Monday, 6 March 2017

Late winter update

Winter still here
Being quite fluent in German, the weather since January has had me saying, "Winter, verpiss dich!" (winter, piss off!). Walking safely outside has been a way to keep active, as on last Friday when the temperature was +9, and the wind was high enough to almost blow my coat off. 

The other way to stay active 
The gym is an excellent way to stay active, while beset by uncooperative weather. Above is last Saturday's rowing effort. On Sunday, I managed 2,500 metres in 15 minutes. 
Hip abduction and adduction are other ways to warm up, before: 
Running! I did 3/4 of a kilometre in under 3 minutes wearing a souvenir from a holiday in Hungary, hence the expression: 
In Sunday, the shirt from my first half marathon was my choice of wear: 
The answer to the question of where this race was is on the back: 
I kept to the golden rules: feet straight, even swinging arms, long stride, and no farting!

Awaited in March
Apart from eating well, working out and staying healthy, I am going to be seeing doctors this month to find out if I am approved to do a number of things.
Not to put too heavy a point on it, when it comes to fully recovering with the help of ESD (early supported discharge), I am in the driving seat:

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Once more working out

I went to the gym today, and my wife/ chief photographer came along. She is brilliant. 
Warm up
The seated leg press was not being used, so 30 reps using 150lbs was the warm up. As the photo demonstrates, I had already warmed up inside. 
The rowing machine was great, me pushing and straightening my legs and pulling back with the arms. 
10 minutes was a good workout, especially as the person next to me did the same distance as me in 16 minutes. 

A great touch of the runs
A gentle start, walking for two laps, then the overjoy came along for 11 laps of running.
It was manifested by pointing at the shirt, and frankly, grinning.
I even practiced breaking an imaginary finish line tape:
I even limited the temptation to yell "I'm back!" According to my watch, I ran 1.3 miles/ 2.09 kilometres in 7 minutes, 20 seconds. That makes 3 minutes, 47 seconds per kilometre. 

Keep it up!
Lots of friends have been encouraging to me, hence the selfies. Non-friends are now notorious for their misgivings, so the images in this post are dedicated to my friends, solely and exclusively.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Recovery of Hope

Return to the gym

Today was for the return to the gym for various workouts and some running. Starting with a walking warmup, I had been aiming to start on the rowing machine, but both of them were "under occupation". Awaiting for them to be "liberated”, I had to watch 2 men dragging the handle over their heads. The temptation was to approach them and pontificate: "I'm Peter, and you are under arrest." 

Return to running
I got started at pace around the track, in fact I lapped many others. Keeping the technique correct involved me reciting "arms, feet, legs" to myself. It was a matter of swinging both arms evenly, keeping my feet straight, and with my height using a long stride. 
11 laps, according to Strava used on my phone which fortunately didn't jump off my belt, was 2.7 km long. 8 minutes 30 seconds long, would work out to a 5k time of 16 minutes 42 seconds: potentially a PB of 4 minutes and 3 seconds!

Warm down
So then some weights to cool down with.  The lateral pull down wasn't very selfie-able, although over 40 reps of 100lbs got me going. The seated leg press was available for me, so 30 reps of 150lbs it was. 
The rowing machine had me going extremely well, almost declaring "the magic is back!" Endurance and strength had both demonstrated themselves well to me personally, leaving time for a walking cool down and a selfie.

Refuelling lunch
Upon my return home, time for noodles, chicken, broccoli and lemonade. The return to good shape is well and truly back on. I just need to wait for doctoral permission to run, drive and work again at a couple of points in March. Here's to life and recovery. 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Recovery Update

Hello friends, you all know who you are. Non-friends shall remain nameless.

Refuelling before workout
The morning started with rice balls.
Then for lunch, I went to Chinatown with my wife, her Mum and cousin. I had my favourite food to celebrate Lantern Festival: Xiaolongbao, hence the beaming look on my face. 

Rowing Time
That kind of rowing, of course. A good way to get fit and healthy, one month after getting home after 6 months in hospital.
I managed 2,100 metres in 10 minutes and 10 seconds. If I may say so,  good technique, endurance and strength.

Running again!
Then back to the run yet again. 
All my concentration was on technique: both arms swinging, feet straight and long stride.
3 minutes, 29 seconds per kilometre, about half marathon PB pace. 
2 weeks before, according to Strava, I ran 3.8 km in 13 minutes, 0 seconds. Using a calculator, that would mean 5k in 17 minutes, 0 seconds, a PB of 2.5 minutes. Hopefully that will happen at the end of May, my first comeback race if I get Doctor's approval for running again. 
Hopeful expression
Good time for a selfie? More recovery is coming for my head and body daily. I aim to get back to working, driving and running in the next few months.

Confidence has returned of late, all due to my lovely wife's care and planning for our future. I am giving my upmost to recover well in workouts and therapy visits to home. I said so during the subsequent dinner:
Therefore, it is time to raise a glass to my recovery and comeback to life!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Ready as I'll ever be

Runner, interrupted 
Winter, rather than building up the mileage, involved trips to the physio. I'm still working on fixing the imbalance identified back in January. A late start for Calgary Half Marathon training then, but things are on the up, and it's been a fun build up to the big day. It always is. 

Aprillian Amazement 
Sweet medals. The blue one in the middle will be mine in a week. 
Speaking of which, I had quite an April. 3 countries, 3 races. 
Singapore's overwhelming heat made for a very different kind of race. I judged my dehydration well, and keeping an even pace throughout, overtook people for the entire 10k. 
Run Calgary does Australia. 
A week after Singapore then, the Jabulani Challenge 12k, a trail race outside Sydney. A couple of minor falls and a wrong turn, another runner badly wiping out downhill, clambering over rocks and crossing streams: a most unique experience. 
Back in Calgary for Eyball the Wall 15k, I made good use of a pacemaker (unofficial) to finish 2 minutes quicker than expected. It was a welcome boost in more ways than one, returning as I had from holiday to my erstwhile employer laying off staff (myself included). 

May Musings
Saint Patrick's Island fun run on May 7 featured almost Singapore-like weather.
A fun gathering with food truck, my plan was to have it fuel my run home, some 27k away. 
Industrial vistas on one side, and nature on the other, I walked the last few k due to dehydration. 

Race plan?
At time of writing, race day looks like it will rain. This won't be too bad as long as it isn't too windy. 
My benchmark for the half is usually 1:30 (PB 1:26:44). At the moment my form is hard to predict, so I'll just try to go with whatever pace feels good, while keeping on track to get that 89:59 at least. 
So, which version of me will show up? Place your bets, that's part of the fun.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Eyeball The Wall 15k -

Uniquely YYC
Race #3 in April, this time back in Calgary. Rather than the exotic locales and formats of the other 2 (reports coming soon), Eyeball The Wall was either a 15k or a 30k around the Glenmore reservoir. 
The 30k got started first, half an hour before the 15k. A clockwise loop of the reservoir, with the longer distance turning around to do the second lap anti-clockwise. Everyone would get to see everyone somehow, a well worked angle for a race many were using to prepare for the Calgary Marathon or half.

Just the one, dear
Once the 2-lappers were off, time to stretch and limber up on this fairly cold, but good race conditions morning. 

I had predicted a time of 1:07. Building back the mileage amid my ongoing recovery and gait work, I felt that perhaps on the first 2 flat sections (before the 5k point) I might manage 4:15 per km - 90 minute half marathon pace. 
Otherwise, the sections of serious gradient would leave me unable to regain that pace later on. 
Not the best self-seeding from some, who found themselves quickly swallowed up at the start. 
I had a new strap for my camera which was poorly adjusted, so no video. 
"Not doing 2 laps" pose. 
I felt sluggish to begin with, but it passed as I settled into a higher pace, and concentrating on my technique, overtook a few. 

Runaway Train 
About 2.5 k in, the extremely steep downhill to the valley floor. 
The 30k runners would have to come up it shortly before finishing, quite a task. 
I registered 4:00 for the next 2k before going back uphill. That was good for a 5k, but too quick for this race. 

I Will Follow 
The next guy I caught (hereinafter known as "cap man") seemed a good pacemaker, or at least I could restrain myself by not overtaking him. 
I took the hill back out of the valley slowly, and he pulled away, but I was back with him again within about half a k. Strange, as I'd assumed I'd be wrecked by this time. 
Signalling when overtaking, cap man knew I was there. He slowed a few times, possibly trying to encourage me to pass. "Slower, good idea," I thought, so I stayed behind. I honestly didn't think I could manage to run any quicker anyway. 
Cap man pulled over to grab a drink just before the 10k point, finally finding a way to have me overtake. 

Millennium Falcon 
I flew down the 1,000 metre stretch of Glenmore Trail, catching up the next guy. I took the following hill and undulations gently, or so I thought. 
At the top of one crest was one guy doing his tai chi/ a tribute to Ministry Of Silly Walks. 

Leaders Of The Pack
Already passing a few 30k runners still on their first lap, on my approach to Heritage Park, Simon came steaming uphill in the lead. 
About a minute later came a relaxed looking Scott.
Then Brent.
& Rich in 5th. I know all the leaders?
After that excitement, I took the chance to look behind me at a virtual hairpin bend just after Heritage Park. Cap man was nowhere to be seen. 

Arrival Procedure 
There were still plenty of ups and downs, which I was taking on in relaxed fashion. I looked to be easily ahead of my target time. 
Crystal came dancing past on her way to finishing the second loop. I think I didn't react straight away, hence the two-handed wave. 
I began as I'd started, with v-sign and grin. 
I finished in 1:04:47, a major surprise. I'm hoping to do 4:15 pace for the Calgary Half Marathon, and I did this seriously hilly 15k course at 4:17. 
My medal hit my teeth as it was hung around my neck, slightly unexpected. 
Cap man came in, he seemed slightly annoyed about my drafting. Perhaps I had been pushing him along rather than being pulled. 
This guy didn't collapse as it looks like here. He collected his medal, looked to check he wouldn't get in anyone's way, and slowly laid down. 
I iced a mildly swollen achilles afterward. On reflection, I'm in far better shape than I had imagined. It's probably due to improved running economy and longer term base of fitness going back several years. Can I add to my sub-90 half marathon collection at the end of the month?