On the road again ...

Sunday, October 30, 2005
17km | 1:40 | LSD | all approx. (ran without GPS/watch) I spent a few days doing massage, popping voltaren and stretching and by Saturday afternoon I was feeling pretty good. Add to that an hour in the water down at Maroubra Beach and my leg was almost back to normal. So feeling as good as I was I wasn't going to waste beautiful rainy spring day, was I ? I set off about 4.00pm and wandered through Randwick in the pouring rain and down towards Coogee. Soon I found the coastal walk and followed that up to North Bondi and then back to home. It was only in the last 5km or so that my left leg started to feel slightly fatigued like earlier in the week. No real problems however as I applied my sure thing two-handed remedy when I got home. Ice in one hand and a beer in the other. ;) Looking forward to my appointment with Larry the Physio tomorrow as he will be able to treat my new batch of shin splints with his acupuncture needles and is always good for a strengthening exercise or two. Mood: --->

A forced day off ...

Friday, October 28, 2005
..was necessary last night as my leg was feeling particularly dodgy walking home. Instead I massaged and stretched. There's a lot going on with the leg at the moment which is causing me no end of worry. I think that I have shin splints again but this time at the top of my tibia about six inches below the knee. I'm hoping that the shin splints are the cause of the rest of the pains in my foot and leg because of compensating issues. Otherwise I'm thinking I'm in deep sh!t. I wonder if there is a donor leg registry ? I've booked in with Larry the Physio for Monday afternoon, so I guess I'll know more after then. Meanwhile I'm icing and popping Voltaren. If I'm feeling motivated I'll spin for an hour tonight or in the morning. Another spin on Sunday will probably replace my long run, although frankly riding an exercise bike p!sses me right off (and gives me a sore butt!). Maybe I should swim - now that's a scary thought ! Not drowning, waving ... ? Mood: --->

A testing Tuesday

Wednesday, October 26, 2005
10km | Easy | 50:00 (approx) I ran into the city last night along Oxford Street through Paddington etc to Hyde Park and back. At the start I felt the best I've felt for ages. In fact for the first few kms I ran like a stray dog (strange analogy I know) bounding along the footpath, crossing streets all at a brisk pace. Feeling full of beans with no niggles whatsoever. Of course that feeling of running euphoria didn't last long as my left leg started to get fatigued in the usual bloody manner. The two muscles which sit adjacent to my tibia started to complain. Then by about 5kms mild pain started to set in around my old metatarsil injury. Same old, same old. Its definitely the cause of the old injury and needs some quick attention. I called yesterday to make an appointment to see Larry the Physio this week but it seems that he's taken some R & R after his Port Macquarie 1/2 IM debut (I see he did it in 6:20:07. Very well done champ !). So it looks like I'll have to wait until next week for that. I iced and stretched when I got home and have no residual pain this morning. Mood: --->

Sunday Run

Monday, October 24, 2005
17km | Easy | 1:45 (approx) I decided to step up the mileage on Sundays and aimed to run 20km. After a hot morning down at Bronte Nippers I didn't get to pull the shoes on until about 11.30am. By that time the day had turned into a real stinker. Rather than run over towards the beaches, I decided to avoid the crowds and run the Centennial/Queens Park loop. I ran with a bottle in my hip holster and drank the entire 600ml by about 7km. I was feeling OK apart from the weak left leg dramas. As I was out of water I was on the lookout for a tap/bubbler for a re-fill. I eventually found a bubbler in the kids playground in Queens Park at about the 10km mark. From there I took a gel (PB brand bought at Coles). I've never had a gel before and when I ran with elder statesman & Strider Charles at the Internal 1/2 he said that he always takes a gel in a 1/2 at the start and at 10km. Same goes for a full M only every 10km. Anyways I took the gel, yuck - it tasted like icky sweet flour + water, and washed it down. Did it pep me up ? Um, maybe ? I'm thinking that I will have one halfway through my next Sunday runs or two just to get used to it. Whilst it probably won't do much for you when your running LSD pace, I reckon it would help when racing. I finished my second loop at about 15km and was way too hot to even contemplate another 7km lap. So I ran the small lap of Queens Park and headed home from there. What idiot runs in the middle of the day ? After lunch I took Gronk jnr down to Maroubra Beach for a swim, which felt good on tired legs. Even though I drank water all afternoon, I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been on the red all night. Very dehydrated. Note to self: drink more water everyday. Mood: --->

Hill reps etc ...

Friday, October 21, 2005
I haven't done any hill reps since my metatarsal (sp?) injury after the SHM half in May. So seeing that I'm feeling OK these days I decided that it was time to ramp it up a bit. Hill sessions seem to work good for me as they are lower impact compared to intervals and speed sessions. Rather than doing my usual overkill with this sort of thing and ending up sore or injured, I consciously took it easy. I ran a 3km warm up around Bondi Junction/ Woollahra, then did 5 x reps on Ruthven Street (which is about 300m long at about 30 degrees). I then ran the return 3km on my way home. All up it was about an hour on my feet. Next Thursday I plan to do 10 reps and maintain the 3km warm up and down. I'm thinking that my left foot/leg feels way too weak. I noticed when running that last 10km or so of the Striders half that my right leg was doing all the digging and the left was just enjoying the ride. Whilst I'm sure it is normal that one leg is stronger than the other, I'm feeling that its becoming an imbalance and that it may cause me an injury in the future. To be frank whilst I'm over the foot injury from May - which was fixed with the cortisone injection - I've never really dealt with the cause of the injury. I recall that my Sports Physician Doc Tom said at the time that there is a mechanical problem which has resulted in the bones of my foot taking too much weight and that most of the impact should be absorbed by the muscles in the lower leg rather than the bones. Last night before I ran I massaged the muscle on the outside of my shin which I think is called the tibialis anterior (cool webpage on leg muscles). I also did the rolling pin thang on my ITB. It felt much better when running but the weakness on my left side was still apparent. To test this weakness theory, I stood on my toes leaning on the outside of my forefoot on my right leg and it could support my body weight no probs. Doing the same thing on my left leg - it almost collapsed. Not good. I will ask Mr Google for some strengthening exercises or maybe go and see Larry the Physio next week for some advice. Mood: --->

Aching calves

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
9.5km | Easy I ran down to Bondi Beach last night and (as the title suggests) had aching calves again all the way. It got so bad that I almost had to stop on my way back up Bondi Road. I've been doing calf let down exercises morning and night lately, so I guess I have put them under a bit of stress. I will have to step up on the stretching and massage until they start behaving again. There seems to be a pattern emerging here. If I have a layoff because of injury or if I do a long race/run (like a 1/2M) my calves will give me grief in the following week or two. So I'm not going to let it worry me as I now know that it will sort itself out in a few days. I was thinking that I might start to step up the distance on my Sunday long runs. I usually manage about 10-14kms and I will aim to slowly increase this to about 20km and do that distance at least 3 times a month. The more comfortable I can get with the distance I figure, the better my mental approach to a 1/2M race will be. The step up in fitness wont do me any harm either. Also, it may motivate me to step up to a full marathon in 2006 or 2007. Who knows .... Mood: --->

100 runners turn out for underpants run

Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I'm hoping that this won't catch on in Sydney .... -------------------------------------------------------------- 100 runners turn out for underpants run "It was a reaction to the abhorrent and unbelievable practice of wearing Speedos around town, in the post office, the grocery store, even restaurants," Huddle said. KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - (AP) Some 100 runners wearing nothing but their skivvies turned out Thursday for the Underpants Run, a fun run that has become an annual event in the days leading up to Saturday's Ironman World Championship. "It's pretty much 'the' event now," joked founder and former professional triathlete Paul Huddle. "People fly in Wednesday night just for this." Not all triathletes would agree. More than 1,800 competitors from 80 countries are in Kona for the grueling Ironman, a 2.4-mile ocean swim, 112-mile bike leg through the lava fields and a full 26.2-mile marathon run. Some of the international athletes who come to Hawaii to train in and around the village for the race in the week before the event sparked the idea for the fun run, which began with three people in 1997. "It was a reaction to the abhorrent and unbelievable practice of wearing Speedos around town, in the post office, the grocery store, even restaurants," Huddle said. "It's just a clash of the cultures, between the more conservative Americans and the whole European and Mediterranean resort vacation thing." After taking a pledge not to wear racing Speedos for anything other than swimming, the runners took off to Kailua Pier for a quick round of calisthenics and then continued along Alii Drive. Some runners sported their best Calvin Klein or Banana Republic undies. Others were more creative _ grass skirts, coconut bras, black and yellow Joe Boxers, even the layered look with bright white Hanes peeking out from under a colorful thong. Huddle and co-founder Roch Frey drafted their wives to sell T-shirts printed with the phrase "I see London, I see France, No, it's your underpants," for $20 each, with the proceeds benefiting West Hawaii Special Olympics. Huddle's wife, Paula Newby-Fraser, is an eight-time Ironman winner and Frey's wife, Heather Fuhr, won the race in 1997 and is considered a favorite this year. As the runners went through their warm-ups at the pier, several Speedo-clad triathletes looked on, fully aware that their attire was the butt of the day's joke. "We just got out of the water from our swim and haven't had time to change yet," Oliver Gallob of Germany said in his own defense. Mood: --->

Scratching for Maroubra 8km

Gronk Jnr has his Nippers on Sundays down at Bronte and they start at 8.30am. Due to his young age (7), being a new swimmer and his uncertainty at the moment with the surf, its very important to him that I'm there standing on the shore while he's in the water. So I'm a DNS again for this race. Bugger. Its a shame as I am keen to support any local fun run. But I'm always a Dad first and runner second. Maybe next year ! Mood: --->

Still recovering ...

Sunday, October 16, 2005
10.13km | 70:43 No that's not a typo - 70 minutes for a 10km. I guess that's what you really call an LVSD! I ran mid morning after we got back from nippers at Bronte Beach. All the aches and pains that haunted me during the week have now settled down. I ran on the grass in Centennial / Queens Parks (amongst a zillion people attending the Walk for Diabetes gig *groan*). Yes I was running at a slow pace and was being passed by old ladies with walking frames, but to tell the truth my body just wanted to get out there and turn the legs over. Stuff training for PBs at the moment I reckon. The highlight was an elderly man (in his 70's maybe) doing a head stand on the grass by the main lake and the young guy over near the equestrian paddocks playing the guitar whilst balancing what looked like a walking stick on his forehead. Is it a full moon at the moment ? Mood: --->

First recovery run.

Friday, October 14, 2005
7km | Easy I ventured out last night for about 35 minutes. My first run after Sunday was - interesting. For the first km or so, each step was delivered with a small grunt under my breath. It seemed that each leg muscle was complaining loudly that they didn't deserve that sort of treatment. Of course I ingored their pathetic whining and pressed on. By about 5km (and after a few stretching stops) everything was feeling much better. Looking forward to my Sunday run around the beaches. Mood: --->

Arise cripple, you can now walk !

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
1/2M postmortem. Yes I can walk. Just. When I walk down stairs it must look like I'm walking on hot coals. LOL. At the moment my calves and the muscles on either side on my shins are still cramping, my left hammie can take no weight on its own, my left knee (inside ligament) is iffy and my 2nd metatarsil problem that I had a few months ago wants to renew old acquaintances. Suffice to say that I haven't ventured out for a run as yet. Yes I'm stretching, popping Voltaren Rapid and massaging with Goanna Oil (the poor lizard squeeled a bit). Ah, the price you pay when your an old man. Nevertheless, I'll be right for a km or five tomorrow night I think. Mood: --->

Sydney Striders Internal 1/2M

Sunday, October 09, 2005
21.1km | 1:52:19 PB | Race EDIT: I just realized that I ran a 2 minute PB today ! For some stupid reason I thought that my Blackmores time was 1:50:XX, but in fact it was 1:54:08. It was a 6.45am start this morning and we took off straight up a bloody big hill. From there the hills just kept on coming. My splits were:- 5:30 1km 5:07 4:59 5:07 4:49 5km 25:33 5:21 5:32 5:39 5:21 5:24 10km 52:52 5:53 5:39 5:46 5:17 5:17 15km 1:20:46 5:42 5:17 5:17 5:24 5:28 4:16 21.1km 1:52:19 I'm very happy with that considering that I've been fattened up in the top paddock for the past two weeks. Whilst I've been running last week, you couldn't really call it training. Come to think of it, I was running moderately in hilly terrain rather than tapering. The course is much harder than Blackmores as there is no flat bits which give you time to rest, regroup etc. If your not going up - your going down. I've finished with a slight hamstring strain - my first one ever. So I must read up on that over the next few days. Mood: --->

Berry Mountain pics

Saturday, October 08, 2005
Well after a couple of weeks down on the farm my batteries are fully re-charged and ready to take on the world again.After last weeks DNF at Striders 10km, I managed to fix up the calf strain enough to run by Tuesday so I could go for a run that afternoon up the mountain on Kangaroo Valley Road to Bellawongara then down Tourist Road towards Camberwarra Lookout. I ran without watch or GPS but figure that it was about 12km out and back, just by going on the road signs. The road takes you through plateau country pastures, rainforest gullys and steep hilly climbs. Running back at about 5.30pm I came across two echidnas waddling across the road.The house we stayed at was a great base for a holiday for both the kids and their servants (us). Whilst being high up the mountain offering a great farm experience (there were horses & cattle on the property), it was also only 8km to 7 Seven Mile Beach. On Thursday morning I left home at 5.30am and run up the mountain towards Kangaroo Valley for about 7km before turning around. At the top of the mountain the road undulates with green rolling hills keeping both me and the cattle running with me pretty fit. My right calf (the one that gave me trouble last Saturday) was feeling very tight and I had to stop and stretch a few times. I was also probably feeling the effects of a day at Jamberoo Rec'n Park the day before with my son. A few hours of climbing hills for the water slides etc certainly didn't help. We had a great time down there and are seriously considering buying a property in that Jamberoo/Berry/Jaspers Brush pocket in the very near future. I would love to have a similar small acreage to let out as a holiday rent and use it myself on vacant weekends. Note to self: buy lottery ticket. Mood: --->

Berry Mountain Update

Sunday, October 02, 2005
With internet access patchy, I've only been able to get dial up down here twice now since I've been here - and each time only for a about 10 minutes. I wonder if I can draft an entry off-line like you can with an email ? Anyways, I've managed to run around many local rural lanes, around dairy farms and ritzy country hideaways. I shot up to Striders yesterday morning (arrived with like 1 minute before kick off) and then managed to strain my calf hurriedly stretching beforehand. I then stupidly took off chasing the 45min pacer only to call it quits at about 7km. So that was officially my first DNF. I spent today down at Seven Mile Beach with the kids and the calf feels OK. All that swimming/wading in the water must have done some good I guess. Hopefully I can run maybe Tuesday and Thursday as I was aiming to run the Striders Internal Half next Sunday. We see about that now.... PS. Vote one: KB ! Mood: --->