Monday, March 31, 2014

Now Show Me

31 Mar - 22K in 1:38:50 Avg pace 4:29 Avg speed 13.4Km/hr
1 Apr - Egerton Uni. Its cold as ef. I cant move. I abandon workout after a 7k in 33mins.
4 Apr - Egerton Uni. 22K in 1:39:50 4:32 avg. Pretty evenly paced run but there is a problem. I don't know what it is. Yesterday I took water for dinner, I didn't feel weak during the workout. I wore socks for gloves so I was warm. I can see that its 2250 feet here while Nairobi its 1720 feet but that looks negligible. I don't feel fluid. I don't know whether I OTd or whether its just a slow recovery process from the huge mileage...Or maybe I am just impatient. I am puzzled. I think I dug myself into a hole. How long before I get out?
6 Apr - 30K in 2:22 avg speed 4:44min/Km  12.7Km/hr. Moderate speed. Strong. Controlled.
8 Apr - 22k in 1:37:05 avg 4:25 min/Km 13.6 Km/hr  
10 Apr - 22K in 1:36:34 avg 4:23 min/Km 13.7Km/hr. 
13 Apr - go for 32K with Mark and die after 16K. I stop the clock at 29K at 2:18
15 Apr 21k. Time taken: 1:29:57 (PR) Avg pace 4:17 min/km Avg speed 14 km/hr

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

20th - 32K easy
22nd - Kigali evening 12k easy
23rd AM - Kigali 15k with 1km x 5. 4:02, 3:57, 3:56, 3:56, 4:00. PM 10k
24th AM 12K with short sprints. I am tired. Sorta.
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25th - Kigali. 4k shakeout with 3-4 short sprints and stretching. Total 85K for the week.
27th -  26K second Group Race.

If there is one thing I have learnt this year, its how to eat the day before a race. I learnt some of it from Mark.

One thing I have been struggling with is how to taper properly, especially after I had gone to join Mark for a 32K with absent legs two weeks ago. It was so disappointing - it was hell running without legs. Regardless, I did 85K last week so maybe I still have a lot to learn there as far as tapering but at least I ensured my legs were fresh.

So anyways, I learnt to stop taking solid foods at least (latest) by 6pm the previous day so that my stomach would be fine for the race the next morning.

So I did that on Sato and Sunday I was up at 5:10 am ready to battle.

Yes, I have also learnt the best time to wake up if I am to be ready to hit the tarmac at 5:50am. It takes several trials and error. Those who think its automatic are just not experienced (ask GK).

I took Ponstan Forte coz I expected my adductors to give me hell. And they did. And some little water. Hydration is for the previous evening and night, not in the morning. If you are gulping water in the morning you are already lost. Then I stretched a little - some routine stretching. Then I did some toilet work.

I wore tights without a truck and a jacket and a cap and sauntered into the cold dawn. I saw an overweight neighbour jogging in the driveway. Time, 5:35AM. Impressive. I was running late though.

I arrived in time - sorta - 5:55. GK had not arrived. I just removed my jacket and started warming up. My garmin was ready.

After stretching and warming up, and the time was 6:10AM, I decided if GK wasnt gonna show up in my next warm-up loop, I would proceed and run alone. I saw some car headlights heading my way.

He showed up. He was delayed by toilet work. See?

We were off at about 6:10 am. Almost 17 minutes later than earlier expected.

I was with GK for the first 200 or so metres. His feet sounded light and quick. His speed had improved.

I wanted to clear every KM in sub 4:20. Anything sub 4:20 would be good. That was my goal. I set it without thinking much. It just appeared from the sky like an alien craft and clamped on my head. It was both challenging and not unrealistic.

So off we went, after 200m, I felt GK's foot steps fade away.

4:13, 4:19, 4:21, 4:17, 4:17, 4:18, 4:24, 4:18 - 5k in 21:29 7k in 30:12

4:33 - Muthurwa. I also get sandwitched between two mats which also block my path. But my climb up the hill goes well. Adductors and glutes painful.

4:17 - I have recovered. Next is the kick-ass hill. Brace your ass for the kick.

5:27 - Yes, ass-kicking delivered, right on schedule.

4:49, 4:21 - I am recovering...

4:01, 4:09 - Recovered. Now hunting for a negative split...14k in 1:02:03 - 1:56 is out of reach already.

4:23 - A matatu blocks my path and I collide with flesh and bones of people on a mat stage. I don’t turn to look back at the pained expressions and dirty looks burning into my back.

4:25, 4:32, 4:18, 4:30, 4:25, 4:18, 4:30, 4:35 (21K in 1:32:58), 4:29, 4:34. I am all over the place and slowing down. Adductors and glutes giving me hell.

I start really fading at the 23rd Km.

4:36, 4:49, 4:47

26K in 1:56:12 average 4:28 min/Km. Disappointed but pleased at the same time. I knew I gave it my best. That is what matters, even if your best is less than what you expected. Of course if Mark had turned up and we pushed each other, I would have done much better. GK came later and he said he cleared in 2:19.

It's a PR on this route. I missed the target by far but its alright. I have improved. I have learnt. I was faster and stronger even my fading was not so atrocious.

I am just so glad that I managed to taper properly to put myself in a position to race. I was in control of my legs and I was able to run well.

Now the major change I want to introduce in my training is hard racing for speed-work. I want to be intimate with 15Km/hour pace.

My hip flexors, especially the right ones, are giving me hell right now but I know they will be alright soon. I am working on my tight and weak hips. Every day.

Onwards fellas. Keep rolling.
28th - 12K. Pain - hip flexors, hammies, knee and shins.
29th - 13K. Really, really tired. Started with 4:00 then 4:04 on the second split and eased off, realizing I am not yet back.
30th - 15K. End of April. 
Mileage progression from Jan:
I noticed some veins in my quads. I love veins. I never imagined one day I would be fit enough or have (low) enough body fat for veins in my quads to be visible. Bodybuilders, I am aware, work so hard for this kind of thing.


GK said...

Hello Jack,
Thank you for the run yesterday. Yes I finished in exactly 2hr 19mins 28secs which is a PR for me. This works to about 5min 23secs per km. Now I will aim at bringing it down 5:15, 5:10, 5:05 and ultimately to under 5min / km.
Yes and I need to watch my diet for the day before the run.

mista maQ said...

I love GK's xter, I hope he maintains it and by the end of the year he will definitely doing sub 4:40 averages...Good work man you pushed well, just a little squeeze needed to a sub 1hr in 14k - u faded quickly coz u started fast - start with a 4:20 in the first and second and once the body adjusts u can easily go under that without stress and get to 30 mins in 7k pretty well - this is smthn i ve tested time and again - giving your body a sudden jolt tires one quickly just like going very fast downhill...I do drink lots of water after I wake up but a run will always be better if u have a clean and empty stomach - regulate your supper on the eve of the run and you are there - Good work man!

Running Writer said...

Thanks GK. Thanks for the run too. Its great that we are improving. Lets stay consistent and we shall surely improve. The learning never stops. Lets now train for the next run.

Running Writer said...

June 8th. Just to be clear.