Two Fruits

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Runner Again

Distance:  9.5 km
Time:  52' 45"
Rate: 5' 33" per km
Weather: sunny, cold, temp 10 degrees, humidity 40%, wind strong west 30 kmph
Week:  22.1 km,  Aug:  137.45 km,  Year:  3121.1 km

Almost the end of 5 weeks since Caboolture. The recovery has gone exactly to plan with today feeling as though I am back to being a runner again.
With no injuries to worry about except a few blisters to repair, the main waiting time is for the energy levels to return.
Today was a good indication that everything is back on track. The running although nice and easy, was mainly against a cold westerly wind. Afterwards, 20 minutes in the gym, a good short session as well.
Mainly flat except for the climb up the hill from Woodcock Dr to the fire trail behind Bonython houses. I actually ran up this, another indication that all is returning to normal.
August was always going to be the recovery & rest month. With a small total of kms done, and plenty of days off running, it has worked as planned. Now to get back and put down a solid base over the next 4 months.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Last Easier Week

Distance:  12.6 km
Time: 71' 10"
Rate: 5' 39" per km
Weather: sun/high cloud, temp 13 degrees, humidity 40%, wind north 10 kmph
Week:  12.6 km, Aug: 127.95 km, Year: 3111.6 km

Nothing to report, ran home for lunch and back afterwards.
The magpies are starting to get protective now. Someone at work reported his first dive bombing over the weekend while riding his bike. As well, Softshoe reported a maggie at the playground at Pine Is. Bit early in the spring for them, so we have until around the end of October to watch & run for cover.
September will start off the new training program with some speed/tempo/interval running when the weather is warmer. Cold weather for speed for me equals injury, must take care.
I may even get to the T&F on Thursday nights on occasions this summer. I won't finish work until around 6: 30 at night, but the 3km/5km, one hour,10 km & may be a spiral or 2 will get my attention.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Monthly Handicap at Mt Taylor

Race distance:  7.0 km plus warm up 1.5 km
Race Time:   39'39"
Race Rate:   5' 40" per km
Start group: 33
Finish place: 71/77 - oops
Weather: sunny, cool/mild, temp at race time 10 degrees, humidity 50%, wind NW 15 kmph
Week:  57.1 km, Aug:  115.35 km,  Year:  3099.00 km

No surprises at the monthly handicap today, everything went exactly as I had predicted.
After any of my recent ultra running, the time frame for recovery is 3 weeks to feel Ok, then after 5 weeks to feel that I can get back to serious running & training.
It's only been 4 weeks and today's result sits the same as running after the Coburg 24 hour in April. At Majura Nature Park handicap I finished 84th, so an improved result today.
It was a slow but Ok run, walked.....4 times today up the small hilly slopes near the loop section at Chifley.
I actually felt Ok but the legs still haven't got much go in them.
Might just be ready a big performance at Sept handicap at O'Conner Ridge. It's a good hilly course, not much flat and a need to run solid all the way.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Start is Almost Here

Distance: 20.0 km in 2 hrs 9 mins 48 secs @ 6' 29" per km
Weather: sunny, cool, temp 6-8 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm to start then NW 15 kmph
Distance:  7.0 km walk
Week:  48.6 km, August: 106.85 km
Year:  3090.5 km in 34 weeks at ave 90.9 km

This morning was my longest outing since the end of July. I haven't struggled with the recovery, more it's been the rest I needed after doing the 24 hour in April and the 48 hour in July.
There have been plenty of kms covered, mostly with heaps of hills & mountains.
August is definitely winter in the nation's capital, so a good time to take it easy.
The problem with the time off is the returning to previous fitness levels. Today with the increase in distance, double anything else in August, I needed to walk the hills. I would have once ran up them as if they weren't even there.
Let's not mention getting up a mountain. Mt Tennent looked frightening from a distance today. How could I do have done doubles just a few months ago.
I met Softshoe this morning for a short version of our Two Fruits loop. He had only 2 weeks ago finished Tan 100 km, and is just a month away from another 100 km at Centennial Park in Sydney.
We took it easy, chatted a lot as we hadn't really caught up with each other for a while.
Later this afternoon I walked around the monthly handicap course at Mt Taylor with the course organiser to put a few markers and check the course.
It is rocky in places with a good dirt fire trail to run/walk on. It should be interesting to see how I go. There are no great expectations at all, just don't finish last.
Serious training starts in Sept, only 10 months until the next real big challenge.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Going Nowhere

Distance:  10.0 km
Time:  57' 18"
Rate:  5' 44" per km
Weather: air conditioned inside, temp 22 degrees
Week:  21.6 km,  Aug:  79.85 km,  Year:  3063.5 km

I really went no where today, although I ran 10 kms. In fact, I ran on the treadmill in the gym at work.
The weather outside was crappy, cold, wet, uninspiring.
On the 1st of March this year, I said never again would I run 15 kms on a treadmill. I didn't, I cut back to 10 kms with a short break at 5 kms to do a bit of pushing and pulling on the weights and have a drink.
The first 5 kms was 30' 08" , Ok after a slow start,but the 2nd 5 km was much better in 27' 10".
May be this is the kick start I needed to get back into the running routine.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

OMG - What a Struggle

Distance:  11.6 km
Time:  65' 05"
Rate: 5' 37" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 17 degrees, humidity 40%, wind north 15 kmph
Week:  11.6 km,  Aug:  69.85 km,  Year:  3053.5 km

The recovery process after Caboolture, allowing for a cold miserable wintery August, was to slowly increase the length any running by no more than 5 kms per week.
This is now week 4, so in theory I could have ran 20 kms today. I haven't looked like getting near the daily max at all, so there was no chance today.
Instead, on a nice sunny day, I ran home for lunch. Easy 5.8 kms, did a few bits & pieces, and decided to run back. Nice downhill, a northerly head wind that wasn't too bad.
But, what should have been easy negative split, was hard work. The head was saying go, the legs were saying, whoa back.
Sore muscles that haven't been sore for a long time. Just shows what time off to recover energy levels can do. May be tomorrow, or the next day or next week, forward progress will be made.
If it wasn't so cold in the river, that is where I should be going. May be a return in Sept.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lakeside Jogging

Distance:  6.5 km
Time:  37' 54"
Rate:  5' 50" per km
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 8 degrees, humidity 70%, wind calm
Week:  28.85 km,  Aug:  58.25 km,  Year:  3041.9 km

The  31st annual ACT Veterans Athletic Club half marathon was run today in cool but good conditions.
I don't run on hard surfaces as this is on the bike path around Lake Burley Griffin, so I ambled in after the start & went for a short jog to watch & have a chat.
May be felt a little better than during yesterday's run, but there is not much zip.
I'll try for a bit more distance next week, but it will be an interrupted week as there is too much happening for any consistency at the moment.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Around the Plains

Distance:  9.05 km
Time:  50' 56"
Rate:  5' 38" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 12 degrees, humidity 45%, wind cold westerly 30 kmph
Week:  22.35 km, Aug:  51.75 km,
Year:  3035.4 km in 33 weeks @ 91.98 ave per week

Mid afternoon run on bike path around Isabella Plains and Calwell shops.
Cold wind blowing took the edge off a very average run to start with. Glad to finish, still have the mental desire to get out, but the physical is still a struggle.
May be another week.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'm Still Moving, Just & Slowly

Distance:  5.8 km
Time:  33' 22"
Rate:  5' 45" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 12 degrees, humidity 45%, wind NW 15 kmph
Week:  13.3 km, Aug:  42.7 km,  Year:  3026.35 km

I ran home from work during lunch break. Nothing special with the clouds moving over with it looking like showers or rain which didn't really happen.
I've just finished reading about the injury toll at present with only Mrs Muscles in good shape and able to put in the hard yards. Go girl !
The rest of us are all out of action or badly restricted for a variety of reasons. Is it the cold winter or is just coincidence that it has happened now ?
Some of us will recover sooner than others. I hope we are all back on the road/track/trails or wherever very soon. Spring is around the corner and a great time to be out in the warmer sunshine.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not There Yet

Distance:  7.5 km
Time:  42' 42"
Rate: 5' 42" per km
Weather: part sun/cloud, temp 15 degrees, humidity 45%, wind NW 15 kmph
Week:  7.5 km,  August: 36.9 km,  Year:  3020.55 km

It's half way thru August and I haven't reached 10% of my normal monthly kms total.
The keen interest & importantly the energy levels are not there. Looks like it is going to be closer to 5 weeks before I can return to a routine. Slow on a flat course indicates plenty of rest still needed.
In the mean time, I just run when I get a chance. Today, I ran around the lake. Nothing to report, windy, but a surprise was the temp was fairly mild. May be spring is just around the corner.
Probably run home for lunch tomorrow, then a day in Sydney on Friday.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

No Surf Here

Distance:  7.0 km
Time: 40' 30"
Rate: 5' 47" per km
Weather: sunny, cool, temp 12 degrees, humidity 45%, wind SSE 15 kmph
Week:  26.4 km, August:  29.4 km, Year:  3013.05 km

No surf in Canberra today, just flat bike paths.
Ran for the 4th time this week as the recovery process continues in line with the plan outlined in a previous post.
Nothing to report, felt Ok, rolled along with very few others about.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Recovery Process

Dist: 5.8 kms in 33' 20" @ 5' 45" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 15 degrees, humidity 40%, wind NW 15 kmph
Dist: 7.1 kms in 39' 45" @ 5' 36" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 12 degrees, humidity 35%, wind cold West 25 kmph
Week:  19.4 km, Aug: 22.4 km, Year:  3006.05 km

I have come up with a plan to stop myself from returning to full running. It's nothing more than a version of the 10% rule, just more.
Week 1 after the 48 hour, longest run to be no more than 5 kms. I did 3 kms on one day on the Gold Coast. That's 60% of max distance of 5 kms.
Week 2, this week, no run longer than 10 kms. This week, I have ran 3 times for 6.5 kms, 5.8 kms, & 7.1 kms, so around the 60-70% of max distance.
Next week, the max distance will increase to 15 kms, may be one day late in the week. A few shorter runs during the week with a couple of rest days in there as well. Weather will determine which days.
So the process will increase by 5 kms a week until I get back to a normal routine & am feeling refreshed & ready to look to the next challenge. Which will be ??
No idea at the moment. I would like to run a qualifier for Six Foot Track next year in case I decide to enter. But, the marathon I would like to run, Fitzroy Falls Fire Trail Marathon is on Sat 6th Oct, the first day of a week off work I have to take.
We may make a trip back to see our friend who has motor neurone disease if he is still around & able to recognize us. A few laps of the Gold Coast beaches would be hard to take, but I could do it.
Otherwise, I may aim for Deep Space Mountain Marathon if AMRA decide to put it on & set a date in November.
At the moment, getting back fitness, staying healthy & surviving winter are important. Can't wait for spring & summer to come back.
I have today passed 3000 kms for the year. Looks good in print.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Video Hits

Distance:  6.5 km
Time:  38' 52"
Rate:  5' 59" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 13 degrees, humidity 45%, wind north 15 kmph
Week: 6.5km,  Aug:  9.5 km,  Year: 2993.15 km

I decided to try my luck on the energy levels & slowly completed a short run/jog/walk down to Pine Is and surrounds.
It was almost too good a day to stay inside & doing nothing. I really enjoyed just getting out, moved Ok and no lingering ill effects only 9 days after Caboolture.
Back at work, a good 30 minutes in the gym. I need to get back in there on a regular basis as I haven't been able for about a month. A combination of being sick, then tapering & being away.
It was a significant benefit during the 48 hours to not have upper body fatigue that may have caused loss of form & technique.
This recovery will take time, but August is meant to be winter, so I will be selective about when to run.
September, will see a return to normal running as spring hopefully provides warmer weather.
My video had been seen 114 times last time I looked. That's heaps more than I expected.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Caboolture 48 Hours

48 Hours:
Distance:  215.7 km
Time:  2880 minutes
Rate:  13' 36" per km or 4.49 km per hour
Weather: sunny, temp range each day 6- 21 degrees, humidity daytime around 50%, wind calm
Other running last 2 weeks:
2 x 6 kms on beach on Gold Coast before main event
1 x 3 kms jog on Thurs after plus relax in sea.

I'll cover the last 2 weeks in order so I don't forget the main parts.
We left Canberra after I finished work on the Friday night with caravan in tow & stayed at a rest area just before Sydney. This allowed for a good start on Saturday after getting through Sydney on the M7 & M2 & getting on to the Newcastle Expressway. No problems on the Saturday as we made our way up the NSW coast to stop just before Grafton around 9 pm. With plenty of stops for fuel, rest & eating, it was an easy day in good conditions with a southerly wind assisting.
We made to the Gold Coast before noon on Sunday & had a booking at a caravan park where our friends for many years from our Tassie days are now living.
The sad news is that Tony has motor neurone disease and is going down hill fast. The body mass is wasting away but the brain at this stage is still active & alert. Communication is difficult for him, he has to be fed with his food mashed, and has to have a frame to walk. Not a good time & there is no cure. The wonderful staff at the aged care home take care of him, although at his age, just older than me, he is young to be in such a facility.
A couple of easy jogs on the beach at Broadbeach helped keep the legs moving. The king tides have resulted in many beaches being eroded with big drops, 4-5 metres, from the dunes to the sea. The tourists & locals alike are feeling betrayed by the current condition of the Gold Coast beaches.
On the Wednesday we headed north to Caboolture for a night at the showgrounds before moving the 500 metres to the Caboolture Historical Village on Thursday.
After setting up next to the running track, we drove to Beerwah near Australia Zoo to go to the strawberry farm. We were able to get 4 kgs of strawberries for free to make jam. These are the ones not good enough for the supermarket & would be tossed out otherwise. They come out on a conveyor belt & just drop into a drum. Help yourself. Mrs TF made the jam up that night, now we have plenty.
An early night, continue the carbo loading & be ready for a 8 am start on Friday.
There were 11 starters in the 48 hour run/walk. After receiving our timing chip which worked so brilliantly well all the time with instant updates every time you passed over the mat, & RD Geoff issuing last minute instructions, we were all set to go.
On a 500 metre gravel track with a 2 metre rise & fall every lap, we changed direction every hour. So not to confuse the timing, we turned on the back straight at the 250 metre mark. Funny how even the slightest distraction is so welcome and this was so. It gave a chance to also say Hi to the rest of the field, some you just didn't see during the hour when moving at the same pace and with historical buildings blocking the view across the track.
There is no way I can remember what happened every hour, but as the afternoon on day 1 came, so did the storm clouds arrive. We were so lucky however, that no rain came after some lightning, and soon the clouds moved on. It did come out very warm for a while which suited me.
It was as I completed 50 kms, so around 7 hours, that the photographer having taken heaps of still photos, decided to get the video camera out and run a lap with me while I tried to drink a mug of coffee. Copy of video is here:
There is also a video of Tamyka as well as a video of a group of runners all having a chat.
Night time came and so did the problems. Eating & feeling OK were good, but hot spots & blisters were developing and I sought out Paul, the first aid guy.
Patched up but moving slowly during the night, I got cold as I expected. I was not liking the nights as the temperature dropped to around 7 degrees, and wearing 4 layers of clothes.
Working out a sleeping pattern was also difficult & resulted in much discussion as to whether a series of short nana naps were better than a 2 - 3 hour solid sleep.
I still don't know, and until you get into day 2 or longer will this decision be best for you.
Morning on day 2 and the 24 hour competitors arrive having mostly set up the day before. Another 11 people on the track all moving much quicker, but plenty move activity, so a good motive booster.
A few in the 48 hour were now having problems from feet to stomach. Our American runner didn't have a good fueling plan just heaps of bottles of Powerade & very little food. He was off the track for many hours as were a few others.
It was  nice to have the 24 hour runners on the track for a few hours before the 6 hour runners started at noon. It was all go for them & so good so they were mostly very in awe of those doing the longer events. A few running their very first marathon distance were out there for 6 hours, talk about jump in a the deep end.
Not as warm in the afternoon as day 1, but the night was certainly as cold. Being tired & cold I was walking plenty at this stage but making steady progress.
Splits during the run were 12 hours= 84 kms, 24 hours= 128 kms & 36 hours= 176 kms. Final total of 215.7 kms was acceptable on first attempt at this time.
Lessons & important info gained were invaluable watching how the front runners were handling the conditions.
As mentioned sleep pattern is something that can't be trained for as even a 24 hour run, you wouldn't expect to stop for anymore than to change gear & eat.
Feet care is vital especially on the gravel surface with almost everyone wearing gaiters & still suffering from hot spots & blisters.
Getting the eating pattern wrong can also cause problems. I like to eat proper food, pancakes, peaches, soup, potatoes etc. Many others opt for traditional runners foods like gu's and gels plus any other foods. Plenty to consider on this as well.
The shorter 3 hour & 1.5 hour events seemed to blend in with all the others on the track.
As the 2nd night came and went, a few of those that had stopped earlier came back to finish off. We picked up our block of wood to carry for the last few minutes to drop on the sounding of the gun to end the events.
An extra 200 metres didn't mean much at the time, it was so good to be able to stop.
Presentations were made by the AURA president to AURA members. I finished 3rd here and 6th overall, so a big heavy trophy now sits at home after so much hard work.
We stayed the day, sleeping most of the day after a nice shower. Slept well all night as well feeling Ok except for very sore feet.
Packing up the next day, we headed back to the Gold Coast staying at the same caravan park as before to visit our friend with the motor neurone disease. You could see in a week how much more he had deteriorated.
Left GC on Friday morning, drove all day to get to the south side of Sydney late at night to stop at a rest area before an easy few hours to get home yesterday.
If it wasn't so windy outside at the moment, I would go for a run, but I won't. Plenty of time for that. My Garmin stopped working during the run while I was recharging it. Now it won't fire up even though the battery indicates fully charged. Something else to get fixed.