Sunday, April 26, 2015

Don't Be an Idiot: Ten Weeks to Gold Coast HM

I've whinged about it pretty frequently to family and friends, and to some degree on the blog, but I spent a large part of 2014 injured and miserable. Recovery from a stress fracture, then another stress fracture then a labral tear in my hip, all left me wondering if I'd ever run sans-injury again.

I'm not at all a drama queen. 

Well, the answer was not of any great philosphical moment. It was simply that when I got healthy, Id lace up again but this time be smart doing it.

So far, I think I have been. I've almost been reluctant to blog about running again for fear of having to follow up with another whining post about how I'm injured, then the inevitable blogging hiatus, followed by a sarcastic "Hi, I'm Penny" post, having to reintroduce myself all over again.

Well no more! I have designated 2015 as the year of no injury. It even has its own hashtag #noinjury2015.  Unfortunately the meme hasn't really taken off. That is, only I use it. And mainly just in my head and in messages to Kristen. #howdothesocialmediasworkagain?

Anyway. Ok. To get us all back on track, here is the mileage I have done since recovering from my hip labral tear: 
January: 16, 21, 23, 26, 22
February: 23, 25, 25, 30
March: 10, 26, 32, 35
April: 38, 42, 26, 45

As you can see, in both March and April I took cutback weeks, that I think have enabled me to get up to my goal mileage feeling strong. I have also been running all that SLOW. As in, between 8:45-10 min miles, when my easy pace used to be 7:45- 8:30.  Slowness = lower impact = few injuries + better aerobic workout. Learn it, people. At least, learn it faster than I did. 

Anyway, I'd like to keep my mileage between 45-50mpw, in the lead up to *brump-bum-ba-buuuuum* my goal race of Gold Coast half marathon, July 5. That's ten weeks away. And I'll be shooting for sub-1:30.

Posting that publicly is soooo bloody scary these days. Not because I might not be in sub-90 shape come July - that may well be the case. Rather, its because every effing time I've set a goal race in the last 18 months, I've been stymied by injury.

But screw it. I don't believe in juju, or jinxing or touching wood or whatever. Nothing I say on the interwebs and to our 4.8 average weekly readers, is going to change whether or not I get another serious injury.

What will give me another injury is not eating enough, not sleeping enough, jumping up in mileage and/or speed before I'm ready, running in old shoes, and generally being an idiot. 

So in short, my motto in the lead-up to GC half is: don't be an idiot. 

Part of my attempt to lessen my own idiocy has been to do some of my long runs on trails, and undulating terrain (Sydney is quite flat). To wit, below are some pics of a trail run I did in Canberra, through Red Hill Nature Park, with some beautiful rugged bush, and gorgeous views of our nation's capital.

Oh, and one of Lake Burley Griffin and the High Court of Australia, cos lawyer and lawyering lawyeryness.

I was in Canberra for a beautiful wedding - and was able to spend some grand times with my siblings and neices/nephews. Including this stunning little lady.

And my big bro, who professes to not have seen me sober since about the middle of 2004.
Whatevaaaaa. Champagne-induced wedding selfies rock.

Then last weekend I headed down to Victoria for a hensy weekend with my two best friends and their babies. 

Before we go into the running bits, we must first observe: bebe cheeks: 

Mischiefy bebe cheeks!

All the bebe cheeks in bath. HULLO omg.

And my women. Fuck I love these two. 20 years we've been friends and still going strong.

And all this is to say that I did last week's long run (13 miles) along the Great Ocean Road between Anglesea (where we were staying) and Airey's Inlet. 

You are just so spoiled for views along this stunning coast line, it is hard to resist the temptation to stop running and take photos every 5 minutes.

Blessed be my places. So good.

And that's all folks. Until next week's first actual OMG training post in basically forever, woop!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Running (and eating) in Paris

We recently went on a 10-day trip to Paris. Because why the hell not.

It was late February (it wouldnt be me if I wasnt exceedingly late in posting about my holidays), so running was rather chilly; but it was fun to finally pull out my cold weather gear from NYC!

We were staying in the Theatre District, which meant I could run south, past Palais Garnier, through the Louvre and along La Seine every day. 

There is a great path along the south-side of the river that runs almost entirely unbroken, up to (and beyond) the Eiffel Tower.

Needless to say Paris was amazing to run around. But there were so many other amazing things to do and see... and most of all EAT.

Eating in Paris is kind of a runners dream.

"I'll have the entree bread with a side of bread, and bread topping, s'il vous plait."

I also ate laduree macaroons 
Because Im 32 and I make great life choices.

We had some amazing seafood:

Though believe I ate steak at least 5 nights. I couldn't understand what they did to it to make it taste so good.

Then I remembered all the butter. Yes.

Also all the cheese and wine too please.

A croissant a day keeps the doctor away.


And while eating all the desserts was incredible, even better was learning to make them (then eat them) myself!

Beyond food and running it would be impossible to share all the amazing things I did and saw. But below are a few highlights:

The mini markets

Notre Dame

Sacre Coeur 

Curling up with a book at Shakespear & Co.

Going to the ballet at Palais Garnier:

(And finally being in the presence of the real-life "Masquerade" staircase from Phantom!) 

Seeing my favourite Van Gogh in person:

And of course my lady, La tour Eiffel, at night.