Monday, August 27, 2007

Oh No! Forgot the Alpine Gear!

has been cold and rainy all week in brisbane.
there was even flooding on the sunshine coast!
had a really strange thought heading out for my cootha run on a drizzly thursday morning.
was trotting along wearing my 2 layer rain jacket feeling rather chilly.
had gotten used to carrying my 'alpine pack' whenever running in colorado - containing 2 thermals, beanie and gloves.
and thought i may have actually needed it this morning.
must be getting soft!

need to start thinking about ghouse prep this week.
maps, gear, crew etc...
will also need to do some 'heat acclimitization runs' ie. run in the heat of the day wearing too many clothes.
sounds a little odd but when you're cranking along the powerlines late saturday morning with the sun beating down on your head you appreciate it!

lots of running on tired legs this week - great training.
also quite a few morning runs due to physio or work in the afternoon.
still hypoxicating as well.

monday - 2.5 hr run whites hill reserve
tuesday - 60mins bike 140watts
wednesday - 14km flat 68.30
thursday - 3hr mt coot-tha run, physio and massage!
friday - 30min bike 140W
saturday - nothing
sunday - 14km flat 67.30

2 weeks til glasshouse.
taper time! and not of the reverse variety :)
only 4 more work shifts to avoid the lurgie.
now after saying that someone will probably sneeze on me in the woolies.
i am such a germaphobe!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm a Terrible Daddy!

shes a little bit older than this now (3 years to be exact).
have to admit i'm a terrible daddy.
i bought her to run with but alas often things conspire to keep us apart.
the main problem is her sister (a 6kg bichon frise) frets when she leaves the backyard and basically goes nuts (and therefore drives the neighbours nuts) if i only take the husky.
so basically i need TOH to be home to entertain the little one and of course the weather to be relatively cool.

so basically she doesnt run with me often.
and when i do take her for a run its 14km on little training.
and most recently with 4kg of extra baggage on return from the kennel (she likes the kennel food!!).
i think the ultimate slap in the face was when someone thought she was a malamute.
shes a husky u fool!
i think we need to go on a husky diet.
so we had a bit of a struggle yesterday with our walk/run.
poor thing!
still had a smile on her face at the end tho.

have been thinking about glasshouse and i will run the 100 miler if i can avoid illness (kinda difficult at the moment up here!) and injury.
i'm not doing as big mileage as in 2003 but i figure i'm a bit more trail savvy and have a better 'base'.
felt like wednesdays 3.5hr night run up there was 'just a little trot' so should be fit enough.
have arranged a crew and even a pacer depending on a few things (noteably if the melbourne storm play a saturday or sunday final - peoples priorities sheeeeeeesh! ;))
like my colleagues at work have tried to perfect the 'no touch' patient examination technique with anyone who could have anything contagious :)
the narky calf is settling.

monday - recovery from MCAT
tuesday - 30min stat bike at 140 watts
wednesday - glasshouse night run 3.5hrs
thursday - massage
friday - 14km flat 68mins and 30min bike 140W
saturday - 13km walk/run with dog and 30min bike 140W
sunday - 14km flat 72mins

thanks for the comments guys/gals.
glasshouse in 3 weeks.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Mt Coot-tha All Trails Run
aka poor mans 12 foot (?8 foot)
aka hannas hilly run
Sunday 12th August. 47km 6.57.

this run was the fatass version of a fatass.
a few nutters getting together to try and run all the trails (give or take!) in mt coot-tha and gap creek reserve in 1 hit.
completely self-supported with a water tap at GCR and one visit to the car at the 36km mark.
the way things should be.
april this year hannah asked the question if anyone had done this before and was this a doable run.
i set about straight away trying to come up with a route/course and spent some hours drawing on photocopies of mt coot-tha maps at home.

unfortunately the clash with gold coast 24-48hr and the recent flu epidemic reduced our starters list but tamsin, susannah and i fronted the start line at 6am.
all 3 of us run pretty much the same pace and if i remember correctly finished within 3 mins of each other at the hares and hounds glasshouse race in january.

the course is very hilly and i mean VERY hilly with 5 climbs involving 'toe climbing' and trail steps along the way.
i was pretty 'hill-fit' after my time in colorado but half way up the kokoda trail for the second time i realised it was going to be a real sweaty day.
we didnt measure the course on the day but from previous measurements the whole thing was probably 47km or so.
it is a hilly 6 foot ;)

pretty pleased with the course (if i do say so myself!).
theres enough big hills that u can stand at the bottom look straight up and swear profusely (even if its under your breathe).
and most of the technical stuff (rocky single track) is right at the start and finish just to really test the core strength on tired legs! :) :)
in an ultra i think u need a few 'sweet f*ck yous' to make u feel worthy at the finish line.

for the record we ran together all day and finished in 6.57.24 which is of course the new course record ;)
so does this count as an ultra finish? if so its my 20th!! yipee!!!

didnt do much all week due to a narky calf (same problem i nursed thru warwick-gh double) but seems to have pulled up well.

1 final hardrock trip mention (for the moment)...
whippet sent me matt mahoneys (relatively brief) report here:
i could literally feel matts pain reading the report.
worth a read! (keep in mind the race time limit is 48hrs).

4 weeks til glasshouse.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


view of oscars pass from 500ft above (and to the north) of telluride

looking down the ski-slopes of snowmass/aspen

back home.
have some fond memories of my US trip.

* driving into ouray day 2 looking up and seeing nothing but huge monster mountains surrounding and thinking 'what the hell have i gotten myself into here?'
* deciding whether or not to bite the bullet and go up to altitude. read the course marking description for the day and it says 'marking from telluride to virginius pass and governor basin to v-pass occurs simultaneously. survivors to meet at v-pass for traditional photo' (gulp!)
* did go course marking the next day! ... with john cappis, jim ballard and tom across mendota saddle to virginius pass (13,000ft)
* just amazing people these hardrockers. jim and john had been doing course marking or trail work the previous 3 days and were going out again the following day: all 5+ hour long days. basically long hikes at altitude.
* meeting the guy with 99x100 milers under his belt (hans-dieter) on his way back down to telluride with his dog (who was frolicking in the snow). he had walked up from ouray (across virginius pass) and laughed when he said 'yeah and my dog doesnt realise we have another 8 hours ahead of us' ... he was going back down to telluride (9,000ft) and back up over oscars pass (13,000ft). amazing fellow.
* course 'stripping' with bob and claiming my first '14er': handies peak. also getting my 'staff' hardrock 100 shirt which i feel i can justifiably wear as opposed to a competitors/finishers shirt!!
* the course 'briefing' (4 hours) with john and charlie thorn: rather than being overwhelming it was very educational and the pictures sensational.
* how hot it was in colorado: much hotter than LA. really need to get aircon next time in ouray.
* running at snowmass (conference): did 2 x 3000ft (900m) climbs in 3 days. at approx 4.5-5km each way it was therefore a 18-20% gradient average. basically walked staight up the ski-slope. lots of this on toes. was even more fun coming back down. no wonder the calves were a bit sore the next week. can understand why people ski now. just fantastic up there.
* the other halfs first alpine trek from poudre lake (rocky mountain national park) to the apline vistors centre (11,800) and back down. amazing (and somewhat disturbing) that they build a highway up there (maxes out above 12000ft ont he way to estes park).
* saw lots of wildlife: mooses, deer/elk, marmots, racoons, foxes and chipmunks galore! and i think a wolf. lots of people owned dogs and saw lots of huskies as well.
* staying in beverly hills whilst in LA: right on rodeo drive! next door to valentino and cartier and acorss the road from gucci. walked into gucci in my tshirt, shorts and muddy montrails and wasnt surprised when the security guard followed me around! give me a break dude - you cant afford this stuff either!
* the rest of LA (as a mate from school would say) ... is a sh*t hole. the sun eventually comes out from behind the smog about 3pm most days.

fondest hardrock memory: jim stopping me on the way to virginius pass and pointing north past telluride 4000ft below to the (snow covered) wasatch saddle and oscars pass (13000ft) about 16-17km in the distance.
initially this was overwhelming - how the hell does anyone get up there?
then i looked down to where i was (also at 13000ft) and back over and realised that i had gotten where i was somehow and all i needed to do was go down and get back up again :)
it really put this race into perspective for me.
not only how difficult it is to complete this race but also how unbelievably beautiful and raw it is.
will put an entry in again next year assuming i am fit/well.