Archive | January, 2010

AV Shield Rd 12

29 Jan

Last round before finals yesterday afternoon and the stars were out on the track with Jeff Risley and Benita Willis both making an appearance to run the 1500.

I tried something new for the 1500, I put myself in a slightly faster heat in the hope that I could tack on with some 5:50 ish type runners, when I ran my 5:53.0 PB I was in a nice little pack of 3, it was perfect.

I also tried to go out a bit harder over the first 300 in the hope that it would be enough for at least a PB equalling time, if not a few seconds quicker.

It didn’t work and I was a bit frustrated after I finished, after running 5:53.9 and 5:53.0 late last year I’ve run 6:02.4 and 6:00.29 this year, what’s with the 6 minute rut? I am not deluded, I don’t expect to run a PB each time, but after getting under 6 minutes I did kind of expect that I was capable of running between 5:53 and 5:59 as a matter of course, unless I was having a really shit day. Not only am I not deluded I am also a realist, I know that 1500 is not my forte and I don’t train specifically for it, but I had felt I’d set a certain standard for myself.

Anyway, these are the splits for the last two hit outs. I don’t have any others as I’ve only just started using the Lap by position feature on my garmin, over 1500 it seems accurate, beeping pretty much on the line each time around. Any longer at it starts to read long, the curve on the track is a bit extreme for those faraway satellites.

Split 14/01 28/01
300 1:08.29 1:01.26
700 1:39.45 (2:47.74) 1:37.1 (2:38.36)
1100 1:39.0 (4:26.74) 1:41.0 (4:19.36)
1500 1:36.0 (6:02.74) 1:141.04 (6:00.40)

Saturday 6th is our Regional Final and I am stoked that the Div 2 Casey Girls have made it, as of last week we were still on top of the ladder! I’ll be back into my comfort zone and will be running the 5000 and will be starting with the intention of putting in a good one.

I have also decided to enter the Victorian Masters Championships on 20/21 March, the 1500 is on Saturday and the 5000 on Sunday, I’ll enter both and decided a bit closer to the time if I can be bothered with the 15.


27 Jan

Australia Day yesterday, what’s not to love about a public holiday?!

Except Asterix the giant Russian Blue decided to have a bit of a turn, poor munchkin. He was up half of Monday night periodically Gakking* away in various parts of the house, when I got up to check on him he was staggering about and generally not looking at all like his usual sprightly self. In the morning he refused his breakfast, this is a cat who can hear the top being ripped off a tin of tuna in the next suburb and forces me to eat breakfast standing up unless I want kitty litter scratching paws in my cereal.

A trip to the after hours vet is a sign of how much I love the big fuzz ball because it requires me to dig deep into my limited reserves of patience, in the end the consultation took over an hour because the vet kept ducking out to do other things.

Anyway, Trix was prodded (not happy with that, pancreas is inflamed), blood was taken, a thermometer was put somewhere a thermometer shouldn’t be put and he had an opiate, anti-inflam and anti biotic injected, through all this he only bit me with the jaws of steel once. I was sent home with some Tramadol (junky) and more anti inflams to give him, something must have done the trick because he begged for lunch and ate heartily. He was kind of funny on the Tramodol, all spaced out and bumping in to things, though I had another restless night checking on him. It’s not an animal specific drug, he’s on the human stuff and I had to sign a wavier saying I wouldn’t sue if he kicked it because the drug hasn’t been tested for critters. He was fine, except he kept telling me he was $5 short for the train to Albury and wouldn’t look me in the eye.

Just waiting for the blood results to come back now but he’s been more like his old self.

A day off meant I could do my first run at 9am, no sleeplek for the second week in a row, so a nice easy 8.9km to get me going for the day.

Training in the evening and it was 10 by 30 seconds up a slope with a 90 second (the run back down again) recovery. Not a fab session for me, short intervals are not my forte but I could appreciate the point of the session and I knuckled down, wasn’t too happy at the end though, just the culmination of a bad night and a worrisome day.

1500 tomorrow night, going to try for 5:50 so I’ll be brave and put myself in one of the faster heats instead of sitting back in the last heat.

*If you’ve ever heard a dog or a cat vomit you’ll appreciate the onamonapea

Belief Vs Reality

25 Jan

When I was about 5 years old I had a belief, a belief that if I wiggled my nose like Samantha from Bewitched that cool stuff would happen.

In fact so strong and certain was this belief that one day I stood on the top of my bunk bed, wiggled my nose, closed my eyes and stepped off.

Apparently I can’t fly*

If you don’t believe me I can show you the scar under my bottom lip, this is were my teeth pushed through when I hit the ground.

The moral of this story is that it’s OK to believe in yourself, but not to the extent that you believe that wiggling your nose like a 1960s sitcom character is going to give you the power of flight.

I don’t believe in belief, I believe in being positive and confident, I believe in trusting in the training that you have done and setting tough but realistic goals. But training can only take you so far, the limitations of age and talent, of reality, will bring you back to earth quicker than a kid who thinks she can fly, I can believe I can run a 80 minute half marathon until the cows come home, but that ‘aint going to make it happen.

I’ve set a few goals for myself this year, though I haven’t talked to anyone about them and I am not going to publish them (though 1 or 2 may get an inside scoop). I will train as best as I can, respecting the limitations my stupid body has placed on me and always with a view to staying injury free. There will be more than one attempt available at the distances I want to run certain times in this year so I’ll asses in the lead up and decide what I am aiming for.

The problem in the past is that I’ve invested too much in certain races and have been too hell bent on achieving a certain time and felt too pressured by the expectation to perform to a certain level. This has caused me to push myself through pain when I should have stepped back which inevitably lead to injury.

Oh, good long run on Sunday, 19km, my long runs had been languishing around the 15km mark for ages so I am pleased I’ve managed to stretch them out a bit through January. Last week I did 18km and the last 2km were a real struggle, on Sunday I had a proper breakfast before hand (porridge instead of toast) and was feeling much more comfortable over the last couple and even managed a faster pace to close out the run.

*then again maybe I could fly, it was just the landing I hadn’t got the hang of.

Trails New

23 Jan

I went for an easy run after work yesterday afternoon, it was hot and it wasn’t all that enjoyable.

Today I decided to go and have a look at a part of the O’Shannassy Aquaduct Trail, it runs from Woori Yallock to, funnily enough, the O’Shannassy Dam, alternatively it would be fair to say it runs from O’Shannassy Dam to Woori Yallock, but we could argue about this all day. The aquaduct is no longer in use but it’s still there next to the trail.

I was only looking for a 9km run today so I suppose it’s a bit of overkill to drive all the way to Warburton to do it but I go where the whim takes me. I got to the car park and decided to run the section towards the dam but it turns out Parks Vic are doing some repair works and a 6km section is closed at the moment, so the decision was made for me and I ran back towards Warburton.

It was a gorgeous place to run, lovely forest, almost totally flat (being next to an aquaduct I kind of expected it woud be) and gravel underfoot, lots of birds flitting about and the sound of running water, it will be a perfect spot for long runs when I get into half marathon training again, I can’t wait to run there in the winter. I stopped in Warby for something to eat before the drive home, a vanilla slice from the bakery, YUM, I can’t remember the last time I had one, it was fabulous, why has it been so long?

Some pics from my phone

I’ve seen plenty of the Parks Vic “you can do this/you can’t do that” signs on the trails, but this was a first, I shudder to think what happened to prompt them to put it up, still, it was good to know that I was safe from sniper fire this morning :lol:

Heading back to the start

I really do love those shoes


AV Shield Round 11

22 Jan

12:52 ish, thereabouts, somewhere in the ballpark, depends on who had the quicker reflexes, me or the timer.

In a word, CRUD!

Running Shield comp has taught me to be realistic (especially when racing every week) and to not expect a PB every time and to approach some weeks just a solid training session rather than an all out effort, simply, to choose my battles.

Training was going well and I had a great session on Tuesday so I was confident and set my sights on 12:40 (but secretly was thinking 12:35 would not be too much of a stretch), which would have been a 9 second PB (I ran 12:48.9 on 24/10/09). Somehow it didn’t quite work out that way; there were heaps of people keen for the 3000 so we were split into 3 heats. This was great as we’d done all our 5000s in one mega heat this season, sometimes up to 60 people, but sanity has mostly prevailed with the 3000s and they’ve kept the numbers manageable.

Though of course I didn’t factor this in to my preparation (still too green at this track business) and warmed up at around 8pm expecting to be running at 850pm, well, my heat didn’t start until about 945pm, which is pretty close to my bed time most nights.

Ahhh, no excuse, it was the second Km, I eased up too much and you just can’t afford to do that in such a short race, I was out in no mans land on my own and just lost it a little bit there over a couple of laps and couldn’t make it up. I wasn’t paying any attention to the lap splits and was only checking at each Km, just trying to pace myself on feel. I should have paid more attention and not let my mind wander.

Splits were


more or less, it took just over half a lap to get some clear space, then I was on my own.

I am a bit disappointed about this one, today I am tired and sore and although it’s not a wasted effort as there is still a training benefit it wasn’t the outcome I was aiming for, I was capable of better.

PS – to be fair on myself I looked up my splits for 23/10 (because it was niggling at me) and I was faster by 1 second during the 2nd and 3rd Km last night, it was the first that let me down being almost 6 seconds too slow.

Finally, some improvement

20 Jan

I had to miss my run on Monday, caught back at work and then some stuff to sort out after the lightening strike that morning.

Mother Nature’s fury did give me a day off work though as Optus were coming around yesterday to fix my broken phone line. The tech was supposed to be around between midday and 4pm, but then he turned up at 8am while I was still slobbing around in my PJs. He got the line fixed and I did a happy dance because that meant I had the whole day ahead of me still, 10 minutes later my house alarm started beeping again (to let me know the phone line has been disconnected) and it was back on the phone to the help desk. Repair guy was back 15 minutes later, mucked about a bit more, phone line back up again and then I had the day to myself.

Tuesday is a double day and thanks to the day off I was saved from the 530am sleeplek session and instead did an easy 10km at the more civilized 10am.

I spent the rest of the day tidying, having a short kip (lovely), watching The Mighty Boosh on my lap top (because I still haven’t managed to hook up my DVD player to my new TV) and cooking dinner early so I could get home from training and eat straight away (luxury).

Last nights session was 4 by 4 minutes with 3 minute recovery (walking about, not standing in one place gasbagging), despite what must have been a dejected look on my face I enjoy this session.

Again, my legs are feeling really strong, stronger than they ever have in fact, but lamentably I am still waiting for my heart and lungs to catch up, I almost felt like I was falling over with every step last night as my legs wanted to move faster than the rest of my body could :lol:

Anyway, I don’t have the distance showing on my Garmin when I run reps so I had no idea how the session went until I downloaded it and compared it to last time, it did feel like a good one and it turned out it was, this is a comparison over the last 3 months, which speaks for itself –

Rep 10/11/09 15/12/09 19/01/10
1 945 metres 910 metres 950 metres
2 965 metres 950 metres 980 metres
3 910 metres 930 metres 950 metres
4 920 metres 960 metres 980 metres

Funny how with the December and January sessions the 2nd and 4th rep was faster than the 1st and 3rd, it’s a flat section we run on and there were no headwinds either so there is no logical explanation.

Anyway, feeling good and I am hopeful for a 3000 metre PB on Thursday night, though I won’t be running until 9pm which will be interesting.

I am off for an easy 6km or so at lunch time, thanks to Monday’s slackness, I don’t want to make today another rest day.

What the f*ck was that?!

18 Jan

At about 430 this morning I discovered the reason why swear words were invented.

I have been misinformed all these years, I thought swear words were invented to be shouted at spiders, people who cut you off in traffic, yourself when you stub your toe/walk into a tow bar/bang thumb with hammer, the umpire or the tax office.

No dear reader, swear words were invented to sum up the shear terror of being woken up from a deep sleep by a thunder clap so terrifically loud that that you not only hear it but you feel it as well, followed almost instantly by a lightening strike pretty much directly outside your bedroom window.

Apart from the time I went white water rafting and I was convinced I was going to drown I don’t think I have ever been so frightened in all my life, I fully expect all my hair to turn white by tomorrow. When the thunder clapped I sat bolt upright in bed, in the instant that I woke I had thought there was an explosion somewhere nearby, the windows had rattled, things fell off selves, I could feel a pulse of energy, there was the flash and then the thunder rumbled on for 20 seconds or so. I sat there for a few moments scared and shaking expecting to hear sirens or people shouting, I really had thought something had blown up. I also had two cats going completely mental, normally storms don’t bother them but I am pretty sure I and going to find claw marks in the ceiling.

If it had have happened during the day I probably would have been in a more rational state of mind, but to be woken up by such an almighty bang is something else altogether, I never ended up getting back to sleep it was too much of an adrenaline rush. I got up and started looking around the house and discovered that half my electrical appliances weren’t working, I figured that the surge protectors they are plugged in to had tripped but they wouldn’t reset. When it got light I had a look in my fuse box, turned out that one of the kill switches had tripped so there must have been a surge from the lightening strike. My lax attitude to house work was also exposed, all the dust that had settled on the tops of door frames and in the picture rails had also been pushed upwards, there are dust trails everywhere, it looks really weird.

Update – got home, phone line is fried and Foxtel is not working, aghhhhhh. Optus are fab and will be here tomorrow to fix the phone line AND answered immediately. Foxtel on the other hand……….first call yielded nothing but an auto reboot (which I knew would not work) and being told to call back in 5 minutes if that didn’t work before being hung up on. Second call, 5 minutes later, resulted in 30 minutes chatting with some dude in India (and I hate to think how my mobile bill will look, not to mention the size of my brain tumour) and no Joy. How many freaking people do I have to tell that a reboot won’t work, there was a lightening strike and I am pretty sure the unit itself has frapped out??? Long story short they will send a techo out on FRIDAY, seriously, FRIDAY! The lightening stuck a tree in the front yard of the house opposite me and bore a hole in the ground right down to a metal pipe, pretty scary, my neighbour was even more frightened than I was!


Friday was just an easy 7.5km or so.

Saturday I took my new super light Trail Shoes (adizero’s) out to the Dandenongs for a 8km run from Grant’s Picnic ground down towards Belgrave then looping back up to the car park. By up I mean UP too, nice big fat long steep hill in the middle to climb, I tried gamely to run up part of it but it’s too freaking long and steep. I did power walk up pretty well though, last time it took me about 12 minutes, this time around it took me just over 9 minutes. Then running back down a trail called Lyrebird Walk I was keeping my eyes open for the namesake, none today though, I did see four Nuns however so maybe it needs to be renamed Penguin Walk :lol:

Sunday was another spin around Lysterfield Lake with a couple of girlfriends. I took us on a big loop that borders the park, I hadn’t been up that far before so I was unsure what to expect, it did undulate a fair bit but was not too bad, though I did have to walk up one really short steep bit. Then we finished by running counter clockwise back around the lake the car park, all up 18kms.

I love my new trail shoes more than I thought it would be possible to love an inanimate object, they are light (only 226gms each) but still supportive and so comfortable to run in.

Boing Boing Boing

15 Jan

That was me last night, bouncing off the walls trying to calm down enough to go to sleep without lying in bed twitching. Remember when you were a kid and you’d drink too much red cordial at a party and run about the place like a mad thing and then Mum would complain that you were “over tired”, it was kind of like that.

Twilight meets take a bit of getting used to (that is AV Shield racing starting in the early evenings, not stupid angsty teenagers and lame sparkling vampires mooning about the place doing stuff all), all that adrenaline coursing though ones veins of an evening is the equivalent of a red cordial bender, at least it is for me.

The week so far

It was 43 freaking degrees in Melbourne when I finished up work around 4pm. Being cosseted in air conditioned comfort all day I asked myself “how bad can it be?”, I only want to run 6km, if I run slow I am sure I will be fine, until I walked out of the office and was buffeted by a hot wind blowing in directly from the bowels of hell. Alright, you win the dreadmill it is then, so essentially are rather tedious 6km at the gym.

6km Sleeplek, it was hot hot hot, still 32 degrees at 530am, it was not much fun, if anyone has ever wondered if it is possible to keep sweating in a cold shower, I assure you, it is.

Mona Fartlek at Jells, for the three people in the running community who have been living under a rock and don’t know, that’s 2 by 90 seconds, 4 by 60 seconds, 4 by 30 seconds and 4 by 15 seconds with equal recovery time. When I was injured I used to do this one on the exercise bike and in the pool alot too. I finished a little further on than were I normally do so a good session.

Rest and massage

AV Shield Round 10, 1500 and 5000 metres
Unsure how I felt about the 1500 today and I was tempted to give it a miss when I got to the ground and discovered a pesky head wind howling down the home straight (howling may be a slight embellishment, but it was enough to be annoying). Ahh what the hell, you can’t run a PB every time, it’s still a good work out and will never be a wasted effort. There were 24 in my heat so the starter just split us in two, so I had no idea what sort of times the other girls would run. I just went out to run consistently, I did, I overtook 2 runners and held them off and ran almost perfectly even splits to finish in about 6:02. I’ll have another chance this season to get under 5:50, last night wasn’t the night.

An hour later I was lining up for the 5000, eeeeek, how the hell were my legs going to cope with this, I hadn’t done a cool down after the 1500, apart from walking about. I figured it would be a solid tempo run, may as well start off slowish and see if I could wind up for a couple of faster ones at the end. I ran 4:42 for the first Km (surprising considering how heavy my legs felt) then steadily got faster each Km to finish with a 4:24 and 23:07 over all.

I was happy with last nights running, sure, a pretty slow 1500 but that’s just the way things went. However I was quite pleased with the 5000, I’d have been content to roll out 5 minute kms for the first 3 and finish a little quicker, so 23 minutes and feeling great at the finish was better than expected. When previous PB times start to become fairly comfortable training runs that has to be a good sign of improved fitness.

3000 Metres next Thursday, I’ll be aiming for a PB there, around 12:40.

a good plan is a flexible plan

10 Jan

I am sure there is a quaint pithy little saying out there somewhere that would sum this up more eloquently but I am not going looking for it.

I hadn’t really planned in this being a rest week but with one thing and the other it’s worked out that way, I am not all that fussed and in hindsight after the Two Bays effort ’twas probably for the best.

Thursday – another sleeplek session starting at around 5:45am and marginally better than Tuesdays effort, just 5km this time and I chose a different route this time.

In the afternoon it was out to Berwick for club training and we were on the grass oval. A nice well kept grass oval would be blissful to run on, I’d probably even be tempted to go barefoot. Unfortunately water restrictions and drought conditions have not been kind to our oval and it’s a little rough and uneven under foot. So while a little bit of a chore to run on I console myself with the thought that it’s probably great conditioning for cross country.

A descending ladder was the order of the day, 1km, 800 mtre, 600, mtre, 400 mtre and 200 mtre with a 200 mtre walk recovery. Each rep worked out a little bit longer but considering the surface I was pretty happy with the overall pace with each rep getting a bit faster, though the 800 and the 600 were pretty much the same, I slacked off a little. I was running on my own, but as usual that doesn’t really bother me because I started each rep with the others.

Worryingly, during the warm up around the oval both my shins decided to go crazy and start hurting, it was completely out of the blue, shin splint type pain shooting up both shins, SHIT! I put on a brave face and finished the warm up telling myself that if it didn’t settle down when I did strides I’d pull the pin. Thankfully it did, it had gone away by the time I did strides and there was no bother during the session. I just put it down to the hard ground and the rough running surface. Scared the hell out of me though as it came out of no where! I gave them both an ice massage at home and got on the anti inflams for a couple of days. There is no swelling or pain and there hasn’t been a peep since, still, it had my blood running cold for a couple of days.

Friday – My boss is off for 4 weeks so I am filling in for her (major Eeeeeek, usually she delegates up when she is away but her boss was retrenched just before New Year so it’s come down to me), I was cruising along OK until Friday afternoon when a small amount of poo hit a fan and stuff needed sorting, so I didn’t get out of the office until after 6pm, it was freaking hot, I couldn’t face 10km on the treadmill and basically I pulled a heart muscle and just skipped it :roll:

Saturday – 9km up in Sherbrooke was planned, nice and early to beat the heat. I met a friend to show him around but owing to my propensity to talk to much (no! really!!) I missed a turn off and the first loop was only 6km, a nice big hill in there though. Unfortunately due to Friday’s goings on at work I had to be home for a 9am teleconference so left my mate to explore on his own and I reluctantly shoved off home.

Sunday – I decided on a route at Lysterfield that would take in three good hills, only about 14km but in the spirit of a rest week enough for the day and good quality running. We had a bit of a group today so was showing some people around who hadn’t been there before. They we all stronger than me so run “leading” was more me shouting instructions from the back of the pack :lol: still, they know the way now so can choof off there to their hearts content now without slow poke to hold them back.

The reward was a wade in the lake at the end, perfect morning and it was lovely in there, very tempting to have a swim but I didn’t bring bathers, next time for sure. I stood around for a bit chatting with some friends and watching their kids mess about in the water, it’s probably the best way to finish a run. Back up on the grass we were washing our feet under the tap when the youngest looked a little perturbed about how he was going to get back to the path without getting his feet dirty again, so I picked him up and plonked him on the path –

Em – Phew, you are heavy
Munchkin – No I’m not, I only weigh 22 kilos
Em – Ok, well I am just not very strong
Munchkin – That’s because you are a girl, girls are not very strong


Cheeky little imp, lucky for him he is a little sweetheart

Quite a bit of rough ground and hurtling down hills this weekend and nary a protest from my shins, must have just been a brief hissy fit.

Please don’t tell me to be careful, I know! I really do know!

Oh, saw a Lyrebird with all his tail feathers on display on Saturday, gorgeous creature.

Can’t get enough of them Trails

6 Jan

I am feeling remarkably well after Sunday’s adventure. My quads are fine, hammies a little tight and the right shoulder still tender from my fall (not that you can tell, for all the effort I took in falling over you reckon I could have been rewarded with a nice big bruise to show off) and of course sore calves, not caused by the run but the cramps that woke me up during the night afterwards.

Umm and I am a little bit tired.

But apart from all that I feel GREAT.

No seriously I do!

So despite declaring at the end on Sunday that there was no way I was going to enter the 30km Maroondah Dam run I kinda went and entered the 30km Maroondah Dam run yesterday. I’ve resolved myself to the fact that owing to the tendency of my bones to crack and splinter at the mere thought of running more than 80km a week that being able to train for a decent marathon time is probably going to be beyond me. But a girl still needs a challenge and to be honest I would rather flog myself through the mountains and the bush than along 42.2 kms of bitumen so I think a couple of tough trail runs a year are going to do the trick.

Around September last year I had decided to try for a marathon this July, I’d worked on a training plan and everything. However I’ve since given it some thought and decided that I don’t want to take the risk, I’ve finally made it through a year more or less injury free and I am looking forward to some good running this year, I am not going to wreck things by chucking a marathon in to the mix.


Monday – started to run, got 500 metres in and I just didn’t have the heart, rare but sometimes it happens, decided to cut my losses and headed home and cooked a big delicious stir fry for dinner.

Tuesday – got up at 515am and was out the door by about 545am for 6km of sleeplek at an easy pace.

In the evening we did 2 by 3 minutes (2 minute recovery), 2 by 2 mintues (1 minute recovery) and 4 by 1 minute (1 minute recovery) there was 3 minutes recovery between the 3 and 2 minute set and 2 minutes between the 2 and 1 minute set (I think, it gets confusing, I just wait for 5,4,3,2,1 go!)

Not as spritely as I would usually be but I was happy enough with the session.

I am adding doubles from this week, an easy 5 or 6 km on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, pretty hard for me that early but I suppose I’ll get used to it. It’s all part of the slow adaptation plan, initially I was doing 55-60km over 5 days a week, then 55-60km over 6 days, now I want to push up to about 60-65km over 6 days and also try to loose a couple of Kgs, hence the doubles.

My legs are feeling pretty strong at the moment, I think 6 months of Pilates reformer classes and some light strength work is starting to pay off, now I just need the heart and lungs to catch up.


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