Two Fruits

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mt Mee Classic, Qld

Distance: 16.05 km
Time: 84' 42"
Rate: 5' 17" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 13-15 degrees, humidity 50%, light SW wind
Week: 64.65 km, Year: 1551.6 km
April: 439.2 km in 29/30 days at 15.1 km ave per run day

TRAQ ( Trail Running Assoc of Qld) newsletter provided this course profile of the Mt Mee Classic held last Sunday. It's only a marathon but look at the climbs rising from 50 metres above sea level to 500 metres. How tough is that!! Worth putting on the "maybe" list.
Today, dull and enjoyable on a beautiful autumn day, some warm sunshine, just a breeze and plenty of midday time to enjoy it. A run via the river to home for lunch and back to work.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Calwell Oval - 20 laps in Lane 5

Distance: 10.05 km
Time:45' 27"
Rate: 4' 31" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 11 degrees, humidity 40%, light south wind at 5 kmph
Week: 48.6 km, April: 423.15 km
Year: 1535.55 km in 17 weeks at 90.3 km ave per week

Cool weather again today to attempt a bit of faster running on the oval. Rode the bike from work, about 6.5 kms as the warm up. High cloud and a light southerly wind meant no warmth from the sun, and it kept the grass cold.
Cool enough to have to run in shoes, usually bare feet on grass. And cool enough to not be silly enough to try anything resembling fast, that's injury on demand.
Luckily the grass cutting man on his mower had just finished the track part of the oval. The track is in great condition after a bit of recent rain, as good as it gets.
Started slowly, shoes on, running easy and did 10 laps without a break, first 5 laps in 10' 33" ( 4'44" pace) and 2nd 5 laps in 10' 21" ( 4' 39" pace). I had warmed up by then, the sun just showing between the high cloud, and a soccer player doing some short sprints before a kick of the ball into the net.
Decided to remove the shoes and sox, the ground Ok, soft and dry. Lane 6 looked used from Ewen's speed session the day before. Stayed in lane 5, changed direction and a little faster. Next 5 laps in 9' 49" ( 4' 22" pace) and the final 5 laps in 9' 30" ( 4' 09" pace).
Ended with a short cool down and the bike ride home for lunch. Good session, I like these, even better when much warmer in summer when you can push the pace over the whole session without fearing the hammie going twang.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Doubling Up, Does it Work?

Distance: 17.1 km
Time: 94' 52"
Rate: 5' 32" per km
Weather: sun/cloud, drizzle on the hills, temp 13 degrees, humidity 45%, NW wind at 25 kmph
Week: 38.55 km, April: 413.1 km, Year: 1525.5 km

Liz has this interest in the long road of ultra running. Do you do double ups or a really long weekend run and easy through the week? One of the ways the pros get in the distance running they need to do, no matter what event they do, is to do double or even triple training sessions per day. Mind you, they have access to the best available masseurs, physios, coaches etc they can find. As well as 24 hours a day to get it all done.
Running twice daily easily increases the weekly total to well above the mere mortals can hope to reach. An easy 8 km each day on top of regular training sessions adds 56 kms to the total. However there is a downside.
Backing up twice a day, for weeks on end will bring out our faults and frailties. If there is a weak spot, then it will show up.
If you read Ewen's daily blog, he is now doing almost a double session each day. Not morning and night, but two sessions close with a short break in between. Different sessions altogether. Interesting to see how the physical holds up, as well as the mental, but it beats running at 5 o'clock in the cold. Good weekly totals for sure, well above what I run. Very interested to see how he goes.
My almost double up sessions involve running home for lunch, a one hour break and a shorter jog back to work. Push hard if I can on one, easy on the other. Working well at the moment and it gets the digestive system use to processing food on the move. A necessity in ultra running.
That's what happened today, nothing too interesting about the conditions, still cool, a bit windy, winter is almost here, what happened to autumn. Frosts predicted for later this week.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Running Away From Home

Distance: 10.15 km
Time: 51' 43"
Rate: 5' 06" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 9 degrees, humidity 80%, wind westerly at 10 kmph
Week: 21.45 km, April: 396.0 km, Year: 1508.4 km

We had to go interstate this afternoon, so I decided to see how far I could get before being picked up by car.
The run was really good in unfavourable conditions again, although the wind had dropped considerably from the past few days. Still cold, with a light sprinkle of rain drops a couple of times.
From home I ran down to the Monaro Hwy, turned left towards Sydney and see how far I could go. Felt really good all the way, meant to take it easy, but could not hold back, pushing up the hill on the highway, and striding out on the down toward Hume.
Didn't quite make to the border and the safety of extradition, but was back in custody at the servo at Hume.
Happy with the run, happy to be caught as well, it was getting cold. Good idea to run under pressure, almost better than racing as a speed session.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monthly Handicap at Majura

Distance: Race - 10 km plus warm up 1.3 km
Time: Race - 50' 22"
Rate: Race - 5' 02" per km
Finished: near the end
Weather: mostly cloudy, temp 8-9 degrees, humidity 70%, wind strong NW up to 50 kmph
Week: 11.3 km, April: 385.85 km, Year: 1498.25 km

Conditions very unsuitable for racing at the monthly handicap, especially over the longest distance we use at 10 km. Not much shelter at the start/finish area, the houses provided nothing during the running, and the wind seemed to be against all the way.
Maybe the long run yesterday took a bit out of system, and although slow for race pace, I felt Ok all the way. Glad to just keep the hat on, never really warmed up even with two tops on again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Long Cool Anzac Day

Distance: 50.8 km
Time: 5 hrs 22 mins 45 secs
Rate: 6' 21" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 600 metres
Calories used: 3900
Weather: cool, cloudy, temp 10-14 degrees, humidity 80%, west wind 25-30 kmph
Week: 108.7 km, April: 374.55 km, Year: 1486.95 km

I seemed to have covered more territory than the early explorers today. The weather was predicted to be showers if not rain, a bit overnight dampened the gravel and dirt on the trails, but did not eventuate through the day. It's raining now at night at home as I type using a couple of fingers and a bit of luck.
Started at Mawson shops, with Liz sleeping in, her excuse, but I reckon she looked outside, saw the conditions and hit the snooze button. Good idea. I was running anyway and thus could change my mind about the course which I did.
Before leaving home to drive over to Mawson the sun was shining, a scramble to find the sunnies not anticipating they would be needed. However forgot the spray jacket thinking that would not be needed. Wrong on both counts. The original intention was a double of the Tour de Mountain course ran in December. The revised course is a beauty, just under 25 km.
Starting out heading up Athllon Dr, I turned towards Mt Taylor, a circuit around the base and back to the start. Clouds low, humidity very high, a sprinkle of rain drops, but very cool with a strong westerly making conditions very average for a good running. I didn't have the spray jacket, but had the sunnies, wrong combination, so I headed back to the car and gave Farrer and Isaacs Ridge a miss. Very misty over Long Gully Road and Isaacs Ridge as I drove home. Good decision to cut that part short. Just 10.3 km done and well short of the daily requirement.
Home is now base for the rest of the day. Stopped for a drink, hot cross bun, small mandarin and creamed rice. Then out towards the mighty suburb of Theodore, not because Ewen & Michael live there, but if has a few hills around the outside of it. No change in the weather, still cool and windy, spray jacket carried but not required, sunnies needed as the sun appeared now and again. Arrived at the sub station, over to the two reservoirs, back to the sub station and then back to Calwell shops and back home. Lap distance 16.12 kms.
Bit more to eat and drink, this time some left over lasagna from last night's carbo load. Slow going on that lap, no inspiration to go faster, plenty of walking up the hills and trying to work to a run/walk pacing of 27 mins run, then 3 minutes walk. I kept this up all day and it worked well.
Back to home base, this time some corn soup, nice and easy to get down and importantly keep down.
Next lap was down Johnson Dr to Pine Is, up to the top car park, back along the river edge to Point Hut, up to Woodcock Dr, thru Gordon and home. On any run, there is always a bad patch, parts of this section I struggled, the wind didn't help and I looked to when the 27 minutes would be up and I could walk a bit. Back home having covered another 15.85 kms but just over the marathon distance and still not far enough for the day, needing to get to 5 hrs or 50 km which ever came second.
Last time out was at least the flattest run, with a bike path run around Isabella Plains, Tuggeranong Homestead and back home. So glad to finish, this short last part just 8.5 km making 50.8 kms for the day.
An experiment on feet, shoes, eating, pacing, drinking and where I am at. As well can I run 10 kms at any sort of pace at the monthly handicap tomorrow morning. Hope so.
Big day, something similar next Saturday, short 30 km the following Saturday then GH 80 on 17th May. At least the weather should be warmer than today. I was never warm today, two tops to keep the wind out and the spray jacket just in case.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Short Before The Long

Distance: 8.15 km
Time: 42' 39"
Rate: 5' 14" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 15 degrees, humidity 80%, wind calm
Week: 57.9 km, April: 323.75 km, Year: 1436.15 km

Short run home for lunch, drove car back to work via 10 minutes standing in the river.
The problem I had after SFT with the pinched sciatic nerve surfaced again this afternoon will sitting. The cause of this is the cold water from standing in the river. That is meant to aid recovery from muscles used in running. But it has the opposite effect with the sciatic nerve. The colder hamstring muscle contracts and tightens around the sciatic nerve causing the discomfort. Learn something new everyday.
Long, long run tomorrow, weather permitting the run to be as far as I need. I am now counting long runs in hours instead of kms.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Back From a Short Rest

Distance: 14.75 km
Time: 80' 29"
Rate: 5' 27" per km
Weather: part sun/ cloud, temp 17 degrees, humidity 55%, wind calm
Week: 49.75 km. April: 315.6 km. Year: 1428.0 km

An ultra running magazine described one of the symptoms of over training as " heavy legs" even when trying to run easy. Such were the signs on Tuesday, so I did nothing yesterday.
Today was an easy pace run home for lunch and back to work. Nothing special, the tiredness had gone the run was easy, as it should have been.
Hopefully the weather will be Ok for the weekend with a long run planned for Saturday and a monthly handicap on Sunday. Maybe have to put on the spray jacket or just brave the elements.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Days in a Row

Distance: 8.9 km
Time: 49' 01"
Rate: 5' 30" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 16 degrees, humidity 55%, ESE wind at 25 kmph
Week: 35.0 km, April: 300.85 km, Year: 1413.25 km

Somehow I have managed to run on 24 days in a row. Not long ago I considered 4-5 days too much before needing a rest day. Some of these past 24 days have been short jogs after a bike ride or similar. But time, not effort is catching up.
Today's easy run wasn't as easy as it should have been. A small sign of that was a couple of aching quads at the finish even though it was basically flat. Just an indication of over training, not over distance but too many days of exercise without a break. Rest day tomorrow unless it is warm, sunny and no wind, in which case I may go to the oval. Then rest on Thursday.
The weekend weather forecast is not good, especially with the monthly handicap on Sunday, and a very long run planned for Saturday.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Easing Up and Up and Up

Distance: 15.98 km
Time: 87' 37"
Rate: 5' 30" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 17 degrees, humidity 50%, wind SE at 25 kmph
Week: 26.1 km, April: 291.95 km, Year: 1404.35 km

Not much to report today. A run home for lunch and back to work again run over the usual tracks close to the river. Fast running out of time to get ready for GH80, but still feel on track to be there in good shape. A couple of good long Saturday runs is all that is needed.
I hope the marathon runners are well on the way to recovery. Take time to get over it, do a CJ and have a break if necessary to freshen up and solve any injury problems.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday Long, Sunday Short

Distance: 36.65 km
Time: 3 hrs 36 mins 29 secs
Rate: 5' 54: per km
Weather: sunny, temp 10-20 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 112.65 km, April 265.85 km, Year 1378.25 km
Distance: 10.2 km
Time: 58' 12"
Rate: 5' 42" per km
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 12-16 degrees, humidity 50%, light west wind
Week: 10.2 km, April 276.05 km, Year 1388.45 km

Today a stop/start jog during the running of the Canberra marathon. Plenty of familiar faces, legs and feet running the course in good conditions.
Yesterday, as I mentioned before was a long training run from home to Latham, on the dark side of town. I had intended to leave at 8:00 am, but slept in, finally exiting the front door at 8:30 still needing to be at the birthday party around midday. A nice day for a run where I know how to get there in a car, but have never ran there. As the crow would fly, it's not that far, and as you drive it, not much more. But, because I don't like road running either front the surface of cars going past very fast, I found as many dirt tracks as I could.
Home flat running to Lake Tuggers, up Drakeford Dr past Kambah Village and on to Hindmarsh Dr where the phone rang wanting to know how far until the drink station. Arranged to meet at the corner of Streeton Dr and Cotter Road in 15 minutes so I followed the Weston Creek half marathon course from the Irish Club.
Replenished drinks and ate some creamed rice before being left to find my own way to Latham. Branched off into Stromlo Forest, followed the tracks thru the new arboretum, down the gun barrel ( I needed a few hills in the run somewhere) to the cork plantation. Then under Glenloch Interchange, on the dirt track on high side of William Hovell Dr to Coulter Dr, Springvale Dr, behind the houses of Hawker, never been there before until I reconnected with the top end of Kingsford Smith Dr.
Easy after that with some down hill to Southern Cross Dr and finally made to the party. A little late but the one year old didn't mind a bit. Shower and changed and then I had to explain to the drunks at the party why I would want to do such a stupid thing. As I said to them, all my friends do this, what is so unusual. As each carton of beer came out, I could see dad and friends were in for a long afternoon and night. I was going to work at 7:00 pm so no beer for me.
A good run, just a short walk on crappy parts of a faint horse trail near Mt Painter. Not quite far enough but a solid run anyway followed up by today's easy 10 km during the marathon. Really need to put in a good session on the next two Saturdays for GH 80 in a month's time.
Well done to all that ran and finished the Canberra marathon, and especially well done to those that ran on and did the 50 km ultra. How do you run that far on the road?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fifteen Degrees

Distance: 7.6 km
Time: 40' 42"
Rate: 5' 21" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 19 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 76.0 km
April: 229.2 km
Year: 1341.6 km

Easy run from work around the river area before riding the mountain bike home for lunch. Afterwards, dropped at Pine Is beach to jog back to work.
Bought a thermometer with me from home and measured the water temperature at half a metre below surface level at 15 degrees. Starting to cool down, and soon it will be too cold to stand in for very long. Then it will be a few minutes in, a couple of minutes out, then back in and out again.
Beaut day to be out in the sun, cool in the morning to ride to work but hopefully not too cold on Sunday morning for the marathon runners. Good luck, enjoy the run.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Calwell Oval - 20 laps in Lane 5

Distance: 9.0 km in 38'46" at 4' 18" ave per km plus warm up and cool down for total day of 10.3 km in 44' 53" at 4' 21" ave per km
Weather: sunny, temp 17 degrees, humidity 30%, wind light to start then up to 25 kmph
Week: 68.4 km
April: 221.6 km
Year: 1334.0 km

Image on right kindly produced by Ewen last year. Rain last weekend has greened up the track, allowed the top dressing to sink in to the surface. Still having a solid base, the running track on the oval is near perfect. Ewen has marked lane 6 not to be used, so I use lane 5 and softshoeshuffle uses lane 7. The really fast ones use lane 1, they are certainly going fast by the way it has been chopped about.
Luckily not as windy as yesterday, but still a head wind going up the gentle slope on the oval. I did the usual " cruise intervals" or variation of tempo running today. Lane 5, bare feet, 4 sets of 5 laps. Short rest and drink in between each set.
After a struggle in the very strong wind yesterday, I thought the freshness may have gone. But it was Ok today after a bike ride from work to the oval, then a short jog warm up. Each 5 laps went 9'49" ( 4'23" km pace), 9'43" ( 4'18") 9'45" ( 4'21") and 9'29" (4'09"). The slight variations are because of GPS measuring, changing direction every second set means the GPS is on the outside of the lane ( left arm) and then the the next time on the inside of the lane. Not all laps measure the same distance. It all averages out over time.
Not all out pace by any means today, just consistent running and enjoying the outdoors. It makes a change from running the fire trails and the hills.
Easy day tomorrow, may run a bit, then long run on Saturday from home in Tuggeranong to Latham via Stromlo and Glenlock just to get to a one year old's birthday party. I will go in for a look at the runners at the Canberra marathon on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wind and Dust

Distance: 15.15 km
Time: 88' 44"
Rate: 5' 51" per km
Weather: dust storm, temp 20 degrees, humidity 40%, wind very strong westerly between 30 - 60 kmph
Week: 58.1 km
April: 211.3 km
Year: 1323.7 km in 15 weeks at 88.2 km ave per week

A struggle to tack into the wind and not much better with the wind assisting. Probably the windiest day this year, no real fun and not much gained either from a training point of view. The wind dragged in heaps of dust from western NSW in the afternoon, glad it didn't rain as well or mud would have fallen from the sky.
Just running around the river area, stopped for 10 minutes in the water at Pine Is, but the waves were almost suitable for surfing, that was no fun either. Lucky to keep the hat on, the less said about the day the better. There is always tomorrow, tempo running at the oval if the weather is suitable, or just a bike ride easy. Oval running on Friday if not on Thursday.
There is no tapering for me, just build up, fill in the week with a long run, getting longer on Saturdays. This weekend, I have a one year old's birthday party to attend to at midday on Saturday on the dark side of town.
I intend to run there, maybe difficult to keep the stubbies cold in the back pack.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bike Time Trial Circuit on Foot

Distance: 17.15 km
Time: 91' 49"
Rate: 5' 21" per km
Weather: mostly cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 75%, wind calm
Week: 42.95 km
April: 196.15 km
Year: 1308.55 km

Following last Thursday's successful time trial on the mountain bikes, I decided to run over the circuit in reverse to find out if the result would have been different. A contrasting day as well, plenty of rain over the weekend, persisting today, so the track surface was soft and wet in places.
Jogged easily from work to the start at the bottom of Learmonth Dr in Kambah. The circuit in reverse starts with a nasty short climb up on to the fire trail on Urambi Hills. Then it's over to Gleneagles estate, past the golf course, up Kambah Pool Road to Sulwood Dr, down Drakeford Dr and Athllon Dr to the finish at Learmonth Dr.
I found the reverse direction on foot may be easier than the way we rode last week. The long drag past the golf course on Kambah Pool Road is not as hard running as I thought. Maybe riding might be different.
Bike riding last week, distance 12 kms almost exactly in 33' 23", running this week in 65'01" ( 5'25" pace). At least it sets a target or bench mark to aim for in future.
Finished the circuit and the rain came down. Saturated in the 10 minutes it took to get back to work. I can't remember the last time I ran in the rain. Bring back the drought, I have had enough, at least it wasn't cold.
I then spent 30 minutes in the gym, a bit of arm, chest and shoulder stuff with a few sit ups and some rowing machine in a small circuit covering the half an hour. May have a few sore muscles that don't usually get punished, but I will have to keep up the routine to have any benefit. If it rains again, that's a good time for the gym, otherwise I will hit the trail.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Majura Monthly Handicap Course

Distance: 13.5 km
Time: 1 hr 50 mins 26 secs'
Rate: 8' 11" per km
Calories used: 977
Weather: cloudy, temp 16-19 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 25.8 km
April: 179.0 km
Year: 1291.4 km

The handicap sub committee had been advised that parts of the course had been closed off under the power lines on the back of Mt Ainslie. We had intended to remeasure the course anyway but this bit of information meant we needed to change the course.
Start will remain in the same place at Antill St in Watson, continue to where it meets the track down from the saddle at Mt Ainslie. Now instead of turning left up the hill towards the saddle, we will turn right down to the start/finish area of the Mt Ainslie handicap at the end of Phillip Ave.
The two short courses will turn at the 2.5 km mark and return the same way. Turn is near the bottom of the hill, so a bit of a slog back up before turning left towards Watson.
The long course will continue past the short course turn, thru the Mt Ainslie start/finish area and follow the same tracks out towards the the War Memorial. The 5 km turn around is just past an ACTEW sub station.
Long course return the same.
I left the others as they walked back, jogging over to the power lines to see what had happened. It seems that something has contaminated the old tip area, presumably asbestos used years ago. Plenty of signs and tape advising the area is unsafe and not to enter. For safety, we have changed the course, it is probably just as good as an out and back, still 10 hard kms to run fast.
A mixture of running and walking, still trying to burn off half a bunny, and an Easter egg, large one, has not helped the calorie deficit day at all. Always next week.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

One Bunny Equals 20 kms

Distance: 12.3 km
Time: 68' 22"
Rate: 5' 33" per km
Calories: 899 ( not enough)
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 40%, Nw wind at 10 kmph
Week: 12.3 km
April: 165.5 km
Year: 1277.9 km

Read the calories or kilojoules count on an Easter Bunny ( large of course ), then convert energy intake ( chocolate) into kilometres needing to be run. Buggered before you step foot out the door. Any way, today I burned off half a bunny. And with plenty still be be eaten as well as half a chocolate cake, I will need to do 200 kms this week just to be back to square. Let alone loose the couple of kgs I have put on since SFT.
Late afternoon run instead of a siesta, gee I would have liked that, I ran down to Pine Is and back. Very slow, the cake and choc sitting heavy. A nice day after the overnight rain yesterday, pelted down here for a while. Track nice and soft near the river. Calwell oval should be good during the week.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Good Easter Saturday

Distance: 34.1 km
Time: 3 hrs 32 mins 41 secs
Rate: 6' 14" per km
Altitude: gain 410 metres, loss 490 metres
Weather: sun/ cloud, temp 12-21 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 115.2 km
April: 153.2 km
Year: 1265.6 km

No rain yesterday and none this morning but the afternoon is now looking like finally water may fall from the sky. However, the morning was again near perfect as I met Softshoeshuffle on the fire trail above Theodore.
From there we did a modified version of the Two Fruits loop, leaving out the long drag across the Wanniassa Hills above Long Gully Road and the section on Farrer ridge.
One of us is tapering for a marathon and one of us is on the comeback and build up to more ultras later this year. We walked up a few hills, I pushed a bit on the down hill towards home.
The silliest thing I have ever seen was a couple of dogs behind a colourbond fence, looking out under the gap at the bottom at a kangaroo standing on it's toes and tail for support. The kangaroo was trying to scratch these silly dogs, maybe playing, maybe serious. Sort of one of those funny home videos shots you see on TV.
We parted ways near home as Softshoeshuffle went towards Calwell shops and I headed home for a drink before a few more kms to be done. The last part is all down hill to Point Hut and Pine Is running at a reasonable pace before finishing at the beach for 15 minutes in the cool water of the Murrumbidgee River.
An hour longer than last weekend, and felt comfortable all the way, a good sign I can push up the time and distance over the next few weeks before GH 80 in late May.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday Fish Feast

Distance: 10.95 km
Time: 57' 27"
Rate: 5' 15" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 16 degrees, humidity 75%, wind calm
Week: 81.1 km
April: 119.1 km
Year: 1231.5 km

Not a good day if you don't eat meat on Good Friday, and don't like fish. Maybe a good day to carbo load up on potatoes, pasta & rice and run it all off over the next couple of days.
The next best part of Good Friday is a descent sleep in, without the alarm going off at 5: 30 before the birds have woken up. Mid morning easy run on something flat around the suburbs, a bit quicker than on the usual dirt tracks with a few hills in there as well.
Nothing special, a very quiet morning, a couple of people out walking their dogs, obviously shedding a few calories to make up for the Easter bunny to deliver chocolate very soon.
Liz, certainly eat my share and others share of chocolate, now and all year round. It has antioxidants in it, must be good for your health.
Afternoon siesta coming up, I can see plenty of blue sky outside, where is that rain? Not tomorrow morning I hope, long run, need 4 hours of dry weather.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

And The Winner Was ?

Bike Ride: Time Trial - Distance: 11.6 km in 33' 23" at 20.8 kmph
Run: Easy - Distance: 5.35 km in 29' 27" at 5' 30" per km
Weather: perfect, sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 70.15 km
April: 108.15 km
Year: 1220.55 km

We decided to turn a race in to a time trial to make it fair. My plan outlined in yesterday's story remained the same although the opposition wouldn't be in sight.
The course would start at the bottom of Learmonth Dr at Athllon Dr corner. Then over to Drakeford Dr to climb ever so slightly past Kambah Village to Sulwood Dr. Turn left to Kambah Pool Road, then a long down hill past Murrumbidgee Golf Club to finally hit dirt on a track past Gleneagles houses. Some up hill here as we would climb to the fire trail track on Urambi Hills that leads back to the start.
The time trial idea would take the racing out of the event, a bit safer as some of the course is bike paths, crossing a couple of roads, the down hill on Kambah Pool Road is on road. The rest was dirt and undulating to a bit rough but safe. As well a couple of stock gates to open and close.
A perfect day to be riding and enjoying the great outdoors. Just two of us participated, others welcome to join in, but the thought of having their backsides kicked by a couple of amateurs proved too much. Tinker 1 had the new hair cut, so the helmet would have flattened the hair.
Kevvie set out 5 minutes in front, no need for a map, no where to take a short cut either so honesty would prevail on sticking to the right track. Conditions were in my favour as I chased hard 5 minutes later. I knew the long up hill towards Kambah Village would help me, taking a bit of sting out of Kevvie's legs early. I met John K on his bike coming toward me as I pushed on, middle gears trying to do it easy enough to save something for the hills later.
Lucky with a couple of road crossings as I didn't have to wait at all, I think Kevvie had a short stop at one, but no excuse. Turned on to Sulwood Dr then on the long down hill of Kambah Pool Road, a couple of kms on the road and my undoing on a ride last year when the wind blew and I went side ways then almost backwards. No problems today, great riding, low on the handle bars and peddling hard in top gear. Still no sight of the leader, starting to worry as well I may have cooked the goose early putting the legs into a lactic meltdown.
Finally turned in on to the dirt, much more at home on the softer surface with some hills now in my favour. The golfers ignored me as I sped past towards Gleneagles. Then, there in the distance, a dark coloured mountain bike rider pushing hard up hill towards Urambi Hills fire trail. Once I saw him, I knew I had him covered, but anything was still possible. A good couple of minutes in front nearing the first stock gate, we had to do the right thing, if the gate was closed then go through and close it behind you. Any cattle in the area could be told to moooove without penalty. Kangaroos could make their own arrangements, hop away or watch the "action".
I was going well, leader in sight, feeling good, strong enough to keep in touch on the hills. Just before the second stock gate, I was close enough to shout leave the gate open. Then the best part, and where I though I would be left behind, the undulating dirt fire trail, I kept pace with Kevvie. Somewhere I had found good rhythm and confidence to push hard on the technical fast stuff, never really my forte.
I didn't ever get in front, maybe as close as 20 metres, with Kevvie pulling away near the end on the steep descent to the finish at the bottom of Learmonth Dr at Athllon Dr.
By time I had a better time by 4 minutes 45 secs or so, but the real winner was the day, the fun, the enjoyment, the build up to the day and the talk after.
Later I went out for a short run down to the river, 20 minutes in the water to cool down.
Probably as good a day as I have had for a while, the weather was perfect for outdoors fun, no crashes or near misses, a good event for a couple of mugs.
A runner that rides against a tennis/squash player that rides well. A fair contest. Next time we go back to an easy ride just to enjoy ourselves with anyone else that wants to come along. Thursdays, 10:00 am outside the front doors of the depot, after school holidays have finished.
All excuses accepted if unable to attend, having to work not acceptable, get a better boss.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another Easy Day is Paradise

Distance: 14.9 km
Time: 79' 31"
Rate: 5' 20" per km
Weather: beaut, sunny, temp 18 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 64.8 km
April: 102.8 km
Year: 1215.2 km

Another beaut autumn day, perfect for a run or anything else you wish to do outdoors. Easy run home at lunch time and back to work. Too busy to get to the river for a relaxing splash.
As well, a bit of planning on tomorrow's bike race. Last Thursday, a discussion on whether my up hill riding ability would be enough to finish in front of Kevvie, fearless leader on the bike. FL is much better on the technical and the down hill parts of a bike ride.
We will find out soon enough. I am hoping Tinker 1 can wear him out on the tennis court tonight. That would make it even after my run today.
No need to carbo load, just an early night and hang on when the speed gets fast. The plan is to go hard to knock the stuffing out of his legs early, apply pressure on the flat and try to stay close until the up hill. Then say bye bye, see you at the finish line. At least there is a plan.
Unknown factor is actually staying on the bike for the entire trip.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Calwell Oval - 20 laps in Lane 5

Bike ride total: 13.5 km
Run: Total distance: 10.6 km
Time: 45' 27"
Rate: 4' 17" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 16 degrees, humidity 30%, wind SE at 15 km eased to 5 kmph
Week: 49.9 km
April: 89.9 km
Year: 1200.3 km

Rode the bike from work to Calwell oval. It seems everyone was into speed sessions except me. A perfect autumn morning although I did wait until it warmed up a bit.
The oval has been top dressed in places so a bit sandy but still as good as any grass running surface in the territory. A cool SE wind blew up the back straight although that became the front straight on changing directions.
Similar to most sessions on the grass, ran bare feet, changed direction after each 5 laps and stopped for a drink after each 5 laps. No one else about although I did see a man with a golf stick get out of his car, walk about a bit hoping I was leaving. But he left probably can't hit the ball straight so wasn't taking the chance on hitting me, a moving target.
Not a fast session, sets in 9' 52" ( 4'21" ), 9' 45" ( 4'15"), 9' 33" ( 4'14") and 9' 26" ( 4'06"), just a bit faster each time. Nice day, very enjoyable, should do it more often.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Bit More Consistency

Distance: 13.65 km
Time: 74' 01"
Rate: 5' 25" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 39.3 km
April: 77.3 km
Year: 1189.7 km

As the body returns to normal, the running has become a little more consistent. I can feel the fatigue has almost gone, hills are still a bit of a challenge, so I walk them.
Today I kept the hills to a minimum as I ran home for lunch and back to work. Spent 10 minutes in the river, nice down there now, water cool and no one else about.
Not much to report, off to the Calwell oval tomorrow for a slow speed session. Not expecting much, if it doesn't go too good, I will shorten the session and go for a longer ride on the bike.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunny on a Sunday

Distance: 25.65 km
Time: 2 hrs 26 mins 18 secs
Rate: 5' 42" pewr km
Weather: sunny, temp 17-21 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 25.65 km
April: 63.65 km
Year: 1176.05 km

Nice sunny morning for a longish run. Usually done on a Saturday, finally climbed out of bed with an extra hours sleep. This is the start seriously of some long getting longer runs leading to GH80 in late May.
Not much difference with marathon training, some speed work to keep getting stale from slow running, and without the need to climb big high mountains. Some hill work is still required but they can be walked if necessary, it's now time on feet running.
Saturday long runs will now be increased by half an hour a week, so next weekend will be 3 hours, distance covered not the priority but a steady pace, some walking if needed without feeling guilty.
Ran down past Calwell oval thinking softshoeshuffle would be there. Instead, an oval full of soccer players and that will be the case now for winter. Continued on to Theodore sub station. Then a circuit over to the two reservoirs, walked up the slope to the high one, then back to the sub station. A few walkers out with their dogs and a girl runner going well. Saw her twice, cruising along.
Back to the Calwell oval, soccer players still everywhere as I made my way home. Stopped for a drink and made arrangements to be collected at Pine Is beach in an hour and a bit.
At least the run to the river is down hill. I started to feel the lack of distance running. Although the pace was Ok, it was about my limit for the day. I haven't been in the 25 km distance area since SFT. Made it to the river for 10 minutes in the water before being picked up.
Later in the afternoon, we went to the Fyshwick markets, plenty of people and plenty of supplies bought home. Always see someone you know or know of there on a Sunday, this time it was Michael Milton. Such an inspiration for the things he has done through adversity. Good story. Don't know if he was at the health food shop or at the bakery, certainly full of chat with someone behind the counter.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Which Two Fruits is Running Today?

Distance: 11.0 km
Time: 60' 17"
Rate: 5' 29" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 16 degrees, humidity 60%, wind SSE at 15 kmph
Week: 78.4 km
April: 38.0 km
Year: 1150.4 km

Softshoeshuffle asked on Friday whether I was Ok for a run today. At present I don't know which Two Fruit is going is step out the door. One day is good, the next is very average to terrible. I declined his offer, I just don't know how each run is going to be. I hope to catch up with him over the weekend or sometime before the marathon.
Rain last night gave a chance to sleep in, the clouds to clear and amble out the door carefully at a reasonable morning hour. Luckily the good Two Fruits ran, that other bugger can stay at home. The hammie was good, the left foot was Ok, the energy level was good. Must have been the golden syrup dumplings last night, delicious.
A flat run, bike paths, or the soft dirt on the edge made for easy running. A loop around parts of Isabella Plains, over to Calwell oval, around the outside of the netball courts and home up the only slight rise on Johnson Dr back home.
At one stage I thought about a late entry into the Canberra marathon in two weeks time. Then I hit myself, how silly is that, and just kept going at an easy 5' 30" pace. Couldn't run that fast for 42 kms.
In the newest edition of R4Yl. Allison Lilley explains why she runs ultras. Because she ( and I ) don't have the speed to run marathons, and marathons hurt too much.
Tomorrow I try a long run, especially with a sleep in again because daylight savings finishes tonight, and it may be a nice sunny day by the look of the weather now.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Distance: 12.3 km
Time: 72' 31"
Rate: 5' 54" per km
Weather: some sun/high cloud, temp 23 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 67.4 km
April: 27.0 km
Year: 1139.4 km

One day I feel fine, thinking I am on track to return to full solid running and training. Then, the next day I feel flat, lucky to put one foot in front of the other and struggle up the slightest incline.
I don't seem to have recovered from SFT the way I would like. Last year after Glasshouse 160 km event, I took 6 weeks to really get going again. But that event took more than a day, and just under 4 times longer than SFT.
At the moment, a sore left hammie seems to be the main problem, the right hammie is marginally better. Then the quads are fine, in fact really good considering the amount of hills and mountains ran before SFT.
Therein lies the problem, inequality between front and back. Hill training will do that, strengthen the quads and weaken the hammies, especially as I don't do much flat running as you would training for a marathon. Fitness coach CJ may have a solution.
Today was just a run home for lunch, car back to Pine Is, and back to work. Nothing special except a slow day, no zip at all.
Raining finally as I write this, so maybe a late start tomorrow, short run and try for a longer run on Sunday. The weather may improve by then. Bring back the drought.
Softshoeshuffle must be lucky his driver is one of the few not in the tug of war team. We would win against an team in the ACT.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday Biking and Running Day

Bike Ride: Distance - 19.55 km in 71' 05" at ave 16.5 kmph
Run: Distance: 3.05 km in 15' 39" at ave 5' 08" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 20 degrees, humidity 70%, wind calm
Week: 55.1 km
April: 14.7 km
Year: 1127.1 km

The best part of bike ride Thursday is what excuse Tinkerbell will have not to go riding. Lat week, " I forgot my bike". This week, " I have a hair cut appointment " . Next week, " I can't wear a helmet because it will flatten my hair." Each excuse getting better, just wait till winter, rain, cold, wind.
Of course, Tinker 2 also failed to front, had to hold Tinker 1's hand at the salon.
So only 2 of us headed out just after 10:00 am and what a good day we had. From Tuggeranong around the outside of the lake to the bike path on Drakeford Dr going towards Kambah Village. Cruising up the slight incline, no wind was handy. Reached Sulwood Dr, turned left towards Kambah Pool Road. Not fast down past the Murrumbidgee Golf Club, a few golfers reminding us that "Tiger" is back playing and the "Masters" is on next weekend at Augusta.
We turned at the golf club to follow the rough track behind the big houses at Gleneagles to the back of Urambi Hills. We once started a monthly handicap in this area, until some decided it to be too rough and too hard.
The trail above Learmonth Dr is now in good condition, great fun on the mountain bike, especially as Kevvie likes the down hill and easily gets away from me. I kicked his back side on the up hill. We finished riding easy on the Drakeford Dr side of Lake Tuggie back to work.
We weren't out for too long, with only a couple of minutes of rest time for a drink. The idea for a timed run over the course had us wondering whether my up hill would out do Kevvie's down hill. This circuit had plenty for each type of rider. I tend to think I may just get pipped at the post, the down hill is too long with too much speed generated for me to catch up. An interesting contest never the less. We will do it one day.
Kevvie went home for a snooze on the couch, I stayed at the depot for a bite of lunch, then a short jog down to Pine Is and back. Spent 20 minutes in the water in case the bike legs weren't happy, but all is Ok.
Thanks to Kevvie for a good day out riding.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Searching for Gold

Distance: 11.65 km
Time: 67' 49"
Rate: 5' 49" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 19 degrees, humidity 65%, wind SE at 20 kmph
Week: 52.05 km
April: 11.65 km
Year: 1124.05 km in 13 weeks at ave 86.5 km per week

Not a fast running day but it was nice and easy and that is all I am after at present. Today's title could have been " Fools Gold" on a couple of accounts.
First, me looking for that elusive first monthly gold medal. I doubt it will ever happen to me. Second, a man with a metal detector sweeping the sand at Pine Is looking for gold, or coins or anything valuable. I think he left empty handed. Third, the police stopped me while running through Gordon on my way home for lunch. They were looking for some teenagers, probably didn't have the gold but were definitely fools. I hadn't seen them.
Sub committee meeting tonight going through the results from last Sunday's monthly handicap. Very few seemed to get handicapped. I missed out on going forward after an average run finishing 82nd. Strewth missed out on going back even after finishing 21st. In the long course, the middle third of the field finished within 1 min 10 secs. The handicapper was very happy.
Sue, the handicapper said you were good enough to go back 2 groups, next time group 23. And, yes, Bonanza and Rawhide, remember them well.