"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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Need to take it easier

... or I am worried that I will peak too soon. Great morning for running, sunlight is definitely under-rated. Again just cruised along, but also trying to be conscious of keeping some level of effort and felt very easy.

18.42km @ 4.20/km. Wouldn't be concerned but for yesterday's 4.13/km effort so will definitely take it easy on my recovery run tomorrow and try to be careful for the rest of the week. Bridges on Sunday should equate to a pretty hard tempo workout so don't really need to do anything more speedwise this week other than maybe some strides on Thursday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Unconscious marathon pace run

I guess that's what I could call it. Went out to run my Bridges loop from home, with my only plan being to slot in 8 x 25-30sec strides at 3-5km pace. Felt really easy and just cruised along. Finished back home in 53.50 which works out to 4.13/km. So that's my marathon pace I figure.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Friday/Saturday runs, rest day Sunday

Friday - usual recovery run, 8.5km in 47.30 with average HR 132. An effort to drag myself out of bed and felt like it was a bit harder to keep my heart rate down to its usual range this morning but the time and HR was comparable so maybe it was just my perception.

Saturday - the Pipeline revisited with Sas and Sugar. Felt a bit weary after what has been a pretty big week and this was the culmination. Sugar has the run as 33.72km @ 4.43 pace. From my watch our time to Mundaring was very similar to last time, maybe a minute quicker but we took it easier for the last 9.6km, running just over 43 minutes compared to just under 40 minutes last time. Both of our drink/gel breaks were also a bit shorter this time.

Bit of slog for me and had a tight/sore groin (left hand side) from just after Fred Jacoby Park onwards so was being pretty careful not to stretch out too much or push to uphills too hard. The slower finish helped here and after a good stretch and an anti inflammatory it feels much better although haven't been for a run on it yet (just a jog across the oval this morning when helping with football goal setup).

Was a great morning for running, moderate temperature and no wind to speak of. The pipeline is a hard run and I find the section between Fred Jacoby and Mundaring quite difficult for some reason. I can't imagine that the hills in Boston can be any more challenging than the hill up to Fred Jacoby and certainly not harder than Brooking Road a couple of weeks back but guess I will find out when I get there.

This week ended up at around 130km for me which is my peak. I can't ever see myself running much more than this per week without running doubles. Three week taper now, easing off a bit this week including the Bridges on Sunday 5 April. Will go for my long run (24km on the Monday 6th).

Most of the hard work has been done now, just need to keep focused, make sure I do enough marathon pace runs and watch what I eat as the workload decreases. Looking forward to the Bridges and hope to give my 10km PB (38.58) a bit of touch up.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

23.75km easy medium long run

Kept this week's mileage up with a 23.75km medium long run this morning. 1 hour 47 minutes (4.30/km pace). I think this was a good consolidation of the marathon pace run I did yesterday. Felt good, nice and relaxed even with a bit of wind in my face running back from UWA and along the city side of the river.

Will do an 8.5km recovery run tomorrow before the Pipeline on Saturday morning which should get up over 130km for the week.

Seems I am a bit of a jinx for motorists at the moment. Had an accident happen right next to me when running over the Narrows on Wednesday morning as someone got rear ended and then the same thing almost happened again when running over Herrisson Island this morning although this one was a near miss.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Slept in ...

Bit disorganised yesterday and didn't confirm meet time with Simon for run this morning. Also slept in which meant I didn't get out of the house until 6.45am. Was supposed to run a 23-24km medium long run this morning but due to shortage of time (had a meeting at 9am in city) had to cut this back to 18.42km. Decided to run it at marathon pace. Used some of the km marks out on the path to check pace a couple of times 4.13/km at first check and then 8.20 for 2kms a few kms later. All up 18.42km in 1 hour 17 mins (4.10/km pace).

Marathon pace for me is 4.15/km for sub 3hrs so it was good after a hard run on Sunday and interval session yesterday that I was able to run this pace on a perceived effort basis.

May run my 23km run tomorrow but will take it very easy and then recovery run Friday before long run Saturday as need to make this a big week mileage wise.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Recovery (Monday); Interval session (Tuesday)

Monday: Did my usual recovery run. 8.5km mostly on the grass beside the dual use path. Time 47.30, average HR 130 so it was pleasing that I was right in the middle of my usual range for this recovery run despite a pretty hard run on the Sunday. Felt guilty about not doing a warm down after the race on Sunday and didn't have a great night's sleep due to some general soreness in my legs. Glad I went out for a run though as felt fine running and much better afterwards.

Tuesday: Bailed on my Yasso 800s for a couple of reasons. Jumping fences and running around a track in the dark isn't much fun and also after Sunday's hard run, I wasn't sure that a) I could run the session as well as I had the first time I did it and didn't want to risk lowering my confidence and b) not sure that a really hard session such as that one would contribute much more to my fitness than a shorter session and would almost definitely impact negatively on the quality of some of my other workouts this week.

So, ran the same interval workout as last week being 6 x 2mins with 2 mins jog recovery between each interval. Got pretty hard about half way through the 5th interval which was the hardest of the set. Not too bad on the last one. All up with warm up and warm down (didn't push the warm up like I did last week) total was 14.75km in 1 hour 7 minutes (including an untimed toilet break early in warmup) so very similar in pace to last week's session which was 1 hour 3 minutes (without a toilet break).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Darlington Half - PB and met my goal

Wanted to run under 1.25 and managed to achieve it finishing in about 1.24.35. Stopped my watch at back of chute at 1.24.38 so will wait on the official results for actual time.

Big PB for me although my half PB was pretty soft as it was only the third time I have raced the half marathon distance or further. 1.35.49 in 2007 Perth Half Marathon after I had been running for 5 months and went through halfway in the 2008 Perth Marathon in 1.34.07. DNF in 2008 Fremantle Half Marathon.

Great conditions for running this morning, about 10 degrees and no wind.

I was my usual inefficient timekeeper missing some km splits but have reconstructed what I can from my stopwatch:

Km 1-3 in 12.28
4-5 in 8.14 (20.42 @5km)
6 in 4.15
7 in 4.21
8-9 in 8.35
10 in 4.00 (41.56 @10km)
Halfway in approx 44.30 (missed exact halfway mark as too concerned about trying to get a gel and a drink in)
11 in 4.29 (not sure about this one maybe previous km was bit slower as don't think I dropped from 4.00 to 4.29 in space of a km)
12-13 in 7.40 (13km in 54.06)
14 in 3.59
15 in 3.43
16 in 3.45
17-21.1 in 19.00 (21.1km in 1.24.35; Second half in 40.05)

Strong finish on the predominantly downhill second half. A little disappointed with the first half, especially after the work I have done on the hills in recent weeks but I think I can partly put it down to the fact that I was running on my own from about the 4km mark. In fact I think I was in 12th position at 4km and that is where I finished. I could see a group of about 4 or 5 (including Sugar and Epi) about 80m in front of me and they slowly pulled away from me. Not sure there was much I could do about it as it wasn't that a group ran away from me between about 2.5km and 4km but more that that a group seemed to form up ahead of me. I'd like to think that if I had been a part of that group, I could have hung with them for a bit and got up the hill a bit quicker. Maybe wishful thinking and only got myself to blame although even the bloke who passed me at 4km couldn't get on to the group. Last two races (Matilda Bay and this one) I have run on my own and have dropped off the pace. Will make a conscious effort to make sure this doesn't happen at the Bridges run in 5 April.

Felt like I was flying down the hill but unfortunately couldn't pick up any of the runners ahead of me. Had one bloke on my hammer for last 5km so was very pleased to hold him off. 19 minutes for last 5.1km is quicker than I thought I could run at that stage of a half marathon. Sugar had gone past me at about 2.5km and had blasted up the hill at a quicker pace than I thought he was going to run but had then eased off a bit and ran conservatively coming back down (after a 35km run yesterday). Couldn't quite catch him but going from the comments on his blog looks like I picked up about 1 minute 10 secs on him in the second half. He finished about 5 secs in front of me.

Met Epi http://anampofepistat.blogspot.com/ after the race. He ran a huge PB and finished 8th in 1.23.06. He followed up his good run at Matilda Bay and is in great shape to run sub 3hours at the Canberra Marathon in April.

Also caught up with friends Sharon and Erica. Sharon ran a very strong PB finishing in 1.51. They were great supporters for me in the 2008 Perth Marathon and it was nice to chat with them before and after the race.

Also ran into an old friend Brad who ran a 1.41 in his first half marathon.

For me, another confirmation that I am right on the threshold of sub 3hour shape. Last hard week of training this week which will culminate in a long run up the Pipeline on Saturday. Recovery run tomorrow with intervals scheduled for Tuesday but may switch this to Wednesday depending on how I am travelling.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Recovery run plus some race pace

Went out for 8.5km recovery run this morning. Threw in a half marathon pace kilometre on the way back and another 400m at half marathon pace a bit later. Glad I did the second one as the first one didn't feel that great. All up 43.35 with average HR 143. HR got up into the 160s when running race pace but dropped down quickly afterwards.

Saw Simon down near Coode St, looked like he was out for an easy run or just setting out for a long run.

Bit nervous about Darlington Half tomorrow. Have taken it pretty easy this week since interval session on Tuesday so no real excuses if I don't go well tomorrow. Vaseline and one band aid on blister this morning worked well and didn't feel a thing (wore my oldest 2130s, the ones that I ran Perth Marathon in).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Couple of easy days

Thursday - Recovery run 8.5km in 47 minutes, average HR 134 (not sure if this is entirely correct as HRM was playing up at start of the run and giving a very high reading). Covered my two blisters in Body Glide before heading out. Couldn't feel the one on my right toe at all, but could still feel the one on my left foot. Not painful but could feel it there and anticipate that it may be a problem if I was running faster.

Friday (today) - drove over to Pete's place in East Vic Park for a 6.30am start. We headed from his house down to Burswood and then around the Bridges. Pete thinks it is around 16km. We ran a nice conversational pace which worked out to somewhere around 4.55 -5min/km pace. Really enjoyable run although we did have a bit of wind in our face running towards the Narrows. Put some vaseline on my big blister and covered it with some fabric elastoplast. Big improvement, still could feel it slightly but don't think it impacted on my running at all and with another couple of days until Darlington, I don't think it will be a problem on Sunday.

The BAA and AT&T have set up a system where you can register to receive email updates of how individual runners are going during the race. Alerts will be broadcast from the 10-kilometer, 1/2 marathon and 30-kilometer marks and the finish as the runner passes those locations.

How to register is outlined on this web page:

Also the B.A.A. will broadcast every 5Km split to its web site and family and friends can track your progress by logging in and entering your name or bib number. The Boston Marathon web site will change on race day and the process on how to enter the search will be clear.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Boston bib numbers have been issued

The entrant listings for the Boston Marathon now include bib numbers http://www.bostonmarathon.org/2009/cf/Public/EntryLists.cfm?mode=entry

Search under Australia as Country of Citizenship to get the full list.

I am number 5782. Lee Troop is number 14 so I guess I am starting a bit behind him

21.72km - felt a bit harder than it should have ...

Went out with Simon this morning - ran down to meet him at Burswood. We ran fairly easy for a run which for me was total 21.72km in 1 hour 38 mins (4.31/km pace). Felt a little bit harder than 4.31/km pace for me but the pace when we were running together would have been above that because I always run the warmup and warmdowns on my own a bit slower. Used my Nike+ which has historically been a bit inaccurate but was almost right on today, measuring 21.74km.

Developed a couple of blisters, a largish one on my left foot and one on my right big toe. This was the second time I had run in my new 2130s. No problems on my first run so next time will be a bit more diligent with lace tightness, socks etc and hope that it was a one off.

Didn't have a great night's sleep last night and Sammie got up just after 5am, about half an hour befor my alarm would have got me up so that didn't help either. Looking forward to a very gentle recovery run tomorrow and then 16km with Pete on Friday morning.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Interval session

Slightly changed my interval session this morning. Instead of doing the scheduled 5 x 600m with 2 minutes jog recovery, I set up a workout on my ipod using one of the Alberto Salazar workouts called "Increase Your Speed 2". Workout has a 10 minute warm up then 6 x 2 minutes with 2 minutes recovery then 10 minutes warm down. I added some songs at the start and end for a longer warm up and warm down.

Ran a really solid warm up at slightly quicker pace than normal warm up, running from my house down to the Marathon Club and was back towards the Causeway when the first interval kicked in. Didn't really want to run on the track and figured that 2 minutes at the right effort is about equivalent to 600m for me. Useful part about these audio workouts is the 1 minute to go and 30 seconds to go prompts that Salazar provides, instead of having to look at my watch (in the half dark).

Ran each of the intervals strongly - not sure of the distance other than the last one which was basically exactly over the new Narrows Bridge. What I ran in the 2 mins works out to 570m so with the uphill at the start and the fact that it was the last of the 6 intervals, I am pretty happy with this.

Normal pace warm down and total for the run works out at 14.73km in 1 hour 3 minutes (4.16/km average pace). Quite surprised at the overall average pace as only ran 12 minutes at 5km pace, but I guess the quicker warm up and maybe if I was covering little more than 600m in my 2 mins this would have also contributed.

Easy running for the rest of the week with a view to Darlington Half on Sunday. Forecast is good with a max of 27 so may be a little cold at the start but that should be an advantage.

Got an email from the BAA this morning, the Adidas Boston Marathon clothing is now available http://www.shopadidas.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2248464&cp=2039716.2048733.2019535&view=all

I think we might be denting the plastic a bit on this at the Expo before the marathon.

Have also settled on my reading material for the plane trip (bit early I know but these things are important). Rox is a real movie watcher on planes while I tend to be more of a reader, also want to be able to get up regularly and walk around without missing any movie I might be watching.

Books I have picked are:

"Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley and America's Greatest Marathon" by John Brant. I have read this before, it is the story of the 1982 Boston Marathon and it's fantastic so I'm looking forward to reading it again.

"The Perfect Mile" by Neal Bascomb which is the story of the race to break the four minute mile. I bought this for my Dad for his birthday a few years back and have borrowed it.

"Lance Armstrong: tour de force" by Daniel Coyle which is supposed to be the best Armstrong book ever written and one of the best cycling books as well. I'm a big Armstrong fan and this looks like a great read.

That should be enough to get me through I think, although I probably won't be able to resist buying magazines as well.

Monday, March 16, 2009

All going well

18.42km this morning in 1 hour 20 minutes (4.20/km) felt very easy and more like 4.35-4.40 pace felt a few weeks back. Got my new 2130s out of the box for this run as time to have few runs in them so they can be my back ups for Boston (will run Darlington this week in my old 2130s).

Interval session this week was going to be my second session of Yasso 800s but I have decided to put them off to next week and will just do 5 x 600 @ 5km pace with 2 mins jog recovery between tomorrow and then 21km on Wednesday.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Long run - first time up Brooking Road

Yesterday (Saturday) - Ran with Sugar and Sas from Darlington up to Mt Helena, down to Brooking Rd, up Brooking Rd, rejoined heritage trail and then about 6.1km back down to Darlington. Quite a cold morning, didn't really notice it on the scooter out to Sugar's but really noticed it when we got to Darlington. Annoyingly, my nose ran for the entire run (except I think when running up Brooking Road, or perhaps I was otherwise occupied and just didn't notice). Really annoying and I'm sure it must have been annoying for Sas and Sugar to hear me sniffing the whole time.

On the overwhelmingly positive side though, it was a lovely morning for running and it was probably the first time I have really been able to appreciate the surroundings as the trails were a bit smoother on this run plus I think I am getting more comfortable running on them. Some magic moments, especially as the sun was coming up over the hills and sunlight was shining up and along the canopied trails - absolutely brilliant.

Felt good out there which was probably as a result of having a slightly easier week this week. Brooking Road is a monster, about 3km over two hills (although I think "hill" is an understatement). On bitumen though, so I found that I was able to get into a bit of a groove and just slog on up them. Found the second hill maybe 50m too long as it got a bit steeper at that point but managed to run on to the top. From there it was basically 6.1km back down the trail to Darlington and I had one of those little spells when it feels like your feet are hardly touching the ground. Probably didn't run as fast back down as we did last week (in fact, I'm sure we didn't) but whereas last week was a real effort for me, I felt great this week.

Total running time 2 hours and 39 minutes, 34.62km (4.36/km). 4.36/km is roughly my marathon pace from the Perth marathon last year, so am definitely ahead of where I was then. Feeling really strong in my running at the moment and no little niggles injury wise either which is great. Since I have been running my long runs with Sugar and Sas in the hills, haven't felt the need to take any anti inflammatories after long runs which was always the case after long runs on bitumen and concrete paths.

Rest day today - Ben and I are going to ride our bikes into town to go to Borders as he is getting a book for passing his senior swimming certificate.

Went to a quiz night last night and caught up with our friends Pete and Jill. Pete ran a 3.06 marathon a few years back and is back running now after a couple of years off after he did his knee and needed a reconstruction. His long run is out to 16km so will try to fit in a run or two with him over the next few weeks where it fits in with my program.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Slightly quicker recovery run

Stuck to the usual 8.5km on grass recovery run as slept in slightly and Ben had his school swimming carnival this morning. Ran a bit quicker than my normal recovery shuffle as didn't really feel like I needed a recovery run but also wanted to conserve something for tomorrow morning's hills run. 34+km scheduled - another key workout.

This morning I ran for 42 minutes (usually 47-49 minutes) with average HR 137 (usually 127-131).

Feeling really fresh and motivated for tomorrow's long run.

(Am not running regularly with the Nike+ at the moment so have removed the links as the Nike Mini especially was getting a bit sarcastic ... )

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Not much good at calculating distance

Went out with Simon this morning. Ran our loop in a different direction as I wanted to do around 18.5 and he wanted to do about 14. For some reason, I worked out in my head that I would be running too far if I carried on and did an East Perth/Burswood loop and didn't take into account that I wasn't doubling up the run down to the river and back (if this doesn't make sense, no wonder I couldn't get my head around it while running).

So in the end, met Simon at Burswood, turned around and ran back on South Perth side, over new Narrows, City side, Causeway and then home. By my calculations about 16.2km in 1 hour 11 minutes (4.22/km pace). Despite our plan to run a bit slower, I think we ran close to our normal 4.15/km pace. My warm up 3km was relatively gentle, but I came back from the Causeway fairly quick, as a guy running in front of me threw down the gauntlet (and took the short option around Swan River Trust building!!). A very nice run really early in the morning. Out of the house at 5.59am and looking forward to the end of daylight saving. I think I will vote for it in the hope that it gets up and down the track we knock off the month of March.

Ran in the Ohana Racers again this morning and am loving them. Just a bit disappointed I didn't run for longer. Scheduled for a recovery run tomorrow but after missing out on some mileage today, I might do an easy 12.5 or at least a bit longer instead.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday/Wednesday update

Decided to take things down a notch this week. Last week was a pretty intense week for me and with another interval session scheduled for next week as well as the Darlington Half Marathon, a week with too much speed work this week would make it three intense weeks in a row. I don't want to peak too soon, so thought it wise to take a step back this week, keep the mileage up but back off the speed a little.

Yesterday (Tuesday) - ran 23.5km in 1 hour 47 minutes (4.33/km pace). Nice morning for running. Ran out to Matilda Bay and then back home via the Causeway and the Marathon Club. Saw Sugar and Sas coming the other way over between the big flagpole and the big wheel. Ran pretty steady and finished strong. Didn't take too much out of me at all and commented to Rox that 23.5km feels like 12.5km used to feel. Bit of a soak in a cold swimming pool yesterday afternoon was very relaxing.

Entered the Bridges 10km which is being held on April 5. Really hoping for a PB in this one and have set 38.20 as my goal (38.58 is my PB). In a comparative performance table in Alberto Salazar's Guide to Road Racing, a 38.20 compares to a 2.58.54 marathon while McMillan's calculator has it as 2.59.54. Meeting that goal would give me a lot of confidence going into Boston, especially on the back of the longer hlly runs I have been getting in lately.

Today (Wednesday) - nice and easy recovery run. In what has become monotonously boring in some respects, but reassuring in others, I ran my 8.5km largely on grass on 48 minutes with an average HR of 129. Seems that this run always works out to 47-49 mins with HR beween 127-131. Good to monitor this to make sure I am not overtraining at this late-ish stage of my preparation.

Saw Simon out there near the Narrows, he was running a bit quicker than me but a bit slower than we normally run so he must have been just out for an easy run. We are running together tomorrow morning so it will be good to catch up with how his training is going.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Racing flats

Rest day yesterday (Sunday)

I have been tossing up for some time now whether or not to get some racing flats to run Boston in. Training is going well and I feel like I am close to running sub 3hours (well, 2.59 anyway) so any assistance I can get could be the difference between achieving that goal or not.

I am pretty lucky in that I do not need a massive amount of motion control in my shoes and that biomechanically I think everything is going in the right direction when I run. I mentioned in an earlier post the two racing flats I was considering but when I went into Runner's World yesterday I went for something different.

I bought a pair of Asics Gel-Ohana Racers. I'm a US size 9 in Asics 2130s but needed to go to the US size 9.5 in the Ohanas. Weight 8.5 ounces compared to 12 ounces of the 2130s.

Can't find a bad word about them on all the reviews I have found apart from the fact that Asics have now discontinued them (replaced with the Gel-Bandito). Got them for a great price. Runner's World seemed to have a good stock of them.

Monday (today) Took them out for spin this morning. Did the same run with Rox as we did last week ie ran with her for the first 15 minutes (approx 2.5km) then continued on by myself. Wore my heart rate monitor just for a change. Heart rate was about 116 when running with Rox and averaged 141 for the whole run which was 12.73km in 60 minutes again. My heart rate got up around 156 at a couple of points and I figure I was running around 4.30 pace. Supposed to be an easy run and I wasn't pushing at all. Glad took a rest day yesterday as legs didn't feel super fresh but think they will be better for this morning's run. Was a pretty big week last week at around 116km with three pretty hard sessions.

Very happy with how the shoes went this morning. Really comfortable and obviously light, but still plenty of support and while I can feel that they don't have as much cushioning as the 2130s, it feels sufficient. Plan is to do a few more training runs in them over the next couple of weeks including at least 1 longer run. I won't wear them for the Darlington Half due to the trail section in that race but plan to wear them for the Bridges 10km. I still have another pair of 2130s in the box that will come out in the next few weeks so I am sorted for my race shoes either way.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hard long run in the hills

Went out to Darlington with Sugar and Sas early this morning to run the infamous pipeline. My apprehension was well-founded and it wasn't too far into the run before I was privately wishing that I hadn't overdone it on Wednesday after Tuesday's hard interval session.

The pipeline is a really challenging run and we ran it at a good pace, especially the second half after a stop at Fred Jacoby Park for a gel. Running on the gravel trails is fun but hard going both physically and mentally as you really need to watch your footing and keep your wits about you.

The run was a good Boston simulation with some downhill running at the start followed by a lengthy stretch of rolling hills and then some steep uphills before the last 9 or so km was largely flat or downhill. The benefits of running with other people were apparent to me today as Sugar set us the task of running the last 9.6km from Mundaring back to Darlington in under 40 minutes. We made it with 10 seconds to spare although I found it hard going.

After his rough trot over the past couple of weeks, Sugar is certainly back on track based on today's run. I was hanging on as we were tearing down the trail at the end while he was pointing out the interesting points of the Darlington half marathon course (which is being run on 22 March). Both he and Sas were both running really strongly while I am still a bit of a novice at trail running. I am pretty sure I wouldn't have run that hard if I had been running on my own, in fact I wouldn't have been running up there at all as I'm pretty sure I would be lost about 5 minutes after leaving the road.

The run was 33.72km at an average pace of 4.39/km but it really was a classic progression and fast finish long run. Although it was a tough run, it was the sort of workout that now it is in the bank should have huge benefits physically and psychologically when the going gets tough in Boston. If all goes to plan in Boston, then I think I will look back on today's run as one of the key workouts in my preparation.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Easy 18.5km

Went for easy 18.5km this morning. Lovely morning for running and I'm really enjoying running as the sun comes up lately. Total time 1 hour 30 minutes (4.51/km)

Late night last night as stayed up until midnight to enter Rox and I in the BAA 5km race which is one the day before the Boston Marathon. Entries opened at 10am Boston time and by the time I had signed Rox up at 1 minute past she was the 491st registration, soon after I was the 678th. It is limited to only 4000 so I think we did the right thing not waiting until this morning to register.
This will be Rox's first ever race so it will be a big moment for her and what a great place to run your first race. I am going to run with her. She will probably run around 30 minutes for the 5km which should be a nice "shake out the legs" run for me the day before the marathon.

Also got tickets to Yankees for when we get back to New York after the marathon. We went to the old Yankee Stadium last time we were in New York and this will be one of the first few games in the new Yankee Stadium. Yankees lost last time so hopefully we see a win this time.

Early night tonight as pipeline tomorrow.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Easy recovery run

Took it very easy this morning. 8.5km in 49 minutes, average HR 128. Saw Sugar and Sas near Mends Street. They were heading towards me at about twice the pace I was going. My legs felt a bit hammered this morning but a lot better after my run.

Relaxing day, Rox and I saw "Watchmen" (think I enjoyed it more than her but that makes it 1-1 after we went to "He's Just Not That Into You" last week ... ). Watchmen was brilliant, although Rorschach would have to be one of the most disturbing (and disturbed) characters I have seen for on film for a long time. Also saw the trailer for the new Star Trek movie which looks great - can't wait for that one.

Skipped afternoon recovery run as it just didn't fit in with our plans as the kids had swimming lessons. Took the opportunity to soak in the spa part of the pool while Sammie had her lesson so think that aided my recovery.

Still planning on 18.5km easy tomorrow but will see how I go when I get out there.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Medium long run inc some hills

Went out with Simon this morning. Ran down to meet him at Burswood and then we ran out through Ascot to Garrett Road Bridge and then on the path alongside Ascot Park racecourse until we got to the end of the path before returning same route. So we got in the rolling hills and the one big one along the river at Ascot twice. Set a pretty quick pace, probably too quick for me especially after yesterday's hard effort. Made it out to Garrett Road Bridge in around 33 minutes and probably maintianed that pace for a bit longer, at least until I had to make a toilet stop. Simon had us close to 4 min/km pace until then. Good to run the hills at close to tempo pace, especially the downhills.

(What is it with those new automated public toilets? If it's not enough that they ration the toilet paper when you are in a hurry, you also have to put up with piped music. I'm not sure there is an appropriate soundtrack for that situation, but I'm pretty sure it isn't Burt Bacharach singing "What the world needs now ...")

Felt a bit of fatigue in my legs on the return but managed a reasonable pace until Burswood. Ran a warm down pace for the remaining 3km home. Not sure of the overall actual distance but would estimate it was somewhere around 25.5km. Total time for me was 1 hour 54 mins.

I think I can tick the box for the 20km at marathon pace workout after this morning, although I am pretty sure that you aren't supposed to do it the day after an interval session. I'll take it fairly easy for the next couple of days. Recovery runs tomorrow and then an easy 18.5km on Friday before experiencing the pipeline on Saturday morning. Depending on how I feel I might only do one recovery run tomorrow and/or cut the 18.5km down to 12.5km as I really want the Saturday long run to be quality.

Booked our train tickets from New York to Boston last night. Got them pretty cheap although our train to Boston leaves at 6.55am so an early start that morning. Our vouchers for the tour of the Boston marathon course arrived yesterday so we are nearly all set. Just need to get some Yankees, Broadway and Tribeca Film Festival tickets and that's it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Yasso 800s - nailed them!!

This is a workout I did in the lead up to my first marathon. It went well and gave me a lot of confidence so I wanted to include it my program again this time. Figured that I would try to run 2.55s and if successful try to run 2.50s in a couple of weeks.

Here is what Greg McMillan says about Yasso 800s:

The theory behind Yasso 800s is that your time in minutes and seconds for a workout of 10 times 800 meters (two laps of the track) with equal recovery time is the same as the hours and minutes of your marathon time. For example, if you can run 10 times 800 meters in three minutes and 20 seconds with three minutes and 20 seconds recovery, then this predicts that you can run three hours and 20 minutes for your marathon. Run 2:40 for the 800s and you can run 2:40 for the marathon.

My experience, though, is that Yasso 800s predicts about five minutes too fast for most marathoners. Using the example above, my experience has been that 10 times 800 meters in 3:20 with 3:20 recovery yields closer to a 3:25 marathon for most competitive runners. Because this workout is easy to do, I try to include it two or three times in a marathon training cycle. It not only provides a good predictor of marathon pace but allows you to chart your increasing fitness - a big confidence builder.

It was certainly a good idea to run this workout today and not yesterday. Not only was I feeling 100% again (could have had a little bit more sleep but Rox and I got sucked into watching a Don Letts doco on punk on ABC2 last night that finished at 11.30pm) but the weather was perfect. Cool almost to the point of being cold and no wind at all.

Got to the track around 6.20am - still very dark and did a 15 min warmup. Needed to get started with my 800s to finish in time to get back home so Rox could take the car to work so got going while it was still too dark to see time on my watch clearly. Thought I'll just run the first one on a perceived effort basis and see how we go.

Didn't really push it but as with most interval sessions the first one feels pretty average, so was very surprised to see time when I stopped my watch - 2.44!

Hmm ... what to do? Still couldn't see watch well enough to check while running as the sun wasn't up yet and there was no artifical light at the track so decided to keep going at that effort and see what happened. Here's what happened:

1. 2.44.36
2. 2.45.48.
3. 2.46.54
4. 2.45.67
5. 2.46.72
6. 2.49.33
7. 2.53.09
8. 2.47.52
9. 2.47.68
10. 2.44.56

2.45 jog recovery in between each interval during which I covered 450-500m (ran one lap and then back up the straight far enough to turn back in time for next interval). Ran the entire workout on effort. The only time I looked at my watch was when I stopped it after each 800 and during recovery jogs. A bit annoyed about number 7, think I lost concentration on that one but it re-focused me for a strong finish.

Four lap warm down which was a bit short but time was pressing on . All up workout was around 17km. My average for the 800s was 2.46. There is no way I am in 2.46 shape but going on what Greg McMillan has found, I think I am getting pretty close to sub-3hour shape.

Greg McMillan also says:

Finally, the predictor workouts are for a normal marathon - one with mostly flat terrain and good marathoning weather. Adjustments have to be made for difficult courses (like Boston), races where the weather can effect the race (hot/humid conditions or windy conditions) or races where you may not have support in either race competitors, the crowds or volunteers. In these cases, you would be wise to be more conservative and create a race plan that is appropriate for your particular race.

Because of re-arrangements to my schedule, I haven't done one of the race specific workouts I did before the Perth Marathon (2 mile warm up, 20km @ marathon pace, 2 mile warm down). Need to slot that in somewhere in the next 2-3 weeks although it won't be a disaster if I don't as the runs I have been doing with Simon are quite close to this workout in distance and effort. Getting more hills in has to be a priority and that will be the focus of tomorrow's 23km medium long run.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Easy round the bridges loop

Had a bit of an odd day yesterday as came down with what is euphemistically called a "runny tummy" which kept me pretty close to the loo all day. Don't know what brought it on and was also a bit tired and cranky. Luckily it was a rest day but as a result, even though I felt much better this morning, I wasn't really fuelled up for a hard interval session as had no lunch and dinner last night consisted of two crumpets. (The strong wind this morining was also another discouragement).

For the first time in a while, Rox and I were able to go out for a run together. We ran together for the first 15 minutes of Rox's 30 minute run until she turned around and then I continued on my regular 12.73km bridges loop. Would estimate we did around 2.5km in first 15 minutes and my overall time was 60 mins so remainder was 10.2km in 45 mins. Felt very comfortable running at that pace and no stomach issues which was a relief. I think the gentle warm up was a positive and contributed to the ease of the run, despite the wind.

So Yasso 800s tomorrow morning. Will need to be out very early to get back ahead of the rush hour traffic. Should be another good indication of where I am at pace wise.