Two Fruits

Monday, April 30, 2012

Stay On The Grass

Distance: 4.15 km
Time; 23' 49"
Rate: 5' 44" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 13 degrees, humidity 65%, wind calm
Week:  4.15 km
April:  312.25 kms in 15/30 day at ave  20.8 kms per run day
Year: 1649.35 kms in 4 months at ave 412.33 kms per month

Usual Monday recovery day with a short jog down to the river from work. Stood in the cool waters of the Murrumbidgee River for 12 minutes, excellent. A sore right shin has reappeared from Saturday night on the mountain. Nothing serious but it's there, so I stayed on the soft grass.
You can read anything into the figures above if you don't know the story behind them.
Take this month of April. Three hundred plus kms in 15 running days at an average just under 21 kms. Looks good until you extract the one big total of around 157 kms, the rest of the month is very low.
Always dig deeper if you want the real story. April had one highlight, and the rest is either tapering or recovery.
Reasonably happy with the 4 month total for this year. My long term ( past 14 years) monthly average is 314 kms.
Other than current shin soreness, no other problems that this present easy time won't fix, then back into the training with Caboolture in mind.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Wrap

Running: nil
Afternoon:  5.5 kms in 58'34" at 10' 37" per km
Night:  18.7 kms in 2 hrs 15 mins 11 secs at 7' 14" per km
Weather: clear, temp 11 degrees, humidity 70%, wind nthly 10 kmph
Warm up:  4.05 kms in  28'03" at 6'55" per km
Race: 10 kms in  52' 32" at 5' 15" per km
Start group: 34
Finished: 84th out of 106
Weather: nice sunny morning, temp 11 degrees, humidity 70%, wind sthly 10 kmph

Friday I didn't run due to the doctor cutting a small black spot off my right hand. Looks Ok now with a couple of stitches in, due out in a week.
Saturday afternoon, I met with the course manager to inspect the track for the monthly handicap on Sunday. Beautiful afternoon, mostly walking with a bit of jogging.
Saturday night was the Martin Fryer Midnight Madness Marathon on the fire trails & mountain bike tracks on the side of Mt Stromlo. I always intended to only run 3 laps of the 7 to make the marathon distance.
What a great event with plenty of ups, down, very technical single track in the dark.  A perfect night to run with the views from the high apart of the downhill mountain course over to the city brilliant.
This event is really for the trail running nutters, so good, so much fun, even if hard work. Fell over once, no damage. But I wasn't alone, as many as 6 others also fell, some with more skin off than others. It's all part of the adventure. I hope it's on again next year.
Sunday morning, another spectacular day, cool overnight waking to lovely sunshine. Monthly handicap at Majura Nature Park over 10 kms.
Walked / jogged the first part to mark the course. Not so easy the jog back after going out to the 2 km mark. I knew this was not a day to go hard, just survive and no damage.
Started out slowly but there was no speed in the legs, so I tried to maintain a rhythm and keep moving forward and may be catch a few so not to finish last.
The speedy back markers kept flying past me on a regular basis. Saw Mrs Muscles in front at the 5 km turn but couldn't keep up the pace to catch her as she slowly disappeared into the distance.
Later found out she had fallen early on, plenty of damage on knees, hands & elbow. That's how slowly I was going.
Lovely to finish, the 2nd 5 km was showing tiredness, combination of Coburg & last night. But, that was all totally expected. I know exactly how this pan out. Another 7-10 days and I will be back to normal running and looking to the next major event for me at end of July at Caboolture.
There may be some other shorter side line events, an off road half marathon in June will be good fun. Otherwise, it's back to training hard to improve on & build up on the kms I have done.
It's going to be a good winter of running, weather permitting.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lake to River

Distance:  10.5 km
Time:  55' 58"
Rate: 5' 20" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 16 degrees, humidity55%, wind light NW 5 kmph
Week:  15.75 km, April:  269.85 km,  Year:  1606.95 km

A couple of days off running due to a variety of reasons. I'll just call them recovery days.
Today, may be the start of the return and looking forward.
An easy run from work around the outside of Lake Tuggeranong as far as Drakeford Dr. Then underpass of Athllon Dr all the way back to town centre to Pine Is road. Over the hill at Bonython and headed down to the river at Pine Is.
It must be getting close to winter as very few cars or people about. Nice run today probably because it was almost flat, unusual for me. Felt Ok, forward progress now looks likely. Busy weekend coming up if I don't get any side effects from the hand surgery on Friday.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Time To Mix

Run distance:  5.25 km
Time: 27' 08"
Rate: 5' 10" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 70%, wind NNW 20 kmph
Week:  5.25 km,  April:  259.35 km,  Year: 1596.45 km

Time to get back to basics and mix up the exercise routine.
Today, I rode the mtn bike to work in the early morning. Then, after a 2 km warm up on the exercise bike in the gym, 4 circuits of my machines plus crunches, all at easy weights or intensity. After that, the run to Pine Is and back, comfortable pace. Then, bike ride home for lunch. Car back to work in the afternoon as it looked like rain, and it did later on.
This start to the week is to get back into a routine that I can maintain, increase & modify as needed. Obviously the running will gain in importance, but the other factors can't be let go.
I believe after showed up at the 24 hour that the overall fitness plan helped stop the strong/weak muscles imbalance.
Certainly there was no upper body fade at Coburg, and the legs other than the shin soreness ( caused by the hard surface) were really good all day.
Now, have to work out how to stay awake for the duration & not nod off to sleep at 4 am.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Better Than Expected

Distance:  13.4 km
Time;  73' 28"
Rate:  5' 29" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 16 degrees, humidity 75%, wind light NW 12 kmph
Week:  23.5 km,  April:  254.1 km,  Year: 1591.2 km

Surprise of the recovery was how easy it felt today as I increased the distance and with it, a little bit faster. A direct run to pine Is and back, rather flat except for the hill to get up to home near the finish.
There was no desire to go more or fast, but it just felt right at the time. Guess the last couple of 10 hour sleeps have helped plus appetite has been good. Combined with no sore spots now post race, this has been the quickest recovery from any of the ultras I have done, or can remember.
However, still need to take it easy or go backwards.
The other factors helping are the bike riding to work and home & the session in the river a couple of days ago.
I will now return to the gym and get that back into the plan. It certainly helped at the 24 hour, the upper body handled the fatigue and so didn't contribute to lower body collapsing under stress.
With the next run now set, this will have to be maintained. Looking forward to running again, pity about winter & the cold, not my favourites. However as Mrs Muscles would say, JFDI and stop complaining.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another Step Forward

Distance:  7.00 km
Time:  40' 02"
Rate: 5' 43" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 21 degrees, humidity 62%, wind light 5 kmph
Week:  10.1 kms,  April:  240.7 kms
Year:  1577.8 kms  in 16 weeks at ave 98.6 km p.w.

Too nice this morning not to go for a run. An easy bike path ( edge) around the circuit of Isabella Plains.
Nothing to report, lovely to be running although slowly for this short distance. But, is was double yesterday, and completed without any problems.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The First Steps

Distance: 3.1 km
Time: 17' 35"
Rate: 5' 34" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 18 degrees, humidity 75%, wind calm
Week: 3.1 km,  April:  233.7 km,  Year: 1570.8 km

The first steps were taken today post Coburg. Nothing special just an easy jog down to the river at Pine Is and back.
The river level has risen, is now back at flood level and it's getting colder.
Perfect temperature for cooling tired legs, although spending 15 minutes in the water should have been done a few days ago.
Rode my mountain bike to work in the morning and home after this short outing. That was enough for 1st day of the journey to the next big destination.
Good today, still tired, but time will tell.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Post Race Recovery

Distance:  nil

Post race this time not much different to any other over recent years. I guess getting slower means less wear and tear on an aging body.
But, full recovery will take weeks even if I do little, some, or a bit more of running. I will be heading to the therapeutic healing powers of the mighty Murrumbidgee River later this week.
The sore shins are now Ok, the hip flexor is better, but not ready to run with at the moment. Couple more days, then a short jog to start the process again.
Appetite is same as normal, so energy levels today are Ok. I know I am still tired, lucky it was a planned day off work. I did have a little siesta this afternoon after some more unpacking and preparing the caravan for the next trip away in early May, fingers crossed.
The next two weeks are vital to ensure I don't get sick due to a depleted immune system. Week two post race it is so easy to become complacent, return to normal running and pick up a virus.  Then 7-10 days to recover, again.
I don't really have a  big project in mind until Caboolture at end of July, and still not sure on what to do up there. If, I can get some solid weeks of good training post recovery & holiday, then I may be tempted towards the 48 hours. One of the reasons to do that is there is a chance to get some short sleep breaks during the event, unlike the 24 hour when sleeping is waste of good distance gathering.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Coburg 24 Hour

Coburg, northern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria
When: Saturday 14th April & Sunday 15th April
Distance:  156.889 kms
Time: 1440 minutes ( 24 hours)
Rate:  9' 10" per km ave
Weather: sunny during day time, temp ranges 20 degrees at 10 am (start) to 24 degrees mid afternoon, 19 degrees at midnight, 18 degrees at 6 am & 21 degrees at finish. Humidity between 30%  & 55%, wind the main factor, all the time from north at 25 to 30 kms with gusts up to 45 kms.
Finished: 10th out of 19 starters in male 24 hour, not all finished, high attrition rate.
Start weight: 59.0 kgs, lost only 600 gms during the run. Weight taken every 6 hours
Calories used: 10,500
Week:  182.639 km,  April:  230.589 kms, Year: 1567.689 kms

Another well organised 24 hour running event put on by the Coburg Harriers over the weekend.
As part of a long term plan, I entered with no expectations other than to finish without damage.
I had taken Easter and the week after off from work to freshen up and to travel down to Melbourne.
As we do now, we took the caravan loaded with all our gear plus some extras from Martin & Phil, both doing the 24 hour walk.
Stopped overnight at Wangaratta, then easy day to Coburg on Friday to arrive at the venue mid afternoon ready to set up as soon as the RD arrived to open the gate.
We found a perfect spot on flat ground on the back of the track up against lane 8, so no distance to have tables, chairs, food and drinks set ready for me and others during the race.
We stayed overnight on site with other person, so a peaceful night, good sleep except for a couple of hoons in cars during the night.
Everyone arrived from 7 am onwards, set up with race briefing at 9:30. The weather was going to be a big factor today, it was warm already with a wind blowing from the north that didn't stop during the entire next 24 hours. It certainly took a toll.
In combination with the running side, the 24 hour event also has a serious walking side with many out to achieve the very respectable 100 miles. Race director's Tim ( walking side) and Bernie ( running side) both gave final instructions including care with the weather & dehydration.
Runners were allocated lanes 1 & 2 with the walkers in lanes 3 & 4. Lane 3 measured at just under 414 metres. With distances calculated in laps, I wonder how the walkers knew how far they had covered.
I started out as conservative as possible, even slow at times but this had to be done. The picture above shows me just behind Malcolm Gamble who actually said he thought the pace was too quick. He went on to DNF overcome by stomach problems. He was not alone, many others also taken down. A few collapses requiring first aid attention caught our notice as it could easily have been any of us in the conditions.
Mid afternoon saw most of this happening, so inside the 1st 6 hours with warm weather and a strong northerly wind.
This was drinking and eating at it's best, about every 15 minutes getting something down and this resulted in no problems from cramps or stomach upsets.
Went thru 100 kms in 13 hours but the coolness of the night was a factor with not much padding to keep me warm. The RD's had also said this would happen & layers were the way to go. I finished wearing 4 layers during the night including and old track suit top over 2 tops and my running singlet. Not cold enough for gloves, but some did have a beanie & many did wear long pants of varied descriptions.
A couple of short nana naps between 3 & 6 am probably cost me time & distance, but then keeping on going at the time may have cost me more.
Slowly started to get sore shins at this time as well, so more walking than planned. The original plan started with 25 - 30 minutes of running with 5- 10 minutes of walking while eating and drinking.
A very sore right hip flexor also cost time, but running kept this manageable, then shins slowed the running.
Martin's crew person also helping me with the race plan was loading me up with much encouragement. The fact that was not running due to injury due to pushing himself too hard last year didn't matter. He ran a brilliant Tan 100 kms in 2010 to win gave him plenty of credibility in the motivation stakes.
He was pushing me as best he could to get to 100 miles with plenty to do inside the last 3 hours. As well, another runner who had disappeared during the night reappeared and looked to be hunting down my 10th place spot although I did have 30 laps on him. He was giving all and lapping me regularly, but I knew if I kept going I could hold him off.
I needed around 27 kms in the last 3 hours to make 100 miles ( 161kms) and although I did 17 laps in the 2nd last hour. I was too far behind the target, so consolidated my 10th spot in the male 24 hour.
I was helped by a couple of great runners, Justin Scholtz & Malcolm Gamble both falling to injury and not finishing, but that's the nature of these events.
In the long run, a good event for me. I know where I am at, what I need to improve on. Plenty went right, a bit not so good, but great fun. Excellent to catch up with some running mates from previous events. Wonderful to see some performances from top class competitors. Especially being on the track with these people, rubbing shoulders & saying hi as they go past.
I need the pain from the hip flexor problem to now go away. A swollen right foot caused by fluid retention, but no blisters or feet problems. Actually feel pretty good today after driving home.
Slept 12 hourts last night in a rest area outside Melbourne and could easily be the same tonight.
Return to work on Wednesday. Next holiday in May, next major run in July, can't wait.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Short One Before the Big One

Distance:  6.8 km
Time: 36' 56"
Rate: 5' 26" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 17 degrees, humidity 45%, wind SW 10 kmph
Week:  25.75 km,  April:  73.7 km,  Year: 1410.8 km

Short flat run around the outside of Isabella Plains just to loosen up the legs.
Very windy overnight and early this morning, just settled down enough to run before getting on the move going south.
No more energy using to be done before Saturday except setting up at the venue.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Stromlo & Beyond

Distance:  19.95 km
Time: 1 hr 51 mins 06 secs
Rate:  5' 52" per km
Elevation gain: 354 metres
Weather: sunny, temp range 14-17 degrees, humidity 55% down to 40%, wind calm then up to NW 20 kmph
Week:  18.95 km,  April:  66.9 km, Year: 1404.00 km

Today's outing doesn't count as my last long/medium/short run before Coburg. That was last Saturday. It was an exploration journey with Martin F & Michael T to check over the trails of Blewitts & the hilly area below Mt Stromlo.
Although it was running, no walking except a few stops to look for trails. A nice morning after a cool start, and nice until the wind picked up late in the morning.
Excellent views from high on the mountain bike course on Mt Stromlo where the flyover bridge looks too dangerous for me to attempt.
We found some great places still available to run and will use this area more often as it is close to home, plenty good trails & protected from the cool winds in winter. Lots of tracks that I have never ran on before. May be I should have made more of this area before the trees were burnt.
All good leading into Coburg next weekend.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Last Long Run

Distance:  14.7 km
Time: 82' 46"
Rate: 5' 37" per km
Weather: sunny, nice day, temp 21 degrees, humidity 40%, wind north 10 kmph
Week: 35.95 km,  April:  47.95 km,
Year:  1385.05 kms in 14 weeks at ave 98.9 km

Last long run before Coburg next Saturday. An easy run from home thru Gordon to Point Hut, along river track to Pine Is.
After 15 minutes standing in the river, behind Bonython to the gravel track to Woodcock Dr. Up to Johnson Dr and home.
Excellent autumn day for running, and doing anything else in the great outdoors.
Tapering down now, another couple of "roll the legs over" running days, then nothing except travel later in the week. No more work until Wednesday after the big run, so time to relax.
All going Ok at the moment, hope it continues.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Very Good Friday

Distance:  12.2 km
Time: 63' 45"
Rate: 5' 13" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 65%, wind calm
Week: 21.25 km,  April: 33.25 km, Year: 1370.35 km

Ran down to Calwell oval from home after a nice sleep in. Watched the AFL footy game between Carlton ( the mighty Blues ) and Brisbane Lions last night while switching to the track cycling on SBS. Both worth the late night after a very early start at work.
The sun is shining nicely today, so Calwell oval was calling. The grass had been cut during the week, so an excellent surface to run bare feet. Changed direction after 5-6 laps, lost count, so turned when I felt like it. Next weekend, the direction is changed every 4 hours.
It was no speed session, more a cruisy tempo session at faster than desired pace for next weekend. Held back and would have loved to go faster and longer, but that is not right at this time of the taper.  About 8 kms of tempo, so good and fun.
Only one other person about with golf club in hand, certainly needs the practice.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day After a Rest Day

Distance:  9.05 km
Time:  50' 34"
Rate: 5' 35" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 24 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm
Week:  9.05 km,  April:  21.05 km,  Year: 1358.15 km

I had a rest day on Monday thus breaking my streak of 13 running days in a row. No pressure now to run every day as I'm tapering. That means I can snooze instead of running to freshen up.
I ran a short nothing day, just to get the legs to move was something not so easy.The first part of the run from work is down hill, the road to Pine Is.
After that for about 3 kms, they wouldn't move properly. It was only after a short stop, and a stretch, that the RPE as Janene would write, settled into it's rightful place.
Nothing else to report, finished at the river at Pine Is for 15 wonderful minutes in the water. Then after the jog back up the road to work, 15  minutes in the gym so that my work in progress upper body muscles don't forget they need working on as well.
A good day, lovely outside in the sunshine, and warm as well. About time, the footy seasons have started and the autumn leaves are falling.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

No Fooling About Today

Distance:  12.00 km
Time: 65' 10"
Rate: 5' 26" per km
Weather: sunny, nice, temp 23 degrees, humidity 55%, wind calm
Week:  105.55 km,  April: 12.00 km,  Year: 1349.1 km

Easy recovery run down to the river and back from home. Beautiful morning to run, but the clouds have arrived and it's started to rain. Great timing.
Stopped at Pine Is to stand in the cool water for 15 minutes, wonderful & just what I needed.
Yesterday's effort was a " only just" type outing, got thru but not good. The taper has began, so a wet day every now and again will a good excuse not to venture out. If I am at work, a short session in the gym will be enough.