Coburg King & Queen of the North

Preamble

It's fair to say the first part of Base training hasn't gone to plan. There have been three key spanners thrown into the training machine: a sinus infection; gastroenteritis and dental surgery surgery complicated with a resulting infection. The sinus infection left me able to complete the running assignments, but limited the additional work. The gastro and dental stuff combined for a total of 12 days of no training. I am still down 4kg in weight and still feel a bit drained, not to mention I am looking pretty thin. Not the good, athletic leanness that comes from solid training either.

For the last four days I have been back running. Keeping things around an aerobic conditioning intensity. The days brought 8, 8, 13 and 18km worth of running. Each had me feeling better, and I noticed my average pace picked up each day. Overall I am feeling a bit drained, but I believe that's now mainly a food intake issue. Keeping foods in soft form just makes eating such a chore. However, I do feel good enough to race a 12-k'er.


Semi-Regular Stomping Ground

The Coburg Harriers have conducted monthly fun runs for longer than I have been seriously running. When just starting in the fun run scene I competed in one of their 12km events. Finished in about 50 minutes and was impressed with just how inclusive and friendly everyone was. Ever since I have made a point in always including at least one Coburg run each year. They have always been low key, friendly events. I've never been disappointed.


No Plan

Given the last couple of weeks, I started the day without a plan. Nothing more than warm up, line up and race.


Warmed Up, Lined Up...

"...set, go."

Just a few metres on the track, down the grass slope and onto the concrete trail. Immediately I realised I had no idea what my body felt like. There just weren't the cues I'm used during racing. So I just hung with the lead pack for the first kilometre to see what happened. The pack stuck together while first place streamed ahead a good 15 sec/km faster than everyone else.

Deciding I would at least try to get myself into a winning position, I used the first main downhill of the undulating course to close the gap. The pack stayed on their initial pace, and I definitely reclaimed some substantial ground on 1st place. At the 1800m turn the gap was only 7 seconds.

Feeling good I maintained the effort level. A slight slowing in pace over the bigger climbs was to be expected. Back onto the athletics track to complete the first 6km I was still in 2nd place, but I was really beginning to suffer. The initial pace had definitely been a bit too fast. My endurance was there, but it was becoming obvious my lactate clearance and tolerance had suffered over the last couple of weeks.

Lap 2 resulted in a moderate slow down that I just couldn't seem to do anything about. I focused on good form, a quick leg turnover and simply just digging deep to bring my speed back up. It was to no avail. In the end I was relegated to 3rd place, having covered the first 6km in 23:03 and the back 6km in 24:05 for a respectable overall time of 47:08.

It's a result I am comfortable with. In essence I haven't really lost fitness due to the missed training. A more accurate summary would be I have simply missed out on the chance for certain fitness gains over the last couple of weeks. In the larger scheme of the Marathon training plan, I'm not too far off schedule. A little bit of tweaking for two weeks should see me only 6 days off track.

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