Friday, 31 August 2012

Blatant Advertising – Honey Shotz

So this past week has involved some easy running, that was until Sunday when the unofficial Turkey Chase was run! It was a recovery week, and I should have been taking it easy BUT when Leah announced we were heading up the trail on Sunday it was too good of a chance to return to the trail.
So I busted out the Salomon’s and filled up the hydration pack, and got to spend some time on the trail. The “some time” ended up being 4hrs worth, and to be honest it was really great to be back out on the dirt, walking, running and generally having a laugh.
There were a heap of us there from Team HRE, Benny, Rodney, Raelene, Gav, Greg and Miles. Greg had decided to see what all the fuss was about. As it was Greg’s first trip up Mt Archer we took it pretty easy, on the return trip it heated up but we pushed on. It was really great to be back out there running the familiar trail.
Plenty of firsts for Greg, first trail run and first fall! HA! All part of the fun.
On the way back I remembered I had some Honey Shotz left over from the race last weekend. This gets me onto the Blatant Advertising part of the blog! I rate Honey Shotz as the BEST newcomer to the nutritional market in the past 12 months.
Sure its “just honey” – but honey is such a great source of energy when you are running. As it is all natural, there is nothing to interfere with you digestive system. Honey Shotz also come in 100kj sized packs, so a ¼ of a gel. This makes them awesome to have in between a gel OR if you are replacing a gels altogether one every 10-20 minutes.
The way I use them most, is on a 15-20km run, having one every 5km. Just to give you a little more blood sugar. A whole gel can often produce a spike and a crash, but with Honey Shotz you can sort of “drip feed” your system.
Joel my youngest boy call the draw where I put all of my running gear, the “Honey Draw”. It took me a while to realise he was sneaking in there and eating the Honey Shotz without me knowing!! I’ve had to put the box up in the cupboard now!
HRE are really excited to have Honey Shotz on board as our nutrition sponsor for the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic. They will be on course at all of the aid stations. As the aid stations are so close, you will be able to use the “drip feed” approach if you are doing the half marathon, and take one at each aid station.

Speaking of the Spring Classic we shot the video - it was a little windy, but I think it turned out really well!!
There are still a few spots left on the kids race, so I really encourage you to register your kids for the 2k dash. Each kid will receive an awesome t-shirt, and finishers medal. Active kids are happy and healthy kids, my boys are proof!

Last but certainly not least, a big shout out to Rodney who is doing the 1600km Smiddy Challenge starting tomorrow. Yep that's 1600km of bike riding over 8 days! Crazy! It is all for a great cause, raising money for Cancer so best of luck to him!!! You can track him at this web page

Watch for magpies if you are on a bike!


Monday, 20 August 2012

PBs and Rookie Mistakes

Well it isn’t often that I get to my Blog straight after a race, but I thought I would get it out of my system before I forget how it all went yesterday.
First things first – I PB’ed. I ran the half in 1.41 and on THIS course that is 27 minutes faster than the time I ran in 2010. 27 minutes is a fair bit so I am happy with that amount of improvement in 2 years. In the bigger picture, I am really pleased that I can see that I am improving. My goal of 1.35 was a little ambitious on this course, BUT you need to have those stretch goals. I believe I am in close to 1.35 shape on a cool, flat road course....which this course wasn’t.
I will explain the course now, it is broken into 3 parts, about 3.5km of is exposed road running – quite large gravel (not smooth hot mix material) then there is 2km of “trail” which by the time I started to run on it, resembled the beach. It was very sandy and had a number of undulations. Then the final 1.5km is on compacted gravel – which is quite fast to run on. The course is 3 7km loops.
The trail part of the course really zapped me of any energy in my legs, and whilst I was running comfortably at 4.30 pace for the first 3.5km on the road the trail section and weaving in and out of runners, took its toll on my pace. I really noticed the huge difference in my exertion level through the sandy trail section, which by the 3rd lap it felt really HARD.
So for me, it was quite a difficult race. My energy felt quite low. I also had a tummy upset on race day. Without going into the details, I thought it was nerves but I had 6 trips to the toilet before the race started and about 8 post race.
How did I end up with a tummy bug? Saturday was my nephews 4th birthday and we had a great day at the Botanic Gardens, and whilst lunch involved a bit of “party food” dinner was a rushed affair and included hot chips and frozen food at Bel’s sisters house.
Seems like a very bad rookie error eating something very different to my normal pre-race, Subway lunch and pasta/thin pizza dinner. I am really regretting not planning my Saturday meals in advance. As I have been eating quite cleanly for the past couple of weeks, the high fat dinner really disrupted my body Sunday, to the point I had massive stomach cramps all Sunday night. Not good. Pre-race nutrition lesson reinforced.
So in adding all of those details up, very happy to PB considering the condition I was in and the course. Lawto, Jason and I finished 4th Men’s team and 5th team overall out of 42 teams.
Lawto swam like an animal – very impressive swim time, Jason rode unreal 2hrs 28minutes – he had a guy sitting on his wheel the whole 90km drafting off him!

Pre-Race Pex, Lawto, Cadel
JP Pre-Race
Lawto - post swim
Jason smashing it
Mid Race
More running!
In the other teams, Gav held off Paul “Tex” Tucker for the team win. Gav ran very impressively going 1.28 which is awesome on that course, Paul ran 1.19 not enough to catch Gav, Aiden in his first half marathon went under 1.35 – again I can’t stress how impressive those times are considering the course and running in the middle of the day. Also note – Paul did run at the Botanic to Bridge in the morning (8km) and drove the 90 minutes back to Yeppoon before he raced again at lunch!
It was so great to see heaps of local athletes out there smashing it up in the over the full 70.3 distance, Brendan “Big M” Motley went 5.21, Rodney smashed his PB he went 4.56 for, Raleigh Wallace smashed it with a 4.42. Very happy for these guys, hard worked payed off for them!!!
So I have a block of 8 weeks of training before the Toowoomba Half Marathon, a bit of a rest week this week then straight back into the speed work.
DO NOT forget to register for the Spring Classic!! I promise a FAST course to set a PB!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Chasing a PB....

My memories of primary school athletics are crystal clear, I was the "bigger" boy who tried his hardest but regularly came nearly always last. In general I was a tryer. I would never skip anything I would never fake it or sit out, I was just never that good.

That moment when I realised I might be an athlete came when in Year 7 I was trailing running dead last in the cross country, I surged up the oval and put the hammer down and out sprinting two of the other boys to come third last! I threw up a little and layed on the ground trying to breath, I was happy with my "win". The memory is still fresh in my mind.
It's an interesting observation that most runners talk about a shared lack of "athletic" ability from an early age. I've lost count the amount of blogs I've read that start "I hated running, until XX happened - then I ran, now I am a marathoner".

I certainly believe getting started is the hardest part of running. "I'm too unfit, too fat, too slow". Last week I was reminded that runners come in all shapes and sizes, Step Into Life (personal training group) were out running at the same time as we finished our Saturday run. Here was a lady in her mid 40s - running, then walking to catch her breath, then running again. I slowed and spoke to her for a couple of minutes and encouraged her. She is at the start of her journey - in 12 months she could be 30kg lighter and runner her first half marathon.

All week I have been thinking about that lady and the others like her. Those that don't look like the Olympic Marathoners, but are out there running, getting fit and striving for their own goals.

Which gets me onto this week - its race week. Races arent the reason I run, they are more like the icing on the cake. I always have an event coming up - something to plan and train for. Having a very goal orientated personality, it helps give me some focus to what I am doing.

This week though is a little different, for once I am not doing a mega event. This is the first of my "shorter" races. I havent really explained, but after my marathon PB at Gold Coast, I became even more motivated to run faster. I am hungry for a fast marathon time, like the others from our running group that have gone under 3.20, or even faster. So after spending the past 3 and half years building my marathon war chest (7 marathons and 3 ultras) - I have switched to shorter races to build speed. I never did this as part of my running journey, I went for the big fish, the marathon, and have tried to improve by just running more marathons.

So I am running half marathons from now till Gold Coast 2013. Loosely my goals are to improve my pace so by the Rocky River Run next year I am running close to 90 minutes for the half marathon.

This weekend is the first step in the process. Jason, Lawto and I are in a team for the Yeppoon Ironman 70.3.

Simply I have been training to run a 1.35 half marathon. As you know from my previous blogs, my half PB is 1.42 from 2010 - so it has been a while since I have had success over this distance.

As boring as it sounds, training has been going very well - hard sessions are hard and the easier sessions have been enjoyable. It has taken me 8 weeks to get used to the idea that a training session might only include 25 minutes of really hard running. Most sessions are over and done within the hour. Saturday long runs are finished before the kids are out of bed!!!

The other fun part of this weekends race is the "team" competition. There are 3 other local teams who are all trying to win the mens team event, and without going right into all of the athletes I will be running agains Paul "Tex" Tucker (yes 2.42 marathoner and 1.12 half marathoner YIKES!), Gav Bendall (TNF finisher and 2.58 marathoner) and Aiden. I have no idea what Aiden will run, but he was a national level swimmer so fair guess he has a massive engine and eye of the tiger when he races.

So what does this mean for our team? Well on paper we certainly will match it with the other teams in the water and on the bike. My race plan is to run nice and evenly through the 21km, so maintain an even 4.30 average pace the first 10km will be OK at that pace, but I know I will need to dig deep to hang on for the second part of it.

The course isnt the easiest to run on, nor is it ideal that you have to wait around for your team mate to come in on the bike (the waiting killed me last time). Getting nutrition and hydration right is a bit of a juggling act, and keeping cool on the run is also important as it can be hot out on the exposed part of the road.

So I will be out there chasing 1.35 trying not to let Jason and Lawto down. Hopefully it all comes together, I can hang on and we can finish somewhere near the pointy end for the men's teams. If it comes down to a sprint finish, which it may do, I hope my leg speed and memories of that Year 7 cross country will get me to the finish in front of the chase pack.

“You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.”  - Henry Ford

PS - If you are in Yeppoon on Sunday why not come out and watch the race, there will be PRO triathletes in town, and as a spectacle it certainly is an awesome sight watching them race for the cash!

Also if you havent registered yet....DO IT! Less than 40 singlets left!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Train Like Crazy

First things first, the blog looks a little different this week. I have added the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic Banner to the top and also added a blog counter to the right hand tool bar.

The banner is really just to remind you that you need to register for the race - but the blog counter is really just to pump my own tyres up. You see I have tried to write this blog as a self reflection piece and those blogs are really raw and honest, then other blogs are really "information" blogs for you the reader.

It certainly is weird to think I have regular readers from the USA and Canada, people who I dont know and probably never will. They probably stumble across my blog as they are googling for "Boston Marathon" or "JDRF logo" or "Nude Race" and my blog pops up so they have a scroll through.

Is that you? Are you one of those people who just stumble across my blog and have a read, check out my profile and never return?

If you are a regular reader, or have stumbled across my blog and you would like me to write about something - leave me a comment on the blog, on facebook ( ) or twitter @RunPexRun .


Watching the olympics this week has really pumped me up to knuckle down with my 1%'ers. A term often used in team sports, where the difference between winning and loosing is very small (1%) - leaving no stone unturned to achieve the best I can be.

I have been really pumping out my speed work and sticking to the new half marathon plan. There are great positives with this, as I am already running stronger and faster and feel like I can hold a higher pace for longer now. The only negative has been my diet. Now I am not fat. Nor do I need to loose bucket loads of weight. BUT I did have a trip away with work last week which resulted in a LOT of beer and some questionable diet choices. Whilst my training was still spot on, I really am sabbotaging myself by eating like that.

Now I am not going fully vegetarian like RunBennyBoyRun or vegan like the TattooRunner - I am just concentrating on eating healthy again and being sensible with my portion sizes. I know I was running my best when I was closer to 72kg, which isnt stick thin for my frame - so by the end of the month I am going to clean the diet up to get back to that point and see how I feel then.

The thing I think about watching the Olympics is that the athletes dont cut corners. I have mentioned this a long time ago, but I was a fan on "get fit fast" "run less run faster" "less is more" type running programs. For me they dont work. I doubt any Olympians are competing on a less is more training program.

I have had a couple of comments about Jason's bike time up Mt Archer last week. It is insanely fast. Did he get strong from skipping sessions? NO. Jason does close to 20hrs per week on the bike....TWENTY hours! That is half a work week!!! Are you investing that volume of time? I'm not thats for sure. I am investing about 12-14hrs a week. I know Ben and Mat (Tattoo Runner) are running 100 MILES a week! Thats 160km! Both Ben and Mat smashed their PB's last week at the Flinders 50km trail race. They will probably tell you that it is because they are tree huggin vegetarians, BUT the real reason is they, like Jason are training hard and putting in the work.

Do the work - get the results. Train Like Crazy.

It may have slipped off the radar of the blog, but I am racing with Scott "The King" Lawton and Jason "Cadel" Paull at the Yeppoon 70.3. Lawto is swimming the 1.9k, Jas will bike the 90k and I get the run leg 21k half marathon....I have been training well and will set a new half marathon PB - hoping to go close to 1.35. Its in 2 weeks! Cant wait!

Best of luck to Leah, Gav, Trisha, Kathryn and Michael at the Brisbane Marathon this weekend. Mel and Dave in the half too! Rip it up.

Also good luck to Jason - he will smash it at Cunningham Classic in Brisbane on Saturday!