Wednesday, December 30, 2009

first few runs for 2010

Picture is at mums house at the end of my first long run, my favorite Glenbrook to Woodford to Springwood 36ks. This picture marks the beginning of build up to 2010. Trying to run as slow as I can to build base and strength before faster stuff in January and February. The strength work is easy to achieve when your carrying 6 extra kilos for 3+ hrs.

Started this first run at 1pm on Monday 28th from Glen N.P gates with the goal to run as slow as I could for as long as I could. Finished at 430pm! Had the Ipod on the entire way and was singing along as I do on the long fire trail. Saw two guys on Mtn bikes at one point (near Tobys Glen junction) who asked if that was me they could hear "singing" a few minute ago - I must be loud when singing to Midnight Oil.

Had done 3hrs, or 2 laps on Kedumba, 40hrs earlier (Boxing Day) but legs didn't feel too stuffed, just real heavy and nursing a tender achilles insertion injury. The new orthotics are taking a bit of time to get use to.

Backed up the following morning with an easy 15k back in the National Park with Scam, Slim Kiwi and Animal.

Yes I ran on XMAS day.

Its amazing how hard running can be when your not in good shape, but knowing its only temporary makes it enjoyable.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Untitled Week

More time spent this week avoiding non-mandatory Christmas parties and eating than training. A few notable attendances however, one being a lap up Kedumba to the High Altitude Training Facility (KHATF) on Thursday night, and Scams ‘Tour-de-Locale-Trails’ on Saturday for 3hrs, 3 mins, 3 seconds (though I did cut one corner for 3 seconds).

Sunday AM was a casual paddle on kayaks with the ones to be obeyed (Scams doctrine not mine, but maybe why he is generally in less trouble than I).

Interestingly, as a kayaking novice and with my boat over turned on my head in the middle of Nepean River, I was abandoned by all and left to fend for myself. As I gasped for my last breath on the inside of the capsized hull, I took a private and mental note of the sympathy displayed to me by other more experienced runners, I mean paddlers. This reminds me, gees I’m looking forward to our next long run.

That brings me to Sunday’s BMMC Christmas party...... thanks Dr Phil for all the effort in organising the party. What I like about the BMMC is that when there is an event on, we rely upon only one person to do all the work, makes it easy for the rest of us.

Training stats: ..... [insert some philosophy here on why you don’t need big miles, hard reps etc etc at this time of the year]. Looking forward to some long hot runs over the Christmas period.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

3 Days in the Wild

Trip to Mt Savage, Pinchgut Creek, Canoe Creek, Colo River, The Claw and Talon Ladder by S.T and the Bear

Following in the ways of Mark Allen’s ironman training technique of living in the Wild for a week with shaman Indians prior to his lead up to Hawaii (of which he won 6), last week I begun my build up to 6 Foot and TNF 100 in 2010 with a 3 day Wilderness expedition with Bear Grylls (not his real name) into the Wollemi NP.

Day 1:
The trip begun with a walk down Canoe Creek from the Grassy Hill Fire trail onto the Colo river. We then found out that climbing up the vertical cliffs that characterise the Colo isn’t something that you attempt, albeit years ago I would of risked it. However as you get older, and I dare say wiser, you learn I believe to fear, or assess danger more appropriately. When I was 25 I would of attempted to climb a risky cliff, not now.

So, Bear and I took shoes off, and trudged downstream to find a bend in the Colo where we hoped enough relief in the contour lines would permit us to climb up Mt Savage. Apparently, according to David Noble (SUBW), the log book on the Summit of Mt Savage (now removed) only recorded approx 33 walkers having reached this peak since the 1960s’, and I now know why as the climb was a horrendous scramble on all fours up a small re-entrant.

Bam, we were up on the ridge with 4ks to the peak. Bear and I got the comms we were carrying out and took either side of the ridge as we individually scoured the sides for small caves that we were sure would unveil rare cave art.

Radio chat and banter followed as we searched and both called in coalition air strikes on each other’s position – “fire all available on bears position, over” and “repeat, repeat you are shelling my position, over” we were like kids with new CB radios annoying truckies.

Anyway, we found nothing. We then reached the summit and found a featureless camp site in the shrub with no views, by now we were down to 3 litres of water until we got down to a creek tomorrow. Bear then started the first formal lesson, how to make fire with 2 black boy stems, kangaroo poo and a shoe lace. We got smoke going and made the appropriate tools to do so, but no actual fire..... with where is my lighter? being the closing remark. Discussion then turned to stories of bears other life, very interesting stuff.

Day 2:
Up at first light and downed brekky. I set off on Westerly bearing, Bear went due North with our RV being a notable creek Junction several Kms NW of our camp site..... whenever we got there. Again, we each found nothing, other than my first glimpse of the Tambo Creek system. Wow.

Upon reaching the RV, Bear was nowhere to be found and we were now out of line of sight - so radios were no use. OK, his not here, he can only be downstream looking for water, there is no point him walking up stream to me b/c this creek in bone motherless dry. 1hr later, I find Bear, shoes off, water bottles filled, resting for an hour, priceless.

As it was now over 30 degrees we found a cave and waited a few hours for it to cool. Hey that looks like a Yabbie in that rock pool? 6 BBQ’d yabbies later we were full, Bear telling me of the time he had to survive 4 days on nothing but catching yabbies in a dam.

At 2pm we charged back up Mt Savage to get our equipment, then turned around and headed off North East for the nights RV with a junction on Pinchgut Creek. Bam, we had water, heaps of food and a better spot to sleep, plus a fire to scare off the mossies. Bear hooked up his hammock in the trees; I curled up on the ground.

Day 3: Off downstream. Bam, we found some. A grinding pad on the creek very similar to many others I had seen. Locked it in the GPS position and we continued down an amazing creek with rock platforms, caves & dry water falls etc.

We then headed up Talons ladder (our name for it) and onto a limb called The Claw (our name for it too). An amazing climb up a direct route to another summit that places you almost directly 350m above the junction of Pinchgut Ck and the Colo. For sure this was the limb we would find the ancient rock art. Again, and you won’t believe this, nothing. After a common moment of dejection and photos high above the Colo we headed down for a swim 2hrs later in the river.

Time for the final climb up a nameless creek to the car. It was 2pm when we started this climb that ended up taking 2.5hrs to cover 3 or 4 ks all up hill. It was now over 35 degrees and we were in some fierce steep country with every sense focussing on the amount of energy spent vs water consumed divided by estimated time to go all raised to the power of 35 degrees. Anyway, someone’s great navigation (and lets forget earlier blunders) got us back precisely to the car to within in 100ms with 250mls of water left – well economised I thought.

Anyway, time to start training now.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Otford to Bundeena- BMMC celebrates 29th anniversary

Others will probably discuss the BMMCs first East of latitude 2773 training foray from Otford to Bundeena (O2B), so I will do what this blog was designed to do, post about my experiences with endurance activities.

Interestingly, the O2B is not only the birthplace of this nation (I’m sure Aboriginals landed at either Otford or Bundeena?), but also the place of my first experience with endurance activity in 1980 where as a hardened 5 year old I went on my first overnight camping trip, walking from the ferry at Bundeena to the Otford train station.

After the hysteria that is now 6 Foot race entry opening week, Scam had organised a full quorum of BMMC to retrace my original expedition along the superb RNP Coastal Walk, and on the 29th anniversary of the event.

For me it was the first return to Otford since 1980 when I had taken my Dad and elder brother (no, not the famous brother known as ‘’Scott the runner’’) on my maiden experience into the Wild.

In those days, we slept on a grassy slope overlooking one of the spectacular beaches of name I can’t remember now. No tent back then, still don’t believe in tents.

As we ran up the slopes beside each beach on Saturday, I tried to recall details of the first childhood trip. The RNP back then seemed about as remote a location as possible; full of danger, rabbits, the occasional deer sighting, waterholes, waves, sand, owls that hooted at night like an axe murderer, & otherwise general excitement.

Botanically, not much had changed since 1980; however a few other things had.

Like, who would have thought in 1980 while I was carrying a water bottle tied to my waist with a bed sheet mum had cut up, that one day we would be uploading photos onto a thing called ‘Facebook’ via a series of globally connected personal computers known as the ‘Interweb” while having a stretch?(Animal the gadget man)

Who would have thought in 1980 you would now be able to carry more calories in a single sachet than my entire dinner contained from a sachet of Chicken Noodle soup?

Who would have thought in 1980 that one day they would stop making sleeping bags that came with warm wee coloured rain water on the inside of them when you woke up?

Or that your brothers fishing rod, that you were “allowed” to carry, couldn’t actually catch the Shark you were planning to bring home as a pet.

All up, returning almost 30 years later as an adult, with friends and family, was just as memorable as my first trip long ago.

What a great place, thanks to the person who thought of the run, and that other person who gave the BMMC multi coloured little cupcakes at the finish to eat – they were great and you should open a shop.

Other runs this week, none of great note.

Monday, November 30, 2009

November 23-29

For my own record later:
Mon: 3k swim with Animal and channel swimmer
Tue: run, standard AM home loop with BMMC
Wed.... swim I think at lunch?
Thur: run AM BMMC hill circuit,
PM 51min mini tri with refs at Penruf Lakes
Fri: cant remember, maybe nothing
Sat: 2hrs with Scam in national park, enjoyable yet achey morning
PM 1k swim
Sun: Beach swim and 2k run
PM 2hr run out to Grose LO,& down track for swim, 16:57 up stairs from Grose with Shogun, Dr Phil and Welsh Exchange student(Noted 5th late run from last 6 starts, but who is counting)

No structure to anything, and very heavy, trying to do something of an intense nature every 2 or 3 days as a minimalists way of maintaining the system, feeling "Fit, Fat" - a new fitness level term I just invented (Ok I stole it from someone else who said it).

Monday, November 23, 2009

BMMC’s 6 Foot Track High Altitude Training Camp

The BMMCs first training clinic in the lead up to 2010 was held last Thursday at the Kedumba High Altitude Training Facility (BMMC-KHATF).

The clinic was held in unhospitably hot & dry conditions last week, starting behind the old hospital and including laps of Kedumba pass. After a fast 38min group decent(according to Mister G) to Jamison Creek, it was time for a dip in the murky cool waters of the Jamison.

On the return climb up Kedumba, it was Prince and Princess Donga’s at both the front and tail ends of the main ascending pack. But it was Action Man who set the early pace, keeping the Prince honest on his climb right to the finish – or so I heard as I didn’t figure in any of this action.

Only narrowly behind this action, was the strong BMMC 6 Foot Femme squad working hard as a team to get through the climb together. This type of camaraderie I’m sure will shine through come March 13.

The heat, the hill, the lack of recent physical activity, and a few extra kilos around the waistline all contributed to tough climbing.

The flying Weslhmen, in true keeping with his recent form, made it for 3 consecutive late runs in a row – hitting the Creek after the murky waters had settled from the Bilpin runner’s and my earlier frolic.

J-Glen and Prince Donga being the only two runners who actually made more than one rep of Kedumba, with J-Glen still out there, alone in the dark, long after the Watermelon was finished off by the main group.

All up a good hot late afternoon run in beautiful yet tough surrounds. Thanks to the aid station volunteers and clinic organiser mister G.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Eagles Reach – Out of Reach, Yet Again

Trip Report: 14/11/09
Sleep Train
Scam Bullant

The Wollemi NP is half a million hectares of remote creeks, canyons and ridge tops. Apart from rare trees (like the Wolemi Pine) it also has some of the most significant Aboriginal rock art sites known to us. Locating these sites and then walking to them (for those who don’t own a helicopter) is a massive challenge. You could easily spend 2 life times walking around the Wollemi – and apart from seeing some of the most spectacular and rugged bush in Australia, find nothing but leeches, bruises and brown snakes.

So, it was with much anticipation that on Saturday I headed off into the Wollemi with two other BMMC members for a day of scrub bashing in search of the elusive “Dingos Lair” Indigenous rock art site, or, to make any other discoveries of ancient occupation of the Wollemi by its original custodians – the Darug & other tribes that regularly traversed the rugged Wollemi.

I've been looking for arguably the most famous Rock Art site in Australia known as 'Eagles Reach' that was first recorded in 2003. Eagles Reach has significant cutural meaning to the Aboriginals, along with potential global cultual significance due to the age of it. According to my own research and various assumptions, if I could find a cave known as 'Dingos Lair' I would possibly be in the right vacinity of Eagles Reach.... or so my theory goes.

I had deferred this quest in December 2008 when I became distracted with training for a marathon. But now I had some spare time to return to the Wollemi to continue my search.

It was fitting that I was joined by two of the most Senior members of the BMMC in Scam Bullant - a renowned local bush expert & leader of numerous groups on navigational & camping exercises in the remote Euroka Clearing – and the Six Foot Track Marathons own ‘Living Legend No. 2’ – aka LL#2 – a Blue Mtns archaeological expert (now), and the only BMMC member to have completed 24 Six Foot Track marathons so far.

The day started ominously at 6:30am when my MTB was unceremoniously ripped off the roof of Scams 4WD by a low hanging tree as we entered LL#2’s driveway at Faulconbridge. After I removed pieces of my MTB from the tree half of it was now hanging in, we headed off up Putty Road to our starting point on the Drip Rock Fire Trail.

Little time was wasted getting to the top of the designated Creek we planned to search. Time was 8:15am as we hid the bikes in the middle of the trail and charged off the ridge. In true ‘hardman’ fashion Scam had decided to go bare skinned in the scrub, leaving the long pants and long shirt at home.... time to get the skin acquainted with the serrated edges of Lawyer vine.

We had 6 creek junctions listed on our search map and slowly ticked off each one to no avail, except for the 5th junction where we noticed a series of small grooving marks on the edge of the unnamed creek we were following. The Darug made these grooves to sharpen their tools. However, we couldn’t find the cave known as Dingos Lair that has significant Rock Art. It could be anywhere, combined with any number of possibilities as to why we missed it, or were even in the wrong area completely, who knows? – but the searching is fun and a good excuse to go for a walk in the bush.

As the days temperature heated up we rested for a while for lunch on the creek. At lunch, the Scam promptly dosed off to sleep missing LL#2 regale me with his many training stories leading up to his 4th, 5th, 6th and 19th, 20th and 21st Six Foot track marathons. I’ve already been lucky enough to hear the stories from years 1, 2, 3 and 7 through to 10 previously – I guess I almost have the full set.

Story telling by aboriginal elders was a big part of their culture, and LL#2s story telling (one of my tribes elders) I felt was something the aboriginals who made the grooves we were sitting near, would of appreciated.

The humidity and heat under 7 feet of undergrowth is physically challenging, particularly when climbing with a small pack. Finally, we had to head back to the trail via climbing out of the creek, and then along a winding ridge for 4kms of scrub bashing. LL# 2 later stated he had no idea where we were when travelling this ridge, claiming he couldn’t believe we ended back on the trail? We then walked back to the bikes and rode to Scams car. Time was 6pm. 10 hrs up all with 7-8hrs of tough walking + 2 hrs of Mtn biking.

We were relieved to be out of the bush and enjoyed an ice cream at Windsor.

Coincidentally, the next day LL#2 calls to say there is a talk on Aboriginal rock art sites being held at Lawson by a full time archaeologist who is working on a project recording sites in the Blue Labyrinth, Kings Tableland and Dallawang Ridge area of the catchment.

I was blown away. The archaeologist, Michael Jackson, showed how he had identified over 1,000 occupation, art and grooving sites in his study area, including 140 sites he found on Saturday. It made our 1 small set of grooves seem insignificant and our skills of identification amateurish (which they are). He’d also been to some of the sites LL#2 and I had visited in the Wollemi in 2008, along with providing invaluable intelligence for future searches in the Blue Mtns and Wollemi.

LL# 2 may also now become famous for more than his 24 Six Foot Track completions. After the talk LL#2 took one of the archaeologists to a rock platform near his house in the bush that has a set of potentially very ancient ‘Emu Claw’ groovings. The archaeologist will now be doing a more extensive excavation of this site that LL#2 identified yesterday.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

14th at World Mtn Running Champs: 10th October 2009, Soll, Austria

If you had asked me before the race would I be happy with finishing 14th in this race I would of emphatically said #uck NO! However in hindsight, and after an analysis of the event I’m extremely satisfied with the result given factors discussed in this race report.

After sitting around and sight seeing in Austria for more than a week before the race, the big day finally arrived. I’d trained on many sections of the course, tested the altitude and was mentally ready for some serious gradient, both positive and negative.

All up 35 nations were represented in the men’s category in what some described (not just me) as the best cast of Mtn runners ever assembled for a race. The first 21ks were comparatively flat, however this only meant approx 500m of level ground.

Off the front from the start was a Swiss runner that the lead pack assumed would blow up. After all, this pack included last years LDMR World Champ, Jethro Lennox, Jonothan Wyatt (who needs no CV attached), 3 Kenyans flown in especially, and every other name in the sport, plus some guy from the running plains of Australia, known locally as sleep train.

At 14k the main pack was 90secs down on the Swiss leader. By 21k, prior to the hills, the deficit was 2 mins.

Up until this time I had just been running off Wyatt (NZL) and Jethro (Scotland), drinking and getting ready for the hilly second half of the race. When they surged, I surged. When they stopped to relieve the bladder, I stopped etc.

We all surged out of the halfway drink station and braced for the first major climb of the day that loomed in front of us (Hartkaiser Mtn 708m - 1,673m).

Wyatt and the Kenyans quickly put distance between Jethro and I. As we climbed higher and higher it became evident this was a type of running tempo new to me. Again, and following Jethros experience, I matched what he did. When he power walked, I power walked, both of us swapping turns at the front as we wrestled our way up the first major climb.

Half way up, a German runner came past quite convincingly and was soon out of sight. How the *uck was he doing it I thought? Leg speed and length of stride weren’t useful here were they? he was a stocky bloke with a short gait.

By the top of Hartkaiser (30ks) it had now become foggy, as we had run from warm green pastures in the first 21k to the top of a baron Mtn top that had its own Alpine climate. I was working hard aerobically to handle the altitude as Jethro and I sumitted the first major obstacle together that concluded with a jog through a restaurant!

I estimated we were in 6th and 7th places respectively. Then at last, the first major down hill section started and kilometres 30 to 36 flew by as I managed to surge away from Jethro down this awesome descent that included numerous switch backs and cattle grills.

By the 36km aid station Jethro was behind and out of sight. I had specifically trained to run this section of the race hard and it seemed to have paid dividends. However, just as I hit the bottom, a British runner came past very strongly (Ricky Lightfoot, eventual 3rd place getter).

Now this is where I would like to end the race report. I’m in the top 10 (7th to be exact) and have run well. Unfortunately, there is still 3.2kms of the story to tell.

While I knew the last 3.2ks was the steepest part of the race going from 1,100m to 1829m in 3.2ks, I’d thought like many others its only 3.2k, I’ll just push hard and get to the finish line. A simple plan right: WRONG

I will try and describe this climb with numbers first. At the beginning of the climb I was 6-7 mins behind the swiss leader. By the top of Hohe Salve the deficit was 20 mins. This 3.2ks took over 28mins.

There was footage played at the presentation dinner of all top 3 finishers walking the final kilometres. I even saw footage of a Kenyan within in 20ms of the finish tape, and in 3rd position, be walked past by a runner from GBR (Ricky Lightfoot) who stole bronze right on the line.

As I started the climb, Jethro came walking past. I was walking, he was walking. He was walking faster. The legs didn’t feel that bad, it was just that getting power into them was becoming increasingly difficult. Altitude. No matter what I tried running was not an option any more as I kept turning my head upwards to try and see the top of this monolith through the clouds above.

Kilometre markers were aptly replaced with 100m markers beside the course. The crowds had also arrived in droves on the Mtn that just kept spiralling up and up. Europeans love cow bells for some reason, and every spectator had one with them that was enthusiastically rung as "encouragement" in your face.

Over the sound of the cow bells, and through the sound of my own heart popping though my ears I could hear and see the helicopter above that was following the leader. The action was happening just above me right now, literally only a few hundred metres up, but I was hundreds of metres away trying to keep my legs heaving me up this monster.

I would look back and not see anyone. Then I would look back and see someone coming, then someone walking past. This is when you realise there could be girls walking faster than this and the very real fear of being “chicked” enters your nightmare.

I finally finished like many did, collapsing across the line in an oxygen depleted giddiness. Glad it was all over, and in 3hrs 26mins I found out later I finished in 14th place. More people had gotten past in the final climb than I could recount, going from 7th or so to 14th as a result of the final climb.

I have never experienced a climb like Hohe Salve. Talking to the European runners, they said they do a lot of ‘Up and Down’ races on courses similar to the race finish, and thus have the experience I lacked.

Both the male and female race winners had also done one month and two month training camps respectively at altitude before the race. The Swiss male winner had done a month of training at 2,400m for the race in August. The Russian female winner had been living in town since July training at altitude while I was running around Blue Gum Swamp in Winmalee!

While I hadn’t experienced the steepness nor the altitude of the race before, I had felt the shock of reality before. The race experience reminded me of Six Foot Track in 2007 when Tony Fattorini effortlessly ran past me up Pluvio and I thought then to my self, WTF? – how can someone run so strongly up a hill like that and not even be out of breath?

How? with specific training of course!

Next years race is at Pikes Peak, Colorado in the USA and is also at altitude (3,000m+). A race that will require altitude training and doing as Jonothan Wyatt suggested to me after the race: “find some really, really steep hills that you can run for longer than an hour, and do that a few times a week” – good advice I guess.

So all up, I’m happy with my performance of 14th place given what I came to learn about this type of running race. Running against the best competition in the world, being tested by the course, and pushing yourself to the limit. Helps keep me interested and motivated for next time.

Upon reflecting on 2009 it has been a great year of running. Starting on New Years day with a casual LSD up the Oaks F.T with Ollie in 37 degrees and making a small decision to enter 6 Foot Track on that run. A marathon PB at the M7 in July, and finishing with a personal battle up the side of a Mtn called Hohe Salve in the beautiful Austrian Alps at a World Championships – for a runner and competitor it doesn’t get much better I guess?

Now I will be having a good long break. Been running consistently hard since mid January and the body and mind is tired and needs rest. I look forward to more running and blogging in early 2010.

Enjoy the journey and keep training!

Signing off for 2009,

Sleep Train.

Monday, September 21, 2009

One Big Week

Sleeps training notes for week commencing 14th September, more for my own use to check back upon later

Monday 14th (rest day)
AM sleep in
Lunch – 2k swim (ah bugger it I’m going to the pool)
PM easy 10k with a rest & stretch stop every 1,000m (10k is a rest isn’t it?)

Tuesday 15th (2nd rest day from the weekend)
AM easy 10k loop with scam, animal, skinner (BMMC sanctioned)
PM easy 18k tempo from home up Long Angle F.T to Springwood, back home

Wed 16th
AM swim 3k easy (psyching up for the afternoons key session)
PM 90 min run in the lab, survived 6.75 sprints, Holy #uck it hurt! (survived 5.5 reps week prior) Hardest I have ever run in my life!

Thur 17th
AM run 10 easy hills with animal and scam (BMMC sanctioned)
PM 24km 100min run in Nat Park, great run!!!
- 31 degrees, excited summer was back, loved the heat – shirt off, what chest I have was out
- 6 x 6 min reps on gradient up Oaks FT starting at the Iron barks
- 2nd hard day in a row, I don’t usually violate the “hard day, easy day” rule, but had to this week. Treated myself to Thai with Mrs Train

Fri 18th
AM swim 3k (2 x 1,000m tempo swims on 15min cycle)
PM easy 10k loop from home (3rd loop of Sun Valley for the week)
(easy day b/w two hard days (ie. wed, thur) and two hard-ish’ LSD days (sat, sun)

Sat 19th
AM Glen to Wood to Springwood, 36k hills, could still feel Thursday in the legs (1h53m to Woodford, 2h31m to home)

Lunch: Sleep 2hrs

PM 5k swim, 20x 200s on 3min cycle (holding 2m45s)
Mister G’s party, great catch up with Jogger Kev

Sun 20th
AM Mega LSD, 50+k:
- 5:03am start to beat the heat, Faulco point by 5:48am for sunrise – awesome stuff!
- Back to springwoods check point (now 2 mins behind previous week’s schedule)
- Out to White-cross and down to blue gum swamp, up Bees Nest Hill at 2.5hr mark
- Grose Head South L.O for a stretch, then back along my favourite bit to St Columba’s
- Still 2mins behind previous weeks PB schedule – no problem though
- Back onto Hawkesbury Rd, after pumping in the final Gel thought ah bugger it, this is the last LSD for a while, lets let fluffy off the leash for the last 6ks and get that 2mins back
- Finished 1 min quicker than previous week in 3hr 39mins (52ks)

Lunch: Sleep 3hrs

PM swim 2k (40 x easy 50s)

Swim 15ks
Bike - nil
Run: 181
Sleep: 5 additional hrs
Total time: 20-ish hrs

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hills, Trails & the Blue Mtns bush at its best

After 2 and a half weeks of felling either saw, or carrying a ham-string affliction, have started to feel good and mended.

Key sessions: all the same as last week...
Totals: 171k running, 9 runs - all on hills & trails (except 10k sprinting on a treadmill at 16% incline)
Swim: 12.3k, 4 swims - one HR set on Sat, same as last week
Ride 95mins on turbo spinning (2 rides)
Total time 19.5hrs
Mondays sleep in felt good

Other than the above it was a great week of training, most of which was in the bush running beside all the marvellous Australian natives flowering at the moment. My favourite at the moment has to be the Epacris Longifloria sp. in blooming abundance particularly along the Fire Trail out to Grose Head South from St Columba’s as seen on Sunday mornings LSD.
If nothing else running gives you an appreciation of the local bush and its beauty!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sleeps weekly report

A reasonably good weeek training, no big miles but a few key sessions completed. Hammy was recovering well until Wednesday when it flared up again, with Thursday being another day off the road, albeit onto the bike.

Long run Sunday was Faulco-point, Springwood, Winmalee, Bees Nest Hill, Grose Head South, back to Springwood, approx 50k, happy with time.

Saturday, Glen to Woodford to Sprringwood following the BMMC full moon Woodford to Glenbrook. Decided to miss the W2G by night, however i did see the full moon on the G2W early Sat morning as the moon was very low in the sky, and still bright enough to impress in the pre dawn sky - beautiful Blue Mtns stuff. Saw all the footprints of the coolrunners/ BMMC who did the W2G only a few hours earlier.

Wednesday was in the BMMC Lab (see photo) to test out the gradient in Austria (1:5), where the hammy protested. One of the hardest 2minute sessions Ive ever done.

Totals: 142k running (over 5 days), swim: 11ks (5 swims), bike: 1hr on turbo, Total time 17hrs.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sleep on Cross Training

The good thing about owning a bike and a pair of speedos is that when your ham string decides to blow it self up, and you still want to train, then you can no problems.

Following the decision to ignore a mild dose of DOMS on Mon, Tue and Wed, the body decided to make its own decision to take a rest via imposing a small hamstring strain (niggle), no big deal in the grander scheme of things, but a lesson I should know by now.

Public Note to Self: Dont be an idiot and abuse your body when trying to train.
(now I feel better)

So some running was replaced with 14ks of swimming and 3 bikes rides totalling 140ks last week in order to rest left hammy. Its good to have arms tired as opposed to just legs. I must admit I really enjoyed being a triathlete again this week.

Notable runs: 6 x 6min efforts on Wed out faulco-point(where left hammy goes out on strike in protest)
Swims: Saturday, 4.5k swim @ HR, main set: 15x200s on 3mins, ave b/w 2m40s- 2m27s/per 200m (use to be able to hold this set on 2mins40secs)
Ride: Saturday in rain to richmond, turf farms, penrith, lappo, home: 80k
weight 70k, run 70k, total time training 15+ hours

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sleep quoting Self Pity poems

While you may be entirely happy with a race (given what you know intellectually about your body, its recovery, your training, conditioning, race prep, timing, periodisation, carb-loading, the F.I.T.T principle, the possum that woke you up etc) we all have Egos that rarely accord with any logic or reason.

Take for example Saturdays Willy to Billie run. I was extremely happy with the run and the time given ceteris-paribus (Latin for 'all other things remaining equal’). But, another part of you hates being beaten (your ego), regardless of some 16th century proverb by a Latin economist.

Or maybe it’s just that I had run much harder than I was planning on Saturday just to keep up with the Greyhound Alex (due to my ego), and my legs are severely suffering now as a result.

Well, the only thing I have to say about ego-centred self pity is better quoted by my favourite poem (it may even be a haiku) titled: SELF PITY that you may recognise from a scene in the movie 'G.I Jane' featuring Demi Moore.

by DH Lawrence

I never saw a wild thing,
feel sorry for it self,
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough,
without ever having felt sorry for it self.

Mon: swim 2.2k, run 13k
Tues: run 10k, run 16k (4x6mins effort to max, hilly trails)
Wed: swim 2k
Thur: run 10 hilly, run 17k (4.5x 6mins effort to max, hilly trails)
Fri: swim 2.5k, run 5k
Sat: 35k hard hills (Willie to Billie, 2h14m)
Sun: ride 40k, swim 1.5k

Totals: swim: 8.2k, run: 105k, bike: 40k
Magpie attacks: 1
BMMC Pizza nights at club house: 1
Blogpost: 1
Weight: 71k
Weeks to race: 7
Days in the week: 7

OK I will stop counting random things now

Monday, August 17, 2009

First week back: easy

A good routine building first week back, with all but one session completed (Sunday’s easy swim or run missed due to BMMC commitments).

First tempo run back was a very ugly experience on Thursday arvo, with a 20min effort on the trail almost killing me, as I blew off some cob webs.
Saturday morning was a pleasant run in Nat Park out to Nepean L.O with Rod the Hornet and Sailaway, as pre-arranged by Scam and Dr Phil (who both disappeared after 30mins).

Sunday was another glorious Blue Mtns late Winter morning run from Glen to Wood with the Gargermiester. Strangely enough including what has to be a top 3 run time: 37 mins to Oaks, 62 to Helipad, for an accumulated 1hr52mins 9 seconds to Woodford.
Weekly totals: 103k run, 4.5k swim, 45mins bike (RPM class)

Looking fwd to an easy run over the Willie to Billie this weekend, and to Mr G’s show down with the Sleep trains better half, actually better three quarters.

Note: if you are an affiliate BMMC member, actual BMMC member, run in the W2Bille, or just interested in talking running this Sunday night, then you must attend the W2Billie post race Pizza Night at Victorias Restaurant, Warrimoo. Pizza starts 6:30pm. - $15 per head. (Sunday not Saturday night). See you there

Friday, August 7, 2009

Next Race: LDMRC - October

After the Swine Flu aftermath of the M7 Marathon, including 2 weeks recovery from this cruel cruel disease, it’s time to get back into training for Race 3 of 2009 – the World Long Distance Mtn Running Champions in Austria on October 10.

Now only 8 weeks away, it’s funny to be focussing on a race I didn’t even know existed until January this year when Angela B told me about it on our Australia Day run over 6 foot track. I guess Austria will be as nice a place to go as any!

So next week it is back onto the holy trails and hills of God’s Country (the Blue Mtns) for my beloved hills, none of this running around in a 400m circle anymore, just lung busting vertical-ness.

Anyway, may attempt a photo diary next week for the kids at home.

PS thanks for all the entertainment while I was sick with “Sleep Train the Next Deek” thread on Cool Running – its kept me very entertained.

Why someone would be so interested in starting a thread about me every time I race I’m not sure – but it’s good to have groupies out there and it’s a form of flattery I guess.

Monday, July 27, 2009

3 PBs in one day

M7 Marathon Race Report
2hrs 23mins 35 seconds

Thought I’d get this down before I went to sleep, while every bit of fatigue is still fresh.

I awoke anxiously at 4am due to a chest cold that had started in my upper chest the afternoon before. So, I was unusually pessimistic and moody (for me) particularly given I hadn’t been sick for over 12 months, and today of all days, I get the beginning of a chest cold! Thoughts of all that training being wasted…

Anyway, self pitty doesn’t make for good blogging, so on with the report:

Did a very easy warm up that felt good on the chest, 7am arrived and we were off. 4 Kenyans and 3 white guys to the first 5k.

By 9-10k it was just me and Colin running slightly under my planned 17m21s / 5k pace (2:26:30). First 10k in 34:15 s. From 10-20k the Kenyans were out of sight, and I was just hanging on to Colin’s pace, struggling a bit but still cool.

After my 20-21k refueling drink (I can’t elaborate what it was, but its legal in most countries I’m sure) Colin suddenly dropped off, he later commented ‘I sprinted off’, either way I was alone. And then I did the days first PB hitting the half way in 72mins 17sec.

At 22k the fun started. The first Kenyan was in range and coming back to me quickly. With less than 20k to go it became a matter of just monitoring each km and maintaining hard running. The course had km markers every 1000m which made it excellent to watch your times/ pace/ and distance to go etc.

Then, way down the road I could see the last 3 Kenyans, each separated by some distance. This pumped me up greatly, having 3 targets to focus on was a perfect way to run the final stages as I could watch each one slowly move back towards me. The next Kenyan was passed at 8k to go, the next one about 4k to go.

As this was happening, all the runners going in the opposite direction were cheering the same thing, “they [the Kenyans] look real bad, you will get them” This encouragement, nay classic Australian sporting rivalry, pumped me up enormously. I felt like Deek passing that little Ethiopian in the final stages of the 1982 Commonwealths Games (I really did imagine this).

Then I saw the little red singlet of a struggling runner who was awkwardly lurching with a weakened looking stride, it was none other than Julius Maritum. At 1.5k to go he got a glimpse back at me, hanging on to his win, with me 23seconds in deficit by the time the finish line arrived.

This brings me to the 2nd PB for the day, my second half marathon PB of 71mins 17 secs. Total 2:23:35 finish to take 13 minutes off my marathon PB (formerly 2h36mins), hence creating the days 3rd PB.

Overall, it was a really tough race for me. Not just the event, but the 9 week lead up had been a tough period of training, particularly the new track sets and the wintry Blue Mtns conditions (hey I’m a triathlete we were designed to race in Summer). You hear people talk about the marathon as a ‘journey’ and ‘life changing’, well I can relate to those comments a bit now.

It was a race where I learnt a lot about the sport of marathon, with a lot of “little things” to improve upon next time, sub 2:20 is just a bit more time, experience (lots of which I learnt today) and faster course.

Hope everyone else had a great race! The Westlink M7 Marathon is certainly a great event, and is well organized particularly with the SMCs involvement now.

Particular thanks to who ever put all those km markers out on the course, and those who manned the drink stations, thanks

(NB: This Blog is Copyright protected, with all rights reserved and several patents pending, it is also a registered Trademark of Sleep Train and is not to be reproduced or printed unless with the express permission of the author, Mr Train who can be contacted through this Blog)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Grose Endurance - (1999 Flash back)

This week I thought I'd just share an old story from the past -now almost 10 years old and is without question my proudest running/ athletic achievement.

Would anyone be up for a 10 year reunion run down the Grose River this December??
- I can only promise one thing: it will be the toughest day of your life....

Thanks to Brendan for being involved and writting up the story

“Grose Endurance”
- The Story of the conquering of the Grose Valley
By Brendan Luchetti

Gorge succeeded gorge, each bend of the river disclosing scenery of a wilder character than the last, the Stupendous Cliffs of rock on either side gradually enroaching more and more upon the narrow bed of the stream. Ever and anon the comparative even flow of the river was broken into a tumultuous series of rapids while the wild tangle of undergrowth through which we forced our way would occasionally give place to a number of rocky ledges along which we would tramp with a relieved and lengthened stride (Cecil Webb, August 1916, on the challenges of walking the Grose Valley).

They enter the Devils Wilderness after eight hours and fifty kilometers of rock hopping, scrub bashing, swimming, and wading down the Grose Gorge.
Follow the river.

Deep fatigue of muscle and mind, slippery rocks, blankets of vines, sheets of shin skin stripping undergrowth, boulders, rapids, snakes, leeches, mosquitoes, hypothermia, heat stroke, hunger and cramps have made the first eight hours of forward progress all the more challenging.

It serves well as an apprenticeship for the aspiring one day Grose Valley masters. It is the next twisted and unforgiving passage of river through an area aptly named the Devils Wilderness that breaks wills and trades in character.

Ben Artup and Terry Donges have been here before, twice, in ill-fated attempts to travel the length of the river in a day. They were unhappy times and the memories of them must be kept at bay, for at this level of exhaustion it becomes a contest of the mind.

Intense concentration is needed to hop from boulder to rock to log and to constantly find the path of least resistance through the Gorge, this must be maintained while the mind contends with other demands, namely resisting the bodies pleas for mercy. You lose concentration you fall.

Confident that this time they have the edge, they begin moving again knowing that all questions are about to be answered, their moment of truth awaits, soon they will be revealed as either false prophets or true Grose valley endurance gurus.
Behind them, still moving through the wilderness is Brendan Trotter, it is his first attempt and he must finish on this day. Not that he is any more vulnerable to a night in the bush, no, he would rather celebrate his twenty first birthday, the next day, with family and friends in preference to a solitary period of introspection in the bush.

After falling early in the day and gashing his forehead he had dropped off the pace and had not been sighted or heard respond to a shout for more than four hours. His will be a uniquely tough day. But they cannot wait.

Race the sun.

Travelling light, failure to go the distance means a cold, hungry night in the bush. This is an ugly reality when you are an absolute spent force. In carrying only enough readily digestible food to last one-day the die has been cast.
Success is the only option.

The valley known as The Grose was twenty million years in the sculpting and stretches from Mt.Victoria to Richmond and contains within its intimidating walls some of the most stunning wilderness in the Blue Mountains national park.
It is a landscape of Basalt caps, shale ridge tops, sandstone ridges and plateaus, steep gorges, plunging canyons and majestic forests. Innumerable trees and spectacular sheer rock walls dominate the vista.

As well as receiving the reverence and respect of bushwalkers, campers, and busloads of snap shot tourists atop of lookouts, the Grose also attracts another type of pilgrim. Those drawn by the menace, the presence of something wild and untamed, the whispered challenges of nature. Rock climbers, base jumpers, canyoners and bush athletes of extreme breeding have all found outlets for their various desires within the Grose Wilderness for many years.

There is cave graffiti to evidence that rugged types were bushwalking through the Grose Valley as early as 1890. It was considered a difficult five day walk for experienced bushwalkers, this was somewhat confirmed when the star bushwalking duo of Cecil Webb and Harry Whitehouse completed the journey from Blackheath to Richmond in four days in 1916.

It was not until the 1930s, the halcyon days of bushwalking, that this benchmark was challenged. Gordon Smith, an outdoorsman much revered for his exploits of endurance skill and bravado in the upper Blue Mountains region, deemed it possible to walk from Blackheath to Richmond in a weekend.

In October 1936 he set out to prove it accompanied by two equally distinguished bushwalkers Max Gentle and Hilma Galiott. They made it. The envelope had been pushed to two days and this was again the time it took Gentle the following year when he walked it with Dot Butler, famous for her preference to bushwalk barefoot.
This remained the pinnacle of bush endurance for half a century until a man drawn often to the flame of ultra endurance again challenged it.

Peter Treseder is a man who has been in the news of late for his endeavors in Antarctica where once again he demonstrated his capacity for adversity in attempting to pull a sled across the frozen continent.

Treseder has cooked up and devoured a feast of extreme challenges in, out and through the Grose Valley, including a twenty-six canyon, 83-hour endurance marathon, and several one-day completions of the Grose from Blackheath to Yarramundi in the 1980s. No body has completed the journey faster from this point than Peter Treseder has, yet others have looked beyond this feat in the last few years and once more pushed the Grose Valley endurance envelope.

Springwood local Ben Artup developed a deep affinity for the Grose Valley as a boy, his father exposing him and his brothers to the beauty and perils of extended trekking in the Grose early in their lives. Returning three days overdue on his first Grose Valley expedition the nine-year-old Artup also got an early taste of the hardships the wilderness can inflict on those who enter its domain.

Whilst developing into a national level triathlete, Artup maintained his interest in the Grose and when he finally realized that the sport of triathlon is not challenging enough he got passionate about the thin blue line running through two 1:25000 scale maps. Despite the thousands of small red lines lacing the topography he decided that not only would “Eddy go”, but that he also would dare to go where no man has before.

With the increasingly rare opportunity to claim a “never been done”, Ben plotted a new starting point, the actual genesis of the Grose River, a further fifteen kilometers upstream from what had been the traditional launching point for one day Grose Valley epics.

So it was on a balmy December morning in 1997 that a bright eyed and optimistic young triathlete set out from Victoria falls, near Mt. Victoria, and accompanied by two companions began moving towards Richmond, seventy five kilometers to the east. With hope in their hearts and wings on their heels, they planned to arrive that evening.

His companions on this day also heralded from competitive triathlon backgrounds. Terry Donges was an accomplished Ironman Triathlon performer, a strong and mature endurance athlete he was familiar with the rigors of daylong endurance events. The third member of the group was the athlete formerly known as ‘Skello’ who was fitter than most at that time and a club based triathlete of some standing.

Things began badly in 97 and got much worse. The day was a hot one and the water level in the river was up, thirty-five degrees Celsius and slippery rocks. Two hours in and the problems with the pace began.

Skello was starting to fall behind and Artup and Donges grew anxious of their schedule, neither wanting to spend a night in the bush. Four hours in and Skello was losing all his rest periods, the five minutes at the end of each hour assigned for eating, drinking, stretching and rest. The man in most need of a rest would arrive five minutes after his fitter companions and be forced to keep running so as to make up time. Artup and Donges encouraged him and kept waiting, but grew increasingly concerned of their predicament as the day drew on and they fell further and further behind their schedule.

Skello was giving it all he had, but he was not up to the task on the day. As he pushed through his fatigue he grew increasingly more incoherent and confused, and soon began stumbling and falling over at regular intervals. Soon after he began hallucinating, claiming to see nuns on the riverbank.

He was losing speech coordination and frothing at the mouth when he finally fell into the river, uttering “leave me” before floating face down past a now distraught Artup and Donges.

Deep in the recesses of the Devils Wilderness they pulled him from the river and stabilized him, making camp for the evening on a rock. No food, no fire, no shelter, nothing but a space blanket and body heat to keep warm.
It only got worse.

The space blanket ripped on the rocks and disintegrated into a hundred small pieces, then the clouds of mosquitoes arrived and went to work on every exposed inch of skin and through some clothing too. When the mossies fled at about two in the morning they all moaned a sigh of relief, then the thunder clapped and the heavens opened and the rain bucketed down until dawn.

Up at first light, wet, cold, stiff, sore, tired and hungry they walked through to Faulconbridge point, where they climbed up the ridge and walked the further 11-km along the fire trail back into civilization.

Talk of another assault began almost immediately and “G.V 98” was hatched. Plans were made to be fitter, better prepared and to leave Skello at home, not that he had put his hand up to do it again.

Rumor has it that he turned into a recluse after his harrowing experiences and refuses to discus his trip to the edge or details of his previous life as an athlete with anyone to this day.

In the intervening year Donges completed the notorious Hawaiian Ironman triathlon in ten hours while Artup turned his hand to Marathon running, winning his debut race.
This increase in fitness would prove to be their downfall. Donges never completely recovered from his effort in Hawaii and had nursed injuries in the weeks leading up to G.V 98. Artup was talking of an all out, flat chat, tilt at the clock.
Very confident at the start they went out hard and made remarkable progress throughout the morning until Terry slipped and fell heavily on the wet rocks, straining his ankle ligaments and soleus muscle.

Hampered by the injury it was agreed that Ben would push on solo with his attempt to complete the journey in a day. Terry, refusing to turn back and walk out through Blue Gum Forest which they had passed several hours earlier, continued on at a reduced pace with the aim to make it to Faulconbridge Point and walk out there, a dogged undertaking for an injured man.

Unbridled of passengers or luggage as Artup sometimes refers to his travelling companions, he really began to open the throttle. In a quest to beat the sun he pushed himself onwards, digging deep into his reserves he was well ahead of schedule
deep into the Devils Wilderness when the strange music began.

Aural hallucinations, a product of the river noises and a tired mind began to plague him. Hearing voices and music, he began expecting to see campers around the next bend, must be the next one, the next…..With every corner unveiling only another lonely stretch of scrub, rock and water his heart began to sink because he needed to see some one, for at this stage he badly needed food. His energy levels had depleted faster than expected due to the pace he had been moving and all the food he had carried was long gone.

Artup hit the wall in the Devils wilderness, no food and no fuel in the tank. He nursed his body along on empty getting to Faulconbridge Point at three in the afternoon with plenty of time left to get to Richmond.

Instead, bankrupt of energy, Artup sat down to wait for Donges and fell promptly asleep, waking thirty minutes later he decided to cut his losses and withdraw and so began an agonizing, energy depleted climb up the ridge to the lookout and fire trail. Three times he stopped and slept before reaching the top just upon darkness. After walking the 11 kilometers back to Springwood he informed his supporters of their days campaign, confirming that Donges was still in the Grose Valley, again, and that he was injured as well.

Spending his night at Wentworth Cave, Terry had the benefit of a fire this time and some overhead protection, but that aside the mosquitoes still attacked in vast armies, it was cold, he was tired and very bloody hungry. Terry walked out at Faulconbridge the next morning, the bloodied flesh of his legs, hands and arms bearing testament to the savagery of the scrub whilst a fat bruised ankle confirmed he wasn’t limping for sympathy.

Two days later G.V.’99 was on the drawing board. Billed as a final assault, no stone was left unturned in preparation as the lessons from the previous two ordeals had shredded all false bravado and ignorance to the magnitude of the challenge. This was definitely going to be the last attempt, death or glory, three strikes and they’re out.

Training took on zeal never previously seen, as all other sporting endeavors were put on the back burner and the Grose took precedence in 99. The training became very specific and thousands of kilometers were logged in preparation, many of them in the creeks and canyons of the Blue Mountains national parks.

Although the contenders at one stage numbered six, on the morning of December 22 1999 three men set off from Victoria Falls, once more hoping to be in Richmond by evening. Donges and Artup were joined by Brendan Trotter, a renowned endurance hard-man he took up the challenge one day shy of his twenty first birthday, and whilst he had no intentions of sleeping in the bush that night, his travelling partners held some reservations about his lack of experience over the terrain.

They began running at pre-dawn using torches to navigate their way until the sun penetrated the deep recesses of the valley.

Having camped out in Blue Gum forest the previous evening I was on hand to monitor their first rest period when they came through at about 6.30 a.m. Things were going well at this point. They were on schedule, in good spirits and physically intact after the early stages of the event. After some food, several photos and a joke, once more they pressed onwards. Follow the river.

There would be no further indication of their progress until they reached Wentworth Cave, near Faulconbridge point, the sight of a food drop and energy repatriation station.

Once more, deep in the heart of the Grose Valley wilderness human drama unfolded.
Several hours on from Blue Gum Forest, the G.V rookie and first timer, Brendan Trotter fell hard onto the rocks he was negotiating, cracking his forehead hard enough to open up a cut above his right eye. Dazed and bleeding he began to slow, leaving once more Artup and Donges with an agonizing decision to make. It was quickly decided after a crisis meeting that they would continue onwards at the best possible pace and alert the support crew at Faulconbridge Point of his plight. If he could keep moving forward at a reduced pace help would be with him by nightfall.
With some reservations, Donges and Artup pressed forward towards the Devils Wilderness and Richmond, after resting for a period so too did Trotter, after all, he liked to party, and there was one in his honour the following day that he was determined not to miss.

This time they were not to be denied, Artup and Donges made it through to Richmond in just over 15 hours. After making fast progress through the early and mid stages they had slowed over the final section, each claiming to have nursed the other through the final hours, and to have been held up accordingly.

Met by family, friends and well wishers at their designated exit point, there was much bonhomie and revelry and general feelings of accomplishment and achievement, in the Artup and Donges camps. For the Trotters the arrival of Terry and Ben, without Brendan was not a happy sight.

Waiting at the river until night descended John Trotter, Brendan’s father (who also has a two-day completion of the Grose under his belt) remained optimistic, resisting calls for a rescue party to go back in at Faulconbridge and look for his boy.
Despite the stories of his fall, he maintained a lonely vigil by the riverbank. His faith was finally rewarded, when with most of the group heading back to the cars John lingered by the river long enough to see Brendan materialize from the darkness. Battered, bloodied and bruised, he had dragged himself onwards for an incredible ten hours on his own through country he had only heard about before, never seen.
Celebrating the success of G.V 99 on Christmas Eve at Springwoods’ Oriental Hotel, Trotter, Donges and Artup were all in remarkable spirits and good health and all were recovering quickly. The only question that lingered was one of speed, could it be done faster? Trotter thinks so and is already talking of improving the mark come December, Artup had stated previously that once successful he would be looking at new challenges, and maintains the only reason he would do it again would be to race Peter Treseder in an attempt to claim the fastest completion, whilst Donges seems content to once more focus solely on the Ironman triathlons, with Foster looming in April.

In pondering why one would bother with such carry on during the rambunctious and rowdy celebrations, it was said that unless you try to do something beyond which you have already mastered you will never grow.
Bar tender, make that a double!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sleep Train’s track up grades take place

Occasionally all trains and the tracks they run on need to be upgraded, or like the proposed North-West Metro, you need completely new infrastructure. This week has seen both upgrades to track work (the 400m kind) and new investments in mileage of the track (long run on the dirt track).

Unlike many other NSW Rail upgrades, both upgrades ran ahead of schedule and were delivered before they were required (on race day). Saturday saw the longest ever trip conducted by the Sleep Train: from Glenbrook to the Oaks, out to Nepean Lookout and back, to Woodford to Springwood to Chapman Pde to inspect the BMJ 10k handicap course. Total trip was 3hrs 52mins with an energy repatriation stop at Faulconbridge station.

The second upgrade was to the Train’s track itself. Following laboratory testing on Monday by the Train’s technician, Dr Johnson, a new 400m timetable was developed along with an associated price rise (the pain) per lap.

However, as the Train once said, “if you buy the ticket, you take the ride” and that’s just what happened last night when the Train first run on the Trains new schedule: miles on an ever increasing paces, followed by ever shortening rests, followed by simultaneous moments of clarity and confusion that only a runner understands.

This weekend sees a continuation of the new track schedule and another run over the new track extension, heres to trains running ahead of schedule for all

Friday, June 19, 2009

Winter Solstice Week

A good week with some tough running

I was pondering what have been the most ideal running conditions in the Blue Mtns in 2009 so far? was it 43 degree afternoons in late January, or was it dark long runs up a muddy fire trail in pouring rain in February? Alternatively, has it been last Saturdays and Thursdays runs in temperatures ranging from -1 to Zero degrees in the early pristine Blue Mtns mornings with 4 thermal layers on?

Well, my vote is that it’s still the rain for me, don’t know why, but with heat you can always drink more and use it as a conditioning advantage, and the cold – well, you get to wear expensive technical thermal jackets and leotards.

But the rain, the rain, man, the is the best test of resolve... don’t get me wrong I love it nonetheless, but it tests you the most, it just keeps coming, so it’s my favourite element to train in (or against).

A hard 10 x 1 milers on a bleak Mtns night at Tom Hunter Park last Thursday – absolutely pushed body to its limit just to finish - most miles b/w 5m20s & 5min 30secs, last one blew out to 5min 41secs- but felt unbreakable at the end though almost completely numb from the sleet!

Followed up by a Saturday assault of Glen-to-Wood-Spring (36k hills) in 15 layers of those technical thermals: 38 mins to Oaks, 1hr 5m to helipad, 1hr 54mins to Woodford, 2hr 30mins to Springwood for new PB!! (must of been the two large Pizza Hut pizzas devoured the night before), previous PB of 2hrs 31m was set in February 2009 on a nice Sunday afternoon (35 degrees) so happy to break it in the cold all layered up.

Lactate threshold testing at Homebush with the Professor from Sydney Uni last night, legs stop getting faster at precisely 66 second per 400s. Thumb feels like a pin cushion today.

20k in Nat Park with the young guns on Sunday, then an easy 10k hills that arvo. Run: 140k, swim 4.2k. Still haven’t located the bike.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Winter is here

Week 3 of return to proper running has also seen Winter in the Mtns turn up. A chilly zero degrees greeted the Animal and I as we set off this morning from the Animals lower Mtns training lair.

Recent activity includes the Great Nosh Foot Race where I managed to turn a 15k race into a 17k exploratory run of the Wakehurst Parkway.

Scurry: I was on the way to setting up a win outside the Mtns to prove it’s not just Fortress BMMC - however a marshal decided I needed 2 more Ks, alas your point still stands......for the time being

Had several doctors appointments regarding Achilles insertion on the calconeous, including an injection – only to work out by myself that simply touching my toes actually does more help than strengthening exercises and drugs- go figure.

Long runs were Wood to Glen to Spring last two Saturdays, and Lower Blue Mtns Distance Men (LBMDM) run last Sunday. Have entered the W2G with an intended G2W warm up before hand

98ks two weeks ago, 112 last week, more this week
9k, 5k, 6k swimming per last 3 weeks
Bike- where did I put it?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sleep on his Musings with Ralph

A few years ago I had the fortunate pleasure of holding a dinner party conversation with Ralph Doubell. I would usually not know who a guy with his credentials was, however at the time I was associating with a sprinter named ‘Aaron Macarthur’ who never use to stop talking about Ralph this, Ralph that.

So, I had forcibly become aware, even a little interested in who Ralph was, what he had done, and about ‘that’ record. For those less acquainted, Ralph Doubell, still, in the year 2009 AD holds the Australian 800m record set way back in 1968 – yes its 41 years old boys and girls. I think it was an Olympic Gold medal/ World Record at the time (Mexico, whatever). Don’t ask me what time the record is - its a race less than 2 minutes.

Anyway, after I was introduced to Ralph under a marquee in Aaron Macarthur’s back yard, I had one of the most enthralling running conversations in my life - a moment that changed all my views on training and taking advice relating to running from that day forward.

It was clear from the outset of the conversation this guy wasn’t going to tolerate my cheap-shot sarcasm regarding the training habits of sprinters, nor was I going to try it on with an Olympic Gold Medallist (respect, please).

We soon engaged in a verbal tête-à-tête about the evolution (or in his words) lack of evolution in Australian distance running since the mid 1960s. “Australian middle distance runners these days run 70-90k a week in training; we use to run 160k every week, that’s why we ran faster” The other counties train their middle distance runners properly, we don’t [NB Mottram does 160k per week and is a world beater – you join the dots].

Who is coaching them I asked, “well the AIS has institutionalised ‘science-based’ training principles among the Australian middle distance fraternity that just isn’t working, they train too easy and not enough” We use to do an easy 16k run every day or so in under an hour (sub 4 min ks), and then go do endless reps at the track and on sand dunes”.

“We thought bigger in the 1960s, I use to have lunch on Fridays with [name escapes me] and we were talking about running under 1min 40secs for 800m, then we would go training” Today they still want to run under 1min 50 seconds.

Ralph went on to mention “I’m not so popular with the running establishment because of my views, that’s why I work in the finance industry now. People still come up to me and tell me how you should train 800m runners based on all types of sports science, and I ask, ‘so what time do you run as a result of that?, they tell me and I say- “well it obviously doesn’t work does it?” – (I laughed almost uncontrollably when he said this -what posture).

He even went on to name coaches responsible for the Australian middle distance demise, which out of fear of defamation, I will not be naming here*. Let me just conclude by saying that Ralph’s views weren’t that flattering of some big name coaches and the potential results they have squandered over the last 2 decades.

Finally, as we all now know and as a result of too few international results achieved by our distance runners in the last two decades, we now have no AIS distance program, which could ironically enough, allow new ideas to enter the Australian distance running landscape and a return to its 1960s golden days.

Bring back Ralph I say!

*Mr Deek if you are reading, you were specifically excluded from any finger pointing in these discussions in Macarthur’s backyard between me and Ralph.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Grand Trifecta for BMMC

Current BMMC Stat Sheet:
- 2008, 12 foot track - Victory and new Course Record (shogun)
- 2009, 6 foot track - Victory and new Course Record (ST)
- 2009, TNF 100 - Victory and new Course Record (Gotta Go)

Reading like a Tiger Wood Resume, the BMMC has taken out all 3 trail running Majors in the last 9 months. The above clearly indicating a new golden era in trail running eminating almost entirely from the Blue Mountains region, including all its postcodes from Mt Vic to Lower Glenbrook. The BMs are obvioulsy a breeding ground for record breaking performances of the trail nature.

To those who live there, train or grew up in the Mtns there were no surprises on the weekend. The performances of the humble Andrew Lee (aka the new DK) and Shogun humbled the biggest names in the sport again on the weekend, including DK himself who stated "its the toughest 100k course he has ever attempted". Note: the BMMC would be happy to sign a poster for DK if he would like one?

Well done to all BMMC memebers who ran, particularly Dr Phil for his gutsy and gritty performance and course photography, and to Prince Donga for facing down the eye of personal adversity with characteristic BMs style. To all crewage and the club house secretary, thanks for the Pizza and ending to a great weekend.

As we say in the BMMC, "If your training on the flats, your not really training"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Last week

Mon AM - scheduled sleep in
Mon PM - run 2 laps birdwood Gully steps (9ks) (solo)
Mon Pm - swim 2.5ks with reps (BMMC)

Tue Am - Big Home loop (BMMC)
Tue PM - Run with PIS at River (PIS)

Wed AM - Swim at the Woods 2k (BMMC)
Wed PM - Run 3k with Refs, yes 3k!(NRL)

Thur AM - basic hill run, cut short (BMMC)
Thur PM - Big Home loop, (solo)

Fri AM - Swim 2k (solo)
Fri PM - Run Small home Loop (solo)

Sat AM - Run every singles trail North and West of Glen NP in the Lower BMs (BMMC)
Sat PM - using: excuse 1 (see previous blog)

Sun AM - Run 20k TT with group of 8 in NP (remaing trails in Lower BMs) (LBMDM)
Sun PM - Swim the woods 2k (BMMC)

A consistent approach as per previous blog

Totals: unpublished, as not statistically reliable

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sleep on Benchmarking Consistency: An Empirical Discussion

Stimulated by discussion on another recent BMMC Blog on the role consistency plays in improvement (see Scambullants recent treatise on C+R= Imp), I started to realise that while everyone understands the relationship between consistency and performance, we all actually have our own definitions of what consistency is.

The word Consistency I believe is one of the most misused words in the English running lexicon. Albeit, while ones person’s consistency is another person’s overtraining (apparently), I thought I would attempt to develop a runner’s bench mark of consistency that could help in the application of this term in relation to running in the lower Blue Mtns – so here goes.

In his book, “De Castella on Running” (a 1980’s running bible to me) the great man himself, Deek, puts his careers success down to being relatively injury free due to “many years of consistent running” – what did he mean? On page 116 he goes on to say he went 1,000 consecutive days of running in his running diary before he had a day off running – 1,000 days!

Or you could read Laurie Lawrence’s book about Australias ONLY Olympic Gold Medal at the 1984 Games, won by a 17 y.o. kid named John Seiben in the 200m fly and WR time from Lane 8!

Seiben said before the race he was just happy to be in the Olympic final, that was before Lawrence got to him seconds before he got on the blocks and whispered something in his ear..... “then I realised I would win” says Seiben, going on to swim past the entire field in the last 25ms of that race. What did his coach say that inspired him? He said “You haven’t missed a training session in 3.5 years”- yep, again more than 1,000 days of training appears to be a standard!

Again, I quote an interview with Haille Gebreselassie the day after he set a marathon WR (2h3m59s) where he said, “I didn’t run this morning as I was a bit stiff”, followed by “ I can’t remember the last morning I didn’t run, don’t worry I will be out running this afternoon, I won’t be missing another session like this morning”.... I am guessing he too is a 1,000 dayer!

You may say, yeah but I am not Deek, Haille or Seiben..... and the answer is “of course you’re not, you probably haven’t done your 1,000 days yet”.

So there you have it, a bench mark of running consistency drawn from undisputable empirical evidence.

As for me this week, the less said the better, I will just ask one question; “excuse me Mr De Castella, does 2 out of 7 days running count as consistent?” (No I’m sure he would say)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sleep on "The Worlds Best Excuses" -Version 2

Prefacing this entry with the fact that I am no model citizen when it come to excuse making, a lot has been said recently about excuse making for missing training.

If one wrote a book on the subject of excuse making Im sure it would be a lengthy book and require an immediate reprint if sold solely in the Blue Mtns at the moment - I could even contribute a good chapter titled: how to deliver an early morning excuse via SMS (and then go running with Gareth anyway)

Some prefer to use the truth when making up excuses for not turning up to training, such as "couldn't be stuffed, I'm too lazy, or I'm on holidays so don't need to run at 5:30 am". It tends to be the honest excuses that get the most criticism, why is that?

While on the other hand, the more imaginative and creative excuses (the ones made of B.S) are often digested hook line and sinker as palatable reasons for random no shows, for example 'this alien landed and stole my running shoes'.

So I would like to start an official register of imaginative excuses that can be used when deciding to be somewhat economical with the truth when making an excuse, this will at least make it more entertaining for those regularly in receipt of excuses (like the Scam- again no model citizen, but generally a reliable dude).

Registered Excuses:
1: I don't want to improve my times, so I will sleep in today
2. I ran yesterday, so obviously I wont be running 2 days in a row
3. I like to train at Vo2 Max every session, all session, and you run too slow [or fast] for me to maintain my Max
4. I didn't get home until 9:30 pm last night so I might give it a miss
5. I think training has taken me as far as it can, I'll just use visualization from here on in
6. I have a girl friend now (or new pet) so running isn't a priority
7. Its too hot, too cold, too dark, too wet, too early or late, its too dry or windy, its too humid or sunny, its too foggy, the snow is too deep, the rivers too wide, the flood too angry, the bush fire is moving too fast and may cross our path,
7.a Any excuse related to season, weather or terain
8. The National Park is closed, or that run is in the Catchment Area
9. That run technically includes an illegal route (ie private property)
10. I will be driving to Lismore or Newcastle until further notice
11. I have another event on, including: wedding anniversary, a "close" family event, a "recognised" religious event(NB: attempting to plan a 3 peaks expedition on your wedding anniversary is not recommended OK)
12. and from Mister G a direct quote:..."Some sort of excuse about having warm company under the doona on a cold morning (aka semi-retirement)...."
13. [other excuses here]

Part 2 to blog, this weeks running;
- Ran two laps of Kedumba with Mister G, the Scam and J-Glen on Saturday, ascent 1: 45m 30sec, ascent 2: 41m 20secs (a lot of NF 100 animals out on course familiarization exercises), followed by
- 20km time trial in the National Park on Sunday with a cohort of the Blue Mtns elite cross country runners/ triathletes on a run promoted as their "easy" sunday morning run, ahhh to be 18 years old again!
- Weeks totals, 107k running, 5km swimming, ride nil

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wollemi Traverse on Hold to Sept. 2010

Following the 'distraction' of running over the last few months, I have decided to put on hold the first ever traverse of the Wollemi NP from the Upper Hunter to Bilpin until Sept 2010.

While the planned Traverse was THE reason I decided to enter the 6 Foot Track in January (marathon training was going to be my way of ensuring I'd be fit enough to complete the traverse), as it turns out running distracted me far too much during Jan & Feb from preparing properly for the traverse(in a serendipitously positive way of course).

Following a poorly executed food drop into the Central Wollemi last thursday (including 6 painful hours on a Mtn bike and missing the position by 5-7 kms), I realised I wasn't ready in many ways for 14 days solo in the most rugged Wilderness area in NSW, particularly given I was not organised.

So,the Traverse can wait 18 more months - but going back out and picking up the food drop is another story yet to come.

Most notably this week was a bush walk with the Scam to try and find Tesselate Hill that lies at the back of Mt Irvine (near Mt Wilson). Unfortunaley, when we got out of the car, someone (who will remain nameless in this Blog)had forgotten the map! Luckily we were confident enough to walk off into remote wilderness with no map, relying only on our gut instincts of a homing pigeon, our wits and very basic bush skills.

As for running, two easy weeks followed the race, and then one really easy week while away for work in Brisbane, where I am blogging from. Runnning in a CBD is horrible, makes you appreciate the clean air and fire trails of the Blue Mtns.

Time to start training again, with some big races coming up- just need to work out what they are?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Victory in 6 Foot Track!

3 Hours 15mins 25 seconds

Well the time above tells the result, and I must say it did shock me a bit as well.

Woke at 5am for breakfast, then back into bed until 6:15am then left for race at 6:30am with my support crew, Dr N. Johnson and Professor Peter- great company and great humor was enjoyed on way to race. Slowly walked to the race start up the raod to Explorers tree where I got a stitch and was passed by many.

As I stood in the starting area, I went over the race plan, and the long runs logged in preparation - surely no one else had been through what I had in the last 3 months. The starters gun cracked and we took off down Nellie's Glen, one runner took off (M.R) and was out of sight by the time the road leveled out, oh well, just run your own race I thought. Was joined by another member of the Blue Mountains Marathon Clinic and Warrimoo resident, Andrew Lee - who graciously gave way on the singles track down to river.

Hit the river in 62 mins, 53 mins for KOM to Pluviometre (1hr 55mins accumulated), 1hr 19mins to finish (3h15m25s accumulated). Passed the haire (M.R) at bottom of Mini Mini saddle and then ran my own race from there. 13.8kms/ hr overall pace.

One of the best things was carrying a 600ml Mt Franklin water bottle the entire way and filling it up at every 2nd water station (courtesy of the RFS) and sticking to one gel every 30mins (set on watchs timer). 3 cups of water, 1 cup of High 5 at every station.

When I got to pluvi i estimated I would be at least 3-5 mins up, and then concentrated on drinking and running within my self. 99% of it was strength-endurance, aerobic running, with the water bottle in the hand making me concentrate on a sustainable 'training style' pace. Thanks to the Dr Johnson (and his Beijing University counterparts) for the scientifically based advice to drink 600-700ml per hour, and for following the instructions on the back of the Endura Gels sachets. Advice based on simple guidelines, but usually not followed.

The finish was, emotional, I love winning and didn't start counting my chickens until I was running down to Caves House. At 13ks to go I thought I can runn 13ks hard no matter what happens. With 7.1ks to go (road crossing) I worked out that if I ran at least 4min/ ks I'd be finished in 3hrs 15mins? - what the? surely my tired mind had miscalculated something.... any way hammered to the finish on adrenalin and finished with a big jump over the line. I stood there in the finish area just soaking it up and comprehending what i just did - 8 mins off the record, C'mon!!! Hung out with Margaret and Mr Trotter at finish (local friends) and then was met by my support crew.

Anyway, need to look at new challenges now.......

Monday, February 23, 2009

Zulus Vs Spartans?

I have always been fascinated a bit by military history, not only Generalship and tactics, but also by soldiering. Who were the best soldiers? Zulus, Spartans or others? who was was the best General? Nelson, Shaka, Bonaparte, Khan?

More intersting is whats the connection between this topic and a running blog anyway?

Well, as runners we all like to think we are a bit 'tough', and that we're "hardmen" just because we train a few hours a week and put up with a few things that our decadant Western lifestyles dont require us to endure.

So, to pass some of the miles on Saturday morning whilst in the rain, probably day dreaming as I run up the fire trail in the rain and dark, my imagination drifted towards the topic: who were really harder: Zulu Warriors or Spartan soldiers.

The Zulu warriors were renowned for being able to run a marathon barefoot across the savannah, fight a battle (and win), then run another marathon home. They were fearless and courageous and trained relentlessly to win war!

The Spartans, also great runners and professional soldiers, were chosen at birth to be warriors, if they displayed weakness as an infant they were cast aside as scraps for the dogs. They trained everyday and were equally fearless and skilled at warfare.

Both forces won major battles against the Greeks and British despite impossible odds and with inferior weaponry because of physical toughness and preparedness.

As i ran and thought about my 'precious' little body I put my running into some form of historical warrior perspective. I then felt comforted that if I did break down, whats the worst that happens.... I go home, take a shower and lifes OK - I dont get speared in the pancreas (a Zulu way of saying you aren't good enough).

Anyway, enough ramblings, a good week, same as last week but a few more ks. NB was Tuesday 10 x 1 milers on the track on 6min cycle all on exactly 5m 20secs/ mile. Sunday was with Dr phils brand new race flats with no socks and through 12 flooded creeks and fire trails - the poor good Dr Phil got "blisters" and lucky the Zulus didnt hear him mention this fact.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rain Vs Heat?

A good consistent week of training that will reap benefits next month, more kms of "filling up the glass - without over filling it".

Two weekend long runs this wek as I felt fit enough and light enough to handle backing up. Sat was Glen to Wood - Spring with Dr Phil for the first 45 mins (and a guy called Zac who we stumbled upon on the oaks FT in the dark and rain with his pance down hanging a pee... very sus, but a nice bloke).

After trying to conserve as much energy on this Saturday LSD, and thinking more about the next days planned run, did 4k swim at Springwood pool (15 X 200s on 3 min cycle - with every one on exactly 2mins 46 seconds, accept the first rep on 2mins 45seconds- gotta love consistency!). On this run I felt like a karate student, not thinking about this run, but about getting through Sundays run "focus your punch through your victim, do not focus on hitting his head" - Hey, it made sense when i was running!

Sunday, yep RAIN at 5:38am!!! headed out in the rain to Faulco point, back to mums etc etc, finished in 4hrs 5mins, with the last 40 mins the real test on the legs up Golf Course Hill, then up the final insult up Bednal Avenue....Worked out this run is proably more than 50ks!!!

Interstingly, was chased by a Range Rover at St Columba's at 8am, when it did catch me, I got a 'Oh, its you Sleep Train, keep going we are looking for vandals'....
Swim: 9ks, Bike 30ks, Run 170+ks and 69.8kgs (Monday morning) with a few small niggles in hammies, and above right shoe lace, but no real sawness.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Feeling like a runner (almost)

5 weeks to go (I think) to 6 foot track!

After a Monday off, the temperatures went back up to the now standard 35 degrees in the Blue Mtns. No runs on Mon, Wed or Friday (excluding mini tri on Fri)

Some hard session, most notably were;
- 3 laps around river on Tue,3rd in 21.55s,
- Thursdays speed session in NP where it was 38.5 degrees upon starting and 34 when finished, the Shogun slowly improving tolerance to the heat each week and in some 3 ounce adidas racing flats
- Friday's Mini Tri in 40 degrees where old scores with former world No. 7 and the property speculator were settled once and for all (your only as good as your last race remember)

Good saturday run out Martins lookout to Lost World as originally surveyed by the Scam who impresed all the Dongas and Doctors with his historical knowledge of the Duck holes role in early steam engine treks over the blue mountains. Apprantly, and according to the Scam, the steam trains use to run up the Gorge to get water at the duck hole, this was before they discovered the railway the aboriginals built on the top of the ridges (this is what my tired mind recalls of his tutorial).

Big run was Sunday mornings run out to Faulco Point (with a memorable sunrise over Grose valley at 6.10am), and then out to Grose Head South, then Winmalee, then back to Douglas Street - all up estimated 48-50ks (longest run ever [exluding grose valley in 1999]), total time running was 4hrs 9mins.
Week totals: run 140ks, swim 7.3ks, ride 90ks and leaned down to 70.7kgs (skinny me)

Monday, February 2, 2009

February - a month of running!

A hot week with most afternnon runs in 30 degrees, and morning runs not much cooler. After Monday's long run on 6 Foot, some good back up sessions given tiredness. Main set on Thursday was 5 X 6 mins hard, with 4 mins easy run up hilly fire trail.

The Shogun joined me this week for this set sporting his 1960s style running shoes (at least I assume they are running shoes of a brand I have never seen).
Easy run saturday AM with the Scam and Dr Phil followed by a 3.5 hour quality morning sleep training session, then nothing until Sunday arvos long run.

Sunday's run was Glen-Wood-Spring (again) clocking, in a humid 30 degrees, 35min 07sec to the Oaks, 1hr 52m 28sec to Woodford and 38 mins back to Springwood:
Total 2hrs 31mins (new PB). Happy, given the effort (of 60-65%) plus the heat. total running 183ks, ride 30ks, swim 2.5ks and to 71.3kgs on friday!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

6 foot track training run- Aust Day 09'

After a weekend in Canberra watching a triathlon, Australia Day was celebrated in a typically Australian way with a training run over the 6 foot track race course.
I was joined by two rather amazing female athletes, Angela B and Narelle.

Upon reaching the cox's in a comfortable 1hr 29m, and being surprised by the pace, I then enquired as to some past race results of my training companions to ascertain if they would keep this pace up. It was then I realised I was running with the current World Bronze Medallist in long distacne mountain running, and her training partner!!

The Cox's to Pluvio KOM in 1hr 2min (with 2 short stops) then the long run to the road and down the always painful descent to finish. All up 4hrs 19mins on the legs, with only approx. 20-25 mins in rest/ food stops.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Week 2 of (real) training

A good consistent week training, culminating in the Glen-Wood-Spring again on sunday. 3rd week in a row and this long run is gradually getting less fatiguing in terms of recovery. Shogun accompanied me on the run setting a good starting pace to the oaks and was looking good until a few 'mechanical' problems plagued him. 114ks running, 10k swimming, 70ks bike and 15 mins water running this week and leaned down to 74kgs...8 weeks to 6 foot track

Monday, January 12, 2009

big run on sunday morning was wood to glen to springwood run, 37ks in 2hrs 40 mins. may increase length next week (2hrs 1 min to gate, 39mins down to springwood). However total running ks were only 86ks with 9k swim and 80ks on the bike so a good week of training albeit a lot of cross training.
Goal this week is 110ks running and to lean up.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Beginning of 2009!

A few weeks since last running blog due to being away from a computer

Christmas saw a few races and a few long runs.

New Years Day 2009 was ushered in with a 37k Glenbrook-Woodford-Springwood jaunt starting in 35 degree heat (5pm) with ollie who not only decided to run on his injured ankle (two weeks earlier than prescribed by his physio), but without any water or gels.

Needless to say he was kindly offering to "carry my water bottle" for a few ks if I liked. A good time of 2hrs 9mins to the gate at woodford, then 43 mins back to Springwood: total 2hrs 52 mins, weighing 76kgs....

Then backed up on 4 January with the club mini tri in 61 mins 19 seconds, for my annual triathlon. Anyway, time to set some goals for 2009, maybe 6 foot marathon then North Face 100 with a traverse of the Wollemi in between???