Archive | February, 2009

Betwixed and Between

26 Feb

Oh dear folks, I have been suffering a crisis of confidence lately, dare I say it, I am afraid to go long and hard.
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Was that a suitable pause to allow you all to pop out to the gutter to retrieve your filthy little minds, no? Ok, here’s another
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Now where was I!?

Yep, I admit it; I have become a yellow bellied cowardly custard ‘fraidy cat card carrying member of the white feather society. I’ve had an interrupted couple of years with injury and while my body is getting stronger my mind is still a little bit broke.

Owing to the dastardly stress fractures I have not raced seriously over any distance greater than 5km since the Sandown 10km in May last year. I did run a couple of longer events in ’08, the Run for the Kids, AV 15km road race and the 15km Great Australian Run, the first two pre injury and the last post, however these were only done at tempo pace, I have not run a half marathon in two and a half years.

I now quake in fear at the thought of going longer than 5km, something that I have less than two months to get the hell over before the winter season starts. I am not even sure what exactly it is that I am afraid of, failure and not being able to meet my expectations of myself I suppose. Have I become a choker? If I were to enter a race this weekend and had a choice between a 5km and the 10km I would choose 5km telling myself (and everyone else) that it is a chance to lower my PB, when the reality is I am fearful of the 10km.

I don’t go for this airy fairy Sports Psych nonsense, I did buy a book on Sports Psychology a couple of years ago and it was a big fat yawn and to be honest just a little bit daft.

So I have to figure out a way to get over myself, particularly before May 30 when the Sandown 10km (or 9.89 something Kms if they don’t put the start line in the right place again) is scheduled, otherwise I will be spewing with nerves on the start line and really will blow it.

I reckon the solution is to quietly run some low key 8km to 10km races between now and May, to show myself that I do have the fitness to cover the distance and that if I do fail my expectations it is really not the end of the world and so that Sandown is not my first longer race in a year.

Hope you don’t think any less of me for being a gibbering insecure mess :oops:

Quick running update
A good speed session on Tuesday night, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minute intervals with half the time of the previous rep to recover.

Wednesday just recovery day with just under 6km before run leading and then just over 5km as a run leader.

The day after

23 Feb

though feeling pretty good today, quads not as mashed as I thought they would be, maybe I am getting used to it.

My pinky finger and the one next to it on my right hand bloody hurt though, no swelling but after a day at work typing away madly they aren’t happy. I’ve fractured both these fingers once before (roller skating accident as a kid, The Horror! The Horror!) and the pain was quite awful so I think I have just banged them up a bit this time because I am not rocking back and forth sobbing.

I am experiencing a brief and inglorious moment of fame, I hope it isn’t my 15 Minutes because I was hoping for something a bit more exciting. The bank I work for had to change part of the menu last week, in a bit of a hurry, to respond to the bushfires and floods (gracious, if I were religious I’d be worried) so I was drafted in as “the voice” while we arranged for the professional recordings. I had completely forgotten about it until this afternoon when my sister rang to declare that she’d just called the bank and was a bit taken aback because the voice sounded just like me :lol:

If you guess correctly get in quick, we had the official voice in the studio today ;-)

Anyone else stoked that The Mighty Boosh is back on TV?

No?

Just me?

Ok

Well it’s on in a tic and my sore fingers are done typing.

When down isn’t down

22 Feb

Ahhh, what a little adventure I had today!

So I had two choices I could have slogged out a boring but safe 25km around home, I could run a couple of laps of Lysterfield Lake or I could head to the mountains and see where the trails would take me, of course I took the third option.

The first 14km or so was pretty familiar as I followed part of the Trailwalker course. I started at Grant’s Picnic ground in Sherbrooke and backtracked a bit over 2km to Belgrave and back again to get some extra Kms in. I had started at about 730am, it was lovely and still and almost straight away I saw a beautiful wallaby with very dark fur, I have never seen one in all my years running and walking in the Dandenongs and today I saw three.

I managed to get some decent running in between Sherbrooke and Olinda, though I can’t Hackett Road definitely had to be walked, it has a gradient of 47% for pity sake! I also went over a tree root or something through Ferny Creek, it would have been pretty comical to watch as I swung my arms around, stumbled a few times to try and find my footing and eventually gave up and fell on my face :oops: I thought there was no one around but a couple of runners came up behind me, damnit, but by then I was already n my feet and running again. I had skinned my knee a little but there was quite a bit of blood coming out of a finger on my right hand and it had started to swell, ouch! It was also throbbing in an alarming manner and I was worried I had broken it, I was only about 8km in and thought about turning back but figured you don’t need fingers to run and if it was broken there was not much more I could do anyway so I pushed on.

I had a short break in Olinda and ate half a nut bar, but wasn’t feeling too hungry on account of the gel I had taken about 30 minutes before.

From then on it was all a mystery to me, I had the sheets of the Melways detailing the trails so figured it would be all down hill and I would just work my way down to Mum’s house.

Fecking hell was I wrong or what!!!

Sure I had to head down the mountain but that does not mean the road was a nice gentle decline, first of all I descended about 250 metres in 2km along a very rocky trail so I was being very careful. I did miss the turn off I was going to take because it wasn’t marked, but I had about 3 choices so wasn’t fussed. I hit a road and then took another trail further down which descended at a grade of about 37% :shock: though despite all this my quads seem to be in slightly better shape than after the run down Mt St Leonards.

I figured I had about 8km left before reaching Mum’s house and from then on it was a case of two steps forwards, 1 step back as I followed trails that alternated between sharp downhill, gentle downhill, flat and steep climbs, I ran for most of it but a couple of climbs had to be walked.

I tucked the map away and felt confident that I was heading in the right direction, I could see Montrose though the trees and was thoroughly enjoying the solitude and was feeling pretty chuffed with myself. Finally I was rewarded over the last 2km with a trail that behaved itself by going gently downhill to deliver me to my Mum’s, I bounded down the driveway and burst inside demanding sweet fizzy drinks, unfortunately it is a diet coke household so I made do with a big cold glass of ice water from my sister in law.

My step brother greeted me with “what took you so long?”, he’s just moved back here from Canada to study and although we don’t know each other very well I can tell we are going to get on and of course my step dad is stoked to have him back, the big fella has a bit of cold climate padding though, I am going to have to whip him into shape I think.

I was hoping my run today would be 25km, turned out to be 23.8km so I guessed pretty well.

Mum drove me back to the car, I bought myself some real fizzy drink from the cafe and headed home for a well deserved hot shower.

Cool run today, I shall have to do some more exploration runs once TW is over.

Oh, my finger is fine, a bit banged up but it has stopped hurting.

Lesson for the day, when running unfamiliar trails a topographic map would be far more useful than a photocopied page from the Melways :lol:

Have map

21 Feb

will travel!

Au Contraire JoJo, I quite enjoy a long run on my own, it’s a chance to explore somewhere new, sure they can suck if you are just pounding the pavement but tomorrow I am running through the mountains and trying some new trails.

I forgot to bring the Melways to work so I could photocopy the trails that lead from Olinda down to my Mum’s house in Montrose. So this evening I sit down with the tracing paper and a pencil to sketch out the important bits, until I realise that not only is my printer also a scanner but hey, it photocopies as well!

In my defence I did have a fair bit to drink this afternoon :oops:

My brother, sister-in-law and niece are in town this weekend so I did spend a leisurely afternoon out on the deck at Mum’s with a glass or two, not great pre long run preparation I know so have knocked back a litre or so of water since, not to mention carb loading with mashed spuds and vegie snags for dinner (umm, and the 2 pieces on Lemon Meringue pie I had at lunch)

I am looking forward to my mountain adventure tomorrow and apart from the wicked Hacketts Road I should be able to run it all. The first 15km or so will be on the Trailwalker route, the rest is on trails from Olinda to Mum’s house, I am reasonably confident I won’t get lost, but if I don’t blog tomorrow send help ;-)

Mum and I bartered for favours, I am looking after her dog tonight so he doesn’t freak out with all the people staying at her house and she will drive me back to my car at Sherbrooke after my run.

I really need to get some rest now, starting early tomorrow.

A gold star

19 Feb

and an elephant stamp to Morsey, Mab is indeed the Queen of the Fairies, every other person upon learning the name of the new kitten has just looked at me as if to say “you called your cat what now?”, am I the only one who read Shakespeare at school? I had a rather over active imagination as a child and was very in to Fairies, possibly a little to into them but I came from a broken home, a child needs to escape :roll:

To answer a very pressing question, no, there is no way to ask for a picture of me in my Nike kit without sounding pervy, this just isn’t that kind of blog, though I suppose I could increase my hit rate by taking it down a notch. Then again I don’t exactly have the proportions or characteristics that feverish young men frantically key into internet search engines.

I have a running adventure planned for this Sunday, I was originally planning on a 26km ish run along Warby this Friday night, unfortunately stuff came up for the other girls and they had to pull out. Although I am pretty gung ho and was keen to tackle it myself I guess I better exercise some caution and be mindful of my personal safety. So this means a long run on Sunday on my own, I have decided to start at Grant’s Picnic ground up in the hills and work my way down to Mum’s house in Montrose. I’ll start with a backtrack to Belgrave and then head out to Ferny for a bit of a nose around and then start heading down the mountain, I’ll photo copy some pages of the Melways and try and find a way down that is off road. There is no way I can get lost (famous last words) and it will be kinda cool just to go with my gut, once I get to Mum’s she can feed me then drive me back to my car (I had better put her on notice I suppose).

Should be fun.

This is my fave song this week, the naughty Swedes drop the F-Bomb so make sure the kiddies are out of the room

Blue

18 Feb

Asterix the russian blue is living up to his name and is moping about the place, I can’t tell for sure because we haven’t talked but I think he might be a little bit depressed about losing both his mates in the last 3 months. However I did acquire Mab the chronically hyperactive kitten just before Xmas who is doing her best to cheer him up, mostly by alternating between licking him and trying to bite his head off, despite being about 4 times smaller.

Yeah Yeah Yeah, crazy cat lady, have heard it all before :lol:

On my drive in to work yesterday morning I stopped for petrol, I was really thirsty so I also bought some juice. Looking inside the lid I found what was referred to as a “liddie fact”, the little pearl of wisdom was “You burn more calories while sleeping than you do while watching TV”.

Excellent, all these years I thought I was a bit sad and pathetic for falling asleep in front of the TV by 10pm most weeknights (and all too often on weekends these days I might add) when it turns out that I was actually extremely efficient ;-)

Right, the run leading kit from Nike, I would say that it is most definitely not Beach Volley Ball skimpy in so far as my stomach is not bared and the shorts don’t disappear up my, well, you know….on the other hand it could potentially be described as Penthouse Pet skimpy if my boobs were about 10 times bigger and my IQ about 100 points lower. Essentially it is pretty cool gear however I had better not have any fat days for the next 6 weeks because there is no where to hide.

Training last night was back with HVT for the night as I was going to Moonlight Cinema with a mate afterwards, we did a pretty tough fartlek session on the ovals at Gosch’s paddock. Afterwards Carol and I demonstrated the fact that we have no shame by standing about in shorts and crop tops on the tan swabbing down with wet ones before changing into tracksuits. No one gave us a wide berth in the gardens so I guess we didn’t stink too much.

Tonight I couldn’t get my 8km done before run leading because I got caught back at the office so just an easy 5.8km as run leader, I’ll make it up on Sunday.

A glass of wine awaits, away with me now.

16 Feb

My little mate is gone now, I went to a different Vet this time and their procedure was a little different. I didn’t stay with him like I did with Scully, I said goodbye in the consultation room and let the Vet take him away. Poor little fella really was on his last legs, by the time I got him there his front legs were very weak and he couldn’t move about very well, it was just a shock how quickly he deteriorated, this time last week he seemed fine. My original rugrats, brother and sister Scully and Tin Tin have both gone now, I don’t know why we get so attached to our pets and I am sure I don’t seem the sentimental type but I was responsible for their well being and they gave me a heap of love and laughs over the 16 years they were with me.

No more tears to cry now, just remembering all his funny little ways that used to put a smile on my face, like the time years ago he caught a cicada, it made such a racket I don’t know who was more scared, the bug or the cat. Ultimately the cicada was safely released and Tinny walked about looking a little stunned.

Running
There has been a bit of that this last week too.

Last week I managed to register my biggest running week since I got that Stress Fracture last year, a whole 66.4kms, mostly thanks to a 28.5km run on Sunday. Due to the bushfires of last week the 30km mountain run I had entered for Sunday was called off, and rightly so. It is a shame because I was really looking forward to it, though I have been spared another agonising case of DOMs

Due to the fire activity and the smoke caused by back burning we decided to stay off the Trailwalker course on Sunday and ended up doing a couple of laps of the Tan and Albert Park lake. The upside of this was that we were able to do a steady 28.5km run with no need for walk breaks, the downside being that it was really repetitive and a little mind numbing :roll:

I also started run leading for the Run for the Kids training runs that are sponsored by Nike. We got some cool gear again this year in navy and fluro green (looks better than it sounds), though the women’s kit is a little on the skimpy side :oops: I enjoy these sessions, heaps of familiar faces from the last couple of years and over 80 people turning up for the first session last Wednesday.

Ahh, that’s me done for the day, I am pretty tired :-(

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