Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Change of Plans

I finally had it confirmed yesterday - our team missed out on a spot in
Trailwalker for this year.

This is a massive bummer. We were getting quite excited about this as a
team. The upside is that as a team we have been shooting around emails
left, right and centre pertaining to meeting up at various races over
the next ten months, with the culmination being that all four of us will
make our debuts at the Six Foot Track Marathon next March.

Speaking of which, this does leave a filthy great void between now and
next March in terms of racing. I've compiled a list of candidate races
that I might be targeting. Feel free to comment:

7-Jun Striders North Head 10K
6-Jul Gold Coast Half
20-Jul Hunter Valley Marathon
27-Jul Cities M7 Marathon
10-Aug City 2 Surf
23-Aug Mt Wilson to Bilpin - 35K
6-Sep Striders North Head 10K
21-Sep Blackmores Sydney Half/Full
27-Sep Fitzroy Falls Fire Trail Marathon
4-Oct Striders 10K Sydney Olympic Park
12-Oct SMC Half

I will be running the Gold Coast Half. I've booked the holidays and the
whole family is primed for our second family holiday drive up the
Pacific Highway. The good thing is that we've bought a People Mover
("The Bus") since last year. The bad thing is that the lovely three
month old baby we took up last year will be a rampaging fifteen month
old with an intense dislike of long stints in his car seat. It could be

The race is an interesting conundrum. I wilt in the heat, and the Gold
Coast gets hot towards the end. It's also very crowded at the start. On
the other hand, it's pancake flat and I am in shit hot form, even if I
do say so myself. I think Gnome nailed it in the comment to my last post
- good marathon training is good for other distances.

I've decided that if I'm only going to do four sessions a week I'm going
to make them all count. Speedwork is already as hard as it can be, so
the other sessions have all been made faster. My long run has gone from
about 6:20 pace to sub 6:00. The midweek long run has gone from about
5:35 to about 5:25 (5:18 this morning). The other session I will see how
I go with, but if it's prior to a rest day there is no excuse for not
going hard.

My last three training runs have been absolute corkers. On Sunday Marlz
and I drove out to the M7 and went for a 30K run on the M7 path in 2:59
with Nite_Time_Runner. The good thing about it was that we picked up the
pace in the last few Ks - we finished strong. The following day I went
out for what I expected to be a feeble 8K recovery run on tired legs.
After 1K I just hit a rhythm, and I figured since I was resting on
Tuesday I should go with it. I punched out the next 7K in about 5:30
pace. This morning Marlz and I put in a solid 13.5K at 5:18 pace, again,
finishing strongly.

Oh, and I know I said "no more marathons for my family". I think the key
here is the four sessions a week, and maintaining some sort of sensible
balance between training and having something left over at the end of
the day. So far it's working, and hopefully it will work for a marathon.
Hunter Valley will in all likelihood be that marathon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

An unexpected PB

I'll be honest, 3K is not a distance I keep close tabs on. It's a
distance I time trial occasionally.

This morning I set out on one of those time trials. To be honest I've
avoided it like the plague. The last 500m of a 3K time trial are awful.

But due to some rearranging of my schedule due to Mother's Day, I'm
doing speedwork twice this week, and Monday just seemed to be a logical
point to do a 3K TT.

I knew I was in good nick - the speedwork before the marathon indicated
that I was running fast, but given that I've been taking it easy in the
recovery and I had a hard long run on Saturday I thought a PB wasn't on.
Trouble was I couldn't remember my 3K PB.

So I picked 13 minutes as a nice round figure to aim at.

In darkness we set out for the 1.5K turnaround. I thought it might be a
good idea to mark it well, as we would easily miss the faded spraypaint
on the path. About ten metres away from the marking I found an enormous
safety cone with a big reflective strip. From that point I knew this was
a good run.

We jogged out to the start, and took off suitably warmed up. Marlz
decided to stick with me for the first half as he was feeling sluggish.
As I said, I had picked 13 minutes as a target. 4:20 per K. As if by
magic, I settled into this pace immediately. We ran through 500m in
2:10. 1K in 4:20. Breathing at this stage was getting very heavy, but
not difficult. We hit the turnaround in 6:31, and a hairpin turn does
slow you down a bit, so I knew 13 minutes would be a challenge; my
breathing was a bit laboured now and I had to go faster to hit the time.
At this point Marlz took off and I decided to slow a bit because I
thought I was a good chance of blowing up at my current pace. I went
through 2K in 8:47 and 2.5 in 11:00 flat. I was struggling, but I knew I
had a quickish 500m left. It was more a case of hanging on than kicking,
and I finished in 13:16.

When I got home I discovered that my previous best had been 13:24. 8
second PB. Gotta be happy with that!