Archive | January, 2013

An early start

31 Jan

Coffee posterTo fit in a 14km run before work means that I have to be up and out the door by 5.30am – no mean feat. So there I was all bleary eyed and non-bushy tailed at 5am making my morning heart starter aka coffee.

And believe it or not, I was out the door at 5.30am, feeling a little more alert than I did 30 minutes previously thanks to the rejuvenating powers of caffeine!  What I hadn’t noticed was how dark it’s getting early in the mornings – its been happening ever so gradually. So there I was running in the dark, with only the street lights to guide me for the first few kilometres before I headed onto the cycle path. Even then it wasn’t that light so had to be very careful of my footing – the potential for a CJ was very high.

Running through the underpass was an eerie experience – it’s the first time I’ve ever felt really claustrophobic. It’s a long and narrow underpass and this morning it was pitch black so I had no idea what I was running over or through and had to take my chances. It was also warm in there and it felt like the sides were closing in on me – a very uncomfortable experience and I was glad to come out the other side.

Otherwise it was an uneventful run. I felt the benefits from taking a break from running yesterday and going for a swim instead.  Tomorrow morning it’s a 13km run before work so another early start. 🙂

“One day you will wake up & there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.”― Paulo Coelho


Sink or swim

30 Jan

You are always stronger thanyou think you areIt was debatable what I was actually doing in the pool this morning – by some stretch of the imagination I guess you could call it swimming. I was tired – dog tired when I woke up and the thought of doing anything remotely physical did not fill me with any degree of enthusiasm. Even lifting my coffee cup was hard work 😉 But I know how good swimming is as a cross training activity and after 4 days of running I needed it.

Also given the option of either running back to back sessions (a hard session Tuesday evening and an easy session Wednesday morning) or swimming, well, you guessed it, swimming won out. 🙂

And the more laps I did the better I felt but gee, those first few laps were painfully slow. In the end I managed 1.5km with a mix of sets comprising pull buoy, paddles, fins and kick board and plain old freestyle with no swimaids. My next swim session will be the day after my long run, i.e. Sunday.

“There is no paycheck that can equal the feeling of contentment that comes from being the person you are meant to be.” – Oprah Winfrey

Cutting it fine

29 Jan

persistanceThere were moments on my drive from work to Stromlo Forest Park this afternoon, the venue for the first of the YCRC Summer Series events, when I thought I wouldn’t get there in time. In fact at one point I was mentally creating an alternative run course. But somehow, despite all the red lights I managed to get on the way, I got there in the nick of time, literally minutes to spare. I had to run down from my parked car to register (and discover that I haven’t renewed my membership…oops) and then get to the start. That was my warm up!

The course is two laps of a grassy course. To be completely honest (and I know I’ll be shot down for even admitting this out loud. Sacrilege some will say, but oh well)…….I don’t like running on grass. There I’ve said it – so shoot me. I don’t mind running on trails, I tolerate running on hard surfaces but running on grass? It leaves me cold. I am not a fan. Its spongy and when I’m tired, running feels a lot harder.

As part of the run I decided to do 2 x 1.6km intervals with an 800m easy run after the first interval and a kilometre easy run after the second interval. Good in theory but hard in practice – with undulations and a head wind for part of it. And my easy recoveries weren’t actually as easy as they should have been. Oh well, it did make the time pass quickly. And the amazing thing was I mentally calculated all of this while running! Normally even adding 2 + 2 can be a challenge when I’m running, especially if it involves efforts.

Went for a kilometre warm down after some standing around and rehydrating. The plan had been to do a warm down of several kms but we decided on quality over quantity today and quit after the first kilometre.

“It is a mistake to think that moving fast is the same as actually going somewhere.” – Steve Goodier

Happy days

28 Jan

dance love sing liveSome days I wish I could bottle the joy, excitement and the pure happiness of the day so that when things aren’t going so great I can release the stopper and relive those same emotions. Today was one of those days.

Mind you, I had no idea that that was how today was going to pan out, when I woke this morning. However, the fact that I could get out of bed and not have to shuffle hunched over to the bathroom should have been an indication of good things to come! My back was behaving itself, after yesterday’s run. Woot!

Later in the morning I went to Flight Centre to try to work out our planned holiday to the States in November. I had tried sorting out the flights myself yesterday but found it very confusing and it would have ended up being a lot more expensive. So now flights are locked in and paid for – to New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Hawaii. Excitement plus!

Met Ruth for coffee at our favourite coffee place and for a chit chat – two of our favourite past-times! 🙂

And then received a phone call when I got home to find out that I am now a great aunt. My gorgeous niece Jess had a baby girl this morning. She was due next week so only a week early. Everything went to plan and both Jess and Lily are doing well. So now to do my great aunt duty and go and buy lots of baby gifts – I get the fun part! 🙂

Finally I went for a 14km run. I had been putting this off for as long as possible but eventually it was crunch time – suck it up and get out there. And surprisingly it was a really good run. Given that yesterday’s 6km was pretty bloody awful, having a good run was a bonus and just what I needed. It was very humid when I started the run and then the rain started in the last few kilometers – not that I minded, it was refreshing.

So it was a great day today. I wish all days could be like this but then again, if they were, then we probably wouldn’t appreciate these special days as much as we do, when they happen. 🙂

“What day is it?” It’s today,” squeaked Piglet. My favorite day,” said Pooh.” ― A.A. Milne


Aranda bushland run

27 Jan

12159730aone-mile-at-a-time-postersThe question that kept running through my mind this morning as I struggled on the 6km trail run was “Why? Why am I doing this?”

Why indeed?

I had completed a 32km run the day before, as part of my marathon program. It had been hot, humid and quite frankly, hard. 32km is a long way – go drive it in your car! My back didn’t throw a hissy fit in the afternoon or overnight but was feeling a tad fragile this morning.

So why go out and run 6km when common sense really would’ve seen me have a rest day? Well, maybe because it was the first vets run for the year and the location was not far from home. The fact that it was in an area that a lot of my past training runs have been done was also an incentive. And also to catch up with people I hadn’t seen for a while, at least since Christmas.

It was another humid morning. I drove past lots of debris on roads around home, as a result of a severe thunderstorm that hit last night; Belconnen and Gunghalin being the worst affected areas. We were fortunate – none of our trees had come done and there were no branches strewn across our yard but I couldn’t say the same for the rest of the street or the surrounding streets in our neighbourhood. It looked like a war zone. However I couldn’t see any houses that had been damaged.

The run itself was 3km out and back, for a total of 6km, along trails which in itself was a problem for me. The ground was very uneven in parts and there were several times when I landed awkwardly; this was not helping my back. There were twinges at about the 3.5km mark but they did go away – I did briefly, however, have visions of a slow walk back to the start. But overall the run was a slow plod and everyone who started in the groups behind me soon passed me. There was a time when I was coming last. In fact, I thought that today would be the first time I would actually finish last but no, I did pass some people not too far from the finish.

Not one of my greatest runs but I was out there giving it a shot. 🙂

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Step by step by step by…….

26 Jan

There were lots of steps this morning on my way to 32km. It was humid to start with, at 6.30am when I started my three hour slog, or plod. Then when the sun came out from behind the cloud cover, it was hot. Not the greatest conditions for running…..well, not for me, anyway. I know there are others who revel in this weather but I prefer it a little cooler, for running anyway.

I can’t say I was brimming with energy when I started either. I’m not sure why – whether it wasn’t enough sleep as it had been a warm night, or just the end of a stressful week. All I was hoping was that somewhere along the way I’d find my pace which would make the run a bit easier. To start tired on a 32km run was not a good sign!

My last long run (30km) was 2 weeks ago and resulted in me experiencing back spasms the following day which meant no running for a week. I really didn’t need this to happen again so was conscious of listening for any signals from my body. Fortunately, on the run, apart from the tiredness, there were no other problems.

Near the end of my lake run, before heading off on the cycle path through Melba and then Florey, I was beginning to smell sausages – lots of family groups were setting up for Australia Day barbecues. Can’t say that the smell of barbecued sausages is terribly appealing at the 25k mark of a long run!

Amazingly I seemed to get a second wind for the last 7km home – well the last 6km anyway (the last km was pretty awful!). And finally 32km was done…thank god.

I’ve been stretching on and off all day and not spending a lot of time sitting. Hopefully my back will be fine tomorrow morning as I hope to get to the 6km Vets run at the Aranda bushland course, not too far from home.

Tonight we’ve been experiencing strong winds, rain and thunderstorms. It’s starting to settle now – well the wind anyway. There’s still plenty of thunder & lightning.

“Whatever you find hardest to do, do with all your heart.” – Dalai Lama


R & R

25 Jan

Rest and recovery; there was no recreation involved. Another day of work but at least I started the day well with brekkie with the lovely Liz and best buddy Ruth :). How could I not have a great day after such an awesome start?!

I was meant to run 10km this morning which meant an early start….like 4.30am. I opened one eye at that time, looked at the clock, and decided that I would wait for my coffee (which would arrive at 5.20am) and then do a shorter run. But I have to fess up and say that it never happened. I had my coffee and decided to stay put. I was tired.

So some unplanned R&R before my long run tomorrow: 32km.

“Never speak out of anger, Never act out of fear, Never choose from impatience, But wait… and peace will appear.” – Guy Finley


Warp speed

24 Jan

That pretty much describes my day today. I recall getting to work at 8.30am and then suddenly it was 7pm. Where did the day go?! Well, actually, I do know the answer to that question – there was a lot of work involved. 🙂

Had a pleasant 1.5km swim this morning. It’s getting busier in the mornings as more people must be starting back at work. There were times this morning when I had a couple of swimmers right on my tail which can be kinda stressful as I worry that I might be slowing them down. This is how my speed work gets done sometimes – not as a result of any structured training program but because I feel the need to keep up the pace set by other swimmers!

Tomorrow: I’m meeting friends for brekkie at Cream. I’m not sure they realise how much I’m looking forward to this – it will absolutely and most definitely be the highlight of my week. I love my friends. 🙂

“All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller


Are we there yet?

23 Jan

I’ve come to the conclusion that doing tempo runs early in the morning is hard. It’s hard switching from waking up, having a coffee and heading out the door and running at a reasonably brisk pace all in the space of about half an hour. Which is what I did this morning. Awake at 5.30am and out the door at 6am for a 10km tempo run. There was a 2km warm up and 1km cool down, for a total of 13km.

And there were many times especially in the last few kms where I was thinking, are we there yet? Check my watch. No, keep going. Are we there yet? Check the watch. No, don’t slow down. Are we there yet? Check the watch. No, another km to go. I’d be briefly distracted by other thoughts but then I’d come back to that same old question – are we there yet?!

All things do come to an end and so did my run. Thankfully. I wasn’t sure how much longer I could keep up the pace. Reassuringly I did negative split the tempo portion so no wonder I was feeling tired!

“Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero


A frazzle pop day

22 Jan

Some days it seems like everyone wants a piece of me, all at the same time. Or they want everything, like, yesterday. And don’t get me started on the number of emails that start with “apologies for the short deadline but….”

A frazzle pop kind of day.

And today was one of those days. As the temperature was building outside, my stress levels were building…inside. Several emails, all purporting to be urgent…high priority…must be dealt with now…can’t wait. What to do? An imminent case of frazzling before the inevitable pop. What else could I do but…make myself a green tea, sit back…and breathe. Then calmly decide what to tackle, what to delegate. After all, there’s no use getting my knickers in a twist. 🙂

Went for a swim this morning – 1.5km. At least if I can do some exercise before work then it’s one thing I can cross off as ‘done’ for the day.

“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.” – Bernard-Paul Heroux