Columbia Trail Masters 25k

July 8, 2014 at 11:48 am | Posted in Running | Leave a comment
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Last Sunday 6th July was the seventh round of the Columbia Trail Masters event. This time it was held in Kaengkrachan, Petchaburi, Thailand, at the Kaengkrachan Resort and Country Club, which is about 2 hours from Bangkok.

There were eight people in our group, four took part in the 25km course, including myself, three entered the 10km race and my wife acted as team manager and photographer. We all drove down the day before the race and stayed at a nearby resort so that we could pickup our bibs and timing chips.

Bib collection was a bit of a hassle, because everyone, regardless of whether they had already paid or not, had to queue for the cashier before we could collect our timing chip and t-shirt. It wasn’t made clear why we had to do this which was a bit frustrating.

There a few stalls selling discounted Columbia gear and other brand I wasn’t familiar with. My wife bought some pretty cool shoes and I picked up a light jacket.

After all that we went back to our resort to get some food and rest because we had to be up by about 5am so that we could be ready for a 6:40 race start.

Getting to the race the next day wasn’t an issue and we were in time for the pre-race briefing which was really useful as they explained the different trail markings (though it didn’t prevent a few people from taking a wrong turn early in the race).

We set off later than planned at about 7am. The early part of the course was gently undulating on a gradual decent, so I was able to maintain a steady effort up to the second water station at the 10km mark. The course was mostly open to the sky with very little tree cover and the heat picked up very quickly. I tried to stay hydrated and fueled, and started to take frequent walking breaks, which helped for the next 10km until the fourth water station.

Up to that point I was OK. I had spent almost three hours in the sun, but I felt fine. I had a good hat and sunglasses to protect me from the sun. I kept hydrated, so I wasn’t thirsty. However, the heat and the climb would get the better of me in the final 5km.

The last 5km were a series of ascents with a final descent into the resort, mostly without any tree cover. After the first long climb, I was completely zapped of all my energy, my right quad started cramping just above the knee and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest at the slightest bit of physical exertion.

It was slow going to say the least and I did my best to stay on my feet and keep moving. Eventually, I took a short break under a tree 500m from the finish line before I made the final push.

Next time I’m faced with conditions like that I should really think about a cooling strategy as simply staying hydrated and wearing a hat just didn’t cut it.

Distance: 25km
Total time: 3h44m

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Final Race Preparation

June 28, 2014 at 10:33 pm | Posted in Running | Leave a comment
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I have a trail race coming up next weekend and I’ve been trying to put together some last minute preparation based on the experience I gained during my last race in February.

Last time I definitely didn’t have enough water. I relied on the aid stations but it wasn’t enough and I felt awful after about 2 hours in the baking sun and by the race end I had spent nearly 4 hours on the course. So, I bought a hydration vest with 1.5 liter (50 oz) capacity. It’s got lots of little pouches and pockets to keep stuff like a mobile phone, nutrition and sunglasses. I also bought a good hat and some food. The food isn’t anything special, just some sugary, chewy sweets.

I went out today to test everything on a 13km trail which is about 2 hours from my house and near Pattaya. The hydration vest fit perfectly and I didn’t notice it during the run. There was no chafing or bouncing whatsoever. Having food and water available during the run was great and I felt strong all the way to the end of the trail, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time and it is a confidence boost going into the race.

I have added a link to my Garmin data:
Garmin Connect

Shin Splints

June 15, 2014 at 11:34 am | Posted in Running | Leave a comment
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So I have come to the conclusion that the soreness in my right shin is a result of new shoes and adjusting my stride to compensate for a hamstring strain in my right leg.

Now that the hamstring strain has almost completely gone I am making a conscious effort to correct my stride. It’s difficult. I went for a 7km run this morning and I was constantly making corrections all the way through, but I noticed a big difference. The run was almost pain free with just a few niggles.

I hope to regain my muscle memory over the coming weeks before the big race early in July.

Objectives for June – follow up

June 14, 2014 at 7:35 pm | Posted in Running | Leave a comment
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Well, the good news is up until now I’ve been on track to reach 120km by the end of June. The bad news is I’m feeling the early onset of shin splints, which I suspect is due to my new shoes. Damn. There goes my objective to stay injury free.

My old shoes, Nike Lunarfly 4, have done 700km so far and are getting pretty beat up, so I bought a new pair of Nike Air Pegasus. They feel great, but I think they have slightly altered the positioning of my feet, because my shins are feeling sore. I might have to switch back and forth between shoes and transition into the new ones.

Objectives for June

June 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Running | Leave a comment
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1. Stay injury free
2. Run 120km (75mi) total
3. Get at least two more trail runs in before the race on July 7

What happened to May?

June 2, 2014 at 8:53 am | Posted in Running | Leave a comment
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I haven’t been very consistent recently and as a consequence my training volume has dipped a lot. May has been my lowest month since about October last year which was just after I started running.

It’s partly down to all the business trips I’ve been on and partly to a niggling hamstring injury that I picked up during a trail run where I pushed myself a bit too hard and my form was all over the place.

Anyway, I’m back and I’ve just come off a weekend full of running. I did a trail run on Saturday, which was about 14km long and pretty challenging, and a 5km run in my local park which was shut down for several months up until recently.

Oh, and I have a trail race that I have to get ready for in about a month. I shall have to keep myself from pushing too hard during training trying to catch up on lost miles.

Bomb proof packaging

May 10, 2014 at 10:16 pm | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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I just bought a pair of headphones so that I could listen to some music on my iPhone during the flight to France. Unfortunately, it is impossible to get into the packaging without something sharp. Of course I’ve already gone through security so there is no chance in hell of finding something suitable to open this bloody thing.

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To France (not again)

May 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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I am being sent on another business trip. This will be my fourth trip within the space of 10 months. This time to France where I’ll go to the company headquarters and meet with other people in my world wide network. It will be a week long trip with a lot of meetings.

To be honest, I don’t really want to go. The novelty of business travel has finally worn off. The thought of living out of a suitcase and eating hotel food just wears me out.

On the upside, I get the chance to buy things that are not available in Thailand or things for a lot cheaper.

Australia

May 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Posted in Blog | Leave a comment
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One of my goals in my five-year plan is to move to Australia with my wife. At the time of committing to it, I thought it was a lofty goal, but here I am today and I’m about to submit the final bits of documentation immigration needs to make a decision. The hard part is over.

I should know the result within the year. Fingers crossed.

Columbia Trail Masters

May 2, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Posted in Running | Leave a comment
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Another trail race has been added to the calendar, this one sponsored by Columbia. The race will be held in Petchaburi province this July. The schedule for this race is a bit of a surprise as Columbia held an event only last January. They will have 10km, 25km and 50km distances and the elevation profiles look challenging.

I ran TNF100 25km course last February and I really enjoyed the experience despite it being the most physically challenging race I’ve participated in. I think I’ve just about recovered enough to consider training for this event and the experience I gain from the race should help me prepare better.

This time I should have some company. Some of my wife’s colleagues are interested and one has signed up for the 25km loop.

Anyway, I’ve got a trail run lined up tomorrow morning and I’ve got to get my beauty sleep.

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