Tuesday, March 31, 2009

10km Easy

Ran my usual 10km course at lunchtime in the pouring rain. I didn't mind this, it made for a pleasant change to the scorching heat.

Didn't push the run at all as I need to recover fully from the weekend's half. Time was 43:14.

Knee felt okay. Maybe it has gone backwards a little. Need to keep having the massage sessions to keep on top of it.

I'll do something similar tomorrow.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Rest

Legs were not too bad after the half. The knee was a little sore (to be expected after racing a half in flats), so I iced the knee in the evening and will continue to do so just as a precaution.

I'll have another massage later in the week just to make sure the muscle groups are still nice and loose.

Easy week planned this week. Light runs Tuesday and Wednesday, some sharpening up on the track Thursday (400's). Rest on Friday ready for the Striders 10km on Saturday.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Herald Hill to Harbour Half Marathon

The left knee felt good.

Good weather for running, nice and cool and very little breeze. I did a couple of kms warm-up, then lined up for the start (which was slightly delayed). Soon we were off and I settled into the run in 4th place. The first few kms were flat and the first climb wasn't until Fort Scratchley where the course became more technical and this was made worse by the course not being marshaled at key intersections. Luckily for me, I don't think I made any wrong turns but I certainly was slowed to ask people the way! The hills were brutal but I felt good on the flatter/downhill sections. I decided not to bother with the km markers as they seemed to be missing or inaccurate.

The second big climb was as we approached the turnaround point, followed by a long downhill section to the 10km mark. Then we had to run a lap of a park which again was poorly marked adding more confusion. By this time there were 3 of us vying for 3rd position. The climb back from the turnaround was a killer - it must have been close to 2km. At least we were now on the return part of the course so there should be no more course confusion. By 15km we had to climb up to Fort Scratchley a second time. Again very technical with lots of twists and turns. The last flatter section of the course to the finish I had fallen into 5th position but I still thought I could catch the 2 runners who were just in front of me. But it wasn't to be. I finished in 5th place overall (the last 2 kms were run in 7:09), and my finishing time was 1:18:19.

A very tough course not made any easier by the course being poorly marked. Despite that, I was pleased with the run though the time was slow. I still felt strong at the end - a good sign for the marathon.

And the left knee is still good. That's a major positive.

All up 67.2km for the week.

Friday, March 27, 2009

30 Mins

Knee felt a lot better this morning. But the real test was to try a run. I ran for 32 minutes from home, up to the nearest grass oval for some laps, then a jog back. Estimate 6.5kms. Knee was as good as it has been all year - a huge improvement.

Stretched and iced the knee afterwards.

I'll drive up to Newcastle this afternoon and plan to have an early night. Tomorrow's race could be anywhere between 1:16 and 1:20. We shall see...

Knee Progress

I've had a look few some older posts and my blog reads more like a weather and injury report. If only the focus was more on the running....

I've struggled with niggles all year and whilst I haven't missed any sessions, I can't recall running "pain free" in 2009. It's getting to a point where a lot of the enjoyment from running is fast disappearing. So my focus today was to try and get this bloody knee sorted once and for all...

After reading lots on patella tendinitis on the web, I decided to do a number of things:

Icing - I started this yesterday and the knee feels marginally better this morning. Will continue on with this.

Structure - have this checked by a chiropractor. I had an appointment this morning and my hips were slightly out of whack and I also had the tracking adjusted slightly in my left knee. Noticed no real difference afterwards.

Massage - another appointment this morning. Same old, same old - muscles were too tight. I got them to pay particular attention to my quads, abductors, ITB and hip flexors. The hip flexors were very tight (read massage agony as 2 people were working on my left side). In doing this, an extremely sore spot (agony and then some) was located at the top of my groin/lower abdomen which may have been a trigger point. Again lots of pain to try and get this to let off (still sore 7 hours later as I type this). But straight away I could notice an improvement in the knee. Could we be on to something?

Today was a scheduled rest day anyway. I'll ice again tonight and try a light 30 minute run in the morning. I'm very confident the massage will have made a big difference in only a relatively short period.

I'm starting to think of Sunday's Half and a race plan. Go out hard and hang on is my first thought...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Final Tune Up

I ran 2 slow laps of Hansen's Road (11.9km) in 57 minutes.

Then a 4 lapper on the track running 200 slow, 200 quick. The time for this effort was 5:33 (1.6km).

Then 1.2km as a warm-down. All up 14.7km.

Arrived home and iced my knee for 20 minutes. I'll see how it is in the morning.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Easy 10km

Ran at lunch on the normal 10km course. Very hot (30 degrees) and ran 44:15. Left knee still sore. I've made appointments to see the chiropractor and then a massage for Friday morning to see if they can help out. I may start icing it as well after exercise. If it stays the same then I can put up with it until the marathon....but then I will need a good rest.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back to the Track

Started with an easy lap of Hansen's Road. Ran with Mark and completed this in 29 minutes.

Then a quick break and it was 5 x 800 with 200 jog recovery (about 70 secs). A good crowd again with the same faces from the last couple of weeks. My brief was to keep them all in the 2:30 to 2:35 range. Actual times were:


Opened up a bit on the last one just to keep Paul honest who was nibbling at my heels. Finished up with 2km warm-down. Mark was flying and running them all well under 2:20.

All up 12.9km and felt pretty cruisey. Knee still not great but I just have to put up with this for the foreseeable future.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Nothing scheduled today.

Conor has not been well and after a visit to the doctor's it looks like he has bronchitis. Hopefully he gets better soon.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Medium

I was late getting out this morning so decided to run local at LCNP. I did a lap of the Striders 10km course in 46 flat. I tagged on the extra section the other side of the river (12 mins), then repeated the Striders course again (45 mins). I then ran an extra 2 mins to bring up the 1hr45 then called it a day. All up 23km.

Knee was a little sore (again) so stretched loads at the end.

That's 90km for the week. Good sessions on Tuesday and Thursday (especially), but a sense of going through the motions over the weekend.

This next week will be used to freshen up. I'll do a light track session on Tuesday (5 x 800's) and then decide what to do in the lead up to next Sunday's half.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Same As Last Week

A family outing to the Bay.

I ran 2km warm-up, 14km at marathon pace, then 2km warm-down. Knee was a little sore so I again decided to run in the 2140's. Struggled today to maintain the pace but still ended up with 53 minutes on the knocker for the 14km. Same result as last week for more effort.

I suppose it was quite warm out there today. Any excuse will do.

All up 18km and another session out of the way.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Easy Friday

Nothing scheduled today. A few beers and a nice meal planned for tonight with the wife.

Had a bit of time to look at my Ourimbah runs this year for the "T and back". Here is a quick summary:

1:47:59 Jan 20th
1:42:16 Jan 29th
1:41:12 Feb 5th
1:37:55 Feb 12th
1:40:03 Feb 19th
1:33:26 Feb 26th
1:36:19 Mar 5th
1:31:38 Mar 12th
1:29:15 Mar 19th

Seems like I'm doing something right. Almost 19 minutes quicker during that time. That's a combination of cooler weather and much improved fitness/leg strength.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The State Forest

Left work for a 4:30pm start and was a little concerned with the temperature shown in the car - not ideal at 28 degrees!

Was running solo so went out quick. Same as last week - run the hills hard. I was 12:57 at the top of the first hill, then it took a while to get back into a rhythm. Still on track for a good time with 30:23 at the roundabout. A final push up the hills and I was at the T in 47:08. I then did an extra 10:30 loop at this point then ran strongly back to the start. The total time for the run was 1:39:45 and I estimate a total distance of about 22km.

The good news is that the time for the T and back was 1:29:15 which is my quickest time. That's a very good sign. Knee was a little sore and the calf behaved.

I put a lot of effort into this session. I was a shell come the end but despite feeling tired I was again running strong. I can honestly say I've never trained this hard before.

So I'm getting to the end of my main 10 week block of training. A long tempo run on Saturday; just under 2 hours on Sunday and then I can freshen up for the half. It will make for a nice change to run on fresh legs.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lunchtime Wobble

Easy 10km at lunchtime. Cruised out to 5km in 21:30 and ran back for a total time of 42:01 (4:12's). Knee and calf both okay.

Tomorrow is the last Ourimbah for a while. Again it will be a sprint up the hills. I can't wait...

I will enter the Hill to Harbour half this week. I've spoke to a few people and read a few reports that the course is very hilly. So maybe this will not offer up a PB but will certainly be a good hit-out before London.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Long Reps

Back to Chittaway Point for 10 reps. I spoke with Paul at the start about my continuing niggles and he assured me that this was a good sign that I was training hard enough!

A good crowd again today: Me, Baz, Paul, Mark, Cain, Cale and Jeff. The instructions were to start slow and gradually build up the pace and run the last 3 in 2:50ish. I decided to wear my 2140's to give me extra support so that would make this session a little harder.

The calf was tight but functional. This morning I did not think I would be able to run but it improved as the day progressed. I started with a 4km warm-up and the calf felt okay. The first rep was 3:20 and felt easy and from then on it got quicker and quicker. The 8th one was where I had to drop the hammer and luckily I had Mark to hang on to. This was a 2:49 but took a lot of effort. The next one was a 2:50 and I finished up with a 2:53 (legs had turned to jelly at this point). The full times were:


I had a discussion with Mark about the exact length of this rep. We both agreed it would be about 920m. So the times are by no means lightning quick but the ground is a little tricky so you have to be careful (tree roots, potholes, etc).

Finished with a 4km warm-down. All up 17km. Pleased to get through this session and the calf seems okay. The knee was good tonight - probably as good as it has been all year. Go figure.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Calf Issue

The niggles continue...

Woke up this morning with a very tight left calf. Tried stretching but didn't seem to be doing much good. Decided to have some massage after work which was absolute agony and I'm not sure if this helped or not. Still very tight and sore. At least today was a scheduled rest day.

Will hope for improvement by tomorrow as I have a very nasty interval session on the cards. Although I am dreading this, it's a session I don't want to miss. Must be sensible though and not run if it's aggravating the problem.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

More of the Same

Started at the Bay as per normal. Ran the Bridges run in approx 1:46 (not sure of the exact time as I stuffed my watch up). I then did a lap of the Bay in 27:49 and followed that up with a very slow 3km warm-down. All up 33km in 2:29.

The knee was same old same old but the left calf was very tight post the hour mark for the remainder of the run. It still feels tight so hopefully resting up until Tuesday evening will allow the old body to recover.

Spotted Worky (Harbour Bridge) and Boots (Bay).

So I think that's 105km for the week. Probably my highest weekly tally ever. I feel very tired and thankful that I only have one more week of high volume training left. I don't think my body would put up with this for much longer. The knee is still a concern but I'll continue to grin and bear it and do all I can to keep it functional (stretch/ice/massage/drugs/prayer).

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Longer Tempo

I decided I would run 2 laps of the Bay at marathon pace. I did a couple of km warm-up and was ready to go. My handicaps today were my heavy joggers (race flats are no good for dodgy knees) and the fact that it was 24 degrees and very humid (not good for the 6 footers).

The first lap came and went in 26:30 and I seemed to feel a bit stronger on the second lap which was 26:28. So this was around 3:47/km pace. So I just need to keep that up for 42.2km and I'll have my sub 2:40....

Ran a couple of km warm-down. All up 18km. The left knee can at best be described as okay. It was a little sore to start with but the pain soon subsided. This will be a familiar story over the coming few weeks...

Tomorrow long and it will no doubt be the Bridges plus some Bay kms.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Massage & Rest

Massage at 7am. Funnily enough the knee didn't pull up too sore after yesterday's assault.

All the focus was on the left quad which was locked up. Elbows, fists and thumbs were involved and the pain was excruciating. It's over now and the knee already feels a lot better. It was like they let off a big pressure valve and I'm hoping this will finally do the trick. I'll rest up the remainder of today and do a longer tempo run tomorrow.

I'm a lot more upbeat after today. Get through Sat and Sun and I'll have another 100km in the bank.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Attacking the Hills

I tried not to think about the left knee today. It was sore and especially painful going up stairs.

Anyway, met up with Baz at Ourimbah and we cruised up to the top of the first hill. Same as yesterday, the knee was painful to start with but the pain soon subsided (in less time - say 10 minutes). The time at the top of the first hill was 14:14 so I was already a minute+ down on last week. The brief tonight was simple, get to the top of the first hill then attack all the remaining hills hard. I quickly picked up the pace and left Baz. I didn't feel great on the hills (it was quite warm), but I gave them all I had. My Achilles heel would be hills and what is quick for me would be slow compared to a decent hill runner. Anyway, I was 31:24 at the roundabout and 48:31 at the T (I blew up running one hill and had to walk for 10 seconds!).

I did a 26:04 loop after the T (13 minutes out and back), again still running the hills hard. Then I ran strong for the remainder of the run despite feeling tired (the second half of the run was cooler which helped). Total time was 1:57:42 (estimate 25km).

So my normal run of the T and back was 1:31:38 which I think is a PB. That was a bit surprising as although I ran hard, I didn't feel like I was killing it. So very pleased with that.

I was absolutely spent at the end of this run. I gave it everything I had. I spent at least 15 minutes at the end drinking, eating and stretching to try and feel normal again. The knee felt good but the damage done won't be known until tomorrow. It feels okay as I write this so fingers crossed.

Massage tomorrow morning and then rest until Saturday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kneesy Does It

My left knee was aching during the night and still very sore this morning. I did some stretching at work and decided to try out a lunchtime run. I was expecting pain.

Started off on the grass running very gingerly (some would say gay-like). It was painful every left foot strike. It gradually improved and by the time 15 minutes had elapsed the pain had subsided a lot but there was still a dull ache. I continued on for 10km in just under 45 minutes. At the end I did lots more stretching...

I was expecting the knee to become more painful in the afternoon after I had cooled down (with patella injuries this tends to happen). But it wasn't too bad. Not good by any means, but it had definitely improved post run. I have booked a massage for Friday morning, so I just have to get through Ourimbah on Thursday and hopefully some elbow treatment in the quads will help fix things further.

Maybe I jarred the knee on Tuesday without realising it. Hopefully it gets better still tomorrow. I suppose the good thing is that I still managed to run today and the knee seems marginally better as a result. I have to remain positive.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chittaway Point

A good crowd today. Me, Baz, Mark, Cain, Jeff and Cale.

I'd started my session early. I ran 5km as a warm-up, then changed into my flats for the dreaded 10 reps. It's not a km, closer to 900m. The instructions were not to run them flat out, keep the times consistent, and alternate 60 secs/90 secs recovery after each rep. Times were as follows:


The last one required more effort, but apart from that it felt pretty good. After the run I was doing a warm-down and noticed my left knee had become very sore (I didn't notice this during my reps). The dreaded left patella. I ran 5km regardless but I fear this may be an issue. I'll see how it is tomorrow. I will definitely need another massage plus lots of stretching.

All up 19km.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Monday Rest

Nothing planned for today. Complete rest and an early night.

The next 2 week I will ramp things up. Longer reps on Tuesday starting with 10 (ten) x 1km at Chittaway Point on Tuesday. Then I'll start attacking the hills hard at Ourimbah on Thursday during my 2 hour hills workout. Tempo run on Saturday and 2.5 hour long runs on Sunday. I'm getting tired at the very thought of it...

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Another Week Completed

I ran 2 laps of the Lane Cove 10km course. Took it easy and finished in 1:29:31 (4:29's).

So that's 80.2km for the week. A good start to the week with the 3km race, but still a bit disappointed with yesterday's 10km. I'll get over it.

The next 2 weeks will be 100km weeks, then I'll taper it down for the half marathon at the end of the month.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

North Head 10km

I had a good feeling about today, the weather was close to perfect and I was tipping a good run.

The race started a little late but we were soon off. The plan was to go out hard and hang on and the first 3km rolled by in 9:54 and I felt in control. But then I started to struggle in the climb after the turn at the stone archway - I found myself hanging on for the next 7km as I continued to slow. I missed the 5km marker but would estimate 17 flat, so I have then run the second half in 17:41 for a total time of 34:41. I was disappointed not to run strong the second half of the race as this is normally where I come into my own. I was overtaken by 2 Striders in the last couple of km and did not have any fight to try and stick with them. Overall I think I made the top 10 so whilst the time was disappointing, the position was good. Perhaps it was a bit humid out there which may have slowed everyone down.

As for the new course.......didn't run well so blame the course! I'm joking, it's still a good quick course but I really felt the long uphills from the turnaround.

All up 15km with warm-up and down. I'll put this down as a mediocre run and move on.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Friday Ponder

Nothing planned today exercise wise.

I seem to be showing signs that I'm in good nick so tomorrow's 10km race could surprise me. I've decided to go out hard (and hang on) to give me the best chance of a sub 34. A top 10 finish would be nice but that's only ever happened once before...

Feeling a bit tired so it will be an early night and hopefully I'll be jumping out of my skin in the morning. Watch this space.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Hills Make You Stronger

Back to the Forest for some mountaineering. I had to run easy tonight and keep the lid firmly on.

I decided to do the T and back (no further) and I completed the run in 1:36:19 (quite quick....). Splits were 13:05 (top of 1st hill), 31:36 (roundabout) , 50:26 (T).

All up 20km and felt very comfortable. Conditions were perfect tonight and the run felt good.

Then afterwards I went to see Gary Numan at the Enmore Theatre. Also enjoyable. So an evening of running, a few pints and live music. Tucked up in bed by 1am.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Lunchtime Trundle

I turned the legs over for 10km at lunch. Decided to put a brake on the pace and just take it easy. Even though it was a bit cooler today the humidity was awful. Anyway finished in 45:36 and did some stretches afterwards.

The left knee is still not right but has definitely improved and no sign of a cold (I was probably a little run down).

Forgot to mention yesterday that I got some new racing flats - very nice indeed. The latest Brooks ST racers. These will be my weapons for London. I may even try them out on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

On Track

I dread these 3km races. Tried not to think about it too much all day. I did my usual lap of Hansen's as a warm-up (6.1km). Then a quick change of shoes into my racing spikes and I was on the start line.

It was a red hot line-up tonight - which was a good thing. There would be a few people to try and hang on to. I settled into a nice early rhythm and sat in behind Josh and Dom. I went through the first km in 3:01 and that felt comfortable. I was considering pushing past these 2 but decided to sit there for another km although I could feel the pace had slipped a little. The second km came and went in 3:08 and I decided to push for home. I eased past and tried to open up a gap. Whilst I dropped Dom, Josh sat in behind me and out-kicked me on the last lap. I finished in 9:11 so very happy with that. A 3:02 last km was a nice way to finish.

Lots of positives to take out of this race. I was 18 seconds quicker than last month and to be honest this race felt a lot easier. Despite having not done much speedwork I ran a quick time purely off my strength training.

For the record I finished 4th overall! Mark ran 8:36 and is in a league of his own. Then Matt and Josh finished just in front of me. A sub 9 is not too far away if I keep improving at this rate.

Finished off the night with another lap of Hansen's as a warm-down. All up 15.2km.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Nothing planned today.

I feel a bit sniffly - please don't be a cold!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday Long

I rattled out a repeat of the last few weeks. The Bridges run was completed in 1:47, then a sub 28 minute lap of the Bay, then a couple of km slow warm-down. All up 32km in 2:25. I'm getting slightly quicker each week - that's not intentional, I think it's more a sign of improved running efficiency.

Total for the week 92km. I'm pleased with the week given the poor start. Now it's time to wind it back and freshen up for the 2 races on Tuesday and Saturday.

The last 5 weeks would go down as my highest ever block of training. I've been averaging over 90kms which is big for me. Next week we will see what sort of shape I'm in. I certainly feel like I have lots of strength but leg-speed remains a concern. Hopefully the speed will come...

On a side note my wife and I went out to Doyle's at Watson's Bay for our anniversary lunch. Very nice indeed. And I had my first alcohol in over 4 weeks - a few glasses of wine and a beer. Boy did it taste good.