Friday, October 27, 2006


Having spent long hours building endurance (step 1) and blending in some speed work (step 2), I'm now up to step 3. "And what is this step 3?", I hear you ask in my small imaginary mind. Well, step 3 is managing muscles to cope with workload. Or was that step 4 or 5 after eating the right things and turning on the mental game.

So there you have it ... Toast's 5 Part Marathon Plan

* build endurance
* turn on your mental game
* blend in speed
* eat right
* manage muscles to cope with workload

On Thursday I managed to get in a see Nathan at the Queensland Sport Medicine Centre. He got me to walk, see how far away I could get my foot from the wall before I couldn't touch it by bending my knee and then dug his fingers into my leg asking me to relax the muscle. His prognosis ............. "Oh dear, you have a lot of crap in there".

Apparently, ignore the pain and it will go away, is not the right strategy. Now I get to push tennis balls, knees and elbows into inflexible parts of my leg to release the muscle. The next 6 weeks, I'll be working on that. It has something to do with working on trigger points and the exciting part is that I will improve my flexibility and therefore stride length. This makes for faster more free flowing Toast! .... wheeeeee.

My sister gave me this book for my birthday. Awesome! We have already tried 3 recipes and my favourite has been the banana, celery and curry by Dido.

But that is not all ......

My daughter was concerned that a mirror might not travel without getting broken, so she got me this to check out what I look like:

And the Andrew, saw his and said it reminded him of me:

obviously because ...... ummm .... it's good for playing practical jokes? right?

My parents gave me a portable step to get in and out of the Jeep. I put the step to immediate use after my adventures with the Vasectomy dude.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Birthday Bits

What do you do with one of these ?????

... impress the ladies ......

One must protect one's banana. This is exactly what I got for my birthday from Katy and I must say what a wonderful gift it was. No runner should be without one. It goes well with the special present Tesso gave me .... yes, a banana, which I ate on my birthday. Since the cyclone that wiped out the crop, my favorite fruit has multiplied in price 10 times, making it even more precious.

This week I have slowly returned to running and finding it more of a struggle than before. The plan will be to take it easy and learn how to relieve tightness in my muscles. Tomorrow will be Katy's first day at running school. I hope she enjoys it!

I got other stuff for my birthday ... more pictures to come ... brace yourself!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


"Since my Vasectomy I haven't been feeling myself lately"




Was that the wrong thing to say?

What I meant was that I felt a little deflated ......... well ..........

There is always post marathon blues (phew, at last I think I am getting his post back to a decent level). There has been research that supports "running makes us happy" and therefore it would also make sense that after a marathon and not running would have the opposing effect.

I plan on swimming in the morning.

Thanks to all for the Birthday wishes as well as the Sympathy thoughts for the loss of a Katy's cat Sierra. Over the next few days we will be getting back on track. It's been a tough time lately.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Some things are better left unsaid!

P.S. I know this blog is mostly about running, but after this, there is no running. For a little while at least.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Race Report Part II

In my mind the first third (14K) should be easy, “The Float”. I posted my splits below and you can see clearly I wasn’t floating but sinking with a long long long way to go. With 30K left, I was searching for my “sustainable pace”. So I started cruising under 5min/K’s for awhile with hope that I’d pick it up soon. I knew 3:10 wasn’t going to happen but sub 3:20, which was my B goal, was still possible.

I find reassessing goals during a race challenging. I also find it hard not to over analyse everything. I had to convince myself that I had not started too fast, was I pushing myself to the right intensity? I even compared previous race splits, long after the finish, to satisfy myself, I hadn’t used the wrong tactics. Why was my race speed slower than in training? Had I overtrained? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Around 15K Keith running a sub 3:20 came by. He asked how my leg was and I could feel pain but didn’t think it was having a major impact. Also about this time started the 7K of hills. Calfs and hills don’t mix. Å little before halfway, I was done, and my race for a goal time was over. In the post game show you can draw a big circle around the hills starting around 16K through to about 23K and see that this finished me off. I stopped analysing race plans, finish times and decided on new goals. For 10 to 15 minutes or so I decided to just run and look around in an attempt to settle into a pleasant Sunday afternoon jog. I even thought to wait for Katy and run the rest with her. My parents were along the route and I saw them for the first time and gave them a wave.

Just after 27K I stopped to walk a bit. I couldn’t run anymore. I never did “run” after that. Stagger, plod, shuffle but not “run”. 27K is not even the distance of what I do most Saturdays. It was earth shattering and I was sad.

I was ready to find an ambulance to take me to the end. I would have sat and waited on the side of the road for Katy right there, but I didn’t think I could keep up with her when she came along.

I have never “not finished”. As the fat lady started to warm up her vocal chords I stood up and stared her straight in the eye and said “Sit down bitch, I’m not done yet”. What I did was picked out 38K as my goal. Rationalising that if I got to 38K, I would finish. All I had to do was get to 30K cause then I would only have 8k to get to 38K. I am not suggesting any of this makes sense, but it did to me at the time. So I slogged it out, in very short steps, which was the full extension I thought I had without a final snap of my calf. There were times when sharp pains shot through it, but it held firm. I saw my parents on the side of the road again around 31K and gave them more of a grimace than a smile, but was glad to see them. At 35K I had 3k to make it to the 38K. I had endured 5K and set on just to keep moving for another 3.

38K came and I felt relieved. I pushed harder over the final K’s and was glad to see a guy with his daughter doing some weird cheer leading, flicking his pom poms around at random. I recognised him as Wobbly and said hello. Thanks.

Onward to the finish line I ran knowing that soon the pain would be gone. This one thought got me there. I went straight through the finish race and sat on the ground in the sun not sure if I would stand again. I was fascinated to watch my calf convulse, as if there was something in there trying to get out. Small movements stimulated some cramping, so I didn’t move. After half an hour, Katy came through, “skippy, skippy, skippy”

The Splits

Here are the splits per Km.

4:49 = 10K (6 mile) 45 minutes 33 seconds (7:15 min/miles)
4:46 Some pain in my leg
5:08 = 16 K (10 mile) 1hr 15 min
Half 1hr 41 minutes 30 seconds
5:26 Really hurting now in the calf
27K 2hr 13 minutes
6:58 Done! Had stopped and walked for 50 metres or so
6:10 Got going and stopped again
32 K 2hr 43 minutes
7:50 The guy at the water station declined my invitation to complete the race for me. I took Ibuprofen. He suggested that I shouldn’t be running. Probably right, but I ignored him.
Finished 3hr 42 min 23 seconds Avg 5:16 min/K (8:28 min/Mile)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Race Report Part 1

Right now I’m hurting. Nothing strange about that, since I ran a marathon yesterday. I’m not sure about my feelings, as there is a mix of disappointment in not reaching my goals, but also an acknowledgement that I’m injured and the trip to the finish line took extraordinary determination. I accept being injured, I know I do, I just don’t WANT to accept it. My calf is swollen and there was some internal bleeding, I will have to heal.

I had a nice easy day prior to the race and was well rested and prepared as I could be. Made it to the start line in plenty of time and was set to go, standing alongside the 3:15 pacers. All my training gave me confidence of going under 3:10 and qualifying for New York. I was in a New York state of mind.

At first, I was relieved that there was no pain in my leg and it was pretty easy to hold my pace around 4:30 min/K. This continued until after the 7K marker and then I noticed that my spilt was drifting out to 4:40. OK, no need to panic. I kept a close eye on my pace and even picked it up, running alongside a guy who I recognised from a previous race. I met Michael during the Brisbane marathon where I passed him on that day. He had run Boston 2 weeks prior, whilst I had a whole 3 weeks since Canberra. We ran together briefly, but it was obvious to me, that I couldn’t keep it going. My splits progressively deteriorated.

The 3:15 pace group sailed past at a rate that I had little chance of hanging on to. I needed to reassess my race plan, with at least 30K to go.

A marathon is a bloodly long way!

There's no denying it!

I'll post a full race report, but with 1 minute to sum it it up. I love the marathon. Anyone who gets to the end of one of these has done something special.

I just wanted to stop on this one. My calf didn't make it, but I did. The clock read about 3:42:30, but I had long given up on worrying about the time before I finished.

Thanks for all you comments and support.

Awesome job, Ms Toast. I love this woman.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Meet the Press

ahem ...... is this on ..... (*tap, tap, tap*) ..... ok

Thank you all for coming to this press conference in Marathon Week. It is really great to see so many familiar faces. I was going to start with a joke, as an ice-breaker, but Haight has already covered ..... err uncovered ..... that one for me. Nice work there, Mr Hangout!

Let me preempt the first question .... "How is the calf injury?" ..... well ..... time is quickly runnng out to get it right for the race. I did pull up suddenly on Friday with a sharp pain. The acupuncture treatment on Saturday was tested this morning and again my calf was very sore. To be honest, I am very worried about it and will be trusting the advise of the experts for a final treatment on Thursday. In the mean time there will be no running. Providing the damn thing doesn't tear during the race, I expect to be going full speed on Sunday and ignoring the pain.

but let's go straight to the floor for questions .... ok you over there

hmmm ... good question ..... for those who didn't hear it, I was asked "do i have any non time related goals" .... the answer is quite simple ... i want to finish knowing i did my best regardless of the time, the finish time will depend on the conditions and a number of other factors ... i've done the training and this race i'll be taking the words recently published by Pat and will be 100% committed to the mission.

time for a few more .... you over there ...... yes you ....