Friday, April 29, 2011

Solitary run

what a perfect name for the mountain.
just stuck there by itself in the middle of jamison valley.
the name says it all - mt solitary.

Monday 25.4.11 45km 2900m A&D 7.44 48th/61
arrived on the saturday to miserable weather 11 degrees drizzle and misty.
turned out every day of the long weekend except the sunday (day of the photos) would be the same.
have been looking forward to this run for a while.
for starters it was my first ultra since october's DNF.
secondly it was a good DTI weekend with TOH joining me.
and also mellum was going to be there - with both spud and andy sweeping until andy was a late dns.

looking out at mt solitary on the sunday TOH said 'holy crap you run up and over that?' 'that looks steep' and that pretty much sums up the whole race.
mt solitary is the main and pretty much the only player on the day.
a nice little trot down to kedumba river (initially 4wd then some singletrack).
a bit suprised to see spud the sweeper behind me at the river (i'm last!!) but knew i would pass a few on the climb so wasn't worried.
the climb up mt sol contains 2-3 steeper bits as steep as any climbing in any ultra in australia - reminded me a bit of the staircase spur up bogong though probably more likely to fall off and hurt yourself here and a somewhat shorter climb.
need to grab a hold of trees in some places to avoid falling backwards or sliding down.
kept it pretty easy but still managed to pass 10 or so which made me feel a bit better.

no views to be had on top and a somewhat tedious singletrack with lots of twists and turns and ups and downs.
would've been nice on a clear day but being a 4-eyes suffered from fogged and wet glasses which without wanting to sound like a woos the weather made things pretty difficult.
its hard to run the technical stuff when you cant see.
took a wrong turn at one stage and lost 2-3mins bushbashing (the bush wasn't that much worse than the actual trail) then backtracking - blame it on the poor vision ;)

the trip down was as advertised - rock scrambling with 3 large sections to arse-slide down.
despite being wet the traction was suprisingly good.
i'm sure the front runners just flew down here.

mt sol was pretty tough to be honest.
after that was all pretty straightforward.
had i known this i may have pushed a little harder earlier but despite this was pleased to get to the golden stairs turn a little early than planned at 4hrs feeling very fresh.
started then forgetting about the 9 hour splits and thinking more about a sub 8.
amjan and brian were a fair bit ahead of me ?20mins on the stairs so figured i would be unlikely to see them until after the finish ;)

nice runnable singletrack all the way to lila falls except for a small landslide area then wide 4wd track from just after the lila loop to the finish.
the drizzle had cleared a bit and with dry lenses took the opportunity to look back up at the escarpment at wentworth falls, sublime pt and kedumba where TOH and i had looked down from the day before.
didn't feel worried at all about the climb back up kedumba pass, was running stong, enjoying the downhill and looking forward the climb back up.
what a fantastic feeling!
saw the 1st people since golden stairs (cp1) just before cp2 so had a nice lonely time.
a solitary run i guess!

passed 4 people at or just after cp2 but strangely didn't see anyone after this until at the finish.
guess i was just too far behind.
the first time i felt tired was half-way up kedumba.
started feeling a little cold and hungry so had a snack and eventually got back on track time-wise.
looking at the finish times had i pushed a little harder here i may have caught a group of 3 just ahead.
nice to see g, buzz, rod at the finish.
waited for spud after.

splits were 0.52 (river) 1.38 (col) 2.39 (true peak) 3.44 (bottom stairs) 4.00 (cp1) with 4min turn 4.16 (bottom stairs) 5.25 (lila falls) 5.53 (cp2) 6.55 (split). so 4.04 (including cp1 stop)/3.40 for the 20km/25km sections.
despite the strong field was feeling a bit pissed at being so low down (48th) but reassured that a 3.40 in the 25km would have me in the top half and on fresh legs...
somewhat strangely i looked back at spuds training run splits that i based my 9hrs on (by adding bits here and there) and after the col we were within 1-2mins of one another all the way including exactly the same cp1 and finish times.
didn't mean anything but is just freaky!

a nice run.
not as hard as i thought but worth the trip.
and certainly value the experience on mt sol.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Too far south

headed out to brisbane forest park on saturday.
bit of a late decision - was going to do a longish mt coot-tha run initially then i got started looking at maps friday night and a 3hr jaunt turned into 3-4 turned into... you get the idea.
figured it was too late to email/text for some company.

decided to head out to mermaid mountain from gold creek reservoir entry.
hadnt been out to that section for years - the last time was with 'team tam' in january the year bogong was cancelled due to the fires.
it was supposed to be a 4hr run that day but turned into a 6+hour effort on a very hot day.
that day we started from the top of sth boundary rd and came down augies rd so different entry point this time.

no problems getting to mermaid mt other than a face full of spiders.
and a slight deviation off the map a few kms before, at the edge of a property.
got there in about 1.35 and decided to crack on to lake manchester and finish the loop via cabbage ck trail etc... back up to sth boundary rd.
figured it would be a 4.30hr+ effort.
just beautiful views of lake manchester from the ridgeline and looked forward to the downhill run to it.

started going down the second really steep/glissadable section and seemed to be heading too far south.
the trail should be heading west at some stage and obviously there was a 'new' south-running trail on the park boundary that wasn't on the map.
in hindsight i did see the 'correct' trail on the way past but was more focussing on not losing footing down the steep bit and it was a good >100m north of where it should be via gps so didnt pay due attention to it.
and to be honest it didnt look that appealing to go down :)

went another 1-1.5km further before realising it may be a while until i reached lake manchester from that direction! and my 4hr+ run could turn into something much more especially with all the rain and some swollen creeks to cross.
on the way back up i vaguely remember us making a similar mistake a few years back - which may have led to the time blowout then :)
was thinking at the time how hard it would be to nav the narly sections of aawt with map/compass only with bugger all visibility and no discernable trail.

hauled myself back up the two 'steeper than kokoda' sections and back home.
was kind of nice getting back to the 'easy' pinnacles course section even though had done it just that morning.
at least it was spider free now.
amazing how easy that seciton feels after the steeper stuff.
did 28km in a bit over 4hrs. 1300m up and down.
a good hitout for mt sol next easter weekend.

sunday off
monday 1hr tready befoe work
tuesday 11km flat
wednesday MGTT 2.16 and massage
thursday off
friday off
saturday 4.07 BFP
sunday 9km easy

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Square 1.5

back to doing some reasonable training.

friday: pinnacles 18km course brissie forest park 2.10 easy (1st hills since bogong)
saturday: 13km flat
sunday: off
monday: 17km flat 5.00-10s
tuesday: 11km flat
wednesday: 11km flat
thursday: off
friday: 7km easy
saturday: pinnacles 1.59

so kept it easy today - was 13mins slower than last year on the anti-clockwise course.
felt strong all the way.
am starting to bore even myself taking about 'the arse' so refuse to for the next 3 months at least.
mt solitary in 2 weeks have booked flights etc...
looking forward to it.
hope i don't get swept by mellum :)