Archive | November, 2010

Death, Taxes

29 Nov

Liberal Leaders in budgie smugglers and pouring rain on Saturday necessitating the cancellation of athletics.

Just some of the unpleasant inevitabilities of life, there is no point wasting energy fighting them.

The bad weather started on Friday night and by the time Saturday dawned my internal radar had already sensed that we probably would have another washed out meet. In light of this I headed down to Jells Park for an easy run of just under 12km with the Running in the ‘Burbs crew, at least they get out there, rain, hail or shine.

I am not whingeing, I know meets are cancelled when it rains due to safety reasons and I know we need the rain, blah, blah, blah, I guess I am just finding it frustrating now that 3 rounds have washed out.

Seriously, can it not just rain on a Wednesday instead?

Sunday wasn’t so bad, dreary but not chucking it down, not great weather for a picnic but perfectly acceptable for a 22km run. I took a similar route to one I did a few weeks ago where the run was notable only by the sheer level of crapness that it sunk to. There was redemption yesterday with the run completed with a minimum of fuss and even a minor display of strength over the hills in the closing kilometres.

Tallying up the training for the week I somehow managed to clock up 85km! I’ve been consistently hitting the mid to high 70s but over 80 is pretty rare for me and I’ve made it there twice this month. Hopefully this will help me net some PBs over 5km/5000 metres in the early months of 2011 and set me up for XC, if my body will let me keep it up.

Election

Yeah, another one, state election for us this weekend just gone and I’ll admit that this staunch defender of compulsory voting (or more correctly, compulsory getting your name ticked off the electoral roll) had to be dragging kicking and screaming (ok, dragging my feet and whining, “I don’t wanna”) to the polling booth on Saturday afternoon, in the end it was “don’t give your money away to them” was what got me there, that is I voted to avoid the fine. I was bribed down there with the promise of having my favourite curry bought for my lunch.

A banal and lifeless election campaign ground to an end yesterday with the coalition scraping their way back into power, as if we expected anything else. It was like the end of a relationship when you both know it’s over but some vestige of sentimentality has you both desperately clinging to what once was and going through the motions for just a little bit longer than you should, then one day you wake up and go fuck it, I don’t really like you very much anymore, that’s what happened to the ALP on the weekend. It’s not like the coalition was offering anything particularly shiny and new; we just didn’t want to wake up next to the ALP anymore.

I wonder if Ted Baillieu wanted to punch his wife in the back of the head when the best she could come up with upon being interviewed leaving the polling booth on Saturday was “Ted’s the best, chuck out the rest”.

I half expected her to end that statement by poking out her tongue and going “so ner”

What a drip.

The quality of lacking any particular order

26 Nov

Didn’t run on Monday, started to but thanks to 3 races last week and the apparent removal of my bones and ligaments and replacement of such with pure lead my legs just weren’t up to the task. A smart person would have banished all thought of a run and just bought their bathers in and hit the pool, clearly and demonstrably I am not a smart person, instead I tried to run and pulled the pin a mere 700 metres later.

Mulling things over on Monday night I decided I was sick of my usual Tuesday morning routine run in the city. Instead I packed up my small running rucksack with the bare essentials and decided to leave my car at a railway station roughly halfway between home and work. Fortunately I have a locker at work with a stash of clothing, a towel and toiletries so I only needed to carry my wallet, work pass and a clean top. I parked at Canterbury station and continued on foot to work, another 10ish Kms.

The weather gods have seen fit to proceed directly from winter to summer with barely a nod to spring and on Tuesday is was stinking hot. We just did a 2km tempo run followed by 6 by 30 seconds on a decline, not too much hard work.

Wednesday I woke up and decided I couldn’t be arsed going in to the office so I knocked out an unremarkable 14ish kms, fired up my lap top and worked from home for the day.

Thursday I meant to have a doctor’s appointment but a miscommunication saw me waiting in the wrong place so it’s been carried over until next week. I really need my iron checked because I have been pretty flat and feeling sick after hard efforts.

I was meeting a friend for some long reps last night, but she was feeling a bit blah and to be honest so was I. We settled on a long tempo run with some surges, we finished up with 11.2km, ‘twas a good run.

The other ‘arf’s evil mind has dreamt up a wicked core routine for me, I am chucking weights around eastern block style. Rather than buying kettle balls (and more clutter) I am using the 5kg weight plates from the home gym as they are rubber coated and have three hollowed out sections around the edges that I can grab on to. The first couple of times I had the worst kind of DOMS but that’s settled and I am into a routine now, Pilates twice a week and the at home soviet routine twice a week. I am also doing these v-up thingies pulling myself up from a contraption that goes over the door frame.

Now, if I could lay off the bloody chocolate one day I might even be able to see the result of all this hard work.

I bought some new trail shoes online yesterday – only 178 grams!

I know I am not the lightest or most graceful runner that ever there was but I am a strong believer in minimalist trail shoes. More so than when you are on the road I think it’s really valuable to feel the ground and get feedback when you are trail running. My first pair of trail shoes were awful, great big heavy unresponsive brick things and I was always falling over. Earlier this year I started running in the Adidas Adizero XT that weighed in around 240gm, but I have not been able to find them again so they must have been a limited release. Since I started running trails in these lighter shoes I have only had one fall, I used to fall just about every time and I believe that was because, at the risk of sounding all new age, I wasn’t in touch with the ground.

So now I have the new New Balance 101s coming my way, I can’t wait to try them out.

Speaking of gear, I’ve done 3 runs in my new Lululemon running skirts now and the verdict is I freaking love those skirts! Apart from being too cute for words that are incredibly functional and comfortable, the material is so light you barely feel you are wearing anything, nothing chafes, there is a little pocket in the small of the back for a car key and I love ‘em. I also bought a pair of their shorts and they are just as good, the cut is so flattering, they are as light as a feather and very cute.

On the way to the office this morning I saw a heavily pregnant woman smoking, in this day and age!! Poor kid.

Was too lazy to cook dinner last night, an early lunch beckons, I am staaaarving, off to the Vic Market for zucchini fritters and salad in Turkish break I think :-)

patience my friend, patience

21 Nov

Gee, haven’t raced properly since the end of the winter season and then I go and do it 3 times in one week, no wonder I am stuffed.

On Thursday there was a 2 miler being put on at my local Masters venue. It was only about 4km from home so I decided to swap my normal Thursday session for a tempo run and get back on the track. I ran up, milled around for a bit having a chat and in the end there was a pretty good turn out, with the entry fee going to a cancer charity. I found myself in my usual no chicks land not long after starting but it was a decent enough run for what was essentially a TT, a bit shy of the goal I had in mind though. With a run there and back I ended up with a decent 11.8km for the day.

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, for a change, so finally we get to put in a full day of athletics. The distance race this week was 3000 metres and was on last thing but I headed down early to watch team mates compete in other events and to just generally enjoy the sunshine and lazing about on the bindi ridden grass (even got spiked though the blanket I put down).

I managed my 3km slightly faster than I went through the 3km mark on Thursday night, but again a little short of my goal time. There was a wicked bad headwind on the home straight and I got a cramp in my hammy about 800 metres from the finish! I’ve never had a cramp while running before, it bloody hurt, I was prepared to step off the track if it affected my gait but I managed to finish well enough. I iced it and it’s pretty tender still but I can’t feel any specific sore spots so I think no real harm done.

Today I headed down to Geelong with a friend of mine for the Run Geelong fun run, 12km for the two of us. It looks like management has changed hands from the inaugural event last year as it had a very different feel. Although it was fantastic to see a regional event attract 7000 entrants I think we will be leaving it to the locals next year. A few annoying points in an other wise well run event

  • Free Tech T-Shirt with entry, excellent! Only having size L, XL and XXL left, not good, the L was enormous! How hard is it to ask for a shirt size on the entry form and produce enough in the appropriate sizes? Methinks there will be many boxes of XXL shirts left over. I didn’t bother picking one up.
  • If the roads are closed for the event then the roads are closed for the event. Unless there is an emergency it is unacceptable to have runners stop at an intersection so cars can go through! As far as I could tell there was no emergency, we got stopped once and narrowly missed getting stopped twice, not cool!! On the other hand it is also very uncool for runners to ignore marshalls and run into traffic and to give the marshalls a spray, they are volunteers and doing as they are told, if you yell at them you look like an arsehole
  • Separate the finish chute for the 6km and 12km runners, we ran smack into the back of the slowest 6km runners/walkers over the last km, the last 400 metres to the finish was a shit fight
  • On the other hand the course was fantastic (apart from the hold up at road crossings), especially down by the bay and the 3/4 lap around the Landy Field track was a nice touch, the parking was also superb, we were right next to the stadium and didn’t need to bother putting our bags in at the baggage drop.

    My run was Ok, 2 minutes quicker than last year (even with the hold up) but I didn’t feel fantastic. My hammy was still tight and I felt horribly sick and had to stop and walk briefly, embarrassingly just as I made it in to the stadium (we finished on Kardinia Park). Probably a combination of my not eating breakfast (left home too early) and getting anxious in crowds, bit of a bugger though because I dropped about 30 seconds while I composed myself :oops:

    Soooo, back to racing, good to be doing it again but a little disappointed with the week. I’ve been training quite well and set some good but I thought perfectly achievable goals this week but fell short on all of them

    2 miler
    Goal – 13:45
    Actual – 14:07

    3km
    Goal – sub 13
    Actual – 13:05

    12km
    Goal – 4:50 minute kms
    Actual – 4:57 (59:10)

    I keep thinking back to the great run I had at the Sandown relays in September, I was feeling really confident and that I’d started to see some good form. Since then there has been the frustration of lack of racing with the grind of just training, training, training hoping that it would pay off. Ok I don’t mean that, training isn’t a grind but I am goal driven and enjoy training because it is helping me reach my goals.

    I still think it’s there, I just need to be patient and race back into the form I was starting to show.

    That’s enough rambling for one day.

    Strange encounters on the Freeway

    16 Nov

    On my way out to Lysterfield Lake yesterday afternoon I saw an Elf driving a car, no, really, I did!!

    There are a couple of explanations, both plausible and fantastical

    A) I had inhaled too many fumes from the truck in front of me

    B) There really was an Elf driving a car, just because you don’t see them that often does not mean they don’t exist

    C) It was a dwarf on his way home from playing Santa’s sidekick for the day

    D) I was having a David Lynch moment

    Logic dictates that it was option C, though it does leave me wondering why he didn’t change out of the costume and into civvies before driving home, at least take off the hat and the pointy ears.

    There is of course one more explanation

    It wasn’t a costume

    How I would love it to be that, just walking around dressed like an Elf for no reason other than to mess with people

    Waddaya you looking at huh??!!

    This is all said with the utmost respect, it cracked me up, and more power to him he made my day.

    Non Elf related stuff

    Unfortunately Shield was called off on Saturday, apparently a little bit of rain is considered undesirable, can’t have the throwers tripping on a wet run up and impaling themselves on Javelins and the like, so just a vaguely damp 10km around the block for me.

    My long run two Sunday’s ago was resoundingly craptacular, fortunately last Sunday saw a vast improvement. I kept away from hills and ran from Chadstone to Richmond and back for just under 20km, heaps of water stops and a reasonably pleasant environment, Hotcakes from Maccas for breakfast on the way home didn’t hurt either. I’ll thank you all to keep your Maccas breakfast related prejudices to yourselves, the hotcakes are pretty good and it sure beats making them myself.

    Then I started the week yesterday with just over 12km at Lysterfield, perfect weather for it and I finished muddy and wet after crashing though every puddle I encountered along the way.

    Now, I’ve been pretty buggered with this extra mileage I’ve being doing, last week was particularly difficult but things are looking up this week and it’s feeling like less of a grind, the adaptation just takes some time I suppose.

    Quite a bit of racing on the agenda this week, am worried that I’ve forgotten how to do it, it has been a while.

    Kindle Update

    Easy to read in bed, you can lay on your side without having to awkwardly readjust yourself every time you turn the page
    Easy to read while eating (yes, I read while I am eating!), don’t need to weigh pages down with a heavy object, Mr Kindle sits nice and flat on the table
    The screen is so easy on the eye, just like reading a normal book
    Inbuilt dictionary, just highlight the word and the definition pops up at the bottom of the screen
    Saves you place, even if you are reading more than one book at a time, just click on the title and it takes you back to your last page
    Stacks of free classics to download

    Yep, it is annoying that we don’t have access to the full Amazon catalog on Australia yet, but there are still over 450,000 titles available and I’ve had no trouble finding my favorite authors, there are also a number of sites that you can get free stuff from, try

    http://www.freekindlebooks.org

    http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

    These don’t download via the 3G or wifi connection but you just plug in your kindle and drag in the file, you don’t need to download any software, the kindle just appears as an extra device when you plug in the USB.

    105km

    12 Nov

    In the last 8 days, that is Thursday last week up to yesterday, damn glad to make it to a rest day today in one piece.

    How do people run more than 100km a week? Oh yeah, for starters they are faster than me so it doesn’t take them as long!

    I don’t feel too bad, body is tip top, but I was feeling pretty fatigued by yesterday afternoon and had to talk myself through my runs on Wednesday and yesterday and have made an appointment with the doc for another blood test, it’s been a while since the last one.

    All this not racing is frustrating me so I’ve just been throwing myself into training instead, 77km two weeks ago, 82km last week and around 80ish on the cards for this week. Now we have apocalyptic conditions forecast for this weekend, starting with storms tonight so it’s touch and go at this stage whether or not we will make it on the track tomorrow afternoon. I have to #%$@ work again tomorrow so if the meet is on I’ll probably make it to the track with seconds to spare so it won’t be a fabbo 5000 metre but I don’t care, I just need to do something!!

    Next week will make up for it, I’ve got a 2 mile track race on Thursday night, just up the road from home, perfect distance for a warm up and cool down jog, then a Shield 3000 metre on Saturday and finally the 12km Run Geelong event on Sunday, so after 3 big weeks of hard graft it will be a lower mileage week with quite a bit of racing.

    Goodness, I shouldn’t go so long between posts, I keep forgetting what I was up to, here’s a brief run down from the dark recesses of my failing memory.

    Monday – Lysterfield, 10.6km or thereabouts, a great big mother of a hill, saw an echidna on the run back to the carpark and beat a mountain biker up the last little rise.

    Tuesday – sleeplek in the morning and gate to gate at Jells in the evening. Essentially about 920 meters from one gate to another (ha! Funny that) on a 7 minute cycle, SWARMS of flying ants, the locust advance party perhaps.

    Wednesday – sleeplek

    Thursday – sleeplek then a very tired Mona Fartlek with a mate on the tan in the afternoon. Being the last run of a big 8 days I was a bit weary, as was my mate, so I skipped the trek out to Berwick in favour of a gossip, a run and getting home a little earlier than usual on a Thursday. We dragged each other through and although my usual even pacing deserted me and my splits looked like a dogs breakfast it was a pretty good session.

    I am now beKindled! My new toy arrived today! I was displaying some very uncharacteristic Luddite tendencies and was initially railing against the advent of the eReader. Noooo, I said, I love books, they way they look, the feel, the smell, how an old and worn well loved book holds so many memories, all my book shelves overflowing with the deep, the important, the sentimental and I’ll admit it, the downright trashy, I can’t give that up.

    Then again, 3500 novels in one tiny lightweight piece of equipment, long battery life, over 100,000 classics out of copyright and available for free download, the ability to download a new book where ever, when ever cheaper than a paper copy. Too good to pass up in the end and all that for $189 which at today’s prices is about the cost of about 8 new novels. Also, I have a habit of reading more than one book at a time, I have my bedside table book, my lounge room book, my car book, where ever I be I can pick up a book, now I can have them all with me and no one is making me chuck out the real paper books I already own.

    It’s the week for reconsidering previously held prejudices, I bough not one, but two running skirts today. I am not anti running skirt per se, in fact my school sports kit didn’t come with shorts as an option, we always had to wear a netball skirt, so all my high school running was done in a skirt. Running skirts always look cute on other people, it’s just that on me I’ve tended to find them a little frumpy and the one that I do have already always feels like there is just too much fabric going on so I only wore it a couple of times for easy runs, shorts just feel lighter and freer.

    Then I found the Lululemon running skirt, too damn cute for its own good, who says that just because you are sweating and running up a storm that you can’t look good while you are doing it!

    Apologies for the badly composed self portrait taken in the change rooms at work (and if it isn’t embedded properly don’t tell me, stupid browser at work won’t display pictures so I won’t be able to fix it until I get home)

    Same, only different

    6 Nov

    November is looking up, been a good week for training so far……

    Easy 10km on Monday, wanted to go bush but stuck close to home just in case my calf packed it in, good news, it held up but still pulling somewhat.

    Got to training on Tuesday night, we were doing hills, hmmm, not really wanting to risk my freshly behaving calf with some uphill speedwork so I stuck to a flat tempo run while the others tackled the hills.

    Wednesday, ahhh, rest day and massage, not as painful as last week but still a fair bit of tightness in the right leg.

    Thursday was a spot of extra sleepy sleeplek before work, I had Monday and Tuesday off and after a four day weekend I was all turned around on what day of the week it really was. I was very dopey when I woke up and pinballed down the hallway to the spare room where I keep all my shoes and running gear. Dressed, bag packed, ready to go, still semi conscious (my tip, don’t be driving around the Blackburn area around 530 on a weekday morning, I am a lethal half asleep weapon) I head off to start my day, having the following conversation with myself as I drive down my street…

    Me – Oh, the lady next door put her bin out on the wrong day, must be confused because of the public holiday this week
    Me – Oh look, her neighbours did too
    Me – and the other neighbours, lol, people are funny, such sheep
    Me – Oh shit, it’s not Tuesday, it’s Thursday, it’s bin day, my bin is chockers, damn I am a moron sometimes

    U-Turn, back home, bin out, back on the road again

    Now, training on Thursday night.

    Thanks to a bucketload (actually considerably more than a bucketload) of rain over the weekend the grass track was too wet to train on, shame that. I have no objections to training on a track, grass or otherwise, but this one just does not agree with me, hurts my shins every time.

    So we headed out to the showgrounds where the 1.6km cross country loop is to do 8 by 90 second on with 90 second off fartlek. The not on a track version of the 8 by 400 we were going to do on the track, well for me anyway where my 400 metre rep rate is around 90 seconds.

    Sooo, had we been on the track and the session was described I would’ve made “the face”, yet, same thing, different location, perfectly happy to do and a throughly enjoyable session.

    I don’t get me sometimes.

    I suppose next time we have to do the dreaded 400s I just have to tell myself it’s fartlek.

    Except I am not that easy to trick.

    10.6km today, easy start with a faster finish over the second half, no shield comp today, the schools athletics is on.

    Paella update – I made it last weekend, tasted awesome, never eaten it before so I have nothing to go by, but it tasted awesome so that’s all that matters, it’s stupidly easy to make too, move over risotto, actually I love risotto, I don’t mean that, sorry risotto.

    Calf is behaving too :-)

    Haw Haw

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.