Monday, December 28, 2009

Finally Back to Marathon Clinic

Hope you all had a good Xmas and that my fellow Kiwis enjoyed the unusually fantastic weather - what a scorcher eh?! For those who had been hanging out to find out what was in the garage it turned out to be a rather fabulous sun lounger - looks great on the new deck and is a great alternative to running :-)
Monday I finally managed to drag myself out of mincepie induced apathy for a 40 min run, which was fine but I had sore legs yesterday as a result, I think because I added a bit of speedwork, it was certainly not hill induced as it was a very flat run. Yesterday, being Tuesday I thought I'd better get myself down to marathon clinic before they sent out a search party. As it turned out there was hardly anyone there - all off at the beach most likely. There were about 10 walkers but only 2 other runners, so it was just me Maurie and USA Peter. I knew I wasn't up to anything major so we went off towards the lake in case the boys were feeling adventurous as they could head off into Frankton from there. As it happened USA Peter was struggling more than me so we all just did a lap of the lake and then headed back, so a not overly rapid 50 mins in all, one hill and a couple of gentle inclines, which suited me fine! Got home to find JB2 had finally responded to my text to let me know she wasn't going to running....! Today my quads are still complaining a little, so I think a few weights this afternoon will do me fine, although BIP is heading out for a run as she needs to start training for master's hockey tournament.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Quick Trot

My great plan to use my extra free time to do plenty of running has so far amounted to nothing - due to a combination of heaps of jobs to do and not really being bothered. Anyway despite having lots on today I reckoned I could fit in a quick run. I had to drop BIP's car into the garage first thing for a service, it was due to be done by 1 and I had a haircut in Ham East at 12.30 so took my bike in with me so that I could get around while the car was in the garage. I really dislike cycling in town - too many cars, people and glass all over the road - ugh, give me country roads and milk tankers any day, at least they usually give me a wide birth. Anyway BIP's car needed new breakpads which of course didn't arrive when they said they should, so when I went back to the garage at 2 it was going to be at least another couple of hours. Luckily they had a courtesy car I could take home so I left BIP's car (and my bike which wouldn't fit into the back of the Suzuki Swift they loaned me) at the garage and came home - will pick them up in the morning after physio. It was 3pm by now, and I have some baking to do before the choir drinks here tonight, but reckoned I had a couple of hours to play with so popped out for a 40 min trot. It was very humid out there, but managed to get round without any major grumbles. So if you're reading this Santa I have been very good and done at least one run this week so hopefully see you soon (and then I can find out what the mystery in the garage is ...!). Happy Xmas readers, I'll be back with more attempts at getting and staying fit once I've sobered up :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

I Got Tagged

So a break from the norm, this blog is in response to my tag from Pretty Clever's Selina , so those of you who always wanted to know some random facts (in one word, supposedly... hmm one word, seriously when did I ever use one word when ten would do?) about me, here goes!

1. Where is your phone? Kitchen
2. Your hair? Short
3. Your Mom? Dead
4. Your Dad? Wales
5. Your favorite meal? Anything I didn't cook
6. Your last dream? Annoying
7. What do you like to drink? Tea
8. Your dream? Financial security
9. In what room are you? Lounge
10. Your hobby? Running
11. What are you afraid of? Too many things to even contemplate a single word answer
12. Last travel? Europe
13. Where were you last night? Party
14. Something you are not? Astronaut
15. Muffins? Oh go on then
16. Wishlist? Long
17. Where did you grow up? Wales
18. Last thing you did? Buy Xmas tree
19. What are you wearing? casual
20. Your television? On
21. Your pet(s)? Dogs(2) Cats(2)
22. Your friends? Varied
23. Your life? Full
24. Your temper? Infrequent
25. Do you miss someone? Yes
26. Your car? Impreza
27. Something you don’t bring with you? A handbag (don't even own one!)
28. Your favorite shop? Favourite shop?? You're kidding right -- people have favourite shops?!
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. Last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Can't remember - wow!
32. Your best friend? Stephen H
33. A place where you can go again and again? Thailand
34. Facebook? Frequently
35. Favorite place to eat? Domaine, Hamilton

So there you have it, I think I'm supposed to pass this on via blog tag so will get around to that at some point. Enjoy and merry Xmas :-)

Running on a Sunny Afternoon

While I am a little jealous of the fact that it looks like parts of the UK will get snow for Xmas I'm also enjoying our sunny days. After our dept Xmas lunch yesterday I managed to get away from work at 3pm giving me time for a run of about 40 mins. The cold breeze that has been lurking for the past couple of days had kicked in again which stopped me overheating and I had a pleasant 40 min gentle trot and hardly whinged about my shoes at all :-) In the evening we had our choir xmas carol parties where we went along to a couple of people's houses and sang for their party guests in return for a bit of food and wine. We had all been a bit iffy about the second place but it turned out fine and was lots of fun.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Road Run at Last - Hurray!

What with bad reactions to anti-flams, long summer cycles and late meetings at work (meaning I missed Tueday at mc) I seem to have been doing all of my running on the treadmill lately, so lunchtime today I took advantage of another lovely day and decided to hit the pavements instead. Yesterday was a death by treadmill day, although I have had to up the speed and hill incline as it was no longer living up to its name (in fact it should really be extreme hardship by treadmill at the moment as even with the new speed etc it's not as much of a killer as in ye olde days) but I was feeling fine today so just went out for a short (30 mins) run to see if I could still hack it on the road. Not too shabby actually, I even threw in some speed work on the way back (although slowed down too much on the recovery bits so it took me just as long to get back as it had to go out - doh!). It definitely felt like the first road run for a while - it really is quite different from the treadmill, but was fine (although I did managed to grumble about my shoes on more than once occasion...!). Even managed a few weights when I got back to the gym before my shower. Back to the physio tomorrow to report that since my first visit my shoulder has got noticably worse - not sure this was the intended result.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lots of Cycling & Even More Ham

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day (sandwiched by rainy mornings on Saturday and today), perfect for BIP's Xmas golf tournament at Te Awamutu. I was planning on going in for the prize-giving and bbq so rather than take two cars, BIP drove in and I set off a few hours later on my bike. It's a fairly challenging 42(ish) km trip, first half is fairly flat and on reasonably quite country roads but the second half out through Ohaupo is quite undulating and on a busier road. I decided to just take it slowly, and gave myself 2 and a half hours to pootle out there; There was a fair breeze around, but despite a couple of hard bits when it was a head wind I was greatful for it as it stopped it being too hot. I stopped after an hour for an apple break (and to reapply sunscreen) but still made it to the centre of TA in two hours. Earlier than planned, so I stopped in town for a coffee before heading to the golf club for a shower and change of clothes. It was a thoroughly pleasant cycle, no mad drivers threatening my life and apart from the final set of hills before TA not too tiring. I'm suprisingly unstiff today, which may mean that it will take until tomorrow for me to feel the effects, or maybe taking it reasonably slowly means I won't get sore at all.
BIP had good golf and came 2nd, winning a whole ham!! This is on top of the half ham she won last weekend at the Pirongia golf tourny. Hmmm, perhaps they need to consider a vegetarian alternative, there is only so much ham BIP can eat and I suspect we were already well over that quota last weekend! I think the half ham may end up as someone's Xmas present and the whole ham will be portioned out between MAL, the aunt and H. The dogs will, of course, be hoping for a share too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Artificial Hills

Have been feeling fine since Weds (no more anti-inlams for me!) but didn't want to risk a road run today just in case so it was back to the treadmill for an interval hill run. I wonder how similar treadmill hills are to real hills? I guess it's similar to the general road/treadmill running relationship, i.e. they both work in different ways so whenever you switch from one to the other it always seems hard!! Acting on some insane impulse that I cannot begin to explain when I was doing some abs and weights after my run I put in a couple of sets of lunges. I can't remember the last time I did lunges, needless to say by the time I got back up the hill to my office I could barely make it up the stairs!! What was I thinking?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

KO'd by Anti-Inflammatories

Along with the lecture on not leaving things so long before getting treatment, the physio I saw last week also recommended taking anti-inflammatories for a few days to see if that would also help settle my shoulder down a bit. Now we have a houseful of anti-inflams, voltarin (aka diclofenac) has seen both BIP and I through a variety of broken bones, torn muscles, strains, sprains and migraines over the years and was once described by a friend of mine as the morning after pill for hockey players of a certain age. Anyway, suffice to say I have never had any problems taking it and it's always contributed admirably to the healing/pain relief process. Until now. On Friday I took a tablet with lunch (because of course I also have some in my work drawer) and then another later at home with dinner. Saturday morning I was sick as a dog. Without going into the sorts of details unwelcome in a cheery little sports blog let's just say that the 'possible side effects may include an upset stomach' was putting it a little mildly. It took most of the day to recover but by Sunday I was fine again, apart from some odd bruises that had appeared on the top of my feet apropos of nothing I could recall. By Monday I was beginning to wonder if it was indeed the voltarin (which seemed so unlikely) and maybe I'd just picked up a 24 hour bug from somewhere. Only one way to find out right? Pop another pill. Tuesday morning I woke up feeling a little odd, and within half an hour the verdict was conclusive - I have developed an inability to stomach (literally!) voltarin. Blast, damn and bugger!! Apart from feeling wretched all of Tuesday right through until I went to bed, it's just so annoying - sometimes anti-inflammatories are the only things that keep me functioning. I need advice, what do other people with sensitive stomachs take instead of voltarin? Needless to say I did not get out on Tuesday night for a run with mc, which I might add I'd been looking forward to this week. By yesterday (Weds) I was fine again, so hit the treadmill for some speed work and hope to get out for a proper road run after work today. Hmph.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Two Runs and a Physio Appointment

So I finally got around to seeing the physio about my shoulder. It seems I have an inflamed rotator cuff, the good news is there don't appear to be any tears, just inflammation, the bad news is that rotator cuffs are notoriously slow to heal. Oh, I also learned that even if something doesn't hurt very much it's not a good idea to wait 3 months before seeing a physio, apparently. Meanwhile back in the world of running I did a 30 min speed interval run on the road yesterday which wasn't as hideous as you might imagine, and then it was back to death by treadmill at the gym lunchtime today. DBT definitely felt easier today than last week which is a good sign and means that perhaps the interval training is paying off as planned, will see how tomorrow evening's mc run is I guess. I still hate my shoes, but they don't rub and there's nothing actually wrong with them so I guess I just have to put up with them and hope they wear out really quickly!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lovely Lovely Running, Tra la la la

Another treadmill run today. Thirty minutes with the aim of keeping the speed above my comfort zone for most of the run, so the aim was to get used to running while being more out of breath than usual to help fitness, stamina and getting out of that mental panic mode of 'oh my god I can't breath I'm going to die' - there may be some cases where this is true but generally it's not the case. A few weights again afterwards, interestingly although I can't do shoulder press exercises with my dodgy shoulder I can do lat pull downs, which in terms of the movement is just the opposite - mind you I have no idea if that has any significance! I do now have the number of the physio who (mostly) fixed BIP's rotator cuff problem with her shoulder so will give her a call later and see if she can mend me too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Return of Death By Treadmill

Hot on the heels of my last post (which was of course the last moan before Xmas) here is the new ultra-positive happy me full of joy and bounce! So my experience last night made it clear I have two options, give up running and embrace life as a couch potato (tempting......) or up my fitness levels, and quickly, so I don't have to undergo such horrid running conditions again next week. Of course the best way to up fitness levels quickly is doing interval training, so lunchtime today meant a trip to the gym and a return to my fave. interval treadmill routine (aka death by treadmill) which consists of:
5 min warm up
5 x intervals of 1 min fast, 1 min recovery, 1 min med. pace hill, 1 min recovery
5 min cool down
So a 30 minute power interval run guaranteed to leave me in a heap of red-faced sweatiness (there's an image you'll want to carry round with you for the rest of the day) and instantly boost my fitness by, oooh I don't know, lots of whatever you measure fitness in - ooomphitudes?
I finished up with a few weights and confirmed that my dodgy shoulder is well and truly poked and I should probably take it to a physio at some point soon. But I'm not complaining about, on no sireee.

Last Moan and Whinge Before Xmas

Since I got back from overseas I have spent most of my blogging moaning about how hard it is to get back into running. I realise this probably doesn't make for particularly interesting reading and so hereby decree to cut out the whinging and find something positive to write, at least until Christmas! I had to give myself one last moany blog so I could report on last night's total fail. Went out with the marathon clinic and our group consisted of me, JB2, Lynny and Maury. Unfortunately JB2 was no longer recovering from a run of epic proportions (see last week's mc blog) and so I was well and truly running (or should that be crawling) anchor. I can honestly admit that had I been on my own I'd have given up after about 15 minutes, as I wasn't I had to drag myself round the lake (one lap was torture, this is the lake I was doing four laps of for training only a few months ago!!) I tried to persuade the others to head off once we were halfway round as they were planning a longer run than I could manage, but bless them they stayed with me all the way back to the top of the hill (2 minutes from HQ) and then went their own way. I was less than grateful for this at the time but now send a bit THANK YOU to them as it meant I ran for 50 minutes, considerably longer than I would have had they left me to it. Ugh, it was horrible, miserable and all things bleargh. And I hate my new running shoes. So there.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cycling and Xmas Running Do

I had quite a few things to do on Saturday and wanted to get out for a bike ride for an hour too so worked out I had to be up and out by 8.30 in order to get everything else done and then get to the dog groomer by 1 with Mabel and Teddy. BIP was out for golf by 8.15 so I was awake and ready to go but rushed out without checking the weather which meant a gloomy cycle in windy weather that I probably would have avoided otherwise - the wind does play havoc with my ears! Apart from that a nice bit of biking not too strenuous but enough of a challenge to be worth getting up for. Sunday was the marathon clinic xmas do which firstly entailed getting out of bed at 6.15am - on a Sunday!! Seriously this is why I don't normally do the Sunday morning mc runs, both BIP and I very unimpressed at losing our 1 lie in of the week! Weather was grey and drizzly which didn't bode well, but by the time JB2 arrived at ours at 7.15 and we'd driven into town it was looking a little better. All aboard the coach for our mystery trip. First stop was at the Arapuni dam where we got out to have a walk across the swing bridge (picture left), which was actually pretty cool as the gully is very pretty and the power station perched on the edge below the cliffs in a fairly impressive manner. Then back onto the coach to the next stop down the road which was near part of the Waikato river trails. Morning tea consisted of orange juice and mince pies and then we set off for the run/walk along the Arapuni Dam to Jones Landing part of the trail. In the end I opted to walk as the trail was very uneven with lots of tree roots etc and I didn't fancy tripping and breaking an ankle or ending up in the river!! Still BIP and I kept up a healthy pace and there were some challenging climbs along the way, not least the 5 mins up to the lookout point and so it was a good workout anyway. The trail took about 50 mins before rejoining the road and finding where the coach was parked next to the river at Jones landing (picture on right). Some of the braver (madder?) members of the group took the opportunity for a swim in the river, but a brief paddle was enough to reassure me that it was far to cold to swim in! Billy had brought a bottle of wine with him (good thinking!) so 6 of us indulged in that while the more sedate members of the group had tea and coffee and played a bit of boule. Then secret santa dispensed a variety of 'interesting' gifts before we settled down to lunch. On the way back to Hamilton we had a brief stop at the Maungatautari reserve, not enough time to go in but had a brief look at the pest-proof fence and were lucky enough to see one of the pairs of Takahe wandering around (see top picture). I will definitely be coming back out this way again for a proper visit as it's worth a day trip in its own right. Back home by 3pm and lots of snoozing on the sofa to recover from the early start.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

If In Doubt, Blame the Shoes

Really couldn't drag myself out on Tuesday night for marathon clinic, but as it turned out both JB2 and L bailed as well so glad I didn't bother! We're obviously all saving ourselves for the running club Xmas do on Sunday. For those of you wondering what a running club Xmas do consists of (oooh I bet you are) we all head off to a mystery location in a coach and when we get there, we run!! We also have a list of things to take with us, including togs, towels etc so I'm guessing we're either heading to the beach or a swimmable lake, and then we eat drink and be merry :-)
Feeling a teensy bit guilty about missing Tuesday I got myself out yesterday evening instead for a 40 min circuit, but boy oh boy did my feet feel heavy. I'm wondering if all this extra bounce and support in the heels of my new shoes comes at a cost? Are they really heavier than my last ones? Hmmm, we'll never know as I've already biffed the old ones, buy I may compare them with a previous incarnation which currently act as gardening shoes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Breaking in New Shoes

A busy week last week followed by a full on weekend and a pair of runners that were kaput all conspired to derail any attempts at running since last Tuesday. This highlights the power of goals, if I was training for something you can be sure that none of these factors would have stopped me getting out and doing it, but ho hum I shall refocus this week and start thinking seriously about the summer series runs which should strike enough fear into me to get me back into regular running. I went into Smiths sports shoes on Saturday and the good news was they had $100 off Mizuno runners (my runner of choice) so I could have got a pair the same as my current defunct ones for just $99 - what a bargain! Of course it also meant that I could spend $199 and get a really flash top of the range pair (still saving $100, so also a bargain) - which is what I did! They have an open style heel (see pic) which will apparently give me more support and spring in the heel which is where I need it most as I have a heavy heel strike. I'm certainly expecting them to last me more than 6 months though so will have to wait and see how well they wear. I took them out for a spin this evening, just a 30 min trot to make sure they weren't going to cause me any problems when I head out with MC tomorrow night. I suspect that once again the shoes will be the least of my worries.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Surviving My First Week Back at MC

Thank heaven's for Toi's challenge at Whakatane last weekend. An off road 18.5 km run which has been known to bring experts to their knees (see picture for just one of the sets of steps/stairs that form part of the course). No of course I didn't do it! But luckily for me JB2 did which meant she was still stuffed on Tuesday evening and I was therefore able to keep up with her for our 60 min run with the marathon clinic :-) Other than that it was pretty much as I expected, damn hard - but as usual getting it done meant that in theory the next run will be easier and I can start thinking about what my next goal is and what sort of running I need to do to meet it. There's a half marathon in January which I am pretty definitely Not going to do - so maybe I'll just hold off until Rotorua in May and in the mean time concentrate on the Summer series which incorporates a 16km, 17km and 18km in various places. Perhaps I should just concentrate on getting back to a reasonable speed for 10km first .... Oh, and I need some new running shoes, I'd just about killed mine by the end of the great flood (aka Hamilton half) and have worn them to death on my travels over the past month, so I guess a Saturday visit to Smith's sport shoes is in order.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Struggling On

Having decided that I needed to get out running at least twice before running group tomorrow, and having not managed to get out at all over the weekend (in my defence I was very busy with a loooooong list of jobs, that'll teach me to go away for 3 and a half weeks!!) I had to bite the bullet and head out for a lunchtime run today. It really is starting to get too hot for lunchtime running, but as the alternative was getting out of bed early this morning (I may still be waking up at 5.30 am but that doesn't mean I want to get out of bed before 7) I had only myself to blame. With no jetlag to distract me this time I got to experience the full horror of my depleted fitness, and look forward to sharing this with the mc crew tomorrow evening! On a positive note, however, I did the same circuit I ran last Thursday and got back 2 minutes quicker so I guess it's not all doom and gloom. I also didn't frighten anyone in the ladies toilet after my shower this time (honestly you'd think some people had never seen a woman with a face like a tomato drying her hair in a hand dryer before....).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fly, Sleep, Run

Hellooooo! Did you miss me? Did you worry that I had sunk into a holiday orgy of food, wine, beer and not given exercise a thought for weeks? Well, almost true, but here I am safely back home in NZ and ready to return to normality again. I got back at midday on Wednesday and was back to work yesterday (Thursday). Was feeling a bit shabby from tiredness and jet lag so went for a run at lunch time, partly to keep myself awake (even I have never managed to fall asleep running) and partly due to the impending fear that I have to go back to marathon clinic next Tuesday and wanted to have got at least a couple of runs done by then so that if I'm going to do anything embarassing like faint or throw up I can do it all by myself!! I also reasoned that as I was feeling grotty already a run wasn't going to make me any worse. 35 minutes later this proved to be true, as while I was hot and feeling the effects of doing very little for a few weeks, I didn't feel worse than when I'd started. Coming back to long days and Spring weather is helping me stay awake until a reasonable hour (I managed to keep my eyes open until 10pm last night) but unfortunately I was wide awake at 5 this morning. Ah well, the price we pay for the jetset lifestyle :-)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Good Vibrations

Had been thinking about a run yesterday afternoon as I was on my way back from a pamper trip into Covent Garden (leg wax if that's not too much information!) but when I got in Mark was about to head to the Gym so I tagged along with him. Went to the Virgin Express gym in Wood Green, blimey it was hot in there! Honestly I think they had heating on it was like working out in a sauna. Had a short treadmill run (don't ask) and then a few weights. I was a bit pushed for time but while on the treadmill had been eyeing up the vibration training machines - I've always fancied trying one out but not enough to pay to go to one of the vibra-train places in Hamilton so took the opportunity while I could. I didn't do much, just a couple of the basic 'poses' - to be honest it just felt odd and I can't imagine it was doing me any good - other that the basic stretch I was getting anyway without the vibration. But at least now I've tried it so I can tick that off the list of things I wouldn't bother to do again and look forward to getting back to some normal training in a couple of weeks when I'm home.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ally Pally

One of the (many) nice things about staying at G&M's is the proximity to Alexandra Palace, one of the many lovely green spaces that London has tucked all over the place. This combined with the unexpectedly mild Autumn weather was more than enough to encourage me to get out for a run this week. I must admit the 7 mins of running through Bounds Green Streets to get to the Park are not the nicest, but once there it was most pleasant to slowly (and I do mean slowly!) jog around parts of the grounds enjoying the view and the lovely weather. The short slow run left me more than a little hot and bothered which is a good warning of the things to come once I get home and start running properly again. In the meantime I'm getting plenty of walking done round the mean streets of London too so it's not all partying and beers.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Electro-Surfing and Wii-ing

My sister has an impressive collection of exercise equipment. Most of it, she would be the first to admit, is unused and buried somewhere in the house never to be seen again. However since my arrival in Dawley I have been eyeing up the Bodi-Tek machine which is still new enough to be out in the open in the lounge and available for use, and so in the name of blog-research I decided to give it a go. The machine aims to target core muscles and leg muscles by simulating surfing type motions which make you readjust your balance and work to keep upright and stay on the board. There are 3 levels of difficulty and each pre-programmed session lasts for 15 mins. I lasted less than 5 minutes on level 1 - and this included falling off once! I think my feet got more of a work out than anything else - clearly I was trying to grip on with these rather than relying on my core and balance and I got terrible cramp in my toes and feet which is what caused me to give up fairly quickly. As an exercise machine I give it a fail, although my sister has managed to get up to level 3 and says that she can feel the effects on core and leg muscles after using it. Oh, and my heart rate was 90 when I got off, which I guess is not bad for something you can do in front of the telly. Think I'll stick to sit ups and running! Later in the evening we had a session on the Wii balance board which included slalom skiing, ski jumping, heading footballs and a step aerobics session. I was consistently sucky at all of the things that involved shifting balance - I guess practice is required to work out how far to move etc. on a more positive note I was pretty successful at the step routine and it was so much more enjoyable than step classes at the gym as there was no one shouting at you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reactivated Legs

After over a week off I finally got my running legs working again today. Nearly put off by the rain (ha! just like being at home) but thankfully it stopped so I managed to get myself out. Took it very easy, just a gentle 40 mins with my major goal being to not get lost - which I just about achieved with one minor hiccup at the last roundabout on my way home (but quickly reset myself back on the right path). My sore butt had finally just about recovered from being squished to death on the flight, but I could certainly feel it as I plodded along on my run - I assume it was doing it good. Now back at my sister's lowering the tone of the neighbourhood with my running gear hanging out of the window :-)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Long Way From Home

This latest blog is brought to you from the slightly chilly domain of South Wales. Have been in the UK for 2 days now and just about recovering from the trip over. I swear each time I fly planes get more uncomfortable. Is it just me or does everyone else get a really sore butt after 10 hours on a plane? I had to sit on a cushion from Singapore to London...!
My left knee also totally seized up and is still grizzly, I should really get out and have a run on it, kill or cure! I suspect not today although by tomorrow I'll probably be stir crazy enough to need to get out for at least a short run. Despite my moaning it's great to be back in blighty, albeit for a short visit, will make the most of my holiday week before I head to London and start thinking about work again (which reminds me I really should finish that presentation ....). The wonders of skype on an iPod touch means I've been able to chat to BIP for free despite the fact that I've got my laptop with me - that must count as cool technology in anyone's book :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crash and Burn

I was a bit iffy about going down to the marathon clinic for this evening's run, but as I'm going to be away for the next 4 weeks I thought I should really make the effort to catch up with everyone. Anyway it was one of 'those' runs - hideous from start to finish. I think my exertions in the garden yesterday had caught up with me and I pretty much had to drag myself around. L kindly said that we were going at a fair pace - but to be honest I was a human anchor all the way round and I don't think my pace was much to brag about! Ah well, it got done, now home to recover and who knows when I'll next get out for a run, I might even be looking forward to it by then.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who Needs a Gym?

Mindful of the fact that neither of us are getting any younger and that the various demands of hockey, running, cycling, touch rugby etc. leave both me and BIP in need of a bit of tlc every now and again we had a bit of a splurge at the home show last week and bought a spa pool. Yesterday Barry the builder came around to measure up the area where the new decking is going to house the spa, at which point the penny dropped and I realised that I had 5 days before I go away in which to clear the space where the deck is going. As luck would have it the deck is going in the one bit of the garden we've ever done anything with, in a fit of enthusiasm about 8 years ago we dug over a fairly large patch of the garden, levelled it, laid down weed mat, and then covered it with decorative stones and pebbles and paving flags. It was such a hideous amount of work it was enough to put us off doing anything else since - and now all those lovely stones and pavers have to be moved, all over again - ugh! So I spent 3 hours this evening shovelling stones into a trailer and dumping them over by the garage. This was after I'd moved 21 paving stones. I suspect more sore muscles tomorrow, and that's before I even start complaining about the blisters ... At least the worst of it is done, so if I can do a little bit before I go I won't be leaving too much work for BIP to do while I'm overseas.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bicycle! Bicycle!

Did I mention how sore my muscles were after doing weights last week for the first time in ages? Well on Friday I did a 30 min hill run on the treadmill and for the first 5 mins my pec muscles were squeak inducingly sore, hopefully anyone within earshot interpreted the "eep, eep" sounds as some sort of weird iPod sing along thing! Today is a beautifully sunny spring day - what a difference from the torrents of rain we got last Sunday, hmmph. Anyway I couldn't fight the urge to get on my bike any longer, so with a quick pump of the tires I was off and out to enjoy the sun. Just pootled out for a 50 min circuit which was undulating enough to be challenging but not so steep as to make me overly sorry in the morning. I feel this mad urge to get in as much exercise as possible over the next 5 days as 24 hours on a plane is looming - ugh!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Owww, Sore Muscles!

I was pleasantly surprised at how well my legs recovered from Sunday. Monday and Tuesday they felt fine, then on Tuesday evening I went for a short slow run (50 mins) with the marathon clinic gang and by Wednesday I was dead! It wasn't so much that my legs were sore/tired, I just felt totally and utterly exhausted. I managed to drag myself to the gym at lunch time as I've been promising myself a weights work out for weeks (I don't have the time/inclination to do weights when I have to fit in so much running but I do miss doing them). By the afternoon I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open, I bailed out of work early and managed to naps on the sofa before I had to go out to choir later that evening.
Thankfully today I seem to have caught up with most of the excess sleep my body was demanding and I feel almost back to normal again. But did I mention, owwww, my bicep, shoulder and back muscles are complaining mightily about the weights workout! I've also been promising myself a nice long cycle ride this weekend (weather permitting) so watch this space for more complaining about how sore my butt is next week (bet you can hardly wait!)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

All Over

After all the training I did in the rain it was fitting that today was probably the most hideous weather I have ever run in! Prior to the race it was totally throwing it down so I was drenched before we even started and it pretty much kept it up all the way through. The funny thing was that just after the start there were some parts of the path totally flooded and people were trying to run round rather than through - as if they somehow thought they were going to keep their feet dry!!! The course was damn hard, very undulating all the way through so much more challenging than Huntly which was flat apart from the 1.2 km hilly section. The nice thing about it was that it was an out and back course, so as soon as you got past the turnaround at 10.5km you knew you were on your way home. Also apart from the top section between Fairfield bridge and Pukete the river path and river road are runs that I've done often enough to be able to just plod my through pretty much on autopilot. So despite the weather and the hills I ran all the way and finished in just about the same time as I did Huntly in - which is a result on this course. More importantly, I did it - yay for me. How happy I was to get home and get in the bath and then into dry and warm clothes. The picture is just before the finish line, so I am actually running even though my feet are barely off the ground! Well done to BIP for actually getting me in the photo this time! This is me signing off then, half-marathon and blog done.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Training - Done!

Well there we have it, end of training. Didn't finish with a flourish as I had to cancel today's 30 min run due to tendonitis in my ankle and foot which kept me awake half the night! Thought about it this morning and decided that while missing my last 30 mins of training wasn't going to make much difference one way or another on Sunday aggravating an already inflamed tendon may well prove to be a bad move. So that's it until Sunday, iced my ankle and foot this morning then covered it in anti-flamme and have thrown a few anti-inflam pills down my neck for good measure, but I'm guessing that keeping off it pretty much from now until Sunday will also do the job and I'm sure it will be fine come 9am on Sunday -- although not sure what state it will be in after I finish! Ho hum, will report back on Saturday on half-marathon eve. Until then if you feel like having a run on my behalf, please go ahead :-)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So Close

55 minute run at lunch time today and I don't mind admitting that it was a total slog. For the second half my left knee and right foot were complaining constantly and my legs were tired and felt like lumps of lead. This is all a good thing, it's a reminder of how hard the last part of the run on Sunday is going to be and practice for just pushing on through it and carrying on regardless. The weather gods were kind to me again and it failed to pour down on my head which made a nice change from last week's lunch time runs. So, just one more training run tomorrow and then I'm nearly done.

Hurray for Daylight Saving

With the wild and stormy weather we had yesterday I wasn't at all convinced I was going to get out to the marathon clinic for my run last night. At around 3pm we had the most amazing thunder and lightning storm (accompanied by torrential rain) which culminated in a lightning strike on the lightning conductor on top of our building - if you haven't had the pleasure of that experience let me tell you it is LOUD! There was an almighty bang and flash (followed by several exclamations of "f**k" etc from various offices, then a general milling about in the corridor of nervous academics trying to regain their composure before heading back to their desk to back everything up on their computer!!
Anyway, amazingly the rain stopped, I got to the clinic and we had a 70 minute run in the dry in pleasant temperatures. The added bonus was that the clocks went forward last weekend so it was still light when we finished running - it just made it feel so much nicer! I have to confess to struggling through at least 45 mins of the run, but to be fair the route we took was mainly uphill until the last section so I can be forgiven for that.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

One Week to Go

Clocks went forward over night, and having had a late night and a little more wine than was strictly necessary (!) there was no danger of me getting out early for my run today. After all the rain we've been having it was a relief to have a dry day. By the time I got out this afternoon it was quite sunny, but there was some cloud and wind about so that kept the temperature reasonably bearable. I went out for an hour and 45 mins and had a fairly good run so feeling pretty much ready for next weekend. My feet are a little sore now, so I'm chilling out on the sofa with my compression tights on looking forward to a relaxing night.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One Week to Go

The end of my penultimate training week. The weather yesterday was so hideous that I gambled on today being better - forecast was for showers - and saved my last run of the week until today. It had been quite clear and bright first thing so I was hopeful of a fairly dry run, however the 'showers' turned out to be short downpours rather than light sprinkles. Just after I set off there was a torrential downpour for about 3 minutes which was so ridiculously heavy I could barely run I was laughing so much, honestly it was insane! It more or less stayed dry for the rest of the run (in fact the sun was out so I was steaming nicely!) until the last 10 minutes when there was another downpour, just in time as I had more or less dried out! So, that's it for another week and just one week to go until the half-marathon. Current plan is a day off tomorrow, a long run (about 1 and a half hours) on Sunday, day off Monday, an hour with the mc on Tuesday, 50 mins on Weds and then maybe a short, slow jog on Thursday to finish off the week and give myself 2 days off before the event on the Sunday. I'm looking forward to the damn training being over, I can't wait to just be able to go out for a run when I want to rather than having my schedule looming over me -- I guess I'm at that point where I'm just a bit over it :-)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Wet, Wet, Wet

After all my raving about the beautiful spring weather we've been having, normal service has now resumed and it's cold and wet! I'm playing catch up again having missed last night's mc run (ha - it wasn' raining then either, that will teach me!) so had to brave the weather for a 70 minute lunch time run. Actually I don't mind running in the rain, although when it gets very heavy (as it did several times) it gets a bit tedious. Also because of the cold wind I'd put my long sleeved running top on, which I was glad of for about 10 minutes and then spent the rest of the run too hot and bemoaning the fact that the amount of water the darn thing was absorbing (proof that it's good at it's job of pulling moisture away from my skin?!) was adding about 1kg of weight per 10 minutes of running! And when I got back I still had a face like a tomato, sigh.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What a Great Day

Despite not getting out for any running yesterday I'm feeling on top of my training and raring to go with just two weeks left. Went out today for two hours and had a great run, could easily have kept going for longer and felt great. A beautifully sunny Spring day with just enough of a breeze to stop it getting too hot. My water belt is a complete god send on days like this, there's no way I could go so far without water and any initial problems I had getting used to wearing it while running are more than outweighed by its usefulness.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Last Run of the Week

It's always a good feeling to reach the end of the training week (tomorrow being a rest day) with all targets hit. Just a short run at lunch time today, had planned to go out first thing but had a late night last night (LSG quiz which our team won - yay!) and so had a sleep in instead. Anyway today's plan was to do some speedwork so just did a no frills interval run with a faster warm up and then varying lengths of fast/slow until I was done. Over on one of the blogs I follow, feedmeimcranky, there has been a discussion about motivation and who or what motivates you. I've been thinking about this a lot (although not enough to get around to posting a comment on the subject - sorry!), I think generally my motivation is based around stubborness, once I've decided to do something I hate to fail so that's mostly what keeps me going. Plan for this weekend is a short hill run on Saturday and then another long run on Sunday, we'll see what eventuates.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Long and the Short

Last night was marathon clinic and I was hoping for an easy run of around an hour. Four of us went out together (the slow group) and although the first 20-30 were quite hard as my legs were still feeling the effects of Sunday we kept a nice easy pace and the second part of the run felt good. We ended up being out for an hour 20 with probably and hour 10 of running so longer than planned and a good effort. As this week is the last of my easier weeks I was only left with two short runs to do so hopped out at lunch time today for 30 mins which was actually really hard work - a combination of the heat and being tired. Nominally I only have to do 15 mins tomorrow so will do some speed work and stretch it out to 30 mins to make it worthwhile. Then another day off before I hit the weekend with an aim of doing one long run again (probably Sunday) and also a short hill session.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Big Run

I figured I needed to get a long run in this weekend to start getting my stamina up for the big day. So I had the luxury of a Saturday off and then this morning went in to the lake with the aim of doing an hour and 50 minutes of running. This involved four laps of the lake (plus a bit) which is not the most exciting runs but has some advantages - not least that it's totally flat and there are water fountains at several points around so I didn't need to carry water. The downside is that on a sunny day like today it's busy, so the run does involve dodging out of control children on bicycles and dog owners trying to stop an array of varying sized pooches from eating the ducks and the pukekos. Anyway, back to the run, it got done, it was fine, and now my legs are tired. Pretty much as expected. I feel good having got one long one under my belt and will try for another next weekend, once I've done a couple of hour 50 runs then I know that I can do 2 hours, and I already know that if I can do two hours I can finish the half-marathon. Right, sorted then. Oh, and for those of you who are non-Hamiltonians here's a pic of the lake.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Over the Hump?

Well against all odds I've reached the end of another training week and met my target - after last weekend being a wipeout and missing out on Tuesday night's mc run I didn't think I'd get there, but 4 lunch time runs of an hour got me back on track. Actually looking back it's been a good week as it shows that even when everything goes pear-shaped it's possible to get back on track and meet my targets. I think this was the week where I was ready to jack it in, I didn't think I'd done enough training so far and felt that with only 4 weeks to go I wasn't going to be prepared enough, but now I've got through the week and I'm on target hopefully the next 3 weeks will be mentally a bit easier and I can cruise towards the big day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tomato Face

The nice thing about running at lunch time at the moment is that we are getting beautifully sunny spring days which aren't too hot, and it's lovely being out and about and getting a break from my desk. The downside is that I spend the afternoon with a face like a tomato! My schedule is still all over the place this week (due to my continuing dodgy tummy). I didn't make it out the marathon clinic for my group run last night, which means I will have to run Friday to meet this week's target, which is ok but does make the weekend much harder. Finished off today's run by heading out round the outside roads of the Uni and up the hill at Edinburgh Street, it's short but steep - a nice mini cardio workout to finish.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Running vs. Swine Flu

My feeling of blearghness on Saturday didn't amount to much more than an attempt at a cold which I decided to pander to for 1 day so instead of trying to work out how to fit a run in on Sunday I went shopping instead. Good thing as it happens as 4 people didn't turn up for BIP's hockey game so I ended up playing a full game against fast young fit Varsity players! That will count as my speedwork training for the week. Today was another beautiful sunny day so went for a lunchtime run. Legs a bit tired from last night, but fine once I'd got into it. My stomach was still a bit dodgy though, so about half way round I dropped into a local medical centre for a 'comfort stop'. While I was availing myself of their facilities I was perusing some of the reading matter on the wall and was alarmed to discover I had 5 of the symptoms listed on their "Do you have Swine Flu?" poster (high temperature, aching limbs, tiredness, rapid heart-rate, clamminess or excessive sweating). At the bottom of the poster it said "If you were experiencing several of these symptoms please advise the receptionist that you may have swine flu" I was tempted to add "or you have just been running in the sun for 40 minutes".

Friday, September 4, 2009

Listen to Your Body

Yesterday was a rest day, but I actually turned into a bit of a crock one way and another. I had a really sore back which I think was the result of lifting a hay bale at a funny angle the day before, and also a mystery pain in my lower abdomen which was so non specific even Google couldn't tell me what it was. This morning I woke up feeling ok and took the dogs for a long walk first thing to try and access how everything was feeling and all seemed ok. My back was fine and the pain gone, although it did niggle a bit while walking. My planned run today was a 16km circuit as it's a good long run that I want to get done at least twice before the big day. I got ready but really wasn't feeling great - I assumed it was just my usual pre-run mind-sabotage attempt so headed out. I got about 20 mins before I realised that actually I was not going to make it any further, obviously I need to learn to tell the difference between general run -avoidance and genuine physical inability to do it some days! To make matters worse I then had to walk home which of course took much longer than the 20 mins it had taken me to run to the point where I stopped. So an unexpected rest day which will mean bigger runs later in the week but that's just how it goes I guess, will see how I get on tomorrow and just not worry too much about it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Frozen Fingers

Had an early (i.e. pre-work) outdoor run today for the first time in ages. BIP had taken the dogs out first thing and when she came back I though she said "it's really warm outside his morning", so I dressed accordingly. However when I went out to car to drive to the gym it was 2 degrees and there was ice on the windscreen -- turns out what she'd actually said was "it's really not warm outside this morning" ! The sun was up and the sky clear so it was a beautiful time to be outside but blimey my hands were cold. As I only had to do a short run I opted to do some speed work. It's so much harder not on a treadmill, firstly it's hard to guage how fast I'm actually running (slower than on the treadmill that's for sure!) and also much harder to keep going for as long, but I did a warm up lap of the Uni fields and then did the second lap a minute and a half faster so I did at least speed up a bit! I finished off with a faster lap of the small lake and then out onto the road and back into the gym via gate 2, again trying to go faster - my hr when I finished was 167 which is about the same as I get to on the treadmill after a fast section so even if I'm not going as fast I am at least working as hard! Day off tomorrow ready for some big runs at the weekend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Little Lunch Run

It was such a beautiful Spring day that I went out at lunch time for today's run and headed out on Ruakura Rd. Not a great road to run on actually - a typical kiwi rural road with a speed limit of 100km and virtually nothing at the side of the road to run on, but despite that it was a pleasant run and there wasn't too much traffic about, so that's another 45 mins ticked off this weeks list. My natural inclination is to worry about the fact that I've had 3 good runs in a row and wonder when the dreaded slump will hit, however I will ignore my inner eyore and just enjoy it for what it is at the moment. I will, however, take the opportunity to moan about my lunch which I picked up from momento on the way back to my office - a lovely vegetable panini totally ruined by the addition of pineapple. Pineapple!!! In a sandwich, tsk, what is the world coming to?


Marathon clinic running day, but first I had to endure the tension of the school hockey semi-final. My girls were playing the team they completely folded against two weeks ago so I was more than a little anxious. Amazingly we won 2-1, it really was amazing as apart from about 15 mins (when we scored the goals) we certainly didn't play any better than last time! Anyway the upshot is we are in the final and all are very excited. Went on to mc for a run afterwards and ended up doing two short runs with an intermission. We ran up to the hospital to visit one of our running mates who had a knee replacement op last week and then complications which landed him in the HDU, so the run included a couple of big hills and 6 flights of stairs. Spent 10 mins visiting and then ran back round the block to base. So did 45 mins in all but that's ok given that I did more than I needed to at the weekend. Still buzzing from the hockey result to be honest.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rest Day Bonus

Today is non-running day, this technically means I might go to the gym and do some weights, but in reality means I have a day of no exercise. Back at work after our holiday so updated my training graph and discovered that I have less running to do this week than I thought, so my long run on Saturday has earned me some shorter runs towards the end of the week - this is a good thing. Also my new watch arrived - see pic. It's a Bowflex the only brand I could find which had strapless heartrate monitoring which was one of the things I loved about my (now expired) Speedo watch. In fact it has pretty much all of the same functionality as the Speedo but is not quite as nice - the Speedo was red and had a more ergonomic design. I'm chuffed at how quickly it arrived as I had to order it from the US - good work Amazon! Oh, and just out of interest, my blogging hr is 53bpm, this may seem fairly low but is above average for me as I have non-symptomatic bracchycardia, a posh way of saying I have an unusually low heart rate (can be down to 45 when doing nothing) but it doesn't have any medical significance.

A Bit Extra

Slightly re-arranged my training week as BIP's hockey team were short of 7 players for this evening's game and so she needed me to play. So had a shorter run (about 6km) than I would have otherwise and will go longer on Thursday. Felt fine even after yesterday's longer run, although my legs were quite heavy towards the end everything was working fine and I felt good, oooh two days running! Very humid while out running and the forecast rain finally hit in the afternoon, but luckily had stopped again by the time we went out for hockey. The oppo were even shorter of players than us, at least we had the bare 11 but they only had 10 and a couple of injuries meant they were down to 9 a couple of times. So I had very little to do and could take it easy most of the time and not overdo it on the running front, and more importantly stay free of injury myself. Sunday night with a glass of wine and the final series of The Wire on DVD should aid recovery.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunny Smiles

Having spent large parts of this blog moaning about how hard my training is and generally whingeing I'm happy to report that today I had one of those great mornings where everything felt great and my hour and a half run was almost a pleasure. We got back from our skiing holiday last night, and the signs of Spring are everywhere - lambs and calves in all the paddocks and even our grape vine has its first bud. It was a warm morning to be running, but luckily enough cloud and a bit of a breeze stopped it being too hot, it's a good reminder that the conditions for the Hamilton half will be very different from Huntly which was a very cold day which ended with torrential rain. Bumped into G & J just before Scotsman's valley so had a 5 minute chat break which I'm sure helped. Both my hamstrings feeling a little tight so must remember to get some stretching done over the weekend, apart from that nothing to report in terms of sore bits. Last 5 minutes was hard work but all in all a darn good start to my running week.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stormy Weather

After being rained off the mountain on Tuesday and not even getting up there yesterday we woke to another wet and windy day and no surprise to find everything closed again. I couldn’t put off the inevitable any longer and retrieved my running gear from the bottom of my case and headed out into the wind and rain. The good news was that everything seems to be in working order, nothing hurting and despite a harsh head wind on the way out I had a fairly civilised hour of running (the tail wind coming home was most welcome!). Keeping my fingers crossed that the wind will drop off later today so we can get a final day of skiing in tomorrow before heading home.

Friday, August 21, 2009

No Business Like Snow Business

A beautiful sunny start to the morning promised another glorious day like yesterday up the mountain, but by 10am the cloud had come over and it got progressively gloomier with intermittent patches of whiteout. Having had a full day of skiing yesterday my legs were tired so by lunch time I was in no mood to fight it out in rubbish conditions so by 1pm we called it a day and headed back down. Actually it was much clearer in the lower mountain – although trying to snow when we left. Faced with a free afternoon I looked at my running gear (the deal was that any day it was too bad to ski I would fit a run in ), but having skied half a day my calves and quads were in no mood for it. J fancied 9 holes of golf so I offered my services as caddy and had a good hour and a half of walking instead. Got back in time for our spa booking – although a call from C next door offering gin and tonics nearly swayed us, but we figured a spa first then a gin and tonic. Isn’t it nice to be on holiday?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Timing Woes

Disaster has struck, my trusty Speedo watch has met with a watery end. This is no ordinary watch, it has a built in strap free heart rate monitor, dual time functionality, lap and split timer functionality and a rubberized strap which doesn't perish however much you sweat. I'm gutted. J bought it for me several years ago (she had to import it from the UK) and it has seen me through duathalons, more runs than I can imagine, cycle events and overly long meetings where I just wanted to keep an eye on my heart rate to make sure I wasn't being bored to death. A quick squizz on the internet seems to confirm my fear that Speedo aren't making them any more either. So now I need to find a replacement - if anyone out there can recommend a good, strapless hrm watch please let me know. On the running front last night's outing with the marathon clinic still seemed unnecessarily hard, but I got through an hour long run and although my achilles and knee were both still a bit grumbly neither seemed any the worse for it this morning. Today was speed training on the treadmill - yay!!! I actually eased it off a bit this week by not doing the fast bits at such a high pace as I have been, but kept everything else the same so it was still more than enough of a workout.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Full of Beans

I don't know if it was having a rest day yesterday, or the fact that the sun is shining and Spring is in the air, but I'm full of beans this morning. Even having to try and motivate teenage hockey players at 7am didn't dampen my enthusiasm.
A quick stock take after my day off, left achilles a little sore and tight (must stretch calf muscles!), right hamstring tight (more stretching there too) and my right knee is just a bit niggly but nothing that can't be safely ignored. So, all ready for my run with the marathon clinic crew tonight then - hopefully my energy levels will still be as high then as they are now, although the SH girls have a hockey game right before again so I'll no doubt expend a fair bit as nervous energy - semi finals are looming!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Too Hard

As I suspected I didn't make it up in time to get into town for the club's 15km run, instead I had a bit of breakfast, read the paper and then set out for my own local version instead. The first 40 mins was ok but then I hit a total wall, body and mind both giving up in perfect unison - pah! I dropped down to a walk and managed to at least keep heading out in the right direction rather than just turning round and heading for home. Through considerable determination (and a little voice in my head reminding me that this is a peak week and if I cut today short it's going to make the rest of the week really hard!) I slogged out the rest of the distance with a mixture of running and walking and finally got home. After a shower and a coffee I still feel like a wreck - I guess it's just a bit of cumulative fatigue hitting me, tomorrow is a day off though so I'm sure by Tuesday I'll be raring to go again (!). Proof, if it was needed, that half-marathon training is hard.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Saturday Hills

With so much beautiful, hilly, scenery around us it's hard to find any excuse to avoid the perfect place for hill training. Even the weather forecast of high winds and heavy rain easing to showers later didn't put me off. As it happened the worst of the rain seems to have passed over last night and while there was plenty of evidence of it out and about (including whole paddocks under water - wish I'd had my camera) the rain held off. I drove up to Tauwhare school and ran from there so I could run through Scotsman's Valley for the whole run. It's a great place to train as even though the out leg is all heading uphill it's also very undulating so every time you go up you get a brief downhill or flat bit to recover. There was a pretty major headwind which hit me as I got higher up and at one point I seriously felt like I was running but standing still - the good news was this was just before I turned round so I had the benefit of a lovely tail wind all the way back down. I'm starting to get a better technique on the uphill which is definitely helping - higher knees and pumping arms. One word of advice, don't get so focussed on your technique that you forget to stay at the side of the road - windy roads, cars, runners - never a good combination. Ooops, if it's any consolation I probably got a bigger fright than the car driver.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Easy Does It

After a couple of runs this week which were longer than planned, all I had left to do today, my last day of week 2 training, was a 3km easy run. Hardly seemed worth getting out of bed for to be honest! Given how tired my legs were after yesterday's exertions and having shifted 2 trailer loads of wood into the woodshed last night I probably couldn't have managed much more though.
The funny thing about short runs is that you just get the worst bit of the run as it normally takes me 3km to get into my stride and stop grumbling to myself. As always it was good to get it done though and with the weather forecast threatening lots of rain and high winds I'm glad I made myself get out of bed and do it first thing while it was still dry. Just as I was leaving for work I had to detour and move the cows into the next paddock as they were just being too much of a pain about eating everything they could reach in the garden. They'd broken the wire that keeps them a reasonable distance from the fence (again! I only fixed it last night) but the final straw was that one of them was leaning over the fence trying to eat Mac's rose, even J running across the garden yelling had no effect so I gave in and shifted them early.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Speed Work

I really really really really hate doing speedwork, it sucks! If I try and do it out on the road I inevitably get slower and slower while convincing myself that I'm working hard, so for the first half of my current training schedule I have one day a week on the treadmill. No chance of skiving off, 40 minute run with 20 mins fast - yuck! In order to avoid completely killing myself I break the 20 mins up into 5 minute chunks, so warm up, 5 mins fast, 2 min recovery, repeat another 3 times, cool down and that's it. Still it always feels good when I've finished even though I will have a face like a tomato for most of the afternoon. Hopefully it will all pay off though, I'm following the same training schedule I had for Huntly but including the hills and speed work (which I didn't last time round) in the hope that it will help knock some time off. We will see......

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sooooo Tired

Out running with the marathon clinic last night. Had a mad rush to get there on time as SH school hockey team were playing just before and I had to fight my way through traffic to get there. SH won by the way, 3-1, despite some dodgy officiating and some very unschool-like language coming from the opposition dugout!
Anyway, back to the run, four of us went out together and did a 70 minute run with a bit of a break midway for JB2 (not to be confused with JB!) to stock up on sugar. I actually found it harder than my 80 min run on Sunday but I think this was partly due to accumulated leg tiredness and partly more evidence that I run much slower when I'm by myself. Good news is that the evenings are getting longer too so we actually started in daylight, although once it got dark I still lived in fear of tripping and breaking something (some of the street lights in Hamilton are really feeble!) just prior to my skiing trip next week. Club 15km run is this Sunday but don't think I'll get in for it - why do they insist on starting at 8am on a Sunday, my one lie in for the week?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Training in my Sleep

In case any more evidence was needed that running is at the forefront of my mind, last night I had not one, but two dreams in which I was running a half-marathon! Actually in the first one I was just coming up to the finish line (and managing a sprint finish so I knew I was dreaming!!) but had managed to knock 3 mins off my Huntly time so I was pretty pleased with myself and didn't feel remotely tired -- maybe this is my subconscious mind telling me that I can go faster :-) This morning I was up early for a training session with the school hockey team I coach, they were particularly low-key and apathetic this morning, I wish I knew how to convince them that at their age they can do anything they want and that with a bit of enthusiasm and hard work some of them could be really good hockey players. Ah, the wisdom of age!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lighter mornings

At last the days are getting longer as Spring approaches, so this morning when I got to the gym at 7am it was already light. More daylight hours at each end of the day makes fitting running in so much easier, I'm just more motivated when it's light outside. Anyway this morning was a super easy 30 mins, I decided to run round campus and throw in Edinburgh Street hill for a bit of hard work, but all in all it was a nice easy start to the day. Feet and ankles were a bit stiff first thing after yesterday's longer run but soon warmed up and didn't give me any trouble. I was trying out a new pair of running socks having been lured by the Shoe Clinic's 'buy 3 pairs get 1 free promotion' which might be a good deal, but it does still feel a little decadent spending over $100 on running socks! Anyway the free pair are Thorlo experia which have padding in all the right places, but are much thinner elsewhere. They seemed fine this morning but as I buy my runners for thicker socks I'm not sure how they'll go on longer runs, maybe I'll just save them for light training.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Some Days are Better than Others

After changing my rest day this week from Monday to Saturday (a polite way of saying I just couldn't get my a into g yesterday!) I was still feeling fairly unmotivated this morning. However, I got myself out there and after a hard first 5 minutes of grumbling and mumbling I settled into it and by the time I hit the half hour mark I was feeling great and inspired to tackle a couple of the smaller hills at the start of Scotsman's valley. At the top of the second and just over 40 mins I bumped into a friend (on her way out for a 30km cycle) so I had a brief recovery chat before turning round and heading home.
Legs feeling ok, and spent the afternoon shifting 70 bales of hay so everything got a good work out in the end.
Looking forward to a quiet night in and some good wine, a great recovery tool.