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.
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.
Hydration and sustenance. One cheeky bugger sent me this:
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.
The Next Run
The next thing to look forward to is a 3hr 20min run the following week.
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
Avg pace: 7:10/km
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.