Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Belated update

Well over two months have passed since my last post and six months since my last race. I feel I'm about 92% recovered from the surgery. I have trained steadily in this time am am currently training 10 times per week clocking up 110k's last week. However, it has all been slow running between 5:00min and 5:30min pace. My head and balance are still not quite up to anything faster.

At times, its been hard to train 10 times a week not having any idea when my next race will be, nor having a goal race but I'm excited about what I can do after building up a Lydiard style base of fitness over the next few months.

Please note that after a lot of spam over the past two months, I have switched on word verification for those wishing to comment on the blog.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009


After 43 days off, I am now 13 runs into the comeback. After kicking off with 10 x 1min easy with a 1min walking recovery, I have now built up to 65 minutes, broken up with four walking recoveries to allow the head a rest to regain its equilibrium. The lungs and legs don't mind the rest either!

I feel I'm about 85-90% recovered from the surgery am am continuing to have sessions with the vestibular physiotherapist and do the prescribed exercises. Fortunately, I can now lead a pretty normal life although there are some days when the head still feels a little dizzy and out of whack and I subsequently struggle through the day.

Will continue to build up from here, all going well.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Frustration! Out of action.

Well, I have not run for 17 frustrating days now - my longest period of non-running since my comeback in January 2004. I had successful cochlear implant surgery on my right ear on October 8th and it was anticipated that I would require no more than a week off from running to allow time for the incision to heal. Unfortunately an unexpected side effect was severe dizziness. Thing back to when you were a kid and would spin around 10 times before trying to run in a straight line or perhaps to your nightclubbing days when you would stagger home with a blood alcohol level of .250 - that's been my life for the last fortnight. It wasn't until 36 hours after the procedure that I was able to stagger unassisted to the bathroom.

Improvement since then has been painstakingly slow and I have been unable to work or drive for the last 17 days, let alone run. I reckon I'm now about 60-65% recovered. Over the last week, however, I have been able to manage a reasonably brisk 45 minute walk most days and am hopeful that I should be able to get behind the wheel and start running again within the next week or two.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Recovery/Base training phase

After the North Lakes 10k, I stuggled big time at speedwork, feeling extremely tired and unable to get any spring or drive from my legs. Abandoned plans to race the Brisbane 10k and Bridge to Brisbane. It is quite clear to me from my times in training and racing that I have "gone over the top" after being at or close to my peak for almost four months from the beginning of May.

With cochlear implant surgery booked for October 8th and a mandatory one week period of no running to follow, I decided there was little point in freshening up with a view to attacking another race in the short term. Instead, I have decided to enter a recovery training phase which will also serve as a base training phase for 2010 with a lot of comfortable easy paced runs. I am not doing speedwork, nor am I cranking up the pace on Wednesday runs. Sunday long runs have been reduced to 90 minutes in some instances. Hopefully, the body will appreciate the break from the harder stuff and the fitness will benefit from the base phase after surgery. Since North Lakes, mileage has been as follows:

Week of Mon 17 Aug - 8 sessions, 89k
Week of Mon 24 Aug - 7 sessions, 77k
Week of Mon 31 Aug - 6 sessions, 65k
Week of Mon 7 Sept - 8 sessions, 77k
Week of Mon 14 Sept - 6 sessions, 48k
Week of Mon 21 Sept - 8 sessions, 77k

North Lakes 10k

North Lakes 10k - 6th of 250 in 36:26 (17:41, 18:45)

Two weeks after my PB at Noosa, I entered the North Lakes 10k with a view to racing over 10k on three consecutive weekends to try and break 35 minutes before the road running season wound down.

The field was surprisingly competitive with triathlete Nicholas Hull lining up and sprinting away from the field in 32:58. I was hoping to run another slight negative split but was mindful that a few hills at the end of the course would make things tougher. Went through the 1st k in 3:22 as part of a three man group battling for third and forming a chase pack. Kept the pace up in the second k in 3:27 to stay in touch with the group but the legs were already feeling buggered at this point. Passed a cheering D Sweeney at 3k still in touch with the chase pack but starting to fall off the back. Approaching the halfway, my splits slipped to over 3:30's but I still clocked 17:41 for 5k which was eight second faster than Noosa.

The second half was a stuggle as my pace slipped to the 3:50's and I was passed three times. Managed a kick in the last 500m to pick up one place I had lost and finish 6th in 36:26 for my third fastest time ever after a disappointing 18:45 closing split.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Noosa 10k

Noosa 10k - 24th out of 670 in 35:30 (PB) Out 17:49, Back 17:41

Trained poorly at PCRG on Friday prior to this race but figured that with my base, a good prep over the following 48hrs and a fast course, I could still give my PB a shake. Besides, having a poor last speedwork session before a big race is almost a good omen for me as I've done it several times before a PB race!! And have a good prep I did, having dinner at home at 6pm before driving up to Noosa the night before with Adam to join MJ, Chelle and Michelle W at our accommodation a short walk from the start.

Enjoyed a sleep in and arrived at the race precinct in time to watch the leading half marathoners finish before commencing my warm up. Luckily, I'm not too superstitious as I had left my racing headband at home. The gun went and we were away and the plan was to go out in 3:31's and come back in 3:29's. The first k went a little too quick in 3:21 but then I settled down with 3:33 and 3:35 going through 3k in 10:29. My younger brother Adam, in his 10k debut was running boldly alongside me!! My legs felt tired but rarely has my breathing been so comfortable during a race. A pack of four soon settled together consisting of myself, Adam, a male runner and second place female, Leisa Smith. I was doing most of the work in front with Adam and the other bloke either side of me and Leisa quitely tucked in behind us.

The pack reached the 5k hairpin together in 17:49, 14 seconds behind my target of 17:35 with yours truly still half a step in front. At this point, I sneakily slowed down a little more than necessary for the hairpin slightly baulking the pack behind me and then accelerated hard out of the hairpin, quickly putting five, then 10 metres on the pack. Focusing hard on my plan for a negative split return leg, I proceeded to reel off the 6th k in 3:27 breaking clear of the pack and reeling in some rivals in front of me along the way. The legs were really starting to hurt now but I was still breathing comfortably and overtaking at least two or three runners each kilometre, concentrating hard on reeling them in. Realised at 8k that although the Sub 35 was just out of reach, a PB was still on the cards and gritted my teeth to keep pushing my beat up legs through the pain barrier!! A fair last k of 3:28 followed and I had my negative split, coming home in 17:41 for a five second PB of 35:30, absolutely there any other way?

I'll take a bit out of this race, mainly the knowledge that Sub 35 is not far away - just a matter of trying to freshen up the legs, maintain fitness and put it together on the day.

Adam ran a mighty 10k debut - 35:58 on a program of 2 x PCRG speed sessions per week and 8 x intense 40min rides to and from work. Perhaps there's something the rest of us can learn from that?

Splits are as follows although the 8k and 9k markers may have been out:
3:35 - 10:29
3:43 - 17:49
3:23 ???
3:45 ???
3:28 - 35:30

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Recovery Week - No Fast Running

Had some fare dinkum DOMS after the J2J Half and just did nine easy runs between 20/7 and 26/7 racking up 88k's in the process.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Redcliffe Jetty to Jetty Half Marathon

Jetty to Jetty Half Marathon - 2nd of 310 in 79:28

I stood on the starting line at the J2J not quite sure what to expect. This was only the second running of a new support event to the time honoured 10k event and once again, there were no big guns on the starting line that I could recognise and I realised that I would be a leading contender in the race. On the other hand, I had recently undertaken a three week taper for the Gold Coast Marathon followed by an easy 50k week as I recovered from the cold that torpedoed my GC hopes. Last week saw me return home from my honeymoon and immediately test out my fitness with a 4k tempo run on Tuesday arvo in a sluggish 15:07. Not good even allowing for the fact I ran just two hours after getting of the plane. Although a solid week of training followed, I was effectively running on a five week taper!!! The plan was to trust my marathon training base and run a smart race to dip under 78 with a slight negative split.

The gun went and yours truly was quickly in the lead following the motorbike and cameraman filming everything - stardom, here we come!! On a more serious note, I remained calm, gently easing through the first k in 3:45 waiting to see who would test me out. I was joined by Tim Toner who shared the lead with me to the 2k, reached in 7:28. At the 2k, Toner put in a surge and despite responding with back to back 3:37 kilometre splits, I lost touch with him but did shake off a rival who tried to stay with me, leaving me a clear second.

5k was reached in 18:33 and 10k in 37:27 as I kept Toner in sight about 200-300m in front of me. Although running the race for the first time, I had traversed the course many times by foot and bike having being a Reddy resident from 1988 to 2001 and the local knowledge was invaluable. The scenery was great, weather was cool and the wind was minimal so conditions were conducive for running fast times albeit on a course that undulated in places.

At the turnaround, Toner was still about 300m ahead while Adrian Pearce had moved into third about a minute behind me and was having a great run. However, I was quitely confident I had Adrian's measure and the speed to outkick him if needed, given he had run the Gold Coast two weeks prior and that had to have taken something out of his legs.

At the 13k my condition started to give out and I recorded a slow 3:54 split. I knuckled down after that and kept plugging away but was unable to go faster than 3:45 until the last downhill kilometre. Still in second place, I enjoyed plenty of support from the crowd over the last 4k's and could see Toner fading in the distance but his lead was too big and even Bekele could not have run him down at this point and he won in 78:30. I crossed the line second in 79:28 with Adrian third in 83.

Immediately after the race, I could not stop thinking if only I had toed the starting line battled hardened and in peak shape, then I could have ran sub 78 for the win myself. However, given the cicurmstances surrounding the five week taper, I'm satisfied with the time and result. Alas, I did not get some prizemoney to kick start my quest to chase after Glenda's career prizemoney earnings of $5000+. Maybe next time!!