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Monday, March 31, 2014

Now Show Me

31 Mar - 22K in 1:38:50 Avg pace 4:29 Avg speed 13.4Km/hr
1 Apr - Egerton Uni. Its cold as ef. I cant move. I abandon workout after a 7k in 33mins.
4 Apr - Egerton Uni. 22K in 1:39:50 4:32 avg. Pretty evenly paced run but there is a problem. I don't know what it is. Yesterday I took water for dinner, I didn't feel weak during the workout. I wore socks for gloves so I was warm. I can see that its 2250 feet here while Nairobi its 1720 feet but that looks negligible. I don't feel fluid. I don't know whether I OTd or whether its just a slow recovery process from the huge mileage...Or maybe I am just impatient. I am puzzled. I think I dug myself into a hole. How long before I get out?
6 Apr - 30K in 2:22 avg speed 4:44min/Km  12.7Km/hr. Moderate speed. Strong. Controlled.
8 Apr - 22k in 1:37:05 avg 4:25 min/Km 13.6 Km/hr  
10 Apr - 22K in 1:36:34 avg 4:23 min/Km 13.7Km/hr. 
13 Apr - go for 32K with Mark and die after 16K. I stop the clock at 29K at 2:18
15 Apr 21k. Time taken: 1:29:57 (PR) Avg pace 4:17 min/km Avg speed 14 km/hr
1__4:13.5
2__4:11.3
3__4:08.2
4__4:11.6
5__4:14.2___20:58
6__4:22.1
7__4:21.0___29:41
8__4:11.9
9__4:11.8
10__4:16.8___42:22
11__4:16.6
12__4:22.8
13__4:17.8
14__4:12.3___59:31
15__4:19.4___1:03:51
16__4:16.2
17__4:23.5___1:12:30
18__4:23.1___1:16:53
19__4:20.9
20__4:25.1__1:25:40
21__4:12.9__1:29:52
22__:04.3 

Very pleased with the PR. Several things happened. I posted in letsrun.com seeking advice on how to go sub 1:30 and I shared my recent times. Someone suggested that based on my times, maybe I just need to race harder. So I went and raced hard. Borura helped to push me to 14K. The sun also wasn't that hot yesterday. I decided to go hard and try and maintain the pace. I really pushed in the last 400m. Wa!  Now I seek a repeat and particularly a repeat on the roads.
17th - 13K with 5k in 19:55 a PR my first sub 20mins 5k. This I have sought for six years. I am very pleased.
The splits:
1__3:55.0        
2__3:58.8        
3__4:02.0        
4__4:02.7        
5__3:54.4  

20th - 32K easy
22nd - Kigali evening 12k easy
23rd AM - Kigali 15k with 1km x 5. 4:02, 3:57, 3:56, 3:56, 4:00. PM 10k
24th AM 12K with short sprints. I am tired. Sorta.
 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

PUSH - Five Week 90K per week - No Excuses!

March 2014 - PUSH - Persist Until Something Happens
SECOND WEEK
2nd - 26K group run. Treat it as a training run. 2:11. Mark goes for a 30K and returns 2:05 for 28K. GK pulls up behind.
3rd - 18k.
4th - 20K in 1:40. Borura pushes me. I am beginning to feel strength. That feeling of strength is so freaking powerful. When you are past 19K but instead of feeling tired, heavy legs, you feel alright and when you are through with your workout, your feet are springy, your gait athletic and you dont feel wasted. Its been a long time since I felt this way. Yesterday I was wasted by the 18K and couldn't find water after running in the sun.After the 20K I was alright.
5th - 16k. Some old guy says he admires my effort. There is some fattish chick who I see running in the estate when we are going to work. When I see her running, with all that weight, all excuses for not running vanish. You never know who you can inspire.
6th- 12K 24X200m Splits: 44:09, :43.1 , :42.1 , :45.9 , :45.3 , :41.8 , :41.7 , :41.8 , :41.9 , :42.9 , :44.7 , :47.3 , :44.4 , :43.7 , :42.9 , :44.9 , :46.5 , :43.0 , :45.1 , :44.8 , :45.9 , :41.9 , :40.3 , :39.9  


This Weeks Total: 92K
THIRD WEEK

8th - 24K in 1:55 avg pace 4:49 Mombasa road
9th - 22K Upper hill route. Fat, er, First Ladys marathon. Mark passes me on Mbagathi way descent.
10th - AM 18K in 1:27 its so cold. I practically beg the sun to come out. Egerton University field. PM 7K easy.
11th - 19K in 1:27 avg 4:37. PM 7K easy.
12th- Moderate 19K in 1:31
13th - 10K. Garmin refuses to come on. So I download an Android app called MyTracks and go do speedwork.
14th - Rest n travel back to Nai.
Very great week - enjoyed the field and energy at Egerton uni. I pushed it mileage wise. I was able to make the easy runs easy and watch my diet despite the challenges of being away from home. Now next week I can reduce mileage and pile on intensity. Weight is dropping just fine. I note that I will need to do a 57mins 14K on the track if I am to go sub 1 hour 14K on Eastlands route. I will also need to do 26K in 1:50 on Mombasa road before I can hope to do sub 1:52 26K on Eastlands route.
Psyche is building among the group. Sikuku and Ogutu are back. Sikuku gets his ankle sprained.

This Weeks Total: 126K


FOURTH WEEK
15th - 25K Mombasa road in 1:55:16. Avg 4:37. Tremendous improvement from last Saturday. The last 5K kick my butt but my slowest split is 5:13 compared to last weeks 5:35 and avg of 4:49 in a 24K that took me 1:55:34. This is good. It rained the whole night. I started running from 9:04 after realizing the rain wont stop. I have really improved over the moderate hills. The two hills that kick my butt are now the Tmall/Winson hill and Uhuru Gardens hill. I will conquer them. Weight is 72Kgs. I will run it down to 68-69Kgs in two weeks. Injury is still giving me grief after the long hard runs. My next challenge/target is to run 26K in 1:55. If I succeed next Sunday, I will add more hills on the route then I assault the Eastlands route mid April.

16th -  20K on upper hill. Had about two hours sleep. Painful adductors. From uhuru highway to uhuru park junction - what I consider preparation for the main task - I had some annoying pain in my glutes. Then I decided I wont waste that hill. Glutes be damned. So I took off and tired in the next junction. I slowed down then glanced back. Thats when I saw Mark. I recovered instantly and accelerated and got my breath back again at national library. From there I sped up the Kenyatta hospital hill and then at the top, decided to punish mbagathi way the way G Mutai punishes the tarmac. Then my bloody shoe laces come off. I tied them as Mark passed and I decided to challenge myself to chase Mark and give him a push. It was tough coz he was also flying. I pull a 3:38 min/km. It was great. I need to cut weight.
5:34 - Glutes aching from Muthurwa
4:50 - Upper Hill and a bit of Kenyatta n tying shoe laces
4:24 - giving chase
3:38 - downhill
4:26  - taper off back to Langatta road. - 22:52

I will use this as a benchmark for Sundays
17th - 21K in 1:36 avg 4:35min/km. I felt pretty good and even considered doing a 26K but it leaves me feeling like a train-wreck.
18th - 17K easy. Painful hammies and upper back. I believe I discovered my efficient running style yesterday (17th) but we will wait and see. Weight at 71.5. 
19th - Go to the field undecided on what kind of workout to do. I dont feel particularly strong or ready to do speed work, which I have scheduled for kesho. Hmmmm...what do I do? I did an easy run yesterday. I cant do another easy today surely? I aint no pussy.
So I decide to do a tempo run. Maybe 7KX3? I decide to go hard and let the chips fall where they will. I start with a slow 4:39 but see what happens:
1.    4:39            
2.    4:26            
3.    4:22            
4.    4:13            
5.    4:08            
6.    4:11            
7.    4:13            
8.    4:15            
9.    4:15            
10.    4:08            
11.    4:10            
12.    4:11            
13.    4:16            
14.    4:12            
15.    4:14            
16.    4:22            
17.    4:13    

In this 17K I set PRs for 5k 20:56 (btwn Km 10 and Km 14), 7k 29:23 (btwn Km 5 and Km 11) and 10k 41:50 and 17K in 1:12:28. Average 4:16min/Km.
PRs are encouraging. My speed is intact. My endurance is improving. I have a left calf injury lets see what we can do about it.
20th - 12K moderate. Testing how bad the left calf is. I manage the 12K without it blowing up so I guess its not that bad. Will take NSAIDs for two days.
21st - Rest Day. Try some ART on the left calf. Visitors trooping into our house today for Deyas wedding kesho so running has to wait for two days, which is fine. I need some rest. This was a great week even though I didn't do speed-work.

This Weeks Total: 115K

FIFTH WEEK
23rd - 26k. Deya's wedding. Had a crazy day on Saturday. Was up at 5:30am. My house had about 8 excited girls and two women so Friday night slept a few winks. Took car for wedding deco at 6am. Drove around the matron n flower girls. Wedding. Dinner at 9:30pm. Went to a culture concert for house music at 11pm. Danced till 3:30am. I knew being on my feet would have its toll but then again...so anyway slept at 4am. Alarm at 5:40am. I woke up. My head wooly. My world a mesh of cobwebs. I winced and readjusted the alarm to 6am and allowed the fog of sleep to swallow me. In exactly one second later, the alarm rangs. I blinked at the phone. It was 6am. I set the new alarm to 6:30am based on some sleepy logic. Two seconds later, just when I had snuggled comfortably in the warm bosom of the goddess of sleep, the alarm rang. I turned it off and contemplated my fate. Goosh man! I remembered Desiderata vaguely.
I hauled heavy feet onto the floor and plodded away from the bed. I shook my head to clear the fog. My brain crawled back to the present. How slow was my run going to be? Could I still expect to set PRs after such a crazy 48 hours? I figured that if sleep could make people fast then slow people could just sleep for long hours and wake up fast. But I knew deep inside that my legs were rubbish. But I had 100k to cover by Friday and I couldnt waste Sunday. So I stepped out of the house into the cold dawn and jogged to the gate. I stretched as I evaluated the status of my left calf injury. I set off repeating to my groggy mind again and again: I am well hydrated. I am strong and I am fast. I covered 7k in 30:03, 9k in 38:35, 14k in 1:01:11 which were decent and the fastest I have run on the roads this year. The punishment started at 15k. By 18k I gave up and jogged the rest of the distance. I banked 26k and burn 2000plus calories. I am glad. I can only hope that stressing my feet like that made them stronger and that it wasn't a waste.
Now that the injury seems to be out of the way, I want to hammer this week the fuck out.
Keep rolling.
24th - 18K. I am wasted. No energy.
25th - 17K with 37 X 200m. Pain in my left hip. I decide to do speed-work since I should now start moving towards speed and away from mileage. So to do proper speed-work, I decide to do it on Tuesday (Thursday is not guaranteed) and I settle on 200m repeats. 1000m would be better but I dont feel like 1000m repeats. I know of successful marathoners who have been fast on 200m repeats. I love them because they enable me to tap into my raw speed compared to 1000m or 2000m repeats. I have grown quite strong and faster but mostly stronger. In fact, past the 18th repeat, my body recovered faster and I shortened the rest periods (I rested by running slowly). I was happy with the workout. I am torn between moving to 300m/400m repeats or just sticking with 200m repeats. Why not do 50 of them next week with shorter intervals rather than move to 1000m? Hmmm....
The splits: 46, 46, 46, 44, 46, 42, 42, 44, 43, 43, 43, 41, 44, 43, 42, 42, 41, 42, 43, 43, 42, 41, 41, 41, 46, 44, 43, 40, 42, 43, 43, 42, 43, 43, 41, 40, 40. Keep rolling fellas!
26th - 10K easy. Had a late meeting. But I also needed easy.
27th - 20K in 1:40. Wanted it to be fast but after 2K, I realized it wasn't gonna happen. I need to rest. There is pain in my left hip. The recovery of my adductors seems to have halted before 100%.

This Weeks Total: 91K

29th - 28K. I decide to do an easy 28K - easy in the sense that I run purely by how my body feels. I wanted to go hard and fast but after 2K, I accept that my legs are stiff (ankles, calves) and not firing like I would want to. I haven't recovered from Tuesday's speed run! So I decide to go easy and long. This is fucking confusing. I thought my body had become the master of recovery but it seems the speed workouts recruited and exhausted muscles that are rarely utilized hence the long recovery. This also means that maybe I should repeat this workout again and give myself some weeks to recover. My adductors ache even though the left hip pain is gone. Strange pain in my left quads. I massage it and take a rest.
My motivation takes a slump and I kinda eat a lot.

Hmmmmm....I need encouragement now.   

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I will Pay the Price

2nd Feb - I took Ponstan Forte last night because there was a painful part in my left hip, the same side with psoas and adductor problems. Wake up at 5:45. Its still dark. I am optimistic because I did sprint last week. I set off and surprisingly, I am not in pain from my adductors. I am exhilarated. I push quite hard. I am not that fit but I am glad the pain here is of fatigue and exertion, not injury.
I manage 22k in 1:54:04 avg 5:11 min/Km. This is a start.
Its great to run like a normal person again. After the run, of course, the adductors and hips pain like hell.
Whats strange is that, after downing a litre of water, I start feeling cold. So I step under a hot shower. After warming myself up while showering in hot water, I am still feeling cold. Cold to the core. Shivering cold.
I get under the covers and my wife adds me more blankets as I go foetal and shiver like I am in winter. Meanwhile, the sun is blazing hot outside. After 'sleeping' for two hours I get out of bed, the shivering gone. A zombie.
My research indicates this could be dehydration or hypoglycaemia or both. WTF?
The grind continues.
Below is a motivational video sent by a friend who calls himself an "armchair runner"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuPLxQD4akQ

4th - Do 18K in 1:29 avg: 4:57 with Chris. Its really hot in the first 12K. Do some small sprints at the end. Didn't eat much but I am glad the injury is really healing. So much better this time. I am paying the price for weight added last week in Burundi though I am still trying to get back my fitness.
The exercises in page two of this link have saved my adductors. The strange and even fascinating thing is that this whole adductor shit is linked to the psoas, glutes and hips. Its quite a fucker. You mess with it and it fucks you up from all angles. I also do bridges, clams, lunges, piriformis stretch and butterfly. This is the most challenging injury I have ever handled. It seems to me that if I come out of it successfully, I will be in a much better shape than Stanchart last year. Injury-wise at least. 
6th 11k with 200m x15 sprints. The splits: 39.4, 40, 36.9, 38.9, 48.5, 45.4, 41.2, 41.5, 43.5, 43.3, 43.7, 44.7, 43.0, 46.0, 44.3. Best pace 2:47 Garmin TC says 20.4Km/hr
Injury has got better and better. Could do lateral movements with less pain.
9th - 22K. It rained the previous night. I take ponstan forte but I still suffer serious pain that messes up the workout. Barely manage it in sub 2 hours. See Mark in Nyayo avoiding Lunga Lunga and meet GK. Though this was a tough, painful run, I ended it much stronger than last week and even though my injury was painful, I have to say the injury has got much better. I just need to stay the course and I am sure it will heal completely. Keep rolling guys! The mzungu is not consistent.
11th - It rains. Almost give up on my workout. Turns out to be one of the best so far - this year. 14k in 1:04:49 avg pace 4:37min/Km with 13K in under 1 hour. The injury acts up after 14K and I am forced to change speed and jog for the remaining 4K. Onwards to Thursday.
13th - 19 X 200m. Splits: 53, 48, 47, 43, 45, 43, 41, 39, 38, 38, 41, 40, 41, 40, 42, 43, 41, 39, 42
Max speed 21.4Km/hr 2:36 pace compare to last weeks Best pace of 2:36 and 20.4Km/hr
My speed is coming back. I warmed up by doing short strides. I managed lateral movements without pain for the first time this year. Celebrate our 4th anniversary by going for Chinese dinner. The traffic jam stops us from collecting our anniversary cake.
15th - 22K without garmin. Misbehaved diet-wise last night at a Valentines dinner at Intercon.
16th - 20K on Muthurwa-Community route without garmin. Have a good go at the hill. I go for broke down Highrise. I think I should be taking this route and maintaining a steady pace from Uhuru highway to Mbagathi road and see how that goes. Adductors better. I am not out of the woods yet.
18th - 18K at 1:18:59 (an improvement of 10mins in two weeks). I had started off hoping to average at 4:30 but I was strong and I did 18k in 1:18:59 with my injury in its twilight. Chris Mukhamule pushed me from 3k to 7k and then Charles Akara pushed me from 7k to 15k then some footballer pushed me through 15 to 18k 7and I roared home with a 4:07 18th k. I expected myself to start tiring after 11K since I had started fast for my fitness and weight but once I saw that I could do 4:25 at the 12th Km, I knew I was strong so I run each Km without thinking of how much was left then from 15th Km, I ran knowing what was left was a little so I ended up averaging 4:23 min/Km. The Splits:

1.    4:27
2.    4:26
3.    4:17
4.    4:17
5.    4:20
6.    4:22
7.    4:30
8.    4:15
9.    4:26
10.    4:29
11.    4:21
12.    4:25
13.    4:38
14.    4:30
15.    4:25
16.    4:26
17.    4:17
18.    4:08 


20th - 20X200m. Splits: 45,46,45,42,44,46,42,42,40,41,40,42,40,42,46,45,48,43,42,37. Max speed 21.5Km/hr. Best pace 2:41. I am forced to cut short the workout because of a wedding rehearsal for a weddo on Sato where we are best couple.
22nd - Vivian and Pauls wedding. We are best couple. Running stomach.
24th- 16K in 1:14. Still weak from bout of diarrhea.
25th- travel to Zanzibar. 15K. Recovering from jana's 16k. Zanz is an Island at peace with herself. Fartleks at the end.
26th - 16K. Lots of work at EARATC subcommitee meeting. Ocean view Hotel. Fartleks at the end. Best pace 2:16. 26.47Km/hr - fastest this year. I am trying to get my raw speed going first as I navigate this freakin injury.
27th - 22k. Injury better. 
28th - 12K   
Weekly Total: 81K

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Everyday I Fight

Jan 6th. Back to work after four weeks off training. My psoas and adductors have not healed. I decided to have my wife dig her heel into my psoas yesterday and it helped. I managed to sneeze while standing upright and didn't experience any pain. This is a good sign. I am now researching on how to speed up the recovery from my left adductors injury.
I will start by walking this week and monitoring my diet. Running starts next week. My first priority is to cut weight then get fast and strong. Weight hovering between 77 and 78Kgs.
2014 Training begins today. 69Kgs sub 1:25. Those are the goals.
Jan 13th-17th - Dropped a kilo last week and now hovering at around 76.5Kgs.
Went for my first run of the year at the field. My adductors are still painful. I got a video on how to work them and stretch them effectively and they have improved. I start easy, intent on just enjoying the feeling of running again and being back in the grind. At about 8K, some guy, actually an overweight guy, starts running beside me. I hear the footballers calling him "Focus". He pushed me quite hard (and vice versa) and by the time I end my run at 13K, he had bested me. I manage the 13K in 1:04 avg 4:54. Much better than I had planned, thanks to "Focus" and my competitive spirit.
I start taking 1 teaspoon from 16th. Will now cut down dinner gradually.
16th - 16k in 1:17 avg 4:51. Adductors are definitely better and I am strong though still slow because the fitness is still not here. I stop taking sugar. Just discovered that scones, my favorite scones from TMall, which I love so much is 145calories a piece (41grams). That means scones are out. Permanently. White bread is 90 calories per slice. Me and watermelons are gonna be friends for good.
19-23rd - 22K on 19th. My adductors and psoas are much sore in the morning when its cold. The objective of this run was to test my endurance. I cleared the 22K alright so my endurance is intact. Was slow coz of the adductor and general lack of fitness. Average pace 5:49 time 2:08. On Tuesday 18K in 1:34 avg pace 5:15. Adductor pain plus no one to push me. Its alright coz weight and getting back to fitness are the main goals now. Thursday 17K in 1:21 avg pace 4:48. 13K in 1:01:20. I feel like a normal runner for the first time in months! Like a somebody. Like I once used to feel. I can now afford to clench my teeth and push hard. Adductor pain has really gone down and I get to get off a motor bike while not limping. Borura is in very good form. Him and some other guy push me. Especially the other guy. Weight is 74Kgs. Great going.
If you want something. You go get it. Period.
That's exactly what I am gonna do. No if, no buts, no third party considerations.
26-31st 22k on Sunday Adductors painful. I cant run fast. 22K on Tuesday. Still painful but I grit my teeth and speed up towards the end. A little. In Bujumbura do 6k in the evening Wednesday. Adductors better. Shins painful. Do 15K and sprint for the first time this year. There is still pain but its bearable.Do 10K and finnish off a 70K week. Adductor injury still alive and well but there are some improvements because there are movements that were painful last week that are no longer painful, plus I can sprint. A little - teeth gritted. Work on adductors and psoas continues as I keep fit. Waiting to get better.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dec 2013 - The stream is deep. But the swimmer is willing

Dec 1 - 26K Group race. Up at 5:20. Take Ponstan Forte to forestall any hip or psoas pains so that I can focus on running. Sikuku, GK, Jemmo, Yumbs, all don't show up. Lets not even get into the the-dog-ate-my-homework stories:

Oh well....Its just me and Mark. Which is perfectly fine. Of course we need to recruit some serious runners from Nairobi so that we can push each other and improve.  My diet plan didn't go very well on Sato so I had some stuff to clear from my bowels. My main objective was to improve on my PR on the route, which is 2:00:47. More desirable was to better the route record set by Mark of 1:57:xx.

We start at about 6:20am. Mark was setting the pace and doing an excellent job at it. I was much slower than I expected but it was not so bad since the first 5K was under 22K and we crossed 7K at about 30:32.
It rained the previous night. It was still drizzling slightly. It was wet and muddy all over.
The road was slippery and our times were slow but faster than last time. From the 3rd Km, tired of slipping and losing traction, I decided to challenge the vehicles for space. This is dangerous so you gotta do it while facing oncoming traffic. I was wearing luminous green so this high-visibility helped a lot and most of the drivers saw me and gave me spacewhile still far off. Those that didn't give way pushed me off the road and I jumped right back when they were gone. The traffic was kinda thin so it was doable.

Of course I had to deal with the air resistance. But I decided it was better than slipping.
My legs were fine, the speed was fine. Muthurwa was fine. Of course there were crowds of people and little space for running but that is what Muthurwa is. I knocked somebody at JIAM. I didn't look back. Most people I knock deserve it. They see me coming. They know I am moving faster than them. But they dont give way. I allow our shoulders to collide. Plain and simple. They want to test Newtons laws of motion? Who am I to stop them?

Those that don't see me come, I steer them out of the way with my hand. Many an old woman or absent-minded child has been steered to safety by these running hands. God and me are gonna have a conversation one day about what happened to that in case he decides to toss me to hell. Aaaanyways...

Its all smooth till the Uhuru highway crossing when I reach the road just when the lights have turned green for the cars and they come zooming with no care for this runner. I am forced to stop for some seconds to figure when to jump in and I somehow manage to cross the road with some risk. Damn.
I manage the upper hill ascent quite well (5:28 followed by a 4:44). At the stage approaching Kenyatta Hospital, two dudes alight from a mat while talking. I am running on the road, a matatu forces me into the pavement where they are walking and they are a few metres away. They can see me and I can see them, clear as daylight. We are on a collision course but they don't care, they keep walking toward me.
As I approach them, I look at them and spread my hands in a WTF-is-this-why-are-you-being-obtuse? gesture or ni-nini? in swahili. They ignore me and act like they don't see this coming projectile wearing high-visibility clothes and in human form. Their unreasonableness annoys me and I decide I won't give way either. You wanna know how it feels like to make contact with a runner? Huh? I will show you. I brace for impact. Muscles and bones at high speed meet flesh and bones at low speed. My left shoulder collides with the right shoulder of the guy on my side. I hit him pretty good and can feel the paralysis on his side as he staggers off. I hear his phone hitting the pavement as the impact loosens his nerves. I don't look back. My pace quickens. Adrenaline dump. Mark must have witnessed what unfolded as he was a few metres behind.  That adrenaline dump pushes me to the top of the hill and I miss the choice expletives that must have followed as he gathered the pieces of his phone off the pavement.

I follow the upper hill ascent with a 4:30, 3:59 and 4:11 for 13, 14 and 15 Kms. At this point I know I am in form and can break the CR. I slow down at 16K which I do in 4:35 to get my breath back then 17K in 4:28. Not good but not so bad. I Need to pace up. I try pushing harder and that is when I get a cramp on the right side of my stomach. Mark is right there about 80 metres behind. For someone with recent health challenges, he is doing extremely well. If he is 100%, he will be a beast.

Its not so bad but I slow down so that it can abate because I don't want to worsen it. Its a sharp pain. Like there is a pin stabbing my muscles. Painful as ef. The worst thing about it is that the pain pulsates with every step. Shorter steps, lesser pain. So I am forced to make short strides. I grimace and tough it out. It worsens but my resolve is stronger. No stopping. Mark is right there so he pushes me. I almost start walking at the 22nd Km but I decide not to. However painful, a cramp has never killed anyone, so I just grimace and pump my arms and legs. My teeth are out in pain in a snarl. I ignore the stares of pedestrians. At 22.5Km thereabout, it starts drizzling. I now don't see Mark.The back of my shoes and my calves are all covered in mud.
The rest of the race becomes a test of my ability to run through pain. But it slows me down considerably and I fall off pace and off target but I improve on my CPR (Course Personal record). My time is 1:58:37, average pace 4:34 min/km. First 13K in 58:37 and second 13K in 60minutes. Imagine that shit.

I decide I will give it another stab next week. I am curious about how it can be without the slipperiness and without a cramp. And with Mark being better.

Here are the splits.
Km Time
1    4:13.3
2    4:14.3
3    4:21.9
4    4:21.7
5    4:20.9
6    4:28.5
7    4:29.8
8    4:23.5
9    4:31.6____Muthurwa
10    4:28.9
11    5:28.2____Upper Hill
12    4:44.2
13    4:30.2 ______58:37
14    3:59.1
15    4:11.9
16    4:35.1
17    4:28.2
18    4:43.9
19    4:34.5
20    4:37.9
21    4:43.7______1:34:31
22    4:42.5
23    4:40.8
24    5:03.1
25    4:51.6
26    4:42.7 _____60:00 minutes.

Dec 2 - 20 pushups. Stretch hips, psoas, calves, quads, hammies plank 3:20.

Dec 3 - weight is good: 72.8Kgs. Clams, bridges. 40 leg raises. Side crunches. Stretch hips, psoas, calves, quads, hammies do a 4:42 muthafuckin plank! Bloody hell.
Quads, hip flexors, glutes and hips kinda ache and it appears I am not so fast as a result - still recovering from the 26K. So instead of 1000m X 12 or 2000m X 5, I decide to do 400m repeats so that I can hit desired speeds. So I do 400m X 15 (1:31.7, 1:30.8, 1:30.8, 1:39.3, 1:33.0, 1:32.1, 1:28.0, 1:35.9, 1:28.5, 1:33.2, 1:32.5, 1:31.9, 1:33.5, 1:33.4, 1:33.7) 

Dec 4 - 73Kgs. Clams, bridges. 60 leg raises. Side crunches. Stretch hips, psoas, calves, quads, hammies do a 2:30 plank.Walk home. Legs and mid-section painful.

Dec 5: Clams, bridges. 40 leg raises. Side crunches. Stretch hips, psoas, calves, quads, hammies do a 5:12 plank. Can you believe that shit?

I did a 5:12 plank today. Now if you don't find this unbelievable, I do.
Last month, while struggling with 3 mins planks and collapsing on the floor in exertion and trying to understand how come planks are so difficult to hold, I made a mental note to make it a goal after Christmas to work hard and be able to hold a plank for 5 minutes by March 2014. I will just add 5 seconds every day until I reach 5 minutes, I told myself.

But I gritted my teeth on Monday and decided to do a 4:30 or die. I did a 4:42. And collapsed on the floor, happy and pumped up.
Yesterday I was rubbish and could barely do a 2 mins plank. But its because I had done speed runs the previous day and I was in pain all over. Today I woke up having decided its 5 mins plank or I die.

Now, for this kind of feat (5 mins plank), you must be mentally prepared and mentally tough. So I prepared myself mentally by sipping water and imagining I am a cat of some sort. After preparing yourself and bracing your body for war...

You go down and stretch out and hit the stop-watch as you stretch out your lean body.

You ensure your elbows are comfortable. You ignore the mosquito biting your calf.
Don't look at the watch because if you do and you see 1:15 and you have 3:45 minutes to go and the 1:15 is already kicking your ass, then you are fucked there and then. And your body will be happy to collapse to the floor to try again another day. And you will comfort yourself with one excuse or another and move onto easier things, like say, pushups or situps.

So you don't look at the watch. Under no circumstances...

Just concentrate on breathing well and you can stare at how your groin is inching toward the floor and how it goes back up when you pull it up. And how hard it is to hold your body like that. But tell yourself 'I am doing it comfortably...my abs are strong...I have a strong comfortable back...I am ok...I am not tired...I can do this forever...'

When the veins in your neck and arms are popping, and your shoulders are burning and your back feels like an anvil has been placed on it, or someone is hanging on it and pulling it down to the floor and your breathing is now becoming labored, and your hip flexors are screaming 'ef you!'...

Then you can look at your watch.

I mean, glance at your watch. Just a glance. If its more than a glance, you will notice how long a second is and it will kill your morale.

1:50?

Okay, 3:10 to go.

You hold again and avoid looking at the watch. Grit your damn teeth if you must.

Are you approaching failure again? Ok.
Glance at the watch.
2:40?
We are past halfway. 20 seconds and 2 mins to go...

Hold again. Look down at your feet as you push your groin up.
About to collapse again?
Glance the watch.

3:30?
Okay, ninety seconds to go. No, dont moan in exasperation.

I will do this.
Glance the watch again.
3:50.
70 seconds I can handle. Your body is shaking.
Grrrr....
4:10
By this time, your face is contorted into a mask of exertion.
The beads of sweat are now coalescing into rivulets of sweat.
Your popped eyes are glued on the watch.
4:40...
Twenty seconds....
Your shoulders are masked in a bead of sweat and your chest is wet with sweat.
4:50
You are now visibly shaking. Every cell in your body is screaming.
5:00!
Grrrr....Brrrr... I did it! Why not add another ten seconds?
Your eyes are shut in effort mixed with pain. Your breath is labored.
When you can no longer keep your eyes closed, they pop open, as if seeking air and you look at the watch.
5:12.
Your body collapses to the floor and you are elated.
Well, folks, that's how you do a 5:12 plank.
Otherwise, forget it.

Dec 6 - 72Kgs. 30 side planks, 3:20 plank, 60 leg raises, 30 twisted crunches, clams, 30 single leg bridges, psoas, hip flexor, quads, calves, ankles, hammies, back and hip stretches, 20 pushups.

Dec 8 - 26K in 2 hours with Mark. Poor performance. Poor nutrition. My body wasnt 'feeling it'. Time to take a break. Lessons learnt. Merry XMas guys!
Cheers guys.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nov 2013 - Every Day is a Chance to Move Closer to Your Dreams.

Goals: Get back to fitness. Get loose, flexible hips. Cut to 71Kgs. Put some miles in them legs.

1 Nov - 1:20 mins run in Kampala without garmin. My hips are really, really tight and painful. Kampala streets are really, really squeezed. No pavements in some places. You have to fight for space with pedestrians and the cars and the bikes. Not cool. Not cool at all.
I decide to focus on loosening these hips.

4 Nov - Up at 5. Do pushups, bridges and planks and stretch hips and adductors. No food or water  allowed in the office. Ef that man. That messes my diet plans. No water. Can you believe that? Evening do 14K (1:15) on the field. I have really added weight. I weigh 74Kgs. A whole 2Kgs more in a week! My hips still tight.

5 Nov - Up at 5. Do pushups (12+12), bridges and planks (2:30+1min) and stretch hips and adductors.. Evening - in pain - hips and adductors giving me hell. Do 18K (1:45). Take it easy. Just want to put in the miles and shed some kilos. Design our groups logo.

6 Nov  - Up at 5. Do pushups (14), bridges and planks(2:00+1min) and stretch hips and adductors.Hips better. Legs ache. Mark says MSK may be willing to be our sponsor. Evening 22K (1:58). Much better.
7 Nov - Do pushups (16), bridges and planks(2:10+1:10 min) and stretch hips and adductors. Much, much better. I am beginning to feel like a somebody now. Some aches here and there but much better. 54K for this week. High week coming ahead. Walked home. Dropped a Kilo.

8 Nov - Do pushups (18), bridges and planks(2:20+1:20 min) and stretch hips and adductors. Better.

Since people I can only describe as, how do I put this nicely?.. fuckers... banned drinks and food into our office, I have to make changes. It means I have to step out for lunch. It means I can't sip water at my desk. It means I can't eat every three or four hours. It means I have to step out for lunch. Rather than complain, I have to adapt. So some of the changes:

1. Start drinking water as soon as I wake up. By breakfast time, I should have downed a liter. Seek and monopolize the hot water flask in the office.

2. At lunchtime, saunter out, buy fruit salad of 50 bob and 1 liter of water.

3. Keep cutting down dinner and increasing vegetable intake.

4. Carboloading my ass.

5. Alright. I have had my fun for two weeks past Stanchart. Enough of the monkey games. No more cakes, soda, sugar, white rice, processed bread and groundnuts. Along with that goes BB. I have reunited with My Calorie Counter. I am giving away the nuts I bought last week.

9 Nov - 24K- start too fast and stretch my hip/thigh muscle. I am forced to walk at some point when the pain becomes unbearable. But I finish kinda weak. See a dead squirrel. Almost step on a huge rat. Fat rat.

10 Nov -  start slowly and end up mixing it up and even enjoy the run. The 1Km on, 1Km off is interesting but I am too tired. Feels good to run without limping or wincing. Hips better. 24K

11 Nov - Hips and psoas doing much better. I can lift my left leg while wearing pants. Stretch back and hips. Do bridges and some situps. planks(2:30+1:30 min). My weight is actually bad. Bad bad. I am sabotaging myself. I make the decision to cut off cakes, soda, sugar, processed bread and groundnuts. COMPLETELY. No excuses. Its time to see and get results. Mealtime is just a few minutes so its about staying the course for a few minutes. If hungry, freaking drink water, gaddemit! Zero sugar day 1.
Evening 22K(1:48). I am much stronger and faster. First time speed is coming while in the trenches.

12 Nov -  planks(2:40+1:40 min), Side planks, bridges, clams. Stretch back, psoas and hip flexors. Zero sugar day 2. There is a niggle in my right knee. 18K. No legs completely.

13 Nov - planks(2:50+1:50 min), Side planks, bridges, clams. Stretch back, psoas and hip flexors. Zero sugar day 3. 16K in the morning. Legs not so bad. Travel to Arusha. Time to cut back the mileage and start piling intensity and speed. This is 104K already for the week. Kesho I rest then Friday we start speed and intensity.

14 Nov -  planks(3+2 min), Side planks, bridges, clams. Stretch back, psoas and hip flexors. Zero sugar day 4.

15 Nov - 26K in 2:12 in Arusha.Second toughest terrain I have ever run in but beautiful course. Nice pavements and not too crazy drivers. This wraps up this week at 130K.

16 Nov -  planks(3:15+2:15 min) Side planks, bridges, clams. Stretch back, psoas and hip flexors. Zero sugar day 4. Allowed myself two croissants though. And some dumbass juice.

18th-22th Nov I travelled to shaggs to complete building my mum a house. It was also a tapering week of some sorts. I ran on 17th and on 20th. Excercise regimen is in disarray but its time to lay back a little. Especially on the legs.


22nd. Travel back to Nai. Go out on 23rd night. Go back home at 5am. Do a 21K at about 9:45am - weather is good, fortunately. Legs shot. Time to get back to a sane life.

These legs deserve some more respectable speed.

26th - Staying loose, psoas stretches, hip flexor stretches, back, plank (3:32), leg raises, bridges, clam shells. Speed runs 4 x 1000m (3:54, 3:43, 3:41, 4:00) floats 12K total. Raw speed has gone down kinda.

27th - Side planks, clams, bridges, hip flexor and psoas stretches. Leg raises.

28th - Plank (4:12 - woohooo!), clams, bridges, hip flexor and psoas stretches. Leg raises.

 29th - Plank (4:32 - Ah tell ya!), clams, bridges, hip flexor stretches, situps and psoas stretches. Leg raises.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2014

5Km - 18:21

10Km - 38:07

1/2 Mar - 1:24:58

68Kgs


Sunday, October 27, 2013

2013 Stanchart Marathon Report

I had big dreams for this year's Stanchart Marathon. I had trained hard for it.
I had made sacrifices, taken some risks. Several risks, especially skiving work, and made adjustments in my diet that saw me shed 10Kgs.
So I had some great expectations.
I had changed my training and basically borrowed ideas from Mark's training. I mainly increased both the distance and intensity of my long runs and killed doubles and reduced speed runs.
Having Mark as a training partner to compare notes with and motivate myself helped a great deal and helped me through the low moments when I felt like slacking or giving up or just becoming one with the masses. That helped a lot. Thanks Mark. Running, distance running in particular, is a very solitary sport and every other day, one is confronted with the question, Why am I doing this again? And one will always want to quit. Or take an undeserved or unscheduled rest. But one needs eternal vigilance in order not to quit. A running partner can help in this. The reason I will not quit is because in running I have found myself. I have found strength. I have discovered who I am made of and it has enriched my life beyond my expectations. It has made me so strong and increased my self esteem and confidence and my happiness index has soared because of running so no way, no how, I am gonna hang my boots.

Besides runs where I have totally bombed to the extent of almost not being able to make it home by myself, I have dealt with injuries this year bro. Wa! Calf injuries (early in the year), shin splints (to a lesser degree - thanks to heel-toe walks), psoas injuries gave me total hell, my adductors literally killed me and made me pee in pain and cry like a baby. Well, almost. Then my hip flexor injuries made me feel like I was cut in half at the waist and I could feel like any moment, this body of flesh and bones could collapse into a senseless un-coordinated hip anytime and then early this week, a hamstring injury which I managed with RICE and painkillers - taking Ponstan Forte even became as common as taking lunch. We were on the brink of becoming junkies!

We even started peddling it: I told Mark about it - Mark had a psoas injury. Mark gave it to Jemmo (hip flexor injury) and Ochibo (twisted ankle) so it was passing around like cocaine.
Man, this sport!
So its been a tough year. I ran through the injuries. Several times, I alighted from a motorbike walking like a bugger with a grenade up his ass. Many times, I limped in the office - careful not to attract attention - and there is plenty of attention lying idle waiting to be attracted in the office. Often times, I alighted from the car and had to start by walking slowly lest I stretch something already stretched.

Let me not bore you with that. Lets get to the race, shall we?

Okey dokey.

One thing I have learnt this year is that carbo loading is crap. I don't know where people get that idea from.

Okay, lets get to the race.

I was up at 5:30am. Black coffee and two slices of white bread. Three cups of coffee. Took plenty of water when I started entertaining the fear that coffee may be a diuretic.

I left my car @ Boruras place and we walked to the venue. No signs of Ogutu, Mark or Abo. We took some photos with Borura then I left my stuff @ left Luggage area - most disorganized fellows ever!

So anyway, I pee and head to the startline.

Then I leave the startline and pee again in the Portaloos and I see Mark going to the start like and I shout three times calling him. He doesn't hear. I don't get to a good position. I get to see Ogutu and wish each other luck just before the gun goes off and we are off!

The start is crowded. Very crowded. So its all about elbowing for space, ignoring the irritated looks of strangers and rushing to every open space.
The first Km is very slow: 4:26. But I am not too worried. I feel great.
Okay. So whats the gameplan?
Game plan is to first mentally divide race into three segments.
Each 7K should be done in under 30mins coz we are aiming at sub 1:30.
I find the yoyo guy who kicked my butt in Ndakaini at the end of the 1st K and give him a thumbs up. He acknowledges. He has a lean guy jumping up and down next to him. This lean guy seems to be using him as a rabbit. I watch that leaping style of running and I note that this guy cant go far coz that style is simply unsustainable. Too much wasted energy.
I settle in next to him and we go for another 800m.
My presence seems to challenge him. He paces up. I glance at my garmin. I am within pace so I let him go. I stick about 50mins behind him.
Its on!
I look around. I cant see Mark, Ogutu, Borura, Abo, etc. There is plenty of energy around and in all shapes, sizes, genders and presentations. Some Gor Mahia junkies behind us are singing praise songs for Gor. I pass some lean lady. Several ladies. Several guys. Lean ones, fat ones. Some also pass me. The air is crisp. The weather is perfect. Perfect.
Now, I am also well hydrated. Well, rested and I have energy and I have trained and I have dressed well, I have got shoes to die for, my garmin is working like a state-of-the art garmin and I have room and the tarmacs grip is glorious. And I have settled into some decent pace. So all I have to do is stick to my target pace, dont fall asleep and dont do anything crazy either. Just go by feel and maintain the required speed. If by 16K you still feel strong, hammer the sucker!
The first 7K I am well under 30 mins so I am cool.
At about 8K, I see Mark ahead. This guy must have started fast! I ask him if he is ok and he says he is not doing too well and he tells me to roll on. I pass him and the yoyo guy at University way. Now my focus is on doing 14K in sub 1 hour.
The museum hill hill is challenging as expected but I recover and manage the 14K in under 60 mins.
Now I need to focus on the last 7k. I am impressed on forest road at how the local Indian community have come out to support the marathon.
The yoyo guy and some guy with a No pain No Gain TShirt pass me at the 16th Km. I keep them 50m ahead.
After Uhuru park, its kinda hilly but I give my very best and I push as hard as I can to keep up and to meet my target. I give everything I have. My garmin registers 21K just before we enter the stadium and I complete in 1:30:02. So I miss my target by about three seconds. I know Stanchart will probably give me a 1:32 but I am ok with that. Average pace, 4:17 min/Km.
I will take it coz this is a PR. The distance the organizers use is probably 21.4 from what it seems. We shall see. Here are my Splits:



1          4:26.9
2          4:04.3
3          4:07.4
4          4:09.8
5          4:15.3
6          4:17.0
7          4:01.8______29:22
8          4:09.8
9          4:12.8
10        4:34.6_______42:19
11        4:06.0
12        4:17.0
13        4:44.1
14        4:11.8_______59:38
15        4:17.2
16        4:19.2
17        4:27.6
18        4:20.3_______1:17:02
19        4:15.3
20        4:16.6
21        4:24.6


At any rate, I am happy with my performance. I had no stitch, no injury, no fall or anything that stopped me from giving 100%. I didn't hold back and so I don't have any "what ifs" and I am glad that I have finally reached 90mins. Now I have to go below it. That is next years goal when I will be targeting 1:25. My average pace in 2012 Stanchart was 4:39 (time was 1:37:49). This year its 4:17, an improvement of 22 seconds. I am aiming at 3:58 next year, an improvement of 19 seconds.

Onwards to 2014 Fellas! Keep rolling!