Thursday, March 28, 2013

10X1000m - groin pull

I attended a cocktail last night and woke up with a full stomach. Damn uncomfortable feeling. I decided to do 1000m repeats. Targeting ten reps.
So I jogged to the pitch. After a while guys started streaming in.
I started sluggishly, my belly a sack of sand attached to my midsection. At the 3rd k, my feet were so heavy and I was struggling like hell. I felt heavy and I just couldn't move, hard as I tried. I could not believe it. Was it that the overeating had caught up with me or was it that my legs had not recovered from the 13K?
But I decided to soldier on even as I was getting my ass kicked and surprisingly, by the 5th Km, my body started to gerrit just when I was considering conceding and doing doable excercises like 100m repeats. It was still hard but at least I was clocking semi-decent speeds.
Ultimately I managed to do 10x1000m.Tough as hell. I think I have injured my groin I need to read up on groin injury.
Here are my splits:
Now I rest and nurse this groin thingy. Keep running fellas!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

13K in 1:00:22. I have a Kick!

I was up @ 5:35am. By 5:50 I was ready. I pulled back the curtain and peered outside.

There was life but no light. It was still dark. I stretched and put on the telly. Power Breakfast was being advertised as coming up next. I flipped channels. The Star is packed with Indian stuff.

I checked again at 6am.

Still dark. I removed my days clothes from my suitcase. 6:07am. Peered outside.

Still dark.

Darkness be damned. If the mountain cannot come to Moses, Moses will freakin go to the bloody mountain.

I stepped outside. It wasn't cold but that's expected because we are near the lake.

At some part of the street, I met about eight dogs. Some stretching and displaying their fangs, some just lying about waiting for some action.
There was no other way to the field and I wasn't gonna risk being mauled by a pack of mangy dogs. So I acted like I was making a U turn hoping to use someone as experiment. A guy and a woman walked past me and then them so I did too.

It was still dark by the time I reached the pitch. I figured it must have been about 6:20am.

Are these guys so inactive that even daylight feels its wasting itself on them?

Aaanyways, I decided to start. I didnt have much time. I needed to be at the meeting by 8:30am.

So I started. Some guys came trickling in after ten minutes and by the time I was finnishing, there were about 8 guys scattered all over the pitch.

Four clueless ones doing Karate moves. One semi-fit one jogging several laps. One zombie attempting backpedaling in slow motion with his heavy feet dragging in the dirt. One guy I had wasted sitting and watching me go round and round.

Two guys smoking bhang and just watching. An old man sparring alone. Two guys doing 40 metres suicide laps.

At any rate, it went well. I am improving my running style. I have a style where I dont lift my feet high and I can move quite fast in that style except it seems to tax my quads.

On the last lap, I decided to lift my feet and finnish fast. I wanted to do 13K in under one hour! I was so strong with 100m to go but I was suddenly through! I was flying and could have done another 200m fast! But It was over and I had met my goal.

Then it hit me!

I have a kick!

I have a finnishing kick! If I had started 500m earlier, I could have cleared 13K in under 1 hour!

So now that is something I need to start perfecting.

My final time for the 13K was 1:00:22 average pace 4:39min/Km. This is very encouraging. I hope by the end of April I will be able to do 14k in 1 hour. That will be explosive. But first, lets nail this 13K in one hour target first.
I note that I run in surges, which may not be very efficient. I need to learn to pace myself better.

The splits:
1    4:44.3                                
2    4:46.7                                
3    4:42.4                                
4    4:40.3                                
5    4:39.9                                
6    4:40.3                                
7    4:37.0                                
8    4:36.2                                
9    4:40.3                                
10    4:44.5                                
11    4:35.8                                
12    4:39.3                                
13    4:15.2        

Last 5K in 22:53. Not bad.   


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Disposed Syringes, Zombified vampires and broken strings

I arrived in Mwanza today.
Geographically, Mwanza should be Kenyas Kisumu. But its more like Mombasa in terms of lifestyle and the architecture of the dwellings.
I sought out their nearest stadium since the roads dont seem to have non-tarmacked sections. And I really dont want to kill my knees.
And so I was pointed in a vague direction. I told the receptionist not to worry too much. I will find it.
And I did. After all, changaa drinkers are able to find changaa dens in new territories quickly and efficiently.
So runners must also be able to find running places quickly and efficiently.
It was a nice field. Nyamananga stadium. Stone wall, a dirt pitch, three gates and some grass at the edges.
Exactly what I needed.
But there was no one on the pitch.
It was about 5:30pm but it was still hot. Nobody to even kick a football here? Hmmmm....
Then I noticed a line of several guys, about twenty of them, seated in the shadows, backs leaning against the stone fence. Talking, lounging, sprawled, moving amongst themselves and chatting. In Nairobi, if you spot idle youth in such a large number, that is a danger zone and you should get the fuck out.
The very fact that there was no one in this beautiful field was a sign that I had walked into a den of addicts.
Some were huddled in pairs, about four pairs but the main groups were two and they all stayed away from the sun. Thats why I call them vampires.
I didnt make eye contact with them. I warmed up for two laps. Soaking up every detail, picking up their body language and demeanour. I just wanted to project confidence, and to show them that their presence dint bother me: they were like a fly on the wall for me and I was not there because of them.
I spotted burst condoms, several syringe papers, several strings and general lack of energy from them. These guys were like zombies. There were no spirited, energetic fights that young guys engage in when they are in such groups. No shouting matches. Just a buzz, like guys in the market place. Tired eyes watched me.
After evaluating the material culture of what was dropped on the field while stretching and picking up their body language, I knew I could run here without any problem. If any misguided punkass addict approached me, I would roll with them so fast, they wont know what happened.

So I did 6K in 4:01, 4:08, 4:08, 4:12, 4:03, 4:31. I wanted to do 1000m x 10

But when I did 4:31, I decided to pull the plug. It was just too freakin hot and the heat was taking a rapid toll on me. Plus, I had chosen not to take a decent lunch so I was weak. I took it. Stretched and walked back to my hotel room.
These guys have a serious drug problem. Probably worse than Mombasa because in Mombasa, at least kids still play football. Here, every bugger is just there for the needle.
I will do two tempo runs then wait for Sunday.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mister Speed...Is that you?

Despite the rough, sometimes muddy and narrow nature of the pitch, I did go for some speed runs yesterday. It went very well and I have improved a lot from last week. I did 8x1000m with the times as follows: 3:59, 4:04, 4:04, 4:04, 4:05, 4:06, 4:01, 3:58.
Compare this to last weeks 7x1000m splits which were: 4:17, 4:13, 4:18, 4:12, 3:57, 4:24, 4:26.
Great. I am eating clean now. Lets see how it goes.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Moving On...

I did 12K jana for 58:01 mins. Slower than last week but my legs had not completely recovered from the 32K on Sunday. At any rate, I will take it.
Keep running.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

32K in 2:57:21 avg pace 5:32 min/km

I was aiming to break my 3hrs barrier for 32K and I did. I was up at 6am and cleared the first 12K in 59 mins and was at 23.2K in 2 hours then I slugged out the rest of the distance. At 26K my time was about 2:16:xx
A fortnight ago I did the same distance (32k) in 3:15 so this was close to a 17 mins improvement.
It was not easy and my body is in pain right now. Towards the end, I had to grit my teeth and grunt in exertion. I just wanted to push myself and give everything. As I do nowadays for recovery, I will walk home today. I did not suffer a headache after the run so I believe I have sorted my hydration problem. The solution is to wear no more jackets irrespective of how cold the morning is - just wear a singlet and go hard. I mean, this is tropical Africa near the equator, not freaking European winter.
My aim ultimately (by July) is to do 32K at about 2:30 (4:45 mins per Km for 32Kms). By that time, a 1:30 21k should be doable because I should be having very strong and fast legs by then.
I have learnt several things in the last four weeks which I just want to go through.
  1. Last year, running several miles meant I often went to my runs less than 100% recovered and so I was never able to run hard enough to hit all the cylinders. That is why I got my ass kicked @ Stanchart Marathon: I was strong but slow. This year, I will be running less weekly mileage but every run will be a quality run. The only good thing is that running those several miles gave me strong legs to enable me run 32K w/o going through a slow buildup to that distance.
  2. Running long is best for Sunday when there is less vehicular and human traffic. Yesterdays run was fun. It was the first Sunday run I have done in a while.
  3.  I will use the two shorter weekday runs for strength, flexibility by incorporating heel-toe walks for my calves and shins, lunges for my knees and quads, One-legged squats for quads and balance, Jump squats, Hip rotation and ITBL stretch squats. And speed runs. Then on Sundays I go all out.
  4. Believe that during rest is when you improve. Rest completely. Recover then train hard again. Repeat.
  5. Dont wear a jacket during the morning run especially if you will be running for more than two hours. You will be overdressed and will get excessively dehydrated especially if the Sun comes out early.
  6. Strengthen your muscles through variety and excercises that target muscle groups.
  7. It is true that you can't lose endurance fitness in 14 days especially if you are doing other exercises - so I will probably be doing my 32K run every 14 days.  
  8. Warm up or start at moderate pace.
Now I aim at sub 2:50 in my next 32K.
My average pace was 5:32 min/km if I improve my average pace by 15 seconds i.e. 5:17, that will take me to sub 2:50. I can see my main battle starts from 19K (at which point my average was 5:05 min/km) so 19K is when I need to ensure I am IN the fight, and not doing any autopilot business. Every Km must count and I must strive to stay sub 5:25 and also strive not to deteriorate so badly on the hill at 26, 27, 28,29 and 30th Km (where I returned 6:24, 6:25,6:45, 7:54 [yes, legs completely fucked up] and 7:05) - that is a 34:23 5K!
So, barring any injury, this Sunday I will do hills in preparation for my next shot at 32K.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Looking for Mister Speed

I did seven 1Km repeats yesterday. My speed is coming back. 4:17, 4:13, 4:18, 4:12, 3:57 (this was unintended - some guy challenged me), 4:24, 4:26

I was supposed to do 8 reps but darkness crept in and I had a meeting.

I now need to sort my evening binge eating habits.
 Mister speed, I am coming for ya!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Clawing Back...

I did a one hour run on Thursday and completed 12K in 1:00:46.
My calf injury was alive and well and my calf was tight and sore. So I pulled back and didnt run over the weekend. On Monday I walked home. My calf felt alright.
So yesterday, Tuesday, I was back at it and did 12K in 57:56. Which is an improvement. I was definitely faster and I was able to commit myself into it much better. A cramp threatened but never materialized. I now want to try my best to be able to do the 12K in 55mins then I complete the one hour run then I can start to focus on completing 14K in 1 hour.
I have found a way to manage my weight. I am a kind of sugar addict and that is the bane of my weight issue. I pick apples at Nakumatt and have substituted them with bread and tea. Its working.

Keep running.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Trying to claw my way back

I did 32K on Sato in 3:15. What is great is that I completed the run even though I was slow. The previous week I bonked very badly at 29K.
I seem to have picked another calf injury so I took 4 days off as we went for our National elections. I did a one hour run yesterday and covered 12K. I have improved slightly. I will monitor the calf today and see how its doing.

If its manageable, I will give the 32K another stab over the weekend.
If I get another injury, maybe I will step back and use a more conservative training approach. But I hope I don't because I am all for pushing myself hard this year.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Goin on...

29(bombed bigtyme)+21+10=60K. I am slow