Archive | January, 2009

Mercy

28 Jan

We Melbournians were only recently complaining about the slow start to Summer after an unseasonably cold and wet December.

We really should have kept our fool mouths shut because for the last two days it has been hotter than the surface of the sun outside, it was 43 freaking degrees today and will be for the next two days :shock:

Last nights session was short and sharp, after a warm up we did 3 sets of 8 reps of 50 metres as follows

Set 1 – 40 seconds each (ie recovery was what ever was left over of 40 seconds after the rep)
Set 2 – 30 seconds
Set 3 – a rather frenetic 20 seconds

Then a cool down, just under 5km for the day.

Any other time I would have gone for my run in the relative cool of the 18 degree morning today, but I am still suffering from Sundays mountain run and was tired. Frankly I didn’t fancy 13kms in the furnace like conditions this afternoon so a rest day today.

For some stupidly masochistic reason I decided to drive home without the air con this afternoon, thereby turning my car into a sauna, all I needed was some snow to frolic naked in and some switches of birch to thrash myself with at the end (the snow would have been quite welcome). The result was a sweat so prolific that my clothes were wringing wet, I won’t be repeating that exercise.

I am going to have to fit in a run tomorrow morning before coaching, so a 430 start for me :roll:

To be honest I am not fussed, the old me would be freaking out about the lost training. The new me can cope with an unexpected easy week, shit happens.

I am off to the Gold Coast on Friday morning and haven’t started to pack yet, so that’s all from me, back next week.

Oh Alright

26 Jan

I’m in, despite a pair of rather tender quads courtesy of yesterdays hill running I have decided that I will enter then AURA Maroondah Dam Trail Run on the 15th of February, though I’ll be taking the 30km soft option. I checked the results for last year and there were plenty of people finishing between 4 and 4 and half hours, I am sure that if I just keep moving forward in one form or another that I can get over the line in around that time.

No running today, I just took an easy bike ride along the Warby Trail with my younger brother, we only rode about 27km and the last part was pretty slow as we just rode up hill side by side chatting about this and that. At the end we parked our bikes outside the cafe and I went inside to order coffees, I nearly came unstuck walking down the tiniest of slopes as my quads almost gave way on me :lol:

Yay, only 3 days of work this week then I am off on holidays, looking at the weather forecast this week looks like I will be escaping to Queensland for cooler weather.

Obama pictures and McCain pictures
see Sarah Palin pictures

I ran up the side of the mountain

25 Jan

Has anyone heard this song, can’t for the life of me remember who sings it but it tormented my for most of the morning as I was dragging my self up and down Mt St Leonard.

I’m gonna walk up the side of the mountain
I’m gonna walk down the other side of the mountain
I’m gonna swim in the river and lie in the sun
I’m gonna try and be nice to everyone

Rather sums up my morning really, I did run (and walk) up the side of the mountain and down again, there was even a little dip in a rather frigid river (one could hardly call it swimming though) and a little lie in the sun and I am pretty sure I was nice to everyone as well :-)

I picked John up on my way through and met Michelle, Mark, Sam, Jed, Sue and their lovely kids at the Marondah Dam park, then we all cooled our heels for a while waiting for the ranger to get out of bed, have a coffee, cook up some pancakes, give the wife a kiss, play with the kids and come unlock the gate, Ok, he wasn’t that late but we were anxious to get going.

What can I say, it was a tough 23km and I did miss the last 5 minutes or so to the summit but it was in a word simply glorious out there this morning and I wouldn’t have chosen to be any where else. Michelle was a legend and soldiered on through some bad back pain (otherwise she’d have shown me up very badly), this also gave me an excuse to walk some of the hills ;-) I was pretty pleased with myself in that respect though, I ran far more of the uphill than I expected to, though some were pretty tough and I had to run/walk them.

We didn’t make it to the very top, we decided that we would join the boys on the turnaround, word has it we weren’t far off though. Obviously the journey back was much quicker with most of it going straight down, though I got some serious jelly legs after making the initial decent, well it was pretty much vertical, I am not exaggerating!

At the bottom there was a lovely little ice cold stream that we dipped our legs in for a while, I could not stay in for long it was much colder than an ice bath so I just dipped in and out. It was very refreshing though and I don’t feel all that trashed now, though that could be a different story tomorrow.

23km in 3 hours 4 minutes, I reckon about 15km worth of running.

Why am I hell bent on making things difficult for myself right now? I mean I could have gone for a nice flat run somewhere, but no, I have to spend the morning run up a mountain.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Not sure about backing up again for the official 30km Marondah Dam trail run in 2 weeks, I’ll have a look at the results and see what the slowest time was last year, I don’t want everyone sitting around staring at their watches waiting for me to finish.

Sassy, to answer your question rather cryptically, I could be, it is something a very good friend of mine is getting off the ground, she has put in a heap of hard work and I would love nothing more than to see it a success.

Spat the dummy

23 Jan

Supposed to do an 8km run with 6km at tempo pace this afternoon.

’tis hot and windy and I spat the dummy.

Mentally rearranged my training plan for the remainder of this week and next week and moved on.

Will get up tomorrow morning and head out around 7am, conditions should be more favourable then.

Q – What has one eye and looks stupider than Tom Cruise?
A – Tom Cruise with an eye patch

haw haw haw, made me laugh when I heard it, but you all know how I feel about Mr Cruise. Frankly I am hurt and disappointed that his lawyers haven’t been in touch, surely I Run Therefore I Am is top of his blog reading list every day, surely!

I fartleked

21 Jan

Snigger snigger snigger

Mona Fartlek at training last night, 2 by 90 seconds, 4 by 60 seconds, 4 by 30 seconds and 4 by 15 seconds with equal time for recovery this gives 10 minutes of hard running. The last time I did this session, around mid December I covered 4.5kms, unfortunately only 4.1km last night as my pacing was a bit off and I was just a bit flat still from Sunday’s long morning in the hills, not particularly concerned by that really.

Today I had a 13km run on the schedule but decided that I didn’t feel like running that far on a warm afternoon, even if it only ends up being in the mid 20s when I finish work I decided that A) I couldn’t be stuffed running on a warm afternoon and B) I felt like changing the routine today.

Therefore I dragged myself out of bed and ran to work instead, setting off at 545am, I have a few clothes in my locker at work for emergencies (after that time that I forgot my work clothes and had to go shopping at 9am) so all I needed to do was pack a few things in my little running back pack and off I went………………….

………..where I quickly discovered that I am not a massive fan of very early morning long runs, especially the morning after a hard session! Ughhhh, the first 4kms felt like I was running though rapidly setting concrete, especially when I hit a hill. I can’t say honestly that I ever really got into my rhythm, once I hit Bridge Road I was doing OK, but was looking forward to finishing. I decided to stop at the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street and then walk the rest of the way to my office as a cool down, but when I reached the end point it was 16.6km, I figured I may as well round it out to 17km so I ran to the 7-11 to buy a paper and a bottle of Gatorade, then I walked out the rest of the way to the office.

The man in the 7-11 was very impressed with my run, the garbo’s who were doing the rounds for part of my run were very impressed with something but I couldn’t really catch what they were saying, I am sure it was something very flattering about my new pink 2XU shorts :lol:

The journey took me about 100 minutes, 90 minutes worth of running and I think about 10 minutes of hold ups at various traffic lights, mostly though Bridge Road and into the city. I am sure many people just dash over the road, but I have a bit of a traffic paranoia after my best friends father was killed crossing a road so I am super nerdy careful about street crossings.

I didn’t really feel much like eating afterwards but I figured at more than 800Kj a bottle the Gatorade would do for breakfast and when I eventually mustered up the desire for the food I went out and got a fruit salad.

Starting to feel pretty peckish now though and will be off in search for a yummy lunch soon.

Feeling pretty chuffed that I have done a decent long run today, of course the downside is now I have to catch the train home, how much to you want to bet that the return journey by public transport takes just as long as the run in this morning?

By the way, I know that I totally blew the plan today, allow me to plead my case. I am running up and down Mt St Leonard on Sunday, there will be about 900 metres worth of ascent and decent, over about 24km. Needless to say this is a quality not quantity session and will leave me logging less running Kms than planned in the diary this week, so I wanted to get a proper longish run done too.

Umm, about those jeans from my last post, you know, I did try to order a pair but they don’t have black acid wash and if I can’t have them in black acid wash then I just don’t want them thanks :lol:

Oh my aching butt

19 Jan

If nothing else 35km though the hills does wonder for your arse, I won’t have one by the time Trailwalker rolls around :lol:

Surprisingly my quads and hammies are doing fine, but my glutes are trashed.

Just an easy peasy 6.3km at around 5:20 pace this afternoon, but damn it was warm! My blood test results came back today and wouldn’t you know it, iron has hit rock bottom again :roll: so part of my run took me past OPSMC to pick up a script for 5 more vials of the good stuff. I had to wait a few minutes and was terribly self conscious having already run about 5km I was stood there with sweat pouring off me all over the floor while I waited for the script to be printed out.

I wasn’t surprised by the result though, the last two weeks or so I have been feeling a bit sick after the longer runs and last week I started having occasional dizzy spells while running, the usual low iron symptoms. Apparently a bit lower than usual this time around so I need 5 shots instead of the usual 3, this means a bruised bum again.

But do you know what this means, I ran both my PBs in the last week while my iron was really low, that wasn’t a bad effort hey?!

Now just to continue the bum themed post look what I stumbled across today, just in case anyone out there is looking to take Skanky Ho to a whole new low you gotta get a pair of these, they’ll look great with the white snakeskin cowboy boots and fringed leather jacket don’t you think?

After a few comments from my Hottest 100 post and a recent conversation I feel duty bound to educate some readers as to my favourite songs of 2008 so I thought I might share some videos.

The first one is Dig!! Lazarus Dig!! which is Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds doing what they do best and coming back last year with a vengeance. I was up in Queensland visiting my brother when I first saw this video, I was downstairs when I heard my brother shouting “oh god, when did Nick Cave become a dodgy porn star, you gotta come up here and see this!”, personally I think he looks a little bit spunky with the Mo (Nick Cave that is, not my brother) but my friends have always told me I have rather, ahem, quirky taste in men :lol:

So for the uninitiated that is your home work, watch the clip, hope you enjoy it.

Tough Day on the Trails

18 Jan

We had about 36km on the Trailwalker trail planned for this morning, taking in some of the toughest sections over the Dandenongs and down to Mt Evelyn where the trail flattens out. I was going to say mercifully flattens out but the long flat stretch of the Warby Trail is as equally as challenging as the hilly sections, recollections of my auditory hallucinations in the small hours and the overwhelming desire to sing AC/DC songs are still fresh in my mind.

I slept well last night but maybe stayed up a bit late reading the paper and watching TV so I did feel a bit ordinary when my alarm went off, no point having a sook, there was a job to be done. Also my throat was really sore owing to my coughing fit after the 1500 yesterday, in fact I had a bit of a cough all though out the day today, pretty sad that a 6 minute 1500 knocked me about so much :roll:

I met Michelle on the side of the road near the trail about 8.5km from the Mt Evelyn checkpoint, I left my car (and nearly my mobile) parked under a tree and Michelle and I headed back to the start at Kallista, stopping quickly at Mt Evelyn to pick Jay up.

Jo turned up while Michelle and Jay where availing themselves of the facilities, poor thing has had a full on week with her beloved in hospital having an Op on his back and was coming down with a cold :-( she’s a trooper though our Jo (as you will learn later) and would not be bowed.

The trail takes us uphill immediately, taking us up the rather quaintly named Clematis Track, sounds lovely, goes straight uphill. Though having said that after trekking up it more than a few times in the last year it somehow seems to have become shorter and less steep, or I have become fitter :-)

Before we knew it we had reached the gorgeous Ferny Creek and we settled into an easy pace though the bush, until disaster struck, Jo and I were chatting away when she came down on a stick and rolled over on her ankle :shock: she cried out and hit the dirt in a rather alarming way and curse it none of us had any strapping tape with us. I had frozen the bladder in my hydration pack so we whipped that out and fortunately it was still cool enough to act as a half decent ice pack. Jo is a tough duck though and we were soon on our feet and running slowly again, I think it was mainly the motivation to NOT get caught up by the group of walkers we had passed earlier that got her going ;-)

We cruised along comfortably, running and walking until we reached the dreaded can you Hackett road when we went into walk mode again, OK, 3 of us did and Michelle the little hill runner extrodinaire managed to run more than 3/4s of the way. We were all well impressed!! Again this road, although long and steep (47% grade at one point) did not seem as bad as I had remembered.

Hitting Olinda we had a mostly downhill stretch to Silvan, though it was a bit uneven under foot so Jo opted to walk down the hill and not risk hurting her ankle further. It was not long after here that we got an easy run going again when Jo collected a rock and went over. I blame myself, both her falls were when we were chatting away, I distracted her with my prattling! We picked her up and dusted her off but decided that was it for the day, time to just take it easy and walk out the hilly section. Although we would end up spending alot more time on our feet than we had planned today it really was for the best, we have not done any long sessions yet, any time spent on the trails, either walking or running is going to help us.

We reached Mt Evelyn having covered 24km and here we left Jay and Jo. Jo had really pulled out the stops to soldier on, the girls got guts, but her ankle had swollen and was turning a rather alarming shade of purple so this was quit while you are ahead time.

Michelle and I opted to push on, no question of a lift back to my car! I estimated that we probably had about another 10km to go as we were about 1.5km from the Mt Evelyn checkpoint, fortunately it was mostly downhill and flat with just a little uphill into Wandin. We set out at a very comfortable 6 minute Km pace and just got into our rhythm and kept pushing forward, though I did beg a quick stop at Silvan to wash my hands at the tap, they were still sticky from Gels, ick.

Finally, the long straight towards the end and I couldn’t help myself, I could see my car and just picked up into a “sprint” over the last 100 metres, I just wanted to finish! Though to be honest because we were running slow I could have kept shuffling forward for longer, though I would have needed a lemonade first.

Just on 35km in the end, a bit short of the 36km I thought it would be but we didn’t run into the Olinda checkpoint, rather we cut the corner and headed straight on towards Silvan. I have put 18km worth of running in the diary and the rest is walking, the whole journey took us 4 hours 51 minutes today. This was longer than we had planned but what needs to be understood about an event like Trailwalker is you never know what is going to happen and sometimes, like today, you roll with the punches and change the plan as you go.

So a tough day out there but by all means not a wasted one, we worked as a team, adapted our plans and got everyone though the day. Jo also learned the crucial Trailwalker rule, no one, under any circumstances apologises for a bad day, ever, we are all going to have our “moments” with this event, that’s why we work as a team and you did bloody well out there today my friend.

I am now doing very little, the house work can wait for another time, unless someone wants to come over an vacuum my floor for me and maybe cook my dinner too :-)

PS – a lack of sun sense seems to be catching this weekend, yesterday before I raced I diligently applied sunscreen to my arms, while I was wearing a T-Shirt. Of course I then change into a singlet and stand around waiting for my heat and ended up with sunburned shoulders where I didn’t put the sunblock, clearly I am an idiot.

On the up

17 Jan

Three and three quarter times around the track this afternoon down in windy old Frankston.

Just like last Sunday I felt comfortable and relaxed during my warm up and cool as a cucumber on the start line, this is most definitely out of character for me, but new year, new attitude and all that, it must be taking.

I decided last night that I was going for 6 minutes flat which would take 12 seconds off the time I ran on November 22 last year. I wrote the splits on my arm, 1:12, 2:48, 4:24 and 6:00, fortunately they had the clock out today so I didn’t even bother starting my watch as I wasn’t going to waste time taking lap splits. There were quite a few women today which was good to see so we were able to run two heats, obviously I was in the second heat. I was chatting with one lady while we were waiting for our heat and she told me she was aiming for 5:49, perfect, I had someone to chase :-)

Ready, set, crack, off we go, I let the quick girls head off and I settled into my pace, though I did end up running a bit wide until I had some free space. I am still new to this track business and it is in my nature to be polite and give way :roll: I need to hone my killer instinct don’t I, as it was I ended up over taking the girls I was deferring to.

Rounding the first bend I was shocked to run into a bit of a nasty headwind, I remembered what Tim always used to tell us, don’t be afraid of it, face into it and stay strong, so that is what I tried my best to do. I can tell you that I certainly did not start storing it as an excuse for a crap run, wind be damned!!

I split the 300 in about 1:07 (from memory), so maybe just a wee bit enthusiastic off the line but over 1500 not too much to cause a blow out. So I just concentrated on settling and went though 700 in about 2:42, 1100 in 4:23 and then I was watching the clock count up as I hit the last 100, about 20 metres to go I see 5:51 and I am just pushing as hard as I can and over the line in what I am pretty sure is 6 flat (will have to wait for results). Deep down I am hoping that it was 5:59:59, it would be nice to be sub 6, even if only just.

This run was about 50 times better than the last one, I was much more confident, positive thoughts the whole way around and an enjoyable run. In fact I have decided that I want to add this distance to my goals list and will be making it my season ’09/’10 goal, I am thinking of being super ambitious and aiming for 5:30, providing I have an injury free winter of course.

I had a freaky coughing fit afterwards though, I couldn’t do my cool down for about 15 minutes. In the end people were looking at me funny and I ended up doubled up over at the back of the complex so no one could see me :oops:

There were no other senior women running for my team today, though sadly this is not unusual, there was an u16 Sandy girl running in my heat so I gave her a gee up as I passed her. I do wish some of the other senior women would come run in Summer though, it is a little bit lonely being the only oldie. Not to worry, I can always rely on young John, Rupert and Sam for some company and a cheer or two, even if they are with other clubs.

I had a doctors appointment this morning, nothing in particular, I just go in every two months for a blood test, a chat and a general check over. Dr K had a good feel of my shins and calves and was pretty happy with them, though not happy enough to keep the needles in the packet so I didn’t escape without some dry needling in my calves. I haven’t had it in the calves before and it hurts about a gazillion times less than it does in the shins! As usual I’ll find out on Monday whether or not I need an iron injection.

Now for some rest, 36km though over hill and over dale tomorrow.

Pump Up The Volume was on Foxtel late last night, I LOVED this film when I was younger, oh how I swooned for Christian Slater. I gotta tell you though, 15 years later it was pretty awkward and it just made me cringe :lol:

Jitterbug

16 Jan

Aghhhh, another rest day, two is a row, aghhhhhh, there are fingernail marks in my walls!

Of course I could go to the pool or get on the exercise bike but those two things are so intrinsically linked to injury that I just can’t muster the motivation to do it.

I must persevere, part of the new plan is to be honest about the rest and easy weeks and not try to sneak in just a little run. If I am laying under a bone scanner in 3 months time because I was bloody minded I will hate myself.

I did have a bit of a walk today though, I parked halfway around the Alexander Parade section of the Tan this morning and strolled into work on a very lovely morning. I treated myself to a half day and left the office around midday, so another stroll back to the car and then a drive out to the airport to drop off a friend.

In attempt to drag myself out of my time of the month slump I am making myself a gourmet dinner, I have a lovely piece of salmon for the griddle pan and I am going to make a sweet potato mash to serve it on and some steamed broccoli (don’t laugh, I LOVE broccoli) and of course a good glass of wine.

PS – dinner was good, ‘cept I should have used the BBQ because now my whole house smells like salmon :roll:

I have a contrasting weekend of running ahead of me. A short and sweet day tomorrow with 1500 planned for the track where I hope I can lower the 6:12 of last year and get a bit closer to 6 flat. Then Sunday is Trailwalker training and we are doing the long haul over the mountains going from Grant’s Picnic Ground to about 8.5km beyond the Mt Evelyn checkpoint, all up about 37km. There will be a bit of walking though the hills so I don’t expect I’ll do much more than about 25km worth of running.

Driving home from the airport today there was a bit of traffic heading towards the Eastern Freeway, I was happily singing along (badly as per usual) to The Smiths and (despite the fact that I was listening to The Smiths) was feeling pretty upbeat, so much so that I let a guy who was desperately trying to change lanes get in front of me. Bastard didn’t even give me wave! Come on, that’s just plan bad manners isn’t it!?

:shock:

You’re a scary man Mr Pop

Quick catch up

15 Jan

Wednesday

Thanks to the cool change blowing in earlier I didn’t have to wait until after dark for a run. Although I had left my gear at home not expecting to be able to run straight after work, so I headed home, got changed and decided to drive to a nearby trail rather than running around the block.

I got started at about 6pm and ran along the Dandy Creek Trail and into Jells Park for about 6.5km before turning back, all up a comfortable 13km in 68 minutes.

Thursday

My usual rest day and off to the panel beaters for my weekly massage, shins not as tight as usual and my calves felt pretty good for a change as well. Everything has been eased back into place and I am good to go for another week.

It’s that time of the month so all blah and moody and feeling like a fat frump, someone pass the chocolate please. The guys may think it’s a little bit funny but you try feeling great one day and like garbage the next, it’s a pain in the arse I tell you, very much looking forward to returning to normal in a couple of days.

Looking forward to the 1500 on Saturday, just going to treat it as a time trial to see if my fitness is improving.

Am I evil because I find this funny?

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