Okay, me and my technology woes. Missed a blog due to volunteering, and then my pc was virus infected for a couple of weeks that got into my internet explorer and google chrome, took IT 3 days to resolve, and finally back in action.
I recently volunteered at the Australia Day Ultra, which was an awesome experience. Being a small field of inaugral racers and an out and back course of 12km being run in laps for the 50km and 100km runs. We were the middle aid station so had the pleasure of seeing the runners both ways every 6km. Being a small field we got to know each and every one of them, watch their styles, and see their struggle and celebrate their wins. One got to study a variety of running techniques, and most importantly a variety of coping mechanisms out there. To see that common thread that ran through the ultra runner, and to see the focus of those who aimed to place. The pace being run for each was clearly a slow controlled and steady run. The determination and focus is uncanny. I know I need to learn that iron will to enable my legs to continue. The overall winner, Bernadette, set an Australian age group record of 8h 32 mins for 100km’s. Watching B run her last 5km put my park runs to shame!
SO, a hectic week ensued with some serious training.
Monday was a public holiday so joined a group for a fun 14km trail run with some technical levels and indian file. Group was well suited and pace well spread out, front runners got some seriously fast downhills in, but oh, what goes down surely must come up. Again and Again and Again…
Loving my new Tuesday night interval group, but they make you run hard. Late afternoon 37-38 degree Celsius, definitely out of my comfort zone. 8km of sprinting followed by a 5km cool down..
Thursday see’s me hit my torture course. 5km loop with 2km beach, 2km hills and about 1km downhills. Repeat 3-4 times depending on time. So alarm sets off at 4;30 am again. That is a killer route. And after Wednesdays little tempo run and Tuesday nights sprints, I was really beginning to feel it. I allowed myself 2 hours to complete 20km before leaving for work at 6;45am. Blah, after 15km I had to call it quits as I was out of time!
Friday was a much enjoyed rest day. I am also enjoying doing all my training back to barefoot. My feet have healed from the disastrous attempts in those trail shoes I blogged about before. I cannot believe how free and happy I feel (and no, this is not an emotional/hippy/greenie/whacky kind of find your inner self meaning) being able to run naturally. It is just right. Simple.
Saturday had us back in the hills again on the trails for a fast trot around a 32km route. And then Sunday.
Only 14km of hills. Some serious hills. Not quite race pace, but definitely a steady pace. Being honest, I am not sure I could of done race pace on Sunday even if I had wanted to. The quads were definitely twinging.
So with bare feet during the week and my Neandersandals on the weekend trails, my footwear is still a conversation piece. Referring to my Neandersandals, that have now clocked approximately 200km of rough stoney trail running,
I think it is time to buy another pair of $3 beach slops! When I was reviewing the condition of the Neandersandals with particular reference to the beating they took at Wally Grunta, I noticed some interesting observations.