Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mt Solitary Ultra Marathon - Race Recap

I entered this race intending to run at about 80% as a last long run prior to TNF100. I had been camping out in Capertee for a few days prior so my preparation of boozing and lounging around wasnt the best but I was only intending to go out and enjoy myself.

I did have any time in mind for the day, I told my girlfriend id probably be done at some point after 6hrs as I was meeting them somewhere for lunch.

Got to the start line, had a chat with the only person I knew (KAOS) from NRG, positioned myself at the front for a change and then we were off.

Settled into a nice rythm early on. Keeping an eye on my pace I was probably doing 3.40s on the flats and dropping it down to the low 3's on the decent but feeling comfortable and running well within myself.

Crossed over the creek, well actually practically fell in the creek, and then it was the longest scramble of my life up Mt Solitary.

I was wearing my crappiest pair of trainers ( i only realised this at the start line) with huge holes in them and I was having issues with my laces coming undone due to the mud and crap, So i had to stop every now and again to do these up. Probably did this 20 times throughout the day.

I remember climbing Mt solitary thinking it was strange that no-one had caught me but i was happy to be where i was and I was in no doubt that the rest of the gang would catch up. Having never been to MT solitary before I had no idea how big it was and it just seemed to go on forever. I think had I known in advance I may have slowed myself down a notch.

Soon after reaching the top 2 runners came by as i was yet again doing up my laces. Beaver introduced himself and I guessed the other runner was Fats having read all about his amazing 6ft exploits not too long ago. I was in fine company. Slightly daunting at the same time too..

The first thing i noticed was Beavers gaiters wishing i had a pair of those (if your reading this, where did you get them from?)

The second thing i noticed was that they were both looking extremely comfortable and having a good old chat whilst motoring along.

Soon after they caught up with me I snagged my water bladder on a branch so I was without water for 10kms. Not ideal..Luckily it was a cold wet day so it didnt feel too bad.

Nutrition wise I didnt pack much. A couple of minature twirls and 3 museli bars. I managed to ration this out until the end having a bite to eat every hour.

Beaver, Fats and I then ran together for most of the way to the stairs. We all took turns at being in front at various stages. At some point, Fats and I lost Beaver but he soon caught back up on the stairs. He was making really good ground and passed me easily. I made it to the checkpoint just as they were leaving. I was eager to get going to catch the others up but fortunately Buzz saw that my bladder had split and forced me to carry a couple of powerades in my backpack. At the time i wasnt keen but an hour later i was extremely grateful. So thanks heaps guys for knocking some sense into me.

Once out of the aid station it was back down the stairs. Quite an experience. Almost lost my life on a few occassions but no long term damage. I was told my other runners that the lead men were only a couple of minutes ahead so i just concentrated on running as best as i could in the hope that i would see them again.

The 2 minutes of lead they both had soon turned into 5 minutes then 6 minutes as i started to tire. I knew at that stage I wasnt going to be in contention so I just made sure not to do anything stupid.

The long decent into the valley was excruciatingly painful. Seemed to go on and on and on. Have never been so relieved to see a hill to climb. I made an effort to run as much as possible and power hike the parts i couldnt run. Set myself a target of finishing in under 5.15 to keep myself honest and I just about made it. All up my effort was more likely 90% than 80% but its hard to reign down the competitive spirit.

8 cleansing beers later and a night spent on a blowup mattress has made for an interesting recovery. This is the first race where my upper body has been sore. I have to put this down to the scramble up Mt Solitary.

Looking forward to next year already and now i know what im in for i'll spend less time running on the road and more on the trails. Still, I dont think any amount of prepartion will fully equip me for the beast that is Mt Solitary.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekly Summary 10/04/11 - 17/04/11

Super pumped for the Mt Solitary 45km on Easter Monday.

Total elevation 3000 meters and you have to carry compulsory survival gear. Not your average marathon...

No idea how this one is going to pan out but im going to give it a real good crack. As long as I manage to stay on 2 feet and not do anything stupid I should finish up respectably.

This week has been a taper like last week and the week before....I guess ive been concentrating more on speedwork and as a result distance has suffered. I'm not going to make any great gains by ramping out 50km runs now until May 14th so no point putting myself in injury's way. Really happy with the way my running is going when I do actually make it out for a run...

Monday - Standard run to NRG then some really good hill sprints. Felt super strong and pushed it hard to the point where I almost felt like throwing up. Recovered easily enough. Averaging 3.19min/kms on the 500m loops. Heart rate maxed out at 192bpm
(PM) 10.56km - 50min - 4.44min/km
(PM) 10.38km - 49min 48sec -4.48min/km

Tuesday - Easy run home
(PM)11km - 46min 46sec - 4.14min/km

Wednesday - Rest and pizza day

Thursday - Run home on a shorter route. Pushed the pace though and felt pretty strong.
(PM) 9km - 35min 17sec - 3.54min/km

Friday - Normal run home. Those stairs and hills from the bridge and up to North Sydney still kill me. However this was a record run for me so very pleased.
(PM) 11km - 42min 55sec - 3.53min/km

Saturday - Raining hard outside but i ventured out and decided to hit the road rather than get bogged down in the bush. Planned to do 20km at a reasonable pace. Probably set out a bit too fast and was feeling pretty rough only 3km's in. Told myself to run on to 5km and see how i feel and fortunately I started to regain some composure. Set out to run the first 10km in an average of 4.05min/kms but was delighted to hit the turnaround  in 38min 25secs.  Still feeling composed i turned round and held the pace all the way home. In actual fact I was in such a good rhythm I wished I was running a marathon as it was one of those days when everything clicked. Well on pace to smash my recent half marathon pb. A real confidence builder and a total surprise. A quicker second half had me finish up in 1hr 15mins and 50secs
(AM) 20km - 1hr15min 50sec - 3.47min/km (500ml water)

Sunday - Nice easy recovery run down to the Rotary Field. Wanted to check this out as im interested in doing some formal speed sessions at some point over the course of the year. Just over 5km away so wouldnt be a bad warmup to get there.
(PM) 11.33km - 49min 30sec -

Total - 83.33km - 5hr 50min 16secs

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Reduced Weekly Summary

Didn't mean to run such little mileage this week but thats the way it turned out.

I was interstate on Wednesday and Thursday and used the time to enjoy myself and break from running and then  today I didnt do anything as my achilles were both a little sore. I figured ive already built up a pretty decent base so not point going for overkill for the sake of it so close to race date.

Had a tough sprint session on Monday which was on the flat - I didnt hold back and did 8 all out 100 metre sprints. Felt great doing this but always regret it the next day as my hamstrings were sore for most of the week.

A highlight or actually a lowlight was Saturdays run. I had planned 50km around Bobbin Head but got up late and hadnt planned on the day being too hot. I probably set out a little too fast particularly after the fast 20km the night before and slowly died once i had exited the national park after the good climb. I had only enough money for a train fare and couldnt bare the thought of running 12 more kms home as i was beginning to overheat and my achilles were sore so I jacked it in. Probably a sensible approach. I have never been more covered in salt. My arms, face, bag, and shirt were all caked in it.

So another light week and I doubt I'll be doing anything above 100km from now until Mt Solitary Marathon on Easter Monday then The North Face 100.

Monday (PM) 10.36km - 49min 5sec - 4.44min/km
              (PM) 10.79 - 56min 41sec - 5.15min/km

Tuesday (PM) 11km - 48min 56sec - 4.26min/km

Friday (PM) 20km - 1hr 23sec - 4.09min/km

Saturday (AM) 38.29km - 3hr 3min 27sec - 4.47min/km

Total - 90.45km - 7hrs 1min

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekly Summary 28/03/11 - 03/04/11

Pulled up pretty well from last Sundays half marathon and threw myself back into training. Oh yeah, it turns out I was second by just 5 seconds.....
Really need to do more trail running as thats been lacking in recent weeks but overall ive been enjoying myself.
Mileage not high but ive certainly increased the pace. After reading The Lore of Running i've decided to put more quality runs in without overdoing it. Amazing what the body is capable of.

Monday was my standard run to NRG then a really hard session. Must have been 12 long hill sprints - killer. Having said that my legs werent feeling too bad from the effort the day before but i was glad when it was over.
(PM) 9.92km - 46min 29sec - 4.41min/km
(PM) 10.68km - 57min 47sec - 5.24min/km

Tuesday was a real slow run home. Made a conscious effort to slow right dow and keep my HR well under 150bpm.
(PM) 11.20km - 52min 10 sec - 4.39min/km

Wednesday I was feeling good as new. Pushed the pace home and felt great.
(PM) 11km - 46min 12sec - 4.11min/km  (500ml water)

Thursday was a longish run over to Neutral Bay with a couple of really good long hills thrown in. Felt super strong and maintained a decent clip the whole way.
(PM) 20km - 1hr 21min 32sec - 4.04min/km (500ml water)

Friday - Set my alarm to get up early then turned it off in the morning and rolled over and went to sleep. Out on the beers in the evening. Probably have more rest days now im picking the pace up a bit.

Saturday - Didnt have a plan in mind so I headed out the door and ended up in Vaucluse. Hammering the hills around there and double bay. 738meters of climbing. Felt pretty lively and turned round after i realised i had hit 20km. Hadnt bothered to check my watch prior.
(AM) 39km - 2hrs 50min - 4.21min/km (500ml water + 500ml gatorade + 5 cubes of dark choccy)

Sunday - Legs felt fine and didnt want to run too far after Saturdays effort. Just up and down pacific highway speeding up on the hills and running hard on the flat. Felt strong but was a hard session.
(AM) 18km - 1hr 10min 32sec - 3.55min/km (500ml water)

Total - 119.82km - 8hrs 44mins 44sec