Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Total rant update which means little

Here’s a bloke who is too busy at work, got a running program that is eating into all his spare time and then is feeling guilty for not updating his blog. I’ll give you a tip, if you want to keep people up to date, or motivated, or engaged then don’t have a full time gig and then decide you’re going to keep a blog going. All it will do is make your hair greyer than it originally was.

Pathetic intro really, but how else do I let you know that I ran a half marathon over two weeks ago and didn’t even bother to proclaim to the world my own personal achievement?

So here is a summary of the last 18 days since I last updated my blog:

  1.  Day one – (the Saturday prior to the half marathon) – went to my local ParkRun and did about as much as part time busker on  a Monday (ie. Spoke a lot, felt involved but contributed f* all)
  2. Day two – ran 21 kilometres – yep ran a whole half marathon. I could give you km by km run downs, but the support pacing crew helped me through 7 mins average per km and pulled me up early for being too enthusiastic, but let me go at the 18km mark (which was my fastest – how the hell did that happen???) and all up I finished inside the MCG doing a lap of the “hallowed turf” (what sort of term is that? Hallowed be thy name?? Sanctified, since when is an oval shape of grass a religious experience? Sacrosanct? Now seriously guys, you’ve just let 50,000 runners do a lap, so how sacrosanct is that???). All up I finished the half marathon in 2:28.58 so under the 2:30.0 I would have liked to have done, but in all honesty I had a goal of having fun, and another one of just finishing, to put a time constraint on my performance was not a smart thing to do, even if I did beat it. Rambling now – point 2 alone is going to constitute more than the whole blog update. BTW – Went to the soccer in the afternoon and felt alright until I decided I needed to stand up and walk around, geez those small plastic seats can do wonders for your legs…not…
  3. Monday – the day after – felt okay really just pottered around, might have even snuck in a few ciders – oops wouldn’t have done that as I was at work getting hammered.
  4. Tuesday – decided that if I’m going to run a full marathon then I better hop back on the bike, so went for a slow 5km run – it was slow but it felt okay
  5.  Next four days – not much bar getting the fluids back to a normal level, which probably included a few pints of brewed material, but to be honest it may not have as I can’t remember (so that probably means it did!!!)
  6.    Six days after half marathon – started to feel guilty as I had only put in a piddling 5km effort and what sort of marathon runner does 5kms per week. So went out for a quick 5km jog (actually I think this was a weak ParkRun - don't recall) .
  7. Next day – probably watched sport – might have even had a glass of wine whilst doing so
  8.   Day after – guilts kicked in, a long run is required, so pushed out a 12km slow run. Actually felt okay with it, must have been the wine the night before
  9.  Next day – nothing in gps so must have had more wine
  10. Next day a slow 5km effort after work (well I was locked down for two days in a planning session for  employer so ducked out before the whole team came breathing stale liquor into the breakfast room and did a run up some massive friggin mountainside in the Yarra Valley region. It raised a sweat so at least I wasn’t the only one smelly over the toast!!!)
  11.    Next 2 days – must have been more work, probably tossed and turned in bed all night wondering how the hell I’m going to run a marathon when all I do is procrastinate and fend off the guilt monster with an occasional 5km jog.
  12.  Saturday – back to ParkRun and for some bizarre reason the people who had paced me through the half marathon thought it would be a good idea to push me to a sub 30 min 5km run. Now don’t get me wrong here, all help is most appreciated, however I had plans for a light run as I was going to pump out 15kms on the Sunday. One click in and I’m not worried about tomorrow as I’m making sure I can keep up with a 5.45 per click pace. Earlier in my blog I wondered if I could ever break the 30 min mark for 5 kms – well if you’re slow like me I suggest you train 20 weeks for a half marathon, bust your guts to finish that and then back up 13 days later to run a personal best for a measly 5 kms. You’ll smash it. 29.35 is now my pb (remember that’s a serious runner’s terminology for “Personal Best”).
  13.   Sunday – plans for 15kms slow run out the window, still knackered from my Craig Mottram impersonation the day before
  14.  Monday – feel guilty for missing the 15km (how am I going to run a marathon if I’m too lazy to even back up for a 15km run?) so get the bee in my bonnet (even though it is 26 degrees Celsius)  and decide I’ll do a slow 16kms instead. Aching achilles, sore calves and a dripping t-shirt only 12kms in and I pull the pin. That is not the sign of a bloke who is committed to running 42kms in eleven weeks’ time, better start that meditation tape again – think I must have switched off whilst it was on.

Somewhere in all of that I spent a quick session with a couple of punters from ParkRun who walked me through these machines and weight thingies at a gym (no not at Jim’s house but more like one of those venues where you work out to improve your body image or muscles) – all I can say is that I didn’t realise I could have an aching ribcage from lifting a dumbbell smaller than a flashlight. It was approx. 1980 when I last hurt that much (I only say “approx.” as a few of those years were a blur) and that involved Johnny Lydon, beer, spittle and illegal substances.

There was also a “myotherapy” (apparently Latin for I’ll make every muscle in your body hurt and bruis like fu*k) session in there too – but I’m booked in for another one tomorrow so that’s probably another story.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Quick Pre Melbourne Half Marathon Update

Tomorrow is my first half marathon – yippee. So after 20 weeks of following a training guide (loosely I may add) I should be ready for 21kms of running. It will take me about the same time as a full soccer match PLUS and hour!!!! OUCH.

Just to give you an idea of the amount of training I’ve done I've put together a quick table of the date and kilometres run. Sometimes the distance doesn’t appear that far, but it could well have been hill runs or a sprinting session (eg. Sprint and walk).


It was interesting putting this together as I was looking at some of the sessions and they were “run 5 mins walk 2 mins” and in the space of 4 and a half months I’ll be running 21kms with minimal (if any) stops. I’ve done a couple of 18 km efforts and feel ready to go – taking it easy today and will be upping my carb and liquid intake to ensure I’m all set for a best effort.

I will be tweeting with photos at stages so feel free to follow me @messy_tony and unlike quite a few runners I have no time expectations as this is step one of my longer term goal of the Marathon in Hobart in January.

I'll update the blog post race with the promised opinion of myotherapy massage as well as my plans to get fit enough for 42kms sometime next week.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Training in Far North Queensland? You betcha

It has been three weeks since I updated my running and charity blog and boy have I been busy. I have been off work, right up the top of Queensland (if you count north as “top”), sitting by swimming pools, wandering through World Heritage Listed pristine rainforests, swimming in the Pacific Ocean and more. The hardest part was having to put up with the half a dozen or so nubile 20’s something bikini clad, university students on our small excursion to the Great Barrier Reef, really guys I have coral and stuff to look at!!! What has this got to do with running? Absolutely nothing, except that my running diary did look a little slim. But there were valid reasons for that.
Cape Tribulation

Just before I left on holidays I managed to do something to my hip flexor (I’d know if it was a hip flexor), but the top of my right leg was stuffed. I was hobbling like a draught horse who’d carried the alcohol into the MCG on Grand Final day and the pain was around the hip region, so I've done the self-diagnosis thing and called it a hip flexor injury. A mate told me about 10 days rest would do the trick – amazing, I was going to Far North Queensland for 10 days, what a coincidence. Since my last blog update where my last logged run was a long one 16.8kms (and I did say my right thigh hurt!!!), I had only completed one extra run before I flew out – The “Marathon Talk Magic Mile” where you run your fastest mile and log it on their website. 9 mins 22 for me – all along I have said that I'm not fast, just persistant, but I was happy with anything under 10 mins and considering I was doing it on one leg for about the first 500 metres I was okay with the results.

Onto holiday running, now imagine this, I left Melbourne and it was something like 15 degrees Celsius, when I landed in Cairns it was 30 degrees Celsius and about 80% humidity, not your ideal long running conditions. So whilst away I clocked up a couple of extra “one mile” runs on the Sunday and a further 5.11 kms on the Thursday and another on the flowing Monday. No fancy times, as I was wetter than a tissue at a screening of “My Sister’s Keeper”, I usually sweat from the head, so wear a cap, but nothing was coming out the noggin’ up there, it was pouring out of my torso. At least I had a swimming pool to leap into, or some salt water therapy about 10 metres from where I finished. View was nice too – pity those palm trees, sand and waves kept getting in the way of her…um I mean “it”.

I flew back to Melbourne on the Tuesday arriving late that night with a work training session booked in for the next three days. Day one didn't start until 3pm and I had the morning off, so it was time to get serious again and put in a long run. 15.42kms later I was spent, but it was a good solid test plus I had to be alert all afternoon, so I was testing out my mental strength as well, it’s not a good look learning about “emotional intelligence” and you’re the only one of the group of 12 who is snoring. The others did have a number of laughs at my expense, generally when I needed to stand up, walk anywhere, bend down to pick something up, the groans were louder than the main character in “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Plans were for a light 5km early morning jog on the Friday, but when the alarm went off at 5am I realised that sleep deprivation is not my thing and gave the tune up a miss.

So after a three week hiatus I was back at my favourite ParkRun, wearing a Sydney Swans scarf (it was Aussie Rules Grand Final day) and although my plans were for a sub 30 min effort, the pace runner got about 30 metres in front with about 2kms to go and I thought “ I'm never going to catch him” as he seemed to be speeding up. Turns out he’d run the 1st 2 kilometres in 6.07 so had 14 seconds to make up and decided to do so into the massive head wind we had that morning. All up I was done in 31 mins and 35 secs, but could have shaved about 20 seconds off that time, but etiquette meant I shouldn't blast away the newbie in the last 500 metres, so I paced with her and let her finish 1 second in front of me. Next week she is toast.

With only twelve days until the Melbourne Half Marathon and only one long run under my belt in the last three weeks I decided that I better pull my finger out and on Tuesday this week I headed off for an 18km training effort. All done in a slow time but I felt strong at the end and could have run a further 3kms so I’m ready for the half marathon, just a few more light training runs in between (plan on 10kms on Saturday) and I'll be fresh for my first attempt at the 21kms.

Onto the marathon itself. Now the commitment had been made to run the Hobart Marathon on 13/1/2013, in as far as I’d booked my airfares to Hobart. Entries opened on 20 September and on that very same day I was online and entered. Now I just need some accommodation, three more months of training and I will be finishing my first 42km run. The hardest part of making the commitment has been done, the rest just now depends on myself being mentally solid enough to keep training and the rest will fall into place.

Next week I'll give you an update (hopefully prior to my first ever half marathon) with my thoughts on listening to tunes whilst you train or run, as well as a review of my first ever deep tissue massage (that should give you a couple of laughs).