| Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
While those of you in the U.S. are celebrating Memorial Day weekend, Down Under we're counting down the last two days of Autumn before Winter begins in earnest. It's been cold, windy, and rainy in Sydney; the kind of week where you prefer to curl up under a blanket rather than drag yourself out of bed to exercise. I recorded the long-awaited Episode 7 of the Geek Girl Runner podcast tonight - IN A SINGLE TAKE! - huddled in my cosy closet. This episode features: what's been keeping me busy lately (both running and otherwise); recaps of the two races I ran this past month; a training update; emails, comments, and shout-outs; and ruminations on running for goals versus running for fun. I hope you like it!
Mother's Day Classic race report
Sydney Half-Marathon race report
The Secret Life of Kris - blog of The Other Kris
Corso La Meta - podcast and blog by JayDub
Elkhart County Fair 5K Road Run
Fun Run Pink 10K
Blackmore's Half-Marathon - part of Sydney Running Festival
Runners Round Table
"Mixed Media: Podcasts you can run with" from The Buffalo News
Marathon Woman Returns! - blog of Elma
Chacos on the Run - blog of Shayna
One Girl Running - blog of Heidi
You Don't Have to Run Alone - blog and podcast of Ted
Thanks as usual to Nick Arthur for the use of his song "Little Donut Party"!
I think I'm finally tired of knitting socks. Each pair is taking me longer and longer to finish. I started these on January 2nd! They're pretty though, right? These are Absinthe from Knitty, a toe-up swirl of Art Nouveau cables and lace. It's an absolutely perfect match for the yarn: Knitabulous Merino Sock in "Salwar Kameez" (from her Indian Summer yarn club). It's the most intense blue-green, from teal to emerald to even kelly green.
I knitted both socks at the same time on two 2.75mm circular needles. Unfortunately my first attempt at the feet was too small, both in length and diameter. So I frogged them back from the heels all the way to the toes. Then I added in some more increases (eight extra stitches) and lengthened the bit before I started the pattern. That did the trick! When I got to the leg, I finished the five lace repeats and then knitted 2x2 ribbing until I got to the end of the wool. I used Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind-off to finish. (Details also on Ravelry.)
Next Thursday I'm booked in for Zippers, Casings, and Buttonholes. This is venturing into uncharted territory for me, which will be fun. After that, it's on to making an actual skirt! If you're interested in sewing in Sydney, I suggest you bookmark the Sewing Room blog. They have loads of classes to attend, and they also have nights where you can come and get help with whatever pattern you want to make.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
I just learned over at Other Kris's site that the women-only Fun Run Pink will be happening a week after we get back from the States. Perfect! So even though I'm missing the Bay Run and City 2 Surf, I can still do a 5K on my trip and a 10K when I get home.
A very light week for running! I've only done one short run since the DNF at the Half-Marathon: a slow and easy run/walk around the neighbourhood on Tuesday. I could tell that my foot was still sore, so I didn't push it. I've done four classes at Spudds since the big race though, so I'm still keeping up my fitness level. (Oddly, running for a couple minutes during a gym interval is okay. The soreness only appears past a certain distance/time threshold.) I managed double-hundreds on the rower twice this week, which was very gratifying. It's starting to happen more frequently than not. (I'm tearing up my hands though.)
In terms of my running schedule for the winter, my Mom is registering us (her, me, and the Snook!) for the Elkhart County Fair 5K Road Run while we're there visiting. That'll be fun! I'm also thinking of training for the Blackmores Half Marathon in September. If I do Higdon's 12 week program, I've still got a few more weeks before I have to start. That will give me more time to rest this blasted foot and hopefully start the program injury-free!
May 25: 4.83km
Total this week: 4.83km (3mi)
Total in 2010: 427.12km (267mi)
The rest week has eaten into my cushion a bit for my 1000km in 2010 challenge. I should be at 403.8km, so I'm still ahead a bit.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Thanks to Shayna of Chacos on the Run for a great review of my Geek Girl Runner podcast. Shayna's an au pair from the US (I think) who's now living in Milan, Italy. She has a blog about her Italian adventures that fascinated me, mostly because I've visited many of the same places. Thanks for the shout-out, Shayna!
Monday, May 24, 2010
I have to say, Elma's review of my podcast made me laugh and laugh. "It's great, she warbles on about knitting and her contraceptive implant and leeches before getting around to any running talk..." Just about sums it up, really!
Which reminds me - Elma also emailed to say she was having trouble seeing my previous episodes in iTunes. So I did some investigating and found out that my RSS feed was only showing episodes for the past 30 days. Whoops! I've fixed it up now. So if you need to get any back episodes, you should be able to find them in iTunes. If it doesn't auto-update, just right-click on the podcast title and tell it to "Update podcast" or "Show all episodes." You'll see 'em.
And hey, maybe I could even, you know, record a new show this week? I'll give it a shot. :)
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
It's turned out to be an eventful week for my running non-career. After a last gentle 5K run in the taper, there was the debacle of the Half-Marathon DNF. That forced me to re-assess my race plans for the rest of the year. There's no way I can think about a marathon right now, and I'd even put a half-marathon on hold until I can finally get my right foot back to 100%. Then, last night we booked our plane tickets home to visit my family in July/August... and I only just realised I am going to miss both the Bay Run AND the City 2 Surf. Those two are pretty much the highlight of winter running in Sydney. I'm going to have to motivate myself without the pressure of an event for the next few months, it seems. On the plus side, I've done two training sessions at Spudds this week and I'm kicking some ass. I think this cross-training is going to become a much more important part of my fitness plan now that I know I need to give my foot a rest.
May 14: 5.09km
May 16: 12.48km
Total this week: 17.57km (11mi)
Total in 2010: 422.29km (264mi)
I'm still ahead of the pace I need to meet my goal of running 1000km in 2010...
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
The official photos from the Sydney Half-Marathon are up! If you search for my number (#3516) you'll see thirteen pics from my first lap of the course. So even though I didn't finish the race, I've got photographic evidence that I did start it! (You'll also notice that Venks is visible in a lot of these, trailing me by a bit. He was supposed to be my pacer. I told you I went out like a maniac. *sigh*)
Let's just get it out of the way, shall we? I didn't finish the Half-Marathon. Yep. DNF. I made it to 12.5km before pulling out. While I think it was the right decision, I'm still kind of disappointed I didn't finish. Let's go back to the beginning.
In terms of race preparation, this was my best ever. I drank about 2 liters of water every day last week. I had a couple doses of Endura the day before the race. I got plenty of sleep, even on the last night. I got up that morning feeling ready. I slathered my injured right foot in anti-inflammatories and popped a Mobic. I filled my water belt and packed it with energy gels. I got dressed, had a cup of coffee and a piece of toast with peanut butter, and headed off for the bus stop. I felt cautiously optimistic.
The day was sunny but chilly, but I didn't feel the cold much. I did some stretches while I wanted for Venks. After he turned up, I hit the porta-potties for one final pit stop before the start. Just as the gun went off, we met up with Other Kris (who has a cracking race report here). We hit the road. I had been telling Venks that we needed to go slow at the start, but the energy of the crowd was hard to fight. Our first kilometer was way ahead of our needed pace. We ran together all the way down to the Rocks and then turned onto the hill at Argyle Street. Without even thinking about it, I powered up the hill much faster than I normally would have, leaving Venks behind me. My legs felt great. As we came down into Hickson Road, I actually passed a couple people. I started to think that I was going to have the race of my life. I ran into my friend Emma (as I always seem to do) and said hello as I passed her. I ran all the way to the first water stop, which was around the 4km mark. I slowed to a walk while I sucked down a few gulps. Then back to running. I hit the 5km mark at about 33:25 (according to RunKeeper), which is probably a PB at that distance. Note: To reach my goal of 2:30:00, I needed to run about 7:10/km. So I was going way fast. I was fixated on making the 11km checkpoint though, so I kept pushing. I had an energy gel at this point, then started the climb back up into the city. I had to walk on Hunter Street. I could still see Venks only a short distance behind me. I kept telling myself that I felt great. The wheels were about to fall off. [more...]
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
My clothes are set aside. The timing chip is on my shoes. Safety pins are attached to my bib. (Go #3516!) I am carbed up. I am hydrated. Bring on the Sydney Half-Marathon!
Once the race starts, the Snook will be posting a link so you can follow my progress live. My previous PR was 2:36:59, so I'd love to come in more around the 2:30 mark. And now I'm off to bed!
Friday, May 14, 2010
We were joking around at work today, teasing one of my co-workers that she has pinkeye. (She really doesn't.) Of course, I immediately heard my grandmother's voice in my head saying "You'll get a stye in your eye if you pee in the road!" I've actually mentioned that to Rodd a couple times in the past, but it appears to have been a uniquely Midwestern superstition. Have you ever heard it? I know I'm not the only one; there are a ton of Google results. What a funny thing, huh?
Thursday, May 13, 2010
The first race of the year is under my belt! Sunday was the Mother's Day Classic 8K, and you've probably already read my race report. This is my taper period for the Half-Marathon, so I'm taking things easy. I've done two other runs: an easy 5K through the neighbourhood, and a treadmill 5K at race pace. Feeling good. Only three days to go...
May 8: 5.67km
May 9: 8.09km
May 12: 5.62km
Total this week: 19.38km (12.1mi)
Total in 2010: 404.72km (253mi)
To meet my goal of running 1000km in 2010, I should be at 365km. Plenty of cushion.
The big decision, of course, is what's next. Oh, there's the Bay Run in August, of course, and the City 2 Surf a week after. But what about the spring? Could I do... the big one? I'd been thinking about Melbourne, which will be 21 weeks after the Half. But then today the website for Sydney launched, and they've changed the course in a good way. So I'm torn. But Sydney is only 18 weeks away, and I'm not sure I'll be ready to start training right away. Melbourne is safer... right?
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Yesterday was my fourth running of the Mother's Day Classic 8K in Sydney's Domain. (Previously: 2006, 2008, 2009.) The weather was bright and sunny, but not as cool as in previous years. The Snook and I caught a bus into the city and headed over to pick up my timing chip. That's when I walked into CHAOS. The course was changed this year to start on Hospital Road and extend out into the city streets. The problem is that just about all of us were trying to get into the Domain VIA Hospital Road, so you had thousands of people streaming in while others were actually lining up for the start. It was crazy. It took me ages to get over to pick up my chip through the crowd. Eventually I got it and headed back to Hyde Park to meet up with my friends. We left the Snook laden with our bags and headed to the starting line. On the way, we discussed our race plans. Issy had been training like a champion and figured she'd do 6:30 kilometers. Miss Fee had had a rough couple of months and hadn't been able to train as much as she'd like, so she was planning to go slow. Me, I was somewhere in the middle. After all, my real goal event isn't til next Sunday. I was torn between wanting to test my speed and not wanting to push too hard during my taper. Then Miss Fee mentioned that she'd never run 8km without walking before. That settled it. "How about I run with you, and I'll make sure you do the whole thing without stopping?" She accepted. It was a staggered start, and pretty soon we were off. Issy ran with us for a bit then we waved goodbye as she pulled ahead. Fiona and I chugged along happily, enjoying the day and chatting the whole way. We got lapped by the winner and cheered him on. We talked about the house she'd just bought; we talked about my kitchen renovation; we talked about our fitness plans. I kept her going up and over the hills of the Domain. We passed my friend Venks at one point going the other direction. (The course was two laps of an out-and-back.) We slowed a bit on the second lap, but I picked up the pace in the last 2km. Fee was puffing, but we passed the 7km mark and she knew she was going to do it. "When we get to the final turn," I said, "we're going to sprint in to the finish. Whatever you got, all right?" To my utter surprise, when we rounded that corner she was OFF LIKE A BULLET. Seriously! I was so surprised I nearly forgot to sprint myself. There was no chance of catching her, and I crossed the line about five seconds behind. We had a big hug at the finish. [more...]
I just thought I'd share with you some surprising numbers regarding our trip to Canberra last month. A few weeks before the trip, I started researching car rental rates. I quickly discovered that the big problem with renting over Easter weekend is that most of the car rental places are closed on both Good Friday and Easter Monday. So we were going to have to rent from Thursday to Tuesday, pay for the extra days, and deal with the hassle of getting the car there and back on normal work days. Most of them were also requiring us to pay for a full week's rental (as a sort of holiday weekend surcharge). Bayswater quoted us $340; Discount Car Rental was $375; Hertz was over $400. Then I had a brainwave. GoGet! While we normally use it for short trips, they do have a day rate of $68 which includes 150km for free. We could pick it up and drop it off whenever we liked. So for Friday to Monday, the four days would cost us $280 and include 600km (which was basically the distance to Canberra and back). Additional kilometers are billed at 20c each, so we worked out that we could drive 325km in Canberra for the same amount we'd have paid Bayswater. Also, GoGet pays for gas (and Bayswater doesn't). So all in all, we figured we'd come out ahead. We booked the GoGet car and used it for the trip, and today I've just gotten my April statement that includes the final tally. Total cost: $320.20. Brilliant! The whole scheme worked perfectly. We saved money ($20 plus gas); we saved time (we could pick-up and drop-off on the public holiday); and we saved hassle (we didn't have to worry about parking on the street and driving the car back on a workday). GoGet FTW!
Friday, May 7, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Well, I did it. On Sunday I went out for the longest run I've ever done: 22km. It was hot and sunny, and I had to take walk breaks and suck down a lot of water. But I got it done. Afterwards I had an ice bath and a massage to help with the soreness, and I think I pulled up pretty well. I had Monday and Tuesday as rest days, then went for a short easy run Wednesday morning. My legs felt tired. On that basis, I decided to skip Spudds on Wednesday in favor of resting up as much as possible before Sunday's Mother's Day Classic 8K. (The Geek Girl Runner team will be meeting up before the race from 7:30 at the fountain in Hyde Park.) While I'd love to set a PR for this one - last year's time was 57:37 - I don't want to push too hard before the big race next weekend.
May 2: 22.03km
May 5: 5.32km
Total this week: 27.35km (17mi)
Total in 2010: 385.34km (240.8mi)
To meet my goal of running 1000km in 2010, I should be at 346km right now. So I've still got a nice cushion!
Actual knitting content! It's been a while. I fell in love with Juno Regina when it first came out in 2007 but never felt inspired enough to give lace a real go. The Morris Empire 2ply kept calling to me though, so I finally cast on at Knitting Camp. I will be the first to admit that I was quite the sight, hunched over my lace and growling at anyone who dared interrupt me while laboriously counting yarnovers under my breath. Those first twenty rows were a trial, people. Eventually I got the hang of it though, and the diamond pattern started to emerge. Chart 3 threw me for a loop, but fortunately I found a Ravelry discussion that cleared it up. The end portion is now finished and I'm powering through the body of the scarf. I don't even know who it's for! I like it, but I'm not sure I'll wear it. I'm thinking maybe a gift for my Mom or my sister...
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Welcome to another installment in my increasingly sporadic running podcast! Sorry for that whole month-long delay. Oops. Life caught up to me in April, as you're about to hear. Thanks again to everyone who's been in contact in the past weeks; it's really meant a lot. This episode features: what I've been up to when I haven't been podcasting; my training update; emails, comments, and shoutouts; and a couple random bits at the end. Look, it's really more important that I finally RECORDED THE THING than it is to have a perfect three-act structure, right? Right. :)
Our trip to Canberra
Masterpieces from Paris Exhibition
Knitting Camp 2010
Our hike/run at Mount Keira in Wollongong
Mother's Day Classic
My 16K long run
My 22K long run
You Don't Have to Run Alone - podcast by Ted Beveridge (with Chloe's Corner!)
Running With the Pack
Running the Narrow Path
CORSO LA META - podcast and blog by Jimbo_W
Triathlon Mind Training - podcast and blog by Ironmanjay
The Secret Life of Kris - blog of the Other Kris
missfee - my friend and fellow runner Fiona
Here's the course map. What do you guys think of meeting up at 7:30 at the fountain in Hyde Park? It's not too far from the start, and that would give us time to snap a couple photos, stretch, and head over to the starting line. (I have no idea how many folks are on the GGR team. I wish the MDC website would display it somewhere!)
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