Friday, February 27, 2015

Wangaratta Marathon : 4.08 oh well better that the last 2 but ….

Not the result I was hoping for but then again I am not surprised. It was warm to seat with and got warmer. The temperature was about 18 at the start and by the time I finished a little over 28. 

I ran the half in about 1.53 but knew that pace would not last. It was all about me then waiting for the slow down to occur. It started soon after. The next 10k was run in about 57 minutes or 5.42 pace instead of the about 5.30 I had managed up to half way.

The wheels well and truly fell of after 30k with the average sliding to 7.15 per k. It seemed that pace slowed in proportion to the increase in temperature. I would like to use that as the excuse but the fact is I handle the heat well i am just not fit enough to hold my pace over the second half as I was doing last year. 

A 1.53/2.15 split shows that dramatically.

I just need to do more solid and hard training but i know that is not going to happen. It might seem that some of my runs last year might have been my high water mark and I am back to struggling to go under 4 hours. Lets hope not and that some how I get my motivation back and some decent times.

The Orange marathon is on this Sunday. I would be delighted to run 3.45 and that will be my starting pace. Lets hope I hold the back half pace better than last week. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Finally out for a 5kTT

I have not run for the last two days because well i just could not motivate myself. OR you could call it a  short and wise 2 day taper for the marathon on Sunday. Whichever it was 2 days off.

I was out this morning predawn that was warm and humid. A quick 5k is never easy and with the humidity it adds another dimension. My most recent quickest was 20 January with 20.50 and today I managed 21.19 so I should be pleased with that. 

Sunday: Wangaratta Marathon

Never run it before but I know it is really flat. Maybe a course that you can get a rhythm on and just try and tune out of the pain and just maintain it. With the last 2 marathons being more that just slow and not  much if any quality training I have no idea of a possible time or a pace to set out on. Toss a coin and say it would be nice but not likely to have a 3.3x finish. 

It will not be quicker but could be much slower. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

PSA

PSA results today. The reading has gone up significantly in the last 2 months when it should be static. Seeing the oncologist late next week which is a scheduled visit. I suspect there will be a deep and meaningful discussion about whether further treatment is now required and if so what form.

I just hope whatever we decide it does not interfer with my running but sooner or later that is going to happen. Fingers crossed much later.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yeah not posed for a while. Health, Caboolture done and Wangaratta coming up

Running and training has been a bit 'ebb and flow' lately. Some days I feel like training and train, other days I feel like training and don't. That single unwavering focus is just not there at the moment. I am not sure why.

My health is stable and okay. Regular 2 monthly blood test today for PSA and IGF1 readings. The results in a few days and seeing the oncologist in 2 weeks to discuss the results and whether anything needs to be/should be done or are we still in a wait and see treatment mode. No use being conceded over what I have very little control over. 

Although I do control my eating protocol most of the time. On the advice of a naturopath I take certain herb and natural extracts. I don't think they are doing me any harm. Are they doing me any good? Whose knows/ My condition might have been stable without them but for he moment it is stable and I would like to believe they are having an influence on that outcome. 

Now considering mega does of vitamin C intravenously. Seeing a specialist practitioner and will discuss, take some advice and consider. 

Anyway running. Caboolture Marathon run as part of a number of longer events including a 12 hour from 6.00 pm Saturday to 6.00 am Sunday. The marathons started at 4.00 pm in 32+ degrees and high humidity. That combined with a course of 84 laps of a 500m track just does my head in. I am negative from the start and merely wanted to 'enjoy' the run. 

So there was plenty of walks and time to keep fully hydrated. Time was not relevant to I have no thoughts about a 5.47 finish. I was pleased to be back in the cool of my motel and was in bed early as I was on the 6.00 am flight back to Sydney. That one is best forgotten except to add it to the list and on occasions wonder why I will probably run it again next year. 

Wangaratta Marathon

Next week a weekend a full weekend away in northern Victoria. Flying to Albury and then spending some time in Beechworth and sightseeing Ned Kelly and his connection with the town and the surrounding area and towns. Late flight out on Sunday so I expect a short trip to Benalla for the museum they have. 

Time expectations. None as I have not run this marathon before although I know it is flat. Something around 4 hours will be fine. In fact that would be good based on the very little training I have done. 


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Australia Day Marathon : 5.03.35

Not what I expected as a finish time. Over the last three (3) years II have been just before and just over 4 hours. I believe I am as fit as on previous occasions.
 
BUT I did say that my focus etc was ebbing and flowing with large swings that have not been the case before. Perhaps on Monday I was experiencing a large ebb out and was not connected to the race. I thought I was connected and engaged and pacing myself conservatively for an even placed run.
 
That did not occur with the 4 x 10k loops being about 60, 70, 80 and 90 minutes give or take a few minutes. I got slower as the race went on but then again so did the heat and humidity. Will I use that as an excuse? No ! It is however and explanation of what was happening weather wise.
 
It was about 24 at the 5.00 am start and rose to 31 and most of the run was run in the temperature being in the high 20's and high humidity. That has not been the casein the past. Enough speculation. It done. Its run. Focus on the next one which is Saturday next.
 
Caboolture - 84 times around and around a track. I am already dizzy and am not looking forward to it. The challenge will be to run under 5 hours.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Back posting!! Australia Day Marathon

Yes it has been a while since I have posted. To say the least I have been very up and down training since the start of the year. Some days i feel like training and I do. Other days I feel like training and I don't.

Some days I feel fine. Other days I do not feel well.

The extremes, are extremes and I am not settled. I want to be settled but for some reason or reasons I am not. Therefore I am not prepared in anyway for the marathon tomorrow. I am neither mentally or physically ready or prepared. It is about 45 minutes south of Brisbane and starts at 5.00 am to miss he heat and humidity. From my experience it does that for about the first 10 minutes and then it is a hot, uncomfortable battle to the end.

Why do it? I need to keep the marathons ticking over to get to 200 in Canberra in April.

My thoughts about a finish. Despite the conditions I have for the last 3 years managed just under or over 4 hours. That might not be the case tomorrow.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Goals for 2015

  • Stay healthy and continue health eating as much as possible
  • Stay injury free by training wisely 
  • Enter the NSW Masters Championships in February and run some track and 5k & 10
  • Enter the Australian Masters Championships in April  and run some track and 5k & 10k
  • Run 5k as close to 20 minutes was possible 
  • Run 10k as close to 42 minutes as possible
  • Run my 200th marathon in April at Canberra
  • Run at least 25 marathons during the year
  • Run at least one marathon under 3.30
  • Run Glasshouse 100 miler in September and complete my 7th and 3 in a row

A Review of 2014


As 2015 starts I have reflected on 2014 and have these thoughts.

These started off with me recovering from the removal of my prostate in November 2013 due to cancer. For about 5/6 weeks after the operation I was focusing on exercises to get back for bladder control which thankfully quickly returned to normal. It was not until that was under control that I even thought about any running and that started early in January.

I had not run at all for about six weeks and it was a bit of a struggle at first but it didn't take long to be running comfortably although the distance were short and the pace was slow. I didn't have a lot of time as I had entered the Australia Day Marathon which is held near Brisbane on of course 26 January Australia Day. Training went well and despite the heat and extreme humidity I finished in a pleasing 4.07.

Two weeks later I ran the marathon at Caboolture. I find it a very difficult marathon, as it is 84 laps around the historic village starting at 6 PM on Saturday. I always struggle physically and mentally which was reflected in a 4.30 finish.

I won't go into the detail of each marathon I ran but will select the ones that were important or significant to me.

When the year started I wasn't sure how my running would go. I had daily radiotherapy for six weeks during February and March and the concern was what would be the side effects. General fatigue is a definite. While having the therapy I ran the Orange and Dolls Point marathons with no issues. That all came to an end in the Newcastle Marathon on 6 April. The weather was pleasant for about half the race could then heavy rain and wind started and continued all morning. I was running fine until about 16k when I became extremely fatigued and just could not run. My great friend Jane came along and said she would stay with me until the finish line. It was then I walk stumble progression until we finally finished last in 5.22.

I managed to regroup both mentally and physically and the following week was relief to run the Canberra Marathon on in 3.55. Boy what difference a week can make.

In the year I completed 25 marathons the most that I have ever run in any year. The previous highest was 18 in the previous year. I had last run under 3 .30 with a 3.25 at Canberra in April 2010. At the start of 2014 I don't think I had given up the dream of ever running under 3.30 again I just had not given it any thought as being a realistic goal. At one stage during the period my one aim when starting a marathon was to not run over 4.00 hours.

After camera I seemed to have gotten over the side effects of the radiotherapy and training proceeded with no injuries or niggles. The weekly total running was usually in the range of 80 – 100k and all good quality sessions. No runs over about 20 km but none under 10 km. There were a few marathons after the Canberra marathon and before the Macleay River Marathon. In fact the week before the McVeigh River Marathon on I ran the Glow Worm Marathon on in the worst time of the year of 7.11. I just cannot run trails and that time gave no indication of what was to come the following Sunday.

The Macleay River Marathon is for some reason one of my favorites. It is five hours drive north of Sydney but pleasant. The course is out and back and flat, flat and flat except for the 1k downhill at the start and of course the 1k uphill at about 40k is at the end. A 3.31 that was more than surprising and tantalizingly close to a 3.30.

Two weeks later at the Gold Coast Marathon with a vague thought at the start line that perhaps 3.30 was possible despite not having run that time for over four years. The whole marathon went perfectly finishing in a very very pleasing 3.26 with even splits on a pancake flat course.

Could there be more? Surely not!

The following weekend there was a low-key marathon at Dolls Point along the shore of Botany Bay. It is so different to the week before as in this marathon on there are not a lot of runners and for most of the time you're running alone. Surprise! Surprise! A 3.28 finish four consecutive weekends under 3.30. I couldn't make it three in a row, as the following weekend was a 3.35 on the tough Hunter Valley Winery Marathon.

But … the following weekend was the M7 Marathon at Blacktown. As usual it was a cold start with the course being the bike path next to he M7 Motorway and it is a tough course that rolling inclines most of the way. Not many flats. Nice …. 3.29.

From the Gold Coast Marathon on at the start of July to the Dubbo Marathon on at the start of September I ran 10 marathons in 11 consecutive weekends. On one weekend with no marathon and on another weekend a scent that a marathon running 4.25 and on the Sunday the Brisbane Marathon in 3.46.

The week after the double marathon I was off to the Glasshouse Mountains for 100 milers. I've had four consecutive between 2008 and 2011. I didn't run in 2012 as it clashed with the Sydney Marathon and so my streak of four ended. I was back in 2013 and in 2014 to start a streak again. I finished in 27 hours 21 minutes that was just three minutes slower than my PB.

Following weekend I lined up for the Sydney Marathon as a ‘Blue Line Legend’. Meaning I with a few others has run all of the Sydney Marathon since 2001. I finished in 3.31 despite having 100 miles in my legs from the weekend before to make it my 14th finish in a row for this marathon.

After the Sydney Marathon the marathon runs are held less frequently because of the warming weather and so I have a few weeks off before running the Western Sydney Marathon that is six laps around the International Rowing Centre at Penrith. Laps. Boring? My view is a marathon is 42.2k no matter how the course is set up it still the same distance.

I got into a good rhythm at the start and despite the weather becoming warmer I was able to hold it and finished in 3.24.49 !!!!

The following week was the Melbourne Marathon. At the start I decided I would aim for sub 325 and tried finished the year of with two consecutive marathons both under 3.25. This would be my 24th marathon on for the year and I thought I could run under 324 if I ran smart. That meant running as close to even split as I could but it is usual after 30k’s there was no guarantee that I could hold onto the pace. I went through halfway exactly on a 3.24.xx finish and knew that I had just over 100 minutes of pain and suffering if I was to achieve my goal. Most of the second half it is a blur and thankfully I finished with the best time of the year 3.24.28 and age group win in the biggest marathon held in Australia. It was one fantastic way to finish off the serious marathon running for the year.

Around one more Carcoar but it was more of a cool down than a serious run.

Summary

25 marathons started and completed

Quickest : 3.24.28 (Melbourne)

Slowest: 7.11 03 (Glow Worm)

2 under 3.25

3 between 3.25 – 3.30

5 between 3.30 – 3.45

6 between 3.45 – 4.00


9 over 4 hours

Saturday, December 06, 2014

C2K

Entered

Ran - 5/6th December 2014

Pulled from the course at 208k after just under 38 hours

Course cut to 220 finish due to the weather

 Nice long road at about 85 k

"Edge of the world"


Heavy rain for 6 hours
Wet, cold and struggling with a lean with 15k to go
Slow going and pulled by the RD for my safety and the safety of the crew

Friday, November 14, 2014

Belated; Carcoar 3.54

Somewhat late. I have not been well.

A disappointing time that was 12 minutes slower than last year. I just could not get into top gear and run quickly, freely. It was a struggle on the flats whereas last year I ran quickly on those same sections. No explanations why. I guess just the ebb and flow of the body and on this day it had ebbed out much further that I would have expected. 

This was the last marathon for the year and the 25th for the year. I have not really reflected on the year to day and the marathons ran. I may do that a kind of summary for the year to close that part off until 2015 and hopefully to do it all again. Health permitting.

At the moment I am just trying to get my head around running C2K - the 240k monster in early December. I have run it three (3) times before so I know what it is about and what is required. But it is so long that no amount of training get you prepared as so much can go wrong over the almost 2 days it takes to finish or at least that is how long I will take.

I have 2 crew and would love to have another. It is not an easy ask to be away from Sydney from Thursday to Sunday and then stay awake for 2 days and nursemaid an old bloke trying to do something that is not that easy. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Carcoar Marathon - preview

A whole 3 weeks on Sunday since my last marathon. I did finish the Melbourne with a pain/strain in a new spot on the left leg near the ankle in the muscle running down next to the shin bone. I rested until the following weekend. Ran Saturday with no issue, Sunday was fine with just 'something' near the end of the run.

Monday morning run did not last long and it was off to the physio later run the day. Not much could be done other than some rest and self massage as the spot of pain is only about 5cm in length and as wide you your little finger. So small but it has taken until the last few days for it to be almost gone. 

End result very little running in the last 3 weeks but maybe that is a good things as this could haven been the first sign of the body being pushed just a bit further that it could and should have been. Therefore I have just accepted the position and did what I could for the recovery but for a while it seemed to be not improving despite the rest and massage.

So last year at Carcoar I ran well. In fact much better than is expected or anticipated. This year I have run much better than for years but the injury has me concerned that by just moving over 42k it will come back. Not much I can do about that concern and at the moment I am not sure whether 'taking it easy' will have the possibility and not redoing the injury or was it just one of those things that happen and if fully recovered will more than likely not happen again. Who knows? Certainly me. If the marathon was a week later I would be more confident the marathon would not re injure it.

Last year 3.42 on a tough course. If I had no injury and had trained after the MM I would speculate that was at risk of being beaten. Now I don't think so. But will I have a go? I am not sure of my race plan at the moment and I may not have one even at the start. Just see how it goes and if there is the slightest twinge back off. That in fact might well be the race plan. 

Nice drive, nice weekend away. The Hydro Majestic hotel has had about 30 million dollars spent on restoration. We drive right by. Lunch on the way up and high tea on the way back.

Here:

http://www.hydromajestic.com.au/

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Melbourne Marathon: 3.24.28 !!!!

It seems the more I run marathons the quicker I get BUT there is limit to most things and I think I have reached it. I am not sure I could go any quicker except maybe with a proper taper. But really I am very happy to have run this time and then 2 in 2 weeks under 3.25 is very much a bonus. AND about 20 seconds faster than last week.

I said in the race preview 3.22 but as I said I did not think that was going to happen but I was prepared to give this on a full out effort and see where I finished or more precisely the time I would run.  I was not aware there would be pacers at 10 minutes spaced times so I was surprised to be standing near a balloon with 3.20 on it at the start.

Despite the number of runners at the start it was orderly and most seemed to have placed themselves well as there were not many slow runners to weave around. Within a k and turning into the wide tree lined St Kilda road I was running at pace in space.

I was not running with anyone and so just settled into my pace that was hovering around 4.50 minute k's and that felt very comfortable reflected by easy breathing. Things just seemed to cruise along like that until about 27/28k when I felt I needed to increase the concentration and effort to maintain the pace. The Garmin then died for reasons unknown and from then on I had no idea of the pace I was running and just did it by feel.

I thought the 3.30 pacers might come by at any time but I did feel I was maintaining a good pace. I was passing runners easily but that is not guide as they could just be slowing more quickly than me. The weather was becoming warmer but I was not bothered by it. At 35k I was becoming fatigued but still felt I was maintaining good form and pace. Put me head down to suffer the next 5k to the 40k marker.

With a great deal of relief it came where I was expecting it and then just pinned the ears back and focused on a strong finish. Soon I was over the finish line and couldn't see any clock so I had no idea of my time but knew I had not been caught by the 3.30 pacers. I didn't know my time until I checked the results on line much later. 

Some Stats

The timing mats were at 10k & 18k and I have no idea where halfway was on the course. Best Garmin guess is 1.42.28/1.40.00 splits for an overall average pace of about 4.50. Bonus was age group win by about 25 minutes. I thought it was a soft time to win in. 

At the end of 10k I was overall in 1340th place and finished in 828th place. Significant is the strong finish by being 1186th at 30k and improved 358 places in the last 12k compared with the modest improvement just 154 places over the first 30k. 

I clearly have too much time on my hands but as it is the biggest marathon in Australia I looked at some figures. It appears for both genders there were just 76 runners over 65 or 1.18% of the field. My 828th finish put me in the top 12.89%. 

That was my 24th marathon of the year and the last flat road one. 6 have been under 3.30 and 2 under 3.25. This has been a year so far where I have run more marathons than ever before and my times in the quicker ones have been quicker than I have been in 4/5 years. 

Carcoar Marathon and beyond

Carcoar Marathon in a few weeks and last year I ran 3.42. It would be nice to finish the year off by running this one quicker than last year. I then I have about 5 weeks to do some serious training and otherwise generally get ready for the 240k monster that I Coast to Kozzi. I will need more than luck to finish this one for the second time and my guess is to be the oldest finisher. 2 crew organised and still looking for another. Both woman and both my GH buddies - how wonderful to have them with me on the epic journey that is C2K.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Preview Melbourne Marathon

Another week has rolled by and as another Sunday approaches there is once again another marathon to be run. This weekend the big daddy of them all with regard to entrants - approaching 8000 with no limit. The biggest in Australia by far. A bit different to the small but delightful country ones with 50/60. 

Melbourne marathon #12 and my second last one of the year. Only Carcoar to go. 

How did running go this week? Well good. I ran easy on Tuesday and Wednesday with some stretching in the mid of an easy Bay run. Quite relaxing and some warmish weather although it is variable at 5.30am each morning. 

I felt good on Thursday morning and thought I might just give a lap of the Bay a push. I have not done that for a few months and it was about March the last time I was under 30 but then again I have not tried during that time either. It was not comfortable for a 30.09 finish - dam I should have looked at my watch and squeezed a little bit more out of myself near the end. But no matter it was quicker than the 30.25 or so the week before and I had a quick marathon in my legs. 

Come Friday - just a slight chill in the air at 5.30am but still pleasant and ideal running weather. Slowly warmed up with the 750m run to the start of the Bay thinking should I or should I not have another lap. I couldn't resist and this time I was keeping an eye on the pace like and eagle eyeing a prey from high up in the sky. 

Pleasing to press the stop button for 29.50 and first time under 30 as a 65 year old being 4.19 pace for just a few steps under 7k. 

So where does that leave me for Sunday. A bit more speed that recently and a lot and and mean a lot of marathons run this year and lots of steady endurance running and all year injury free.

Can I go quicker than last week - yes I believe so.
Do I want to - absolutely
Do I think it is possible - yes 
Will I pacing for a 3.22 finish - yes 
Will it happen - unlikely but not through lack of effort.

The weather is predicted to be 28 by 10am and we start at 7am. I suspect the weather will result in a slow down.  If I miss will I be annoyed. No because I will have given it my best shot on the day. 

My daughter lives in Melbourne so We will spend time with her returning late Monday. As well as the marathon it is the start of the Melbourne Festival and we are fully booked with classical music, circuses and rock and roll music events during the weekend. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Western Sydney Marathon : 3.24.49 !!!

What can I say about the time. First time under 3.25 since April 2009 which was my 100th marathon. This one marathon # 193. So just never say never. In my preview I had said I was running well and that I just needed the weather to be kind as regards temperature and wind.

It is a 6 lap course with the last 195m tacked onto the end. There was great cloud cover for the first 3 laps and running was reasonably pleasant. Then before you knew it the cloud cover was gone and the heat intensified quickly and there was a slight breeze but it was just circulating the hot air. The run then became an effort to maintain pace and focus.

After a while in the conditions you just want it over and pacing etc becomes less of a focus and just getting to the finish line becomes the objective and priority. At the time I felt the struggle to stay focused and on pace became much more difficult and in fact I didn't look at my watch much over the last 2/3 laps I just run.

At the time I thought I might just hold on for a sun 3.30 and then over the last 2/3k's I had a peek at my watch on elapsed time and tried to do some sums and thought maybe I would get under 3.30 but I was not sure by how much.

The 7k splits were interesting (in round figures) : 32/33/34/34/34/34.

So despite feeling the difficulty rising as the laps went by I was somehow able to hold my pace. I am almost as pleased with that compared to the time. Smile is still on my face.

I was out this morning just to get everything moving again to prepare for the Melbourne marathon on Sunday. No thoughts about time at the moment but might give the Bay a hot lap on Friday to try and give a sub 30.25 a push. Then I might speculate.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Thoughts Western Sydney Marathon

As is often the situation just before I marathon I give thought to what running I have done since my last marathon, and therefore and assessment of my fitness and recovery from my last marathon. Leading to a loosely conceived race plan for the day.  

No marathon last weekend so I am on the way to recovery from it and the 100 miler the week before. The first week after the marathon I did not run until the Thursday and then easy for a few days. I felt good and so ran my just under 14k loop as a TT on Tuesday. I have not run it seriously for 3 months or so as when I was running weekly marathons I run it but it was never pushed.

When I was not running weekly marathons in March to May I hovered around 66 minutes or just on 5 minute pace. The I banged out a 64.48 in early May and have not been within 4 minutes of that since. Tuesday 63.53 - the quickest ever. The Wednesday before meeting up with some friends I did a Bay run in 30.24 - not the sub 30 I ran in March but okay.

Conclusion: I am running as good as I have in training all year. 

Last year at this even with something just over 4 hours as I ran with a friend to the end. And the year before at 3.48 is no guide as that year I was not running the times that I am this year. Sydney 3.31 just 2 weeks ago. 

So .... decisions decisions ... not really. The course is flat flat flat so the only thought from the start will be pacing at a 3.29 or better finish. All that can happen is that the temperature or wind will work against that and it will happen. In this one I will not finish wondering if I could have gone quicker - that will happen out on the course.