Saturday, 5 November 2011

South America

This last year has been a shocker for blogging.

Screw it, I'm starting afresh with a new blog for my three months in South America. Starting last weekend.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Racing 2010

Bloody hell it's been a long year of racing. I was just thinking about what I've done and decided to jot it all down on paper. I'm actually surprised about how much I've done this year, but the nice thing is that I've really enjoyed all the racing and been so excited to be doing it all. Even better is the fact that the consistent training has started to pay off in terms of my times.

The only question is how do I top it in 2011?

Beyond the Black Stump (Berowra) – 30km bush run
Audax Big Ride (Sydney to Goulburn) – 300km cycle
Audax Alpine Classic (Victorian Alps) – 200km cycle

Boundary Riders Thredbo long weekend – 3 days of mountain riding
Huskisson Long Course Triathlon (Jervis Bay) – 2km swim / 80km bike / 20km run

Ironman Australia (Port Macquarie) – 3.8km swim / 180km bike / 42.2km run

Wild Endurance (Blue Mountains) – 50km bush run (100km relay)
The North Face 100 (Blue Mountains) – 100km bush run

Striders 10km (North Head) – 10km run

Striders 10km (Homebush) – 10km run
M7 Cities Marathon (Blacktown) - 42.2km run

City to Surf - 14km run
Mt Wilson to Bilpin - 35km bush run

Striders 10km (North Head) – 10km run
Sydney Marathon (Sydney) – 42.2km run

Sydney Striders Internal Half Marathon (Lane Cove) – 21.1km run
Port Macquarie Half Ironman – 1.9km swim / 90km bike / 21.1km run

Run4Fun (Homebush) – 10km run
JP Morgan Corporate Challenge (Centennial Park) – 5.6km run
Nepean Triathlon (Penrith) – 1km swim / 30km bike / 10km run
Central Coast Half Marathon – 21.1km run

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Central Coast Half Martathon

Well with my running in good form lately off the back of the Sydney Marathon, then a nice Run4Fun 10km PB, I figured it would be a good idea to have a crack at the Half Marathon and see if I could grab myself another PB before the end of the year. My previous best HM time had been 83:15 at the SMH Half in May 2008, a couple of months before I had my stress fracture. I was in good form at the time, but I’ve definitely got back there and bettered my form in the last couple of months, so now is as good a time as any to give it a go!

There are not a lot of races at this time of year, but looking at the calendar I managed to find the Central Coast Half Marathon, which has an officially measured and accredited course for the first time this year.

The lead-up wasn’t ideal as I had a pretty hard week of training and then on Saturday, the day before the race, did a solid 110km ride (5 laps of West Head) on the time trial bike, with a 30 min run off the bike. But I figured that I should be able to manage some sort of PB anyway on form, and I’d rather not sacrifice another longish ride because I don’t have too many weeks left until Taupo Ironman.

The alarm at 4am was not appreciated, and driving up bleary-eyed in the pitch black pre dawn I was not feeling like having a race. However I had time by myself in the car to settle on a plan of sorts. Try for somewhere between 80 and 81 minutes. Take a gel 10 minutes before the start and then eat nothing through the race, just water. Simple.

Getting out of the car at The Entrance, the day seemed perfect. Slightly overcast and coolish at dawn. Although reading on CoolRunning later I noticed a lot of people saying the humidity had slowed them down. Steve Jackson made the comment "at 8am it was 19.3C, 89% and a 23kph headwind for the last 5k or so. It certainly made the return trip in the half hard work for me, but it seemed to slow everyone around me as well, so we were all in it together"

Anyway I ran into John Bartlett from Hurts shortly before the start and he said he was planning to do around 80 minutes so I said perfect, let’s just run together and see how we do. John was doing the race as the last chance to qualify for the New York marathon, he said he needed a time sub 83mins.

So we lined up underneath the bridge, I had a chat to a couple of nearby Striders - Nick and Dave - and soon enough they were counting down for the start. I’m always apprehensive in the first few minutes as to how my body will react. Thankfully I managed to go off fairly swiftly and just kept my eye on John, trying to stick with him. Within a few hundred metres we were in a little group of about 10, with a couple of super quick guys up ahead. The group stayed together for the first kilometer or two, when another 3 blokes (including Steve Jackson) broke away up front and stayed a few hundred metres ahead.

The course itself is lovely - a concrete bike path along the shore of the lake, winding through a shady casuarina grove – and is almost completely flat. Apart from a couple of bridge humps, it’s a pancake. Straight out and back.

So there were 6 of us at this stage, the third group back. We seemed to be running about 3.45min/km pace (I have to check the garmin, it’s been having trouble downloading) and just took turns leading. John took a turn at the front, then I felt strong so led out for a while, then other guys pushed ahead. It worked well without any discussion, and it made the first half seem almost too easy. I felt that we were putting in a good time without too much effort, but I wasn’t keen to go too much faster because I wasn’t sure how long I could hold the pace for.

Went through 10km at 37.38 I believe (will check) and then hit the turnaround point at almost spot on 39 minutes. At this point my brain said “Well you can drop 59 seconds in the second half and still go sub 80! Tremendous.” Sadly I didn’t factor in that the finish line was 500m beyond the start line, so the turnaround point must have been a few hundred metres short of the actual halfway point of the race.

Anyway 6 of us turned, and almost immediately the group splintered. A guy in a yellow singlet (Ian Dias?) took off like he had a rocket up him and we never saw him again! Some other bloke dropped off the back shortly afterwards. So it was myself and John, next to Richard Palmer and one of his mates. The four of us did the next couple of kms together, then John had a word to them and said to me something about them pacing a certain time to 16kms. I didn’t catch the details, but the upshot seemed to be that they were going faster than John wanted to go, so to ease back and let them go ahead. So we did.

The garmin is fairly unreliable at telling instantaneous pace moment-to-moment, and although we seemed to be slower than the first half (pushing out over 3.50s), it wasn’t markedly so. John and I ran well together and at 15km he grabbed a gel from his wife Sam cheering on the sidelines with there little boy. Shortly after, John seemed to struggle with the pace a little. I started looking at my heartrate and notice that I was holding about 161bpm, which seemed a little low, so I figured I had more left in me and began to speed up a bit.

Unfortunately John dropped back slightly at this point and I was on my own. I was feeling terrific and thought I needed to speed up, so cranked out a couple of fast kilometers. Then suddenly at about 18kms I went over the other side of the wave and felt terrible! But I pushed along all the same and just tried not to slow down. I passed Richard Palmer (who must have been taking it easy, he is so much faster than me) and tried to do the last couple of kms hard.

Peeked at my watch at 20km and realized that unless I ran a sub 3minute km I wouldn’t make it sub 80minutes. I was a bit perplexed as I must have done my maths wrong (confused about the turnaround), but thought I might as well smash out the last km as fast as I could anyway. Good call, because I ended up passing the other guy who’d been running with Richard, a couple of hundred metres before the bridge. Crossed the line in 80.42 and felt pretty good.

Then I thought I'd do a little cool down and try to get some extra kms in, so ran out another 4km and jogged back in with the tailenders for a 29km morning.

I was totally stoked with my time, but still on the drive home something in the back of my head was saying "Only 43 seconds off doing a sub 80minute run. What if I'd actually rested the day before, checked out the correct pacing for every kilometer and gone for it properly?" Ah well, it's good to have a goal for next time!


of 493 TOTAL finishers.

of 297 MALE finishers.

of 116 M30-39 finishers.

of 493 TOTAL finishers.

of 297 MALE finishers.

of 116 M30-39 finishers.