Archive | April, 2013

The last gasp

30 Apr

Never give upoh my golly gosh…what a shock to the system tonight was. I went along to Speedy Geoff’s Tuesday night session at Dickson oval – something I hope will be a regular Tuesday night fixture in my calendar.

It started off really well. Chatting with Kelly, Caroline, Susan and others followed by a gentle warm up jog. Yep, this was okay, I can handle this.

Then, Geoff mentioned ‘relays’. Teams of two to start with (our super awesome team of Susan and me)ย – running 300m, pass the baton to your team member then jog slowly back 100m to wait for your team member to arrive with the baton. And so on. For around 15 minutes. I’ve been training for and running a marathon – I only know one speed – slow. So this was killing me. My lungs were burning, my legs hurt, my heart was pounding and all I could think was, how far 300m is! It really felt like I was going to experience my last gasp! I am so not used to this.

This was followed by teams of three (more awesomeness – we now had Kelly join us) – with each person running 200m before passing the baton. For 15 minutes or so. I’m not sure whether I had become used to my world of pain or whether it was actually easier, but it didn’t seem as bad as the 300m efforts. Mind you, 15 minutes seemed to be taking an awfully long time.

But it did eventually come to an end and then we did another gentle warm down jog. This bit I like. ๐Ÿ™‚

I know its good for me and I need the speed work. Its gotta get better!

I’ll be back!

5.36pm: Speedy Geoff’s Dickson oval session
Distance: around 8km (this is only approximate because there were a couple of occasions I forgot to turn on my watch)
Time: 49.20min (again this includes standing time)
Pace: 6.02min/km (trust me, there were times when I was running a lot faster than this)
Cals: 465
Weather: 18*c, wind – NNW, 15kph; very mild conditions


Eeny meeny miny mo….

29 Apr

Mothers-Day-Classic-1e7zip6I know I said I wasn’t going to do it. In fact I was probably quite emphatic about not doing it. I had planned on a sleep in followed by a leisurely breakfast on Mothers Day. But it kept nagging at me…and nagging…and nagging. And if I decided to do it then I had to make a decision about which team I would be part of – 12WBT, a work team or MamaMoves. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

And then this afternoon I decided that:
a) yes, I would take part, and
b) I would run as part of the MamaMoves team ๐Ÿ™‚

So what is it I am going to do? Why, the Mothers Day Classic 10km of course! It’s for a good cause and I’ll be running in memory of a good friend who passed away from breast cancer at the age of 40. So young.

And how could I resist running with a bunch of good friends. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now to today’s run…..

I briefly thought about running before breakfast this morning; briefly being the operative word! Then I decided that a lunchtime run might be in order, at least it would be warmer at that time of day.

And it was. It was also quite breezy and I had a head wind as I headed down to Lake Burley Griffin and then out past the museum and toward Black Mountain peninsula โ€“ I continued past for about another kilometre or so before turning and heading back the way I came. The return trip was so much easier as I had the wind behind me now. It also felt a lot warmer! I think I enjoy this route more than the bridge to bridge run as there are less crowds of people, as well as less cyclists and walkers. Itโ€™s a nice break to the work day as well.

12.09pm: easy run around LBG to just past Black Mountain peninsula and return
Distance: 10.4km
Time: 57.33min
Pace: 5.30min/km
Cals: 630
Weather: 23.2*c, wind โ€“ WNW, 19kph; overcast but warm


Down at the coast

28 Apr
The boardwalk

The boardwalk

A long weekend at the coast. Beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, great walks, even better food. Unfortunately it didn’t last – three days goes so quickly and before we knew it, we were making that return trip over Brown Mountain back to Canberra.

Had the best fish and chips on Friday night – the best! It was from Hungry’s Takeaway. They cater really well for those who are gluten intolerant. They have a separate frying vat and work area for gluten free fish and chips. My battered flathead was light and crisp and was not in the slightest bit oily or greasy. I believe my fish and chips were even better than the standard fish and chips that Mr N had. And I don’t think the fact that it must be at least 5 years since I’d had fish and chips affected my opinion at all. It was that good!

Saltwater Organics on the boardwalk in town serves delicious fresh, organic and vegetarian snacks and meals. I had a delicious gluten free carrot cake muffin Friday afternoon, after a long walk. And for breakfast on Saturday morning at the same place Mr N had poached eggs on sourdough toast, while I had breakfast trifle – gluten free granola, rhubarb and berry compote with organic natural yoghurt.

Poppy’s Cafe also catered really well in the gluten-free department. I had a gluten-free ham and cheese toastie there for lunch on Saturday, and then for breakfast this morning before we left, I had perfectly scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and a serve of gluten free toast. They even do a really nice cappuccino.

So the weekend away was great while it lasted. I managed to do lots of walking – the boardwalk, the Merimbula-Pambula cycle path, the Djirringanj People’s walk, along the beach, etc. I only took one set of running gear so needed to pick my time when I was going to run and it ended up being this morning, before we left.

6.55am: easy run on Merimbula-Pambula cycle path
Distance: 10.5km
Time: 59.52min
Pace: 5.41min/km
Cals: 608
Weather: 15.5*c, wind – NNW, 11kph; overcast but warm

The run starts off relatively flat but once past the airport there is a gradual and steady incline. I just kept thinking that at least the return trip would be easier! It was lovely running along the tree-shaded path listening to a multitude of bird sounds – there was so much bird life. There was also the occasional other runner plus cyclists. Finally I had arrived at Pambula and it was time to turn and head back to our accommodation. Yes, there was downhill but there was also more uphills than I had expected! There was a runner far off in the distance and I made it my goal to see how close I could get to them before Merimbula. I’m sure I would’ve caught them if they hadn’t turned before reaching Merimbula and was now making tracks back to Pambula! Still the challenge had made me lift my pace and so I continued at this pace for the remainder of the run back to our accommodation.

Pelican sculpture

Pelican sculpture

12WBT Commitment

26 Apr

As you know, I have signed up for the next 12WBT challenge which starts Monday 13 May.
Before that though, there are 8 pre-season tasks to be done and each week 2 of these tasks are unlocked. Pre-season task 4 is Say it out loud. In the past I have not done this task or I’ve only stated it on the 12WBT forums. My thinking has always been that I would do this challenge quietly and if it works, well and good, but if I slip up no-one need know. Hmm, bit of a cop out really. My biggest failing is that I tend to tweak the program, sometimes to the point that it no longer even resembles the program. This is why this time I am telling everyone that I am doing the challenge – family, friends, work colleagues, anyone who will listen! I’m giving my word to sticking to the program which means this time i can’t just talk the talk, I need to walk my talk. ๐Ÿ™‚

Which leads me to…

My Commitment

I will follow the 12WBT program to the letter for 12 weeks. This means no tweaking, no cheating, no slacking, no excuses, no pretending, no justifying why I’m not doing what I should be doing, no analysis paralysis….. This program works but only if I follow it to the letter and walk the talk. No ifs, buts or maybes.

Consistency is key – its the little things you do day in and day out that result in big changes.

Anzac Day run

25 Apr

7.54am: long run
Distance: 21km
Time: 1hr 58.54min
Pace: 5.38min/km
Cals: 1218
Weather: (8am) 3.8*c, wind – NE, 6kph; very chilly
(10am) 11.5*c, wind – WNW, 7kph; a gorgeous sunny morning

After three days of running around 10km, I decided it was time to pick up the distance. Also because we’re going to the coast for the weekend I wasn’t sure whether I’d manage (or want to do) a long run while away, so felt it was better to get it out of the way now. And as it is Anzac Day today, I chose to honour the heroic deeds of Diggers past and present by doing my long run.

It was very chilly this morning. Normally I’d consider it a multi-layer day that included leggings and gloves but because I knew I would warm up I decided to go the minimalist approach. This meant getting out that front door was going to be a challenge, given that I was wearing shorts, singlet and, as a concession to the cold, a long sleeved top. No leggings, gloves or headband. But truth be told, it wasn’t that bad. The sun was up, there was a brilliant blue sky and no breeze to speak of, so it didn’t take long for me to warm up.

The plan was to run along the cycle path that passes Melba playing fields and Mackellar down to the lake (around 7km), then run around the lake (just over 7km) and return home the same way (another 7km). I felt fine for most of the run. One thing I did notice this morning is that everyone I encountered (walkers mostly) never acknowledged my cheery morning greeting nor smiled. What a grumpy lot they were this morning!

About 3km from home the tiredness started. I really wanted to stop running and walk a bit but I refused to give in. My thinking was that if I gave in this time it would make it easier to give in next time, and the next, and…you get the picture. So I slowed down and just focused on the next kilometre, and the next one, and then the final one. You would not believe how long a kilometre can be when all you really want to do is finish!

Finally, I was finished! Pumped because I never gave in but also relieved because now I could stop, after running 21km. I’m glad that’s done ๐Ÿ™‚

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning;
We will remember them.”

Bridge to bridge run

24 Apr

12noon session: easy run
Distance: 9.4km
Time: 50.31min
Pace: 5.20min/km
Cals: 554
Weather: 16.6*c, wind โ€“ NNW, 17kph; sunny, blue skies

I had a really good run today. Iโ€™m glad I decided against another early morning run and instead ran at lunchtime, when it was warmer, with blue skies and sunshine. There was a breeze blowing but it was never a problem while running around the lake. I ran bridge to bridge , starting and finishing at my workplace, just a bit over 9km.

It was great to see so many runners out at lunchtime enjoying the lovely weather. I was also dodging people with prams, little kids on bikes, and groups of walkers who insist on taking up the entire path as they walk and chat and then get disgruntled when you try and politely pass them. But otherwise it was a very pleasant lunchtime run. Passed our Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher who was out running round the lake as well. I wonder if she’s getting some training in for the Mothers Day Classic?

Iโ€™m still amazed at how well Iโ€™ve pulled up since the marathon. I feel like Iโ€™m in better shape than even during the lead up to the marathon โ€“ this I just canโ€™t figure out but touch wood it stays that way! Iโ€™m not complaining!

Tomorrow its Anzac day and then on Friday hey ho, hey ho, itโ€™s off to the coast we go for a couple of days. Can I just say I.canโ€™t.wait!


The layering begins…but no gloves…yet!

23 Apr

5.56am session: easy run
Distance: 10km
Time: 58.37min
Pace: 5.46min/km
Cals: 590
Weather: 4.2*c, wind – W, 6kph; a little chilly

It was another day, another run. To be honest, it wasnโ€™t that painful or hard to get up, get dressed and out the door this morning. It certainly was a lot chillier today โ€“ something that I will have to get used to as we get closer to winter. It was all about layers today โ€“ leggings topped with running knicks, running singlet topped with long sleeved top, headband (aka ear warmers) topped with cap. But I didn’t need to wear gloves…yet! However, once I started running I soon warmed up and there was a point when I pushed up the sleeves on my top as I was getting a little hot and sweaty.

I varied the route slightly this morning so I wasnโ€™t doing an out and back course but instead seemed to take a more circuitous route โ€“ a bit more interesting with some different scenery.

An easy 10km run with no niggles, so allโ€™s good. Touch wood, it stays this way.

Enjoyed a lovely, if somewhat lateish, lunch with 2 good friends, one who had a baby just 7 weeks ago. Can I just say he was absolutely gorgeous but gee, oh so little!


Post-marathon recovery

22 Apr

Itโ€™s been 8 days since I ran the marathon โ€“ 7 days of which I did no running at all. I did manage three walks last week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I had planned on running yesterday but some niggly back pain put paid to that. I felt it was safer to wait another day before going for my first post-marathon run.

So that was why I was out running 10km at 6am this morning in light misty rain. It was a good run โ€“ there were no problems to report and my back remained grumble-free which was a relief. So I guess this means I am now back in training for the half marathon next month. ๐Ÿ™‚

So what else has been happening in the past week? And how was my recovery following the marathon?

Monday โ€“ A day off. I was feeling a little tired and had some minor muscle soreness but otherwise I was feeling okay. I thought I might be experiencing DOMS by now but figured that Tuesday was when it would hit me.

Tuesday โ€“ still no DOMS, and in fact the muscle soreness that I had the day before had disappeared. Went to the new Palace Cinema at Nishi Apartments after work to see Song for Marion, along with a work colleague, Ruth and Mr B โ€“ it was a great movie. And the popcorn is delicious โ€“ they use olive oil which means itโ€™s not so heavy and greasy like normal cinema popcorn, which normally I won’t touch with a ten foot pole.

Wednesday โ€“ wow, the tiredness hit me like a Mack truck today. I hit the 3pm slump at lunchtime โ€“ never a good sign. So it was an early night for me. I also went for a 40 minute walk at lunchtime โ€“ initially hoping it would wake me up but it seemed to add to my weariness later in the day.

Thursday โ€“ I managed a 50 min walk at lunchtime. I was feeling much better today and there was no more tiredness. I also signed up for my next challenge โ€“ the Michelle Bridges 12 WBT challenge which officially kicks off on 13 May. ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday โ€“ another 40 min lunchtime walk today.

Saturday โ€“ I was a volunteer marshall at the Gindy Parkrun so it meant I was standing out in the cold wind early this morning. Still it was worth it to see the effort everyone put into their 5km run. I enjoyed providing encouragement and seeing the smiles (sometimes strained) in return. Ruth was also a marshall, just down the path a bit from me. This was followed by coffee at Birrigai Cafรฉ. And a bit later a well-earned massage โ€“ it was so good. My massage therapist said I had come through the marathon with flying colours โ€“ the best shape Iโ€™ve been in for a very long time. Go figure!

Sunday โ€“ I had planned on going for a run but was experiencing some back niggles (proof that housework is not good for you – Iโ€™m blaming it on cleaning the bathroom!) so decided another day of no running wouldnโ€™t hurt.

And so to todayโ€ฆโ€ฆ

5.59am session: easy run
Distance: 10.3km
Time: 1hr 26sec
Pace: 5.49min/km
Cals: 604
Weather: 8.2*c, wind – N, 9kph; patchy light rain

20130422-205953.jpgphoto taken at the 40km mark of the marathon
– feeling good! (Photo credit: Ewen T)

A hoodoo no more!

14 Apr

7am: Canberra marathon 42.2km
Time: 3hr 50.51min
Pace: 5.28min/km
1st lap (10.5km): 1hr 42sec; 5.46min/km
2nd lap (15.4km): 1hr 22.55; 5.23min/km
3rd lap (16.3km): 1hr 27.13; 5.21min/km
Weather: (7am) 6.9*c, wind – calm; I was freezing before the start!
(9am) 12.4*c, wind – calm; not so cold now – funny that!
(11am) 20.8*c, wind – WSW, 9kph – it was quite warm out there

Well, I feel so much better now! Why? I’ve got that hoodoo off my back. I’ve been trying to do my 9th marathon since 2010 (my last one was in 2009) but injury or returning from injury has hampered me since then. But today….well it was the sweetest victory. I beat that hoodoo and had an awesome run.

Not awesome in time I admit. I’ve run faster marathons. But today it just came together and for the last 10km I had a big smile on my face because I recalled why I love running marathons. I was in my element out there.

I started very slowly but that’s my style. I ran the first 4km with Ruth before slowly increasing my speed, but not too much. I was experiencing tummy problems and wasn’t sure how long I could go before having to search for a toilet. As it was it was at the 12km mark on Parkes Way when I had to make a detour to the toilets. At this stage I had passed the 4hour purple balloons but unfortunately they passed me while I was otherwise occupied. And it seemed to take forever before I caught them again – not long after the Glenloch Interchange turnaround. Once they were behind me I could relax.

Looking at my splits I gradually increased my pace over the distance and negative split. I felt strong and comfortable the further I ran. I kept waiting for the wheels to fall off but it never happened. Tummy problems hit again in the last kilometre and required another dash to toilets once I crossed the finish line.

So I achieved my goals!
Making it to the start line ๐Ÿ™‚
Making it to the finish line ๐Ÿ™‚
Running it under 4 hours ๐Ÿ™‚

Some things I learnt today:
Blackberry Gu is disgusting. I picked one up from an aid station and wished I hadn’t.
Blackberry electrolyte drink isn’t much better.
Fairfax need to cater better with their post-run refreshments – electrolyte drink and a small pile of rock hard pears is pretty pathetic. Where were the bananas? Or at least something edible.

Lunch afterwards at Cream with Nikki and Dave, Ewen and Keren was awesome. A glass of bubbly never goes astray!

Dinner tonight with Ruth, Mr B, Keren, Mr N and other good friends is eagerly anticipated!

20130414-173351.jpgNumber 9….finally!

Three goals

13 Apr

I have three goals for tomorrow’s run.

1. To get to the start line – I think I’ll achieve this one ๐Ÿ™‚
2. To make it to the finish line.
3. To finish within 4 hours.

I’m not aiming high given its been a while since I’ve run a marathon and I’ve been injury-prone for the last 4 years. Also, I’m about 4-5kg heavier than when I last ran one.

Today has been my third day of carb loading so I’m feeling like a fatty boombah about now. Think I might’ve indulged too much in pizza and rice pudding!

Oh well, I have a little run to do tomorrow morning – that should help ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s hoping for lovely weather tomorrow.

Good luck to everyone running the half, full or ultra marathon tomorrow.

20130413-194958.jpgA sunny afternoon