Two Fruits

Monday, August 31, 2009

Winter Done, Spring is Next

Distance: 10.7 km
Time: 59' 06"
Rate: 5' 31" per km
Weather: cloudy, light drizzle, temp 12 degrees, humidity 85%, wind light westerly, 15 kmph
Week: 25.95 km
August: 379.8 km in 19/31 days at ave 19.99 km per run day
Year: 2964.7 km in 8 months at ave 370.6 km per month

Good that winter has now finished, at least officially. Three months of the year that just have to be survived before living can resume. If you are lucky enough to get north to Qld at least once, twice is better, then winter doesn't seem so long.
Today, I managed to get a few kms done in the wind and drizzle to round off what was a recovery and easy month. The real running can now return with a packed next few months ahead.
A Saturday running plan will be worked out soon and sent to those who I think may be interested. The next four months will be exciting.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Monthly Handicap - Mt Taylor

Distance: warm up - mark course 7.0 km plus run 1.25 km
Race : distance - 7.0 km - day total 15.25 km
Race : time - 32' 02"
Race: pace - 4' 32" per km
Finish place: 54 / 90
Weather: cloudy becoming sunny, temp 6 degrees with strong west wind 25 kmph, humidity 55%,
Week: 15.25 km, August: 369.1 km, Year: 2954.0 km

Some one this morning said there was a light snow flurry as the weather cleared before the running of the monthly handicap. I didn't see it but it certainly was cold enough. The wind was very friendly, going straight through instead of easing it's way around.
Arrived early to mark the course with the marshalls, so a walk of 7 km served as a warm up with a short run to get the running legs moving.
The run warm up was pleasing but that soon disappeared with the 1 km up hill start as the group took off at speed. A lack of fast running showed during the race, the last km down hill was good with a pace well under 4:00 minutes pleasing, even if assisted by the wind and gravity. At least the legs remember how to get going.
Didn't pass too many, a couple of faster runners swept past even if they had run the half marathon last weekend.
Good morning after a cold start, I miss the racing part of running, should do more of it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Option 4

Distance: 13.3 km
Time: 75' 03"
Rate: 5' 38" per km
Weather: cloudy, showery, temp 16 degrees, humidity 85%, wind NW at 15 kmph
Week: 69.25 km, August: 353.85 km, Year: 2938.75 km

A couple of days ago, I wrote about my running plans for today. The weather forecast was not good, unless you want rain, so I set out my options. Last choice was to stay at home in the morning and wait for a break in the weather. That happened mid afternoon, although by the way I ran I should have stayed at home and watched the footy.
A run down to Pine Is, along the river track to Point Hut and back home on Woodcock and Johnson Drs. The rain bought the wild life out, plenty of kangaroos, birds, ducks and Rosella parrots.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mt Taylor monthly handicap

Distance: 7.0 km
Time: 79' 22"
Rate: 11' 20" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 16 degrees, humidity 40%, NW wind at 15 kmph
Week: 55.95 km, August: 340.55 km, Year: 2925.45 km

A walk over the Mt Taylor monthly handicap course this morning on a beautiful August day. The walk was to locate the kms markers, check the track hadn't been altered, especially the loop section near Chifley and generally make sure we could conduct the event if the weather was wet as predicted over the weekend.
Looks Ok, we need it to rain on Saturday and be fine again by early Sunday morning.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Looking for Increased Speed

Distance: 14.4 km
Time: 71' 40"
Rate: 4' 58" per km ave
Weather: sunny, temp 15 degrees, humidity 40%, wind NW calm up to 20 kmph
Week: 48.95 km, Aug: 333.55 km, Year: 2918.45 km

With a marathon my next event, I need to increase my running speed. For the last few years, most of my running has been at fairly slow km pace, either hilly or long distance runs. Fitzroy Fall Fire Trail marathon in October will require some consistent pace, so today I started a plan to get some lost speed back.
The wind didn't ( or did ) help much as I used the gravel track between Bonython and Woodcock Dr. Covering just over a km with a slight rise about halfway, it's perfect if going to the oval at Calwell is not possible. The wind was westerly so helping and hindering. Five times 1 kms with 3 with the wind helping and 2 against.
Started easy with the first in 4' 27", then 4' 45" against the wind, then 4' 16" with the wind, 4' 47" against and finally 4' 06 " with the wind behind. Not that good, but I didn't want to do too much after a long break. Next week, I will try to improve.
Finished at Pine Is after a long recovery jog to stand in the water for 5 minutes, it's very cold but beneficial.
This weekend the weather forecast is not good. I have a few plans pending for Saturday, first option, the Cotter 21 mile, 2nd option, Mt Rob Roy from home, 3rd option, short run from home when rain stops, and last option, stay in bed and watch Video Hits. I'll know when I wake if I hear rain drops falling on the roof.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Distance: 6.25 km
Time: 34' 40"
Rate" 5' 32" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 9 degrees, humidity 54%, NW wind at 35 kmph, temp felt like 6 degrees,
Week: 34.55 km, August: 319.15 km
Year: 2904.05 km in 34 weeks at 85.4 km ave per week

Speedygeoff has asked about the Fitzroy Falls Fire Trail marathon on 10th October. I did run the first two with this year I think being the 10th time it has been held. The only reason I missed the next 7 was it too close to the Brindabella Classic, usually the following weekend. I couldn't back up so soon.
However, with the demise of the BC, FFFTM is now back on my " to do" list. Not many, may be 100 ran the first event but I believe numbers are now bigger and better, really good for an off road event.
From memory, there are a couple of kms of road as you cross from one national park to another, but the rest is all dirt fire trails. The track is slightly undulating, we always worked on about 15-20 minutes slower than your normal road marathon time. My 2nd time running in 2001 I ran 3 hrs 29 mins to place 11th.
However, as we know the weather in October can vary, last year very hot for that time of year. But, well worth training up to compete, you won't regret the effort.
Short run from work to home for lunch. Won't run back, too windy and too cold. Hopefully the weather will improve for the weekend.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's What is Underneath That Counts

Distance: 13.85 km
Time: 74' 25"
Rate: 5' 22" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 12 degrees, humidity 70%, NW wind strong at 30 kmph
Week: 28.3 km, Aug: 312.9 km, Year: 2897.8 km

I'm playing with words and images today as the running was not much to write about. Cool day, strong wind, had to push hard to get any where, but a run is a run.

Today, some where in the world an iceberg and the Miss Universe beauty contest collided. As we all were taught at school, an iceberg is only 10% above the water level. The magic and beauty are underwater where we seldom get to look.
A couple of the lucky ones were sent the email with this picture of an iceberg taken off Newfoundland by divers preparing to divert the iceberg from a collision with the an oil rig.
Apparently the sun was just in the right place to get the full picture of all the ice underwater. A great image.

Today Australia's entrant in the Miss Universe finished 4th to Miss Venezuela. I'm no expert as most of the entrants look pretty good to me, but are they 10% good looks and 90% unknown or seldom seen.
May be it's what 's underneath that really counts ?

Ewen, I call a lap of LBG flat. What hills ?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Spectating during the Half

Distance: 14.45 km
Time:79' 52"
Rate: 5' 31" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 13 degrees, humidity 60%, wind NW at 15 kmph
Week: 14.45 km, August: 299.05 km, Year: 2883.95 km

As I don't run road events, I had no intention of running in the vet's half marathon held this morning from Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park. The area around the start line is fenced off due to Floriade starting in a few weeks time.
Good conditions this morning for the runners and the spectators with sunshine, an amount of warmth in the air and a gentle breeze. A good enough to join the club president for a run to meet and encourage the runners as they approached the finish.
We ran against the flow past Black Mtn peninsular towards Scrivener Dam meeting the early starters then the fast runners. According to Mr President, there were just over 200 starters, a good number for this event at this time of the year.
Nice and easy, felt good all the way on a reasonably flat track, slowed down by trying to run on the grass edge and off the sealed surface.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

In The Wild

Distance: 29.85 km
Time: 2 hrs 53 mins 31 secs
Rate: 5' 49" per km
Altitude gain: 440 metres
Weather: sunny, temp 10 - 13 degrees, humidity 50% - 40%, wind started at NE at 10 kmph changed to NW at 20 kmph
Week: 82.05 km, August: 284.6 km, Year: 2869.5 km

Ran from home over territory not covered for a long time. I needed to look over the Mt Taylor course to be used for next weekend's monthly handicap, so ran over the Wanniassa Hill and Farrer Ridge nature parks to get there. After Friday's rain, today is really nice, at least sunny if not that warm, the wind keeping it cool.
The rain has bought out the wild life, heaps of kangaroos, mums with joeys, all just watching as I ran by. Also startled a fox crossing a fire trail, the maggies are starting to get feisty, all noticing that spring is just around the corner.
Just ran out of puff near the end, seems that recovery is almost complete but not quite.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Up and Over Urambi Hills

Distance: 12.35 km
Time: 72' 10"
Rate: 5' 50" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 225 metres
Weather: sunny, temp 15-16 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 52.2 km, August: 254.75 km, Year: 2839.65 km

Three very good winter's days in a row, too good to stay inside. Left a little later than I had wanted as there was so much chatter in the canteen at work about superannuation. We all must be thinking about retirement.
Running towards Urambi Hills base track when Steve Bradford caught me, we chatted for a kilometre before Steve continued around the lake and I headed towards the hills. Glad he did as he is way too fast for me.
The base track around Urambi is undulating enough, but as I hadn't been to the top for a long while, I managed to run up the gully that separates the two peaks. Over the top, then headed towards Gleneagles estate, down across the open paddocks where I pulled back some of the km pace lost on the slow up hill.
On the river track back to Pine Is, plenty of people out enjoying the sun shine. Usually this is wombat only territory, but not today, like peak hour in the suburbs.
Then at Pine Is, I decided to test the water, yep, still cold but very little of it. The drought is very obvious at this time of year with no water flow. Cold water on the legs is sooo good, just can't stay in long enough to get full benefit. Four times 1 minute before pain takes over, that's all.
Beaut day to be running, didn't want to go back to work, but some one has to take the workers home at night.
Ewen, going for a PB at SFT. Molonglo runs usually start late Nov, probably after the Deep Space marathon.
Maybe a couple of Cotters before that as there may be a big disruption to the Cotter running when the new dam construction work starts around Christmas. Certainly the car park will be off limits, the Urriara forest entrance will be closed and the road around Pierce's Creek settlement will be a mess.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just Enjoying the Sunshine

Distance: 11.55 km
Time: 62' 47"
Rate: 5' 26" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 13-15 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 39.85 km, August: 242.4 km
Year: 2827.3 km in 33 weeks at 85.7 ave per week

During the week in August I am just enjoying the running in the sunshine. A little warmth makes the day very pleasant, even if we have to handle the cold early morning frosts.
August is my easy recovery month after a couple of months with an ultra or two. My boring running, low to mid teens in kilometre distance at a slow pace, are designed to keep the legs rolling over, enjoy the day when possible and miss a day or two if necessary.
September begins a serious return to proper training with plenty of events, short and long, on the plan until Christmas. Proper training includes that other stuff you need to do, speed, intervals, tempo, hills, etc. Can't wait, ha!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pyramid Running

Distance: 16.25 km
Time: 87' 05"
Rate: 5' 21" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 13-14 degrees, humidity 35%, wind calm
Week: 28.3 km, Aug: 230.85 km, Year: 2815.75 km

When I was visiting my brother in Cairns a few years ago, we ran ( loose description) up the Pyramid near Gordonvale, just south of Cairns.
It is sheer up hill on a goat track, may be improved now but very tough. Distance from base to top is only 3 kms but it took me over an hour to get to the top and 45 minutes to get back down. That's all we ran on the day, 6 kms.
Local knowledge is vital in this event, the track is very hard to follow.
The photo above, courtesy of the Cairns Post on line, is from last weekend, the 50th time this event has been held. By any standard, it is the hardest mountain running event in Australia. The actual event starts in the town of Gordonvale with a 3 km start to the base, up and down the mountain and 3 kms back to the finish. Winning time for the men is around 1 hr 45 mins.
Interstate mountain runners from the south have been up there and tried but the locals hold the edge. This year, John Winsbury from Canberra finished 2nd behind a young gun from Newcastle but now living in Cairns. John is an Australian representative at the world mountain running championships next month.
On the female side, my sister-in-law still holds the female record for the event, finishing 5th this year, and the record remains intact. Hot, sunny conditions, temp near 30 degrees, dry humidity, wind calm with a 2 pm start resulted in a tough day out for a record 150 entrants.Those going up give way to those coming down. In fact, the drink station at half way and on the top is put in place by helicopter, also used to transport out anyone seriously injured.
Today, I ran easy but a little longer home for lunch and back to work. Nice day, best day of winter this year.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blown Away

Distance: 12.05 km
Time: 63' 24"
Rate: 5' 15" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 12 degrees, humidity 50%, strong west wind 30 kmph
Week: 12.05 km, Aug: 214.6 km, Year: 2799.5 km

Blown away today by 3 events. The wind at lunch time blew me home but held me back trying to run back to work. Usain Bolt blew me and the field away in the 100 metres at the World Champs. And the runners that circulated at Caboolture two weeks ago, had a tough day at the Tan run in Melbourne over the weekend.
Some of them fronted to run 100 kms again, how do they do it?
I managed to run 12 kms today on a flat course. Felt comfortable, enjoyable but I'm hardly in 100 metre shape let alone 100 km shape.
Well done to everyone that runs between 100 metres and 100 kms.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cotter - Run No. 135

Distance: 23.9 km ( 15 miles )
Time: 2 hrs 11 mins 42 secs
Rate: 5' 31" per km
Weather: thick fog to start then sunny, temp 3 - 10 degrees, humidity 99% - 40%, wind calm
Week: 57.95 km, August: 202.55 km, Year: 2787.45 km

As I wrote a couple of days ago, I did venture out to the Cotter to again become familiar with the area. Last time out there was 28th Feb prior to Six Foot Track. I remember that day well, a very warm morning, CJ had steam coming out of her ears running in the heat, not a happy girl. It took a while for her to speak to me but all was forgiven later.
Complete contrast today as the fog was very thick on the drive out to the start and for the first hour. The temperature was near zero and the humidity was high, very much like the night session of the 24 hour run a couple of weeks ago. Good attendance as well with 10 starters although 7 did start from the top of the road, avoiding the 2.5 km up hill start.
Once to the fog lifted after an hour at the top of jelly legs, a very nice morning along Bullock's Paddock Road, running alone as the others opted for shorter distances. Cruised the flat parts to Vanities Crossing where the water level is well below the wall allowing me to tread carefully on the wall and the rocks so not getting wet.
Slow over Ma and Pa but still around 36 minutes to the finish which was Ok.
Stopped for the usual chat and bite to eat, I had my usual caramel muffin and a coffee with the others opting for the more traditional bacon and eggs and a glass of champers.
Good enjoyable morning, and absolutely great to see Elizabeth T out there again. She still has desires of running SFT again, just needs to get the knees fixed good enough to do the training required.
Next weekend is the vet's half marathon so I will run from home, around 30 kms, then the following Saturday I will do Mt Rob Roy. I need some hills mixed in with some faster running.
If the weather holds to this early spring and warms up, all will be looking good for the near future.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Was Today Winter ?

Distance: 10.8 km
Time: 56' 41"
Rate: 5' 15" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 16 degrees, humidity 50%, wind very light NW 5 kmph
Week: 34.05 km, August: 178.65 km, Year: 2763.55 km

Nice day for mid winter, just a hint of warmth in the air to go with some sun shine. Not much distance or pace in the run, but a role the legs over type of run and enjoy the outdoors.
Finished the run at the Pine Is beach to " test the water". Three times 1 minute in the water was all I could handle, still way too cold for any longer for me. And I sooked out with only just getting wet up to the knees.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plan Working Backwards

Distance: 11.65 km
Time: 61' 09"
Rate: 5' 15" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 12 degrees, humidity 65%, wind light NW at 15 kmph
Week: 23.25 km, August: 167.85 km
Year: 2752.75 km in 32 weeks at ave 86.0 km per week

A rest day yesterday, still feeling the residual tiredness from the 24 hour, but getting better. Down to 9 hours of sleep per night, down from over 10 hours last week.
Finally a mild temp this morning so I rode the mountain bike to work and home at night. As well, a run home during my split break for lunch and back to work.
Plan for the rest of the year working backwards. That's not walking backwards, going forwards, working backwards. Lost, so am I ! The main objective is the Deep Space Marathon on Mt Tennent and down to Orroral valley on 22nd November. To get to that start line I plan to run the Three Peaks from Mt Majura on 7th Nov, A Brindabella Classic Fat Ass run on Sat 24th Oct ( in memory of the now lapsed event), the Orroral Valley 30 km run on 18th Oct and the Fitzroy Falls Fire Trail marathon on 10th Oct.
That covers the motivation ( Kelley) to get out and run, a long term plan with a build up to get there. To get to Fitzroy Falls marathon, only 2 months away or 8 training Saturdays, I need to get moving again.
Luckily for me, it's not a case of getting the kms done to run the distance. Now I can concentrate on speed to run a marathon and plenty of hills to run up and down a few mountains all off a big base of running. The weather will slowly warm up over the next few weeks and that will provide an extra incentive to get out in the middle of the day.
This Saturday I plan to run at the Cotter from 7: 30 am with the main group and partake in the brunch with the Cotter runners about 10 am. I will get the 15 mile done and may do the 18 miler if feeling Ok at Padovans. I bet the water at Vanities will be freezing, but what is a little pain ( agony) for 20 metres if the water is over the wall and the rocks.
The weather is forecast to be Ok so Liz, if you want to run some where different, join in.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Comparing the Girls

Distance: 11.6 km
Time: 61' 51"
Rate: 5' 20" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 11 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 11.6 km, August: 156.2 km, Year: 2741.1 km
Are they alike? Or is it just me?
Today I ran home for lunch and back again. Not much to report so I found these two photos. CJ ( left) on the road at the Canberra marathon in April this year. Hasn't ran since.
On the right is Michelle Thompson from Melbourne, photo taken at the 24 hour run at Caboolture last week.
Put sunnies and a cap on Michelle and I think they look alike. Must be a slow news day in my world, just how I like it.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Running Again

Distance: 9.1 km
Time: 48' 25"
Rate: 5' 19" per km
Weather: nice day, sunny, temp 13 degrees, humidity 30%, light NW wind 10 kmph
Week: 9.1 km, August: 144.6 km, Year: 2729.5 km

Recovery has gone better than expected this week. A nice afternoon gave me the chance to get out for a short, flat run taking it very easy. Stopped once for a short while to stretch but overall really happy with the run.
A flat course on edge of the bike path basically a lap around the outside of Isabella Plains. No one else about running, must be in Sydney for C2S.
The rest of this year looks like a return to the mountains. Seeing Mt Tennent in the distance showed me how much I miss the hills. The plan may be to run all the long distance AMRA events plus Fitzroy Falls marathon.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Running: nil

Picture of me mid afternoon looking a bit buggered about 6 - 7 hours in to the 24 hour. If this photo had been taken 12 hours later during the night, I would have been rugged up in 4 layers of clothes and still cold. I am taking this week easy, still need 10 hours of sleep a night, and the knee soreness has gone. The ITB was the problem, now I am recovering , the niggles have gone. Hope to get a bike ride and a short run done over the weekend.

Sometimes you come across a person that is the mirror image of someone else. In the 24 hour run last weekend, Michelle T from Melbourne is almost a clone of "CJ ".

Maybe not exactly in looks, but the rest of each of them is the same. Same shape, same size, same age, same running style and at the moment, both out with injuries. The running style is so similar that when catching each, or in my case, when either one goes past, you could not tell the difference.

At least I now remember how " CJ" used to run. It's been a while and the memory is slowly fading. So Michelle, if you happen to read this, and I told you about your clone.

Good luck to all those competing in City to Surf on Sunday. Hope you all enjoy it, the hill is not that hard.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Qld 24 hour - Caboolture Historical Village

Saturday 1st August - start 9 am
Time: 24 hours
Distance: 135.5 km
Rate: 10' 38" per km ave or 5.65 kms per hour
Track: 500 metres of compacted granite
Weather: day time - sunny, temp mid afternoon 20 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Weather: night time - cool to cold soon after sun down, temp 3 am, 6 degrees, humidity 95%, wind calm, felt like temp - 3.2 degrees, clear sky
Week & Aug: 135.5 km, Year: 2720.4 km

Not sure how to write or describe the experience. Failed to get near expectations by along way, exceeded expectations by a long way in mental toughness to be still moving when the final whistle was sounded. Troubles in the day time with an injury and plenty more at night when the coldness descended.
Firstly, the track is not flat as there is a rise of around 2-3 metres from bottom to top. Surface is great to run on, compacted granite that remained intact throughout. The track is almost kidney shaped, that really had no bearing on any result.
We arrived at the venue on Friday afternoon and set up our tent on a grassy patch near the start/finish line and between that area and the kitchen, about half way down the slope. The 48 hour competitors were well in to their event, some running and some on a walk plan early on with still an day and a half to go.
My 24 hour run started at 9 in the morning meaning an unhurried morning to be ready. Ten of us stood on the start line, 9 runners and 1 walker. Later on 3 of them stopped at 100 kms so in reality there were 6 of us in the running for the 24 hour. The walker had his own event and in fact finished in 2nd place overall.
A plan to run for around 24 minutes ( 4 kms), walk 1 lap for the first 6 hours and then slowly decrease the running as fatigue set in but still have energy to walk a reasonable pace worked well. At the end of 6 hours I had completed 101 laps ( 50.5 kms) but was having a right side hip flexor problem. The swallowing of a couple of Voltarin tablets, a couple of pain killers and a few salt tablets seemed to ease the pain and by the end of 12 hours ( 9 pm) I had completed 189 laps ( 94.5 kms).
However the wheels were falling off slowly with the right side ITB causing problems with my right knee. Running was causing plenty of pain through the right quad and below the knee, but walking was Ok. Distances were dropping back with 100 km being passed in just over 13 hours.
The next problem was that it was getting very cold during the night, even the 12 hour runners starting at 9 pm and running freely were commenting. During the night the air temp dropped to around 6 degrees,but with humidity at 95%, dew every where settling on tents as pools of water, the actual temp was well below zero.
Next problem, walking was too slow to generate heat so keeping warm was the next issue. Solution add layers ? Not quite, 2 long sleeved thermal tops, running singlet and a thick Canberra suitable jumper still not enough, plus gloves, long shorts under normal running shorts. Answer, sleep for 2 hours under 2 blankets in tent from 3 am to 5 am. Never been so cold in all my life, and in Qld of all places. Funny to watch a 48 hour competitor walking around the track with a blanket doubled around himself just so he could add a few laps every now and again. The local Queenslanders were having a hard time of it as well. The sun rose around 6 am, and it soon warmed up so I managed another 27 laps ( 13.5 kms ) walking to finish with 135.5 kms to finish 4 th overall in the 24 hour run.
Energy wise I felt good all day, pity about the physical side but that is just the nature of running ultras. Anything can happen on the day, and usually does. Mentally, very happy to still be circulating at the end and planning the rest of the year to redeem myself.
As I write this on Tuesday night, knee still painful, if not right by early next week, visit physio. Time not important as I intend to take August very easy to recover anyway.