Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Running Year in Review

Where did this year go? Already time to do some self indulgent reflection on the year that was.

Number one is mileage - I recorded over 5000km for the first time this year. It was a consistent year  - I don't think I went 2 days without slipping in a run of some distance this year. It also reflects the fact I took very little time off this year - a long weekend early in the year and two weeks for my 40th. 2014 will be different from that regard.

Lack of injuries also played a part - I've carried a right groin injury all year which seems to be an athletic pubalgia/sports hernia involving the insertion of the conjoined tendon and perhaps the adductor tendon. It flares after long and fast runs but seems stable. i had a couple of minor ankle sprains and hamstring sprains, mild flaring of plantar fasciitis, but nothing to stop me running.

Running shoes have stayed the same - Saucony Kinvara remains my workhorse training shoe, Saucony Type A5 my racing shoe for distances up to 32k (and probably will go to marathon in 2014), with some Saucony Virrata thrown in, barefoot grass sessions and some trail running with Kinvara trail and Salomon S-Lab sense ultra.

January - Matilda bay 10k in 37:29 - one second faster than last year
March - Perth 32k 2:10 - reasonable run with a PB for this race
and in training a 44k run, my longest training run, and a 17:14 wind assisted 5k effort

April -Bridges 10k - 36:18 - 10k PB

May - Joondalup Half Marathon 1:19:24 - HM PB and i think my fastest VDOT level race ever
HBF Run for a reason 12k 43:03 - good run and I suspect went through 10k in a PB

June - Perth marathon 2:52:44 - main disappointment for the year, stomach troubles stopped a PB but before this I was already not going to hit my 2:48 goal

July - Perth Trail Series 21k 'Eagle and Child' - 3rd place. My first foray into PTS and despite a mild ankle sprain and navigation issues, really enjoyed it

August - City to Surf HM 1:20:57

November - Perth Trail Series 'Moonshadow" night race - 2nd place and great fun
parkrun 5k 17:18 - an official 5k PB without specifically preparing for it
Run leg Augusta Adventure Race - fun event as part of a multisport team

December - 6 Inch Trail 47.5  Ultra - 3:52, 9th position

Overall a pretty good year with PBs at 5k, 10k, 12k, HM, 32k

Looking ahead to 2014, i have a 4 week holiday jan-Feb including 21 days on a cruise, so it's going to be back to the treadmill, then July a trip to Europe.

My goals are again to get that 2:48:xx Marathon time, to break 36 min for the 10k, 17 min for the 5k.

And finally... on the weekend i jumped on a bike for the first time in nearly 20 years, and rode 55k with my brother-in-law and cousin. It was great fun (apart from still having a painful backside). Could I start doing some more cycling? maybe, especially if/after i get that Marathon goal time.

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 15, 2013

6 Inch Trail Ultra 2013

Another year, another 6 Inch race - my 6th. Up until now my worst official finish was 4th, but i knew this was going to change this year - there was a pretty hot field

For what it's worth, my predictions were :
Brendan Davies
Gerry Hill
Scott Hawker
Tom Bakowski
James Roberts
Kevin Matthews as the top 6.

I then thought they's be a number of people battling me for the rest of the top ten - including Etienne Rodriguez (who I saw win last week's WAMC 5k in a canter as i timekept), Luke McLean (recently moved from SA and fast in a couple of runs with me), Brett Coombes, John Pendse, Nathan Fawkes, Lauren Shelley. I didn't quite get it right.

So it was hot - hottest since 09 with a 17 degree start at 0430 rising to nearly 30 at the time i finished. There was little wind, and along the course lots of microclimate variation - some lovely cool sections and a couple of exposed very hot ones.

Second, it was long - 47.5km by my garmin - almost 1.5k longer than before, enforced changes due to track closure.

My leadup was OK - a lack of long runs as is generally the case for me at this time of year, but 100km weeks for the last 2 months. I carbo-loaded too well.

On to the race - the change to using the hall to register was good, and things went off in the usual low key fashion. I intended taking it a little more slowly up the hill and thought I' d succeeded as i sat in 7th at the top (5k). I was 50-100m behind James and Etienne (with Scott/Gerry/Tom/Brendan in front). Etienne took a brief stop at 10k and I gradually caught james to run with him for a while.

i twisted my ankle on a gravel descent in this section and in the process seemed to hurt both my left hip flexor and hamstring - they didn't bother me much in the race but are pretty sore now.

Coming in to aid station 1 there were 5 of us at one point, with Etienne and i leaving first and running the next 10k together. I was having some fluid/nutrition issues mainly due to nausea. This was partly an issue of 'lack of fibre' (read constipation) from carboloading and partly due to me deciding to put Gastrolyte in my bottles, which was too salty for my tastes. i made things worse by overfreezing the drinks and my insulated camelback bottle never thawed during the 23-36k section.

I managed to stick with Etienne 23-36k as we see-sawed, me walking briefly every km trying to suck some fluid out of the ice in my bottle, then catching him, passing him and repeating the process.

We walk/jogged up the steep hill and came to aid station 2 together, with James and another guy just behind. We'd seen Scott out ahead, then Brendan, Tom, but no Gerry.

From this point on i really struggled, my km times moving out to 4;30s. I was overtaken by 4 people, most notably by ?Mike Ho who would have been 4 minutes behind me into aid 2 and passed me only about 2k after it - running incredibly at that point (I believe he finished 4th). Big Kev took me at the 43.5k mark, and I tried to stay with him but couldn't. I walk/jogged the last 4km which seemed to go on forever.

I crossed the line in 3:52, 9th position (I think). i really struggled at the end with nausea and wasn't really able to drink anything. I didn't hang around for the presentations as i lay in the back of the car as my long-suffering support team (Dad) drove me home. Really need to look at this side of things - 2 years in a row with these problems now.

I thought the event organisation was the best yet, given my history if i don't get lost then the course is well marked. now I've done the 6 i'm not sure if I'll keep going (or at least will take a break) - in the immortal words of Roger Murtagh - 'I'm getting too old for this shit'

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Last night was the Moonshadow event of the Perth Trail Series. This was the first night run of the series, which is organised by bBernadette Benson. The first of her runs I did was the eagle & child run earlier this year  - the Lord of The Rings themed event. This event had a hippy/trippy theme.

This was my first foray into night running - i have a headlamp from some early start morning runs a few years ago but it's been in the garage for at least 5 years. Given my tendency to sprain ankles and get lost on trail runs, i was a little nervous. I was also concerned on first glance that i might be leading the race, but luckily at the last minute Scott Hawker entered, so that took one pressure off.

I arrived a bit early and warmed up over the first 2km of the course. This didn't help my confidence as it was straight up a hill with rocky trail and quite a bit of loose pea gravel. I was struggling in the light, let alon in torchlight.

The race started near dark and within a few minutes it was pitch black. Several guys went out fast and I sat in about 5th up the hilly first couple of km. The track improved thereafter and i moved forward - i thought at the time to about 3rd or 4th but was second. There was then some soft sand followed by a couple of km of firetrail - surprisingly i found this bit some of the toughest of the race, as I sped up I struggled to see the chanes to the level of the road and jolted on landing a few times. I also took a wrong turn about 6k mark and the 3rd place runner behind me (Luke McLean) caught up. Only lost 20sec or so here. Luke mentioned that he was 4 weeks post coming second in a 105k trail event, as he gapped me on the last of the firetrail.

The trail soon turned to single track and quite a steep, rocky hill. here i caught back to Luke and sat behind him for the next 2-3km. I probably could have gone a little faster here but I took advantage of being able to see the track in front of him as well. We came to a clearing and took a few seconds to see where the trail led - at which time the 4th placed runner caught us.

We proceeded to fly though single trail for the next couple of km in single file.

With 1.5k to go we hit a 200m section of road and I took the opportunity to push the pace and create a small gap - I felt i really needed a little break on them as I had found how easy it was to run in someone's footsteps. I ran fairly bravely through this very windy section - the trail surface was flatter but lots of twists & bends, some steps and footbridges to keep your concentration up.

I was no longer hearing their breathing behind me and came into the final clearing and though the finish gate in second, 3min behind first and 15 sec in front of 3rd.

A cool thing about bernadette's events are the trophies - last race was a lego Frodo baggins and today was a lego hippie sitting on a 'hash brownie' - actually a date and walnut cupcake.

I won my agegroup - which again was a bit different in this race - groups were baby boomers, genX (born 66-76) and GenY. Luckily for me all the other leading runners were genY.

Overall a fantastic race and I'm really running well at present. Three weeks to SixInch, hoping I'm in PB form.

Saturday, November 09, 2013


A bit of a last minute decision to pop down to ParkRun Claisebrook this morning for a 5k race.

Got down half an hour early and did about a 6k warmup. There was a light Easterly but didn't really notice it.

My plan was to go comfortably hard, but ended up going harder than that. Unfortunately I forgot my watch, so just ran by feel. The bigger issue was that no-one took it out and I found myself leading after the first corner. i spent the first 2k with the footsteps of 2nd in my ears and went too quick. he passed me just before the turnaround and after that it was really a matter of holding on.

Definitely lost time in the last couple of km - no splits but lost 20sec on the winner in the second half of the race.

Nonetheless I finished with 17:18 - new 5k PB and perhaps something to build on if I get around to some speedwork in the next month

4k cooldown and I felt pretty good afterwards - driving down to dwellingup for a recon of the altered course of Six Inch trail next month tomorrow morning (going to be an early one!).

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Augusta Adventure Race - Run Leg

I was fortunate enough to be asked to do the run leg of the (formerly Anaconda) Augusta Adventure Race.The team, a group of orthopaedic surgeons, have done it a few times, but their cyclist had pulled out. unable to find another cyclist the runner changed to cycling and i scored the run leg.

After the City to Surf i took some down time, including celebrating my 40th B'Day with a trip to NZ.

I restarted training in earnest in October and ran 460k for the month, with 4x 30k sunday runs all hilly, mainly on the trails through King's Park. Spring is a great time to be running in Perth, perfect conditions for crepuscular runs.

The run leg of the race was far more technical than I've run before, especially early on which involved 'rock-hopping' then sections of beach/rock hopping alternating. it's a type of running where technical ability trumps running ability, and i lacked the technical ability. Whilst I was clambering over boulderso n hands and knees and sliding down slopes on my backside, the fast guys were hopping over them like mountain goats and were out of sight within the first km. I found myself about 100th place at the 2k mark. I passed a good 60 people on a 1k stretch pf road then had little passing opportunity for the next few km.

7k onwards opened up on dirt trail and I was running really well, 10k pace and passed more and more competitors. The individual runners had started half an hour before us and i passed Andrew Forrest about 11k in - still impressive to see one of our wealthiest men do the entire race.

i was still passing people up until the finish, finishing 8th in my section of the race.

Our team swimmer did very well, and Toby, our paddler, dislocated his shoulder when he was knocked off his craft by a wave - it popped back in soon thereafter but it was a painful paddle for him.Matt, our cyclist did well for limited training, and then we finished with a 2.5k team beach run to the finish.

We finished 8th or 9th in the mens teams and 34th overall (official results i think had some errors initially so may change a little).

Overall this was a great event and a nice variation from normal running events.

Looking ahead I'm going to continue with the trails theme to the second half of 2013  - entered for the Perth Trail Series night race in a couple of weeks and then Six Inch Trail Ultra number 6 in December.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

City to Surf HM 2013

Decided to run the half this year - in previous years I've only done the 12k or the full marathon.

My expectations weren't too high - last weekend doing the Parkrun 5k race I slipped and fell on a wet wooden jetty/decking in east Perth and in the process managed to sustain a minor hamstring tear. I took it easy all week but even on Friday it was pretty sore stretching out or going up hills.

I took some anti-inflam (Mobic), wore compression shorts and used some tigerbalm pre race to help reduce the risk of problems.

I'd entered late so didn't get a preferred start, but in the tradition of the C2S this didn't matter. We'd all been waiting in the convention centre until we were released for the 800m jog to the startline, and the preferred runners were let out about 5 seconds before the masses, so I was amongst them anyway. Then as we get to the startline, hundreds of people had obviously ignored the start assembly and just jumped the barriers to be at the line with the preferred runners. Anyway, i started about 5 rows back so no issues in the end.

I took it fairly conservatively in the start up the hill, and at about 3k found myself at the back of a pack of 8 which was prob about 20th-28th position. I had a chat to the guy next to me, who mentioned i was the leading runner wearing the event t-shirt (I thought i was the only one who noticed these details). My hammy was fine and I decided my aim for the race would be to pass the other 7 in the pack.

I made it past 3 through kings park, then settled down to a conservative pace through the middle third of the race. garmin showed 18:23/19:41 the 5k and 10k splits. I passed 2 more up the floreat hill with 6k to go, and with 4k to go noted I was 200m behind the next guy. This shortened to 150m turning onto Oceanic for the last big hill, and had got to 30m by the top of the hill. He then sprinted down the hill and extended the gap a little, but I think underestimated the final straight which is nearly 500m. I pushed on hard and took him, leaving only one of the guys I hadn't managed to catch.

I finished in 1:20:57, 5k splits18:23/19:41/19:00/19:42 and ran the last km in 3:25.

The hammy twinged a few times but to be honest, never bothered me. I took no calories and only a couple of sips of water.

Once again, this race makes me think I should race like this more often. I ran within myself for the first 28k, but probably only would have run a minute and a half faster if i'd run all out. So for a slightly slower times and maybe one or two positions lost, I feel fine afterwards (can walk to the car!), don't spend all afternoon feeling sick and on the toilet, and in terms of racing get to spend the second half of the race passing people! If i can control my competetive urges I think I'll race this way most of the time and maybe race all-out once or twice a year only.

Good to see Stobes (and Boudville?) out there, congrats to brother-in-law Luke for a 5min HM PB, and well done to TB for another Marathon finish - I'd wondered if I'd pass you near the end but I see you would have finished several minutes before me.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Perth trail Series- Eagle & Child 21k

I'd been hoping to do one of the Perth trail series, but it never really fit in over their summer series, so this one off winter run was a good fit. 3 weeks post marathon having taken things nice & easy, i thought I'd be up for a decent run.

The run was out at John Forrest national Park, and was very well organised by Bernadette Benson. I'd initially looked at the entry fee and thought it looked fairly high, but you could really see the effort and thoroughness. There was a Lord of the Rings theme, with all finishers getting a LOTR style ring, and impressive frodo lego winners trophies.

I started out at the back of the leading group, in 6th, but the early going was very technical single trail - i realised quickly that there is an art to running this sort of trail and that I dont possess it - I quickly fell off the back of the group. I was also a bit uncertain of my navigation in this section and found myself at the back of the second group, in 10th, at about 5k.

Just at this point the branch of a shrub hit my right eye and knocked my contact lens out of place (in fact when i took it out at the end of the race, it was in three pieces, so the lens may have saved me a corneal abrasion) - i ran the rest of the race with slightly blurry vision.

Things opened up a bit after this and i picked my way back to 6th. Unfortunately just having done this I rolled my ankle (inversion/lateral injury) and needed to hobble for 100m with 3 repassing me. Luckily it was a mild sprain and the heat/adrenaline allowed me to keep running. For the rest of the race I was very cautious about my right footfall position and really slowed down especially on the technical stuff.

Luckily I seemed to be doing better than most and moved into 5th. Soon thereafter Thomas bakowski overtook me  - he had been well ahead but had got lost - so i'd actually been in 4th, now 5th again.

At the halfway mark I had 4th in my sight and gradually caught him - a guy named David. We ran together for a few km and i was feeling pretty happy to go on and finish 4th or 5th with him.

After a hill at 16k or so I looked back and saw that I'd dropped David, so i pushed on, knowing he'd tole me the last 4k was pretty much all downhill on wider firetrails. I pushed the pace a bit more here, although the ankle did start to give me a little curry, so I checked behind and with a bit of a gap slowed down. I was surprised to hear from a marshall at 1k to go that I was in 3rd - Thomas had got lost again. I cruised through to finish in 3rd.

Interestingly the first 2 guys were some way in front of me, and then there were 8 finishers in 3 minutes from 4th -11th. i suspect even had I not had the ankle issue or some early navigational issues, i still wouldnt have finished any higher up.

Unfortunately I had family commitments and couldn't stay for the presentations. James Roberts and Etienne Rodriguez were the first two finishers.

Overall it was a beautiful day for running, but I certainly need to practice trails if I want to run the full summer series at some point. For now, i have a swollen and sore right ankle  - strapping and flat road/path runs only for me in the next week. The only positive of not running aerobically that hard is that I didnt have any stomach upest or fatigue issues later in the day.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Perth Marathon 2013

...the 2 days after post

leadup fine, taper fine, pre race night and morning Ok, weather perfect

Set out at desired pace - 19:32/19:23/19:41/19:56/19:52 first 25km looking good

Mainly set out with Brad Hart, a runner of similar pace and coincidentally a physio near my practice. We've shared a few patients and run similar paces but never met. In retrospect i may have been running 5 sec/km faster than I should have in the first 25km.

At 25 I knew I was going to have to work so i let Brad go. I decided to focus on getting to the Raffles Hotel at 30k then put the headphones on and get through til 36k on the stretch down the freeway.

This worked adequately with 20:29 and 20:32 5k splits to 35k

Here things hit a hitch. it's funny how i can spend nearly 6 months running daily in pursuit of a marathon goal, but decide my nutrition strategy the day before. iI never take anything on training runs less than 20k. I take water and sometimes a jelly snake on runs 20-30k, and a few more snakes on 30+km runs, I haven't had a 'gel' in a year. last few i have had were 'Winners' brand which are fairly watery.

So of course on Marathon day I have staminade in bottles (done on a whim of nostalgia of staminade in funruns as a kid in canberra) - an electrolyte drink notably with magnesium, and a couple of GU brand gels.

At 30k I was concerned re lack of calorie intake thus far and downed half a Gu. 5 minutes later I started heaving every couple of minutes and at 15k I threw up Gu and green staminade. I toyed with going into the toilets at the narrows but walked for a while instead until my head stopped spinning.

Most fortunately for me, the leading female runner, Tina Major, caught me soon thereafter and I decided to  stick with her for as long as possible. She had a cyclist pacer (I think Todd Ingraham) - cajoling her along as well as a lot of support from spectators - i tried to feed off this. Despite his job obviously being to help her and get her drinks etc, he was kind enough to offer me a few words of encouragement when I looked like falling off the back of her - which worked the first couple of times, with much thanks on my part. Luckily this played a good part in my continuing - I note that 2nd place Chris O'Neill paced third place Adam martin - Chris had planned on running with him for only 30k but sensed he was struggling and paced him all the way to the finish a big PB.

I stayed with Tina until about 40.5k, then dropped back and struggled to the finish in 2:52:44.

I was pretty disappointed at the finish, i'd given it my all and was probably pretty hypoglycaemic and dehydrated - apologies to all who gave me support only to see me wander off  - I wasn't in a good way at this point. I managed to drive home before a fairly tough couple of hours of gastric upset before the gastrostop and maxolon kicked in. As much as anything else, my concern is that this is the second consecutive marathon (after six inch) where I have had big time vomiting and diarrhoea afterwards - this doesnt inspire me to keep pushing for more full pace marathons. I've never recovered well from any marathon (I look on in awe at those who can go and have a beer afterwards) but the last 2 have been shockers. I'm not sure if I'm pushing myself beyond reasonable limits, if what I'm taking is affecting me, or if (most likely) I'm just weak as piss.

No point crying though - time for a little R&R

A big shout out to TB for his 10th Perth Marathon - as I've noted before TB was a big inspiration when I first started running over 9 years ago - the original perth running blogger and someone who pushes on with humility through adversity year after year - I'm a big fan. 

Sunday, June 09, 2013

One week to Marathon

1st taper week 120km - not really a taper in terms of mileage but kept intensity easy  - 10k at MP on sat am and a 28.5k@4:25 on Sunday morning with Rob

2nd taper week 75k - more the way a taper week should be - overall average pace 4:15

Tues pm did a 4x1600m session with 2min float recoveries with Rob - ended up running a continuous 7.8k@3:36 - so pretty much 8k at 10k race pace.

Sunday (today) was going to do a 20k dress rehearsal but I was called up for volunteer duties at the lake Monger run - ended up being a bit silly as there were heaps of volunteers standing around with nothing to do - the most useful service I performed was pinning the finishers ribbons on the kids who did the 'little mongrels run' (including TBs kids). I did get to see both Rob and Liam PB in the 10k though.

So I ended up going out at midday with the intention of doing 20k with a few MP in the middle. Ended up average pace for the 20k of 3:59, so a little too fast - the easy kms weren't so easy and the MP kms were at 3:50s. Dont think I did any harm from this though, just need to ensure I go easy from here (starting with no run tomorrow)

Sunday, May 26, 2013

HBF Run For a reason 2013

Having run so well last week, the pressure was off for the 12k race today.

This combined with a late night out last night (James Bond monopoly night! with some nice wine esp a 2000 Bin389 holding up very nicely) and some flu'ey symptoms didn't leave me expecting much.

i parked up the top of Kings Park and jogged down to the start, in the 'elite' group after a solid 27th last year - my claim to fame last year was being the first finisher wearing the event t-shirt - most ahead of me are sponsored or at least favour the fancier kit - looking around the elites it seemed i was likely to take this dubious honour again.

Unfortunately my Garmin did't record the first km properly and then completely lost it through the tunnel - so I'm not sure exactly how fast I set off but i'd wager a 3:25 then 3:35s. Lauren Shelley streamed past me at 6k, and i managed to keep within a reasonable distance - she was the only person to pass me after the first couple of km. I went through the 10k sign in 36:03 in a pack of 4, and managed to clear away from that group to finish in 3:30/3:30 to cross the line in 43:03. The finish on the Gloucester Park horse trotting track was quite nice, although significantly longer than the old finish round the WACA.

I ran into Connor Quinn at the start and finish. I knew I was a similar standard to Connor, but a closer check on recent results shows just how close - we've finished within 30sec of each other in every race I've done this year  - with me taking the honours in 4 of the 5 (again by about 20 sec today). 

3 weeks til the marathon - time to start a taper.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Joondalup HM 2013

A while between posts - but all has been going well. My training, whilst not reaching the heights of last year, has been very consistent - no weeks under 100k this year thus far.

Having missed Bunbury Marathon, this race was important psychologically in my buildup to Perth. The aim was sub 80 minutes. Luckily I had Clown to run with, who is in a rich vein of form currently

I'd skipped a run Saturday as a taper, but still put in 85k Mon-Fri with a great tempo run with Rob on Tues pm. Up at 5:30 - vegemite toast and some coffee, then the long drive up to Joondalup.

The course is around the Lake, fairly flat but the first couple of km on unsealed track and with some hills. We started 3:49/3:59/3:48 to be well behind the 8 ball by 3km. Already we'd formed a group of 4 runners, which would stay togather for the next hour. This is an experience I've rarely had in races - i tend to run to my own tempo - but it was really fun to be in a group and notice the pace/form/surges/cadence etc of the others.

Early on, Rob was setting the pace, and he sped things up to get back on target. This saw 4k in 3:40's. At this point i thought things were too close to 10k pace and was ready to drop off the back, but luckily we settled back into 3:45s for the next 8k or so.

At about 18k we hit the first of the small hills of the final km's, and I put in a bit of a surge, which saw the other 2 fall behind, leaving Rob & myself pushing the last couple of km at a slightly higher tempo. The final 2k were our fastest, and we crossed the line together in 79:20 or thereabouts. We ran a negative split of about 20 seconds, which was pretty pleasing.

So onwards and upwards to perth marathon, just a month away. The 12k HBF Run for a Reason is on this Sunday, although after a good run last weekend I'm not too concerned with how i go - I have my confidence  for a 2:48 in the marathon now and that will be the goal!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Bridges 10k 2013

I pulled up OK after my 44k effort last Sunday, with 10k easy mon, 20k incl 16@4:00 tues, 20k wed then 10's thurs-sat in preparation for the 10k race on Sunday am.

Conditions were OK, but there was about a 20km/hr ESE wind which blew into us from 3 to 8k. The only positive of this was that I didn't feel the heat.

I started out sitting just behind DB, and this was probably a mistake as I quickly realised I'm not quite at his level. 3:15 and 3:24 for the first 2k and I let him go. I was amazed by the speed of the women's race winner. Linda Spencer, who was already 100m ahead of me at 2k, and ended up finishing low 34's.

Over the Narrows and into the wind I was a little concerned I wasn't going to make the distance, so I slowed down to more like Half marathon pace with 3:41/348/342/348/346 for km's 4 to 8. It seems everyone else was doing the same as from 3k onwards only one person passed me and I only passed one.

It was a pleasure to turn across the causeway and have the wind at my back, aith the last 2k 3:35 and 3:32.

I finished up at 36:18 - a small improvement on my 10k track PB from last year but a bigger PB for road 10k.

I think the miles in my legs helped me tough it out over the windy section, and I'm getting better at putting up with more pain in the mid sections in these races as the years go on (I had a few pull-outs or walks mid10k a few years back).

Felt fine afterwards and no ill effects in the afternoon, but resisted the temptation to go for a pm run.

Great to see several of the medical fraternity out again - Laurie, Alex P, Paul and Neil all running well. I'm not sure if I've mentioned in a past post about my thoughts re medical runners. If I consider say the 10 people I've considered the most significant role models as a student and a junior doctor, most of them are also runners - including the 4 above, as well as Pat (3:01 marathon PB) - the GP role model who influenced my decision that i could engage my passion for palliative care and aged care better as a GP than as a specialist, and Tim, my 'young GP' and GP educator role model.

I've often thought about what personality traits are common between what I admire in a Doctor and what makes a runner. And also in general about the personality traits of runners (as opposed to elites, joggers or cyclists/triathletes). Not surprisingly, others have had the same questions, and a quick google shows some pretty lengthy studies on the ethnography of distance runners. I'll read some more and see if I can come up with some answers!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Longer, faster,higher

I decided not to run Bunbury, and since that decision have enjoyed my training more - a weight off my shoulders so to speak.

As to the title:

Longer - ran 44k this morning as a solo run. Thought I'd take advantage of my short term bachelorhood with a longer run. I did the 3 bridges - from Dalkeith down through Mosman Park to Fremantle and across the bridge, then along the south of river through Applecross to Canning Bridge and North along the freeway to the narrows then back down to Dalkeith. Went through the marathon distance in 3hr12min, stopped only to fill water bottle at 30k and 36k.

This was my longest training run ever, and capped a 138k week and 550k March.

Faster - Tuesday evening I got home from work and there was a pretty fresh southwester blowing, so I jogged down to Tawarri and did a 5k timetrial all wind assisted - north to Stirling Hwy and then east towards the narrows. Ran the 5k in 17:12 - clearly I wouldn't be running this on an out & back course (that would put me up in Clown's realms) but it was nice to move that quickly in any circumstance

Higher - a couple of weeks ago i enrolled in a research project looking at iron metabolism in the acute phase of altitude training. The last 2 fridays I've done a VO2max test at UWAs altitude chamber, the first at sealevel, the second at 3000m.

The session involves running on a treadmill with a tube in your mouth - a bit like the end of a snorkel, and a noseclip to prevent breathing through the nose. I then ran 4 minute intervals at a prescribed pace, increasing stepwise with a 1min standing recovery. The first one I started at 12km/h, then 14, 15,16,17 and lasted 2 mins into 18km/h before stopping.

The altitude session was interesting. The 12, 13 and 14 sessions were relatively easy, but at 15km/h things got very hard very fast, and I only lasted 2min into the 16km/h. I guess I fell off the steep part of the oxygen dissociation curve


Next comes some interval sessions at both sea level and 3000m with blood tests.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Perth 32k 2013

It's been a busy time in my non running life in the 8 weeks since last posting.
In this time we've put our home on the market, sold it, bought a new block, designed the new home, and moved back in with the inlaws. Add to this a couple of significant work changes and running has suffered a bit.

Training has been consistent but not reaching the mileage peaks of last year. I only missed one day in Feb and my first non running day in March was yesterday. peak mileage has only been 125k vs the 150s I hit last year. Missing mainly I think have been really long long runs and days with double runs.

Injury wise I've had a nagging right groin pain since new year which I fear is a 'sports hernia' developing. I've been managing it conservatively with stretching, but there are days where it's really quite uncomfortable, especially if I'm trying to push the pace.

Shoe wise I'm remaining a Saucony man. My long run mainstay has continued to be the Kinvara, although I preferred the 2 over the 3 - issues with rubbing on the heel collar and quicker wear on the sole. last week my first pain of Virrata arrived - the much awaited cushioned but zero heel-toe drop shoes from Saucony. I've only run about 25k in them and interestingly my achilles did notice the 4mm difference in drop cf Kinvara. I'll hold my judgement for now.

I ran today in the type A5, which i was concerned might be too little a shoe for this distance, but had no problems. These shoes are fantastic, and looking at their stats, are really comparable to 'barefoot' options like the New Balance minimus.

For interest:

Kinvara  Heel 23mm, Toe 19mm, weight 7.9oz
Virrata   Heel 18mm, Toe 18mm, weight 6.5oz
A5         Heel 16mm, Toe 12mm, weight 5.8oz
Hattori    Heel 15mm, toe 15mm, weight 4.4oz

asics gt2000 27mm, 17mm, 12.5oz
Asics ds trainer 28mm, 18mm, 10.4oz
asics ds racer 24mm, 14mm, 7.9oz
New balance minimus 18mm,14mm, 6.2oz

The asics shoes were my previous favoured range, but i couldnt imagine going back to shoes twise the weight and with a full cm heel-toe drop now.

Anyway, back to today
I moved house yesterday and subsequently went out for a celebratory dinner, leaving me with a bit of a hangover and fitful sleep. The weather was a little warmer than I'd hoped - starting at 20 and ending about 25, with 70-80% humidity.

My aim was to go out at 4min/k - and I settled in fairly early amongst a group including Gerry Hill (who i think was pacing a friend - although he zoomed and forth a couple of times), Liam (who started conservatively then pushed on) and Ray Lampard and i presume some other triathletes. The pace was fine and we hit 10k in 39.24 (by Garmin). Little changed in the next 10k to hit 20k (Garmin) in 79.20.

Just after 20k I developed a severe, acute onset stitch/stomach cramp which I couldnt run through - so i stopped for about a minute and tried to hyperventilate it away. This is the third time only in my 10 years of running this has happened in a race. I lost a full minute and at 22k was 20sec behind my 4min/k pace.

our pack had well and truly split by this time and with my stop, 3 guys had passed me. At least this gave me some targets for the last 10k of the race, which was getting tough with increasing heat. I didnt take any calories and just had water at the stations, about 5k apart.

21-27k I averaged 4:05s and gradually reeled a couple of runners back in, as well as passing Gerry who had stopped to wait for his friend. The next 4k slipped to 4:10s before dipping back under 4 for the last km. I caught 2 people in the last 2k including martin Feichtinger, who I imagine could be alot faster if he lost about 10kg of upper body muscle.

So I finished in just over 2:10, running time about 2:09.

This probably hasn't really helped in my decision making about entering the Bunbury marathon in 4 weeks time. I'm probably not quite there to run 2:48 as i hoped (although cooler weather, a taper and some calories during the run will make some difference) so i'm not sure i could be bothered heading down to run a 2:51 again. Perth Marathon may be a better option - now I'm settled back at the inlaws I probably have more chance of winding up the mileage.

We'll see...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Week 2, Matilda Bay 10k

Monday 11.75k@4:45 recovery
Tuesday am 16.2k treadmill with 10k in 37:50 - slightly faster than last week - another hot day so retreated to the treadmill
Tuesday pm 10k recovery@ 4:36 (treadmill again)
Wed am 13.2k @ 4:45
Thurs 22k@4:30 medium long run
Fri 10.3k@4:40 recovery
Sat 10k@4:30 easy
Sun 3.75k warmup, 5.75k cooldown 10k race

Matilda Bay 10k in 37:29 - one second faster than last year.
I'd thought I might run 30 sec faster today, but whether it was the increase in volume, the heat or being a bit dehydrated starting out, I didn't get there. The splits were fairly similar to last year, although I ran the first half 10s slower then last year but didn't slow so much in the 6-8k section.

Either way, I'm happy enough to be on a par with last year - if I can do a similar buildup for my marathon but avoid the injury affected weeks I can still hopefully get a couple of minutes off my marathon time.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Week 1 Training

I'm pretty happy with the first week of Marathon training for Bunbury.
The 10% rule went out the door with 121k up from 90 the past 2 weeks, but the body coped OK

Monday 11.5k @ 4:39
Tuesday am 16k treadmill with 10k tempo in 38:10 - too hot to do outside tempo
Tuesday pm 10k @4:33
Wed am 12.3k @ 4:43
Thurs am 18k @ 4:36
Fri am 11.5k @ 4:31 - incl 10x100m strides (done properly this time)
Sat am 11.35k @ 4:33 - with a couple of faster/harder km
Sun am 30.2k @ 4:39

Nothing too exciting to report - a little knee pain on recoveries, some hamstring tightness in the second half of the long run, but no specific concerns.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

2012 Year Review

I wasn't going to bother posting this, but I looked back at the reviews since 06 and it's nice to see what I felt of the year at the time:

January:  Matilda bay 10k 37:30 - OK race in hot/humid conditions

Started a new marathon program with record mileage peaking 146km week
Plantar fascia tear with a couple of weeks off and a couple more building back up

Back in Mara training peaking again at 146km week
HBF Run 14k 51:01 - 24sec PB

Lake Gwelup FunRun 6k 2nd place and 5 second PB

Perth Marathon 2:51 - 6min+ PB

City to Surf 12k - 45:25 - disappointingly slower run

Newcastle parkRun 5k 18:00
John Gilmour Track 10k 36:23 - 10k PB

SixInch trail marathon 3:47 - slower than last year/limited preparation

So overall a success with breakthrough Marathon PB after a couple of years stagnation, and a small 10k PB without specifically training for it.

Goals for 2013:

Marathon 2:48 - definitely at Perth but potentially an April marathon also, depending upon training and logistics (maybe Bunbury)

10k sub 36 min

Stay Injury free & sustain 4 consecutive weeks of 150k running

Lesser goals - PBs in HBF run, City to Surf, 5k, SixInchTrail Marathon