Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Sunday 5th May: Sri Chimnoy Marathon: Royal National Park

This is a love/hate marathon. 

It is on a trail but not technical but enough tree roots, embedded rocks, lose rocks and twigs on the course that if you don't watch a fall is likely. I hate that aspect but love the peace, beauty and serenity and lushness of the Australian bush.

The course was very dry compared to in the past and the bush looked good. 

Being the oldest in the field it was only a few steps from the start and I was already at the rear. But the Sri Chimnoy people know me well and so will wait no matter how long I take although I am always very conscious of being last and their patience in eating for me. 

I didn't fall this time but my great friend Jane did and when I caught to her at about 18k she had had nasty fall with plenty of grazing  but no other injury but some lack of self confidence. So I agreed to stay with her to the end and run at her pace that is always much quicker than me.

We go back a long long time and have shared many marathons and ultras so it was pleasant to have the time for a long chat. Yes both with gold bling for age category wins - I  think we were the only ones in each. 

I am in Melbourne on the weekend to run another marathon and visit my daughter. Her and her mum will enjoy Sunday morning together and some shopping while I am running.

Monday, April 29, 2019

29.04.19 Steady base building

My base was somewhat lost with the 3 weeks of almost no running and I am trying to rebuild with some steady pace and increasing distance.

My focus marathon at the moment is the Gold Coast in about 10 weeks time. My first marathon in the 70+ age group. But I have 6/8 to complete before that one. No real aim for Gold Coast but perhaps in the back of my mind is to go as close to 4 hours as possible. I have a lot or work do do in the time I have if I am to go even close to that time. 

So it is steady base building as I said. 17k this morning and repeat the next day and then next and ...

A off road marathon on Sunday that is always a challenge for me as well as running this and the next 6/8 with really no taper. 

Nice subdued colours for sunrise this morning. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

26.04.19 Friday

Yeah - out for the second day in a row.

Beautiful running conditions. I was out very early as I had to leave home earlier than usual. It was nice running almost alone early on. Some very tired legs this morning after some very irregular running over the last few weeks.

No hills so it was just two laps of the Bay. The times were a long way form the 38's I was running 6 weeks ago but I am sure that pace will come back sooner rather than later.

I took the time to be in the moment this morning and so looks some photos as for most of the first lap it was dark. Nice to see the Bay in darkness early in the morning.

Update 25.04.19

My first run at the Bay for a little over 3 weeks . Many things got in the way work, travel , life issues and just a general no interest. Not my usual mental position. However I know I have to get back into daily runs if I am not get this marathon season started. I was running so well during March and perhaps I just pushed it too much and burnt out.

The break may have been good both mentally and physically. I will see how the next week or so goes to see if I can get back into auto pilot - up early, don't this of anything else but the morning run, get that done and then deal with the day. 

Amy way 14k at a steady pace.

Beautiful conditions and a wonderful sunrise. Yes I missed a dawn service ! but my thoughts were about the significance of today.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Canberra Marathon - more

There have been manta course changes over the 20 marathons I have run here. The new course takes in many parts of the old course and in particular it run through the old finish twice. It was weird running through it and in particular with no other runners around me. 

If you have run the old course you will know there is a long up hill run along side of the park. Just as you reach the end of it there is a marker for 42k a right hand turn and then the finish line in in sight. On the second lap I walked that section recalling the time in 2002 my emotions ran near their highest ever for me as I know that I had less that 200m to run to get that first sub 3. 
I walk and recall that finish that is still clearly in my mind. The very first Canberra marathon finish I unfortunately have no memory of it. 

That walk was a welcome break but it also gave me time to reflect and It brought back some wonderful memories of many past finishes.

I also ran my 100th and 200th marathons here.

In particular my first sub 3 in 2002.

14.04.19 Canberra Marathon

It could have been much worse and I was expecting much worse than the 5.23 I ran.

Life has had many distractions over the last month. My workload in the office and teaching have both increased significantly and I was committed to meet many deadlines. In addition I had assignments due in my uni course. That meant trying to fit more hours into the day and something had to give and really sadly it was my training. 

So over the last three weeks I have run just 3 times. Each being a marathon. Not the way to train for one and it was very evident in the last 15k I suffered because of no training. I hope to put my life back into perspective in the next couple of weeks before my next marathon. I am not sure how I am going to do that but do that I will. 

It was nice to complete my 20th Canberra Marathon but it was not pleasant for the last 2 hours that was a real struggle. At the moment I can run a 4.30 - 4.45 marathon until 25k's and then the lack of training hits in when I am reduced to ugly shuffle and those k's just get long and longer. If you have run a marathon you will know what I mean.

I fully expected that it would struggle to go under 6 hours so I should have been pleased with the result but I was not. I hope the time spurs me onto some serious regular training for the rest of the year.

The weather was perfect. Still and about 14 at the start. The cloud cover stayed for most of the time I was out on the course. The temperature maybe rose to 21 or so. So the conditions were ideal for running a marathon. No photos from the day I was too focused on the job being done and the struggle in the later part.

But .... my first finish in 1998

Sunday, April 07, 2019

07.04.19: Newcastle Marathon

We drove to Newcastle mid afternoon on Friday and so had very pleasant Saturday around town and at the beach.

The weather was warm on Saturday and it was expected to be warm on Sunday and that was the case. Daylight saving ended on Saturday night so a 6.00am was sunrise. We were staying not far away form the start and I walked to the start and it was already about 19 degrees.

Soon after the start there was a beautiful sunrise over the ocean. 

It didn't take long for the the weather to warm up. The course was 3 laps of 14k and most of it was unshaded. I have no complaints about that - it is what it is and it is the same for all runners. 

I had not run all week due to many commitments. I therefore knew I was badly out of condition and in particular over the second half as my endurance fitness. I knew it was going to challenging because  of the lack of fitness and the weather : result just a few steps under 6 hours. I thought I might be a bit quicker but life is fall of dreams ....

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Canberra walking marathon: 6.05.08

My wife and I drove down from Sydney on Friday afternoon in light traffic. It only takes an easy 3 hours. At about 8pm the heavens opened up with heaving rain and a strong winds. From the hotel window it did not look pleasant and there was a thought that if it was like this in the morning I was not starting.

However Saturday started still and dry. Although there were some ominous clouds. So it was a start. Only only rained heavy once and really heaving about an hour into he event. I was soaked and thought if it continued then hypothermia was a real issue.

It stopped and blew over and there was from then on a light breeze and sun and the sun increased at the went. I a few hours I was dry. 

It was a walking marathon that was always going to long and a real challenge for a non walker. It was part of a walking festival that are held world wide and there are some very serious (meaning fast) walkers who make it look like a stroll. The rule is no running. As my running friend said as the start - when you have to walk you want to run, when you are in a run event you want to walk. So true !!!

I am not a walker and I do not practice it. I walk with my wife but that is a stroll not a race walk. 

I did run maybe in total 2/3k when I felt I had to engage some running muscles to relax the walking muscles however that did not start  until 24k and then it was only about a 100 metres when I thought I needed the change. Pleased to complete it in 6.05 - I have 'run' some slower than that.

I am easing back into the usual routine with marathons on the next two weekends. 

Clouds and misty at the start and the sunshine later.

Friday, March 29, 2019

One lap of the Bay

I was out really early for various reasons. I just had time for one quick lap of the Bay. I run the Bay daily but rarely one hot lap these days (that another story JD). I wanted to get under 37.

Still smiling with 36.30 @ 5.20. I don't keep good records of my training but from some sketchy notes that would be about a 2 year PB.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Marathon reps 2 x 7k aka 2 laps of the Bay

Over the last three (3) mornings I have run the same 15k loop over hills, hills and hills. A nice progress in pace on each 6.55 per k then 6.40 and 6.15.So this morning I was running on very tired legs. 

Marathons reps - 2 x 7k (2 laps of the Bay with 5 minutes rest in between). The aim both under 40 minutes and the second quicker than the first. I did this couple a weeks ago with just over 40 and just under 39. I was hopeful of a better result this morning but was not hopeful because of the solid three runs in the last three mornings. 

38.58 (5.40 pace) and 37.50 (5.31 pace) - pleased. It was easier than I expected.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Saturday morning update

The last week has been very busy.

A week ago on Friday night I drove t Canberra from Sydney in the afternoon to arrive at the AIS running track about 5.30pm Just in time to collect my race number and start a marathon at 6.00pm. Don't you just hate 102 laps of a 400m running track. Anyway it was all over in 4.50.03 and thank heavens. It is part of a big weekend of track ultra running. So nice to share the track with some running legends. 

The I drive home and was showered an in bed just after 2.00am

I was going to run a marathon on Sunday in Sydney but did not.

Early on Monday morning Helen and I few to Ballina and spent the next 3 days with our son his partner and our granddaughter, Nigella.Words cannot describe of holding your first grandchild for the first time. It is love at first sight. The time went much too quickly. We will not be back until Easter when the whole family will travel north to spend time together and no doubt spoil Nigella.

I was back in the office on Thursday and Friday trying to frantically catch up on office work and my lecturing commitments.

State elections in NSW today. I have done that after a nice 15k run

Pa and Nigella

Scenes from the Bay this morning 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Nothing to report

I have nothing  of significance to report as far as training. 

I went on a 5k walk with my wife this morning. I have a marathon in Canberra this evening starting at 6pm. It don't mind supporting the event as it supports prostate cancer but I just hate two things about it 

  1. the start time; and 
  2. it is 84 laps of and running track that I also hate with a passion  
So I will be very pleased to have this one over at about 10.30 tonight.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thursday: 5k PB for 2019

It was a full cloud cover this morning. The usual 22 degrees and 80% humidity and no breeze.

After 2 very solid mornings I would not consider I was rested but still thought I had a chance of a good 5k if I was prepared to put in an all our effort as the main session for the morning. 

I do have two marathons on the weekend so I have been easing down on distance this week but using the intensity.  I was determined to run in a pain level of effort that I have not pushed into for a long time. Rewarded with a 26.41 and the best this years being the 27.20 from a few weeks ago.

'Yasso's' - we know about those right and the guide to a marathon time provided you have the endurance. I don't quite have that end of marathon endurance yet. A few weeks ago I did 4 and was around the 4.10 time for the 800m. Today after the 5k I did only 3 but all about 4.03 time.

That sub 4 hour marathon is getting close but not quite yet.

The end part of most of my runs. A nice 500m flat and along the waters edge.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Wednesday: 10k

Another day with about 20 degrees and 80% humidity just after 5.00 am however there was very light breeze and some refreshing light rain that for a short while was quite heavy. The breeze and light rain did cool the running conditions but once started it was still uncomfortable but manageable.

I have just finished reading this book by Roger Robinson:


The writer is married to Katherine Switzer (Boston Marathon fame) and was/is a world record holder  in some longer distance vets races. He reflected when he was training for a World Masters event that he imagined a Japanese runner who he gave a name to also training for the same event. He imagined his imaginary competitor up early and training hard. This inspired Roger to also get up earlier and train harder.

That image has been in my mind for a week or so since I finished the book. It was having the same imaginary competitor that got me out the front door this morning and I hope will continue to get me out the front door often and to train harder that I might other wise have done. BUT always train wisely as well as hard. 

Following on from yesterday's 3 x 5k I decided that maybe I should keep the intensity up with a hard 10k. A nice result is to run it under your age in minutes. Exactly a month ago I ran a 10k and was pleased with 65.50. That was comfortably under my age. This morning I was really being greedy and secretly hoped for under 60 minutes but realistically thought it would not be achieved with a second 5k fade.

The first was a bit too quick in 28.50 and so I know it would be a real challenge to be under 60. Ran as smooth as I could and balancing not too fact and not too slow. 57.56 !!! Pleased that even on very tired legs I have made significant gains in the last month. 

Could under 55 be a possibility in a month or so ?

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tuesday: A super set of 3 x 5k

I was out a little after 5.00 am in the quiet dark as usual. Not many about at that time today. Temperature was 22 and the humidity 82% so it was going to be another testing morning.

It was a super set today of 3 x 5k with 5 minutes active rest in between. I haven't even thought about do this set for years. It was my go to session when the training was for a sub 3 marathon but then the 5k was run in about 21 minutes.

I expected each to heart and much more as I moved through them. The aim was to be consistent and under 30 minutes for each. I did not expect the last one to make that time and I almost did't do it but I had planned to run 3 so I did with the thought 'All that can happen is I run over 30 minutes'. Really no big deal. 

The third one was hard and I was on 5.50 pace at 2k and almost held that pace to the end. I hope these types of sessions translate into a good marathon by mid next year.


What a glorious morning and I cooled down in a quiet little corner as I usually do each day after my run and enjoy some quiet reflection time before joining the day.

Monday, March 11, 2019

7k & 5k reps for Monday

At 5.00 am it was 22 degrees with 65% humidity but with a cooling breeze. It was pleasant for the light warm up but become more difficult during the two reps with no cooling for the breeze that seemed to have eased.

The 7k is off course a lap of the Bay that is actually 6.9k. The aim is to run the Bay under 40 minutes, then have a short walk break and run 5k under 30 minutes.

Bay in 39.16 @ 5.42
5k in 28.17 @5.40


Bridge shapes on the way back home with the sun up but the lights still on.