Two Fruits

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Monthly Handicap at Innabaanya

Distance: Race- 6.9 km in 32'10" at 4' 37" per km Finished 76th
Warm up - mark course 5.6 km in 58'29" at 10' 27" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 18 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 12.55 km
November: 490.95 km in 28/30 days at 17.5 km ave per run day
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 443.15 km = 567.85 km to go (big ask)

Last monthly handicap of the year. Nothing to gain today, not in contention for any awards although I will hopefully around 10th in the overall points score. Actually felt Ok after yesterday's long hilly run, pushed the pace until I passed CJ then eased back to finish 76th, CJ finished 80th.
The target for the year is fading away ever so slightly, a chance maybe, but whatever happens it will be my biggest yearly total of kms ever. Two easy months after Glasshouse 100 mile in Sept have lowered the chances, but I definitely needed the rest, both physically and mentally.
Back keen to run now, just need a couple of months of sunny summer weather.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Cotter Run No. 132

Distance: 31.0 km
Time: 3 hrs 6 mins 41 secs
Rate: 6' 01" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 700 metres
Weather: cloudy/part sunny, temp 16-21 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 124.55 km
Nov: 478.4 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4419.6 km = 580.4 km to go

No need for plan B to be enacted, a reasonably nice day after a big storm yesterday afternoon. The Cotter river, Padovan's crossing and Vanities crossing all had a bit more water in them than 2 weeks ago when we last ran out there.
Four of us fronted at 7:30 am, John K, CJ, softshoeshuffle and myself. The SFT training plan had a 21 miler with a start up Mt McDonald just to ease into the run. From the start to the top of Mt McDonald it's a continuous climb of 5.5 km, running the distance in around 37 minutes, a climb of almost 300 metres off a cold start.
However the views on a good day are wonderful, over to the Brindies and back towards Canberra. After that you can take the easy option of Wimp's way to Bullocks Paddock Road. We ran back to rejoin the jelly legs track, another long grind of ups and downs on a recently graded track ready for the bushfire season.
A bit of a rest then off towards Padovan's crossing, where John K and softshoeshuffle continued towards Vanities Crossing. CJ and I headed to Wark's road, another short but challenging run up Cliff Road.
Wark's road is open with the sun shining, the increase in temperature was noticeable, then cooling down again when a cloud crossed over. A red belly black snake appeared on the road up here, not expecting visitors, but it slowly moved away while we waited patiently.
We reached the relay change over for Brindabella Classic, rumour it has ran its last race, then decided the extra distance up Mt McDonald would add enough to the run, that the 18 mile option was good value for us instead of doing the 21 mile.
Reaching Vanities Crossing, the water splashing over the spill way, the water warmer than expected but very nice on tired legs. We both removed our shoes and socks, CJ wearing the new 4WD shoes, very nice, loved the tread pattern underneath. A short rest and drink and slowly we made our back to the start. The others were waiting but the mobile coffee man was not in sight, in fact not many people about at all. A bit later the coffee man drives in, turns around and drives out. We almost had our money in hand, ready to order, and away he goes. Bugger, I could, and CJ definitely could, taste the beans as we finished, disappointment, big time.
A good day out, productive day, plenty of chatter, good company, thank you to CJ, John K and softshoeshuffle. Monthly handicap tomorrow, and we run up Mt Tennent, twice, next Saturday morning, first of the tougher runs leading to SFT.
Mid afternoon, Point Hut river flowing well with recent rain and cool enough for recovery, 15 minutes in the water until it started to rain, so I got out. How silly, I was wet anyway.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Storm Brewing

Distance: 13.5 km
Time: 1 hr 14 mins 15 secs
Rate: 5' 30" per km
Weather: storm clouds, temp 24 degrees, humidity 55%, wind calm
Week: 93.55 km
Nov: 447.4 km
Year: Target: 5000 km less ytd 4388.6 km = 611.4 km to go

Not much to report bout the run, easy Friday home for lunch and back to work.Very warm and humid today, don't know how I would handle Queensland conditions in summer. Guess Caboolture Dawn to Dusk in Feb is off the plan.
After Ewen's calculation on how fast Kerrie B ran for 100 kms in a few seconds over 9 hours, I don't know how she can maintain that pace for so long. She ran faster than my run today, for 100 kms.
Then again the Australian record for a male is sub 6 hrs 30 mins, now that is moving. A record not held by Kouros, Tim Sloan from Tassie holds the record set in 1995 in the Ross to Richmond run. and he is off the pace for the world record. Kouros ran just under 7 hrs in 1996 at Shepparton, Vic.
Linda Meadows hold the Australian female record for 100 kms road of 7 hrs 40 mins set in NZ in 1995. Kerrie needs to get a bigger move on.
Cotter 21 miler on Saturday providing the weather is Ok, otherwise Black Mountain is Plan B.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Summer Came Back for a While

Distance: 18.7 km
Time: 1 hr 55 mins 31 secs
Rate: 6' 11" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 20-24 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 80.05 km
Nov: 433.9 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4375.1 km = 624.9 km to go
Year: 4375.1 km in 250/332 days = 17.5 km per run day

No bike ride for various reasons so a perfect opportunity to add a few more kms to the tally on a really nice day. The clouds cleared mid morning to a fine sunny day, perfect running conditions, so I unintentionally ran longer today instead of Tuesday which was a shortie.
From work via a few rough tracks near the river to a circuit at the back of Urambi Hill. From near the bridge over Tuggie Creek, I went up a long steady slope across an open paddock that comes out near Gleneagles estate. Then along the recently graded fire trail above Kambah houses to go down the track at the back of Urambi Hill. Really steep in places after passing Black Sally's dam where the vet's handicap course once went up the hill.
After recrossing Tuggie Creek at the rocks, I followed the river back to Pine Is, a small loop around there to add a few more kms, stopped at the beach to stand in the water for 10 minutes before jogging back to work.
Really enjoyable day, but the storm clouds were building and a drop or two of rain fell later in the day.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Snow last Sunday

Distance: 15.3 km
Time: 84' 32"
Rate: 5' 31" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 17 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 61.35 km
Nov: 415.2 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4356.4 km = 643.6 km to go
Picture taken by Scott McTaggart on top of Mt Tennent last Sunday during the first part of the Deep Space ( Snow) Mountain marathon. Runner unknown, too rugged up to recognise, but the picture gives an idea of the conditions. The top of Mt Tennent is almost 1400 metres above sea level, the snow line started about 1000 metres. The snow was just as good on the other side of Honeysuckle Creek tracking station going towards Orroral Valley. Lucky to have been in the area to experience these conditions which hopefully won't return until middle of next year. I have a couple of other photos I will post in the next days.
Today I ran home for lunch and back to work. Nothing special or exciting, cloudy again, could rain at any time during the next 4 days, where's summer?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ants in Pants

Distance: 9.25 km
Time: 52' 45" Rate: 5' 42" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 46.05 km
Nov: 399.9 km
Year: Target 5000km less ytd 4341.1 km = 658.9 km to go

Didn't really feel like a long run today, had a couple of things to do up the street, plus coffee and chat. So a late start just down near the river, found a quiet stop to stand in the water for 10 minutes then a gentle jog back to work. That's about all for running today.
Blog title today came from one of the silliest things I have seen for a long time. My afternoon bus route takes me past a high school, no name for fear of the school looking stupid as well.
The kids I collect are good, a bit of a surprise for high school kids, but they are alright. The same can't be said for one of their mates. While kids were getting on the bus, he was siting on a bull ant's nest showing off to anyone that wanted to watch. Only wearing shorts and T-shirt, he soon learnt that ants don't mind where they go or what they bite. Dumb and foolish, not the ants, the kid. But we on the bus sure got a laugh out of it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Highs and Lows of Two "Ks"

Distance: 18.35 km
Time: 1 hr 40 mins 32 secs
Rate: 5' 29" per km
Weather: sun/part cloud, temp 19 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 36.8 km
Nov: 390.65 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4331.85 km = 668.15 km to go
Year: 4331.85 km in 47 weeks at 92.2 km ave per week

Not much to write about today's run, the usual home for lunch and back to work, although I did detour to the cool waters of the river for 10 minutes on the way back to work.
Today's blog title is about two people with names that start with "K". They don't know each other but both are very inspiring in many ways.

First "K" is female, most who read this story will know Kerrie Bremner, ultra runner of much talent and an inspiration to all of us who extend the distance at times. I chatted to Kerrie at Deep Space run on Sunday between snow showers. Kerrie represented Australia at the recent World 100 km championships in Italy. Kerrie ran a brilliant 100 km race on the Gold Coast in June this year in 9 hrs 14 mins to rank 10th on the Australian 100 km road rankings for females. Off to Italy she went with solid training in her legs. A little unkind about the Italian organisational skills, something like couldn't put a pasta party together for 3 people, she has had another brilliant run to run 9 hrs and 50 seconds to improve her time and go up the rankings to 8th fastest Australian female of all time. Highs for sure in that, a low being so close to going sub 9 hours for 100 kms. Most of us would be happy to get under 12 hours. Well done!!

Second "K" is Kevin from work, our inspirational bike ride leader, so glad he is back safe and sound from a trekking holiday in Nepal. When the plane crashed in Nepal a month or so ago killing 25 people, we waited for news that he was not on the plane. Luckily, he arrived at the same airport a day later without a problem. He did say that flying with Yeti Airlines is something of an adventure in itself, as in no seat belts, no doors, fire extinguisher that's empty, exit sign upside down, etc. Lovely people the Nepalese, very quiet, so humble.
The high of the trip was the height, reaching 5700 metres above sea level, so far up in the atmosphere where the air is so thin, so little oxygen causing altitude sickness. The low of his trip was being so sick that he was just 200 metres in height from Mt Everest base camp, just couldn't go on. About the distance in Canberra from the War Memorial to the top of Mt Ainslie. How close is that, even with a sherpa carrying 30 kilos of your gear, you with a small pack of 10 kilos, just no more energy to do any more.

Highs and lows we all have them, some times it doesn't matter, some times the timing is all wrong. Some get sick or injured at the wrong time leading into important events. Olympic Games, Jana Rawlinson trying to jump over hurdles, sometimes the timing is perfect, Stephanie Rice in the swimming pool, first time at Olympics and 3 gold medals in a couple of days.

They inspire us all, at least I am inspired to keep going, probably most of us can do no more that lead by example and hope others take the opportunity to get into the great outdoors, even when it is snowing. Maybe some of the DNS's last Sunday could take a hint. It was a great day, cold and different, but great.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Running in the Snow

Distance: 18.45 km
Time: 2 hrs 0 mins 20 secs
Rate: 6' 31" per km
Weather: snowing, rain, cold, temp 0-4 degrees, humidity 90%, wind calm
Starting height: 1110 metres
Highest point: 1371 metres
Low point: 920 metres
Total altitude gain & loss: 667 metres
Week: 18.45 km
Nov: 372.3 km
Year: Target: 5000 km less ytd 4313.5 km = 686.5 km to go

Certainly the most different and interesting run for a long time. I don't like the cold but today was alpine scenery at it's best, and in November, just a week away from summer.
The Australian Mountain Running Assoc held the Deep Space marathon and associated events today starting from the former Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station in Namadgi National Park. The marathon, more difficult than Six Foot Track over the same distance, started at daylight, 5:45am went to the top of Mt Tennent, back to the start, then over to a turn around at Orroral Valley and back. Winner of the men's section was Tim Cochrane with Vanessa Haverd winning the women's section. Both excellent runs in the conditions.
I ran the 18 km event which is the second half of the marathon course. From the old tracking station, the course climbs to a tower high on the range, returns a km to then goes down to a turn around at a bridge at the Orroral River before returning to the start leaving out the tower section.
The run started in light rain to snow, the ground absolutely covered in snow above 1000 metres, freezing cold, but luckily little to no wind in the sheltered areas. To stay warm enough, probably overdressed but not knowing, I wore a long sleeved top, a T-shirt, a running top, spray jacket, shorts, beanie, hat and gloves. The gloves came off a few times when it warmer up a bit on the lower slopes near Orroral valley.
The snow was thick on the track, slushy and icey where it had been trampled on, running on the soft powder was easier with less risk to falling over. No damage would have been done, but it would have been wet and cold. Only off the tower section and heading down to Orroral were my feet cold, and wet, warmed up once we dropped below 1100 metres and the snow and ice disappeared.
Huge effort by those that turned up, a brilliant day not necessarily just for the running, a great course, tough, scenic, the elements at their best. I hope the photos that were taken do justice to the day.
Having said all that, a return to 25-30 degrees over summer would be appreciated.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It Should Have Been.. Cotter

Distance: 25.9 km
Time: 2 hrs 22 mins 44 secs
Rate: 5' 31" per km
Weather: cold, cloudy, windy, rain at times, temp 6-8 degrees, humidity 80%, wind WNW up to 35 kmph
Week: 120.15 km
Nov: 353.85 km
Year: Target 5000km less ytd 4295.05 km = 704.95 km to go

The plan was to run 21 miles at the Cotter. However, the weather turned very nasty overnight and this morning. After arriving at the start at the Cotter at 7: 30 , a brave and sensible decision was made to not proceed but to go back to Black Mountain peninsular and do a couple of laps around west basin of LBG.
Just as we, CJ and softshoeshuffle arrived a load of hoons also turned up unannounced. Out of cars were Roger, Peter, Maria, Charlie and Helen, fellow runners but a bit timid of the weather. After a short discussion, away we went clockwise around the lake. We did the National Museum detour while the others following not far behind went over Hospital Hill finishing in front but cutting about a km off the distance. We didn't see them until back at the start.
Fortunately the weather was ok for most of the circuit, a bit wind, still very cool but no sign of rain, in fact a few sunny breaks between the clouds. Back at the cars, the 5 hoons decided that was enough, they were off for coffee and a warm building. We still had a few more kms to get done, CJ wanting 25 kms for the day and I needed 8 to get to 120 for the week. Our timing was terrible.
Back towards Glenlock interchange, the weather closed in and 10 minutes of rain and wind made forward movement very unpleasant. We had done just under 4 km out, nearly at Scrivener Dam, and turned around. Finished going down to the end of the peninsular to get our required distance as the weather improved a bit. Still cool, temp at 11:00 am just 8 degrees.
For all the dramas it was a good run, I haven't done the full west basin circuit for many years, last time would be the Canberra half marathon in 2004. Nice run about that often, quite a few cyclists, a few other runners about, most very courteous shouting or ring the bell as they got closer.
I had to push along to keep pace with CJ, she has regained any lost form and seems to be much better at looking after herself at present. A few setbacks, both sickness and injuries and you appreciate what you have and love to do.
Softshoeshuffle and I will back up tomorrow at the 18 km run at Honeysuckle Tracking Station. Early start, hope for a warmer and drier day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Return to Average Conditions

Distance: 15.2 km
Time: 85' 02"
Rate: 5' 36" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 20 degrees, humidity 35%, NW wind at 27 kmph
Week: 94.25 km
Nov: 327.95 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4269.15 km = 730.85 km to go

The season have changed around again, last week very nice days. In fact after last Saturday's run, I ordered the same conditions for this weekend. However, we may be disappointed. Rain, not much and not enough has fallen through the week, but it has left us with a few fairly average days.
Today's run was a usual run from work to home for lunch and back again. Nothing exciting about it.
Tomorrow is the continuation of the training plan for Six Foot Track, probably 32 kms at the Cotter if the weather is suitable. Otherwise, may need to do a double lap of west basin around LBG.
Sunday is the Deep Space marathon at Honeysuckle Tracking Station. Early start for the full distance competitors, they don't need warm conditions nor do they need winter. The top of Mt Tennent early in the morning may be very chilly. So would a cold wind in the Orroral valley after 30 or so kms. It will be a good day, great scenery, good tracks, so I will late enter the 18 km.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Washed Out Bike Ride... so Run

Bike ride: nil
Run Distance: 14.45 km
Time: 84' 07"
Rate: 5' 49" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 70%, NW wind at 20 kmph
Week: 79.0 km
Nov: 312.75 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4253.95 km = 746.05 km to go

Rain early in the morning helped to usual no shows to have an even better excuse to no show for the bike ride. So after watching the cricket start, a cuppa and muffin for a snack, the weather was easily good enough to go for a run.
Last week there were workmen on the Urambi Hills base track getting the track ready for the bush fire season. A week later they are still going, must be a taxpayer funded project.
Running from work to Learmonth Dr, then on to the track towards Gleneagles, scene of a previous monthly handicap event, delisted because of a few rocks on the track, and much too difficult for most veteran runners.
Reaching the heights looking at Gleneagles houses and the Murrumbidgee golf club, I turned left and crossed the open paddock heading back towards Tuggie Creek. This is a nice circuit I will do regularly from now on, either direction provide long uphill and good fast running down hill. Guaranteed to make you stronger, and reduce the chance of sore quads.
On reaching Tuggie Creek, I followed the river track back to Pine Is, past the central beach because a bunch of school kids had taken over, and stopped at the south car park beach for 12 minutes in the cool river waters. Very nice, could have stayed longer but was nearly out of time, so a gentle jog back to work. A little secret here is not to try to run too fast and undo the good work of the cold water. As well, keep the distance short.
More today than would have been if the bike riders had gone out.
Another Milo tonight before bed, add a few drops of Bailey's Irish Cream to the warm drink, beautiful, helps you sleep if you need help. Otherwise just enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Easing Back to Go Forward

Distance: 12.65 km
Time: 68' 54"
Rate: 5' 27" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 70%, wind calm
Week: 64.6 km
Nov: 298.3 km
Year: Target 5000km less ytd 4239.5 km = 760.5 km to go

I don't usually run many days in a row without a rest day. With many kms still to cover before the end of the year, a rest day is now an easy day with less distance, an early night and a warm Milo before bedtime. Even better if you can find a marshmallow to dunk in it as well.
Today I just ran home for lunch and back to work the most direct way without going on the road. Lucky to miss any rain, it has just started now, early evening, but hopefully that will stop by morning.
The Deep Space Marathon and other events are on Sunday on Mt Tennent and from Honeysuckle to Orroral Valley and back, one requirement is a dry track up Mt Tennent.
Reports from the Triple Tri are varied, Ewen has sore quads on the "no train, all pain" theory of mountain running. CJ has pulled up well, seems happy with herself, after running over Red Hill, the last run leg of the race. Kelley is still out of action with shin splints. Other than that, the rest of the squad are fine, that's me.
Group bike ride on Thursday looks doubtful because of the rain, that's good enough to be able to run a bit more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mt Taylor

Distance: 19.65 km
Time: 1 hr 55 mins 42 secs
Rate: 5' 53" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 70%, wind calm
Week: 51.95 km
Nov: 285.65 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4226.85 km = 773.15 km to go

Ewen wrote after his run over the top of Mt Taylor about the magnificent views of the Tuggeranong valley. Well, he is right, but today was such a poor viewing day, cloudy, hazy, cool, that the description didn't do the reality justice.
I ran to the top of the mountain because it has a big steep path recently constructed on the Torrens side, and mostly I can actually run all the way up the 950 metres in length from the track below. I need the training on the hills or I may just fall behind my own training plan for SFT.
Struggled a bit, walked a few steps, then ran freely at other times. A real mixture of a run, but then another one in the bank.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Running out of Time

Distance: 16.15 km (same as yesterday)
Time: 88' 28"
Rate: 5' 29" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 32.3 km
Nov: 266.0 km
Year: Target: 5000 km less ytd 4207.2 km = 792.8 km to go
Year: 4207.2 km in 46 weeks at 91.4 km ave

I set this target of running 5000 km in a year, however I didn't give myself a year to get it done. More like, I decided to try just a few weeks ago.
The problem is I basically had 4 weeks of nothing after the Glasshouse run, just in recovery, then a couple of weeks rebuilding.
Then last week I had a sick day, then a bike ride ride day with no running, so the actual against the plan is now well behind schedule.
Nevertheless, it is still possible if the weather holds, the form holds, the enthusiasm holds. Certainly no time for injuries or being sick again.
Today I managed to get near the average required of just under 19 km per day. With a long run on Saturdays, that is still within range, just don't need any non running days. Even a few kms will do, such as after the bike ride on Thursday.
Today I did the usual run from home to Point Hut, up through Gordon to home for lunch, then back behind Bonython to work. Nice day, plenty of sunshine, in contrast to Saturday and Sunday, there was no one near the river. I will revisit the cool water tomorrow after my mid week long run.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Calwell Oval - 25 laps in lane 5

Distance: 16.15 km
Time: 73' 57"
Rate: 4' 35" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 15-18 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 16.15 km
Nov: 249.85 km
Year: Target 5000km less ytd 4191.05 km = 808.95 km to go

Backed up well after Cotter run, felt really good after easy jog down to Calwell oval. A 2 hour sleep yesterday afternoon made a big difference after a few restless nights during the week. Nice sunny morning to go around in circles in lane 5, alone after Mike Sainsbury and his training group finished about 10.00am.
Lane 5 still in good condition, ran on the grass in bare feet, a great feeling to be at one with the surface. Five sets of 5 laps, changed direction after each set, short rest for a drink, cruising intervals.
A bit of variation in set times, not much and not noticeable during the running, so each 5 lap set was 9' 35", 9'39",9'28", 9'32" and a quicker finish in 9'16". Overall average of 4' 11" per km, could have done more, could have gone quicker but that can wait until I get a bit fitter. No point pushing to the edge just yet.
Easy jog back home, very nice session, loved it. It's been a very good weekend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Back to the Cotter

Distance: 28.6 km
Time: 2 hrs 41 mins 10 secs
Rate: 5' 38" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 15-23 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm
Week: 96.95 km
Nov: 233.7 km
Year: Target 5000km less ytd 4174.9 km = 825.1 km to go

Run number 131 at the Cotter since one run in March 1994, then getting serious from Feb 1995. Plenty of time away due to bush fires, winter, but really glad to get back today with a break since end of March.
For those who don't have a copy of my training plan for SFT 2009, there a few runs out there to lay down a long distance base before the serious stuff starts in Dec, Jan & Feb.
Today was just about as good as it gets, sunny, just warm enough, little humidity and no wind in contrast to the absolutely huge thunderstorm experienced last night about 1:00am.
Three of us fronted at 7:30 this morning, a routine 18 miles, tracks have been beautifully graded before the fire season. A tad slow for the first run, softshoeshuffle electing to do the 15 mile having missed a few months recently with a foot injury.
Glad to get around the course in one piece, no problems, other than need the distance. Best part was that Vanities Crossing was nicely flowing, water just on the warm side of cool, almost heaven on earth after 22 kms.
Cooled the legs, washed off the sweat, and then struggled to get going again up the hills of Ma & Pa and towards Pierce's settlement.
Overall, good day out, and CJ, the coffee man was there at the finish with his mobile trailer. Smelt great.
After I finish writing this story, I am taking James to Pine Is for a long soak in the cool waters of the Murrumbidgee River. Doesn't get much better that today, I have placed the order for next Saturday as well.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Today was Warm

Distance: 15.55 km
Time: 86' 05"
Rate: 5' 32" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 31 degrees, humidity 25%, NW wind at 24 kmph
Week: 68.05 km
Nov: 205.1 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4146.3 km = 853.7 km to go

Friday usual run from work after morning chat, down to Pine Is, attacked bya magpie, same one, same place. Then along river track to Point Hut, up to Woodcock Dr, cross over to Gordon, through to Drakeford Dr, and home for lunch.
Check email from Kelley to get update on injury, not too good at this stage, shin splints, needs more rest and getting very frustrated. Just need to be patient before diving in at the shallow end and getting it right. Plenty of time to get to the start line at SFT.
Then running late to get back to work, charge down Johnson Dr and Woodcock Dr to gravel track behind Bonython into a very warm NW wind, didn't want that. Arrive at work to find Chief Minister and now minister in charge of us, glad someone is, is hovering around the depot. Quick shower and on the road again. Too easy.
Don't you just love the bosses when someone important is about, everyone is trying to look important and look busy. Well they did well because they kept the chief out of our way until all buses had left the depot, so chief had no one to talk to. That's consultation!!!
First run of the SFT training program tomorrow morning at the Cotter, just and easy trot around the 18 miler.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Taste of Summer Bike Ride

Bike Ride:
Distance: 20.45 km in 1 hr 18 mins 45 secs @ ave 14.9 kmph (speed to burn)
Running: nil ( again)
Weather: sunny, very warm, temp 27 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm

Only 4 brave cyclists ventured out today, the rest of the group are still hiding under the salt bush. One day they will find a season that suits, obviously what lies ahead is not one of those seasons.
Nor was the one that has just passed, or the one from May to August. And the maggies season for dive bombing is close to an end as well.
I climbed out of my sick bed from Wednesday to make up the numbers and offer navigational instructions. In the absence of out lost and fearless leader, we are a group without a rudder, Captain Cook come back. End of this month we hope.
With much ado about where to go, we went south beside the river to Point Hut, then to Gordon, not the big hill behind the houses, Frazzle the Faller would have gone home, home is close. Instead, we stayed close to the main road to Namadgi National Park, turning east behind Banks just to find a hill. We soon found out where F the F was at, piked out at a small rise while BT, Earth Tremor and myself, deputy chief, went high to view the sights and hear the sounds of the Lanyon valley.
May have been the heat, may have been the slow pace, not a hint of a fall, couple of locked brakes on the dirt, really just a good fun day bike ride day.
More numbers would mean more excitement, but we don't need too much. Except for the nice girl cyclist on the Pine Is/Pt Hut track, that was excitement.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It wasn't Me


Nil: everything

Yesterday I wrote about being tired and having an early night. Early it was, but that counted to nothing when my stomach contents decided they didn't like the location.
About 1 am, up they came, and bed is where I have been ever since. It seems a virus is going around and I caught it big time.
In fact a day off work may well be a blessing in disguise, probably needed the break, but not the cause.
As I write this now at 8:30 pm, I feel fine, so the bike ride tomorrow is a good chance. Must drink plenty tomorrow, dehydration on a hot day after not much today must be countered.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Urambi Hills on Remembrance Day

Distance: 20.3 km
Time: 2 hrs 1 min 42 sec
Rate: 6' 00"
Weather: sunny, temp 24 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 52.5 km
Nov: 189.55 km
Year: Target 5000 less ytd 4130.75 km = 869.25 km to go

I am not really one for the numbers to be aligned but after observing a minutes silence at work, I walked out the front door of the depot and waited for the GPS to find the satellites. I noted the time, and waited a few seconds to start at exactly 11.11.11 am.
That was the good part of the day. The run was very average, felt sluggish all the way, need a rest day tomorrow before bike ride day on Thursday.
I went over to the back part of Urambi Hill, intending to do 2 circuits going up the back track where we once ran a monthly handicap, on to the fire trail behind the houses, then a long down hill through the open paddock back to Tuggie Creek. Workmen on the fire trail making the houses safer for the bush fire season had blocked off part of the track so I scrambled around them, only one lap was really possible.
From Tuggie Creek, it was out and back to the kookaburra gate, then back to Pine Is for 20 minutes in the water before jogging back to work.
Nice day, pity about the run, but there is always a message in it somewhere. I have heeded the warning. Early to bed tonight, I need some rest.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Australian Wildlife

Distance: 16.1 km ( same as yesterday)
Time: 89' 21"
Rate: 5' 33" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 22 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 32.2 km
Nov: 169.25 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4110.45 km = 889.55 km to go
Year: 4110.45 km in 45 weeks at ave 91.3 km

I usually run from work to home for lunch and run back again. But, petrol was as cheap as it has been for a long while so I took the car back to work to fill up tonight.
That changed running plans for the day, so I started out from work casually as usual. No point pushing, better to enjoy a near perfect day to be outdoors. From work down to Pine Is, along the river track to Point Hut, then over to the Gordon pond, on to Lanyon shops, then finding a path up to the Tuggeranong Hill proved a bit of a challenge. So was the up hill to get there.
Eventually, I found a bush track behind some houses, crossed rugged country to find the sub station behind Theodore. Easy and mostly down hill from here to Calwell oval, past the shops and home for lunch.
Wildlife everywhere, first a beautiful echidna on the track near the river, obviously found some ants. Then a kookaburra on a power line near Point Hut, searching with good eyes for any movement on ground level. Then a large mob of kangaroos on Tuggeranong Hill, going up as easy as you like. Oh to be that good.
Beaut day, too good to be at work.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Calwell Oval - 20 laps in Lane 5

Distance: 16.1 km
Time: 77' 05"
Rate: 4' 47" per km
Weather: sunny, nice day, temp 20 degrees, humidity 30%, calm
Week: 16.1 km
Nov: 153.15 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4094.35 km = 905.65 km to go

Back to the lovely setting of the grass running track at Calwell oval. Last time there was in May and today marked the return. Over the winter and recently, the soccer players had taken over on a Sunday morning, and the little kids run there on Saturdays.
Beaut day today, so instead of just going out for an easy jog, I decided to ease back into the tempo running in lane 5. For those that may have forgotten, Ewen has use of lane 6, and I wouldn't like to tread on his toes.
The grass has been mowed, the rain on Friday night has the track in top condition, ran in bare feet as usual.
The run down from home was the warm up, 4 x 5 laps in lane 5, changed direction after each 5 laps, stops muscle soreness constantly going the same way.
This session I read in a running book is not really tempo running, but called "cruise intervals" . The idea is to get into a faster than normal rhythm and hold the pace. There is no fast speed except the last lap of the last set. Consistency is the name of the game. It allow the legs to used to a faster turnover especially good for down hill running off mountains, stops that quad soreness associated with down hill.
Kept the distance short today, next time I will increase that by another 5 laps and so on. Longest session will be around 40 laps later in summer. I tried to be under 2 minute laps in lane 5, about 440 metres each lap, and resulted in 5 lap times of 10'15" ,10'14" 10'01" and 9' 51" for around 2.2 km each set, overall around 4'30" pace.
Nothing too flash, good easy running, a cool down around the outside of the oval, then a jog back home.
I will now try to do a track session once a week, more likely during the week with a few Sunday events on the program until New Year. I like this session, not quite as good as 40 kms on a Saturday morning, but almost.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mt Majura Winery

Distance: 16.7 km
Time: 2 hrs 24 mins 16 secs
Rate: 8' 38" per km
Weather: cloudy, rain overnight, light drizzle to start then cleared, temp 14-16 degrees, humidity 98% - 45%, light NW wind at 15 kmph
Week: 111.45 km
Nov: 137.05 km
Year: Target 5000km less ytd 4078.25 km = 921.75 km to go

Last Saturday I decided I am not fit enough to run 26 kms over three mountains at any decent pace. So I asked John from AMRA if I could jog behind the pack to collect the signs and arrow markers. Too easy. Asked softshoeshuffle to help as he is now returning to running after months off with a foot problem.
The alarm went off at 5:00am to the sound of rain, 10 mils had fallen in Tuggeranong overnight. We arrived at the winery where a fairly good number had decided to brave the conditions, a few late scratching, mostly I would think because of the weather, the track was muddy and slippery in places. And some, due to injury!! So early, and training hasn't even started for SFT.
The main field left at 6:30 am over the top of Mt Majura first instead of last, the course changed to add Mt Pleasant and to eliminate the run along Antill St at Watson. At 7:00 am, the shorter one peak event left and we followed them a little while later collecting signs. Some useless and irresponsible bush walker had moved the signs on top of Mt Majura, the course was only marked on Friday afternoon. However, there is only one other way down, that's where the field must have ran.
We jogged back to the start, then drove to Mt Ainslie Road to collect the signs on the new Mt Pleasant section at Campbell and above the Australian Defence Force Academy. Nice area in there, bit muddy in places, but a nice running area.
Later collected the signs on part of Mt Ainslie before heading back to the winery. Most had gone as we waited only a short time for the last of the 20 km bush walkers to arrive. Out for over 4 hours, they did very well.
Collecting the signs at the tail of the field is a good way to cover some distance, no pace required, no pressure to run hard, and plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. However, the time has come to step up so next run at Deep Space marathon weekend will be the 18 km, a very good run from Honeysuckle Tracking station over the range to the Orroral Valley and return. Certainly not easy, but a great part of Namadgi National Park.
Later today, I will set out a plan for Saturday training runs through to SFT in March. Looking forward to some good weather and a few high mountains. Just need to get fit enough first. Starts at the Cotter next Saturday.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Update after Bike Ride

Distance: 15.3 km
Time: 82' 05"
Rate: 5' 22" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 70%, wind calm
Week: 94.75 km
Nov: 120.35 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4061.55 = 938.45 kms to go

Today I ran home for lunch and back to work under cloudy conditions, looked like rain all day and finally at night now, there is a light drizzle on the roof top. Nothing exciting happened, not even a maggie attack. The run was ok, probably because of the cooler conditions.
Resulting from yesterday's bike ride, Frazzle the Faller has had the day off work, seen in a doctor's waiting room. It appears that the shoulder, although not serious, is rather sore. Message is simple, stay upright.
Ewen, Kelley wants to know when you are joining the SFT training group for a long casual Saturday morning run. She needs someone behind her so she is not last to finish. However, with those two weeks of huge kms, you may well finish in front of us all. I will mention to her that you also have some very good training tips for SFT.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Big Bike Ride Day

Bike ride: Distance: 33.95 km in 1 hr 52 mins 34 secs ave 18.2 kmph
Run: Distance: 5.45 km in 28' 55" ave 5' 19" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 20 degrees, humidity 60%, light NW wind
Week: 79.45 km
Nov: 105.05 km
Year: Target - 5000 km less ytd 4046.25 km = 953.75 km to go

The ride didn't start out too well with a few late scratchings ( horse talk) due to overdoing the iron pumping the day before in the gym. Can't back up 2 days in a row, need more Weetbix for breakie. No wonder these 2 are called Tinkerbell and Jane!!
Then 3 rode away while I waited for the GPS to find satellites. Forty five seconds later they were out of sight. They had stopped at the servo for air, while I went a slightly different way, and that was it, never to be seen again. Mt Taylor was our destination, I had decided to go via the Parkway, the other explorers went Athllon Dr so as chance would have it, we met in the middle of no where.
So fresh they looked, Frazzle with the funny sticks out the top of his helmet. Stopped the maggies attacking but apparently the wattle birds were not advised by ACT Environment that they were not to attack. Friendly little birdies.
Then of course we had the spectacular, almost necessary CRASH. Frazzle decided brakes are only for beginners, hoons around a corner near the reservoir on Mt Taylor, oh dear!! he says, as the bike goes sideways, and Frazzle sends the biggest cloud of dust into the atmosphere. No need for global warming, that dust will circulate the world for years. Dirt all over him, skin off leg and knee, a sore shoulder, but bravely continues on. Must be careful around him from now on, that's 2 crashes in 2 rides.
So far so easy, gentle little hills on Mt Taylor, then a bigger one on Oakey, bit rougher, bit tougher, Earth Tremor feeling the pinch as good rider Terry powers on, his fully suspensioned mountain bike controlling the rough tracks.
Onwards and upwards to the horse paddocks near the Cotter Road as we finally find a flat bike path near the North Curtin oval. Good news, flat but we are now 15 kms from home, Earth Tremor is now buggered, Frazzle is sore and stiff, and good rider Terry and myself get passed by a young girl on a bike heading south.
Pity about the drop kicks hiding under a bridge with cans of paint doing their artwork on the concrete walls.
We chase young girl on the road bike as she powers away on the flat, but she eases back on the hills as a couple of old exercise junkies catch her at the top of Athllon Dr. That stuffed the legs for a while, too much lactic chasing the impossible dream.
Back at work, I change helmet for cap, and head to Pine Is for a short run. Just lowering the almost impossible target as well, but to get 12 minutes of standing in the cool water of the river. It certainly does the job.
Never did see Earth Tremor or Frazzle after Woden, hope they made it back Ok, and Frazzle makes it to work on Friday. Certainly was a big spill.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Distance: 13.85 km
Time: 96' 15"
Rate: 6' 57" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp about 15 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 74.0 km
Nov: 99.6 km
Year: target 5000 km less ytd 4040.8 km = 959.2 km to go

A slow walk, jog around the first part of the last monthly handicap course of the year at Innabaanya. A slight change may be needed as the tracks are getting rough and overgrown but basically the course will remain the same.
On the way back, I was dropped off on the Monaro Hwy near Rose Cottage and ran down Isabella Dr to work. Nothing exciting else to report, not much of a day weather wise but at least I knocked a few more kms off the yearly target.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cup Day Double Up

Distance: 26.65 km
Time: 2 hrs 27 mins 38 secs
Rate: 5' 32" per km
Weather: sunny, temp range 15-19 degrees, humidity 30%, wins sthly at 15 km to start then eased to calm
Week: 60.15 km
Nov: 85.75 km
Year: 5000 km less ytd 4026.95 km = 973.05km to go

Beautiful day for a day off work with the Melbourne Cup to be run at 3 pm. I had planned to get a reasonably long run in but left very late morning hoping to be back before the horses jumped. However, hunger took over so I cut the run short and headed home for lunch.
The first part was towards the Theodore sub station, into a gentle but cool southerly breeze. Around the Conder side of Tuggeranong Hill to the ridge track above Lanyon shops. Needing a few hills to get fitter, I headed over the ridge to the Calwell side, down the steep track to go under Drakeford Dr at Gordon, then home.
Watched the horses go round in a race that "stops a nation" . Out again down towards the river for a 10 minute stand in the water then back home. Plenty of kids about playing in the water enjoying a day off school.
The only piece of knowledge I have about horses is you put plenty of money in one end, wait a while then you get manure from the other end, put in a bag and sell it for $2. Great for the garden. No wonder the economy is going so well.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Counting Down

Distance: 16.05 km
Time: 85' 37"
Rate: 5' 20" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 19 degrees, humidity 60%, NW wind at 25 kmph
Week: 33.50 km
Nov: 59.1 km
Year: 5000 km less ytd 4000.3 km = 999.7 km to go

Same run as last Friday just under a minute quicker from work to home via Pine Is and Point Hut. Lunch and back behind Bonython into a fairly strong wind.
As I have targeted 5000 km for the year, I have decided to count down to the end of the year. Getting past 4000 km today was almost like making the " follow on" in cricketing terms. Now, I can just get on with the job, and therefore set up a big base for next year.
What about Ewen, two weeks of holidays very well used, wouldn't it be good to do that on a regular basis. A good mix of training, obviously tired at times, but that is what it is all about. Well done.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Finding a Course at Stromlo Forest Park

Distance: 17.45 km
Time: 95' 51"
Rate: 5' 29" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 14-18 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 17.45 km
Nov: 43.05 km
Year: 3984.25 km

This was my first time to actually run on the grass cross country course at Stromlo Forest Park. This is partly due to being too lazy to drive that far, I usually work on a Saturday night finishing after midnight and then sleep in on Sunday morning, and I can run on great trails from home.
This weekend I haven't worked so an early night last night enabled me to get out of bed and get out to Stromlo for an 8:00 am start. Unfortunately, few others had read about the earlier start so only 3 of us were there at 8.
This gave Chris and Nigel a chance to help me find suitable tracks to run our monthly handicap in March '09.
Anyone that doesn't like the course, you missed your chance.
We made the most of the grass cross country track, then off on to the dirt on a out and back with a loop for the long course. You don't realize that the grass track is not flat until you run on it. A couple of times we ran the course to get it checked for distance by GPS. Distance probably around 7 km for the long course and 3.5 km for the short. Hopefully the mountain bikes will be well away from our area on run day, and the weather will be kind as there are no trees to provide shade or relief from the wind.
On the way home I stopped at Pine Is. A short 3 km run then into the river for 10 minutes for aid recovery. The sun had appeared by then, a nice afternoon should be on the way.
A good morning, thanks to Chris and Nigel for their input, greatly appreciated, especially with the calculations of distances, all using our own brain power, fingers and toes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Out of Shape for Mountain Running

Distance: 25.6 km
Time: 2 hrs 41 mins 56 secs
Rate: 6' 19" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 13-18 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 83.0 km
Nov: 25.6 km
Year: 3966.8 km

The Cotter group have returned to run in the city during summer. The Cotter area is very open and exposed with little shade after the bush fires a few years ago. The usual summer start area at Molonglo Reach is also a bit of a hazard due to road works, so the new start area is behind the Australian War Memorial where there is a car park, room to assemble and a drinking water tap. The up hill start is a bit of a wake up so early in the morning.
I misjudged the time to get there due to the extra distance and the roadworks so arrived about 2 minutes after 7:00 am. A large group had gathered, mainly female with a few of regular Cotter group runners. Debbie has done well to gather a group of females and get them out early on a Saturday morning. They did the Mt Ainslie base track circuit.
The group was heading towards the gun club and then along the track above Campbell Park offices. I had reached the front of the group by the up hill to the saddle that separates Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura, then turned right towards the reservoir above Hackett. At the exit from Trent's hill, to my surprise, Chris L was emerging, well done to him, I leave that track until later when I can actually up run it. We ran together to the reservoir when Chris went left and back to the start. I went right down to the Majura pines area to have a look at the course for November monthly handicap. Then back to the horse stile, up the mountain running course to the 4 ways at the half way to the top of Mt Majura. Walked most of this section, it is steep, but I can usually run it, although slowly. Turned down the zig zag track after a rest and to admire the view. All the way to the houses and then along to the main Mt Ainslie base track.
Bit undecided as to where to go, feeling and running ok on the flat, not so good on the hills. Needless to say, the only way to improve is to do it. So up to the saddle, on to the roller coaster track for a short way, then up to the top of Mt Ainslie. Walked again up this section until the track levels out nearing the top. Short stop at the top, then down the main front track to the start. Plenty of people about again, mainly female as well and good to see everyone out there getting the most out of a nice morning.
At the War Memorial the GPS said only 20.4 kms, not nearly enough, so I headed towards the Campbell High school, on to the Mt Ainslie base track towards the gun club, then found a track upwards that finished about half way up the main front Mt Ainslie track. A few walkers I had met going up said good morning again as I slowly jogged, at least looked good to them.
Found a newly graded track to get me down and finally made it back to the start. Everyone had gone that had been there at 7 am, so a drink and a piece of cake ( carbos).
The flat running acceptable, the up hill was very average, so I am out of shape for mountain running at this time. A few hills a couple of times a week will hopefully sort that out, plus a good solid long hilly run on Saturdays. There is plenty to do over the next two months before the serious training starts to get to SFT.