Saturday, July 22, 2006

time for a break

wont be doing much racing-wise before GH (1st weekend in september).
thought i should list down what i've done so far this year...

1. sunday 14th may - GH 80km: 11.34. badly paced. a real bad patch at 42km. glad to finish and be 'back'
2. sunday 21st may - killarney ascent 10km (part of warwick pentath-run): 55ish (training run)
3. saturday 27th may - tamborine trek 62km: 7.54. much better day. sick earlier in the week. 2 ultras in 2 weeks!
4. sunday 4th june - qld (doomben) half: 1.53 (training run).
5. monday 12th june - mt cootha 9.4km: 43.28 (pb)
6. sunday 2nd july - gc half: 94.10 (pb)
7. sunday 9th july - kathmandu adventure sprint: 2.56. my 1st one!
then the 'training run' on tuesday 18th july: 50km plus 5 peaks at GH: 11.5hrs

thats a big year for me.
usually only get a handful in at most before i spend the rest of the year at the physios.
so really pleased .... just hope it can continue.

to come: GH100km and ? a rogaine in september. anything after that is too far away!

wont be blogging for a while.
see y'all later.


thought i should write down some things that worked/didnt from tuesdays run for future reference...

pack - took the bigger camelbak with 3 litre bladder. total weight 5-6kg at heaviest. no doubt could have been lighter - had a lot of upper body soreness the next few days but ate/drank nearly all i carried so cant complain.
hydration - approx 7 litres in 11.5hrs. peed about every hour! created a challenge on tibrogargan :)
food - good mix. ate a fair bit.
nausea - very little. had some heading out to WHM (ie when i started thinking about finishing!). took some zofran and a sodium.magnesium tablet and it disappeared in 5 mins (ie too soon for the tablets to have had an effect).
navigation - carried a line-topo map of GH. changed route once/twice so glad i took it.
feet - taping came off AGAIN (thats twice now). not sure why. maybe changing shoes on beerwah? will do away with the blister block as a first layer next time. probably dont need it anyway. will just use the leukoplast.
skins - used them again. probably a stupid idea to run up WHM at the end tho - fair bit of DOMS this time! may use them or my adidas tights at september GH.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I Can't Do This!

(Glasshouse 5 Mountains Report) - extremely long post warning

"i can't do this" is what i said to martin schot (CR MRX) about 6 metres into a 550m climb up mt beerwah.
we were climbing up a slick, steep, relatively featureless rockface at the base of the mountain.
i got to a point where i couldnt find any footholes to use. looked down (always a bad idea!) and could do that either. was stuck there for what seemed like 10 mins but was probably 1. with stories of the fat japanese and inappropriately attired pakistani tourists martin had seen climbing here a few weeks ago he eventually convinced me to go sideways and eventually continue upwards.
all the way up i was worried i would need to be choppered off the mountain.
what would team mellum have to say about that!!! .....

'the guys' and i thought up this idea on return from one of our GH training runs a month ago.
i had never been up mt beerwah or mt tibrogargan despite running around there regularly.
decided it would be a good idea to do both on the same day .... and while i was at it throw in the 'easy' beerburrum and wild horse mountains as well.

spoke to my mentors ian javes (CR glassman) and bill thompson beforehand for some ideas on route etc...
bill and ian are ultra legends.
ian has completed the westfield sydney-melbourne amongst many other events.
bill has several 100 mile finishes to his credit including hardrock in the US and (i think) 6 GH100 finishes.
they are absolute legends and feel priveledged every time i run with them.

bill has a tendency to 'talk down' things - i guess when you've done hardrock everything is easy so i was worried when he had a few things to say about the idea...
1. are you sure you want to run between the mountains (over 50km). why dont u just drive?
2. definately do beerwah first. its the hardest. you'll need to keep your wits about u there. people have died on beerwah yunno david!

i didnt sleep well for the next few nights.

mt beerwah (556m)
started at bills place at 5am and it was a chilly, cold, somewhat lonely and miserable run up to the main lookout. got there and the GPS said 40km!
bugger must not have zeroed it properly. was already about 15mins behind time which means 30mins since i was going to head back the same way after climbing beerwah. MRX was meeting me at the bottom of the mountain at 6.30-6.45 but i got there at 7.05.
the initial climb up the slippery rockface was certainly confidence shattering to say the least.
i have to admit i am pretty scared of heights (so why the hell am i climbing mountains then!?!).
i was too scared to go up 3m on a ladder the other day.
for those who dont know martin is a former winner of the GH100 and a bit of a hill legend.
exteremely lucky to have him with me - there is no doubt that i would NOT have climbed beerwah had he not been there.
thank you soooooooo much!
he offered to swap shoes with me after my little nervy turn and i promptly accepted!
after climbing up there a few weeks ago he had preplanned and brought some shoes with him that looked like a cross between rockclimbing and cross country shoes.
of course then i was worried that he would fall wearing my slippery ones and i would have to explain to his bereaved family how he came to do this!
after about and hour of rock climbing/scrambling we arrived at the top.
of course i couldn't relax or enjoy it because i still had to get down!
luckily spoke to bills wife jane from the top.
she told me its much easier going down and just to do it 'on my bum!'.
so thats what i did.
jane thompson is an absolute life saver! was much more confident coming down.
the traditional 3 points of contact at all times was now 4! (or 5 including both cheeks).
of course there were some steeper bits where u simply had to turn around and face the wall ... yuck!
we found a slightly different route for the last bit which i was pleased about.
bill gets up and down in 1.30 on a good day.
we had done it in 1.40 which i was amazed about given my nervousness.

mt tibrogargan (364m)
was running about 30 mins late by this stage so deiced to 'cheat' a bit and go a more direct route to tibro rather than back via the lookout.
was feeling a little down by this stage.
wanted this to be a completely self-supported trail running thingy so accepting martins help and shoes and running down the road seemed like cop-out.
but i am sure glad for the help!!
arrived at the base just after initially planned and headed up with bill and martin.
ian drove back to bills and ran back (i dont think he likes rock climbing ;))
tibra is not as bad at beerwah.
there are certainly some more exposed bits - so it seems worse at times.
there is one section in particular where u need to go sideways over a little overhang. if u looked down u would see a drop of 40-50m before anything would slow your carcas down.
i can certainly see how people have fallen to their death on both tibro and beerwah particularly in bad weather.
again was very pleased to have bill and martin with me.
was very good to have them show me the best lines on the way up.
relaxed a little more on the top this time but still very keen to get back down.
hearing ians voice near the track at the bottom was the sweetest thing i've heard in years.
i shouted "is that ian - oh thank f*ing christ for that".
probably not quite the right way to 'give thanks'.
but was certainly glad all the praying i had done that morning had clearly saved my bacon.
was extremely pleased to have completed about 30km of running and to have done the 2 most dangerous and difficult mountains.
only lunch and a couple of concrete-path ascents to go!!

mt tibberoowuccum (220m)
only about 5 m of rock climbing on this one - bascially just a slippery slog thru bush up a hill.
wasnt planning on doing this one until bill suggested it.
so instead of being the 4 mountains challenge it was now 5!
only added 30mins to the equation and thought i needed to do something to make up for my road-running and shoe-borrowing episodes.
was very keen to get back to beerburrum and have a pie at the shop as it was now 12.45
on the way the guys kept trying to make me go up other hills.
oh theres jack ferris lookout over there david! its only another few hundred metres ... want to go up there!
i'd been going since 5am and wanted my pie!

mt beerburrum (280m)
had about a 20min stop at the beerburrum shop for some food/drink and replenish my food/drink supplies for the trip out to WHM to finish.
the bottle of coke went down reeeeeeeeeeeallllllly well.
beerburrum is basically a steep walk up a concrete patch.
nothing technical or dangerous about it.
just hard work - on my back particularly.

Wild Horse Mountain (123m)
found a much quicker way out to WHM than via GHM road.
funnily enough it was the same way (in reverse) brendan mason (CR virtual) and i think rob ware accidentally came in the GH100 race last year.
it pretty much leads from the forestry place at beerburrum right to the underpass under the highway.
bill and ian both decided to come with me and so i was very pleased to continue walking (bill is a walker).
got to WHM and took a few running steps jokingly.
bill said 'off u got then' and it suddenly seemed like the right thing to do.
so i ran up it. all the way ... honest!
dont think the quads like me today because of it.
called ruth from the top.
looking out at beerwah and tibro from the lookout the day suddenly seemed all worth it.

got back to bills after 11.5 hours, approx 50km flat running and 5 mountains and had some anzac bickies and tea. thanks jane!
despite the scary bits a fantastic day spent with running mates in a beautiful location.
definately one of those adventures i'll sit down in a few years time and just shake my head and smile about.

thats not a bruise ... this is a bruise

weekly summary for last week.....
basically did nothing except recover from kathmandu.
results are in and unfortunately i was (almost) right!
came in the last 1/3rd of the mens field 30th/42 and 44th/79 overall.
still pleased. lots of areas we could have made up 10mins and heaps of positions.
went to the physio and massage therapist at the gabba to help with post race recovery.
didnt realise until they told me but i had a 10cm diameter bruise on my left calf.
cant remember what from and didnt know it was there until they showed me.
they seemed impressed at its size and i'm sure they've seen a bruise or 2 in the lions players over the years!

monday - nothing.
tuesday - had an endocsopy (had some recent indigestion!): some inflammation but nothing nasty down there :)
wednesday - physio and massage
thursday - easy 14km with the husky
friday/sat/sunday - nothing (worked).

Sunday, July 09, 2006

No broken bones

Kathmandu Adventure Sprint race report...
(Team Coolrunning)

had wanted to do one of these for ages. a workmate of mine, Stephen mentioned it some months ago to which my (usual) answer is .... sounds great .... if i'm not injured!
it was the first AR for both of us though Stephen had some navigation skills from rogaining and of course i was pretty fit so even if i couldn't handle the mtb course i knew i could always carry the damn thing around it!!

the event was down at the hinze dam (nerang) gold coast.
for the record we finished in just under 3 hrs (still awaiting official results, assuming no penalties!).
the winner of the mixed (guy andrews and narelle ash - international level competitors) did the course in under 2 hrs.
the first mens team came in at 2.07.
we think we were approx mid field which we're pretty damn pleased about.

a few overall/summary comments for those who will get bored reading this...
1. was suprised at the 'anaerobic' nature of the event - lots of huffing and puffing. surpisingly fast paced. had dead quads very early in the day but of course they had a chance to recover in other legs.
2. we finished very quickly! - a shortish course by all accounts. it was supposed to be 10km run/20km mtb/3km kayak. the kayak was 4.5km or so, the run 3km and the mtb ... well .... i'll get to that. has enough food etc.. with me for a 5 hour slog - very pleased not to use any of it!
3. by in large it was great fun. great to get the feet (and everything for that matter) completely wet and walk in swamp/bog. some steep bits on the mtb did scare me tho.
4. quite easy to navigate - used the compass about 2 or 3 times. mainly when the control instructions said 'number 4 west of tunnel' etc... followed people a lot of the time - especially in the kayak!
5. very friendly out there

now to the details...

the day started with a pickup at 6am then we swung by tank girls place - she was volunteering for the day.
arrived about 30mins before the race kit/maps were handed out which gave us ample time to get settled.
reality hit when i looked at the map - hadnt had to navigate for years and years!! it was somewhat of a shock to have to decide where to go.
i know this sounds stupid because i knew what i was getting myself into but was still shocked.

kayak leg (with a bit of mtb at the start)...
somewhat pissed to hear that we were starting on mtb's - had visions of falling off at the start in front of everyone :)
made a quick dash to the bushes to almost miss the start!
fitted with my secret plan of not running into anyone on my bike by being last.
wondered what i had got myself into when steve took off and i couldnt find him for a while at the kayaks.
but it was all ok :)
so the first leg seemed simple enough - ride down to the kayak shed 200m down the road and hop in a kayak.
paddle 2.3 or so kms to the north western end of the dam.
ohhhhh whats this?
take bikes on the boats?
your f*cking joking?
how do we do that steve?
oh i dunno i'm sure we'll figure it out :)

well we did - the RD gave us a few clues before the start - basically put both of them on top of one another in the middle.
try and secure them with camelback straps (huh?).
early on i had one of the break handle things in the middle of my back.
steve moved the bikes a few times mid paddle and by the end i was quite comfortable and he was completely squished.
no-one lost their bikes over the side (thank god!)
at one stage i didnt see/hear anyone near us and thinking that we were last looked around to see that we were actually about mid-pack :)

mtb leg
got out at the other end to find the bikes, camelbaks, us ... all completely soaked.
dont get this on a trail ultra!
rode quickly along the firetrail making good time before the 1st left turn.
started turning to find this steep rutted track packed with people going up and down ie. in the opposite direction (ie. my worst nigthmare!).
decided to hop off the bike when i saw guy andrews coming back up - didnt want to run into him!
managed to stay on the bike for most of the trail bits (controls 1-3).
probably made a bad trail selection on one of the bits that cost us a few minutes.
1 or 2 times i had to stop suddenly going downhill because i knew i wasnt going to take a corner.
controls 4 & 5 were via the road so we made up heaps of time here and passed quite a few teams - who no doubt had taken the better trail earlier.

run leg
thank god!
a pretty straight foward leg that was an approx 3km loop with 5 controls (6-10) scattered along the way.
muich easier trail - wouldve much prefered riding this bit and running the mtb section we just did!
even stole the map of steve and navigated for most of this bit - well there wasnt much that could go wrong running a loop!

mystery leg
having seen a few of these events before i was expecting this to be some funny mental challenge.
veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery disappointed to hear that we were to do a very technical single track mtb.
just after the start there was some screeching of breaks and swearing when i saw a sign saying 'steep drop'.
the girl in the team just in front of us almost came a cropper when she saw the sign late.
no shit a steep drop! if that was a trail run i wouldve walked down it. and did so ... bike in hand.
we had to write down the name on 11 signs that were scattered around a couple of kms of quite difficult track.
miss one and do it again :)
lots of trees and rocks and sharp turns and sharp ups/downs that i'm sure for the experienced mtb'er was quite rideable.
but for me....
persisted with trying to ride most of this section until i drifted left and hit a rock before summersaulting over the handlebars into some nice soft bush.
just as well there wasnt a bloody big tree there!
ruth wouldve never forgiven me had i broken something just before our holidays.
in fact i dont think i'll mention this to her :)
lost confidence and patience after this and basically ran/pushed the rest, riding only a few of the easier bits.
even so did lag too far behind steve.

i tell u what its a hellova lot easier paddling those plastic things without 2 bikes on top!
mtb 200m or so down to the kayaks again.
approx 2km (out and back) paddle to control 11.
nice seeing everyone else on the water finishing their own races in their own times.
lots of 'morning!' and 'watch the tide ;)' and 'be careful of the huge wave we're creating!'.
very friendly out there.
picked up the bike quickly so no-one would catch us (2 teams were just about to finish the paddle) and to try and finish just under 3 hrs which i thing we just made.

awaiting final placings.
don't think we got any penalties (tho steve did ride thru the transition once!).
i thought we were maybe 2/3rds thru the mens field but tank girl and steve though about mid-pack so i hope they're right.

before i do another one of these i'll definately need to do some dedicated mtb training.
would LOVE to do a rogaine but can't see that theres one coming up in qld.
next year maybe....
back to trail running for the moment .....

Monday, July 03, 2006

gold coast HM peebee

guess i better blog something cause its gonna be another busy week.
have been planning for a while to do a sub 95 HM.
had only raced one before - GC half 2004 in 99 flat.
training was all over the place with some long trail runs and little short/quick stuff but i'm not complaining.
made a weekend of it with ruth and i travelling down on saturday night and leaving monday.

lined up between the 1:30 and 1:40 pacing groups (as one does).
couldnt believe it when i was passing walkers in the first few 100 metres.
the thing that really pissed me off was that 3 of them were walking abreast so it took so much extra effort to dodge around them.
angry grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
did the first km in 4.50 after much dodging/weaving and running on the grass.
managed to keep things pretty together and went thru the 5km in 22.05 which was right on pace - no harm done i guess!
next 5km in 22.10 (44.15) which is guess is my new 10km pb considering i havent done a timed 10km for 20 years and i know i did 44 something back then??
half way in 46.35 and i seriously thought i could even split this.
went thru the 14km mark in about 62 which means i was moving just as quick as my training run pb the other week but still had 7km to go!
unfortuantely started calculating with 5km to go that i had sub 95 in the bag (4.35-40s) and started to slow from there.
felt sick with about 2km to go and slowed briefly - luckily my brain told me how rediculous it would be to crash and burn here.
picked things up again and felt pretty damn pumped at the finish - especially since i crossed under the clock at 94.50.
was always going on watch/net time (94.10) but wouldve felt a bit silly finishing just over 95 on the gun so i'm glad i snuck under!
joined the CR cheersquad after and its great to cheer all those CRs - even if you dont know them!
was good to cheer davo because he'd cheered me a couple of times before but wished i'd hung around to see him finish now - he had a bit of a struggle in the marathon!
fantantastic to finally meet CRs official ambassador - plu!
clairie apparently passed out at the finish only to return not long after full of beans as usual.
was great to see her scream encouragement at all the finishing marathoners.

a few things that seemed to work...
racing flats - look 'poofy' but feel great
pre-race zofran (anti-nausea tablet) - seems good. the stomach behaved itself all except for 10 seconds of nausea near the end.
hydration - drank bugger all maybe 200mls which i think is fine on a day like that.

the week in full...
monday - (had worked the weekend). did 7kmish in 29.10. terrible splits! 14.15/14.55.
tuesday - nothing
wednesday - 13.8km standard flat run quickish 68 mins.
then nothing until GCM

next sunday .... kathmandu adventure race at teh gold coast/hinze dam.
to answer your question tesso... web site is here:
invloves about 20km mtb, 10km trail running, 3km kayak and then some little mental/physical/teamwork challenges.
doing it with a mate from work.
my first one and the plan is definately to finish with no broken bones or near drowning incidents.
have been looking forward to doing one of these for a while.

wont do any running this week.
just mtb and maybe a kayak on wednesday (have found a place bu the brissie river).
better be careful not to injure anything before next weekend tho.