Two Fruits

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Week 20 - Good Consistency

Running: Year to date

Distance: 1,463.9 kms in 20 weeks at ave  73.2 kms ( up from 71.8 kms at week 19)

Last week:  100.35 kms

Altitude:  47,925 metres in 20 weeks at ave  2,396 metres ( up from 2,322 metres at week 19)

Last week:  3,813 metres

A really good week of consistent running/fast walking starting last Sunday with my first 6 hour Rogaine.
Three of us called Team Hickory entered although I was the only one with no experience. Both other team members did have some orienteering knowledge. My contribution was I could read a map and knew the sun should be in the north. We had a good day finishing 9th overall, 2nd in our veteran's age group, covering 33.8 kms with 840 metres of climbing through some suburban streets and open bush.
During the week, I managed two nice runs over "not been there before" mountains. Good to find new places. Both had scenic views through open cloudy skies.
To cap off a 7 day running week, I did my local hill, twice up Goat Hill. Lucky to get this done early morning as the rain started mid afternoon as it would have been cold with the southerly wind blowing.
So consistency was the key to the week. Run every day, although some were really easy, recovery type runs where I walk up some up the slopes, certainly not pushing the pace.
The aim is to get 50k metres in vert by end of this month, so that's now achievable. That will allow a slow down over the winter months & still get to 100k metres be year's end.
All good at the moment waiting for the first snow falls on the higher parts of the local mountains. A run or two in the powder snow will be nice before heading north to escape the winter cold.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Week 19 - Highs & Lows

Running:  Year to Date

Distance:  1,363.55 kms in 19 weeks at ave  71.8 kms ( down from 73.85 kms in week 17)

Last 2 weeks:  108.1 kms

Altitude:  44,112 metres in 19 weeks at ave  2,322 metres ( down from 2,425 metres in week 17)

Last 2 weeks:  2,883 metres

The last two weeks was highlighted by a trip to the southern most point of Tasmania. This is where there is nothing but cold ocean water between you and Antarctica.
I had entered the marathon being conducted by the Compass Club. Their intention is to conduct a marathon run at each compass point plus in the centre of Australia. This was the first one.
However, the fickle Tasmanian weather was unkind. The previous days were Ok, for this time of year. But the late afternoon & night before, the heavens opened up with plenty of rain & big winds. Being in a very remote area, no phone reception, isolated trails & little hope for a quick rescue in need, the RD's made the decision to reduce the marathon to a half.
We were to still cover much of the same area, getting into the remote wilderness & still witnessing the rough sees of the Southern Ocean.
I was never going to trouble the leaders, so I took my time to enjoy the run. Took the camera & snapped plenty of pictures. I did have a good run taking just under 2 and half hours for the 21 kms. This may not look too fast but some of the pictures will show it was slow going as well as stopping for the photo opps.

With the tapering before, some running but expecting to be challenged by a full marathon, both distance & altitude for the past two weeks have gone backwards. However, not having to recover from a full marathon means post race was running was easy.
This weekend I'm attempting my first 6 hour rogaine. No idea of what to expect except find control points marked on a map. I'll just follow the team captain.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Week 17 - Maintaining Averages

Running:  Year to Date

Distance:  1,255.45 kms in 17 weeks at ave 73.85 kms ( up from 73.6 kms in week 15)

Last 2 weeks:  150.5 kms

Altitude:  41,229 metres in 17 weeks at ave  2,425 metres ( down from 2,456 metres in week 15)

Last 2 weeks:  4,883 metres

The further the year progresses, the harder it is to move the averages. Seemed like I was having a good couple of weeks, but I did have a week on holiday when there was no serious running done.
Just a few days when the chance arose, to get a few kms done.
I have two events coming up soon. First is the Compass Club South marathon starting at Cockle Creek in southern Tasmania. This will be the most southern marathon in Australia as it takes in the South Coast Walking track on the very edge of the state. Chances are the weather will be unkind as much as the RD is emailing to say weather conditions will be Ok. Most likely, if no rain, there will be a cool southerly or westerly wind blowing. Whatever the conditions, it will be a fun day. Not taking the run/result seriously as I will carry the camera to take plenty of photos.
A week later, I will be teaming up to participate in a 6 hour Rogaine. Never done one of these or orienteering, so a new experience. It's not meant to be too difficult, suburban bush conditions, I'm told. Again, I just follow the leader & see what happens.
After that, I'll concentrate on getting to 50,000 metres by end of May ( 5 months). The vertical challenge to get to 100,000 metres by year's end will have to take a back seat as I hope to escape the winter weather in Tasmania & head north to the warmth & sunshine for a few months.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Week 15 - Chasing Vert

Running:  Year to date

Distance:  1,104.95 kms in 15 weeks at ave  73.6 kms ( down from 74.2 kms in week 14)

Last week: 66.5 kms

Altitude:  36,846 metres in 15 weeks at ave  2,456 metres ( down from 2,458 metres in week 14)

Last week:  2,434 metres

Following Neverest completion last weekend plus the other hilly races recently, it was time to get some recovery done.
A couple of rest days helped. Last Sunday it rained all day, so a good excuse to do nothing. Then on Tuesday, another wet day allowed a trip to far southern Tasmania to check out parts of the course for the upcoming Compass Club south marathon.
We drove down to Cockle Creek, had a chat to the volunteer in the Visitor's Centre & found the start line and generally checked out the track conditions. In the wet, dirt road surface was a little slippery, some pot holes but should be great in the dry.
The week's total near average given 5 running days. Happy to consolidate on my current level of fitness until the marathon in early May. Not going to ramp up or taper much, after all it's only 42 kms on a basically flat course with a couple of small hills.
The seasons have changed now, the cooler autumn weather means not worrying so much about fluid intake on the long training. However, with next to n o rain during summer, the creeks on the mountains are dry, so refilling on the trail is not possible.
The title to this post. I'm chasing 50,000 metres by end of May ( 5 months). No worries about exceeding this challenge.
Otherwise, all going well. Hope it stays this way.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Week 14 - Hilly Races

Running:  Year to date

Distance: 1,038.45 kms in 14 weeks at ave 74.2 kms ( down from 79.4 in week 10 )

Last 4 weeks:  244.6 kms

Altitude:  34,412 metres in 14 weeks at ave 2,458 metres ( up from 2,380 metres in week 10)

Last 4 weeks:  10,615 metres

Much has happened since I last report after the Convicts & Wenches 50 km run. That event was most on beach sand, so flat with a bit of vertical as the trail passed over a headland joining 2 beaches.
After that, I headed to Victoria to run the Razerback 64 km over the mountain peaks of Mt Feathertop & Mt Hotham. This was mostly rough technical single track both climbing & descending with a section of open exposed high plateau as we headed to the famous, in Australia, Pole 333.
This landmark is associated with several high profile mountain running events & it was such a delight to be able to touch & get a picture of it.
The Razerback run had 3400 metres of vert in the 64 kms which I covered in a few seconds under 12 hours. A big day out, so enjoyable. Lucky to have had the company all day of my running friend, Mandy who kept me going & focused.
We then had a quiet couple of weeks with some running mostly on flat sandy trails as the recovery took a few more days than expected. Quads quite tender for a while.
Last weekend, the annual Neverest Challenge was held in Canberra. There are also events in Sydney & Melbourne where the aim is to raise funds for the rebuilding & education of kids in Nepal after the earthquake a couple of years ago. It's not a race, but a challenge to get as close as you can, either solo or teams, to the height of Mt Everest ( 8828 metres).
I started on Friday night with the other solo runners in Canberra and did 6 laps of Mt Ainslie ( 12 kms & 880 metres of vert). A sleep overnight then back to the start line for a full day of 25 laps ( 50 kms  & 3660 metres) to make a solid result for my Canberra section.
Back in Tasmania, a week to get prepared for another effort at hill repeats and to add to my Neverest Challenge totals. Lingering fatigue stopped me today at 28.65 kms & 1,860 metres of vert).
However, very happy to have made it well up the mountain with no injuries, just tired.
A few pics from recent events

Top photo is Mt Feathertop, 2nd highest mountain in Victoria, 2nd photo, an overnight & safety hut more likely used during the winter snow season, 3rd photo is the famous Pole 333 in the middle of nowhere, 4th photo is of chair lifts at Mt Hotham, 5th photo is taken from top of Mt Ainslie in Canberra just before sunset before the start of Neverest Challenge, and last photo is where I did my Hobart, Tas section on the grass of a Frisbee golf course.
Wonderful scenery at all of these places. So lucky to have a passion of climbing hills well away from the crowds. A short rest now before I do the Compass Club South marathon ( off road) at the most southern end of Tasmania in early May.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Convicts & Wenches 50 km at Greens Beach, Tas

Running:  First Race of the Year

Distance as Advertised:   50 kms

Distance I ran:   51.75 kms

Time:  6 hrs 23 mins 12 secs

Rate:  7' 24" per km

Altitude:  618 metres

Surface:  50% trail,  50% beach sand

This race will rate in the top 3 of all time as far as location, scenery, great organisation, friendly volunteers & other competitors.
I still can't believe how good this day was. Located near the mouth of the Tamar River in northern Tasmania, it has no road except for the first 30 metres. The rest is all single walking track or beach sand with a small section of around 100 metres of jumping over a few rocks to get to the beach.
There were two beaches to run along on the 25 kms out & the same on the return.
In between, a climb, not difficult, over Badger Head but this is where the views are at their best.
With the tide going out to reveal nice hard sand, very flat so no waves to surf.
Although not a big field in the 50 km, the other associated events attracted good numbers so the RD's would have been very happy.
Perfect weather, sunny, mild temp, 20 degrees top in the afternoon, no wind, low humidity making great running conditions.
I absolutely loved this event, my kind of running with no pressure anymore to get good results. Finished near 2 hours behind the young gun winner, although I doubt he stopped as many times as I did to take many photos.
Here are a few I took during the run. I don't think they do justice to how beautiful this area to run really is.

Race day & race time are chosen to have an out tide as shown in the bottom photo. Big distance between runners, there is no rule as to the exact path you have to run on the beach.
Conclusion, one of the best & scenic events I have ever done outside of some high mountain races which are still my favourite. Do this one again ? You bet, can't wait until Sunday 22nd April next year.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Week 8 - Getting Figures back in Sync

Running: Year to Date

Distance:  656.4 kms in 8 weeks at ave  82.05 kms ( down from 88.6 kms in week 7)

Last week:  35.9 kms

Altitude:  20,791 metres in 8 weeks at ave  2,599 metres ( down from 2,861 metres in week 7)

Last week:  765 metres

Last report I included Sunday in the week's results in error. The end of a week ( 7 days ) this year is on a Saturday.
This week anyway is the start of a rest/tapering week as I have Convicts & Wenches 50 km in northern Tasmania next weekend.
The event I'm in is mostly beach sand running, hoping the tide will be out, with a little trail to get around a headland.
Biggest factor will be the wind if it blows. Most likely to be a north westerly off the sea. That would mean a head wind going out & hopefully some assistance on the return. Here is a photo from the event website,
looks good. That sand may be a leg killer.