Wednesday, 18 June 2008

A shorter race, but still a great place for a run

Looks like if i want something to happen i shouldn't note it before on my blog (just think of the weather at the Broadbeach Blues Festival after mentioning the acts i wanted to see causing me to miss many of them !!). When i typed up my last entry on Saturday i was off to Brisbane, by Helensvale i was feeling quite unwell (same gut problem i'd ever had since the 100K) and ultimately never made it to Brisbane, eventually heading back home and lying down eventually waking up in time to cook some pasta at 9:30 !!.
Really had no idea where Lake Manchester was so printed out a map from whereis (i knew i could find Ipswich easy enough but this place had me mystified).
Was awoken by my alarm at 4:50 and thankfully felt fine so was off by 5:30 for what seemed like some magical mystery tour (probably not helped by the fact i had one ear glued to the radio listening to the cricket).
By 7 i was there and it looked a lovely part of the world (but a damned cold 4 degrees by my car). Caught up with a few people and got my race number (complete with course on the back - now there's a worrying thought !).
Having seen the fast group of 4 (i think - didn't precisely count them) and the first lady set off at a sizzling pace, i was a little worried that this was one course i could easily make a mess of by getting lost.
Was a little surprised when all the creek crossings were mentioned at the race briefing as i found it hard to imagine anywhere near Ipswich not being dry (spent a fair bit of time around Ipswich when younger and it always struck me for the severity of it's weather, always extra hot in summer and extra cold in winter and never remembered it raining !!). Possibly if i'd heard of those creek crossings (as pictured above) before i'd handed in my car keys i may have changed my footwear as the old Nike Free 4.0's (my favourite trail running shoes but so old now that i have to safety pin one set of velcro fasteners), had the top velcro fastening undoing every time i crossed a creek (and i'm not nimble enough to fiddle around trying to keep the feet dry).
Seemed to run alone for quite a while until i had one runner pass me and i was quite content just to follow him, probably not at full pace as i was still a little unsure that i was on the right track (but hadn't seen any others and had seen course marking fairly regularly but as usual with a totally unknown course a little cautious). Certainly i wasn't really prepared for that first steep hill up to Tamsin's checkpoint as gathered it that it was near half way where the real hills were (Boombana Knob) and was quite content to walk it fast.
Once i saw the track to the right (marked for the 33K runners with a seperate course for the 21K runners), realised this was where i'd want to get moving a little faster, but again was feeling the cold weather (had gloves on the whole way and only started to feel my hands at about 28K mark), the creek crossings seemed to have chilled me to the core and because of this my quads and hamstrings seemed quite tight. Was passed by Adrian Pearce (back running after ankle problems at Glasshouse) and then by another bloke but found that i could keep up with him and actually get away on the downhills which really helped get my momentum going.
Asked Rob Ware at the last aid station how far to go and was glad to hear 7K's to go, looked like good fast running conditions ahead, meaning i could finally pick up some runners ahead (not necessarily in the 33K event but passing is passing !).
One marginal wrong turn, i swear the arrow pointed up the construction site, but thankfully was sent back the right way by the woman at the site office, passed another couple of runners and couldn't resist a flying finish downhill to the finish line.
3:08:04, not too bad but still a long way behind the winner (2:43:58) and only 9th of 27 but i felt in real good shape and all ready for the months ahead.
Great feed of lumberjack cake, anzac biscuits and various other treats after and i was lucky enough to get a spot prize.
Lots of good performances out there, i think only myself and Susannah only backed up after last 100K's but certainly a tough effort (in my case a last minute decision to enter after a long lunch Friday ) as well as great to see Coolrunners "Run67, "MRX" and "Boonarga" back after injuries and also to see Vegie-Girl, Cirque and 99 out there running.
Eventually it was back home via the Stones Movie (still bemused by the tiny crowd - would struggle to have been 20 of us !), now if only i can find an IMAX theatre in the US showing it !!.
Couple of long runs this week, Tuesday did a longer version of the Trees Road course (approx 35K) and felt really strong (even better with a swim in the surf 1/2K from home) but by now i'd finally passed judgement (after approx 200 training K's) on the BAR shoes, somehow just couldn't imagine running 135 miles in shoes of that weight, this was the second time i'd used them on the Trees Rd Circuit and the first time going up the %22 gradient hill just couldn't imagine carrying that extra weight up the sort of hills (and worse) that we'll be doing at Badwater.
Another long 3 Hour run today, though taking the easier beachside route over the border to Bilambil Heights, and one last shot at those shoes reckon they won't be making the trip as an emergency standby measure. Not sure if they feel heavier simply because i'm right at my optimum lightest racing weight now(dead on 65KG by my scales - somewhere between 65 & 67 is pretty much perfect for me, although with my gangling frame there are also issues with being non-aerodynamic at that weight) and probably as fit as i'll ever be (short of no alcohol and frankly at optimum racing weight need a drink or two with a meal just to keep a bit of fat there - i'm sure there are dietitians cringing whilst reading this but by now i know my body !!) so i guess it's one more long training run and then Sunday's Mt Mee 50K and then off to the US and a little acclimatization to both heat and altitude.
Still trying to sort out whether i'll get a different mobile phone as the email access on my present (post Phuket cheap replacement) is virtually useless and really can't see me doing too many blog updates (particularly from France) from it (the running is hard enough without doing dummy spits with the phone !).

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