Two Fruits

Friday, January 31, 2014

January, Done & Dusted

Purpose:  very easy, hot weather
Distance:   6.5 km
Time:  37' 47"
Rate:  5' 50" per km
Weather: very warm, temp 35 degrees, humidity 20%, wind light NW 10 kmph

Week:  57.3 km, 
January:  335.45 kms in 24/31 days at ave 13.97 km per run day

In comparison with January of last year ( 522 kms) , this month's running km total was well down.
But, in early Feb last year, I did the Brindie 100 kms and in early April the Coburg 24 hour.
It has been much hotter this summer, and most of this year's running has been in the middle of the day. This has resulted in many more shorter runs, like today, when there is no value in dragging yourself around in near century mark in old temps.
Nothing special today, it didn't feel like the air temp noted. Probably due to the low humidity.
Long run tomorrow, hopefully it won't get too warm during the morning. We are planning a 6:30 am start.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back on the Grass

Where: Calwell oval
Purpose:  cruise intervals, speed session
Distance: 8.9 kms plus cool down 1.7 km
Time:  40' 08 " plus cool down 8' 04"
Rate:  4' 31"  plus cool down at 4' 45"
Recovery: 10 minutes in river on way back to work
Weather: warm, sunny, temp 33 degrees, humidity 25%, wind north 10 kmph

Purpose:  easy day
Distance:  7.9 km
Time:  42' 32"
Rate:  5' 23"
Recovery:  10 minutes in river
Weather:  sunny, warm, temp 29 degrees, humidity  30%, wind north 10 kmph

Week:  50.8 km,  Jan & Year:  328.95 km

A typical session on Wednesday on Calwell oval, creature of habit with something that works.
Lane 5, good condition for mid summer, grass soft but drying, bare feet, change direction every 5 laps after short stop for drink.
Gradual increase in pace to finish with a nice 4' 31" for 20 laps. Worked well, enjoyable morning. Stopped at the river on way back to work, all good.
Today, an easy run before riding bike home at lunch time. Nothing special, but felt comfortable & good. Another stop at river on way back to work for 10 minutes in the water. No problems.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

All Good On A Tuesday

Purpose:  junk kms on a warm day
Distance:  12.15 km
Time:  67' 24"
Rate:  5' 33" per km
Recovery:  10 mins in river before running
Weather:  sunny, temp 29 degrees, humidity 35%, wind light NW 10 kmph

Week:   32.3 km,  Jan:  310.45 km
Year:  310.45 kms in 4 weeks at ave  77.6 km pw

This week is going to get hot in the afternoons with top temps between 35-38 degrees, not a cloud in sight & certainly no rain.
As I have to run in this warm weather, not that I mind, I don't, I tend to mix up these kind of weeks with short running, a few breaks & hitting the river a couple of times if I can.
This keeps the core body temp down, and stops the build up of thirst resulting in loads of drinking.
The shorter running means a little faster, but still at a comfortable pace.
Good today, a usual run home for lunch and back again. The 10 minute recovery was after only 1 km after the start, but it helped the remainder of the run. Nice, felt in the zone for the rest of run.
Weekly average has increased significantly over the past 2 weeks due to last week's big 130 kms. Would be good to get into the 90's and be able to maintain that for a while before hitting the big week's in April.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Recovery & Run

Purpose: easy post weekend run
Distance:  20.15 km
Time:  1 hr 59 mins 26 secs
Rate: 5' 56"
Elevation gain:  199 metres
Recovery:  15 minutes in river at half way
Weather: nice, sunny, temp  24 deg, humidity  32%, wind light NW 10 kmph

Week:  20.15 km,  Jan & Year:  298.3 km

Very comfortable post weekend run at "feel like" pace, so I ran quick when I felt like it and slow when I didn't. Very little walking, didn't need to do that. But stopped at the traffic lights to get a brief rest if I could.
Nice big circuit from home to Calwell, behind Theodore on the fire trail to the substation, then above Conder to the underpass to Gordon. On to Pine Is, stopped there for 15 minutes in the river, and back home on trail behind Bonython.
Reasonably flat except for the undulating fire trail behind Theodore, so didn't push the pace.
Beautiful day in Canberra today, not a cloud in the sky. Getting very warm later in the week so I will have to cut down the distances & may be break the running up into 2 parts. Or, throw in a speed session one day, might be a good idea.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

First Monthly Handicap of the Year

Purpose:  racing
Distance:  6.00 kms plus warm up, no cool down, total 9.3 kms for day
Time:  29' 38"
Rate:  4' 56" per km
Group start:  28 ( soft)
Finished: 14th overall ( at least 7 ineligibles in front )
Weather:  sunny, cool/mild, temp 15 degrees, humidity 50%, wind calm

Week:  130.45 km,  Jan & Year:  278.15 km

Monthly handicap No 191, this time on the fire trails behind Campbell Park offices. A few gentle up hills, nothing significant, but there are now a few exposed rocks for the drying & washed away gravel surface.
Not overly fast today, can get better if I wish, and backed up well after yesterday's long run.
Felt really good today, no problems at all in good conditions.
Easy day on Monday with a trip to the river to reduce chances of injury.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stromlo to Black Mountain

Purpose: long run
Distance:  41.1 km
Time:  4 hrs 26 mins 30 secs
rate:  6'  29" per km
Altitude gain: 672 metres
Weather:  sunny, temp range  9-21 degrees, humidity99%- 35%, wind calm to south 15 kmph

Week:   121.15 km,  Jan & Year:  268.85 km

I had the company of Kelly-ann & Softshoe this morning with need to fit in a surveillance of the proposed Little Black Mountain course for a vet's monthly handicap during winter.
But to get there, we started at Stromlo Forest Park, on the trails that the Canberra Centenary 100 km took to Coppins Crossing, then on the pipeline track to the western fence line of the Arboretum.
Stopped at Dairy Farmer's Lookout for a photo of the eagle, on to the Cork trees and stopped at Bindubi St gate where the winter handicap run will start. So far, so good, getting warmer but still a nice morning after almost 20 kms.
The handicap course is an extension of the Aranda Bushland run from a couple of years ago, and does a circuit around Little Black mountain. A good loop, I would prefer it is run in the opposite direction.
Then, back thru the Cork trees, behind the Zoo, follow the river to Clo's Crossing and back to SFP.
A long morning, quite warm in the sunshine, but a very enjoyable trip.
Kelly-ann did her longest ever run, just over the marathon distance, so now just has to get her time down on a flat road surface instead of hills, mountains & dirt trails.
Certainly had fun today, a tough trip, but feel good now it's done.
Image courtesy of Kelly-ann, I had to stop & reset my watch to get a separate recording for the LBM circuit.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Around the Local Block

Purpose:  easy run
Distance:  9.25 km
Time:  48' 54"
Rate:  5' 17" per km
Weather:  cloudy, temp 22 degrees, humidity 67%, wind NW 10 kmph

Week:  80.05 km,  Jan & Year: 227.75 km

Local bike path, but not on the actual bike path, run this morning. Can't run on the hard surfaces.
Looking for a chance to run in the rain, but it stopped just as I left the front door, so missed out.
It has been a long time since I had this experience, not that I mind missing out.
Nothing more than a circuit of Isabella Plains, good even pace, felt Ok.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mt Rob Roy

Purpose: hilly run
Distance:  28.45 km ( adjusted)
Time:  3 hrs 14 mins 36 secs ( adjusted )
Rate:  6' 50"
Altitude gain:  850 metres
Weather:  cloudy, temp range 14-19 degrees, humidity 75% - 60%, wind calm

Week: 70.8 km,  Jan & Year:  218.5 km

Trip No 59 to the top of Mt Rob Roy, this time with a newbie in Kelly-ann. She's a north sider & friend of Bryony.
However, as new as she is to hilly terrain, she is a 84 min half marathoner & training for her first marathon, some time this year. Great flat speed which I can't match, up hill power which I can get close to, but I'm just in front on the down hill, for now.
I have had to adjust the distance & time as I forgot to restart the Garmin after climbing over a gate to get into the nature park, legally. I didn't record about 1.9 km of the trip.
Exactly the same course as we ran for the traditional Boxing Day trip including the detour to the top of the Theodore Hill behind Ewen's place.
Then the normal course from the sub station, under the new power lines to the summit, into the bush to touch the trig, down the south side to the open paddock. No Big Monks today, the thistles are too close & prickly.
Fast down to the sealed road at the reservoir, behind Conder to the sub station and back to the start.
Weather good for running, bit muggy with the clouds, but cool enough.
Great morning with a lovely lady, thanks to Kelly-ann for her company.
Easy day tomorrow, then back up again on Saturday with a Black mountain surveillance & check out run.
Really good today, best hilly run for a while, but then I had to run hard to keep up.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Building Up A New Year Base

Purpose:  base loading
Distance:  10.75 km
Time:  65' 15"
Rate: 6' 04" per km
Altitude gain:  120 metres
Recovery: 10 minutes in river
Weather: sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 45%, wind calm

Week:  42.35 km,  Jan & Year:  190.05 km

With a purpose race early in the year, the base for the rest of the year gets off to a slow start.
Take out a tapering week, and a recovery week in the first 3 weeks, then not much of the important base can be reloaded.
From yesterday's figures, just 59 kms per week has been put down, and not enough to get through two days on the Centenary Trail in mid February.
But not every day has to be big, in fact the old rules of hard day, easy day are very important. Yesterday, although not hard in effort, was long at 17 kms, so today was short.
Don't take much notice of km rates, yesterday's rate was slow because I walked the last 1 km with a couple of others just to have a chat.
Today's rate was slow due to walking up the back of Stranger Hill behind Bonython. With a Mt Rob Roy run on tomorrow, not need to get too carried away today.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Mountain & A Park

Purpose:  surveillance running
1st run:
Distance:  11.4 kms in 75' 27" at  6' 37" per km
2nd run:
Distance:  6.1 kms in 35' 56" at  5' 55" per km

Weather: cloudy, temp range 18-22 degrees, humidity  75%-60%, wind calm

Week: 31.6 km,  Jan: 179.3 km
Year:  179.3 kms in 3 weeks at ave  59.77 km p.w.

Went to Tuesday group at Black mountain peninsular this morning to catch up with quite a few fellow vet runners & walkers at the regular weekly gathering. Good to see so many there and healthy enough to get out for an hour. Nice mild morning as well.
I arrived early knowing no one else would want to do any part of Black Mountain as I wanted to check out where the Centenary trail went going south after coming from Belconnen.
I didn't get lost, but didn't finish where I thought I would be, back at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens. It didn't matter, a good solid hilly run.
After a chat & a drink, I went over to Campbell Park to check out the course for Sunday's first monthly handicap of the year. No rain for many months means the track is bone dry, the small creek bed is dry, so no problems with the course. The long course is 6 kms, out and back. Straightforward & easy to mark on the day. Put down a few markers for turnaround & km, so all done until Sunday.
Running up Mt Rob Roy on Thursday morning, should be a good fun morning with someone who hasn't been there before.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday is Recovery Day

Purpose:  recovery day
Distance:  14.1 km
Time:  85' 45"
Rate:  6' 04" per km
Recovery:  20 minutes in river
Weather: cool, temp 24 degrees, humidity 50%, wind east 20 kmph

Week:  14.1 km,  Jan & Year:  161.8 km,

Thought today would have easier than it was, but not worried as Monday's run is always " as it happens". I don't care about time or effort or how it all happens. Some stopping, some walking is all Ok.
I'm on leave from work this week, so an afternoon run in much cooler conditions than last week when our temps peaked at or near 40 degrees.
Stopped at the river for 20 minutes in the water, very nice, but not cold enough. Still good, but the run/walk back home after the time in the water was a struggle.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Calwell Oval - 25 laps in Lane 5

Purpose:  faster than slow
Distance:  10.7 kms plus  1.8 kms cool down
Time: 49' 37" plus  8' 40" cool down
Rate:  4' 40" total
Weather:  sunny, temp 31 degrees, humidity 30%, wind light NE 10 kmph

Week:  55.95 km,  Jan & Year:  147.7 km

I need to get faster just to improve my cruise training pace and the running track at the oval is the best place to do this.
Nice down there this morning, a few runners leaving as I arrived and a couple of young soccer players kicking the ball around. I wouldn't call it training for them.
Very little wind so good conditions, temp nice for faster running.
A usual session for me, the way I do it. Bare feet on grass, change direction after every 5 laps with short break after each 5th lap for a drink.
Good session, quicker than easy but harder than comfortable.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Local Trails & Centenary Trail

Purpose: another short jog
Distance:  7.55 km
Time:  41' 04"
Rate:  5' 25" per km
Recovery:  10 mins in river
Weather:  sunny, temp 34 degrees, humidity 7%, wind light NE 10 kmph

Purpose: short, easy long run/walk
Distance:  25.00 km
Time:  3 hrs 8 mins 56 secs
Rate:   7' 34" per km
Altitude gain:  411 metres
Weather: warm, sunny, temp range 14-28 degrees, humidity 65%-33%, wind calm

Week:  43.45 km,  Jan & Year:  135.2 km

Friday, another short run just to keep the recovery going without any training purpose except to enjoy the nice warm weather followed by a dip in the river.
Today, in lieu of a walk at the Cotter, the girls cancelled that to walk West Basin due to the heat, I met Softshoe for a slow final recovery walk/run around the local trails & hills.
Spent a bit of time trying to follow the Centenary Trail where there is a lack of markings near Fadden Pines & thru MacArthur. It's easy if you look very closely at the map, but the maps need to be enlarged, on paper they lose clarity.
No chance of getting lost, just that the bureaucrats are not good at marking courses, just drawing lines on a map.
Otherwise, all good, finished just in time as it was getting hot.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Post Bogong in the Heat

Distance:  4.6 kms
Time:  25' 51"
Rate:  5' 37" per km
Recovery:  10 minutes in river plus bike riding
Weather: hot, sunny, temp 35 degrees, humidity 24%, wind NE 10 kmph

Distance: 6.3 kms
Time:  35' 43"
Rate:  5' 41" per km
Recovery:  10 minutes in river plus bike riding
Weather, hot again, sunny, temp 36 degrees, humidity 10%, wind calm

Week:  10.9 km,  Jan & Year:  102.65 km

A couple of short jogs followed by time in the river & a bike ride home at lunch time.
Sore quads disappeared after a couple of days and now all good.
The hot weather is fine by me, as long as the humidity remains outback dry.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bogong to "Didn't Make" Hotham

Distance:  6.7 kms in 37' 13" at 5' 33" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 20 degrees, humidity 40%, wind east 15 kmph
Bike riding: about 25 kms easy over 4 rides
Bike riding: about 10 kms over 2 easy rides
Saturday:  travel

Distance:   35.1 kms
Time:    6 hours 16 mins 23 secs
Rate:  10' 44" per km
Altitude gain:  2350 metres
Altitude loss:  1345 metres
Weather:  sunny, temp range 13-23 degrees, humidity 45%-30%, wind mostly calm

Week:  54.6 kms,  Jan & Year:  91.75 kms

Monday:  travel
Bike riding:  about 10 kms easy
Recovery:  15 minutes in river

While the final result didn't go to  plan, missed the 6 hour cut off by 16 minutes, the whole day was very enjoyable & well worth the effort of the training & entry.
As has been mentioned many times before, Bogong to Hotham is a huge challenge & certainly one of the toughest of the " short" mountain ultras with big climbs, steep & technical descents with many trails not suitable to someone like me who now shuffles along more than a true running gait & style.
However, it's all good as the training has given me a big start to the year endurance wise.
A short version of what happened:
Started at the back of a big pack of runners doing both the full & the half way events. I'm not the fastest starter & knew exactly what to expect having ran here back in 2002, another half way missed the cut effort.
Best part of the start was seeing for the first time, the " gun" girl runners & likely winners, Beth, Gill & co.
They are so tiny, small pocket rockets with amazing ability to climb mountains with ease. Power to weight ratio would be massive, they would weigh, guessing, around 45-48 kgs, small jockey size.
But once the race was started exactly on 6 am, that was all I saw as the line climbed the steep Staircase trail after leaving Mountain Creek. Pointless getting past too many as the line was slow, but that was probably where some valuable time was lost as regards the cut off.
Exiting the tree line, the views are brilliant over the Victorian Alps & high country, so I stopped to take a couple of photos including getting one of myself on top of Mt Bogong, highest mountain in Victoria at around 1950 metres above sea level.
Then, the down hill to Big River across the open plains on deep rutted tracks or trying to run on grass tussocks, both of which didn't like my running style. I kicked every rock & tree root & lost confidence on the downhill especially when the course closed in past a couple of huts as we headed towards the river crossing. I didn't fall, but the time damage was done with the second big climb to come up Duane Spur on to the open high plains. I knew I could run quickly on the better fire trail, but there was no way I could run 14 kms in 90 minutes with another grassy part still to come before the aquaduct & the half way Langford Gap cut off.
Most pleasing was being able to run along these better surfaces at 5' 30" pace after 4-5 hours of hard effort. Although missing the cut off, this has helped regain confidence that this year's events may be Ok.
It was a very warm day out in the open, very humid when below the tree line with very little breeze.
Of the field of around 90 runners, around 30 had a DNF or missed the cut, including some very good mountain climbers who would normally get through easily.
Tough year this one, very happy to have gone & had a go, again.
May be this one is now not for me. I'll stick to what I can do better, multi days in the outback.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Bar Code

Purpose:  tapering, easy
Distance:  12.8 km
Time:  74' 53"
Rate:  5' 51"
Recovery: river as usual
Weather:  sunny, temp 22 degrees, humidity 22%, wind  west 20 kmph

Purpose: tapering
Running distance:  nil
Bike riding:  about 25 kms
Recovery:  10 minutes in river
Weather:  sunny, temp 23 degrees, humidity 20%, wind west 10 kmph

Week:  12.8 km,  Jan & Year:  49.95 km

Very easy running on Monday after a no run Sunday. Just a little slow to get moving, but all Ok.
Very cool morning today to ride to work, taking in wind chill, about 5 degrees. But the wind dropped during the morning to a nice sunny day, so I rode home at lunch time via the river, and rode back afterwards. A good day during tapering week, and may be something I should do more often just to get a bit more cross training done.
Along with the 10 minutes in the river, a short gym session. Nothing too much.
For those interested in the bar code results system that the Parkrun uses, it's results system not a timing system. A stop watch is still needed to get the time although the downloading of the times are via a USB stick. That part is straightforward.
It's the other parts as far as a monthly handicap is concerned that may make it unsuitable. Questions raised so far include competitors changing events, the handicap nature of our races, loss of bar code during the event, soggy sweaty bar codes not laminated, will the system be compatible with existing club software, can a result be known within 15-30 minutes of the finish to allow for presentations, still have to have starters/timekeepers for each three events, still need a separate bar code swiper for each event.
Not sure it will work on a handicap system and given the off road nature of our events, how do we keep track of the number of competitors. It's easy for the Parkrun event, one race, same course, no bar code, no result, no winner's presentation, no medals, no points, no yearly awards.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Calwell Oval

Purpose:  cruise intervals session
Distance:  6.68 kms plus 1.22 kms cool down
Time:  30' 46" tempo run
Rate:  4' 36" per km
Weather:  sunny, temp 24 degrees, humidity 20%, wind west 22 kmph

Week:  64.35 km,  Jan & Year:  37.15 km

I went down to the Tuggeranong Parkrun this morning to see how it operates especially how the timing system works.
Would it be suitable for our monthly handicap events where we have 3 events at the same time ?
Not sure I answered any of my questions after leaving, but then I'm a dummy when it comes to software, hardware, chips & bytes.
After that, I went to Calwell oval, grass in good condition, could use a good drop of rain, but it's still nice.
Lane 5 for me, lane 7 for Softshoe as we searched to keep the fast twitch muscles awake. Lots of slow kms certainly kill off any speed.
Just 15 laps in lane 5, bare feet, but the cross wind did no favours. All Ok, certainly not a speed session, but good to go a little faster than normal.
Pace started out at around 4' 50" getting quicker & down to 4'30" by lap 15. I'm no speedster these days, so that's fine to me.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Tapering / Or Resting

Purpose: recovery from Stockyard Spur
Distance:   2.05 km
Time:  11' 53"
Rate:  5' 52" per km
Recovery:  10 minutes in river
Weather:  cloudy, temp 25 degrees, humidity 20%, wind west 15 kmph

Purpose:  easy short run
Distance:  7.2 km
Time: 41' 43"
Rate:  5' 48" per km
Recovery:  nil in river
Weather:  cloudy, temp 32 degrees, humidity 30%, wind west 15 kmph

Week:  56.45 km,  Jan & Year:   29.25 km

Although there was no damage out of the Stockyard Spur run on Wednesday, there is some tiredness & that needs to be taken into account. Much yawning these last two days, need more sleep.
A couple of very easy & short sessions, just ambling along.
Way too many kids at Pine Is this afternoon to jump in the river so that will have to wait until may be Sunday morning.
Otherwise, all good. Still can't get over how tough, but how nice the Stockyard Spur trail really is.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Let The New Year Begin

Purpose: very hilly run
Distance:  20.00 km
Time:  2 hrs 53 mins 31 secs
Rate:  8' 40" per km
Altitude gain:  1160 metres
Recovery: 10 minutes in river at Point Hut on way home
Weather:  cloudy, temp range 15-22 degrees, humidity 80%-45%, wind calm

Week:  47.2 km,  Jan & Year: 20.00 km

A new location experience today with a run, walk, climb up Stockyard Spur in the Brindabella Ranges starting at Corin Dam.
Joined by Martin, Michael, Bryony & Kelly for this tough trip where the trail goes up 520 metres in the first 2 kms. The sign at the base says that, a good warning mainly to bush walkers.
It's tough with some switchbacks over steps & logs, but mostly it's direct up hill. Glad to get that part out of the way early, but there is good reason to train on this.
It's only 6.5 kms to the junction with the fire trail called the Mt Franklin Road, so we decided to turn left, go past Pryor's Hut & head off the main road to the top of Mt Gingera. It's the 2nd highest mountain in the ACT. The highest is Mt Bimbiri which can be seen further to the south.
A beautiful day on the higher ground, warm, bit humid with no breeze. Nice to stand on top of the mountain, take some photos before heading back down.
Really enjoyed the trip today, great company, tough but not exhausting, but tired now.
This is the last longish run before Bogong to Hotham in 10 days time. Saturday will be a short speed session on Calwell oval, just to wake up the fast twitch fibres.
Otherwise, it's all very easy, rest days, lie on the couch & some quality sleep. Ready & set to go.

Year's End 2013

Purpose: end of year jog
Distance: 13.4 km
Time:  76' 35'
Rate: 5' 43" per km
Recovery:  10 mins in river
Weather: nice, sunny, temp 29 degrees, humidity 15%, wind light NE 10 kmph

Week:  27.2 km
Dec:  468.8 km

Year:  5319.5 km in 285/365 days at ave 18.66 km per run day
Year:  5319.5 km in 12 months at ave 443.29 km per month
Year:  5319.5 km in 52.14 weeks at ave 102.02 km per week

Best year yet for many running reasons including most kms covered that are recorded by Garmin, or verified by race results, eg Coburg 24 hour.
Also best number of months, 7 out of the 12, with kms covered over 400 kms.
Results wise, very average. A not so good at Coburg 24 hour with 143 kms done. Slowed by a swollen left foot that was fine a day later & no problem since. Don't know what happened there.
Highlights of the year were first, the Brindie 100 km run back in February from Namadgi Visitor's Centre over Mt Tennent to Honeysuckle & Orroral Valley. Then up the Mt Franklin Road to Mt Ginini & a finish at Bull's Head. Great run, just under 14 hours for 97 kms with 3200 metres of climbing.
Then the big one, my solo Birdsville Track run in August from Marree in South Aust to Birdsville in Qld. Although dead flat & almost a straight line, the 518 kms took 8 days and 6 hours, but the best ever adventure run I have ever done. Great experience, went off without a hitch.
Took a while to get over, just fatigue & a mental break as well required, but back on track now & looking forward to 2014.
Good start to 2014 with a run from Corin Dam up Stockyard Spur to Mt Gingera & return. I will post a story on that one a little later.