"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

Monday, August 31, 2009


Anthony Famiglietti is one of my favourite runners (even if he did run like a tool at the USA Track and Field Champs this year). This is a recent post from his blog which I am taking a lot from:

The life of a runner requires traveling to many races nationally and internationally throughout the year. We spend a lot of time flying around the country and it can get to be tiresome. I've learned to take the extra time when flying to reflect. I reflect on past races and examine races that I'm traveling to or the training I've done. Sometimes I look at my life and the bigger picture focusing on where I've been and where I'm really going.

I was admiring the landscape below as I flew home from a race recently and had a realization. It's interesting how my concept of things can change when I look at the world from a new perspective. If you've travelled on an airline and looked out the window you may have noticed the many rivers cutting through the rugged terrain below. You'll notice the river bending left and right sometimes with long sweeping curves as it travels the country side. It's an image I've seen many times when flying, but this particular trip it struck me in a unique way. I asked myself, "Does the lay of the land direct the flow of the river and determine it's direction or does the force of the river push through the landscape and ultimately determine its own direction?" After a moment I realized both are true. The lay of the land initially pushes the river in a particular direction twisting and turning it as it passes high and low points mountains and plains. But over time the force of the water will carve through the mountains and valleys and determine its own direction to a great degree.

The same is true for life. The landscape of your life is the environment you were born into and the immediate circumstances of your situation. You may be rich or poor, physically or intellectually talented or challenged in some way. You may have people supporting and encouraging you or you may be on your own. You may have doors opened for you and opportunities in front of you or you may have to create your own opportunities and open your own doors through hard work. Whatever the situation or landscape the important thing to know is that your drive, passion, will, discipline and focus can push you through any situation and help you carve your own way.

The people who are successful in life realize this early. The earlier you embrace this the more time you have to work towards your biggest goals and dreams. Time and patience are important factors in pushing to your goals. The Grand Canyon, one of the worlds greatest wonders, was carved by a river, but you should keep in mind it took millions of years to happen.

There is good news though. Whatever your goals in life and whatever landscape you may find yourself in, there is nothing you can't carve your way out of in just a few years. If you have dreams of finishing a marathon, setting a big PR, becoming the best runner on your team, or winning a championship race and the terrain looks daunting, just remember the river. Step back for a moment, take a deep breath and change your perspective. Look at the bigger picture, see things for what they truly are and realize you can push through anything.

This morning I had scheduled an 8.4km recovery run but decided to run a 12.8km general aerobic run instead. Ran easy/moderate for the most part but picked it up a bit for the last 3kms. All up 53mins (4.08/km pace).

21.5km medium long run tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it already.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Disappointing ...

I guess that's the best way to sum up how I felt about today's City to Surf 12km. A bit disappointed in my own performance and the organisation of the event (which I think to some extent affected my performance without wanting to make any excuses).

I ran 45.29 by my watch, having set myself a goal of running under 45 minutes. Although I knew I was lacking speed, I was confident I had the strength to hit a sensible pace and maintain it through, hopefully picking it up over the last 3km.

Rode the scooter in and got a great park on Hay Street. Cold riding in though and took me a while to re-warm up. I arrived at the assembly area around 7.45am and had enough time to go to the loo, listen to the most recent Morrissey album on my iPod and then watch the first few runners in the marathon come past before heading over to the bag drop off area.

The map of the starting precinct indicated that there would be a bag drop off for each category behind the marshalling pen for that category. Today, though the trucks were backed up within 20 metres of each other with the result that once the queue for each got longer than 10m they were all mixed together in a disorganised mess. The tags that were part of our numbers had to be sticky taped to the bags as they were not adhesive. Took me 20-25 minutes to drop my bag off and I got to the marshalling pen at 8.52am (8 minutes before the start). My warmup therefore consisted of me jogging up and down the pen a few times and then jogging to the start once we were "released" to go to the start.

Despite the intentions of the organisers to better separate the runners, the self selection system still resulted in a lot of people who IMO should not have been in the A category (including the bloke who was standing next to me at the start and started whooping and carrying on at the announcement there was 90 seconds to go until the start - ponytail and board shorts - enough said ...). Lots of kids - I think the kids under 16 at least should have to show some capacity to run sub 48 to get in that category.

Tried to make sure that I didn't start too quick with the plan being that I would check my pace at the first km marker and then work into it from there - run 3.40-3.45/km to 9km and try to crank it from there. Unfortunately, and this is my biggest gripe - there were no km markers anywhere on the course which made it impossible to pace yourself accurately.

Saw Simon at the top of King Park Road when he gave me a shout. Surprised to see him spectating rather than running. Hope there is no injury reason.

Just before the turn into Hay Street, I was passed by dual Olympian and 2006 Commonwealth Game silver medalist Sarah Jamieson but pretty soon I was running next to her and we had a quick chat. She asked what pace I thought we running at and I said hopefully 3.40-3.45 but really no idea. If someone of her quality and experience can't estimate pace without km markers, what hope do the rest of us have.

On the positive side though, lots and lots of enthusiastic volunteers on the drink stations (Hi Darcy - thanks for the cheer!!)

Sarah ran on ahead of me hoping to be first female home. We could see 2 in front of us and she passed them both but finished 2nd. Not surprised we couldn't see the winner - not only did she run around 41 I believe so way in front, but she was tiny.

I felt like I was maintaining a good pace without feeling comfortable enough to pick it up yet. Also getting a bit frustrated at the lack of km markers. If I was thinking clearly, I would have remembered that the 4km starts at Perry Lakes so I could have worked something out then. (Only just thought of that now ... ).

Got through Perry Lakes onto Oceanic Drive and thought 3kms to go, I can still do this. I ran strong for this last 3km or so and still thought I was on track when when we turned off Oceanic onto West Coast Highway as I assumed it would be about the same distance to the finish as it used to be when it finished on the oval. It wasn't.

About 400m to the finish during which time I was passed by two guys with about 200m to go. I let them go but then decided to show a bit of self respect and had a go to get back past them. Got past one but the other was gone. Unfortunately, the guy I passed went past me again with about 50m to go and that was that. 45.29 by my watch. Thanks for the shout out in that final stretch Sandgroper!!

Quite a long walk through to the bag pick up area where the truck had not yet turned up. Did some stretching and got talking to a couple of guys, one of whom was David Mulvee who won the 12km. He is English but living in Sydney. Ran 37 something (he didn't have a watch on)and starts his marathon specific training tomorrow for Fukuoka in December. He's trying to run sub 2.18 to qualify for European Championships. David thought the course was a bit long and Sugar tells me that he has "Map My Run" plotted it at 12.09km so an extra 90m (probably 17-20secs worth). I'd like to think that a proper length course and some km markers would have got me under 45mins but at the moment, I'm just p!ssed off with myself for a missed opportunity.

I felt like I was in so much better shape than 45.29

Bag pick up was a debacle as well. Trucks turned up at least an hour after the finish and there were no announcements, signage etc. By then there were literally thousands of runners trying to find their bags. There was a pile of yellow A category bags and as I was standing looking for my bag, a volunteer noticed my bib number and handed me my bag, so thanks very much to that thoughtful person!!

I know it a big event but the course length, marking and bag drop off and pickup have to be among the most important parts of any race (along with drink stations) so I'd have to give the organisers a fail on that basis. Not hard to fix though so hopefully they will take feedback on board and get it right in future. I'll certainly be sending them an email this week.

This week is 115km week for me with a medium long run on Tuesday, a lactate threshold run (45mins of quality running - its the workout I cocked up when Simon and I ran it a few weeks back) on Thursday and 35kms on Saturday. If I needed some motivation to lift my game a bit, I got it today.

If (like me), you need a laugh, check out this ad. It's my absolute favourite at the moment.

Congratulations to Epi and Sugar on their runs today. Epi ran a huge sub 3 hour PB in the marathon (2.57) and Sugar ran 43.36 in the 12km which was not only a big PB but should have got him right up there in the overall and age category placings. I know a lot of hard work has gone in to both of those performances so the results are very well deserved. Well done guys!!

Friday - 8.4km recovery run
Saturday - 5.64km easy run with 4 x 100 12km race pace strides
Sunday - 12.09km (grrrr) City to Surf 45.29

Edit - Rox thinks I am being a bit hard on myself. It was actually 7 min PB (although that was from 2007 in shocking conditions after I had been training for all of 4 months so a bit of soft PB)


1ST - Joel Kemboi 2:17:56 ($25,000 prize money)
2ND - Philip Muia 2:18:41 ($8000)
3RD - Gemechu Woyecha 2:19:07 ($5000)

1ST - Madga Karimali-Poulos 2:43:17 ($25,000)
2ND - Genet Kahsay 2:45:52 ($8000)
3RD - Helen Stanton 2:46:17 ($5000)

1ST - Shane Nankervis 1:05:51 ($3000)
2ND - Erwin McRae 1:06:36 ($1200
3RD - Josphat Mwangi 1:08:37 ($750)

1ST - Cassie Fien 1:15:59 ($3000)
2ND - Firehiwot Gebreyesus 1:21:27 ($1200)
3RD - Alison O'Toole 1:22:32 ($750)

1ST - Hollie Emery 0:41:54 ($2500)
2ND - Sarah Jamieson 0:43:06 ($1000)
3RD - Emily Loughnan 0:44:48 ($500)

1ST - David Mulvee 0:37:44 ($2500)
2ND - Rafael Baugh 0:37:56 ($1000)
3RD - Scott Tamblin $500 0:39:11 ($500)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Getting ready for Sunday (Part 2)

Just found some info on the elite fields for the marathon on Sunday. The men's field is pretty deep and strong whereas I think the women's is a bit weak. Seems like not much effort has gone into attracting class females and the prize money hasn't been the lure that it seems to have been for the men.



Marathon PB – 2:14:50
Gemechu was the winner of the 2008 City to Surf Half Marathon in Perth setting a new
course record. He came 8th in the 2008 Nagano Marathon and missed out on Olympic selection to Beijing by
1 second. Born in Ethiopia, Gemechu became an Australian citizen in 2003 and now lives in Canberra.
Gemechu is advised by Australian Marathon legend Robert deCastella.

Marathon PB – 2:14:16 Greece Thessaloniki – Alexander the Great
Yarred has yet to race a marathon distance in 2009. His personal best time was set in 2008
so he is expected to be in good form for this event.

Marathon PB – 2:11:05 Moha International Marathon, Ethiopia
Wellay’s impressive personal best time was run last year in Ethiopia. In 2009 he has already
clocked at 2:12:45 at the Abebe Bikilia International Marathon Ethiopia. Wellay lives and trains in Ethiopia
and has traveled to Perth specifically for this event.

Marathon PB – 2:12:30 Moha International Marathon, Ethiopia
Zintu’s impressive personal best time was run last year in Ethiopia. In 2009 he has already
clocked at 2:12:35 at the Suluta International Marathon Ethiopia. Zintu lives and trains in Ethiopia and has
traveled to Perth specifically for this event.

Marathon PB – 2:12:00
Phillip was the runner up in the 2008 Sydney Marathon. He won the Pune marathon in
December 2007 at the front of a 30,000 strong field. Phillip hopes to qualify for the 2010 Kenyan Olympic
Team. He is married and living in Nairobi Kenya.

Marathon PB – 2:15:46
Josphat’s personal best time was set only last year in Kenya. His last race was a 26km in
Penang and Josphat hopes to run a PB to take out the inaugural City to Surf Marathon.

Marathon PB – 2:24:46
Jeremey returns to Perth after a 4th place in the 2008 City to Surf Half Marathon. Jeremey’s
season best in 2008 was a 2:26:50 in Corning USA. Horne has yet to run a full 42.2km event in 2009.

Marathon PB – 2:09:00
In excellent form, Simon ran close to his PB last year with a blistering 2:11 in Marrakech. He
has again hit this mark already in 2009 with a 2:11 this year in Tiberius. On form, Simon will challenge at the
front of the field. Simon lives and trains in Kenya.

Marathon PB – 2:12:00
Joel has been in Perth for the month of August training for the City to Surf Marathon. Before
he traveled to Perth, Joel and his training partner Gilbert Kiptoo were racing and training in Malaysia. With
the local knowledge after the training in Perth Joel will be a favourite to take out the inaugural event.

Marathon PB – 2:14:00
Gilbert has been in Perth for the month of August training for the City to Surf Marathon.
Before traveling to Perth, Gilbert and his training partner Joel Kiplimo Kemboi were racing and training in
Malaysia. A third training partner recently took out the Gold Coast Marathon in record time so these boys are
ones to watch.

Marathon PB – 2:22:00 Samsung Melbourne Marathon – placed 4th
Tesfaye is a political refugee from Ethiopia now living and training in Melbourne. He has
been granted a protection Visa and is now undergoing intensive English language studies in an effort to
improve his employment prospects.

Marathon PB – 2:43:19
A local runner, Todd has raced 20 marathons, many of them international events. In 2008 he
was the first Australian in the Berlin & Mumbai Marathons. He was the WA Marathon champion in 2006 and
2000 and has a host of other achievements on his running resume.

Stephen is a local athlete living in Perth. The winner of the Perth Marathon in July,
Stephen is originally from South Africa. He has run 43 Marathons and loves the very long
races (e.g. Comrades Marathon in South Africa 89km).


Marathon PB – 2:43:19
Magda won the Canberra Marathon in April this year in a time of 2:43:19. In July she won
M7cities Marathon in 2:45:01. In 2008, Magda was the second female across the line in the Blackmores
Sydney Marathon and was also the NSW state and Australian Champion.

Marathon PB – 2:33:52
Genet’s last race was at the ING Luxemburg Marathon. Her 2009 form has proved hot with a
personal best run earlier this year. In 2008 Genet ran her best time of 2:34:20 at the Diredawa Marathon.
Genet lives and trains in Ethiopia.

Marathon PB – 2:41:51 – Samsung Melbourne Marathon 2007
Helen is a three time winner of the Great Ocean Road Marathon (2007, 2008, 2009). In 2006
she won Senshu Japan and Saranak Malaysia Marathons, and in 2007 took second place in the Samsung
Melbourne Marathon in a personal best time.

Marathon PB – 2:29:43 – Hokkaido Japan 2004
Mai won the 2008 Melbourne Marathon and was invited to come to Australia to train and
race. She joined Box Hill Club in Melbourne and is staying with athlete friends and competing in Victorian
Cross Country & Road Races. Mai recently took second place in the Gold Coast Marathon.

Marathon PB – 2:41:59
Susan was an Australian Representative at the world track & field championships in 2001,
and an Australian Representative at the world Cross Country Championships in 2003 & 2006 and the winner
of the inaugural City to Surf Half Marathon in 2007. Susan also finished 2nd in the Stockholm Marathon in
2005 in a time of 2:42:57. Susan has yet to run a marathon in 2009.

Verity is a four time Australian Representative and has won multiple Queensland State
Marathon titles as well as being the Australian Marathon Champion in 2003 and holding the
Australian 50km title for 2009.

Getting ready for Sunday (Part 1)

Wednesday - 8.4km recovery run. Ran the first 15 minutes with Rox. 47 minutes - HR 124. Easy peasy. Taking it very easy still on these slow recovery runs. I don't get massages (or do enough stretching) so these slow runs are my shakeouts.

Thursday - stuck with the 18.4km medium long run. 1 hour 20 mins so about 4.20/km. Again very easy. I feel like I could run all day at that pace (pity it isn't my marathon pace).

Went to the City 2 Surf expo to pick up my number at lunchtime. I know I'm probably spoilt having been to Boston and experienced what is regarded as the best running expo in the world but ... the City to Surf expo was pathetic. You couldn't even really call it an expo. At least a couple of years ago they had Adidas, the Melbourne Marathon etc as exhibitors. The Asics stand didn't even have the full range of their shoes, just the basic ones you find anywhere. (Except for the DS Trainer 14s which are a bit of an "in between" shoe IMO. Not really light enough to be considered a racing shoe and therefore why sacrifice cushioning/support for a trainer? I would possibly use them as a training shoe but not at that price).

The one stand I was interested in though was the Vibram Five Fingers stand. I've been interested/keen to do some barefoot running for a while (mainly on grass) so it was good to see the actual article. Having seen them though, I'm not as keen. First, I don't think I could hande the ridicule from Rox every time I wore them (unless I was dressing up as a Hobbit or the Creature from the Black Lagoon) and I don't think I would wear them on hard surfaces to go for a proper run. I'm still keen to do some barefoot stuff though and may start with some strides on grass after my training runs. Just have to watch out for bees and dog shit.

Entered a few competitions before heading back to work. I am bib number 4354 (from memory).

Friday (today) - 8.4km recovery run in 46.30 - HR 127. Ran with Rox down to the river but she wanted to go to the Causeway whereas I was for the Narrows. She got rained on, I didn't :-)

Getting nervous about Sunday but in a good way. I feel strong but not quick. Probably due to the endurance stuff I have been doing at the expense of speedwork. It's a relatively hard course with the hills though, so I am hoping that I will be strong through the hills and have enough in the tank to rip it up a bit over the last 3km.

Won't be going to the Glory v Melbourne Victory tonight but will watch live on Foxtel. Should be a cracking game.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Junk miles?

Yesterday (Monday) - 14.8km general aerobic run. I wore my HR monitor for this one, mainly because I wanted to see what the impact of any residual fatigue from Saturday's hills run would be. I wanted to be aware if my heart rate shot up so that I could back right off.

No such problems though, even though I was a bit stiff. 65 minutes, average HR 158. Average pace 4.23/km

Today (Tuesday) - I had a 24-25km medium long run scheduled with last 8km at a moderate effort. My original plan was to do my loop out to Bardon Park in Maylands and then down the Freeway but once I was out there, I decided that running the last 4km on hills probably wasn't a good idea on legs that hadn't fully recovered from Saturday yet. Basically, I figured I would be adding damage or re-damaging muscles that were trying to repair themsleves and get stronger.

As a result, I ran back on the South Perth side of the river rather than carrying on down the Freeway for a total of 22km in 96 minutes (pace 4.21/km). The pace was possibly a bit quick and I didn't do the last 8km at a moderate effort as I had been running at a moderate effort for a fair part of the run anyway as I was feeling good. I took a km split in East Perth at 4.10/km at a pace I had just worked into after about 11-12 km of running.

I wanted to keep my mileage up this week because it is a key period with only 8 weeks to Rottnest but I am also very keen to have a good run at the City to Surf this Sunday. Sugar is looking to run sub 44 so will be running about 5 secs a km faster than me. I think I have been going out too hard when running 10km races this year so must make sure that I don't go out any quicker than I should as it is probably the cause of my mid race slump down into 3.50/km pace.

Recovery run tomorrow (which I am looking forward to) after which I will make a decision about how far and hard I'll run on Thursday. I have an 18.4km medium long run scheduled which I think is the right distance, just have to watch the pace so that I go into Sunday as fresh as possible.

The latest story about the marathon on the Perth Now website http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,25965387-5018846,00.html lists a few of the Ethiopians who will be here. I've googled them and it seems that the elite runners are in the 2.11-2.15 vicinity. I think 2.15 is probably the more likely time for such a hilly course which will still be the fastest marathon ever run in WA (2.16 is the Perth Marathon record). We won't be finished the 12km in time to see the elites finish the marathon but we may just be able to see the sub 3 hour runners coming through (probably not though once you take into account getting through the finish, getting a drink and finding bag etc).

Hope the weather is good and that it is a great day. Getting pretty excited about it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hard and hilly longish run Saturday

Saturday morning I met Sandgroper at Pechey Rd, Swan View for a very hilly longish run. We started in the car park and ran down into the valley on the road for about 1km before heading up into the hills on some pretty technical trails. Lots of rocks and a fair amount of water running down the hills. We had to cross a creek which necessitated getting wet feet and then it started getting hard. Very challenging climbing where it was like running up stairs at times. After 30 mins my left achilles was screaming at me and I was a bit worried about it. Luckily we then hit about 3-4km of relatively flat/rolling stuff during which time it settled down and when we go to the next lot of steep climbing it was much better.

SG has names for all the climbs - Anaconda, City Views, the nasty steep TES (Thorne Extra Special), Heart Attack Hill etc. I think it was on TES and Heart Attack Hill that I was reduced to a walk for 20 or so metres. The footing wasn't terrific and I was at my limit effort wise and could feel a bit of wobble coming into my legs so played it conservative. I was fine on the more moderate climbs but these two must have been just over my threshold.

On the parts where we could have a bit of a chat, we got in lots of natter about racing and training. SG has had some health issues which have impacted on his running but if he can stay healthy and get in more training like this, it would be impossible not to improve I reckon.

The graph above is taken from SG's Garmin and shows the elevation of the climbs we did. We finished by running back down the way we started and then up the road for the last km. We both got some carbs in before heading off.

All up 23.5km @ 5.29min/km pace. This was a very hard leg strengthening session which I am still feeling a bit today (Monday). I'm not sure it was 100% good running training in the same way as running up Jacob's Ladder isn't the best type of running training but it is certainly good for building leg strength and connective tissue. My ankles got a really good stretch and are bit stiff today as are my glutes and one of my quads (actually feels almost like a cork in one spot). Those hills were really steep!!

99kms for the week. A little bit shorter than scheduled due to shorter long run on Saturday although that 23.5km took longer than my scheduled 27km and was a much harder run so with that workout, I think it is fair to say that it was equivalent to 100km+ week. I have strung a few in a row together now and everything seems to be going in the right direction.

Rest day Sunday. We were a player short for Ben's soccer so a 2-1 loss when we only had 10 men was good effort. A draw would have been a fair result so we were a little unlucky. In the afternoon, Ben and I went to watch Perth Glory play their first home game of the season. A 2-0 over the Newcastle Jets including a cracking goal from Adriano Pellegrino. A generally good performance although both teams could easily have scored more goals. Glory's new striker Branko Jelic didn't impress me much. Big and strong but seemed to lack mobility. When he was subbed off, Matthew Mayora, who is on a short term contract came on. Had a couple of chances including one where he had basically an open goal but shot wide. He created a few good opportunities and while he didn't take them, he looked like he might have bit to offer when he settles.

I watched the Men's and Women's marathons at the World Champs over the weekend. Both excellent races especially the men's. Pretty disappointing that Jaoud Gharib was a late withdrawal (especially as he was in my fantasy team - I was the absolute "kiss of death" in that comp - Isinbaeva, Kaki, Saladino, Pars, Robles. If you were a favourite and I picked you , basically you were screwed). Emmanuel Mutai showed heaps of guts (literally) finishing second in the men's race and it seems like Kara Goucher similarly struggled with some stomach issues in the women's race. Great to see the Aussie men's 4x400m team crack a bronze medal. I thought they were a chance when we had 3 make the semis but to get a bronze without Joel Milburn was huge.

The less said about the cricket the better. What a stuff up, the selectors have to go. Andrew Hilditch shows about as much intelligence in his selections as he did when he was batting. Not sure it would have changed the result once we lost the toss on that wicket but I don't think they would have got as many in their second innings if we had a specialist spinner. In the same way as political leaders step down after an election loss, (and especially after two losses), I think it's time Ponting stood down as captain. Time to look long term and I think Michael Clarke is the long term bet but I would love to see Simon Katich given the job. Reckon he would be as tough as Steve Waugh but without the "slouch hats at Gallopoli" etc.

The City to Surf website keeps talking up the weather for this Sunday. Most forecasts have it not looking too bad but not as "clear and sunny" as the organisers (who are clearly still looking for a few thousand more entrants) would have us believe.

No real speedwork for the rest of this week. Will probably throw some strides in later in the week but that will pretty much be it. I will be getting to the start around 7.45am which is a bit early but I want to get a good spot to see the leaders in the marathon come past.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Medium long run and an interesting experiment in warming up

Yesterday (Thursday), I met Simon down at Burswood for a medium long run around the long bridges loop (18.4km for me). Although we mostly ran at our usual conversational pace, there was a bit of a headwind along the city side of the river which shut us up for a while and then when we got over to the South Perth side, we had a bit of a tailwind which was all the encouragement we needed to crank it up a little. I took a split using the 37-38km Perth Marathon marks and we were going at right on 4.00/km.

All up for me 1 hour 17 or 18 mins, I got to the meet point slightly ahead of Simon and jogged around for a bit so average pace between 4.11 -4.14/km.

This morning (Friday), Rox and I headed out together, Rox for her regular 30 mins and me for 8.4km recovery run. I ran with Rox for the first 15 mins until she turned to go back and then continued on by myself. Despite the fact that I had run a bit slower when running with Rox (HR 110-112) I still did my 8.4km in 47 mins with an average HR of 12o. So same time, average HR 8-10 bpm lower than normal. The only change from normal being a slower start and presumably a quicker rest of the run. Normally I just run the same slow pace all the way on my recovery runs, so this unscientific case study suggests to me that even at well below what could even be called sub maximal effort, there is a benefit to starting slowly ie warming up. (Average HR of 120 also suggests that I am going OK as far as building endurance and running at below threshold pace).

Tomorrow I will be running with Sandgroper for a longish run (approx 2hrs) in John Forrest National Park. SG has run there a bit lately and apparently it is a pretty challenging climb. Even though the distance might be slightly below what I have scheduled, I don't think the effort level will be but in the event that I do feel a bit underdone, I will probably just go for a short recovery run late in the afternoon.

Despite the fact that we came back well in the cricket last night, I think we are in real trouble. That pitch is an absolute disgrace for a first day test wicket. It will be turning square by Day 3 and we have to bat last on it. We need to get the final 2 wickets quickly when play resumes and then try and get a decent lead on first innings. It will be hard to make more than 200 in the last innings on that wicket.

World Champs Marathons this weekend. My picks are Jaouad Gharib in the Mens and Kara Goucher in the Womens. It will also be good to see the Aussies run well, especially the blokes who I think have been hard done by selection wise in recent years. I would love to see the Americans Nate Jenkins and Matt Gabrielson run well. These are guys who are not in the really top tier in the US but have got some great results through force of will and hard work. I hope it pays off for them. Despite the fact that it is a Championship marathon, I think the flat fast course and the way the Olympic marathon was run and won, will make for a quick time - sub 2.07 minimum I reckon.

Apparently, the forecast for the City to Surf is for fine, sunny weather. No wind would be good too as I am feeling ready to rip up the course.

In other, non sport related news, I have managed to get a promotion at work. Whereas the job I am in now was just a 12 month contract, this new job is a permanent appointment. I think I will be moving into the new role pretty soon - another work/life/running balance challenge to overcome.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yasso 800s - I'll give myself a pass (just).

Headed down to the new track after work yesterday for my Yasso 800s session (10 x 800m @ 2.45 with 2.45 jog recovery between each rep).

I had run my usual 8.4km recovery run in the morning (48 mins, HR 128).

Traffic wasn't the best and despite my good intentions and leaving work at 4.15pm, I didn't get onto the track until just after 5pm. 2km warmup (more on the warmup later).

There was a little bit of a headwind (westerly) around the first bend and in the back straight and some drizzly rain.

10 x 800 reps as follows:
1 - 2.39
2 - 2.45
3 - 2.46
4 - 2.49
5 - 2.44
6 - 2.45
7 - 2.43
8 - 2.48
9 - 2.48
10 - 2.41

I found the first rep pretty easy and then just cruised through the next two. Probably too much so as on the fourth rep, I went out too slow on the first lap and couldn't make it up over the second which was a bit annoying. I think the first 3 reps had given me unrealistic expectations of a pretty straightforward session as it got a lot harder from there with reps 5 - 8 taking a bit of effort. Reps 8 and 9 weren't the greatest so I decided to make sure I ran sub 2.45 on the last rep to ensure that my average overall was hopefully around 2.45. A 2.41 final rep resulted in an overall average of 2.44.8

The last time I did this session was in early March in the lead up to Boston. That time I averaged 2.46 in better conditions and in the morning (as stated many times, I am not a fan of afternoon/evening running) so this was a definite improvement with the majority of the reps being at the pace I wanted or faster. I wanted to run 2.45s and I averaged just under that so I will give myself a pass for this session.

With the warmup and warmdown and the recovery running between reps, this session works out to around 17km so it made for a 25.4km day.

I had a shower and got changed at the track (Skins under track pants) and headed home at around 6.30pm. It absolutely bucketed down on the way home so I was very lucky to have got finished ahead of that.

Back to the warm up - here's a tip: If you ever want to feel self consciously inadequate as a runner, just make sure that you are doing your warmup laps at the same time as two Kenyan runners are running some easy laps being filmed by a camera crew. Those guys just glide across the track, loping along. Hopefully, I didn't end up on anything being filmed as the contrast in styles would be embarrassing. I think the two runners were Joel and Gilbert who were featured in a story in the weekend's Sunday Times. Even running easy in track pants and jackets, they looked super impressive so hopefully we will get a good view as they run past in the City to Surf Marathon before we start the 12km.

18.4km medium long run tomorrow before another recovery run and then a (tentatively planned) longish run in the hills with Sandgroper on Saturday. About time I got some real hills in ahead of Rottnest.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Belated long run update.

Here is a better late than never post on Saturday's long run. I have had trouble getting onto the computer lately. Sammie has found some games she likes and has been monopolising it a bit.

Went out a bit later than normal on Saturday morning for my long run. We had a bad night with Sammie with lots of coughing. Rox took her to the Doctor on Saturday morning and as we suspected, she has croup. Ben had it a bit when he was small (younger than Sammie) but she has been pretty good (perhaps one minor case before). As a result we had got rid of the vaporiser that we had when Ben was young, so we had to improvise with turning the shower on hot and filling the bathroom with steam to give Sammie some relief. Rox ended up sleeping on a mattress on the floor in Sammie's room as we were worried about her breathing.

She has been given some steroids and we have borrowed a vaporiser and she seems to be on the mend.

When I got out on Saturday morning, the early rain had gone but there were still very strong SW winds (40km/hr) about. Very gusty too. I knew that the paths through Burswood, Maylands and East Perth would be pretty flooded so decided that my 29km with 19km @ marathon pace workout would consist of:
Run to Narrows and back to Mends Street = 5.17km
2 x Bridges loops (clockwise using old Narrows 9.58km + 9.58km) = 19.16km
Run to Narrows and back to home = 5.17km
Total 29.5km

The run towards the Narrows gave me some indication of how hard it was going to be running into the wind. I decided to go clockwise to try and get some benefit from some shelter from the wind on the South Perth side as well as not having to run into the wind going over the Bridges.

On the first lap, I missed taking an intermediate split once I got off the Causeway before starting into the wind (mustn't have pressed the button hard enough) but recall that it was 22 mins and change so I was running under 4min/km pace to there. Finished the first 9.58km loop in 38.30 (4.01/km pace) so I think I was probably running 3.50/km pace for the first bit as there were times running into the wind when it picked up and almost brought me to a stop.

I took a gel on run as I was heading towards the Narrows on the second lap and washed it down with some water from a drink fountain. I think I was a bit slow on this bit. Picked it up again after the gel and this time took an intermediate split at about 5.9km which was 24.11 (4.05/km) for that lap so far. I finished the 2 laps in 1 hour 18 mins and 21 secs which was nearly 2 mins outside the goal I had set for myself of 1 hour 16 mins 38 secs. The last part of the second lap took 15.39 which was 4.15/km pace. 2nd lap was 39.50 at 4.09/km pace.

All up for marathon pace segment - 19.16km @ 4.05/km pace. Close to what I wanted to run and I am sure that without the wind I would have achieved the target for that workout. Total running time for the 29.5km was 2 hours and 9 mins (4.22/km pace).

A little bit disappointed to have missed my target but I was pretty sure I was going to miss it once I realised how hard it was going to be running into the wind. I'm actually quite encouraged by how close I did get in the conditions (although I don't know how I could run another 23km at that pace - in fact I know I couldn't at the moment. Guess that is what the next few weeks and the taper are for).

Rest day Sunday. Worryingly, I seem to have a little niggle behind my left knee. Don't know where it came from as it wasn't there Saturday. I suspect I may have stretched a little far suddenly while warming up the kids for soccer when one kicked the ball a bit wide of me. It's a bit intermittent but I didn't notice it while running this morning which I think is a good sign that it is not running related.

This morning (Monday) I did a 14.8km general aerobic/easy run in 1 hour 5 mins (4.23/km pace). Got wet in last 10-15 mins but it was actually refreshing as it was fairly humid early on and I had made the mistake of wearing a long sleeve top.

Yasso 800s session tomorrow - the 2nd of my big 4 track workout for this training segment. I will be doing them at the new track but in a change from my normal routine I will do them in the evening after work.

Sammie has kindy tomorrow and they have recently started telling news. The first week they had to take their favourite photo, the second week, something from the garden. This week they have to take something that makes them happy and Sammie says that she wants to take me! I think that is worth re-scheduling a workout for.

The plan for tomorrow's workout is to run the 800s in 2.45 each with 2.45 active (ie jog) recovery. This is the pace I did them at a bit later in my program in the lead up to Boston. If all goes to plan, I will try for 2.40s when I repeat the session in a few weeks.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

He shoots ... he scores!!!

Yes!! Ben scored his first ever goal today in our 1-1 draw away at Melville. In a nice coincidence he scored his first goal on the same ground and at the same end as I scored my first ever goal back in under 15s. We were 1-0 down when Ben scored and we were unlucky not to win the game in the end. Very exciting and as you can guess we are all still on a bit of a high here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

3000m @ Coker Park (and Alastair Cook's camel toe)

Last night I headed down to Coker Park for a 3000m hit out with Sugar. Unfortunately the weather got worse the closer we got to race time and although we pretty much missed the rain while we were running, there was a pretty strong NW wind blowing and the track was soaked.

Still, I knew it wasn't going to be perfect and needed a good hard quick run as I have been focusing mostly on endurance over the past few weeks. Thanks to Sugar for being there despite the less than favourable conditions and for dragging me along for a few laps.

First up though, yesterday morning I did an 8.4km recovery run in around 50mins so very slow. Felt my left ITB twinge a little while running on the grass so will need to watch that.

In the evening, went out to Coker Park. The weather was fine riding home on the scooter but the wind really picked up around 6pm and a squall crossed the track. Due to the inclement conditions, they moved the finish line to the head of the straight (ie back 100m) so that the timekeepers would be under shelter. As a result the 3000m (7.5 laps) started at where a 1500m would start rather than at the 200m mark.

Did a bit of a warm up with Sugar and we raced at around 6.35pm. He is in great shape at the moment and although I had intentions of taking my turn up front, I couldn't quite get up on him so ended up sitting just back from him for about 5 laps. I couldn't maintain it though and dropped off slightly and once the gap was there it increased. In the end I finished about 100m behind Sugar in 10.19 which is a little bit of where I would like to be even given the weather (10.10 would have me thinking I could run under 10mins in better conditions - 10.19 is not quite there).

So that works out to an average pace of 3.26/km. Sugar's splits were as follows:

36.3 79.5 80.6 80.9 80.8 82.0 82.9 78.8 = 10:01.8 (km splits 3:16.4 3:22.7 3:22.7)

I stuck with him until he slowed slightly, maybe it was me who slowed him down. So I was certainly on track for sub 10 mins if I had been able to maintain the pace of the first 2km. Just not used to running that pace for that long I guess.

I think my lack of speedwork counted against me as I never got comfortable in my breathing at all. I felt like I was panting rather than breathing evenly which may have contributed to me not being able to maintain my pace after 6-7 minutes. Still it wasn't a complete disaster by any means and gives me a bit of confidence that if I can get to the City to Surf pretty fresh, I can still give sub 45 mins a shake.

I would like to get down and do a bit more track racing especially when I am not marathon training as its good fun and I think trying to get a bit of bounce in my legs can only be good. I didn't feel like I had much last night, probably an effect of the mileage I have been doing as well as the soaked track. I have a Yasso 800 session scheduled for Tuesday and will be doing that at the new track so will see how that goes. I'm looking forward to running there again.

This morning I did an easy 12.8km in 57 mins. My legs felt fairly trashed at the start but improved as I ran and by the end I felt fine. Got soaked as it started raining about 4km from home but an enjoyable run all the same.

Tomorrow morning I will be doing 29km with 19km @ marathon pace. Not 100% sure I can hit the pace I want to at the moment but will have a crack at it.

During the last Test it was reported that an email from Justin Langer in which he offered his views on a number of England players had been leaked. In the email, he said that James Anderson can be "a bit of a pussy". I have just seen a photo which neither confirms or disproves that Anderson is a pussy but it seems to prove that Alastair Cook is a faun (like Mr Tumnus from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).

See the photo below and check out Cook's toes. (Please ignore the fact that they are naked, that's not the important issue). I thought the "camel toe" was a uniquely female attribute but Cook does not have human feet- he has split hooves.

Compare and contrast:

From left - A Pussy, Ricky Schroder, Mr Tumnus

Alastair Cook

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"There is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people."

The title of this post is a quote that has been attributed to Bill Bowerman. And although they have much harsher weather in the Northern Hemisphere than we do here in Perth, I think that it could be modified to "There is no such thing as bad weather, just soft people ... and slightly soft people who shorten their medium long runs".

We have a colourbond roof and when it bucketed down last night, it was so loud that it woke me up ... and then woke me up another few times until I was sound asleep just before my alarm went at 5.40am. Simon has lent me a couple of books, one of which is "Deek - The Making of Australia's World Marathon Champion" and in the first chapter, Deek is quoted as saying, "You must have a training routine so that what you do happens automatically. If I got up in the morning and thought about going for a run there would often be a number of possible arguments against it. The thing is to get out and run. Later you can wonder whether you should have or not". So as I was sitting there on the loo, listening to the rain continuing to come down, it was obvious that I was going to go for a run, the question was how far?

I had a 21.5km medium long run scheduled. Normally I would do this on a Thursday but I have rejigged my program for this week so that I can do a 3000m race/time trial with Sugar at Coker Park tomorrow evening. So I already had a little bit of an incentive to cut my run a bit shorter (fresher legs). In the end I decided to head out and do the long bridges and decide at the Narrows whether to carry on down the Freeway for the 21.5km (and the hills) or follow the river back for 18.7km. As it turned out, the underpass at the Causeway was flooded (again!!) so I decided to do a normal bridges loop plus the Freeway. This only works out to 15.7km which I did in 72 mins (approx 4.35/km pace).

Got absolutely drenched of course in a couple of extended downpours. Not much you can do when you are running towards the Narrows and you can see a curtain of rain coming down the river at you and blocking out the view of Kings Park. Same again running along the Freeway. Got a few friendly (sarcastic?) toots of the horn from passing motorists. There wasn't many people out at all this morning. A few cyclists commuting to work but only a handful of runners.

I'm glad I got out and did it as I find the guilt of not running pretty much unbearable. I would have been working out how I could go for a run at lunchtime (can't run after work as coaching this evening and then Rox is out later) so it was definitely a case of getting my run in before the rest of my life gets in the way.

The weather forecast for tomorrow evening is not great - breezy with showers which may not assist with running a good time. I'm looking forward to a good hard run though and would still like to think I can get close to running just under 10 mins. I have no idea if that is a realistic goal so will just have to see what happens.

One thing about having a blog - it keeps you accountable.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A bit fatigued

23.4km medium long run this morning. Was supposed to be moderate pace for the last 8km but didn't work out that way. I felt very fatigued and flat for at least the first 15km and was a bit worried that I had overdone it recently to the extent that I was thinking about how I could scale back Wednesday's 21.5km to something a bit shorter as I don't want to get myself into a hole. The next 6 weeks are the most important weeks of my program. I'm happy with how everything has gone so far and don't want to stuff things up by overtraining (or also by peaking too soon).

I was trying to work out what might have caused it and the only thing I can put it down to is the afternoon spent gardening rather than recovering on Saturday after my long run. I'm usually pretty disciplined about having a bit of a lie down and maybe a nap on Saturday if possible which I didn't get to do but it wasn't particularly strenuous yard work. I guess it shows how important rest is.

So these were the thoughts going through my head as I was running out to Matilda Bay and back. Funnily though, from about the Belltower on (maybe earlier) I started to feel better to the extent that when I got to the Marathon Club and turned to head home (about 3.5km) I was feeling pretty good. There was a slight north easterly blowing behind me so I lifted the pace up to marathon pace for the trip home and felt much better physically and mentally as a result.

1 hour 44 minutes which is the same as I did it about 4 weeks ago at a steady pace. Average pace is around 4.26/km but I would have been running a bit slower than that for most of the run. So well within my McMillan range despite the difficulties.

Recovery run tomorrow. I read somewhere recently that you should take your recovery runs as seriously as your hard workouts as they are just as important (as long as you have done your hard workouts) to your overall improvement and adaptation/compensation. I have gotten over the ego part of getting overtaken by other runners and running slowly on my recovery runs now and quite enjoy them. Might even get the iPod out tomorrow as long as the weather isn't too bad.

Great to see that SBS2 will be showing the Men's and Women's Marathons from the World Champs live and that they are on at a reasonable time. Most of the stuff on the track will be happening in the early hours of the morning Perth time so the video recorder will be getting a bit of a workout.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Long run (so much for mainly fine weather ... )

Got out at around 6.50am for my scheduled 35.3km long run. Although overcast, it looked as though the rain would hold off or only drizzle at worst. Unfortunately, it did rain and pretty heavily for at least 45 mins after I had been going for about an hour and a half.

I started out fairly quickly, probably too quickly and as a result I ended running a little slower. I'm pretty sure I was running between 4min/km and 4.15/km pace for the first 20-25km but slowed a little as the rain came in and my shoes got soaking wet (and as I got more tired). The last few kms were hard going especially up the hills through the back of South Perth once I crossed back over from the Freeway. Had to stop and re-tie a shoe lace at one point and it was a little difficult to get going again.

2 gel stops, one of which was a little longer than the other. Total time was 2 hours 41 minutes so I would guesstimate that my total running time was 2 hours 38 -39 mins. That gives an average pace of 4.30/km which is around where I want to be.

Spent the afternoon with my brothers helping tidy up my parents garden (wearing Skins under my track pants). Might try and sneak in a nap this afternoon.

I have re-jigged my training schedule for this week so that I do a couple of medium long runs on Monday and Wednesday with recovery runs on Tuesday and Thursday so that I can maybe get out to Coker Park for a 3000m race against Sugar on Thursday evening. The weather forecast isn't brilliant unfortunately which may not make for a really quick time but it should be a good hit out all the same. I was trying to remember when the last time I raced on a track was and can't think of any time after high school so I guess I may be a little rusty. Sugar has been running some great times on the track lately so I think my plan will be to try and stick with him for as long as I can. I would love to run sub 10 mins for the 3000m if possible.

Looks like we will be back to 1-1 in the cricket. Why England decided to go in a batsman short when they were 1-0 in the series is beyond me. Although it probably wouldn't have made any difference given how fragile their batting has been in this Test (and the bloke who would have come in would have been making his debut), the simple fact is that Australia needed to take 20 wickets to win the Test. Why make it easier by having one less batsman? That they haven't got anyone experienced in the wings to come in, indicates that they have some real problems with depth. It's hard to see Bopara lasting another Test and while Collingwood will, his form is terrible.

Great to see Mitchell Johnson hitting some form. I think having Stuart Clark in the side has taken a lot of pressure off him, not only because of Clark's experience but because we are not leaking runs at the other end when he is bowling.

Obviously very disappointed at the Bulldogs going down to the Eagles. Didn't pick that I don't think many others would have either. Too much of a head start it seemed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Great interval session - still some speed (a little) in the old legs

Despite the less than perfect weather for riding a scooter across town to the new athletics stadium I got out for my scheduled interval session this morning. I actually got woken up by the stormy wind and rain in the middle of the night which didn't bode well and even when I got up, I contemplated re-arranging the session or doing something different. In the end though, I decided to stick with the original plan.

Update on Wednesday first though - 8.4km in 48 mins, average HR 125. Very easy which I needed after Tuesday's 25km workout.

Thursday - I underestimated how much time it would take me to get to the stadium from home. As the scooter is only 50cc, I can't go on the Freeway so it adds quite a bit of time having to come through the CBD. As a result, I didn't actually get onto the track until 7.25am (the track opens at 7am).

It was the first time I had been there and what a great facility it is. Sort of place that just motivates you to train hard by being there.

The rain was still drizzling and there was a little bit of a breeze in your face down the back straight and behind you in the front straight. The track was wet and had some puddles but no flooding.

The "Michigan" Intervals Workout:
3.2km warmup
1 mile @ 5km or faster - 5.29 (3.24/km pace)
1.5 miles tempo @ marathon pace
1200m @ 5km or faster - 4.04 (3.23/km pace)
1.5 miles tempo @ marathon pace
800m @ 5km or faster - 2.37 (3.16/km pace)
1.5 miles tempo @ marathon pace
400m all out blast - 66 secs (2.45/km pace)
3.2km warm down

Total 16.4km in 1 hour 6 minutes (average pace 4.01/km).

Although the workout actually called for the tempo parts to be at 10km-marathon pace, I decided pretty much from the start that I was going to run them at marathon pace for two reasons. First, I wanted to hit the speed parts hard and get some real quality as I haven't done a heap of speed work and that was the main reason I was at the track. Secondly, I'm training for a marathon, I don't need my cruising speed to be any quicker than marathon pace.

I think the tactic worked. I'm not great at doing pace conversions in my head but even I knew that I was going OK especially when I hit the 1200m interval in 4.04. It was only a year ago that 4.04 would have been hard for me to run for 1000m.

What I am most surprised at though is the last 400m interval. I wouldn't have thought I could run much quicker than 66 secs for a flat out 400m straight up, no way I thought I was going to run that after already running 13km with 3 previous intervals. Having run 2.37 for the 800m interval, I said to myself that I have to try and run under 75 secs for the 400m. Didn't look at my watch until I stopped it at the end and was very pleasantly surprised.

I made use of the shower facilities (lovely hot water, pity you have to press the button to restart the shower every 10 seconds) but having organised a flex day, didn't have to go to work. Rox and I went and saw the new Harry Potter movie on the IMAX at Carousel. I also did my bi-annual sock purchase at The Athletes Foot. I wear the Lightfeet socks which are $32 a pair so wait until they have their "Buy 2, get 1 free" sale. Still works out to $21 a pair but they last much longer than ordinary socks and really do the trick as far as no blisters are concerned (99% of the time).

Aren't track runners a funny lot though? Not many there but there was one bloke with his coach. No warm up, but took 10 mins to set up some blocks. Then 10 mins of starts and 50m strides before some standing long jumps on the track (no spikes and nearly came a cropper once) and then throwing a mini basketball for distance (which they measured). After that they called it quits. 45 minutes tops and looked like a complete waste of time.

I'm looking forward to getting back to the track for my next session but am going to have to find a way to make it work out better timewise next time. I left home at 6.40am and didn't get home until 9.20am. That's not going to work on a day I have to go to work afterwards. Might have to be afternoon interval sessions if I can't come up with a plan.

Recovery run tomorrow (Friday) before long run Saturday.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Medium long run (with some speed thrown in)

I did the medium long run I had scheduled although my 5km acceleration section was a bit short.

All up the run was 25.09km (as per Map My Run). I added an out and back leg to Bardon Park in Maylands to my long bridges plus freeway loop. 1 hour and 49 minutes running time so approx 4.20/km pace.

The section I picked to do my 5km acceleration turned out to be only 4.14km. I did this bit in 16.22 so 3.57/km pace average. Think I managed to get the acceleration pretty much right on although I may have been closer to running 5km and 10km effort rather then pace until the end.

25km on work day takes its toll though and I could do with a nice lie down and a nap about now. (I thought we had finished the policy project I have been working on here at work but as usual when things go further up the food chain, changes are required. It's just a bit annoying when you have to change things back to the way they were before you were asked to change them earlier ... ).

Don't think it will be a late night tonight. Stayed up until around 11pm last night watching the cricket as it wasn't until around 10.30pm that I started to feel relaxed watching. Great application from all the batsmen. Good to see Hussey and North getting runs. I think the only change for the next Test will be Clark in for Siddle, unless it is a green top and they decide to leave out Hauritz.

Pretty uneventful run although I could add an interesting story involving a bodily function, some spiny river grass and my bottom but I think you can probably join the dots on that one.

Looking forward to a recovery run tomorrow.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Bring back the moderate run!

Was feeling good this morning so cranked my planned 14.8km "easy" run up into the "moderate" range. 14.8km in 62 mins, 4.11/km pace. Wore my HRM and averaged 158 so pretty much right on for that time and effort.

Figured it was worth a bit of change as I am only doing one speed workout this week (although some speedwork in tomorrow's run.

Lovely morning for a run. I wore my new 2130s again. Still not feeling quite right but better than Saturday. I'll be going back to my old ones for tomorrow's run:
Medium long progression run (24km including 5km of acceleration from marathon pace to 5km pace before 5km warm down).

Will be a nervous night in front of the cricket - I have to say I'm not confident we will survive.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

New shoes ... hmmmmmm

Against my better judgement I wore my new 2130s on yesterday's long run but more on that later.

Thursday - This was the hard session I mentioned in my last post. Unfortunately between typing that out on Wednesday and running it on Thursday morning, I had some sort of brain freeze. Session had a 5km warm up and 5km warm down with 3 x 15 mins of threshold running at different paces with 1 min active recovery in between. Somehow, I re-interpreted this to 3 x 5km of threshold running at the vaious paces with the 1 min rests.

Ran down at met Simon at the Causeway where I turned and we then ran the "long bridges" run in the reverse direction from normal. My re-interpretation meant that we were doing 20 mins at marathon pace, 19 mins at half marathon pace and 18 mins at half marathon/10km pace. Simon was half way through a big week for him and I think had already run over 100km this week so I don't think the re-interpretation was fully appreciated :-)

We went out too fast and ran most of the first interval at sub 4 min/km pace. The other 2 intervals hovered between 3.50/km and just over 4 min/km. No wonder really that we couldn't keep to the correct pacing, the last 7 or so minutes of the 2nd two intervals were real slogs. I'm not sure of the overall distance with warm up and warm down but estimate it to be between 21 and 22km. 1 hour 29 mins all up for me which included a pretty slow km or so after the last interval before I got back into my stride.

Even though I cocked it up, 57 mins of running at threshold pace is still a fair workout. It's 13 minutes more than the workout called for. The work out is a Brad Hudson workout from an 85 mile a week marathon program which would also be about a week ahead of where I am now. So although I am annoyed at my stupidity (situation normal - Rox reckons - hey who wrote that ) and guess I will have to start writing things down on the back of my hand like a teenage girl so that I don't forget, I don't doubt that it will be beneficial in the long run. I would like to try and do it again (properly this time) but I will need to see where in my programme I can slot it in as I have other key workouts including a few on the track that I don't want to compromise.

I wore my old 2130s for this workout and as usual they were fine.

Friday - 8.4km recovery run. Can't remember the time but it was on the quicker side of normal. I do remember the HR though - 121 average which I was very pleased with. Rox reckons that I haven't even woken up when I am out on these runs (as awake as normal - Rox reckons for real - who's writing stuff in my blog?). I don't know about that but it was very re-assuring to have such a low HR after a hard workout the day before. Wore my new 2130s without any issues.

Saturday - Decided to run with some music for the first time in ages so loaded up the iPod the night before with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, then finished off with a couple of Johnny Cash tracks and then some classic Radio Birdman to bring it home. After yesterday's problem free run with my new 2130s, I decided to wear them for this run as I remain concerned about getting a sore back from wearing my old shoes and figured that 32km would be the type of run that might cause a problem. Bad move ... the numbness/hardness in the left midfoot became really noticeable from about 15km and got worse to the extent that by the end it felt like bruising and was almost causing a limp as I ran. Not sharp pains though and not actually making me limp so I pushed on. I haven't ended up with a bruise though so am bewildered as to what the problem is. I am definitely going to take it easy in these new shoes before I take them for a long run again and have replaced the inner soles with some from an old pair in the hope that this will help.

2 hours 24 mins again for this 32.2km run which was the same as a fortnight ago. Last time I stopped for 2 gels but this time I only stopped for one but did have to have an unscheduled stop after about 35 mins which took longer than a gel stop would have. As a result I think my actual running time was slightly less this time (so probably quicker than 4.28/km pace), which given my shoe issues is not bad.

What have I learned:

1. Follow my initial instincts and don't run long in new shoes until they are well worn in.

2. Don't just download albums when you are going to run to that playlist. "From Her to Eternity" is a bloody difficult song to run to. Some great running tracks though, especially on "Dig Lazurus Dig". "Today's Lesson" is my favourite song on that album and a great running track too.

3. I have coped very well with 110km this week and can afford to increase my mileage a bit more (finding the time is the hard thing).

Sunday - Not a great start to a rest day. Got pinged by a multinova on the way to Ben's soccer doing around 76km/hr in a 60 zone (Canning Highway) so I can look forward to getting that in the mail. I'm usually pretty good but was slightly distracted and that's all it takes. We lost 3-1 to East Fremantle but it was a good and pretty even game, we just had trouble putting the ball in the back of the net. A huge improvement since the start of the season, we even put four passes in a row together a few times today.

This afternoon, Ben and I rode into town (me with Sammie on the back of Rox's bike - I always feel like the witch from the Wizard of Oz riding Rox's bike as it's a ladies bike and the frame is too short for me). Ben had some credit and a voucher to spend at EB Games so it was a nice outing and a casual ride around the river.

I'm a bit envious of those getting ready to run the inaugural City to Surf marathon at the end of the month and think that I probably could have got myself ready for it if I had started early enough but I set my sights on Rottnest thinking I would need the time to recover from Boston. I recovered a lot better after Boston than I did after my first marathon. Still over 2 months to Rottnest which seems a long way away and I hate feeling like I am missing out. Still, I think I'm half a chance to crack 45 mins in the 12km which would be very satisfing and hold me in good stead speed wise for Rottnest.

I think the City to Surf marathon course will be hard but there should a great atmosphere on the populated parts of the course. It will be interesting to see what elite male runners turn up. My initial instinct was that it will be 2nd tier Kenyan and Ethiopean (ie 2.14-2.18) runners and I still think this might be the case. $25,000 is a big pay day for them especially if they are not in the top echelon who could challenge for one of the really major big city marathons.

I believe the start procedures are changed for the 12km this year. I think this is as much about keeping the 12km runners and the marathoners separated as it is about keeping people in their correct start categories. Not sure if it is true that fat arsed women wearing Curves t shirts and walking 4 abreast ahead of runners in the B and C categories have to wear a "Wide Load" sign on their backs this year but I do understand that there will be better separation between categories as a result of marshalling down on the Esplanade.

Still don't think that it is anything the judicious use of a Taser couldn't have solved.

Talking about initial instincts, I still maintain (with the necessary Manou in for Haddin change) that the side I selected was a better choice for this Test. Not sure what they are going to do next Test without any specialist middle order batsmen to come in as I think North and Hussey are both struggling unless they get a decent score in the second dig. I don't think both of them will be dropped but it will certainly be interesting if Haddin's finger is good enough for him to play as a specialist batsman. I think that there might be a temptation to get Hughes back in but hard to displace Watson at the top of the order. Have to say, I'm loving watch Manou keeping - really soft hands. Haddin is lucky he can bat. Stuart Clark MUST play. (Rudi Koertzen MUST go!)

Only slightly disappointed that the Bulldogs didn't give the Dockers the flogging they deserved as it was great to see Brad Johnson hit 342 games and break the club record.