Sunday, December 20, 2009

Six Inch 2009

Well I did it - couldn't help myself. As expected it was a tough morning on the trails.

Saturday night I made my appearance at the family Christmas Party, got to sleep about 10, up at 2.

It was a hot morning in Perth, luckily a little cooler in Dwellingup, about 16C at 0430 start, 25 by the time I finished - but felt pretty hot in the exposed sections in the last 10k

My race went probably as one would expect - good speed from the good year, lacking endurance.
Starting up the long hill of the first couple of km, I fell into 5th/6th place with Nate - similar to last year. Just as per last year those in front of us - this time Big Kev and Brett, missed a turnoff. I missed it too - but Nate was close behind me and called me back to make the turn. This put us in 3rd/4th (somewhat undeservedly)

The 23k station was 1hr52 - 7 minutes faster than last year, and nate caught me there. The next few km we played yo-yo as Nate passed me up the hills ( I walked up) then I pulled back to him over the down/flats.

I made a little gap at Oakley dam and tried to push on to the second drink station ahead of him - in 2hr45 again about 7 min faster than last year.

I really started to struggle from here on in, walk-jogging the rest. I had a scare with 3k to go when I saw someone about 400m behind me. I mustered up all my remaining energy and finished ahead of them, ony to find out it was the leader of the 11k race, and that Nate was several mintes behind me - needn't have hurt myself so much.

Overall time 4hrs3 minutes -about 6 minutes slower than last year - I dont really believe I lost 13 minutes on last year in the last 10k - unfortunately I lost all my Garmin data from 08 so I can only go by what I wrote on my blog.

I feel sore in the calves, quads and hammies, but luckily no specific tendon or loint niggles (had a stiff feeling knee during the week)

Kudos to Dave for winning, Bruce for second despite cramps, and Nate for fourth. Commiserations to Kev and Brett - I'm sure they would have beated me had they run the 5k less.

On an entirely different front I went down to Perth's new runners store this week and couldn't go past the KSwiss Kona in Australian flag design - as seen in last RFYL magazine. First impressions are light and firm, quite stable for the weight. I've had brief thoughts of running Boston in these, but they might lack a bit of cushioning. Need try them on some longer tempos

I also bought a Nathan brand fuel belt style water carrier with 2x300ml bottles. Wore it today and found it surprisingly good. Much better than camelback and the Target waist pack I used last year. I may even try it on a long run rather than carrying the Powerade bottle

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Back In the Habit

Like Whoopi Goldberg or Robbie Coltrane.

This week was about the body and mind getting used to running regularly again. Luckily I rediscovered my mojo at the start of the week and finally had some spring back in my step-

Mon rest
Tues 10k@4:12 (fartlek) - included 2k@3:40 - felt really good, finally shaken the virus. PM played golf for the first time in over a year and did surprisingly well (for me)

Wed am 10k@4:18 (fartlek) - included 2k@4:00, 2k@3:50
Wed pm 9k@4:25 - consistent pace
Thurs am, 5.5k@4:45 - legs shot by the last 2 days
Friday am 8.5k@4:40- still pretty fatigued, but in a good way
Sat am 11k@4:30 - tried to hold back a little for City Beach

Sun am City Beach funrun 8k. Hot one! About 27C at the start, 30C at the finish.
I was keen to make sure I toughed out the full 8k and not stop after one lap. Met up with Sugar, Sas and Biscuitman before the start. My plan had been 345 first km, then slow down to 3:55-400s until the last km and finish fast if I had the legs

Garmin Splits were 3:42/3:51/3:41/3:43 14:59 halfway Garmin 15:14 on course

This is where the struggle began - had felt I had controlled things OK til here but the heat was biting and the 6th km was the killer (for all I subsequently discovered)

Second half 3:56/4:02/4:08/3:55 - 8k by Garmin 31:01
Race time 31:17.
I walked 10m at the 6k hairpin, but it didn't slow things down too much

So the overall race was about as expected. I'll be interested to see the times of the leaders as many seemed a bit slower than usual - perhaps making my run a bit better than at first glance

Nice to see Biscuitman returning from injury with a controlled effort, Sugar ran well but didn't push himself too hard.

This week I'll try to run every day. The hot forecast has strengthened my resolve not to run Six Inch, although there is a little part of me that wont completely discount it yet.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

In two minds

regarding Six Inch.

On the downside:
  • I have a persistent (Khumbu) cough and nasal/sinus congestion still present now 2 weeks after return from Nepal.
  • My Resting HR is still not down where it should be.
  • I'd not run more than 21k since the C2S Marathon in August (until today)
  • As previously documented, I am unlikely to be able to hold myself back on the day
  • Running may cause a significant 'bump' in my base training for Boston, or at worst an injury
  • Tiff would like me to attend the family XMas party on the saturday after bailing at 8pm the last 2 years

On the upside:
  • I managed 6 runs totalling 88k this week without major issues
  • I ran 28k today feeling pretty good
  • Running SixInch last year really launched my good year
  • I enjoy supporting the race as it grows, and enjoy the race day itself

This week -

Mon, Wed,Fri, Sat 10k each at easy pace (4:30-4:45)
Tues pm 19k@ 4:24 through Kings Park
Sun am 28.2k@4:40 through Kings Park

Today went off at 6am - was already 20degrees, but cooler than yesterday, was 25 at the finish.
Brief drink stop at 13k, toilet stop at 24k only, ran solidly the whole way and felt I could have run 5k more at that pace. Recovered well.

Right now I really am undecided. I'll see how this week goes health and running wise, see what the weather forecast ends up being, see if Clown is up to running (wasn't looking promising last I heard), and see what quality wine is being consumed at the party!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Om mani padme hum

Picture at KalaPatthar 5545m - Clown, Me, Dad
Back from Nepal, and spiritually re-energised. Physically, not so much...
Another great trekking experience.
I even managed to do a couple of treadmill runs in Kathmandu (1400m) after the trek - Friday am 10k in 5x2k at 4:00, pm 7k easy
Sat am 6.5k mainly easy
Unfortunately it's been a struggle so far upon return. After no sleep overnight on the plane I tried to go for a run Sun afternoon. I lasted 8k then had to lie down on the grass by the river for 10minutes as I felt faint, and walked about 4k home. Since then I've been a bit off colour, resting HR up to about 60, and have run twice 10k very easy.
So it's a little over 3 weeks til Six Inch and it's definitely going to be a training run. I hope to put in some medium long runs the next couple of weekends, no point going too long aqnd damaging the legs, no real point tapering more than a couple of days. I really have no idea what to expect - might have a better idea in the next few days as my body returns to normal. I should have great oxygen carrying capabilities, it dependsa more upon whether my legs pick up quickly enough.
I definitely want to go back to Nepal again - tentative plans Mera Peak (6461m) 2011!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Off to Sagarmāthā

Quick update post before flying out tonight.

Not much going on running wise in recent weeks. Once I realised that the John Gilmour 10k track was postponed until after I'd left, there was no event to prepare for.

I ran 250km in October - mainly 10-15k runs - easy, medium, fartlek. On Friday I ran a 6.5k tempo at 3:50s which felt a little harder than it would have 2 months ago.

If we can find somewhere nice to run, and I can throw off yet another niggling virus, Clown&I might do a couple of light jogs in Kathmandu, before the trekking starts in earnest.

My Boston Marathon confirmation has come in the mail and they've taken my money, so that's well and truly in my thoughts already. I've downloaded some elevation profiles from MapMyRun (each a little different as the Garmin altitude function isn't that great) and also of Perth runs, to find some corresponding hills to train on. I was surprised to see the significant overall altitude drop at Boston, and that the gradient of the hills doesn't match the two in the City to Surf Marathon, although they do come later. I'm sure Sugar and Biscuitman can give me a blow-by-blow of these hills!

Anyway, back in 3 weeks relaxed, fit, and ready to launch a short but concerted training block for SixInch

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Freo 10k

38:03 - PB but not quite my potential best at present

I started the week on Monday public holiday playing squash for the first time in about 8 years.
The rest of the week was spent limping with aching hip abductors (glutes and piriformis) - it's amazing what muscles you dont use running that do get used in a lateral movement sport.

I managed to hobble through 10k jogs Tues, Thurs and Sat am, started loosening up on Saturday

This morning started off poorly as I forgot my Garmin - so I ran blind (didnt even have a normal watch). I did about 5k easy to try and loosen the backside up ,so to speak

The start was as congested as usual , but things freed up after 700m or so and I hit a reasonable rhythm. I had been planning on staying in touch with biscuitman, but sadly his injury prevented him running, and Sugar was out of my league. I ran the first 5k keeping pace with the girl eho I think won the 5k womens event, as well as with the young blond guy from intervals (Clown knows the one!). They both stopped at 5k, which I passed at 18:45.

I started the second lap about 100m behind the leading female runner. One of the female marshalls yelled out a couple of times that those of us behind her were being 'chicked' and that we should try to pass her to save ourselves embarrassment. I thought this a little inappropriate but I did set my sights on gradually winding her in. I was also just behind Felipe Jalpa - who has a style which looks like he's jogging, and with Mike Haederle . I plodded along and gained about 20m on the leading female each kilometre, passing her with about 400m to go.

I thought to myself that this must be what it's like for Clown when running - it was my legs (or more specifically my upper butt) that was limiting me rather than my cardiorespiratory system. The good thing was that I felt fine afterwards, and even played another hour of squash this afternoon (paying for it now)

So I think I have another 30-45 seconds in me over the 10k, and am toying with the idea of focussing on the John Gilmour 10k track race to set a PB.

Congrats to Sugar on third place and a PB, even if not quite the target time
Good luck to Clown, Sling and TB next week in Melbourne - three PBs coming up

And on a final note, a couple of the fast young 5k guys were wearing nasal strips as pictured. My thoughts:
a. Breathe through your mouth
b. I dont care if it makes you run faster, you guys look like dicks

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Go the Mighty Cats

An up and down running week this week - and it started with the 'up'

Tuesday night ran for the first time at AK reserve - the replacement track for Perry Lakes. The surface was great, and fast. Apparently it is the same surface as at the Beijing Olympics -

It's a "dual-durometer" construction made of asphalt and stone base, polyurethane (PU) surface and a butyl rubber layer that helps with high return of energy during striding and exceptional shock absorption.

The track surface is finished with embedded ethylene propylene diene monomer granules for advanced traction. Unlike sheet rubber applied to asphalt with glue, PU is chemically bonded to the asphalt. Because PU is poured into place, if offers a seamless surface without tripping hazards.

The redoubtable Biscuitman was running a Yasso 800 session at 2:40s, so I decided to join in for the ride. I went in thinking I'd do 6 or so, but ended up doing the first 5, then skipped the 6th - jogging 800m with Rob instead, and returned for the last 4. So 9 of 10 - but a nice little break in the middle.

Splits - 2:37/2:40/2:41/2:39/2:39 (break) 2:42/2:43/2:39/2:37

I knew it was going to be fast when the warmup 3.5k was at 4:10s!
The 2:40 jogs were just under 600m

I felt a bit intimidated initially running on a real track - then I thought why be intimidated by a bunch of teenagers? Luckily we'd finished when some of the big guns of WA distance running started their session. (Kudos to TB and Clown for a good interval session too - perhaps we can start our own Tuesday interval group this summer)

What I got out of the session (apart from confirming the fact that Biscuitman is a gun), was that despite the limitations of the sesion as a predictor, I feel I still have a bit of marathon improvement in me if I can tap into that potential.

Anyway, the other thing I got from the session was a virus on Thursday - a sure sign I pushed too hard. So the rest of the week was a bit of a write-off, 3x10k easy 4:45-5:00 pace runs.

On the non running front - the Cats had a well deserved win yesterday, and today we did the Nepal Trek shopping - spending inordinate amounts on trekking gear.

Freo 10k next week? maybe...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Freo HM

Happy enough with this week

Tuesday Tempo 10k in 38:45 -eased in with a 4:08/4:05, then 5k in 18:40, and had to work the last 3k into the wind in 3:50s. This was to test my knee pre the Half, and things were fine

Thurs and Fri 12k each 3 laps around the tan. I did one fast lap on Fri am but I forgot my Garmin charger so not sure how fast it was. Ran anticlockwise this time which feels the harder way to do it.

Sun - Freo HM in about 86 flat. No exact time as I didn't enter - in Melbourne wed-fri and working sat am, should have entered online but didn't ,and they've stopped on the day entries. Felt a bit of a freeloader running without entering but I only had about 3 plastic cups of water en route and would happily have paid had they let me.

I ran with Rob as a bit of a pacer - 19:34/19:44/20:40/20:46 the 5k splits. I felt fine most of the run but had to dig a bit in the last 2k into the wind as Rob pushed things up a notch. I tried to be surreptitious finishing to the side of the chute, but a few people gave me some funny looks.

Great PB for Rob who's injuries didn't slow him down much this time and hopefully builds some confidence for Melbourne. Also solid efforts from Gunner and Coops - both looked comfortable each time I crossed paths with them. TB was handing out drinks - many thanks (looks like you've lost some weight - can see it in your face)

Go the Cats!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sore Knee

I've been paying for my great Marathon over the last couple of weeks. Initially I thought it would be the left groin/hip flexor which would bother me, but that can be run through and settles with stretching.

More annoyingly is some pes anserinus tendonitis/bursitis in the right knee. It doesn't appear until about 8k, but when it comes it's quite nasty. Akin to ITBS on the medial aspect of the knee/proximal tibia.

On the plus side, I've got another overuse injury to add to the collection - I've now become much better at diagnosing and treating sporting injuries in the last couple of years.

So lots of stretching (esp hamstrings) and no runs beyond 10k - 38k total last week, 54k this week.

Apart from this the body feels good on easy runs, but after trying anything approaching a quality session I feel it the next day

I was hoping to run the Freo HM with Clown next week, but will have to see how it goes. An option may be to run 'til the knee gets sore then pull out. A quick trip to Melbourne for a couple of meetings Thurs and Friday mean I also have the opportunity to beat my Tan lap time.

Looking more closely at those High School times from my last post I'm beginning to question my memory - surely I never ran that fast. I'll take a look and see if I have any records to confirm their veracity. I cant imagine ever being as fast as Sugar is now!

And finally, speaking of fast - I saw the Triathlon World Champs on TV -Alistair Brownlee won with a 10k of 29:04 - that's pretty impressive after 1500m swim and 40k cycle!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Official result

Your Net time:
Your Gun time:
Your first-half split (Net Time):
Your first-half split (Gun Time):

That would make second Half 1:28:52
7 second negative split

So I've consumed some fatty food and some very nice wine, and celebrated as well as possible with wife away in US/Europe

Having achieved a goal which took 5 years and 8 marathon starts to achieve, there is a considerable let down feeling and sense of aimlessness
Luckily running is such a part of my life that I couldn't fathom not continuing to run regularly
Boston is the next significant goal, and with the sub 3 out of the way, and Clown's sub 3 on the way, we can relax and enjoy it.
Beyond that I guess it's hard to go from there. There is no great marathon milestone in my reach, unless averaging sub 4 min/km counts

5k and 10k runs don't really push my buttons. Ultras are attractive but very hard work
I did toy with the idea of challenging my year 12 school athletics results - 2:04 800m and 4:21 1500m

I entered the marathon time in the VDOT calculator - comes in at 54.3
Predicted times
5k 18:34
10k 38:31
HM 1:25:13
1500m 5:01
3000m 10:44

Short term I've got a nasty left hip flexor strain with a noticeable swelling in the groin (get your mind out of the gutter), so I expect a couple of weeks before I'm running again

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My finest hour

2:57:59 by my watch. How do you like those apples ( I almost said this to the girl giving out fruit in the recovery tent a la Matt Damon, but took pity on her)

Leading up to this one, I wanted to focus on 2 things - mental discipline not to go too fast in the middle third, and adequate nutrition.

I decided to use 7km chunks as my targets, as indiviual kms were too variable with the hills. I wanted Nothing under 29, nothing over 30 for each of the sixths.

29:14/29:16/29:09/29:22/29:18/29:15 by the Garmin - all within 2 sec/km of each other.

So I started conservatively, feeling quite good. I tucked in a group of about 6 - mainly South African guys who I expect are stalwarts of WAMC/Darlington. I heard one had run 2:17 in his younger days. I'm not a chatty marathoner, so I just listened.

Nothing really happened in the first HM. I took powerade at every station, and grabbed a Gu at 15k and had it with some water at the next station. I didn't walk any of the stations, often needing to take 2 paper cups to get adequate fluid after spillage.

It was a buzz to go pass the assembling hordes before attacking Market St. I've run it several times in training and took a head down approach. The aforementioned ex2:17 runner bounded ahead up the hill, but we reassembled in Kings Park. We made up some time on the downhill, and after the U turn at the bottom of the hill, I found I had pulled ahead of the group. I didn't speed up so I assume they slowed for some reason. I ran the rest of Kings Park solo.

Turning into Kings Park road we were partitioned off from the 12k runners, but then the fun started. On the pre race map it said we took a little left detour into Thomas St, but this didnt happen. We turned right and merger into hordes of walkers/joggers. Knowing we had a Barker St turn left I moved to the path on the left of the road, but there was noone ther telling Marathoners to turn left. I did but I pity those who weren't familiar with the course. There was a guy 100m ahead of me down Kings Park road who obviously go lost in there beacause he was nowhere to be seen when turning into Barker road just a few hundred m ahead.

Running thru Subi I felt good, but again turning into Hay St we merged with the masses, and I spent km 34-38 weaving through joggers. This didnt slow me down much and helped distract me from the big hill. The problem was that the 2 drink stations along here were packed with people stopping and I went about 7k without a drink.

So we turn down Stevenson and I'm alone again. I suddenly became acutely aware of the fact I was at 38k, on pace and feeling pretty good (I had a left groin niggle quite badly in KP but it faded on flatter terrain). I was in a new situation for me whereby I started picking off runners one by one. The first was Verity Tolhurst, who I had run near in Canbeera this year before I blew up. I started feeling the pain at the 40k hill towards WC highway, but I wasn't about to stop.

At this point I was glad to see Clown running towards me and he said some encouraging words. At this point I was pumped. My shoe had picked up a long piece of sticky tape flapping about but I wasnt going to stop and pull it off. I even managed to find some energy for sub 4 pace in the last 500m, and took 2 guys in this last bit.

Surprisingly I felt OK afterwards, apart from an incredibly sore right groin/hip flexor which I suspect is going to be very annoying in the coming fortnight.

So my 5 year goal is complete, in style, on a hilly course. I guess I do better with hills - my PB in HM and Mara are now on hilly courses, and in retrospect in School Xcountry I always did best in the hilly ones.

Why today? Luck, lighter weight, no virus in the leadup, good weather, disciplined pacing all played a part.

Congrats to all those I saw out there - Gunner and Coops, Craig/Duffer with a Mara PB, TB I saw at the start and not the end. Sugar and Biscuitman I look forward to your 12k reports. Clown thanks for coming down and supporting despite not running the HM - you'll go sub3 in Melbourne. Homo - next time. Sling - you'll go sub3 sooner or later.

I'll post my official time and HM split when available

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Looking for inspiration

I'm not getting it from the Eagles, the Aussie cricket team or the Wallabies.

I am finding it in Bolt, Bekele and Hooker.

It's been a fairly uninteresting fortnight from me

Week 1 71k@ 4:28
Mon 10.1@ 4:26
Tues 20.1@ 4:24 - Kings Park - held back
Wed 10k@4:17 with fartlek total about 2.5k@5k pace
Fri 10k@4:38 - preflight to Sydney
Sat 20.6k@4:32 - Sydney Botanic gardens and Harbour Bridge

Week 2 77k@ 4:32
Mon 11.6k@ 4:21 - with 3k@10k pace
Tues 10.4k@4:26
Wed 19.3k@4:36 Kings Park even easier
Fri 10.1k@4:26 - 4x500m 10k pace
Sat 10.7k@4:33
Sun 15.6k@4:42 - with Rob - last 7k of marathon and back

I felt fairly heavy in the legs all week up til yesterday. Have some fears of having a race like Slig's half - perhaps not enough rest post Perth

Of note in this prep compared to my one for Perth -
1. No illness for the first time ever in the 4 weeks leading up to a marathon
2. Average pace 4:30 over the last 4 weeks compared with 4:19 in the 4 leading up to Perth
3. No really hard efforts this time - last time 20k@ 4:01, this time 4:11 - 3 and a half weeks out
last time 39k@4:24, ths time 34k@4:32 3 weeks out.

So more kms (426v373 in last 5weeks) at slower pace.

I don't know what that all means, but I'm still heading out with the plan as per 2 weeks ago - 88:xx flat first half, hopefully hold sub 3 times to 35k, see what happens from there

This week - max 10k runs Tues-Fri, easy pace with strides

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Where to aim?

85k this week ( was on track for 100 until today)

Mon 6.2k @4:50 - recovery
Tues 20.3k @ 4:11 - through Kings Park marathon loop at a bit faster than MP
Wed 12.2k @ 4:31 - felt really lethargic
Thurs rest
Fri 11.7k @4:15 - MP - Garmin had some sort of malfunction so ran on feel - sportstracks interpreted the run properly and had gone faster than I expected
Sat 34.3k @4:35. Had to move long run to unfamiliar Sat am due to marshalling duties on Sun. Drizzling at the start, some heavier showers and clearing towards the end. Very similar course to last week - mainly on marathon course. Felt pretty crappy today so was happy with it all in all and hade a bit of a secong wind at 30k which was promising.

Sun - marshalled at Womens Classic ,meant to run in the afternoon but work and family commitments prevented it. Felt in a funk all day - very annoyed with constant work calls and just couldnt relax.

So I'm starting to think about the race plan for C2s. Up until now I've said that I wouldn't worry about the time, but that would be disingenuous. I would like to set myself up with a chance for a PB but not put pressure on myself.

Given the course, I think a first half of 1:28:xx would be the plan. Then I would expect to be able to hold on to sub 3hr pace through KP and subiaco. My plan then is to see what happens with the last 6k. Either I have some juice left and kick on, or I'm struggling and lose as little as possible.

The alternative would be to take it out really easy and finish strong, but I would still like to give myself the possibility of a sub3 finish - as unlikely as that is.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

City to Surf Marathon (probably)

I'm 90% decided on running the marathon at the end of the month.

I managed 105k this week, and that was one of my self imposed criteria (the ability to do a couple of 100+ weeks) for trying the full Mara so soon after Perth.

Thanks for the comments last week - many were along the lines of what I was thinking already. Craig - I appreciate your input - and I'm certainly very aware of the over fast speed I tend to train at. Sadly there continues to be a disconnect between my intentions and actions. Terming my 4:19 average run as 'Easy' last week is evidence of this - 'easy' was my intention, the result clearly wasn't.

I'd like to say I was successful in slowing down this week, but it was only true to a very limited extent. The only way I've really been able to slow down is by running with my brother-in-law on saturday, who is training for a sub 1hr 12k C2S.

Mon 8.7k@4:37 -easy(ish)
Tues 20.2k@ 4:23 - though Kings Park for the first time in a couple of years
Wed 15k@ 4:25 - again through Kings Park
Thurs rest
Friday 12k with 3x1k 3:33/3:28/3:33 - I still find it amazingly hard to run fast this early in the morning

Sat 15k@4:55 - including 10k through KP with Luke at race pace for him - looking good

Sunday 33.5k@4:35 - solo long run - basically ran on the marathon course - started at the 14k mark through to 30k mark, then the start to 14k mark, with 2k each way from home.
This felt like a real plod, despite the speed, my legs complaining about the recent mileage and introduction of hills. Tried to minimise stops - only a quick water fill at 20k and again at 30k.

I had been 100% about running the Mara yesterday, but this mornings effort with some pretty fatigued legs scared me as I imagined being at the 33k point of the race feeling like that and needing to get over the hills to come.

On the non-running front, I'm back on the sauce - celebrated with some Moet and a bottle of 1997 Keyneton Estate - a little past its prime but still a lovely drop. Hopefully I will limit myself to weekend drinking only.

I'm a little concerned at the City to Surf plans. Mara starts 0730, 12k at 0900. This means i will be running up St Georges Tce exactly as the 12k starts, as was the organiser's plan to add to the atmosphere. The intention is that the 12k runners will all be on the right hand side of the road, and we'll stay on the left. Having experienced several City to Surf starts, I have my doubts over the organiser's ability to stop 25000 people spreading across the lanes. The site FAQ says that there will be a physical barrier or median strip to stop this happening - if it's just the median strip I have my concerns especially on the first hill. I think that after the KP detour things will be fine - and the courses do diverge through Subi

Looking at my GPS record I'm also reminded that it doesnt like running down St Georges Tce - poor signal with all those buildings - wont be able to rely on it there.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What to do?

Wound it back up to 88k this week

Mon rest
Tues 14.8k@ 4:06 with 10k in 40min tempo
Wed 20k@4:22
Thurs rest
Fri 10k@4:26 easy
Sat 10k@4:18 easy
Sun 33k@4:35 - long run with Rob

Feeling not quite recovered 3 weeks post Mara - paces for effort 5-10sec slower than a month ago.

More importantly the motivation ain't there to do a full on marathon prep. To run Monday and Thursday for me requires a deal of willpower as these are my long work days - wasnt up to it this week, and after puttin in for the first 6 months of the year I'm leaning towards settling down to 80k weeks in 5days running

This still doesnt decide my City to Surf decision - it would be nice to run a slower, more controlled marathon (if such a thing exists), would also be nice to target a fast 12k, or I could hitch on with Clown and Homo in the HM.

Then Clown has thrown a spanner in the works with his plans for Melbourne Mara in October.

Lets wait and see.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dry July

Three weeks no alcohol - a record for me for a long time - and on the downhill run to the end of the month. I finally registered on the Dry July website and put my money where my mouth is (the money I would have otherwise spent on wine) - so I can't stop now.

On the running front I've taken it nice and easy post marathon - weather, busy work and a 4 day weekend in Melbourne helping to keep me from doing too much too soon.

Week 1 40k total - mainly easy, a little fartlek, did some without the watch to keep my mind off the pace.

Week 2 - 55km total. As above plus one obligatory lap of the Tan in Melbourne - did 13:55 for the 3.82km, 3:38 average - pretty pleased as I was running by myself on a surprisingly quiet track.

As Clown mentioned on his blog - great sporting time of year - two reasons to stay up late - the usual Tour, and the Ashes. Tonight will be a big one - outside of Cadel and Lance, I'm an Andy Shleck fan. I'm also holding out some hope for an improbable result at Lords - weather and umpiring permitting.

We watched collingwood v hawthorn last night at the 'G, and the Pies fans behind us reinforced their reputation as the lowest common denominator as they treated the children with us (and their own children) to an education in swearing. Unfortunately after they spent the pre match discussing how their amateur boxing bouts went down at the local town hall went this week, we weren't game to say anything. On the upside, they all left at 3 quarter time (to 'avoid the traffic' apparently, rather than to see their team get shellacked by a resurgent Hawthorn). I'll never complain about Dockers fans again!

As for me, I'm lacking a bit of direction in my running right now - will see if I have the energy to ramp it up to 100km+ weeks in the next fortnight to help me decide C2S 12/HM/Mara

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Perth Marathon 2009

3:04:08 - 10minute PB but not quite what I was aiming for

The leadup week was OK - Tuesday ran too fast 8k in 3:55s, so took Wed off, 5.5k@4:30 Thurs, 7.5k@4:30 Fri

Saturday I had a sore throat and felt hot and sweaty, I convinced myself I had a virus and wouldn't run today. Of course I woke up feeling fine

The warmup was unremarkable other than one contact lens slipping to the side of my eye such that I couldn't retrieve it, and forgetting my Ipod headphones.

We started off OK - hit 10k bang on 42 mins. We were running in a small group on the cyclepath. At about 14k this guy came up on the right of me - I was running alongside Rob. He proceeded to veer to his left towards me, knocking my elbow with his, and really pissed me off. I muttered something but he stayed there. I fell back a little but he slowed a little too, then I sped up a little and he did the same, still knocking me with his elbow. I swore and sped up significantly under a burst of adrenaline. Sadly this was about the same time Rob's groin hurt and he never caught me up.

Anyway, I fell into a rhythm that saw me get to half way in 88:35, and I continued at 4:10-4:15s for the next 10k. At 32k I was 2hrs15 and thought I was still a realistic chance. I started to struggle at this point and didnt really find someone I could tag along with. I passed Dave Kennedy, but he wasn't having a fast day after a very recent 100k ultra.

I slowed to 4:30s and at 36k was 4:33 and realised it wasn't going to be sub3 today. The last 5k were 4:50-5:00s and my left quad cramped up big time. For good or bad I was still passing those around me even at this pace - I think in the last 10k I passed 5 people and only one passed me.

The cramp really developed in the last 500m such that I limped through the finish and couldnt sit down for a few minutes. In my usual style I could barely talk or sit up afterwards - so again sorry to you all who wanted a chat - I dont do well post marathon!

I went home and slept for a couple of hours and rewarded myself with my first fast food in several months - a chicken burger from Hungry Jacks. I also wasn;t tempted to break my Dry July and will continue off the alcohol.

Congrats first to Sling for a top performance at Gold Coast. Clown for persevering through groin pain. Homo for battling the stomach cramps. Gunner for another solid Mara in his leadup to Busselton. The Sugary Biscuit team for their 3rd place. TB for leading the field at the start ('cos that's how you roll') then toughing out another long day at the office.

5k Garmin splits (read 400m long)
Halves 88:35/95:33

My immediate thought is to never do another - so let's give it a week or two.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

All the hard work is done

Taper week - 65k@4:20

Monday 10.1k@4:10 - fairly consistent effort - felt great after my week off
Tues 10.2k@ 3:51 - 5k tempo 4:06/3:53/3:46/3:44/3:44 - 19:19
1min break then 2k 3:42/3:38
1min break then 1k 3:38
1min break then 2k home 4:20/3:57
This felt surprisingly controlled

Wed 10.8k@4:09 - didnt feel great - took a little walk at half way
Thurs off
Fri 7.8k@4:24 - easy
Sat10.3k@4:24 - easy
Sun 16k@4:47 - gentle run in the breezy conditions with Homo and Clown - resisted the temptation to farther or faster

So... light runs <10k Tues,Wed,Fri this week.
The plan on Sunday is out in 88:XX and take things from there

Rob, Henry and I will be having a pasta dinner Friday probably at Valdarno in Dalkeith at 7pm - if anyone wants to come and shoot the breeze, let me know.

Good luck all with the last taper week.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Swine Flu Part 2

I made a comments to Clown last week about the rituals involved pre marathon - Friday night Carb dinner with other runners, entering the day before at Runners World, dropping off my self prepared drinks, race morning breakfast etc.

The one I forgot about was my pre Marathon virus, which has happened every Perth Marathon, somewhere between 3 and 1 week out. This one came on Tuesday, and was complicated by my contact with Swine Flu - such that on wednesday when I developed fevers and muscle aches, I had to have swabs and be quarantined. I don't think I had swine flu ('novel H1N1' to be politically correct) but advice from the health dept said I needed to stay away from work. So I started my Tamiflu and stayed at home, eating and watching DVDs for 3 days. Guess I'll find out this week if I did or not.

Running wise I played it safe - 12k@4:10s on Tues then no running whilst sick. Feeling better this morning I headed out for 12k@4:25 with Rob and cruised, felt energised by the run after only one run in the preceding week. I really wanted to head out for a second this afternoon but decided to play it safe.

My understanding is that I should have lost minimal performance with this time off (?0.6% or one minute over the marathon!). This week will see running 5 or 6 days with shortish sessions with plenty of time at MP and tempo pace (total 60k). The good news is that my achilles and hamstring tendonitis is much improved.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Swine Flu!

Swine flu scare this week proved to be nothing to be concerned about (perhaps like the 'pandemic' itself) I tested some patients on Monday and was called later by the lab to say they came back positive for swine flu - luckily I had been wearing a mask when I plunged a swab into the deep recesses of their noses and throats.

On the running front - a good week. 99.3k@4:17

Monday 8.4k@4:39 - recovery
Tuesday 20.1k@4:01 - this was planned as a MP run. After last weeks 4:21 pace I decided to start faster than my usual 4:40s. On a perfect night I found myself in the zone and flying. At 15k I encountered Homo running the other way and as I stopped and we chatted I became aware of just how well I was going. I immediately picked up where I left off and powered home. It felt effortless at the time, but subsequently I developed a niggle in the left achilles which stayed all week

Wed 8.5k@4:24 - recovery
Thurs rest
Fri 11.3k@4:07 - did 2x1.5k intervals at 3:35 pace, but felt hampered by the achilles
Sat 11.95k@4:13
Sun 39k@4:24 - easy 8k before meeting Rob then we ran together about 20k at 4:20s or so. Pushed a couple of km at MP and then 2k 34-36k @4:05s then back to average pace for the last couple.

After my Canberra debacle I'm keeping expectations in check. This week 85k similar pace.

YTD 1999k@4:32

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Back in the saddle

So I'd pre-empted the pod's advice and ran anyway this week


Monday as previously documented the 3k of race@3:39. After coming home I ran down to Mosman Park easy 10k@4:37

Tuesday 12.3k@4:22 - MP for 10k of this (2k warmup)

Wed 20k@4:20 - MP except for a section of running into galeforce winds - tempo effort, slow pace. The only plus was that the cyclists seem worse affected than me and I passed a couple of them

Thurs rest
Fri 12k@4:17 - MP
Sat13.7k@4:20 - MP after 2k warmup

Sunday 34.5k@4:30 - tough start after a cousin's 21st Sat night- little sleep and a little nauseous. No Rob to push me along so I headed down to Lake Monger to give me a target of sdome type. Saw Rob there and as we warmed up and chatted he missed the start - my bad! Running back I hit a second wind and ran the last 10k in 43 min, with the last 5k@4:12.

So it was largely MP running this week, and a bit of a confidence booster - my first 100k+ since early March. One more similar week before starting to reduce. Foot feels fine

Had my running shoe bargain of the year this weekend. Went down to Rebel Sport in Claremont and on the clearance table they had a pair of DS Trainer 13's in my size for $29.99 - the tag was labelled Blackhawk but I checked with the salesguy and he said the price stood - bargain!

Friday, June 05, 2009

No stress, I'm in my cubist period!

No, I'm not Picasso, but I am happy

Saw Darryn S (podiatrist) today re the foot and he told me he's 100% sure it's not a stress fracture. It's a cuboid subluxation syndrome , brought on by that high mileage week and probably too much running on the left camber road to rest my medial ankle sprain.

So I got some mobilisation massage and strapping and I'm free to keep running on it! Yay!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

NEPAL 2009

Enchanted by the scenery, clean mountain air and gentle manner of the Buddhist Sherpas in 2007, I'm planning on heading back to Nepal this year.

This time I'm taking my father, hopefully my brother-in-law who went last time, and anyone else who might be interested.

The options are:

1.Everest Base Camp - 20 day trip, 15 day trek, 5545m high point - the classic trek and the same one as we did last time - I'd be happy to do the same again.

2. Annapurna Circuit - 24 day trip, 18 day trek, 5416m high point - said to be more scenic than Everest but with less prestige.

3 Everest Circuit - 25 day trip, 20 day trek - Base Camp trek plus over ChoLa pass and Gokyo Lakes

I'll do any (like the sound of #3), but time availability may be a limit for some. The planned time would be starting late october/early november.

Clown I can forward you the World Expeditions Book if you're still interested. The everest base camp treks fill up reasonably early, there are places left on the departing 2/11 and 16/11 treks. Annapurn has spots departing 29/10, 5/11. Everest circuit 4/11.

There are great entry level mountaineering trips, and trips to the more isolated Tibetan and Bhutan Himalayas that I'd love to do in the future, but this year these somewhat easier ones are on the cards!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Glass Half Full

I was definitely in the half empty camp the last two days, but a beautiful day today can only make me optimistic

The week started well, after my good Sunday run last week. The ankle was barely an issue and I started running a little on grass and less even surfaces

Mon 10.1k@ 4:35 recovery
Tues am 9k @ 4:25 with 3.5k tempo 4:00s
Tues pm 5x1k intervals 3:29/3:33/3:33/3:33/3:30 - 60sec walk recov, 2.25kw/up, 2k w/down

Wed 11.5k@4:08 - 6.5k then 2.5k@tempo 4:00 - 60sec between
Thurs 7.5k@4:37 recovery
Fri 10.2k@4:28

So at this point I had run 110k in the past 7 days with some good quality sessions thrown in
With 300m to go on Fri am I developed a sudden pain in my left lateral midfoot, such that I couldn't run. The rest of the day I was barely able to walk - couldnt transition from heel to forefoot and push off. The pain and tenderness was initially diffuse ,but since has localised to the cuboid bone and the base of the 5th metatarsal, which is where peroneus muscles insert.

Hopefully I have peroneus tendonitis, as the alternative, a stress fracture of the 5th MT, doesn't bear thinking about. i've since read that peroneal tendinitis often occurs in the context of recovery from sprained ankles - assumedly I've changed my gait to protect my ankle, and strained the other side of the foot in the process

From what I've read I should take a week off then gradually restart running. But that was never going to happen. I took Sat off, than tried a little jog Sunday am - lasting about 5k bafore stopping with the pain.

Today, I decided again against my better judgement, to go down to the Lake Gwelup funrun. Our practice is just down the road and were a sponsor. Bob&Tiffany from TBL were there as well, and I wasn't going to miss my chance to see real B grade celebrities in the flesh.

The run was one or two laps of the lake - 3k or 6k. Biscuitman was there, looking fit. We took off in a crowd of little kids and I got a bit caught up at the start. Coming up to the 3k in 11min flat just ahead of biscuitman, I decided the ache, although bearable, wasn't a good sign and I pulled out there ( I was also buggered). Perhaps I should have gone on because Biscuitman ran a great 2nd place in about 23:30 and the next runner was some way behind him, so I could probably have held onto third.

Having made it through the 3k, now with the foot up and iced, I'm a bit more optimistic. I'll probably get an XRay tomorrow just to exclude a fracture (as much as an XRay can), and then try running 5x10k or so during the week. I've got a feeling it wont be too bad, the fact it came on so suddenly makes me think it was an acute tear/strain, and thus should go quite quickly.

At least I have another injury to add to my collection - it makes a great difference when a patient comes in with a sports injury if I can say 'I've had that' - although I still advise them to be more conservative in their recovery than I am with myself.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saved by the long run

Wussed out this Thursday and Friday - afraid of a little dark, wind and rain I elected to stay in bed. Luckily I redeemed myself this morning

Mon 10.75@4:24 recovery - felt great, maybe thanks to using the skins again for recovery on Sun
Tues 20.1@4:18 - MP run after first 2k. Had to tough it out a bit in the last few km
Wed10.4@4:30 - recovery
Thurs - wussed out
Fri - got up at 545, got dressed, stepped out, turned around, went back to bed for another hour!
Sat 12.1k @4:28 - heavy rain, for some reason sore shins, but moved to tempo for the last 4k
Sun 38.2k@4:35s - with Rob, around the river
Started off a bit slow and struggled in the first 15k thanks to a hangover, but then found some rhythm and felt really good, longest training run ever I think and could have gone further had there been any point.

Overall 91.6km @4:29

Lets see if I can toughen up this week and go 100k+ again

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ready to go

2 weeks post injury, back to near normal and ready to log some mileage
80km this week

Mon 10k@ 4:45 with walks
Tues 18k @4:30 pretty sore by the end
Wed 10k @4:22 - did about 3k at tempo pace and paid the price with a flare of pain
Thurs off
Fri 8.5k @4:20 - stopped short as still sore
Sat rest
Sun 33.8k@4:27.

Long run with Rob, very happy with the consistent pace, over most of the run. Minimised stops as the ankle gets more sore when it cools down. It felt good except on a couple of winding sections and any sharp left turns. Rob pushed the pace up to 4:10s 28-32k, and I almost held on dropping only about 20m.

This week I'll hope to get up to 100k, staying at MP fastest and on flat straight roads and paths. I'm feeling alot more confident after todays run, and glad this sprain was minor compared to others'. Having said that, I can see why in other sports (eg football), ankle sprains are such a worry, because I still cant do any significant lateral movement.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sprained ankle

Apologies to any residents in a 1km radius of me on Monday morning, who were exposed to a string of expletives more familiar at a Freo wharf or a Pilbara minesite.

Last Sunday morning, after a good long run, Clown and I sat by the edge of the river and discussed the dangers of injury running on dark mornings. The very next morning up at quarter to six, I decided against my better judgement to hop up onto the soft grss on the verge. Within 5 steps I had steppen into a hole and rolled my left ankle ( eversion injury). Luckily I'd only gone 800m by that point and hobbled home.

Running was not possible in the next four days - each attempt was met with sharp pain. Saturday morning I managed a walk/jog (ankle heavily strapped) on flat surface for a few km. This morning I managed about 12k, again with plenty of walks, and was running with a limping gait by the end.

I really need to get a bike - I did no exercise at all in the intervening days and felt absolutely awful, a reminder of the strength of addiction to exercise.

One sidenote is that I realise now if I were ever to take up triathlon and shave my legs, Mrs Epi would leave me - the comments about the shaved left ankle/calf have not been complimentary to say the least!

Hopefully gradually back to comfortable running over the next 7 days.

Hopefully I can gradually get going

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Like falling off a bike

Back to training - just like falling off a bike -you never forget

Had hoped to run every day but a busy return to work schedule blew that away
Still 89k@ 4:24

Mon 11.1k@4:26- recovery
Tues 16k@ 4:19 - MP after the first 2k
Wed 9.5k@4:30
Fri 17k@4:15 - overall MP, although middle 6k stretch at 4:00s
Sun 35k@4:30s - Ran with Rob around the river, felt pretty good throughout other than sore quads, which has been a feature of the entire week. Was surprised at how spritely I felt in the final 2k after Rob & I parted ways

I'm looking at developing the Tues and Friday sessions to 20k+ at MP on a regular basis to make me feel more comfortable at that pace, with 35k+ sunday runs and filling the rest of the week with easier runs. This means intervals will go until after Perth Mara, but thats OK.

Garmin died this morning, apparent battery problems although I'm going to get a mains USB charger and see if that can kickstart things - apparently charging thru the USB port on the computer is a lower voltage and may not be enough to charge a completely empty battery. Otherwise it's a decision between another 305, a 205 or wait for the 310xt

Monday, April 27, 2009


Trying too keep a positive outlook from here - no point dwelling on the past. Having said that I'm keen not to get too hung up on the goal time for Perth

I returned on Saturday evening after a week of gastronomic indulgence in Sydney, with 7-8 weeks of full training before taper for Perth. I guess I'd like to think that most of what I'd been doing before Canberra was right, and it was mainly tactical error, and poor mental toughness on the day which caused the poor result.

So I'll be back into it this coming week. I'll hope to put in a bit more total distance to help the endurance, hopefully fit in a second 20k+ run at some point most weeks (and push that total mileage up)

This week (self flagellation week) 63k@4:23

Tuesday 8.2k@4:30 - treadmill set on (very) hilly mode - self punishment workout
Wed 10.2k@4:16 - around sydney harbour in light rain - got caught up racing another guy for about 4k (4:13/4:02/3:52/3:47)
Thurs 12.3k@4:19 - similar course - sprinted the stairs at Harbour Bridge
Sun 32k@4:25 - 10-30k section at 4:20s. Forgot that the Perth 32k was on today or I might have run it. Headed out early and actually passed the start line 5min before the race (but by this time I'd run 15k already). Ran back on the course and at the end of my run stopped to watch the leaders go by. Legs really suffered in this run.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Hmmm... not sure whether I should put the optimistic or pessimistic spin on this one - both have been through my mind today.

Preparation went OK - Mon, Wed, Fri 8k runs at some speed, flew in Friday night, slight delay on the plane (flew with the Dockers - Pav and Sandi go 1st class, the rest economy!)

Pasta dinner the night before, slept OK, no toilet issues like last year. Started near the front after being stuck back last year - actually front line (?first mistake). It was cool although there was a nasty wind at times.

No excuses - I simply went too fast and was cooked at 27k. I then had a decision to struggle on, drop to a 3:10 finish and have beaten up legs needing long recovery, or cut my losses and pull out, with the ability to slip straight back into training. I stopped once, changed my mind, ran on another km, stopped again, changed my mind, ran on another km, then decided to stop for good.

Walking back I was rueing the decision - 5 road and 2 off road marathons in the past and I have always finished, family here, should I have pushed on?

Splits -
5k 20:19
10k 40:53 (20:34)
15k 61:48 (20:55)
20k 82:48 (21:00)
(HM 87:XX)
25k 104:07 (21:19)

stopped about 28k.

Felt pretty embarrassed talking to the family afterwards, especially as I felt physically fine. I think Tiff was more upset than I was as she has seen the 16 weeks of training I've put in. I walked about 8k over the rest of the day sightseeing (as there were 5 of us I refused to take the taxi and walked from place to place as self imposed punishment)

I think I suffered today from setting my sights too high (perhaps falsely buoyed by the HM result), and being too rigid in my goal.

Oh well - only a running race!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Taper madness

I've been feeling depressed, niggly, sinusy and without confidence in the last few days.

I've come across the following article online, which describes it perfectly

Taper Madness

As the support team for a Marathoner you are entering a very tricky period. Your Marathoner has been training hard through the summer and into the fall in preparation for the big day. The hard work is behind and TAPER MADNESS is ahead.

Marathon training is a stair-step type process where muscles are broken down for several weeks and then an easier week is thrown in for recovery. Finally three weeks before the Marathon, one last long run is completed and it’s time for recovery. The last three weeks are a period of descending running mileage. This period allows the body to more fully recover and rest in preparation for the Big Day, it is called the Taper.

This all sounds well and good, however, the Taper is a period of great anxiety for many Marathoners (first-timers and veterans alike). Over the course of training for a Marathon, an athlete becomes accustomed to running many miles each week and constantly feeling the rush of endorphin driven highs and the persistent fatigue and soreness of effort. The athlete becomes somewhat addicted to these emotions and considers them normal.

The Tapering Marathoner will be irritable, anxious, nervous, overly emotional, short-tempered, restless, tired, cranky, depressed (even more than normal). Sounds like a great three weeks doesn’t it? It is not unlike the addict going cold turkey. This is a span of time where most Marathoners go a bit crazy. For most it passes after Marathon day. Of course there are the post-marathon blues, but that’s the subject for another day.

The first week is not too bad. It’s really like most “easy weeks” following a twenty mile run. Recovery is critical and the mileage is not dropping by a large amount. Nerves may begin to fray but the best is yet to come – trust me!

During the first part of Taper Madness you will hear about every small ache and pain and how it may be a broken leg or torn ligament or some other traumatic injury. Every twinge becomes a reason to think about postponing the marathon effort. Every sneeze, sniffle, cough or pimple becomes a life-threatening virus or infection. Tight hammies, inflamed ITB, tweaked Achilles, plantar fascitis, black toenails, bloody nipples, chafing, and this is just during breakfast.

The second week starts the deep depression. The tapering Marathoner starts to really miss running. There are no more double-digit runs before the marathon for most. The longest run for the next two weeks will be 8 miles. Just 8 miles, how many used “just” and “8 miles” in the same sentence prior to training for the marathon. The body is really starting to recover and therefore has more energy than needed. Therefore, the Marathoner becomes restless. No “extra” running is allowed. The tapering Marathoner can feel the fitness draining out of their body. Ask them, they will tell you, they are getting slower every day! This is not happening but the feelings are real. Physiologically, there is nothing but positives from a 3 week taper prior to running a marathon, however, it feels quite the opposite. This restlessness often becomes frustration and a very short-tempered athlete. Understand that this frustration will be projected at anyone and everyone within reach. It’s nothing personal; it’s the lack of mileage talking.

So it’s now seven days before the Marathon. The last 8 mile run is done and all that’s left is 3 easy short runs and the BIG EVENT. For the first time Marathoner and some experienced folk, this week is nothing but self-doubt and worry. “I’ll never make it. My foot hurts. My nose is running. I’m not ready. My last 20 miler sucked, I’ll die out there. I’m getting fat and slow. My shoes are dead, my shoes are too small, my shoes are too big,” These are some of the things going through the mind of a Marathoner in their last few days. Not to mention the nervous energy that is overflowing. Not to mention that there may be a couple of extra pounds after cutting back on the running for 3 weeks. Not to mention that the trips to the bathroom are increasing geometrically as the hydration dance starts in earnest. Many find concentrating on anything other than the upcoming race difficult. By the way, Marathoners in the final days before a race often make poor babysitters.

Two nights before the marathon are critical to the marathoner. This night is probably the last chance for a good nights sleep. The night before is typically restless and worrisome (what if the alarm doesn’t go off). A sleepless night preceding a marathon will not have a dramatic impact on chances for success. Adrenaline will offset missing that night’s sleep and get the Marathoner through the race. The morning of the marathon is all about getting some food, using the bathroom and getting to the race. My suggestion, don’t get in the way.

I am sure your marathoner appreciates all the support they have received during the training program. The last few weeks are critical to a successful marathon effort. Please understand that the emotional wreck will disappear after the marathon. The Taper can be especially difficult and frustrating for everyone. The good news, it ends with the race.

I hope this sheds some light on TAPER MADNESS. Sometimes insight makes things a bit easier to understand. Of course, your experience may differ greatly but I’ll bet it doesn’t.

I dont remember getting it this bad in the previous marathons but perhaps I've wiped them from my memory

Monday, April 13, 2009


An enforced strong taper this week. Woke up Tuesday morning feeling flu'ey, and remembering the adage that you cant gain anything in last 2 weeks training, I ended up doing a total of 37km this week. It worked, and I felt fine by Friday

Tues pm - 8.3k @4:50 - very light jog down to watch intervals and then home again, and to wish sugar and sas good luck
Wed pm 7.7k@ 4:05 - a little too fast - supposed to be MP
Fri am 9k@ 4:13 - farewell run round herdsman
Sat pm 12k@ 4:18 - happier with this, after first 2k ran at MP without going too fast

Luckily I've been distracted by moving house this week - haven't thought much about the marathon. I need to get used to running through the mean streets of Dalkeith for the next year until the house is built.

Canberra forecast - fine 6-19 degrees C

Feeling OK - plantar fasciitis has flared for some reason in the right foot, but I can run through this

Good luck Sugar, Sas and Biscuitman

This week - ran 9k today, will probably only run twice more before the race.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

2 weeks to go

Short and fast week this week - 81k@4:22

Mon 10.7k@ 4:33 easy
Tues 12k@ 4:10 - intervals 10x400m (or a bit shorter as the track had to be changed)
Did most at 79sec, took it a little easier than usual, although that's hard for me

Wed 10.1k@ 4:17 - MP run after the first k
Thurs rest
Friday 13k, with 10k tempo in 39:25
Sat 10k@4:30 - progression run
Sunday 24k @ 4:30 - medium run with Rob, long break in the middle at the 5k mark of the bridges. Did a few MP km in the second half

My inability to hold back in races stopped me from considering the Bridges today - probably a good thing because had I been running, I probably would have killed myself trying to keep up with Biscuitman and Sugar (and would likely have failed to). Great run!!!

The tough thing from here on in is holding back. I expect I'll do most of my running at MP in the next couple of weeks, so I just need to really limit the kms. If you see me out there running - tell me to stop and go home.

On the shoe front, I've gone off the speedstars and will probably go back to a known quantity - the 2110s - old, heavier but I've run all 5 road marathons in these so they are a known quantity.
Once the marathon is over I'm going to experiment with Newtons - I think when I run tempo pace or faster these days I'm more a midfoot striker.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

3 weeks to go

Apologies for the belated weekly update - been busy
Last week was due to be the last big one, but I had a bit of a HM 'hangover', leaving it OK but not great


Mon 10.6k@4:43 - recovery. Tired legs
Tues 13.3k - intervals 400hard200easy400hard200easy200hard - 1400m x4

4:56,4:53,4:53,4:56 - 3:20to3:25 pace including the slow bits. This was tough.

Wed 10.1k@4:43 - easy
Thurs - wifes birthday - no run as a present to her !
Fri 17.1k@4:13. 9k@4:00 then 4k@3:55 plus 6k up/down
Sat 10.1k@4:36
Sun 32.2k@4:37

Long run with Rob, who slotted back into long run pace easily. We cruised at 4:30s the first 15k, then purposely slowed down as this was supposed to be an easy one. Did 3k at MP near the end just to stress the legs a bit.

So in the 13 sundays this year - 9x30k+, 1x28k, 1x24k, 2 races both PBs

This week brings the start of taper, although as the last 2 weeks have been mileage light, this will still mean 90k, with 24 on sunday - as last year with a stop in the middle to watch the bridges runners pass by.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Darlington HM 2009

1:23:06 - big PB, big confidence booster

The week started with me continuing drop my bundle with the funeral on Tuesday and family staying with us. I decided to cut the training and taper properly for the HM - no point trying to fit in runs at the expense of adequate sleep.

So it was 45k leading up to today, with just a Tuesday tempo of 7k@3:52 then 4k@3:55 as quality

I had put a bit of pressure on today's run this way, as there was no excuse for poor performance.

Conditions were perfect, fine, little wind and 10-15 degrees. My aim was to head out at a little harder than usual HM effort and hold on down the hills. Sugar was running a MP run after 35k yeaterday, so I thought I could hold him up the hill then pull away in the second half.

Usual fast start 3:46, then the 2 gravel kms 4:15,4:14
Quickly settled into a bunch 5th-9th led by Sugar, next 5k 3:55/4:02/4:04/3:59
At 8k I pulled away with another guy on a bit of downhill - 4:05/3:45 - 10k in 40:10

I had in my mind that it was all downhill from halfway but soon remembered the first couple had some up, 3:59/4:00/3:53/3:57. At 14k I was bang on 4min/k and felt that if there was any decent uphill from here I'd be dead - luckily there wasn't

3:47/3:48/3:46/3:54/3:44/3:43/3:45 plus change. I was passed by 2 guys down the hill, both with long strides and both disappeared quickly in the distance (and I thought I was running fast!)

I'd not really looked at my watch in the last 3k gravel as I watchd my feet and counted breaths to get to the finish. It was a big surprise as I turned onto the grass to see the clock tick onto 1:23.

This was definitely a 100% effort run on a decent taper, and is a big confidence booster for Canberra, which I needed psychologically. VDOT would equate this to a sub2:55 mara, which is less tight than prevous predictions.

Now I need to make sure this wasn't my peak race ( as was the case in '06 at FreoHM) - so I will try to make this week a 100k plus before starting the marathon taper.

42:34/40:32 up/down by GPS (42:54 turnaround on course - past halfway)
8:30 min PB on this course and big HM PB

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Challenging week

I was going to write difficult week, but challenging sounds more upbeat, and in the end, the running wasn't too bad.

When it hits, it all hits at once. I've noted the gastro already, which luckily only affected me Tues and Wed. More importantly, and sadly, my grandmother died on Tuesday night. It was expected, and in many ways a blssing, but still took it's toll and with family members flying in from o/seas and interstate for the funeral, time and sleep have been short. And of course this had to be the week where I was covering for a colleague on holidays, and exams have started again so spent 5hrs supervising exams yesterday.

Anyway, enough complaining. I'm healthy, and managed to fit in 95km running this week at 4:31min/k average. Most of the running was in the dark!

Mon am 10.6k@ 4:54 recovery
Tues am 10.5k@ 4:34 - the gastro started soon thereafter - had to skip intervals
Wed pm 9.4k @ 4:33 - looks better than it was - took 2 stops to slow down HR
Thurs am 10.55k@ 4:18 - 2x5k progression to 10k pace
Thurs pm 11.2k@4:12 - nighttime run knowing time would be short friday. 7k@3:55s plus w/up and down
Friday - no running. I really wanted to fit a run in somewhere, but with catchup work, airport pickup and catching up with family it didnt happen
Sat am 10.6k@4:36 easy-ish
Sun am 32.4k@4:36

Dragged myself out after little sleep (dont know how TB does those long runs on almost no sleep) and felt like a piece of poop. I was concerned by the forecast of 37, and already 22.5 at 530, but luckily things stayed around that temp the whole run, and the fresh breeze made it feel cooler. I ran exactly the same course a last sunday, trying to use those times as a motivator. I set out faster than last time, as I didnt have the oomph to run at MP later. Things went smoothly til Hale Rd at 25k - made it up the first hill fine, but ended up walking 100m of the second section. Once again I didnt have a gel (really need to get some in bulk) and again felt it after the 28k stop. I skipped a little final loop I did last week and shuffled home. Although the running time was a little quicker, last week the 2 breaks were about 2 minutes each, this week significantly longer, plus the walk up the hill.

So I cant really complain - for my 'bad' week, the running is fine. The first half of this week will be similar, then get ready for Darlington!

(AdizeroTempos - felt good but insecure/slipping at the heel- I'll try heel lock lacing next time. Speedstars felt great on thurs pm run. 2140s fine this morning, although a large blister due to the sock I think)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Marathon Shoe Dilemma

An unusual midweek post for me.

Unfortunately I have picked up a gastro bug which had affected about 20 of my patients at a nursing home last week - pretty unavoidable to get it.

It's not too bad, apart from the gastro I just have some muscle and joint aches. I'm taking the running easy for a couple of days, but I've also had to stop patient contact 'til I'm better - my inner workaholic doesn't handle that well!

After reading Biscuitman's post I thought again re marathon shoes. All my marathons, including the trail ones, have been run in Asics21xx series - they are a known quantity. Wearing the 2140s for the first time on sundays long run I was immediatel reminded how comfortable they are, despite my foray into other shoes over the last 12 months.

Here are my options from current collection:

Mizuno Idaten 200g (too light and lacking support)
Adizero Mana 210g (a bit more supportive but more a 5-10k shoe)
Asics Speedstar 265g
Asic DS trainer 290g
Adizero Tempo 295g
Br0oks Adrenaline 330g
Asics 2140 340g
Adidas supernova 350g

The 2 adizero pairs were picked up cheap at Harbourtown today - I've been eyeing off the tempos as a midweight marathon shoe with reasonable motion control for a while now, and will probably try them at Darlington. The Ds trainers were my shoes at Matilda bay, but are old. The speedstars are similar and an option, whilst the 2140s are a safe bet.

The other issue is weather. It rained last year at Canberra. Previously the Ds trainers have really slipped in the wet and I suspect alot of the racing type shoes dont have great grip, so I'll probably need to take the 2140s in case.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Lacking some self control

107k@4:34 this week. I'm not complaining, but Im annoyed with myself that planned sessions changed due to a lack of self control, in particular the elusive longer MP run

Mon 14.2k@4:33 - took advantage of the public holiday for a midafternoon fartlek run through bold park. Very enjoyable but the heat took it's toll and I felt a bit crappy in the evening. Legs felt the hills as I've been running exclusively flat the last couple of weeks for Canberra

Tues 10.4k@4:10. - WAMC intervals. Due to a lack of the fast guys and my improvement, this was the first (and potentially only) time I was the fastest runner on most of the intervals. 4x300, 4x400,4x300. 100m jog/60sec or 90 sec recovery. I sped through the first set, leading the way in 50-54s. I tried to keep pride in the second set but came second in 2 of them ( 70-74). I was timing the recoveries (poorly, as I didn't have my garmin on interval mode) and obviously was making them too long so 3 guys started the last set 10 sec in front of me, but the faster young guy stayed with me and kept me honest -he hit higher gear and pulled away in the last 2 300s(51-53). Nearly vomited on the last one, and was too stuffed to even do a decent cooldown.

Wed 10.1k@4:42 easy
Thurs 10.7@4:54 easy and the slowest recovery I've done in a while

Fri 17k@4:17. This was meant to be the MP run. Headed down to Lake Monger, which I rarely run round despite it being so close. Started the session in 4:10s for the first 4k but gradually increased the speed and finished 10k in 40:20, more a tempo effort in the end. Had a drink then did another 2k in 8:00 then 3k cooldown. Hopefully next week the 20k@4:15

Sat 10.6k@4:46 easy
Sun 34.2k@4:37. Went back to the old route with Bold Park and Hale Rd hills, aiming to minimise breaks. 17-25degreesC with a gusty NE wind in the second half. Started easy with thoughts of a longer 40k'ish run, did the 1st 10k in 4:55s. Felt good once I hit the coast and sped things up, running at MP for a few km until my first stop at 18k, and 4:20s for the next 5k. Slowed down a bit over Hale Rd hill but then a couple more 4:15s leading up to the second drink stop at 28k. Last 6k slowed down to 4:35s. I was disorganised today so had no gels, just ran with the one powerade, after 18k was just running on water, so I'm pretty happy with the second half. Could have used a gel at 28k.

This Friday, work allowing, I will control my pace and run a 20k MP run. May need to start out at 4:20s just to force the slowness, and pick it up to 4:15s in the second 10k.

Commiserations to training partner Clown, who was forced to cancel Canberra due to injury. Perth will have to be your sub3 effort.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Tough Day at the Office

96.9km this week @ 4:33 average - pretty fast week for me

Mon 9.4k@4:52 easy
Tues am 10.8k@4:39 - easy
Tues pm 9.9k intervals

2:42/1:14/1:13/1:54/54/55/ 1:14/35/ 35

As usual intended to take it fairly easy, ended up running my guts out, stuffed at the end.

Wed 10.1k@4:28 - supposed to be easy but got sucked into racing a guy around the lake did last 3k in 4:00s

Thurs rest day (second non running day for the year, worried re overtraining)
Fri 17.5k@4:21 - 6k@3:57, 1k easy then 4k@3:57
Sat 10.6k@4:40 easy
Sun 28.6k@4:40 Hot and humid morning. Drank a lovely bottle of '01 Bin389 by myself the night before to celebrate finally selling the house. Rob&I took plenty of breaks on this run. Did manage 4:15s for 18-20k and 21-25k.

I'm in sub 3:05 form now, just need to take it one step more to be ready for the goal.
The aim this week - a 20k midweek run, mostly at MP

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Record Week

114.5km this week - record for me

Mon am 10.5k@ 4:52 recovery
Tues am 10.6k@ 4:48 easy
Tues pm 11.9k - 4.4 w/up, 2.6 w/down.

Whistle type session - 2x2min, 2x90sec, 2x60sec, 4x30sec with 1min jog or 30sec jog between.
I perhaps overperformed in this one, mainly because I treated it more like a Mona fartlek session, with a float rather than a jog between.
Total 4.9k in 18:30 (@3:46) continuous

Wed pm 13.2k@4:45 easy
Thurs am 10.6k@4:47 easy
Friday am 12.3k @ 4:22. Tempo run - 5k in 19:50, 90 sec break then 3k in 11:40
Sat am 10.1k@ 4:46
Sun am 35.2k@ 4:44.

Long run - started alone and ran the first 13k easy in 5:00s before meeting Rob and accelerating to 4:35-4:40s. We split at 25k, and I pushed 2k MP then returning to 4:40s for the last 8k. I took 2 gels again today at 20k and 30k, and noticed the benefit, but again more so the crash once the first wore off - I felt a sudden fatigue in the legs, which quickly disappeared with the second gel. As I noted in a previous post I think, if I start taking them I need to keep doing so. In the marathon I think I'll probably stick with pre-dropped off sports drinks which should give me a more consistent carb intake.

Great to see Clown running so smoothly again (looks good for Canberra), and Sling starting to return to form.

If anyone hasn't seen this YouTube video, it's a current favourite of mine - I think I initially stole it from my cousin's site (

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Matilda Bay 10k

Very light week this week, not specifically intended to be a taper, rather workload with meetings and some evening call-outs limiting my running. I had my first non running day after 42 straight on Tuesday thanks to an early morning meeting and an evening callout.

Mon 6k@5:07 recovery
Wed 13.2k@4:43 progression
Thurs 10.7k@4:39 easy
Friday 10.1k@4:28 progression to tempo pace
Saturday11.2k@4:45 easy (plus 700m @5k pace)

Sunday 13k total

about 19 degrees and 95% humidity, but luckily no wind to speak of

Felt heavy in the legs this morning - but I must admit to never feeling particularly lively before a race.
Started reasonably controlled in 3:37 and found myself just ahead of Chris Maher, who subsequently ran on my shoulder until 9.75k - this was a blessing as it kept me going.

3:36/3:47/3:51/3:51/3:54 (19:01) but went past 5k marker at 19:10
3:49/3:50/3:52/3:50/3:43 (38:09) plus 80m

Passed the line in 38:21 (more than a minute PB)

Very happy with the run - obviously painful but breathing was good first 8k, only the shins complaining a bit. Went into the red zone in the final 2k, passing 2 guys and being passed by then re-taking Chris to finish first in my little group. Really happy with the even pace in the 3-9k section.

Chatted to Rob afterwards then had to rush home to get my wife to the airport for a little Melbourne shopping holiday - leaving me a week to be able to do some late evening runs if necessary to fit around work and therefore hopefully fit in a bigger week.

I was going to go out for a pm run, but with that long awaited PB done, I decided to treat myself!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

What a difference the weather makes

Two weeks this post - and an end to the song titles ( I can hear the tears of sadness)

The weeks go quite well together, as my recovery week was contained across the two - triggered by a strained right hip abductor (probably gluteus medius)

Week 1 (26/1- 1/2) 88.4k @ 4:43

Monday 10.6k @4:50 recovery
Tuesday 12.9k Yasso Interval Session 6x800m in 3min with 3min jog recovery. Felt crap throughout, no rhythm.

Wednesday 10.7k @4:40 recovery
Thursday 10.5k @4:26 - 4k tempo pace (watch not working so estimated time from IPod songs!)
Friday 10k @4:43 easy - very sore right hip abductor
Saturday 10.3k @4;55 recovery - still very sore hip
Sunday 23.4k @4:46. Hot humid day, running solo and with a time limit to drive down south for our holiday, I really struggled. Still very sore hip

Week 2 (2/2-8/2) 96k @ 4:45

This week saw my first holiday since last May, if only for four nights. Sadly I hadn't arranged cover very well and by the end of breakfast on monday morning I had fielded 8 calls and was not feeling very relaxed. Things did improve though, thanks to company (family), setting (Bunker bay) and plenty of wine. The area was quite hilly with some nice trails as wel as the northern end of the Cape to Cape trail, so I enjoyed some slow trail, hill and barefoot beach running. I went slowly to ease the hip.

Monday 10k @ 5:35 - explores some narrow trails which had me walking a bit - thus the slow time
Tuesday 12k@ 5:00 - included 4k of barefoot beach running
Wednesday 12.2k@ 4:33 - the last 3k was downhill - 3:52/3:40/3:37- 11:09 for 3k!
Thursday 10.25k @ 4:27 - back in Perth too soon! Progression with 4k @ MP
Friday 10.22k @ 4:25 - 5k @ MP this time
Saturday 6k@5:00 - perfunctory run to keep up the record
Sunday 35.2k@ 4:39

Today's run was the reason for the title. The 9am temp was 9 degrees lower than last Sunday and far less humid, much better to run in. I knew this was a chance to get a quicker long run in, and ran from home to UWA then around the bridges plus Windan bridge loop.

first 5k @ 5:02
then 12k@ 4:43
then 10k@ 4:19
last 8.2k @ 4:42

I wanted to do 10k at about MP, and although it was a little slower, that pace for the 17-27k section was pleasing. More pleasing was the fact that I finished fresher than any of the 30k+ runs so far this preparation. First stop for water and gel at 22.5k, second stop at 27.5k, third stop/second gel at 31k.

January total 422k
Current sequence - 42 consecutive running days.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Run To Me

Bee Gees 1972 - Oh Yeah! (YouTube it)

98.2km @ 4:44 this week.

Monday 10.6k @ 4:54 recovery
Tuesday 12.85k @4:15 - intervals

Back to Perry Lakes group for some shorter intervals. Big crowd, lots of fast triathlon guys.

2x800m 2:44, 2:42 (?recov time 2min)
4x400m 74/74/73/74 (90sec)
6x200m 38/37/37/38/38/36 (30 sec )

Too fast! Especially the 400s and 200s which were more like VDOT 60 pace.
Felt it afterwards, paid for trying to keep up with the flying Clown

Wednesday13.1k@4:37 - supposedly easy
Thursday 11.6k@4:47 - easy
Friday 9.8k@4:33 - 2x2k tempo intervals
Saturday 6.1k@5:15 - drills - knee lifts/butt kicks/fast steps/bounding/strides

This was my answer to needing a rest day but being obsessive about running every day in Jan - was fun but looked weird down around the Lake jumping about

Sunday 34.2k@4:51

Long run with Rob - felt OK. After my usual slow start we did the longer Bold Park loop , sped up along WC Hwy and went over Hale Rd fine. Took a gel at 21k and really could have done with one at 28k. I think once you start taking them you need to keep on doing so regularly or your sugar crashes. About 27C at the end and with little wind, felt even hotter. Struggled a bit mentally last 3k after splitting from Rob.

I felt quite a bit of ache and fatigue Thurs-Sat, not sure if this was from overdoing the intervals or from the 26 days straight. Luckily this morning boosted my confidence again.

I know I need to program in a light week, wondering if it can wait til the week of Matilda Bay 10k ?

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Del Shannon (1961)

95.4k @ 4:43 this week

Monday 10.2k @ 4:59 - easy (Staying in Dalkeith - down to Matilda Bay)

Tuesday 11.85k- intervals - longer intervals with Rob. 4x1.6k 3 min recovery
1.61k in 5:56 @3:42
1.61k in 5:51 @ 3:38
1.61k in 5:48 @ 3:36
1.61k in 5:44 @ 3:34

Wednesday 10.25k @4:20 - 7km at MP. Very windy day - ran 3.5k with wind at back - MP effort tempo pace (4:00s), and 3.5k into the breeze - more effort, much slower - 4:20s

Thursday 8.5k@4:51 recovery
Friday 11.2k@4:43 easy (very warm - 29C at 630am)
Saturday 10.2k@ 4:37 - with a token 3k at MP

Sunday 33.25k @4:57. Slower long run - combination mental and physical tiredness, the new year energy has left me. Ran the traditional course with Rob, but purposely slowing things down. Stil made it up Hale Rd OK, and finished with pretty strong legs. Only low 20s but felt quite humid.

So another reasonable week - especially the longer intervals which were very pleasing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Nowhere to Run

Martha and the Vandellas 1965 (Motown)

97.9km @ 4:42 this week

Monday 6.13k @ 4:59 - recovery (slept in so very short)
Tuesday 11.1k@ 4:54 - easy. Felt very lethargic
Wed am 10k total - 10min MP (4:13) 10min Tempo (3:58) 1.5k 5k pace (3:37) Was meant to be 10min at 10k pace but started off too fast.

Wed pm 7.9k @ 4:35 - ran to in-laws in 30 degree heat - went just a little too fast.
Thurs 10.4k@ 4:55 - recovery
Friday 10.1k@ 4:29 - fartlek with approx 4x1k at tempo (4:00s)
Saturday 11.1k @ 4:53 avHR 150 - easy

Sunday 30.62km in 2:23 @ 4:40 - ran with Rob from City Beach to Sorrento and back. First 15k in 4:35s then pulled back a touch 21degress at the start, 28 by the end. Periods feeling really good, some feeling crappy. Felt like pushing myself at the end intending to do a MP last km. Ended up doing it in 3:55 - felt good!

Have lost 2kg last month or so, eating healthier (more low GI cereals,chickpeas,lentils,quinoa) and coping with the heat and training OK. Occasional left ankle pain, no specific incident so not sure why.

When fatigued, I'm feeling unstable around the hips/pelvis, so trying to do some core work to help this.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Keep On Running

The Spencer Davis Group 1965

86km @ 4:43 this week

Tuesday 10.13 @ 4:28 - last 3k at MP
Wed 10.32 @ 4:33
Thurs 13.36 @ 4:38
Friday 10.34 @ 4:43 - av HR 156 - trying to slow myself down
Sat 11.11 @ 4:48 - av HR 156 - same again in hot conditions
Sun 30.88@ 4:51

Overall OK for week 2 post SixInch. Fell into the trap of medium effort 'nothing' runs as is often the case.

This morning quite happy with the long run, very little motivation running alone in increasing heat. Struggled through the first 10k in 5:00 pace, but once on WC Highway found some rhythm and settled in to 4:45s for the next 15k, including over the Hale Rd hill.

Only stopped to fill water at 13k and 23k, finished in reasonable shape. Hopefully the first of 11 30k+ runs in the next 3 months (need to get faster)