Friday, November 9, 2012

Sleep’s 2012 Review

As my 2012 running season drew to a close after Sunday’s BMJs 10k handicap race, I thought a few 2012 running reflections were in order.

   
Depending how you look at it, 2012 could be defined as either a year of cancelled events, missed opportunities, reoccurring niggles, general apathy towards running, or more positively defined statistically as my most outstanding year yet!
   
The year started with a 33k run in the extreme January heat. Lugging close to 80ks up Bees Nest Hill almost brought me to tears before hobbling home and wishing I owned an intravenous drip.
   
Soon after I got serious-ish.
  
Routine and discipline returned like an old lost friend. Discipline that paid immediate dividends with the first win of an amazing 2012 winning streak!
  
Yes I’m talking about race 2 of the Mountain Sports Dirty Tri event at Lawson swimming pool. I had my old nemesis ‘The Animal’ hot on my heels all day after his famous annihilation of the local record for the Hawaii Ironman bike leg a few months earlier.
  
After such a big win it’s sometimes hard to refocus on other goals. What could I aspire to after a Dirty Tri win at Lawson? After some lengthy consideration and strategising, I refocussed and set my battle sights on the classic Running Wild Narrow Neck (the Nek) Night Run in mid January.
  
After an eerily misty 7:30pm race start I was locked in a head-to-head along the Nek with another local nemesis of mine, Brenden Woodford Davies. His constant surges along the dead flat and straight bits of the Nek was a tactic, I must admit I had never seen before in trail racing.
  
After smelling weakness in BwD, I pounced. Snap (in my left hamstring to be precise), and I was now clear of BwD. After running in the dark for the majority of the return trip I turned on the head torch, lowering it to mid-thigh so I could actually see the ground thru now very think mountain mist.
  
Enter 2012 victory # 2.
  
Usually by Australia Day I am fit enough to do a 6 foot track course Recce where I usually sustain a femoral stress fracture. By late January I am also usually talking up the chances of running a sub 2hr 10min marathon or a sub 1m 40sec 800m. However this sense of over confidence didn’t re-arrive until late February this year.
  
But to be honest the race along the Neck was the longest run (except for the one noted above) I had run in the previous 12 months.
   
So this year’s Australia Day was marked by my first 2012 run over the ‘6 Foot Simulator’ training course – my favourite ‘Glenbrook -Woodford –Springwood, 36ker’
  
February 2012 was spent preparing for 6 foot track – you know the usual drill. Wake up tired; go to bed tired, efforts in the NP, pool recovery session, etc etc.
  
After a near perfect smoke screen regarding my fitness I was very disappointed when 6 foot track was cancelled just 24 hrs prior.
  
The only slip up in my brilliant fitness subterfuge was being caught by Scam’s wife while on my 3rd or 4th set of race pace efforts in Sun Valley one Sunday prior to the race.
  
When this piece of Intel reached Scam he promptly pieced together, with other pieces of scant info what I was up to - with this Intel ending up on a few public forums.
  
The substitute run on the day of 6 Ft was an attempt to break my PB from the Grose River up to the FT on Grose Rd. The toughest set of stairs in the BMs. I missed it by 1 second, running 16mins 48secs.
  
So, the following week I went on a camping trip (see last blog entry).
  
After the camping trip, and not wanting to waste February’s training, I entered TNF 100.
  
However after a 50k LSD on 1st April my right inner calf blew up. This run was on the Simulator extended to Warrimoo. That was it, I needed rest. My usual 12 week per annum limit of training had been reached. TNF 100 was to be as a spectator for the 5th year in a row.
  
But that’s not the end of the winning streak.....
   
Fast forward to September and enter the classic BM’s Joggers 10k handicap race series. This series is now 40 years old – and is possibly the longest running running series in the world. What, you haven’t heard of it? Well, you’re about to.
 
Running approximately two or three 10k runs per week I was happy with a 36m 20sec run. I was also happy to beat the other 5 starters, including 3 of the fairer gender, Rob spilling on his one good knee and some bloke pushing a pram. Hey, it was a win in a very lean year so I am counting it in my streak.
  
Again on the first Sunday morning in October, a few more BMMC joined for the monthly 10k handicap. With all the new comers (a BMMC quorum was attained) I was in charge of carrying Evie’s mandarin to mark the turnaround point. Has anybody else been to a race briefing where they say “run to you see the mandarin on the ground after the 2nd empty puddle, then come back here”.
  
Time for 10k of Septembers time + 12 seconds and win # 4
   
I am also claiming the win for the orienteering race in the Rutkowski’s back yard at the annual JPR (Jimmy Perrett Racing) team meeting in October. Taking down Orienteering masters of Ed, Earl and Jimmy O’Brien, on a highly technical course and well planned course was still a win. #5.
   
And where this very self serving post all started - with the November BMJ’s 10k win in October’s time + another 15 seconds slower. Win #6
  
What a great year of running...... I guess.
  
2012 at a Glance
  •  Dirt Tri – 1st
  • RW narrow neck – 1st
  • 6 foot – cancelled due to Noah 
  • Mt Solitary – cancelled 
  • TNF 100 - DNS 
  • Kokoda challenge - DNS (i stopped entering races about here)
  • Sept BMJ – 1st 
  • October BMJ – 1st 
  • RW Narrow Neck race (DNS or even enter) 
  • RW Mt Portal race (DNS, on spectator duties) 
  • JPR orienteering race – 1st  
  • November BMJs -1st

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