Friday, December 30, 2005

Kill Or Cure Mk11

Today Total: 30k
Week Total 50k
Month Total: 200k
Year Total: 1563.4k

Two days of rest to let the chest clear a bit - hammered the Garlic, Horse Raddish + C and the Echinacia + Zinc - seems to have worked.

Today was 30k with all but 5k on very hilly fire trails. The 5k on the bitumen was through Munmorah State Rec Park which incorporates 2 steep 90m + climbs so my all up running time for the 30k was a slow 3hrs 43mins. A nice long Six Foot Track training special. Not as steep as Quarry Road but more technical.

And special it was too - the part from Snapper Point to Catherine Hill bay was exquisit. It doesn't get any better than  running a glorious fire trail looking out over the headlands to the bay and beach far below with, the early morning sun streaming through the clouds in patches and lighting up the majestic sail craft plying there way along the coast. Yep I was in my happy place alright - man needs to get back to nature from time to time and mother and me certainly communed today.

One amusing thing today - I was running on the bitumen when out of nowhere was an enormous bang - Nureyev (sic?) would have been proud of my pirouette as I described a full 360 without my feet touching the ground. Turns out a guy on a racing bike blew a back tyre when he was about 30 meters behind me. Good thing I didn't have a HRM on - might have broken it.

Turns out Carl (ok I took the excuse for a break and a natter) is training for the Port Mac IM and his wife is training for 6 Foot, so we had a right old chin wag.

On the way back from Catherine Hill Bay I took a punt that a fire trail would get me back to my side of the lake. I only got discombooblerated once which meant about an 800 meter back-track but eventually I found myself in familiar territory in the maze of trails around Crangan Bay.

Very satisfied with todays effort - just hope the chest stays clear.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Year That Was

*WARNING* Long and serious post alert - I don't really expect bloggers to read this, but for reasons articulated below I want a permanent record of this ramble.

I am not usually given to being serious but I have been printing off my blog archives every month and keeping a hard copy with a view that it may be of some interest to my daughter and grand kids when I eventually pass on to the happy training grounds.

And then again maybe not!

I try to keep my blog a light hearted and positive affair designed primarily to amuse myself and anyone who cares to peruse it. I tend not to delve too far into my personal, work, or other training activities accept where there is a direct connection to my running. Being an old fashion bloke I rarely if ever blog about my feelings or what motivates me. And I'm not about to start now in any big way - the only person who is ever likely to know the real me is Mrs 2P.

Contemplating how little I really know about my parents and grand parents lives I thought it might be worth it to chronicle what led to me recommencing running this year - well actually it was last year - the 20th of December 2004 to be precise. But to fully understand this story we need to go back into the 1990's.

It is well recorded in my blogs that I have an ongoing battle with my calves (the evil Gastroc twins) - I first encountered this problem in 1995 when I split the sheath so badly on the left twin I had to walk with a cane for a couple of weeks and it was some months before I was pain free.

Fast forward to 1997 I started to incorporate more running into my training regime and I completed the Six Foot Track for the first time. I was hooked and for the next couple of years I continued to run, all the while pushing the twins to the limit and often over. The proverbial straw was the 1999 Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon - with just a bit over 2k to go I blew both calves apart in quick succession. My greatest strength (and weakness) as an athlete has been my capacity to drive my body long past the point where common sense would suggest it prudent to stop (I also have an over-active self-belief gland). In short I am one stubborn, pig headed bastard and I refused to throw in the towel in the SMH. Result - my calves were so shattered I walked with a cane for nearly a month, I hung the runners up and I never got back in the saddle.

We pick up the story in September 2003 - attempting my Masters in kung fu after 21 years of continuous training - I had 6 hours to go in a 28 hour grading (over 3 days) when I ruptured the bursa on the attachment point of my right hammie - again I pushed it to the end (I rationalised that the pain of the final 6 hours couldn't be any worse than having to do the previous 22 hours again). I passed, but in the process did quite a bit of damage - it was to be 9 months before I could train properly again. During this time I put on a shed load of weight maxing out the scales at a more than chunky 105kg (I'm only 5'7"/178cm) by August 2004.

Time for a change - I went the Atkins route and had my weight down to 88kg by December '04 and this brings us to this last year of running and the reasons behind it.

I went for a run on the 20/12/04, my first for quite a while and what happened next shocked me to my core - I had to stop running after 400 meters my legs hurt so much. I'm not talking about fatigue, I'm talking about an excruciating ache that my mind couldn't beat. The shock was twofold - first a pain my mind couldn't beat? There being no actual damage just pain - this just wasn't part of the 2P self image. And second I had always found I could just go out and run 4 or 5k no matter how long between runs and now I couldn't! What the?

I continued to shuffle and walk my way around a 4k loop of Concord Golf Course, I did this every day for the next 3 days and on the 5th day I was determined to run 5k without stopping - I did. I also determined that I would never let this sorry state of affairs EVER occur again. Being on the wrong side of forty and knowing how quickly I can now put on weight I needed an aerobic component to my training if I was to wean off Atkins and get back to what I consider to be a healthier more sustainable diet. I adore running and as it is my aerobic workout of choice it really wasn't a hard decision on how to achieve this.

Digression - why do I adore running? I honestly can't answer that - I really don't know. I'm crap at it and it is kind of funny because I am, without being too immodest, a very accomplished martial artist and a pretty handy sprinter. The combination of my sprinting ability and being blessed with good eye to hand coordination I can usually hold my own in most team sports - so why I love to do something I'm not that flash at is a bit of a mystery even to me.

So as to my actual motivation it is pretty much a lifestyle choice - I don't want to be an over forty who can't see his own shoe laces and whilst I have no intention to live for ever I want to be as healthy as I can be, for as long as I can be - I want this for me and Mrs 2P, I want it for my daughter and my grand kids. I also want this so I can be a positive role model for the young people whose lives I touch at kung fu - that being over forty doesn't mean your sporting life is over. So I will continue to train in kung fu and I will continue to run.

My other motivation is that since I was a teenager I have always believed that when I got older I would run ultra's. The seed was planted by following the Sydney to Melbourne ultra's and some of the exploits of ultra runners like Grant, Rafferty and later Farmer. Well I aint getting any younger and if I am to realise this ambition I better get cracking. Besides, having achieved my major goal in martial arts I need something new to challenge me.

So - on to the year that was.

When Mrs 2P asked me what I wanted for my birthday on the 10th of January 2005 I replied that my wish was to run from Catherine Hill Bay to our holiday home in Gwandalan (11.5k) on my birthday and if I could do that then with her support I would train for, enter and complete the 2005 Six Foot Track on March 12.

Well I made that run from Catherine Hill Bay and some 8 weeks later I made it across the finish line of the Six Foot Track, well under the cut off in 6 hours 21 mins. I was very satisfied but after such an intense time both mentally and physically I switched off towards the end of March and all through April. I had better months in May and June but July, August and September were all less than 45k months. I finally got my ducks in a row and have managed to run well for October, November and December. Of course the constant battle of wills with the twins continues, but it is much easier when I remain consistent.

Not being one for crowds I generally avoid running events but the lure of meeting up with some fellow Cool Runners and other environmental factors also saw me do the Woodford to Glenbrook, the Lake Macquarie Half and the Central Coast Half.

The W2G was a wonderful event and I really surprised myself with my performance - I had a patchy preparation due to the twins and in the first couple of k's the left one played up significantly. But it came good and I had a fantastic last 12k.

The Lake Mac Half was a disaster but oddly I rate it as my most satisfying (not best performance) run for the year. I had only run twice in the 8 weeks leading up to this event and came down with a tummy bug the night before. I am really proud of my finish that day - I've never been more shattered after a run - I know in my heart of hearts I could not gone even one tenth of a second faster than my pedestrian 2.08 performance - I left it all on the track that day.

The CC Half was where I placed myself under most pressure, but with the help of some of the coolest of Cool Runners I achieved my goal - again a very satisfying day and my best running performance for the year.

This all might sound a bit rosy but fact is, there were a number of starts I didn't manage to make that rankle a bit - particularly Twelve Foot, Willy to Billy and the Sydney Marathon - but they just weren't meant to be this year.

Another mild disappointment was that the Coast to Kosciuszko didn't manage to get up as an official event. I have been playing a very minor role in assisting the organisers and it would have been great to see it happen. Following the successful fat ass running of the event was however a highlight and it was incredibly inspirational - I will continue to do what little I can to see this great event get "officially" off the ground in '06.

The other highlight for the year has been the friendships I have made through CR and particularly through blogging. The support and above all else the understanding (not being a member of a running group or club) is something I really, really value.

So what's on the cards for next year - well I'm not going to say much here - you will have to read about it as it happens, but one thing for sure though - I'm not going to die wondering if I could make it as an ultra runner or not. One way or the other I am going to answer the question in 2006.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

12k Trudge

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 170k
Year Total: 1533.4k

I've had better runs, I've had worse too. Today was just one of those runs I put in the "tradesman" category - you grind it out because that's what you do.

Overcast and humid my breathing was telling me I was going at sub 5 min pace but Hal begged to differ -  he was rather adament that it was somewhere over 6 min pace - smug bastard - it's not like he has to do it. All he does is sit on my wrist and impassively feed back to me how slowly I am taking him for his morning constitutional. One day however we might discover if Hal can swim!

I wasn't sore this morning but after yesterdays initiation into the wonderful world of bricks my survey pegs were as dead as doornails. Mr Lurgy is also outstaying his welcome and my lungs never quite cleared for the entire run so I'm considering a couple of rest days to freshen up.

From today on I will be able to blog (by email) but I will be unable to read other blogs or comment for a couple of weeks - so to all my blogger mates I would like to say thankyou for sharing your journey/s with me. I think of you and your blogs often when I run, your humour, your spirit, your successes and your trials have all in their way contributed so positively to my running experience this year. The common theme of the running blog is commitment and I draw from it like a solar panel does from the Sun.

PS - I will still be able to receive your comments and all donations of encouragement and support will continue to be gratefully accepted (I think they are tax deductable so there is something in it for you too)  ;-)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Jelly Legs

Today Total: 20k Ride (mtn bike) 8k Run
Week Total: 20k/8k
Month Total: 20k/158k
Year Total: 20k/1521.4k

My first ever brick session (and NO I'm not taking up swimming!). The jolly old fellow in the red suit left a brand spanking new mountain bike at my place yesterday - a real surprise. Mrs 2P certainly did her research before sending off the letter to Santa - it is a Cell MTX-2 with Deore LX running gear and all the other trick Shimano stuff including the crank, adjustable front forks, 7005 alloy frame AND it's RED! The pic below is the exact bike but in white.

I haven't ridden a treadlie in about 10 years so I was interested to see how I would go. I managed 20k from home to and around the mangroves in Bicentennial Park at an average of 21.2 km/h. I was pretty happy with that considering the nobbly bush tyres and that the front brake needs adjusting to stop it rubbing.

With my mate Minersrun in mind I then set out on an 8k run - wow - what a joy this brick thing is! My quads were still a bit beat up from Quarry Road on Chrissy Eve and now they were positively furious with me. It took at least a km before I managed anything that resembled my normal running stride. It was a very modest 47.31 (av 5.56) for the 8k but I really enjoyed it.

This could become a bit of a habit.......

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Kill Or Cure?

Today Total: 26k
Week Total: 66k
Month Total: 150k
Year Total: 1513.4k

Well first things first - I've broken 1500k for the year which was one of my goals when I got back to more consistent running in October - yay me :-)

There was a gathering of the CR Mob today for the Christmas Eve Quarry Road Dash - well ok - plod :-) Around 30 all up.

The title of todays blog is Kill or Cure and I've got to tell you the jury is still out. Mr Lurgy is still hanging around and I felt really frumpy at the start. My lungs were full of crap and the left of the twins had me walking much earlier going up the hill for the first time than I wanted. I even had to stop and stretch for a bit. Plu did the decent and hung with me while I struggled through a real ugly patch.

It was 31 degrees at 7.00am and I was guzzling water frenetically, I knew I would run out before the end of the first lap but adhered to the "it's the water in your belly not the bottle that counts" principle. It was a good move as I really picked up once I cleared the hill and ran relatively strongly to run 2 x 46 min splits for the first lap - which is exactly the same pace as 2 weeks ago.

The temp rose to 36 degrees and definitely took its toll - most folk bailed from doing the second lap but some hardy souls gave it a crack: Don Juan, O'Runner, Susan (?), Professor, Blue Dog, Bernie G, Bandana, Rebecca, Horrie and Belinda. I think Spud who started early from the other side did 3! There were some others who started earlier who did 2 laps too but I don't know their names - so apols to those I missed.

The second lap was hard and even though I was enjoying myself I really felt the pinch. The best I could do was bring it home for a total time of 3..21 which is 6 mins slower than I ran 2 weeks ago with a full 3 litre load in the Camelbak! Still given the heat and that I felt pretty ordinary at first I'm ok with it. Actually sitting here in Hornsby Shopping Centre tapping this out on the cackleberry I feel quite satisfied and happy.

Thanks to Spud who left water and coke at the Western end, you saved my life ;-) Thanks also to Horrie and Belinda who organised the whole shebang and also brought down an esky full of coke and water - tremendous effort guys.

Hung around and nattered on for a bit - it was really nice morning with really nice people.

Merry Christmas all :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sometimes I love Clouds

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 40k
Month Total: 124k
Year Total: 1487.4k

I got a little singed by the Sun on Tuesday so I was pretty pleased it was overcast this morning. Everytime I get red and crispy I swear it will be the last time - well the last time till the next time that is. Seriously though I know it is something I need to get on top of or it will come back to haunt me in my twilight years.

Heading out on the usual loop at the luxurious time of 7:00am I had an idea that I would do 12k, but even the relatively weak sun through the clouds was drilling through my tee-shirt and making me feel uncomfortable so I whimped it and took the shorter 8k option.

Nothing fancy 8k in 45.54 (av 5.44) just one of those runs that keeps the legs ticking over. I'm really looking forward to Quarry Rd with the rest of the team on Saturday.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Happy Gwandy Trails

Today: 12k
Week: 32k
Month: 116k
Year: 1479.4k

I nipped up to Gwandalan last night (well actually I nipped up twice - forgot the keys - doh) to get the place spruced up for Chrissy. A nice little surprise was waiting for me as the power board had fried and the fridge and freezer which we had been gradually stocking for Christmas were spectacular.

Had a nice sleep in this morning and eventually arose around 8.30am. Drank about 4 gallons of coffee and read my book just enjoying being on hols. Eventually though it was time to do some chores so I threw myself into the mowing and yard work.

I wasn't at all sure I would run today as Mr Lurgy is still hanging around but it was such a lovely day and there was a nice breeze..........

Some time ago I had noticed some trails leading off into the bush at the Southern end of the lake and decided today was the day for exploring. Fantastic!!! I had a ball being tempted by option after option but common sense kicked in and I kept taking the high ground option 1. Because I knew the road would be up there somewhere if I needed to bail and 2. It would be downhill coming home.

We have had this place 8 years and this is the first chance I've really had to get in amongst motor-cross central as on the weekends it's just not a safe option. But today I didn't see a living soul.

I was really tempted to keep on keeping on but reluctantly turned back at 6k as I was breaking two of the golden rules 1. No one knew where I was and 2. I had insufficient water (500mls) for running in the hottest part of the day in the bush.

This was one of the most satisfying runs I've done lately - just poodling along sandy, gravelly bush trails with some nifty little hills, a mixture of shade and sun with legs that felt like they could go forever - I was definitely in my happy, happy, joy, joy place.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Big Yellow Taxi

Today Total: 20k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 104k
Year Total: 1467.4

I haven't been able to run since last Wednesday. What started out as a sore throat driving home late from work on Wednesday night had turned into the full ubangi by Thursday morning - lots and lots of yukkiness. So this morning (being the first day of my holidays) I thought a nice cruzy 20k around my favourite bay/bush loop would help me make up some lost k's and also burn off the dregs.

It was an absolutely gorgeous morning, coolish, clear and still. The sun was sparkling off the bay silhouetting the early morning rowers in an ethereal golden glow *cue music*......zzzzzzzzip, STOP, STOP, STOP, hold everything! This is a supposed to be a running blog not some bloody nancy romantic novel........ sorry ;-)

Anyhoo..... I was running pretty neatly, the four days off gave all the niggles a chance to heal (for a while) and having done some harder runs recently it is amazing how easy it seems to cruise along now on a long run when just a few short months ago every run was a chore to be survived.

I was in the best of moods but then my world turned upside down, my (and I use the possessive deliberately) Foreshore Trail is no more, the Western Area Health Service is "paving paradise" with not so much as a by your leave. No signs, no nothing, just a fence blocking the trail and a bulldozer working behind it. All those lovely, lonely, relics from the war years are being dozed into the ground and the best part of the trail where it gets a bit technical with bush steps and a lovely little rock face are now inaccessible. I feared this would happen one day and today is the day. The bit that really irks me is there is no detour, so I was left to my own devices to make my way through the labyrinth of Concord Hospital to link up with the track on the other side of the construction (destruction) site.

I can't change it so I just had to accept the situation and move on, it was too nice a day to stay in the doldrums. Coming up through the ANZAC Memorial Walkway I briefly flirted with the idea of extending this to a 30k run but fortunately common sense prevailed - don't want to relapse back to fluesville, so I cut up through Rhodes and bugger me if there isn't a new railway station being built! It's only been a couple of weeks since I was here and it seems everything is changing, though this change is probably for the better as there are more stairs on the new bridge than the old one :-)

The rest of the run went fairly smoothly through the back end of Bicentennial Park and up through North Strathfield for a total of 20k in 1.55.34 (av 5.47). Pulled up clearer in the head than when I started though my throat is still a bit raw, might have to get some Betadine.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Hmmmm Central Coast Half Marathon results are out and they have me as dead-heating with another guy in 1.50.06. If you are not entirely deaf or illiterate you would have heard about me crowing after the event that I ran 1.49.53. That's what the man at the finish told me and it is corroborated by my Garmin which I didn't turn off immediately - I was running too fast :-)

The Garmin may have measured short but I can't imagine the stopwatch could be a minimum of 10 seconds out!!!

My recollection is that there was no other competitor finishing at exactly the same time. My memory (Silverfox for sure and I think Miss S and Truckie might have seen it too) was that a girl almost passed me not too far from the finish and I out-sprinted her to the line, there is no way I beat her by 39 seconds which is when the next female time is recorded.

Anyway I'm not complaining or whinging, just wanted all to know that the time I reported is what I genuinely believed I had achieved at the time. I still do ;-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

More Recovery

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 16k
Month Total: 84k
Year Total: 1447.4

This was kind of a bonus run - with an early start this morning and my last appointment scheduled to finish at 8.00pm tonight I didn't think I would get a chance to run today, but the running gods doth smile upon me.

I ended up with a window of opportuntiy opening up mid afternoon, just enough time for a run and a quick blog! I mean what is the point of running if you don't have time to blog about it?

I'm still feeling a bit beat up particularly in the quads and right shin so another gentle 8k was what was required. Finished with an average of 5.23 pace which is a smidge faster than yesterdays effort. A lack luster run, my pace was all over the place and I never felt comfortable. Still it's done and here is hoping the legs pull up the better for it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 8k
Month Total: 76k
Year Total: 1439.4k

My body felt pretty beat up after Sunday's run and a particularly tough session at training last night so I didn't run this morning as planned. It's a good thing I don't get shin splints otherwise I might be a bit concerned about the pain in my right shin ;-). Amazingly though, the twins are on their best behaviour (touch wood) either that or they're in shock!

When I got home tonight, I didn't really feel like it, but knew that getting the legs turning over would be a good thing so headed out around my Canada Bay route determined to just cruise. First 2k clicked over in around 5.50 pace while the niggles warmed up and then a 4.39!!! - Where did that come from? I was surprised at how easy this felt but decided to slow up some anyway, better safe than sorry - I can go faster later in the week if I pull up ok. Ended up with an average of 5.32 for the 8k which is about what I wanted.

I'm not normally injury prone, but I have been doing some extraordinarily stupid things to myself lately, somehow when I stopped at 6k for a mouthful of water as I stood up I brushed my leg just above the knee across the brass fitting and put an inch and a half slice in it - not a deep cut, but my Thorlos and white Nike running shirt are now soaking in Napisan. I might have to get myself a bubble plastic running suit like I suggested for DJ recently! Actually, better make it fire proof too :-)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Fortune Cookie

Today Total: 26k
Week Total: 40.9k
Month Total: 68k
Year Total: 1431.4k

Went out for a Chinese feed last night and I wish I had taken a different fortune cookie off the plate. The one I got prophesised "Your holiday is over, it is time to start working again".

And it's true, I've bludged all week basking in what glory I could milk out of my Central Coast Half result. Even I admit I went a bit far when I affected a limp at work so people would ask me what did I do? :-) But with Six Foot Track just 89 sleeps away it is time to knuckle down to some proper training.

I had planned on something flat and in the 20-30k vicinity but the cookie (and following the C2K results) inspired me to do something more substantial - 2 laps of the infamous Quarry Rd Fire Trail!

NB the Garmin obviously dropped out a number of times in the deep valley where you cross Berowra Ck - it is also indicated on the first lap on the elevation chart too. The Garmin gave me 25.5k, MB gave me 26.6k - so I'm calling in 26k!

A squiz at the topo map for this run indicates that 2 laps gives you about 700m ascent and descent - pretty reasonable Six Foot training.

I donned the Camelbak complete with a 3 litre load of water, Gu and some 1st aid supplies (triangular bandage, roller bandage & space blanky). Strictly speaking I didn't need to as I could resup at the end of the 1st lap from the car if I wanted. But if I am ever going to be an ultra-runner when I grow up the Camelbak needs to become like a second skin.

About 600m into the run I thought I was staring into on of those amusement park mirrors that makes you look skinnier, younger and more handsome, but then I realised I was looking at Spud running towards me. We were dressed in matching Kevie Quinella outfits of Six Foot Track singlets and CR caps! We stopped and nattered for a few minutes about C2K, life the universe and everything and then resumed on our separate ways. By and by we would pass, Spud looking fresh and sharp and me labouring like a '76 Dato on Bulli Pass.

1st lap going up what I've dubbed the "Bitch Pitch" (Quarry Roaders will know the one I mean - it's the steepest of the bitumen sections on the Dural side) and my hammies were screaming at the indignity of having to haul an extra 4kg+ on top of my great carcass and I had to walk for about 20m. This wasn't in the plan - I had mused that I would go around 3 hours for the whole shebang but when I finished the first split in 46.16 I realised this was probably a little too ambitious.

Things did get to liven up a bit though when I got to practice my zip zip man side step - I nearly stepped on a little green/brown snake (buggered if I know what type) about 12" long and the thickness of a pencil on the first lap just near the trig.

The 2nd split came in even time and I was feeling pretty good. I managed to run for the whole of the 2nd lap but I really did fade quite badly, I lost about 3 mins on the 3rd split and about another 8 mins on the last to finish in 3 hours 15 mins. I'm pretty happy with it though as the last time I did Quarry Rd back in February as one of my last long runs before Six Foot I did it in 3 hours 32 mins - and with nearly 3 months of training to go it augers well.

Tell ya what though - it's going to be a while before I go for Chinese again :-)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Process, Process, Process

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 14.9k
Month Total: 42k
Year Total: 1405.4k

Beautiful morning out there this morning :-)

I headed off around my Canada Bay loop  with the intention of clocking up 12k. The first 2k were a bit ordinary as the niggles warmed up. The left of the twins is still pretty dark on me for throwing that duster at him on Sunday and he seems to have found a new playmate with a spot just above my right knee - I might have to separate them after little lunch.

I passed by some West Tigers boys getting in some sneaky summer sprint training and I was a bit nostalgic for my sprinting days of yore - ah well.

The next 3k were actually pretty cruisy, but by 7k my quads started to tire significantly and my pace slowed. I just had to accept that I haven't fully recovered from Sunday yet and cut my losses at 8k.

I'm not beating myself up, it's all part of a process. My primary consideration has to be staying healthy and injury free. The longer runs will come...... *he stares pensively off into the distance* the longer runs will come......

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hot & Windy

Thankyou everyone, your comments leading up to the CC Half and on my last post were very much appreciated :-)

Today Total: 6.9k (the .9 to even the month total)
Week Total: 6.9k
Month Total: 34k
Year Total: 1397.4k

I adore training in the heat so I really got to have a ball this afternoon.

My first run since the half so I got to sort out what was just general soreness and what was genuine niggle. Left calf and right quad were the only bits that didn't eventually loosen up. Given the opposing nature of these 2 muscles I suspect my hips might be a bit out of alignment so a trip to the chiro might be in order.

The heat was ok, but the strong westerly wind was a bit ugly at times. I faded a fair bit over the last couple of k's but that's ok I wasn't pushing. Today was only ever meant to get the legs turning over again so mission accomplished.

Looking forward to some longer runs soon and as O'Runner (Dave) said "I can hear the hills a calling".

Sunday, December 04, 2005

So Now I Know

Today Total: 21.1k (CC 1/2)
Week Total: 35.1k
Month Total: 27.1k
Year Total: 1390.5k

Late Edit: Posted the Google-Earth image.

The question that has been haunting me these last couple of weeks is could I go under 1.50 for the CC Half?

Answer: Yes I can! 7 seconds under as it turns out. After thinking I had blown it, I sprinted across the line in 1.49.53 :-)

What a fantastic day, there were Coolrunners everywhere, I'll have a crack at naming who I saw and talked to but apologies if I miss anyone. First I saw Kazza and then a steady stream that included: Jen_Runs (on pom pom duty), Miners, Go Girl, Gronk, BennyR, Miss Skarmel *swoosh*, Aunty K, Truckie (water bag duty), Vatman, Johnny Dark, Silver Fox (cheer squad), Blue Dog, Eagle, Bandana, Plu (complete with voice recorder), Gnome, Professor, Gasher, Fake Plastic Trees, Colin, Ewen, Tiger Angel and there may have been more.

At the start line, quite a number of us brought a ticket for the Miners 1.50 train complete with 2nd engine Miss Skarmel *swoosh* - we took our seats in an orderly fashion and waited for the gun.

Being predominately a bicycle track the course is a bit congested at the start but it didn't take long for things to thin a little. I must say it is a lovely flat course with water views for nearly the whole distance and when I took the time to look around the beauty of it always made me smile..

Around 4k I was struggling and seriously thought about jumping off the train. My breathing was a dogs breakfast and my right shin (what the?) was giving me gyp. The left of the two twins also had a malevolent look in his eye till I threw a duster at him and he settled down. Now class concentrate!

I kept dropping off the pack and every time when the gap got out to about 30m I'd put in a surge to catch up, make a few lame jokes, be a little obnoxious and even ocassionally take the lead so I felt like I was doing my bit.

When I was really struggling at the 4k mark I just focussed on Miners heels and hung on for dear life - the only problem was that Miners is about 7 feet tall and I'm er - well a little vertically challenged - focussing on his heels I subconsciously found myself trying to match his cadence - result: I inadvertantly invented the Monty Python Silly Run. After having a good chuckle to myself I found that I could hang on (kind-of).

By 8k there was just Miners, Miss S *swoosh*, Gronk, Go Girl and me still a part of the train and we pretty much went around the turnaround as one consolidated bunch. The pace was good and I calculated we were about a minute and a half in the black.

Some time after the turnaround (my memory is a bit hazy on when) Gronk got rabbit happy and took off, Miss S *swoosh* determined not to leave one of the flock unattended went with him. Whilst in the caboose the gap just got bigger and bigger, opening out to about 50 meters between me and the Miners/Go Girl dynamic duo. Every now and again Miners would cast a glance over his shoulder to make sure I was still in sight. My response was invariably a resounding toot toot which indicated a whole lot more bravado than I was feeling.

At 14k I was really thirsty for the first time in the run. I had made a point of getting 2 cups of water in at every drink station, but at the 12k one I just couldn't stomach the second and poured it over my calves - I was really missing it now. This was where the gap became greatest and I took the decision to take my second Gu, I had taken the first at 9k and with my pace waning it was now or never.

After the 15k water station (where I pocketed a couple of snakes for ron) I picked up the pace and slowly made up ground on MR & GG and by around 16k I caught up just as we turned into a solid headwind (great). At 17k there was Jen_Runs complete with pom poms and Go Husband handing out Truckies water bags - thanks guys you gave me a much needed lift.

It was shortly after this that it became apparent that GG could not maintain pace. I tried good cop then bad cop on her but eventually figured I was pushing the new friendship and let it drop. I felt a bit torn on the team solidarity thing, but as MR was looking after her I pushed on.

When is a train not a train? When there is a pack of one :-) Left to my own devices with no blue and gold caps to spur me on my concentration faded and my pace was all over the place but I wasn't too alarmed as though my cognitive skills had gone missing, there were messages coming from the stem cells telling me time was on my side. Bastards! They lured me into a false sense of security and when I looked at my watch at 20k I nearly had kittens - I only had a smidge over 5 mins to make 1.1k - numnuts!

The last time I looked at my watch was when it clicked over 1.49 and when I looked at how far I had to go I knew it was going to be touch and go. I was panting like a drug smuggler at a Bali airport and I thought I was going as quick as I could but then out of nowhere a girl appeared on my left shoulder with about 100m to go and I took off like I had been stung by a bee.

Nothing was sweeter than to cross the line to the encouragement of CR's and still see 1.49 on the clock :-)

Big thanks to Miners, Miss S *swoosh*, Go Girl and Gronk who all contributed to the motivation I needed.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Final Tinker & Doddle

Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 14k
Month Total: 6k
Year Total: 1369.4k

Picked up a new pair of shorts on the way home. I realised I didn't have a pair of running shorts with pockets and as they are only serving water at the drinks stations I want to carry a gu or two particularly if it is hot. Got a pair of Nike Swoosh on special at Rebel for $17. They are a bit big and baggy but then again so am I :-)

I headed out right on sunset complete with a gu in each of the 3 pockets to see what it felt like. For the record I will be carrying the gu in my back pocket on Sunday.

The plan tonight was to build speed steadily over the first 2k and hit terminal velocity on the third. Then turn around and just like Tuesday come back at whatever felt comfy.


1k - 5.22 (easy peasy)
2k - 5.06 (comfortable)
3k - 4.12!!! (hard)

Final 3k @ 5.29

The lights reflecting on the water were spectacular tonight with no wind to disturb the surface and I was definitely in my happy place as I cruised home around the bay.

Sunday is going to be a fun day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Run With Two Halves

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 8k
Month Total: 202k
Year Total: 1363.4

Yay cracked the 200k mark for the month!

Well I wanted to see if there was any point in purchasing a ticket for the Minerstrain. I know it's a bit late in the piece but with those two drama queens the Gastroc twins I havn't really had much of a chance to measure my progress and I wanted to see whether running at a 5.12 pace was feasable over any distance.

I had already planned to run 8k today so I decided to get my pace up to threshold i.e. solid breathing without going into debt hold it for 4k then return at whatever I felt comfy at.


4k @ 4.49
4k @ 5.24

So hmmm...... I reckon I might as well catch the train just to be sociable - I can always get off and commute on my own if I need to :-)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Toning It Down

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 42k
Month Total: 194k
Year Total: 1355.4k

Thank goodness I threw my CR tri top  into my bag before I left for Bathurst. I had originally just packed a singlet, but 9 years of going to Bathurst every 3rd weekend has taught me never to take the weather for granted.. It was cold and rainy when I woke up so it wasn't too hard a decision as to what to wear.

I ran 3k back towards town before doing 2 laps of a loop formed by a bridge to bridge bicycle/walking track that runs each side of the Macquarie River. It rained, it poured then it rained some more, at one stage there were tiny little hail stones and I was really glad my shoulders were covered.

I couldn't whinge though because when I went past Explorers Tree yesterday it was coming down in buckets and my thoughts were very much with LL and her happy band as they made their way towards the Cox's River (and ultimately Jenolan Caves - I hope) across treacherous mountain trails. I was very happy to see the pic posted by KT indicating they had made it to the Cox's because the 15k stretch just preceding that in my view is the most dangerous..

But back to my run - I have been letting the blood rush a bit to my head lately and it really is time to tone it down a little so I headed off keeping a close eye on Hal to ensure a very deliberate slower pace hovering at around 5.50. I ended up averaging 5.48 so I was pretty happy with that.

The plan is to hit the start line next Sunday fresh and pain free, so right now my thoughts are: training on Monday night, quickish 8k on Tuesday, training Wednesday night, not quite as quickish 6 to 8k on Thursday, then rest Friday and Saturday. Of course like all my plans it is subject to change without notice :-)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Self Maximising

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 30k
Month Total: 182k
Year Total: 1343.4k

NB If anyone is interested I have inserted the map of yesterdays run below (thanks MR for the help with line widths). For anyone not familiar with Canberra the thing in the centre of the cirlcle (lower right corner) is our Parliment House.

I can't remember if I read it in Deeks or Mona's biography, but one of them referred to the body as self maximising machine and it never fails to amaze me how this works.

During October I was flat out trying to run just 1k during a run at a sub 6 min pace. Today on a recovery run I comfortably ran an average of 5.32.

I didn't run this morning because my legs still felt tired from yesterdays effort. They did improve through the day so I thought an easy 8k along the foreshore (I'm back home) would freshen me up nicely for tonights training.

In my mind I planned I would cruise at around a 6.10 or so pace and enjoy the scenery. I was stunned when I heard the little beep signifying my first k split to see I had done it in 5.26 as I truly felt I was dawdling and wouldn't have been surprised to see 6.26! In fact I reckon my double take would have been a cracker to see.

Injuries notwithstanding I have put a fair bit of thought into my prep for the half on the 4th since I decided in late September I wanted to do it and touch wood it looks like I might have timed my peak just right.

Again touching wood, all I need to do is get my ducks in a line for next week without doing anything dumb and I am confident I will get the best result I can given the amount of preparation time I've had.

But the truly exciting thing is KT put out the first newsletter for the '06 6' Track today - how excitement! If all goes according to plan this will be my first attempt (my fourth in total) at it with more than 8 weeks running preparation. So the opportunity exists to run a biiiiiiig PB next March - bring it on baby!

Probably wont run this weekend - Bathhurst weekend.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Lap Of The Lake

Today Total: 16k
Week Total: 22k
Month Total: 174k
Year Total: 1335k

Happy happy, joy joy :-)

I pulled up lame after Tuesdays run so running was not an option yesterday.

Instead I slipped up to my room at every break in the conference and made myself sit in a freezing cold Canberra water bath. Apply Brauer joint and muscle gel, haul on the skins, slip back into the zoot suit and wander back into the crowd. All up including before and after the conference I managed 6 repeats.

When I woke this morning I was all smiles - blissfully pain free. To celebrate a decided a lap of the lake was called for.

The little jogging brochure in the hotel informed me this should be a 16k loop which was perfect as that is exactly how far I wanted to run. It probably is 16k but a couple of nav errors at Black Mountain Peninsular and the Aussie Museum added an extra 2k (which I walked/shuffle ran as a warm down - red line above).

The happy happy, joy joy bit is that I comfortably did 16k @ 5.34 in 1.29.07 - my quickest longer run in ages and so far the Gastroc twins are behaving.

That's my last longish run now till the CC Half.

Probably too much information, but I am tapping this post out on the Blackberry from what I hope will be my last bloody cold bath for a while - now where did I put my skins? :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Easy Six

Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 6k
Month Total: 158k
Year Total: 1319k

I gave myself another flogging at training last night and woke up feeling a bit dehydrated. It was a gorgeous morning and too good not to go for a run, so I headed out for Canada Bay.

I'm really quite fortunate in that 200 meters from home I have access to a green belt that runs through Concord. Though I have to cross a couple of roads on the way I get 1.5k of running through parks on grass or dirt track when I take this route.

I wasn't sure how far I wanted to run, but my left calf had a dull ache all the way, further vindicating my decision to be a bit gentle today and helping me to make the decision to bail at 6k. I'm off to Canberra for few days and really want to get in a couple runs around the lake, so no point in pushing it.

Apart from the calf I felt really comfy out there this morning and really enjoyed not putting myself under any pressure. Morning sun, green parks, stunning water views, the odd friendly local - nice :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

High Roller

Today Total: 21k
Week Total: 42k
Month Total: 152k
Year Total: 1313.4k

The highs and lows of running.... it's a funny old game this running lark. After the trauma of this last week and yesterdays fairly ordinary run, this mornings run was fan-bloody-tastic :-)

I took on the "Roller Coaster" again.

This is by far the hardest run that I have been doing lately. The first 6k trend as gentle climb all the way (ignore the dip on the graph below at 4k - that must have been a Garmin glitch - a more accurate representation is to imagine the last 6k in reverse) and then from there till 12.5k is a series of steep ups and downs culminating in two 80 - 90 meter or so climbs on the 11th and 12th k's. The last 8.5k is a bit of a  doddle by comparison.

With an eye on the bigger picture of getting ready for next years 6',  I have done this run three times in the lead up to the CC Half and the improvement is so big you could measure it with a sun dial!

23/10: 2.41.12 (walked part of the hills)
30/10: 2.25.44
20/11: 2.18.05

That is a whopping 23+ mins better than my first go! The 11th and 12th k splits for the three runs tell a pretty happy story too.

11k: 8.52, 8.10, 7.19
12k: 9.44, 9.25, 8.21

These still aren't splits to rave about, but they do show a marked improvement in my steep hill running.

Given last weeks drama I have no real plan yet on how to approach these last 2 weeks other than I will shorten up the distance a bit. I'm a little nervous about doing any speed work as I don't want to risk aggravating Messers Gastroc.

I'm also revising down my goal time. I know on a good day I could go a ways under 1.50 but I also don't want to risk going out hard and having the evil twins rain on my parade at some stage. So at this juncture the plan is to run at a disciplined 5.40 pace to 15k and then play it by ear (subject to change without notice due to fluctuating testosterone and adrenalin levels).

I would rate Woodford to Glenbrook as my best running performance this year, so if I can walk away from the Central Coast Half feeling like I have eclipsed that I will be very happy.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I'll Take It

Today Total: 9k
Week Total: 21k
Month Total: 131k
Year Total: 1292.4k

It is always a fine line as to when to run again. To an extent it is a bit of a punt whether the injury has healed enough so that a run will aid recovery, or not enough and you will bugger it up more. With years of experience with the evil Gastroc twins I have gotten better at predicting the odds, but it is far from an exact science.

I think we could call today a draw.

At training last night my calf niggled away at me non stop - fair dinkum I reckon it could get a spot in the slips cordon in the Aussie cricket team. Mowing the lawn this morning (we are up at the lake house) it was a dull ache but no "grabby" niggles so I figured a run was an even money bet.

Mrs 2P did the decent and dropped me up the end of Kanangra Drive on her way to the shops. The first couple of k's were touch and go and a couple of times I thought I had over done it so I slowed right down to about a 6.15 pace and just doddled along. My twin mantra being "don't push it" and "I won't be cowed by my calves".

This was only going to be 6k run but I  was feeling pretty chipper all things considering and decided to extend. One problem though was that it being just a smidge under 30 degrees and that I had not long finished mowing, I had gone through 500mls of water in just 5k! A quick stop into the Tunkawallan Tennis Club and the lovely bar maid refilled my water container with a bit of ice and chilled purified water - nectar :-)

The last 2k of this run was around the foreshore (grass - no track) and it was absolutely gorgeous. I wouldn't say I was in my happy place today because my calf ached all the way, but I'll take it.

 I don't think I did the injury any further harm (only time will tell) and as they say every one you get through is one they can never take away.

PS the hand is coming along well - just a couple of spots that still look like hamburger - Silvazine is a miracle cream!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

No Surrender

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 12k
Month Total: 122k
Year Total: 1283.4k

I was really chuffed to run 70k last week which is my second highest weekly total for the year (highest 84k in Feb).

With two days break to let the hand heal a bit (I didn't want to risk infection with sweaty bandages after I drained the blisters) my legs felt really fresh this morning.

Todays plan was 12k, 2k's to warm up and then run at close to my projected CC Half race pace (5.15 - 5.30) with surges at 3k, 6k & 11k.

All was going swimmingly. Slight glitch with the Garmin on the 3rd k - Hal only recorded a 5.14 and I KNOW I was going at sub 5 pace! 6th k in 4.55. Average pace for the run was hovering around 5.25 (including the first 2 warm up k's).

At 10.58k the wheels fell off and both calves tightened considerably, particularly the left which "went" - not a tear per se but very painful. I ended up hobbling home in a smidge over 67 mins for the 12k.

But my new mantra is: "I will not be cowed by my calves". And I won't! Apart from the double entendre amusing me it is also the most positive affirmation I can think of to overcome the beastly Gastroc twins.

So lots more ice, lots more compression, maybe a little retreat, but definitely no surrender!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

30k & Yes The Lawns Got Done!

Thanks for all your comments yesterday folks, your a sympathetic bunch - eh? ;-) Tesso are you sure you are not related to Mrs 2P?

Today Total: 30k
Week Total: 70k
Month Total: 110k
Year Total: 1271.4k

By 4.00pm yesterday the pain in my hand had subsided enough courtesy of Panadeine Forte and Silvazine (that stuff is amazing) for me to get out and manipulate the mower around the yard. I drew the line at doing the edges though :-)

The extent of burns are always difficult to assess initially, but when I got up this morning it was pretty clear I only had 2nd degree burns to about 40% of my palm and about 20%-30% of each finger - the rest is just scorched. So no excuse not to go for a run.

I know a 30k is not necessary for a half marathon preparation but as I'm just getting back into the swing of things I wanted it for my confidence. So I loaded up the camelback with a couple of litres of water and some Gu's and headed off. I like to run with the camelback as: I like the convenience of having a drink when I want one; you don't have to stop to get a drink &; I figure the extra weight is a good training aid.

The course joins up all my loops and features 5k of bush trail and some pretty specie views of Parramatta River - it also takes in the ghost town of the Olympic Park. The pic below is actually the 32k version - today I ran straight through Olympic Park which shortens it by 2k.

I had two goals - given that I had about 3kg's on my back I decided I wanted to run sub 62min splits for each 10k and to run the penultimate k in sub 2 hour half marathon pace (5.40). Results:

1st 10k - 61.44
2nd 10k - 61.34
3rd 10k - 63.01
Total for 30k - 3.06.19
29th k - 5.34

So I failed on the 3rd 10k split, but I just couldn't hold pace going up Silverwater Bridge and the big hill at 27k which takes me over North Strathfield Station. I also struggled a bit on a couple of the smaller hills through Olympic Park. I was pretty happy with the 5.34 for the 29th k though.

All in all a brilliant morning. Still as, warm and magic. Definitely a run where I was in my happy place :-)

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Silly 2P

Well another non-running post.

The whipper snipper got its revenge! Long story short, I did an extremely dumb thing whilst cleaning the spark plug, without going into detail it involved methylated spirit, matches and a big surprise - end result is I have 2nd degree burns to my entire palm and most parts of my fingers on my right hand.

It hurts a bit.

Had planned a long run tomorrow but it is extremely unlikely that I will run now at all, just have to wait and see.

The bright note is it got me ot of doing the lawns :-)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Play Time

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 40k
Month Total: 80k
Year Total: 1241.4

Well the Gastroc twins are as happy as they ever get (brats) so I thought I might have some fun with them this morning.

I headed out on a repeat of Wednesays 8k  run which includes a 3k out and back section on the fantastic surface around France Bay, Exile Bay and Canada Bay. Only today my intention was to play with the 3rd and 6th kilometer and "attack" them.

It was delightfully cool and fresh after last nights Southerly and so no excuses not to have a go. I should point out I havn't done any speed work since 1999. I guess that requalifies me as a speedwork newbie and I have been putting this off and off until the time was right.

So the results:

3k - 4.29
6k - 4.27

Yay I could just about keep up with Steve L (Team J's speed demon) for about a k on one of his "cruuuzy" runs!

Humble beginnings but the longest journey as they say........

The plan is training tonight, rest tomorrow (lawns) and something long and enjoyable on Sunday.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Back To The "Bush"

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 32k
Month Total: 72k
Year Total: 1233.4k

This morning I ran my Yaralla Bay, Rhodes, Bicentennial Park loop. It incorporates 5k of bush trail along the foreshore.

I haven't done this run for months but it my absolute favourite run from home. I've deliberately been giving it a break because I'll just about live down the bush section  once my 6' prep starts in earnest.

It really is like the land that time forgot. In some places it is just bush but in others there are old huts that date back to WW11 when it was used as a repat hospital for wounded diggers. There are also a couple of historic manors which are absolutely majestic.

The bush section ends at the Kokoda Memorial Walkway and I never fail to reflect on just how hard it must have been for our boys. Sometimes for me it hurts enough just running, let alone having some mal intended bugger with a big bundook trying to shoot you whilst you are trying to remember what it is like to eat and wondering what those big red pussy sores are....

It is the mix of bush, broken and undulating ground, flat running, a couple of short sharp hills and some stairs, good scenery and a distinct lack of other humans that makes this my favourite.

Ah life is good you know, can't understand why so many people waste it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Same But Different

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 60k
Year Total: 1221.4k

Played tag with the snooze button this morning and finally dragged my bones out of bed at 6.15.

Instead of running via several parks and a bit of road to get to Canada Bay today I ran the 1k from home to Cape Cabarita and then did 3k out to Canada Bay and back along the foreshore.

What a cracker of a morning, nice and warm and with all the rain we have had the sky is as clear as it gets in Sydney.

Exit whistling.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New Halfpenny

I decided when I set up my blog that I would only post my runs - but this is an exception.

At 8.30pm tonight our 3rd Grand Daughter Lauren came into the world.

Mum and bubs both well and Mrs 2P is clucking like crazy :-)

And yes I am far too young - technically speaking they are my step grand kids ;-)

Rest Is Good

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 12k
Month Total: 52k
Year Total: 1213.4k

Well 2 days off training and a 3 day break from running has done wonders - I feel freshly minted.

After Fridays cricket niggle, running wasn't an option on either Saturday or Sunday. I probably could have run yesterday but my calf was still fairly sore so decided that discretion played the better part.

Pulled up really well after last nights session and decided I would run this morning. I was almost put off by the rain (it's not running in the rain that bothers me - it's the minute or so standing around in it waiting for the Garmin to get its act together) but  I really want to get back to running consistently in the AM so I donned the runners and headed out.

My calf was still a bit sore so I did a very conservative 6.40 first k. A quick systems check and all seemed well so I upped the pace and I must say running in the rain this morning at a fairly consistent 5.30 pace for the next 11k was an absolute delight.

I really was in my happy place today and even those snivelling Gastroc twins seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Won't know what to do with myself tonight now I've run this morning......

Friday, November 04, 2005


Today Total: 17k
Week Total: 46k
Month Total: 40k
Year Total: 1201.4k

Modern day usage of the word "cute" has modified its definition in today's dictionaries, but when I was at school the dictionary used to describe cute as being ugly but interesting. Well today's run definitely fits the classical definition.

On top of what has been my hardest training week for quite some time and fronting for my second run in under 10 hours my legs were weary as, as I dragged my semi-conscious body out of bed at 5am this morning. I had decided some time back that some time soon I would like to run from my place to the Bay Run, do a lap and return home. Today was the day.


I don't see what all the fuss is about with the Bay Run, it's noisy, crowded and in parts smelly but apart from that I guess its ok :-) I would much rather my more local Canada Bay and Exile Bay or Majors Bay, Yaralla Bay and Brays Bay.


It was fairly warm and very humid this morning, but I actually like that and usually revel in these kinds of conditions, but there just wasn't much gas in the tank. On the 5k down to the bay my pace was all over the place, splits for this section range from 6.38 to 5.32, a sure sign of fatigue. When I got to the bay I almost bailed, instead I compromised with a short stretch break.

Vanity made me lift my pace to a fairly constant 6 min pace for the 7k around the bay. I saw Action twice as he was running in the other direction and we passed brief greetings and comments on the weather. Well at least he did - I think I just kind of tried to grunt something intelligible and seemingly friendly through my laboured breathing. I must say I found the whole "boot camp" scene around Leichhardt Park highly amusing.

Lap of the bay complete, I treated myself to another stretch break and ground out the 5k home with some of the splits dipping into the 7 min zone.

Whilst I believe chronic over-training is silly, I think days like today are good every now and then. Without being macho about it, it toughens you up mentally for those times when life gets a bit hard. It gives you that confidence that you can push on when common sense suggests it might be highly desirable to stop. And I am a firm believer that this is a skill that is generalisable to all parts of your life. If nothing else it is good preparation for Blacks Range (6 footers will know what I mean).

So yeah, nothing flash - pretty ordinary in fact, but I'm happy with it. All I have to do is survive tonights training and I have 38 hours or so of glorious rest before assaulting something up the mountains on Sunday arvo.

Edit: Mucking around with the troops and playing cricket in the roof top tennis court at lunch time I managed to niggle the calf injury I had last week. It's a mufti day so fortunately I had my skins on under my jeans so hopefully it is not too bad.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Another Double

Today Total: 7k
Week Total: 29k
Month Total: 23k
Year Total: 1184.4

The mow and run double that is! It's becoming a bit of a habit.

Thanks to the rain and heat the lawns were feral even though I mowed last Thursday. I actually don't mind mowing but geez I hate the whipper snipper - just quietly I think the noisy little bastard hates me back, the way it keeps breaking down and refusing to start etc -  so it's mutual.

After mowing I had a quick dip in the pool and then off around the usual route for a quick 7k.

I'm off to Bathurst this weekend to visit Bec (my 14 year old bundle of joy daughter) so I'm going to try and drag my lazy carcass out of bed in the morning and do something longer. Saturday is a scheduled rest day to maximise play time with Bec, then Sunday something short and steep up the mountains on the way home.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

4 Gentle Ones

Today Total: 4k
Week Total: 22k
Month Total: 16k
Year Total: 1177.4k

After yesterdays masochism it was time to explore my yin side and be gentle.

There are a number of nooks that I have been meaning to explore around the foreshore near my place - you know those little alleys, side streets and paths that you often see when you are out running and wonder where they go but don't pursue because you don't want to ruin your run? Well now I know.

Wasn't really a run more like mooching opportunities interspersed with a light jog - I must have hit the pause button on the Garmin half a dozen times while I poked around to see if there was a way through several seemingly dead ends.

Found one particular low tide option that might be fun for when I am looking for broken ground options on the lead up to 6'.

Nice recovery and now ready for training tonight.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

12k Hard

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 18k
Month Total: 12k
Year Total: 1173.4k

There is a masochistic streak in me and it was raging today. Being my 4th consecutive running day I had planned to run a 12k easy, but for some reason when I looked at my first k split I was going more at my racing pace and decided to see how long I could hold it.

The route was Canada Bay, Breakfast Point and a lap of Concord Golf Course which meant that the 7th, 8th, 10th & 12th k's contain a fair amount of uphill and several times I caught myself making an excursion above my aerobic threshold (read I was panting like a St Bernard at the Equator and probably didn't look too dissimilar).

I finished the run completely wasted but satisfied.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Back Home

Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 6k
Month Total: 162k
Year Total: 1161.4k

Alas our long weekend is over.

We got back too late for me to go to training so I headed out for a 6k lap of Canada Bay and environs. The legs were a little fatigued from yesterdays effort so I didn't push hard.

I was also a little touched be the sun as Mrs 2P and I did a 4+k paddle in our 2 person kayak on the lake - me without a shirt on - I wouldn't say I am burnt per se but I can definitely feel the effects.

Pretty satisfied with 162k for October. My best result by far since June (217k) with only a 45, 41 & 33k for July, August & September respectively. Would like to post another 200+k month in the lead up to the CC Half. That's the plan anyway.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Big Saving

Today Total: 21k
Week Total: 36k
Month Total: 156k
Year Total: 1155.4k

Well daylight saving is upon us and I managed to save twice as much as everyone else. Yep! Somehow I managed to put the clock forward 2 HOURS....... Have I ever mentioned in these rambles what a numnuts I can be?

Turns out I was up and about at 4.30am and by the time I realised my goof I thought what the hell let's do it anyway. It was a very sultry 21.6 degrees already and so I figured it was a blessing in disguise.

I repeated the "Roller Coaster" (see elevation profile and map from 3 posts back). What a fantastic run. I'm chuffed as. I managed to run all the hills for the first time in 5 attempts, my only walks being my mandatory 6, 12 & 18k 1 minute walk breaks to take on Gu or Mountain Bread with peanut butter.

It was a very humid morning with some light showers. Looking out to sea it was very misty and inclement looking and I had a chuckle as I recalled the words George from Seinfeld used whilst hamming up the story of saving the whale "the sea was angry that day my friends".

The early start was a blessing as it is absolutely bucketing down now, looks like a lazy lake day ahead, tough but someone has to do it :-)

Fingers crossed and touching wood, it looks like I've pulled up injury free.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 15k
Month Total: 135k
Year Total: 1134.4k

I pulled up pretty lame after Thursday nights effort - numnuts that I am I should have waited another day. Oh well.

Mrs 2P and I knocked off early on Friday and headed up to the lake house at Gwandalan. We arrived in time to mow the lawns and yet again I found the gentle exercise somewhat theraputic but the calf was in no condition for a run :-( Lot of ice, lots of compression.

On the way back from Swansea I decided to have another crack so got Mrs 2P to hit the ejector seat as we got within 6k of home and jettison me with instructions that if I wasn't back in 40 mins come lookin.

I ran with a calf guard on and all was good. Sitting here icing and typing on the Blackberry (glad I've finally found a good use for the thing other than proping up the short leg on my desk) I'm thinking tomorrows long run is looking good.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Test? - Pass!

Today Total: 7k
Week Total: 9k
Month Total: 129k
Year Total: 1128.4k

Yay - I'm back running.

When I got home from work today I mowed the lawns. My right calf was a bit "grabby" at first but by the time I got to the front lawn (I always do the back first) it had warmed up and felt great.

So I decided to tempt the running Gods and head out on a run. I did the first k ultra conservatively in a 6.40 pace but it all felt good and I ran strongly for the next 4k. Obviously the enforced break was a good thing because I was running at a fair clip for me (about 5.30 pace).

I deliberately slowed for the 6th and 7th k. My calf started to tighten up in the last k and with the benefit of hind sight this run was 1k too long. But hey - I'm as happy as. The combination of ice, cold baths, constant compression and voltaren rapids has resulted in one of the quickest recoveries I've ever experienced.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Today Total: 2km's
Week Total: 2km's
Month Total: 122km's
Year Total: 1121.4km's

1.158km into tonights run I ran awkwardly off a gutter and popped my right calf muscle. After the initial kerfuffle I managed a shuffle limp (7.45 pace) back to 2k's then hobbled the last bit home.

I'm miffed but optomistic, though it's too early to tell yet how bad it is. I've now iced, nurofened and it feels pretty snug in a compression bandage. I'm pretty confident I can get back running in a few days. Will ice again tonight and get some voltaren rapids. Obviously no training tonight either.

My chin feels good but :-)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Roller Coaster

Today Total: 21km's
Week Total: 58km's
Month Total: 120km's
Year Total: 1119.4km's

Edit: Links have been inserted below for the elavation profile and a satellite image.

Saturday was a scheduled rest day and boy did I need it. After training on Friday night and then heading up to Gwandalan I woke up feeling really bleh. Thank goodness the lawns didn't need mowing. I was very weary in the legs all day and was not at all convinced I was going to run Sunday morning.

I woke up at 5:30am and it was just such a glorious day I knew I had to get out and be a part of it. So I jacked up the camel back and manouvered my body underneath it and headed up the road. 2L of water and 4 Gu's was more than I needed but I was planning on heading into injun territory - ok exaggeration - I was heading into Munmorah Rec Park. Not exactly wilderness, but it could conceivably be a number of hours before the cavalry arrived if anything went wrong so better safe than sorry.

The only drawback with having a place on a lake is that unless you run around the lake the only way is up. The first 2k's of this run are a grind, continual up particularly the first k. The next 4 undulate slightly but the trend is also up, so it is over 6k before your down muscles get a fair dinkum go.

When I left home I was intending to run trails, but the amount of water lying about made me change my mind. This isn't as whimpy as it sounds as to take the trails option means I have to pass through a swamp about 80m wide. Last time I did it after rain I had to prise a Kayano out of the mire after sinking to my thighs in glutinous muck. So instead I stuck to the road and ran the "roller coaster" - several of successive big dippers - as can be seen from the link below 2 of them in particular are a reasonable workout. I did walk a bit of the up but not much.

Where is it

At the 12k mark I couldn't ignore the rumblings in my tummy anymore so an excursion into the bushes was called for. Thanks goodness for green ferns, enough said. Back on to the track and I now trundled along a fire trail for a k or so to get me back to the Pacific Highway. The PH is always a bit of a drag, but with this run it was only 1.5k to the turnoff and it was time to re-trace my steps back down the dirt track on the verge of Kanangra Drive (happily 6k trending downwards) and back to base.

I was really happy to have completed my first long run for a while - may there be many more to follow.

Friday, October 21, 2005

So Far So Good

Today Total: 6km's
Week Total: 37km's
Month Total: 99km's
Year Total: 1098.4km's

Well so far I've fulfilled this weeks goal of running every weekday albeit nothing very long. The idea has been to get myself conditioned back to regular running without doing any damage.

The plan now is to have a break tomorrow, then a 20k on Sunday. Then next week start to do some longer runs but with longer recovery. If that goes OK in two weeks time I'll try some speed work to sharpen myself up for the half on the 4th.

That's as specific as I ever get, I like to keep my plans flexible.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Happiness Is

Today Total: 12km's
Week Total: 31km's
Month Total: 93km's
Year Total: 1092.4km's

Happiness is a 12km run in light rain where you start out conservatively because you don't know how you will go, you get to 7km and the body feedback is not so great but you push on and magically the last 4km's get progressively better and better culminating in a 4.47 last km (which is gentle uphill all the way).

That might not impress the racing snakes out there too much but for moi it is a great indication 6 weeks out from a half marathon that I'm well and truly on track for my preparation *touching every bit of wood I can find*.

I didn't finish work till 9:00pm last night which put the kybosh on training but meant I could escape today at 3:00pm guilt free and head home and do todays run. Obviously the extra recovery through not training last night contributed to such a happy run this arvo.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Recovery Mode

Today Total: 7km
Week Total: 19km
Month Total: 81km
Year Total: 1080.4km

Well I finally managed to get out of bed this morning when the alarm went off but the DOMS in my arms and shoulders was exquisit - in a peverse way I actually don't mind it, but that combined with some general tightness in my calf muscles had me thinking that a "slowy" was in order.

Plodded off around the usual route doing the first 2k at an extremely lazy pace and even that hurt a fair bit, picked up the pace for the third kilometer and then backed right off for the rest.

Like the saying goes - "the pain is mandatory, the suffering is optional". I'm happy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My Mate DOMS

Today Total: 4km
Week Total: 12km
Month Total: 74km
Year Total 1073.4km

I flogged myself at training last night like I haven't in a long time. That combined with the 8k I did yesterday arvo had me waking with that taughtly strung piano wire feeling that I was dehydrated. Muscles felt fine but I decided not to run this morning and concentrated on drinking water for the first half of the day.

As the sun set my legs and particularly my arms started to stiffen up. Paying penance for my early knock-off yesterday I didn't get away from the office till after 6:30pm and used that as an excuse to just do a lazy 4k around Concord Golf Course tonight.

As I type my biceps are really whinging - me too for that matter ;-)

P.S. Yes I've been tagged too, but have I ever mentioned how lazy I am.....

Monday, October 17, 2005

Early Mark

Today Total: 8km
Week Total: 8km
Month Total: 70km
Year Total: 1069.4km

With characteristic resolve I managed to stoically fight the temptation to get up and run in the pouring rain this morning and stayed in bed. It's a tough job....

Fortunately a meeting I had to go to in town ended early and I was able to escape and get in a good run, a rest and a blog before heading off for training tonight.

I headed off around what has become the usual route these days - Canada Bay and threw in the optional Breakfast Point extension for good measure. Ran for the first time with the Linebreaks on. They stayed up and felt supportive but my right calf gave me a bit of gyp, though lower down than usual. Looks like I'll be icing late tonight MMMM mmmmm

First Post

It's about time I converted from my old Geocities site to Blogger (backdated to the start of October) - so here goes....

Friday, October 14, 2005

Retail Therapy

Today Total: 6km
Week Total: 30km (my running week is Monday to Sunday)
Month Total: 62km
Year Total: 1061.4km

As a spur of the moment decision I dropped into a Rebel between appointments today and what a wonderful thing it was. $410.00 later I had a new pair of Asics Nimbus (finally they had my size), a Skins sleeveless top (to see if it makes any difference to my back), a set of Linebreak Calf Guards (basically Skins for below the knees), some Bodyglide and enough Gu to stock the Sixth Fleet.

Got home and couldn't wait to give the new shoes a try so it was off for a quick 6k around Canada Bay. I have finally found MY shoe, they are the cats meow as far as my feet are concerned. Being new I got hotspots on the balls of my feet around 5k but apart from that I've never run in a more comfy shoe - happy, happy, joy, joy.

I am really glad in hindsight that I pushed to do a run yesterday because even though I am a bit sore today my pace was back to normal.

Off to training tonight and I am going to give the Linebreaks a whirl. I didn't wear them on the run because I have a sneaking suspicion that unless you use something to keep them up they will slip down. The start/stop nature of training makes it more conducive to pulling em back up than running. I could be wrong, maybe they'll stick but didn't want to risk it running. If they do fall down I guess I could always try the old footy trick of wrapping the top with a bit of stretchy electricians tape.

Off to see Bec in Bathurst this weekend so unlikely I will get a long run in but I'm pretty happy with this weeks effort so far.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Slow 8k & A Close Encounter

Today Total: 8km
Week Total: 24km (my running week is Monday to Sunday)
Month Total: 56km
Year Total: 1055.4km

Well I am putting my mantra to the test "this is the new expectation legs so get used to it". As can be seen from previous posts I haven't been doing too many K's of late so the efforts of the last 6 days or so though modest have left my legs weary, particularly since my non-running workouts last Friday night and Wednesday were savage on my legs too. The sensible thing would have been for a day of recovery, but hey who says you have to get wiser as you get older?

I headed off for my Canada Bay/Breakfast Point run around 7:00pm, all was going well till I ran through a soccer ground I have run through a gazillion times before, I ran through a gate I have run through a gazillion times before, only this time due to the stirling efforts of the local council there was a chain strung at quad height across the gate.... I was more concerned that someone may have seen me than at the pain or surprise. Before I even hit the ground I had visions of me appearing on Silliest Home Video or some such. Once I sorted myself out I had to laugh as I'd actually headed off on the run because I had had an ordinary day and I was trying to clear my head, the fall (I did a really neat sommersault) made me realise that when things seem bad there are always worse things and no doubt many people had had a worse day than me.

Anyways I kept plodding and got through 8k in almost a record slow time, but I'm happy with it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Canberra 2

Today Total: 10km
Week Total: 16km (my running week is Monday to Sunday)
Month Total: 48km
Year Total: 1047.4km

After yesterdays quicker run I was all keen and eager to do something longer this morning as long as the calf muscles agreed. I beat the alarm and sprung out of bed at 0530 - so keen I forgot to give any thought to what the temperature might be.

Heading down to the lake the first k was a bit of a struggle as I was concerened my fingers were about to drop off from frostbite (OK slight exaggeration). The recent temperature in Sydney had certainly lulled me into forgetting how bloody cold it can be in the morning in Canberra. I soon warmed up though and chased the the big yellow Questacon balloon as it sailed (?) over the lake.

I pulled a negative split for the back 5k which put me in a happy mood for the rest of the day :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Canberra 1

Today Total: 6km
Week Total: 6km
Month Total: 38km
Year Total: 1037.4km

Off to Canberra again for work and got in just in time to be able to fit in a 6k run, a shower, get dressed and be ready for a dinner appointment.

From Rydges Capitol Hill I did the "usual" run down through Telopea Park to the lake and then head off to the West (clockwise). It's about 1.5k to the lake from Rydges so only 1.5k on the lake before turning around. I must say after reading the close encounters of other CR's with ducks recently (Hijacking Thread) I was a little nervous but as it turns out the ducks and geese in our fair nations capital were on their best behaviour as I trundled past them.

It was 31 degrees when I left South-West Sydney, but only 18 when I arrived in Canberra so altogether much more conducive to running. The only slight hiccup was a pretty stiff Westerly wind which I was running into the teeth of on the out journey but was mercifully at my back on the return.

Fastest 6k I've done in ages though the calf muscles are giving me some gyp. Let's see how I go in the morning....

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Today Total: 16.6km
Week Total: 30km
Month Total: 32km
Year Total: 1031.4km

Late Friday night we headed up to Gwandalan for some much needed R&R. The lawns were well overdue for a mow (does that count as a training session?) so that was pretty much Saturday gawn.

Got up this morning and headed for a longer run. I was still feeling a bit flat so made a conscious decision to walk the first 100m of every kilometre. It turned out to be a good decision as I was only capable of an extremely slow pace from the 8k mark onwards. Whilst I struggled a bit I really enjoyed the section I did along a fire trail in the Munmorah Rec Park. It was a bit windy but the views of the ocean and the park were worth it - for a couple of k's I was definitely in my happy place.

Pulled up with a bit of calf trouble - that will teach me for spruiking how I had overcome my calf drama's. Bugger!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Planning Day

Today Total: 6.4km
Week Total: 13.4km
Month Total: 15.4km
Year Total: 1014.8km

After chatting last night on CR it dawned on me that I really haven't a clue what I'd like to do next. I'm not really motivated by races or doing stuff with other people but occasionally I emerge if there is something that takes my fancy.

The Grand Dame of CR (Lucky Legs) is organising the Six Foot Track - The Slow Version (6' TSV) for the last weekend in November and it really appeals, but unfortunately it clashes with a Bec weekend so I need to set my sights on something else, enter the Tuggerah Half (4th December) - perfect. It appeals because it is not far from the lake house and timing wise it is roughly half way to next years official 6' and training for the half will keep me in nick till I start my prep for 6'.

So that is that: Tuggerah Half in December; a possible maybe on a stretch of the C2K Fatass if it happens the following week and Six Foot in March '06 - Lock it in Eddie! Beyond that I have a vague idea that an Ultra of some description would be a good thing to do.

Today armed with a new plan I took off round the Canada Bay Loop with a goal of getting into double figures, it was sprinkling and a bit windy and after 3k's I was gawn. It seems the events of the last couple of weeks combined with Wednesday's double session and bugger all sleep have taken their toll so I just backed the pace right off (I even walked for a bit) and doddled home. I'm weary but I'm not too-phased (I will somehow have to make it through tonights session as I'm taking a class) but I'm confident that with some good sleep I will bounce back - after all I now have a plan :-)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

That's More Like It

Today Total: 7km
Week Total: 7km
Month Total: 9km
Year Total: 1008.4km

After Sunday's false start to the month it was good to get a run in that is half-way decent.

On Monday my back was in all sorts of drama's, particularly my left shoulder and a drive to Bathurst and back in the one day was not really very high on my "most what I'd like to do with my day" list. However, it was right on top of my "what I want to do with Bec list" - it was also number one on Mrs 2P's list even though she was still grieving big time (she is an amazing lady and I love her heaps and heaps). Ex-Mrs 2P was gracious and welcoming and let us join in on a lovely family morning-tea with Bec and then we took her out for lunch. We got her back in time for her friends to start arriving for her "official" celebration - a party for 14 X 14 yr olds (7 of which were sleeping over) and Mrs 2P and me headed back to Sydney.

Tuesday was funeral day and a bloody long day it was too. The service in Concord kicked off right on time at 10:00am, the wake at the Dolce Cafe at Cabarita Junction went without a hiccup and we headed off to Cessnock for the burial. We were having a bad day, but for some others it was worse, there was a fatal accident on the F3 which held us up slightly on the way up - unfortunately it held us up big time on the way back with the Police not opening the South-bound lanes till 6:00pm.

I had planned to work today but when we got home on Tuesday night (eventually) we discovered that Chiara's (No-1 grand daughter that is currently living with us) bird (a Peach Face thingee) had died during the day so we hid the cage and diverted her attention. The priority task for me and Mrs 2P today was to go bird shopping! We couldn't find one that was a "ringer" for the late "Jimmy" but fortunately Mrs 2P had a wave of inspiration - get 2 birds!!! When Chiara came home this arvo she was so over-the-moon that we had got "Jimmy" a mate, she completely failed to recognise that it wasn't "Jimmy" - catastrophy thankfully averted.

At around 6:00pm all was cool and froody on the home front so I headed out for a run around Canada Bay, I didn't quite make it to Breakfast Point because I bailed early and cut through Massey Park Golf Course and back home. I was happy with only 7k as I had to go to training tonight, but I am really looking forward to doing something over 10k. I'm never really satisfied with anything shorter!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Yeah Right

Today Total: 2km
Week Total: 8km
Month Total: 2km
Year Total: 1001.4km

Certainly not the start to October I had been planning but at least I've finally got past the 1000km mark.

What a day! Trying to get the house all gussied up for "Grandma's" funeral day on Tuesday (want to go to Bathurst on Monday for Bec's birthday) I drew garden and lawn duty plus some other sundry chores which we got done just in time to give me a 40 minute window of opportunity before the grand-final started and the family arrived for dinner. I figured a quick 5k's a shower and I'd be sitting in front of the tele with dinner on my knee and telling the kids to "shoosh" cause the footy's on.

I headed out the door with the intention of doing a lap of Concord Golf Course but it didn't take long to realise I was more dehydrated than I had reckoned, my mouth and throat quickly became parched but I decided to push on. But when my upper back started to spasm I figured life the universe and everything was trying to tell me something so I hit the stop button on the Garmin tucked my tail between my legs and wandered home.

On the bright side the Tigers won and Maddie the youngest of the grand-kids when giving out kisses to say goodbye said "Pop" for the first time as she leaned forward - big, big smiles from me and a tear from Mrs 2P (coincidentaly something must have irritated my eye around the same time) and a warm glow for the rest of the night.