Monday, November 16, 2009

3 Weeks to go!

I can't believe how quickly time has flown by and now I have only 3 weeks to go till I leave for Antarctica!! On Saturday morning I did some cross training with a little bike ride from Prahran to Mordialloc, but all in a good cause. Team Paceline are a group of guys who are riding their bikes from Melbourne to Sydney over 8 days to raise awareness about heart disease and to raise funds for the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne and the Victor Chang Research Institute in Sydney.

These group of guys have seen the devastating affects of heart disease and are doing what they can to help improve outcome by raising awareness and funds. I was really pleased to help support their ride from Melbourne with a cyclist escort to Mordialloc. I must admit as well that it was pretty cool having a police escort for our cyclist pack of about 20-30 cyclists. Apparently along the way someone on the street asked about the 'police escort' and assumed that it must have been 'pro riders' :). We finished the ride and while we stopped for a coffee before heading home, the Paceline team still had another 150km before they were finished - for the day! I was running- actually I guess I mean cycling a bit late and almost missed the team photo - I literally rode into it!

It ended up being a 2.5 hour bike ride which made for a pleasant day but confirmed the vastly different impact of cycling and running on my body. A 2.5 hour bike ride was low impact and I felt fine afterwards in comparison a 2.5 hour run leaves me feeling quite tired and my legs are weary!

On Sunday morning it was back to running and in order to avoid the heat and have some great running company I started my run at 6am. I wasn't very happy when my alarm clock went off - even before the birds had started chirping but once I was up and moving around I guess it wasn't that bad. I caught up with Dave and Miranda at our starting point and we headed off for our run while enjoying the gorgeous sunrise. It was great running with Dave, I made him do all the talking to distract me while I concentrated on just breathing! At about 13km I started feeling a little light-headed so I just made sure I drank more water and I deliberately took it easy running up the hills. We reached the 16km turn around point, consumed a GU gel and headed home. At this point we could feel the temperature picking up but it was still comfortable running.

At various sections both Dave and I found the going tough but the great thing about running with running buddy is that just having them with you keeps you running. I think its the issue of 'accountability' if I run by myself no-one but me will know if I stop and walk the rest of the way home if I am feeling tired. Another runner with you means a witness to see you taking the easy option - so I don't! So I kept running all the way home and ultimately finished with an even split 1h35min for each 16km. My average pace was 6:03min/km with an average heart rate of 142 bpm and max heart rate 168 bpm.

The really cool thing about the run was the fact that even after having already run 30km for the last two kilometres I was able to pick up my running pace to 5:30min/km and then 4:29min/km. Okay I admit it this was purely because of my strong competitive streak. Dave is a very strong runner and he had the energy to pick up the pace in the last two kilometers. I briefly considered letting him get ahead of me but then the competitive spirit came over me and I did my best to catch him and attempt to overtake him. He was just messing with me and easily stayed in front. But it really proved to me that even though I thought up until that point I was going as fast as could - all I needed was the right motivation to pick up the pace!! Something to ponder when I find it tough going in a long run!


  1. It sounds as though you are having a great time getting ready for your big adventure! Well done getting out on Sunday, wasn't it stinking?

  2. Actually sunday last weekend wasn't too hot, particularly since we started running sooooo early!

  3. Hey Sharon its CR slowaz (Warren) here. I ran with you a fair way in the 2005 Melb Marathon. Congrats on what you are doing - great stuff and all the best!

  4. Hi Slowaz, great to hear from you. Thank you for good wishes. I am getting very excited about the event, only two weeks to go!