Archive | August, 2011

It’s just a tree! It’s just a tree!

29 Aug

Creeeeeak, aghhhhh, was the sound my body was making when I went for a very slow recovery run on Monday morning last week.

Tuesday I prepared for my ride to the station, setting off at the grim hour of 530 in the AM in the pitch blackness. Test the bike headlight, yup blinding, oh, wonder what that little red light is?

2km down the trail on an unlit bike path and I find myself suddenly engulfed in darkness, excellent. The sad thing is it took me a couple of seconds to realise why it was so dark so suddenly, oh, flat battery in the headlight, fark!!!

Oh well, I know the path like the back of my hand and back in the day when I had a paper round I didn’t have a bike light and I used to deliver papers down dark semi rural streets every morning, if I wasn’t scared at 14 I damn well won’t be now. Had to take it easy and not ride too fast though, I did consider hoping up on to the road but I chose to forge ahead in near darkness on the trail.

It is amazing how in the light innocent trees, bushes and sign posts look like innocent trees, bushes and sign posts, but in the dark they look like great looming beasts, hunched over and ready to pounce.

Turns out the little red light is there to warn of an imminent flat battery, perhaps I should have taken the time to read the instructions.

My 16km run back to my bike that afternoon was thwarted when I discovered I’d packed two T-Shirts and no shorts. I now have a spare pair of shorts in my locker so of course I won’t forget them again. At least I had ridden so the day wasn’t a right off.

This of course meant I had to get out for a run on Wednesday. I was working out in Clayton so this lead to a very uninspiring route down Centre and Police Roads (buffeted heavily by passing trucks), up Jackons and back via Wellington Road. It turned out to be a pretty pacey 14km, I think I just wanted to finish and stop breathing in the Diesel fumes.

Thursday, Airlie Street Reps again, 8 of them, up and down, up and down, and so on, at lunch time too, made for a pretty snoozy afternoon in the office.

Friday, squeezed in the long run after work, 24km and I think that spells the end of me trying to do long runs after work, it was fecking awful! Once we start getting some decent light in the mornings I am switching my mid week long run to Wednesdays, I’ll do 90 to 120 minutes around Lysterfield before heading to Clayton for work, I’ve got to get plenty of hills in these legs before Two Bays.

Speaking of hills, the last race in the Salomon Trial Series was on at Silvan on Sunday. I knew that it was all hills between 7 and 10km so I started with the goal of running all or part of every hill. I was doing well, ran all the hills early on, and then the steep ones started, 8 to 10kms was seriously undulating. The last hill, phew! Standing at the bottom the people at the top looked tiny and about to topple on to our heads because it was so steep, a 500 metre slog ensued. When I was about halfway up someone bellowed “FUCKKKKKK!!” from the bottom, hilarious!

The reward was that the last 4km was almost entirely downhill, Weeeeeeeeeeee

It will be a great training course for Two Bays, a two lapper would do nicely to really toughen the legs up, hopefully I can memorise the route.

I need to buy some new laces for my trail shoes though, I had to stop and retie the damn things three times, I might get some of those elastic ones Triathletes wear.

Big Week

22 Aug

It’s been a good ‘un, lots of hard work and slowly starting to feel more energetic and although it will take a couple of weeks for the iron supplements to do their stuff I feel better just knowing that there was a reason for the flatness and that it will soon be reversed.

On Thursday I missed the 16km run I usually do during the week. I was in the change rooms at work getting ready to run back to my car at the station, I am standing there half dressed trying to figure out what’s wrong. SHORTS! I don’t have any shorts! Spent a nano second wondering precisely how insane I would look running in my undies before putting my work clothes back on and heading down to catch the train.

Got home, got changed into running clothes (including shorts) and headed down to the park near home to do some sort of interval session. Ran the long way for a decent warm up and decided to run along the path from one foot bridge to the other 6 times. This turned out to be pretty much spot on 500 metres. After 6 I was feeling good so I did two more reps before finishing up. The path had a slight incline from where I started so it meant harder work every second rep, the ups were around 2:15 and the downs around 2:06, it was a good session.

Friday saw an easy recovery run at lunch time with a friend.

Saturday the running was pretty light on, I was coaching a group at Princes Park and just ran an easy 5km; however I had a big ride. I decided to get some time in the saddle and ride down there, apart from a small stretch on Middleborough Road I could do it all on bike trail. I guessed around 20km; it turned out to be a touch under 25km each way. The ride out first thing was gorgeous, I left at around 6:30, it was still very quiet on the roads and once on the bike path I was riding through pockets of fog and watching the sun come up.

Just before Bullen Road I noticed a lot of water and foam on the path, weird, and then I came around the corner and found a burnt out Falcon (as in a Ford, not a bird), yikes!

It took me just over an hour to get there and about 10 minutes longer to get home, the way back mostly went uphill and there were more people out on the path so I didn’t want to tear along too fast, kids on bikes with training wheels tend to be a little unpredictable.

Sunday, time to start getting back into a longer long run, enough mucking about with these 17/18km runs; hey why not just jump right back to 34km?

Carol and I made the trek down the highway to Queenscliff to do the famed Bellarine Rail Trail Run, there was little point driving all that way to run 17km so of course we opted for the out and back version.

What an adventure! Truth be told I probably wasn’t ready to step back up to 34km but it wasn’t going to kill me, at worst I’d be pretty tired and whinge a bit on the way back.

We were lucky that the day was so stunning, for the first time in months we were preparing at the start by covering ourselves in sunblock. It all nearly came unstuck around 7km in, we were told there were no loos until the 17km turnaround, but we spotted a brand new public facility on the train platform so we scrambled up there. I go first and when trying to leave I couldn’t turn the lock back around, panic!!! Carol, umm, I can’t turn the lock, no I am not joking!! Right, there is a gap at the top; I can probably climb up there, farrrrrk!!!! A few more tries, finally the thing turns, phew, that was the longest 30 seconds of my life!

We’d made a guess on when we would see the lead runners heading back our way, we figured around the 14km mark. So we were a bit surprised when we saw the first runner around 11.5km in, and a lot of them too. Hang on, we know we are taking our time here but we didn’t think THAT many people were ahead of us and we didn’t see any of the people we expected to be leading the return journey. Finally it dawned on us that we were seeing the 17km runners heading back from Drysdale, doh!

Sure enough, around the 14km mark we started to see the returning 34km runners.

At the turnaround we had more water and gels and used the loos, this time with fully functioning easy to turn locks. There was a guy with a mountain bike who asked us what was going on, we told him it was a Fat Ass run, and then explained the Fat Ass concept to him. He then looked around behind me and declared that it was poorly named because I didn’t have a fat ass. Ok Mr Creepy, we will be on our way now……

Then he caught up with us a minute after we’d set off and rode beside us for a bit and told us that we should have saved ourselves the trouble of coming out for a run and just stayed home and had sex (with each other, our significant others or god forbid, him! He didn’t specify) because we would have burned the same amount of calories anyway.

Alright dude, seriously, time to fuck off now, you’ve just moved beyond Creepy and slid straight into Sleazy, on your way!

*shudders*

Anyway, the last 10km or so was a bit of a slog for me, I really hit the wall energy wise and my hips were sooooooo tight, but we made it back with 3:16 running time (and 15 minutes faffing about time, after all, it wasn’t a race).

The trip home got interesting as I felt increasingly nauseous; I tried to ignore it but right before heading up the Westgate Bridge things became urgent.

Umm, I think I am going to spew, Umm, I am definitely going to spew. Thankfully I was already far left and pulled into the last vestige of emergency lane before the bridge, ripped the car door off it’s hinges and proceeded to spew a gutful of gels and water onto the side of the road, ughhhhh. On the bright side I felt heaps better after that and answered that age old question, do gels taste the same on the way back up, yes folks, they do.

I suppose that explains the troubles over the last 10km, I was probably running on empty.

Not to worry it hasn’t happened before and despite everything it was a perfect day for a run and it was good to get back to a decent long run distance.

not crap, just deficient

16 Aug

Got the results back from my blood test on Friday, iron levels are heading south.

Phew!

Phew? you say

Well, if my iron is low that is easily fixed, if it’s not then I’d just have to admit that I am crap :lol:

So the prescription is two high does iron tablets a day for a month, then one a day for two weeks then off for another blood test, 650mg of iron a day for a month, don’t come near me with any magnets.

I rode to the station for the first time on Monday, I started at 5:30am and it was PITCH BLACK along the bike trail. It reminded me of when I used to have a paper round, except instead of a torch strapped to my handle bars I had my mega blinding so bright it can see through time head lamp. There were no bogeymen, just a couple of startled dog walkers and the odd possum, I loved it, very peaceful at that time of day. It rained most of the way home, I was not appropriately attired, I didn’t mind so much.

I popped out for an easy 8km at lunch time yesterday, only one iron tablet in me by that stage but somehow I managed to rip out one of the best runs I’ve had since the marathon, just a placebo affect I’m sure because the 11km run I did today was considerably slower.

It’ll take a few weeks for the tablets to kick in.

I entered the Two Bays Trail Run last night, doing the Four Bays option, out and back, 56km :shock:

I decided this year that I was going to give the 56km a crack in 2012, so it is done.

Faaaaark

I am going to train my butt off for this one, I don’t want a half hearted effort, if I am going to do it then I am going to do it properly.

Weight training still going well, getting some nice guns, bring me your jars with lids tightly affixed, I shall remove them for you.

Yawn, stretch, stumble, ouch!

14 Aug

After a couple more days of home surgery my ingrown toenail no longer ingrows, probably would’ve been far more efficient to let the doctor sort it out but I am resourceful and stubborn and it was giving driving me bonkers.

Sooo, where to since last week……

Monday I decided to run at lunch time and ended up heading down to the beach and back for a very agreeable 11km in the late morning sun. Tuesday was the usual 16km back to my car at East Malvern station, not super fast, still having days were I feel flatter than a flat thing.

Wednesdays are rest days and this week also resulted in a injury to my right quad when I stumbled around in the dark first thing and smacked into a piece of gym equipment in the back room, ouch, hurty :-(

I gave it a rub and didn’t think much of it until Friday.

Thursday I headed down to Jells Park and did 4 by 4 minutes. Great session and always one of my favourites, I pushed hard and was happy to end up running reasonably close to what I do at my best, with reps varying between 0.90km to 0.93km.

Slept like a log that night.

Then about 4km into my run on Friday afternoon my quad started to tighten up where I had whacked it a couple of days before, by the time I got back to where my car was (11km) it was pretty sore. Bugger, I reckon when I walked into the gym stuff that I gave myself a bit of a corky, I was limping around for the rest of the night and it was achy. It was a bit better on Saturday but definitely no running and it put paid to the half marathon I was supposed to do today.

Stupid klutzy injury!!

Oh well, good excuse to finally get the bike out for a proper ride and serendipitously Miss Morsey gave me a shout to see if I fancied a spin down beach road today.

Yes Please!!!

Although nervous as hell

Would I be roundly mocked for my cobbled together cold weather gear (Skins under Knicks, acceptable? who cares, it’s cold!), lack of cleats, the flat bar on my bike, my transgression of secret unwritten rules of the road, the rainbow streamers on my handles?

Nahhh, if any of the 3000 riders who whizzed past us laughed at me I didn’t hear them. The aged pensioners and the peloton of children we passed didn’t point and laugh either.

We were blessed with a gorgeous still morning and I thoroughly enjoyed my ride. 40km in 100 minutes, just a tad less than the half marathon would have taken me and the same tired satisfaction of having worked up a sweat and done some decent exercise. I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to do that 100km in October, although I will have to get out for another longer ride (or two).

Oh, and Knicks, ok, they look pretty bad but so much more comfortable than riding in just plain shorts.

So, cleats? Yes, I can see how they would be an advantage on longer rides, but I am mostly going to be using my bike to commute. It would be a pain in the arse to get on the train wearing the clacky shoes after parking my bike at the station and I don’t really want to stick them in my back pack for the run back. Is it terribly fiddly to change over the pedals? Would it be feasible to just pop them on when I want to do a longer ride? Also, do they come in different types, I’d rather buy online that go into a shop and spend big $$s on something I won’t use that much.

And exactly how much am I going to hurt tomorrow?

More Bear than Grylls

7 Aug

I have a bit of an ingrowing toenail at the moment, eeeek. Never had one before because I am very careful with my feet, after all, running or not, they get me around.

So I’ve been performing a little bit of home surgery yesterday and today. After my long run this morning I had a nice hot shower to soften the skin up and armed myself with my tools, a manicure stick, nail scissors, dettol, cotton wool, a scalpel blade, a bottle of vodka and a stick to bite on, “honey, if you hear me hit the floor come and put a pillow under my head”.

I will spare the gory details, suffice to say it will need a bit more attention over the coming days but I hope I’ve averted the worst of it. If not, I have a doctors appointment on Friday for a blood test to check on my iron and B12, if it’s still a problem I’ll inflict it on Dr K.

And for the record there was iced tea in the fridge so it was not necessary to drink my own urine.

My capacity to inflict pain on myself would have made the Marquis himself weep. Yeah yeah yeah, masochism is the word I am groping for but I could not come up with a pity enough line to fit it.

The week has progressed well, as always some good and some bad, finished with 71km so the mileage is getting back up where I want it.

Airlie street was revisited on Thursday, because the hills at Macedon the previous Sunday were not enough punishment. Carol and I knocked out another 8 reps and I was much stronger than the dismal session two weeks previous, around 8 to 10 seconds faster per rep, do do do, happy dance.

Todays long run was 20km with some kms at a decent clip in the middle.

Strength work continues, I am starting to get some nice lean muscle and can just about see some definition in my abs, I haven’t had ab definition since I was 23! Yeah I know it’s not all about how it looks, strong is strong, but hey, I’d be lying if I said I was devoid of vanity.

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