Two Fruits

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year in Review - 2008

Distance: 13.95 km
Time: 74' 46"
Rate: 5' 23" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 20 degrees, humidity 33%, NW wind at 20 kmph
Week: 51.9 km
Dec: 379.85 km in 24/31 days at 15.83 km ave per run day
Year: 4812.0 km in 277/366 days at 17.37 km ave per run day
Year: 4812.0 km in 52.2 weeks at 92.2 km ave per week
Year: 4812.0 km in 12 months at 401.0 km ave per month

Past 11 years:
Distance: 40898 kms
Running days: 2438 days / 4018
Ave: 16.77 km per run day
Ave: 71.5 km per week
Ave: 309.8 km per month

This year has been the best year for many reasons on the running front. For the last 6 months, I had time and opportunity at work to run in the day time due to having a split shift with 4 hours off in the middle of the day.
Mother-in-law was also with us for most of the year, she is no coach but she did provide a reason to get out of the house and run for hours and hours. She has gone to Victoria now, soon to return to Tassie.
This year, I covered more distance and ran more often. Average monthly total of just over 400 kms was good, however the ave distance per run dropped down a bit to 17.3 km per run. I still only ran on 277 days of the year, so there was plenty of rest, recovery, tapering, not counting most days of riding the mountain bike to work and home, and those Thursday bike ride days with the guys from work.
Very lucky not to have been injured enough to stop running, except for blisters after Glasshouse run in Sept, and a small stress fracture in my right foot also from Glasshouse probably from the change of running style. Don't think I mentioned the stress fracture before, but all is OK now.
A couple of falls during the year, nothing lost except skin and pride. I ran 5 ultras during the year, survived all, postponed C2K to 2009. Looking forward to next year, all the things that go with running up and down mountains, covering long distances, running the monthly handicaps for a bit of speed work.
I have been luck as well to run with some good company during the year, CJ and softshoeshuffle, when fit and healthy, the others that do SFT training following me on some tough mountain runs. Sometime I keep up, sometimes I don't.
Results are not all that important to me, just being able to get out and do it, the training, the running, the scenery, the company are more important.
Thanks to everyone that read these stories I write, the comments, those that read and don't comment.
May 2009 be good and kind to you, have a great New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Black Mountain & Beyond

Distance: 24.7 km
Time: 2 hrs 38 mins 56 secs
Rate: 6' 25" per km
Weather: strange day, forecast sunny with top temp 23 degrees, turned out to be cool, temp while running 14-16 degrees, cloudy, humidity about 50%, wind calm early then windy from west
Week: 37.95 km
Dec: 365.9 km
Year: 4798.45 km

All welcome invitation to those not working for today, maybe the thought of Black Mountain and Dairy Farmer's Hill put them off. However, dedicated mountain runners CJ and softshoeshuffle were there ready to go at 7:30 am. A good warm up run for Saturday on Mt Tennent.
Starting near the entrance to Black Mountain peninsular, away we went towards the Botanical Gardens, around the outside following the 3rd Tuesday of the month's run up course so CJ knows where to go now she works in the city. Made it to the top with a few walking bits, but Ok. Then we lost CJ.
After watching the news report last night on TV of a lady on Mt Majura being lifted out by helicopter after falling a breaking a hip, we became a little concerned when she failed to come down off the summit. Maybe, a lot concerned as we didn't fancy making a stretcher out of branches and carrying her back down.
All's well that ends well, just missed a turn. Finally found her on the way back up, we soon turned around and made our way to where I had left softshoeshuffle, now he's gone. A couple of females also running up Black Mountain were asked to send him back if they found him. Soon he returns as well. Away we go after a short chat.
Down on the GDE side, through the underpass although CJ wanted to dodge the traffic to cross the road to the cork plantation. Up the gun barrel track to the new arboretum, plenty of work has been done with taxpayers money, then on to Dairy Farmer's Hill. Wind picking up now from the west, still cool, on towards Clo's Crossing after stopping at every corner to discuss directions.
We turned around not far on from Clo's, back under the Tuggeranong Parkway to exit at the National Zoo & Aquarium. Back to the start on the bike path which I found tiring on the sealed surface even with a following wind.
Quick chat at the finish about Saturday's run up Mt Tennent a couple of times. A good day today, not too difficult. Just far enough for a mid week run. Certainly need more over the next two months to get to Explorer's Tree ready to run SFT. That's the start line, haven't thought about the finish line yet.
Thanks to CJ and softshoeshuffle for their company today.
Next to do today, afternoon siesta, told you so, inactive recovery.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Calwell Oval - 25 laps in lane 5

Total Distance: 13.25 km
Total Time: 57' 52"
Rate: 4' 22" per km
Weather: sunny, part cloud, temp 21-25 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm to start then NW up to 25 kmph
Week: 13.25 km
Dec: 341.2 km
Year: 4773.75 km in 52 weeks at 91.8 km ave per week

Returned to the oval today for my 2nd favourite training session. With holidays recently, the grass is in need of a mow but it is still in top condition. Last time down here was 16th Nov and that was probably the last fast session I have done. I certainly showed in the first couple of laps.
I ran with the usual arrangements, lane 5, bare feet, changed direction every 5 laps, short rest and drink after each 5 laps which is about 2.25 kms. The books call this "cruise intervals" not really tempo running. Whatever, I has the same effect of longer distance at a faster speed than normal running. A speed session it isn't.
A slow start, the pace getting faster each set of 5 laps with kms rates of 4' 27', 4' 27", 4' 22", 4' 13", & 4' 07".
A couple of stings on the feet either from bees hiding in the clover of a sharp pointy thorn. Nothing to worry about. Nice day, very enjoyable. No one else about, oval to myself.
Long run over Black Mtn and Dairy Farmer's Hill and to Stromlo tomorrow. That will be a great day out with an early start at 7:30 am from Black Mtn peninsular, first toilet block just inside the entrance. Everyone welcome.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Out Run the Thunder Storm

Distance: 12.85 km
Time: 69' 25"
Rate: 5' 24" per km
Weather: cloudy, bit sunny, temp 24-28 degrees, humidity 45%, wind calm to start then up to NW at 20 kmph
Week: 100.1 km with 1975 metres of altitude gain/loss
Dec: 327.95 km
Year: 4760.5 km

The thunder then the lightning and rain started just as I walked in the back door. Earlier this morning, it was warm and muggy.
Running easy down towards Point Hut, along the river track to Pine Is. Stopped twice on the way, once when a frightened red belly black snake felt my presence and slithered away from a warm sandy spot on the track. Then a stop for 10 minutes at Pine Is to have a swim and stand in the cool waters to help some tired legs. The water level has risen about half a metre in a few days, maybe from a release of water from a dam upstream. Seems like too much just from rain fall.
Running back towards home behind Bonython, the dark clouds appeared closer and more threatening, upping the pace, not to stop getting wet, I was that anyway, but getting struck by lightning did not appeal.
Good steady run today after yesterday on the mountain, felt Ok, must have been the 12 hours of sleep.
Looking out the window now, the rain has stopped and on TV, Australia have just got the first South African wicket. Could be an afternoon on the couch, hopefully I won't drift off into snooze land again.

What Happened Next?

Nothing yet

Tired yesterday afternoon after our Mt Rob Roy run with the couch tempting to crash on for a snooze.

Finally made a decision, took the mountain bike out of the garage, rode down to the river. The water level has risen in the past few days, cooler and flowing well after recent rain. Found a quiet spot at Point Hut, splashed about carefully for 15 minutes, then rode back home. Bike distance 10 km.
Then exhaustion took over, watched the news on TV, in bed at 7:30 pm. Slept for 12 hours. Buggered, feel better this morning.
Storm forecast for later today, may get 12 - 15 km done this morning.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Mt Rob Roy - No 34

Distance: 30.05 km
Time: 3 hrs 28 mins 11 secs
Rate: 6' 55" per km
Elevation gain: 780 metres
Weather: cloudy to start, then sunny, temp 15-25 degrees, humidity 50% - 25%, wind calm
Week: 87.25 km
Dec: 315.1 km
Year: 4747.2 km

It's hard work running, jogging and walking up Mt Rob Roy at the best of times in good conditions, that is, cool day, mild temp, nice day in winter. But the day after Christmas Day does make it a bit more of a challenge. Early start doesn't help, but that is tradition, Boxing Day on Mt Rob Roy.
Mick, Nick and Michael helped continue the tradition joining me at 7:30 in the morning to tackle the hill. From my place in wonderful Tuggeranong valley, we ran past the Calwell shops to the oval, grass needs cutting, lanes 5 & 6 look slow, but inviting. Then onwards and now upwards to the sub station at Theodore.
No rhythm early, legs just rolling over with the fast guys leading the way. Then upwards to the mountain. It's 5 km from the gate into the Pini property to the track up from Conder, very dry conditions, no water in the creek at the half way point. Luckily the two fast guys stopped at the 3 yellow posts on the high point on the track, which is not quite the top of the mountain. The track to the top is now hard to find, leading off to the left a couple of hundred metres going down the back of the mountain.
The trig itself is is need of repair, the goat track into it could do with some maintenance, but that won't happen.
Down the back to exit the nature park looking over to Royalla and Burra on the Monaro Highway leading to Cooma. Around a loop to the open paddock with a few sheep grazing on not much grass. Sun out now, starting to warm up and finally the legs came good. Much better on the return into the nature park to rejoin the track we came up, and to collect a water bottle hidden in the bush. Drinking plenty now, warm and dry conditions, more like the way I like it, but not to Nick's liking, feeling the pinch a bit.
Back to the sub station, very loose rocky and steep in parts on the down, did not notice it so much going up. Exited near the sub station, collecting another drink bottle hidden under a tree, needed all of it. Nearly 2 litres drank during the run. Michael was not far from his home so we said, see you next week on Mt Tennent, another great day.
Caught Mick and Nick near the Calwell oval, still going Ok. Very enjoyable day, tough, as Nick said, you didn't tell me how hard it would be. Of course not, he wouldn't have turned up if he had known.
Speedygeoff wrote last week about doing some hill running next year but only without stairs, steps and rocks. Next week's run up Mt Tennent will be from Apollo Road, on the smooth fire trail to the top, out to Bushfold Flats and back to the start, then we do it again. Maybe he could join in, find out where and how it's done. And all other Speedygeese are invited as well. Strewth could come along, nothing to worry about with this Mt Tennent run. A nice warm sunny day, early start, water tank on the top of the mountain to refresh. Another great day coming up.
Maybe a hilly run during the week would help.
Pine Is cool water this afternoon, if I don't go to sleep on the couch, then it will be tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Distance: 11.65 km
Time: 61' 54"
Rate: 5' 19" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 19 degrees, humidity 65%, wind calm
Week: 57.2 km
Dec: 285.05 km
Year: 4717.15 km

Nothing too exciting to write about, home for lunch and back to work for a short while with the rest of this week and next week on holidays. Then work a week and holidays for another week.
As well as having a few day's off work, try to remember some one important was born on Christmas Day.
So why is the next day called Boxing Day? Not for fighting I hope. Me and few others will be having what has become a minor tradition, about the past 6-7 years, a run up to the top of Mr Rob Roy and back. Basically to burn off all those extra calories consumed the day before. Distance around 31 kms, plenty of hills. Weather forecast is fine and sunny, and very warm, should be fun.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To Gym or Not to Gym

Distance: 5.8 km
Time: 30' 02"
Rate: 5' 10" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 23 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 45.55 km
Dec: 273.4 km
Year: 4705.5 km

Conditions outside looked fairly average about noon, so I had some lunch, watched the news, then thought some more about going for a short run or going into the gym or doing nothing.
Opened the door to the gym, looked inside, no inspiration to go any further, so I got changed and headed outdoors. The sun was showing itself through the clouds, but I did get a short run in, and 15 minutes in the water at Pine Is.
A slightly sore left hammy, probably a result from Sunday's fast pace keeping up to Liz Bennett, not use to running fast at the moment. Memo to self, get back to the oval, lane 5 will be free now for a while. Soreness disappeared after cool water treatment.
The gym door was open when I returned, went inside, sat in contemplation wondering exactly what runners should do in the gym. Leg work, do enough of that, other muscles, don't need to be any bigger than I am, power to weight ratio. Walked out, still wondering.

Monday, December 22, 2008

School Holidays

Distance: 15.25 km
Time: 80' 30"
Rate: 5' 17" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25 degrees, humidity 35%, NW wind 20 kmph
Week: 39.75 km
Dec: 267.6 km
Year: 4699.7 km in 51 weeks at 92.15 km ave per week

The kids have finished school for the year and the 40 kmph signs are now covered outside the school zones. Well, at most schools, seems some schools didn't bother to fold up the sign.
Today I ran home for lunch, rested, and ran back to work via Pine Is to stop for 10 minutes for stand in the water. A recovery that I didn't do yesterday as I had a snooze in the afternoon after the Tour de Mountain.
Nice day to run today, sunny, no wind, great to be out and about.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tour de Mountain - Mawson, ACT

Distance by GPS: 24.5 km ( advertised at 25 km)
Time: 2 hrs 7 mins 7 secs
Rate: 5' 11" per km
Weather: perfect, 6:00 am start, sunny, temp 10-15 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 24.5 km
Dec: 252.35 km
Year: 4684.45 km

The course was changed this year to eliminate some of the rocky, dangerous down hill parts on Wanniassa Hills. This resulted in a longer 25 km event instead of 19 km and the adding of a 9 km one mountain run and a 17 km mini tour. Record numbers of participants indicated the changes were for the better.
Early start for the longest event at 6:00 am just after sunrise meant a cool start turning out a perfect day for running. At this time of the year and through summer, the chance of a total fir ban is always high, but the AMRA get permission to still conduct events if the event is started and finished early morning before the heat and wind become a factor.
Start line was at Mawson Playing Fields, ideal with plenty of parking, toilets and a big area for the start/finish area. After a quick dash up Athllon Dr heading south, the 25 km runners crossed the road towards Mt Taylor. Previously Mt Taylor was done last with only 3 mains climbs on the run. This year, Mt Taylor is first of 5 climbs, and being fresh maybe a little easier. The up hill is still the easiest side from the horse paddocks, but those stairs near the top are too far apart for me to run, I need to take big walking steps. Going well at this early stage having passed training partners, Mick, Nick and John on the way although they were not far behind.
Near the top I was running beside Liz Bennett, a well credentialled marathon runner and SFT aspirant next year. We were to run together for the rest of the event. Some youngsters piled on the pace both on the up and down, some we didn't see again and some fell in a heap later on. Back to the Athllon Dr crossing and on to Farrer ridge, an easy climb to the trig up a newish track, then down to the underpass at Yamba Dr. Mick later said he was not far behind at this stage but just couldn't catch us.
The next part up to Wanniassa trig was done in reverse previously but the track is now very rocky and washed out due to rain. Ok to run up but not good if running down. Walked a few parts of this saving energy and still passing a few of the slower runners in the 17 km event that started half an hour after us. Liz still beside me, she was happy as she lives north side and was unfamiliar with the course.
Isaacs ridge course also changed, now we were to climb to the top twice, from both ends, needless some power walking required to get up there. Excellent views over to Woden and Black Mountain in the city but only to be admired when going up. You watch your feet on the down.
The circuit completed, back to the houses of Farrer after the second underpass from Isaacs and the going was now easy, well the hills had gone, much flatter and the pace a little faster. Still keeping up with Liz although we both said we were getting tired.
We passed a youngster walking, he had gone passed us at speed earlier and paid the price, just a lack of experience, he will learn.
Finally made the turn with half a km to go to the finish line, Liz eased away to finish 30 metres in front. We had a great run together, chatted most of the time, encouraged when the going got tough. I hope she does have a go at SFT, anyone that can consistently run sub 3 hour marathon just needs hills and more hills to be ready.
I noted Friar's comments about entries may be limited for next year for SFT at around 850, best get in early.
I finished less than a minute in front of Mick, Nick just a couple of minutes later. How I did that I will never know, just felt good on the day, everything went right, and perhaps running beside someone at a solid pace all the way helps at lot.
Very happy with the day, if you didn't turn up and run, you definitely missed another great day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Jogalong

Run 1. Distance: 7.7 km in 40' 33" at 5' 16" per km
Run 2. Distance: 6.3 km in 30' 38" at 4' 52" per km

Weather: cool, cloudy, temp 19 degrees, humidity 40%, light southerly
Week: 70.3 km
Dec: 227.85 km
Year: 4659.95 km

Transport shuffling today could be called as I drove the car to work this morning, bike left there overnight as it was raining on Thursday night when I finished work. Safety first, no CJ's, no injuries, self preservation.

After a cuppa and a chat, I jogged around the Pine Is area, and returned to work, run No. 1. Cool wind reducing the temp and the number of people out and about. Or maybe it's the global economic crisis, sounds better. Then I drove home for lunch.
Run 2 was back to work over the same tracks as usual behind Bonython. But somehow, even allowing for a bit of wind assistance, I scooted back in under 5 mins km pace. Beats me how.

Rest day Saturday although I do have to ride the mountain bike around the Tour de Mountain course late Saturday afternoon to check none of the direction signs have been moved. Should be a bit of fun providing I stay upright.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hams and Self Preservation

Distance: 10.3 km
Time: 55' 08"
Rate: 5' 21" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 22 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 56.3 km
Dec: 213.85 km
Year: 4645.95 km

Easy run, down by the river, checked out the burn off area from yesterday, stand in the water for 10 minutes and back to work. Nothing exiting about the running.
At 7:45 this morning the hams arrived in two delivery vans. The canteen guys had taken orders over the last couple of months for any one wanting to buy legs of ham. Delivery day today.
A call for volunteers to carry boxes of hams up two flights of stairs to the canteen. Plenty of others about to help, so I watched from close by siting in a chair. Not really bludging but being a little smart.
Each box weighed between 15 and 20 kilos. That, and carrying it up stairs had the alarm bells ringing loudly. Most injuries that affect running come from non running activities. Not willing to take a chance of injury doing something silly like falling, too heavy, bad back!!, heaven forbid, out injured. I watched and soon the job was done. And, why should I help, I didn't order a ham!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Smoke Gets in Your.....Way

Distance: 12.45 km
Time: 66' 00'
Rate: 5' 18" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 22 degrees, humidity 45%, wind light NW at 10 kmph
Week: 46.0 km
Dec: 203.55 km
Year: 4635.65 km

I intended to do the usual run along the river on my way home for lunch. However, the Rural Fire Service were conducting a controlled burn off of 68 hectares between Pine Is and Point Hut, and up to the gravel track behind Bonython. According to the notice attached to a fence, there is (was now) an African weed that had taken over the grasslands. Poisoning a few months ago, and now the burning will eliminate the grass allowing native Australian grasses to be planted and get established over time.
With the river track blocked off, I ran behind the houses of Bonython, up onto Stranger Hill, down on to Woodcock Dr, up Johnson and home for lunch. Same on the way back with a detour to the river at Pine Is for a 10 minute recovery in the water.
However, thunder and then light rain soon had me out as the thought of being fried by lightning did not appeal. So much left in life yet to do.
Funny how you get out of the water as soon as it rains, you're already wet. Good day, different.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Same as Yesterday but Longer

Distance: 17.6 km
Time: 92' 06"
Rate: 5' 14" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 30%, light NW wind at 15 kmph
Week: 33.55 km
Dec: 191.1 km
Year: 4623.2 km

Everything was almost the same as yesterday with quite a few exceptions. Is that double dutch!!
The run started from work, ( same), ran down the road to Pine Is (same) up to the top car park (different), then past Pine Is, south car park to river track, to Point Hut, up on to Woodcock Dr, through Gordon to Johnson Dr and home ( same) for lunch ( different).
Then back to work (same) at slightly quicker pace. Almost, but not quite.
These similar runs during December are just to reload the base ready for an all out assault next year. Next year will be similar to this year in the first 6 months then it will change. First half will have Six Foot Track, probably at trip to Glasshouse Mountains for the 80 km in May, then Australian 24 hour in August and the big finale, Coast to Koszi in Dec. I'm ordering better weather than this year.
Plus heaps of other shorter events throughout the year, a few events will be missing. Notably Brindabella Classic is not on next year, so maybe an off road marathon or two like Fitzroy Falls or similar.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coast to Kosci - results,

Coast to Kosci - results,

Lunch Time Running

Distance: 15.95 km
Time: 85' 30"
Rate: 5' 21" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 30%, light NW wind at 15 kmph
Week: 15.95 km
Dec: 173.5 km
Year: 4605.6 km in 50 weeks at ave 92.1 km per week

Rest day yesterday after long run on Saturday, plus we went out for lunch. Then James and myself went to Pine Is later in the afternoon. No one else was there, James had a swim, while I just stood in the cool water.
Today, it was time to strap on the shoes and regain some momentum. Easy run home for lunch and back to work.
Nice day today without the wind from the weekend. Legs Ok, bit faster than KB pace from the 100 km run, and I bet a bit faster than her run at C2K. I did note in the results that she finished in front of Lisa from Qld, so now I am impressed. Mind you, she did have a couple of very good crew members, especially when the distance gets long and the going gets tough. Well done Kerrie.
There will be a couple of small changes to the SFT training plan over the next few weeks. The Boxing Day run to Mt Rob Roy will stay on the 26th Dec but the Mt Tennent run on New Year's Day will moved to Sat 3rd Jan '09. The next Mt Tennent run listed for Australia Day, Monday 26th Jan will now be a Mountain Running Assoc race to the top from Apollo Road, then back down and out to Bushfold Flats, then back to the start. Much shorter and easier, but under race conditions should be perfect.
Easier did I say, on the Saturday before we have a 30 km easy Mt Ainslie/Mt Majura, the the first monthly handicap of the year, only 6 km at Campbell Park. Big, big weekend!! That will test out our fitness and recovery.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

We Visited Trent Twice

Distance: 34.95 km
Time: 3 hrs 58 mins 7 secs
Rate: 6' 48" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 16-21 degrees, humidity 55%, very strong NW wind up to 50 kmph
Week: 54.0 km
Dec: 157.55 km
Year: 4589.65 km

The coach's plan said run up and down more mountains. So we did as requested, paid our respects to Trent twice.
Four of left just after 7;30 am from behind the War Memorial with John K catching up a little way down the track as we started a circuit of the base of Mt Ainslie. CJ missing, late withdrawal after a non running incident during the week prevented her running. Mick & Nick, softshoeshuffle and myself had settled into a rhythm running on very soft and at times still wet tracks after yesterday's rain. Canberra had more than this month's average in 24 hours.
The first lap, a reverse of the monthly handicap course was designed to take the freshness out of the legs similar to running down to Coxes River at SFT. Almost exactly 10 km with the start at the drink fountain where the Mountain Running conduct the monthly Mt Ainslie run up.
Then the hard part begins with the first of 2 loops going up the walking track to the top of Mt Ainslie. Then down the back to the power lines, right turn to the saddle and down to the fence line. So far so good until Trent gets his way as the climb up to his grave is no picnic. Rough under foot, a few rocks to negotiate and steep make it a challenge. It's no easier going down this section as well. Ewen knows a story about Trent, may be he made it up, but the view back over the airport does make the climb well worth the effort.
Turn left on the top of the ridge and head back to the saddle to start the roller coaster track on the side of Mt Ainslie. This never gets easy but it is easier going towards Campbell Park offices. It's a couple of kms of just undulating up and down.
Finally exit just before the pistol club, care needed here to keep your head down in case of a stray bullet as I certainly heard shots from inside the compound. Back to the start area and the loop is about 12.5 kms average of about 4 GPS's.
Then we do it all again only this time in reverse, the roller coaster has more punch in it this time as it has more up than down. The wind was beginning to be a factor, very strong in the open, struggle to keep the hat on.
Care taken on the down after revisiting Trent, then head down on the up hill back to the saddle. Walked a bit of this section, and the roller coaster and most of the back of Mt Ainslie feeling the effect of the wind, the virus and lack of running through the week.
Wind blowing a gale on top of Mt Ainslie, but with only 2 km to go and down hill, we were almost done.
Mick and Nick were resting at the table as we finished, glad to get today out of the way. However the plan has another one of these later, but with 3 loops over the mountain. That one will be very tough.
CJ missed a good one, Kelley would have loved today, just short in the fitness department at the moment, but at least running without injury. Hopefully she will be OK after New Year. Strewth, this one would have done wonders for your Canberra marathon campaign, just need to get you social activities out of the way.
Another top day out, just could have done without the wind, warm and sunny would have been fine. Rest day next Saturday due to the Tour de Mountain from Woden on Sunday, looking forward to more hills and a trip over Mt Taylor.
Well done to all the competitors in Coast to Kozi, well done to Tim and Jo on 1st and 2nd in very average conditions. In fact the section to touch Kozi was cancelled due to the bad weather. Just waiting for the results in the women's run to see if Kerrie held Lisa out for the win. Whatever, congratulations to all.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I'm Getting Slack

Rain - rest - distance: Nil
Walking distance: 20 metres from table in canteen to the couch in the TV room, 1 hour afternoon siesta

Bike Ride: Distance: 16.7 km in 65' 18"
Run: Distance: 5.75 km in 30' 54" ant 5' 23" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp about 20 degrees, wind calm

Only Earth Tremor and myself set out at the usual time for our bike ride. Previous fearless ( now fearful ) leader and Tinkerbell went for a woosey flat ride around the lake, down to Pine Is, then headed to a coffee shop to join the latte set. Talk about soft.
We saw smoke on the horizon as we left the depot, so headed towards Oxley to find the firies burning off some long grass prior to the bush fire season. Or more likely, prior to the school holidays. The firies had it all under control, so we left them and rode towards Erindale planning to get on to Bugden Ave and find a trail that ET likes. Many an up hill later we found the track, a tiny, rocky, narrow track, technical, scarey ( for me) but basically good fun. Exit at Karralika, then through MacArthur towards Fadden Pines.
Stop!! Gentle down hill, slopes away to the right, ET in front and just out of sight. I go slowly down this hill, front wheel slides away, back follows, bike goes down so I just jump off in mid air. Looked good at the time, landing on my feet, not a scratch, not really doing a CJ, as I didn't hit the ground, only the bike did.
Down past Fadden Pines on Isabella Dr back to depot. A good ride just two of us, plenty of chatter, mainly about those who didn't turn up.
A bite to eat, then a short run down to the river and back. Nice easy day, getting over a touch of a cold I picked up earlier in the week. Thanks to ET for his company.

Today, Friday, it rained all day, so with no one at home all day, I stayed at work. Grazed all day, slowly emptying the contents of the esky. Watched the news on TV, then turned out the lights in the TV room, closed the blinds and caught up on hour's lost sleep while the golf was on. Even a few minutes makes you feel much more alive to get through the rest of the day.

Saturday morning run, couple of times over Mt Ainslie with a few other hills thrown in, should be fun. Hopefully the rain will have stopped by 7:30 am. Big doubts on CJ attendance, she can tell the story in her own time.

The weather for Coast to Kozi sounds terrible, if it has rained here all day, then the Snowys would be cold and awful. Thredbo going for top temp of only 11 degrees on Sat. Good luck to them, that will be me next year!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Then the Cavalry Arrived

A few minutes later, not long enough, the fire brigade arrived to save the little bus.

For those that live on the north side of the lake, the incident was in Bugden Ave somewhere. All you have to do is travel the length of the street to find the burnt patch of road.

Punctures..... Rode the bike home for lunch yesterday, flat tyre, not far from home, small piece of broken beer bottle causing the problem. Fixed that tonight.

Driving bus this afternoon, big green gas bus, out at Charnwood, hit traffic island and then a load bang as the outside back wheel of the bus started to deflate. Another puncture. Drove from Fraser to Tuggeranong in peak hour at 40 km per hour. A very slow trip, at least I didn't have to change that wheel on the side of the road.

Too much excitement, I like dull and boring at work.

Up in Smoke... Everybody Out!!

Distance: 6.25 km
Time: 36' 38"
Rate: 5' 50" per km

Poor midi bus caught fire on Monday morning, probably blown turbo.
Sure made a mess of the back and the engine.

Hopefully the bus won't be repaired and we all work happily every after.

Picture taken by driver after we hope any passengers had left the flaming mess.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Back from the Edge

Running: nil
Bike: 20 km ( easy, to and from work )
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 25%, wind light NW

A sore throat and Ewen's comment on rest days had me reassess the last 3 weeks of this year. Just chasing a figure seems pointless when I have gone past my best ever kms for a year. Too many more kms will make next year a bigger challenge.
I don't want to fall in a hole at this time due to over training, so I will now just take each day as it comes. At best to get to 5000 km with only Christmas Day as a rest, I would need to run over 20 km per day ave. With my usual running plan, I would need to do 64 kms on New Year's Eve. Too much.
I plan to have some easy days, rest days, and bike riding days with no running, like today. That way, I can stay healthy and enjoy my Saturday morning long runs with a few hills and mountains thrown in. My favourite day of the week, I like the company and the scenery, pity some of them are so difficult.
Probably do reasonable run mid week, especially on a nice day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Around the Plains

Distance: 7.05 km
Time: 38' 49"
Rate: 5' 30" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25 degrees, humidity 20%, west wind at 25kmph
Week: 7.05 km
Dec: 110.55 km
Year: Target 5000km less ytd 4542.7 km = 457.3 km to go

Easy flat run to roll the legs over, felt Ok. Circuit of Isabella Plains, about as flat as I can get from home, even through there is a climb to get back into the best suburb in ACT. Nothing of note about the run.
I did notice that yesterday's long run took me past my all time yearly distance, so I am now in unknown territory. Just keep going I suppose.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Mt Tennent Double Up

Distance: 30.7 km
Time: 4 hrs 4 mins 13 secs
Rate: 7' 57" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 1530 metres
Start height: 600 metres
Top of Mtn: 1390 metres
Weather: cloudy, temp 16-25 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm in sheltered areas, cool and windy on top of mountain
Week: 116.05 km
Dec: 103.5 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4535.65 km = 464.35 km to go

Six brave runners arrived at Namadgi Visitor's Centre at 7:30 in the morning to climb Mt Tennent twice. No point driving that far to only do it once, after all it's only just over 7 km each way. Mick and John were chatting as our car load arrived carrying CJ, softshoeshuffle, Nick and myself. Some a little bleary eyed after a big night and not much sleep, but I will leave him to tell that story.
Cloudy conditions meant humidity would be a factor all day, altitude giving respite from the warm weather, quite cool on the top of the mountain.
We started out easily enough, the first couple of kms are a gradual climb, nothing too difficult, just getting used to the rocky nature of the track as it climb. Rocky is the word as the altitude goes above 1 km above sea level, running becomes jogging, then walking. CJ had the music on early, a sign of the conditions, however new ear pieces were not right, not a happy climber. The group of 6 had split into 2, the good guys, Mick, Nick and John going ahead, myself leading CJ and softshoeshuffle onwards and upwards.
The tracks were dry fortunately, a few other walkers on the course both on our way up and down. Anyone who gets up there has done well. After all, the views back toward Tuggeranong with Black Mountain tower way over in the background are well worth the effort.
However, as CJ said, in places if you are scared of heights, don't look down, watch your feet, the track is a little narrow, steep, rocky and big drops over the edge. Plenty of caution required especially on the descent. Strewth, we can hold your hand if ever you want an adventure, it's well worth the experience.
The top was windy and cool, but a few kms down lower, the temp and humidity on Bushfold Flats was very opposite, no wind, and very warm. We made good pace from there down towards Apollo Road, some making hard work of getting through a gate that was open. Another story to be told by someone else. It's a nasty short but steep climb up to Apollo Road, but at least it signalled the turnaround point and over half way.
Softshoeshuffle had turned earlier and was heading up the mountain, Mick and Nick going well on their way back as CJ, John and myself planned an attack on the almost 7 km of continuous uphill. John had a plan of walk all the way, I planned to run where possible and walk if necessary and CJ planned just to make it, somehow. In the end at the top of the mountain, I arrived about 3 minutes sooner than John walking all the way. An interesting exercise in how to get up the Mini Saddle at SFT after Cox's River and then up the pluviometer. You don't really loose much time by planned walking as opposed to necessary walking.
The top of the mountain second time was great relief, just a run down to the finish. However, it is steep, rocky and potentially dangerous, so care needed. CJ in the new 4WD trail shoes had heaps more grip then I did, I slipped and skidded all over the place, may be a Christmas present in there somewhere. We were all tired and buggered at the finish, a stop at Point Hut for 15 minutes in the water will help sore legs, not a cure all, but at least we should be able to walk tomorrow.
I hope we woke Ewen up early this morning as we drove past his place twice, he should have been part of the crowd. A good day out in the national park, I like it, it's a tough run, hope the others do as well, it on the plan to do a couple more times before SFT. After all, it just a training run. Thanks to the others for sharing the day.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Flat and Round a Lake

Distance: 11.65 km
Time: 60' 28"
Rate: 5' 11" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 22 degrees, humidity 60%, wind light NW 10 kmph
Week: 85.35 km
Dec: 72.8 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4504.95 km = 495.05 km to go

I don't usually run around Lake Tuggeranong, but I needed a flat easy run today with a very mountainous, tough run tomorrow. From work it's almost 8 km around the lake on the bike path, just a little short in distance, so I turned down behind the Centrelink building, headed towards Pine Is, on to the south end car park and back to the central beach.
Stood in the water for 12 minutes, then a gentle jog back to work in time to find a good shift for next year.
Yesterday's wishful thinking more than came true with all I had hope for, and I will get almost 5 hours off in the middle of the day, great through autumn and winter. Off the road at 9:15 am, plenty of time for a cuppa and a chat, a good long run, may even venture into the gym, home for lunch, easy afternoon, and still finish work at 6:30 pm. Looks good on paper, just wait and see if there will be any surprises, still should be an easy 12 hour day. Starts in February '09.
Mt Tennent on Saturday morning, hope for a nice day and a good run. Probably be plenty of walking.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lesser the Better

Distance: 14.3 km
Time: 75' 13"
Rate: 5' 15" per km
Weather: sunny, some light high cloud, temp 23 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm (almost)
Week: 73.7 km
Dec: 61.15 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4493.3 km = 506.7 km to go

The wind finally calmed down today allowing a run in reasonable conditions, that is, without having to hold on to your hat with one hand, or looking at your feet all the time to stop the hat going backwards fast.
No bike ride from work, too much on among the group. We are having a spill of shifts and going through the picking of new shifts process. Overall, a three week exercise, and important as it sets your work load for the next period until the time management want or need to change the bus network. Sometimes that can be six months, not often, and mostly a year or more.
After a cuppa and chat, I went out to get in a few unplanned kms. After Tuesday's near disaster, better yesterday over a short journey, today was a welcome relief to feel Ok, run Ok, and be able to enjoy a few hours out away from it all. Road works behind the depot meant a different but similar course, just getting there was a problem. Basically, find a track that lead to the river, keep the river close , turn around near civilization, finish at the beach at Pine Is for 15 minutes in the cool water, then jog back to work in time for a shower, finish the contents of the esky (food) and drive to Woden by 3 pm. Easy. Great day,very enjoyable.
Pressure on tomorrow (Friday) to find a good split shift, just need 4 hours off in the middle of the day, not much work in the morning, not much more in the afternoon, no schools runs, or afternoon peak services that go through the city, too many people. Shouldn't be a problem, don't want to finish work later than 7 pm either.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sub KB Pace

Distance: 9.75 km
Time: 52' 23"
Rate: 5' 22" per km ( just )
Weather: sunny, temp 24 degrees, humidity 20%, NW wind at 30 kmph
Week: 59.4 km
Dec: 46.85 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4479.0 km = 521.0 km to go

Christmas lunch at work before running home for 2nd lunch. Much better than yesterday, felt easier, probably because there was a big wind assisting.
Ewen, if KB can run at KB pace for Coast to Kozi over 246 km, she will break the record for the event by 6 hours. Maybe, we can change the KB pace to whatever she runs over that distance, just to give us hope.
Car back to work this afternoon, I have a handicap sub committee meeting tonight to find new group starts for all those that ran too fast on Sunday. No Christmas bonus for the slow runners.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No Where Near KB Pace

Distance: 21.15 km
Time: 2 hrs 6 mins 40 secs
Rate: 5' 59" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 20-22 degrees, humidity 25%, strong NW wind (again) 30-40 kmph
Week: 49.65 km
Dec: 37.1 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4469.25 km = 530.75 km to go

No where near KB pace today, felt slow, was slow, even with the wind assisting. A nice day for a longish run, work to Pine Is, along the river track towards Point Hut, turned up through dog exercise area, over Woodcock Dr to Gordon, under Drakeford Dr to review plan at the track around the base of Tuggeranong Hill.
Decided to do the loop clockwise, working on the basis that the wind would help on the hillier side, and hopefully would be less on the Conder side. Not much difference really.
First time this spring / summer that I have carried a water bottle during the week, and drank all the contents, 600 mls.
After getting back to the underpass, took the shorter flatter gravel track behind Bonython back to Pine Is to help a couple of tired legs recover by standing in the water for 15 minutes. Easy jog back to work, the water certainly helped although the temperature is slowly rising, maybe need to add an ice block or two to cool it down.
I will need to improve to keep up with CJ and softshoeshuffle on Saturday on Mt Tennent if today is anything to go by.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wind Training

Distance: 15.95 km
Time: 87' 19"
Rate: 5' 28" per km ( KB pace)
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 25%, wind very strong NW at 40-50 kmph
Week: 28.5 km
Dec: 15.95 km
Year: Target 5000 km less ytd 4448.1 km = 551.9 km to go
Year: 4448.1 km in 48 weeks at 92.7 km ave per week

Very strong winds from NW allowed a reasonably easy run home for lunch. But, getting back was very different, those winds would have blown all the seagulls out to sea. I treat windy days as hill run days without the hills. Usually hard work especially if it is the second half of the run.
Comparing times for the same run back to work from home, today was right there within a minute of the usual time for the trip for 6.5 kms into the wind. Must be getting fitter.
KB rate above is any run around 5' 30" pace or just better. That's the pace Kerrie Bremner ran for 100 km in 9 hours and 1 minute a few weeks ago in Italy. The problem is it's tough running at that pace sometimes for 10 kms let alone another 90 km on top.