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Friday, April 29, 2011

40 Mins - Hard

After taking the day off yesterday, and patiently icing my shins as I ruminated on this nagging shin injury, I decided to go for a hard tempo run today. I am exercising so there is no problem in experimenting with starting hard, or so I thought. If I burn out, it doesnt matter: its just this week's me racing against last week's me. I carefully warmed up my calves and shin muscles (my problem areas) and sedately ensured my back, waist and knees are warmed up and stretched. All this while, as I did this, I started a fire in my head and stoked it with every warm up move. Then I blew this flame into a conflagration that seeped into my entire system. I was fired up baby!

By the time I stepped out of the house at about 5:30 in the AM, there was Dante's raging inferno in my eyes and my heart was tightly coiled, ready to explode. Mortals were lucky not to be prowling around at that time because making eye-contact with the red hot embers that were my eyes would have resulted in instant death for any unlucky mortal too slow to avert their curious eyes. After surveying the next dozen yards and seeing no obstacle in my path, I tapped my watch and exploded from the house like a canon aiming for cataclysmic destruction at a distant object.

Both gates were open and I flew past them into the chilly dawn. I decided to stay active and attack the hills like someone in a fight. Fight through each second no autopilot drifting. And so I went, air rushing in a loud torrent in and out of my lungs through my nostrils like a bull pulling a plough. By the time 9 minutes had elapsed, I knew I would go farther than I have ever gone in 20 minutes this year. And I did. In fact, I was so satisfied, I turned back after 19:33.

It started raining after 27 Minutes and I got pretty well rained on by the time it was 40 mins. I had to skip lunges and one session of heel-toe walksbecause of the rain.
Tomorrow I rest. Sunday I go for a Two hour long slow run then next week I work myself up into an insane rage and attack the hills again like something from hell.

Btw, we have UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields this weekend. I fucking simply can't wait.

Here is Devila Desiree of USA, she was second in Boston this year. Kara was 5th or something. Quietly note her concentration, focus and composure as she plays pacesetter to the raging gazelles surging and lurching behind her.


A

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

40 Mins Easy

I did an easy 40 mins today. Shins ached so I iced them. Will see how I fare in the course of the day and decide how to handle tomorrow. Here is Hall again, having fun while setting the pace in Boston. This guy is getting to be quite good if he can gleefully volunteer to set the pace for giants he is competing with. The fear is gone. Beyond fear, the sky is the limit. Its time he kicked some black Kenyan ass.

A

15k group run and ana 40 mins

On Sunday, as planned, we went for a group run. Kirer woke me up at five-twenty-something even before my 5:30 alarm time. There was five of us. We were to start at 6 in the AM but delayed while waiting for Masinde. We further delayed because after running about 800 metres, we met Borura and had to go back, have him park his car and then start again. By then, it must have been about 6:20am.

At, any rate, the psyche was high. With Kirer and Borura, we joined Mutwiri about 1Km ahead. The route we chose has an incline for the first 1.8Kms. Then it flattens for about 900 metres then downhill for about 4Kms and another flat for 800 metres. So we took it easy for the first 1.8K and at the flat area, picked up the pace. We were setting the pace with Kirer and we got it going quite well and caught up with Masinde after 4K and we cruised untill the 5th K mark (Rafikis) where we slowed down and regrouped at Sunshine (6K) then we went down with Mutwiri beset with stitches till Highrise and we turned back. At turning back, Kirer and Masinde decided to let Borura to set the pace and I followed and we picked quite well past TMall and Thomas Barbnados. Then at Wilson, pacesetter hit the wall and did what people who hit the wall often do. So I encouraged him and backpedalled and we moved on until we lost sight of the rest of the team. We cleared with Borura after about 93 minutes and the rest came after about 102 minutes.

We stretched a little (I noticed this team was not very keen on stretching, which speaks volumes about their experience - they just wanted to get their breath back, rest and soak in the self-torture they had just put themselves through).

Then we walked down and had a serious breakfast. Guys were in such a big hurry they didn't eat much but they ate kiasi. It simply proved they had not done much (15.4Ks is very little). I remember after clearing 27K, we used to fagia anything Sikuku placed in front of us, uji, chai, soda, mkate, maji, mandazi, ndizi...anything.  We gave new meaning to the term "clearing and forwarding". Hawa walikuwa wanaringaringa na chakula kama wasichana. Anyways...

Lessons learnt.

1. Make sure you have everyone's CORRECT number, especially the organizers number before race day.

2. Confirm or disconfirm your participation. Only GK, Kirer and Mutwiri did this. I had to follow the rest.

3. Register. Damnit. Commit yourself so that your self-doubt and fear dont take over. Even Phantom injuries will creep up on you and convince you not to go for the run. Kirer knows this now.

4. We are too slow and we are too nice to ourselves. We need to push ourselves hard. There is nothing as pleasurable as aching muscles and feeling dead-tired after a tough run. If we want to feel nice, we should pick something else, like choir practice or watching EPL football matches for fun, not running. Remember, running can't kill you because before you die, you will pass out. Plus, hard work doesn't kill people. People die of worrying na shida za maisha, not running.

5. Due to 4, and due to large public demand and the absence of Sikuku, GK and Gach, we will do the same route again but add 4K to it, making it 18K on 15th May 2011 we will call it Exodus because with it, we are leaving the land of Amateurs behind and getting serious. After this, we must do a 22K on June 5th hosted by Sikuku. That we shall call Destruction. It will destroy any weakness or fear of the distance still lingering. From then on, the sky is the limit.

Au sio?


Today I did a 40mins run. I am faster. And glad. The splintered shin is still peeping at me from around the corner. Here is Ryan Hall, a veritable Pacemaker at this year's Boston M.


A

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ouch!

I tried some "new shoes" today. I took it easy and did just about 5K then stretched thoroughly, did lunges, heel-toe-walks, pushups, planks, crunches, toe raises, calf raises and iced my right leg which was in sub-zero temperatures as I took breakfast. My shins are killing me.
I have decided to take it easy tomorrow then run again on Friday. Gotta be kind to my suffering legs.
Here is Hall. He served as a good pacemaker in Boston this year.

Monday, April 18, 2011

40 Mins, Boston Destruction

I did 40 mins. The usual. I am trying to improve my form and speed. Gotta get these shins sorted out man.
Meanwhile, yesterday, Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon in history to win the 115th Boston Marathon men's title on Monday while compatriot Caroline Kilel took the women's crown.
Mutai won in an official time of two hours, three minutes and two seconds to defeat countryman Moses Mosop by four seconds and beat the marathon world-record time of 2:03:59 run in 2008 at Berlin by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia.
Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai had fans screaming on Boyleston Street as he won a two-man sprint by four seconds over Marathon debutant and compatriot Moses Mosop in the unlikely time of 2:03:02, fully 57 seconds under Haile Gebrselassie's World record of 2:03:59.  Mutai, 29, who makes his own training programs and is self-coached, won't be credited with a new World record, however.  Even without the tail wind, the Boston course has more than three times the elevation drop permitted for record-setting, and the start and finish have too great a separation.

Nonetheless, that a man could average 2:55 per kilometre (4:42 per mile), over the full Marathon distance of 42.195 km (26 miles, 385 yards) under any circumstances is astounding.



 "It was at our back," Mutai said matter of factly about the wind.  "But it wasn't such a big wind."

Instead, Mutai partially credited American Ryan Hall for his fast performance today.  Hall, the USA Half-Marathon record holder, was the prime mover in the early kilometres and reinvigorated the pace nearly every time the race slowed on the hilly course from Hopkinton to Boston.  Hall saw the lead pack through 5 km in 14:47, then 10 km in 29:05.  By that time, the men had already banked a full minute against the 30:08 10-K split by course record holder Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, the defending champion.


Cheers.
A

Sunday, April 17, 2011

104 Minutes LSR

Ok, it wasn't really a LSR coz there are places I sped up a little. I covered about 16K with hills. My body feels kinda wrecked. The good thing is its not just one part: back, shoulders, shins and ankles. It went well though and all indications are that my shins may soon leave me the F alone so that I can run without worrying about them.
I have a feeling this will be a fast week.

Meanwhile, in yesterday's London Marathon, Kenyans destroyed the field with Mutai taking the first place in 2:04. Iaaf says, "Mutai smashed the course record with a dominating performance that left the defending champion Tsegaye Kebede floundering in his wake, while Keitany won the women’s race in a time only World record holder Paula Radcliffe has ever beaten on the London course...Kebede had looked superbly confident early on, grinning and waving to the crowd at the start line. He tucked in behind the pacemakers as the runners set off in near perfect conditions – 10 degrees, light clouds and virtually no wind.

A line of pacemakers took them through mile one in 4:50. The leaders had asked for 2:04 pace, so this was a steady start. A 10-strong bunch soon opened a slight gap on the rest and the race began to take shape. Among them were five Kenyans – Mutai, Lel, Makau, James Kwambai, and World champion Abel Kirui, plus Moroccan Abderrahim Bouramdane and two-times New York winner Marilson Gomes dos Santos of Brazil.

The pace picked up through mile three and then they passed 5km in 14:34, six seconds quicker than at this stage in 2010, but still a tad down on their target; 10km in 29:25; and 15k in 44:27.

By the time they passed 10 miles, in 47:42, Mo Trafeh had paid for his early enthusiasm and disappeared off the back. They strode over the river at Tower Bridge and through half way in 1:02:45, now outside the World record target but still on course for Wanjiru’s 2:05:10 mark.

The last pacemaker fell away at 30k and Kebede began to make a move as they wound through Docklands and under Canary Wharf. By the time they emerged the group was down to six, Kebede shadowed by Mutai, Lel, Kwambai and Makau.

Last year only Kirui had stayed with the Ethiopian and he paid for his lone assault. This time Mutai and Lel unleashed a two-pronged attack and the reigning champion felt his crown begin to slip.

Mutai unleashed a 4:29 mile, the quickest of the race so far, and immediately opened a 100m lead, leaving Makau and Lel to fight for the lesser spoils. Now in bright sun, he forged on alone, recording a 5k split from 30 to 35km of 14:16.

He strode out along the Embankment without a single opponent in sight and by the time he rounded the final bend in front of Buckingham Palace he had time to enjoy the welcoming crowd. Mutai sprinted for the line to become the ninth man in history to break 2:05."
And today, we are attacking Boston. Cant wait.
A

Friday, April 15, 2011

Soldiering On

I have run 4X this week and I am still doing 7K for 40 mins. Room for improvement is huge as hell which is good coz I have about 4 more Kms to cram into that time. My weight is dropping well and I feel good. Today speed came to me and I opened the door for it in form of fartleks.
My position is better. But my right shin is still painful. I have had to revert back to my old mantra: pain is weakness leaving the body, plus, so long as my knees are kosher, every other muscle or bodypart can suck it.
So tomorrow I rest and Sunday I go for 110mins LSR.
Meanwhile the London Marathon is up for grabs this Sunday and the strong runner Kebede (pictured below) will be seeking to break the WR in it. IAAF says: ....the men’s race features three of the top five from the Beijing Olympics and all three medallists from the 2009 Berlin World Championships; the three 2010 European Championships medallists; the fastest man in the world last year; the third and fourth fastest men of all time; and no fewer than seven athletes who have run 26.2 miles quicker than two hours six minutes.

Throw into the mix eight of the top 10 finishers from London last year, and an intriguing return from injury for Martin Lel, the three-times London winner who’s been out of action for two years, and you have quite a race. Indeed, the only name missing from Sunday’s line-up will be that of the Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru, who withdrew three weeks ago with a knee injury.


Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

40 Mins Better - Almost Free

I am almost free from the shin splint problem. I was up early and I wrapped bandages around my shins. The left shin is healed and did not really need the shin support but then again it doesn't hurt. Since I wasn't encumbered by the pain from the injury, I decided to improve my distance within 40 minutes. I made it a hard tempo run. I decided to employ Shaq O'Neal's mantra GO HARD OR GO HOME. So I pushed and pushed and struggled uphill and allowed myself to cruise downhill without applying breaks because I knew my shins could take it. And I improved my distance by about one minute from Tuesday's distance. Now, for those who dont know, one minute is huge. I am still pretty slow but once I am free of injury, I plan to push myself and fight every second for 40 minutes until I can cram about 10K in the 40 minutes. I will just be fighting, attacking hills, sprinting downhill and speeding up in flat areas, muscles taut, teeth grating, jaws clenched, everything full blast. Just fight, dig deep, stay active, search for speed until I burn up more fat, and muscle and get leaner and faster. The plan is to be very strong. My knees are already strong and my shins are following then my ankles and my torso (back and abs).
The good news is that my left shin is healed 100%. Right one is about 80%. Tomorrow I give it another push then I rest for 4 days and let it recover in peace. Next week I will ramp it up to 5X a week with more need for speed. War Jack! War!
Today, eye candy is Hulk's face, his pure anger manifested sometimes fuels me to dig deep and to attack my boundaries and shatter them as I explode into new frontiers. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

 Or sometimes I let it explode in a scream. Never underestimate the power of a fictional creature to fire up a man. After all, most people use God.
A

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ana 40 mins - Better

I have a cold so I took some NSAIDs and some Cetrizet last night so the pain wasn't so bad though I wasn't exactly sparkling and sharp. At any rate, I went further in my first 20 mins and I pushed. I will continue pushing as we proceed. I am better.
I have two funerals to attend this weekend and I may have to travel out of town so this puts the group run in jeopardy. Here is Eddie Alvarez (white trunks) vs. Pat Curran

Sunday, April 3, 2011

96Mins LSR

I did 96 mins LSR yesterday. It was rather easy and I did 96 as opposed to 100mins because by the time I had done 45mins and was approaching my u-turn point, I decided it was enough of an increase in mileage compared to last week.
Shins are better. Has my position improved or worsened?
My position has improved. But I have some sort of cold.
No matter. The war continues tomorrow.
Meanwhile, iaaf says that in Brunssum, The Netherlands - Micah Kogo of Kenya and Irina Mikitenko of Germany were the winners of the Parelloop (Pearl Run) 10Km in the southern Dutch town of Brunssum on Sunday.

Kogo stopped the clock in 27:15, the fastest in the world this year. He was eleven seconds ahead of compatriot Mike Kigen, who finished second.




Cheers.
A