Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Noosa Half Marathon


Noosa half mara. Arhh, it was a fun morning.

We got to the race village at around 5am'ish. It was a overcast morning, but still dry. Around 17 degree. I did a K or so warm up with Salli from around the start line, off over the first bridge and back. Help to pass that pre-event time well. Lining up at the start there weren't that many people there yet, so I ended up pretty close to the front. I'd not really decided exactly what to go for, but knew the basic splits for 97 minutes (a 4:36 pace).

The race started at around 6:30am. Salli and I line up pretty early. Not too many people were at the line, so we ended up quite close to the front. It all went very quickly at the beginning. Salli shot off pretty fast, so I choose not to keep up with her. The pace on the Garmin was showing around 4:11. I eased off a bit and seemed to settle around 4:28'ish. This seemed to work, so here I stayed. As I passed 5k, 10k, 15k, I was a bit ahead on splits.

The field was a lot more sparse that at the Gold Coast last month. I thought the numbers were quite down on last years Noosa 1/2, but when checking the 2006 & 2007 results, there were only around 30 people less this year. Not enough to be able to tell.

The Garmin's average pace slowly crept back closer to 4:36. At the 20k mark is was 92 min and something and read 4:36 pace. I tried to give a bit of extra go for the last k. The Garmin reckoned the lap pace for the last k was around 4:22. When I turned the corner for the last 100 meters through the finishing chute, I could see the clock saying around 1:37:3x. I gave it as good a sprint as I could to the finish and according to clock above it was before it ticked over to the next minute. The Garmin said 1:37:56.

According to the official results on the USM website, my time was 1:38:02. Mmmm. Oh well, who gives a sh#*, it was a PB by a few more minutes. And it will just be not as hard to beat next time, right?

There were some great new PB's set by many of the PCRG runners. Many others seemed to be mainly concerned with just having a good run and a fun time. That's nice and helps to put a bit of perspective on what's important on a day like this.

The weather then turned a bit for the 10k people starting at 8:05am. It got rainy, windy and felt a bit cold.

Post race there was lots of catching up with all the PCRG & other runners, which was great fun. Then we adjourned to the Noosa Surf Life Saving club for breakfast. It was very nice & fun. The Noosa SLA club was great, probably 3 stars for the cuisine, but bumped up to 4 for the view and convenient location to the event.

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's Oh So Quiet

Tap tap tap. Is there anyone in there? I think there's no one home. It's oh so quiet.




Hmmm. Cough, cough. Arrr, I'm still here. Just been a bit quiet on the blogging front. So what been going on? Well lets see.

A few weeks after doing the Canberra marathon I was feeling great and looking forward to going on to do Gold Coast. The some niggles started. First it was a spasm in the left hami. Then after a disasterous mid week run, the spasm spread to the whole lower half of the hami, behind the knee and to top of the calf.

I went straight to the physio. My physio guy had moved onto greener pastures, so I got fobbed of onto someone else. The new physio told me various things were the cause and gave me a bunch of stretches to do. I put up with this problem for a couple of more weeks and everything was just get much worse. There was basically no running going on at all.

I got completly jack of all of this and dumped this physio and moved over to using Tess' physio. He was much better. He diagnosed hamstring tendinopathy (see here) and gave me a bunch of strengthening exercises to do. He also said I'd be back to running in a week or so. These excersises took about 1 1/2 hours to do, and I had to do them twice a day! Yep, that's 21 hours a week!

That was the end of all other activities. After a couple of weeks I was back to running just a little. About 2 to 3 k's at a time. This slowly built up over the next few weeks and finally I got back to almost normal. The insane amount of physio excersises continued on into July. And then just before Gold Coast, I finially got a reprieve to 1 1/2 hrs a week. Phew!

Since then I got back up to do the Gold Coast 1/2 marathon. It was a great morning. Did 1:41:14. Nice little PB there by 6+ minutes. Its been quite a while since I gave a 1/2 mara a good go.
Felt great through most of the race. Finish with a bit left in the tank.

A couple of weeks ago was the annual Bridge to Brisbane race. Last years best was 58:30 or so. This time around I figured that 55'ish might be nice. Ended up getting 52:5o. A nice 6 minute PB there too. Average during the race was the low 4:2x min k's. I was really surprised how comfy it felt, particually seeing as we'd done a 23+k's training run the day before.

Coming up...
Noosa half this coming Sunday (19th Aug 2007). Not really fixed a goal. Sub 100 min. Behond that, we'll see.

Melbourne marathon Oct 7th. Along with a very strong contingent of Queenslanders, I'll go down to Melbourne in October to give this marathon thing another go. No goals yet, way too early to worry about things like that.

That's enough self indulgent ranting for now :-). Even though the last few months have very busy, with work, insane amounts of physio, etc, etc, I've read some blogs & hope to continue.

~

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Canberra Marathon


Wow, what a weekend. It was all very fun. First marathon, wow. It was a big experience. Well I finished it. I ran all the way (i.e. didn't give up and walk) and I survived. That was goal number one. I got 3:57! Cool, sub 4hrs. That was goal number two. Apart from that, I didn't really firmly set any goal higher than that. I figured that 3:45 to 3:50 would be nice and achievable. And I was running with that as the plan. But plans don't always go quite to plan.

Gory detail next. Skip to the end...

I flew down on Saturday morning with Tess, Glen, Lizz, Mark, Katy, Wayne, Eddie (Rob). The rest of the day involved squaring away race packs, lunch, dinner, and some freaking out.

Sunday, race day. Got up at around 5:45am. Idea was to not get up too early and spend too long freaking out. Got ready, ate a little, and went out to checkout the proposed crime scene. A little bit a jog around proved that all limbs were still firmly attached (I had doubts), and there were no major pains anywhere (I had my doubts).

All too quickly the race began. I was going to try and stick to an average pace of 5:20 throughout. The first 10k loop was very easy and I was actively having to slow down continuously. The Garmin was saying that my avg pace was around 5:10.

Then we started out on the 1st 15k loop. At this point the mp3 player died. It just turned off. Wouldn't turn back on. Bugger, I was just getting into that. Oh well. Funny it didn't put me off at all. Must be quite used to not using it now that I didn't care. As it turned out I had great chats with lots of people for many k's because I wasn't using it. Half glad it died now. Should have chucked the stupid thing into lake Burley Griffin.

By the time I got to about 15ks, the Garmin was then saying an avg pace of 5:07. Something was a bit screwy here. I had noticed a few very odd current pace readings. After a while the avg pace seemed to settle on 5:14. But when I got to the halfway point the time was around 1:56'ish. What? So it wasn't just that I was feeling good that the avg pace was staying low, but the avg pace reading were a bit odd. Jeez, I'm glad I didn't slow down anymore. I knew that I was still going OK for sub 4hr, as the dude with the blue balloon was still behind me, but beyond that I wasn't really sure. So I thought I'd just keep plugging along. Back to cowbell corner and out on the last loop.

I got a stitch which caused a bit of bother at around 32k's. This was at around the top of the furthest hill. I slowed a little and got my breathing under control and it passed. The run back was difficult. When I got to the 38k mark, I was telling myself "just 4k's more... its just like a Pat session, just 4k's". I managed to pick up the pace a little. But it took just forever for 39k to come. "Just 3k to go, just like a 3k time trial... 3k's in pain I can do that". It was the longest 3k's of my life. It just seemed to take forever! "Its just time on the feet, only about 7mins to go, keep going". Eventually I was near the end. Clairie and Mark were at the last turn and were yelling lots of cheers and that was very encouraging. That spurred me on for the last 200 meters. In the last hundred or so meters, I noticed that clock was passing the half minute mark so I picked up the pace and passed five people to finished in 3:57:53.

Rob Lofthouse was right the at the finish. He was great. He took me over to the side, sat me down and feed me many drinks. It was a few minutes until I felt normal and not light headed. Thanks Rob :-).

In the end, the Garmin was reporting an avg pace of 5:21 and a total distance of 43.5km! Go figure. Turns out that it was because it didn't have a lock on enough satellites. This was because I'd turned it on only minutes before the start of the race. And also that I'd moved it over a thousand k's from when it was last used. Rookie mistake. Next time use time splits & k markers.

Conclusion:
This 1st marathon turned out to be not be as hard as thought it might be. Having said that, this race was the hardest single thing I've ever done in my life. It was very satisfying so finish.

Clairie was great. Excellent support, holding up signs with very supportive messages & cheering. You were a great help, thanks! Katy was great. Very supportive, entertaining and distracting (in a good way). Thanks Katy. Thank you to Tess for all your support :-). Rob L was great, very supportive. Thanks Mark for the great advice & encouragement. Thanks to everyone in blogland, you provided great encouragement. Jeez, I sound like I'm accepting a Golden Globe. Just hope I don't wake up in rehab.

Now, Gold Coast Marathon? Somewhere around 3:30 to 3:40?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Taper Town

The time has come, only a couple of days to go. I'm not nervous (yet), but it is getting exciting. At the moment my attitude is very fatalistic. I've done all the training that was humanly possible for me in the time frame that I had, and now its upon us. Yeehaa!

I've been making list, and checking them twice. Picking a playlist for the iPod takes a while. I've got 4 1/2 hours of music, so that will be more than enough. Sometimes I'll bing a song while running if I'm not in the mode for it when it hits. So it pays to have extra.

The taper is going well. I find it interesting though. I'm getting antsy (is that a word?). It's been weeks since the last loooong run and the bod is keen to get out there and waste some (all!) of my energy. I'm also getting lots of niggles. They all seem to be caused by muscle spasms. My theory is that with less running, the muscles don't get stretched as much. Or maybe its just all in my head. Either way, the physio getting a new level added to his house with all the visits I've been having.

This is a catchy song I recently found, that I've added to the iPod for around the 1 1/2 hour mark. Its a great clip. Odd, but humorous...






"The doctor told me to exercise for my heart condition. Then he tells me to rest for my hepatitis. I'm in a dilemma. So, I compromise. I do pushups in bed."
Walter Matthau

Monday, April 02, 2007

Get ready, test everything...

I know, I know. Very slack in blogland. Excuses can be rendered as follows... busy, busted laptop, dislike of sitting still at a desktop PC to write more than 3 lines at a time, etc.

Time to test all the race gear. Check out anything new. This is my new earphones for the iPod. What do you think? Should be OK, unless it rains and gets windy :-(.


I did my last loooong run on Saturday week ago. It was a full "classic" river loop from the Ship Inn at Southbank around Indooroopilly bridge and back. All up it was 36k's (there was an extra bit before the Ship Inn) and took 3hr's 25. I started at 4:30am. It was long and difficult. It was good for the head to make it a little longer than the normal long run.

Later that day, I shared an ice cream spoon with my little boy and then promptly came down with a cold on the Sunday. Should'a seen that coming. I skipped a couple of days running to get over the cold.

By the Wednesday I was much improved, so I did a very easy 1hr 20 run from home out to Ashgrove and back. Nothing broke or fell off, so its all system go :-).

Thursday at Pat's was a 2 x 1500m and 2 x 500m with maybe around 30 seconds recovery. I forgot my watch, so I've got no idea what the splits were. Probably a good thing really. The main cold symptoms are gone.

Saturday (just gone). On the program was 2hrs. I started aroun 5:00am and ran from the Ship Inn to the Story Bridge and back (5k's) and then met up with a good crowd starting at the Ship Inn at 5:30am. We then did a loop around to the Green Bridge and back through Highgate Hill and West End. All up 2hrs and 23.5k's and an avg pace of 5:15'ish.

***

Still to come are few more Pat sessions and shorter runs. Just 1Hr 30min next weekend. Funny how a 1 1/2 hour run can be considered "small".

Even though the runs get shorter, can I sharpen the pencil and "go harder" in the taper period? Is that what's normally done. I have heard that from a number of (more experienced than I) people.
~

Friday, March 23, 2007

Head down, bottom up...

A big awrite tae every body it thaur.

Everything’s been very hectic, with training hard its all time consuming, and the laptop blew up. Hell, I’ve just been tired and couldn’t be stuff blogging anything for the last couple of weeks. Here’s the last couple of weeks in a nutshell…

***

Sat 10th. Did a 3Hr+ Brisbane river loop run with the Running Buddies Lindsay and Joseph. It was hot, but not as hot as the previous week. It was hard, but not as hard as previous week. Best bit was breaky at Poppies afterwards.

***

Tues at Pats in the Gardens for 2/1/2 min efforts with 30 sec SR then turn around and do it all again. Then one longer 5min effort. It went very well and was quite pleased.
***

Wed 1Hr run from the Gap to Ashgrove and back. Humn, knee pain getting worse.

***

Thursday speed at Pats for 5/4/5/4 30 sec SR. Felt good and did well. Went the physio in the arvo. Now a bunch of new stretches and exercises to do :-).

***

Friday 1Hr run from the Gap to Ashgrove and back.

***

Sun: BRRC 1/2 Marathon. Current PB for 1/2 is 1:47:37. Decided to do sub 1:45. Was on track till after 11k mark, then started to die. Didn’t have a plan B (daft). I got tired and lost focus and didn’t push on as I should have. So the third 5k lap was a bit shabby. The last lap was a bit better. Ended up with 1:49. So I guess that would give me a marathon time of around 3:50.

***

Tuesday at Pats for light 50 min run. I did the normal warm up from the Ship Inn to West End with all the rest of the other Pat partons. Then Clairie and I did a nice relaxed run down to Orleigh Park and back, while everyone else huffed, puffed and struggled with 1min/30s or 30/30s efforts. It’s funny that with our leisurely jogging pace, we got out to Orleigh Park and back to the speed session starting point at pretty much the same time as everyone else. I guess its because everyone else is spending 1/3 to 1/2 of their time jogging slowly. Anyway, thanks Clairie for the nice run and chat :-))). Off the physio again in the arvo (knee niggle pain).

***

Wednesday: With the wake up call of the weekends 1/2 marathon, decided that I’m a bit out of touch with what racing feels like. Pat always tells me to take all my runs except for the speed session as easy runs. I’m not sure if this is quite spot on. I thinks its also important to be used to the feeling of pushing on and keeping up the pace, even when tired. So, I thought I’d do todays 1hr 20min run harder than normal (than Pat’s easy pace). I went to the Regatta at 5:30am and hooked up with Tess, Lizzle, Mark, etc. I thought that if I could hang on with these guys for much of the time, that would be good. We did a loop from the Regatta around to the Story Bridge over and back via Southbank back to the Regatta. After about 10k’s, it was only Tess and myself together. The others had taken different shorter/longer routes. I was tired and suggested Tess should run off ahead (while I plod). She wasn’t going to get great training with me holding her back. Alone, I fired up the music for motivation and pushed on the rest of the way back. I was pleased I was able to increase the pace on every k till the last couple were 4:50, 4:45. A good run like this every week will do me wonders.

***

Thursday: Speed at Pat’s. Today we did effort with 2x 4min efforts with 30 second standing recovery, then turn and did one long 8 min effort back to the start. I was please that I got through this and got a little further than when I did this same session last. The return was a negative split by about 12 seconds.

~

*EDIT* Oh, almost forgot the best bit. In Pat's new push for Gold Coast marathon promo, I won the Group Award and got some Gold Class movie tickets. Thanks sooooo much guys/gals for nominating me. :-)))))))).

~

And the knee pains are getting better (keep stretching and doing the physio's exercises) :-).

***

Coming soon….

Saturday, the last loooong run before …..

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I have a cunning plan m'lord

Firstly I'd like to say best of luck to all those who are running in this weekends 6 Foot Marathon. 2P, R2B, CJ, Geoff, Superflake, etc, etc. I wish you all have a great run :-).

Over the previous few weeks there have been some questions about what my Canberra marathon plan were. I have very much appreciated all the support and advice that has been offered by everyone. It has helped immensely. Anyway, I thought I'd detail some of my ill-conceived plan.

***************

This is my Canberra marathon plan.

The Idea:
Christmas & New Year came and went, and I'd still not decided just what I wanted to achieve in 2007. So I figured I'd spend January thinking about it. I'd been training pretty hard since Christmas.

At the start of Feb, I did my 1st 30k'ish training run. Having survived this, I decided that I may be able to handle a half assed go at a marathon. Being impulsive, I added up recent training efforts, the amount of time till Canberra marathon, the training that could be achieved in the time available, and spoke to several people about realistic expectations. The result was a decision to give it a go.


The Goals:
A. To survive and complete the race (intact).
B. Sub 4 Hrs.
C. T.B.A. Pat will no doubt offer a goal pace just beforehand, which I will take into consideration :-).

I've never done a marathon before, so I've got no idea what to expect. And with a limit on preparation time, I'm not going to set any goals that are too lofty.


Training Plan:
Instead of hurting my brain thinking about it too much, I just coughed up and paid for a program from Pat which takes me all the way up to the Canberra marathon.

The program take me from where I start out at around 55km a week, to the current 70km or so a week. It not a lot of k's, but where not taking about some huge marathon PB goal here. We're just talking about surviving.

The Progress:
The mind is willing. Mentally, my heads in gear. No problems there.

The body is just holding together. Any pre-ramp up niggles aren't getting any worse. There are lots of new niggles appearing here and there. With TLC, they aren't currently hindering anything.

The main struggle seems to be fatigue. I'd like to do more/go harder, but its no good trying to start sessions already tired. My current plan to handle this is as follows...

_/* Golden Rules *\_
1. Do runs that are meant to be "easy" pace at an easy pace. Pretty obvious really. It's still one I'm guilty of ignoring.
2. Don't ever go back and redo a session (or any part thereof), even if I'm not happy with the effort applied. Doh!
3. Keep runs to the length planned. If its a 3hr run, try to make it three hours, not 3hr 15min or 20min, etc. I'm sure its those last couple of extra k's that can be squeezed onto the end of a run that contribute the majority of the fatigue. This is totally hypothetical, but I'm grasping at straws here.

That's all I've got so far. It's my first time around, so its a work in progress.

Recent Training:

You know, I've just been trying to hold everything together that I've not really had time (or been bothered) to blog what I've been up to. But there's been stuff being done, so I'll quickly put that down.

Last week I did Pat's Tues & Thursday sessions. Can't remember what happened there, but I do remember that I was stuffed and the results where nothing to write about. The Wednesday I took off due to a new right knee niggle that I was quite concerned over. A rushed appointment at the physio put my mind at rest and he told me to go away and keep running! I know!

Last weekend did a 3hr+ long run again (number 5 for this campaign). I was so concerned about over fatigue that I really wanted to take it easy. It turned out to be a great 3 hour run at a pretty cruisey pace of around 5:50. I had great company in the Brisbane Running Buddies. We had slight trouble keeping the group together as members dropped off from the group like flies. In the end it was just myself and another nice chap Joseph. It was a really tough run, very hot and very humid. It was also very satisfying to finish it, as I was dreading it beforehand. It put a new lease of life back into my spirits :-).

This week...
Skipped Pat's Tuesday 3km TT on physios advice (no speed for a few days he said). So an easy 1hr 11km run around work instead.
Wednesday 1Hr 20min 15km did a great run from The Gap out along the bike paths out to Ashgrove (not sure exactly what suburb it was when I turned). It was pouring down with rain and I just loved it.
Pancake Thursday at Pat's. Pat's on a Thursday after a time trial is meant to be an easy 50 min run (25 min out, 25 min back), followed by a No Watch 1km. I ran out easy at ~5:30 pace. Then turned and ran back at around 4:45 to 4:50 pace. This isn't really doing it easy for me, but I was feeling good, so I just wanted to do it. Then we did the No Watch 1K. Did that in 4:18 (guessed 4:20). I normally don't sprint this No Watch 1k anyway.

Tomorrow..... another 3hr+ long run (number 6). Today is a rest day.
~