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.