Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Sprint to the Finish

Great Ocean Road Marathon 2010

After a nice pasta dinner in Apollo Bay my mate Wheaty and I headed to our tents at the local caravan park, set our alarms for 5:00 am and hit the sack for a good nights sleep.

I woke up at about 4:45 and could hear Wheaty squirming around in his tent, so I thought what the hell, lets get this show on the road. We had our breakfast under the stars, packed our gear and headed in to town to catch the bus to Lorne.

Our wonderful bus driver put Happy Gilmour on the TV, a perfect choice!

After getting to Lorne we milled around with the other 580 runners until the race finally got under way at 8:00am. Wheaty and I started together but about 50 metres down the road I quickly got carried away with the crowd and started my usual early race dodge and weave act.

I Glided throught he first 10km in 47 minutes feeling fantastic. The first real hill started at the 7km mark and it did not pose any problems, I was joking with runners and spectators as I skirted up and then flew down the other side.

When I hit the halfway mark in Kennett River at about 1:45, or thereabouts I was feeling awesome and starting to fantasise about a sub 3:30 marathon. Fantasies that were soon to be snuffed out as quickly as they had arisen.

Straight after Kennett River the road begins to rise and rise and rise. After a short respite at the top of this peak there is another, shorter but steeper peak to overcome. As I ran down the other side towards the 30km mark I noticed that I no longer had any downhill spring in my legs.

At about 32km Wheaty finally caught up with me. We compared notes about dead quads and cramping hamstrings and then pushed each other with swearing and will power to cross the 42.2 km timer mat in 3:48.

Of course we stopped as soon as we had hit the mat. A fellow runner, who had also stopped, looked across and with a half smile / half grimace said, "and now some salt for the wounds". She was not wrong! We had another 2.8 km to reach the race finish line.

Motivation to run that final leg was very tough to find. After quite a few false starts we finally started to run with about 200m to go to the finish line. Incredibly, we actually started to pick up the pace as we ran through the cheering crowd to finish our first Ultramarathon in 4:13.

For the next marathon I will need to remember to hold back a little early on in the race and if there are hills, treat them with some respect because they will get you. Hmmm, stacks more hill training in future, that'll help to sort things out!

The next race is the Run Melbourne half marathon in July. Sub 90 is the target, bring it on!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Foot coverings

After knocking up about 300 kms in VFF, my last 100 km or so have been in my bright orange Mizuno runners.

The VFF's have been good and I felt as though my feet were getting stronger by wearing them. They also helped big time to implement a new midffot strike running stride. The downside was that over distance they are very hard on the feet, especially around the metatarsal.

As long as my stride is correct I'm not feeling any achilles or PF pain when wearing the Mizunos. In fact my morning pilgramige down the stair case is getting better each day.

Die achilles pain.....I win!!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

ha ha....after all these years I only just got it :-)

Five to one, baby
One in five
No one here gets out alive, now
You get yours, baby
I'll get mine
Gonna make it, baby
If we try

The old get old
And the young get stronger
May take a week
And it may take longer
They got the guns
But we got the numbers
Gonna win, yeah
We're takin' over
Come on!


Your ballroom days are over, baby
Night is drawing near
Shadows of the evening crawl across the years
Ya walk across the floor with a flower in your hand
Trying to tell me no one understands
Trade in your hours for a handful dimes
Gonna' make it, baby, in our prime

Monday, April 26, 2010

Long Run - the elusive distance

This Sunday's long run was planned out for 30k along the Dandenong Creek to Jells Park and back. The same track that I ran last Sunday but this time with a bunch of splits worked out to major intersections at a 5:30 pace.

The first 12k went to plan then as I headed up to the 20k mark at around two hours, give or take, I started to cramp up in the back of my legs. I pushed through the next 5km with some very reduced patches with the last 5km being pretty much a disaster with just as much walking (hobbling) as there was running, well shuffling more like it. I finished in 3:30 hours with a not very respectable 7:14 pace overall.

Hmmm, only a couple of weeks to go and I need to find another 15km. This is going to be very interesting. Next Sunday is the Puffing Billy race which I plan to run out to Emerald and then at the end of the race turn around and run back to Belgrave. The hills in this run should be good training for GOR and if I feel ok at the end I will head up to Grants Picnic ground and do some trails.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Training - 4 weeks to GOR

Only 4 weeks to go!

At lunch time on Monday I went for a 10k run that I was telling myself was a "recovery run" after Sunday's long run. Yeah well, not really I was a bit tried and sore afterwards and later that night. By Tuesday night I was still a bit tight in the calves and thighs but went along to MMA training anway.

We had a traditional night which was good for a change, just and hour and a half of Goju style kata. Fairly tired when i got home so I had a good dinner, a wash and hit the sack.

Belted out a 10k run at lunch time today at a 4:54 pace. Not too bad for a training run and I've got to say that I'm feeling great now. Think I'll go out to the shed tonight and do some more kata training.

For the rest of the week it will be 2 hrs of MMA on Thursday night, 10km Saturday morning followed by some kata practice, then a 36 km run on Sunday morning. The plan for next Sunday is to do that long run at 5:00 or faster pace.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hanging Rock 10k

It was a lovely sunny morning at Hanging Rock with about 500 people lining up at the 10k start line on the horse racing track. Although planning to run in a pair of Vibram Sprints I was unable to tie the timing chip on with the small ties that were supplied so I ended up running in my Mizuno Wave Ronins.

The course itself had two short stretches of sealed road with the rest consisting of open paddock, the grass horse track and a dirt trail around the base of the rock. A very enjoyable course with a nice mixture of surfaces, it sure beat the standard 100% road courses in Melbourne.

At the start I managed to get a great spot right up on the start line, in fact there was a noticable lack of pushing to front. This led to a cruisy start with no josteling, dodging and weaving for the first two kms :)

I hit the 5 km mark at 21 minutes and was feeling great for a sub 45 and at about that point I hooked up with this guy who was travelling at a nice steady pace. The plan was to run with him to the end and the group of 15 or so runners behind us seemed to have the same plan.

Another 1500 metres on and my plan fell apart when I started getting some gastric action happening and had to slow down for fear of blowing chunder. Once I got going again I was about 50m behind that pack and had no hope of catching them especially after another gagging episode another 800m down the road. I managed to pick up my pace again for the last km or so and finished with a respectable 45:41, which was about 4 minutes slower than what was possible due to the untimely gagging.

There was a little tightness in the hammies on Saturday afternoon but that was pretty much gone by Sunday morning. After a little sleep in I put the VFF Sprints on and headed off for a cruisy 29k run. All went well untill about 2:30 into the run. By that stage I got it into my mind that I wanted food and my water had run out with nowhere nearby to refill. Over the next 50 minutes or so I struggled along and had to keep motivating myself to continue. Something I haven't had to do for some time. Next week I'll take some money with my and/or food and more fluid!

Over all I felt pretty good Monday morning with slightly sore thighs and a little tenderness in my left heel. Went for a nice 10k recovery run at lunch time and all feels exceedingly well.

There is no more pain in my Plantar fascii and the achilles pain is just about gone, certainly it is manageable. My calves and feet feel so much stronger since I started wearing Vibrams - unbelievable!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Run 4 the Kids 2010

Ok, my first race wearing the Vibram Five Fingers Sprint was on Sunday in the 14.5 km Run 4 the Kids. The only other person I saw wearing Vibram was my buddy and I never saw a single barefoot runner. A couple of people asked, quite a few others started, but for the most part the majority paid no attention. Especially when the race was underway and the other runner's focus was primarily on their own pain.

There were a couple of spots where I did slow down which were made up for with a few quick spurts, overall I found that I ran with a nice consistent pace. My overall time was 68 minutes which averaged out to a 4:41 pace, my buddy ran at a 4:16 pace (or therabouts).

Today I feel good. A little tightness here and there but nothing out of the ordinary and the feet in particular are fine. I did have a minor concern that I might have been coming down too hard in my footfalls but it all seems to be A-OK today. The next race will be a 10k job at Hanging Rock in April and I plan to do plenty of kms between now and then with a few very long hill runs thrown in.

The Plantar Fascia pain I had earlier in the year is completely gone and the Achilles are both getting better and are not far off being cherry ripe. To think that only 4 months ago I was starting to worry that I might never be able to run again without pain. Changing to a forefoot running style and running in the Vibrams has been the saviour for me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Vib strong

My feet are getting stronger, I can feel it, it feels good :)

A nice little 11 km run today down the Yarra and around the Tan a couple of times.

The first lap was at a steady 4:44 which help me end up with 5:16 for the whole run.

Didn't push it hard to max although that one lap was steady.

I'll be more than happy if I can do R4K on Sunday at faster than 5:00 pace.


....are just opinions

If you don't agree with one, no problem just move along

If someone doesn't agree with yours, no problem just move along

No point arguing when neither side will change their mind. Especially when there is money and/or career choice involved.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Blood Letting

Fantastic run this morning with Wheatie up at Sherbrooke Forest. We had a massive storm yesterday afternoon and rain all night which left the rainforest trails nice and soft and the forest smelling more alive than I have ever seen it. Well all except for the two cracked and splintered mountain ash we found that had come down over one part of the path. That slowed down our pace as we had to climb through the debris.

During the run I was thinking about how I can get some balance in my running and martial arts and I've come to the conclusion that I should give up the short runs during the week and concentrate on a Wednesday long run and a Sunday mega run. More than that and I am just exhausted.

The "mega run" was not so mega today, only about 11 km as I am still breaking in my calves and getting used to running in the VIbrams, which by the way felt awesome on the damp trails today. It is so much nicer being able to feel the earth under foot as you run. Not so much that I was prepared to go barefoot. Whilst I am into the whole barefoot philosophy of gently treading and feeling your way through, I am not so open to the idea of exposing my bare feet to unpredictable trails. We'll give that a bit more time.

When we got back to the car park I noticed that I had picked up a little leech, so I gently flicked him off so that he could go and find some other runner to have a snack on :-)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Floating moments and slices of time

I was just driving into my street last night when my daughter called and asked if I could pick her up from work, which is across the road from the carpark I had been in just a few minutes earlier. So I continued back and a few minutes later turned right into the side street, continuing on for another 30 metres and stopping outside the coffee shop.

I turn the ignition off, open the door and stand up outside the car whilst looking forward and across the road towards the coffee shop. Right at that moment I hear the unmistakable screech and impact of a car hitting something. Immediately I look over my right shoulder and see a car airborne and then smash into a power pole at the intersection I had just turned down.

Hot on the tail of this car was a police car, which stopped before the driver got out and arrested two men from the crashed vehicle.

So its a bit like, ahhh yeah, I was there driving through the crash spot about 30 seconds before it happened. When I collected Pais she pointed out that if I hadn't come back to get her she would proably have been walking around that corner at about the time of the crash.

Really, its the sort of thing that I've seen before, but it was interesting to think of the timing and how close it all was. Also interesting to think of the participants and the strange lives they have created for themselves.

How do you help people who choose criminal behaviour?

The coffee shop owner was telling me that the law doesn't work and that there should be more social input. I'm not sure about that. The law is effective enough in helping to keep the majority of people safe. As far as the criminaly inclined go, well they get some punishment but the only way for them to change their life is if they choose to do it.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Return of the hump

Just me and Rob for a hump day run. Really I was a bit worn out from my lunchtime run and probably went too far with Rob. We did a lap of the Tan with about 8 km all up at a nice steady pace.

I was exhausted after having a shower and went and got some dirty bird to fuel up. It filled the spot - all fuel for the fire :)

Achilles cured??

Maybe, just maybe....

After a week of semi-detox the pain in my achilles is all but gone and I have noticed that my toes even look better. Hard to explain, but they look trimmer which means they were probably a bit swollen before, especially the big toes.

My weight has also dropped by a couple of kilos which isn't great. But it was most likely a couple kilos of sugar that had been dropped!

Today's run was awesome. A short knock down the Yarra River at a nice pace that was coincidently my best race pace in a 10k and a 21.1k race.

Generally feeling good and now thinking about knocking up some serious kilometres again. I'll see if Bob will do 8k tonight :)

4.4 km @ 4:45 pace

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shit Creek

Took Taj for a pleasant Sunday morning amble along the Dandenong Creek this morning, well pleasant except for the smell coming from the creek. It deadset smelt like a sewerage and I noticed that someone has put some of those rubbish collecting pontoons in there. It smelt so bad that it took about 10 minutes before Taj finally made the plunge. He's usually in there straight away.

So the run was 9km with about one third on a nice gravel trail and the rest mainly on paths. The Vibrams felt wonderful when I first headed off. Later I felt a little tightening in the right calf and some minor soreness around the left ankle, otherwise all was good.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sawing planks

"He who plants a forest in the morning cannot expect to saw planks the same evening" - Chinese proverb

Everything takes time, patience, perserverence and determination. Don't give up and don't be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Back on the horse

Went for a light 5k run yesterday afternoon and then MA training later in the night that for some reason went for two hours rather than the normal one. Very nice to be running again and my legs are a bit tight today! Meh, running again after a break and spending half the night in horse riding stance and cat stance - it all adds up after a few weeks of limited action.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

no run nowhere

Well its now been just over two weeks since the last time I have been for a run and that was a very slow 3km on a bike path in Wantirna. Whilst I have been caught up with moving into a new home, it has also served as a timely break to allow my sore feet a rest.

After a chat with a friend who has been studying TCM it looks as though it might be time to give the liver a bit of a cleanout. Over the next couple of weeks I will start changing my diet and some habits to get this moving along.

So far coffee, alcohol, black tea and dairy products have been dropped from the menu. Water intake has been increased and I am drinking herbal tea, green tea, white tea. Last night the wonderful Nic knocked up a massive bowl of fruit salad for breakfast. It was supberb topped with vanilla yoghurt.

Today I will venture out for a light run. I'll be running in runners.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Training with Hanshi

last night we trained with Hanshi Tino. These are the main areas we went through.

The pushup

Hanshi showed us a push up where you stretch your body out straight and use your core to push your body up to your hands and feet. I'm not sure that anyone was able to do it without using their elbows for leverage.

After we all spent some time groaning and straining on the ground, Hanshi dropped down and easily did a few just to let us know that it can be done!

Seiyunchin Kata

We spent some time learning the first quarter of this kata and generally I felt that we picked it up quite well, due mainly to the wonderful instruction :) This is a Goju Ryu kata and not one that we would normally do in our style.

Switch with three punch combo

Jab, then set up a switch on the reverse and then fire into the second jab with a full switch for added power. Most of us mad a complete hash of the switch, I know that this is something for me to do heaps of work on. We did a similar thing with Shihan a couple of weeks ago and I don't think that I am any better at the moment.

Soft blocks and hooks

After some demonstration of the damage you can do with a knife or other small weapon such as a hair brush, we worked on blocking with our hands and arms. The emphasise here was to take a soft approach with smooth movement. This was pretty much the "wax on - wax off" stuff.

It was a fantastic night and a real treat to train with Hanshi. He is a super guy and moves like lightening - simply amazing.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Take it easy

Up early Sunday morning for a light 3km run with Naomi. She hasn't done much running she struggled with her breathing after a couple of km's and refused to run any further after 3km. It was a very easy pace so my achilles were not too bad although the calves still felt like they had a couple of little rocks in them...very tight.

In the afternoon I took the dog for a 10km walk. He went barefoot and I went in the Vibrams. There is one nice little stretch with a grass/dirt track along the creek so I moslty ran that at a very light pace, probably 3-4 km all up. The rest was a walk as the calves were really starting to bother me.

Iced up the calves in the afternoon and that made a fair difference but the left achilles is starting to be a bit of a worry. I'm going to back off and do no running this week with some more ice application to see how things go. I'll see if I can fit in some more long walks barefoot and in the Vibs to see if these help.

I'm sure that the change in running stride is helping, its just that I haven't got the stride right yet and I think I need to give the existing injuries a rest. They were way overdone especially as I had implemented such a dramatic increase to my running volume. So far this year I have run about 25% of my total kilometers for 2010. Yep, there needed to be a gradual build up rather then a blind dive into excess.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I am Jack's stinging blisters!

That wasn't too smart.

Barefoot for 6km on a very hot day equals soles that feel like they are on fire.


6 minute pace.

Ouch. (did I already mention that?)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Inside the box

Bashed out a steady 6 km on the treadmill for 32 minutes. Just having a bit of fun and then a good stretch and some work on the rollers. Feeling pretty good.

Had an MMA class last night and went home feeling a bit flat, which is unusual as I'm normally pumped after a class. My technique has been a bit average of late, probably due to a lack of practice over the Christmas break.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Monday recovery run............

Did a cruisy 6km down the Yarra today. After the first km or so, I was feeling a bit sore and a bit weird wearing runners, so I kicked them off and did the next 4 km barefoot. Pretty much from St Kilda Rd to Anderson St and back.

All in all it was nice running barefoot although the front pads felt a bit sensitive at times and I think I might have a few blisters.

Put the Mizunos on when I got back to St Kilda Rd and then just flew home over the last kilometer. Running on the toes and feeling incredibly awesome. It is amazing how spongy the runners feel after going barefoot for awhile.

6 km @ 5:50 pace

To shoe or not to shoe...........Part 3

My first run in the Vibrams was a very slow 6 km at around 7:30 / km pace. The next day I had some heal pain and sore toes otherwise everything was ok. Over the next few days I had a couple of short runs in the Mizunos and then a couple of days later had a very interesting session at the Tan running track.

The Tan is a 3.86 km track that consists mostly of a hard sandy surface with about 600 m of sealed bitumen. The first two laps were in the Vibrams and generally felt good although I did start to notice rubbing on the inside arch of the left foot which predictably developed into a small blister. After the second lap I decided to go barefoot to dry my feet out a bit. This lap felt fantastic and straight away I noticed that I was naturally implementing a softer landing. The Vibrams went back on for the fourth and final lap and once again they felt pretty good.

This was my longest continuous run for 2010 and afterwards I felt fantastic. It was the most enjoyable and fun run that I have had for quite some time. Now the big test was going to be how I felt the next morning.

The report card for the next day was pretty good. A bit of tightness in the calves but generally the Achilles and Plantar fascia felt ok on both feet. Early indications are that I am now heading on the right track and I am starting to get excited by the possibility of some pain free running.

There is heaps of info on the web about barefoot and minimalist running, there are the converts who preach like they have just found a new religion and there are the podiatrist naysayers who believe that barfooters are deluded. On top of all that there is questionable research from both sides and creative interpretation to promote certain arguments.

For me the only thing that matters is whether or not I can be rid of tendon pain and continue running. I’m not looking to convert anyone and really couldn’t care less how others choose to run or even don’t run. If it is helpful for someone else to read through my ramblings, that is great, if not, well I’ll still be running anyway.

To shoe or not to shoe.........Part 2

By June 2009 I started to notice a general stiffness about my feet when I woke up in the mornings. By September, the morning pains had started to develop into an acute tenderness of the Achilles tendon that was ever present. By the end of November I was in pain whenever I ran and I became convinced that the Brooks runners were contributing to this condition by encouraging me to heel strike at an over pronated angle.

After some research I started stretching heaps and applying ice packs and anti-inflammatory gel. The ice and gel made no difference whatsoever.

In early December 2009 I ditched the Brooks runners and bought a pair of Mizuno runners that had a neutral heal and what I thought to be a flatter sole and less support. I then started to concentrate on my running technique by attempting more of a mid to front strike with much shorter strides. This helped to a small extent but I think that I was generally heal striking and things were not getting much better any time soon.

By mid January 2010 I had well and truly had enough of all this tendon pain, so I decided to jump into what looked to be the latest fad in running – barefoot and minimalist. I went out and bought a pair of Vibram Sprints.

To shoe or not to shoe............Part 1

In October 2008 I ran the ½ Marathon at the Melbourne Marathon event, this being the first time I had ever entered a fun run or official race. All of my training and eventual running of the race was done in a pair of crappy old runners that I had got from a sports store specials bin a couple of years earlier.

Throughout my first year of running I experienced pain in the front of the left Patella. My self diagnosis of this was that it was due to Iliotibial band syndrome and probably from increasing my mileage to soon. Generally this is no longer a problem although it can sometimes be mildly tender at that spot, nothing to get overly worked up about.

In March 2009 I decided it was time to invest in a decent pair of runners, so I headed down to a sports store that had treadmills and offered a gait analysis to help find the best shoe for me. This chain of stores was apparently started up by podiatrists who marketed their sales gimmick well enough to drag me in. After ‘analysing’ my gait, the sales girl recommended that I buy a pair of Brooks GTS that had a more solid piece on the inner part of the heal.

Initially I found the Brooks runners nice to run in and generally thought that they were contributing towards a lessening of the pain that I was experiencing in my knee due to ITB. I had also seen a chiropractor and homeopathist, both of which I believe helped to relieve the knee soreness.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tanned calves

The 3.8 km Tan running track around the Melbourne Botanical Gardens would have to be my favourite place to run. This morning I did two laps in Vibrams, one lap barefoot and then finished off with another Vibram lap.

Felt fantastic while I was running and managed to keep a nice steady pace at around 5:10, the only issue at the time was some rubbing inside the left shoe on the second lap. Knowing that I would get a blister, which I did, so I went for the next lap barefoot. Wheatie went home half way through the last lap because he was tired or had sore nipples or something.

After a 10 minute car ride up to the observatory cafe I got out and the calves were all seized up like rocks. A little stretch and light walk and they were good although I'll probably feel a bit of action down there tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Give me five!!!!

My new Vibram Sprints turned up today, garish, red and awful looking. I took them for a 6km spin with Nic and Taj making sure that we ran at a slow and steady pace, a very cruisy 7:30.

After about a km I noticed that I was hitting the ground too hard and there was definitely too much heel in my strike. This balanced out after awhile and then I had to contend with the achilles for the next km or so. After awhile I started to settle into a rhythm and felt a little exertion in the calves and my ankle region felt as though it was working although not straining. I concentrated on running as light as I could by visualising that I was a Navajo running through the woods in moccasins. I don't know if the Navajo ever ran through the woods in moccasins but it doesn't matter really.

Overall I would have to say that the Vibrams are way good to run in and that I can see big possibilities with these guys. Could they help lead me to the end of achilles pain and plantar fasciitis? Only time will tell: man I hope so! I've got marathons calling out to me, yeeeehaaaar!!!!
A cruisy 7.2 km along the Yarra and around the Tan at a 5:16 pace.

Everything generally felt ok - no pain in the calves and no more than usual pain in the Achilles.

My new VFF Sprints turned up today, so maybe I'll take them for a spin tonight.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Longest. Barefoot. Run. Ever :-) lol

..........and a couple of good ol blisters to show for it!

So I ran about 3k up the Yarra and then another 3.8 around the Tan in the trusty old Mizuno's. Now I seem to have seriously changed my running style because the old calves were mooing like crazy by the time I'd finished the Tan lap.

After hobbling across the Anderson Street bridge I decided to take off the treads and run home au naturale. It actually felt good most of the way with only the onset of a couple hugo blisters slowing me down over the last km. Although there was a 300m patch where I ran with chewy stuck to the front pad on the right foot. That was a little annoying as it slowly collected little bits of gravel untill it turned into bolder size and forced me to stop and remove it.

Run stats

34 minutes for 6.8 km in the Mizuno (5:00 minute pace)

20 minutes for 3 km barefoot (6:40 minute pace)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My running mate

Originally uploaded by the Red Right Hand
This is Taj my running partner.

I'm still building up his endurance, he's a little slow and can't go much further than 10k. His biggest problem is that he wears himself out sprinting up and down the creek bed. The age old trap of going out too hard too early!

Softly softly....

10k run - down the Dandenong Creek trail to Wantirna Rd and back.

Easy pace, felt good. Worked at light footfalls and attempting to work from the hips and not push off with the feet. The achilles hurt like bitches when I first started, then eased back after a couple of km's.

Took Taj the Labradoodle out with me and we had a nice time with a fine mist of rain falling for about 60% of the run.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A wet embrace as we moved across the floor.....

A warm and steamy dojo leaves us all dripping in sweat especially when grappling is the order of the night. Thankfully it was all stand up grappling working on the best arm positions and practicing with using gentle resistance against force. Earlier on we did some shell defence and light sparring with straight punches only.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tuesday MMA

A basic run down on what we did on Tuesday night with Shihan Richard.

Jab, cross, elbow. Grab opponent on opposite shoulder and pull them into a knee smash.

* Note to self - Remember to keep your guard up and especially do not wave your free arm around when making a move.

Jab, cross, rear downward shin kick (same side as the cross)


Jab, cross, fake rear shin & switch. Opposite shin kick to the inside of the leg.

* Note to self. Practice footwork and direction, be sure that kicks are deliberate, powerful and on target. If its not there then don't throw it.

Had some minor cramping in the calves, no big deal though.

Did some of the combo exercises with Brett in a sparring type fashion. He's great to work with as he has a fluid and continuous method. he also has good cardio and just keeps on going.


A 7.2 km run taking in a lap of the Tan and some Yarra River. I concentrated on redirecting pain from my achilles to my calves. This successfully relieved the strain on the achilles and they felt ok, only problem was that the calves cramped up big time.

By the time I had finished the Tan lap the calves were cooked, so I crossed the Princes Bridge to head back to the office. They were so cramped up by this stage that I was getting shaky and was starting to wonder if I would actualy make it back.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MMA back in full swing

I went to a couple of MMA classes last week which were basically a make up class that had students ranging from white to brown belt. They were good classes to get back into the swing of things. They were not overly demanding from a mental point of view although one of them was physicaly demanding. At 7.30 it was still about 42 degrees outside and warmer inside. Quite a few students faded out in the second half of the class and had to excuse themselves.

Last night was my first session for the year in the brown to black class and it was another step up, as was expected. Early on I found myself getting confused as the instructions came out hard and fast and the combinations had a greater degree of difficulty.

After a good 15 to 20 minutes warmup with Ralph, our instuctor for the night entered the dojo and it was none other than Shihan Richard Norton. This was the first time I have had a class with him and I would have to say that he is awesome times 10, and that's being a little reserved.

My running is going well having clocked up about 101 km in the first 18 days of the year. This total score is close to Wheaty, who having set himself a goal to run everyday has clocked up about 105km in the first 18 days. My running is usually every second day with a few consecutive days here and there.

Later today I will be picking up my first pair of Vibram Five Fingers. I have had enough of Achilles and Plantar Fasciitis pain, so intend to try a bit of barefooting and near barefooting with the VFF.

On Monday night I went for a slow 5.6 k with the dog and did run the last 1km home in barfeet. MY pace was very slow and the steps did feel a little awkward as I had to adjust my gait. When I got home my feet were in a fair bit of pain from the existing problems and whatever new joy the barfooting brought, but here's the thing, next morning my feet felt better than they have in a few weeks. Still not great but noticably better, maybe a little tighter in the calves than normal though. Certainly last night I was getting some minorr cramps in the calves whilst I was out on the mats.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Just run anyway...........

Really was not feeling like running today. Had a headache and felt a bit sluggish but just went out anyway. After a couple of kilometres none of that mattered and it was just like any other run, in fact it felt ok as I settled into a nice pace.

Did a lap of the Tan and a bit of Yarra river for 9.8 km at 5:10 pace.

Mostly feeling good below the knees, better than it has for some time. I'm convinced that I am running through this achilles annoyance by changing my stride, which is getting easier to maintain.

My 10k pace is picking up nicely at the moment.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Too hot to even walk outside

The temperature climbed over 40 and I said no way, today was a day for the boring old treadmill at the air conditioned gym.

I ended up rattling out 7.33 km at 04:46 pace, which was not too bad considering that I never felt as though I was pushing things. That's about the pace I ran last year's Run 4 the Kids, so it would be good to go a bit faster this year.

The only thing that will hold me back will be achilles pain, which was actually ok today. Didn't feel anything on the right side and after settling into a good rythm at 3.5 km the pain in the left side started to become way less noticeable. Afterwards both achilles were a little tender, but certainly nothing to get worked up about.

Whilst running on the tready I concentrated on light foot falls, managing to keep the whir of the machine louder than anything I was doing.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sheeeet its hot!

I was doing a job on Saturday looking at trees along a 4km stretch of road that needs to have some clearing done for bushfire safety. After looking at the job and throwing around a few ideas we decided to paint markers on the road at 100m intervals. After painting the first marker I quickly decided that the only efficient way of doing this job was to run and paint with Dad driving behind to let me know when we click over each 100.

I'm putting this one day as a 4k run at 30 minutes with all the stop and start and I did have to run back a couple of times because I forgot what number I had just painted :)

It must have been at least 36 degrees out there, maybe hotter in a couple of spots. Only 4k but I was pretty happy when I got to the end. Dad thinks I'm a little insane.....I think he could be on to something. Summer sucks arse...... there is nothing good about temperature over 30.

I ran in a pair of old Converse Chucks, not too bad but a bit sloppy and sweaty towards the end. Didn't notice too much pain below the knees, maybe a bit in the left achilles and around the outside of the left ankle, just underneath.

Friday, January 08, 2010

hot hot hot hot.......

The plan this morning was to run my 10 k Yarra and Tan lap route with an extra lap around the Tan. Everything was going well until I finished the second lap and decided to take a short cut back to the office.

It was probably around 30 to 34 degrees which left me dripping with sweat on the first lap. The worry was that on the second lap I started to stop sweating, so I caved in and took the quick way home.

I ended up running 11.2 k at 5:57 pace.

For the most part I deliberately went slow trying to stay at around 6:00 minute pace so that I could concentrate on my stride and feel where the pain was coming from below my knees. Generally it was my left achilles and the calf on the right side. The calf pain felt as though it was deep inside the calf and it didn't bother me that much. The achilles on the other hand was annoying.

I found that I was able to minimise the achilles pain by concentrating on a short step stride whilst attempting to stay as relaxed as possible. My left foot fall feels a little tighter than the right, possibly better hip movement on the right side.

Mobility of the ankle may be contributing to the problem, so I will do some work on the ankle joints and stretching in all directions, not just the achilles and calves.

Before going out I ran 500m barefoot on the treadmill. Through that experience I was certainly banging my feet down too hard.

Plenty to work on and unfortunately there won't be much in the way of speed work unless I can get these feet right.

Running tally after day 8

50.2 km at an average of 6.25 k per day or 10 k per run. A nice start and well on target - at this rate I should hit the target in only 321 days :)
Ok, so my plan is to run 2,010 km in 2010 and on the morning of the 8th January I've got to say that I'm off to a good start having racked up about 39km.

Friday 1 January - about 15k in the Dandenongs - a bit of trail running with Wheaty to kick the year off on a good note

Saturday 2 January - a cruisy 6.5 k run with the dog along the Dandenong Creek trail in Bayswater.

Monday 4 January - picked up the pace a little for a 7.5 k run along the Yarra and around the Tan

Wednesday 6 January - A bit longer and a bit faster along the Yarra and around the Tan for a nice 10k at around 5:15 pace. Later that night I ran a few k with the Hump Day Runners but it was a very slow and easy pace, a social pace you could say

Friday 8 January - I have a plan, lets see how it turns out!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

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