Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Hurrah

Today Total: 26k
Week Total: 51k
Month Total: 225k (Edited for earlier error)
Year Total: 1909k (Edited for earlier error)

Edit: Seems as I get older I'm losing my capacity to add up - better monthly result than I first thought :-)

I thought I'd wind up my running year with one of my favourite runs - a 26k, very hilly loop through the trails of Lake Munmorah State Rec Park, Catherine Hill Bay, Crangan Bay and Gwandalan.

It was a perfectly still and sunny morning to start off with and the views out to sea were simply stunning - I don't think I've ever seen so many ships at anchor waiting to get into Newcastle - there must have been 50 or 60.

I ran steadily the whole way and achieved my goal of not walking any of the hills - I did take a tumble about 3k from home but apart from covering myself with sandy grit no real harm done.

When I last ran this course on 19 November it took me 3.29 - today it was 2.58 - still 7 minutes outside of my PB of 2.51 (done as my second last long run before this years Six Foot) - I'm pretty happy with it given I still have January and February to sharpen up.

I have also been able to comment on some blogs but the cackleberry is a fickle creature and it won't let me on others - those with word verification are right out - but I have been following everyones story on bloglines - so Happy New Year everyone.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Gwandy Trails

Today Total: 14k
Week Total: 25k
Month Total: 199k
Year Total: 1885k

With 12 of the family staying with us (14 of us all up) at the lake house last night I needed some "me time" so it was up early and out the door before anyone stirred.

It was a gorgeously bright morning running around the lakefront before I  disappeared into the mildly undulating Gwandalan trails - the high pitched cicadas were so loud at times it was stunning.

Anyhoo a nice run in the best part of the day - it's turned overcast now so I'm glad I made the effort when I did - all up 14k in 1.26.06 (av6.09).

Thursday, December 28, 2006

'06 Review

*Warning - long and personal post alert*

I don't really expect anyone to read this but I wanted to record how I was feeling at this stage of my life and though this is a public forum it is really the only spot I record things - so looks like this is it.

As anyone who knows me would know -  I rarely stray from superficial banter and almost never into the way I "feel" and this post is less about running and more about me allowing myself to do the grieving I never did when Dad died.

I also am never sure if I run to exercise or whether I run to exorcise so it also seems appropriate to tie this story in with my running highs and lows - I'll also touch on family, work and my kung fu as my life is generally a complex balancing act - never more so than this year.

2006 started with my surprise assault on the Coastal Classic 12 Hour - I'd played my cards really close to my chest on this one and only a few people knew I was going to have a crack.

It was a fantastic night and while I didn't hit the ton I secretly wanted I was extremely satisfied to finish with 93.4kms and uninjured.

Training for Six Foot and I was on fire (for me) - one memorable run was from the Deviation to the top of Mini Mini and return where I managed to run all of Blacks Range - in that same week I set my PB weekly training mileage and also climbed over a vertical mile on my runs - I was becoming confident of a 5.30 to 5.45 finish.

Then the Evil Twins (my calves) Ugly Step Sister came to visit - my right ITB went ballistic and whilst it started in the knee the real hot spot was the mid point between hip and knee and that dragged my quad into the whole kerfuffle. At times I could barely walk let alone run - stairs filled me with fear and with a couple of days to go it looked like I might be a DNS.

Intensive work by Easy Tiger and my chiropractor St Andrew improved me no end but I was still unable to run pain free or without limping on Six Foot Eve - what to do?

Many moons ago when I learned to parachute (on the old style chutes) my instructor used to say that when things turned to crap there was only one thing you could do - "feet and knees together and accept the landing" ie it is going to hurt but there is nothing you can do about it except be as prepared as you can and accept whatever happens - nice analogy for life huh? - It was to be my mantra for the race.

When I awoke on race day I wasn't exactly pain free when I went for a little trot but I could run without limping (which I couldn't the previous evening) - so good enough for a start and let's see what happens - I would always rather be a DNF than a DNS (in everything I do) :-)

Well I blogged that story so I won't go into it but I made it through in a net time of 6.02 - not what I was hoping for a couple of weeks out - but in Six Foot a finish, is a finish, is a finish - so I was happy with that.

Two weeks later I set my recent 5k PB of 22.50 - timing is everything.....

April saw me embark on the Great Heart Rate Experiment with a view to continuing on my nacent ultra career with my sights set firmly on the Poor Mans Comrades (aka PMC - 96kms Sydney to Gosford) - I was doing bucketloads of flat easy k's and riding the bike a bit too..

About this time my Dad's battle of well over a decade with cancer began to enter into the end game stage and my back decided to chuck its hand in too (stress?) - I had a massive dose of Crook Back Syndrome.

Through the end of April and into May the days were long as I juggled work, hospital visits, chiropractor appointments, teaching kung fu and being a taxi for Mum. I also had been tasked with leading the takeover another organisation at work which added to the general busyness.

I started eating lots of junk food - mostly out of convenience but also if I'm truthful for comfort. I do not take solace in sweets or sugary food - my soft spot is fatty foods - deep fried fish, chippies, dim dims - that sort of thing - I started to put on weight.....

By the end of May Dad was in a palliative care unit but he was determined he wanted to come home and he signed himself out (he was a tough old bugger and his mental faculties were still well and truly with him to the end).

Mum couldn't cope alone and so on the first Thursday of June I pretty much moved in with them. It was hopeless. Forget that Mum couldn't cope - I couldn't cope either - the community nurses were doing their darndest to convince Dad to go back to palliative care but he wouldn't budge - he wanted to die at home - can't blame him for that - he'd lived there for 43 of his 55 years married to Mum and though he would never admit it - I think deep down what he really wanted was to have Mum close all the time - they have always been and remained very much in love.

By Saturday night he had deteriorated to the point where I had to physically lift him and carry him to the loo and return - despite the morphine he was in enormous pain and getting him to the loo and back was taking an hour and a half.

On Sunday morning he was in so much pain he couldn't sit up to take his tablets. Every time I would try to lift him he would gasp in horrendous throws of pain and in the end I left him supine.

I went for a walk up the backyard - when I came back to Mum I told her I'd made a decision - Dad was to go back to hospital and that was that - by that stage my sister had also arrived to help out and she concurred - the three of us kind of sat around the kitchen till I said "so I suppose we should break the news to Dad and make a phone call huh"? My sis to her credit said she would - but I couldn't let her do that and I also knew Dad was more likely to accept it coming from me - so I took a very long walk down a very short hall way.

"Hey Fred I'm going to call an ambulance to take you back to hospital alright mate"? He said he understood but the look in his eyes said "you're betraying me - how could you"? - I made the call - I felt like the worlds biggest prick - I still do - that call condemned him to die alone in a hospital bed - QED - prick!

I immediately did what all cowards do - I ran - I ran before the ambulance even arrived - I ran clear across town to the Great Nosh - my mind was in turmoil - I stopped on the side of the M5 and I howled like I haven't since I was a kid - great heaving sobs - it was primal - I didn't recognise the noises I was generating - they were coming from deep inside me.

The company and comeraderie of other runners at the Nosh was a soothing balm and a wonderful distraction - the only drama (which I kept to myself) was I rolled my ankle really badly at about the 7k mark and it was an injury that would dog me for months. But as I was driven back to the start in company with good friends I felt like I could face the world again and what was coming.

The following Monday my boss threw me an unexpected curve ball by announcing a restructure that would see me with more operational areas in my portfolio - great....

Ai, ai, ai, that week was a frenzy of activity and I was also scheduled to see the Halfpenny in Bathurst that weekend. I spoke to the doctor and whilst she acknowledged that Dad was close to passing she didn't think it would be just yet.

On my last visit to Dad on the Friday night I told him he'd been the best Dad a kid could have wanted - he responded with "have I son"? - "yeah Pop ya have mate" - he nodded and asked me to "wet his whistle" (Dad-speak for give him a drink) and he faded off to sleep and I left - that was the last time I ever saw my Dad.

At Bathurst at around 9.30PM on Saturday night I got the call from Mrs 2P - Dad was gone - in a way it was good that I was with the Halfpenny because I could show her I was OK. She wasn't sure how to react (she was only 14 then) and I arranged to drop her back to her Mum - I then worked until about 2.30AM on work stuff (I had a laptop with me) to clear the decks before heading homeand to Mum on Sunday morning.

Only those who have been through it know what comes next and I can't begin to describe it or be coherent about the following week - life goes by like a kaleidoscope of images and events and of course I did the boy thing of supressing all my emotions and kept putting in at least part days at work.

I'm proud that I did a good job on the Eulogy at the funeral on the following Thursday - I know self praise is no recommendation - but I really nailed it - I had 'em laughing and remembering all that was good (and there was plenty) about Dad. The support of my whole family especially Mrs 2P and the Halfpenny needs to be acknowledged here - they were my rock and the reason I could keep it all glued together.

The next day (Friday) after work I sat mooching around home lamenting that to add insult to injury I was going to miss PMC the next day - when at 8PM I suddenly stood up from the lounge and said in a loud voice "fuck it - I'm doing it" - Mrs 2P reponded with a "good for you - Fred would have wanted you to".

A quick trip to Coles and a mad scrabble to download maps and I was set - I almost missed the start because I slept in after not getting to bed till about 3.00AM - I just made it in time for a photo and we were off.

Running across The Bridge I was certain Dad was there for a moment and with the sun coming up over the harbour it was a very, very, special moment that has burned itself into my memory forever. I can see and feel it now.

I never intended to finish - just see how far I got (apart from anything else my ankle was still giving me gyp from the Nosh) and it was immensely satisfying to be able to run 62k unassisted and then catch a train home - it was a tired but contented 2P that sat in the winter sun on the platform at Brooklyn Station waiting for the train to come - munching on my salt and vinegar crisps and letting the stress and strain of the last little while drain from my body and soul. FWIW I never considered this a DNF because I never intended to finish.

I flew to New Zealand for work early the next morning into the coldest weather they have had for forty years - I managed to get two runs in around the foreshore of Lake Rotorua before I caught the worlds worst chest cold.

When I got back from New Zealand work was nuts and the boss was also off for six weeks so that was me - acting king of the world for a while. It was a fantastic but taxing experience as it was actually a long enough time period that I actually had to do the job - not the titular role you normally get when acting up - but considering I also had to do my day job and that I couldn't quite flick the flu and that my ankle still hurt there was no time or energy for running - though I did keep up my kung fu commitments (mostly).

I got fat.

I started running again in late September but I continued to put on weight - by the 4/10 I was 101.6kg - up from around 92kg when I ran the Nosh in early June which was up from 88kg when I ran Six Foot in March.

The hardest run I've ever done was the Striders 10k at Homebush in October - I huffed and puffed my way around the first lap like an out of shape labrador - the second lap was just pain.

At the end it was a mixture of happiness to be amongst people I knew well (mostly from their blogs) and humiliated by my woeful performance and I resolved to put in whatever it took to get back to where I was.

Well the story of my training is in my blog but the bit I didn't write much about was my diet - low carb - usually less than 20 grams of carb per day - which is a tough regimen - particularly in the lead up to Christmas.

Highlights of my training since then have been my trail runs up at Gwandy, the Blue Mountains, Quarry Road and the Otford to Bundeena Fatass which was a great day out.

Bottom line is I have achieved what I set out to do - before heading up the coast for holidays I weighed in at 87.5kg and my nearly 15 minute PB at Quarry Road and subsequent recovery was extremely satisfying.

I don't think my leg speed is quite back to where it was just yet - but my endurance and hill capability are definitely in better shape than they were at this time last year (though probably not quite as good as in Feb this year).

Soooo I guess I will just have to see where I can take it from here - I'm looking forward to losing a couple of more kg before resuming a more sustainable (and enjoyable) diet soon and really having a full on tilt at Six Foot in '07.

I really loved my Dad - he was truly one of lifes gentlemen - he never swore, he rarely drank and he didn't have an enemy in the world - he was a generous man who willingly helped many people. He was a tireless worker and the strongest man I have ever known. He encouraged me and backed me in all of my endeavours no matter how zany, dangerous or foolhardy - he never once told me "you can't" and I never learned that I couldn't.

He was the greatest role model I could have had - thanks Pop.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Thanks For All The Fish

Today Total: 9k
Week Total: 9k
Month Total: 185k
Year Total: 1869k

Hi All,

I'm off on hols this arvo after taking the Halfpenny and one of the Quarterpenny to the reptile thingee in Darling Harbour.

I will have the cackleberry with me so will be able to blog by email and I can even post on Coolrunnings - but for some reason Blogger won't let me post comments on blogs.

But I will be thinking of you guys from time to time - each and every one of you has been a source of inspiration to me at some stage or another - so thankyou - Oh yeah - and though I will be seemingly ignoring you still feel free to comment on my blog  ;-)

Anyhoo today was a pretty uneventful 9k - my legs pulled up remarkably well after Quarry Rd but for some reason I was a bit scratchie this morning and just couldn't get in the groove - you get that occasionally I suppose - tomorrow will be better :-)

What I did get on Sunday was a massive dose of inner-thigh chaffing MMMmmm was it delicious - I don't know where I went wrong - I've never had a problem before - same shorts, same bodyglide - go figure?

Fortunately I still had some Silvazine cream left from when I tried to immolate myself in the great '05 flaming lawnmower incident and that stuff works wonders - pity it is only available on prescription.

Because of the residual chafe I restricted this morning to an easy 9k in 51.49 (av 5.45).

Though the run was ordinary it was absolutely spectacular this morning around the foreshore - supoib!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mad Dogs & Cool Runners

Today Total: 26k
Week Total: 46k
Month Total: 176k
Year Total: 1860k

The annual Christmas Eve CR invasion of Quarry Road today and what a hoot it was in the rain - it's the most fun you can have standing up :-)

Lots of the usual suspects there as well as some newbies, but the numbers were down a bit probably because of the rain - though more people started from the Dural side this year which was good because you were constantly seeing other people.

Had a good tussle with Kevin (Lazarus) Tiller (just when he looked dead he would rise again) I went one up on a PB first lap of 1.24 but Kevin ended up winning the day - I got close just after the bridge on the last lap (2k uphill to go) but I just couldn't stick it - the leggies wouldn't run the ups anymore and he beat me by a minute or two - but without doubt the competition meant I had a better result than I otherwise would have..

It was also nice to see fellow bloggers and good friends SFGnome, Go Girl and Jen_Runs (all starting from Dural) out there as well *waves*. I also met blogger Super Flake for the first time who looks like he will blitz his maiden Six Foot - and another first time meeting of blogger Sparkie too.

Spud - you are a machine mate - nuff said.

I've only mentioned bloggers and not all the CR's because I'm bound to miss some out but it was really great to be out there with all of you lot today.

We had a nice little chat at the end and a couple of drinks which despite the ants was the perfect way to end the run.

Unfortunately Horrie the original organiser of this great training run was unable to run today but still provided an esky of drinks for everyone - thanks mate - and BTW Belinda had a blinder.

As for me - I'm extremely happy with today - a one lap PB of 1.24.xx and a huuuuuge (nearly 15 minute) course PB of 2.59.10!

So on that happy note - Merry Christmas everyone :-)

Friday, December 22, 2006

Twilight Ten

Today Total: 11k
WeekTotal: 20k
Month Total: 150k
Year Total: 1834k

With the Chrissy break at training commencing on Wednesday it meant I was free to have a crack the "The Colins" 5k and 10k series on at Silverwater tonight.

There was a dozen or so of us turned out and only five people doing the 10k

With Quarry Rd on Sunday my plan had been to run 5.30 pace and doddle in at around 55 minutes but when I did a "warm-up" kilometer with Colin in about 5.10 I suspected I might be up for something quicker than that.

Benny was looking to go sub 50 and when I realised I was running alongside him I glanced down at Garmy at about 500m and realised we were running about 4.40 pace - whoops - time to back off and I went through the first k in 4.55.

From there I kept a very even pace splitting each k between about 5.03 and 5.10 - hitting the 5k turnaround in 25.13. By the 7th k I knew I was going to struggle and I slowed a touch going through 8k with a 5.17 split - I then dropped my bundle mentally for the 9th k where I backed off for a 5.49 shocker.

I had a quiet chat with myself and rallied for the last k with my trademark showboat sprint finish for a final 5.04 k split.

I'm a bit dirty on myself for that 9th k but overall I'm very happy with the result - all up 10k in 51.39 (av 5.11). Sure is a whole lot better than the 64.02 I ran at Striders 10k on the 7th of October - but then again I've shed 14kg since then :-)

Big thanks to Colin for putting it on - it is a great course - and thanks to Martin for the beer - much appreciated ;-)

And a huge congrats to Benny who finally got the monkey off his back and went sub 50 - well done mate.

Oh yeah and Miners - the Ohana's get a big thumbs up :-)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wild N Windy

Today Total: 9k
Week Total: 9k
Month Total: 139k
Year Total: 1823k

My first run since Saturday. A combination of a hectic work week and feeling like I was coming down with a cold was all I needed for an excuse to give my leggies a chance to love me again after the weekends hammering.

Headed out on my 12k loop and man was the wind ugly along the foreshore! I was certainly wishing I had run in the reverse direction - oh well.

By 8k my throat was really dry and sore and given I have some other vague cold symptoms I decided to call it a day and head for home.

All up 9k in 49.32 (av 5.30) - happy with that.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mug Shots

Anyone recognise the perpetrator of the crimes against my legs?

Actually whilst I am fairly sore I was worse six weeks ago doing just half the journey.

SportTracks puts it at 855 meters of up and down.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sekrit Stuff & Mysterious Massai

Today Total: 31k
Week Total: 57k
Month Total: 130k
Year Total: 1814k

Headed off from Explorers Tree in the rain and gloom a smidge before 6.10AM and if I was going to meet up with the Mysterious Massai at 7.00AM at Megalong Valley I was going to need to get a wriggle on.

Nellies Glen is at its best in the rain - simply gorgeous - I was right in the zone from word go and despite the runnels of water and the slippery conditions I really hammered the stairs - hitting the Nellies sign in 12.48 - a 1 min PB and the first time I've gone sub 13.

I knew I would pay for hammering the stairs later on but my leggies felt great and I galloped off down towards Megalong enjoying myself immensely arriving at the road in 51 minutes.

No Massai yet so a loo break was in order and as I wandered back to the carpark I could see four members of the tribe had arrived - three men and a woman. King of the Mountain, Sub 50, Damo and Deek. Sub 50 as good as his word had some water for me to cache for the return trip.

After introductions and final preparation we were off - at first the pace was nice but as we started to hit the ups I struggled a bit to stay attached and once we got off the road and hit the serious ups I made the decision not to try a stay with them - they were on much fresher legs after all - and I was backing myself to pick them up again once the trail got more technical and downhill.

It wasn't long before they were out of sight but I was happy enough biding my time and waiting for the trail conditions to become more favourable for me. As I suspected I finally tagged on the back again just passed the second gate and then pretty much stuck with them till we hit the river.

I hit the stop button on the Garmin pretty much where the timing mats are on race day in 1.34 which is pretty sharpish for me and I had a bit of an "oh dear" moment as I contemplated the implications for the return journey - ouch!

I bade the Massai farewell and headed up to the tank for a water resup and a chat with some happy campers.

Right from the start on the return I knew I had overcooked the legs and it was with much shuffle running and walking that I slowly made my way back - that's ok it was the effect I was actually after - if I'm to fulfill my goals for next year I need more practice at looking after myself and keeping moving after my legs have chucked their Teddy from the cot.

I happily mooched my way back to Megalong where I picked up the cached water *thanks Sub 50* briefly stopping to render assistance to some Belgians in a campervan who were struggling to come to terms with meeting their first huntsman spider. I did my best Croc Hunter impersonation by getting it to walk onto a stick and then depositing it (happily for all) on the outside of the campervan - all the while reassuring them that this one was only a baby and that it's the funnel webs ya gotta look out for......

On the more open fire trail the rain was more noticable and the exposure to the wind far greater and I started to get seriously cold - I just kept moving at my best pace (which wasn't very fast at all - about 9.15 pace) and polished off the last of my salted peanuts hoping the metabolic process would literally stoke the furnace.

Eventually I made Nellies and the closer trail and the steeper gradient soon had me sweating again. I actually walked the stairs fairly strongly which was a nice surprise and finally made it back with a huuuuuge positive split of 2.53 for a total of 31k in 4 hours 27 minutes - Ewen do I get a finishers medal?

Once I stopped I quickly got cold again - it was still only 10 degrees, raining and windy - I had a quick wash which sent my core temperature plummeting further (good thing it's summer) and then got dressed and into the car.

My fingers were numb and unresponsive by this stage and it took till nearly Bathurst and several cups of coffee before I felt warm again.

I'll post maps for those interested on Monday.

Geez I've had a great morning - I loved it :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fat Foot Recovery

Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 26k
Month Total: 99k
Year Total: 1783k

I've been wanting to try out my new Asics Ohana Racers for a couple of weeks now - the R4YL review describes them as having a roomier than most forefoot - this may be the case though it seems that racing shoe designers don't really have my square plates of meat in mind when they conjure up their latest attempt at separating runners from their hard earned.

What they are is light though just 210gms - wow - but given the snug fit I had been a bit nervy about giving them a whirl on anything long - I needn't have worried they provide a surprisingly comfortable and cushioned ride and Miners_Run I didn't notice the lack of forefoot gel at all. The uppers are also soft enough that the snug feel disappeared once I started to run.

Anyhoo - this mornings run was my 3rd session within 12 hours so it was a deliberate doddle pace along the flat foreshore to try and ward off any DOMS that might be heading my way after last nights double header of 12k run then an hours training. All up 6k in 35.05 (av 5.51)

I've been feeling a bit flat lately but I finally took my own advice and have been infusing myself with B group vitamins which seems to have done the trick as I seem to have got the B B bounce back :-)

Happy days.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Easy Twelve

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 93k
Year Total: 1777k

After a crap night sleep and a loooong business lunch today all I wanted was a poppy kip (well I can't very well say nanna nap now can I?) when I got home.

I procrastinated a bit by attempting to see how many different angles I could apply the Bodyglide across my nipples followed by the 'to single knot or double knot the laces' indecision - by the time I got to 'cap or not to cap' even the cat was starting to wonder if I was ever going to get out the door.

Eventually I kidded myself to go out and did my 12k mock hills route at a very comfortable pace. Pretty windy in spots but otherwise a pretty unremarkable run. The left of the twins still has the slightest of niggle but nowhere near as disturbing as Monday.

Anyhoo all up 12k in 69.57 (av 5.50)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Riders On The Storm

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 8k
Month Total: 81k
Year Total: 1765k

After an extremely exhausting weekend (long story) I just rolled over and went back to sleep when the alarm went off this morning.

Fortunately I was able to scarper off home early from work and headed off for a run in about 8,000% humidity. Both knees were a bit creaky from Saturdays little jaunt and the left calf (always the naughtier of the Evil Twins) was a little niggly as well.

The knees loosened up after 2k but the calf just got tighter as I went. I had intended to run 12k but between the calf and the impending electrical storm I decided to take a short cut home - good decision as the storm broke about 3 mins after I got in - I don't mind running in rain but I'm a bit charry about lightening.

Anyhoo 8k in 45.32 (av 5.42) - felt strong on the hills but I must have some residual fatigue from Saturday because I was Mr Jelly Legs for a while after I stopped.

Just Some Pics

Gronk was interested in the map of the course I ran on Saturday so here it is along with the elevation profile from SportsTracks.

Also thanks for all your good wishes for Grand Halfpenny #2 - she came home Saturday afternoon and was bouncing off the walls shortly thereafter :-)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Plan 49C

Today Total: 16k
Week Total: 44k
Month Total: 73k
Year Total: 1757k

Edit: Thanks for all your good wishes for Grand Halfpenny #2 - she came home Saturday afternoon and was bouncing off the walls shortly thereafter :-)

Geez Louise - the best laid plans.......

Due to family commitments a long run on Sunday is not an option and as we had planned to go up the lake on Friday night I was going to try and do my long run up there today.

But sadly Grandpenny number 2 (3yo) is in Westmead Childrens Hospital after an acute asthma attack early Friday morning - this means me, Mrs 2P and her other nanna are looking after Grandpenny number 3 (1yo) and Mrs 2P is taking her to the hospital for her 6 O'clock feeds morning and night as her mum is staying in there.

So since the household was going to be disturbed early in any event - who was I to pass up the opportunity to give Quarry Road a whirl? I takes em where I can gets em......

Wrong again 2P!!!

I duly turned up at the Hornsby end of Quarry Road - "Danger Track Closed For Maintenance" bugger, bugger, bugger! I briefly flirted with ignoring the sign but if the are concreting one of the long steep sections it may well be impassable.

What to do, what to do? Drive to Dural side that may be open - nuh closed too. Drive back through the gorge, look at street directory, procrastinate......

Eventually after wasting an hour I spied a fire trail heading out from Galston Gorge Rd (gate number 23) so I just parked up outside a house and hoofed it.

The other bugger was for once I didn't have my camelbak - I'd planned to do 2 laps refilling my bottles after each one. Fortunately I had both hand bottles with me and my Gu fuel belt - so I exchanged the standard bottle in the fuel belt for a 750ml Pump and filled both hand bottles - that should get me down the track a bit.

The trail hugs the escarpment for a k and then passes along about 400m of residential street before reverting to a very undulating (read steep up & down) fire trail till eventually getting to a junction with the GNW "alternate route".

I plunged down the extremely steep and very technical trail till as I suspected I hit Quarry Rd about 400m East of the bridge - no maintenance being done here & no signs either :-)

After getting to the bridge I decided to stick with technical trail and headed up to Fish Ponds and then up the Blue Gum Trail towards The Jambo (whatever the hell that is?).

The trail is very technical - lots of rock hopping and undulations - but also a lot of fun :-)

Noticing that my water supply was about half diminished I determined that I'd turn around at 1 hour 20 or 8k whichever came first - it was 8k - but only just.

The run back was just as much fun - the section from Quarry Rd back up to the escarpment fire trail was like climbing Nellies only thankfully shorter.

I finished in 2.45 for a 6 min positive split which isn't too bad considering.

Not what I set out to do and not as long as I'd have liked but like I said - I takes em when I can gets em :-)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Urban Sprawl

Today Total: 15k
Week Total: 28k
Month Total: 57k
Year Total:1741k

I have a harbour cruise for work this afternoon (yes, yes, it's a tough job but someone has to do it) and I couldn't be bothered mucking about trying to park near the King St Wharf so I took the opportunity to run to work.

It is a fairly undulating route and though I had taken some clothes and shoes to work yesterday I had forgotten all the other things I would need like a towel, toiletries etc oh yeah and it also occured to me that socks, undies and a belt might come in handy too - chuck in a couple of mobile phones, my wallet, a little water and I was starting to wonder if this was really a good idea.

Anyhoo I determined that 6 min pacing would suit me just fine - I knew that due to the undulations I would need to run the downs a bit quicker than that and the ups would be whatever I could maintain - my slowest 2 splits were both 6.25 - one on the grind up the Hume Highway at Chullora and the other on a mother of a hill in the back blocks of Yagoona.

All up 15k in 1.30.04 which is when rounded down is exactly 6 minute pace - very happy (and virtuous) feeling 2P :-)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Bit Quicker

Today Total: 7k
Week Total: 13k
Month Total: 42k
Year Total: 1726k

More evidence tonight that I am almost back to where I was before the troubles.

7k in 37.10 (av 5.19) - still not quite there but certainly my fastest training run (i.e. not flat out) for while - in fact that's about about the same pace I almost burst a foofoo valve at in the CR5k at the end of October.

Gittin there :-)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Easy Six

Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 6k
Month Total: 35k
Year Total: 1719k

Late edit: I've added the Google map and elevation profile for Saturdays run :-)

My legs pulled up really well after Saturday - much better than after my last 2 Nellies Glen runs - so either I bludged, or O to B was easier than it felt, or I'm getting fitter - hehe probably a combination of all three.

I could have run yesterday but my throat is a bit scratchy again so I decided not to push it.

I still felt tired when I got out of bed this morning and my throat is still a bit uncomfortable so I decided on something short and easy opting for a very flat 3k out and back along the foreshore.

All up 6k in 33.48 (av 5.38)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Otford To Bundeena

Today Total: 29k
Week Total: 53k
Month Total: 29k
Year Total: 1713k


What a run - I must say I think it was a bit harder than I was expecting. Very technical in places - no real sustained up bits but plenty of short steep numbers. Scenery? Su-bloody-perb. The best bit for me was I nailed the navigation for the whole way which was very satisfying.

After meeting Martin and KT at Bundeena (all of us in matching CR tri-tops). Kevin drove us to Otford where there was a bunch of hoons who were on the wacky backy and booze and had been partying all night who were really acting out - but thankfully left before the start.

Eventually 13 happy souls responded when Kevin said "ready, set, go" - me last of all - I was happy to sit in tail end charlie posie because I was sporting the camelbak complete with almost 3L of water - most others just had fuel belts or hand bottles (which I suspect they may have regretted later on).

After a bit Linda tailed off from the pack and invited me to go past but by the time we had reached the top of the first rise the pack was out of sight. I started to leave Linda behind and felt a bit guilty but I rationalised that she too had a camelbak so should be ok - as it turned out we would see her in the distance from time to time so we pretty much knew she was ok.

Hitting the technical section of downhill towards the Palm Jungle I put the foot down a bit and before long had tagged onto the back of a five person pack - James, Lisa, Shelly, Simon, KT - and I made it six. We wouldn't see the rest except for one glimpse till the end.

It was a pretty amicable group that wound its way through the palm jungle (what a maze) and then finally out into the open towards Burning Palms.

The first of the steep climbs up out of Burning Palms had us huffing and puffing but also "oohing and aghing" at the view. As is usual I struggled to keep up and was continually falling off the back. I made a good decision however and kept to the high ground between South and Mid Era while the others descended to the beach - this good fortune put me in front of the pack and allowed me a little breather while they caught up just past the surf club.

We then roller coastered through North Era and Little Garie and I hit the go button down the big hill to the trail under Garie Cliffs - full well knowing that the others would pick me up again once I hit the flat. We trudged across Garie Beach and commenced the biggest of the days climbs and APU I fell off the back again.

After we were all tempted to stay by the cliff (and the views) we did lose the track for a fraction and we all got a bit of impromptu exfoliation on our legs as the heath gave us some souvenier scratches. Just after this Kevin had a bit of a rush of blood to the head and pumped out a 5.50 k across the springy metal mesh boardwalk and as we headed toward Curracurrong the group started to splinter - Simon, James, Shelly and Lisa took off, leaving Kevin, Martin and I shuffling along behind with occasional glimpses of the others - though we did regroup at Eagle Rock (complete with mandatory singing).

Off again and the same pattern as before - except when dropping down to Curracurrang I put a bit of distance on Kevin and Martin and the others were quickly out of sight in front of me. Across the top of the headland and I heard a faint yell - looking up about 200m to my left I saw Shelly who had become temporarily geographically challenged and she nimbly made her way through the heath towards me. Just as Shelly joined me Kevin and Martin also caught up with me (it was an uphill section) and so all four of us ran together down towards Wattamolla.

It was one of those really nice trail experiences - we were all running really well down a broad new cut trail two and sometimes three abreast nattering on - it was nice. I took over navigation duties through Wattamolla and then let Shelly through as she was clearly the strongest runner in our group and she was quickly out of sight. I continued to put some distance on Kevin and Martin but they were never far away.

Running towards Little Marley and I got the shock of my life when Simon and Lisa came past me - wot tha? Turns out they (and James) had gaffed at Wattamolla and had to back track. They were quickly out of sight again but as it turned out we would play leap frog for a bit because they made a couple of more minor nav errors whereas I was lucky enough to stay on the trail.

At one leap frog Simon was distracted by some Japanese tourists (wot tha MkII?) and had a little tumble introducing the first claret into the days run on one of his knees. I led the way down into Little Marley but Simon and Lisa soon left me behind as my square feet sunk further and further into the sand.

Shelly was waiting at the North end of Little Marley so our group was back to four and James, Kevin and Martin were only a little bit behind us. I stuck with them (ish) to the top of the headland and onto Marley Beach but then it was "ta ta" as they were much faster once the running recommenced in earnest and that was the last I would see of those three till the end.

Trudging across Marley it was only a matter of time till James caught me - which he did just near the North end of the beach. We walked together up the rise (it was here we came across Nikolai who was doing the return journey) but eventually James got going again and took off - I wouldn't see him again till the end either.

I pretty much maintained a 200m to 300m gap on Kevin and Martin for the rest of the run - though we did come within shouting distance as they dropped down into the last significant creek crossing (where I took a quick break to take a slurp o'natural).

Kevin had made a last minute decision to extend the run by detouring to Jibbon Beach - the trail is the sandiest most miserable trail I've ever run on (thanks Kevin). To cap it off I narrowly escaped stepping on a Marsh Snake which scared the bejeezus out of me. I kept shuffling and eventually I hit Jibbon Beach - it was such a relief to run on the harder packed wet sand.

When I was about half way along the beach I turned and I could see Kevin and Martin which was also relief as by that stage I was having irrational paranoid thoughts that they (and everyone in front of me) were taking the shorter option and I was the only dill doing the extension - happily I wasn't the only dill :-)

Most had stuck around at the finish which was right friendly of them and I hit the RSL in 4.29 - yowser! We were joined shortly afterwards by Kevin and Martin and about 10 mins later by Linda who in my view ran a very intelligent run - I suspect she will do just fine at Six Foot.

All up 29.11k according to Garmy - speaking of Garmy I used the "Route" function for the first time (I've done this many times before with other GPS's) and it worked perfectly - I just put in all the waypoints then created the route - hit "Navigate" and hey presto.... very happy with it.

After a bit of a natter everyone headed off and I drove Kevin back to Otford.

A couple of points - anyone contemplating this run - do not underestimate it - it's a tough run - there is no reliable water along the way (though twice I took a slurp from a creek) and there is also no tree cover after the Palm Jungle (near the start) - it is very exposed and on a sunny day would be very, very, hot.

Harder than I expected but terrific fun, fantastic scenery and great company - I think I could learn to love Fatass - thanks Kevin for putting it on.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lap Of The Lake

Today Total: 16k
Week Total 24k
Month Total: 200k
Year Total: 1684k

I'm in our fair nations capital for work and since I'm staying at the Hyatt a lap of the lake is mandatory.

Nice and warm out this afternoon and it was a bit windy at times particularly on the North side of the lake - lots of bike riders out and about but not many runners.

The run also brought up an even 200kms for the month which I'm pretty happy with - to me 200k is the benchmark I always aspire to each month - any less is always a bit disappointing and any more is bonus.


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New Shoes

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 8k
Month Total: 184k
Year Total: 1668k

I won't lie LL - I pulled up very sore again after the Stair Master workout on Saturday, particularly in the calves - they were like 2 unripe grapefruits - all hard and bitter :-)

But given that 3 weeks ago when I did the stairs I couldn't run till the following Wednesday afternoon I'll claim it as a victory that I was able to hobble around the foreshore this morning.

Legs and whole system felt tired and frumpy for the entire trip this morning - I must be doing something right :-) I think it was Deek who said distance runners go to bed exhausted and wake up tired......

It didn't help my humour a whole lot when I stopped at 5k for a quick stretch of the grapefruit - leaking sweat profusely into what what was fast becoming my own version of Warragamba Dam (except with more water) when this African chappy comes loping along at what looks like sub 4 min pace wearing a bloody PVC spray jacket!!! Give me a break!

I also used this mornings run to break in my new Asics Cumulus - plenty of room for my fat feet and I didn't get any of the pins and needles I normally do till the new shoe has stretched sufficiently - a nice cushioned ride but damn they are sooooo white (what a stupid colour for a running shoe). Even people wearing sunglasses were squinting as I ran towards them.

Anyhoo all up a fairly pedestrian 8k in 46.35 (av 5.49).

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sekrit Stairs

Today Total: 16k
Week Total: 44k
Month Total: 176k
Year Total: 1660k

After confering with CR Sarge and the NPWS at Blackheath yesterday to make sure I wasn't going to get toasted by the bushfires up the mountains I duly headed out the door and up the hill at 4.30AM this morning.

It was a bit eerie driving through the smoke and fog in the lower Blue Mountains but ended up being pretty clear at Explorers Tree.

I started running at 5.45AM and as there was good light and the stairs were relatively dry I decided to hammer it a bit hitting Nellies Glen sign in 13.34 and by the time I hit the fire trail my legs felt flat and heavy which was just the way I wanted them :-) For Six Foot you really have to get used to running on flat heavy legs if you are not going to die a thousand deaths up Blacks Range.

A note for Garmin Geeks - the replacement 305 did not drop out at all on the way down Nellies!!! Whereas my old 305 and 301 were useless here - not sure if this was just fortuitous sattlite position or the new 305 is or version 2.4 of the firmware are more gooder in some way? It gave me 7.72k to Megalong Valley Road which according to Actions official measurement isn't too far out.

It was 12 degrees and clear up top but it was quite cold and foggy in the valley but it was also fauna fantastic with wallabies, horses, lyre birds, whip birds, bell, birds, parrots and cockatoos all adding to the ambience.

I arrived at Megalong Valley Road in 55.02 which I was pretty happy with. Someone else was out sekrit training too as there was a car parked up with a still warm grill and this years edition of the 6' cap on the back seat - one of the Massai I wonder?

My goal today was to see how close to 2.15.14 I could get as this was the time I ran in training in February leading up to this years race.

I managed to run all the way back to the Nellies sign and then started the long grinding walk to the top - the Garmin did drop out very briefly (probably in sympathy with my heart) while I was walking up the steps - it still gave me a total of 15.36km though which is far closer to the mark than the 12 something I got using the 301.

I made the gate in 2.17.56 - 2mins 42secs outside February's time which I'm pretty pleased with for this stage of my training.

When I did this run 3 weeks ago I couldn't walk properly for a couple of days afterwards so it will be interesting to see how I pull up this time :-)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Getting Stronger

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 28k
Month Total: 160k
Year Total: 1644k

I didn't really feel like this today but I pushed myself back out the door after getting home from work today for another Mona's Fartlek.

Pretty happy with it as I was much stronger at the back end (probably not the best choice of words considering this was fartlek :-) ) than I was a fortnight ago as the splits below indicate - last fortnights splits are in brackets for the purposes of comparison.

2 x 1.30 efforts @ 4.25 (4.33) & 4.55 (4.57)
4 x 1.00 efforts @ 4.51 (4.37), 4.41 (4.47), 4.41 (4.58) & 4.47(4.54)
4 x 0.30 efforts @ 4.18 (4.59), 4.22 (5.00), 4.17 (4.54) & 4.30 (4.26)
4 x 0.15 efforts @ 4.05 (4.22), 4.32 (4.57), 3.56 (5.11) & 4.03 (5.26)

With the exception of the 1st 1 minute effort and the last 30 second effort all splits were faster than a fortnight ago - the floats were also much more consistent.

All up I covered 2.18k (2.09k) for 10mins of efforts and 1.67k (1.60k) for 10mins of floats for a total of 3.86km (3.69km) in 20mins at a total average pace of 5.11 (av5.26)..

The other good bit is I ran fairly strongly on the warm up and warm down as well for a grand total of 10k in 55.20 (av 5.32).

Rest day tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Just Circulating

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 18k
Month Total: 150k
Year Total: 1634k

Finally got around to taking the 305 to work - too lazy to take laptop home and for whatever reason I've never loaded TC onto my home PC - anyhoo here is the elevation profile of Sundays run (you will see why I call it the Roller Coaster).


Woke up with a few aches and pains this morning - a bit of DOMS from Monday nights session - I also suspect I'm not drinking enough H2O - on the bright side I got over 6 hours sleep last night which is double Monday night.

I eased myself into this mornings run like an old man getting into an over-hot bath ie very slowly - and just like an over-hot bath I never really felt comfortable for the duration.

Fortunately I decided to take a water bottle and I was sucking on it like a kid with a thickshake - in fact by 6k I needed a top-up confirming my dehydration theory - over winter I've got out of the habit of having a water bottle as my constant companion at work - it's a habit I'm going to have to get back into - starting today!

I was pretty content just to run at "whatever" pace today - the first 2k were slow 6.30's and then the next 8 all hovered around the 6 minute mark to give me 10k in a bit over 61 minutes.

That'll do :-)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Plan 49C & Half A Bag Of Cement

Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 8k
Month Total: 140k
Year Total: 1624k

After a hard nights training and only three and half hours sleep (long story) I felt a bit scratchy this morning and it took me a bit longer to get out the door than it should have.

I had planned to run the same hilly (kinda) 12k loop I did last Tuesday - but running late for work wasn't an option today and the prediction is for hot windy conditions this arvo so I compromised by still taking in part of the loop - hence some hills - but shortening it to 8k.

The first k across the wet grass was heavy going and when the first split kicked over in 5.57 I wasn't expecting too much from the run - but then running the dirt and broken bitumen trail uphill second k I started to feel much stronger and the pins were sans the fatigue they normally feel up this section - through in 5.45 - hmmm.

Down the hill and onto the flat I was running more freely than I have in months - I can't remember the rest of the splits exactly and as I'm blogging via cackleberry from the pool I'm not about to look em up :-) but they were all between 5.15 and 5.30.

The last 2k undulate a bit (nothing special) and I had to dig a bit on the hills - but it was there to be dug which was a relief. I really didn't expect to run this quickly today after Sundays slog - but it shows to go ya that the hills and the weight loss are having an impact.

BTW on the weight loss front I am down to 91kgs flat from 101.6kgs on 4/10 - living on less tham 20gms of carbohydrate per day has been tough at times and it has meant I've bonked badly on some of my runs, but the results are there.

All up 8k in 44.21 - av 5.33 - including the first 2 slower k's. Exit whistling with a plan to get more sleep tonight :-)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Return Of The Roller Coaster

Today Total: 26k
Week Total: 53k
Month Total: 132k
Year Total: 1616k

Well I guess I'm happy that I covered 26 very hilly kms this morning under my own steam but geez it was slow.

I made my way through the Gwandy Trails and onto the bitumen in Munmorah State Rec Park. It is possible to run more trail than I did today but I can't resist the 5k section of road that is a succession of big dippers - 2 of which are steepish climbs of approximately 80m - hence the roller coaster title. I managed to maintain a running action through all of this section which was the only goal I set myself for this run.

Back on to trail the section across to Catherine Hill Bay was just exquisite this morning. The sun rising across the coast, the sound of the waves breaking, the surfers bobbing up and down on their boards off the little beaches way below, the whip birds and the kookaburras, and me with the whole cliff top trail to myself - perfect.

I started to struggle from about the 15k mark on the gradual climb back out to the Pacific Highway and up to the Big Prawn with my speed dropping back to official trudge pace - I was very glad to take a break to refill the camelbak and have a nibble.

Setting out again I picked the pace up a bit as I headed down the steep Big T Fire Trail but when it levelled out it was back to trudge with km splits getting as slow as 8.30's and even a couple of 9's - I was cooked. I did manage to keep a running action (well I call it a running action but I was pretty much just going up and down on the one spot with the occasional horizontal progress - probably due to the earth turning while my feet were in the air) happening up hill and down dale - but the last 7k was more trial than trail and I even went to a 10+min k split on one uphill stretch.

When I got home I just collapsed for 10 minutes on the ground then had a shower and went and lay down for about 40 minutes - rarely have I felt so wasted after a run - I was in stunned mullet mode.

I suppose coming off the back of the plague (which is still mildly in attendance) and with the lack of recent long runs I shouldn't have expected any better but with a PB of 2.51 for this course todays 3.29 was very, very ordinary.

Lots of work to do yet - no point whingin about it - just keep looking at the counter at the top of the page and get on with it ;-)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My Name Is Earl

Today Total: 7k
Week Total: 27k
Month Total: 106k
Year Total: 1590k

Sorry to give so many of you a headache with my last post but karma got me back by inflicting a dose of the plague upon me.

By Wednesday night my schnoz was running like a tap. I spent Thursday in bed and by Friday my face felt like someone had taken an angle grinder to my nose and rubbed my lips back with a brick - to cap it all off I'm certain some bastard sandblasted my throat when I was asleep - in all my born days my nose has never leaked so much.

Anyhoo as violent as it was it was relatively short lived as when I awoke this morning I was feeling much brighter. I really didn't think I'd be running today but after I finished mowing the lawns and felt pretty good  (I'm up the lake) Mrs 2P announced she was going shopping so I thought what the hey I'll chance it.

Mrs 2P dropped me up on the Pacific Highway and I made my way back home along the gently undulating trails of Crangan Bay. I felt surprisingly fresh and strong and if anything kept holding myself back so as not to spoil tomorrows long run. I can still feel a bit of the lurgy there but it doesn't seem to be interfering too much - so far so good :-)

The other news is my replacement garmin turned up so this was my first run with Garmy Mk11 - I suspect we are going to become very good friends.

All up 7k in 40.38 (av 5.48).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Garmin 301 & 305 Navigation

Hi All,

I thought I would celebrate my 200th blog entry by making a contribution and in light of the recent interest in trail ultras I thought I would offer this up.

Ever wanted to use your Garmin 301 or 305 as a navigation tool? It's pretty simple if you can afford the software and electronic maps on your PC or laptop - but you don't need that stuff - it is a little fiddly - but I believe well worth the effort as a safety precaution if you are running trails at night or on trails that you have never been on before.

The process I'm about to explain might seem a bit complicated at first but if you practice a bit you can get quite efficient at it.

The 301 is fine as is, but if you have a 305 you will need to make sure you have updated the unit operating software to V2.4 from the Garmin website first.

These instructions are for use with 1:25,000 topographical maps using GDA94 map datum in Australia ONLY (more about this later) - the purpose is to assist trail runners be able to program in critical navigation points such as a track junctions so they don't get quite as lost as they otherwise might :-)

NOTE: A GPS should NEVER be used as the primary navigation tool - nothing will ever beat good map to ground navigation and situational awareness - it is however a wonderful tool that compliments good navigation skills.

I'll try not to use jargon but there are a few terms and concepts you do need to know about.

Waypoint: Is any point you would like to include in a route as a critical navigation point e.g. a track junction etc

WGS84, GDA94, AGD66, AGD84: These are different map datums - the only 2 things you need to know is the Garmin uses WGS84 and that Australian maps depending on their age use the other datum types. The good news is that modern Australian maps all use GDA94 and WGS84 and GDA94 are for all practical purposes the same thing. This example shown below only works with GDA94 maps - If you want help with AGD66/84 it can be done I will mention how towards the end. All topographical maps state somewhere what map datum they are based on - a lot of modern maps now have GDA printed boldly on the cover to make life a bit easier.

Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM): UTM is just a fancy term for grid. If you've ever looked at a topo or a UBD for that matter you will be familiar with the grid superimposed on the map. If you have ever done simple map reading - great - because you will understand the concept of Grid References or coordinates - you have a head start ;-)

Eastings: These are the vertical lines of the grid - so called because the numbers at the top and bottom of the map that correspond with these lines get bigger from west to east.

Northings: These are the horizontal lines of the grid - so called because the numbers at the sides of the map that correspond with these lines get bigger from south to north.

Grid Zone: Relates to a particular 100,000 meter square grid that all smaller maps fit into e.g. Blue Mountains 1:25,000 maps belong in Zone 56. You can find this information on the map under "Grid References".

Latitude and Longitude These are points on the earths surface that are measured in degrees, minutes and seconds and these are the units that the garmin displays position in.

Ok then - I have a 1:25,000 GDA94 topographical map and a garmin now what?

Get yourself a ruler and a calculator - but don't fret it aint hard.

Find the "waypoint" on the map you want to program into your garmin.

For the purposes of demonstration I will use a point on the "Mt Wilson" 1:25,000 topo - let's make it the junction of the Great Western Highway and Victoria Falls Road (See point 1. on the map)

View a copy of the map here Hint - if you click on the image you should then be able to click on an icon that appears to restore the image to regular size.

First, you need to establish the Easting coordinate - look at the vertical lines you will note each one has a two digit number at the top and bottom of the map but some are preceded by a smaller font number - you NEED this smaller number (See point 2 on the map). In this case it is the number 2 - write it down.

Then look at the vertical line immediately to the left of the feature you are plotting - in this case it is 46 (see point 3 on the map)- write this down so now you should have 246.

Using your ruler measure off how far it is to the feature from the vertical line in millimeters and multiply the number of millimeters by 2.5 - you MUST get a 2 digit number so in this case where the answer is 7 (ignore the decimal for now) you need to express it as 07 - write these numbers down - you should now have 24607.

Good you almost have your first coordinate 24607 just pop a 0 on the end (or if the multiplication by 2.5 gave you a 0.5 in the answer you can put a 5 there) - you MUST do this for all coordinates you create - so what you need to end up with is 246075 - you MUST, MUST, MUST have 6 numbers. If you haven't got it already this is IMPORTANT!!!

Now you need to repeat the process for the Northing (the horizontal lines) coordinate - the only differences are you work up the map instead of across it, also there will be a 2 digit smaller font number preceding the bigger grid line numbers - in this case 62 (see point 4 on the map)- you need to use both and you also NEED to put another zero on the end (or a 5) of your final number too - the end result is you MUST, MUST, MUST have 7 numbers.

In this case the number you should get is 6279325 (to see where the 79 came from seef point 5 on the map)

Easy peasy - now for the sexy bit.

The sexy bit is plunking it into an excel spreadsheet that will magically convert these numbers from UTM coordinates to latitude & longitude that you can then program into the garmin.

I didn't invent the spreadsheet - the good old Australian Government did - bless em - you can either download a copy or just open and use the spreadsheet by clicking here.

Ok next bit - choose the middle tab - the one that says E,N Zne to Latitude & Longitude

First thing input the ZONE (DO NOT FORGET THIS STEP) - in this case 56 - on this 1:25,000 map it is 56H - don't worry about the alpha character that is just the sheet identifier of this particular map within this particular 100,000 square meter zone and is not required for calculating purposes i.e. just plunk in 56.

Then input the Easting and the Northing coordinates and press enter on your keyboard.

Hey presto - you have a result.

Latitude = -33 degrees, 35 minutes, 44.159 seconds - don't worry about the minus sign that is just indicating that you are south of the equator - garmin deals with this by replacing the minus sign with an S for south.

Longitude = 150 degrees, 15 minutes, 49.13483 seconds

You can do a rough check if this "looks" right - you will notice that in each of the 4 corners of your map the latitude and longitude is printed. Your result should fall within these parameters at about the posi that looks... well yeah, you know, about right - kinda. NB latitude DECREASES as you go up the page whereas longitude increases as you go across the page.

Last thing you need to do is convert the minutes and seconds to minutes with a decimal point (garmin needs it this way - yes inconvenient I know) - now come on you're all runners you know how to do this - just divide the number of seconds by 60 e.g. for the longitude above the seconds are 49.13483 so divide by 60 = 0.819 (garmin will take 3 decimal places) therefore your new longitude is 150 degrees, 15.816 minutes.

Now all you need do is by using the menu on your garmin select Navigation, select Mark Location use the scroll button to take you to the top data field and give your position an identifying name or number so you can recognise it on the list when you want it.

Scroll to position data field and press enter to edit the default latitude and longitude (garmin defaults to current position - or last known position if the GPS is turned off) NB you do not have to put in elevation info as the GPS does not use this to navigate - all done :-)

Now when you want to use the waypoint just use the Find function under Navigation and select the waypoint you want - the garmin will tell you how far as the crow flies you are from the waypoint and what direction you need to travel eg NE (again as the crow flies). You then have the option (if you want) to select the Map or Go To function - I'll leave it to you to experiment for yourself. In Map or Go To the scroll buttons change the scale whilst the mode button changes screens.

Don't be surprised that if in practice the garmin doesn't take you to the exact spot on the ground you want - if it gets within 30 meters you have done darn well - the GPS itself can be up to 20 meters out, using a ruler and the mark 1 eyeball is not the most precise measurement process, number rounding, a little thing called Grid convergence (all your Eastings on your map are exactly parallel but they actually come to a single point at the poles on a globe - wot tha? - it's just too hard to deal with on a flat map so they don't), the fact that man made features LIKE TRACK JUNCTIONS change over time and a host of other variables all introduce errors into the outcome.

The best use of the garmin is that it indicates if you are moving towards or AWAY from the waypoint you are after.

Given that a lot of trail ultras exceed the battery life of a garmin I would suggest just firing it up when you get close to waypoints and use it for guidance and confirmation of your map to ground and/or compass work.

One thing you might notice is that the elevation on your map and the elevation measurement on the garmin are different - apart from GPS inaccuracies (which for elevation can be pretty significant depending on how far apart the satellites that you are locked onto are) - it is also because there is difference in the way that WGS84 and Australian Height Datum (AHD) deal with height (or more specifically sea level)- to make sense of your garmin you will need to subtract 25 meters from the garmin measurement (or vice versa).

If you are a real novice you might want to investigate some more about map reading and how to use a compass. There is a great free publication again provided by the Aussie Government (good to see our taxes being used for good stuff) here

BTW the processes I've described here can be used for any GPS - in fact it is usually easier with bigger GPS units like a Garmin Etrex as they will allow you to enter the Easting and Northing coordinates directly into the GPS without mucking about with conversions. Also - you can read off your current position from the GPS in Easting and Northing coordinates which you can instantly then plot on the map. Unfortunately the 301 & 305 just aren't that sophisticated and why you need to go through the conversion process.

Ok now - if you want to use this process for AGD66/88 here's what you need to do BE WARNED this is an APPROXIMATION ONLY but will get you in the ball park. The difference in position from GDA94 and AGD66/84 is about 200m but this varies a smidgeon from map to map. If you input AGD coordinates into the excel spreadsheet you need to manually correct the result before entering it into your garmin as follows:

Latitude subtract 5.6 seconds (or 0.093 of a minute)
Longitude add 4.2 seconds (or 0.07 of a minute)

Lastly you can use the process I've described in reverse to plot locations you mark whilst on your run for plotting on a map later eg you might want to know exactly where you turned around on an out and back course.

To do this you need to use the Mark Location function on the garmin - your current position will be saved - make sure you remember the number the garmin assigns to the waypoint (or stop and manually edit in a name). When you get home convert the minutes back to minutes and seconds by multiplying the decimal by 60 and then instead of the middle tab on the spreadsheet use the first one.

There now you know what I know - I make no guarantee of the information I have provided - it is up to you to try it and practice it in a safe environment.

There are other sites on the www that offer conversion software - I have chosen this one because it is an Excel spreadsheet that you can download to your PC and because I trust the source.

Also - you can use this process with a UBD too - but you can work out the differences in how to do that for yourself :-p

It took me yonks to work it all out when I first started farting around with GPS units in 2001 - I hope this saves you some time and that you find it useful.

Cheers 2P :-)

PS If anyone spots any inaccuracies or omissions I would be very happy to receive your feedback


Today Total: 8k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 99k
Year Total: 1583k

Another cool and clear morning and as the pins were feeling a little frumpy after yesterdays effort I decided to just have a bit of gallumph around the foreshore this morning.

A twee bit breezy in places but the Canada Bay was sparkling - my splits were pretty consistent except for one faster effort of 5.10 for the 6th k. Not sure why I did the faster split - it just felt like the right thing to do at the time :-)

All up 8k in 46.44 (av 5.51)


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Not Too Shabby

Today Total: 12k
Week Total: 12k
Month Total: 91k (adjusted to account for an earlier error)
Year Total: 1575k

A beautiful clear cool morning in tinsel town, perfect for running and time to step up the training.

After Sunday the pins were not sore - just really fatigued and I moped around most of yesterday feeling fairly jaded.

This morning was a different day however and I woke naturally about 5.00AM (though in hindsight what's natural about that?) and I was raring to go.

It's all very well running out and back along the forehore but it's flat as a billiard table - ok for speed work and LHR stuff but I need a bit of variety. So this morning I resurrected an old 12k loop that makes the best use of what laughable rises (that I will loosely refer to as hills) that Concord has to offer.

The first 2k is mostly grass or broken dirt track which is relatively heavy going, with the 2nd k rising gently for most of it. The next 4k is indeed flat around the foreshore and the last 6k undulates its way around the Concord Golf Course - almost all of the 8th and 10th kms are uphill.

I was heartened to go through 10k sub 60mins and as the last 2k are pretty cruisy I put the foot down a bit and my last 2 splits were 5.25 and 5.29 which I was very happy with.

All up 12k in 70.37 (5.53 av).


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Quarry Road

Today Total: 17k
Week Total: 42k
Month Total: 80k
Year Total: 1563k

Feeling very much like a GNW wannabe I set off along Quarry Road this morning. The intention was to do 2 full laps so I had the camelbak loaded to the gunnels so I wouldn't have to make any stops.

Right from the start I felt out of sorts - I think this was partly due to my legs not having yet quite recovered from Fridays session; partly because I slowly broiled all day yesterday doing yard chores and am probably a bit dehydrated; partly because I didn't get to bed till 1:00am then had a patchy 4 hours sleep; but mostly I suspect it was because last nights cayenne pepper sauce may have been a good idea at the time but...... I had the gripe big time just a few minutes into the run. And of course - it might just have been one of those days! Bah!

When I did a PW split of 52 mins to the Dural end I knew 2 laps was out of the question and just concentrated on struggling back to the start where I dumped the Camelbak and picked up a hand bottle instead (BTW if anyone is looking for Nathan hand bottles Sport Scene in Bathurst - of all places - sells them for about $20) and did a return trip to the bridge.

I think runs like today are good for mental prep as much as anything - I realllllllllllly didn't want to drop down to the bridge again - but I did - don't get me wrong this isn't a macho "no pain no gain" type of thing this is an "ok 2P the challenge is to nurse yourself through the next 4k - you can do this" kind of thing. I think the confidence this type of training instills is what gets me through the longer stuff. There..... now I've told you lot my sekrit I may have to kill you all :-)

Anyhoo karma rewarded me big time - when I got to the bridge and peered over the edge I saw a school (family) of the 6 biggest fresh water fish I have ever seen just lollong around. Not being particularly piscatorially inclined I haven't a clue what they were - but they appeared blue/grey with a light dirty amber along their spine about 18 inches long (at least) and they were big beefy buggers - I reckon 3 to 4kg worth. They were easy to watch in the crystal clear water and I was mesmerised for a few minutes before I started the 2k haul back to the car.

Feeling much brighter now with a coffee in me, but geez I have some work to do before March ;-)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mr Jelly Legs

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 25k
Month Total: 63k
Year Total: 1546k

Mona's Fartlek today. Gawd what a session - I went out too hard and paid the price as the average pace per fart below shows - they're also a dogs breakfast in terms of consistency. Some of the uneveness was due to terrain and at times a strong head wind but it is still too big a variance in average pace.

2 x 1.30 farts @ 4.33 & 4.57
4 x 1.00 farts @ 4.37, 4.47, 4.58 & 4.54
4 x 0.30 farts @ 4.59, 5.00, 4.54 & 4.26
4 x 0.15 farts @ 4.22, 4.57, 5.11 & 5.26

As you can see I had absolutely nuffin left for the last 2 x 15 second efforts. My float pace was just as all over the place but generally it started off at around 5.50 pace and got down to around 6.30.

All up I covered 2.09k for 10mins of farting and 1.60k for 10mins of floats for a total of 3.69km in 20mins (av 5.26). Very slow by comparison to workouts earlier in the year but at least I now have a new benchmark by which to measure progress.

Rest day tomorrow :-)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pleasant Surprise

Today Total: 5k
Week Total: 15k
Month Total: 53k
Year Total: 1536k

I headed out around the perimeter of Concord Golf Course with no other intention than to work out a bit more soreness and the niggle from yesterdays break and enter caper - somewhere around a 6.15 pace ought to do it given this is a fairly hilly course in comparison to my foreshore runs.

The first k is mainly uphill and when I split in 6.02 I knew I was on song for a better run than I've had for a while so picked the pace to sub 5.30 for the second k - the third k on this run is tough - it is all uphill and gradually gets steeper till you reach the top - through in 6.02 - magic - then another two sub 5.30k's to finish in bang on 28.30.

Throughout I could feel the knot in my left calf just pulling a bit and I knew I was pushing my luck but it held up so I felt vindicated ;-)

Notwithstanding that I ran 10k yesterday at a similar pace (it was on the flat) - I'd have to say today was the first time since the recommencement that I've felt like I was actually "running".


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 10k
Month Total: 47k
Year Total: 1531k

Geez I do some stupid things to myself and Saturday would have to be right up there amongst the best of em.

I don't think I pulled up as sore after doing the whole Six Foot track in March as I did after just 16k on the track on Saturday. Sunday saw the return of the crabmeister as I had to turn sideways to get down stairs and by Monday I could barely walk. Calves were the hardest hit but my quads were a pretty close second.

After hobbling around a bit yesterday I was significantly freer today and decided for a hit out. The next stupid thing I did was lock myself out of the front of my house this arvo so I had to leap a 6' colourbond fence to get in the back way. On landing I jarred my left calf but decided to run anyway.

It hurt all the way but the pain was managable I just hope I haven't done anything lasting. Only time will tell.

All up 10k in 57.09 - pretty happy with that considering my jarred calf, general leg soreness and that the wind was atrocious around the foreshore.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hello Old Friend

Today Total: 16k
Week Total: 41k
Month Total: 37k
Year Total: 1521k

After being inspired by fellow bloggers like Flakey and CJ who are training hard for Six Foot, the Brindabella crowd and the GNW aspirants, I figured it was about time to pay a visit to me old mate The Track.

I left home a tad before 4.30AM to head up the mountains on my way to Bathurst to spend time with the Halfpenny. When I arrived at Explorers Tree it was 10 degrees, raining and wall to wall fog - perfect :-)

By 5.40AM I was running and though dawn was trying to make its presence felt I was sure glad I packed my headlamp as it was pitch dark in the slot down the stairs.

Got to the Nellies Glen sign in bang on 16 mins which considering the conditions was pretty good. 3 mins later I hit the fire trail where I stopped to take off my headlamp and let the Garmin re-aquaint itself with the concept of satellite navigation.

The fire trail was muddy and fairly heavy going in places so I just took it steady. My VMO's were whinging a bit from the jolt down the stairs and so they were happy with the pace too.

Just as I crossed the stile into the paddock near the ford I noticed Garmy was scrolling through the data fields of its own accord. I now know this is a harbinger of imminent doom as when I got to Megalong Valley Rd (in 58mins) I started the reset procedure but Garmy wasn't responding to any button presses and the without further ado went grey screen on me.

It was somewhat ironic that I was at a cemetary - vale Garmy.

Anyhoo after a short break and offering up some prayers to the gadget gods to guide Garmy's spirit to the happy nerd running grounds I started back.

My goal for the return trip was to maintain a running action at least until the Nellies Glen sign and then if I wanted I could walk - which is exactly what eventuated.

Believe me - I didn't need to run up those mongrel 480 steps to get my heart rate pounding or my breathing out of shape - walking was doing a fine job!

By the time I got to the car I was quite light headed and feeling pretty shattered - good :-)

I intend to repeat this a few times - I have a theory that whilst lots of people train on The Track itself or on other steep trails they neglect stairs to their peril. Running down oversized stairs just takes so much more out of your legs than the steepest slope. In my view a Six Foot campaign is won or lost in the first 20mins - if you can hit the fire trail with no jelly in the legs (easier said than done) then you will have a good'un.

Well that's my theory :-)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Gently, Gently

Today Total: 5k
Week Total: 25k
Month Total: 21k
Year Total: 1505k

Todays run was more about creating a habit than the actual run itself. In my quest to convert back to morning runs I just needed to get up and get circulating.

I did a very gentle loop of Concord Golf Course in the light rain even opting to walk some of the hill up the back stretch. I have a very hilly run planned for tomorrow morning and was extremely keen not to put any hurt into my legs.

Roll-on the weekend :-)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Blame CJ

Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 16k
Year Total: 1500k

After feeling elated after last nights fartlek I quickly moved on to inspired when later I read CJ's account of her Mt Taylor run yesterday morning - ta CJ :-)

I've been struggling with the whole concept of AM runs since commencing running - I mean when your runs leave you feeling like you've just done 10 rounds with Ali it's frankly not the most appealing way to start your day.

But now I are feeling much more gooder after runs and after reading through my blog archives for Jan/Feb/Mar this year I knew it was time for me to start leaping out of bed early if I am to succesfully build up for that little trail gig in March.

Well in practice I kind of rolled out of bed and staggered to my running 'green room' where the pre-prepared thermos was waiting - but at least I was up ;-) a bit dubious about running twice in 12 hours but the pins were feeling remarkably fresh.

Deciding to keep it sensible (see I can, I can) I just ran out for 3k along the forehore at 6min pace and return.

All up 6k in 35.56 - nice recovery Mav (ok Miners name that movie).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Mona Fartlek

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 14k
Month Total: 10k
Year Total: 1494k

After Mondays run unearthed a few niggles I decided on a complete rest day yesterday - good decision because today I was niggle free.

Headed off on the usual out and back foreshore run but decided to throw a Mona Fartlek in for fun - I had forgotten just how quick this session seems to make the run go and how enjoyable it is - note to self must do more regularly.

*Garmy nerds only bit*

Trap for young players #32b - if you delete a step in an advanced program on the Garmin it re-numbers the steps but not the program instruction e.g. if you have an instruction to repeat steps 4 & 5 four times it doesn't alter this to account for the deleted steps i.e. step 4 is now step 3 and so it gets all discombooblerated.

*Nerdy bit ends*

For non-nerds suffice it to say I stuffed up the programming on my Garmin for the session and after some initial confusion resorted to doing things the old fashion way by having to actually look at my watch occasionally - talk about primitive - on the up-side I didn't salivate (obscure Pavlovian reference to audible cues). On the down-side I may have missed one of the 1 min efforts - I have trouble concentrating on running AND counting :-)

Gronk asked the question after Sundays run "can I consider myself back" or words to that effect - I think I am :-).

I am back - not from a definition based on pace or distance achieved - for me it is far more intrinsic than that - it's about doing a hard session (perceived effort despite the result) and feeling really great afterwards as opposed to the struggling, heart breaking, confidence sapping offerings you at first do during any comeback.

So anyone following this diatribe in a similar sitch - stick with it - as the saying goes it mightn't happen overnight........

All up 10k in 57.40 (5.46av) - Happy 2P :-)

Monday, October 30, 2006


Today Total: 4k
Week Total: 4k
Month Total: 150k
Year Total: 1484k (Adjusted to account for an earlier error)

Just a slow 4k trot around Concord Golf Course in 26 mins before heading off to training tonight.

Not much to report other than I was reasonably happy to back-up after yesterdays assault on my body.

Couple of minor niggles - but a lot less jiggles :-)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Big Jump

Today Total: 23k
Week Total: 56k
Month Total: 146k
Year Total: 1487k

Watching silly Westerns on the tele last night I didn't get to bed until absurdly late so I was bit slow to get moving this morning and didn't get out the door till almost 10AM.

Surprisingly I felt great so I decided to do a genuine LSD run taking the first couple of k's at around 6.40 pace - distance being todays objective.

I implemented my tried and trusted distance extender regimen of a 1 min walk break after every 20 mins of running and it worked a treat.

The route I took was the foreshore from Cape Cabarita to Canada Bay and then across to The Bay for a lap and return. I picked the pace up a bit around The Bay for show - though I ran into the herd doing Seven Bridges crossing Iron Cove and these cows weren't budging for my calves (do your worst DJ & Ewen - if you've got anything left that is). My pace gradually dropped over the last 8k with a couple of 7 minute shockers in there when I hit hills.

All up I did 23k in 2.33.55 (6.41av)including the walk breaks - considering my longest run since June has been 14k I'm very happy with it.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

CR 5k Challenge

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 30k
Month Total: 123k
Year Total: 1464k

26.29 today = 1.29 faster than last month = still bloody slow = Ewen is pretty safe from losing our bet on who will get back underneath 23 minutes first.

When I first turned up about ten to seven the start line was deserted. Shortly afterwards Papa Luigi turned up and we wondered if we had the right day? Then within the space of a couple of minutes CR's emerged from everywhere like freedom fighters converging on secret food dump. I swear that if we had CR bandanas instead of caps Homeland Security would take an interest in us.

Having been off work yesterday with a crook tum I wasn't expecting too much today so went off 27 mins with one other guy Geoff (?). I was determined to stick to pace so let him go early as he scampered off closer to a 26 min pace.

I found 5.15 to 5.20 pace fairly comfortable but the wind was an absolute shocker during the second and third k and my mouth went all dry and gluggy (sorry not the nicest image I know) which had the run comfort indicator spiraling downwards.

About half way through the second k I recognised the twin bobbing pony tails of Bernie G and the Owl and just focussed on closing the gap.

The two ladies who went off 25 mins passed me somewhere around the 4k mark and I used them to drag me up to within a few meters of Bernie & Owly where I recouped my breath and sat put till there was about 400m to go. At that point I increased my stride length, overtook them and headed with what little energy I had left for Queen B who was marking the finish line.

For once I was amongst the first to get to the finish and could turn back and see the rest of the crowd come hurtling across the line in various stages of exhaustion - for my part I was totally spent.

The 5k back to the start was a complete horror for me - the fuel tank was reading empty and I was barely running on fumes - in fact a few times I slipped it into nuetral and just coasted (read walked). I was the last back by a long shot and most people had already left by the time I got there.

I was going to go to breaky with Uncle Dave, Papa Luigi, Owl, Colin, Benny, Gnome & TA (there may have been others - sorry if I left you out) but when I got back to my car my breathing was becoming all wheezy (wot tha?) and I decided to bail and go home - beaten but not cowed.

Next stop sub 25 :-)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Easy Ten

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 113k
Year Total: 1454k

My calves pulled up a bit tight after Tuesdays faster run and last nights bag work didn't do much to loosen them up so I set off today at fairly conservative pace. With my history the last thing I need at the moment is to overdo things in the calf department.

The first k was a bit scratchy but after that I settled into a fairly comfortable rythym as I doddled around the foreshore on my standard out and back course to Canada Bay and return.

All up 10k in 61.06 (av 6.06 pace).

The bod is feeling a bit weary having trained every day for the last seven days - depending on how I feel I might make tomorrow a complete rest day.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sub 60 10k

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 10k
Month Total: 103k
Year Total: 1444k

Yeeehaa!!! Today was the breakthrough I've been looking for since I recommenced training - 10k in 59.18.

I know 59.18 for 10k aint nuffin to crow about but this is the first run I have done in 3 or 4 months where I didn't feel like I was struggling at any stage, I felt strong the whole way - by the same token I certainly didn't bludge and the strong headwind I ran into around the foreshore for most of the run certainly kept me honest.

I'd rate it as a good hard and satisfying workout for this stage of my training - I'm a very happy 2P tonight :-)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Planes, Trains & Automobiles?

Today Total: 14k
Week Total: 41k
Month Total: 93k
Year Total: 1434k

No! Grasses, Trails & Bitumi (ok so I took some poetic licence inventing a plural for bitumen) :-)

With heavy showers through the night I opted for the relatively wimpy option of running around the lakefront (ish) of Gwandalan and Summerland Point. It rained on and off and everytime I was exposed to the honking Southerly that was blowing I zipped my CR tri top right up and jammed my '05 Six Foot hat down low over my eyes.

Today was a tremendous grind after the last few days but I am starting to feel that old familiar confidence (probably misplaced) that I can run long distances :-)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Trails

Today Total: 7k
Week Total: 27k
Month Total: 79k
Year Total: 1410k

Alas no Spud - not mountainous Wattagan trails but mildy undulating Gwandalan trails - you have hit the nail on the head though - my heart pines for a start in GNW - maybe I could turn up for some pacing at the back end......

After belting out 10 x 2min rounds on the heavy bag last night and doing some core strength stuff I was well and truly ready for my soon to be patented mow-the-lawn recovery session this morning - having not been up here for a while it was a 2 hour workout that left me raring for a run.

Mrs 2P wanted to go bogon spotting down at Lakehaven so I got her to drop my up on the Pacific Highway and I doddled back through the labrynth of trails around Crangan Bay.

The most comfortable run I have done in a while - still pretty slow but I can feel the base starting to come back - my aerobic base that is - not my butt - I'm desparately trying to shed that particular base :-)

Hopefully I can back-up again for tomorrow.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Chip Chip

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 20k
Month Total: 72k
Year Total: 1410k

As Gronk would say "keep chipping away 2P" and that is exactly what todays doddle in the light rain was all about - I just wish I was armed with something a little bigger than a nail file to get through this bloody great mountain.

It's all just part of the process and it is much easier to keep my eye on the prize now I have my handy dandy new fangled countin machine up top :-). A four year old could solve a Rubiks Cube quicker than it took me to get that lil sucker working the way I wanted!

Anyhoo the run actually wasn't that bad - a bit slower than Tuesday but at least the rain kept the spectators down and I could jiggle and bounce my way round the foreshore with relative privacy.

Off to training tonight and then up to the lake house for the weekend - with a bit of luck I can hit some trails over the next couple of days.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Upward Trend

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 10k
Month Total: 62k
Year Total: 1400k

Headed off after work in the light sprinkling rain around the old stomping grounds of Breakfast Point and Canada Bay.

Very happy to have run a nice even pace for the entire distance without struggling over-much. The weather was coolish but boy it sure was humid out there and I was sweating like a submariner in a depth charge attack.

Anyhoo 10k in 62.56 - considering that last Saturday week I struggled to "race" the Striders 10k in 64mins I'll take this "training" run as a sign of improvement - hey what can I say - as a behaviouralist from way back I'm a huge advocate of the 3 R's:


Now if I could only get the cognitive therapy to work as well :-)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Misty Mountains

Today. Total: 14k
Week Total: 24k
Month Total: 52k
Year Total:1390k

I really struggled on Thursday morning and by 10PM that night I knew why - let's just say I had urgent and competing priorities for the loo and throughout the night I woke several times with a raging temperature.

By midday I felt a lot better but the prospect of flying didn't really thrill me a whole heap - anyhoo I made it home and went straight to bed.

This weekend was a "Bathurst weekend" and I was pretty poor company for the Halfpenny on Saturday - though I felt heaps better and was eating normally I felt tired and washed out like I'd had a heavy night on the turps.

This morning however I woke fresh as and feeling fine and decided Narrowneck was on. Three times I've been here in the last four weeks and each time the conditions have been starkly different. Today it was a balmy 19 degrees and the valleys were just starting to haze up.

I headed off determined to better my time from Wednesay week ago - I immediately knew I was in better shape when I ran all of the first of the rises - I did still walk some of the steeper sections throughout the run but I certainly ran heaps more of the uphill than last time.

I had 3 goals:

- no double digit km splits (check)
- negative split (check 1.34 -ve split)
- faster than last attempt (check beat it by 9.01)

Very happy 2P as this is the best indicator yet that I am starting to get lighter, fitter and faster - I loooooooove these hilly trail runs for what they can do to your confidence (the view and the vibe aint bad either).

By the time I got back to the car it was almost whiteout conditions with visibility down to about 50m as the fog rolled in during the last 2k and the temperature noticibly started to drop - vindicating my decision to always carry a space blanket when running solo in the mountains.

Our mountains might not be very high - but geez - I feel on top of the world this arvo :-)