Thursday, April 27, 2006

Taking it easy

Fri AM: 4 * 1K Intervals @ avge 4:47
Sat AM: Ride 47k @ 27.4kph
Sun AM: SMC 10K. 58:04.
Mon AM: 5.5K Slow recovery
Tue AM: 10K in 59 minutes
Wed AM: 1150m Swim. Slow.
Thu AM: Run - 10K in 59 minutes. Bewdiful.

After taking advice from the three wise men (2P, Horrie and Gnome) I
have decided to slow my training down and rebuild slowly. I am using
2P's blog to get some hints.

I hadn't made this decision last Friday when I went out and busted my
lungs on four 1K repeats. I actually thought these would be slower than
they were, but the four repeats were well enough.

Saturday's ride was great. I did a figure eight around my new local
environs. I managed to do a figure-eight course that had two traffic
lights and very little interaction with traffic. I'm not a skilled
rider, so course safety is pretty important.

The SMC was disappointing. It's always great to catch up with the gang,
but I ran hard for a very bad time. It was demoralising when I realised
that it was at this race last year I cracked 50 minutes for the first
(and so far only) time. Sunday was over 58 minutes, and although I
didn't go flat out I reckon I could only go a little bit quicker.

Since then I haven't pushed myself in any of the runs. They have all
been just a bit quicker than 6 minute pace, but each has been a bit more
comfortable than the last. This morning I felt great as I pumped out a
real easy 10K in 59 minutes. I feel like my form is coming back, so I'll
just stick with running slowly, cross training once a week and doing one
speedwork session/race a week. I've dragged out my "Pilates for Runners
& Cyclists" DVD and I had a fifteen minute session during the week. I'll
try to build on that but I'm very slack at this.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Darling, have you seen my fitness?

Mon PM: 9.8K Run @ 5:40 pace
Tue AM: 5.5K Run @ 6:00 pace
Thu AM: 9K Run @ 5:50 pace

One thing that DJ and I have in common is an alarming ability to lose
things and leave things behind when leaving a place. It was sort of
inevitable that when we left Copacabana after a really great couple of
days with the twins and my family (awww) that I would leave something
behind (my phone).

This cost us about 45 minutes, which came off the time available for my
long run before the venue (the regatta at Penrifff) closed. I managed
two laps running a little bit faster than I had hoped to ensure we
didn't get locked in. I followed this run with a nasty little recovery
run the morning after.

This morning I confirmed that my fitness was definitely left in South
America. I had nothing - it was a horrible, painful, breathless 9K. The
course was flat. It was as windy as a Don Juan lentil dinner, but this
is no valid reason for the utter dreadfulness of the run.

So we need a new plan. I have to rebuild. I'll blog the schedule when I
come up with it, but I reckon I'll do five runs a week with the key runs
being a weekend long run, a midweek medium-long run and a speedwork
session (which will be replaced by races half the time). The week will
be completed by a cross training session and either a rest day or a
Pilates/Yoga session. Any advice welcome.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Settling Back In

Mon PM: Run 6.5K @ 5:50
Tues PM: Run 7.5K @ 5:50
Fri AM: Run 10K in 57 min
Sat AM: Ride, 41K @ 27.4kph
Sun PM: Run, 7.2K of hills in 45 minutes.
Weight: 81Kg (ouch)
Sleep: Really ordinary.

Well, the week has been an utter shitfight at work, so blogging has been very difficult. It has been a full on week in many ways.

Let's start with the training. I won't go into blow by blows, but it would be fair to say I have come back in far worse condition than I left. Every session this week has been a huffing challenge. They were all pretty flat efforts around Luddenham except for todays run - a hilly bastard from my folks place in Copacabana to Avoca and back to Copa.

Saturdays' ride was a fast bit of fun riding from Luddenham up to the M4 and along that road to Blacktown & back. Wednesday and Thursday was a write off due to work and other commitments.

Now, it's about time I gave you an update on what's going on with me. The day I got back to Sydney I moved in with DJ and her eight year old twin daughters at Luddenham. It's not exactly escaping the western suburbs as I had hoped (quite the opposite) but things are going pretty bloody well and there is no way in hell you'll hear me complaining.

The next few months are going to be utter bastards at work, and I have no internet access at Luddenham. Add to this the new world I have moved into (and how exciting is that?) and I think you'll understand that my participation in the online world will be limited. I will be updating my blog sporadically and reading blogs even more sporadically. Hopefully just sticking to the highlights will make the blog a bit more interesting. We will have to see.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Sun PM: 5.5K in 31 minutes

I got in at 8:00AM Sunday morning after a 52 hour trip home including my
walking tour of Buenos Aires. Some strategic use of sleeping pills got
me home relatively free of jetlag, and I had an easy day settling back
in at home. In the early evening I decided to get out for a short sharp
run just to remind my legs what I expected from them and to get myself a
bit more tired for a good night sleep.

I didn't feel too flash on the run. I did it mostly at about 5:40 pace
with slightly laboured breathing. I'd hoped to feel a bit better at this
pace, but it may just be due to fatigue from the flight.

I have neglected to tell you all a good story from my last night in
Merida. Listen up, Nat - you'll like this one.

Apart from the Teleferico, Merida has another claim to fame. It holds
the ice creamery with the world largest number of flavours, so I had to
visit it.

Now I reckon you don't go to an ice creamery with a record like that and
order vanilla choc-chip, so I had three scoops, which were:

- Beer
- Cheese
- Garlic

Now, the beer ice cream was OK - I'd go so far as to say nice.

The cheese ice cream was tolerable.

Garlic ice cream is pretty much as you would expect - a crime against
humanity. It was bloody horrible, but it was ice cream so I finished it.

Clint thought his Brandy & Sardine ice cream was pretty good.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

All Good Things Must Come to an End (as soon as possible)

I am writing this blog entry from the airport in Buenos Aires. My flight home leaves in three hours, at 11:59PM.

I haven´t run since my last entry, but I have done an utter shitload of walking.

Tuesday was an easy day as we took a bus out to a nearby town. This would not have merited comment but for the couple we met on the bus. Barry was an expat Aussie, having left Sydney in 1954 to pursue a career as an academic that had taken him all over the world. His field was physiology. He had also run 20 marathons, ran a 50 miler on his 50th birthday and finished Ironman. We had a great discussion on altitude effect (his field of expertise) and various other stuff. He and his American wife had settled in Mexico after he retired but they spent much of their time travelling the world, so they did much talking with Clint, who has still got wanderlust.

Wednesday was back up to 4000m for some more bushwalking. This time in a national park, Sierra Nevada. We went for about three hours and I felt like a pack a day smoker for most of that time. It was pissing down when we atrted out, both of our waterproof jackets failed and sodden mud got in both of our boots.

And I loved it.

The scenery was just unbeleivable. Magic waterfalls, magnificent mountains - just beautiful. We had a disposable camera that didn´t catch the full magic, but we got a few half decent shots. When I get home I will scan one or two in and post them.

That night we got rolling drunk with Uncle Ron (ron is Spanish for rum). Don´t ever get pissed with my brother when he has a camera with just a few shots left. ´nuff said.

Thursday was mostly spent in transit, and I arrived in Buenos Aires at 5:00AM this morning.

I spent the day just walking around the city centre. I love it. It´s a bit like someone picked up an old European city and plonked it in South America. It reminded me a lot of Paris, except the people are willing to speak English if they know it. I have no idea how much walking I did today, but it was a hell of a lot - I just wanted to see more.

And now it´s time to go home. I´ll let you in on a little secret: I can´t wait. I´ve missed DJ like crazy and Sunday morning can´t come soon enough.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Laps of the square

Tue AM: 8.5K Run in 46:44

Monday was a complete write off - I didn´t get to do much at all because of the previously referred to problems.

This morning I was feeling much more human, so I was able to punch out what I think was about 8.5K in laps of what I was assuming was a 250m square. By the end I was feeling pretty short of breath, and I think this may be due to the altitude in Merida, which is 1600m.

Now, some have requested pictures:

Looking seedy at breakfast in Los Nevados. Clint in St Kilda jersey, me next to him.

More photos to come.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Altitude Training

Thu PM: 3K Run @ 5:45 pace
Fri: 4 hours walking at altitude
Sat AM: 3 hours walking at altitude
Sun AM: 3.5K Recovery Run

Ola Amigos,

I got out on Thursday afternoon for a small run around the square outside Clints place (250m around).

On Saturday we went on the worlds longest cable car (the Teleferico), which took us up to an altitude of 4,700m. Walking around up there I really struggled to breathe, but the scenery was great. The Teleferico is in four sections, and we went back down to the third stop to start our walk, at an altitude of 4,000m. This is by far the highest I haver ever been in terms of altitude, and the firsy hour was more or less uphill, and I really struggled. After the first hour it was mostly downhill and a lot easier, but I wouls say it was about the same exertion as a long run in terms of cardio/breathing.

We spent the night at Los Nevados, a beautiful little village on the side of a mountain, and got drunk on the local spirit, which is aniseed based rocket fuel. I may be able to post some photos a bit later.

I decided to set out walking in the morning with one of the fellow guests at the hostel at 8:00 and let the jeep with our companions, which was leaving at 10:00 to get back to Merida, catch up with us. It did so at 11:00, and I had a great time swapping stories with Heather, a committed English traveller. I{m glad that we did this because it meant an hour less on the jeep, which was hugging a goat track on the side of a mountain and thoroughly scaring the shit out of me. It would have been beautiful had I opened my eyes.

This morning I thought I might get out for some speed work, but my legs felt shitty, so I decided on a recovery run. Even that proved tricky as the South American food started to catch up with me. After two laps of the square (500m) I had to duck back inside to the toilet. Back out for 3K and then the same need hit, so I called it a day.

Will try not to refer to anything to do with anuses in my next post, but no promises.