30 April, 2007


With less than 9 weeks to the Gold Coast Marathon I am back on the road.Last week I ran 6 days and clocked up 73K's including 27 on Sunday 29th. I managed to run the 27 at an average pace of 4:57. I haven't been doing any speed work or hills etc. I just don't have the get up and go at this stage.

I won't be putting as much effort into training for Gold Coast as I did for Canberra. I have always had high expectations of myself at the Gold Coast and, except the the first in 2004, have been disappointed in my results. For some reason I have found GC a hard course and have enjoyed Sydney and Canberrra more.

The Gold Coast will be my 9th Marathon and I will just be running it as I feel on the day with no expecations of a PB or anything splendid like that. I will just be looking to keep it under 3:30, anything better will be a bonus.

My marathon history so far:

1. Gold Coast 2004 3:21:58
2. Sydney 2004 3:18:40
3. Canberra 2005 3:25:59
4. Gold Coast 2005 3:31:16
5. Toowoomba 2005 3:30:29
6. Canberra 2006 3:21:27
7. Gold Coast 2006 3:22:59
8. Canberra 2007 3:14:55

17 April, 2007

My Canberra Race Report

The Canberra Marathon has become a very significant part of my life. The marathon weekend is a special time. Not only is it the culmination of a lot of hard work but the beginning of a new season of Australian distance running..... well for me it is because their always seems to be so many events to choose from after Canberra.

This was my third year in Canberra and and once again I came home uplifted and elated, not only from having completed a marathon but also from catching up with, and spending time with so many wonderful friends. This is something I would never have experienced without running.

My real journey to Canberra 2007 began back on 9th January when I began Susan Hobson's marathon training program. That was a fairly daunting commitment for me. I am glad to say that, except for the last couple of weeks when the Flu took hold of me, I stuck to it like glue. Thank you Susan. What a difference it made to running a marathon. Sure the sickness towards the end knocked my confidence around, as my blog testifies, but I have to say that on the day I felt much stronger and better prepared than I ever have before.

There was something else I did which I haven't done before. On the Friday before race day I logged onto CoolRunning and was looking at the Canberra Marathon - Sub 3:30 Hr Bus (first Time) topic. Brick had posted a posted a 5K split plan to achieve a 3:20 marathon time (post # 61). I thought it was just what I needed, not having used something like that before. I copied and pasted in Word, printed it off, calculated the average pace for each 5 K split and wrote them down against each of the split times. I stuck this to a piece of cardboard wrapped it in sticky tape to protect it then tied it to my Garmin with a zip tie. You wouldn't believe how much doing this little exercise helped my confidence for the race.

I was able to use this plan to great benefit in my race and unbeknown to me someone else's race as well. This I found out after the race from another elated runner. Here is the story in his own words from the Canberra Marathon 2007 topic on CoolRunning (post # 224) :

Brick said:
At the start line I had a problem with my HR Monitor not starting the stop watch properly, it only starts the stop watch if it can get a HR reading and I had not wet the contacts (silly mistake) so i had no choice than to just run on a steady pace.Got to the 5KM marker and asked a person next to me what the race time was and he said 24:10 so spot on my target.This prson had a CR cap on so talked to him for a bit it was speedygeoff as we talked another CR cap ran past I ask who is that he said that is Eddie he is targetting 3:20 so I siad see ya and started after Eddie I nevr caught him but could see him for most of the race.

Thanks Eddie, I know I mention this yesterday to you but it was great.

Eddie was sitting on the exact splits I had set I only found after the race he had used the splits I posted last week.

How good is that! Thank YOU Brick.

I hit the Half point right on plan and was very pleased. I continued to be amazed at how good I felt through the whole race. At the 35K mark I was ahead of the plan by at least 2 minutes and began not to pay too much heed to it as I felt good and thought I would make the most of the feeling. If I was going to hit the wall further on, then so be it. It didn't happen, there was no wall. When I finally turned the corner into the home straight and saw the clock I mad a dash for the line and cracked the 3:15 to record a 3:14:55 marathon.

All the rest of the day I had to keep massaging my face muscles because they were aching from grinning so much.

No matter what difference it may have made to my time, I am glad I took time out to give Clairie a hug. I also stopped and gave a hug to my friend Barb Williams, one of my running buddies from Brisbane who now lives in Canberra.

I owe a great deal to my running buddy, Tegwen Howell, who kept me honest in the long training runs. Tegwen recorded a PB in the Marathon at 3:28:54 (from 3:30:00, Toowoomba 2006) and went of to complete 50K in 4:14:33. Congratulations Tegwen. I am so proud of you.

Thank you again to everyone who gave me so much encouragement and support in my journey to a new marathon PB. An unforgettable experience.

16 April, 2007

Canberra Marathon 2007

Words simply don't describe my latest marathon experience. How can I possibly articulate how I felt after crossing the finish line to record a personal best time of 3:14:55. My previous best, set in Sydney in 2004, was 3:18:40 giving me a new PB by 3 mins 45 secs.

This was my third Canberra Marathon. My results have been:

2005 3:25:59
2006 3:21:57
2007 3:14:55

Hmmm! If I keep improving at that rate.............?????????????????????????

I have been wanting to recapture the Sydney 2004 experience. That certainly happened on Sunday. The whole race went so well. I hoped for a PB but to actually go sub 3:15 totally blew me away.

The support and encouragement both leading up to and during the Marathon has been absolutely fantastic. I cannot say how much it has been truly appreciated and how much it contributed to my greatest run so far.

I shall post a more detailed race report soon.

13 April, 2007

Last Post

Last Post before Canberra. How the weeks have flown. My journey to the 2007 Canberra Marathon has been different from any other because I have put more effort into preparation, this however has been marred by sickness which certainly robbed me of confidence, if nothing else.

Since feeling better, I have put in a couple of good solid runs which have pleased me greatly. My 10K at the Easter Egg Run was a good example.

I am really looking forward to being in Canberra again and catching up with so many running friends, even if just to say thanks for all the encouragement and support. I am also looking forward to the race. I am experiencing the pre-race jitters. I try to relax but find myself again mulling over some aspect of the run.

This morning's last run was a very easy and pleasant 7K. I didn't wear a watch and was not at all concerned about pace or time. It was a matter of keeping the legs ticking over.

I was very upset to read Robert Song's bad news. It is such a shame that you won't be with us in Canberra Robert Song.

All the best everyone and thanks for sharing my journey to the 2007 Canberra Marathon. All the best Scott for your Nagano Marathon and Tuggeranong Don for your Boston Marathon.

10 April, 2007

Home Alone

I had some time home alone yesterday, a rare event, and though there are lots of things screaming at me to be done, I got to thinkng about how nice the weather was and how I hadn't run since Friday, and how I supposed to have done a 16K on Sunday, and how it would be nice to go for a run. So I decided to head for Park Road and run along the River to New Farm and back. Mind you, I started my run at 12:45 PM...yes, the middle of the day.

There was a nice breeze coming off the River which at the start lulled me into thinking I might stay less than hot during the run. I didn't feel too bad until I got to the floating walkway, then it was full sun and I began to heat up very quickly. I began to slow a bit. I kept going and turned round at 8K, according to my Garmin, along the path at New Farm not far past the City Cat jetty. I took it easy on the way back until I was exiting the City Gardens and heading along under the riverside express way when I was feeling OK again and lifted my pace a bit. My splits for the last 4 K were 4:50, 4:41, 4:33 and 4:18. I averaged 4:52 for the 16K and was back at Park Road in 1:18.

I just have to cool my heels till Sunday now. I just do some short runs, probably my 7K circuit, to keep things ticking over.

06 April, 2007

Good Friday

I took my grandchildren, Jordan 9 and Georgia 8 to the Easter Egg Run today at West End. Steve, the Footman, Manning and his wife Margo from the Intraining Running Centre organise this event each year. There is a 10K, 3K and a kids 1K plus an egg & spoon race and an egg throwing competion and also a choclate easter egg hunt. It's a real fun family time. Jordan & Georgia love it. Jordan ran in the 1k, his first, and finished in 5:o5. I was very proud of him.

While I ran the 10K Jordan and Georgia walked the 3K with some friends. It was so good to run in a race. It is amazing who the competitive spirit kicks in and carries you along. I said before the race that I would be happy to run at 5:00 Min pace. At the start line I stood back in the middle of the crowd and just started at what I thought was a nice easy pace. At the first K marker I checked my Garmin which beeped the 1K at about the same time and was surprised to see 4:15. I thought something must be wrong with the Garmin. I just kept on going and finished the first 5K in 21:18. The Garmin was telling the truth. I had guy running on my heels in the 6th K and ran that in 3:54. I was very happy when I finished the race in 42:10, average pace 4:13.

Happy Easter everyone.

01 April, 2007

A Beautiful Sunday

What a glorius morning it was this morning.

After having had to take myself off to the Doctor on Thursday with infected sinuses I was feeling a bit miserable. The course of antibiotics and nasal spray seem to be doing the trick so this morning I was feeling much better.

I hadn't run since Wednesday so was rearing to go this morning. The program called for 26 but I ended up with only 24K. I reckoned that was OK. What was also OK was my average pace of 4:42 mins per K. My last K was 4:09.

With Canberra now only 2 weeks away I am glad to have had such a good run this morning. It has given me quite a boost.