Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kickboxing Kangaroos

On the weekend I went to visit my sister and her kids so I traded in my regular beach run for a run through the Adelaide Hills. On the Saturday morning my sister and I walked the track to give me an idea of where I could run the following day. It was a lovely walk - time for the two of us to chat without any distractions - except nature. I also got the chance to test out my fantastic new TrailRunning Shoes - Merrell Siren Sport Gortex donated by Yodgee in Prahran. They worked a treat and kept my feet toasty warm, and didn't cause any blisters.

At one point during our walk we looked ahead to see a bunch of kangaroos grazing by the side of the track. On closer inspection we realised that two juvenile kangaroos (who were both taller than my sister and I) were actually putting on a fighting display for us - 'kickboxing Kangaroos'. It was really impressive to see these two kangaroos just leaning back on their strong tails and kicking out with their legs!

My long run on Sunday consisted of a run around the 'Wine Shanty Track'. Just me and the bush, and a mother koala and her baby and lots of kangaroos. It was quite hilly but I managed to stay running the whole time, although admittedly the steep upward inclines were more like a crawl than a run. At one section I was actually racing with a Kangaroo along the track, okay he was a bit faster than me but slowed up every 50m or so to let me catch up and then continued to speed away! It was especially cool to see the kangaroo negotiate the hairpin bend on the hop :).

My plan was to run for two hours or about 20km I finished a bit quicker than that so I probably only ran 19km. You might ask 'didn't my Garmin tell me the distance?' Well it would have if I remembered to pack it - Doh!

Monday, October 19, 2009

8 weeks to go!

Today I finalised my payment for Antarctica - the countdown is on! On the positive side my running training is going right on schedule. On Sunday morning I ran 28km - well I actually ran 8km by myself and then met up with my friend Rob to run the last 20km!

It was a great run particularly since I got to use my new Garmin and it worked brilliantly. I set it up to count laps every kilometer so I was able to run out for exactly 4km and then turn around. I ended up running 8km in 47 min, average pace 5min56sec/km and average HR 141bpm. For the next 20km I took 1hr59min58sec, average pace 5min59sec/km and average HR 140bpm. So it shows that I can maintain my pace for at least 28km, which is a great outcome!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

13 Half Marathons Completed!

On Sunday I successfully completed my 13th half-marathon. I was a little bit concerned about 'unlucky 13' but as it turns out I had a brilliant run and really enjoyed the day.

It was perfect conditions on the day - much kinder than last years extreme temperatures and strong head winds. I started off the day keeping company with Erin and managed to find a couple of other Gunn Runners - Amanda and Phil.
It is always so much nicer sharing the pre-race anticipation/anxiety with friends. Also lucky for me Phil was able to give me a mini-tutorial on using my 405 Garmin GPS watch so it would give me the exact information I wanted for the run - time elapsed, distance travelled (in kilometers - only metric here!) and pace!

I started running with Erin - who also ran with me at the Alice Springs Marathon. However at about 5km I lost Erin and it was just me and 7000 other people running the half marathon. I didn't listen to my music but instead chose to listen to the rhythmic sound of 100s of feet pounding the pavement!

During the run I was enjoying the atmosphere and I particularly liked the section down Pit lane in Albert Park where you could see the runners ahead of you on their return section and then after the turn I got to see all the runners behind me :). Out on the course I saw a few fellow Gunn runners and exchanged places a couple of times!
I still haven't quite worked out how to load it all up my Garmin data into my computer. Maybe for the next post but the final reading was Time: 1hr47min5sec, Distance: 21.39km, Pace (last lap): 4min13sec - I think I was a bit excited running the final section into the MCG :).

Photo credits and thanks to Cato for the first photo and Wazza for the second photo!

I ended the week with my radio interview on ABC South East SA. It was a fun interview, Annette commented that Rob DeCastella (Australian Marathon Champion) suggests that running two marathons a year was extremely challenging. I responded that with smart training to prevent injuries it was highly achievable - particularly since I am running the marathons a lot slower than DeCastella!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

70km in one week!

Last week was a big week of running for me, completing just under 70 kms for the week - I was kind of tired by sunday night!

Having survived the extended running a nice reward was to pick up my Anaconda gear from the guys in Carnegie. The gear was everything I needed to keep me warm in Antarctic and also a Garmin 405 GPS watch - what does that mean? Well its a watch that as well as recording how long I run for it also registers my heart rate and using GPS can work out the distance I have run, giving me my running pace. I can't wait to use my new toy this coming weekend at the Melbourne Half Marathon :) - I hope it makes me run faster!

On wednesday I also did a radio interview with ABC Perth Afternoons with Bernadette Young, she said I was 'crazy' in the nicest possible way of course! But it was nice to have a chat with her. Tomorrow I will talking on ABC Darwin Breakfast and Monday afternoon ABC South Australia - so I will have done a radio interview in 4 of 7 states - pretty cool huh!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Breakfast Meeting

This week I was invited to talk at the weekly breakfast meeting held by the Moonee Valley Rotary Club in a great cafe in Essendon. I have to admit it's not a part of town that I have ever been to but it was a great visit and they made me feel very welcome. Before we started the meeting and breakfast I gave everyone a copy of the Baker IDI fridge magnet 'Healthy tips for everyone' to remind us all to make the healthy choice. Just in case you can't remember the tips here they are:
  • Do not smoke
  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes and wholegrain cereals
  • Eat fish 2-3 times a week, especially oily fish (like salmon)
  • Remove all visible fat from meats and cook with oils not solid fats
  • Limit your salt intake
  • Reduce your intake of takeaways or convenience foods
  • Drink alcohol moderately if you choose to drink
  • Include at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily
  • Include muscle strengthening exercise at least 2-3 times weekly
  • Reduce your daily sitting time
After a tasty breakfast of fresh fruit I spoke with the members about the Alice 2 Antarctica challenge and the issue of cardiovascular disease in Indigenous Australians and the fact that cardiovascular disease not only affects more Indigenous Australians but the consequences are also more severe in this disadvantaged population.

I got some great positive feedback about my challenge and there were lots of questions about how I planned to actually run on the snow and ice 'carefully' and how I would cope with the extreme cold 'lots of layers'.

Since the breakfast meeting took the place of my morning run I had to do my training run in the afternoon. Luckily for me it had been a lovely spring day in Melbourne, so the after work run ended up being a very pleasant way to finish my day!