Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nothing but blue skies

The most glorious day to be on a bike. No wind! Sure I had to ride through some fairly industrial areas, but with the sun out and blue skies, I could not have been happier to be out and about, though I can certainly feel the lack of strength in my legs after neglecting the bike for so long.

Run: 1:00:25 | 9.95km | 6m04s/km. Included a 3km time trial for which I ran 16:28, which was a 20s improvement over the last time. Still feeling a little tired from the weekend's efforts.

Commute: 40m on the slow bike.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Challenge recap

At the start of last week I set myself a challenge. It panned out a little like this:

One reading session per day. Minimum 15 mins.
I tend to use the time prior to sleep to read, Mon - Thurs I managed, but being out Friday & Saturday nights meant missing sessions.
Two bottles (750ml) of water to be consumed each day.
I am terrible at drinking water, I'm almost never thirsty, but most likely constantly dehydrated, which is noticeable in my runs. I did well, I hit two 750ml water bottles everyday. Going to Bikram certainly encouraged hydration!
Three strength/small weight sessions for the week.
3/3 and I had fun with this! Each session I'd do a little search on 'youtube' for an arms, abs or butt workout and just get it done. About 15-20min sessions. Doing something different each session kept me from getting bored. I'm keen to keep this up.
Four scheduled training runs
4/4. With a few consistent weeks under my belt since returning from OS I'm feeling better and better about this marathon. I'm in a much better frame of mind than when I ran the Gold Coast marathon in 2009.
Five days of Fitday
4.5/5. So close! We went out for dinner on Friday night and shared 5 or so tasting plates. I can't even begin to log. What I confirmed was that I do indeed need to watch non running days. And the number of raspberry bullets I eat... hmm.
Six-ty second plank per day 7/7. Success!
Seven days of Vibrams - wear them around the house everyday.
5/7. Partial success. Whenever I walked down the street or vacuumed or tidied up/folded washing I was wearing 'em. So ready to try running in them again.

Eight push ups per day. 7/7. Success!
Nine thirty bed time Mon - Thurs.
4/4. I was in bed by 9:30 every night, however because the Man comes to bed an hour or more later it didn't really result in any extra sleep, just a bit of down time at the end of the day.
Ten days of bikram yoga. 4/10. See previous post!

Run: 30:14 | 4.66km | 6m29s/km. Recovery run. Feeling tired and a little tight behind the knees.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Admitting defeat

At the start of the week I set myself a challenge: 10 things, with the tenth being 10 consecutive days of Bikram yoga. I decided yesterday after four (only four!) days I'm done. I love 'regular' yoga, I always feel so good after doing it, the same cannot be said for Bikram yoga. I can't see the point of continuing with something for an 1:30 each day that I'm not loving. I already have running in my life ;).

I was so prepared to love this and I'd definitely urge anyone who's thinking about it to try it, because there really is nothing like that 38-39C room! However I can't get over the fact that the initial breathing exercises make me feel sick. It seems in the heat all the poses that require me to put my head back make me feel ill, which may be due to incorrect technique, but uh, ill! There's also a few poses that require kneeling/sitting on your knees, I've tried and I find it incredibly painful and in Bikram there seems to be no workaround, whereas in regular yoga I've been actively encouraged to sit cross legged if I find it painful. So I'll continue on with the water drinking, vibram wearing, strength training etc, and next week I'll seek out a 'regular' yoga class or two.

Fri; Run: 51:25 | 8.8km | 5m50s/km. Procrastinated on this run big time. "Speed session".
Warm up 2.5km, main set 4x 1km efforts 1:30 rest, cool down run home. The first three efforts were pretty consistent, the last one out by 15s. I was tired.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Good mail day!

Just in time too, I ate my last Gu yesterday. And now I'm stocked up again. I'm looking forward to trying out the Powerbar Sport shots - I haven't had the lemon before. I get hungry on long runs, so the physicality of chewing and eating something solid might help.

The marathon training plan calls for a rest/cross training day today and I'm enjoying it. I've done a little strength, a little walking and of course yoga. Fingers crossed some good sleep will put me in good stead for tomorrow's speed session.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 3. 10 day challenge

I think I managed to run in the only sun of the day. Bonus! I ran from Albert Park to Elwood along the beach track. So nice to revisit. Kitesurfers though, mean conditions are less than ideal for running. It was windy heading out, but I did get a nice push home.

On track with the challenge. I did another strength session this morning with a focus on arms because my legs seem to be shot this week. And made it to another bikram class this afternoon. Dealing with that much heat means I'm getting my water in relatively easily.

Run: 1:20 | 12.78km | 6m 16s/km.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 2. 10 things challenge

Day 2 and all is going well. Just finishing off my second water bottle as I type. I went to the midday Bikram class and it was far less intimidating, but no less hard. I think my muscles seized after yesterday's strength stuff. I can hardly touch my toes which is not at all normal for me.

Run: 47:56 | 8.01km | 5m59s/km. Speed session. Warm up of 2.5km, main session 6x 500m efforts with standing rest. Three of these done into a strong headwind and accompanying rain. 2.5km cool down.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 1. 10 things challenge

One reading session per day. Minimum 15 mins.
Two bottles (750ml) of water to be consumed each day.
Three strength/small weight sessions for the week. √ 1/3
Four scheduled training runs. x Rest day
Five days of Fitday √ 1/5
Six-ty second plank per day
Seven days of Vibrams - wear them around the house everyday. 1/7
Eight push ups per day.
Nine thirty bed time Mon - Thurs.
Ten days of bikram yoga 1/10

Today was my first ever Bikram session. It kicked my butt. I was so afraid of passing out with the combination of not eating prior to the session, the heat and the intensity of some of the poses. Tell me it gets easier?! This is going to be the toughest of the challenges.

This week's challenge: 10 things

Let's face it, I have plenty of time on my hands and I know I could be doing more for my health and well-being. So in the lead up to my half marathon next weekend I've decided I'm really going to focus on looking after myself this week both physically and mentally. With my ten things:

One reading session per day. Minimum 15 mins.
Two bottles (750ml) of water to be consumed each day.
Three strength/small weight sessions for the week.
Four scheduled training runs
Five days of Fitday
Six-ty second plank per day
Seven days of Vibrams - wear them around the house everyday.
Eight push ups per day.
Nine thirty bed time Mon - Thurs.
Ten days of bikram yoga.

If I manage to hold my end of the bargain for the week and do the 10 consecutive days of bikram I will treat myself to another half hour massage on top of the one I'm going to earn from the Man with the challenge we have going that involves cooking meat!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hitting the pavement

Literally. I'm running along and the next thing in slow motion I'm superman-ing along the pavement. Thinking I can't believe I just tripped over. I left a fair bit of skin from my inner elbow and of course the palms haven't gone unscathed. Ouch!

Run: 50m | 7.84km | 6m 23s/km.

Friday, May 20, 2011


...is a wonderful thing. When we were in NYC we checked out a couple of bike stores and when I saw the clif shot bloks (that I so frequently read as snot bloks) I knew I had to get me a packet. I tried them for the first time today and I really liked them, even though they do get a bit stuck in your teeth. It's kinda nice to eat, rather than sucking on gels. I think this flavour may be discontinued though? Cran-razz. Such a shame. Given how well they went down I'm prepared to try the others.

I felt a little tired for my three hour run today. Not ideal. I had one goal and it was to be faster than last weeks long run. It didn't matter how much, but it certainly involved concentration. In the end I did run faster and over a harder course, because this foreshore run is subject to far more wind than a river run.

Run: 3:08:20 | 28.08km | 6m43s/km. Just faster than last week! I think I could have done a little better had I rested yesterday and got more sleep last night. I had some reals highs and lows on this run involving plenty of self doubt.

Thurs; commute: 1hr | slow. First time on the slow bike since I've been home! A ride into the city to meet a friend for lunch. This was after my run, my legs were shot.

Thurs; run: 48:29 | 7.71km | 6m17s/km. My first Williamstown foreshore run in a while. This is where next weekends half marathon will be held. A good reminder that a hell of a headwind can make it slow going on the way home.

Wed; run: 33:46 | 5.4km | 6m15s/km. A lap of the tan and a bit. This run was well short of the 1:20 I was meant to do. I'll be making up the time tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Short memory

The best thing about running is the fact that you can do it anywhere and generally straight from your front door. I love that. But I was feeling as though it was time to mix things up again. Finally I got my scooter up and going again and 15 min down the road I was off to start my run in Essendon, still by the Maribyrnong river.

I went to run through the Wetlands again, but the were workmen on site, so instead I followed the bike path to steele creek. And I hit hills. I'd forgotten about hills. Not quite L'Alpe d'Huez. But it still hurt! I've been avoiding them because I know the Gold Coast Marathon is flat, but really I should incorporate them back into my weekly running, because if I can run strong on the hills imagine what I can do on the flat!

I was treated to some giant thistles, gorgeous birds and the changing leaves. I'm looking forward to exploring there some more.

Run: 50m 02s| 8.03 kms | 6m 14s/km. I started off far too fast. Never mind the hills slowed me down significantly.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It stopped raining!

Happy, happy, joy, joy. It feels like it's been raining forever! I've been trying to get my long run in since Friday. Thankfully this morning provided me with two hours and forty minutes sans precipitation. I got further than I have in a while making it to the Afton Street Conservation reserve which seems to have just opened. It made a nice change of scenery from the Maribyrnong river path, the area offers softer ground and some hills. I'm going to make a concerted effort to mix up my run locations this week.

Run: 2h 43m 03s | 24km | 06m 47s/km. Eh, it wasn't fast, but the best thing? It's done! Yay. I took three Gu but only ate two. I nearly gagged on the tri-berry, but the Espresso love went down fine. I stopped briefly at 2 hours just to swing the legs out, they were getting over the repetition. I found when I stopped concentrating on my form I really slowed down.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wild 'n wooly

I was lucky enough to spend the end of the week on the coast. It rained pretty much the entire time. Including straight after these photos were taken! It was my first wear of the Vibrams since returning from overseas. My feet while a touch cold (along with everything else) felt good on the sand. I love that they leave a barefoot print.

Run: 22m 49s | 3.29km | 06m 56s/km. Seriously hard work with the blowing gale and soft sand. This did include 10x 30s efforts/30s recovery jog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

There's no hiding

Time trials don't lie. Gosh, it was tempting to put this off, you know, to swap sessions. To do this another day, but I sucked it up. I thought of yesterday's post and got it done. And while it hurt, it only hurt for a bit. Or 3kms worth.

Run: 29:22 | 5.03km | 5m57s/km.
Including time trial: 16:43 | 3km | 5m 34s/km. I got increasingly slower as the kms went by. I hoping next time to be a little bit faster and a little bit more consistent. As tough as I find time trials, it is nice to have a benchmark. I can only improve from here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Note to self: don't put it off

I pulled up pretty well from Friday's long run. Saturday was a planned rest day and I had the choice of Sunday or Monday to do my speed session, in the end I put it off until Monday. Which was fine until I was incapacitated by an upset stomach. Lesson learned.

Back on track today.

Better news on the weight front, as a result of cutting out 'lussert' (dessert after lunch) that was so prevalent while I was away and eating lighter/smaller meals in general I've managed to shed a kilo.

Run: 50min | 7.76km |06m 29s/km. Scheduled "comfortable run". HR indicates otherwise. An average of 172. Oops that's a little too high. Felt alright though, had my faster kms towards the end of the run.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Going long

While overseas the season was coming out of winter and into spring. I was surrounded by green, so seems odd to see the leaves turning like I did on this morning's run. Odd, but still beautiful.

So with regards to the marathon, I've decided to follow the training as per the Gold Coast marathon website. I've jumped straight in and will follow the program. With one change. Long runs on a Friday. It makes sense because it means I can make the most of my weekend with the Man and friends instead of spending two (plus) hours running and the rest of the day in a semi zombie state!

Run: 2:01:04 | 18km | 6m44s/km. I knew this was going to be tough. But I made it harder on myself for two reasons. The gap between breakfast and running was too big and one gel wasn't enough. As a result I really battled from 1:30, but the last 15min were the toughest. I had to stop and walk. Not enough energy at all. I was running with my fuel belt, it's not like I couldn't have put another gel in there. Lesson learned! Added bonus, no asthma. The puffer beforehand helped.

Wed; run: 1:00 | 9km | 6m40s/km. I was hoping for better things on my first run back in town. Having not had any asthma for months it caught be by surprise on this run. I slowed myself down considerably and focused on running with a lower HR than I usually would to minimise discomfort.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Home, sweet home

We touched down in Melbourne this morning at 6:00am. After 23 or so hours flying and about four hours sleep it's lucky my eyes are still open.

I've been catching up on washing, removing two months of accumulated dust and going through my mail. My race number came for the end of month half marathon I entered prior to leaving. A nice reminder that I've got to get back into running consistently from tomorrow.

I am seriously questioning the wisdom of running a marathon in two months time. In fact I'm more than a little nervous. Fingers crossed. I'm optimistic because I have time on my side - in that I'm not working and there should be no excuses with regards to getting training in and I'm no longer carrying an injury (I had some major foot pain prior to leaving). The downside being that all the eating out we did was not good for my weight. I'm a couple up from when I left. And the one or so run I did a week wasn't quite enough to maintain the fitness. Here's to a challenge!

I plan to post retrospectively, because in between all the eating I was able to run, get on a bike, take a hike or two and do a whole lot of walking.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Retrospective post: Just for fun

On the last day of our trip I decided to wear my Garmin just to see how much ground we covered on a light walking day. It was Sunday, we were in cruisy sightseeing, market visiting and stopping for an ale mode. According to Garmin, a total just shy of 12 km. I'll call it 8.5, given we took the train from London bridge to Green park.