Monday, 28 January 2013

Back on track...

Monday: Perth Zoo :) 

Tuesday: Beautiful 10km run along the coast from Trigg Beach. Me and Liz headed there early morning and had a great morning running. Liz also did her run while I was out running and we then hit the beach for a swim afterwards. I ran this one pretty steady and had a nice average pace for the run and it felt like minimal effort so that was pleasing. 

Wednesday: After yesterdays run on the bitumen path I was keen to get back on the trails today. The plan for today was to increase distance from yesterdays run and to finish feeling good. I ended up doing just over 15km along the Munda Biddi trail from The Dell. About 200m from leaving the car I had some mountain bikers going past me just before hitting the first hill. These opportunities are always too hard to pass up so I proceeded in passing the mountain bikers and charged to the top of the hill. It doesn't seem to matter when in my run this happens but I always find myself racing mountain bikers up the hill.

Thursday: I headed up to Bold Park early this morning for a short 8km along the Zamia Trail. A nice way to start the day and I finished running around the grass oval barefoot for about 1km which was cool.

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: Today I headed out with good mates Dan and Mark for a 30km run along the Munda Biddi. We decided to meet at Pickering Brook for an early 6am start as it was Australia Day so we all had places to be afterwards. The run was a nice one, we all stayed together until the 15km turn around where I decided to go out another km from where Dan and Mark turned. I picked up the pace to around 4:10min/km for the next few km and eventually caught up to them after about 23km I think. I was definitely going along faster but just rolling with the undulations and loving running along some sweet trails at speed. After catching up to the guys me and Mark picked up the pace a little and finished a bit quicker. Although Dan came in not too long after us so had run the last 5km or so pretty well too! 

Sunday: This morning I headed out with some of the guys from the Northern Suburbs Running group. Another 6am start and it was quite a cool morning which was nice. The first 15km I ended up cruising with a new mate Mark who I had caught up with a few days earlier to give him an old pack of mine to use. We ran pretty steady to the Camel Farm (8km) and then on to Mundaring Weir (15km). I did a few out and backs when some of the others were waiting for other members of the group which by the time we got to the weir I had added on an extra 3km. For the return leg back to Kalamunda I decided that I was going to head off at my own pace back to the Camel Farm and then turn back towards the weir and run to the back of the group where mate Rob D was. After a quick chat with Rob I was off and heading back to the car at Kalamunda. The last 5km were pretty tough going back up the steepest part of the run today. And by that time it was about 10am so definitely heating up. Definitely no inclination to sign up for Badwater anytime soon for this Kiwi! Total km's for the day was a touch under 39km. Normally a 30km out and back so I was pretty stoked to get some bonus km's in and felt really good the whole way apart from the last couple of km where I started sulking and wished I was at the shop buying a chocolate milk already :) It was a great run meeting some new runners from the NSRG who are all a great bunch of people.

So the week training went really well without any hiccups and no sign of the random calf niggle I somehow picked up a couple of weeks ago. I think the few days rest and icing heaps definitely prevented it from turning into something bigger. It was nice to get over 100km's for the week with approx 2,500m elevation. Still plenty of sharpening up to do before Tarawera in March but I am confident I should be getting on the plane in pretty good shape. It's looking like I might be lining up for a half marathon in a couple of weeks so should be doing some speed work between now and then. One other exciting thing to happen this week was I created a new running group called Run Eat Sleep Repeat. Basically just a group of runners from all over Perth that can catch up and head out for a run together. Look forward to heading out with them soon!

Mark and Dan on the Munda Biddi

The look out from the top of Reabold Hill at Bold Park.

Start of the Bibbulmun Track at Kalamunda

Some of the guys from NSRG

One happy trail runner!

The reason behind me sulking was coming up these running hard in 36deg :)

Mark on the bitumen descent into Pickering Brook

Mark and Dan on the Munda Biddi

Thursday, 10 January 2013

News and more exciting news!!

What an end to 2012! The reason behind the lack of blog updates lately I am proud to say is because I have been out running more often :) I had in the back of my mind the Tammin to Cunderdin Adventure run which I thought would be a pretty sweet way to end what was an awesome year or running. I was able to get a good few weeks of training in, nothing too full on but enough to let me know I was ready to race.

The race weather forecast was for a 43deg high for the day so I knew it was going to be a hot one! Mum and Dad were over from NZ for Christmas holidays so Dad decided to do the 25km as well as my good mate Adam.

I was approaching this race knowing it wasn't going to be my best race of the year, I was more intent of running well and hoping to pull up well afterwards to continue training into 2013. From the start line I quickly settled into a nice rhythm and was ticking over the km's quite nicely at around 3:45-3:55 pace. The unknown for me was how much the heat was going to hit me when it really heated up!!

I went through 10km in just under 38minutes which was pleasing as I was feeling pretty good and the legs were going well. 15km clocked in at exactly an hour so I knew I had slowed down a bit, mostly because of a really rutted out rough section from 7km to 15km alongside Great Eastern Highway. Being in front with a bit of a gap on Adam the plan as it got hotter was to try my best to maintain pace as long as possible.....

Then came the heat! Being a kiwi it is pretty safe to say that I am not really accustomed to the heat all that much. It seemed like one minute I was sitting on 4min km's and the next I was looking at 4:30-4:45km's. I was what seemed like jogging along thinking when the hell did that happen. I ended up finishing in 1:45:27 for first place which I was bloody happy with. To run how I did after how things had been going the past few months I was more than happy. Adam came in 2nd place about 6mins behind in a great run for him and then surprising us all, Dad came in 3rd place only 5minutes behind adam and 11minutes behind me.

It was so cool having the three of us on the podium and really special having the old man on the podium with me for the first time ever! It's something that I will always remember and think about when i'm out training.

The last few weeks as I mentioned have been going really well. I have finally had some consistency in my training and I am not going to bed at night worrying that I am going to pull up sore the next day. I ended up heading out for a solid 21km with James on the Bibbulmun the day after the race and felt quite good. The quads were a little shagged going up the last few km of hills but it was a good feeling to be running well the day after a pretty good race.

2013 has started off with a real positive feel to it. A few days ago, Dave Kennedy a good mate sent me a message saying something along the lines of "Tarawera? You should see if you can get an elite entry..." The Tarawera 100km Ultra is a race held in the North Island of NZ just out of Rotorua. After reading Daves message I asked Liz why we hadn't looked into heading over for the race earlier. Then I looked at the website for the race and saw the list of elite runners. The list absolutely blew me away.

So as usual when I get excited about a race, I approached Liz with a smile a mile wide and she knew something was up. I said what I was thinking about doing and then explained to her the runners that were all heading over for the race. I was getting carried away very quickly about the prospect of getting to run in a race with a lot of real fast guys and I hadn't even emailed the race director to see if I could get an elite entry.

I decided to call Roger from Hoka One One and get his 2 cents worth on what I was thinking about doing and my plans for early 2013. He liked the idea of me heading over so I decided that it was definitely a good idea to email the Tarawera race director with some sort of request to run the race as an elite runner along with my running resume.

I went to bed that night with fingers and toes crossed hoping that the reply would be a good one and hopefully I wasn't going to have to wait too long to find out the outcome. I was up early the next morning (5am) to head out for a run with a running mate Mick. Just before I pulled out of the driveway at home I thought I might as well check my email just incase Paul had emailed back. He had! And it was fantastic news!!!

For those reading this post you may be thinking I am a tad excited about this race, you are bang on correct about that. I imagine for a few of the other elite runners that this race may be "just another race" for them which is absolutely cool. As I am pretty new to this whole ultra running thing, this is my first opportunity to race against a world class field and I am stoked to be doing so.

It seems funny that I am going to be racing aginst a whole heap of guys whose blogs etc I follow and have been thinking for a while now that I would love to be doing what they are doing as far as travelling to different countries and running in some beautiful and challenging races. It feels like I am taking steps, (baby steps) in my pursuit to be running in races all over the world, and it's really exciting to think where things might lead.

As if the first week of 2013 couldn't get better, it did! I got an email yesterday saying I had been invited to race in the Miwok 100km Trail race just out of San Francisco. It was a race I thought I had missed out on entering in due to it being such a popular race and having a lottery to enter. Tia the Race Director messaged me saying she would do her best to get me in and I am more than stoked to be running in her awesome race.

So now I am going to be doing everything I can to get to NZ in the best shape I can be in. So here's hoping for a good couple of months of training and I'll be there in no time. Time to hit the trails!

Not a bad night for a New Years Eve fun run

The elusive Stirling Ranges. The only kind of mountains in WA apparently. I haven't managed to run here yet but will be soon :)

The Bibbulmun Track near Denmark is awesome!

Stirling Ranges

One of our many runs on the Heritage Trail with Dad
Winners are grinners. I managed 1st in the 25km and my speedy wife managed 1st Women in the 5km at Tammin to Cunderdin.