Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lazy tourist!

Lindsay rightly pointed out that there were no photos from my London trip so here are a few…places in order.

London’passing through, Hampton Court, Howletts Zoo, Canterbury and surround, Whytecliffe on Sea, London; Natural History Museum, London Eye, Thames Trip, Covent Garden, Bus Tour….2 days traveling and 8 days on the ground, family friends, tourist stuff…done!

None are great, they are all taken with my iPhone and/or Instagram or Hipstermatic…like I said lazy tourist!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Half Marathon of the Harbors

imageI’ll keep this short as I have written a lot in recent months about my training…well when I have written! That being said I will say my training has gone very well and even with 10 days in London, (did I mention I went to London), with the exception of a cutting 4 weeks out of the plan for it to coincide with Race Day and adding a 5k race to rebaseline my paces I have hit every run on the training plan head on. Four the five weeks prior to my vacation I upped my training volume to include cycling and more recovery runs to increase the mileage to the mid to high 40’s, during the vacation week and the week after I scaled back and focused on the three training runs only and getting to bed early enough to overcome the jet lag.

Additionally I threw in two simulated training runs, did a course recce (although that would prove to be geographically embarrassing), lost 21lbs even with a vacation and practiced my hydration and nutrition plan which was zero input; no gels, no drink although I took a cup of water to cool off around mile 10. So while there are never any guarantees and while I stood on the start line a nervous panda I had put ticks in all the boxes I owned. The one that I couldn’t control and was of major concern was the weather; a late heatwave has gripped the local area and temperatures where pretty high; the thermometer in my car hit 118f on Saturday and the forecasts where for it to continue, the only saving grace was the race start was at 7:00am!

So Sunday morning I stood one row back from the starting line and with a 3, 2, 1, go we went! Obviously I went out too fast! but I found my stride and focused on running my race and racing the clock rather then racing anyone else. To be honest that was way of the race, there was some cat and mousing with other runners on course but I had set my Garmin with a pace alert range of 6:40-6:55, I needed 6:52 to hit the target time of sub 1:30. The sun proved to not be as big an issue as the route I had recced soon deviated through a residential street and so I enjoyed the long shadows cast by apartment buildings etc.

I knew that come mile 10 I was on borrowed time and that proved true as my pace tailed off as you can see from the splits below, miles 10, 11 and 12 were long well at least 7-15 seconds too long but by then I had just enough in the reserve tank to carry me through


A re-focussed effort for the last mile and when turned the last corner I could see the Finish, as I neared I saw the clock had 1:2x but someone’s head obscured the third digit and in the closing meters I saw 1:28:41 and that was that...done!

Final details: 1:28:41 OA 19/440 AG 5/51 File me under Happy Panda.

First half: 44:01 second half 44:40 no negative split thrown by slowing off in miles 10, 11 and 12 from being 33 seconds off pace…numbers junkie, yeah you bet!

Beyond my results this was a great local race, low key and relaxed but well organized, a regularly updated website and emails as the event neared, the results were posted overnight. The course was great with some great beach views, mile markers and ample well stocked and supported aid stations…seems simple enough but these thing are easily and often overlooked!

I will be writing up more extensively on the training plan and on my transition to mid foot running in Newton shoes which I am sure contributed to this result.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Review; The ClipE

Sometimes the most simple of things are overlooked, if like me, and the majority of runners, cyclists, triathletes, gym rats (the list kinda goes on), you wear an iPod, let’s just call it that but I know it could be a mp3 player, an iPhone, Blackberry etc when you work out there is often the issue of cable management. With the best will in the world they do tend to get caught up on things, sometime resulting in the most unceremonious “pop” as your earbud is forcefully extracted…sometimes it’s a little more extreme, see the video below!

image Enter The ClipE, put simple this little device attaches to your headphone cables and then to your shirt, vest or even your hat/visor   and avoids that flaying flapping cable.

Seems too simple right! Well like I say sometimes simple does. To use you feed the cables through until they are in place after that you “clip” it to and voila you’re all set.

And that ladies and gentlemen is simple!

Just to reinforce the point

Available online through Amazon for $7.95 you can choose a fancy schmancy design one or plain and simple colored, there are 9 to choose from!

So with my readers in mind I have one to give away. It will come as no surprise that the usual things will get you an entry.

Show them some love on Facebook will get you an entry, follow them on Twitter and tweeting this message gets you another;

I have just entered the @Quadrathon contest to win a @myclipe you can too at

Add a link on your blog to this post for a third. Leave a comment below telling what you’ve done (honor system folks) and I will draw a winner this coming Sunday and get it in the mail as soon as I have winners addresses!

Have fun!

This product was provided by Amna at  Mocha7 Media If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Race week!

Holy crap it’s here 12 weeks of training completed, some 526 miles to date…I spare you all the numbers but this coming Sunday I will be on the go line ready to well…go! I have another couple of “training” runs to complete the plan along with a recovery run and I am done! I fully expect there to be an ever increasing colony of butterflies as the week progresses. I think that this is actually the first time I have a really specific goal that I have trained towards specifically, previously they have been filed under “just finish” or “better than the last time” so it’s going to be an interesting race.

Looking back on the training the ingredients are all there,  I consistently followed the training plan, cutting it short to coincide with race day was the only really major deviation, of the three specific runs; intervals, short tempo and long tempo. Other minor changes were some of the paces to simulate race day and actually having a race to dial in my final month of training.

The progress has been measurable though, a new 5k PR (-31 seconds) and a new (u/o) 10m PR (-3:15 minutes). The race simulations proved very useful, the first was not so good and reminded me that I needed to check the weather and adjust things to allow for the change in temperature, the second, actually run on 10m of the course (as best I could tell) proved very successful and a healthy dose of race day nerves should allow me to dial it down to the target pace.

So all that remains is packet pick up on Friday and to set the alarm for Sunday morning!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Course Recce…

Headed out to recce the race course for my A race at the end of the month. Had a 10 miler on tap, so decided to combine race and course simulation. Weather was perfect, cloudy cool, slight breeze. Everything just fell into place:


Started to feel it around mile 9, after a too quick mile 8 I think and had a stitch during mile 10 but that was going by the time I hit 10 miles. This is my fastest 10 miler evah! And is a good 4 minutes faster than my previous fastest 10 miles, this is also 1 second per mile faster than I need to get my target 1:29:59.

Very, very happy with this run and if the course and conditions are the same as today on race day..well the planets could just align!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

July’s digits…

Another solid month, actually if truth be told I am really pleased with this month:

  • 487 total miles (+123 over June)
  • 49:26 time, so about 12 hours a week (just under +2:00 per week over June)
  • 197 miles (June 177 miles) running in 27:59 (June 25:37)
  • 287 miles (June 177miles) cycling in 17:23 (June 10:54)
  • Remaining time was stretching, foam rolling etc and I am also trying to get to the P90X Ab Ripper workout 3 times a week, I managed 8 times this month, but I am seeing some results
  • Longest ride 58 miles – 3:21
  • Longest run 19.59 – 3:28 (trail)
  • Starting weight 173lb ending 168lb (from 187 at end of April)
  • Three rest days

I raced two races this month, a July 4th 5k which was a family run so that doesn’t really count and last weekend’s 5k where I set a new PR of 19:11, this will allow me to recalibrate my training paces for the FIRST plan that I am following, I also race simulated the Half Marathon distance, it didn’t go quite as planned but I took note of the issues that arose and most of these can be easily addressed.

I have four weeks left to race day so I now need to really dial things in, I am on vacation overseas for 10 days in the middle of August which may prove problematic but hopefully I can stay on the straight and narrow and avoid the vacation dieting disaster’s that we all seem to encounter! I am now actually at my target race weight, I floats about a bit, mostly down after exercise, it’s been as low as 162lb, I am looking to strip a few more off to around the 165lb mark…anyway enough about my weight I am actually boring myself!

The end is in sight!