Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Like getting off at Redfern

Mon AM: Run, 10.3K in 58:54
Tues PM: Swim, 800m reasonably quick
Wed AM: 9.4K Run in 52:35

Monday was another one of those beautiful runs. I had sussed out a more scenic, slightly longer variation of my regular River Run, and I did this with an extra loop thrown in. Because I did the run at cruising pace it was comfortable and the slight rain just added to it. Just magic.

Work on Tuesday was voluminous. Not stressful, but I knew I had Buckleys of getting to the pool for squad.

I eventually got out a little after 8PM, and set my sights on a sharp 1K swim at the Olympic pool at Homebush. I swam in the competition pool (I love swimming in the actual pool), but by the time I had done 800m it was 8:45 and they were clearing the pool. It was a great swim - I swam a really solid pace for the whole distance without stopping. Had I timed it I'm sure it would've been a PB. The problem is that it was 200m short of what I wanted, which just left me ... well ... less than satisfied. A bit like getting off at Redfern.

I was up at 5:15 this morning for another planned 9K run along the river. I felt pretty crappy due to lack of sleep and the previous nights swim, but quickly warmed to the task at hand. I decided to throw in a quick kilometre for the sixth K, and this finished up being 4:50, which had me a bit puffed for the rest of the run.

Tonight I saw a physio down the road from work. The ITB has been a bit grumpy, so I just got the physio to beat it into submission for Sunday. I'd have preferred a good massage, but this was convenient, and he seemed to know what he was doing.

I am getting Big Kev excited about Sunday. I reckon the 1:50 miner train will be a hoot.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

CR Bay Run Challenge 5K Training Run

Sat AM: 5K Run in 24:52, 5K jog back

My intention was to run the challenge in 26 minutes, i.e. 1:50 half marathon pace, but I was too busy gasbagging to Plu, so I left at 25 minutes, and decided to try for 5 minute K's.

Plu and I set off at what I thought felt a bit quicker, and it was. We did the first 1.5K at 4:45 pace. At this point I rolled my ankle and slowed to a walk for 30m to walk it out. It felt a bit better after the walk so I continued keeping 5 minute Ks in mind.

The rest of the run passed without incident. I felt like everything was in order - lungs coping, legs good. I guess I'd say back to normal - all told I reckon I'm on target for 1:50 next week, but no quicker.

Off to breakfast at the Bowan Bakery (highly recommended) to round off another really enjoyable morning.

My legs felt pretty banged up for the rest of the day. I had vague thoughts of getting out for a slow 13 today, but the thunder put me off, and given that I am still getting over the infection, today I am employing Dr Cirque's patented sloth and overindulgence training technique.

I've got competitive cricket on the telly, my guitar leaning on the couch next to me, Coolrunning on the laptop and a nice hot flat white (it's decaf, Owly). Sometimes sloth is good.

Friday, November 25, 2005

I ♥ running

Fri AM: Run, 6.9K in 40:15

I've basically spent the week sleeping in and getting fat.

It was a magic run this morning. Four days off had me itching to get out, but I knew I shouldn't push myself. The smartest option was a short easy hit out, so I just ran out to Rhodes and back in very light rain. I just ran comfortably. Gee, it's fun, isn't it?

Had an interesting experience on Thursday. The doc had sent me off for a abdomino-pevlic CT scan to check what was going on in my guts. I had this on Wednesday and took the scans in to see the doc on Thursday. He took the scans out, and as he looked at them he said:

"Hmm, good...
Well, that all seems to be normal. You can stop taking the antibiotics"

Now, what do you think was going through my head between "Extraordinary" and "Well". I was looking at the scan thinking I might see an old running shoe, or a foetus or something equally unexpected. I still have no idea what was so extraordinary, but I'll forgive Dr Short his foibles. He's been treating me for 85% of my 33 years on the planet and he knows my medical history, which saves me 15 minutes per consultation.

My ITB feels a bit tight this evening. I'll stretch it tonight and hope it's OK for an easy 5K at half marathon pace at the Coolrunning Challenge tomorrow.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Time for a break

Mon AM: 6K in 36 minutes.

My insomnia has been shocking for weeks now, and last night was looking grim after two attempts to turn the lights out, so I finally took a sleeping pill.

So I was feeling rough as I always do after taking one of those things when I hit the road for an easy six K out to Rhodes. Whilst running I thought to myself:

"This is stupid. You have an infection in your bowel that isn't getting better, and every morning you get up and push your body. Take it easy, you moron."

So I will. I'm taking the rest of the week off. If I'm feeling better I'll go for a run on Friday morning. Until then I am going to vegetate.

Now, some bloggers have taken to name dropping athletes recently, so I thought I better make my own lame attempt. Here's a picture of me with two very famous long distance walkers:

Sunday, November 20, 2005

SMC 10K Debacle

I've got to admit, the first thing that went through my head when I got up this morning was "I'm not really up for this." I was right.

I met Go Girl as soon as I rocked up, and she was primed for the Wobbly challenge. I was hoping she would drag me around for a decent time.

I deliberately didn't push myself in the first K, but even so when the armin said 5:10 I knew I needed to pull my finger out. The next K was easily my best. I felt good and came in at 4:47. If I could maintain this sort of pace I'd be OK. I started to run by feel to make sure I didn't blow up. The next two K's were both 5:10. I knew I'd blow up if I went any faster, so I knew at this stage it was a bad day at the office. It sort of became a fast training run at this stage and I blew out to mid 5:20's for the rest of the run, finishing in 52:38.

So what happened? I'm putting it down to the antibiotics. I've been taking Flagyl & Keflex for nearly three weeks, and I just haven't been on my game at work or in training. I've had three flat whites in the six hours since the run and I still feel a bit dopey, so all is definitely not well. I'm just hoping like hell that I can get off the bloody things by the time the Central Coast Half comes around, because if I try to run 1:50 in this shape it will end up like Sydney, i.e. a train smash.

It was great to catch up with a bunch of Coolrunners after the race. Ray James ran the half with Aunty Karin in a decent time, which just blew me away considering that he ran a hard 130K last weekend.

I had a massage after the finish, as my ITB was complaining a bit after the run. It was a bit of a waste of time - I need to go back to Jason, my regular massuer, or find another sadistic bastard who likes to hurt people. This massage didn't hit the spot.

I think I'll take the next couple of weeks easy. I've got enough preparation up to do ~Central Coast, now I just need to be well rested on the day.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Easy Days

Run: 9.08K in 51:46 - Nice and easy.
Ride: 35K in 1:34

I just wanted an easy run on Friday, so just went out for an easy 9K along the River. I really enjoyed this run. I didn't push myself, and ran the first few K in about 5:50's until the last few K, which I did in closer to 5:30 pace. Felt great.

Just went for a gentle ride around the Olympic precinct this morning so I should be right for a quick 10K tomorrow.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wed PM: 7K run around the bay @ 5:11.

I decided they bay run might be a nice place for a 7K run with Virgil. I started just near the 2K marker.

I set him for a 7K run @ 5:10. I got a fair bit ahead of him over the first couple of K, but I hit a big uphill which both slowed me and stuffed me.I lagged behind him for a couple of K, but caught and passed him over the last two. I had the idea of trying to do the last 2 at 10K pace, and I just about did it. The splits were:

5:28 (shite!)

One thing that is shitting me up the wall at the moment is the fact that the two different programs I use with the Garmin (Sportstracks & Training Centre) record different distances. Sportstracks said 6.92 & Training Centre said 7.012. I'll look into why this might be happening. I suspect (and hope) the Training Centre is to be trusted, but it doesn't let me enter my swims. Bastard!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

We fall into old habits

Mon AM: 7 * 1K Intervals - A great speedwork session.
Tue PM: Swim Squad. 1.8K - Hard slog.

I dread intervals. I really don't want to do them beforehand, but they are good for mental toughness and leg speed. I decided that I did not feel bad enough to justify a soft session on Monday, so I headed out for 7 efforts on thr River Walk.

The normal story: Felt OK for the first few, felt like a bear had jumped on my back towards the end of the fifth effort, felt like he came back with his mate on the sixth effort and on the seventh they had brought their beer fridge, and were having a mosh.

The splits were:


Holy consistency, Batman! I have to admit, I'm really chuffed with how bloody close together they are.

Tuesday night saw me at the Revesby pool in nipple hardening, doodle shrinking cold weather (but it's nice once you get in).

12 * 50m @ 1:20
500 - 100 FS, 100 3/4 Catch Up, 100 Back, 100FS, 100 3/4 Catch Up
6 * 50 @ 1:10
300 pull bouy
3 * 100 @ 2:10 (was supposed to be 4, but my lungs had enough after 3)
100m cool down.

The 2:10 100s stuffed me right up.

I realised something this week:

For the last few months I have swam on Tuesday nights & run on Wednesday morning because that is what I had been doing before. My program was constructed in this way so that I could fit 2 sessions into one night away from home and therefore maximise time with Fiona.

That isn't an issue anymore, so I am leaving my Wednesday run until tonight. I had planned to do this at the athletic track at Homebush Bay, but the area may be overrun with Soccer hooligans tonight, so I will figure out a plan of attack when I get home.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Entirely Civilised

Ride: 33K in 1:44

Met up with TA and the Gnome for a rambling, civilised ride around the bikepaths and roads of Homebush Bay. Not to quick at an average 19kph and with this ride sandwiched between my long run and intervals tomorrow I am not complaining.

The antibiotics seem to be making me a bit lethargic again (at least I think it's the antibiotics), so I think I'll play it by ear tomorrow. The plan is for seven 1K efforts with 2 minute intervals.

I've had a lot of trouble with the HRM on the Garmin. Today I used KY Jelly on the contacts for the first time. Works a hell of a lot better than anything else I've used.

Back to Back Runs

Fri AM: Run, 9K @ 5:11 pace.
Sat AM: Run, 19.6K in 1:57.

One of Higdon's marathon programs puts a medium run at marathon pace the day before your long run, the theory being to practise running when tired. I'll be gave this theory a go over the last couple of days and I've pulled through really well.

On Friday morning I did what is now my standard 9K river run. I did it with Virgil, who got a bad rap last time, but it's not Virgil's fault if I try to run hardxer than my body allows. In general, Virgil slows me down when I need it. Iset Virgil to run at 5:10 pace. I ran the entire run comfortably at about the same pace as Virgil, and I think I'm needing to look at him less, so I'm getting the hang of 5:10 pace.

About 500m from the end of the run I wan stopped by traffic, and Virgil put about 30m on me. I had no desire to catch it up, so at the end of the run I got the Garmin Failure music. I think it's a bit lame. Surely they could get a few seconds of Beck's "Loser". And I think Mr G's Garmin needs a Murmur's song given what he usually says about himself.

I have been trolling 2P's website, and found his
Long run course. I attempted to make a 20K run out of it and finished up doing this:

It was a great run. I tried using gels for the first time in ages. I took one before I started and another at 5K. I think it helped a fair bit, as I didn't fade nearly as much as I usually do in the last five K. In fact, the 5K splits were:

29:41 (5:56 pace)
29:50 (5:58)
30:41 (6:08)
26:41 (4.6K @ 5:49 pace)

I'm not sure about that 3rd 5K. I took a long drink at a bubbler during that 5K, but I must have also just been coasting a bit too slowly.

Had a great night out tonight at The Owl's farewell bash, but was denied entry to the Retro on the basis that "I looked like I'd had too many".

On the antibiotics I'm on, I haven't had anything to drink in weeks. Oh well, I was beginning to get tired anyway.

Should be a great ride tomorrow - a ride around Homebush Bay with TA and the Gnome

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Two Killer Sessions

Tues PM: Swim Squad. 2.1K of hard work.
Wed AM: 7*1K Intervals. Harder Work.

I really battled at squad. Even in the 3K warm up I wasn't feeling too great. The session looked a bit like this:

300m Warm Up
4 * 50 @ 1:05
300 easy pull bouy
100 3/4 catch up
4 * 100 @ 2:15
200 easy pull bouy
3 * 100 @ 2:05
100 warm down

The 100s @ 2:05 (this means I swim 100m, and I start the next 100 2:05 after the first one started) had me breathing like the old asthmatic donkey, for those that remember him.

I knew it had been a tough session when I got very jelly legged after getting out of the pool.

Usually I do my speedwork after a rest day, so I guess I should've expected to be a bit rough this morning, and rough I was. I also decided to start walking during the rest intervals instead of standing.

So the session was 7 * 1K efforts with 2 minute walking rest intervals. They went like this:


I struggled during the last three. I'm surprised the pace didn't drop off more, because I really felt like I slowed and I couldn't go any faster for each of the last three.

Rest day tomorrow. I'll have to go back to the doc - my stomach still feels dodgy and I've finished the course of antibiotics.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Easy does it

Run: 6K at 5:50 pace.

I felt as sore as I expected to feel this morning, so a slow recovery run was the order of the day. A six kilometre jog over to the Rhodes waterfront. I think I'll do this one a bit more often - I haven't run that bit before, and I liked it.

Now a few days ago L asked where I swam, and I kept forgetting to respond:

I do my swimming near work at Revesby. You were looking to cross train around Penrith, IIRC, and the pool at Windsor is a good facility for that - the Hawkesbury tri club do an informal session there on Tuesdays at 7:30PM and I beleive there is a formal session on Thursdays as well.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sydney to the Gong

Sat AM: 9.3K Run - Quickish (5:32 pace), comfortable.
Sun: 84K Ride - MS Sydney to the Gong Ride.

I intended to have a short run at normal training pace on Saturday, but the legs just wanted to go a bit faster, and the cardio system didn't seem to mind, so I pumped out 9.3K at 5:32 pace and pulled up well.

I found out yesterday that an old family friend was doing the Gong ride today, and I hadn't seen her for about five years, so I arranged to meet her at the start and we caught up over a very leisurely 90 minutes at the start of the ride. This meant that I did the first 30K at about 15kph.

I decided to push myself a bit after this, and pushed on into the low 20's for the next bit before the brake testing descent into the Royal National Park. I knew we would pay for all of this glorious speed later in the ride, and this happened during several painful acsents back out of the park and soon afterwards. The most embarrassing moment was when I finally succumbed to the temptation to put the bike into the girly small chainring and the chain came off on a steep uphill. I had buckleys of getting any momentum to start (even in the girly small chainring) so I had to push the bloody thing up the hill wearing my cleats - a real "all the gear and no idea" moment.

The last ten K was a bit of a hoot as we hit som reasonably flat highway and I was able to keep a pretty constant high thirties for a few K.

So I finished the ride in 4:28 excluding rest stops. The brochures say 88K. The Garmin says 83.74. Either way it's my longest ride ever, and I have slight sunburn (I bathed in sunscreen before the ride, but should've reapplied) and sore legs and back to prove it. I'll run tomorrow, how far and fast depends on how I feel.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Thu AM: 15K Run through Homebush Bay in 1:27:07. Easy.


I couldn’t believe how much I was sweating when I got out of bed this morning. Obviously a combination of the lingering effects of the infection and 90% humidity.


With the plan for an 88K bike ride on Sunday I decided the long run needed to be earlier in the week, so today was a 15K cruise around Homebush Bay. I started by taking the Louise Sauvage pathway up to Auburn, then turned around and ran back to the Parramatta River and up the River Walk before turning around and heading for home.


Usually I do my long run at a constant pace, but I didn’t monitor it today, and I ended up doing a negative split on it. The 5K splits were:






I felt pretty comfortable for most of the run, but I laboured a bit at the end. I reckon I’m nowhere near the target for Central Coast at the moment, but I’ve got a month.


I should also mention that I intend to give my 10K PB a bit of a prod at the SMC this month. Go Girl has been challenged to take her PB below 49:30, and I reckon that would be a decent challenge for me too. Bring it on!


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Much Better

Tue PM: Swim Squad. 2.1K

Swim Squad was great last night. This diverticulitis is still knocking be around a bit, and I felt a little rough before the swim, but the session was more about building endurance than speed, so I got through it pretty comfortably. For the really keen it looked a bit like:

300m warm up with 3 chin ups at the blocks on the odd 50s.
2*150m pull bouy, building speed.
4*100m @ 2:20
300m easy pull bouy
4 * 75m, 50 easy - 25 hard.
4 * 100m @ 2:30
100m Cool Down

After Monday's debacle I decided not to push my luck this morning by going for a run. I'll call it a rest day and get stuck in tomorrow.

Oh - Carolyne, Virgil is named purely for the benefit of alliteration.