Wednesday, June 29, 2005

How to make an impression

Tue PM: Swim Squad. 2K, Tough on the arms.
Wed AM: Run, 6K. Unplugged & brisk.

On Monday evening, backing my car out of the parking lot I reversed into another car. A black Saab. I walked back in sheepishly and asked the General Manager if she knew who owned the car. It was her's.

This is not a good way to make an impression in a job I've only been in for three weeks. Luckily there only appears to be a little paintwork damage to her car (a little ding in mine) and she isn't worried about it, so it's all good, but it makes a good story.

Tuesday's Swim Squad was a bit tough. 18 * 50m in decreasing times (1:20, 1:15, 1:10) and then 5 * 200m with a variety of paddles and such. My arms were finished by the end. After the swim I had a dodgy pide for dinner on the way home.

I did a 6K run this morning, 2.5 with dogs and 3.5 without. I think I went out a bit hard after I dropped the dogs home, but I was without HRM or watch, so there is no measurements. I didn't feel great, but this I put down to the aforementioned dodgy pide.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Wet, Cold, Miserable

Sat AM: Ride, 52K. Horrible.
Sun AM: 14.2K in 1:21. Felt uncomfortable, knee niggled.

The tri club ride really put the turd into Saturday. I got dropped left, right and centre, the magnet fell off my spoke, leaving me without a bike computer and it pissed down, so the two flat tyres in the group that held us up were less breathers and more opportunities to catch pneumonia.

Sunday's run was a bit better. I didn't feel great, but I felt slightly bad for the whole run - it didn't get worse. One element of concern is the ITB has been tight for days and the knee was a bit niggly throughout the run.

I've been icing and stretching a bit, but it's difficult to fit it in more than twice a day.

So the course of action to get me through from here is:

- Two days without a run. Tonight is an unscheduled rest day.
- Voltaren gel twice a day until Sunday.
- A sports massage, booked for Thursday night.

This should see me through until Sunday.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Still Here!

Sun AM: Run, 22.5K in 2:07, Solid long run, felt good.
Tue PM: Swim Squad, 1.75K.
Wed AM: Run 14K in 1:19, Felt really Easy.
Fri AM: Run. Treadmill intervals: 10*400m @ 13kph, 200m jog intervals @ 8kph. 8.5K in Total. Real bloody hard.

Sorry about the silence. Blame Telstra Bigpong.

Sunday's long run was a solid hitout for the last long run before GC. Ran the back half with the Tri club Sunday run.

Wednesday's run was a pearler. Just 14K of flat easy running along the Georges River. The HR didn't go above 155, and it felt awesome - it set me up for a top day at work.

Today was hard. Real hard. I took a 1.5K jog with the dogs for a warmup, and then hit the treadmill with the TV telecast of the cricket. The cricket was awesome, but the run was tough. The HR got up to 182 (97% of max) which was much higher than the same run a fortnight ago.

So now starts the taper. I'll go for 10-12K on Sunday and fit in a couple of short runs with strides next week and look forward to a big PB and joining the cheer squad on Sunday week.

The job is going fantastically. The hours are still very long, but you just don't mind when the work is stimulating, and it is.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Not Quite as Good as Last Week

Ride, 51K in 1:50 avge Speed 27.8kph

Today's tri club ride felt a bit tougher than last week. I was glad of my cool weather purchases when I was the first frost of the year this morning, but by 8:30 it was getting a bit warmer, and it wasn't too cold.

The pack rode conservatively for the first half, and I kept up no worries, but when they stepped on the gas during the Nutt Rd sprint I got dropped like a Bangladeshi slips catch. The last 5K saw me getting dropped again, and so I put in the big ones during the last downhill, and for the first time in months I shifted to the large chainring.

I realised the error of my way when I hit the hill back into Windsor, and the derailleur would not shift back to the small chainring. This left me to get up the bastard thing in a higher gear. It's not a really steep hill, it's just a mongrel on tired legs, and mine were tired.

Tonight is dinner with the in-laws. It's a bit of a worry. My father-in-law, Peter, is a truck driver from Parkes, and is the very mental image that that description creates. When I first met him and Fiona told him I am a vegetarian his response was "Well, what's wrong with 'im?".

Now I am working for a retail chain that sells fashion clothing to 15-25 year old girls/women. I have as much male credibility as Carson Kressley. I get on really well with Pete, but I suspect that he may question which side I am batting for tonight.

Not to worry. I got my first paycheque this week, and I had a sneaky look at some bikes this afternoon.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Treadmill Intervals and freezing myself

Run: 7.7K in about 40 minutes. Treadmill Intervals 10 x 400m @ 13kph, 200m RI @ 8kph. Incline 2%

Went to bed at 9:30 last night to get up at 4:30 for a treadmill interval session. 2% on the incline to compensate for wind resistance, and I did the 400m efforts at 13kph. My HR got up to 168 on the first effort, and the peak increased slightly with each effort to a maximum of 174. This was a solid session. I don't think I would want to push any harder, but it didn't wreck me for the day. In fact, today was probably the best day I've had at work so far insofar as being alert for the whole day goes.

After the run I had the bright idea of taking the dogs for a 2K cooldown jog, so I headed out straight from the treadmill into the cool morning air.

Let me tell you, when my wet shirt hit that morning air, you could've cut glass with my nipples. It was a mild morning at six degrees, but that was not how I felt - I was bloody cold. It got even worse when I started running and the wind chill set in, but I soon acclimatised, and by the end I was glad I took the dogs out.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Tuesday night at Sydenham

Tue PM: Swim Squad, 1.9K, Felt good.
Wed AM: Run, 12K in 71:13. A little nauseous at the end.

Tuesday night saw me back at the Revesby council pool for my first go at their swim squad. There were just four of us who turned up, and by the reaction of the other patrons I reckon they are glad to see me - the squad may be close to being cancelled.

I think the squad teacher is called Gordon - he had lost his voice, so I didn't confirm this on the night. Despite the obvious problems with communication, he seems to be a really good coach. He noticed that I was dropping my elbows during my stroke, and the change to my stroke had my shoulders complaining by the end of the night, but I was happy with the 1.9K covered in the hour. I felt pretty comfortable in the water.

This morning I was back along the river between Sydenham and Canterbury. I'm pretty sure the run was about 12K (I'll check it on the weekend if I remember) and for the most part it was comfortable. I did feel a little nauseous towards the end. I suspect this has been due to dehydration. I'll make a big effort to get at least 2.5L every day this week and I should be right for the long run on Sunday.

Now, having watched an entirely satisfactory State of Origin match (Joey Johns is a champion) I'm going to bed.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Short Long Run

Sun AM: 12K in about 70 minutes with much farting about.

Can we just start with what happened on Saturday night? Souths 44, Manly 6! As a beleagured Rabbitohs fan this had me bouncing around like a grinning idiot all night.

I got out at 7:15 on Sunday morning with the intention of running with a recently organised tri-club Sunday run. It's a very loose format - people basically doing their own thing, but we all start at the same time and head off on roughly the same course. I did a 1.5K warmup before I got there and headed off with two guys intending to do a 10K loop, this being the long run on a soft week. About 800m after starting everyone stopped for a stretch. This is not my usual modus operandi, but it seemed to work OK.

I didn't wear the HRM, but I should have. I knew I was going a bit faster than normal, and 4K in I just felt uncomfortable, so I let the guys go and tried to settle into a rhythm, but it just wasn't going to happen today. I had already got myself uncomfortable, there was no going back. I was very happy to get it over with and hit the shower.

I had a top time at the Coolrunning drinks last night. It's a great community to be a part of.

Unfortunately, the Coke I drank to survive the drive home made sleep an impossibility last night, so the fact that today is a rest day is just as well. Swim Squad tomorrow night.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Turbo charged Tri Club

Bike, 51K in 1:49 Avge Speed 28.1kph. Fast and furious.

The tri club hammered it today. We did the normal 50K loop. It was a largish group with no real slower riders (well, except me) and we took it out solidly. The ride seemed to stick to normal pace for most of the ride, but in the second half everyone went a bit faster. I guess the difference is that I and a few others usually get dropped at this point, and we all meet up with 12K to go. That didn't happen today. I kept up and we got back about ten minutes quicker than usual. I didn't get dropped at any stage today, not even the climb into Windsor.

I don't know if this this performance is the result of the rest week or another one of those rapid improvements I've been getting lately (perhaps a bit of both) but I'm pretty happy about it.

I engaged in a bit of retail therapy this afternoon, including some cool weather training gear. It's good to be employed again.

I'm looking forward to drinks tomorrow night with the Coolrunners. Only problem is that I appear to be a bed by ten o'clock pensioner all of a sudden.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Pre Dawn Tempo

Tempo Run: 9K, 3.5K Tempo in 17 minutes. 53:30 Overall.

I got to bed at 9:30 last night to get up at 4:40 for a tempo run. I went through the first 3.5K with the dogs, so it was very slow. I did the same 3.5K loop again quickly as the tempo section of the run and finished off with a 2K cooldown jog (ha ha: cooldown at 5:30AM in Windsor - it's cool enough already).

It was a decent little session, and my first attempt at running before driving to work from Windsor. I don't think it had any affect on my working day, and the run was actually pretty good. If I can get to bed early enough on the previous night I think this is a pretty good way to go.

Now, having finished my first week of work I can say I'm very happy with the new job so far. The days are long but the work is interesting and varied and the working environment is good. I'm confident I can keep training adequately without losing the plot.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Back in the workforce

Mon PM: Run, 8K in 48 min. Recovery run? Not really.
Tues PM: Swim, 1400m in about 30 minutes. Psuedo squad.
Wed AM: Run, 9K in 54 minutes. Reasonable.

I left for work on Monday at 6:45AM and got home at 7:45PM Most days will be shorter than this, but this was a bit of a shock to the system. I got out at 9:00 for an 8K recovery run. I should've rested. I felt a little bit nauseous, and my right knee was niggling throughout the run. It had been niggling a bit on Sunday, but it was worse on Monday.

I decided to take an easy week after this run, sothe plan on Monday was a 1500m Pseudo squad swim at a pool close to work. I got 1400m in before I got kicked out of the closing pool at 7:00. They informed me that they start an adult squad at this time, but the rest of the centre is closed. This is great, I'll be able to work back on Tuesday nights and do the squad at 7:00.

I slept at my sister's place on Tuesday night (it's pretty close to work) and went for a run first thing this morning. It was a run along a bike path in darkness along the Georges River. I passed a few other runners, but it was still a bit disconcerting in the dark.

Being a rest week, I went out for 9K. The knees were fine and I felt a fair bit better. A rest day tomorrow should see me improve a fair bit. The plan is to ride 50 on Saturday, run 10-12 on Sunday and rest on Monday. Then it's back into the full program.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Hard Slog

Run: 22K in 2:11. Three breaks, felt awful.

It can't all be comfortable runs and big PBs. Some runs are ugly and uncomfortable. In the last few months, I've had more than my share of the former. Today it was very much the latter.

I woke with no cough and walked the dogs, taking it easy. I didn't get out until 9:00, normally I'd be out a lot earlier and I was to remember why at the 15K mark.

The run atarted with two laps of the tri club 10K loop. The first lap was comfortable, but I did have to pop behind the bushes to relieve myself at about the five K mark. This started a pattern, as at the same point on lap two I had to stop at the same bushes for, well, number two. This is why I must run earlier.

By 15K I had started to feel a bit ordinary, and I was glad of the break, but when I got back into it my HR shot back up into the 150s very quickly. Now, as I have mentioned before, the 10K loop has a few hills in the back end, and I struggled badly over these hills, particularly the climb back into Windsor. Normally this climb would signal the end of a run, but on todays' route I still had two K to go and I didn't want to do it. I was feeling bloody rough by 20K and I even had a bit of retching, and although I considered packing it in, I kept going. The last 2K was a hilly little bastard, so when I got into the George St mall Craft markets and saw an old workmate there was much relief as I stopped to quickly say g'day. A minute or two of smalltalk later I was on my way and struggled through to 22K.

I had stopped the watch for the second break, but I kept it going during the other two stoppages and at the end of the run it read 2:11:07. So the run was probably a bit slower than last week and not nearly as comfortable. If I feel like this on the Gold Coast I will be lucky to break 2 hours. I guess it comes down to how you feel on the day. I'll file the run under character building.

Now I'm going to go and lay down.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Longest Ride Ever

Bike, 70K in 2:38, Ave Speed 26.3

I turned up at 7:30 for the club ride this morning along with three others. We discovered that evryone else had got the message that we were starting at 8:30 from now on. We decided to do two loops of the tri club 10K loop to get us to 8:30.

It was 3° at Richmond this morning, and it's about 2° cooler down on the lowlands that start our ride. With wind chill it was bloody horrible, but we did our 20K, and the others were assembled at the end of our second lap and it was straight into the standard 50K loop. I was really glad that a couple of the guys got flats during the ride, I needed a couple of breaks.

One of the girls was struggling a bit in the latter stages of the ride. She is having some health issues, so I hung back a bit just to make sure she was OK, and this was probably a good thing for me as well, as I probably would have blown up badly had I pushed myself.

Given that today was my longest ever ride and I am now gainfully employed, I treated myself to a huge breakfast at the cafe after the ride.

Fiona has been suffering from a cough all week that is still really knocking her around. While I was watching the Rabbitohs honourably draw with the Bulldogs tonight I started to cough. Hopefully I'm not in for a week of it, but I'll see how I feel before I take off on the long run tomorrow. A soft week at this stage wouldn't be a bad thing for the half, so I won't push it if I'm not right. I've said that before, and I rarely do take it easy - but at least I know what I should do.

Friday, June 03, 2005

It was supposed to be a recovery run ...

Run: 8K in 45 minutes, felt OK, but I went too hard for recovery.

I got out mid morning again today, 10AM. It was still cold (9.7°C) at that time, and I really felt it.

I ran down to Bligh Park, a quick loop through the Hawkesbury's example of 1980's architecture and back home. I was thinking this might be a more appropriate route for evening running in the future - more lighting, less pollution. I might have a go at it on Monday evening.

I probably went out harder than I should've, but I ran it how I felt and although the last 2K, which is mainly uphill, was a little uncomfortable, I'm happy with the run.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Intervals and Employment

Run: 8*400m efforts, 200m jog intervals. Hard, real hard.

I went out mid morning for intervals at the cricket oval. 800m warm up jog, and then into it. I'm told it's 400m around, and by the session that's about right. The efforts were about:


I had intended to do two more, but by the end of number eight I was about ready to throw up and decided to wuss it on the last two. I did a feeble 800m cooldown jog and showered, stretched and iced.

I had some more positive feedback about the job this morning, and I started to get nervous about it. About twenty minutes ago I was offered and accepted the job! I start on Monday.

It is a great job - it will be valuable experience for me as well as being a good match for my skills. I'm utterly stoked.

It will present problems. The job is in Milperra, about a 75 minute drive from home, and the hours are long. This is going to make training difficult. I didn't have many problems with training during the temping, but I think the day will be 90 minutes longer at this job. I'm planning to spend one night a week at my sister's place, as she lives a 25 minute drive away from work, and that will allow me to swim after work and run before work on that day. I'll get the training in, I just have to be pig-headed about it.

So I'm pretty bloody happy tonight. Just to share the joy, here are the lyrics to my favourite happy song. It's by The Lucksmiths. Best sung at ther top of your voice in the car whilst stopped at the lights. That way the guy in the car next to you gets a smile as well (it's happenened a few times). It's also good on the MP3 during a long run.

T-Shirt Weather

Hey Mike, you busy?
All this sunshine’s making me dizzy
Went outside, all my clothes dried
And if I’m babbling, please forgive me
But it’s the first hint of sunshine
For a week or so, I’d say
And I’m keeping well, I’m in good health
But I sneeze when I look into the sun today

There’s my bike looking dusty
The spokes are broken and rusty
But I’m happy to walk
I’m happy with anything today
‘Cause I’m out in the sunshine
While my friend’s at home asleep
I guess that’s just the downside
To the money he makes and the hours he keeps

And I say hey, it’s a beautiful day
And I’m starting to feel a lot better
So wake up, wake up
It’s T-shirt weather

Ba-ba-ba how could things be better?
This afternoon in the pub I met her
Maggie May on the juke-box
Hey, things are okay
“Just two things” she tells me,
“If you want to keep things friendly –
no beer for me, no peanuts, and I’ll be happy…
oh, and no football, well I guess that makes three”

It’s a beautiful day
And I’m starting to feel a lot better
So wake up, wake up
It’s T-shirt weather
It’s T-shirt weather