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.