Sunday, July 31, 2005

It doesn't get much better

Run: 20K in 1:56. Steady pace, worked hard.

Well, things have certainly improved since yesterday's debacle. In fact it's been a bloody marvellous weekend.

After taking it easy for a couple of hours after the aborted ride yesterday I worked in the yard listening to a radio description of my AFL team, the mighty Sainters, wallop Melbourne.

This morning I arose at 6:40AM on a coolish morning to hit the road for my planned 18-20K run. The knee had come up a treat - not sore at all.

In the past I have run to my heartrate. Today I wanted to be guided by pace. The target was between 5:45 and 6:00 pace.

I chose one of my old trusty out-to-Richmond-back to Windsor loops, and kept a keen eye on my Garmin to keep myself in the pace zone. I probably went a little bit harder than I usually would on a long run (the average HR was 152), but not a real lot. My slowest K wat 6:00, and my fastest (the 20th :) ) was 5:31. Felt stuffed but really happy after the run - it was a great workout

Spent the afternoon in the garden again, this time listening to frequent score updates of my beloved Rabbitohs flogging the Bulldogs in the NRL. This post was half written before and half written after watching the replay on the telly.

Top Weekend.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Aborted Sessions

Fri AM: Run, 6*400m Intervals, 200m rests. 3.4K in 16:20. Aborted after 6 efforts - too buggered.
Sat AM: Bike, 26.44K, Avge Speed 24.9. Ended in a spectacular way.

Two training sessions have ended prematurely for different reasons. Friday was the first time in ages I have tried intervals away from the treadmill. I jogged up to the local oval before dawn with the dogs, and let them go free on the oval (naughty Benny!) while I set the Garmin for 400m intervals with 200m rests. To be honest, I just went too bloody hard, and after four I was struggling. I decided six was the minimum I could do without calling the whole thing a monumental cock up, so I limped through the last two. The splits were:


So in future I will try to do the 400s in about 1:45 and get all 10 in. I guess that despite being warned by the very wise sfGnome, I was running too fast to make the numbers on my Garmin look cool.

This morning's tri club ride was aborted for different reasons.

I didn't ride last weekend, and I was feeling a bit sluggish on the bike from the start. The group was big, and they were having a go today, so I was getting dropped like an English slips catch from the start.

Anyway, 26K in I had been dropped again, and the club president, Iain, had slowed to ride back with me. We got to an intersection and he screamed "CAR" as I was right on it. I hit the brakes without thinking, and the brakes I hit were the front brakes.

This led to the inevitable: me over the handlebars and splat. I landed heavily on my left knee.

Straight afterwards I went into shock, feeling quite light-headed. The knee was bleeding and a lttle banged up and I didn't feel right to ride. Luckily Bernie's wife was following the pack in her car, and we threw the bike in there and she dropped me home.

It's in a bit of pain right now but I don't think there is any structural damage - just a cut and probably a bit of bruising tomorrow. I'm hoping it will be alright for a long run tomorrow but I'll play it by ear - I'll give it a miss if I don't feel up to it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

A New Toy

Tues PM: Swim Squad, 1.8K, a nice, tough session
Wed AM: Run, 13.59K in 1:14:48 @ 5:30m/k Ave HR 157 Max HR 173

I picked my GF301 up from the post office on Tuesday morning, and spent the entire day at work looking at it longingly and wanting to play with it.

Swim Squad was the usual tough workout on Tuesday night. Only two of us turned up, so we both got good individual treatment. The session was tough. Gordon's sessions follow a familiar pattern: 800m or so of warm up, and then the hard stuff, of which he gives us about 2K. I get as far through it as I can within the hour. We did a lot of work with paddles on Tuesday, and I'm useless with them, so the session was tough.

Spent the night at my sister's place, but she and her husband had gone out to a gig, so I spent the night learning how to use the GF301 and set the alarm early for my first run with it. Unfortunately I didn't sleep a wink (damn insomnia).

It was a mild morning for my run along the Georgess River, and it was a good run. I've been doing my midweek long run at a faster pace, and I kept up with this. Whenever I checked my pace I was around 5:30, so I wasn't surprised that the run ended up bang on 5:30. My breathing was slightly laboured throughout, and for the last K I wanted it to be over, but all in all an enjoyable run of 13.59K. This is my longest midweek run from Sydenham thusfar.

The ITB still feels tight. I haven't had any knee pain yet, but I reckon a massage before C2S is probably a good idea.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Recovery Run and ITB issues

Run 7K in 45min.

My ITB felt a bit rough last night, so I gave it the full treatment: self massage, icing and Voltaren. It came up fine this morning for the recovery run (3.5K with dogs, 3.5K without), but it's feeling a little tight tonight. I'll do the same tonight and if it doesn't come good I'll book a massage.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ben's Cessnock Star

Sun AM: 16K Run in 96 minutes. Felt rough early, great at the end.

I've had a rather excellent weekend. Saturday was a rest day in every sense of the word.

We got up early to drive up to the Hunter for the wine tour. Now, let me say from the start, I'm not a wine drinker. Can't stand reds, tolerate whites. But wine tasting bus tours are about more than that. There were six in our group, but by the third winery avaryone on the bus is a mate, and you even start coming up with some of the wine appreciation bullshitspeak you were ridiculing early in the day. I went a bit mental with the port when it was offered (I do like port), and had quite a merry day. We finished at the cheese shop where I went mental again (love my cheese).

So I was feeling a tiny bit seedy this morning at 6:30 when I got out for my long run. We stayed in Nulkaba, a few kilometres out of Cessnock, and I didn't fancy a run along country roads I didn't know with questionable room for running, so I ran into Cessnock, picked an intersection in the middle, and ran from there to the outskirts of the town and back in different direction (thus running a star shaped course). This run was tough to get into early. This may be partle because of overcomsumption, but was also due to the cold. About half an hour into the run I passed one of those public clocks that also flashes up the temerature, which was 4°C. After a while I came good, and finished feeling great.

I amused myself with the thought of the world's first Labor Prime Minister retiring to Cessnock and opening a motorcycle shop as I passed Chris Watson's Motorcycles, and then I wondered if anyone in Cessnock realised that a guy called Chris Watson used to be the Prime Minister.

I made a galling discovery this afternoon. I opened my group certificate to discover a mix up had been made, and I had been given my bosses group certificate.

Before I noticed the name, I noticed the date of birth. I won't mention the date, but I now know that my boss is two years youger than my wife. To the day. Now, you may not beleive in astrology, but I have an open mind, and let me tell you: this birthdate is not anywhere near a cusp. It's slap bang in the middle of Leo, and to quote my dearly departed great-grandmother when she discovered my then girlfriend was a Leo "I hope you're getting used to being told what to do." I certainly am.

Edit: Oh, and by the way, I didn't look at the numbers. Didn't want to know - it only causes angst.

Friday, July 22, 2005

A Mad Week

Tues PM: Swim Squad 1.9K. Solid Effort
Thur AM: Run, 11K in 65 min
Fri AM: Treadmill Intervals 2.5K w/up, 10*400m @ 13kph, 200m rests @ 8kph. 2% incline. Hard Work.

What a week! I was all set to go to my sister's place as per usual on Tuesday when I realised I had left my running shoes at home. Bugger.

So I went to swim squad for a pretty hard session. My stroke is getting better and stronger, but my tumble turns (and I don't attempt them often) are shite. I had a bit of trouble with cramp in my right leg, which is a right bastard in the pool.

I drove home after squad, and after doing a few chores it was 11:30 by the time I hit the sack. I made the decision that 4:30AM was not an option and planned to run in the evening.

Well, the faeces hit the fan at work on Wednesday. I was the only one in the office, the rest of the staff being at Tuggerah setting up a new shop. I got a frantic call at 10:30 saying that there wasn't enough stock, so I quickly organised a selection of stock from the warehouse and loaded my poor little Daewoo full of boxes and set off at 3:00.

Well, I was there at 5:30, and I had to help putting the stock out (I wouldn't feel right just buggering off). I didn't get out of there until 9:30, but gee the store looked good. Home by 11:30, bed at 12:10.

I told them I'd be a bit late on Thursday so I could sneak in my midweek long run. I was up at 5:30 and did the 2.5K canine warmup through Windsor and an 8.5K loop through Bligh Park at a solid pace, getting the HR up to about 165. Like last week, the legs felt it but the cardio coped well.

Thursday afternoon threw up another little problem (not work related) which meant I had to drive out to Lane Cove that evening after I got home. The traffic was great, so I was home by 9:10 and in bed by 10:15. This made 4:30AM this morning a realistic prospect.

Top morning, this morning. A bit chilly during the warm up with the dogs, and then on to the treadmill for the standard interval session. Usually I do this after a rest day, and I think it makes a big difference. I faded towards the end, and instead of a top HR of 170 or so, I ended up on 175. It was still a pretty good start to the day, and didn't wreck me completely.

This weekend we have a wine tasting trip to the Hunter organised with the In-laws. Right now I'd much prefer just to run, sleep and watch football and cricket all weekend, but given how silly my mother-in-law gets after two glasses of wine it should be an hilarious weekend.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Shopping at 5:40AM

Run: 7K in 48 minutes

I got up super early for my recovery run this morning. Standard fare: 3.5K with dogs, 3.5K without. It was bloody cold: -1 degree. It's still that cold now.

I got home just in time for the end of th Ebay auction. I am now the proud owner of a Garmin Forerunner 301. Woo Hoo!

My friend Luckylegs has asked about which races I will be doing over the next few months. I put a plan together a few days ago, but I neglected to put the Blackmores half on it. How can you resist a run over the coathanger that finishes next to the Australian icon designed by a Danish architect? I can't, so my race schedule is:

14/8 - City 2 Surf
21/8 - Hidden Half (social run)
3/9 - Striders 10K, North Head
11/9 - Blackmores Half
1/10 - Striders 10K, Homebush Bay

And hopefully the Central Coast half if there is one this year.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The glorious Sunday long run

Run 15.7K in 88:20. Good solid long run.

Got out at seven o'clock this morning, as the sun was starting to take hold. I chose one of my old loop to Richmond courses, out through South Windsor, up Blacktown Road, around Richmond station and back home along Windsor Street.

I got a bit carried away early and the heartrate got up to 160 in the first K, but then I settled into a comfortable pace, and the HR went down to low 140s. It was to rise steadily throughout the run, finishing in the high 150s.

There was nothing too special about this run. I wasn't the most comfortable I have ever been, but it was pretty comfortable. It wasn't very fast, but it was faster than most long runs. It was just a good, solid Sunday long run.

The MP3 player seemed to throw up plenty of good sing-along songs, and I sang along. I'm sure it sounds horrible, but I can't help myself.

I love my Sunday long run. It set me up for the day, and boy did I need it - I spent the rest of the day sorting out financial year end stuff.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Fast Tri Club Ride

Bike: 54K in 1:50, Avge Speed 28.8kph. Tough Work.

It was a large group at tri club today, about 15 of us. The guys went out at normal pace, and we decided to take a slightly longer deviation, I had taken this deviation by myself before, so I knew it was a really rough bit of road. Lochsley told me to try the bigger gears on the rough surface, which I tried, and it seems to make things a little easier.

After we got through Richmond (15K into the ride) everyone picked up the pace, and I struggled to keep up. Basically this set the pattern for the entire ride. I struggled for the rest of the ride, and at times I felt like I had nothing. But it is rides like this that make you push your limits, and 28.8 is the fastest I have averaged on one of these rides, so it's good that I'm still improving given I'm only riding once a week.

I've decided to give the group run a miss tomorrow. I feel like putting on the MP3 player and just going out for a 15K cruise on my own.

In fact, I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Tredmill Intervals and a Plan

Fri AM: Run, Treadmill Intervals, 2.5K w/up, 10 * 400m @ 13kph, 200m rest @ 8kph. 2% incline

The standard treadmill interval session. It's pretty difficult to extricate my body from bed at 4:30AM on Friday. I did the warmup with the dogs (around the park - not on the treadmill) and then headed inside to do the efforts on the treadmill. Nothing too special - the HR hit 170 after the last effort.

The frostbite is slowly abating and the ITB is behaving, but I'm going through a slight flat spot with my motivation. Not too bad, just the standard thing in the aftermath of an event your really prepared for.

I've taken an easy week, and I think I might frame the next few weeks around a quick C2S time.

A few people have asked me "what next?" since Gold Coast, and the fact that I'm not focussed on it is probably leading to the flat spot, so here is the plan:

14/8 - City 2 Surf
21/8 - Hidden Half (social run)
3/9 - Striders 10K, North Head
1/10 - Striders 10K, Homebush Bay

If there be a Central Coast Half-Marathon in December, this will be the year's final 1:50 attempt.

And then maybe a step back up to 42.2

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Lactic Acid and Frostbite

Tue PM: Swim Squad, 1.6K of hard slog.
Wed AM: Run, 12K in 1:01. Felt strong, but tired at the end.

Swim squad was bloody hard last night. I had difficulty getting away from the office, so I turned up late, and this is what Gordon had served up:

200m Easy
4 * 50m, pull bouy up, kick back.
4 * 75m 3/4 catch up with 5 stroke breathing.
4 * 50m, 60 seconds each.
200m easy
4 * 75m -25 hard, 25 easy, 25 hard
300m cooldown

50m is 60 seconds is pretty hard for me, so putting 4 of them together pretty much makes a PB for me, and I was stuffed at the end of it. The 75m hard-easy-hard were interesting - you can really feel the lactic acid in your arms on the easy lap.

This morning I decided to take a shorter mid week long run, but go a little harder. It was raining when I left but it soon stopped. I felt pretty good, and considering how fast I was going, the HR was rising very slowly. I ran along the Georges River, and turned around after 32.5 minutes. The middle quarter of the run was really the first time that I have felt a lactic acid buildup in my legs because of how fast I was going without feeling that my lungs were about to explode. The HR was around 150-160 at this point, breathing a little heavy and legs getting sore.

Things went back to normal towards the end of the run when I hit the hills. The HR shot up to 175 and the breathing got very laboured.

The 12K is a guess, and a conservative one. It was a good, hard workout.

I have stopped icing my ITB for the moment. I have been a little overzealous with the icing and have wound up with frostbite down my left leg. It's itchy and it's it's driving me nuts.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Standard Recovery Run

Run: 7K in 45 minutes. Recovery Run.

A standard Recovery Run - Ran the first 3.5K with the dogs - Tali expunging twice his own body weight in poo and wee and Beth dragging the chain for the last kilometre, and ran the last 3.5K faster by myself.

Great way to start the day.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Tri Club Sunday run

10.2Kin 58:20. Laboured.

It was blowing a gale when I rose this morning, so I decided to use my long tights for the first time ever on a run. The wind held up during the run, but on the whole the extra warmth led to extra sweating, and I'd say I'd have been just as comfortable in short tights.

I met up with the others at St Matthews chrch in Windsor, the standard meeting place, and we set off. There were five of us if you include Tiger, the club president's Border Collie, and we were taking it relatively easy. Tiger and I were the only runners who had not completed an Iron Man in this little group, so I was running in good company.

Normally the pace we set, a touch under 6 minute K's wouldn't be a hassle for me. Today it felt hard. I don't know if it was the wind or the after effects of the Gold Coast. Most likely a little from column A and a little from column B.

The HR got up to about 165 towards the end of the run, and that means I'm working, so I'm glad I didn't opt for 15 this morning as I was tempted to do.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Hard Arsed Hills of Kurmond

Ride 35K in ?? Avge Speed 25K. A hard hilly bastard of a ride.

I think I am not yet fully recovered from last Sunday.

The tri club decided to do the Kurmond loop this morning, a 35K ride on the edge of the mountains. I've done this ride a few times before, and it's never been comfortable, but this morning it was a killer. My chest felt a bit tight throughout the entire back end of the ride, and I just struggled. We got to a roundabout about 20K in, and the rest of the guys decided to take a deviation to add one extra hill.

"You must be f@#&ing kidding" was the phrase that went through my head, so I took the shortcut on my own, and had a breather while the others caught up. A painful ride back into Windsor and a major display of the sin of gluttony at the cafe and I felt a bit better.

Last night was Coolrunning drinks. Another awesome night with excellent company. Much discussion of the Gold Coast, and as The Owl noted in her blog, many hugs.

This reminds me of a former work colleague who I hadn't seen eye to eye with professionally many years ago. We both got pissed at drinks after work one night, and he said "I want to repair our professional relationship". I gave him a bear hug. We started a tradition of giving each other a bear hug every time we saw each other - at work and socially, and we remain good friends to this day. And the tradition continues.

And ten points to O'Runner, who correctly identified the company by whom I am employed via the clues I have left on this blog.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Oww, me weary old body.

Tue PM: Swim Squad 1.8K. Difficult.
Wed AM: Run, 7K. Felt laboured.

I spent Monday recovering from the half. My legs felt awfully bashed up, but by Tuesday the pain was restricted to my left calf.

Swim squad on Tuesday night was an ordeal. I was still a bit sore from Sunday, and Gordon decided that amongst other things we would be doing

- 6 * 75m 3/4 catch up with 5 stroke breathing.
- 6 * 25m Freestyle with 7 stroke breathing.

These two felt damn hard.

This morning had me running with the dogs. I thought I might try to take them for 5K, but when I turned away from home at the 3K mark, Beth sat down. She'd obvoiusly had enough, but she was OK for the run home, so I did the trusty old 4K loop twice, once with once without canine company.

I was catching up on Jen's blog last night, where she had written PB in an email instead of PD.

This sort of "running leaking into professional life" stuff happens pretty frequently to me. My profession deals with OTB (Open to Buy) and IBT (Inter-Branch Transfers). By 3PM every day, when the fatigue sets in, I will use ITB, OTB and IBT interchangably, and no-one has any idea what I'm on about.

Least of all me.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Gold Coast Half Race Report: Eleven Minute PB

Run: 21.1K in 1:56

As I stated in an earlier post, I was aiming for 1:50 today. It wasn't in me. I had nothing left in the tank today,so I am happy and proud, but not satisfied.

The trip started exceptionally well. On Saturday afternoon I was queueing for my flight when I looked across to see my cousin Herbie queueing for the same flight. So after we caught up, got our boarding passes and a bite, Herbie offered to share his comfortable motel room with me in preference to the dodgy backpacker dorm I had booked. He even offered to drop me at the start before the race!

So I had a great night with Herbie and his lovely girlfriend Anna, and got dropped at the race with a comfortable hour to spare.

I started the race with the 1:50 pacer, but I suspected the pace was too much pretty quickly. I hung with them for 8K, but at that point my HR was 180 (my max is 188) and I new if I didn't slow down I would blow up soon, so I slowed.

Still, I knew I wasn't in the shape I should be, and I'd have to tough it out. I passed 10K in 52:00, but I was slowing.

I was trying to encourage most Coolrunners I passed in the opposite direction, but even this was getting difficult by about 13K. Each marker was eagerly sought and seemed to take an eternity. Towards the end thoughts of walking were rife, and I actually vomited a little bit in the closing stages of the race.

I passed Plu with his camera with a mile to go, and then the inspirational CR cheers squad, getting a massive reception from Jen_runs. After I passed them I heard "Was that Binny? Go Binny!". I yelled back "Thanks Lorna!". The Owl had filled my heart with Kiwi cheer.

I finished without walking, and as always, forgot to stop the watch. It was about 1:56, an 11 minute PB. I knew I had nothing left, so I wasproud of the effort.

I doubled back to join the cheer squad. Loud clapping for evry Coolrunner, and any other people we knew. I spotted a former work colleague, John (well, he spotted me), but I missedmy neighbours, Craig and Juliana. I hope they went well.

But really, the biggest cheer and the highlight of the weekend was reserved for one incredibly gutsy effort by a 75 year old lady. There was a lot of "where's Norma" going around before we saw Luckylegs go past us the first time (26K into the marathon) at about 3.5 hours. The cheer was enormous.

The same phrase started going around again, and after a while a police motorcyclist came up to the cheer squad and told us that a lady in her 50s with our uniform was really struggling about a kilometre back. We knew the lady in her 50s was in her 70s, and the whole lot of us set off immediately to bring Lucky Legs home.

We caught her after about five minutes, and it was just a beautiful experience to be involved with. Lucky Legs was struggling, but she was giving it everything. She travelled with a 15 strong Coolrunning escort that was loudly chanting, cheering and basically giving whatever encouragement we could. The announcer gave Coolrunning a big plug as Norma finished just under six hours.

We all waited for her to come out of the finishing area, but as quickly as she emerged it was obvious she needed medical attention - she had really given it everything. A plan was arranged to get her back to her hotel when she was ready and we retired to the surf club.

Several hours were then spent meeting, socialising and, in my case, consuming about a cubic metre of junk food and a keg of flat white.

After a few hours Lucky Legs made a fleeting appearance at the drinks, and it was a great pleasure to finally meet this inspirational athlete. Hers was a highlight, but there were a host of inspirational performances, and it was a buzz to share the event with so many great people.

Not even the stupidity of leaving my wallet at Gold Coast airport could dim what was a truly awesome weekend. Anyway, I'll get the wallet back tomorrow.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Medicos, Massages and Meals

No training since last update.

My home internet connection is still down, so I'm doing a quick pre Gold Coast update from work.

I haven't trained since Wednesday morning. Last night I had a deep tissue massage from Jason Pilgrim, another Hawkesbury Tri club member.

Geez it hurt. It was a full hour of getting both legs pummelled, particularly the left. For this reason I left this morning's run for tonight. I'll do a short little 3K effort tonight, with canine company to make sure I don't go too hard.

The week had been a huge one. I've had two doctors visits in Castle Hill, my Dad's birthday dinner in Leichhardt and the sports massage in Richmond since Tuesday, and I've hit the wall this afternoon. With no ride tomorrow, my intention is to have a lie in tomorrow morning. My flight isn't until 6 or 7 PM, so there's no rush. I'll have a little jog about midday.

Quick depression update post doctor's appointment: What depression? I'll go back and see him in a few months time to wean off the medication if all goes well.

I'd normally leave "Good Luck" messages on a bunch of blogs before a race like this, but being internet limited at the moment, I'll do it here: good luck to all fellow runners attempting events on the weekend! I look forward to cheering on the marathoners and catching up with you all afterwards.