Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back at the gym..and loving it

This week is supposed to be my easy week after the Huntly half on the weekend but instead I have used it as an opportunity to get back in the gym and get some weight stuff done. have only been for one 10km run so far this week and have enjoyed the change in training pace.

Did a great chest and bicep work out last night and this morning was up early and back to the gym for an interval session on the stationery bike. Last night I got through some bench press work, dumbbell fly, cable cross overs/presses/squeezes and some good old fashioned dumbell bicep curls. Chest is feeling sore, biceps are tired, legs are still sore from the squat session on Tuesday...and I am absolutely loving it.

Will be great to see if the benefits of cross training become apparent for the next half which is booked for July and is an off road event in pituresque Taupo.

Monday, May 24, 2010

and training resumes

The great thing about running half marathons is the permission I give myself to have a free day the next day. I eat whatever I want and do no training at all. The thought of the free day leading up to the event is such a pleasant reward but the reality is that I don't actually enjoy it that much. this may have something to do with the post race blues as well.

So yesterday was my free day and now that it is over I am back into my training this morning. had a reality check last night when I jumped on the scales and have put on 4kg in 4 weeks. I think this is due to not watching my intake while building up to Huntly as I was just focused on running. But it just goes to show that the hard earned weight loss can very quickly go back on if I'm not careful with what I eat.

So it was great to be up early and back to the gym this morning for a leg work out. As stated in my earlier posts, I am going to focus more on cross training to try and improve race speed. This morning got in and did a good hard squat session followed by leg press ( deep and explosive) and then finished off with some kettlebell swings (using a dumbbell). The swings were done by getting right down into squat position and explosively driving up. The work out went for 45 minutes but I am really feeling it already (only 2 hours later).

Excited about getting in and smashing this weight off again and getting faster..bring it on.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Huntly Half Marathon Race Report

After not blogging for a week I turned up today to run in the 30th annual Solid Energy Half Marathon. My training this week has been severely disrupted due to lateral knee and ankle pain and so I made sure that I strapped the ankle and heel heavily this morning in preparation.

I had been out for a run on Friday night and comfortably got round 15km but Saturday had a very sore right heel so this left me fairly nervous. However, once I had applied the tape this morning (using the technique for offloading plantar fasciitis), it felt really good.

Got up just after 6 and had wholemeal toast and a cup of coffee, followed by a banana and a heap of water. My sister, who was also running, had driven up from Hamilton the night before and as she is also suffering an ankle injury we could empathise with each other. I cooked a fantastic penne pasta last night ( with lots of ham, sundried tomato, feta and parmesan) to help carbo load and we both felt pretty fuelled up as we headed out the door to drive the 40minutes back down the motorway to Huntly. The goal for the race was to beat 2 hours but with my disrupted training i wasn't at all confident.

We arrived at about 9:15 for a 10am race start. Thinking this was plenty of time we went and collected our race shirts, and started warm up. By the time we had dropped my bag off at the gear drop it was 9:55 so we headed to the start line. Claire (my sister) has been restricted in her training due to her ankle so we agreed that we would just run our own races and see each other at the end. Lining up we found the start was delayed by 20 minutes so it wasn't till 10:15am that the gun went off and with thousands others we ambled across the start line and into the foggy streets of a wintery Huntly. Across the motorway and river and a quick loop on the west side of town then back for a loop around the picturesque Hakanoa lake. Hit the 5km mark and felt really fresh although the pace back across the bridge was a bit restricted due to the one lane open.

Once round the lake it was a dash up Kimihia road to the 10km mark and the timing mat showed 54 minutes as I turned onto Russell road. This was an undulating but mostly downhill stretch which placed us eventually onto a long straight heading out to the mine. Passed 13km and still feeling good I picked up the pace. We looped around the loading dock at the Coal Mine then headed back along the straight for the final stretch. Passing 16kms I felt that I could really start to push so started picking target people 100mtrs ahead to pass to keep the motivation up.

Back into the streets of Huntly and with 2 km to go I looked at my watch and my race time was 1hr 40. I knew at that point that I absolutely was going to set a race PB which was a fantastic feeling.

Me finishing

Turned into the finishing chute after completing the final 2km in 10 minutes and sprinted down with my wife and eldest daughter cheering me on for a finish in 1hr50mins.

Georgia and I at the finish

As this was the thirtieth running of the event, all finishers were given a medal which we got engraved with our finishing time. Was a great run and a good event and will definitely be back to run this one next year. Of course, getting a PB on it has probably helped.

Friday, May 14, 2010

PB in almost 20km

Have been out of a couple of runs this week and have stuck to good steady10km jogs. Been sitting around the 50min mark so still not able to drive significant change there. Hoping this will change once I get through next weekends half marathon and commence my new strengthening program. Amped about it and went down to the gym a couple of mornings ago to map it out. Lots of compound exercises and heaps of good old fashioned squats, leg presses and deadlifts to strengthen my legs. Will be combining this with a plyometric program to hopefully drive the times down.

Today went for a team building exercise and climbed the Auckland harbour bridge. Was fantastic to be 67 metres above the sparkling waitemata harbour looking at the Auckland skyline. Was a great day for it too. Ended up with an early knock off so headed home, changed, stretched, strapped on hydration backpack and headed out for a 20km run (according to map my run).

Got to the 10km mark in 46 minutes and home finishing in 1 hr 34 minutes,\. This shocked me as I expected to be slower than this as my goal is to go sub 2 hours at the next half marathon. This made me doubt the distance a bit so wifey and I headed out to measure it using the car. Ended up only being a shade under 19km. But it still fills me with confidence that the sub 2 hour mark is there to be taken.

Would be a great goal to tick off seeing as I only decided to run a half marathon at start of year and this will be my third :-)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Time for a change

So I have decided that I must change the way I am doing my training. Because I have been so focused on the upcoming half marathons I have been doing a lot of just plain old miles out on the roads but I am finding that my times are staying relatively consistent and I am not seeing a lot of improvement.

So it was up early this morning and down to the gym to have a chat to my brother in law who is the fitness coordinator down there. We have agreed to catch up at 6am Thursday morning to write a plan with two goals in mind. Firstly i want to really start improving some of my times, especially over the longer distance (15km plus).

Secondly I want to shift my stubborn abdominal fat.

I went out for a 10km run last night and as I was running I kept thinking about changing things up a bit. I know that I should be doing more cross training type work to get faster and fitter but because I am focused on the running i tend to just stick to that at the moment. While I was running last night I kept thinking of the old saying

"If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got"

So I think this was the kick in the rear I needed to get to the gym this morning and start planing for better results both on the road and in my body shape.

Next race is the Huntly half Marathon in 13 days and after that I have a decent break so will use the time to get back to a more balanced training routine and hopefully see some great results. I will be taking pics to share at some point in the future as a record of how the body shaping goes too

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Gear makes me happy

My day yesterday ended up being a bit of a wash out as my meetings ended early. Luckily I was able to catch an early flight home and due to the rest I had given my hip it felt ok by the time I got in the door. So i thought i would head out for a quiet 15km run. My wife quickly talked me out of that and suggested ( quite wisely) that I attempt a 10km to start with.

I was also very excited because my new long sleeved thermal running top had turned up from Ronhill. It is a particularly lovely fluoro yellow but as I am almost exclusively running in the dark at the moment it is perfect for winter runs. The photo below really doesn't do the colour justice but trust is BRIGHT

So I changed and once Ebs was home from the gym I headed out the door. I decided to just take it very easy and was hyper vigilant of any pain in my hip/butt. Took the first 2 kms very quietly and as there was no pain picked up the pace slightly. It was another awesome autumn evening and the temperature was just chilling down which kept me cool while I ran. Felt so good to be out there running after only a couple of days away from it. I timed the run but in my head I wasn't too worried about what time I would put in as I was more conscious of just getting round the 10km hopefully without pulling anything or experiencing too much discomfort.

The long and short of it is that not only did I get round pain free, but the leisurely 10km was done in 50 minutes 49 seconds which is only a minute and change off my PR.....let me tell you, this is VERY exciting as it means that i may be able to set a new PR in the foreseeable future for the 10km AND I am back on track for the half...woohoo. Very happy boy today

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pain in the butt

Went out last night for my first training run post the T42. decided to go and thrash out a quick 10km. Legs were stilla little sore from the changed demands paced on them from the cross country running in the trails of the King Country, especially the upper VL's in the quads and my right shin. have also had a little bit of lateral hip/butt pain on the right side as well but hadn't thought too much of this. have rested for 2 days and applied lots of deep heat and massage to the quads especially over the last couple of days ot give myself a good chance of maintaining high mileage.

So headed out last night. First couple of kms felt ok but the nagging pain in my hip/butt started to ache. I thought i may be able to shake this off so I picled up the pace a bit and was heading along at 5min/km pace (which is good for me). It felt awesome to be out there in the evening air and my lungs felt brilliant and most of legs loved being back out pounding the pavement.

Got round the 10km in 50 minutes but when I got to the end the hip/butt was extremely sore. Massaged it a lot last night and after a good rest it is slightly better today. I am very worried that this is going to interrupt my training and my goal of going under 2 hours for the huntly half marathon in 2.5 weeks. Will use today as a rest day and as I am flying tomorrow for work I won't be able to get a run in so that should be two days of rest. All going well I will be able to go hard Friday/saturday and Sunday and get up to 70-80kms in for the week.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

T42 Race Report

We travelled down to Taumarunui the night before the race where I deposited Ebs and the Girls at Mum ands dad's house before heading out to National Park for registration with Mr 6. It was after 8pm by the time I got out there and the entrance way was awash with foam from the Biosecurity guys cleaning all the mountain bikes for didymo.

Got through gear check ok (after nearly spilling scroggin over the table) and collected race number, transponder and race pack and headed back out into the icy air for the drive back down to Taumarunui.

When home i packed and repacked my gear then finally figured it would actually all fit in the camelbak anyway so was pretty happy with the smaller size. Went to bed after gorging on penne pasta a very nervous boy. Tomorrow would be my first trail run and I didn't know if I was ready for it.

Woke earlyish and wolfed down toast and bananas and started hydrating. Got changed into my race gear an hour before we had to leave and applied plasters and vaseline etc nice and early. Race day kit comprised of running tights, shorts, thermal full length base shirt, t shirt and cap as well as full fingered gloves. In my camelbak was first aid kit, survival blanket, water, energy bars, scroggin, jacket and a spare polypropylene shirt. We were told that we wouldn't be able to start without the required gear so I did a double check to make sure I had everything.

Headed out to the Owhango domain with Ebs and kids to the start line and was there early enough to get nervous. Stretched and did warm up and listened to safety briefing.

At 9:30 we were in the starting corrall and the race horn started and we were off. Out of the domain and left up into the ohinetonga track. A beautiful part of bush with nice wide tracks. The weather was overcast and cold and damp underfoot but some sun peeking through. Great conditions for running. Over the crest of the first hill and i took off my gloves and settled in to the rhythm of hill running. Passed a few people as everyone settled into their race pace. 3 kms in and we left the bush and turned past the first aid station on to a gravel road. This started to climb quite steeply and it wasn't long until the running was interspersed with bursts of walking for the steeper sections. At the 6.7km mark we turned right up a very steep clay and stone track which prevented much running. The scenery was spectacular as we were getting quite high by this point and I saw several runners stopped and looking at the view down across the rolling valleys of the King Country which was a glowing green with the overnight rain. At that point I wished I had brought my camera.

At the top of the track we passed the third aid station and headed in to the "loop". This was a section of rugged bush overgrown with cutty grass and the tracks were rudimentary and almost entirely wet slippery clay./ They had told us earlier that we would struggle in normal running shoes but there really was no turning back at that point so I proceeded to the first clay downhill and immediately fell over. Clay, rain and low grip road shoes make for a very bad combination in the bush. Picking myself up I managed to navigate the next 8kms of clay track through the bush with minimal injury. My hands and face were bleeding by the time I got out from superficial scratches and I was soaked as it had also rained for about 30 minutes of that section. The puddles were sometimes knee deep and so not a lot of running was done for any period of time, it was more a case of trying to navigate a line through the many hazards and getting out to the gravel road which we knew would be someway in the distance. Ended up running with a group which was about the same pace and we kept a good rhythm going for the most part. Was nice to be running with people at that point because it is very rough and remote country up in those hills.

We finally popped out at the aid station we had passed earlier and this indicated the end of the loop. I was VERY happy to see the guy handing out sports drink there, grabbed some hydration and headed off for the 7km run home. I did notice that my left ankle was starting to hurt on the downhill run home and put this down to the constant slipping and correcting in the bush. I ran through the pain and it seemed to settle after a while but at one stage I thought I was going to have to stop.

Turned back into the domain just before 3 hours 20 and the kids were there to Hi 5 me as I came through and family there at the finish line is always a very cool thing. my sister, who was supposed to run it with me but had to pull out due to a broken ankle, was also there and was awesome that she made the effort to drive all the way to support me.

Over the finish line in 3 hrs 20 (I think) and was so happy to be done. I was soaked, sore and extremely muddy...but I had finished the longest race of my running career (24km) and it was over some of the roughest terrain I have been over...and I LOVED it...

so next year, the plan is to run the 42km marathon distance...and next year I will definitely be in trail shoes.

by the way...i don't think a spa has ever felt as good as it did that afternoon