Archive | August, 2010

XCR 10 Round 8 – Sandown Road Relay – 6.2km

29 Aug

In this case it was fourth time lucky with this round, first two years were marred by injury and last year there were not enough women at the club to form an open women’s team.

I love relays, sure there are the logistics to work out, but there is always a good atmosphere amongst the controlled chaos and I was stoked to be lining up to run and not holding a clipboard and yelling at people to get out of my way to I could record times.

Over the last year our fortunes have changed and we were one short of TWO women’s teams. Everyone got a run today as we were able to enter a second mixed team that was made up of two women and two fellas, I was lucky enough to squeeze on to the women’s team :-)

I ran last but with cheering team mates and other friends, catching up with people and waiting for change overs I didn’t get around to much of a warm up, only managing about 1km with some strides thrown in.

Our first two runners set us up nicely and even though I hadn’t been paying much attention I was pretty sure we were in second place when I got going, though I had no idea how far ahead I was. Starting towards the back meant I had to run down the straight in front of everyone, which results in lots of cheers from friends to gee me up, as I went past the Div 1 men who should I see but Craig Mottram himself, hmmm, try not to trip over your feet Em.

I settled in nicely, maybe too nicely and was worried that I’d gone out too hard, ahhh, bugger it, just go until it gets too hard then try to hang on :-) When I went through the half way in 13:30 I though Eeeeep too fast maybe? Back down the straight again in front of everyone, hey, still feeling OK, weird, just go with it.

Next thing I know I can see the finish, I still feel pretty good and then it’s all over.

Ahhhh, I love that feeling you get after a really good run, when you know that everything just came together.

Splits were a bit all over the place though, probably reflecting the rise through the back straight –

4:21
4:29
4:18
4:27
4:29
4:16
0:52 (last 210 metres)

27:13 all up, but 22:04 at the 5km mark (admittedly Garmin measured) which was a massive road PB (currently 22:19) and lower than my track PB too (22:09). I take this as a pretty good sign because after both aforementioned PBs I was doubled over probably trying not to hurl, definitely not rallying for a further 1.2km.

AND, our team came second :-)

Then I had to leave the track and rush home to work, walked in the door, fired up the lap top and was stuck with it for almost 4 bloody hours. Didn’t get time for a cool down jog and was sitting in horrible stinky clothes for ages before I finally got a shower.

I hesitantly turned out for a long run this morning, didn’t wake up feeling too stiff and sore but was annoyed about not being able to cool down properly yesterday, also was running with a group who would do a long run quicker than my usual pace.

Oh well, could always just drop off the back and starting with a group is all I need to get me going. When we got to 10.5km in about 56 minutes that was my cue to turn around and slow the feck down for the return journey while the marathoners went on their merry way. I had a Gel and some water and turned around for what I expected to be a bit of a slog home, but I couldn’t find the brakes :lol:

Some how I more or less kept up the pace on the way back all on my own, though I bumped into a mate so slowed for a bit of a chat and the last 2km started to get tricky but I sucked it up.

So, the day after a race I would’ve normally slouched around all morning and then dragged myself out for a slog in the afternoon, instead I ended up doing a pretty quick (for me!) 20.5km (there was a bit of a diversion on the way out for a loo break, hence the trip back was a bit shorter) in 1:48.

Hmmm, sometimes I need to be dragged out of my comfort zone to realise that I am capable of more than I have let myself believe.

Now, half marathon next weekend, time for a spot of tapering, feeling quietly confident now.

Where was I?

27 Aug

I need a break, I am decidedly unpleasant to be around at the moment, it’s all I can do not to snap “what the feck to you want?” every time I answer the phone at work, I have to take a deep breath and put my nice voice on. It is the testing that is really wearing me down, weekend after weekend of it; it’s been a real bugger to fit it around racing and training. Tomorrow I have a relay and will have to dash home pretty much as soon as it’s over and get to work and this evening I have to miss our club presentation night because of more testing. Yup, more than one upgrade at a time, OK for the project managers who only have to concentrate on one at a time, not OK for me who is the only one who can do the testing.

If my bloody boss isn’t back on Monday I may crack (she was due back two weeks ago).

There is a little known 10th circle and this is it, starting to feel like I must have kicked the dog of someone important in a past life.

Alright, whinge fest over, I needed to unload.

There is a bright side though; normally I deal with stress by A) eating too much chocolate and B) chasing too much chocolate with too much red wine. Thus far I have managed to avoid both vices, the worst offender being the Haighs Honeycomb block, aka the Haighs Crack Cocaine Block, can’t stop at a nibble, open the bag and it’s gone within hours, I’ve been getting by on the occasional half sized methadone bar Crunchie Bar from the charity box when things get bad.

I am currently in that calm before the storm period where pretty much everything is poised and ready for a weekend implementation, so, time for a whinge, sorry, update.

Monday – unplanned rest day that was solely (boom tish) as a result of my own stupidity. I thought I’d give my shiny new Adidas a test drive before wearing them for a long run this Sunday. Unfortunately after I walked from my office to the car (about 1.5km) I was in a bit of pain, my right heel was on fire, my calves all crampy and weird and my shins were aching. Weird! All I could think was bugger, brand new shoes and they feel awful, I don’t want seem ungrateful by saying I can’t wear these shoes I was given. Tried a little jog, eeeek, no can do.

Was gumpily taking my orthotics out when I got home when I thought, Hmmmm, this doesn’t seem right.

Ahhhh, they were in the wrong way around, right in left and vice versa, thought they seemed a bit stubborn when I tried to shove them in :oops:

Don’t try it kids, take it from me, back to front orthotics don’t feel good.

Tuesday – worked from home, I’ve had another big piece of work handed to me and I just needed a whole day to myself to concentrate on it alone and scope it out. No IM and no phone gave me 9 hours of peace to get stuck in.

It also meant I didn’t have to run at the crack of dawn, instead I started work a bit before 7am and then took a break at 10ish for my first run of the day. The new Adidas felt much better with the orthotics duly inserted in the correct manner.

The nice sunny morning didn’t hold and by the time I got to Waverley Park in the evening it is safe to say I was facing training in easily the worst conditions I have ever experienced. At first it was “just” windy, icy cold and pelting with rain, then as we set off to warm up (hah!!) the thunder and lightening started (as did my girly shrieking), this was followed by one of the guys trying to cheer us up with “hey, at least it isn’t hailing”

Then it started hailing :lol:

Horizontally

So we ducked under the porch of a couple of houses to wait out the worst of it.

When we got down to it we settled on 1 minute on/1 minute off Fartlek, 10 reps, I did ok under the circumstances, though I didn’t bother timing the reps.

Got pretty wet.

Wednesday – rest day and much needed massage

Thursday – 6.5km sleeplek, got all rugged up but it turned out to be a reasonably pleasant morning. I love how it’s starting to get light early, it happened all of a sudden, one minute it was still pitch black and 7am and now the sun is coming up just after 630am.

Last night we did one of my preferred sessions, the 4 by 4 minutes (3 minute recovery). I was feeling a bit flat but ended up pulling it together after a crappy first rep of only 920 metres to finish well covering 3.8km, not quite as good as the 3.92 I managed in May (I think) but good enough considering I started badly.

We have the third last round of the winter season tomorrow, the road relay at Sandown. Injury or lack of a team have meant I have sat this one out over the last three years so I am looking forward to having a go, not sure how I’ll approach it yet, given my goal Half Marathon is next week I’ll probably just settle in for a good tempo run.

I continued my later in the year/early next year fun run binge yesterday and entered the Two Bays Trail Run 28km option. I am also planning on the Marysville Marathon Festival too as it appears there is no Shield event scheduled for the day before, probably the HM.

helllloooo, still here

21 Aug

This week, once I have gotten home all I’ve wanted to do is eat, have a read of my book and fall asleep, so that’s what I’ve been doing all week.

Let me reach back into the dim and befuddled recesses of my memory to, sorry, what was I saying?

Alright, quick run down of the week.

Monday – felt fine after quite a bit of running on the weekend, work had been stressful because although my boss was due back she wasn’t in the office, turns out she has asked for another two weeks off. What the hell, I’ve coped with 7 without killing anyone, what’s another two (I said through gritted teeth, grateful that my 1 up manager is interstate and couldn’t see the look on my face), of course I have now covered about 16 weeks for her this year and have had one week off myself, what’s that you say, higher duties allowance? Don’t be stupid! Anyway, felt fine and needed to clear my head so I trotted off for a pleasant 11km ish after finishing work.

Tuesday – Brrrrr, pretty cold sleeplek in the morning, feeling a bit creaky and tired

Ziggurat session (steps up the side, geddit, yes, ok, I was a bookish child) at Waverley Park after work, let me try to remember, half a lap on (half off), full lap on (half off), lap and half on (lap off), two laps on (one off) and then down the other side again.

Totally, utterly and completely done in, but there was a good group of four of us working together, if I was on my own I’d have struggled but they dragged me through.

Got home and crashed and then realised I’d just done 88km in the last 6 days, any wonder!

Wednesday – Rest day! Unfortunately my massage was cancelled but I used my massage stick at home and have been feeling pretty good, the ITB has well and truly settled. Being home a little earlier than usual I had a chance to get stuck into my book. Everyone has been raving about Born to Run, I bought it a while ago but only just started reading it, it’s not at all what I thought it would be. I kept putting it off expecting it to be a bit dry but it’s turned out to be a great story and I’ve almost finished it.

Thursday – more early morning sleeplek followed my a mid afternoon tempo run, bit of a warm up, 20 minutes at tempo and then a cool down. Work meant that I couldn’t get out to training this week so I told them if they want me back at the office into the evening helping out with testing then I am taking off after lunch to get my training run in! As it is I’ve got to juggle a few more upgrades later in the year that fall on days I have races, it’s getting to be a real pain in the arse.

Friday – met my mate Carol for our usual Friday afternoon ramble and gossip, I buggered off work half an hour early so we got our run out of the way right before the rain came down. She seems to have recovered nicely from her epic 53km last Sunday.

Today (Saturday) – 16km run leading with some half marathon aspirants. I am enjoying the run leading at the moment, the runners are committed and friendly and I’ve got guaranteed company for my long run. Adidas have been good to us with some gear and this morning I got a brand spanking new T-Shirt and a pair of sneakers. I’ve been thinking about trying a new brand for my everyday trainers as Brooks are being bitches about shipping stuff from the US, if they want to play that game that’s fine, I am not that loyal so I’ll try another brand, so now I can give something else a spin.

Being that it is national sausage sizzle day I popped down to the local primary school and exercised my democratic right, there was a sausage sizzle but disappointingly no cake sale this time around so no yo-yos, chocolate crackles or lamingtons today :-(

My vote went to the party that distinguished itself by not playing to my non existent xenophobia. Am I the only one that cringed and felt embarrassed every time they saw or heard “Stop the Boats”? Give me strength!

Hmmm, long run done, so thinking about a tempoish sort of 10km tomorrow morning and maybe a little stroll in the Dandenongs in the afternoon, haven’t been for a bushwalk for a while.

Quickie!

19 Aug

Work is a bit crazy, stuff to update but too tired to form coherent sentences, will be back on the weekend

In the meantime

Ever wondered what Santa gets up to the other 364 days of the year?

cross training, recovering and pacing

15 Aug

As I was hoping the ITB turned out to be a flash in the pan.

I cross trained on the Elliptical Trainer again on Tuesday, then paid for it with tight calves on Wednesday morning. I just can’t leave it alone can I? Maybe a normal person would’ve gone Oh well, already cross trained this morning, going home early for a change woo hoo.

Aghhh, can’t do it, I’d get home and spend the rest of the night up and down off the couch like a Jack in the Box and pacing about, thing is, I need to be tired, totally and utterly worn out, if I aren’t then I won’t sit still and I won’t sleep well.

Soooo

Wednesday I had a massage and it was not nearly as uncomfortable as I thought it would be, ITB tender but it was pretty bearable.

Thursday morning I decided to give it another go, but on the treadmill so if the ITB seized up again I wouldn’t have to walk 3km again in the cold and dark and then I could at least jump back on the Elliptical and salvage the workout. I didn’t run on an incline and ran a very leisurely 6 minute km pace and joy of joys my leg held up and didn’t give me so much as a niggle!

I went to training on Thursday night, it was hills, I totally wussed it and just ran another easy session, I was mostly along for the company really.

Friday and Saturday pretty uneventful, an easy 8.3km on Friday and a super easy 12 something taking a group of aspiring half marathoners for a very wild and windy training run, great group, very keen.

Today a friend of mine was running her first Ultra Marathon, 14 laps of The Tan, a touch over 53km :shock: I know, madness!!!! I am not averse to the distance, it’s the venue, I’ll say that again 14 LAPS of THE TAN, Aghhhhhhh

Some truly committed types (or more appropriately, should be committed) were going the full monty and doing 100km, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

Well, if a friend insists on doing something crazy far be it for me not to be there to point and laugh, sorry, offer support. Oh as if, I was amazed at the effort she put in, running strong right to the finish with barely a complaint and far less F bombs than if it were me running the distance.

I got there just as she completed her 5th lap and jumped in for a few and in the end I ran 24.5kms with her, that was tiring enough, very impressed with all those who did twice that and more.

I just have to say that my mate Carol is a little dynamo running very even laps and barely wavering to finish in 4:49 and even on the 13th lap she dragged my sorry butt up Anderson Street, I am very very proud of her :-)

When I left a couple of even nuttier friends doing the 100km were still going strong, Michelle is a champ and was smiling the whole way, then again she is a toughie and even if a leg was hanging off she’d still say she was fine.

Oh come on!!!

10 Aug

I treat you badly just this one time, ok twice if you want to be picky about it, I’ll concede that Trailwalker that time was a big ask, anyway, seriously, I give you good sneakers, weekly massages and lots of stretching and then one half marathon on a cambered road and you go all prima donna on me.

Stupid precious ITB

I was pretty stuffed on Sunday afternoon, though I did drag myself out for a walk up to the Supermarket to get my legs moving again, I took a precautionary anti inflam at dinner (I usually do when I’ve had a demanding run), my hips and quads hurt (to be expected) but I slept like a log. Come Monday morning there was nary a trace of DOMs and I was looking forward to a gentle run after work. I hadn’t written anything in the training plan this week, deciding instead to play each day by ear, depending on how I was recovering.

I set off on my usual Monday 11km course knowing that there were a few bridges where I could cross the river if I needed to cut it short before the point of no return. Felt pretty good, no groaning or protesting from my body as I got started, except, what the? Left ITB feeling a little tight, hmmm, let’s just keep going and see if it gets any worse. 2km down, not bad, still tight but no worse, then 3km, aghhhhhh, it was bad enough to change my gait so time to pull the pin. Up over the railway bridge in Sth Yarra and over to the other side of the river, walking down the stairs, aghhhhhhh again, definitely time to call it a day. Faced with a 3km walk back to my car I made the most of a bad situation and strode out briskly, fortunately there was no complaining from the ITB when I walked.

Last night I got stuck in and gave it a good massage with the Flexall cream, you can never quite inflict as much pain on yourself as a massage therapist can but I did a pretty good job of it and now I am on the Voltaren 50s for a couple of days (ughhh, cue tummy bloating).

This morning I headed to the gym, now now, you don’t think I am going to sit about and do nothing do you?! ITBs can be tricky, if it’s chronic, which fortunately has never happened to me, there isn’t much you can do other than swim. I decided not to risk the bike so I jumped on the elliptical trainer instead. I started slowly but there was no niggling so I sped up and increased the resistance over the next 10 minutes, still OK, I stayed on for 45 minutes and managed to get the heart rate up to a reasonable level still the ITB didn’t complain and my iPod stopped me going crazy with boredom. It was funny looking about; people came and went from the ellipticals, treadmills and bikes around me during my 45 minute workout and none of them seemed to put in anything that would really be considered an effort. I suppose I should give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were warming up before a strength session but considering I was in a gym I seemed to be the only one doing any proper sweating.

I’ll head back this afternoon for another 45 minutes. Tomorrow is a rest day anyway and what I am expecting to be a bit of a painful massage in the afternoon, then I will try a little run on Thursday morning.

My ITB has only flared up a couple of times over the years and it’s always settled down after a couple of days of TLC so I am not at panic stations quite yet.

Incidentally carrot sticks with hummus are the new awesome, they take longer to eat than a chocolate bar, taste heaps better and fill you up, I suppose it helps that I love carrots, I might try them with peanut butter too.

Devilbend Reservoir Half Marathon

8 Aug

I had 1 hour, 45 minutes and 14 seconds this morning to think of any number of lame Devil themed titles for today’s post, I am tired, I decided not to go down that road, but hey, fill your boots, don’t let me stop you.

After my disgraceful DNF 5 weeks ago I got straight back on the bike and had entered another half marathon before the shameful day was over. I wanted to run another one before the AV HM in September, this one was perfect timing, an easy drive down the highway and run along a peaceful country dirt road. All week my Sydney colleagues were asking me if I was coming up for the Big Race on the weekend, in my case the fact that the City to Surf is the worlds biggest fun run is exactly why I don’t want to run it, wayyyyy too many people for my liking, a pretty country road with 92 other half marathon runners was more my scene.

Anyway, I won’t bore you all with the minutiae of the race other than to say

It was a brisk but gorgeous morning, perfect conditions

I felt as heavy as lead when I started but warmed up quickly

I forgot my Gels but there were lollies at the aid stations :-)

There road surface was great but the camber was pretty bad when I couldn’t run down the middle

By in large I felt pretty good and ran strongly, though the hill at the 10.5km mark when we tacked on the extra 1.1km was a bit of a bugger

My ITB finally got shot of the camber around the 16km mark, the last 3km were pretty painful but I sucked it up

I managed to overtake a lady in the last 800 metres, I heard footsteps coming up behind me so I rallied and valiantly held off my challenger right to the line, only to turn around and find it wasn’t the lady I overtook but some guy :lol:

I finished only 36 seconds slower than my PB, despite stopping at 3 different drink stations for a drink and at one, some lollies too because I am yet to master drinking on the run without getting most of it up my nose. I wasn’t aiming for a PB here, just to exorcise the demon of last months DNF (ok, had to throw one in), so was quite happy with my time.

Quite looking forward to Burnley now, it will be much flatter and no nasty camber and I will be aiming to run a PB.

Some waste of space in a Humvee nearly killed me on the way home, he merged onto the highway and immediately crossed 2 lanes to get to the right lane, I had to slam on my brakes to avoid going into the back of him, my heart rate was probably higher than it was for the whole Half Marathon. I am not ashamed to admit there was some horn honking and unladylike language accompanied by what could, in some circles be considered an obscene hand gesture, call me overly sensitive but when I woke up today I wasn’t planning on dying at the hand of some wanker on an oversized novelty car.

Late Breaking Photo Op

There are some piccies available from Sunday’s Race – This is me right before I cross the line where I was gutsing in out not to let the woman I overtook get back at me, the woman who turned out to be a bloke that is and not, I might add because I mistook him for a woman, I just didn’t realise I had someone so hot on my heels because I don’t look back over my shoulder, not because I don’t want to show weakness, mainly because I don’t want to fall on my face!

That’s me in the pink shirt to the left at the edge of frame

It’s easy to laugh now

6 Aug

But my grandma started smoking when she was 14, this was when she started working and back then they really did believe it was good for them, she told me once that she was told it would keep her thin and exercise her lungs :shock:

I think she would be happy that I prefer to go for a run and eat well.

The key to Athletic greatness, bugger 1km reps, hand me a Lucky Strike

Ahhhh, the 70s, where’s Germaine when you need her?

Quick guys, come look what I found, microscopic particles of no unpleasant aftertaste, now where did I put my lighter, waddya mean sterile lab?

Hailstones and public indecency, not to mention a hill or two

1 Aug

12 degrees on Thursday morning, 12 whole degrees, that’s about 8 more than it was for Tuesday mornings Zombielek. It was damn near tropical, I wore capris, a T-Shirt and arm sleeves, I was riding high on a wave of optimism, maybe winter was planning on ending a month early.

No such luck really, it’s going to hell in a handbasket at the moment, I dare not look at the long term forecast.

Thursday night was fabbo, we did reps on a dark backstreet, nothing precise, just from this end of the street to that end of the street, turned out to be around the 750 metre mark. This was done on a 5 minute cycle, 6 reps in total, I started slow but picked up nicely and finished strongly. The 4th rep was helped ably by the presence of a large black dog (an actual black dog this time), unseen but certainly felt, bolting along the fence line in an adjacent park

Friday, another glorious day and a cruisy 8km or so with a mate, passed by in flash of chat.

Saturday, just about the toughest Cross Country course I’ve ever run on. It was the traditional 10 miler for the guys and just 6km for us laydeeeees. The last couple of years have been out in Geelong but we moved to Brimbank Park this year. It was a nice change and about half the distance to drive, I’ve never run there and had no idea what to expect, though the presence of a lookout point when I checked out the map in the Melways indicated that there would be a hill or two to climb.

Well, yes there was! But it was a good course and the worst of it was over in the first 2km, the main hill was sharp and rocky but only about 200 metres, though it didn’t go down on the other side, it just leveled out, so although I managed to run the whole thing (yay!) I felt like I was running on the spot once I got to the top. There must be a heap of rabbits out there too, the ground was full of little divots, definitely had to watch the footing lest an ankle be turned.

Yikes, it wasn’t going to be pleasant this morning, so although after 3 Sunday’s worth of hilly long runs I didn’t treat myself to a nice flat one, instead I met up with a group running at Lysterfield this morning. They were all doing marathon distance training and are a bit faster than me but I figured if I could hold on for a coupla kms that would get me going and I’d be right to finish on my own. It POURED the whole time I was driving over, but mercifully cleared from deluge to mere spattering just as I pulled in to the park and apart from a brief and painful pelting of hail things were not so bad out there. It was good to get out of my comfort zone and tack on to the back of some faster runners, I even managed to get up Wallaby Track running a 6 minute km for the worst of it, in case you are wondering that is a good effort for me, I just put my head down and chugged up.

Back at the car park the others fueled up to tackle another 14km or so, no marathon training for me so I just headed out for another 5km to finish up with a bit over 17km for the morning. The day continued to alternate between brief periods of sun and belting rain and hail, despite being the worlds worst morning runner, especially after racing the day before, I was mighty glad to get it over with early.

:lol: now you are all wondering about the public indecency bit aren’t you?

I was wet, utterly, I couldn’t stop shivering, my lips were blue, I needed to change into dry clothes and couldn’t be stuffed going back down the hill to the loos.

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