31 December, 2004

Friday 31/12/2004

Last day of the year and something positive to report. I did my programmed 50 min run this morning, exactly the same circuit as last Friday. Last Friday's time was 57:49 for the 11.3K. Today's time was 51:49. This is not a PB for this course but the I am pretty pleased with the improvement from last week.

I have been finding the combination of speed work and long runs is hard going. In training for the 2004 Gold Coast and Sydney Marathons I didn't include any speed work at all but was doing better times on the circuits I run from home. Then again I wasn't able to run a sub 20 5K either - this I have achieved since doing speed training. I am hoping that by the Canberra Marathon I will see the fruits of the speed work/long run combination in improved times over the long distances. I am not setting Canberra as a goal for big time improvements because of my intention to do the Ultra but the 2005 Gold Coast Marathon is the race where I will be looking for the big reduction from 2004's 3:22. Is sub 3:00 achievable for this almost 53 year old? Ray James did it - but when I see the times he is achieving I reckon I have a lot of work to do.

Bring on 2005. Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!

30 December, 2004

Thursday 30/12/2004

This week is not going to schedule. Yesterday I was not able to run because I am minding my grand-children aged 6 & 7 - couldn't leave them on their own - not even for a run. My program called for a 70 min run on Wednesday and a speed session today. Robyn had to leave early again today so I wasn't able to head into the city to do the speed session with Pat's group. However I was able to fit in a run before Robyn left and opted to do the 70 min run from home.

The conditions this morning were great. It was cool and the humidity wasn't too bad. I did my 15.7K circuit in 75 mins which is slower than I expected considering the good conditions. I felt good all the way and didn't push myself. I basically just let my legs dictate the pace - if you know waht I mean.

28 December, 2004

Tuesday 28/12/2004

It started out deceptively cool with a light breeze off the river but once we were into the warm up the humidity quickly made itself very apparent. I find the high humidity not only causes me to sweat a lot it exhausts me. Only a few turned out for Pat's training session this morning and they were mostly the A team. We lined up for 8 x 500m reps with 1 min standing recovery and finished off with a 1K. My first 4 reps were between 112 and 115 secs, by the 8th they were up to 120 secs. The A team were maintaining the low 90's. I find it really difficult to push myself any faster than this and be able to sustain the pace. I am sure that I will improve.

I can't complete this blog without commending Tesso and Clairie for their spirit of love and concern. We arrived at West End to begin our speed session and Pat realised that one of our number was missing. We had lost Don, a visitor from Canberra, along the way. Tesso and Clairie, out of love and concern for their fellow runner, volunteered to run back to find him. They returned, without Don, just as we had finished the session and were heading back.

27 December, 2004

Sunday 26/12/2004

We had a wonderful Christmas at our house. Santa left lots of presents. We, my wife Robyn and I, love seeing our grandchildren open their presents. They get so excited.

As usual, I over-ate. We had a big meal at night topped off with plum pudding. On Sunday, Boxing Day, I was up at 4:45 to be at the running club to start the 20K run at 6:00. Tesso and I agreed that we didn't really feel up to running because of our over-indulgence in Christmas food. I managed to complete my 20K in 1:32 which I thought was reasonable considering the plum pudding and the humidity. Tesso said, afterwards, that she enjoyed the run. She is one of these odd people who seems to cope quite well in the heat. I don't cope well with the heat, especially the high humidity, so I was counting down every K.

24 December, 2004

Friday 24/12/2004

Christmas Eve!! Yahoo! Santa's coming tonight. I hope he's prepared for the humidity.

It takes me so long to stop sweating after a run even though I start a 5:00 AM. Even after I have had a shower the sweat is still pouring out of me. This morning I did 11.3K in 57:42. I have to accept that I simply don't perform at my best in these humid conditions. Some people say that they love it. I don't. Give me cool running anytime - I perform much better.

Merry Christmas.

23 December, 2004

Thursday 23/12/2004

The humidity here in Brisbane today is incredible. It's not really conducive to good speed sessions. Never-the-less we had a good turnout this morning for what turned out to be a tough session - 2 x 5 min surges then hill work. We were all dripping wet after the warm up. We continued the Christmas theme with Santa hats etc.

22 December, 2004

Wednesday 22/12/2004

Yahoo!! Felt really good setting out on my 70 min run this morning. The circuit ended up taking me 72:52. The hills on the home stretch slowed me down but I am sure they will be good for me in the long run (how's that for a pun.. Ha Ha) . The circuit, according to my trusty GPS, is 15.73k so I averaged 4:38 per K. I am happy with that at this point in my training. I think I will use the hillier part of the course for my 50 min run on Friday.

21 December, 2004

Tuesday 21/12/2004

I took your advice Horrie and put in the effort this morning and felt much better for it. The session with Pat wan't one of our harder ones this morning but it was just what I needed to get rid of the doldrums of the last week. It's great to be feeling good again.

Pat's training group had a Christmas breakfast after the session this morning. There was quite a crowd. We had visitors from Canberra and Toowoomba. During the speed session in the City Gardens Clairie had to where a funny hat, and Pat and couple of others wore Santa boxer shorts and Santa hats, another guy ore a little pink numer that didn't really suit him. A fun time was had by all.

19 December, 2004

Sunday 19/12/2004

I thought today I would be able to put in a much better effort. When the alarm went off at 4:15 this morning I was dead to the world. I found it difficult to get moving. My friends were waiting for me at Park Road at 5:00 AM. I left them at about 16K so that I could pick up my pace and do a bit extra distance. My program called for a 2 hr run. I quit at 1:54 after only 22.5K. For some reason I was finding th going a bit tough today. Tomorrow is a rest day so hopefully by Tuesday's speed session I will be feeling better.

17 December, 2004

Friday 16/12/2004

Another slow day. 11k in 55:00. Starting to feel better and looking forward to Sunday. Received another 4 week program from Pat today. It's amazing how quickly thes 4 week modules fly by.

16 December, 2004

Thursday 16/12/2004

My legs are still sore so this mornings speed session was not up to par. I will take my 50 mins steady tomorrow, rest on Saturday and will be rearing to hit the road for 2 hrs on Sunday.

15 December, 2004

Wednesday 15/12/2004

14 K today in 1:10. I had to stick to a course I'm used to so that I could judge time and distance as my GPS froze after 1k. I can't even turn it off. Very sad.

My legs are still sore after my big weekend which I followed up with a "speed" session yesterday - 8 x 1 min reps. I couldn't put in a good effort because my legs weren't moving too well.

13 December, 2004

Monday 13/12/2004

I am just back from a fantastic weekend at Couran Cove (an ecco tourist resort on South Stradbroke Island at the northern end of the Gold Coast Broadwater). What a great place. I did my 50 min run Friday morning and my friends picked me up at 11:00 AM to set off for what turned out to be an action packed weekend where I behaved like a 23 yearold rather than an almost 53 yearold (however they behave???? I'm never realy sure).

Most people at the resort ride bikes. I hadn't been on a bike for many years but found I still can ride OK, though my backside is a little tender. Friday evening we set out on our bikes, managed to get lost, and got caught in a downpour. We arrived back at our cabin soaking wet. We collected more of our friends from the last ferry Friday night and made plans for Saturday.

After jumping and doing my first ever summersaults on a trampoline, competing in a couple of 50m sprints on the running track, playing basketball, swimming, playing mini golf, kayaking, tennis, dinner followed by a marthaon game of UNO during which I consumed a glass of wine and substantial part of a bottle of port, I arose at 5:30 AM on Sunday and ran for 2hrs 10 mins and 25K. Needless to say I wasn't feeling on top of the world when I started out but was feeling better after an hour. The humidity was shocking but I kept the water up. To get in the time I had to cross the island 8 times and head off on various side tracks to add variety.

09 December, 2004

Thursday 9/12/2004

Feeling absolutely stuffed after the speed training session this morning. I put in a pretty good effort though and am happier with the way I am coping with these sessions. It's good to do this type of training with a group which is supportive and encouraging.

Yesterday, Wednesday, my mid-week program called for a 10 minute leap to 1 Hr 10 min. I added to my favourite 12K course from home and ended up with 15.6K in 1:13:38 (good ol'GPS).

07 December, 2004

Tuesday 7/12/2004

3K Time Trial Day. It was bucketing rain. I was wearing my favourite old running shorts which have no string pull because it came out in the wash and I couldn't thread it back in. I figured they still had enough elasticity left in the waist band to hold them up. This may have been so if it had been dry but in the rain - no way. The weight of the water and the running movement had them on their way down. I had to keep hitching them up. You can see I'm on my way to a big excuse here can't you. It's original isn't it? Well I was 1 second outside my PB of 11:22 set last month. I reckon I must have lost a couple of seconds, at least, hitching up my shorts.

05 December, 2004

Sunday 5/12/2004

A beautiful day for running today. I met some running buddies at Park Road, Milton at 5:30 AM. I love running with these people. We set off along the Brisbane River, through the City to NewFarm, and on towards Newstead. After an hour and 7 mins I left them to continue on to complete the 18K circuit back to Park Road while I went back the way we had come so that I could clock up my 2 hours as per Pat Carroll's training program for me.

I picked up the pace on the way back and completed the same route in 1 Hr and was feeling pretty good on my arrival back at Park Road where I was able to enjoy a cup of coffee with my friends.

According to my Garmin Forerunner 201 I covered 24.6 K's. On the return run I had the pleasure of catching up with Keith Chaston at New Farm. We ran together to the Goodwill Bridge where Keith left me to continue on to his home at Moorooka. Keith covers a lot of K's each week. He is the newly elected President of the Brisbane Road Runners Club.

02 December, 2004

Thursday 2/12/2004

Another tough speed session this morning with Pat's group. I was absolutely knackered. It's probably not fair to my employer sitting in the office feeling like crap but I was right after my coffee and scone with jam and cream - good medicine.

It's good to have some structure to my training. I am seeing the results even though I haven't stuck strictly to the program to date. With all the little runs out of the way I am sure I can now really get down to business and am looking forward to my 2 Hr run on sunday.

01 December, 2004

Wednesday 1/12/2004

I found yesterdays hill training with Pat's group pretty tough. I was wrecked afterwards.

Now that I have cracked that 5K 20 minute barrier I have to put these intense short runs asside and concentrate on my marathon training. So I did my hour this morning and am looking forward to Sunday's long run (2 Hrs). My 2005 plan is to do Canberra (mybe the ultra) and Gold Coast.