Trials and tribulations of the KSR trail running team.
Note: Unlike some of the other guys, I have no idea how many kilometres (horizontal or vertical) I rack up. I don’t have the equipment to track it and I try not to get too hung up on the numbers – I have a a habit of getting too OCD about these things!
Sunday 8th June
Great long run at the Dandenongs with fellow misplaced Queenslander Kirra Balmanno. I’d intended to run 4-4.5hrs but early on my stomach made some noises that suggested that might be ambitious. It was the first time for me on these trails, my first run in the Salomon Sense Ultra SGs, and my first real effort with my Black Diamond Ultra Distance poles – and I’d highly recommend them all. Despite a long love affair with the New Balance MT110s, I think I’ll race Kokoda in the Salomons – impressive grip and very light for what seems a much more substantial shoe than the MT110s. They also performed well on the steep loose stuff – in particular one of the looser single tracks I found shortly after Kirra left around 2.5hrs in. Maybe it was the great company or the awesome scenery, but I forgot my stomach issues and ran a 3hrs 55mins. (Yes I know I’d have cracked 4hrs if I ran another 5mins, and no I don’t care).
Monday 9th June
I love long weekends (call me weird). This one gave me a great opportunity to back up after the Sunday long run with a 1hr 15min tempo session around my flat-as-a-tack local creek. This was a surprisingly quick effort and it was good to see I could back up with some reasonable pace after a long effort the day before.
Tuesday 10th June
45min bike with 15min hard. This is a fairly standard session for me – all done on a mag trainer in the backyard with the dog staring at me. I like being able to do the hard stuff without pulling up with sore calves the next day!
Wednesday 11th June
My mid-week long runs are unfortunately not that long due to the length of time it takes for me to get to and from work, but I try and get a decent hit-out and find some hills. This night was 1hr solid with 7 hill super-steep hill reps (only 60m or so, unfortunately), coming home hard in the last 20mins.
Thursday 12th June
No run. This wasn’t a planned thing, just busy with work.
Friday 13th June
20 min easy. Not a lot to tell you.
Saturday 14th June
Saturday was a fun 45min tempo effort, flat but reasonably fast.
Sunday 15th June
One great thing about running in Melbourne in winter is being able to run with headphones in without fear of destroying them with sweat! As I’m essentially a 55-year old man at heart, I got up early on a Sunday afternoon to run around Plenty Gorge while catching up on Radio National programs (and complain about the youth of today with their rollerblades and boom-boxes). Not a lot of sustained hills out there, but I was pleased with the pace and must have seen 200 kangaroos – that or I was inadvertently herding the same mob of 15 around the park for 4hrs 45min.
Monday 16th June
30 min easy. Legs felt good, I actually had to restrain myself from putting the foot down.
Tuesday 17th June
30min bike with 6min sprint: this bike session is much the same as the previous week’s variant – except the tempo’s higher and the last 6min is an all-out lung-busting sprint.
Wednesday 18th June
1hr with 7 hill reps, hard last 20mins – this one was so much harder than the last week’s. Not sure whether it was just lack of sleep, stress or the volume catching up with me, but this felt ordinary from the word go. I covered the same distance but it wasn’t pleasant.
Thursday 19th June
I’d wanted to get a good speed session in, but the previous night’s run suggested I shouldn’t. I put away 20mins easy instead.
Friday 20th June
My delayed speed session should have just been cancelled. I managed 7 hill sprints – slower than I expected and I’d meant to do 10. Ever have one of those days when you’re so out of rhythm you end up veering from side to side?
Saturday 21st June
45min easy. No, scrap that – 45mins slow. This was supposed to be an hour-and-a-half day so I wasn’t pleased. I was massively tight neurally, so this run was both slow and exhausting. I think my tight back was stopping me from opening my shoulders properly and I felt like I was gasping for air when I really shouldn’t have been. Not fun.
Sunday 22nd June
A rare race! 15km in 56:46 for 3rd at the Studley Park Salomon Race Series. Given how bad I’d been feeling the previous few days this was a huge surprise. Very little zip in the legs (not surprisingly) but I was glad I was able to keep the tempo up and felt very strong. My hamstrings were tight and heavy from the word go, but the pain wasn’t unbearable and I doubt it actually cost me that much time in the end. This course was a bit of a trip down memory lane – my first race in a Queensland jersey was through some of this course, it was also the venue for a National XC where I got to run next to Steve Moneghetti for the first 1.5km of a 12km – then he got bored, accelerated up the ranks and managed to win the whole thing! Racing through the single track around the river was fantastic, though a little frustrating when I caught up to the slower 5km racers… All in all a good sign that I can still run the shorter stuff reasonably quickly.