Sunday, August 30, 2009

Surprise! Surprise!

After my run, and while I'm showering, who should arrive at the front door but Cool Runners Ruth and Ewen laden with birthday cakes, cards & presents!! And all the way from Canberra! Oh My God! I've never, never, ever been so taken by such surprise and I'm still reeling tonight!

From the shower I could hear unfamiliar laughter & couldn't for the life of me work out who it might be....but there they were with the kitchen bench spread with goodies. I have to mention how this all came about : some time ago I saw on Ruth's blog a photo of what she had made for her grandaughter's birthday. Jokingly, I left a comment saying I wanted one too for my birthday....and I GOT IT TODAY! And a week early to boot! From Ewen I now have "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" by Haruki Murakami; this I've wanted to get hold of for some time.

Could anyone wish for kinder friends than this? When I think of all the work that went into the making of all those little cakes, not to mention the big 'mumma' ladybird in the centre - thank goodness you didn't try for 80! - then the drive from Canberra....I'm gobsmacked! I think I'll stay overwhelmed for a full week, right up till the actual day I become an octogenerian. Thank God I don't in the least feel one little bit like one though!

But for the run now, even though it feels so insignificant compared to what took place after!

Ran 20km today ...10 out & 10 back along Old South Road.
Course: hilly & with long inclines.

Weather: Horrible! Windy & Cold. On the return I was forced to walk as the wind just blew me backwards!

Time 2 hours 39 minutes.
AHR 119 (75%); MHR 128 (81%).

Distance today 20km
Distance this week 59km.

Ruth.....4 more little lady bird cakes gone!! Super delicious!

Ewen.... the significance of the number 43 on the front of the card was not overlooked!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I Could Have Run Better.....

...I'd like to think it was because I couldn't use the track at Chev today...athletics carnival on when I drove in.....on MY track!

I drove further through the grounds so as to use one of their soccer fields in Meadow One...the best solution I could think of rather than drive home & return tomorrow. Tomorrow, I want to take a rest day as I haven't had one this week & then run long on Sunday.

So....I didn't run as well as other 3 weekly Friday sessions; didn't get heart rate up & took longer to complete the 5km. On July 31 my time was 30:43 & AHR 136 (86%); MHR 142 (89%).

Today: 2km warm-up; drills & a couple of strides.
Time 33:23
AHR 125 (79%); MHR 135 (85%)

I did my best & anyhow, at last all the lanes will be marked next time I'm at Chev, not just lane 7.

Distance Today = 7km

Thursday, August 27, 2009

All Roads Don't Lead to Rome!

....because my 'road' this morning led to a cattle water trough!

I had 6km to run & being such a beauty of a day again with no wind, I decided to follow the well trodden cattle tracks in the paddocks & do a cross country run.

It was great fun; hopped over all the cow pats & followed a myriad of
tracks, all of which ended at the water trough!

I'll do this again sometime on another not-so-serious run.

Distance today = 6km

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Windy One!, to the gym again, this time to use the treadmill which I programmed for a "Random" 10km and random it was with more hills than 'random' should ever have!

The fact that I found this a pretty tough session began to feel easier when a young man stepped onto the treadmill beside me & started running.......carrying an army pack on his back! I couldn't help but ask how much it weighed....30kg he said! Turns out he's in the army & this is regular training every 2 or 3 days. He'd walk for a while, then jog & finally sprint before getting off for a break, only to resume the same routine over & over. In his very early 20's I'd guess & had the most beautiful smile I've seen in a long time! Aaaah, youth can be such a beautiful thing!!
Features were a bit like Robson Green from "Wire in the Blood" if anyone looked at that series, but this smile was all sunshine!

Anyhow, back to training :

10km on a "Random Course" setting.
Avg. Speed 7.7
I don't have AHR but MHR was 133 (84%)
500m walk warm-down.

For today 10.5km

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How to Run in the Wind!

....but not for me! Now that the hurricane weather has hit us, I was afraid of trees falling on me, so off to the gym this morning. These gales, rushing around the house, sound like the roar of a jet taking off!

Instead of the treadmill, I decided on the elliptical trainer for a change of motion & muscle!

The program outdoors would have been : 7km Upper Aerobic - HARD!

50 minutes (programed for cardio workout) followed by
10 minutes (rolling hills, level 10)

This was certainly 'upper aerobic' exercise & my legs went to jelly as I stepped off the machine onto the floor where I waited a few seconds to make sure I could walk without falling in a heap!

I really like the elliptical trainer! Solid stuff!

Monday, August 24, 2009

At Last!

I've shaken off enough of this cold to get out for an easy run this morning. I was surprised that I felt quite good! Having not run all week, I was expecting to feel like I was running in a quagmire! Not at all; I felt quite perky in fact and even the nasty wind didn't bother me at all. All of which says : rest can be a very good thing!

11km. Diamond Fields Road.
AHR 116 (73%)

A happy return to preparations for Blackmores Half Marathon, September 20.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two Days Off..............

So far, it's been two days since Bankstown Half Marathon & I haven't run or done anything much at all : wretched cold, cough & sneezing that I've been struggling with for over 3 weeks now. Today, I just didn't feel I could walk, let alone run or jog. Sitting in the lovely sun has been some compensation though.

Tomorrow maybe? Have to see how I feel in the morning.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ironing Out The Creases......

My quads are so sore & stiff today! Nevertheless, I thought it wise to get out & do something to loosen up the muscles. I don't think I succeeded much at all; I was like an old crock stumbling down the road; everything hurt to begin with, then improved, all except for my left ankle which feels quite sore on the inner side. Knowing I had pain in this area, I changed from wearing the Newton trainers which I wore on Sunday, to the Nike Vomero 1v, hoping it would cause less discomfort than continuing to wear Newtons.

So......7.2km jog/walking any inclines & hills.

My cold has now settled on my chest from which an enormous bark bellows forth at regular intervals! Heart rate was also too high for such an easy jog. Another try tomorrow.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Hidden Half....Bankstown

Poser, I know! But how else can I show that shiny, 1st place age category medal, not to mention THE SKIRT!

Jim & I left Mittagong this morning at the unearthly - for me - hour of 5:30 a.m. & were at Bankstown just one hour later. So I had plenty of time to register & then do the usual 20 minutes warm-up.

A perfect day : sunny, no wind and quite a bit warmer than the Southern Highlands at this time of day and year. The start was right on 7:30 a.m for the half marathon which appeared to have a really good roll up of runners of all levels including those running the State Road Half Marathon Championships.

This is one tough course of 1 small loop and 2 long loops winding its way around the lakes, up hill & down dale. Very pretty, plenty of shade but the hills are real killers, so tonight the glutes are screaming from trying to run uphill and the quads from speeding down hill. I'm pleased to say I didn't walk at all, not even once! Nevertheless, I finished feeling that I'd been running all day and that the time must be somewhere in late afternoon!

No chance of getting lost or taking a wrong turn. The course was superbly marked making a wrong turn impossible & volunteers were everywhere they were needed. This has to be one of the best organized runs ever!

Around 10:30 the presentations began followed by the longest lucky draw I've ever waited for; but no win this year in that direction.

I was very pleased with my time though and that more than made up for any missed lucky draws! My 3 week horrible cold came back to haunt me over the last two days and I almost didn't get out of bed at 4:30 a.m! Glad I did!

The last time I ran in this event was in 2007 when my time was 2 hours 36 minutes.

Today's results : 2 : 31:05!
Avg. pace 7:07; Best 4:54
AHR 84%; MHR 95%.
5km splits : 33:53; 36:21; 35:24; 36:48; (7:73).

And on the strength of that mighty effort, I feel two photos are perfectly justified & I'm continuing my lucky streak of all this year's runs so far, being 5 to 7 minutes faster than those of the same events in 2008 & 2007!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Another New Loop

This time for 6km. I'm enjoying discovering new loops of varying distances lately; a change of scenery makes the run more interesting & time goes by more quickly than it does on the old familiar routes.

6km...very easy.
Time 46 minutes
Avg. pace 7:43
Best pace 5:24
AHR 120 (76%); MHR 130 (82%).

I was pleased to finish at 6km; the poor old legs were a bit tired from yesterday's hard track session. So to be fresh for Sunday's Bankstown half marathon, I'll do a few hill repeats tomorrow & REST on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tough Track!

I made a few changes to this week's training in the lead up to Sunday's half marathon at Bankstown. Shorter, but more intense, running.

Today at Chev Track.

2km warm-up
Drills & a few strides.
10 x 300m....'Hard'
1km warm-down.

300m times were: 1:32; 1:30; 1:31; 1:30; 1:30; 1:38; 1:29; 1:27; 1:27; 1:29

This was quite a bit harder than the usual 16x100m that I've been running on Wednesdays. Actually felt like I mightn't get to #10! But I did!

Today's distance 6km.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My New 12km Loop

Today I extended the 10km loop for another 2km & now have a new 12km loop! Radio Road, Bong Bong, Mary, Inkerman & return.

Avg. pace 7:19
AHR 73%; MHR 84%

This was OK; still a little breathless since the heavy cold & heart rate was lower than I should have been pushing for. I seem to have to try quite a bit harder to get heart rate up around 70-80%; I feel like I'm working real hard but heart rate says otherwise!

The new loop is good with a few hills. The morning was very warm, blossoms coming out, so hopefully Spring is just around the corner!

Today's distance = 12km

Sunday, August 09, 2009

My Nightmare Account of City to Surf!

That's what it was....just a nightmare, because I didn't run the City to Surf this year except in this dream!

I'd arrived at the start which was at a school somewhere, only to realize I'd forgotten both my bib number & timing chip. In a state of the worst kind of panic only felt in a nightmare, I told an official who said not to worry, just run, keep my splits & send them to him & he would see that they went into the results.

Not too happy with this & seeing that there was still a half hour before the start, I decided to run 'home' (no idea where that was but certainly not Mittagong! Seemed to be somewhere in Sydney), pick up the bib & chip & return to the start, all within 30 minutes!

And that was where the real nightmare began! I found myself completely lost - nothing unusual about that though - amidst a maze of deserted, dark streets & alleys, all the time running in a mad panic & getting nowhere. Nothing else to do but hail a taxi, I thought. None in sight of course, as I stood in the middle of a road with traffic whirling either side, until a man & woman on a motor bike pulled up & asked if I wanted a lift....things seem so natural & real in a dream. Anyhow, I climbed idea how three of us fitted, but we did. After some distance & still no where nearer to 'home' & time marching on, the couple had to stop at their house to get ready for work ....only happens in a dream! More panic as I paced around their house until I realized I couldn't wait any longer & set out onto the streets again.

Once more, a maze of dark alleys, dead ends & tunnels until I found myself at the bottom of a deep well! But, as luck would have it, (and thanks to all I've learned from watching Tarzan movies since early hildhood!) there was a thick rope dangling from the top, down to where I was standing. Amazing what athletic feats one is capable of in a dream! I grabbed the rope & started to climb my way up by scaling the rope, only to have it all fall down on top of me as I reached half way!

However, as Harrison Ford finds in many of his movies, there's always a way out to be found and there right in front of me was a doorway (why didn't I see it in the first place?) leading to....wait for it, yes, you've got it : more darkened streets, but this time with crowds of people all trying to get to the start of the C2S. I followed two girls who were making massive strides by zooming straight up vertical cliffs! I attempted to do the same but couldn't make it more than half way & so down I went & the search began all over again, only this time it was back to where the C2S was to start, the search for 'home' & the ill-fated bib & timing chip no longer seeming to matter! I was looking for Circular Quay and/or Rushcutters Bay - no idea why, but it seemed the direction I had to go & where everyone else was going. I could see the ocean & immediately knew the struggle to start the damned race was nearly over. But before that happened, one more test had to be endured!

I turned off the road into a house where there was a cat - a lovely, big fluffy one that I decided to take with me! Do I show here a tendency toward kleptomania? I left with the cat in my arms & later decided to leave it to find its way home. A few steps further on, conscience got the upper hand and I turned back, picked up the cat & returned it through a cat-door to its home. That has to say something good about me!

Finally, I was back at the start of this year's C2S from which most runners had already left, when an official approached me and said : "OK. You're free to go." Just That! That was all! After all that I'd endured for what seemed like endless harrowing hours.........


I wonder why I dreamed all this? I know I was thinking of the event all day & disappointed I didn't feel well enough to run & I'd watched a Harrison Ford movie earlier that night, "Airforce One". So, maybe I just got it all out of my system in the dream. Who knows? Crazy, like all of my dreams/nightmares which I can always vividly see & recall on awakening.

hat I Did do however much later in the morning, was:

Go to Chev Track for a Tempo Run.

2km warm-up
Some light drills & a couple of strides.

4km 'hard' (tempo run); a little below racing effort.

Time 24:53

Avg. pace =6:15; best = 5:17

Splits 6:16; 6:09; 6:27; 6:00
AHR = 132 (84%); MHR = 142 (90%)

I felt really tired for this tempo run...not surprising after the 'run' I did during the night! Nevertheless, it was 5 seconds faster than last time on 14th June!

Distance today = 6km

Friday, August 07, 2009

What a Change

....from yesterday's mid-summer day! I'm so glad I didn't leave it too late to start today. The morning was perfect but now, at late afternoon, a wild & cold wind is hurtling its way through the Southern Highlands with rain to come. The rain will be good but the wind I can do without, so no walk for the doggies this afternoon. The little one could very likely blow away!

At Renwick soccer field :
2km warm-up
16 x 100m
2km warm-down.

100m times were : slowest (1st one) in 34 seconds; fastest (last one) in 26 seconds; all others in between.

I've made the decision not to do the C2S on Sunday; foolish to run that course, at that time of day with traces of the bad cold still hanging around & breathing not as good as it should be for racing. Another time, another year....I hope!

Distance today = 6km

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Summer's Day!

So beautifully warm today; all sunshine & clear skies.

6km 'easy' (on Radio Rd, Mary Street & Bong Bong Road)....part of my new 10km loop.

Time = 42 minutes
Avg Pace = 7:00m/km
AHR = 117 (74%); MHR = 135 (85%)

No problems with this at all!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

10km Course With New Variations...

Ran my new 10km course today but with more of the bush run & less on road. Perfect Spring morning (at mid-day) when I started; blossoms beginning to appear on the trees, no wind & lovely warm sun.

But is this snow I see?

No, it's smelly fertiliser in one of the paddocks I passed today! Today's program was 6km but as I won't have much time tomorrow I changed the sessions around to fit.

10km on bush track & road....easy, lower aerobic.

Time 1:16:49
Avg. pace = 7:40
AHR = 111 (70%). MHR = 132 (84%)
Newton shoes.

Distance today = 10km

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Hills....but no hoist!

I have a special hill on Diamond fields road for this session. I was later again today 11:00a.m. start; cold, windy. Wore #5Frees in baby blue!

Program : 3km warm-up. Some drills, stretching.

4 x 60 seconds uphill, jog down.
2 x 40 seconds " "

3km warm-down.

This was OK, a bit stiff in the legs now, otherwise all went well. I tried a few sprints between the 60 sec. & 40 sec. repeats; also ran fairly fast downhill between each repeat...the only time I get to run 'fast' is going downhill. Oh, what a feeling!

7km today

Monday, August 03, 2009

Yesterday's Run Today

Yesterday, was the day for my long run & today would have been a rest day. I just felt too tired & without motivation yesterday to get going....again. I'm getting lazy I think! I mustn't let the rot set in any further while I still have those 8(?) pairs of shoes to wear out!

I decided to change things around a bit so as to do the long run today rather than miss it altogether. Windy morning; started at 10:00a.m. Ran on Diamond Fields Road for a change to the dirt road & off bitumen. Once again, very pleased that I made an effort; I really enjoyed the run in spite of the wind & being slower than I'd like.

Distance = 12km
AHR 67%; MHR 72%....very slow, easy jogging.

I'll be back there tomorrow for a hills session.