My old stomping ground, in bad socks

Today I decided to go back to my old stomping ground to train. Although I've enjoyed the change of scenery in my running, I rarely see anyone I know any more, unlike the good old days when I ran around the Uni and Coro Drive bikepath.

It paid off!

I planned to run from Teneriffe to the Regatta and back for a 25k long run. It took me until the Goodwill Bridge to see a familiar face, but just a couple of hundred metres along and Mike and Michael rode up behind me.

Closer towards the Regatta I saw Daz, still nursing his broken collarbone. I guess that since the weather was his optimal training conditions, even he couldn't resist a stroll in the sun. In almost the same spot on the way back, was Bryn (compression socks and all) and then along the city boardwalk, my old friend Shiraz.

I was on a high for a short time - but I still had 8ks to go. Although generally I felt fatigued, mostly, my feet hurt. When I finished my run I tore my shoes off immediately. When I got home I threw out my old, worn socks, which I blamed for my pain.

Now though, with the benefit of a few hours after my double run, I wonder whether I wasn't just blaming my tools for my less than desireable consistency over the last couple of weeks?

I guess I'll never know for sure, because the offending socks are gone...

A change of scenery

This weekend we were at Andy and Miri's wedding at Midginbil Hill, at the foot of Mt Warning. A beautiful ceremony and an excellent weekend away with friends.

The weather wasn't fantastic, as the rain-clouded picture demonstrates. But we didn't let that dampen our spirits, nor stop us from training. Many of the crew had brought their mountain bikes or running shoes (or both) and on Saturday morning, many of us set off for our sabbatical.

KKB and I both ran. I'm usually a fastidious planner of my training routes. I love Map My Run. This weekend I didn't have the luxury of an internet connection with which to plot where and how far I would run. I just had my running shoes, my watch, and, with any luck at least, a sense of direction to get me back to the campsite.

In the end, this added to the sense of contentment I felt when running. Just a bunch of trees, the odd cow and horse, and very few cars. Bliss.

On the way back, I even stopped on the side of the road to gather some additional autumn leaves - at the behest of the bride-to-be. Who am I to argue?

Decisions, decisions...

The down side to the weekend was another missed long run.

Although I'd arranged to go into work late today - post long run was the aim - I've woken up with a potential relapse of the cold.

(Yes, I'm sure it's not swine flu.)

I decided not to risk it but I hope the decision doesn't return to bite me on the bum.

I'm in

I'm all signed up for my first marathon. There's no turning back now...

Look out for the Athletic Powerhouse, bib number 1622.

Training by trial and error

As I shuffled along Kingsford Smith Drive this morning, a couple of fellow runners did their U-Turn in front of me, and as the minutes passed as I ran along behind them - they didn't get away from me.

I picked up the pace a little, then they stopped for a drink. When I caught them up, we compared notes. Training for the GC Marathon? Check. Three hour run today? Check.

They asked me how long I planned to run on my longest run, and I told them the River Ride. I thought they'd know what I meant because one of them was wearing a cycling jersey - turns out though it was her husband's jersey and she had no idea.

"33ks", I elaborated. But they weren't quite that advanced in their planning, and weren't sure how far they should run in training.

Just before we headed our separate ways, they told me they'd just discovered "these energy things". They were excited that they could now run for more than two hours with the help of an Endura gel.

As they headed off down the opposite way to me, I wished I'd run with them to try and share what I knew about endurance training. Not that I'm an expert. But I've been lucky to have the support and advice from a squad and a coach for most of my time as an Athletic Powerhouse. It's saved me from a lot of trial and error.

Swines and cheaters

I woke up Friday morning feeling pretty much like death warmed up. I called in sick to work but felt a little guilty about it, as we were due to set off that afternoon for a weekend in Byron Bay for the annual triathlon.

It definitely isn't swine flu but it is a bit of a setback in my training. No long run this weekend.

It also kept me from volunteering as a draft official for the triathlon. Instead I was on the receiving end of drafting, looking after the Penalty Box. Funny, most of those who reported to me swore they weren't cheating. Of course.