Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Training day 23, 24 - Been Running on Fumes

15K and 17K.
Today I went for a 17K on the bypass. It was a struggle. But I did it. I had energy, but my legs were shredded like fuck.
I have realized one thing: I have been running on fumes.
From the end of October to this week, I have been running 3 times a week: 27K on Sunday, a 10K on Tuesday and speed runs on Thursdays.
It all feel apart three weeks ago after I had been off training for 10 days due to a hamstring injury. From then, I have seen my performance deteriorate, the 27K become a soul-destroying run and my 10K times get slower. Most of all, painful, heavy, cramped, tight legs.
What this means to me, now, is that, my mileage has been too low and the only thing that has kept me going in Nov and Dec has been the weekly mileages I used to do before Stanchart Marathon. These are the fumes I have been running on.
And my recent struggles have been testimony that I have run out of the fumes and I am deteriorating to a new unfitness level.
So, after XMas, I decided to put aside speed runs and concentrate on mileage. I have completed week one with:
That is from 27+10+6=43 Kms.
My right knee is acting funny so I have it under pressure. Can I do 90K next week? Hmmmmm....Lets see...
Meanwhile, Overeem retired Lesnar in UFC 141 last night.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Training Day 20,21,22

After Xmas.
18K, 13K and 15K.
I am focusing on volume and will come back to speed when my legs are up to it. Right now, the back of my knees feel tight.

Friday, December 23, 2011

2012 Training Day 19: 9 x 400m

I did go for my speed runs amidst the mad Christmas rush. My god! aren't my legs trashed! aches all over! But I am happy because I improved. I can feel my legs engaging hitherto idle muscles and they are sore as hell. I will lay off speed runs for a week now then resume after the Christmas week. Here is the shit that went down:
400m_________1:34.38___15.3 km/h
400m_________1:28.98___16.2 km/h
400m_________1:27.93___16.4 km/h
400m_________1:28.56___16.3 km/h
400m_________1:32.98___15.5 km/h
400m_________1:27.74___16.4 km/h
400m_________1:28.14___16.3 km/h
400m_________1:26.17___16.7 km/h
400m_________1:25.80___16.8 km/h

Compare this to last week's performance:
Distance__Time___Avg Speed


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2012 Training Day 18: 10K in 48:04

I was still having sore muscles from the 27K. I tried and returned a 48:08. Its an improvement from last week's 10K but I am concerned. Is it my weight? Too little mileage? Or am I trying too hard?
I dont know. Let XMas slide by then we can focus better. Damn.
This is Galen Rupp - easily gonna be America's best long-distance runner within the next three years. No, he is not trying to look like a Ninja on the track or an oxygen mask. That mask is for protecting him from pollen or some other such shit that he is allergic to.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

2012 Training Day 17: 27K

I went for the 27K. It was hard because it had rained the previous night so there was slipperiness to contend with and heavy, mud-loaded shoes.
My time was atrocious and at the end I felt trashed and sore. I still do. Damn. But its the nature of the beast.

Friday, December 16, 2011

2012 Training Day 16: 9 x 400M intervals

I did 400m intervals yesterday. They are both harder and easier than 200m runs. Harder because they need more effort. Easier because they are slower (than 200m). Better because I have less chances of getting an injury.
Being a perfect mix of aerobic and anaerobic runs, they are perfect for me.

This is what I managed:
Distance__Time___Avg Speed

What I need is 1:07 for each 400m so I have about 20 seconds to shave off. I believe I can.
What I need is to be patient and to be consistent and to cut a little weight. I need to do 10 then 12 then 15 then 18 then 20x400m and I will be set! Irrespective of the speed. So number of intervals is a priority.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2012 Training Day 15: 10K in 48:48

I did a 10K yesterday. I struggled and my body ached afterwards. It really seems my fitness fell off quite a bit but I am just grateful I am healed now and can resume training. Shit happened so fast.
Its amazing how fast I piled on weight!
I will certainly be doing 400m repeats for speed. Once I feel better, I can throw in some occasional 200m so  long as I dont go 100%. I need to learn to drift.
I also learnt one huge thing yesterday! My left leg does a lot of work! And its no wonder that its the one that has been injured twice! And when I began running anticlockwise, it was easier! Here are ladies at work!

Monday, December 12, 2011

2012 Training Day 13 & 14: I Yam Back 27K and 10K

I did a recovery 10K on Friday that was slow but gave me the assurance I needed to know I am healed. Then I did a 27K on Sunday that made me realize I am truly off form. I had to walk after 23K. Its okay though. I am back and ready to continue with my quest. I have added a good 3Kgs.
Today I will do a 10K to test how far off I have fallen off from where I had reached two weeks ago.
Here is Kawauchi. An Inspiration to all amateur marathoners like myself.
War is good, all the time. All the time, war is good.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It hurts not to be able to Run - Punishment for greed and Inexperience

Yes, hamstring is better but not yet. I can run slowly but there is still some pain. Fuck!
Maybe I should just make this injury my last speed-related injury. Ever.
The not-running is even more painful than the injury. Damn!
In my crippled, recuperating state, I am reading lots about intervals and speed training and I am getting closer to settling on 1Km repeats.
My only problem is whether they will be sufficient to reach my VO2Max and how to run them. And whether they will fire up my fast-twitch muscles sufficiently.
Are 400m repeats too short? Hmmm...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hamstring Healing well

I still have a slight pain but by tomorrow I should be good to go though I will probably wait till wednesday. The good thing about an injury like this is that it forces you to take a break. While it is healing, other repairs take place elsewhere (shins, knees etc) and the glycogen tanks get filled. So its a win win.
And you get some fucking perspective. I am reading Michael Focault's Discipline and Punish.
Here is Pettis, Sonnen and buddies hanging out.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

2012 Training Day 12: Hamstring Pull

I should have seen it.

It had rained. But I had decided that if it was really bad, I would decide on the pitch. When I reached the pitch, it was bad, but not too bad.

So I warmed up for 2Kms then stretched. On recollection, I did stretch my hamstrings, but maybe I didn't stretch them enough.

I did the first 200m. 38 seconds. Too slow. What is happening? I didn't feel strong. I walked and recovered. Then I gave it another go. 38 seconds. Gosh. Am I overdoing this? Am I over-trained? Why dont I feel strong? Yes the pitch is wet and I have to slow down when taking the two corners but 38s?

It started drizzling. This wasn't working. Should I bag it and go home?

I decided to give it one more try.

After 40 meters, my hamstring pulled. If you dont know how a hamstring pull feels like, thank your God.

So, the massive jolt of pain that accompanies a hamstring pull ate right into my leg like fangs from a huge cat. I braked instantly and knew that the workout was over.

And so I am off for at least four days. If I am lucky I may run again on Tuesday.

What have I learnt?

1. Speed runs weekly may not be good for me. I will be doing them fortnightly from this day forward. Follow each hard week with an easy week. It is during the easy week that you improve.

2. Whereas 200m was good and beneficial and challenging to me, it was tempting me to run too fast (all out) and thereby increasing my chances of getting injured. But it was safer than 100m. So from this day forward, I switch to 400m repeats.

3. My hamstrings are weak(er than my quads) - I need to do something about that.

4. I am fast and I can be very fast. But in order to achieve my potential as a fast marathoner, speed runs are an integral part of my training.

5. Speed runs are fun! They add variety to my training and in fact, I find them to be like strength training. No wonder Wanjiru said you dont need weight training. Speed runs are weight training!

So now I limp, reflect, get wiser, rest and recover. On another note, man, its so good to start training early! Now I am injured but not worried about the setback. No pressure. I back the fuck up as required then I make my move again without any rush. Beautiful shit. I have just wrapped a bandage on it. I would have been hussling myself to ice it, raise it, massage it, get NSAIDs etc. But I am cool and I accept that pain is weakness leaving the body and the one who gets injured is the one who gets healed, stronger and wiser.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2012 Training Day 11: I can do this shit! 10K in 46:08!

Yesterday, I carefully thought through a strategy for attacking the 10K. I reviewed my times in the past two months and decided that doing a 10K in 47:50 would be a great start to say goodbye to the 48:XX that I have received in then last 60 days. I picked an arbitrary but conservative time.
Hmmm....47:50 translates to 2870 seconds which breaks down to 287 seconds per lap or 4 mins 47 seconds.
Hmmmmm.....4 mins 47 seconds. Positive split? negative split? Even pace?
I thought about it and decided I would make it an even pace then increase my pace from the 8th K if I still had energy. So, negative split. Plus, I want to learn to always finish strong.
It was raining for most of the day and for a moment, I debated whether to postpone the run to the next day.
But I felt I needed to run. Especially after seeing Asbel Kiprop and company training in the rain. What if I slide in the mud and sustain an injury?
I went anyway. Early enough. I warmed up for 400m then stretched. I was pleased to note that the field, despite the rain, didnt have slippery sections even though it had some muddy areas.
And off I went. When I saw I had cleared the first 400m in 1:32, I started decelerating. And after slowing Down, I cleared the first K in 4:23. 4:23???!!1 Too fast! Must decelerate. And I did and did 2ndK in 4:51. 4:51 is okay, just increase a little. The 3rd K was in 4:45 4thK in 4:40.
I wanted to start upping the pace from 5k. 5th K was 4:43.
No sign of fatigue even though I had no proper lunch. Okay, lets go. 6thK in 4:32. Slow down. 7th K in 4:41. Not bad. 8th K in 4:40 - too fast but not my fault.
Then I started upping it. 8th K in 4:29 and then 9th K in 4:21. Time? 46:08:87!
This is a more than 2 minutes improvement!
I am as happy as hell with this progress. I may just be able to do a 37mins 10K by August!
I can be fast!
I can see my avg heart rate peaked at 182 Bpm. Average pace 4:36 /Km Average Speed 13.5 Km/hr. The second 5K was in 22:43.
Tomorrow I do speed runs.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2012 Training day no 10: 27K in 2:50

I did a 27k yesterday and completed in 2:50:42 at a pace of 6:19/Km. This is a good improvement compared to the 27K of 6th November which I completed in 2:56:29 at an average pace of 6:32/Km.
Unlike the last 27K, this time, I did not go past 7mins in any Km.
Yesterday, I did a 6:54/Km at the 15th Km (there is a humongous hill there!) but all the rest were sub 6:40/Km times.
So you know what? My next target is to do all the Kms in Sub 6:40 in my next 27K. That should be easy enough - and watch out for the hill at the 15th Km! So my strategy is to start with eliminating the outliers and then start shaving out seconds from my average times as I focus on finishing strong. This will really improve my average pace over time! I have 11 months to get it right!
What made the race all the more interesting is that I decided to learn how to drink water while running (I didn't have a choice anyway - or risk headaches caused by dehydration!). The water made a great difference! The run was so much more fun! And it was easier! I didn't know water could make such a difference! Even the sun which emerged early did not faze me this time! I didn't bother to run in the shade because I felt great and my speed and performance did not deteriorate!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

2012 Training Day 9: 200m Intervals in 34s

I did a 2Kms warm up. Then stretched then did interval runs until my legs felt like jelly. My legs are still quite weak speedwise so I hardly did ten intervals before I couldnt do much anymore.
200m in 39:47
200m in 47:14
200m in 36:30
200m in 34:50
200m in 34:25
200m in 42:38
200m in 34:00
This was a huge improvement for me and I am very satisfied about it. My best time over 200m two weeks ago was 38 seconds. Now its 34. If I can arrive at 30-31s in two weeks, I will be the happiest fella around. Training calculators tell me that I should be doing 200m in 32:04 so I have less than 2 seconds to improve on this. Maybe even next week I may be able to achieve it. Who knows?
I feel my legs are getting stronger and I am getting faster. Its a great feeling.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

10K in 48:45

I have added a Kg or two but it didn't stop me from doing an Okay 10K yesterday. Hp[efully, by end of Dec, I will be able to do a 46mins 10K.
I have shin pains and wobbly knees but nothing I can't handle.
I have now missed two long runs in a row. But I compensated well for it last week. This week, the torrential rains have made it impossible but no matter, we do what we can.
Machida squares up to Jon Jones above.
Lest I forget, I have included my paces and my HR values. For future comparison.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Training Day No. 7 - 16K

I was up at 5:20am today. This time, I made a point not to drag myself around too much. And when I stepped out, it actually felt like dawn even though daylight had penetrated every nook and cranny and chased the shadows away. I walked to the gate. Then I started warming up with a jog until my garmin got the satellites.
I started with a 5:45, then a 5:45 and the third K was a 5:10. Followed by a 5:05 then a 5:08 etc etc. At any rate, by 16K, I hadnt gone past 6min/K. I was happy with that.
I took my time to do lunges, crunches, pushups and to stretch.
My knees feel wobbly but I am glad about the progress this week.
I have a busy weekend so I know yesterday and Sunday I wont get any miles in. So it will be a good time to recover. Eye candy today are these marathon gods at work.

Total mileage for week 2: 14+14+10+16=54Kms

Tired - Bike

My alarm went off at 5:25am but I dragged myself around and my glazed eyes shifted lazily to the TV screen to glumly observe the minister of Lands, James Orengo say all the Syokimau title deeds were fake and the scam was conducted outside the ambit of the Lands office.
Amazing shit.
How come the fleeced buggers haven't rushed to burn down the offices of the directors of Mlolongo Brothers et al?
I tried to stretch but I was stiff. I went about it anyway. A piece of wood trying to act like rubber. I finally decided to change and walk to the gymn at about 6:15am. I plodded onto the stationery bike and my legs refused to move. After some 40 minutes of feeling weak, I had burnt a measly 200 calories.
Then I did some crunches and calf raises.
No energy. A good day for a break. So today I rest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Training Day No. 6 - 10K

I was up at 5:28. I lazied around watching an interview of Mickey Rourke then stepped out. Daylight galore. I was feeling kinda stiff so I had spent some time stretching. I wanted to make it an easy 10K. My garmin totally gave me hell today. I couldnt set it right! And after 5K, it started raining...
I had to take shelter and wait for the rain to abate because I wasnt sure my garmin was waterproof and also didnt want to get my shoes soaked. After it stopped, I went on and finnished the run.
I ended up doing a 10K and stretched, cooled down and showered.
Then I gulped down a litre or so of water. But the real disaster came during breakfast.
I started well with a plate of fruits - mangoes, watermelons, pineapples and pawpaws. I normally take this in quantities intended to make me full so that I limit the amount of carbohydrates I take. Carefully consider the amount of fruits that can make a grown, active man full.
After taking out that plate of fruits, I swung in a bowl of cereals: half a biscuit of weetabix, some cornflakes, cashewnuts, macadamia nuts, raisins and some other nuts whose name I dont recall. I then gently asked for hot milk as I sprinkled sugar over this concotion.
As the milk came, I rose up without knocking anything over and gathered a glass of orange juice and 100ml of strawberry yogurt.
I then settled down at my table and spread the napkin on my lap and made quick work of the cereal and nuts mixture and asked for tea. Mixed tea, I helpfully clarified to the waiter.
They brought a kettle as I went to gather carbs.
I picked a plate and then served about three tablespoonfulls of scrambled eggs, which I nudged aside to allow some bacons to settle in.
I followed this with some fried Indian vegetable cookies, then carefully placed a  fat mahamri next to it. I then selected a juicy croissant and some other cake-like cookie that had some chocolate nestled in its heart. I then deftly cut a slice of sweet bread and arranged it next to that. I then scooped some marmalade and made it land next to the croissant.
I then paused in front of this sea of breads, cakes, cookies and other pastries and quietly surveyed my handiwork and decided it was not bad and walked back to my table.
Then I settled down and demolished all this without asking for any assistance.
And I escorted these with two cups of steaming tea.
Before I belched, I chased this mixture down my system with a cold glass of fresh orange juice and then surveyed the empty plates and cups on my table with some degree of self-sympathy and satisfaction at the same time.
Sympathy that I was actually quite a hog today. And this is dangerous. Even if I ran 10K in the morning and got rained on. Such kind of ruthless gastronomical appetite can make a man obese. Indeed, this is what politicians are made of.

Training Day 5: 14K

I was up at 5:28. Still got shocked that it was daylight when I stepped out. So I move the clock back again back 5 minutes tonight. Today I was stronger even though I had skipped dinner last night. Too much food here for breakfast and lunch - somewhat, I can't really control myself even though I try and ensure I stuff my face with fruits so that when I am taking high- calorie food like cakes, bread and rice, I am already kinda full.
At any rate, my garmin still took almost ten minutes to locate the satellites, which was kinda frustrating.
It had rained last night so it was kinda muddy but Mombasa doesnt have so much mud and I got places I could plant my foot on without splashing water or landing in sludge.
Like yesterday, by the time I had cleared 14K, I was soaked in sweat. My truck was wet like I had peed or popood on myself and so when I jogged to the gate of the Hotel, the puzzled guard looked at me questioningly. I believe I was quite a sight to behold. The bugger that said champions are made when nobody is watching should have been there to see the guards look at me like something that had dropped from the sky.
He cracked open the gate for me with hesitation, questioning me with his eyes but afraid to ask me who the hell I was because I could be some big shot who can kick his butt.

"Mimi ni guest" I offered helpfully as I waded in.

He took a look at me from head to toe. Clearly, he had never seen a guest like me, or in my condition. I slowed down to show him and his colleague that I wasnt gonna force myself in.

"Wewe ni guest?" He repeated without thinking. Still trying to absorb what his eyes were taking in. His bulging eyes walked all over me. Its like he was trying to decide whether he was seeing urine or sweat.

I jogged off, leaving them to wonder what kinda guest would leave the comfortable rooms and beds of the Hotel, and the beach, and the gymn and spa, and choose to go running on the road, and run so hard and sweat so much they couldn't tell if I had urinated on myself.
I stretched at the beach. Beautiful shit but I had no time to enjoy its expansive beauty.
Here is Geoff Mutai, currently Kenya's best Marathoner, followed by Moses Mosop, then by current World Record Holder, Patrick Makau.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Busy weekend - missed 27K now have to make up

I had a busey weekend. Had to quickly travel to my grandma-in-law's funeral. And travel back and go to Mombasa.
I am reading Haruki Murakami's book, What I talk About When I talk About Running. Its a small, well-written book. Simple, plain and expresses a deep enthusiasm and psychological benefits of running by this Japanese. I share so much with the author and he says what I would like to say about running. But his ignorance about running is apalling. I should complete it today. In my view its not worth the KShs 1000/=. Next time Sunny Bindra recommends a book, I will ignore his recommendation.
I am in Mombasa and because I missed the 27K yesterday, I have a non-written compensation plan.
I started today with a 14K in the morning. I was up at 5:35 to give myself adequate time for stretching but I was shocked that when I stepped out, it was already daylight. Today I will move the clock 10 minutes back.
I was not that strong, thanks to skipping dinner. But I met my goals. Tomorrow I will attempt a repeat. My garmin was not set so I lost valuable time setting it on the road.
If I do 14K, I should be able to do an easy one on Wednesday then speed runs on Thursday and then I cap it with another easy one on Friday. A crazy weekend awaits so it is likely I will miss my 27K again.
I dont know my timings because I formatted my laptop and didnt carry my garmin software CD.
I have started watching Bleach. Its the rage. If you dont know about it, its your loss brother.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

2012 Training Day 3: 200m Intervals

Got held up in the office so I arrived at the grounds late.
2Km Warm up
200m in 43s
200m in 41s
200m in 41s
200m in 38s
200m in 43s
1Km warm down, stretched and did some plyometrics.
I am doing speed runs for the first time ever so I want to ease into them. Nothing too crazy or ambitious. From what I experienced yesterday, and given that I did not make my 200m in 32s that I am targeting, I will stick to the 200m repeats for a while before I move up to 300 or 400m.
Total distance for the week 27+10+4=51Kms
Here is Makau en route to breaking the WR with Geb trailing in 2012 Berlin marathon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Baselines. Lest I forget

Now that I am taking off. Just one last look at where I am coming from. They say you should not forget where you are coming from, even as you surge towards your dreams and future:

2012 Training Day 2: 10K in 51:40:71

Went for training. Was feeling rather tired and slow and had decided to do a slow 10K when Borura showed up and pushed me. What is great about it is that it was a progressive 10K and the first 5 Ks were 5:xx and the last 5 Kays were 4:xx I loved it. We agreed that we will be running every Tuesday and Thursday. So I have a running partner! Great!
Here is a scene from Sunday's NYC Marathon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My 2012 Training Plan is Ready!

Mine will be a year-long training. Here is the plan. I started yesterday with 27K. I can adjust it depending on my circumstances. I have divided it into four phases as below. All I have to do now is follow it, sacrifice, endure the pain and suffering and see what happens in the end. Remember what Scott Overall said.


________NOV-FEB_____STT_____________approx 43-50Kms per week
INTENSITY_________MAR-JUL____SMTWTF_________Ramp up Mileage to 100-110Kms per week
PEAKING PHASE_____AUG-SEP_____SMTWTF_________More Speedwork reduce mileage by 20%
TAPER+RACING_____SEP-OCT_____SMTWTF________Same as above plus races

PHASE (approx 43-50Kms per week)

Objectives - 1. Teach body to store glycogen in muscles thereby utilize fat more efficiently. fats 9 cals per gram vs 4 cals per gram for glycogen, this will allow you to use more fat in your fuel mixture so the glycogen that feeds your muscles will last longer to stave off exhaustion.
2. Glycogen depletion stimulates the muscles to store more glycogen-to help prevent future depletion. Because the faster you run the more glycogen you burn, running your long runs at a reasonable pace is a more effective way to deplete your glycogen stores (and hence stimulate the muscles to store more) than jogging.
3. Increase aerobic enzyme activity. Enzymes in the mitochondria speed up aerobic energy production. Long runs increase the activity of these enzymes, which improves the efficiency of the mitochondria. So you not only have more and bigger energy factories, but they are also more efficient.
4. Long runs increase the number of capillaries per muscle fiber, which improves the efficiency of delivery and removal. They are the transportation system for the cell, bringing oxygen and fuels in, and waste products such as carbon dioxide out Shuttle oxygen with more myoglobin. Myoglobin in your muscle cells serves a similar function to hemoglobin in your blood-it carries oxygen from the cell membrane to the mitochondria.
5. Long runs increase the myoglobin content of your muscle fibers, so more oxygen can reach the mitochondria to produce energy.

Style - moderate speed, not slow. Have bursts of 10-20seconds of speed speed in alternative weekends (fartleks) and alternate with even-paced runs imitating tempo runs. Endeavor to finish strong always.
The basic idea is that I will get faster over time as the body adjusts to the repeated stress of the workload.

- 8-10K - hard. Objective: Benchmarking, speed + endurance
Objective -  Increase my LT and my pace.


- 6 laps warm up, thorough stretching, start with 5 x 150m at 98% effort (with 1K goal pace 3:30), 1 min. Walking rest between. Double distance every 2 weeks until 1200m. Equivalent of 5K. i.e. 12 X 400 meters at 5K pace with 2 mins recovery between each, 6 X 600 meters or 5 X 1000 meters. Measure Progress over every 4 weeks. Stress your system, recover completely between sets, then stress it again. Start with fast and relaxed for some weeks first. I repeat, recover completely between sets.

Objective - Fortify the "quick energy" systems (creatine phosphate) and enable to buffer (and reuse) lactate better during races of all distances - adapting your body to higher demands and your leg muscles to faster turnover. Goal is to increase  maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 max).

RECOVERY WEEKS - Every 5 weeks. No hard sessions during these weeks. Reduce mileage to 70% of previous week.

Here is my TRAINING LOG:
Wish me luck and no injuries and we watch this magic happen.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Setting the Baselines for 2012 - 27K

I have decided to continue from where I am and build on my current fitness level instead of taking some long break, hogging my way through Christmas backed by a sedentary lifestyle and starting the New Year overweight and unfit, taking four months to come back to my current fitness level and shed some weight and then repeat this sorry-ass cycle of a story I have repeated before. And then post some mediocre performance at the end of the year.
Not this time. No way in hell. Not with what I am aiming for.
So yesterday I did a 27K in 2:56. I will be doing this every Sunday unless there is some good reason not to. The objective is to make sure I have a glycogen tank that cannot be questioned, and to activate more fibres which will be recruited when the body is stressed to meet the demands of the distance.
I have plans for speed but at this point, I want to set my baseline which I will be reviewing 10 months from now:


Distance_____1 Nov 2011___________Aiming at Sept 2012
5k___________23:36.73/4:43 pace___________19:02

10K__________48:20.74/4:50 pace___________39:33
21K__________01:48/5:05 pace_____________1:28
27K__________02:56.29/6:32 pace___________2:05

So Fuckin Help Me God. As Scott Overall Says Dream Big, Win Big.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Developing Training Plan for 2012

I have Tim Noakes' Lore of Running but I am hogging volumes of running wisdom at and will build a Training Plan soon. Voluminous shit, I tell ya.

So, reflecting, thinking, budgeting, weighing options, consulting, stepping back to get perspective, then going back to clarify an item and all that balancing act crap is in progress.
Is this picture thoughtful enough? Then I should use it.
Stay fucking tuned.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Now What? 2012 Plans

After my poor performance on Sunday, I need to map out strategies for improving my time next year. And I want to seriously target 90 mins for my half marathon in 2012. When I say seriously, I mean seriously. One thing I have realized is that that kind of time requires something more than most hobbyists and amateurs are willing to give.

This year was good for me though I got a hamstring injury two weeks to the race day but I dont think it impacted too much on my performance: that was just my fitness level playing out on race day. I continue believing that there is not much you can change as far as your fitness level three or four weeks to race day. It means between Ndakaini and Stanchart my fitness was about the same. And it showed.

The challenge I have now can be summed up in two words: TIME AND PLACE.
I need to run at least Eight weeks of 100K plus KMS per week around August 2010. Where and how (time) will I build up to that? I would like to keep Saturday my day off and Sunday my LDR day. If I do 30K on Sundays, the challenge is how to get time and place to pack in the remaining 70K between Monday and Friday. If I start from Feb with 50K per week the (injury-free) training plan should roughly go as follows: March 60, April 70, May 80, June 90, July 100, August 100-120, September 120 or >120, October Taper, and Race day sub 90mins Half.
Now how do I make that happen? I have a family and a Job.

I have the following options:
1. Run in the mornings - problem with this is security and my young baby who ensures I dont sleep much. If I do this, it will mean I wake up at 4:30 and be out at 4:50 and run for about an hour. I generally have no problem waking up at 4:30.
The biggest problem with this is that, whereas it worked quite well for me this year, vehicles from Karen and Rongai have discovered the road near my place and traffic jam will guarantee that I am late for work if I leave the house at 7am. This reason alone almost rules out this option. Advantage - I go home early to be with my family.
2. Run to work - this will involve identifying a place near work where I can shower and change to my official clothes. This is not that hard. Then I will need to find a bag for carrying my work-clothes - a backpack. Then I will have to contend with the irritating prospect of having security officers daily peering at my wet workout clothes at the entrance to the office. And I will need to plan for breakfast. Challenge - where to stretch and cool down. Evening travel - matatus? Advantage - I can adjust the distance without much issues. Advantage - I go home early to be with my family.
3. Evening running - public service and other places like UoN. This will require I sneak from work in order to get a decent workout. Main challenge is evening Nairobi Traffic Jam which will be chewing up to an hour of the time I should spend training. Then I arrive home tired. Advantage, I get to keep my car. Disadvantage, arriving home late.
4. Register in a gym near the office - Okay, I dont particularly like Treadmills because I think they differ from real running. This can be considered a last option since I want to avoid spending money on this.
5. Buy a treadmill - I can afford one (okay, I would have to sacrifice a number of things) but there is no space at home. Can I squeeze one in the guests bedroom? Challenge - when I have guests, I wont be using this equipment. Advantages are countless though because of the flexibility. I need to give this more consideration. Can I move away some of the furniture to make room for the TM? How much space do I need?
6. Running home in the evening - main challenge with this is going to work in the morning in a matatu. I need to give this more thought. This can work well though if I have secure parking so that I drive to work on day A and run home in the evening and run to work on day 2 and drive back home in the evening. challenge is, I dont have secure parking yet.
7. A mixture of the above. I need to give this more thought.

Any ideas? Suggestions are welcome.
Hmmmmmm.......the thinking continues...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stanchart Marathon 2011 Race Report - 21K in 1:48

Wow, todays race was great even though very difficult and very disappointing to me. I did not do as well as I wanted. But in retrospect, it adds up. I think I hadn't done adequate mileage for what I wanted, and it shows and also the hamstring injury may have screwed the last two weeks more than I want to believe.
At any rate, we were there early, had enough time to stretch and play chicken and take photos. The weather was excellent. The crowds were perfect. I felt kinds heavy but that made sense since I had added 2Kg in the last 2 weeks. Imagine that shit.

Here  I pose with Ogutu and Mutwiri. I set my garmin to beep after every Km and display the time taken to cover it.
And we were off!
The first 1K was crowded and at times I had to get out of the road to move forward. I couldn't see Ogutu, Mark, Borura etc. At the H. Selassie roundabout, my garmin beeped:
That was fast. But I decided not to slow down coz I was not speeding. I was just going with the current. I went on cruising with the surging crowd. Water at 1.5K. My garmin beeped.
Okay, not bad. I saw Gacho, who hollered. I also saw the smooth-runnin guy we saw in Ndaka. He wore a cadense sensor, was carrying his signature liquid in a water bottle and this time, he wore shorts instead of tights. Still smooth-moving. I ran alongside him for a while. I looked around and couldn't see my guys. My garmin beeped and I glanced at it.
Very good. Gotta ease off the gas pedal though. I thought. So I did and the guy drifted away. I still hadn't started working. I was just running. But my garmin indicated that my HR was 172 so I was working even if my mind hadn't registered it.
Not bad. I went on. Just cruising.
Here, I started working but I didn't want to push too much. 5K in under 25mins was okay.
I developed a stitch.
Stitch is gone. Some two white guys run up to me and we pace each other.
Damn, I wasn't goin to do 13K within 1 hour. The two guys leave me behind.
Okay, so sub 1:40 is beyond reach. Damn. And I seem to have no energy. WTF?
I realize if I keep running like this, I wont get anything interesting. I decide to just run. I use my garmin and use my heart rate to pace myself. I use whatever pace can keep me at 170.
Yeah, its 4K only left but I am screwed up so bad. I grit my teeth and push. I have nothing left. I dont get it but this is happening right now.
I pass some old man who passed me at 18K in Ndakaini. I smile. I see I am not the only one returning a poor performance. I made a little snack out of his struggling form.
My legs are shot. Nothing is left in the tank.
My garmin reads 1:48 when I cross the finnish line. But thats for 21.3K. My 21K time is 1:46:43. I will print the certificate and share. My legs are totally shot. I never felt this way in a long, long time. Its like I didnt train as hard as I did this year! I cant freakin believe this shit.
Anyways, that is that. The main thing is not to lose the momentum. Like SFD says, There is No failure, there is only the Next Race. I will rest maybe for two weeks or so then resume. Weight loss will continue. My LSRs will now hit 30K and I will find a way of ensuring I have a decent mileage. I have to cut off at least 10mins from this time next year.
Mark finished ahead of me which is impressive. I have learnt something today: someone building on a poor performance last year is better of this year than someone coming back after a 2 year hiatus and an impressive performance three years ago.
This is very important. And I probably shouldn't be so hard on myself since I last raced in 2008 and resumed proper racing this year.
Now next year I build on this foundation. War Jack!
Borura debuted with a sub 2 hr race. Mutwiri in 2:05. Nice! Ogutu's race report is one thing I can't wait. I already bought popcorn for reading how he lost the 10K I threw at him.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last 12K in 58:36

I went for a 12K today in Kisumu, Milimani area. It wasnt a struggle but I felt heavy and my HRM reported high heart rates. It was a perfect 12K though. I think I should manage a sub 100mins. I just need to hydrate well and stay focused on running sub 5mins/Km. Here are the readings.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Easy 8K

I did an easy 8K after 5 days off. I think I am 90% healed. 43mins. I will do another 10K on Wednesday and wait for race day. Cheers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hamstring Pull

Yesterday I was doing speed runs and after doing some 400x8, I decided to sprint harder and do some 100m X5. On the third leg, my hamstring pulled.
I now walk with a slight limp. I want ti believe that if I rehabilitate it correctly, I should be good to go on 30th.
I was well warmed up and well stretched so I think what caused it may be the fact that I was exercising harder beyond my capacity, or my muscles were tired. At any rate, I am not too worried even if I dont make it to the start line on 30th October. This year, I have worked well and now I have my Garmin. I know that next I am targeting 4min/Km and a 1:40 for Ndakaini in 2012.

Monday, October 17, 2011

21K Easy

I hadnt slept. I had no legs. So I took it easy. Colic. Damn.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Review of Unbowed - One Woman's Story

I got a copy of Wangari Maathai's 2007 book, Unbowed - One Woman's Story from a friend yesterday. This friend is a budding writer whose work was included in Kwani? 06, a book I gave a critical review that was published in The East African of Feb 21 2011. Some of the writers from the Kwani? fold  met my review with angry knee-jerk reactions that took the form of who-the-Hell-is-Jacob-Aliet and he-must-be-a-failed-writer but after interacting with some of them in facebook, we became friends. Mehul Gohil, one of the writers, is actually one of the top three chess players in Kenya and an exceptional writer.
At any rate, I was in the middle of Reading John Loftus' The End of Christianity when this writer was kind enough to lend me the book.
Unbowed is a hardcover book and its going for 790/=. I think that is quite a steep price but oh well, maybe it has got something to do with the hardcover and it was published by RandomHouse. 
It is a memoir. Very well-written and the contents are well ordered with an index at the back. It enables one to know who the real Wangari Maathi was and what is amazing is how much the Moi regime succeeded in painting her as a difficult, stubborn, quarrelsome divorcee because this memoir literally peels away that unpleasant mask plastered on her by the Moi regime and enables us to see her as a beautiful, sensitive and caring woman who was brave and who displayed courage when almost everyone was cowering in the face of a powerful but irresponsible government.
The book narrates her childhood experiences, from her formative years to the times she went to study in the US under the Kennedy airlift programs until she graduated and was admitted in the University of Pittsburg. I found it interesting that her master’s thesis was on the development of the pineal gland in quails. Think about that for a minute. As a student, she was reserved and buried herself in her books and ended up being the first Kenyan woman to earn a PhD. It was a PhD in gonads so animal anatomy was her forte. The book traces her ascent from a small rural family in Nyeri to being a recipient of the Nobel Peace price and a Member of Parliament for Tetu.
The reader gets to appreciate how the world looked like through her eyes, from her early childhood, schooldays, during the state of emergency in Kenya and during Kenya's turbulent times when Tom Mboya and JM Kariuki were murdered, her falling in love with her husband, having children, and the divorce that devastated her and how she rose up from the ashes of those difficult years and became a strong woman who the Kenyan society unwittingly tried to snuff out because it was afraid to confront an abusive and destructive regime. She reminds us in the book that fear cannot provide one with security.
Almost accidentally, her life was full of struggle. She never sought trouble but her success itself, created tensions that would rip apart her family. Her passion for environment conservation placed her on a collision course with a regime that wanted to exploit the environment without a care about tomorrow. Her steadfast belief in what was right isolated her from friends and colleagues who were afraid of being compromising their comforts. Her resoluteness in the face impending death and persecution made it easy for the government to paint her as an unpleasant, loony woman out to make trouble.
She fought stigma from being an educated woman, stigma from being a divorcee, stigma from being anti-government and this stigma altered her life in many ways than one, she was repeatedly sent to jail, she was separated from family and friends, and was made to lack employment and money through systematic government smear campaigns and intimidation.
Wangari was a very educated woman, very astute, very exposed, very independent-minded, very adaptive, very passionate about trees and the environment and was a strong leader who severally engaged in selfless quests while risking her life. Indeed, the GreenBelt Movement was lucky to have this woman at its helm because her passion alone could take the movement to the greatest heights and it did. She succeeded tremendously against major odds.
She is open about her weaknesses in a manner that makes her endearing to her readers. One actually gets to behold the sensitive, tender woman that lay beneath that resolute, versatile mask that she wore as the leader of GreenBelt movement. It is also amazing how much she had "foreign" friends compared to Kenyan friends and it appears that her pillars, her support system both financially, morally and even intellectually was mainly non-Kenyan save for a handful of her Kenyan friends. Mostly educated women. No wonder she never blended seamlessly into the Kenyan political fold.
The only weakness I find in this autobiography is that whereas she freely reveals her weaknesses and vulnerabilities, she doesn’t admit her faults in the book and when faced with painful outcomes like her divorce. As such, one may think she is impervious to her own failings as a human being when she ends up presenting herself as an innocent victim who was never at fault in the difficult circumstances that confronted her. One may think that Wangari’s introspection probably didn’t have the depth that would give her the uncompromising perspective that admits responsibility for unpleasant outcomes in her journey. But this minor criticism does nothing to take away the richness of her personal story and the lessons from a life well lived.
When I reflect on her journeys, her pains and her fears. Her successes and her failures, her possessions and her needs, her passion and her aspirations. Her perspective and her vision for Kenya and for the environment, the narrative of her struggle and the way the Moi government paraded a slanted portrait of her in the media that lacked independence, and when one considers how she was admonished as a trouble-making divorcee in the Kenyan Parliament, how we watched as she was mocked and humiliated, I can only conclude one thing:
We didn't know this woman at all.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

10K in 48:20:74

I went yesterday to the field and did a 10k. I didn't eat lunch and thought my breakfast would take care of it so after 5K, my energy was gone! and at 7K I had a stitch and the grounds lacked traction in several places but this result is not bad. I can probably return a 47K. Maybe I should try that next week?
Today I rest.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

13K easy 4:13 per Km

I went for a 13K run. I am out pf sorts from the run yesterday so I took it very easy. I also realized that I have discovered another barrier that I will need to be chipping away at: my fastest 1K. It stood at 4:21 yesterday. Today I have reduced it to 4:13. I know that in the recent Chicago Marathon, Mosop et al could throw in a 2:45min/K paces which destroyed Ryan Hall et al.
So there, I am starting from 4:13 and I will keep attacking it whenever I can. Hopefully, I can reach 3:20. Wow. That would be something.
Tomorrow I am back to work and that will present all sorts of problems to my running schedule but we will see.

Monday, October 10, 2011

14K Suicide Run

I was supposed to go for a 12K suicide run today but the weather was fair and I decided to go for 15K.
Shock on me.
In the first Km, I realized this was not gonna work out how I expected. I expected that I would be bursting with energy and would be controlling myself from going too fast.
Instead, I felt as if I was running in waist-deep mud. My legs couldnt move! And a glance at my heart rate showed me the problem: my HR was high even though I wasnt doing much. I had no energy. Instead of firing on all cylinders, I was shutting down!
That was overtraining looking right at me.
And I thought, damn! WTF? And I decided that since I was out to make myself uncomfortable, taking an overtrained me through a fast 15K would truly make me uncomfortable. And thats what I needed. Discomfort. Pressure. Tension.
I attacked the hills and held nothing back. The route ascends up to about 7K and so I returned slow times. But I resolved mentally to revenge on my way back. At 7Km mark, the sun came out and I wasn't exactly enthusiastic about getting baked in the 1pm sun, so I turned back.
And so 14K it was.
In the spirit or not giving myself room for comfort, I clenched my jaws and surged and struggled. And I started cutting down the times to sub 5min kays. I even decided to see how low I can go. After all, I should be targeting 3:50min per Km next year.
And I did! I even ended the last frame with a blistering (per my slow standards) 4:21! Amazing shit!
My average speed? 12.1Km per hour. Time 1:09:34.
I am scheduled to go back to work on Wednesday. I don't know what that means as far as my training but we will see.
This table shows how shit went down in the 14K. My target/ ideal heart rate seems to be 168-168bpm.
Stay active guys!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

100km/ week Done! 49:40 10k on hills

I think I am a little insane.
Today was a busy day. First of all, we didnt sleep until 4am and even then it was only for 1hr 45 mins. Our baby Trevor didnt want to sleep and suckled the whole night.
So I was tired and groggy when morning came. I was so starved of sleep my body was literally aching.
I got some fundis to grind away the metal grill on my balcony and I fixed a water pump and a 920 litre water tank to make water problems history in my house.
So back to the insanity. Recall that I have repeatedly said this should be a slow but huge mileage week only to go into speed sessions. Each time. Again and again. And yesterday I said I can toss my mileage in and comfort myself with the knowledge that I did a mileage equivalent to 100k.
So 6pm arrives and I decide, why not go for a 10K? These legs feel strong. Cant let that bad stomach that screwed me yesterday to get away with it now, can we? No we cant, my inner voice answers placidly.
I decided to go for a 10K. So I changed, stretched a little and left.
I decided I wanted to make myself uncomfortable today. Fast guys force themselves to go through uncomfortable training sessions and then they race easy.
Speed doesnt come to people. You cant raise your VO2 Max or Lactate Threshold without getting flooded with Lactic Acid and your body learning to wash away the lactic acid and deal with the oxygen debt and all sorts of problems you experience when you are moving fast. You slog in long slow miles, your fast twitch muscles remain inactive.

So I set off and as I did, I remembered when we used to play Basketball in high school, there were what we used to call suicide laps. I decided since I was going all out, I will be calling my ten Kays suicide 10Kays. The basic idea is to put my body in trouble and force it to learn to handle that trouble, that is to run in such a way that lactic acid is getting generated almost faster than it can be rid of.
So I was running hard, my teeth were out. I just wanted to get the mental toughness of being able to handle that discomfort. I gritted my teeth and clenched my jaws for 49 minutes and I am very pleased with my performance.
As much as it became dark when I was on the 6th frame, I managed to return sub 5min 1kays until I completed. This is excellent considering this is a hilly route (I decided to attack all hills. My heart rate be damned), considering I didnt have anything I can call fresh legs, considering it was dark and I had to slow down in several places to ensure I dont step in a hole or on a stone, consideriong some buggers blocked my path and I had to navigate round them etc.
So it is good. I believe under a different set of circumstances, I can do a 45mins 10K. I probably will on Tuesday when I try another suicide 12K. Tomorrow I rest and enjoy my baby, wife and visitors. I sympathize with the 12K on Monday. The ferocity burning in me, and having nothing to lose, means the 12K will be in trouble.
It is interesting to note that my average heart rate was 166. My current speed runs are kinda "safe" compared to 200M or 100m repeats I think that is why I have pulled this off without an injury. There is only that fast you can run 3k or 5k. Those are the intervals we are looking at.

Friday, October 7, 2011

10K 11K to go - what a run!

Had a busy day today so I went to run at 6pm. Speedophilia prevailed as you can see from the first 6K. Then my stomach decided I had to Go. It was so bad I had to start walking. I had passed Galleria meaning there would be no toilets within the next 4K. I ended up in the bush! Damn!
Anyways, 11K to go but I dont have to. I feel satisfied that I covered enough peaking mileage this week (89K is as good as any). I can start tapering next week with speed runs.
Man! today was horrible! Bad bad stomach!
The Luos say there is nobody as shameless as one under a bout of diarrhea!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

22K in 2:08 - 21K to go. Yes we can. Er, Yes I can

I hardly slept last night. That means I couldn't go out to run early. My legs weren't fresh as such since I didn't sleep and my left knee felt spindly.But I trust my quads to protect my knee.
Nonetheless, I set off at 10am and off I went. I warmed up then cranked up a little. The first 8K went like this: 6:02, 5:03, 5:15, 5:13, 5:14, 5:22, 5:27, 5:32 then the sun was literally baking me.That is 43:08 for the first 8k.
At any rate, I reckon that my target heart rate is 170-172.
The next 7 Kms returned 6:34, 7:07, 5:03, 6:05,5:07, 5:50, 4:58 which is 40:44
So at 15K I had done 83:53, which is, 1:23. Then it was simply so hot. It didn't make sense to continue being greedy. This week should be about distance, not speed.
At any rate, I plodded on and finished 22K in 2:08.
One major thing I learnt today is that this marathon business is not about your heart or lungs or mind: its all about your legs. If your legs aren't strong enough to ask for more oxygen, they wont get none and your heart rate will drop. So one must have fresh, fast legs.
I have 21K left to total 100K this week. No more speed for me until next week. Am tired as hell.
From next week, I taper for Stanchart.
Meanwhile, I digest what happened today.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Do I have the Mitochondria for the required LT?

Today I have taken a break. I was so delighted to know that today is Wednesday. I thought it is Thursday. This means I can rest today and I have two days to clear the remaining 43K. And I will have covered 100K in one week for the first time since I was born.
So I have been reading up on how to improve my performance and I came across Hadd's training method and I think I have sorta followed it because I have striven to run a lot (i.e. daily and therefore slowly) as much as possible even as I have regulated between hard/slow. I have sorta tried to do LSRs every Sunday for the last two or three months. And I have improved speedwise and I have avoided tarmac and my splintered shins have got better or healed. I successfully run three successive Kms in under 5 minutes two days ago. That means to me that maybe I have capacity waiting to be used. And that sub 5 mins 1K, ladies and gentlemen, is my HMarathon race pace.
So, is it too far-fetched for a guy who has been slogging 6:20min/Km runs to aim at sub 5min/Km?
Maybe. Maybe not. What I do know is that I have 2 and a half weeks to verify this so that I dont go and burn myself out at the marathon.
What does Hadd say?
Hadd says "the more mitochondria, the less lactate; the less lactate, the faster the racing pace and the more economical you are at any pace, meaning you can keep that pace up for longer."
I have tested myself to keep the pace for about 15minutes. And I succeeded. Now tomorrow, I want to test whether I can keep the pace for 30 or 35minutes. My legs will be fresher tomorrow. The plan is to warm up in the first 1K then adopt the race pace for the next six or seven KMs and see what happens.
I can't wait to see me either succeed or fall apart. If I succeed tomorrow, I will test whether I can keep the pace for an hour next. Then 1:20 should be the last test.
I think I have done quite a load of aerobic training to test myself this way. This is Sally Kipyego. I like her gait and cadence.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Easy 16K - 43Kms to go

I did an easy 16K today. It was made kinda hard by the blazing sun - I went at about 1pm. So I did sweat and got dehydrated. But it went well. I knew I was treading on very thin ice so I took it easy. Very easy. My legs don't feel very sturdy right now. Right now, this great-looking guy ensures I practically dont sleep night after night. Nobody said fatherhood entails sleepless nights.


Monday, October 3, 2011

15K - with Intervals - 59Kms to go out of 100K

I went for my run today at 2pm, when the sun was blazing. Amazing shit. I didn't mind because I was donning a cape and was well hydrated and was to go for a 14K easy run. So off I went. But after a K, I felt good so I decided to try a sub 5mins 1K. I succeeded and decided why not try another one? I did and succeeded. I developed a stitch after about 7K. That is why I decided to do 15K because I ran further to give the stitch time to ease away. After it did, I decided to dip under 5mins for the next 3K. I succeeded. But it wasn't easy. Then I did another sub 5mins at the 14th frame. I am so excited. I need a coach to tell me what this means!
It means that out of the 15K, I covered 7K in 33mins.
It also means my next challenge is to see whether I can sustain this speed for 4 continuous Kms. I have done it for three, one and two. Next I can test myself against 5, 6 and 7. And if I can do it for 7K, I believe I should be able to do it for 10K. 4:45 for 10K yields a 45mins 10K and a 55mins 12K. With good mileage, I should be able to do 21K in under 100mins!
This garmin is a real motivator! Better than a coach!
Here is a table of the breakdown:

Great going! Now I rest.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

26K - 100Km week challenge?

I decided to try a 26K today and managed it in 2:31. It was muddy because it rained last evening and because I set off at 9am, there were times when the sunlight did a number on me.
So there was the mud, the fact that this was supposed to be a LSR and the sun. But I gave it a shot. It turns out that doing a 5mins 5K wont be a walk in the park. But I gave it a shot at the 21 and 22nd K and managed and I can see my heart rate was just at 162. So its doable. The outcome is as per the table below. Interesting that my best time was at the 22nd K mark.
I am contemplating challenging myself to do 100k this week. Or will I be inviting injuries? Hmmmm....

Friday, September 30, 2011

10k easy

I had to eat lunch at 4:30 pm so by the time I went for my run at 5pm, the stitch I got after 700m told me to kiss speed goodbye. So I did an easy 10K. Here is the story as told by the garmin:


15K run and Bike

I did a 15K run on wednesday and biked yesterday. I will see if I get some time today and run.
I am contemplating the possibility of doing a 100Km week next week....
Too busy with baby and sleeplessness.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

11.3k GarminPhilic

Today, gung-ho with the garmin, I decided to give the 12Km/hr target another go. Like a complete idiot.
So I set off at about 2pm. It was sunny but there were episodes when the clouds protected the mortals below from direct UV radiation.
Our baby took it upon himself to ensure we dont sleep a wink last night so I wasnt exactly fresh but goals have to be met and runners gotta run. Yes, babies gotta cry too. So off I went. I wanted to make it a tempo run and I sorta did. As at 6Kms, I had averaged 11.4 Kms /hr. I struggled to push it to 11.5 upwards but the sun emerged and it was made clear to me why I should always do hard then easy, not hard/hard. So at 8K, my form went to hell and I slowed down. I had to succumb to everything. The heat, fatigue, But it was good. The garmin did not disappoint and it is able to measure distance in metres. Now I am feeling drained and overtraining is written all over my system. Tomorrow is either easy or biking. Never ever, will I repeat a hard/hard again. Damn!
What I have decided is that I will within the next 4 weeks, run slightly above 12Kms/Hr. That is my target and I think it is achievable.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Need for Speed. Garmin is Here

I got my Garmin Forerunner 305 three days ago. I plugged in my age, weight and told it to alert me when I drop below 12Kms per hr average speed and was good to go. I put it to use today when I went for a 66mins run. I threw in some smart fartleks. I later installed the software and dertermined that I had covered some 12K (7.57miles) in an average speed of 10.8Kms/h. 1066 calories burnt. Heart rate peaked at 172bpm. My resting heart rate is between 54 and 60bpm.
If I can manage 12K in 1 hour I think I should be almost there.
This is good. Here is one of the views of the run.

More later. Like I said, this is good.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back to Training.

I have been doing 1 hour runs for three days now.
Now that Trevor is with us, our sleep patterns have gone to hell. Now there is no sleeping; just surviving - when he lets us. We go by his whim and hope we can survive
Anyways, I rested for four days after Ndakaini. Going down its steep hills was like moving forward with a judoka pulling you to the ground. So my quads and shins took the resistance and ached for quite a while.
The next two weeks will be easy to navigate because I am on leave and can run almost anytime. I ran at 6.20pm on Wednesday, yesterday I ran at 11am and today I ran at 1:30pm. Since I am not going to work, I am flexible.
But once I resume work...Like Kodi Maverik said in Surfs Up, winners always find a way. And I am a winner. So I will find a way.
Anyways, my garmin should be arriving this weekend.
I want to sensibly up my mileage and work on my speed. I have about 2 long runs and one group run left then I taper off for Stanchart.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ndakaini 2011 - Race Report.

This is a race report that I haven't looked forward to writing.
This lack of enthusiasm, I think, is caused by the fact that I sorta drew blank from this year's Ndakaini Marathon. Blank. Nada. Or maybe a refusal to face the facts that the Ndakaini race spread before our feet in broad daylight. Before my feet.
Lets get it done anyways. We can twiddle our thumbs and wipe our noses later.
So as agreed, we met in town and drove to Thika. It took about 1 and a half hours. GK and Mutwiri arrived shortly after us. The race was better organized but lacked adequate toilets. I had to use the bush, like many others. The parking was good, the bibs were excellent. The vests were of good quality but all too small in size.
Ogutu was good enough to be there for us just to take photos. Here I am enjoying the stretching.

We stretched and warmed up. I made sure I got both a good warm up and adequate stretching. Here is myself and Mark and Sikuku after warming up, just before the race.

Then we moved to the start line where I met GK, some elite runners (several) and some American runners.
As we waited and chatted, GK said we should not hold back because its disheartening to complete strong and know you could have done better if you gave it your all and didn't hold back. I agreed. The weather was excellent. We were good to go. I was confident of doing a 1:45-1:55 time. Here is the start line. Thin but dense.

Abel Kirui, the world marathon champion was there to give us some pep talk which he did. I didnt hear what he said. I didnt care. I was there for the gun. Then some politicians waffled out the customary dung and we couldn't wait for them to be done with the manure they were educating us about. And finally, the gun was fired. And we were off.
GK surged ahead but was within view. Sikuku, Mark and myself followed. I maintained a steady pace - nothing too crazy but fast by my standards.
I didnt want to lose sight of GK. After about 3k, I thought I lost Mark and Sikuku and I caught up with GK when I approached the 5k mark on the first hill and I passed him. When I looked back, I found my bro Mark on my shoulder. Wow, this dude is strong, I thought. On his Ndakaini debut and he is doing this great?
So Mark pushed me and I surged. He hung on. GK later came and passed me but stayed within sight. I passed him again after 12K and he passed me again when we were at about 14K. And at about the same time, there came a guy in a white top gliding easily while holding aloft a bottle of water. I tried to hung onto him and I did up to about the 18th K then I lost him and GK and some lady. On the heartbreak hill.
After 45 minutes, I felt fresh and strong and I surged. I dropped off some people and passed some and widened some gap between myself and Mark. After about 1:15, I felt even stronger and I surged. Some hamstring pain came and went. A stitch threatened but disappeared after floating around for a while.
I was running a good race! Everything was perfect. The humongous, sould-destroying hills were steep but I climbed everyone of them even though I had to slow down to near-walking pace. But the slight slopes or flat places I sped up and enjoyed it. At the steep downhill parts, I let myself go and avoided wasting too much energy braking. 
GK finally passed me at the last hill at about the 16th Km mark. The steepest, longest, meandering, soul-destryoying hill. Two guys passed me on the hill and I passed three. After that hill, I gave myself about 100mins jog for recovery then realizing that we were approaching the end of the race, I decided I wasnt going to finnish the race strong and return a poor time. So I gradually let go and sped up. I passed several people including the ones who passed me at the hill, some two ladies, some guy who ran like he was jumping and the lady who was with GK and the gliding chap. But I never caught up with GK and the gliding chap.
But I ran well. I felt good and strong and I didnt conserve energy too much. I passed one last guy with 50 metres to go. Here is me Mark, Sikuku and GK after the race.

Which brings me to my puzzle.
After running so well, how come I returned a 1:56 time? GK did about 1:54 and Mark came at about 1:58. I just dont get it. Sikuku had a problem with his ankle and returned a DNF.
So again, what happened there? I dont get it. The winner won in 64mins. And not 60 or 61mins. That  should tell you how tough Ndakaini is.

I told GK we are too slow. And I think I am right. And GK is right too that we need to work on speed sensibly or we invite an army of injuries to make us kiss running goodbye. Here is Ogutu and Mark & GK after the race.

Like I like asking, What are YOU going to do? Because I intend to run a sub 1:20 half one way or the other.
There are two things I will do in the short term: up my mileage and increase my speed runs. Our endurance is good so I will maintain the weekly long runs. The tweaking is to be done between Monday and Friday.
At any rate, I have just got a baby so training is off this week. I am getting a garmin that will help me rack my mileage and help me structure my tempo runs (based on my heart rate). Then I get some serious shoes. Then we continue chopping wood and carrying water.
And oh, it never hurts to lose some weight.
I am asking myself, can I gas out? How because in training, I recover from high speeds. I need to take one 21k training run and go almost all out (like 80%) and see what happens.