Tuesday, 7 April 2009
After having had a reasonably easy week after Trailwalker, thought i'd better get some of my usual high mileage in again whilst on holidays.
After waking up with a sore neck on Thursday (that "LA Freeway neck" seems to be a twice yearly occurrence for me unfortunately) i ran 100 minutes that night mostly around Lillydale Lake although spent a little time lost as i tried to find my way back to a bike path from between houses in the dark.
The next morning my chiropractor rang me back and slotted in appointment for that afternoon, that being the case i could go for a long run beforehand.
Starting in still warmish weather black clouds rolled in and before i was back thunder and lightning were about everywhere and i'd had a good drenching, was alarmed to find i'd been out 3 hours and it was now 11:58 i was going to be late for my 1PM appointment, very quick shower (and quickly manhandling the dog back outside - don't think he liked the thunder), knew it was just a case of how late i'd be for my appointment, ultimately the answer being half an hour.
Much better after that i ate cheap food (food discounted after the lunch hour rush) at the 1 Queens Road Food Court whilst waiting for the rain to clear, eventually it did and i decided this would be the ideal chance for a quick drive down to Elsternwick to see what had become of my old house.
Pretty simple really, my old 15 Square home with massive pine out the front had become a huge 40 Square McMansion complete with swimming pool and minimal yard, quite staggering, still they'd paid what i considered over the odds for it so of course could do whatever they liked.
Popped in and said gidday to some neighbours and more relaxed now was ready for my next race.
Being the first Saturday of the Month it was Tan Time Trial time for the Victorian Road Runners and Robert was running that Saturday morning, ultimately i ran one warm up lap, then the 8K race itself in 33:56 and then a warm down lap before heading off for a little jog with the Nike Run For The Kids Team at Fed Square (and Easter Egg hunt). So in total i'd done a little over a half marathon (and 8K of that at full pace) the day before a run over what (to me) was virtually a sprint distance Ultra, possibly not my greatest move.
Lazy afternoon, at least Richmond gave a reasonable account of themselves against Geelong, much better than the shocker the week prior.
With daylight saving ending on race day it was early to bed and an alarm set for 5, obviously i had slept too well during the week (the lack of humidity a godsend for sleeping) and was awake at 4 and showing no signs of getting back to sleep, so an early 7 Vita Brits etc, and Robert and i were off by 5:20 or so meaning that with new tollways we were at race start around 6AM, an hour earlier.
With the end of daylight saving we'd definitely also got an end of the summery conditions, and there was a decent chill whipping off the bay.
Time for a stroll down to McDonalds for a cuppa (and a toilet stop with the public conveniences being renovated), and also the shock that Dimmeys was no longer on the Highway (and even bigger shock was to follow on reading that their Department Store in Swan Street Richmond had closed the day before - this was Melbourne but not as i remembered it).
A number of runners used the facilities there, definitely a change from the regular crowd i can imagine coming through the store early on a Sunday morning and then it was back to where Kevin Cassidy was still busily signing in runners (almost a record field with 43 Starters).
I'd finally decided i'd wear the bike top and keep my buff bandanna on my head as well as wearing gloves, with the trademark headband in the top pocket (as well as 3 GU's and a muesli bar) for when it got warmer later.
A little after 7 we were off, comfortable pace and reasonable, though cool, conditions. Settled into a good pace and for a while ran with local Mike Wheatley, a former winner here and just out training locally today, we had a good chat and time went fast before he turned off.
I had a number of runners in front of me including my Trailwalker Teammates Michael Lovric and Rob Hall, our TW opposition Rohan Day, and around 8 others from what i could work out, definitely had a bit of work ahead of me.
Had a fill up of Rob's Powerade/Endura Mix (Mal who had crewed at TW was crewing for Rob again and generally lending a hand to all), and i was a a little worried as the clouds darkened and the rain started to get heavier. By now i'd passed the ultra consistent walker Bryan Glover (starting an hour ? early), just before the Freeway overpass, and could no see Michael as well as two Peninsula Road Runner Runners.
Just before we hit the beach road i was a little surprised to catch up with Lachlan Fraser, possibly the lack of training after his Marysville bushfire problems was doing his running harm.
From then on i was following Michael and the Peninsula Runners, another half a bottle of sports drink was needed again just before Rosebud and thankfully the sun emerged again.
Eventually beat them off and on the longer stretches heading towards Blairgowrie could see Rohan in his distinctive red board shorts and Rob in his long 2XU socks bit frustrating but i really had no more speed.
Just before Sorrento got my second bottle of Staminade (so approx 1.8 Litres of fluid would last me 55K's - it was that sort of temperature !) from Malcolm Gamble as well as a couple of lollies.
Typical me with lollies they lasted for ages and seemed to expend more energy than they produced. Still moving well but making no ground on the leaders, then i saw the Chris McTaggart struggling (virtually on the footpath) and then the Japanese runner with a back pack on the other side of the road (i will always run into traffic, if worst comes to worst i'm quite sure that on my deathbed my dying words would be the number plate of the car that came towards me and hit me and put me there).
Piece of Fruit cake from Malcolm seemed a good idea, but my energy wasted chewing (and virtually choking) said otherwise (cake's usually the easiest thing to eat).
For the first time i was struggling as i went up the Sorrento Hill to the shopping centre, so got a GU out on an uphill stretch and washed that down with my Staminade, thankfully that was enough for me to pass him on the next hill
From then on it was a case of just block out everything, don't look behind, don't feel any pain (was beginning to feel the infamous neck), and just get there.
Finally i was there in 4:32, close to a 7 minute PB, frustratingly within 9 minutes of 2nd to 4th places.
Overall a good run, about as good as i can do on the shorter stuff at present and on this hilly course no great complaints.
As i type this i'm back from a 22 Hour (plus 3 Hour sleep in back of car just outside Grafton) drive, already focussed on the next starts and what i can do to improve (some people would say "have a shave", others don't run 70 odd K's in the 2 days preceding), whatever it is i'm pretty content, bring on Red Rocks to Coffs in two weeks time !!!.