Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Long over due update

Almost a month since my last post. Nothing reported because nothing much to report.

It said I was going to run two marathons in the weekend. Run might not be classed as running. The first was for the Cancer Council around a running track some running some walking with family and friends and completed in about 6.30.

Early next morning a 40 minute drive to the Royal National Park south of Sydney. Very scenic bushland. Happy with 6.25 but so slow !!!!!

I then took about about 10 days off with no running just to refresh the body before the June/July/August period when I have a marathon on all but one weekend. After the 10 days I felt refreshed and have had few weeks of good training. In fact maybe the best since I stated with the hormone injections last September. 

That black of good training gives me some confidence going into the Barossa Marathon on Sunday. It would be nice to have a 4.55.xx or so time. At this stage that will be the starting pace. Lets see how it goes. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A double weekend coming up

A testing weekend coming up. Bob Fickel the head of the Australian 1oo m Marathon Club has given approval for a marathon that is being run as part of the Sutherland Relay for Life (supported by the Cancer Council of Australian to be counted as an official marathon. Nice work Bobby.

So I am of for another track marathon ..grrrrrrr... Did I swear that the one a few weeks ago was the last one I would do or at least would do this year. Well not so. Maybe I will deal with 105 and half laps better that I did last time. Lets hope so.

The Sunday a trail marathon ... another of my worst nightmares when it come to running marathons. Trails and me and marathons are not the ideal combination. Give me a black surface with a broken down the centre and I am fine .. rocks, tree stumps, mud, water for ever changing running surfaces and I am challenged. A Sri Chimnoy in the Royal National Park just south of Sydney.

4th time I have run it so I know what to expect.

None of these comments should be considered as complaining just they the type of course just adds to the challenge on the day and when finished the greater since of achievement and satisfaction. If they were all road marathons I would complain wanting variety. Well I have variety this weekend.

Again time is no goal. Off course to finish is the first objective, then enjoy the atmosphere on Saturday supporting the Cancer Council with a lot of other like minded people and on Sunday the scenery on the course could not be so different to Saturday and to pinch myself at the start to look and take in some iconic Australia bush.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Marathon at Toowoomba

Another marathon yesterday at Toowoomba in south eastern Queensland. 

I have not been in that area before so it was all new. It is a charity marathon supporting Autism for children. A tough course with hills, hills and just a few more hills until the last 10k. Well organised with 4 x 10.5k loops that each came back to the starting line. The weather was very pleasant at the start but soon warmed up.

A challenging course. Very pleasant city worth the slightly less than 2 hours drive west of Brisbane.

I did not have any time expectation because I did not know the course. I was pleased to complete it in 5.52 for the 3rd in 3 weeks. A week off before an off road marathon in the Royal National Park just on the southern outskirts of Sydney.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Canberra Marathon 2002

Where has 14 year gone????

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Canberra Walking Festival - marathon

So how did it go walking a whole marathon. Tougher than running one but in different sort of way that is hard to explain. It is not so much the time taken its definitely something but I am not sure what ...

I have to confess I did run some short parts but just to change my stride etc. I would say 40k was walked. I enjoyed the experience and know I need to do more walking in training so that it is not so uncomfortable in a race. I am sure I will have to walk me often in marathons as time goes on.

Time for hills and on a trail 6.45.02 I was pleased as all I wanted to do was be under 7 hours.

Some recovery and a few easy runs during the week before the Canberra (running) Marathon on Sunday.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Short update

I did not go away at Easter and so was able to do 4 mornings of some solid running. Increasing the distance of the run to just over 18k up from 13k. As I increased the distance each day I was able to also reduce the overall pace. Overall a pleasant break from work, some pleasant things seen and done around Sydney in the 4 days and a nice short block of training to get me back into it.

The training continued into the week with just Wednesday off for rest and recovery. A quick lap of the Bay (6.9k) in 38 minutes. I am okay with that for where my fitness is at the moment.

Later this afternoon I am back in Canberra for a WALKING  marathon. It is part of a walking festival and it against the rules to run. I have never ever walked that far and it should be interesting to see if I can do it under 7 hours. That is Saturday.

The following weekend back to the Canberra marathon that is off course all about running. No doubt during the event all I will want to do is walk.

No rest as the weekend after that a marathon in Toowoomba.  Yes the marathon season for me has certainly started.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another month another 4 marathons completed

Yes I have been very slack in providing updates. I am not one to first think of a Blogg update when i have finished a run. As indicated I was planning to run a double weekend and that was done and went much better than expected.

On a hot sunny Saturday morning I ran 6 laps of the Bay and a little to make the marathon distance in 5.53. I had no real time plan but was I guess hoping to be under 6 hours. Quickly home showered and then the 3 hours drive to Orange for the marathon on Sunday. I was a bit still after the drive and some negative thoughts about not finishing under the 6 hour cut off or worse a DNF.

Those fears of a horror morning did not eventuate. I ran steady the whole distance and finished in 5.40. A very surprising quicker time on a hill course compared to the Bay being flat. Go figure what sometimes the body can do when asked.

A two week break and it was off to Melbourne for an off road marathon not far out of Melbourne at Brimbank Park. Some tough hills that have to be walked. Nice 5.20 finish. That gave me a steady improvement in the last 4 marathons since the horror of almost 7 hours at Caboolture.

With just 4 days rest I was off to Canberra on Friday to run in a weekend of track ultra running. It was supporting the Prostate Council of Australia and I was asked to run. It started on Friday at 12 noon when I started with those running the 48 hours event. I was the only running a marathon by special arrangement with the RD. 6.03 hours later i was finished. It was never about a time but sharing 6 hours with a wonderful group of athletes and may friends acting as crew.

Another two weeks before a marathon in Canberra that must be all walked as part of a woking festival and then back the next week for my 17th Canberra marathon.

Nice pic of Melbourne in the distance at the highest point in the course

Friday, February 26, 2016

Where did the month go ??????

Almost the end of the month !!!

No blogging because not much has happened during the month. I ran/walked the Caboolture marathon a few weeks ago in a time best quickly forgotten but at least I finished. Took a week to run another step and it has been some reasonably frequent training once I got started.

My weight is still higher than I want. I need to be more focused on getting not so much what I eat but maybe the portions are a little too much for the reduced running. But increasing the running will need a slighter larger portion size. Why does being healthy and fit seem to be very complicated and maybe requiring some degree of control quite a lot of the time.

Anyway a BIG weekend. I always has planned to run the Orange marathon on Sunday then I discovered there was a charity event with a marathon conducted as laps of the Bay on Saturday morning. I have debated since I found out if I could do the double with all of my lack of fitness. I was very undecided and then as they say 'bit the bullet' and entered this morning.

Worst outcome I withdraw and walk home early.

I do not usually highlight and article but ...

Central Western Daily

Monday, February 01, 2016

New month, new focus. Hopefully ?

A new month and a new focus to get back into regular training. This is going to be somewhat of a battle as a side affect of the hormone injections I am now receiving is FATIGUE. I am experiencing that as I have very little desire to run. Let me put it this was I want to run and train but fighting against that in my mind is that I a am tired (physically not from lack of sleep) and running is just too difficult.

Hard to explain exactly what goes on in my head but the result is that despite being up and wanting to run I don't. This was happening all through November and December and I thought I would move through it.

I am not sure if I have or haven't but my intention is to get a streak going and going and going and .....

Anyway my streak stands at 2. 2 laps of the Bay in 2 days. It is a start. A bit like when I got out of detox and rehab there was day one of being booze free and then day 2 and so on. Now at 18 years. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

First run in 2016 and some thoughts

Well ! Well ! This morning I actually gathered the mental resolve to attempt a lap of the Bay. Despite my much loved lap of the Bay being a core part of my life for almost 20 years I have not visited it for about 7 weeks. My absence was a result of a slight muscle strain that would not fully recover, fatigue from the hormone treatment and well just being plain lazy.

I had missed it but I also I knew I was not really ready to start up serious training. My concern was that if I did not start soon I would just fall into a no running lifestyle.

Thankfully I worked hard on my mental attitude yesterday and ran the Bay this morning in the early morning heat haze. Having not run for that 7 weeks my thought was there would be a lot of walking although I intended to resist that for as along as I could. Therefore it was with great deal of trepidation that I clicked the the start button on my Garmin, took a large breadth and started.

After a short distance the negatives thoughts started and the option to start walking become a real possibility. Then the worst 'wimp' came to mind and so the lap progressed. Thankfully a great friend could me about halfway round and our non stop chat from then got me to complete the lap without a walked step. A very positive outcome and completely unexpected.

The time was not relevant - really. No runner says that and means it. It would be nice if that was true sometimes for some runs but not this time for me. I needed a benchmark to measure my starting positing and where my efforts might take me relative to the past. So 48.15 is now the stating line in the sand.

I am eyeing my first marathon that is in 2 weeks so I have a focus that is close that hopefully will get me motivated and focused. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Year in Review

I have not run a marathon since Carcoar so there was nothing to say at least about marathons.

2015 in review

Well what happened to 2015.  I have got into the routine of at this time of the year reflecting on the last 12 months of mainly what was done in regard to running and life in general. It was a year in some respects I would have preferred not to have happened but so be it.

The running year was one again kicked off with the Australia Day marathon in the heat a humidity of Brisbane.  A 5.03 that was much slower that in the past or that was expected. The a few days later to Caboolture the marathon that starts at 4.00 pm and is 84 laps around the historical village. Those laps do my head in and more so this year than in the past. So 90 minutes slower that usual and the only satisfaction was that it ticked off marathon number 197.

Before long it was April and as has been the case for the last 15 years there was the trip to Australia’s capital and the Canberra Marathon. All my family travelled down to see me finish my 200th in a respectable 3.40. I also ran my 100th marathon there. The first 100 took 12 years but there was a pleasing negative split for the second 100 that was achieved in 6 years. Not sure if I can repeat that time for the next 100 marathons. Although the more relevant concern might be if I can run another 100 let alone consider how long it will take.

The marathons plans for midyear were significantly interrupted by an operation to remove some lymph node cancers at the start of May. It was expected to be 5/6 days but complications had me in hospital for more than 3 weeks.  So the May/June marathons were missed.

I ran my next on the 12 July at Dolls Point with very little training. More like fast walks as training and anyway who knows my fast walks are slow at the best of time. So walking training for a marathon was not that helpful but still I managed 5.26.

A few weeks later at the start of August I ran (and I use that word rather loosely) the Centennial Park Marathon that was part of a larger ultra event. It involved many laps of the park that is forever changing things to see with other runners, bike riders, families, walkers, families enjoying picnics and horse riders. Lucky there was a lot to see and watch, as it was the worst marathon of the year in 5.50. I never felt ‘good’ from the start and soon adopted a run/walk approach to just survive and finish.

There were then three more marathons in successive weekends. The Tan in Melbourne, Glenbrook Trail Marathon in the lower Blue Mountains just out of Sydney and then Mudgee. The times were great but they were improving.

Then the following week off to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland for the 6th marathon in 6 weeks and fitness for running was going well. I finished in 4.09 for the quickest of the year and an age group win and a pair of running shoes.

Dubbo was the next weekend for the 7th in 7 weeks. Something was not quite right for a disappointing 4.54 and somewhat of a struggle.

Since the operation in May my PSA was being measure every 3 weeks and since the operation it had been stable. The in early September it doubled in a month. This raised concern. So deep and meaningful conversation with my specialist took place and it was decided that it was time to have hormone therapy. This had been talked about a while ago but we both thought it was years off but because it now became the next option.

So I received the injection a few days before the Sydney Marathon. It is given in the backside and it was still painful for the marathon and for the first time in 14 Sydney marathons I was over 4 hours in fact a 5.25 where I was walking before 20k. One that is best forgotten for the time but one to be remembered for how I just stayed focused on a finish no matter what it took and it took a lot. It was just a minute faster than my comeback marathon at Dolls Point in July. I was back where I started post op.  

I ran another 4 marathons to complete the year at Western Sydney (4.40), Melbourne (4.44), Batemans Bay (5.13) and Carcoar (5.19). Each was a challenge as the side effects from the hormone injection took hold. Loss of energy easily fatigued and weight gain. All these effects were working against training and running marathons.

In all 20 marathons for the year finished on 215.

The hormone injections will continue each 3 months. In the New Year I will start chemotherapy that has its own side effects. So it maybe quite a challenge but I plan to be at the start and finish of as many marathons as I can. I may have to resort to a run/walk race plan but if I believe I am still able to finish I suspect I will be at the start.

It has been an interesting 2015 that presented some challenges and no doubt 2016 will present a few more. I hope I am able to overcome them and enjoy some events with my many running friends.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Carcoar Marathon: 5.19

I was pleased to start my 5th Carcoar marathon in very pleasant cool conditions. But that lasted about a 1k when the coolness was gone but not feeling hot either. For a few hours the weather  temperature was not an issue. There was some cloud cover and a light breeze that could be felt at times that kept the conditions pleasant for longer than expected.

The course is perhaps the toughest road marathon we have. Trail marathons like Glenbrook are tough but I consider that a trail run. this is more a road marathon that is sometimes on sealed roads and at other time on dirt roads.  Glow Worm marathon is out on its own for being so tough and brutal for any marathon I have run. Running Wild has runs that maybe tougher but they are mainly in trails and I have not run them so no comparison can be made. 

With where I am at, at the moment this was never going to be quick due to a significant lack of fitness. I got what is expected with a very slow run but at least I was not last but not far off it. A long way for 2 years ago with a 3.36 and 6th overall. Maybe I will get back to that running I just need to fix a few things.

In some weird way I enjoyed the marathon not because it was a pleasant experience but because I knew it was going to be a huge challenge because of my fitness. Despite the 5 hour+ finish I thought I managed myself well and got a time that was probably close to my fitness level for the course. I was steady to start with and  ground out the tough bits with a much running as possible. 

I was satisfied with being able to run the last 7k after walking the long steep hills past where there had been forest but has now been cleared. That is the last long steep hill. I walked that and thought about and reflected about what has been a very difficult year with my illness, a long period in hospital after the operation and then the recent death of my father BUT you know what I was running a marathon, not at home in bed or the like.

I am feeling okay with myself and life. Some days are better then other but really that applies to all of us. .

Oh by the way the flies were a real bitch this year. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Carcoar Marathon next Sunday and some thoughts

This marathon is on Sunday. An easy and beautiful 3 hour drive from Sydney over the mountains. 

Am I ready ? No. 10 days ago I ran the Batemans Bay marathon and today was the first day I have run since. And that was not a run but no more than a jog around the Bay. I don't want to blame anything because it is me that has not got out of the house in the morning. I just don't have the energy or desire. I want to go out but it just does not happen.

Could be the side affect of the hormone treatment that is permanent.

I am back to 2 little voices in my head. That takes me way back to my drinking days. At the moment one says go and run and the other makes excuses (either real or imagined) that I should not and at he moment the 'not run' little man is winning except for this morning, thankfully as I felt much better having jogged the Bay. 

I am not sure how I can get on top of this issue and I want to. Maybe some professional help like I did all those years ago.

Carcoar is a tough hilly course so I know it will be a real test and I will have to use all the experience and will power that I have to finish. I don't need fingers crossed but just a positive frame of mind to get the job done. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Marathon at Bateman's Bay

This is a new marathon, first time it has been held and off course I could not resist the temptation and so I have entered and supporting it. The event supports Ovarian Cancer that is a very worthy cause.

Bateman's Bay is an easy 4 hour drive south of Sydney on the south coast of NSW. I have travelled south often but not usually as far as this so it will be interesting to travel through a part of NSW that I do not travel often. 

Not a step of running since I crossed the finish line in Melbourne Marathon last week. I am okay with that as it could be considered a nice taper. I have no idea about the course, hills, flat or a combination. Whatever the combination it is still 42.2k. I have no expectation about a time but under 5 hours would be fine.