Tuesday, 24 June 2014

#GCAM14 Gold Coast Marathon next week

It's less than 2 weeks until Gold Coast Marathon, this being my 5th Gold Coast and my 9th Marathon the build up could not be any more different.

The biggest difference with this marathon is that I am not overly emotionally invested into the result next week. I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing, but I know I am not in top marathon shape so whatever happens next week will be a marker for where I am at with my training.

In the past I certainly have overly committed to the race result, and in doing so put a lot of pressure on myself. The North Face 100 in 2012 was the best example, an all or nothing approach that cost me a 100k finish. My other Gold Coast Marathons have also had a similar feel, where I have tried to run to a goal time and not to a time that is realistic to my endurance abilities.

We had a little test run last Friday afternoon, it was meant to be 15km at 5.05 pace or around goal marathon pace. I wanted to see where I was at, and if I was in shape to run a 1.45 half of the first part of the marathon. Rod was joining Brenden and I and we settled into 5.00 pace pretty easily, Rod being super fit was able to run just in front as we cruised along behind. I was working hard but not insanely hard. We grabbed a drink at 6km then proceeded down Dean St and around 8km I started to get a stitch under my right rib. A stitch WTF! Where did this come from. By the time we made it to the water stop at 11km I was labouring badly. The other two finished the run off, and I ran slower trying to get my stitch sorted and my head in the right space.

The run was meant to be a nice confidence builder for Gold Coast, some positive reinforcement that I was "on track". It however worked the opposite and left me with a honest view that I am a long long way from being in 3.50 marathon shape. Although I wrote last week about how I was just going to run hard over the first 21km I am not second guessing this plan. I have 3 further 15-20k runs before next week - so unless something dramatically happens I may just have to run sensibly at 5.30pace and see where I end up.

Brenden on the other hand is smashing it, and on Sunday finally broke 20minutes for 5km, sharing this training journey with Brenden has been very rewarding he is a really good guy, kind hearted and has a great understanding of exercises physiology. We have been running these 1km repeats a road loop around my place, just crunching them consistently at 4.15-4.10 pace. Some weeks they are a bit quicker but generally we don't get too carried away with going "super fast". I really think this key session is one of the reasons Brenden was able to finally break 20 minutes - long hard intervals just knock you into shape.

Great running Big M.

In other news it has been a really less than ideal preparation, more closely resembling a disastrous preparation for my mate Donald who is running the Marathon next week. With a couple of ankle and foot injuries he just hasn't run the volume he should have,  he went past the point of no return a few weeks ago and now is in a tough spot of being under done. Next week will certainly be a huge suffer fest for him, I doubt any of it will be enjoyable - but the Marathon like life can be like that sometimes.

Somehow I have to finish my Marathon, get some calories on board and run another 10km with Donald. I am trying not to think about this as an Ultra - but there is a risk my race doesn't go well and I can't complete my pace runner duties as prescribed.

I have built this situation for myself - its not ideal BUT should make an awesome blog either way! HA

Stay safe running


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Kids Running #RunForFun #TeamPEX

Seems to be a bit of traffic lately around how young is too young to be running.

As a kid I wasn't very athletic, I tried but due to carrying a bit of extra weight never excelled. That changed in high school and I was able to be quite competitive especially sprinting.

I never pressure my boys to run, I never say they have to run, or train or ride their bikes. I am not results focused for them, I really just want them to have fun being kids. Hayden is 8 and Joel is 5, so plenty of time to be training for real in the future.

But kids being kids they watch what dad does, and I have a bit of a collection of running medals happening, they have watched me run Marathons, halfs, and more recently track events. They know the drill, you run hard then you get a medal!

Both have run kids dash events, and Hayden has run a few 5kms. His 5km time last year was 25 minutes which is pretty good for a 7yo kid at the time.

Today's blog and photos is really a blog for the future, when the are both old enough to understand how proud I am that they are running and being active. That's not to say they have to be runners in the future, but I believe being functionally fit certainly pays dividends in your general health. We role model that in our house so its good to see it rubbing off.

Hayden picked up 3rd in the high jump and second place in the relay. Joel picked up a 3rd in his race.

I have included a heap of photos so I know where they are in 10 years time! Lets hope that hackers haven't crashed the web and the Internet still exists.
Hayden in the 200m

Hayden at Cross-Country

Boys after our first footy game this year

Joel at the start of his race

Joel gunning it!

Joel at the start - going hard, nice form
Joel and his ribbon

Boys and their ribbons

Monday, 16 June 2014

3 weeks till Gold Coast Marathon #GCAM14

So the last two weeks I have been sick, which hasn't been fun. Not the normal type of get sick for a couple of days then get better - but the dreaded flu where you don't get better but gradually worse.

I had 2 long runs where I was sick one of them was OK but the second one it was like I had no gas in my lungs and my legs were shot. I ended up on the couch all day Saturday in a coma like state - but must finally have it out of my system as I'm feel much better today.

Given that it is a touch under 3 weeks until Gold Coast I should report on how the training has been going. Brenden and I have knocked out a few impressive sessions, KM repeats on the 4.00min/km mark, and few longer tempo runs. We ran a solid 140 minutes of hills 2 weekends ago, so everything has been going along pretty well considering, except being sick.

We have also settled on a race plan, which is to run 5.00 pace for as long as possible. My goal is just to suffer for as long as possible at 5.00 pace, hopefully I will be around 21km and then just grind out the remaining 21km. My idea is just to see where I am at, and how much work is still left to do by Melbourne where we are aiming to run a 3.30 marathon.

I haven't approached a marathon like this before, so it will be fun to see how it feels. Just going out with a plan to blow up.

Being sick for last weeks long run meant the distance and quality was well below what I wanted to run, but there is nothing I can do about that now. I really have to just knuckle down for the next 19 days and keep the intensity up.

Having Brenden check in on my illness has also ensured I rest where required (like last week taking an extra day off), its been great having someone monitor you on a daily basis.

Hopefully I will get a chance to race in the local Rocky Road Runners 5km if the kids aren't playing footy out of town!

Run Safe