Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Strewth, Six Foot is almost here!

I did an udder long run on Saturday. By the way, that is Strewth's pun, so don't blame me! It was a beautiful run, helped in part by 'cool' weather and low humidity. Anything under 20C seems cool these days. A hot-air balloon floated high above the lake and the surrounding landscape was mirrored in the still water.

The first 11.5k of our run was around the green oasis of the Duntroon playing fields, then up into the inviting bush of Mount Ainslie. A mob of kangaroos joined our run for a time, bounding along the fence line. The cutest joey, just out of the pouch, watched our progress, nervously waiting for his mum to return.

The speedy runners left Strewth and myself behind, so we were surprised to catch Carol (walking with a dodgy ankle) just before the Ainslie summit trail. After filling the water bottles at the War Memorial, we ran down Anzac Parade to the lake. The rest of the run out to the Yacht Club and back was very pleasant. That is, until the Wetlands when I started spluttering for fuel. We ran this evil out and back section towards Fyshwick, thus ensuring we were close to 30 kilometres before reaching the cars. Thanks Strewth. You kept me going for those last couple of kilometres.

By the time we reached the cars, we had run 29.5km. I was buggered. For once I ignored my pedantic tendencies and stopped running at 3 hours 6 minutes and 21 seconds. Strewth however, continued on, covering 30.5k for the morning! So... one more 3 hour-plus run next Saturday and then it's taper time. Woohoo!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My right foot

I'm wondering if I've developed an oversensitivity to potential injuries. The bovine kind have me especially worried – calf, hide, udder and hoof to name a few.

My right hoof was feeling strange on Thursday and Friday. I had an aching feeling on top of the foot which made me walk with a limp. I didn't run, hoping it would clear up before my long run on Saturday. The pain miraculously disappeared and it was all good.

We ran from the Molonglo River, towards Campbell Park and around the base of Mount Ainslie. From the War Memorial, I ran with Ruth down to the 'dead flat' of the lake. A very pleasant run continued around the Central Basin of LBG and 'home' via the Jerrabomberra Wetlands. I said 'arrivederci' to Ruth and ran an extra 7k around Duntroon to Campbell Park and return.

So... 30.2 kilometres in a bit under 3 hours 15 minutes. This is well short of the six to seven hours I'll need to finish the Six Foot Track. Still, the fact that I finished comfortably gives me confidence for the 45km journey on March 10. It was also my 4th run of over 3 hours since 1 January.

Afterwards, I caught up with fellow CoolRunners and bloggers Strewth, CJ and Jen_runs for lunch and a coffee at Valentino's in town. Jen is running her first Six Foot in March and has been hampered by a recent hip injury. Luckily it's not bovine in nature, so I'm sure she'll do well.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The free beer 5000

There's nothing like the incentive of a friendly wager to fire up the motivation. After my City-to-Surf induced calf injury I had a bet with 2P about who'd be first to run a sub-23 minute 5k. 2P needed to shed a bag of concrete, whilst I was out of shape and scared of farm animals.

On September 29, I raced the Customs Handicap in 27:13. In October, the calf started mooing again, but it finally settled down at the end of the month. Since then, I've been trying to get fit enough to attempt the sub-23.

On January 11 I raced the first 5k of the ACT 10,000m Championships. I tried forlornly to stay with CJ. She dropped me after 2k and went on to be first female in 45:25.08 and ACT Champion for 2007! When I stopped my watch after twelve and a half laps, it showed 23:09.3. Close, but no beer.

Last night at the ACT Vet's meeting I was quietly confident. It was unusually cool (although windy) when the 5000 metres started at 8.30pm – pretty good conditions. After the start, I fell in with a group which included Amanda (from Speedygeoff's farm). I somewhat guiltily followed Amanda as she led into the wind on each lap. She did a 'CJ' not long after 2k (8:43) and left me to my own devices. I imagined 2P was not far behind, near Allrounder (who said afterwards she enjoyed running in circles).

'Running scared' worked. I passed 3000m in 13:19 and knew I'd have to hit a 'Black Range' in the last 2k to miss the sub-23. The fourth kilometre dragged (as it does in a 5000), but I managed a bit of a gallop in the last lap to see a 'free beer' finishing time of 22:32.41. I was one very happy wombat!