11 June 2018

North Lakes parkrun 2nd 17;29

I warmed up by running the 2.5km from home to the start and did 3 strides. The start is slightly downhill and there is a major width restriction on the pathway due to road works (it narrows to about 1m !). So I wanted to get out fast to avoid being blocked. Everything appeared OK till close to the end of the short grass section as I nearly over rotated and came close to tumbling over (like I infamously did at my kids sports-day Parents race back in 2004 - see if I can dig out the photo of that hamstring tear) anyhow to prevent myself from falling I splayed my right leg to break the rotation and thereby strained it! Immediately it was painful and I battled mentally should I drop out ? I continued on, taking a brief lead before a youngster breezed up on my shoulder and overtook me at 1KM and gapped me soundly. 
Although it was painful I was running OK so I continued through the first lap in about 5;30 and the second lap in about 11;39. That second lap had taken far longer than it should have and I realized my time wouldn't be great. The third lap requires lapping people the whole way but the serious road works width restriction only presented minor inconvenience. My official time was 17;29 for second place (first over the line was Jai Hockey in about 17;15). I hobbled back home for 10.4km for the day. I rested Sunday and Monday to give the hammy some time to repair.
Will see how I go beyond that before recommencing.
Interestingly, I wore my heart rate monitor and  got the HR up to ave 160 and a max of 170 during the 5km parkrun section.

Did this hamstring tear from 2004 lead to my current chronically sore hamstring?

05 June 2018

Christleton 5K 17;12

It's been a while!
No racing just steady running waiting to see if my back/hammie/foot issues would resolve themselves. My hammie pain seems to have become chronic with it lasting over a year now.
Still, I ran an 8 week block of 90km a week, so as I have been saying to anyone who asked, I am fit but not race fit. It was a long haul after recommencing training Dec 2017 having taken a break during Oct/Nov 2017. The Summer saw me running some all time slow runs in the dreadfully humid Brisbane conditions. The cooler months seem to have rejuvenated me and I am back running reasonably quickly (4;20km steady pace).
My Niece was getting married in Chester UK May 19th 2018 (same day as another wedding). Due to other family commitments I flew over by myself but was able to meet up with our daughter Kate who has been living in London for the last year.
In the week prior I met up with Andy Green at our old University @ Loughborough to reminisce over old times and sink a few beers. We went for a run around our old training haunts at The Outwoods (Bluebell Woods) and The Beacon. I had absolutely no memory of which paths to take but fortunately, as Andy had been a reasonably frequent visitor whilst his son did an engineering degree, he was able to guide us around. We also had a tour of the sporting facilities at Loughborough which are now world class including track, swimming pools and indoor training facilities.
Bill Foster ( a former 2;12 Marathon man) one of the ladies athletics coaches proved an amiable guide, with him and Andy recounting many past battle stories.
Andy has been is outstanding form recently, as a 55 year old he ran a certified 5KM road in 16;00, the 4th best World All-Time. He was gutted about missing the sub 16 specially as his watch was 15;58. He has subsequently suffered a set back with his Achilles and calf causing him to back right off the training.
As luck would have it, Andy told me about a 5KM Road race, the night before the Wedding in one of the neighboring villages to where I was staying in Cheshire. I couldn't miss the opportunity to race in the UK for the first time in 20+ years.
The Christleton 5km was limited to only 500 runners and was well oversubscribed - I got in on a waiting list entry).
I warmed up with Andy and took a starting position about 6 to 8 rows back (my chip time was 4 seconds different from my gun time). I had semi resolved to run around with Andy, who said he'd run around 18mins. I had no idea what I was capable of because the few times I had tried to run quickly in recent weeks doing odd KM long bursts at speed (3;30K pace) to try and crack a few Strava segments had left me completely smashed! How could I put 5 K's together for a 17;30, I felt 19/20 minutes was likely more realistic for me. Andy also introduced me on the line to his club mate Stephen Watmough who was ranked 3rd M55 currently in the UK with a 16;50 time to his credit.
At the start as the swarms of youngsters and not so young cleared out and found space to run in. I ran briefly following Stephen before dropping back, finding a comfortable pace to run at.
It was unusual for me to run in such crowded conditions practically through out the race.
The course was a lap and three quarters around country lanes and the village of Christleton. I was not at 100% but I did push myself specially as I tried to my best to un-chick myself towards the end.
I was surprised to finish with 17;12 chip time, much better than I had expected.
Stephen Watmough beat me in the age cat with 16;47 - thankfully a pretty rare loss for me.
Andy cruised in with 17;39 and his younger brother Graham Green dropped out with a KM to go (running at sub 16 pace with a 2;36 M50 Cat win at the London Marathon still in his legs)
so I didn't get completely mullered by the Green Machine.

Results from Christleton here https://chestertri.niftyentries.com/Results/Christleton-5K

Andy's 16;00 5km result ; http://www.ukresults.net/2018/podapra.html

M55 All-Time Rankings. Andy 4th!; https://arrs.run/Veterans/VR4_R5K.htm

I had three weeks away but managed around 70km each week. Now trying to get race fit for the Gold Coast 10km in 3 weeks!!

Father and daughter Kate
Andy Green #242 with Peaky Blinders haircut 

Stephen Watmough #393 getting the better of a Queenslander

First race in 8 months, got chicked twice!
Andrew Green M55 5KM 16;00 this year 4th All-time
Image may contain: 3 people, people standing and outdoor
Andrew's younger brother Graham winning the London Marathon M50 Cat in 2;36 - not your typical runners build!!
Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, shoes, shorts and outdoor

27 December 2017


2017 age 56 in September

3000m 9;36.2 QLD M55 Rec

5000m 16;37.60

parkrun 16;21

10000m 33;56.26

10km 34;33

15km 53;59

20km 73;57

Half Mara 73;13

25km 1;30;46

30km 1;51;36

The 9;36 3000m was OK and nice to add an M55 to my Queensland M45 and M50 Records however the rate of decline is somewhat disappointing. I believe that if I can get running well again I should be able to still run sub 9;30 and maybe even sub 9;20 with some concentration on the shorter distances.
Queensland Masters Men's 3000m Records

Similarly the 5000m 16;37 was only just about acceptable. I believe that at Perth in Nov 2016 I was in 16 minute  shape  but didn't get the conditions to find it. 
I ran 16;22 subsequently but felt capable of better. 
Into 2017 and  I had a go at 5000m at Queensland Open Championships after doing a 17;43 parkrun 'stroll' in the morning. I struggled around in 16;37.
Not very wise preparation for a Masters athlete but you learn by your mistakes.

I ran a 16;21 North Lakes parkrun in April and a 16;23 Sandgate parkrun in May which were decent performances specially considering the season. 

From December 2016 I had started to ramp up my mileage to levels never before reached as a Masters runner 100-130km a week with a view to nailing a Half Marathon at the Gold Coast at the beginning of July.
I had also joined Brisbane Road Runners Club and competed regularly in the Championship event and some of the other non championship races 25km and 30km.

Back in January I ran 53;59 for 15km in stinking hot conditions, I was convinced come winter I could knock a minute or two off that time but I never managed to.
I managed to hold around 60kg for the first half of the year.

In March I managed another sub 34 minute 10000m to finish 3rd in 33;56 in the Queensland Open Championships. That time ranks me =3rd in the World Rankings for the year.

Hot humid conditions for Qld 10000m Championship

In April I ran 75;22 at BRRC Half Marathon Championship. At the time I didnt think too much of the performance but in hindsight when I consider the course with 10 x 180 o turnarounds and Brisbane Autumn only Clay Dawson for company at the start and solo for 99% of the race. I ran through 5km in 17;04 and 10km in 34;36 and 20km in 70;44 averaging 3;32K's.

As we headed deeper into winter I managed to get the weekly mileage closer to 130km per week with 30km long Sunday runs some double days and regular 18km morning run and one interval session. 

I had run 2724km by June 1st.

In May I decide I would have crack at the BRRC 30km but remember being slightly concerned it might affect my July 2nd Gold Coast Half performance.
I ran 1;51;36 for 30km averaging 3;41 K's by myself.

In June we had the BRRC 10km Champs where I finished 3rd in 34;33. The time was only 3 secs quicker than my 10km on the way to the BRRC Half Marathon in May. I wasn't quite firing on song for some unknown reason.

2nd July the Gold Coast Marathon Weekend and the Half Marathon for me. I was chuffed to have a little chat with Monna's before the start and interested to hear him complain about two of my current injuries the tops of the feet and the hammies. This was my big race for the year.
My aim was to run with the leading women but Sarah Hall was way too strong for me early on and then a big group of ladies passed me at about half way when I was fading. I went out too hard 16;38 for 5km was quicker than half my parkruns! 33;48 at 10km was Qld M55 Best Performance! 
51;56 at 15km was still on track for an Australian M55 record held by Ronnie Peters however the final 5km my wheels were coming off as I went through 20km in 69;04 and finished with a 73;13 net.
I was disappointed to be 50 secs off Ronnies time but that performance was still good enough for 2nd best Australian M55 ever (just in front of John Gilmour's 73;16) and 11th man in the M55  World All-Time Rankings.
21.1km in ave 3;27 K's. M55 Bruce Graham ran 74mins and M50 Monna's 75mins.

My cap behind Harris

Flying at the start

World All-time M55 Rankings

Later in July I was thrilled to win the award of Male Athlete of the Year for my Masters club Queensland Masters Athletics

In August I ran the Australian Half Marathon Championships for Queensland held in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Marathon festival. The course wasn't the fastest but my 22nd place and 76;05 timing confirmed I'd gone off the boil. I was beginning to suffer a number of niggles. My hammies were painful and I noticed my stride length was shortening. 
Early onset decrepitude was beginning to take hold!

A shortening stride length was a major feature in 2017; 76;06 my official time at Alex Heads

For the rest of the year I struggled with my hammies, feet and back.
I took two months off in October and November in an attempt to fully recuperate. I piled on 8kg before I recommenced running. Then I hurt my back again (probably trying to crank start a whipper snipper) which has severely limited my ability to stride out. 
I am going to keep jogging until the pain subsides and (if) the form returns. 
With the back being an issue I have decided to stay off the bike.
Mike Trees (due here in February) would have me prancing around a pool or worse, swimming. He has set himself an interesting challenge to run 10mile in sub 55 at 55y.o. I ran through 10miles (16.1km) at the GC in 55;10 
He had a back operation in October 2016 and hardly does any running training but lots of swimming, stretching and drills. I shall endeavour to do more stretching and core work during 2018

20 December 2017

Injuries update

As you might have guessed, that limping I mentioned in my last post following the BRRC 15KM Champs did not bode well.
I limped for the rest of the week and decided to take time out as I had a number of other niggles that I thought could do with the rest.
The idea was to come back fitter and stronger after a few weeks off. The M55 BRRC 5km Champs came and went and the foot didn't feel any better. Maybe I should have got it property diagnosed but it just wasn't that  important to me.I had  no massive goals or targets on the horizon. I was happy to wait it out.
I thought maybe I would cycle in the interim but after just one ride I decided it wasn't enjoyable (everything still hurt). So I sat back for 8 weeks and did nothing. Well I might have walked the dog and drank beer to drown my sorrows. Very quickly the weight piled on, 8kg in fact!
Enough was enough and so a couple of weeks ago I started back out on the road. The first two runs were a pathetic 2.6km loop I used to do with my dog Sascha = a very reluctant runner (whom I named the Strava segment after). Boy did my hammies hurt like I'd been kicked by a scalded mule.
Determined to actually build, I increased the distance to my Roo 5.6km course.  My hammies seemed to have shortened 3" during my sabbatical - really painful.
The right foot is still not 100% either.
The weekend before last I did my back in again whilst gardening (probably whilst unsuccessfully trying to crank a Whipper Snipper into life) . I managed to run the following day but had to take the next day off. I have since been able to resume my 5.6km shuffle jog. The pace has been so slow that I have not taken my Garmin out to record the ignominy of it all.
I thought during today's run that the hammies were marginally improved and with the major limiting issue being my back.
I have been trying to stretch the hamstrings before runs (air strides) and after (stretching on my back).
When the back allows me, I will try and improve the distance maybe as far as the old faithful Roo+Lake 10.6km) and pick up the pace.
I have given up beer 😞 and started to be watch my diet 😢. I may even start wearing the Garmin again and start looking at Strava to see what  everyone else is up to 😇
I have no targets other than to get back to the fittest I can be and 60kg by May 2018 (attending my nieces wedding in U.K.).

09 October 2017

BRRC 15km Championship 2nd 55;15

Earlier in the week I had decided not to run this due to some right knee pain adding to everything else. I'd only been able to mange a slow jog on grass most days however a 10.6km run on Saturday convinced me that I was actually still capable of running OK, so I decided to race. I  wanted to continue my series of racing all the BRRC Championship races this year and attempting to set  new age group records in each of the seven championship races.
I was up at 4;30am to make the 6;30am start.
Clay Dawson was backing up from the previous days Brisbane Fast 10km road event where he ran low 33's. Others who raced there decided to use the 15km as a tempo run (Dan James). Dennis Fitzgerald was keeping him company.
Conditions were quite warm  20.3 O C and humidity at 77% - it is only going to get warmer!
I thought I started OK, going through the first K in 3;23 but Clay had already made a significant gap.
I settled into the run and calculated  a running total of where I was in relation to Phil Davies M55 record 57;59 which is 3;51 average K's.
The 3;35 second K certainly made me sit up and realize this was going to be a hard slog.
3;30 for the 3rd K and I thought I would be ok if I could just run steady.
At the turnarounds (x6) Clay was looking good, getting further and further away. I ran through the first lap in 17;49. I was reasonably clear in 2nd but did notice a phalanx of ladies running together looking very impressive (including Kerri Hodge, Brittany Zendler and Olivia Lennon) as well as 3rd place male Kevin Muller.
I went through 10km in 36;30 (18;36) which proved my form has waned over the last few months. On the last lap I had difficulty negotiating the 180's with my foot plant putting pressure on my sore metatarsals, so much so that I would be limping out of the turns with foot pain. At least my knee wasn't sore!
As I approached the finish I noted my average pace had gone up to 3;40 which was annoying but I knew a slight lift and I could bring the average back down to 3;39's. The final sprint very nearly brought about a finish area wretch but I managed to keep it under control.
As I recovered sitting on the wall outside South Brisbane Sailing Club, the sweat dripped off the peak of my cap, I hadn't noticed how warm it was.
I limped to the car and limped for the rest of the day. I am having Monday off as I am still in pain.
Only one BRRC Championship race to go, 5km in November, my target is legend Ron Peters 5km age group record 17;24.

15km race results here

Clay's reaction to setting an age group record and being allowed to race two days in succession and on his wife's birthday

The ladies field was packed with talent

Too many beers

Comparison with the 15km I did in heat of January

Splits comparison
ARRS ranking list M55 15KM my two previous BRRC 15km's are included and my most recent performance should provide a footnote for the men
Check out all the ARRS Vets rankings and single age records here

18 September 2017

BRRC 10Mile Championship 5th 58;41

I have raced 10 miles twice previously 52min when I was 18 in the Shaftesbury 10 (PB) and I also ran  the Reading 10 back in the 80's (as well as the Greenwich 11- see result below).
When I first started running '10 miles' in training was measured by running for 60 minutes! Ahh the good old days pre GPS watches!

At the BRRC 10 Mile Championships I had hoped to run around  56 minutes. My time at the Gold Coast as I ran through 10 miles (16.1km) in the Half was 55;10.
Since then I have had to deal with ever worsening hamstring pain. This is causing my stride to shorten and consequently I am racing slower and slower.
The BRRC 10 Miler = 1x1.1km lap+3x5km laps = 8 X 180 O turnarounds.
I had company to chase but wasn't capable of holding onto anyone.
I finished 5th overall with 58;41. 
My time was still good enough to rank me the 11th quickest M55 in the ARRS Vets rankings. 
I will take every entry into these rankings I can get.
As a M45 and M50 I thought I ran a few good times but never quick enough for a single entry into these ranking lists.

It was Strava World Half Marathon Challenge Day so I completed another lap (at just over 4;00 min km pace) for a 79 Half.

All -time World M55 10 Mile Rankings Website link here

Clay disappeared off to 54 minute win

Wayne in flouro Orange,Dan and Dan (by the van!) also came through to beat me.

Start/finish line, chip timing, Newton Distance shoes Queenslander vest

Results here; with splits.

Overall results here

Check out my stride length at the GC here;

Now compare to BRRC 10 Mile Championship here;
(not withstanding the last 5km warm down had an effect on the overall average length)

52;25 10mile aged 18 in 1980

Here is my 58;01, 11 mile, not sure of date but probably 18/19 years old.The race winner was 2 minutes behind me in the Shaftesbury 10 above!

27 August 2017

Bridge to Brisbane 33;41 41st & 1st

My first time on the new course. 
The logistics are not too bad getting to the start form the North Side. 
I was up at 4;00am and out the door at 4;45am arrived in Spring Hill at 5;30am and found easy parking. 
A cool morning but not freezing about 12 O C, so decided to run glove less. I forgot to put my cap on.
The start was a couple of hundred meters from my parking spot on Little Edward St. Warmed up by running up and down the street next to the start. Said hello to Jackson Elliot, great to see him back racing again after Achilles issues for a year or so. Also hello to Shawn Clayton, Peter Bracken and the Bertie Boys.
The start was delayed and my hands were getting cold so stuck them down my shorts (warming cheeks😁)
I lined up next to Aiden Hobbs one row back behind Brittany and Clare. 
Before the race I was expecting to run around 34 as I would be still recovering from last weeks Half Mara and I have a number of niggles (Right foot/back/hammies).

I got 'crowded out' at the gun  and didn't really get into my stride for a good few hundred meters but as it was downhill still went through the first km in 3;05. In fact the downhill was so steep it was really uncomfortable running. My heart rate seemed to shoot up and I felt uncomfortable. I pretty much went backwards throughout the race struggling to push on. It was a 'write off' race as my GPS failed, my Chip failed, I failed and the course came up short.
My Garmin only measured 6km so the GPS dropped out, but timed me at 33;46. Official results failed to include me so my bib number chip failed! Bracko said he ran 31mins but the course was 200m short (?). Its really disappointing if you ran fantastically well, like him, but  cant claim the time due to poor organization. Unfortunately this race has a history of inaccurate course measurements!
My chip eventually got recognized and for what it's worth,I was given 33:41 and 41st and 1st in the results.

My Bridge to Brisbane race record;

7th August 2005 Bridge to Brisbane 12km 44m10 75th & 9th

6th August 2006 Bridge to Brisbane 12km 41m36 27th & 2nd

5th August 2007 Bridge to Brisbane 12km 39m07 21st & 1st (Short)

29th August 2010 Bridge to Brisbane 10KM 34m27 21st & 1st (Long)

11th Sept 2011 Bridge to Brisbane 10KM  34m07 13th & 1st

3rd Sept 2013 Bridge to Brisbane 5KM 15;31 10th & 1st (Short)

7th Sept 2014 Bridge to Brisbane 10km 33;17 8th & 1st

27th August 2017 Bridge to Brisbane* 10km  33;41 41st & 1st (Short) 

* New Course 

23 August 2017

Australian Half Marathon Championship 22nd 76;05

I nominated and gained selection to represent Queensland in this Australian Half Marathon Championship Race. It's cool to be able to represent your State in Open competition at 55 years of age. My performances at the Gold Coast and Perth World Championships (73;13 and 73;43) would have secured my spot.
My build up was OK with some solid mileage weeks from 4 weeks out in the 130km+ range. The week of the race I tapered by just running 10km each day and a reduced grass interval session.
My plan for the race was to go out a lot steadier than at the GC and see if I could improve my second half performance.
The morning dawned freezing cold 7.8 o C. I would wear gloves. 
The race combined with the Sunshine Coast Marathon runners who would run their first half alongside us then complete two 10.5km laps. A cold Southerly seemed to blow at us from all directions and the skinniest slither of a moon hung out over the ocean at Alexandra Headlands.
The race start was no where near as hectic as at the GC and we had room to get into our stride. The first KM is nearly all uphill as we follow the ocean road heading South over the headland. Matty McDonald (QLD 12th 71;21) and Peter Bracken (15th 73;23) sped past very early.
I fell in behind Marathon Man, Clay Dawson (1st 2;27;30) and fellow Queensland runners James Turner (20th 75;03) and Wayne Spears (18th 74;48).
Clay was making a bizarre rattling sound that was mesmeric and disconcerting at the same time. I think he indicated it was glucose tablets but when I rounded the Northern turnaround point and saw a set of beads on the floor my guess at the time was he was carrying Rosary Beads to go with his prayers for attempting to get through his 3rd Marathon in 6 weeks.
20th ; 2;26;54 at the GC,
1st and 2;28;15 at the Brisbane Marathon).
- Clay's running this year has been overseen by Ipswich Super Coach, Peter Reeves (The Robot) his  running has been sensational.
The first few K's were quire uncomfortable for me. The hill sent my heart rate soaring. My hammies were feeling really tight and sore (this has been an issue for me over the last few months). I couldn't hold onto Clay/Jim/Wayne and they gapped me between 5 and 10km. 
5KM with Clay followed by Jim and Wayne, Tim Toner and me

A few trains came past, I tried tucking in with one led at the time by Daniel James (24th 76;31) others on that bus rally managed to push on and run decent times from that slowish first half. Mathew Gluyas finished 11th in 73;49 having run through not far in front of me at 10km in 35;25, his 5km between 15 and 20 was a swift 17;02 and his closing 1.1km was at 3;17 pace! I think he has got a much quicker performance capability!
The Gluyas bus caught and spat out the back Nic Hull (23rd 76;21) who was running ahead of me for most of the race. I eventually managed to catch Nic and Daniel James came back to me during that 4th 5km section. On this homeward stretch I was caught by the first lady Linda Spencer (21st 75;38). I tried hard to stay with her and in managing to up my pace managed to gap Nic and Daniel. I remember that at the time how my hammies were really hurting and in order to pick up my pace I had to 'run ugly' with an awkward gait but who cares. A bit like the GC it is a really long straight run for home at the Sunshine Coast and I ran as hard as I could. I hadn't taken too much notice of my 5km 10km 15km 20km splits but had noticed a few times my Garmin reeling out km splits in 3;40's or 3'30 were as at the GC I was reeling off 3;20's and 3;30's. Still I was somewhat surprised to see the clock tick over 76mins for a 76;05 net result. Hard to fathom it really but I was interested in comparisons with the other Half's recently completed. Shame I didn't wear the heart-rate monitor in the other races. Of particular note my stride length at the Sunshine Coast was the shortest.

Race results here

Garmin Performance State here