Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Ok, so it's been a while.

Since my last blog, of course............Get your mind out of the gutter.

Upon finally finding some time to sit down and have a bit of a look at my blog, it appears it has been nearly a month since the last time I was able to put some thoughts together and provide an update.  I guess it goes without saying that the last month has been somewhat busy between spending time with the kids, work and study.  And I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was also somewhat lacking in motivation there for a while.

No reason for the latter.  Just one of those things.  I had a race coming up (a bit more on that later) and I had plenty to train for as I was keen to knock a decent amount of time off my last Half Mara performance, and even though I HAVE been busy, it was also just a little easy to use that as an excuse to either miss a training session completely, or cut it a little short.

Fortunately, the motivation is back again and I have been able to put together a decent Half Mara at Shepp, as well as a couple of strong key training sessions.  Well, strong for me at least.

So, since the last time we spoke the training sessions have been reasonably light on, with only 21 sessions completed over the past month totally 418km of bike, 123km of run and sadly, just 3.1km of swimming.  As I said, motivation was a little lacking.............

Of course, as a direct result of this lack of motivation and lack of consistent training, the weight loss has somewhat stalled as well and I have been hovering between 100kg to 102kg.  Having said that, early last week (and no coincidence after some more consistent training) I managed to breakthrough the ton and saw the scales sitting at 99.2kg on Thursday morning (1/9) - a nice way to welcome in spring!

Despite still being a fat bastard, and the lack of discipline over the last month or so, I am really happy with the way my running has been progressing.  All of which culminated in the Shepp half marathon on 28/8. I wasn't quite sure how it would go as my mileage was a bit lower than what it should have been, despite all of Ruley's best intentions and him setting a program that would deliver me to the line with the best chance to knock 4 mins off my Run Melbourne time and break 1.50.  Sadly, the ummm, execution wasn't the best and I stood awaiting the starters gun not knowing what I was going to be able to achieve.

Before we knew it, we were off and I pushed the start on my Garmin.  My pace band was on my wrist for a 1.50, so I had all the tools.  It was just a matter of doing the work.

Fortunately, the Shepp track is a nice flat one and also one that I have run what feels like a million times so I know all of its little nuances and milestones.  Knowing exactly where you are at all times helps so much with pacing and this can be seen in my splits for the day.  Funnily enough, even though I got away to a good start and feeling pretty good, after 4km I hit a 2km patch that was just hard, hard work.  My times were really affected, but it was just really hard going.  Fortunately, this was only short lived and I was back on track from kilometre 7.

At least, until kilometres 17, 18 & 19 which is the part of the course where you actually run past the finish line and out to the turnaround point for the final time, before turning for home.  This time though, my times were affected dropping between 7 & 12 seconds a kilometre on my average pace for the race.  Doesn't sound like much, but it felt like half an hour each kilometre!!

Run splits were as follows:

1 - 4.58
2 - 5.02
3 - 5.08
4 - 5.03
5 - 5.09
6 - 5.04
7 - 5.06
8 - 5.13
9 - 5.04
10 - 5.01
11 - 5.04
12 - 5.05
13 - 5.01
14 - 5.01
15 - 5.02
16 - 5.01
17 - 5.16
18 - 5.18
19 - 5.13
20 - 5.09
21 - 5.10
0.3 - 1.26  (according to the garmin the course was 21.3km)

Total time 1.48.45 at an average of 5.06/km.  This represents an improvement of 5.06 since Run Melbourne just 6 weeks ago and 17.06 since Williamstown half mara 12 weeks ago.  I now have 3 weeks to go to the Yarra Boulevarde Sri Chinmoy half marathon and I am keen to see how much more I can knock off there.  goal time is 1.46.30, so it means another 135 seconds - just 6.5 seconds per kilometre.  Doesn't sound like much!!  We will see how it goes!

I pulled up surprisingly well after the race with minimal muscle soreness, at least in comparison the the last 2 half's I had run.  It is amazing how much of a difference it makes when you don't have to get in the car and drive 2 hours home.  An hour after the race had finished, and having been home for a shower and a feed, I was soaking the legs in the cold spa at the gym.  Made the difference between being able to walk up the stairs at work or not on Monday LOL.

This last week was a scheduled recovery week, so after a sleep in Monday, it was off to the pool on Tuesday morning (first time in, well, too long) for a lovely little recovery swim of 1600m, made up of 200's.  Christ, I hate 200's!!.

Tuesday night was a scheduled 20mins on the Wind trainer to warm up and flush the legs, followed by a 30min run.  I surprised the hell out of myself by knocking out 6km in 30.35.  I felt really good and not like I had run a half marathon just 2 days before

Wednesday was a nice little roll around with the Team P&W crew in the cold.  I was colder than normal given I had elected to just wear the knee warmers in lieu of the full leg warmers.  This is something I do every year from the first day of spring.  I refuse to wear full leg warmers once winter is finished.  Only problem was I was a day too friggin early...............and didn't the crew let me know about it.  A few of the Friday floggers decided to go off prematurely and head up the road, even though it was only Wednesday, so I was left to roll around with the rest of the bunch. A bit of fun to be had at the end as the pace ramped up and I decided to chance my luck and try to go off the front.  Took the rest of the wheel suckers a while to round me up, but we eventually all rolled across the line close enough to be able to throw a blanket of all of us.

After a chat with Ruley, Thursday mornings run was to be a proper recovery run as a bike TT was scheduled for Friday.  So a very steady 8.0km trot was completed in 45mins.  According to Fee it was very much a tempo run as she is battling a few demons with her run at the moment.  Just a little lack of consistency for her at present, but she is back on the case and will be punching out some good times again soon.

Friday's bike TT was a scheduled 30km of the half ironman course with a 20km warm up (and 10km cool down), so it was an early start at 5am.  A chat with Quik Chik Stace the previous evening revealed she was keen to come out and sit on my wheel for the duration.  Mounting the bike at 4.50am, I was thinking I was just pharking insane...........quite possibly, because I am.  But I was pleased to see that Stace was a the starting point, and she had managed to recruit fellow Quik Chik Meags.

Setting off, we rolled around nicely on 30's for the warm up and back onto Channel road for the start of the TT.  The route we took was slightly longer so the warm up was actually 28km - all good though.  Turning into Channel Road it was down onto the aero bars and into it.  Stace and Meags had settled in on my wheel and whilst it was still dark, I settled into a reasonably conservative pace with the view that I wanted to stay strong right through until the end.

This went to plan and as it got light enough to finally see my bike computer I could see we were sitting between 36/37km.  Turning North back towards town (into Archer Road for those that know the course) I still felt good and strong and pushed hard through to the finish with the last 5km or so done at 38/39k.  A total of 28km of the course done (less the section down Kialla Lakes drive and around Gannaway) in 48.50 at an average of 34.0k/hr.  Very, very happy with this result as I still felt a bit of residual fatigue in the legs from the run on Sunday.  More importantly there was no fade in the ride either.  Coffee and breakfast at Friars was a great way to finish the session.

I was super impressed with Meag's ride also.  She has stuck it out and made sure she was still on the wheel at the end.  Nice work Meags.

The weekend was a couple of those super shitty sessions on the wind trainer and the treadmill as I had the kids for the weekend.  Glad to get those shitty sessions out of the way.  I know they are making me stronger, but I am sure that Ruley is some kind of sadist that gets off on putting me through this suffering.

Apart from that, a super weekend with the kids for Fathers day with a heap of time spent at the skate park, various parks and a mega session at the pool on Sunday afternoon.  I'm sure the kids slept well last night because I did!

Looking forward to this coming week and the program Ruley has set for me.  3 massive run sessions scheduled including a 2km interval session (totalling 19km) Tuesday, a 1km interval session (totalling 11km) Thursday and gulp, a run Saturday from Violet Town to Strathbogie, totalling 33.2km.  For anyone who has completed the Fruit loop ride, you would also know that this route takes you up a number of hills, including Harry's Creek road, a steady climb of about 14km!!!!

On the back of this, I am heading down to Kinglake on Sunday for the 120km Kinglake ride.  I am tipping I will be looking forward to my rest day next Monday.

So thats a bit of an update since the last Blog.  Hopefully things settle down a bit and I can get this done a bit more regularly from here on in.

Oh, and for the record Monday's official weigh in was 100.1kg - sadly a minor blowout due to the attention of the kids from father's day and the resultant fry up for breakfast and the father's day mud cake......ooops!

Train safe

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