10 days into 2011 and I’ve ran 230km. Certainly a good start, but a good start doesn’t win the race. I’ve got into a training routine now in Bogotá and it’s working well. As an example, last week was:
- Mon AM: 16km @ 4:45/k
- Mon PM: 10km @ 4:45/k + gym strength session
- Tue: 25km @ 4:35/k + massage
- Wed: 25km /w 6 x 2km off 5mins (6:53/2k avg)
- Thurs: 12km @ 4:50/k
- Fri: 25km @ 4:40/k
- Sat: 16km /w 10 x 200m off 30sec (32sec avg) + gym strength session
- Sun: 30km w/ 18km @ 4:30/k & 14km @ 3:55/k
It all totals 161km = 100 miles and yes I did plan it to be exactly 100 miles. It’s the just the way I am. I find I can’t do a run that has a length of a prime number, particularly 13. Why is this I wonder? I can understand why I’d want to avoid 13, but in general I like my runs to be even number in length or else divisible by 5. Is this normal? I find it very difficult to finish on a fraction – I’ll run around the block if necessary it get in the extra 350 metres. Also, I’m a metric man for all my individual runs, but yet I generally measure my weekly distance in miles. Does this make sense? Guess I measure weekly distance in miles since it’s generally referred to as mileage. Can you give a metric response to a mileage question? Are Garmin GPS watches driving any other runners to this level of insanity? At least we can trust GPS to give relatively accurate results – my 100 mile week is a 100 mile week, no shortcuts. I wonder if all the runners in the 80s were really running the mileage they claim. They probably were as most are obviously hardy, but how could they measure distances? If by car then it is always going to come up short. I know this from measuring the Athlone ¾ Marathon course. For every 10km, the car consistently measured 400m over. My Garmin was very close to the certified Jones Counter measurement method. Small fry I guess when talking about weekly mileage, but not when it comes to measuring a race.
Running pace remains much slower that what I would expect at home, particularly for sessions. It’s certainly the altitude – it feels at least 10% harder. I am adjusting to the altitude as the runs and sessions are not taking as much out of me (unfortunately times not really improving). This must mean my kidneys are doing their job by giving me a natural EPO boost. Oh I hope my body hangs onto the extra blood cells for a while. The half-life of red blood cells is typically 50–55 days, so does that mean I could see benefits for 100 days? I drop from altitude on 20th Jan, so hopefully it will still benefit me for Paris marathon. Time will tell. There is no concrete scientific evidence on the benefits of altitude training, particularly after such a long delay after returns to sea-level. That won’t stop me from carrying out my own little experiment. I’ve been training on my own in Bogotá, but it hasn’t bothered me. It means I’m always training at my pace and I find it helps confidence and motivations levels. Still, I'm looking forward to joining some group sessions again. It will be necessary to get the speed back in the legs ...
It’s been a relatively quite week. We went for a few nice meals out – 80 Sillas (seats), Abasto, & Wok have become our favoured destinations. Wok is ridiculously popular here – the queues are often unbelievable, particularly for the car park. The food is good, but not worth waiting an hour in a car for especially since there are several other excellent restaurants around. Why can’t the people walk a little extra I wonder? Got in a trip to 'The Pub' also - there's an Irish pub in every country. Good atmosphere, but the beer isn't good. The advantage to being at altitude is that you get drunk much quicker than you would at sea level J
We’re still getting in some TV, although it’s primarily movies now. It’s difficult to find a TV show to replace Dexter. It has many faults, particularly in the latter seasons, but it is addictive. I haven’t had that feeling with any other show to date, but to be honest I haven’t tried many. First movie on the agenda was a motivational one - Prefontaine - the story of the US athletic superstar who tragically died before his peak. I believe it's similar to Without Limits, another 'Pre' movie shot at the same time. It's a lower budget equivalent, but is compared favourably by the critics. I haven't seen Without Limits, so I can't judge. All I can say is Prefontaine is a legend and the movie is definitely one to watch, particularly for anyone into any sports. Next up was The Machinist - interesting movie, particularly from the point of view of exploring the limits of the body. Christian Bale really pushed the boundaries in preparing for the role by losing 28kgs. He was a very convincing insomniac. I’m struggling to lose 6 to prepare for the marathon, so that’s puts it in perspective for me! I watched another Bale movie last night – Terminator Salvation. Surprisingly I enjoyed it. It could never have the raw energy of the first edition or match the effects impact of the second, but it’s a good back to basics movie that sets the series up for another classic – copying the Batman franchise I guess. We’ve also watched some recent releases (don’t ask how). True Grit is the Cohen brothers’ latest and is not to be missed – definitively some Oscar potential. Black Swan is similar to The Machinist in terms of it being a difficult watch and head wrecking at times, but it’s certainly a quality show - one for those into psychological thrillers. 127 Hours is a movie for adventure goers. It’s the true story of a guy who gets his arm trapped under a boulder while canyoneering. It was particularly appealing to me as it was shot in an area I’m familiar with from my Eco Primal Quest Utah experience. I’d recommend it.
The last move watched was Machete. I’m not sure what to say about it – close to being a classic, but in reality it’s a missed opportunity. You’ll enjoy the ride if you leave your brain at home and go into it thinking violent comedy. It just tries too hard. The plot essentially revolves around violence and titty. Guess what the crescendo is? Both violence and titty – amazing concept! It’s got it all – leather clad one eye bandit women, nurses, big guns, pumped up cars and of course machetes. You’re watching the movie and thinking I haven’t seen any naked women in a while and lo&behold one shows up out of nowhere – amazing work from the director Rodriguez J It could have been a classic violent comedy for big boys, but the plot just goes into the complete ridiculous far too open particularly at the end. At least it doesn't take itself seriously - it's already a spoof, so no need for a scary movie equivalent. The casting is excellent. Who knows, it may revitalise a few careers (e.g. Steven Segal, Don Johnson) and it’s certainly set up for a sequel.
This is our last week in Bogotá. Off to pastures new. Will make training a little more difficult, but I’m due a rest week so it could tie in nicely. Don’t know exactly where we’re going yet, but I’ll let you know next week ...