Monday, July 30, 2007

Go slow to get fast!

Sounds a bit backward to me. How does running slow make you faster? Now, before you start getting all technical about training zones and teaching the body to use different fuel sources or even about recovery ... the point is that it feels uncomfortable. Uncomfortable ... like putting on cold, wet underpants straight off the clothesline. They warm with body heat, so that doesn't feel as weird. Eventually, you get used to it. The point? ... well, this captures how my training has been going lately.

My first week came in a total of 66 km and this week with an extra 20 minutes on the long run, the total was 63 km. I have two rest days each week now (Monday and Thursday) with one less hard training day. This has also taken awhile to get used to.

With running slower and extra rest, I was able to complete all of my training program despite traveling to Melbourne and New Zealand with work for most of last week.

Sunday morning, I took the early morning flight to catch the end of the game by favourite soccer team, Crouton United. Number 13 was centre of the back line under siege and was good enough to spend the rest of the day with his number 1 fan.

For the next two evenings, I stayed at the Croutons' CrossAunt, who is my sister. It was a good chance to discuss life is all its enormity and her plans for charity work in Africa, appreciating the athletic ability of de tour and whom I'd invite to a dinner party if I had to limit the number to 6. She squared and stared directly at me and and said "Who the #@$%! is Bolder, Rob the Runner, Runner Susan, ESpeed, Tammy and Jeanne???"

and then she just simply exclaimed ... "WHAT?!"

Note of next time ... bring red wine and some chocolate.

Tomorrow is the 3K TT and this will be a good chance to test how my training is going. I have a little more to write on my program and the changes it has made, but this will have to wait for another post.

More on the family front, Mamma Muffin and Poppa Pumpernickel are headed our way for a few days. Must make sure the spare room is ready ...

Monday, July 16, 2007

The start of the program

Before we start a program, I have to write down what I did before the gold Coast marathon .....

"Here are the distances of my weekend long runs after Canberra marathon and before the Gold Coast. In addition to these, I rode a bike on the following Sunday for a few hours. During the week, I usually did one PCRG session and a Wednesday Tempo run (details of the Tempo runs are after the long run details). On the other days I generally ran 10k easy with a rest day on Fridays ......"

On Wednesday I got this ....

"I had a good look at the type of training you were doing. You tend to focus a great deal on running close to Marathon pace in training which I do feel is energy not well spent. I would prefer to see you focus more on your intense/fast sessions and to run at a comfortable pace in your remaining runs. Your long training runs were scarce and you squeezed in a few big days here and there which would have left you flat....."

And Pat is right that I didn't do as many long runs before the Gold Coast and there were more marathon pace sessions. I did pick up speed with PB's from 3k TT to Doomben Half, but my endurance suffered and I feel so much better having understood this.

I have an assignment .... July 24 to record 8 x 500 metre efforts. Then Pat will set goals for my next time trial.

AND ... I am doing a 10K race .... but that's a little later.

How could you not be? ..........

But there's even more .... in my program I record resting Heart Rate in the morning, which was about 54 this morning ..... not bad when you wake up next to a goddess.

It's not all good news, as I believe I have one of the top 10 overuse injuries of runners. This is more than likely Posterior tibialis tendonitis .... aren't you impressed with the information you can get on the internet? I am in the process of making an appointment with the Queensland Sports guys to work on this, before it gets out of hand.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mark gets a Coach

Just in case you haven't been following .....

The short story is that I have found a fierce and burning motivation for my next marathon, determined to eradicate the disappointment of my failed Gold Coast campaign with the anger of a young camel in a state of protracted sexual abstinence.

... and how are you going to do this you might ask?

With a Coach, I might answer!

... and who might that coach be, you might also ask?

Pat Carroll:

1st place - 1995 Beppu Marathon (2.09.39)

4 time winner of the Gold Coast Marathon 83/84/88/97, where there was 14 years separating my first and fourth win

2 time winner (94/96) Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon

Current holder of the Australian all comers record for the Half Marathon: 61.11

Ran 3.39.03 for 1500 m

Represented Australia 18 times

Finished in the top 8 at three Commonwealth Games

Twice Australian Champion for the Marathon 88 and 97

Australian Cross Country Champion in 1991

Twice runner up in Sydney's City to Surf

Ranked 4th on the Australian all-time list for the Marathon behind Rob De Castella, Steve Moneghetti and Derek Clayton.

Ranked 4th on the Australian all-time list for the Half Marathon behind Darren Wilson, Steve Moneghetti and Lee Troop.

"Sure I will help you prepare for Melbourne. You do need to recover from Sunday first though so give yourself a good two weeks of light jogging first and then touch base with me re this when you are ready to go. Have a think about what races you would like to do in the interim also."

So why pick Pat?

Ah ha! .... I was wondering when you would get around to asking this. I agree with Pat's philosphy and how he goes about things. He isn't the most scientific runner and won't have me counting calories, measuring heart rates and the like. If I download graphs and GPS readouts he won't look at them. So in a nut shell it is about trust, his approach and the philosophy ... A fun and supportive environment free of elitism and categorization.

I am not, nor will I ever be elite, and if it isn't fun then I am not interested.

I have two "light runs" down and tomorrow is "wear pink" day at Pat's, Woo hoo!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Race Report (sort of)

This is taken in the last k, when I had recovered to around 5 min K's.

Official Results:

497 M1408 MARK HEWITT 497th/2686 10K 00:45:48 20K 00:45:24 Half 00:05:05 40K 01:39:22 FINISH 03:27:06 NETT 03:26:51 MALE 417 M4044M 70th

This is from my letter to Pat (Organiser of the Pacers) ....

"My pacing experience was always going to be tough at 3:15. I did lead the way and made the first splits through 5k, 10k, 20k, the half, 25k all within seconds of the plan. We didn't go out too fast and I had to surge and push the group to remain on track. Heading past the start after 25K I handed over to Ken (the other pacer). I was feeling the strain at that stage and he did a wonderful job but finished only 30 seconds or so short.

On the far turn, a group of about 10 to 15 were sitting a little ahead of Ken and I guess they all made it.

To date, running has only been myself and therefore I was the only one I could let down. Pacing is different! I was surprised at the pressure that comes with it when the challenge is as high as it was on the day. I just had a bad day, stitch, cramps, etc. I was covered in salt and lost a substantial amount of weight. I finished emotionally drained, sad and shattered with the hope I hadn't let anyone down. This not only includes the runners but also yourself and the creditability of pacing. The few I spoke to were supportive and thanked me for my efforts. Some even appreciated what a good job I did at the start."

and his reply .....

"Mate you have not let anyone down. I totally appreciate the fact you put your hand up to help on the day and we both know that it was going to be a mission and a half given you had never done the time before. Please don't feel bad at all - feel proud knowing that you have the desire to help other runners."

and then from a fellow runner .....

"Even though I spoke to Mark after the run, when you talk with him again could you please pass on a huge thanks from me. I knew before the race that you had difficulty finding a 3.15 pacer and he had offered knowing that the pace was faster than his PB which was an incredibly gutsy thing to do. When I felt him slow at 25 km I felt guilty pulling out of the bus and leaving him behind after his great effort particularly as he had pushed against the occasional headwind while I had hidden in the pack saving my energy. While I’ve never run in a pacing group before preferring to run at my own pace, Mark’s effort (and that of other pacers) was truly inspirational.

When I ran in the Brisbane Marathon I passed a pacer who wasn’t able to maintain pace on the day but urged his group to run on ahead only to bagged by some at the end of the race. Many pacers like Mark forgo a chance of a personal PB and put their reputations on the line for the good of other runners so it has to be one of the greatest contributions any runner can make and they deserve our whole hearted support. Mark put in a championship effort in my book."

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Butt Kicked

In simple terms, today I got my butt kicked ....

Everything was going to plan until somewhere around the 26 K (15 mile) mark. At this point, I started to slow up and felt the leg speed fade. For over an hour I pushed on knowing I had failed. There was a stitch around the ribs, cramping in my hamstring and so much salt on my face that I was glad there wasn't any Texans with tequila around. It was emotionally hard and at the end I was drained, sad and disappointed. After I found out how everyone else had done, I slipped away and sat in the sun waiting for Katy to return from cheering duties.

That's about it for now .... more later

P.S. Yesterday I entered the Melbourne Marathon in October .... driving home my sadness moved to a renewed determination to have a go at this one. I wasn't sure what my next goal would be ...... but now I do!