Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Recovery Walk

I took Ewen's advice - which I usually do - and did a brisk hilly walk this morning. I mightn't be a fast runner but for sure I'm a slow walker! It was to be for 30 minutes.

Anyhow, I did what I was told - which I don't usually do - and set off at a cracking snail's pace, but couldn't get my heart rate past 60% of maximum, so I kept on going, past 30 minutes, until I came to a mighty hill that wound the heart rate up to76%.

All up then, I walked as briskly as a snail can for 57 minutes, covering a distance of 6km for today.
AHR 60%; MHR 76%

Nice day again, too!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Home and Away!

Referring to the photos, not the TV show! Wisteria in full bloom at home - Away at Chev Track.

I don't know what to call today's training (i.e. is it a tempo run or a time trial?) Who knows! I'll call it a "Spiral" :

2km warm-up. Few drills.

5km "Hard" (Upper Aerobic)
AHR 85%; MHR 94%.
Time 32:40
Avg. Pace 6:31; Max. Pace 5:42
1km Splits 6:26; 6:32; 6:31; 6:44; 6:21

Spiral : Starting on the inside lane and working one lane outwards after each lap to lane 8. Reverse direction and work from lane 8 back to lane 1.

7km today.

After yesterday's long run, I expected today's training to be tougher than it was....but it was tough enough! Finished the day with a couple of hours in the garden....pulling old things out and putting new things in!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Long Run Today Instead of Yesterday!

I didn't dare face the hurricane for a long run yesterday. Today was bad enough but an improvement on the last two days which have been vile!

"The Old Malt", used by Tooths Brewery in Sydney to malt barley for beer, opened in Mittagong in 1907 and closed in 1970.

Part of today's long run took me for the first time past the now derelict building known as the "Old Malt" so I took a few snaps of it. Unfortunately I couldn't get closer as it's a "Keep Out" zone now....would have loved to roam around inside during daylight hours; spooky at night!

Long Run of 16.5km
AHR 68%; MHR 81%

My legs didn't seem to have much 'spring' in them today - two days off is too long; best to just keep legs doing something each day - even 15 minutes - rather than nothing I think...for my legs anyhow! I'm blaming the wind for being slow, though it has dropped considerably since the hurricanes of the past two days. Happy to finish a fairly hilly course.

An easy 6km tomorrow. Gosh! It's nearly to the supermarket! What to eat tonight!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

When It Rains......"Pennies from Heaven"

This was the first 3 of 6km this morning!

The roof tops were mere hurdles to fly the Google satellite shows!

The wind was so vile that I decided to stay in Radio Road for shelter (so called because it is the location of the local community road) - but soon got bored with running up and down, so I took off : in, around and all over the school grounds, tennis court and soccer field for 3kms. The almost invisible zigzag to the right of the first building is where I ran 'high knees' up a grassy slope and walked down again all along the length of the building...just for something different to do!

For the next three kilometres I ran fast (?) along Radio Road (approx 300m) and then jogged slowly back to the start...did this four times followed by a short warm-down....same as above but minus the zigzagging! During today's training, as if the wind wasn't enough to put up with, it rained SLEET!

I know the weather Gods were testing how much I could take before giving up, but I just shook a fist and told them it would take much more than fierce wind and sleet smacking my face like tiny bullets to force me to stop! They, the Gods, gave in after a few minutes and allowed the sun to shine through. Relief! We've had several showers of sleet during the afternoon.....and it's so cold! I think I'll lie down and read my book for an hour or two!

Today 6km

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Better, Longer Run....

.....compared with yesterday's, though I did walk a couple of times on hills. I did my new 10km loop plus the section I drove over yesterday. It makes a good run with just the occasional car, very quiet areas, running on a mixture of dirt, grass and bitumen and plenty of shade. I wore the "Road ID" wristband that I sent away for last week...excellent value and essential when running alone. Late start around mid-day. Warm day with a good breeze.

12km........Easy, Lower Aerobic Run
AHR 108 (68%); MHR 124 (78%).
Time 1:38:47
Avg. Pace 8:13

I need to get some speed going next week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Rockin' 'n Rollin' Again!

More like Stoppin' 'n Startin'! First run today since Blackmores Half Marathon in Sydney last Sunday. The weather over the past two days has been horrific : wind and dust everywhere, so I stayed safely inside until this morning when I expected my legs to be rearing to go. Not so! I took frequent walk breaks because I deserved it!

I ran on one of my new loops, which I drove over yesterday to gauge the distance; no traffic on lanes and roads near the railway line. I've recently sussed out this part of Mittagong and it has excellent quiet roads and lanes for long runs.

AHR 107 (68%); MHR 124 (78%)

I hope I feel more awake and run further tomorrow!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Special Event....

Blackmores Half Marathon and My First Run as an Octogenarian!

Official Time = 2:26:29
Garmin Time = 2:24:36 (mat to mat!)

5km splits 34:54; 34:46; 34:22; 33:53; (6:40)

AHR 137 (87%).

Age Category Place 1st! (35 minutes ahead of 2nd place runner)!! Oops!

I was very pleased with my run, not really expecting - but hoping - to go under 2.5hours! The Garmin gives me a time two minutes faster than the official one, but the official one has to stand I suppose!

I enjoyed the run immensely, even the tough sections and only walked through the drink stations to make sure of getting enough to drink. I felt relaxed for the entire run and then happier and more relaxed to go under 2.5 hours! I also thought it one of the best organized events I've been in, in spite of the 7 minutes walk to get to the start line.

The Cool Running cheer squad were at their usual brilliant best and great to spend a few minutes with them before walking back across the Harbour Bridge and the return trip to Mittagong. Big thank you to Ewen for the lift to and from Sydney. A great weekend!

Next : Melbourne Half Marathon, 11th October.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Few (Very Few) Sharpeners...

Took myself off to Renwick Soccer Field where I did :

2km warm-up
A Few (very few) drills
8 x 100m.

The day is starting to cloud over, quite warm though. I didn't bother about timing or heart rate; just ran what for me was fairly hard.

And it's 'goodbye from me' until after Sunday's Half Marathon in Sydney!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spring Is In Our Backyard!

I didn't run at all today; instead I took photos of some of the blossoms in the garden and listened to the bees buzzing! Lovely!

Tomorrow I might do a few 100m strides!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Computer Says "Yes!"

After 2 days for a nip and tuck, the computer returned home today all smiles.... me too! I can't live without it!

Tuesday : a few (very few!) hill repeats.

Wednesday : a few (very few !) kilometres...4.3km.

Tomorrow: Who knows? Maybe a few (very few) 100m repeats.

Leaving for Sydney (Blackmores Half Marathon) Saturday morning. Ewen picking me up on his way from Canberra........unless he forgets to turn off the freeway!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Horses for Courses!

Having taken the trouble to trot down to the fence for a pat, the least I could do was take their photos and have a short chat! Beautiful animals!

15km today.......last longish run before Blackmores Half next Sunday.

7.5km out on Diamond Fields Road.
Time 60 minutes
AHR 111(70%); MHR 126 (80%).

7.5km return in 55 minutes
AHR 120 (76%); MHR 134 (88%).

Negative Split 5 minutes! Weeee Heeee!

I tried hard for a negative split but doubted I'd get it running back into a strong headwind. Not a very nice day again : too hot and too windy for Springtime; all the blossoms are being snatched from the trees and left swirling around on the road like snow flakes. Patches of smoke in the ranges and fire engine sirens sounding on and off all day......a warning for the Summer ahead.

Distance this week, 4 days only = 38km.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Testing! left ankle and it passed with flying colours this morning! Still taped, but no pain at all up hill or down dale. Not a nice morning though : hot and very windy.

6km very easy
46 minutes
Avg. Pace 7:34; Best 4:52
AHR 117 (74%); MHR 136 (86%).

Friday, September 11, 2009

PHEW! That Was Lucky!

No problem with my left ankle at all, though I had taped it to give support & prevent too much movement in any direction. So......very pleased!

10km very easy & slow!
AHR 114 (72%); MHR 129 (82%)

I did the 10km on part of my new 12km loop. Beauty of a day! Now, no more nonsense and full speed ahead to Blackmores Half Marathon!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Two Days Off!

I rolled my left ankle last week while walking the doggies in the paddock! It became quite painful after Tuesday's track session, so made a decision to rest it for a couple of days.

What a time for such a thing to happen! Tomorrow, Friday, I'll set off for an easy, slow run and see how things go.

I can't allow Ewen to get his hopes up of passing me in Blackmores Half Marathon!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A 7km Spiral Run.......

Another training session at Chev so as to run on the grass in bare feet.

To make running in circles a bit more interesting, I ran something like what's called called a "Spiral" 7km; i.e. starting in Lane 1 and running one lane further out on each lap till I got to lane 8. I reversed direction then and ran one lane at a time from Lane 8 to Lane 1. I don't know if that's clear or not but it helped pass the time!

Only hiccup was I had to stop briefly about half way through to move the car out of the way of the garbage truck!

Time 46:09
AHR 125 (79%); MHR 150 (95%)
1km Splits: 8:09; 7:17; 6:41; 6:12; 6:06; 5:58; 5:41

I expect that last kilometre at 5:41 will be sufficient to give Ewen a bit of a scare for Blackmores Half Marathon!!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Range Road Run.....

It's a tough course this one making it a much harder run than last Sunday's long one on Old South Road. The hills just roll on one after the other, short and steep, except for the one coming up from Glenquarry which is very, very long and very, very steep, so I was fairly 'done in' by the time I'd finished. Next Sunday, I'll take the easier choice!

17.5km today.
Time 2:15:33
AHR 118 (75%); MHR 130 (82%)
Avg speed 7:44; Max 5:09

The weather was perfect : sunny & warm with a good breeze on the way back. I tried to run a bit faster for the last 3 to 4 kilometres, but not easy with so many hills all along the course.

Today 17.5km
This Week 45.5km

Saturday, September 05, 2009

One Surprise After Another!

I went for my 6km easy run early this morning and afterwards, because the day was so wonderful, I decided to take the doggies for their walk in case the weather changed. By this time it was around mid-day.

Back home, walked inside and saw : Jim at the piano, eight of my dearest friends, their children and grandchildren all singing a resounding chorus of "Happy Birthday"! It so happens that this was all arranged by Jim and I didn't have a clue!

A quick shower and change of clothes and we were off to a lovely restaurant in Bowral where a superb birthday lunch had been prepared...16 of us all together. Some had travelled from the Central Coast and others from different Sydney suburbs. I just couldn't believe it, having thought we were to have dinner tonight just by ourselves.

After lunch and to give the kiddies a chance to burn off some energy, we drove back to Winifred West Park in Mittagong where there were swings, slippery dips etc to amuse them while we older folk sat under a weeping cherry beside a garden full of tulips and pansies all in bloom.

I'd been watching the littlies for a while sliding down one of those twisting tower slippery dips..not sure of the proper name, but I could resist no longer and to the surprise and amusement of everyone, I climbed to the top and down I came...what a thrill! Haven't done that in donkey's years; liked it so much I went up for a second slide....such good fun!

So that was my 80th birthday which will finish in about another four hours; a wonderful day with my very wonderful friends!

"Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof".

Friday, September 04, 2009

How Long Can an Athletics Carnival Last?

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That was the question I asked myself as I drove through the gates to Chev this morning! Indefinitely, it would seem!

Once again I could see the 'troops' heading down from the top oval towards MY OVAL & MY TRACK! And, with that out the window went all my plans for today's session of 10 x 300m intervals. This sort of thing is seriously interrupting my training! Don't they know that by now?

I kept driving through the grounds, down "Main Avenue" until I reached "Meadow ONE" - once again - which I drove right across on the grass and parked on the far side of the oval. This decision to park so far from civilization was to have some consequences later!

However, in the meantime I set about changing the program to 16 x 100m which was far easier to measure down one side of the soccer field than trying to work out exactly where 300m would be. I ran bare foot again and so the morning was off to a good enough start.

2km warm-up
Drills & a few strides
16 x 100m.
2km warm-down

I ran the warm-up all over the oval, every which way. I spotted a very green cricket pitch in the middle and thought : what a great place to do drills! And it was, because the grass here isn't nice & flat like on the track, but a bit rough and I didn't want to do my fancy drills, especially the 'Carioca' or 'Grapevine' and fall flat on my face. I look stupid enough just doing it and staying upright!

The 100m intervals I ran down one of the white lines that marked a side of the soccer field and they seemed to go OK : 31 seconds, 30, 29, 28, 30, 27, 27, 24, 26, 26, 26, 25, 26, 27, 26, 24. Then the 2km warm-down and returned to the car.

It wouldn't start! No matter what I did, it refused to give even the slightest encouraging sign of life!

So there I was, way off in no man's land and not another human in sight. Thank goodness I never leave home without my mobile! Enter the good old faithful NRMA about 30 minutes later. First he - as did I - thought it was a flat battery but then he changed his mind to the 'starter motor'.... whatever that is! Then he came back to it being one or the other, but not absolutely sure which one!

So....I was given instructions, after he got it started, to drive home, leave the car turned off for an hour and then try again. If the same thing happened, call the good old faithful NRMA again and they would replace the battery which was still under warranty. If that makes any sense to some, good! It didn't to me, but I know absolutely nothing about cars except how to drive one; so I did as I was told and lo and behold....the dear old faithful car sprang into action and didn't stop again later in the afternoon when I drove the doggies to the paddocks for their daily run and rabbit chase. Will it die again though......that's the worry now!

I didn't at all mind waiting for the NRMA. I took my towel from the car, lay it on the grass, sat basking in the sunshine and thought about nothing....not even the fact that this would be my last run and last day in my seventies!

Hello Eighty!

After all....another pleasurable day!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Beautiful day here! I love Spring; more blossoms out every day.

Today's 10km Run.

I decided to go to Chev track & run the 10km on grass, barefoot. Lovely! Running well & feeling great until I saw in the distance the entire student body & staff heading down in my direction, but to one of the upper fields I thought for sure. Not so! Down they kept on coming in their hundreds, right to the oval on which is My track! What on earth??!!

I was running so well & smoothly - at least I thought so - bare feet; but instead of walking off the track, I decided to finish the lap and I would then have finished 7km. And they all waited and watched! The finish was right in front of where they sat &, blow me down, as I stopped running, they all stood, clapped & cheered! Where was the hole I wanted to crawl into?

The teacher in charge of athletics told me they had to use the track to finish the relays which they didn't have time for on Saturday & apologised for asking me to move to one of the soccer fields to finish. See, they know it's all mine! But I forgave her when she told me she'd watched my last lap & complimented me on my "lovely" running form (whatever that is!). And then the inevitable question : do you mind if I ask how old you are? What sort of running events do you do? Why didn't the ground open up and swallow me before I could answer?

Anyhow, I waved to all the kiddies & walked off the track as fast as I could & finished the last 3km on a nearby soccer field. What a day!

Time 1:05:43
Avg. pace 6:32; Best 5:03.
AHR 125 (79%); MHR 145 (92%).
Splits 8:07; 7:07: 6:52; 6:23; 6:15; 6:07; 6:07; 6:11; 6:05; 6:09.

My aim had been to warm up for the first couple of kilometres and then stay below 6:30 pace for the rest of the 10km.. practice for Blackmores Half Marathon pace. So a good day after all!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Hills & More Hills....But Spring Is Here At Last!

Weather was great for today's running uphill training. What I did :-

3km warm-up
A few drills & strides

Then 6 x 60 seconds uphill + 5 x 40 seconds also uphill!
Jog or walk - depending on how puffed I felt! - dowhill between each.
3km warm-down.

Before I start a hill session, I always think : Gee! I can do more than 6 x 60 seconds uphill! But I tell you truly, I was well & truly pooped at #6! A huge effort needed to continue with 4 more even though they were shorter.

Distance today = 6km (not incl. hill reps.)