Race report coming SOON!

I started this blog as a way to share my race reports which I always enjoy writing (and some of which have become bigger than Ben Hur!) but in the past year I haven’t had any races to write about, and I don’t want to post stuff just for the sake of posting stuff!

Like, for example, pictures of my cat on both my bikes (glad to see someone is using them!)

Hence, my posts over the last 12 months have been a bit sporadic and repetitive – sorry friends, thanks for hanging in there!

There is light at the end of the tunnel though! In a few weeks I finally get to write a race report!

And today I ran a half marathon – not an official one, just a training run, but still – 21.1km is 21.1km even when there’s no medal at the end of it!

AND last week I ticked over 1000km for the year – certainly nowhere near the mileage of previous years but still I’m pretty happy with that milestone!

See you in a few weeks!

An eventful 12 months!

I only just blogged quite recently but I thought today deserved a brief post – I realised this morning after a lovely (albeit tough) morning run that it is exactly 1 year today since my ill-fated City-Bay Half Marathon!

I am still hoping to be able to run the City-Bay half as a ‘redemption run’ in November but due to COVID crowd restrictions there are some doubts over it going ahead. If it does, I will be there! I doubt it will be a PB but I can be 100% sure it will NOT be a PW!

I have a couple of backup half marathons if City-Bay doesn’t happen but it’s safe to say that City-Bay is my first choice by a long way!

COVID hasn’t impacted on my running much at all to date – so I’m probably a bit lucky with my timing! (Other than the small matter of having to miss my trip and 2 overseas marathons last year, that is!)

And that’s all I have to say about that!

A bit more progress!

Well it’s been a while since my last post – nearly 2 months in fact! Where did that time go?

There is a bit to report on the running front – I’m now up to 2 x 1 hour runs and 1 x slightly longer run (I’m building up to half marathon distance – hoping to run the City-Bay half in November but if not that one there are a couple of other options) – the longest I’ve done so far is 1 hour 20, and I’m trying to increase that by 5-10 minutes every week with a view to getting up to 2 hours before the half marathon. The weekday runs are done with my regular groups and I’ve been doing the weekend runs solo as I still want to run at ‘my’ pace rather than anyone else’s, and I also like to plan my routes so there are minimal or no stops (the group runs are normally on roads and do involve some stopping at road crossings!)

It’s good to have an event on the horizon – plus finally I will have something interesting to blog about!

I’ve also entered an event for next year – the Leconfield Wines McLaren Vale Marathon (I’ve entered the half) – as always the early bird discount sucked me in! It’s put on by the same people who do the Great Southern Half Marathon (the one with the epic medals!) Plus, it finishes at a winery!

And on the weekend I did my first trail run in almost a year (my last being the Mt Crawford race) and it was so good to be back out there again – although it was quite a hilly route, I was able to run most of it despite mostly avoiding hills for the past 12 months – I put that down to all the strength work I have been doing (hello single leg squats!). It didn’t hurt that it turned out to be a glorious day! Unusually I didn’t see anyone I knew out there – probably because Trail Running SA had a race on down at Kuitpo which, although tempting, would not have been the best way to ease back into trail running after a year!

YAY!!!

I have been most productive in my TV viewing – it’s hard to fit in around running, work and music, but I have finally managed to finish all 9 seasons of The Office (worth sticking it out to the end, despite the last 2 seasons definitely lacking something) and about to start season 3 of Parks and Recreation (I do enjoy a binge on a comedy series with 20 minute episodes!). I have also watched season 1 of 30 Rock and for something totally different, The Sopranos (which I had started watching at the time of my last post, and eventually bit the bullet and bought the box set). I’m now rewatching Season 2 of Arrested Development because I don’t think I will ever get sick of watching that – so good!

I got a free trial of Stan, purely so I could watch Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey before seeing the new one which is about to come out, and I have no intention of extending beyond the free month, as you can see I have plenty of TV viewing to go on with, but will try to slot in a few more movies before the trial ends!

Music-wise, I have a new neighbour so the drum amp hasn’t been getting as much of a workout as before, I am sure it’s probably not THAT loud and there is quite a buffer between my lounge and hers, but I don’t want to risk it this early in the piece! So I’ve been mostly playing through the headphones and it’s starting to sound not too bad, I can almost play all of ‘Rock Of Ages’ (except for the cowbell in the intro, as my kit doesn’t have a cowbell!), and also ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ and bits and pieces of ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’. Previously I was working on ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and ‘Seven Nation Army’ which I must say are very very easy songs to play on drums and definitely good for beginners!

Human beginners, that is. This wannabe drummer can’t even reach the pedals!

That’s probably about it for now, I will try to post another brief update before I do a half marathon in November (and then, excitingly, a race report!)

Peace out!

‘Normal-ish’

(I prefer ‘Normal-ish’ to that ghastly COVID-19 cliche (one of many) – ‘The New Normal’ – UGH!)

Iso has not treated Buddy well – #fatass #badangle

So where did we leave it last month? Let’s start with the thing that is kind of the purpose of this blog, running!

It’s been a month of consolidation – I’m not doing any ultramarathons yet, or even marathons, or even HALF marathons, but I’m improving in consistency and pace. This week I managed 2 x 1 hour and 1 x 45 minute runs – next week I have a ‘recovery’ week (scheduled every 4th week for the foreseeable future) and I do quite look forward to these!

Very excitingly, since my last post, my regular running groups have resumed! After 5 months or so running mostly solo, it is an absolute joy to be back running with people again! Even though I’m often running on my own within those groups (deliberately, because I don’t want to get sucked in to running at someone else’s pace!)

There have even been some ‘events’ – just before the running groups resumed, one of said groups put on a low-key self-supported half marathon and 10k. Needless to say it was the 10k that I did, and it was an absolute delight to be there!

Complete with homemade medals!

And just today I participated for the first time in ‘Women’s Run in the Park’ – a timed 5k which is run several times during the year, a set course designed so you can see your improvement over the year. Apparently this one had a bigger turnout than usual, probably because a free timed 5k event at the moment is as rare as hen’s teeth! The weather threatened but held off nicely for us, I’d forgotten just how muddy Victoria Park can be, but again it was so nice to be part of a group run! And lovely to see a whole lot of ladies I hadn’t seen in AGES (I’m talking about you Michelle, and Ruth, and Ros, among others!) Thanks to Julie and the Adelaide Harriers for putting it on – probably see you next month!

Going out is still a bit of a novelty (sorry to my Victorian friends, probably skip this next bit!) – I’ve been out for dinner once and lunch a couple of times in the past month, and last weekend a lovely coastal walk followed by a wine at the pub (we must do that again, ladies!)

OK now to the bit everyone really wants to know about (?) TV and movies!

I’m nearly finished Season 7 of The Office (this season has taken awhile due to 2 week free trials of Binge and Disney+).

I’m into Season 4 of Arrested Development (this is the last season I have on DVD – there was a 5th season but I heard it was a bit of a letdown, if anyone’s seen it I’d be keen to hear if it’s worth watching!) Seasons 1-3 were perfection, Season 4 is very different in format but no less enjoyable! Kind of thinking that once I finish this one I might go back and rewatch from the start!

On Binge I got through the whole 2 seasons of Big Little Lies (fantastic series – even though I’m not a huge Nicole Kidman fan – Meryl Streep KILLED IT in Season 2!) and a few movies including Goodfellas which I’d been keen to see for a while – I then started watching The Sopranos and got 6 episodes in before my free trial ended – I’ll get around to watching the rest of it eventually!

I currently have Disney+ on a free trial, all I really wanted to watch was Hamilton (definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it – even if you’re not heaps into musicals, it’s not like your typical musical!) and I’m keen to hear any other recommendations for stuff to watch on Disney+ in the next week and a half! (Not the Avengers series – not enough hours in the day or days in the week for that!)

Finally got my drum amp set up but just waiting for delivery of a splitter cable (any day now!) so the sound will come out both speakers – I’m sure the neighbours can hardly wait…

I bought a book… it’s probably a bit too advanced for me but I’ll give it a crack – starting with ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’!

Who knows what the next month will bring?

More photos of my cats, probably…

Not very exciting – but at last some progress…

Haven’t posted in a while (and in fact my last post never went onto social media so maybe have a quick read of that one first!

Running-wise, I am now up to 3 runs per week, 2 of 60 minutes and 1 of 30 minutes. Still by myself, on closed tracks (ie no having to stop for traffic) because I don’t want to waste any precious seconds! Getting pretty damn bored with my routes but glad to be making some progress! Looking forward to running with other people soon!

Got back to one of my favourite spots for the first time in AGES!!! (You can only get there on foot – or possibly mountain bike?)

It’s lovely to be able to go out again without having to have an ‘essential’ reason. Since my last post I’ve been out for coffee a few times (and even SAT AT THE COFFEE SHOP!) and even more exciting, I MET SOME FRIENDS FOR A WINE AT THE PUB!!!

Still enjoying being off the social media, although I am finding it challenging to get up-to-date info from businesses (such as, opening hours) as most of them seem to rely on Facebook for this kind of info! I might get back on one day but I reckon I’ll put some kind of self-imposed restrictions on so it doesn’t eat up too much of my day – the days are busy enough as it is!

Being able to go out for a meal means not having this in my face when trying to eat pizza!

It’s now been nearly 4 months since my last cut and colour. I haven’t resorted to the clippers yet but it’s just a matter of time…

I’m now into Season 7 of The Office, I haven’t made much progress since my last post because I’ve since discovered my new favourite show/obsession (OK, I use the term ‘new’ very loosely) – Arrested Development, best show ever! If you haven’t seen it, please do! (And if you have – it’s always worth a rewatch!)

Brilliant – and very appropriate for these strange times!

Still bashing away at the drums, I do still really want an acoustic kit but I really don’t have the room so I am currently awaiting delivery of a drum amp so my neighbours can enjoy my new hobby too. Neighbours, you are welcome!

That’s about it for now – catch you in another month or so!

A brief update…

I’ve been a bit slack on the writing front!

Running-wise, I am now up to 3 runs per week, 2 of 45 minutes and 1 of 30 minutes. Next week, all going well, I’ll be up to 3 x 45 minutes. And when my regular running groups start up again (with the COVID-19 restrictions gradually easing from Monday, I imagine it won’t be too far away) I’m hoping to be able to join them!

I am lucky enough to still have a job, ‘business as unusual’ as they say, and to still be able to GO to work rather than the dreaded WFH (I say dreaded because if I were to be working from home I could go days without seeing another human – turns out I needs my human contact!)

Other than at work, I don’t see people IRL other than my family, but I do love randomly running into people I know, and I do mean running into, because it almost always happens when I’m running (or occasionally walking through the cemetery at lunchtime – always lovely to see you Deb!)

I’ve signed out of my Facebook and Instagram accounts and turned off my notifications. Best thing I ever did! There was way too much negativity and scaremongering on Facebook in particular, and it was almost ALL COVID-19 related. Now I just check a few news sites once or twice a day (ABC is a good one) and limit my mindless scrolling.

My hairdresser closed (temporarily I hope!) the day before my last appointment so it’s now been nearly 12 weeks since my last cut and colour. I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands – I’m not quite game to cut it myself (when I do it will be #2 clippers) but I thought what better time to try something a bit different…

I haven’t really experienced any boredom from ‘lockdown’ – because I’m still working full time and commuting, I’ve just got evenings and weekends to fill. I still have a lot of books left to read (and many I’d love to re-read) and a similar story with my DVD collection. There’s also the recently-discovered joy of the streaming service (I know, a bit late to the party, but what better time to rock up?) – I’m now up to Season 6 of The Office on Amazon Prime and have also finally got around to watching The Godfather trilogy (first two WOW, third one less so!) and a few other great movies including The Big Lebowski and No Country For Old Men.

I’ve also been getting REALLY into music. I’m still playing my piano and guitars, although not every day, but I’m really committed to the drums, practising every day since I got my first kit. I’m now planning to buy an acoustic kit (I’ll keep the electronic one for evening and early morning practice, of course!)

(I’ve also managed to save a bit of money AND annual leave, and with my planned US trip in October looking less likely than Donald Trump saying something intelligent, I reckon when I eventually get to go, I might be able to afford to do it in style!)

That’s about it for now, I’ll update in another month or so, or if I have something interesting to report!

Opportunity knocks!

Seems a bit weird to be talking about opportunities when each day more and more places/activities/events are being cancelled or shut down? Stick with me!

First things first, I should provide a running update! This week I was cleared to start running solidly for 30 minutes, and yesterday, for the first time in over 6 months, I ran nonstop for 30 minutes!

Since resuming running in January I’ve done most of my running either around the oval or the Uni Loop, to avoid having to stop for traffic like I would on a road run. With social distancing being the new normal, I find the Uni Loop is a bit busier than I’d like, so I think I’ll be sticking with early morning oval runs for now! (Although, it seems more people are getting the same idea – it’s quite busy on the oval too now!)

A lot of people are now going to have to adapt to solo running after being used to running in groups, with all the running groups being put on hold and running events being cancelled. For me it just means continuing doing what I’ve been doing, because I haven’t got back to any of my groups and events are a long way off! The only thing I’m really missing out on is parkrun (insert sad face here) although I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be doing it right now even if it was on!

As we all know, this is a temporary situation. It could be a long temporary, but eventually we will be able to go out freely and socialise again and won’t we all appreciate it then!

For now, we have to work out different +/- innovative ways of doing the things we love! This is where the ‘opportunity’ bit comes in!

I don’t especially like talking on the phone, I think it’s because I like using my hands and also I use sarcasm a bit, and without face to face contact it’s easy to be misunderstood! So staying in touch with friends by phone instead of in person doesn’t really excite me, however I am pretty excited about trying out the group video chat apps. Imagine being able to go to a party with friends and not have to worry about how you’re getting home? Amazing! So there’s an opportunity right there – after this I may never want to go out again!

The other big opportunity I can see is time on our hands, with a lot of our regular activities off the cards, to try new things. Sure, the options are a bit limited, but what better time to learn a new skill, new language, finally get around to doing stuff around the house… so many things we can do if we focus on what we still can do rather than what we can’t!

6 months ago when I last had a lot of time on my hands (and was mostly limited to seated activities) I was planning to buy or rent an electronic drumkit. I soon realised I had plenty to do to fill my day, and the drums fell by the wayside.

Then last weekend, with the threat of lockdown looming, I put the call out on social media, asking my friends if I should buy an electronic drumkit. The response was a resounding ‘YES!’ and as luck would have it one of my friends had a second hand kit she was wanting to sell very cheaply! I got it, started taking some online lessons and I’m pretty sure I’m hooked now! (And my neighbours will be very grateful that I haven’t figured out how to make it make noise other than through headphones!)

I’m interested to know, are you trying something new during these ‘interesting’ times? Any suggestions?

Warning: mostly non-running content…

Mostly words and few pictures, sorry!

It’s been a little while since my last post – yes I admit I have been a slacker on that front.

I have upgraded my running – from 4 weeks of 20 minutes of 1:00 run and 4:00 walk, I have now been doing 30 minutes of 2:00 run/3:00 walk for the past 2 weeks. I reckon I need 1 more week of that and I’ll flip the run/walk intervals around. Still a long way from a marathon but plenty of time for that! Oh and the best bit is that after 5 months I finally started doing parkrun again – oh the joy!

And I got to see this again for the first time in FOREVER!

OK so there’s not much more to say about running so let’s talk about some other stuff. Because there’s more to life, right?

I have nearly finished Season 4 of The Office. Unfortunately I have no more DVDs after season 4 so next it’s either a box set (yeah, people still do buy DVDs!) or a Netflix/Stan/Amazon Prime subscription. If you, like me, have been living under a rock for the past 15 years and haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favour! (I think I appreciate it even more now that I work in an actual office!)

Let’s not forget one of the other joys of life, music! A couple of weeks ago I bought a last minute ticket to see Alice Cooper who is still killing it after over 50 years!

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing Queen and Adam Lambert live for the third (and hopefully not last) time! I was a bit dubious about Adelaide Oval as a venue, although I had previously seen 3 very excellent bands there in AC/DC, the Rolling Stones and Guns N’Roses – personally I think the sound and atmosphere is much better in an indoor, more ‘intimate’ space – however I was not disappointed with the show and the venue! Only with the old stick-in-the-mud who had a go at me for standing up during We Will Rock You (in the freaking ENCORE! She’s lucky I sat down up until that point!) – give me standing tickets any day!

I only took a couple of photos – this one doesn’t come close to doing it justice but the light show during ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ was a showstopper!

In a couple of weeks I have the privilege of seeing The Darkness at the ultimate intimate venue, The Gov – all standing, Thankyou very much! And I only recently found out that their drummer is the son of Queen’s Roger Taylor – quite the pedigree! A few months later I’ve got Iron Maiden and Faith No More, both at the Entertainment Centre – can’t wait! (And hopefully there’ll be another gig or 2 for me to go to when I finally get to the USA in October!)

I’ve really got into eco stuff, recycling, decluttering, all that stuff! I am going to see how long I can go between putting out my red bin (landfill) – last time it went out was 15 December and it’s not even close to half full! My recycling bin hasn’t gone out since 5 January and I reckon it’ll be another fortnight until it’s full. I try to avoid buying ANYTHING in plastic, and I get all my dry goods/cleaning products from bulk stores. It’s a little thing but every little bit helps! (And I hope SA soon follows in the footsteps of some Victorian councils and introduces a 4th bin for glass recycling!

Oh and of course it’s Fringe time again so plenty of eclectic shows as usual! Music, comedy, cabaret, even a Silent Disco walking tour – you name it! Great time of year in Adelaide, especially now the car race is over!

That’ll do for now – see you out running somewhere, or at a gig soon!

It begins…

I’m allowed to run now! YAY!

It’s only 20 minutes of 1 min run/4 min walk, every second day…

But it’s still RUNNING!

Next stop: parkrun! (OK maybe parkWALK but still…)

Once a loopy runner, always a loopy runner!

Perspective!

So today I got the all clear to start walking (just short distances) without crutches.

So that’s pretty great!
I didn’t bother asking the doctor if I could do parkrun this Saturday! Well, she didn’t say I COULDN’T!
She got me to stand on my left leg, and I couldn’t balance for some reason!
I’m keeping the crutches in the car now.
Things I have done in the past month.

Flown interstate, 4 flights in total. Given the sticks and the impossibility of carrying or pushing around a suitcase, I had to drag out my old backpack from my early backpacking days. It did force me to be a bit more circumspect about packing than I normally am! The only real issue was the one flight from Canberra to Melbourne on the ATR 72 with the walk across the tarmac and boarding via the very steep back steps. I decided to get on the lift to get back down at the other end. That was fun!

Went to the Pink Ball Test Match at Adelaide Oval for 4 days, up and down steps (my choice – there’s plenty of accessible seating.) Big plus – being able to use the disabled parking area right outside the gate. Minus – being unable to carry a drink so requiring other people to get them for me!

Prior to the cricket I went to the annual Members’ Test Match Dinner – fantastic night, I managed to wear stilettos and not fall over, and we were lucky enough to get a Rock Star Table right up the front!

Last weekend I went to see an 80s cover band at the Gov, the crutches did get in the way a bit (it was a bit hard to wave my hands in the air without the risk of taking someone out!) but despite that, it was a great night!

More parkrun volunteering, plenty more coffees and lunches! (And black and purple ice cream on a 40 degree day!)

Started swimming, overdid it a bit in the first few weeks, had a few weeks off and just started up again. As of today I am now allowed to start using my legs! Didn’t stop me from recording a 33 second 100m split yesterday (to put that in perspective, the current MALE world record for 100m is just under 45 seconds). Maybe I have a new career ahead of me!

I know I’m a bit late to the party but I’ve just finished watching the first 2 seasons of The Office. Such a great show!

Oh and the BBL starts tonight so there’s the next month taken care of!
For the next month I’ll be gradually building up the amount of walking I do, and starting to do some hip muscle strengthening, with a view to maybe starting a bit of gentle run/walking in 4-6 weeks.
Where’s that perspective?
It’s certainly going to come in handy when I eventually get back to my proper job, this experience will give me a much better perspective of what it’s like to be one of my clients (and I won’t have to hear the old “Oh, you wouldn’t know what it’s like! You’re young and (relatively speaking) fit!” Well, actually…
It’s only been a few hours, so I haven’t experienced all the joys yet, but here are a few that spring immediately to mind!
  • The joys of being able to just walk from one room to the other! I just know that when I wake up tomorrow I’m going to wonder where those damn things are!
  • Going out to lunch and not having to select seats based on where I can put the sticks without them getting in the way!
  • Being able to carry stuff!
That’s probably about it for now – see you in another month or so!