Sunday, July 31, 2011

Koonwarra - Leongatha Rail Trail

Had the fortune of running my first rail trail on Tuesday. It made for a very pleasant change. I started outside the Koonwarra General Store and headed towards Leongatha. The track was a little muddy in parts, but for the most part you didn't have to veer too far off the path to avoid the puddles. Everyone I passed on the path obeyed the rules and said 'G'Day'! When there was no one around there were plenty of kangaroos, birds and bunnies to keep me company.

Fri; run
: 2:32:35 | 23.22km | 6:34/km. Hmm, slower than marathon pace. I'm not sure what was going on today, but something wasn't right. It took me about an hour to warm up and get into a proper rhythm. My best kms were from 10-19. The last three kms were into a tough head wind and my desire to run dropped along with my pace. Ugh. The three Gu I took were of great help, I ran better after each one. So that's a positive.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tour of Gippsland

Boys riding bikes under blue skies. It doesn't get much better!
Caught the first two stages of the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland, showcasing young, up and coming riders. This is where 2011 Tour de France riders Richie Porte and Matthew Goss started out. Hopefully we were witness to some future champions!

Run: 40:40 | 6.7km | 6:04/km. Lap and a bit of the Tan.
Beep test: Attempt 1. Level 6.5. Attempt 2. Level 7. Score. All hope is not lost! So helps running with someone else. Thanks H.
Tues; run: 50:04 |8.2km |6:07/km. I'm thinking the GPS was off, I did not feel this good at all.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Something beginnning with K

Two new activities, two new ways to punish my upper body. I can barely hold my arms up to type. Last night saw the first, of hopefully many, fitness kickboxing sessions. Lots of push ups, sprinting, burpees, mountain climbers, planks and the hardest for me as a newbie the punching combinations. Having difficulty telling left from right puts me at a distinct disadvantage!

Then this morning it was all about the kayak. At drinks on Friday night I met a girl who has signed up for Coast to Coast it's a multisport race that traverses the South Island of New Zealand and includes a 67km kayak. I was telling her how I've been wanting to try kayaking for ages and that I'd found a beginners group at 6:30am on Tuesday mornings. Dutch courage from the drink had us sign up. So dark and early this morning we were down at the beach ready to paddle. Lots of hard fun work. I'm looking to fit this into the schedule too!

Mon; kickboxing: 45min
Tues; kayaking: 1 hr

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend snapshot

Friday night drinks, ricotta pancakes, gardening, exploration, walking, football, family, homemade pizzas, time trials, Cadel!!!, sleep in, design market, Japanese food, late afternoon run. The weekend goes far too fast!

Run: 35:09 | 6km | 5:52/km. Included a 3km time trial. 16:12. A 16s improvement. Not too bad considering this was done late afternoon and I was tired and found that lunch wasn't too happy running.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Return of the long run

It's been almost three weeks since my last long run. 2:20 on the program was looking a little daunting. But in the end wholly do-able. And I got the most perfect morning, sunny without wind. The t-shirt got it's maiden voyage and I was almost too warm in my long leggings.

I stopped at the half way mark to stretch out my ITB/hips. My right side is significantly tighter, but the stretching certainly helped. I see massage in my future.

I felt a little hungry on my run. I don't like feeling this way at all. I should have run closer to breakfast eating time. I took two Gu an hour apart and felt better after both.

At 45mins I felt awesome, I felt as though I'd really held back and thought about pushing my run out to 2:30. In the end I'm pretty glad I didn't, because from 1:50 it started to get tough for me. This is the stage I need to start concentrating on my form, pace and positive thoughts. It's when the doubt creeps in and the legs start to get a little uncomfortable. I had a quick rest/stretch at 2:00 and considered running the easy way home without the hill, but I persevered up. Sure it was tough, but it didn't kill me.

Rewards a-plenty with coconut water (I still prefer it straight, but this was on special) and the fact that all I have to do over the weekend is a 3km time trial. Yay!

Run: 2:22:15 | 22.03km | 6:28/km.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Unfinished business

I declared 2011 the year of the marathon. It continues after just putting in my entry for the Melbourne Marathon. I have a great base after training for the GCM and I feel as though I didn't get to run the 42km that I wanted to run. I'm hoping with a slightly longer campaign and some 32+km runs under my belt the random quad pain I felt on the Gold Coast won't come back to haunt me in October and I can get closer to my goal time of 4:30.

Nervous, but excited!

Beep test: Attempt 1. Level 5.8. Attempt 2. Level 6.3. A slight improvement. Got to keep at it.
Bike Trainer: 30mins easy spinning.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Firsts all round

So last night I convinced the Man to join me in some Mixed Martial Arts. Fun, but slightly confronting times. We picked up a couple of free passes at one of our local take away places and the class was on late enough for him to come along.

Like Con the instructor said, walking through the door is the hardest part. I beg to differ - the high knee lifts were hard! Initially we worked on fitness, then some defense moves. This involved working with partners, wrapping ones arms around sweaty strangers was a little awkward as a first timer. The class was interesting and full of technique for us newbies. Some of the other class participants were really helpful in instructing us as their partners, and for that I'm incredibly grateful.

The Man was not overly convinced by it all, glad he tried it but has decided he'll stick with his golfing. However I'm super keen to go back and trial fitness kickboxing, the focus is more on the cardio side and will knock over another thing on the list.

The other first was meeting Cilla for a run this morning. My first real life meet since I've started this blog! Fun to run, chat and of course coffee. We ran Princes Park, soft and flat together at last! Another first for me. All my life I've lived in Melbourne and haven't run the track that's said to be the equally as popular as the Tan.

Tues; mixed martial arts: 1 hr
Run 1: 26:58 | 3.68km | 7:20/km. Running & chatting.
Run 2: 37:02 | 6.37km | 5:49/km. Schedule called for 10x 30s efforts, 30s jogging rest. Did this after the coffee break.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beep beep

Handy tools for the beep test. An iPhone app (also works on an iPod), a piece of string measuring 20m, some markers (found on a Bunnings reduced to clear table, bonus!) and a flat piece of ground.

Why the fixation on the beep test? I put it out there at the start of the year that I was looking for a career change, shift is probably a better word. The direction I've chosen requires a certain level of fitness. Or should I say fast-for-me running. There will be fitness assessed on the beep test and I need all the practice I can get.

I'm seeing increasingly faster kilometres in my general run training, but I find the stop/start aspect of the beep test much harder to deal with, you have time to focus on how hard it is to breathe - there's no getting into a rhythm. And a lot of it is mental, when running it with a friend it seems to be so much easier to continue on.

Beep test: Attempt 1. Level 5.2. Attempt 2. Level 5.8. I'm getting increasingly worse as the week goes on! More incentive to train. The more I do it, the better I have to get, right??

Monday, July 18, 2011

Out and about

So yesterday was my first race volunteering experience and I loved it! I was situated at the start line helping to control the many wave starts that Run Melbourne has. They appear not to cap the event and as a result there are a heap of runners and walkers over three distances. I actually really enjoyed the interaction with the runners. I was on their side and I was there to help (hopefully I did) and it was incredibly gratifying to be of use and put people at ease pointing them in the right direction, usually to the toilet!

As much as I wanted to be out there yesterday, it wasn't to be. But I ran for the hills today. Boy does it make running on the flat seem easy.

Run: 50:09 | 8.19km | 6:07/km. Time to get back into marathon training!

Beep test: Attempt 1. Level 5.8. Attempt 2. Level 6.2. Fell well short today. Perhaps should be done prior to run? Or well after. My aim is to run the beep test for another three days this week.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Had the opportunity to run part of the Main Yarra Trail prior to breakfasting with the girls. Heading out I wondered why the ground was a little crunchy and slippery underfoot. Heading back I saw the sign and realised the white patches I'd been running on were ice. Ugh.

Run: 49:25 |8km | 6:11/km. This was meant to be my long run. I was short on time so I just did what I could. No consistency in km times at all - may have to do with the fact that the path is not dead flat.

Friday, July 15, 2011


While I consider myself moderately motivated, I am a big procrastinator. There's a lot to be said for answering to someone else. This morning I met a friend at 7:00am for a beep test session. There was no alarm snoozing, no faffing about, I was up, dressed, breakfasted and importantly on time.

Beep test: Attempt 1: Level 6.3. Attempt 2: Level 6.8. Requirement Level 7. Expect to see more beep testing in the future. Ideally I'd like to get to Level 10.

Run: 30:58 |5km | 6:11/km. Took in a bit of the river then a lap of the Tan. A little pain manifested itself in my right hip/upper ITB. I see stretching and massage in my immediate future.

Ride: 42:22 | 17.5km | 24.8km/hr. Felt like a ride? Not so much. But I signed up for a cycling challenge to ride 430 mins during the Tour de France, this ride takes me to 150min. Good weather allowed this to be done outside, beats sitting on the trainer indoors!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reverse taper

I love school holidays. It means there's very few cars on the road, so if one wants to head out on a run at 8:30am one does not have to sit in a mountain of traffic to get across the bridge. Bliss. A run in Port Melbourne was on the cards. In between the rain showers...

Slowly slowly I'm building up my running again. A week and a half off and boy it hurts. Perhaps hurts isn't the right word. It. Just. Feels. So. Hard. But I'm keen as mustard to regain my fitness. I want to run the Melbourne Marathon in early October. I want to run closer to my goal of 4:30-4:45. With some longer runs in the 32km+ region, I desperately want to believe it's possible.

Run: 30:41 | 4.74km | 6:28/km. Marginally better than yesterday. Have decided to use this week to build slowly back to the hour mark. Having major issues with Garmin + HR. There is no way I was running at 208bpm. No way!

Wed; run
: 19:16 | 3km | 6:25/km. Ran around the 'hood. Totally under-fueled, felt very average indeed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The damage

The week after the marathon became an eating and drinking festival. Celebrating our achievements, a birthday, being on holidays and the warm weather. Mid-week my stomach revolted, causing me a huge amount of pain and effectively put a stop to the volume of low quality food I could intake.

Mentally it was so nice to have a break from counting calories/keeping an eye on what I was eating. I believe this to be highly important if I'm to go on and run the Melbourne marathon in October.

Physically it wasn't so fun. My stomach caused me a great deal of misery (which I will discuss with my doc when visiting next) and of course I put on weight, which was to be expected. 1.5kg, it doesn't seem like much, but when I know how hard it was to take off, it's scary to think how fast it went on!

In the end I craved well portioned healthy food, knowing how much better it made me feel. It made me realise that my every day eating need not feel deprived. I actually enjoy sitting down to a plate of veggies and the occasional sweet treat rather than sheer overindulgence.

Bike trainer: 55m
Mon; bike trainer: 36m

Monday, July 11, 2011


I felt surprisingly good straight after the marathon, usually I feel a little nauseous but it never set in. I took a couple of anti-inflammatories that night to ease the pain in my quads and I slept like a log, for the first time in a week. In fact I've had no problems sleeping since the marathon, the same cannot be said for prior. Very happy that resolved itself.

There was however lingering pain in my quads and only my quads. Like someone had taken a hammer to them. Going down stairs, sitting down and standing up were the biggest challenges. The work around for the stairs was going down backwards. Sitting and standing required us to suck it up.

By Wednesday the majority of my pain had gone and we were ready for Byron Bay's coastal walk to the lighthouse. It was slow and a touch challenging for the tired legs, but so very beautiful watching the splashes of a whale on the horizon, dolphins catching waves and a diving sea turtle.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gold Coast Marathon

It's been a week, finally a report!

Time: 4:50:20 | 42.16 kms | 6:53/km

Run comments:
My goal time was between 4:30 and 4:45. My aim was to run at 6:30m/km, a pace I have easily held in training.

For the first 20km I held a 6:30 pace pretty easily. Or more so I felt as though I was holding back. But something went amiss. I slowed to a 6:44/km pace over the next 5km. It started to get pretty warm at this stage and I along with the runners around me were looking for any shade we could find. From about 28km I was in a world of hurt. I have never experienced quad pain quite like it. Ever. They pretty much turned rock solid and made running very difficult.

At 32km we passed the finish line turn off and I saw the Man. I was about to burst into tears, I wanted to stop and hug him, but had I done that I'm not sure I would have started again. So I high fived him and continued on. There was no way I wasn't going to cross the finish line. The t-shirt alone was worth it!

The five km to the 37km turn around were slow going. A lot of people were walking at this stage and I was down to a shuffle with the odd walk thrown in for good measure. I had to resort to heel striking just to keep moving. I averaged 7:20/km for the last 12kms and after 35km did more of the passing rather than being passed.

Running the last kilometre was pretty freaking awesome. There were a shipload of supporters cheering and when I saw my group of supporters I was pretty stoked to see those that had finished an hour and more earlier will still out there cheering! For me! Totally helped me pick up speed for the finishing line.

And then I wanted to cry. Why? Because of the frustration of the pain and the fact that I was finally finished.

In the end I missed my goal by 5 min, but it was a 16 min PB. I'll take it.

What would you do differently?
I did this marathon on the back of (a very consistent) 2 months. Another 4 weeks would have been ideal. Underdone? I'd say so. Over confident? I think so.

My longest training run was 28km. I believe it needs to be in the mid 30s. I now understand the concept of marathon pace. Somehow it didn't compute previously. It does now.

In hindsight I didn't wear the 4:45 pacing band because I thought it was too low a goal to aim for. I wish I'd worn it. That said I don't know if it would have made a difference.

The frustrating thing is I've never experienced quad pain. I felt as though my nutrition was spot on. I drank at almost every aid station and was very well hydrated prior to racing. I did get warm, but I've felt the effects of dehydration and it didn't feel like that. I don't feel as though I went out too hard. So I'm at a bit of a loss as to why it happened. Possibly too much forefoot striking?

Warm down:
Had to contain myself over the finish line. I felt like a good cry. Instead I got some orange quarters, endura and water. I sat down composed myself then headed out to meet the others collecting my medal and t-shirt. Really I was just super relieved to be done.

What limited your ability to perform faster?
Quad pain.

Event comments:
Awesome event. So well organised, plenty of support out on course. 19C in the middle of a Melbourne winter. Yes please!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Monthly totals: June 2011

Bike: 5:30:17 | 126.2km
Run: 20:08:29 | 191.59km
Strength: 2:30
Bike trainer: 25m
Stretching: 10m

June was all about the run! I'm off to the Gold Coast today for Sunday's marathon. Then some r&r in Byron Bay. I'll be back in a week's time to share the details and get into some cycling to coincide with the Tour de France.