Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to get a new PB without really trying

Well the answer to the blog title is I don't really know, but somehow I managed to do it! After managing 30:41 for 5km the other night, I figured I hadn't given that my all and still had a little left in the tank. I was curious to see what kind of fitness I had.

So this morning as I lined up for my 5km race, the hopeful goal was to see whether I could manage to get under 30 minutes. I had only done that once before, and only just - my time was 29:57.

I have a habit of sometimes going out too fast, so I tried to keep things steady for the first couple of kms. I didn't check my watch until halfway, and I was bang on target, 15:02. I knew I had to keep up the pace, and pick things up just marginally on the way home. Things stayed pretty steady, and I was at 17:58 for 3km, then I got to a point on the course where a bus transitway cross the route. The local SES man this intersection, and race rules are that if a bus is coming through and the SES tell you to stop, you have to stop. Unluckily, I had to stop. It wasn't for long though, maybe 10 seconds, but I didn't have much time up my sleeve at that stage! Truth be told, the very breif breather was welcome! Anyway, on I went again, knowing I had to make up a little time. I did that, and was again on target at 4kms, so then I figured with 2km to go, I would just give it everything to see what I could do and just hang on for dear life! I knew I had managed to pick up the pace a little and reel in someone I had been chasing for a km or so, but I was absolutely astonished to cross the line in 29:16 (by my watch)!!! I must have flown in that last km!

The funny thing is, I really haven't been running at all lately. I've done 2 runs this week, one a couple of weeks before that, and that's about it. I have done a long bike ride once every week (of between 35 and 60kms) which I think has improved my cardiovascular fitness and endurance, and I have lost about 5km over the last 3 months which I think has helped.

I've signed up for the full series of these races, one each month, so I'm curious to see if I can squeeze any more improvement out if I actually do some running training! Hopefully the new PB will help motivate me to keep running some more!

Friday, October 23, 2009

And again...

Well, I've started on another comeback attempt on running. I've run a couple of times now, but I hadn't blogged about it yet just in case it didn't stick. I've also been doing some long bike rides, as I'm doing the Sydney to the Gong bike ride in a week or so.

So far, I've only done about 5 to 6.5km runs, but I have been pleasantly surprised that I have been able to run at about the same times as previously when I was running consistently. I did an informal 5km run at race pace last Friday with a group of Coolrunners, and I managed 30 mins 41 secs. My best for 5km is 29 mins 54 secs so I was pretty pleased with myself!

This morning I had to go to a course for work so I was able to get up at my normal time and fit in a run before work... I felt great going off to work knowing it was done for the day! Problem is on any normal day I leave so early I would be running in the dark, and I'm not fussed about that in my area.

This Sunday I have an actual 5km race planned, and the forecast is for rain, so we'll see how hard core I will be with my running! (And what kind of time I can post!) I've also lined up a work friend to run with each Thursday afternoon so hopefully that will motivate me a little.

Anyway, stay tuned for future posts!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pushing me

Unbelievable - I have some runs to report. My uncle is still here on his visit, and we have been out a couple of times, both forcing each other to run out of guilt that we won't make the city to surf! Neither of us have particularly wanted to, and we know we should, and neither wants to let the other down... the strategy has worked well!

The other thing that has helped my running is that he is faster than me. His pace is only a small fraction slower than my race pace, so I have been trying hard to keep up with him. I think I have slowed him a tad, but it has kept me working hard. I have managed ok until today, when we did a two lap run and I flagged badly half way through the second lap.

This week I ran on my own on Wednesday evening, then again yesterday and again today. I'll have my uncle to run with next week two, and then he will be home for a week or two before another visit.

Now, if only my calves would stop hurting I could recover for me next run!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Newton's Law

Today's run: 6.4km in 43 mins 7 secs

I studied physics at high school. One of Newton's Laws said that an object at rest will remain at rest until acted on by a force. Well, as far as running goes, I had been well and truly at rest for the last month.

My excuses are as follows:

  • We had drenching rain every day for at least a week or so, followed by lots of just plain heavy rain after that
  • I had a cold
  • It was half-yearly-exam marking and report writing season at school, the busiest time
  • It's dark when I get home and there aren't too many safe places to run
And so I had remained at rest. The force that acted on my today was that my uncle was visiting, the same one I am doing the City to Surf with. He was in a similar boat - very little running over the last while.

So we gave each other a bit of HTFU and went out for a run today, which turned out to be one of the nicest days in the last month or two. Only a 6.4km run, but he runs a little faster than me so I worked quite hard to keep up the pace, which I suppose does me good.

Now to remain in motion!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

That's more like it

Today's run: 4.8km in 36 mins 15 secs

This morning I was a little sore after yesterday's longer-than-usual effort.

So I was very excited when I managed to get in a fairly good 5km. (Well, my loop is 4.8km but let's not split hairs). I felt so much more comfortable, with more energy and leg strength than yesterday. Now, of course I ran much further yesterday but even at the start of yesterday's run I never felt that good.

I just need to work out what pleases the Running God so I can have more nice comfy runs like that. I figure if I can keep churning out the kilometres like that fairly easily the speed and endurance will come.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Good for time, not for distance!

Today's run: 10.8km, 1hr 41 mins 58 secs

Today, I really wanted to push myself to increase the distance of my long run. My longest run to date has been the Mothers Day Classic a couple of weeks ago, which was 8km. I want to make sure that when it comes to City to Surf time, that I can go for that length of time!

So on the one hand I was pleased that I went quite a bit further than lately, however it was super slow. There were definately several walk breaks, including most of the last kilometre, and I was very pleased when I had wait for quite a while at several sets of traffic lights to cross the road.

But the good thing is that the length of my "run" today was about the same length of time that I will likely be out on the road for the City to Surf. I'm thinking next weekend I might do the same route, hopefully walking a little less, and then increase it a little further again in a few more weeks.

Anyway, we're on the way!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

At least now I can log a run

Today's run: 4.9km, 39 mins 58 secs

Well I'm back to ridiculously slow times again. But at least today I can say that I went for a run after a week of no runs at all. No runs and laziness.

And I am so amazed that I got out for todays run at all. When I run during the week, I often run over to my parents place and stay and have dinner, then one of them drops me home. Their place is 5km away (well, 4.9 to be exact). I had to stay back at work for a meeting this afternoon, so when that finished at 4:30, I gave them a ring to see if it would be ok if I came over for dinner today (I love my parents). So I left work at about 4:45 and instead of the usual 30 minutes to get home, it took about 50 minutes. There was an accident today too which meant that I took a different route home, one that in fact took me past my parents place. My hands wanted so badly to take the steering wheel and veer over to pull up outside their place. I could have just stayed there instead of going home, changing, and running over and it would have been so much easier! I mean, it's not like I am one of those people who desperately loves running and can't wait to get out there.

But I tried valiantly to remind myself about how much I would like it once I started, and about how good it would be once I had finished, and so I did in fact manage to drive past my parents without stopping. I call that an achievement.

The run wasn't wonderful, in fact it was a tad uncomfortable in some spots, and I didn't really have the energy or motivation to push it much today. But like I tried to convince myself, I was pleased once I had it done.

'Spose I just need to keep reminding myself of that!