Monday, November 29, 2010

Distance goal achieved and cold weather

I've been trying to get my distance up this last week or two, but it's been pretty difficult due to family stuff, work and redecorating the house. Last Tuesday I made it over to the AC track, but it was really cold, probably close to zero C. About 10 of us showed up though, so it was a good training session. The Yasso 800s went well, as I posted before.
The next time I had a chance to run was Thursday, but that quickly got eaten up with other stuff going on, so I decided to get up early (05:45) on Friday for a gym session. I did my usual:
5-10mins on a gym bike (to warm the legs up),
30 situps,
30 pressups,
3 x 12 Leg curl 50kg
3 x 12 Leg extn 70kg
3 x 12 Leg press 150kg
3 x 12 Calf raises 110kg (in the leg press)
Then 8km on the dreadmill. I do 1k easy, then 1k fast, this session I brought up the pace on the easy session and managed to get the fast session up to 4:40min/k. I got home in time to have breakfast with the family before going to the office.
That night, we got a downfall of snow, about 3-4 inches in our area. At first I didn't think it would stick, but the temp hasn't been much above 2-3C since then, with night time temps around -3 to -6C.
I had an appointment for a routine eye test on Saturday so I got all layered up and walked up to the village in the snow and back. Total about 2.5k, but it took a bit longer than normal of course!
Then yesterday (Sunday), I was just itching to get a run in, so I gave my son's room one coat of paint and while it was drying I set out in the snow in my shorts (pic below)...
Sorry the pic is so dark, but if we had used the flash then it would have just reflected off my high viz vest. I did the loop of the local village, which is about 3k and I did 3 loops for a total of 10.6k - including the run to/from the house. It took just about 62mins. I was slipping on the snow & ice a lot, which was awkward, but I also had to contend with slush - not nice. So my runners & feet were getting wet as I ran. I found that at about 6k my hands were sweating as I was wearing my heavy thinsulate gloves. When I took them off my hands were ok, but my chest/torso got pretty cold within about 5 mins, so I put the gloves back on and my chest warmed up again. Something to remember anyway! I was hoping to get a bit further, as I have my half marathon in just 2 weeks, but lifting and pushing my legs in these conditions was very tiring and I think my lower legs were constantly tense as I was wary of slipping and falling.
Anyway, on this run I managed, at some point,to bring my logged distance on DailyMile over 1,000km since February, Woohoo! I had a goal of reaching it by my next birthday - mid December - but I'm ahead by nearly 3 weeks, so I'm really happy with that.

This morning I had a free followup session with a PT in the gym. I did my workout first (it was -5.5C when I left the house) but I took it easy on the dreadmill and just did 3k as my legs were still tired from yesterday. we talked about nutrition. He said that nutrition makes up 60% of your training program, so without proper fuel you can't do the best that you should be able to.
So last week I had to complete a diet diary for 2 days mid week and 1 day on the weekend. I won't go into specifics, but he said I am eating just enough to keep my body ticking over, so when I train or run I will get tired quicker than I should. So, in short, I need to eat "at least 2 more meals a day" and "take a supplement shake after every workout". I will start making these changes from today. It won't be easy as I tend to eat when I need to and if I miss a meal due to being busy then I'm not bothered. All this is about to change...

Keep running,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mo Run and upcoming races

About two weeks ago, as I was chatting to a friend and catching up on the previous 18 months, we got chatting to someone else who mentioned that there was a local Athletics Club within walking distance of my house, pretty cool! So I got an email for them and a few mails went back and forth. They meet every Tuesday evening, and last week was my first time to meet up with them.
Apart from one of the coaches, Tom, I was one of only two guys, with about 10 girls there. It was cold, raining and pretty windy, with a storm coming in. I ran to the track from my house and did 3 laps warmup (about 1.2km). We did lunges, burpees, mini hurdles, sprints and some short (200-400m) runs to keep ourselves warm. At the end we did some more laps, with me doing 4 x 400m and then a run home.
I was hoping to get in a workout/run on Thursday morning, but I got food poisoning on Wednesday night. I'm pretty sure you don't want the details! I had a 10k race on Saturday, so running on Friday was a no go.
On Saturday morning, it was cold, overcast and there was some light rain. We were going to go as a family, but my wife and young daughter would have been too cold waiting around, so I brought my 4 year old son instead.
The run was part of Movember, hence my "Mo"!
My son ran the first 300m with me, during which time we got passed by everyone in the race. He then said he was tired, so I put him in the buggy and made sure he was secure and sped off along the path. We overtook quite a few people all of whom were very encouraging. Every time we came to a group blocking the path, my son would shout out "out of the way!", I didn't tell him to say that, honestly! The flat sections were great and I was able to keep a 4:50min/k pace on them, the downhills I took it easy, as I didn't want to lose control of the buggy. The uphills were a killer though! About 100m from the finish line, I got my son out and we crossed the line running together, a great moment! We both got our finisher's medals and went back to the car as he was feeling the cold. It was a great day with lots of runners in fancy dress.

Sunday was a rest day and Monday I took the day off work to decorate my daughter's room (princess pink!) so didn't get much time. Tuesday it was back to the AC track and I ran over, did 2 laps warmup first. Then we did lunges, strides, heels to butt walk, knees to chest walk and 4 x sprints for 50m. Then we were split into groups. Those doing the upcoming 5k, but had never done the distance were in one group doing slow laps. The rest of us were doing Yassos. Mine were 5 x 800s, but the pace was all made out in miles, which I have never worked in. We did a rough estimate that I would be doing them in 3:50 mins per 800m.
I set off on the first one at a great pace and did it in 3:30min - way too fast! The rest I did as follows:
4:06, 4:03, 3:59, 4:01. I didn't force the pace, but didn't take it easy either. I'll be building up to be able to do 10 x 800m at the set pace.
So my upcoming races are a Jingle Bells 5k which I'm bringing the family along to run in. Then the Waterford half marathon. The two are just one week apart, so that's why I won't be pushing myself for the 5k. I haven't done a lot of distance runs in the last month...or two, so I'll try some in the next couple of weeks and see how I feel.
Keep on running!


Monday, November 15, 2010

November half way mark

Here we are in mid-November, with the cool Autumn weather setting in here in Eastern Ireland. Every day now it's pretty much single digit temps (Celsius of course!) and it's down to 2-6 degrees a lot of the runs I'm on. I don't see it as a bad thing, that would be depressing, rather I see it as a challenge, something I have to take on and beat.
In Sydney last month, I was mostly running in a t-shirt or singlet. Here now in Ireland I have one singlet or t-shirt and a long sleeve top too. I'm only using technical tops, not cotton, that would leave me too cold once I started sweating. I'm also wearing a baseball cap on all runs and sometimes taking thinsulate gloves. One thing I'm taking on all outdoor runs these days is my high viz vest. We're living in a small village with busy roads and the paths don't go outside the village, nor do the street lights!
So since my last post, you know, the one where I got a 10k PB of 51:09 :-) , I have been doing my new regime in the local gym. This means that three times a week I do a 5-10min warm up on a gym bike, then:
30 situps,
30 pressups,
3 x 12 Leg curl 50kg
3 x 12 Leg extn 60kg
3 x 12 Leg press 150kg
3 x 12 Calf raises 90kg
Then I was told to do 8 miles of intervals: 1st mile easy, 2nd mile hard etc. As the gym bikes are in miles, I presumed that the dreadmills are too (presumption is the mother off all f***ups!). So when I popped my stats into DailyMile it looked like I was an ultra fast sprinter - but no. Much to my disappointment I have come crashing down to reality - the dreadmills are in KMs. So instead of me having something like a 3:30 min/k pace (!), I actually had a 5:30 overall pace. Doh!
But I have been enjoying the intervals and putting the pace up gradually on the faster sections. I also feel that my legs are getting a bit stronger, although if I run the following day I can't sustain a decent pace. That's to be expected though.
On the first set of dreadmill intervals I was 0.15km from finishing and my shoelace came undone which forced me to stop. I have just ordered two pairs of Yankz elastic laces, so I'll write a review once I have a bit of distance on them.
I also did a run just over 10k on Sunday, but it was the day after a gym session so as mentioned my legs were a bit heavy. I went out with a good 4:50min/k pace to warm up and settled down to a 5:10 - 5:20 pace after about 2-3k. For the second half I didn't have it in me to push the pace, so by the 8k mark I knew I would have to do a sub 5min/k pace to beat my PB, but there wasn't a chance. I ended up doing the run in about 53mins. Still very happy with it though. My Mo-Running 10k is next Saturday and I'm hoping to get an official PB in it, possibly sub 50min. McMillan says I can do it in 48mins based on my 5k PB, but we'll see what happens. I just hope the roads aren't too frosty! I'm planning on getting a gym session in tomorrow (Tuesday) and Thursday mornings and then taking Friday off.
On another note, I've found and made contact with a local Athletics Club and their training is on every Tuesday evening. I'm hoping to get along tomorrow evening but I will have done a gym session in the morning so won't be going that hard. It's running distance from the house too - about 2k - so I'll be able to get a warm up on the way there and a cool down on the way home.
I also mentioned at the start of the month that I wanted to push up my distance as October was a disappointing 53k total (see older post for details). In the first two weeks of November I've already done 72k. I'm also only 50k away from logging 1,000k on DailyMile! My aim was to reach it by my birthday in mid-December, it looks like that won't be a problem!

Keep running,


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gearing up for winter

I've been doing a few runs since I got back to Ireland and now that DST has kicked in the evenings are darker and darker. I sometimes have to run on dark roads with no paths and no street lights. On the way back from the run I've been a bit close to some cars - even though I'm almost in the ditch. So at the weekend, I went out and got a high viz vest and tried it out for the first time yesterday (pic below).

That's me doing my "hurry up and take it before I collapse" look!

It worked a treat, cars gave me a nice wide berth and as an unrelated bonus I got a new PB for 10k - 51:09!
Only trouble with the new PB is that I now feel compelled to beat it in my 10k race on November 20th :-)
Before I got the PB yesterday I was going to aim for a 55min 10k in the race, but now it looks like I should go for 50mins. When I put my 5k PB into McMillan, it says I should be able to do a 48min 10k. Seems a bit fast, but I'm now doing running specific training in the gym as well as my running.

Here's hoping for a good race either way...


Monday, November 8, 2010

New month, new location and new addition!

Hi again,
As I said in my last post, last month's totals were pretty low, only 53k for October! So I'm aiming to double that for this month and to log 1,000k in DailyMile by my birthday in mid-December.
As my regular readers know, I'm now based in Ireland. It's brought good times as I was separated from my family for a while due to work, and busy times too. My son (4) in particular hasn't left my side and wants to go everywhere with me, which is great as I've really missed him and my daughter, who is younger than him at 2 1/2.
The move has also brought some challenges for my running. In Sydney of late, I had been trying to get used to the heat and humidity. Even when it was raining it was pretty warm most of the time. Here in Ireland my runs are usually in single digit temps, with yesterday's run starting off at 4C and ending at 6C. I'm still working on the best layers and how to keep warm without sweating too much.
Also, I have a new addition to the blog, my very own podcast! I had been thinking about it for months and had thought that technology might hamper me, but I already had a headset with microphone. After a few trials I found some really good software to record with (Audacity) and I played around with it for a while before trying out Episode 1. Episode 2, or actually 2.4 is below.
I'm not too bothered if very few people listen to it as I see it as another way of recording my issues and achievements in running. Please feel free to send on constructive comments either on the blog, or at theirunner (at) gmail (dot) com. When I was about to relocate to Ireland I went looking for Irish Running podcasts in iTunes but didn't find any. So the title is based on the search criteria I used in iTunes! I may rename it, but am happy to stick with it for now.
P.S. I realize there are two major bloopers in this episode, these things happen and I will try not to let it happen again :-)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Monthly totals update

My monthly totals were going great up to the end of September, with August at 165k and September just over 100k. October saw a dropping off to just 53k. Two big reasons were 1) my much-written-about shin injury/issue and 2) relocating from Australia to Ireland.
I'm planning on getting my totals back up at least over 80k per month for the rest of the year and the winter. I'll have to see how my winter motivation holds out. I do have regular access to a treadmill/dreadmill, but I'd rather not use it if I can avoid it. My long runs and races will all be road based for the foreseeable future, so it's the best place to train for me right now.
Hoping to get out tomorrow (Friday) and Sunday. LSR will be interesting, as my hydration pack is still en route from Oz!
One benefit of moving to a country where you already have a bunch of friends is having no trouble finding people willing to go running with. Hopefully all the best intentions will actually come to fruition and we'll get a lot of runs in with some good mates.
My best friend, who went to school with me and has kept in touch ever since, has been asking me to help him get fit. I have trained with him before, but he's never been running before. He lives about 40k north from me, which isn't a big distance, but we both have jobs and families with kids, so it will be a challenge!

So I'll keep it short and sweet and update again after a couple more planned runs.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Changes and adapting

Yes, I know I said I'd blog again before I left Oz, but time was not on my side, so I had to wait until now. I am back in Ireland and have been for six days I think. Since the move I have just about adjusted my body clock, but still have no clue as to what day it is! I'm starting back to work on Thursday which is in a couple of days, I think (!), so I'll be a bit more settled then.
It was belting rain on Friday and Sunday but was very clear and sunny on Saturday, and I had scheduled a run so it fitted in nicely. I ran down a narrow, but busy, road that has no paths or streetlights, and cars/trucks can do a fair pace there, so I'm going to try and buy a high viz jacket to wear for runs there. I did 9.8k and was taking it easy as I had developed a head cold. Going from 26 degrees to 8 will do that for you! I did a couple of short walk breaks too, but still my overall pace was just under 5:30k/min, so I was pretty happy with it.
Yesterday it was raining again and I did a different route. I ran from the house up to the local village and round by the back of the shops and back to a local roundabout and repeated. The loop was just over 3k so the total was about 7.6k all in. I didn't do any walking breaks as my head cold was a lot better, but had to stop twice for traffic. Mind you, I had a bit of a hangover as we had some friends over for halloween. Good to clear the system out though. The temps were in single digits and it was raining but I still managed an average pace of 5:15 k/min, which I was delighted with!
My next race is coming up in a couple of weeks and is a 10k. I've never done a proper 10k race...well I did one, but I was planning on the 5k and missed the turn point. I wasn't up to running 10k continuous then, so my time was a bit over 60mins. So on the upcoming race I'll pretty much be getting a PB.
The race is part of Movember, so it should also be good for a laugh!