Two Fruits

Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Day & Yearly Review

Distance: 5.9 km in 33' 52" at ave 5' 44" per km
Weather: sunny,temp 33 degrees, humidity 28%, NNW at 13 kmph
Week: 92.05 km,
December: 321.95 km in 22/31 days at ave 14.63 kms per run day
Year: 4357.05 km in 12 months at ave 363.08 kms
Year: 4357.05 km in 276/365 days at ave 15.78 km per run day

My turn to review the year. I stayed off the road and went through the year uninjured again. Fingers crossed this continues next year. My only problem is recovery, but that I feel is age related so not much I can do but accept that and work around nature's time frame.
Like others I did a mixture of old and new events. The new ones were well away from home so a bit of travelling involved. A couple of trips to north Qld & a couple to Melbourne all for ultras.
Qld was great, both in the rain forest, ( 42km & 57 km) cool weather by their standards and dry tracks. Not good enough to keep pace with my sister-in-law, but it did give an incentive to train & run well. I did have my younger brother under control in both events.
Melbourne was a contrast, Maroondah Dam ( 50 km) in Feb was hilly & hot, but the Tan ( 100km) ultra in August was cool and wet. Both went well, especially in February were I finished 13th out of 54 starters.
Of course, how can I not mention finishing my 12th Six Foot Track, returning a sub 5 hour time. A great event now getting iconic status with full fields and waiting lists. A tough hilly event where the weather can be so unpredictable, my best run was in fog and low cloud on a cool day.
Several long training runs during winter, a 60 km & an 80 km set up the run at the Tan.
Next Year:
After Centennial Park 100 km in February, then I have nothing set down. Several events are listed on the board on the wall at home, but all that will depend on where we are and what we are doing at the time. I'm not setting any plans, but will obviously continue to run when I can.
Some may be events all in the warmer ( and hopefully dryer ) parts of Australia in winter could include Glasshouse Mtns in May, Brisbane 12/24 hour in June & Caboolture in late July. Certainly won't be any running in Victoria in winter.
Lovely day to be out today, may next year be full of warm sunny days, low humidity and no wind. And a nice deserted beach to go for a run and a swim. Bring on 2011, I can't wait!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Woden - Circuit of Mt Taylor

Distance: 13.3 km
Time: 79' 00"
Rate: 5' 56" per km
Weather: very warm, sunny, temp 31 degrees, humidity 25%, wind NW at 20 kmph
Week: 86.15 km, Dec: 316.05 km
Year: 4351.15 km in 52 weeks at ave 83.67 km

It's been many years since I had the chance to run from Woden during a lunch break. Mostly it had been the Oakey Hill - Curtin loop. At other times I would run straight to the top of Mt Taylor and back, that was about 9 kms.
Today, I checked out the distance around the base track of Mt Taylor, a circuit we will use on Monday and may be a few times later on. The distance is 5.57 km plus the extra km and a bit to where the car will be parked, around 7 kms as planned. Altitude gain & loss on the loop around 100 metres. Track is generally Ok, a couple of wash outs but nothing to worry about.
Clockwise I think will be the easier way to go, the up hill is shorter but steeper, the down hill flatter & more runable. Should be a good test after a couple of circuits.
Nice afternoon out there today, I ran from just after 2 pm, warm temp but with low humidity, the heat didn't seem a problem. Unlike Sydney in February near the coast, humidity will be high.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Are We There Yet ? Nearly

Distance: 10.75 km
Time: 62' 20"
Rate: 5' 48" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 28 degrees, humidity 33%, wind NW at 20 kmph
Week: 72.85 km, Dec: 302.75 km, Year: 4337.85 km

A short jog around the Pine Is area, nothing much to report. Slow running along the river track towards Point Hut due to erosion, the rest was Ok.
Stopped for 10 minutes in the river at the end, really nice and good feeling after a long day out yesterday.
No big km figures to chase for the end of the year, a year noted for slow recovery after a couple of ultras. May be that has something to do with age ?
Otherwise, really enjoyed the running this year, three new events, a return to Maroondah Dam and No 12 at Six Foot Track. Probably can't ask for much better than that.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Tradition Continues on Mt Rob Roy

Distance: 35.00 km
Time: 4 hrs 42 mins 08 secs
Rate: 8' 03" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 840 metres
Weather: sunny, temp range 10-16 degrees, humidity 70% down to 50%, wind mostly calm
Week: 62.1 km, Dec: 292.0 km, Year: 4327.1 km

A traditional run going back to 2002 where I run Mt Rob Roy on Boxing Day. Today was the public holiday so today counts towards continuing the tradition. Also run No 40 to the top of the mountain.
Unlike last year, when Softshoe and myself made it to the gate up from the water tank at Conder and turned around, the weather was dreadful, rain and a very strong southerly wind.
Today was a very pleasant morning starting out just after 7 am, cool with no wind. Just the two of us ran over to the sub station at Theodore where we stashed a couple of drink bottles. Then over to Conder, walked up the hill at the water tank to the open paddock.
Plenty of kangaroos and thistles to negotiate, but we had the area to ourselves. The climb up the mountain from the back is not that steep but continuous, so we walked many parts of this as well. It's now very dry up on top, all the water from the rain earlier in the month has gone.
Back down the track to the sub station at Theodore, stop for a drink then a circuit of Tuggie Hill going over the ridge adding both distance and more hills to the run.
Return to the sub station, then back to the start in a slower time than a few weeks ago, but I thought our walking was stronger. The extra time out there was good " on feet" time which we will needing at CP100 km in February.
Nice day to be out, thanks to Softshoe for his company today.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Calwell Oval - 25 laps in lane 5

Distance: 10.86 kms plus cool down 1.39 km = 12.25 km
Time: 51 ' 04" plus cool down 6' 42" = 57' 46"
Rate: overall = 4' 43"
Weather: sunny, temp 24 degrees, humidity 25%, wind SW at 20 kmph
Week: 27.1 km, Dec: 257.0 km, Year: 4292.1 km

Bike ride down to the oval, doesn't count for any kms due to it being a commuting ride not a training ride. It only takes about 5 minutes each way, but is almost as good if not better than a jog warm up.
Nice afternoon, sunny with a breeze that assisted on the slight up hill on the straights of the running track. No one esle about until a couple of youngsters arrived with a football & did some sprints up the the back straight, obviously on a preseason training plan for next year.
I ran 5 sets of 5 laps, bare feet, changed direction after each set. Nothing new about that, the usual procedure for me on a grass surface which is in excellent condition. A few dried pieces in my lane which took all 25 laps to kick out of the way, something to look at while circulating.
Finished with a short cool down, then rode the bike home.
Good session and hopefully the one that returns my training to where it was at this time last year. Certainly not a fast session, more easy tempo running to enjoy the afternoon.
Mt Rob Roy run tomorrow morning, so I hope I haven't taken much out of the energy levels.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day

Distance: 14.85 km
Time: 88' 27"
Rate: 5' 57" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 70%, wind North at 15 kmph
Week: 14.85 km, Dec: 244.75 km, Year: 4279.85 km

Nothing much to report on the run, the first half was Ok, then ran out of steam on the way home. Might have been the easy last couple of days or I'm just going through that period of time when it's a struggle. I think I need a massage to get back on track, so to speak.
The curious part is I feel Ok, the head is right but the legs just don't want to roll along as they should. I know I'll come good sooner or later, or very soon the training partners will be leaving me behind, or is that further behind. New Year's resolution, make the first part of the running year a good one, then rest up.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Busy as Ten

Distance: 5.8 km
Time: 31' 56"
Rate: 5' 30" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 17 degrees, humidity 67%, wind calm
Week: 31.05 km, Dec: 229.9 km, Year: 4265.00 km

So much to do and so little time left to get it done. At least work is easy as half the town has finished for the holiday break and have left town or are inside the shopping centres helping to keep the economy afloat.
Ran home from work at lunch time, car back later. A contrast to yesterday weather wise, a drop of 10 degrees in temperature was very noticeable.
My once a year night at church in an hour's time, my time to sing a few carols and let all around me know how well I can sing.
Merry Christmas to all.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Similar To Yesterday

Distance: 12.6 km
Time: 75' 08"
Rate: 5' 57" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 27 degrees, humidity 30%, wind NW at 10 kmph
Week: 25.25 km, Dec: 224.1 km
Year: 4259.2 km in 51 weeks at ave 83.5 km

More about enjoying a very nice day than running with any purpose other than banking a few more kms.
Same area and time as yesterday, same time standing in the river. Twice in two days has helped, but I had to find a quiet area of the river as the school kids had invaded the better main sandy beach area.
Something tomorrow just to add ( junk kms ) to the total, as I need all I can get done as the pressure will be on in January & early February before Centennial Park. Note to self, enter over Christmas break.
Plan for the next couple of weeks being worked out with the traditional Mt Rob Roy run on Tuesday 28th Dec ( Boxing Day P/H), a Cotter run on New Year's day & the first of the Mt Taylor circuits on Monday 3rd Jan. All start at 7 am.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Time is Running Out

Distance: 12.65 km
Time: 74' 39"
Rate: 5' 54" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 45%, wind NNE at 15 kmph
Week: 12.65 km, Dec: 211.5 km, Year: 4246.6 km

There are only 9 days left in this year, so time is running ( pun intended) out to get all those last minute bits and pieces done.
That would include Christmas shopping, and finish off your New Year's resolutions promised from the beginning of this year. And have you sent out all your Christmas cards yet ?
No wonder Ewen is working 12 hour days. Surely this is the busy time of the year ?
First run since last Saturday in Tassie. Nothing special, nice day, slow run along the river track to Gordon and back to work. I did come across a dead red belly black snake at the top of the dog exercise area. The hard part is deciding is it really dead ? which end is the head ? and which end will I go past in case it's not really dead ?
I gave it a wide berth, picked up a large stick just in case and hurried.
I stopped at the river for 13 minutes in the river, very nice as my legs were feeling the pinch after days of sitting and not much movement. Best get back in to a routine asap.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tassie Trip

Where: Ulverstone, NW coast of Tasmania
Distance - 14.4 km in 81' 31" at ave 5' 39" per km
Distance - 15.3 km in 84' 11" at ave 5' 30" per km
Weather: both days similar, cloudy, temp 17 degrees, humidity 75%, wind cool NW at 20 kmph off Bass Strait, light drizzle at times.
Week to Sat: 71.45 km, Dec: 198.85 km, Year: 4233.95 km
The trip to Tassie was to attend my 91 year old Auntie's funeral, the last on my dad's side of the family.
About 70 attended the funeral, mainly family as she out lived most of her friends.
A good innings, must have been the country life, the glass of wine and no smoking. Probably not getting married helped as well to have little stress in her life except for some misguided great nephews who did cause some angst.
As usual, the weather on the north west coast of Tassie was " very average", cool, cloudy, rained every day, always a breeze off cold Bass Strait. However, these conditions can be a help, running into the wind on soft sand is almost hill training. Plus getting from sea level to my brother's house at 70 metres above the sea, just a little more work to be done.
As can be seen from the image, there is a river to be crossed, a beach to run on and parts of an old golf course. On a nice day, it is a very pleasant place to go for a run.
The other days, including funeral day which was a shocker, strong wind and rain, it rained as well, heavy at times, or we were travelling.
So lucky to get out twice, but it's better than nothing.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Has a Red Belly ?

Distance: 14.1 km
Time: 80' 20"
Rate: 5' 41 " per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 21 degrees, humidity 60%, wind easterly at 10 kmph
Week: 41.75 km, Dec: 169.15 km, Year: 4204.25 km

A nothing special run from home to work & back via the river.
A nice red belly black snake on the gravel track between Woodcock Dr and Bonython. Well, the back half was a nice round size, obviously well fed at the moment, the part I saw was about half a metre in length. Care needed near the long grass.
A few rest days while travelling over the next 6 days, just when I don't won't them, but that's life.
I have just read the article in the current Ultramag on Jo Blake ( his real name ) on his adventure at the Spartathlon and how many kms he did leading up to the race, 2053 kms in 79 days with 1259 kms in the last 40 days. However, what happens on race day is sometimes out of your control, as happened to him.
Also found the article on Sandy Barwick interesting.
A good story from Liz in the magazine on her experiences at the Tan run in August, well done.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Eroding Away

Distance: 15.15 km
Time: 88' 50"
Rate: 5' 51' per km
Weather: sunny, temp 18 degrees, humidity 55%, wind calm
Week: 27.65 km, Dec: 155.05 km, Year: 4190.15 km

Sometime the figures don't tell the full story. Today's look very slow, but it was tough going along the river track today as a result of the rain that fell last week.
Long grass and large holes along the track to make it difficult at the Point Hut end.
Now, about 400 metres before the south end car park at Pine Is, a large section of the track has been washed away leaving a gap about 2 metres wide and a metre or so deep. It's on a corner and a little dangerous especially on a mountain bike or not concentrating when running.
I rang Canberra Connect and reported that the area needs to be fenced off until something permanent, eg, a bridge, can be put in place.
The rest of the run was quite good, a nice morning to be out and about.
I'll be off to Tassie for a funeral later this week so I expect not much running will be done while away. I should be back home on Sunday.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Electrical Meltdown

Distance: 12.5 km
Time: 71' 23"
Rate: 5' 42" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 22 degrees, humidity 38%, windy WNW at 25 kmph
Week: 12.5 km, Dec: 139.9 km, Year: 4175.00 km

Really windy this morning down this way, at least the rain has gone for a while.
Electrical appliances at home are dropping like flies, all failing at the same time. We have three TV's and 2 of them stopped within a day of each other. At this time of year, there is very little to watch anyway. But, at least one will need to be replaced, a chance to move up with modern technology, might even find one in colour. Not really, I hear remote controls are handy, but make people lazy, no wonder the world is getting bigger.
The fridge is showing signs of it's last days, and the GPS failed a few weeks ago, all will need replacing very soon. We had the freezer fixed a couple of week's ago as well.
Most of these items are now getting on in age, but they should all go at the same time. Nothing that few extra hours at work on a quiet Saturday night won't pay for.
Nice afternoon for an easy recovery run, the one that Rocky should have done last Sunday, not some speed session after a hard day before over the hills. Nice in the sunshine today.
This week or early next will be very disruptive, not sure on getting much done on the running scene. A trip to Tassie for a few days is certain, just don't know when.

Mt Rob Roy, Tuggie Hill & Thistles

Distance: 34.15 km
Time: 4 hrs 18 mins 36 secs
Rate: 7 ' 34" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 830 metres
Calories used: 2670
Weather: sunny, temp range 14-18 degrees, humidity 55% down to 50%, wind calm rising to NW 10 kmph
Week: 74.55 km, Dec: 127.4 km, Year: 4162.5 km

Run No 39 to the top of Mt Rob Roy since the first one in 2002. It doesn't get any easier however well you know every turn and every steep part of the track.
The up side from the Theodore sub station is much worse than in the past, road works and rain damage has eroded the track. On the down side to the Conder water tank, the dangerous gravel has been replaced with a better bitumen surface. Now at least the chance of slipping is reduced, but it wouldn't be pretty if you " did a CJ".
The other down side is that access to Big Monks is not possible due to head high thistles, big and thick. That's a pity, the view from the hang gliding take off is magnificent.
We did the short circuit over Mt Rob Roy,but included a lap around Tuggeranong Hill over the ridge. Like else where the weeds are taking over the tracks, but the hills are still there.
With Nick feeling the effects of the water in Bali, we short cut through Theodore & Calwell back home, thus shortening our intended distance by a couple of kms.
A nice day out, pleasant conditions with plenty to chat about.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Around the Plains

Distance: 7.00 km
Time: 36' 47"
Rate: 5' 15" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 22 degrees, humidity 40%, wind NW at 20 kmph
Week: 40.4 km, Dec: 93.25 km, Year: 4128.35 km

Late afternoon jog, actually home from work in the daylight for first time this week. It has been close to 8 pm every day, no running yesterday, just too much work to do.
An easy bike path circuit of Isabella Plains, heaps of water in the drain travelling at over 7 kms per hour. I think the calculation is right as I timed a piece of wood at 5 seconds for 10 metres or 120 metres in 1 minute or 7, 200 metres in 1 hour ! !
Looked faster than that, I don't think I could have kept up unless the piece of wood hit a snag.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

River Update

Distance- 10.1 km in 57' 06" at ave 5' 39" per km
Weather: part sun/cloud, temp 24 degrees, humidity 55%, wind east 10 kmph
Tuesday: Nil - arvo nana nap
Distance: 9.05 km in 49' 38" at ave 5 ' 29" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 26 degrees, humidity 60%, wind NW at 15 kmph
Week: 33. 4 km, Dec: 86.25 km, Year: 4121.35 km

Monday and today's outings were similar, mid afternoon easy running near the river, still has plenty of flood water raging through the rocks causing great rapids.
Last Sunday, the canoeists were out having fun. Today, even through it was cloudy, only a couple of almost naked young girls were at the beach hoping for a few rays of sunshine.
This weather is what I am expecting in Sydney in late February at CP100 km, so I am making the most of the chance to acclimatize.
Given that a few years ago I hated the humidity, a few trips to north Qld have made me realise that it's not that bad, and I can handle it better than I previously did.
I did feel like running today, but left a little late due to the work Christmas lunch. Never give up on a free feed, the guys in the canteen did great job on the lunch, and of course the Christmas pudding for dessert.
Both Monday and today, I had 10-12 minutes standing in the flood waters, carefull to be very close to the bank. I could have finished down at Gundagai or Wagga Wagga in a couple of days if I had slipped.
It's bucketing down with rain again as I write this, please God, we have had enough just for the moment. Let us all dry out and feel the warmth of the sun for a couple of weeks.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Century at Centennial Park

Distance: 14.05 km
Time: 1 hr 27 mins 22 secs
Rate: 6' 08" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 26 degrees, humidity 50%, wind easterly 15 kmph
Week: 14.25 km, Dec: 67.1 km, Year: 4102.2 km

The title today is not about cricketers making runs, but gee, the Aussies could do with a few more. Or more likely, get a wicket or two every day would help.
A new 100 km event has been established in Sydney for late February next year. Jog kindly advised this is on and it has caught my attention. It's just under 3 months away, so time to plan & train, but it needs to start happening now. Take out Christmas & New Year, add in more rainy days, and the time will fly. I have a good chance of being an entrant, but the day will be warm and humidity high so close to the sea in mid summer. Sounds like another fun day.
I deliberately ran late this afternoon to test myself in the warmest part of the day with the humidity. The run was one of those " grey" days, roll along as well as check out the water levels in the river.
Plenty of cars at Pine Is, almost needed to make a booking for a parking spot. The canoeists were having a wonderful day riding the rapids, it did look like fun.
The training will be slightly different to the winter plan for Tan last August. Summer will obviously create it's own problems mainly around eating and drinking, and where & how to get some good long distance running done.
The week day runs will be not much different, do what can get done, throw in a quicker session somewhere so to not turn into an even slower runner. Weekends, build up on Saturdays and Sundays to total around 60 kms, then back one off and increase the other to still make the same weekend total. A few single long efforts, probably at the Cotter, will give plenty of time on feet. There will be plenty of access to water given all the rain. I have never has a problem with the creek water, and I have been going out there since 1994. Some drop bags with food plus extra sunscreen and more fun in the sun.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wet & Soggy Tour of the Mountains

Distance: 25.05 km
Time: 2 hrs 57 mins 49 secs
Rate: 7' 05" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 670 metres
Weather: cloudy, temp 16-20 degrees, humidity 100% down to 75%, wind calm
Week: 69.95 km, Dec: 52.85 km, Year: 4087.95 km

We changed from the Cotter due to road closures and high water levels and ran the Tour de Mountain course from Mawson Playing Fields.
Mostly, we ran on wet and muddy tracks, some parts were under water. We gave Farrer ridge a miss on the way towards Wanniassa Hills. Legs didn't want to do any extra, it was an effort to get up the hills today. Hope for bettter in 2 weeks time.
A struggle most of the way, a bit of good in parts, hard to work out why. I think I will just put it down to one of those days.
Didn't see the girls out there, but they could have been anywhere in front & just out of sight. They were starting an hour earlier.
The Centennial Park 100 km at the end February has firmed as a likely event. It's still 3 months away, so plenty of time to get some serious long distance training done, especially if the Cotter dries out. One problem will be that the end of February in Sydney will be hot and humid, so some acclimatising will be necessary. It should be a fun summer, if we get a summer. Go away rain, we have had enough, the dams are full & now overflowing.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Raging River

Distance: 9.0 km
Time: 52' 53"
Rate: 5' 52"
Weather: cloudy, temp 20 degrees, humidity 75%, wind calm
Week: 44.9 km, Dec: 27.8 km, Year: 4062.9 km

I had to explore the Murrumbidgee River to find out how much water was racing down towards South Australia.
I ran over to Bonython then cut through the dog exercise area to the river track at Point Hut. First stoppage was the small concrete crossing to get into Point Hut. I have never seen that covered by water so that stopped me on one side and a man with a small dog on the other side. Turn around. As expected, the track along the river was a mess, long grass on both sides of the track, much of the track close to the river has been washed away, large holes all the way, big enough to house a few dislocated wombats.
Then the water has covered the track at the low point on the sandy corner about half way to the bridge. I had to go rock climbing to get past. The rest of the track was large puddles and lots of mud, wet feet all the way.
The water level at Pine Is main beach is just a couple of metres from the bottom steps, and only half a metre in height. As expected the Pine Is area is closed, the gates into the area were shut as I left to protect stupid people from doing stupid things around a flooded river.
Very spectacular, but I would like to see summer here before the end of summer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mt Taylor

Distance: 18.8 km
Time: 1 hr 50 mins 06 secs
Rate: 5' 51"
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 23 degrees, humidity 60%, wind NE 15 kmph
Week: 35.9 km, Dec: 18.8 km
Year: 4053.9 km in 48 weeks at ave 84.45 km p.w.

A chance with a bit of time and a break in the weather, to run from work up Athllon Dr to the top of Mt Taylor & back. Really nice day until the storms swept over again later in the afternoon.
Nothing special, heaps of water about but at least I avoided all the long grass associated with the normal tracks I follow.
Ran Ok, felt good, hope I haven't overcooked the repeat of the mountain on Saturday morning.
A notice on top of the mountain inviting everyone to a strawberries & champagne breakfast on Thursday 16th Dec at 6:00am. A nice morning with great views, might be worth getting out of bed early to experience the event with like minded people.