Monday, April 30, 2012


Run Up 75 sec.
Jog Down

Long Hill Repeats....75 sec

15 minutes approx. warm-up easy run from school to Renwick
8 x 75 seconds uphill run
Jog down, walk around for about 1 minute and start again!
About 15 minutes cool-down easy jog back to the school.

I'm very fortunate in having access to all the streets in the Renwick development for this and other workouts
......  no cars, no people, just empty streets where I can run in the middle of the road without fear of traffic.

No distance or time recorded.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

At Mittagong Air Show.....

This would be handy for shopping!
Pretty Yellow Bird!
I had a most enjoyable morning at this air show!  I don't know anything about what sort of aircraft they were, except for the gyrocopters and I only know them because someone took me up for a ride in one a couple of years ago.  I was jogging on the road beside the airstrip when a gyrocopter landed and I called out to the pilot that it looked just like a bird.  Whereupon he asked if I'd like to go up!  Did I ever!!  I was across the air strip in seconds, fitted with helmet, jacket and goggles, strapped in and off we flew all over Mittagong, 2000ft up in space!  Unreal WOW factor!

I wasn't so lucky today, but I did get to sit in one of the home-made planes by lining up with some little 7 -8 year old children....much to the embarrassment of my friend!  Photos of some of the aircraft and a would-be pilot!  Shame the day was so cold and windy. Hundreds turned up even so.

A flashy gyrocopter! Owner in yellow jacket.
Little Blue Bird!

 One of the home-made planes
Contacting the tower for clearance! Owner hanging on to the side lest I take off!
Before take-off, what are all these dials for?
OK, I can handle this baby! Ready for take-off!
Safely back on terra firma!  Nothing to this flying business!
Yellow Nose
This one would suit me to get around the Southern Highlands!
This gyrocopter is the same as the one in which I cadged a ride a few years ago!
The Seagull
Another Blue Bird
I didn't realize that the general public were supposed to keep behind a barrier and view the aircraft from some distance, until a very handsome and very young RAAF male person approached and told us that to be inside the enclosure where the planes were, we had to be members of the aero club or have an air force person with us.  I quickly said, "Well, you'll do nicely!!"  And before he could catch his breath, I took him by the arm, telling him I just wanted one or two more photos and I'd be gone.  He laughed as he said, "OK, off you go!"  Such a nice, obliging youg man!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Workout #3....Long Run

I Wish......

Old South Road where I won't run again in a hurry!  Cars seeing just how fast they can go and taking the many bends on a maximum of 2 wheels!  Lovely place to run otherwise.
This week's long run I decided to try to run a little faster as it was only 15km;  in fact when I got home, looked again at the program, I saw it had 13km for today, not 15k!  No matter, not much difference.

For the first time in ages I ran along Old South Road, past the airstrip, the reason for this being that tomorrow there's an air show on and I wanted to see if there were any preparations going on.  I'm going to take a look tomorrow as it's only a few minutes drive from home and there are few things more exciting than seeing planes going through those death-defying aerobatic routines!  According to their website, there'll be planes from all over Australasia arriving and taking off :  new, old and home-made!  The last of these I simply have to see! I would love to go up, up and away in one of the others!

 Back to the run which I think I'm satisfied with even though I was slower than I wanted to be:  Early days yet:

15km @ 6:51 to 6:54 m/k
Time 1:49:45
Avg. Pace 7:19 m/k;  Best  5:30m/km
5km splits  :  39:10 (avg 7.5);   35:46 (avg 7:09);   37:27 (avg 7.30) 

Now for the rude awakening I had this morning!

Unwisely and vainly I suppose, I quite often feel when running, particularly in the early kilometres, that I look as good as I feel.  Well,  any such conceited notions were dispelled this morning!  A van driven by a over-large gentleman exited one of the properties on Old South Road, slowed down and, without so  much as a by your leave, said, "You're too old to be doing that!"  I looked around to see to whom he might be referring!  Surely, not me, in my NYC marathon singlet, smart little shorts, cap, Newton shoes and expensive sunglasses!

Alas, no one else but me in sight, so I gave him my best and brightest smile and through gritted teeth  replied,  "I can still run; I still love to run and race,"  - there his eyebrows shot up an inch or two  -  "so age has nothing at all to do with it!"   Take that, I thought and continued on my way!

Now, what pained my pride most was :  how did he know I was an older runner?  Most wrinkles were hidden by the cap worn low over the brow;  the arms, possibly;  the legs most definitely not!  So it has to have been that my running form wasn't all I've thought it to be.  Ah, the unkindest cut of all :  for all these years I've been running under the illusion that I look, certainly not like an Olympian, but surely like a decent runner!  I now fear this may not be the case; however I'd already run 13km and I take consolation in knowing not everyone looks their shining best towards the end of a run...even a short one of 15km,

Of course, on the other hand,  he might have been joking!

Three Key Workouts : 31.8 km (I don't include any cross-training days in the total). 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Workout #2......Tempo Run

I had quite sore gluteus maximus muscles when I got out of bed this morning!  I trust that means I did the walking lunges well yesterday.

3.5km easy
5km @ 6:16m/k
1.5km easy.

The results for the 5km were :

Time = 32:51
1km splits :  6:12;  6:18;  6:52;  6:45;  6:38
Avg. Pace 6:28m/k

Not quite what I wanted, but as close as I could get to 6:16m/k taking into consideration the cold southerly wind and the few hills in Renwick and also on Inkerman Road; 30km/hr wind gusts according to 'Weatherzone'.

Total today of 10km 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012


For me, and I would think for most runners, as I get older strengthening the body becomes more important.  With this in mind I've set aside one day each week to concentrate on some strength exercises specific to runners.  I don't even have to work out which ones to do because they are all outlined, with illustrations for each, in "Run Less Run Faster",  the book for the FIRST training programs.

And now finally the exercises.  holding 1.5kg weights; 20 reps. each but only 1 set for today!

Standing Wall Slide....a squat; hamstrings, quads and glutes
Single Leg Squat.......hamstrings and glutes
Walking Lunges........quads, glutes, hip flexors
Calf Raises...............gastrocnemius and soleus muscles...whatever they are!  I'll Google later!
Pushup on a stability ball........chest, triceps, shoulders.....I do this one on the ground!  I've tried at home with the stability ball and ended up flat on my face on the other side of the room!
Single Arm Bent-over Row.....upper muscles of the back.

This took just 20 minutes today and involved no running at all;  the program has an easy day between each of the demanding three key workouts.  Strength work should be a good way of doing that...I hope.  I certainly need to do this and other ways of improving hills, run alternate long runs longer and some shorter long runs faster. 

Two practical sentences which have influenced me from "the good book" on strength training for runners are  :In addition to injury prevention, weight training improves performanceThe research has also shown that running economy improves as a result of strength training.

.........and they're good enough reasons for me!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Workout #1...Track

There's a choice with  FIRST training of doing either the track session on the program or their own (Furman) Tuesday track session on their website.  I rarely change from one to the other, preferring to stay with what's on my own program.

 My session this morning was for 12 x 400m, then looking at the Furman page I saw 5x1000m and I didn't much like the look of that at all!  I decided to stay with 12x400m thinking it would be the easier session and maybe it was, but at the finish I didn't have 200m left in my legs let alone another400m if I'd had to do it!  It was all hard yards but I did what I set out to do, which was:

1km warm-up + 4 strides
12x400m @5:42m/k (2:17)
90sec RI between
1km cool-down & stretches.

....and the results for 12x400m were :

5:47(2:20);  5:46(2:18);  5:48(2:17);  5:39(2:13;  5:41(2:15);  5:41(2:14);  5:42(2:17);  5:39(2:13);  5:39(2:15);  5:43(2:18);  5:41(2:15);  5:41(2:14)

What a weather change during this workout!  I left home at 10:00am in brilliant sunshine and a smile on my face!  I'd just completed the warm-up when the skies darkened and I saw black clouds rolling in over the ranges. Seconds later, down came the rain, quite heavily too; nevertheless the show had to go on! And on it went, raining right up until I reached #8 by which time I was thinking I didn't have four more 400m in my legs.  I did though....but only just!

Today's total :  6.8km 

My Personal 400m Track!



Monday, April 23, 2012

A Fresh Start.....

Not having run during the past week, it was a good thing to be out this morning.  Perfect weather : cool, light rain and skies trying to turn blue but I don't think they're going to succeed today!

Cross-training  :  10 minutes warm-up
                             30 minutes Magill drills and strides
                             30 minutes easy running.

And that's the beginning of yet another 18 weeks to yet another half marathon in August.  I don't think I'll be doing any other special event till then.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Canberra Half Marathon.....

I'm taking a couple of days off training and instead just walking my two puppies each afternoon before starting my next training program.  It's a good use of the time to update my blog and talk about the half marathon I ran in Canberra yesterday, Sunday, 15th April.

 I had planned and entered to take part in this event last year.  I didn't happen when my husband, Jim, was diagnosed with lung cancer and subsequently died just six weeks later.

I had promised Jim I would continue to train and compete for as long as I was fit and happy to do so.  Now, twelve months later I had the opportunity to do that.  I resumed a half marathon training program of 18 weeks and did the very best I could to be ready for this event which I would run in his memory and with the knowledge that he would be watching and willing me on to finish.  For this reason in particular, this Canberra half marathon took on a special significance for me and the 18 weeks flew past all too quickly, as all of life does, and suddenly the event weekend had arrived.  I had prepared as best I could; everything else had to come from the heart...and it did!

Looking back after the event,  I see there is a need, certainly in my own case,  to focus more on strength and endurance as one ages into the 80's...or even sooner for that matter!  It's fatigue taking its toll all too early in the race compared to what one has been used to in even longer races such as the marathon.  This happened to me during this run and I was taken by surprise to feel it such an effort to keep running at a planned pace that previously would have worked easily.  Shocked, to be truthful, and definitely something to learn from.

The weekend started with the daughter of a friend driving from Sydney, picking me up and then on to Canberra.  We stayed at Forrest Hotel & Apartments quite close to the start.  We walked across to watch the 10km race at 4:00pm, on the way meeting Eagle with whom we chatted for some time; always good to talk to Ray.  Later I phoned Ewen and arranged to meet him for an evening meal which we had at a good restaurant in Manuka; I was so pleased Ewen was able to meet with us; he's been a great friend and support for many years now.  Right Ewen?

A supposedly early night, but I never can sleep well before a special event and so I watched every hour on the clock : 12, 1.2, 3, 4 until 5:00a.m I got up to make a cup of tea and a piece of toast for breakfast.  Unfortunately, the toaster was sitting right under the smoke detector and, you've guessed it, the heat set off the fire alarm!  The siren was as much a shock as it was deafening as I waited for the manager and fire brigade to arrive!  Great way to start the day, I thought!  However, no one turned up - another surprise;  the alarm eventually stopped and I'd lost all appetite for toast and Vegemite!

I had a short warm-up jog to the start where entrants to both the marathon and the half mingled for the same starting gun.  It was a fantastic Canberra morning; it couldn't have done better by us : warm, sunny, clear skies and no wind.  I couldn't help but feel quite emotional as we ran past the lake for the first time and saw a mirror image of the surrounding spires and hills reflected in the waters of Lake Burley Griffin. I thought, how fortunate a group of like-minded people we were!

During the run I tired too soon for my likings and that's about all that went wrong! I didn't have what it takes to finish the last kilometres strongly. I had set my Garmin to a pace of 6:38m/km.  That was pretty well spot on for the first 5km but after that it would seem that I ran slower for each of the other 5km splits which I'll copy from the results page later.  This didn't, however, alter my enthusiasm and joy to be part of this event and so I continued on running, keeping an eye on the pace but never quite reaching what I had hoped might get me to the finish in 2 hour 20 minutes and wishing it might even be closer still to my Australian Half Marathon W80 age-category record of 2:17:25 in 2010.  It wasn't to be but it's always good, I believe, to aim higher than one can reach!

I like this course although this was the first half marathon I'd run there; previously, I'd run marathons each year since 1971.  I also liked the way we half runners merged with the marathoners at around 26km I think it was.  It gave me a huge lift to be part of a bigger group and have lots of other runners around me.  Too often I've felt the loneliness of running completely on my own, wondering if I'm going in the right direction and even worse fears known only to those who have been at the very, and I stress very, back of the pack!  From the start yesterday, I was always running with lots of others...a very nice way to run and, since it rarely happens like this, gives me hope that I might be improving my speed!  God alone knows how much I've worked on this and everything else over the past 18 weeks!

I have to say I was relieved to see the finishing chute after the two hour mark; for the first time, the soles of my feet were sore during the later stages of the run; I can't think why as I'm used to running on bitumen.  It was funny and nice to hear my name shouted out as I ran through the finish.  Sometimes recently, I hear my age called out as well.  Yesterday, I was spared the embarrassment!  I collected my medal, returned to the motel for a shower and headed back to Mittagong, home and my two lost and bewildered puppies left alone for the night.  I think they were quite warm and happy though as the doona showed signs of being got under and the pillows looked very much as though they'd had a pillow fight before settling down!

In a few days' time I'll start the half marathon program all over again in preparation for the ACTVAC Half Marathon on August 19....same place, different course.  I will train better having picked up on what I think is my major weakness!  Till then, it's good night from me.... and good luck to all runners!

The Stats......from Garmin:
5km splits:  33:53;  33:59;  34:41;  34:19
Avg. Pace 6:57
Time : 2:24:45


of 1,692 TOTAL finishers.

of 820 F finishers.

of 3 F70-99 finishers.
split point split time s/rank race time r/rank activity distance pace speed
First Lap 01:11:47 1569 01:11:47 1609 RUN 10.50 06:50 8.77
Second Lap 01:13:10 1521 02:24:57 1572 RUN 10.60 06:54 8.69

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Today's short program is the last before Sunday's half marathon in Canberra.

Program : 5km easy.

Before the 5km I did a set of Pete Magill drills with a stride between each drill, then 5km... easy.

If it was supposed to be easy why did my feet feel at every step that I was running in shoes of concrete?  I was more than a little surprised I can tell you and it's not a pleasant feeling at all.  Only 5km and I had to take some walk breaks?  This is not the way it's supposed to be..   However, it's the way it was for sure; dragging blocks of cement at every step.  I don't know why except  I must have done the drills too perfectly!!
Later in the afternoon I had shopping to do, took Amy and Oscar for their walk and now at 3:00pm I'm about to throw myself onto the bed for a rest.  I'll take a cup of tea in with me  -  forget about throwing myself onto the bed! - read for a bit and then.....Zzzzzz  I expect!

Today then marks the end of 18 weeks of preparation for the half marathon;  I couldn't have done anything more...or even better!  I have enjoyed every day's program; it has been good for me in many ways and I'll start Sunday's run knowing I have done all that I possibly could to run well and I will run well because.....I deserve it!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Another walk around the local area;  cold morning to start but warmed up pretty quickly as the course included some nice hills!

 From home and back.....6.2km

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Workout #1.....Track

With school holidays I was able to use the courtyard of the school and the road outside as a track;  it works quite well except that it's difficult to get the exact finish line right every time; usually just a bit over the distance but not enough to make a significant difference in time.

The Program  :
10-20 min warm-up
6 x 400m in 2:27/6:07m/k
400m RI between each
10 min cool-down.

A very cold and windy start......morning temperature 4 degrees!  Now at mid-day the wind has dropped altogether and the sun wonderfully warm...a perfect winter's day!

2km warm-up + 4 strides
2:28/6:05;  2:27/6:07;  2:24/5:59;  2:28/5:57;  2:26/6:03;  2:17/5:50
1km cool-down.

  Jumping over the connecting shelter was fun!
Total  5.4km

Monday, April 09, 2012

Sightseeing Tour....

The Walk  

It's surprising how much there is to see when walking as against driving.  For cross-training today I decided to walk around my local area with no plan in mind as to where to walk.....just to walk briskly.  It was a cold and windy morning, but warmed up soon enough.  I started and finished at home.

All roads lead to Rome so it's said...but today they only led to Renwick!  At around 3km I found I was heading to Renwick and once there took time out to go through the display homes; something I've wanted to do, but it's forbidden to do things like that when running!

There were three homes open for inspection, Altman homes.  Ultra modern, 4 bedrooms, very stylishly furnished throughout but, I thought, quite small and cramped rooms, especially the bedrooms.  Lots of people looking though.  From there I headed towards home.

5.5km brisk walking.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Sunday...... all who visit here!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Last Long Run Before Canberra Half Marathon......

Inkerman Road ..the 'Big Dipper'....Lap 2 on the map below.

Last Long Run...for now!

An absolutely beautiful Autumn day...almost like Summer!  Cloudless skies and a good breeze.  I ran much the same course as last Saturday, but purposely at a pace faster than in the program.

The Program :  13km @ 7:34m/k

I did 13km in 1:30:00
Avg. pace 6:55m/k
5k Splits.....  36:06;    33:44;   (3k in 20:10).

For the week : 29.2km .....excluding cross training.