Friday, September 30, 2005

A Return to Intervals

Fri AM: 10*400m efforts with 200m jog intervals.

It feels like months since I did an interval session. There has been a good excuse for not doing them every week, but there was none this morning.

I really wasn't looking forward to it, and this apprehension seemed justified - in the middle of the second effort the thought "how the hell am I going to get through ten of these bastards" was blaring through my mind. I was quite sure I would be talking to my old friends Huey and Ralph by the end of the run.

I kept going, and happily things didn't get much worse. I just churned through the ten efforts in pretty even time:


Felt pretty good afterwards. Top session.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Cook's Cruising

Tue PM: Swim Squad - 1.8K
Wed AM: Run, 12K @ 5:40. Standard Cooks River run.

The run this morning was a pretty cruisy one. Felt pretty good throughout, and didn't breathe too heavy until the final hill (the Sydenham course ends with a bastard hill.)

The insomnia has been troubling me again for the last week, which is pissing me off and making me a bit lethargic during my sessions.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Recovery From What?

Mon PM: Run, 5K in 28 min

I am a creature of habit. Monday is recovery run day, and although all I did on Sunday was a pissy 27K bike ride I decided to stick with a slow 5K run on the Monday.

I set out in the morning with the dogs, but after 400m Beth (the younger one) just stood. She wasn't running any further. I gave her 30 seconds and started again, but she wasn't having a bar of it. I took them for a walk and went to work. The day turned out to be a really horrible, stressful one at work, so I was itching to blow out the cobwebs after I got home, and I got stuck in as soon as I got home. Blissful 5K. I felt pretty good throughout and enjoyed it thoroughly.

I've identified a problem with my training - I'm going too hard on my slow days. I should've gone a whole lot slower on the run, but I just got carried away. The Garmin is helping, but I need to keep on top of it better.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

More Crashing, More Burning

Sat AM: 5K Coolrunning Challenge 25:50 of misery
Sun PM: 27K on the dodgy old mountain bike

Had a bunch of fun at the HUGE Coolrunning drinks on Friday night, but by 11 o'clock the week of early starts caught up with me, and I slinked off to crash at my sister's place. Insomnia got the best of me, and I was feely particularly seedy when I rose for the challenge.

It was a small, subdued turnout. Most of us were backing up from being out the night before. Uncle Dave, in a Herculean performance, had come straight from the pub. I set a 23 minute target, and set off stupidly fast, covering the first K in 4:15. At this stage I suspected that this was going to end in tears.

I settled for a sensible 4:31 for the second K, but even this couldn't help me much - I was feeling utterly rooted. I took my first walk break at this point and lost all hope. I ambled in for the rest of the way taking another couple of walk breaks, finishing in 25:50. A short chat with the other runners before walking back, firstly with Johnny Dark and then with EliseS.

Spent the rest of the day watching the Grand Final with my sister and brother-in-law.

My brother-in-law in Danish, and had never seen AFL before this year, but he has jumped on the Swans bandwagon in a big way this year. He has picked up the rules in an amazingly short time, and was cursing umpires with the best of them at the pub we watched it at. It was a great time.

Sunday I had a bunch of things that needed doing around the house, but at about 4PM I managed to sneak out for just over an hour for a short ride. I've yet to get a longer seat post, so the ride had to be done on the dodgy old mountain bike. The Garmin had no juice. I did the ride without a watch and the bike computer had run out of batteries too, so it's an approximate 27K in an approximate 1:15

Friday, September 23, 2005

Maybe that wasn't such a great idea...

Run: 8K in 46:04

I have decided to run the Coolrunning 5K challenge tomorrow. This means that speedwork (my regular Friday fare) was a stupid idea.

I instead opted for an easy 8K at long run pace. I got excited and did it a bit too quick - 5:40 instead of 6:00.

In retrospect I should've left it. My legs felt like lead, and the last thing I want to be doing is trying to set a 5K PB on heavy legs after a night out on the piss - and let's face it, tonight I'm catching a train to Coolrunning drinks so it is a night on the piss.

Could be ugly, but I won't be alone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Short Recovery Run

Mon AM: 5.2K - slow as a wet week.

Pretty standard fare for a Monday morning - up at sparrow fart for a short loop of Windsor dragging the dogs and another loop enjoying my own company. I threww in a lap of the oval on the second lap to bring it up to 5K.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Spring is here

Run: 16.5K in 1:35:47

It was just a glorious morning in Windsor this morning.

I got out at 6:30AM for what I hoped would be about 14K. I hadn't had a run around Windsor Downs for ages, so I decided to go down that way. There is a fire trail between Bligh Park and Windsor Downs that starts about 5K from my place. I was struggling a bit by the time I hit the fire trail - the legs were just in a bit of pain.

This passed soon after I got into Windsor Downs, and I settled into a good rhythm. I had a vague memory of there being a loop around that would make a 14K run, so I turned where I thought I'd be able to loop back, but I didn't find a road back, so at 8.25K I just turned around to go back the way I'd come.
I faded a bit late in the run, especially in the 2nd last K which has a nasty long rise that buggers you at the end of a long run.

Pulled up well. Very happy with the run.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Taking it Easy

Fri AM, Tempo Run: 7.2K in 46:33

I've been having a bit of a bludge for the last few days. On Thursday my cold worsened, but I felt OK on Friday morning, so I decided a really soft tempo run would be OK.

I started with a mile with the dogs around McQuade Park, dropped them home and went on a 4K run around Windsor at about 5:40 pace and finished with another lap around the park with the dogs.

The "effort" was exactly that. It felt harder than it usually would at that pace (well derr, Ben - you're sick, you idiot).

After that run I immediately started recovering from the cold. By today I hardly had any symptoms, but I still had no road bike - it was still in the shop this morning. I decided that all things considered another rest day would do me good, so I got stuck into a few things around the house.

I have got a second opinion on the bike - I'm going to try getting a longer seat post and see if that works.

The easy week has me really looking forward to getting out for 14K or so tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Slow recovery

Mon AM: Recovery Run, 4.7K in 33 minutes
Tues PM: Soft Swim Squad. 1.6K
Wed AM: Midweek Run, 8.2K in 49 minutes

Monday was a rough old recovery run. Two shortened loops around Windsor. I went very slowly and I felt like shit.

I was still feeling shitty when I fronted for swim squad on Tuesday. I took it really easy, and barely finished the warm up in the hour. Near the end the sadistic swim instructor had me doing some drills involving fins. My legs felt shot by the end.

I still needed to take it easy this morning, only going for 8K at 6:00 pace, but I still felt like I'd had a hard workout. The weekend has obviously knocked me around savagely. I started sniffling last night, and tonight it seems a cold is coming on. Luckily tomorrow is a scheduled rest day, and I'll see how I feel after that.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sydney Half Marathon Race Report - Burn Baby Burn

21.1K in 2:06

Let me start this post on a positive note - I had a great day today.

I stayed at Sydenham last night so I could sleep a little later, and caught the train in. I saw an aquaintance (Rosey) on the train, and spent the trip in catching up with him before meeting up with the Coolrunners at the start.

I got chatting to Rooster just as we started to line up, and found myself committing a nasty running faux pas - I started right up the front. The day was to prove this to be very poor self seeding.

I started off OK, getting through the first K in 5:34 and the second in 5:15. I was trying to settle a little under 5:30 pace, and that was how the first eleven K went, but I had a fair idea I wouldn't be able to keep it up. I knew my HR was too high, but unlike Gold Coast, I just kept going in the hope that I'd be able to run through it.

I pissed down rain for a short while, and this set my shoes up for 15K of squelch. Yuck.

I tried to take my mind off the pain by spotting and cheering for Coolrunners, and this worked well on the "out and back" West City Link. At about 15K I was starting to worry I'd missed Luckylegs, Owl and Omni, when I heard a Kiwi accent yelling in the distance. All three of them came into view running together and we exchanged cheers.

By this stage I was hurting a fair bit and slowing considerably. The good thing about this was that I was passed by a host of really supporrtive people: Mr Coolrunning himself, Kevin Tiller gave me a cheer as he passed, Gronk encouraged me, Rosey ran a few K with me and a big highlight was running a few hundred metres with Christine, who I hadn't seen since we ran the entire marathon together the previous year.

The hills at the end were real killers, and about 2K from home I vomited. Soon afterwards I realised that if I didn't start walking I wouls end up on a stretcher, so I pulled the pin and decided to walk the rest of the way. I was misdirected by an official, and started walking with the 3.8K field, but luckily the lone representative of the Coolrunning Cheer Squad - Lulu directed me back onto the right path. Go Girl caught me with 1K to go, and she was also suffering. We walked together for a while, commiserating with each other. She recovered enough to start running again and showed genuine concern for my wellbeing - I must have looked a right mess at this stage. I ran the last 100m, but I could feel my legs cramping over just this small effort. I finished and started the long trek to the recovery area.

I wandered around aimlessly for a while, inhaled a coffee and queued for 20 minutes for my bag. Then I plodded back up to the Cahill Expressway to join Lulu and the growing cheer squad.

I had a great afternoon cheering and chatting with the fine group of people that made up the cheer squad this time. We stuck around until Horrie and Belinda went past, cheering everyone(but especially Coolrunners) before heading on a far too long walk back to the recovery area and then to lunch at the Orient in the Rocks.Had an excellent lunch with the excellent company of the usual suspects and a few people I'd met for the first time today. It was great to be around a bunch of people high on endorphins.

Eventually I headed off, and on the train back to Sydenham I struck up a conversation with a guy who asked how I went. He turned out to be another runner.

On the whole, a great day except for about an hour of feeling, well, pretty average.

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Hectic Old Week

Mon AM: Recovery Run. 6K in 40:47.
Tue PM: Swim squad. 2K. Solid Session
Wed AM: Midweek hard run. 7K in 38:35. Not too hard.
Fri AM: Mini tempo run, 4.35K, including 2K at 5:30 pace.

Work has been a bit of a shitfight all week. Iknew it would be, but it exceeded expectations. I am still partially involved in closing down the chain I used to work for, I am learning the ropes of the new job and to top it off, the business has a new computer system, the implementation of which I am to be involved.

I got into it at 4:00 on Monday for the shorter 6K recovery run. I felt a bit rough on this run, but got through it OK.

Tuesday night was a solid squad session. The hard bit was a series of 4 * 100m sprints that left me sounding like ye olde asthmatic donkey.

Wednesday morning I shortened the Sydenham run to 7K, still done at 5:30 pace, and I was still feeling a bit rough, and the last few K sort of sucked.

On Tuesday I had received a timely reminder to pack my medication for Sydenham (you know who you are - thank you!). It was a good thing I did remember. Wednesday was such a full on day at work I couldn't face the drive home, so I stayed a second night at my sister's.

Friday morning I went for a really, really short tempo run. The plan was 1.5K with the dogs, 2K @ 5:30 pace and then another 1.5K warm down with the dogs. All was going to plan, but when I got back to take the dogs out again it was obvious they had other ideas. They dragged the chain for about 800m, and then Beth just sat down. They had had enough, so I walked them home. I'm finally starting to feel a bit more rested. Hopefully by Sunday everything should come good.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Sunday Run in Taper

Run: 14K in 81 minutes

There was a light rain falling as I headed out this morning for an easy 14K run. I have a favourite course for 14K - it's a loop that takes me to Richmond via South Windsor and back to Windsor via Clarendon.

I reckon I took it out a bit hard for the first half - it was supposed to be at standard long run pace of about 6 minute Ks, but it was more like 5:40s. I settled down a bit in the second half and brough it home in 5:50s.

The Sunday run in taper is an enjoyable run for me - I like to run a distance that isn't a chellenge, but still gives the body a bit of a workout, and this one did the trick perfectly.

And just to do a bit of Garmin "showing off" (come on, they're all doing it!), here's the satellite photo:

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The week so far...

Tue AM: Swim Squad, 1.65K, Pretty hard.
Wed AM: Run, 10K in 54 minutes. Felt hard core.

It turned out to be a pretty full on week work wise. When it gets like this I tend to get even more anal about fitting all of my training in. My motivation to get out of bed might flag a little, but I know if I don't get my training in I'll be frothing at the mouth in a couple of days.

Tuesday night was a bit hard. The squad wasn't a difficult one, but in my overtrained state I just wasn't up for it. Likewise the 10K run on Wednesday morning - I felt OK in the legs, but the cardio system was struggling. It was a bummer I'd forgotten to put on the HRM, it would've made interesting reading.

Friday had me working in Vaucluse (more about that later), so I stayed at my "other" sister's place in Bondi (as opposed to the sister in Sydenham, who's place I stay at weekly). This gave me the opportunity to do my Friday speedwork along the coast. I decided to do an 8K tempo run. 2K warmup, 4K hard, 2K warm down. If you look at the K splits it looks nothing like that. I did the first 2K running to Bondi Beach, and then the next 2K were between Bondi and Tamarama, so it was less speedwork and more hillwork. It wasn't quick or pretty, but it was a great workout and it didn't seriously mess with me. And I passed within a foot of James Packer (you don't get that in South Windsor).

So the speed profile looks flat, but the effort wasn't. Here's the proof:

Today (Saturday) the taper got serious. I rode tri-club with the beginners group. We did 35K at the sedate speed of 22.8kph. It felt comfortable and very civilised. I'm really glad I took this option, because when the main group got to the coffee shop far better riders than I were looking seriously stuffed - they must have flew today.

There was one major disappointment - it is obvious that the bike I have bought is too small for me. This is just painful, but I should be able to sell it for what I bought it for and get one that is the right size.

Tomorrow I'll go for a 14K run. Nice and easy.

Anyway, back to Vaucluse. As some of you know, I now work in ladie's underwear - I basically work the numbers for a lingerie buying team. On Friday our team spent the day at the big boss's house overlooking the best view you could imagine over Sydney Harbour, taking in the Bridge and the Opera House. We were reviewing range, so it was against this backdrop that I spent the day as the only male amongst 15 or so females (except for the first hour when "the Boss" was at home) discussing bras, G-Strings and all manner of female undergarments with the garments strewn all over the place. It was just about the most surreal day of my working life - while I know I am the right person for my job, it's odd for a bloke from South Windsor to be suddenly thrust into this situation.