Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I did a sneaky...ssshhhhh

I know I said I wasn't going to run for 3 weeks but I couldn't help myself. It wasn't anything historic nor anything we should alert the media about, it was a mere 600m but I just wanted to see how things felt. Nothing hurt - nothing at all. Zip, nada, niet. I do believe things are mending nicely and I couldn't be happier.

Now this doesn't mean that I am going to get back into running straight away, it was just a taste test of the wonderful meal to come. With all the strength work I have been doing, stretching I have been enduring and swimming I have been loving, it has allowed things to net together nicely and there is no way in the southern hemisphere I am going to jeopardise it.

It sure felt nice though to loosen the cobwebs. My brain however went into overdrive analysing every movement, stride, pace. And I made sure to make this run as slow as I could, a bit hard when my legs are quite long, but I think I accomplished it. The one thing I did feel strained and that was my breathing. Not sure if it was the cold air or that I have become that unconditioned to running already. I hope it isn't the latter.

Before my small running comeback I went back to the pools in the morning and completed 600m of a aqua jogging as well as the spa/sauna again. Things are feeling awesome, I am so happy. I also completed my strength workout written up by Sandi, a good friend on DM.

This was my session:
  • 20 backward leg swings (R & L)
  • 20 sideways leg swings (R & L)
  • 20 backward lunges swinging leg forward when coming up
  • 3 sets of 15 of the following using 3kg dumbells
  • lateral arm raises
  • bicep curls
  • shoulder press
  • tricep extensions
  • 3 sets of 20
  • ab curls
  • bicycle crunches
  • standard situps with 3kg weight
  • 3 x 1min planks
I have made it my goal to stick to this session 3 times a week as it will give me much needed strength when I well and truly get back into the running and cycling full swing.

One thing I have noticed since not running or cycling and focusing on my swimming and upper body is how tight my shoulders have become, so I am now off for a massage. Can't wait.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Brrrrrrrr - but I got in.

This morning was absolutely freezing. A suburb not too far from home recorded -1 degrees celsius overnight. And I would say where I live it was not too far off. We had severe frost all over the lawn and on the cars again, enough frost that even the morning sun was not melting it and we needed to get the hose out. And I half started to contemplate going back inside, putting on my PJ's and getting back in bed. That thought was far more logical then going to the pools for a swim, but logic was not going to win this morning and I was going to get in the pool regardless of the external temp. I can't pike out when the going get's tough in my races, this training in adverse conditions is what is going to make me tough.

Heading into the pools my car thermometer recorded 4 degrees external ambient temp and as I reached the pool I could see the steam coming off it like some beautiful blanket. I was lloking forward to getting into a nice bath like pool. HAH, bath like, what a joke. This couldn't have been further from the truth. I jumped in thinking it was going to be like my last swim - 28 degrees (almost too warm to swim in) and what I was met with butt freezing, breath taking, just tepid water. The lifeguard took one look and said "The boilers can't cope with the cold and are struggling. Water temp is 26.3 degrees celsius and dropping". Great. Oh well, I'm in, time to get cracking on my session so you can get out quicker.

Here's how it went:
  • 700m Fr/s Warm up
  • 3 x 100m Bk/s kick with flippers
  • 3 x 100m Fr/s. Easy 50m increasing to sprint in 2nd 50m
  • 4 x 200m Fr/s turning at the "T"
  • 12 x 25m Fr/s breathing every 3,2,2,3
  • 8 x 50m Easy Br/s up, Fr/s sprint back.
  • 200m Fr/s cooldown.
By the time I finished water temp was 25.1 degrees celsius. I was kind of lucky in a way that I was staying warm by swimming and working hard otherwise there is no way I would have gotten in. This poor old lady jumped in and almost backtracked instantly and all she kept saying was "oh dear, oh dear", I would have found some other choice words to use.

It took me a good hour to warm back up again, even after a hot shower. My toes were burning, it felt like they were on fire. When I got home, I got changed into my PJ's and some nice fluffy socks and veged on the couch. Ah bliss.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Aqua Jogging - not easy my friends.

My recovery has been going really well, sufficed to say that this morning for the first time I have zero pain. I keep waiting for the twinge in my groin to grab me or the the pain in my butt cheeks to come back but so far so good. It is such a welcomed start to my day and I can't help wondering that if I feel this good now then in 3 weeks when the kids go back to school I should feel awesome and ready to go again.

To add to my collection of rehabilitation exercises I went Aqua jogging yesterday, harder than it looks. Reading an article yesterday morning in "Triathlete" April 2010, it stated that deep water running was an effective way to recruit all your running muscles in a non-impact way but still effective in eliciting a good VO2 response. Although this intrigued me what really got me was the part where it stated that this one women "Kathy Winkler" crossed the finish line second in an Ultra Marathon last year and ranked Top 10 with the fastest splits and had done most of her longer runs in deep water due to chronic hip issues. Now I was really intrigued. So I packed my sports bag and my Aqua Belt - not the one pictured above, mine is slightly different and off I went.

I must admit, I felt slightly awkward at first, I felt like an big kid with my oversized floatie but this awkwardness was shortlived when I got going. It is quite a challenging activity to run and not have any point of impact to gauge where your feet should be. Your body also wants to instinctively lean forward and start pulling water with the hands to help. I found I really had a need to want to see myself move forward and make some ground, but the aim of Aqua jogging is to mimic form not propulsion. So I set myself the task to complete 4 sets of 120m. The length of the pool was 20m so I ran 20m nice and slow and 20m at race pace (or the equivalent) in stride tempo.

My heart was absolutely pounding after each set, I didn't care anymore what I looked like. I set set myself a goal to accomplish and I was determined as hell to finish it. I am sure to everyone else I looked like a tiny head just slowly gliding along the waters surface, but underneath it was a flurry of activity - much like a duck I would think. Good thing was nothing hurt in my hip, groin or butt during this activity but I did have soreness just due to the drag effect of the water on my muscles. It is an awesome activity, I would suggest this to anyone - injured or not.

After finishing my sets of 480m in total which took me about 30mins to complete, I did my spa/sauna combo again with the cold showers inbetween. Absolutely the best way to finish off any activity I would think. My muscles felt relaxed and invigorated, ready to tackle another day. Life is good.

"Challenges are what make life interesting;
overcoming them is what makes life meaningful".

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The numbers keep rising.

Last night I went through alot of my Triathlon magazines to try and get some fresh ideas for my swim sessions. Turns out some of what I am doing is pretty much what is written, apart from the fact that I haven't done any open water swimming. I need to invest in a wetsuit for one, and gain a little courage to get out into the ocean. As I child I would, but age has made me very cautious about what is lurking below when I am the only one in the water. I also need to for the time being maybe do a couple of long distance interval type stuff - just to increase cardiovascular fitness. Doing the shorter interval stuff helps, but I need to be spitting out longer distances.

During my search I also wrote up two more sessions, one for Sharon who session is now on the 2km mark and also one for Natalie. My swim group is getting bigger - word of mouth is a wonderful thing. I had met Natalie a couple of times through bootcamp and am delighted that she is joining this group of fine swimmers. Natalie also surprised me with another welcome addition, her friend Tracy (green cap) below.
(Mel, Tracy, Tracy, Natalie, Susan [purple cap], Sharon and Me)

Michelle turned up later in the session and I will be posting another photo in the not too distant future. Everyone is finishing every session really happy, they each have their own session which I make up depending on their swimming ability and how they finish. If they finish feeling really good and not at all too tired then I up their session ever so slightly and vary it up as well. However if they are feeling that they are slightly pushing to complete then they stay on it till it becomes a easier. Finishing on a high note makes you want to come back and keep giving it a go, and so far so good. Everyone is going ahead in leaps and bounds.

Funny thing is I get so caught up with writing everyone else's session I turned up to the pool without one written up for me. So I altered last week's one a bit and did a 2.8km session.
  • 500m Fr/s warm.
  • 10 x 50m kick with flippers. Fr/s up, Bk/s back.
  • 2 x 400m Br/s up, Fr/s back.
  • 8 x 50m lateral kick.
  • 4 x 100 Bk/s.
  • 200m cooldown.
I came out of the water feeling energised and not sore in my legs. My hip/groin today feels really good and my ischial/gluteal tenderness is settling. Finally, I was starting to think I had done something really bad in my past life for which I needed to pay penance. I am still doing my regular stretching and strengthening exercises and have added some added upper body strengthening activities. I am starting to feel a move in the right direction again.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I just found these

I was just skimming through the Hills Triathlon Club Website and lo and behold - look what I found. How cool. This brought a smile to my face.

Questionable activity.

So I got out cycling yesterday. Boy did it feel good to get some wheels under me and just go out for a leisurely ride. An hour was all I allowed myself as I didn't want to push the hip and groin too far. And I must admit, the cycling in and of itself did not bother my hip one bit. I dropped the gears to a nice easy spin so I wasn't pushing too hard and I made light work of a 20km ride.

The weather was ideal, but once again a bit cold on the ears. Still haven't gotten a thin beanie that will fit under the helmet and I made up my own version of compression socks and wore my daughter's stripped knee highs under my cycling tights - stunning, but my legs were kept warm atleast. I have found a nice new loop to do which is 9km and although it is own a useable road the traffic is extremely tolerable. There are only a few hills but nothing major and the majority is flat even roads.

So after the cycling and testing out the old hip, I would say I felt pretty good that is until this morning. I am not quite sure if my pain is all bone related - I feel like it is muscle related as well. My hamstring, glute and abbductors are aching. Have to ring physio this morning and see what the go is. When I bend forward I get pain just under my right butt cheek and it goes straight into my inner right leg and down to my knee - like I can feel my muscles move and they don't like it.

What do you do, if life was all smooth sailing it would get boring.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Just chillin'

Physio told me to rest over the weekend, well that's what I did. Yesterday I went to the local Aquatic Centre and made use of their spa and sauna for well over an hour. I must admit though, I felt guilty as I am not used to doing this sort of self indulgent stuff when the kids and my husband are home. But, I needed this and I felt better for it - if only for a short time.

I started off in the spa for 15 minutes and felt so totally relaxed while all the jets belted my body around. It was such a nice change of pace to just sit and watch the world go by. I was making up little stories in my own mind about what each person was up to for the day. Some looked so stressed and in need of the therapy I was indulging in, while other's were revelling in the "just being", these were sitting beside me in the spa. I found myself just thinking about how we live our lives and how fast paced everything is. How little attention we actually pay to ourselves, not just physically but mentally as well. And how the only time we nurture ourselves is when things start to fall apart at the seams.

So with that in mind, I jumped out of the spa and straight into a cold shower for 1 minute of sheer bone chilling therapy. If there had of been not one person in the centre I think I may have screamed like an opera singer. Everything stood on end - holy cow it was cold. I stood there right till the last second of the minute being up, and then walked straight into the sauna for 15 mins of "oven baking".

Talk about taking your breath away. It was like opening up the oven door and then trying to take a big breath of air. My lungs shrivelled and it took a good minute before I felt comfortable in there. I made my way up to the back corner and tried to hide away from the fact that almost every seating position was taken up by men. Quite intimidating really - every eye made its way my way as I entered but I soon came to realise after some talk that they were all in here for pretty much the same reason as I was. Illness or injury - they each had their own story, journey and needed to gain solace in this inferno just as much as I did. They seemed quite surprised about how someone my age was dealing with issues that someone their age's were dealing with. It was nice to share war wounds.

15 mins up and back in the cold shower only to do it all again with the spa and sauna. And there I had just over and hour of hot/cold therapy. I walked out of the centre with not a single pain in my hip and felt quite flexible as I took advantage of the heat in the sauna for gentle stretching exercises. When I got home I took my 400mg Ibuprofen and felt relief right through the night.

This morning I woke up with only a slight twinge in my groin. It's like a little stitch every time I put my foot down and it grabs me right in my groin and slightly in my outer hip. So I took my Ibuprofen again and did all my stretches again which gave me relief right up till tonight. So I think I do feel somewhat better but not 100% even with all the rest I have had.

Tomorrow I look forward to some cycling but I wont be pushing it and trying to rock out some huge kilometres and I hope to follow it up with a back, shoulders and leg massage. Time to continue nurturing - I hope you all do the same and look after yourselves.

There is only one of you - TAKE CARE.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Physio report.

I have just come back from physio and it's a no go for running this weekend or any activity for that matter. I must rest and stretch - that is all as I still have pain in my groin. Then on Monday through to Wednesday I can swim and bike and I need to call her to let her know how I feel. If I feel okay I will then, and only then be allowed to do a light run on Friday as Thursday is my proposed swim day anyway. But, should the pain in my groin continue it's a no go for running for the remainder of next week. I also have an appointment booked with a Specialist Sports Medicine Doctor, but this is not till the 20th of July. That is so far away, feels like an eternity.

Anyway, the reason Lisa wants me to see the Sports Medicine Doc is because after lying on her table for my weekly stretch I tried to get up and my back got "caught" again. Exactly like it did after my Xray and exactly the way it always has for the last 14 years. I can't remember the last time I actually have fallen asleep on my back or stomach - it's just never been possible. And I always fear trying to move after being in this position as the pain is excruciating. So, before Lisa continues to manipulate my back too much she would like to have it checked out by a Doctor.

The last time I actually saw my rheumatologist was a year ago and I don't really want to go back unless I can hardly walk. I don't really want to go back on Prednisone again - even though it is a great drug, it really is only a bandaid fix. So, it will be interesting to see if another specialist has another take on what is happening to me. My diagnosis has always been Bilateral Sacroiliitis or Spondylosis of unknown origin. I can handle having this condition to a degree but not knowing its origin is annoying as hell.

Anyway, I hope you all have a totally wonderful weekend and I hope to enjoy my days off too. I look forward to spending tomorrow morning with the kids at their tennis and then just putting my feet up for the remainder of the weekend. Take care all and have a run for me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wake up call.

I would like to start off by saying that today was another great day in the water. I entered with only one thought in my head - nice, easy swim. Did I do that? I think so but I added a couple of sprints in there to spice things up a bit. Here's the session:

  • 500m Fr/s Warm up
  • 8 x100m Fr/s sighting the first 25m.
  • 10 x 50m kick with flippers
  • 20 x 25m sprints Fr/s, Bk/s Br/s, Fr/s
  • 300m cool down
The last two days gave me alot to think about while I was swimming. Like, what in God's name am I trying to get out of my running. Well, I want to run my Half Marathon, I want to run all the smaller races inbetween now and then keep up the training all the way to my 70.3 next year. Okay, so if that's what I want to do and I have never, ever, ever been a runner before and I want nothing else but to get there injury free then I need to let up a little. I have been trying to get this baby to sprint before it could even walk and the result is aggravation of my SIJ's which has caused intense pain in my right hip and groin two days after my 7km run in the city and 7km bridge run. The X-rays I had yesterday also revealed an 'os acetabulae' or bony spur on the head of my femur.

Okay, so what does all this mean. Well, the word S-L-O-W comes to mind when it involves running. Not that I have to run slowly, just that I have to increase my mileage slowly. I had looked back over my training over the last month or so and I had gone from running about 10km a week to last week running 24km. What was I expecting. Something had to give a little and my weak back is letting me know that it didn't appreciate it. So I have vowed to myself that I will once and for all listen to myself. I will take heed and not tempt fate anymore. I must and will increase my kilometres slowly, and if I feel the need to do more kilometres because I think my numbers are too small for the week I will take it out on the bike. There, I said it.

So, tomorrow is another day of physio and I am sure there will be more bruises cropping up - oh well. Lisa has shown me another new trick to add to the collection. I have to get a golf ball, put it on the floor and then (wait for it) roll my right buttock on it as my "buns of steel" have too many trigger points on it. Holy cow are the only words (well not really) that come to mind. There are many more but I am trying to keep this clean. I have this one trigger point at about the 12 o'clock mark that sends a spasm down the back of my leg. But after some 10 secs of applying pressure it settles and I find myself relaxing on the ball and not feeling it at all. But, you guessed it, when I move to a new spot I go cross eyed.
Thank goodness I don't stay looking like this.

In terms of the running I will be guided by what physio says tomorrow. Fingers crossed they will stand firm with what they said yesterday and I should be able to go for a run. I was hoping before all of this happened to do a 10km run but I will go for a run around the block - 8km if all feels good. And yes I will run nicely and calmly.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why did the chicken cross the road?

I have decided that I really, REally, REALly, REALLY like running. Even with all the aches and pains I get after, I still enjoy the feeling I get when I run. I feel free, alive, strong and blessed to be able to do this, something I only dreamed of a year ago. When I run I have time to think about all the things I have accomplished and the things that I have yet to accomplish in the future. I feel at times almost "super human", not because I run like a gazelle but because I now feel stronger than I ever thought imagineable. Every stride I take now has purpose, intention - from the first heel strike right through to the next heel strike. Before, I questioned every aspect of my running - breathing, torso position, placement of feet, pacing.

Now, dont get me wrong, there is still alot to get right but it just feels so much easier. I don't have to think about my pace anymore - for the most partI could pretty much set my watch by my pace. It's not lightening speed but on average I am dead set on 5min30sec/km, quite a manageable speed for now. My breathing starts off not too crash hot but it then settles into a really relaxed mode and at times I actually find myself only breathing through my nose. My torso positioning now is always in a relaxed shoulders, relaxed hands and slightly leaning forward - my husband now says I actually look like a runner and seem to be falling into my stride. So not having to think of all these things during my run now, allows me to actually just enjoy the run. AND I DO.

Yesterday I signed up for another run. It is part of the same series I ran on Sunday but this time it is a 10km run at Dolls Point. Sounds pretty but I am sure there will be hills through this run due to the area. I look forward to it and it still gives me time to prepare as it is on the 11th July. Good thing too, after the run they give you yummy pancakes, oranges, bananas and lots of fluids as they did last time. I think I consumed half a banana, a quarter orange, 3 pancakes and 3 glasses of water. YUM.

Yesterday was designated as a rest day - I had groin and hip pain, not during rest only when I would get up and walk and put pressure on my right leg. So I took regular Ibuprofen and just rested it totally yesterday and discussed this ailment with Lisa (physio). Not quite sure if this was true hip pain, groin pain or referred from my back she made me lie on my back and asked me to raise my right leg/knee and she began to press down, this caused hip pain as well as slight groin pain. I now have an X-ray booked for tomorrow. Clinical notes state: +ve hip quadrant test. I guess all will be revealed in the next couple of days - or not. X-rays are funny things as is my body. Frustrating really - it's always 2 steps forward, 4 steps back. What do you do, I am no "spring chicken", and this chook has arthritis so I must tread carefully or I run the risk of being used for dog meat.

On a more positive note, I ran the bridge's today and I did it in an even faster time than before - 36min50secs for 6.7km. I initially thought it was 7km but I was corrected today, nevermind I still have run it 30 secs faster than my last attempt. YAY for me. This old chook still has some kick in her.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Official Results.

Bib No: 658
Distance: 7km
Time: 38 mins 48 secs
Place: 29th out of 79 runners.

I can't believe it, 29th - who would have ever thought. A year ago I would have laughed in your face if you said that I was going to get 29th and enjoy running. I look forward to the next run with such anticipation.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sri Chinmoy Series Race 4: Centennial Park 7km Race Review.

Have you ever had a day where you wake up and just know that this will be a fabulous day, when you can just feel it in your bones from the moment your eyes open. Well, today was that day.

As usual the night before I don't sleep very well. I wasn't nervous about the race, YET - but I am always scared I am going to sleep through the alarm. I toss and turn the whole night through. So when the alarm did finally go off at 4:30am, I was well and truly ready to get this ball rolling. I had all my stuff ready to go last night so all I needed to do was have a shower, get dressed, have brekkie and go to my friends house at 6am. I was bludging a ride - thanks Mel, Michael, Sienna and Phoenix.

We arrived at Centennial Park at about 7am and got around to picking up our bibs for the race. This series was so well organised - not a single hold up anywhere, everyone was lovely. The only bad thing was "it was freezing" again. Actually 4 degrees celsius to be exact - but it didn't last long thank goodness.
The Half Marathoners took off first, I can't believe in less then 100 days I will be doing a Half too and the thought got a bit scarey. So I quickly banished the thought and stayed focused on my soon to be 7km. There wasn't as much hype in this run as there was last Sunday - everyone seemed quite composed - except for me. I get really excited, I can't help it - I talk to people around me and smile at them. I'm sure they think I'm a bit weird - but I really cant help it. This is just so much fun. And I do get people smiling along with me even if at first they don't want to.

So as the starters hooter went off I remember saying to Mel "lets not get caught up in the initial rush, set your own pace and stick to it". I was alot better at it today - I let people pass me because I knew in my head that I would see them again, and I did. My pace was so dead on normal that at the 1km mark I looked down at my watch at it read 5min 30 sec, I was happy I was on target. At the 2km mark once again 5min 31 secs - and I was feeling fine. I remember looking at Mel and just smiling and knowing that today was a good day.

As I continued running I started to feel lighter on my legs and I just started to inch away from Mel. I knew she would want me to run my own race and push myself so I just focused on the path ahead and kept going. I don't remember seeing the 3km marker but as I hit the 4km mark I was dead on 22minutes - 5min30sec pace was holding steady. I think it was about this time the HM guys started to lap me - I could hear them coming like race horses in the distance. Boy, can they run - magnificent to see. My friend Mel's partner Michael was running this race. Gee's he is quick and not a single look of fatigue on his face - I wish.

Anyway it was about the 5km mark I decided to play my game again. I wanted to see how many I could catch and overtake and I am happy to report that I overtook about 9 runners. Last Sunday I could feel myself having to race to overtake, today it just happened. Everyone I set my sight's on were mine. Even running up the hill I overtook 2 - how cool. The home stretch was the best though - I overtook 3 there and I finished nice and strong - striding out nice and long. I finished with an unofficial time of 38min 42 secs. Mel was not far behind and I cheered for her right over the finishing line. Below is a photo of Mel and I just after the race:
It was the best morning and once again I can't wait to do it again. Only next time I want to do a 10K race. I need the distances to start increasing.

I know about 2 or so posts ago I mentioned the fact that I needed new runners and that I was going to buy some overseas - well my husband, whom might I add is the most supportive husband ever told me to go out and buy some ASAP yesterday as I needed them for today. He didn't want me to wait and then hurt myself, so here is what I bought and ran with today:
Asics GT 2150's - bliss - the only word I can use to describe how beautifully comfy they felt. I didn't have any red areas of pressure on my feet and they felt really quite light on. A great buy but a bit expensive here in Aus. But they sure are PRETTY.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nothing fancy post.

Since the colder weather has started it seems the only thing I say is "Gee's I hate the cold". Well here's a positive for winter: Semolina for breakfast.
I am not too big a fan of porridge but boy do I love semolina. I buy the one that has been ground down to it finest property and add water to it whilst bringing it to the boil. I keep adding water as it thickens to get it to the precise consistency that I like. Then I serve it up with some yummy honey and raw sugar. Talk about warming up your insides.

It also has the innate ability to bring back childhood memories for me. Early morning swim sessions in an outdoor pool, begging mum to let me stay home because I was sick (cough, cough) , teeth chattering so much I thought I would chip a tooth in the process , finding it hard to breathe as I finally dove into a partially heated pool, crying so hard that the chlorinated pool became saltwater in an instance - only to come home to a yummy semolina breakfast to warm up my tum tum from the loving hands of my mum.

The other thing I love about Semolina is that it is cheap and its a great way to fill your stomach. In today's society where there is just about every breakfast cereal on the market with price tags to match - this is a great buy and one I relish having on a cold winter's morning without breaking the budget.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jack Frost - must you!!!!!

I woke up this morning to a house that was cold, cold, cold - bitterly cold and still too dark outside to see what was happening with the weather. I turned on the A/C to as high as I could get it and not a dent was made in the ambient temperature for well over an hour. Luckily by the time I had to wake up the family for the day, the house had somewhat warmed up and they were welcomed to the breakfast table with yummy warm toast, flavoured milk (Kyle's favourite), cups of tea for the older two and coffee for hubby.

When I opened the curtains I realised why it was so cold. We had had our first real frost for the season. My khaki coloured car was iced over and the grass was white. Not a bad attempt "Jack" for your first frost - I'm impressed. I think we feel it more in our house cause our house is built on brick piers and our floor gets absolutely freezing. During winter we have to have socks on and sometimes even slippers to keep our feet warm. So needlees to say if today was a taste of what winter has in store for us - I am not quite sure I like it.

Anyway, every Friday I go for a walk/run with a friend who had asked if I could somewhat train her some months ago. We started off doing the river as a walk and pretty soon Kylie progressed to a 1 minute run/4 minute walk x 6. Well today my gold medal performance goes to Kylie:
She did a 90 sec run/3 min fast tempo walk x 8. As a result of increasing the run by 30 secs and decreasing the walk by 1 minute we are now well and truly on the other side of the river - well on the home stretch. And her tempo pace is a really good one too. We are not dawdling in the runs by any stretch of the imagination. Before she knows it she will be running the whole 7km and will be wondering what all the fuss was about. Great work Kylie.

Last night I signed up for another 7km run on the weekend. It is the Sri Chinmoy Series 4: Centennial Park 7km run. This running thing is getting really addictive. I will be doing this run with 2 friends who asked me to join them - thanks Mel & Joss. I started to notice too that my list of goals/achievements for this year on my front page is increasing - how cool.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Legends strike again

Thursday morning swim sessions are increasing in number. Lanes 3 through to 6 are now occupied with committed women - so steer clear. We are women on a mission - and nothing shows greater commitment then going into an outdoor pool when the wind is howling and we are heading into winter. Ok, it's sunny but we are only having a high of 11 degrees celsius in this photo.

Last night I wrote out everyone's swim session and I think they really enjoyed it. I increased Sharon's session cause she is just aceing this swimming to 1.7km. She even finished with a smile - I LOVE IT. Susan rocked out another 1.7km despite having a sore neck and shoulder for which she is seeing the osteopath for. Tracy once again worked her way through the 1.3km like it was nothing - so guess what my friend, up it goes next week :). And then we had two other legendary women join us, Mel and Michelle. Mel who had done the TriShave Womens Triathlon with me is getting back into the swimming groove. For her first session back I decided to wean her back in with a 1.4km swim - too easy. She loved it - YAY. And Michelle did Tracy's session with just as much ease. WOW - I best be getting movin', these women are on fire.

My session went as follows:
  • 500m Fr/s warm up
  • 5 x 200m Fr/s, Bk/s, Br/s, Fr/s
  • 10 x 50m kick with flippers
  • 10 x 100m Fr/s - 5 with paddles, 5 without
I was supposed to finish up with a 200m cool down but an offer for a yummy coffee came up with Susan and I just could not refuse. I was also given the nicest present from Sharon - a cool PowerBalance bracelet. They are meant to improve balance, flexibility and core strength - everything I need. Thankyou so much - I feel blessed. The cool thing is it is in a hot pink colour.

After finishing off in the pool I went into the bathroom to get changed and as I looked at myself in the mirror and down at my jeans (the new ones I bought about 6 weeks ago) I realised I have saggy butt syndrome. I am losing my Bootie, does this mean I have to buy another pair of jeans - oh dear - what a tragedy. At this rate with everything I need to buy I may need to look for some sponsorship :) Only kidding. It is very exciting to know that I am getting fitter and leaner.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Excuse me upstairs - can you let up on the wind!!!!

Who said it was okay to up the wind factor to like "insane" in the middle of a bike ride. I was peddling away beautifully and all of a sudden I was not really getting anywhere. Kind of like those nightmares where you are running for your life from some horrific monster only your not getting anywhere fast. Well get rid of the nightmare and the running and that was me. My legs were doing a road runner - spinning like crazy. However all that effort was not in vain, I rode 35km in 1hr 32mins. Added bonus was after 20km Susan joined me and allowed me to draft behind her when it got too windy. Gees that felt good. Thanks Susan.

I braved it through wind that almost blew me backwards on several occasions and the most intense cold ever. I know for a fact its been cold like this before but I have never been cycling in it. I had gloves on, long skins, cycling shorts (padded bonus), fitted long sleeve, cycling shirt and jacket. However the one thing I needed and wasn't wearing was a beanie. My ears were freezing and aching bad, right into my mastoid bone. Next purchase, definately a beanie.

Upon returning home I decided to make the kids some yummy lemonade scones. Easy as to make and exceptionally delicious:
The recipe says it makes 6 - for who a GIANT. I made them smaller and got 15. Here's the recipe:
  • 1 cup lemonade
  • 1 cup lite thickened cream
  • 3 cups self raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius
  • Add lemonade and cream to flour, mix to form a soft dough, then place on a floured surface
  • Knead dough to a 2cm thickness and cut with a floured cutter
  • Place close together on tray, brush with beaten egg and bake for 10-15 minutes
  • Having them close together helps them rise.
Needless to say I now only have 5 left after the kids and Stephen have been at the bowl. Atleast I know they like my cooking.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Choo Choo - Full steam ahead.

What a productive 2 days I have had. Yesterday I went to see my regular physio's boss. He is a really nice guy, softly spoken and extremely informative. Lisa thought it would be a good idea to see him as he too is an Ironman, and I come to find out he is doing IM Port Macquarie next year as well. It was great chatting with him and he was genuinely interested in me and my goals. He too was a swimmer as a young boy and he knew my coach's wife and brother, as well as my older brother's arch nemesis in the pool. We live in such a small world. This 6 degrees of separation has just shrunk to 3.

Talking to the physio made my 40mins go by really quickly, it also made the pain not so bad but once again I came out red and the infamous bruises quickly pop up. No probs - I am getting used to it. We got to speaking about my runners - and well - my runners are to now be used as "mowing shoes". They have outlived their purpose and I now have to invest in a new pair. Two options - Asics 2150 or Asics Kayano. I need to try these on ASAP and find the pair that suits me. I am guessing these will cost a bit and so I may have to look at purchasing these overseas.

So I left the physio rooms with a renewed sense of worth and it got my brain ticking overtime once again. I have come to realise that when people tell me I should try something cause they think I can do it, I seriously give it alot of thought. A half marathon was thrown around in conversation during my physio session and well - I woke up this morning and registered for the Sydney Running Festival Half Marathon on September 19th, 2010. I figure if I can run 8km now and I have 102 days to train for 21.1km - I can do this "no sweat". I know, I know, it's another 13km but whats another 13km between friends :)

So because I have this as a goal I went out for my run today - 8km was my chosen distance. And I did it in 44mins 42sec. Almost 2 minutes faster than Sunday's race. Ahhh, the joy of no hills. What a difference that made. This was the time I wanted to run it in on Sunday, so I am glad today I could do it - better late than never I say.

When I got home I gave my Tri Club coach a call and told him everything that I had been doing and he seemed quite chuffed with my progress. He said that he had been waiting to here back from me about my knee and now that I have the "green light"so to speak, he is going to email me a base program to get me up and going to reach each goal at a time. First on the list - Half Marathon.

Welcome to my "WooHoo"

I am all for keeping my experiences real hence writing this blog. But I also wanted a way to display my accomplishments so everytime I faltered in my belief I would just have to look at it and know that "I did it". My WooHoo board is my way of feeling proud of all that I have done. I know that I will have this board filled by the end of the year and when I can no longer fit another thing on it I will make another. Setting goal after goal keeps me going. Its what makes me realise that I can and will succeed at all that I set my mind to do.

How do you guys display your bibs? How do you commemorate your accomplishments?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wait, there's more.

Here are the official results. I cant believe it - for a swimmer and beginner runner i didn't do too bad.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Be gone rain and hit me with some rays.

The weather forecast a week ago stated rain, but low and behold I woke up this morning to sun. I couldn't believe it - all week I had been psyching myself up to run in rain and even had my outfit decked out for this weather and then when I saw rays of sun and a clear sky from the apartment window I was like "YES". However, that being said - the wait underneath the Harbour Bridge to get started was excruciatingly frrreeezzziiinnnggg! Kind of made me wish I had worn my long sleeve, but I knew I would heat up quickly running. And that I did.
Everyone was on a high, you could feel and see the BUZZ - it was so very tangible. You could see that there were many runners who went there for the fun of a run and to help bring to an end their Fundraising for such a worthy cause. But then their were others who were definately in it for the thrill of the race and to compete against others or possibly to beat their own personal bests. I was a mixed bag. I had fundraised for a great cause as a friend of the family had passed away from MS some many years ago and I also wanted to feel the the thrill of racing in a big group like this as well as try to beat a time I had set in my head.
With 10 minutes to go the organiser's ushered us to the starting line and it was there the frantic hype of the hour before settled. It was like the "calm before the storm". Everyone was getting their IPods ready set to their favourite song, fixing up their shoes laces so as not to lose the timing chip, jumping up and down on the spot to keep warm or just staring into the starting sign. It's amazing to watch how unique everyone is and how differently everyone handles nerves. So with that said it was 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 - GOOOOOOOO
Starting off where I was standing (middle of the pack - to the side) was very slow. You could say it was a shuffle. I was trying not to step on people, trying not to get stepped on or pushed out of the way. I had forgotten what is was like. The last time I had gone in a running race like this I was 12 yrs old and did the 14km City to Surf . Eventually, the pace picked up and I was able to get a good rhythm going whilst juggling moving through the crowd. It's amazing how fast the momentum is at the beginning. I tried not to get caught up in it but I think I failed, you just go with the flow until the pack thins out a bit.
The initial part of the run was a flat run, zig zagging on the boardwalk alongside Luna Park (our oldest amusement park in Sydney). I was passing people, and I was getting passed at about the same pace. Until we went under a railway bridge and it was there I encountered my first hill - instinctively my brain went "What the?". I thought we were running along the foreshore of Sydney Harbour - . WRONG. Some it was, but most of it was through the back streets of Sydney suburbs. And there were hills, many of them but I not once walked, even though at times I could have walked faster than I ran but my goal was to not walk.
The route itself was good mix of hills, stairs, uphill zig zag pathways and down hill stretches. And it was also a good mix of pace for me. At times it bottlenecked to get us up those stairs so it slowed down the pack alot and other times I felt I had to put on the brakes as the down hill pace got a bit scary. I thought to spice things up a bit I would set myself a personal goal to pick a person up front and reach them then overtake them - which I did too. But there was this one lady in a pink T-shirt who I played cat and mouse with the whole way.
I am sure she was as determined as I was to get to the finishing line first. So I would overtake her on the uphill stretch and she would cruise by me on the downhill run. A little healthy competition never hurt anyone. One thing I did notice was that my IPod songs suck for this sort of thing. I had some fast songs but many slow songs in between so I was constantly searching for some songs with some "kick ass attitude". (note to self: rejig playlist). How can you possibly run to "Love story" by Taylor Swift.
Heading back to the finishing line was great. The momentum picked up again and I was once again striding out to keep up and finish strong. Alas, the "Pink shirt lady" had a little more zing in her sting and she took off with about 300m to go. Good on her. I was happy to finish strong in my own way.
I had hoped for a time of around 44mins but I finished with an unofficial time of 46mins 10sec. Not bad considering there were hills and some unexpected slow down spots. And this was officially my first run on my own - without any friends by my side. I liked it. I was my own master, I decided my own pace and encouraged myself the whole way. YAY for me.
All in all it was a great day - perfect weather, a great cause, good time and great company - my husband the photographer.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rollin on by.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow are indoor trainer riding days. Why? Well the dreaded head cold has hit my house and I have my daughter home sick. She has been coughing and spluttering for 2 days and needs to have the remainder of the week off school. I'm lucky in that she is not a little child anymore and doesn't need the constant attention of a toddler so I can still get some exercise in. It just has to be indoors.

Yesterday while I fitted in 30 minutes of spinning and all my regular stretches and strengthening exercises I started to think about how inconsistent my training is. Every magazine I read says I need to have 3-4 sessions of running, the same of cycling and swimming. How do I do that with a family? I am happy to just focus on doing one session a week swimming for now but that still means I have all those other sessions to squeeze in and make them consistent.

The plan I came up with goes like this:
  • Monday - Bike ride
  • Tuesday - Run
  • Wednesday - Gym, run intervals
  • Thursday - Swim
  • Friday - Run (short) as my morning is spent training my friend.
  • Saturday - Run (long)
  • Sunday - Bike (long)
Problem I already see, there is no actual REST day. I could label Friday as my rest day but I am still doing something. So how important at this stage is a rest day? I would really appreciate some input. My brain is totally saturated with information and it is all getting totally overwhelming. And, how close to the day does the training actually become very hard?

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sundays outfit. Do you like?

Predicted weather forecast for this Sundays 8km Run to raise money for MS awareness
  • Showers
  • Low of 9 degrees celsius
  • High of 14.
May have to add my rain jacket to this mix.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hurts so good.

Today was a double delight day. Physio and intervals on the treadmill - what more can I say. Today was Day 4 with Lisa and although it was still painful and I cringe at the thought of going through pain, I actually look forward to it. Alot more focus was placed on the area of impingement of the Peroneal Nerve. It is half way up the outer part of my lower leg and believe me when she is rubbing I can pinpoint with direct accuracy the area. There is pain, pain, pain - OMG you really need to stop NOW. I see stars of all varieties - nice little white ones, shooting stars and even ones that spin around my head like a carousel. But it is doing me good.

My next appointment she wants me to see her boss who is an ex-ironman himself several times over. She wants to see if he can come up with any other idea as to what is going on and what else I should be doing. He can also advise me on the type of runners I should be wearing. The pair I am wearing now is coming up to its used by date as I have had them since September last year. The tread on them is still okay but I feel they are losing their cushioning and this could definately be affecting my running gait. Every piece of information I get I willingly accept. Being a total amateur in this arena I need to learn as much as I can if I want to stay safe and injury free for many years to come. Good piece of information I recieved from Lisa is that I don't have to alter my running regime - the only thing she wants me to do is not run on uneven surfaces like down near the river. She wants me sticking to the road or flat surfaces in general. The uneven surface made my knee ache a bit as I stated on the previous post, so its road running for now.

After physio I headed to the gym for an interval training session on the treadmill. I have never done this before so it was very new and alot of hard work to boot. A friend of mine from DailyMile, Sandi, who is studying to be a personal trainer set me up this program. It was sets of 400m with 800m rest zones inbetween. She said I could do between 4/6 reps but I only lasted for 4. And I altered the times cause I still cant run too fast but I was happy with the speeds I achieved. Here is how it went:
  • 5 min warm up
  • 400m @ 11kph
  • 800m @ 8.5kph
  • 400m @ 11.5kph
  • 800m @ 8.5kph
  • 400m @ 12kph
  • 800m @ 8.5kph
  • 400m @ 12.5kph
  • 800m @ 8.5kph
  • cooldown
I was happy with the outcome. I was also okay'd by the physio to do squats on the Bosu Ball so long as they were not too bouncy - they had to be nicely controlled. So I did :
  • 3 x 15 alternating squats on Bosu Ball
  • 3 x 20 ab curls on Swiss Ball
  • 2 x 20 oblique crunches
  • Core strengthening exercises with swiss ball.
All in all it was an extremely eventful day. I do believe I am making progress. YAY for me.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage