Choo Choo run with Sandgroper and Sugar on Saturday morning. This is a run that they have both done before, Sandgroper more than once but I had no real idea what lay ahead other than a lot of hills.
An early start with Sandgroper picking me up at 5am, then on to Sugar’s.
Drop off of dry shirts at Serpentine and drinks at about the 22k mark before we got to North Dandalup. We were a bit early so we had to wait about 20mins before it was light enough to set off.
I struggled a bit early as I have not done any serious hill work and no trail running at all recently. There were some serious uphills over the first 10km with the 2-7km stretch being pretty much all uphill without relief. You can find the elevation profile on my page on Strands by looking at the workout entry for this run.
Beautiful conditions for running – cool and clear. Early in we ran past paddocks with cows and a calf decided to run along with us for a bit and later on when we were on the trail we saw a few kangaroos.
We got to “Crying Corner” in around 52mins and took a short break (mainly so I could catch up – I was a couple of minutes behind the guys at this point). I think I improved as the run went on – the worst of the hills were over but it was still hard – there was hardly any of this run when you were not running uphill or downhill.
Whenever I could get onto anything that was flat and allowed me to run in rhythm I was fine. There was a good stretch when we had a about 12km to go and before we hit the big downhill. Sugar and I were cracking along at this point at 3.40-3.45 pace. The downhill was a bit of a downer though as it was just too steep to run properly. Also I had a bit of bruising on my left foot which made me even more cautious.
We got to back to the Highway with about 6km to go and settled into a good pace around 3.55/km pace. I was feeling really good at this point but got a bit tired with about 1km to go. Sugar is in great shape at the moment (has been since about this time last year) and ran really strongly all morning. Sandgroper showed his natural ability on the hills – he is a bit of a mountain goat I reckon.
We finished in Serpentine and after changing into the dry shirts we left, we hit the General Store for some much needed protein and carbs. The lack of baked goods was a bit of disappointment but iced coffees, bananas, gatorade and a Mars bar still hit the mark.
About 20mins later, the train arrived to take us back to North Dandalup. The train journey on pretty much a direct route only took about 11 minutes – but it was a very fast train :-)
This was my last long run before Gold Coast. I’m pretty happy with my ability to run well on the flat even after the hammering my legs took on the hills over quite a few kms and luckily for me, Gold Coast is completely flat.
This was a very hard run but it was also very enjoyable and a bit of an adventure. It is not the sort of run that you can do if you are not in decent shape so in that way it was also a bit of a reward.
In short – great morning, hard run, beautiful scenery and setting and top company – it doesn’t get much better than that.
The World Cup has started, co-inciding perfectly with my taper. Now I have a dilemma though as most of the games that I want to watch are in the absolute middle of the night eg Australia v Germany at 2am. This doesn't fit well with a need to get lots of sleep and recover as well as still getting some runs in at the right intensity. I think the Foxtel IQ will be getting a bit of a workout and I will spend a lot of time avoiding radio, internet and other people until I have had a chance to catch up on the games.
I won't be posting recaps of my daily workouts here anymore - they are all on Strands. I will post weekly totals though.
Last two weeks have been 103.6km and 115.75km following from my 131km week. Six of the last nine weeks have topped 100kms so I feel like I have done the volume needed to have a good run at Gold Coast, I just wish I was running a bit quicker as I don't really know for sure what pace to run at. I feel confident I can go sub 3 but I don't know if that means 2.59, 2.57 or maybe even 2.55.
In other news, Ben's soccer team which I coach is now top of the league. We had a good (albeit comfortable) win this morning and Ben scored a cracking goal. A brilliant turn left the defender in his wake and he then strode on and smashed it past the keeper who had no chance. A really clinical finish and a very proud Dad.
First week of my taper this week. I'll still get up around 85-90km depending on how far I run tomorrow and next Sunday (after my leg of the relay marathon). I am down for 18.6km tomorrow morning but I might scale that back to a 12.8km Bridges loop instead. Ben and Rox are running tomorrow so I need to be back in time for them to head out and also I need to find time to watch the Socceroos.