the previous attempt doesn't matter anymore. What matters is what you do now.

Though you may have failed once, or numerous times, or a thousand times, that has no bearing on what you're able to do now. In fact, each failed attempt brings you closer to success.

By discovering what does not work, you have more information to help you know what does work. The more you have invested in the goal, the more motivated you are to make it succeed.

Effort is never wasted, even when it leads to disappointing results. For it always makes you stronger, more capable and more experienced.

Now is the time to make use of all that strength and experience. Now is the time to push forward with more commitment and effectiveness than ever before.

Take great satisfaction in where you have been and in how far you have come. Now is your opportunity to make it into real and lasting success. (Ralph Marston)

Have a good weekend everyone and if anyone is racing, enjoy, and here's to PBs all round!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Who turned the heater off?

It has been soooo cold here in Canberra lately – overnight temps have been sub zero; it was minus 7 the other day and about minus 4 this morning plus fog. The house we are currently renting – a lovely old double brick Turner house – is like an icebox in cold weather; it has such inadequate heating (and don’t get me started on the dodgy plumbing). The only positive I can see at the moment is that I must be burning more calories just trying to keep warm – all this without raising a sweat! I am so looking forward to getting back to our house with its ducted heating, double glazed windows and lots of insulation – hopefully next month. So another month of living in an icebox.

Another way of keeping warm in the icebox is doing bike intervals on the windtrainer indoors and that is exactly what I did last night. I have an updated exercise plan for the next 6 weeks and the cycle session was a change from the 10 x 2min intervals that I have been doing.

Cycle session:
5min wu
5min pick up the pace and maintain (light resistance)
Increase 3 gears for 3min
Drop back 2 gears for 2mins
Repeat twice
Increase 4 gears for 3min
Drop back 3 gears for 2min
5min CD

Increasing each time was hard work and I was grinding away by the end for the never-ending 3 mins but the amazing thing was when I dropped back the 2 gears it felt so much easier, and yet before, cycling at that level of resistance was really hard work (if that makes sense).

Yesterday morning
Gym session – legs/arms plus abs/core

I am up to pushing 82kg on the leg press (no need to smirk) and managing more reps on the dumbbell curls – I had so many problems with this particular exercise. However, I have a new resistance and abs/core program starting tomorrow so I’m looking forward to that. I like a variety of exercises. Tomorrow I will be focusing on back and biceps plus abs/core.

This morning
Swim session – 700m, about 15.30min

I must be stark raving mad even contemplating swimming in subzero temperatures. Its an indoor pool but there’s still the walk to and from the pool to endure. However the pool was really warm this morning and I managed 700m –I’m slowly on my way to reaching a km which I will then maintain. So next week I will aim for 800m. There were a couple of guys who got in my lane after me and hogged most of the lane when swimming. The first couple of times I would knock one of the guys with my arm as he was swimming toward me, and I was right over to my side of the lane almost hugging the lane rope. He must have got the hint to move eventually which was lucky for him because there was going to be a fist greeting him next time he swam into me – hehehe pool rage! :-) Following the swim I had brekkie with Strewth - I always look forward to this!

Have a great day everyone!

Thought for the day: If you rest, you rust – Helen Hayes

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest

Last night before I hit the gym for my cardio session I dumped my bags in the car and tossed my wallet onto the front seat, fully intending to take it with me. So what did I see when I got back to the car after my session, sitting in full view on the front seat? Yep, my wallet – with credit cards and cash (not a lot but still…). I cannot believe I did something so dumb (well, secretly I can but I have a public image to uphold!) though I have to admit as far as dumb things go, that was probably the dumbest act I’ve committed for a while. Anyone else got any dumb incidents to relate?

Operation Mayday, a 12 week program I started last month is in full swing. I am now in week 7 (not 12)*thanks Strewth, for pointing out the error!* and have lost a total of 2kg but centimetres off my waist, hips and thighs. Yay! Now if I could just budge that problematic ab fat I’d be an ecstatic CJ! I know there are awesome well defined abs underneath the fat somewhere!

So I’ve been gymming, running, cycling (on the windtrainer – its too cold outdoors) and actually feel really good despite being surrounded by people coughing, sneezing, spluttering and making other awful phlegmy noises, yech.

This coming Sunday I am running in the 10km Terry Fox 10km fun run which is followed by pancakes with maple syrup – yum! If I can finish in the top 25 women I’ll be happy – the top 25 get their times recorded.

"Your only limitations are those you set up in your mind, or permit others to set up for you." - Og Mandino

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Suggestions welcome!

Had a few responses for the commandments of running but need more suggestions!

#1: Thou shalt not run so soon after eating

#2: Do not eat "banned substances" on the evening prior to a race ...Curry, Spicey Thai, etc (Iliketoast)

#3: Do not go out into the pouring rain for a run dressed like it is summer! (Kit)

#4: Do not run if you ate a hamburger 4 hours before... (Hilda)

#5: Do not run with children 7 years old... (Hilda)

#6: Thou shalt not run listening to music which is faster than your normal pace (or at least, you won't run for very long). (thanks Deege!)

#7: run while injured or sick (yay, v sensible Go Girl - and haven't we all done that!)

#8: run with very boring shoes on (Go Girl - v important and personally I like red shoes - they go faster)

#9: Fall into the habit of going for gentle jogs with the 4 yo on his bike, and then take his training wheels off - it becomes a speed session! (Tamyka)

#10: Thou shalt not do speed sessions over icy wooden bridges. (Aki)

#11: Thou shalt not run without gloves in minus 2 degrees (or minus anything for that matter! - Strewth)

#12: Thou shalt not run in the dark without a torch or headlamp off-road in the dark! (Strewth speaking from experience)

#13: Thou shalt not run on a Monday, the runner's day of rest (Tuggeranong Don)

#14: Never, ever run with twisted shoe laces! (Hmmm, something you've done Wobbly?)

#15: Thou shalt not forget to put copius amounts of bodyglide/vaseline on before long runs (I can so relate to that Hannah!)

#16: Thou shalt not attempt to engage in conversation with other runners while going up extremely large hills (Hannah)

#17: Do not run if you have an angry dog behind you (or run very very fast Stefano?!)


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ten commandments of running

1st Commandment: Thou shalt not run so soon after eating

I broke this commandment yesterday afternoon and very nearly lived to regret it. I had an interval session to do after work so I scoffed down my afternoon tea about 3.15pm and then promptly forgot I had done this. At 3.45pm I was out the door starting my run and for the first 8 x 2min intervals, I felt fine. But then it hit – waves of nausea, indigestion and basically feeling like s**t. I was sooooo relieved when I finished my run and immediately started to feel better when my stomach contents weren't being jiggled. This is something I don’t normally do – generally I eat about an hour and a half before I run but yesterday I wasn’t thinking – probably had something to do with the amount of work I had and the thought that I had to fit in a run somewhere. Never again!

I have no idea what the other 9 commandments might be – suggestions welcome!

Monday morning

Session – gym – legs/arms plus abs/core exercises


Session – long run

Distance – 14.7km
Time – 1hr 20.28min
Av pace – 5.27min/km
AHR – 152; MHR – 169

It was a really good run – it really was a ‘fun’ run – non-runners think I’m mad calling any run fun but this one was. It was a lovely morning and I ran around part of Lake Burley Griffin and then home. I’m so glad I decided to run first thing in the morning because the wind picked up later that morning and it ended up being a bitterly cold day.

There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream ~ Author Unknown

Friday, June 02, 2006

Slo Mo Day

Ever have one of those days when no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to go any faster or get away any sooner? I am having one of those days today. No matter that I got out of bed at 5.30am with the intention of getting to the gym by 6.15am – I didn’t even get out the door until after 6.30am – and I had packed all my bags the night before. Then at the gym I tried, really tried, to work through my reps and sets but it seemed to take forever and so any idea of getting to work by 8.15am flew out the window. In fact, it was probably 9am before I managed to make it to my desk.

Maybe it’s the weather (its still very wet, grey and miserable), maybe its because it’s the end of the working week or maybe its just because my batteries are running low. Or maybe, its sabotage…..all day yesterday I resisted those yummy Haighs choc coated caramel balls sitting on the table behind me at work but by 5pm when I was here by myself, those damn balls began talking to me. I swear they were whispering “eat me, eat me” behind my back and whatever willpower I had left just crumbled. Ok I‘ll have just one, that will do, well maybe two. But then that would leave 2 left and I will only eat them tomorrow so I may as well eat them now – so I did. When will I ever learn that I will never be happy with just one chocolate, unless its one packet or one bar! So maybe it’s the chocolate that’s slowing me down!

I was planning on running at lunchtime but judging by the gloom outside my window I don’t think that will be happening. This means that I’ll be running both Saturday and Sunday. Oh well, at least I can manage a sleep-in on both those days and still run.

As for the house renovations – I will post some photos as soon as I get organised. Promise!

Today's Affirmation: I have made a choice to be happy. :-)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jelly legs

I was particularly hard on my legs yesterday. First I had the weights session in the morning, which focused on legs, and followed this with 20mins on the stepper. Then after work it was on my bike on the windtrainer for the mother of all interval sessions – 10 x 2min efforts with 1 min RI.

Time on bike – 40min, inc 5min WU and 5min CD.
AHR – 132
MHR – 163

Compared to last week, my AHR was about the same but my MHR was a little higher so I must have been working harder! It certainly felt like it. If I don’t lose those lumpy bumpy thighs over the next 7 weeks then nothing will shift them (the lumps and bumps, that is, not my thighs!). I always feel like I’ve put in a hard session after being on my bike.

Wet, wet, wet

Its raining today – something we haven’t seen here for a long while. And I also went swimming and then had brekkie with Strewth and Mr B.

Session – swim
Distance – 600m
Time – 13.09min

A much better swim than last week but I still felt a little uncoordinated – its scary how much fitness and technique I seem to lose after a couple of months of no swimming.

Island problems and other house things

Well, our kitchen has arrived and is being installed – in fact, it should probably be about finished by now. Up until now we have had a relatively problem-free renovation but yesterday that was about to change. I showed up for the site meeting after work to see the architect, the builder, the installer and Mr CJ standing around several cupboard modules, all with extremely worried looks on their faces. Not good, not good. It seems that the island was way too big for the kitchen and looked out of place so they were trying various configurations – it was like moving large lego blocks around. Several hours later the installer (Harry – lovely guy), Mr CJ and I finally came up with a smaller configuration that we can live with – and we only lose one small cupboard. So *fingers crossed* the rest of the installation has gone well. No doubt I will hear from Mr CJ later this afternoon when he goes around to have a look.

The bathroom has been waterproofed, now if they can just find our custom built vanities which seem to have gone missing (from the factory), our bathroom should be completed next week. The tiles will be delivered tomorrow/Monday.

The front door is up (its so cool – I love it) but will get a 2 pack polyurethane coating in black once the house has been completed. The painters will start in a couple of weeks, we just have to decide on colours (more decisions). They will start on the decks soon, and the completion date looks to be the end of June. It’s all looking good (except for the kitchen island issue and hopefully that’s been resolved).

"Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional" - Roger Crawford