Two Fruits

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cotter - Run 134 - 15 miles plus

Distance: 29.55 km
Time: 2 hrs 39 mins 28 secs
Rate: 5' 23.8" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 540 metres
Weather: cloudy to start then sunny, temp 14- 24 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 121.65 kms in 7/7 days at ave 17.38 km per run day
Feb: 397.05 km in 23/28 days at ave 17.26 km per run day
Year: 830.4 km in 78 hours 42 mins 27 secs at 5' 41" ave per run or
830.4 km in 50/59 days at ave 16.6 km per run day

The image shows where I have been running at the Cotter since starting in 1994, not that many a year but a couple of years after our bush fires there was no running out there.
Today 8 of started as the sun rose, cool conditions and just about perfect for a long run. A few left early, two of girls and John off before some of us were ready, making pace as although they only had 5 minutes start, it took a long time to catch them. Mick & Robbie had 21 miles on their mind, the girls did 18 miles, Michael the same, John 21 miles with the short cut start. CJ and I intended to do 18 miles but CJ wasn't having a good day and opted for the shorter 15 miles.
One good or bad part of this area, is once you leave, there is a big Cotter dam and river between you and the start. No short cuts so easier to keep going.
Most were running well today, I left CJ at Vanities Crossing, water level is now low, but still cool. She went on as I went back up the hill on the 18 mile course and the last part of the Brindabella Classic course to meet Kelley & Elle, then Michael on their way way. I turned at the 21 mile corner back to Vanities. The girls had gone but Michael was cooling his legs. No stopping today, feeling good and felt like going hard. The girls in front were an incentive to chase, however a near 10 minute start had me wondering if I would catch them. A run from Vanities over Ma & Pa and Pierce's settlement, distance 6.5 km in around 30 minutes is good, no matter what you have done before.
I haven't been near that for a while but today pushed out a 32' 17" catching the girls after the settlement just before the road crossing. Sub 5 minute pace, very happy with the finish.
Last long run, next weekend around 15 kms, fairly easy, nothing more to be gained with some running the Weston Creek half marathon on the Sunday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

What Recession, No one wants my Business

Calwell oval: 20 laps in Lane 5
Distance: 9.2 km in 38' 54" at 4' 14" per km ave
Cool down: 1.5 km in 6' 44" at 4' 29" per km ave
Weather: sun through high cloud, temp 27 degrees, humidity 60%, light nthy wind at 10 kmph
Week: 92.1 km
Feb: 367.5 km
Year: 800.85 km

First, the important part of the day was the running at the oval. Rode the mtn bike down and back as a warm up and cool down. Managed to stay upright both times, even with only front brakes. Similar to the usual sessions, 4 sets of 5 laps, short rest between each set, changed direction each set, ran bare feet. The grass is a good as it gets, mowed and watered during the week, just great.
Not an all out session, long run tomorrow so didn't want to be tired for that. Started out to run 2 minute laps in lane 5, but gradually got faster without trying. Each 5 lap set 10 seconds faster than previous set, 1st 5 laps in 9'58", 2nd in 9'48", 3rd in 9' 38" and last in 9' 28". Didn't mean to be that exact, just how it turned out. Short cool down, only one other person in the area, a runner doing sprints over 100 metres, plenty of rest between each.
At home today, I tried to change my Internet from my slow but reliable dial-up plan to a modest broadband plan. No ISP I talked to is interested unless you spend mega bucks on full packages. All I need is 2 - 3gb per month to free up the phone line and provide faster download speed. I don't download music or movies, don't spend hours looking at foreign sites to fill in time. BigPond for example have a plan that starts at 12 gb per month at $ 60. Much too much for my needs. Grapevine is through Transact, they want a full phone & Internet plan but don't have unlimited STD phone calls, most of our family are interstate. That also eliminates other Transact providers like Netspeed. Optus said they don't have facilities in my suburb but I think they tell fibs. Any one have any more suggestions, no one wants my business?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Theodore Hills

Distance: 19.4 km
Time: 1 hr 47 mins 04 secs
Rate: 5' 31" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 290 metres
Weather: sunny, temp 24 degrees, humidity 20%, SE wind at 10 kmph
Week: 81.4 km
Feb: 356.8 km
Year: 790.15 km

Another perfect running day in late summer. Mid morning start, sleep in, on a old family favourite tour of the hills behind Theodore. Didn't see Ewen at home, but then the front curtains are always closed.
Home down Johnson Dr to Calwell oval. The grass has been cut and watered, feels beautiful under foot, very tempting to do a short speed session there tomorrow morning. Continue behind the houses of Theodore to the sub station. Then a circuit going Conder side first to the ridge track over to the reservoirs on the Calwell side. Back to the sub station. Back home same way with a short diversion, just for a change of scenery.
Really good run, always enjoy this one, just far enough to run hard, enough up hill to make it interesting, with a nice long down hill from the sub station back to the oval to increase the leg turnover.
Still running scared of CJ finishing in front of me at SFT.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How Good is Today ?

Distance: 16.25 km
Time: 86' 36"
Rate: 5' 20" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 45%, wind calm
Week: 62.0 km
Feb: 337.4 km
Year: 770.75 km in 8 weeks at 96.3 km ave per week

Today is almost as good as it gets for running mid morning. I'm not an early morning runner, I don't have to during the week, and but run early at the weekend so I can enjoy the company of some wonderful people.
On holiday's this week, so I get to sleep in ( unlike CJ who hasn't had a sleep in for weeks), wake up when I feel l have rested enough, just ease in the day.
Another perfect morning, ideal temp to head out just after 10 am. Felt comfortable all run, lower leg/ankle still tender after crashing off the mtn bike last week. The bruising has gone, but maybe some other damage taking it's time to repair. It's a problem only when cold, warmed up and running is Ok.
Flat run from home, down to Point Hut, along the river track past Pine Is to the loop track at the top car park, then back behind Bonython, through Gordon and home.
I did notice some people in the river at Pine Is, so I presume the water is safe for swimming. There are no signs up about the bacteria or any algae. After my cuts and scratches have healed, I will take a chance and get back in the water next week when I am back at work.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Chance to Stop and Reflect

Distance: 21.15 km
Time: 1 hr 59 mins 43 secs
Rate: 5' 40" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 27 degrees, humidity 30%, NW wind at 20 kmph
Week: 45.75 km
Feb: 321.15 km
Year: 754.5 km

This first mid week long run is basically a short version of softshoeshuffle's " Two Fruits loop". It's more a run I do in winter when I need long, but not hilly running normally building up to some crazy ultra run in Qld.
Home to Ashley Dr, thru Gowrie to Fadden nature park gate, up on to Wanniassa Hills, under Yamba Dr to Farrer ridge, then past Bob Chapman's house in Farrer. Did you see Bob at the monthly handicap with the arm in a sling? Bob did " a CJ " on Isaacs Ridge coming down the Long Gully Road side last week and broke a bone in his hand or wrist. So easy to do when you put your arms out to help the fall.
Then under Yamba Dr into Isaacs, over Long Gully Road to Wanniassa Hills nature park again, but turned towards MacArthur at the power lines. Around the back of MacArthur to Isabella Dr and stopped for a drink at Fadden Pines.
It was here I noticed cars parked everywhere they could. Wondering why, I realised that the funeral was happening at the Holy Family church in Gowrie for our ACT fire fighter killed helping to stop the Victorian bush fires. I had a drink and stopped to pay my respects to him and those that pay the ultimate price working to protect the community.
Continued down Isabella Dr to Ashley Dr and back home. Nice day out, the wind picking up later during the run.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Calwell Oval - 25 laps in Lane 5

Tempo - 11.35 km in 46' 48" at 4' 07" ave per km
Warm up - 650 metres in 3' 07" at 4' 47" ave per km
Cool down - 2.40 km in 10' 48" at 4' 30" ave per km
Weather: mostly sunny, temp 23-27 degrees, humidity 45%, NW wind at 20 kmph
Week: 24.6 km
Feb: 300.0 km
Year: 733.35 km

Another beaut morning on the oval for a session of faster running. The long slow stuff has slowed me down and I now need all the speed I can get. My main concern is being over run by CJ in the last 3 kms from Caves Road to Jenolan Caves at SFT after having done 42 hard kms to stay in front.
Today, I ventured back to the oval, I'm on holidays this week so I have plenty of time for running. A fairly normal session for me, 25 laps this time in lane 5, ran bare feet, changed direction after each set of 5 laps. Grass nice and soft, plenty of cushioning, will probably be cut again this week. During the warm up and cool down, a soft wet patch in the bottom corner cooled the feet nicely.
Started out easy, running the first 5 laps ( distance 2.25 kms) in 9' 52", ave 4'21" km pace, then gradually going faster, 2nd set in 9'35" ave 4'11", 3rd set in 9'18" ave 4'08", 4th set in 9'14" ave 4'04" and a fast finish last 5 laps in 8' 47" ave 3' 51". Good last set. Very good session, nothing at sprinting pace, just trying to go a little faster each time.
I try to run the first 3 laps out of 5 at the same pace as the previous set, then just get faster for the last 2 laps. By that method, I'm not running flat out all the time, just a little more each time. It works for me for my running. A few stretches and a cool down jog after, very enjoyable morning.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Monthly Handicap at North Curtin

Race Distance: 6.3 km plus warm up and cool down 3.9 km
Race Time: 26' 10" plus w/u and c/d 21' 34"
Race rate: 4' 09" plus w/u and c/d 5' 32" ave per km
Altitude gain / loss: 120 metres
Finished: 42nd
Weather: cloudy, temp 12-17 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 10.2 km
Feb: 285.6 km
Year: 718.95 km

Monthly handicap, 2nd of the year, a kind of mixture of surfaces. Mainly a bike path course but for those like me that prefer the dirt under their feet, plenty of places to run on the edge of the track.
Started off group 37, moved back 2 group after a good run in January. A group in time is about 25 seconds so I needed to pick up 50 seconds to maintain parity with last month. However, this run has a nasty start, most of the altitude gain is in the first 2 kilometres, where the horses look over the fence as runners go by. I see them when on training runs, but not today, too busy to look sideways.
Really happy with the up hill section, running at 4'36" pace ave over the 1st 2 kms to the top of the hill to gain nearly a minute on CJ in that first part. That was the end of the catching, past Kelley, Maria and Elle on the down hill, speed has gone from the legs, lucky to average under 4'00" pace for the next 4 kms.
Failed by 150 metres to catch CJ and Strewth by the finish. The competitive spirit showed with CJ passing Strewth right on the line to finish one place in front. Hope now they both go back a group for next time, maybe I will again have a chance to get near.
Overall, a good solid run, very happy with the up hill performance, not so with the flat speed, but you can't have it all when most of the training has been hills and mountains. Speed will come back when or if I run Canberra marathon and ultra.
That was my 149th monthly handicap, new T - shirt next month.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mt Majura

Distance: 33.05 km plus warm up test run 1.15 km
Time: 3 hrs 12 mins 6 secs plus 7' 15" testing
Rate: 5' 49" plus 6' 08" for test run
Weather: cloudy, temp 13-18 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Altitude gain: 700 metres
Calories: 2500
Week: 82.35 km
Feb: 275.4 km
Year: 708.75 km

Arrived at the War Memorial before sunrise, and needed to go for a test run to see if the ankle would handle over 30 kms of undulating off road running. The swelling had gone down on Friday, thanks to the RICE. Tender all run especially on the down hill, and the technical rocky parts on Mt Majura. Other than that, just felt the bruising getting jolted on the rougher tracks.
Seven fronted at 6:30, several others had gone earlier in the dark, not a good idea, as Strewth had a fall just after the start. Lucky not to do too much damage, but she was wearing the evidence, knees, elbow and plenty of dust. Debbie C had a group of runners under her wing looking forward to a half marathon or two.
The sun came up just after we started, Mick, Nick & Liz off in front as usual. CJ, Carol, Michael & I in arrears. The course was the first part of the Bush Capital Marathon course out to the Federal Hwy, meaning a flat start, then the climb to the saddle between Mt Ainslie & Mt Majura. A few smaller ups on the rocky track towards the reservoir above Hackett, then it gets easy to just undulating on the base track of Mt Majura.
Out there somewhere we met Strewth and Roy on their way back. Checked out the damage and the dust on the "coolrunning" singlet and away we went.
Our three leaders were also on their way to the top of Mt Majura and it was the last we saw of them. They must have scooted on as we didn't really hang out too much for the rest of the day. Just a couple of short stops to drink and admire the view over northern Canberra.
To get to the top of Mt Majura, we followed the rocky, crappy Triple Tri track from the base. A couple of fallen trees, plenty of rocks then full steam up to the top. Very difficult to stay in front of CJ, I was putting in on the climb, but she was never far behind. Waited at the top for Carol & softshoeshuffle , then down the road fast toward the grapes under cover, must be almost ready to harvest for wine. Plenty of mountain bikers out enjoying the cool conditions, good running weather, it had warmed up nicely but still under cover of high cloud.
I would like to say CJ was pushing the pace here, we were running under 4:30 km pace on the flat, good after covering over 20 kms with a decent mountain climb in there as well. But I was feeling Ok, I suppose CJ was hanging in there not giving ground, strong attitude.
We changed our minds about Mt Ainslie, not much benefit any more with too many more hills. We need more speed to counteract the slowness of months of hill running. Back to the saddle, down to Campbell Park Defence offices, good runnable down hill, sub 4:00 minute pace, guess who was pushing the pace this time, not me.
We eased off with a couple of kms to, we have a monthly handicap to race tomorrow. Good to finish, bit tired, but Ok.
Very nice day out there, thanks for the company. Lower leg bruising is Ok, bit more treatment suggested by Dr CJ, and all will be fine. Also well done to Graeme & Cathy for releasing the little bird from the cotton wrapped around it's foot. I bet it feels better now.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bike Ride... Over and Ouch !!

Distance: 22 km in 1 hour 46 mins
Weather: sunny, warm, temp 23-26 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm
Running: nil

Thursday is work bike ride and my cross training day. Sometimes I go for a short run after the ride. And sometimes I just sit down in the canteen and eat. Today I did something different.

Just two of us ventured out on a perfect day. The course is made up as we go, not much planning goes into the day, just let's see what happens. We stayed close to Drakeford Dr going north, past Kambah Village, left onto Sulwood Dr, then left again down Kambah Pool Road past the golf course.
Then decision time, back near Gleneagles estate and Urambi hills, or do we continue down the road to Kambah Pool. Kambah Pool wins out as Kevvie hasn't been along the river track heading back toward Tuggeranong.
We investigate the blue/green algae in the river. It is everywhere, the river is closed for use. We also investigate the nudist beach, no one to be seen, must be in hiding as there are a few cars parked. We also check out the nearby clubhouse/ HQ/ environmentally friendly toilet block. Very trendy, solar power etc.
On the track leading to Tuggeranong Creek, Pine Is direction, very dry, plenty of exposed rocks, trees roots, etc to make the riding interesting. The track for riding gets rough, great for running, not much to ride, so we walk and push the bikes on the narrow parts high above Red Rocks Gorge. Very little water in the river, upstream here still full of algae.
A little later on, we throw the bikes through the kookaburra gate, stopping for a drink and a chat.
Then on a short, sharp down hill slope leading to a wooden ramp, I hit the brakes too hard, the front one locks and I go over the handle bars very spectacular. Kevvie just catches a look at the last moment, but no phone camera so no pictures.
Damage done, bike, back brake stuffed, no other damage. Me, other than laughing a lot and pride, bits of skin off, and a swollen right lower leg just above the ankle.
Rode back to work, the guys in the canteen found some ice, placed on the swelling for 10 minutes on, 5 minutes off, sat back in the chair and rested. It's all about the RICE. Then eat the rice after the icing. Or is that with milk or cream, hot or cold.
No running tomorrow, hopefully be right by Saturday. Doesn't matter, I will go on Saturday anyway, so Michael, pick me up as arranged.
Next week on holidays so I can pick up the missed few days running.
Every time there is an important event coming up, there will be an incident in the weeks leading to it. Today was my incident, mostly just a near miss, but always something that goes wrong. Plenty of time to recover for me, just nothing more especially in the last week. That's why I am not running Weston Creek Half Marathon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Water Quality of the River

Distance: 12.7 km
Time: 67' 07"
Rate: 5' 17" per km
Weather: cloudy to start, ten sunny, temp 21-24 degrees, humidity 50%, wins SE at 15 kmph
Week: 48.15 km
Feb: 241.2 km
Year: 674.55 km

For the last few weeks, some lakes in the ACT have been closed to activities due to blue/green algae and bacteria build up. As well, the flow in the Murrumbidgee River has slowed to a trickle also causing a bacteria build up. Parts of the river are closed, Point Hut and Kambah Pool with signs erected to advise users to stay out of the water. The signs were put in place about 2 weeks ago.
At Pine Is, signs was placed at the two main swimming areas on the 7th Feb. advising the water was unsafe to use. That same weekend, after our Mt Rob Roy run, I went down to the river for a usual recovery session in the water and a quick swim. Not noticing the sign where I went, I did my short recovery and went home. Couple of days later, a rash breaks out on me, nothing serious, goes away after a bit of treatment in a few days.
During the week, the radio plays advice that sections of the river are closed for use. I check one day and sure enough I find the signs, and from then onwards stay away from the river.
A few days later the signs have gone. So who removed the signs? The rangers or the idiots that destroy and ruin anything they can?
My legs are used to constant recovery with cold water, and even a few days of no water have me looking for help. I decide to try to find out, being a concerned member of the public. That's where you need to be very calm when dealing with government departments.
A few years ago, the river was controlled by the Murrumbidgee River commission and a phone number was in the White pages. Not any more. Now you go through Canberra Connect. I did, a nice girl answered and did all she could to help.I think she tried every dept she could find, the obvious ones, likes Environment, Water Quality, Parks, National Parks etc.
Half an hour later, she gives a phone number she hopes can help. Thank you. Ring number, private number, no answer, even though it is an ACT government number. Give up!
Go for the Mt Taylor run yesterday and find a sign on the edge of Lake Tuggeranong advising the lake is closed for use. Bottom of the sign a phone number. Beaut, I ring the number when I get back, and talk to Michelle. Good, she says you need to talk to Stephanie, knows more than her, gives me a number to ring. Ring that number, she is at lunch, leave a message or ring back. That was yesterday, didn't have any more time, try today.
Today, I ring Stephanie. Nice pleasant girl, didn't sound as though she was a runner, can you tell? She says there is nothing on the website or any information she has about Pine Is water quality. Point Hut and Kambah Pool are still closed for use. She gives the mobile phone number of two senior rangers that would know.
So after almost half a day on the phone over two days, now I have two mobile numbers to ring.
If the weather was warmer and still in school holidays, all I would have to do is look down at the beach area, and see if anyone was using the river. No signs, so must be safe.
Government depts, no one wants to make a decision or at least let any one else know of the decision.
Simple question really, Is the water in the river at Pine Is safe to swim in? Yes or No !! If not, who stole the signs?
Ran home for lunch today and back. The air conditioning unit has finally been replaced and all we need is some warm weather to test it out. Should see us through a few more hot summers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mt Taylor - Up and Over

Distance: 20.5 km
Time: 1 hr 53 mins 42 secs
Rate: 5' 32" per km
Altitude gain: 360 metres
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 50%, SE wind at 15 kmph
Week: 35.45 km
Feb: 228.5 km
Year: 661.85 km

Probably the run I needed after a couple of recent runs that I would describe as average. A rest day on Sunday helped, with today a chance to hit out on a cloudy cool day. No need to carry a drink bottle.
Run from work up Athllon Dr to Sulwood Dr, over to the horse paddocks, up the front main track ( eroding away fast) to the top. Time to top from the start around 56 minutes, right on usual time. Then down the newish track to Torrens. It's easy enough to run, a short rocky bit near the top, plenty of logs across to stop erosion, but they slow you down as well as the zig zag nature of the near 1 km down.
Turn right on the Torrens side ( monthly handicap course) and back to the top side of the horse paddocks. Over to Sulwood Dr, then a chance to break out the speed, or lack thereof on the flat to down hill on Athllon Dr to the lake edge. Eased down nearing the college, feeling good and happy that I had finally put together a descent mid week run.
A short time in the gym, just a bit of arm and shoulder work, and 5 minutes on the exercise bike to cool down.
Stood on the scales at the finish, no shoes, I have lost a couple of kilos recently but I don't think it is helping.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday kind of Monday

Distance: 14.95 km
Time: 79' 01"
Rate: 5' 17" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 60%, wind SE at 25 kmph
Week: 14.95 km
Feb: 208.0 km
Year: 641.35 km

Plenty of similarities between last Friday and today. Same course, just 50 metres longer today, 31 seconds slower for that extra distance, weather very similar, summer seems to have gone for the moment.
A light drizzle going to work this morning and again at midday. Hardly any of that water would have registered in a rain gauge.
Same trip to run home for lunch, except I met softshoeshuffle on the river track between Pine Is and Point Hut. Stopped for a quick chat then on our way. He is on his last week of holidays, I have next week off to get my running back on track.
Not much else to report. Longer run tomorrow, providing the weather is Ok, I will run to the top of Mt Taylor and back to work. Tuesday and Thursday are my stay at work all day, days.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Honeysuckle Tracking Station to Orroral Valley

Distance: 34.8 km
Time: 3 hrs 41 mins 41 secs
Rate: 6' 22" per km
Weather: cloudy, very cool, temp 9-11 degrees, humidity 60%, calm in trees, light SE in the valley
Altitude gain/loss: 880 metres
Week: 103.2 km with 1690 metres of altitude gain/loss
Feb: 193.05 km
Year: 626.4 km

Seven very brave runners arrived before sunrise at the old Honeysuckle Tracking Station for a new training run for us over the range to the Orroral Valley. The tracks are part of two mountain running events held in the ACT, notably the 2nd part of the Deep Space marathon held in Late Nov, and the Orroral Valley Classic, held in October. A beautiful area of Namadgi National Park with a small portion also being part of the Australian Alpine Walking Track heading off to Victoria.

This is another event not for the faint hearted or the untrained. Although we reckon it's not in the top three of our training runs, it's easy with a major climb of 4 kms near the end. In fact nearly all of walked some or most of it with around 500 metres of up hill in 4 the 4 kms.

February was been unusually changeable this year in this part of the world. The first week was very hot, 40 degrees temps, this week, low teens. Today at a higher altitude than Canberra city, it was decidedly cold, temp around 10 degrees and it didn't warm up much at all. Maybe a degrees or two in the valley, but a light cool SE breeze against soon knocked that down. Fortunately, no wind to hit the socks off us, it can get really cold on the range at any time as we found out in Nov when the Deep Space marathon and other events were run in the snow.

Today no snow, dry track, we desperately need rain. A couple of camping tents are the start area, many use this as a start point for walking treks. The first part of the run is, of course, all up hill to a collimation tower. What's that? Don't know. Difficult start, but then a long down hill to the valley where a non flowing Orroral River has a wooden bridge over it. Left my day pack with a couple of drink bottles inside, hidden in the reeds. Then a circuit of the Orroral Valley following the Classic event course held in Oct. Fairly easy, with only a short, sharp climb up to where the drink station is normally located. A nice fire trail leads to the intersection with Smoker's Trail. Here the leaders had written a sign " Robbie - and an arrow" . No doubts about where to go.

Smoker's Trail leads toward Corin Forest reserve, but we turn off a couple of kms down the track to follow a grassy trail back along the valley floor. Open space, grass looked as if it had been mowed not long ago.

The leaders, Mick, Nick & Robbie were well out of sight, only the occasional kangaroo lingering. CJ kicking the rest of our backsides, doesn't like the grassy surface, but it didn't matter, she was having a very good day.

Finally back to the wooden bridge and the end of the easy part, around 26 kms done, but the hard part to come. About 8.5 kms to go to get back but the first 4.5 kms are tough. Steep, plenty of walking as running gets you no where. Several times the GPS told me I was not moving forward, the auto pause went off while I was still moving, well I the feet were moving, but the rest of me was marking time.

Carol ran all this section, CJ walked and ran and I couldn't keep up with her until we hit the down hill with 4 kms to go. Michael not that far behind either.
The boys in front ran well, SFT looking good for them, I had no go in the legs. The colder weather didn't help at all, a long sleeve top and singlet stayed on all run. Must say I will need to improve on today's effort for CJ not to finish in front of me at SFT as well. I hope I have a good run and she does finish in front. She has been really good over the past few weeks. We all need to stay fit and healthy with 4 weeks to go.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Jog

Distance: 14.9 km
Time: 78' 30"
Rate: 5' 16"
Weather: cool, cloudy, temp 15 degrees, humidity 60%, ESE wind at 25 kmph
Week: 69.4 km
Feb: 158.25 km
Year: 591.6 km

Another cloudy, cool day for this time of the year. When will the warmth come back? Run home for lunch and back again. Good run going back, downhill a bit, finally some some speed. Ave 5' 00" pace, moving easily.
The benefit of the massage on Tuesday seems to be working and now I know I need 2 full days to get moving again. Nothing much to report, turtle not sighted, no one else about either, too cold.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tinker 1 & Tinker 2

Bike ride: Distance - 22.3 km in 88' 12" at 15.2 kmph
Run: Distance - 6.5 km in 36' 18" at 5' 35" per km
Weather: cloudy, very cool for Feb, temp 14 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 53.5 km
Feb: 143.35 km
Year: 576.7 km

Bike ride today in cool conditions, unlike a week ago when the temp reached near 40 degrees. A few failures to front today for the bike ride, notably Tinkerbell and Tinker's friend. All talk yesterday, but the sun wasn't shining, and a bit cool. Didn't matter, just the diehards rode off to the east mid morning.
An easy ride, we are just in the 2nd week back, no need to push the pace, or the hills. Big loop course, Isabella Dr, Fadden Pines, behind Gilmore and Chisholm houses, behind Calwell to the open tracks near Bonython and back to work. Both of know how to chat, so not much quiet time, just rolling along. A good day out.
After a bite to eat, I ran a few extra kms at easy pace. Nothing much to report. Luckily I couldn't find the turtle or Ewen would have made soup out of him. It would have been just flavouring, there wasn't much meat on his bones yesterday.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oh So Cool !!

Distance: 17.8 km
Time: 94' 44"
Rate: 5' 19" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 21 degrees, humidity 35%, wind SE at 15 kmph
Week: 47.0 km
Feb: 136.85 km
Year: 570.2 km in 6 weeks at 95.03 km ave per week

Riding the bike to work this morning, it was certainly cool by recent standards. Almost jumper required to keep out the chill of wind from the high speed I get out of the mountain bike. Really lucky to get 25 kmph out of the bike and my legs, down hill with a tail wind.
Then at lunch time, ran home and ran back. Same run as last Wednesday, may be a cooler day helped in 90 seconds faster time. Nothing much else for the day except on the way back at the Stranger pond behind the new Bonython estate, not far from Kelley's place, a small turtle pulled his head in as I approached. Stayed still for a while until I moved on. I have never seen one there before, very small, dinner plate size.
Bike ride tomorrow with the group from work. Nice day out again, followed by short run. Should be fun, unless I fall off, then it won't be fun, just stupid.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Massage equals Bliss

Running: Nil

A rest day after a couple of big days over the weekend. A massage this morning found much more wrong with me that right. And I thought I was Ok.
The only part not too bad was the right quad, everything else would have had me climbing back down from the ceiling, if I had not been strapped to the massage table. Pain, I hate pain.
Calf muscles were knotted, the hammies are no good, ITB's are tight, glutes have been worked over time. Even the shoulders were knotted from driving. No wonder I can't run fast down hill, muscles are too tight, I need more flexibility.
Booked in again in a few weeks for more repair work before SFT. Then after lunch at home I needed an hour of siesta time to make it through the afternoon. An an early night tonight as well.
Maybe it was just the wake up call I need to continue on without getting injured. Thank you Maria.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Distance: 16.05 km
Time: 85' 28"
Rate: 5' 19" per km
Weather: cloudy, cooler, temp 22 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 29.25 km
Feb: 119.05 km
Year: 552.4 km in 53 hours 25 mins at 5' 48" ave per km

Struggling to write much today as the run was so similar to every second day each week day, that there is barely a story. So for interest sake, at the beginning of each year I delete all history off my GPS. Therefore all recording is for the calendar year. Year to date are easy to find. The interesting part is that for all the long slow Saturday running, and walking I do, the ave km rate so far is only just above my long term km rate.
Now that figure is found on the Garmin Training Centre where I down load each day's data, and it keeps the totals. Long term km ave is 5' 36" per km over the past 3 and a half years.
Now the title for today has nothing to do with the above. I really don't like painting with a brush, as in the house. It's not the throwing the paint on the wall, but all the preparation that gets done before hand.
Almost opposite to me running a race, I like the preparation but the race is just the final destination.
On Sunday morning, Mr Jones came over to my place to play with my computer. He knows at bit, well a lot, I am mug dumb. I wanted to be able to take maps and course profiles off my Garmin Training Centre and put them on my blog. But Garmin won't let me do it in any type of direct fashion. So Mr Jones showed me how to "paint" it into the blog. Any method will do as long as I can follow the instruction. Point by point, I wrote it down, and now I can whenever I want to.
One day when there is something interesting to show, I will do, just because I can.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stromlo Stomp - ACT Veterans Mtn Running Champs

Distance: Race - 10.5 km plus warm up & warm down
Time: 54' 25"
Rate: 5' 11" per km
Result: 3rd in age group
Weather: very warm again, temp 22-26 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 13.2 km
Feb: 103.0 km
Year: 536.35 km

The venue for today's veterans mountain running championships is the new running, cycling and mountain biking facility at Stromlo Forest Park. Created out of the devastation of our bush fires a few years ago, the government spent plenty of dollars to create a world class facility. Late last year a round of the mountain bike world cup was held here, and today, the grass cross country track was being used for the selection trial for Aussie athletes to go to the cross country world champs.
Mountain runners like the rougher off road than the manicured grass track, so we were to race up Mt Stromlo, over the back on a loop, and back to finish near the main parking area. A record field of over 40 runners for the ACT vet's championships lined up at 6:30 this morning. Very sensible to get the event over and done early, were are having another very hot day, top temp again near 40 degrees.
I started mid pack, a long 3.2 km all up hill to the top of the mountain to start the race. As well, several very good runners in my age group meant no chance of 1st or 2nd. Too strong and too fast.
Good early running, no residual problems after 30 km on Mt Rob Roy. Stayed with Mick and Nick to the top, Nick charged on at the drink station, Mick slowed to drink as I continued on after a sip of water.
Fast off the top until the track deteriorated from good gravel to rocky and technical and slow. Care taken not to trip and fall. Running well until and big climb about half way on this loop that finishes back at the drink station on top of the mountain. The up hill had started as I slowly gained on Nick in front, who luckily for me put in few walking paces near the top.
Close together after a drink but he much better speed than me on the down, passing me with just over a km to go. Not far behind at the finish, maybe 30 metres. A good solid run, very happy to finish 23rd overall, 3rd in age group behind Trevor Jacobs and Peter Clarke. Prize, bottle of wine, bragging rights for 24 hours. After that, yesterday's news.
CJ finished a few minutes later, another good run from the iron lady, as well backing up from yesterday on Mt Rob Roy. Mick seemed to struggle, maybe the heat, maybe not quite recovered.
Easy run tomorrow, rest day Tuesday, massage at 10:00 am. Looking forward to that, the legs are on their last legs.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mt Rob Roy...No 35

Distance: 30.1 km
Time: 3 hrs 28 mins 23 secs
Rate: 6' 55" per km
Altitude gain: 760 metres
Calories used: 2520
Weather: sunny, temp 22-32 degrees, humidity 70% - 40%, wind calm until near finish
Week: 89.8 km
Feb: 89.8 km
Year: 523.15 km

This was the 35th time I have been to Mt Rob Roy running, not always to the trig on the top of the mountain as it is hidden a little way off the main track. We missed it today, no point when most of have been there before.
Early start, well early by my standards, when just after 6:30 am, six of us left my place on a familiar trail towards Theodore and the start of the main climb from the sub station.
Then, surprise of all surprises a tall wombat was coming our way. He was out on his one long run before SFT, and came with us at his usual walk/jog/run careful strategic pace to the mountain. Warm weather predicted came true, carrying 3 litres of fluid in a day back pack I won in a random barrel draw at Glasshouse Mountains run last year. Fits very neatly and not at all noticeable with 5 x 600 mil bottles inside.
Dropped a couple at Theodore and another couple on the mountain. The run from Theodore up the mountain has a couple of steep climbs on rocky tracks. Almost runnable for us mere mortals, not so for Mick, Nick and Liz who had taken off never to be seen again. Must have gone very well in the conditions.
Instead of the easy option nearing the top of going straight up, we turned down at the intersection to head down towards Conder direction, exiting the nature park and saying goodbye to Ewen. We headed left across the open paddocks to climb the mountain from the back, a long slog, not overly steep but a good grind to the top. CJ still beside me or most of the time in front, she had a great day on the up hills today, I was impressed.
The benefit of consistent training over a solid period of time, no time off for sickness or injury. This will set her up for SFT and the Canberra marathon, like me just needs some speed.
Very careful on the down off the top, slippery on a dry track, very times we both slid, no falls, very lucky. Collected the back pack at the corner, shared out the remaining drinks between us to get back to Theodore where we had stashed some more.
Run back home was easier than earlier, the temp was up but the humidity was down and a very light breeze kept some cooling possible. Glad to finish before it got really hot, top temp today forecast is 40 degrees.
If today was a race, I would have got my backside kicked by CJ and the 3 in front of us. Humidity again knocked me, but that's Ok, a great day, great company. Thanks to CJ. Softshoeshuffle had a day maybe he would rather forget, but then it all counts towards the training, have to take the good with the bad.
Stromlo Stomp tomorrow, ACT Veteran's Mountain Running champs on Mt Stromlo, hope I can back up and not make a dill of myself.
I am about to have some lunch, then down to Pine Is for a cool refreshing swim. Hopefully I can find a patch of cold water. Probably won't need a nap this afternoon, feel good after the run.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hot, Isn't It !

Distance: 9.05 km
Time: 48' 57"
Rate: 5' 25" per km
Weather: sunny, hot, temp range 34-37 degrees, humidity 30% - 20%, light NW wind.
Week: 59.7 km
Feb: 59.7 km
Year: 493.05 km

I saw Kelley & Elle out running this morning about 7:00 am, cool by day time standards at present, but probably about 22 degrees. Very warm overnight and it got hot today touching 40 degrees this afternoon in Tuggeranong. Silly me ran home for lunch, not far, just 7.1 km in 34 degrees, had lunch and took the car back to work in the afternoon.
Stopped for another short run, 1.95 km at Pine Is, then had a swim to cool down. Water very nice at present, when I try to touch the bottom of the river in the middle, the water is on the cold side of cool. at depth of 2 metres. Just beaut.
Long run tomorrow to Mt Rob Roy, need to be very careful in the heat, forecast afternoon top again of 40 degrees. Early start just after sun up, 6:30 am.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Group Bike Ride & Solo Run

Bike ride: Distance - 17.6 km in 70' 45" easy
Run: Distance - 6.3 km in 34' 39" at 5' 30" per km
Weather: warm, sunny, temp range 25-33 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm
Week: 50.65 km
Feb: 50.65 km
Year: 484.0 km

I have just read CJ's plans, changed plan & expectations for the week. My life is so boring, I will have to introduce some changes to brighten up my life. Until I work them out or any silly suggestions are forthcoming, may as well stay in the slow lane of life.
Today was near perfect for a group bike ride from work with three others for the first time this year. Work shift changes have resulted in some now not being available, but we may get some new riders silly enough to replace them. Silly being the main criteria, you never know what may happen.
Now that "Jane " has been promoted, and wouldn't be seen any where near us, "Tinkerbell" has taken over as the prime candidate for misadventure. Chance of falling off, or causing an accident are near 100% once we leave the front door of the depot. That is, when he is ready. We waited more than 15 minutes for the poor injured Tarzan to get ready.
Funny story, out at Corin Forest last weekend. Hero decides to ride the slide and have some fun. First few trips down, bit tentative to start, get the hang of the the slide, the brakes, control etc. Then gets too exited, at speed loses balance on a corner, tips over, takes massive skin burns off legs, arms and other places not visible to the naked eye.
Bit like " doing a CJ" when running, no photos, but plenty of bandages for all to see at work. Looks impressive!!
Off we go riding, Tinker has no navigational skills, must be related to Strewth, doesn't relate going left to " going left", ahead means nothing at all, right means all is Ok.
We ride to Pine Is, along to Point Hut, over to the playground at Gordon pond, play on the swings, the rocket, do a few sit ups, push ups, chin ups, climb up things like little kids. Then over to Lanyon, back to the river and back to work. Total time out about 2 hours.
Tinker and leader Kev then join the "latte " set at the hyperdome, while I go for a run. Short enough to be worthwhile, no one about, stop at the river for a swim, then jog back to work. Beaut day, hot, dry, sunny, perfect.
Things to change, I should have gone for coffee, instead I went out running again. Must be more flexible and not take exercise so seriously. Maybe I could eat more and make application to join the work tug of war team, anchor man. Possible, may be not!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Humidity Slows Me Down

Distance: 17.7 km
Time: 95' 53"
Rate: 5' 25" per km
Weather: sunny to start, then cloud, temp 25- 30 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 44.35 km
Feb: 44.35 km
Year: 477.7 km

Heat I can handle, I ran well and enjoyed last Saturday at the Cotter. Today, the morning clouds didn't go away until near midday, just the time for me to run home for lunch. As well, the temp had reached the mid 20's, but the humidity level stayed around 60%. Too high for me. The drier the heat the better.
Similar effort to yesterday with a few detours. Work to Point Hut, up through Gordon to home and then back behind Bonython to start the second half of my massive workload.
Very few people about, all back to school or at work. Nothing to report except a big effort required to get any pace into the legs. No time for a visit to the river today. Work bike ride tomorrow, first for the year. Let's hope for no speckies over the handle bars.
I am also entering the Stromlo Stomp on Sunday tonight, no chance of winning in my age group in the ACT Veterans mountain running championships, too many good ones around. Just for fun, run.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Where is the Storm?

Run 1 - Distance - 11.1 km in 63' 44" at 5' 44" per km
Run 2 - Distance - 4.55 km in 24' 44" at 5' 25" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25- 30 degrees, humidity 50%, light wind
Week: 26.65 km
Feb: 26.65 km
Year: 460.0 km

Storm clouds rolled in over the mountains, but as usual amounted to nothing this afternoon. At least it cooled the afternoon down to a pleasant 23 degrees with the light easterly making it's way from the ocean, a couple of 100 km away.
Before that, I ran home for lunch, adding a couple of kms to one of the many ways I have of getting home from work. All off road of course. Drove the car back to work to fill up with cheap petrol on a Tuesday night. Second run at Pine Is, just up to the top car park and down a couple of times before a quick dip in the river.
Not much else to report, easy day. Weather forecast for the weekend is back to high temps, something to look forward to, but at least the top on Saturday has come down from 40 degrees to a top of 38 in the afternoon.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Calwell Oval - Kicking Grass in Lane 5

Nil - rest
4 x 5 laps - 9.0 km in 37' 33" at 4' 10" ave per km
Warm up jog - 650 metres in 3' 12" at 4' 55" ave
Jog mid session - 200 metres in 1' 00" at 4' 40" ave
Fast 2.5 laps - 1.15 km in 4' 07" at 3' 36" ave per km

Week: 11.0 km
Feb: 11.0 km
Year: 444.35 km

Back to the grass running track at Calwell oval for the first time in nearly a month. The slow down in race pace has showed a couple of times since then. The need for speed to counter the effects on long slow, sometimes walking pace on hills both up and down has resulted in returning to the grass.
Lane 5 is in really good condition, nicely short enough to not slow the running but still soft enough to provide some cushioning as I ran bare feet as usual on grass. Lane 6 looks like it need to meet an old friend again.
All alone today, the kids have gone back to school, a bit too warm to be walking the dog. I rode the mtn bike from work to the oval, distance about 6 km. That was the warm up. After the running, rode home for lunch and back to work, distance about 6 kms again, plus the ride to work in the morning and home at night, another 9 kms, good exercise day.
No need for a big warm up, just 600 metres or so to get the running legs moving. Then in to 4 sets of 5 laps in lane 5, changed direction after each 5 laps, ran bare feet. Great feeling to be free and easy in touch with the ground. Eased in to the session, 1st 5 laps in 9 ' 40" ( 4'17" pace), 2nd 5 laps in 9' 30" ( 4'13" pace), 3rd 5 laps in 9' 15" ( 4' 08" pace) 4th 5 laps in 9'07" ( 4'02" pace). A short break for a drink and recovery between each set, then a 200 metre jog around to the 1 km mark. Instead of a 5th 5 lap run, I decided to go a little harder and ran a 2.5 lap, 1.15 km time trial, not all out, just consistent again trying to maintain a speed. Felt really comfortable, 1.15 km in 4' 07" in lane 5 again at 3' 36" pace.
That was enough for today, I will try to get there at least once a week to rebuild the fast twitch fibres, neglected over the summer. I just don't race enough to maintain speed.
Bike ride home, lunch, then ride back to work via Pine Is for a quick swim. Beautiful, very few about there either, nice the kids are getting an education again.
I need suggestion on Saturday's run, weather forecast is a top of 39-40 degrees mid afternoon, overnight low of 18 degrees. Is Mt Rob Roy run too much with no access to water except Ewen's bird bath on the way home? What time to start or should we do the plan B run over Black Mountain? Help!!!