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.