Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eyes on Boston

Flights and hotels booked, 18 weeks to go - ready to start thinking about Boston

Last 2 weeks have been the start - 86k last week (@4:30), 100k this week (@4:33)

The body is holding up OK - knee niggles intermittently, some problems with right adductor.

Those who have followed my running over recent years know that I don't follow specific training plans per se. I tend to have a general direction of training and decide day to day how I feel.

So for this time -
Rest of december will be becoming comfortable at 100k/week.
1. As much mileage as my body can cope with injury free (not sure what this will be - 100, 110,120?)
2. Long run weekly the focus - looking to vary terrain, pace, length
3. Midweek medium long run hopefully peaking at 25k MP
4. A second quality session of tempo, fartlek, longer intervals or hills.

Taper will be quite severe - after my experience at Boston this year - I felt so fresh on marathon day having done about 25k total on treadmill in the leadup 7 days.

2 light weeks in training will be week of Matilda Bay 10k and of Darlington HM.

Only getting in to USA on th Thursday before the Monday Marathon, so will need to look at jetlag coping stategy

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Deepwater Point 7.5km

Two weeks since my last post - I was struck down by a Norovirus gastro last weekend - missed out on the Penninsula run and wasn't back to full training until Wednesday

Deepwater Point today, note from my Strands account:

For the second time in 2 months I braved the journey South of the River. As usual I was surprised how normal people are down there. Sure they may be missing a few teeth and have an extra finger here and there, but they seem nice and the Banjo music is soothing.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect, it was a bit windy but in the end I don’t think it affected my performance much.

Started out fairly fast to avoid congestion, and was overtaken by Clown and B’Man within a km. Over the next couple of k they moved out to about 50m ahead of me. Luckily for me, Biscuitman stayed in sight and I had some sort of motivation to keep pushing. It seemed I was going to stay the 50m behind, but quite suddenly it seemed in the 5th km I was suddenly upon him, and managed to sneak ahead over the bridge.

In the process I went through 5k in 18:23 on the Garmin, so a new PB. I was expecting to have a nice tailwind for the last 1.5k but it was more across me, and I resorted to counting breaths to make it through the distance.

On the plus side my last 3.5km were very evenly paced at 3:45s and the 28:02 is pretty much on a par with predictions given my recent 10k time.

The Zoots felt pretty good, a little slappy on the footstrike when I was getting fatigued (again as a midfoot striking shoe they dont work too well if you fall back on your heels). I’ll try the fasttwitches this week.

Clown cruised at a pretty consistent 5sec/km faster than me for a great race for a man with only 9 functioning toes, whilst after looking very comfortable at Clown’s pace for the first couple of km, B’man slipped back a bit over the last 3km.

Looking at the elevation chart from Garmin, it appears I dove 40m below sea level at 3k (Mt Henry Bridge)! Had I stayedat sea level I might have won the race:)

The referene to the Zoots is one of my 3 new pairs of shoes. Dad went to the US last week so I got him to bring back some shoes - Mizuno Wave Elixir, and Saucon Fasttwitch. $80 each, hard not to get given the current exchange rate. My cousin, who is a triathlete, ad a spare pair of Zoot shoes (one of his sponsors) that he wasn;t wearing, so I got them too.

The Zoots are a midfoot striking type shoe, in a triathlon style with elastic laces/slip on and an inbuilt sock. I have really enjoyed them on my 2 outing so far, although with little heel rubber they are only good for faster stuff.

The Mizunos were a decision after seeing Sugar running in them, and my recent experience with Mizuno Idaten racers (now discontinued I think). They are a lightweight trainer with some support for pronation. They felt good but quite firm ( I likened them to running with a bathroom tile strapped to your foot). I'll need to gie them some more time. On the upside they fit quite well and have a good heel-forefoot transition.

I'm yet to wear the Sauconys but everyone who's anyone is wearing them right now. What happened to the days of everyone weaing Asics?

These new shoes mean I've run in pretty much all brands now. I've never had much success with Brooks - always seems to have poor transition leaving my feet slapping the ground. Nikes have had a narrow toebox although I'd like to give the Lunar series another shot. Adidas - good. Asics - very good. New Balance - yet to find a model I like - too clunky generally. I've nt run in Reeboks - maybe my next speculative buy.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Holding back

I feel a bit like a bull at the gates right now. My motivation to start Marathon training in earnest is high. I want to run more, get up to 100k plus a week.

But it's not the right time. I'm recovering from a knee injury which still reminds me it's there on each run. It's too early to start a Boston prep (assuming I get there), and I have some short race PBs to achieve.

So 75km this week @ 4:26

Mon 7k@4:34. The lunchtime experiment isn't working, will try to get back to morning monday recovery
Tues intervals - 3×100m/100m float, 1 min rest3×200m/100m float, 2 min rest,3×300m/100m float, 3 min rest.Repeat.

Times including float (lap distance not Garmin)
500m 1:40
800m 2:39
1200m 4:03

500m 1:42
800m 2:37
1100m 3:38

I usually pace myself quite well at intervals, but this was an exception. Really struggled in the last set to keep pace and fell behind the leaders. Overall ran the session too hard and if it was winter would have picked up a virus later in the week due to dip in immunity.

Wed 9.3k@4:39
Thurs rest
Fri 11.1k@4:34
Sat 11.38@4:28 - I'd meant to do a session today, perhaps mirror Biscuitmans mile repeats from earlier this week to get a handle on whether I can try to stick with him in next weeks 5k race. Legs felt too heavy for this, but they loosened up later, so I went back onto the Bold Park hilly loop for the first time since I hurt my knee and did some fartlek type efforts - ended up quite a nice session

Sun 24k@4:34. Same course as last week plus 2k extra. Ran alone and found it a bit harder mentally. Still made it over Hale Rd OK but didnt do the fast 3k thereafter and really dragged my feet 20-24k.

I'm not sure how much/little to do leading into a 5k race next Sunday. Any ideas on a structure. Should I skip intervals Tuesday?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

John Gilmour 10,000m

New PB 37:29 - Friday night

Had an easy leadup in the week - Mon, Tues and Wed 10k runs with some fartlek.
Thursday off

Friday night headed out for the 7:15pm 'A' race at Cannington. I'd been motivated by TB's first lap sprint in the other race.
I've not done a 10k track race before, but was looking forward to it. Felt pretty good on the night.

My aim was 37:30, luckily 90 sec laps so no complex calculation necessary. First lap 80 sec and I made sure I slowed down straight away, didn't want to get sucked in to staying with Big Kev or Jockster.

I then ran 91-92sec laps for the next 8, and came back to target pace. I maintained the same pace for the next 8 and was 10 ec behind pace. With 8 laps to go I started to push the first 100m of each lap to pick up to 90sec laps, and kept at the 10 sec behind. Final 2 laps picked things up and with an 80 sec final lap came in at 37:29.

I was tired but not knackered, and felt very happy with the performance, a very small negative split.

other thoughts from the night:
-Sore shins from 2-4k, then settled (wearing Mizuno Idatens)
-Struck by how fast the leaders went, esp Roberto Busi who ran 30:22 or thereabouts - I got a much cleared impression than ever before of how fast 3min/k is.
-Knee gave me no real issues
-Again a good 4 week block of training seems to be enough now to get me into reasonable form

Sat 10k recovery
Sun 22k with Clown, over Hale Rd hill, finished a reasonable week - 75k@4:28

Next up is 5k race at Pennisula, and I could end up my 'annus horribilis' with 3k, 5k and 10k PBs!!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Didn't kneed that

Monday morning I ran an 8k recovery run, and on the hill back towards home I suddenly felt something tear under my kneecap and within 10 paces couldn't run due to the pain.

It felt exactly like what happened at the start of the year, leading to my knee surgery.

I went to work where the knee started to swell over the course of the day. Needless to say I was thinking the worst.

Luckily with the aid of anti-inflams things settled and I adopted a very gentle approach to the week, running all on completely flat grass surface of McGillvray Oval. On the flat, things are OK, but a bit of hill and it hurts. I can only presume I have a small tear in the fibrocartilage that has filled in the articular cartilage removed in my operation. This type of cartilage is much 'softer'/fragile than the original cartilage.

Distance (km) Time Pace (min/km) Speed (km/h)

67.66 05:03:54 avg. 00:04:29 avg. 13.40
Sun October 31, 20106

21.29 21.29 01:34:35 5675 00:04:27 267 13.50 13.5
Fri October 29, 20104

11.65 11.65 00:55:54 3354 00:04:48 288 12.50 12.5
Thu October 28, 20103

0.00 0.0 00:00:00 0 00:00:00 0 0.00 0
Wed October 27, 20102

9.68 9.68 00:41:12 2472 00:04:15 255 14.10 14.1
Tue October 26, 20101

8.18 8.18 00:35:40 2140 00:04:22 262 13.80 13.8
Mon October 25, 20100

7.74 7.74 00:37:25 2245 00:04:50 290 12.40 12.4
There should be a saturday 9k@4:15 session in there as well

So a 67km week, not bad considering. The highlights were screaming at a dog owner on McGillvray who's massive German Shepherd ran 400m to jump all over me while I was trying to do a 1k interval, and this morning's 20k with Clown - the 4:25 pace was pleasing.

As you can see from the crudely cut&pasted table, I'm trying Strands again for my running log. The first time I found it fed into my obsessive/TypeA personality traits too much, especially at a time when I was coming back from injury and really needed to be holding back.

This week, 10k track race is on the cards. I'm not sure if the 37:30 goal is appropriate or not, but I have found running on a track to be pretty fast, so I'll just see how things go. Clown may even decide to do a tempo ( or is that MP) run and pace me to 37:30

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Running is going well for me right now. I've done 3 consecutive weeks over 80km each, making October my second biggest mileage month this year already (more a reflection on a crap year than an exceptional month). I even improved my average pace over the week this week to 4:30, with Tuesday's interval and Friday morning tempo over hills being the highlights. I still haven't felt physically or emotionally ready to approach a true long run, so each of the last 3 Sundays I've done a 20k morning and 10k evening run. This morning I ran over Hale Rd hill for the first time in ages, managed to do it without a stop until the oasis at Churchlands Primary School with it's refrigerated water fountains.

I hope to maintain 80km weeks for the next 5-6 weeks with 10k JG, 5k Penninsula and 3k JK track run (assuming it's on) on the radar before a taper for SixInch

Hope B'Man had a good Rotto,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Boston Chaos

Talk about lucky! In case you didn't hear, Boston entries filled up in 8 hours! - compared with last years 6 weeks, and up 'til 2006, didn't fill up at all.

I only just remembered by chance that it was opening last night, and logged on. Like many, I had to try about 10 times, each time it was rejected, all the info was cleared and I had to fill the form out all over again. I gave up, went to bed, and thought I'd try again today. Luckily I couldn't get to sleep and had one last try, with success!

I was only enetering as insurance, thinking that I could always defer by a year, but for the first time ever they won't allow deferral for any reason so I guess there's more motivation to get there, even if I end up doing it on the cheap.

I certainly think this will make the BAA tighten their qualification criteria. There was an article on message from Mzungo last week suggesting the female qual's were already too lax - 30min slower than equivalent male times when women's performance is generally only about 20min slower. Also, given that people dont hit peak marathon performance until about 40 (or exactly 40 in Clowns case) I think that the qual. time under 40 should all be the same.

Overall, I'd rather see the qualification times come own rather than a lottery - there are lottery runs around already, the popularity of Boston is due to it's aspirational aspect. Similaly I dont think increasing the field significantly would be good either.

Perhaps linking the qual times to a percentage over the worlds best for that age group would be better (eg world record plus 50%), although messier.

World records age male female (BQ)

all 2:03:58 (3:10-15) 2:15:24 (3:40-5)
40 2:08 (3:20) 2:26 (3:50)
45 2:14 (3:30) 2:28 (4:00)
50 2:19 (3:35) 2:31 (4:05)
55 2:25 (3:45) 2:52 ( 4:15)
60 2:36 (4:00) 3:01 (4:30)
65 2:41 (4:15) 3:12 (4:45)
70 2:54 (4:30) 3:45 (5:00)
75 3:04 (4:45) 3:57 (5:15)
80 3:39 (5:00) 4:36 (5:30)

A little confusing, but you can see that the steps up with WRs dont necessarily correlate with steps up in BQ. Anyway, it's not up to me.

Off to intervals tonight, repeating the mantra taken from Craig Mottrams talk last week - maximum 80% effort. Last week I ran 4x1000m with 2 min walk recovery in 3:15/3:16/3:16/3:15. Garmin made the track 1:02k which makes me think it was a bit short as Garmin generally overestimates round tracks with measurement error, but even with 5sec xtra each, thats closer to 100% effort, and I paid for it with a flare of viral symptoms and swollen neck glands later in the week, as I do when I push too hard.

Addit... Intervals for my future reference
10x400m, 75sec recvery
Pretty happy with this - did exactly the same session 2 years ago and av 78s, so at least I'm faster than then!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Congrats Clown on a massive Melbourne Marathon!

6 months, 3 marathons, 3 PBs and taking his running to another level. All thanks to hard work and dedication. I'm rapt to hear about the run.

This has again given me some much needed motivation. I'll put it out there - 10k PB at John Gilmour, aim 37:30. It would be a big step on current form and training, but let's aim high.

Congrate also to TB, and I'm yet to hear if Sling ended up running the half.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Freo HM 2010

A bit of a last minute decision to run today - entered Friday lunchtime. Having pulled out of Melbourne I thought why not? The HM is the distance I have always performed well at, and this would give me some confidence and benchmark my current fitness position.

I'd run 55k leading up, having returned to WAMC/JK intervals on Tuesday with 2x400, 2x500,2x600,2x500,2x400 all with 90 sec breaks. Was surprisingly solid and surprisingly similar pace to 2 years ago when I last regularly ran here. The rest were easy-ish runs through Bold Park

I decided to run today without looking at my watch too much, just run by feel to maintain a consistent HM pace

5k splits 19:52, 20:10,20:25,20:23, last 1.3k@3:48 total time 1:25:42

Nice day for running and I felt solid without going into the red zone. Although I slowed slightly in the second half, I passed 8 people in the last 10k, 3 in the final km. No-one passed me after 3k (except one frontrunner who must have stopped for a pee). I think my recent bold park running has helped as I powered up the few little hills in the final 1.5k - which is how I caught the last 3.

Sugar looked good but I note not quite on PB pace - 145km weeks will do that to you. I was mightily impressed by the female winner - Clare McKay- who finished less than a minute behind me and came home like a train in the second half. She said afterwards that she'd run the C2S half in 1:30 and was happy to beat that - I suspect she'll be winning a few races in coming times.

My pace today was very similar to that which I ran last year with Clown, and gives me some confidence moving forwards.

I'm still in a quandry re track this summer. I looked at last years Masters McGillvray results and I'd have won the middle distance race every week by some way - most competitors were in the over 50 category. I dont really fancy being in that situation. Looking at the Friday Athletics WA meets at AK I'd be near the back of the field with several near my pace and not dead last. This might be the better option although I dont know about Friday evening running - thats usually prime summer beer and BBQ time!

Happy B'Day Clown and good luck next week - hope it's a good present to yourself!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I just received the email re Buster being in Perth. Anyone interested in making a table?
I think I'll go anyway.

Monday, September 27, 2010

No Melbourne, looking ahead

I ended up deciding not to go to Melbourne.
The running's been OK in the first week and a half back, but I don't have a marathon in me physically or mentally.

So moving ahead... my plan is to keep to a lowish 70km per week mileage for the rest of the year. I'll do some shorter stuff - not yet decided if I'll go Masters track ( would be Tues at McGillvray - work late thurs evenings and Coker Park is a bit far), WAMC/JK intervals tues pm, or some self directed track intervals, or maybe a mix of the 3. I might do a couple of WAMC events (perhaps the track 10k), and I'll hopefully do Six Inch again, although I am going to U2 the night before so it may be a challenging run.

I've been thinking about track events and goal times. VDOT seems out of whack for this. Whilst my 3k, 5k, 10k and marathon PBs areall pretty much on a par with VDOT 54.3, and the HM PB a little quicker, these would predict a 73sec 400m, 2:32 800m, 3:13 1000m and 5:01 1500m. These all sound a little slow

At highschool I ran 2:06 for 800m and 4:21 for 1500m, but this seems a litle too fast

Perhaps a 3min 1k (2:22 800, 4:40 1500, 10:00 3000m) is a more challenging goal. Anyone have insight into this?

What I think I might do is head down to the first week of summer masters track next week and do the 1k as a time trial, with pretty much no speed training, so I have a starting point but hopefully still quite a bit of improvement.

Good luck Clown, Sling and TB in Melbourne!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I dont think I'll make it to Melbourne.
The last couple of weeks have been very frustrating illness wise - one virus after another, really getting me down physically and emotionally. I took a full week off any running, then did one run and felt worse again later in the day. I've run yesterday and today - beautiful days and felt really good - but so one should, running 10k after a week and a half off!

This leaves me in a quandry. At best I was going to be borderline to run OK at Melbourne, holding out some hope to run with Sling for at least the first 30k of his sub 3hr attempt. This seems off the cards now, perhaps for both of us. My other great fear is that after a winter of recurrent infections, a big effort will lead to another infection in the followup. But I'd like to be there for Clown's birthday, and I haven't had any time off since Boston, so I could do with a little holiday. Switching to the half would be an option, but that's an expensive trip for a non-PB half marathon.

We'll see - luckily the flights can be cancelled right up until the day, and a hotel room shouldn't be too hard to come by at the last minute, so I can reserve judgement for a while.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Treading water

I felt i should post an update, but to be honest there's not much to add

Since my last post I have moved house, so my priorities have been other than running. I managed to get out and watch the City to Surfers pass by, as documented by others it was a tough day all round.

I've not managed to lift beyond the 70km per week, no quality session mark over the last 4 weeks. The aftereffects of a viral infection, some lingering aches at the site of my stress fracture and the demands of setting up a new house have prevented a stepping up that I'd been half-heartedly considering.

My average paces still sit 4:35MIN/KM, althoug in the last week my average run has changed from flat around the river to hilly through Bold park, so i hope that maintaining the pace represents a real improvement in fitness by a few seconds.

On the days when i dont feel viral my running actually feels really smooth and fun. The negative is that the longest run has been 22km.

I've paid for my fares to melbourne though, so I'll be there and may well head out at 3hr pace for the first half and see how long I hold on. I'm probably no worse prepared than Boston (3;01), but far worse than C2S 2009 (2:57)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Going to Melbourne! (probably)

It took a series of things for me to decide to run Melbourne.

Firstly, I was keen to be there to celebrate Clown's milestone birthday. Then I thought... if a middle aged guy like him can still run Marathons, so should I.

Second, I've not had any time off since Boston, and don't have any planned until New Year, so a weekend away is due.

Thirdly, I read Sling's post about entries running out, and thought I better sign up just in case.

Luckily, although the website says the field limt is 4500, I was allocated number 4591 - so either they exceeded the limit, or not all of the low numbers were allocated.

In the 2 weeks since my last post, I've run about 70km each week, all slower than marathon pace, average 4:37. I've set no specific goal in training or on the day, we'll just see how things pan out. Just need to arrange the flights and accomodation

Meanwhile a very long weekend at the new house has seen a transformation from dusty wasteland into huge lawn and neat garden bed. I might have to look into Jim's mowing!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Winter of my discontent

It felt good to get a couple of runs in this week.

Despite my best intentions, 2010 continues to be my annus horribilis in terms of running.

Since my last post I have suffered from my winter occupational hazard - recurrent viral infections. The first two were minor colds requiring a couple of days off running, but the third was more severe - a glandular fever like illness leaving me sore of throat, swollen of neck and enormously fatigued.

I didn't take a single running stride for two full weeks - which I think beats my post knee surgery recovery from January. When I did get back to running this week, my muscles were aching - abductors, adductors, flexors, extensors - you name it!

It is a great frustration, particularly seeing my running peers in 'all time best' form, and not being able to join in for training sessions and club races.

Luckily the rest of life is going well - the new house is finally ready and in a couple of weeks we'll move in, after 16 months living with the in-laws. I have had more time and energy to devote to work, especially after hours, than I did when training more. I tend to have a bit less patience and more irritability with higher mileage training, something Noakes talks about in 'Lore'.

Anyway, C2S marathon will be a no go - the bit of residual fitness I'd been riding the first half of the year is well and truly gone now, and it will be a week or two after moving in, and I'll have a long list of chores from Mrs Epi which will be tough enough without post Marathon fatigue. I might run the half with my brother in law.

Looking forwards, I'm not making any more 2010 race plans for now, that might just be tempting fate. Lets just hope that, like the speech in the title, the winter of my discontent is over.

Now is the winter of our discontent, made glorious summer by this sun of York (Richard III)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Perth Marathon 2010

First to the important bit - SUB 3 CLOWN! Congratulations well deserved
As Sling mentioned, only one of the class to go.

I decided I would run at the start of the week. I had been thinking of what to set as new goals, and decided on more, rather than faster, merathons - for now. I don't know that focussing on Melbourne and potentially doing a minute or two under my PB (but potentially not) would be all that satisfying. The future goal of 10+ Perths is something I'm more interested in

So on the back of 50k/60k/50k/70k then one week taper, I wasn't expecting too much.

Luckily I quickly settled in with Gunner and (?) Brewer who were looking at 3:15 pace. This seemed easy and we passed halfway at 96:40. I kept the same pace but they slowed a bit, so I tagged on with a guy running his first marathon. We continued together until 35k, speeding up from 4:34s to 4:30s. He then dropped back and I pushed the pace to about 4:25s 35-41k.

It was a great feeling to be finishing fast, as I overtook about a dozen in the last 10k and was only passed by the top 3 relay teams. I sped to 4:15 for the 42nd km then at 3:45 pace for the last 200m.

Time 3:11:20

Halves 1:36:40/1:34:40

5ks 22:49, 22:47, 22:54, 22:54, 22:48, 22:51, 22:29, 22:12

7ks 31:55, 31:56, 32:09, 31:50, 31:42, 30:51

After feeling a little ill immediately at the end fter my sprint, I quickly recovered and felt fine the rest of the day.

I was thinking about Sling's comment re average weekly pace and marathon time.
For me, a top marathon effort equates to about 15sec per km faster than my average weekly pace in the leadup (e.g C2s weekly pace 4:25, Mara 4:10.)

Today I ran only about 4sec/k faster than my leadup paces (4:35-4:31) - hence the easier effort. So I probably had 5min up my sleeve if I wanted to push myself to the limit, and that makes me happy given my very poor leadup.

My plan now is hopefully to get another 5 weeks trainingx70k in after a week off, and run City to Surf marathon with similar perceived effort and hopefully a similar time or a little faster. That will be road Marathon #10 and #13 including my six Inch trail maathons

Oh and kudos to Biscuitman and Sugar - first place relay !

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Slowly Slowly

Main reason to post this week is to give a shout out to Clown - congrats on the massive 10k PB - a long overdue race reward for great training form, and hopefully a big step forward in your running.

My week was similar to last - 60k in 5 runs, all easy, still lacking rhythm - I feel uncoordinated at the moment. There are some minor niggles in the return to more regular running, but the thigh pain is behaving itself.

Surprisingly my best 2 runs were in Nike LunarGlides - the Boston special editions which I bought more as a casual shoe than a runner. I'm running in them without my orthotics (unheard of) They are extremely light for such a stable shoe - probably as light as a DS trainer, but in my case even lighter because I dont need the orthotics (when I tried them I felt my foot was being pushed too far into supination)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Run for No Reason

Back on the road this week after my month off to allow my stress fracture to heal

The leg isn't normal yet, but the deep bone pain has gone and it now just feels like an adductor strain . I am stretching and strengthening ( I'm getting some funny looks walking corridors at work sideways)

Ran HBF Run For a Reason today - paced my Brother in law to go sub 5min kms - did 1:11:15 for 14.59k - so under target pace by about 2 minutes.

It was interesting to run a race so comfortably - it provided a different perspective.

I went to pick up my number and was given a category B bib as they ran out of category A ones. At the start line 2 separate officials interrogated me about why I was in the A corral with a B bib, and they got narky when I told them to bugger off! ( I may have been a bit rude)

I was interested to see Sugar and B'Man say the km markers were off - I found the first 5 were exactly in sync with my Garmin - but then the garmin went haywire through the tunnel so I wasnt sure about the rest. Having said that they seemed pretty good to me as we stayed a pretty constant amount below the target times through each marker.

I felt so good at the end I jogged the 8k home .It ended up a nice, if very slow, 22k for the day, and the first time since Boston that I've felt any real comfortable rhythm in my running - perhaps all is not lost!

54k for the week at 4:45

In terms of plan from here - still not sure. I feel like I have the angel on one shoulder saying don't run Perth because I'll be markedly underdone and injure myself, and the devil on the other saying I should run my sixth consecutive Perth to keep the series going. Luckily at the moment the angel is winning (It's like having Barlow on one shoulder and Tom Swift on the other - one a winner and the other a talentless hack! - I'm sure Clown knows what I mean)

I'm thinking maybe Melbourne (the marathon, not the club)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

More Photos


Three weeks post Boston and I've really enjoyed the Rest and Relaxation. This is probably the most true rest I've had for some time. Although I missed a lot of running at the start of the year, I was very mentally focussed on running and rehab, and did a lot of non running exercise/rehab.

The last 3 weeks I've done very little, and very little cross training. I flew back in to Perth Sunday and went back to work monday - so a week of jetlag and catchup work meant I didn't have time or energy to exercise - a good rest for my femur (although it still aches at night suggesting the stress fracture hasn't fully healed yet)

Boston photos attached!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The hills really are alive!

Driving round New England is a great way to recover post marathon - last 2 nights in Vermont at the Trapp family lodge - where the real van Trapp family settled after fleeing Austria.

I had intended not running for the rest of the trip, but the trails beckoned. There are a bunch of Cross Country Skiing trails ( no snow currently) and Mountain Bike Trails which were great to jog around. 10k in TB style with plenty of walks and exploring. My legs have continued to be very sore after this marathon compared with most, but they warmed up nicely.

Today the right thigh/stress reaction is aching pretty badly, so I might need to go back to the plan of no running for a few weeks.

Meanwhile the diet of 3 cooked meals a day and plenty of wine should leave me needing to drop a few kgs when I get home. Back to the gym I guess.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boston Marathon

3:01:06 - have to be happy with that!

Rob and I got on an early bus and chatted nervously for the 45 min drive to Hopkinton.
Had a bagel, muesli bar, coffee and gatorade before the run. The 3 hours at the village went fairly quickly as we tried not to freeze and took turns going to the toilets. They must have improved on last year as the longest I had to wait was 5 minutes, and that was just before we left.

We split at the clothes drop-off and made the long walk to the start - got to the corral 20 min before the start, just in time for the anthem and flyby. Two guys next to me peed on the ground in the corral - just as Sugar described last year.

Suddenly we were off, and I was surprised to be on a good pace within a few hundred metres. My thigh was aching on the initial downhill kms, but there was too much going on to notice.

I ran at the pace of those around me - and before I knew it it was 8km. There had been a continuous wall of people lining the roads. The kms kept coming fast as I looked out for the various landmarks described by others -Ashland, Framingham, Natick, the mirror to check out your form.

I have to thank Sugar and B'man for their suggestion re putting my name on my singlet. I had large clearly printed Craig/Australia on my singlet and had pretty much continuous callouts and cries of AussieAussieAussie. Initially I was calling back OiOiOi, later just Oi, later just raising my hand, towards the end just grimacing. I think I gave out more high fives than I have in my entire life. Especially at Wellesley - where I didn't stop for a kiss, but did high five continuously for about 500m.

I knew I was likely to hit the wall in the second half, but decided to enjoy feeling good for as long as it lasted. Initially that was to do a decent half, then 25k, then 28k, then get over heartbreak hill. I managed to do all these, to my great surprise.

I ran into Newton xpecting 3 hills, and thought they were a long time coming. Finally there was a decent hill and I got over it OK, expecting 2 more. But someone on a microphone called out that we had got over heartbreak hill! They really were little hills.

After 35k is when I started to really stuggle - and it was my quads that went. I was kind of hoping that it was all downhill from here and I had enough in the bank to go sub3. But there was enough flat and uphill to make me struggle. First I walked through a drink station and started cramping up as I got runnng again. Then over the last 5k I stopped 3 or 4 times. Each time the crowd would scream at me - dont stop Craig! another advantage of my labelled singlet, and when I started shuffling again they would cheer. I suspect if this was Perth I would have ended up doing 3:05-3:10. I still held out hope of scraping under 3hrs until 40k, but the little underpass around that part was too much for me and I walked a little again.

As Clown described, turning in to Boylston I felt a surge of excitement, but the finish line seemed to be like a mirage until I finally passed it.

At the finish I realised how cold it was, and started to shiver. I went and sat on one of the chair in the medical tent before getting my gear and meeting Rob and the girls. Had a quiet afternoon and a fun dinner. Have to say that my legs are the sorest they've been since my first marathon - driving is going to be a challenge.

Congrats Rob on a PB, although it wasn't quite what you hoped/deserved, it will happen!
Personally I am ecstatic I ran as fast as I did on the prep, and have no regrets. With that little training in my legs over 4 months I knew I was going to hit the wall and am only amazed I got as far as I did in good time.

More holiday for me now - hope to see all in the coming weeks. Many thanks for all the support.

Boston Marathon - preamble

First of all, my apologies for my 'radio silence' of the last 3 weeks. This came down to two things. First - I spat the dummy to some extent. Having used all that emotional energy to get back from the knee surgery, to then injure the other leg was pretty gut wrenching. But I knew if I was going to get to run Boston I needed to take the last 3 weeks pretty much completely off running. The way I am, if I was to continue posting, looking at other's blogs and strands updates, I was going to be sucked up into training more than I should - trying to keep up with the Jones's, as it were (or keep up with the Clowns).

So I stopped logging and blogging and actually did what I intended - ran very little.

3rd week out I did elliptical trainer every day, and tried a couple of runs. An aborted Sunday run with Rob was the last straw - had to walk back at 3k because the thigh was so sore.

2 weeks out I did 4 days elliptical, one day running treadmill.
Final week 4x treadmill runs total 20k - the thigh hurt, but was bearable

We were lucky to have 9 days in the US prior to the run. I didn't focus on it at all and enjoyed New York, and food/wine with my brother an his family. Only when we made it to Boston and caught up with Rob did I start thinking about the run at all.

The expo at Boston was huge, and I think I carbo loaded quite well just on the energy bar samples. We also had pasta dinners the two nights preceding the run.

I had no idea what to expect - I had run less than 20k each of the last 3 weeks off a short base. But I knew from Darlington that I had the ability to run well off little training

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Three weeks 'til Boston

Not much to report since Friday.

First of all congrats to Sugar and Biscuitman for their Bridges results, and to Sling for another near miss to go sub3 in the Marathon - it's beckoning this year.

I ran Sat morning to test the thigh out - did 1km jogs interpersed with stretches. In the 8k I ran the only moderately painfree part was a km I ran barefoot on an oval nearby, obviously the more forefoot gait is less of a strain.

This morning I managed an anti-inflammatory assisted 20km, although the whole session took nearly 3 hours - my wife was about to send out a search party after I told her I'd be out for an hour and a half. I hobbled down to the Scotch college playing fields and ran 1km loops on the grass, again the best and fastest were the 2k run barefoot. I had a good patch from 10-15k run continuously then the thigh got worse again.

So that's the last 'long' run per se in my prep - will try to run 4 days this coming week and if by some sheer chance things are feeling better I might try for another 20k next weekend, but I'd rather not chance it if there's a chance of making things worse. Hopefully I'll get down to the gym for some bike and elliptical in the interim, or even some water running.

On a side note, humorous bargain of the week : Tiger Woods/Nike golf gift pack (golf shirt, cap and Nike 1 balls) reduced from $140 to $30 at Rebel. When your stocks are down, they're down! Great B'day present for Dad though - the golf balls are worth the price alone and the TW logo on the shirt is pretty subtle. Anyway, once he wins the Masters he'll be popular again.

(I note the media knew he was reconciling with his wife when she started wearing Nike shirts again)

Friday, March 26, 2010


The thigh pain was not a mere muscle strain
I think I knew this already, but once my antiinflammatories wore off on Wednesday's run I knew things were worse - couldn't run home due to the pain - a deep ache in the thigh

I organised an MRI and it showed a periosteal stress reaction on the femur - a Grade 1 injury where Grade 3 is a stress fracture. (pre-stress fracture you might say) There were no changes in the cortex (middle) of the bone. Classic scenario with altered gait fr4om the other knee and rapid increase in mileage after 4 weeks off.

To my surprise, the specialist thinks I can still run Boston. Without cortical changes this is unlikely to progress to a full stress fracture. I will need to markedly reduce my training from now, though, so the plan made with Mona is out the window. With 3 and a half weeks left it's a long taper keeping the legs turing over with minimal stress on the leg.

So aim will be back to just finishing, I'll be watching my pain closely, but hopefully I can still run Boston!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Steve Monaghetti Camp

I can honestly say that the camp exceeded all expectations for me.

From Friday night's recovery run where I ran the first couple of km at the back f the pack, chatting to Mona about my running, the whole weekend continued with running as the focus.

Without going into too much boring detail, lessons/impressions:

Steve was incredibly accessible, humble and down to earth. He helped me devise a shorter, more severe taper taking into account my short preparation and travel commitments in the last week. One overwhelming message was that running more easy paced total distance will help improvement far more than any session. He ran twice a day, 200k per week, week in week out with 19k/10% each week quality - a Mona fartlek or 400s, and a timetrial on a rolling hilly course of 8k, plus fairly frequent short races mainly cross country.

Unexpectedly for me, Raf opened up a new insight into running culture for me. His passion for WA running is compelling, especially for the nurturing of potential young elite runners. Certainly my perception of his store and the Frontrunner coaching groups has changed, and a number of us seem to be considering getting involved in some way, so I guess the camp achieved that purpose for him - to make it the centre of distance running excellence in the state. (Much was spoken about the deficiencies of the WAMC in catering to certain runners which was also very interesting). Mona mentined that in some ways it's sad we have one big running club rather than several small ones who could compete in various events more often, as is done in the Eastern States.

Physio/Dietician Sessions
I dont think a description by me would do justice to the nutrition talk - but it certainly had us all talking about it for the entire weekend - which must be good! I now know that Mexican food is ridiculous and Thai food is a joke!
The physio session was refreshing in that the focus was on running as the best thing to do to help strengthen running muscles, and that a small number of strenghtening exercises, taking a small amount of time, is all you need to do if not currently injured.

Great group of people all talking about the same stuff, nearly all 'mid-pack' runners, of varying ability

On to the running -
Monday 6.1k@4:58 - pretty stiff and sore post HM
Tuesday 20.1k@4:36. Still felt stiff and sore but it was such a glorious night I kept on plodding
Wed 12k@4:21 with 3k at 4:00 and later 1.5k@4:00 - knee felt pretty sore after this, so I took Thursday off
Friday am 10.25k@4:37 - easy
Friday pm 8.7k@5:17 - easy group run at camp on gravel road, rolling hills.
Sat am Mona fartlek with Mona - how cool is that! Partly on gravel and partly on grass - did 5.35k in the 20min all up - worked pretty hard. 4k w/up, 3.7k c/down
Sat pm 10.58k@4:53 - Rob and took a wrong turn on this recovery run after we split from the group, but it was a lovely evening to run and we got to use the breadcrumb function on our garmins

Sun am 20.6k@450s or so (accidentally stopped my Garmin for a bit) This was hilly and more intense than a usual long run, hence the shortness. My knee struggled on the steep downhills on the trail.

So 101km for the week and 319km for the month so far, with two more weeks of full on training. Mona suggested in the next two weeks I try to fit in an extra long run midweek one week to make up for my lack of distance - my speed seems more than adequate from the HM and the Fartlek session.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010



Sunday, March 14, 2010

This one's for Memphis and Mav

Darlington HM this week - my only hitout prior to the Marathon, so I felt psychologically it was an important race to do.

Mon Mar 8, 2010 10.02 48:03 4:47
Tue Mar 9, 2010 10.00 46:11 4:37
Tue Mar 9, 2010 11.00 48:00 4:21
Wed Mar 10, 2010 13.50 59:30 4:24
Fri Mar 12, 2010 14.04 1:02:01 4:25
Sat Mar 13, 2010 10.09 47:18 4:41

Sun Mar 14, 2010 21.26 1:25:56 4:02
Total 89.90kmTotal 6:36:59Avg. 4:24

Monday and Tuesday am I was pretty stiff and sore - took an antiinflammatory on Tuesday after the am run

Tuesday pm did a treadmill interval effort, a bit like a Yasso. Continuous 5x1k at 3:38 with 500m at 5:15 recoveries at 1% gradient. The 7km session was just over 28 min (although treadmill easier than road)

Wed pm ran too fast in too hot conditions, hit the red zone and felt hot and nauseous all night. Lucky to escape without catching a virus as I usually do after a session like this.

Thurs off to ensure recovery from Wed

Friday am still hot - 29 degree minimum, but hit a really good rhythm thanks to my first rest day in a couple of weeks. Felt smooth for once

Sat am held back nice and easy

Today - first mistake was to have curry the night before a race. Didn't bother me before or during, but had a pretty uncomfortable time for a few hours after the run - spent some quality time with the doulton.

2 k warm up then assembled to start. Wanted an effort based hitout to see where I was. Took off fairly conservatively for me, and hit a comfortable rhythm quickly. Shocked by the route change with a steep down then steep up at 4-5k which stunned the legs a bit, but I soon got into the swing of the slow uphill on which I seem to thrive. I was sitting 50m behind BigKev and his minions for most of the race, picking off a couple of stragglers but not making ground on them.

Hit halfway going at 4:10s or so and was a bit tentative initially going downhill, was rapidly overtaken by a couple of longstriders, despite me doing 3:50s. Colin Francis passed me like I was standing still.

Struggled a bit with the quads and took a 20m walk at the 17k drink station although this only slowed the split to 4:00. Hung tough down the final 3k dirt and managed to pass Peter Sullivan with a couple of hundred metres to go - he said something to me that I wasn't sure if it was encouraging or disparaging about me trying to gain a couple of seconds in the final couple of hundred metres - either way that guy is always intense!

Pretty pleased to scrape in under 1:26 - a fair way behind last years time albeit on a slightly harder course and more difficult conditions

3:55/4:16/4:10/4:08/4:03 20:32 (up 70m)
4:03/4:15/4:13/4:14/4:11 20:56 (up 90m)
4:02/4:03/4:02/4:00/3:51 19:58 (down 17m)
3:53/3:51/4:00/4:01/3:50 19:35 (down 110m)
3:51 (down 30m)

It has been suggested to me that I might be back on the sub3:00 trail for Boston, and to be honest if my prep continues well I'll defintely put myself in the position at 32k to do it if I have the legs, but lets knuckle down to a couple more training weeks first (a bit of Mona magic should help too)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Longer, Stronger

True to my word, I focussed on endurance and strength this week

126km @ 4:40
Mon Mar 1, 2010 28.11 2:14:12 4:46
Tue Mar 2, 2010 16.08 1:13:54 4:35
Wed Mar 3, 2010 14.11 1:04:02 4:32
Thu Mar 4, 2010 10.05 49:01 4:52
Fri Mar 5, 2010 2.97 14:19 4:49
Fri Mar 5, 2010 10.00 42:05 4:12
Fri Mar 5, 2010 1.69 07:45 4:35
Sat Mar 6, 2010 11.05 52:43 4:46
Sun Mar 7, 2010 32.01 2:30:55 4:42

Trialling Cut&Paste from Strands

Monday long run see last weeks post
Tuesday pm medium 16k run along the river. First 10k easy then sped up a little to keep up with someone who passed me, although splits dnt really reflect this
Wed pm medium 14k run. Was an easier effort than Tues but faster
Thurs am First true recovery run for a while - nice in a way to have really aching legs
Friday am. Intended longer tempo. After 3k warmup set out at 4:00s and lasted 1.5k sore shins and knee so I pulled back to a jog. After a few more km I felt good again and did 5k@4:00
Sat am recovery
Sun am. Long run with Clown. Wet back to the old hillier route Kings Park-Bold Park loop - North to Scaborough - back to Hale Rd and up over the tw stage hill then back to Kings Park. We took it fairly steady and did quite well. Even managed 4:10s for the last 1.5km.

The body has coped OK with the mileage. Left (bad) knee sore on downhills only. Right quads quite sore right in the middle just above the kneecap (quads tendon) - a different type of quad pain than I've had before.

My week has probably been influenced by my rereading of Lydiard's book, and I intend to push on wih 100km plus weeks with only one tempo/faster session and no intervals foer the next 3 weeks. I'll not taper for Darlington in mileage but will keep the pace easier this week.

I'm starting to get used to Strands despite it being ridiculously slow and the interface being a bit clunky. Despite this I intend to keep up my weekly post - a nice way to look back at how I was feeling beyond reading the numbers. My only other concern is the rise of miles as the running unit for Clown and Biscuitman, for example Clown ran to finish 20 miles today rather than to finish 32km and did a 5 mile tempo rather than 8k - what country are we living in - pull your head in Clown :)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Grist for the mill

The treadmill, that is.

Had a couple of treadmill workouts this week to beat the heat, although with only an evaporative A/C at the gym, it took 35 and dry to 25 and humid - not sure which was worse. On one of the sessions I sweated so much my feet were slipping on the treadmill surface!

70km@ 4:36

Monday rest after the long Sunday run - felt OK
Tues am 9.85k@ 4:43 - easy
Tues pm 11.5k treadmill - warmup then 5k@4:00, 2k@4:00, 3k@4:00. Most was on no incline so easier than running that pace on the roads. It was hot. Damn hot. Hot and wet - good when you're with a woman, not good when you're on a treadmill ( to paraphrase Robyn Williams)

Wed pm 10k treadmill 4:30s overall but did 2 progression inclines - each one minute increased gradient 1% until 6%/6min, at 4:00s

Thurs - rest.
Friday 13.8k@4:43 flat
Saturday 14k@4:45 including Kings Park loop
Sunday 10k@4:48 treadmill - didn't run morning as was watching Mum do the short course womens triathlon up at Hilary's - was one of the few 60+ and for a lifetime non-athlete she did impressively well.

Monday am 28.1k with Rob. Included 2x9k Kings Park loops and 10k flat along the river. Was OK until after the 19k stop when Clown decided to pick up from our 4:45-4:50 pace to 4:20-4:25s for 5k - I fell behind a little but gradually wound up some speed. This knackered us for the last section back up to the top of King's Park so after a little walk/jog section, we walked back to the car.

Tues-Mon almost 100k (if I include about 3k run along the side of the bike leg on Sunday) first of this volume for some time.

The knee is holding up OK, body is coping OK. I feel a little flabby although have only gained 1kg on the scales - not sure how that happened with the higher mileage but will go off alcohol for March to rein that in.

My aim is a 400km+ March focussing on endurance and strength. Long runs, longer tempo and Kings Park runs will be the foci. I know it's too little too late for a sub3, but a solidly finished sub 3:10 would be nice.

Question for Biscuitman and Sugar - How were the drink stations at Boston? Very congested? Better to go for early tables or the late? Did you find the Gatorade 'Endurance Formula" noticably more salty than normal electrolyte drinks?

...and finally, I was struck by the efforts of TB,Nate,Dave & Co at the track ultra. Not sure if awestruck or dumbstruck is the right word, but struck either way. 6 or 12hrs in that heat is crazy - made this morning's effort seem pedestrian. Kudos to you all

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Top of the wazza

Better week - 80k@4:39

Mon 10k@4:50
Tues 9k including 5x1k intervals. 3:41/3:35/3:44/3:39 final one only 500m
Wed 10k@4:40
Thurs rest
Friday 12k with 6k tempo. Garmin out of battery so not sure of pace. Expectations exceeded ability inthis one as I thought of last years 20k tempo efforts
Sat 10k@4:50
Sun 30k@4:44. Sore knee after saturday run made me wuss out on running with Biscuitman - decided to stay closer to home in case things went awry.

First 5k in 4:55s until I met Clown, running at his fast clip we went up to 4:30's or so for the next 6k then slowed down to 4:40-4:45s for the rest. Felt surprisingly good for the first 25k, then struggled a bit to the finish

So the mileage has really picked up, and although the knee swells and pains after the run, it's generally well behaved whilst I'm running. I must admit to breaking my self imposed rule and took an anti-inflammatory yesterday, may explain today's pain free effort

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tempus Fugit

Only 9 weeks 'til Boston!

55km in 4:40 this week

The week started badly - lasted 300m on Monday morning before having to turn back with pain under the kneecap (the aftereffect of my longer sunday run)

Tuesday 11k easy@4:45
Wednesday (pm) 11k with 5k@4:05 and 2k@4:00
Thurs (pm) 11k easy @4:45
Friday rest
Saturday 22k@4:40 - ran along the river to the belltower and back. Was briefly tempted to venture up into Kings Park but decided to play it safe. Took only one break at 16k mark - happy with that.

This morning I kept time at the Point Walter run, seeing Clown and Biscuitman both run 5k PBs although both would seem to have room to improve on these.

I trialled my new Socceroos shirt (EBay) this week as a potential Boston shirt - it's the lightest of any of the Green&Gold shirts I've come across although still fairly baggy and heavy compared to running specific shirts - we'll see how it goes on a less humid day

Sunday, February 07, 2010

I'm Back, Baby

... in the immortal words of George Costanza.

Well the return to running plan is already out the window. 44k in 5 sessions. All easy 4:40-5:00 whilst running, plenty of breaks for stretching.

I started carefully with 3k treadmill then 5k treadmill/2k road Mon and Wed respectively

Friday 10k on the road/paths in multiple small sections, max 2k at once (out there for well over an hour)
Saturday 10k, max 5k at once
Sunday 14k, max 7k at once

Knee a bit niggly first 5-10 min until it warms up, then OK unless steep up/down hill
I've obviously got some altered gait/abductor weakness as my inner heel is scraping the inside of the other leg/calf unless I concentrate on form.
Niggles in plantar fascia, calf,hamstrings and glutes are all to be expcted after a prolonged break but nothing I'm getting too excited about.

I'm going to upgrade my return schedule, would like to get up to 70k/week in the next 2 weeks then back to the 10% rule and if all is good start adding some hills/tempo intervals.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ready and raring to go

OK - 17 days since the surgery, ready to go.

Stitches came out on Tuesday, have done some crosstrainer, water running, and a little exercise bike (although this still hurts a bit at the point of maximum flexion).

I can hear you all asking - have you run? Of course I've tried! I have little self control. So much so that I told the trainer at the gym to pull me up if he saw me trying to run on the treadmill this week. I did and he did.(I didn't get far before he noticed)

The wound which leaked has healed, but the area still balloons out when I do a ew minutes on the crosstrainer. Strapping it helps a little.

This week I intend to start some gentle running. I'll try to stick to treadmill initially, then some grass running down near Steve's, progressing to flat running on the path around the river. Hills will have to wait.

I've drawn up a fairly conservative return to running schedule,

Feb Wk 1 20k 4x5k
Feb wk 2 30k 4 runs, long 10
Feb wk 3 40k 4 runs long 12
Feb wk4 50k 5 runs long 15
Mar wk1 60k 5 runs long 18
Mar wk2 70k 6 runs long 21
Mar wk3 80k 6 runs long 25
Mar wk4 85k 6 runs long 30
Mar5,Apr1 90k 6 runs long 32

April wks 2 and 3 taper

Looking at it, maybe not so conservative. I suspect I'll be keen to do more in weeks 2 and 3, but then may be hit quite hard by the progressive mileage increase thereafter. I intend to make marathon goal pace 4:30s for now, and may not do anything faster than MP, certainly not in the first 5 weeks. If I'm training well and the knee is good I woud rather start adding in hills at MP at that point rather than tempos.

The only race I'll consider doing is Dalington half - my long run should be up to 21k that weekend and if things are good I'd look at doing it in 95.

Anyway, these plans are almost certain to change to some extent - but it's nice to have some direction.

In preparation I've been looking for running shoes. I've decided despite many pairs of shoes, they are all wrong or worn out, and I'm going back to Asics2130 exclusively. So I've been watching out for a bargain.

Back when we were down south at NewYear I found a pair my size at the Dunsborough sports store for $120, but since couldn't find any my size in Perth, only 2140/2150s. Then I noticed you could buy 2 pairs womens 2130s for $100 at JimKidd - WTF. I did some research, wnt down and am now the proud owner of 2 pairs size 12 (equiv mens 10.5) wide womens 2130s. They are a couple of mm narrower in the toe box but otherwise pretty much exactly the same as he mens.
I did need to get out the black laundry marker and make the colour scheme a little more masculine, but I'm keen to get out and try them.

It's a bit weird. I've read that more womens then mens running shoes are sold in Australia, but they obviously like buying new. Another example was DS trainers, never on sale in mens ($220) were $109 in womens!

But I digress. Hopefully a positive post next week about how well I've coped with returning to running!

(PS - I've enrolled for the Mona training weekend)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


WARNING: This post may contain discussion of surgery and medical conditions. I have been reminded over the last week that not everyone is comfortable with this.

My plans of an accelerated recovery program (ala Jana Pittman ) were scuppered this week when I literally sprang a leak. I'd had Thurs-Sun effectively off my feet and seemed to be going well. I was allowed to go to work on Monday, but walking out to the car I felt something rip in my port wound and out came an obscene amount of honey-like joint fluid.

This fluid leakage continued unabated for the next 24hours, soaking dressing after dressing, even when I was asleep. The only positive was that the swelling was going down! I went to see the surgeon the next day and he put a stitch in the wound. For those technically minded I had developed a synovial fistula

Positive - the leakage stopped. Negative - Minimal walking, no cycling/cross training for another week and no swimming for another week until the stitch comes out.

So here I am slowly going crazy with lack of aerobic exercise. I joined the gym and tried the 'water wheel' ergo - like an exercise bike for your arms - but my upper body is so weak I last about 5 minutes and have to stop. I have also rediscovered my dislike of upper body weight training.

So delayed again - shouldn't be a big deal but given my hopes for a Boston finish each further week not running is a further two weeks lost in return - one to regain fitness and one to improve from there. Looks like it will be six weeks gap between runs, four between reasonable aerobic activity.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cool pics

Screenshots from my DVD!
Amazingly little pain, home watching the cricket by 11:30

1. Hole in cartilage (probe in the hole). There is a second hole/fissure lower left

2. View from another angle

Flattening out/'chomping' the edges

A view of the finished product

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Under the Knife

It's been a rollercoaster of a fortnight.

The MRI scan surprisingly showed my lateral meniscus was normal, but a large chunk of cartilage had torn off from the lateral part of the patellofemoral joint - lateral femoral trochlea. (ie under my kneecap).

This seemed unusual to me. Most cases of patellofemoral injuries I come across are to do with bad biomechanics and seen in new runners, often overweight. To have gone so long without knee pain and then a sudden tear seemed wierd. A couple of factors sprang to mind. Firstly I did have a 'sticky' feeling in the knee on descent in Nepal - with the added weight of the pack this activity put a lot more stress on the knee. Secondly I tried a run without orthotics - I think it was the day the pain first came, if not it was the preceeding day. Having run in orthotics always in the last 5 years did this change the forces in the knee?

Anyhow, I am now both an inveterate and a degenerate runner.

An intercurrent gastro infection contracted from one of my nursing homes delayed the visit to the surgeon. In the meantime I have now gone 2 weeks without any running of note. I've headed out a couple of times since the swelling has settled down, with 3k the longest distance covered running. I fashioned my own deepwater running flotation belt from a cheap lifevest I bought at Anaconda (cut off the shoulder part) and have done a couple of sessions - lots of fun but difficult to get a cardiovascular workout of any note.

I saw the surgeon today. My options were twofold. With a large fragment of cartilage floating about inside my knee joint (it has moved to the back), and with the size of the defect in the cartilage, leaving it be was not one of the options. The option I took was to have arthroscopic surgery to trim the edges of the defect and remove the fragment. The second option was for a MACI graft - they harvest some of your own cartilage, grow it in a lab, then graft it back in a couple of weeks later. The negatives of this are 1. cost 2. 12 months until you can run again. Being, as I mentioned, an inveterate runner, this was not my option.

The surgery is first thing Thursday morning (quick but good). The surgeon is confident I'll be running 3-4 weeks after the surgery and thinks I'll be OK to run Boston, although clealy not in PB time with over a month no running then a gradual buildup. I'll be happy to be able to run it at all, and would think best case scenario 3:15 (but there's a lot of water to pass under the bridge before that)

The surgeon told me one of the Eagles players had a very similar looking injury on MRI and recovered successfully. A quick google search shows both Kerr and Brett Jones have had arthroscopic surgery on this area behind the kneecap - Clown may have a better idea given his deep and abiding affection for all things Eagles.

Next progress report hopefully 7 days postop and starting some deepwater running!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

2009 in review, challenging times ahead

Belated 'year in review' post, I've just returned from 4 days down at Bunker Bay.

2009 was obviously a breakthrough year for me.

The springboard was good fitness coming into the year. This had been a weakness in previous years, and I used SixInch 08 as a goal to help this.

Jan/Feb - A very solid training block (including 42 consecutive days). Matilda Bay (38:21) 10k PB

March - PB for HM Darlington (1:23:06). Running in my best form ever at this point

April - Canberra in April (DNF) was a disappointment - perhaps a case of getting ahead of myself.

May/June - some good training interrupted by an ankle sprain and a flu

Jul - Perth Marathon (3:04:08) was also a bit of a letdown, despite being a 10 minute PB.

August - City To Surf Marathon (2:57:51) was the clear highlight of the year,

Septmber - a 10k PB at Freo (38:03) capping things off

October - light/rest month

November - Everest Base Camp trek with Clown was a non-running highlight.

December - third consecutive SixInch trail Marathon was a nice way to finish off an all round great year.

2010 has got off to a bad start. On Tuesday morning I felt a few twinges in my left knee. That evening the knee joint developed an effusion (fluid on the joint). Since then I have been unable to run for more than a couple of hundred metres.

It appears I have torn my lateral meniscus (cartilage) in the left knee. Most of the time this does not heal itself and requires surgery - Henry/Homo went though this a couple of years back.

I'm not sure where this leaves me. First up I need to see a specialist, probably get an MRI and discus the options. My initial thought was that Boston was off the cards entirely. More research suggests that I should wait and see. People have got bak running a week after this type of surgery.

Most famously, Joan Benoit won the 1984 Olympic Marathon Trial only 17 days after this type of surgery in 2:31, then 4 months later went on to win the inaugural LA Olympic Womens Marathon.

Update in a week!