Saturday, October 25, 2014

Running in Kansas City

A trip for work saw me head to Kansas City, Missouri. Such trips generally don't make it easy to fit in any running, but before leaving Australia, the hotel advised that it would be busy over the weekend due to the Kansas City marathon scheduled for Saturday 18 October. Fortunately there was a 5k event on offer. Depending on the degree of jet lag, I planned to place a late entry if I felt okay on Friday 17 October. The event was ideal as it started at 7:20 am, so it wouldn't interfere with my reason for being in KC. I had Thursday 16 October as a free day to allow some time to recover from the flight over. I was able to get in plenty of sunshine to reset the clock as well as an afternoon run. On Friday I felt sufficiently good enough and placed a late entry. Even if it was a total disaster, the souvenir shirt was quite nice.
Nice New Balance running top

The 5k run went as well as could be expected, sleep the night before was pretty restless. There was a bit of a climb to contend with at the start, so starting pace was a bit sluggish. I started fairly close to the front of the field and was surprised when I wasn't being regularly overtaken. Indeed I came in 55th overall (out of 954) and was 9th woman out of 574. Splits were 4:43; 4:44; 4:25; 4:34: 4:39; 0:24. HRav 154bpm. Clearly the talented runners were taking part in the half and full marathon events. Looking at the course profile and the times, yes that is where they were all hiding.

The rest of the time in KC I managed to hop on a hotel treadmill each morning to keep the legs turning over. This was a great way to test the Garmin, which uses its various motion sensors together with accumulated running data to predict the distance for each indoor session. Overall it did pretty well.

Back in Australia, it is now time to recover from jet lag and see how well the muscles handle the summer. Step one, a bit of marshalling at parkrun.
Parkrun marshal with the faithful 'Betsy' by my side, and tail runner Ledy

Monday, October 13, 2014

Stuck in 4th gear

The motor (aka cranky muscles) isn't working well at the moment. It feels like there should be at least another 1-2 gears, but finding those gears is proving challenging. Admittedly there have been some of the usual cranky muscle signs messing with training, so that doesn't help. I headed over to Gindy parkrun last Saturday, mostly to be there to cheer Kikka when they announced her position in the '50' Club. However, it was also nice for a change of scenery and to catch up with some familiar faces.
Kikka - another parkrun Club 50 member
 The conditions in Canberra on Saturday were perfect running conditions, cool and windless. I was well slept and rested and felt pretty good during the warm up. Alas when it came to the run, I couldn't get out of 4th gear. It's been a similar finding in recent training, with the 4:40 min/k proving a popular 'rev' zone for the legs. For the Gindy parkrun I finished in 23:42 something like 4:40, 4:39: 4:40; 4:57 and 4:44 to average 4:44 for the 5km. There was no coaxing the legs to go any faster and that's been the case with recent 1km reps. 4:40 is about as good as it gets. All the intervals sessions are based on feel (aiming for a pace that feels sustainable for 5km).

With this latest stint in 'Groundhog day,' today some 400m reps were needed to see if I could, even briefly, shift into 5th gear. Good news is that yes, a slightly quicker pace was possible. Bad news is it was very hard to stay in 5th gear and there were no signs it was a sustainable gear change! Average pace for 6 reps of about 430m were 4:22; 4:10; 4:11; 4:11; 4:13; 4:14. I stuck with just 6 reps as the effort was not sustainable. With more travel on the horizon, there won't be much training opportunity. Hopefully just enough time on the hotel treadmill to keep the legs ticking over. It sure would be nice to see a similar parkrun outcome as when I returned from my travels to Germany. Unfortunately as this is a trip for work, there won't be a lot of time for relaxation and I don't think US Riesling will have the same 'medicinal' qualities as those of Germany. ;-)