"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, June 30, 2009

I'm officially over this weather

Stuff the farmers and the water restrictions etc - stop with the wind and the rain!!

No, that didn't help ...

Anyway, out at 6am this morning for my medium long run on a different course as I was fairly sure that the path alongside the Burswood golf course and near Trinity College would be flooded. I ran out to the Narrows on the South Perth side, over the new Narrows bridge, out to Matilda Bay and then back on the city side, over the Causeway and home. 21.37km in 1 hour 42 mins total.

Total time included a stop for a brief chat with Sugar, Kim and Kate at Mends Street. They had just finished their run so they must have made a very early start. Too early to even find a cafe open for a post run coffee at that time surely??

Also stopped for a brief pit stop at Matilda Bay so given the conditions and the fact that I ran very easily, I'm pretty happy to have got this run done in the time that I did. Didn't get too wet but running into the wind gets a bit tedious and I always feel like I'm not getting enough "bang for my buck" when there is a big tailwind (ie not getting the full benefit of being out there for a run). Hence my rant about the weather.

Getting a bit excited about Sunday. Forecast is for showers developing but that should be well after we have run and with no rain forecast in the days before, hopefully the course should be nice and dry.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wind assisted tempo run

What an interesting morning for a run ... (!!!)

My program called for 14.8km with 7km @ 15km pace so despite the temptation to pike out due to the weather, I headed out at 6.05am in very, very windy conditions. I ran towards the Narrows for my warm up so that the tempo part of my run would be largely with the wind on the city side of the river. 4.2km warmup straight into the wind and then 6.73km (checked it on Map My Run) in 26.13 (3.53/km). The wind was gusty and it wasn't always behind me (particularly towards the end) so I am relatively pleased with this even though it was a little short distance-wise.

All up 14.8km in 67 minutes (4.31/km) which is pretty solid given that on the way back, the winds really reached their peak (about 125km/hr). At one stage, it was so strong that despite the fact that I had my head down and was working as hard as I could, I don't think I was much above normal walking pace if that. It was almost like running with a bungy cord attached to you pulling you backwards.

A bit of rain about but the only time I thought "this was a stupid idea" was when I was running under trees which were being blown nearly horizontal in spots where there have been some pretty big boughs blown down in the past.

Glad I got it in though as the alternative would have been doing it tonight after work. 21.5km medium long run tomorrow before taking it a little bit easier for the remainder of the week (12.8km easy run on Thursday instead of the usual 16km and obviously no Saturday long run) with the Relay Marathon on Sunday. The forecast is looking promising, just hope the wind is minimal.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Long run (of unknown length)

Ran down to meet Simon at Burswood for our long run. Instead of going out to Garrett Road Bridge via Ascot, we ran over Windan and then along the Graham Farmer Freeway (where we got a brief but very thorough drenching), into Northbridge and then the City before running up the Terrace to Kings Park. A lap around Kings Park (with two brief pitstops for me due to some stomach issues) then down to UWA and along the river before returning on the South Perth side. I got home in 1 hour 49 minutes so added a slow, 11-12 minute warm down run to get me over the 2 hours. We only got one other bit of rain and it seemed that despite the wind, we managed to get more tailwinds than headwinds which was nice.

Saw (a helmetless!!) Sugar out there on his bike ride, hopefully he got mostly tailwinds as well.

Got home in time to watch the men's and women's 5000m finals at the US Track and Field Championships over the internet http://www.runnerspace.com/ Matt Tegenkamp won the men's race and Kara Goucher the women's. Very different races with the women's race pretty tactical until Jen Rhines made a move with 2 and a bit laps to go but Goucher just blew her away from the bell and won easily. In the men's race, Anthony Famiglietti took the race out strongly, 29 secs for the first 200m and 60 secs for the first 400m. He couldn't maintain it though and dropped off by the business end which saw three Oregon Track Club athletes, Tegenkamp, Solinsky and Jager take the top 3 spots. It will be interesting to find out what Famiglietti's tactics were based on as he didn't seem to give himself his best chance to win the race and as he already had an A qualifier that's all he needed to do.

We went to a quiz night with Nick and Brigit last night - we came third and won the table prize. I also won another prize which was a six month membership to the gym at the Lakeside Recreation Centre near Bibra Lake. It's a bit of trek from here to be something I would do regularly, but I think I will go and check it out as although I don't think it has a pool, if it has treadmills that might provide me with an option for running if the weather is really too bad to run in.

Ate too much chocolate and too many cheezels at the quiz night - pretty sure that was the cause of my stomach/digestion issues this morning.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Still going well

Wednesday - easy 8.4km recovery run in foul conditions. I even wore a rain jacket for this one and pulled the hood up for a bit. The "rustle, rustle" of the hood in your ears as you are running is pretty much unbearable though so that didn't last long. Can't remember the time or my heart rate (think it was 131) but it was all within the bounds of normality. Glad to get it out the way and into a hot shower afterwards.

Thursday - 16km with Simon. Ran the Bridges after running down for our meet at the Causeway. A pretty stiff SW wind made it pretty heavy going when running towards the Narrows (x2) so I was pleased with an overall 68 minutes for this run (4.15/km).

Watched a good doco on National Geographic Adventure channel last night, "Running the Sahara - Beyond the Expedition". Basically a "making of" doc about the film "Running the Sahara". The film looks fantastic so will definitely make an effort to see it somehow. Matt Damon was the Executive Producer and he commented in an interview in the doco that he does a bit of running but had said to Charlie Engle (one of the ultra runners) that he couldn't run more than 12 miles without breaking down. Charlie's response was that "You just need to re-configure your relationship with pain". Classic. http://runningthesahara.com/

Friday (today) - 8.2km recovery run. Ran the last 3km with Rox. 49 minutes - average HR 120 something. Did 8 x hill sprints to finish. Nice conditions for running, no wind at all. I hope it is like that next Sunday for the Perth Relay Marathon. We have our team together consisting of Sugar, Sandgroper, Niddy and me. If we all run well I think we should be pretty competitive and it should be a fun day. It will be great to get a run in and be able to watch and cheer for the marathon runners as well. I think I would be very envious if I was just watching and not running at all (like last Sunday at the half marathon).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Medium long run

21.5km in 1 hour 36 minutes (which I think is around 4.27/km). Maintained a pretty even pace throughout which meant increased effort on the hills at the end and then a good strong finish. Even managed to avoid the showers which started about 30 seconds after I got home. There was a fairly strong wind blowing at times this morning so this was a good solid run - nothing spectacular but one of those runs that it is good to have plenty of in the bank by the time your goal race comes around.

Up at 5.45am to get this in before work. Don't think that I appreciated not working enough even though it is a nice time of the day to be out and about.

Recovery run tomorrow so a sleep in until 6.15am and I must make sure that I get some core work and drills done.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hill repeats and old age

This morning I did a 5.64km warm up and then 8 hill repeats up Banksia Terrace. Pretty cold conditions but the good warm up and a bit of stretch made for a good hard workout. I have looked back through my blog for when I did this session in my program for Boston and found that I did 6 x 1 min for the hill. Today I did 8 x around 52 secs (although the first one was 48secs) which is a pretty big improvement. Looking back through my blog I also noticed that I am running my general aerobic runs quite a bit quicker than early in my Boston program. Back then I was happily running in 4.30s a km whereas these days I would be horrified if I did that unintentionally.

Medium long run (21.5km) tomorrow. Forecast is for showers for the remainder of the week.

Yesterday was my rest day. Rox and I quickly went down to the river to watch the start of the Perth Half (at 2.5km) before we went to football. Saw Simon and Kim run past and got a couple of photos which I will email to them. Great run by Simon who finished in 1.19 and change. Sub 1.20 is an awesome run and puts him on track for another fast half at the Gold Coast and then a great debut marathon in Melbourne. Seemed like good conditions for fast running with not too much breeze on the way out and then a bit of a tailwind on the way back. Kim is well into her taper for the Perth marathon so looks like she followed her plan to take it easy as she finished in around 2hrs 2mins.

Stark reminder of advancing age the other day. I was talking to a co-worker about Ben's football team which I coach and I commented that we were sort of like the "Bad News Bears". I got a bit of a blank look on that one and it was only when I mentioned it to Rox and thought about it a bit more that I realised that he wouldn't have been born when the Bad News Bears movies were made back in the late 1970s (although I think there was a remake a few years ago).

I can handle getting older (just ...) but it's a bit rough when you have to find yourself a whole new set of popular culture references as well.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Boston Finishing video

Here it is - you can see me come into the picture on the right hand side and raise my arms as I cross the line about 15-16secs and again 45secs into the video (I have arm warmers on).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fast finish (sort of) long run

Managed to pretty much avoid the rain this morning but was unable to avoid the wind. Hope that tomorrow is not a carbon copy of today for the sake of those running in the Perth Half.

Took it pretty easy for the first part of my run, legs felt a bit heavy so I think I will start transitioning into a new pair of 2130s. I haven't gone back in my blog to check when I got into these ones but from memory it was mid-late March so they are probably on the way out even though they look fine.

Did the first 14.44km in approx 68 mins, stopped for about a minute for a drink and a gel and then picked it up for the last 12.45km. The wind really picked up heading though East Perth and especially along the river after crossing the Causeway. It would be a lovely tailwind to have behind you when heading back from UWA so if it doesn't pick up until a bit later tomorrow there should be some OK times.

Last 12.45km in 52mins which I am happy with especially given the wind. It really did slow me up over the last 3-4km but once I got away from the river I was able to push on fairly strongly and ran hard up the hill to our place.

I have added a blog to my blog list, "Riding the Wind". What an existence Anton Krupicka has. I find myself extremely envious when reading his blog entries. The Nate Jenkins Running Times blog has now moved into my list of "Things I Like".

Still haven't finalised my full training program for Rottnest. I know what it is going to look like, it is just a matter of getting down to completing it but after a my first week back of sitting at a desk in front of a computer it is about the last thing I want to do.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another day ... another lunchtime update

Another quick update as I have just finished my lunch at my desk. We don't have a lunch room so not many options when the weather is like it is today. I have been bringing my lunch in every day which has been cheap and healthy. Still have the same $20 note that I nicked off Rox at the start of the week in my wallet. I have a pretty substantial packed lunch worked out now including tuna, bread, fruit, yogurt. Only downside is that my lunchbox is the size of a small suitcase :-)

Anyway, pretty windy today for 8.4km recovery run in 48 minutes. Didn't wear HRM, couldn't see the point in the wind as effort levels were going to be all over the place. Didn't get wet which was a bonus.

Yesterday, met up with Simon at Burswood for our Bridges loop. Bit longer this week for me as we met at Burswood and then did the new Narrows rather than the old. Around 17 kms in 1hr 11mins for me which is around 4.10km pace I think. We hit some windy patches, especially coming back over the Causeway not helped by a couple of trucks, one in particular which nearly blew me backwards. Another solid workout. I really think that runs of this type are a cornerstone to being able to run relaxed but under my lactate threshold through the early and mid stages of the marathon (based on experience of Boston at least). Saw Kim "the lighthouse" as we running past the boatshed near the bell tower. Managed to call out hello this time so progress!

Wednesday, recovery run. Met Rox towards the end and we ran the last km together. I have been doing short 8 sec hill sprints at the end of my recovery runs based on Brad Hudson training philosophy. Started off with 1 or 2 and have built up to 6 as of this week although I only did 5 this morning as felt a slight twinge in my left quad on the fifth one and didn't think it was worth risking anything for one more sprint.

27km long run tomorrow. I think I will do this as a progression/faster finish for the last 12.45km dependent on the wind. If it is too strong in my face, I'll just do a solid effort but I wouldn't mind running hard as I am a bit disapoointed that I am not running the Perth half marathon on Sunday so need to burn off the frustration.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Back to the real world

Tuesday - Back at work as demonstrated by the fact that I was out the door at 5.57am this morning for my mid week medium long run (and am updating my blog in my lunch break). I finally got around to working out how far it is -21.5km. This morning I did it in 1 hour 38 mins including one short pit stop. Pretty cold morning and actually wore a beanie and gloves. I was very glad that I did when running along the river and particularly alongside the freeway.

I have to say though that it is not quite as enjoyable running that time of the morning when you know that you have to iron a shirt, throw down some breakfast and have a shower in a short period of time then get out the door, rather than spend the morning "recovering". I guess I better get used to it.

Monday - Got out at 6.15am for 14.8km fartlek/interval session. Session was to be 8 x 1 min @ 5-10km pace but I couldn't see my watch as it was dark. Both my running watches are on the blink in that when the light comes on the numbers go off - handy. So in the end I ran 8 x approx 1 min and made sure that it was at least a minute. Some of them were probably closer to 2 minutes. Also picked up to a moderate pace for a couple of stretches towards the end of the run. 1 hour 4 mins for 14.8km.

My Boston marathon DVD turned up in the mail yesterday so Rox, Ben and I watched it last night. The clips of me are pretty short but it is good watching the whole race with my clips mixed in. I wasn't really aware of the video cameras during the race but what I noticed watching the clips last night was how strong I was running at 30km and the finish. Rox thinks that means that I didn't run hard enough early in the race but I think it is more the case that I got my pacing pretty well right. I think there is a bit of room to increase my marathon pace over this training cycle so that I can get to halfway/30km a bit quicker and then hopefully maintain that when the going gets tough.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"75% of your body's energy goes towards generating heat"

Well, so said the tip on my marathon countdown. Certainly didn't leave much energy for anything else this morning. It was more than a bit chilly and I'll be interested to see the weather tonight to find out how cold it actually was.

Ran down to meet Simon at Burswood. Crossed wires meant that I was down there at 7.15am but he didn't get there until 7.30am so time to have a bit of a stretch and try and keep warm. From there we did the loop out to Garrett Road Bridge via Ascot and then back through Maylands and East Perth. All up this is 26.89kms for me and it took around 1 hour 53mins. So average pace 4.12/km but I think (know) we were going a bit harder than that at times and I certainly pushed on after we went our separate ways. Even when we were pushing on I found this quite comfortable and I think running with someone is a big part of that. It is so much harder to maintain your pace when running alone whereas when running with someone else, you can still lose your concentration but not drop off the pace (as long as the other person is on top of things).

4.12/km is faster than my Boston marathon pace and is a good indicator that if I get my training right and stay injury free I should have a good race at Rottnest.

This run followed a really easy recovery run for me yesterday. Ran the first 15 minutes with Rox at her pace before continuing on to the Narrows and then return. Average heart rate 123 which is getting towards being a bit too easy, even for a recovery run.

IAAF Golden League meet in Berlin is on tomorrow night. Not sure when it will be on tv though so will have to keep an eye out.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Great run this morning (even with a late drenching)

Ran with Simon this morning following the same plan as last week. Maybe slightly shorter this week by 100-200m as we met and turned a little earlier for me. I found this week's run easier than last week's even though it turned out to be 2 minutes quicker 63 mins vs 65 mins for approx 16km.

The rain held off (pretty much) for our loop around the bridges but it started to get heavier after we went our separate ways. Not as bad as the drenching I got last week but still pretty soaked by the time I got home.

Saw Charismatic Kim out there going the other way as we were going through the underpass near the big flagpole but didn't see her face until she had pretty much passed us due to the brightness of her head torch! So too late to call out but I'll know who it is next time I see a supernova coming towards me :-)

My 2nd edition of Advanced Marathoning (a gift from the co-author Scott Douglas) arrived in the mail yesterday. Some new stuff in here and slightly tweaked training schedules. There is a whole new chapter with schedules for 70-85 miles a month. I previously used the up to 70 miles a month schedule but will use a lot of the 70-85 miles a month schedule this time although I will retain my 1 rest day a week and my 8.4km recovery runs rather than the 10km recovery runs and am unlikely to do the doubles on a regular basis if at all.

Recovery run tomorrow before a scheduled 27km long run on Saturday. Looking forward to the forecast 4 degrees on Saturday ...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Getting the miles in

Monday: Fartlek (12.8km w/ 8 x 30 sec @ 1500m-3k pace + 1 x 2min + 1 x 3 min @ 10km pace) 56 mins all up. Pretty cold but otherwise perfect for running. By effort I thought this should have been a couple of minutes quicker. Nice watching the sun rise.

Also have started the core and general strengthening exercises as demonstrated on the video on my blog. I am finding the core exercises are quite easy and am a bit surprised that I already have a reasonably strong core as it an area I have neglected while focusing on running.

Tuesday: Did the 20-21km loop around Windan etc and up Freeway back through the hills in South Perth and Kensington. Took this very easy for the most part but was still a little surprised that it took me 1 hour 39 mins. Similar to yesterday in some respects so I will need to keep an eye on this.

Thought I might have seen Simon down near the Causeway - it was a pretty dark and wasn't 100% sure it was him so just gave a wave.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Update including long run

Thursday - ran with Simon. We met down near Causeway then ran clockwise around the Bridges. For me, this meant I doubled up on the section from Hurlingham Rd to the Causeway and back. We ran over the old Narrows rather than the new due to some work being done on the path but I still estimate this run was around 16km for me. 1 hour 5 mins which is pretty quick for an easy aerobic run, more like a steady state run. I started off slower when heading down to the Causeway so reckon we must have been hitting close to 4 min/km pace for the Bridges loop. I continued on to run hard including up the hill on Banksia Tce. Certainly knew that I had been for a run afterwards but felt strong to the finish.

Friday - easy recovery run. Back on the grass, nice easy heart rate under 130 pretty much all the way and averaged 128 for the 8.4kms

Saturday - ran the same run as the last couple of weeks but added 16 mins (8mins then turn around) into Maylands after I had crossed the Windan Bridge. Felt a bit heavy today, maybe some after effects from Thursday's run so didn't run as hard for the last 15 mins as I have previously but still worked the hills on the way home through South Perth and Kensington. 1 hour 52 mins for what I estimate is about 24kms so a good solid run. Have spent the afternoon reading the July/August issue of Running Times which is excellent. Had a good laugh at a line on page 26:

"The first miles of the Boston marathon often look like Monty Python's 'Marathon for the Incontinent' as dozens of runners dash into the woods for relief. Humourous, but a sign of properly prepared athletes".

There is also great article called "Into Thin Air: Marathon Training Tweaks to Reach New Heights"

Rest day tomorrow. I am going to redo my marathon training schedule for Rottnest. There is not enough regularity in it and with going back to work, I think I am going to need a bit more structure ie Speedwork on Mondays, Tempo Thursdays, Long Run Saturdays pretty much every week although I may shift the long run to Sundays for the last few weeks once the junior soccer season concludes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pea souper

Wednesday: Went out for a recovery run this morning and ran first 12 minutes with Rox before she turned to head home. She is still nursing her achilles/calf/ mystery problem but managed to get through 24-25 minutes of running this morning without it playing up.

It was very foggy when we left home, a real pea souper and when we got down to the river, you couldn't see any building across in the CBD, just a couple of lights. After Rox turned, I continued on up to the Narrows but didn't run on the grass today as it was soaking wet and I didn't fancy getting wet feet (again).

Saw Sandgroper up near Mends Street, he was looking very relaxed so its good to see that he has got on top of his illness and if on the way back.

All up for me 46 minutes running at 129 average HR. Finished up with 4 x 8 sec steep hill sprints.

Tuesday: 18.4km in 1 hour 24 minutes. Just an easy aerobic run. Got absolutely drenched about 5-10 minutes from home in a huge downpour. Otherwise it was beautiful morning for running.

Other news: A major adjustment in my lifestyle is looming as I am finally going back to work. Earlier nights and earlier mornings I think and I 'm not sure my new employer will be as understanding of my mid afternoon naps as my current supervisor (Rox). On the upside, we can now afford to get a new computer and can retire this steam driven monster. We will get the hard drives put into the new PC so as a result might be offline for a couple of days (hopefully not any longer).

Other other news: Boston photos arrived in yesterday's mail so will work on get them up and accessible in the near future.

Monday, June 1, 2009

2nd at Lake Gwelup Fun Run

Due to my inability to enter many WAMC races over winter because of junior football coaching commitments, I decided to take part in today's Lake Gwelup Fun Run, an annual event run by the Lake Gwelup Primary School P & C which I saw mentioned in the paper. It gets pretty good size field (650 last year) and includes a 6.4km and a 3.2km race. I would normally do some speedwork on a Monday so it fitted in well to do this race instead, as well as satisfy some of my more competitive urges.

It's very early days in my training post Boston, so I didn't have huge expectations of running super quick but hoped to be able to get up out of the tempo pace groove that I got myself into when I ran Matilda Bay earlier in the year when I was similarly unprepared.

It was a great community event, very well supported by the local community and local businesses. Bob and Tiffany from the Biggest Loser tv show were the special guests and there were heaps of stalls, bouncy castles, lucky dips etc to keep kids occupied and parents parting with cash. No wonder they made over $11,000 last year, I bet they beat that this year.

The start was lightly delayed which was bit annoying as I had already warmed up before the delay was announced. Saw Epi at the start and had a bit of a chat. Unfortunately he has suffered another injury (as described on his blog) so wasn't sure how he was going to go.

It was a very congested start with lots of kids at the front of the field and a few teenage boys who went out like bats out of hell only to die after about 300m. The 3.2km and the 6.4km were run together, with the 6.4km consisting of 2 laps of Lake Gwelup. It was a bit confusing/disconcerting not knowing which of the runners ahead of me were 3.2km runners and which were going to continue on for the 2nd lap.

I went out reasonably hard and gradually made my way through the young blokes and settled into about 6th about half way around the first lap. Towards the end of the first lap, I passed a runner in front of me and then was passed by Epi just before the end of the first lap. He pulled off to the side rather than go up the chute to finish the 3.2km which was shame as he would of come 3rd in the 3.2km race (I think).

(Epi dropping out as I continue onto lap 2 - photo taken by Sammie, age 3 ... not bad hey!!)

Rox and the kids had come out to watch and as I ran past them, Rox told me that I was 2nd which was a nice surprise as I couldn't see any runners around the bends at that point so didn't know who had finished and who had continued.

I always find 2 lap races a bit difficult psychologically (don't think I am alone there) and this was no different, especially as I was running on my own. I managed to catch a glimpse of the runner behind me (about 50-60 metres back) about 800m into the 2nd lap but didn't see the runner in first place until we got half way around the lap.

By now we had caught up with all the walkers who were doing the 3.2km walk which necessitated running on the side of the path and around all the walkers, prams and kids. It was pretty hard slog for the last 2kms but I think the guy in 3rd was similarly struggling as when I snuck another glimpse behind me I couldn't see him (although it was hard with all the walkers etc).

Maintained my 2nd placing and crossed the line in about 23.28 (by my watch - no clear finish line, just a chute) and was around a minute behind the winner. He ran really strongly and according to Rox would have won the 3.2km if he had finished then, so he had set a good pace out in front which he pretty much maintained.

There was an extremely long delay until the presentations and the weather warmed up considerably as the clouds cleared.

All in all though, a pretty good hit out. Very pleased with the average 3.40min/km pace given no real race specific preparation and of course it is nice to get a place in any race.

I'll do my regular mid week medium long run tomorrow and don't expect there to be any residual effects from this run after a good night's sleep tonight.