Saturday, August 27, 2011

A helping hand

These Chocolate Quinoa Protein bars got me through the week. I'll definitely be making another batch this weekend.

: 45m. Kicking, core and cardio.

Fri; run: 3:15:18 | 30km | 6:31/km. I cracked the 30k mark. Finally!! And I felt good majority of the time. There was a lot of positive self talk - I CAN do this. Pain set in at 28km, but that's a lot later than usual. I tried to drink every 2km and had nutrition at the 45m/1:30/2:15 mark.

Wed; kickboxing: 45m. First session in a week or more... Hard work. Lots of upper body strength - of which I have none.

Tues; run: 1:07:41 | 10.81km | 6:16/km. Running has not felt this effortless in quite some time. Ran home from work and loved every minute. Was prepared to have a battle on my hands, but nothing of the sort transpired. Dare I say it felt easy. Running is never easy!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekend snapshot

A perfect weekend with plenty of time spent outdoors. Bliss!

Run: 2:51:15 | 26.2km | 6:32/km. A touch slower than marathon pace, but I'm ok with that. I was struggling at the 22km mark, but pulled myself out of my negative thoughts and managed to continue on at a decent pace.

Sat; hike: 2:50 | 12 km. J is training for a trek in Nepal, he's trying to break his boots in and generally spend time on his feet. I said early on I was keen to join him and finally a free Saturday! If we weren't walking down, we were walking up. There didn't seem to be much in between. Super muddy.

Thurs; run: 30:51 | 4.72km | 6:32/km. My attempt at running home failed miserably. Just not 100% this week.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Forward Paddle Stroke Tutorial

After another tough session on the water I'm keen to put these ideas into practice. My current form is terrible and pretty much only involves the use of my arms which is seeing me boat lengths behind others.

Kayaking: 1hr involving "sprints" but it seems I only have one pace; slow!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Where did the time go?!

I go back to work tomorrow after six months off. Six months! Crazy. During the time I laid a whole lot of ground work for a new career/job, spent two months overseas visiting Europe for the first time and trained and ran the Gold Coast Marathon. Then I finally took up kickboxing and kayaking, after wanting to do so for a while. I also visited new places that have been on my go-to list for quite some time. And even cooked with Fennel for the first time.

Of course, I could have done more. But I needed to find a balance between activities and finances! I've had the most wonderful break and feel relaxed. Work is also supporting my return on a part-time basis. So as of next week I will have Friday off - I will use this primarily to get my long run in/massage/errands etc. If I am successful in my new path I will not have this level of flexibility for a very long time so I'm making the most of my situation now!

I do have reservations going back to my current job. It is emotionally draining and mentally taxing because I am so under stimulated. All the more reason to continue with a solid marathon preparation and keep up the kickboxing & kayaking!

Run: 59:07 | 10.01km | 5:55/km. Pretty happy to see some sub 6min kms. I feared they were long gone. Felt good running today for the first time in a while.

Kickboxing: 50m. This session had it all and I totally put 100% in. Felt really good to do so.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Slow bike Sunday

Finally we got to explore some of the Federation trail. Straight from wikipedia: Much of the trail follows the historic reservation of the "Main Outfall Sewer" which was built in the 1890s. At that time the sewer was the largest civil engineering project ever undertaken in Victoria.

Had we taken our racing bikes we would have got further. But beware the giant cracks in parts of the path - they would eat a road tire or two!

There are more scenic places to ride in Melbourne, but we decided we'd definitely have another go just to see where the path ends up. Plenty of other friendly cyclists out and about too.

Run: 2:20:14 | 21.53km | 6:31/km. I have not been in love with marathon training this week and was dreading this long run big time. I absolutely knew that once I started I wouldn't regret it. I also had to remind myself that it was at Marathon pace 6:30/km nice and easy. And while initially it was chilly the sun came out and it was seriously beautiful. The river like glass absolutely no wind at all. I was in good company with heaps of people out running, riding and kayaking.

Cycle: 1:10. On the Gazelle.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I yelled for Cadel

And he gave me a high five!!!!

Along with so many others. What a gracious Tour de France winner! He took his time riding down St Kilda Rd to Federation Square weaving back and forth with his arm outstretched. Once he'd passed, the crowd walked down the tram tracks to watch his interview on one of the big screens. Humble is an understatement.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Next week will be better... right?

The irony being that after six months leave, I go back to work next week!

I'm wondering if my kitchen mojo has replaced my training mojo. It's not really been my week. I haven't had the best sessions of late and the dreary weather isn't exactly enticing me to get out there and do more. When I do get out there I keep engaging the wrong muscles.

I'd rescheduled my massage for today (due to transportation issues earlier in the week), primarily to work on my left hip, but whacked myself so hard on the bath spout in that exact spot that little work could be done there. There was plenty of other muscle soreness to contend with. Official diagnosis from my therapist: ridiculously tight ITB on each side. Touch wood I can still run!

Run: 40:11 | 6.36km | 6:19/km. Another run that was meh. I cut it 20min short and will tack that on to my long run tomorrow.

Wed; run: 1:14:36 | 11.55km | 6:28/km. The main set of this run was 6x 500m efforts, 1 min standing rest. With a warm up and cool down. Moving time average was 6:00/km. My legs were super tight from the kayaking session (a further indication that my form in Tuesday's session was off) and I struggled with form during the speedwork.

Wed; kickboxing: 50m. Plenty of core work and finally some kicking. Turns out my hamstring flexibility needs a whole lot of work.

Tues; kayaking: 1hr. Welcome to Struggle town. Population 1. Me! In hindsight, the full length wetsuit was too much for a morning on the bay with plenty of cloud cover and little wind. Overheating totally zapped my energy. It also didn't help that I hadn't quite pulled the wetsuit up over my shoulders properly, so I fatigued in there very quickly. Once I'd readjusted I did a little better, however as much as I tried to rotate and engage my core, it just wasn't happening for me, I was well behind everyone.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What snow?

Let's face it there was about as much snow at Mt Buller this weekend as there was when we visited last Easter. After raining all Friday night we opted not to go up the mountain Saturday, same again Sunday even though they'd had 7cm of snow. It wasn't quite enough to cover what they'd lost. So while it was a change of scenery it was essentially a weekend of sloth. Which is kind of what we needed.

So I packed it in yesterday.

Mon; run: 2:02:58 | 19.02km | 6:28/km. I was so hoping this run would go better. After 50 mins I pretty much had to stop every two kms to stretch out my right hip flexor/groin because there was a whole lot of pain - like I'd pulled it. So not ideal. I was hoping to come back strong after all that rest!

Mon; ride: 1:05 | 23.84km | 22km/hr. All part of a vehicular debacle which saw the Man accidentally take the keys to the van. Only too late did I realise the van had parked in the scooter as a result I missed my massage and rode the bike in to pick up the van key.

Mon; kickboxing: 50m. After the events of the day I was exhausted. And while I rocked up I wasn't really there. There was a particularly tricky exercise that I couldn't master and as a result spent a lot of the class trying to catch up on drills.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Recent eats

I seem to have got my kitchen mojo back. It comes and goes, I know that and I've just had to ride through it. I only ever share recipes I'd make again. These all fit the bill. The first two also come with calorie/kilojoule counts which will be handy for when I'm using Fitday again. Any day now...

Gina's skinny recipes came through with the (baked) goods; this household was a fan of the Chewy Granola Bars. I subbed dried cranberries for raisins and made it with a flax egg (1 tbs ground flax + 3 tbs water) purely because I didn't have any eggs. Worked a treat, though I do advise waiting until cool to cut. I was totally impatient and a corner broke off. Still tasted good.

I have a summer haloumi recipe, but stumbled across this winter one (you'll need to scroll down). Warm mushrooms + haloumi = delicious and super quick which is perfect after a kickboxing session.

The snapper and kipfler potato recipe is slightly modified from Donna Hay's magazine. I've been wanting to try it for ages. Our new oven is super powerful, I'd look at roasting the potatoes for 20 mins next time!
Serves 2

400g kipfler potatoes thinly sliced
1 garlic clove thinly sliced
handful sage leaves
200g snapper fillet cut into 4
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 200C (400F) • Place potato, garlic, and sage on baking tray, spray or drizzle with oil • Roast for 30 mins • Increase temperature to 220C (425F) • Brush/spray fish with oil and season with salt and pepper • Add fish to tray with potatoes and cook for 10 mins.

I served it with some greens and a salsa verde mayo:
Small handful parsley
1/2 tbs chopped chives (I keep chopped frozen chives on hand)
1/2 clove garlic crushed
lemon zest
lemon juice
all mixed with (light) whole egg mayo.

Today I rest. 2hr run was on the cards, but we're heading away this weekend and there's food to cook and a car to source. Transmission in current car gone rendering it un-driveable. Pushing the long run out to Monday.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In case you hadn't heard...

Ironman Melbourne

Oh man, how tempting it is to make a comeback for this.
Unfortunately due to my possible work status it's unlikely I could get the training in, if I can't race I sure as hell want to volunteer!

Run: 55:26 | 8.75km | 6:20/km. I was pumped to do my two hour run today, until I actually started running. I'm not entirely sure what was the go, tired? Dehydrated? The epic wind? I ended up making this my 15min effort run. And boy, was it an effort, even with a tailwind. I might try for two hours tomorrow, or I might just give it a rest for a couple of days.

Wed; run: 1:22 | 12km | 6:50/km. Included 15 x 300 hill repeats. That's 9km of running up and down a hill. I was so close to quitting so many times, but I wanted to be able to hold my head up high and say 'yes, I did what my training calendar asked of me'. Today I did that.

I wore the Vibrams for my 10 min warm up and not 10 min cool down on the grassy oval. Trying to ease back into them gently.

Wed; kickboxing: 50m. Lots of core and upper body work. Exhausting fun!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Salomon Trail Run; Race 2

The short version: 1:35:48 | 12.5km | 7:40/km

Pre-race routine
Being directionally challenged and all, I left Melbourne with plenty of time to get to Mt Macedon. I cranked up the heater and listened to the live music from Splendor in the Grass and an hour before I was set to run started eating my stale bread & jam sandwich. Mmm dry.

Event warmup:
Parked the car with 10 mins to racing and walked to the start line. Opted to wear t-shirt plus arm warmers, so while it was fresh to start, it wasn't freezing. I popped some powerbar shots.

We got a race briefing, but I couldn't hear a thing because people were talking loudly, I got the gist, follow the pink/red/orange signage.

Seeded myself towards the back.

Run comments:
And we're off. I had no idea what to expect or how hard the course would actually be. The profile looked kinda nasty, but I didn't want to think about it too much.

I wanted to start conservatively. The first two kms were downhill. All good. From kilometre 2-8 it was a gradual climb. The terrain was a mix of 4WD track, grass and single track.

At 4km I ditched the arm warmers. I ran behind a guy whose footing was incredibly solid, for some reason it gave me a whole lot of confidence and I did my best to stay with him.
At 6 km I seriously questioned my sanity, but did my best to push those thoughts out of my head. At 7km we came to a clearing that had stunning views and a hugely rocky terrain that was un-run-able. I got out the iPhone to snap a few pics and in doing so I think I was snapped by the photographer slacking off. We had a laugh. 8km was all about the water stop. I wasn't thirsty so much as needed a proper excuse to walk.

Then it got hard. Just after the water stop we descended. There was no running involved at all, it was just a slippery muddy slope, complete with awkward rocks. There was lots of tree holding in this section and it was frustratingly slow going and I'd lost my guy by then. At the end of the descent it was all uphill to the finish. There was a group of about 5 of us whom I thought would make it to the finish line together. Except they were walking when I thought I could run and so I ran albeit slowly.

1.5km to go was the toughest, I was doing the run/walk thing between posts and surprisingly passing people. I caught up with a girl I went to uni with and got her to start running again. Finally at half a kilometre to go it flattened out, she took off, I did my best to stick with her but it wasn't happening. And finally the finish line. In the end I finished a second in front of her!

What would you do differently?
It's easy to get caught up in a group of people walking. I know this happened in the marathon and it happened for a little out on the course today. Yes it was tough, there were some hills so steep that running up them was futile, but on some sections I asked myself why am I walking. I have to be more mindful.

Warm down:
We were provided with a goody bag and I was able to get some water, electrolyte and protein recovery drink to have on the way home. I made my way pretty quickly back to the car because I had to get back to Melbourne.

What limited your ability to perform faster:
I'd say hill training would have helped.
I also seem to have no confidence in my foot placement. Does this come?? Any trail training tips and I'll take them!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hanging out

With the taste of Spring that we're having wetsuits dry outside in no time!

: 1 hr. Windier but warmer than last week, which was a bonus because this week I ended up in the water. However it was surprisingly easy to get back into the kayak. Must remember to wear the Garmin next week, would be very interesting to know how much distance we (don't) cover!

: 1:00:10 | 9.11km | 6:34/km. I procrastinated on this run big time. The wind was rather off putting and it did contribute to the runs' toughness. I opted for hills and in hindsight would have been better to run on the flat. I felt tired and lethargic. The entire hour was a battle. My hips/ITB feel awesome after yesterday's massage, calves and ankles not so much, lots of tightness there.

Mon; kickboxing
: Boxing/kickboxing bouts interspersed with core/strength work. I feel like a bit of a burden on some of my classmates, for the most part they are incredibly helpful and willing to offer advice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monthly totals: July 2011

Bike: 42:22 | 17.52 km
Run: 15:55:32 | 147.29km
Strength: 37m
Kayaking: 1hr
Kickboxing: 45m
Martial Arts: 1hr
Bike trainer: 2:21
Race Volunteering: 5:30
Walking: 4:20

Probably the biggest variety of activities I've done in a while. Strength suffered, I found it incredibly difficult to motivate myself to get it done. The aim for August is to focus on the first five on the list and get each of their times up.