Blackmores Sydney Marathon 2010

Blackmores Sydney Marathon 2010
Blackmores Sydney Marathon 2010

About Me

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Mittagong, NSW, Australia
Have been a keen runner for more than 40 years; member of ACT Veterans Club. Ran my first of 11 marathons in 2000 and the NYC Marathon in 2005 where I carried the Australian flag at the "Friendship Run" (photo at left). Have Australian Age Category Records for two 50km Ultra Marathon events, a half marathon and 5000m track race; ACT record for 1 mile. Born in 1929 (!), I lived in Sydney with my husband, Jim, until we moved to the Southern Highlands in 1995....Jim passed away in 2011 after 45 years together, during which time we travelled extensively and made NYC our favourite destination at Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

On the Road Again!


Not on the road at all really.......a very wet day so off to the gym where I did 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer programmed for X-Training. This was good - all soreness gone from legs......surprise! surprise!
Same again tomorrow if wet; maybe something on the track Friday; rest Saturday & medium long run Sunday.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Six Foot Track - The Slower Version!

Nothing, absolutely nothing could have prepared me for this day! It was without any doubt at all, the most demanding, most difficult and at the same time, most beautiful & rewarding run I've experienced in 25 years of running. I have no words to describe adequately my emotions & feelings about it, so most of it will remain locked away somewhere , whevever great memories & emotions of special days & very special people lie hidden, waiting to be recalled, looked at & thought about for years to come. I am in total awe of those who can actually race this course & I aim to see it happen in March 2006, as a spectator!


I must say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to Wildthing & husband Mr WT, without whom none of us would have made it to the finish : their support with food, water especially, which we'd run out of (bad!), tins of creamed rice (very good!), Smith's Chips (very, very good : stuffing them into my mouth; salt saving my life!), encouragement at each meeting place, hours of waiting by Mr WT for us to finish, the long drive getting us all back to our Katoomba motel & for them, home to Sydney; for making my dream of running 6ft track come true : Wombatface, FlashDuck, Peter; and for joining us for part of the way : Horrie, Belinda & Chonky. I'm sure their blogs will give all the tehnical details far better than I, so I won't try here!

I'll never know why, but I started the day with a huge English style breakfast : sausage, bacon, omlette, grilled tomato & mushrooms, french toast; everything I could load onto the plate , everything I had never eaten before & this for someone who usually doesn't eat anything before a long run & who knows never, ever to try anything new on 'the day'!


Special moments, sights & sounds I recall & mention briefly here : a wet, misty, slippery, but beautiful start down the hundreds of steps through the rainforest to Nellies Glen; down (everything's 'down' at this stage!) the track to Megalong Valley; listening to the exquisite sound of bell birds singing all round us as the track opened out; the rain stopping & the sun shining through for our long run through open grassland where a herd of about 20 cows with a couple of calves stopped chewing & just stood watching in dumb amazement as we ran past! Much later in the day, the startling blue colour of the aptly named Blue Mountains; the sound of thunder & the lightning that lit up the dark evening sky as another storm approached. No words are fit to describe the beauty of the country we ran through..... the streams, waterfalls, towering cliffs & bottomless valleys, forests filled with birdsong and, the best of all possible things in the best of all possible countries ....stillness & silence!


While Ewen, Peter & Belinda detoured to experience walking across & back on the terrifying Suspension Bridge, Horrie ran ahead with FD & I continued on down to Cox's River, which struck me as being an impassable, raging torrent! FD had already got across & after a futile attempt clambering onto some boulders, Horrie & I said : to hell with this & just stepped into the fast moving, nearly waist high water & walked across! Little did I know that there would be 3 more creeks where we would all do exactly the same thing & enjoy the wondrous feeling of cold water on hot tired feet; I would have given anything each time, to have sat down in it & stayed there! And so said all of us!

I think from here on my memory has deliberately decided to be vague! I thought I knew what hills were; I thought I ran them just about every day; I thought the steepest hill I would ever run was the one coming up Range Road from Glenquarry; I thought, that even if I was incorrect about all of these things, that hills did eventually come to an end; wrong, wrong, wrong & wrong again! They were brutal, almost vertical, rock-strewn, wet, slippery clay & with long sections of single file goat track up & down, on & on, & where one false step could send a person over the edge. It was like this all the way to Mini Mini & the Pluviometer & thence onwards to the Deviation!! I recall a long distance where Ewen had hold of my hand the whole time & at another time was even pushing me onwards & upwards! FD carrying my now empty Fuel Belt to lighten my load! ......(even though we'd filled our water bottles at the tank at Cox's River, we'd just about used it all up & were 'hanging out' to get to Mr WT's Pajero!); I remember seeing 2 red-belly black snakes slithering silently out of our way off the track; & somewhere along this section I can most definitely recall having a very bad patch & having to sit down under a tree & shedding a few tears of exhaustion &........ the first thoughts creeping in of DNF!

There was more to come! Struggling with this freakish uphill terrain I started to feel stomach cramps (big Enlish breaky on the way up!)....sick! sick! sick! until finally, with FD beside me, I sat down & said: "I'm finished! I can't go any further" & I knew for the very first time what it's like to have to think seriously about the probability of pulling out; it was like some terrible shock : "I'm not going to make the finish! After all this waiting & preparation & so many people giving up their weekend to be with me." I couldn't believe it might happen & never felt so certain that it would.

I even began to anticipate & relish the thought of someone coming by, picking me up, driving me back & putting me down on a lovely soft cool bed & leaving me to die peacefully in my sleep! Instead of this romantic idea happening, I came up with another idea : a most thunderous & glorious vomit of every morsel of my hearty English breakfast!! Poor FD......she was sympathetic but speechless! Understandable! But for me, after 3 mighty heaves, it felt like a bright new day was dawning!

Happily ever after, I came good & was ready on my feet, walking, again uphill until the WTs (alerted by Ewen & Peter, I think) drove the Pajero up the worst & narrowest section of the Pluvio track/large rocks, brought water (I'll never know what stopped me from crawling into the Pajero & saying good-bye to everyone, but I didn't!), turned the car round (how did he do that without going off the edge?) & waited for us to arrive at the designated lunch area. Here, whilst the others ate, I stretched out on the back seat of the car, had my pulse taken by papamedic WT (God bless her forever!); I expected the pulse rate to show I was clearly about to die; instead it showed that I was in perfect health! So no excuse for stopping! WT saw that I drank small amounts of water regularly, ate some vanilla flavoured creamed rice ( good stuff after you've just thrown up everything else) & then up & start to walk/jog again! From there, I felt a whole lot healthier, being minus the breakfast I shouldn't have had when I'm not having a breakfast! With WT running with us now, we waved another of many good-byes to the Pajero & Mr WT who would drive off & wait further ahead to give WT a drink (saving her carrying anything), fill our bottles if we needed it & hand out packets of salted crisps - manna from heaven!

From the Deviation right to the finish I jogged/walked, jogged more than I thought I'd be capable off, felt excited most of the time, tired some of the time & sometimes terrified of the descent - I love this section though, just as I did from the start to Nellies Glen - even though again it was extremely tricky & narrow : slippery, so easy to fall & end up at the bottom of the valley, seemingly endless rock strewn path along single file sections; but I was safe with Ewen in front & Peter at the back of me!! And I knew the finish was coming closer; it would happen after all! I could 'smell' the finish line & nothing would stop me now as I ran the final steps down to Jenolan Caves House. I had had only one small slip & slide in the mud & one other 'gentle genuflection' earlier in the day, but nothing more than that the entire distance.

To have finished 6ft Track at all, and in a running/lots of walking time of 8 hours 13 minutes, I still can't believe! The fact that I can barely walk today, such is the soreness of my quads & glutes especially, doesn't matter at all!

Because....... there we were, standing together on the last step into Jenolan Caves while Mr WT took a photo & then........ we just quietly walked to the finish together : Ewen, FlashDuck, Peter, Wildthing & Chickybabe who, because of the selflessness & generosity of just a few Cool Runners, reached for the stars & was able to touch one.

Not yet "down to earth"!

It will be some days before I'll be able to muster some thoughts on 6FTTSV....I haven't come "down from the mountains" as yet!!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Ready to Reach for The Skies!


....and the clouds are full of rain! Rain falling all night & still falling now, just 2 hours before Flash Duck & Peter call for me on their way to Katoomba. Wombatface arriving towards evening; Wildthingrunning & Mr Wildthing will be there around 7:00p.m., so we'll meet up for a 7:30p.m. meal, for which FD & I will make a reservation when we arrive. Final plans for tomorrow's 6ft track will be the major point of discussion I guess!

It looks like a wet day for tomorrow; creeks will be high I suppose - they are around Mittagong & its outskirts; I'm thinking of taking a snorkel & flippers & possibly a wet-suit!! I'm wondering what it'll be like to run this course in the rain!!! Thunderstorms are forecast for the afternoon! I'm getting a bit nervous, but whatever it's like I will go the distance, baring some terrible mishap along the way! May the force (of all Cool Runners) be with us!

Full report early next week.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Intervals/Pace Session


Todays Session : 20 minutes warm-up + 4x100m strides.
10 minutes walking & stretching.

Then........4x lane 7 @ 2:30 - 2:50 pace & 5 minutes between each lap

Results.... 2:12.1 (expecting a penalty for this!)
2:27.2
2:26.5
2:24.3

20 minutes warm-down + stretching.

A very, very cool start at 1:45 p.m. at Chev. track (19 degrees max. today)...crazy temperature changes from last week; wonderful if Saturday could be like today! This was a very comfortably paced session, except for going out too fast on the first lap......again!


From Ewen :

"My report... You were much too fast in the first one - 4:56 per km pace! If you start out like that in the SFTSV you'll conk out at Cox's River. The others were good, if a little fast. You said they were comfortable so that's good."

That's good enough for.......



......Chickybabe!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


....................................................and another one!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sunday, November 20, 2005

This Week's Programme

21st - REST DAY.
22nd - Easy Gym...or walk if you like. ( REST
DAY IS O.K.)
23rd - TIME TRIAL : 4x445m. Don't run too hard! About 2:45-2:50 for
each with 5 minutes recovery.
24th - REST DAY.
25th - 3km easy.....leave for Katoomba.
26th - SIX FOOT TRACK - THE SLOWER VERSION! 45km EASY......
27th - Home again!

Long Run/Walk

A late change from long run to long run/walk...26km, fast walking the last 9km as preparation for lots of walking next Saturday & that extended the total time to 3 hours 40 minutes! Walking all those hills was enjoyable on such a wonderful morning & finished much fresher than usual.

If only we can have a similar day next Saturday! Heavy fog, mist & cold in the Highlands this morning, after 28 degrees yesterday! Nothing visible in the valleys from Range Road, but the best sort of day for a lengthy time on feet session.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Medium Long Run


Scheduled 8km, but did 16km easy jogging, fast walking hills - good practice for 6Ft Track in 8 days time! Left at 1:00 p.m. the latest I can remember setting out; a bit too warm at that time of day; pleasant breeze though. Returned to a favourite dirt road through bush where I've not run for some months......totally quiet & beautiful. Met a 'talking' galah that flew down & trotted along beside me...true!! Amongst the gibberish, it was saying, "Scratch me!" "Scratch Me!" Hopped onto my hand, lifted its wing for a scratch & then bit the tip of my finger!! Must have been tame & had gone AWL! As I took off up the hill, I could still hear it talking as it strutted around on the ground....I hope it went back home.

Rest tomorrow, run long on Sunday.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Time Trial


5 Laps of Lane 7.....FAST!






20 minutes warm-up + 4x100m strides.
10 minutes strutting & stretching!

Then off for 5 laps.......2:38; 2:35; 2:33; 2:31; 2:19.

10 minutes cool-down, (should be 20, so I'll lose points here! An appointment with the hairdresser will not do as an excuse for cutting short the time, but I'll give it a go!)

The weather : just about perfect for this session : very cool, misty rain, but a fairly strong headwind....you'd think it had to be a tailwind at some stage if you're running round in circles, but it seemed to be always in my face!

The Report Card will let me know if these were fast enough; the last lap was hard & out of breath at the finish; the others... average I suppose. CB is very much enjoying these track sessions, especially as there's no one else around! Recovery from these sessions is so quick that, very soon afterwards, I'm nearly always left with the feeling that I should have run faster/worked harder than I did!!

REPORT CARD ..........

Preparation: 9/10 - good physical and mental preparation.
Motivation: 9/10 - motivated to finish in time for hairdresser appointment.
Execution: 9/10 - the session was almost to perfection.
Performance: 8.5/10 - could probably have run a little quicker in early laps.
Neatness: 9/10 - very neat excuse for finishing early. Better than 'dog eating homework'.

w

WHOOPEE!!!! Chickybabe very happy with that!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Taking a Rest Day

Nil running today; after yesterday's FG 10km, I have a nasty blister at the base of a big toe & it doesn't want to be walked on yet!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The Week Ahead....


14 - Rest.....5km easy.
15 - Rest....4 or 6km easy.
16 - TIME TRIAL 3km Fast...................................................FAST!!!!!!!!!
17 - Rest....4km.
18 - 8km very easy incl walk breaks if needed.
19 - REST!
20 - LONG RUN 26km incl. walk breaks if needed.

Fisher's Ghost 10km

Curve shows that during this run my Max. HR=160bpm= 95%; Avg. HR = 139bpm= 83% (Robert Song will pick up any errors in this curve!)

No, Not a PB! I tried really hard & did the best I could and I did take off almost 1 minute from last year's time for Fisher's Ghost 10km...67:21 to 66:30 today; so "Canberra Times" 64:45 remains the fastest 10km for this year. Lordie, Fisher's Ghost run is a hard & hilly course! I saw just 1 CR cap all morning, but there was no missing the billions of huge flies that descended after crossing the finish line....fairly swooped me up into the presentation area without having to take the steps! First in age-category ..... happily, I wasn't the only one in it!

Splits : 7:04; 6:39; 6:43; 6:39; 6:39; 6:58; 6:47; 6:33; 6:36; 5:48. (Haven't worked out yet if it's a negative or positive split!).

I think that's the last race for 2005; happy to look back & see that each one has been faster, from 1 minute (today) to 7 minutes (Fitzroy Falls) than the same races last year...I must be doing something right & that's due to having some very patient, & overly generous with time, coaching (Ewen, do you hear me?) for several months!

What's still to do? The biggest challenge of them all! "Six Foot Track - the Slower Version", Saturday, 26th November.....13 days to go!


Chickybabe looking back at 2005!

Friday, November 11, 2005

A Very Short Run

6-8km was in the programme, but I only did 4km...... felt tired & lacking energy ( the after-effects of a hot, hard session on Wednesday, I think), so I decided not to go any further; better to be more rested for Sunday's Fisher's Ghost 10km, which I'm glad wasn't on this morning!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rest Day

I'm feeling very tired today, a bit exhausted actually....hot & humid yesterday & during the night (slept badly as a result) & the same again today, though storms are predicted for later today. I'd have a nap this arvo except I have HSC supervision at Chev....hope I can stay awake!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Intervals/Pace Session


At Chev. track 11:00 a.m.; already very hot; forecast 27 degrees top, but I think it reached higher than that; terribly humid on the wet oval after recent heavy rains. I should start earlier, but can't get myself out of bed!

The session was about pacing each lap according to set times. Right, Ewen??

This was the program -


20 minutes warm-up....
10 minutes stretching, walking around etc. (did this 30mins. as directed!)

Set 1 ..3x445m (lane 7), given times for each lap, with 2:30 intervals - 10 minutes rest.

Set 2... the same again.

20 minutes cool-down.

and this is what actually happened......

Set 1. Lap times were to be........ 2:40; 2:35; 2:30.
My times were ..........................2:45.0; 2:13.0; 2:25.1

Set 2. Lap times were to be.........2:25; 2:20; 2:15.
My times were...........................2:25.8; 2:13.0; 2:14.5.

I did 15 minutes cool down + 5 minutes in the shade leaning against a tree & looking into space!

TO SUM UP: Very hot & humid conditions! The running itself wasn't difficult, but trying to get 'Pace' correct is another thing! I can see by the lap times that I react by thinking, "I'd better go fast otherwise I won't get to the finish in the set time!" In other words, starting out too fast on some of the laps. Oh well, I'll see what my Report Card says later tonight.

A very challenging session - running at a given pace is not easy to do!! Downloaded all data to the Polar software & it, at least, looks really, really impressive!!!

...and here is the long-awaited Report Card :- (Never thought I'd be told I was way too fast!! Won't be long now till CB runs out of sight!)


Report Card

Preparation: 9/10 - you probably should have started earlier as it was a hot day.
Motivation: 10/10 - obviously very motivated to do a hard track session on such a day.
Execution: 7/10 - didn't achieve the suggested pacing - way too fast in some reps.
Performance: 8.5/10 - a good interval session if erratic.
Neatness: 10/10 - full marks for using discretion to cut warm-down on such a hot day.

w

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

An 'Easy' Run

The fog is so thick here today, (just starting to lift now at mid-day) so the gym seemed a safer place than running on the road. Treadmill for 6km then 4 x 100m strides.

If tomorrow morning is the same, there'll be trouble finding the oval at Chev. let alone the track and markings. Could even bump into myself coming round the other way!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Long Run - 26km



24km on the program became 26km, walking for 1 minute after each km, this took me 3hours 25 minutes!! Left early (for me) 8:00a.m., a banana & coffee first; cool, overcast & mist still hovering over the tops of the trees. Totally quiet & alone this morning - just me & the cows!.

At 12km I decided I'd go 1km further, mainly to see if last year's blob of white paint was still on the road at 13kms....it was! Then the long haul back up the Pass - I always take a GU with me but haven't used one in months, but this morning at 18km I decided I need a kick before tackling any more steep hills. I'm sure it made a difference - I almost sped along the last 3km & had to put on the brakes as I came towards the car! The graph shows altitude, HR & Pace Curves on out & back course... (I'll have to get calibration right for the foot pod...distance shows 23.9km & should read 26km.)

Home at 11:30a.m. for a hot shower, then breakfast of the usual Uncle Toby's & muffin with honey. And now for the week ahead....

This Week's Programme : Strewth! It's a big week!!

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday - 6km easy with 4x100m strides at the end.
WEDNESDAY - Intervals (Chev. Track) - 6x445m (Lane 7)

20 minutes warm-up -

2 Sets - (1) 3x445m with 2:30 rest between each.
Try for - 2:40; 2:35; 2:30.

10 minutes full rest.

(2) 3x445m with 2:30 rest between each.
Try for - 2:25; 2:20; 2:15.

20 minutes cool-down.

Thursday - Rest Day.
Friday - 5-6km easy.
Saturday - Rest Day.
SUNDAY - FISHER'S GHOST 10KM ......... Last race for 2005.
.......Chickybabe trying for a 2005, 10km PB!
.......will have to improve on 65:45 "Canberra Times", 10km.
............................................68:23 (7 min. course PB) Fitzroy Falls, 10km.
............................................67:21 Fisher's Ghost 2004.





Saturday, November 05, 2005


....................... ....a wet rest day!

Friday, November 04, 2005

10km Run


I took a Rest Day yesterday...no motivation to run! Hot, humid day. Today much cooler, so I made up for it by doing an 'easy' 10km.

I'm getting the hang of this Polar software at last..entirely due to CR Robert Song with whom e-mails have been flying back & forth over the last few days! He's given me such clear directions of what to click on, what to click off, go to 'Options', 'Curve Properties', 'Error Correction', 'Hardware', 'Person Properties', 'HR Zones' ..& a million other things & places I'd never have known about; wonderfully generous with time & patience! Thank you so much, Graham!

I told him today that, until I got this software, I used be looking forward to reading the information from the watch....now I just can't wait to get back & start downloading & studying all the information on the HR curve, the graphs, etc. I was thinking about it all the time I was running this morning....what will the HR curve show? What colours will I choose for various charts? Pace & Lap from the turn-around should be interesting.....etc. etc...thinking! thinking! It's simply amazing & I knew I'd be hooked for sure!

Rest Day tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Day at the Track.....today.


...not Flemington yesterday!

After finishing the morning HSC supervision at Chev., all I had to do was walk down to the track; very nice having an entire track to oneself every Wednesday!

I took Ewen's second option because (1) I couldn't find enough of the original white distance markings to do 1500m and (2) the 2nd option was something I'd not done before., which was:-

20 minutes warm-up with 4x100m strides, stretches, walk around for 10 minutes.
3x 890m (890m = 2 full laps in Lane 7), with 10 minutes rest between each set.
Advised Pace : 5:30mins. for each 890m.
20 minutes warm-down with some stretches.

After so much rain over the last 3 days, it was terribly hot & humid when I started at 1:00pm . The wet grass had not been mowed, so a few dabs of white paint were needed (!) & the ground was quite soggy on the outer edges. I thought this a fairly hard session, especially towards the finish of each 890m when I would be completely out of breath; legs not tired at all, just hot & breathless at the completion of each 890m.

I let the monitor run for the entire time (1hour 25mins.), timing laps etc., & downloaded all data from the Polar monitor to the computer & now have an amazing collection of graphs, charts etc as proof of what happens during such an exercise! Fascinating stuff! The heart rate curve has giant spires reaching for the sky & then plummeting down to earth again! I have a lot to learn yet about this software - hours of fun!

I love the sort of training I'm doing right now, with Ewen at the helm & I quite enjoyed this session in spite of the heat, probably because it's over & done with fairly quickly & no pain later!! If I get a Report Card, I'll put it in here later.

Times for 3x890m laps are:- 2:25+2:33 = 4:58; 2:36+2:37 = 5:13; 2:34+2:30 = 5:04

Report Card in!

Report Card

1) Comprehension 9/10
2) Interpretation 8/10
3) Feedback 9/10
4) Speed 8.5/10

w

(I was marked down in "Speed", I think because I ran too fast!! Imagine anyone telling me that!!!! One clear day, sooner rather than later, Chickybabe just might run out of sight on a dark night!)