Friday, December 31, 2010


May it be a very good year for all!  A very special thank you to those who took time to spur me on during 2010 with your encouraging comments!

My very best wishes to each and everyone of you for 2011......Norma

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Journey Back......cont.

I returned to the soccer field this morning and jogged easily on the grass for 30 minutes.  On and off pain in my knee but better than expected.  Should be OK by next year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Becoming Boring & Disheartening....


I'm boring mysef, as well as a few others I suppose, by saying almost the same thing day after day.  So....

For the time being I'll let my blog 'rest in peace', because.......

I went to the soccer field this morning to see if I could jog without knee pain for ten minutes on grass.  I couldn't take more than two steps and had to stop and......

Burst into tears!  Later, somewhat recovered......

I drove to the pool and did 45 minutes of deep water running and this......

I will continue with until the damage,  done by lifting heavy cement pots, has finally mended itself.  For now and till then.......

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On the Seventh and Sixth Days to Christmas...

Just  sittin' around like Santa, but not even fishin'!

I've got some pain in my 'bad' knee after liftin', pullin' and shovin' those heavy cement rose pots a few days ago..  Has to be that that's caused it and I should've known better!  I'm so cross with myself!  I'll try the pool tomorrow.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Surgery! But Not For Me!

Delicate surgery on three of my  standard Iceberg roses whose roots had gone through the holes in the bases of their tubs and were travelling happily onwards and downwards between the pavers!  I only became aware of the problem when I saw one of the tubs full of water and not draining away as it's supposed to do!  Tipping the huge cement tubs was no light task, even with a shaky helping hand from Jim, all the time wary of breaking the precious plant into pieces!

Once the rose was lying unhappily on its side, I began the delicate surgery I've already mentioned : Removing all the soil, which had turned to mud and had to be scraped out by hand; partly refill the tub with new soil, replace the uncomplaining, semi-conscious rose in its tub, top up with more soil, drag the tub back into position and pray to God they would all survive their operation.  This, three times! To give them a good start, I cut off most of their wonderful display of flowers (see photo) so that all their strength could be given to recovery of their roots; when more buds appear I'll know the surgery was successful.

In the meantime, every shelf and every table in every room in the house is now filled with vases of white Iceberg roses!

Needless to say I didn't run or 'play' pool today.  I don't even know why I wrote all this, except that it took all day and I do love my roses!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Passed My Finals!

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I jogged easily on grass for only 5km this morning, knowing I had to see the physiotherapist this afternoon to pass my final test!  I  passed in all areas  and was told to go ahead with my running program taking care not to overdo things too soon.  As if I would!!

5km...very easy, bare feet, on the grass at Renwick soccer field.
50 minutes.....!  Boy, have I got some speed to make up!
AHR  114 (72%);  MHR 126 (79%).

Pool it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Day Off Because....

After only two days of running, my quads feel much the same, but not quite as stiff, as they do after a marathon!  The usual up and down steps syndrome.  I thought I was ready to take on any distance but 2 x 10km has forced a rest day upon me!  How devastating!

Tomorrow, I have my last physio session so that might 'unstiffen' my leg muscles.  I might even follow that up with a session in the hydrotherapy pool if the steam isn't rising off it.

The remainder of this week will include pool running at Henley Brae and the other days 'as I feel'!

Takes a while to get back to where one once was!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I felt today's 10km more tiring than yesterday's and was a bit surprised at that.  When I finished I felt that I couldn't run another step.  I started at the school again and then took off in the opposite direction  from yesterday :  Bong Bong Road, Mary Street, Inkerman Road...and back.  It was a late start, very warm and windy.  

By the time I returned to the school I was thinking : What wouldn't I give for a swim in some sparkling cold water!  And then I saw one of the school hoses.  I wished for cold and I certainly got it; the water was freezing!  I held the hose above my head with the water on full force while I slowly counted to twenty; I could take no more than that.  Soaking wet, I did a few stretches, and lastly....lay on the grass in the sun  for about five minutes to warm up!

AHR 122 (77%);  MHR 135 (85%)  Any time HR went over 130 (82%), I walked till it dropped a few beats.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just What I've Been Waiting For!

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First easy & slow 10km entirely on road since the arthroscopy 4.5 weeks ago.  Started at the school and stayed around that area for a while to see what might happen.  No pain at all!  Off down Bong Bong Road, Old South Road and Diamond Fields Road until I'd reached 5km without any trouble at all.  I was SO pleased!

Both out and back had some hills and I didn't falter on any of them!  Well, maybe on one, though I didn't know it, when a truck drove past and the driver smiled and called out something which I couldn't hear; nevertheless I returned his wave and smile.  Would you believe the next thing?  As I came up the last hill in Bong Bong Road, there he was standing outside his property with a big glass of cold water for me!  What a lovely thing to do!  So maybe I wasn't looking as fabulous as I'd thought! 

AHR 122 (77%);  MHR 136 (86%)

I'll stay with this slow and easy running each day for the rest of the month, keeping 2 days each week for pool running as cross training.    Phew! How good is it to get to go again.  January should see the return to my usual full program and a few smackdowns with Ewen that he doesn't even know about yet!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Another Day in the Pool

PROGRAM:  LADDERS (but I wasn't wearing stockings!)

5 minutes warm-up..funny drills!
1 min hard, 1 min easy; 2 min  hard, 1 min easy; 3 min hard, 1 min  easy; 4 min hard, 1 min easy; 5 min hard, 1 min easy; 4 min hard, 1 min  easy; 3  min hard, 1 min easy; 2 min hard, 1 min easy; 1 min hard.
5 min cool-down....swam a few laps and then floated!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Oh My Brain, My Poor Poor Brain!

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60 minutes of 'steady' running in the pool this morning was, for me, huge mental suffering!

I mean, who wouldn't have a brain drain if all you're doing is running down, across, up, across; down, across, up, across...reverse direction...for an hour?  Well, I did for sure!  Every time I looked at my watch hoping at least ten minutes had passed, it would be only something like three minutes! Anyhow, it was good hard workout both mentally and physically and hopfully getting myself stronger for a return to easy running next week on grass and road.

Program : Pool Running (Henley Brae)

5 minutes warm-up
60 minutes steady running
5 minutes cool-down...floating on my back!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Ready, Set, GO!

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I saw Mr Orthopaedic Surgeon this morning and got the go ahead  to resume all activities be guided by any pain in my knee as it can take up to 12 weeks to heal completely and mine has been only 4 weeks tomorrow.  He said there's no reason why I shouldn't live till I'm 100!  Very nice as long as I can keep on doing what I'm doing!    What a lovely man!

I've ruled out any marathon, certainly for the first half of 2011, but if I can get out on the road and track by early January and begin my 18 week half marathon program I should be ready for the SMH Half Marathon in May and hopefully another in Canberra the same month or later; so two halves make a whole!

A Happy Outcome Indeed!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Walk, Don't Run

I took my own advice and walked today.....boring, boring!

On the way past Renwick School I could see and hear the bleating of one of the lambs because it wanted to get back into the paddock with the others but from which it had found a secret way out!  Wouldn't you think it would know how to get back in?  A short detour into the school; the lamb saw me, ran up to me and followed me to a gate where it rushed through and into the arms of its mum!

I always check the water troughs for the two cows and seven sheep especially at weekends when they often seem to be forgotten; they needed a top-up so that added quite a bit of time, but not counted in the official walk!  Knee good!

10.5km in 2:03
AHR70%;  MHR 77%

Saturday, December 04, 2010

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...except for mowing the lawns and taking the dogs for their walk.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Lesson Learned!

I made a decision, probably wrongly, to see how my knee felt while doing some easy jogging on the road.  After 5km I could feel a niggle in the exact same place as before the arthroscopy.  I swore bitterly to the heavens and anyone else who might have been listening!  I said every swear word I could think off and was extremely surprised by the extent of my vocabulary!

From that I suppose I can say it's not properly healed, I shouldn't have used the hard surface, I should have stayed on grass and I shouldn't have jogged so far!  Back to grass next week.  Lesson learned!

6km in 57 minutes
AHR 112 (70%);  MHR 123 (77%) 

I walked the first and last 5 minutes of the 6km.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

At Last!

..but still pretty much jogging in water!  Renwick soccer field was a quagmire but nevertheless it was the first opportunity in over a week to test my knee on the ground and it passed with the flying colours....of mud and water!

I jogged very easily for 3km through the puddles on the grass....not a twinge in the knee!

Before leaving home, I put my new Newtons in the car as here was a chance, I hoped,  to try them and my knee on the road beside the soccer field.  I had to wash my feet though to remove the mud and grass; couldn't risk a scrap of dirt getting on the new trainers on their first outing!  They, and my knee, felt simply fabulous even though it was only 1km!  I was thrilled with the results of both grass and road and now expect 'full steam ahead' after I see THE MAN on Monday morning.  Seems like all the hard pool running has paid off handsomely.

3km through the quagmire; 30 min.
AHR 74%; MHR 78%

1km on road; 8.4 min
AHR 75%; MHR 80%

Total = 4km

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Even If It's Not Monday!

So much rain is enough to get anyone down and hangin' around!   Remember this song?  Of course you do!

Another Pool Session: Henley Brae---

I skipped a few weeks ahead and did a hard session from Week 6. 

5 min warm-up
8 x 5 min hard
1 min easy recovery

5 x 45 sec hard
15 sec recovery
5 min cool-down

Also put in a few McGill drills which I'm pleased to know that no one else was there to witness such an outlandish performance!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Physio & Hydro

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5 min warm-up
4 x 5 min hard
1 min recoveries
5 min  cool-down

This was a hard session in the pool at BPH!  I finished red-faced, puffing and sweating! However, I'm feeling fitter each day and will be a real menace when I run the roads again!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


It's been raining all day so I did one hour on the stationary bike...which I find just too boring for words.  To help while away the time I put on a DVD of an old - very old - Hitchcock movie called "Rebecca".  Any movie starring Laurence Olivier sends me into a spin, no trouble at all, I'd done an hour of spinning before the movie ended!

Monday, November 22, 2010

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A good pool workout today!  The session was:

5 min warm-up
2 sets of 5x1:30 hard (30 sec recovery)
2 min easy btw sets
5 min cool-down.

It was a good feeling to work hard at something for a change!  I used the lovely pool and facilities at a retirement village, Henley Brae, just a few minutes drive from home and had the pool all to myself for the entire session.  I'll do a different session each time as often as I can until I get the OK to run again.

MHR 102 (65%

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Long Walk.

Today I did my first long walk starting from home and huffed and puffed my way up a 2km hill on Old South Road!  Actually it was all much easier than I was expecting and no trouble at all with my knee;  it did well and I was very pleased with it!

7km in 80 minutes...slow,  I know, but it was hilly!
AHR  92 (58%);  MHR 125 (79%)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Into the Water....

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Started the pool at Bowral Private Hospital.  First, I saw a physiotherapist for about 30 minutes and  have new knee strengthening exercises to do as well as deep water running.   To help with motivation while I can't run, on show in the bedroom I've brand new (Newton) trainers that I'm itching to try out on the road!

I'm on my way back!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


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I went for my first short walk today taking the dogs to Renwick School and walking around the grounds...about 20 minutes.  They hadn't been out since my arthroscopy on Tuesday and they really enjoyed the chance to run again; same for me soon I hope!  I was able to drive the car to the school and did that and the walk without any pain whatsoever in my right knee. First time in months!  Wonderful thing this arthroscopic surgery!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feels Like a Miracle!

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It's over!  Arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday morning  for a large complex tear medial meniscus, Grade 3. Yesterday following the surgery my knee was quire painful, but today and after sleeping for nearly all of 48 hours since, I have no pain at all!

Apparently, once a meniscus cartilage has been torn it will not heal unless it is a very small tear, blood supply being low in this area.  In my case, it being a large complex tear, rather than trying to repair it, the torn pieces were removed from the knee.

I have several quad strengthening exercises to do...20x10 each day as well as the stationary bike.  I'm bandaged from upper thigh to near the ankle so not able to do much until this is all removed in 5 days; then I can drive and walk about more comfortably.  Recovery time is 6 to 12 weeks, but I hope it won't take that long.  I'll need more patience than I'm known for for it to heal successfully!

Very happy with the results so far and the thought of running again!

Monday, November 08, 2010


I met with the orthopaedic surgeon this afternoon and tomorrow, yes tomorrow,  he'll do arthroscopic surgery on my right knee. The plus side of being in a health fund!

My guess was right about the MRI report in that he thinks the pain is from the meniscus least he's hoping that's the cause!  I am so lucky to be getting it done tomorrow and not having to wait weeks or perhaps months..  At 11:00a.m I have to front up!

More news to come after that.....  All good, I hope, but I have to expect that there will be no running for some time yet. A come-back in 2011 would be nice.  I hope there's some motivation left by's very low at the moment.. It's been so long I think I could very easily hang up the trainers for good!

Thanks to all for 'being here' for me right now.  I can do with a friend.....or two, or three!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

My Guess...

Patterned Text Generator at trouble with my right knee!

In today's mail I received a copy of the MRI results.  Now, I realize the two pages of  technical and medical terms will take more than my brain to decipher but, from what I understand, I have an oblique undersurface tear, posterior horn medial meniscus.  If that is the case, it's exactly what I thought after spending hours on the net over the past 8 weeks  - that long - looking for an answer!

What the two page report really means, and what needs to be done about it, I'll hear from the orthopaedic surgeon on Monday afternoon.  All up though, I think the news is good!

Happy days might be here again!!  I know I'm dead sick of these days!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Change is as Good as.....

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Since scenery is the only thing I can change right now,  I thought I'd go for a new look on my blog.  At least I've been occupied for a couple of hours getting to understand a few of the newer blog templates and gadgets, thus taking my mind off my miserable right knee.

I never knew there were so many things one could do to a blog, but not being too tech minded, I've stuck to a couple of basics and will explore others in my spare time ......of which I have plenty!

I looked at all the gadgets and now I want to put up a sliding picture show but I can't get the Slideshow gadget thing to work!  I've tried numerous ways suggested on Blogger Help but no success so far.  Any help would be appreciated!  In the meantime I'll keep trying......if at first you don't succeed etc.  etc..

While I was waiting for sleep last night I mentally started making a list of all the things I can't do now while my knee is so painful; it's an exercise in self-pity, I know, but here it is:

Things that matter but which I'm unable to do:

I can't run
I can't jog
I can't walk
I can't drive the car
I can't do the gardening
I can't sleep well
I can't lie on my side
I can't go up steps
I can't go down steps
I can't sit down...I crash!
I can't get up after sitting...I lead with my head!

While I'm awake now it's only fair, I suppose, to list the things I can still do!  But.....

I can think of very few!  This is real bad news, but here it is:

I can use a walking stick
I can read
I can watch television
I can think....even if it's only about the things on the ever- expanding list of the things I can't do!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


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On Friday I took the next step in finding out what is wrong with my  right knee.  I had an MRI of the knee and a right hip x-ray; the latter just for ruling out anything in that area.  I'll have the results of these on Tuesday, Nov. 8.  Unhappily, my knee seems to be getting more painful by the day and I'm hobbling - even more unhappily - around the house with a cane.  Never thought I'd see the day!  I can't imagine what's wrong to be in such constant pain.

Patience!  Did I see someone write recently in their blog about having patience?  I'm beginning to think that this here & now might be where my running ends....and with such promise for at least another year or two!!  Oh well, some other life!  If nothing else...I've had a "good run"  for  many years & I guess everyone has to stop sometime.  I am really most miserble about it all though!

Monday, October 18, 2010

What is Wrong?

....and here we go! 

Today I saw an orthopaedic surgeon.  He needs for me to have an MRI.  He's pretty well ruled out arthritis because there's only the slightest sign of it and, looking at the x-ray, the level & consistency of pain that I have is way too high for it to be arthritis.  "There's something more going on there," he said.  Hence an MRI to find the correct diagnosis.  All sounds good so far, but trying to get an MRI in  the near future (i.e. in my lifetime!) is quite another thing!  So, here's the string of appointments:

First available appointment six weeks away and appointments for an MRI are only after hours at night!  That's with Medicare cover; if I pay for the MRI, I can get in sooner and within normal hours. Needless to say, I'm going for the 'out of pocket' version.  Time is of the essence here!  MRI on 29th October.

Next.....try getting back in to see the Orthopaedic guy for the results:  "Sorry, nothing available till end of November!"  This, after being told by his receptionist that I would be given an appointment within a couple of days after the MRI in order to learn the results of the damned thing!

"Wait a minute," says I!  "You told me...blah, blah, etc, etc."

"No," replies the receptionist in her unlovely patronizing voice, "you seem confused; we said if we can."

Me (getting hoity):  "No, you didn't!  You said 1 or 2 days after the MRI."

"Well, let me see," says the now confused receptionist, " we will fit you in on November 8th."   Why didn't she do that in the first place?

I only want the results asap; maybe she thought I wanted surgery as well!

BIG DEAL, I thought!  I could be dead by the time I get to find out what's even wrong with my stupid knee, let alone do whatever has then to be done.  Easy to see I'm a first timer with specialist surgeon, x-ray and MRI scenario!

That's where I'm at for now anyhow. All future running plans cancelled until I get results.. In the meantime, I sit around doing quad strengthening exercises, unable to walk or run.  Next update, if I'm still here,  will be after the results are read out on November 8!

Oh, what a feeling!


Friday, October 15, 2010

After Blackmores Marathon

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Well.... my recovery after Blackmores Sydney Marathon hasn't been going well at all!

For some months before the marathon I had a painful right knee which became just about unbearably painful during the run and since then, even more so.  No let up at all. Even walking around the house is painful.

Now, I thought arthritis was only for old people!  To my dismay however, an x-ray showed a slight version of it in my right knee but, if this pain is the result of slight arthritis, I'd hate to be a victim of the serious stuff!  The result is that I haven't had what could be called a decent run over the last four weeks.  I've tried a very easy jog three times and fast walking once but could go no further than 5km each time before I've had to quit.

Having  tried physiotherapy (R.I.C.E.) with no improvement, the next stop from my GP, is to see an orthopaedic doc who might be able to shed more light on what, if anything, is happening.  That's on Monday and will report here with the results.

This is more than just a damned's soul destroying!  The likelihood of training for anything in the months ahead will depend on whether something can be done to relieve the pain in my knee.

So, there it is; very disappointing because I'd hoped to do some serious training in preparation for a couple of exciting races later this year and also in the first half of 2011.

I believe there's no cure for arthritis.....ah, woe is me.....for now!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

11th Marathon...

Australian Record W80
..........well, that's #11 done and I'll be able to claim an Australian Record for W80 Marathon with a time faster than that of my Marathon W75 Australian Record!  Official time 5:26:24 net.  Other than my 2nd marathon in 2001, this was the only other time I've run under 5.5 hours, so getting older isn't necessarily a negative thing!  I was totally shocked and thrilled to have gone under 5.5 hours this time round!  That's a Boston qualifier I think!

My plan was to keep as near as possible to 7:27m/k and never to slow down further than 7:42m/k even though 7:49m/k would still meet the 5:30 cut-off.

Garmin time was 5:25:49 and distance 42.69km!

I think everyone should, just once, run at the back of the pack in a marathon!  It is so inevitably 'alone' on those long stretches of road with no one in sight in front and rear for quite some time.  It makes for a much different race than with lots of other runners around for company and motivation.  Alone at the back, there's only one's self to do it all;  things like trying to keep someone in sight;   fearing having taken a wrong turn, on the right course? Seeing barriers being dismantled; aid stations being cleared, and for this marathon especially, having to constantly think about strictly enforced cut-off points along the I going to make each one?  Worry, hurry! Just being alone for most of these things and at the same time think about how to race: form, pace, hydration, self-talk, etc.etc.!  So many things bring on extra stress at the rear end that I don't think front and middle pack runners have to worry about.  Anyhow, they're just my thoughts and how I am affected as a slow runner during a marathon.

Apart from all that or perhaps because of all that, I had a great run; not an easy one....after all, it was a marathon!  There were stages where I thought the whole thing would never end; way up ahead at times I could see 'little dots' (runners!) and thought: God Almighty, do I really have to run that far still?  However, with a lot of self-talk and relaxing all parts of the body, I managed not to slow down too much except on the long inclines and finally made a very strong rush for the finish line without 'hitting the wall' at all!  I walked through all drink stations but that was the only walking I did; quite unlike other marathons where I've been forced to walk and drag myself to the finish.  I actually raced around the Circular Quay area to the applause/amusement of people eating at the outdoor cafes and to hear my name AND AGE called out by the commentator as I crossed the finish mat was the final flourish!

I am very happy about how I ran my 11th Marathon!  I followed a marathon training program of only 3 days running each week from the book "Runner's World, Run Less Run Faster" ....and they were right...I did run faster!

5km splits/Avg pace:  35:32/7:06;  37:22/7:28;  37:38/7:31;  37:25/7:29;  37:40/7:32;  39:43/7:56;  39:09/7:49;   41:10/8:14;  (20:06/7:27)
Forgot to bring HR monitor.  I have a quite painful right knee today and have had  it x-rayed just to make sure nothing sinister is going on in there!  I am far too young to retire from my athletic career!!

The Last Sprint to the Finish!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

On Sunday, 22nd August, at the ACTVAC Annual Half Marathon, I managed to take 13 seconds off the time for my Australian Record, W80 Half Marathon set on May 2nd of this year!  That's all it was......13 seconds !  I suppose that makes it a new Australian  record!

I'd entered for this event a few weeks prior but left it till Saturday afternoon to decide booking Saturday night accommodation rather than driving down so early on Sunday morning as intended.  I managed to secure a very nice room at Olims Hotel, not more than five minutes from the start/finish at Stage 88, Commonwealth Park.

I had a cracker of a run!  Felt great the entire distance, even those three monster hills couldn't slow me down;  I just ploughed onwards and upwards, never stopping!  And as for passing other runners.....well, what can I say!  Scenery beautiful, off road and a glorious morning for running : no wind, no rain, just sunshine all the way.  Catching up with Strewth, CJ, Peter and some other ACT friends was the icing on the cake and many of these also received medals for age category wins.  Smiles all round!

As well as setting a Record W80 Half Marathon time for the ACTVAC, I was positively astounded to be called out to receive and to hold for one year,  the lovely trophy awarded for "Performance Records (Age%) - Women, with a score of 79.7%.   It will be engraved and returned in time for next year's event.

Time = 2:17:12
5km Splits: 33:19, 32:13; 32:34; 32:40; (6:19).  Avg. Pace = 6:31 min/km

No wonder than, having run my heart out and received the awards that I was so exhausted I had to break the drive home by stopping at three different rest areas and wander around for a few minutes in a daze!

With only 4 weeks to Blackmores Marathon now,  that's the end of the fun and games for the next few weeks! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

...........the storm came through on Macquarie Pass and Range Road during yesterday's long run.

For about ten minutes an icy wind and rain stormed its way through the Macquarie Pass and Range Road; the coldest and fiercest I've ever been out in and the temperature plummeted at least ten degrees!  Then, much to my relief and in fear for my life, the sun came out again!  18km out + 18km return = 36km!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I had an on-air chat with the guys from "Triple M" radio station today about the article and photo in the Telegraph yesterday and the marathon in September.  Surprise!  Surprise!

Monday, August 09, 2010

I ran the entire 14km yesterday without stopping!  I was determined to finish further away from that 100 minute Green Group cut-off time than the last time I ran this run in 2008....missing last year because of a heavy cold.  Finishing time 2008 was too dangerously close at 98 minutes!  I carried a small 6oz bottle of sports drink and drank from that immediately after each drink station.  Great not to have had to fight my way through the crowds and I didn't need anything more than that.

According to official results :   94:03 yesterday.  I think the Garmin  had some trouble with the tunnel but seems to have corrected itself on exit;  clever little thing!!

I loved the run and didn't feel I was struggling - as I usually do  - on those hillsHas to be something to do with my present training program which I feel is making me just that little bit stronger and, dare I say it....faster!

We left Mittagong by coach at 5:30a.m. and so quick was the trip, I stood from 7:oo in the freezing cold until the start at 8:30am.  I've never felt the cold like this before; another fellow traveller shared her thick jacket with me by each sharing an armhole!

Lunch provided at the Charing Cross Hotel : I had a big bowl of fettucine with Neapolitana Sauce.   Back home - tired - at 5:00pm.... but a great day!  I really love this run!

2nd place in 70 to 99 age category (125 runners).  YIPPEE!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

She's not the only one to have her photo in the papers!

I had a visit from a photographer and journalist from the "Sunday Telegraph" yesterday for an article about taking part in Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Marathon.  Why they'd land on me, I can't imagine!  Could it possibly have something to do with my age? 

We went to a nearby soccer field and all I had to do was run towards the camera...but I had to do it a million times from different angles...or so it seemed!  It was quite amusing and good fun.....each time the photographer was ready, he'd call out: "Right. Go for it!" and off I'd trot.  These were followed up with a couple of portrait
shots of me leaning languidly  - I nearly typed 'seductively'  -  against the fence railings....just like a real star!

It's to be in tomorrow's Sunday Telegraph, I think.  Be quick because I might buy all editions!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

..........that I wouldn't be home before sunset, I started today's long run just before sunrise!  A small bowl of oats with a dollop of yoghurt at 4:00am and reset the alarm for 6:a.m. This training is serious stuff and serious measures such as these are now becoming necessary!  But, how I hate getting up anything before 9:00am, never going to bed before the usual time of midnight!

For today, 37km : first 10km loop along Old South Road before the traffic and full sunrise; second 10km around to Inkerman Road where I had a good view of how the new Renwick housing development is coming is, in leaps and bounds.  3rd loop of 10 +7km took me to the end of Diamond Fields Road and beyond, where angels fear to tread!  Strangely, once out  and about the semi-dark start was quite enjoyable!

Each loop had its ups and downs  - mainly ups  - and the surface of Diamond fields Road, especially the bit beyond, was rough and rock strewn.  I suppose that's why my knees are sore tonight, especially the right knee so,  good that tomorrow is a rest day.  After each 10km I had a gel, water and sports drink. 

I did today's long run as an experimental run/walk (6/1).....walking the 'walk' as fast as possible.  After each 10km I was back at the car for a gel, water and sports drink.  What is of concern with this, I think,  is that it's extra stopping/rest time at the car that I won't have during the marathon; I tend to linger! It's not continuous run/walk, so next long run I'm going to carry what I need and do away with the extra minutes at the car.  I believe, in doing this there'll be quite a difference in how I feel at the end of 38km or more and very much more like how I'll be feeling during the marathon next month, ( next month?  Shriek!) though I suppose I could chat to the Ambos for a break.  4 hours moving time today.

Anyhow, that's how preparations are progressing....I hope that's the right word to describe the passing weeks!

I'm very tired tonight!

Friday, July 30, 2010

All the roads on which I usually run Friday's Tempo Run are either being repaired, widened or in some way dug up.  A change of plans was in order, so after 1.5km warm-up I headed for Old South Road, which wasn't being dug up,  where I ran hill repeats.

Without having any idea of its gradient, I ran 9 x 90 seconds uphill and walked down after each.  Garmin says 200m.  It wasn't too difficult and in fact I enjoyed the change.  Next time I decide to do this I'll go further up the hill where it gets much steeper, but today was OK for starters!  I finished with 1.5km cool-down and some stretches on the grass in the soccer field.

A very satisfying session......for me, I thought!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


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 These beautiful twin lambs were born a few minutes before I took these pictures!  I've come to know the staff, students and farm animals at this school very well over the years that I've been running and taking my dogs for their daily walk there and in the surrounding paddocks..  I see new calves arrive, but never on the day they're born.  The two most recent calves I've named "Fred" and "Ginger" (!) and I feed them bread by hand each afternoon.  As soon as they see me or the dogs, they come galloping across the paddock, knowing well what I have for them!

This afternoon, a very happy teacher called to me that twin lambs had just been born.  Well,  I was never so excited and, forgetting about the dogs, rushed to the paddock to see them.  They were so tiny and stumbling to get on their feet, with mum nudging & licking them upwards!  I think that was when I started to cry and didn't stop until the teacher asked me if I'd like to come with him and pick up one of  the lambs and, with their mother following and bleating loudly, carry it to a shed where they would be safe and warm for the night.

I picked up this tiny, still wet little thing and held it close all the way to the shed! It was just one of those beautiful, never-to-be-forgotten moments!

Friday, July 16, 2010

In today's mail!  The certificate for my Canberra Half Marathon Australian Record, 2nd May 2010 at the ACTCCC Road Running Festival.  I am so excited and proud to have achieved this recognition!  My third Australian Record too!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

..........finishing with today's long hilly run of  32km in 4 hours 12 minutes.  All going slowly but well so far!

Monday, July 05, 2010

  If there's one single thing that I've felt with every marathon I've ever run,  it's that I feel I've never run enough long runs in training and the long runs have never been long enough.  In other words, not enough kilometres in the legs.

......and that's what I'm especially concentrating on this time round.

So.....36km yesterday!

3 x 12km loop : the first on Old South Road, 7:15am before the traffic started; second, to Inkerman Road and the third loop on Diamond Fields Road.

This took me just about 5 hours.  A gel, water and sports drink at the car after each of the first 2 loops. Lots of hills and quite 'done in' by the finish.  Yes, I did have a nap after that one!  Feel good today though, Monday.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

32km today to finish off Week 4 of my marathon training program.  I can't remember when I last ran so far and for so long, so it's worthy of a mention here!

I ran 3 loops of 10km (+2km), all in different directions and on different surfaces : 2 on dirt roads and 1 sealed and  it took me 4 hours 12 minutes to complete!  I then lay on the grass in warm sunshine, did a few stretches and felt very pleased with myself!

Surprisingly, I felt quite good after finishing and didn't need the usual  nap that used follow a long run.  The pace was a bit slower than it should have been, but I hope that will improve as the weeks progress.  50km this week.

Friday, June 04, 2010

My new Garmin 310xt arrived at 8:00am today, less thant 24 hours after ordering it from 'Highly Tuned Athletes' in Melbourne!  Now, I'm putting it together (wish they'd label the bits and pieces for the technology challenged!).  Finally worked out which bit goes where and have it charging the battery right now.  This 'Getting Started' section is quite different from my recently and sadly departed 305.

Hopefully I'll take it with me on Sunday's 21km long run which marks the end of week 1 of 16 towards the Sydney Marathon on September 19th.

For this morning's  tempo run I ran by time using an ordinary watch : 25 minutes warm-up; 20 minutes all uphill and breathing hard!  25 minutes cool down, down hill.  I chose an uphill section  in the middle so as to get some hill training done and it was slower, but much harder than the usual flattish roads I use on Fridays for a tempo run.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

 Have entered Blackmores Sydney Running Festival...for the marathon!  Crazy!  My each year starting in 2000AD!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

....My poor old  much loved Garmin 305 died on Monday.  Died, good and proper! Now I have to get a new one and it's going to be the 310xt as it has pretty much the same features as the 305 plus a few extras.  I bought the 305 from the US when they first became available about 4 or 5 years ago I think. It has been a very close friend and has never let me down.  I will be sad.... until the new one arrives!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


How do I spend this $50 for Half Marathon Masters W80 winner?

In today's mail a gift voucher that can be redeemable only at "The Runners Shop", Canberra!

Guess I'll have to make a trip to the ACT or perhaps I can use it on line or keep it till next year.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

...Yes, almost ran a 10km PB at SMC 10km this morning....but not quite!

Best 10km at SMC was in January when I ran 1:02:46.  Today, I ran 1:02:49!  Where did those few seconds escape to?  Must have been when I grabbed a few jelly beans on the way back!

In any case, I was very pleased with my time : I had run only two very easy 5k runs since the SMH Half Marathon last Sunday and the CRRF Half Maraton a couple of weeks before that, so I was expecting around 65 minutes this morning ....those are my excuses and I'm stcking to them!

Perfect running conditions : very cool, slight breeze and completely overcast.

10km in 1:02:49.
Avg. Pace 6:15
AHR 135 (85%);  MHR 150 (94%)...that was a stampede to the finish line heart rate with a young man who was finishing the 25k race!  We had a good laugh about who got there first.

5km Splits 32:36; 30:06....the hills on the way out are what slow me down.  I'll have to conquer them!