Friday, December 29, 2006

Change of Blog Name Yes/No ?

I just looked back to my first entry in this blog entitled "Left Right Repeat" in fact for the first few days of writing my running & exercise blog it was in fact called " Left Right Repeat "

Here is this first entry from January 3rd 2006 for youu so that you do not have to go back through the archives .....

"Running is simply a matter of moving your feet , first the left then the right and repeating this as many times as you can for as long as you can till you get to where you want to get too.

Once you are there you are a runner, can anything be simpler in life. No matter how far we go or how fast we do it we are all runners.

Over time and (diistance) you will get to know me and how I became a runner, from the man who could not run around a flat suburban block in Sydney Australia to crossing the finishing line in Central Park in New York.

It is not rocket science , just left right repeat"

I am thinking now that given that I still have trouble remembering how to actually write out .1of1% in the http thing line where we write www's should I try and change the name back to left right repeat or do you like the .1 name

If you feel like weighing in on my name procrastinations feel free to write a comment back to me

Countdown to Tiberius Marathon


The Tiberius Marathon is less than a week away now, and the taper should be in full swing. The trouble is that since NYC Marathon back in November I have had very little chance to run seriously given the work schedule that has had me in Turkey & Iraq. Running has been very limited not due to my willingness.
And not to mention the very serious operation I managed to survive whilst in Iraq, where I had an ingrown toe nail removed and I was so brave given the battlefield operating theatre.
Last Saturday I did a 20km run which given that I ran 17 km with wet shoes I was pleased, but this morning I hit the dreaded Yarkon Park for an easy 15km just to gently move the legs and relax. Also I wanted to make sure that all the working bits were pain free as I have the option to switch and run a 10km instead of the marathon. Not that I want to not run the marathon.
So I set off with Chaim and his brother in law who is new to running which was perfect for an easy pace with pressure.
I felt fantastic, one of those runs where it just all clicks and by 10 km the pace was around 1:02:00 not bad but the engine kicked in and I took off I felt absolutely charged and ran the next 5km in 24 minutes , my pace was rocking down to 4:30 minute/km
A great run leading up to Tiberius
Tomorrow the Saturday morning run with the gang , going to hold back and just enjoy the fun knowing that today was a great prep for the marathon next week.

This Link Thing



Finally I think I have mastered the fine art of linking thanks to persistence and many failed attempts of frustration and code things that you have to cut and paste and insert in html whilst standing on one leg and running up a hill.
That being said I would really link now to start being able to add your link to my page, part of that we are all one family thing.
So PLEASE if you read my blog and you too foolishly put fingers to the qwerty machine on occasion let me know and I can add you to the links
Cheers
Mal

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Running Music

So on those days when I want to run long what do I listen too?
To be honest I actually enjoy listening to Podcasts on running and nothing beats Steve Runner and Phedippidations , if you have not come across this running gem log onto www.steverunner.com or look up itunes.

But I do have a generic list of tunes I enjoy running to and for the sake of everyone knowing what music I listen to hear are some of my favorites

Be warned you may shake your head in disbelief at my tastes

Make your own kind of Music - Mama Cass Elliott
Sorry - Madonna
Pretty Vegas - INXS (The Rockstar Edition from the TV show)
Lola - Dave Matthews Band
Voodoo Child - Rogue Traders
Its a beautiful life - Ace of Base
Ooh la la - Faces
Heart go faster - Davey Brothers
Ring of fire - Social Distortion
Let me entertain you - Robbie Williams
Lyla - Oasis
Because of You - kelly Clarkson (remix)
Somebody told me - The Killers (mylo remix)
Point of View - DB Boulevard
Throw Your Arms Around Me - Peral jam & Ben Harper
Start me Up - Rolling Stones
Downtown - Petulia Clarke
Cups - Underworld
Aint that a Shame - Cheap Trick Live
What You Need - Inxs
Everlasting Love - Glori Estafan
Things Can Only get Better - Howard Jones
I'm Walking on Sunshine - Katrina & the Waves
Always Something There To Remember - Naked Eyes
Spirit in the Sky - T Rex
Vertigo - U2
Pure Shores - All Saints
Feel the Beat - Darube
I am the Ressurection - The Stone Roses
Push the Button - Sugababes
Elevation - U2
Mexican Radio - Wall of Voodoo
Beautiful Day - U2
Love Generation - Club Mix Bob Sinclair
You take My Breath Away - DJ Tiesto
Get Ready for this - Sports
You're the Best Thing - The Style Council
Live & let Die - Guns and Roses
Devil Inside - INXS
Breathless - The Corrs
Lido Shuffle - Boz Skaggs
Bad Day - Daniel Porter
Drop the Pilot - Joan Armatrading
City of Blinding Lights - U2

These are in no specific order and I mix and match according to what type of training I am doing on the day

The thing is to figure out and guess which is the track I have listened to the most?

Another Pictoral gem from the past



So people doubt that at times I do not run seriously have been looking back on old computers for running photos and came across this gem from the Ein Gedi Half marathon a few years back , run along the Dead Sea the lowest place on Earth 450ft below Sea level. This was from memory my first half and was run in a howling sand storm

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New York Marathon 2006 Photos



Thanks to Chaim, my running buddy a couple of pictures from the NY Marathon last November , In the first picture we are on the left hand side with our arms up and you can see my name on my shirt.

The Crossing the line picture we are bottom right, our actual time was 4:27:16

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Twas the day before Christmas

Now the trouble is that when I come back home to Israel after Assignment I am basically bored on my days off, at least when i am working I know I have stuff to do when I am here and almost everyone is away there is nothing to do, So basically I train in the morning go home get bored so train again in the late afternoon as thus today actually looked like this

7 am Spin Class - Crap Instructor all in Hebrew he arrives late as usual with bad music , cardio OK workout
8 am Core Class - a good 15 minute workout of the stomach and core
8:15 am Weights Gym - Upper Body Sets Shoulders Chest Arms
9:00 am Steam Room

pay rent, get ripped off by landlord , nothing new here but anyone who claims to be a millionaire and then chases me up for what he did just sucks , instant ruined relationship end of story. Going to make him buy a new toilet seat tomorrow for the apartment

go grocery shopping , buy new fabric softener as the other woman in the aisle agreed it smelt the best after opening ten other.

Go home unpack , find out what I thought was cottage cheese is in fact not cottage cheese , so why the hell do they put a cottage on the front like they do on cottage cheese

Watch a movie get bored decide to head back to Gym

4:45 Weights - Upper Arms
5:00 pm Core Class again
5:15 pm Eliptical half hour cross country course
6:00 pm swim 500 m
6:20 pm Jacuzzi

Then up to the cafe in the gym as I have internet here which I do not have at home apart from my blackberry

And thus was my Xmas Eve 2006

Pumping Iron Reposted

Now that I have a high speed internet access again was checking back thru the blog and realised that somehow "Pumping Iron in Ramadi" had been posted 5 times. Now I know you enjoy reading (sometimes) my words but here I must of in frustration hit the POST button more than once as the connection in Ramadi was not the best.
Anyway that said have added some photos and deleted multiple duplicate entries
Cheers
Mal

What is this wet stuff falling from the sky?

Saturday Dec 23rd 2006
7am

One of the better things about living in the Middle East and there are not many positives to be honest, in fact you could count the positives on the fingers of one hand and still have change.

One thing that it is hard to complain about as an “athlete” is that the weather is almost always great for training, of course in summer it is hot but if you get up early normally you can beat the worst of the heat. The average summer training session takes places in temperatures from 24 to 32 degrees Celsius.

Which brings me back to this morning, it is raining cold (probably around 11 C.) miserable and given that I have a marathon to run on January 4th, less than two weeks away and that I am coming off a lay off with being in Iraq.

Do I go out and run in this miserable cold wet weather or go to the gym, do a spin class in a few hours and some weights and then swim all sounds good and noble, but I still am wracked with the thought that I should be out running. What if on marathon morning it is raining and I will look back on this morning and curse the chance I had to run in rain.

Then again I can run long tomorrow and enjoy the gym this morning and have a short hash run this afternoon. Hash running is not real running but a chance to get out for a few hours run and drink beer and plan my long run for tomorrow.

The rain is getting worse.

08:00 am

Oh fear not that they may think of me as a fair weather runner.

I have procrastinated to a point where the weather looks like it is improving and after a second cup of coffee I start to prepare to go out and run.

Before you think I have sat around doing nothing-fellow athlete for the last hour please I note that I have done a load of laundry as well as drink coffee and type this entry.

10:30 am

20 km later time 1:53:17, negative split run, aim was to run as many at 5:40 pace which was successful and given the fact that 17km of the 20 were done with wet training shoes. At the 3km mark a large puddle marked the trail, and given that the area is mainly sand I took to the side of the trail and stepped into knee high water with both legs into freezing cold water.
Now I could of turned and jogged back home, claiming defeat and that it was a run that was not meant to be, so I pushed on at the 7km mark. Can life get any worse my mp3 battery dies and I am left with nothing to listen too. I prefer to listen to pod cast when I am running alone and thus I was now facing the double joy of cold wet feet, grey skies, and nothing to listen too.

I pushed on focusing my anger inwards and concentrating on upcoming events in my life and arguing cases back and forth.

I did push far harder on the second half, as the course is primarily an out and back loop.

Protein shake at home and a lazy day the rain started as I started to walk my cool down so maybe someone up there was looking after me.

4:30pm

Hash run over, best to say that with even walking to the start and back I barely nudged 5 km but was actually good to shake the legs out to a degree, as they were tight from the morning run

6:30pm Day Review

Total km today: 25km. Not bad considering what might have been given the weather, want to get the sense of how my body is prepared for the Tiberius Marathon on January 4th 2007. The only thing that will preclude me now is that if I have to go down to Gaza for more than a day if rumors are true then the word is that I may be back down there. That being, Tiberius is out of the question I just have to get through a few days without being assigned to Gaza, no one cares and I question why we would even contemplate sending a team down there. With no feasible back up, the ramifications of going there are too scary to contemplate.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Good to be running again

It has been a long time since I could walk out the door and just run, so i look at my time in Iraq as my seasonal break, enforced by other than good intentions. Also I was a "wuz" in Iraq and it was too cold too run all I had was my running singlet and shorts and with the temperature in the low c's and 40's f .
I decided that I was allowed to skip running and pump iron with the Marines, well OK i did weights and the Marines Pumped Iron it is scary to be next to young guys 18 - 22 in a Gym three hours a day.
I am about two weeks out from the Tiberius Marathon on Jan 4, which I am doing for fun taking it easy and just cruising along still debating whether to try the Galloway Run 9 min Walk 1 min , in my other 4 marathons I have always bonked somewhere between 19 and 23 miles and have found my splits just awful with dead legs.
Has anyone else been there and tried Galloway without training Galloway at all?
Today a nice ten km , very easy low heart rate average 113 max 135 (up small hill) time around 57 minutes, given it was first run back after Iraq felt good , right knee had been very sore for last few days which I must of cracked? in the Marines Gym in Iraq
Looking forward to hearing back from anyone re Galloway Idea
THANKS
MAL

HERZLIYYA PITUACH
ISRAEL

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fear Not - A New world approaches

Out of Iraq
Minus half a toe nail but good
Have not run for weeks - good - need the rest
Looking forward to getting back into training - good again
Lots more News and stories to come
About to leave Frankfurt after an overnight decompress
More to come
And as always leave comments that way i know I am not talking to myself LOL
Mal
Frankfurt

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pumping Iron in Ramadi Iraq

There is no lycra and no women, no one is fat or overweight, there are no rows of pristine treadmills and elliptical machines with multi channel TV’s attached, there is no reception area where your membership card is swiped. There is no membership fees or promotions, no changing room, showers, toilets, lockers or sauna bath. You are more likely to hear heavy metal or rap than you are to It is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and your membership is valid for four years. (*1). But it has more weights than any other gym I have ever seen, more plates upon plates of weights and bars.



There is no natural light, in fact any windows, the entrance way is sandbagged and you walk past the drop off point for dirty laundry (Laundry is picked up at 6:30am Tuesdays and Fridays by a seven ton armored truck, back on the next run). Eight fluorescent lights strung up and the rumble of the heater that manages to warm the air in front of three machines enhances the atmosphere in the gym.

Most benches and surfaces have some duct tape holding them together. There is dust and cobwebs in corners, in fact most surfaces have dust, it should be noted that almost everything in this part of the country has dust on it if left for more than 30 minutes.



And yet for all its faults, its negatives the Gym here on the Marine Base at Hurricane Point, Ramadi, Iraq has what any gym in the world wants close to 100% of the community belong. Virtually every Marine works out, and they work out hard, heavy and tough. In a realm where the Alpha male rises to the top, he who bench presses the most per body weight is held aloft.

I use the gym here everyday, one because I like going to the gym, two because it is far too dusty to run my usual trail, inches of dust does not make for conducive times let alone ruining a pair of good running shoes, three it is too cold to run here in the morning with the running clothes I bought, and lastly I had an operation on my big toe last night. (More on that later, the big toe that is.)

In the Corps, discipline and respect are the cornerstones of their world. You do not see Marines walking around the Camp here endlessly saluting or standing to attention. But you do see respect and honor.

In the Gym every Marine is equal, because they all want to be the best, no one wears any insignia of rank in the Gym everyone has the same sweats, everyone has the same haircut and everyone wants to be better.

The gym here will never win any trendy award, the old broken treadmill in the corner will still be gathering dust in six months. However today, tomorrow and for every day there after, the Hurricane Point Gym will have close to 100% of the population walk past the sandbags and push open the door.

(*1) When you enlist in the Marines it is for four years.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Trademark of Death


Yesterday it was sitting in the armored Humvee’s getting shot at by RPG’s, today a sniper decided to try and take a shot at us.

The worst thing is that there is no warning, no sense of impending danger all that you experience is the sound. The air simply cracks, one single round the trademark of a sniper.

We were down at the Government Center, well to use the term Government and Center together is an oxymoron. Because whilst it may be known as the Government Center, certainly no administration has taken place there for a while. On previous trips it was always where you met the Provincial powerbrokers, but that was before six major bombing attacks on the building compound and a daily assault from mortars, rpgs and snipers.

It is now a shell, cold stark and with tables and chairs covered with dust, no heating exists and the cold in the rooms reflects what is left of the town. Across the road from the GC there used to be shops and building, now there is rubble. The buildings were leveled first by 500 lb bombs then by demolition teams, as they had become a haven for terrorists from which to attack the Government Center.

This morning we went there with the Marines who had escorted a local contractor and his foremen whose job it will be to remove the rubble from outside and make the area suitable for a car park for the GC and planners even have ideas for a park. Now given that no parks exist in this city it seems an ambitious urban planning scheme to say the least.

So whilst the Marines were escorting the contractors out thru the safe back way to the alley and then to the street so that they could assess the task ahead, we tagged along wanting to shoot a segment link for the War Stories Special.

We had a couple of takes in the camera and moved to change angle with the camera rolling Ollie was just about to start when the sniper “sniped”. It shakes you up for a second or two and Ollie headed for the wall, I just ducked down and waited for the inevitable gunfight, but the discipline of the Marines is such that locating the position from which the shot was fired is more important than blasting away.

The site survey did not last much longer and we moved back into the safety (sic) of the Govt Center and spent time filming Xmas Greetings with Marines even then the cracks in the air continued on and off. Just another day in Ramadi.

Monday, December 11, 2006

in Memory of a Fallen Runner



There is nothing sadder than attending a Memorial Service for fallen soldiers in the field. It is hard not to hold your emotions in during the final minutes, it is not the service or the firing of the salute rifles outside the mess, it is the sight of and sound of fellow soldiers and marines on their knees as they reach out and touch the dog tags. It is not a loud sound but the soft sound of two dogs tags touching each other. Two small pieces of metal that contain the heart and soul of a friend.


They played a song that I never have heard before, a country and western ballad “ American Soldier” I do not know who wrote or sang it. It will forever be in my heart, because one of the fallen was a Marine I knew.

A reservist who came here and paid the ultimate price in the name of freedom and liberty. This is not the time or the place to debate the merits of the war here. We all have opinions and thoughts as to the rights and wrongs of what is happening. But for families who have lost sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, know that out here when a comrade falls the entire community weeps with you and your loss is shared all, in the dust and heat, cold and mud they are never forgotten.

When I run my next marathon I will have on my arm the name of a friend who will be remembered because she like me liked to run marathons.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Training In Iraq

By the banks of the Euphrates, 135 km west of Baghdad in the city of Ramadi. Not sure whether it is a sunni stronghold or a shia frontline, but the consensus is that it is a stronghold of Al Qaida and other foreign militants whose sole job is to prevent my training to proceed as in a normal day back in the real world, also it may have to do with the thousands of US troops based here trying to rebuild Iraq and stop civil war.

have just found out it is a "sunni stronghold" and that the shia's would have trouble fielding a football team here, so the sunni's are to blame for my lack of training facilities, it is hard to run laps on the streets here, well you cannot so my training is restricted to the bases here, Camp Ramadi the main camp here is big enough to run in but the potholes and tank tracks make it a dangerous place, oh and the threat of mortars also make it les than an ideal location. That being said I did manage a nice 5 and half km run yesterday , hence the photo of running with the tanks as i approached the halfway turn around point a US tank was screaming up the road. If you think a crazed person on a SUV constitutes a life and death prospect, then avoid a 80 ton tank going full pitch towards the same intersection, I slowed down to allow him to pass before turning back.

I have promised Simply Stu (podcaster of Simply Stu a photo of a T shirt he sent me for competing in his inaugral worldwide triathlon last year - so Stu there you have it , Simply Stu's worldwide tri now includes Iraq.

This morning it was to the gym and that is the subject of my next blog later

Mal
Ramadi
Iraq

Ramadi Iraq - Running with the tanks

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The View to Asia

It is a joy of travel that allows me to run in some incredible places, and the run this morning on the banks of the Bosphorous River saw me running in Europe and looking into Asia, albeight thru very grey and cloudy skies, past palaces that are hundreds of years old and cobbled alleyways.
This must be one of the few places in the world where you could possibly run in two continents, that is if you can get accross a very large and heavily traffic congested bridge.
On any quiet Saturday morning in a city of 15 million people you would expect to see other runners, I saw one other runner out this morning and the universal smile is the same the world over.r
Sometimes it is nice just to have the smile returned and know that you can share your joy with someone else who you might never see again.
Mal
Istanbul
Turkey

Looking Accross the River to Asia in the Dark of Dawn

Waiting for daylight to come so that I can get a long run along the Bosphorous River, the dividing line between Europe and Asia. If I could figure out a way to get onto the bridge without becoming a traffic statistic I would be tempted as then I would have the bragging rights of saying that my long run took in two continents.
Woke up at 6am to listen to the mosque call to prayer in the distance, the call sounds nice at a distance but the novelty of it wears off if you happen to have a mosque next to your hotel, 5 times a day .... allah akbar gets on your nerves.
One thing about being on the road travelling and running is preparing yourself to go out as you would at home, the trouble is that sometimes things can get lost in translation, or the attempt of a hotel to "go that little bit further"
Before my long run I like to have a banana and coffee. So I call up room service and ask for a coffee and a simple banana, coffee no problem .. but banana thanks for trying guys but I did not need three banana peeled sliced laid out on a plate with garnishings, a simple banana on a plate that all that I needed
Still pitch black outside and thus will have to wait, gives the coffee the time to do its thing

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hotel Gyms

On the road can really suck when it comes to totally interfering with any semblance of a training schedule. In Istanbul Turkey covering the visit of Il Papa (aka the Pope). Which is a nice way of saying you are locked down in a hotel waiting for something to happen or not to happen. I cannot leave and go for a run because if something was to happen then I have to be there when it happens and not somewhere on the streets of istanbul and out of contact.
I have a traing program for the week which i am trying to stick to, but like all good hotel gyms the treadmills are more for show and peopel walking badly on them rather than Treadmills taht are for runners, every time you get the speed up beyond walking pace the belt slips and the danger of flying off backwards or losing your step terrifies me.
I have managed to get a couple of runs in of five kms at a good pace and the elipticals are reasonable. The weights well they are stacked nicely and the machines ... well they are nicely placed in the hotel gym.
Get the Picture
Looking forward to Saturday morning when I can get out of the bubble of the hotel and go for a run

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ouch my rear hurts

Now I should point out that I have only just got a road bike and have never riden with a group, but I quickly learnt if you get pushed out the back of the pelaton you are in most cases "buggered" this drafting thing you hear and read about is real and the effort required to ride in the pack is about half of trying to push the wind yourself. So that wa sthe first lesson from my first group ride, as well as trying to decipher the hand signals from riders ahead.
It was a beautiful morning and turning up I had no idea whom I was to be riding with and set out with the head coach Ron and hiis group, they had hinted at our first meeting that i would be riding with the 3rd team out of four, not the beginners and not the real elite. Wrong as we pushed back after sixty five km's I found that I was in fact with the elite group, so my ego was really stoked and it also explained why I could not keep up with them on the hills.
70 km of road countless hills and a sore butt to boot, whilst I have been riding Mountain bikes for years it is going to take time to get to grips with the power of a road bike because comparing the two my road bike is like a F1 compared to the old cheap clunker of a MTB.
My first week of training now complete and I can already feel the benefits and improvements and by weeks end, man was I tired.
Off to Turkey now for the week covering the Pope, so training will be in the Hotel Gym ... Rock on ...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Group Long

I have always enjoyed Long Runs, they are a chance to simply enjoy running at an easy converstional pace, note the word converstional pace. Every book you read says "Conversational Pace". By the end of my first Long Run under a coach perhaps a "panting muttering of words" is a better description.

This morning was my first "long run" with the Triathlon training group and apart from having the nerves of running with people I did not know and the fear you have of being the lone loser out the back it was fun to meet new runners and triathletes.

We were heading out to the sand dunes area along the coast with the aim of attacking the uphills, it is a beautiful run out along the cliff tops and once I realised that was not the tail end charlie, I could relax and start working at a more than standard pace and I could still "converse" at this stage.

Little did I know that when we got to the Gas station and Coach Ron briefed the group what was instore. The briefing was in Hebrew of which I understand perhaps one word in a hundred that the group was to pick up pace. So blissfully unaware of what was ahead the group set off. I soon realised that we were moving fast and the lead runners were soon off in the distance. At this point a girl next to me panted what the translation was. I mentally decided to move into next gear and for the next 5 km's I motored along at nearly 13km/h which a week ago was my tempo pace not my long run pace.

It actually started to feel good to push through the envelope and find my legs.

Not a week into a coaching programme I am already starting to feel the effects and incrase in my own abilty to lifdt my heart rate and sustain it

The time and diatnce did not refect the workout, so next time I will stop my watch at stops and try and get a better reading of time and pace

Tomorrow morning in the dawn hours it is biking with a coach for the first time

Intervals & Thrashing about in Water

There is something magic about a stadium in the dawn as the sun comes up and still to this day I am always in awe spiritually as you enter the stadium, normally this is reserved for entering a stadium to watch your team pal and the first moment you see the hallowed turf my breath is always taken away.

This morning I could almost see my breath and the dew on the ground still coated the grass around the track, there were no stadiums filled with spectactors but just a group of us huddled around Chief Coach Ron who was briefing us on the Intervals workout that lay ahead. This was my first session with Ron and was his chance to assess my level of running so there was within me the desire to “hold form” and show him that I did have some talent “raw” but willing.

The session was brutal, perhaps brutal is the word I use, this being my only second session with a coach assessing me and coaching me.

We started with a warm up and the words of “faster Mal” by the third lap of the warm up and even faster on the Fourth lap, before the session briefing. A reverse 2000m down starting with 2000, 1600, 1200, 800, 800.This fellow runners is a workout designed to make your legs burn with only a minute interval between each set. As I set out on the 1200 my legs had that burn and from moment on my heart rate was never below 90% of max. The first 800 was hard and Ron said one more would do me he just wanted me to keep the same pace up and hear me breathe as I ran past him.

As you turned onto the final straight Ron would concentrate on you and it is comforting but unnerving to feel for the first time in my running life that I was constantly being assessed and there is no where to hide or allow yourself to ease down.

My splits were as follows

#1 2000m 9 min 11 secs Pace 4:28 min/km
#2 1600m 7 min 24 secs Pace 4:30 min/km
#3 1200m 5 min 35 secs Pace 4:28 min/km
#4 800m 3 min 37 secs Pace 4:22 min/km
#5 800m 3 min 34 secs Pace 4:20 min/km

Looking back I am happy with my ability to maintain pace and keep running at that level of threshold I believe in myself and my abilty to improve. As the adage goes to run faster, you need to train faster.

I learnt lessons this morning like a yoghurt is not enough to eat before training as I will really need carbs to run track, and in cold weather to use long skin pants to avoid injury. Also have food for immediately after because I was starving by the end of the session and was glad I had a banana in my bag as I climbed in the car.

Now for the second part of the day and the need to actually accept that if I want to complete a triathlon and really compete not just go through the motions and accept that result without actually racing or pushing myself. I am going to have to learn to swim freestyle.

You could take me out of the coast 5 km and tell me to swim in breaststroke and I would not be daunted, take me out 500 m and tell me to swim in freestyle and I would be trouble.

Here in lies the problem to be resolved I have to learn to swim freestyle, Coach gavin gave me a trial program to get me started. The ten laps to warm up felt like I had already done the a workout, BUT I was determined not to give up and pushed myself. Then kickboard a length, one arm a length then one lap freestyle, the lap freestyle actually felt good and positive with energy, the kickboard lengths felt like a bad way to drown myself in slow motion. Followed by 6 laps cool down and the seeing the end of the black line felt really good. So good in fact that I put on fins and did four more laps with fins and a kickboard, I like the fins reminds me of training for my SCUBA Divemaster level.

What felt good was that I did not give up or revert to breast stroke, I had actually completed a freestyle session, not hard by any standards BUT I had done it alone with no one around me, the session was mine. Is my stroke bad “yes” does my kick suck “yes” but it was my session and I had achieved a small goal within myself . A session of freestyle.

In years to come I will look back at this entry and laugh, but then again I remember the first time 8 years ago when I tried to run around the block and could not manage it without stopping and now I have run four marathons.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The next step - The Coach

I have come to realization that if I really do want to meet my true ambiyions in running and run a BQ (Boston Qualifier) and compete in Triahlons next year that as much as I believe in my own abilities that a professional coach is worth a try.

Contacting one of the biggest Tri teams here in Israel I made an appointment to meet the Head Coach and another Coach (who would be my coach "Gavin") it was intesting to hear there opinions on what I had achieved and how I had been training. I have known within myself that my training was to a degree becoming more and more unfocused and given the distractions of war during the summer, the wheels as to direction and focus have been wobbling. Through my own fault and lack of purpose in my training. The meaningless runs were honestly becoming junk miles and my fitness and times have not improved in relation to the effort I had been doing.

Both Ron and Gavin agreed that my training whilst being good had plateaued and that working with them they could help rach my goals. Not a surprising thing for a coach to say but at the same time was reassuring that working together I could start to better times and goals

I would have a program and work with different groups including track sessions, long runs and biking. My swim training would not begin till I come back from Iraq at the end of the year.

My first workout that Gavin wanted me to do was a tempo run, but rather than just cruise and think I was working hard I was to maintain a solid 12km/h pace which sounds simple but most of my training runs used to max out at maybe 11km.h so to push that little harder and make the run count.

The next morning I was to meet Gavin at the track at 6:30 for my first group session. It was almost daunting to arrive at the track in the dawn light and find almost fifty others there all about to do the same. It involved a warmup for ten minutes then 5 x 1200m repeats a distance I have never done before with expressions like we are going to aim these repeats at between 15km and half marathon pace. After three of these I could feel the lactic building in my legs and then Gavin said on the next two 1200 intervals he wanted my 1km splits as to ascertain my pace and push myself a bit harder.

Over the next two intervals my km splits were 4:40 and 4;44 which actually surprised and the new knowledge that I had base times to work on faster than I had contemplated in previous track sessions.

My next track session is tomorrow with head Coach Ron, I feel that it is going to be even harder and that whilst scary also has added a new impetus to my training.

Friday is a long group run and Saturday morning we hit the hills on the bike

Monday, November 20, 2006

New York Marathon 2006

There are great marathons in the world and as to which one is the greatest, that will only ever be decided by the person who has run everyone in the world and since the chances of meeting that runner is about the same as me breaking the world record, then as marathoners we will always have something to talk about on long runs.

Having said that only New York is magical, where else in the world can you effectively close down major parts of one of the largest cities in the world and have more than a million people cheer you and actually enjoy the sight of us mortals running badly.

First up lets get Lance out of the picture, yes I did see him at the start. We managed to get to the edge of the blue corral on the bridge and saw him warming up and then at the start. No matter what anyone says, he like me ran the marathon every step of it and for that we as runners should be proud of what he stands for in our running community. It was very cool to be standing there as a runner and yell “Go Lance” and then turn and begin the race just like him.

I was running with my great friend Chaim aka Captain Caveman from the local hash running group having seen him achieve his goal of completing his first half marathon earlier in the year at the Three Borders Half Marathon here in Israel, now we were towing the line at one of biggest running events in the world the NYC Marathon.

Having had such an interrupted year of training with war, I know war really changes your training program, hard to run long when people are going to kidnap or kill you, so in some sense I was glad at the starting line that I felt confident and ready and in all honesty knowing that I was going to do a good time as long as Chaim was going I would be there with him.

One of my favorite sights at the start of marathons is the endless urination that happens around you, women who would normally not even use a public toilet are happy to squat in front of thousands and pee. A funny story actually happened here, listening to a podcast about running a marathon I remembered a great idea and that is take a Gatorade bottle with you , as you get to the mass start drink the remains of the drink and you have in your hand a ready made toilet with wide mouth access if you know what I mean, then simply put the bottle down by the curb.

Anyway in the corral when we were getting our stuff together Judith just grabbed this bottle of Gatorade out of my hand and took a swig. Just as the bottle got to her mouth I mentioned its purpose , the look on her face was one of had I used it already, never grab anything out of my running bag without asking is the moral of this story.

I liked the feeling of knowing that the run was going to be fun and that I had no pressure on myself physically or mentally and the ability to suck up the atmosphere made a big difference.

One good thing about NYC is that with the majority of streets being wide and the race starting from three waves it is easy to get into a pace and not have many other runners blocking you. The start over the bridge is fantastic and I had time to look back and see the incredible mass of runners hurtling down and onto the streets.

One hard thing though is that I only know how to run metric, I honestly have no idea of how far a mile is and the pacing and timing is much harder as you try to calculate out splits, luckily they have 5km splits and 26 markers is less than 42 but further apart.

Last year I remember bonking as I crossed the 59th street bridge into Manhatten and feeling drained as I tried to keep up with my pacing team of 3:50, this time when I crossed the bridge I actually started sing out for everyone “ If your happy and you know it clap your hands” which got a great response from other runners around me. Chaim was starting to hurt at this point and I knew from past experience this pain sucks when you are only around 16 miles into the marathon. The big problem I was having at this stage was that I was getting very very cold the wind was so bitter and I had to take my running hat off all the time as it was freezing my head and giving me chills right to the end of the marathon it was on and off .

The run up 1st Avenue is an awesome experience it feels like the whole city is out cheering you and you feel like a champion. The Sponge Bob sponge stop is another souvenir to treasure from NYC, after taking it I stuck it down the back of my pants I wanted my Sponge Bob.

The next challenge was just up the road at Mile 19, this is where last year I made the stupid mistake of taking a Powerbar gel having never used then on any training run and it hit my stomach and I had started to feel the urge to be violently sick and rather than give me the boost it finished me off and I hit the wall then.

This year I had trained using these gels and for me too get thru this point in the race was critical I felt fine and as we crossed into the Bronx we slowed to walk for a few hundred yards as Chaim was carrying a 400lb gorilla at this point and suffering badly. I urged him on with the promise of another walk as we crossed back into Manhatten.

My legs were tiring as we pushed through those low twenty miles and whilst I did not hit any wall I was tiring. Luckily Chaim’s family were by the side of the road and this gave him a fantastic burst of energy and got the gorilla off his back.

That trek down 5th Avenue was a blur as I tired knowing that it was so close and yet so far as we still had the Central Park ahead of us, turning into the Park is hard as you know that is almost over and all the joys and anguish of 6 months of training is going to end, if I was not hurting so much you almost want the marathon to be longer so you can enjoy the experience.

Columbus Circle beckoned and I felt a complete re surge of energy as you turn and the finish line is just up that small hill and the crowds lift you as you give everything left. Lifting Chaims hand up we crossed the line in 4:27:27 like champions, friends and people whose lives will never be the same because we had run a marathon together.

The medal is draped around you and all of a sudden the cold hits you and the scramble to get the space blanket was imperative. Shuffling along in our tin foils Chaim went into a hypothermic shock and we actually ended up in the medical tent for fifteen minutes, with four space blankets on Chaim and a wool blanket to boot. Having never been in a Medical tent at the end of a marathon it was almost funny to see people in such pain, I know cruel but sadistic in my own way.

Chaim was shaking so badly that the cup of tea we were given almost shook out of his cup. Fifteen minutes later he was fine cold but ok and we walked out of the park laughing with our heads held up high we walked the streets proudly wearing our medals like champions we were. There is a magic to finishing a marathon that no drug in the world will ever duplicate, as you know that you a member of the point one of one percent of the worlds population that has run a marathon.

Ramat Hasharon 15km Race

Having never done a 15 km race it was a challenge to toe the line on Saturday just two weeks after running NYC Marathon, (and yes that race report is forthcoming) I had decided that i was going to run this race for myself and not worry about anyone else. Which was a nice way to prepare and even more importantly I ws determined not to be out psyched by another runner which destroyed me in my last 10km even though I had set a PB 48.08 in that event it was a disaster mentally and I did not want to repeat that again.
My aim was to control my heart rate and not let it getr out of control and maintain a pace that would allow me to push hard at the end. The thing I had not factored in was the bloody big hill that I realised as I was running down that it was from 12 - 13.5 km on the way back.
My splits were great and with 5 km at 24:30 and 10 km at 50:15 , by this stage I allowed my heart rate to push above 150 and maxing out at 161 on the hill back to finish in 1:17:40 my last km with a nice downhill was 4:33 min.km and my best km was 4:30min/km.
In fact five of the km's had me running sub 5:00 min/km's which was pleasing , great to finish positive and strong and now the next stage as I am about to embark on a professional coaching program and that my fellow runners gives me that one quest, put simply a BQ time within 18 months
Mal

If you follow the link race picture from the run

http://www.shvoong.co.il/imageFromEvent/1.asp?number=459&NOI=1226&ThisPage=14&IL=7&allowSearch=False&EventNum=1695&EventName=%E0%EC%E9%F4%E5%FA%20%E9%F9%F8%E0%EC%20%E1%2015%20%F7%EE%20%EE%F8%E5%F5%20%E0%E9%E9%EC&EventDate=18/11/2006

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Mal is back

Sometimes you need a break from blogging and for that I apologise to those of you who come and read my running diatribe. But I hope that with everything coming back into karma, then I shall be back with a far better pace

Blogging is like commiting to training program, it must have focus and motivation and that is my new commitment for the coming future.

So once again apologies and thanks for dropping by again.

Run back on Monday for the Race Report from the New York Marathon and also my first visit to a Professional Coach on Sunday

Mal

New York Marathon 2006

Bib Number 18737
Time 4:27:27

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Reflections and a New Start

This morning after a sleepless night I was worried sick that my leg injury force me to quit before the long had even started, those first few tentative steps followed by an even few more tentative km's and finally the relaxation that my leg would not cause me to falter and I as i ran past 32 km's and slowed to walk back in and join the others. I felt that exhausted sense of completion and satisfaction.

But more than that it was after over a cup of coffee it was words of wisdom and sanity that will shape the rest of my running life from this moment on. Being told that a green monster sits on your shoulder and that at times I am no longer fun to run with hurts, it hurts a lot but at the same time it was the wake up call that I needed at the moment because for to long now, I have not been the same runner and it is time to change within and that is all I want to do.

Become that runner that realizes what it takes to be a good friend and a running partner. Understand that my ideas and goals are not shared by others and be prepared to take a minute or two before saying things. We all deal with bad runs and down times in different ways and my way is not the way for others. Support and be a friend when needed and at other times let my friends deal with issues in their own personal ways and listen to them by being there.

I want to get back to running for fun and I am determined to find the spark again. For too long know I have let my own demons affect the way I run since the beginning of this year. I am the runner I am and not the person who seeks to empty a poisoned chalice of previous angst and that is what I am going to change.

Starting today I have new goals and dreams and not one of them involves anything that has happened or gone previously. For all my running friends be prepared for a new (just like the old, but better). I regret the runner I became and how I lost the sense of joy of just having fun. My goals now are simple to be a friend who gets the simple pleasure of watching the soles of our shoes wear down.

I want nothing more than to wake up and accept that I am the runner I am, and how someone else runs and what times they do has no impact on me anymore. I want to cross the line with friends and know that we have run the best we can through the highs and lows and have enjoyed every minute, every kilometer.

If I want to run hard then in my own time I will, but for the moment the friendship and fun of starting a long run in the dark is all I want and to listen as to how I can be a better friend as we make our way thru the dark forest with only the sounds of our breathing and the slap of shoes on the trail.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Just when you thought all was ok

After a great hills ession last night, 7 repeats all good times , gradually increasing by one repeat a week all is looking good for NYC in November. All the repeats were even splits what could possibly go wrong.
Well after the session last night I decided for an easy run at the gym, for the last few weeks I have felt a tweak in my groin / upper right leg two minutes into the treadmill it really started to get sore, real sore another ten minutes and the pain was not going away as it had done in previous runs as I warmed up
Finally after 4 km's my leg was seizing up and for the first time in a long time I was defeated by injury
Now rest and Ice and hope for the best for Saturday

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saturday Long Monday Treadmill Tuesday Spin

Now of course there is no reasonable excuse not to blog but those who know will also know that this weekend saw me down in Gaza and the release of my friends Olaf Wiig and Steve Centanni

I had only walked in the door from a brutal long 25 km run on Saturday morning after 3 and half hours sleep the night before when I was sent to Gaza another two sleepless night and before I knew it I was on the treadmill at the Gym Monday morning but the road between was amazing

Today I got back into Spinning and the sweat well it came off in buckets

Till later tonight and the hills run
Mal

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hills Workout Breakdown

Lap Time Lap Time HR Max Avg Min Dist min/km
1. 0:06:56.4 0:06:56.4 112 121 102 68 1.1 6:31
2. 0:09:21.1 0:02:24.7 168 168 139 112 0.4 5:23
3. 0:12:41.6 0:03:20.5 115 139 115 103 0.5 6:38
4. 0:14:59.7 0:02:18.1 149 150 137 115 0.4 5:16
5. 0:18:33.8 0:03:34.1 117 150 120 111 0.5 7:00
6. 0:20:52.5 0:02:18.7 155 155 142 119 0.4 5:16
7. 0:24:40.3 0:03:47.8 122 153 122 106 0.5 7:34
8. 0:26:45.2 0:02:04.9 160 161 151 122 0.4 4:45
9. 0:34:06.5 0:07:21.3 0 160 98 99 0.5 14:37

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Hills Hash and a double at the Gym

Now I could bore you endlessly with statistics and numbers from the last couple of days but suffice to say I have been kicking arse, refreshed and full of energy once again, have managed to get a sleep pattern going again and even more critical a training program schedule back on track New York is only a few months away now and it is time to put the big effort in including a kick arse time for the WWhalf in October which it looks like I will be running in Australia now visiting Louise for her 18th birthday.

Took Chaim out for his first true hills training session yesterday a nice 2:24 for the first up decreasing time over the 4 repeats for a best last of 2:04 which was a good effort with heart rates maxing out around 160, then we set the TKHHH (Thirsty Knights Hash House Harriers) trail for the next day so a nice 5 km walk to cool down after the hills.

Then today have hit the Gym TWICE , Core/Eliptical/Swim 4 hour break then another Eliptical workout and tonight have the Hash to run.

So really pleased with the return to training, it is days like this that life is good

Mal

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Chaim Topless

When you are driving to Chaim's and the temperature outside is reading 35 C you know that it is going to be a long sweaty 12 km ramble thru the suburbia of Kfar Sava, but then again you can always cool down afterwards and it is a good reason to try my new fast red Brooks trainers, red is faster and we all know that already.
Since my trainers are new and Chaims are also new we decided that there would be no running in dirt so as to get them dirty.
It was a greatr training run we both kicked hard and long and held a great pace for 10 km and did not get our trainers dirty we actually did 12 and by the end the sweat so bad that the trainers not dirty but absolutely drenched with sweat to the point that you wring them out
It is great to watch and run with friends like Chaim who has improved so amazingly and had a complete life style change that he looks almost ten years younger in the last six months. In hot weather I like to run with no top, it only collects sweat and feels bad, Chaim has always been to self concousios to run topless due to the thought he was too heavy, well he has lost so much weight and last night I actually convinced him to run topless, we had to carry our running tops for 7 km's though that was a drag.

Boring Facts and Stats

Distance 12 km
Time 1:08:40
Split 10km - 56:49
Heart Rate 135/155
Speed avg 10.3 kmh
Speed max 13.5 kmh
Ascent 75 m
Temp 34C

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Back to Saturday Normality

Saturday is long day , and after an extended period of just running a loop on the Lebanon border, it was back to meeting my friends at 6 am and heading out on one of my old favorite routes thru sand trails and up some hills . water at the gas station and the loop back and up the one and only original el bastido a long slow hill , the only trouble was that I managed to get totally dehydrated and was sweating so much that I could wring water out of my trainers
but 16 km in the morning and it felt good.
Then in the afternoon set a hash run 6.5 km , then had to run the 6.5 km in the heat
29 km on my first day back and I just fell asleep, feeling exhausted from exercise for a chang. Felt good
Sunday Rest Day and no guilt
Would have boring stats but I left my watch back at where I am staying

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Finally the Double Loop

After so much procrastination and promises to myself that I would run the double loop including twice up the El Bastido hill. I can now report that it has been done. Felt good but it was hard the war here has not been good for my training and health but at least I can now look in the mirror and say I did the double. A small personal victory, in a very hard personal time.

The Boring Stuff Now

Distance 6.6km
Time 43:45

Heart Rate Resting 53
Heart Rate Avg 134
Heart rate Max 158

kcal 551
Ascent 120 m
temp 33C (it was hot, 98F)

Speed average 9.0 kmh (walking el bastido twice was hard enough)
Speed Max 13.1 kmh

Pace max 4:40 min/km
Pace avg 6:40 min/km

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Defeating El Bastido


Jeff has left and is no doubt fast asleep with a fine wine inside him jetting across the Atlantic as I ran the Metula Loop again this morning. I know many of you are asking why I do not change my training run, and go down El Bastido rather than running up it every day. Well the loop back into Metula going in reverse has a son of El Bastido.

This morning I set out not to run a PB or run fast, I wanted to listen to Phedippidations Podcast, keep my strength in reserve and defeat EB. Nice easy pace along the border fence all looking good, feeling good turn the corner and up we go, small easy steps not racing focusing on just doing it, all the tanks and APC's have gone, even the dust has blown away to a degree. The odd farmer on his 4wd thingy goes by and a tractor is heard in the orchard. Managed to keep my heart rate down to 153 bpm.

And step by step, stride by stride El Bastido was beaten, so Jeff as you sleep I beat the EB and tomorrow the DOUBLE LOOP

Boring Details

Distance 3.7 km
Time 19:52 minutes
kcal 249
temp 30 C
spd av 10.1 kmh
spd max 13.2 kmh
pace av 5:57 min / km
pace mx 4:38 min / km

Heart Rate Resting 51
Heart Rate Av 135
Heart Rate Max 153

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Running with Attitude

The kidnapping news from Gaza last night had left me dumb and this mornings run was for Steve & Olaf, I could run - they cannot.

Of course it was the Metula loop sans war, the el barstido hill is now a dust bowl of fine filtered dust that is of course my excuse for not running up it again, but I ran as far as i could before I was choked in the dust and stumbling thru the tank tracks that have turned the road to a rutted track.

The sounds of nature are far better than the sounds of war to run to. I was going to take my i pod and catch up on some podcasts that I have not had time to listen, but of course the battery was flat. So I ran alone and ran hard. There are times when you want to hear your breath labor and feel the burning in the legs.

And yet again another PB ... sub 19 for the El barstido loop

Here are the details.

Distance 3.7 km
Time 18:49 PB
Hr avg 135
Hr Max 161
Kcal 242
Ascent 65 m
Temp 27 C
Speed average 10.8
Speed max 15.8 kmh
Pace avg 5:34 min / km
Pace max 3:56 min/km

If you run today, think of my friends Olaf & Steve and run a few strides for them

Mal
Qiryat Shemona
Northern Israel / Lebanon Border

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday Morning & Again No Run

I woke this morning with every intention to run, get the double loop under my belt as a saclp I have been working to. But it was not that I could not physically run. II have just reached a point where mentally and emoonally I am totally drained. There is nothing in my soul that drives me. I know that hopefully tomorrow morning the ceasefire will be in place and my run will be peaceful. If I see any tanks they will be coming out not going in and that the Howitzer batteries will be silent.
I want to run and hear my footsteps and hear birds not weapons of death
Mal
Metula
Northern Israel lebanon Border

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Reasons not to run

OK OK ,,,, I did not run this morning
Excuse ... There were tanks blocking the road as they went in and out of Lebanon
And they cannot see joggers very well and man vs 65 ton tank is a no brainer
So there thats my excuse
Come on see who has a better excuse not to train

Mal
Metula
Northern Israel / Lebanon Border
Saturday August 12 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Fartlek & The Katusah

Fartlek & The Katusah

Jeff and I started out on the loop this morning, usual lets not go to fast I am tired etc. There was not a lot of shelling or machine gun firing in the morning dawn stillness, we dropped down and past the watch towers and old historic tank, (as opposed to the 20 brand new tanks on the other side of town) when just as we came up a slight hill.

When all of a sudden there was a couple of massive cracks in the air and for a moment the words " Katusah incoming" raced into both our brains, it takes milli seconds to process this thought and reaction.

Now I was about a step behind Jeff, and all I could sense for next two seconds was that Jeff's running pace SUDDENLY picked up for about 6 strides, really picked up. we had processed in the milli second that it was not an incoming Katusah but outgoing shells from an Israeli Howitzer battery that had startled us for that second.

Jeff laughing said "picked up pace then" so I now officially will record this as a fartlek training run.

I admit yet again that "El Barstido Hill" beat us again and we walked. This time though Jeff claimed he was feeling tight so we walked the whole hill and I did not object our first km we had done in 5:03 so a walk just added to the fartlek claim.

El Barstido Hill was this log jam of Israeli tanks that had come back across the border from fighting in Lebanon overnight, so we took time to look at the beasts of war as we climbed up the hill letting my pulse rate drop.

We turned the corner at the top of the hill and ran back to the hotel thru the tranquility of the dawn, well tranquil one minute, boom boom the next minute.

Time is running out to get the second loop promise in as Jeff is scheduled to leave next Tuesday.

Distance 3.7 km
Time 21.26
HR avg 112
HR max 147
kcal 198
temp 26 c
speed avg 9.9 kmh
speed max 14.5 kmh
pace avg 6.04 min.km

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blame the neighbours

Sat up late talking war stories with Ric and listening to the sounds of armageddon happening outside the hotel room. Have not heard that extreme levels of war ever. You could not sleep for the sheer amount of ammo that was being fired. And that is as a good an excuse as you will ever hear for sleeping in late and not running

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The one with the flak jacket

No I was not wearing a flak on the run this morning, but it was too great an oppurtunity to pass up on , as I turned the corner to run up el barstido hill, I spotted an uplink truck with a guy wearing his flak jacket jabbering excitedly , so naturally I ran behind him and carried on up the hill . Would of made great TV ... Hero War Correspondent standing on the frontline and a jogger in a singlet runs past behind him ....
No Jeff this morning the artillery firing kept him awake most of the night , so solo run today and another PB 19:13

The stats are sketchy as my watch suddenly read full memory

So here is what I can gather

Distance .... what else 3.7 km
Time 19:13
Hr av 137
HR max 167
Kcal 253
Temp 27 C
Speed av 11.3
Speed max 15.8
Pace average 5:18
Pace max 3:57

Monday, August 07, 2006

Slack Bastards

Now that is not true in the time sense, but Jeff and I are still to do the double loop maybe tomorrow morning. But since the bloodiest day of the war yesterday I think I will have time to get up to a triple , hate it when I set my own goals.

Quiet run this morning most Israeli soldiers are in Lebanon and apart from the odd tank and D9 , all quiet in the village this morning, now getting back to the slur I cast this morning about being a slack bastard , in fact we set a new PB for the loop , sub 20 baby sub 20 . In fact 19:55 and we walked a section of the Good Fence El barstido hill.

It is great to run with Jeff as he pushes me more than he realizes, I am so used to being with other runners who I have to motivate to go harder, Jeff actually commented that we were moving along at a nice clip (love the word "clip"). 4:50 min/km

When we got to the hill I was was happy to slow down and coast up but Jeff kicked in and started on my case , which was good there is a checkpoint about 2/3 rd's of the way up and we hauled arse up , got past the soldier and I said thats it dude I am walking for a while and yet we still beat our previous PB

I should add that at the start of the run as we were walking to warm up down to the start line at Sammy's Corner store, Jeff did say it might be nice to just walk around today , now that is a slack bastard way to start your morning run


Stats you do not care about but i do , so there

Good Fence Loop Run

Distance 3.7 km
Time 19:55
HR avg 128
HR max 157
HR Resting 53
kcal 216
temp 28 C
speed 11.1 kmh
speed max 14.5 kmh
pace average 5.23 (Very happy)
Pace max 4.16

1st km 5.21
2nd km 4.50
3rd km 6.16 includes walking part of the el barstido
last bit 3:28

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Running the fence Israel Lebanon

Its Saturday, Long Run day ... Well today I ran 3.6 km the same as the day before. Not long but 20 minutes is a nice way to start the day. Walking out hotel there is Matthew Chance from CNN doing a live shot in the street, CNN do not like to leave the comforts of their hotel too often. And sitting in the patio are the FOX overnight crew having just finished there shift sitting and having a beer, why not it is six in the morning and you have finished work so a beer before bed goes down well.

Jeff Goldblatt joined me again, safety in numbers as I like to think up here.

It was the fence run again, and the conversation ranged from

" How many marathons, have you run Mal" to

" That house, looks like a Katusah hit the roof" to

" Isnt it pretty here with the morning light on the tanks"

We ran the same as the day before but managed to keep my HR down lower going up the Good Fence HIll past the tanks.

Now Jeff and I have a pact , tomorrow we are going to do two circuits .... that means twice up that hill

If this war goes on I could be up to ten repeats

The Daily Stats

Distance 3.37
Time 22.33 (take 20 seconds off for stretching hamstring)
Heart Rate Average 126
Heart Rate Max 162
kcal 234
ascent 65 m
temp 28 C
speed av 9.9 km/h
speed max 12.9
pace avg 6.04 km/min
pace max 4.48 km/min

Friday, August 04, 2006

Rest Day

It is Friday, fell asleep last night in the chair in the hotel room only to wake at 4:30 am and climb into bed had to be up by 7:30 - hell going to have a rest day today. Looks like another day of chaos begins.
Planning Long Run tomorrow

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Photos of Fence Run


Israel Lebanon Fence Run

Apologies for not writing for while but I have been tied up on the Northern Israel Lebanon border covering the war. Check out my separate blog on that at

www.unholylandnews.blogspot.com

Not training can get to you after a while for so long I have been convincing my self that having a month off before I start training in earnest for the New York Marathon is a good thing to do, but since Gaza it just gets harder to find the time to run.

But for the last two morning I have gotten up at 6 am and donned the running gear in the village of Metula. This is the most Northern Town in Israel, in fact it the border fence is at the end of the road, I could throw a baseball from my balcony into Lebanon.

So what is it like to run in a war zone.

Well first up the morning air is quiet, that is apart from the explosive bangs as Israeli Artillery fires into Lebanon, you cannot see them on the run but you hear the echo in the valley, it is a crashing sound so off I set with a fellow worker, Chicago Correspondent Jeff Goldblatt.

Out the hotel and down to the border fence, it is either turn right or try to climb over ribbon wire and into Lebanon. The air is still booms as we pass deserted IDF lookout posts and I explain to Jeff the difference in out and impacts and we listen so that he can get a better understanding.

We follow the fence around and come to the air raid siren tower and turn right following the village road and overhead two drones can be heard as they start there morning circuits up and down the border looking for Hezbollah targets. The trail here is fairly undulating and we move along at 5:00 min/km pace which makes me happy.

Then turning out and down from the village we pass Israeli soldiers sleeping on the path down to the gate, here is the hard part the run UP the hill, we call this the Good Fence Hill and it is a ball breaker.

All along the road up are Merkovah 4 tanks and D9 Bulldozers. Soldiers laugh and wave and a Stills Photograher from a Newspaper jumps out of his car to take a photo of two runners , tanks and soldiers.

This is one bitch of a hill and I am not going to loss face as my HR peaks at 160, I am not stopping or walking in front of the soldiers the road to the down and home straight comes into view and I keep going ... good hill workout.

Turning the corner I am absolutely buggered and the funny thing is that this is a quiet village road in the Kibbutz with no outward signs of war around on this street

Feels good to be running

Stats
Distance 3.6 km
Time 20.16
HR Average 149
HR Max 169
Time 20.16
Kcal 249
Ascent 55m al in one hill swore it felt like more , watch must be wrong
Temp 25 degrees C
Alt Average 536 m
Speed 10.9 km/h
Pace average 5:36 - see that hill is a bastard

Friday, July 14, 2006

Break in Assignments

Northern Israel
10 km from Lebanon Border

I managed to get out of Gaza yesterday and had a night at home before heading up to the Northern Border of Israel & Lebanon , I look at it as a sub 50 minute run from the office to the finishing line of Hezbollah , but the run has been cancelled.

Enough of that rubbish, this morning I got up at 5am as I really wanted to get a run in between assignments. Having not run since last Saturday when I had that disasterous and sore long run.

This morning I did have a great run, when you get one of those magic running moments. It came as the sun was breaking thru and I crested the highest point of my run. Every run should have a crest when you feel you can see your whole world in front of you.

8 km - very hot great time just wonderful to run

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Gaza Stairmaster , in pictures




The view up and the view down , 14 floors of training
Mal
Gaza City

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Gaza Stairmaster

So I thought that I would be having a non training day, but in adversity there is victory. The office we use in Gaza is in the main street in the city, yes there is a city here "Gaza City" as opposed to Gotham City, 1.4 million people make it possible to have a capital city.
Anyway back to the story, Israel gets annoyed, blows up Gaza Power Station, whole of Gaza loses 42% of total power available, City goes into power restrictions, old dodgy elevator in building does not work where office is on 14th floor.
So rather than a trendy machine, with watt displays and buit in fans, videos on demand etc etc.
Me I just climb 14 floors, might start timing myself.

Back in NON training

Tuesday July 11 2006
Gaza City

Weekend leave from Gaza, enabled me to just kick back and do some training.

In fact the first thing I did when I left the office last Thursday was to head to the Gym, in the old days perhaps I would of headed straight out for a beer or two. Nowadays I get far more enjoyment from heading to the gym than to the pub.

Now do not get me wrong I still really enjoy a cold beer in a frosted glass, but the feeling I get from a workout now seems so much better and when you wake up in the morning you have the desire for more and no regrets with a headache.

The Saturday long run was planned for 25km, and now for the excuse it was to hot and naturally after listening to Steve’s podcast of running in hot weather I managed to do everything wrong and get dehydrated to boot. Also both my knees started to ache along the illotoral connections.

But I got a solid 17 km’s (10 + miles) so I was happy and later in the afternoon I had a hash run this is where beer and running meet, another 7 km but with a lot of walking, due to the fact that my knees were really sore.

Sunday, I did my Spinning Class and followed it up with Yoga. I am finding Yoga to be a great way to stretch and get my flexibility back.

Monday – Well its back to Gaza but with my heart rate monitor this time and tomorrow morning out come the sunglasses and you know what that means

Friday, July 07, 2006

The sanctaury of the Gym

The first thing I had when I got out of Gaza yesterday was a cup of coffee , then next thing i wanted was to head to the gym and it felt great just being somewhere quiet again where I could work out in peace.
Gyms can sometimes be stale and sterile, but it just felt great after being in Gaza to be able to step into the steam room and feel all the crap come out of the pores of my skin
I plan to run a solid 25 km tomorrow morning, I have not been this psyched about a run since the NY Marathon last fall so till then I am going to relax and just have time to myself
Downloading the new Phedippidations and other podcasts , then the road beckons

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Phedippidations & Gaza

I may not be able to run whilst on assignment down here, and since I am on my now newly regimented month off a year training schedule I do not feel so bad.
But I still do download aand listen to Phedippidations each and every episode. To download the show before last took nearly three hours, see how soon we forget the world of basic dial up Internet connections.
I want though to thanks all my friends at phedippidations both on the show and through the forums for their kind words and support over the last weeks it has meant a lot to me.
I may not be able to run long and listen to the latest episode #51 Passion but I was cleaning my armored car and getting it ready for another day out on the roads of Gaza
To everyone out there
RUN and enjoy the freedom it gives us all
Mal
Gaza City

Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday is Prayer Day

Now itr is Friday in Gaza and no one has ever had a better excuse for notr running than I have this week, with two nations teetering on the brink of war and spending hours running around in an armored car thru areas that any sane person would not go , and instead of running gear in true "Gaza Running" fashion I have been wearing my bullet proof jacket in lieu of my running singlet and Heart rate monitor
And now that the hotel has internet here, more later with photos
Just wish I had bought my heart rate monitor with me , see its the little things in war you miss ... like running

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Reasons not to run

I woke up this morning at 5 am and had all intentions to go out and run as I have done twice this week, and yet i stopped and thought , listing reason why not to train. It seems so silly to go out and run when the comments you get from friends is " Be safe" and do I really want to run when at the back of my mind with every step I take is the risk I am taking for what take the time off use it as a rest period and not have to wory that a car will pull up next to me and throw me inside.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Four Legs good - Two legs faster

I decided that it would be ok to run again this morning down here in Gaza , there are things that you have to do to keep yourself sane in zones like this and running truly is my way to relieve the stress.
It was dark when I woke up and I decided that the best time to run would be a first light, that way the only people up are the Hamas Militia guarding the Fish Market and the traders on their donkey carts going to the fish market. Now the fish market is not a standard warehouse , but a roadside sit with fish kept definetely not in the cleanest standards that would pass many health and safety inspectors.

I had decided to do the same run as the other morning, but with a morning off in between in case anyone was watching me with bad intentions, in fact there was only one old beaten up car this morning with a few men that made me quicken my step, but they turned up and into Gaza City.

I still keep the no eye contact rule with anyone, like a racehorse with blinkers as I see anyone or hear anything my eyes focus on the road ahead and nothing else

So back to the training schedule - I wanted to push a little harder and make this more of a tempo run - so mile splits were as follows -
#1 8:38
#2 8:22
#3 8:12
#4 7:57 - now very happy with that split for a mile , not sure how this translates to km/min pace - a sub 8:00 min/mile

The reason I went under 8 is definetely my pacing partner for the last 500m , I turned at the roundabout at the same time as a horse (yes a horse not a donkey) was on its way to the fish market and moving along at a fair clip pulling its cart with owner and friend and thus the race was on back to the gate , the only eye contact I had was to glance into the eyes of the horse as I finished , the winner no photo finished required was yours truly.

Now that is a running story you do not hear every day

Mal
Gaza City

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Reflections on yesterday

Was I smart to run yesterday down here in Gaza, I kept thinking about all day, one bullet, one angry militant, a drive by kidnap who knows. But I decided not to run this morning even though I work early with the plan to run, maybe just a sixth sense who knows. Maybe tomorrow
Mal
Gaza City

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The burnt out dumpster

I could not bear it anymore, I have been down in Gaza on assignment for 9 days and have tried to avoid even thinking about running , as I have said previously for this reason and that reason I have not run. I even did not bring running clothes or trainers down here. However there was an opportunity to get some clothes down from Jerusalem (60 miles away) during a staffing crossover and I put the word out bring my kit down.
So I figured if I got up at 5am and was out the door by 5:30 there would be no one on the main road out the front of the hotel and if I avoided the fish market I should really not have any problems, figuring bad boys do not get up at 5:30.
You should of seen the look on poor guy on reception when I came down and went out the door.
Out from the hotel , past the Hamas Militia on the street corner up to the burnt out dumpster , turn before the Fish market, back past the Hamas boys and on past my hotel to the rotting dumpster, man this really smelt bad, and onto the roundabout where there had been a really good shoot out a fortnight ago and back to the hotel as my circuit , I actually measured it out in my armored car later in the day and it was exactly a mile.
I did four circuits - 4 miles - 34:42 minutes best split an 8:09 , 8:30 , 8:30 and a 8:39. so i was happy with my times given the location.
Somedays you just feel the need , today was one. I like to run it makes me feel good in a place that at times has no reason to be positive.

Checkout my daily thoughts on working down here in my other blog www.unholylandnews.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Running in not so fun places


Down here in Gaza , where I cannot run . I like to think and reflect on bizaare places I have previously run in. And Ramadi Iraq at the Marines Camp "Hurricane Point" rates up there

Why no Posts if you blog & run

Well I have to admit that the last week has turned into a forced rest week, not due to injury that is a good reason, not because i could not be bothered and that is a bad reason not to train but because as much as I would love to run and go to the gym, do a spin class even an eliptical session and would bend over backwards for a good Yoga class. None of those are available because since last Tuesday morning I have been on assignment down in Gaza.
Yes Gaza that place you read about and see on Television and down here the only running you do is from bullets and hellfire missiles.
I used to run down here a year or so, I could do a nice 45 minutes run , but nowadays the risk of kidnap is to high , my old runniong trail to the gunmen at the compound and down thru the Beach Refugee Camp is also a popular kidnapping section of local militia.
I took the first few days as a positive that a few days off training would be good for me , after six days it is becoming a real drag . I miss so many things down here but on a personal level not being able to feel the euphoria of a good run does start to affect you mentally and the next few days are going to be even tougher as there appears no end to my out.
Gaza is a prison and for the moment I am a captive who just wants to run
Mal
Gaza City

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sunday Double

Sunday,
11 Jun, 2006
Spinning
New York 2006
08:30
SPIN CLASS
30 km
1:00:00 (2:00/km)
Avg. HR:122 Max HR:131
Specialised Spin Shoes (240.0 km)
This spin class goes from bad to worse , and if was not for the YOGA afterwards would not go, the routine is flat and mundane , the music today hit an all time bad selection to the point that a couple of times we had our fingers in the ears to protest. I estimate that 45 minute of the class was in Position One , just turning for no reason

Yoga
New York 2006
10:30
Hp Gym
1:30:00
Rest HR:46 Avg. HR:59 Max HR:81
Really starting to get into this Yoga , thing hard to ascertain if I am becoming more flexible yet , but lets say no harm is taking place, only trouble being my black big toe

Saturday, June 10, 2006

End of another week

Saturday,
10 Jun, 2006

Temp: 28
Running
New York 2006
06:15
Sat Long Yarkon Park
17 km
1:40:00 (5:52/km)
Rest HR 53
Avg. HR:122
Max HR:175

Asics Gel Kayano - March 06 (202.4 km)

New York Program , A little better than last week BUT still there are issues to be addressed within the group . I have stopped making excuses and have decided that if people want to train with me then train with me , do not expect me to train you. I like helping and assisting runners but have been burnt a few times and do not feel like going through that again. At the end of it you realised that you have made sacrifices for others and that up to know has never been repaid. As I have said on numerous occasions would love someone to ask me " How can I help you Mal "

Spinning
New York 2006
09:15
SPIN CLASS
30 km
1:00:00 (2:00/km)
Rest HR:63 Avg. HR:111 Max HR:140
Specialised Spin Shoes (210.0 km)
Saturday Spin Class - did the early class, totally full class - great music , great new instructor , good english all in all a great class Toe bloody sore

Swimming
New York 2006
10:30
Hp Gym
0.60 km
15:22 (25:36/km)
Avg. HR:101 Max HR:106
Sat Morning Swim - 600 m Breaststroke , with my black toe very sore on turns

Friday, June 09, 2006

5225.2 km

Just finally caught up with my running logbook , the old type where you have to write in and never suffers a hard disk crash or is infected with virus whereby all your information just disappears into a world of 1s and 0s never to be found, the one great thing is that I have kept a complete record of how many km's I have run in the past three years , from memory I actually started running back in November 2003 , well thats when I started to run and keep records.
It is when I bought my first running shoes rather than just another pair of trainers, when i started getting up in the morning before the sun, trained my body to do its ablutions before I stepped out the door, learnt how to try and enjoy a banana at 5 in the morning knowing that I will need the energy in the hours to come, regardless of the weather (Glad I live somewhere where the weather is generally nice) I have run three marathons half a dozen halfs 10 km's and 5 km's.
Learnt how much it hurts to train on hills and that the track is a long 400m when you keep going around and around.
And after all that my logbook now read 5,225 km and that is a long way , so far this year I have run 867.4 km just fyi .
What is intresting about 5225 km -
Well that is total length of electrified railway lines in the entire UK ....
It is the distance from Strassburg to Jerusalem , if you want walk it
The US Warplane the Flying Fortress B29 the plane that dropped the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki had a range of ... you guessed it 5225 km

Monday, May 29, 2006

Thoughts on the Long Run

Last Saturday, was a tough run. For more than one reason. Firstly it was bloody hot and for the first time I started to feel the heat, whilst we started at 6:30 it was still to late and as of next week we are shifting training back till 6am and will be at 5:30 and 5:00 before you know it. Also for a change we ran a reverse course of what we would normally run, and I was surprised at how mentally tough it turned a normal run into when you factor in the heat. The hard point was when we were approaching the halfway point, this is normally the start and finish, so as we approached mentally you started to think that you were actually finishing, but also realising that you are only halfway and also there was no water here which only added to what was becoming a miserable run.
There are many reasons why it was a tough run for me, - at this point I have deleted what thoughts I wrote , next week is another week and dwelling on the past is no way to train, the effort now is to get back on track as a group and for that I need to change

End of the Week Summary Week 1

I have now started my training program for earnest for New York and structure will be the core element . Last week looked like this

Running 42 Km
Eliptical XT 9.6 km
Spinning 2 Classes - 60 km
Swimming 1.5 Km
Gym Workouts - weights x 3
Yoga - 1 Class 90 minutes
Core Sessions x 3

This year going to concentrate on lots of cross training , to add to tri training , but will need to refocus back into running , just simple running , no junk miles

Thursday, May 25, 2006

New York 2006 Training Program

It is about a month out now from starting the full scale Training Program for New York 2006, putting the finishing touches to the program, based on my experiences to date. This year I will be concentrating on three to four solid runs a week each with a focus, rather than junk miles where I have previously just logged ten km runs for the sake of mileage.

Each week will have

1. The Long Run (Saturday Morning)
2. A Track Session - working up to 10+ 800's (Yassos)
3. A Hills Session - again working up to around 10 repeats
4. A Tempo Run - Fast hard distance and pace

I will also keep up a more focused XT Program this year that will include
At least 3 Spin Classes a week
Yoga once a week this is needed for my flexibility , which is at an all time low
Weight Training twice a week coupled together with Core workouts

If I can figure out how to put the excel spreadsheet up will post that as well

Monday, May 22, 2006

Zen & The Art of YOGA

Over the last year or so of active training and pushing hard the one thing that I have lost is flexibility. The days of lifting my leg up onto a fence or post to stretch out have just been getting harder. So rather than settle for the loss of being limber I went to my first Yoga Class yesterday.

Now if you have never done a Yoga Class you will probably of had the same preconceptions that I did, that you sit in a pleasant incensed smelling room, listening to relaxing whale songs and everyone sits around cross legged chanting OMH and becoming incredibly flexible whilst not doing much.... WRONG

This was a full gym room and man it was physical , When you start sweating in a yoga class you know that any pre conceived ideas are out of the window for an hour and a half I moved and stretched my limbs beyond my wildest dreams, no it was not doing backward dolphins before twisting into the savage cobra. It was a total muscle stretch that felt fantastic , At least you have five minutes at the start and at the end when you just lie down and listen to the relaxing easy music, that bit I did do well.

Looking forward to going back, just like learning to run , learning Yoga will be a fun thing to achieve OMH OMH OMH

Friday, May 19, 2006

Phedippidations Worldwide Half Marathon Update

October 8th and everyone is invited from around the world to join us for the Phedippidations Worldwide Half Marathon Challenge , Check out the forums of the home page of Phedippidations at www.steverunner.com.
We are putting the final touches together as Race Directors and will have registration deatils available soon, It is our chance as Runners to Run Locally Think Global, we hope that runners from around the world will join us , there will be no cost to enter totally free and for a race T shirt we are going to have logos designed so that you download them and go and get them printed at your local shop , race numbers will be available to download .
Any questions or ideas
Drop me a Comment
Cheers
Mal

Thursday on the Beach

After a couple of hectic workdays down in Gaza, watching a society collapse. It was nice to meet up with friends last night and go for a simple run along the beach front at Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv has a great beachfront for running along from the Northern end Carpark down towards Jaffa, you run past trendy restaurants, down market Humus dives, couples strolling along the boardwalk, you go past the Religious beach , yes a beach set aside for the Religious where modesty prevails, not to mention where they can throw rubbish anywhere.

One of my little quirks, is that when I get to a halfway turnaround, or any turn I like to touch it both hands, my running partners even do the same know , a small win for my stupid running traditions.

We did a good ten km in an hour, I actually felt like it was a better pace than what we did , which makes for a nice run where it all just kicks in and your pace just floats you along the path.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Track 10 x 200

There is something about running 200 repeats on a track, somehow we all have images of Michael Johnson in his Gold Shoes running in his style or Justin Gatlin exploding or Mal James in full poetic motion as he glides around the bend before opening up on the straight.

To set the record straight, I would be coming off the bend as they crossed the line, it would be like watching one of those uplifting Olympic moments when the crowd would forget about the winner and focus on the sheer beauty of the sport and the underdog giving it all he could for national pride on a foreign track many miles from home. There would be uplifting music under the montage of slo motion camera angles, except they would not have to slow it down to much.

Now all that being said and remembering the absolute crap session I had last time at the track, today was a good workout, using it to pick up speed for the upcoming entry into my first tri in Tel Aviv next month.

Splits

#1 - 46.2
#2 - 43.2
#3 - 42.0
#4 - 42.4
#5 - 41.6
#6 - 40.6
#7 - 41.8
#8 - 41.6
#9 - 41.1
#10- 37.8 ( pace 3:53 km/min) - ( Speed 16.6 km/h)

A good session in hot weather . temps hit 31 degrees C
HRM - failed in monitoring heart - flat battery

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Phedippidations Worldwide Half Marathon

Now fellow runners this is a totally fun and fantastic thing that I have become involved in , I am a "Race Director" that is so cool , for those who have not listened to the Podcast Phedippidations then as a runner you are missing out on a great way to increase the pleasure of running
Check out www.steverunner.com
But this is a way of saying that we are organising runners from around the world to join us on October 8th 2006 and share the experience of running a half marathon together, whether in an organised run or just running alone on your own course you have measured out, join us on October 8th for a truly global run
If you have any questions please leave a message or comment and I will get back to you
Mal

Cyprus & Bad Cold

Have managed a few runs here in Cyprus , in between learning lots of technical geek stuff and endless hours on the hotel roof looking at squiggles on a Spectrum anylizer.
One of the things I love about running is that you can do it anywhere , well nearly anywhere.
It is so pleasant to run in a new country and see things that you can only experience whilst pounding the pavemant, past restaurants where you try to glimpse at the menu boards , all I could ever focus on was that they all seem to sell Prawn Cocktails and then I am past the board. The early morning light is so glorious here , bright sunshine and white houses that border the Med. Sea , then you turn a corner and are greeted by tacky tourist strips with Starbucks and English pubs advertising Sky Sports and beer.
Another nice run is around the Salt Lake and to the Old Historic mosque all the time listening to running podcasts, a great way to wake in the morning or to spend a lunchtime instead of eating a bad hamburger I now head out in the early summer sun and just forget the world for an hour.
Mal
Larnaca Cyprus

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cyprus Bound

Off to Cyprus for a weeks training course in learning how to run an uplink , one of those big white dish things you see at news events, but will also look forward to running and training somewhere new. another chance to squeeze in a MHT (Mal Hotel Triathlon) Swim Bike Ride in no particular order, but all in the same day.
Like to try to up the swim to 750 m , have not been able to get in the water for the last week as I am fighting something that I thought was Athletes foot, but was in fact an allergic reaction to chemicals in pool or hot tub at the gym. Hopefully it almost cleared now and I will be able to get in the water again.
Managed to squeeze in a late morning quick gym , 30 minutes Eliptical XT Course then the 15 minute core session, these are awesome workouts and one day I will have the six pack. The hardest thing at the moment is that I am loosing a lot of flexibilty and need to get some Yoga or Pilates into the training program
Next stop Larnaca Cyprus

Saturday, May 06, 2006

End of the Week Summary

Ok today has sucked for various reasons and been good for others, there are things that you cannot control and people getting shitty and in bad moods then taking offense at you without thinking of the their own actions is one them. Now that, that is off my chest to a degree that is better.

Being Saturday lunchtime I am down at the Gym using their wifi network to get online , update my logs and work on the Inaugral worldwide half marathon idea with Steverunner.com, which has taken roots this week and will be fun

Had a nice solid 13 km long this morning in around 1:18:00 actually think it is a better time than that will have to download the HRM when I get the chance and actually look at the splits, followed that by a core session which has left my abs painfully sore which is painfully good , then a Spin Class which had my legs saying enough for today thats it no more

Weekly Stats

Running 37 km
Eliptical 9 km
Spinning 90 km
Swim .5 km
Gym 1:10:00

Yearly Stats to Date

Running 693 kms
Eliptical 46 km
Spinning 641 kms
Swimming 6.8 kms
Gym 3:20:00
Cycling XT 76 km

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Back to the Track

Having been away for the quick sojourn to Nepal, Time to get back to the serious business of focusing on training.

Decided yesterday morning to just go out for a run, out to the white tent and back 8km's nice in the morning sun with temp's up in the mid 20's, just feel so tight in the hamstrings and groin, but thought nothing of it.

Had to visit the Doctors have been thinking that I have had Athletes Foot that had over the last month just got worse, even got some antibiotics from a chemist in Bangkok, big mistake since I did not have a fungal infection like Athletes Foot but in fact was having a allergic reaction to chemical water and I had continued to hot tub and swim in a pool the whole time , no wonder the problem was getting worse.

Doctor had one look told me what it was and now on correct cream and it should be gone in five days, we mere males are just plain stupid at times.

This morning hit the track for 8 x 400, and man did I have one of those training sessions when you felt like you could not find form , was one of those sessions you need from time to time just so that when you have a good day you know how good it feels to have a good day at the track , today was one to forget