Weekend wrap up.

Sunday, February 26, 2006
Saturday 25 Feb, 2006 7km | easy | no watch Week 2 of 13 I left early on Saturday morning for a lap around the park. My program called for 7km so I opted for a pre-breakfast run before we all headed up the coast. I felt a bit stiff early on and managed to settle into a stride by the time I hit the top of the first hill in Queens Park Road. I finished feeling pretty good but didn't have time for much of a warm down or stretch as I had to take my princess to ballet. Sunday 26 Feb, 2006 8km | easy | no watch Week 3 of 13 I had planned running at first light and run up and over the south Umina headland to Pearl Beach and back. However I woke this morning unable to put any pressure on my left big toe. It seems that when I stubbed my toe in the sea pool at Pearl Beach yesterday arvo and I must have picked up a bug in the cut sometime thereafter. My toe was pretty hard, red and very sore in the area surrounding the cut so I bathed it in detol for about 30 mins. By the time we arrived home this afternoon the inflammation had calmed down enough for me to have a run. I did the usual Queens Park/Centennial Park 7km lap and then added an extra 1km inside Queens Park. It was very humid but thankfully light rain accompanied me for most of the run. Apart from my toe being a little sore, I ran pretty strongly and finished the last km running at (I imagine) 10km pace. Overall I'm pretty happy with my two runs this weekend and certainly coped better with two days in a row compared to last week. Mood: --->


Friday, February 24, 2006
5km | easy | no watch Week 2 of 13 Yep that's three days running in a row for me. Another minor milestone in my short and so far unremarkable running crusade. Lessons learnt ? I was feeling fresh and bouncy on Tuesday night so I decided in my wisdom to go out hardish for the scheduled 5kms. No problems usually but rather than having a day (or two) off before my next run, I was due to run the following two days. Yes, I should have taken it easy in my first busy week in a new program. Doh ! Second mistake was doing intervals in the dark on the uneven surface of Queens Park. I don't think that it did my ankles any favours. Subsequently, my shins were a little cranky with me last night and some urgent attention of ice and voltaren gel was required on my return. I'm feeling OK this morning apart from general fatigue in the ankles and most muscles below the knees. I'm due to run 7km on Saturday and 8km on Sunday which leads into a light week before the Sydney Striders 10km at Olympic Park. I might move these runs to afternoon to give the old legs an extra 12 hours to recover. We're heading up to my Dad's at Umina in the morning for the weekend, so I'll do my runs up there. Should I venture over to Ourimbah on Sunday morning and run part of the Orchard Run with a constellation of CoolRunners ? No, that would be the third mistake in a week. One threepeat is enough I think! ==================== EDIT: I forgot its FAT FRIDAY. Weight last Friday: 80.9kg Weight today: 80:6kg Body fat % last Friday: 29.50 Body fat % today: 28.90 Comment: Argh. ==================== Mood: --->

Wednesday Whizzzz

Thursday, February 23, 2006
2km warm up | 5 x 400m | 2km warm down Week 2 of 13 No whizzing really going on here. Just sounded good. I took it easy today and just went through the motions at 1/2M pace. Running in Queens Park in the dark is no picnic. As Kit has pointed out, it gets a thick fog sometimes at night which makes it worse. Imagine a scene from American Werewolf in London in the misty moores and you'll know what I mean. I'm thinking that I'll need to find a better patch of grass with some lights if I'm going to survive the winter without being eaten alive by some blood thirsty beast. Mood: --->

Tripping Tuesday

Tuesday, February 21, 2006
5km | moderate| 24:51 Week 2 of 13 My program called for a 5km run without reference to pace. That probably meant that I take it easy but I was feeling pretty good so I took it out quite hard. My 5km run is pretty much 50% hills and I wasn't really feeling them much at all. So all in all pretty happy with the run. Tonight my program calls for 5 x 400m with standing recovery. I'm a bit wary of these workouts, so I'll do them on the grass at 1/2M pace this time around. I don't want to take any risks with anything right now. A "Tripping Tuesday" ? Much of the street lights are still out around my place from the storm last week and I tripped in the dark on the uneven footpath going up York Road. Doh ! Mood: --->

Sunday morning

Sunday, February 19, 2006
7km | 39:54 | Easy I ran late morning after my sons nippers and did a 7km loop on the grass. No problems except for the tragic humidity. I drank 500ml in the 40 minutes I was out there and reckon that I lost 1500ml in sweat. It took me most of the afternoon to rehydrate. More fool me for running in Bangkok weather. Talking of nippers, I've been chatting with one of the Dads down there for a few weeks now about running etc. I think I wore my R4YL cap once and the conversation started from there. His name is also Martin, he's an Irish/Australian and we've become pretty good friends of late. He mentioned last week that he ran the Mumbai Marathon last month and was now training for Canberra. I asked Martin yesterday what time he was shooting for in April. He said that his PB was 2:28 but wasn't sure if he was in that sort of form right now ! Holy sh!t, I said - 2:28 ?!? It turns out that he is Martin Considine. He represented Australia in the Mumbai leg of a 4 race series called The Greatest Race in January. He won the NSW Champs last year at Sydney (being the first NSWelshman home) and finished 4th at Canberra last year behind Jeremy Horne and just ahead of Damon Harris. So he's a pretty handy runner, to say the least ! Get this - would you believe that he only started running in 1998 ! Doesn't it just make you sick !!! This week in my program has me running 3 days in a row for the first time. They are just small runs of 5km a piece so hopefully I will get to Friday in one piece. Mood: --->

Over the hill

Saturday, February 18, 2006
3.6km | moderate | no watch A short run was in order this morning just to turn the legs over. It was my first Saturday run of my new program which has me running more frequently and building my base over an extended period. This morning in the park was still and warm. No runners about, but a heap of cyclists warming up for their Saturday road trips today. Lesson in life: You know your old when you see a conglomeration of huge circus tents, rows and rows of toilets, all fenced off and protected by a bunch of gorilla type security guards in the middle of the park - and you have no idea what it's all about. Good Vibrations it seems. James Brown. Paul Mac. I've heard of them at least. Mood: --->

A new plan

Friday, February 17, 2006
5km | moderate | 25:03 I ran last night on my newly certified 5km course. Certified by me and Mr Google Earth that is. Yeah probably not very accurate, but good enough for this fella anyway. I was pretty humid out there last night after all the afternoon rain, so it was pretty darn sweaty. My 5km course contains no flat bits. So I'm either going up or down. For some reason it felt like there was far more up than down last night, but thats probably my lazy bone talking. Next week I start a training program for the Sydney Morning Herald 1/2M in May. This all seems surreal to me as only a few weeks ago my shins were giving me so much grief that I thought I would never get to run freely. I can't honestly say what has turned things around apart from changing shoes. Lets just hope that I've seen the last of them. I was going to do a 10km program to try and go sub 45 this year, but all the programs I looked at contained at least 2 speed sessions a week. The load just looked too much for me. I know from experience and reading a few threads on CR that speedwork will probably be the worse thing for me right now. So a nice program which builds up my base to May is the way to go I reckon. I chose the Hal Hingdon intermediate 1/2M program over the Pat Carrol one on the Gold Coast Marathon site. Again, Pat seems to be right into the 1 & 2 km intervals and that's just not right for me now. Hal's 1/2M program seems to suit me best and introduces both a Wednesday and a Saturday easy run, which will be a first for me. One thing for sure is that I will take the first few weeks super easy as running on three consecutive days midweek and Saturday and Sunday is a big load for an old man like me. I might even reduce some early sessions or drop a day early on to help with the transition. A link for my new training calendar is in the right hand column ---> If I get through May OK, my goal is to start a Novice Marathon program. No, I'm not planning anything stupid, but would dearly like to try the Mt Wilson to Bilpin race at the end of August. I know its a 4 plus hour run but would like to give it a go anyway. If I can't do it in 2006, thats OK - maybe 2007 then. At the very least I will be doing some longer training runs of over 25km, so it will do me good. One thing for sure I am drawn towards races like Woodford to Glenbrook, Sutherland 1/2M, W2B, Fitzroy Falls Marathon, Bush Capital Marathon etc rather than a road races. I think that Nail Can Hill and the Equaliser last week has converted me to trail running. :eek!: Funny, running that Western Sydney Marathon on a concrete bike path along the M7 freeway does nothing for me right now. In other news my weight has dropped below 81kg this week for the first time. It was 80.9kg this morning. This time last year I was 86kg. I'm still carrying too much blubber and have another 3/4kg to lose, but I'm getting there - very, very slowly. I think I might start blogging my weight once a week and see if that can motivate me into extracting the digit. Mood: --->

Taking it slow.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
7km | recovery I am surprisingly suffering very little DOMS after the Equaliser. A result of me being cautious on the course I guess. Its a good thing for me anyway at this time in my comeback. Very happy that I have no niggles or anything to report. I ran the outside fence run of Centennial Park last night. It was quite late by the time I got out the door and light rain was falling. I ran very slow and just enjoyed the outing and a bunch of Kanye West mp3s that I brought along for company. I arrived home feeling pretty fresh and stretched for a good 20 minutes. Did you know that last night was the first time that I have run on consecutive days - ever ? A little running milestone. Go me. :) There will be no activity on Tuesday or Wednesday nights as Valentine's Day and my wife's birthday takes priority. I am undecided what to do on Thursday, but it will be a light run on the road or sand either way. Sunday will be a longish run of about 14km probably on the grass in the park. In other news, I booked my flight to Albury for the Nail Can Hill trail race in May. I wouldn't usually be planning this far ahead, but the $87.00 each way air fares were too cheap to pass up. I think it cost me $299.00 each way last year. Looking forward to this race as I get to spend the weekend with a great friend and his family on his farm. I also have unfinished business with that darn mountain. Mood: --->

Sydney Striders Equaliser

Sunday, February 12, 2006
14km | trail race | 85:37 I approached today's race with a fair bit of caution. Firstly that I've not run anything much over 10kms since the 1/2M in December, secondly that I have only done one trail race before, the 11.3km Nail Can Hill in Albury and lastly that this race came with a reputation as being tough. My objective was to run this race carefully and not to walk any part. I am very happy to report that whilst many walked the steep hills - I ran every one. My pre-race routine was unchanged. I dropped my Thursday run for a spin session and this morning had a shot of Red Bull (yes it gives me wings). I ran with new Strider Ken (Lastish on CR) for most of the way. Ken is a 6/12 Foot & Trailwalker survivor and it was great to chat about his experiences over the years. The trail was rather uneven and I was very conservative on the steep downhills compared to many. I am definitely more comfortable going up rather than going down these trails. Still, I managed to keep a good steady pace for the entire race and for that I was satisfied. The race (as I blogged 2 posts ago) goes up a hill, down into a gorge, up the other side. A bit of road, then into another gorge (maybe the same one ?), up the other side and finishes back at the start. Unfortunately my GPS dropped out at 4kms so I was pretty much in the dark as to where we were at. Lucky I had the experienced Ken with me as his guestimates were pretty spot on. Happy to report that the shins are OK apart from a little niggle on the right. So just a 1/5 on the Wobbly Man Shin Pain Scale™™ today. Mood: --->

Western Sydney Marathon

Saturday, February 11, 2006
Google News alerts has given me the heads up on the Balcktown Marathon to be revived this year. "A plan to hold a new Western Sydney based Marathon in the winter of 2006 has been announced. The Mayor of Blacktown City, Councillor Leo Kelly, and General Manager of Westlink M7, Mr Flan Cleary, operators of the Westlink M7 Motorway, have announced that they would be working together to plan the introduction of the new marathon. 'Blacktown City Council previously hosted Australia's longest running Marathon 'The Blacktown Cities Marathon', which had been held annually for 23 years until safety concerns and costs forced the abandonment of the Marathon in 2003,' Mayor Kelly said. 'I am delighted that with the 40 km Westlink Cycleway and Walking Path, there is a great opportunity to re-instate a Western Sydney based Marathon as an annual event,' Mayor Kelly said. The General Manager of Westlink M7, Mr Flan Cleary, said that the Westlink Cycleway and Walking Path provided the perfect piece of infrastructure for holding a successful marathon." ----------------8<---------------------8<---------------------------------- This is exciting news. A second (road) Marathon for a large city like Sydney is just great. I'm guessing it's a flatish course as the run will be out Prestons way. Maybe Sunday 29 July 2007 might be a nice day for me to do my first marathon ? EDIT: There is now a thread about it on CoolRunning with a posting from Derek Foley, the race director. Mood: --->

The Equaliser ?

Thursday, February 09, 2006
Found this old race report from the 1991 Sydney Striders Equaliser. "The 14.5km Equaliser course in the Davidson Valley was used for the second time and 60 runners were equalised; ie what went down had to come up. Some might agree with Harvey Blue, who claims it's more of a paralyser. From the gun it's 1km to the beginning of a 125 metre vertical drop over the next 2.2km, down to the first crossing of Middle Harbour Creek. Via the Lower Cambourne Track and Acron Hill a 100 metre vertical climb over the next 2.2km took you to the drink stop at Acron Oval, St Ives, after which a 1.75km stretch along Acron, Ayres and Roma Roads returned you back into the bush. With a sharp hairpin bend to the left at Selby's S-Bend (christened after Warwick Selby got in the shit last year by running off the course) you're contouring for the next 2.2km past the tree-loppings tip before descending 95 vertical metres over the next 1km down to the second crossing of Middle Harbour Creek. Finally it's that equalising 125 metres over 2.4km again - climbing this time and the 1km finishing "burst" to the line." Yep, sounds like fun. Mood: --->

Soft sand shuffle

Wednesday, February 08, 2006
6km | soft sand | 54:45 I headed down to Bondi last night not feeling the best. I had a bad nights sleep the night before when a young couple from across the road decided to argue about their relationship at 3.30am for half an hour on the footpath. I couldn't fall back to sleep after that, so I ended up with only had a few hours of ZZZZZ's in the bank. (Frankly, I'm glad she's going back to America, she seems a total pain in the arse). These early morning dramas meant that I didn't have a happy day at work and it sort of snowballed from there. Bondi was really windy last night. The wind blew hard from the north and made running towards North Bondi a total pain. I swear that at times I was digging in hard, but not going forward at all. I can see from my splits that I was getting progressively more and more fatigued as the run went on. This is the first time that I have logged my splits, but I'm sure that I was doing sub 8 minute laps last month or so. Anyway, I will now keep a record so I have something to compare it to. My splits were:- 8:52 (1km into head wind) 8:37 (2km wind assisted) 9:18 (3km into head wind) 9:07 (4km wind assisted) 9:23 (5km into head wind) 9:24 (6km totally stuffed) At an average pace of 9:07/km the Bondi Barefoot will take me 90 minutes at that rate. How could anyone possibly run the 42km Manly Soft Sand Classic ? That's just crazy. This morning my lower legs feel really tired. Ankle ligaments are sore too. I will rest tonight and maybe spin on Friday night. Sunday is the Sydney Striders Equalizer. A members only 14km bush bash up at Belrose. The only trail race I have done before is the Nail Can Hill Race (11.3km) down at Albury which is pound-for-pound the hardest race I've ever done. Action from CoolRunning is the Club Secretary of Striders and said yesterday that everyone should "enjoy the thrills and spills of this interesting course". Now that's got me a bit worried. Mood: --->

Around the park

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
7.5km | path/grass | recovery Still suffering slightly from DOMS, I set out last night seeking a soft surface to nurse my old bones around the park. After the Striders race on Saturday, I spent most of Sunday at Tamarama Beach with the kids and tried to wade in the surf as much as possible to assist in recovery. I think it worked to a certain extent as my quads were not nearly as sore last night as they usually are. My run last night took me down towards Randwick Racecourse which unfortunately is about 2kms of hard concrete footpath. Luckily from there I can run on grass/dirt trail all the way through Moore Park and up to Paddington/Woollahra and down to home. I finished pretty fresh considering that I ran sans water bottle and it was a very humid night. Last night was my first hit out in my new Brooks Cascadia trail shoes and I can report that they are very comfy and provide quite good support. I could really feel the grippy sole at times when traversing grassy banks. They will serve me well in the winter when the surface gets wet and slippery. My next run will be Wednesday and it will be on the soft sand down at Bondi. I will increase my 5 1/2 laps from last week and try to complete 6 laps (6km) as I edge my way towards the 10km mark. If its raining, I will head to Avoca Street Randwick for 45/50 mins of steady hill reps. The shins ? A manageable 1/5 on the Wobbly Man Shin Pain Scale™. Ditching the Adrenalines in favour of GT2100's for road runs seems to have made the world of difference. Mood: --->

Bite me Lane Cove !

Saturday, February 04, 2006
Sydney Striders 10km | 47:31 | course PB I seem to have this love-hate situation going with that place. I really don't enjoy trudging up those hills, but for some reason if there was a race on there every week - I'd be there with bells on ! Saw lots of CoolRunners out there today including the delightful Kit that I met for the first time. I set off lagging behind Jim the 50:00 pacer and quickly found the 55:00 pacer Horrie right up my tail. It seems the overcast sky, the trees and a low battery caused my GPS no end of troubles. I have a total event distance of only 9.073km with tragically odd splits. So each time that my watch beeped for a km spilt I was horrified at my crap pace. So without the 50:00 pacer in my sights and an unreliable watch - I was a tad in the dark with the whole thing. I got to the top of scribbly in about 24 minutes and knew that the worst was behind me. Coming down the hill I saw Kevin Tiller, Kit, Plu, BernieG ,Horrie and Belinda and a BennyR making his Striders debut. In the distance getting further ahead were Gnome and Mr G who both seemed to be ahead of the 45:00 pacer. In the "downhill" part of the course with about 3kms to go I got into a panic that I wouldn't make it in sub 50:00, so I upped the pace. Typical of the Lane Cove course, everytime you turn a corner - there is another bloody hill. Yes even in the "downhill" part of the course ther are hills. Aaargh ! Lucky for me my panic was unfounded and the finish line came up much quicker than I thought, with a 47:31 time (my watch) and with NO shin problems. Yay ! Lets hope that I can get more than just one mid week run in this week. Mood: --->


Friday, February 03, 2006
40:00 | 10 mins warmup, 20 mins intervals, 10 mins warmdown Whilst the shins were feeling pretty good, I wasn't going to risk running and not being able to take on Lane Cove tomorrow. So more of the bike was in order. This will be my first crack at Lane Cove since June when I ran 48:48. Its funny, whilst I haven't done a huge amount of running since then I do feel fitter. My downfall will be the zero running at pace apart from the Oz Day run last week. So I'm expecting to struggle for the first 5kms. If I can get to the top of scribbly ahead of the 50:00 pacer, I reckon I might be able to bring home a small course PB. Well, that's the plan anyway. Next Sunday (12th) is the Sydney Striders Equalizer (14km). I don't know much about it apart from its a trail race run somewhere up Roseville/Belrose way and its tough. A thread on Coolrunning about the 2005 race has a table which showed that punters who ran Lane Cove in 47/48 minutes completed the Equalizer in about 1:25 - 1:30. Sounds like a challenge and a half. EDIT: The pic is of my trusty steed. Mood: --->

More of the same.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
47:00 | soft sand After my run on Sunday on the hard paths of the coastal run, my shins remain stable but quite tender. So as not to aggravate the situation further I ran on the sand again last night. I'm thinking that grass and sand will be part of my running regime for a considerable period of time with only the one run per week on the road before I am finally on top of this injury. Who knows, maybe I've have sore shins off and on for the rest of my days. I'm half expecting Plu to say in his 2015th CR post - "In the year of 2015 ...and Gronk still has shin splints." Nah, kidding really. The beach down at Bondi had a surprising number of runners last night. All up there must have been a dozen including me. My shins felt good in the sand. No real issues except for overall fatigue. Especially in the legs. I measured the run on Google Earth (I must remember to take my GPS next week) and its a tad short of 1 km. About 970m. Last night I ran 5 1/2 laps which left me without anything in the tank whatsoever. My legs were jelly. If am to ever complete the Bondi Barefoot (10km) in July I'm going to have to really get my act together. Lose weight and get fit. Hmmm. Thursday I will spin at home in preparation for Striders on Saturday. I'd like to go for a run on the road, but don't think I should push my luck. Mood: --->