Tuesday 5 May – Day 570 – Broken

To say that I have enjoyed the past few weeks would be a bit of an exaggeration. It seemed my body did not cope well with the battering of rain that Sydney has received lately. My health has basically sucked for the past fortnight.

This of course is not the best time of the year for this to occur. Especially considering I was sick about a month ago as well. I had some 25km and 30km runs booked in my training diary in preparation for the Gold Coast Marathon and I have missed them all. Running that race this year no longer seems realistic.

I also am meant to be doing the SMH Half Marathon in less than a fortnight I went for my first run in nearly two and a half weeks this morning to see how that was looking.

The answer is not well. I set out for 5km this morning just to turn the legs over and I struggled the whole way. I don’t think I am still fully over my sickness because my body was just screaming at me to stop the whole way.

I ended up finishing the distance in a slow, dreary time. I have already entered the Half Marathon but I don’t know if it is a good idea to do that or if I should just write this campaign off as a disaster and plan to do something else.

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Monday 20 April – Day 555 – SMC ‘State Record’

Headed out to Smithfield for the monthly SMC race over the weekend. I put myself down for the 10km and was a little concerned how I would go as my running has struggled to happen of late.

Since my last blog update a fortnight ago I have had just three runs. I ran on the Wednesday of last week which was an absolute struggle. I found out why soon after as by Wednesday afternoon I had come down with a very bad fever which left me wiped out for basically the next week.

The first time I felt good enough to get out of bed and go for a run was Saturday. I did a 5km session locally and hurt throughout but managed to keep the pace just under 6 minutes per kilometre.

This bring me to Sunday and the SMC 10km race. These are supposed to complement my long runs by giving me some nice speed sessions in between. However, considering I haven’t done  a long run in a week that isn’t really going to plan. I was interested to see how my body would handle the run. Sure I had been sick but on the other hand with no running surely I was fresh?

I went out trying to keep an easy pace and noticed that I was sitting around 5 min 30 pace which is a lot faster than I wanted. However, I felt good so I figured I would just go with it and focus on being comfortable. I held this pace with little trouble for the first 2km however then the hill in the middle of the track came. The hill is about 500 metres long and it is a legitimate hill, you certainly feel it. My pace slowed down over this hill and I did the third kilometre in about 6 min 13 pace. No matter, I thought, I will just keep working and the pace should drop down as the course flattens out. This seemed to more or less go to plan as kilometres four and five were done in about 5 min 58 pace and kilometre six was done in 5 min 54 pace.

I figured that now was the time to start getting a move on and putting a good time together however this stage of the race did not go to plan at all.

I started hurting all over and got a massive stitch down my right side. I honestly don’t remember the last time I got a stitch whilst running, It was horrible! I tried to keep my time going and run through it but it slowed me down. I did that kilometre in 6 min 05.

At this stage of the run my focus was no longer on getting a good time, it was on surviving. I got a reprieve when the hill that I had run up on the way out came back for the down hill leg. I didn’t get as much benefit out of it as I should have though and I ended up running kilometre eight in 5 min 55.

A strange thing happened when I got down the bottom of the hill. The stitch went away and I started to feel good. By this stage there was less than two kilometres to go so I focused on just holding my pace and seeing how long I could maintain my downhill speed for.

I was surprised with how well this went, not only did I hold my speed I actually started getting faster. I ran kilometre nine in 5 min 30 and kilometre ten in a super fast 5 min 15! I was amazed how fast I finished and I ended up finishing the run in 57 min 49!

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Me and Sarah after the race

This was definitely a SMC PB and in turn the fastest time I have run in a 10km race and the fastest time I have run in NSW. However, the first 10km split in the Melbourne Half Marathon was 57 min 29 so that is still my record. I am happy to call Sunday’s effort a state record!

Well done to my cousin Sarah who had a great run. She managed to finish in a time of 59 min 05 which is her first time breaking 60 minutes. A fantastic effort!

Hoping that the sickness and other excuses are now behind me and I can focus on putting a few good runs together.

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Monday 6 April – Day 541 – Good Friday Fast 10 and Easter Monday Half Marathon

All in all it has been a pretty good Easter. Good running along with good food and family. What more could you ask for. I had two runs this weekend. One on Good Friday and one today.

I went out for 10km on Friday, I headed out early as Good Friday is usually a busy day for me filled up with church and the Fish Markets. Monica and I pretend we are old fish hands from way back when we look at fish in the fish markets, lifting up gills, examing the colour of a crabs underbelly, all the classics come out. We then sample an array of the oceans finest afterwards as this photo suggests.

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Anyway, back to running. I was surprised at how fast I was travelling with each kilometre sitting comfortably under 6 minutes. I ended up doing about 58 minutes which is nearly a PB. I didn’t even feel like I was going that hard so happy days! The new shoes felt good too which was great.

This morning I headed out for a 20km run. It was my first long run in a while and was also to be my first go using a gel. I am planning on getting used to them in preparation for my Marathon so am aiming to take them on my longer runs. I went with a grape flavour today which was surprisingly good.

I felt quite flat for the run today. The whole thing felt sluggish. I ran into the city which usually means the start of the run is quite tough. The undulating hills along Victoria Rd until you get to the ANZAC Bridge generally means that you are quite exhausted very early on in the run. 

I took the gel after about 10km which was good as I was really beginning to struggle. The gel was surprisingly good and went down quite well. I had been nervous about trying one for a while but it was quite easy to have. I felt an almost instant sugar hit which made me feel like I had basically just consumed a whole bunch of sherbet really quickly. I am not sure if it actually helped a lot but it was good fun to try something and I am glad it wasn’t too painful. I felt good for the next 6-7 km and then I began to struggle again.

As I got closer to the 20km goal distance I decided I may as well keep going to get to the Half Marathon distance to at least get a run of that distance under my belt. The last couple of kilometres were a real struggle but I finally finished the 21.1km distance in a time of 2:14:53. Not a record breaking time by any means but a good training run and nice to have that distance ticked off in this campaign.

Running today has made my runs for the rest of the week a bit tricky. I think I will head out on Wednesday and Thursday and then get back to my normal 4 days. I have a 25km penciled in for next Sunday which will be my longest run ever. Hopefully all goes well.

Hope you all had a Happy Easter!

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Tuesday 31 March – Day 535 – New Shoes and PBs!

I haven’t updated this blog in over two weeks but believe it or not that doesn’t mean I haven’t been running. Sure, I haven’t been running as much but there has definitely been some undocumented running occurring!

There has actually been a fair bit going on these past two weeks, uni exams, uni assignments, elections, work, being married. The world has been a blur of late so running has just been snuck in where I can fit it.

Firstly I got a new 5km PB at Parramatta Parkrun with a time of 25 min 42. Pretty happy with that. It actually didn’t feel like I was going that well until the last kilometre so I was shocked when I saw the time. At first I thought my watch may have been playing up but the official time on the parkrun website confirmed it.

The second bit of interesting news is that I finally bought a pair of new shoes. Yes, I finally retired the shoes that have lasted me through the first 534 days of my running career. They have lasted me through two half marathon campaigns and were definitely well overdue for a change.

I picked myself up a very snazzy pair of Brooks ‘Glycerin 12’ shoes. According to the salesman that pedaled them to me they are great for my natural running style. I have only run in them the one time and will refrain from giving them a review for another week so that I can get a good sample size of runs in before I start passing judgment.

I had been really excited about posting a picture of my flash new running shoes when I spoke about them but I am sitting on the ferry on the way home from work writing this so do not have the shoes on me.

However, I appreciate how distressing it can be to somebody with a shoe fetish to hear about shoes without seeing a pair so for your viewing pleasure please find below a photo of my shoes on the ferry as I write this!

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Not a running shoe. But hey beggars can't be choosers!

Looking forward to getting some good runs in this week and over the Easter Long Weekend.

I am also looking forward to making much more regular contributions to this blog.

Have a great day, chat soon.

Joseph

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Wednesday 18 March – Day 522 – Beautiful Morning

I have been a little bit slack over the past couple of weeks with morning runs. I have had a lot happening at work and then stuff on after work most nights as well as an increase in uni work. Put simply, I’ve been exhausted.

Even so, I was adamant about getting out for a run today. I went out for 7km around the local area and as soon as I got out there I knew it was a good idea.

There really is nothing better than an early morning run. The air seems so fresh and the sky is an amazing orange colour. You almost seem to have the whole world to yourself. It really is one is one of the great times to be alive.

The run itself was good. I felt comfortable throughout which was nice. I am not sure why but halfway through the pace increased quite significantly. I didn’t mean to speed up and didn’t feel like I was working any harder. The clock just started reporting quicker times. No complaints from me!

Looking forward to getting out tomorrow morning as well to get the week back on track. Hopefully it is as beautiful as this morning was!

Have a great day!

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Sunday 15 March – Day 519 – 15km Sunday

Sunday was always going to be a big day this week. My niece and nephew were both celebrating their baptism into the Catholic faith and I was to be my niece’s Godfather so being late was not an option. On top of this the Rabbitohs were playing the old enemy in the afternoon and I was quite looking forward to attending.

With that in mind I headed out for my Sunday morning run quite early. I had my father joining me for the run so I had to keep in mind that his age and frailty may slow me down even further.

It ended up being quite a nice run. We did the 15.2km as two and a bit laps around the Bay Run. We averaged about 6 min 21 per kilometre which arguably could have been faster but we were able to hold a good steady conversation the whole way so we were both maintaining the pace quite well.

I opened up and picked up the tempo a bit over the last kilometre and ended up finishing at around 5 min 40 pace which I was very happy with at the back of a long run.

Last week was pretty dismal apart from that so I am looking forward to getting back on track this week.

So the run went well, the baptism went well and the Rabbitohs won. All in all a great day!

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Friday 6 March – Day 510 – Friday Long Run

I usually set out for my long run on a Sunday morning. However, I noticed that I had a late night planned for Saturday night so figured instead of leaving the run for Sunday and probably sleeping in and missing it that I would get up early this morning and get it out of the way today.

I was down for 14.2km today so I figured I would go for two and a bit laps of the Bay Run.

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Never a Bad Way To Start The Morning

I felt quite good for most of the first lap but then started to get a bit of an urgent nature call towards the end of the lap. I generally hate stopping for any reason in the middle of a long run but I figured that if I didn’t take a voluntary stop I would be forced to take an involuntary one soon after. I peeled off into the public bathroom at the end of the lap for a quick reprieve.

I then headed straight back out to continue the run. My legs felt quite funny when I started and it was difficult to get any consistency in my running style. This soon disappeared thought and I continued on my way. All in all I managed to keep the pace pretty consistent over the two laps.

I ended up doing 14.29km at 6 min 18 second pace. Not necessarily fast and probably not a fair reflection as I took a bathroom break in the middle but I was still happy with it over all.

The run itself didn’t feel too far today which is interesting. I think this is a combination of things. Firstly, I am running these longer distances more often now so that body is getting used to it and Secondly, I think that is one of the great things about running the Bay Run. You end up knowing the course so well that it never seems very far. Every bend is familiar and you are able to plan the whole run comfortably in your head.

Anyway that’s the long run for the week out of the way. My final run for the week is parkrun tomorrow. It will be interesting how I will go there coming off the back of two longish runs the two days prior.

I also just realised that by running 14.29km today I have run over a 1/3rd of the Marathon distance. Less than 28km to go!

Have a great day.

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Thursday 5 March – Day 509 – Local 9

I originally had put my run today down for an 8km effort but considering I ended finishing up my a little bit short on Monday’s run I decided to add an extra kilometre to get myself back on track for the week.

I had planned to go out for an easy run today and think that I did however I was surprised that the pace was quite quick.  I ended up averaging about 6 min 09 for the 9km run which is pretty good for an easy run. What was more interesting was that I didn’t feel like I was going all that hard. My heart rate remained between 150 – 170 bpm and I felt comfortable the whole way. This leads me to believe one of the following two things has occurred. Either I am starting to break over into a new level of fitness where I can run comfortably at faster paces or my watch is broken.

I hope it is the first one but I really don’t feel comfortable ruling the other one out yet. It seems pretty accurate when I do parkrun which is my only measured track at the moment so hopefully the measurements are correct and I am just getting better!

Speaking of parkrun, that is my next fun so I will chat to you then.

In other news far more exciting than running the rugby league starts again tonight. Go you Rabbitohs! It feels strange to be supporting the defending champions. I am used to the teams that I support losing all the time!

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