Noosa half marathon

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The last two weeks before the race were rubbish. I hurt my quadriceps muscles (that’s the front of the thigh). I think I ran too fast downhill and my legs weren’t used to that kind of stress. Anywho there was one day I was in so much pain I couldn’t fall asleep and had to take some painkillers (paracetamol – the label said it’s good for muscle pain). After that incident I took training way easier.

I started to cycle (I’m terrible at that) and swim. OK, I went to a pool once. And I was terrible at swimming too. I turns out that there’s a bit of technique involved in swimming. You use your hands for 3 strokes and then breathe, repeat. Also there are several strokes to use e.g. butterfly, freestyle, back crawl. I’ll get better, I hope.
I sent a bunch of couchsurfing requests into the Sunshine Coast area and was lucky to find a host. I knew that I’d rather be a bit social than spend the day alone in a hotel/hostel thinking and worrying about my run the day before the race.

I made some chocolate chip cookies for my host, bought two GU energy gels for the race and drove to Noosa to pick up my racing pack. Later I met my CS host Brock and his family. I was positively surprised by the two Swedish girls who were also guests at Brock’s place. The more the merrier…

OK race day. I drove to Noosa and parked about 3 km away from the start line. This was good because I wanted to jog a bit for my warm-up. My leg was slightly hurting and I was pondering whether I should not run at all. Since the route was very flat I decided to give it a go.

I was happy there was no long piss-line. Soon after my bladder was emptied I was standing in the crowd of runners before the start line.

My goal was the same as in my previous Twilight half marathon – to run a sub 100 minute race. 30 seconds of silence for Boston and a bit later the race started. I went a bit slower this time.

The weather was perfect and running felt quite good. My first lap was quite easy – 47 minutes and I felt good because I was on pace to finish in less than 100 minutes. I planned to  go all out in the last 5 km of the second lap but I just didn’t have the energy. Instead of speeding up I actually slowed down and people started to pass me. It took me about 49 minutes for the second lap.

I finished my first half marathon in 1:36:36 and I’m very happy with my result. After the race I thought that normally I do yoga after running so I should do it this time too.  Sure it was a bit strange to do yoga in public but hey, it’s part of my running ritual. It was a bit funny but other runners around me started to stretch and do pigeon and similar poses as well.

From now on I will work on my endurance and speed. I might run another half marathon in 5 weeks and try finishing in less than 90 minutes. I think it’s a realistic goal.

Ivar

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Not an average Joe

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Last Monday I went to Joe Satriani’s Masterclass Clinic (similar to a concert event but with a focus on teaching). He’s one of the world’s best guitar players and teachers. For example he taught Kirk Hammett (from Metallica) to play guitar.

It was a really cool event. I enjoyed listening to him play and thought that I needed to practice way more if I wanted to play anything like him. His song “Always with me, always with you”  gave me goosebumps. It’s a powerful song!

The highlight of the event was when everybody got a chance to meet Joe and get his autograph. I had Jane (my guitar) with me and got my cherished John Hancock. Now my guitar is worth millions 😀 I’m rich!

With Satriani

I remember my guitar teacher Erik once told me that he’d wish to get Satriani’s autograph on his guitar. Now I feel like I’ve got a very special instrument at home. I’m almost afraid to play it.

OK. New Zealand. I still don’t know what the deal was with my chest X-ray. I picked up two envelopes. One of them was sealed, I guess they don’t want the applicants to be able to tamper with the results. So I don’t know what the doc wrote about my lungs. The other envelope had the X-ray pictures but since I’m no doctor I wasn’t able to see any abnormalities. Anywho…  I just put the envelopes into another envelope and happily mailed it to the embassy in Sydney. Now all what’s left to do is wait for a decision about my visa application.

Today is also my first day living in solitude – both of my roommates moved out. OK, Benn moved out only temporarily. I was heart-broken when I discovered he took his juicer with him. What a dick move! Why didn’t he discuss that issue with me? Maybe I wasn’t OK with him taking it… We just never talk anymore…

Am I going to die?

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What’s the point of scheduling an appointment if nobody cares about it? My chest X-ray was supposed to be at 2 PM. I arrived 15 minutes earlier, waited in line for 20 minutes to get to the receptionist and then had to wait another 30 minutes to get to the “radiology” room. Welcome to Australia!

The real kicker was this: after taking the X-ray the radiologist told me that he needed to do a second X-ray. I told myself “no reason to panic, I probably moved when the picture was taken or something”. Before the second attempt I was asked whether I’ve had chest pains. Not to my knowledge. And that was it, no further comment about my lungs. Am I fine? What was wrong with the picture? Am I going to die? Great things to ponder about for the next couple of days…

Another retarded thing is that I need to come back to the clinic in 2 business days to pick up the X-ray paperwork and mail it to Sydney. Why can’t the people at the clinic mail it themselves? It’s just stupid.

I hope all this trouble is worth it,
Ivar

PS: It’s not my X-ray in the picture.

3:07

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I took a blank sheet of paper and wrote in big red digits (and a letter) 3:07 M and put it on my wall. That’s my goal for a marathon (27th July 2013). The reason it’s 3:07 is because my aunt ran a marathon in 3h 8m. I must run a faster time! Never mind that she’s a former Olympic athlete. My 7 months of training will be more than enough to beat her time 😀 (I just finished my 3rd training month, celebration time?).

Since I need to move my behind a bit faster I decided to add some speedwork to my training sessions. I did some research and introduced fartlek to my 10 and 8K runs. It’s actually something Emily told me about. She said that I should sprint from a streetlight to another one, then recover until the next streetlight and start sprinting after it. Repeat until you’re at home. It’s a good way to learn to run faster.

I really liked my first fartlek session. It was a very creative run, time just passed by. I created several triggers for sprints. For example each time I stepped on a brick I would sprint, a dog barking at me also meant to run faster, reaching a roundabout meant running as fast as possible until the next roundabout.

Every time I was in a park I ran as if dropbears were chasing me until I was out of the park. It was interesting. The last 5 runs resulted in 4 personal best times. Clearly this technique works… or maybe I’m just super awesome. Yeah, that’s probably it! 😀

Dropbears

Since my workday has very early starts (4AM) I need to go running even earlier. During my last 10K run I saw a man in the distance. It was around 2:15 AM and he said “hello”. Then he asked me where I was running. I said “home” and then as I got closer I saw that he was a policeman. I knew I was running a good time and as I got next to him I said really quickly: “10K run, doing a personal best”… and I waived and off I was. I completely blew him off. 😀 He just stared and thought I was a weirdo. 😀 (PS: My time was 43m40s, not exactly superfast, yet!).

Today was my first run in my new compression calf sleeves. Those bad boys are really tight. I hope, I’m sorry, I know, they will be my ticket to a future Olympic gold. 😀 I also noticed that my thighs felt very much left out. They wanted some love too… I guess I know what’s next on my shopping list.

Allrighty, slight change of topic. Yesterday, I applied for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa and tomorrow I will need to get a chest X-ray to prove that I don’t have any deadly contagious diseases.  All this will cost me about AUD 230.

It’s a bit sad to think about it but it seems that I’ll be staying in Australia only until December. Maybe it’s for the best. You know what? I don’t even want to think about it. Not yet. I will focus on making the most of my last 8 months here.

Ivar