Monday, March 26, 2007

Team Mellums Fatass Fastpack

wilsons promontory 23rd-25th march

friday: 12km in 2hrs
saturday: 61km in 10.40
sunday: slept in then went home!!

fastpacking is basically the same as ultralight hiking except i guess you aim to run a little.
you have a lightweight pack (<10kg) and cover large distances self supported over a few days.
i had wanted to do a fastpack for some time - at least so i could justify to the other half why i bought all the equipment 2 christmases ago.
when the alpine 100 miler was cancelled i had planned to do this on the GNW course the same weekend.
but to be honest thought that would be a bit too heavy duty whilst semi-injured and using mostly untried/tested equipment so took the easier option of a campout at 'the prom'.
it wasnt really a fastpack with us leaving our overnight equipment in the combi and running with day packs.
whippet was my tour guide for the weekend :)

the weekend got underway a tad late with the disaster in the burnley tunnel (3 dead in a crash/fire) meaning a 7 hour trip from the airport via suburia in an overheating combi.
friday was a 35+ degree day in melbourne but the predicted cool change came that evening so i pitched the tent inbetween bouts of rain.
wanting to cover some of the course for the last 20km fo the prom run (in 5 weeks). we headed out to the lilly pilly carpark to review the map of the mt bishop circuit (and only the map!) before heading back via picnic point/bay.
it was really good checking out all the places whippet went wrong in this section the previous year - hopefully i wont now do the same.
went to bed after midnight but with the wind and rain didnt get to sleep until 5am and woke up a bit cranky at 7am.

ran the 61km race route on the saturday.
took all my planned race gear including gortex jacket, overpants and epirb!
from tidal river (west coast) we headed to sealers cove and then refuge cove on the east coast.
this point marked '1/3rd way' so getting there in 3 hours was a bit of a shock considering it was good terrain up to that point.

the trip along the east coast via waterloo bay to the lighthouse was wet and windy to say the least.
at north waterloo bay i broke the first rule of ultrarunning which is 'no skylarking'.
a small stream the other side of a sand bank seemed 'jumpable' so after a full long jump-style run up and in full view of whippet (and 2 hikers) i set about losing balance, landing directly in the creek then falling forward heavily onto my right knee cap.
of course the edge of the sand bank i was using as a 'springboard' had given way!

after waterloo bay there were long sections of singletrack where the overgrown bushes would obscure view of footplacement.
mostly u could see where the track was and put your foot on 'whatever' whilst bashing the branches away.
at other times u couldn't see a damn thing and my foot would drift off course and hit the side of the trail.
we were both feeling a little calorie depleted walking up the long steep hill to the lighthouse and a check of the time and our food stocks has whippet a little worried (i was too buggered to care).
i has long since stopped trying to chase whippet down hills (sh!t he is quick) and was feeling nauseus, chafed and just generally buggered.

some more bushbashing then finally some firetrail and clear skies.
ill let whippet tell the 'star picket' story.
arriving at oberon bay camping area was certainly a relief however the worst was yet to come....
the crossing at oberon river is legendary.
kelvin spent several hours here last year trying to find the way over and as legend has it blew his emergency whistle (to no avail!).
mr g and kev cassidy had trouble both here and at little oberon bay and at one point considered unleashing the epirb.

whippet made me go first (he said it made sense as i was taller).
even at low tide we were almost up to our waists (well his anyway) in fast flowing water.
to the left is bass straight and the right is a 100m wide lagoon.
we trudged probably 50m or so before getting to the rocks on the other side (with packs on heads).
we then had to 'coasteer' another 100m or so to the trail head.
now imagine doing this alone, in the dark and rain at high tide!!
note to self: look for the big knob shaped rock and head a bit right!!!
if things get really hairy head back 1km along the beach to oberon bay campsite and snuggle with some sweedish backpackers for the night.

another 7km to tidal river (it was just getting on dark) and then it was bedtime!
to be honest i was absolutely stuffed.
the 60km here made cradle (admittedly in good weather) look like a fcking fun run!!
in 5 weeks time i would (hopefully) have done another 20km to here then need to head out for another 20km loop after this.

wish me luck!
thanks to whippet for showing me the course and teasing me endlessley along the way ;)
the knee seems to have pulled up ok.

....the biomechanical assessment has been postponed for 2 weeks.
basically he looked at me said i was 'a mess' (i already knew that!) and i needed to straighten out my pelvis (tight left glute and right tfl) before it was worthwhile.
in other words i need to do a lot of work before being worthy of an analysis :)
'too funny' as vegie would say!

wild horse 30km race next weekend.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The people you meet....

ruth had a conference in sydney this weekend so made the trip down on friday.
met someone i used to work with at the airport who was on the same flight.
then ran into keiron thompson (winner glasshouse 100 miler 2002) who was on his way back to sydney from work engagements at toowoomba and goondoowindi.
in the taxi rank at sydney i say matthew newton (son of burt) who i dont know of course but has been in the news recently after (allegedly) beating his ex-wife brooke satchwell.
was going to ask him how 'all the legal stuff' was going but thought better of it ;)......
sounds like a knobhead.

decided to run the sydney striders clovelly canter on sunday.
spud very kindly picked me up - on a day where driving in sydney wasnt the best idea - road closures due to the bridge's 75th birthday.
had an early morning dash to the queens park loo (eek!).
had planned to do 20km or so, so was knocking off 4-5km at the start and 5km in the middle and would run the rest of the way with my mellum mate.
unfortuantely the second group (6.10am start) passed the meeting point (50m from the start) first and spuds group (6am) was nowhere to be seen.
after letting the first group go and checking the watch i figured spuds group mustve taken a wrong turn and wizzed past via another street.
felt a bit confused and silly and lonely for a minute or 2 before deciding to head off myself; relying of course on my excellent adventure racing and nav skills ;)
...and a map as well of course:

took an intended little shortcut near the beach and was pleased to see the 6.10 group only 400m or so ahead.
the first bit of the run covers bronte, coogee and maroubra beaches so its quite a nice run.
had walked this way a few months ago when i last visited the area so sort of knew where i was heading.
caught up with the group nearing coogee and ended up running with the breakaway girls group (who were doing 23km) all the way back.
so wouldve covered 18-19km myself.
saw spud a while later at the end :(
he was the one person i had actually PLANNED to meet up with all weekend!
figured the 6.10 group took a shortcut and unknown to them has passed the earlier group in centennial park.
met up with brendan and talked about gear stuff (for the record my tent is MUCH better than his ;))
and then ran into the one and only jonathon worswick who (amongst other things) has a 5th place hardrock finish to his credit.

enjoyed the day very much.
except missing spud of course!

knee seems to be settling and and much more hopeful now about a trip to wilsons prom next weekend for the team mellum fatass fastpack.
having a busy week this week with physio/massage and the long awaited biomechanical analysis.

monday - 7km flat 33.30
tuesday - 7km flat 33.30
wednesday - nothing
thursday - 14km flat 70.50
friday - massage
saturday - nothing
sunday - 18.5kmish flat ??

22.3.07 EDIT: leaving tomorrow for the fastpack/running at wilsons prom. very excited!!
will give me a great idea of what things will be like at the race in late april.
hope the knee behaves itself.

Monday, March 12, 2007

6FT and all things mellum

i really should do that more often.
just spend a weekend away at a race swanning around.
the best time i've had in a long while!
i guess i might look a bit silly if i DNS every race so should get back to running at some stage.

lots of memories from the weekend.
seeing fats win was great - thought he would be on the podium after his effort at kepler but to win and grab the race record (3.24) as well was fantastic!
such a modest guy.
he and amanda won the partners race ahead of the fairweathers.
after the first few came thru ruth and i sat inside the cafe and ate an early lunch.
what was taking these mellum boys so long? ;)
was very excited to see whippet (4.41) come down the stairs first (ahead of any GBH member).
spud followed next (4.42) and as we got close to the 5hour mark i wondered if tim would beat doggie home as well!
team dog came thru a few mins under 5hrs with a rampaging mr g sprinting past him on the line.
g will be talking about that for some time i bet!
felt quite sorry for the dog - last year was year of the dog and i'm sure this will be just a bad blip on the radar.
i think his other half bernie g DNSd as well - not a happy weekend for them :(
every 2 minutes after dog came thru ruth would look at me and say 'wheres tim'?
(there - i've mentioned u tim u now have to comment on my blog!)
we got a little worried about him at the 5.15 mark and checked the DNF board but he trotted in in 5.37 with his ankle taped up from the fall.
really glad i didnt run now - wouldve been reeeeeeeeeaaaally embarrased to get beated by tim with a dodgy calf AND a dodgy ankle!
went on a cave tour after that so unfortunately missed 2p, plu and jenruns come thru but was very pleased to hear that all finished unscathed (well maybe not 2p! ;)).
looking forward to reading horrie and virtuals exploits from sweeping.
sounds like virtual got a little lost attempting the 12FT/sweep combo!

nice to spend the weekend chatting about all things mellum.
it didnt seem to bother me that i didnt run - seemed to make it more enjoyable to be honest!
had a good look at the area for future 12FT assaults.
a quick trip to nellies glen on sunday morning reiterated that if i was to race 6FT the BACK of wave 2 would be the ideal place for me!
but why would u want to race a trail ultra anyway?
maybe the hermannator was right? ;)

great to catch up with all the CRs: let me think ..... spud, whippet, tim, plu, jenruns, owl, louie, horrie, KT, kelvin, old knees, virtual, kato, hermie, blue dog, mr g, skizzk, cirque...
pleased to meet 2p (finally!), lulu, beckie O, colin, nando, shogun, sparkie.
appologies for those forgotten!
CR is certainly a great community ...... with a few bad seeds of course! ;)

felt 'special' when i introduced myself to CR god kevin.
and hey knew who i was!

now i need to get back to some running.
will do a flat 7km today to test the knee.
cant believe i'm nervous!
will know more about recovery by the end of the week.
hoping that the fastpack and wilsons prom 100km are still on the radar but not getting my hopes up.
i know my itb better than anyone (even whippet) and yet i dont know it all that well at all.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Reverse Taper

the reverse taper as the name suggests is when you increase mileage before a big race.
in past years ive found numerous injuries (and sometimes work) have played havoc with week to week training and as ive gotten close to key races ive used this method a lot.
a good long run (40km plus) a week or 2 before a race has provided a good check of fitness as well as much needed confidence with enough time to recover pre race.
and i certainly find i do better with the reverse taper than the normal taper.
(so long as i take things easy the week of the race of course!!)
of course the problem is that u can risk injury before, during or after the race due to unusual/increased mileage.
it seems like my big weekend down the coast on top of a lot of bike time the week before has upset my itb bursa.
the rest if the itb feels ok - well it did until the massage dude attacked it anyway and i guess i havent been as aggressive on the roller as i usually would be.
anyhow even though not disatrous things arent very happy down that end.
and basically i think my 6FT race plans are buggered.
if i race i risk hurting things more and missing several months.
i could to a 'test run' mid week to see how things are going but running a flat 14km wont tell me much that i want to know.
will head down to katoomba anyway as the flights are booked and the other half is keen for another weekend away.
if i can survive the sh*t i get from mellum it may well be wiser to sit on the sidelines and watch this one.
....the team mellum fatass fastpack beckons in end-march and then the 100km wilsons prom a month after.
wouldnt want to miss those :)
look forward to seeing the usual crew this weekend.
hope everyones training is going ok!

EDIT: thanks heaps for the support guys and gals.
however wont be running at 6FT.
i think the itb needs 2 weeks off before starting up again.
and in the meantime i have got whatever virus ruth was stuck in bed with last week!
looking forward to spectating!