Archive | October, 2007

Back on a plane

30 Oct

Thank God John and I have called a grammatical détente, I was starting to crack under the pressure, the other night I woke up in a cold sweat dreaming I was being attacked by rogue apostrophes.

400s on the track tonight, either 6 or 8 depending on individual levels of fitness. I rolled up prepared to do 3 but the coach asked me to try 4, we agreed that if after 3 I felt like I could do a 4th and maintain my pace then I would try the 4th.

I ended up making 4 reps, as follows –


So that was some pretty good consistency there. Sure the splits are appalling, about 7 seconds slower than I would normally manage for this set (so even when I am fit I am no speedster) and I felt about as graceful as a Brontosaurus. I figure if I can’t manage any decent speed I should not hang my head and instead try to run a consistent session, which I did. It was great to be back on the track, though as it is an all weather track and pretty unforgiving I am mindful of not over doing it.

I used my new stride sensor on the track to test it’s accuracy, even uncalibrated it is pretty spot on, the 4 by 400 metre reps came out at 1.62 Km so my run on Sunday was not just a happy fluke.

I am off to the Gold Coast tomorrow morning, my brother is getting married on Saturday and I am a Bridesmaid. I am not good with these things and am having major anxieties, the whole hair, dress, make up, everyone looking at me thing does not sit well with me but am not about indulging my petty insecurities on this blog. I am looking forward to going on some runs with my sister and showing her how to use the running watch I am going to give her.

Be back on Sunday, enjoy the rest of the week folks, happy running or what ever else turns you on.

Hey JoJo, I have read A Brave New World but only once so it didn’t make the list, thoroughly enjoyed it though and no doubt it will get another look in.

Tit for Tat

29 Oct


Seems John and I have got ourselves embroiled in a good old fashioned spelling and grammar war. Before we resort to dictionaries or is that dictionary’s, no, pretty sure it is dictionaries at 20 paces let me just say that despite an A in HSC English and a job that requires an exceptional eye for detail (granted for numbers not words) I take an appallingly sloppy attitude to spelling and grammar, not to mention the fact that I rarely proof read a post, who has the time? I even handed in an essay with absolutely no punctuation when I was in year 8, unfortunately by that stage I had yet to read Keroauc so could not plead that I inspired by the stream of consciousness vibe, man.

Regarding my 1 second of fame on the Melbourne Marathon special yesterday, nope, not the black shorts and dark top, I was in black shorts and a white tank top.

Did you read The Age today, seems Arnie does not believe that Marijuana is a drug, ’tis only a leaf folks so toke up with impunity, Arnie says it is OK. Guess that gives the green light to Heroin as it is only a pretty red flower and isn’t Cocaine just a leaf as well, while we are at it Anabolic Steroids are just a hormone aren’t they and I suppose a time bomb isn’t really a weapon just an alarm clock with a bad attitude.

I have chucked the dice again and today it is 7 books that I have read more than once

1 – Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll
2 – Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding :oops: (a bit like white bread, you know it isn’t all that good for you but it’s nice to have every now and then)
3 – Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson
4 – Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
5 – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick (which was made into the film Bladerunner which I have seen even more times than I have read the book)
6 – 1984 by George Orwell (Probably one of my most re-read books, I reckon I have a 1984 moment just about every day, more so when an election is looming)
7 – And the Ass saw the Angel by Nick Cave (contentious, some people love it some think it truly awful. I am in the love it camp, the book even makes me laugh. I saw it put on as a play once in a small room in South Melbourne with a mixture of actors and life sized puppets, it was brilliant)

No running today, I took a rest day.

Hey, where’d that hour go, it was there when I went to bed!

28 Oct

Distance – 13.27Km
Time – 1:08:13 (aiming for 70 minutes but ran a negative split)
Avg Pace – 5:09
Avg HR – 85%
Avg Cadence – 180 (steps per minute)

I woke with bad cramps this morning so that put paid to getting started early for a ride/run/ride, by the time the Neurofen was kicking in it was pretty hot and very windy, conditions I didn’t fancy taking on. Instead I took the opportunity to get a heap of stuff done around the house, uninterrupted by the need for an afternoon nap.

By about 5:30pm I was feeling pretty good and looking forward to my longest run since the injury, 70 minutes. The were some dark clouds looming and I was hoping I would be lucky enough to get rained on. Sadly all I got was a few fat drops teasing me but nothing serious, though despite that fact that it was about 26 degrees there was a cool breeze and I was fairly comfortable.

As you can see from the stats it was a mighty good run, slight tightness in the left calf and minor ITB niggle in the same leg starting at about 11Km, but apart from that a great hit out. I have a doctors appointment in 2 weeks so I’ll have a chat to her about the ITB, it has never bothered me before so I am assuming just an orthotic adjustment may be in order. I suspect that the new stride sensor may be reading slightly long but I’ll let the stats stand until I have calibrated on the track. I ran a pretty familiar course today so at worst I reckon it was only about 200 metres out, also I was pushing the pace, I felt good so just went with it. As the long runs get longer I’ll start easing off the pace.

On channel 9 today there was a highlights package from the Melbourne Marathon a month ago. There was the briefest of shots of the 10Km start, did you see me ;-) It was a blink and you’ll miss it moment and it was the best I looked all day. I feel vindicated today, I said my time was worse than I would run in training didn’t I? Today I ran though 10Km in 50:56, even accounting for inaccuracy it was still far better than my crap hit out at that fun run.

I managed 5 runs this week including speed work and I clocked up 37.4Km. Even with a trip to Queensland for 5 days from Wednesday I am hopeful I can make 40Km next week.

My poor arms are killing me today, I spent about 2 hours yesterday morning wrestling with one of the biggest Agapanthas I have ever seen. I hate them, damn weeds and I have been putting off cutting it out for too long, it was so big it took up my entire green bin and now it weighs a ton. I didn’t have the strength to cut though the roots so I was jumping up and down on the shovel :lol: In the meantime my cat Asterix dashed about the garden trying to catch butterfly’s and had a ball hiding in the seaside daisies.

Family photo, carnivores and Ab Fab Darling

27 Oct

Won’t post the stats because it was a bit all over the shop today. I was playing with my new toy, a Polar RS800 speed and distance monitor which I am sure you will agree looks uber futuristic –

My old Polar was getting on to being 2 years old and will now be passed on to my sister, hopefully it will help keep her motivated as she trains for her first Half Marathon in July next year. I had been greedily eyeing off the new Polar for ages but could not swallow the AU$899 price tag, after extensive searching I managed to find it as low as AU$749 from an Aussie on line store. They are heaps cheaper in the US however no one would ship them out of the US due to some stupid caveat imposed by Polar. I mean hey! why sell them for AU$525 when you can sell them for $899! Long story short I finally found a US site that would ship to Australia and let me keep my warranty, while I was at it I also bought a new pair of Brooks Trance, model 7 was just released and I picked up a pair for US$103 :shock: that is AU$115, amazing considering they were listed at $130 on the site.

So now I have 3 generations sitting in my rotation, 5, 6 and 7, meet The Family

I put a pair of Trance 5s into semi-retirement today, they will be reserved for Trailwalker training and the day itself, I have a pair of 6s with about 600Kms on them and will put them aside as well.

Anyway, back to my new toy. Not only does it tell you speed and distance it also records altitude, elevation, cadence, stride length, running efficiency based on HR measurements, does your taxes, cleans out the litter tray and folds the washing. I am such a nerdy analyst and I love having a stack of data to chart and pore over, even better if I can put it into a wizz bang spreadsheet with graphs and stuff. There is a dedicated online diary you can use but I prefer to customise things my own way.

I love how it gives you cadence and stride length, on my 4.5km run today my average cadence came out at an average of 89, double that and you get 178 (it only counts one foot) which I think is pretty efficient but I have to do some more research on that. I have been doing some stride drills lately in a attempt to improve my style so they must be paying off. The stride sensor seems pretty accurate out of the box, I did a few 250 metre reps on the tan this morning and they all came out just about spot on. Just to be sure though I’ll do the proper calibration on the track tomorrow.

Are you all bored yet?

The Nairobi Marathon is on tomorrow and a girl from my club is running as an Australian representative, this is one for the four Marathons in the Greatest Race on Earth and Australia has four men and four women representatives. Looking at the website though I was alarmed to note that the Nairobi Marathon organisers are boasting a

fun filled day for spectators family and friends who also take part in the carnivore atmosphere around the venue

Eeep, that is either a typo or there are going to be a hell of a lot of BBQs about the place, lock up your cows people.

Kathy thankyou so much for the Fabulous Award, how on earth to I narrow the field down to 5 people???

Here they are, in no particular order

JoJo for helping keep me sane during hours of pool running and for never failing to crack me up.

Sara for never correcting me when I constantly mispronounce her name and for being witty, intelligent, possessing the best smile I have every seen and the most cheekily naughty yet beautiful dog I have ever met.

Marilyn my blog buddy from across the ocean and fellow stress fracture sufferer, check out her blog, this girl can run and I am always in awe of her workouts.

Jason whom I have never met but am sure he will take the Fab award with good grace. The guy is in training for Iron Man Australia, Triathletes amaze me and I love the technical detail Jason puts into his blog, I always learn something new.

John ‘coz he cracks me up, I wanted to give him a girly pink award, he trained his legs off to run a sub 3 hour marathon recently, has brilliant attitude to training and running and is my own personal spell and grammar checker.

I am going to sneak in a 6th

Jay for making me do Trailwalker :lol: and because she is Fab as are all my TW buddies, Michelle and Corrie.

Jeez, I really need to start keeping these to under 500 words, is anyone still with me?

Still Here

26 Oct

Distance – 8Km
Time – 42:42
Avg Pace – 5:20
Avg HR – 86%

This was this morning at about 6 starting at Fed Square and taking in The Tan and the Yarra river. I wanted a tempo run, that is about 25 minutes worth at a 5 minute pace. Didn’t really happen, even though there were some fasters splits the best I managed was a 5:04. I suspect that the footpod I wear with my watch needs to be re-calibrated because my HR and perceived effort felt like I was getting better pace than was reflected. Considering I have had a couple of decent 4:35ish hit outs in races I certainly shouldn’t be struggling with 25 minutes at 5 minute pace. Feeling very hard done by I plotted my route on Mapmyrun when I got back to the office and even owing for error it was closer to 8.5Km than 8Km. This may explain the higher HR readings I have been getting lately and the fact that the runs have felt harder than they should have.

On the way home from my long run on Sunday I’ll swing by the Croydon Aths track and re-calibrate the footpod. To tell the truth, I bought myself a present last weekend and it arrived today from the US of A so I will actually be calibrating a new footpod :-)

I didn’t run yesterday, I had a very long day at work and by the time I knocked off just couldn’t be stuffed, hence also my reason for not posting was just too tired and it would have been whiney and boring. My boss is on leave for 2 weeks so I am in for a busy time, I’ll be doing most of my running in the morning to ensure I can get my work outs done.

I was going to roll the dice again tonight but am not feeling very creative, especially after checking out this blog, this dude does it better than me so why try to imitate, I’ll have to come up with another gimmick.

Thanks for posting the alternative Hallelujah lyrics Ewen, cracked me up :lol:

JH, definitely try not be around if I start singing Take on Me, my version can strip paint. Possibly also try to avoid being the neighborhood if The Rocky Horror Picture Show is on the box, I will sing and dance may way through the whole thing playing as many roles at once as I can manage, it is not a pretty sight. But come on, are there any moments in cinematic history that will ever top the sight of Tim Curry’s platform booted foot stomping to the beat as the elevator descends, he swings around, flings off his cape, curls that top lip “How’d you do I, see you met my, faithful (pause) Handyman (eyebrow raise), he’s just a little brought down you know, when you knocked he thought you where the Candyman…….” all the while Susan Sarandon is fainting, freaking brilliant.

Michael Caine’s “you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off”, gets me every time as well.

Awright, just though of a list, where’s the dice?

5 Old Actors who were hot when they were young

1 – Michael Caine

2 – Clint Eastwood

3 – Ian McKellen

4 – Sean Connery – not very original but damn the dude was hot

5 – Robert De Niro

This post just went all over the place didn’t it

The Roll of a Dice

24 Oct

Run leader gig tonight

Distance – 6.7Km
Time – 37:40
Avg Pace – 5:37
Avg HR – Forgot chest strap

Taking care of the 5Km group tonight, there were a heap of newbies and the paces were all over the place making it impossible to keep everyone together. I ended up doing my sheep dog act and ran back and forth to make sure everyone got some attention, hence my 5Km turned into 6.7Km. It was all over the place, there were some fast Kms and some slow ones depending on which group I was pacing.

9 Songs I know all the words to
I love to sing, unfortunately I am totally tone deaf and cats mating sound more melodious than I do. You can all relax, I reserve all my singing screeching for when I am alone in my car.

I just rolled a dice twice and came up with the number 9, so here are 9 songs I know all the words to and will always belt out when they come on the car radio.

1 – Deanna – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
2 – Hyperballad – Bjork
3 – Pictures of You – The Cure
4 – Epic – Faith No More
5 – Take on Me – AHa
6 – True Faith – New Order
7 – Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, anyone
8 – Been Caught Stealing – Janes’s Addiction
9 – Confetti – Lemonheads (Evan Dando *sigh*) He kinda shoulda sorta woulda loved her if he coulda………

Could have named 9 more but the dice rolled 9 so 9 it was.

Now I need some other list ideas dependent on the roll of a dice.

Back with the crew again

23 Oct

Speed work again tonight and this time back with the group. I took the session that was set for my group and cut it in half, still gotta take things easy.

2 by 500 metres
2 by 250 metres

I was going to aim for 120 seconds for the 500s and 60 seconds for the 250s, however as I was running with a group again that pushed me to some quicker reps.

1:55 (HR 88%)
2:00 (HR 86%)
56 (HR 72%)
53 (HR 79%)

I can explain the erratic splits, we were on The Tan at about 6:15pm, it gets pretty busy around then and there can be a bit of weaving around walkers 3 and 4 abreast. Despite that I was happy with the session and it was cool to be running with the other girls again and after Sunday’s sluggish run I felt heaps better today. All up with warm up and cool down it was roughly a 5Km day.

I am really enjoying returning to proper training again and am feeling really positive and re-energised at the moment :-)

Time to relax now, getting back into it also means back to shorter posts on a Tuesday and Wednesday night because I get home after 730pm.

I’ll save all my rants, raves and general musings for later in the week.


22 Oct

A rest day today, after a bit of a tough one yesterday I opted to rest so I could be at my best tomorrow for speedwork.

Here is the rough plan for the week -
Mon – Rest
Tue – Speedwork which will be 2 by 250 metre and 2 by 500 metre on The Tan, I will aim for 4 minute per Km pace. I have taken the session set for my group and cut it in half.
Wed – Run leading so easy 35 minutes
Thurs – 45 minutes including 35 minutes at 5 minute per Km pace
Fri – 50 minutes easy
Sat – Rest
Sun – Ride/Run/Ride, the run will be 70 minutes

After 4 years of loyal service my beloved toaster toasted its last on Sunday morning :cry:

It was only a $25 cheapie that was bought to replace a $10 cheapie that I had owned since I left home at 19, but for 4 years it worked its little elements out keeping up with my insatiable demand for toasted carbs.

In today’s disposal society it has been relegated to the pile for the next hard rubbish collection and the search for a new one begins in earnest.

Last week my manager sent me a $50 Myer voucher, my work gives out the occasional Spot Prize for a job well done. So I have decided to treat myself to a souped up wizz bang will even take your rubbish our for you model and have decided on one of these

I usually buy unsliced sour dough bread so I wanted one with the extra long slots and of course the all important crumpet/bagel setting so you only toast one side.

A runner can’t be long without her toaster, where will I be without toast and honey before a long run or race?

Glycogen depleted, that’s where

I love toast :-)

I love Crumpets and Bagels and Fruit Bread and Waffles.


Summer time and the running is hard

21 Oct

Ok, not quite Summer yet but certainly very Summery weather with a 33 degree Sunday here in Melbourne.

Running and Riding
Distance – 10.8Km
Time – 60 minutes
Avg Pace – 5:33
Avg HR – 90% :shock:

Yeah, I know, HR pretty damn high, again too high considering the pace.

The workout started on the Warbuton Rail Trail (generally referred to here as the Warby Trail) at the Cog Cafe in Mt Evelyn. The first part is mostly downhill and it was a quick freewheeling 20 minutes to Seville Station (roughly 10Km) where the bikes were locked up and the run started.

I felt good initially but at 9am the day was already very hot, it had been a while since I had run in those conditions and did it take me by surprise as I had opted not to carry any hydration on the run portion. Pretty quickly I was cursing myself for not getting started earlier, the wind was kicking up a heap of dust too.

Still, it was to be my first 60 minute run since returning from injury and I was determined to get through it. I had set out to do a run of this length a few weeks ago but a very tight ITB pulled me up short, fortunately today it did not cause me any problems. The first half I was hitting my target pace (5:15) but once I reached the turnaround I discovered I was into a hot headwind and suddenly felt a bit wobbly. My HR was way to high and on the return journey stopped a few times for about 30 seconds to compose myself, at one point I was feeling a wee bit wobbly and gave myself a bit of a scare, feeling a bit sick. I ended up with a positive split and walked out the last 800 metres or so for the 10.8Km.

I read an interesting piece in the latest Running Times magazine about the effect of heat on the heart rate, in summary

When your body steals the water part of the plasma for use as sweat, the total amount of fluid coursing through your blood vessels shrinks. To pump this ever diminishing amount of fluid through the system, your heart has to beat faster.

I assure you, I was sweating, bucketloads and when I finished the workout I had so much salt dried to my face I couldn’t smile. As much as I love Summer give me a Wintry 2 degree Sunday morning at Warby for my long run any time, though anyone who has joined me on these runs will testify to the fact that I use a great deal of unladylike language until I warm up.

Back at the bikes it was gulps of warm Endura (forgot to freeze it the night before) and back on the bikes for the return journey. This was mostly uphill, one of the reasons why I stopped only 20 minutes out, I knew after the run it would probably take about 40 minutes to return and I was pretty spot on.

Then at the top of the last hill, the glorious site of the Cafe knowing that inside would be delicious home made muffins and cold cold drinks. A raspberry and white chocolate muffin and a bottle of lemonade later and all was right with the world. I am feeling fine now, though it took a bit to re-hydrate and I am ravenous.

It was a good workout and despite the less than fantastic run I’ll be heading back next week to add 10 minutes to the run, hopefully in cooler conditions.

Finally, after being ill and away from home for work I have managed to get another consistent week of training completed. Only 34.6Km but aiming for high 30s next week, but I also started speedwork again and did my first 60 minute run since the injury.

Thanks for not laughing at me yesterday, I know it was a pretty obvious revelation, but like I say, I do tend to over analyse. I certainly have no ambitions towards emulating the weekly mileage of an elite athlete but do see value in learning by what they do and working within my own limitations to do the best I can. I have found that 80 to 90Km weeks suit me well and have no problems fitting the necessary training into me weekly plan. Hopefully by early next year I will be getting back up there again.

Tonight I am off to dinner and a movie. Last Xmas Mum gave me some Gold Class vouchers but nothing has really taken my fancy. I had wanted to see The Bourne Ultimatum though and finally got around to booking the seats. I am looking forward to having someone else cook my dinner and then kicking back in the big comfy chair and trying not to fall asleep while I watch the film.

Damn, I can be really dim sometimes

20 Oct

Distance – 6.9Km
Time – 40:30
Avg Pace – 5:52
Avg HR – 79%

I did a run leader session on an absolutely glorious spring morning at Jells Park today. A fellow run leader helpfully pointed out to me that come April 2008 it will be a matter of start here and don’t stop until you hit 100Km :lol:

I was the back marker and had a lovely chat with a lady who was really enjoying her run and was happy for me to chew her ear off and push her to run a little harder than she would on her own. As with Wednesday evening it was an extremely easy pace for me so I am a little puzzled about average HR, it seems a little high and would have expected to see it in the low 70%. Maybe it was because I was talking while I was running or maybe just that flu lingering in my system, hopefully it will settle soon.

I finished Paula Radcliffe’s biography today, that woman has had more injuries and set backs than I have had hot dinners, yet she kept bouncing back and has still managed to have a pretty spectacular career and hopefully still has some great racing ahead of her after her recent lay off. It was while reading this book that I had one of those smack yourself on the forehead moments. OK, so I don’t have an IQ to match Stephen Hawking and Mensa are not banging my door down begging me to come on board, but I can hold my own and I am far from being the dullest tool in the box, I would say I am the classic B Student, so saying all this I am a tad embarrassed to divulge my recent revelation. I get the feeling that it will be met with a resounding chorus of No Shit Sherlock.

So here goes…..

Mere mortals can not and should not try to match the heroic weekly mileage run by elite athletes. They are quicker and will cover more ground in less time, therefore as I was musing recently perhaps taking a time based approach to my training is not a bad idea. Rather than looking at Paula Radcliffe or Benita Johnson running 160Km a week it is less suicidal to look at it in terms of they run XX hours a week and include a track interval session, a long run and a tempo run as well as a stack of bread and butter comfortable training runs, bearing in mind they will also run twice a day, I certainly won’t be in the near future.

So Paula and Benita go out for an easy 60 minute run and cover say 16 or 17 Kms, Em goes out for an easy 60 minute run and covers 11 or 12 Km and at the end of the week covers 90Km, not 160Km. Yet I still do all my key workouts, hopefully remain uninjured and become the best runner I can be within the limitations of my body, talent (or lack thereof) and the fact that this is my hobby not my full time job.

It’s great when you get some perspective.

OK, you may all mock and deride, I can take it.

Problem is I have a tendency to over analyse things TO DEATH, I will pick the bones out of something until there is nothing left and often have trouble spotting the forest with all those dang trees getting in the way.

In a funny way getting injured was almost a blessing, it forced me to step back and re-evaluate and start doing things smarter.

*contented sigh*

And to Rome

Someone put red dye in the Trevi Fountain in Rome today

It was to protest the money spent on the Rome Film Festival. This does not really do much for me, I am not part of the Andrew Bolt brigade, carping on about money being spent on The Arts when they don’t like the art on which the money is being spent. Life is short, why should we not be stimulated, enthralled and engaged by what art and the arts can give us?

Then again I can see the protesters point, no doubt they would prefer to see the money spent on the poor and the marginalised and I have no issue with that either.

But ultimately I was motivated to post the picture because the images on the news were incredibly striking to me and simply stood out in my mind as a symbol of Rome’s bloody history, from Caligula to the Colosseum to the public execution of Vercingetorix (awright I slip that in as a proud Celt). Not trying to make any bold statements here, I was just captivated by the image.


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