"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 5, 2013

Plodding along

Still alive but running much less at the moment.  Apart from a three week period in late April/early May when I was running 65-70km a week, I have been averaging 30-40km a week off of 2-3 runs per week.   

I have kept up my regular runs with Simon E on Wednesday and Rob on Thursday but other than that, I have found it hard to get out on my own.  Monday has been the most likely day and I have found the weekends pretty hopeless.  Still, I have been enjoying the extra time with the family and especially the kids' soccer on Sunday mornings.  It has been good not to miss any games this season due to races.

I am still able to run around the Bridges and a little bit further but sometimes backing up on the Thursday is hard.  I had a pretty good run with Simon last Wednesday as we ran out to Rossmoyne (14.4km @ 4:28/km pace) but then Thursday's 15.7km was at 4:44/km.

At the moment, I am torn between just waiting for the motivation to come back or alternatively, forcing myself to get out every day, almost like a reverse cold turkey.  I am pretty sure that once the endorphins kick in and I get back into the habit, normal service will be resumed.  I am sure I read somewhere that it takes three weeks to establish a habit so it is just a matter of buckling down for some discomfort.

I am missing feeling like an athlete and need to get back into it before the self loathing takes hold. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Viewing update - Rotterdam, Boston, London

Rotterdam - replay on Foxsports 3 at 9.30am on Monday 15 April

Boston - live on Foxsports 2 at 9.30pm on Monday 15 April

London - live on Eurosport at 5pm on Sunday 21 April

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reset and time to watch marathons

Succumbed to what I think was overtraining.  I have had blood tests and everything is normal but the combination of running like sh!t and lacking the motivation to keep pushing when I knew it wasn't improving has seen me take a bit of a break.

Two weeks of no running (a few bike rides in there though) have been followed by a comeback to running every second day for the past week and a half.  Most days I am just running up to the Narrows and back but on Sunday I went around the Bridges from home at 4:23/km pace which felt pretty good.

Not sure what I'll do from here.  I think I'll keep going at least every second day until I get my mojo back before I start anything structured or any real workouts.  It's probably pretty unlikely that I'll race again until the second half of the year.

On a good note though, we are heading into the best couple of weeks of the year with the Rotterdam, Boston and London marathons all in quick succession.  The Paris marathon is on this weekend (7 April - live on Foxtel)  but that comes in well behind the others for quality.  Not sure about TV coverage for the main three but it shouldn't be hard to find streaming on the intertubes.

14 April - Rotterdam Men's elite field: 

1.Berhanu ShiferawEthiopia2.04.48
2.Getu FelekeEthiopia2.04.50
3.Bazu WorkuKenya2.05.25
4.Wilson ChebetKenya2.05.27
5.Tilahun RegassaEthiopia2.05.27
6.Sammy KitwaraKenya2.05.54
7.Geoffrey KipsangKenya2.06.12
8.Assefa BentayehuEthiopia2.06.22
9.Augustine RonoKenya2.07.23
10.John Nzau MwangangiKenyadebut
Atsedu Tsegay (Eth, debut),
Joel Kimurer (Ken, 2.08.18)
Gidena Gebremedhin (Eth, 2.08.28)
Brett Gotcher (US, 2.10.36)
Reid Coolsaet (Can, 2.10.55)
Birhanu Melese (2.12.38)
Alebachew Debas Wale (Eth, 2.13.37)
Mike Morgan (US, 2.14.22)
Willem Van Schuerbeeck (Bel, 2.16.14)
Stijn Fincioen (Bel, 2.17.57)
Benjamin Barbier (Bel, debut)
Dieter Vanstreels (Bel, debut)
Javier Guerra (Spa, debut)
Michel Butter2.09.58
Koen Raymaekers2.10.35
Patrick Stitzinger2.15.01
Ronald Schroer2.16.19
Olfert Molenhuis2.16.20
Rens Dekkers2.17.10

Not sure if this will be free to view online and doesn't seem to be on Foxtel.

 15 April - Boston Men's elite field:

Moses Mosop, 2:03:06 (Boston, 2011), Kenya
Gebregziabher “Gebre” Gebremariam, 2:04:53 (Boston, 2011), Ethiopia
Markos Geneti, 2:04:54 (Dubai, 2012), Ethiopia
Ryan Hall, 2:04:58 (Boston, 2011), USA
Levy Matebo, 2:05:16 (Frankfurt, 2011), Kenya
Shami Abdullah Dawit, 2:05:42 (Dubai, 2012), Ethiopia
Dickson Chumba, 2:05:46 (Eindhoven, 2012), CRKenya
Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, 2:05:52 (Boston, 2010), Kenya
Wesley Korir, 2:06:13 (Chicago, 2012), Kenya
Raji Assefa, 2:06:24 (Paris, 2012), Ethiopia
Abdihakem “Abdi” Abdirahman, 2:08:56 (Chicago, 2006), USA
Mebrahtom “Meb” Keflezighi, 2:09:08 (Houston, 2012), USA
Lee Troop, 2:09:49 (Lake Biwa, 2003), Australia                   
Jeffrey Hunt, 2:11:00 (Beppu, 2010), Australia
Jason Hartmann, 2:11:06 (Chicago, 2010), USA
Eric Gillis, 2:11:28 (Toronto, 2011), Canada
Fernando Cabada, 2:11:53 (Houston, 2012), USA
Guor Marial, 2:12:55 (San Diego, 2012), NR South Sudan
Robin Watson, 2:13:37 (Rotterdam, 2012), Canada
Micah Kogo, 59:07 (South Shields, 2012), Kenya
Lucas Rotich, 59:44 (Den Haag, 2011), Kenya


21 April - London Men's elite field

Patrick Makau (Kenya)2:03:38
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya)2:03:42
Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya)2:04:15
Ayele Abshero (Ethiopia)2:04:23
Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia)2:04:38
Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya)2:04:40
Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia)2:04:52
Abel Kirui (Kenya)2:05:04
Stanley Biwott (Kenya)2:05:12
Martin Lel (Kenya)2:05:15
Deressa Chimsa (Ethiopia)2:05:42
Marilson Gomes dos Santos (Brazil)2:06:34
Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda)2:07:20
Yared Asmeron (Eritrea)2:07:27
Adil Annani (Morocco)2:07:43
Marcin Chabowski (Poland)2:10:07
Bunta Kuroki (Japan)2.10.08

British runners:
Tomas Abyu2:10:37
Scott Overall2:10:55
Derek Hawkins2:14:08
Phil Wicks2:15:38
Philip Anthony2:16:40
Mathew BondDebut


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

25,000km - highlight; injury and marathon training - lowlight. Canberra - off.

Trouble with not posting for a while ...

Things were going ok in the period immediately after my last blog post.  On that Friday, I did a 13km run which included 2 x 2km reps.  3:44/km pace for the first rep and 3:40/km for the second.  The second was bit too quick but felt ok.

Didn't run on the Saturday as I was on starter duty at Little Athletics and didn't want to have to get up at sparrows fart to fit in an easy jog.

On the Sunday I raced the 16km at Point Walter finishing 4th in 61:21.  (4km warmup and 4km cooldown) Although a bit outside what I wanted to run timewise, it was not a bad run considering the conditions (very strong easterly and course diversions onto grass and sand).

I got a good start and despite the wind was running very well to 2.5km when the 5km runners turned around and I suddenly found myself in 2nd position in the 16km race.  Was passed by two runners on the way out to the 4km turnaround but was still feeling relatively strong.  The advantage of the tailwind was discounted a bit by the deviation through sand onto grass where it was impossible to maintain rhythm.  Also had a blister starting on the ball of my left foot so briefly considered dropping out after one lap.

Ran well over the 800m or so to the start/finish turnaround  and got to 8k in just under 30mins so kept going.  Made up some ground on 3rd place over the 5km into the wind but he ran away from me on the way back particularly over the last 2km.  Splits over the 2nd 8km are not pretty even when I had the tailwind.

Given the unusual circumstances, I wasn't sure what sort of shape I was in.  The time doesn't mean much.  Although I was certainly not running at my best I dodn't feel like I was running badly.

Tried to take a positive outlook in that I didn't want to be running my best then as that means I won't be running my best in 9 weeks time.  I think that was the case second half of last year when I ran really well at City to Surf in August but was a bit off the boil by the marathon in October.

With the day off and no long run, only 95km for the week 4/2-10/2.

11/2 - 17/2 - 95km in 5 days (Mon- Fri).  No running Saturday and Sunday.
Week started off well and I got in two good (but not great workouts) on the Wednesday and the Friday.  In hindsight, only having one day between the two hard efforts may have been what caused/contributed to the injury that put me out of action for a week.  Another example of moderate, consistent being the way to rather than pushing things too hard.

Monday - one hour easy; Tuesday - steamy, steady 80 min run (4:21/km pace).

Wednesday - I planned to do a workout was supposed to be 3 x (1600; 1k; 800m; 400m) with 200m jog recovery between each.  No break between sets.  Turned out to be a logistical disaster due to my own ineptitude.

Had this set on my Garmin as a workout called Ladder Reps.  Unfortunately, I selected another workout called Ladder Down.  Realised something was wrong about halfway through the first 1600 but kept going and ended up stopping atfter 1.9km.

Picked correct workout and restarted with another 1600m rep; 200m JR; 1k rep but then I found I had missed putting in the 200m JR between the 1k and 800m reps.  Jogged the 800m then stopped and fixed workout and reset again.  As I had already run 4.2km hard and each set contained 3.8k harder running, I decided to just do two more full sets.

Pace was supposed to be from half marathon pace for the miles down to 10k pace for the 1k, then 5k pace for the 800s and 1500m pace for the the 400s.

Didn't get this quite right either with my miles being quicker than HM pace and my 400s not quick enough.

Full workout ended up being:
1.9k in 6:56 (3:41/km)
SR (reset watch)
1.6k in 5:43 (3:34/km)
200m JR
1k in 3:35
800m JR
SR (reset watch)
1.6k in 5:49 (3:38/km)
200m JR
1k in 3:38
200m JR
800m in 2:51 (3:38/km)
200m JR
400m in 1:22 (3:28/km)
200m JR
1.6k in 5:55 (3:44/km)
200m JR
1k in 3:45
200m JR
800m in 2:51 (3:37/km)
200m JR
400m in 1:17 (3:24/km)

All up with warm up and cooldown - ended up being 22.4k in 95:46 (4:16/km average pace), felt hard.

Thursday - regular medium long run with Rob, 20km @ 4:27/km pace.

Friday - 80mins including 6km @ half marathon (HM) pace; 1km jog recovery; 4km @ HM pace. The 4km segment was supposed to be at 10k pace but I didn't have it in my legs on this morning.  I figured it was still a good workout which hopefully over time would help get me running at MP more comfortably.

I feel even more stupid as I type this now but by Friday I had run 116km in the previous 6 days which included a 16km race and two hard workouts.  On Friday at work, I put my feet up on my desk as I took a private phone call in my office and my lower back went into spasm.  I have had this happen a couple of time before both of which stopped me runing for a week but this one didn't feel as bad initially.  Went for a walk at lunchtime to try and loosen it up but it actually felt like it was being tightened up with a screw driver.

No improvement at all over the weekend despite Nurofen so I went to the doctor Monday morning.  Three days off work on stronger anti-inflammatories plus Valium as a muscle relaxant which knocked me out.  I went and saw the osteopath on Wednesday and felt about 80% better after that.  He recommended another 48 hours before running again so it was Saturday before I went for a very gentle 8km run.

Aerobically I felt good.  Back felt fine.  Legs felt horrible, with a tight left hip flexor/groin and no strength in my stride at all.

On Sunday, I did an easy 18km around the Three Bridges as a substitute for another long run missed.

So 18/2-24/2 was 26km in 2 days

25/2-3/3 - 110km.  Got a full weeks running in.  Started off with a very run Monday before doing a moderate effort Mona fartlek on Tuesday.  Didn't push reps or recoveries.  Quite a strong headwind on the city side of the river.  Finished about 600m short of where I normally get to over the 22mins of my version of a Mona.

Easy Bridges loop Wednesday and a 21km run out to Maylands and back on Thursday.  On the Friday I did 5km @ tempo; 1km JR; 2k

4km warm up and 3km cooldown.  Was supposed to be 5km @ tempo; 1km JR; 5km @ 10k pace but I am just not running well at the moment.  5km @ tempo was fine but pace started drifting in 2nd km of the second 5km.  Tried to get something out of the workout by jogging a km and then doing another 2km @ effort but pace on this 2km wasn't great either.

Recovery run Saturday and then on Sunday, even though I knew I wasn't in shape to do it, I had a crack at the type of run I should be doing this far out from a marathon. 4km warmup, then 19km @ MP.

Ended up doing 10km @ marathon effort (but only around 3:58/km average pace), 1km easy which included a stop for a drink and a gel and then 10km moderately hard, which was close to marathon effort without smashing myself to try and get under 4:00/km.  Second 10km was between 4:05-4:15/km with most of them around 4:07/km.

This run took me over 25,000 recorded kms since I turned 40 in 2007 which is the highlight of what has been a pretty disappointing two or three weeks.

I have decided that my changed approach to marathon training has not worked for me and has left me lacking the specific endurance I need for a marathon.  As of Sunday night, I have completely revised my training for the last 6 weeks of my program but I don't think a PB or even a sub 2:45 is recoverable at this late stage.

Family meeting tonight, where the topic of discussion was withdrawing from Canberra Marathon and possibly running Bunbury Marathon instead (same day 14 April) or maybe running Joondalup Half in May and then having a crack at Perth Marathon in June.  This will save us around $3000 which is a lot of money to spend on a sub-par performance.

A bit disappointing but realistic.  At least I am not injured.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Canberra Marathon training and the year so far.

I am now a few weeks into my training for the Canberra Marathon on 14 April. As of this coming Sunday, I'll have nine weeks to go.

Last few weeks have been as follows:

31/12-6/1: 109.5k. Main workout was the Sunday long run which was with Mark Lee. We ran from Mends Street to City Beach along the City to Surf route and back again. 28.4k @ 4:16/km pace. Despite an early start (for me anyway) it started to get pretty warm towards the end. Good honest effort throughout the run, which remained conversational even with the solid pace.

7/1-31/1: 126.2k. Main workouts were a partially aborted session of 800s down at Kent Street HS (ridiculously hot and humid conditions) on Tuesday, 2 x 3k @ 10k pace on the Thursday and then a 26k long run on Sunday which included 4k @ marathon pace towards the end. Felt good on the long run.

14/1-20/1: 101.8k. Volume was down this week because I raced on the Sunday and missed out on my long run. Earlier in the week, I had another partial 800s session on the Tuesday and then a solid 2 x 2k @ 5k pace (ie below 3:30/km) on the Thursday.

On the Sunday, I raced the 4km at Matilda Bay finishing 3rd in 13:53. Ran smart, even effort, tucked in where I could when running into the wind and finished pretty strong. I think I did subconsciously switch off when I had 3rd sewn up and that probably cost me a couple of seconds.  After the race we headed down to Busselton for a few days.

21-1-27/1: 123.9k. I got in some good volume in Busselton although the logistics of being on holiday meant that I did not get any doubles in. Followed up Sunday's race with 21k on Monday, an easy hour on Tuesday (13k), 14k including 5 x 1k @ 5k pace (400m jog recovery) on Wednesday and then an easy 80 minutes (18k) on the Thursday before heading home. I started a workout on Friday but wasn't feeling it so that became an easy 15k. Recovery run Saturday before I ran my first 20 mile run of this training segment - 32k including 5k @ marathon effort progressing from 3:55 down to 3:50. I had left it too late to head out so it got pretty warm. Not enough carbs on the Saturday made for a bit of a slog in the MP section too as the wind had switched around. Felt harder than I thought it should so still plenty of room for improvement.

28/1-3/2: 125.2k. This was a bit of a rough week. After a reasonable start when I ran 5 x 1 mile @10k pace on the Tuesday, I had a down few days where I really struggled for motivation. I had a reasonable run with Rob on Thursday but felt crap on Friday and Saturday.

On the Sunday long run, I ran with Rob for the first 10k out past Ascot race course then he turned as he was running shorter today. I carried on the same course as the previous week out to Tonkin Highway and back through Bayswater and Maylands. I ran the 6k from 24-30k @ MP. Despite feeling a bit flat early on, I ran like a train on the MP part, hitting my paces perfectly - felt really good, strong and controlled. Only problem was that I ran around the Bridges which left me 5k from home rather than 2k which made for a longer cooldown so this became a 35k run by the end but very pleased to feel like I was back on track.

4/2 to 7/2: So far this week my two significant runs have been 5k @ 10k pace on Tuesday and then a 20k medium long run with Rob this morning. I am racing the 16k down at Point Walter on Sunday so the rest of the week will be relatively easy as I want to put in a good solid effort in the race which is one of two tune ups before Canberra. This morning I ran in a new pair of Saucony Mirage 3s for the first time so in the near future I will post a review. Initial view/opinion is very positive.