Archive | September, 2009

Frankly, a rambling mess, you have been warned

30 Sep

Monday – easy 8km

Tuesday – all sorts, including run leading, 13.8km

Why, why, why do people insist on looking in the opposite direction to which they are walking, especially when leaving a shop, why? And then when they walk right into me why do they give me a dirty look like I was the idiot not watching where I was going, why?

Have managed to loose some weight this week, yay, recent race photos of me in action (the ones from the De Castella run are awful, I wore black tights and a black top, I look like a black pudding running away from a very hungry Scotsman) and an impending trip to Cairns have provided added motivation to eat a little better. Also my brother has recently been diagnosed with obscenely high cholesterol, my diet is way better than his, especially as I eat almost no animal fat, still, I have my indulgences and maybe have been giving in to them just a little too much lately.

I spoke to my little sister on the weekend and she has been able to run reasonably consistently over the last month, now that she is all healed up from her caesarean, it will be cool to go for a few runs with her when we are in Cairns in November. It will be over a year since we were last able to go for a run, funnily enough also in Cairns, in fact my brother will be there so all three of us can go out together, that will be a first. While it’s always a bit of a slog running up in FNQ the reward is being able to jump straight into the ocean afterwards (hopefully the croc that was roaming the beach up there last year won’t be back).

I’ve been very diligently doing the exercises set by my physio, those, along with the Pilates are really doing great things for my core at the moment, hoping this will help me to some good times on the track over summer.

A few weeks ago I printed out a pace band for a 71 minute 15km and have taped it to my workstation, do you suppose that if I stare at it for long enough while I am sitting in teleconferences that my body will take it for granted that this is how fast it has to finish the Great Australian run in?

Back garden is still an appalling mess, I am pretty sure I heard the weeds plotting against me as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep last night. The weather looks promising this weekend, it is probably about time I asserted my authority.

Why does being a critically acclaimed film director exempt someone from serving a sentence for a crime that they pleaded guilty to? Would Mr Polanksi have found it acceptable if Charles Manson had have skipped the country and spent the last 30 years on the run instead of serving life for killing aforementioned directors wife and unborn child?

iSnack 2.0, Why? Why? Why? Let’s face it, I am sure the majority of entries they received where for CheesyMite or MiteyCheesy or some such variation, we all expected it would be called that so just bloody call it that, personally I was all for tarting it up a bit and calling it FromageNoir (only because Black Cheese does not sound at all appetising). I’ll confess I do like the stuff on a vitawheat and at the risk of having my citizenship revoked I’ll also confess I am not such a fan of the original Vegemite, come on, admit it, the stuff does taste pretty vile, the only time I feel like it is when I’m sick, generally I’d much rather have raspberry jam on my toast. A few years ago I was travelling with my brother and sister-in-law and was staying in a lovely youth hostel in Zurich (lovely apart from the racist South African chicks I shared a room with who I had to resist the urge to smother in their sleep) and breakfast was included in the daily rate. This wasn’t too unusual but usually breakfast ran to a bowl of cereal and tea or coffee. Not here though, there was a big spread of different cereals, bread, cold meat, juice, milk, yoghurt, jams and cheeses. Every morning I’d sit there trying to eat enough for the day so I could make it though to the cheap dinner they would put on (Switzerland is not a cheap country for a holiday and yes I would make a cheese sanga and wrap it in a serviette for lunch), there was another Aussie girl (well, it’s Europe, you can’t swing a bloody Akubra without hitting about 1000 other Aussies) there who had her little tube of Vegemite for her toast. ICK, there was 5 different kinds of cheese, including some really runny brie, why the hell would you have Vegemite when all that was on offer?!

Snap

27 Sep

a cold one, in fact a bloody cold one.

When I entered the De Castella fun run a few weeks ago I rather fancied it would be a lovely clear and cool but not cold spring morning. Instead we had the full brunt of the Katabatic winds buffeting us around the course, though fortunately the squally rain held off at least until I had finished running.

Irrespective of all that I quite enjoyed running this morning. Before the race Robert De Castella was mingling with the crowd, chatting and signing autographs, he is very friendly. Coming over all shy and tongue tied I went up to say hello and reminded him that I was the person who drove him to the airport after the Melbourne Marathon last year. We had a little talk, he signed my race number, I blushed a bit and I let someone else have a turn.

I was right about the race too, it was on a part of Yarra Boulevard that I am familiar with, just a wee bit hilly, down hill for the first km, up for the 2nd, down for the 3rd, seriously up for the 4th and down and up to the end (including climbing a set of steps to get to the finish line on the oval), not to mention being damn cold and windy to add to the fun.

I was happy to get to the finish line in 23:28, especially as I got a bit confused trying to find the finish line and no, it wasn’t a case of not being able to run properly around the orange cones this time, we had to run around the back of an oval then up some stairs, normally I’ve checked out the course in advance so I got a bit confused :oops:

Hey, and Deek was on the finish line cheering us on as we came in :-)

23:28 was 5 seconds better than the 5km I did at Sandy Point in mid August, similar windy cold conditions but a much easier course, so I another reason why I am happy with the the time.

15km was on the cards for today though but I wussed out of another 10km straight after the race as the rain was closing in, so I bailed off home. After vegging out on the couch catching up on a TV show I’d taped earlier in the week I got the guilts and headed out again. Umm, it was cold, it was windy and over the last 2km it was wet too, then I stopped in at the Supermarket on the way home to get some groceries so the last little bit walking home was miserable as hell.

Then I had a very hot shower.

And am now sat with a blanket and steadfastly refusing to leave the house.

16.3km today, I did a bit of a warm up before the race too.

I just figured out that I can embed run details from Garmin connect, here ’tis

Garmin Connect -
Activity Details for
Untitled

Shared via AddThis

[insert title here]

26 Sep

Dunno, struggling for inspiration today.

Thanks for the kind words folks, with a few more days behind me I am kind of over the “sacking”, but still peeved about how I was treated, it was pretty damn shabby. You are right Lee, it was SS, I had a mix of abilities in my group and my approach was to leave the faster ones to work together for the session because they were reasonably evenly matched. I would run with the slower runners as they tended to split up more, that way I could generally make sure that no one was left slogging it out entirely on their own. Then I’d do a bit of a debrief with the faster ones at the end to make sure they were traveling OK and see what they thought of the session.

*sigh* what can you do, I tried my best, you’ve got to try to give everyone some attention but there was only one of me.

Andrew, the thought has crossed my mind and I do have the option of doing something on my own under the banner of a business name a friend has set up. However for the time being I will concentrate on finishing up the Melbourne Marathon training sessions and maybe use those extra two hours a week to work on my own running for the rest of the year.

Today’s run was a MM training run and somehow we managed to get around 8.5km in relative dryness, there was a downpour before we started and another after we finished and plenty more on the drive home, bit surprisingly it wasn’t that miserable out there.

Tomorrow I am doing the De Castella Fun Run in Kew, I’ve entered the 5km. I haven’t done this one before but I used to live around there so I am expecting a pretty undulating course, hopefully I can put in a decent tempo run then get around for a more relaxed 10km to round out the week.

So long and thanks for nothing

25 Sep

Ughhh, I’ve decided to put it behind me, at the grand old age of 35 I have learned that when you have been messed about it’s best just to let it go, getting bitter and twisted is too exhausting and it means that the person who did you over has won.

So the short story is that yesterday morning I coached my last session with the company I have been working for over the last 18 months. I got a phone call yesterday morning and was more or less summarily dismissed. My opinion of how it was done and the manner in which I was treated is pretty low; it was akin to being dumped by text message. In my world you don’t sack people with a phone call and airy fairy unsubstantial crap, it’s cowardly and weak, if you are letting some one go you have a damn good reason and you man (or woman) up and do it face to face. The things that were said to me yesterday were hurtful and insulting and I hung up the phone feeling like I’d been punched in the stomach.

Apparently my coaching style is negative and I don’t provide the runners adequate feedback, this seems pretty contrary to the feedback I received from the runners I e-mailed yesterday. I know that an “Emma has decided to move on” e-mail would be sent and I’d be damned if I was going to let my group think that I had so abruptly abandoned them so I sent my own e-mail yesterday, it was very diplomatic but I made clear in no uncertain terms that I was not leaving of my own volition and that I enjoyed coaching them all and would miss them. Within about half an hour most of them had e-mailed me back to say they were shocked that I was leaving and variously used the following adjectives, positive, motivational, smiley, happy, encouragement, supportive, inspiring, passionate, friendly, approachable, kind.

Gee, sounds like I was a real ogre! If anything I often felt that I was too soft.

Unfortunately in this case I have fallen victim to one or two squeaky wheels and have learned the hard way that you can not always expect respect and loyalty from the people you work for. I am lucky in my full time job that I have a boss who knows me very well and will always back my all the way because she trusts me, I made the mistake of expecting that from everyone.

I guess I am just not the sort of coach that is going to lead a round of Kumbaya and hand holding congratulations after ever interval.

Sorry, I said I wasn’t going to go on about and I went and went on about it.

Just pretty stung by it I suppose, I’ve NEVER been sacked from a job in my life!

Better Stuff

Running again proved to be a great tonic (as did the scotch I had last night after I got home) and I ran a good solid session last night, we did 6 by 3 minutes with 90 second recovery, I love this sort of session.

For some unfathomable reason every second rep was slower, at first I thought there was a slight incline but looking at the garmin results there didn’t appear to be, there was a slight headwind but not enough to make a difference, curious.

Irrespective of that I ran well and it would have equated to a 5km in the low 21s, granted you don’t get to step off the track or road for a nice 90 second recovery at intervals during the race :lol:

1 – 721 @ 4:13
2 – 684 @ 4:26
3 – 723 @ 4:12
4 – 698 @ 4:23
5 – 732 @ 4:09
6 – 699 @ 4:21

18 minutes and 4.25km

Chaotic, yet stable

23 Sep

Physio

Well that’s a rare thing, a reasonably good report card from a sports medicine professional (I’d say at least a B+)!

I saw the physio today (I must remember to bring my own shorts next time so I don’t have to wear the 3 sizes too big baggy green ones) and the prognosis was pretty good. After changing into the fetching green shorts there was a bit of prodding and bending this way and that way and so on. Then I had a bit of a run up and down the hallway in my bare feet which felt surprisingly comfortable. I was told that I had good stability and core strength but a little bit of weakness in my glutes and that my right side is a tad weaker than the left, yep, that’s right, I have a lazy arse.

I’ve been given some basic exercises to address the weakness, they are mostly Pilates based and they are all very familiar and easy for me to execute, shouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes to work though. I was also shown some stretches and self massage techniques. In all a good visit and happy to be told that the best thing for the type of tendinopathy I have is to keep running as resting would make it worse, hurrah! As it is it’s improving every day anyhow but it’s great to address any imbalances that may cause problems later on.

Running
6km easy on Monday and about 13.8km last night which included a warm up on my own and then run leading, today is a rest day, also a mat pilates class on Monday and reformer this morning.

Ewen, what is this bet of which you speak, what’s the stakes and do we get to bet on you too?

Domesticity

Flip, I have a spare room, wanna move in (you’d have to give it a bit of a tidy up though; there is a bed in there, somewhere)?

Some very good tips there, however it still boils down to the simple fact that I don’t have the time and when I do have the time I’ve got better things to do with that time than perform tedious domestic chores.

A – I barely have the time for the necessities each day, I have a full time job and a part time job and all that running to fit in. One thing I do manage to do is unpack my kit bag, chuck the dirty stuff in the washing machine and repack with clean stuff so I don’t have to muck about in the morning.

B – I’d probably lose the list

C – I leave the house about 20 minutes after I get up each morning, the clothes would sit in the washing machine until I got home about 14 hours later (and considering I sleep for another 7 that does not leave much time during the week when I am home and awake) and who on earth irons running gear!? If I do have some spare time up my sleeve I ‘aint spending it in the kitchen, besides I am a vego, veggie meals don’t freeze all that well. My one nod to efficiency is that I buy clothes that don’t need ironing, I own one shirt, and it generally gets worn twice a year. Having the majority of my showers at work or the gym saves work there, someone else cleans them ;-)

D – There are usually only 20 minutes between me getting up and leaving the house, generally at around 5:20 most mornings.

E – Eggs make me vomit and then there would just be something else for me to clean up, baked beans are good on toast though :lol:

When I was overweight and far less fit than I am now my house was sparkling, everything was in its place and the garden was a weed free zone, ultimately I think I’ll take domestic chaos if it means I am fit and healthy.

Next stop, physio

21 Sep

That’s a new one for me; I’ve seen a sports doc, an osteopath, a podiatrist, a massage therapist, but never a physiotherapist.

I had my third radio wave treatment today, things are improving but it is happening gradually, at least it isn’t getting worse. The next step is to book in with the physio, see her a couple of times and then go back to the doc. Apparently I need to do something called eccentric strengthening; I am desperately hoping that this does not mean standing in the middle of Bourke Street Mall doing my exercises while wearing a funny hat and reciting limericks about a man from Nantucket.

Last night I managed to get the feed from the Berlin Marathon on my lap top, though the “live” feed ended up being delayed by about an hour, Gebresalasie is phenomenal, he is 36 now and just does not look like he is slowing down. He was bang on world record pace up to 35km but then slowed slightly to finish in just over 2:06, geez, what a hack ;-)

I shall go for an easy 6km run after work today.

Stuff I need to do
Clean out the back of my car, the back seat currently houses an assortment of the following

Tracksuit pants, various short and long sleeved running tops, a thermal, a pool running belt, an umbrella, two pairs of shoes, cones, the film from my ultrasound, a trenchcoat, deodorant, gloves, arm sleeves, the folder with my coaching notes, discarded newspapers with half finished crosswords and for all I know an extended family of refugees, it’s a bit of a disgrace really, stuff goes in but it never seems to come out.

Sort out my back courtyard and the bit down the side of my house where the clothes line is. It’s a nightmare, frankly I am afraid to go out there, the weeds have taken over the joint, I haven’t set foot out there all winter but now the weather is nice again I can start drying clothes outside instead of on the airer in the spare room. A quick glimpse out the kitchen window yesterday tells me that a little Round Up isn’t going to do the job, anyone know where I can get a hold of some Agent Orange? I may have to go at it with the whipper snipper (though last time I tried that I whipper snippered my ankle, must exercise more caution this time) and then cover the lot with newspaper and tarp until the roots die from lack of light.

Pull up the last bit of carpet in my house that is in the hallway.

Do a spring clean.

About a million other things, I have no patience for the minutiae of day to day life, paying bills, home maintenance, changing lightbulbs, doing the shopping, putting the clean clothes away, some of it gets done, eventually (well at least the bills do, I am not sitting in the dark or losing my internet connection) but more often than not there are dishes in the sink, I am dressing myself out of the clean clothes basket, the hallway is in semi darkness, there’s no food in the fridge or the cupboard and I am having toast for dinner again and the weeds down the side of the house are mutating and becoming sentient and I am too afraid to go out there.

All I need to do is bend the laws of time and physics to somehow find an extra 10 hours every day so I can find the time to do all the stuff I need to do.

How do people get stuff done, what is the secret? I keep thinking I am suddenly going to grow up and become responsible and figure stuff out but that fact is I am just not motivated to do that which doesn’t interest me.

Bugger it; life is too short to have a weed free back yard and a house full of functioning light bulbs.

XCR09 Rd 10 – Tan Relays

20 Sep

Yesterday was the last round of the road and cross country season, the Tan relays, nothing to explain there, it’s a relay and it’s run around The Tan.

The morning was glorious, I got there around 730 and did a short warm up then just hung out under a tree for a while soaking up the morning sun and watching the rowers on the Yarra.

Relays are a bit of a headache for the team manager, all that shuffling around and dealing with last minute changes. In the case of the women’s team there were only two of us (we needed three), luckily the wonderful and generous Carol who was coming down to have a look and then a run with me afterwards agreed to fill in the third spot. This meant that we were then entered as an invite team but who cares, we got to have a hit out with a women’s team.

The morning was the usual organised chaos, I love the sight of 100s of people belting around the Tan track, maybe not so all the startled looking walkers and non AV runners, but its all over in under 2 hours, I am sure they can cope once a year.

My run was OK, a very small PB of around 10 seconds (17:26) but my desire to protect my slowly healing hammie left me running up the Anderson St hill at less than snails pace. I tried to make up time on the down hill bit there was little point killing myself by that stage, there are more important runs in the coming months.

Afterwards a cool down of about 8.5km and a good long natter with Carol along the river.

This morning just a relaxed 12km, better get back to proper long runs next week.

I am glad this season is over, it was fantastic to make it though untouched by serious injury but it’s also been incredibly frustrating. Training for and participating in Trailwalker this year absolutely destroyed me (No! I will not be doing this next year), it affected just about every round I ran in. I’d finish every race feeling angry and disappointed with myself, which would be pretty demoralising. I think generally I did a good job of keeping my eye on longer term goals, I knew that as difficult as it would get at times that it was still good base building, I was still getting fitter.

So the cold frustrating miserable winter is over and the track season starts in three weeks, quite exited about it this year. I only ran two 1500s last year but it was enough to get me hooked on a new challenge. I’ll do 1500, 3000 and 5000, goals will be

1500 – 5:45
3000 – 12 minutes
5000 – 21 minutes

Got a bit of hard work to do, looking forward to it, feeling the love again :-)

Remember me?

18 Sep

Busy gal, just don’t have the time to chat as much as I used to, by the time I get home of an evening I am too tired to pull together a coherent train of thought, it’s generally dinner, packing kit for the next day and falling asleep in front of the TV.

So in the interest of the work/life balance my employer seems so keen on promoting I am knocking this one up at my desk ;-)

I’ve recovered from my dental trauma, though I think she was a bit rough with the teeth cleaning this time around because I had a killer face ache up until yesterday morning that required liberal doses of mersondol (sp?) to control, thankfully I’ve emerged from my comfortably numb state and all is good again. I rang them on Wednesday and they reckon that it was just that the gum had receded a bit and exposed some of the root and it would sort it self out, seems to have, any wonder I hate going!!

Tuesday – Melbourne Marathon training at Waverley Park, I did a 6km ish warm up before hand and further 7km or so during the session. No hard work for me, I ran around with my usual group then had a bit of a chat with them afterwards about race day nutrition, they are all getting excited about the half marathon.

Wednesday – Reformer Pilates before work and then a massage after work

Thursday – 6km easy with my morning group, it was already 18 degrees at 6am, wore shorts and a T-shirt for the first time since the start of the year. Then by the time I got out to Berwick for club training after work it was a totally different day, it had been chucking it down since lunch time! On the drive out the rain had stopped and I had high hopes of it staying dry for training, no such luck, by about 6:15 it was pissing down again. Mercifully it was neither windy nor particularly cold and I didn’t mind it at all, once you’re wet you’re wet and it’s not so bad when you are sharing it with other people.

The session was 8 minutes tempo, 4 minutes active recovery and 8 minutes tempo (at a pace we could sustain for an hour), I ran about 1.62km out and 1.72 km back, there was a hill on the way out that I slowed right down for, still taking care of that semi-mem tendon. Speaking of which, I was about 98% pain free last night for the first time in about a month, this is a good sign, feels pretty good today too, it wasn’t bothering me when I got out of bed. Either all those anti-inflams or the radio wave treatment are working or the threat of the cortisone injection has scared it straight, I don’t care which just as long as it keeps improving.

Oh, and Mat Pilates at lunch time.

Friday – I’ve got Mat Pilates at lunch time again, and then an easy 6km after work.

Just to prove that I really was #1, I’ve been set a copy of a pic taken at the Run for the Firies on the weekend, good to finally see a running pic where I look like I am enjoying myself.

FiriesRun

Fear and Loathing in the Dentists Chair

14 Sep

I was 6 months overdue for my 6 monthly check-up and a letter from my dentist two weeks ago to remind me of this fact started all my teeth aching, so I dutifully made the appointment. There is only one dentist I will see, she only works on a Monday so it’s been two weeks of heightened anxiety and general freaking out as I waited for The Day.

Such is my horror at going to the dentist that by the time I was called in for my appointment I was a sobbing mess. I know it sounds overly dramatic and not especially irrational and probably harks back to some long forgotten childhood experience but even the mere mention of the D word sets me on edge.

Needless to say I tend to be pretty fastidious about looking after my teeth between visits so after the unbearable prodding with the little pointy thing and the even more unbearable cleaning it was all over and once again no cavities. While my teeth are being cleaned I can’t shake the feeling that all my teeth are suddenly going to crumble out of my mouth, I am not kidding, it horrifies me.

Less than 20 minutes and I was on my way but it felt like hours.

Then embarrassingly I had a wee meltdown in the afternoon, started to feel really ill and ended up going home early.

Few things knock me off kilter, why does a visit to the dentist send me into such a tailspin?

It was a day for medical appointments as first thing I popped in to see Dr K for the second session of radio wave therapy on my hamstring tendon. Happily this seems to be gradually getting better, I’d say it’s eased up by about 50% in the last couple of days :-)

I decided to make today one of my rest days for the week, it was one of those very rare days were I just didn’t feel like a run, I was all headachey and nauseous when I left work and just wanted to have a little lay down, so be it.

Listen to my body, get a good nights sleep and start again refreshed tomorrow.

Not a race

13 Sep

but I’ll be damned if I am going to let another chick get past me :lol:

I rounded out the running week with a nice little low key fun run in Research where I went and Ran for the Firies (I’m with you John, I can’t shake the feeling that there must be a better way to spell it but can’t seem to be able to imagine a better option). Being tediously and pathologically punctual I was the first person to sign in, actually I pulled in to the car park at the same time as aforementioned John so we were both filling in the entry form at the same time, but being a gentleman he let me pay first, this meant I was allocated race number 1 and he had 2.

The next hour was spent strutting about the place while the adoring crowd dutifully acknowledged the superior sporting prowess which had obviously resulted in the high seeding that was bestowed on us.

Umm, actually, we are just anally retentive punctuality freaks, do you still want an autograph?

Finally, 30 minutes late we were bundled down the hill and assembled for the start, with little pomp the siren on the CFA truck whooped and off we went. They had worked out a 10km loop that mostly used a bike path, the route started uphill and settled into a nice gradual downhill along an aqueduct. After that it was generally flat with just a couple of undulations and an almighty down at around 5km that took us from 115 to 50 metres in about 400 metres, looking at the elevation graph it looks like I ran off a cliff. The course was quite pretty and a gentle rain was falling off and on and we had become spread out pretty quickly. I wasn’t planning on a hard run and was just going to get around in an easy 55 minutes or so, I ended up with just a touch over 51 minutes, it seems “easy” for me is getting quicker, this even included a couple of short walk breaks, there were a couple of sharp short climbs and I could feel my hammy grabbing so I erred on the side of caution and slowed the pace right down. It’s been good the last couple of days, no point flaring it up again for no reason.

Of course a little bit of competition did creep in, around 2km in I noticed a couple of chicks up in front of me, may as well entertain myself and see if I can catch them, the first one was passed within a Km, then just as I caught the next one the cheeky cow took a little short cut and got in front of me again, Oi!!! But that’s when we hit the big down hill and everyone else started tip toeing down, not me, I’ve barreled down scarier hills than that in the last 2 years, wooooo hooooooo!!!!! In what can best be described as a barely controlled free fall I careened down headlong and managed to put heaps of space between me and little miss short cut, that was the last I saw of her.

Towards the end there were some locals out cheering us on and then I could see the Fire Truck that signified the finish line. There was a guy taking picture so I gave a wave and a smile and hopefully produced a photo more acceptable than some of those ghastly AV specimens that have cropped up this year, it does help when you are just cruising over the finish line and not about to chuck your guts.

It was a good run, I liked the course (though totally not a PB course, just a fun course), the measurement was spot on (at least according to the Garmin), friendly volunteers and all up an very good effort from a bunch of people who don’t organise fun runs for a living.

That’s it for the week, 55km in total. I did toy with the notion of popping out for another 5 or 6km this afternoon but I was due a rest week and have also been hobbled by a monster blister on the ball of my right foot. Seriously, it’s killing me, it’s in the worse possible spot, I’ve popped and disinfected it but I have to walk on the side of my foot, damn annoying.

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