Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tempo Tempo

It was a family outing to the Bay this morning. I had no excuses at the ready (well if I was being really picky it was slightly too warm).

Ran 4km warm-up, then a tempo Bay lap, then 4km down. This week was a bit quicker (24:05) so pleased with that (3:27's). On this form I'll be looking to run sub 34:20 next week at North Head.

All up 15km. And the last day of my beer drought....

Friday, February 27, 2009

Turn The Legs Over

Decided to run a very easy 10km. Legs were a bit stuff after yesterday's long run so this would help with recovery. Plus I wanted to keep the kms up after missing Tuesday.

10km in 46:33. Just nice to run easy with no specific target. Call it junk kms if you will....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Worm Has Turned

I was really up for this session. It was nice and cool and I wanted to smash myself.

Usual Thursday run at the State Forest. I was 13:03 at the top of the hill, 30:47 at the roundabout and 47:37 at the T. I was working the hills which made for a nice change as previously it has all been about survival. It didn't feel like I was flying but it did feel really easy.

Did an extra 26:22 loop past the T and then picked up the pace again coming back. I met up with Baz just before the roundabout and we ran back together. The pace had fallen away slightly but we were still shifting.

Total time was 1:59:48 for say 25km. So a quicker time than last week with an extra km thrown in. I could have gone a fair bit faster so this run has given me a bag of confidence.

For the record the time for the T and back was 1:33:26 so my quickest so far this year and only 1 minute slower than my PB. If only every session felt this easy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

10km Easy(ish)

Today was to be the am I or am I not injured test.

Usual 10km lunchtime route. All felt good and no calf pain. I picked up the pace in places as I was feeling a bit guilty about missing the session yesterday, plus I wanted to test the calf. All up I covered the 10km in 40:46 (4:05's) so pleased with that given the warm weather. Very happy to pull up with no soreness either - it seems I have dodged another bullet.

Having a couple of days off isn't a bad thing. I had freshened up no-end. Normal training to resume tomorrow with a trip to Ourimbah for the hills from hell....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Ouch

Massage at 7am. It seems I have a knot or maybe a small tear that should settle down in a day or so. I was given a good going over and although the calf let off slightly with lots of massage, it soon tightened up again.

So I canned the 8 x 1km reps I had planned for today. Instead I will take another rest day.

I'll try a lazy 10km tomorrow and see how I pull up. Fingers crossed it is only a minor setback.

Monday, February 23, 2009


I woke up this morning with a very stiff calf - not good. Tried stretching it, but didn't seem to be doing much cop. Feeling around the calf there was definitely a very sore spot with what seemed like a lump. Anyway, I made an apt to have a massage just as a precaution for tomorrow.

No run was planned today so nothing was lost.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Raises the Bat

Another repeat of last Sunday. I need to come up with some new stuff to keep it interesting.

Ran the 23km Bridges run in 1hr 48. Then a 28 minute lap of the Bay. Then a couple of kms as a warm down. All up 32km in 2:26 and change.

Total for the week 100.8km. I think I've only ever run 100km+ on a couple of occasions so this was a big effort. In summary it has been an up and down sort of week. Started the week feeling I was getting sick. Managed to dodge that bullet and had a good track session. Then the heat returns and I struggle. Finished with an okay long run but the right calf feels very tight. Maybe another massage required...

I'll do one more week of big kms then ease off for the 3km on the track and the Striders 10km the following week. These 2 races will be the first indication of current form. I certainly don't feel like I'm shooting the lights out but lets remain positive.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Hot Lap

A repeat of last Saturday's session. Venue - the Bay. 4km up and down with a tempo lap thrown in the middle. Time was 24:44 which was a bit slower than last week. But conditions were not great - very, very, humid. I was sweating buckets even after a slow warm-up.

Total of 15km. Never good to be getting slower but the weather gave me a good excuse.

Tomorrow long. Might even crack triple figures for the week....

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sort of Rest

Easy 10km at lunchtime. It was hot, I was slow (45:49), nuff said. Knee still improving.

No beer for 20 days now. I'm spitting feathers of the ostrich variety. March the 1st falls on a Sunday. Which is nice.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Forest of Hate

Same run again starting at Palmdale.

I was 13:52 at the top of the first hill and 33:27 at the roundabout. Reached the T in 52:22. Wasn't feeling particularly great, a little low on energy, plus the heat (30 degrees) knocking me around. I did an extra 20 minutes or so past the T (10 mins out and back) and finished up with a total of 2:00:43. The time to the T and back would be 1:40:03 so a little slower than last week.

I still think I'm recovering from that killer massage. All up 24km. Oh yeah, the left knee - definitely an improvement but it still needs to settle down a bit.

I may do 10km easy tomorrow as I missed this run on Wednesday. I'll see how I feel.

Plus Conor said his first words today: "Da da". Well done son!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


The massage ranked as the second most painful of all time. No surface stuff, straight in with deep massage. Made all the worse when 2 decided to have a go at the same time (one to hold me down and the other with an elbow and full weight behind it in my abductors). Not pleasant. I left there as white as a ghost and feeling quite ill. Still my left knee felt a lot better.

No point running today as I needed the recovery time. My left quad was sore to touch and I was convinced it was going to bruise. Seems okay though.

No pain no gain....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

4 Lappers

Was still not feeling great today but thankfully no worse. It was threatening heavy rain all day but by some miracle it held off.

Started with a lap of Hansen's Road. Then on the track for 4 x 1600m. Target time was 5:30 and I had to work 100m of each lap (the back straight) to break it up a bit. I ran the first one in 5:18 and that felt very comfortable. Recovery was a very slow jog/walk lap (approx 4 minutes - very ample). The next 3 were 5:17, 5:17 and 5:17. Felt very good throughout and was never struggling. These were run at a similar pace to my 800's from last week but they felt so much easier. Finished with another lap of Hansen's as a warm-down. All up 19.8km.

Probably my best session of the year so far (and I was convinced I was getting sick). Knee was a little sore but hopefully the deep massage will help sort that out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Caution

Woke up this morning not feeling the full 100% - a bit of a sore throat. Not a good sign. So being a bit paranoid, I proceeded to take some Nurofen, a Berocca, tea with honey, etc.

Not getting any worse so hopefully I feel back to my normal self tomorrow. And to help with my knee I have made another apt for a massage on Wednesday morning. It will be all elbows to the ready in the left quad.

Finally, I entered the Sydney half today. I got a preferred start which is handy. Not sure I'll be in great nick after spending 2 weeks on the shant in England and Ireland....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Long Run Day

Started from the Bay and ran the Bridges Run (23km and a bit) in 1hr 49. Then ran a 7km lap of the Bay in under 28 minutes, then 2km warm-down. All up 32km in 2:26:39 and conditions were great.

Felt good during the Bay lap and the pace felt quite comfortable. It's very important to run some of your longer runs at something near marathon pace. I don't buy into the theory that it doesn't matter what pace you run your long runs at, it's all about time on your feet. Well if I was doing all my long runs at say 4:45/km pace, and on race day I'm looking to run close to one minute/km quicker, then after a while my body simply says "nah, forget this". Well that's my opinion and I'm sure it's not the same for everyone.

So another week on and that's 94.5km for the week. Definitely making progress now and feel like I've gone up a level. My only concern is my left knee - I'm beginning to sound like a broken record.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Bay

Conor slept in until 8:30am this morning. What a god send.

Drove to the Bay as I wanted to run on the flat for a change. Conditions were perfect - nice and cool and not too windy.

Ran 4km as a warm-up (2km out and back). Then ran a tempo lap in 24:26 (3:30/km) which I was very happy with. Then another 4km warm-down. All up 15km.

If conditions hold up there should be some good times run at Homebush tonight. I would have loved to run 10km on the track but it doesn't really fit with my training at the moment.

Tomorrow is going to be a long 2hr 30 run. I'm going to throw in 7km at sub 4 minute km pace after running for 1hr 45mins. That should be fun.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Took it easy. Ate loads of food and still no beer. Watched the Dark Knight which was very enjoyable.

Left knee is still not right. I don't think it's going to get any better. Must be old age.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Wasn't sure I was going to be able to get out today as it was hammering down most of the day. Anyway, it stopped raining about 3pm and soon cleared up. It was nice and cool by the time I got to the start and perfect for running.

I was 14:00 at the top of the first hill, 33:09 at the roundabout, 51:14 at the T. I then decided to turn right and run an extra 5 minutes or so, then double back. Finished in 1:48:39 but if I took off the extra section it was 1:37:55 which is my fastest time so far. I felt strong today but that was probably more to do with the cooler weather. I was even working a few of the hills which is the goal as I get stronger.

A bit slippery in places because of the rain so took it very careful on the last descent. No damaged limbs required at this stage...

I was cream crackered by the end of this run and was very grateful for the Gatorade and banana I had waiting for me in the car. I'll put this down as 22km and enjoy a well earned rest day tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nice 'n' Easy

Usual lunchtime 10km. It was a lot cooler today, probably low 20's. I ran even splits for each 5km of 21:09 x 2 so 42:18 all up (4:14/km).

So I reckon for the same effort level, a 10 degree drop in temperature is worth about 20 seconds per km. Or 2 seconds per degree. Interesting that......not.

Open air cinema tonight if the weather holds out.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

8 x 800's

It was a cool evening with a little bit of drizzle about as I set off around Hansen's Road for my usual 6.1km warm up (27 mins).

A quick change of shoes and I started my session on the track. The first 800 was to be a slow feeler, then I planned to run all the rest under 2:40 with 200m jog recovery. Splits were as follows:


Happy enough with that and despite the cool conditions it was quite windy so it was hard effort for 200m and coast for 200m. The rain got heavier throughout and by the time I finished it was bucketing down. I did 4 laps warm-down then headed for shelter as the lightning was getting bad.

All up 15.5km. This was a tough session with the short recovery and to be honest, I couldn't have done these reps any quicker.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Another rest day. Left knee still a little sore so did some stretches at work. Hopefully it will come good soon.

Tomorrow sees a return to the track for 8 x 800's with a target of 2:35. Recovery will depend on the weather.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Easy 20km

I ran a bit later this morning as Conor has not been well the last couple of nights. The doctor came round and we were told there is nothing much wrong with him!

I decided to run local so back to Lane Cove where I ran 2 laps of the same course as yesterday. Took it very easy and completed the 20km in 1:34. It was 33 degrees by the end of the run....I must be getting used to these temperatures as it didn't feel too bad.

So that's 80.2km for the week and I'm happy enough with my 2 race performances. And no beer for 8 days......

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Striders 10km

It was quite hot and humid but the early start helped. Ran a couple of kms warm-up and my top was already soaked. Not good.

I was using my new race orthotics - basically my old pair of orthotics with new lighter covers and shaved down slightly.

The race started and I was ticking along okay; splits were a little slow but I felt strong. Scribblies was a struggle, but I felt good on the flats and the downhill sections and I began working my way through the field. Slowed again (relative to the field) running up to the turnaround, and then proceeded to pick up more runners coming back. I'd estimate I overtook at least 20 people between 2km and the end so that's a good sign. Finished in 35:59 (12th overall) and I think that's a fair time given my current fitness level and the conditions. I'm always a minute slower on this course so the equivalent of 35 minutes on a flatter course.

Splits were 3:34/3:35/3:47/3:31/3:54/3:42/3:33/3:32/3:33/3:18. I was 16:10 from top to bottom so quicker than I'm running during my tempo sessions.

A few kms warm-down so all up 15km.

So I still lack leg speed but that should come. My aim now is to go close to 34 minutes at North Head in 4 weeks time.

Friday, February 06, 2009

R & R

Nice easy day today.

Can I survive the first weekend with no booze? How will I go in my first road race of 2009? All will become known soon.

One thing is for sure is that it's already hot. And I mean hot. It's 35 today and the weekend may get into the 40's. Hopefully it's not too obscene at 7am tomorrow morning in the National Park.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

More hills...

It was another barmy evening - 33 degrees as I set off into the State Forest.

Total time 1:41:12 so a bit quicker than last week. Pleasing given the heat.

I was 14:23 at the top of the first hill, 34:25 at the roundabout and 53:55 at the T-intersection.

For anyone trying this run I would thoroughly recommend it. The run itself starts at Palmdale Cemetery (quite apt), the first section is flattish on the road, then after 1.5km or so you turn off up Wallaby Lane. Then you are confronted with the first hill. It makes Awaba St look like a speed bump. If you can run the whole way up this first hill (approx 6 minutes) you are doing very well. The terrain is mixed - gravel, sand, clay, rocks. You have to be a little careful in places, especially if you are a long streak of misery like me. I'd say the run is almost like a giant version of LCNP. It's predominantly uphill on the way out to the T intersection. I counted 15 uphill sections today, 8 before the roundabout and a further 7 after (veering left at the roundabout). An uphill section is defined as a run of at least 100m of solid uphill. Some is long gradual up, other sections are very steep. On the way back it's much easier. Only a couple of climbs to speak of. Hence the reason for the big negative split. Finish back at the cemetery.

Enough waffle. I'm feeling that I'm making progress and this 20km run would be more like 25km+ on the road given the tough terrain. Time for a break before the 10km race on Saturday.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Massage and Easy 10km

Well the massage was absolute agony. The left quad was particularly bad, Paul spent at least 20 minutes trying to get all the knots out. I had to put up with the torture for over an hour and then had to pay $66 for the privilege.

Ran an easy 10km at lunch. Weather was hot and humid but maybe "only" 28 degrees. Time was 43:59 and felt comfortable. The legs and knee felt a good bit better. I was ticking over nicely so this morning's tune-up and general service looks to be well worth it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Race Night

Weather was hot but not offensive and no real wind to speak of.

Ran Hansen's Road as a warm-up, quickly changed into my spikes at the track and was straight to the start line. Ran the whole race at the front. Felt strong throughout but lacked any real speed. Finished in 9:29 so happy with that. Was lapping people, running in lane 2, etc, and it was more of a time trial than a race.

Splits were 3:09/3:10/3:10

Ran Hanson's again as a warm down so all up 15.2km.

Tomorrow morning massage and funnily enough the knee was good tonight - isn't that always the way...

Monday, February 02, 2009

Monday Rest

I have a massage booked for Wednesday.

Time to let the body absorb the training. I did some stretching and the left patella seems a fair bit better today. A few elbows in the quads on Wednesday will help further.

I am doing a 3km track race tomorrow night at Mingara. I'll be happy with sub 9:40 but a lot will depend on the weather. Just one cool evening would be nice...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Sunday Long

Started at 7am from the sports centre in Crows Nest. Ran down the highway, across the bridge, down through the Rocks, round Circular Quay, round the Opera House, round to LMC, back up to Hyde Park, along Oxford St to Centennial Park. I ran for 6.5km in the park then headed back doing the same route in reverse. All up 31km in 2:34:39. Very slow but again it was hot so pleased just to spend some time on the feet.

Left knee still not great. I'll keep battling away.

So that's over 90km for the week. The body is not coping that well and the hot weather means that every run seems like a real struggle. Lets hope it all comes together soon. Twelve weeks to go.....