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. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Melbourne Marathon 4.44

Perfect weather. Organisation as far as I was concerned was okay.

This was never going to go near a repeat from last year when I ran 3.24. I was just hoping I would not have the issues I had at Sydney and the resultant embarrassing time. I am okay to run a steady half but fatigue sets in soon after that. I may be running the half a but too slow but at the moment I am prepared to run the first half at a 4.30 finish and see what happens in the second half. 

I ran the half in about 2.17. A slight fade in the second half for a 4.44 finish. Whilst I reflect on what I was running last year I am disappointed with the time but when I consider this year I have to be pleased I am running and under 5 hours is okay - just okay. Last year if it was over 4 hours it was disappointing.

How expectations have changed over 12 months.

One next weekend so that will be an interesting morning down at Bateman's Bay. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Melbourne Marathon on Sunday- lets just get it done and move on

With my health not good and then the death of my father last weekend and his funeral on Tuesday this marathon has not even been a thought until I checked my flight booking etc this morning.

On 2 short runs since the last marathon 2 weeks ago. 

Mind and body are definitely not on and in the Melbourne marathon on Sunday but I will be at the start line and expect some hours later to enter the MCG and over the finish line. 13th Melbourne Marathon and 213th marathon. I should know how to manage myself between the start and finish to just get a finish for this one.

Nothing heroic for me on Sunday. Last years 3.23 is just that last years time. A lot has happened in the year and I am just pleased to be at the start line with the expectation to finish. Time: just under 5 hours would be nice.  A few more to run this year before some time off to regroup my mind and body for what I hope will be a much healthier and quicker 2016. 

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Western Sydney marathon # 212 and 4.40.36

Another Western Sydney Marathon completed I'm Saturday morning. About 18 degrees for the 7.00 am start and 28 degrees when I finished.  It was warm but for me (perhaps at my pace) it was okay. Attention had to be paid to hydration and water on the hat but as I say manageable. 
My energy levels fluctuate significantly these days and the onset of fatigue during a marathon cannot be predicted. 
So I now start a marathon thinking of the worst case and then just run on how I feel and take what comes. Nice surprise for this one was a 4.40 and an pleasant 45 minutes faster than Sydney 2 weeks ago. The improvement has nothing to do with fitness just the ebb and flow of the body with hormone treatment that is now permanent thing in my life.
I only ran 3 times since Sydney and each of those was just 7k or so. I used the same plan as for the Sydney marathon and that is try to get to half way in 2.15 and look forward to the challenge and adventure of the second half. Not my usual pacing style but that might be the way it is for the time being.
Anyway I held on in the second half much better than Sydney. I did consciously slow down on the 4th of the 6th laps and maintained that slower pace fairly well. A couple of weeks and then Melbourne and the following week a new one on the far south coast of NSW at Batemans Bay.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sydney Marathon 5.25 - Oh dear!!!!

Another great event that for me as regards organisation had no issues. Personally a marathon that I would like to forget as regards time but one I will remember for just hanging in there in difficult personal circumstances. 
Number 15 completed to remain a Blue Line Legend for another year. I hope the rest of us made it as well.
Short story is I started off with my great friend Jane the 4.30 pacer and in my present circumstances thought that might be a stretch but was prepared to give it a go. I was never in from and always as planned just behind. Nicely through the half in 2.15 and at that stage 4.30 was going to be very difficult and the second half was going to hurt. I did not know at the time just how much.
The heart rate was never up at all during the race. It was never above a hard walk. After 25k the legs just become so fatigued that running was painful and slow. No more details are needed another than to say the last 17 k from 25k took just over 2 half hours. At times my running was just barely fact enough to pass slow walkers.
A good lesson in just getting the job done no matter what. No comparison to the 3.31 from last year. I just hope sub 4's have not gone for ever but that might be the case with the hormone therapy medication I am now on for the rest of my life. I wonder if yesterday was a window into my new running life.

Medical Update

I have thought long and hard and spoken to a close friend about whether I would post about my latest developments. Is there a right and wrong thing to post about. I don't know and I don't use social media very often. So what is acceptable and what is not? t. 

That question has promoted me to post. The PSA almost doubled in the three months since I was last tested. A doubling in 6 months raises concerns and will warrant some form of further treatment being undertaken. With me there was no option at the moment but to commence hormone replacement therapy HRT. That will continue for the rest of my life or until I decide to cease it because of the side affects.

Cancer arising from the prostate feeds on testosterone and so this injection ceased the production with the expectation that the cancer will not grow, I had th e first of the 3 monthly injections today (between court, picking up my race number and a meeting). Deep into the muscle so a sore backside. Not sure how that will affect the marathon on Sunday but then again it was not going to anything memorable except for how slow I will be.

I am okay. I accept I cannot change the past and there certainly is no benefit in being concerned about the future, I can't change that either. So just be in the moment like we all should be and value what happens on a daily basis.

Side affects. Many with varying degrees as we are all individuals. But the future is likely to result in me being fat, fatigued and forgetful but to what degree that will only be determined in time. So if in the future you happen to see an overweight, slow and confused runner in a marathoner it might be me.

As I said I am okay and being fat, fatigued and forgetful are fine as long as I am not just alive but engaged with, participating in and enjoying life. With that in mind my family (there adult children and partner) are all off to Europe at Christmas for just on 4 weeks in Italy, Austria and Gemany. Leaving late Christmas Day. I will be back in time to start the 2016 marathon season with the Australia Day marathon in Brisbane and hopefully many more marathons during the year and the following years.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Mudgee 4.20 and Sunshine Coast 4.09

I seemed to have missed reporting on Mudgee due to a hectic week with clients and Court appearances. It was overcast and wet and my time continued the steady improvement since the operation. 

Last Sunday I was at the Sunshine Coast and ran this marathon for the first time. An out and back section and then 3 loops with each one returning to the start/finish line. I have no issues with that set up or any other really. 42.195k is that distance no matter how it is structured. It was pleasant to have turn arounds and see the field before and behind a few times. Also the crowd and cheering is confined to a smaller distance and there was plenty of support.

Started of behind Mark the 4 hour pacer and told him before the start I would hold on as long as I could. That is how it worked out. 

My 5k splits until 25k were all 28.xx and I was feeling okay but knew that was my limited and the last 15k would be a matter of holding on and not slowing too much. I felt the slow down and sure it enough the times started to show the slowing as Mark cruised away and his balloons getting smaller and smaller.

The slow down could have been much worse with the final 3 x 5k splits being 30.51, 30.35 and 31.33. So the sun 4 hours that was never likely evaporated with the 3 minute or so blow out in each 5k.

Still I cannot complain as it was my 7th marathon post op and 6 in 6 weeks. 

Dubbo next week. It is a tough course and the weather can be hot so I maybe lucky to better 4.09.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Week in review and Mudgee Marathon

The week as regards running has gone well. I ran as usual on Wednesday, Thursday and this morning. I do the same runs each week (I know boring but ...) and the times have been coming down over the weeks although the perceived effort is the same.

Today was my just under 14k loop that has plenty of hills in the back half. Go out too fast and suffer badly no the run home. Anyway 2 weeks ago i ran this loop in 94 and today 81. Huge improvement and pleased that fitness is returning. Today I felt okay running this quickly whereas over the last few weeks just running at a much slower pace was a real struggle.

Mudgee on Sunday. No chance and no hope of getting under 4 hours. So in the first time ever in this event not a 3 something finish. Weather seems as if it will be runner friendly. Hoping to be comfortably under 5 hours

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Glenbrook Marathon # 207 : 5.33

What a great morning for running with a great course with forever changing scenery. Always challenging whether it was on the narrow winding technical sections in shaded rainforest deep in the valleys or the exposed hot dry sections that were also technical to the long up hill inclines and off course downhills on the dirt roads through the National Park.

Yes it is all within a National Park about 50 minute drive from Sydney central in the very lower lower Blue Mountains.

It was very chilly at the start but that was soon forgotten as the hard steep uphill climb commences within a k or so of the start. It is a congo line up the winding track that cartooning gets you warm quickly and quite breathless.

I ran almost the whole by myself and was happy with that. I was very happy to be in the moment and take into account the surroundings and not be distracted by conversation or music. Amazing how quickly 5 odd hours can go. 

My aims were under 6 hours and to run all the way including the long inclines. Achieved both so I was pleased as it goes well for my plan to start GH 100 miler in a few weeks. I do not need to be quick but to be able to stay moving forward to 27 odd hours anon longer than the cut off of 30 hours. 

Next weekend Mudgee. One of my favourites. I was there for the first one in 2001 and have run 12 before this one. All have been under 4 hours. I doubt that will happen this weekend bit I might just start out at 4 hour pace and wait for the crash and burn slow down. Still If I am expecting it I will not be supervised when it happens or the slow time. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Week in review and thoughts on Glenbrook marathon

I can tell the routine of life has returned to usual as I am now running marathons weekly. The routine might have resumed but the times are far from the usual of the recent past.

This week the usual recovery after the marathon. No running Monday & Tuesday and then 2 days of 10k and a longer run this morning of 14k. Noe are quick but each were quicker than on the same day last week for the same run. Perhaps my recovery is getting quicker and maybe following form that I am getting a bit fitter as each week goes by. 

Trail marathon in Sunday at Glenbrook in the lower Blue Mountains. No plan or possibility of challenging for quicker than 4.45. Last time when I was fitter I ran about 5.30 so at my best and the weather might be a factor, the same time would be a good result and no worse that 5.59 - hopefully.

Monday, August 10, 2015

# 206 : Tan Marathon 4.45.xx

So a week later and 70 minutes faster. I can give no reason why other than it happened. At Centennial Park I felt fatigued from the start and I think starting a walk/run from about 12k to the end. At the Tan     I felt comfortable all the way. 

I did not walk a step except to get a drink. The 11 laps and so 11 times up Anderson Hill were all run - perhaps slowly but it was a running stride not walking. So no walking was the first aim - ticked. The second was to run steady. 

I really thought that just under 6 hours would be the best I could expect. The loop in about 3.9k and I thought maybe start out at 30 minutes a lap and if I could hold on that would be 5.30 or so. First lap in 27 and it felt comfortable that was about 6.42 pace. I then decided that I would try to maintain that pace for as long as I could. It felt comfortable and not pushed.

The 11 laps take well ... 11 laps. They seemed to go more quickly that the time. Anderson Hill is about 750m from the start/finish and the drink station. So run into the drink station and take what was needed and start running again and mentally prepare for the hill that is maybe 600 metres. Get to the top and it is flat or downhill to the start finish and that section is about 2k. So relax and stride out back to the start finish and repeat 11 times.

Never boring.  

All my laps were between 25/27 minutes. So steady all the way with a finishing average of 6.45 per k. Not quick but i achieved what I set out to do and as a bonus a huge time improvement.

Recover and get ready for a trail marathon at Glenbrook on Sunday. In the lower Blue Mountains just west of Sydney. So sleep at home and an hours drive to the start. 

Friday, August 07, 2015

Week in review and pre Tan Marathon thoughts

As recovery there was no run on Monday and Tuesday.  Ventured out on Wednesday morning for a lap of the Bay on what was reported to be the coldest morning in Sydney for some years. It felt okay but then again I had a few layers on, beanie and gloves.

It was a beautiful still morning with no wind chill factor. Unfortunately the run was not as pleasant as the weather and sunrise. It was to be expected as it was getting over the marathon. Thursday was another lap of the Bay and it was quicker and the body was working much better.

This morning a 14k loop that as as many long inclines and steep hills that I can find while never being far from the Bay run and touching on it in places and then moving away for some hills and back to it. It is always moving around the Bay and is quite challenging in the second half where the steep hills are found. 

I felt very good and the over pace was not much slower that Thursday's lap of the Bay that is flat and half the distance.

Tan Marathon on Sunday. Many laps of that iconic running track. No aim other than steady, as little walking as possible and under 6 hours so I have time to get to the airport and flight home. 3 in 3 weeks and not sure if some fitness is coming or I will be fatigued because of lack of fitness. Only 4 more in the next 4 weeks to go then GH 100 miler (still not decided) and then the following week the Sydney marathon. 

Monday, August 03, 2015

Centennial Park Marathon # 205: 5.50

Decided not to travel to Brisbane and run a double. At the time when I made the decision I was not sure whether it was the right one. It was. 

What a glorious late winters day in Sydney. The temperature was as high as about 25 degrees at about 2 pm. I finished just before then and did not find the temperature an issue.

It was 11 laps of the park with a 100k, 50k and 12 hour events being run at the same time. A very small number of hard heads (take that at about 5/6 opted for the marathon). Thank you to the organiser who allowed us to run even though it was not scheduled as an event.

The plan was to run about 5 hours but after a couple of laps I felt very fatigued and know it was going to be a long hard day. I then changed plan to a 6 hour finish and alternating running with walking and then trying to finish off strong. Also in the last two marathons as I have become fatigued I have commenced to lean rather noticeably and I thought moving forward for 6 hours might start to work on that issue.

So it was for 8 laps walk half and run the other half. That took about 34/35 minutes. I was lapped many times but when you are slow on a circular track what do you expect. With 2 laps to go I had just under 70 minutes to be under 6 hours. Started running - ran the last two laps both just under 30 minutes and no lean.

Another finished and hopefully some more endurance in the legs and body.

Probably in Melbourne next weekend for the Tan Marathon. I think another marathon of about 10 laps of the iconic running venue in Melbourne. I have to think seriously about the recovery running this week.