Archive | December, 2009

Blood Orange Gelati, it’s better than Valium

30 Dec

Long Reps last night, my favourite.

The session was gate to gate, ran at Jells Park from, well, gate to gate. It’s about 930 metres and we ran on a 7 minute cycle, so the faster you are the longer the rest, my reps, apart from the first one were spot on 4 minutes each, so a pretty generous rest for me.

We did 4, my first was 4:09 (settling in, gauging how I felt) and the rest 4:00, looking back to 20 October when I last did this there was a small improvement in pace. Last time I averaged 4:21 per km, last night it was 4:18 per km, I wanted to aim for my ideal 5km race pace, so I managed that.

My legs felt great, quite strong and fast, however my breathing was laboured, looks like my CV fitness has some catching up to do.

Work is pretty quiet at the moment, with a change freeze on I’ve got time to get stuck in to some pre work for system upgrade late in January and still have time to nick off at around 3 each day, making the most of that while it lasts. Yesterday I thought I would brave the shops at lunch time, BAD move! I was Ok at first and picked up a few things to try on, then I came over all funny, got very sweaty and shakey and had to get out of there, dropped everything on the nearest table and left quick smart. I haven’t had an anxiety attack in quite a while, they are not nice, I’d advise against them. I ended up buying a gelati and sitting quietly in the sun while I ate, much more fun than the shops at sale time I should have just done that in the first place.

So there you go, bet you didn’t think I could be such a sensitive soul did you :roll:

I think I might pop down to The Tan tomorrow morning and do the Victorian Road Runners New Years Eve run before work, there is a 4km and an 8km, probably the 4km for me. It starts at 730am in any one fancies an early morning jaunt, goodness knows I am pretty crap at that time of day but it’s a nice way to end the years running.

Halfway there

28 Dec

The season that stresses me is halfway over and I haven’t had a meltdown yet, this is progress, usually there are tears by the 28th.

Phew, the session I did Tuesday last week really knocked me about, legs were heavy for days.

Wednesday was a rest day and a massage

Thursday – 10km including fartlek, just the traditional surge when you want to rest when you want to fartlek. Then my moonlight cinema got rained out so I hid at home and watched a murder mystery on TV and tried to pretend it was a normal night.

Friday – an easy 10km around home in the morning

Saturday – I had planned on a long run, totally wussed it big time and only managed 11.5km, should have gone somewhere nice and not bothered with the streets around home.

Sunday – went to meet some friends for a hill session but messed up and waited in the wrong spot, did one lap of the Lyrebird track hill loop (4km) and sooked off home, felt bad by the afternoon so went out for another 6km ish

Monday – met a friend for a pleasant 11.7km at Lysterfield, I am a crappola morning runner so Wallaby track was more of a push than usual but I still made it up in one go. My sister is in Melbourne for a couple of days so I went out for a lovely lunch with the girls in the family (ok, I let my little brother come along too), then I got a big drooly happy cuddle with my 6 month old nephew :-)

Back to work tomorrow :-(

I have spent many many many many happy hours reading over the last couple of days though, finished one book and started another, normally I struggle to find the time and it takes me weeks to get though a book.

intestinal fortitude

22 Dec

I thought last Tuesday was our last group training session for the year, I thought wrong but never mind.

Work has slowed down temporarily because we are in a change freeze so I nicked off at 330pm, though considering I started at 730am I would hardly call it “leaving early”.

Needless to say I was at Jells and ready to run by 430 and left to my own devices I decided that 8 by 2 minutes up Scotchman’s Creek Hill sounded like a spot of fun.

I didn’t mind being on my own, sometimes it’s best to suffer in solitude and did I really need a witness to the doubled over dry retching at the end of the the last rep, probably not.

So, 8 by 2 minutes up hill with a floating recovery downhill. Checking on the last time I did this, 3/11, I am pleased to see some improvement, although last time it was 6 by 2 minutes. Over the first 6 reps I was better by an average of 6 metres and over the 8 about 3 metres, the last couple really hurt, but hey a small improvement is still an improvement and it goes to show I can push myself on my own.

A very easy cooldown back to my car followed, where I discovered that a group session was being run tonight, a fartlek session, oh well.

Rest day tomorrow, just a pilates class, I am bloody tired!

attack of the killer blackberries

20 Dec

When was I last here?

Wednesday right?


Thursday – training out in Berwick, it was chucking it down and in the age of drought and global warming we don’t complain. Through the rain, fortunately never hail, wind (plenty of that) and the arctic darkness of winter we were a bunch of dedicated and hardy souls, turning up unwaveringly every Thursday to train. This week there was plenty of rain, a bit of wind, but at least it was day light and it wasn’t frigidly cold. Then the BBQ came out, followed closely by the Eski, someone said “do we just want to slack off tonight” and the rest of us crumbled in the face of peer pressure, pretty much immediately :lol:

Friday – I entertained notions of 6km in the morning and 6km in the afternoon, as per usual I woke up doing my best zombie impersonation and couldn’t face running at 530am. We had out work Xmas lunch, thankfully a low key affair at one of my favourite restaurants, I possibly should have said no to that last glass of wine, but, well, I didn’t. I’d also meant to catch the train in on Friday but what seems like a good idea in theory went out the window when I contemplated the reality of public transport in Melbourne and realised I’d rather crawl the 17km to the city, over broken glass, than get on one of our trains, so I drove.

I wasn’t exactly rolling drunk but I did need to sober up, so back to the office for about half an hour to wrap up my day then off for a run. I ended up knocking out a comfortable 11km in about 57 minutes, I expected to vomit at any moment but I felt great.

Saturday – I may have mentioned something about being less cocky about my ever developing prowess up hills after Saturday morning.

Umm, I am a little less cocky now :-)

Lyrebird Track is a MONSTER of a hill, about 1km long and I barely ran any of it, I gamely managed a little bit at the start and in the middle and the last 100 metres or so, but both times up it was mostly walking, I did manage to over take other walkers though. The rest of the course was a long wind down to the bottom and then up and around to the bottom of the hill again. It was a slow 8km, but I ran with a friend and the company was good and no matter the pace the downhills and the ups were all great strength work.

Sunday – I had originally planned on 18km around Lysterfield and Churchill parks, but my plans changed and I ended up meeting some friends this morning to run a trail I hadn’t been on before. I thought I’d sussed most of the trails up in the Dandenongs but the Sassafrass Creek Trail was new to me, it runs between Sassafrass and Gembrook through the Mountain Ash forest, it was beautiful. Most of the group were doing the out and back trip of about 30km, but a bit too far for me at the moment so I turned back with one other at around the 9km mark.

It was slow going as we picked our way along single trial, trying not to roll over our ankles too much on all the tree roots or slip on the muddy bits or get tripped up by the long strips of bark from the eucalyptus. However it was a stunning place for a run and I go to the trials to enjoy myself and build strength, not to run fast. There was plenty of downhill running on the way out so I was expecting the trip back to be a bit of a slog but not so, we made it back with minimal walking. I must confess to a couple of short walk breaks but nothing more than 20 metres or so here and there as my poor legs, a bit battered from yesterday refused to behave and I was worried about tripping.

The only problem today was the bloody blackberry bushes, there were heaps over the first 3km and my legs took a bit of a beating, worse so on the way back when I was already cut up, they look a bit of a mess now and there was a small amount of girly shrieking in the shower.

This afternoon I fell asleep in a beanbag on the deck.

How do you know you are training well?

16 Dec

When you enjoy your rest day.

If my rest day rolls around and I am bouncy and edgy then I don’t feel like I have been training hard enough, but if I think “yeah, it’ll be nice to take a day off and refresh myself”, then I feel like I’ve got the balance right.

It’s Wednesday, that means it’s my rest day and guess what? It’s nice to take a day off to refresh myself.

Remarkably I was feeling better after my two days of pretty full on hill running, not to mention the track race on Saturday, than I imagined I would, my legs were a little heavy but there has been no more muscle soreness than usual. However by last night I was feeling somewhat deflated mentally, mostly due to a couple of crappy days at work, the corporate world can be so fecking tedious, I am just not cut out for it and with the end of the year coming up my capacity to deal with OPS* (well, in the tradition of the corporate world I have to reduce everything to an acronym don’t I?) has reached it’s limit and the effort that is required to not got postal at work is exhausting in the extreme.

By the time I got to Jells last night I was doing my best Dietrich and figured I’d better go for a little easy run with some music to shake my mood. I did an easy 3.5km then settled down to listen to my iPod for a while, I started to feel a wee bit better and by the time the others stared to turn up I was capable of communicating in complete well formed sentences and not the serious of grunts and hand signals I had adopted from around lunch time.

Half way through the warm up though I conceded that it was not going to be my day, I felt like a big black cloud had enveloped me. Back up near the car park I considered dropping off the back of the warm up and just heading home, aghhhh, I can’t do that, gotta suck it up.

The session was 4 by 4 minutes with 3 minute recovery, normally one of my favourites being that I am a fan of long intervals. Last night I just thought Yikes! Oh well, what’s the worse I could do, drag myself around at 5 minutes Kms, it’s still a workout right?

In the end, despite really really really really really and just to hammer home my laboured point, really not feeling like it I somehow managed to drag a half decent session out of myself.

1 – 910 metres
2 – 950 metres
3 – 930 metres (was feeling ok but got slowed up trying to get out of the way of a bike)
4 – 960 metres

This apart from the first rep is pretty much on par with how I would expect to complete this session, funny that even feeling as bad as I did my head managed to get itself in the right place to train well.

Then I went home and had 2 Mojitos and a piece of toast for dinner, ever so slightly dysfunctional I know, but I slept well.

* Other People’s Shit


14 Dec

Yeah, that’s me, my new favourite pass time is going through the Melways, Map My Run and Parks Victoria maps in search of hills to torture myself up and over.

I pulled up from yesterday’s adventure far better than I thought I would, quads only a little tender, in fact my hip flexors were giving more grief than anything else, I did wuss out and use the lighter springs in my Pilates class this morning.

By the afternoon I decided I was OK to tackle a run at Lysterfield and even if my quads were a quivering mess it would still be preferable to a flat run along the Yarra bike paths. Such was my confidence that I even decided to make another push up Wallaby Track, I hadn’t run it since 26/10. I hit the bottom, gave myself a little pep talk and started the 1.4km push, up, up and for a change, up!

Half way there, breathing a bit heavy but feeling OK I kept waiting for the burning and the heavy legs to slow me up, never happened, before I knew it I’d hit the top, made it over the last little steep bit, turned left and kept going, I didn’t even need to stop to regather myself, a first!

Unfortunately a couple of metres on I came across a dead Kangaroo, hopefully by natural causes and not because someone had taken a disliking to him :-(

Though further on I did come across an echidna, fortunately he was very much alive and waddling.

Back at home I downloaded the run and checked the Wallaby track bit against the last time I ran it, how cool is this? A 15 second improvement in pace! last time I slogged up at 6:30 pace, today I positively flew up at 6:15 pace :-)

This crazy hill running campaign of mine appears to be paying off.

I am planning on running the Australian Mountain running course a couple of times on Saturday morning, methinks I may be a tad less cocky after that outing ;-)

I walked up the side of a mountain

13 Dec

then I ran down the other side of the mountain.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a run (and to be fair, some walking too) like this one, being that I am not doing Trailwalker next year it hasn’t been necessary. Having said that I do still have some shorter trail runs on the agenda and there is also the simple fact that I LOVE the mountains and need little excuse to train there.

Corrie met me at my Mum’s house after getting a few early Kms in running up from her place. From Mum’s we pretty much go straight up so we were walking from the outset. It was a beautiful morning, nice and cool and the mountain was covered in cloud so there were some beautiful sights with the mountain ash all shrouded in mist.

There was a moment of hesitation when I wasn’t 100% sure of which track to take, ok, no prob, check the map, ummm, bugger, left the map in the car :oops:

Not overly fussed, if you stick to the trails in the Dandenongs it’s impossible to get lost, you’ll find your way to a road eventually. Having said that though I didn’t want to lead us on a merry chase all over the side of the mountain so I took a punt, luckily it was the right one.

We had a brief stop up the top in Olinda for a Gel each and to redirect a lost tourist looking for the 1000 steps (ahhh, way off mate, 10 minutes back down the mountain) and it was time for the long mostly downhill run to Mt Evelyn or home for Corrie. Heading down towards Silvan we were lucky enough to encounter a Lyrebird crossing the path so we slowed down and watched her (pretty sure it was a her) for a couple of minutes, they are so shy it’s not often you get to encounter one.

There was also a little bit of a stack too, a big stick jammed into my right foot then kicked up and tripped Corrie and then we both went down in a rather inelegant heap. Fortunately there were no sprains or broken bones and after walking off the shock we were back on track again.

Near Mt Evelyn we went our separate ways, I still had about 4km to go to get back to Mum’s.

Phew, big morning, 25.2km in 3 hours 16 minutes, pretty crap for a road run but just fine for a hilly mountain run. According to Garmin the maximum gradient we encountered was 43.1%, I suppose that’s pretty steep, there was also a quad basing -44% at one stage. I am pretty sure I can do the 2 Bays run in the 3 and a half hours I am aiming for.

I am soooo having a glass of wine tonight.

News just in, the AV results are up and I ran 22:09 yesterday :-)

AV Shield Round 9

12 Dec

5000 metres

I ran a PB!

My best 5km on track or road :-)

22:10, though waiting for the official results, I was so excited I forgot to stop my watch and 22:10 was what I overheard as I crossed the line.

I also ran a 4km PB on the way too.

Very happy to put last weeks atrocious 23:43 behind me.

Phew, that lifts the weight from my shoulders somewhat, my confidence was really getting bashed about so I’ve been somewhat buoyed by today’s result.

I still struggled though that dreaded 4th Km though, my pace didn’t drop off, it just felt like it did. I need to work on that and try to push the negative thoughts away when they start chipping away at me. Ummmm, I did start a tad fast too, 4:14, then I settled into more or less metronomic pace for the remainder. My watch read 21:45 with 100 to go, I tried gamely to bring it in under 22 but I reckon I’d struggle to run a 15 second 100 metre on it’s own, let alone 4900 metres into a 5ker :lol:

So that’s one little demon put to bed today.

Greg! the stop sign!

10 Dec

The TAC (Transport Accident Commission) have declared today Shine a Light day, they want us to drive about all day with our headlights on –

“This initiative is an opportunity for all Victorians to show their commitment to road safety by driving with their headlights on.”

I was in a nasty accident when I was about 13, caused by another driver who had fallen asleep at the wheel. That I am here to write about it is mostly due to my Dads quick reflexes and enormous old beast of a car. I really don’t remember much because I blacked out and have a hole in my memory; though I do remember the ambo looking after us. I was told that Dad saw a car on the wrong side of the road and steered us off the highway causing his side of the car to bear the brunt of the collision. We are lucky that the worst injury that came out of it was my Dad’s whiplash and the somehow other guy and his passenger lived.

So, sure, by all means turn your headlights on as a show of solidarity, though instead of just one day I would prefer every day to be don’t use your car as a weapon, don’t tailgate and intimidate, don’t weave in and out of traffic, don’t speed through amber lights, don’t drink and drive, don’t speed, don’t race your mates, don’t chat on your mobile while driving, don’t get aggro and drive like a dick just because you perceive someone else’s innocent action as a sleight on your masculinity, don’t fiddle with your hair, touch up lippy or mascara in the rear view mirror, pull over and have a rest if you are tired, don’t fishtail away from your mates place in some desperate attempt impress and finally a licence is a privilege not a right day and for pity’s sake make it every bloody day because no one else should die or be horribly injured as a result of someone else’s stupidity.

I will vote for any politician who changes the wussy anti hoon laws from loosing your car for a couple of days to loosing your car, having it placed in a crusher and being forced to press the button that mashes it into the size of a matchbox.

PS on the back of Tuesday’s post, Xmas is my least favourite time to be on the roads, it always feels scarier, a few years ago coming home from Mum’s on Xmas night someone ran a red light and just missed me, if I was a cat it would have scared 8 lives out of me.

A hell of a session was cooked up for us on Tuesday night, 12/7/12/7, which equated to

12 minutes fartlek (1 minute on/2 minutes off by 4)
7 minutes tempo
12 minutes fartlek (2 minutes on/1 minute off by 4)
7 strides of about 80 metres each


The fartlek bits were done on the loop at Jells in front of the café, so there was that hill to get up a couple of times.

I can’t complain, I did say I need to get more hill work in :lol:

It was a tough session but came with a definite sense of achievement once it was finished.

Though by the time I saw Corrie for my massage last night my quads were pretty sore.

Tonight I am off to the Zatopek meet at Olympic Park which includes the Australian 10,000 metre championships, for the first time in a while the women’s field is pretty strong so I am looking forward to it.

Some clubmates are going too so we’ll do a session on the tan before hand.

‘tis the season

8 Dec

to take myself off to a little shack on a mountain somewhere, far from the maddening crowds and run and sleep and run and remove myself from the big bad world until the new year dawns…….

Well, in an ideal world anyway.

Being that this is not an ideal world I must brace myself for the onslaught of tinsel, nauseating consumerism, forced joviality, eating until you vomit and the puzzling attachment to roast meat and hot deserts in the middle of an Australian summer.

Yeah, bah humbug and all that.

You knock yourself out but this time of the year just does not jive with me at all.

Not least of all due to the odd propensity to resort to 70s African American street slang.

Speaking of which, permit me a quick tangent from my grinch inspired anti Xmas rant, remember the Jive dudes in Flying High? (hey, it was called Airplane In the US, I didn’t know that until just now), damn that was funny, “Stewardess, I speak Jive” :lol:

Anyway, I have my reasons for not loving this time of year, but rather than being all mature and talky about it I prefer to fall back on bitter sarcasm and telling kids there is no Santa.

Ok, I made the last bit up, I would never tell a kid there is no Santa, and hopefully I don’t have many small children in my readership.

In an attempt to ease myself in to the silly (or as I prefer to call it, stupidly unnecessary) season I’ve decided to alter my usual Xmas Eve tradition of stumbling about my neighbourhood swigging from a bottle of rum, bellowing Fairytale of New York at the top of my lungs, especially the “you scumbag you maggot” bit and telling kids there is no Santa before passing out in someone’s Xmas light display. Instead I am off to the Moonlight Cinema to watch The Life of Brian with the bats, though there will be the sound of the Carols by Candelight in the background and I shall refrain from destroying the dreams of any young children should I bump in to them on the walk back to my car and keep my trap shut about the big man in red.

Putting the bitter and twisted behind me and on the happier topics, I ran a hilly 11km at Lysterfield last night. I changed my route a bit yesterday and took in two pretty substantial hills, one climbing for almost 1km and the other about 800 mtres.

It’s all part of my cunning gain Herculean leg strength and endurance for cross country 2010 plan because I am not going to spend next year finishing races feeling like a failure.

I am not very strong on hills and it pisses me off, I love cross country but I’ll love it at lot more if I am stronger. I am not the typical compact super light little distance runner, I am tall and I have big legs, I may as well play to my strengths and make it work for me.

So it’s hills, hills and more hills, along with the strength work my physio has given me, catch me if you can ;-)


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