"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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sub 3 hours at Boston (just!!!!!)

Made it in 2.59.58. Full race report to follow when not using up valuable internet cafe minutes deciding what to say. Thanks everyone for all the support.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Successful rehearsal today after stupidity yesterday

Walked around far too much yesterday. Explored our neighbourhood in the East Village for a few hours, browsing in shops etc. Then walked down to Chinatown to look for stuff for the kids (Hello Kitty for Sammie, Japanese manga/anime for Ben). Got back to the apartment in time to put our feet up for half an hour before we had to head out again as we had tickets to see the Knicks play at Madison Square Garden. Great spectacle (and Rox even got her face up on the big screen momentarily). Got home just after 11pm after doing far too much walking and had a dull ache in my legs which I could feel through the night.

Rehearsal this morning (supposed to wear race gear but didn't want to have to wash it). Ran down to the East River and along it for a 20-25 minute warm up, then back to the track where Rox had walked and had my race shoes. Did another lap then got into my marathon pace run of 2 miles. Went out too fast and did the first mile in 6.28 (MP is 6.50), slowed down slightly for a 6.35 second mile. 2 miles in 9.07 (should have been 9.40) which was way too quick but encouragingly felt good. A bit hard to get pacing right on track as strong headwind in back straight and vice versa in front straight.

Ran along the river in the other direction for cool down which was a much nicer run closer to the river and with views of Chrysler Building, Empire State Building and UN.

Taking it easy today (Really!! I mean it Rox!!). Will try to get tickets to see the Blue Man Group tonight. Early start tomorrow as we have 6.55am train to Boston.

First run in New York

Quick entry before money runs out. Went for a 40 minute run this morning along the East River up to the Brooklyn Bridge. Quite cold a bit rainy. Legs felt ok apart from a spot behind my left knee where a bruise came up. Found a running track where I will do my 2 miles tomorrow.

Our email address is simonroxinboston@live.com

Monday, April 13, 2009

Last day - last long run

Went out for an easy 21km this morning. Strong easterly wind made it hard going coming back from UWA and along the city side of the river. All up 21.61km in 1 hour 39 mins (4.34/km) which is exactly what I wanted to run today. Saw some Adelaide Crows players doing some recovery work and the emergencies were just ahead of me doing some fartlek work with a trainer.

No running for me for about a day and half now with the travel. Planning to run in Central Park, New York on Wednesday (7-8km) before a run along the side of the Hudson River on Thursday. travel to Boston on Friday.

Thanks to everyone for their good wishes. I hope to post some entries from internet cafes in New York and Boston. Don't forget to sign up for the email alerts so that you can find how I went when you get up on Tuesday morning.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The taper continues ...

Recovery run yesterday - thankfully back to normal time and HR wise.

Short round the bridges loop this morning (over old Narrows rather than new Narrows) and finished off with 8 x 100m strides. Didn't feel that great on the run, strong easterly wind blowing and I had a very dry throat (as I did yesterday as well). Don't know whether this was due to the wind and maybe a bit of hay fever or whether I may be a bit dehydrated. Making a conscious effort to drink more today.

Long run (21km) tomorrow and then we fly out tomorrow night. Bought tickets to see "Exit the King" (with Geoffrey Rush and Susan Sarandon) on Broadway so we are starting to fill our itinerary, particularly for the post marathon return to New York.

Friday, April 10, 2009

VO2 Max - last hard workout

Almost didn't do this one, was in two minds and Rox convinced me that it was the last one and should stick with the program. Pfitzinger hasn't let me down yet so there was some wisdom in that. Today was 12.8km with 3 x 1600m @ 5km pace (ie 5:50 mins effort), jog 2 mins between.

Ran on time and perceived effort rather than distance as didn't want to go to the track and didn't have a 1600m measured stretch. 15 minute warm up and then found the first interval quite hard at first but settled into good rhythm. Second interval was easier going. Took a long jog break between second and third intervals, not because I really needed to but because it would have included running over the Narrows and I wanted to keep the intervals on the flat today.

Might get onto Map My Run later and see what sort of distances I covered during each of the intervals [1.67km in 5.51, 1.63 in 5.58, 1.67 in 6.14 - all approximate]. All up 12.72km in 54.56 which is around 4.19/km pace but obviously ran considerably quicker and slower than that over the course of the run. Glad I did it, still 10 days to go so plenty of time to recover and rest. I always find after a few hard runs that running back at my marathon pace seems easier so hopefully this will carry through to the 20th.

Both the kids have colds so am a bit worried about picking one up but not much I can do about it.

Recovery run tomorrow.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Recovery run - hmmmm

Not a great recovery run this morning. It was quite warm and I found that I had to run even slower than normal to keep my heart rate to its low 130s. 8.5km in just under 50 mins, average HR 131. So HR the same but the run took me a couple of minutes longer.

Saw Gary "The Scribe" of the Hills running group walking near the flagpole in South Perth. I'm always slightly self conscious when I run into people I know when I'm out on these slow recovery runs, trundling along on the grass.

Didn't get my usual soak in the spa during the kid's swimming lessons this afternoon as that pool was closed after Ben found a poo in the pool. Nice.

Not sure about tomorrow's workout. Program calls for a VO2Max session but it looks a bit hard to me so I might modify it or do do something different.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Bridges loop with Simon

Simon was running 20km this morning so he ran up to my house for a 6.15am start for me. I just needed to get in a 12.8km run. Should have had some fartlek surges during run or strides to finish but knew we would run at a reasonable pace so decided that it wasn't a problem to give them a miss. 12.73km in 53 mins so approx 4.09 pace which is a bit quick but I have to say that I am finding these runs really comfortable at the moment. Pretty conversational pace on what is a flat run and only a little bit of wind. I really do enjoy these runs.

I read an excellent article in Running Times last year on "Peaking, not tapering" written by Greg McMillan. Here is a link to it: http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=14759&PageNum=1

Essentially, what McMillan, Pfitzinger and Douglas and Brad Hudson all seem to be preaching is that you shouldn't significantly decrease your training efforts, just your volume and that the most effective approach to tapering is to intersperse harder efforts within an overall trend of recovery. In fact, Hudson doesn't even really have his athletes "taper" he calls the final 4-6 week training phase "sharpening" emphasising race specificity. He believes that if you can achieve a handful of performances in the sharpening period that are almost equivalent to your goal race performance, your attainment of that goal will be all but guaranteed (as long as you rest up adequately before the race).

So, an 8.5km recovery run tomorrow with my heart rate monitor "leash" on to keep my HR around 130 and effort very easy.

Also, results of Bridges race are up on the WAMC website. Official time for me is 37.25 (I suspect this might have been when I was "paddled" rather than when I crossed the line but I'll take it). I was 42nd overall and 7th in the 40-45 age group, a big improvement on my 40.15, 71st overall and 9th in age group last year.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Long run - 24.9km

Ran a cut back long run today as part of my taper. 24.9km in 1 hour 49 minutes. Would have been happy if I had gone a bit slower than this but very satisfied with this effort. Turn around point is 12.45km and I did 56 mins on the way out and 53 on the way back, so the return leg was at marathon pace (4.15/km). Happy to be able to run that after yesterday's hard effort.

Rest day tomorrow. My schedule has now moved with my long run being on Monday and my rest day on Tuesday. This fits in perfectly with our travel schedule and with the marathon being on the Monday.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bridges run - PB!!

Ran the Bridges run this morning. Bit cold at the start until the sun came up from behind the city with a gusty easterly wind which did not suggest that it was going to be a day for running super fast.

Wanted to run under 38 minutes so my plan was to run 19 minutes for first 5km and then negative split with the easterly as a tail wind for the last 2.5km. Went out too hard, even though I felt like I was running a controlled pace but maybe that was the tailwind at the start although it wasn't noticeable. Got to 5km in 18:15 and was worried that I had gone out too hard but didn't feel like I was going to die. Sugar had just gone past me at that stage and I could see Simon up in the distance.

Pushed hard and really tried to maintain some focus and intensity through the 5-8km stage which was where I lost it at Matilda Bay. Unfortunately, this was also where the headwind was the strongest today. Rox and the kids came down to cheer for me at the bottom of Hurlingham Road which was a nice boost at exactly the right time.

Managed to run hard across the Causeway and then over the last km but couldn't catch the two runners in front of me who ran on really strongly. Sugar was about 80m in front of me.

Finished in about 37.20 which is a big PB for me (previously 38.58). Sugar ran 37 flat and Sas ran 39.54 which was PB for her and got her 3rd overall and first in her age group. Our team "Going to Boston" was the first open team and we each got a medal and an Asics towel and bag.

My splits were as follows:

1 - 3.24

2 - 3.33

3 - 3.34

4 - 3.50

5 - 3.53

7 - 7.58 (missed the 6km split and hit this one late as it was at a drink station)

8 - 3.50 (less than 1km as hit 7 km late)

9 - 3.42

10 - 3.36 (37.26 - hit my watch after finish but thought it said 37.20 as I ran under the clock so will wait on the results. Hopefully won't wait as long as we have for the Darlington Half results which are still not out).

Very pleased with how I went today and especially with racking up another PB. Saw Simon briefly at the finish, from memory I think he said he ran 36.15 or 36.20 which should have got him up in the top 20. Unfortunately I was too buggered to say much at that stage.

Long run tomorrow around 25km but wll feel very comfortable running an easy pace after getting today's hard effort under my belt.

Rox took a photo as I ran towards them. You will note that I haven't made any reference to my attempt to latch onto a group and run with other people. The photo indicates how successful I was ...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Recovery run and one from the archives

Usual recovery run this morning - 8.5km in 47 mins. Average HR was up a little, 136 but it did get a bit windy at times. Also found myself daydreaming a bit. At one stage imagining myself running down Boylston Street with a couple of hundred metres to go, 2 hours 57 mins on my watch and knowing I was going to crack the 3 hours. Looked down at my watch and my heart rate was up to 144 - it seems I need to make sure I don't get too excited when visualising ...

Went to Mum and Dad's for dinner last night to celebrate my brother Matt's birthday - very enjoyable evening and lots of good food. Raided Mum's photo album and grabbed the photo below which was taken in Donnybrook in 1980 when I ran a 10km cross country race. From memory I think I ran around 55 mins. The long hair is a fashion statement of some kind, probably not a very good one.
Bridges tomorrow morning - looking forward to it!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Easy run - East Perth loop

Ran from home down to Windan Bridge, over into East Perth, around the inlet then down to Causeway, over Causeway and home. All up 13.11km in 1 hour to the second (4.34/km). Wore my HR monitor and averaged 150 although it went up quite a bit into the wind coming over the Causeway especially when 4 big trucks following one after the other came past towards me. Feeling very comfortable running this past week, hopefully due to a decrease in residual fatigue in my legs.

Finding it very hard to concentrate on anything other than Boston at the moment.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Number Pick Up Card and Welcome Booklet arrived in today's mail

Not much more to say other than pretty excited to get this today. I think from reading the booklet (although it's still not entirely clear) that the water on-course will be in bottles but the Gatorade will be in cups. If this is the case, I think this will suit me - I just need a fair bit of water to wash down gels and if I slow down when taking the Gatorade I should get most of it into me and not over me. Hopefully I will be able to grab more than one gel at the gel stop just before the 17 mile mark. If I can grab two, that should get me through to the end (and then I only have to carry two with me at the start)

Took it easier

Bridges loop with 8 x 30 secs (some a bit more) strides/surges to 3-5km pace. Ran easier in between with result that 12.73km took 55.50 (4.23/km) which is 2 minutes longer than earlier in the week.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Enjoyable recovery run

Nice conditions, although a little windy for my recovery run this morning. 8.5km in 46.50, average HR 133. Had to be quite mindful of my heart rate today and still went quicker than I thought I was going but didn't feel like I could legitimately run any slower (or it wouldn't be running ... ). At 5.30/km pace, these recoevery runs are really, really easy to the extent that I don't even feel like I need a drink when I finish. Strangely though, I am always extra hungry so need to show some self control.

Back to the bridges loop tomorrow with some strides thrown in so think I will wear my racing shoes.