Mohican Trail Marathon Pre-Game Show

Well, after a dismal February with only two 10km runs, six 8km runs and twenty very short runs (what can I say, I was TIRED towards the end of my 100 day run streak :) ), and March not looking much better with only 3 runs to date since my streak ended on the 5th, it was time to find some motivation.

Mohican RiverI was pointed towards the Mohican Trail Marathon which will be held on June 21st in Loudenville, Ohio, and it seemed a good idea. Far enough away to train for, and a reason to train. Now training isn’t going to be easy! I’ll be moving countries, bumming around for a couple weeks on holiday, it will be easy to find excuses not to run, so I’ll have to keep my big boy pants on and focus on the race ahead.

Mohican Trail 1Some interesting facts about the race, they have a 100 mile, 50 mile, and for wimps like me a mere marathon distance race, all run on the same day. The 100 mile race (MO100) has been around 25 years now and is apparently the fifth oldest running ultra in the US. And all of this organised by, get this, the Ohio Mountain Bike Championship!

So I need a training plan. My first marathon distance was run on a Runners World plan, because hey, it said I would be ready in 12 weeks for a marathon, forget the fact I’d never run further than 12km in my life.

My next two were with the assistance of a “personal trainer” who wrote me up a nice training schedule for last year, but I didn’t find him particularly helpful for answering questions or giving advice.

So this time, I took out my recently purchased (and autographed) copy of Greg McMillan’s “You, only faster“. This is an excellent primer for learning how to design and modify your own training plan. Lots of great advice, maybe too much to take in the first time, but I can only improve, hey?you only faster

I chose a 5-6 day per week plan. My logic was that I don’t feel I’ve lived up to my marathon potential in my previous races on a 3-4 day per week schedule. My 5k, 10k and half marathon times all fit into the race predictor calculators, but my marathon times are about a half hour slower than they should be based on other races. So I wanted time on feet.

And time on feet I got. My Runners World training plan was obviously tailored for beginners (which I probably didn’t qualify for that high a level of!) with the long runs increasing every week. In the McMillan plan, I start at a 16 mile long run my first week, up to 20 miles long run by week 5 and a massive 24 miles in week 10. Overall weekly mileage doesn’t change all that much in this plan, which is fine as I feel I have a halfway decent base built already, especially after my run streak. The schedule will probably  net me about 60km per week (which also happens to be what I need to do from here on out to hit 3,000km for 2014).

So here is my initial training plan:

Date Workout Amount
30-Mar Rest or Cross Train  
31-Mar Progression Run 1:20:00
1-Apr Easy Run 1:00:00
2-Apr Fartlek 10-12×1 min w/ 1 min jog 0:24:00
3-Apr Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
4-Apr Easy Run 1:15:00
5-Apr Long Run 16 miles
6-Apr Rest or Cross Train  
7-Apr Leg Speed 8-10×25 sec w/ 1 min jog 0:15:00
8-Apr Easy Run 1:00:00
9-Apr Fartlek 5×2 min on, 1 min off 0:15:00
10-Apr Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
11-Apr Easy Run 1:15:00
12-Apr Long Run 18 miles
13-Apr Rest or Cross Train  
14-Apr Easy Run 1:30:00
15-Apr Easy Run 1:00:00
16-Apr Cruise Intervals 6-8x 1km w/ 200m jog 9.6km
17-Apr Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
18-Apr Easy Run 1:15:00
19-Apr 3rds Progression Run 1:30:00
20-Apr Rest or Cross Train  
21-Apr Fartlek 12-15×1 min w/ 1 min jog 0:30:00
22-Apr Easy Run 1:00:00
23-Apr Tempo Intervals 4-5x 2km w/ 400m jog 12km
24-Apr Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
25-Apr Easy Run 1:15:00
26-Apr Long Run 20 miles
27-Apr Rest or Cross Train  
28-Apr Easy Run 1:45:00
29-Apr Easy Run 1:00:00
30-Apr Yasso 800’s 6-8x800m w/400m jog 7.6km
1-May Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
2-May Easy Run 1:15:00
3-May Long Run 20 miles
4-May Rest or Cross Train  
5-May Fartlek 12-15×1 min w/ 1 min jog 0:30:00
6-May Easy Run 1:00:00
7-May Tempo Run 5 miles
8-May Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
9-May Easy Run 1:15:00
10-May Long Run 18 miles
11-May Rest or Cross Train  
12-May Easy Run 1:45:00
13-May Easy Run 1:00:00
14-May Tempo Intervals 3×2 miles w/4 min jog 7 miles
15-May Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
16-May Easy Run 1:15:00
17-May Long Run 20 miles
18-May Rest or Cross Train  
19-May Fartlek 12-15×1 min w/ 1 min jog 0:30:00
20-May Easy Run 1:00:00
21-May Yasso 800’s 10x800m w/400m jog 12km
22-May Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
23-May Easy Run 1:15:00
24-May Long Run 16 miles
25-May Rest or Cross Train  
26-May Easy Run 1:45:00
27-May Easy Run 1:00:00
28-May Tempo Run 5-7 miles 7 miles
29-May Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
30-May Easy Run 1:15:00
31-May Long Run 24 miles
1-Jun Rest or Cross Train  
2-Jun Fartlek 12-15×1 min w/ 1 min jog 0:30:00
3-Jun Easy Run 1:00:00
4-Jun Fartlek 6-8×2 min w/1 min jog 0:24:00
5-Jun Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
6-Jun Easy Run 1:15:00
7-Jun Long Run 18 miles
8-Jun Rest or Cross Train  
9-Jun Fartlek 8-10×1 min w/1 min jog 0:20:00
10-Jun Easy Run 0:40:00
11-Jun Tempo Intervals 3×2 miles w/4 min jog 7.2km
12-Jun Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
13-Jun Easy Run 0:50:00
14-Jun Long Run 12 miles
15-Jun Rest or Cross Train  
16-Jun Leg Speed 10×25 sec w/ 1 min jog 0:15:00
17-Jun Cruise Intervals 5x1km w/200m jog 6km
18-Jun Easy Run 0:45:00
19-Jun Rest, Cross Train or Short Run 0:45:00
20-Jun Easy Run 0:30:00
21-Jun RACE: Mohican Marathon (Trail)  

I’m thinking that will keep me out of mischief for a while.

I’ll probably still make changes to it, throw in some hill intervals etc, and I need to make sure a number of my long runs are on trails, as I haven’t done any trail running yet really. This part should be interesting, as I’m not always the most coordinated individual on the planet, but what doesn’t kill me should make me better balanced.mo2

My plan is also to do weekly training updates here in blogville. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but I’ll try my best and I’m sure I’ll have mishaps and funny stories to share (although it might be tough to beat my friend Mark Stone’s recent story of a very funny trail run he shared on Google+).

See you on the trails!


More of Myles Mooooving Adventures

After Sunday’s bipolar race (happy I PR’d, sad I ran faster than I wanted), my training this week was geared towards practicing my marathon 6:00/km pace so I could have a non-bonking event.

Thursday evening finds me running on my own along the roads of my Yandicoogina mine site. The weather is cool, the wind is still, and I have a beautiful sunset to watch as the light filters through the red outback dust.

The mine site is actually located on a cattle station. a BIG cattle station. So we often get cattle around the mine since there is lots of water and green vegetation (comparatively speaking).

So as I jog along at an even 6:00/km, I notice there are quite a few cattle out around the road this evening. This fluorescent green creature coming towards them seems very out of the ordinary and therefore something not to be trusted. I chuckle to myself as they move in tiny counter-clockwise steps like a watch with the battery reversed, so that they are always facing me.

I turn around at 5km and start to head back to the village. As I near the village, there is a group of four cows and a bull on the side of the road. On MY side of the road!

I continue running towards them and one of the cows gets spooked and starts to run away, which sets the others off as well, and we run along with me looking like some kind of hi-vis cattle dog mustering the livestock.

The thought crosses my mind that this can’t end well.

Suddenly a thought (most likely a rare one) crosses the bull’s mind, and I can see it happen. “Hey! I’m bigger than this brightly coloured weird thing chasing us. I should stand my ground!”

So he does.

And the four cows gather behind him to provide solidarity.

Not looking good.

At about 20 feet from the bovine bullies (hehe – “bull-ies”) I stop, because they aren’t moving at all. We stare at each other, the horned bull and his four cows against me. I hear spaghetti-western music a-la “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” in my head, and trying to decide which of the three I am.

The town goes quiet as we try to outstare each other.

They don’t move.

So I try to settle this diplomatically. I explained to the animals in a calm, confident voice, that all they need to do is head off the road into the bushes, I can run past, and nobody get’s hurt. Especially me.

Still they stare at me. I wait to be “bull-dozed”.

Eventually, my words sank through their thick muddled skulls and they turned as one and walk into the bush. I ran past and to the village.




A new weekly distance record

Well, due to my guilt about my lack of motivation last month, August has started out with a bang. I’ve started supplementing my evening road runs with morning 5km treadmill pyramid runs (9, 10.5, 12, 10.5, 9km/h for each km). Add to that two back-to-back 18km runs on the weekend and I logged 66.1km, and that was with missing TWO evening runs due to work commitments.

If all goes to plan this week I’ll run 69km, the following week 80, and the week after that 76.

trail running

Not bad for a wimpy kid :)


A Day of Milestones

Today has been a day of milestones. Last nights second 18km run of my weekend back-to-backs took my weekly total to 64.5 km (40.07 miles), a new weekly distance record for me. Yes, I should have been recovering from last weekend’s half marathon race, but the idea of being able to do a sub-4 hour marathon has me pushing myself, probably to the point of  negatively affecting my marathon :)

And this morning when I weighed myself, my trend line on my weight graph went below my target weight to 74.4 kg (164 lbs). So now the challenge is to change my eating habits to maintain at this weight and not lose any more!

Libra_2013-05-27 lbs Libra_2013-05-27 kg

At the very least, I’m having fun playing with my body, molding it with diet and running. The site gym should open in a couple of weeks, so then I can start doing some gym work as well as my running, trying to maintain this weight while still lowering body fat and putting on just a bit of upper body muscle. It’s like a big experimental game with me. But one that will hopefully affect positively on my life span :)


19/05/2013 21.1 km 1:52:18 – WAMC Joondalup Half Marathon

I must admit, I hadn’t put a lot of effort into the lead up to this race. I missed a couple training sessions in the last two weeks, and mentally I didn’t feel as if I’d prepared at all.

The night before the race, I attended my daughter-in-law’s 35th birthday party. So my pre-race dinner consisted of sausage rolls, mini quiches, buffalo wings, and dim sim. Not exactly what the books suggest :) I did keep my alcohol intake to only one drink.

I managed to get to bed at a decent hour and breakfast at 5:30 the morning consisted of a banana, mango and berry smoothy with chia seed. I still managed to forget both my water bottle and energy gells but otherwise got to the race area on time, grabbing some jelly beans on the way. This went against the cardinal rule of race day, “Never Do Anything New”, as I’d never tried jelly beans before on a run.

It was a beautiful morning, about 16C, the sun coming up over the hills across Lake Joondalup. I did some warm-ups, put a quarter of a bag of jelly beans in each pocket and chucked the rest out.

Lake Joondalup Half Marathon 2013


The race started out over a fairly rough track in a 3.8km loop back to the starting point to make up our 21.1km. My jelly beans made a rather pleasant jangling sound as I ran. One guy ran past me and started laughing and said “You’ve got a lot of jelly beans!”, obviously a seasoned partaker of jelly beans himself. By about the 5-6km mark though, the jangling stopped as my sweat and the morning humidity turned my glucose bullets into a rather large sticky mass in each pocket.

My goal for the race was 1:55:00 and an average pace of 5:26/km. I really struggled in the beginning trying to keep my pace down. In fact, I failed miserably to keep my pace down for the first 6km! 1) 5:28 (initial bunching on a narrow path), 2) 5:12, 3) 5:03, 4) 5:00, 5) 5:15, 6) 5:20. This was an average pace of 5:13/km which was faster than my first 5km on last month’s 10km race. Yet I wasn’t worried, because everything felt really good. My form felt good, I was running fairly steadily, running my race. I popped a jelly bean pretty much every kilometer.

Kilometers 7-17 went by in a range of 5:21-5:33/km. And went by they did! It seemed at times my Garmin’s kilometer vibrations were coming at really quick intervals. I thanked all the traffic control and water station volunteers I came across, because without them we wouldn’t have a race. I did request the traffic controllers get signs that said “FAST” rather than “SLOW” as I took that rather personally :)

Still feeling good at 18km, and remembering when that was the furthest I could run without a walk break, I decided it was time to pick up the pace and go for the negative splits. 18) 5:12, 19) 5:30 (due to one water station and a long uphill), 20) 5:13, 21) 5:18 and the final 300 meters of the course in a 4:33/km pace. Garmin time for the 21.3km was 1:53:33 but trimmed it down to a flat 21.1 @ 1:52:18, an amazing time for me, my previous PB was 2:02:19, so a full ten minutes off!! I don’t have the official gun time as of this writing but I hit the starting line 29 seconds in I think, so that should be about 1:54:02

As I walked off the race, drinking down my litre of chocolate milk for recovery, I ran across a co-worker who had just finished the half marathon as well except that he’d signed up for, and expected, the 10km race. He lined up for the wrong race LOL. Still, he finished only about 30 seconds behind me and had never run 21.1 before in his life, so well done to Wayne.

It was a great race. Unlike my 10km last month, at no time did I feel not in control or have doubts about my ability to finish strong.

But do you want to know the really scary part? Next month is the Perth Marathon where I’ll run my first ‘official’ marathon distance. Back in December, when I ran my own private marathon, I shuffled across the finish line in 4:53:29. According to my race equivalency calculator, which was pretty accurate basing my half marathon time on last months 10km race time, I should be able to run next month’s full marathon in three hours and fifty five FREAKING minutes! I get scary goosebumps just thinking about that! Almost a full hour off my marathon from 6 months previous. Admittedly, I had only trained from a sedentary desk jockey capable of 12km in 1:10:13 to my first marathon distance in only 4 months. That’s just not enough time to build a marathons worth of stamina for anything better than just completing it. So, a voice in my head says maybe I really can pull off a sub 4 hour marathon. Fingers crossed I keep healthy and injury free for the next four weeks.

Race stats from the day can be found here.


29/04/2013 23.15km 2:48:55 – The Price of Pride!

Distance: 23.15km
Time: 2:48:55

Shoes: Saucony Mirage 2 (white) –  657km
Temp: coolish

Runners are competitive.

That’s kind of like saying “Fire is hot”. It comes as a surprise to only a sheltered few.

I belong to many exercise oriented sites, but one of my first was They’ve since branched out from their calorie and exercise tracking site to having streaming workout videos (for a price) but I eventually grew disappointed with the site due to a perceived lack of concern for their customers. Plus I caught them seeding the forums with questions from their own employees to promote aspects of the site, and answered by other employees. When I called them on it, my post disappeared :)

Anyway, I still use the tracking half, mostly out of habit but also because there are some fun challenges. I’m currently signed up for a few of them like “Run Across America” where you need to log up 4,000 some odd km’s. “Most Kilometers for 2013”, and monthly “Most Kilometer” challenges. The whole thing is an honor system, although I do post Garmin links to my runs. I’ve been leading the “Most Kilometers for April 2013” competition, but a guy in Texas decided he was going to give me a run for my money (pardon the expression). And he passed me!

This, obviously, can not happen. *lol*

So I did my planned 15km on Saturday, and 15.5km on Sunday for my back-to-backs.

He was still ahead by about 8km.

Monday was my rest day, generally much needed after my back-to-backs, but obviously I couldn’t rest on my laurels when my good name is at stake. So last night I kitted myself up for a 23km run out to the creek and back. Camelbak, gels, Zombies, Run! app, Garmin watch and all it’s satellite paraphernalia, head lamp, reflective vest, bright fluoro hat and shirt, and reflective ankle straps.

It was actually a great night for a run, weather was cooler, unfortunately what should have been a just past full  moon was below the horizon, but plenty of light from the gazillions of stars you can see out here.

A bit of traffic out on the dirt road and as always I wish people would realise it’s just as important to drop your high beams for pedestrians as it is for oncoming vehicles!!

Walked the last kilometer and a half or so. Was most certainly tired after three nights of long runs. By the time I got back to site the kitchen was closed so it was a cup-o-noodles dinner and a protein drink. Woke in the night with some nasty foot cramps, and pain in my left shin, but all was well by morning. I only got about 5:45 sleep by the time I calmed down enough to go to bed and still start work at 6am.

So today my legs most certainly feel it. The price of pride. And I still have one more night so it will be interesting to see what he comes up with on his last night as well!


(EDITORS NOTE: I won the competition by a mere 3km! Well done to MJ Mazanec for pushing me so hard. For my efforts and the tiredness I felt for a week afterwards, I got another pretty little ribbon next to my name on the site *lol*)

2013 ASICS Bridges Fun Run 10km

Well, here it is. My first ever official 10km run.

As mentioned previously, I was a bit nervous coming into this race. Mostly because for the first time I would be RACING, not just accomplishing a distance.

I woke early, ate my traditional pre-race peanut butter and banana sandwich, drank a couple glasses of water, grabbed a spare banana, and headed off to the train station.

My plan was to catch the 6:30am train into town rather than fight traffic, but I must have just missed it because no train was to be seen. I went back out to my car to listen to the radio for a half hour while I waited for the next train. The 7:00 train would get me into town at 7:30, still enough time to walk across town and get to the start of the 8:00 race.

About five to seven, I saw a couple other runners head towards the platform, so I joined them. I hadn’t been sitting long when I noticed the sign that said “Next Perth train, 64 minutes”


We verified with a security guard that yes, the next train was over an hour away.


I dashed to my car and drove like a mad man (edited note: I’ve since received a $75 speeding ticket!) into Perth. Amazingly, I found parking almost straight away, very close to the event. I parked and dashed towards the starting line area, where I met up with my  son Russell and his girlfriend Cindy. A quick trip to the loo and Russell and I were ready to join the throngs of people awaiting start time.

20130407 ASICS Bridges Fun Run 10km

It was a very crowded start, took a while to get free. Russell fell in behind me and we zig-zagged our way through the crowds trying to find space to run. This was Russell’s first ever race, but he wasn’t in it for his benefit, he just wanted to support his old man. He’s a good kid and I think I’ll keep him.

Despite the crowds, the first km was a 5:11. I was aiming for 5:15 but close enough. That was followed by 5:17, 5:15, and 5:07 (got a tad carried away there). Russell found water stops interesting, dodging people and trying to drink out of a cup without pouring it all up your nose as you ran. Kilometer 5 was at 5:13. I started to tire about halfway through kilometer 6 and those nasty voices in my head  started piping up. “You’ve gone out too hard and fast”. “You’ll never be able to keep this pace”, “You need to slow it down and rest a bit”. Nasty, nasty voices.

I did slow down a tad to rest a bit and kilometer 6 took 5:18. I kept the slower pace (about a 5:22) halfway through kilometer 6 and halfway through kilometer 7 as well until my people watching noticed a vision ahead of me, a cute young thing doing a fairly good pace. I slipped in behind as she wove through the crowds and when I looked at my watch my current pace was about 5:07 again! Invigorated, I left my muse behind at a water station and picked up the pace with only a couple km’s to go. Average time for kilometer 7 was another 5:18.

I was back to my pre-doubting pace running kilometer 8 at 5:12. Putting in everything I had left, kilometer 9 sped past at 4:53 and kilometer 10 at 4:48. The course ran a bit long and the last 110 meters were run at a 4:36 pace across the finish line. Russell raced off ahead of me in the last kilometer or so and ran in about 40 seconds before me.

Gun time was 53:15 due to so many people having to cross the start line ahead of us. My Garmin showed 52:03 for the 10.11km and picked out my 10.0km time as 51:27, almost three full minutes faster than my previous best of 54:14! WooHoo!

Race results: 53:15 Overall 592/1,895, Male 444/833, Age Group 36/73
Winning Times: Overall/Male 31:29, Age Group 39:14

Russell and I caught our breath for about 20-30 minutes and it was time for him to head off and do his thing, but it was so great that he took the time to run with me.

So what did I do after Russell left? I dropped my bib in my car, then went and ran the 10km again in an easier 1:04:13 because… because…. well… because I can!

I do love running.

Running and Jet Lag

As I get older, I find more and more that I’m affected by jet lag when I travel between Australia and the USA. It often takes me 3-4 days to get my energy back after arriving in California.

I arrived in Hawaii yesterday morning about 8am. I got through customs and immigration, and made it to my hotel. My room wasn’t ready yet, so they suggested I walk around for an hour or two. On my return, my room was ready, so I went upstairs, changed into my running gear (I’d packed my Vibrams, the world’s best travelling shoe!) and headed off on a run in a random direction, no plan, just going wherever felt right. I ran 5.5km in 34:50, not blindingly fast, but not my LSD pace either. And after a month of MAF training it felt good to just run.

And guess what? Zero jet lag. I stayed awake until a reasonable hour that evening, no loss of energy, and was fine from there on out! I’m thinking the run taught my body it was time to be awake, got the blood flowing, and basically banished the jet lag!

So I’ll be doing this every time from here on out.


07/1/2013 5.52 1:04:18 – My First MAF Run

Okay, this is a practical joke, right?

Did  my first MAF training today. For those who aren’t familiar with MAF training, it’s low heart rate (aerobic) training where you subtract your age from 180, and that is the peak heart rate for you to train at. The target window is this heart rate and 80% of this heart rate Since I’m 50, I need to train between 105-130bpm in MAF.

Do you have any idea how SLOW you have to go to keep your heart rate down there? It’s REALLY hard on the ego! I’m going to lose my reputation as the mine site running guru if too many people see me running that slow!! I had WALKERS passing me as I went up a hill (I will avoid hills during MAF from here on out).

My average pace for my “run” was 11:39/km. That is mind bogglingly slow.

This is going to be VERY hard. And VERY boring.