Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Race Week . Week20 Race Report UTA 2017

Sometimes races go as planned; more often than not, however, the unexpected happens.

- Laz, Founder of the Barkely Marathons.

Are we there now we are most definitely at the pointy end of the 5 month Plan of training.It all culminates in just what happens on 20 May 2017.Like all things it is partly in the hands of the Gods and mostly down to the preparation especially for possible wet weather and running in such conditions .

Just getting the head in the right space to tackle all the eventualities and making sure I practice all the contingencies I have worked out.Other than that it is getting the gear ready and all the small items needed to make the run as comfortable as I can.

Unfortunately I did not finish the race . At 54 km I pulled out. My first DNF in 10 years . What went wrong simply a few near slips on the run and a muscle near the inside of the left thigh started to spasm and cramp and that continued several times .In the end the last 4 km took an hour and I knew I would be struggling in the back half of the course and it wasn't worth it in the end.

The week leading to the race was uneventful and I did absolutely nothing .I felt rested and quietly confident other than a very healthy respect for this race and that the weather was going to be a major factor . As it turns out there was rain through the night before the race and it was a factor. The trails were pretty muddy but the weather cleared in the morning.

I was in wave six and went off at 6.57 . I got there with ten minutes to spare and started carefully and not too fast walking any steep hills. In 30 minutes we were heading down the valley and the scenic centre's walkways at the bottom and then heading to the first bottle neck the landslide where everyone carefully walked round the rocks . I had a few slips and felt the leg stretched but no discomfort . Heading up the golden stairs a 1-5km climb was slow and hard as always but before long I got to checkpoint 1 11.5 km into the race .The Garmin wasn't accurate as I was losing satellite transmission at the  bottom .so I was never absolutely sure how much mileage I had done. A quick toilet stop and refill of the bladder and a banana and I was off.I was sipping on my tailwind but as the weather was still cool I wasn't taking as much. I took off mu jacket and  had a thermal and eventually took that off as well as it got warmer. The run to Tarros ladders was uneventful with the valley covered in clouds and the scenes we were running surreal . No chance to whip out the phone to take a few pictures . At the ladders it was a long wait over 45 minutes to get down and a lot longer than last year . The initial 2 kms till the fire trails were hard and it was here that the 50 km elite runners passed me jumping from rock to rock without a worry as I gingerly tried to avoid slipping . It was here that I started getting twitches of cramps just at the muscle near the back of the knee and thigh. This continued despite taking in salt .

At about  checkpoint 2 Dumphy's camp I had been in the race for just over 5 hours. I managed  to get the bladder filled and again use the toilet and have some chips and move on. Probably had 7-8 minutes . Then started the major 12 km with a fair bit uphill and I used my sticks for the first time climbing up the hill in the paddock before a slow run down to checkpoint 3 at six foot Track Again the left leg was playing up with major cramps at the effected muscle and it seems I may have stretched it as it was sore and tight. Got to CH3 had a sit down and a coffee and some chips and a change of my top. I was looking far from my best and the time was beginning to slow although I was on about the same pace as last year despite a much longer wait at Tarros but this year we missed out on climbing ands going to Iron pot ridge .The didgeridoo players were camped out just before Dumphy's this year.

I arrived at CH point 3 in 7.28 hr and left just before 7.45 with the aim of trying to get to checkpoint 4 in 1.75 hours . Unfortunately at Nellie's Glen ,which was around  6 km from the checkpoint I started cramping very badly on the climb and the last 4 kms to checkpoint 4 took an hour. By then the leg was sore and hurting and running was not possible. I made the decision to pull out as I did not see myself finishing especially in the dark .I possibly could have walked the whole way but mentally I just did not want to do that .In the end I suspect the cold weather and the weaken leg combined to bring about the cramping of the left leg .

Timing point

SpeedRankTime of the dayRace time
956mScenic World- km/h -Sat. 06:5700:00:00
971m1km8,72 km/h 865Sat. 07:0400:07:26
970m3km (UTA100) / 5km (UTA50)8,17 km/h 999Sat. 07:1800:21:36
1022mNarrow Neck5,63 km/h 675Sat. 08:5001:53:06
757mLittle Cedar Gap7,93 km/h 1008Sat. 10:1203:15:32
637mDunphys Camp4,22 km/h 1046Sat. 12:1605:19:40
584mSix Foot Track5,49 km/h 1058Sat. 14:25 / Sat. 14:4307:28:05
981mKatoomba Aquatic Centre4,35 km/h 1094Sat. 17:0510:08:58
889mFairmont Resort Water Point- km/h ---
839mQueen Victoria Hospital- km/h ---
842mQueen Victoria Hospital Return- km/h ---
894mFairmont Resort Water Point return- km/h ---
739mBase of Furber Steps- km/h ---
956mScenic World- km/h --

This is the first DNF in ten years and possibly only my second in my life , the first being my first marathon as a 17 year old with no training in 1982 .Was probably the first marathon in Singapore and I pulled out at 30kms . Since last Saturday , the wisdom of the decision does get questioned but ultimately I think there was more danger of injuring myself more especially if I had a severe cramp in the dark and on a climb. I have also looked at how others have dealt with it and come across 2 great articles and advice  from someone who has done lots of ultras and had a few DNF's  Lessons Learnt from DNFs 
and Your Ultra-Training Bag Of Tricks: Handling The Dreaded DNF

Monday, May 15, 2017

Weeks 18 & 19 Tapering


Last Run on Sunday 14 May 2017 Mother's Day

Walk in the Park

Run with Molly and Headlights


Finally the end . The last 3 weeks are pretty relaxing in so far there is the worry of whether there is enough mileage done and elevation. Hard to answer till the day after but  always feel like many we could have done more but having said that it may come at really tired muscles, injury and worse not starting.

I am at the pointy end and fit and not injured although I had a few aches and pains  during the past 4 months  of training.

The last 2 weeks have been a real drop in volume and particularly on the weekend.

Week 18 , Just did a 8km run on Monday and then again on Thursday I did a 4.5 km run and Friday I ran 8kms .Tuesday I did a wind trainer session for 30 minutes and had a massage on Wednesday . Saturday I rode round the river with CRT but finished up early as I turned at Canning Bridge , then a really light weights session in the afternoon (mainly chatting rather than doing any heavy weights). Sunday was pretty much a slow 2 hour run which we did along the coast at Trigg going along the tracks in the bush around Trigg.

Week 19

A really short 6km run on Monday and Wednesday and again on Thursday . Tuesday a 45 minute wind trainer session and Saturday a cross fit session with 30 repeats of snatches , back squats and cleans with a 25kg bar .

Sunday a really easy 8km run along the coast .

With a week to go not much else to do but put the feet up and just rest . There is little to be gained running more now. All the work has been done is the end of the line .

UTA 100 2017 Preparation ,Preparation and Preparation

    Mandatory and other Gear for the Ultra Australia 100 
    Two weeks before the big run . Starting to gather all the equipment and prepare my list . Most importantly trying to prepare for all contingencies.  
    Andy Dubois article on mental preparation referred below summarizes what is needed 
"Running at that intensity on that kind of terrain for that long takes an unwavering, relentless attitude of indifference and non-attachment. The mental effort of the knowledge of the enormity of the task is what consumes most people, and along with everything else, Kyle managed it better than anyone else on that course ever. He never resorted to music, nor extended breaks at aid stations. He simply never allowed himself to get too high or too low.”
Indifference and non- attachment ; any of you who have practiced meditation or know anything of Buddhist philosophy will recognise those words."
    Gear List /
  1. Long sleeve Thermal Top and pants
  2. Waterproof Jacket with hood
  3. Beanie /Balaclava/Buff
  4. Full fingered lightweight gloves
  5. High Visibility vests 
  6. Headlamp
  7. Small backup lamp
  8. Mobile Phone
  9. Compass
  10. Whistle
  11. Space Blanket
  12. Compression Bandage
  13. Fire lighter block
  14. Dry sack
  15. 2l water bladder or 1.5l with  2 small flask
  16. waterproof map case
  17. Optional waterproof pants at CP4
  18. 100 weight long sleeve fleece 
  19. plasters and nipple shields

  20. Menta Preparedness  ( a really good article on the analysis of runners in the past and preparing for the race comments from the author and Andy Dubois Runner's Survey on the NF100         So how can you prepare mentally? Aussie trail runner and Salomon athlete Matt Cooper pays a lot of attention to this as part of his coaching initiatives, he comments, “In the last few weeks of race preparation the doors are all but shut physically, but mentally they have never been open wider.  In fact, it is this week that you stand at the fork in the trail. What you tell yourself this week about your race ‘preparation’ will have a great influence on your results.”
    Did you feel mentally prepared?
    Did you feel mentally prepared?
    Anyone can engage in a few simple practices which will ensure their mindset is also in an optimum state, matching their already superior trained bodies. Many runners may already do this, but the final week before race day is a great time to become very clear on the visualisation of crossing the finish line. Take time to close your eyes, relax, breath and focus on creating that amazing picture – the end goal.
    Picture the finish… if you haven’t seen it before yet, check out the race photos of previous years or ‘Google’ it. Picture seeing yourself there… Think of the smiles, the applause, the emotion of knowing that you have completed such an amazing feat, the support crew and the organisers and volunteers.
    Hear the sounds that you will hear, the cheering of your own support, the stillness of the moment, the internal praise of what you are saying to yourself “you did it”. Feel all the feelings that come along when you say that to yourself, the tingles, the overwhelming sense of achievement and pure dedication and know that you have now grown to a place that you never would have been before had you not put this vision in place and trusted in your own amazing ability.
    Another simple practice for runners whilst out on the trail in those times when you catch your thoughts of not doing enough preparation, is to simply become aware of where you are right now. Grab a leaf from a tree (there’s plenty out there) or rub your hands in the dirt – bring your focus and energy back to the only place energy can ever exist – The Present. Smile, laugh or even cry and accept that it is purely only through thought that you can be defeated today, as without thought there is no energy loss or pain and you have all the re-sources you could ever need to complete a 100 miler/100ker. If you’re looking for more information on mental strength, Andy DuBois has another great article on this topic over at Mile27 too."
  21. Finally have a nutrition plan even if it is loose >Generally I have to take in about 200 calories mostly on Tailwind and some solid food at the Checkpoints and  along the way with salt every few kilometers if the weather is hot

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Week 17 Last Big Week

Don't Stop Me Now - 100KM UTA 2017

Sunday's % hour run along the river and city
"Unless you test yourself, you stagnate. Unless you try to go way beyond what you've been able to do before, you won't develop and grow. When you go for it 100%, when you don't have the fear of "what if I fail," that's when you learn. That's when you're really living." --Mark Allen

 It is now 3 weeks to the UTA 100 in Katoomba and the last big week of training before tapering

Never sure if enough has been done and yet it is a fine balance between training and work and recovery . It just takes longer to get the body fresh as one gets older and hence just bashing the body may be counter productive.On the other hand most programmes for a 100km race would have at least a 50 km /8 hour run in it.

Be that as it may , the mileage for this campaign has been low and I have had no major injuries just a few minor niggles.

Monday I had a shortish easy run of 10km .I ran 7km at lunch and then a 4 km run in the evening.
Tuesday was ANZAC Day and rode with John Lindsay and Dale around the river at-least till the Raffles .
Wednesday had a massage so no running.
Thursday I ran a short 40 minutes or 5.5 km flat.
Friday a longer 9km again just mainly flat and slow .

Saturday I skipped the bike ride and did an easy cross fit session with weights.

Sunday I ran alone from home .Did 5 hours covering 36 kms running to the river and then along it till the city and back to King's Park and then home .It got pretty hot and the left thigh was a little sore so decided not to push for a longer run . Last big run and whilst a lot slower than last year , I felt stronger.

This year the runs have been a lot slower and I will probably have done about 800kms as compared to 1200 last year .

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Week 16 Have I done Enough

Bad Moon Rising - Guardians of the Galaxy Vol2

After the Easter Sunday with a public holiday on Monday , I managed to have another run in the hills. This time at Kalamunda with a short 2 hour run of 12 km

Beautiful day and the weather as great  . Even with the hills around it was just only  about 400m of climbing in 12km
start of the Kalamunda run in the town

the sunrise

The trails called Bilbulman
Tuesday  I had a rest and did not do any running or cycling.

Wednesday , I did a run at lunch time with 4 repeats of the Kokoda trail and then in the evening another 4 repeats and a run to Mount Street for 9km and 520m .

Thursday again no training .

Friday , again same run at Lunchtime for 4 repeats at Kokoda and then in the evening ran up Mount Street 6 times for 480 m elevation and 9km .

Saturday , CRT ride round the river with 75 km and managed to take a few turns on the front and did not smash the legs too much.

Sunday , long run but this week it was only 3.5 hrs and mainly on the flats along the river , city and Kings Park. I covered just under 25km and about 300 m of elevation. The week was about 1700m and 55km of running.Low by last years standard but a lot more elevation .