Two Fruits

Monday, November 30, 2009

Storm Clouds Over Parliament House

Distance: 11.00 km
Time: 57' 46"
Rate: 5' 15" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 15 degrees, humidity 80%, wind SE at 25 kmph
Week: 15.5 km
November: 347.35 km in 27/30 days at ave 12.9 km per run day
Year: 4051.25 km in 11 months at ave 368.3 km per month

The storm clouds were hovering around Parliament House today both inside and out. The internal rumblings of a political party tearing itself apart may be caused climate change outside as the clouds and rain hovered in the afternoon. I hope the Speedygeese managed to run without getting wet.
I did get a short run done at midday, the cool south easterly making life a little difficult. Hopefully the warmth will return later in the week making the adventure a little nicer. Nothing to report, felt Ok.
With a month to go this year, the target might be 4500 kms for the year, but it's not major objective, just nice if it happens.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On Duty at the Monthly Handicap

Distance: 4.5 km
Time: 25' 18"
Rate: 5' 37" per km
Weather: part sun/ cloud, temp 16 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm to light NW off the lake
Week: 4.5 km, Nov: 336.35 km, Year: 4040.25 km

I could have run today but there was nothing important hanging on a result. Not in contention for any awards so I would have ran with the brakes on so not to get too close to the front. Holding back for next year.
A new course today in an old familiar area. Decided to do my duty although not really having to as I suppose I do enough every month at each handicap event. However only 10 of the 11 events held count and I did miss the July event when away trying to run for 24 hours in Qld.
I hovered around the car park to direct those that can't follow arrows, signs and other markings and not get get lost or take a short cut.
While waiting I did some 4 lots of jogging around the area. Felt Ok and glad I wasn't racing after a long run yesterday.
I have a few events written on the whiteboard at home now for next year. A notice to enter on line on Tuesday morning for Six Foot Track. Entries open at midnight and will fill to max of 850 very quickly. Then also must enter Tour de Mountain to be held on 20th Dec.
The chances of a 12/24 hour event are remote and will be too close to SFT if held with the Stromlo Running Festival.
Not sure about the 12 hour run at Dusk to Dawn at Caboolture in early Feb. It would be a good night run around the track but the humidity in Qld won't be helpful. Heat I can handle, humidity I can't.
Then after SFT in March, No 12 and get the belt, a toss up between Wilson's Prom 100/80 km in April , or North Face 100 km in the Blue Mountains in May, or Glasshouse Mtns 82 km in Qld also in May. The first two involve carrying a backpack, both hilly, the North Face hilly to mountainous, very tough. Probably take me around 15 hours so some night running at the end. Glasshouse is familiar territory, first 3 hours in the dark, 3 am start, but the course is known, not technically difficult in the dark. Easy weekend away, fly to Brisbane on Saturday, run Sunday morning finish at midday, fly out of Brisbane in the afternoon, sleep on the plane. Should get that job done in 10 hours, no backpack only requirement is to carry a drink bottle. Also weather will be warm, not hot. North Face could be anything, probably very cold in the valleys of the Blue Mountains.
"Tan" 100 km run still on for August in Melbourne, need a couple of good ultras mid year to consider Coast to Kozi in Dec 2010.
Well done today to Strewth on 3rd place. I'm sure the handicapper will be kind.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bush Capital Course

Distance: 35.05 km
Time: 3 hrs 25 mins 37 secs
Rate: 5' 52" per km
Start time: 7:35 am
Altitude gain/ loss: 510 metres
Calories: 2480
Weather: sunny, temp 17 - 25 degrees, humidity 80% - 42%, wind calm to start then up to NW at 35 kmph
Week: 99.15 km, Nov: 331.85 km, Year: 4035.75 km

Met the group at Molonglo Reach near Duntroon on a bright, sunny and warm morning. The forecast a couple of days ago was for chance of showers, far from that today. An arrangement in place to meet Liz at the War Memorial after 8 am, so most of group of about 10 at least ran to the Mt Ainslie walking track corner.
Liz had arrived just a few minutes earlier having already covered 25 kms, and with the backpack on board. Finally the meeting of Liz and Ewen was like old friends reacquainting, having written to and about each other for months to finally meet in person. As well it was one of those rare occassions that in a group of 10, there were 3 Thompsons. Almost enough to depose the leaders and call for a spill at the top.
We slowly made our way to the Mt Ainslie base track, headed towards Campbell Park on the Bush Capital 25 km course. Slowly the group was down to 3 as others ran their own, Liz relating the needs to prepare for the Cradle Mtn run in 9 weeks time. The preparation required in important, so much to carry, the training to do as well as the unknown of ultra running, and the terrain of the Overland Track.
We parted ways at the Federal Hwy underpass, waited for about 10 minutes for softshoeshuffle to catch up. Obviously still feeling the effects of last week on Mt Tennent, as well as a warm day, I moved ahead as we made our way back behind the houses of Watson, Hackett and Ainslie. Ihad almost ran out of drinks so called back in to the drink fountain at the War Memorial before the final 5 kms back to the start area. The others had left so I headed to the cool waters of Lake Burley Griffin to cool down.
The kayakers and canoeists were well underway in a 24 hour either solo or team paddle on the lake. A 5 km loop on a choppy and now windy lake would be hard work for the rest of the day. As well as very tough on the shoulders, arms and backside. May be they have more padding than us runners.
Good day today, really enjoyed talking to Liz about the preparations for Cradle. I ran well within myself, didn't feel the effects of the weather, almost my perfect sort of running day.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Walking Around Weston Park

Distance: 7.45 km
Time: 82' 44"
Rate: 11' 06" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 60%, wind SW at 25 kmph
Week: 64.1 km, Nov: 296.8 km, Year: 4000.7 km

Walked around the course for Sunday's last monthly handicap for the year with Stuart and Roger. We changed ( fine tuned) a couple of places as a result of rain and regeneration, nothing major at all. Luckily the mowers have created a definite path in places to follow, and the grass has died off a bit from the warm weather.
Felt tired today from racing last night, glad it was an easy day. Should be right for long run tomorrow around the Bush Capital tracks.
Passed 4000 kms today for the year, I remember those extra 700 metres today, very slow.
Update on the proposed Kowen Forest 24 hour. Apparently the organiser has skipped through throwing that idea out the door. However, there is now an idea that it may be held in Stromlo as part of or in conjunction with the Stromlo Running Festival in late Feb. No other details at this time, I will keep updating as I hear more.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Day of Constrasts

AM - Pine Is.
Distance: 4.2 km in 20' 40" at 4' 55" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 31 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm
PM - AIS Track:
Distance: 5000 metres race in 20' 10" at 4' 02" per km plus warm up and cool down
Weather: stormy, light drizzle, temp 20 degrees, humidity 90%, wind calm
Week: 56.65 km, Nov: 289.35 km, Year: 3993.25 km

A real day of differences, morning weather nice and sunny, then the storm clouds rolled in during the late afternoon with the expectation of a wash out at the AIS track meet at night.
Midday run shortish, Pine Is with 15 minutes in the river, beaut.
I don't get to the track very often but do enjoy the chance to run faster than I normally do. It was raining when I finished at work, decided to take optimistic view that it may stop raining and it did, at least while we ran the 5000 metres.
Made it in time for a warm up of a couple of laps, then I lined up with the other 3000 and 5000 metre runners totalling about 30. Most were doing the shorter event but working that out on the run was a little difficult. The rain or drizzle had stopped, conditions were really good with a cool temp, no wind but humidity high.
Settled in to a good rhythm around the 4 minute per km pace, Katie just in front doing the 3000 metre, providing a nice incentive to keep up at least for the first 12 minutes. Katie finished her run in around 11' 45" as I continued on going through in 11' 56", a good time for me on the track.
Dropped off the pace a little in k 4 without Katie in front, then picked up the pace again inside the last 2 laps as I was gaining on Ewen. The thought of a beer from Ewen helped me chase him to go past after a short sprint with 100 metres to go.
The time was just outside the 20 minutes, much better than I had hoped for.
Ps. Katie is much nicer to chase than Ewen. May be Katie deserves the beer.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Going a Bit Faster

Distance: 6.85 km
Time: 31' 43"
Rate: 4' 37" per km
Weather: very nice day, sunny, temp 31 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm
Week: 45.2 km, Nov: 277.9 km
Year: 3981.8 km in 47 weeks at ave 84.7 km per week

A beautiful day to run back to work at lunch time. Still trying to get some speed in the legs ready for tomorrow night at the track. My lack of cruise intervals at Calwell oval since last summer is showing. All those long runs over the winter have slowed me down.
Today did show some improvement, some of the trail today was crappy and undulating, so the time would have been better on a flat track.
I did stop at Pine Is on the way to splash about in the river for 15 minutes, very nice to cool down before the last 1 km up the road to work.
Not sure on what to do tomorrow before the track race at night. I would have liked to have ran 20 kms tomorrow so the heading could have been "5000 metres makes 4000 kms". Won't make that now but it has been a good year to date with a month to go.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Searching for Speed

Distance: 13.05 km
Time: 64' 14"
Rate: 4' 55" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 16 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 38.35 km, Nov: 271.05 km, Year: 3974.95 km

The 5000 metres at the track on Thursday night has me worried I will finish last. The last few years has been full of long slow running with only the vet's monthly handicaps at speed.
I've put pressure on myself to run near 20 minutes. I can sometimes get near 4 minute km pace at a short monthly handicap, but that is usually early in the year. The timing is not right but I will give it a go.
CJ commented about why I would want to run 12.5 laps of the track. Well, the short answer is 1. I like track running, just don't get the opportunity at the moment, work hours, 2. I get to talk to others if I can catch them while going past, or they are going past me, 3. There is value for money $3 at the gate to run 5 km is .60 cents a km, better than a marathon at $100 for 42.195 kms or $ 2.37 per km, 4. It's the longest event on the program for the night, can't wait for the 1 hour run in January.
Today I ran home and back to work over a similar course to yesterday. Run home a bit shorter and faster. The best part was an improvement of 10 secs per km on the way back down to 4' 36" per km for 6 kms over some rough tracks. Happy with that, now hope for reasonable weather conditions on Thursday night for a good run.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Every Day is Different

Distance: 15.1 km
Time: 77' 32"
Rate: 5' 08" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 17 degrees, humidity 67%, wind NE at 15 kmph
Week: 25.3 km, Nov: 258.0 km, Year: 3961.9 km

Good running conditions today were in contrast to recent days and weeks when we have had some very hot days. Hopefully it will warm up again later in the week, it can rain overnight, we need a good drink.
Ran home at lunch time, then back to work. Nothing to report, very few about.
A chance to get to the track this Thursday night with a 5000 metres event on at 8 pm. That gives me enough time to get there to warm up as I won't finish at work until just after 7 pm. And it will be an opportunity to find out how much I have lost in speed, can I get near 20 minutes or is that a distant memory?
Whatever happens, it will be a nice change to run around the track 12.5 times.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Running in Deep Space

Distance: 10.2 km
Time: 61' 02"
Rate: 5' 59" per km
Altitude gain & loss: 350 mtrs
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 20 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 10.2 km, Nov: 242.9 km, Year: 3946.8 km

No snow this year, and really perfect conditions for those competing in any of the 44 km, 25 km, 19 km or the short 8 km. A very early start ( sunrise - 5:45am) for the two long runs meant I was out of bed and on the road by 4:30 am to be half way up Mt Tennent to look after a drink station. A good spot it was as the runners, or walkers as they were approaching me first time, were still in good spirits on their way up Mt Tennent. Coming back down many did not stop either going too fast or knowing it was only 2.5 kms to the road and the next drink station.
Eventual winner in the 44 km run, Martin Fryer was in 3rd place and going easy only about 200 metres behind the leaders on the way up. But he had cleared away to lead easily on the way down and was never headed. In fact he went on to win and break the race record by 6 minutes. Second place was only 1 minute outside the race record so good were the conditions.
That is not to say this is an easy race, in fact only the good and the brave turn up, it is very tough. And so are the the two main shorter events, breaking 3 hours for the 25 kms is very good and under 2 hours for 19 kms is also a top effort.
The out of towners, overseas, Sydney, central Coast and Brisbane competitors found the hard way that there are hills and mountains and then there is Deep Space mountain marathon. Those two hardy runners from Brisbane are going to be very tired and sore tomorrow. Even Martin was complaining about his his sore legs.
I finished duties on Mt Tennent, drove to the top to collect the table and cups from Gramps's D/S and returned to the start / finish area in time to see Martin break the record. Easy run out towards Orroral Valley to stop to chat to Kelley & Mick at their D/S, then on the stop at the top of the hill before the long steep down to the valley. No point killing myself on a sight seeing trip.
Back at the finish, everyone had their version of their efforts, all seemed to like it, however hard it was for them.
Another good event put on by John Harding on behalf of the AMRA. It may be the last as it was originally set up to part fund the team members going to world champs overseas. That's now covered by the Bush Capital Festival in July.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Circuit of Tuggeranong Hill

Distance: 19.75 km
Time: 1 hr 52 mins 15 secs
Rate: 5' 41" per km
Altitude gain/ loss : 330 metres
Calories used: 1470
Weather: cloudy, temp range 23-28 degrees, humidity range 48%-37%, wind calm
Week: 77.45 km, Nov: 232.7 km, Year: 3936.6 km

I found running a long distance today difficult alone. During last few months, it has always been with a group and that takes away the toughness from both the hills and the distance. Tomorrow, some are running at the Deep Space mountain marathon events. I'm looking after a drink station on Mt Tennent then going for a watching run, nice and easy for once.
I used to run this course from home to Theodore, then around the base of Tuggeranong Hill and back home often, more likely during the week when I worked night shifts and had time in the morning.
From home it's around 6.5 kms to Theodore sub station, and about the same going over the ridge between Theodore and Conder as part of the circuit. Back home from the sub station is a little quicker, bit more down hill. It's a good run on the fire trail that Ewen uses at times for his time trials.
I should have gone to Molonglo with the group run, better to run with some company and catch up with those you only see every few weeks or months. Not so much heat about today, but the humidity under the clouds is always a problem for me, don't handle humidity at all well. Dry, hot weather not a problem.
Hopefully something will come of the Kowen Forest 12/24 hour run in February so I don't have to go to Qld to run Dusk to Dawn at Caboolture.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Same as Yesterday..Almost

Distance: 5.1 km
Time: 25' 53"
Rate: 5' 04" per km
Start time 11:30 am,
Weather: sunny with dusty air, temp 36 degrees, humidity 20%, wind NW at 20 kmph
Week: 57.7 km, Nov: 212.95 km, Year: 3916.85 km

Almost the same as yesterday, hot, dry, dusty, distance, running course, etc. Really too hot to do much except run for a few kms, finish at the river, cool off, then run back to work.
Nice enjoyable day, just far enough to not get too dehydrated. Even in half an hour managed to drink 600 mls of water.
Hopefully early tomorrow morning won't be warm, distance and direction will made on the run. No plans for Saturday with Sunday on Mt Tennent watching some real runners go past on their way to the top and back down again.
After finishing on the drink station and demarking the mountain, I will run from the start area towards Orroral Valley to watch.
More information on the proposed Kowen Forest 24 hour run should be available after this weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Very Warm and Dusty

Distance: 5.2 km
Time: 27' 21"
Rate: 5' 15" per km
Weather: dusty sky, temp 35 degrees, humidity 16%, wind light warm northerly at 15 kmph
Week: 52.6 km, Nov: 207.85 km, Year: 3911.75 km

Didn't get to see the sun but sure felt it with a very warm to hot day. Dust blown in from outback NSW stopped the sun from really burning. I mentioned yesterday about running or not today, so with a bit of time to spare at midday, I ran very short, very easy and finished with a swim at Pine Is. Splashed about for 25 minutes only a couple of people about, very quiet, very nice.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Forecast is Hot

Distance: 16.2 km
Time: 83' 42"
Rate: 5' 10" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 26 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 47.4 km, Nov: 202.65 km,
Year: 3906.55 km in 46 weeks at ave 84.9 km per week

I would normally have a long run on a Thursday but with the weather forecast at a top of 37 degrees tomorrow, I ran a little longer today. That gives me a chance to go long or short, stay inside or do something different. Even a bike ride would be very warm at midday.
Today, it was a run over the usual tracks near the river to get home for lunch then back to work. Nothing much to report, fairly quiet. Much better tempo than yesterday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yuk, Not So Good

Distance: 12.3 km
Time: 65' 02"
Rate: 5' 17" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 24 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
Week: 31.2 km, Nov: 186.45 km, Year: 3890.35 km

The weekend caught up with me today, even after an easy bike riding day on Monday.
Nothing moved at all well today, it was hard work to get going, at no stage did the running feel on song, and I can't sing.
I ran home at lunch time, drove the car back to work with a short stop over at Pine Is for 5 minutes in the water. Too many silly, giggly school girls around, so I washed off the sweat and went back to work.
An email from CJ, operation over and done, flying home on Wednesday, the crutches are a pain, but at least she " can see light at the end of the tunnel". I guess walking soon, running some time down the track ( pun).

Monday, November 16, 2009

On Your Bike

Running - nil
Bike riding: 25 km
Weather: sunny, temp 31 degrees, humidity 25%, wind NW 20 kmph

Decided to rest the running muscles and ride the bike 4 times to and from work. Nice and easy, low gears, felt good, no problems after the weekend's activity up and down 3 mountains.
Nice day, total fire ban, warm and very dry. Hotting up later in the week but we don't need rain or a fire ban to get the Deep Space Mountain marathon and other events completed on Sunday.
Remember this time last year, there was snow on Mt Tennent and Honeysuckle above 900 metres. What a contrast ? Must be global warming !

Sunday, November 15, 2009

First run leg of Triple Tri

Distance: 18.9 km
Time: 1 hr 49 mins 45 secs
Rate: 5' 48" per km
Altitude gain: 570 metres
Altitude loss: 640 metres
Weather:L sunny, very warm, temp 24-26 degrees, humidity 25%, wind calm
Week: 18.9 km, Nov: 174.15 km, Year: 3878.05 km

I didn't follow my own recovery regime after yesterday on Mt Tennent by just resting in the chair watching Tiger throw the golf clubs. I should have gone to the river. Therefore the first few steps today were a bit of a struggle but that changed as I started up Mt Majura. Energy wise and feeling good, I moved into a rhythm after starting slowly.
The pressure was on not to run fast but to keep the team in front of the cut off time. The Sri Chinmoy announcer had just said there was only 10 minutes before cut off as I bike rider came in. I didn't have any one in sight for a long time until near the top of Mt Majura, I walked only a short steep section but that was more to remain fresh with another mountain to climb.
Passed a girl runner off the top of Majura, she was having her first run over the course and feeling the heat. The sun was burning out in the open. After the road section down hill the course goes in to the pines on the technical tracks used by the mountain bikers. The GPS loses the signal here a few times so the exact distance varies from GPS to GPS.
Back out in the open on the ridge between the two mountains, I finally started to pass a few runners. That also gives a reason to push on and chase, at least keeping the team in front of the sweeper, if there is one.
Mt Ainslie was it's usual tough climb, rough track and hot, but after the drink station on the top, I ran well down the front and on to Anzac Parade towards the lake. A short diversion due to road works around the back of the Australian War Memorial.
Finished well, good speed on the flat making up for the slowness of the up hill. Time wise it didn't really matter. About 5 minutes slower than I expected, but that was Ok due to yesterday's run and the very warm conditions today.
I will head to the river this afternoon to get some cold water on the legs and to watch the team members doing their part. I don't envy the mountain bikers today, those long hilly courses will be a real test.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bushfold Flats & Mt Tennent

Distance: 23.00 km
Time: 2 hrs 26 mins 39 secs
Rate: 6' 22' per km
Calories used: 1980
Altitude gain: 865 metres
Altitude loss: 1033 metres
Weather: nice morning, sunny, temp at start 7 am, 12 degrees rising to 21 degrees at 10 am, humidity 80% down to 55%, wind calm
Week: 76.3 km, Nov: 155.25 km, Year: 3859.15 km

Perfect morning for a run starting on Apollo Road on the back side of Mt Tennent. Mick & Softshoeshuffle were running the full first half, 25 km of the Deep Space marathon course to be held next Sunday. I'm not running that so opted for the soft option of starting at the gate that leads to the fire trail up Mt Tennent.
To make it even easier, I turned on to Bushfold Flats using the Australian Alpine Walking Track to get to the top. It's a bit more technical, rougher and more sharp corners, but certainly not as steep.
Starting out a couple of men were also heading to the top, loaded up with backpacks training for the Overland Track in Tasmania from next weekend. They intend to take 5 days to walk from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. Fabulous trek, if the weather is favourable, otherwise a real test of stamina and resolve.
Really nice on Bushfold, plenty of kangaroos, one rabbit as well as me. Arrived at the top of Mt Tennent to find another couple who had ran/walked up from the Namadgi Visitor's Centre. I had a chat to them about mountain running, seems they may be interested in one of next week's events or the Tour de Mountain from Mawson the weekend before Christmas.
Waited a short time for the 2Ms to arrive, then on our descent the two Overland trekkers were nearly at the top carrying their big packs with 20 plus kilos of gear.
Really good run down the fire trail, trying to thump the ground with hard landings to get the quads ready for the pounding of mountain descents. Allrounder, if you read this, there is no excuse for sore quads from mountain running, just plenty of ups and downs in training.
M & M arrived at the Apollo Road gate where I had intended to finish. However, distance covered was only 16.4 kms so needed to do a bit more. Ran up the road to the entrance to Namadgi National Park where I turned around to leave the others to run the remaining 4 kms to the car at Honeysuckle Tracking Station.
Instead of stopping at the gate again, it was all down hill, I kept going to finally stop at the Tharwa Road intersection. Could have kept going, felt good in the warm sunshine, but the Triple Tri is on tomorrow so I held back for the benefit of the team. Only doing 20 kms over Mt Majura & Mt Ainslie tomorrow morning, so I should have a good run backing up from today.
Kelley & Liz, you missed a great morning on the mountain.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Weekend of Ups and Downs Coming Up

Distance: 8.0 km
Time: 42' 47"
Rate: 5' 20" per km
Weather: sunny, mild, temp 23 degrees, humidity 30%, wind SE at 20 kmph
Week: 53.3 km, Nov: 132.25 km Year: 3836.15 km

Not to report about today, just a run home at lunch time. Temp not as hot as last few days, very pleasant.
Let's hope I get my 2 weekend runs over before the predicted mid 30's temps arrive.
Looking forward to the ups and downs over the mountains, won't sleep very well tonight, too excited.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mum's Birthday

Distance: 8.7 km
Time: 46' 36"
Rate: 5' 21" per km
Weather: very warm, mostly sunny, temp 33 degrees, humidity 20%, wind westerly at 20 kmph
Week: 45.3 km, Nov: 124.25 km, Year: 3828.15 km

The last few days have been very warm at midday. Plenty at work think I am mad to run in these conditions, but these conditions I like. It brings the field back to my standard.
Easy run around the local area, careful to watch for snakes, none about. A 15 minute splash about in the river to cool off and help the legs.
I changed my mind and will now run Mt Tennent on Saturday as well as the Mt Majura/Mt Ainslie leg on the Triple Tri. I don't push hard on Saturday, use the easier track off Bushfold Flats to get to the top, then run hard on the fire trail going down. I will take Sunday as it happens, but should still get near my predicted 1:40 - 1:45 hours. Both days are forecast to be hot, I hope the competition is not.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dry on the Western Front

Distance: 15.00 km
Time: 82' 15"
Rate: 5' 29" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 30-32 degrees, humidity 15%, wind calm
Week: 36.6 km, Nov: 115.55 km
Year: 3819.45 km in 45 weeks at ave 84.9 km per week

This warmer weather in just a couple of weeks has dried out the grass very quickly. The good part is short dry grass makes it easier to see the snakes and the ranger on the quad bike has cut the edges of the tracks near the river as well.
Today, leaving after midday to run, I ventured over to the back of Urambi Hills, along the river track back to Pine Is, a swim to wash off the dirt and sweat, and back to work. A stay at work lunch break today, and tomorrow, Mrs 2F has other more important things to do than be at home when I'm there for lunch. Although hot to run, very low humidity made it quite pleasant, felt nice with some pace on the flat and down hill.

Ewen, I think the double over the weekend is a possibility, might cut the Mt Tennent run a bit shorter than the rest, include the easier Bushfold Flats than the full 25 km distance Mick has planned. Just can't miss out on a run on that mountain.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Warm as Toast

Distance: 11.75 km
Time: 60' 25"
Rate: 5' 08" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 28 degrees, humidity 20%, wind calm
Week: 21.6 km, Nov: 100.55 km, Year: 3804.45 km

Nice sunny days have finally arrived and it is warm as toast running at midday. After months of winter, plenty of rainy day ( by our standards - a few mils here and there), isn't it wonderful to feel free of layers of clothes.
This is an easy week of fun. And fun it is, cycling yesterday, around 25 kms. An easy run home today, then a dip in the river with the water warm enough to swim it the tendinitis in the shoulder is Ok on the day.
Pity about having to run in the triple tri on Sunday, Mick wants to run on Mt Tennent on Saturday. Fancy some one running up the mountain and me not there. Maybe I will ?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Getting Familiar with Weston Park

Distance: 9.85 km
Time: 53' 41"
Rate: 5' 26" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 15 - 20 degrees, humidity 68% down to 50%, wind calm, nice day
Week: 9.85 km, Nov: 88.8 km Year: 3792.7 km

No real need for me to become familiar with Weston Park, I helped design the course. The course is the one to be used for the November monthly handicap. A different course to the one used for the Pennington or the cross country championships in the past. Nice morning, the girls were cycling in the area on the Tour de Femme and some swimmers were doing a 9 km event in the lake. Good morning for all of us.
Drove back to Pine Is, 5 minutes in the water, better than LBG, saw the back half of a red belly black snake.
Spent the rest of the day in the garden catching up on a neglected front and back yard.
Very enjoyable day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Three Peaks - Two Big and One Small

Race distance: 25.7 km plus warm up 550 metres
Time: Race - 2 hrs 18 mins 38 secs
Rate: 5' 23" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 700 metres
Calories used: 2090
Weather: cloudy, temp at 6:30 am 13 degrees rising to 16 degrees at 9: 30 am, humidity steady at 80%, wind calm
Week & Nov: 78.95 km, Year: 3782.85 km

Good running conditions over the local mountains with clouds keeping the temp in check but keeping the humidity high. The run has traditionally been over Mt Majura & Mt Ainslie but last year the AMRA threw in Mt Pleasant just for fun, and changed the direction of the course.
A profile look at the course bearly shows Mt Pleasant at all, just a 60 metres climb on a rough track, I walked up part of that. The other factor is Mt Ainslie is now climbed last, Mt Majura the higher of the two mountains is covered inside the first 3 kms from the start. But as easy as it is going up, it sure is rough going down. Those with no fear gained plenty as I held back cautious not to trip.
Much better after that where the track had been graded and now is very runnable on a smooth surface heading towards the saddle near Mt Ainslie.
The 20 km runners continued on as the longer distance competitors headed towards Mt Pleasant. On a down hill section behind the houses the lead male runners were flying, long legs helping maintain both balance and pace. The Duntroon cross country course had plenty of markers where the trainee officers keep fit.
Back to Mt Ainslie, the climb up on a dirt track is steeper than on the main walking track. Walked a bit more here, better once on the main track but those near me had disappeared in front, I averaged over 8 min km pace for these few kms, tough section for me.
Found some form off the top and ran well back to the finish. Managed to finish under 2 hrs 20 mins, would have readily accepted that at the start.
Four weeks of long races going back to Fitzroy Falls marathon on 10th Oct have left me a little fatigued. A couple of easier weeks to recover now with only the 20 km leg of the triple tri next Sunday to do. That's not a race just cover the distance for the team. I have volunteered to do a drink station at the Deep Space run in two weeks so I won't have to run hard on Mt Tennent.
Other than that, no injuries, just need some recovery time before the next adventure begins.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Should I ? I Did !

Distance: 4.3 km
Time: 21' 05"
Rate: 4' 55" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 60%, wind easterly at 20 kmph
Week & Nov: 52.7 km, Year: 3756.6 km

I probably shouldn't have done anything today, but I did ride the bike to work and home, distance about 10 km. Then I thought I had better see if the legs wanted to work in readiness for tomorrow. Don't be deceived by that magnificent km rate above, it was a struggle on a flat road section at Pine Is.
But, it did get me moving so there will be no excuses tomorrow, Three Peaks.

Congratulations to Kelley & Mick, best wishes to you both.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Know when to Hold em, Know when to Fold em

Distance: 7.75 km
Time: 39' 33"
Rate: 5' 07" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 18 degrees, humidity 60%, wind easterly at 20 kmph
Week & Nov: 48.4 km, Year: 3752.3 km

Yesterday: Bike riding - 25 km

Not really tired from Tuesday's run up Mt Tennent, but I am a bit conservative when it comes to recovery. I didn't run, but rode the bike 4 times to and from work, and finished at the river for 15 minutes.
Today, rode bike to work in the morning and home at lunch time. Then ran back with the wind assisting and a bit of down hill. Nice and easy, a cooler day for some time.
Looking forward to Saturday morning over 3 peaks. Hope for a good run.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mt Tennent & Bushfold Flats

Distance: 20.35 km
Time: 2 hrs 43 mins 19 secs
Rate: 8' 01" per km
Weather: sunny, temp at start 20 degrees rising to 28 degrees, humidity 83% down to 35%, wind calm to start then very strong on top of mtn at 40 kmph, easing to 30 kmph on Bushfold
Altitude gain: 980 metres
Calories used: 1780
High point on Mt Tennent: 1385 metres ASL
Week & Nov: 40.65 km, Year: 3744.55 km

Three of us made the trip down to Namadgi Visitor's Centre to start our short version of the Mt Tennent / Bushfold Flats circuit. Nice morning although the temp was Rising Fast ( Melb Cup winner) and the humidity was high ( we are not Rain Lovers) with no breeze to assist.
The track is the start of the Australian Alpine Walking Track that finishes 600 plus kms later in Victoria. Rocky with many steps and lots of twists and turns and hard work. We turned right at a T junction to go down on to Bushfold Flats where some shade finally cooled us down a bit until the sunny exposure of Bushfold. A bit of breeze helped get us to the Mt Tennent Fire Trail that starts on Apollo Road.
More up hill as we trudged to the top of Mt Tennent, helped a little by shade and a breeze. On top is was hold on to your hat as the wind was very strong. A drink from the water tank and a rest, it was getting hot. A man with a mountain bike was standing near the fire lookout tower, he had pushed the bike nearly all the way up the mountain. It was going to be scary on the down.
We eased back in to the running with just over 7 kms to go to find the front main walking track alive with walkers. A couple of girls having a good time but looking for a stream to cool down, then a man walking alone, then Kerrie Muir with back pack trying to regain some fitness having ran SFT a few years ago, but then getting injured. A bit later a man with a small baby on his back, plus some more of the family were trying to make their way upwards and onwards. It was going to be very tough for them in the conditions.
No snakes about, that was a surprise, a few kangaroos on Bushfold, plus a couple of small lizards, a couple of birds, not much wild life at all.
Good day, tough as usual on Mt Tennent, backed up well from last Saturday. Three easy days until Three Peaks on Saturday, should be another great day, except for the early start.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Getting Warmer

Distance: 7.85 km
Time: 43' 52"
Rate: 5' 35"
per km
Weather: sunny, temp 28 degrees, humidity 47%, wind calm
Week & Nov: 20.3 km Year: 3724.2 km

Ran home at lunch time under a sunny & humid sky. It has me thinking about going to Qld in Feb to run the Dusk to Dawn at night for 12 hours. Heat is not a problem but humidity I don't seem to handle.
That's the best part normally about living in the nation's capital in summer, low humidity on hot days.
May be if I get fitter during summer, try a few more long runs, I will know whether to make the trip up north.
A short hilly run on Mt Tennent tomorrow morning, should be fun. It looks like an all male event, the ladies are giving the mountain a miss ( pun intended ).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday Long, Sunday Short

Distance: 12.45 km
Time: 67' 45"
Rate: 5' 26" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 22-25 degrees, humidity 68%-55%, wind calm
Week & Nov: 12.45 km, Year: 3716.35 km

An easy run down to the river to get some recovery cold water on the legs. Felt Ok, a little bit slower on way back but no sore spots, just tired.
Stopped to talk to a ranger spraying the grass on the river track between Pine Is and Point Hut. He said he will slash the grass over the next couple of weeks as well, then we will be able to see the snakes before they bite.
Nice day, humidity high, could be another thunder storm this afternoon. Getting some rain out of the clouds would be nice.