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Blog 50- Tokyo Bound- entry 8- By Craig Appleby.


Hello readers!

Welcome to the beginning of my Taper… or at least once you’ve read to the end of this week’s recount.

Not much to report this week, although, I will mention that I feel like I’m back into the teaching/family/running routine again… my head has ceased its spinning!

Here goes…

Monday 11th Feb – AM: easy 31mins for 6km. A slow jog this morning. still tired and sleepy from the weekend.

PM: Easy 9.3km in 43mins @ 4:35’s. Once I got into it, I felt pretty good.

Tuesday 12th Feb – AM: Easy long run – 20.4km in 90mins @ 4:24’s. I decided to swap my Wednesday mid-week long run to Tuesday due to my work/family commitments. Mondays and Tuesdays are my days off work (with Patty) so I can get my longer run of the day completed before Bianca heads off to work; otherwise, it’s out and back by 6:45am to get ready for work and drop off – You’ve got to draw the line somewhere, haha.

PM: Easy 5.3km in 24mins @ 4:35’s. Cruisy run into gym.

Wednesday 13th Feb – AM: 11km easy in 52mins @ 4:39’s. Still not completely adjusted to these very early wake-ups…

PM: Canned the second run for today. A late night at work and I was feeling scratchy in my throat – not worth risking it, especially with tomorrow’s session. Missing a run here and there in this late stage of the marathon prep won’t do a thing (except tire me out if I’m on the edge of illness).

Thursday 14th Feb – AM: A lovely, fresh morning! Met up with Dane, Dion and Klarie Mcintyre at Casey Fields at 6:15am. The plan was 5km warm up/cool down, session: 1km (3:00-3:05’s); 5km @ 3:15-3:18’s; 1km; 5km; 1km.

I was layered up for this one. The cold was hitting me a little more than I had expected. All ok after the warm up though. We changed into our race shoes. I borrowed a pair of arm-warmers off Dion (cheers buddy) in preparation for what Tokyo may bring – they worked a treat. We worked through a few more run throughs, as the sun just let go of the horizon, to make sure we were awake for this one… And we were!

Straight into it in a 2:58km, then settling to average 3:15’s for the first 5km float (16:13) (after the first km we had split into two packs, Dane and Klarie working together just behind Dion and myself). A 2:59km broke the 5km floats, the second in 16:06 (3:13’s) and I finished off with 2:54 final km. total 13km in 41:15 @ 3:10 average. That felt great! Dion monstered the session also, only dropping off slightly in the 1km reps – super impressive from him and excited for his Tokyo campaign.

After the cool down it was straight in the car, leaving just before 8am, to make it to work on time… not to be…

Not being a regular of the Berwick traffic/school traffic scene, I quickly realised this was going to be one very long trip. What an absolute nightmare! Berwick in gridlock… no thanks.

Anyhow, I made it to work and settled in for a long day – half day with students then straight into Parent-Teacher Interviews, ending at 8pm. These were great and it was nice to get to know the parents, and students, a little more.

Strapped for time, I decided to head out for my second run during our dinner break. I managed 6km in 28mins @4:40’s feeling relatively good considering and got back in time to get changed and smash some food down – delicious!

Friday 15th Feb – AM: easy 12.6km in 60mins @ 4:46’s. Tired from a busy schedule but running well. Just a single today as I planned in a massage after work and then had to pack and drive for Man Camp, February addition (mates from high school and beyond getting together since 2002). Taper pretty much begins from today.

Saturday 16th Feb – AM: 16.1km in 1:14 @ 4:35’s. I ran the Murrindindi River walk, out and back from the suspension bridge, enjoying the river feels and thoroughly enjoying the cool snap as I entered the fern gullies! Knocked out 5 x 150m strides for some pick-me-up effort.

PM: Convinced my long-time friend, Kris, to get his kit together and join me for an easy 6km… He succumbed to the pressure, haha. We enjoyed a nice run along the trail again – Kris making sure the pie he ate for lunch stayed down – and I finished with an extra 1.5km. 7.6km in38mins @ 4:59’s.

Sunday 17th Feb – AM: I had packed everything up the night before and basically got up (easy done when sleeping in the car…) and drove the 70mins to the meeting point for a long, easy run around Ferny.

I met Dane, Sean Helmot (fellow Run Culture athlete and Boston hopeful) and Toby Rayner (by chance, great to see him out and about again) for a long and easy sojourn around the hills.

The purpose of this run was just to tire the legs over hills, but not at a fast pace. Something that would be easy to recover from.

The plan worked out well. I ran 30.2km in 2:23 @ 4:44’s. There were times during the run where it was a challenge mentally to just tick along at an easy pace, especially given the past 8 weekends have had a hard long run/session built into it. Nevertheless, it was made easy and achievable by having the boys out there for some great company.

An easier week than most and a nice way to head into the final two weeks. Total mileage was about 20-25km short of the plan; however, those extra km’s are irrelevant at this stage. My caution to reduce my training when illness or tiredness was knocking on the door has meant that I’m still fit and healthy.

Here’s to committing to a quality taper whereby sleep, food and stress loads are in check and accounted for.

Total mileage: 147km

Cheerios and happy running!

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