Sunday, July 18, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
The general public might think something like taking your own blood out and storing it for use later to increase performance is extreme (although this is a common surgical procedure). But take the athlete who is training all day every day, being continually tested, is on a regime of legal drugs and vitamins, they spend time at altitude and they've been doing this for years. Their lifestyle has been manipulated in every respect to achieve maximum performance. When your whole life has been shaped to gain maximal performance, it defies logic not to use a practice that increases performance.
Many of the illegal doping practices for athletes are in one form or another legal and commonly used medical procedures. Steroids are legally used to treat a multitude of conditions, blood transfusions are standard practice, stimulants are also used to treat a multitude of conditions. So for an athlete who is subjected to a range of extreme and often bizarre performance enhancing practices, not using "normal" medical procedures might feel like they are missing out on their full potential.
I suppose this all sounds like a justification for cheating. It's not, but it does indicate how a fairly warped mindset (to us) could develop.
Anyway, that's my musings about it.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
The 10km walk started with a healthy field of walkers setting off into the stiff ESE wind. I went to the late entry desk and entered then went off to get ready for the race making use of the convenient facilities.
The start of the 10km run came around quickly and we set off. Just as we started, a massive gust of wind whipped up dust and sand and momentarily stopped us all in our tracks. We made our way through town with great encouragement from some enthusiastic locals and found ourselves running out of Normanville towards Carrickalinga, thankfully with a crosswind for most of the rest of the race. The well signed and marshalled course wound its way through the streets of Carrickalinga eventually reaching the turning point halfway around Haycock point. Upon turning back we were met by another brief blast of wind before getting back into the crosswind. The two conveniently placed drink stations would have provided plenty of hydration, although it was a fairly cool morning and I didn’t require them much. Back through town, past the fans and finally down the home stretch with a tailwind at last! The finish line beckoned and we were done.
There was time for a couple of pieces of fruit and a coffee from the Kiosk before the presentation. An interesting feature of the race for me was the awarding of prizemoney to placegetters.
Thanks to the generosity of local businesses and families there were modest cash prizes for all placegetters and plenty of random draw prizes. Besides the beautiful location and the excellent course, the best feature of the event was the enthusiasm of the race organisers and volunteers.
Thankyou to all of you for putting on such an enjoyable event.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Happy New Year for Thursday.
Monday, October 20, 2008
We got to the start with plenty of time to check in and only had to wait for the team infront of us. Other teams who arrived a bit later ended up waiting for quite a while, to the extent that the start was pushed back about 10 minutes. While we were getting ready I suggested we do it at the start line. Good move. Soon after, the crowds started lining up and I would have hated to have started back further and fight our way past all the walkers. In the starting area I was able to meet up with some friends and former teamates including Babette, the woman I ran my first Trailblazer with in 2004. We had a good chat while waiting for the delayed start. She mentioned at one point about the new route through Morialta, but I didn't make too much of it thinking that they had just altered the way up to the first falls. I was to discover later the ramifications of this "small change in the course".
The race started, and after a mad rush by a few teams, who by the look of their attire weren't going to be running for long, we settled into 5 min/km pace which we basically banged out consistently all the way to checkpoint 1, getting there in 1:35. I changed my shoes from road runners to trail runners there, then we set off up Amber's Gully.
Fortunately for us, although it was warm, there was some high cloud keeping the temperature from reaching the forecast maximum too early (it did eventually get to 35 degrees though). At the top of Amber's Gully I saw Sunny's sign (thanks again) and across the valley I could see a 50 km team and already knew in the back of my mind that unless they had injury or illness we would have trouble catching them. We didn't know at that stage that they were the first team though. Anyway, the rest of the climb up Blackhill went smoothly and the descent down to Montacute road was fine. Surprisingly, I had already nearly emptied my 2L hydraton pack and had a 600mL staminade in just 24 odd km! Refilled the pack, and set off up Montacute road and then up through Morialta. It really started to get warm up the top part of the climb up Morialta, but cooled off a bit as we went down the other side to the Morialta checkpoint which we reached in 3:30. Had a big can of "Mother" there and grabbed a bar to eat on the way and set off towards the climb back out of Morialta.
Then we discovered the new route. It is one of those fire tracks where they set Bessa blocks sideways into the ground and fill them with earth or gravel. They actually resemble a ladder somewhat, and when they are leading up a track that steep, they pretty much are a ladder! The track levelled out for a bit, went around a corner, and just as I thought they were going to take us up through they valley past the waterfall via the Yurrebilla/Heysen trail, the route went straight up the hill again on the same blocks! And it continued to go up until we were up past the powerlines. Then, cruelly, the course went back down to eventually join the Yurrebilla trail just before a nice flat section leading up to Colonial drive. Here I refilled the hydration pack again and we continued on, albeit with Wida experiencing some persistent calf cramps. It wasn't too long until we were at the top of Horsnell's Gully (now known as Giles Conservation Park). The descent to the bottom went well. After some fairly intermittant running since the bottom of Morialta, it was nice to get a few good km of faster running in. The fun of that was soon over as we started back up to the top. It was very humid down the bottom, especially in a couple of little patches where the sweat was just pouring out. It was another tough climb out of Horsnell's, but not as bad as Morialta. At Coach road we met up with Dad, I refilled the hydration pack again then we trundled along to checkpoint 3 in 5:52. I did grab a vegemite sandwich there and it was the best tasting thing I ate all race (sick of snakes and gu and staminade).
The final 6 km took us exactly 1 hour, it didn't seem like an hour, but numbers don't lie. This last bit was really all about just trying to find a balance between running all the downhills and flats, trying to run up the less steep uphill parts and not walking too slowly up the steeper parts. All the while I was secretly worried that another team would come breezing past us in the last few km. My legs finally went a bit jelly-like at the road crossing just below Mt Lofty summit, but by then it didn't matter too, much. I was pretty sure that we could crawl up the last bit and not give up a place or creep over the 7 hour mark. Wida kept trudging up the mountain, but when we got to the top, his legs wouldn't even allow him to run downhill through the finish line. Didn't matter too much anyway, I think only my wife and kids and my dad actually saw us cross the line, so if anyone asks, we cartwheeled over the line. Final time, 6:52, well outside the sub 6 hours that I had hoped for, but not too bad given the condition and the amount of extra time we spent walking. As I have found from this event before, nothing ever goes according to plan, but importantly we made it to the finish as a team.
I only ended up having one recovery drink (read beer) straight after the race (it was about the best tasting beer I've ever had) and another at the BBQ that afternoon. After that I was so tired, I couldn't cope with another. We went home and I went to sleep around 7:30pm and didn't wake until after 7am.
Found out today that the first team (of 2) in the 100 km finished in an astonishing 12:17! (well done Sonja and Mick) and the second team (4 members) in the 100km did it in 14:12 (well done power of 4). So despite the warm conditions out there, there were some extraordinary results. I also heard from my mate Babette that her and her daughter finished in 8:10 for 4th place and first all-girl team.
Feeling very good today. Went for a 1 km jog with the kids (they're training for the SARRC kid's marathon in December) and a longish walk to the playground and back. I'd say I'm a pretty good chance to toe the line for the Blackhill Challenge in a few weeks time, I feel like running up some more hills!
Finally, thankyou Wida for partnering me for this run. It was a big ask to back up from Yurrebilla, especially with the limited training that we had together, but we ended up doing very well. I hope I haven't made the same impression on you as I made on Babette (her daughter knows me as the one who nearly killed her mum), and we can make it an SA CR team for the 100 km next year.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Getting the toes wet
Daws Road ahead, looking up to the summit.
View of Adelaide from above Waite Institute. My favourite place to view the city.
Top of Waite looking up to Summit
Monday, May 05, 2008
I still haven't decided which events I'll be targeting later in the year. I may try to improve my PB in the marathon in August. I have been doing my long runs mostly on trails over the last 6 months and I've really enjoyed that (with a few exceptions like the weekend). This leads me to thinking that I should do the Trailblazer (either 50 or 100 km) in October or the Yurrebilla trail run (non-competitive) also in October I think. If I have time, I may go in a few of the shorter SARRC events between no and the marathon. I'm also thinking about going in some SA athletics XC events or the joggers world series. I may even do some of the SA masters athletics events now that I meet their age requirements (30).
That's right, I am now in my 4th decade. To celebrate the day I ran 30 km. I also got some new treads (pictured below) which have been excellent for the mix of trail and road running that I've been doing recently.
Anyway, I hope the update has been sufficient for nyone who is still reading this blog. I'm sure I've missed heaps of things. I hope to keep the blog a bit more up-to-date to keep me motivated and stay on track for whatever events I go for in the future.
See you out there.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
It is basically the same as the word 'ringxiety', but I like fauxcellarm much more.
Here is the wikipedia entry for ringxiety.
Ringxiety is a portmanteau neologism formed from the words "ringer" and "anxiety." It was first coined by David Laramie, a doctoral student at the California School of Professional Psychology, whose dissertation concerned the effects of cell phones on behavior. Ringxiety is described as the sensation and the false belief that one can hear his or her mobile phone ringing or feel it vibrating, when in fact the telephone is not doing so. Other terms for this concept include phantom ring effect and fauxcellarm. It can also be generalized to describe the sensation of hearing one's phone or doorbell ring while doing such things as taking a shower, watching television, or using a noisy device. The reasoning for this relates partially to the idea that humans are particularly sensitive to auditory tones between 1,000 and 6,000 hertz, and basic mobile phone ringers often fall within this range. This frequency range can generally be more difficult to locate spatially, thus allowing for potential confusion when heard from a distance. False vibrations are less well understood, however, and could have psychological or neurological sources.
OK, it isn't a real word yet but I like it already. I'm not usually an early-adopter, but this one is going straight into the vocabulary
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Basically, I haven't been doing much running. After the marathon I took a couple of weeks to recover, plus did some paving around the house which really messed with my recovery. On top of that, I bought a new mountain bike which I have ridden just about every day for the last month. I didn't run in the City to Bay because my time would have been aweful.
The upshot of all this is that my running isn't going so well at the moment. A sign of this is my corporate cup times. I didn't do the run directly after the marathon (I could barely walk, let alne run). The next run was in 26:53, over 10 seconds slower than my previous time, and yesterday I ran it in 26:53 again. This comes as no surprise given that I have only run 5 times since the marathon. However, I did finally get out for a long run on Sunday (boy did that hurt!) and I am running to work today, so I feel like I have turned the corner from my running slump. Hopefully I can build up some good form for the Black Hill Challenge in November.
Lastly, here is a photo from the Adelaide marathon photographers Epsom Road Studios. This is me pumping my fist at the end of the marathon when I realised that I was going to make it under 3 hours.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm not going to go into infinite detail, but I will say that the race followed my typical approach to running. That is, I went out way too hard, struggled for much of the second half and then brought it home over the last couple of km.
I was pretty happy to get under 3 hours, although I had hoped to be closer to 2:55 based on my Pichi Richi time. I guess the gap between the two events was a bit too close. I had a pretty large negative split - 1:25 at halfway - but that as I say is pretty typical of the way I run.
The event was great. The new course was interesting with the highlight being the start and finish in SANTOS stadium. The amosphere in the stadium was great. I had my kids cheering me on at the finish which was great. Special thanks to one of the girls who gave me a massage after the race, I don't know whether I would have been able to move for the rest of the day without that massage. Also, thanks to my mate Bay for popping up all around the course to cheer me on and take a few "happy" snaps (may not be looking too happy though).
Now, I just need to work out how I'm going to run in the corporate cup this week.
Next goal is to make the top 50 in this year's city to bay. This means a time of around 44 minutes for the 12 km event.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
So to get Tesso out of suspenders (do they make suspenders for compression tights?), I came second in the Pichi Richi Marathon on Sunday in 3:02:25, a PB by almost 17 minutes. Not far off my A-goal, definitely reached my B-goal of a good solid PB, no need to mention C.
OK, here we go. We travelled up to Port Pirie on Saturday, checked into a crappy little motel in town then went over to Gladstone to see some friends for the afternoon. We got back not too late and got to bed fairly early. Even the kids got to sleep early thank goodness.
Woke up early and drove the hour or so to Port Augusta. Had a mild panic as we couldn't find where the start was. Made it with about 5 minutes to go before entries were cut off. Did a quick warm-up then stood around for a few minutes before the start. The temprture was pretty good, around 9-10 degrees I reckon, with a slight headwind. We started and made our way through town out to the turnoff at Stirling North. Right from the outset, there was a 3 man bunch, which stayed together until about 10 km. After that, it was me and the eventual winner (Yilma Woldgabreal - hope I got that right) for the next 25 km. Carly and the kids followed along in the car, handing me powerade at every second drink station. Funnily, Yilma's family followed along too, except they met him a few hundred metres past each of the drink stations.The next several km were fairly tedious, flat, straight road travelling through a saltbush area, with the occassional house, tree or rusty old car.
Then the hills started.
We passed through the half marathon start in 1:28:28, just before the start of that event. This was one of the highlights of the race for me, as we were given a big cheer as we passed through the start. This really spurred me on, if only for a few hundred metres before another long hill. A couple of km later, we were overtaken by the lead half marathoners, but I reckon we were only overtaken by 5 or 6 half marathoners for the rest of the race.
Despite the fact that this course is extremely hilly, I was surprised how little it slowed us: a couple of km splits were actually faster than the splits over the flat part of the course! At about 12 km to go, I dropped off the leader for a couple of km, then pegged him back at about 9 km to go, only to lose him again at the start of the downhill into Quorn with 6-7 km to go. At that point, I usually start to struggle in the Marathon, but although I was really hurting, my km splits for the rest of the race stayed pretty good right to the end. With about a km to go, I saw Ian Roberts (doing the half) gaining on me, but I managed to hold him off, and he even gave me a bit of a gee up with 100 m to go, pushing me over the line at a good trot.
The atmosphere at the finish was great, with many people staying around to receive all of the finishers. My only fault with the whole event was that the presentation was quite late to start with, then stretched on even later due to some technical problems. I had to leave after they had presented the marathon awards so that we could get back to Gladstone to see out friends again.
I won my age group, for which I got a small trophy, a little LED torch and a bottle of local (Bundaleer) wine, although I'm not sure that there were any other people in the 18-29 age group in the marathon.
After the race I was sorer than either of my previous marathons, not as sore as after the 100 km Trailblazer, but I have recovered much better. This morning I even went for a 15 mnute run, so the recovery is going well.
The next goal is to get under 3 hours at the Adelaide Marathon. Many people said that I should be able to get well under 3 hours if I could run Pichi Richi in 3:02. Estimates range from 2:40 to 2:55. I wouldn't call myself a hill specialist, but I would say that I am stronger than most at hills, so I reckon my result this race will translate to one of the higher estimates. I'll be taking it pretty easy this week, then next week we are in Sydney for a holiday, so I should get a pretty good rest before launching back into a couple of weeks heavy mileage and then tapering for Adelaide.
I'll try to get some photos up when they become available on the SARRC or Pichi Richi websites.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
A - Sub-3. Given the hilly nature of the course this is unlikely, but who knows what might happen if I get through the hills still feeling fine. I raced 25 km two weeks ago at much faster pace than my half marathon PB, so I've obviously got the pace, and I have done some good distance in this buildup. If I can make it to the Half marathon start in 1:30, maybe I can get pulled through by some of the faster runners.
B - Solid PB. My current PB of just over 3:19 is a bit soft I think (based on half marathon and other distances), but I didn't have a good prep for either of my previous Marathons. So I reckon something in the order of 3:10-3:15. Don't destroy myself on this course and write-off any chance of going sub-3 in the Adelaide Marathon
C - A PB, ie anything under 3:19. Cruise through and enjoy the beautiful Flinders Ranges.
Wish me luck!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Yesterday I ran the Barossa Half marathon in 1:23:15, around 20 sec better than the last time I ran in the Barossa half in 2004, but not a PB for the half. I think that is a pretty good time though, because my PB was set on the "downhill" Greenbelt course. I wetn pretty much all out, and had nothing left in the tank at the end. My legs are pretty sore today. The top of my foot is a little sore, which I think is because of a combination of heavy training and aging shoes . I also went into the race feeling slightly sick, and now today I've come down with a bad sore throat and other nasty symptoms. I guess that's what you get for not listening to your body. The good news is that my calf/achilles feels fine, no soreness or weakness either during or after the event, so I think it is nearly back to normal (after 14 or more months).
Even more amazing is the time that Carly got. Last year she ran a half in 2:23. Yesterday she ran it in 1:51, a 32 minute improvement! She has really worked hard on her running and weight this year, and it has certainly paid off.
1. Soft, wet, miry land that shakes or yields under the feet.
2. A difficult or precarious position or situation; a predicament.
3. Our driveway.
Quagmire is from quag, a dialectical variant of quake (from Old English cwacian) + mire, from Old Norse myrr, "a swamp."
Monday, May 14, 2007
- No, I don't take a taxi, and if I did take public transport to work, it would take far longer than running.
- I have since discovered that the distance is 7.5 km measured on Google Earth (GE). The speedo on my bike was out by a fair bit, so I re-measured the circumference and changed the settings, and now it measures the same as GE.
- I have since run a much faster time to work: 29:50. So the previous PB is redundant now anyway.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Going to try very hard and get up for tracktimes tomorrow morning. Hopefully I'll do some Yasso 800s.
I have a new interesting word coming soon. Stay posted!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
I've been really trying to get stuck into the running since I got back. I want to go in a couple of events soon. I'm not sure which ones yet, but I think I'll start with the Greenbelt half. I put on a bit of weight out on the boat due to the inactivity and ready supply of energy-dense foods so I have a couple of kg to lose if I want to be competitive. 78 when I got back (probably holding a bit of fluid), 76.5 now and I want to get down to 73-74. I got in 63 km last week and I'm aiming for that again this week, with some added cycling to and from work some days.
If you are interested in such things, I am part of Phil's campaign to raise awareness of China's human rights abuses in Tibet. I'm donating all my mileage (running and cycling) to the million km for tibet project. If you are interested, feel free to join the Yahoo group here. You could also check out the Race for Tibet website.
It's my BD on the weekend, so we're going down to Normanville to stay at the in-laws and have a nice dinner etc. It also means that I'll be able to do my long run in one of my favourite areas to run.
Anyway, have a safe and happy Easter.
DavePS. I never got a photo of my new 'do, and then out at sea I got bored and shaved it all off. Here is a rather fuzzy and stupid photo of the new new 'do.
Monday, March 12, 2007
- Went out to sea for two weeks;
- Came home and have been busy at work for two weeks;
- Had our son's delayed birthday party;
- Have been trying to cram as much running and cycling into the last two weeks, before heading out to sea for another two weeks tomorrow.
- Went to Womadelaide on Saturday which was great, but hot and dusty;
- Highlights were Lior, Augie March, Deborah Conway (yes seriously, she was great!), Blue King Brown, Sarah Donovan (who managed to conjure up a cool change), and the Waifs (even though one of the girls forgot the words to "London still" - making babies does that it seems).
In other news, dad is doing well. He's back at work part-time and going walking twice a day. He seems to have made a very good recovery and the doctors think so too.
For those who have requested a photo of the new 'do, you'll have to wait a few more weeks, until I get back from sea. I could take a picture now, but it has grown out a bit and really is starting to look a bit crap.
Running is going OK despite the interruptions. Starting to think about some events to go in. I think I'll start with the Greenbelt Half for a start and then see how things go with time, money, fitness and injury etc.
I'll be back in a couple of weeks.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
On Tuesday I had a job interview which I think went pretty well. It just depends what sort of candidate they are looking for and how good the other applicants were I should find out tomorrow if I got it.
Beforehand, I found out that dad was about to go in for an angiogram to investigate the cause of some chest pains he has been getting over the last few weeks. It turned out that he had one very blocked coronary artery and two more that weren't too good, so he was checked straight into hospital and eventually had a triple bypass on Saturday afternoon. The scary thing is that my dad is a fairly healthy man, he isn't overweight and he eats a pretty healthy diet, he exercises regularly (which is why he noticed the chest pain and exhaustion), but he was a heavy smoker before he had me, so I guess it can catch up with you eventually (30 years after quitting). I also found out that his dad also had a bypass operation at around the age of 60. Mum's dad also had a bypass in his sixties I think. Hopefully my own lifestyle choices (vegetarian non-smoking distance-runner) prevent me from ever having any troubles, but the history is there in black and white.
So anyway, the operation went well and dad is doing fine. He optimistically thinks he'll be back at work in 3 weeks, everyone else reckons 5-6 weeks at least.
Finally, I went out for a 1.5 hour long run this morning and came back 2.5 hours later with 29.5km. In 31 degree heat! Drank about 4 litres of water while I was out and more when I got back. I actually ended up with a headache later in the day, so I wonder whether I drank enough or too much water. Just to be safe, I drank a really strong glass of Gatorade and added a pinch of salt. Feeling better now.
So there is the update from me. Pretty long and rambling.
Did I mention that I cut all my hair off. I did it three weeks ago in preparation for starting the new job and for a few interviews. I've also been keeping clean-shaven. Everyone seems to think that I look younger. Hopefully that is a good thing.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
I've been running about 45-50km over the last couple of weeks, had a couple of good long runs and a good speed session. I've started working at SARDI 3 days a week while I continue my PhD. SARDI is in a location that just isn't very easy to get to via public transport, so I'm going to pull the bike out and start getting around on that a bit more. Should save money on bus tickets too.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
|Mar||328||72 (sick)||79 (injured)||156.5|
|July||50 (sick)||225||60 (Injured/sick)||211|
Blue = Km for Tibet
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Went for a nice run this morning with the Track Times lads (and girls). It was hot! 32 degrees at 6am! Then we all had a hard-earned (lol) breakfast at the usual place.