Archive | January, 2012

Stromlo Forest Park run

31 Jan

Today it was the start of the YMCA of Canberra Runners Club Summer Series which involves a 2km or 5km event every Tuesday for 8 weeks at different locations. This afternoon it was at the Stromlo Forest Park grass running track, one of my least favourite courses. At least the weather was in our favour. Earlier it had been quite hot and as the running track is very exposed, it can be horribly hot while running. However a strong sou’wester had blown in just before the start of the event and in fact was quite chilly standing around waiting to start and after we had finished.

Saw some familiar faces – Janene, Ewen, Caroline and Geoff, among others. Also chatted to Suzanne after the run. The Veterans cycling club also had an event on as well, providing some distraction as they whizzed past in packs.

Why don’t I like this course? I have to confess I am in the minority on this as most people enjoy the grass running track but I find it hard work. It feels spongy underfoot and is just a bloody hard slog doing the course. It is also the hilliest course I’ve run in close to 12 months and while I consider the inclines as ‘hills’, many wouldn’t! It’s also a two lap course and I’m not keen on lapped courses. But I’m not whingeing just merely stating why it’s not one of my favourite courses. I ran it today and that’s what counts – consistency is key. It took me a bit over 27 mins to run and I came in about 60th. So that’s another event under my belt and run #63. The next event is next Tuesday at the Boathouse, at Lake Burley Griffin.


Miserable Monday

30 Jan

It was raining quite heavily when I woke this morning. So no run before work today. While I can handle being rained on any other time of the day, it’s not really appreciated first thing in the morning when I’ve just got out of bed. So I had a bit of a lie in until 6.15am – yay! This of course meant though that I would have to run after work so it was a case of packing my running gear to take with me so I could head directly to the gym after work, change, and head off for a run around Lake Ginninderra before going home. The morning was wet and miserable and I figured that if it was still as bad after work, I could do intervals on the treadmill. My preference, though, would be to run outdoors so I kept a close eye on the weather throughout the day and hoped that the rain would at least hold off until I had done my run.

So how ironic was it that I was actually praying for rain part way through my run! It was hot and muggy and the breeze I initially felt had disappeared for most of the run. A downpour would have been a blessing but it wasn’t to happen. I plodded around the lake, feeling hot, bothered and very sweaty. And, finally, I was done – 8km for #62 run.

Running stats

Weekly total: 40.7km

Year to date: 192.8km

Since 30/11/11: 383.9km (running streak – 61 days)


Sunday, active Sunday

29 Jan

Sunday, a day of rest? No rest for the wicked then! 😉 First off, it was the start of the monthly Vets handicap runs for the year at a new course, in the Aranda bushland. Its not too far from home and, in fact, takes in the trails that I usually run when I’m training. So it was very familiar territory for me. I was feeling very apprehensive about this run as its been so long since I’ve run any sort of event and I’m not known for my restraint or common sense! However I think the enforced layoff from running that occurred last year has taught me something at least and that is to go slowly and cautiously, especially when it comes to running. I had a great run – starting off group 22 and just running a comfortable pace. I ran the small hills cautiously as the hammy still doesn’t like anything even slightly resembling a hill but otherwise I had no problems. Still tomorrow will tell so fingers crossed the legs feel fine tomorrow morning for my run before work.

It was great catching up with lots of people – it has been far too long. But we couldn’t hang around too long after the run as we had to get down to the lake where the sprint triathlon was in progress. Unfortunately we only made it for the very tail end of the event so didn’t see anyone we knew competing. However we managed to catch up with Charlie who wasn’t competing due to a dodgy hammy (I can empathise) and Rae and Caroline who had competed. And of course Dave who did a great time – must be those swish new Zipp wheels! Actually there were some pretty awesome bikes to be seen. We also watched the kids compete – the 7-10 year old age group (we think) – they were so little! It was a very short course and when it came to the run, many would be running slowly until they went round the bend and could see the Finish line and then it was on – sprint finishes galore! One little girl elbowed past her male competitor to sprint to the finish line – a bit of competitive spirit there!

And the coffee from Cafe2U was spot on – just what we needed. 😉

And finally, I’ll finish on this note:

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.” – Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon founder.




28 Jan

We went to the movies this afternoon. The last movie we saw at the cinema was the final Harry Potter movie, The Deathly Hallows Part 2, last year. Today we saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’ve read the trilogy and of the three books, I thought the first book was the best. I had also recently watched the Swedish movie version on SBS, so was interested to see how Hollywood dealt with the book. Initially I wasn’t going to see the American version but had a change of heart after reading a few reviews which were in the main positive. And so it was this afternoon we were sitting in Hoyts Cinema 1 sitting through innumerable ads, trailers for up and coming movies and interview snippets with actors and producers, waiting for the feature movie to begin. There were a few other people in the cinema, armed with their huge buckets of popcorn, pop tops and cool drinks, waiting to be entertained for the next 173 minutes. Me – I had brought a container from home of watermelon that I’d cut up into bite size chunks. I’d learnt from previous experience not to take anything too crunchy like an apple unless its a shoot ’em up, blast them away type of movie filled with lots of explosions and noise!

I loved the intro to the movie – the music and graphics. And then it was into the movie itself. There were times I had to stop myself comparing the two movies and there was the occasional scene that was almost exactly the same in both, but on the whole it was interesting to see the slightly different takes on the same story. I enjoyed both movies but I think the Swedish version was more raw in its interpretation and therefore more confronting and brutal, like the book. The American version was slicker and yes, it was easier to concentrate on the movie rather than reading the sub-titles. But for me, the Swedish version won out. But this one is well worth seeing, if just for Daniel Craig without his shirt on! 😉

Run #60 this morning – a short run along the cycle path in Florey. Tomorrow is my first Vets run event since injuring myself in March last year so understandably I’m a little apprehensive. I haven’t run any events for 10 months. Note to self: leave the ego at home. Just go and enjoy the run. 🙂


Breakfast at Beppe’s

27 Jan

I love going out for breakfast. I really enjoy the range of meals available for breakfast/brunch and I’m genuinely hungry at that time of day. Even better is having breakfast with friends and this morning was one of those mornings – brekky with one of my bestest friends 🙂 I had taken the day off so there was no rush to get to work but instead we could take our time over a leisurely breakfast.

Beppe’s is a cafe with an Italian influence, and can be found at the Belconnen fresh food markets. I don’t usually eat there but always call in for a coffee before heading off to one of the fruit and veg shops, Deli Cravings for the best ricotta cheese, antipasti and other deli type foods, the health food shop which stocks a huge range of vitamins and minerals, herbal teas, a big range of grains, flours and dried fruit and nuts, Cooking Coordinates when I need a cooking utensil or a particular herb or spice from the great Herbies Spices range, or As Nature Intended, the organic shop which stocks a pretty good range of gluten-free food.

But this morning we had breakfast at Beppe’s – I chose the Paleo breakfast with a side of gluten-free toast, and Ruth had poached eggs on toast. And what’s a Paleo breakfast you might ask? Well this meal consisted of 2 poached eggs on a bed of spinach and topped with avocado.

According to the Paleodietlifestyle website “A Paleo diet, also known as paleolithic diet or caveman diet, is all about natural foods to help achieve great health and a perfect physique. The human body evolved for more than 2 million years with the food found in nature: game meat, fish, vegetables, wild fruits, eggs and nuts. The human race was thriving on this diet high in animal fat and proteins and low in carbohydrates, but things changed when we introduced unnatural foods to our bodies.” However, I’m not following paleo diet principles, I just happened to like the sound of this meal! And by having toast on the side goes against paleo principles as grains and legumes are seen as unnatural foods.

Anyway it was a great breakfast as both of us were starving – Ruth, because she had been for a swim, and me, because I’d been for a run (#59). What a great start to a Friday 🙂

Australia Day

26 Jan

I could get all deep, meaningful and profound about Australia Day and what it means to be Australian but I won’t. There are plenty other sites, blogs, tweets, Facebook posts to name just a few that will dissect Australia Day, Invasion Day, our national psyche, multiculturalism, etc.

Instead I will just focus on my day – the fact that I appreciated the sleep in this morning, followed by a casual 6km run before breakfast of porridge with stewed apple. Later there was a trip to the Mall to buy fruit and veg, a stop for a coffee at Lido Cafe, before heading home for lunch. The afternoon was spent reading the paper to the background music of Triple JJJs Hottest 100, with cricket on TV (on mute, thankfully). There was a trip to the gym for a weights session – I’m still feeling the after effects of Tuesday’s session in my legs. Back home there was washing to hang out,  with the background cricket commentary on ABC radio from the shed (brings back childhood memories – ABC radio cricket commentary in summer, footy commentary in winter) and someone cleaning the gas barbecue in preparation for dinner. Zucchini, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and strawberries were harvested from the garden. Finally dinner was barbecued lamb cutlets and oven roasted zucchini, sweet potato and brussels sprouts (yes really!) with spicy chilli tomato chutney, with oven roasted balsamic strawberries and Tamar Valley natural yoghurt for dessert.

That was my Australia Day.

Day at the Dentist

25 Jan

It was that time of the year again – my dental appointment. Admittedly it was only for a clean and polish but I never come away without more work having to be done on my teeth. The years of swilling sports drinks while training for Ironman plus marathons have taken their toll. Plus the amalgams dating back to when I was a teenager are causing damage to my teeth and need to be replaced. So the dental hygienist picked and poked at my teeth eliciting muffled yelps when she hit a tender spot (and there seem to be a few of them these days) and then called the dentist in to check out one of my old fillings. Yep, much as I suspected, the amalgam will have to be replaced so another appointment has been made for that to happen.

I always leave the dentist with the feeling that my report card says “there’s room for improvement”.

Run #57 was a bit of a slog this morning after the weights session yesterday. The combination of barbell squats, dumbbell lunges and step ups have conspired to ensure my legs would be feeling the after effects today – DOMS has paid a visit. 🙂

Whatever gets you through

24 Jan

Find Your Strong.

I like that.

It’s the digging deep to find that inner strength to JFDI, to suck it up, and just get on with it, no excuses.

Its ignoring the little voice that says “I’m tired; its early; its late; its been a hard day; it’s too hot; it’s too cold; I’ll do it tomorrow, and so on” that plague us, when our defences are down.

Or at least it is for me.

It’s also about continuing when it all feels too hard; forgoing the soft option; doing that extra kilometre or the extra rep, adding a bit more weight on the bar; and doing the hard yards.

And yet, every time, without fail, I always feel so much better for just getting on and doing it.

It might be hard while I’m doing it but it feels so good once its done.

That is finding my strong.

I’d been to the gym this morning for a weights session but I knew I still had to run later in the day. And so, this afternoon, when all I really felt like doing after work was going home and crashing on the couch, with a coffee and the paper, I changed into my running gear and ran that 5km.

And I felt better for doing it. Day #56 – done and dusted. 🙂

Packing for the gym

23 Jan

Tomorrow is gym day (*interesting – the spell checker suggests ‘Jim’ for ‘gym’!). Currently I do weights twice a week at the gym – Tuesday and Thursday mornings. I’m also considering changing my outdoor runs on these days to the treadmill for rolling intervals, after work. So it means that Monday and Wednesday nights I need to pack my gym bag so its ready to go when I get up in the morning, to be at the gym at 6am when it opens. Leaving this chore until the morning would be disastrous – the number of things I’d forget for one.

This is my new gym bag – the one that could double as a body bag, its huge. My old bag was half this size and I had to cram everything I needed into it – no wonder it fell to bits. The zips broke, the fabric tore, but then again it was  a cheap one – the one they give you when you first join the gym. I note that now I’m just renewing my membership from year to year there are no freebies thrown my way. They obviously think they don’t need to entice me but you’d think they’d try a little harder to keep me interested and keen to stay a member. Anyway this new bag is so big, there are clearly no space issues but now I have problems filling it. I keep checking the contents, thinking I’ve forgotten something because it looks so empty.

#55 – an 8km run this morning. Legs felt fine and the pace wasn’t too bad. 🙂


22 Jan

I need new shoes. New running shoes that is, though you can never have too many of any type of shoes.  But if I get new running shoes I need to get rid of some of my current collection and that’s the problem…..I’m not very good at getting rid of shoes. I go to throw out a pair but I look at them and think, I’ll just wear them a couple more times before ditching them, they still look ok. So while I might not use them for running anymore they might get used for walking or the gym, or they might not. More than likely they just sit there gathering dust because I feel guilty about throwing out a pair of shoes that I think still look ok even though, in reality, I’ve run hundreds of kms in them (well not recently but that’s another story). So this year I will implement a new rule – buy one pair/throw out one pair. No ifs, buts or whatevers – just do it.

#54 run – it was a short run this afternoon. No after effects from yesterday’s 14km.

Running stats

Weekly total: 48.43km

Monthly total: 152.15km

Since 30/11/11: 343.25km