Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hello! Long time no see!

I drafted this while lying on the bed, in the middle of a Persian food coma, and the dog decided that it was the best time to commandeer my legs. I hadn't taken her for a walk, and I wasn't planning to, so I let her be and drafted this post from the tablet that was within reach.

Soon after my last post, I had an extended Sjogren's flare where all I really wanted to do was sleep. Mileage went down, as did my capacity to stare at computer screens all day. I did manage to get quite a bit of parkrun tourism done during that period, so I have a number of reviews to add to the blog: Albury Wodonga, Balyang Sanctuary, Shepparton, Point Cook and Toolern Creek. I meant to go to Inverloch too but I was so exhausted that I stayed in bed instead. No shortage of content to write about, just energy - once I sit down in front of the computer and get a good amount of PhD stuff done, I have had enough of the computer screen and don't want to look at it any longer.

I am also still not over the hamstring niggle, but have managed to clock 25:37, 25:34 and 25:32 at the last three parkrun events I have attended (all relatively flat -  Shepparton, Point Cook and Toolern Creek). I'm not feeling fit by any means but am enjoying my consistency over 5k. Although with Puffing Billy in 6 weeks, I am a bit worried about how much I'll be able to push it. I should be able to do better than last year, when my average pace was 6:10/km. The first descent down to the overpass almost makes my hamstring hurt just by thinking about it! Along with pace, my long run has also suffered as a result of the niggle. I struggled through 13k (and 100m elevation) earlier today, but I'm hoping to build on that over the next 5 weekends! 

I'm planning on heading to Pakenham parkrun this weekend - I volunteered there at their Inaugural, but am yet to run the course. It is another flat course, so am hoping to get another mid-25 minute run in - or a little quicker if the hamstring can handle it! 


  1. Hope you're feeling better before Puffing Billy (one of my to-do races, but it clashes with Nail Can). Bob has been having hammy niggles and just posted some exercises he's been told to do. Might be worth a try:

    1. I have slowly been adding more exercises with each trip to the podiatrist - first to strengthen my calves and get my silly supinating feet to toe-off properly (or closer to properly), and now to strengthen my hamstrings and glutes. So I am now performing various exercises that are exactly the same or similar to those described in that link!

      As of today I also have some running drills to help stop overstriding as I seem to do more (minor) damage everytime I pick up the pace. I feel completely awkward while doing them, but the podiatrist says I am doing them properly. Hopefully they'll help me to increase cadence and limit my overstriding.

      It's been a while since I've gone on a run with the Garmin and the footpod, but there's run from September that shows my easy 6:00/km pace has an average stride length just under 1.1m (and cadence of 78-80) but sub 5:00/km pace has barely any change in average cadence (I get up to 81) but my stride length jumps up to almost 1.4m. An increase of over 25% seems like a lot to me!

      While I recognise there are various ways to gain speed (increasing cadence, increasing stride length, or a combination of the two), it appears I tend to increase my stride length but don't have the leg strength to back it up, and thus why I keep making my hamstring worse after faster runs. :(

      Also prescribed today - not pushing too hard for (say) four weeks. Bye-bye pretty Smashrun graph!

  2. Good to have you back blogging :-). I am impressed that you can blog and do a PhD, that is a lot of computer time! I hope the hammie niggle settles quickly! Looking forward to your parkrun reports.

    1. Way too much computer time! I'm barely reading blogs again! Thanks for the hamstring well-wishes, and I look forward to getting my parkrun reports out too - I just added Pakenham parkrun to my backlog!