Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Griswald Zone

The Zone Cross Country Carnival was yesterday. Bop finished 18th and Em finished towards the tail of the field. Em looked like she’d done it a bit tough, but after a few hugs she seemed OK . Bop seemed delighted with her result. I took a few hours off work to get out and see it, and I was glad I did. They both trained hard, and I think they both deserved a cheer squad.

My training has been going well too. On Tuesday Pat set me a 3K Time Trial – target time 14 minutes. I knew it was a little bit soft – the last 3K Time Trial I ran was 13:33.

As usual, I took off like I was being chased, and went through the first 500m in 2:07. After that I settled into a more sensible pace, and hit the turnaround in 6:45. The last 1500 were executed more evenly, and I ran in for a 13:24 – a 9 second PB.

Sunday was another excellent long run. I ran my favourite local loop, and like last week, the 21K took me exactly 2:10. I’m finding that running 4 times a week is leaving me with enough recovery time to be feeling good for the next session, and this was a good example of it. I just cruised through the run comfortably.

It’s a great run, that Parramatta River loop. When we move, which looks like it will be in about six weeks, I’ll have to work out a variation of it that starts at the new place.

On Saturday I’m running the Striders 10K at Lane Cove – which is a tough, hilly course. Pat has set me a target of 49 minutes – which would be a PB. I sent him an “are you sure?” email, and he sent me a “you’re being soft!” email. So 49 is the target, and I’m quietly shitting myself. This has the possibility to end ugly, but so far Pat has been a great judge of what I’ve been capable of, so I’ll just have to give it my best shot.

Now, things have been sorted out and I will be running the Gold Coast Half. We have decided that despite cheap flights we are better off driving up. What could be more relaxing than packing the car up with twin nine year olds, a three month old and all our stuff and driving from Sydney to Brisbane and back in a week?

No, seriously, I think this is a rite of passage for a family. Both DJ and I have similar family holidays in our memories, and in a perverse way I’m looking forward to the drive, and especially the milkshake at the Oak at Hexham and the smoothie at the Big Banana (it’s my childhood, and I’ll relive it if I want to!). It’s very Griswald.

So I’m entered in the Half and the girls are in for the 2.25K dash. Can’t wait.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's all too beautiful

Two weeks into the new programAnd things are particularly sweet.

As I suspected, Pat's program seems to be suting me well.

On Friday Pat set me 4 1K efforts @ 4:30 and 2 500m efforts @ 2:05. This seesion was an absolute killer. My splits were:



At the end of it I was just about ready to barf up a lung. I'm really impressed in how quickly Pat has been able to gauge what target times he needed to set to really challenge me.

The only instruction on the long run has been to go for 2:10. So far my two long runs on the program have done this in beautifully different ways.

Last Sunday I found myself out at Copacabana, which gave me an opportunity to go trail running at Mt Bouddi. I had an awesome 14K run with walk breaks on some really rugged coastal bush. 14K in 2:10 doesn't souns much, but I was still feeling it 2 days later. It was a top run.

This Sunday I took up my pre-paid entry in the SMH Half with the intention of using it as a 2:10 training run.

I stopped my watch at 2:10:00.96 - how good is that? I ran most of the race chatting with various Coolrunners, then did more of the same at the pub. Tiger Angel and Gnome, it was great to see you both - especially with both of you now running in the right direction health wise!

Then DJ and the kids came into town and we had one of our excellent post race days in the city.

Speaking of the kids, the twins have run the West Met 2K Cross Country race for the last 2 weeks, and it looks like they would like to stick with it. This is a great little series - you just turn up, pay $2 each, run your race and go home. It only takes an hour or two out of your Saturday and it's a great one for running with the kids. They are learning to pace themselves much better, and hopefully this will see them stick with it - I love sharing running with the girls.

They asked me if they could start calling me Dad on Monday. That's a pretty special moment in the life of a step-parent.

It was on the way home from the West Met race yesterday that "Itchycoo Park" came on the radio. Although it's well before my time, I grew up listening to the Small Faces, but never before has the lyric "It's all too beautiful" resonated so clearly - and I wasn't even under the influence of mind altering substances!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cross Country Quinella

Last year I attempted to get one of the twins (Bop) into the great sport of long distance running. Bop's antipathy to discomfort combined with the difficulty of training around work and spending every second weekend at their father's meant that this fell away. It may be back on the agenda.

On Tuesday the twins had their Cross Country race at school.

Bop was well out in front after two thirds of the race. She got too confident, and slowed down too much. She didn't realise that her competitive sister had other plans, and Bop got pipped on the post by Em.

DJ saw the race, and I talked to both excited placegetters just after the race.

So both of them are off to the Zone Cross Country, and they both want to train for it.

This means thatwe have reorganised our weekend so that we will all run the Sydney West Metropolitan Cross Country on Saturday. I'm glad about this - it's just down the road, and on my favourite training run, so I'd like to be there.

My new program started yesterday, and I'm happy with what Pat has given me. It's very similar to the SMH half program: four runs a week - two speed sessions, an easy 50 minute run and a 2:10 Sunday long run.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Operation Red Bib

As most of you would know, Sydney's biggest running event is the City 2 Surf, a hilly 14K run from Sydney to Bondi. People who run it under 75 minutes earn a red bib for the folowing year's race, which means they start with the first group.

This is a feat I have yet to achieve. I've been close once, but to be honest I always considered this a timing mishap. I ran 82 minutes last year, and I beleive that was an accurate reflection of where I was at back then.

I have not specifically trained for C2S for about 4 years, but this year I decided it would be a target race, and the target is sub 75. You can get a red bib by submiting a comparable 10K time, but I want to earn my red bib in the time honoured fashion.

So after my success on the Pat Carroll SMH Half program, I decided the ideal way to plan for this assault on a sub 75 C2S was to employ Pat Carroll to design my program for C2S. Pat hasan online coaching service, so for the next three months I am coached by Pat Carroll.

I sent him my history and other details yesterday, and I get my program next week. Until then I'm just going to take it easy and fully recover from Bathurst.