30 March 2009

Race Status

Currently I am about 50:50 of doing a July marathon. 50% chance of not running one because I like to see how my training evolves first before registering. There are 13 weeks left before the marathon and most likely I'll make decision with 6-8 weeks to go before D-day.

Out of 50% chance of running, the choice betwen Perth and Gold Coast is probably around 50%-50%. I just realized I have some frequent flyer mileage which will be expiring soon and it's good enough for return flights to either Brisbane or Perth.

This week marks my first running week as a father. Have yet to fully adapt to irregular sleeping patterns. I am presently running once every 2-3 days. Would love to run more but that's the compromise that I agreed with my wife. Baby is doing well and he is a handsome young fella.

Will stay in Melbourne until mid-April then heads back to Singapore. Wife and baby will remain in Melbourne for a couple more months, hence I have the time & flexibility to prepare for the marathon (11 weeks to train).

Buoyed by Melbourne weather, my long run paces are about 10secs faster than Singapore, although the pace for speed sessions remains the same (only did one so far). Got an okay from my wife to register for a 14k race (Run for the Kids), but unfortunately they closed the registration two days early since they hit the maximum crowd limit.

Wed, 18 Mar: 26k @ 4:45. Good run, but tired at the end, never ran this far in 4 months
19-24 Mar: 6 days off (baby + hospital stays)
Wed, 25 Mar: 21k @ 5:00. Felt sluggish due to lack of sleep and fitness loss (only 2 runs in last 2 weeks)
Fri, 27 Mar: 11k @ 4:35. Fartlek session, 4k @ 3:55, 3 x 230m very steep hill (walk down)
Mon, 30 Mar: 27k @ 4:50. Long run on Koonung Trail, Yarra Trail, & Capital City Trail to Yarra Bend Park and back.

25 March 2009

Sling Jr

Baby Sling was born on Friday, March 20 evening in Melbourne. Weight 3.2kg, length 47cm and healthy.

Labour was quick. Checked in at hospital lunch time and my wife delivered at around 6 pm. I cut the baby's cord.

Got discharged from the hospital yesterday and now back at home coping with parenthood.

Only ran two times in the last 13 days. Spent the rest accompaying my wife's last few days before delivery, 5 days stay in the hospital post-labour, and now taking care of the baby.

16 March 2009

In Melbourne

In Melbourne for the next 40 days on paternity leave...

I expect to run around 3 times a week as a way to manage family time. Wife is on her 37/38th week, so the baby could on his way out any day now.

I only plan to post my blog once every 3 runs, so this could be once every 7 to 10 days.

Tues, 11 Mar:
Felt a bit jaded from the recent bump in training load (from about 0km due to injury to 300k total in last 30 days). Did 3k warm up along Singapore River to the F1 track and did 4 x 1k (3:51, 3:51, 3:51, 3:41) with 2mins recovery jog. Didn't want to do more since the effort was harder than usual. Jogged slowly back home. Total 11.4k in 57mins.

Thurs, 13 Mar:
Cool and cloudy day for Singapore standard and this helped me to do my longest run since late November. After 3k slow warm up, did 2 x 8k between 4:35-4:40 pace, then 5k cool down. Happy with the effort although it was only done at around 3h:15m marathon pace. Anyway, it's a decent start in my goal to increase my long run pace to around 4:40-4:50 levels. All up, 24k in 115mins (av 4:48 pace). Flew to Melbourne on a red eye.

Mon, 16 Mar:
First run in Melbourne after 3 days off. Temp was 15c, 60% humidity, 30km/h gusty wind which made the apparent temperature around 13c. I expected a good quality run today and but it wasn't meant to be. All muscles were very stiff, perhaps it was the effect of cool weather or maybe from the three days break without running. Breathing wasn't that great either. Did 2k downhill warm up from in-laws house to Koonung trail and this made my quads a bit sore. Then ran 12k at MP (~4:25) but had to stop a few times to stretch the legs and rest, so it was more like a fartlek style run. Finished with a few strides. All up, 18.4k in 85mins (av 4:38) which excluded stoppages. Hopefully, the next run will be much be better.

Total 54k in 3 runs (4 off days in one week).

08 March 2009

Struggling with long run

An okay week, but I bombed again badly at the long run. Could only last 90mins before had to take walk breaks. Both my mental and physical endurance were just not there yet to do long runs.

This is my last full week in Singapore before heading to Melbourne next Thursday. I am really hoping the Melbourne weather will help me to start building up the long runs.

It's an exciting time for us with the baby. My wife is on here 36-37 weeks. The doc thinks there is a possibility that he might arrive early.

My current expectation is to run 3 times/week for those 5 weeks I am in Melbourne. Mileage wise, probably around 40-50k a week, which is lower to what I am currently doing right now. However, I''ll focus on 'bang-for-the-bucks' workouts such as long tempos and hard long runs. Personally, I'd like to get comfortable with running long runs at around 4:40-4:50 pace. My long run pace has stayed at 5:00-5:20 pace for the last 3 years due to a combination of no PBs (I don't earn anything that warrants a faster pace in training) and moving to hot & humid Singapore which slowed down the paces.

After 5 weeks of low quantity, high quantity training in Melbourne, there will be 11 weeks before either Perth or Gold Coast marathon. I hope that I could replicate the success of last year's Seoul Marathon preparation which was based on 8 weeks of training.

Mon (Easy Day):
60mins Easy (5:12)
No soreness from yesterday's race. Should have checked the watch battery and ran the race hard :)

Tue (Workout Day):
15mins wu, 8x400 (av 84), 4 x 200 (av 39), 15mins cd
Did the reps on bike path with splits: 83, 83, 86, 84, 85, 84, 84, 79 with 60-90 recovery in between. The first 4 was jog recovery but got stuffed afterwards and did standing rest. The splits for 200s were 39, 40, 40, 38.

Wed (Easy Day):
50mins Easy (5:16)

Thu (Easy Day):
45mins Easy/Moderate (4:56)
In Jakarta for work. Ran on hotel treadmill, started at 10km/h, increasing the pace by 0.1 km/h every minute.

Fri (Easy Day):
32mins Easy (5:12)
Also on treadmill. Flew back to Singapore late evening.

Sat (Workout Day):
40mins Fartlek (av 4:33) incl Mono Fartlek
Kept the float pace for the 90s and 60s segments at around MP (4:20s), however, they slowed to briks jog during the 30s and 15s segments. Covered around 5k so average pace was 4:00 min/km. Overall, it's a good & different workout, could feel the HR working hard during the 30/15s sections.

Sun (Easy Day):
90mins Easy (5:00)
Another failed attempt at the long run. Planned 2hrs but was walking after 90mins. Felt like sleeping in and only started running at 7.30 which was too late to my liking. The weather was terribly warm and humid by then. After the walk breaks, I decided there was no point in continuing further and cut my losses.

Total 73k for the week.

01 March 2009

Ran without a watch

Forgot to charge my Garmin 305, so I ran the Active Newton 10k race today without a watch.

Since I am 100% dependent (perhaps over-reliant) on my Garmin for pacing guidance in races & training, I was simply pace blind this morning. My aim was simply to run at a solid effort the whole way and not going to care about the timing. But gee, 'running by feel' in a race is really tough!

Finished in 40:30. Didn't struggle too much and I was never in the red zone. Probably could have been a bit faster if I had a watch and was able to time myself during the run. I am not sure about the actual distance, but talking to some of my friends who owned GPS or footpod, the distance ranged from 9.8-10.1k. Temperature was 26c with 95% humidity.

Overall, I am not disappointed with today's effort. Timing wise, it's a bit slow to my liking. But since it's still early in the season and the fact that I am still not 100% in tip-top shape (only six weeks of training since injury), I have no complaints.

Chatted with people from SGRunners forum, hence didn't bother to do cool down after the race. Anyway, my legs felt pretty good and didn't feel tight in the muscles at all. It was a very organized race and the course was probably 90% flat. Will try to come back to this race again next year, hopefully with a watch!

Mon (Recovery Day):
am: Yoga
pm: 30mins Easy on treadmill (5:28 pace)

Tuesday (Workout Day):
20mins wu, 3x1000m/2 mins jog (av 3:53 pace), 3x500m/500m jog (av 3:40 pace), 20mins cd
Ran on F1 track again. Splits for the 1000m were 3:53, 3:52, 3:52 and for the 500m were 1:49, 1:50, 1:49. Very humid morning at 25c, 97% humidity.

Wednesday (Recovery Day):
35mins Recovery (5:40 pace)
Felt unwell. Slight fever.

Thursday (Off):
Sick. I think the recent increase in training load finally caught up with me. Did 80k in last 7 days, including 3 speed workouts. Probably too soon for me.

Friday (Moderate Day):
50mins Fartlek (av 4:49 pace)
Decided to test the body and legs with a moderate intensitity workout. Did 20mins MP (4:21 pace), 4 x 15secs hill sprints, and 400m in 82 secs. Not feeling too great.

Saturday (Easy Day):
30mins Easy (5:23 pace)

Sunday (race):
am: 800m warm up (arrived a bit late), Active Newton 10k in 40:30, no cool down (chat with SGrunners)

pm: 35mins Recovery Run (5:45 pace)

Total 60k for the week

Monthly mileages:
Dec: 60k
Jan: 160k
Feb: 270k