"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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Update (including today's long run)

Been a bit slack on the blogging so time for an update:

Thursday 26 February - ran with Simon as per the first run we did (long bridges + extra). 24.55km in 1 hour 50 minutes (4.28/km). Obviously ran quicker with Simon than I did on my own so would guess that the 18km we ran together was at around 4.15/pace, whic is my marathon pace. All pretty flat though and I need to get the hills in before Boston (more on that below). Really enjoyable run and very encouraging to be running at around 4.15/km and still being able to converse.

Friday 27 February - recovery run. Creature of habit so 8.5km in 48 minutes. HR average 127. Nothing remarkable here but happy that not seeing any increase in heart rate on these really easy runs which indicates that I am not overtraining.

Saturday 28 February (today) - headed out nice and early with ran from Zamia Cafe in Kings Park to City Beach via going around the bridges and a loop in King's Park with Sugar, Sandgroper, Sas (and E for the first 10km). Rode the scooter for the 6.15am meet at Zamia which was interesting, especially in the park where it was still pitch black on arrival. Felt really comfortable on the flat sections and gentle inclines but felt like I was having to work a bit too hard on the bigger up hills especially along Oceanic Drive towards the end (one positive - I think it made up my mind that I won't run the City to Surf marathon). Been reading a fair bit about the Boston course which has reinforced that I need to use the next 3-4 weeks to get in some hills, both uphill and importantly downhill. Alway felt like I was a reasonable downhill runner so don't want to neglect that and then regret it.

Finished up with a soak of the legs in the ocean at City Beach before a cold shower and then a nice breakfast and a chat at the Mediterraneo cafe. Sas gave me a lift back to Zamia and the scooter. All very enjoyable and much more fun than running alone. Really appreciate these guys including me in their runs as it has given my training a terrific boost.

2 hours 21 minutes running time. Sugar has it as 30.45km at 4.39/km average ( we ran on a bit at the end to get the run over the 30km mark). Pulled up ok and think I will take my rest day tomorrow as we have a family celebration breakfast to attend. Yasso 800s session scheduled for Tuesday will possibly come forward to Monday although I might do an easy 12-13km on Monday and then stick to the schedule. Rain forecast for Monday morning and might be more sensible to go for an easy steady pace run in the rain than a lengthy and hard interval session.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

45 minute tempo run

Tempo run this morning. Schedule asked for 19km with 11km @ 15km - half marathon pace. Didn't have 11km course so decided to run 45 minutes tempo starting and ending at a landmark and work out the distance afterwards.

30 minute warm up at a reasonable pace then went through 6.87km in 27.30 (4.00/km) before finishing up with 11.05km in 45.11 (4.05/km). 2.5km warmdown (a bit short) but needed to get home.

All up 19.61km in 1 hour 26 mins (4.23/km). Good quality run and pretty happy with my pacing given that I was running by effort not actual pace yet hit 11km in 45 mins just about dead on. Good fun mapping it back on Map My Run and seeing it all work out perfectly.

Watching the rain come down now and wondering if it will hang around long. I don't mind running in the rain but not that keen on running in the rain and the dark first thing tomorrow morning so hopefully it will have cleared by then.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Recovery runs

Weighed in yesterday at 74.8kgs, first time under 75kgs for a while, hope it continues.

Checked my resting HR before heading out this morning, 43bpm which was good as I had been up and about for a little while.

Tuesday AM - 8.5km in 49 mins, average HR 128. Took it very easy, lovely weather for running and stuck to the grass where possible.
Tuesday PM - 8.5km in 45 mins, average HR 139. Bit of a sea breeze blowing in my face on the way out had HR slightly up, then I ran into my brother in law who is training for the Busselton Half Ironman so ran with him for a bit so didn't give it a chance to drop down again until later in the run. Again ran on the grass alongside the dual use path where possible.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Darlington Hills (Saturday), Bridges (Sunday)

Headed out early Saturday to meet up with Sugar and Sas for a run in the hills at Darlington. Gave myself plenty of time to get there and was probably 2km away when I took the wrong option at a roundabout. As a result, got myself lost and rather frustrated as a combination of my deteriorating eyesight (getting my first pair of old man reading glasses this week), poor light and a small print map book made it very difficult to work out not only where I was but where I had gone wrong and how to get back.

Luckily Sugar had given me his phone number so I was able to ring and tell him my predicament. When I finally got there we set out at 6.45am, about 15 minutes later than scheduled. Very thankful that they waited for me as I was really keen and my optimism was well and truly rewarded with a very enjoyable run.

First half hour was pretty much gentle downhills and flat before we got on to the heritage trail proper and headed upwards. I found this second half hour pretty challenging as we were going at a reasonable pace, uphill on a gravel trail as well as a bit of headwind. Was tempted to tuck in behind at one stage until Sugar pointed out that as a newbie I was supposed to be upfront taking the wind for the others!! After exactly an hour, we had a welcome (for me anyway) stop for drink and a gel.

I felt much more comfortable on the remainder of the run. Still some pretty good uphills but we were now running in the shade on the road where the traction was much better. Unfortunately, Sugar was struggling a bit with his calf and also it seems a bit of a virus he has picked up so our pace may have been a bit slower than earlier. Not sure, but I certainly felt like I had a bit of a "second wind" and was able to converse a bit more than earlier. Felt great at the end of what was a top morning. Quick stop at the famed "Carbo Inn" (Darlington Bakery) for an iced coffee and some pastry before I sadly had rush off to pick up Sammie from her dancing lesson.

Found everyone to be a very welcoming group and really enjoyed the run and the company. Hope to get out there again in the coming weeks and expect to find the 30km+ runs pretty heavy going but very beneficial.

Total running time was about 1 hour 48 minutes. Sugar has the run as 23.4km @4.39 pace which is good for a hilly run. Definitely need to get more hills in before Boston and know what to expect out in the hills from now on (and more importantly how to get there!)

Took it very easy for remainder of the day. Lay down for a 20 minute power nap which turned into a 45 minute sleep ... no mean feat with two kids running amok.

Wasn't sure what to do today (Sunday) so ended up basically substituting the run I would have done yesterday if I was doing my long run today, if that makes sense. 12.73km in 55.40 (4.22/km) which is quicker than I planned to go or thought I would feel comfortable doing. Felt good though and knew I had a rest day on Monday so wasn't too concerned at pushing on. Need to spend more time running at around my marathon pace anyway so this fits in with that.

Legs feel strong and my shoes are perfect at the moment. Am tempted to start breaking in my other pair of 2130s and start using these ones less and keep them for Boston as they feel superb, a noticeable improvement on my last pair. Might take the new ones out a couple of times to see what they are like before I decide for good. Have also considered getting some lighter weight shoes for Boston (Asics DS Trainers or Adidas Tempo) but at the moment am thinking that I don't want to change anything when things are going so well.

Mileage back up again next week, but with my previous long run having moved to last Monday, this supposed recovery week has ended up being around 110km anyway so won't be much to crank it up with two medium long mid week runs.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Easy recovery run

8.5km in 49 minutes. Wore my HRM and kept to an average of 131bpm quite easily which felt great. Think my legs also appreciated the run on the grass. Basically felt like going out for a walk rather than a run so pretty pleased with how I'm travelling at the moment.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Enjoyable medium long run this morning

Ran down and met Simon near Burswood before sunrise this morning. As with the run we went on last week, we ran at a pace where we could carry on a conversation but never feel like it was truly easy (well I didn't anyway ... ). Again very enjoyable, lovely morning for running and excellent to have good company to talk to about running and life in general.

All up for me 18.5km in 1 hour 21 mins (4.22/km). Easy day tomorrow with a 8.5km recovery run before I take up Sugar's invitation to join the Hills training group on a run in Darlington on Saturday morning. Am really looking forward to it although I don't know what to expect in relation to the hills. Thankfully it is a relatively short long run this week at only 24km so it should be a nice introduction. Forecast for Saturday is for hot and humid so it will be good to get this one out of the way early. Not sure what I'll do Sunday yet, maybe just 12-13km easy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

VO2 Max this morning

Rest day yesterday (Tuesday) and took the opportunity to freshen up the look of this blog. Lost the "My journey to the 2009 Boston Marathon" description as well ... a bit too "Biggest Loser". I read somewhere that you could have a really good drinking game if you had to skol every time someone on Biggest Loser said "journey". Reckon you would be legless before the show was half over.

VO2 Max session this morning. 4km warmup then 6 x 2mins at 5km effort with 90 secs active recovery after each. Approx 5km warmdown. All up 14.75km in 64 minutes (4.20/km). Recovered well between every interval except the second one - only just got my breath back and had 20secs before the next interval. All the others I felt ready to go just after a minute. Last interval was hard going and probably dropped to more 10km pace for the last 45 secs of that one but found that I slipped back into easy running pretty quickly afterwards. Strong SE wind in my face on the warmdown meant that it was still a reasonable effort level as well.

Tomorrow I am heading out for 18.5km and meeting up with Simon part way.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Long run - quite an improvement

I did my re-scheduled long run this morning, heading out at 5.45am. Felt surprisingly good with no after effects from yesterday's Matilda Bay race. That's a good sign I think and probably in keeping with how I felt on reflection yesterday ie no speed in my legs but aerobically strong.

Bit humid and cloudy once the sun came up but nothing to complain about. All up 32.3km in 2 hours 40 minutes (4.57/km) which is 8 minutes faster than I ran this run last time. Wasn't running for time but much easier conditions. Still glad to note a significant improvement.

Rest of the day was spent driving to and from Bunbury and attending a funeral. Rox's uncle died last week and the funeral was today. Was a very nice civil ceremony for a life well lived.

Have been wearing compression tights since I got home as don't think the legs enjoyed 4 hours in the car. Big protein smoothy after the run has also helped.

Rest day tomorrow, then a moderate week with only one medium long run before a shorter weekend long run.

The professional photos from Ben's Weetbix Tryathlon became available today. Here is the one of him during the run leg:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Matilda Bay

Ran the WAMC Matilda Bay run this morning. Had an easy, easy day yesterday where I ran about 5.5km including some race pace strides. Didn't feel great yesterday and was glad that the run wasn't on then but felt ok this morning and had a good warm up and felt ready to run fast.

Was hoping to run a PB (to beat my 38.58 in last years Challenge Fun Run) and was actually hoping I could break 38 minutes. Gave myself every chance as I went out in 3.33 for first km which was too fast. Although it felt OK I knew that I couldn't sustain it so consciously slowed down, probably a bit too much as second km was in 3.52. 3.49 for kilometre 3 and 3.40 for kilometre 4. Unfortunately, I missed hitting my split at kilometre 5 which was a drink station as I almost had a collision with three women who were out for a jog and decided that they might grab a drink from the drink table and then didn't see the sign for km 6. Went through 7km in 27.18 with those 3 km having taken me 12.22 so I had slipped well over 4 minute per km pace in those kms. Although I felt comfortable aerobically, didn't have any bounce in my legs, probably (hopefully) due to residual fatigue as I did not taper at all for this race.

Last 3 kms were 4.04, 4.00, and 3.49ish. All up 39.12 by my watch but I think I didn't stop it until a couple of seconds after I crossed the line so will have to wait for results for the actual time.

Was pretty disappointed at the finish as only 12 seconds outside my PB, so another second or so faster each km would have got me a PB but on reflection, I did a mini taper for the Challenge run last year so was definitely fresher then. It was fairly humid this morning but otherwise great for running with no wind at all. Bit annoying to get overtaken in the last 50 metres but I think the bloke who passed me had a bit more left in his tank than I did.

Basically worked out to be a 10km run at a bit quicker than tempo pace so even though I didn't set a PB, I'm pretty sure it will turn out to be beneficial.

Nice to meet up with a few people after the race including Simon who I ran with earlier in the week. It was his first race for a number of years and he had a pretty good one. Don't know what time he ran but could see him about 200-300m in front of me so hopefully he ran under 38 mins.

Also caught up with Ben Wyatt, Member for Victoria Park who was doing his first run for a while so managed to mix a bit of running talk with some of the political goss.

Met Sugar from The Path to Boston blog at http://sugar-42195.blogspot.com/
He is putting in some serious kms as he trains for the Boston Marathon and runs a wide variety of courses (much wider than me anyway) on his training runs. He is getting in plenty of hills, especially on his long runs in Darlington. Hopefully, will get a chance to join him and the Hills training group on a few runs in the next few weeks.

Long run tomorrow is scheduled for 32km. Will get out nice and early before sunrise. Rest of the week is a bit easier and next week's long run is only 24km before some big weeks after that which will incorporate a bit more speedwork as well.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Easy run - felt good

18.42km in 1 hr 21 mins (4.23/km). Ran easy and felt really easy. Had to make myself slow down at times, especially early. Bit of a headwind second half of run but felt like I could run for a long time at that pace. Has come of the back of a great workout on Wednesday and a sensible recovery run yesterday.

Not sure what I will do tomorrow. Don't think I will run full 8.5km recovery. Might just run 6.5km or go for a bike ride instead ahead of Matilda Bay run on Sunday morning.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Recovery run

Followed up yesterday's excellent workout with an easy recovery run this morning. Didn't get out as early as yesterday and it was pretty humid. Still a nice time to run. Struggled a little to keep my HR down, probably due to yesterday. 8.5km in around 48 mins. Average HR 135.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Great run this morning

Plan to meet up with Simon worked perfectly. Left home around 6am and met him at Burswood around 6.15am. Ran the long bridges via far side of Windan, East Perth inlet and new Narrows and back to Burswood then past his office before I ran back home. All up (after checking on Map My Run), 24.55km in 1 hour 52 minutes (4.33 per km). Last 4km on my own was at a warmdown pace (with one drink break) so reckon the approx 18km we ran together was at 4.15-4.20 pace.

Was definitely the time to be running when the temp is predicted to hit 40 today.

Very enjoyable but challenging run for me. Managed to a maintain conversation all the way and hope I held my end up. Simon is certainly an excellent runner and it is great that he is getting back to top form after some injuries over the years.

A bit quicker than I have been running over that distance on a medium long run but think that I managed it pretty well. Gives me a bit of confidence for the Matilda Bay run on Sunday where baring any "unknown unknowns" or other set backs, I should be able to give my PB a good shake.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Biscuitboy Runs (and swims and cycles)

Yesterday Ben (on the left) participated in the Weetbix Tryathlon down on the Esplanade. He had a great time as did all his mates who were in it as well. Bit of a long morning with a long wait after checking in and racking his bike (at around 7.30am) until his event at around 10.15am and then another wait before we could collect his bike etc. Eventually got away around midday. It was worth it though to see all the kids having such fun being active. The event was really well run and my only suggestion would be to have a marshall and perhaps first aid people at the turnaround points on the cycle leg where we saw one crash and a few near misses.
The water in river was a bit shallow but there isn't much the organisers can do about that. Some kids actually ran through the water but Ben swam as he didn't like the squelchy feeling between his toes ...
He finished the run leg really strongly but most importantly really enjoyed himself and got a great sense of satisfaction from completing it.
Yesterday also re-affirmed two things for me - I hate running in the afternoon and don't like daylight saving. I waited until 5pm for heading out for an easy recovery run. As I found later out watching the weather report, the temperature at 5pm had dropped .2 of a degree from the 32.8 maximum at 4pm. If you are going to get a run in before dinner (and if you have dinner at 6pm because you have kids), it is still in the heat of the day. Yesterday was hot and windy. Sensibly not many runners out although I did see my sister in law - she must be as mad as me. Even though I hadn't eaten for 2 hours prior (some dried fruit and nuts), I still found it repeating on me and nearly had a chuck at one point. As a result, not a very enjoyable run. 8.48km in 44 minutes.
Completely different story this morning. Up at 5.45am and out the door at 6am for a slighty truncated long run. Couldn't fit in the full 32km as needed to be back in time for Rox to take Ben to the orthodontist. I had genuinely forgotton how nice and cool and pleasant it is running before sunrise. Ran 28.89km in 2 hours 24 minutes so 4.59 per km including one toilet break. Had a Sanitarium Up and Go Energise beforehand and only took one gel after about 45 minutes. Had another with me but never felt the need for it. Ran very easy and recovered brilliantly afterwards.
Rest day tomorrow after running the past 7 days without a break. Looking forward to Wednesday's run where I am running with another Simon who logs a lot of kms on the Nike+ system. Running down to meet him at Burswood before we do the long bridges run. First time I have been out on a training run with someone for ages and will be good to have a chat as we go around.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ladder intervals

After an easy recovery run yesterday (8.48km in about 44 minutes), I did my scheduled ladder interval session this morning as follows:

3km warm up then 1,2,3,2,1,2,3 minutes @ between 5km and 10km pace with same duration jog recovery after each interval. Then about 5km warmdown. All up 14.82km in 64 minutes (about 4.19 per km).

Felt good during intervals and ran steady pace afterwards rather than a true warm down. The 3 minutes recovery after the 3 minute interval felt like it was too long - certainly a full recovery and allowed me to really push on the next few. Only difficulty came with the last 3 minute interval which worked out that the last minute was uphill over the new Narrows into a pretty stiff wind. More about constant effort on that one rather than constant speed.

Recovery run scheduled for tomorrow but don't feel like I need it so might go 18.5km instead at an easyish pace, then 8.5km recovery on Sunday (at some stage that day as Ben's triathlon probably won't wrap up until around lunchtime - really looking forward to watching him as I think he is going to have a great time). Going to do my 32km long run on Monday. I think the forecast is for hot weather again so will try to get out before sunrise or as close to it as possible.

No speedwork scheduled for next week with 10km at Matilda Bay on Sunday. Not easing back on the mileage though with about 90km in the 6 days before.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Things I forgot to say and answers to questions

Hey, thanks to everyone who is reading this blog and those who are posting comments. I'm not sure how to respond to comments directly so I guess it is just easier to include it in a post.

First though a couple of things I meant to say but forgot.

Registration for the Boston Marathon has closed. It looks like there are 34 Australian residents registered with 5 from WA. If you follow this link and enter Australia in the country of residence, you can bring up the full list.


Rottnest - I looked at the map of the Rottnest marathon course again and realised that I was actually running it backwards. So what I thought was (and ran as) a big uphill, is actually a big downhill. Don't know if I will run Rottnest (one thing at a time is probably wiser) but it is not as daunting as I thought now.

In response to the comments on my last post, yes I have been going out on my morning runs without eating. I always run from home so no travel time for digestion. I used to drink a "Zu" energy drink (Coles brand energy drink, basically a poor man's Red Bull) before any run of longer than an hour but have got a bit slack since we got back from Rottnest. It has the caffeine as recommended so I think I will reinstitute this and maybe a banana as well. Thanks for the tip!!

My favourite gels and the ones I use are either Accel Gel (made by the same people who make Accelerade) which has a 4:1 ratio of carbs and protein. I use the Strawberry Kiwi flavour. Accel gel can be a bit hard to get hold of. There is fitness supplement shop in the city that sells them (below Woolies in Forrest Chase) but the last ones I got from there were out of date (I think they were the same batch as the ones I used in the Perth Marathon) so most recently, I have bought a box of 24 by mail order from the eastern states which was also slightly cheaper.

I also use the Powerade gels that you can get at Coles but only the Strawberry Banana flavour - the Chocolate flavour is revolting and clags up your mouth like glue. No protein in these ones. I find they tend to give a quicker energy boost but don't feel like it sustains as well as the Accel Gel but that is only my impression.

The program I am following is the 18 week up to 70 miles a week program in Pete Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas' "Advanced Marathoning". I followed the 24 week up to 70 mile program before the Perth Marathon. This time I added a couple of weeks to the 18 week program and am substituting a few workouts from Brad Hudson and Matt Fitzgerald's "Run faster from the 5k to the marathon". You can get the Pfitzinger and Douglas book at Borders but a new edition has just been released and I am not sure they have it yet. You can get both books at a good price on Amazon. I can't recommend "Advanced Marathoning" highly enough. I'm sure it is why I got myself in shape to qualify for Boston.

Dolphin spotting this morning

Saw a dolphin while out fro my run this morning - just up from the old Swan Brewery towards UWA. Only about 2-3 metres away from the river wall, just swimming along on the surface making the most of the sun and what was a nice cooling breeze - finally!!!!

Update on this week:
Monday - a much enjoyed rest day. Did a weigh in but no need to report it other than to say no change yet again. I am now an alcohol free zone. Have to do something to try and kick start some weight loss.

Tuesday AM - 8.48km recovery run in 46 minutes - on grass where possible. Oppressively hot and actually ran without a shirt on - steady girls!!
Tuesday PM - 6.62km recovery run in 34 minutes. Again it was pretty hot but there was bit of a sea breeze. Took both runs very easy.

Wednesday (today) - ran 23.37km. Did my UWA run but added a bit on around Matilda Bay to give me the extra 1.5km or so that I needed to get over 23km. 1hour 48 minutes which works out at 4 mins 37 secs per km which I am pretty happy with. Felt terrible after approx 30 mins of running and had to stop for a drink and took the one gel I had with me. Bit of a cold sweat and wobbly legs. The gel seemed to do the trick though and I didn't notice not having one later in the run so all worked out. Might have to consider eating something (powerbar perhaps) or taking a gel before a run if it happens again. Had a decent dinner of chicken and rice last night so shouldn't have been short on carbs.

Still working out what to do for the rest of the week. Scheduled for a recovery run tomorrow before a ladder interval session on Friday, recovery Saturday and 32km on Sunday. Complicating factor is Ben's triathlon on Sunday morning which will result in me running in the middle of the day which I don't fancy. If I move my long run to Saturday, I'm not sure if it is wise to follow an interval session with a 32km long run so maybe I will move my long run to Monday (then work out how to rijig that week). Hmm .......

Sunday, February 1, 2009

2nd longest run ever to finish a big week

Ran 32.2km today which I am pretty sure is my 2nd longest run after the marathon. Took it fairly slow and easy, initially intentionally and then out of necessity. I added an around the bridges loop to my 27km long run (instead of coming back over the Causeway after running through East Perth, I kept going around the bridges. It was the last 9 or so km where there was no shade that I really started to feel it. I set out at 7.35am so it was getting pretty warm by the time I was in the closing stages.

All up it took my 2 hours 48 minutes (which included one toilet stop, 2 gel stops and numerous drink stops) - average pace 5.13 per km which is on the slow end of the range suggested by the McMillan Running Calculator.

Yesterday my schedule had me doing a 12.8km general aerobic run rather than my usual Saturday recovery run, not sure why and now wish I had subsituted a grassy recovery run in preparation for today's run.

Total for this week is 112km which I think (hope) should be at the upper end volume wise.

Took it easy for the rest of today and feel ok now but looking forward to a rest day tomorrow.