Two Fruits

Monday, February 28, 2011

Centennial Park - Sydney

Distance: 94.0 km
Time: 11 hrs 53 mins 33 secs
Rate: 7' 35" per km
Finished: 14th / 19 starters
Weather: cloudy, temp range 20-29-25 degrees, humidity 78%-50%-75%, wind light west 15 km
Week: 94.0 km, Feb: 280.3 km, Year: 718.95 km

We drove to Sydney on Saturday with Softshoe who was tackling his longest distance to date. Weather in Sydney was near perfect for what I was expecting and hoping for, sunny, warm, low humidity and a gentle sea breeze.
Overnight it changed but not to my liking with clouds rolling in, the temp was fine, but the humidity was high and stayed that way.
It was dark as we arrived to set up under a large tree near the start/finish area, a good location just after crossing the electronic timing mat which is just visible in the picture under my feet.
I started off Ok, keeping a nice rhythm for the first couple of hours, eating and drinking plenty but by the temp warming up and the humidity still high, I started to feel the conditions were not going to be good for me.
My preference is dry heat, a sunny day but it was not to be. A few spots of rain didn't help and the faded badly from around the 30-50 kms marks. A bad patch in a 12 hour event is impossible to recover from, the cut off is tight for me under good conditions.
I couldn't cool down and actually did the second half with a damp towel around my shoulders.
I picked up a bit in the afternoon when the humidity dropped to the 50% mark, but the time damage was done, several laps taking almost 45 minutes for 3.5 kms. No where near good enough. The easy calculations were that I would be 2 laps short of the 28 required even with picking up the pace in the last 3 hours.
Plenty of encouragement from the drink station helpers especially Milov & crew on the back straight.
Such is the nature of ultras, you never have it under control until you cross the finish line.
In Melbourne in August I finished inside the cut off with 11 hrs 38 minutes for 100 kms, this time I missed the cut by an hour. Weather conditions were vastly different, Melbourne in winter every season every hour, Sydney in summer not easy even though the track is virtually flat, not quite but almost.
Martin Fryer was the male winner in 30 seconds over 8 hours, In Melbourne, Barry Loveday ran 7 hrs 15 mins, in the ball park for what I missed out by. Tough day in Sydney, the track surface although packed dirt was soft sand in places, not as good as Melbourne's Tan track but there was no Anderson St hill to climb.
An enjoyable weekend away, another event proud to have been part of in it's first year. April said at the start after we had sang the national anthem that she could have filled the field limit 3 times over, such was the interest.
Next year, some one else may take my spot as I may look to return to the hills and mountains.
Great to catch up with my ultra running friends I have got to know over the last 10 or more years.
Congratulations to the two Canberra winners, Martin & Pam. This is the place to race.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pine Island Tragedy

Distance: 4.2 km
Time: 22' 37"
Rate: 5' 22" per km
Weather: part sun/cloud, temp 25 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 21.45 km, Feb: 186.3 km,
Year: 624.95 km in 8 weeks at ave 78.1 km

Pine Is reserve was strangely quiet today following the death of a young teenager from drowning yesterday afternoon.
I hadn't heard about the incident until mid morning at work, I just missed the early radio news. After a mid morning nana nap and a coffee, I slowly jogged down to Pine Is reserve.
Only one or two cars about, very quiet, not even the birds were noisy. I went up to the top car park and back to the main beach area to find a bunch of flowers and a card had been laid beside the rocks near the water. It quickly bought home the impact of the tragedy even though I didn't know the young man. It's a place I go almost every day, I know every turn on the trails, where every rock and tree root is placed to trip you up.
But I don't go past waist deep in the river now, it has too much water flow, it's cold out in the middle and deep. Too many hidden rocks and logs out there for me to be safe. Sure I can swim, but not that good enough in the current.
Three young fellas were leaving the beach area as I went down there to stand in the water for a while. Later as I was leaving, a group of about 10 teenagers were very quietly making their way down to the beach, flowers in hand to pay their respects to some one they knew.
They sat on the sand together, remembering and probably not realising the impact it would have on them in the future. Life's not fair at times.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tapering Week

Distance - 5.2 kms in 26' 46" at 5' 08" per km
Distance - 5.3 kms in 28' 41" at 5' 25" per km
Weather: both days similar, sunny, temp 24/25 degrees, humidity 40%, win calm
Week: 17.25 km, Feb: 182.1 km, Year: 620.75 km

Nothing special, just roll the legs over with a short run down to Pine Is and back to work.
The whole area was almost empty both days, very few about now that school has gone back for the year.
Both days spent 15-25 minutes in the cool water of the Murrumbidgee River, very nice. Part of the freshening up process, but almost hourly I feel a niggle that has never been noticed before.
It will be all Ok on the day.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dire Straits

Distance: 6.75 km
Time: 35' 39"
Rate: 5' 17" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 20 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm
Week: 25.05 km, Feb: 171.6 km, Year: 610.25 km

The weather forecast for Sydney on Sunday is near perfect, sunny, temp range 21-30 degrees, humidity at 9 am at 78% down to 63% at 3 pm, wind light from north /north west all day.
Easy run today down to Pine Is, a few laps around the top car park, then back to the beach for 25 minutes in the river. Bit of a surprise was the amount of water still flowing down stream. There must have been plenty up in the mountains, the water level was higher than normal.
The water temperature has dropped a few degrees, it is noticeably cooler, so a bigger benefit. Very nice just standing and splashing about.
On the radio this morning, the first song I heard played was by Dire Straits, Romeo & Juliet, one of my favourites. Apparently the song never charted in Australia on it's release, don't understand why, it's very good.
Last song I heard tonight was also by Mark Knopfler, this time the instrumental, Going Home.
Should you attend my funeral one day, you will hear this played again, it's on the wish list.
But you probably won't be there, I will out live you all, that's the plan as I have to beat my Auntie's age of 92 years on her departure. Good luck !!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Obstacles all the Way

Distance: 18.3 km
Time: 2 hrs 8 mins 7 secs
Rate: 7' 00" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp range 20-22 degrees, humidity 87% down to 75%, wind calm
Week: 54.55 km, Feb: 164.85 km, Year: 603.5 km

Nothing left to do to prepare for next weekend at Centennial Park in Sydney.
Easy last longish run this morning with Softshoe from behind the War Memorial over to Campbell Park, the Ainslie/Majura saddle, then on to the Majura Pines.
I needed to check out a possible new location for a monthly handicap in this area instead of starting and finishing at the Girl Guides camp.
It wouldn't matter where we started, the whole area is a mess. The top fire trail has lost most off it's good dirt surface, now with many exposed rocks and far too dangerous to have veteran athletes trying to negotiate.
The paddock area inside the gate at the winery is a metre high with long grass, as is most of the grass inside the pines.
Then the lower track where the first couple of kms of the monthly handicap was ran, is now stopped by two large fallen pine trees, plus too many muddy creek crossings.
The mountain bikers have also built some very large and dangerous jumps that involve plenty of speed across the fire trail, so that would also be a problem.
Another two fallen pine trees near the guide camp make this area unusable for our purposes.
We continued down to the trail behind Hackett & Ainslie houses back to the start. Very humid out there, the wind started to blow as we finished. Lucky to get it done.
That's all except for a couple of easy short outings during the week, it's all too late now, just wait out time and freshen up.
New Garmin worked well, better read the instruction book now on what it can actually do. Doesn't look like I can add the new data to my old Garmin Training Centre, so it's all new total from now on.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Year Ahead, Could be Rough

Distance: 7.00 km
Time: 37' 48"
Rate: 5' 24" per km
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 24 degrees, humidity 70%, wind NW 10 kmph
Week: 26.8 km, Feb: 137.1 km, Year: 575.75 km

It really isn't the right time to discuss what may or may not happen during the rest of this year.
At the moment, I'm trying to prepare for 28 laps around Centennial Park, then get ready for 5 months away on holiday.
However, several spanners have been thrown in to the works, so the future is rather cloudy.
As usual, work throws up it's fair share of worries, this time a government report into the ACT public service suggests the bus services be privatised. Just a suggestion, but many are again wondering about whether we will all be rehired again and under what conditions ?
More importantly, Mrs TF is throwing out hints to move back to Tassie permanently. Not sure where we would live, or what we would do. May be a bit of part time/casual work, and travel during the winter similar to what is planned for this year.
I think she now misses the family more than she has admitted since her brother and sister-in-law moved away from Canberra a few years ago. Plus several of her family are not in the best of health, so wants to be close just in case.
As well, another two couples are currently selling their houses to move to Brisbane, and another couple are moving back to Adelaide in the next 12 months. We are being left to fend for ourselves in a big city.
If we did move, I would go back to playing golf, and my main local running events would be Point to Pinnacle & the Bruny Is 64 km.
Count out Cradle Mtn ultra, too rough, count out Burnie 10 km, on road. A new national park/ beach event of 50 km near Launceston would be interesting, plus a 6 hour on the track at St Leonards would be fun.
All that said, no point getting stressed just yet, time to go running and enjoy a coffee this Saturday morning.
Very humid this morning for my short 7 kms, may be just like Sydney near the coast in a week's time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuggie Hill

Distance: 19.8 km
Time: 2 hrs 3 mins 55 secs
Rate: 6' 15 " per km
Weather: sunny, temp 20 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 19.8 km, Feb: 130.1 km, Year: 568.75 km

Night shift this week at work so the running will be from home.
Yesterday, to get the running week off to a start, and may be the peak, I ran over to Theodore passing by the Calwell oval which looked like it was about to get a well deserved trim.
From the sub station, around the base of Tuggeranong Hill, over the ridge to Conder side, back to the sub station, then return home same way as going out.
Nice day, happy to get it done although the km rate shows slowish, there is a good amount of up and down in the course. The GPS failed to record the Tuggie hill lap, so the altitude not available.
No running today, trying to catch up on the many small odd jobs around home that need doing.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cotter plus Mt McDonald

Distance: 30.85 km
Time: 3 hrs 14 mins 42 secs
Rate: 6' 18" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 700 metres
Weather: cloudy, mild, temp range 18-21 degrees, humidity 99% down to 75%, wind calm
Week: 78.65 km, Feb: 110.3 km, Year: 548.95 km

Cotter run No 151 with the company of Robbie, Nick, Alvin & Softshoe. A cloudy and very humid morning after rain yesterday afternoon. Conditions were Ok for running but we ( I ) stuffed up the direction we were to go.
Parked the cars and ran back on to the road and turned left heading towards Pierces settlement. Wrong ! Plan was to go normal way up the road to the top of Mt McDonald first. But we decided to keep going, past the settlement, down to Vanities where the water was flowing very fast, well over the top of the wall.
Onwards and upwards to the relay change over, DS8 at the BC, back to the 21 mile track, and on towards Padovans Crossing. Water has gone now from over flowing the trail but the damage on Clift Road is big, the road has washed away, the concrete drain pipe have moved. I would expect this will be a long time to be repaired.
Up Bullocks to jelly legs corner, Nick kept going, the rest of us went down jelly legs track, then turned up the back trail to the top of Mt McDonald.
This was exactly what Robbie needed for Six Foot Track, a long up hill after 25 kms, similar to the Mini saddle or the climb to the pluviometer. He made it, but it had taken it's toll, not as fast as expected down the road to the finish.
We stopped for blackberries before climbing up the mountain, may be Robbie should have had a couple more. Very nice, delicious, may a good growing season with plenty of rain during recent months. There is only this 2 week period when they are at their best, better be quick.
We finished close together to find an off road bike event on, plenty of competitors having fun as they came through the car park.
Last run of any distance before CP 100 km ultra in 2 weeks, an easy 20 kms next Saturday plus a coffee with Ewen & Co afterwards, if we know where & when they are going to partake.
It's the last chance until spring.
Thanks to the guys for their company today, it was a good one. Ten minutes in the river afterwards to cool off, really nice as well.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Muscles - Jessie McKay


Activity - Nil
I missed the 10,000 metres at the track last night and now feel really bad as Mrs Muscles ran and would have protested for all 25 laps. I would have loved to hear that.
There is no blog update so I will have to wait on times being published somewhere.
She may have ran a good time, Ewen writes he was left to eat dust after 3 kms. Strewth, did you run as well ?

Image on right is of the loser from last Saturday night at the wrestling. If she is good enough for second, then, the winner K C Cassidy is going to be a champ.
Before you all comment, the final result is known in advance, but the action is hot !!
The girls are not a big as you would think, certainly not built like body builders. But ultra flexible, the show before the action of stretching and splits was very impressive.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Didn't Make It To The Track

Distance: 13.55 km
Time: 74' 20"
Rate: 5' 29" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 25 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week: 47.8 km, Feb: 79.45 km, Year: 518.1 km

I would have liked to get out to the AIS track tonight for the 10,000 metres, one of my favourite events going around in circles. But, a late finish at work, chances gone.
I did get a run in during the day, but it's not the same, a good solid run if not race would have been much better at this time.
Today, around the Point Hut / Pine Is area, 15 minutes splashing about in the river at the finish. I'm getting a couple of short nana naps in during the afternoon at the moment. I need to set the alarm on my watch, I nod off very quickly. Even 7 minutes makes a difference.
I hope those that did run 25 laps around the track had a good time, and ran a good time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lost Dog

Distance: 10.15 km
Time: 57' 01"
Rate: 5' 36" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 20 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
Week: 34.25 km, Feb: 65.9 km Year: 504.55 km

Nothing much to report about the running, an easy jog around the back of Bonython houses, up and down a hill or two. Then a flat run back to Pine Is where the running came to a quick halt.
Lost dog, well not really lost, he ( male dog, easy to tell ) was roaming around the main car park area at Pine Is. He had a black collar and a back foot in bandages, hobbling a bit, lifting the foot up so it must have been sore.
He is not allowed inside the nature park, but obviously didn't know how to get home.
Running was finished as doggie would have followed me, so I stopped for 10 minutes in the river, doggie did likewise.
I needed to get away from the hound, so after crossing the cattle grid at the entrance to Pine Is, I let doggie go through a gate and shut it behind him.
He followed me up the road on the other side of the fence, kept in there with no escape.
I phoned Canberra Connect when I returned to work, a ranger would be sent to collect the hound. Obviously escaped from a back yard close by, owners would not be happy when they arrived home.
This story has nothing to do with girl wrestlers, more to do with male wrestlers, this dog had big shoulders, but very friendly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Around Stranger Hill

Distance: 7.55 km
Time: 39' 55"
Rate: 5' 17" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 20 degrees, humidity 58%, wind calm
Week: 24.1 km, Feb: 55.75 km, Year: 494.4 km

Back to running reports after a day or two of distraction.
I can't believe, Ewen reports, that Mrs Muscles is not amused by K C. She would be very impressed if she saw her up close. Never fear CJ, you can bear hug me, or apply a full nelson whenever you like.
Strewth on the other hand, would be better at mud wrestling, get down and get dirty.
I think Ewen might have trouble just getting down.
Today, pushed for time, resulted in a quick circuit around the hill behind Bonython. It has a nasty short climb near Woodcock Dr, ran up there Ok.
Received an email today from April, RD for CP ultra asking for citizenship details in case I break a world record in Sydney. No way known!!
But, what is now known, she is pregnant, so congratulations to her and Luke. If bub is born with small sneakers on feet, looks like they will have another runner in the family.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Wrestling Babe - A Winner

Distance: 16.55 km
Time: 98' 57"
Rate: 5' 59" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 200 metres
Weather: sunny, temp 19 degrees, humidity 54%, wind light easterly at 9 kmph
Week: 16.55 km, Feb: 48.2 km, Year: 486.85 km

A rest on Sunday after a couple of hours at the PWA wrestling at Woden Tradies on Saturday night. I vaguely remember a few matches involving some men, but the highlight was the women's match between the K C Cassidy and Jessie McKay.
I don't think they could run 5 kms let alone a marathon, but I wouldn't survive 2 minutes in the ring with either of them. Tough as nails, but both stunningly beautiful up close.
Yes, I'm a groupie, I lined up after the night was over for an autograph, then went home and found the website where these images are taken from.
Next wrestling night is on 9th April, night before the marathon in Canberra. I'll miss it, both of the above, I'm in Tassie.
Today, I managed to get a descent run in from work over to the fire trail behind the Gordon houses, back on the flat of Lanyon Dr and back to Pine Is for a nice 10 minutes in the water.
There is a nice steep few hundred metres about level with Princess's house accounting for the 200 metres of altitude gain and loss in the run. I ran, although down to a slow jog, up the hill.
Nice day out, much cooler than last week, the beach at Pine Is was empty now that school has gone gone back.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bushfold Flats

Distance: 6.35 km
Time: 46' 29"
Rate: 7' 19" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 25 degrees, humidity 80%, NW 15 kmph
Week: 54.45 km, Feb: 31.65 km, Year: 470.3 km

Manned the drink station with Softshoe on the busy corner of Mt Tennent fire trail & Bushfold Flats.
We were very busy as rush hour happened a few times as the runners passed through 4 times. We were organised well enough, and had enough supplies of sports drink and water. The weather was warm with high humidity, so many double dipped just to keep hydrated. The signs were showing on those that train early mornings, not used to the warmer conditions during the day. But this just another part of the process.
The best part was being able to see the leaders a few times, a tight race at the pointy end all race, not sure at this stage of final placings. Results soon on the mountain running website.
A short jog out on Bushfold Flats to collect the signs after the race, that's when we noticed the humidity. Not sure the runners would have enjoyed the muddy, grassy trail out and back twice, but I like it.
Mrs Muscles has a big dislike of Bushfold, may be too many hot days out there over the past few years.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Distance- 9.6 km in 50' 09" at 5' 13" per km
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 33 degrees, humidity 50%, wind NW at 15 kmph
Distance - nil - too busy
Distance - 8.75 km in 48' 37" at 5' 33" per km
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 30 degrees, humidity 55%, wind NW at 18 kmph
Week: 48.1 km, Feb: 25.3 km,
Year: 463.95 km in 5 weeks at ave 92.8 km pw

Not much to report, Wednesday and today similar, just a run home from work for lunch. Car back to Pine Is, a couple of kms, then a dip in the river. All very nice and easy.
Humidity bit high for my liking, much prefer the weather last Monday and Tuesday, when a little warmer, but a dry heat.
Always get a lecture at work this time of year about running in the heat. But it's a bit like sweat off a duck's back, coming from those that would make easily make to Biggest Loser.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rescuing Queensland

Distance: 6.95 km
Time: 35' 35"
Rate: 5' 07 " per km
Weather: hot, sunny, temp 36 degrees, humidity 20%, wind NW at 25 kmph
Week: 29.75 km, Feb: 6.95 km, Year: 445.6 km

Poor Queensland is about to cop another battering, this time the top end with a monstrous cyclone just off the coast of Cairns.
More than a passing interest in this one with my brother and family living in Cairns plus all the runners I have met and got to know from a few running events over the years. I hope they all get through this one Ok.
In under 7 weeks time, I will be off on a long break in our " cubbie house" pictured. It's 18' 6 " long, double axle pop top caravan with a few comforts inside to make life a little easier on our travels.
Looks like we will helping spread our tourist dollar around Queensland after a short trip to Tassie.
Running today very similar to yesterday, a short run from work, ride bike home for lunch. Then car back to Pine Is for another short jog followed by 15 minutes in the river.
Ewen, the place is packed with young nymphs, just so many I didn't think I needed to mention it when the weather is sunny and hot.