Friday, 17 August 2012

Lake circuits and running

Last updated: Tuesday 21 August

Back in March I had signed up for a 12 week fitness challenge. I continued my walking (which didn't count) alongside the challenge things. One of the options provided in the challenge was a Sunday walk/run around Lake Tuggeranong.

Week 2: I missed the first week and fronted up on the second Sunday (April 1st) and walked the circuit. My time was 54:50. Considering my walking speed it put the circuit at just short of the 6km mark.

Week 3: There was no official walk as it was Easter Sunday. I did walk down to the Lake and then around it before heading home. I did it at a leisurely pace and did not record a time.

Week 4: I went to the gym and did a leg sapping "challenge" followed by a speed, strength and endurance test and then the lake circuit. I included some running intervals on this circuit and finished it in 47:24 a whopping 7 minutes 26 seconds faster than I recorded 2 weeks earlier.

Week 5: I started the day with a walk home from Cooleman Court after breakfasting there. I went to the gym and did a Body Balance class, something I had not done in over 10 years and was somewhat of a challenge as bits of the body didn't always want to do what most of the rest of the class had their bodies doing. Then I did the lake circuit maintaining 90 seconds fast walking, 30 seconds "running" interval and completed the circuit in 43:27, just short of a 4 minutes improvement over the previous week.

Week 6: I did a workout at the gym before heading for the assembly point. This was another test week repeating the tests done in week 4 and managed to show an improvement for all of the areas tested. Then it was around the lake in a time of 43:12 - a further 15 seconds improvement.

Week 7: I almost didn't do the lake circuit as I had been down to Victoria for Phillip and Miranda's wedding however we did get back in time for me to do it. I managed to muck up my timing equipment so didn't get an accurate time however it appeared that I had come in under the 43 minute mark. More improvement.

Week 8: The week had been busy with the Swimming ACT presentation night on the Saturday evening. It was an exhausting week. Not only that, it was followed by a meet with lots of pool walking. I managed to do the lake circuit, after all the foregoing, in 41:03 ... an improvement of almost 2 minutes.

Week 9: Michael and I did a hike this morning. I then walked down to Tuggeranong and did the lake circuit in 40:14 a further improvement of 40 seconds. I was still doing walk-run intervals the there was more running than walking by this stage.

Week 10: I went to the gym to do the weekly challenge before doing the lake circuit. I had been really pleased with the improvement I had shown in my strength and endurance. Today I started the lake circuit with constant running and only dropped back to a walk-run interval after passing the Athlon Drive underpass. I did the circuit in a time of 39:46 a further improvement of 28 seconds.

Week 11: Back in week 7 I had injured by leg when I fell while dancing at the wedding. The injury had been very slow to heal and the leg still felt tired and had tender spots. I just needed to take care that I didn't over do it. I went to the gym to do a gentle workout before the run and Lana persuaded me to do a 30 minute CX Works class. It was not a good class to do before my final speed, strength and endurance test and a run around the lake! I ended up walking the lake circuit in a time of 53:59. There are limits!

Week 12: The final circuit undertaken as part of the challenge and I was delighted to complete it in a time of 39:07 a PB by 39 seconds.

Over the course of the challenge I had improved my time by 15 minutes 43 seconds. I really felt that I could continue to improve. It had been such a long time since I had done any running and I was surprised at how I managed to improve over the course of those 10 weeks through to June 10.

There was a bit of a break and then the gym organised to have Sunday lake circuits to be followed by coffee. A nice thoughts to have a bit of a social gathering afterwards. The first week saw a handful of people turn up with two of us opting to run rather than walk the circuit. Kara quickly got away from me and I thought that that was it. I was hoping to run all the way and I did. I managed to pass Kara and finished with a time just over the 39 minute mark. Running all the way meant that I was actually slower than when I was doing intervals. Probably this should not have been a surprise as the walk time was recovery and allowed me to run faster in the run bits.

The next week I ran non stop, too and had a time of 39:33. This was actually quite good as I had managed to injure left ankle and right knee in a fall and both were not working 100% but actually stood up to the circuit done at a slower pace than I was previously doing.

On the next 3 weeks Sundays I was tied up and missed the circuits. I did do some treadmill runs to check out the ankle and knee and was happy with their progress.

On Sunday August 12 I reported for the lake circuit and no one else turned up. Having psyched myself up to do the run I figured that I would do it anyway. I was delighted to finish my solo circuit in 38:54 - a small improvement but an improvement nevertheless.

By now the right knee was pretty much OK and the left ankle was mostly fine with just the odd twinge and generally not from anything I would do when running. So, on the following Tuesday evening I set out from home and ran down to meet the circuit path just through the Athlon Drive underpass and back without stopping. The distance is pretty close to 6kms or a little over. My time was 38:07. Fantastic!!!

On Thursday afternoon I set out to run to Tuggeranong. I did the first part, to the path through the Athlon Drive underpass in 18:02, 18 seconds faster than I did the same section on Tuesday. From the underpass to the end of my lake circuit took me 18:51 - 40 seconds faster than I had done the same section on Sunday afternoon. All up, from the school crossing in Barritt Street to the road near the Arts Centre took me 36:53.

I'll add updates to this post as I continue my running.

Will I be ready to do the 10km run in the Canberra Times Fun Run on Sunday September 9? I hope so. If I can run 6km three times in 5 days surely I will be able to manage 10km in a little over 3 weeks. This is not fast but finish!

Tuesday 21 August: Today I set out to do a 10km run. Speed was not the objective. Distance was. I set off at a very leisurely trot and got to my first timing point (near the Adventure Playground) in 13:14 quite a bit slower than my effort on Sunday and reached the lake path in 19:25 [Sunday was 16:43 ... yes, a whopping 1:19 off my previous time ... I gave myself permission to stop and walk home after that effort!] I completed my lake circuit in 40:33 which was terrific considering that I was doing a slow run and had covered 3km before commencing the circuit. The run back from the lake circuit to the Adventure Playground timing post took me a mere 5:56 ... I really wanted to finish the run and was also spurred on by setting my sights on a chap who had passed me way back near the Tuggeranong Library and commented that he had been following me for quite a time and had finally passed me. It might have taken me some 4kms but I did pass him after going through the Athlon Drive underpass. That really gave me a boost ... and a target. Once passed him I couldn't slow down and risk him passing me again! The games we play. Still, I was thrilled to have done the run in 1:05:54. I think the distance should have been reasonably close to 10kms. Now I know that I can do the 10km run it is just a matter of keeping doing runs over the next couple of weeks leading up to the Fun Run

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