Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Despite my race plan crapping out spectacularly, I still enjoyed the day. There were something like 66 parkrunners on course; 6 people running the 50km, 10 in the marathon, 29 in the half marathon, 14 in the 10km, 6 in the 5km, with a fair swathe of other parkrunners and friends of parkrunners cheering. A lot of the competing parkrunners joined Sam Farman (one of the ultra marathoners) in supporting Team Mito and wearing green t shirts, raising awareness of mitochondrial disease. One of the best parts of the race was because it was mostly out and back stretches you would come across other parkrunners (some of whom I think I'd never met before!) in Team Mito shirts and high five them; which means you have to then high five the other non-parkrunners behind them. Afterwards some of the parkrunners complained of sore hands from the high fives they gave out. It was an amazingly friendly event. The number of 10km parkrun runners who are now contemplating half marathons is quite pleasing, to say the least. One of our team's marathon runners, Michael Ho actually won the race, with a brilliant PB time of 2h38m16s, and Pip Holmes came in as first female in the 50km race.
Just as my wheels were coming off, I was asked by a friendly supporter - I think it was Karen Hagen - "Is that a grin or a grimace?", I responded with "Always a grin!" I remember reading an article years ago about the cyclist Ivan Basso (before his drug scandal), who was called "The Smiling Assassin" because he would ride his bike and always smile, despite the difficult terrain. I remember thinking it was a good tactic of his, because his opponents never knew precisely how much he was suffering. I adopted that idea one day when I rode up a ridiculous hill and realised that it actually helped me mentally; I don't know the science but I believe there is some sort of positive brain chemical released because of that smile. The easiest description is "fake it till you make it". Smile, and someone will think you are enjoying yourself. Keep smiling long enough, and that someone will be you.
Friday, March 07, 2014
Target in Australia sell a small range of useful personal items; makeup sponges, cotton buds, packets of spectacle cleaning cloths. They have a nice simple design and in the case of their handbag sized packs of ten tissues, a cute name: A tissue for your sniffle issues.
These tissue packs they sell singly or in packs of 12. They are ridiculously cheap too; a pack of twelve costs a whole $2.
I buy the 12 pack and keep a pack in my handbag. Sometimes they come in handy as a napkin if I'm eating and not in a restaurant, or if I go to a public loo that is completely lacking in loo paper; that sort of thing.
(Quick sidebar note: a number of Asian countries do not have toilet paper in public loos so these handbag packs are perfect for that. Don't buy the Target ones; just buy some random brand when you get there. A chemist, roadside stall or 7/11 will sell them.)
The best time to have them however, is on public transport. I am a huge advocate for public transport. The amount of cars it takes off the road is massive and the cost to passengers is relatively low, particularly in relation to the cost of city parking and general wear and tear on your vehicle. The convenience of being able to read on my commute to work is so very welcome.
There is a social compact on public transport. You can sit there and read and pretend you are in your own personal bubble. You can listen to music and ignore everyone else in the bus or carriage without appearing rude. For introverts like me this is glorious.
What I've never been able to do is ignore the sniffers. The people who conciously or unconsciously gently sniff their nose instead of giving it one good solid blow. Most of the time it's because they don't have a tissue, but sometimes they don't even realise that they are doing it. You sit there, on tenterhooks, waiting for the next bloody sniff. And it happens all year round, not just in winter.
But if you've got these incredibly cheap 10 pack of tissues in your handbag you can offer the sniffer a tissue (or the whole packet!) which fixes their problem and yours. Give it to them with a smile and you look like a pleasant friendly public transport neighbour all the while thinking "If you don't bloody stop sniffing I've going to stab you in the face."
Thursday, March 06, 2014
When I started out I was stuck in a mass of people and despite my best efforts to slow down I kept finding myself running at 4m50s pace. I'd look down at my watch, try and slow down, get back to about 6m00s pace, then look down again sometime up the road and I was bang on 4m50s again. I hit the turnaround point (at the time I thought it was a bit further than last year, but I assumed that the finish line was in a slightly different spot, hence the change. Wrong!) and came across Jenny Lake a bit down the road.
Jenny was having a less than successful weekend; she'd forgotten her Garmin watch as well as her socks for race day and was in a pair of borrowed ones. Worse though, when I asked her how it was going in the socks, she said "Fine, but I left my Ventolin at the accommodation." I could hear her rasping as she ran and she explained that she'd never had an asthma attack when she was running, but not having the Ventolin on her person was freaking her out a bit and was causing her breathing problems.
I ran with her back down to the start line and she decided to do the second loop. We walked the aid stations as we came across them and it seemed to help her breathing, and when running together we kept around 6m00s pace. Every so often I'd randomly ask other runners if they had any Ventolin, but to no avail. We ran back towards the turn around point and I passed a man in the dunes with a crowd of people around him. I didn't know it at the time, but Jeremy had been running towards the turnaround when a 10K runner (the man in the dunes) had been running towards the finish line and had seemingly lost conciousness while running. Jeremy and another runner crash tackled the man into the dunes as he nearly ran off the edge of the sand dune and down a 5 foot drop.
Jenny was running fine when we hit about 5km to go so I picked up speed to see if I could make up a bit of time. As it was I think I made up about 30 seconds. Jeremy was running back towards the turnaround point on a cool down lap with Cathy and Greg on bikes escorting him. He ran with me and I explained Jenny's breathing issues so he headed back towards Jenny with Cathy and Greg chasing, as Cathy was carrying Ventolin.
I hit the finish line and I don't recall if I had the legs for a quick sprint finish - I know that when Jeremy ran beside me for those few metres I'd managed to pick the speed up but I couldn't tell whether I'd managed to sustain it any. I do remember that the free watermelon at the finish area tasted as wonderful as last year, and I had a sudden desperate need for carbohydrates and devoured a muffin that I bought from the watermelon stall guys.
Sitting at the finish line I confirmed my lack of desire to do the Bunbury Marathon, but decided that I'd run the half marathon at Bunbury partly on feel - if I found myself running at 4m50s at the start, then I'd run 4m50s at the start. It might go horribly wrong at the 15km mark, but I've run the distance before, and if required I know I can walk the distance. The marathon course is two laps of the half marathon course, so next year if I decide I want to do a marathon I will have one option where I have already run the course. Jeremy is running the marathon which starts at 7am, so if it does go horribly wrong for me at the 15km mark, because I've started at 8am it might just mean that I get to run to the finish with Jeremy.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Saturday, December 07, 2013
The problem with deciding to run to the train station so that you can do your long slow run around East Perth ahead of Claisebrook Cove parkrun is that when you leave the house with not quite enough time to get to the train station in your long slow run speed suddenly you have a quick tempo workout. Five minute kilometres. I don't do five minute kilometres for my normal tempo run!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
I've signed up to 12WBT again for the November-February round, because they have an advanced half marathon program and I have a new running goal - Wilson Kipsang's world record marathon time. Just for a half marathon instead. If I put in some serious training and not just run 12-20km on a Sunday as my sole run, restructure my nutrition strategy and lose the last of my bellyfat, given good conditions on the day in Busselton I think that goal is completely do-able.