no Dive, Rock 'n Run

Dive, Rock 'n Run

Actually more "Run" than anything else at the moment!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Six Foot Track Marathon 2008

I drove from Port to Sydney on Friday, then up to the mountains with my parents where we stayed at my Aunt and Uncles place at Blackheath. The storm during the night was unexpected, as was waking up to low cloud, light rain and cold temperatures.

After getting to the start shortly after 7am I had well over an hour until my wave. Was interesting to catch up with a few people and watch the first three waves charge off over the edge before it was our turn.

I was near the front of wave 4, and had a nice relaxed run to the top of the stairs. I was pretty happy with the descent, as it was a comfortable slowish pace, which meant a safe trip down without being stopped or slowed too much other than at a couple of the trickier spots.

From the bottom of the stairs (15-20 mins) I settled into a nice easy pace mindful of not going too quick in the early stages. It’s nice open trail to Megalong Road, which I hit in 55 minutes, before crossing the fields followed by the more technical descent to Cox’s River. I was in a small spread out group for some of this section, so I had good sighting ahead of me (unlike the much tighter conga line during Megalong Mega), and easily cruised down to the river in 1:45. The river was under waist height. I made a quick stop at the aid station to refill the bottles, grab a gel and a quick snack.

The next hour and a half was the climb up to Mini-Mini and Pluvi, punctuated by the descent to Alum Creek. I walked pretty much all the uphill other than the short flatish parts. As I was approaching the top of Pluvi I could feel the lower inside part of my left quad tightening up a bit, but nothing too serious.

Top of Pluvi was 3:26, where I stopped for a quick change of socks and various drinks, some food and a salt tablet. I was thinking as I approached the station that my feet actually felt fine, but putting a new pair of soft dry socks on just felt great. I think I had a bit too much to drink there, as I could feel it all sloshing around for the next 20 minutes or so. I’d been having a gel every hour, an endura drink, as well as regularly sipping water and sports drink, and the odd piece of power bar. The aid stations were amazing well stocked and well manned.

The rest of the race was a bit of a nightmare thanks to the quad cramps. I’m very grateful to BernieG, who happened to come along just as I’d been stretching and gave me some salt tablets, which was a lifesaver as the previous aid station had run out of them. Part of my problem was that I’d never had cramps anything like this before, and in particular never had any issue with my quads whatsoever in the past. I didn’t really know what to do, or in fact whether I’d make it past the next hill or not.

A fair way up Black Range I worked out what was happening. Mostly the cramps were coming on when I slowed to walk up a few of the steeper hills and when pausing at an aid station. I found that if I kept running the cramp tended to fade away, as though the extra motion was shaking it out and loosening the muscles, particularly after the salt tablets. So seeing as I was actually feeling fairly strong apart from the cramps I ran as much as I could, but of course there are a few sections that I just couldn’t – most notably the climbs just before the Caves Road crossing. I had a fair bit of trouble there, and lost a lot of time stopping to stretch the legs on the way up. Once I was over the road I had a final stretch of the quads just after the Binda Cabins aid station and ran the rest of the way. My legs were fine from there as it’s pretty much all downhill, and that was the last of the cramps. It’s certainly treacherous going down the narrow path with the drop on your right.

It felt great flying down the walkway into the valley, seeing and hearing the crowd, with the announcer calling everyone in. That final descent is incredible, just the best finish to a race that I could imagine and made it all worthwhile. Down the bottom I turned the corner, high fived Owly and crossed the finished line in 6 hours 7 minutes, where TA was waiting with a hug and to steady me while they removed the timing chip. Mum and Dad were waiting just past the finish, as was Hamburgler who was long finished. I was a bit shattered and emotional at that stage. It was just such a relief to get to the finish after the last 2 and a half hours of pain (on top of the other 3 and a half “good” hours!) and uncertainty as to whether I’d make it all the way, plus the fact that 2 years ago I’d planned to run Six Foot this year and it had finally come to fruition. I can really appreciate now what a tough race it is.

So many people I spoke to had really fantastic runs and posted some great times.

I guess what happened to me seems to be a fairly classic Six Foot case of too quick to the river and then Pluvi for the training I did in the lead up. Perhaps, as I did feel like I’d done a bit less than I should have. Even though I was very comfortable to those points in the race, perhaps even more conservatively would have seen me in better shape for the back half. Even so, I’m fairly happy to have given sub 6 hours a shot as I did, crashed a bit but still finish close enough to my goal time. At least now I’m in a much better position for a more serious crack at it next year, hopefully carrying a few less kilos and giving it the full respect it deserves. That gives me a year to prepare a better training program and race day plan for the 14th March 2009. How exciting!

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Monday, March 03, 2008

5 days to go...

Since the Megalong Mega I’ve had a couple of good solid runs. The week after it was a bit of a recovery week due to work and being a groomsman at a friend’s wedding the following weekend. I felt pretty good after the MM, but thought it best to keep my long run to 2 hours on the day of the wedding.

Two weeks ago I parked off Bago Road and made my way up to Bago Bluff/The Rollover and Bago Lookout. That was a three and a half hour run, and I chose that area as the hills were bigger than around the usual area I’ve been running. A lot of it was just the standard rolling hills before the first climb starting from an altitude of about 50 metres up to 400 metres at The Rollover (in about 3-4km), then back down to 70 metres before climbing back up to 350 metres at Bago Lookout. The views were pretty spectacular at the top, and I took a few photos on the phone but they’re a bit average as it was an overcast day. There was some light rain along the way but nothing too serious. It was almost back at the car a bit earlier than expected so I did a few hill reps up from Blue Creek which wasn’t quite as blue as advertised, but was a good strong effort to finish.

Last weekend was back out to Queens Lake State Forest for two and a half hours around Jolly Nose Hill. It was another pleasant run, and I’m really enjoying running in that area. I noticed that there was much more wildlife to see and hear in the area that there was the previous week out Bago way. I went up to the top of the hill again, and found some interesting stats for the climb (to me!).

For 2km it rises from 30m to 100m (mix of falling, level and mostly rising terrain), which took me 13 minutes up and 10 minutes down. The final 750m section rises from 100m to 250m (1 in 5) and took 12 minutes up and 5 minutes down.

The weekend just past I had an easy 15km run down Queens Lake way again. Was a cool, clear morning and I felt good throughout.

I’m in the middle of a couple of week’s holiday at the moment. I’m looking after the kids full time as Jodie has a 3 week block of intensive lectures for uni and also has casual work at the hospital in the gaps. She’s actually worked 5 shifts in the last 7 days, and after a 2 hour lecture last Thursday went straight to a double shift from 5pm to 7am. Amusing and looking after the kids and house chores are keeping me busy enough during the taper.

All that’s left for me to do before the weekend is a couple of easy 40 minute runs, a massage and to get myself to the mountains on Friday.

I'm in wave 4 on Saturday, so get to watch the earlier waves take off before it's my turn. I probably haven't put as much training in as I should have, but I guess that's reflected in my rough goal time of +/- 6 hours. Being otherwise occupied over the last week or so has kept my mind off the race, but by the middle of the week I need to think about what's ahead and start mentally preparing myself for Saturday. At least for now I'm really looking forward to it.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Megalong Mega 2008

Thanks Ellie for the photo of Ben and myself taken just before we headed off.

This was my one and only look at the Six Foot Track before race day. It was quite a good day for it, with cloud cover for the whole morning keeping the temps down. There was a good turn up too, with around 140 people running/walking.

The run down to Coxs River took around 45-50 minutes of mostly single file track. Being stuck behind others was a good thing to avoid going too quick from the start. The river was waist deep and refreshing. The climbs up to Mini Mini saddle and Pluviometer were certainly steep and long, as expected. Most of the uphills were at as fast a walk as I could manage, other than the odd flat bit that I ran, and the downhill to Alum River.

I made it to the top of Pluvi 2:30 from the start, and had a short break before rolling my way back down.

After the river crossing on the way back I took my shoes and socks off to empty out quite a bit of sand and stones, which felt good. I also took my pack off and had a quick splash to cool down.

Gruelling describes the climb back up to Megalong Road from the river quite well. It was really hard work, but I was trying to run as much as possible on the flat to slight uphills, but some of the steps were a real struggle after 4+ hours. There was some light rain through this section that was very welcome. I made it back to the start in a few minutes over 5 hours, which included about 20 minutes of stops at the top of Pluvi, at the river, and the odd stone stop here and there.

There were a few other streams to cross between Cox's and Alum, and after 4 hours of being wet my feet were suitably shriveled at the end, but thankfully no problems with blisters.

It was great to get out there and see the course. The scenery was certainly beautiful although I didn't get to take it all in during some of the tougher sections.

I was interested to see how the steeper sections compare to the local climb I've been doing up to the top of Jolly Nose Hill, and was pleased to find that it was certainly no steeper than what I'm used to, just longer. So I can see myself heading back to that hill for some more local hill sessions once my legs get a week or so to recover (that would be about now!). Some acclimatisation is in order as well, so I think I need to throw in a long run or two later in the day and in some more open sections. I'm used to a bit more of a closed canopy than there was on the course, and I usually head out in the pre dawn cool, so I'm not used to the heat so much.

I actually thought my legs would be a lot worse than they were afterwards. They are a bit sore and stiff for a couple of days, but not too bad really.
I'm glad that I have the Salomon shoes, as it felt like the rockiness of some of the sections would have left my feet bruised and knocked around a bit otherwise.

I decided that my plan on race day would be to carry a spare pair of socks to change into at the top of Pluvi once I've crossed (hopefully) all the water. I think I'll take my fuel belt with just two bottles for convenience, which is nothing compared to the hydration pack and 4 fuel belt bottles used in training.

I was trying to work out a time based on the two and a half hours from Megalong to the top of Pluvi, and figured that anywhere around the 6 hour mark would be just fine by me.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Under Six Weeks to Six Foot

Seems I'm not even managing quarterly posting. I’ll summarise and try to keep it brief.

The last few months of 2007 were very busy. Jodie had exams and full time prac for uni, we were both doing additional night/weekend work, and any spare time was spent with the kids.

I had a month and a half break from any form of exercise that began when we were all struck down with the flu and was extended by general tiredness and being so busy.

I made a return to the road in time to get a couple of weeks lead up to the Summer Twilight Series run at Earlwood in December hosted by Silverfox, which was enjoyable. I found it quite difficult breaking back into the running routine again for the first week or two. I just felt sluggish and it was a real struggle getting out of bed.

I finished 2007 with a total of 1631km which is 400km up on last year. Most of it was in the first half of the year, with the second six months contributing just 440km. I guess the lack of any real goals after the Macleay River Half could have contributed to that, as well as just generally wanting to sort out the hamstring and calf issues that had been hassling me.

Skipping forward to the present and I’m now in Week 9 of 14 of my Six Foot training program. Definitely not at the level I’d like to be at this stage in terms of the number of sessions per week and length of the longer runs.

I’ve been on a few long trail runs around the Queens Lake / Jolly Nose area just out of Bonny Hills, which is south of Port that I’ve really enjoyed. I did 3 hours 20 minute trail run just over a week and a half ago, after a 3 hours 10 minutes road run the weekend before that.

The long weekend just passed included a couple of trail runs. The first was two and a half hours on Saturday, and was quite possibly the best run I’ve ever had. I circumnavigated Jolly Nose Hill, including a climb to the top. There was pouring rain, a steep climb and descent battling a raging torrent of water, not a car or other person to cross paths with, and on the flatter sections was running comfortably at a good pace. It just felt really enjoyable. The other run was on Monday in an adjoining section of state forest for an hour and a half before heading up to Telegraph Point for some water skiing to give the arms, shoulders and hamstrings something to think about.

I’ll be heading to the Blue Mountains this weekend for the Megalong Mega. I’m looking forward to having a look at the track. Should be interesting, and it may give me an idea of a rough time goal to aim for come March.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Memorial for Dave Wheatley

25/11/1969 to 3/10/1997

On the long weekend I went on a road trip down to Merimbula with a couple of long time friends for a dive to commemorate the passing of our friend Dave 10 years ago.

I’ve known Steve and Rob, who I drove down with, and Dave since primary school and earlier. That was around 25 to 30 years ago. With us living in different parts of the country (and world at times), it’s been well over 10 years since the three of us have been on a road trip together that hasn’t involved wives or girlfriends, so that was a momentous occasion on its own.

After a leisurely 7 hour drive from Sydney to Merimbula on Saturday morning we met up with some of Dave’s family and other friends that were down there for the weekend, and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon and evening before an early start on Sunday.

Sunday morning saw us loading up the boats for the short trip out to the wreck of the Tasman Hauler off the coast of Eden, which plays host to a memorial in Dave’s honour (see below) and is the site at which his ashes were scattered all those years ago.

The Tasman Hauler is a tug that was scuttled in 1988, is still more or less intact and in good condition. The top of the mast is at a depth of 14 metres, the bridge at around 20 metres, it lies in about 30 metres of water at the base and is over 40 metres in length.

Conditions weren’t too bad, although it was a little murky down there. For the first part of the dive everyone gathered around Dave’s memorial in remembrance of our friend. As well as many of Dave’s friends, his brother Mark and sister Meredith were on the dive.

Dave was instrumental in my taking up diving in the first place, and over the years we shared many good times, both under the water and on the surface, and it was a terrible loss for him to pass away at just 27 years of age.

Mark then took Rob and myself on a tour of the wreck, starting with the prop. Steve doesn’t dive, and stayed up on the boat with Dave’s Mum. The prop is intact and enclosed in a shroud. I was able to stand upright on the bottom of the shroud and couldn’t touch the top with my hands. After swimming through the prop we ascended a little and swam through the engine room. The rest of the dive involved a look around the bridge and the bow before heading back to the plaque and up the mooring line. All up the dive was around 31 minutes, maximum depth 29 metres and a water temperature of 13 degrees C (a bit chilly!).

Once everyone was rounded up back on the boat it was time for the second purpose of the trip. Dave’s Dad Bill recently passed away, and his ashes were also being scattered at the site. Sadly Mark had the task of doing for his father what he did for his brother 10 years ago. After that the boats were on their way back to Eden to complete a very moving morning at sea.

We then had the rest of the day to relax, eat and drink at various locations throughout Merimbula.

Monday was a full day of travel. We headed off at 8am and got back to Sydney around 3pm. After a break I then had the rest of the trip to complete solo, making it back to Port around 9pm. So the journey home incorporated breakfast, lunch and dinner, around 13 hours and over 800km. There was a bit of traffic along the way, but nothing too severe.

It was a memorable weekend and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. I did take my running gear, but didn’t get the chance to use it. I can run any time!

Taken at Merimbula in June 1996. Dave on the far left, Steve and Rob are there, and I even had some hair back then ;)

This is a video capture from the original video taken 10 years ago so it’s a little hard to read:

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick is over.

- John Masefield.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Long weekend ahead...

As usual it’s been a while.

City to Surf

It was so long ago now but I did make a couple of notes. Whilst I felt ok over the first half of the run, the heat combined with my lack of fitness/preparation saw me feeling very average over the back end. I made it to half way in 35 minutes and felt pretty good on my way up Heartbreak Hill, but I really faded through the ups and downs of 9-11km and ended up finishing in 72:50 for the 14km.

That’s a pretty shocking back half given that most people negative split on this course. Still, that was to be expected and I’m happy to have met my goal of retaining a red bib for next year, when I hope to be better prepared. Great day though.

In the fortnight immediately following C2S I only did one run and ended up covering just 67km in August. That’s my lowest monthly total since the August to October period last year when my calf was playing up. At least back then I made up for the lack of running by substituting cycling and swimming. I don’t feel too bad’s a good break to freshen up before I get back into it all. I’m happy to relax and get out for 3-4 easy runs a week with nothing over 15km until the middle of October before picking things up a bit prior to the Central Coast Half, which should then lead into training for Six Foot Track.

Whilst on the subject, I have started my preparation for the track. I picked up a pair of (yellow!) Salomon XA Pro’s a few weeks ago, and have taken them out for the last couple of weekends.

First up I ventured from Bonny Hills along a 4WD track / fire trail to a local creek. All up it was a 10km return trip. Last weekend I followed some fire trails down to the Queens Lake Picnic Area for a 14km round trip.

Both runs were very enjoyable, and a nice change to the normal road scene that I run closer to home. At one stage I may have had to jump a gate to get where I was headed...sshhh, don’t tell.
I’m planning on getting out for a trail run once a week, starting off by exploring some more of the trails around the Queens Lake area before moving further afield.

Apart from that, life is very busy. Jodie had her mid semester exams the other week and starts some casual work from next weekend. I’m in the middle of an additional project I’ve taken on as overtime that should last a couple of months. It’s using new development tools that we’re using more for future projects so it’s a good learning experience. The extra money is coming at a useful time, but all I have time for at the moment is work, spending some time with the kids, a few chores and sleep. There should be some respite come December when my overtime is finished and Jodie has completed her end of year exams followed by her couple of weeks placement at a nursing home.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Well, it’s been a while and I don’t know where to start other than saying things haven’t quite gone to plan lately. Much of this is old news as I’ve sat on this post for way too long.

I was quite busy for most of June with some end of financial year related work. Still plenty of work to do since then as well.

At the end of June I picked up a bit of a right glute strain that appeared after some 1km intervals. My training had gone well since the Half until that point.

The week after that happened I was in Sydney and had planned to run the Striders 10km at Homebush. A test run a couple of days prior made me realise that wasn’t going to happen. I could run ok at an easy pace, but as soon as I pushed any harder the leg felt like it wanted to collapse under me. So instead we took Isabel to Lollypop Land at Moore Park on the Saturday morning as it was her 2nd birthday on the Sunday.

Since then I’ve given it some rest with just some easy runs, and ended up getting a couple of physio sessions. After talking with the physio and reading a post by Speedy Geoff about 180 steps per minute (SPM) being optimal I’m considering that my recent hamstring and glute issues could stem from introducing more speed sessions this year combined with a longer than ideal stride. This could be putting more strain on the hamstring, glutes and lower back when I push harder as I probably over extend my stride rather than increasing the tempo. I counted on the weekend and found that I am generally doing around 130 SPM. I concentrated on reducing stride length and upping the tempo and could get to around 150-160 SPM, but even that seemed like a quick turnover. I’m sure with a bit of practice it will feel a bit more natural so I’ve started working on that along with a few strengthening exercises prescribed by the physio.

Around the end of June Jodie’s Mum had a horse accident that really messed up her right hand. It has resulted in six operations so far with at the very least another one to come. There are bone grafts, skin grafts and a prosthesis involved in trying to fix up her hand and in particular one of her fingers. Most of the operations have been at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and as a result there was some to-ing and fro-ing for Jodie and the kids between Port, Newcastle and Sydney at the time.

Jodie, Isabel and myself suffered from some sort of nasty little stomach virus a couple of weeks ago so no running for a week there. Tyler seemed to escape it somehow.

To complicate things further I picked up a new hamstring strain in a completely new place (non running related this time) a few days ago and have yet to run on it, so it will be interesting tomorrow morning when I test it out.

With the City to Surf on the coming weekend I’m certainly not where I was hoping to be, and expect I’ll be going easy on the right glute and possibly the hamstring (again). Hopefully I’ll be ok to push through and maintain a red bib qualifying time for next year, but even that's not a certainty. I put a request for a red bib (SH1 start group) this year with my recent Half time and received it in the mail last week, but it would be good to earn it during the event itself.

With the limited spare time I’ve had lately my blogging has been restricted to reading only. My commenting and posting have gone out the window, hopefully to return soon :)

I have been running regularly with everything that's happened, but they've just tended to be short, easy runs.

June’s distance was down a bit at 165km, mostly due to taper and recovery from the Half. I gave myself a week’s break afterwards as kind of a reward and to break the routine up a bit.
July was even lower with the recent disruptions, with just 100km for the month. It would have been 99km but I extended my last run for the month to get it over the line.


Monday, June 11, 2007

2007 Macleay River Half Marathon

Well there’s my third Half Marathon completed, and my second shot at the Macleay River event. For another year, just when it seemed that the weather could have been terrible it turned out that conditions were pretty favourable other than a bit of a headwind on the way out. A sunny cool day is always nice, and afterwards I found it quite warm sitting in the sun in the relatively sheltered finish area.
We were down at the start/finish area to watch the Marathon start (30 minutes before the Half). There was a one minute silence at the start of the Marathon for Ian Green (Green Machine). After the Marathon was underway I got ready, did a warm up and lined up with roughly 120-130 (I think they said?) other starters.

Last year I ran 1:45:12 and with my recent Marathon training I was hoping to make a considerable improvement on that. I was feeling good at the start, and once we were underway I was cruising comfortably along for the first few km. Part of the display section of my watch had started playing up a couple of days before, so I couldn’t record any splits otherwise I wouldn’t be able to read the total time (all I could read was the split time, so as soon as I hit a split I would only be able to read the lastest split and wouldn’t know my total time). I did have the 5km splits for a 1:35 and a 1:39 finish written down, but didn’t pay much attention to them.

So after a few km I just went on feel and didn’t really know how I was going apart from at the half way mark, which I think I went through in about 49 minutes. I was aiming for 4:30 minutes per km so I knew I was a bit slower, but hoping the tailwind on the way back would help, although it never seems to!

I wasn’t really running along with anyone although there were always a few people nearby. Everyone seemed fairly consistent with their pace without much surging. I felt good on the hills particularly on the way back into town, and pushed strongly up them all.

I paid a bit of attention to the time in the final 3km, and realised I had some work to do if I were to go under 1:40 (100 minutes). On the final climb to up Trial Bay Gaol I looked at my watch with 1km to go and realised I needed about a 4:15 final km to beat 100 minutes. I didn’t check the time again until after the finish. I was surprised that a few people were really struggling up the last hill, but I was on a mission and pushing as hard as I could. It’s great when you get to the top though because for the final few hundred metres it’s a flying downhill run to the finish.

On checking my watch I saw it was 1:39:55. The official results were up the same day and they have me recorded as 1:39:59 for 30th position out of 111 finishers and 9th in my age group.

I was really happy to have beaten the 100 minute mark (just), and last year’s time by 5-6 minutes.

As with all three halves that I’ve done I was running reasonably hard, but never really beyond myself at any time apart from the final sprint. Looking back I know I should have challenged myself more rather than cruising along, especially during the middle 10km. I probably don’t run enough of them to really get a good feel for it, but I’m sure with some more experience that will improve. Both times I’ve run here I think I’ve been a bit too laid back going into it, whereas you know with a 10km you just
have to run as hard as you can, and with a Marathon there’s such a long lead up to it and you’re prepared for it to hurt near the end no matter what.

Still I can’t complain about a 5-6 minute pb, a sub 100 and a couple more lessons learnt!!

Jodie was great support at the start, finish and out on the course. Her family had the kids for the morning, and they were all at the finish as well for a while, but just Jodie and myself hung around for the presentations.

Nice to chat with Kazz, Eagle, Silverfox, Miners and Pam (Green Machine’s wife).

I’ve pulled up great today, but I’ll give myself a few more days running break. I’ll just take the kids for a few walks to loosen up and keep things moving, as well as a massage during the week before I get back into it.

It looks like I’ll be able to make it to the Sydney Striders 10km race at Homebush in July. I’m looking forward to that now and hopefully knock some time off the 10km PB that I ran on the same course last year, which was also a few weeks after last years Macleay River Half.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Now...where was I

It’s been so long since I posted that I don’t know where to start. Whilst I’ve been on an extended blog absence, the training continues. I recovered to be in good shape after Canberra and feel I’ve prepared well for the Macleay River Half next weekend.

My Aerobic long runs used to be around the 6 minute/km mark, but I’ve noticed over the last couple of months that I can comfortably trot along closer to 5 minutes/km for what feels like a similar effort. It'll be interesting to see how I go on Sunday.

After weeks of no real improvement I finally saw a physio about my hamstring in May. A day or two of the exercises he prescribed and I no longer felt any pain. I’ve got some ongoing exercises to help the area recovery fully but was just amazed how after going through the pain in the hamstring for a fair while it took so little to actually fix it. Ewen was right with his comment ages ago about light strengthening being the key.

April saw me cover 147km. It included my taper and recovery as well as the Marathon itself. Helped freshen the legs up and provided a nice recovery period.

In May I ran a total of 208km. It saw me hit 1000km for the year during my long run on the 27th.

For the record, below are some further details if you’re game…after a couple of weeks I stopped make any notes other than the basic details of my training that I throw into a spreadsheet.

Tuesday 24/4: 7km Run
Another recovery type run around Lighthouse Beach and Emerald Downs. Threw in a couple of 30 second efforts and a strong run to finish up Pacific Drive from Jonas Absalom.

Thursday 26/4: 10km Tempo Run
After sitting down a couple of days ago and constructing a training plan to get me to the half marathon I decided I was motivated and felt fresh enough to start with a decent run today.
So I ran down Kennedy Drive to Gordon Street and back via Granite Street with a couple of diversions. I had planned 2 x 12 minute efforts with a 5 minute jog recovery but if I felt flat I was willing to cut back to 6/8/10 minutes each. As it turned out I felt great during the first effort so I stuck to the plan.
I later measured the sections, and it turns out my pace was around 4:30 minute kms which is about right for 10km race pace. I actually thought I was going a bit quicker than that at the time, but there were some hills involved and the first effort was a net uphill, so not a bad result for my first quicker run back.

Saturday 28/4: 12km Run
I’d planned a 16km run today, but woke up and to a cold and rainy morning. So I lay in bed for an hour before deciding I’d better get up and at it. It was still raining as I stepped out, but wasn’t as cold as I expected. I spent the first couple of km thinking about how nice it would be to have a hot shower and relax after I finished.

I ran along Pacific Drive into town and back via Kennedy Drive. The rain eased off during the second half of the run but I still opted to cut it short as it wasn’t much fun and I felt there was little to be gained by being out there any longer. The first couple of weeks back were just recovery runs anyway.

Monday 30/4: 10km VO2 Intervals
After a 20 minute warm up I ran 5 x 800m intervals with 2 minute jog recovery at Wayne Richards Park.
I eased into the first one before a couple of more solidly paced intervals. I decided to give the 4th one a bit more effort and was quite pleased with the 3:02. But ideally (according to McMillan) I’m looking to do them in around 3:20, so that was a one off to see how my speed was. The intervals (in time not pace!) were: 3:39, 3:20, 3:25, 3:02 and 3:21.
I felt really good afterwards and keener than ever for some half marathon training!

Wednesday 2/5: 13km Aerobic Run
It was a spectacular morning to be out…the sunrise threw up all sorts of shades of orange and crimson. I started off through the back of Port and finished up travelling along the river and beaches.

Friday 4/5: 8km Tempo and Hill Reps
Ran through Lighthouse Beach and Emerald Downs before knocking out some solid 4 x 90 second hill reps up Pacific Drive near Jonas Absalom.

Sunday 6/5: 26km Long Run
Seeing as I left my fuel belt bottles in Sydney I split this run into a couple of loops so that I could pick up some refreshments at the half way mark. First it was into town along the river and beaches, and then around Lighthouse, Marbuk, Emerald Downs and along Ocean Drive to Koala Street and the Waniora area.
I’ve decided to put a bit more effort into my long runs, but not so far as to take it beyond an aerobic effort. Not too easy, not too hard…but not a plod. I was extremely pleased with how it went too. There were plenty of hills throughout the run, yet I ran it all fairly strongly and had a comfortable breathing pattern throughout.
So sub 5:30 minutes/km is my new 6 minutes/km…it was actually around 5:20 pace. I felt much better during the rest of the day than I used to after a 2 hour plus run.

Tuesday 8/5: 9km VO2 Intervals
Just down to the park for 4 x 1km intervals with 2 minute jog recoveries this morning. The goal pace was around 4:10 although I ended doing them all a bit quicker than that, but not by too much.
In the middle of the last one I felt something odd that could have either been my shoe kicking something up and hitting the back of my leg, or could have been a mini seizure in the hamstring. I still can’t decide which one it was, as there are no after effects and it was in a higher position than my previous hamstring issues. I really can’t work out whether I felt it on the skin or muscle In any case the hamstring still gives me some minor aches so I’ve booked in to get a bit of physio to fix it up rather than let it drag on. Carrying the kids around definitely strains it more than running and it’s difficult to cut that right out as Tyler is still only crawling. Although I can coax him to follow me places around the house, I still need to carry him on a regular basis!

Thursday 10/5: 8km Tempo and Hill Reps
I was no worse for wear from Tuesday so I trotted out in the light rain this morning. After a warm up I put in a 12 minute tempo effort before heading straight into 3 x 90 second hill reps.

Sunday 13/5: 17km Long Run

Tuesday 15/5: 9km with 6x600m VO2 Intervals

Wednesday 16/5: 13km Aerobic Run

Friday 18/5: 9.5km with 9 minute Tempo effort then 4 x 90 second hill reps

Sunday 20/5: 27km Long Run – Lake Cathie return

Tuesday 22/5: 8km with 4 x 800m VO2 Intervals

Wednesday 23/5: 10.5km Aerobic Run

Friday 25/5: 10km with 12 minute Tempo effort then 5 x 90 second hill reps

Sunday 27/5: 18km Aerobic Run

Tuesday 29/5: 10km with 5 x 1000m VO2 Intervals

Wednesday 30/5: 12km Aerobic Run

Friday 1/6: 9km with 2 x 12 minute Tempo efforts

Sunday 3/6: 15km Aerobic Run

Tuesday 5/6: 7km with 4 x 600m VO2 Intervals

Wednesday 6/6: 5km Recovery Run

And that just about gets me up to date. I’ve just got a relatively easy tempo run to do today (2 x 5min efforts with 5 minute recovery) and that’s it (apart from 500 or so blog posts to read) until the race on Sunday.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Still on holidays

In being away during the week before the Marathon I missed recording the details of my final week of training. I’ll keep it as brief as it gets. For the record it went…

Week 18 of 18:
Tuesday 5km Recovery Run
Wednesday 8km Tempo Run with 1x10 minute effort
Friday 6km Easy Flat Low Intensity Preparation Run

So my Marathon Splits were:

1st 10km 52:38
2nd 10km 52:22
3rd 10km 53:58 (30 second walk through 25km drink station)
4th 10km 56:59 (2 minute walk through 35km drink station)

1st Half 1:51:xx
2nd Half 1:57:xx

There was some ups and downs in the 1km splits throughout each 10km, but for the most part they were pretty consistent. The quickest 1km was the 8th km in 4:59, which I’m guessing included the downhill section from Parliament House.

There were only 4 separate kilometres that were slower than 4 hour pace (5:41min/km). The 1st due to the delay in crossing the start line, 26th and 36th due to walks, and the 38th for no reason I can recall although it may have involved the rise up to the Commonwealth Avenue bridge.

In the first three days since the marathon I did a fair amount of walking each day, including a big day on Wednesday at Taronga Zoo. The massage on Tuesday worked wonders on the soreness in my quads and stairs were my friend again by Wednesday.

After not running at all for about a week after Canberra I’m happy to only do a handful of easy recovery runs for a week or two after that. I’m hoping that by easing back into it I’ll minimise the reported flatness that many people find after running a Marathon and can slip back into some training for my next goal.

My first run afterwards was a week later – just an easy 6km on Sunday morning. Didn’t feel too bad, but just plodded down to Flynns Beach and back. Was happy to put in a strong effort up the hill from the Shelly Beach shop to Lighthouse Road.

And now…

Rather than push straight back into preparing for another marathon I’d really like to do some shorter stuff for the rest of the year which I think would be a bit easier on the legs as I could ease off the distance a bit before the next big one. I’d like to get a bit quicker, throw in some extra hill work and gradually increase the k’s spent on some trails.

First up I’m planning on running the Macleay River Half Marathon at South West Rocks on the June long weekend. I’m really looking forward to having a good crack at a half now that this distance doesn’t seem as far as it used to.

Then I’d like to run the City to Surf in August.

Ideally I’d manage to fit in a couple of Sydney Striders 10km races over the next few months if it fits in with my trips to Sydney.

Then pencil in the Central Coast Half Marathon to finish off the year.

This would then lead into a summer of training for my first goal for 2008: the Six Foot Track Marathon in March…now that I’ve qualified!

And in the meantime I'll be thinking about another Marathon to do next year. I’d love to run Canberra again, but it may be a bit close for me to back up for and run well. Maybe the Gold Coast Marathon in July based on the positive reports I’ve heard of it.

I’d updated the sidebar with my Marathon time and future plans.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

2007 Canberra Marathon

Yeah, this is going to be very long and rambling…probably twice as much as my first Half Marathon post, but I want some notes that I wrote while it’s all fresh to be able to refer back to for next time!

It was an odd feeling lining up for this, my first Marathon. I wasn’t really nervous about anything apart from my hamstring, which really had me worried and everybody I saw heard about it…sorry! I knew that I’d done some tough training runs, all the main sessions I needed to do almost to the letter, had a great taper, carbo load, was reasonably well rested, had my hydration/nutrition plan in hand, some duct tape for running repairs in case the hammy fell apart (joking) and there was nothing more I could do apart from dig in and run the thing.

It was a nice cool morning with a little bit of cloud cover around and conditions seemed just right. I did an easy 5 minute jog through Telopea Park and back before lining up about half way through the thousand odd other starters.

The gun went off and about 20 seconds later I was across the line at an easy pace for the first 10km loop around Parliament House. It turned out that my easy pace was around 5:15 minute k’s and I hit 10km in 52:38. This saw me hanging about 20 seconds behind the 3hr 45min pace group, and I stayed at that position until after 30km when they started pulling away a bit. I was fairly happy with that because I’d spoken to Horrie earlier (the 3:45 pacer) and he was planning a slightly quicker than even first half. I was careful to make sure it really was a comfortable pace as it was a little quicker than my originally planned 5:30 minute k’s and I didn’t want to blow up later.

The second lap heads over the lake and out to the base of Black Mountain. I was enjoying the scenery and keeping an eye on the splits through this lap. I stayed roughly a minute ahead of the 3:45 splits along the way. There are a few undulations through the course but nothing too serious. Apart from the climb up from the bridge to the south of the lake the worst seemed to be the little climb back up from the turnaround at the Black Mountain end of the course. I really enjoyed that section of the course though as you get a long stretch of out and back where you get to see everyone ahead and behind you which is lots of fun. I found that there wasn’t anyone really running around my pace for most of the race. There were a few people I was passing and being passed by a few times, but apart from a brief chat I just ran my own race. This made it easy through the drink stations as I didn’t have to dodge anyone and rarely even slowed down.

There was lots of support from spectators along the entire course which was just fantastic. During the second lap I hit half way in 1:51. Then it’s over the bridge and along the lake back near the start after 25km before heading out on the third lap. The CR cheer squad was doing a great job here, as were Jodie and the kids, all of which was wonderful and such a great boost. It was also great to see Ewen and Gnome out and about at various places on the course – always a surprise to see where they’d pop up next! Just before this turnaround a guy on a bike came past to say that the leaders were approaching from behind on their final lap and to just maintain my line on the bend and they’d pass on the outside. I actually avoided being lapped, but only by about 30 seconds!

On heading back over the lake again, the climb up from the bridge was a bit more noticeable this time, and I pushed out to Black Mountain again. On the way out I realised that my hamstring was well under control and although I could feel it as a mild dull pain, it actually improved as the race went on. In fact apart from the general fatigue my only real pain was in my neck when I turned my head to the side. It must have been a bit tight so I concentrated on loosening that up as well as keeping my arms and hands relaxed, all of which was a good distraction as the race wore on.

After 34km, the climb out of the turnaround was a little tough, but at that point I was thinking about all the training I’d done, particularly in the hills, and that this one wasn’t as bad as I was used to. At the 35km station I walked for a couple of minutes and loosened the legs a bit before getting back up to pace. From that point it was tough, but I never felt like I really needed to stop for a walk again, although I felt that I was going as hard as I possibly could and simply couldn’t (or shouldn’t?) run any faster. I was really working on the mind games over the final 6km to make sure my legs just kept going and counting down how close the finish was. I was thinking about the months of training I’d done, with all the time, effort and expense involved in getting to this point, determined not to let a tough half an hour bring it all undone. It helped to know for certain that my body had the fuel and training it needed to make it to the end. I knew I’d make 4 hours easy, but 3:45 slipped away with my walk break so I refocussed on beating 3:50. There were heaps of people walking in those final few kilometres, and I was gaining on quite a few runners as well. A handful of people passed me, but not even close to as many as I passed.

It felt great to turn up along Telopea Park for the final stretch before the finishing straight. I pulled in more runners along here before turning into the finishing straight to the cheers of my family and the CR cheersquad which really spurred me along for the last couple of hundred metres. The crowd lining the finish was a blur and whilst I took it all in, I was mostly focussed on that finish line and the timer above that said 3:48:xx.

It was the most amazing feeling and I was a little overwhelmed to finally be crossing the line. During the run I’d been thinking about how it was over a year ago (before I’d even run my first Half) that I had the idea to run my first Marathon at Canberra on this day. To realise that after all that time and all the steps along the way I’d achieved that goal of finishing the Marathon, finishing it well and coming in under the time that I wanted was very satisfying. I think I was a bit dazed for a fair while after finishing.

Thinking back now I believe that the training I did and the race I put in on the day was very well balanced. For my first one I wouldn’t have wanted to push harder for the first 30km, and for the final 12km I couldn’t have pushed much harder. All my nutrition and hydration went perfectly to plan and I had no troubles at all with any of that side of things, which I’d carefully planned in the preceding days.

I’d read a compelling article during the week about not eating anything for at least 3 hours before the race, and considering my experiences with early morning runs on nothing but water this made sense for me, and in fact I could recall the negative effect that even a small meal had before a few runs. So I decided not to eat anything as although it’s good to top up liver glycogen stores 3-4 hours beforehand, it’s probably better to just get a bit extra sleep and focus on getting what you need once the race is underway. When Isabel stirred and I was awake at 3am anyway I figured that I may as well get the 300-400 calories in anyway as there was still 4 hours to the start time, then go back to bed for another couple of hours sleep. So after getting up at 5:30am I just had water beforehand and a dose of Endura Magnesium formula at the start line.

I had my own sports drinks at 15km (Gatorade), 25km (Endura)and 35km (Endura) and had 4 gels at the 1, 2 and 3 hour marks, give or take…the final gel being around the 3 and a half hour mark for a bit of a boost to get me home! I just had a few mouthfuls of the provided sports drink in the cups – just what I could have quickly on the go. The water sachets were just great, being really easy to use and at most times I had a spare on hand as they were easy to carry in hand or pocket, and very useful for when there was a gel due. I didn’t need a pit stop at all, although I could feel the need coming on a couple of times so I just eased up on the water a bit and it was all fine. It wasn’t a humid day and I didn’t have sweat dripping off me at any stage so I didn’t feel the need to rinse off with water.

My legs (quads in particular) have felt pretty smashed up since Sunday and walking down stairs is the least of my favourite activities at the moment. We went for an hour walk on Monday and I had a massage today, so they should be back to normal shortly. After walking around the zoo tomorrow and an easy cycle in a couple of days I’m not going to run until the weekend, and even then it will be just easy recovery runs for another week or two. I do want to run and feel the motivation to do so, but don’t feel the need to rush back into it too soon.

There are some photos, maybe splits and future plans to come, but until I get home in a couple of days I have limited internet access so that will all have to wait. So too will catching up on everyone’s blogs, particularly reading all the other Canberra reports. Can’t wait!
Apart from a couple of isolated mentions I’ve been neglectful in not naming so many of the people that were involved in the weekend, before, during and after the race. It’s been tough just getting this massive report done and as there were so many people that provided inspiration, encouragement, advice, support and congratulations that I’m scared of missing out on anyone!! The safest thing to say is that I appreciate the support I’ve had from so many people before hand and from pretty much everyone I spoke to over the course of the weekend…I know it’s a cop out, but thank you all so much :)

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Week 17 of 18

Tuesday 5km Recovery Run
Just plodded along feeling really flat today. It was reassuring to find out from Eagle’s blog that this is not unusual in the taper, and I guess it wasn’t helped by long days incorporating long periods of standing and walking around during the Ironman weekend.

Wednesday 13km Tempo Run
I was a bit wary of how I’d go after yesterday’s effort. Most of the run felt like a plod, and the efforts just felt like a slightly faster plod! Today I did 3 x 10 minute tempo efforts with 4 minute jog recoveries. It felt like I was lucky to get close to 5 minute kms at any stage, so I was surprised when I got home and found that the average pace of each interval was 4:45, 5:10 and 5:00 minutes/km. I think I faded in the middle one more so because I was resigned to a slow pace at that stage, but was feeling better by the last effort.

Came away from the run feeling pretty good though, and I felt sure that I’d pick up over the next few days seeing that as well as the rest of this day, 3 out of the next 5 days were rest days.

At this point my hamstring was fairly good, but I could still feel it now and then. Given that I’d neglected it over the past few days I decided I should give it some more therapy in an effort to get it back to 100% over the next week or so. No issues with the hip or achilles at all over the past few days.

Friday 9km with 8x400m VO2 Intervals
In a recurring theme my hamstring was still a little sore. I drove down to Wayne Richards Park and headed out on a couple of local streets as a warm up. By the time I got back to the park there was no discomfort and I started off on the intervals. I was scheduled to do 10 but figured beforehand that 6 would be more sensible, but felt pretty good after 5 so I compromised on 8.
The grass was very slick after some rain, which probably assisted in reducing the strain on my legs as I seemed to be sliding around a little. Due to a miscalculation I thought at the time that I was doing the 400’s at roughly 4:00 min/km pace which I guessed was a sensible pace and about right, but later realised that they were actually around 3:30 – 3:40 min/km, so I was pretty pleased with that. Not quite sure how I’d manage to sustain that sort of pace for an entire marathon (or even a half or 10km), but perhaps if I were 20 or 30kg lighter it wouldn’t seem so tough!

Sunday 14km Run
I was mindful to keep this run “nice and easy, even if you feel good”. That wasn’t an issue for most of the run, as it often takes me the better part of an hour to warm into the long runs by the time I do an easy warm up and make it through the half hour hump. But for the later part of the run I was feeling fine yet still taking it nice and easy. Still, rather than ease up I opted to maintain my pace up a few short hills with seemingly little effort.
I ran into town and back on as flat a route as I could manage. All was quiet on the roads seeing as it was early on Easter Sunday.

My legs are responding well to the reduced distances of the last couple of weeks. With only three light runs this week I hope to have them fully tamed and ready to go for next Sunday - gah, only six days to go. The massage I had this morning should assist with that as well. Plus, it’s always good to be on holidays for three weeks!

Still haven't got around to putting up anything on the Ironman last weekend, and it might have to wait some more as I need to get around to some blog reading rather than writing tonight. Just writing this up quickly before the kids wake up from their afternoon nap.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Week 16 of 18

Tuesday 11km Tempo Run
I skipped my recovery run this week and after three and a half days rest plus a massage I still had a sore hamstring, but at least the hip was improving. By Tuesday night I decided it was time for a test run to see how it would hold up.
After a thorough go at loosening and warming the area up I headed out. After a really easy 20 minutes through Mortdale and Oatley I start the first of 2 x 15 minute efforts (reduced from 20 minute efforts). Everything felt great. The pain disappeared once I was warm, and I felt like I was running fast with relatively little effort. I finished the first effort comfortably in under 5 minute/km pace, then had a 6 minute easy jog recovery. The second effort was similar.
I got home, stretched and waited for the pain to return. It wasn’t really bad at all, and not until the next day that I did feel it a bit, but not as bad as before the run. Looks like active recovery worked well in this case.

Thursday 10km VO2 Intervals
I headed over to Renown Park for 6 x 800m intervals with 2 minute jog recoveries. Again the leg was a little sore still, but once warm it was mostly fine. I could feel it during the 4th interval so I decided that I’d only do 5 today instead of 6 as there was no point risking any harm.
Went to Sydney CR drinks on the Thursday night in at the James Squire Brewhouse. Was great to see lots of people again and meet more for the first time, including some who will be heading down to Canberra in a couple of weeks. Many thanks to Plu for the lift back to Milsons Point.

Saturday 21km Long Run
This was going to be a 28km run, but after considering much advice and the state of my leg I reduced the distance.
It was quite a cool morning and I didn’t have a specific distance mapped out, just an idea of a roughly 20km route to follow to see me through for 2 hours.
I went through the Lighthouse Beach area, Emerald Downs, Greenmeadows, Lake Road, a lap of Kooloonbung Creek the back home via Granite Street with a couple of diversions.
I felt really good the whole run and there was little effort involved. I didn’t drink as much as I expected as I wasn’t sweating much, mostly due to the cool weather. This distance training run was marginal for having a gel but it stayed in my pocket for today.
After I got home and cooled down I felt fine. No problems with the legs and very little fatigue. Just as well with the Ironman taking place and lots of standing and walking to do, but that’s a story for another post.

I’m putting off my nutrition and hydration thoughts again until I have more time. After a busy weekend and with three days to go until I’m on holidays things are a bit busy at the moment. As for a full test of all the race gear, pretty much all my long runs of 30km or more have been done with that in mind and it all seems to work fine for the 3 hour plus runs.

Edit: That brings my March total to 261km, which is by far my biggest ever month. The taper and recovery from Canberra should bring April right back down to Earth.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Week 15 of 18

Monday 7km Recovery Run
Made my way along Pacific Drive to Flynns Beach then home via some of the back streets.

Tuesday 13.5km Tempo Run
Followed the same route last last week. This time I did 3 x 12 minute efforts with 4 minute recoveries. They were a bit quicker than last week, which is encouraging, but was consequently a bit tougher. Made it home around dawn, had a bite to eat and a shower before ducking into town to catch up with Miners for a coffee before work…was good to have a chat – last chance before Ironman weekend.

I was a little sore at the base of my left hamstring, and had a dull ache in the left heel signalling some Achilles tightness. I’ve been stretching fairly well, but gave the trouble spots 2 solid days of rest, ice and elevation before my Thursday run.

Thursday 10km VO2 Intervals
Back down to Wayne Richards Park for some more intervals. This time it was to be 4 x 1km with 2 minute jog recoveries.
Given that I could still feel the hamstring and Achilles when I got up I was prepared to pull the plug on this session at any stage rather than risk aggravating anything. Both spots were a bit tender at the start, but I warmed up really slowly, had a stretch when I got to the park and got stuck into the intervals.
The first 1km interval was just over 5 minutes, as I wanted to test things out and didn’t want to go too hard from the start. With everything working fine I then did 4:20 to 4:30 for the next couple, and the final km was just over 4 minutes.
There was some very minor pain by the time I cooled down, but much better than after Tuesday’s run, so I’ll just keep up the treatment and hope to keep them under control.

Saturday 36km Long Run
I wanted a mostly flat run today so I drove in and parked by the Fish Co-op and planned 3 out and back loops from the car.
The first 13km loop was over to Windmill Hill, Town Beach then out to Settlement Point and back. There was a big tent city set up by Bicycle NSW at Oxley Oval.
The second loop was out to the Airport. Saw a RAAF jet takeoff as I went past, almost copping its jet wash as I ran behind it just before take off. Nice rate of climb.
The final loop was around Gordon Street, Westport High and a final run out to Settlement Point and back.
I finished in 3:35 which is a bit quicker than my previous 36km run, but also using one less gel and feeling better at the end. I did have a couple of minor concerns with my hamstring and hip. The hip was sore after my last 36km run but responded well to massage and hadn’t troubled me again until this run. I noticed that it only really got sore when running when the road was sloping to the right so I spent as much time as possible on the left side of the road.
I was struggling at a couple of stages over the last 10km so it was a good chance to practice some mental toughness, assisted by remembering some encouraging comments from the blog that helped push me along. I also focussed on keeping my head up and looking around, as opposed to last time where my head went down and my focus shifted inwards. I think by looking around it helped take my mind off the effort. I did succumb to a moment of weakness when I walked for a hundred metres or so, but I got over that and for good measure threw in a sub 5:30 minute kilometre to finish up.
I wandered to the Town Green to stretch by the river in the shade before heading over to Flynns Beach for a brisk ocean swim to sooth the legs.

For some reason I felt a bit lethargic last Monday after the run…tired and lacking motivation. It was mildly better by Tuesday, although the onset of the couple of leg pains made me a little concerned through Wednesday. By the end of the run on Thursday I was feeling good again, confident that I could manage the legs and looking forward to the long run on the weekend.
The last couple of days since the long run were a bit sore in the hip, hamstring and just a very mild ache in the heel on getting up in the morning. I had a massage tonight (Monday) focussing on those spots and I hope it improves the situation. I think the hamstring is my main concern as it’s a new occurance, although it’s only sore when I’ve been sitting or lying down, and the pain goes away after moving around for a few minutes. I’m sure the reduced distances during the taper will help them heal up.

After the “Volume Overload” of last week described above, this week is supposed to be “Intensity Focussed” with a couple of quick, longish type interval sessions. I’m modifying things slightly so I have some more recovery time, and reducing my planned 28km run on the coming weekend down closer to the 20km mark as the last thing I want to do now is aggravate anything in the last 3 weeks. From what I’ve read 28km with 2 weeks to go might be a little bit of overkill anyway.

It’s funny that Don was asking about my carbo load/nutrition/hydration plans as I was in the process of finalising them at the time, and will put them in writing next week.

I actually did a mini carbo load in the lead up to the long run. By mini I mean I didn’t eat quite as much as I expect to for the marathon, and only did it from lunchtime Wednesday to mid afternoon Friday. So a bit shorter and a bit less just to see how it goes. I think it worked fairly well and I’m comfortable with increasing the load for the real thing.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Week 14 of 18 – Recovery Week

Monday 5km Run
Easy recovery run not far from home.

Tuesday 13km Tempo Run
I hadn’t been along Lighthouse Beach for a while so that’s where I went this morning. Then I made my way through Marbuk and Emerald Downs, along Ocean Drive, Koala Street and home.
I had 2 x 15 metre tempo efforts today (at about 1 hour race pace) with a 5 minute jog recovery, although I realised during the cool down that I was still a fair way from home so I threw in a further 10 minute effort on the way back!

Thursday 10km VO2 Intervals
I set my alarm for the wrong day so it didn’t go off this morning at 5 but I woke up at 5.30am anyway, so I only lost half an hour of the yard work I was going to do between the run and starting work…still trimmed a few hedges though!
I made my way down to Wayne Richards Park on Koala Street for 6 x 600m intervals (at 5km race pace) with 90 second jog recoveries.
As with last weeks session I put in some relaxed but solid efforts, dodging some uneven ground here and there. I did them all fairly consistently at about 2:20 to 2:30 minutes each.

Saturday 18km Long Run
It’s interesting that I hit a sluggish phase through the 30-40 minute mark, which was the same point as occurred during a long run quite a few weeks ago.
So today I ran along Pacific Drive to Town Beach, along the river to Settlement City, through Clifton and back home via Gordon and Lord Streets.
I was a bit behind schedule with about 4km to go so I picked up the pace a bit to the finish. The last 3km was uphill for a fair part of the way, but it didn’t seem too tough even at the quicker pace, and still felt like an aerobic effort. I think that I’d just been plodding along for most of the run when I really could/should have been going a bit quicker.