Saturday, December 25, 2010

Registered Canberra Marathon April 2011

Very excited to have just registered for my first ever full Marathon, in Canberra April 2011. I thought about it alot on todays 17km training run, especially as i finished. At the moment the idea of more than doubling it feels pretty tough but I am getting used to holding my planned 6min/km pace and you do get to feel a little like the Ever-ready battery bunny after a while...

I am now going on hols down the South Coast for 2 weeks where running will be picturesque..

Im planning to run trail and road though, and avoid the beach as Im abit concerned it will flare my sore the highlight will be a planned run up Pidgeon House Mountain...

Check you later in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How to Bore Your Workmates and Friends

2010:1852 Kms of Happiness

2010 was my second ever running year and it's been quite an adventure. I ran in nine races including 2 half-marathons in Sydney, one hilly and one flatish and clocked 1852kms in training and broke 5min km times on two shorter runs.......its been a fantastic year of learning and friendship with fellow Warriors and one where i think I have learned to be a little less earnest about it all, stopping to enjoy it, taking my earphones out more, building in recovery runs and taking photos along the way...

The biggest lessons have probably been;

1. Posture: Learning thru injury how important straighter arm movement and core work are to mediate against overpronation and wear and tear on knees and ankles

2. Nutrition: After 20kg weight loss I have finally realised what normal eating is like (ie: alot less less food and alchohol)

3. Chilling Out: Ive figured out that sustainability and enjoyment and more important than chasing faster times

4. The Bush: did my first real trail runs this year and feel in love!

5. Flexibility: Learned to be flexible with when I run (but not how much) to make sure I dont prioritize it over other responsibilities every time

Generally I hope this all keeps me in good stead for next year's challenge; two marathons Canberra in April and Sydney in September...we are already 5 weeks into training for Canberra but still havent exceeded Half training distances....

I can honestly say that running has given me more pleasure than I ever imagined this year! Good luck to you all in your 2011 goals, lets keep on pounding the pavement (and bush).....keep on running!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Trails: Mt Ku-ring-gai to Berowra

What a beautiful cool morning for a 15km trail run with the boys from Mt Ku-ring-gai to Berowra and back. We met at the entrance to the bush track at 530 am and commenced downhill for 2 or 3 Kms to beautiful Cowan Creek...

After stopping to look around we took off again for around 8kms along the river bank, followed at one point by a lone boat, hopping and skipping along a pretty technical track with lots of ups and downs..

Then a 2kms climb up past the F3 to Berowra station

..followed by 5km road run along Pacific Highway, pretty hard going by this point

All up a fantastic way to start the day..well done boys!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Notes to My Sore Knee

Did heaps of hill work this week, a total of 39km over four runs, each of which had significant a result my left knee pain has come back (only a tiny twitch at this point but i get paranoid) but i want to make sure I prevent it worsening....according to CoolRunning "runner's knee most often strikes as runners approach forty miles per week for the first time"...I tend to get it as i approach 40kms

Here's abit of my planning for the next week (Im blogging this so i remember)

Dont panic, its the most common injury for runners
Take smaller slower stride going down hills
Run two out of four runs in the bush where its softer underfoot
Dont get lazy about my posture, especially on longer runs..need to keep trying to prevent overpronation
Pick flatter runs
Dont run on banked road sides

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Trail Running High

After a month or so of running trails I think Im finally getting the hang of it, especially on the more technical runs. It seems that the key is to step lightly and dance your way around the rocks, holding your body loosely...Im a pretty bad dancer but it almost feels the same, especially when you going downhill...I have read here how good it is for your body, including core, quads and feet....some other things i am learning;

1. Its Ok to walk uphills (there are some bastards near my house)
2. Some runners just dont like trails(recently took a group out and lots of worry about leeches and snakes)
3. Look ahead rather than at your feet
4. The right shoes make all the difference
5. Its Ok to stop and have a look at the view
6. It's a great thing to do when recovering from injury, no jarring
7. Times can be alot slower than on the road
8. Bird calls are better than music
9. It makes for much better blog-photos than the road
10. Running is back to feeling like an adventure not a chore!

There are lots of great videos on trail running technique..

Monday, November 29, 2010

What Does The Mind Need to Know for a Marathon?

Ive been thinking alot about marathon running as the first day of a 16 week training schedule for the Canberra Marathon starts next Sunday. I feel relaxed about the fitness side of things, not because Im ready (Im definitely not), but because the training programme will take care od itself..Im more keen to learn about the mental side of things and have been reading some things which make sense..Im writing them down here as a record of what has interested me the most, but given Ive never run one am not sure if they work?

* Break the race up into achievable goals
* Learn to manage self-doubt and bad thoughts
* Use distraction or meditation, staying centred...
* Let it all wash over you and just keep going regardless
* Talk to your partner to take your mind off the pain
* Look around you and take it all in
* Go at a steady sustainable pace
* Use mantras
* Make sure you know your reasons for doing it in the first place
* Include Van Morrison on your playlist?

Shown an Excellent New Trail by 'Lungs of Steel"

A friend introduced me to a fantastic trail run yesterday in North Turramurra which as starts from the shops, up Burns Road to Golden Jubille Oval, where you feel on top of the world looking down on a twisting and turning fire trail through the bush......down hill for 3 kms, some fairly steep and then of course uphill for the same, topped off with a fantastic 2-3km sprint home on the running partner helped take the pain away by chatting away for the whole run (including the hills) proving her lungs of steel and making for a really enjoyable run....ill definitely take my running group on this varied and sometimes idyllic run...finished with a big lunch of bakes beans, power bar, gatorade and banana...feeling like i needed nourishment after a pretty full on weekend......

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hot, Tired, Solo and Hungry is Not Good Running

Went out this morning for a recovery run after Wednesdays fast short session which had left my legs very sore....I woke up ten minutes before i was supposed to run, got bad hunger pains about half way, the temperature was 22C and both my running partners were in bed (one sleeping off a hangover!)....this, in combination with my attempts to run to Bad Company, Van Halen and Bob Seger made for a pretty horrible sluggish and painful run.....8kms of grumbling to myself debating about turning back and making it up another day........

I haven't had a run like this in a few months, the last one was because of heat too...yuk! The only suitable music is the Sludge-Metal Madness of Electric Wizard!

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Come Running Bodies Know What to Eat?

I spent a bit of down time today looking on the net at what are the best foods for runners to eat and am pretty amazed that despite not really paying attention to it before my body seems to have naturally leaned in the right direction.

My top ten foods in terms of quantity and frequency would probably be

1. Oatmeal
2. Wholegrain bread
3. Fruit and veg (including frequent Banana)
4. Nuts and Peanut butter
5. Eggs
6. Fish and meat
7. Baked beans
8. Yoghurt
9. Coffee
10. Monster (Blue) and Caramello Koals daily

Ok, number 10 isnt recommended but generally the way my appetite seems to have shifted since i started running fits with what Im reading...hi on complex carbs, plus protein and lots of fruit and veg..

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sunday High

Great 12.63km road run this morning with the Warriors battling it out before the sun came up properly...13C when we took off, around 22C an hour later
...apart from trying to keep ahead of my regular nemesis (you know who you are), who is generally faster than me, and listening to 1990's hip hop (Black Sheep, Tribe Called Quest and Jungle Bros),I thought abit about my plan to try a month off the grog..ive been averageing around 4 bottles of wine a week and want to see if, for the first time ever, i can go a month with none..I've never done this in my entire adult life and want to prove to myself its possible, plus drop the last stubborn 1.5kg in my long term weight plan...I have started successfuly tonite...

This rest of this weeks training plan is 10 kms road, 8kms bush and cross training....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Best Trail Run Ever! The Sphinx to Bobbin Head

At lunch today me and my running partner ran a beautiful trail for the first time, the Sphinx track at Bobbin Head. It starts with a massive downhill run where we bunny hopped our way down pretty fast, then takes us to Cowan Creek

From there we squeezed past around 50 school kids on an excursion as they clapped and screamed out "go mountain men"...came to a lovely water fall..

...on for another 4 kms or so to Bobbin Head Marina and Park...

Then our plan run up Bobbin Head trail was dashed by it being closed for renovation so we ran up the road for a 3km uphill climb...elevation not to bad though

A great varied run in perfect conditions of 19C

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Adventure Friday

This Friday i am planning on going on my first real trail running adventure away from far Ive explored local tracks but on Friday Ill run the Bobbin Head Warimoo/Sphinx track route. Its a 10km run so I'll be able to slot it into my lunch break working from home without too many problems...the elevation is steeper than Im used to but the route looks fantastic along the Cowan Creek

Cross Section of the Sphinx, Warrimoo and Bobbin Head tracks bushwalking track

If any Warriors or other readers are free that day let me know, it would be good to have a partner....this website, Wild Walks, seems a great way to explore new territory by the way

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bush Warriors!

Another venture of the road into the bush this morning with around 12 Westleigh Warriors...super hot at around 20C at 630am and accompanied by many leeches who loved to try and climb into the holes in our trainers, thru the sock to find our lovely blood.....we ran 2kms on the road, then after a 4kms trail we stopped to pick and flick them away before they reached skin....then onwards for a pretty consistent climb to another couple of km's home on the road...

Ive been looking around at other routes and there are heaps so close to home..Bobbin Head looks fantastic, the Great North Walk to Hornsby and back is a nice 15km run, down from Thornleigh to West Pymble also looks..Im going to try them all...

I feel re-energised in my running after discovering the bush...Ill still pound the pavement twice a week but will hit the trails as often as i can....very slow times but the heat and fact we are still getting used to the ascents and rabbit-hopping make it ok..I could feel myself getting more confident on the technical sections (alot of them)....theres really only 1km where you can let loose a little

Friday, November 12, 2010

Marathon Training Starts in 3 Weeks

Preparation for next years Canberra Marathon starts in three weeks, my first one ever and thankfully a flat course..looking at the schedule set by our trainer it actually looks do-able with a peak weeks distance at 60kms and a max long run at 32kms...

My main concern is whether or not my ankle and knee will hold out, they tweak every short run so Im not sure if they will keep flaring up as the training gets more plan is to do 2 of the 4 weekly runs on trail or grass to ease the pounding..

As far as pace goes i think it will come as abit of a relief to not have to focus on smashing 10kms all the time...this becomes superhard work and a slower jog will be a welcome change, although im sure I dont really know what Im in for as we go over the 20km mark? Lets hope we train long runs on the flat, although I doubt it after the half marathon preparation..

Im going into it pretty open minded..if my body packs in beforehand so be it...Im just happy to be running and dont want to do any major injuries...if I make it Ill be stoked but Im becoming a little less intense about achieving goals and just enjoying the ride at the moment....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Too Hot

As The Undertones once said, 'Here Comes the Summer"

....tonites 10k road run felt like it was being held inside a sauna...a nice fast start up and down countless hills but then the heat set in and that horrible sluggish heavy feeling along with Garmin was showing dreadful paces of 5.45, 5.50 and even 6.00 as my morale dropped and I had to resort to survival mode....apparently it was 23C at 7pm... I was in a vicious cycle i couldnt get out of...

....also my two lovely friends (you know who you are) piked at 6kms with all sorts of excuses about swallowing flies and such........meanwhile i was thinking they were out of sight and desperately trying to catch them......

... hopefully it will be cooler this Sunday for the inaugural Warriors bush run, a fantastic 10km lop along the Great North Walk.....back to the music....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lunch Time Trail Run: Great North Walk

Sitting at home on the computer on my 'work from home day' getting really bored so I decided to take my new Montrail shoes on their christening run....(I bought them at a new shop, Footpoint Shoe Clinic, Top Ryde, they had size 14!!!)

Packed lots of water as its was pushing 28C, added some very appropriate Dub to my Shuffle and off for my lunch time adventure...

Berowra Valley National Park is just 1km from my house, the Great North Walk can take you all the way to Newcastle...

Heaven! Around 8kms...didnt bother timing it, just out for an enjoyable trot!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Auckland City Runs

Been in Auckland New Zealand this week working, trapped in a conference room from 9-5 every day but hit the CBD and waterfront most mornings to check out the city.....I arrived the day after the Auckland Marathon so ran part of the route the first morning out past the docks and along beautiful waterways....

Ran out to the Harbour Bridge another day and back up through the city, to the University and back down to Queen Street....felt great with only small ankle twinges that stopped within a few hours......ran one 10km run in 52 mins which means Im getting back to my fastest pace...

Taking the Warriors through the bush on Sunday and loving being back on my feet running again..

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Marathon Here We Come

Our trainer emailed us a few days ago to ask for a commitment if we wanted to run the Canberra Marathon next April....Ive decided Im in! Looking at the Intermediate training schedules it doesnt seem all that daunting, with the longest run at only 30kms at the peak....after my ankle injury Ive been testing myself before comitting and have run every morning this week and will all week, 7km runs but mostly either hard trail runs or hilly far my injury has improved not gotten worse and Im feeling strong again....and excited...

Anyone got any tips?

So far my thoughts are

* Dont be tempted to overtrain
* Dont worry about times for the first one
* Stick to the training program like a religion
* Always watch my posture, especially when going over the 21km mark
* Dont be too lazy to stretch (I have been too lazy)
* Try and ditch the music sometimes

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Keith Jarrett and the Great North Walk

Along the Great North Walk

Today before work I ran part of The Great North Walk near my house for the first time starts about about 1.5kms from my house and has a variety of routes as short as long as you I took a short exploratory run from home to the entrance near Bellamy St Pennant Hills through the bush to Eloura Road, Westleigh..

Had to walk in a few very slippery places, get my feet wet across two streams and climb some reasonably steep did a fantastic job of breaking the monotony of road running and brought back that joyous free feeling you sometimes get in the bush......just me, nature and my ipod playing the incredible Keith Jarrett...he's the most amazing jazz pianist and much better than church!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Injury-Free Hills!!!!

Great run today with the Warriors, my first in 4 weeks with no ankle pain and first with no strapping....ran a roller coaster route with 8 steep hills and only about 3 out of 10 kms on the flat.....nice and rainy with many testing themselves for the 10km Homebush run in a few weeks...had that feeling driving home like "did I just run ? did I dream it ? have I woken up yet?"....ate a bucket full of oats molasses and sultanas after weighing myself this morning and finding out i was losing more than i want to....time now for coffee, the paper and maybe even back to bed..

Ran to an old school play list, including this classic from Humble PIe's brilliant Smokin' album (the band that spawned Peter Frampton) of the best lesser known classic rock acts of all time ?!

Friday, October 22, 2010

What a Day ! Sydney in Spring Rocks!

I couldnt help myself today, the first day Ive felt no ankle pain and the first really warm spring day, 26C without a cloud in the sky...started off with a 6km run with a few Warriors then came home and worked a few hours....then cycle 5kms to Hornsby pool and swam 2kms in the glistening sun and rode home for more work....

It's days like this, where work can be done flexibly and at home and where the weather's perfect that make me so glad Im not doing nine to five anymore but working 40 hours a week all over the place....thoroughly enjoyable and topped off by a couple of wines, home made pizza and ice cream!