Sunday, August 22, 2010

Worst race ever

Mon: 40 mins easy aquajogging
Tue: Day off
Wed: 1 hr in pool with pyramid workout to 80secs
Thu: 8 miles, 54:08
Fri: 6 miles w/ 3 x ~200m strides, 41:24
Sat: 3 mile w/u, 10 mile race, 5.5 mile c/d
Sun: 6.25 miles, no time.

Total: 4 runs, 38.75 miles

Couldn't bring myself to blog about the race for a few days as I stank the place out. Went into the race with the realistic goal of PR'ing (56:12) and the optimistic goal of breaking 55 mins. The PR was set during the first 10 miles of the half 'thon I ran last year and workouts etc have been going similar bar the few days in the pool. I also knew based on the race last year (22nd in 57:31) and from the 5 miler in July that those times would put me in the top 20. Got off the line well but after about 400 yards I was trying to settle into my pace but just had wave after wave of people pass me and was thrown a little by it. Couldn't settle as I kept trying to latch onto groups but nothing doing. Legs felt flat from the get-go and guys were just going away from me. Hit the mile in 5:14 which is about where I'd planned on being so tried to calm down and tell myself they'd come back to me later. Was still having a hard time getting into my running though. Ran the 2nd mile mark in 5:38, so tried to pick up the tempo slightly to get onto 5:30s but could tell I was on for a rough day. Missed the 3 mile mark due to some fat dude blocking the sign, but hit the 4 mile with an 11:37 for the previous 2 miles. It was into the wind for the 4th mile, but ouch. Not good and struggling at this point. Right around this point a group came up on me so made sure to just latch on and tuck in. Managed to stay with them for the 5th mile in 5:35 giving me a half way split of 28:07. I told myself that if I got a 2nd wind etc that a PR at least was still on but was dropped from the group around this point and basically knew I was lying to myself. I held it together for a 5:36 on the 6th mile which was a gradual downhill but around 6.5 we hit the hills and I was done. 5:56 for the 7th mile, 5:54 for the 8th, and 5:56 for 9 and 10 and a finishing time of 57:30. Not pretty.

I've had a hard time putting my finger on where it went wrong. Given the legs felt dead from the get-go I think the resistance of the water in the pool may have fatigued the legs more than I thought. Additionally I was out maybe 10 seconds too quick over the first mile due to panicking slightly about the numbers that passed me early on instead of running my own race; this on top of the fact that I didn't feel good led to me gassing it on the 2nd half. On the brightside, even when totally spent on the last 4 miles I was able to run marathon pace, so I at least somewhat created a feeling no doubt similar to what the last 6 is going to feel like in October. Also my interpretation of where I should have been was correct. The guy who finished one place behind me in the 5 mile race in July finished 20th in 56:09. So on a better day I know where I'm at.

The shins have been ok since. I've been working them and the left has improved a lot. Since this is the one I had most of the stress fractures in I'm happy about this, but the right needs a lot of work as it's still pretty tight. But overall I'm happy enough to get back into running normally again this week. Just need to get some life back in the legs and stay focused on the goal for October.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Week in Review

Fri: 40 mins aquajog + Gym
Sat: 8 miles, 54:20; avg HR = 151
Sun: 19 miles, 130:18; avg HR = 155

Weeks total: 4 runs, 51 miles, + 80 mins in pool

Got in the pool on Friday as planned despite the shins feeling great all day, 'cos I'm like all smart and shit. Glad I did too because come the run on Saturday they were feeling pretty tight. Sunday didn't start out too much better, with both shins very tight early on. After about an hour they did loosen up and felt good by the end, but still not happy that it's not nipped in the bud yet. So getting back in the pool for the next 2 days, and not running until Thursday. Still happy that it's not a bone-related issue, but know that if I continue to push it it won't be too long until it does become one. Pleased with the fitness levels though, and the 10 mile race in the Phoenix Park next Saturday should give me a good indication of where I'm at.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shins 17, This guy 1?

Mon: 40 mins aquajogging
Tue: Day off
Wed: 8 miles, 55:48
Thu: 2 mile w/u, 12.3 mile tempo. 1.7 mile c/d

Despite the shins feeling pretty decent on Sunday's long run, I was sufficiently concerned by a sore point on the shin when icing afterwards to get back in the pool for Monday's effort. And might actually maintain this routine for a couple of weeks at least as I got a better aerobic effort than running 7:45's for a recovery run and zero pounding.
Moved the day off to Tuesday from Wednesday a) because of the shins and b) I was getting a bone marrow aspiration that morning and didn't feel like attempting to run afterwards.
Wednesday was a test to see how training would progress over the next couple of weeks. A positive result from the shins would mean getting back in the saddle while any pain would mean at least a week of no running and no 10 miler next week. Thankfully the shins were fine; a couple of niggles and barks out of them occasionally during the run but nothing to worry about. Felt pretty happy about this and feel comfortable enough to continue training.
This morning I headed out to the park for a 2-lap tempo. Forgot to steal borrow the HR monitor from the lab on my way out last night but knew the pace I was looking for. Last year did this run in 73:47 which was bang on 6 minute pace, but had a bit of a struggle with it late on (mainly due to pints the night before as Churchill was in Ireland that week). Starting out today I could tell the legs felt good. Felt very relaxed in my running and was clicking off the miles nice and steadily. Passed through the 1st lap in 36:15 (5:55 pace) and felt very good. Probably pushed the 1st two miles of the 2nd lap a bit too hard up the hill as it was the only stage I really had any tiredness in the legs. Picked up 5 seconds on the 1st 2 miles compared to the first lap, another 5 seconds from 2-4 but then lost about 5 on the 5th mile. Finished nice and strong though with a ~5:40 last mile for a 35:58 2nd lap and 72:13 overall. Very pleased with how this felt as it was as relaxed as marathon pace should be, and the shins were fine throughout. They tightened up a bit during the cool down, but since finishing the run and ice-cupping they're feeling fine. Might this be the first time I get it right? Not getting ahead of myself but feeling confident. Going to aquajog again tomorrow just to be safe, but feeling content right now.

In other slightly-running related news, while at the hospital on Tuesday I decided it might be a good idea to get my cholesterol checked along with the other tests I was getting done. Last time I did was 2 years ago just after I got back from Abu Dhabi with a huge beer gut and zero fitness. Then it was on the high side at 5.2, but figured since the diet has improved and I'm back running it should have come down. Uh uh. 5.4. Shitballs, need to revamp the diet as this is pretty shocking (normal range is 3-5). Breakfast fries at the weekend are the first to go, and will be trimming the fat (literally) from the diet over the next few days.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week In Review

Fri: 6 miles, 45:29 + core
Sat: 8 miles, 55:14
Sun: 18 miles, 125:26 (avg HR = 152)

Total for the week: 6 runs, 60 miles

Pleased with the week's training although Thursday's workout reaggravated the shins. They haven't been too bad, and on the long run for Sunday they were pretty non-specific in the area of tightness, and after about an hour's running they didn't bother me at all. However, working on them after the run with the ice-cup I found one area of pretty specific soreness that is very close to (if not on) the bone. Into full blown treatment, ice cups, aquajogging and physio tomorrow, sleeping in compression socks, massaging bottom of foot with golf ball, praying to anyone who'll listen that they let this not be a thing. Also bumping the day off from Wed to Tuesday partly due to the shin and partly due to the fact that I'm in for my 3 monthly bone marrow biopsy and am probably going to be too sore to run afterwards. However, in good CML-related news, the last one was totally clear, and if I have another all-clear from Tuesday's I don't need to go through it again for 12 months. Fingers crossed. Now just hoping that 2 days rest sorts the shin out......

Thursday, August 5, 2010

4 x 2 mile effort

Target: 4 x 2 miles in 10:40-10:45 w/ 3 mins recovery.

1) 10:54 (5:38, 5:16; HR = 185), 2:57 (HR = 133);
2) 11:00 (5:40, 5:20; HR = 185), 2:57 (HR = 143);
3) 10:49 (5:34, 5:15; HR = 189), 2:57 (HR = 146);
4) 10:50 (5:34, 5:16; HR = 190), HR after 1 min = 145.

Overall I'm pretty satisfied with this effort. This workout last year was probably the best I had during the training program for the marathon. That day I had pretty much perfect conditions, whereas today the breeze was blowing and from 200m to 2k I had a pretty strong headwind that is evident in the splits. The 2nd time I did this workout last year I had a similar breeze blowing and the splits were even a bit slower than today, although off 30 seconds less rest but an extra month's training. Looking back at the older workouts, there is a roughly 6-8 second difference between the first (slower) and second mile due to the gradient, so estimate I was losing between 10-15 seconds due to the wind, which would put the effort in the range I was hoping for.
Pleased because the HR and the breathing were pretty much under control for the majority of the workout. Felt a bit limited by the legs, as the tiredness of the last 2 weeks was still present. Only interval I wasn't happy with was the 2nd one, as I was a little too much into 'tempo' type effort and not pushing myself quite hard enough. Definitely did not have that problem on the last one, really took some mental verbal abuse to push through that one as the legs were filling with lactic very early on. Got a nice lift from seeing the split from the first mile of the interval, and was able to hold it together down the remainder of the interval.
Since ending the workout, did a lot of work on stretching, especially the calves, and no adverse reactions in the shins/anywhere else since. Legs feel decent, although tomorrow may be a different story.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Catch Up post

Thu 29th: 8 miles along the canal, 53:53 (27:55 out, 25:58 back)
Fri: 6 miles on the grass, 43:04
Sat: Day off
Sun: 13 miles over in Sligo, 88:56
Mon: 4 miles, ~30 mins
Tue: 10 miles, 67:38; Avg HR = 147bpm, max = 161bpm.
Wed: Day off

I'm sucking pretty good at keeping track of the training in the blogosphere format. Mon-Sun of last week formed the downweek of the monthly cycle, hence no workouts last week, plus a slightly shorter Sunday run. Despite the easier week, the legs have felt pretty gassed since the previous week. Highlight of the week was definitely the few days in Sligo for the long weekend. Rotated the day off from Wed to Saturday to allow for travelling etc. Got in a great run on Sunday along some amazing scenery followed by about 2 hours of surfing for the first time. Surfing rocks. That night, Enda, his brother and a couple of lads were heading to Leonard Cohen. Since I didn't have a ticket, I found a nice high bar stool and kicked back with some of the Sligo natives. Little did I realise that Leonard puts on quite a show. By the time the lads got back I was full as a boot, and as a result the run on Monday was both short and very slow. Bit like myself. A dip in the Atlantic followed by some more surfing that afternoon rounded out the trip.
Tuesday's run was the first time in almost two weeks the legs felt like they had some life in them. Let's hope so, workout tomorrow.
The shins have been bothersome at worst this week, with some improvement after the day off on Saturday. Hoping that I've nipped it in the bud, but will be keeping an eye on it for a few days more.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A week of Chinese PR's

Fri: 6.15 miles, 45:11 + Core work
Sat: 8 miles, 55:31 + Gym work
Sun: 16.1 miles, 109:23, avg HR = 156
Mon: 5 miles, 37:51
Tue: 8 miles, 53:34 + Core, avg HR = 148
Wed: 5.1 miles, 36:31 + Gym

Overdue on the blogging, but it's safe to say that I'm taking my recovery runs to a whole new level of slowness. Friday and Monday's run take some beating. However, I'm enjoying the more leisurely runs, and they're badly needed. By week's end on Sunday (57.25 miles on 6 runs) the legs were on the sorer side. Felt beat up, and starting to feel the onset of some shin splints in both legs. Thankfully this week is a down week (no workouts, reduced mileage) which should allow them to recover sufficiently. Tuesday's run was a positive, shins were better (though not 100%) following the physio the previous evening and running with Ed made time fly effortlessly, with the HR as good as its been all year.
Been watching the Europeans since Tuesday. The highlight for me thus far has to Chris Thompson in the 10k. I ran against him in high school (as in I was in the same race as him) a couple of times and he was a class act. A better junior coming through than Farah, he's had shit luck (which I can relate to) so it was great to see him persevere and get some hardware on a big stage. Also a big highlight was the 1st round of the men's 800 with Ireland's David McCarthy. Watch the video below and wait for the race to get to 250 to go. There's two things I hate in this world; those who are ignorant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch.