Sunday, 27 September 2009

Lots of fun running

Woohoo! I am enjoying my running so much at the moment.

I was trying to work out why the other day. I'm not running any faster, I'm only getting out a couple of days a week, I'm running well within my comfort zone, I nearly always run with someone else so I don't think it's the social aspect. Then I ran somewhere unexpectedly. I wanted to get there quickly. I don't remember why. What I do remember is that I realised that it was easy. I was running. I wasn't out of breath. I felt like I could keep going for ages. I was comfortable in what I was wearing. Suddenly it clicked. It's the 15 min warm up I've been doing for my PT sessions on the treadmill at Krissi's new gym.

Such a small thing but it's made an enormous difference. It's not even as though I'm running for the whole 15 mins. I walk for the first 4 at 6 km/h, then I run for a while at 7.5 km/h then Krissi ups it to 7.8 km/h until I stop. When Krissi first moved locations I dreaded that treadmill session. It seemed as though 15 mins was forever. Now, it's familiar territory. We don't always do it but I know I can do it easily.

How has this transferred out to my runs? Well, the first 10 mins of every run was the hardest for me. That's when my mind was saying "Kathy, what are you thinking? Why are you doing this to yourself?" Now, I head off on my run, and I'm straight into "this is fun" mode. How cool is that?

I've been meeting Kelly, who is doing "The Last Twenty" challenge with me, on Thursday mornings at 7 am. We've been doing a fairly easy run around Central Basin, Lake Burley Griffin. I emailed a few people to let them know that we were running, and now I'm meeting up with Lola, Fontessa, Sally, Kelly and whoever else wants to come along for a run. It's been great fun and some of us are meeting up to run longer on the weekends. It has taken us a few weeks to get any sort of routine going, but we're there now, so I think this will take us through the next few months at least.

My last twenty challenge is keeping me motivated, as running is a great way to burn calories. I've also set a few running goals, such as running Ben Donohoe in November. On top of that, Fontessa asked me if I would run City to Surf with her next year. I decided I'll give it a go. Sally has a hilly run that she's going to show us, to help us prepare for Heartbreak Hill. It sounds like we're going to have a lot of fun as a group. :-)

I've also got us organised to manage the different fitness levels and running goals of the group. It took some thinking, but we're going to try a combination of things. For instance, on longer runs, some people might ride their bikes while others might meet us for part of the run.

Thinking about that made me realise that today's run with Sally wasn't going to be long enough for me. At PT on Friday, I told Krissi that I had been thinking about running another half hour on top of the run with Sally. Now, telling Krissi you're thinking about exercising is the same as committing to it. Next thing you know, she'd organised for me to run the warm up with her and Fiona before meeting Sally. They are training for the half-mara at the Melbourne Marathon. I ran with them for 15 mins, then headed back to the ferry terminal to meet Sally. She ran out to meet me, so I was only running on my own for about 10 mins. It was easy to organise, I had fun running with three friends, I got my longer run, and I'm feeling terrific now.

I've been thinking about cycling to work now that the weather is not so cold but I haven't had any real motivation to get started. Krissi came to the rescue again. Fiona and I are teaming up to do the Urban Polaris in December. If I'm going to be on my bike all day I'd better get some practice in between now and then!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

What a lovely day for a run

Kelly and I met up to run bridge to bridge this morning. For those of you who aren't familiar with Canberra, this is a run around the central basin of Lake Burley Griffin. You cross two bridges, which is where it gets its name. You're kind of running through postcard country the whole time you're doing it. Lots of people are out sightseeing or just walking around the lake.

Kel wanted to meet up at 10 am, which is way later than I usually run. I figured it would be good practice for next Sunday's Canberra Times fun run though, as that starts at 9:45 am, so I donned a hat, lathered up with sunscreen and enjoyed heading out without long sleeves for the first time in ages.

I wasn't sure what sort of run it would be. Kel hasn't run for ages, so I was quite prepared to take it slowly, and to cut the run down to half an hour if that was all that Kel wanted to do. We had a chat about what she wanted to achieve before we headed out. I told her that I wanted her to want to come back and run with me again, not to push herself so hard that she dreaded the thought of going for a run. Kel aimed for running B2B without stopping. It's about 5 kms. Kel runs a bit faster than me, although she doesn't think she does, so I was pretty sure that if I ran it at a steady pace, she would be quite comfortable.

We headed off with Kel talking nineteen to the dozen. That's pretty normal for Kel and it let me know that she was coping well with the pace. After a while she got quieter, so I knew to ease up a little. I took over the chat. We were talking about our "The Last Twenty" challenge. I got all excited about an idea we had and started running faster, then I realised and eased back again. Poor Kel!

We made it the whole way around, which is an absolute credit to Kelly. It took us 41 minutes, which we were both happy with. It was cool enough not to cook us, and sunny enough to make everything look fantastic. We didn't get tripped up by any dogs, kids or prams. We enjoyed it so much that we're going to meet up on Thursday at 7 am to do it all over again.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Running memories

I was updating my "The Last Twenty" blog today, and ended up doing a bit of a running retrospective. I've been running for over three years now. I'm really excited by that. I still feel like a complete newbie compared to so many people. It's good to look back and realise that I'm not.

I know that because I never seem to blog here that it seems as though I've stopped running. That's not the case. I ran 8 km with Krissi this morning, enjoying every minute of it. I've signed up for the 10 km Canberra Times fun run on 13th September. I'm doing that because of Fontessa, the girl who helped get me home in the half marathon. Krissi told me that Fontessa was going to run it, and was thinking of asking me to join her, so I jumped in ahead, signed up, and gave her a call. Then I thought, "oh my goodness, 10 km, can I do it?" After a minor panic I realised "of course I can" but I'm making sure that I get out there a little more than I have been lately. I've got a 5 km run organised for Sunday and I'll try to get my backside out there on Thursday morning this week too.

You've got to love the added incentive that signing up for an event gives you.