Saturday, 28 July 2012
Dying days of Dry July, a couple of other charitable events and another week of training
I’ve remained alcohol free for over 28 days and as a team one other work collegue and myself have managed to raise $675 in sponsorship for the Royal Melbourne Hospital Cancer wards, it’s amazing how people will give you money when they know they don’t have to buy you a drink. With my end of month funds from Book Depository affiliate sales to still come we may crack the $700 mark yet. A huge thanks to all our sponsors, you can see their messages of encouragement or drop a few dollars our way at our fundraising web page at https://www.dryjuly.com/team/djerscgu.
The hardest part this week was the thank you lunch put on by my boss at an Italian restaurant where bottles of very nice Chianti were being offered. Back in 2000 I spent part of my honeymoon in a small villa in the wonderful village of Loro Chiuffena, on the Chianti outskirts, and every time I see a bottle of wine with the black rooster or pink/purple neck tie my mouth does water for the sangiovese taste. Geepers I’m making my bloody mouth water just writing this!!! But I did stick strong, having a couple of Chinotto’s and lemonatas, with my spaghetti. I had to follow that up with a team event at a local venue known for its overpriced drinks, atrocious service, staff with more body ink than your usual suspect but is popular due to its proximity to work (ie. It’s in the same building), where I got a soda water (although I’d ordered tonic) for the bargain basement price of $3.50 from a bloke who apparently speaks English but either his accent is that strong or his piercings interfere with his lip movement as I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. On my bike early as even though it can be entertaining, watching colleagues have a ball on the sauce is not really my idea of a great night out. So all up, I’ve just about lasted a month (would be a month if it was February) without the truth serum and I’m a strong possibility to back it up for quite a while longer.
For people who don’t know where (or how) to start with helping out a local charity, here’s a simple idea for you. At work we arranged a morning tea on Friday for National “Stress Down” Day, an event organised to raise funds for Lifeline who provide crisis support and suicide prevention services, they do ask you to wear your pyjamas or slippers, we didn’t go that far as we thought the office “casual clothes Friday” policy might be breached having a bunch of professionals sitting around in flannelette jimjams. Quite a number of people brought in some home baked goodies and with a gold coin donation to taste them we managed to raise $284.20 for the cause. Easy to arrange, and effective if you can get 10/15 people to bake and 50 or 60 people to come along and eat. More info on the Lifeline services can be found at http://www.lifeline.org.au/
Another event that quite a few of us are getting behind is Ultra Spirit, a 7.6km Fun Run, two laps of the Tan a running track around Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens. The event is being staged to raise funds for Kate Sanderson and Turia Pitt, two girls tragically burnt in bush fires while taking part in a 100km ultra marathon in the Kimberly Desert last year. Fund raised will go to the girls to help them with their vast ongoing medical and living costs. Full details of the girls courage and the horrific journey they have gone through can be seen at http://www.ultraspirit.com.au/. At this stage we have at least 5 runners taking part as a team and are hoping to get it up to 10 or so as our work place has agreed to match our fund raising $ for $ so the more we raise the better it is for Kate and Turia. If you’re interested in participating or donating, let me know or simply visit the event website mentioned above or our fundraising page at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/team_cgu. Personally, I’ll donate September’s book sales commission (5% of anything you at Book Depository if you use the link on the right hand side of this blog) to this cause.
Onto the running, Training program said a 3km time trial Tuesday, 30 min run Wed and Friday and a one hour 15 min run on Sunday. So I did the time trail Tuesday (down 9 secs since my last one only two weeks prior), jogged 40 mins on Wednesday, 5.31kms and participated in ParkRun (5kms) on Saturday. ParkRun was a must this week as it was an Olympic themed run, everyone dressing up and having fun and I was fortunate enough to win one of the best dressed prizes for my ridiculous USA outfit. The morning was a scream with flags galore, fake torches, my “I run 100kms for a hobby” buddy wearing a massive set of Olympic rings (as you do when you run 5kms in 30 mins!!!), a Seb Coe lookalike, boxing kangaroos and more. There were laughs all round, a great sense of camaraderie and this all lead to a fun morning being had by all, including the people out for a Saturday stroll a number of who cheered us on and stopped to watch 67 colourful idiots enjoying themselves. I also ran a personal best of 32.01 for the 5 clicks so am slowly closing in on that 30 min barrier. If you are up for a 5km weekly run, where you can run slowly and improve slowly you should check out the ParkRun website, they have free timed events all over the globe. A great way to get started, fitter and to have fun at the same time!!!
Sunday a 14km long run – as you would do on a Sunday. Was talked into a “3 laps of Albert Park” long run by a couple of the ParkRunners. Mr “100km for fun” man arrived about 5 mins after myself looking a bit tired – turns out he’d already done 28 kms, all part of a cunning plan clock up a full marathon distance for the morning. We were joined by two others and they set off at a brisk 6 min per km pace (I was planning 7 min k’s – this was not a day for personal bests it was a day for a long steady run). Needless to say after three kilometres I let them disappear into the distance and dropped it back a notch. One lap in (close to 5 kms) we’d lost one to a hammy strain and one had dropped the pace back a bit to keep up with me and keep me motivated. I was plugging along in my zone, two laps in I was hurting and my escort was off again trying to run down the leader, my legs were tight, but I gave myself a mental jolt “less than a single ParkRun distance to go” and away I plugged.
When I hit the 10km mark I was pumped, certain I’d run a personal best for that distance and this was a training run. Head went up, smile appeared and the “four k’s to go, four k’s to go” chant began. Another kilometre down and I purposely listened to the birds tweeting away, “if they’re happy so am I”, clocked up one more and it had become the furthest I had run without a break, one more and the I was joined by another ParkRunner who had put in an earlier 26kms or so (as you do on a Sunday!!!) who made me feel good as he was SPENT, 200 metres further up the path the breakaways came wandering towards me to encourage me home. I was in the zone, wasn’t stopping 600 metres or so out, so off I trotted. Made the finish area clocking up 14.19 kms in 1:40.06. Later discovering I was 1 second UNDER a ten kilometre personal best….oh well maybe next week.
Not a lot of laughs this week just a standard training effort. Maybe next week something of note will happen that will give you a giggle. But I’m pretty proud, here’s a bloke who could not run more than 200 metres now running (slowly mind you) 14 clicks without a break (a couple of water stops of 15/20 secs I don’t count as “breaks”) and I think I’m well on track for my first half marathon in 11 weeks’ time – only need to increase today’s distance by a further 50% surely that’s possible.