Monday, 21 January 2008
Binna hard week !
With the sciatic nerve problems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piriformis_syndrome yet again after Hares and Hounds didn't do any running till i saw my physio on Wednesday, after a fair bit of stretching etc finally got the body back to a point i could run again. He was also a bit worried about my diet not helping my recovery so it's been even more meat than usual and popped rice rather than Vita Brits (still by the mixing bowl full though).
Thursday i finally got a decent run in going along the beach (Kirra particularly reminiscent of the Simpson Desert with a long stretch before the sea) all the way to Duranbah, could see the weather closing in yet again so went for a walk in the shelter of the Coolangatta shops before heading back along the beach.
Interesting to note at least 5 security guards around the perimeter of the stretch of beach marked off for the weekends International Beach Cricket, with a pitch laid on the sand and some roll-in stadium seating (and the area fenced off by cyclone fencing) looked to my warped sense of humour that they must have just been waiting for the next wave of boat people to wash in !!.
Was looking forward to a weekend of running at Binna Burra up on the Lamington Plateau but considering every time i looked in that direction it was either covered in thick black rain clouds or i couldn't see it because of heavy rain above me i knew it was destined to be a dirty weekend !!.
Drove up Friday Arvo and with the first run scheduled for 4:30 had time for a 30 minute walk along the Border Track, wetter than i could recall and making me thankful i had plenty of changes of clothes.
At the appointed time there were 8 or so of us (after all not everyone could leave work early etc), and we headed off to Coomera Falls Lookout.
With all the recent rain Coomera Falls was destined to be very impressive, as was the track destined to be very muddy. Still we did the round trip returning via the drier Border Track. We had booked dinner that night at the lodge and were joined by David Mckinnon and his wife who were there for a weekend of hiking, great meal (as you'd expect for $38 !), pumpkin soup followed by roast and then lashings of dessert (pavlova and fresh fruit and various slices), that'd make twice i've had dessert this year.
Back to the Bunkhouse and we had more arrivals, some familiar faces (doesn't mean i could put a name to them all immediately), as well as others.
I guess our running camp was given more credibility by the fact we had two ladies (Lisa from Sweden and Carolyn from Canada) in training for the Beijing Olympics Triathlon up with their coach and nutritionist (worth noting they had cycled there from Currumbin and would also return that way), who knows what a nutritionist would make of my post race diet (usually a beer ???).
Slept like a log up on the top bunk in my sleeping bag but was never quite sure whether it was rain or wind i could hear.
With a 6AM run on the Saturday starting at my front door could take it easy (and today it was Weet Bix - i ate what was provided) and almost sleep in.
We had seen the Illimbah Circuit was listed as closed at the Lodge the night before however there was no sign indicating this when we arrived at the start so all 20 odd of us headed off, pretty much with the idea that we would do out and back if the first river crossing (at 9K's) was not possible.
Certainly the storms had taken their toll and there were some big trees down meaning that getting around them and back on track was interesting to say the least.
By the time we hit the first crossing (of supposedly 12) we'd split nicely into two groups of differing speed but was thankful that Greg and a couple of others were a little faster and so able to see where we were meant to go.
From then on it was river crossing (up to hip deep), then follow the real trail (marked by red arrows when we were lucky to see them), then bit of a wander up the river and another possible bit of trail. Was only thankful there was no Australian equivalent of Piranhas as we spend just us much time in the water as on land.
Who knows how many crossings we eventually made but we found the trail up the last one and were rapt to find Gwongoorool Pools just ahead of us so we were on the right track. Ultra runner Tamsin Barnes (who'd driven up that morning) was the first one to decide to actually have a swim (as opposed to one of my head first stumbles on one of the crossings) and eventually all of our group (bar the Triathletes who had decided to head straight back rather than detour via the Pools) ended up swimming around in the rapids, magic way to finish the run.
Three K's from the pools to the track entrance and there were enough cars parked there for most people to have a lift back rather than run the last 1.8K's back to the Bunkhouse.
Me and, former Traralgon Harrier now living in Grafton, Neil Burgess of course didn't consider the "soft option" and run the remainder, ultimately a good 3 and a half hours for 20 odd K's.
Beer and fruit loaf with vegemite (to the disgust of many), was all i needed to feel great again, but worry set in a little when 90 minutes later our slower group hadn't returned. We were almost ready to head back there (and do what i'm not sure !!), when we saw some cars returning, they were back. Bruce Hargreaves (who'd done all the organisation of this camp and knew the area backwards), had been in control throughout and knew were they were simply a case of the harsh conditions making them a little slower.
Now we could all rest a little easier, after much fiddling with the coat hanger we got the cricket on TV, and it looked the Aussies were making a harder job of it than we had that morning.
Microwaved Lasagne and some salad and i was ready for a nap before the next run.
After a very tiring morning we were happy to have a nice short run, along Ships Stern Track to Yangahla Lookout would only have been 5K's return but the view from off the rock was worth it and enough to feel that we'd had a hard but enjoyable day.
Dinner at the Cafe was pre booked and soup and a roast went down very well, time for another early night.
After 3 runs in the Nike Considered Humaras and absolutely nothing drying it was time for a different pair of shoes (i swear i'd have turned amphibian if i'd put on those shoes for a 4th time), and so my heavy duty Nike Terra Max got their first run for a couple of years (personally they are just that little too heavy but at the time they were cheap and no question they are made for mud and slush) and a different pair of shorts (the less said about inner leg chafing the better !) and a T Shirt (seemed a bit cool for a singlet).
This was to be a loop of Ships Stern Circuit with the possibility of Daves Creek Track after. Beautiful run and in places perfect running conditions, incredible views also. Again Tamsin was the first person to decide to go for a swim but again by the end many of us had discovered the delights of Ballanjui Falls.
With the triathletes burning up the track ahead, it was left to Tamsin, Rick and I to decide whether we would do the extra 6K's of Daves Creek and after telling Tamyka Bell (can't keep us Ultra Runners down) we'd slow down for her if needed we ended up running as a group of 4. One incredible lookout (essentially standing on a waterfall) made it all worth the effort (interesting to spot 3 lizards on adjacent rocks) and then finally back to the bunkhouse.
What more can i say but first a beer then fruit loaf with vegemite and again felt like a new man (one desperately in need of a hot shower !).
I suppose the pre leaving highlight was a massive python digesting it's breakfast (paddymelon or possum at a guess), just a few metres down from the Bunkhouse.
A few bits of domesticity, cleaning the bunkhouse and washing up and then a great weekend was over.
My little Subaru (with 3 day old QLD rego - as my VIC rego expired the 20th), was loaded full, pleasant change from my incompetent packing at least, it was all the luggage for the triathletes, etc as they were cycling back and i live down the road.
Now i know where the hang gliders we had seen on Saturday arvo were taking off from, a number were at Rosins Lookout near Beechmont, a big crowd of people both pilots and spectators.
A quick stop to pick up a slab of milk at Aldi Nerang (and spotting $20 scales with body fat measurement couldn't resist a bargain !) just about totally filled the car. Dropped their gear off and then home finally.
A great weekend but itches from Leech bites were slowly driving me nuts (just what i need feels just as bad as last years Poison Oak), and somehow i think i will appreciate running 50K's on a nice solid road next Sunday (Mansfield to Buller).
Again will be getting the sciatic nerve problem fixed tomorrow, very sore today probably not helped by trips up to the clothes line with all the muddy gear from the weekend.
The Aldi scales appear pretty right for the first figure (as for the rest well i have no idea !!) 68.4 KG's, %19 Body fat, %56 water.