Tag Archives: Stanchart

2011 Stanchart Nairobi Race Report

“Even when you have gone as far as you can, and everything hurts, and you are staring at the specter of self-doubt, you can find a bit more strength deep inside you, if you look closely enough.” – Hal Higdon

Another year and another StanChart Nairobi marathon gone! I arrived at 2011 Nairobi marathon with a goal of running a sub 3 hours marathon. I had previously done two sub 3 hours marathon, in 2008 (2.52) and 2009 (2.56) but in 2010 I had a real back sliding, and finished in 3.23. A very poor performance by my high standards. This year was all about getting my pride back.

The eve of the marathon was perfect. No anxiety, plenty of rest, plenty of food, plenty of hydration. I woke up at 5.00 am, took a very hot shower just to warm up my body. I made sure the hot water ran down the key running muscles: the hip and the calf. The hotel breakfast starts at 7.00am so I had made my own arrangements. My pre race breakfast consisted of half a litre yogurt and six slices of bread.

With roads closed, the only way to get to the starting line was by walking. Every one was walking from Nairobi City center to the start at Nyayo National Stadium. I think Nyayo stadium is almost 1.5Kms from Nairobi City center and that walk alone is enough warm up!

The full marathon started at exactly 7.00am. My routine is to avoid the crowd in front and start from behind. I started well and when I got to the 9 Km mark I started feeling my body was not responding well. I was pushing but I was lacking the endurance to maintain apace of 4 mins per Km. Thoughts of my body may have peaked and I might never run faster again started crossing my mind.

The White Knights

At 11Km mark a man and woman team caught up with me. They seemed to be working together and they looked good at what they were doing. The guy was pacing the lady. I asked the guy what was their target and he told me, sub 3 hours. I couldn’t believe my luck! My job now was to stick with them.

I stuck with my White Knights, shadowing their every move. We crossed the 15 Kms mark at exactly 1 hour. If I maintained that pace I knew I would be on target. Nairobi marathon is a real budget race, the runners are only given water. I was drinking water at every water station. As the day got older, the sun came out and the temperatures started creeping up. I started taking an extra bottle of water and poured water on my body to cool off.

At the 25 Km, my white knights started pulling back and I raced in front. I thought I was leaving them behind only for them to catch up with me at around 28 Kms mark. We crossed the 30 Kms mark at 2 hours 8 mins. It was clear to me if I was to hit my target of sub 3 hours I would need to do something special in the final 12 Kms.

I Hit The Wall

At the 35 Km mark, my white knights took their team effort to the next level. The lady asked the guy to hold his hand and they sprinted off. I tried to chase them but my body refused. I couldn’t flip my legs faster, I had peaked. I was still running but I was not racing. ( I caught up with my white knights after the race and they informed me they crossed the finish line at 2.59)

When I saw a sign showing 3 Kms to the finish line I looked at my watch: 2.50. There was no way I could do the last 3 Kms in 10 mins. My new target now was under 3.05. To cut a long race short, I did the final 1 Km in 5 mins and finished 2011 Stanchart Nairobi marathon in 3 hours 6 minutes. Very Satisfying!

I never hit my target but some how I was very satisfied with my performance. I live to fight another day. You win some, you lose some. That’s life!

 

 

Stanchart Nairobi Marathon 2011 Training Week 6

“Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath”

After six weeks of mild training am now moving to the next stage of training. As part of my preparation for 2011 Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon, I have been doing slow weekly runs, once in a while I would do intense work outs and once in a week I did a long run at a slow pace.

The purpose of the slow run was to strengthen my legs without risking any serious injury. I now feel this has been achieved and the body is prepared to cope with intense work outs for the next three weeks.

Intense work outs and running faster

The intense work outs are speed works around a track plus a long run at a high pace. I also plan to include some serious hill running. The theory behind this high intensity work out is, in order to get stronger, the body needs to be challenged at a level above it’s ability. It works in muscle building whereby, to develop bigger and stronger muscle, the athlete needs to keep lifting heavier and heavier weights.

No Pain No gain

The next stage will involve some level of pain because I will be pushing my body beyond its’ limits and this will call for great mental strength. My mental trick is to see it all as necessary and not a bad thing. If you associate the intense running as a bad thing that is when you will feel the real pain. But if you see it all as a necessary evil you willl endure.

Upwards and forward!

2010 Dubai Marathon Results : Haile Gebrselassie Dubai Marathon

The 2010 Stanchart Dubai marathon was beamed live on Satellite TV and I woke early morning to watch Haile Gebrselassie make another history by breaking his own marathon record.

It wasn’t to be

His highness Haile Gebrselassie came first at 2010 Stanchart Dubai Marathon. His winning time was 2hr 6min 9sec, just over two minutes outside his best. At 36 I think that is impressive time.

The Mystery of a Stiff Back!!

Believe it or not according to news coming from Dubai: Haile Gebrselassie woke up with a stiff back and had to be given intensive physiotherapy hours before the race. He fell asleep while watching television and woke up with a stiff back!!!!

The man was lucky he even managed to sleep on the night before the race, personally I never sleep before a marathon race.

Gebrselassie took the fatty $250,000 first prize (missing the $i Million bonus for breaking the record) ahead of Kenya’s Chala Dechase Beyene, and his Ethiopian compatriot Eshetu Wendimu Tisge finished third.

Mamitu Daska Molisa made it an Ethiopian cleansweep of titles as she won the women’s race in 2hr 24min 18sec, eight seconds ahead of Aberu Kebede Shewaye.

Stanchart Nairobi Marathon : Training Week 16

The last two weeks have been frustrating, a nagging achilles tendonitis had refused to heal.

It started as a small pain, I swiftly applied heat but it got bad then I tried an anti-inflammation cream, after one week the Achilles got worse, I was limping! I stopped the medication and tried Ice, although I knew I might be late, most experts think it is useless to use ice after 48 hours.

But the ice seemed to work because the pain started to go away. After two weeks of no running I got back to my love. Last week I did three days of running. On Wednesday, a 5 k run around a grass track, followed the next day by a 2K trail run inside a private ranch. I had hoped running on those soft surfaces would give me a soft landing but I was wrong. After the trail run I felt a bad reaction, my Achilles felt painful. I took a pain killer and took two days rest.

On Sunday everything felt fine, so I did a 16 K run on road. I ran most of the distance comfortably but I could feel a slight pain near the end. I finished the run without any serious reaction and am confident but hopeful the injury is behind me.

Stanchart Nairobi Marathon Training Week 9

After two months of training for 2009 stanchart marathon am feeling good. The last two Sundays I have run two 28K long runs, the first one turned horrible when I suffered a blurred vision near the end. Yesterday I had a strong 28K, I finished the run feeling strong.

Long run marathon training to build fitness.

Until now my training was focused on building physical and cardiovascular fitness by running a long run once per week at a slow pace. Mission accomplished!

Shifting to speed.

My goal this year is to finish the 2009 Stanchart marathon on a New PB of 2.44. I want to now start focusing my marathon training on speed work.

I am now increasing the number of training days by two days. I will be doing two midweek speed works, on Wednesday and Friday.

The speed work will be around a running track. 10 repeats of 2 x 1. That is two fast paced laps followed by a slow recovery run.The follow this with a Sunday long run.

To run like Kenyan runners you have to train like them.

The long run will no longer be a slow paced run, I plan to step up my game by increasing the pace to near my race pace. Kenyan runners are great runners because they do their long run at a race pace.

Staying Injury during training.

My biggest achievement so far has been able to stay injury free. I believe am benefiting from three years of consistent marathon training. When you run consistently over the years all that pounding tends to make your leg, ankle & heel muscles and bones strong.

I hope I can keep it going.

My Saucony Hurricane Running Shoe : Marathon Training Shoe

Saucony running shoes are not as common as Nike running shoes. But after I have repeatedly seen Saucony shoe adverts on Runners world magazine and I have decided to give the shoes a try.(who said advertising doesn’t work?)

I intend to use them in my training for 2009 Stanchart Nairobi marathon.

Saucony Hurricane Running shoeAlthough the sole looked more like that of a trail running shoe I just thought the shoe would be great for tarmac running. According to the manufacturer, the the outsole features XT900 rubber compound in the heel. I dont know what that means but I hope it makes running softer and easier.

Blurred Vision While Running : Sarkozy Collapses Jogging

Am in my 8th week of training for 2009 Stanchart Nairobi Marathon. I had horrible experience yesterday during my weekend long run. I suffered a blurred vision while running, something that I have never experienced in my 3 years of marathon running.

The distance for the long run was 28 Ks and the blurred vision struck at around 22 K. I couldnt see properly beyond 20 metres, reading road signs and billboard advertisement 20 – 30 metres away was a problem. The only thing that kept me going was that I could see colours of cars coming my direction.

I suspected something was wrong at 20K mark when I touched my face and it felt dry and full of white particles. That was a sign of dehydration! A normal runner should be sweating water.

When the blurred vision struck I thought of stopping but with 5K to go I just kept running. The angel in my head was telling me stop but the demon in my heart was telling me keep going, what the hell the finish line is near. My body was feeling good, the leg muscles were fine. I jogged to the end.

When I got back to the house I drunk fluids, water and orange juice. Licked salt pallets. These made me feel 10% better. I rested for two hours and woke up feeling a headache. I tried to eat and found myself eating uncontrollably. It was after stuffing myself with food that I started feeling good again.

Sarkozy wasn’t so lucky

When I sat down to watch the evening news I heard French president Nikolas Sarkozy had collapsed while out jogging. That is when I realised how lucky I was.

I have been checking for information about what happened and I can confirm the blurred vision was a case of dehydration. I had not hydrated properly before the run and the weather was sunny and hot.I  was also wearing new Saucony running shoes and these gave me an incentive to run at a fast pace.

Dehydration increases the risk of heart attack because it increases heart rate. When you are dehydrated your blood thickens and the heart has to beat faster and harder to pump the blood. Blurred vision occurs when you reach heart beats of between 140 – 157 per minute.