Friday, July 31, 2009

Still running ... still sick

Well, still not feeling the best. My throat is sore and glands are up, but I went for my run anyway! This one was a tempo run of 8km at a target pace of 4.22 min/km. Did my normal course up to North Rd.

Probably went out a bit hard for the first couple of k's but it felt easy ... until I was coming through to 4-5k by which time it was not feeling so easy! I thought I ran strong through 6-8k but actually lost a fair bit of time there too, ultimately finishing in 35.39min.

Shouldn't be too disappointed, though, as this is about a minute faster than my previous times over this course (and oh, I am sick too).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

One step up, one step back

After a great run on Sunday it was back to sickness (I cannot believe this is happening ... again!) and a lousy run on Wednesday night.

The track session was supposed to be 2x 1200m (4.45min) and 4x 800m (3.05min) with 2-min RI between. Now I don't know if it was the tight hammys, difficulty breathing from this new throat infection, the little bit of wind or just a case of "you're a wuss" but I could not get going at all.

Covered the 1200's in 4.55 and 5.04 which was not great, then the first two 800's in 3.19 and 3.25 at which point I just went home. When you know you can complete a set of 800's in 3.05 pace then this is just getting ridiculous.

Unfortunately I have had a lot of really poor sessions this time round and I am rarely getting into the groove that I had back in April and May. I've lost my run-mojo.

Hope it comes back soon.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Marathon Entry is Go!

I have never run a negative split for a run as long as this one, so am doubly pleased with a great effort over 30km at Sri Chinmoy in Parkville today. After around 1k I hooked onto the "5-min bus" being driven by 'Tiger Boy' from the Cool Running chat site. This guy is amazing. He managed to herd a group around six laps of this course keeping us all bang on target time (as you can see from the splits below).

For me it got hard on the fourth lap by which time my right hammy was giving me grief and I thought I might call it quits at 20km. (I suspect the true problem may be further up in the gluteals somewhere??) But, with Tiger Boy's cajoling and coaching I actually found it easier just to sit in with the team; the last 10k actually going by quite quickly.

So, with this run under my belt, I have entered the marathon and have been allocated the number 2012. Now the real work begins!

Sri Chinmoy, Parkville, 30km. (Each 5k is one lap)
1-5km 25.13min (5.10/10.02/14.51/20.08/25.13)
6-10km 24.39min (30.15/35.08/39.58/44.49/49.52)
11-15km 25.01min (54.26/59.47/64.37/69.45/74.53)
16-20km 24.51min (79.55/84.52/89.41/94.44/99.44)
21-25km 24.58min (104.47/109.45/114.40/119.47/124.42)
26-30km 24.54min (129.41/134.38/139.30/144.37/149.36)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A good one at last!

I didn't exactly see it coming, but I have at last posted a good result for a run. The session last night was 5km at short tempo pace (4.13m/k) after a 3km warm-up with a 1.5k cool-down afterwards. I ran my normal North Road loop which I have found difficult to run fast on as it is a (gentle) rolling course with lots of side streets to upset the rhythm.

After the warm-up I covered the main 5km in 21.17min (4.14/4.16/4.16/4.15/4.16) which I was really happy with. This is the fastest 5km I have run for a very long time and considering my current selection of ailments I am very pleased with it.

Total run 9.5km in 45.13mins.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

3 more miles

Today I had the rare chance to run a track session in the daylight as I took the day off (spent the morning on kinder duty with Brooke). My legs - quads mostly - still felt a bit sore from the Sunday run and I guess I'd only rate myself as about 80% but I ran anyway.

This session was straightforward, 3x 1600m intervals with 1min rest in between. My target time was anything under 6.30min having previously run a similar session in 6.36 pace. Today the bogey would be a strong wind (once again) and perhaps the fact that since the Tour de France started and I have been eating biscuits while watching it each night I have put on 2kg!

In short, these intervals were run in 6.42 min (bad) then a pair of 6.59's (worse). I decided to complete the session as I am getting the feeling that if I back off every time I am not making target pace then I may not be doing much running at all!

Total run of 8.8km in 44.45mins.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

End of an ordinary week

I ended up missing my second run session this week too. I was still too sick to even contemplate running, missed a day of work, and ended up on antibiotics for the sinus infection. All in all, not a happy camper.

Throw in a visit to the physio and even a new pair of runners was barely enough to lift the spirits. I really thought about tossing it all in for the marathon this year. But I guess you have those moments occasionally - and probably will on race day too - so best to find a way to deal with them and move on.

Which I did.

Today I headed out for what originally was planned as a 32km run. But after everything that has happened (or not) in the last week I decided to run a shorter course of 25km over a loop down to the beach and back home via Cheltenham. It is a fairly undulating course so I ignored my watch for the day.

Which was just as well as I really suffered once again. The new runners were great (some New Balance 859's) and my calf did not have any of the pain of last week (phew, and thanks Rob the physio). But my right hammy was just really tight and I could not stride out after about 15 or km's.

My pace began at 5 min/km for the first half a dozen, slowing to 5.12 min/km for the next 12km through Black Rock and Beaumaris. The final 7km up Charman Road and to home were woeful. At around 5.50 min/km these were the slowest I have run in a long time. It was not overly warm (though thte sun was out) but there was a pretty ordinary headwind along that section. Even so, the time was due to me ... not the conditions.

Total run (and weekly total) of 24.97km in 2:13.20hrs at 5.20 min/km.

Hmmm, well, at least I finished.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Oh no, why me!

Missed my first training session tonight. And, strangely enough, not due to any of the ailments mentioned in previous posts (though it could have been). No, instead I have managed to get sick again. This week I have been suffering from - I believe - sinusitis (diagnosis from my wife and several work colleagues).

The bridge of my nose feels like it has been hit with a baseball bat. I feel awful. I am sick of being sick. I cannot believe the run of illness I have had recently. It is driving me completely nuts.

So I have decided to miss one session. Who knows, it may even help my achilles mend too (I am seeing the physio tomorrow night about that one).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Are the wheel nuts coming loose?

Today was another big step up in the run distance, this time to 27km. Which of itself is no big problem, I am actually enjoying the long runs, even if the weather is not the best at this time of year. What is bothering me is the growing number of physical niggles, some of which are now giving me real cuase for concern.

Today's run was similar to last week, a run from home down South Rd to the beach then following the bike path down to St Kilda and return. I was not even sure that I'd be able to do this run today as this pain through my hip into my glute has gotten worse over the last couple of days. It bothered me a little at the start and I suspect my running style altered a little to accomodate this.

The wind today was a fairly consistent north-wester so into my face outbound and assisting on the way back. The run felt good down South Rd then a bit harder into the wind where I first started to notice the right achilles in a bit of pain. Completed the outbound 13.56km leg in 67.20min. It was good to pick up the tailwind and I covered the distance up to 21km still comfortably on target pace 5.02 m/k vs 5.06 m/k. Unlike last week I was not having any hunger-knock so was happy about that but the achilles was not having fun.

The final 6k up South Rd was not pleasant. I covered this at 5.42 m/k pace and my achilles was very very painful. The last km took 6.26mins which means I was on target pace right up to that point. I have iced it tonight but I am very concerned about it and will need some physio treatment on it (and my hip) this week.

And tonight little Keira casually pointed out that I really do need to go and see about my right shin. For a couple of months now it has felt tender to touch and I have feared some kind of bone problem. It has certainly got no better with time and when Keira leaned on it tonight I nearly jumped through the roof in pain. Must get that seen to this week too.

Weekly total: 3 runs for 46.49 km in 3:59.57 hrs

Distance Summary [red] and Future Plan [blue]

Friday, July 10, 2009

First Signs

Tonight I had the first signs of something that worried me. Ok, maybe not the first signs, but definitely the first time I have paid any attention to them. Strangely enough, I had only visited Rob O'Donnell (my physio) on Thursday night at which time I did not really get any of these things tended to. They just didn't seem so important.

My lower back on the right side has felt for about a week as though it is out of alignment, but it has now started to give me real pain through the lower back and gluteal. It is such that even when walking my gait is not normal. Of course, when running it has a bigger effect.

On the run tonight it was giving me a bit of grief. This was the same run I did last week (1.5k w/up, 8k main set at tempo pace and 1.5k c/down) only this time the tempo pace was 4.31m/k (vs 4.38 last week). I never really felt comfortable at all on this run. Could not get into a rhythm, back felt bad and generally a crappy run.

Did the main set in 36.33min (4.34m/k) so not far off target but not a comfortable run and the pace for these tempo sets is only getting quicker in later weeks. I am starting to wonder if these target paces are not just a bit too much for me?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Descending set ... wheeeeeeeee!

I've never done a set like this before. A simple track session: 1200m, 100m, 800m, 600m, 400m and 200m with a 200m float in between. The pace for each interval should be fast!

Hmm, sounds easy, but the devil is always in the application. I had some specific interval times for each distance but chucked these out and just ran 'flat out' as there was no real rhythm to be found in this set.

I covered the intervals in: 1200 (4.49), 1000 (3.56), 800 (3.08), 600 (2.20), 400 (1.27), 200 (0.40).

The longer intervals were slower than I would have liked and the shorter ones a bit faster than needed. Hard to pace them and found the 200m recovery barely enough, especially for the longer reps.

Overall a good run (in the dark at night again!) of 8.2km in 45.54mins.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hunger knock is not fun!

I am not sure whether I like Greg McMillan (McMillan Running) or not. Which is odd since I have decided to "follow his teachings" as it were for my long runs. And Mr McMillan is no fun-freak. In fact, I think his methods are designed to introduce you to new levels of pain and misery during your training. Which is pretty neat, since chances are that race day will bring more of the same so at least you'll be used to it. Which is his theory ... or at least that's how I explain it.

He has two basic tenets which I am overlaying on the general distance/pacing from my Furman program. The first of these is on your "regular" long runs you should not consume any carb's (gels, sports drink, etc). The idea is to deplete your energy stores (about 90+ minutes) then get used to running beyond this when you are tired. This is what I did today. His other principle is the "fast finish" long run which I'll introduce later in the program.

So today was a 24km run at target pace of 5.06min/km. I ran down South Rd to the beach then along the path to Point Ormond and return. At this pace it felt pretty easy from the outset (as it should) and I cruised the outbound leg in 58.49min (4.55m/km pace).

On the return it was a little harder, first into a bit of a headwind then on the rise up South Rd to home. Of course, as expected, the final half hour was very hard. Not only did my right calf begin to get very sore, but I suffered big time hunger knock. I tried just to focus on every kilometre at a time, but by the last one I was nearly tripping over my shadow. The return journey was in 61.22min (5.08m/km pace).

Overall it was a very good result. I covered the journey in a few seconds over two hours at 5.01m/km pace. Perfect! Had some food, iced my calf and watched the Tour de France. All is good now!

Weekly total: 3 runs for 42.09 km in 3:33.07 hrs

Friday, July 3, 2009

Running while sick

I think it is ok to run while I feel like I do. What do they say: if you have a cold with symptoms above the neck it is ok to run, but if symptoms are below the neck just rest. But what if you have a sore throat (?) ... isn't that in the middle of your neck? Aargh, I am confused, but my reckoning is if I am well enough to go to work then I am well enough to run. So run I did.

Today was an 11km run consisting of 8km at marathon pace (4.38 - still getting used to that concept!) with a 1.5km warm-up and cool-down. I covered the 8km in 6sec under target pace so bang-on once again. It felt a little harder than it did a month ago (no surprise I guess given how I feel) and my quads are a little sore tonight, but nothing major.

Am looking forward to the 24km run on Sunday and bike ride tomorrow morning.

I am also keeping a video diary for this marathon campaign and have uploaded my entry for tonight to YouTube. Not sure if I'll keep doing that, but for now ...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

These niggles are driving me nuts!

Hmm, not sure what happened, but after my good run on Sunday I woke up on Monday morning with a really sore right achilles tendon. So sore that I could hardly walk for most of Monday. So sore that I had my first visions of (said very quietly) not being able to run.

I iced it on Monday and Tuesday nights, chose to defer my first run for the week a day till Wednesday, and hoped for the best. Thankfully, come Wednesday night and my track session, it did not bother me. But I iced it tonight for good measure and probably will do for a while as a precaution.

As if to rub salt into my wounds, I woke on Tuesday morning with a really sore throat which only got worse today. I must have trod on a fairy or something since it feels like I've been suffering one minor malady or other almost consistently for a month or so now. I'll need to get on top of this in quick order.

Which brings me to the run tonight. A simple session at the track of 4x 800m in 3.05min with 2min rest between each. My previous 800's had been run in 3.12 and with my ailments I expected to run somewhere around 3.10 so I was pleased to knock out the repeats in 3.05/3.08/3.04/3.05. I am sure with a good throat, less wind and in daylight I could go a few seconds faster so pretty pleased with that.

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