Thursday, June 22, 2006

Cold, Dark & Rainy

Today Total: 8k
Week Total 13k
Month Total 130k
Year Total: 1268k

Perfect :-)

The legs had a bit more bounce this morning as I headed out before sunrise in light rain. The forecast is for another cold snap so I thought I better get this run in before it hits.

Another very pleasant doddle along the gravel/sand tracks and boardwalks around the foreshore of Lake Rotorua.

Most enjoyable :-)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Stinky Town

Today Total: 5k
Week Total: 5k
Month Total: 122k
Year Total: 1260k

Arrived in Auckland on Sunday night to miserably cold, rainy and windy conditions and things only got worse as we headed South East across to Tauronga to visit a colleague organisation and then ultimately Rotorua. Even the locals were complaining it was so bitter. The only good thing was that the wind kept the stink down.

Legs have pulled up well from Saturday - a bit sore but no obvious injuries. A nice soak in a geo-thermal pool on Monday night really hit the spot.

After a conference day yesterday where I ate more food than I previously would have thought humanly possible I dragged myself out of bed this morning for a trot around the lake.

It was pretty heavy going - whilst not sore the legs haven't quite got their bounce back yet. The scenery was great though on a crystal clear morning running through the lakeside bush on a mixture of gravel and sand tracks emerging every so so to get a spectacular vista of the lake fringed by thermal activity.

It's kind of spooky running past a blooping puddle of mud, holding your breath and realising you are in what is essentially the sharp end of a volcano.

Anyhoo heavy going that it was I still really enjoyed it and I'm sure the legs will be much better for the experience.


Saturday, June 17, 2006

More Than A Mouthful

Thankyou everyone for all the support - much appreciated :-)

Today Total: 62k
Week Total: 72k
Month Total: 117k
Year Total: 1255k

Well I bit off more than I could chew today! But considering the last 3 weeks I have had I am extremely happy with it.

Dads funeral was on Thursday which was a pretty full on day - work has been so busy that Thursday was the only full day off and by Friday arvo I was feeling extremely washed out and decided to pull the pin on PMC. This seemed sensible given in context with recent events plus how little running I've done lately and how much weight I've put on as well.

Fortunately I'm rarely sensible and by 8.30pm last night I determined it was back on! I'm glad I did :-) A qucik trip to Coles and then downloaded the maps off the net and I was all set.

I almost missed the start (another one) - rotten trains! Nuff said :-)

Anyhoo I made it just as the group photo was about to be taken - a quick hello to Jen_Runs in cheersquad mode and those near me in the 20 or so person huddle and KT took a happy snap and said "ready set go"!

We headed off and I quickly settled into last place with Horrie, Truckie and a few others. At the top of the steps leading up to the Harbour Bridge I stopped to strip off a layer and doddled across the bridge on my own. Watching the sun come up over the harbour was magnificent and when I thought "my dad will never see this again" before long I welled up and was bawling my eyes out - good thing no one else was around.

I put on a spurt and caught up with Horrie and we nattered on through Milsons Point and North Sydney. Eventually we got to a spot where Horrie had planned to meet Belinda and I just kept on keeping on - sure in the knowledge that he would catch me again.

I managed to catch up with a group that included the Hermanator, Virtual and Truckie and I alternately chatted with these guys as we made our way ever up. Hermy dropped off with a flurry of photos (he was only ever going the first 10k or so).

The familiar game of leap frog commenced as we made our way through Artarmon, Chatswood and up through Pymble - KT providing a welcome aid stop along the way.

Through this stage I started to feel sick but I arrived at Bobbin Head Road (20.5k) in 2 hours 7 mins which was obviously too quick but I'd enjoyed the company so what the hey!

Along Bobbin Head Road I started to struggle with the nausea getting worse and worse and I started to take more frequent walks and everyone just disappeared up ahead - I even felt awful on the 4k downhill section to Bobbin Head.

I arrived at Bobbin Head (30k) at 3 hours 25 mins and I knew then I was never going to go the distance - not today anyway - I took a 10 min breather (where I met Hamburgler) and refilled my camelbak and gatorade bottle (I took powder). As I walked off I munched a powerbar and with something solid in my tummy I felt heaps better. I still chose to walk the whole 4k up the hill though.

Just as I topped the ridge I ran into Plu on his bike and I got running again. Plu stuck with me till the gates where he had set up a treasure trove of an aid station - I selected a packet of chippies and a water bag (thanks Plu) and headed off. I was really starting to enjoy myself now and soon I was back on the Pacific Highway and wondering where would be a good spot to pull the pin?

I had thought I was in last position and got the shock of my life when Justin (?) tapped me on the shoulder - he stayed with me for a bit and then took off.

Not long after sfGnome came doddling the other way on his Saturday long and turned and kept me company for a couple of k's which was really nice too and that got me a bit further up the track.

The choices to stop from when Gnomey left me were Berowra, Cowan or Hawkesbury (Brooklyn). I stopped at a servo just before Berowra and got a ham, cheese and pickles sandwich - that really hit the spot so I decided to head for Cowan and make a decision there but even then I was pretty sure I was going to try for the 60k consequently when I got to Cowan I just kept on keeping on.

About 2k after Pie In The Sky Jen_Runs went past in her car and then stopped to give me my own peronal cheer which lifted my spirits no end.

From there it was really just a cruise down the hill to the Brooklyn turnoff and a 3k trot/walk to the railway station for the 62k total. A quick feed and a change into a dry thermal and it was just a matter of sitting in the sun overlooking the bay and waiting for the train to come.

I had done just enough - my ankle from when I rolled it at the NOSH had made itself known from about 40k but over the last couple of k really started to give me gyp so it was a good decision.

It was a very satisfying day - thanks KT, Jen_Runs, Plu and sfGnome for the support ;-)

Apologies to everyone that I haven't been commenting on blogs of late - life has been a bit hectic and tomorrow I fly out to New Zealand for a week and a half so it is going to be a while before I can comment again.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My Mate Fred

Hi Team,

I've been a bit quiet in the blogoshere of late - apart from injury there is another reason I haven't been doing that much running or commenting much on all of your blogs.

You see my dear old Dad has been fighting a losing battle with cancer. A battle that started in 1990 (just four years after his quadruple bipass surgery in 1986) and continued through to about 9.00pm on Saturday night.

He did it in style the old boy - keeping his dignity (albeit through a merciful morphine haze) to the end. A comment from the doctor on Thursday kind of sums up Pops character - I asked the doc in charge of Palliative Care how Dad was doing and the doc replied "well when I saw him this morning, before I had chance to say anything, your dad asked me how I was"? The doc shook his head, smiled and said "I don't get that in this particular job very often".

I won't go into detail but the final stages of terminal cancer are simply horrendous. Frankly it was a sweet relief to get the phone call from the hospital on Saturday night to say he had passed and that his suffering had finally ended. My ma, sister and brother all felt the same and as families do (including our partners and kids) at times like these we have been solidly supporting each other - comforted by the knowledge that dad is now free from all pain.

BTW his name isn't Fred - that is just a pet name that is interchangable between all the male members of our family - long story :-)

I loved my dad, he was and always will be my hero - nuff said ;-)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

2 Priscilla - Drama Queen Of Cape Cab

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 10k
Month Total: 45k
Year Total: 1183k

Well I managed to get my back and achilles in good nick for last Sunday but being the drama queen I have seemingly become I promptly rolled right over on my left ankle at about the 8k mark of the NOSH.

It hurt a bit.

End result was some swelling, some pain and a pronounced limp on Monday and Tuesday that had everyone I met offering really helpful comments like "hey you're limping" - Oh really? I hadn't noticed - thanks for pointing it out...... Anyhoo I'm sure they all meant well but it was getting a bit bloody tedious towards the end.

By Wednesday I had ditched the limp but still wasn't quite ready to run but by this afternoon I was out of excuses so headed off around Cape Cabarita and Canada Bay in the dark.

A pretty uneventful run - started to feel a bit tender on the bottom of my heel and arch from about 6k but no real drama. I always like looking at the reflection of lights on the water - reminds me of the times I spent with my Dad as a youngin skipping stones at Rhodes waiting to get a load at the now defunct Allied Feeds Mill - so I spent at least some of the run in my happy place :-)

10k in 58.23 @ av 5.50.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Noshin It Up

Today Total: 16k
Week Total: 35k
Month Total: 35k
Year Total: 1173k

Family commitments meant I wasn't prepared to give a definitive yay or nay leading up to this one. As it turned out there was a window of opportunity and after adding it up in my head twice I reckoned I had enough time to make it to the start. Pity I'm not very good at adding up.

With just a few stairs to go before arriving at the starting area I heard the gun go off - I'd already done a registration and pin the bib on PB and I might even consider taking up doing accupuncture now I've had so much practice ;-)

As I wove through the tail enders I noticed Wildthing but I was on the wrong side of the trail to say g'day but up ahead through the crowd I could see the unmistakable bobbing pony tail of The Owl and friend who turned out to be none other the Ellie80. I ran with them for a little while before heading off to catch Jen_Runs.

I caught up with Jen and we ran together for a couple of k's oooing and ahhhing at the scenery and having a bit of a chin wag. It really is quite a lovely part of the world so after a bit I decided to have a little rest to take it all in and bid Jen ta ta. Sadly The Owl and Ellie80 were only a few minutes behind and when they caught me slacking by the side of the trail they made me run again. Ellie was stepping up big time and looking strong but we still couldn't keep up with The Owl who was powering.

The Owl was however patient enough to stop for us both to catch up and we set off across Roseville Bridge together. Fortunately for me the gravity was switched on and I found myself picking up momentum as I rolled my somewhat over 90kg frame down the hill and through the 6k drink station and before long I even managed to catch up to Jen again at about the 7k mark.

Jen and I then ran in amiable CR companionship for the rest of the race - Jen very subtly keeping my spirits up by laughing at my lame jokes. I always love the feeling of rock under my hands and the climb up out of the valley was I think the most technical I've experienced in an actual race - great stuff.

We started our decent into Seaforth and it was all over a bit soon really as Jen outsprinted me to the finishline in 1.53.30 - The Owl and Ellie not far behind.

It was great to catch up with GoGirl, MPH and BCFC at the end too - unfortunately I missed Steve L who had flown in from Japan that morning - a real bugger because finally meeting Steve was one of my two motivations for pushing to make it there - oh well looks like I'll just have to go to Japan ;-)

PS - thanks for the lift back to the start Ellie *waves*

Saturday, June 03, 2006

We Were Young Once

Today Total: 9k
Week Total: 19k
Month Total: 19k
Year Total: 1157k

Due to some family commitments I'm staying at my folks place this weekend at Casula - there is something a bit weird about sleeping in the same room as you did when you were a kid - so much is familiar, yet so much has changed too - not just in the room but I'm different as well. Interesting.

Anyway I managed to get out for a trot this afternoon and naturally I headed off for Casula Station and the Georges River - as a kid I virtually lived down in the "bush" - be it on foot or by bike every spare moment was usually taken up roaming the river/railway strip between Liverpool Station and Glenfield Station (Casula is between the two).

So today was meant to be a nostalgic run but it didn't quite turn out that way - everything was so different and I was actually exploring instead.

One constant though - the bell birds of my youth (well their decendants anyway) were there to call to me in not quite Kendellesq surroundings given the paved pathways that now exist - but at least it was still the "bush". Very enjoyable :-)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Singing In The Rain

Today Total: 10k
Week Total: 10k
Month Total: 10k
Year Total: 1148k

Yep - a bit of crook back syndrome still but I also zigged when I should have zagged at training on Monday night and got a niggle in the muscle that runs down the lateral side of the lower calf and alonside the achilles. No major drama but between that and the back I decided to rest all week.

I'm getting fatter.

So tonight I was determined to turn sideways and squeeze out the door and go for a run. As Sydneysiders would be aware it was a tad cold and inclement out there tonight so I donned the oldest pair of runners I could find, a lightweight rain shell and some fingerless thinsulate gloves and took off around Cape Cabarita and Canada Bay.

It was kinda nice running along in the dark in my little cacoon with my hood pulled tight, the rain pattering on my noggin, splashing through puddles and the whole path exclusively to myself.

I really enjoyed this one - all up 10k in 57.54 (av 5.47).