The Flying Beetroot: It Wasn’t Easy Being Green

The monochromatic spreadsheet is no more. Ta dah!

Training runs 10

Last Tuesday I used my first Golden Ticket, so kindly provided by my gauntlet-throwing friend to help me through what seemed like an interminable training regime when I started. It took me a good five minutes to hit send on the request message. It felt like failure.

I had neglected to get up early to run (to be honest, I’d forgotten about it – this is a sign that I am starting to get bored and I suspect I’m not the only one, right?), then I got called into work, got home from school pick ups at 4.15pm, was due at the Blood Bank for a plasma donation at 5.45pm and had to be at a rehearsal by 7.30pm. It takes me around half an hour to run 5km so technically I had time in between getting home and going to the Blood Bank but, in a significant step for me, I decided to be realistic and allow myself a moment of downtime. (Don’t die of shock.)

And while one part of me wanted to call me a failure, another part of me was feeling proud that I had been able to let go of perfection and be practical. (Are you still with me? Do I need the defibrillator?) And, when my Golden Ticket request was met with excitement, another part of me was so happy to have given joy to a friend who had taken the time to be so creative and supportive.

So it’s all good. Seriously.

Well, except for the knee trouble.

Who said that??

[Runner Me raises her hand sheepishly]

There is no knee trouble, got it?!?

[Runner Me shrugs and sneaks away, limping dramatically. ]

Oh, don’t be ridiculous! It’s not that bad!

Really. It’s not. Have a look at that spreadsheet.

See? There’s a second Red Letter Day. I ran my longest distance yet last Sunday. The training plan says 18km but I actually pushed it out to 19.1km. Two more kilometres and that half marathon is in the bag. In. The. Bag.

(Superstitious Me is screaming at me right now. “Shut up, shut up, shut up!” She needs to chill.)

[Calls after Runner Me] There is no knee trouble!

The Flying Beetroot Being Green

It’s not easy being green reddish-purple.

 

 

 

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The Flying Beetroot: Doing Things The Easy Way

The Flying Beetroot The Easy Way

I like to do things the easy way. I only ever take on one task at a time and if there’s a shortcut or an easier path, I’ll take it. I don’t overcommit and I’ll skip something if it seems like too much trouble.

Stop laughing.

Okay, so I was lying.

It would be nice to be that way, though, wouldn’t it? I’m not sure. I’ve never been like that. Is it easier?

I’m beginning to wonder if I have an Overcommitted fetish. I can’t seem to help myself. Personally, I just think that the world is full of new and exciting things and I want to do them all NOW.

So, in between the running and the rowing and the teenager-wrangling, I’ve just started rehearsals for a production of Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona. It’s on in May so the half marathon will be done and dusted but it’s in the middle of the Masters Rowing season so life could get….full. But I figure if I can walk 100 kilometres and then perform a major part in a play the next day (http://wp.me/p3OKST-em), this should be a cinch. I only have a couple of fun minor roles.

You may recall that I have taken on this half marathon having never before competed in a running event. There have been opportunities over the summer to compete in lesser distance events but I’ve resisted them because I’ve always been rather enamoured of the idea of being able to say “my first running event was a half marathon”.

Then a friend sent me a link to a 10km event that’s on the weekend before the half marathon. It was too exciting to resist and so I am replacing my scheduled 10km training run on the Sunday with this event:

Scotland Run

As a descendent of Scots on both sides of my family, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be doing this race.

Um. MOSY? That race is in Central Park. You know that’s in New York City, right?

Really? Oh well, it’s lucky I’m going to be there that weekend, then.

What was I saying about doing things the easy way? Oh, yes. Instead of spending the last two weeks before the half marathon checking off the last training runs and focussing on my nutrition and hydration, I’ll be schlepping it around the Big Apple.

Mr and Mrs MOSY are abandoning their offspring and flying away for a reason I am not allowed to share but let’s just say Mr MOSY will do anything to avoid a party.

We’ll be back two days before the half marathon. My final preparations will look like this:

Friday
Noon – arrive back from USA
Sometime in afternoon – run last 5km training run
8pm – perform in concert

Saturday
2pm – perform in concert

Sunday
8am – run half marathon
5pm – perform in concert

What? What about the concert? Oh. Didn’t I tell you about that?

Oh, by the way, I am also performing in a concert in memory of my friend Dennis who died last year. (http://wp.me/p3OKST-d9 and http://wp.me/p3OKST-dv) Right after we get back from the USA and on the same weekend as the half marathon.

What??? Why are you looking at me like that??

You didn’t think I’d want to miss it, did you?

It could be worse, you know. There’s a Masters Rowing regatta on the Saturday. I was talking about maybe doing some morning events until one of my crewmates took me by the shoulders and shook me hard. So I said ‘No’. Aren’t you proud of me?

Anyway, the training spreadsheet continues apace as usual:

Training runs 9

Did I ever tell you what my friend called this spreadsheet? “How much can one girl fit into her life!!!” Little did she know…

The last three long Sunday runs have had to be in the middle of the day due to other commitments and pending thunderstorms. Last Sunday’s 14km was quite pleasant, run in a balmy 20°C. The 10km on the Sunday before that, not so much. It was 35°C. By the 6km mark, I thought I was going to be sick. At 7km, I was crying. And at 8km, I wondered how long it would take someone to find me if I had a heart attack.

I ran the whole 10 kilometres. And I ran up that hill at the end. And I tried not to throw up at the top.

How come a hill never looks as steep in a photograph as it does when you're standing at the bottom it?

I think I may have spreadsheet sickness…..

I noticed this week that a side effect of all this running in the summer is that I’ve developed a tan from the bottom of my knees (where my running pants end) to the tops of my ankles (where my socks begin). Well, given my Celtic heritage, “tan” may be stretching it a bit. It’s more like a slightly dirty stain.

One last thing. In a most uncharacteristic burst of belief in myself, despite having not yet successfully completed my first half marathon, I am already planning the next one. Of course, it had to be something different:

Run Forrest

Clicking on the image will take you to the website where I highly recommend watching the video on the home page. Ooh, I can’t wait!

And in a sort of Gauntlet Throwing Pay It Forward, I’ve challenged the Spreadsheet Enforcer to do this with me. The only downside being that she prepared her training schedule the other night and then sent me a message to tell me to replace one of my weekly 5km runs with hills work.

Urgh. Hills….

Running hills

I’d already run up two hills by this point so if it’s not quite in focus….

 

 

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The Flying Beetroot: Running Solo

The Flying Beetroot Running Solo

The beauty of the Internet in general and the blogging community in particular is that whatever challenge you take on, someone somewhere has done something similar to inspire you.

So, deciding in middle age to attempt a (sort of) long-distance running event, I have discovered no shortage of women who have gone before me. And further.

Joanne, Sue and Annie have all completed numerous half-marathons and even marathons at ages more advanced than I. How could I not persist in my efforts with these inspiring women in my sights?

But there’s one small problem. Each of these women and others that I know who have achieved similar feats all have one thing in common – partners/husbands who are runners. So there is someone there to say, “Honey/ Sweetheart/ Darling/ [insert favourite endearment here], let’s go for a run.” And they’ve often been there at the actual events to help push them along.

This is not the case for me. I am married to a man who thinks I walk too fast. I have three sons who would only see running as beneficial if they were being chased by a zombie horde. Even then, I suspect they would find somewhere to hide and come up with a technological solution to escape.

I do have one or two running friends who are not married to runners but they all seem to own dogs who are happy to run with them. I don’t have that either. Leonardo the Cat would view running with disdain.

Leonardo the Cat

So the only person who can get me out that door and onto the running track is me. The only one who can push me to that finish line on the day has to be me.

At least……………

That’s what I used to think. I have recently come to realise that I may not have a physical running partner beside me but what I do have is a large international community of friends and fellow bloggers who are running with me in my head. YOU are the ones who get me out the door. YOU are the ones who keep pushing me on when I want to give up.

Well, you and The Spreadsheet.

Speaking of which….

Training runs 8

Yeah, it’s still all green. Boring, huh?

But there are stories behind those monotonous green boxes. Not all of them have been coloured with ease.

Like the Sunday 14km run a couple of weeks ago when I had another rowing regatta that day. I rowed my two races in the morning and then ran 14km in the afternoon. In the rain.

And the next Sunday when I got to run with the Spreadsheet Enforcer. And, despite yakking the whole way, managed to run my best time for that distance. (Hm. You see what I mean about the advantage of a running partner.)

Or the Fridays that have been added to the mix in the past few weeks. I always have rowing on Friday mornings and then I must race home, deliver kids to school and get myself to my community singing group by 9am. The 5km run always has to wait until later in the day. Not fun on a hot Summer’s day.

What else? Pardon? Oh, you noticed. Yes, there is some red text there in that green box. What does it mean? It means I ran the longest distance I have ever run in my life that day. It was a Red Letter Day. The Gauntlet Thrower ran that one with me. Only in my head. We had been discussing the run the night before so she was very much present with me. I don’t believe I would have made it without her. It was a hot day and since I’d had commitments in the morning and they were forecasting thunderstorms for the afternoon, I had no choice but to run in the middle of the day. Let’s just say running 16km in the heat is… er… challenging.

So, two-thirds of the way through training and I’m still on a solid green track. Thanks for coming with me.

*Music Track: “One” performed by John Farnham

 

 

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The Flying Beetroot: Running With The Boats

You’ve probably been wondering what that ‘dilemma’ in regard to the scheduled 12km Sunday run I hinted at in my last post was about, right?

You may even have been wondering why my caped image has been conspicuously absent from the Comments section of your blog posts the last few days, eh?

Oh. You haven’t?

Right-o then. Just carry on. Nothing to see read here.

Well, okay, so just in case you have been wondering….

Here’s a clue.

Rutherglen1

Too obscure for you? Okay, here’s another more obvious one.

Rutherglen2

Still haven’t worked it out? How about this very obvious clue?

Rutherglen3

Well, if you haven’t worked it out by now, there’s no hope for you at all.

Last weekend I competed in my first rowing regatta at Rutherglen in Northern Victoria. Hosted by the Murray Rowing Association (founded 1861), it is the oldest regatta in Australia.

I was competing in a Female Coxed Quad Scull race and a Mixed Coxed Eight race on each day – 800m on Saturday and 500m on Sunday.

We came last fourth in our race on Saturday morning but apparently we were coming second until about 250m out from the finish. We hadn’t thought we were in contention. We had borrowed a very young cox from another rowing club and while she was very encouraging, I think it would have been helpful to know how close we were to the pack. (It’s hard to know where you are when you’re racing backwards.)

The Mixed Eight race was great fun. The eight is a sweep boat which means you use one oar – a bit different to my usual sculling with two oars. We came second in that race.

It rained all day Saturday – unusual for Rutherglen – but the sun came out for us on Sunday.

Sunday’s races were quick 500m sprints. Our cox for the Quad was a wonderful, very experienced member of our club and the difference was this:

Rutherglen6

My first ever regatta medal!

Drama was to come in the Mixed Eight race. We started well and were clearly in the lead when, barely halfway through the race, the boat in the lane next to us suddenly veered and ran into us. We stopped and the Stroke’s* hand flew up to raise a protest. The umpire looked at the other two boats who had continued to race down the course and told us to keep rowing. We took off like a rocket, powering that boat on sheer outrage. And we almost caught them. Had the course been 50m longer, we’d have still managed to finish first. At the finish line, the Stroke’s hand went up again. This time the protest was upheld and there was to be a repeat race, the boat causing the accident being ineligible to compete. The three remaining crews made their way back to the start line and we set up to race the course again. This time we were not so smooth in our method but still had strength and speed on our side and this was the result:

Rutherglen7

My first regatta and I scored two medals and experienced the adrenaline of a protest and repeat race (a rare occurrence I am told). Oh, and we also scored a bottle of wine each as a prize for our Quad race in addition to the medal. (We’re not sure how that happened but I think I can live with it.)

Rutherglen8

Booty from my first regatta

 

Rutherglen9

 

Now, have you figured out the dilemma?

How to fit in a 12 kilometre training run in the middle of a rowing regatta?

Maybe I could swap the 12km run with the 5km one on Tuesday? And/or maybe I could fit it in between my morning and afternoon races?

Problems: 1. It was ridiculously muddy from all the rain on Saturday and I wasn’t really interested in slipping over and breaking a leg; 2. I felt I owed it to my crew mates not to turn up to a race with already tired legs.

So here’s the spreadsheet as it currently stands:

Training runs 7

“But where’s the red box?”

Right. There isn’t one. You will note, however, that there is a green box out of alignment. So I’ll explain. After packing up the boats

Rutherglen5

and a four hour drive home, arriving at 11.30pm on Sunday night, I got up at 7am on Monday and ran my 12km run. And you know what? It was one of the easiest runs I’ve done yet. I fairly bounced around that trail on the fun and excitement still coursing through my veins.

I figured that entitled me to just move the green box.

And that last green box? Getting up to row at 6am this morning, I should have known that this

IMAG0295

would, when it came to running my 5km later in the morning, turn into this

IMAG0296

I still ran. Of course I did. I’m more than a little insane.

Besides, it was kind of exciting to pass waterfalls and lakes on the usual run:

IMAG0298

IMAG0297

One last thing. Anyone who knows me well will know that what I am about to say is difficult for me. The Inner Critic has a very loud voice in my head and doesn’t often allow things like this to be said, but here goes:

I am incredibly proud of everything I have achieved in the past few days and I think I’m amazing.

There. Phew.

But I won’t let it go to my head.

*The Stroke is the first rower who sets the pace for everyone else to follow.

 

 

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The Flying Beetroot: Running Into 2015

The Flying Beetroot Flying Into 2015

I tend to avoid New Year resolutions. Why set yourself up for failure right at the start of the year? Anyway, I figure I’ve got enough left over from 2014 to keep me going for a while.

The running has continued, right on schedule. Sorry about the monochromatic thing, but it can’t be helped.

Training runs 6

Behind all those green boxes are more than just distances. Every run has its own story. Some are great, inspiring runs that make me feel like this idiot idea is actually achievable. Some make me feel like this:

I like the runs when the sun is behind me (tricky to do that the whole way when I run in a circle). If I’m struggling, I can watch my shadow on the ground. As Peter Pan would understand, my shadow seems to run faster than I do.

Shadow run

I made the Spreadsheet Enforcer run the 12km after Christmas with me, since she was on holidays. I’d thought about making her run the 9km on Christmas Day but I’m not really that vindictive. I enjoyed that 12km run. It was nice to have someone other than Obsessive Compulsive Me to talk to for a change. (Yes, we talked and ran. It was a breathless conversation.)

New Year’s Day is obviously a happier day for people than Christmas Day. I got a lot more smiles, waves and ‘Hello’s. Perhaps the new year gave people hope of a change or of new beginnings. As Miss Stacey said to Anne Shirley, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.” Or maybe we were all just feeling smug that we were out exercising while everyone else was still in bed nursing a hangover.

I’ve gone back to rowing in earnest so some mornings I’ve rowed 7km before running 5-10km. And it’s summer. Double-Beetroot weather. Let’s just say, you wouldn’t want to hug me at the end of those runs…

At least the weather gods were kind to me last week and scheduled the two-day 40-plus-degrees (Celsius!) heatwave on Friday and Saturday when I didn’t have to run. Mind you, asked by our friend M-R what I would do if such weather did coincide with a run – would I still do it? – I believe my initial response was, “Ummm…..”. I could hear the eye-rolling on the other end of the line.

And in every one of those green boxes, at the end of every run, there’s this:

How come a hill never looks as steep in a photograph as it does when you're standing at the bottom it?

How come a hill never looks as steep in a photograph as it does when you’re standing at the bottom of it?

That’s what I run up at the end of my runs. Admittedly, at the end of a long run, it’s more of a fast stagger. And it’s not just to the gate, either. There’s a post just near the road at the top where I stop. Usually with a loud “Aargh!”

I have a dilemma about Sunday’s 12km run but I’m not going to tell you what it is because I know what you’ll say and, frankly, I don’t want to hear it. I’ll work it out but be prepared that the monochromatic spreadsheet may turn dichromatic.

 

 

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The Flying Beetroot: Comedi, Bibi, Cuccuri

Julius Caesar didn’t know how easy he had it. Maybe he did come, see and conquer but at least he had an army full of Romans to wash his togas, cook his wild boar and clean the chariot. And I bet he always put off an invasion until a couple of days after an orgy.

When one has had to prepare the house to host the In-Laws on Christmas Eve, when one has stood slavishly in the kitchen half the day preparing food for both Eve and Day meals, when one has laboured late into the night to clean up and to help Santa wrap presents for under the tree, when one has not exactly eaten and drunk the most appropriate intake for healthy living, then it is somewhat unreasonable – wouldn’t you say? – to expect one to get up the next morning and run nine kilometres.

Bloody spreadsheet.

But if I had to run, then a special Christmas-themed running playlist was required. Here’s a running version of an old favourite:

Angels We Have Heard On High – Relient K (Let It Snow Baby, Let It Reindeer)

The Flying Beetroot Christmas

The Flying Reinbeet

One of the positives I take from my runs is the interaction with other lunati….er….runners, always giving them (and the walkers and cyclists) a smile as I pass. Or possibly just a grimace, depending on how the run is going. It’s always interesting to see what I get in return. Most manage a smile but some try not to make eye contact while some do but don’t smile back. I always wonder what is going on in their lives that it’s too hard even to return the smile of a stranger.

Christmas Day seemed worse than usual. By halfway through the run, I was wishing I’d worn a pair of reindeer antlers or a Santa hat so it might have raised a smile in the sombre ones. Christmas is hard for some for all sorts of reasons.

I thought about skipping a couple of runs so I could give you a Christmas-coloured spreadsheet of red and green but Obsessive Compulsive Me wouldn’t allow it. She’s been having some huge arguments with Reasonable Me, mostly to do with various hurting bits of anatomy and whether I should be running. There have been tears. Runner Me just ignores them both and finishes the run.

Training runs 5

To mix it up a bit, I ran last Sunday’s 12km down on the waterfront. It had been a hot day and though I didn’t head out until 6.30pm but it was still a very uncomfortable run. A sign of things to come. I’ll admit I also had to stop only a short way into the run while I tried to get over a stitch. It’s hard to see where you’re going when you’re doubled over in pain. Still ran the whole 12 kilometres because… well, you all know why.

Anyway, who wouldn’t want to push on in this environment?

Waterfront 2Waterfront 1To finish, here’s one more off the Christmas Run playlist because it’s very…er…non-traditional but appeals to my weird sense of humour. Welcome to the silly season, folks.

Santa Claus Is Thumbing To Town – Relient K (Let It Snow Baby, Let It Reindeer)

 

(Need a translation for the post title? I ate, I drank, I ran. It’s my new Christmas motto.)

 

 

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The Flying Beetroot: Running Too Far

I’ve tried several times in the past week or so to write a post that wasn’t about housework battles or running vegetables but every time I tried to find a window of opportunity it was like trying to fit through a porthole on the Titanic. An impossible task with an increasing sense of desperation.

So it’s a running update again, I’m afraid.

The title of this post is apt in both a literal and figurative sense.

Not being in possession of one of those fancy-schmancy GPS watch thingies, I must measure my runs via a free app on my phone. It’s possible it’s not the most accurate scientific instrument available. So, to ensure I know I have run at least the distance I am required to run, I tend to add an extra kilometre or so.

The figurative sense of taking things too far became apparent about a week ago.

Motivation is a wonderful thing. There is a reason people have mentors, supporters or trainers when they are trying to achieve something. Whether it’s giving up cigarettes, losing weight or improving your fitness, having someone (or several someones or, in my case, a blogosphere of someones) monitoring your progress helps enormously to keep you on track. Making yourself accountable to another can give you the impetus to keep going when you really don’t feel like it.

I think I may have overdrawn on the account.

I love a spreadsheet and I know I am not the only one. It’s very motivating and ticking off or filling in the boxes is highly satisfying. However, recently I have come to think that maybe a spreadsheet should not be given to someone with an obsessive personality.

Where is all this going? Here’s the point:

On a recent Sunday, my spreadsheet required me to undertake a 10 kilometre run. The previous day had been our state election where I had worked all day as an election official. On the Sunday, various commitments meant that I had to be out of the house by 8.30am and I would not be returning until after 7pm. Where to fit in a 10 kilometre run? Very early, obviously. The alarm was set for 5.50am. I didn’t need it as I awoke at 5.30am with a sickening headache (this being the most apt adjective as I truly felt like I was going to be sick). But the run? What about the run?

All you sensible types are saying “Just don’t do it, then. It won’t matter if you miss one.”

Right.

Only, I’m not really all that sensible (this should already be obvious). And I am a Spreadsheet Slave. I could not – could not – imagine writing my next running post and including a spreadsheet with a red box in it. It must be ALL green.

So I ran. The whole 10 kilometres. With my pounding feet matching the pounding in my head.

The Flying Beetroot Running Too Far

I may just be nuts.

When word got out, I was admonished by more than one friend. “You don’t have to do it,” one said. I nodded. Uh huh.

Another friend presented me with the Running Golden Tickets. I’d never heard of them but I was assured that they are a compulsory part of training for any event:

Remember that whenever you commit to such an undertaking it is essential you incorporate three factors into your plan:

1. High Road/Low Road days.
Each day you need to decide whether it is a ‘high road’ or ‘low road’ day. On high road days you push. On low road days you are allowed to slow off, stop for a drink or cut short. It is essential that you balance these days 50-50. Net result is even.

2. 3 Golden Tickets
You have the power to entrust a pretty bespectacled friend with 3 golden tickets. Golden tickets are leave passes. You simply text/Facebook “GT request” and she will write back ‘confirmed.’ You are exempt from the run that day. All 3 tickets must be used.

3. 3 HOLY tickets
You have the power to entrust yourself with 3 holy tickets. These are also leave passes. They allow you to complete the scheduled run in an alternative realm. You will do so while you sleep and you still get to mark the spreadsheet in green (but a slightly altered shade). All three must be used.

So, yesterday, when I had another full day ahead, the spreadsheet said “12km” and I awoke early to pouring rain?

I ran. In the rain.

Go ahead. Tell me you’re surprised.

Training runs 4

 

 

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The Flying Beetroot: Running Banjos

The Flying Beetroot and Banjos

There’s nothing like a bit of banjo music to give you motivation to keep running. Even if it’s just to imagine yourself on the set of Deliverance and the creepy people are chasing you.

(NB: I’ve never seen the film. If you tell me it’s scary and unpleasant, that’s enough for me. I’ll believe you.)

So, while I update you on the latest from the Flying Beetroot, here’s some banjo music. Don’t worry, it’s not Duelling Banjos. Why would I choose that when I have such fabulous banjo playing from an Aussie band?

[Edit: Oops. Not Australian, British. Sorry. I shall sack my researcher. If I can find her.]

Roll Away Your Stone – Mumford and Sons (2009)

 

Remember Lesson One? (Read about it here, if you don’t.) I fell over on the very next run. Failed to get up in the morning and had to run in the afternoon after work on another warm day. Then I fell asleep in a meditation later that evening.

I got up in the morning after that. Anyway, who wouldn’t want to see this in the mornings?

IMAG0143

I love to see the sunrise (she keeps telling herself).

Or even this (on a not so clear morning)?

IMAG0147

This one’s for Sue Slaght over at Travel Tales of Life. It’s our local version of the Golden Gate Bridge In The Fog.

Oh. Except last Thursday. I didn’t get up. I knew I was working. I knew it was going to be 30°C that day. But the 6am alarm came and went. Hey, there were mitigating circumstances involving a visiting dog, an indignant cat and a need to run interference between the two. The upshot of all this was that I had to run 7km in the rain when the change roared through at lunchtime. I was a soggy Beetroot that day.

IMAG0160

I wasn’t the only mad person out there. I’m pretty sure the beginner rowers from one of the local elite schools were thinking, “Well, this sport sucks.”

Before you say “get a treadmill”, forget it. Years ago, when I was training for my first tilt at Oxfam Trailwalker, I borrowed a treadmill so I could still train if the weather was bad. I used it once. And decided I’d rather run in the rain.

You’d think I’d finally have learned my lesson but I did the same thing yesterday. More mitigating circumstances, this time to do with technicians arriving at ungodly hours of the morning. More running when I really didn’t feel like it. The Gauntlet Thrower got a few choice words on that run.

So, here’s how things currently stand:

Training runs 3

 

There is one more motivating factor, aside from the Spreadsheet and the fact that I seem to have made myself accountable to the entire Blogosphere. One of the positive side effects of this training regimen has been the change in my shape. Or rather, a return to the shape I think I should be. I have, in recent times, been developing what is hilariously (if you don’t have one) called a “Muffin Top”. That’s what you get from middle age and too much chocolate. However, after just a few weeks of running, the Muffin Top is shrinking and I now possess something more akin to a pancake (American Hotcake, not French Crepe). Hopefully before this is done, that too will be gone.

 

 

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The Flying Beetroot: Beware of Canoes

Canadians have their moose crossings, Americans have to watch out for deer crossing the road and people in Thailand probably have elephants crossing their paths but here in this town, it’s the canoes you have to watch out for. Unpredictable, temperamental buggers they are, too.

Canoes Crossing

The things a person has to take into account when undertaking a running challenge….

Now, let’s put on a little running music while I update you on the Flying Beetroot‘s exploits, shall we? I love this one. I could run a marathon with this song on loop, I reckon.

“Forget And Not Slow Down” – Relient K

 

On Tuesday, I reasoned that I didn’t need to get up early because even if I got called into work, I could run after school as nobody had commitments. Well, I did have to work. And it was a 30ºC day. Running in the heat after a full day of work was Not Fun. Lesson One: Get your ass…cough…assorted limbs out of bed early and run in the morning.

I’ve already stated that I love a spreadsheet. It’s very motivating and satisfying. Except on Thursday when the alarm went off at 6am and I knew I had to get up and run 5km before work. “Bloody spreadsheet,” I thought. I still went. And I enjoyed it. Lesson Two: Get out there even when you don’t feel like it. It will Be Fun.

Thank heavens the longer 10km run was Sunday. Plenty of time to fit that one in whenever I felt like it. That turned out to be about lunchtime. Mainly because I was hanging about here in the blogosphere, procrastinating about going all morning. Lesson Three: Go back to Lesson Two.

So here’s the spreadsheet with its little green boxes. I’m into the minimalist look. It has a simple colour scheme. Green means I did it, Red means I didn’t, Yellow means I tried to do it but didn’t manage the distance. There will be no Red or Yellow. The Flying Beetroot has spoken.

Training runs 2

I’ve also started recording my runs on an app but I’m not making the results public yet. I’m not exactly breaking any land speed records at the moment (it’s less The Flying Beetroot and more The Ambling Beetroot) but my current focus is on achieving the distances. Speed can develop once a 10km run feels like a jog around the block and not [insert time here] minutes of torture.

Thanks for joining me on the run. Watch out for those canoes.

The Flying Beetroot Meets The Canoes

The Flying Beetroot encounters a herd of canoes.

 

 

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See A Gauntlet, Pick It Up…

…and all day long you’ll wonder what you were thinking.

The problem with writing a blog is that it can give people ideas.

Like the friend who, after reading my posts about returning to running, decided to issue me with the challenge to enter our local half marathon event next April. Sigh. She knows I can’t resist a challenge.

I’ve never run in a fun run. Ever. Not even a 3km stroll in the park. But, you know, why muck about with piddling little distances?

So training has begun in earnest rather than in the haphazard, hope-for-the-best nature I usually do things.

Runner Me

I was wondering if I were to give myself a running nickname, it might give me further motivation, don’t you think? Emil Zátopek was the ‘Czech Locomotive’, Marjorie Jackson the ‘Lithgow Flash’, Usain Bolt is the ‘Lightning Bolt’ and Eric Liddle was the ‘Flying Scotsman’.

I was thinking about what name I might choose when I looked in the mirror after a 5km run on a warm afternoon. And there it was. Behold! The Flying Beetroot!

The Flying Beetroot

The Flying Beetroot

To help me keep on track, I asked another friend to give me some training guidance. She sent me a spreadsheet. Sigh. I can’t resist a spreadsheet. I suspect she knows that. A non-checked-off spreadsheet can send me into a nervous breakdown so she knows I’ll stick to the training plan.

Here’s what my future holds:

Training runs

All those boxes with distances in them have to turn green.

I love that she expects me to run 9km on Christmas Day. She probably knows I will, too, just to prove I can.

But if all else fails, I suspect I will cross that finish line anyway through sheer bloody-mindedness.

And they know that, too.

 

 

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