Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Mad Monday

Mon AM Run, 6K Gentle

I knew Monday was going to be an utter shitfight at work for which an early start was desirable, so I set a different type of PB by getting up at 4:00AM for my recovery run. Since I was still pretty sore from the previous day's exploits I cut it back to a very gentle 6K (3.5K with plodding canines, 2.5K without.)

Every muscle ached at the start of the run, but I felt a fair bit better by the end of it, so I guess you could call it a successful recovery run.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Glad it's Over

Run: 20K in 1:58:37

I've been stacking my weekends, and this one was no different.

Intervals on Friday, long ride on Saturday, long run on Sunday. Unfortunately it's the only way I can fit in the level of training that I want. On days like today it can make things difficult.

I got out at about 6:40 this morning for two laps around the tri club 10K loop. I just didn't feel right from the start and found it really difficult to find a rhythm. I did the first 5K in about 6:00 pace.

At this point I had to go behind some bushes. After I restarted I found the running a little easier, but I was still not running well, just better. The first trip through the hills in the second half of the loop felt OK, and then it was back into the flats. By this time some of the tri club guys were setting up for a duathlon. I stopped to have a yak but was soon back on my way. The next K was pretty rough, but then I found some rhythm between 13-15K and started to enjoy myself, but when I hit the hills for the second time everything started hurting and the end couldn't come quick enough.

I felt pretty sore for most of the day after the run, but only "hard workout" sore. My ankle feels great. It felt comfortable throughout the run. I iced and applied Voltaren gel after the run and it's felt fine all day.

I've decided to take a long taper into the Blackmore's half. I'm going to go slightly shorter on every session in the coming week, and probably cut back a little more in the following week in an attempt to get myself to the start line in peak condition

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Tri Club - Damn fast

Ride: 49.6K in 1:47:37

The day did not start well. I took some Voltaren tablets last night and this morning to help the ankle, and I had forgotten how much they knock me around. When I got up I felt like I had consumed about eight beers the previous night.

My new bike had mountain bike pedals on it when I bought it, and this morning I tried to get then off to change them over. One wouldn't budge, so I had to take the borrowed bike for the last time.

When I rocked up everyone asked my "Where's your helmet. Ben?" I had forgotten to put it on, so I carefully rode home and went really hard back to where the ride starts. Luckily they waited for me, and we were off.

The pace was on from the start. We went through the first 5K a touch over 30kph, and I was soon getting dropped. I caught up through Richmond (at 10K), but I struggled to keep up for the whole ride. It felt like it was blowing a gale for most of the ride (the wind speed was in the teens)and although most of the time I did have someone to draft off I really struggled for the whole ride.

At 1:47 it was by far the shortest time we had covered the course in my experience. The Garmin called the average speed 27.7kph.

The club has started a beginners group that goes slower and shorter. I might give that one a shot so that the guys don't have to keep waiting for me.

The ankle feels pretty good. I should be right for my run tomorrow.I'm planning 20K, which I will do as twice around the tri club course, that way if my ankle is giving me grief after 10K I can pull the pin.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Run: 10 * 400m Efforts with 200m Jog Intervals

After an uneventful rest day I dragged myself out of bed at 4:30 this morning for a speedwork session. My plan was to take the dogs on a 2K warmup up loop, drop them home and do the intervals on the road to Bligh Park and back and then take the dogs on a 2K warm down jog.

The warm up paseed went easily enough. I didn't push myself as I normally do on the effort, remembering that I have been unable to get through some recent interval sessions.

On the fourth effort I couldn't see the ground rounding a corner and my foot came down on a brick that ought not have been there and I rolled my ankle. I kept going to try to run it out, and it seemed to work. I finished off the efforts, took the dogs out again and finished up. It felt as though I'd definitely had a full on run when I finished. Most of my muscles felt sore when I got to work, always a sure indication of a hard session.

My anle seemd to get sorer as the day progressed. I first noticed it was a bit sore at about 11. By late afternoon I started thinking "I can't wait to get home and get some ice and Voltaren on this." That didn't happen in a hurry because when I got home at 7:30 I realised I had left my house keys at work. Fiona was at a work function, so my only option was to go to my in-laws (30 minutes away) and pick up the spare keys. This I did whilst listening to the debacle that is the fourth test.

So I eventually got some treatment on it at 9:00PM. It's a little swollen and a little bruised, and I'm glad I'm not running tomorrow, I'm riding.

Which reminds me, I forgot to tell you something. On Tuesday I bought a bike. The pawn shop up the road had a Giant OCR 3 in near new condition for $525 in the perfect size for me. I snapped it up, and I'll be giving it a workout tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

You've had a bad day

Mon AM 6.9K Recovery Run
Tue PM 1.7K Swim Squad
Wed AM 10K Run in 54:15

Monday's recovery run was tough. Still sore from the half on Sunday I struggled through the usual 7K in the usual time, but all my muscles were swearing at me.

Tuesday night saw me back at Revesby for swim squad. I've missed squad for the last two weeks, but I'd got some decent swimming in. Last night was a killer session.

There was 700m of warm up, which was easy enough, but then he had me doing 8 * 50m in 65 seconds. I really struggled in the last 2, and finished breathing like the old asthmatic donkey. After 200m of slow recovery, he had me doing the same again.

This time I really struggled. in the last lap I was thinking "How the hell am I going to run tomorrow after this!". My whole body felt stuffed. Mercifully, this was the end of the hour, so I went to my sister's place for the night.

I did drag myself out for the run this morning, and it was a strange one. I felt really sore in the legs in the first few K, so I decided to only go for 10K. I hit the 5K turnaround at 27:50, so it was 5:34 pace. I wanted to keep the pace up for the last five, so despite the fact I was hurting I pushed it.

Everey time I checked the Garmin on the way back it showed about 5:30, but each time it beeped on the kilometre it showed about 5:15. I really stuglled up the final hill, but I got through the run in 54:15, so it was a big negative split. I thought I might puke after the run - I really felt stuffed, but it was a good run.

From there the day turned nasty:

I had left my anti depressants at home, so I missed a dose again.

I had a smash on my way to work (my fault, and I copped a gobful of (deverved) abuse from the other driver).

I had IT problems at work, and the helpdesk response was "I don’t know what’s going on. Nobody here knows what is going on."

While I was in the IT department chasing an answer, the majority shareholder of the company was looking for me, so I inadvertently kept him waiting for 30 minutes.

At this point that dreadful "You've had a bad day" song got into my head, and I couldn't shake it (I hate that song).

And then the clincher:

The kettle stopped working again.

At this point I just thought of Flash Duck's description of this kettle: The barometer of office optimism. It was then I knew that fate was laughing at me, so I laughed with it - I had a good run this morning, a good swim last night and all of this shit is nothing that a good dose of endorphins can't deal with. I made my coffee in another office, and the day got better from there.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Hidden Half - Sort of Race Report

Run, 21.1K in 1:59:07

Alright, it was supposed to be a training run, but with a chip strapped to your ankle and a number on your favourite racing shirt (a South Sydney T-Shirt), I was always going to go a little bit harder than the usual 6 minute Ks I aim for on a training run.

I met up with Rod from the tri club and Gnscon and his lovely wife before the race. I was still feeling a bit sore from Saturday's ride, but I'm kinda getting used to having some residual soreness to deal with on my Sunday long runs, so this wasn't a big worry.

I started off a bit too quick, I looked down at the Garmin after about 500m and saw I was on 4:30 pace. Hmm - blow up at 4K. Methinks slow down. I covered the first K in 5:00, and settled behind three runners that seemed to be going at the right pace for me. I settled into a bit of rhythm, and the next K in 5:29, followed by another one the was too quick (4:59). I decided to let these fast buggers go and try to save myself a bit, and went through the next few in an average of about 5:30. The first drink stop seemed to take an eternity, but after that they seemed plentiful enough.

The course is mostly flat, but it does have a number of nasty litlle hills and one particular big ugly bastard. You have to tackle this one twice during the race. The first time it hurt a bit.

I hit 10K in about 54 minutes, but I was hurting a bit, so I decided at this point that sub 2 hours was the goal. and figured that 5:45s should do it easy enough, so this became the aim.

I stuck to this pretty well. I did blow out to 6:00 for the K that included the big ugly hill, but this was part of the calculations. The second time round it felt like Mt Everest, but I conquered it without walking.

The last few K seemed to take an eternity, but I got through themand finished in 1:59:07. Happy with the run, and sore enough to know that I gave it a bit.

For the Coolrunners: DrJH won the race and Gnscon and Rock Doctor finished first and second respectively in their "young buggers" (18-29) age category.

There was a Coolrunning cheer squad of one: Mrs Gnscon, who looked after my bag and cheered me on at several stages. Thank you very much!

I had a massive endorphin high on the drive home. I reckon if anyone looked they might have got a bit suspicious about the silly grin I had on my face, but that is nothing unusual.

Picked up a good pair of sunnies on special on the way home. It's about time: all this riding, running and driving to the sun.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Hard Work on the Bike

Sat AM: Ride, 50K in 1:59

The seediness on Thursday turned out to be a dodgy meal working it's way through my system. I felt faint and queasy for the entire day. To compound the problems I had neglected to take my anti deppressants on Wednesday and Thursday. I though I was quite well, but I soon turned into an angry ball of stress and had two nights of no sleep whatsoever.

So by Friday morning I was feeling extremely faint and pretty lethargic. I decided 4:30AM speedwork was very unwise and took another rest day. Friday night I managed a little sleep, so this morning I headed out for a tri club ride.

I've got to say I don't feel too comfortable on the newer bike that Craig has lent me. I seem to have to do a hell of a lot more work on it to ride at the same pace. It felt like the pack was flying (and they were going pretty quick, the avge speed sans breaks was 27.5kph), and I couldn't keep up. I got dropped a number of times and caught up when other guys flatted or they reached one of the two designated "wait for stragglers" areas. At the last such area I went past, and I didn't see any of them until five minutes after I got to the coffee shop.I've been having fun with the Garmin, so a map of the tri club ride course is included below for your enjoyment:

I'm feeling a bit sore this afternoon, but a good night's sleep should see me right for a 21.1K training run in Bankstown tomorrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A little bit seedy

Mon AM: 7K Recovery Run.
Tue PM: 1200m Swim. Went hard.
Wed AM: 10K Run

I felt pretty rough on my recovery run Monday morning, all muscles vociferously complaining post C2S. I struggled through for the standard two loops around Windsor.

A family birthday saw me switch my weekly night at Sydenham to Wednesday night. This meant that after work on Tuesday I drove home and had a swim at the local pool.

With the local footy team training in the next lane and squads taking half the pool it was extremely crowded and choppy. I decided to go for a short sharp session, so I did a 200m warm up and I went into some 50m sprints. With the chopiness I found it difficult to get my stroke going efficiently, but I figured that this was useful "triathlon conditions" training anyway.

I also threw in some 100m efforts and a few 25 easy/25 hard laps. When I felt my stroke going to shit I did a 100m warm down and went home.

I had to get up at 4:15 to run on Wednesday morning. Because I was at home I did a 3.5K warm up with the dogs at about 6:30 pace after which I ran down to Bligh Park and back (6.5K) at about 5:30 pace. The first few K were awful. I felt achey and rough and I wondered why the hell I got out of bed. It took me about two thirds of the run to hit a rhythm, but I finished strongly and felt pretty good afterwards.

Today is a rest day, and I need it. I had incredible insomnia last night - fully alert all night despite the fact (or possibly because) I had three beers and a port with dinner last night.

I do feel a little bit seedy today.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

C2S Race Report - You forget how much of a bastard that hill is.

Race, 14K in 1:16:16 - C2S

Had a decent sleep last night in preparation for the run and caught the bus in from Richmond. I felt dehydrated during the bus ride, but I found a pre race drink station and filled up, forcing a pre race pit stop.

I lined up in the A2 group a fair way back from the front, and the start was as I expected: a little more shuffly than the previous years' A group. I started the Garmin as I crossed the start line. I shuffled past Lucky Legs in the first bit, giving her some encouragement.

I did the first K in 6:40, But after that I was able to open up a bit, but not hit a rhythm (you just don't get that in C2S). I managed to crank it up to about 5:15 pace for the next few K.

And then came the hill. There is a nasty little hill in the first few Ks, but there is no mistaking Heartbreak Hill. It's an unrelenting mongrel, and it got me a beauty. I was struggling to get anywhere near 6 minute pace once I hit it and it took all of the wind out of my sails. My heartrate was flying and I was really starting to get the obscene phone call breathing going.

I did eventually get to the top of it, and started to recover a little bit. The last 4 K seemed to take forever but I did get through them, even putting in a bloody fast (4:43) one for the 13th. I finished it in 76:15 watch time, 6 minutes faster than my watch time for last year. I wanted to go a bit faster, but on the whole I'm happy with that performance.

As usual, I managed to meet up with the usual suspects post race, as well as meeting some of the Canberra contigent for the first time. A highlight was finally meeting Flashduck, who has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration.

I had to go off and find my bus home just as the pub beckoned (dammit!) and I had a long bath to sooth my aching muscles.

My last word goes to those I am in awe of: The Twelve Foot - C2S runners. Tim - I don't know that I conveyed this respect when we spoke as I know I did to Spud. You are utterly mad, but both champions.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

More than I bargained for

Ride: 50K in 2:04

Went out for a last hurrah with the old team from work - we start going our seperate ways next week, so I arose late and slightly seedy for the tri club ride this morning.

The plan was to ride with the guys for 15K or so and head home for a light pre-C2S ride.

I was running late heading out the door when I got a call asking if I was going to be there because one of the guys had brought a bike in for me, as I had expressed interest in buying one.

So I decided I should drive in, and what followed was a catalogue of cock ups as I needed to take some pedals with me (and I had to take them off the bike) and there was a thick sheet of ice covering the car. I got up there 15 minutes late, and got a quick lesson on Campagnola shifters and had a beautiful ride on an Orbea Vento - a beautiful bike that was just the right size for me. I didn't push too hard, as I knew I needed to conserve myself for Sunday, but after the kerfuffle made to get me on the bike it would have been really poor form to turn off 15K in, so the full 50 it was.

I love the bike, but although the price on offer is very good it's still a bit too expensive for me (although I can't pretend I'm not considering it).

My legs are a bit weary this evening, but I reckon I'm still in very good shape for tomorrow. Big stretch before bed.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Happy Boy

Fri AM: 8K Tempo Run. 3.5K Warmup, 3.5K @ 5:20 pace, 1K Warm Down.

Well, Thursday was an interesting rest day. A full on day at work which concluded with an offer to join another division of the company I work for in the same role. Same location in Milperra. And yes Dave, it's the division you'd prefer to work in ;). It's an outcome I'm happy with.

So I was in a good mood when the alarm went off this morning, and I needed to be - It was -2°C when I got out for the run. Normally Friday is Intervals, but I didn't need that with C2S on Sunday, so I went for an easy tempo run. I started with 3.5K with the dogs at 6:30 pace, and then I did the same loop again at 5:20 pace before finishing off with a feeble 1K cooldown.

The ITB feels pretty good now. I've been stretching the hell out of it and doing the ice-voltaren-clingwrap thing every night, and it seems to be much better.

The plan for tomorrow is to do half of the tri club ride so that I don't take much out of my legs for Sunday.

And how's this for a turnaround in general office mood - this morning, after we had all been offered decent jobs in the company the previous day, the kettle miraculously starts working again.

And there was much rejoicing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Rough Start to the Week

Mon AM: Run, 7K in 50 min. Standard Recovery Run.
Tues PM: Swim 2K, No watch, just 2K steady swim. Felt very comfortable.
Wed AM: Run 10K in 53:20. Max HR: 179, Avge 159. Hard Run.

On Monday afternoon the entire office team at work was called into a conference room and told that the retail chain we work for was being closed.

We are part of a large retail group, and we have been guaranteed jobs elsewhere in the group. We're still all a bit gutted. We had a very new team that was starting to gel, and it's been rough on all of us. Everyone got pissed to some extent on Monday night. Fate played a cruel joke on us when our kettle stopped working first thing Tuesday morning forcing us all to go to another office for the copious amounts of coffee needed to resume normal functionality.

So after a rotten Tuesday I knocked off early and went to the pool for a steady 2K swim. I felt great in the water and didn't get tired, which was a pleasant surprise considering I couldn't do this a few months ago and I've only been swimming once a week.

Had a great night after that, sharing half a bottle of port with my sister and brother-in-law - just enough to get us a bit silly. Well, the three of us are usually pretty silly anyway, we just had a bit more fun.

So I felt a bit rough this morning at 5:00 when the alarm went off, but I got out for a solid 10K effort. I should have taken it a bit easier but I couldn't help myself over the last 2K, and I put the pedal down. Felt wasted at the end of it.

I'm getting excited about Sunday. I'm stoked that the CR cheersquad will be in operation. Go you good thing!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Long Run, Short Ride

AM: Run 20K in 1:57:07, Avge HR 149
PM: Ride 10.84K in 27:07

It was just stupidly cold when I got up to run at 6:30 this morning. The smart people would have stayed in bed, but I am not smart people. I couldn't find my gloves, so I headed out in long tri-top and short tights. It was -3° in Richmond at 6:30 this morning, and it's usually a little colder down on the turf farms where I was running.

The plan was twice around the tri-club 10K course meeting up with the tri club for the second lap, but I got out a little late for that, so I had a fair idea I was doing the whole 20 on my own - which I like anyway. For the coldness I was rewarded about 6K into the run. Usually the 10K loop is a boring, charmless run, but there is one section just before the hill behind the RAAF base where it looks Australian rural as opposed to turf farm. I got to this section this morning just as the first rays of sunlight were hitting the frost that covered everything bar the roads this morning. The fog was absent from this area, but covered the hill I was about to climb, and it was just beautiful. It took my attention away from the fact that my knuckles were going numb.

The sun started to take hold in the second lap and it was not nearly as cold (nor a beautiful). I didn't refer to my Garmin much, but I managed to hold the pace to around 6:00m/k throughout. At times my breathing felt laboured, but on the whole I am happy with the run.

This afternoon I headed back out to the same loop for one loop on the new bike that Craig has lent to me. I have to say I don't feel great on it. It is a 50cm frame (I'm 173cm tall), and I just feel like I am leaning over the handlebars. It might just be that I'm too used to riding on a bike that is too big for me, but I alo felt that I rode slower than I usually ride today, even allowing for the 20K run in the morning.

Given the number of time I do this loop, I best show you an elevation profile on it:

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The ride that didn't happen

Zip. Nada. Nuthin'

It was bloody cold this morning, so I got into all of the cold weather gear for the morning ride, but I noticed that the brakes felt a bit dodgy on the ride to the church where the tri club meets.

I got a couple of the experienced guys to cast an eye over the bike, and one of them came out with "you can't ride that - it's a deathtrap."

The front brakes were sticking and the rear brakes were dodgy too. So I cautiously rode home knowing full well that this put the sword to getting any training in all day. We had a barbie planned for the afternoon, and the second I showed up at home I got sucked in to the preparation for this event. I did manage to get the bike up to the workshop for a full service.

While it was in getting fixed I got a visit from Craig (from whom I had borrowed the bike). He had brought over anaother bike which was actually a little better and more my size. I'll take it for a test spin tomorrow afternoon. I'm really lucky to have such a generous neighbour.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Intervals - Eleven!

Intervals: 10 * 400m with 200m rest intervals followed by 600m effort. Killer session

Last night the ITB felt really tight, so I hit it from every angle: stretch the smeg out of it, icing and voltaren with clingwrap (thanks for that tip, fellow bloggers). It felt OK in the morning.

I'll tell you something - It can be painful to overly rely on gadgets.

The plan for today's intervals was the same as last week's plan: 10 * 400m at the local oval. I jogged up there with the dogs and did a lap closing all of the gates before starting the first effort. The efforts were:

2:03 (blowout? me?)
2:01 (well, maybe)

I lost count very early. This meant that at the conclusion of the ten efforts, I started on my eleventh. It was at this point that Beth had found her way to the gap in the fence that did not have a gate and was wandering around outside the fence. This possibility had been a distraction throughout the session, and it meant I had to go fetch her as part of the effort. After about 600m with the Garmin not beeping at me I realised I was supposed to be cooling down, so I grabbed the lead and jogged back home.

I was a bit disappointed with the times on the efforts - I thought I was a bit quicker than that. I went bloody hard today - my HR hit 179, which is high for me. I felt smashed up all morning - a bit light headed and not quite with it. A good hard session.

The ITB felt a bit tight during the run and afterwards but not too bad. I should be fine after a good stretch and ice.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Lung Busters

Tues PM: Swim Squad. 2K. Felt good, but some bits were tough.
Wed AM: Run, 13.46K in 1:13:12 Tough Going.

The swim last night was great. Gordon introduced me to the concept of lungbusters, which are attempts to swim 25m without breathing.

I sucked at them. I took two breaths on the first one, but then I remembered something I'd heard once relating to diving: to move your diaphragm whilst holding your breath making the oxygen move and exposing it to the surface of the lungs. This worked well, and I only needed one breath late in each subsequent lungbuster.

I also did a 100m time trial: 1:42:83. We can call that a PB.

This morning I found it difficult to get into my run, which was the usual Sydenham to Canterbury run along the river. The first 2K were utter shite, but then I found a bit of rhythm for the middle K's. The last few K were just difficult. The last kilometre has a nasty little hill in it, and I was sucking in the big ones atop it. My heartrate got up to 179 (96% max).

I had my sports massage tonight. One hour of excruciating pummeling of my legs, but my ITBs both feel better for it already. This should see me through to C2S.

I finally looked up my net time from GC. 1:55:30. Gotta be happy with that.

Monday, August 01, 2005

If it's not one knee it's the other

Run: 3.4K in 24:58. Ended prematurely with a sore right knee.

This morning I went out for the usual Monday recovery run. This starts with a 3.5K loop around Windsor with the dogs. About 2K in there is a nasty little steep uphill. At this point this morning my right knee developed a sharp pain on the outside. I don't think it was ITB, but it certainly felt like it was not the sort of pain I should keep running on, so I chucked it in after the first loop and spent some extra time icing the knee and stretching.

Hellish day at work. I didn't get home until 8:40. Every Monday is a bit like this where I work. Bob Geldof was right.