27/11/2012 8km 47:41

Some speed work tonight. A 2km warmup, 5km of speed work (aiming at 5:00/km) and then a 1km cool down.

Managed to do okay the first two km’s, 4:58 and 4:53, but that was all she wrote. 6:25, 6:09, 5:24 for the last three. Realistically I probably should have aimed at 5:30 or even 5:20/km and I would have lasted the distance.

A case of worrying about my speed and trying to push myself to become faster. It’s a bit late in the game to do that now with the marathon less than a month away!


25/11/2012 12km 1:16:14 – Running With Nature

One of the best things about long distance running is just being out in nature and enjoying what the world has to offer us.

I got to run on my own this evening, and there was a light rain falling while an amazing electrical storm took place around me. It was probably 5-10km off, close enough to be exciting, yet safe. I modified my route to keep myself near the camp in case the weather really turned and just re-ran part of my route to get the km’s up.

I always enjoy running in the rain. It’s cooler and people look at you like you’re some kind of idiot being out there. And perhaps I am, but I’m a special kind of idiot :)


Heat And Long Distance Running

It’s approaching summer time up here in the Pilbara outback. The temperature has been 43-45c (109-113F) for the last few days.

Heat can seriously affect your performance. A good article here shows how running in 80F can decrease your marathon perfomance by as much as 30%. A 4:30:00 marathon time in 40F, is expected to take you 5:18:00 in 80F. Those are huge numbers!

RunThePlanet.com has a great article on the hazards of running in the heat. Heat Stress and/or Heat Stroke are quite possible outcomes if you haven’t acclimated (and it’s suggested that it takes you two weeks to acclimate to running in hotter temperatures).

The secrets to running in this kind of weather are:

  • Acclimation
  • Slow Down
  • Carry lots of water or sports drink. I tend to fill my 2 liter camel-back with electrolytes and even that is gone after 2 hours. Stash more fluids along your route if possible, or know where your possible water stops are.
  • Stop and rest if needed. Seriously, running in extreme heat can kill you if you aren’t prepared.

So while I ran a good half hour slower than I would have liked, I was still happy with my time, because this was hot even for me and I’ve worked in the Pilbara for six straight years now.

Oh, and another joy of running this time of year, I had to break out my fly net. The flies come out en masse this time of year (you really need to experience it to understand) and there is nothing worse than breathing in flies when you’re aiming for oxygen :)


13/11/2012 11km 1:16:58 – Some Days You Just Have To Laugh

It’s not like I haven’t done Yasso 800’s before, but in the past I’ve always run them at what my body felt like running them.

Today, I let technology take over.

My Garmin Forerunner 610 will let me enter pre-planned workouts, which sounded ideal for my interval training. But somewhere, as I was building up the workout plan, my brain zigged when it should have zagged and I decided I needed to be running a 4:10/km pace on each 800m interval, as opposed to running 800 meters in 4:10.

Not. A. Freaking. Chance. *lol* I should be running a 5:20/km pace.

After three intervals my body was stuffed.

I turned back early, made the most of what I could, and learned a very valuable lesson in logic and planning!

And what’s REALLY funny? This isn’t the first time I’ve done this :)

If I only had a brain,

Being Fit Is Only Half The Battle vs Reasonable Expectations

Thirty-two kilometers. Just about 20 miles. Three hours and thirty four minutes. A lot of running in anyone’s book.

But I can’t help but feel discouraged.

It’s still 10.2km short of my marathon distance, yet it took everything I had to finish this one. And I’m STILL hung up on needing to run this marathon in 4:15:00. But honestly, at this pace I won’t even make 4:30:00, probably closer to 4:45:00.

I know, I know. It’s my first marathon. I should be happy with just being able to do it! But whether I base my expectations of myself on my Yasso 800 times, or any one of the innumerable race calculators basing my marathon time on my 12km City to Surf or self-ran half marathon, everything says I should be able to make 4:15:00. If I didn’t have the drive I do to succeed at this, I couldn’t have gotten as far as I have, so it’s VERY important to me to be able to run it in that time. It’s what’s gotten me this far.

But I can’t see myself running another 10km in anything less than an hour twenty based on how I faded out on this 32km. So we’re looking at 5 hours.

So what’s holding me back? It could be any number of factors. I’m possibly OVER-training. My long slow runs are supposed to be just that, SLOW. Not run at my expected marathon pace. But I have a hard time accepting the fact that running slower is going to make me run faster. As it is, my times seem to be getting slower and slower anyway. If it IS over-training, hopefully my three week “taper” towards the end of my training (gradually running less and less to let the body rest and recover before the big one) will mean that my body DOES recover and runs stronger than it has been.

The other alternative is mental. When I started this training in July, I had just come back from a visit to my family and friends in the states. I felt on top of the world and ready to take on anything. So I did! That shift in mental attitude had me from not being able to run the Yandi hill to being able to run it twice in one run within a week of starting my training! The mind is just as important in marathon running as the legs are. And my mind is starting to give up, to say “You’re tired, just walk a bit”. And I don’t know what I need to do to get back that mental focus I started with.

It’s times like these where perhaps I would be better off being able to talk to other marathon runners, get some moral support, learn from their experience. Perhaps they’d be able to tell me what I’m going through is perfectly normal and that it will all fall together on the day. Up here on the mine site, they are all getting tired of hearing about my running so I keep it to myself now unless they ask, and they ask less and less.

All I know is, I should be proud of having just run the furthest I have ever run in my life, but instead it has me feeling down and glum.