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!