The Blindingly Obvious

I had a visit to the docs last weekend. I’ve been having nosebleeds lately which is weird because when i was 8-ish I had my nose (or the veins in my nose, cauterised. Haven’t had a nose bleed since. I’m 54. So to start these nose bleeds was a bit disconcerting and advice from the FBH of: “Stop picking it!” didn’t help!

The doc didn’t seem too concerned and suggested that if they continue we can attend an ENT specialist and look at a re-cauterisation.

Anyway, as all docs do, they take your blood pressure weight etc. My blood pressure has always been fine. Even when I hadn’t expected it to but when under enormous pressure at work. It’s always 120/80.

Not this time! 155/90!

So, I’ve got high cholesterol, borderline diabetes and it might be I have blood pressure issues! Let’s not get too morbid but off to Dr Google to see how I can manage high blood pressure.

According to WebMD:

The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but several factors and conditions may play a role in its development, including:

  • Smoking – X
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of physical activity – X
  • Too much salt in the diet – X
  • Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • Stress – X
  • Older age – X (I’m 54! dammit!)
  • Genetics
  • Family history of high blood pressure ?
  • Chronic kidney disease ?
  • Adrenal and thyroid disorders -?
  • Sleep apnea – ?

Those with X next to it do not apply to me. Those with ? next to are going to be checked.

So the possible causes could be:

  • Being overweight – which I am technically, so I could lose a few pounds.
  • I may indulge in a red wine or two so I can cut that down.
  • Work isn’t stressful, trust me, though, in a role where there is little structure or planning I do get frustrated.

The others can all be checked. I did have sleep apnea checked in 2008 with some issues there but I just couldn’t wear the prescribed mask. This time round though I may persevere a bit more. And the technology may have gotten better.

And so, to the blindingly obvious…

Last week, after getting the high blood pressure reading, I decided to take two actions:

  1. remove there red wine from the diet on the week nights – addressing there alcohol aspect of the above list, and;
  2. only have one portion of the main meal and cut out sweets, carbs etc where I could – addressing the overweight/obese aspect.

This alone allowed me to shed 400g per day for the 5 days of the week. I made sure as much as I cold to walk 10,000 steps per day but, nevertheless, no wine and better portion sizes immediately affected my weight.

This being the case and, assuming it or a variation would continue, I’d hope lose 2-3 kgs before the City to Surf on 27 August. That alone will help with the time.

I see my doctor on Wednesday and will ask him to arrange a sleep trial to check again for the sleep apnea.

I don’t know why it takes a negative medical examination to motivate me (or anyone else) to change their habits.

City to Surf 12km

After the Albany City to Surf I was determined together the training right to have a good crack at the sub 60min 12km in Perth on August 27.

The passing of my Mother in Law put that on hold a bit as we were rightfully engaged in managing the process which “ends” on Tuesday with her funeral. There will be plenty of reflection between now and then and afterwards as well.

So I wasn’t really feeling like running during the past couple of weeks which shows in my running stats. But with 3 weeks left to the race I need to get my A into G and get back to the streets.

So yesterday we kicked that off with parkrun, a free, timed 5km run that starts at 8am each Saturday. That was a good start, completing the 5km in 26:50. Nowhere near my fastest but it was a nice run first thing in the morning.

After a great breakfast with the the FBH (Far Better Half, that’s her on the left in the photo) and the kids at Il Locale in North Perth, we ran some errands and did some chores around the house.

Because the City to Surf is hilly, I’ve decided, with just 3 weeks to go, my training runs need to include hills each and every time. There’s a good slow hill that has an incline for about 500m near me so that is the general course. It also include a couple of small inclines in addition so its a good 7km run.

The course is here:

 

 

 

 

The elevation is 26m in 440m so it’s not ultra steep but, for me, it’s long. Half way during the City to Surf is Underwood Street with is a 300m incline at around the same elevation. So, good practice.

I finished off pretty well too, with a good pace for the final km before the cool down which was about 800m walking.

I need to keep getting the kms into the legs so there’ll be another slow 5km today and some ore hills tomorrow.

 

 

That Number over on the Right

It’s getting smaller every day! Which makes sense as it is a countdown to the Bunbury Marathon.

The last post was about “The Long Run”. I’ve done a couple more since then and have to say early mornings are far better than after work or later in the day.

Last week’s long run ended up being 29km starting at 4:52am! With a 30 min break while I waited for a race to start that would allow me to complete the last hour. It wasn’t a race for me, just an hour’s run!

As this is my longest run to date it was quite enjoyable. To put it in context when I ran my first half marathon last year in Albany, I almost fell over the line at 21.1km. I was done! And I had the thought that if I was running a marathon, I’d have to do the 21.1km all over again! The next thought I had cannot be printed here! 😉

The prep for this run was so important.

I purchased a Camelbak 2l hydration unit as well as a Camelbak handheld bottle which I added Tailwind electrolyte supplement. I was a bit skeptical of the Tailwind as others had said there was no residue from the powder. There’s always residue! But, I was wrong, as I finished the bottle there was no sign of any undissolved Tailwind. Brilliant!

I also kicked off with 2 coffees and a banana! That go me, along with the Tailwind, through the first 2 hours. I had an Endura gel to prep for the last hour and probably could have had another, or another banana, sometime through the run. But overall I felt pretty good at the d of the run.

The Early Start

The 4:52am start was planned as it was forecast to be around 37C later in the day. I jumped on the parkrun facebook page to get some advice form the more experienced and the one common theme was: hydration.

So it was pretty dark when I started …

Hydration and sustenance. One cheeky bugger sent me this:

Did someone mention water?

All the red and blue markers are water stations or public toilets where water can be had! But it was a godsend really. Just knowing where water and toilets are removes a level of stress you don’t need.

2 hours later and slightly brighter …

The Next Run

The next thing to look forward to is a 3hr 20min run the following week.

The Long Run

The Start – Claisebrook Cove – 3 hours to go

Previously, on Bill Wallace … Online, I had a long run this weekend. Three hours! And an estimated 24 km.

Done and dusted!

Some quick stats:

  • Distance: 26.10 km
  • Time: 3:06:49
  • Avg pace: 7:10/km
  • Calories: 1,861

Pretty happy with the way the run went. Always a bit daunting knowing you have 3 hours to run. And picking a good spot was a bit of a challenge.

I ended up starting at the parkrun in Claisebrooke Cove, East Perth. And just kept going. I did pause a few times along the way to take photos but once I get into a rhythm, I’m reluctant to stop – for fear I may not start again, which almost happened.

The Loop – a really scenic run around the river

It was a glorious day to run, a little warm but every now and then a small cooling breeze wafts over you to cool you down. As always in Perth you need to “slip, slop and slap” due to the sun and the high risk of burning. Something I am quite experienced in.

The run was a 5 min warm up (walk) and then 4o min run (x4). Which was relatively simple to do but the last 40 mins I think I looked like some old codger missing his Zimmer frame! Some may say I looked like that the whole way through – quite possible!

Just before I started the 4th (and last) 40 minutes of running I found a deli and dropped in to get some Gatorade! So refreshing. I took the time to rest a bit – no point killing myself! The only trouble was … getting started again. I’d already travelled 19.39 km, just short of a half marathon and my legs must’ve thought “you beauty, we’re done!” only to realise they had to carry me another 6+ kms!

I haven’t run this path before but will definitely do it again. Not huge elevations but a few and enjoyable enough.

Not a sign you see every day: microbats

Things to do next time

Take some sustenance. I had the option of taking some gels with me but decided to take  my wallet and drop in at a shop along the way. There were no shops! The gels would have been ideal at the walk stages of 5 minutes. There’s also jelly beans and other candy that can help. Some people I follow on Facebook have mentioned avocado and banana sandwiches. I’d need to learn to run with a pack or something to hold these.

Also take a bottle of water. Again, while holding something can be problematic, I can also get used to it and fill it up along the way at the various parks that have water fountains.

Things that’d stay the same

The course will definitely be a regular.

Also, starting earlier rather than later. I started at 7:30 am but that could be even earlier if need be, especially if the day is going to be warm to hot.

Keep a steady pace. My pace was 7:10 min/km and I’m content with that. Race pace is always a bit quicker so if I can do anything like 6:45 to 7:00 for the marathon I’m going to be finishing in 4:45 – 4:54, so under 5 hours will be a fair target. Any quicker than that and I’ll be happy. It also sets the bar for the Perth Marathon on 18 June.

Tranby House, Maylands (well, not the house obviously!)

After the run I felt okay. The calves were letting me know they were still attached. And I did nothing Monday and Tuesday running-wise. Monday was officially a rest day and yesterday was meant to be an easy 5 km. So I’m doing that tonight. Which will probably turn into 8 km or so.

Also, off to the the film, Tri – The Movie, tonight. I’m sure that is going to be inspiring and motivating – though not the swimming part! I swim like a brick!

 

That Number on the Right

The countdown to the HBF 3 Waters Marathon is well and truly on. I’d say I’m … on track … sort of!

Each month I improve the number of km I run. But each month there is always one week when my running drops off. So my kms on the other weeks need to be higher – it’s simple maths.

Saturdays are always good because of parkrun – that’s an easy 5 km to start the weekend. If I feel up to it I can do another slow 5 km later the same day. Sunday is then the “Long Run” according to my training plan.

This week’s long run is 4 x 40 minutes at 111 to 129 bpm. Not fast, just steady. It’ll take 3 hours so this is going to need some planning. It’ll end up around 24 km!

But here’s the key thought –  the day I run the Marathon (April 9 for those following at home) I’ll have thoughts of “if only I had kept to the plan” and “Shit! I don’t feel ready for this!” and when I’m done, depending on the time, “I could easily have taken x minutes off that!”

So, follow the plan. Spend the 3 hours on the road. Fuel up. Drink water.

The only other thing to think of is where to run the 24 km. I’ve done Lake Monger which is pretty flat and a 3.5 km circuit. That can be awkward as you keep waving at the same people – some wave back!

Then there is West Coast Highway. 12 km out and 12 km back. Quite scenic. Some elevation which is a good idea but I wouldn’t call it “hilly”.

As you can see both are terrible places to run! 😉

There is also a run around the Swan River in central Perth. This is a 10 km run so a couple of laps then some. There are plenty of ways to detour and get 24 km in.

Anyway, 24 km is 24 km. Weather for Sunday is forecast to be 30C and mostly sunny. Winds southeasterly 15 to 25 km/h tending easterly 25 to 30 km/h during the evening.

Life is hell! 😉

Tabata…OMG!

Well, first serious crack at a Tabata routine yesterday. Kind of feeling it today and it was certainly an experience.

The basics of Tabata is 8 rounds of 20 seconds flat out exercise with a 10 second rest in between per exercise. So each exercise lasts 4 minutes (20 + 10 x 8).

The key is to go flat out while exercising to get your heart rate up and you’ll improve your VO2 Max. The high heart rate is anaerobic exercise and burns the sugar component of fat in the body.*

While 20 seconds doesn’t sound much, after 3 rounds of 4 minutes I had built up a good sweat and completing the 7th and 8th round of exercise was challenging. I’m also feeling it a bit today.

I did three exercises: Deadlift (30kgs), Plank, Kettlebell Swing (12kg).

I pushed myself but needed to also focus on form. No point getting stupid injuries simply to go faster. I will build up the reps/20 seconds as I get better.

A couple of images from the Garmin:

Heart Rate Stats
Average heart rate is low (105) and considered aerobic but keep in min there was a warm up, cool down and two minute rests between exercises. That said the max of 143 could be higher but this is also due to working on form and and not speed. Overall a fair start. Next Tabata is Saturday afternoon.

 

GPS recording.

While I did walk around a bit between exercises this does look a little weird. Obviously the watch records everything which includes heading inside to get some iced water.

Tomorrow there is parkrun and then the next workout tomorrow afternoon.

Should be fun!

*-I’m not a doctor so just check this if you need to.

Coaching should …

This post is prompted by a tweet from Jane Bozarth that reads:

coaching should make sure the employee “wins” at the perf evaluation

To me this is the whole essence of coaching – to make sure the employee wins.

I thought at first the last four words, “at the perf evaluation”, might be superfluous but then thought, in life , we actually do want to win at what we try our hand at. Whether that be at work, a sport, a hobby, meditating or giving something up (e.g. smoking). We want to win and to win we need some form of measure that we are succeeding. Even if that measure is the nefarious “improving” or “gaining satisfaction” from participating in a task.

Therefore there is a performance review … of some kind … at various stages.

So while performance reviews in organisations are copping a bit of a battering, we do gain satisfaction from achieving, however we measure that. In the corporate world we should know without being told how we are performing.

But let’s get back to the topic: Coaching should…

This is the aim of coaching someone. To help them win at whatever they are focusing on. To achieve a prize, attain a goal, develop a new skill, get better at something they are already proficient in.

Imagine getting some coaching and going backwards, regressing! Or, perhaps worse, going nowhere!

I am coaching myself to run better, faster, longer. I read a lot, I watch videos, I head out to run a lot.

I am coaching myself to get faster and achieve more PBs (personal bests). I hope to achieve them, I may not. But the aim of coaching should be to make sure the individual wins!

That Went Well 

Had a great night with a colleague last night helping her with her Diploma. She was in a bit of a pickle getting some coherence to her case study submission. We mainly focused on getting the right bullet points on to paper and she’ll flesh it out from there. She’s a smart cookie and it was great working with her and debating contexts, answers and ways to present the information. Reminds me of how much fun work can be when you work with smart people. Makes such a difference!

Anyway, she bought pizza over and a couple of soft drinks so not so good the diet front. But I did do a 4km run before we started and there was no alcohol to be seen.

Got another 5km run tonight to round out the month so should hit around 119-120km for January. That’s equal to June 2016’s best where I ran a half marathon. So happy to be building up the consistency and frequency of (almost) daily running. Actually the table below probably doesn’t show that. Running today would mean 18 days running out of a possible 31, or a ratio of 58% which is pretty shit! (the stars indicates races at parkrun).

 

parkrun (one word, all lower case) is a free, timed run every Saturday starting at 8am. It’s great fun and the best part is it’s all about a race against yourself, if you want. You can walk, jog, run, bring your dog, push a pram (with a kid in it otherwise you’d look weird!)

Plus, as I mentioned in a previous post, you can run alongside someone to keep your pace up and push them at the same time. In the end you’ll likely end up with a better time, if that’s what you’re after.

Anyway, take it one day at a time. 😉

A Good/Bad Weekend

The weekend started off well health & fitness wise. A good parkrun and no alcohol the night before. It kinda headed downhill after that. Not off a cliff but not ideal.

I needed to do some gutter cleaning Saturday afternoon in 38C weather before a storm hit – which didn’t! We watched the Scorchers with the Big Bash League here in Western Australia. That was good.

A red wine (just one) Saturday night.

The run on Sunday (target 14km) ended up being just over 7km. I blame the muggy weather from the (non)storm. I was heading out on my third lap of Lake Monger when I just didn’t think it was going to be a good run and the best thing to do was pack up and go home.

So I packed up and went home!

Now, to be fair, I usually push through these feelings but yesterday felt like stopping was the right thing to do.

I did the first lap in my Hoka One One Stinson 3‘s which are a very high cushioning running shoe. I had used the previous version while I had my shin splint issues and they did address that to some degree. But since getting some great physio and the accompanying exercises, I’ve been running in flatter shoes, the UA Speedform Gemini 2, and they’ve been great.

Fortunately I brought them with me and changed over after the first lap. The second lap was a lot better in terms of run, feel and muscle soreness.

Then home, watched some TV, the mugginess go worse so grabbed a Stout (just one). That kind of made me feel better. I then cooked dinner with a couple of glasses of red.

So, a good couple of runs some falling off the wagon AFD wise but nothing too outrageous.

The total km for January is looking good with a slow 3-5 km run tonight and another 5 km tomorrow.

 

Winner – 1 in a Row – Alcohol Free Day

AFD

Well, made it! One in a row for an AFD (Alcohol Free Day). Even took a bottle of wine to the kid’s place for dinner – wasn’t opened!

And, just to be clear, I am not anti-alcohol. Love the stuff but I think it’s holding me back a bit in the weight loss department.

So, here we go for two in a row!

parkrun

Also, in parkrun news, had a good run today. Ran 5km in 25.34, which is the fastest for a while – not my fastest but they seem to be reserved for cooler weather. Had a good running partner (unofficial) who kept the pace up (thanks Belinda!) and she was thankful someone was pushing her! Win!

VO2 Max

Also the VO2 Max increased to 49 so that was nice. 

Have an awesome weekend!