"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, July 29, 2009

Alberto gives accountants a bad name*

Compare and contrast the following:

Armstrong - "Contador is that good, so I don't see how I would have been higher than that," said the American who returned to the Tour this year after a three-year retirement. "I think his performance this year would have beaten my performances in '01, and '04 and '05."
He added that Spaniard was better than Jan Ullrich, one of his biggest rivals during the years that he won his seven Tours. "Absolutely," he said. "Far better."

Contador - "My relationship with Lance is non-existent," Contador told a press conference in Madrid. "Even if he is a great champion, I have never had admiration for him and I never will."

What a jerk. I don't care who wins the Tour de France next year as long as it isn't that tosser.

The Third Test starts tomorrow and I have been giving a lot of thought to who they should pick. I don't think that no change is an option. That was the policy in 2005 and look where that got us. So here is my team for the Third Test:


This is obviously without seeing the track and if there is going to be nothing in it for spinners at all, I would be tempted to keep North in, bring in McDonald and leave out Watson and Hauritz. Not much to pick between Watson and McDonald but I think Watson is the better batsman. McDonald will be handy if the pitch is a real pudding.

I think Johnson deserves one last chance plus he adds a lot with the bat. I don't think we can go in without back up for him though in case it all goes wrong again, hence the inclusion of Watson. Siddle would be unlucky but he is going for too many runs so he is a bit of a casualty of Johnson's lack of form. Stuart Clark is too good and too suited to English conditions to leave out any longer.

My prediction though is that we will (unfortunately) go in with an unchanged XI.

Monday - 21.7km in 1 hour 39 minutes. I had 27km in my schedule in an attempt to try to make up for my lack of a long run on the weekend but just didn't feel up to it either effort or time wise. I was up at 5.45am to get this run in (after watching the end of the Tour on Sunday night) and couldn't bring myself to get up the 30 mins earlier to get in the longer run. Felt a bit heavy in the legs early on probably as a result of Sunday's hard effort but felt better the longer I ran.

Tuesday - Rest day. I had run for the previous 8 days so figured it was time for a rest. Plus it was Ben's birthday so we had a nice morning with the kids in and on our bed while Ben opened his cards and presents.

Wednesday - (today). 12.8km in 58 minutes. Broke out a new pair of 2130s for this run. I had been wearing my previous pair since a few weeks before Boston and as I am now getting my volume up over 100km a week, I didn't want to wait until I started getting a sore back (which seems to be my best indicator my shoes are on the way out) before I made the change. Interestingly, these ones felt a bit tight and as usual on the first wear, I felt/developed a numb spot on the mid foot on my left foot. I think I will interchange between these ones and my old shoes until they feel just right so I may not wear them for this Saturday's long run.

I have a pretty hard workout scheduled for tomorrow morning as follows:
Lactate threshold run (5km easy, 15mins @marathon pace + 1 min easy, 15mins @ half marathon pace + 1 min easy, 15 mins @ half marathon/10km pace, 5km easy -approx 21-22km.

Next week I have my first track interval session which is an interesting one based on a killer workout that they do at the University of Michigan as follows:
Intervals "Michigan" (3km warmup, 1 mile @ 5km or faster; 1.5 miles tempo @ between 10km and marathon pace; 1200m @ 5km or faster; 1.5 miles tempo; 800m @ 5km or faster; 1.5 miles tempo; 400m all out blast, warm down - total approx 14.5km).

Weather permitting, I'm going to do this at the new athletics track near Challenge Stadium. I will be riding the scooter though so if the weather is going to be bad I may need to make alternative plans either by doing them somewhere else and using the car and coming home before work or maybe doing them earlier in the week depending on the long range forecast. I haven't run on the track for ages and am looking forward to checking out the facilities at the new stadium.

*"Contador" is Spanish for "accountant".

Sunday, July 26, 2009

PB at the Run For Gold

Managed to take 12 seconds off of my 10km PB at the Run For Gold this morning. It was pretty cold but did a good warm up even though I found it hard to get a sweat up. It was very chilly riding the scooter there which may have been why it didn't feel too cold when we were waiting to start. Weather conditions were perfect though with no wind and a dry course (it's often a bit of a raffle with flooding this time of year down near Trinity College)

Very strong field in the 10km race this year with Raf Baugh and Paul Mackay running. Raf Baugh won in 31.05 by nearly 2 minutes.

Saw Sandgroper arriving for the 5km just as we were heading out for the start so didn't get to have chat other than good luck and didn't see him afterwards.

I went out at a comfortably hard pace without feeling like I was "red lining". For once there was a few people running at my pace so I actually felt like I was racing rather than time trialling. I was in a "group" of about 4 who interchanged spots for most of the race including the girl who was the first female to finish. She passed me between 7 and 8 kms but I passed her back on a sharp right hand turn about 100m later when she went too wide. This was just after the photos Rox took below. It was great that Rox and the kids came down to cheer at exactly the right point where I needed a boost.

I found it a pretty hard slog from 4km onwards but managed to pick it for the last 3kms which was pleasing (not at the time - only now when I have gone back and looked at my splits. I'm not sure what happens between 5 and 7kms but they were where I missed out on my chance to go under 37 mins.

The first female ran right behind me from about 7.5kms to the finish and I had to work really hard to hold her off. We passed one guy at about 9km with another about 10-15m in front of us. We were getting close to him as we neared the final turn but I had gapped her enough that she wasn't going to get me and then with about 30m to go I heard the guy who had been behind her (and who is in the background of the first photo) thundering up behind. I dropped the hammer and not only managed to hold him off but I passed the guy in front who I wouldn't have had a crack at if not for the pressure from behind so thanks young man in blue.

The girl thanked me for pushing her through, although I had to say that I thought it was her pushing me. She said that it was a PB by over a minute for her so I'm glad to have been of assistance.

My time was 37.13 and I was 13th overall and 3rd in my age group. As I predicted after his great run at the Gold Coast, I struggled to keep Simon in sight as he finished in 35.44 and 10th overall and 2nd in our age group. As I said at the start, it was a strong field this year. My time would have got me 6th overall last year.

With a 2km warm up and a 2km warm down, total for today was 14km.

Just as satisfying (well pleasing really) was that the soccer team that I coach and which Ben was captain of today, won our first game of the season 2-0. We have now been unbeaten for 3 games and the kids are really improving. Lots more running off the ball and supporting their team mates as well as better organised at corners and throw ins. It was a real thrill to see the looks on their faces today and while it isn't all about winning, it isn't much fun losing every week either and it was a deserved reward for their perseverance.

What else did I do this week?

Thursday - 16.5km (approx) with Simon in 69-70mins. Pretty wet out there with lots of flooding on the paths and surrounds.

Friday - 12kms general aerobic run

Saturday - 8.4km recovery run. Ran this a bit quicker, not sure why. 44mins and as a result average HR was bit higher at 140.

Last night of the Tour de France tonight and all I can say is that I can't wait for next year with Lance Armstrong coming back with a new team. Hopefully his Radio Shack Team will also take part in the Tour Down Under in South Australia next year as well.

(Apparently, some people thought that my last post about the Tour was bit negative. "Grumpy Old Man" and "You should call it Biscuitman Whinges" were two pieces of constructive criticism. I'll try to keep it a bit lighter from now on.)

Splits (I didn't miss any, they just weren't there):

1-4 - 14.21 (3.35/km average)

5 - 3.48 (18.10 for first 5km)

6-7 - 7.52 (3.56/km average - this is where I lost too much ground)

8 - 3.45

9 - 3.45

10 - 3.39 (37.13 - new PB!!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ramblings about Le Tour

How good was the Tour de France last night? The big mountain stages are sorting out the strong riders from the sprinters (who are a bit like sit and kick track runners and let's face it, no one really likes them ... ). Thankfully, Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen can now stop feeling like every third sentence has to include the words "Mark Cavendish".

Watching Armstrong get back onto the group with Contador and the Schleck brothers up the mountain was awesome. Rox had just gone to bed but I called out to her when Lance took off. I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat (actually a very comfy couch). I hope people don't think less of me when I say that although Contador looks like he is the best rider in the race, I sort of hope he comes a cropper in the individual time trial so that Lance has a chance to win.

Not a good day for Cadel Evans again. I know this is probably sacrilegious for an Aussie, but I can't really get excited about Cadel Evans, it's like he has had a charisma bypass (plus I can't help thinking how much he looks like Virgil Tracy from the Thunderbirds every time I see him).

I have to say though that the commentators are giving me the sh!ts a bit especially Paul Sherwen. I know maths isn't my strong point but listening to him stumble about with simple addition and subtraction as he tries to work out relative placings on the road is painful.

Worse than that though is that he has taken this whole affectation about calling each of the teams "Team this" and "Team that" to a completely new level. Never mind the stupidity of it in the first place which doesn't occur in any other major sport (although I am really looking forward to seeing "Team Reading" get promoted back to the English Premier League alongside "Team Manchester United" and "Team Chelsea". The football should be good this week with my team "Team Western Bulldogs" playing "Team St Kilda") .

Sherwen can't help himself though. "Team Cervelo Test Team?" - Paul, they've gone to the trouble of putting "Team" in their name, you don't have to insert another one - "Cervelo Test Team" will suffice, you plonker.

Although it seems easy, I think the job they are doing might actually be quite complicated as they are commentating for a number of different networks across the world. In a few of the earlier stages, I was sure I could hear Phil commentating in the background while Paul was talking and I am assuming that he was providing comments for another network at that time - I guess so they can tailor their comments for their audience. As a result, it can seem a bit disjointed at times as if they are not really listening to one another or can't remember if they have already said something before. On the other hand perhaps they are married ...

Michael Tomalaris isn't any better especially since he has started talking to that wally Rupert Guinness after every stage. Never mind that Guinness seems to know as much as the average armchair critic, (apparently he is a journalist from the Fairfax Media Group - well whoop de doo),what is going on with those shirts? Tomalaris seems vaguely disinterested and I know he is looking down at a monitor when Rupert is talking so that he can see if we need to cut back to the other cyclists finishing or an interview with the winner, but he looks like he is averting his eyes from the shirt or avoiding Rupert's bad breath. Why can't they put the monitor up higher on the other side? On the other hand, those shirts of Rupert's look like they are made of polyester so they are probably a bit stinky at the end of a warm summer's day.

Why does he wear them? Is it to rub it in to the rest of us that he is on holiday in France in summer while we are back in Australia in winter? Or is it his "thing" in the same way as some eccentric academics wear bow ties? I guess some people find something they like and stick to it. My Dad has an unusual liking for the skivvy and waist coat combination and my friend Bolty always wears Adidas Sambas (he had a pair when we were in Germany that squeaked whenever he walked - I think he relieved his problem with vaseline in the end but that's probably a story for another time). Rupert could hardly look more ridiculous unless he was wearing a beret. Actually that could be quite funny in an ironic sort of way, especially if he had "Rupert" embroidered on the front of it a la the Griswalds in European Vacation. ("A la" this French stuff is really catchy isn't it?).

I wonder where Mike Tomalaris gets his SBS body shirts from? More importantly, are they available to buy, especially the nice brown one?

Isn't this supposed to be a running blog? I guess I'll try to remember what I did this week.

Monday - felt quite fresh after Saturday's 32km run so headed out for my 16.2km general aerobic run as scheduled. Very windy so not great time wise 72 minutes from memory but felt very comfortable even when running into the wind apart from the big blustery gusts from time to time.

Tuesday - 21.5km medium long run scheduled. I knew it would be flooded down Burswood way so did my run out to UWA instead. It was raining quite heavily when I was getting ready and I was a bit sick of getting cold and wet so I took a rain jacket with me tied around my waist. Murphy's Law came into effect of course and it didn't rain the entire time I was out for my run. Even more annoying was that the underpass at the Causeway was flooded so I was unable to do the necessary detour out to the Marathon Club and back so as a result my run was only 19.7km. I could have added on a bit at the end but I find that when my planned runs get disrupted I often can't be bothered making alternative plans on the run. Had to stop for a pitstop on this run so not sure of exact running time - approx 91 mins I think.

Wednesday (today) - 8.4km recovery run plus 10 x hill sprints. I didn't do my hill sprints last week as I was concerned about the soreness in my achilles. No soreness this week so back into it and felt great. The gradual increase in reps has resulted in me running much stronger through the short workout such that I think I am going to have to find a longer hill and get the sprint time out to 14-15secs per rep. HR was a little higher today 137 but I think my HR monitor was playing up early in the run and I don't know how that impacts on the overall average.

The forecast for this Sunday's 10km Run for Gold is excellent. A little bit of wind but nothing like we have had recently and no rain on the day or for the few days before. As a result the course should be dry. I have got a couple of different ideas about how I might run this race and can't decide which one to choose. I think it might come down to how I feel when I warm up on the day as to what tactics (which makes the assumption that I actually follow any plan that I decide upon) I will try. I will have to leave straight after I finish to get to Ben's soccer in time to take the warm up.

PS - I am a little bored and lacking focus at the moment.
PPS - If you disagree with me about my take on the cycling, please leave me a comment - I could do with a good argument.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

6666 - The Number of the Beast ... err Biscuit?

Got my bib number for the Asics Run for Gold 10km race in the mail yesterday - number 6666 which looks pretty cool. I think it will give me a good indicator of where I am at although I'm not super confident of a PR as I will not really be tapering for this run and I don't think it is a really fast course, especially if it is as windy as it has been lately.

Friday - Recovery run, went out for my usual recovery run but met up with Rox on the way back so went around again with her. As a result I'm not sure of the distance (probably around 11km) in 63 minutes with average HR 128.

Saturday - did my first 20 miler - 32.2km in 2 hours 24 minutes. Had a look back in my blog at when I did this run early in my program pre Boston (February) and it took me 2 hours 48 minutes. Admittedly, that was inclusive of a few breaks and it was vastly different weather conditions but it indicates that I am building off of a much stronger base this time around. Didn't feel great at the start as I had a bit of crap on my chest and was running into the wind but found that I got into a real groove from around 15km onwards. I took 2 gels, one after an hour and the other 45 minutes later. It was pretty windy and blustery but fortunately I had the wind behind me for the last few kms and felt like I was bombing along. I'm a bit stiff now but not sore so will make sure I get plenty of liquid in and try and do some stretching.

4.28/km is an average pace I'm very pleased with. My aim is to continue to improve my endurance before gradually increasing my focus on specific race pace workouts as i get closer to and enter the sharpening phase of my program.

The cricket isn't going too well, not helped by that moron Rudi Koertzen. How he has been given the chance to umpire in 100(!!) Test matches is beyond me. I've never seen him have a good game and is one of the poorest umpires going around. No excuses for most of the dismissals though and it seems like the Poms have got the upper hand in the mind games as well. Come on the rain!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A big girl's blouse (or riding the wind)

Apologies to Anton Krupicka for the subtitle to this post.

I was supposed to do 21.5km this morning and planned to run the Windan/Round the Bridges Loop continuing down the Freeway to Como and then back through Kensington. Ran down and met Simon at Burswood. As we got onto the City side of the river, the wind picked up and it was really hard going from then on and over the Narrows. So we piked out and ran along the South Perth side of the river with the wind behind us instead of into the wind down the Freeway. I think Simon was still going to add some on the end of his run but I just ran home for 18.7km in 1 hour 20 minutes which is roughly 4.16/km average pace.

I took Ben and two of his friends to the Perth Glory vs Fulham game last night. North Qld Fury vs Wolves was the curtain raiser. I was keen to see Marcus Hahnemann and Kevin Doyle, two ex Reading players in action but neither of them played. Robbie Fowler came on in the second half for North Qld. I don't think he provided many answers for Nth Qld other than to the timeless question of who had eaten all the pies (see photo).

Unfortunately we left the Glory game about 15 minutes into the second half when a big squall hit. The Glory 2-0 down, horizontal rain and strong winds plus 3 ten year olds was enough for me to call it quits (Big Girl's Blouse example 2) and I think the boys were happy to go then as well. Final score was 5-0. It was pity the weather came in and spoilt the evening. There was a good crowd in and other than the limited food choices (nothing out of the ordinary there)it was pretty well put together as an event. I don't think the tickets were overpriced given that we were watching Premier League teams but it was a lot of money to sit out in the open at night in the middle of winter. We definitely need a better (rectangular) stadium in Perth.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Two solid days

Last two days have been good solid workouts and apart from a little bit of soreness in my right achilles (took a long time to warm up this morning for obvious reasons), I'm feeling pretty good afterwards. I think it helped getting a proper night's sleep last night and not staying up watching cycling and cricket. I know that I am not getting enough rest so will have to try and show a bit more willpower/restraint.

Monday - Following a 5km warmup, I did my hill repeats up and down Banksia Terrace. This time I did 10 @ 3km pace/effort and was really feeling the lactic acid in my legs towards the top of the hill from about the 7th repeat onwards. Last time I did this workout I only did 8 repeats so it was bit harder this time. I finished with a 3km or so warmdown jog so think that all up this workout was around 15km with lots of good quality in there.

Tuesday (today) - up bright (!!) and early to get out the door for a 23-24km medium long run. My run out to Matilda Bay and then back around the river via a detour out to the Marathon Club measures as 23.4km on Map My Run so I did that one. It was bit chilly at 6am to say the least and was certainly beanie and gloves weather. Long sleeve top but no tights. Not a cloud in the sky and no wind made for a morning when it was just nice to cruise along looking at stars. There was quite a few cyclists out, especially on Mounts Bay Road but they were all very polite unlike the bad case of "bike rage" that I witnessed/heard yesterday. As I was running up near the Causeway (but at least 400m away from it) I heard a cyclist giving a runner/runners an absolute earful of abuse because apparently they hadn't moved over far enough when he had yelled at them earlier. Lots of swearing and unfortunately quite typical of the arrogance of a lot of the cyclists who seem to think it is beneath them to share the "dual use" paths around the river. I know what I would have said to him ...

Anyway 23.4km in 1 hour 44 minutes is right where I want to be in terms of my McMillan calculated pacing. I was actually out there for 1hr 45 mins but stopped for 1 minute for a drink and a gel after 61 mins. Not "pit stops" today - hooray!!

Simon has sent me a good link to a story about Hendrick Ramaala. The main thing I took from it was the quote, " Don’t overtrain or overdo things, as that leads to burnout and injuries. Build up your training slowly, because as a recreational runner you don’t have enough time to do what full-time runners do — for example, heavy loads of training, taking naps after training or training camps".


I also found this link the other day. You can't read the whole book online but you can still read heaps of it, especially most of the chapters on Rob De Castella and Steve Jones. I think I will try to track down a copy of this book at a library or get our library to borrow it from another for me.


The De Castella chapter really stresses the need to be patient and trust your training and that real improvement comes over a period of years not weeks and months. Consistency and doing everything you can to minimise the risk of injury appear to be the key. I was also interested to see that he did a 3 mile tempo run before his hill workouts. I found my hill workout hard enough with just a gentle warm up but it is worth considering a bit later in my training cycle I think.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Very successful long run (despite my bad maths)

I have decided to get quite specific with the pacing of my workouts so that I can try to get myself in shape to run the pace I want to at Rottnest. Using the McMillan Running Calculator (which is an awesome tool) my long run pace is between 4.22 and 4.58 per km. I decided I should try to run at the quicker end of the spectrum and somehow worked out that I need to do my 26.9km long run in 1 hour 52 mins to be at 4.22/km.

Don't know how I got to that figure because when I got home and calculated it (being slightly disappointed that it had taken me 1 hour 54 minutes), I found that I had actually run at 4.14/km average pace with the last 12.45/km at around 4.00/km pace.

Admittedly I had a nice gentle breeze at my back on the way home but I am really pleased with that run especially after a reasonably hard workout on Thursday.

Here are links to the McMillan Running Calculator and the US Cool Running Pace Calculator. I find both of these really useful.



My Boston results book and finisher's certificate turned up in the mail yesterday which was nice. It was good to be able to have a look at the Masters results and also the Masters team results in particular.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Caught out ...

While out for my run this morning I was thinking about how lucky I had been lately (still haven't got the family cold, didn't get wet running Wednesday, it bucketed down 5 minutes after I finished yesterday and although it was raining heavily during the night it wasn't raining when I headed out for my run this morning). Just as I got to the Narrows, the wind picked up and the rain started. That sort of rain that comes horizontally and stings your face when it hits it. It then proceeded to get heavier and although it only lasted 5-10 minutes I was pretty soaked. Serves me right for getting overconfident, the wind should have been a sign that things could change quickly.

In my earlier posts this week I neglected to congratulate Simon on his awesome run at the Gold Coast Half Marathon. 77 minutes - a new PB and on track for a great first marathon in Melbourne. I'm having trouble thinking that I could ever break 80 minutes for a half let alone run 77. Huge effort and a deserved reward for all the hard (intensive) training he has been doing. I think I will be lucky if I can keep him in sight at the Run For Gold 10km later this month.

I have finally added my Boston photos in a slide show in the sidebar. I just linked it to a folder containing all the running related photos from Boston. Rox thinks I need to cull it a bit as there are quite few similar ones. Plus she thinks I look the same in every photo "You look like a wax dummy that they have just moved around the course" - nice :-)

I don't know if I mentioned this article before (I think I mentioned it but didn't have a link to it), but wanted to highlight this great article from last month's Running Times. I'm not following all the advice here as I am pretty set on the structure of my training program but I have tweaked a couple of things and it is also nice to see some reinforcement/validation of some of the stuff I was already doing. Anyway, here's a link to the Marathon Jumpstart article: http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=16914&PageNum=1

Thursday - Felt ok when I woke up so decided to do the Tempo Interval workout as mentioned in my last post. The ladder was 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 minutes with 2 minutes jog recovery between so all up 40 minutes of quality. Unfortunately, my ipod died on me just before the last interval so I may have had a longer than 2 mins recovery but ran the last 12 minutes off of my watch. All up (including warmup and warm down) 18.2km in 1 hour 16 minutes. I was pretty happy with the tempo parts of the run although I may have eased off the intensity a little in the middle of the longer intervals. I think that was my problem on Sunday as well in that after 2km it was basically a time trial as I was running completely on my own. It seems that I am able to maintain intensity (at relatively the same perceived effort) if I have company/competition. This is something I am really going to have to work on as there is probably a good chance that I will be running on my own for at least part if not most of the Rottnest Marathon.

Friday - 8.4km recovery run - 47 minutes average HR 128. Nice and easy but had to run on the path more than I would normally due to flooding.

Tomorrow, will be the last of my 26.89km long runs as I will be getting out to at least 32km from next week (apart from recovery weeks when it will come back below 30kms). I am going to try to run my McMillan calculated long run pace for this one. Having run on Sunday instead of resting, this week I will have run 106km so although I feel like I should be getting my long run over 30km, I think it can wait until next week.

It will be a great night for watching sport on TV tonight. I'll be flicking between the Ashes, the Tour de France and the Western Bulldogs game. What a joke that Billy Doctrove is - he's as bad as that other incompetent who just retired Bucknor. Hilfenhaus had has had 2 lbws that were missing leg and off (ie hitting middle) and even though the Poms reckon Swann had Katich (Doctrove again), I don't think it was as plumb as the Hilfenhaus ones. Still think that England are the most likely team to win this test if it isn't a draw as it won't be easy batting last on that pitch despite how flat it looks at the moment.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Photos from the weekend and this week so far ...

Me - About to hand over to Sandgroper

Thumbs Up from a flying Sugar

Niddy brings it home for the Biscuitboys!!

About 100 metres to go for Kim in her marathon
Monday - 8.4km recovery run in the rain. I didn't do my usual run on the grass today as it was too wet. As a result, I ran this recovery run a bit quicker in 46 minutes. My legs felt a bit beaten up this morning, stiff below the calves. Nothing serious though and probably the result of standing around for quite few hours after my run.
Tuesday - Medium long run 21.5km in 1 hour 36 minutes. Felt very comfortable on this run but I think I need to increase my pace slightly on these longer runs, at least for a significant proportion of the run. I have been looking at the McMillan calculator and if I really want to improve my marathon time, I think I need to get my long run pace closer to 4.22/km whereas this run was 4.27/km. Not a huge difference but I really want to start pacing my workouts at what is optimal to prepare for the pace I want to run at Rottnest.
Wednesday - Another 8.4km recovery run. 50mins. I am just about managing to hold off the cold/virus that has struck everyone else in the House of Snot. Not sure if I am more resiliant (unlikely) or if it is because I am at work for the day and away from the sickies.
My program has me down to do a specific endurance interval workout tomorrow. 4 x 6mins with 3 mins jog recovery between + 2 mile warm up and 2 mile warm down. Not sure if I will be up for this and in any case I find it too hard to do these workouts with my watch in the dark. If I am feeling ok in the morning I may do an audio threshold interval workout using my ipod. I have one with Lance Armstrong and Chris Carmichael that is (from memory) a ladder of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 minute intervals with 2 mins recovery. It is a pretty hard workout but really beneficial.
There is only one bit of it that really p!sses me off - when Carmichael asks Armstrong how he keeps going during a workout when the going gets tough. Lance's response is that he always thinks how much better it is doing this rather than sitting behind a desk for a day. That's great for him but not so great for those of us who have to guts out the workout and still have to go and sit behind a desk for the day.
(Also not great having to get up at 5.45am after staying up until around midnight watching the Tour de France but only myself to blame for that).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Perth Relay Marathon

Fantastic day for a run, although it warmed up quite a bit later in the morning, possibly a bit too warm for the marathoners.

Saw Epi as I arrived at about 7.15am and wished him luck.

I probably didn't do enough of a warm up - just a 2km jog and didn't do my normal race pace strides. I planned to do 5 or so minutes more after a bathroom visit and changing into my race shoes but ran out of time and didn't want to be too rushed getting to the line.

Started at the front of the pack. Michael Dymnicki went out at a pretty quick pace and I settled into 2nd with another bloke running just off my shoulder. (BTW the 1km was way too early, about 150-180m ahead of where it was last year as indicated by my splits below. Think the 2km was in the right spot though). We continued on like this until just after the 2km marker when he surged on me. I had just been thinking how with a bit of luck I was going to have someone to run with/race. Any ideas I had of sticking with him soon went out the window though as he continued on and had a couple of hundred metres on me by the time we got to the Causeway. It was pretty much running by myself from then on apart from picking off the backmarkers of the marathon from about 8km onwards.

Tried to maintain my intensity as much as possible and felt pretty strong over the last 2-3km. Ran 55.17 for the 14.3km by my watch (3.51/km) which was around what I was hoping to run although ideally I would have got under 55mins. We were pretty solidly in third position as although we were well behind the 2 leaders (the guy who had been running with me actually caught Michael Dymnicki and pipped him at the changeover) we had a substantial lead on 4th and the rest of the field.

Handed over to Sandgroper who was running his leg as part of a long run.

Got changed and headed off with Rox and the kids down near the Raffles to see Sugar come past and hopefully give a cheer to others running the marathon. Saw Epi who wasn't looking great but hoped he was just going through a bad patch (that concrete path through Applecross is pretty hard on the legs) and I think Clown (wasn't sure it was him so just gave a general encouragement - sorry Clown if it was you ... )

Sugar came flying past and was looking relaxed and smooth going through the marathon field like a knife through butter. We jumped in the car and I did my best rally driving impersonation to get us to the changeover as Niddy and Sugar hadn't met before and wanted to make sure the exchange went OK. Got there with about 3 mins to spare. Sugar ran 35 and change for his leg which was a brilliant run. We waited for the 4th team to come past and although we hadn't checked our watches, we think we had 4-5mins on them.

Back in the car and to the finish. Didn't get there in time to see the first relay team or anyone running the marathon in under 3.10 go through but saw the second relay team.

Niddy came through not long after having not been challenged by the team in 4th. We finished 3rd in 2.53 and received medals and a $50 Asics voucher each.

We saw Kim come through and finish in around 4.25 which was well outside what she was hoping to run but some setbacks in the last few weeks and having a bad day added up to what must have been a bit of a struggle especially when her goal time got out of reach - so huge respect to her for sticking it out and finishing strongly.

Winner of my age group in the marathon did 2hrs 50 mins so there is definitely something to strive for in the distance. On the basis of my run today, I think I am still on track to run sub 45mins in the 12km @ City to Surf and hopefully (!!) go under 2.55 at the Rottnest marathon or in any case get myself in shape to run under 2.55 if I have a good day.

Commiserations to Epi and Clown who missed their sub 3hr marathons but congratulations to them both for their PBs. Hopefully their next marathon will be the one.

Rox got some photos today so will try to get them up in the next day or so.


1 - 3.09 ( not 1km!!!)
2 - 4.22 (more than 1km since last marker I think - total time 7.32 so think this marker was in the correct spot - average 3.46/km for first 2km so right on pace at this point)
3 - 3.33 (11.05)
4 - 3.51 (14.56)
5 - 3.53 (18.49)
6 - 3.58 (22.48)
7 & 8 - 7.51 (30.39 total - average 3.55/km for these 2km)
9 - 3.57 (34.37)
10 - 4.01 (38.39)
11 - 4.00 (42.40)
12 - 4.00 (46.40)
13 - 3.56 (50.56)
14 - 3.54 (54.30)
14.3 - 0.47 (55.17)

Not that happy with kms 10-12 and felt like I was running quicker but it was hard to gauge as was essentially running alone.

Friday, July 3, 2009

All systems go for Sunday

Two easy runs and moderate 12.8km for the second half of this week. Not sure what I am doing tomorrow yet, I'll see how I feel. It could be anything from nothing through to an easy 12.8km but most likely 5.4km with some short pick ups on the way back. I really want to be fresh for Sunday so that I can try to maintain an aggressive pace for the full run and not drift into a too comfortable tempo pace in the middle quarter. Rox thinks I should have a rest day so that I am "hungry" on Sunday. Trouble is, I'm always hungry (for food) and if I don't run, I feel like a slug.

My two recovery runs this week have been very easy with an average HR under 130. Lately I've found that I don't even have to really monitor it as I run, it has come almost second nature at that pace.

I really need to get up and move around more at work though. Even though I think my desk and PC are set up correctly, I am getting a bit of discomfort (a sort of itchy, heat) in my neck in the afternoon. I'm sure it is from staring at a computer screen all day.

I've found an interesting new blog which I will add to my list "Frayed Laces". It seems to be very popular and the girl who puts it together has posted some great info lately. The most recent post is on nutrition but she has also been to a special camp run by Brooks where they got to test some new shoes. Upcoming racing shoes from Brooks look so awesome (pictures below) that I could be tempted out of my Asics. Plus she lives in Hawaii and the scenery in her photos is always spectacular.

These shoes are called "Green Silence" - the upper mesh is made of partly recycled materials, the inks are all waterbased, the rubber outsoles are partly recycled, and the heel counter is 50% recycled CDs. In addition, the entire shoe is made with reduced solvent overlays and glues. Wearing these would be about as "green" as I'm ever going to get.

I'm taking Ben to the Supernova "geekfest" tomorrow. He is really into Japanese anime and one of his favourite voice artists will there. Don't plan on spending too long on my feet though.

Next post after the relay marathon on Sunday. I'm also looking forward to getting home that day to check out how Simon got on in the Gold Coast half marathon. I'm predicting 1.17 but think he is chance to go even quicker.