Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sri Chinmoy Yarra Boulevard 5k

My second Sri Chinmoy event, and oh boy are they shaping up to be one of my favourites! There's the best informal, relaxed vibe about these inexpensive and friendly events.
Several co-workers and I had planned to meet for this one, but in the end only three of us showed up. I decided to run a 5k because I am still coming back after illness and was actually really excited for the fun of a short race. A 5k can be really good in a relaxed way-there's no need to worry too much about what to eat before or during, I know I'm not going to chafe up, I can go with less comfy gear and have it be no issue.
It was pretty chilly when I arrived (half an hour early, overpunctuality is my curse) so I used the loo, registered, and loitered. Some people had dogs and cute kids for me to admire, so I was more or less kept amused. When I got bored I decided to ditch my jumper, check my bag, and warm up with a couple of slow laps around the oval. I think warming up makes a lot of difference for me over shorter distances.
I eventually found one of my workies, looking bleary eyed and quite annoyed that we were the only ones there at that stage! We cruised over to the start together, selecting back of the pack positions. I had a nice chinwag with a few lovely ladies about Sri Chinmoy's philosophy, half marathon racing, marathons...nice.
In what's becoming quite a pattern for me, I quickly found a couple of guys running just a tiny bit slower than I wanted to, and drafted behind them. They were big, tall guys, cruising comfortably along at a steady clip, and I settled in just behind them happily. I was surprised to learn that while I felt like we were going very slow, we were cruising comfortably at just under 7 minutes a k, and sometimes as fast as 6.5 minutes.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I can now get to the point where I say this next bit is where I cocked up. Buoyed up by running the first 4ks non stop, I broke away from my draft dudes to fly up a hill. Going up the hill was fine, but as I rounded the top and began heading down I realised I was totally shagged out! To the point where I dry heaved a little, so I walked a little until I recovered myself, then chugged onwards to finish.
After it was all done, I sat on the grass in the sunshine to eat a pancake and a juicy mandarine, while a feeling of well being flooded my body.
My GPS said I'd done 5k in 33.52, with an average pace of 6;45, which I was pretty chuffed with....but my official time over at Sri Chinmoy was 35:06, which is five seconds over my PB, wahhhhhh! I'm not sure which time I believe.....
The only solution is to race another fun little five again soon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I plan, God laughs

Well, hot off the heels of my triumphant August challenge and audacious goal setting for September.....I got sick. Real sick. I came down with shingles, ON MY FOOT! Who gets shingles on their foot!? Then as if the horrid life-zapping forces of the viral infection wasn't enough, the largest blister cluster became infected. Really really infected. The GP cut open the fluid and pus filled blisters to drain, and prescribed antibiotics. I had to stay off it. No work, no running, and mostly trapped on the couch. Two days later the pain was worse and my entire leg became painful. Back to the GP. Antibiotics aren't working, the infection is moving up the leg. Stronger antibiotics, more time off work....and they cut my foot open to a depth of half a centimeter, and an area about the size of a fifty cent piece. The second slice did the job, and the infection started to go away but I couldn't really walk properly on my foot at all, and so eventually after it had mostly healed the GP went in one last time to sculpt the wound bed to let me walk better. Soo, two and a half weeks later I have finally finished all my medicine, the bandages are off, and I finally felt well enough to run. I managed four K's this morning, and oh goodness it was like coming home! My legs fatigued really quickly but I'm confident that I'll be back running strongly in a week or two. I guess I am lucky that I was in great shape before I got sick! I've never been unable to run for this long, but am enjoying the feeling of strength returning to my body.
The bad news is that while I was sick I did an unprecedented amount of comfort eating, and have put on 3.3 kilograms! I can really feel it, and actually see it. *Sigh*, two steps forward, one step back.
I've reset my goals for September, and they're quite modest. I want to rein in my calories to 1800 a day, gain control of my sugar intake (the more I have it, the more I want it!) and build back up to 25 K's a week by the end of the month.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

August challenge wrap-up and new goal setting

So, the August challenge is over with, and whoooee, it was a great month! A 500 cal daily burn was a very inspiring challenge for me, and overall while I didn't hit it for all 31 days, I'm pleased with how I went.
There were 6 days where I burned no calories at all! Sick, lazy, meh, whatever.
There were 15 days where I burned over my daily goal. Go me.
And there were 10 days where while I burnt some calories, I didn't make that magic 500.
I still think that 500 calories is an excellent daily goal. One of the things I learnt during the month was that it's really much harder to burn that many calories than I thought, and that I burn a lot fewer calories doing my daily walk than I thought. I got into the habit of short walks during my workday, just a kilometre here or there, and it really made a difference to me. I lost weight, my legs feel stronger, and I enjoyed the discipline involved.
I counted cals burned by both walking and running, and last month I ended up running 86.88ks, and walking 98.65ks. Super, super cool.

Which brings us to goal setting for September!
Last week I ran my very first week where I ran further than 30ks. I've been able to run a 25k week for some time now, and I'm ready to move up to 30 (and eventually, beyond!). So, in September I want to run 30ks at least three weeks out of four, and ideally over 25 in the fourth week.
I also want to see the scale drop from 77.5 to 75.7 :)

Onwards and upwards!