Sunday, April 27, 2008

Struggle Street & A Sekrit Mission

Yesterday's Total: 25km
Week Total: 25km
Month Total: 109km
Year Total: 203km

Just got home after running Narrowneck as an out and back.

Pulled up great after Hellgate - amazed the legs were not that sore at all. Came down with an horrendous crook throat combined with a mild cold though.

I also decided to capitalise on the fat burn and went Atkins as of Monday (just for 2 weeks) - immediate effect on the scales due to fluid loss (if you don't store glycogen then you don't store water either).

Anyhoo CR Mr G is the RD for the Wild Endurance 100k and he needed some last minute intel so I agreed to go fetch.

Well kids - I learned one very hard lesson - you can't do hard runs carrying a 6kg pack and hope for it to be a happy thing on a diet of less than 10gms of carb per day. I struggled. I struggled big time.

Always one to make the most of things I convinced myself it was good practice in hitting the wall :-)

Made it down to the end of Narrowneck with the wind absolutely howling and I clambered my way down to the top of Tarros Ladder where I conducted my experiment for Mr G - nope no mobile reception there, zip, nada, nix, nuffin. Briefly thought about a descent for old times sake but with the wind howling, in the dark, on my own I figured I didn't have to so why risk it? Besides I've done it before alone at night in worse conditions with a bigger pack - nothing to prove - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it :-)

Climbed back up the track for part 2 of my mission a photograph of the top rung of the steel stairs/ladder thingee before Tarros - don't ask.

Mission accomplished all I had to do was get back - ugh - it hurt - it hurt a lot. Having cruised around Hellgate last week I was now in my own private Hell.

To add insult to injury - I thought the batteries in my Apex Pro were fresher than they must have been - and copped the warning flashes that I was down to less than 40% battery life while I was still stuffing around on Tarros.

Without whinging too much to you dear reader suffice it to say I made it back to the car in about 4.15 - I am an ultra runner after all - ultra slow that is!

Drove home feeling extremely nauseous but typing this I'm starting to brighten a little.

Nah nigh time :-)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hellgate Hilarity

Yesterday's Total: 46k
Week Total: 46k
Month Total: 84k
Year Total: 178k

Due to the fog putting out the water drops took much longer than I had planned - anyone who has driven through the Jenolan Gorge or down to Kanangra Walls might be able to appreciate what it is like in drizzle and absolute pea-souper fog.

One funny thing happened though as I was walking in the 700m from the Kanangra Rd to put down one of the drops for Paul. Switching on the PT Apex Pro was all but useless in the dense fog so I decided to take my Garmin PDA (loaded with topo's) so I didn't miss the right spot. Concentrating hard on where I put my feet and fumbling my way along the soaked track with the wind blowing rain into my face - when suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere a disembodied voice said "lost satellite reception" - fair dinkum I hit my head on an overhanging tree branch I jumped so high!

Anyhoo after my heartrate got down below 180 I carried on. Didn't much feel like putting out the last drop on Blacks Range but knew if I didn't do it, it would put me under pressure in the morning.

When I got back to the Deviation I was so wired from concentrating that I needed to read for an hour to wind down, so lights out wasn't till 1.00am - I slept like a baby.

Waking up at 6.30 I still managed to fluff about and had to rush my preparation - I didn't even count how many people were there (will have to wait for someone to post a start photo).

Horrie gave us a "ready-set-go"and we were away with Belinda, Lynda & I all trying to out-do each other with what we had forgotten to do and pulling up to set things right. In my case I'd forgotten to lube up, but once I'd done the decent with a finger tip of Vas I got going proper, promising the girls I wouldn't leave the Caves without them.

Really super-pleased with my run down to Caves considering I'm 10kg overweight and have only run 130k's this year -arrived bang on 1.30 and had a natter with Martin, Run Bare and Craig (?) till they took off.

Then Horrie and Tim turned up - I'd been idling for about 15mins and was starting to get seriously cold and told Horrie to tell the girls I'd meet them at the gate before the climb - just as I was about to set off the girls arrived.

I knew they would fiddle about for a bit so I just walked the 2.5k down to the gate - the girls arriving about 5 mins after I got there. "What up there"? "Yep":-)

I swear Lynda is part Mountain Goat she just took off like there was no tomorrow. I had a bit of a chuckle when Belinda said "dare I ask - is it much further"? "No not really - we are about a third of the way up".

We made good time up the hill as it is much easier wet than dry. Finally hit the Kanangra Rd and cruised up to where Horrie and Tim were waiting - a quick resup and we were on our way into Hellgate Country. I've said it before - I'll say it again - it's the most fun you can have standing up.

Played leapfrog with Belinda and Lynda as they were both stronger on the ups than me and eventually they got away when I had a pit stop.

The descent was a bit of an anti-climax with the surface being nowhere near as treacherous as when it is dry - still gave the quads a good pounding though!
Gravity took me past the girls about halfway down and I mosied on down to the river.

After a bit the girls turned up and I just pointed them in the right direction and said "adios" - I had no intention of even trying to keep up with them. With my lack of training I knew to push was just to invite a cramp so I just ambled up that mighty hill. Suffered a bit of heartbreak when intuition made me turn and I saw my cap on the ground about 60m back. I briefly thought of leaving it but it was a Six Foot cap dang nabbit so I had to go back. A bit later I took the "deadmans" suck on the Camelbak and ruefully looked at my handheld which was about a third full...

Eventually got to Blacks Range and headed for home. I could still walk strongly but could only raise a shuffle run on the downs. "Ahoy" from behind me and there is Paul informing me of Martin & Runbare's" tale of woe.

It got dark but I couldn't be bothered to get my headlamp out and just doddled on the best I could passing Slow Maniac in his car as he was riding to the rescue. (BTW thanks for picking up the water drop - saved me a trip this morning).

Shortly after everyone left it started to rain quite heavily and I reflected what a different place the Deviation was now compared to the bustle of runners and bushwalkers earlier in the day.

The hardest thing I did that day was strip off and pour cold water all over myself to have a tubs (I had to - I smelled like a polecat). Skins on rugged up and cooked dinner - it was no use though - my core temp had dropped - so warming up a cup of water I went and got horizontal in the old MKI fartbag and concentrated on getting some feeling back in my hands and feet.

Had an ordinary nights sleep as I had to pee about 83 times - when I wasn't peeing I was trying to convince myself I didn't need to. Blah - morning came about 30 hours after I went to bed and drizzle had become steady rain. Breakfasted with the local kangaroos and headed into Oberon for some petrol.

Reverse trip to pick up the rest of the empties (and fullies - the coldness of the day meant people used very little water) and headed home. Done.

Thanks for the company everyone - especially Belinda & Lynda - you are two very cheerful trail buddies.

Oh yeah - and Milov - I dips me lid!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Covering Ground

Today Total: 23k
Week Total: 27k
Month Total: 38k
Year Total: 131k

Run a bit, walk a bit. Run a bit, walk a bit. Run a bit, walk a bit.... Galloway would be proud.

I had hoped to head up Kanangra way and do the recce for the "Bouncing Off The Walls" section of Hellgate but circumstances had me up at the lake house. So instead I made my way over the hilly trails around Gwandalan and Munmorah.

Beautiful morning up this way - I'd like to say I was in my happy place all the time but I dunno, I just didn't feel like it when I woke up and the first 6k were just plain ugly. Eventually things started to feel better and I got into the groove and started to enjoy myself.

By the time I could see the ocean I had a big smile on my dial and the back half of the trip just seemed to glide by. The walk a bit, run a bit strategy meant it was slow but I finished feeling pretty good in about 3 hours 20 minutes.

Let's see if I can do it for 9 or 10 hours next week?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Today Total: 4k
Week Total: 4k
Month Total: 15k
Year Total: 108k

I put in a solid hour of training last night and on top of Sunday's effort it was a pretty frumpy 2P that hit the streets of Concord this morning.

Shuffled fatigued muscles through 4 ugly k's in a kind of gait that possibly, but not quite, resembled running. Rest day tomorrow.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Twilight Zone

Today Total: 6k
Week Total: 11k
Month Total: 11k
Year Total: 104k

The good thing about the HP not doing Rock Eisteddfod this year is I get to see more of her. The downside is I miss my long bush runs I've become accustomed to every third Sunday over the last few years during "dance season".

The end of Daylight Savings also compromises things a bit too - well until I thought about my PT Apex Pro that is :-) Hmmm Grand Canyon in the dark - sounds great!

Got to the car park a bit earlier than expected and got running shortly after 5pm. Still plenty of light about but knowing parts of the canyon are gloomy at the best of times knew it wouldn't last.

Sure enough with a very light misty drizzle and heavy overcast conditions I was soon glad of the lamp as I entered the canyon proper. I turned it off again as the canyon opened out a bit and the trail skirts along the Western wall.

I've never seen inside the short tunnel section before as I usually grope my way through here blind. Some things are better left unseen as all sorts of scary looking things inhabit the roof.

Used the lamp on and off as I made my way down the last tricky steep bits to the creek level.

Navigating the creek section efficiently is hard enough in good light so I decided to play it safe and turned the lamp on at about ten to six.

By the time I got through the creek section and commenced the ascent it was truly dark in the canyon and I took the opportunity to savour it - I was very much in my happy place.

As I ascended and the canyon opened out there was just enough ambient light to navigate by for a while but soon it was back to the lamp for the final 15 minutes back to the car.

Made it round in a very comfortable 1.20 - very satisfied.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Still Moving Forward

Today Total: 5k
Week Total: 5k
Month Total: 5k
Year Total: 98k

Well another 5k done as a lap of the roads around Concord Golf Course - and about 30 minutes of other training last night.

So far, so good :-)