Sunday, April 23, 2017

Saturday & Sunday ~~~~~

This was Saturday .......  at Briars after Bowral parkrun when my lovely friends drove up from Canberra, some camping the previous night, to allow me to be part of Ewen's 60th birthday celebrations!  I mean, when you've got friends like that, what more can you say or hope for from others?  I often think to myself, but have never said it out loud before let alone put pen to paper :  I have living relatives who neither know nor care if I'm alive or not and it has been hurtful and distressing for many years but then comes a day like yesterday and I remember my wonderful, loyal friends and I don't mind anymore!

After such a joyful birthday breakfast, unexpectedly, I found myself a little sad for the rest of the day.  I think because I wondered if there would there be another such reunion in my lifetime?  I do hope so, but I think a little part of my heart might have been saying goodbye ... just in case!  Hence the pang of sadness that followed.

This is Sunday ........ part of where I did my long run/walk.  Plenty of walking because the hills never get any easier and I was just so very tired!  Maybe I ate too much of Ewen's wombat birthday cake and then, being greedy, also took home an even larger portion for supper!  The cake was made by the amazing Ruth and was transported from Canberra along with Dave's bikes for a triathlon today at Batemans Bay.  I wouldn't have dared!  I could see the bike colliding with the chocolate 'wombat'!

So the run had a lot of walking;  I was very tired but I guess it was better to do what I could rather than staying home doing nothing! I probably underestimate the value of walking as part of training but it's so slow and takes so long to get done! 

6 to 9km easy running.

I did 8k along my favourite dirt roads incl. 6x80m strides
TE  1.5!  Really?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Road Repeats ~~~~~

1.5k warm-up

3 x 1500m @ mod. to hard effort ...... I did 2 & that was enough!
VP set to finish in 12:25

3mins RI
Short cool-down + stretches at home.

11:41.  TE  2.4
12:09   TE 2.5

Normally, Friday is a rest day but since I'm a volunteer at Bowral parkrun tomorrow morning, there was no need for a rest.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Low Heart Rate Run ~~~~~

Low Heart Rate Run ~~~~~ 4 to 8km with 4 to 6 Strides.

Bowral Parkrun Course:


6 x 80m strides ..... did most of these on hilly sections including up the grassy hill to finish.  Took a couple of longish walk breaks on return 4km.

Plenty of water in the old Wingecarribee River.

Enjoyed this easy run on another sunny autumn day!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easy Run with Strides ~~~~~~

Another glorious summery day!

Easy Run with 6 x 80m strides.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Repeats on Road ~~~~

3km warm-up   ......  I jogged 2km

7 x 1km @ mod. to hard effort .....  I did 3 with VP set to run 7:34m/k

3min RI

3km cool-down ...  I walked 1km

A breezy morning with the sun in and out along Scarlett Street where I did 3 of 7 road repeats.

7:19  TE 2.4
7:34  TE 2.4
7:34  TE 2.2

I enjoyed getting out this morning despite the fact that my blog and I face the threat of possible extinction in 4 weeks!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

To Run or Not to Run? ~~~~

I've been asking myself that question for weeks now, ever since my 5km parkrun times began to spiral downwards and have continued to do so no matter how hard I try and train and wish it wasn't happening.

Today I've come to a showdown with myself!  If in 4 weeks I've made no significent increase in my 5km parkrun times, I'll hang up the runners and close this blog for good! If  running goes so does the blog .... can't have one without the other!  

On the scale of things that really matter this is of no relevance, gravity or even interest to anyone at all except myself.  It'll pass like everything else without much notice, I know, but this is all about me to myself!  I'm giving myself an admonishing warning :  perk up, shape up or shut up the blog and hang up the runners!  I've got 4 weeks in which to do it.  How?  I've no idea!

Starting this week ~~~~~

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Today ~~~ Thursday ~~ Complete Rest!

                          "What is without periods of rest will not endure."  Ovid

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Low HR Run ~~~~~~ Tuesday & Wednesday!

Nasty blister well padded; felt OK to run.  An easy 6km run this morning keeping a low heart rate and including 6 x 80m strides.

AHR 101 bpm .....  74% of MHR
6 x 80m strides
TE   1.8  Minor

Wednesday: same as yesterday!
6km easy run including 6 x 80m strides
AHR 98bpm (72% of MHR)

TE 1.6  Minor.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow ~~~~~ & Tomorrow is Here! Which Means it's Monday!

Yesterday ......  yesterday seems so far away!
Bowral Parkrun #81 for me...
39:51 age graded 84.19% .. just about finished berating myself over this slow one!

Today .....  today I had the feeling!
Long Run ....  the feeling of a huge blister on the sole of my left foot! So painful!  I hobbled the last few metres, sat down and inspected the damage!

Reminder to buy Blister Block before next run!

9km easy running (with some walk breaks) including 6 x 80m strides & 6 x 10 second hill sprints.
TE  2.2  Maintaining

Tomorrow ... the sun will come out tomorrow!
Stepping back from usual running plan this week to have more recovery time and do some easy, low heart rate runs while I sort out why I've been so tired when Saturday's parkrun comes around. To be continued ......

Monday :  Going Nowhere!  Just as well a rest day is the plan! Really, really, really sore!

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Repeats on Road ~~~~~

Chev oval would have been impossible to run on this morning after not only more rain but more feet to plough up the ground after football matches.  I used quiet and secluded Scarlett Street where I had a cheer ("You're doing well!") from the driver of a passing garbage truck!

Program was:

Warm-up .....  I jogged 1km to get distance right.
5 x 1000m (VP set to run 7:45m/k)
400m RI ... walking around.
Cool-down & Stretches .. I did the latter at home.

7:38  TE 2.1 Maintaining

7:15  TE 2.7 Maintaining

7:33  TE 3.1  Improving!! 

7:17  TE 3.0  Improving!!!!

7:21  TE 2.8  Maintaining

1km Repeats all ahead of VP!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Tempo Run & the Thrill of Staying Ahead of VP! ~~~~~

Bowral parkrun course; light wind and rain ... all good!

1.5 km warm-up
3.0km @ ST pace (ie 8:10m/k based on 40 min 5k finish)
1.5km easy
1.5km @ ST pace
1.5km easy
3.0km @ St pace
1.5km cool-down

Ran all of the above segments either on grass hill, cycle path or surrounding Burradoo streets.  Over the moon that I left VP struggling to keep up!

3:0km in 23:03
Avg. 7:41m/k
TE 2.5 Maintaining

1.5km in 11:55
Avg. 7:57m/k
TE 2.5 Maintaining

3:0km in 23:33
Avg. 7:51m/k
TE 3.2 IMPROVING ... at last!

I was extremely pleased with myself this morning!  Not in a very long time have I felt what it's like to run almost effortlessly while at the same time enjoying the light rain and, best of all, staying ahead of VP!

The 1.5km lap at pace, Burradoo.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

It Worked! ~~~~~

The changes made this week, paid dividends this morning at Bowral parkrun! I'm dead chuffed to have taken 2 minutes off last Saturday's 5km time!  Nowhere near a PB of 33 minutes but a whole lot closer than I've been in weeks.

The changes were swapping my tempo run from Thursday to Tuesday and track on Thursday instead of Tuesday.  That way, I had the easier session towards the end of the week, not the other way around.  Just as importantly, I believe, was getting up at 5:30am, an hour earlier than I normally do, and thus giving myself time to wake up!  This is dedication par excellence because I really, really, really love my warm and comfortable bed! Zzzzz!  It's like a magnet that refuses to let go!

Outside, it was a bed lover's nightmare!  Heavy fog made driving across to Bowral a real worry. Once there, one final step in preparation before the run started at 8:00am sharp :  a 10 minute warm-up easy jog and a few strides ..  all done  ... ready to run!  Forgot to turn off the Garmin at finish! The official result is ........

5km in 37:57

Age Graded 88.41%

TE 2.9
AHR 92%

Avg. Pace 8:08m/k;  VP ran 8:00m/k!

Atop the bleeding hill!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Magill ~~~~~~

......  drills ~~~~~

Straight from school to Scarlett Street for a few Magill drills/strides after a short warm-up.

Tomorrow ~~~~~~ early rise for Bowral Parkrun, hoping for something like today's warm, sunny skies!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Track Repeats...Not on Track! ~~~~~

It was raining very lightly to start with but ploppy drops soon followed!  The oval at Chev. was wet, the grass was long, the lanes had gone and, with nothing else to guide me, I had to use the narrow strip and markings for the football field as a lane in which to run!  I should add: and in which to fall over!  My right foot went down a hole that was meant for a pole, not a foot!  However, the landing was soft on the wet, muddy grass and the take off was smooth!

I did 2 of the 4 repeats, by which time the rain was becoming heavier, the drops were more than ploppy and, deciding factor, I had little chance of getting ahead of VP so called it quits.  Driving home, I could barely see ahead more than a couple of hundred metres as a thick fog settled on the entire area.  I couldn't help but notice on either sides of the road how the tall gum trees became ghost-grey in the mist.  Spooky-grey!

Program:  10 min warm-up ....  with Garmin, I jogged 1200m to measure distance for repeats.
Couple drills and strides.

2 x 1200m (9:21)
400m RI

9:22..  TE 2.3 Maintaining
9:27..  TE 2.4 Maintaining

Stretches when I was at home.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

More on 'What I'm Doing About It! ~~~

"IT" being my slower 5km time at Bowral Parkrun! 

Cross Training ......

25 mins. stationary bike ...       

followed by

...........*Strength Exercises.  
Privacy is a basic requirement here! 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tempo Run ~ Bowral Parkrun Course ~~~

A cloudy, pleasantly cool morning with light mist covering the distant hills on Bowral parkrun cycle path.  Normally, Tuesday would be a track session but the change around started this morning with a tempo run instead.  I always seem to be looking for excuses -  other than the obvious! -  as to why any particular run didn't go as I would have wished!

I had Sunday and Monday off because I was so terribly tired after Saturday's parkrun, and so those two days of doing nothing can take the blame for this morning's run not being as comfortable as I would have expected after so much rest.  There!  How easy is it to find excuses?  Took no time at all!

1.5km warm-up .....  I did this jogging down the grassy hill & onto the cycle path.
5km @ ST Pace ..... i.e. 8:10m/k based on a 40 min 5k time
Cool down .. none!  Some stretches instead!

5km in 41:47
Avg. Pace 8:22m/km
AHR 110bpm;  MHR  139bpm
82% to 104%(?) of max.

TE  1.9  ..  Minor!  To the devil with that!

Splits:  8:01;   8:36;   8:10;   7:58;   9:01 ... VP got me, as he always does (humph, hummph, humph!) running up the grassy hill to finish!

That's it till track on Thursday.  "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!"

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Too Darned Tired! ~~~~~ and What I'm Doing About It!

Too tired to do my long run, darnation, but a lovely morning for sitting in the sun!  Some changes in the coming week as to when I do track and tempo sessions; just swapping them around to see if I'm any less tired for Saturday's parkrun than I've been in recent weeks.  So sluggish and slow lately that I've thought of giving it a break for a while.

Instead, my good friend, Ewen, has suggested changing the harder tempo run on Thursday to Tuesday and doing the shorter track intervals on Thursday, just switching them around in the hope that I'll recover better and faster for parkrun.  Makes sense!  How come I didn't think of that?  Too rigidly devoted to following a program?  Just shoot me, that's me, for sure!

Another of Ewen's suggestions, which, strangely, I had been considering overnight as well, searching for any answers to my downward spiral, was getting up earlier on Saturday so as to be more (about to type 'fully'!) awake for parkrun.  I'm going to try this because I'm neither an early morning runner nor racer!   Not an early morning person for anything really.  I'm still half asleep when it's time to run on Saturdays!  This means instead of setting the alarm for 6:30am this coming Saturday, it'll be 5:30!!!  WHAT?  Hot diggity dog!  It'll be darker than dark!  Colder than cold!  Oh, lordy! Can I rise to the occasion?  I hope so; I truly mean to! 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bowral Parkrun ~~~~~

I don't know why I run better during the week and then badly at parkrun!  Not sure why I struggle to breath, struggle to keep running, struggle everything!  Makes parkrun less enjoyable than it used be and the large bog of water and mud that has to be crossed before finishing, does nothing for my morale!

However .....

Avg. pace 8:06m/k

82.94% age graded

AHR 122bpm;   MHR 132bpm
91% to 99% of MHR

TE 2.5  Maintaining

And so .....

Onwards to next week!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tempo Run ~~~~~~ Bowral Parkrun Course

Rain cleared while I was running but started lightly as I ploughed my way back uphill at the Briars!  Struggled even on the flat cycle path this morning;  one of those days when running feels laboured!

Tempo Run:
1.5km easy
3km @ ST pace (7:58m/k)
1.5k easy
3km @ ST pace
1.5k easy  ....  changed to 500m uphill in light rain

3km Avg. pace 7:56m/k   86%-117% of max.
TE  Maintaining

3km Avg. pace 8:17m/k   104%-145% of max.!!
TE  3.1 last!

Still puzzled why HR is so high for both 3kms!  Garmin Settings?  Needs looking into.

Out & Back for 2x3kms

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Whatever Happened to Heart Rate? And Road Repeats ~~~~~

It went from the sublime to the ridiculous this morning! Heart rate ranging from 103% to 127% of MHR!  I should be dead!  Maybe I am and don't know it yet!  No!  Everything around me is as usual when training lately:  rain never far away!

Warm-up ... I did 15 mins.
6 x 800m  in 6:01 ...  I did 3!
90 sec RI ... I took more!
Cool down ...  didn't happen; it rained!

1. 6:24  .... TE 2.0 Maintaining
2. 6:18  .... TE 1.8 Minor
3. 6:07  .... TE 2.0 Maintaining

I struggled big time this morning and called it quits after 3 repeats.  Gasping for breath up and down Scarlett Street instead of going to Chev track which would certainly have been under water by now and, feeling as sapped as I did, where I might easily have disappeared forever into the swamp!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

"Simon's Cat April Showers" ... change that to March!


I missed parkrun yesterday, not because of the awful weather conditions, but simply because I was too exhausted!  Exhausted after having run all my running sessions over the past fortnight in rain, rain and more rain!  Enough to tire the fittest!  Had the weather been fine I still could not have run, so I know how Simon's cat feels!  Rested all day yesterday except for taking 'Amy' for her walk through the paddocks while I fed cows, goats and chooks.  Still tired today and I got exactly what I expected this morning: rain, rain, rain!

This morning was no exception to the weather of late: rain showers all the way out and back from the Highlands School.  The dirt road was a quagmire in several sections and wading through ankle deep water on slippery mud was - I was about to say 'fun' - more like comic drama!  A combination of walking, jogging, jumping, wading, slipping and sliding just to finish 8km!

Les Miserables!

AHR 96bpm;  MHR 121bpm
67% to 84% of Max.

TE  1.4  =  Minor!  WHAT?  I'm changing that to "MAJOR'!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

"Just Singin' & Runnin' in the Rain! ~~~~~

Light rain on the cycle path in Bowral for this morning's run : 6km at mid-tempo pace.

Warm-up  :  Jog down the grassy hill

6km (@ MT pace) ....pace 8:18m/k based on 39 min finish for recent 5km.

Cool-down  :  Jog up the grassy hill.

I never really got into any sort of rhythm for whatever reason!  The warm-up was too short : 500m instead of 1.5km but it was raining heavily at the start and so I set off immediately I reached the path.  Light rain along the entire 6km; that was OK; stayed ahead of VP .. that was OK too!  Just felt heavy, slow and lethargic!  Tragic!

6km (50 mins.)
Avg. pace 8:12m/k
AHR 112bpm;  MHR 149bpm (glitch?)
78% - 103% of max. 
8:00;  8:05;  8:45;  8:16;  8:28;  8:19

6km on cycle path.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Road Repeats ~~~~~

I used a straight stretch of road on Scarlet Street this morning, knowing that Chev oval would be too wet after last night's storm.  Just managed to get the whole session done as more rain fell.  It wasn't an easy session by any means - track never is - but I like track days just the same, especially when I stay ahead of VP as I did this morning!

10 mins warm-up
10 x 400m in 3:02 .... time now based on a 39 min for 5km.  No more 40 min pacing!
90 sec RI
10 mins cool-down   +  Stretches

2:37;  3:02;  2:42;  2:45;  2:50;  2:47;  2:58;  2:33;  3:00;  2:28
AHR 65%  - 94% of MHR

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Long Run ~~~~~ and 4 weeks of consistent running done & dusted!

This glorious morning I aimed to run easily for about 90 minutes but at that time I was so close to 10km I ran the extra distance around the school soccer field.  I was reminded while I jogged along Diamond Fields Road and Buckman's Lane of just how beautiful an area I have in which to run.  Few places are more beautiful and few runners more fortunate than I! 

Today I finished 4 uninterrupted weeks in which I did every session in my 5km program!  So happy with that especially after having lost so many weeks at the start of the year with 2 bouts of bronchitis and 2 short stays in hospital.....  "the glass is refillable"!  Believe it!

As I do now on my long runs, this morning I included strides, about 80m, on the flat and several 10 second sprints each time I came to a hill.  I like doing this, apart from the obvious benefits, because it breaks up the time on feet by changing paces while, at the same time, helping motivation over longer distances.

My Program for today:

90 minutes easy running ....ended being 95mins.
AHR 102bpm;   MHR 130bpm
71%  to  90% of MHR

TE  1.4  Minor!  What?  Again?  What do I have to do to earn 'Improving'?

I use the white posts on either side of the road for strides!

I never knew people raised camels in the Southern Highlands but here's a new arrival and there were several others in an adjoining paddock.

School, Diamond Fields Road, Buckman's Lane, soccer field, school, usual stretches.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bowral Parkrun ~~~ broke 40 mins. at last!

Still a long way from my PB of 33:34 but 2:17 faster than last Saturday ...  I'm happy with that ... for now!  Ran my heart out, I did!

5km in 39:28 (Garmin Time)

AHR 123;  MHR 132
85%  -  92% of MHR
Avg. Pace 7:55m/k

Splits:  7:27;  7:42;  7:59;  7:55;  8:22 up that blasted hill!

TE  Maintaining!  (I call it "Improving"!)

84.90% Age Grade!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Tempo Run ~~~~ and a good one for a change!

"Good" just means I kept the pace I was supposed to! VP running at 8:10m/k for the ST 1.5km sections; me just ahead of him!

Very pleasant running on Bowral parkrun cycle path; 2 detours into nearby streets, past Oxley College and back onto the cycle path to finish at the top of the grassy hill!

1.5km easy
1.5k @ ST pace (8:10m/k based on  40 min finish for 5k)
1.5k easy
1.5k @ ST pace
1.5k easy
1.5k @ ST pace
1.5k easy

Total 10.5km

500m splits @ ST pace
3:52;   3:58;   4:34
4:01;   4:08;   4:04
3:56;   3:52;   4:01

AHR 104bpm;   MHR 122bpm
72%  -  85% of MHR

TE   2.0  Maintaining!  What?  It's Improving! 

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Chev. Track ~~~~~

Partly cloudy and cool; 400m lane just visible.  I think this narrow strip marks the boundary for cricket if I remember correctly, so I expect it will disappear altogether shortly. For now, it does very nicely as a 400m lane.

1600m (12:36);     1200m (9:21);     800m (6:10);    400m (3:03)
Times/paces based on 40min 5km finish.

15 min warm-up

My Results::  12:26;    9:17;    6:10;    2:59

78-88% of max. TE 2.0;  77-85% of max.  TE 1.8;  77-86% of max. TE 1.5;  77-85% of max. TE 1.3

Short cool-down & Stretches.

Surprised and pleased to stay just ahead of VP, who was set to run at the times above in blue, for all 4 repeats!  It wasn't easy by any means but I always enjoy a track session when ahead of VP.  I think that's because it gives me a real sense of satisfaction at having won!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Easy 60 Minutes~~~~~

Neither distance, nor pace, nor heart rate mattered this morning. Just an easy one hour time on feet.  Started and finished on my favourite Sunday run, Diamond Fields Road.  Finished just under an hour so I must have been  faster on the way back or I like to think so anyway!  Lovely, cool misty morning with light rain some of the time, making it so good to be out.  To mix things up, I ran some strides on the flat and some short, ten second sprints when I came to hills. 

There it was again this morning, resting in the paddock!