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 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?