Sunday, February 26, 2012

Taper Time!

The build up to 6 Foot is now over and I move into full blown taper mode for the next 2 weeks. I had a fairly easy week this week past, and the Runnng Wild race today is the last of my hard hit outs before the big day. It's time now to let the muscles fully recover, get psychologically ready and plan the race.

All signs are good for a PB this year. I've had a good build up and am happy with my last couple of races. On my home course today, the Woodford Dam race, I ran over 5 minutes quicker than I did last year which I have to be happy with. I wanted a very hard hitout and raced it like 6 Foot, taking off quickly to simulate the bum rush to Nellies and then settled into a bit of a more conservative pace before tackling the hill with vigour. To get to the turnaround in 37 minutes was pleasing, but of course the pay off for this is the struggle back (to simulate the fatigue I'll feel on the Black Range). I was happy to hold the lead for all but the last km where an inconveniently placed hill and a much better hill runner than I, Tony 'Fats' Fattorini would see me have to settle for second by about 30 seconds. For 18.5K this course certainly packs some punch!

Now it's time to sharpen up with shorter, sharper runs and also to sleep and eat well. I always find eating hard in taper weeks.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekend with the McClymonts

With Nadine busy with her thesis, I took advantage and had a big weekend with the McClymonts up here in the mountains. On Saturday, Clarke, Tiff and friends Tym and Dan hit the Megalong Rd to Pluvio section of 6 Foot Track. With Tiff keeping Tym and Dan honest, Clarke and I agreed upon the plan of running hard to the bridge, running solidly up to Pluvio and then turning around to give our legs a bit of a thrashing on the way down before grinding out the singletrack section back to Megalong Rd.

I was also trialing the UlrAspire Surge hydration pack, supplied by barefootinc.

This was the way it went, and ended up a perfect hit out. I commented to Clarke at the top of Pluvio how well I felt at the top. We never really were blowing hard and we managed to keep the km splits in the mid 6 minute mark to get a cemetery to Pluvio split of 1h 44m. Turning around, we gave the downs a smack without going nuts (we'll leave that for race day), got to the river and waded across (has gone down since last weekend) and ran solidly back to the cemetery for a 3:17 run all up. Very happy. The Surge pack was brilliant; comfortable and light, it handled the run with ease. I highly recommend it!

Once back, we met up with a few other chaps out on the course, and soaked our legs in the creek waiting for Tiff and Tym (Dan was running further along the Black Range). Sitting in that creek with the fast flowing water over the rocks giving the muscles a massage was brilliant.

Today we headed out today to Perry's Lookdown for a 'recovery' session. It's a beast of a little trail, descending some 350 m over 2.2km into the Blue Gum Forest. We walked it down, just jogging when we could, no need to take risks. Unfortunately Tiff rolled her ankle admiring a view instead of the trail, I hope she'll recover in time for 6 Foot as she is hitting peak fitness and will give it a real tilt. Once in the Blue Gum forest, we took a few photos and ran another km to the campground. Clarke was keen to give his 2006 ascent of high 29 minutes a crack, and also try out his walking poles that he plans to use in UTMB later in the year.

The ascent was really tough; I really struggle on steep ascents like this and throwing stairs in the mix makes it twice as hard! About two thirds of the way up I had to walk and Clarke passed by effortlessly. I reached the top after 32 minutes; a time I'm determined to beat next time. Clarke did it in just over 30 and missed his record by seconds.

Bring on 6 Foot!
On the swing bridge over Cox's

Thursday, February 9, 2012

All this rain!

Just a quick training update. Things have been hectic with the glorious provisions that is school holidays ending and me trudging back to the 9 to 5 place that pays off the mortgage. At least it gives me the chance to get back into my more regular training routine. Been hitting the speed (sessions) a bit more and so far it's been the tonic I needed. Not only has it sharpened me up a bit but I've managed to drop a few kgs that were hanging around from the indulgences over Christmas. Thanks to Wayne Bulloch for the great training sessions of late.

Racing...not much. The Knapsack 6h race went OK before the humidity got the better of me and decided to check out at the 5h mark. Solid run of 50K, and this will be the biggest I'll do before 6 foot. Last Saturday I ran a 10K on the road, and was happy with a comfortable sub 35.

Ran the famous "Orchard Run" with Clarke, Wayne, and new friends Kirsten Molloy and Neil Pearson. Clarke and I really pushed the pace, especially early on with the Perry Bros. as company. What a great training track that is with all its ups and downs.

In other news, I was successful in my application to run in the World 100km Championships in Italy in April. It seems like I'm committing adultery going back to the road...but reality is Nadine and I love travelling and Nadine especially has always wanted to go to Turkey (I just want to go for the Kebabs). So it kills two birds with one stone, I get to run for Oz at the highest level I am ever going to achieve, picking up the crumbs that the real runners leave behind, while we both get to check out some new places in Greece, Italy and Turkey. Being around Galipolli that time of year is going to be a highlight too. Again thank you DET for well timed school holidays and Teachers Fed for the wonderful leave entitlements that are available!

Looks like then that 2012 is starting to take shape with 6 Foot, then the Worlds, then TNF. I think that they compliment each other in that order, with the shift from trail back to road training prior to the Worlds. Penrith Lakes will be getting my business. After TNF I think at this stage I'm going to try and chip away again at my marathon PB and try to get it under 2:30 at a July or August marathon. Then a few No Roads commitments and the year looks after itself.

No what about this rain! When will it end? I've dug out a few running shoes I haven't worn in years as all my others are wet and muddy. Which totally vindicates my compulsive hoarding...of course it's for these rainy days.

From the Knapsack race