Archive | December, 2010

The year in review

31 Dec

It was 2010

There

I am not one to dwell.

I tested the hammy over 10km on Wednesday, after a long day walking around a shopping centre, happily it held up well.

Thursday I rested because I did a heap of gardening and that was enough really being that I am soft as shite when it comes to manual labour and was flat out nanna napping by the late afternoon.

This morning I ran the Victorian Road Runners New Years Eve fun run, third time now so I guess you could say it is becoming a bit of a tradition. 10 slack arse days was pretty telling as I pushed off to a slow start before ramping up to just under 5 minutes kms towards the end to finish in a very average for me 41:12. It was never going to be stellar, just very happy to report that the hammy got me around with nary a protest, not even up Anderson St.

It’s been a lovely day with friends thus far, running the tan with Carol and then off to meet Cilla for a natter and a mighty fine breakfast at a local cafe (sigh, I miss inner city life sometimes where cafes carry breakfast menus that are more imaginative than store bought muesli dumped in a bowl), looking forward to more catch ups tonight.

Umm, the personal stylist thing, you know I think it was just mum being slack with the birthday present thing, she’d already got it for my sister and just figured, oh well, may as well tack Em on as well :roll: she KNOWS it’s not my bag. Anyway, I just tagged along behind making the appropriate “ohh that’s nice” comments when my sister tried things on. It was lovely to spend the day with my little sis and I know she appreciated a day out at the shops without a boisterous toddler to look after.

My poor giant and very thickly furred Russian Blue cat is not at all happy with the weather today, right now he is sacked out on an ice pack that I have wrapped in a tea towel for him, dreaming of the steppes no doubt.

By the way, did I mention? Hammy is Aok!! :-)

a minor setback

28 Dec

A week ago this morning being the klutz that I am I had a little tumble. I’d run in to work from Surrey Hills station and as I came in to the office I skipped up a couple of stairs in the courtyard at the back of my office block and inevitably I tripped up the last step and ended up doing that unco giant steps arms windmilling trying not to fall on my face dance. The good news is that I didn’t fall on my face, the bad news is that I gave my right hamstring a bit of a yank. I walked it out and had a little stretch, it seemed fine and I didn’t give it another thought for the rest of the day.

In the afternoon at Jells we were doing some strides after our warm up and it started to twinge, then we took off to start the session and ouch!!! A sudden sharp pain pulled me up short and that was it, running was over for the day. Got home and iced it and the next day there was a dull ache, bummer :-( I had a massage that night and Corrie couldn’t feel anything too bad going on in there. I cross trained on Thursday on the elliptical and then tried a very slow (and I mean slow!) 1.5km on the treadmill, it seemed ok but I decided on one extra day off. It goes without saying that I have been icing like mad and applying compression.

I ran on Xmas day but only managed about 5.5km before it tightened badly so rested again on Sunday, chasing my nephew around after chrissie lunch probably didn’t help matters but he was giggling so much I couldn’t help myself.

Another slow 6km yesterday morning and things felt a little better, but not 100%. This morning I took my sister up to Ferny Creek, she isn’t used to trails but I had promised her a run while she was visiting and Ferny is a much better option than along a footpath somewhere. We just did the 5km loop, not too many hills for my healing hammy and I didn’t want to scare my sister off with anything more hardcore. It was a gorgeous morning up there today and it did my soul good, it was very slow and relaxed and there was a marked improvement in my right leg, it didn’t tighten up during or after the run.

A hilly session at the 1000 steps is on offer with my training group this afternoon but I am not going to risk a set back so I’ll try another easy 5km or so this evening. After all the tiramisu, scalloped potatoes and cheese I have eaten in the last 3 days I can’t afford much more time off running!! Xmas for a vego is pretty much all about carbs and fat, preferably in the same meal, as enjoyable as the indulgence was I am very keen to get back to my usual volume of training!

It’s been a bit of a pain as I was on a roll, but it’s only been a small setback, no real harm done.

For some insane reason I braved Chadstone yesterday afternoon, but I was with my best friend so I coped. No luck for me at any of the sports wear stores, nothing in my size on sale, but I got some pants, a jacket and a T-shirt at Ben Sherman. I am going to check out the new Doncaster shops with my sister tomorrow, our mum gave us a joint birthday present (my sisters was back in November), a two hour session with a personal stylist :oops: who is meeting us at the shopping centre. A bit mortifying really, right up my sisters alley but I am pretty happy with my jeans and T-shirts, I might retire to the background and let my sister take the limelight. It’s just an excuse to spend some time together really, I appreciate where mum is coming from but I don’t want to be dragged kicking and screaming from my Ben Sherman :lol:

The final 12….probably

20 Dec

Well, we have almost reached the end of the year and it’s time to start thinking about selecting the 12 classic novels I want to read next year.

Of course I have to finish the book I am currently reading first, shouldn’t be a problem, it’s a cracker and it’s getting to the business end.

Soooo, it’s taken a lot of research and contemplation, not least of all asking the question “what makes a classic?”

I’ve decided that a classic is anything that either captures the essence of the time in which it was written, is at the leading edge of it’s genre or is portentous, is influential or just simply stands the test of time.

I tried to choose a balanced mix of old and new, hopefully not too cliche ridden and containing maybe some unexpected choices –

Here it is, in no particular order, not set in stone at this stage but pretty close to it

The Harp in the South – Ruth Park
A late entry inspired by the death of the author late last week, I read Playing Beatie Bow many times when I was young but never read any of her grown up books.

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest – Ken Kesey
I’ve seen the movie and just felt I should read the book.

The Plague – Albert Camus
Ok, I just love Camus and am not sure why I haven’t got around to this one. I originally thought I’d steer clear of authors I’d already read but what the heck, they’re my rules and I can change them if I want to.

Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
How can I resist a book with such a title, it sounds so intriguing and I’d like to put the famous line “the horror, the horror” into context, one assumes it will be, well, horrifying.

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
I’ve been trying to find the words, ummm, for someone with my interests I think it’s just something I need to read.

Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
I know the story so well, although I’ve never read the book

Deliverance – James Dickey
Probably a choice out of left field, so well known from the movie but I suspect there is alot more to it than dueling banjoes and squealing like a pig.

Neuromancer – William Gibson
Again, given my interests I don’t know why the hell I haven’t got around to this one, it was the start of something.

Tropic of Cancer – Henry Miller
Given the current freedom of speech debate being ignited by Wikileaks why not include something else that tested the boundaries.

The Island of Doctor Moreau – HG Wells
I likes me a bit of dark fantasy with a moral

Shadow of the Torturer – Gene Wolfe
This is actually book one of a four part series but will just add the first one to the list. Not quite Sci-Fi, not quite fantasy it’s a tricky one to categorise but it’s won a few awards and Wolfe is highly revered. TOH is responsible for the recommendation and has been bugging me to read it for ages so it’s on the list.

Highrise – JG Ballard
Ok, yes, I do have a dystopian bent. This was a late edition today and suggested by a colleague, I’ve seen Crash (bit of a Cronenburg fan) but surprisingly have not read any of Ballards work and I feel he is a worthy addition.

So there you have it, yes only one female author, this is not a deliberate omission it just worked out that way and I wasn’t going to cram more in there just for the sake of it.

It’s by no means a definitive list but it’s my list and I am happy with it.

Anyone else on board and have you made your list yet?

Method to the Madness

19 Dec

Just a touch over 94km this week :shock:

That kind of crept up on me.

Ok, yes, has been a big couple of weeks but it was always my intention to knock out some big Kms in December. Shield has been a bit slow to get going, of the 9 rounds so far 3 were rained out, 1 was missed due to marshaling and a couple because I was working, so I’ve only made 3 rounds so far.

In the absence of any competition I figured I may as well do something with my time so I’ve ramped up the mileage with the hope of knocking about 10 minutes off last years Two Bays time, maybe even sneaking in under 3 hours (I dare to hope). Another two weeks of hitting it hard and then I’ll back off for two weeks as a bit of a taper and then will settle back to the mid 70s for the duration of the track season.

Besides, I seem to be coping so why not?

I’ve tried a different approach this year, last year I was doing 20km runs at Lysterfield on a Sunday. This time I’ve stuck to the bike paths for my long runs but have been getting about 22-24km away and then on Monday I head to Lysterfield for a hilly 12km or so, I am hoping this will hold me in good stead.

I had a great long run today, 23.5km in 2:06 with a good block of 5:15ish kms through the middle and not as much fade out over the last couple of kms as I am used to. Normally I only take one gel an hour (so generally just one gel per long run) but today I thought I’d try one every 30 minutes to see if it would make a difference to my energy and whether or not my stomach would handle them. The first couple I managed to take on the run without stopping my watch even with a quick break at a water fountain to get some water down. The brand of gels I take are very liquid so I can get away with no water but if it’s around it’s best to have a few mouthfuls. The last one was due as I was coming up hill and it went down the wrong way so I had to stop at the tap while I finished it off, coughed so much it was coming out my eyes! Still, that’s why we practice these things in training hey.

This was a bit of a break through long run, I felt really comfortable for most of it, I haven’t managed to hold that sort of pace on a solo run before so I was really pleased with myself. I think the extra gels did make a difference and happily they didn’t bother my stomach at all.

Here ’tis – but it will probably show in miles so if you are interested you’ll have to click “view in metric” up in the top right, it’s annoying, I’ve set it to metric but when you send the link it reverts to stupid imperial.

http://connect.garmin.com:80/activity/embed/60033965

So far today I haven’t even felt like a nanna nap, unheard of!!

Bloody hungry now though.

89 and feeling fine

12 Dec

Yup, probably the lamest post title I’ve used thus far.

That’s how many kms I ran this week, was vaguely tempted to push out an extra km to round it up but one doesn’t want to be obsessive.

Thursday before Zatopek we trained on the tan, as mentioned last post, we did a 2km tempo run followed by 8 by 250 metres with 250 metre recovery (arghhhhhhh). The meet was enjoyable, but not as close as last year in either the men’s or the women’s race.

Friday I rested and Saturday was shield and I finally got to run a 5000 metre race. Not that it was a race as such for me, there was a howling wind so I cut my loses and just ran a tempo effort for the points, turning into a headwind on the back straight 12 times was pretty dire.

I finished the week with a long run of 22km and because yesterday was so much fun I did the first half straight into a head wind, the return journey was far more pleasant. The shower when I got home on the other hand was not! I wore my least favourite crop top, the one that always chafes and of course I forgot the bodyglide. Then a dodgy seam on the inside caused some more chafing on my hip, then when I turned my back in the shower I discovered the chafing on my lower back, much shrieking ensued, bodyglide with be applied liberally in future.

Now, I’ve been trying to figure out how I can fit in some more rest during the week, especially after working from home on Wednesday and feeling heaps better for the extra hour in bed. I was all set to ask my boss if I could work from home once a week when a better offer came my way on Friday.

It’s not set in stone yet but it looks like from next year I will be able to work a couple of days a week in a office we have only 8km or so up the road from home. It’s our back up site, so essentially an empty office space ready to move key staff in to should our CBD site be unable to be occupied for what ever reason. Yup, it will just be me in a big empty office, they will set me up on the mezzanine in a little self contained office of my own. They just want someone there a couple of days a week to keep an eye on the place, I will be the queen of my domain, I am hoping to raise a mouse army to do my evil bidding.

Hey, if the downstairs is big enough I could mark out an indoor track with post-it notes for rainy days :lol:

Working so close to home will give me a chance for a bit more time in bed as I won’t have to get up super early to fit my morning runs in. If I work there on a Tuesday I could start at 930 and work through to 6 before nipping 5 minutes up the road to train at Jells Park, in the winter I’ll be ridiculously close to Waverley Park.

Lucky I am a wild eyed loner standing at the gates of oblivion and am perfectly happy to work in a big empty building all by myself, I can wear tracky pants to work, play the radio as loud as I like, have a lunch time kip if I feel like it, can’t wait.

Squirm

9 Dec

I expect there are a stack of politicians and high ranking government officials in both the US and Australia doing this right now.

HA!

Watching them all bend and twist, back pedal and wriggle has caused me no end of amusement of the last week or so, suffice to say, honest people don’t behave that way.

Ahhhh, you know what, I am not going to justify myself, this is mostly a running blog and this thing in simply to big to pot down into a couple of neat paragraphs, all I will say is –

  • I support what Wikileaks does, always have
  • I condemn the way Julian Assange is being treated, in particular the rabid, ill informed and frankly moronic commentary emanating from the conservative right in the US. Note to Sarah Palin, the guy who stole the cables committed treason, not the guy who published them, being that he is not a US citizen and all that
  • Just because a person holds an elected position of authority that does not mean they are to be blindly trusted
  • Julia Gillard has lost me, I am surprised she can walk, what with the missing spine and all; sadly I am not at all surprised
  • Yes, I am a hopeless idealist
  • As for the sexual assault, well, even the Women Against Rape group in the UK are questioning the zeal with which he is being pursued. If the Swedish prosecutors did not lay charges when the offences were first reported why are they suddenly so enthusiastic now, one wonders…. However the always sage and sensible John makes a very good point when he says “Julian Assange is not automatically innocent of sexual assault just because we like him”
  • That’ll do, otherwise I’ll be here for days and Ewen will get bored and go away ;-)

    Running not Politics

    Monday - 12.5km at a very muddy obstacle ridden Lysterfield lake, feeling a bit heavy after the Sunday 5ker so just taking it easy and enjoying being in the bush. I wore my New Balance WT101s, oh boy are they super light! They certainly made me feel more nimble, unfortunately my right big toe rubbed a bit and blistered, I’ll go half a size up next time.

    Tuesday – Commute run of just over 10km from Canterbury station to the city, serves multiple functions
    Start my run a bit earlier
    Extra distance
    Don’t have to pay to park the car
    A new route to run

    At Jells in the afternoon we did a tempo session, 3 by 8 minutes at 15km to HM pace with a 90 second recovery, near perfect pacing on my part, 1.7km, 1.69km, 1.71km

    Wednesday – worked from home and got out for 10km around 11am, got caught in the mother of all tropical storms, seriously fat rain drops and the paths turning into little rivers, it was fantastic because it broke the horrible humidity.

    Thursday – a touch over 9km this morning, it was a lovely morning to be running along the Yarra, I particularly love all the wild fennel, I know it’s a weed but it smells gorgeous on the warm morning air.

    We are holding club training on the tan this evening before heading over the bridge to watch the 50th running of the Zatopek 10,000.

    Got my blood test results back, all clear, so the answer to why I am so bloody tired is simply this – NOT ENOUGH SLEEP

    That’s why I worked from home on Wednesday, it gave me an extra hour and a half in bed and I was able to have a 20 minute kip in the afternoon too so I feel much more refreshed today. I am thinking about asking my boss if I can trial working from home one day a week next year. Wednesday is good because it falls between my double days, getting up at 630am instead of 5am and having my recovery run in the late morning should make a world of difference.

    It would probably help if I stopped skipping dinner too, I am often too stuffed to bother cooking so I just flop on the couch and give it a miss. TOH tries but cooking isn’t his forte and he’s served up too many pastas that I have just picked at and pretended to eat, I am not a massive pasta fan, he’s sussed me out now and hovers until I clear my plate.

    Unashamedly ripped off photo of me racing for the finish line on Sunday

    Sussan Women’s Fun Run

    5 Dec

    The Sussan Women’s Fun Run was on today and it’s become a bit of a habit of mine to enter the 5km, this was my fourth year.

    I broke my hoodoo for this run today, for some reason I always run badly, yet somehow manage to pick up an age group placing. Today I ran a course PB of 22:33 which is also only 14 seconds outside my road 5km PB, considering I’ve not had many chances to race these last couple of months I am really happy with that. Ironically upon running my best time yet for this course I didn’t pick up an age group placing this year, the event attracted some great runners this year and I’d have had to run low 20s just to come 3rd, a friend in my age group came 1st overall!!

    Give me a good hit out and a course PB over a place any time. I lost it a bit in that 3rd Km as I am wont to do, still have to work on that and my gut cramped up on my again like it did at Run Geelong a few weeks ago but I recovered more quickly this time, frigging annoying though probably lost a good 15 seconds, just need more racing under my belt to harden me up again.

    Now, enough about me….

    Miss Tracey K, if you still pop by here congrats on your AG place in the 5km, what a fab run, well done, there was a cheer in the crowd from me :-)

    I am especially proud of my mate Carol and Casey team mates Megan and Dawn for being braver than me and tackling the 10km on a humid Melbourne summer morning. All three ran PBs and two finished 12th and 13th within 20 seconds of each other, fantastic to see such gutsy performances which really spurred me on when I was running my own race.

    Now I’ve had a pretty cruisy week, a piddling 50km :oops: back into the fray next week, am not going to taper the training for the 5000 metre next week, it will be a hit out but I’ll save the PB attempts for next year.

    I popped some pics for the morning up on twitter, none of me though, can’t take a pic of myself running.

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.