Monday, August 31, 2009

What a Month

Piture taken by David Tan as I apss him on the loop at Nedlands.

Before the start of the City to Surf Marathon Perth with David Tan

After the disastrous campaigns this past 2 months I have unfortunately lapsed into what I now can readily identify as the IM BLUES .I tried to refocus as quicky as I can but with a series of discouraging races , the flu and then injuring my back 10 days ago conspired to make everything seem so hard.I have done little training in the past 10 days hence the lack of any blogging and I have really tried to just get the back settled .I had just started back trying to slowly get back into the swing of training when i did a session of core exercises and probably over did things abit. I made it worse by running on a threadmill a day later and that really jarred the back.Ended up having a sore back and pain shooting down the back of my left leg...yikes .It was stiff as ever in the morning and by afternoon with the sitting I do in the office I was sore in the upper back as well .

I saw my GP and he was great I got a prescription of antiinflamatories a 1000mg tablet which really helpedand lots of pain killers nurofen and saw a physio which seems to have done the trick .

I decide to ride on 29 august to just see how I would go ..I swam twice in the week and that was fine.The bike ride was at crusing pace and I did a 2 hour ride which did not seem to stir up any pain. In the week leading up to the 30th I was almost sure I would not be able to run the City to surf Marathon.For starters I had done absolutely no training for it .My last lost run was tagged at the end of IM Austria and aside fromthe painathon on 15 August I had not done any running because of the weather , my mood ( in the doldrums) and the flu .When I did try a run I jarred my back .Iam not sure what I was thinking when I was looking up marathon running programs .It reminded me of all the cramming I did for exams .somehow I was going to cram a whole marathon training program 10 days before the race .

I felt by looking at the program on papaer I could absorb the intrinsic value the program would bestow on the runner and that will follow thru in my performance on the day ....I wish it was that easy .

In the end as Singaporeans know , I paid 90 bucks I might as well rock up and face the music and get some value even if I drop dead trying .Its like at IM Austria if you crash on the descent atleast on the bright side you get a helicopter ride tothe hospital.Its p[erverse but thats my logical way of looking at the brightside of life.

I have can now impart the words of wisdom to all who actually read this blog on a the subject " how to run a Marathon without any training"
I did it be it very painfully. The exercise is not recommended for the squeamish .
I managed a 4.06.25 run on a hillly second half course with walkers blocking the last 10km.

It was a reasonable Perth morning ...not as cold as earlier in the week when the temperature was 3 degrees . I was warm enough and it was light by the time I got to the assembly area. There was only 2000 runners doing the marathon out of 38000 participants .

What I cannot understand was why the half went off at 6.30 and the marathons started at 7am
Anyway I started from the back and kept a reasonable pace I was worried about fatigue and cramping .unfortunately i had my mobile phone , cash and gels and radio and salt tablets in my 2 back pockets of my top and the phone was bouncing around for all 42 km . I tried to ensure I would manage a 6min per km pace but I didn't see any distance markers on the course. I do know I got to the 21km mark at about 1.55 so was hopefully on target accept that I had the hills for the second half.At that point I felt i was going well .I had taken a gel before the race , antiinflamatory tablet and pain killers . I drank at every aid station and did not stop accept for the toilets.

The next 10 km was through the Perth Kings Park and the undulating roads with twist and turns made for an interesting run .I also got to see the runners in front of ma and the back after each turn .

Once out of kings Park at the 3 hr mark in the run i knew i was in the home stretch.Ikept up my nutrition of one gel on the hour with a gel at 3.25 for that added boost .Interestingly my heart rate was consistently 154 to 158 and when hitting the hills it got up to 170.I believe I was right on threshold for most of the race and felt ok. The last stretch of the run was hilly especially at hay street that leads to the oceanic drive and then onto westcoast drive and the finish line at City Beach.

Once I hit hay street I ran straight into walkers doing the 12km walk on Hay street and they had taken up the whole road.I was weaving between the walkers and ckimbing each hill.It was at the end of hay street that I began to get twitches in my left calf and the dreaded cramps.i had brought with me a spray called cramp stop and used it ,Surprisingly it worked or atleast lessened the impact of the cramp but with more hills the cramps were always there but did not cause me to stop just slow down .
I was beginning to feel the fatigue in the muscles but at 3.51 I was not sure how far there was to go so I just kept the same steady pace till I hit the west coast drive and I estimated it was about a 1.5 km run left . I crossed the line at 4.06 and felt I did as good as I could in the circumstances. Aside from my standard Chartered marathon run in singapore in 2005 in 5 .02 hours , this was my second marathon ever and a PB . The rest of the marathons I had run were off the bike leg in an IM race.

It was good to have done it although wisdom would have dictated not starting.But mentally i needed to do it and it was a good marker of where I am at physically.I did learn that I was carrying so much more weight .iam about 6-8 kgs heavier and that is alot to carry in 42km.

I was so sore in the legs on sunday evening and Monday morning but went for swimming in the evening.

The training begins in earnest towards Busselton....where have I heard that before.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

lance armstorng before he became a cyclist ....

Kunstrad EM 2009 Carla und Henriette Hochdorfer first seen on jeannete wangs blog

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The training begins

The week started quietly training wise as I was far too sore on Monday and Tuesday to do anything after the painathon.Iam glad I stopped at challenge 8.

The flu has still lingered which has made the recovery a little harder.

I started back swimming on wednesday and again on friday .It was quite an awful week weather wise but I keep saying to myself it builds character but it just feeds my obsession. They were reasonable sessions although I am focussing as much as I can on my technique and trying to cut out any dead spots , not gliding too much , and keeping my body position as flat as possible with the legs not dragging .I am also foccusing on my breathing and have tried to be as relaxed as I can. I have picked up alot from the Mr Smooth Character

... called the Mr Smooth Console. Use it to view Mr Smooth's 'ideal' stroke from any angle, at any speed, in amazing clarity. (from the swimsmooth website)
Use that insight to improve your stroke.

Its a great website set up by Paul Newsome.Although I have not met him I remember when I first started swimming in 2006 I put out a question in the triuk forum and one of the first individuals to respond was Paul. I have come someway from those early days but it is technically the most difficult discipline to master.

I did a 2.2 km set during each session which was a mixture of 500m to 50 metre sets .

I will start swimming in the morning from now on and start back on my running given I have a full marathon on the 30th of August.

On Saturday I volunteered to marshall the North Coast Duathon Championship and decided to ride out to the Scotts home where it was held. I copied the directions I had from the google map and got up early and left by 5.15 am with the intention of getting there by 6.30am.

unfortunately the roads bore no resemblance to the directions I copied and I got hopelessly loss and my mobile wasn't chance denice Rice secratary of NCTC was driving past and lost as well and gave me and my bike a lift .we eventually found the place but I was late and so just watched.

the rain caused the race to be called off.I managed to get wet on my ride as well.
Great start. I rode to Joodalup where Roger had parked his car and I got a lift home.

The next morning I rode with Tony , Trevor and Andy round the river approximately 70km ride. The funniest thing was whilst stopped at a set of lights my chain fell off and was neatly lined up on the road.Fortunately there was no traffic and tony managed to get the chain back on.

I found the ride a little tiring on my legs at the end which I suspect is partly from the race but possibly from the additinal weight I have been carrying and the remnants of my flu.

Although I haven't signed up for IMWA , it is 16 weeks to the race and a good tme to start training.I will soon know if I have had a sufficient break or Iam a just too jaded. i do know that my weight and the cramping will be issues I need to tacklebefore december.

painathon results

SOLO Course (1): 19 KP 166.7 km ^

Rank Name Race no Result Start
1 Cameron Muir 32 MSolo 8:08:57 10/10
2 Nathan Jones 24 MSolo 8:17:18 10/10
3 David Hind 61 MSolo 8:27:11 10/10
4 Chris Harris 27 MSolo 8:41:59 10/10
5 Marek Klimczyk 1 MSolo 9:22:53 10/10
6 Kerrie Smith 30 FSolo 9:37:08 10/10 WOMENS RACE RECORD
7 Rick Twine 14 MSolo 9:37:10 10/10
8 Stephen Hoskins 17 MSolo 9:44:32 10/10
9 Colin Francis 7 MSolo 10:02:37 10/10
10 Michael Parrotte 2 MSolo 10:10:38 10/10
11 Jake Hannah 8 MSolo 10:17:34 10/10
12 Norm Black 29 MSolo 10:18:08 10/10
13 Todd Panietz 15 MSolo 10:31:06 10/10
14 Reid Hamilton 5 MSolo 10:38:34 10/10
15 Joe Young 3 MSolo 10:52:28 9.6/10
16 Lucy Bowman 13 FSolo 10:59:24 9.6/10
17 Ryan Brown 10 MSolo 10:52:31 9.4/10
18 Warren Uyen 33 MSolo 10:52:58 9.4/10
19 Narciso Astone 28 MSolo 10:53:01 9.4/10
20 John Williamson 18 MSolo 10:53:05 9.1/10
21 John Cooke 26 MSolo 10:04:32 8/10
Steve Lusk 34 MSolo 10:29:39 8/10
23 Kristian Maliphant 22 MSolo 10:34:14 8/10
24 Paul Falconer 16 MSolo 10:54:27 8/10
25 Justin Lang 19 MSolo 7:57:27 8/10
26 Luke Sexton 21 MSolo 9:37:12 8/10
27 Chad Brookes 6 MSolo 9:38:43 8/10
28 Jason Dick 9 MSolo 7:57:28 7/10
29 Aaron King 20 MSolo 10:31:54 7/10
30 Ben Cureton 25 MSolo 8:19:04 8/10
31 Leah Glass 31 FSolo 10:59:25 6/10
32 David Croghan 23 MSolo 1/10

Monday, August 10, 2009

Painathon Photos

The First Challenge at City Beach

At Challenge 4 Mount Pain run

Challenge 5: The bridges run at the causeway

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Day After the Painathon

It always seems less painful the day after . The day ended for me at challenge 8 aptly named the quadcruncher which it was .It was 4.10pm and I knew with my quads totally gone I wasn't going to make it back.The Quadcruncher killed me physically.

The race started off well and I had ridden out from subiaco to the start at City beach with Tony.I was wheezing a bit from the aftermath of the flu and the cold air , not a good start to the event.

Before you know it we were off 3 laps on the beach approximately 380m per lap on the sand .I tried to find the firm bits of sand but is was mostly soft.That done it was off to Reabold hill just 2km away and 2 repeats up Reabold hill for challenge 2.The Hill is an icon for the Perth running community but again I hadn't run it till the Painathon and the familiarization. It was hard and what worried me was my heart rate was very high between 165 and 187.I have never been able to sustain such a high heart rate for a prolonged period.It probably was high because of the flu I was recovering from .

From Reabold Hill I cycled to the next challenge again alone .It was drizzling and wet.My haversack with my cycling shoes were already wet.I was cycling with my runners as it was quicker then changing after every short cycle leg. Chalenge 3 was the run to the DNA Tower in kings Park from the western power Park a distance of approximately 3km mostly flat and back to the bikes for the short sprint to mount Street a steep street at the edge of Kings Park where we had to do 3 laps of the hill , a very steep hill. Challenge 5 was down at the causeway a 10km Bridges run ...a run to the Narrows bridge and then back through the causeway bridge.

From there it was a 35 km ride out to Campesic Road and the Truth .Nothing prepared me for the run and I was starting to get ningling twitches ...a constant concern for me as I seem to cramp up so easily .I had loaded my energy drink with lots of salt but it did not seem to have any effect .It was dry but the traffic along Great Eastern Hwy was heavy . At the start of the run there was some refreshments and lots of bikes already there.I quickly started out after changing into my runners ,so very difficult when my quads were hurting.

The truth seemed to go up and up forever .I adopted a 1 min run 1 min walk for most of the challenge as I was struggling . It then began to rain as I began the second hill climb on the Truth and the rain was coming down hard and the road was turning into a stream of water which made running on the side difficult but running in the middle wasn't really a good idea either.

I reached the top and had a drink of Gatorade from the container that was at the Gate of the house where we would have to punch our card and then struggled back. I eventually caught up with two guys who were walking back and passed them but they eventually started to run down and got back to the start ahead of me .So did Lucy Bowman one of the few women competing after some unfortunate puntures .She was running strong as was kerrie Smith who I saw coming down as I was heading up.

The next challenge was the Zig-Zag Hill run some 20 km away .The Truth had just taken so much time ...over an hour and increasingly the chance of finishing was looking more difficult.I was cramping on the bike alot more now and had to ease up alot and stop a few times.I got lost on the way to Zig Zag but eventually got there and slowly jogged up and then we were all able to take a short cut back to the start point .I then headed for Challenge 8 at Bickley Reservoir .Had no difficulties getting to the challenge .It was 3pm when I arrived and it took over an hour to walk the 1.65km up the Quadcruncher and over to the valley run ...actually getting over two hill of steep climbs, there and back .I couldn't run and the hills were so muddy and slippery even going down was a problem for me.There were a few runners who seemed to be able to run down fairly well.I wasn't one of them .

By the time I got back to the start point at the reservoir my quads were just hurting and I did not think I would make it back in time to Kings Park the end.I caught a lift to the finish line .A bit dissapointed but the week of flu made it alot harder .I did learn how weak my quads were from this whole experience. It really requires lots of speific hill running to build up that capacity to attack these runs .The biking wasn't critical but being able to run the challenges from 5 to 9 were crucial.

Well while I lick my wounds ... I atleast know what Iam tackling next year and hopefully will finish the challenges.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Noreseman Extreme

The Painathon is tomorrow and so is the Norseman Extreme Triathlon in Norway.
A great race to do ....and I want the Black T shirt.

As for the painathon tomorrow ...haven't done anything this week as I had a cold or the flu and hopefully it will not be to hard on the body tomorrow.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

why TRI

This past week has been a quiet one ...partly just chilling and partly trying to get back into the swing of training andmotivating myself to get going.Its hard with nothing in the immediate horizon and lots of self doubt regarding preparation and how any single aspect of preparation can hijack the result.All this and reading Ben Greenfields article in the September issue of Triathelete Magazine:What really motivates you

The same piece is at his blog:

It reaches to the core what most of us have as logical reasons such as to be healthy or to get fit and drills down to the irrational emotive core reasons

I have had difficulty coming to an answer despite the irrational time and energy I have devoted to this sport with little to show in terms of podium finishes. There have been improvements and personal goals reached and many still to be reached.

But at the core as boring as it sounds I came into triathlons by accident and like many I got a buzz from racing .It really is a drug and whilst I have done a great amount of whinging about the bitter cold mornings and long rides alone .I always felt a sense of achievement getting thru the long hard rides.So what does this all have to do with JK's wedding clip....Not alot accept i like it and well does there really have to be a deep emotional core reason to do a triathlon .For me probably not and like the wedding clip it really is just fun...It makes life all that more bearable and worthy of living .There is purpose , thrill and a sense of being alive.
Isn't that what the wedding clip was all about .Just a bit of fun.