Thursday, 14 April 2005

Back posting again after long radio silence


Hello again. It's been a while.

Since I last posted onto this blog lots has happened.

Well, my last title was “Jenolan Caves or bust” why did I do this? Why would I want create an expectation that I would go all out? My objective should have been to get to Jenolan Caves in good shape.

6 foot track race report 13/3/05 46km

Anyhow, I did get to Jenolan Caves, where the race finish is, in a time of 6hrs 10min about 50min slower than my last attempt in 2001. It was a hard day and I made a number of elementary mistakes in the process of competing. And had a small accident fall where I hurt my left knee. But the knee has recovered.

Mistakes? Well I went out too fast. Feeling good in the first 20km and used the “I can handle this pace” logic. Well of course I couldn't, I seem to forget that all the big hills were still to come. Another error was to fail to recognise that this event was not my target event. Rather a checkpoint milestone on the way through to a greater achievement. And mistake three was to keep going harder than I should have after realising that fatigue was setting in. As a result the last few km, which takes you down to Caves house, was completed at a slow walk. Dad was waiting in the caves house carpark and whisked me away. Those roast beef sandwiches were absolutely brilliant.

It's not all bad news. I finished. And I got the benefit of the training. I'll be able to look back and say.. On the 13th March 2005 I had a bugger of a race and I learnt that I'm not bullet proof and I've got this medal to remind me to pay more respect to rugged country in future. I guess that's why the road from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves is twice as far as the track.

After 6 foot

So following on from six-foot track I decided to stick with the training plan and that one disappointing result does not mean that the whole program gets cancelled. I had four weeks to prepare for the Canberra Marathon and Canberra 50km Ultramarathon. I kept to that plan and continued the moderate schedule, respecting that I needed a week to recover and continue to build after a few days off. My Sunday long runs were in the order of 15, 25, 21 km between the two races.

The week before Canberra I was lucky enough to watch the Frankston to Portsea Ultra. At the 45km mark my daughter, Mia, and I decided to hand out ice blocks to the competitors coming past with 10km to go. That was an experience I'll never forget. I was now on the other side observing the suffering that occurs when things don't go as planned. I learnt a lot of lessons on that day and I wasn't even competing.

Canberra Marathon and 50km Ultra 10/4/05

A much better experience..

With so much learning going on how could I stuff up this one. I probably did a few too many kilometres in the week before the race, with journal postings of 65km and only 2 days off before the run. But I managed to rest well and I felt optimistic about my prospects for Canberra.

The Canberra Marathon has two races. The standard 42km marathon and an Ultra marathon which is 8km longer to make up the total 50km race. I was entered into the 50km option. (For those who don't know, the definition of an Ultra marathon is any race which is longer than a marathon, 42.2km is a marathon and 42.3 is an ultra marathon).

I stayed at the Rydges Hotel, which is 300m from the starting line. Slept poorly. Woke every hour, clearly I was nervous. On the morning of the race I was sore and achy. Was I getting a cold or just being a hypochondriac?

The weather was forecast to get to 28 degrees, clearly not running weather.

The gun went off and the gun runners left as well, leaving us mere mortals to get on with it. I had programmed my watch to do a few things. 1) tell me when my heart rate is too high and give me kilometre splits.. Following is my report from the “cool running website”

“I had a good day. Wanted to hit 4hrs for the marathon and 5hrs for the 50km.
Somehow managed to keep my head in the first part of the marathon and kept it to a 1:56 first half marathon, it was quite discouraging to see most of the field pass by me but knew that it'd be a good thing to do given the conditions (heat etc...). In the second half I started to work a bit harder and my HR monitor kept bleeping telling me to slow down (I had it programmed to bleep at 165bpm). Hit the 35km mark and felt the quads were near to the end of their useful life. At this point I was somehow passing a few who had gone out too quickly. Eased off a bit in the last 2km of the marathon because I was buggered by this point. I started to get a headache, which may have been the beginnings of the heat effecting me, was feeling a bit light headed. Posted a second half split 0f 1:57 which totals 3:53 for the marathon which is terrific for me. Then came the hard part.. After going through the chute to finish the marathon the officials ushered me off the left and shoved me back onto the course for the remaining 7.8km. This was a demoralising experience to say the least.. I walked the 1st kilometre until the headache was gone and then started a slow jog which I maintained until the end finishing in about 4:45 for the 50.
After a shower at the Rydges, I managed to crash Jim Moody's marathon training group after party at an Irish pub in Kingston. Two pints of lager a burger and I was ready for a nap on QF back to Melbourne.”

So, in short, Canberra was a success. My split for the second half marathon was one minute slower than my first half, fantastic! Still not the elusive negative split (where the second half is faster). It was hot but I recognised to beginning of heat related pain and backed off. My total time was 15min faster than my plan.

Looking Forward.

I have now qualified to go to South Africa. My time in the marathon puts me into the D category. (A = the fastest, G = the slowest). My flights are booked, I'm getting around to accommodation and travel. I have received a tremendous amount of advice from past contestants.

In terms of training, An easy week this week. Then back onto the race preparation program..

o 24 April - Brisbane Marathon (objective 4hrs and a negative split)
o 8 May - Walhalla Ultra 55km (objective, enjoy myself and finish in good shape)

I need a 65km run in there somewhere so I plan to add 10km to the Walhalla race. Then it's a downhill run to Comrades on the 16th June….

I'll try to post more regularly. Cheers, Brendan


At 14 April 2005 at 7:45 am, Blogger Horrie said...

Nice to meet you at 6 Foot and Canberra Brendan. You are on track for a great run at Comrades. Hope it continues to go well for you.

At 16 April 2005 at 12:44 pm, Blogger plu said...

Good on you Brendan. Thanks for reporting back. I wondered whay happened to you after 6 foot.

Stay fit and injury free.



At 16 April 2005 at 3:06 pm, Blogger Eddie said...

That was a great read Brendan. Congratulations on qualifying for Comrades. You must be pretty excited about that. You certainly had a good run in Canberra. I will be marshalling for the Brisbane event so may catch you there.
Keep up the good work.

At 22 April 2005 at 10:52 am, Blogger Luckylegs said...

That's great news, Brendan! Qualifying for Comrades.....congratulations! All the very best for the rest of your training.

At 24 April 2005 at 9:42 pm, Blogger Luckylegs said...

Big congratulations on today's Brissie marathon, Brendan! With this marathon, Canberra 50km, 6ft Track, Walhalla Ultra 55km in May, you will absolutely shine at 'Comrades' in June! Go Brendan! Will be looking forward to reading in your blog about the training & races still to be done and then especially the BIG ONE in S.A. LL


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