Archive | March, 2008

Rest Day

31 Mar

For want of a better title.

Do I need to paint a picture?

It is a rest day today. With long reps on the agenda for tomorrow, 4 by 1km, I figured today was a good day to have off so I could be fresh for tomorrow. I like doing long reps, far more suited to where my talents lie. I have pulled up well today, just a little bit sore in the hammies and a buggered toe on my right foot, both are usual for any race over 10km and not cause for concern. In fact I was feeling pretty sprightly this morning, still on a bit of a high from yesterday’s better than expected run I suppose. I am hanging for the official results but they aren’t up yet, they reckon by the end of the week :shock: pretty slack really considering it was chip time. I know it was a big event (17,900 in the 14.1km), however I am always able to get big city international marathon results the day after and they have 10s of 1000s of entrants.

Remember last December some nuff nuff ran into the back of my car? After a couple of booking stuff ups by the Panel Beater I finally got my car in today, I had a bit of a wait because I needed to use one of their loan cars. So my beloved Scooby Doo dropped off today and a 17 year old Toyota is my transport for the rest of the week. I was handed the keys with the reassurance that “it’s an automatic so it’s easy to drive”, gee thanks, patronising much!! I duly handed over the keys to my MANUAL and yet remarkably easy to drive car and was on my way.

Of course it does feel heaps different to the car I usually drive and have a few pointers to remember over the course of the week –

  • Loan car is not an AWD and as such does not take kindly to being fanged over the speed humps in my street
  • Loan car does not have central locking so must remember to manually lock doors lest my stuff get stolen
  • Loan car is a crusty old automatic and as such has about as much pick up as Sloth on Mogadon
  • Loan car has fuel tank on other side
  • Loan car is a grey Toyota sedan not a red Subaru Forester a fact I MUST remember to save me wandering around car park for 30 minutes convinced my car has been stolen
  • I have tried a new Pumpkin Soup recipe tonight, it smells good but I haven’t tried it yet, still waiting for it to cool so it can be blended, I’ll let you know.

    Here is a post race pic of me, Jo (one of my running buddies yesterday) and volunteer and on her way to be a runner again Sara

    Run for the Kids

    30 Mar

    Unlike last year I made it to the start line, my mother is on the Gold Coast today with a full complement of blood pressure medication so there was nothing stopping me from running today.

    As I have been bitching and moaning about for a week I am not myself right now, however after a 2km warm up I was feeling more OK than I thought I would so I was ready to try and have a good run. I caught up with Jo and Andrew pretty quickly and we trotted off for more of a warm up, ended up being a pretty short one though as all the dang walkers kept getting in the way. In between dodging slow moving people and helping aggressive men with a pressing need to pee we also bumped into John. As I had let go of my usual anal retentive ways I was at the start line a mere 30 minutes from the beginning, not 24 hours prior as is my usual habit (you know, just in case), therefore as the 4 of us shuffled off to pop ourselves into the Blue Zone we only had to cool our heels and make small talk for about 10 minutes or so.

    With a whimper rather than a bang we were off, the horn was a bit sad sounding and a shout of “come on, you’re off” over the load speaker had us all shuffling towards to the start line. True to form John took off like a shot and that was the last we saw of him, we are assuming he finished roughly 56 minutes later and hopefully his well rehearsed son had a “Go Daddy” for him at the finish line.

    Jo, Andrew and I set off at a more conservative pace and started working our way though the crowd. Once in the tunnel we took advantage of the decline and picked up some speed, I was desperate to get out because it was hot and I suffer from claustrophobia. Running up the incline coming out of the tunnel was tough and I told the other 2 that I might drop back and just jog it out. Phooey, once on the flat again I had recovered and was able to pick up the pace again. It was at this point I spotted Lee and Rupert and the 5 minute Km pace balloons and set about reeling them in, mostly as a distraction and mini goals help me push though. We caught them both and then left them behind, obviously with the intention of not having them pass us for the rest of the race (they didn’t!).

    The Bolte Bridge was another tough spot, when I ran the inaugural event in 2006 we did the Bolte from the opposite direction so I had forgotten that there was a steady uphill to tackle. Here is where I felt the low iron stores the most, my gut started to cramp and it was hard for me to fill my lungs. I mentioned to Jo that I thought I was going to hurl, she felt the same, Andrew was doing alright so we put our heads down and got stuck in.

    Thank god for the gentle decline down the other side, I just let the legs roll over and caught my breath, again it took me longer to recover than it usually would. We were able to get back on pace once over the bridge and I even made it to the 10km mark with a new PB (47 something, still soft) so was on course for better than 70 minutes. There was a bit of chat between Jo and I, generally stating how shit we were feeling, especially after another short rise up Collins Street. Then again the fact that we could talk to express these feelings was probably an indication that we were not working hard enough :lol:

    The last 4km was tough, but not the hardest thing I had ever done. We hit a bit of a bottle neck as the course narrowed up Flinders Street, this was kind of annoying as I was ready to open up and just get the thing over with but I had to duck and weave again. The finish came up very quickly though as I was unsure of where the finish line was, there were some very cool African Drummers that helped me step up a bit and I was able to pick up my pace with relative comfort.

    Next thing I knew we were racing around to the left, more dodging people, and I shouted to Jo that it was time for us to go for it, we bolted for the finish and although all 3 of us did not cross together we did finish within seconds of each other. The fact that I was unsure of where the finish line was helped me overcome the stomach cramps I usually get when my iron is down, I was distracted and caught up in racing to the line.

    Though the finish chute I saw Mark and then just past the spot where they check your race number I saw Stu with a big smile, this is the best part, I am always on a high at the end and I love seeing a friendly face or two, especially after a season on the side lines :-)

    My final time was 67:26

    Yes, I am mighty happy about this, a few weeks ago I was aiming for 70 minutes and that’s when I was feeling good! I was surprised that I was able to do it, the support of a couple of mates was invaluable, we really helped each other though and it made for a really enjoyable experience. Afterwards we took off to the pub for a post mortem and some much deserved rehydration (just lemonade for me, still can’t quite face alcohol).

    For what it’s worth here are my splits, I had my stride sensor set to auto lap because I knew I would miss some of the markers. It read 14.24 Km, the course was set at 14.1 Km so I am satisfied that my sensor was pretty accurate because you never run the measured line of the course.

    1 – 5:11 (5:11)
    2 – 4:41 (9:52)
    3 – 4:58 (14:50)
    4 – 4:55 (19:45)
    5 – 4:43 (24:29)
    6 – 4:38 (29:07)
    7 – 4:49 (33:57)
    8 – 5:02 (38:59) – Bolte Bridge
    9 – 4:22 (43:22)
    10 – 4:28 (47:51)
    11 – 4:32 (52:23)
    12 – 4:48 (57:12)
    13 – 4:33 (61:44)
    14 – 4:39 (66:24)
    240 – 61 seconds (67:26)

    Oh yeah, I also ran a lazy 7km as a cool down, I was going to run 10km, but, well, I didn’t :lol:

    This finishes a great week for me, just shy of 70km which is my biggest running week in I don’t know how long and off only 5 days running. My legs are tired but I have a huge sense of satisfaction, 80 to 90km weeks will be back on the agenda over winter :-)

    PS
    ALIGNMENT – yes I know!

    My attention to detail is appalling when I am tired, I need to change my spell checker from US English to Australian English and stop blindly accepting corrections as gospel.

    thunk!

    29 Mar

    That is just me hitting a bump in the road, axle slightly bent, wheels thrown out of alinement and the muffler hanging loose.

    I haven’t been right for about 2 and a half weeks now, seriously deflated and run down. Every morning I wake up hoping to be my old self again but it isn’t happening. It is definitely not over training, Trailwalker is only 2 weeks away so we are tapering now. About a month ago now I felt on top of my game and bursting with energy, really looking forward to the Run for the Kids and winter season, now all I want to do is sleep :-(

    The Run for the Kids is tomorrow (14.1km) and my confidence is down, I will run but chances are it will be a light session, nothing serious. Normally I would have a short light run the day before but today I have taken the opportunity to rest up and try to recharge my batteries. Unlike this time last year though, when it was all going to hell because I was developing the stress fractures I know this is temporary and when I get my jab next Friday I will start to feel better again, just pissed that I finally get to run a race and I can’t capitalise on the form I was running in to.

    I did run last night, though with the event on Sunday decided against doing the 3 lap Tan progressive set in favour of a 11km fastish run. I finished up at around 5:07 minute Kms, though it did not feel as comfortable as that pace normally would for me.

    With Trailwalker only 2 weeks ago now my thoughts have started to turn to post event training and my major goals for the winter –

  • A new 10km PB – Currently a rather mortifying 48:14, although the goal race is about 5 weeks after TW I am hopeful I can sharpen up and run a sub 46 minutes
  • A new half marathon PB – Currently an OKish 1:44:38 – Goal race the AV half marathon in September, by which point, thanks to last years injury it will have almost 2 years since I had run a HM :shock: I am looking forward to getting stuck into a hard winters training with the aim of going somewhere around 95 minutes
  • There it is too, I am looking forward to getting stuck into some hard work. I have had to dig deep and display a patience far beyond what I thought I was capable of and have had an incredibly laboured and slow comeback from injury, I am coming up on 1 year for pity’s sake and have done very little since I was officially declared “better”. There was method in the madness, not do anything crazy before TW, keep the running mileage to under 65km a week (this has been hard) and step up just before winter starts. Obviously there will be a rest period after TW finishes then I can start putting the new training plan into place, it is sketched out in my head and I will run it past Tim after TW.

    Back onto Thursday’s post, good call Andrew, Nicole did spring to mind though she has yet to reach Fright Mask status. I did recently stumble onto a pretty funny blog dedicated to celebrity and their relentless search for youth and perfection, of which “our” Nicole is the primary focus.

    Hope everyone participating in the Run for the Kids tomorrow has a good one, hopefully I will catch up with some familiar faces at the start. I am cooking up my usual night before a race dinner, home made Nasi Goering, maybe it will help put the spring back in my step, it hasn’t failed me yet and I have it before every race.

    I think I may need another nap now Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Leeches and Botox

    27 Mar

    Running
    Wednesday means run leading for me, last night I was rostered to the 10km slow group, however due to the inclement weather, ie it was pissing down and also as this is the week before the Run for the Kids event we have been training people for, we decided to cut the distance to 8km.

    I can’t believe that Monday last week we cut sessions short because it was 40 fecking degrees and last night we were all huddled under the marquee shivering and wet!

    Steve Moneghetti made an appearance last night too, I was able to have a very quick chat with him before he set off for a run of his own, but then to my surprise when Chris, Rob and I set off to take our group for a run Steve joined us. How cool is that, I got to run with Mona last night! He was incredibly gracious and friendly, everyone ran as a group and they all had a chance to bend his ear and he was more than happy to give out advice and interact with the runners. Also as we made our way about the place heaps of other people would shout out Hi or high 5 him, he responded to everyone like they were long lost mates, very cool :-)

    Today is a rest day for me and I have a massage this afternoon.

    Mutton Anyone?
    I don’t know which is worse really, the leeches (euowwww) or the silicon lubricant.

    The evergreen Demi Moore, in her constant battle to ensure she is not mistaken for her husband’s mother has turned to leeches to help maintain her youthful glow. Before you become too grossed rest assured –

    “These aren’t just swamp leeches though – we are talking about highly trained medical leeches. These are not some low level scavengers – we’re talking high level blood suckers.”

    I wonder what university one attends to become a “highly trained medical leech”. Are the really bright ones offered scholarships? Do they have to pay HECs and how on earth do they carry their satchels?

    Demi, you could save yourself a whole heap of cash and just take a stroll though you local wetlands because Honey be under no allusions that there is very little separating your low level scavengers from your high level blood suckers. As for the claim that they are somehow detoxifying your blood, do you not have kidneys???

    Continuing the theme, it has come to light that Priscilla “take the mask off Halloween was months ago” Presley was taken for a ride by a Doctor claiming to be giving her a new gee wizz Botox injection. Turns out that she may as well have demanded a bulk discount and popped the Merc in for a lube job at the same time as the good doctor was in fact injecting her with a low grade silicone used in the auto industry, ughhh, no wonder she always has that look on her “face”.

    Honestly, why must these vain women torture themselves so, there is far more honour and respect to be gained from aging gracefully than there is in turning yourself into a walking freak show. Give me SPF 30+, a hat and my Oil of Olay over leeches and lube jobs any day.

    I adore Helen Mirren, brimming with talent, responsible for one of my all time favourite TV characters Jane Tennison of Prime Suspect fame (oh the hours I spend trying to cultivate that cold penetrating stare of hers) as well as a whole stack of great movie roles over the years, gorgeous when she was young and still beautiful today, despite clearly having had no “work” done, a true role model.

    You be the judge, I’d be more than happy to look like Ms Mirren when I hit my 60s, I am quite partial to being able to form facial expressions.

    Helen

    Aghhhhh, I mean, Priscilla

    I dunno, a bit of running a bit of something else

    26 Mar

    I was determined to get though my quality session last night, the plan was as follows
    2 by 6 minutes
    2 by 5 minutes
    2 by 4 minutes
    2 by 3 minutes

    Still feeling pretty wiped out yesterday I decided to hit them all at about 5km race pace and concentrate on consistent efforts, I finished up slightly slower than planned but the consistency was there, we changed directions so every second rep started on a steady uphill.

    1st 6 – 4:32 pace – 1.33 km
    2nd 6 – 4:36 pace – 1:32 km

    1st 5 – 4:34 pace – 1.11 km
    2nd 5 – 4:39 pace – 1.09 km

    1st 4 – 4:36 pace – 880 mtre
    2nd 4 – 4:36 pace – 880 mtre

    1st 3 – 4:36 pace – 660 mtre
    2nd 3 – 4:29 pace – 690 mtre

    Finished the session just short of 8 km, my tummy was not happy and there was some slight dizziness, but that is just the effect of the low iron, apart from that I was happy with the way it went, better than I had hoped for.

    Keep telling yourself that

    Kristy Hinze loves billionaire boyfriend’s brain

    “To me, it was different to hang out with someone with something to say that was so interesting and important and who was truly, incredibly intelligent.

    “He’s handsome and has so much charisma – and he’s so funny.”

    Would that still be the case if he weren’t worth US$1.1 billion I cynically muse? Far be it for me to cast Nasturtiums on the lovely Kristy, but I have 3 words of advice for Mr Clark – Prenup Mills Heather.

    ’nuff said

    Not too sure about the good looking comment either, he may look OK for his 62 years but he appears to be Kevin Rudd’s long lost yank cousin and what is with the brown shoes?

    Then again who am I to comment, I think Nick Cave and Will Self are a but of “orright”, so I suppose Kristy and I both share a love of brains over brawn. I may have to put together a post on my Wrong Crushes, I have many :oops:

    Fairy floss and iron

    25 Mar

    For a while there about 2 to 3 years ago I was regularly heard to declare “NO! I have not read the freaking Da Vinci Code and NO I don’t want to borrow your copy when you have finished, I would rather read the back of a cereal packet”, though it is entirely possible that I exaggerate and perhaps a more demure “No, no I haven’t read it” was a more common response when asked if I had flicked though the aforementioned publication.

    So it kinda tickled me the right way when I read this in The Age today –

    If you have an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters and an infinite amount of time, they will eventually produce the work of Shakespeare. I think if you have one monkey, one typewriter and one minute it’ll be able to produce a Dan Brown novel.
    Tom Middlebrook, Weird Science (What the Bleep Does God Know?)

    This is not to say that pulp fiction is beneath my lofty intellect (cough splutter choke) in fact I am rather fond of indulging in the odd bit of mental fairy floss, especially when I have to fly and I have the attention span of a gnat with a rather short attention span, though I do tend to go the Candace Bushell “Sex and the City” route rather than the hackneyed old conspiracy theory route, but each to their own.

    Sorry, no wedding photo’s yet. I have some on my camera but they are all from the lead up, there are none of me all dressed up, you will have to wait until I get my hands on some.

    Running
    Sadly no 5km race on Monday morning, after a week on Queesland time which meant very light mornings I ended up oversleeping and would not have made it in time. I am still pretty weary even today so I guess I needed the rest, I underestimated how much last week took out of me, I doubt I would have been able to put in a decent performance anyway.

    This is all kinda pissing me off now though, I had finally started to run into some form and now I won’t be able to fit in a 5km race before winter starts, instead I am going to have to fit one in during the season. My iron levels are shot to hell at the moment though and I am really starting to feel it, I am a wee bit run down and sluggish, my appointment to get my injection isn’t until Friday next week :-(

    Which leads me to the Run for the Kids, I was going to aim for 5 minute Kms, but now I will just play it by ear on the day and see how I am feeling.

    I had two bloody ordinary runs yesterday. I did 11kms at about 5:30 pace at lunch time, I was hoping it would clear some cobwebs but it was a slog and it sucked and I mooched around all afternoon feeling sorry for myself. Then I did a slow 5.3kms as run leader, nothing spectacular there. I am going though a small rough patch, no doubt I will bounce back to my old self in a week or so, I need to catch up on some sleep and stay away from alcohol for oh, about a month.

    Jeez, have a sook why don’t you Em :roll:

    Done my dash

    23 Mar

    Yep, as of yesterday I have been 3 times a Bridesmaid so I guess these means that no one will marry me now :lol:

    Apparently in my role protecting the bride from evil forces I am now a lost soul, impure and unworthy or marriage, or so the legend goes :roll:

    Tuesday
    Missed my flight! I fly alot and despite some near misses have never missed a flight, I gave myself 2 hours but the traffic on the Eastern Freeway was more horrendous than usual (it was peak hour) and it took me an hour to get from Blackburn to Punt Road. I often catch the 09:25 flight to the Gold Coast and have never had a problem making it when I leave home at about 07:30. Just one of those crap days, there was no point getting bent out of shape. I called my sis while I was in transit and by the time I had pulled in to the long term car park at the Airport I had a new flight booked that was boarding in under 30 minutes so no endless wait at the airport for another flight. It did suck though that my original fare was a $89 sale fare that I had to forefit, though I think I got off pretty lightly paying $200 for a new flight right before Easter holidays.

    Once on the Coast I was whisked away to have my blonde foils redone (a bit glam for me but I do like the result) and then somehow my sister, her fiance (husband now) and I managed to drink 2 bottles of wine in quick succession, so no running on Tuesday.

    Wednesday
    I enjoyed a sleep in thanks to the new awning my sister had installed on the spare bedroom window, so no AM run. We had a busy day out and about finalising some last minute wedding details, picking up the groomsmen’s suits and so on. I was desperate for a run by the afternoon and managed a reasonably comfortable 9km at just under 5 minute pace. This was around the streets of my sister’s neighbourhood and was more enjoyable than my usual Queensland runs possibly because it was much cooler than it had been when I last ran in Melbourne. Funnily though whenever I run up there in my shorts and crop top I always get cars of youths honking at me or making comment which does not really happen so much in Melbourne, you would think they would be used to seeing bare tummies up there wouldn’t you?

    Thursday
    No chance for an afternoon run. We had a kitchen tea for my sister, manic, but lot’s of fun. I spent a quiet night with my niece and sister in law which was a chance for us to catch up and enjoy some calm before the wedding storm as she was also a bridesmaid.

    Friday
    Wedding rehearsal at the venue first thing in the morning and I had my first emotional moment when we walked down the “aisle” (it was an outdoor wedding) and it all started to hit me. The bridesmaids and my mum then took my sister away to the Radisson and surprised her with an afternoon of pampering at the spa and a night at the hotel. We were originally planning on spending the night at my brothers house but decided to make it more special. I just had a manicure, because I suck at doing them myself and then sat by the pool in my bikini and read a book. I had a 45 minute run on the treadmill at the hotel gym which was mind numbingly tedious and I had to keep cranking up the speed on the tready to keep from going out of my mind, I think I “ran” about 9.1km. I had not done such a long treadmill run for about 2 years and quickly remembered why I started running outdoors in the first place.

    We had dinner at the hotel then my sister, sister-in-law and mum headed to our rooms for an early night. The other bridesmaid had to go back to her own hotel as she has a 2 year old daughter who she did not want to spend the night away from. My mum had a room to herself and us girls were sharing a double, we decided to let my sis have a bed to her self and Kel and I shared. We sat up and giggled and gossiped for a while over cupcakes and a bottle of Moet, it was not a bad way to spend an evening. The next morning my sis in law told me that at one stage in the night she rolled over to hug me before realising that I was me and not my brother :lol:

    Saturday
    The big day!

    I have a stack of photo’s to download, so those will make an appearance later. I won’t bore you all with the details, however it was a beautiful wedding, even for this old cynic. The venue was stunning, we had our own dressing room with a massive balcony, we all felt like we were getting ready for the Oscars. Because money was not being spent on a convoy of cars the groom and groomsmen arrived via helicopter, it was very exciting. I was totally out of my element having the photo’s done and as usual frustrated the photographer with my refusal to smile with my teeth, I eventually gave in to shut her up. My sister looked stunning, she is very photogenic and loves to perform so I know the professional pics will look great.

    The ceremony was on the 17th green (forgot to mention the venue was also a golf course), despite some dark clouds all morning the weather cleared and it was perfect. I was holding it together quite well, apart from a few tears when I helped my sister get dressed, but made the mistake of looking back at my sis when I started my walk down the aisle, by the time she made it to the end I was sobbing, thank god it was a short ceremony and the make up artist stuck around.

    After the ceremony the bridal party headed off in Golf Buggies with a hamper for some more photo’s and some quiet time at the 10th hole. There was some yummo nibbles, champers for the girls and beer for the boys, some of the “fun” photos the photographer had in mind were a bit odd and by that stage we were all a bit squiffy and maturity levels had plummeted, by that stage it was easy for me to smile because I was laughing so much. The ride back to the venue in the golf buggy was a bit hairy (no breathalysers on the golf course!) because we were all busting for the loo having finished all the grog they sent us out with, waste not want not after all ;-)

    The reception was a blast, the quiet and retiring Em you all know and love is an entirely different creature all together with a skinful of bubbly and a DJ. My shoes were quickly kicked off and it was off to the dance floor, fortunately I can always rely on my brother, sis in law, sister, cousins and their partners to join me as well, we are a family that loves a good time. Before I knew it it was midnight and my sister and her new husband were being called to say goodbye. My sister, bless her, did not want to leave, she was having too much fun! Time for one last dance and then off home to bed. I was being harangued to kick on to a club, for some reason I was a wee bit popular with some people last night, not really used to the attention, I guess the bridesmaids are an obvious target :oops: I opted out though as I was desperate to get my make up off and pull all the pins out of my hair. If I had a change of clothes I would have been well up for it because I was wide awake and raring to go, but was just too uncomfortable in my fancy bridesmaid get up. Also I was keeping going on my fitness and stamina alone, not everyone else was in the same boat so I knew I would crash first and end up slumped in the corner of a night club somewhere desperate for a face washer and my PJs.

    The rest is between me and the over abundance of digital cameras that were floating about the place, I sense I may be forking out some serious bribe money in the coming days, lucky this is my blog and I have right of censor!

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