Two Fruits

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cotter - Run No. 133

Distance: 36.75 km
Time: 3 hrs 32 mins 15 secs
Rate: 5' 46" per km
Elevation gain: 700 metres
Calories: 2990
Weather: very warm, sunny, temp 18-33 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm
Distance: 103.5 km with elevation gain 2130 metres
Jan & Year:
Distance: 433.35 km in 42 hrs 6 mins

Originally on the SFT training plan I devised in Nov last year, today was to be double Cotter 15 mile run with the second lap in reverse. However, the weather has been very warm to hot this week, so the plan was changed to allow more access to water on the run from Vanities Crossing.
Still starting with the 15 mile loop, the sun was out in full force early on. A 7:30 am start for 4 of us, CJ, Carol and softshoeshuffle was a little late, but then again, you must be able to handle all conditions. It's called challenging and character building. Mick and Nick had started at 6 am, getting a few kms done before the sun and the heat took control. Another group training for Canberra marathon were also out there, we saw the cars but no runners.
First loop not much to report, warm and dusty, just how I like it, followed by a cool short stop at Vanities for a drink, rest and to answer the usual question asked each week, why to we do this on such a day ? We met Mick and Nick just before the crossing, they had completed the first lap and were heading up to the relay change over for Brindabella Classic on Warks Road. The turn around for the out and back section of almost 10 km each way to make a descent run out of the day.
On towards the finish, the question remained unanswered as several said that 23 kms would be enough for the day. Carol decided to finish, CJ had a touch of the guilt's , changed her mind and continued on. Michael just happy to be able to continue, walk where necessary and do the job.
The difficult part is next, the climb up to Pierce's settlement, one house all that is left from the bush fires, than down to the small creek, up over the section called Ma & Pa, and eventually back to Vanities Crossing. Damn hot out here now, no wind, and luckily very little humidity, temp now well over 30 degrees.
However, heaven on earth appears around the corner, cool, clear water at Vanities. Refreshing to wash off the sweat, must remember waste of time to bring Ewen out here, doesn't sweat, his words, not mine.
CJ all quiet when she reached the crossing, a few minutes behind me. Not happy, in fact, more than unhappy. Took a little while for her to speak, I thought, she is going to kill me and leave me for the birds to tear to pieces, buzzards and eagles like road kill.
Then, I was saved by a group of trail bike riders on one side of the crossing, and a police troop carrier on the other side looking for unregistered bikes no doubt. Both splashed us as the crossed, didn't matter, the water was nice.
The return journey, it's 6.5 km each way from the cars, was a little more up beat. A soaking of the shirt in the water made a cool evaporating system work around the head, neck and shoulders, and the run back much better. And she was speaking again, such a nice girl not to hold a grudge for long. We made it back, a quick cool off in the very shallow Cotter river washed away some dirt and more sweat.
Right now, just a little tired, legs Ok, need a nanna nap.
Thanks to CJ, Michael and Carol for their company. I loved today's run, just my scene. Next week return to Mt Rob Roy, earlier start at 6:30 am. See you there?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Never Let a Chance Go By

Distance: 3.25 km
Time: 17' 12"
Rate: 5' 17" per km
Weather: sunny, hot, temp 37 degrees, humidity 15%, wind calm
Week: 66.75 km
Jan & Year: 396.6 km

Really a rest day with a big run tomorrow. It has been hot this week in the afternoons, so I either run or cycle home at lunch time and take the car back to work. The same as the previous couple of days, I headed to Pine Is for a short run and then a swim.
The water at the main central beach area is now too warm to be of any benefit except to wash off the sweat.
Last Monday after the Mt Tennent/Bushfold run we went to the smaller beach area at the southern end of Pine Is. We did stay in for a while, but after about 20 minutes, we needed to get out as we started to shiver. Some very cold patches of water as the river is much deeper, wider and a bit more of a flow. Absolutely beautiful after the run.
Another hot day tomorrow, big Cotter run hopefully get at least 40 km done depending on the weather. I don't think there is much water in the river out there. However Vanities should be refreshing.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two Similar Days

Distance - 9.9 kms in 53' 39" at 5' 25" per km
Distance: 7.75 km in 42' 00" at 5' 25" per km
Weather: both days, sunny, hot, temp 35-37 degrees, humidity 20%, wind calm
Week: 63.5 km
Jan & Year: 393.35 km

It's all in two's, too hot, too far, too late, two similar days. At least I did a bit but not much. Both days ran from work to home for lunch. Drove the car back to Pine Is. Parked at the main beach area, went for a short run, quick swim, and then back to work.
Last night, Wednesday, we had the sub committee meeting to review the monthly handicap. All going well until I looked at the long course new group changes. It all happened in twos. Two went forward 1 group, CJ and Ewen, 1 stayed the same, Strewth and 1 went back two groups, me.
Certainly will need to lift my game to be able to kick any one's backside next month. My only saviour is the hilly start, hopefully a nice warm day to slow the front markers, or everyone gets lost.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Warm One

Distance: 13.0 km
Time: 71' 17"
Rate: 5' 29" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25-30 degrees, humidity 60%-45%, wind calm
Week: 45.85 km
Jan & Year: 375.7 km

Another warm week on the way with Saturday's long run at the Cotter needing a little rethink if the afternoon temp looks like reaching the high 30's. Might have to stay closer to the water.
Today however, was just on the warm side of very nice at and just after lunch time. I ran very easy careful not to push too hard after yesterday's tough run. Felt Ok to good today, sometimes it's more of flat to a bit better than buggered.
Nothing to report, just a run from work to home for lunch and back again. Nice sunny day, not many around, mum must have the kids out at the shops getting ready for school next week.
Prize for correct guess in the Australia Day comp goes to Strewth. Prize to be collected at Vanities Crossing on Saturday morning. If not there, redraw until we have a winner.
Strewth could drag Ewen around for 15 miles just so he can go over 20 kms for once in this year's build up to SFT. Probably doesn't want to walk that far.
How good to see Elle putting in a late charge to get to SFT. The girl did plenty over the weekend, Cotter 18 mile on Sat, good run at handicap on Sunday and climbed Mt Tennent on Sunday, then missed the turn to Bushfold Flats on the way down doing on 13.5 km, so did a bit more to make 15 plus kms for the day. Experience counts at SFT. Well done Elle, we may see her on Saturday morning as well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mt Tennent & Bushfold Flats - AMRA Run

Distance: 20.35 km plus warm up 500 metres
Time: 2 hrs 3 mins 15 secs
Rate: 6' 03 " per km
Altitude gain: 770 metres
Calories: 1680
Week: 32.85 km
Jan & Year: 362.7 km

Brilliant morning in the mountains of Namadgi National Park. One of my favourite places to run, tough, plenty of hills, usually few others around.
This morning starting just before 7:30, a small but dedicated group started in a couple of events, all of which were to go to the top of Mt Tennent. Some then came straight back down on the fire trail, while some went out on to Bushfold Flats on the grassy 4WD track.
Starting inside the gate on Apollo Road that leads to the former space tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek, the tracks drops 100 metres in height right from the start. That's not good, because starting at 755 metres above sea level, with the top of the mountain at 1375 metres, a climb of 620 metres, the last thing you want is a down hill start adding to the altitude.
However, away we went spreading out and going well after the black Angus cows moooved out of the way. The achilles and calf muscles in both legs hurt early on. Not wanting to walk if possible, the pain eventually went after I walked about 30 metres after the 1st drink station at 2.75 kms from the start. Just another 4 kms to go, but there are a few flat parts, I mean a very few, before the last steep climb to the top.
Reaching the top, distance 6.76 kms in 51' 44" , rate 7' 38" ave per km, I turned after saying hello/goodbye to John ( taking photos) and Martin ( recording names & times) , I set off back down the 4 kms to the Bushfold turn, the drink station. CJ and softshoeshuffle were not far behind me, but I was on the down and they were still climbing, so I would have put good time on them.
As I wrote yesterday about the monthly handicap, I have lost a lot of down hill speed, and it showed again today, running only 5'00" km pace down to the drink station. Two years ago, I ran that section at 4' 27" pace. It's gone somewhere, hope I can find it again, it's starting to cost me in races.
Quick drink, then out to Bushfold Flats, some including CJ don't like this section, the grassy track a bit uneven under foot, I don't mind it, nice and open, exposed to the elements. Today, it was getting warm, no wind, just me and the kangaroos most of the time.
An out and back section of 3.4 kms, always good to see the leaders, Trevor and Vanessa, well in front of me. Surprise of the day, Vanessa in front of Trevor at the top of the mountain. Then Trevor took control, longer legs helping on the down hill.
Met CJ and softshoeshuffle on their way out, close together, CJ listening to music I presume, must have been to " zone out" of the run.
Then the sweepers came towards me, Martin from the top of the mountain and James form the drink station. I didn't think there was a time limit, so I pushed on still feeling Ok, but as I said, no top end speed. Just grinding it out. Past Carol taking more photos at the drink station, now just 2.75 kms to go, all down hill except for the last 500 metres up to the road. A horrible finish.
Ran all but 30 metres of the whole race, felt good all the way. Quads sore now, desperately need a massage this week.
A good solid run, finished just over 9 minutes in front of CJ, with softshoeshuffle another couple of minutes behind her. Mick had a shocker, I presume he ran out of energy, not injured I hope.
Driving back, we ventured to Pine Is to the cool water at the south car park beach area. The water is deeper and cooler here in the Murrumbidgee River, a few very cold places, but just what we needed.
Great event, lots of fun, plenty tough enough, but good if fit enough. Certainly not for the softies, the road runners or the sprinters. Not many will take it on, I don't know why, it is a big challenge, doesn't matter how. Certainly nothing to do with a clock time, as Nike say " Just Do It". Gotta love this mountain running.
Go Aussie, what a wonderful place to live.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monthly Handicap at Campbell Park

Race: Distance - 6.0 km in 25' 28" at 4' 15" per km
Warm up jog - 1.5 km in 7' 43 " at 5' 09" per km
Cool down jog - 4.5 km in 23' 37" at 5' 15" per km
Started: group 35
Finished: 13th overall, 7th eligible, good start to the year
Weather: cloudy, temp 15-16 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 12.0 km
Jan & Year: 341.85 km

In contrast to recent days and weeks, the weather was near perfect for a short, fast race this morning. Recent rain made the track muddy in places but it had also dried out considerably since yesterday's walk over the course. Good to see familiar faces again after the end of last year, some going well and some in need or repair. The hazards of running and life in general.
Plenty of incentive to run hard today, forgetting that tomorrow is a difficult but fun day running up Mt Tennent. Six Foot Track runners provided incentive to chase, CJ just a couple of groups in front, Ewen off group 28 and Strewth off group 21. As well, Elle has decided to run SFT again and she was out there as well.
Last year I ran well here, although I find it a bit short, it's not an easy 6 km. A flat start, then a gradual up hill to the 3 km turn, then a good fast down back to the start.
Last year I ran 25' 15", this year 13 seconds slower. Lost those precious seconds on the return down hill. Exactly the same time for the 1st 3 km, then no speed coming home.
Caught CJ early, trying to be consistent, caught Ewen before the turn around, caught Elle with just over a km to go, and finally ran past Strewth inside the last km. An unhappy noise came from Strewth, must have the cold air that caused her to cough or mutter something. However, most of us, kicked Ewen's backside, pleasure.
Good result, lack of speed a cause for concern especially as it relates to running fast down hill, not really just flat speed. Leg turn over needs to worked on, as the aerobic base is there. I didn't slow down on the way back, just don't have the top end speed.
Rest this afternoon, a nana nap may be the go, although a bit of gardening could also be relaxing. Mt Tennent, here we come, get us the best you have, except snow. Ready to go !!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Walk and a Run

1. Walk - Distance : 6.1 km in 74' 08" at 12' 08" per km
2. Run - Distance: 13.3 km in 71' 20" at 5' 21" per km

Weather: sunny, noon temp 27 degrees, humidity 24%, NW wind at 35 kmph
Week: 60.25 km
Jan & Year: 329.85 km

The monthly handicap course from Campbell Park is usually a dry dusty track at this time of year. However, recent storms have dumped summer rain making parts of the course muddy. Course manager for Sunday, Rod, Stuart and myself had a walk over the course this morning just in case there were too many muddy places. Especially of concern was a dip between two small ponds near the short course turn. A few other parts were wet as well, but with the sun out today and good drying wind, we decided to leave the course unchanged. Best if participants wear old shoes tomorrow, it will still be slippery in parts, good fun will be had by all.
Back home, I decided to test out the sore hip, ran down to Pine Is, along to near Point Hut, up through Gordon and back home. Felt Ok, strong wind from NW on the way out, but a nice sunny day. Stopped at south Pine Is beach for a quick dip in the river. No one about, must be all out shopping.
Poor running week, too many other dramas, but probably the easy week I needed to have. Ceratinly felt better for the rest days. Looking forward to Sunday and especially Monday morning, up and down a mountain.
Ewen, better go to Stromlo on Sunday, you will get your backside kicked at Campbell Park, both by " wonder woman" and me. Even Strewth may be in the mix, kicking away.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Distance is Getting Shorter

Distance: 7.7 km
Time: 42' 32"
Rate: 5' 31" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 22 degrees, humidity 50%, NW wind at 25 kmph
Week: 40.85 km
Jan & Year: 310.45 km

I have gone backwards this week and I don't know why. Maybe CJ killed part of me last Saturday on those hills trying to keep up, I don't think so, but this week has not been good. I felt really good after Saturday's run, just tired, then the other day's of this week I would rather forget happened. Struggling to get 10 km a day done.
I am having trouble with sore glute muscles on the top of the right side. I have taken a couple of anti inflammatories tonight, a couple more tomorrow. I suspect it is a repeat of bursitis I get every now and again.
It's caused by doing too much too often, a few tablets and an easy week should fix the problem if it is bursitis.
If not, then I will have to ask someone that deals with injuries. Of course it is made worse by siting for long periods of time, so maybe a few days off work will help.
So today with no enthusiasm, I ran/jogged down to the river, found it completely empty, cloudy day and they all stay away. Except for a young couple looking for a quiet spot away from view. Good luck to them.
Spent 15 minutes in the water, a bit cooler than the last few days, seemed to help as well. I will take it easy for the next few days, hopefully by Sunday I will be able to run well enough to catch CJ and Strewth, no chance on Ewen if he fronts. Although he did receive a shift backwards after last November's good run.
But I do want be be right for Monday, good run up Mt Tennent, got to love that.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Distance - run 1. 7.1 km in 38' 05" at 5' 21" per km
- run 2. 3.65 km in 19' 40" at 5' 22" per km
Weather, sunny, temp 30 degrees, humidity 40%, NW wind at 25 kmph
Week: 33.15 km
Jan & Year: 302.75 km

Another couple of shorties, not CJ and Strewth, but a couple of short runs. First , work to home, almost direct, very warm and very humid. Not very nice, but another couple of kms just the same.
Second run at Pine Is. Drove car back to work in case we had a repeat of thunderstorm from Tuesday afternoon, put bike in back instead of riding home. Jog around river area, quick swim and back to work. Nothing special, plenty of kids about in the water enjoying themselves.
Hopefully, I can something a bit more substantial done on Thursday. I will miss the one hour run on the track, I do like the going around in circles for 60 minutes. Longer is even better.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Worries of Summer

Distance: 9.15 km
Time: 51' 35"
Rate: 5' 38" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 32 degrees, humidity 15%, wind calm
Week: 22.4 km
Jan & Year: 292.0 km

No worries from the running side of summer. Summer is better than winter, and spring is better than autumn. Today's run will almost be classed as a rest day. An easy run down to the river from work, a proper swim as in a few strokes to the other side, twice.
The worries started last week when the air conditioning at home wouldn't start on Monday. Worked fine the night before. The first few days of last week had top temps in the high 30s. We contacted the repair guys, who came around a couple of days later, temps had returned to mid 20's by then. Found that the capacitor ( the starter ) had failed. Ok, get new one and install on Friday. All is good. Of course the weekend weather was mild, only needed the air con to cool the house before going to bed.
Today, the capacitor decided to catch fire and has completely destroyed our air conditioner, the outside part.
Just a blackened shell. RS as they say. A discussion with the repair guys tomorrow as to who pays for what.
Hope the weather cools down soon, could be a long hot summer, might have to camp at the club overnight, next to the bar.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Recovery

Distance: 13.25 km
Time: 73' 44"
Rate: 5' 34" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 15-18 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 13.25 km
Jan & Year: 282.85 km

Another perfect day in the nation's capital. For those who like it great indoors, you don't know what you missed. For the rest of us, what a beauty.
Similar recovery run to last Sunday, as flat as I can get from home, except the last km which is up hill. Down to Pine Is, found a empty beach, splashed about for 1o minutes, an attempt at swimming for 5 minutes following CJ's lead about mixing up the training. The one good thing about the swimming after a long hilly run the day before is that it stretches out the muscles that have had hours of being tightened. A good feeling. As for switching sports, no way. The other good thing about swimming, it washes off the sweat.
Nothing else to report, felt good all the way. Email from CJ, she is Ok, spoke to Mick this morning as well, he has been for a short run, and Ok as well after yesterday's 41 plus hilly kms. The training is working.
I will need to have a rest day during the week, just see how the weather goes, may get to be too hot or it may rain.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mountains and Hills...Up and Over

Distance: 41.6 km
Time: 4 hrs 40 mins 13 secs
Rate: 6' 44" per km
Altitude gain: 1120 metres
Calories used: 3413
Weather: sunny, cool to start then mild, 10 - 22 degrees, humidity low all day, 18%, wind nice light cool SW at 5-10 kmph
Week: 118.85 km
Jan & Year: 269.6 km

This day was marked on the training plan as very tough. Easy it wasn't, but may be not as difficult as I expected. Now that may be because the weather was near perfect, sunny, cool to start and a nice SW breeze most of the run.
Seven of us started just after 7:30 this morning, a new one, Robbie, has run with us over mountains a long time ago, that must have put him off until now. He did get lost, well missed a gate, went off in to another world, Majura Pines, having learnt his navigation skills from Strewth.
We did a short 4 km out and back so those doing the full distance would get over 40 kms for the day. The plan then was to go from the War Memorial up the main walking track to the top of Mt Ainslie, down the back tracks to the power lines, up to the saddle, continue down to do a sharp left turn up the fence line to visit Trent's grave. We paid our respects as you should, then on to the ridge track where Robbie went wrong, back to the saddle, then straight through to the roller coaster track. It looks daunting, it's a hard slog, open and exposed to the sun and wind. Back past the gun club to the start. Distance 12.5 kms.
We did that 3 times, we being three of us, the consistent Mick, the iron lady CJ, and myself. Others stopped mostly after 2 laps, not to be knocked as they are hard to get done. Even superwoman stopped at two, running in the lead with Mick most of the way, just needs more hills to be a force at SFT. Another 130 km week for her.
A few years ago we did this run on a hot sunny day, CJ and John and myself, suffered badly. Today, may be fitter, more experienced or very lucky with the weather, but the 3 lap times for us were all within just a few minutes of each other, for me the last lap actually quicker by a minute than the second. The second lap was run in reverse, definitely the hardest way with the roller coaster more up hill and the back of Mt Ainslie rough and steep.
There were heaps of people on the front walking track each time, all enjoying the exercise, may be not the exercise, but certainly the views over the city.
Writing this now 5 hours later, no soreness at all, just a little tired, but all is Ok. Hopefully every one else is the same. A drive down to LBG again, 15 minutes in the water getting toes and feet nibbled at by small fish. Just great.
Thoroughly enjoyed the day, very hard run, but really nice, great company with or just in front of CJ all day. Thanks for your presence CJ, the rest of the guys and Liz, hope you enjoyed the day as well. So much easier when your fitness level doesn't hold back a big day.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Picture Perfect Day

Distance: 14.45 km
Time: 77' 49"
Rate: 5' 23" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 22 degrees, humidity 35%, wind NW at 15 kmph
Week: 76.25 km
Jan & Year: 228.0 km

Beautiful morning to run, none of the heat of the past few days. Easy as well as tomorrow is a long, tough run.
Kept to the usual tracks down to the river, stopped at the south end car park beach area at Pine Is for a quick swim, wash off some sweat and dust, then a gentle jog back home.
I should have titled today's story " animals in the wrong places". Last Tuesday I was high on Tuggeranong Hill when the most beautiful, solid and happy looking echidna crossed the path in front. Today, the bunnies were out in force, but then there were people with dogs in area where they are not allowed.
The river track area between Point Hut and all of Pine Is nature park is dog free. However, some of the signs that were burnt out in the bush fires have not been replaced. May be they don't know, may be they don't care.
There are two dog off lead areas near Point Hut, they should be used. I know softshoeshuffle has this love/hate relationship with dogs when he is out running. Just keep them under control and in the right places.
Plenty of carbos tonight, big run tomorrow, looking forward to the challenge.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tempo Laps on the Stromlo Grass

Distance: Tempo - 10.25 km in 46' 23" at 4' 31" ave per km
Easy - 1.05 km in 4' 27" at 4' 13" ave per km
Weather: sunny, hot, temp 25-32 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm then picked up to NW at 30 kmph
Week: 62.8 km
Jan & Year: 213.55 km

A meeting this morning to discuss the venue for the March monthly handicap. As I wrote yesterday, a co existence on the day the the Hartley organisation, they look after people with severe disabilities, very good people.

In conjunction with a representative from Canberra Stadiums who also control Stromlo Forest Park, and the organiser from Hartley, a successful and productive meeting has resulted in more than we had expected.

The map on this page shows in blue our running course, the red cycling track and the green mtn bike tracks. We will conduct as much as possible on the grass running track, the two short course events completely on the grass, out and back for a total of 4 km, turning near the dam. The longer event will leave the grass track just past the turn around, through Holden's Creek, and travel on the old " Mullins " course past the Bushfire Memorial to turn around and return the same way. All events use the two high loops on the grass track, making the return just a little more interesting. Should be a very good day.

The venue manager returns from holidays next week and we have permission to talk to him about upgrading the gravel tracks after leaving the grass. A gate will now be open near the creek, hopefully a bob cat will improve the tracks, plenty of goodwill shown by all parties. A pleasure to do business with others from private and public organisations.

So my running today. First time to actually run on the grass, walked on parts a few times and a jog on a Sunday late last year with Chris and Nigel to find a suitable course. I think they will be happy as well.

Four laps of the full circuit, my GPS measured each lap at 2.56 kms running in the middle of the grass track, not cutting corners as you would do racing. Times very consistent considering the hot weather, 11' 38", 11'30", 11'38" and 11'37" at average 4'30" km. Then a 1.05 km lap on the shortest possible circuit, good cool down run in 4' 13".

As usual ran bare feet, changed direction after two laps to get used to running up hill towards the finish. Stopped for a drink after each lap. I can see why Speedygeoff likes the area, although the drying sun and wind made parts of the course a little hard underfoot. Three young guys were running hard up hill intervals on the high loop section. Then on leaving three young girls were using the cycling track.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stromlo Forest Park - Monthly Handicap

Distance: 5.15 km
Time: 57' 08"
Rate: 11' 06" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25-30 degrees, humidity 25%, light NW wind
Week: 51.5 km
Jan & Year: 202.25 km

The monthly handicap event set for end of March at Stromlo Forest Park now clashes with a cycling and family day event to be held by the Hartley organisation. This meant we need to make a decision now on where we want out long and short course running events to go. Our main problem is access to the grass cross country course over the cycling track without any one getting bowled over.
A couple of us from the monthly handicap sub committee surveyed and came up with a plan that we will take to a meeting on Thursday morning with the venue managers and the Harley people. Hopefully we can co exist on the day. Cyclists and runners do not mix well especially in a confined area such as on front of the main building at SFP. If not successful, we do have a Plan B, but we believe we have a good case for what we want.
Very warm this morning, I really am putting it down as a rest day, but 5 km was exercise in any case. Look out nanna, better move as I plan to have an afternoon siesta, too hot now to do do anything else, tennis is too boring to watch on TV.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Theodore Hills

Distance: 19.5 km
Time: 1 hr 53 mins 40 secs
Rate: 5' 49" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 27-30 degrees, humidity 35%, wind calm
Week: 46.35 km
Jan & Year: 197.1 km

Last time I did this run was on 8th May last year. Changes to work hours now mean I run from work instead of from home during the week except when on holidays.
Home past Calwell oval, behind houses of Theodore to the sub station, then a circuit of Tuggeranong Hill over the ridge from the two reservoirs to Conder. Back to the sub station and home via Calwell oval.
Nice day running between 11 am and 1 pm. Only a few people out, maybe too warm for them, but if you don't train in the heat, you can't expect to be able to race in the heat. SFT in March has recently been very warm on race day. Good solid run with 500 metres of altitude gain and loss.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Calwell Oval - 25 laps in lane 5

Warm up - 940 metres in 4' 23" at 4' 40" per km
Cool down - 2.36 km in 10' 24" at 4' 24" per km
Cruise intervals: 11.3 kms in 46' 47" at 4' 08.5" ave per km
Weather: perfect, sunny, temp 23-25 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 26.85 km
Jan & Year: 177.6 km

On holidays this week and the week has started well. Thunderstorm, lightning & rain last night softened the grass on the Calwell oval. Recently mowed, lane 5 is in great condition. Lane 6 should also be good as it looks like it hasn't had much use recently.
Rode the mtn bike down on a perfect morning, no one about at the oval which was handy. Usually I have to dodge and weave around golfers or model airplanes or kites being tested.
The warm up didn't need to be long as the bike ride also served this purpose. Usual conditions applied today, bare feet, changed direction after each set of 5 laps. A long enough recovery between each 5 lap set as well as these sessions are designed to maintain a speed as opposed to all out sprinting. Rhythm and consistency with a gradual improvement as the session goes on.
Started conservatively with the 1st 5 laps done in 9' 40", around 4' 19" km pace. The rhythm was good, 2nd set in 9' 27" at 4' 08", 3rd set in 9' 20" at 4' 07', 4th set in 9' 14" at 4' 05" and last set in 9' 05" at 4' 02".
Great day, I liked the feel of the fresh, short grass. Finished with a jog around the outside of the oval, before riding home. Second favourite running training session after those long hard Saturday runs over the hills and mountains.
Chatting with Liz on Saturday, her training week is very similar to mine, she would be much faster. Nothing too dramatic about either to tried and tested methods whether running short stuff, marathons or ultras. One long, hilly run usually on the weekend, one mid week run, maybe 20 km over hills or at least undulating, one faster session, either intervals or tempo run, a few easy recovery days helping to build up the base, and a rest day.
Then the only difference with running a marathon or any ultra is the length of the long weekend run. My ultra training just ups that Saturday run from 35 or so kms to 60 km with a couple of long race runs to build stamina, and help mentally that you can cover the distance. Nothing too complicated about any of it. Once that base is established or rebuilt after a rest, any event can be tackled without too many changes.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Easy 12km

Distance: 12.25 km
Time: 67' 05"
Rate: 5' 28" per km
Weather: nice morning, sunny, temp 24 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 12.25 km
Jan & Year: 163.0 km

Recovered well from yesterday's long run, so signs of soreness or fatigue. Must have been the nanna nap in the afternoon. I went to work last night from 7 pm to midnight, drove through the city three times, stopping each time. I have always liked working at night, and on these nice warm Saturday nights, the scenery in the city centre leaves no doubt why you like the job.
I keep wondering if the young girls with nice long legs could run up and down a mountain a few times, is there a level of fitness there?
Today, nice and easy down to the river and back. Stopped at the south end car park beach at Pine Is for 10 minutes in the water. The river is deeper here and the water cooler than the main central beach. Very nice. Jogged home, not much to report about the run. Very few people or cars about, must have taken CJ's spot down the coast. Hope the dear girl gets better soon after a few problems while at the sea side.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Who Said it was Flat?

Distance: 40.15 km
Time: 3 hrs 48 mins 56 secs
Rate: 5' 42" per km
Weather: mostly sunny, temp 12-19 degrees, humidity 35%, wind calm
Altitude gain: 570 metres
Calories used: 2876
Week: 101.45 km
Jan & Year: 150.75 km

I think I have bitten off more than I can chew, and I can eat a lot. After the Tour de Mountain run just before Christmas, I invited Liz Bennett to join the group as she is also intending to SFT. Christmas, New Year and holidays prevented her joining until today.
Now Liz is an accomplished marathon runner, cranks outs a sub 3 hr every time. Not so good on the hills, but we can train her to do them. Last weekend she went Hobart to run the Cadbury marathon. With SFT on her mind, she used it as a training run, not wanting a hard 42 kms on the hard road surface. She won with a sprint over the last couple of kms to run down the leading 2 females in a time of 3 hrs 15 mins. Prize money covered expenses for the trip although she described the course as boring and, CJ, she doesn't eat chocolate!!
So, this week, she runs the next day, and during the week, runs from her place to the start today, 14 kms, runs most of the first circuit we did about 20 kms and goes home. Total for the week, 138 kms. Amazing. She certainly has good flat speed and will keep Mick and Nick under control over the next month or so.

Today, Nick is in Brisbane, work, CJ missing as well, hopefully still enjoying holidays down the coast. Still 5 of us fronted at 7:30am, we waited for 10 minutes but no CJ, away we went. The original plan to run out to Goorooyaroo and Mulligans Flat on the Bush Capital marathon course we changed due to the possibility of very warm weather with the logistics of carrying or dropping off drink bottles on the way. Good decision as it turned out, warming up later in the morning.
John, Liz, Mick, Michael & myself left the War Memorial car park, headed towards Campbell Park on the Bush Capital course, some of us trying to sneak a short cut here and there. As Michael will say, the pace was on early, everyone must have been feeling good. We did follow the course properly out to the Federal Hwy underpass where the Bush Capital marathon and ultra continue, the 25 km run turns back towards the houses of Watson, Hackett and Ainslie. A check of the GPS, we had done just over 14 km at 5' 24" pace including the climb from Campbell Park to the Ainslie/Majura saddle. The on the flatter run back to the pace quickened again, down to 5' 14" per km for me just trying to keep up, everyone blaming the others for going so fast. But it was an easy pace.

Arrived back at the start having covered 24 km to find the Cotter group that started at 7:00 am having a chat, finished for the day. Some of them are also running SFT, they need to get serious now, or spend all the 7 hours allowed to make the cut off at Jenolan Caves.

Change drink bottles, and out for the 2nd loop, this time doing the 16 km run of the Bush Capital day but in reverse. Liz had gone home covering her 38 kms earlier, John had done all he wanted, so just 3 of us continuing on. At least a flat start behind the houses of Ainslie, but the sun was making itself known, getting warmer. It's a long slog up to the reservoir and then the rocky up hill to the top of Trent's Hill. After that, all is down to the saddle, then left towards Campbell Park. Getting tired at this time, the early pace catching up with me. A check of the GPS for distance showed that I would be short of the intended 40 kms for the day, so put the mind in to knowing I would have a bit extra to do. Later discovered Mick had added a km or so on out here where I did a loop around the outside of Campbell High School to get 40 kms. Michael also added a bit on at the school to make distance over 40 kms. Sounds better that just under, almost a marathon.

The others had long gone when we all arrived back at the start, a quick chat, compared times and distances and time to go. It had been a long day, not flat but certainly flat by recent standards of Mt Tennent and Mt Rob Roy. Michael and I had 20 minutes in the cool, surprise! water of LBG at the boathouse restaurant. Much better for that. Thanks to those that ran today, another great day on the trails.
Next week is the tough one, 3 loops over Mt Ainslie, Trent's and the roller coaster, Should be fun, just another 40 km day.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Two Shorties

1st run: 7.13 km in 37' 20" at 5' 14" per km
2nd run: 3.12 km in 16' 51" at 5' 23" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 20 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 61.3 km
Jan & Year: 110.6 km

I ran from work home for lunch. Collected the car and James, went down to Pine Is for a swim. Drove back home, dropped James off, then went back to Pine Is for the 2nd short run, this one up to the top car park, around the river loop track, then back to the car. Back to work.
There is long run on Saturday, today was just to get a few easy kms done, enough done to help the weekly total get close or over 100 kms.
Just finished carbo loading for tomorrow, hope everyone else has done the same.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fill in Day

Distance: 11.3 km
Time: 58' 38"
Rate: 5' 11" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 51.05 km
Jan & Year: 100.35 km

Too hot yesterday to run, just a bike ride home for lunch, then back to work with the car via the river. Today, much better conditions with a big drop in temp at noon.
A short fill in run, nothing to gain except to get the legs moving after a rest day. Half way through the run, I stopped at Pine Is beach for a swim, and I do actually swim a bit, even if it is only 50 metres across the river and the 50 metres back.
I do like swimming, but don't have the time to give it more importance. The thought of looking at a black line on the bottom of a pool is hardly communicating with nature out in the bush. I'll stick to my mountains.

Ok, I read the comments about running in the heat in the middle of the day. Just wait till winter.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's Been Hot.... So Wot!!

Distance: 10.25 km
Time: 51' 47"
Rate: 5' 04" per km
Weather: noon, sunny, temp 33 degrees, humidity 12%, WNW wind at 25 kmph
Week: 39.75 km
Jan & Year: 89.05 km

Having a split shift at work with 4 hours ( soon to be 5 hours) off in the middle of the day. This gives plenty, sometimes too much, time to run. That's great in spring, autumn and winter when it's the nicest part of the day.
However in hot January and February, it does create problems with how far and at what pace do I run. What should I do? Go to the gym? What do I do in there?
As I wrote yesterday the heat itself is not the problem, today was the same, hot with very little humidity. A bit of a breeze, nice. But, you can't just go out and try to run 20 kms in the middle of the day, and later try to stay awake at the wheel when the head is saying, where's my afternoon siesta.
Drink plenty, keep the run short. That's what I did today. In fact, the first part was just 7 kms stopping at Pine Is beach where Mrs TF and James met me with lunch. James & I had a couple of swims in the river before and after lunch, really nice in the water now, not real sure why it is still so brown.
Then another couple of kms before returning to work nice and relaxed, no need for the nanna nap today.
Another hot day on Wednesday so I might make it a rest day from running and ride the mtn bike home at lunch time for a bit of cross training, hopefully still get down to the river on my way back to work.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Very Warm and Dry

Distance: 14.35 km
Time: 74' 56"
Rate: 5' 13" per km
Weather: noon, sunny, temp 30 degrees, humidity 8% !! West wind at 20 kmph
Week: 29.5 km
Jan & Year: 78.8 km

Running in the heat has never really bothered me, running in high humidity always drags me down. Ran home for lunch and checked the weather figures at 1:00pm. Temp 30 degrees, that's Ok, with humidity at 8%, that is very dry, even for this region.
So the run home and back to work, even into the wind was Ok. Each way is just over 7 kms, I should have carried a drink bottle but I was close to water at Pine Is. No time to visit the river, that's tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Morning Reflection

Distance: 15.15 km
Time: 80' 17"
Rate: 5' 18" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 20 degrees, humidity 65%, wind calm
Week: 15.15 km
Jan & Year: 64.45 km

I needed a flat run after yesterday's hilly run. I had thought about 25 laps in lane 5, but that would have been too fast a session. Instead, a casual run from home to Point Hut, along the river track to Pine Is, up to the top car park and back to the beach to stand and splash about in the water for 10 minutes.
Met softshoeshuffle just prior to that, short discussion about yesterday's run, then away he went to finish off his 20 km run. Made my 15 kms look average.
Ran back home on the tracks behind Bonython, felt surprisingly good, no effects from yesterday. All that up hill has a benefit on the down hill, no quad soreness any more.
Strewth, the more hills you can run up and down, the easier it becomes. Just try it, it's not that tough. Just ask superwomen CJ about what to do. Lots of walking involved, the strength gained will certainly help you run stronger for longer, not any faster, speedygeoff will look after that part for you on a Monday night.
Sunday reflection, when travel around my suburb, all I see are mountains, Mt Tennent to the south, Mt Rob Roy to the south east, behind me is Mt Taylor. You can't help but be motivated.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mt Tennent - Double Up - Again

Distance: 33.55 km
Time: 3 hrs 53 mins 52 secs
Rate: 6' 58" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 1560 metres
Calories used: 3020
Weather: cloudy to start, later sunny, temp 10 - 18 degrees, wind calm mostly with light westerly at times

Week: 101.2 km in 5/7 days at ave 20.25 km per run day
Jan & Year: 49.3 km
Altitude gain/loss over past 12 months: 72800 metres at ave 1400 metres per week.

A group of 8 mountain runners arrived at Apollo Road at 7:30 this morning to see Mt Tennent covered in cloud. Not exactly the warmest January morning, temp about 10 degrees, but with no wind, and the prospect of the sun making an appearance sometime, we had a good running day.
Diana walking to the top and back started first, making good progress as we didn't see her again until the top, John, Mick,Nick, Peter, CJ, softshoeshuffle and myself, after discussion on the way we were going to get to the top twice, decided on upwards and onwards, let's just do it !
The plan was to run up the fire trail to the top, down part way then over to the Alpine Walking Track, follow to Bushfold Flats, then down the fire trail to the gate at Apollo Road. Replenish drinks, then do the whole course again covering the easier Bushfold Flats section first, then to the top, and finally a fast finish down the fire trail back to the cars.
Cloud cover and cool and much walking on the first part, there is no time to warm up. We opened and closed the gates behind us, no need to climb through this time, as the sun refused to come out to play. Visibility nil on top of the mountain, making our way on to Bushfold Flats a group of about 8 bush walkers were out to enjoy themselves, although at a more leisurely pace than we were going.
Mick and Nick as usual having good runs were away and out of sight, meeting again after half way mark at Apollo Road and again after the top of the mountain second time round. Peter cut his efforts short, the run taking longer than he expected, John still having knee soreness playing the smart game and taking it easy.
A few other walkers about as well, Sven ( well he had a European accent) carrying plenty of gear walking down on to Bushfold, and another couple hiking up towards the top on the fire trail. Had we seen them before? After a while all bush walkers look the same, but CJ said one lot were wearing shorts and another lot had long pants.
So who was looking at their legs? CJ, that's who!! Now we know why she goes running!! She's a legs girl!!
We all made it back in one piece, no spills, although as usual sometimes doing the flying swan act to stay upright, , Mick and Nick had left, Diana & John had gone as well.
Comparing distances on the GPS, remarkably close, maybe 50 metres in recorded difference between 3 of us. Again CJ ran shortest, cutting corners I guess. But then again, if you run the hills ( and mountains) you don't have to do the distance.
Great day, especially after the sun came out, very enjoyable. And so much easier when you finally get fit enough not to be totally stuffed after 20 kms when there is still plenty of ground to cover.
I say this every week, but thanks to CJ and softshoeshuffle for their company, and Mick and Nick, and Peter, and John and Diana for being there as well. Another wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning.
Three of us stopped at Point Hut to stand in a brown coloured Murrumbidgee River for 20 minutes before heading home. Water is now cool to lukewarm now, but still feels good on tired legs. Should be able to run tomorrow without any soreness, if there was any, and there wasn't much.
As I write this, I have just been handed a bowl of warm rhubarb, corn flakes and cream, grew up on this as a kid in Tassie. No time for an afternoon siesta, will probably do that on the couch later anyway.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day One of The New Year

Distance: 15.75 km
Time: 85' 01"
Rate: 5' 23" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25 degrees, humidity 25%, strong NW wind at 30 kmph plus
Week: 67.65 km
Jan & Year: 15.75 km

I had intended to go to the oval today, but the wind would not have been kind running around in small circles. Afternoon run down to Pine Is, along the river track to Point Hut and back home. Stopped at Point Hut to stand and splash about in the water for 15 minutes.
I didn't mention my friend the mighty Murrumbidgee River in getting me through last year, without the help and therapeutic benefits to aid recovery, I would not have had the year I did. Or the last 10 years for that matter.
The wind ruined a nice day today, very few people about. And very quiet in the town centre this morning as we bought a new toaster at the sales, half price, the old one giving up the ghost just before Christmas. Also bought a small diary to write down important dates, places and events. That's enough to keep the economy going for another few days before the recession starts to bite.