Sunday, April 30, 2006


Brisbane Marathon Race Report

I guess the title gives it away. Straight into it ... and I was comfortably into the race and moving at 4:30 min/K, as I had done in the last two marathons. If anything, it was a little quicker and the first 7 km were at 4:27 pace, but I was heating up fast and saturated, sweating more than normal. I eased up a little as the pace was what I wanted, but was more effort that it might otherwise take. I looked at my watch and noted right on 45 min at the 10k marker.

I knew that it was all over for a PB in this race already, as I felt the need to back off in order to ensure a finish. It could have been the heat and humidity of 92% or the effect of running the Canberra marathon 3 weeks ago. Dropping down a gear enabled me to find a better rhythm and covered the 4Ks to 14 at 5:03 min pace. By 14k, I felt good again and took my shirt off leaving the soaked rag splattered against a wall where it remained for me to pickup after finishing (I didn't think anyone would want it!).

Before hitting 20k I had lost power and was pushing myself hard to keep for slipping off the pace too much. My focus was the pavement a couple of meters ahead of me and a friend that passed later told me that I looked like I was doing it hard. Frequently I would give an extra surge to stop myself from really slowing down. I had soreness in my hamstrings and bum, glutes or whatever the top of legs is called. It was the pain that I have felt at the end of a long run and where I would be sore the next few days. But folks there was still 20Ks to go.

I battled against slower down further and rode the pain through K marker after K marker. Around 30K I got one of those caffeine energy drinks and walked the 100 metres up the hill, taking a brief moment to regain composure and launch into the finish. At this stage I had covered half of those last 20K and all the cliches apply like "staring down the barrel of defeat", "digging deep", etc. I can not overstate the amount of work I was putting in .... really hard work. For the full run there was never a time where I drifted off in my concentration and ambled along.

The final 10K were just over 5min/K, towards the end I was passing other runners. I can't say I felt good but the sense of achievement was strong. Finish time as 3:34 although that wasn't as important today. I was very excited and delighted with this one. 20 rounds in this fight and I was still standing.

Friday, April 28, 2006

On the road again ....

Here it comes ... the Brisbane Marathon ..... it seems like I blinked and
marathon number 2 for the year pops up. Here's the details of the build up:

April 9 Canberra Marathon
April 14 Hot Cross Crouton Classic 3.7k
April 15 First run back 10k / 4:43 min per km pace
April 17 Short Sharp 8k / 4:18 pace
April 19 Another 10.5k / 4:27 Tempo
April 22 Saturday gallop with Matt for 16k / 4:37 pace
April 24 Physio (minor treatment)
April 25 Ran with HR monitor for 9k / 4:36 and was meant to pace Katy home for the last 2k ... Avg HR 159 (88%)
April 27 Early morning hit out 8k / 4:20

and then ....

April 30 Brisbane Marathon

I have slight adjustments in pacing strategy in mind. Pretty much aiming to go out the same Float and Grind as last time, but would like to push it up with a few surges during the Grunt. The Grunt may see me bomb out. I just have to see (Rob understands)!

Wish me luck!

Holy Crouton Karate Chop!

P.S. Toasthater is posting again!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fashion Warning

If you look closely you can see I am wearing a Thong

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Last Word on Canberra

Marathon morning and I'm ready to go ....... I was up at 5 am two hours before the start, did what I had to do (in the bathroom department) had a bit to eat before 6 am and could allow myself to get excited. (This worked well as there were no "pit stops" during any part of the race, I probably put too much emphasis on this).

For me, there are 3 stages of a marathon ...... the Float, the Grind and the Grunt.

The Float

The Float is the first 14 km where my aim is to stay comfortable and hold back in my running. In Canberra I had a good float. The first two K's were along side the 3:15 pacer, who was a touch quicker than the schedule for that time, but I had no trouble drifting off him and the group. Around 6K, I noticed the group of the 3:15's were closing in behind me, so I surged a little and took off my gloves and long sleave top to discard to Katy around the 10K mark.

Katy's words of encouragement at this stage were something like ..... "Oh Bugger" as she missed the photo opportunity. It was a good float and Garmin had decided I was running 4:30's after initially telling me I was quicker than this. I wasn't paying much attention to time and just feeling good.

The Grind

14 through to 28K is head down and just grind out the miles for me. I was holding the float and remember, that at the 12K sign, I felt like settling into the grind by releasing my Inner Kenyan. I kept my IcK inside and held back until 14K came around. At the 14K mark the 3:15 group was closing in behind me and I surged again by gearing into an easy though quicker stride. This was the last I hoped to see of the pace group which I figured was way ahead of their schedule. At this point my pace dropped to 4:25. It was a little further on that I hit some hills. The hills didn't affect me too much, but they did wash off some speed and I was back to 4:30's or thereabouts. I saw Tesso and she yelled some encouragement which I enjoyed and I also called back to a few others as we passed since I had turned and they were coming the other way.

The half way mark, half marathon was my first check of time and very close to 1:37. This was 1 min 10 sec slower than Columbus 1:34:49 so I knew I was a little off that pace. Average to this stage was 4:36 (Garmin had lied!). The 3:15 pace group closed in around the 23K so I surged off them again and was getting pretty damn tired of their persistence. At 25K I saw Katy again and posed for photos still feeing good just over the 4:30's min/K. The pace group overtook me around his time although they remain just ahead of me instead of sailing off into the distance. I was happy where I was and running my own race rather than sticking with them. Had this been around the 35K mark, I would have tried to stay in the group. They were just ahead at 28K and I was content with a pretty solid grind.

The Grunt

I think my pace slipped on one of the hills and I never really picked it up from there. My pace at this time was around 4:45 which wasn't overly noticeable to me and I did stop for a drink at the 30K and a quick stretch. I had taken GU (actually Leppin) at every 10K and this was the last thing I took except fluids for the remainder of the race. I drank some of my caffeine drink whilst walking as there was no way to drink and run. I drank and ran at all other times. Each time was the same, as I drank it was like holding my breath and then I would gasp for air for about 50 metres or so until I was breathing comfortably again. My pace pretty much held 4:45 up to 4:50's right through until the end depending on hills. It was special for me to see the first timers and PB's finishing but another of the moments I treasure is when my friend Glenno came in a few minutes after me and we shook hands, nothing more than that, it was well done. Still feeling strong, I walked and jogged back to the 40K mark and ran with a few runners to encourage them home. I did this a few times and was looking for the last of the people I know from our running group.

Katy was so supportive, I was lucky to have her cheering me on and taking photos and encouraging the Queenslanders as they came past.

Whilst this wasn't quite a PB, it was satisfying to post a similar time to my last marathon being 2 and half minutes different. With two runs, I can say that I made the sub 3:20 level and I am proud of that.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The day before .......

It's Saturday and the day before the race.

On the way to the airport, the traffic build up due to the accident on the other side of the road on the Gateway didn't phase us. We had left a little earlier than we normally would. The slow moving coffee line that Katy had to abandon as our flight was about to board wasn't a big deal. We had just sat down in the back of the plane when Katy turned to me and said "I think I left my IPod in the plastic tray that went through the X-Ray screen as we passed the metal detectors" ........... I quickly told the flight attendant and Katy "salmoned" off the plane and sprinted back to the security gate.

Katy returned, IPod lost, and soreness in her legs from bolting the full length of the airport. It wasn't her ideal preparation for the 10K that afternoon.

When we got to the hotel, she napped for a couple of hours whilst I joined Glenno, Nick and Eddie for some carbo pasta lunch. When I returned from lunch Katy was up and refreshed ready to run and pose for action photos whist nailing a pretty decent time.

I met a couple of Bloggers that day, Robert Song, Eddie and CJ. All day my mind was in MELTDOWN.
I would have liked to be more chatty and it was too late remembering that I owed CJ a hug from Susan. I really wasn't thinking anything ......... if you went inside my mind there would be a vast wasteland of nothing. I remember a conversion with Tesso about eating and being up in the morning early enough for the body to "get going" and how regular fibre consumption was reduced in the last few days to slow things down in that department. Running should be kept for the legs.

In the last days I managed to ensure I was well hydrated. I wanted to be excited and optimistic about my run but kept all that back so that I didn't run my race before I had started. I wasn't sure what was going to happen out on the road and had settled on a plan to go out with the 3:15 pacer and drift away early hoping to stay there through to the end, and if it turned out they picked me up late in the race, to tag along and finish around that time. A realistic assessment of my training times knew that this marathon should not be far off my last one in terms of finishing. Anything significantly quicker was over my physical threshold. It was an early night and I slept soundly after a day with great relief that I was physically ready for the morning and had not caught a cold or sustained an injury in the last week.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

It's a woman's thing.

There's about 10 photos of Katy the Loather of Toast but I dare not post one in fear of repercussions.

In this photo I wonder why her hat is over her eyes, but she likes that her booballies look bigger than they really are, her butt isn't exaggerated and the slight angle keeps the shape of her thighs within the posting threshold.

I dare you to comment ....... just be careful to save me from being relegated to the couch.

For the record I think she looks great all the time and makes stuff up.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Hot Cross Crouton Classic

I know I'm still to post the details of my marathon run but .......... today was another race. I think the organisers had some other name for it.

We have marked this one on the calendar for some time and the lead up had been calculated and thorough. "Clare, what was you preparation"? ...... "I did skipping and ran up and down the street a few times" .... Andrew went on bike rides.

So we lined up and were soon belting down the first K of the 3K route. I must admit I was a little concerned when Clare's face went red and she looked like she did the day I decided they would be OK for an 8K ride in the heat of summer, without water, climbing the big hills along the day ............. I got it wrong that day.

It was not the same today .... the little troopers responded to every challenge and after regaining breath would surge from time to time until the finish line was insight.

First Andrew ........ I suggested the big sprint finish and 300m out gave him the word .... not yet dad! ....... 200m .... now? ... not yet dad! .... 50m and off he shot for a well deserved chocolate egg waiting at the end.

Then it was Clare's turn who was not far behind ....... I imagine it could be a little annoying having dad one step behind talking up the last 100 metres or so .... but with momentum and poise we crossed the line together.

I'm so proud of these guys ..... especially for not giving up time and time again through the run.

And what tops it off, they told me it was fun.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The day that the women of Brisbane conquered Canberra

Where do I start?

The day before the race which includes the flight to Canberra, the 10K marathon eve event or should I cover the fashion aspect.

Lets go to the photos.......

Tara 1st marathon, 3:30:28, and she's like wow is that what a marathon is like? and I'm like Wow, are you sure you haven't done this before?

Ciaran and Tara (I spent many hours together in training with these two) ... Ciaran came in with a PB 3:32:40

This one I call closing on the Kill

The clever executioner .... hey they are all gone!

In search of new enemies of the Black Army

The end ..... well almost!

Introducing Clairie 1st marathon 3:23:15 ............

I've been lucky to have spent some time out on the road with this exceptionally gifted, dedicated and committed runner and sensational person. I was also lucky enough to sneak home a little ahead of her and catch her as the magnitude of her achievement swept over her just after crossing the line.

Monday, April 10, 2006

More to come.

There will be photos!

There will be stories!

There will be more reports!

But all I have time for right now is to say that I have enjoyed a great weekend with a 3:18:30 marathon, Toasthater triumphed in the 10K, many others wore the grins of victory and the Black Flag of the Black Knight's Army flutters in the wind over Canberra.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Week 12 - Warm Teddy

A heat pack is like having your leg hugged by a warm teddy.

So it's the last week.


The 12 weeks will round out at 800K (500 miles). The last 26.2 miles can't be that much surely?

I can finish my log as there is only one run left.

Two runs this week 10K @ 4:34 min/K and 8K tonight at 4:18 min/K finished @ 4:07 just on 6:30 min/mile pace woohoo.

My IcK (Inner Kenyan) arrived and will help me through on Sunday, it really feels great when he runs with me. I also have Sven (my Inner Nordic) aka the nordic skier to help me power over the hills and judging by the weather forecast I'm going to need him as well. I hope there's room for all of us on the plane!

Katy has left a little journal lying around the house ...... it comes from Sammy and Lynn .... I flick through it and work on my Mental Skills ..... hence Ick and co.

Thanks to all for you encouragement and inspiration.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Marathon Week Press Conference

Ok folks we only have a limited time ... yes you over there.

"Excuse me Mr Toast, what will be you be wearing on Sunday?"

That's a very good question and thank you for asking it. I have chosen my Diddly Tights which are the same as I'm wearing now....... Next

"I believe you had a calf injury and was wondering if that will be alright on Race day?"

Yes, the treatment has worked better than I expected and will be 100% when I step onto the start line ....... How about you down the back.

"How far have you run in training?"

Over my 12 week program I have covered over 800 km or 500 miles.......... I have time for few more questions ..... Anyone?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Week 11 - Announcing the offical start of Marathon Week

Total Ks: 38 versus plan of 50

1st run 10 K @ 4:33min/K ... this run started with Fanfare for the Common Man .... da da da .... da ... da .... daaaaa .... bomba bomba bomba bomba dum ..... da da da ... da ... da .... da ..... da .... dummmmm. I miss my Ipod ... sigh ... so the music remains in my head.

2nd run 12k blah ... @ 4:54/K (would have been longer except there was too much pain in my calf at the start of the run and as it wasn't going so well decided to cut it short)

3rd run .... blew it off and made an appointment with the Physiotherapist. The early progosis is an overuse injury of the soleus.

"The soleus muscle, which runs between the two heads of the big calf muscle, often takes more of a beating than the larger muscle because it acts first when you use your calf muscles. This injury is an overuse injury, plain and simple, and one that may have been aggravated by too much hill work."

I was going to post an anatomical diagram of the lower leg but hey "runs between the two heads of the big calf" ..... (the author in no way condones this event)

So 4th run .... I slept in ... an extra 4 hours sleep seem like a very good idea since I was "spent"/very tired, early on Friday night and a short snappy exchange with Ihatetoast convinced me I could do with a few extra hours. I also had alot of preparation before my run with stretches, hot pack and massage so the result .......

16K (10 mile) at 4:30 pace (or better, as Garmin got lost a few times) that's just over 7 min miles. But ...... no leg pain as experienced for the last 8 weeks ...... well made just a little .... but so much better.

I was so excited my Ick popped out along the way............

IcK, aka my Inner Kenyan, what were you thinking?

Average pace over the week 4:38 min/K