Breaking 2:24 Project
It is hard to fathom but yep it’s just 17 days till race day, as I type up entry number 14 of my Breaking 2:24 Project Journal! I say it every week but it’s getting close, getting real.
I might also start by saying I am pretty proud of getting a journal out every week for 14 weeks in a row. I might not get them out until Thursday every week rather than the ambitious Tuesday deadline I initially set myself but I’ve been consistent. This was my goal.
To be honest, I’ve enjoyed the writing process, something I really haven’t done since University and school. The only way to become a better writer, is by doing it. It’s just like running, practice makes perfect. Each blog has been roughly 2,000 words long, so if you have followed me this far on my Berlin marathon journey- then you too ought be proud. I mean, once you tick this blog off you have withstood my dribble for 28,000 words! You show exempliary fortitude, fortitude worthy of a distance runner!
Ok, so what happened this week?
A lot really.
The week started with getting 200$ worth of free socks from Swiftwick Australia! Please follow chris the Australian distributor of swiftwick and his guys at
And check his product out.
I only endorse products I love and these are my all time favourite socks. I will be wearing these socks come race day. I am unsure whether to go white, black or RunCulture blue, I need my reader’s advice? Was leaning towards the RunCulture blue as they also have triangles and this is a shape that represents ‘strength’, as Jess quickly google researched and let me know but open for suggestions. Let me know with a quick comment on my instagram @run.culture under this blog, blog #29.
Next, my good mate, Ben Toomey; who I often associate as the Bruce McAvaney of modern day distance running, alerted me to a post on the world famous message board on www.letsrun.com. The post was titled; ‘Malaysia’s attempt to Break NR at 2:24:00 in Berlin Marathon and we need a pack??’
So, of course I posted on it and since then have made email contact with this athlete’s manager. I told him my pacing plans and that I want to go through halfway in 71:30-72:00, they are happy with this and will go with this pace. We are hoping to catch up for a jog when in Berlin. I know I will largely just trying to relax out there the first half and just run by feel but I am sure having at least one familiar face out there will be helpful!
This week I also got a pack of 24 Power bar hydro cola gels. I tried them out a couple of times during the week and am contemplating running with 4 of these on race day and ditching my two 150ml hammer bottles. These gels were even lighter and just very easy to handle. I am going to see how I feel ingesting 4 of these on this coming Sunday’s long run. The fact that the top ripped off so easily and the gel came out so clean and neat, won me over. There is already water and electrolytes mixed with these gels, they seem to be the ultimate option for any athlete that misses out on personal drinks out on the course.
I rang up Brunei air this week also to ensure Brady and I get Exit row seats for the flights over. This was a huge win and I must thank DP for reminding me to do this, the exit row, is as close to business class as I have ever got. Our pins will be in spacious heaven on the way to Berlin.
For those that remember when I was madly typing out last weeks blog last Thursday, I was a bit sad and sorry for myself, as I was suffering a small bout of sinusitis. Fortunately, Jess has looked after me big time; be it eating full gloves of garlic, FES nose spray, radishes, hot lemons, ventolin/Qvar puffers, nutritious smoothies, mandarins, soothers, mutlivitamins, zinc, olive leaf, kaloba, blackmores cold relief, plenty of sleep, lots of water (most water I have ever drunk in fact), lots of easy running and three nutritious meals a day…I’ve hammered it all and voila I feel better for it. Infact, this is the fastest I have ever combatted such a lergy.
So, what happened run wise?
70 minutes for 14.6km at 4:48/km from Coolstores along Mt Eliza regional park and the rail trail to Mornington and back.
Am: I was then back to Coolstores in the morning after a quick gym session at Core. My sinus’ were pretty blocked in the morning but cleared well as the day progressed, I certainly utilized my handkerchief. I rolled a 4km warm up and then hit a 30 minute fartlek. The goal was 1 minute at 3:15s and 30 seconds at 3:25-30s. I went well on a hilly and windy asphalt course along Peninsula Link. It’s actually a great circuit and one Matt Davy used a lot in his winning Auckland Marathon prep last year. I ran 8.86kms at a 3:24/km average for the session. I then rolled a 4km warm down.
Pm: After work I ran my usual 7kms from Mordialloc along the bike path to Edithvale at 5:20/km pace at 9pm. I strolled along content with my day and just enjoyed this recovery run.
On Wednesday I consciously slept in and got a good 9hrs, my body needed it and loved it! I rolled an easy 1hr 40 at 4:55/km for 20kms over the rolling bushy terrain at Langwarren Flora and Fauna reserve. Once again my focus was on recovery.
My day off!
I ran 7.6kms at 4:59/km out of bed after walking Remi in the morning at the lovely Frankston Reserve, which is just a 3 minute jog away.
After doing some much needed jobs around the house, it was out again in the afternoon to Ballam park for a change of pace. I did originally have planned a hills circuit for further strength training but given my Achilles was sore only the week before I soon ditched this plan (the original plan was to go to 2 mile hill at Ferny Creek and do 42 minutes up and down it’s slope eg. hit 2 by 6 minutes hard up followed by 3 minutes easy back down, into 4 lots of 3 minutes hard up, 1.5 minutes easy down, into 4 by 1 minute hard up, 1 minute float down)
I wisely changed plan and did a session I was very much used to. I did 8 by 1 km reps off 1 minute recovery. I hit 3:00-3:02 for every rep and felt incredibly good, it was effortless. I was rapt with the speed as last Thursday I struggled with my 2km interval session, so this really showed that I just hadn’t recovered last week off the devil bend half. Was stoked to see the easy speed I had despite all the marathon strength work I’ve been focusing on. It just shows that speed naturally comes when you are super aerobically fit.
The hard work to get over the sinusitis continued thereafter but I was encouraged as to how it wasn’t effecting my energy or breathing while running.
Was just a cruisey recovery hour for 13kms at 4:35/km along the Patterson River bike path. I caught up with Tom Chisholm my good mate from School (who I mentioned last week) has started training for Melbourne Marathon. Over coffee we just went over his training, that he was sticking to it, how he was feeling and altered it as required. For those that didn’t read last week, Tom is trying to run 3:30 at Melbourne and is trying to raise funds for Rye his good mate’s son who is a 7 year old struggling with Cerebral Palsy. For those interested to help out a great cause or read more, please visit this link.
On Saturday I quickly ticked off an easy 35 minutes for 7.2kms pre work at 6:30am along the Edithvale Bike path at 4:49/km. I felt really good in this one, the radishes and garlic cloves were definitely working!
After work Jess, Michael (Jess’ brother) and I went to Frankston beach with Remi. The sky was blue, the sun was out, although a little fresh, you could really tell Spring was starting to influence Winter. Remi loved the beach and was zonked on the way home. I then quickly got my 60minute pm jog done along seaford foreshore and my second gym workout done for the week.
Definitely, one of those ‘guilty selfish runs’, were you wish you could just relax with the people that matter in your life. Just one of the many sacrifices I’ve made (Jess and my family has endured) as I chase my career best marathon! Like a surfer chasing the perfect wave.
It was then early to bed, I switched off SBS on demand’s ‘Filthy rich and homeless’ episode 1 25 minutes in as I realized The Decastella 15km fun run which I planned to do started at 7:45am tomorrow rather than 9am.
Sunday was to be my last marathon stimulation workout 21 days pre- race. The alarm went at 4:30 am. I got into my Run culture kit, arm warmers, gloves, beanies, tights and a jacket that I had layed out on the floor the night before. I continued my ‘Run Melbourne’ omen and got some maccas hash browns and a coffee for breaky on route.
I got to Xavier College at 5:45 am and was officially nearly the first on site. Fortunately the race organisor was the sole other pupil there and entered me into the race. I then set out with my Power bar gels and hammer drink bottle in tow for my planned 1hr 45 minute long run pre race. I put my race day shoes on, my new 4%ers I wanted to cover near on race distance in them today to blister proof my feet. I ran into the city along the yarra trail. I got to Fed square and then turned back. It was freezing to start and I was regretting the bacon and eggs for breaky as my gels didn’t sit in my stomach as well as I’d have liked. Either way I felt great and cruised 4:20/km for 24kms and got to the start 5minutes before Robert Decastella fired the gun.
Fortunately, I had some stiff comp to push me over the 15kms of rolling hills along Kew Boulevard. Nick Earl (29 minute 10k and 64 minute half guy who’s training for his debut at Melbourne mara) and Max Ueda (a 25 year old up and coming 31 minute 10k, 69 minute half guy) went out at 3:03 for the first down hill kilometer.
We soon let Nick go and it was then Max and I going at it hammer and tong over the undulating course. Our techniques couldn’t have been any more different. Max is tall, with long legs and lopes along, I am short and stutter along. We clipped heels a number of times in the first half as we learnt to run with each other and perhaps I was getting a little delirious. I was notably stronger on the ups, he was notably stronger on the downs. I tried to break him the whole race but just couldn’t. It came down to a sprint finish over the final 200ms which I just didn’t have, as I entered the 39th kilometer of the day. He got me by a matter of seconds.
I was pretty rapt with the final mara stimulation effort though as I stopped the clock at 49:25 for 3:16/km (with 260m of elevation gain, after 24kms before it). I also got a pat on the back by Rob Decastella who presented the medals, a 2:07:51 marathoner, that was pretty awesome.
I then wondered out for a mega slow 3km warm down with Nick and Max to cap a 42.2km day and 2hrs 50 minutes of running.
Two time Olympian and good mate Dave McNeil (in his final years of physio at Melbourne Uni) was there also, getting hands on massage experience. Normally, I’m treating him. So, it was pretty funny to be ‘on the other side of the table’ with him giving me a calf rub post race, about time he returned the favour!
The rest of the day was cruisey. Jess and I ticked off more wedding stuff, we let Remi roam free at the park and then we had a killer roast at my brother Sean’s Edithvale apartment with the rest of the fam.
So, another fun week. 162kms of running, 2 gym sessions and a whole heap of sinusitis remedies. Guys, I am happy with where I am at. The focus remains on eating, sleeping and drinking really well, so I am as healthy and ready as can be n 17 days time! That’s me for another week. When you hear from me next it will be 3 days before I board the plane! So until next time…
I hope you all keep reaching for your goals too!
Run. Live Grow