Archive | December, 2006

See ya 2006, hello 2007

31 Dec

Running
10km in 52:43, average pace 5:16
Met up with a group of Ausrunners doing a long run this morning, I had only planned a maximum of 12Km but was still looking forward to some company for half my journey, in the end I settled for the 10Km. My calves were pretty tight by the end and there was no point doing a few laps of the oval just to get the extra 2Km, my foot felt fine though which was great news, I was back in my Brooks shoes.

Quite a big turn out this morning, 7 including me and apart from me, all boys. Was a time when I lived in mortal fear of turing up for a long run and finding that none of the other girls had come along. These days I don’t mind so much, had I gone the full 20 to 25 Km I probably would have lagged behind, but it wouldn’t have bothered me, someone usually drops back to keep me company. As it was I was not going the full distance today so was happy with a quicker pace.

The year that was

Total – 2751 Km (if not for injury would have just made 3000Km)
Lightest month – 47 Km (December, Injury)
Heaviest month – 339 Km August
Races – 8, probably quite conservative by many peoples standards
Standout Race – Gold Coast Half Marathon, 02 July, because it was my first “goal” race and I exceeded my own expectations. This is followed closely by the Melbourne Half Marathon a touch over 12 weeks later where I PB’d by 3 minutes 20 seconds.
Favorite event – Any Sri Chinmoy race, always a great social event, they feed you and everyone has a ball
Highlight – Meeting heaps of great people who offer a wealth of advice, inspiration and friendship

Better Runner – Update 1
I have added my starting point stats to the Build a Better Runner page. It was with extreme trepidation that I stepped on the scales this afternoon, but with a great deal of counseling and the promise of “one last” glass of wine afterwards I braved it. Turned out that the damage from a relatively slack month exercise wise and a totally indulgent month food wise was not as bad as I had feared. I weighed in at 60.8 Kg, which means I have put on close to 2Kgs (oh dear, no point worrying about that now) and the BF was 23%, about 1% higher. A few people in the past have expressed surprise at my BF % but I am a girl and we do naturally have more padding than the fella’s.

Tomorrow is the dawn of a new era.

It will be a pretty quiet night for me, I don’t buy into the “it’s new years eve so you must have fun or else” hype, I prefer to keep away from the maddening crowds, probably just wander up somewhere local and watch some fireworks. Whatever you are all doing out there have a great one and stay safe.

Wishing everyone else out there a fantastic 2007.

30 Dec

Training
Following the day on, day off routine it was cross training today, which meant the Bike! A touch over 42 kms along the Warby Trail, from Wandin Station to Yarra Junction and back again in about 1 hour 52 minutes. If I finish in less time than in takes Paul Tergat to finish a marathon I am happy.

This is a truly beautiful spot, whether you are riding or running (obviously I prefer the running), gently undulating and scenery that varies from Australian Bush, Farm Land, the odd Vineyard, suburbia and a touch of Europe. There are fields full of cows and sheep, horse riders, bunny rabbits (yes, I know they are a pest but they are sooo cute), even emu’s and reindeer, there were some great big black cockatoos today as well.

I’ll hook up with my long run buddies tomorrow, even if I am only planning on 12 kms it will still be a nice change to at least have some company for 6Km before I turn back.

Operation X
Or Build a Better Runner, sorry BlkBox, nice guess but it does not involve preparation for a particular marathon, though hopefully it will lay the foundations for my much sort after sub 100 minute half marathon in 2007 and an assault on a sub 3:20 marathon sometime in the future.

So what is it? Most of the details are in the page I have started dedicated to the topic. Needless to say it is about getting serious and really thinking, living and breathing like a runner. I want to have a crack at being the best I can be, not comparing myself to others, just reaching my own potential. So no excuses, no if’s, but’s or maybe’s, just dedication and focus, but never forgetting of course that I am doing this FOR FUN :lol:

It will start on 31/01/06 which serendipitously is a Sunday which is the day I plan on checking the physical progress and summarising the week. Obviously not looking forward to the weigh in tomorrow after only running about 45kms in December and, let’s face it, making a total PIG of myself :roll: but, it is what it is, just a starting point and I have throughly enjoyed myself.

I’ll also be making sure I keep my mind in check as well. I aim to maintain a strong and positive mental attitude, to believe in myself and my abilities and to trust in my training.

Bring on 2007.

I have evil shoes

29 Dec

Running
8km in 45:06, average pace 5:37

Not quite the easy cruise on 2 days ago but my longest run since my injury. There are ups and downs at the moment, some great runs some not so, this doesn’t bother me, I am happy to ride the waves as long as I am running.

I have, however, come to the conclusion that I have acquired my first pair of evil runners. I ran in my Nike Equalons today, so far I have done 170Km in them since buying them in mid October and I have never been 100% happy with them. Every step felt laboured and I never really got into the groove of the run today. Then, while I was walking home from the station I still did not feel comfortable, my gait was off and again I just did not feel right. I love walking home from the station, it is a good time for me to reflect on the day and the run I have had. This afternoon I came to the conclusion that the Equlaons seemed to be the root of my recent problems. My foot slips in them too much and they mess with my natural gait. If I don’t even feel comfortable walking in them how can they be right to run in?

When I was entering today’s run in the log I looked over the spreadsheet and sure enough, all the runs in these shoes had been at a pace of at least 10 seconds per Km slower than normal! Also the Plantar Fascia injury hit me the day after a 20Km long run in these shoes. I also noted from my training log that I experienced discomfort a couple of times after running in them. I keep a fanatically detailed log, Psychiatrists would have a field day :lol:

So, what to do? I have 2 pairs of my beloved Brooks Trance 5s, why oh why did they mess with the support when they upgraded to the 6′s. However I don’t want to rotate 2 pairs of the same shoe. I’ll head back to Active Feet next weekend and sort out a new pair of shoes and take the Nike’s back. I don’t expect a full refund but I think I should be entitled to some sort of discount on a new pair. I have tried on so many shoes at that shop that are not appropriate, I don’t have many options for my stupid high arch feet, so it looks like I’ll have to go back to the Saucony Grid Omnis.

Alright, that’s enough now. Who else but a runner could possibly bang on about a pair of runners for this long?

Looks like hot weather is on the way for next week, time for me to shift to early morning running now.

Stuff Wots not Running
I had a great day at the Cricket with my brother and mum. I don’t get to spend much time with my brother, it was good to have a laugh (we share the same warped sense of humor) and a drink or three. He is going to be a dad for the first time at the end of January so it is really the last time we will spend together before his life changes dramatically.

I got a text message from my sister in law this evening thanking me for some baby clothes I sent back with my brother. Then she said that the reality is setting in now and what are they going to do with the baby when they get her home. My answer? “You’re asking me!!!!”

And yes, I was stoked to have the chance to see Warnie and Gra Gra (that would be Glen McGrath) play their last Melbourne’s test matches. Truly it is the end of an era, but I look forward to seeing what the new guard can do. McGrath will play on in the One Day side until after the World Cup next year. Once again the WC is in an unfavourable time zone so more sleepless night coming up for me.

Alright, I have droned on about sneakers and cricket long enough now, been a bit of a bore tonight I suppose.

Doubleplusgood

27 Dec

Hey, why get out the Thesaurus when I can just cut to the chase and borrow some Newspeak.

I had my first genuinely pleasurable run after injury today. Back to my favorite running track, The Tan for 7km in 36:35, an average pace of 5:09 with a few sub 5 minute kms thrown in for good measure :shock:

I didn’t set out to run fastish, in fact I was paying very little attention to the watch, I just ran comfortably and it turned out to be at a reasonable pace. In fact it was with trepidation that I set out, fully expecting it to be a slow painful run. Maybe it was having four days off after last weeks slow return, maybe I was feeling inspired because I was back at my preferred running track, who the hell knows, I am certainly not arguing.

I reached The Tan within one and a half songs (I don’t feel like Dancin’ and part of The Joker and the Thief) and stopped for some calf stretches, which will be my new routine. Apart from a quick water stop and traffic lights I was moving the whole time. By the time I hit The Tan proper I had a big stupid smile on my face because I just felt so damn happy to be back there. felt like hugging people (I refrained!). I was fully expecting Anderson Street to kill me, and even though I took it slower than usual I was not that troubled by it. I’ll rest again tomorrow and then return for 8kms on Friday.

I am such a good mood tonight, I really missed those endorphins :lol:

Lucky me, I have the day off work tomorrow, my brother is visiting from the Gold Coast and he is taking me to the Test Match. I am really looking forward to it, I have only been to one day matches, never a Test. I also haven’t been to the MCG to see Cricket since it was renovated AND I have never been in the Members Reserve, though I have chanted “Members are Wankers” on more than one occasion :opps: best I don’t do that tomorrow. I was at the G during the Comm Games though, to see Busters 5000 meter race and was pretty impressed with the changes. Call me sad but I always get a tingle when I walk into that place, guess I am a bit of a sport tragic!

On that note, great fight back from Symonds and Haden today. One thing’s for sure, never write the Aussies off when our backs are to the wall, I love the self belief in that team, anything is possible. That is the sort of mindset I am trying to adopt, you have to believe you can do it before you can do it.

Looking Forward

26 Dec

Back after a few days in the wilderness. I don’t like Xmas but also chose not to inflict my moodiness of the season on blog land. I’ll just say that I love Boxing Day because it means there are 364 days (365 if it is a leap year) before I have to face Xmas again. That is all I have to say on the subject.

I haven’t run since last Friday because things have just been to hectic. I have also taken advantage of the 4 days off work to get some serious house work done, a belated spring clean, which has been enough of a workout. In fact I am fitting in this post while the kitchen floor dries after a serious scrubbing (dirty grout, ughhh). With the new year coming up I want to start with a nice clean slate both physically and mentally.

I’ll be back at work tomorrow and every fibre of my being is looking forward to a run around The Tan afterwork, I have not run there since my injury and I miss it.

I’ve been able to spend quite a bit of time in the last few days reflecting and planning for 2007. Of course I have my obvious goals which are detailed in the goals page of this blog, that is, the time goals. However I have some others as well, hence the mental and physical clean up that is taking place and will continue to for the next week so I can look 2007 in the face with a fresh uncluttered outlook.

And now I am going to be coy and hold a little bit back. I have a bit of a project that will kick of on 01/01 (Running related of course), I have been mulling it over however I have not given it a name yet. It needs something like “Operation XX” or “Plan XX” but I haven’t hit on anything catchy enough yet. Maybe I shall just retain the air of mystery and keep calling it Operation X!

Yeah, I like that, Operation X it is. Without giving to much away it is my plan to build a better runner. You think I was stubborn and determined in 2006, you ‘aint seen nothing yet ;-)

Bugger, the floor is dry, time to tackle the bathroom now. A friend of mine used to have a T-Shirt that said something like “Were are all the Robots they promised us?”, I want my robot, I hate house work, something like this would be nice……

Rosie the Robot from The Jetsons, where is she when my shower needs scrubbing?

Rain, at last!

22 Dec

Cross train yesterday meant running today!

6.5km in 36:39, average pace 5:36. An easy slow one today, it was hot, humid and windy. Still feeling very comfortable and making sure I do heaps of stretching and icing on the foot when I finish.

I tried to hold of for a bit in the hope that I would catch the change and have a lovely run in the rain, but the clouds held onto their bounty. However at about 730pm the heavens opened and we got a much needed downpour, though not a very long one, hopefully there will be heaps more to come and where it is needed.

The weather forecast is for more rain and quite low temperatures over the next 5 days or so. Usually I would be having a whinge about these, especially when I have a few days off work. But really, the way things are at the moment we need it desperately so there will be no complaints from me.

Still on water, while running the streets this afternoon there were heaps of people watering their gardens. Good grief, do they not check the weather reports? Rule 1 of water conservation, if rain is forecast DO NOT WATER YOUR GARDEN!!

I noticed today that my hit count after 6 days of my new blog is over 700!! Where on earth do all these people come from?? I hope they are not too disappointed by what they find :-)

Just a short one tonight.

PS – I entered the Run 4 the Kids 15.2 km event today and I get a blue number this year because I can run 10kms in less than 50 minutes, yippee. Time prediction, hmmm, haven’t thought about that yet.

Reflections on 2006

21 Dec

Following my one day on one day off plan today was cross training day, this meant 45 minutes of rolling hills on the exercise bike. The temptation to throw myself head first into running again full time is obviously hugely overwhelming, however, I resist and proceed with my usual caution.

Reflections
Well, this should really be a New Years Eve post, but as I will not be doing any significant running between now and 01/01 this is a good a time as any for reflections on the year past, and anyway, I’m in the mood so why quibble over a week.

I have often said “I started running January this year”. This is not strictly true, I did a reasonable amount of running in the 12 months prior, however this was all on the treadmill and it was not my sole form of exercise I was also doing Spin, Pump, Cross Trainer, Rowing Machine and weight training. At the start of this year however I decided I needed a goal, having lost the 15Kgs I had gained. I can’t swim and competitive bike riding was never going to be my thing so I decided to focus on running after doing some fun runs in late 2005 and discovering that I really enjoyed the experience.

So how did 2006 pan out?

The gym membership was dumped, a proper pair of runners were purchased and I started taking my first regular steps out doors.

January saw me completing 133Kms for the month and I was so proud. I entered the 14.7Km Run for the Kids and my training focussed on getting me over the line in my goal time of 80 minutes, at that point I had run 15Km on the treadmill, ONCE (this took me 90 minutes and I got the first of many bruised toes), all other runs had been 10Km or less. I did my first outdoor long run of 11km and posted a question on the forum about long run pace and worrying whether or not I would ever be able to cope with 14.2Kms.

By the time I lined up for the race on April 9th I had several long runs behind me, including one of 24Km and I crossed the line in 75:15, almost 5 minutes under my goal time. I’d joined the R4K training runs from Niketown and met some fantastic runners who were and continue to be a constant source of encouragement, advice, laughs, companionship for long runs and have made me realise that runners are the coolest people :-)

Prior to the R4K I ran my first 10km race and learned alot as my erstwhile pacer told me at the 8km mark when I was throwing up “Welcome to racing”. My time was just over 50 minutes and it hurt alot, but in a good way (am I strange?), another 10km was raced in May, I finished in 48:10, next year I hope to go under 45 minutes.

But the big one was the Gold Coast Half Marathon that I had set my sights on when I first read about it in July 2005 and I had been training for since January this year. I’ll never forget the feeling of pure adrenalin (tinged with a healthy dose of raw naked fear) as I stood on the start line waiting for the gun. So many people had given me so much support, friendship and encouragement to get me to that point, but for the next 21.1km it was all down to me. Exactly 1 hour and 48 minutes later I crossed the finish line with my sister cheering me on.

Upon getting back to Melbourne I took the advice of a friend (a runner whose advice I respect immensely) and joined a training group so I could do some proper speedwork, I also found my fantastic massage therapist, Corrie who helps keep my niggles at bay. Speedwork was a wake up call and I initially struggled with some confidence issues as I huffed and puffed my way around the track in the cold and dark chasing everyone else. I don’t mind admitting now that the first couple of weeks were extremely difficult and I came close to packing it in and resigning myself to the role of “occasional fun runner”. But I smacked myself on the back of the head, gave myself a stern talking to, pulled my socks up, dug deep and got stuck into it. As I sit here today I am eternally grateful that I faced the challenge and did not give up because they are a great group and can’t wait until I can get back into it again mid January.

Not much racing followed the second half of the year, though I did PB a 5km (22:56) and earned a 2nd placing for my age (3rd female overall) and a nice silver medal. I chose not to race, rather focus my energies on letting my body get used to speedwork and higher mileage training ahead of another half marathon attempt in October.

October 8th and I stand shivering in a rain squall at Rickets Point on Beach Road with another 21.1kms stretched out ahead of me, just as nervous as I was 13 weeks previous. Dedicated training, a favorable tail wind for alot of the way and for the last 4kms sheer grit and determination got me to The Arts Centre in 1:44:36, a 3 minute 24 second PB. I then spent the rest of the afternoon watching inspired as several friends finished their Marathon journey’s.

A blog friend visited from NZ and I was proud to show off some of my favorite running spots on a stunning Melbourne spring morning, why would anyone sleep in on a Sunday and miss such a stunning experience, I ask you, why??

There is so much more, sub zero 7am Sunday morning long runs in Wandin, running over the Sydney Harbor Bridge in the dark, cold pouring rain (and loving every minute), getting and recovering from my first running injury, overcoming my monumental shyness and meeting lots of wonderful new people, making my mum proud of me, spending lot’s of money on sneakers, discovering I CAN live without chocolate and alcohol but not really wanting to, getting waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone and loving it and finally becoming addicted body and soul, or should I say sole, to running.

And next year, looking forward to a hugely exciting year of new challenges and experiences, running for Sandringham AC and hopefully achieving some of those time goals I have set for myself.

Fun times ahead, can’t wait to see what I can do…..

I am not proofing this post, call it a stream of consciousness ramble, I hope it makes sense.

Another Run, much better

20 Dec

Running
6km in 31:46, average pace 5:18 :-)

Yay, run day again today, I looked forward to this all day. Although it was very smokey and warm today I held off until about 6pm, a cool breeze had sprung up and it wasn’t too bad at all. I thought I would add an extra 500 mtres to each run but I was cruising along nicely so kept going until 6km then walked out the remaining 800 mtres or so to home for a cool down.

Generally I felt much more comfortable today and was moving more fluidly, as opposed to Monday when I felt like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz!

Last night I had a very relaxed dinner with the HVT crew, after 4 weeks away from sessions it was good to see everyone again, you can start to feel a bit disconnected when you are not training. There were some inaugural awards given out and I was a bit taken aback to be presented with the Rising Star award :oops: , very flattered though.

Christmas Presents
I found some great Chrissie presents for my godkids, I got them their usual books, I never get toys because they have enough. However I wanted to get them something extra so I was poking around the Oxfam shop and found these great gift cards. Essentially you buy the card to give someone and the money goes towards the program/item on the card. For Aden I bought a card that is used to buy finger puppets to educate children in South Africa about Aids (his mum, my best buddy, is South African) and for Zahra I bought a card that will buy 3 ducks for a family in Indonesia. These 2 kids are very well adjusted and are great little kids, but they don’t want for anything and that always weighs on me when I buy them presents, which is why they normally end up with books or clothes, because kids get bored of toys so fast.

I don’t think it is too early for kids to learn that it isn’t all about them and after all a Godparent is responsible for a childs’ spiritual development, I am not religious and nor are the parents (but we couldn’t think of a better term than Godmother) so helping them understand their place in the world is the best I can do. Last year I bought Aden a T-Shirt that said “Give Peas a Chance”, mainly as a stir to his Mum who is as much a carnivore as I am a vegetarian. I keep teasing her that I will convert her kids if it is the last thing I do.

:-) did I mention that I am stoked to be running again :-)

I have added a recipe page tonight, the link is over there in the sidebar, feel free to comment, ask and questions or even better leave suggestions for adaptations.

TV
For those who have Foxtel, have you seen Monkey Dust on UK TV, 11pm weeknight? Surreal in that carcrash kind of way that the British do so damn well, then again I do have a very warped sense of humor and I was PMSL watching it last night. If The League of Gentleman, Family Guy or Duckman is your cup of tea check it out. If Friends, Will and Grace or some other mainstream US shite is your cup of tea then, well, don’t go there.

Bike Day

19 Dec

As promised I am keeping the running to every second day. Couldn’t face the exercise bike so we whipped the bikes onto the back of the car after I got home from work and headed out for a quick 20kms along the Dandy Creek Trail. I made it a sprint session and pushed the pace all the way. If I was fit enough for a session tonight I would have been doing Hills up Anderson Street (as the rest of the group is doing as I type) so to atone for this I pushed as hard as I could up the couple of hills I encountered along the trail. Not quite the same as a hills session but better than nothing.

Keeping it short as I have to get back into the City for dinner this evening.

Remind me to tell you about the pressies I got for my Godkids at Oxfam yesterday, I’ll post the details tomorrow.

Have a good night.

It wasn’t pretty….

18 Dec

…but at least it was running, 5km in 28:32.

After Saturday’s tester I headed out for a “real” run today. Before setting out I decided to go for 5kms at about 6 minute pace around the streets and park near my house. Well, it was slow and it was hot and my quads were killing me after yesterday’s long bike ride, but it still felt great. Though with weather like this though I will be making the switch to early morning running.

I didn’t feel 100% today, crampy and grumpy (it’s that T.O.M) so I was stoked that I could run again because no matter what is going on it will always lift my mood, even a little slow 5km jaunt. I have lost a bit of fitness but I don’t expect it will take too long to get back.

Athletics Victoria have released the draft timetable for the Winter 2007 season. Fortunately none of the dates have clashed with my cousins wedding in May, because frankly I’d rather be competing so for the sake of familial harmony I am not having to make an unpopular decision. I know it is still 4 months away but I am pretty excited, who’d have thought something would make me look forward to Winter! The Gold Coast Half Marathon will fit nicely into the timetable as well so looks likely that I’ll give that one another go. Phew, it’s gonna be a huge year, so my challenge is to use the summer months to build my strength.

The Ashes
What can I say, after holding them for barely 15 months the Poms have handed them back to us. Thanks for that fella’s, not bad for Dad’s Army :-) Though of course I am off to day 3 of the Boxing Day Test which will be less exciting now that The Ashes are ours again.

Blog Stuff
To answer a question about using WordPress on PC, I use Mac myself and I find it fantastic, Blogger was not really Mac friendly. I had a play around at work today, so obviously using PC and work uses IE, no problems there either. I find that WordPress has more features than blogger. In particular you get heaps of stats on visitors etc, without having to download a separate hit counter. Not sure about the issue some people are reporting with the header via IE or Firefox, I checked it via IE at work and it looked fine to me, just a bit of the last word was cut off. As long as it does not affect the overall look I am not too fussed.

Another feature is that it saves every minute when you are typing a post, so if your ‘puter freezes you don’t lose too much of your post. The only thing you can’t do is modify the CSS, that is a feature you have to pay for, otherwise everything in free. Not bothered myself because that is not something I want to muck about with anyway.

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