Archive | February, 2013

Before the rain

28 Feb

Session: run

Distance: 11.2km
Time: 66.47min
Av pace: 5.55min/km
Cals: 660

am) Another muggy night. I almost expect to see palm trees out in the front yard. It was around 20 degrees Celsius and 96% humidity at 6am when I ventured out for my run.

I had originally planned on running at lunchtime but there was a severe weather warning in place for the ACT with the possibility of heavy rain leading to flash flooding. Running early seemed the best way to go and also a guarantee of getting my run in for the day. As it was I still ran out of time and had to cut my run short, 11.2km instead of 14km.

“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” – Amelia Barr

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Rest days are under-rated

27 Feb

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Some days you just know that you’re better off not getting up and running (or going to the gym, or swimming, or whatever floats your boat exercise-wise). Those days become unscheduled rest days and today was one of those days. Blame it on post-dental blues or mid-week blues or I’m-so-sick-of-this-muggy-weather blues but I heeded the message and stayed in bed a little longer, then caught up with Ruth for brekkie at Two Before Ten cafe.

A much better way to start the day!

Random observation: have you noticed that at cafes these days you don’t get mashed but smashed avocado?!

Then later I had a great lunch catch-up with RN before she returns to work next week (woohoo!).

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” – Calvin & Hobbes

D day

26 Feb

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There is nothing like starting the day in the dentist chair – having drills and needles and god knows what other instruments of torture poking around in one’s mouth. Today was D Day aka my dental appointment.

I’ll put it out there now – I don’t like dentists. My dentist doesn’t take this personally – as a person, he’s great; it’s his occupation and what it usually entails that I have a problem with. Unfortunately visiting the dentist is a necessary evil and always entails pain to both the face (jaw/gum) and wallet. Today was no different. Two shots of local anaesthetic, extensive numbing (from eye to jaw) and its associated effects for the next 6 hours, and a very sore jaw once the numbness wore off.

So no running this afternoon. 😦

“Some tortures are physical and some are mental; but the one that is both is dental.” – Ogden Nash

Round and round the gardens

25 Feb

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Session: SG session @ Parliament House – relays
Total distance: 14.7km
Total time: 1hr 37.24min
Pace: 6.36min/km (includes some standing around)
Cals: 856

Foggy and overcast in the morning, sunny, muggy and hot in the afternoon – the after effects of the rain we had over the weekend. I didn’t realise how hot it was until I ventured outside this afternoon. It’s not what I’d call great running weather – I prefer it to be a tad cooler.

After my regular weekly visit to my trusty physio to have the hip joint released by applied traction and then put through its full range of motion, followed by further taping of particular muscles, I headed off to Parliament House carpark, to get ready for this afternoon’s SG session.

Ruth and I managed a 5km warm up before the session started. Today we were doing repeats of a 550m loop in teams of 3 – alternating hard and easy repeats, round and round the gardens, for 30mins. Fortunately it was done in the shade so it wasn’t as hot or hard as last weeks intervals session. Even so I was glad when that whistle sounded. The hardest part of the session was doing a cool down after hanging around chatting – I would prefer to do the cool down session closer to completing the main session. It’s so hard to get going again – the legs feel like lead weights.

I am feeling tired after my third consecutive day of hard running, whether it be a long run or an event, or both combined. Tomorrow I have the Summer Series 5km run at Lake Ginninderra plus a warm up/cool down to finish with a total of 14km for the day. I can guarantee it won’t be run at a blistering pace! 🙂

But for now, I am dragging this tired body off to bed for a well earned sleep.

“When the world says give up, hope whispers try it one more time.” – anonymous

Like a bat out of hell?

24 Feb

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(Before the start of yesterday’s Gindy parkrun – photo credit: Gary Bowen)

Session: run inc Vets monthly run @ Curtin
Total distance: 12.3k (inc 6.3km Curtin run)
Total time: 67.21min
Av pace: 5.29min/km
Cals: 717

Like a bat out of hell? …..umm, I don’t think so! This song was playing as I was heading up ‘that’ hill in the early part of this morning’s monthly Vets run in Curtin. There was no going “like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone when the morning comes” but rather my pace resembled that of a herd of turtles. In my defence I had run 26km the day before and 6km before the start of this run but even so……

The plan had been to run from home to the start of the event, a distance of around 15km, then run the 6.3km. However at 7am, when I had planned on leaving home, the rain was bucketing down. So Plan B was put into action: drive to the start early and do a longer warm up. Which is what I did.

And who should park behind me not long after I arrived – Ruth! Same time, same place is definitely working for us lately!

The warm up ended up being 6km along the last half of the run course along the cycle path avoiding the rather large puddles that had formed. The storm water drain was flowing really fast as the water level was rising and, in fact, the course had to be diverted to a road crossing at one point because the water level had risen over the path.

I started in group 29 (I was in group 30 last month) with several other people who took off at the start like startled rabbits, leaving me to plod along behind them! Then we hit the hill. Janene, I take back everything I said about it being the best way to run this course! Until you actually have to run the hill it all sounds so…..easy…really. Not so. I’m out of practice when it comes to hills and so it doesn’t take much of one to wreak its havoc on me. Even Bat Out of Hell couldn’t help at this point. However all things must come to an end, even hills, and there was a downhill stretch which was greatly appreciated before we were back on cycle paths. The remainder of the run was uneventful and eventually I crossed the line. I have no idea of my time for the 6.3km as I have the combined time for both runs recorded on the Garmin.

It was good to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in a long time such as Peter, BW and JD, as well as those I see more often such as Mr B, Ruth, Margaret, Janene, CB, Gary and of course, Steve! Even better, we headed off for coffee at Curtin shops – nothing like sitting outside on milk crates (tho I’m sure I have a grid pattern permanently imprinted on my butt), chatting and drinking decent coffee. This is why I run 🙂

Week’s totals:
Running – 78.5k YTD: 438km
Swimming – 1.5km YTD: 15.3km

“The race does not always go to the swift, but to the ones who keep running.” – anonymous

Today’s recipe

23 Feb

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Recipe: 26km long run

Ingredients:
A damp morning, no wind (that I can recall)
A course taking in Lake G through Florey and returning via Mackellar and Melba
Garmin, iPod, drink bottle & holder, parkrun barcode
A runner that is raring to go (?!)
a 5km parkrun

Method:
Start Garmin and iPod and start running!

The first 5.5km would take me to the start point of the parkrun but I would run a but further as I had given myself time to do this. And the more distance I could do before the parkrun meant less I had to run after. The weather at this stage was miserable – steady drizzle that looked like it had settled in for the day. I arrived at the start of parkrun at the same time as Ruth, who also ran from home in the opposite direction to me. I continued on for another 1.5km, giving me a total of 7km before the run. This meant I would still have 14km to run after parkrun. If I say it fast it doesn’t sound too bad 😉

Now to add in to the mix the 5km parkrun. The rain which had looked like it had settled in had stopped. Now it was a pleasantly cool morning. Lots of puddles to avoid, or not, on the course. It was great to catch up with fellow parkrunners Gary, Margaret and George. I settled into a comfortable pace, which didn’t take long given I had definitely warmed up beforehand! I wasn’t running for speed or PBs this morning, knowing I still had more running to do after the 5km and so I was about 52sec slower than last week.

Now for the final addition to the recipe – a 14km run to take me home and to a greatly anticipated post-run smoothie! Surprisingly (well to me anyway) I was running well and wasn’t feeling tired from the 5km. There was a quick stop on the way at a particular toilet block that harbours huntsman spiders galore. And true to form, there was a huntsman spider on the wall as I warily walked in. However we both kept our distance so all good. On my way again and who do I see ahead, coming toward me but Mr B out for his morning run. Stop for a brief chat and then I was on my way again.

Finally 26km clicked over, the Garmin buzzed and I could stop. Oh what a good feeling!
A good result – a well mixed long run spiced up with the addition of a 5km parkrun just to keep things interesting.

Session: long run
Distance: 26km (inc 5km parkrun)
Total time: 2hr 27.10min
Av pace: 5.39min/km
Cals: 1508

“For me, like so many others, running is the answer. Out on the road it is just you, the pavement, and your will.” – John Bingham

Hit the snooze button

22 Feb

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Not once…not twice…but three times this morning. This never happens! Normally the light outside our bedroom window wakes me when Mr N leaves for work. Not this morning.

So a rest day was in order methinks.

I’ll be back out on the paths tomorrow, including doing the parkrun.

Oh, and I’ve entered Canberra marathon. There’s no turning back now! 🙂

“The most important day in any running program is rest. Rest days give your muscles time to recover so you can run again. Your muscles build in strength as you rest ” – Hal Higdon

Lift

21 Feb

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Morning session: run

Distance: 14km inc 3 x 7min (3min RI)
Time: 1hr 19min
Av pace: 5.38min/km
Cals: 810

I listen to music while out running. It helps to pass the time, take my mind off how I’m feeling (particularly in the latter stages of runs) and because I find music motivating. I set my iPod to shuffle mode as I enjoy the randomness of song selection. Yet it always surprises me how certain songs pop up at the most appropriate moment. There was a point when I was flagging this morning and starting to get into the dreaded plod mode when Lift by Shannon Noll came on. Perfect! Lift I did and consequently got my second wind to finish off the run strongly.

It was a good run overall. The swim yesterday proved to be a great recovery session and there were no niggles, aches or pains when running this morning. That’s always a bonus! 🙂

“Regardless of what you are or what you have been, you can still become what you may want to be.” – W. Clement Stone

Reach, rotate, pull, finish and repeat

20 Feb

20130220-210642.jpgThis morning: swim

Session: 1.2km time trial (of sorts); 300m kickboard/fins
Time trial: 27.41min
Total distance: 1.5km

I had a plan mapped out for this morning’s swim but all that went out the window when I jumped into the water. Why, I don’t know, but once I had swum the first 300m I decided to continue for as long as I could before some obstruction ie another swimmer and usually someone doing breast stroke, meant I had to stop. What makes it even more surprising was that I was feeling incredibly tired (the first couple of hundred metres were awful – imagine swimming through mud) but around the 300m mark I slipped into comfortable stroke mode and then just concentrated on ‘reach, rotate, pull, finish the stroke and repeat”, a legacy of swim squad days.

Without me even really noticing I had swum 1km and then I made the decision to do another 100m, and then another 100m before stopping. Ok I wasn’t swimming at a blistering pace (I only have one swim speed and that is slow) but I was pretty pleased to keep going at a consistent pace, and pleasantly surprised I could swim that far without having to stop because of other swimmers. Yay!

Had a catchup and coffee with MT at lunchtime at my favourite coffee place (Two Before Ten). I was interested to hear how he went in the 12 hour run last weekend as well as pumping for information and advice on how to cope mentally with long runs – something that is a very real issue for me at the moment. So it was an enjoyable, as well as useful, catch up. 🙂

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

Backing up is hard to do

19 Feb

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Today’s session: Summer Series Barrenjoey Dve 5km

Time/weather: 6.15pm / windy, warm, cloudy, high 20’s
Distance: 5km event (approx 5km warm up/2km cool down – 12km)
Time taken: 26.02min
Av pace: slow warm up, slow 5km run, even slower cool down (that’s about as specific as I can get because someone forgot to turn off their Garmin last night)

I was able to leave work earlier than normal this afternoon (health & safety issues regarding no running water or air conditioning in the building since lunchtime) so I was able to get to the event location with plenty of time to do a 30minute warm up.

My legs felt heavy and I felt sluggish after last night’s session at PH. Gradually I did improve but for today’s 5km event I was not going produce an outstanding time. And come the start of the run, everyone, and I mean everyone, took off down the track leaving me in their dust. Not to worry – this was a training run after all. It was also a case of watching my footing at certain points on the run as there was the potential for so many CJs – mainly because of exposed tree roots. And then there was the windy hill which we had to do twice (I think).

The finish line popped up sooner than I had expected as I had thought I’d have to face windy hill again but it was not the case. Susan flew past me near the finish line but I had nothing more to give. Running hard two days in a row is not so something I’m used to and I was feeling it today.

“The least amount of judging we can do, the better off we are.” – Michael J. Fox