Monday, April 14, 2014

Canberra Marathon: 3.55.01

Great running conditions on Sunday for the marathon. A challenging course with plenty of short rolling inclines that were not that not that steep you would  call a hill and all runnable and long enough that meant they took an effort that by the time some came well into the second half they become very fatiguing. As far as the vollies, drink stations etc affected me no issues.

After very fatigued affected marathon the week before in 5.22 I had no idea what would happen in this one.I only ran once in week and that was about 10k all up on Wednesday.  After last weekends marathon and talking to Jane on the drive home I had decided to start and stay with her, being the 4.30 pacer. Like a lot of race plans that lasted about 2k. 
I was feeling okay and decided to move ahead of the 4.30 pace group but always thinking it was not only possible but likely I would fade and at some stage I would be be swallowed by and passed by that group. :Praying:  I knew I would  I would then then get an earful from Jane for the brain snap at 2k.
Knowing the risk of a massive slow down was very possible I still moved took it and moved ahead of the 4.30 pace group. I took it slowly and I did not reach the back 4.00 hour pacer until  about 10k. And that is where I stayed lurking for the next 10k. After that I ever so gradually moved towards the front pacer of that group. The pacers where maybe 200 meters apart and I thought maybe one was running gun time and the other chip. Anyway it didn't really matter. I  caught and passed the front pacer at about 33k. 
The further the race went the stronger I able to just slightly increase my pace over the last 12k My 10k split form 30 - 40k was my quickest.  Also I moved from 659th  at 30k to 511th overall place.  The split from 30k to finish split being 295th - muck quicker than my overall finishing position. 
I am always pleased to have a strong finish. I never ask the question about whether I finished with something in the tank. I finished strong and I am pleased with that and that the expected slow down did not happen. Also pleased to be almost 90 minutes faster than least week.

A few weeks to give the body some more time to recover before the next marathon on 4th May in the bush in southern Sydney.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Thoughts on Canberra Marathon

I have run this marathon more than any other. I think this is number 15. For that and other reasons it has a special place for me in my running. One would be that it was where I ran my first sub 3. 

The course has changed over the years and this year there has been a significant change with it be a lap the western side of Lake Burley Griffin. There are some out and backs along the way to make the distance. The profile shows a few inclines. I have not looked at the profile closely and will take the course as it comes on Sunday. 

A few weeks ago I had thought I would be in a position to have a real serious go at a sub 3.30 but that in my opinion is not going to happen and to think something special will happen to my fatigue on race day to allow it to happen is more than wishful thinking.It is just not going to happen. It is physically impossible at the moment. I have to accept that at the moment my body has no energy and nothing I do or eat will change that. I just have to give my body time to repair itself in its own time.

I have given my body  some space this week with just one lap of the Bay Wednesday.

I should be and am grateful that I will be at the start line thinking not 'if I will make it to the finish line' but more 'how long will this one take me'. My friend from way back and helper last week Jane is the 4.30 pace and I will start with her and hopefully have a 50 minutes PB from last week !!! I am hoping with a much slower start I am able to finish with Jane.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Newcastle Marathon 5.22 - yep 5.22

First off I cannot thank my running mate Jane for being so caring and generous with her time in looking after me from about 18k to the end. Short story is a few weeks ago I ran the Orange marathon in 3.33 and one a few weeks before that another in 3.36 - yesterday 5.22. 
No doubt the side affects of the cancer treatment has hit me a how.

The week before I was fatigued and only ran once. I thought maybe not running was for once a wise and good taper. I started off with my mind in the fight space and my body felt good. Well the body lasted until about 7k and from then I knew I had an issue and was in serious trouble.
I was managing okay with the slow down but going backwards through the field very quickly. I just had no energy and was getting slower and slower and was so fatigued. Jane caught me at about 18k and said she would stay me to the finish.I am so grateful as I am sure I would have been pulled by the medics at some stage if it was not for Jane assuring everyone who saw me struggling that I was experienced and that she was looking after me. In that regard we had no issues and thankfully we did not have to deal with that as well.

I shuffled, walked, stopped and dealt with the mental demons of knowing all this started before halfway. Them the heavens opened up and at the best of times I feel the cold more than most. I was drenched and with a breeze and I am further into my discomfort zone than usual and  that added to that my struggle, like I did not need - in 175 marathons and numerous ultra's including a finish in Coast to Kozzi that was was the toughest run mentally and physically.

I was never so pleased to finish I just could not have my first marathon DNF.


That certainly has me thinking about my race plan for Canberra marathon next week. I will start and I will finish - just a matter of how an when.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday evening: 4 x 1k reps

Just plain gut busting tough and way outside my comfort zone doing these. It has been perhaps years since I did a session like this. It hurts to do them but is so nice a feeling when you finish each one and take the rest and and even more pleasant feeling when the whole session is over.

I was not sure of the pace I could run them but I was hoping to be faster than my 5k average of 4.11 per k. I was not expecting to be below 4 minutes per k. Managed the 4 in the 4.02 - 4.06. Pleased and working on getting to have 4 below 4 in the next few weeks - perhaps.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

11 days to Newcastle Marathon: What training now?

Combined with attending radiotherapy for the last 6 weeks I have been able to continue training well. 

I have done the long runs although I rarely have time to run over 19k each day I some times run that 3 days in a row and so I am running fatigued and try to run each day quicker that the day before. However training at a time has been a challenge with the side affect of treatment being increased fatigue. Any way I have done what I could.

A few weeks I stopped doing back to 19k runs and starting focusing on my 13k loop, 5 x 110m hills felt out, 7k around the Bay as quick as possible and the same for 5k's. The Bay and 5k have resulted in runs averaging 4.20 for the Bay and 4.10 for the 5k. For me good pace. This was the sharpening part based on the Lydiard system.

My half on Sunday of 1.37 showed all of this was paying off. 

I am in the taper and I will now add some speed sessions. Yes speed sessions, something that I rarely incorporate into my preparation but I want to continue towards a possible sub 3.30 marathon and so i plan to finish off the preparation with 2/3 sessions of 1k reps getting as close to 4 minutes as I can by the 3rd sessions. Fingers crossed.

Monday, March 24, 2014

SMC Half Marathon: 97.30 ish

Yes comfortably under 100. No one is more pleased than me. Kind of validates the training i have been doing as well as coping with the fatigue from the treatment. 

Thankfully I only have 2 more sessions and it is over. 

Another great morning out at Smithfield. Just getting light for the 7.00 am start.  Overcast to start and cool without being cold. It has been a long time since I have arrived at SMC tapered and ready to run a proper TT. For me at the moment sub 100 is a good run and I have not been in that territory for a long time. Mainly because I have not been tapered etc.

So this morning I arrived tapered and ready with the hope of just scraping under 100. The aim for me is always to run even paced and be able to hold that pace over that last handful of k's. It was just on even paced. Hard to do sometimes when you start fresh and want to be aggressive but i managed to keep that attitude under control over the first half. 

Result 97.xx. A long time since I have seen a time like that against my name at the end of a half. Gives me something to think about for the couple of marathons coming up in a few weeks.

As usual the mornings organisation with the SMC follies and system they have was perfect as it far as I was concerned. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bit of an update

Those familiar with theBay will know a sub 30 minute lap is good running at least for me. I went out on Friday afternoon after a session in the morning. As is usual after running in the morning, working all day and then going for treatment does not raise the hopes of going for a run in the afternoon let alone holding out hopes of a sub 30 minute lap.
With all that and then feeling like I had lead legs I went out with just enough time to make it around before darkness. 29.48 so it looks like if I can maintain my fitness i have that little challenge nailed for the moment.
The other is to run 5k in under 20.52 which is the best I have run that distance in the last 2 years. In fact it was April 2011 in the lead up to the Canberra marathon. Last year I was recovering from an operation and was happy just to be running. This morning 21.02. Getting close and I expect it will come before the April 9 marathon.
Touch wood no niggles. I am enjoying the slight change in focus to shorter faster sessions as I do some sharpening.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Update with SMC half on next Sunday

Yes the SMC half is on Sunday. I have not been to many in this series because either i was off running elsewhere, in hospital or recovery from hospital. Usually when I run at SMC it is treated as just a training run on a Sunday however this time it is a focus TT so a taper etc.

The TT is to see where I am at for fitness for the Newcastle marathon in just under 3 weeks and the Canberra marathon the week after.

This is the start of week 6 and the final week of radiotherapy although finish with 2 more sessions the following week. So far most of the predicted side affects have not come. In particular fatigue has not occurred and so i have been able to train as normal. That was not expected. 

I have been training hard and well over the last 13 days with 2 double days. Today is my first rest day and that is because i need a mini taper and ease back before Sunday and i have no niggles etc and do not want to become over confident and have one hard raining session to much and do some damage …. a no run day. 

Not sure where my fitness is at the moment for the TT half. I have for a long while been able to run about 1.45 give or take for the half at SMC. That has been with no taper and dealing with recovering from operations etc. So with that in mind I am hoping to give a sub 100 a real push. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bay run 29.52 yeah

I don't often report on a daily session but this is news. Last time I ran the Bay under 30 minutes was in May last year. After that I focused on training, tapering and recovering from a marathons. Then the op .... That is another story.

About 3 weeks I decided to do some shorter faster sessions (including some hills of 5 x 30 seconds).

Looks like it paid off. Happy.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Preparation for Newcastle marathon 6 April

Sure it is over the 3 weeks away and I have just started week 5 of treatment with 2 weeks to go. So treatment will end and I have just under 2 weeks to the marathon. The concern is whether any of the predicted side effects will have kicked in.

They are supposed to start after 3/4 weeks of treatment but I really have not had any of the possible issues. Fatigue a little but I think that had more to do with hard training and work, no lack of appetite no upset stomach. So life I all regards seems unaffected.

On that basis I continue to train daily. The focus has now turned slightly towards adding some shorter faster sessions and not having so many longer runs. For this marathon the base is about built and I am maintaining but not aiming to significantly improve it. So shorter faster and by that I do not mean 1k reps but hard 10k, hard laps of the Bay and hard 5k sessions moved into longer runs.

Okay so no 1k reps but I do do 5 x hills. The hill is runable and about 110m long. They are done flat out with a walk back. They all seem to be 31 seconds. Might need to add something to increase the stress.

Is the change working. Yes. My usual 13.3k run with lots of hills was stagnating in the 66.xx - today low 64 and first time below 65. Could be a fluke or the training. Now if there are no side effect issues with the treatment and training continues to go well, Newcastle has the potential to be a good run. Time, not sure. I don't know the course.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Dolls Point Marathon: 3.37.01

Three (3) laps along the water at Dolls Point as well at three trips up over and back of Captain Cook Bridge. There was lots of activity along the course so it never got boring. In fact it seemed to be over so quickly.

Not an excuse but I did not realise that the Garmin had only a little battery life so with 30 minutes it died and from then on I ran on feel. The start/finish was in the middle of the 14.065k loops so I had just one time check each lap.

The weather was cool and overcast. The rain held off for most of the morning. There was a strong breeze that was obvious in the exposed parts and particularly on top of the bridge. As usual it always seemed to be a headwind. I had a good run and was pleased to be in the 3.30's again. A few weeks off until the Newcastle marathon on 6 April. 

Head down for a few weeks of some solid training provided the radiotherapy does not become an issue. Also will try and get my 5k time down to as close to 20 minutes as I can. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dolls Point Marathon: thoughts

This is on next Sunday. A very low key event put on by the Australian 100 Marathon Club for the visiting President of the Austrian 100 Marathon Club. It is on the course we used last year for a special one off marathon and is the course that will be used by Sri Chimnoy later in the year for their half marathon and marathon.

Many years ago Sri Chimnoy held a marathon on October along essentially the same course. I am pleased to see that they are holding it again.

After the effort last week that was near maximum then I will ease off, have a chat with other runners and try to be just under 4 hours. However if the chatting is interesting then i might stay with the group that expects  a 4.30 finish. At the moment I think I will run in my own head space and do it alone.Not sociable I know but just at the moment some 'alone' time might be what I need and what I would like. 

However that all might change on the day. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Orange Marathon: 3.34.56

Well well. What about that!! The hoped for time with a mate who I was loosely planning to run with was 3.35 but really deep down I thought it was a long shot and that i would fade in the last 12k or so if I started off at 3.35 pace.

The weather was just perfect for the start at 6.30 am. Someone said about 11 degrees, no wind but no clouds so it was going to be sunny and would get warm quickly. That is exactly what happened weather wise.

Decided to lay it on the line and start off at 3.35 pace and see what i could do. That might have been brave as I had not seen the course but based on what information i had it was some rolling inclines and no real hill. That also turned out be be the case. In fact it was a good course that while having some inclines they were not too long or too steep and so you could maintain a reasonable momentum up them. It was a mixture of bitumen and maybe 10k of dirt road. For me that surface interrupts the rhythm a bit. Trying to pick a rock free course along the tyre tracks, not running on the camber and avoiding a nasty fall on the uneven surface all add to the challenge on the dirt. However it is the same for all. 

So the even paced 5k splits for 3.35 are 25.30 and a little hard to maintain and a course you don't know and with some 5ks having more inclines than other. Notwithstanding those issues that was the plan.  


Pleased with that and holding the pace at the end. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Orange marathon: more thoughts

This afternoon is the second week of radiotherapy. The only side effect I seem to have is that after I am tired and if I can get a short lay down and despite my usual length of sleep I am finding it more difficult to get up in the morning for my run. But I am not sure that is from the treatment or just from the cumulative effect of some intense training that has me at 100k + a week for the last 6 weeks.

That has happened no matter if it was the week before or after a marathon - still out there with that weekly total.

This week will still be100+ but a couple of runs have been slow and more for pleasure that training. However it have run this week a 6 month or so PB for my usual 13k loop, a lap of the bay of just under 7k @ 4.30 pace and then 5k this morning @ 4.19 pace - both the quickest I have been for about      6 months again. Now if that could just translate into some stamina for a good marathon on Sunday.

I believe in the circumstances I could not over the last 6/8 weeks could have trained longer or quicker. So I am where I am at and just hope it is good enough to get me under a 3.40 finish. I am sure as the treatment continues that I will not be able to maintain the training and my times will slow until the side affects recede during May/June. Maybe I will have minimal side affects. Take it as it comes.

Whatever the result on Sunday sitting here thinking about the start of my 173rd marathon and I still get butterflies thinking about the challenge ahead and excited about running and at the moment being thankful that I able to run.