Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Run With Two Halves

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 8k
Month Total: 202k
Year Total: 1363.4

Yay cracked the 200k mark for the month!

Well I wanted to see if there was any point in purchasing a ticket for the Minerstrain. I know it's a bit late in the piece but with those two drama queens the Gastroc twins I havn't really had much of a chance to measure my progress and I wanted to see whether running at a 5.12 pace was feasable over any distance.

I had already planned to run 8k today so I decided to get my pace up to threshold i.e. solid breathing without going into debt hold it for 4k then return at whatever I felt comfy at.


4k @ 4.49
4k @ 5.24

So hmmm...... I reckon I might as well catch the train just to be sociable - I can always get off and commute on my own if I need to :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Toning It Down

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 42k
Month Total: 194k
Year Total: 1355.4k

Thank goodness I threw my CR tri top  into my bag before I left for Bathurst. I had originally just packed a singlet, but 9 years of going to Bathurst every 3rd weekend has taught me never to take the weather for granted.. It was cold and rainy when I woke up so it wasn't too hard a decision as to what to wear.

I ran 3k back towards town before doing 2 laps of a loop formed by a bridge to bridge bicycle/walking track that runs each side of the Macquarie River. It rained, it poured then it rained some more, at one stage there were tiny little hail stones and I was really glad my shoulders were covered.

I couldn't whinge though because when I went past Explorers Tree yesterday it was coming down in buckets and my thoughts were very much with LL and her happy band as they made their way towards the Cox's River (and ultimately Jenolan Caves - I hope) across treacherous mountain trails. I was very happy to see the pic posted by KT indicating they had made it to the Cox's because the 15k stretch just preceding that in my view is the most dangerous..

But back to my run - I have been letting the blood rush a bit to my head lately and it really is time to tone it down a little so I headed off keeping a close eye on Hal to ensure a very deliberate slower pace hovering at around 5.50. I ended up averaging 5.48 so I was pretty happy with that.

The plan is to hit the start line next Sunday fresh and pain free, so right now my thoughts are: training on Monday night, quickish 8k on Tuesday, training Wednesday night, not quite as quickish 6 to 8k on Thursday, then rest Friday and Saturday. Of course like all my plans it is subject to change without notice :-)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Self Maximising

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 30k
Month Total: 182k
Year Total: 1343.4k

NB If anyone is interested I have inserted the map of yesterdays run below (thanks MR for the help with line widths). For anyone not familiar with Canberra the thing in the centre of the cirlcle (lower right corner) is our Parliment House.

I can't remember if I read it in Deeks or Mona's biography, but one of them referred to the body as self maximising machine and it never fails to amaze me how this works.

During October I was flat out trying to run just 1k during a run at a sub 6 min pace. Today on a recovery run I comfortably ran an average of 5.32.

I didn't run this morning because my legs still felt tired from yesterdays effort. They did improve through the day so I thought an easy 8k along the foreshore (I'm back home) would freshen me up nicely for tonights training.

In my mind I planned I would cruise at around a 6.10 or so pace and enjoy the scenery. I was stunned when I heard the little beep signifying my first k split to see I had done it in 5.26 as I truly felt I was dawdling and wouldn't have been surprised to see 6.26! In fact I reckon my double take would have been a cracker to see.

Injuries notwithstanding I have put a fair bit of thought into my prep for the half on the 4th since I decided in late September I wanted to do it and touch wood it looks like I might have timed my peak just right.

Again touching wood, all I need to do is get my ducks in a line for next week without doing anything dumb and I am confident I will get the best result I can given the amount of preparation time I've had.

But the truly exciting thing is KT put out the first newsletter for the '06 6' Track today - how excitement! If all goes according to plan this will be my first attempt (my fourth in total) at it with more than 8 weeks running preparation. So the opportunity exists to run a biiiiiiig PB next March - bring it on baby!

Probably wont run this weekend - Bathhurst weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lap Of The Lake

Today Total: 16k
Week Total: 22k
Month Total: 174k
Year Total: 1335k

Happy happy, joy joy :-)

I pulled up lame after Tuesdays run so running was not an option yesterday.

Instead I slipped up to my room at every break in the conference and made myself sit in a freezing cold Canberra water bath. Apply Brauer joint and muscle gel, haul on the skins, slip back into the zoot suit and wander back into the crowd. All up including before and after the conference I managed 6 repeats.

When I woke this morning I was all smiles - blissfully pain free. To celebrate a decided a lap of the lake was called for.

The little jogging brochure in the hotel informed me this should be a 16k loop which was perfect as that is exactly how far I wanted to run. It probably is 16k but a couple of nav errors at Black Mountain Peninsular and the Aussie Museum added an extra 2k (which I walked/shuffle ran as a warm down - red line above).

The happy happy, joy joy bit is that I comfortably did 16k @ 5.34 in 1.29.07 - my quickest longer run in ages and so far the Gastroc twins are behaving.

That's my last longish run now till the CC Half.

Probably too much information, but I am tapping this post out on the Blackberry from what I hope will be my last bloody cold bath for a while - now where did I put my skins? :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Easy Six

Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 6k
Month Total: 158k
Year Total: 1319k

I gave myself another flogging at training last night and woke up feeling a bit dehydrated. It was a gorgeous morning and too good not to go for a run, so I headed out for Canada Bay.

I'm really quite fortunate in that 200 meters from home I have access to a green belt that runs through Concord. Though I have to cross a couple of roads on the way I get 1.5k of running through parks on grass or dirt track when I take this route.

I wasn't sure how far I wanted to run, but my left calf had a dull ache all the way, further vindicating my decision to be a bit gentle today and helping me to make the decision to bail at 6k. I'm off to Canberra for few days and really want to get in a couple runs around the lake, so no point in pushing it.

Apart from the calf I felt really comfy out there this morning and really enjoyed not putting myself under any pressure. Morning sun, green parks, stunning water views, the odd friendly local - nice :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

High Roller

Today Total: 21k
Week Total: 42k
Month Total: 152k
Year Total: 1313.4k

The highs and lows of running.... it's a funny old game this running lark. After the trauma of this last week and yesterdays fairly ordinary run, this mornings run was fan-bloody-tastic :-)

I took on the "Roller Coaster" again.

This is by far the hardest run that I have been doing lately. The first 6k trend as gentle climb all the way (ignore the dip on the graph below at 4k - that must have been a Garmin glitch - a more accurate representation is to imagine the last 6k in reverse) and then from there till 12.5k is a series of steep ups and downs culminating in two 80 - 90 meter or so climbs on the 11th and 12th k's. The last 8.5k is a bit of a  doddle by comparison.

With an eye on the bigger picture of getting ready for next years 6',  I have done this run three times in the lead up to the CC Half and the improvement is so big you could measure it with a sun dial!

23/10: 2.41.12 (walked part of the hills)
30/10: 2.25.44
20/11: 2.18.05

That is a whopping 23+ mins better than my first go! The 11th and 12th k splits for the three runs tell a pretty happy story too.

11k: 8.52, 8.10, 7.19
12k: 9.44, 9.25, 8.21

These still aren't splits to rave about, but they do show a marked improvement in my steep hill running.

Given last weeks drama I have no real plan yet on how to approach these last 2 weeks other than I will shorten up the distance a bit. I'm a little nervous about doing any speed work as I don't want to risk aggravating Messers Gastroc.

I'm also revising down my goal time. I know on a good day I could go a ways under 1.50 but I also don't want to risk going out hard and having the evil twins rain on my parade at some stage. So at this juncture the plan is to run at a disciplined 5.40 pace to 15k and then play it by ear (subject to change without notice due to fluctuating testosterone and adrenalin levels).

I would rate Woodford to Glenbrook as my best running performance this year, so if I can walk away from the Central Coast Half feeling like I have eclipsed that I will be very happy.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I'll Take It

Today Total: 9k
Week Total: 21k
Month Total: 131k
Year Total: 1292.4k

It is always a fine line as to when to run again. To an extent it is a bit of a punt whether the injury has healed enough so that a run will aid recovery, or not enough and you will bugger it up more. With years of experience with the evil Gastroc twins I have gotten better at predicting the odds, but it is far from an exact science.

I think we could call today a draw.

At training last night my calf niggled away at me non stop - fair dinkum I reckon it could get a spot in the slips cordon in the Aussie cricket team. Mowing the lawn this morning (we are up at the lake house) it was a dull ache but no "grabby" niggles so I figured a run was an even money bet.

Mrs 2P did the decent and dropped me up the end of Kanangra Drive on her way to the shops. The first couple of k's were touch and go and a couple of times I thought I had over done it so I slowed right down to about a 6.15 pace and just doddled along. My twin mantra being "don't push it" and "I won't be cowed by my calves".

This was only going to be 6k run but I  was feeling pretty chipper all things considering and decided to extend. One problem though was that it being just a smidge under 30 degrees and that I had not long finished mowing, I had gone through 500mls of water in just 5k! A quick stop into the Tunkawallan Tennis Club and the lovely bar maid refilled my water container with a bit of ice and chilled purified water - nectar :-)

The last 2k of this run was around the foreshore (grass - no track) and it was absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn't say I was in my happy place today because my calf ached all the way, but I'll take it.

 I don't think I did the injury any further harm (only time will tell) and as they say every one you get through is one they can never take away.

PS the hand is coming along well - just a couple of spots that still look like hamburger - Silvazine is a miracle cream!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

No Surrender

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 12k
Month Total: 122k
Year Total: 1283.4k

I was really chuffed to run 70k last week which is my second highest weekly total for the year (highest 84k in Feb).

With two days break to let the hand heal a bit (I didn't want to risk infection with sweaty bandages after I drained the blisters) my legs felt really fresh this morning.

Todays plan was 12k, 2k's to warm up and then run at close to my projected CC Half race pace (5.15 - 5.30) with surges at 3k, 6k & 11k.

All was going swimmingly. Slight glitch with the Garmin on the 3rd k - Hal only recorded a 5.14 and I KNOW I was going at sub 5 pace! 6th k in 4.55. Average pace for the run was hovering around 5.25 (including the first 2 warm up k's).

At 10.58k the wheels fell off and both calves tightened considerably, particularly the left which "went" - not a tear per se but very painful. I ended up hobbling home in a smidge over 67 mins for the 12k.

But my new mantra is: "I will not be cowed by my calves". And I won't! Apart from the double entendre amusing me it is also the most positive affirmation I can think of to overcome the beastly Gastroc twins.

So lots more ice, lots more compression, maybe a little retreat, but definitely no surrender!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

30k & Yes The Lawns Got Done!

Thanks for all your comments yesterday folks, your a sympathetic bunch - eh? ;-) Tesso are you sure you are not related to Mrs 2P?

Today Total: 30k
Week Total: 70k
Month Total: 110k
Year Total: 1271.4k

By 4.00pm yesterday the pain in my hand had subsided enough courtesy of Panadeine Forte and Silvazine (that stuff is amazing) for me to get out and manipulate the mower around the yard. I drew the line at doing the edges though :-)

The extent of burns are always difficult to assess initially, but when I got up this morning it was pretty clear I only had 2nd degree burns to about 40% of my palm and about 20%-30% of each finger - the rest is just scorched. So no excuse not to go for a run.

I know a 30k is not necessary for a half marathon preparation but as I'm just getting back into the swing of things I wanted it for my confidence. So I loaded up the camelback with a couple of litres of water and some Gu's and headed off. I like to run with the camelback as: I like the convenience of having a drink when I want one; you don't have to stop to get a drink &; I figure the extra weight is a good training aid.

The course joins up all my loops and features 5k of bush trail and some pretty specie views of Parramatta River - it also takes in the ghost town of the Olympic Park. The pic below is actually the 32k version - today I ran straight through Olympic Park which shortens it by 2k.

I had two goals - given that I had about 3kg's on my back I decided I wanted to run sub 62min splits for each 10k and to run the penultimate k in sub 2 hour half marathon pace (5.40). Results:

1st 10k - 61.44
2nd 10k - 61.34
3rd 10k - 63.01
Total for 30k - 3.06.19
29th k - 5.34

So I failed on the 3rd 10k split, but I just couldn't hold pace going up Silverwater Bridge and the big hill at 27k which takes me over North Strathfield Station. I also struggled a bit on a couple of the smaller hills through Olympic Park. I was pretty happy with the 5.34 for the 29th k though.

All in all a brilliant morning. Still as, warm and magic. Definitely a run where I was in my happy place :-)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Silly 2P

Well another non-running post.

The whipper snipper got its revenge! Long story short, I did an extremely dumb thing whilst cleaning the spark plug, without going into detail it involved methylated spirit, matches and a big surprise - end result is I have 2nd degree burns to my entire palm and most parts of my fingers on my right hand.

It hurts a bit.

Had planned a long run tomorrow but it is extremely unlikely that I will run now at all, just have to wait and see.

The bright note is it got me ot of doing the lawns :-)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Play Time

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 40k
Month Total: 80k
Year Total: 1241.4

Well the Gastroc twins are as happy as they ever get (brats) so I thought I might have some fun with them this morning.

I headed out on a repeat of Wednesays 8k  run which includes a 3k out and back section on the fantastic surface around France Bay, Exile Bay and Canada Bay. Only today my intention was to play with the 3rd and 6th kilometer and "attack" them.

It was delightfully cool and fresh after last nights Southerly and so no excuses not to have a go. I should point out I havn't done any speed work since 1999. I guess that requalifies me as a speedwork newbie and I have been putting this off and off until the time was right.

So the results:

3k - 4.29
6k - 4.27

Yay I could just about keep up with Steve L (Team J's speed demon) for about a k on one of his "cruuuzy" runs!

Humble beginnings but the longest journey as they say........

The plan is training tonight, rest tomorrow (lawns) and something long and enjoyable on Sunday.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Back To The "Bush"

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 32k
Month Total: 72k
Year Total: 1233.4k

This morning I ran my Yaralla Bay, Rhodes, Bicentennial Park loop. It incorporates 5k of bush trail along the foreshore.

I haven't done this run for months but it my absolute favourite run from home. I've deliberately been giving it a break because I'll just about live down the bush section  once my 6' prep starts in earnest.

It really is like the land that time forgot. In some places it is just bush but in others there are old huts that date back to WW11 when it was used as a repat hospital for wounded diggers. There are also a couple of historic manors which are absolutely majestic.

The bush section ends at the Kokoda Memorial Walkway and I never fail to reflect on just how hard it must have been for our boys. Sometimes for me it hurts enough just running, let alone having some mal intended bugger with a big bundook trying to shoot you whilst you are trying to remember what it is like to eat and wondering what those big red pussy sores are....

It is the mix of bush, broken and undulating ground, flat running, a couple of short sharp hills and some stairs, good scenery and a distinct lack of other humans that makes this my favourite.

Ah life is good you know, can't understand why so many people waste it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Same But Different

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 60k
Year Total: 1221.4k

Played tag with the snooze button this morning and finally dragged my bones out of bed at 6.15.

Instead of running via several parks and a bit of road to get to Canada Bay today I ran the 1k from home to Cape Cabarita and then did 3k out to Canada Bay and back along the foreshore.

What a cracker of a morning, nice and warm and with all the rain we have had the sky is as clear as it gets in Sydney.

Exit whistling.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New Halfpenny

I decided when I set up my blog that I would only post my runs - but this is an exception.

At 8.30pm tonight our 3rd Grand Daughter Lauren came into the world.

Mum and bubs both well and Mrs 2P is clucking like crazy :-)

And yes I am far too young - technically speaking they are my step grand kids ;-)

Rest Is Good

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 12k
Month Total: 52k
Year Total: 1213.4k

Well 2 days off training and a 3 day break from running has done wonders - I feel freshly minted.

After Fridays cricket niggle, running wasn't an option on either Saturday or Sunday. I probably could have run yesterday but my calf was still fairly sore so decided that discretion played the better part.

Pulled up really well after last nights session and decided I would run this morning. I was almost put off by the rain (it's not running in the rain that bothers me - it's the minute or so standing around in it waiting for the Garmin to get its act together) but  I really want to get back to running consistently in the AM so I donned the runners and headed out.

My calf was still a bit sore so I did a very conservative 6.40 first k. A quick systems check and all seemed well so I upped the pace and I must say running in the rain this morning at a fairly consistent 5.30 pace for the next 11k was an absolute delight.

I really was in my happy place today and even those snivelling Gastroc twins seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Won't know what to do with myself tonight now I've run this morning......

Friday, November 04, 2005


Today Total: 17k
Week Total: 46k
Month Total: 40k
Year Total: 1201.4k

Modern day usage of the word "cute" has modified its definition in today's dictionaries, but when I was at school the dictionary used to describe cute as being ugly but interesting. Well today's run definitely fits the classical definition.

On top of what has been my hardest training week for quite some time and fronting for my second run in under 10 hours my legs were weary as, as I dragged my semi-conscious body out of bed at 5am this morning. I had decided some time back that some time soon I would like to run from my place to the Bay Run, do a lap and return home. Today was the day.


I don't see what all the fuss is about with the Bay Run, it's noisy, crowded and in parts smelly but apart from that I guess its ok :-) I would much rather my more local Canada Bay and Exile Bay or Majors Bay, Yaralla Bay and Brays Bay.


It was fairly warm and very humid this morning, but I actually like that and usually revel in these kinds of conditions, but there just wasn't much gas in the tank. On the 5k down to the bay my pace was all over the place, splits for this section range from 6.38 to 5.32, a sure sign of fatigue. When I got to the bay I almost bailed, instead I compromised with a short stretch break.

Vanity made me lift my pace to a fairly constant 6 min pace for the 7k around the bay. I saw Action twice as he was running in the other direction and we passed brief greetings and comments on the weather. Well at least he did - I think I just kind of tried to grunt something intelligible and seemingly friendly through my laboured breathing. I must say I found the whole "boot camp" scene around Leichhardt Park highly amusing.

Lap of the bay complete, I treated myself to another stretch break and ground out the 5k home with some of the splits dipping into the 7 min zone.

Whilst I believe chronic over-training is silly, I think days like today are good every now and then. Without being macho about it, it toughens you up mentally for those times when life gets a bit hard. It gives you that confidence that you can push on when common sense suggests it might be highly desirable to stop. And I am a firm believer that this is a skill that is generalisable to all parts of your life. If nothing else it is good preparation for Blacks Range (6 footers will know what I mean).

So yeah, nothing flash - pretty ordinary in fact, but I'm happy with it. All I have to do is survive tonights training and I have 38 hours or so of glorious rest before assaulting something up the mountains on Sunday arvo.

Edit: Mucking around with the troops and playing cricket in the roof top tennis court at lunch time I managed to niggle the calf injury I had last week. It's a mufti day so fortunately I had my skins on under my jeans so hopefully it is not too bad.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Another Double

Today Total: 7k
Week Total: 29k
Month Total: 23k
Year Total: 1184.4

The mow and run double that is! It's becoming a bit of a habit.

Thanks to the rain and heat the lawns were feral even though I mowed last Thursday. I actually don't mind mowing but geez I hate the whipper snipper - just quietly I think the noisy little bastard hates me back, the way it keeps breaking down and refusing to start etc -  so it's mutual.

After mowing I had a quick dip in the pool and then off around the usual route for a quick 7k.

I'm off to Bathurst this weekend to visit Bec (my 14 year old bundle of joy daughter) so I'm going to try and drag my lazy carcass out of bed in the morning and do something longer. Saturday is a scheduled rest day to maximise play time with Bec, then Sunday something short and steep up the mountains on the way home.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

4 Gentle Ones

Today Total: 4k
Week Total: 22k
Month Total: 16k
Year Total: 1177.4k

After yesterdays masochism it was time to explore my yin side and be gentle.

There are a number of nooks that I have been meaning to explore around the foreshore near my place - you know those little alleys, side streets and paths that you often see when you are out running and wonder where they go but don't pursue because you don't want to ruin your run? Well now I know.

Wasn't really a run more like mooching opportunities interspersed with a light jog - I must have hit the pause button on the Garmin half a dozen times while I poked around to see if there was a way through several seemingly dead ends.

Found one particular low tide option that might be fun for when I am looking for broken ground options on the lead up to 6'.

Nice recovery and now ready for training tonight.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

12k Hard

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 18k
Month Total: 12k
Year Total: 1173.4k

There is a masochistic streak in me and it was raging today. Being my 4th consecutive running day I had planned to run a 12k easy, but for some reason when I looked at my first k split I was going more at my racing pace and decided to see how long I could hold it.

The route was Canada Bay, Breakfast Point and a lap of Concord Golf Course which meant that the 7th, 8th, 10th & 12th k's contain a fair amount of uphill and several times I caught myself making an excursion above my aerobic threshold (read I was panting like a St Bernard at the Equator and probably didn't look too dissimilar).

I finished the run completely wasted but satisfied.