Sunday, January 31, 2010

Campbell Park - a highlight in a blah weekend

Event: Frylink 3km, Campbell Park
Star group: 18
Finish: 7th
Time: 16.52min
Pace: 5.37min/km
Cals: 164

Even though it wasn't an exceptionally early start for today's vets run at Campbell Park, I still had to set the alarm. Why? Because for the last nine months I've been able to sleep in on Sundays and normally I don't get out of bed before 9am! Lucky these events only occur once a month ;-)

I was running in the short course event, the Frylink, which was a 3km event over undulating and uneven ground. This has been very different to the surfaces I've been running on for the last three weeks. I was put in group 18.

It was a good run - I felt comfortable and seemed to be running okay. Even the small hills didn't bother me. I was grateful I was running the shorter event though because it was quite warm out there. It was great to see so many familiar faces and to be able to catch up with a few of them afterwards over fruit and coffee, including my favorite running companion ;-). Everyone seemed to be running really well (having just checked the results on-line) so I have lots of work to do. I was running quicker than 6min/kms Ewen, which goes to show what happens when you run with a group of people. And Strewth would have beaten me if we'd been in the same event!

Unfortunately I couldn't make it to Carlo's for coffee - believe me, I would've loved to. Next time......

And yes, Lleyton Hewitt did have the same op, done by the same doctor. He also had the same op on his other hip in 2008. Me, I'm planning on avoiding having to go through the procedure again.

A certain physio doesn't know this next run will be the 5km cross country event Tuesday afternoon.

Otherwise, the weekend was blah - I had literally run out of ooomph. Yesterday I swam in the morning - I felt fine. The session consisted of 12 x 50m (20s RI) plus 400m kickboard.

In the afternoon, I went to the gym and I had to force myself to do each exercise and not wimp out. My motto is "just do it" - I know, I know, a certain sporting company uses it but it really is an effective little saying. Don't over-think or over-analyse, stop dreaming up excuses - just do it. Anyway I finished the session and did my cardio but it was hard work. I went to bed early last night because I was so tired. This afternoon was almost a repeat, not that I went to the gym but I was so tired and drained. I'm really hoping this feeling will go away and I'll wake tomorrow feeling refreshed.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Stairway to …………..heaven?

Memo to self: maybe using the stairs after a punishing gym workout, devised by my trainer, is not a good idea. It was a struggle getting up four flights of stairs lugging the backpack and shoulder bag and it was with great relief when I reached the door to our floor.

This was after my weekly session with the PT and she never ceases to amaze me with the creative ways she conjures up for a hard workout. This morning it was medicine balls and kettle bells to start with, and those cursed push ups. Then on to regular weight machines before finishing with decline crunches. I was sweating, I was hot and I was hurting but in a good way.

Wednesday I went swimming. It was a busier night than usual and so there were a few people in the lane I chose. The session was 12 x 50m (20sec RI) followed by 400m kickboard. Occassionally I was stuck behind someone doing back or breastroke but generally it was fairly orderly. As I had a 20sec rest interval at each end of the pool, it allowed the breast/backstroker to get a little way ahead and then I made it a goal to try to catch them. It helps to pass the time.

I so wanted to sleep in this morning, it was hard work getting up so early. I lay there and lay there but finally I couldn't stand the internal warfare going on in my head so I got up, mentally waving the white flag. I ran 3km in the slightly foggy conditions (weird) and it wasn't that bad and it didn't seem to go on forever, as I had imagined it would. It was at tortoise pace but I'm comfortable with that. It was quite warm too, which seemed weird combined with the fog.

Distance: 3km
Time: 18.31min
Pace: 6.09min/km
Calories: 166

So I'm all set for Sunday and the short course run at Campbell Park - at least now I know I can make the distance!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


That was the sound of the weekend and the public holiday passing, no reference to my current running abilities! Where did the weekend go?

Still I managed to fit in cycling (on the trainer), swimming, a gym session and crosstrainer intervals and meet Ewen and Strewth for coffee, and meet up with Jen, mango and mini-mango down from Sydney and support mini-mango in the Enticer tri. That's probably some indication why the weekend seemed to flash by. It was good to catch up with Ewen and Strewth for coffee (no arm wrestling involved). I love catching up with friends for coffee, it would have to be one of my favourite activities! Saturday was a hot afternoon to be doing any sort of physical activity, let alone a triathlon but mini mango acquitted herself very well in the heat. She has an amazing finishing sprint to the finish - she has a great running style. Also saw TA and Gnome, also down from Sydney, as TA was competing the next morning in the sprint tri. Its not often I go to watch a tri these days but when I do I have to admit a little part of me wants to be a part of it again. Fortunately most of the time that feeling disappears once I leave the tri!

I was one of the few that worked Monday and I must admit when I woke at 5am on Monday morning, the thought went through my mind (barely functioning as it was), why hadn't I taken the day off? Then once the caffeine hit had 'hit' so to speak, I was up, dressed and out the door for my run. This week I am concentrating on running for distance rather than time so by the time next Sunday rolls around I will have run 3km. Since when did 1km get so long?! I kept checking my watch, thinking that maybe I had programmed the wrong time in but no, I was on track to run 1km.

Monday's run session: 3 x 1km (1min RI)
Time: 26.30min (doesn't include cool down)
Total distance: 3.78km
Splits -
1: 6.20min/km
2: 5.55min/km
3: 6.12min/km
Calories: 199

Hmmm, I could hardly be mistaken for a speedy goose at the moment, more like a grounded pelican!

It was lovely to be able to sleep in yesterday (Tuesday). I was not one of those queuing up down at Commonwealth Park or wherever for the Australia Day breakfast. On a normal Tuesday I would be at the gym at 6am for a weights session so to be able to lie around and have a leisurely breakfast suited me just fine. Shame I can't do that every day. However I did go to the gym in the afternoon and thoroughly caned my legs with barbell squats and lunges and one legged leg press which was all well and good until it came to doing the cardio session on the xtrainer. By then my legs were dead and it was the hardest, slowest session I'd done in a long time.

No surprises with the Triple J Hottest 100 - news had already leaked the week before that Mumford & Sons were number 1 with Little Lion Man. The top 10 was a good selection, my favourite would have to be number 10 - Florence & The Machine with Dog Days Are Over. Time to download some new songs.

This morning it was back to a 5am start. Having the day off yesterday is messing with my mind - I keep thinking that today is Monday and that yesterday was Sunday. Mondayitis twice in one week - how strange! My run today was 2 x 1.5km and again it seemed like 1.5km went on forever - 3km is going to feel like a marathon at this rate! It was a lovely cool morning, great for running. I could definitely feel the after-effects of the squats etc from yesterday - ouch! So far I've not developed any strange aches or pains with my return to running; so far, so good, fingers crossed, touch wood and all that.

Run session: 2 x 1.5km (1min RI)
Time: 29.02min
Distance: 3.94km
Calories: 207
Splits -
1: 6.06min/km
2: 6min/km

Friday, January 22, 2010

John Cleese at the gym?

I swear John Cleese was on the rower machine at the gym yesterday afternoon. I did a double take as I was doing my interval session on the xtrainer. Ok, so maybe it was the salty sweat running in my eyes making everything blurry but to my mind he definitely looked like John Cleese. I half expected him to do the silly walk once he'd finished but sadly he merely got up and walked away normally. Oh well it was fun to imagine having John Cleese working out on the rower, just across from me!

It was day five of running this morning, down at the local oval and it was so pleasant at the early hour of 5.30am. Again I was on my own, with only one other woman out walking her dog. Today I ran 4 x 4min with 1 min walk in between. It went well so pretty chuffed about that.

Time: 29.57min
Total distance: 3.91km
Actual run distance: 2.62km

On the radio this morning the announcers were talking about the weather forecast for the next few days (ie hot) and asking listeners for their experiences of scorching hot days they'd experienced in the past. It got me thinking about a couple of ones I've experienced over the years. My first memory of really really hot weather was when we moved from SA to WA and we were travelling across the Nullabor in summer - along a dirt road as there was no bitumen highway as there is now. This was in the late sixties, when I was 7, my brother was 5 and my sister was 6 months old. The temperature each day was in the 50's. The car had no air conditioning, and we had to stop at each place to top up the water for the hessian bag at the front of the car. At some stage the car overheated. It was horrible - everything shimmered in the scorching heat. There were bed bugs and rats at one place we stayed and at another place, Nundroo I think, mum was bailed up by a sow and her piglets at the outside toilet.

Another time was when I moved (temporarily) to Kalgoorlie in the late 70's. It was summer and I had never experienced such intense heat - if I dared go outside I thought I was going to melt. It was sooooo hot and the heat reflected off the pavements and roads. The place I was staying had no air conditioning and a tin roof and I spent most of that summer sitting about 2 inches from a fan draped in wet towels. It was not a pleasant experience and I have never had the urge to revisit the place. I could definitely understand the attraction of the pub (and Kalgoorlie has no shortage of them) - they were the coolest places in town.

And finally, it wasn't as hot as the days mentioned above, but combine hot, weather, with hills (particularly a relentless uphill start that seems to go on and on forever), mostly no shade and the sun beating down mercilessly, and running, having already completed 20 odd-km - this memory has been forever burned into my subconscious. That, and the bliss of collapsing into the water at Vanities. Twofruits and softshoeshuffle would know what I am referring to!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The heat is on

Its 34.3 degrees outside according to the weather people but I'm sitting at work freezing - its positively arctic in here. I have to go outside to thaw out.

I went swimming last night and surprised myself at how well I swam - those muscles I'm gaining in the gym have finally decided to be useful. I'm following a 12 week swim program so I have gone back to basics and week one involves swimming 10 x 50m with 20sec rest intervals. To be honest I actually enjoyed my swim and it didn't feel like hard work, as it usually does. I repeat this same session again on the weekend.

This morning I met my trainer for my weekly gym session and to discover what creative ways she has to make me hurt (in a good way). The end result is always 'dead' arms and wobbly legs and an adrenaline high - it’s a love/hate relationship. Today began with barbell squats followed by incline chest press supersetted with cable barbell curls and triceps pushdowns. Then I did lunge stepups with weight followed by medicine ball bounce downs (lots of them). Why do I always get a runny nose when doing these? For good measure she then had me doing barbell chest presses supersetted with barbell curls (wide and close grip - these are soooo hard) and dips - I hate these with a passion. Next it was closegrip lat pulldowns followed by side raises (up and down then in and out) and shoulder raises, with weight plates. Omigod, these were so hard and my arms got heavier and heavier until I literally couldn't raise them anymore - but I couldn't wimp out completely as she then had me doing the exercise without weights. Finally, I completed 4 sets of decline sit ups followed by 4 sets of leg raises. And finally I wobbled off to the changerooms to encounter the bathroom scrum but fortunately it was the tail end of the rush. I really didn't have the strength to hip and shoulder my way to the basins and mirrors this morning.

After work this afternoon I'll be back at the gym for a 20 minute interval session on the xtrainer. Its really busy at this time of day - everyone wants to use the gym. Fortunately most seem to head for the dreadmills or weights. I'm glad that I'm a morning person - and before anyone makes a smart comment (and you know I'm talking about you!) I'm not referring to conversation but to getting up and exercising!!!! There is a big difference.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Little by little…..

Day 4 of my return to running and it was uneventful, for which I should be grateful because it means everything is holding together as it should! This morning the session involved 8 x 1.30min running and 30s walking, again around the oval. It was cool although not as cold as yesterday, and I'm sure in another day or so I will be wishing for these cooler temperatures again. There was not a soul out and about except for one other woman walking her dog. I guess everyone else was still home, tucked up in bed as any sane person would be at 5.30am. But I would've thought there would be a least a few other people out walking their dogs or running, new year's resolutions and all that. Anyway, the distance is slowly increasing and hopefully by January 31 I can run 3km non-stop, so Ewen, you don't have to worry about me beating you just yet! I've also renewed my xcountry membership and plan on doing the Summer Series as the distances are doable - most are 5km events.

Today's session: 8 x 1.30min run; 30s walk
Time: 30.19min
Total distance: 3.89km (run total - 2.54km)

Now that I have gone back to catching buses on a daily basis I have a gripe and its about 'seat hoggers'. These are the people who put their bags next to them on the seat obviously to deter people from sitting next to them. And by bags, in some cases this can mean just a shoulder bag but can include several other bags. Even when the bus is full they remain oblivious that there are people who would appreciate being able to sit down. And its surprising the number of people who won't ask if they can sit down but continue standing rather than make a fuss. Yesterday afternoon there was a 'seat hogger' sitting in front of me with all her bags piled next to her, playing with her ipod oblivious to the number of people getting on the bus. And when someone finally had the gumption to ask if she could sit down, the 'seat hogger' had a silent tantrum - it was hilarious. She grabbed her bags and dumped them with great flourish on her lap with much pouting of lips, tossing of hair and furious tapping on the ipod. If she could've stamped her feet she would have. Hehehe. Quietly I was gloating!

In a response to previous comments about tight glutes - there are tight glutes aka as a great arse, and tight glutes which just cause all manner of grief and injuries. Unfortunately I know nothing about the former and way too much about the latter.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Who turned down the temperature? It was very fresh this morning - about 6 degrees at 5.30am. So instead of my usual gym garb - singlet and shorts, I also added tracky pants and long sleeved top. I soon warmed up however! I had a really good weights session this morning until I sat down at the low cable row machine. I'd changed the attachment to a close grip one, removed the support used for lat pulldowns, sat down - and then went to pull back and…it wouldn't budge. That's ok, this machine occasionally sticks - just pull a little harder. It still didn't budge and I'm thinking, what's going on, is it broken? And then I looked down at the pin - it was on the 70kg weight, no way, no wonder I couldn't pull it back! Memo to self - check the selected weight next time.

After the weights session it was a mad dash to make it to the showers before the cardio class finishes because then its on for space on the benches, showers and mirror space. Guys just don't realise how easy they have it - shower, dress, quick brush of hair, maybe some moisturiser (?) and they're done. With us, you have to battle between straightening irons, a number of hairdryers, foundations, mascaras, moisturisers of all descriptions, etc, etc. And then suffocate in the mists of a number of different perfumes. There was a mad dash to the car, throw everything in the back, sort out what I need for the gym after work, drive to Canberra Uni, park the car and then catch the next available intertown bus. Once I had made it to my desk (at 7.45am) I could finally relax, and have breakfast. I was starving and I don't think my muesli and yoghurt touched the sides as it went down.

It might've been cold this morning but by the end of the week, its forecast to be 38 degrees - what a contrast!

Life's too short for…..

Skim milk cappuccinos…..blah, blech, ick, eeeewww, yuck, blanching at the memory.

(This was meant to be posted yesterday - ooops)

So why, you might ask, did I have a skim milk cappuccino if I feel so strongly about them? Well, I thought it would be better for me, as you do when you're trying to be healthy and reduce things like saturated fat content etc. However that was definitely my one and only skim milk cappuccino…ever..and in future when I do have a cappuccino it will be the real deal, saturated fat content and all! I figure that as I don't really have cappuccinos all that often its not really that big a deal. I always swore I'd never drink skinny caps and I can see why now - eeewww, yuck!

Yesterday (Sunday) I did my weekly 45mins on the bike and even at 8.30 in the morning I was soon sweaty and dripping. There will come a time when I will have to take my bike off the trainer and actually ride it out on the road. Hmmmm, soon. So I pass the time on the bike by listening to my ipod and not allowing myself to look at my watch until I've listened to 11 songs - usually by then I am close to doing 45mins. Otherwise I am forever looking at my watch - it’s a bit like "are we there yet?"

In the afternoon (Sunday) I went to the pool to do my 500m freestyle followed by 500m using a kickboard and fins. Eventually I will increase the freestyle and decrease the kicking until I am swimming 1km. This will take time but what's the hurry. It wasn't too crowded in the pool and I managed to swim the 500m without getting stuck behing anyone or being swum over by impatient swimmers. I can't believe how hard it is swimming 500m - it really is hard work. I'm waiting for the day when I cruise through the swim…well, at least swim it far more comfortably than I am now. By the time I got to the kick stage of my swim, there were a few more people in my lane and I did get stuck behind a swimmer or two but by then it didn't matter. I don't mind cruising along with the kickboard taking in my surroundings, observing swim styles of other swimmers and the not feeling so bad about my own style. Then on the way home I bought myself a magnum icecream to have after dinner - one way of curing the Magnum demons dancing in my head! (and I thoroughly enjoyed it)

This morning (Monday) at 5.30am I walked down to the oval to do day 3 of running. Its getting darker in the morning and it was quite cool too. This morning I did 8 x 1.30min of running with 30sec walking which equated to 1.91km of total running distance. No problems with the running but it is getting repetitive going round and round the oval avoiding the sprinklers. I remembered to do some stretching at home and must do more tonight as my hip flexors and glutes are very tight which is contributing to lower back pain.

And today (Monday) just got better - I have just had a dark chocolate coated dried apricot. Well actually it could - I could have another one…or two….well it does count as fruit and is chocful of antioxidants! Actually with the amount of green tea I drink at work, I should be brimming full of antioxidants - I won't rust!

Ihatetoast - you and everyone else would be running better than I am at the moment!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rumble, grumble.................

Thunder and lightning greeted me when I came out of the gym this afternoon.

I'd just finished my new workout from my trainer and as usual she had managed to write a program to elicit the most pain! But a good pain I might add. I'm getting better at doing push ups but by the third set of 15 my arms are wobbling so much there is always the chance of falling flat on my face. I skipped the seated calf raises today because my calves are still sore from the workout the other day plus my 'run' yesterday.

The weights session was followed by 20mins on the xtrainer and I strategically placed myself on the machine closest to the fan. It wasn't long before the sweat was dripping off me. Honestly by the time I finish my session I look like I've been swimming.

The title of my entry doesn't only relate to the thunder happening this afternoon, but also to my stomach. I've been starving since the gym even though I've had a post-workout snack and dinner. Visions of chocolate and Magnum ice cream occupy my thoughts........

Think I'll grab my book (The Girl Who Played with Fire - Stieg Larssen) and head off to bed.

Friday, January 15, 2010

She has returned!

I had been browsing through some other blogs and there were references to me and coffee, yoghurt and fruit salad (not a bad thing - coffee and CJ go together so well), falls and bruises (as if - that doesn't sound like me at all!) and an assertion that my blog was dead. Well, hang on, no it isn't - it was just in hibernation!

I am running! Well you do need to read the fine print - I can do 1 minute walking/1 minute running x 7. Not a lot but its progress. And I haven't forgotten how to run, which was worrying me! My goal is the short course at Campbell Park at the end of the month.

I am still going to the gym three times a week for weights and cardio, swimming about twice a week, and cycling once or twice a week. So its all good, so far!

Stay tuned - I plan on updating on a regular basis in 2010!