Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Crazy long run Sunday 28 July, 20km, hard gym 29th and 8km total Tuesday

I had a 'Christmas in July' thing at our home Saturday after the ParkRun. I had too much beer, and so nursed a slight hangover Sunday. Stepped out to do a longish run Sunday afternoon, I was not going to any plan at all. I got 3km in and encountered an old friend of mine going for a 5km run. So ran with him on his 'out'  and return. I then turned round and did my thing.

Somehow I ran 20km, and it was much easier than I have come to expect. It is the longest run I have done in 2 years. Heels were tender yesterday, but good today. I did a hard gym session monday, doing one more repetition of everything I have been doing.  I was a bit stiff today after, and stepped out for a 6km easy at work. I certainly was carrying some fatigue as the 6km felt a little tiring, but I was still able to run at a decent easy pace, 4:52 average. I also did 12x30' at a reasonable pace. I did not push too hard, just strided out a little. Pace was pretty good for these too. These 30 second speed sessions are getting easier.

Overall, things are looking pretty good. I am arriving at a more solid plan for the next 5-6 months. I managed 52kms total this week just gone, and held together ok with that. At the moment, I think hovering around 40-50km a week is doable. I could alternate hard week easy week, with maybe a 20km run and a 15km run on alternate weeks.  I think I have quite a bit to gain from consistent mileage, and I am making big gains on basic strength work too, so I see not real need to increase either intensity or mileage right now.

I think that if I reach a point where my accumulated fatigue does not lead to any discernable muscle soreness, that will be a stage where I can assess whether I can increase mileage or increase intensity some more. Another fantastic run today.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Reasonably good ParkRun 5km race

I was well and truly expecting a fairly slow 5km. But I did a good one, a really good and quite easy 5km. I paced well for a change and while I still rested in the 4th km - as I have done done for quite a few - it was much quicker. I started easier but  finished quicker than usual.

I am really pleased with this run, particularly because I ran a hard 5km yesterday, and a the accumulated fatigue from all the hard gym work I have done all week.

I ended up matching my best 5km for the year, ever so slightly faster 20:51 this time. Its a good sign as I have a great deal of recovery to do. I will keep up the hard work and expect the strength and fitness gained to make a recovery.

Tomorrow I will do a whatever easy long run, not sure what it will end up being, just long and easy. This week, gym Monday hard legs, Tuesday 6km easy plus 12x30 fast. Wednesday, hard legs in Gym, Thursday easy 6 plus speed again.. Friday gym running club.

I have a friends bucks party Sat, 3 August, for me that will be very tame. And Brisbane running festival 10km race Sunday 4th..

Injuries great, hard gym work is making a HUGE impact to my running.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Swift gym running club 5km TT Friday 26 July 2013

I did a 5km time trial this morning with the local gym running club.  They warned us last week that this was happening so at least I could factor it in somewhat with my training this week.

I did a easy 12km yesterday but it was not quite easy enough. I also did fairly hard gym work and plyo style workouts, and carried sore muscles today!!

Warmup this morning was a little inadequate too, if I am to run quick I want to be warm. We did a few lunges, free squats and a bit of a stretch. Took off, with the 1km laps as follows:


The 4:48 was a slight but long hill. Right after the third km' where I usually gass out. So I need a little hill work to fix that. Otherwise it was a good run, within my limits, I could have gone a little faster.

I am carrying quite a bit of fatigue, the muscle soreness from the gym work  and fatigue from the 12km run yesterday, I was not at all fresh. Also it was dark and difficult to relax and carry some real speed. I really had to be careful with my footing. It was a good run all factors considered. We have another 5km TT in 4-5 weeks apparently. I may conspire to be fresh as a daisy for that and have a rather big improvement if all goes well. It will be brighter in the morning too so I will be able to see where I am going a bit better!

Good news is we will be doing a hills session soon, and that should be quite beneficial.

I plan a 5km ParkRun again tomorrow, not sure if I can improve on my last of 20:50.  I see a general pattern emerging - I am gassing out in 4th km. and manage to finish in the 5th kilometer at a quite ok pace.  It is pretty much  a pacing issue, I just feel like I need a rest at that point in the race after going just a little too fast for the first three. I just don't feel like pushing it beyond a certain point. Once I get my breath back, I power on again.  TODAY it was more the hill that knocked it out of me. Given a decent rest I will be a bit quicker for sure.

Overall I think rather than raw speed, I need 'speed endurance'. Anaerobic conditioning and development. That plus proper aerobic conditioning and I should be up to  much better 5km. I will do some longer Interval things in the coming weeks, and see how that goes. That plus the hills, IF the gym instructors do it the way I hope they will, lines up quite well with what I think I need for a improved 5km race.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sunday Jetty2Jetty, up and down the stairs Monday, Run at work Tuesday 23 July 2013 plus gym Wednesday morning

Did the Jetty2Jetty 10km race on Sunday. I was SO tired after the efforts recently. A fair bit of work during the week, running and gym, then a silly fast run Friday morning, and a hard 3km fast Saturday. I have little left. Did the race felt ok for the first 5km, but wheels fell off at about 6km in. Jogged the rest and finished 44:30, not too bad really..

Monday, slept in so planned gym visit at lunch at work. $20 casual to the gym across the road. NOPE!! I can park a car all day in the city for that. Can have 2 pub lunches. So I did a big stairs walk session and had a pie.

Was to run with the usual people Tuesday 11:30AM but I was stuck resolving a technical issue at work. Managed to get out for a run at about 1:30 in the afternoon. Did 2km fastish, 1km easy and then 2km fastish, stopped and stretched and ran back easy for 5km's  .

Was a nice run. Felt good to pick up the pace for those 2x2km sections. I seemed to recover well too in the easy bits.

Today Wednesday, I did a gym session again. Leg machines, and some 'Plyometric'  style exercises. They zapp the legs in a fashion that is supposed to improve functional strength for running.

I feel really good overall, injuries are almost non-existent. I did have a bad day after the Jetty2Jetty, felt sore in heels, and started to wallow in some misery. They got better after an asprin. They are occasionally hurting when I walk. I need to keep an eye on it, make sure I don't build mileage too quickly. Overal maybe 2/10 severity.  The big problem is that my heels CAN be rather low pain for ages and then flare badly.

I have not taken Ibuprofen for many months. So long as I don't _need_  it I recon that is a reasonable yardstick to measure the state of heels. Physio and Dr both said that active recovery is important, and to expect flareups. Its part of the process to recover, with scar tissue being repaired slowly.

I plan a run tomorrow, Thursday 11:30AM, 6km easy plus 8x1min with 30 second rests. Won't go super hard on that as I have another silly fast run with gym on Friday morning. Apparently  5km time trial, and another in 9 weeks. Not sure what I will be doing, might be fast if I leave enough room for it this week.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Another gym running club run Fridat 19 July 2013

I got to the gym 5 minutes late, and they had changed the plan. I took off in their general direction and caught them all on the way back from their warmup.

The session this time was  an out and back - run out to one of the instructors, and turn, it was about 1km for the first few, then a shorter one. On the return, the slower runners would turn as the leader passes them and try to keep up and or pass them.  Basically 'the leader suffers' with biggest distance and possibly fastest pace :)

After one , stand rest, stretch and do it again.

It happened to be me that was leading most of the time and so I did the faster paces and the longer distances. It was good to push, it seems I really am able to run fast and recover quite rapidly.

I have no idea how far it was I estimate 5km's total. Will look at my watch later to find out

I have ParkRun tomorrow, not sure if I will be quick with that, but might be depending how sore I am. Then I have a 10km race at the Jetty2Jetty.

I have said it already but again, logically there is not enough mileage to do a fast one. But based on today's feeling at speed, it may be a turning point for me and faster paces are possible. I will give it a go. I think, if I feel up to it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday 18 July 2013 easy 6km plus 12x30 seconds fast

Some really good things :
I have stacked on pretty much the same workload as last week, but with heavier weights in the gym this week. Worked legs MUCH harder. Have run just as hard as the last couple of weeks, at least pace wise, slightly faster in fact. And today I did 12x  ( 2 extra reps)  in my 30 second fast session.

Did the 6km easy super easy, felt energetic, and was taking short faster efforts through out the run. Had to really hold myself back. Did the 12x30's much easier than I expected to. I paced it just right, working muscles and pipes without too much lactic burn. Tried to remain loose and relaxed in the running too, and felt good.

My fitness feels like it is coming along nicely. It will be very interesting to see what I can do on Sunday 21st at the Jetty2Jetty. As usual, logic should prevail and I cannot expect to go anywhere near my best of 42 min, but you never know. If I make a good recovery, get good rest, and feel good on the day I may be able to give it a nudge.

One small and potentially bad thing:
Before the run this morning, I was walking up the stairwell in the office building, and felt a fairly sharp twinge in just the spot where I had bad Bursitis for 2+ years.. Right foot. Did not bother me in the run at all, did not have to warm up and get through any pain, so thats a good sign. Won't panic yet.

So, comparison time. Will compare mileage from last year to this year:

Last year from  01/01/2012 - 19/07/2012 I managed to accumulate 730.72 km
This year 408.67 km

So I have so far improved my 10km race time for GCM the same time last year by 7 seconds ( according to my watch)  after doing  55% of the mileage

Put another way, I did 35 hours of running this year, and 72 hours last year. Spent less than half the time on the road to achieve the same performance.

Now the monthly totals:

Jul 2012  134.62
Jun 2012  197.44
May 2012 199.23
Apr 2012  136.79
Mar 2012  11.65
Feb 2012  7.63
Jan 2012  36.82

This year:
Jul 2013    103.84
Jun 2013  129.35
May 2013  80.02
Apr 2013   69.02
Mar 2013   26.44
Feb No running
Jan No running

This year I have done a much more gradual increase in mileage. But I am catching up a little now, with these regular 40km+  weeks.

I will keep on 45km weekly totals for August too. And race as regularly as I can, ParkRun and others. And keep doing the gym work.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wednesday, 17 July, 2013 More gym work this morning plus a long walk with MAX

Did my gym work again this morning. I recently started doing single leg rather than both in unison on the leg press, squat and Linear Hack machines.

I realised there is a big difference between right leg and left strength wise. I tested it out, and generally the right leg can handle 5kgs more in weight.

That to me is not ideal at all. It may well be the outcome of poor running, favouring the left leg years ago, it may be due to my old back problem where damage has caused left leg calf to be numb, permanently.

Whatever the cause, I think I need to address the situation carefully. So I plan to alter the reps I do in the gym for a while doing lower weight, higher reps and two extra repetitions for left leg. I will keep testing periodically and once its even strength on left and right, do even reps on both.

I am in injury prevention mode now, and I am quite glad I realised the difference. My right leg has been the problem one in my last bought of injury last year. Both heel and hip on right leg was what stopped me running soon after my best ever 10km at the Bridge to Brisbane in September. Perhaps the right leg is getting a bigger workload due to some involuntary faavouring of left leg.. Or maybe it got stronger because 2+ years ago it was my left heel that was initially a problem, and I favoured the left due to that issue.

Anyhow, I am feeling much stronger as a result of the gym work, and I will hopefully keep improving pace as a result of it. AND above all, improving my strength and resolving the imbalance will stop any more injuries for occurring.

Today I also had a long walk with MAX our dog, this is all good for my recovery. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hard gym Monday, and a 6km easy at work Tuesday

Christine and I play tag team on Mondays and Wednesdays for our gym sessions. I walk MAX our dog for an hour while she does bootcamp at the gym, and I get 30 minutes to do my stuff in the gym while she walks MAX.

Pretty fair would you not agree ?  ;)  Christine had to get to work earlier Monday, so I had to cut my session short ten minutes. Pretty fair again huh ?  ;)

So I had to go pretty hard in the gym to get all I wanted done in just 20 minutes. I have upped the weight on all the apparatus that I use, and do the same number of reps, 2(2 x 10) of everything. I include abs in there, between each set, and then do a bell weight exercise. I cap it all off after working quads, glutes and core by doing a lunge walk with 2x5kg weights in each hand, about 40 metres total.   This all really does zapp the exact muscles I use to run. I have upped the weight and increased the intensity/ speed and am far less sore after compared to previous sessions so I am improving there too.

Today, Tuesday we ran at work, 3 other fellows in the group. Andrew and I have been the regulars and we have improved quite a bit compared to the others. We did 6km easy at just a little faster than 5min/km pace. Then I did 6x1min fast with 30 rest.

I did 3:30min/km pace for all the reps and did it quite easily I have to say. When my watch had counted all six reps, I was ready to do more.  It really is astounding how much of a difference regular training makes. I don't think I am quite at my best as far as 5km or 10km race pace is concerned yet. But I feel I am well on my way to match and exceed my best fairly soon. All I need to do is be consistent, remain uninjured and not get sick.

Lots of flues about. If I get sick I have to accept it, and get through it.

Again I feel so fortunate now, injuries seem to be behind me. The temptation is huge now to start stacking on the mileage again, but I am sticking to my plan. No big mileage, no half or full marathon style long runs until I obliterate sub 20 for 5km and get under 40 for 10km race.  Sub 20 is a given just a matter of a few weeks I feel before that happens. The sub 40 10km is a big one. Once sub 20 5km happens I will put my focus of that 10km goal again. It will have to do longer intervals.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Surprising 17km run on Sunday 14 July 2013

I had planned to do some combo of 14km:
- start with 2km easy
- do 1 min fast 30sec rest, 30ec faster, 30 rest   X 15
- finish off to reach total 14km's  with a easy run home

However I had second thoughts because of all the speed work and weights I have been doing for the last couple of weeks. So I stepped out with the aim of doing an easy 14 or 15 this morning. Took off in very overcast weather at about 7:45AM.

It was very cool. I held my pace back a little for the first 6 or so kilometers. I stopped at about 11km in to stretch. I had turned around for the return leg and my left knee twinged. The dreaded runners knee, it is still not entirely resolved. I do think it is a strength and tightening issue that I can fix with more mileage and strength work. Anyway I stretched it and it was fine on the way home.

I picked up the pace on the way back, with a tail wind. And I had miscalculated the distance I had already traveled, resulting in the extra 3km I did.

I finished fairly strong, no sign at that stage of enough fatigue to slow me down. It was a great, pleasant run, abd it rained and it was cold. Consistently I seem to have really good runs in cooler rainy weather.

I ended up today with the longest run of the year, and the longest run for a LONG time. It was also quite a decent pace. I managed to do 3km in a row at slightly slower than 5min pace and the rest a little faster, the average ended up being 4:54 min/km. It felt great too.

I have done 46km for the week, the longest for the year. Its the longest weekly mileage since September last year, when I hurt my hip and started to back off training.

This run was probably a little too hard still, a slower pace might be a better option. But I am feeling so good on my feet. The faster runs and the weight training for strength seem to be paying off significantly now.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday ParkRun 5km 13 July 2013

Second fastest ParkRun ever for me. 20:52 . The fastest was my first one 20:00 exactly.  Pure co-incidence that my goals include a sub 20 5km race !!

Today I am carrying quite a lot of fatigue from the running and gym work this week, I estimate I could maybe go 15 seconds faster if I was a little fresher. I had a fair bit of muscle soreness. Still, I felt quite good in the run today.

Again here is the progression from latest run to first of the year:

13/07/2013  20:53
23/06/2013  21:10
15/06/2013  21:18
08/06/2013  21:21
18/05/2013  22:15
27/04/2013  21:49
20/04/2013  22:38
30/03/2013  23:06
16/02/2013  23:56

8 weeks have passed from 18 May to today's ParkRun.  And I have improved by 82 seconds over that period. About 10 seconds a week. That may well mean that I can be at 20 flat after another 5 weeks or so. That makes it 17 August for my return to the state I was in in September last year. One month sooner than last year.

I get the feeling though that given a decent rest - or at least maintaining the training paces and distance, and making some fitness gains I may well be fresh enough to do it in 3 weeks rather than 5.  So I will make it my goal for sub 20 at ParkRun on 3rd July, 2013.

I need to continue to work fairly hard. Plan for the next few weeks:

Sun 14, 14km:
- start with 2km easy
- do 1 min fast 30sec rest, 30ec faster, 30 rest   X 15
- finish off to reach total 14km's  with a easy run home

Mon 15 Hard gym leg work, with a little bit of upper body

Tue 16  6km easy, followed by 10x30 fast with 30 sec rest. May jog the rest periods

Wed 17 Hard gym leg work, with a little upper body

Thurs 18 6km easy followed by 10x30 fast with 30 sec jog

Fri 19 Gym running club sort of tempo run, maybe 7km

Sat 20 ParkRun 5km. Hopefully 20:30   :)

Sun 21 10km Jetty2Jetty race

Its a bit of a challenge to be running fast and racing so much. But it keeps it interesting. I just have to avoid hurting myself !!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

12 July 2013 Gym running club morning run. 7km

5:45AM today, after a work meeting that finished just before midnight ( less than 5 hours sleep !! ), I ran with the local gym 'running club'. I have run with them twice so far. Every time there are a bunch of what I assume to be newer runners that take off at 4:30min/km pace for maybe 2km's and are then gassed for the rest of the run.

I am not sensible either. I start off at 5min pace, nice and easy, but build the pace up quite early on. I have a competitive nature, its hard to deny that. I ended up catching everyone, averaging 4:50 for 7kms total. Most of the time I did about 4:40 pace, but I did throw in a 4:12 last 1km. Not sensible at all!!  The last 1km included a long hill, and felt quite easy, so I seem to be on the way to being able to do 4min/km pace again.

The good thing is that the muscles I am hurting in the gym are the exact same muscles that feel the burn on the small hills I ran today. So I think I am working them right in the gym, and thus the strength should be realised soon.

Yet another really good run today, not just because of the pace, but the feeling. Its true that every run for the last month or so has been really enjoyable. I hope to keep that up, it makes stepping out to run real easy :)

ParkRun tomorrow, hopefully I have not worked too hard today to go faster for the 5km. I have a new resolve and stronger motivation to run frequently now, so it may not be so hard to get up for it tomorrow.

I have to work Sunday 14th, do some maintenance tasks, so will fit the long run of maybe 14km in wherever I can.

So far in the last week or so:

- Saturday 10km race GCM
- Sunday 12km with 4x10 fast in there too
- Monday hard leg work in gym - plus abs and core
- Tuesday run at work, 6km easy plus 10x30's
- Wednesday hard leg work at the gym - plus abs and core
- Thursday run at work, 6km easy and 10x30's
- Friday Gym running club, approximately 8km total, with a fastish 7kms

Its a fairly good work load, but I am not feeling too bad at all.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday 6km run plus 10x30 fast

Did hard gym work on legs again yesterday, then ran at work today. We are doing a slightly longer route of 6km now. We did it a little more briskly this time too, just a fraction faster than 5min pace. I was still a little sore, but nothing that really hindered the running that much. Then we did the 10x30 again. About the same pace as Tuesday's effort.

The effects of the training are tangible. The gym work seems to make the running just a bit easier, hills are a breeze these days, and I feel like I can kick along in the speed runs with far less effort too. Another month or so and I will be in good nick. Maybe sooner.

I plan to do the local gym 'running club'  thing tomorrow morning, 5km ParkRun Saturday and a long run, hopefully about 14km's Sunday.

I have a meeting for work at 11PM tonight that ends typically midnight. I want to join the running club session, 5:45AM tomorrow. I am lucky if I get 5 hours sleep.. I am beginning to deeply resent this as it severely disrupts sleep. Sleep is incredibly important when you are training hard, running is very important to me. Am thinking seriously about doing something about it..

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday 8PM and ready for bed :) And a run I did today

Fatigue is catching me up just a little. I did a hard gym session yesterday. I expected a hard day today running but it was really a comfortable 6km at 5min pace.

Then did 10x30's again. I am doing these easier and easier as the weeks go by so it will be time to start jogging in the rest periods soon.

I am really enjoying the running these days. Probably because I am running without pain and the rest of my existence is without pain too.

The plan tomorrow is to do the same as I did Monday morning - walking with MAX for an hour and then doing a leg strength session at the gym.

Now to hit the sack !!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Gym work Monday

Christine sat down and worked out a rough schedule for us so we can get regular gym work done, and fit in walking MAX our dog.

This morning, I walked MAX around the car park where the gym is, for an hour. Christine was doing some boot camp session at the gym. MAX and I identified and searched each and every traffic island in the car park, every nook cranny and corner. He sniffed, I followed.

Then my turn to go to the gym. For me it was just under  30 minutes, leg presses with a light weight as warmup, then on the 'Linear Hack'  machine, which is great for working muscles needed for strong acceleration while running. Did a fair few of those. Then a bell weight swing exercise, 2 x 20 of those. And on the pivot bar, did single leg squat exercises. Final few minutes were on abdominal crunch thingo, and a bit of stretching.

Lots of the gym work concentrates on muscles used for acceleration and speed and is quite intense. It should get me travelling faster and easier if it works. I am quite tired after, and am looking forward to a nice run Tuesday at work to loosen up and energise.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Gold Coast Marathon 10km race 2013

I have done 5 races in a row at Gold Coast now. :

2009 Half Marathon
2010 Full Marathon
2011 Full Marathon
2012 10km race
2013 10km race  this year

I ran this year with very low mileage in training. I have fairly decent strength now, and have a pretty good turn of speed. But I lack fundamental endurance. I have done far less mileage than the same time last year. I managed to do 44:30 precisely, 7 seconds quicker than last years race !!

I ran a completely sensible race this time too, fairly consistent pace. I did not go out fast at the beginning like I usually do either. I feel I ran a good honest race, but well within my limits. It was a far more comfortable run than last year. So I think its quite a good result considering how little running I have been doing. 

Stepped out and did another run the next day, Sunday 9 July. 8km easy, and then 4x30 speed with a 30 second walking rest. Then I did 3km home, for a total of just under 12km's. Splitting the run up and doing the speed sessions really is refreshing. I makes the last part of the run feel substantially easier.

I am a little stiff and sore and I expect to be worse tomorrow. Will hit the gym tomorrow too for some strength work to help keep the injuries away.

Oh yeh, now I know what its like to do race without injury. Its been more than 2 years!!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Really nice Thrusday work run

Feeling fit and injury free. Tuesday's 5km easy plus the 10x30's were harder than usual, and I did have a little muscle soreness after. Full rest yesterday apart from a long walk with MAX our dog Wednesday morning.

Today I did another 5km easy plus 10x30 fast. This time I took them fairly easy, about 3:20min/km pace with the last one at 3:00 flat pace. I finished these with the feeling I could have done 10 more, that is a nice change.

I am now  whole lot better at doing these speed sessions, and feel that a much better pace for 5km races is possible. As far as how fast I am not sure, certainly better than 21 minutes.

I have a complete rest Friday, and the Gold Coast 10km race Saturday. Logically I am in no condition for a fast one, I have no long runs done to make that possible. I am in two minds what to do - Do what I am likely to be best at, faster 5km, and then crawl home for the second half? With that comes the prospect of being passed by hoards of people I passed in the first half and looking like a complete tosser :)  But I would have a good 5km hit out, which really is my focus right now.

Alternatively I could just run a sensible 10km as fast and I possibly can, and see what the result is. If I am not sick on the day, it may be a good one. The feeling I have over short distances is that I have made significant gains in fitness in general. Its so much easier to travel fast, but I am very aware that I have very little endurance.

Its quite a momentous day Saturday, really. It will be the first race in a full 2 years where I hit the ground with  no injuries. That should count for something.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tuesday run at work, can feel some fitness coming back

I have certainly had a couple of hard weeks running lately with the peak mileage for the year of 45km's done this week gone. But it is also certainly paying off. I feel much more comfortable doing an easy 5min/km pace.

I did the usual 5km easy run at work today. The route takes us across the Koorilpa Bridge, along the South Bank path heading East, and across the Good Will foot Bridge. The Good Will Bridge has quite a steep and a long incline, maybe 170 metres. When I first began running again this year that bridge was pretty much 'Ohoh, here is the bridge, better knuckle down', and I'd struggle up the incline at maybe 6min/km pace .. Today I ran up, and realised 'Oh I have done it already'  like it was nothing at all. And did it at about 5:10min/km pace.

The Good Will bridge is also a place where my left knee would tend to act up a bit. My 'runners knee'. Particularly on hills it would catch and grind a bit when I was running slowly up a hill. My strategy to avoid it catching is  to run faster up the hills but that can only happen so much, especially when you are unfit!!
Consistent to how its been happening in the last few years and my frequent attempts to return to decent regular running, my knee has come good once I gained some fitness and strength returns.

On this run today I finished overall 25min12 or so for 5km, and it was really very easy. I then did a proper 10x30 fast with 30 sec standing rest. I did them all mostly 3min/km or better, with two slower ones. The rest period  I had to extend for up to 1 minute for the last 5 because I was going much harder in the speed reps than I have recently. Legs were fine, the lungs, and diaphragm were not keeping up. In the last three reps, it got to the point where I was wondering if I'd get my breath back at all. A real workout this time on the air pump, but I felt pretty good throughout, no sick feelings at all.

I have found that as I get fitter, confidence to go harder increases. I feel like I can push much harder. Its like I have some internal mechanism that limits me when I am unfit. All this year I have been doing these 5km races, and I have been pushing my self a fair bit, a little harder incrementally each week. But I always hold back a little, more by an instinctive self preservation than a conscious decision. I automatically avoid  that deep feeling of dread that builds when I push 'too hard'. As I get fitter it really does change my confidence. I can push so much harder, but my inbuilt 'limiter' seems to relax a little. Thats how it feels to me anyway, and today for these speed runs it felt substantially better, I really could push harder.

If I worked myself up a bit more for the recent 5km races, if these races mattered so much more, my race times would be a fair bit faster I think. But the finish would be quite a bit uglier too, chance of spew etc... . I feel that I always race 'soft', so these times I have done so far don't represent what I am truly capable of in an all out race. The way I felt today for these speed runs is another tangible improvement for me, and if that translates to similar improvements for my 5km race pace, I should have a much better race for the next one - I should feel that I can push much harder.

I have the 10km race at Gold Coast Sat 6 July, in 4 days time. I am not at all in shape for a good one as I lack mileage, but we shall see. I might just hit out hard for the first 5km and try to hold it together - or crawl home.