Monday, 19 November 2012

Thursday = Jacobs, Sunday = longer runs and Monday = Darwin

Thursday nights I try to get out of the office on time and head into Kings Park in the city to partake in punishing myself up and down the staircase known as Jacobs Ladder. This is 242 steps (one way) with an elevation of about 45mtrs (in the space of about 100m – so for every 2mtrs forward you are going up almost 1!). Also, ONE lap is a trip to the bottom and back to the top!
I tend to try to go with a running buddy either from work or my dependable sister gets dragged along. This week she couldn’t make it and so I decided to self-motivate and go it alone!  Well…punishing or what….

I mixed up the routine a little and decided that I would run two laps of the stairs and then one lap (bottom and up) of the “hill” next to Jacobs. [this is Mount Street – also one heck of a gradient, also over a very short distance but this time with no hand rails or steps to keep you going upwards). I decided that I would go till exhaustion.

I am very pleased to say that I managed 3 sets (ie 6 laps of the stairs and 3 laps of the hill) but I didn’t quite make it to the top of the hill on the last attempt – I was so spent and had nothing left in the tank. People were causally strolling down the hill passed me on the way up and were smiling away…I had no smile in return – in fact I didn’t even have the energy for a frown. Thankfully I had a gentle stroll back to the car to recover my breathing – wow it was a great workout and for the next two days my calves knew about it!

Friday and Saturday were rest days. Am really thinking that I need to get some cross training going on especially working on my core (and love handles) and so am trying to work myself up to this twice a week – Mondays and Fridays (Wednesdays are miserable at work and Saturdays – well one days off is ok isn’t it?). We will see what I can con myself into.

Sunday had a longer run planned with my sister. The lake near us is 6km around with nice path and markers every 500mtrs so we set off for two laps of that. I was a little na├»ve in the ways of tempo running and tried after 1km jogging to “run” 500mtrs and repeat three times….only in the third “run” did it dawn on me that I still had more than a lap to go…doh! Well after coming to my senses I slowed it down a bit and maintained an even (ish) pace for the rest of the run and added 1km on the end for good measure completing 13kms in an hour and nine (5’21 pace) so was happy with that.  Plus it was good to get the run in before getting on a plane for 6 hours.

Yup – back in Darwin for a couple of days for work. Last time I was here was back at the end of September. I can say this much – it is not any cooler and the humidity has stepped it up a notch! Went out at 5:45 this morning for a run and it was 26 and 95% humidity…probably ran too fast to begin with as by the time I was half way I was blowing hard…had to walk 100mtrs and then push on. Called it enough at about 5kms with a slower pace. [insert excuse here…there is a Jacobs’esc stair case 2kms into the run (135 steps) that has to be negotiated and adds to the exhaustion…] The humidity makes for a tougher run but it is good the experience the different conditions after so long in Perth. The run this morning was also a “bonus” run as I was not scheduled for a run today but needed to get out and stretch my legs after the flight and not the greatest food choices yesterday. I will make a mental note to pace better in the morning for my 6.5km scheduled run….

Oh – I have signed myself and my 5 year old up to the Variety WA Santa Fun Run this weekend. 4kms in a Santa suit. Even if he has to go on my shoulders it will be a blast and his first taste of a big event….I can’t wait!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Struggletown - population - ME!

I have had the starting’s of a real funk this week.  Work has been a real drag with motivation at an all-time low, just a general feeling of lack of purpose really [but that is a whole other issue or blog ;)]. That said it has impacted on my personal drive this week….

After the fantastic run with Karen on the weekend I really expected to be on a high. I was pumped from the run, it wasn’t as far as my “normal” Sunday runs and as such I thought I would be full of energy for the next run and life was good. We had a good friend around on Sunday, he has been travelling and it had been a few months since the last time we hung out and he was lost for words at the change in me through the lifestyle changes that I have made to the point that he claims to have been inspired into dusting off his runners and getting out there too…

[I don’t know what it is but I still feel a little embarrassed when people make a fuss about the change that has happened for me. Yes I am proud and pleased of the change but I guess I feel saddened by the fact that I was “that” big that it has been that noticeable.]

Overall I was on a high, I put up my 2013 challenge on the blog and even did my first ever race recap. Then my mind took over……the old enemy that is “ME”.

It seems that I always seem to doubt and sabotage myself at every turn, especially once I publicis things. WHY? So because I get praise from a close friend and publish to the world my aims/goals I decide that all motivation and drive needs to evade me completely! Am I supposed to keep it all secret and not publicise these challenges/facts? NO!

So this morning (24hours AFTER my scheduled run) I dragged my carcass grudgingly out of bed to the bathroom. Wasted 20 mins in the bathroom all the while having an internal debate about going back to bed! Even once my teeth were brushed and I was pulling on my runners I was thinking about going back to bed (well it was 5:30) but I somehow turned off my brain and went into auto-pilot mode (not really knowingly but I did in any case) and made my way outside and stretched and ran!

Boy did I run. I did not plan on smashing times/kms I was glad just to get out there and put one foot in front of the other. By the time I looked at my watch about 3 kms in I was flying with an average pace of 4:55! AFTER 3KMS!! So I kept on going…5KMS @ 4:56/km!! and finished at 7kms at 4:57/km. The first time in my running history that I have done a run (of any length) in under 5mins per km!!!

I guess the moral of the story is to banish self-doubt and be your own best motivator. Even if you only get out there and walk around the block you will at least have been out there and got it done!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Suncorp Freo Fun Run - recap

Will you look at that, nothing for weeks and then two posts in a day J. I thought that if I am going to be serious about the runs that I take part in that I should at the very least post a re-cap of them just to share in the experiences and the highs and lows. Please bear with me as I am new to this re-cap thing and hope to get better in time.

So the Suncorp Freo Fun Run – 10km run.

A bit of jumping around and organising required on our side of things as this is the first run that my wife and I have ever run together and as such we needed to off load our 5 year old and 3 month old on my very gracious and generous mom. This was done at the very rude time of 7am on Sunday morning.

We made our way into Freemantle to park up and be at the start line well ahead of time. As it was the first time this run was happening and I don’t know my way around Freo too well I wanted to be there early to be able to find a car park and avoid all the road closures that were planned for the day.

The East Freemantle Football oval was the base camp and it was well laid out and was a nice big space for people to move around in. Port-a-loos were in full use and thankfully neither of us needed them as the lines were pretty standard for events with several thousands of people.

The start was chilly but wasn’t too squashed in the road leading to the timing gates. The one thing that could have maybe helped pass the time a little while waiting was a bit more banter over the microphones, that said there was lots of music playing and the mood was great.

8 am start and we were off…a fairly flat course that lead out of Freo and then looped back in through the docks. Once we negotiated our way through the docks we were running along the main drag of Marine Terrace, passed some of the waterfront cafes and restaurants. We then looped back and ran through the Freo “cappuccino strip”  which was a bit of a laugh having so many people puffing and panting their way down the road being cheered and watched by people out for their Sunday morning coffee fix and breakfast. It was a nice quirky aspect to the run.

Overall a fairly flat run which would lead to fast times. I ran it with my wife and was very proud that she ran all 10kms and we finished together with a time of 59:06 which is a nice respectable effort for a Sunday morning.

Random highlight – seeing a goat running along after his owner down the cappuccino strip…saw the goat at the end too but didn’t get his number to know what time he did it in – just content in the knowledge that we passed him out on the course J

Back again next year – sure thing!

October recap and November starts....

So there I go changing my focus and then dropping off the blogging map for weeks….sorry!

 I really am enjoying running at the moment. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that I am fed up and demotivated and don’t want to run but ultimately the feeling I get from actually getting out there and running is awesome. I enjoy the fact that my per km times have dropped so dramatically from the first time I started running (7:32m/km) through to the current average (5:17m/km).  Also, I have a small amount of paranoia that if I stop running I will gain all my weight back….. J

Any hoo….so in order to do a catch up I thought I would close off the month of October…

Kms clocked: 127.16kms
Total time: 12h 8m 25s
Average pace: 5m28s per km (improved from 6m05s in September).

I use Nikeplus to track all of my runs. I really love the way it tracks the distance, speed and time and with my iPhone it tracks my GPS location too so I get to see a map, including elevation. I am not so hard core (yet?!?!) that I over analyse all of this info but it is great to have and see. Also the Nikeplus site sends you little “badges/trophies” that mark achievements and these are what I keep coming back for…. J

I can’t seem to get to copy the pictures at the moment but examples are:

Extra Frosting – for running on my birthday
Jack O’Lantern – for running on Halloween
Sneaker Head – for tracking runs in three different types of shoes

And many many more. Some of them you don’t know about so are a really nice surprise when you get the notification. All help in keeping the motivation up too!

November to date:
Kms clocked: 49.36kms
Total time: 4h 26m 44s
Average pace: 5m24s per km

Three super cool things so far for the month of November:

1)      I ran 16.5kms on my Sunday morning run on the 4th. I ran all 16kms. I learnt more about pacing myself and by running with my sister (she did 10kms as I met her along the way) she helped keep me in check and ultimately allowing me to run the entire distance. Apart from a 5 min stop due to HAIL!!! Yup I got caught in a massive downpour that included hail and let me tell you – hail is not a motivator…I sought cover asap!

2)      I got to run in a 10km fun run with my wife at the weekend!! It was the first time we have run together in anything and I am so proud of her. She completed all 10kms with a smile on her face (and possibly a little distain for me when I wasn’t looking J). We crossed the line together in 59m 6secs. So proud of her!!

3)      I have updated and finalised my 2013 Run list, booked the flights and accommodation for the first two runs too! They are (promise this is the final list):

13/01/13 –          Cadbury Half Marathon – 21k
14/04/13 –          Canberra Running Festival – 21k
26/05/13 –          Barossa Half Marathon – 21k – this is in South Australia and am thinking that it will be an excuse for a road trip (2,500kms each way!)
16/06/13 –          Brisbane City 2 South – 14k – this is the only one not going to be a Half Marathon – long storey!
18/08/13 –          Alice Springs Half Marathon – 21k – the NT contingent  for the years challenge.
25/08/13 –          Perth City 2 Surf Half – 21k – got to run the home race J
15/09/13 –          Sydney Blackmores Running Festival – 21k
13/10/13 –          Melbourne Marathon Festival – 21k

So that is the list – a run in every State and Territory in Australia.

The training schedule is already in effect and runs for 51 weeks (yikes!) and if maintained will be for a total of 1,669kms (including the runs)!

Plus I am sure I will try to sign up for any other fun runs etc that coincide with the training schedule and are in Perth….

So until next time, I promise I will try to be better with my blogging…..

Happy thoughts and get tracks under your shoes, walking, running or jogging…it all counts!