Saturday, 29 December 2007

Beach is closed so i'd better go for a run

Not much solid training since Kurrawa, with the knee sore but the physio saying it was structurally sound, i'd decided i had better start taking glucosamine tablets again (whether they work or not is debatable but i have found in the past a few weeks of them appears to make my body less susceptible to niggles).
So for the most part have been doing just 10K or so walks usually along the beach etc and taking it relatively easy especially as storms have a habit of just rolling in suddenly more like Cairns than the Gold Coast at the moment.
One big run last weekend but unfortunately my local knowledge let me down, having circled around the Tweed towards Cobaki and expecting to find my way back along the old dirt Cobaki Rd pretty much straight across from Tugun, only problem it was years since i'd been along there and new roadworks meant this road was now stopped by the Tugun Bypass (or more precisely the 10 foot wire fence surrounding it), ended up a very long run back particularly with a downpour around Kennedy Drive and all the way back to Tweed Heads (and shelter of shops).
Had wanted to do the Mount Nebo "Fatass" run i'd done the previous two years, but woke at 2:30 to find it was still raining, and as i had breakfast ot got heavier, the thought of driving over an hour in it was enough let alone running in that sort of rain so went back to bed.
Had plans to do the Two Bays 50KM on Sunday but unable to book a $79 flight with Tiger Airways discovered it was now $150 dearer (probably explains why i couldn't get it to work last night), so decided i'd go for a swim and then head off for a run.
Was surprised to find the beach closed, last night they had warned of severe tides with worse to come on Sunday, but didn't really think about it.
Wandered a little further down the beach and had a bit of a swim, certainly the waves were rough and quite a decent undertow not the sort of day for playing around in the surf for too long, back in time for another downpour !!, didn't really matter as i was wet already.
Above is my 28K run, once the rain finished the weather cleared and even the humidity went was rapt to be able to run 2 hours 45 minutes without needing to find a drink much better than the humidity. Ended up a little lost in Schusters Park and had to pretty much do a lap to get out but the rest was all areas i'd seen grow up over the years (can remember running along the Currumbin Valley Road years ago and not seeing a vehicle nowadays it's more like a highway which is a bit hairy on sharp bends).
No knee problems, and the body seemed in decent shape, not overly fast but most of Schusters Park was long grass and the Currumbin and Tallebudgera Backroads don't lend themselves to moving fast especially on the hilly sections so overall pretty happy.
See what tomorrow brings weather wise might be a good day to head up to Binna Burra and do some trail K's.

Monday, 10 December 2007

At least i finished

Having not raced for 6 weeks (or 4 if you include my 5K Gunn run which really hard to think of as a race compared to my standard Ultra), wasn't really sure what to expect. I seemed to be almost over my cold but had a few psychological issues with the knee (maybe i'm not used to double storey houses and sloping blocks but i seemed to be spending an inordinate amount of time putting pressure on that knee and being reminded of it by the pain). Woke at 3.30 for the 5AM start (very used to being used to being woken by the sun at 4:30 so was surprised to wake 5 minutes before the alarm - obviously my body still knew what to do on raceday) and was there with 30 minutes to spare. I knew this one race where wearing a top is a waste of time (because of the humidity and i suppose i should add that is for the male runners :-D) so was a little taken aback when given a paper race number instead of the usual texta on the shoulder. Still i bent the number to fit the shorts. Quite a large field (heaps of relay runners fleshing it out), with plenty of familiar faces as well as an obvious race favourite in David Eadie, and we were off pretty much on time unlike last year. Was running comfortably as i assumed many of the bolters were relay runners and had found a good rhythm by the time i passed early starter Steel Beveridge at North Palm Beach. From then on it was a very humid slog southwards, passed by the occasional solo runner and numerous relay runners but as usual feeling at home on this stretch which does make it easier. I think i did the first half purely on water (i could be wrong towards the end memories are vague) and knew that i'd be hanging out for Coke (yeah i know i should call it "Cola" all my requests for coke on the way back must have made the aid station people think that i Ben Cousins having a bad day). From the turn it was a case of don't get windburn as relay runners flew past, but that did spur me on and gradually i did get some to pace myself against. By Palm Beach i was hot and steamy but much happier with my run and as usual running on the highway rather than the footpath (dead easy to work out my state of mind when running when i'm not confident i'd be on the footpath but once i feel that usual aggression and arrogance it's off to the road!). Chasing a couple of relay runners from 15th Ave to Tallebudgera SLSC had definitely made me push myself more than was wise so i had a long drink at that aid station (always fired up that next section as i recall how one of the great iconic live music venues, The Playroom, is now a carpark as i run past). The climb up to the Burleigh aid station made me feel the knee for the first very thankful Nic had a beer waiting there to wash down all that coke. The beer "inspired" me till North Burleigh but the hill and steps just about finished the knee. At that point i was passed by GCRR Keith (obviously with more heat tolerance than me wearing long skins !), walked a little but eventually the knee let me run again so it was off to that incredibly expensive cauldron Hedges Avenue. Finally at around 4 and a half hours i was finished (not only in the sense of the race but physically and pretty much mentally !) a massive PW and over an hour behind Davids 3:25, still i was just happy to finish in the end. Got a chance to catch up with alot of people so the next couple of hours flew till presentations and the exhausted drive. Didn't know how exhausted i was till i got home, lay down on couch watching golf on tv with ceiling fan going full blast for the next 4 hours, too worn out to do anything else. Eventually worked up the energy at 4 to wander down the local Dominos for a $3.95 hawaiin pizza (timed nicely to see how Aussie superhorse Miss Andretti went in Hong Kong - unfortunately she did no better than me still the TAB side trip meant my pizza was waiting for me). Paddling along the beach eating pizza, definitely the best i'd felt all day:-D. Even more humid today so not giving any thought to what's next, at least the body now feels half decent and a sense of relief that this long racing year is over (and no talk of next year or injuries for at least a week).

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Maybe the sickest Ultrarunner ?

Maybe i had pushed myself a little too hard in my attempts to get fit for Coast to Kosi or maybe my body is just falling to pieces ?. Come Tuesday and i wake with a rotten sore throat so i resist the urge to run. As the week goes on i get progressively worse (as i type this - Thursday in bed on phone - simply feel like death warmed up). At least there are a few days to Sundays 50K, but i must be going for some record for number of colds in a 6 month period with this being my 7th since the first week of June. I've always found there is a fine line between being at peak fitness and tumbling over the precipice to being sick but i seem to have outdone myself this year. Not sure of the reasons, for the most part i've been eating fairly healthily as usual (granted i have been drinking too much alot of that time), but i'm way less stressed (was until actually moving which is always stressful) than i've been for years. Can't comment on my weight as i'd always believed my bathroom scales 65 to 68 kgs the last 25 years but accurate scales in Germany found me between 68 and 71 over the course of my race and my ones at home appear to have died after 30 years as they show me at about 58 !. Feel a bit too philosophical as i sit here typing, feeling sh*t, as i look back on the year a few highs (runningwise: Deutschlandlauf - second half performance, 7th Tamborine Trek win, Great Ocean Road Marathon PB, Caboolture 12 Hour PB) and numerous lows (Western States Dnf, blowing up the last 12K's of the Australian 100Km, falls at Six Foot Track & Melbourne Marathon, wrong turn at Walhalla, the last half of Brindabella, "hitting the wall" 3 times at the Prom and finally the sub 100 mile effort in my first running 24 hours). Mightn't quite make it my "annus horribilis" (hope i got that bit of latin correct :O) with regards to running but it would come close (1989 year of the broken jaw springs to mind). On a more personal level it would go down as a much better one, although having not seen even one live Stones concert this year it could have been better (and that's not to knock the great gigs i did see or the people i met at them 8-)). One more blog post for me, the Kurrawa race report, then i think i can have a holiday and put this blog to bed until 2008 when hopefully i can have some new Ultra adventures.

Monday, 3 December 2007

D Day

After yesterdays run i went for a 2 hour walk in the evening as i realised the last half of Coast to Kosi would involve a lot of walking so i thought i'd better see how i stood. Whilst i did some reasonable hills (Currumbin Ridge & O'Farrell's Lookout) mostly stayed to the estuary and wasn't happy to find that the right knee was causing me pain again. Had spoken to a couple of C2K competitors that afternoon and had almost convinced myself i would be a starter (particularly with Tiger Airs cheap fares). So it all came down to today. The idea was to run the flat way over the border and then simply run up and down as many hills as i could around Bilambil Heights and South Tweed before heading back, after 1 final steep hill, along the beach path. No shoulder problems but found that the knee was giving pain on some of the downhills. Having run around midday certainly worked up a sweat, and was thankful i'd stopped running with a t shirt a week ago, and had really got the adrenalin pumping in my 2 hours of hard running. Was convinced my previous 2 days shoulder problems were back related but couldn't see the chiro until tomorrow but needed to make a decision today so wandered off into my ice bath (after my problems of Saturday i had soaked in a Radox bath and not wishing to waste water had kept it and had found it to be ideal recovery yesterday) and contemplated my decision. Still feeling the knee as i headed up the back to hang my running shorts and socks decided i had too many niggling and the only sensible thing to do was pull the pin on C2K and do Kurrawa 50K. Frankly i'm not used to being sensible (and with regards to my running never wish to be) and come tomorrow (and even moreso on Friday) may regret my decision, but i suppose also i look forward to my 9th Kurrawa more acclimatized than ever and also anxious to be actually racing for the first time in 6 weeks, so maybe i'm a chance for my 3rd win there ??

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Maybe more than a glitch ????

Woke up at 4:30 this morning (noisy lorikeets !), and was considering running to the GC Road Runners at Burleigh but a heavy downfall of rain put paid to that, so eventually drove there when the weather cleared. Heaps of familiar faces (after all many were in preparation for the Kurrawa 50K next week), had a good run along the beachfront (and up the North Burleigh Hill) to Mermaid Beach SLSC. Me and Browny ???, ended up running the furthest and he turned off back home just before the hill so ran the last part solo.
I even managed to run past the turn off, and instead turned off at 1st Ave so ended up with a little more distance, strangely that little bit of distance was enough to make a difference again left shoulder problems !!!.
Somehow i think this may be the end of my C2K 2007 ambitions (and also Badwater 2008 chances of qualification), but will give it one red hot shot tomorrow (if i end up broken down running Kurrawa so be it ).

Saturday, 1 December 2007

3 steps forward and 1 back

The last 3 days had been spent doing good hard runs of just over 2 hours all with some sharp hills and going a little further every day. After Thursdays run which was about 5Ks longer than the previous day but only 15 minutes longer i was feeling full of beans and now thinking Coast to Kosi was a real possibity. Maybe i'd got a bit carried away on Thursday (i'd even run the whole Teemagum St hill just before i finished) as i awoke on Friday very flat. Decided to do my run a little later than usual so set out in the heat of the day at 1. As i knew i was a bit flat i deliberately avoided the hills as i headed interstate. By the time i had hit the lakes of South Tweed i seemed to have recovered enough to take on the hill heading out of Point Danger (the Kurrawa 50k turnaround) and finished off quite decently content with another solid 2 hours. Today i really wanted 3 hours of running so i thought i should take in some of the tracks behind Fleays Sanctuary at the back of Burleigh. By the time i'd hit Mermaid Beach thought i'd done enough to turn back but by the time i'd made it to the Burleigh Heads shops i simply hit the wall. Ended up doing a lap walk of the shops (not as though i had any money with me) as a resting measure and then took off again but my body wasn't having it. Strangely most of my pain was the left shoulder but it was enough to make me only walk all the 8k's home. I was so stuffed i actually lay down a few minutes on the nature strip before attempting my assault on the driveway and up to the front door!. In all i was out 4:15 at least half of that on the involuntary walk back. Looks like i'd better drive to the Road Runners tomorrow at Burleigh Waters and see how i handle a shorter distance at group. Just hoping today was a one-off glitch !