Friday, August 31, 2007

I Got a Plan

So let's look at the situation:

The Fitzroy Falls Fire Trail Marathon is in six weeks. The Sydney Half is in three weeks.

I'm not in marathon shape. I'm in half marathon shape, but I haven't run longer than 25K since 2004 (as far as I can remember). What the hell was I thinking?

The answer is that I know I'm OK on ridiculous hills when I've done them before and I am attempting to do no more than to beat the sweeper home. 5:29 - no faster.

So. Time for a plan.

I'm currently doing two speedwork sessions a week. One will be replaced with a midweek long run, which I will do with Marlz at about 5:30 pace. We will get this up to 13-15K.

We will still do strength session a week. This we will alternate between hillwork and speedwork.

One easy run a week. Currently it's 6-8K. It can start ramping up to 10 or 11.

The long runs are key. If I follow the 10% rule I'll get them up to 25K - Not good enough, but if we go out and do 33K this weekend we are both likely to end up injured - no good either. So here's the plan:

1/9 - 25K
9/9 - 3 hour bush bash @ Central Coast
16/9 - 16K (taper)
23/9 - Sydney Half
30/9 - 28K
7/10 - 16K
13/10 - FFFTM

All feedback/ridiculing/constructive criticism welcome.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I threw my hat into the ring

Last week I have done all of my running with Marlz, and recently he expressed a desire to try to run the Sydney half in 1:50.


He may be running his first half, but he's running away from me when we do any fast stuff, so I suspect he'll be OK - the issue is whether I'll be up for a 1:50 half.

I had what I'd have to class as an ordinary run in the Hidden Half. I was only ever out for a social run. I started with NTR and Billsy, but 2K in my shoelaces were undone, so I stopped to tie them. I was never going to catch those guys - they were on their way to a faster time than my PB, and I wasn't on the course or legs that were going to support that.

The weekend just gone was fun. On Saturday night we had Nite_Time_Runner and his kids around for dinner and a sleepover. The kids had a great time running amok together.

The problem is that whilst NTR is a nice bloke, he is a lunatic. He says things like "Are you interested in a nice long, slow run in Fitzroy Falls the week after the Sydney Half" and "the Blue Mountains are nice in March". He is a bad influence. By the morning I was asking things like "what time would you be thinking of targeting if you hypothetically did Trailwalker next year?" and "what is the time you need to run at FF to qualify for six foot?".

In the morning NTR and I went out for a run on my favourite loop with Marlz. We took it nice and easy as both NTR and I had run half marathons the previous week and Marlz had never run more than 16K in one go. Again, Marlz spent the entire run pulling away from us and he looked like he was itching to go faster. We got to Concord West train Station at about 18K, and he took the stairs two at a time, with NTR and I forlornly looking up at him and considering using the banister.

This illustrates that I'm a bit lucky. Marlz is obviously a decent runner, and I'll be doing a goodly portion of my training with him. I reckon that one of the best ways to get better at something is to do it regularly with those who are better than you.

So now the target is 1:50 at Sydney.

And after that...

Was I just in the middle, in the middle, in the middle of a dream or did I really agree to do this?

On October 13 I intend to attempt to complete the Fitzroy Falls marathon in five hours and twenty nine minutes.

Now I've done all the Dumb Things. At least I won't be alone. NTR is in. Marlz is interested.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Not my day

The day started perfectly - we were out the door on time, I was dropped at Town Hall with my entire family blowing me kisses and sending me love, and I lined up at the start a few metres from the start of the A2 group 90 minutes before that start.

After a quick trip around unsuccessfully searching for a drink I came back to the start to find sfGnome and a Coolrunning Lurker whose name escapes me. Later we were joined by Belinda, and that provided excellent company for the wait until the start.

It was a delicate balance, preparing for the start. It was obviously going to be quite hot, so I needed fluids; there was also the 90 minute wait for the start, so I needed to make sure that I didn't lose my place at the front of the pack by needing to urinate. In retrospect I probably didn't drink enough.

Eventually the hooter went for our start. The A2 start is set back a fair distance from the start line, and so it took me 40 seconds to pass the start, but after that I was able to settle into my own pace quite quickly.

This meant that I churned out the first 2K at a little short of 5 minutes. I was feeling OK, but not great. The first hill tested me, and I slowed a fair bit. From 3 through to 5K I consolidated, and then I hit Heartbreak Hill.

By the time I hit the top of HBH I had run the last 2K in 11 minutes, but there was no petrol left in the tank. At halfway (which is roughly at the top of HBH) I was on 37 minutes - so I was right on pace, but at that point I pretty much knew I was done for. I took a 15 second walk break to catch my breath, but I didn't have any more 5 minute Ks left. I jogged the rest of the course as best I could in about 6 minute Ks. Eventually I stopped my watch at 77:41 (the official time was 78:00).

So what went wrong?

I probably got my fluid intake wrong, and was dehydrated by the middle of the race. This was an easy mistake to make - my bladder was reasonably full at the end of the race, so that was always going to be a tough one to get around.

I have been eating indiscriminately over the past 3 weeks, and I'm probably 2Kg heavier than I should have been for this race. I can't explain why this lapse took place - I just know it did.

The other thing was that I didn't eat dinner the night before the race. It's something I very rarely do, but we had a huge lunch of rich restaurant food on Saturday, so I guess the nutrition for the race could have been upset by this.

I have to say this is probably the most disappointed I have ever been after a race. I'm not usually given to post race disappointment - I learn my lessons and I move onwards and upwards, quickly setting my sights on the next race. I guess the fact is that I have no target race now, and it will be a year before I get another crack at the C2S, so I'm a dog without a bone.

In eleven weeks DJ goes back to work. When she goes back I will be working part time for the following 5 months. Initially I will be working 2 days a week and looking after the kids for the other 3 days. I've got no idea how my training will fit into this lifestyle. It won't be my highest priority, but I might find that I'm able to fit more in - we will have to see how it pans out.

Part of the problem of picking the next race is that I'd love to have a go at the Black Stump run on New Year's, but I'm not sure I can justify the investment of time required to get myself ready for it.

So the next few weeks I will just try to sort out some priorities and work out what my next serious race will be. I'll let you know when I do.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Five minute Ks

OK, so I've figured out my tactics for Sunday.

Five minute Ks.

I figure I'll take a minute or two to get over the start line, and I'll
lose two minutes on the hills, so if I try to run at about five minutes
per kilometre I should be OK to come in at 75 minutes for the 14K.

The worry is whether being at the front of the A2 pack will mean that I
get pushed out at a pace I can't sustain for the first K, and a 4:30
first K would come back to bite me in the second half of the race.

Anyway, such concerns are trifling. The important thing is that I've
managed to get through to taper week without catching the viruses that
have afflicted my workmates and family, and I'm feeling in top form for

The twins have been much better this week after having colds last week.
On Monday they had their athletics carnival, and Bop excelled, winning
the 800m and high jump, 2nd in the long jump and 3rd in the 200m. Em
also did very well, coming 2nd in the high jump and 4th in the long
jump. I suspect this means that I'll be off to another Zone carnival in
the near future.

They were lucky enough to have the carnival at the athletic stadium at
the Olympic Park. How cool is that?