Two Fruits

Monday, December 31, 2007

Today,This Month,This Year,and 10 years

Calwell oval: 25 laps in lane 3 plus warm up and cool down
Distance: 25 laps = 10.75 km
Time: 42' 46"
Rate" 3' 58" per km
Total distance: 12.8 km in 51' 40" at 4' 02" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 27 degrees, humidity 25%, calm
Week: 25.8 km
December: 506.65 km in 27/31 days = 18.76 km per run day
Year: 4524.9 km in 248/365 days = 18 .24 km per run day
Last 10 years:
Distance: 36086 km
Running days 2161 out of 3652 days
Ave km: 16.7 km per run day
Ave km: 9.88 km per day
Ave km: 69.4 km per week
Ave km: 300.7 km per month
You can read into figures anything you want, did I do enough, have I bludged or just ran and ran, up and down, round and round.
First, great day at the oval. Ground conditions are excellent, ran bare foot and changed direction after each 10 laps to prevent repetition injury. Best running on the oval this summer, slowly improving. Had a chat to Softshoeshuffle near end of session, has a hamstring injury, very annoying as he was looking to SFT in March.
Biggest December and biggest year of running ever, trying to set up an important year as I have outlined previously. Get the base, work on speed and hills, cross training and rest and recovery, no injuries and it should all come together starting with SFT.
Year 2008 will probably be the last with such a big program, getting too old to keep going at this pace. After this, I will be very selective and try a few new runs that don't involve too much hard effort. But that won't be 10 km fun runs on the road.
Happy New Year everyone, may your running year be good and injury free, any the hills not too steep.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Nearly there

Distance: 13.0 km
Time: 67' 19"
Rate: 5' 10" per km
Weather: very warm, sunny, temp 31 degrees, humidity 35%, calm
Week: 13.0 km
December: 493.85 km
Year: 4512.1 km

It is nearly the end of the year when all calculations are made to see how much or how little running was done. A bit less yesterday and bit less today, gee it was getting hot, means a short flat run tomorrow to round out the year. That run will probably be down on the oval, early morning I would say.
Today was basically a down to Pine Is, into the water for 10 minutes and back home. Really nice day in the nation's capital, more like the summer we are used to, hot, dry and sunny.
The run felt good, not sure at all after yesterday's average effort. Low humidity and no wind made conditions pleasant in the heat, although I did drink 1.2 litres of water in just over an hour. Must keep up the fluids.
No cricket today, one day Australia will have to play on day 5, boring tennis on ABC, and stuff all on the rest of the TV channels. May go outside and cut down a few dead branches out of the gum tree. Hope there are no koalas up there.
New Year's resolutions, yep, got a few of those. One, ease up on the working and the feet do the work instead.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Touched the Trig.... Kicked a Rock... down

Distance: 25.3 km
Time: 2 hrs 46 mins 44 secs
Rate: 6' 35" per km
Weather: sunny, warm, temp 18-27 degrees, humidity 45%, very light NW breeze
Week: 142.8 km
December: 480.85 km
Year: 4499.1 km

Saturday morning Molonglo Reach group run over to Campbell Park, thru the horse stile and following the fence line to the base of Trent's hill. The group continued on towards Ainslie and the 16 km loop usually done. I went up the hill to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Trent on my way to the reservoir above Hackett. Took the shortest way direct to the top of Mt Majura, where the title to this story comes into play. Followed the road around the back to the tower,and up the slight rise to the trig.
Intending not to stop, just touch the trig and continue, I reached out, touched the trig, kicked this big rock next to the post and down I went.
Now, mostly it's best not to fall, if you do fall, make sure no one sees you do something stupid. If that is not possible, make sure the people that see you are amateur radio operators with connections to the rest of Australia. They had been up there making contact with friends in Sydney, down the south coast and out west.
They asked if I was OK, skin off left elbow, and both knees, but the Careflight helicopter was not required. Just annoyed, some water to wash the dirt out of the wounds, a bit of a rest and a chat, and then back down the mountain.
Continued down the zig zag track, back to the reservoir, over the ridge and on to the saddle between Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie. Even prior to the fall, the run had been a struggle, maybe the weather, getting very warm by now, not a lot of shade, or the end of a big week of running. Decided to go the roller coaster back, but took a left turn on to the Ainslie track and over to the Campbell Park offices to inspect the rain damage to the track at the start of out next vet's handicap.
Very washed out and will need to be reassessed before the end of the month. The airport region has had plenty of rain this month, the dams around Mt Ainslie are full and there has been plenty of debris wash down off the mountain. Back to the start, the others had gone, and with LBG closed because of blue, green algae, I went to Pine Is to wash off the sweat, dirt and blood.
Nice day out, pity the run was average, but the sun was out for the second day in a row. Summer must have arrived.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Thirty Five Laps in Lane 3

Distance: 17.1 km
Time: 72' 35"
Rate: 4' 15" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25 degrees, humidity 60%, light NW breeze
Week: 117.5 km
December: 455.55 km
Year: 4473.8 km

How unpredictable is the weather but at least the sun shone from above. Afternoon and overnight rain, plus the sprinklers on as well, meant a wet bottom section of the track, but dry on the top side. Calwell oval has a slight fall from the Johnson Dr end down to the car park end. Fortunately, this morning as I arrived the grass had just been cut so a really good surface to run on. The damp section had a slight cooling effect making it a very enjoyable day to be going around in circles.
And good circles they were too. A bit quicker than on Monday averaging 4' 12" per km for 15 km run in lane 3. As well, improvement in each 5 lap sector, starting at 9' 23" for the 1st 5 laps, and then 9' 15", 9' 08", 9' 12", 9' 04", 8' 54" and 8' 24", the last one much quicker as that was to be the finish.
As I have each other time down at the oval, ran in bare feet and changed direction after each 10 laps. I realized as well that the GPS distance is slightly longer for the clock wise laps as the watch is on the outside near lane 4 and therefore covering more distance than running the normal anti clock wise direction when closer to lane 2.
ACT Parks and Gardens have closed the oval area off to cars, so there was no one else around. A bit of a walk from the gate, just nice to start and finish really relaxed.
Out to the garage next to fix a puncture in the back tyre of the mountain bike or there will no cross training. Molonglo start tomorrow morning, up and down Mt Ainslie a few times. As long as the sun shines.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bring back the Drought

Distance: 15.6 km
Time: 84' 01"
Rate: 5' 23" per km
Weather: cloudy, drizzle, temp 21 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 100.4 km
December: 438.45 km
Year: 4456.7 km

It seems we can't get two sunny day in a row at the moment. We must have had summer in October, then spring and autumn now, and in a few weeks, who knows what. Yesterday was the sunny day, today, alright in the morning, got a few things done, and decided to wait until afternoon to go for a run.
I had just left home, the thunder roared overhead, the clouds blackened and down came the rain. The rain eased to drizzle then stopped about 10 minutes before getting back home. At least, it wasn't cold.
An easy run today after yesterday up the mountain. Over to Lanyon shops, Point Hut, along the river to Pine Is and back home. Jumped a few puddles and got very wet. While away, India lost more wickets at the MCG on a beautiful day in Melbourne. But I wouldn't want to live there.
Interesting topic on cool running about taking salt tablets to prevent cramping especially in hot weather. I put my two bobs worth in, but it just doesn't seem to apply here this year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Mt Rob Roy for the 31st time

Distance: 25.55 km
Time: 2 hrs 41 mins 41 secs
Rate: 6' 19" per km
Weather: perfect, sunny, temp 17-21 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 84.8 km
December: 422.85 km
Year: 4441.1 km

It will probably be the same for the next year, trying to find someone for company on long runs. Didn't matter today because I found more than a capable partner on the way.
From home, I went down past the Calwell shops, the oval and the drain to the track above the houses of Theodore to the electricity sub station. I was just about to hide a drink bottle for later, when Garry Lilley and canine friend came along from the other direction. A quick chat, and deciding not to run too hard, Garry decided on a trip to the top of Mt Rob Roy would be ideal as part of his training for New Zealand Ironman Triathlon in March. To be followed up 5 weeks later by the Australian Ironman. He's better than me, good luck to him.
We made our way on the Monaro Hwy side to the yellow posts on the high part of the track. The actual trig is a little bit further on up a non existent track, very difficult to find unless you know exactly where to look. Absolutely perfect on the mountain today, we showed our joy of not living on the north side of Canberra without such fabulous places to run. Came back down to the side track that leads down to Conder/Banks area and down the steep slope to the reservoir, back then to the sub station. Garry went left and I went right homeward on the same track as going out. Much better pace than early Sept when I last climbed Mt Rob Roy, the run home was good. There has not been too much running in the hills recently, but the base is building and there is now some flat speed from the tempo running on the oval. Good signs.
Monthly kms for December and the year should break new records, no injury problems at present.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Down on the Oval

Distance: 21.55 km
Time: 94' 42"
Rate: 4' 24" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 42%, light north wind
Week: 59.25 km
December: 397.3 km
Year: 4415.55 km

It doesn't get much better than today for flat running. Hills and mountains are much more enjoyable, but going around in circles on grass also brings happiness to some. I started a week on leave from work, and with Christmas Day a compulsory day of rest, I made the most of a really nice day in the ACT.
Jogged down from home, distance 2.5 km, that was the warm up, then 30 laps in lane 3 in 59' 20", ave around 4'15" per km, then a cool down couple of laps. I had arranged to get picked up in the car, really lazy I know, but the car was late. It been to a doctor's appointment so that could have been any time. After a drink and a rest, I did numerous up and down the centre of the oval, distance a bit over 200 metres each way, just adding a couple more kms to the daily tally. Tried to make these cool down, but doing it easy still managed to ave 4' 22" per km.
Great day, this morning I mowed the grass to make the property look a bit better for a few days, a few dead branches in some trees need to come down in time.
Have a good Christmas everyone, may all your injuries be in the past and the running trails ahead be long and hilly. Take care and stay safe on the road.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Calorie Deficit Day.. Ready for Christmas

Distance: 37.7 km
Time: 3 hrs 50 mins 53 secs
Rate: 6' 07" per km
Calories used: 2789
Weather: sunny early,then cloudy, temp 15-19 degrees, humidity 50%, wind northerly 17 kmph
Week: 37.7 km
December: 375.75 km - run days 20/23 = ave 18.78 km per run day
Year: 4394.0 km - run days 241/357 = ave 18.23 km per run day

Today was catch up day with only a short run possible yesterday due to morning rain. Today started out sunny but the cloud came over and the temperature dropped combined with a cool northerly wind. Good running conditions at 10:30 am when I set out. Very few people out today, at least where I went and I can understand why.
From home, down Ashley Dr thru Gowrie to Wanniassa Hill nature park. First hill, around the back of Fadden and then down under Yamba Dr to Farrer ridge, short hill here then over to the reservoir, behind the houses to the underpass leading into Isaacs. I went up the centre of Isaacs Ridge to the top, second hill, passing the towers on the way down to Long Gully Road. Over to the back of Wanniassa Hills heading to the back of MacArthur, down Isabella Dr past Fadden Pines to Ashley Dr and back home.
Stop for a drink and bite to eat and out again, down Johnson and Woodcock Dr to the gravel track behind Bonython. This leads to Pine Is where I stopped for 15 minutes to soak some very tired legs in the cool water of the Murrumbidgee River. Recent rains have really filled the river with dirty brown water, but at least it is flowing. One day Adelaide will get our left overs to drink. Why would you want to live there?
A very tired runner made his way back home, walked a bit, but made it home eventually.
Couple of lessons to be gained from today's run. Eating and drinking help performance, went into deficit too early and paid the price. Never the less, the longest run since Brindabella Classic in late Oct and there will be a benefit in the long term.
A few laps of the Calwell oval tomorrow, rest on Christmas Day and Mt Rob Roy on Boxing Day. Another long run next Saturday and Mt Tennent pencilled in for New Year's Day. May as well start the year as it needs to be climbing a mountain on the first day of 2008.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Future of the Brindabella Classic

Distance: 17.65 km
Time: 93' 43"
Rate: 5' 18" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 50%, NW wind at 40 kmph
Week: 100.85 km
December: 338.05 km
Year: 4356.3 km

An after midnight finish at work combined with rain during the night and morning made a decision to sleep in and not go to Molonglo this morning. Five or six brave souls were there in the rain. The rain finally stopped mid morning, but the wind hasn't and it is still blowing the cream out of the coffee.
The morning stuck inside did give me the chance to put my opinion in writing to the ACT cross country club on the future of the Brindabella Classic. The committee just need to get behind the event, give it some publicity and a future for it will be there. It has been going for 20 years, a set back with the course after the bush fires, but that is now behind it.
The sun came out after lunch, I needed just under 17 km today to get to 100 for the week. The original plan was for around 33 km today over Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura, so to even get a run in today was a bonus. I will now do a long run tomorrow.
Today, a flat run down to Pine Is, along the river track to Point Hut, back across the paddocks, move a few kangaroos out of the way and back home. Plenty of water around, the river is flowing nicely and the paddocks are wet under foot.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thirty Five Laps in Lane Three

Distance: 16.9 km
Time: 73' 50"
Rate: 4' 22" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 22-25 degrees, humidity 60%, wind light north 15km
Week: 83.2 km
December: 320.4 km
Year: 4338.65 km

I have started to like my laps at the Calwell oval which are run as a tempo run rather than any all out sprint session. A month ago I ran 30 laps at 4' 37" pace average and today I ran 35 laps at 4' 19" pace average. Just a few faster than normal sessions have helped improve legs speed and with a bit of an aerobic base, today was a bit of fun.
As I have done previously, after each 10 laps I changed direction. Today also ran the entire session in bare feet, the grass is nice and soft. It feels really good to be more with nature than running in socks and shoes.
The first 10 laps were easy at just under 4:30 pace and then I just seemed to increase pace without any extra effort. One 10 lap sector was run at 4:10 pace so that goes well for the next 10km run at the track in early Jan.
I did have the pleasure of some company, although not doing tempo laps. A young girl who plays netball and will represent the ACT at under 17 national championships in Perth, WA in February was doing ladder sprints. She plays wing attack in the game so needs a sprint, quick recovery, go again base to play the game. She started off after warm up ans stretches with some 100s building up to 400s then back down in sets. The team have a main coach and a conditioning coach who has set out a plan for her for the summer. She said she needs the base or the main training will be too hard to handle. Good luck to her, she seems to have her mind in the right frame to succeed.
Great morning at the oval, very enjoyable. Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura tomorrow and on Boxing Day I will do Mt Rob Roy. Almost traditional now, last year with CJ and the year before, although a couple of days later with Elizabeth. Pity both are not able to join in again this year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Changes to North Curtin Handicap Course

1st run: Distance: 6.3 km - Time: 44' 43" - Rate: 7' 06" per km
2nd run: Distance: 6.7 km - Time: 34' 59" - Rate: 5' 13" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 15 degrees, humidity 85%, wind calm
Week: 66.3 km
December: 303.5 km
Year: 4321.75 km

The handicap sub committee, some of us, met this morning near North Curtin to decide whether to make any changes to the February handicap course. The main problem is that we do not get exclusive use of the bike path, and with the weather usually producing nice mornings, there are plenty of other people out enjoying the day. The way our events are run on a handicap basis, a truly run race would have everyone going over the finish line together. A bunching of all the runners in each of our three events does create problems on narrow bike paths when other users are around.
Cyclists at speed, or a mother out pushing a pram or just a few out for a walk, all have the right to use open space. We have a duty of care to ensure our participants are not subject to being knocked over and injured by others also using the area. We are now hoping to get through next year without incident.
In trying to find a suitable change off the sealed paths, we looked at some off road dirt paths, but nothing flat was available. The short term decision is to leave all courses as before, and look to replace the entire location with something else in the future after next February.
The first run above was the up the hill behind the houses where the long course goes, turn around and down near the horse paddocks to the Cotter Road and back to the start. Light drizzle fell at the end of this run as we discussed and made a decision.
The second run was almost the same course as we currently use for the main long course event, up the hill, then down to the south oval and on to the bike path near the drain. Back to the start.
Any suggestions on suitable places to conduct our monthly handicaps, or to volunteer to join the sub committee would be appreciated. A runner, preferably female from one of the shorter events, would contribute a different point of view to some of us who like longer hilly courses. We meet once a month on the Wednesday night after the monthly handicap.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Frustration of Cross Training

Distance: 15.0 km
Time: 78' 33"
Rate: 5' 14" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 45%, light ESE wind at 17km
Week: 53.3 km
December: 290.5 km
Year: 4308.75 km

I love riding my mountain bike and with some new better off road tyres, I was looking forward to a day at " boot camp" with the boys and girls from work. Sadly, when I got home from work last night at midnight, the back tyre was flat. Too late then to have much of a look, so had to give the ride today a miss. I pumped the tyre up this morning and at this stage it still has the air in it. Somehow, the tyre just went flat in a few days.
So, I decided to go running where I hoped the troop would go. Over to the Gordon playground I went, and found them arriving just as I left. A good number of 5 boys and 2 girls out enjoying the day.
I continued on to Point Hut, then along the river track to Pine Is, around the back of Bonython and eventually back home. A good solid run, not much of a day weather wise, summer is expected next year sometime.
Tomorrow, the handicap sub committee take a look at the North Curtin course to try to find a way to get the two shorter events off the bike path. That should be easy, but there may be a hill involved for them the same as the longer course. However, what goes up must come down, a fast finish on and out and back course.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tuggeranong at it's Best

Distance: 19.5 km
Time: 1 hr 43 mins 58 secs
Rate: 5' 20" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 17-19 degrees, humidity 50%, SE wind at 17 km
Week: 38.3 km
December: 275.5 km
Year: 4293.75 km

When you live in the best part of the nation's capital, there is no need to run on the road. Just a hundred metres down the street, and my feet no longer have to touch a hard surface, except a few metres crossing over a street to a dirt track or a grass oval. As well, there are plenty of hills.
I only run from home at present every fourth week, start work mid afternoon this week and finish normally around midnight. Very good working hours to get plenty of running done at a sensible time of the day.
Headed Ewen's way today, down past Calwell shops, oval and behind Theodore to the sub station. Around the back of Tuggeranong Hill on the Conder side, over the ridge to the reservoirs, and back to the sub station.
It was a bit easier going home as the south easterly breeze was behind and it is slightly down hill, managed to stay under 5'00" km pace.
Good day out, much better than a few previous running days. I did manage to have a couple of afternoon siestas over the weekend and this has certainly helped in the recovery process. An interesting story on sleep in the current R4YL magazine.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tour de Mountain - Woden

Distance: 18.8 km
Time: 2hrs 21 mins 20 secs
Rate: 7' 30" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 12-17 degrees, humidity 90%, calm
Week: 18.8 km
December: 256.0 km
Year: 4274.25 km

Woke early this morning to hear rain on the roof and thought the run over the hills of Woden would be no fun. Driving towards Mawson the rain eased and by start time had stopped. I had decided not to run in the race and would help out by being the sweeper and collect the signs.
I still got to do the full distance but with no pressure on. Surprisingly, a good number turned up with plenty of late entries when most would have expected them to stay away.
The early starters left at 6:00 am with the main group in both the longer 19 km run over Mt Taylor as well as the shorter run of 13,6 km over Isaacs ridge and Wanniassa Hills leaving at 6:30 am.
It's easy trotting along at the back, time to look around and rest, have a chat at the drink stations but still cover the same distance. Ruins the km rate, that will take some pegging back during the rest of the week.
At the finish had a chat to Martin after his great run at Coast to Kozi last weekend. He is still showing the effects but he does recover well and a short break will see him back in the new year. He has a solid base to work with and throws in some speed work as well to assist. Maybe I don't run fast enough, often enough.
The rain returned as we were packing up, so it looks like an afternoon with the remote control in hand switching between the one day cricket and family member, Stewed Fruits playing golf.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Two Mountain Peaks

Distance: 28.6 km
Time: 2hrs 59 mins 10 secs
Rate: 6' 16" per km
Weather: sunny with light high cloud, temp 15-25 degrees, humidity 50%, light NW wind
Distance: 106.45 km - 6 runs at ave 17.74 km per run
December: 237.2 km - 13 runs at ave 18.24 km per run
Year: 4255.45 km - 234 runs at ave 18.18 km per run

The ladies were missing today, no Cathy, Elizabeth, CJ, Ruth, Debbie, Maryanne all off Christmas shopping or secret training with Speedygeoff at Stromlo. A small but enthusiastic group with newbies Brett and Nadine fronting up with Barbara, Ewen,Chris and Stuart for a very easy circuit of around the base of Mt Ainslie. Their trip of 16km plus a bit is still a challenge with a one km climb after 6 km up to the saddle between Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura.
I left the group here and headed towards Mt Majura. Turned at the reservoir above Hackett and down the fence line past the Girl Guides camp to the pines. Expected to see plenty of mountain bikers here but they must have shopping as well. Very quiet until I met a couple of guys past the grape vines near the road to Mt Majura. A girl walking arrived while I had a drink at the trig. She was doing well as the temp had started to climb and the humidity was becoming a factor. I carried a fuel belt with 800 mls and a handheld bottle with 600 mls and plenty had been consumed by this time. Down the main front track and continue on the zig zag course, great fun this part, switch backs and technical, to get to the reservoir. Over to the saddle and on the roller coater track for a part before finding the track up to the top of Mt Ainslie.
Drink bottle refilled and down the front track where is was more like peak hour. Carefull because at every corner people were making their way up to the top. Plenty of fit people in Canberra at the moment. Turned at the back of the War Memorial, past the gun club and the golf course back to the start.
The group had left but I had 10 minutes in the waters of LBG to wash off the dirt and sweat and hope to aid recovery. Not cold enough now but it all helps.
Much slower that yesterday but a better run, felt OK all the way with just a couple of walking places on the way up Mt Ainslie. Good pace from the top of Mt Ainslie to the finish. Happy with that. Good day out.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Good Day....Bad Run

Distance: 12.7 km
Time: 70' 26"
Rate: 5' 33" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 24 degrees, humidity 50%, light N wind
Week: 77.85 km
December: 208.6 km
Year: 4226.85 km

The title could have been " Why did I bother". A nice day, lousy run, just could not get any rhythm. But the sun finally did shine for the first time this week.
That is about all, maybe tomorrow's run from Molonglo will be better.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Missed Track and Field

Distance: 13.1 km
Time: 69' 35"
Rate: 5' 19" per km
Weather: cloudy(again), temp 19 degrees, humidity 70%, light SE wind
Week: 65.15 km
December: 195.9 km
Year: 4214.15 km

Arrived at work this morning wanting an early night to get to the vet's track at the AIS tonight. As I suspected would happen, the person who did not turn up at work today has a shift that finishes at 7:15 at night. It should have been a good night out there with a 3000 metre, a 1500 metre and an 8 lap spiral, all good events run at best pace possible.
Instead, around normal lunch time I ventured out under threatening skies for a easy run down by the river. Not much to report, except a slight sore spot in right hamstring I noticed a couple of days ago has gone, cold water and a few gentle stretches has done the trick.
Weather report is for some sun tomorrow, I just hope so as well as for Saturday morning. Sunday morning is the annual Tour de Mountain starting from Mawson shops just after the sparrows get going. I am just going to jog along at the back of the field and collect the signs.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Circuit of Tuggeranong Hill

Distance: 20.0 km
Time: 1hr 50 mins 46 secs
Rate: 5' 32" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 16 degrees, humidity 70%, light SE wind
Week: 52.05 km
December: 182.8 km
Year: 4201.05 km

Similar run but different to last Wednesday when we had Christmas lunch. No such luck today. A hilly run today without going to the top of Tuggie Hill. From work, over to the Bonython, up the hill to the top of Stranger hill, under Woodcock Dr to Gordon, under Drakeford Dr and then almost a full circuit of Tuggeranong Hill. First part, that tough climb on the Calwell side behind the houses to the lower reservoir, then on to the electricity sub station. The easier side is on the track above Conder except for one short sharp climb. Then it's down or flat to Lanyon shops, past the Gordon playground, scene of " boot camp" training, to Point Hut. Follow the track beside the river back to Pine Is. Short stop to stand in the water before returning to work. Wouldn't it be great to be able to go for a run on a warm sunny day instead of these crappy overcast days that give not a drop of rain or a nice day.
Good solid run, plenty left in the tank at the end, as Saturday will need to be similar but longer if SFT and the rest of the next year are to be a reality.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dreaming and Planning

Distance: 17.15 km
Time: 92' 34"
Rate: 5' 23" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 16 degrees, humidity 70%, wind calm
Week: 32.05 km
December: 162.8 km
Year: 4181.05 km

I spent most of the weekend following the progress of the runners in Coast to Kozi, and spent most of today's run doing the dreaming and planning for next year in the same event for myself. However, that all come with a very big proviso, all the lead up events and training runs go to plan. No injuries, no sickness, no DNF's, no struggle just to make the start line let alone the finish line. Everything must fit in, otherwise C2K could take up to 3 days to finish. The first 2 , Tim and Martin were well under 30 hours for 250 km with the bulk of the field under 40 hours. Glasshouse in Sept will need to be good and near the 25 hour mark, North Face in May will need to be around 15 hours for the 100 km over a very mountainous course.
This all makes today's run just like a stroll in the park, well, a stroll by the river. Nothing much to say except the water level has dropped significantly in the last few days, and the grass has grown to now cover the track completely. Not good for spotting snakes or following the track for that matter.
No sun again today and not looking too good for the rest of the week. I had a puncture in the front tyre of the mountain bike last week so I decided to up grade the tyres to get more grip. Now have much better off road tyres, even more inclined to get off road and improve the cross training.
This will also help prevent injuries, if I don't fall off, over the handle bars with twist and pike.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Thirty Laps in Lane Three

Distance: 14.9 km
Time: 67' 15"
Rate: 4' 31" per km
Weather: nice, sunny, temp 26 degrees, humidity 35%, wind calm to start then up to 20 kmph
Week: 14.9 km
December: 145.65 km
Year: 4163.9 km

This morning the Black Mountain Challenge was at just after the sparrows woke up, so I decided not to run, too early. Instead I slept in and went down to Calwell oval for relaxing laps of the running track. The grass was mowed last week, the grass is now dry, soft and long and very nice to run on. After a few easy metres of warm up followed by a bit of stretching, away I went. I wasn't out to break any records, just after some consistency. I broke the 30 laps into lots of 5, a bit over 2km each time, stopping for a drink after each 5 laps and changing direction after each 10 laps.
Km rates for each lot were: 4'35", 4'29", 4'22", 4'34", 4'23" and 4'20". Last Thursday night in the 10,000 metre I had a slow section around the 5-6 km mark, so I tried to put in a quicker time at that point and then drop back to resume an average pace around the 4'30" per km. A quicker last few kms were good as the wind had picked up blowing from the west, not much assistance as it was across the track.
The cool down laps were run in bare feet, the grass is nice enough to do so, and I read somewhere that it is good for the muscles and ligaments in the feet. The cave man had not invented running shoes when he had to chase wild animals to eat and stay alive. Probably didn't have couch grass to run on either, just dirt.
Really good morning, very enjoyable, one day I may even start to push myself a bit going round and round. Nothing boring about it at all.
As well, I have been keeping up with the Coast to Kozi results, great effort from Tim and Phibes to both go well under 30 hours and just an hour between the two at the finish. Congrats to both and all that were prepared to have a go at a very difficult event. See you all there next year.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Mountain and the Paddlers

Distance: 25.1 km
Time: 2 hrs 25 mins 10 secs
Rate: 5' 46" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18-20 degrees, humidity 70%, wind calm

Week: 108.9 km - 6 run days = 18.15 km per run day
December: 130.75 km - 7 run days = 18.68 km per run day
Year: 4149.0 km - 228 run days ( 342 days) = 18.2 km per run day

Starting at Molonglo with quite a few regulars missing but with Annette S on the scene for a casual off road run, a group of 7 headed out past the golf course towards Campbell Park offices. Good running conditions with cloud cover, just a mild morning and no wind, we made our way to the horse stile, stopped for the group to get together again and to not disturb some bird watchers.
Continuing on following the January vet's handicap course we arrived at the corner before the long drag up to the saddle. Deciding where to go we stopped, and arriving at great pace were the O'Reilly group. They were not keen but our group decided to go up the fence line to visit Trent's grave. Annette sure has some climbing ability, would like to be on a run with Elizabeth, CJ and her at their best. On to main ridge track and back to Ainslie we followed to the War Memorial where the other kept going back to the start.
I decided on a little extra so went up the main track to the top of Mt Ainslie, plenty of people on the track, down the back to the power lines and up to the saddle. I thought about the roller coaster, but I would have been too short. Instead headed back the same way as we started, but cut back at the horse stile, up on to the main track to the gun club. Back to the start finishing off a good day out.
The others had gone, I needed to stand in the water of LBG to help the legs and got taking to some paddlers just about to start a 20 km paddle to Scrivener Dam and back. They have the Murray River Challenge on soon, hundreds of kms over 5 days. A GPS, same as mine on the deck kept the distance, time and speed.
They seem that even a small guy like me would be well suited to paddling especially long distance as I have the endurance, just need to build some upper body strength. Their eating and drinking patterns are the same as running. Sounds like my kind of fun when the knees and ankles give out, or the mountains are too much to tackle.
Am I drifting in my thinking, off road duathlons and paddling, is the flame of running starting to flicker? Who knows!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Boom, Crash, Opera..... the works

Distance: 9.2 km
Time: 48' 57"
Rate: 5' 19" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 19 degrees, humidity 95%, light drizzle then heavy rain, wind calm
Week: 83.8 km
December: 105.65 km
Year: 4123.9 km

I thought I would try get get a short run in and soak some tired legs in the cool water before a weather change came through. Just left it a little late to go. The same course as the morning run yesterday, a minute and a half slower, but very easy after last night's track run.
When I left work to start the run, the clouds were high and light, even wore the sunnies because of the brightness. Over to the gravel track behind Bonython and light drizzle started to fall, I thought, this will keep the temperature down. A little while on and it started to get darker, the drizzle a little heavier and then down it came, in buckets.
I had made it to Pine Is beach area with the intention of standing in the water for a while. The sheet lightning and thunder put me off a bit about getting in the water, mind you I was saturated by now. I decided that fork lightning may be a problem, but sheet lightning would not hit the ground. So, there I stood, wet from rain pelting down, a least it was not cold. Anyway, 15 minutes later the water had done the trick and I managed to put back on some very wet clothes and jogged back to work.
The stupid things they said at work was not being wet, but why the sunnies? Must have looked even sillier than normal. At least the shower was nice, almost no point in wasting water.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Field and Track

1st run: morning - field
Distance: 9.15 km
Time: 46' 43"
Rate: 5' 06" per km
Weather: part sun/cloud, temp 20 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
2nd run: night - track
Distance: 10.0 km plus 3.55 km warm up and cool down
Time: race 41' 30"
Rate: 4' 09" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 22 degrees, humidity 80%, light easterly
Week: 74.6 km
December: 96.45 km
Year: 4114.7 km

Ran this morning knowing that the track 10,000 metres was on, but never to let a chance go by, kept it short. Easy run around the river area, stood in the water for 10 minutes and back to work.
The evening run at the AIS track was the 10,000 metres postponed from a washed out meeting from a few weeks ago. Conditions were OK, maybe a little humid, with a slight head wind on the main front straight.
Not a big field but the winner, Scottie broke an ACT record running just over 32 minutes.
My run had a slow middle part, the last 4000 metres better with a good last couple of kms trying to hold off Graeme. He said he was at the red line when he caught me with a couple of kms to go, I felt OK and drew away over the final couple of laps.
The lack of racing and any speed work shows up, but then that is not what I have on the agenda for the upcoming months.
Double up day with 22 plus kms has provided me a couple of sore quads, that should be fixed tomorrow with extended time in the cold water, plenty of rest and fluids. Whether I run or not, if so how far, will depend on the recovery. Need to do a long run on Saturday morning, and will give the Black Mountain run up a miss on Sunday.
Overall, a good day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Back For Christmas Lunch

Distance: 18.35 km
Time: 1 hr 43 mins 29 secs
Rate: 5' 38" per km
Weather: part sun/ cloud, temp 20 degrees, humidity 60%, SE wind at 20 kmph
Week: 51.9 km
December: 73.75 km
Year: 4092.0 km

Christmas lunch was being served today at work so the run was a little shorter than I would have liked. The tracks used today were familiar ones but not together. Started out on the track between Pine Is and Point Hut, saw a shingleback lizard moving very quickly across the track near the river, very carefully watching to see if there any legs.
From Point Hut, it was over to Gordon playground, then on to Lanyon shops finding a track that lead to the base track of Tuggeranong Hill. Decided not to do the fully loop, but went over the ridge to the reservoirs on the Calwell/ Theodore side. Still thinking about lunch, decided to make a more direct course back to work in case the salad got hot and the roast meat got cold. The plum pudding could be either, but I like it hot.
A quick section on the gravel track behind Bonython had me back at Pine Is beach for 5 minutes in the water before getting back to work in time. Good lunch provided by the guys from the canteen to put on for a couple of hundred including enough for the night shift workers as well. Lunch provided free from the profits from the canteen over the year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Little Green Insect

Distance: 11.0 km
Time: 58' 08"
Rate: 5' 17" per km
Weather: sunny/part cloud, temp 23 degrees, humidity 40%, westerly wind at 25km
Week: 33.55 km
December: 55.4 km
Year: 4073.65 km

It's a bit of a problem when the run was so average, nothing happened, that the title of the story is about a small, green insect.
I didn't run yesterday as I just did not get the time. A meeting in the city in the middle of a split break, a 12 hour day, then visitors from Tassie at night at home, kept the clocking over and that was the day. As I have said before, treat those days not as a lost opportunity, but a rest, recovery day, a back into the program the next day. A rest day came at the right time as the previous three day in a row were all over 20 kms including Sunday on Mt Tennent.
Today was a chance to get out and enjoy, nothing special just a short one,and a chance to get into the water in the river. This is where the title comes into play. I was taking my shoes off on the sand, when I notice what looks like a small, spotted green beetle very firmly clinging to a shoes lace. I left him there while I cooled off thinking insect would be gone. But no, still holding on. I put shoes on and tied up laces and jogged back to work, about 6 minutes, and insect was still holding on. Took insect inside and showed a few very brave bus drivers, some suggested a size 10 boot would do the job to remove small green beetle.
Anyway, insect finally let go a little bit, we managed to put him out in the shrubs. No one had ever seen this small green beetle before. Probably the species is almost extinct, and I let go a rare and endangered species.
Anyway, made a story out of a no news day. Christmas lunch at work tomorrow. Should be good.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Deep Space Mountain Marathon

Run 1. Distance: 10.15 km
Time: 70' 26"
Rate: 6' 57" per km
Run 2. Distance: 12.4 km
Time: 82' 33"
Rate: 6' 39" per km
Weather: 1st run, cloudy, misty on top of mtn, temp 15 degrees, humidity 80%, wind calm, 2nd run, temp 18-21 degrees, sunny,wind calm, humidity 50%
Week: 22.55 km
December: 44.4 km
Year: 4062.65 km
The first Deep Space Mountain Marathon was held starting at the old Honeysuckle Tracking Station in the mountains south of Canberra. The long marathon distance run was over 43 km with 1800 metres of climbing making it more difficult than the Six Foot Track run. Therefore, I decided not to run but help out with a drink station and general watching the others go by.
Recent rain meant the track up Mt Tennent was very muddy and slippery and not suitable for my limited 4WD skills. So I dragged a small trolley with 20 litres of powerade, cups, lollies, etc up 2 kms from a gate inside the track off Apollo Road to a drink station at the corner of the Bushfold Flats track and the summit trail. Emma turned up to look after the drinks and I ran to the top of Mt Tennent and back, a distance of exact 8 km. A further 2 and a bit kms back to the car completed the first of 2 runs. Very misty on the top, no view at all.
Packed up the car and headed over to the start line at Honeysuckle Tracking station where the mthn runners would go back through, the 18 km and 25 km runners would start and finish. The weather was perfect here, sunny, mild , about 20 degrees, no wind. Lots of happy campers had stayed the night, lucky that the rain had gone.
I ran out on the trail towards the Orroral Valley for bit over 6 km, then found a very steep downhill leading to the valley. Decided there was no need to go on, so watched a few of the runners returning from Orroral. Beautiful standing among the trees at an altitude over 1100 metres, even nicer in winter when the snow is on the ground. I ran through here a few years ago in July when training for Glasshouse Mountains. Just great.
Really good day out in the mountains, almost a boil over in the long run with Angela almost beating Trevor, just 38 seconds in it at the finish after she lead for most of the run.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rainy Saturday

Distance: 21.85 km
Time: 2 hrs 1 min 26 secs
Rate: 5' 33" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 90%, light drizzle, light SE wind
Week: 86.3 km
December: 21.85 km
Year: 4040.1 km

I waited for some drink station provisions to be delivered to home before I left after midday. The morning had been cloudy but dry, of course as soon as I was ready to go, it started to rain. Not heavy but a light drizzle that persisted throughout the run. It is still raining now some 6 hours later. Canberra had 115 mls of rain in November, that was the most in a November in 7 years. Mostly we have only been getting double that in a whole year.
The cool humid conditions made running feel a bit average, long grass in places a bit of a nuisance.
Today's long circuit started out going down Ashley Dr to Isabella Dr, up past Fadden Pines to the tracks around the outside of MacArthur, over the open nature park to Long Gully Road. Crossing into Isaacs then under Yamba Dr into Farrer to follow the tracks used for the old vet's handicap but in reverse to the start line near the underpass leading onto Wanniassa Hills.
Conditions were not looking good with the sky very black in the south and east, the weather coming in from the coast. A final quick trip down through Gowrie back home before the weather turned really nasty.
Just longer than yesterday and it should have been easier with no Mt Taylor to climb, but I think the long uphills tend to make for a slow trip than a short steep climb.
By the way, a notice on Mt Taylor for any one capable, there is a champagne early morning ( 6am) gathering on just before Christmas, BYO. Check out the signs on the gate at the entrances to the nature park, plenty of people regularly climb the mountain.
The Deep Space Mountain marathon and shorter races are on tomorrow starting at the old Honeysuckle tracking station very early in the morning. With all the rain we have received recently, the tracks will be slippery and now impossible to drive the Pajero to the top of Mt Tennent with the drink station gear, looks like a long walk to the top with a heavy load on the shoulders. Such is life.