Sunday, May 28, 2006

Two Bays & A Dog

Today Total: 25k
Week Total: 40k
Month Total: 171k
Year Total: 1138k

I woke up before the alarm at about 0515 pretty keen to get out on the road but after getting up and mooching around for a bit I judged the back wasn't quite up to it. Reluctantaly I headed back to bed at 0630 (lol - only a runner would be disappointed) and slept for another couple of hours.

It was last day of moving duties and even though the back felt better after the new stretching exercises that St Andrew had given me (a sordid little number involving a bed and a pool noodle) it was an apprehensive 2P that loaded 2 wardrobes and a dresser onto the box trailer - fortunately the planets had aligned and Mrs 2P's two sons were available to do the unloading at the other end.

You can imagine how sad I was when I waved goodbye to everyone and found I was alone with a few hours to fill in and not a stick of furniture in sight to move. After another back stretching session it didn't take long for my mind to turn towards the possibility of a run. I can be very creative if left to my own devices :-)

So I headed out on a kind of low(ish) heartrate LSD. The plan was to keep my heartrate under 160 at all times and just run comfortably. As a concession to not running much lately I also negotiated with my ego for a 1 min walk break every 4k - I had wanted to walk every 20 minutes but my ego can be rather persuasive at times.

I followed the water around from Cape Cabarita to Canada Bay and then a road route to The Bay complete with the Dog Run detour and return - it was very pleasant running conditions on bright sunny Sydney day - happy 2P.

All up 25k in 2.35.38 (av 6.14) @ average HR of 154bpm.

Now to answer Tesso's question - mate the jury is out on that one! And DJ I hear you brother - I'm all for job creation and hired help - it's good for the economy!

Might even extend that concept to the yard *he says as he heads out to do the lawn mowing recovery session*

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Easy Ten

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 15k
Month Total: 146k
Year Total: 1113k

Felt pretty good when I woke - though it is amazing how quickly one can get out of the habit of 0530 - if only giving up dim sims and potato chips was that easy!

Decided against the CR 5K this morning for 2 reasons. The first being that time was tight as I had to be at the Homebush Sports Centre at 0845 and the second was I didn't reckon there was much to be gained by flogging myself over 5k when I haven't been doing much running of late.

Somehow I've managed to misplace my heartrate monitor - the lazy bugger is probably off skulking with all my odd socks whinging about how unlucky it was to get a runner with the heartrate of an excited ferret. So I just took the first 6k out at a gentle pace at what I'm guessing was sub 80% and then kicked into 2nd gear for the last 4k.

Came home in 57.28 (av 5.45).

As for the back - a couple of mild twinges but none of that nasty referred glute pain - so I'm pretty happy with it.

Friday, May 26, 2006

So Far So Good

Today Total: 5k
Week Total: 5k
Month Total: 136k
Year Total: 1103k

Well hopefully the drama queen era is behind me - well for a while I hope anyway.

My legs pulled up fine after SMH - a bit tight in both quads but nothing to write home about. If it wasn't for my back I could have run the next day - unfortunately though my back has been giving all sorts of grief and running has not been an option all week.

It's a bloody miderable thing a really crook back and as positive a chappie as I normally am it was really starting to get me down. Fortunately when I awoke this mornining I immediately noticed a marked reduction in pain level and the longer the day has gone on the better it has felt.

It is amazing the difference not being in pain has made to my disposition and when I got home from work I thought hang it I'll risk a run! Commonsense prevailed though and I just did a quick 5k dash around Concrod Golf Course.

All good :-)

5k in 25.08 (av 5.02)

I won't make a decision on CR 5k Challenge till I get out of bed tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow - 6 hours of tedium in store for me while I do my National Coaching Accreditation refresher - having done a number of these over the years it is like watching paint dry! No - I retract that - watching paint dry is interesting by comparison!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

SMH Half

Today Total: 23k
Week Total: 35k
Month Total: 131k
Year Total: 1075k

I bludged :-)

Woke up with the back feeling a little grumpy but no major dramas and felt good enough to 'have a go' - unfortunately I was a little late getting to the start and was well back in the field but again no major dramas.

It took about 1m 50s to get across the start line and once it opened up a bit I just concentrated on staying out of trouble and working up to racing speed. Went through the first k in about 6.50 (gun time) which meant I had judged it nicely and it all felt pretty good.

Going up Hunter Street the first time and I got the first signs that today was not going to be my day as pain started to shoot down through my glutes - I ignored it for a while but half way down to Mrs Macquaries Chair I just snatched it and decided I was on a training run.

Across the top of my pelvis and down through my glutes remained pretty whingy even at a reduced pace and I really wasn't enjoying myself a whole lot and coming through the finish the first time in a bit over an hour I figured I'd be happy with anything sub 2 hours.

Thankfully somewhere around the 12k mark the pain level eased significantly and then finally disappeared (??) and I really started to enjoy myself. I had the curious pleasure of enjoying the second trip up Hunter Street a whole lot more than I did the first.

I briefly flirted with getting back into racing mode but then thought why, what's the point? Just enjoy it! And that is exactly what I did. I took my Gu at 15.5k - I didn't really need it but I'd carried it so why not?

I pretty much just cruised the last 5 or so k's - if I was famous I'd have had time to sign autographs and it was kind of nice passing bucket loads of people for a change whilst having time and the inclination to take in my surroundings.

Turned it up to about 4.40 pace for the last k along Hickson Road and crossed the finish line feeling like I'd been out for a bit of a stroll in around 1.56.25 gun time, 1.54.XX nett.

After seeing some CR's: Gronk, Nico, Truckie, Aunty K, Blkbox, Eagle, Horrie and others (?) I tracked down Mrs 2P to say g'day and then headed back out on the course to find the rest of Team DSA.

I first found CR Pipe looking replendent in his DSA gear - I then found CR's Lucky Legs and Ewen (not part of team DSA) and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to run with CR royalty - being nervous I think I alternatively called Lucky Legs Norma and Lorna (only one of which is her name). LL was moving well and as I was struggling to keep up so I begged off and turned to resume my search.

I found Paul halfway down the hill above the last drink station and ultimately Susan a bit further back. Susan deserves a big wrap - having never been a runner she set her sights on this race in late January and went from couch to half marathon in a few short months and I really enjoyed running the last 1.5k with her.

The plan had been to go across to the pub but Mrs 2P wasn't feeling too chipper so after touching base with some other Team DSA members in Dawes Park we headed off home.

Whilst I have to confess I did enjoy the second lap, I really don't think I am cut out for mass participation events - ok every now and again but they are not really my cup of tea - still it was nice to catch up with a bunch of CR's both on the course and afterwards.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Drama Queen

Today Total: 5k
Week Total: 12k
Month Total: 108k
Year Total: 1075k

Considering changing my handle again - this time to Drama Queen. As some of the more astute of you have pointed out first Six Foot and now SMH! At least this time it wasn't a training injury.

Anyhoo - in short the back has been giving me gyp and I have also been working pretty long hours so as my new mantra suggests maybe it is just the universe unfolding as it should.

I really should have done tonights run yesterday but there was too much pain. This morning was still a bit ugly but a trip to St Andrew (my chiro) and my new best buddy the local apothecary had me raring to go tonight. I was doubly motivated because my new DSA (the charity I work for) running kit (read Wonder Woman lookalike outfit) was delivered and I wanted to give it a whirl.

The plan was to run around the 5min mark on a hilly(ish) course and see how it felt. It felt good - but I think it is a little quick for a half marathon pace for me - maybe on a flat course like the Central Coast but not SMH.

Final stats were 5k in 24.55 (av 4.59) @ an average heartrate of 168bpm - a smidge over 90% for me.

To add to the Drama Queen status I took a tumble over the gutter crossing the road - fortunately 25 or so years of kung fu training are good for something and I only lost a tiny bit of bark - I must admit my first thought was for my new running gear and Garmin - glad I still have my priorities right :-)

So the plan for the half? Don't got one! No point in worrying about it till Sunday morning. Back feels good right at this minute but I've got five or six hours in the car tomorrow going to Bathurst and back to visit the Halfpenny. If I feel good on Sunday morning then I will probably go out at a 5.05 to 5.10 pace and see what happens. If I feel crap I'll go out in a 5.40 pace and just run a 2 hour training run.

Thanks for all the good wishes guys - hope to catch up with a few of you on Sunday and all the best to the Warwick contingent too. Also special thanks to Go Girl, Horrie, Sarge, another CR lurker and me mate Paul who have all volunteered to run in Team DSA colours on the weekend.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Today Total: 7k
Week Total: 7k
Month Total: 103k
Year Total: 1070k

I saw St Andrew again yesterday and so far so good with my back.

Managed a 7k doddle around Cape Cabarita this morning - certainly nothing flash but I'm runnin (sort of).

Thursday will be a better day and then I'll be all fresh and spritely for Sunday - sounds like a plan :-)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Cruise Intervals

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 22k
Month Total: 96k
Year Total: 1063k

After seeing St Andrew again yesterday my back was noticably better for the first time this week so I went home and straight to bed at 6.15pm and slept through to 8.30am. Having not slept for anything longer than a cat-nap for 5 nights I was exhausted.

My back was still stiff this morning but not the spasms I've been having so definitely on the improve - decided discretion was the better part etc so left it till this arvo to go for a run.

Given the little time left before SMH I decided specificity was the way to go so after a 2k warm up I did 5 X 1k cruise intervals at < 4.50 pace (about 15 seconds faster than projected race pace) with the floats at around 5.45.

I found the intervals fine, but got quite a bit of referred nerve pain down through my glutes on the slower floats which was a bit weird - I even had to stop a couple of times to let the pressure ease a bit during the slower laps.

All up the stats are 12k in 63.04 (av 5.15) average heartrate 167bpm (90%).

Anyway it's done - probably won't run tomorrow due to family commitments but I think that might be a good thing.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Day 28

Day 28 of the Great Heartrate Experiment and unfortunately not much to report. Though to recap - I was really happy with last Sunday's effort and my low heartrate run on Monday indicated another small increase in pace.

I haven't run since Monday due to furniture moving induced crook back syndrome. Saw the chiro on Wednesday and will again today - I expect to run tomorrow.

I'm looking at it as a revolutionary new advanced taper technique for next weeks SMH Half. This could be big!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Easy Ten

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 10k
Month Total: 84k
Year Total: 1051k

Apart from the training fun of yesterday I also had the absolute joy of moving a lot of 40 and 50 year old furniture over the weekend. My back (or more specifically my chiropractor) can't thank me enough.

I didn't set the alarm this morning leaving it to the running gods to decide if I should run or not but when I started waking up every 10mins or so from around 5.00am I figured I got the gist of their decision.

So I rolled out of bed (literally) and headed out on the usual route around Canada Bay for an easy but very breezy (good decision to don the glovies) 10k @ av 142bpm.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Part 2


Accidently pressed send (I'm blogging via email) on the previou while I was munching on my protein bar between runs so here is Part 2 - The Fun Run.

The start was just 200m from our place so I strolled down around 8.45am to register. There was a total of 117 entrants - about a half of them kids doing the 3k "short" course.

Lovely community atmosphere only lacking in the absence of the CR cheer squad. I luckily had packed my CR T-shirt so was able to fly the flag.

Given the length of my "warm-up" my goal wasn't really to race but to try and maintain my previous half marathon PB pace (5.12) for the 5.45k. The course is fairly hilly so I figured it would provide a good form guide for SMH.

Ended up finishing in 27.25 (av 5.02) @ av heartrate of 169bpm. I was pretty happy with it because I wasn't really pushing myself at any stage and despite the hilly nature of the course my heartrate never got much over 90%.

Caught up with CR and erstwhile Team J member Miss Gazelle and family at the finish - Miss G had a good one and finished 2nd female across the line, picking up a bottle of plonk for her efforts.

The $7.50 entrance fee also scored each participant a bacon and egg sanger, hash brown and a drink - how good is that?

Very enjoyable and unexpected format for my weekly long.

Long Run, Fun Run

Today Total: 22k
Week Total: 74k
Month Total: 74k
Year Total: 1041k

Well time for another bold experiment -  do a 16.55k warm-up @ sub 2 hour half marathon pace before for a 5.45k race and see how I go. Pretty predictable hypothesis I would contend ;-)

Got up to Gwandalan on Saturday arvo to discover the Great Gwandy Gallop was scheduled for Sunday morning - not sure how I let this one slip under the radar - I really do need to pay more attention.

What to do? What to do?

Given the SMH Half is in 2 weeks I didn't want to miss doing my long run as I've been feeling a little under-cooked in this department. I missed last weeks longun and the 2 longuns before that were both at low heartrate. For specificity reasons I wanted a faster one under my belt this weekend as prep for SMH and as the fun run didn't start till 9.00am the only thing for it was to do the majority of my long run first then back up for the fun run.

Finished the first 16.55k in 1.32.59 (av 5.36) @ av heartrate of 156bpm (84%). A quick munch on an FX protein bar a drink an then walked off to the fun run start for registration.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bike Bliss

Today Total: 40k MTB

I had briefly flirted with the idea of doing the Striders 10k this morning but as it was the North Head venue I decided against it. It's probably my South Western Suburbs upbringing but I hate going North of the harbour.

So bike ride it was - headed out to Tempe and return for a nice couple of hours low heartrate stuff. The HRM had a hissy fit today and didn't want to play (maybe it didn't like the el-cheapo Tarfet coolmax singlet I had on under my riding jersey) - no big deal - I rarely (except for hills) get over 75% MHR on the bike anyway.

Anyhoo when I got home and turned the Garmin off and back on it appeared we were friends again.

Alls well that ends well.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Day 21

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 52k
Month Total: 52k
Year Total: 1019k

As has been customary upon each 7th day - a report on The Great Heartrate Experiment - to summarise - I feel great, I haven't trained longer or been faster for quite a few summers.

As an example, during Wednesday I ran for an hour @ 75%, rode the bike for an hour @ < 75% and I cross trained for a further hour, most of which was > 80% - ok no biggie, 2 hours of that was relatively gentle exercise - but the sweet bit is - I then got up Thursday morning and ran 10k at my half marathon PB pace and felt fantastic! NB whilst this is not race pace for a 10k it is certainly my fastest 10k in training for a mighty long time.

I have also trained between 50 minutes & 3 hours on 22 of the last 23 days - now 2P of old never even came close to that! My biggest dilemma these days is finding enough time to train.

So yeah - I think there is something to this. To be fair - I'm not saying that the low heartrate stuff is solely responsible. If you've been paying attention you would have noticed I've  also been working the middle and the top end as well - rather I think the reality is more that it is the variety (of which for me low heartrate stuff had previously been missing) that has meant:

- less chance of overuse injuries because I'm using muscles a bit differently on different runs
- generally the impact on the body is lower because I'm not pounding the pavement hard on every run
- all energy systems across the spectrum are getting conditioned
- I've been able to up the ante on workload and pace niggle free *touching wood, rubbing lucky rabbits foot, and throwing salt over shoulder*
- I'm not getting bored and I really look forward to my faster hit outs

So to respond to a couple of comments about being patient and how do I stand running so slow?

Well to be honest at first it was a bit of a shock just how slow 75% was for me and I was highly embarrassed at running so slow - till I realised no one else gave a rats bum about it except for me! People who are running faster don't think about how slowly someone else is running - they are just chuffed that they are faster - hard to believe I know - but it turns out it's not always about me :-)

As for the patience thing, at first it was a bit of a trial, but I mentally had commited to at least 1 month of this to give it a fair go - but now I'm seeing and feeling results it has been much easier and I've been happy to stick with it.

My conclusion thus far is that I (and probably a lot of others) had previously done my easy and long runs too hard. The goal is to get back to the old pace on these runs but at a much lower heartrate - only time will tell and the experiment continues.

And so for today it was back to an easy 10k @ 141bpm. No real difference to the pace this week at the low heartrate, I suppose like most things the gains wax and wane in their progress.

Regards, Lab Rat ;-)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Grand Retro

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 42k
Month Total: 42k
Year Total: 1009k

To celebrate my 1000th kilometer for the year I decided today would be a return to the 80's - so after donning my stubbies, KT-26's, matching head and wrist bands, and my Life Be In It T-shirt I set the HRM alert function to "Off" and headed out the door humming the cheezy Bee Gee's number Jive Talkin and a vague notion that I would run with my heartrate somewhere in the 80 - 90% zone.

I also had another thought that I would like to run somewhere around my previous half marathon PB pace to see what that felt like these days - obviously I was hoping the two notions were compatable.

The first warm up k clicked through in 5.33 and I gently accelerated up to cruising speed. The next 9 k's flowed like water down a mountain stream - seemingly effortless and with a bubbling enthusiasm (where IS that Mills and Boon contract?) with splits ranging between 5.04 & 5.10.

Final wrap up was 10k in 51.56 (inclusive of the warm up k) @ av 5.12 pace which is bang on for my previous half PB pace. Average heartrate was 161bpm (86%)

J J J Jive talkin....

PS sorry for planting that song in your head but it is stuck in mine and I like to share :-)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Almost A Grand Run

Today Total: 10k + 20k MTB
Week Total: 32k
Month Total: 32k
Year Total: 999k

Hehe 1k short of the 1000k YTD milestone - just messin with your head Tesso ;-)

Edit:Got home in time to squeeze in 20k on the bike @ 135bpm for another hour of low heartrate training before a blog and shower PB and heading off to training :-)

I did briefly think about putting in an extra k this morning and call me puerile if you like, but I like to see the numbers line up - just the same way as I used to love it as a kid watching the speedo in my Dads old '64 XP Falcon. I remember vividly the excitement that grew as we approached the one hundred thousand mile mark - we kids were hanging over the from the backseat (no seat belts back then) eyes glued to the speedo as the numbers clicked over (didn't have many toys back then either!).

Anyhoo another 10k at low heartrate of av 141bpm. Had real trouble keeping it low for the first k - in fact I couldn't - at a 7min pace I was pushing up into the 160's??? The only thing different was I DIDN'T drink coffee this morning - this seems a little counter-intuitive as caffeine generally elevates heartrate. The only conclusion I can draw is that it must also kick start my metabolism and not having had coffee this morning it took 6 or 7 mins for my system to click into gear? Dunno.

After the first k everything was sweet and nearly all of the next 9k's went at sub 6.30 pace - wooohooo I'm almost up to a jog :-)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mona's Fartlek

Today Total: 12k + 15k MTB
Week Total: 22k
Month Total: 22k
Year Total: 989k

Edit: Managed to escape work today in time to squeeze in a 15k ride for another 45mins of low heartrate stuff @ 134bpm av. I would dearly have loved to have ridden for longer but alas time is a thief. My legs felt amazingly fresh considering what I put them through this morning - I'm lovin it!

Well running is a confidence game and after Saturdays mild disappointment I was hunting for a good one - enter me ole mate Mona's.

I had a ball out there this morning - my ambition was to keep all my faster efforts quicker than a 4.10 pace which except for 3 out of the 14 efforts I managed to do. The 3 errant laps were more due to lapses in concentration than fatigue as most of other 11 efforts hovered at + or - 4 seconds of 4 min pace.

Whilst I was happy with my pace this morning was particularly pleased with the last 4 x 15sec efforts as I had enough gas in the tank to progressively increase the pace:

3.56, 3.45, 3.31, 3.25 - now if I could just hold that for a full km or two or three or ten..... ;-)

For the heartrate followers out there - I pretty much stayed a smidge over the 90% mark throughout the session (20mins) as an average - sometimes dipping a little below on the recoveries and always a bit above on the efforts. Did the 6k return journey @ av 150bpm (80%).

A very enjoyable morning - I really do revel in the redline zone :-)

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Day

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 10k
Month Total: 10k
Year Total: 977k

After 17 days straight of training (2 of which were bike only) I decided to heed the signs from Saturday and declared Sunday a rest day. A bit of a bugger it being my long run day as I haven't missed a weekend long run in a long time - certainly not in '06.

Funny how the mind game works because when the alarm went off this morning my thoughts were "well you missed yesterday, another day is not going to hurt......" - well it probably wouldn't, but that's not the point, get your ass out of bed!

So another 10k trudge @ 140bpm.

Done..... next.....