"It's a treat being a runner, out in the world by yourself with not a soul to make you bad-tempered or tell you what to do." - Allan Sillitoe

Friday, January 30, 2009

Felt a bit flat this morning

18.42km in 1hr 21mins. Tried to run "comfortably hard" after a bit of a gentle start hoping that it be around marathon pace - it wasn't. Average pace was around 4.23 per km which is a bit off the 4.14-4.15 pace I need to break 3 hours. Didn't feel great today but didn't feel too bad either.

It's funny though, as I was running, I was thinking that if this is around 4.15 pace then I hope I am not too far ahead of where I should be at this stage of my training. I did feel like I was just a little past my peak when I ran the Perth Marathon on the back of a 24 week program which was one of the reasons why I went for 20 weeks this time. On the basis of today's run though, I don't think I am anywhere near my peak yet but that is probably OK.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

On track

Wednesday - 21.62km in 1 hr 44 mins - nice and easy and felt good.
Thursday - 8.5km in about 48 mins - really slow - wore my HRM and averaged 131 for the run. Think I needed a nice comfortable recovery run even if it felt too slow. Ran on the grass where I could and I think my legs appreciated it. Might investigate getting a regular massage on Thursdays if my HBF covers part of it as with the Sunday long runs getting out to 32kms, speedwork on Tuesdays and a medium long run on Wednesdays, Thursday is when I am feeling most fatigued.

Am looking at how I can rejig my schedule to run a 10km on Sunday 15 Feb. Think I will train through it and then run a 27km long run on the Monday and have a rest day on the Tuesday before slipping straight back into my program on the Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tempo run this morning

Got out this morning for scheduled tempo run 15-16kms total with 8km @ 15km - half marathon pace. Ran the 8km in 31.40 so around 3.57 per km pace which I am fairly happy with coming after what was really a tempo run on Sunday with a rest day in between. Will take it pretty easy on tomorrow's 23km run.

Went to the fireworks last night which is a regular thing for us living so close to the river. I hope the police aren't congratulating themselves on a job well done this morning because it wasn't. The creation of family areas near the flag pole on Sir James Mitchell Park has just resulted in the problem being moved down to the lakes at the bottom of Hurlingham Road, a spot where there hasn't been single problem in the 10 years we have been going. Last night there was running battle between groups of pissed young blokes with the police nowhere to be seen (other than impersonating Erik Estrada on their big motorbikes around the largely deserted streets as we walked down at around 8.20pm - must have seen at least 10 of them).

It kicked off at about 8.50pm right next to where we were sitting, right in amongst groups of families. One fairly large bloke was slammed head first into a baby's pram, luckily the baby had been taken out of it seconds before. This was just before it got dark so the ringleaders were pretty easy to be seen especially a blonde bloke in a sleeveless Richmond footy jumper. By the time 4 cops ambled over about 10-15 minutes later (despite people getting on their phones as soon as it occurred) there had been another fight but now it was dark. They seemingly weren't interested in looking for the instigators of the brawl, who were still roaming around in a pack, instead wandering around themselves in their cosy group of four. I guess if they had split up into groups of two, they might have had to break into a trot if there was a problem or called up some of their colleagues from the vicinity of the donut van.

I think the creation of the family areas is a great idea but I also think the onus is on the relevent authorities to make sure that they don't create other probelms and that they take steps to address it. There has never been a problem in that area before and last night when there was the cops were nowhere to be seen - as usual. Rant over (that feels better)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Shorter than normal long run

I kept to my plan of a shorter than normal long run (well shorter than I have been doing lately). Today was 25km, I ran up to the point where it is 12.45km back home and then ran back. Not sure of the actual distance overall because although I was going to run over the Causeway and through East Perth on the way out, I forgot ... and didn't remember until I was up near the Marathon Club clubrooms so continued on and ran over the far side of the railway bridge.

Pushed the 12.45km return leg quite hard and did it in 51.36 which works out to around 4.08 per km which I am quite pleased with especially having run 12 or so km first and then finding the wind in my face a bit on the way back, especially coming over the Causeway.

Got out pretty early today (well going on recent weeks early for me anyway) at about 7.45am so heat wasn't really an issue although it was bit warm in the sun on the way back. Also reprogrammed my ipod so had some of my best "running songs" to listen to - some old and some new. "Invaders Must Die" by The Prodigy is a bit of a current favourite but "Living for the Weekend" by Hard Fi is a track that never fails to give me a boost as well.

This coming week is scheduled for a tempo run on Tuesday (8km tempo of a 16km total), 23km on Wednesday, 8km recovery on Thursday, 18km on Friday, 12.8km on Saturday and then 34km on Sunday so that will be my biggest week at around 111km. Might do a slightly shorter tempo run on Tuesday depending on how I pull up after today and tomorrow's rest day. We have friends coming over for a BBQ before heading down to watch the fireworks so another day when some discipline on the beer drinking front will be required.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Back is feeling much better

The combination of anti inflammatories and new shoes seems to have done the trick. My back is now nearly 100% and I haven't had to miss a run. 9km on Thursday, 18.5km yesterday and 9km today. Yesterday's run had me going out a bit slower than normal - just a very comfortable pace. I realised I hadn't really challenged myself just before I got to Mends Street so set myself a target of getting home before 11am which was in 14 minutes time. I made it with 40 seconds to spare. Don't know how far it is - might check it out on Map My Run later.

I am going to do 25km tomorrow and see if I can beat my 54mins for the last 12.45km. As the Countdown on my blog shows, Boston is less than 3 months away so I want to start upping the speedwork. I am thinking about running in one of the Marathon Club 10km runs in February just to see where I am at. My PB for 10km is 38.58 so it would be a good sign if I can run under that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back into it (but my back is not really into it!)

The back niggle I had on Monday has persisted - some days a bit better than others. I have retired my old Asics 2130s - the mid sole did not seem to have broken down but they had more than 1000kms on them and on a previous occasion when my back flared up, a change in shoes helped to rectify it. So at them moment, I am on anti inflammatories and also rubbing some Voltarin gel into it. Worryingly it is most sore on the spot where my previous bulging disc was.

The good news it that it doesn't really affect my running - I am just pretty sore afterwards especially when bending.

So far this week I have run 12.7kms on Tuesday, 18.4kms on Wednesday and 9kms this morning (recovery run on grass). Plan for the rest of the week is another 18.4kms tomorrow, 9kms on Saturday and 25kms on Sunday with the last half of Sunday's run being a moderate progression. Will need to get out early on Sunday as the forecast is for a hot one.

So the old 2130s are gone. These are the ones I have been running with since about August/September. Despite the very obvious temptation to get the new 2140s (its always nice to have the lastest model of anything isn't it?), Jim Kidd were selling 2130s for $129 each so I picked up a couple of pairs to see me through until after Boston.

Still haven't booked the marathon tour - after approx 1 day when the exchange rate got up to US 72 cents to the A$ its now back to 66. I wonder if it will improve soon ...

How good has the Tour Down Under been so far?? Watched some old Lance Armstrong stuff on YouTube today and am hoping that he decides to try to really dominate at least one stage before the week is out. Not the same as smashing Jan Ulrich but would still be great.

Monday, January 19, 2009

12-19 January including Rottnest

Monday 12 January was our travel to Rottnest day which also coincided with my rest day and a weigh in

Weight: 75.6kgs (75.6kgs)
Body fat: 19% (19.7%)
Hydration: 55.6% (55.6%)

so no movement whatsoever ...

Tuesday 13 January was Rox's birthday - went out for what was probably just under 10km including a run up Oliver Hill which is one of the high points on Rottnest and where a 9.3inch gun is still mounted. It was put there in the 1930s prior to WWII as part a network of guns protecting Fremantle harbour and during the war it was manned 24hrs a day. Most of my run was along the route of the Rottnest Marathon course loop which I got to know pretty well over the week we were there.

Wednesday 14 January I went out for a medium long run - 1 hour 51 minutes. I ran out towards West End then came back and then did a loop of the marathon course. Main problem is that there is no drinking water outside of the settlement areas so was pretty keen for a drink everytime I got close to a drink fountain. Some pretty difficult and ongoing rolling hills on this run.

Thursday 15 January - a recovery run. A nice easy 7.65km run but unfortunately all on asphalt as the running on grass option is not really available on Rottnest so my legs didn't get their soft surface break that they are used to.

Friday 16 January - a long loop out towards West End and then around to Parker Point before coming back in via Kingstown before heading back to Geordie Bay where we were staying. Even though it was cooler on Rottnest than it was in Perth where it was 41 degrees (don't know by how much but it certainly felt a bit cooler) it was still hot and pretty windy. I wore my hear rate monitor for this run and out near Porpoise Bay on a killer hill my heart rate got up to 176 bpm. It averaged 164 bpm over the course of what was 1 hour 24 minute run with a max of 181bpm as I pushed it hard on the home stretch. Still don't really know what my maximum heart rate is but that must be pretty close. Using the 220 less my age my max should be 179bpm but I now know it is a bit higher. I took my resting heart rate on Monday 12 January when I first woke up and it was 44 so I have a good "heart rate reserve" between my resting and max heart rates.

Saturday 17 January - was scheduled for a recovery run but my legs were feeling a bit weary after the week's hills so Ben and I went with some friends for a decent ride around to Little Salmon Bay for some snorkling. This ride took in the hills I had run the previous day albeit in the opposite direction and they weren't much easier on a bike. I had contemplated going for a run along the beach but there wasn't really a long enough stretch to make it worthwhile. We went snorkling quite a bit but this was the best spot we went to. There is a snorkling trail at Little Salmon Bay with plaques under the water providing a bit of info about the fish etc. Pretty basic info but great fun for the kids to hunt out the plaques. Ben had a great week- he is a really strong swimmer and rode some pretty decent distances as well.

Sunday 18 January - was my scheduled long run. After riday I decided that there was no way I was going out around the island so did 4 laps of the marathon course instead. The beauty of this was that I was able to stop in at our villa every lap for a decent drink of Gatorade as well as taking a couple of gels over the course of the run at water taps. By my calculation this was a 30.4km run. of course Nike+ had it longer but I will work off what Map My Run produced. All up 2 hours 28 minutes with again some pretty challenging hills especially the big one between Thomsons Bay and Geordie Bay via the salt lake which I did 4 times. Had a nice soak in the ocean afterwards and only a short ride in the afternoon when we went to play mini golf (beat Rox by 1 stroke after she led by 1 going into the last hole ... not that we are competitive ...). Went out for dinner and had a big steak. Rox and I split a bottle of pretty average wine in what was a very nice end to a great week. Don't know the actual mileages but it was a good hard week of training taking in much more hills than I am used to so hopefully that should be of benefit in Boston if I can consolidate it.

Monday 19 January - return from Rottnest day and rest day. Missed the weigh in but will do it tomorrow. Should be interesting. Am a bit sore after yesterday's run, more in my lower back than my legs. Actually feel like I used to after a hard day in the field when I had bowled 20 overs so nothing another night's sleep (this time in our own bed) shouldn't fix. Around the bridges tomorrow with some strides scheduled as well. This week is a recovery week easing back a little on the mileage.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Latest update including Sunday's long run

Recovery run Thursday - just a nice gentle 9km approx where I kept my heart rate in the low 130s.

Friday was 18.42km (I have mapped the distances of my regular runs now) which is from my house and around all the bridges including the East Perth inlet and going over the new Narrows Bridge. Don't know the time as Nike+ was being more than a bit tempremental (I think because it was completely full as I had just downloaded the Presets album onto it) and couldn't remember what time I left home. Certainly didn't push it hard though.

Other regular runs are my UWA run which I did on Wednesday (21.61km) and around the Bridges from my house (12.73km).

Saturday, the kids were playing nicely so Rox and I had a rare lie in and read the papers without much interruption. As a result, I didn't get out for my 9km recovery run until around 10am by which time it had got quite warm. Didn't wear my HRM but ran very easily.

Today (Sunday), I did the 26.89km that I have done for the previous couple of Sundays. Decent easterly blowing which was mostly in my face on the way out but mostly behind me on the way back. Did the run in 2 hour 9 minutes which was 2 minutes faster than last week and did the final 12.45km in 54 minutes which was again 2 minutes faster than last week. The last 12.45km works out at 4.20km pace which is still a little bit off sub 3hr marathon pace but I think I am on the right track. Sub 3r is 4.14 per km which should be achievable if I can get my tempo run times and my weight down.

I read somewhere Alberto Salazar saying that a 1kg drop in weight can result in a 1% improvement in performance so if all goes to plan weight wise I have a potential 5% performance improvement from weight loss alone.

All up I ran about 94km this week (not sure how far I ran onTuesday but think it was probably close to 10km.

Weigh in tomorrow morning before we head off to Rottnest for the week. I have plotted myself a 17km loop and a 7.8km loop so with some manipulation should get in something close to my program for the week.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Sunday's long run went very well. I have since (painstakingly given the confusingly slow speed of this PC) worked out on Map My Run that it is 26.89kms. Did it in 2hrs 11 minutes which is 3 minutes quicker than the previous week. Actually ran the last approx hour as a bit of a moderate progression ie below tempo pace but above my usual long run pace. Worked out to 12.45kms in 56 mins which is 4mins 29secs per km compared to 4mins 52secs per km overall. Still a bit of work to do but I feel like I am building a very solid base and hope that the improvement comes when I really crank up the speedwork.

Monday's weigh in finally saw some movement on the scales and it was in the right direction!

Weight: 75.6kgs (77kgs)
Body fat: 19.7% (21%)
Hydration: 55.6% (54.3%)

That was bit of a relief as it had been a 4 week plateau but now that Christmas has been and gone should be easier from now on.

Tuesday I ran a 5.6km warm up then did 6 x 1 minute hill repeats (the hill up our street is perfect) jogging back down in between before a 10 minute warmdown. Legs felt good on the hills and maintained my pace well for the full set.

Today I ran the 21 or so km run that I did last week (ie out to UWA and return via the Causeway and the marathon club). Need to work out exactly what that run is. Was intending to do the last 10km as a moderate progression but ended up running harder in patches throughout the run particularly on the run back from UWA along Mounts Bay Road when one of my pet hates (I'm pretty sure I am not alone on this one) occurred. As I reached my turnaround point near UWA a bloke was running towards me so as a result we were running the same way. Hard to say if he sped up but he ran past me at a reasonable click and then when he got about 20 yards in front slowed to my pace and maintained it 20 yards in front of me. Why?? So after a bit it got too much for me so I quickened my pace until I was about 10 yards behind him. Must have heard me because he sped up and it stayed like that until he crossed the road under the Narrows while I continued on. Couldn't resist a glance across and saw that he had slowed right down - at least we both got something out of it. Have to say I was a bit envious - he was about 5'5" and 50kgs, floating along in racing flats and made me feel like a bit of a clydehorse.

On the other hand, maybe he didn't even know I was there but it certainly felt as if he was throwing down the gauntlet.

Recovery run tomorrow so will take it very easy again running on the side of the dual use path out to the Narrows and back.

Also need to get to the post office and get a money order to pay for the tour of the Boston Marathon course. It is run by Marathon Tours who we organised our Boston accommodation through. Only downside is that you can't pay by credit card or online. Really want to do the tour though to get a feel for the course and its history and I think Rox will enjoy it too especially as she won't see much of it as a spectator. I have read heaps about the course and watched the race a few times but I think nothing beats actually travelling on it beforehand.

27km long run on Sunday before we are off to Rottnest on Monday so after Sunday there won't be any updates until we get back. My long run on the following Sunday when we are on Rottnest is scheduled for 32km so I'll have to do a bit of work to plot where I should run on the island. Am really looking forward to it - we are taking our bikes and have found a that some of our friends will be there as well so it will be great to catch up with them even if it will require a bit of discipline and willpower on the beer drinking front.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thursday, Friday, Saturday.

Kept to my plan on Thursday - very easy 9km and kept my heart rate at an average of 134 for the run. When you are going that so it seems easy to bring it down a few beats very quickly if it starts to creep up.

As a result (well, maybe as a result ...), my legs felt really fresh for my 17-18km run on Friday. Ran steadily just below tempo pace for the whole run which took 1 hour 23 minutes. Not sure of the actual distance as Nike+ was playing up slightly so will get on to Map My Run and work it out later.

This morning (Saturday), nice easy slow run with HRM again. Ran even more easily averaging 131 for the run. Went out a bit later than intended mainly as a result of staying up just past 1am playing cricket on the Playstation ...

After today's easy run and based on how I felt after Thursday's easy run, I think I will do the same Sunday long run again tomorrow. That should get me up to around 95km for the week.