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 :-)