Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's f..f..f..f..freezing!

The newspaper headline says it all: "Melbourne records coldest April morning for 56 years." When I left the house it was 2.5 deg.C. and by the time I finished it had reached a (balmy) 3 deg.C!

No wonder I found it almost impossible to get going this morning. The legs had no zip at all, I could not get my breathing pattern steady. I was all over the shop! This was as bad as I have felt on a run in a while.

Did the 8km loop near home with a target time of 37.04min. On previous efforts I have run comfortably to 30 sec. faster than this time. Today I did 37.06min so arguably the best result (ie, closest to target) but felt miserable. Glad to finish and glad to finish in this time when I felt so awful.

I hope it is a bit warmer on Sunday. I have 72-hours clear to prepare for the race.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A man, a track, cold rain and a dog

Decided to head down to the track last night (Tuesday) instead of this morning for the set of 10x 400's. Looked as though it might be a bit warmer, which it possibly was, but when it rained on me for the last few reps it definitely wasn't any fun.

The plan called for 10x 400m in 1.34 with 400m float in between. I completed these in 1.31/31/32/32/31/32/28/32/30/28. The first six all within a 1-sec spread then the dog came to visit (the first 1.28 lap) and then the rain came!

My right hammy was a little sore towards the last few laps so concentrated on maintaining a high leg-turnover with shorter strides.

It remains hard to get excited about running in the cold dark rain around a track by yourself at night ... but I am excited to see what results I can achieve by doing so!

Will complete my second run for the week on Thursday giving me an extra day to recover before the Puffing Billy Train Race on Sunday.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A cold and windy day

It was mostly the weather that made me disinclined to look forward to this run. My last 16km had been along the beach from Sandy to Elwood and back on a lovely Autumn day. I had hoped to repeat this course but with temperature at 11 deg. C. and wind at 50kph I decided against the run along the beach.

Instead ran two laps of the 8km course by home. Luckily it did not rain on me but it was decidedly unpleasant. Covered the distance in 1:18.24 with laps of 38.43 and 39.41. Felt ok, but cold.

I wonder how I'll go next week at Puffing Billy. Hopefully the conditions will be a little better!

Weekly total: 3 runs for 35.80km in 3:04.03hrs.

Friday, April 24, 2009

There must be some kind of mistake???

An easy run for 10km? Not sure about this one. It is the only such run in the whole program save for the last short hit out before race day. Seems like a mistake. But I'll take it!

Headed down along South Rd for this out and back course on Friday night. Very hard leaving the house. It was reasonably cool and the run was all that stood between me and dinner.

Ran an even split (26.54/27.01) in 53.55min, just 5 sec/km under pace.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Miles at the track

Some days a session just looks easy. Today was one of those. A simple set of 3x 1600m repeats in 6.39 with a 400m RI in between. Thankfully conditions were back to ‘normal’ this week (after last weeks torrential rain and wind) and so I was confident of a good outcome here.

I completed the three intervals in 6.36, 6.36 and 6.37 so all slightly under schedule and a very small spread of times. (How do people run sub-4 min/miles???) This is just about perfect! Total session of 9.8km in 51.44min.

My calves are still sore or maybe tired is a better description and my right heel also remains sore although once I warmed up it did not bother me. After the session my right hamstring also felt a little tight so I’ll need to do some stretching tonight.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Longest run yet!

Completed my longest run of the whole campaign so far, knocking over 23.1km today in 1:54.26 hrs. Felt good for about 15km then my legs started to get a bit wobbly!

Great running conditions along the beach with a gentle tailwind along there. Felt a bit harder on the slight uphills with a bit of wind in the face on the way home.

Amazed to go just under 5min/km for the journey and held pace really well.

Calves feel tired more than sore this evening.

Weekly total: 3 runs for 41.84km in 3:29.04hrs.

Melburn Roobaix

I've been looking forward to this ride for a whole year now and it did not disappoint. This is the fourth running of the event (very) loosely modelled on the great Paris-Roubaix in northern France. Actually, about the only thing in common is the use of bikes and the odd cobblestone.

The Melburn-Roobaix is more a treasure hunt on wheels with each person given a map and list of checkpoints when you register on the morning. So the first activity is to plot all the checkpoints on the map and roughly work out how you'll navigate between them.

And to ensure the 350+ folks don't all leave as one amorphous mob through the city they are split into six groups with each group having a different checkpoint one before converging at check number two.

As you can see from the map, it is a rather circuitous route and since you are navigating your own way between checkpoints often without knowking exactly where you are, it is possible that you are not necessarily taking the shortest distance.

It is a really fun atmosphere. It is not a race (though many try go go as fast as possible) and there are all kinds of people on all kinds of bikes. Of course the single-speed bike is very popular here, but so are regular race bikes, mountain bikes and even dragsters and womens ride-to-the-shop bikes. I am amazed that some of these people got around!

The course this year took us through North Melbourne/Kensington before heading back over towards Carlton and Brunswick. The checkpoints were on some gnarly gravel tracks and the tops of beastly cobbled climbs - more Tour of Flanders than Paris-Roubaix.

All up I covered about 30km in just under to hours.

I've also posted pics from the ride on Flickr.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday on my mind ...

Another great run this evening. Am really enjoying these 8km tempo runs. Good distance, good course around home and I am feeling strong and running well.

Covered the distance in 36.35min today which is 29sec below target pace (not sure if that is good or not). Ran a steady pace with splits of: 4.34/4.34/4.40/4.36/4.33/4.24/4.31/4.43.

Calves still a bit sore which is worrying me a little as they do not seem to be recovering from one session to the next.

Am looking forward to the long run on Sunday (22.5km).

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Did I mention how windy it was ...

It has taken me a day to be able to recall this session without needing therapy. My goodness, yesterday’s run was abominable. Or should I say that the weather made it so.

I awoke at 6am to go to the track for some 1k and 2k repeats. The trees were already bent over double from the strong wind and it took all my will power to actually get out of the house. My legs still weren’t feeling particularly zippy so this one was going to be a stretch.

The main reps were: 1km, 2km, 1km, 1km with 400m easy in between. The target time for 1km was 4.01 and 2km was 8.24.

The wind was blustery but manageable for the first 1km which I did in 4.03. For the second and third reps it was blowing an absolute gale (apparently 60-80kph) so half of each lap felt like running up and down on the spot. The times there were slow: 8.37 and 4.28 but felt very hard. For the final km it just got plain ridiculous as pelting rain came down with the wind still howling. That was about as miserable a km as I have ever run and I was pleased (?) to get it done in 4.27. So I did not make time in any of the reps but feel as though I got a good workout anyway … and some mental toughness to boot. The total run was 10.4km in 55.43min.

The footnote to the story is that when I returned home and got into the shower our power went out leaving me to enjoy (!) more COLD water. I was not a happy camper.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hot Chocolate 15K

Hot Chocolate 15K, originally uploaded by haronovich.

Sounds like a perfect race to think about at Easter time!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Was looking forward to the long run today. Beautiful day for a run along the beach - sunshine and lots of people enjoying Easter Sunday.

Ran 16km from Sandringham to Elwood and back. Basically followed the marathon course except ran along the bike path.

Felt ok on way out (39.40) with slight tailwind and picked it up on the way back (39.12) to record a small neg split. Legs felt devoid of energy on this one. No zip, a bit lethargic. Thought the pace would feel easier than it did.

Feel like I need a small rest, or some massage on my quads and calves.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday, 10 April 2009

Hmm, not sure how I managed to complete this session as I did. Something is definitely changing. Not sure if it's between my ears or down in my legs???

Today's session called for 10km at mid-tempo pace (4.38min/km). The course I chose was down South Rd, anything but flat, with a rolling downhill for the outbound leg and generally uphill on the return.

I have only run about 5min/km on this course so was not sure how I'd go. Decided to take it easy for the first km then run steady to 5km, trying to 'bank' a few seconds for the way back which would definitely be harder. No real chance of a negative split here.

Felt like I was running too hard on the way out, but just in control, and made 5km in 22.40 (30 seconds under target pace) so knew I could run about 12 sec/km slower on the return to be on target.

Somehow, remarkably, I ran 23.02 for the return (8 sec under target) so overall was 38 seconds under time on a very hard course. Was absolutely stoked (and stuffed)!

Am looking forward to a more gentle paced run on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

I don't really like running around in the dark. But I suspect I am going to do rather a lot of it over the next six months. There's not much going on down at the Moorabbin Aths Track at night, save for a single light that illuminates a glorious section of 30m on the home straight, the sound of dogs barking at the obedience school on the (well lit) footy oval next door and the thud of fist on punching bag at the hall over the road.

The first session this week was back there for some 1200m repeats. Three sets of 2x 1200m on a target pace of 4.53min with 2min RI between intervals and 4min RI between sets.

I was still tired from the race on Sunday and so had deferred the session for a day to get some extra recovery but I still found this one pretty hard. I don't think that running in darkness not being able to see my watch helped the morale either.

I completed the session (Woo! Hoo!) in rep times of: 5.00/4.54-4.56/4.56-4.57/4.58. So a little slower than target but reasonably consistent.

Happy to get home, showered and fed after this one!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Week 8 Redux (30 Mar-5 Apr)

What a great week. So different to week 7 where I felt a little dismayed that perhaps the program was too hard for my level of fitness. This week I completed both key sessions in the nominated times and had a great race today at Run for the Kids.

I am looking forward to the next 8 weeks in the lead up to the Sri Chinmoy Half Marathon which is my target event. I am feeling pretty confident that I'll run a good time there.

Week 8 total: 3 runs for 34.42 km in 2:52:51 hrs.
March total: 15 runs for 127.27 km in 11:05:32 hrs.
April total: 3 runs for 34.42 km in 2:52:51 hrs.
Campaign total: 24 runs for 204.44 km in 17:36.20 hrs.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Run for the Kids

Substituted the Run for the Kids 14.1km race today for the planned 21km training run. And glad I did too. Whilst I am not following the half marathon plan religiously at the moment I am going to throw in a couple of races in lieu of training.

Today's plan was to run the first 10km nice and steady and hard for the last 4km. And run to plan I did, with the first 10km which includes the tunnel and Bolte Bridge being covered at a HR of 157bpm (45.40min) and the final 4km at 168bpm.

My 'gun time' was 66.38min (adjusted to 64.55min allowing for getting to the start line). Conditions were reasonably cool, ideal for running. I am pretty stoked with this run and time. Felt so good the whole way through!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday, 3 April 2009

Tempo run this evening. A steady 8km looping up to North Rd and down to South Rd. A bit hard to pace right as it is a bit up and down. Ran really well and had plenty in reserve for a strong last km which I did in 4.23 (against a target pace of 4.38). Finished the 8km in 36.46min vs target of 37.04min so pretty happy with that!

Not sure how the legs will hold up for the Run for the Kids on Sunday, but am treating it as another long run session, planning to run easy for 10km then hard to the finish.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fear and Loathing

It's not often - actually, never that I can remember - that I would fear a run workout. But after the first two sessions on this new program I had that feeling last night. On both those occasions I have struggled through the sessions, neither quite achieving the time standard set. I was filled with doubt about whether I would be able to complete this program as planned.

So it was with some apprehension that I ran down to the Moorabbin Track this morning on my warm up for what looked a pretty hard set.

w/up to track 2km
1600m hard (target 6.39 vs actual 6.47), 400m easy
3200m hard (target 13.52 vs actual 13.49), 800m easy
2x 800m hard (target 3.12 vs actuals 3.13/3.12), 400m easy
c/down to home 2km
Total: 12km

I was ecstatic! Apart from the 1600m where I found pacing difficult as it was dark and I could not read my watch it went perfectly. The reps were hard but running on the track allowed me to dial-in the pace exactly right.

I feel confident now that this program is spot on for me ... if I can just run to the target pace as indicated.

Spent the rest of the day walking around Melbourne's International Flower and Garden Show so legs are a bit sore this evening.

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