Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chris has not been Running

Yes, my silence has been an indication of my inactivity.

As a result, I currently feel pretty average. Unfit, stiff (must. do.exercises.), unhealthy.

Good news though. I have a goal.

Run for the Kids on 1 April 2012. This run nearly broke me last time I did it.

14.38km in the glacial time of 1:52. Yes, that time is right.

I'm feeling confident that 2012 will be a better result than 2010. The main killer for me was the run through the Domain Tunnel and then the Bolte Bridge with no cover - the two main reasons for doing the run were reason that I sucked.

This may not have become obvious, despite my constant bleating, but I don't run well in the heat and that tunnel was HOT and that bridge was uphill, uncovered and HOT.

Back to the point though - Run for the Kids is in approximately 15 weeks. I've now got 15 weeks to do some running in the unpredictable Melbourne summer heat/cold/hail/snow. 15 weeks to get some kilometers back in my legs. 15 weeks to run, run, run.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Rock n Roll New York 10km

Summary: Good race coming off two weeks of no running. Fast start with poor finish. Happy overall but the slightly competitive part of me really wanted to do better. LOVE the finisher's medal.

5.00am: Up and getting ready. Not quite as organized as I'd like but make it out the door by 5.45.

5.50am: At subway station waiting for the train. The only people I've seen so far are on their way home after a night out or are sleeping at the station. Catch train uptown to change to Brooklyn train.

6.10am: Catch second train, which is full of other runners. Discover because of construction it won't be stopping at the station I want to get off at. Hop off with everyone else one stop earlier and then just follow the crowd because I have no idea where we are.

7.30am: Race start. The description of the course was "beautiful, tree-lined...flat, fast and festive". And it was...if by flat they actually meant rolling hills. And the worst part was because the course did two laps, I knew they were coming the second time. Despite my lack of interim running, I felt good and was sub 7.00 min/km until about 8km in when my stomach turned against me. This is definitely something I have to work out because I would really like to be able to improve my times. My legs are OK and my breathing is OK but my insides are certainly not. The end result was a finish time of 1:10:xx by my watch. And I am happy with that.

8.50am: Go to bag pick up area. Encounter first serious negative at this race. It is chaos. There are bags laid out on the ground, under people's feet, no one can find their stuff. At this stage I'm feeling very thankful that I kept all of the must have items on me. Eventually manage to get my bag and escape the chaos.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where did the time go?

Wow, I've got three days until the Rock n Roll New York and I've done nothing since Melbourne.

Actually, that's not entirely true. I've spent the past eight days doing a huge amount of sight seeing and being touristy in Canada. I think I've easily covered 10km every day on foot, just not running.

Let's hope that's enough.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Melbourne Marathon 10km recap

The race now seems so long ago as since then I have spent 32 or so hours travelling half way across the world.

Sunday was nearly perfect for me for running. Nice and cool with virtually no wind and a little overcast. I arrived nice and early to avoid the panic of not being able to find the bag drop off area, toilets, start line and the other 10km runners from my run group.

The plan worked and everything went off without a hitch. I watched the marathoners set off - including an 83 year old dude (way to go!) and then got started on my warm up with my group.

This was not great.

My calves were sore. The small amount of slow jogging I did was really uncomfortable so I dropped back to a fast walk. I told myself it was just because I was running on uneven ground and once I got onto the road it would be better.

Before I knew it, it was race time. As always, I made way up the back of the pack and then stood around for 10 minutes while the faster runners got their start and the sea of people in front of me got across the start line.

Thankfully, my thoughts on the uneven surface appeared to be right. The first couple of kms, my calves were a little sore but after they warmed up it was all good. I started out slow (about 7.10 pace) and then settled into around 6.45 for the the next eight kms. Well, except for km 4 which was really slow at 7.30 and I can't for the life of me remember why.

I'd set my hopes on finishing in about 70 minutes, based on how my training runs had gone. Secretly, I really wanted to beat my 2010 time (OK, so it wasn't really a secret) but didn't think my injury prone lead up was going to allow that. By the eight km mark though, I was feeling good and was on track for about a 68:45 finish.

So I pushed myself a little bit more.

This part of the course was the worst. At just before 8km we went over this foot bridge = hill = unhappy legs. I just kept repeating to myself, "if there's an up then there's going to be a down". That worked pretty well. The end of the bridge takes you within 200m of the finish line but obviously, there's still another 1.8km or so left. This bit of the course is an out and back hair pin next to the MCG. It is boring and I find it demotivating.

However, all complaining aside, those last two kms were my fastest for the day and I crossed the finish line in 68:19. Totally faster than 2010. Not much faster but still...

I can quite happily say this was close to my best possible effort for the day, as after crossing the finish line I proceeded to throw up from the effort of pushing myself those last two kms. It was kind of embarrassing.

Overall, I'm very happy with my run and look forward to the next one in New York. Yay New York!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rest time

Three days to go until Melbourne Marathon. My legs are very happy to only be doing 10km because they are TIRED.

Could be that last night's RPM class wore them out a little more than I anticipated. The fact that I had to cling to the railing to walk down the stairs post-class may have been indication that they'd worked pretty hard.

I ran just short of 6km tonight in what was an uncomfortable temperature for me. I think one of the things I'd like to work on is getting my body used to running in higher temperatures. Basically, anything over 10 degrees is unpleasant and over 20 degrees is just too much. Clearly that hampers any decent running between November and April - not ideal.

No running or other exercise is planned for between now and Sunday. Hopefully just lots of sleep so I can at least make an effort toward beating last year's time, and as an added bonus get rid of the end of this cold.

This guy's got the right idea

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sweating it out

The change to daylight savings, while only an hour's difference, always knocks me for six. Add it to this stupid cold I've got and I have really been struggling. I slept in pretty late this morning! Whoops!

As it turned out, I got to work about an hour and half later than normal. Why is it, when you're running late, Metro decides to cancel the next train? Clearly I think I'm very important and the train schedule revolves around me.

Despite my lethargy and generally snottiness (yes, I realise that's gross), I've been sticking with the running and RPMing. I figure I'll just sweat the cold right out of me.

Final running group is on tomorrow. I'm sad to finish. Of course, there's always the next one!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

One More Week

One more week until Melbourne Marathon. Here's hoping it's a nice cool day without rain (although, I'm pretty confident I'll be fine even if it is a bit rainy - having run in the storm that stopped Melbourne).

One more week until holidays. While not looking forward to 24 hours on a plane, I am very much looking forward to new cities, new sights and catching up with old friends.

One more week to get over this stupid cold I've picked up (no no no no, now is NOT the time for being sick).

One more week to cement my current runnings times. During this morning's 6km, I ran 5 of those kilometers in under 6:30min/km. I am so massively excited and happy that my running program is actually demonstrating an improvement in my running.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Progress and puddles

Woo hoo for Wednesday!

Only two more days and then it's the weekend. And what could be better than a weekend...oh, yes...holidays!! Only 12 more sleeps!!

But before then, I've got the Melbourne Marathon 10km. And in tonight's run group we were repeating our Tan time trial. Eight (?) weeks ago I did the same course and the great news is, tonight I did it a bit over a minute faster.

Here's tonight's effort:

Please note: Average pace of 6:43. That, my friends, is progress. I am stoked to be below 7:00 average after the ongoing leg problems I've been having. The Very Slow second kilometer is due to Anderson Street aka The Long Hill of Calf Pain.

And, what's more, because I am totally hard core, this is what I was running in tonight.

This storm shut the Melbourne Show early and caused Metro chaos (but let's face it, Metro chaos is not difficult to create).

And I ran in it.

Soooo many puddles.

The storm and rain also meant that of our usual running group of 20, two of us turned up. Yep, there was just me and one other guy. He very sweetly looped back to pick me up after he'd done his lap and finished with me.

In other running news, I entered this today.

I can't wait.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday is a good day for running

I'm multi-tasking tonight, writing this post whilst rolling out my very tight calves. This may end up being a case of too little attention to each task results in a poor effort for both but I'm pretty tired and very keen for bed.

After yesterday's effort, I nearly talked myself out of running group tonight. However, I decided that it was a shame to waste the money I've paid when I don't really have a good reason not to go.

As always, running was definitely the right choice. We did another interval session tonight, which went well. This was followed by some sprints alternated with push ups.

By the end I had no control over my legs (hardly surprising as I don't think they were quite recovered from yesterday's effort) and I pretty good burn going in my shouldery chest area (yep, anatomy is clearly my area of expertise).

At the risk of completely frying myself, I'm RPMing again tomorrow night before Wednesday night's time trial session. I'm looking forward to that because I'm keen to see what kind of progress I've made, other than the ability to run 10km very slowly.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Seeking replacement legs

Oh man! Am I sore today.

On Friday I tried another class at the gym. I naively thought because it was beginner class that I wouldn't really feel anything. Turns out I know nothing. There were a lot of squats in the class. And let's face it, when you do a lot of squats, you're likely to have sore quads. So I have sore quads.

To back up my class, I had a night on my feet at some work drinks. Hmm, a night on my feet plus alcohol = not a great recovery.

Saturday night I went to watch Storm v Warriors (boo, Storm lost) and to try and loosen things up, I walked the 20 minutes to the stadium from the train station. I wouldn't call it a success but I'm sure it helped.

Skip to this morning and my 10km run. It wasn't quite as good as I had hoped. I left too late which meant it was hotter than I would have liked. When I was running, I was running well. But I couldn't (hmm, it maybe that couldn't was actually more didn't want to) run the whole distance. I had planned to put in some walk breaks because I haven't had a consistent enough lead in to this distance. But with my shot quads, those walk breaks were pathetic.

These legs don't look as tired as mine
Not to dwell on the negative, I'm going to focus on the fact that I covered the 10km. And I'm pretty confident that with better prep (ie. avoiding excessive squats for the next two weeks) and the earlier start (no burning sun), I can do much better come race day. Whether I can manage the consistency and pace to beat last year's time, I'm not sure. But I will give it a go.

Now, here's the question that I'm currently debating. Do I sign up for a 10km race in New York for when I'm there on holidays? I think it would be cool to have a bib (and medal!) for a New York race. Is it crazy to think of running a race when I'm holidays? I'd like to stress, I do not mean race a race. I'm just talking about turning up and being a part of it. I know most of my friends will just think I'm weird for even considering it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I am an eight hours of sleep kind of girl. This means today's experiment where I ran last night, got to bed around 10.30 and then got up this morning at 4.50 (after waking up at least hourly and having horrid dreams the rest of the time) and then going to RPM before work did not go well.

Getting in my morning exercise was, however, a massive success. I was on a high all day (well, until 3.45 when the lack of sleep caught up with me).


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What a difference a run can make

Yay for Wednesday!

At the risk of appearing completely up myself, I totally rocked tonight!!

Tonight's running was repetitions. We started off with a warm up jog to the oval which was to be our running ground for the night. Once there we did eight 60 second repetitions with the aim of running the same distance each time. Two minute recovery walk back to the start between reps. The goal was to run at about 85-90%. I think I managed about 70% (which is excellent for me). And, even better, I was pretty close to spot on for each rep.

So, that's all pretty good, I hear you say (at which point I recommend you stop talking to your computer). But that's not even the best part. The best part is, on the run back to where my bag was safely stored, I ran all the way up Anderson Street hill AND I kept around an average 7:20min/km pace for the run back. Obviously, as I am not powering up those hills, that meant I was sub 7:00min pace on the flat.

I am aware that for most runners that's pretty slow, but I am the Queen of 7:30min/km pace.

So I rock.

I was so stoked with tonight's effort that I actually danced at the train station on the way home (there's so many crazy people there I pretty much just blended in). The absolutely horrid afternoon I had was completely blown away.

And this is why I love running.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday night stairs

It's Monday, so you know the drill - running group tonight.

Tonight's session was stairs and tabata. Two things that are not particularly ideal for my poor tight calves and generally dodgy knees. But if I live my life pandering to my various leg discomforts I'd never get out there. Which meant, I ran up and down stairs and tabata-ed for about 30 minutes in the quite warm and windy weather.

I'm not pandering to my legs...

You can bet I worked that foam roller to within an inch of its life when I got home...ow!!! but totally worth it.

I've signed up to try out a gym and do an RPM class on Thursday morning. While I do enjoy the running, I'm thinking some sort of cross training/alternate activity will not go astray. I had a bit of a tour of the facilities during my lunch break and I have to admit I was pretty impressed. There are quite a few other classes I'm interested in (which is crazy because I am so not a class person) at the moment. It's a bit pricey though so I need to work out how well I can fit going to classes into my schedule. I know it's totally worth making time for exercise and that I reap extensive benefits from it but... Well, I'll try the class on Thursday and then we'll take it from there.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Happy Sunday!

Today has thrown up a couple of unexpected things and reminded me that although things don't always go the way that you want, getting something different can be just as good.

Before I get into that, a quick recap of my Saturday morning - massage day. I booked myself in to a local business as all the recommendations I had found were a bit too far away for my liking. I'm prepared to travel for quality but will avoid it if I can. The girl who was performing the massage seemed nice enough, looked at how I was moving and then got stuck into it.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I knew it would hurt. But I forgot just how much it hurts. By the time she had finished I was covered in sweat and had developed a huge knot in my shoulders from tensing up from the pain in my legs. It was awesome! I have real issues with my calves - that's where the pain has most recently been - so I had directed her to focus on my glutes and ITBs. I was worried that I had some kind of tear or bruising and therefore, having my calves massaged might make it worse. The masseuse ended up working on them (and this was most definintely the worst part of the torture massage session) but I am so glad she did. The pain I had when walking - gone! The pain I had when shuffling - gone! Hooray!!

Because I was feeling so much better, I headed off for a run this morning. As it turns out, running is still a bit beyond me - first running session after my shuffling warm up left me with the same calf pain. I wasn't going to let that stop me from being out there though. I shifted to a walk/shuffle combination and smashed (ahem) that out for an hour. While this was pretty disappointing - I want to run, dammit! - I did get to see a couple of unexpected things.

Unexpected thing 1:
Books in the wild

Someone had left a number of books tied to fences, on posts and on the ground for people to read. The bags they were in were for a website called bookcrossing.com which I know nothing about but looks like a book swapping site. As I am a MASSIVE book fan, I think it's a great idea.

Unexpected thing 2:

Seriously, who would expect to see a peacock during a Sunday morning run shuffle?

Had I been actually running, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have had noticed these things. So, today, I'm happy to have dodgy calves. Because I got to smile at the unexpected.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thinking positive

I am very nervous about my still quite sore legs. This morning I got up and they felt good. I was pretty happy. But by the time I left home and headed for the train station they were not happy. By the time I had climbed the stairs on the rail overpass, they were even less happy. I've got an appointment for a massage on Saturday morning in the hope that releasing my ITB and glutes (and quite possibly my lower back) will take some pressure off. I'll put off my long run until Sunday.

And in non-running news, only 25 sleeps until...
OK, technically there's about 35 sleeps until New York but I don't have any pictures of Canada.
I. Can't. Wait.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oh no!

Tonight I discovered that perhaps I went out a bit (a lot) too hard on Monday. Our session tonight was hill repeats, which I opted to not do and instead aimed for some steady pace laps with short recoveries between each lap. From lap one both legs were hurting. I knocked out three more in the hope that maybe I was mistaking muscle soreness for actual injury. No. Both legs are suffering from a relapse of shin splints with the left one waaaay sorer than the right.

I have had the ice packs out and quite possibly given myself frostbite on at least the left leg (hey, it doesn't hurt anymore!...and I can't feel anything). I'm praying that continued icing and no heels and some focussed stretching sorts this out pretty quickly. I can tell you right now that there's no way I'm managing 10km without a significant improvement. There's no way I'm managing more than 1km at the moment and that 1km would hurt like hell.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday night lactate stackers

At the risk of sounding very conceited, I totally ROCKED tonight! I finally got through a session completing the program as intended and more than that, I exceeded my expectations.

Lactate stackers involved a bit of a warm up then 6 sets of 1 minute at full pace, followed by 2 minutes recovery jogging with a 2 minute rest between sets. I so wanted to quit on the last set but punched it out and kept running on the recovery after the rest of the group had dropped to a walk. My goal is to improve on my 10km time and that's going to require running when I want to walk, so the more I practice the better.

I elevated myself from second slowest to third slowest of the group and was pretty close to keeping pace with a couple more people. This is even more exciting for me as I easily would have 15kg over the rest of the group. Imagine what I could do if my running recovery didn't include a bit too much ice cream?!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekend homework

I managed to drag out 8km this morning. I was supposed to go yesterday but 1) I didn't want to and 2) my legs were feeling not ready for it and 3) I didn't want to. I paid the price this morning by having to run in the rain - it wasn't really that bad and I felt so much more hardcore for doing it.
The run ended up being at an average of 7:30/km which put me at a total time of 1 hour. While dismally slow, this better than last week's effort so I'm happy about that.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Terrible traffic and tabata

Made it to running group late tonight which is annoying. For reasons I don't understand, traffic coming off the Monash was appalling. I skipped the Toorak Rd exit because it was banked so far back only to get stuck anyway. But, I made it eventually, and even though I missed the first couple of sets I still got to do at least half the workout. And something is surely better than nothing.
Our tabata workout was: 20 secs at 90%, 10 secs off, repeat 8 times. 3 minute recovery between sets.
Unfortunately, due to the dodgy legs I didn't really manage 90%. I did push myself for the first couple of sets but then started feelin twingy so pulled it right back for the remaining time. After I got home I made sure to pull out the foam roller and give both legs a good stretch. ow ow ow!
Feeling pretty good with the running still. Looking forward to a nice 8km long run on Saturday but even more, I'm looking forward to the two days rest before then!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday night intervals

Phew, am I tired.

I'm the second slowest in my Monday night group but I think I could almost be third slowest if I wasn't so worried about injuring myself. At least, that's what I tell myself.

Tonight was 5 x 150m intervals in three sets with 2 min recovery between sets. First set at 60%, second set at 70% and third set at 80%. I think I did three sets at about 65 - 70% pace. It was enough that I was feeling a bit nauseous by the end of both the second and third sets. Add the run to and from the oval and I think I covered about 6km tonight with just a little bit of hill shuffling included.

Looking forward to Wednesday to see if I can manage three runs in one week without injury! How exciting will that be?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New discoveries

I tried a new path for today's run and was rewarded for my efforts. Despite the fact that there were a few too many hills for my liking, I've discovered a reasonably peaceful run along the creek that looks like it's got quite a few more kms on it than the 3km out and back I did today.

It was a very slow 6kms. Certainly not fast enough to beat last year's effort for the 10km but it was my first long run in the new orthotics, post-plague like cold and shin splint diagnosis. So, really, I've got nothing to complain about. For the record, it was a tortoise-like 46:58. Well, that tortoise won in the end, didn't it?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday night intervals

Good run with my running group tonight and my first run in my new orthotics. I've pulled up with emerging blisters from the change in foot position which I hope go away before the weekend's long run. I've also engaged in some precautionary shin splint icing to deal with the almost imperceptible hill on the loop we ran. My right leg just does not like any sort of incline - hopefully these orthotics will take care of that. Tonight's exercise was 500m intervals - about 400m at 70% and 100m at 90% effort. I did the whole thing at somewhere around 70% because trying to run fast is not a good idea for me right now. Plus I walked the hill more often than running it (or even more accurately, shuffling it). Which I guess puts me at 400m at 70% and 100m at walking pace. Well, it's all running.

I'm not sure whether I'm a better or worse position than I was last year before the 10km run. I know I didn't have quite the same leg pain but I'm not sure how many runs I had under my belt before I started. It's certainly getting close now but I think I can fit enough in before hand so that I don't have to curl up and die on the side of the road.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Counting down

41 days until Melbourne Marathon 2011 and the return of the 10km run. That's about 6 weeks.

So, how am I doing?

Physio and podiatrist this week - trying to deal with the ITB and shin splints I currently have.

Yes, that's how well I'm doing.

Note to self: actually doing the physio and podiatrist endorsed exercises will help more than merely thinking about doing physio and podiatrist endorsed exercises.