Saturday morning I met Sandgroper at Pechey Rd, Swan View for a very hilly longish run. We started in the car park and ran down into the valley on the road for about 1km before heading up into the hills on some pretty technical trails. Lots of rocks and a fair amount of water running down the hills. We had to cross a creek which necessitated getting wet feet and then it started getting hard. Very challenging climbing where it was like running up stairs at times. After 30 mins my left achilles was screaming at me and I was a bit worried about it. Luckily we then hit about 3-4km of relatively flat/rolling stuff during which time it settled down and when we go to the next lot of steep climbing it was much better.
SG has names for all the climbs - Anaconda, City Views, the nasty steep TES (Thorne Extra Special), Heart Attack Hill etc. I think it was on TES and Heart Attack Hill that I was reduced to a walk for 20 or so metres. The footing wasn't terrific and I was at my limit effort wise and could feel a bit of wobble coming into my legs so played it conservative. I was fine on the more moderate climbs but these two must have been just over my threshold.
On the parts where we could have a bit of a chat, we got in lots of natter about racing and training. SG has had some health issues which have impacted on his running but if he can stay healthy and get in more training like this, it would be impossible not to improve I reckon.
The graph above is taken from SG's Garmin and shows the elevation of the climbs we did. We finished by running back down the way we started and then up the road for the last km. We both got some carbs in before heading off.
All up 23.5km @ 5.29min/km pace. This was a very hard leg strengthening session which I am still feeling a bit today (Monday). I'm not sure it was 100% good running training in the same way as running up Jacob's Ladder isn't the best type of running training but it is certainly good for building leg strength and connective tissue. My ankles got a really good stretch and are bit stiff today as are my glutes and one of my quads (actually feels almost like a cork in one spot). Those hills were really steep!!
99kms for the week. A little bit shorter than scheduled due to shorter long run on Saturday although that 23.5km took longer than my scheduled 27km and was a much harder run so with that workout, I think it is fair to say that it was equivalent to 100km+ week. I have strung a few in a row together now and everything seems to be going in the right direction.
Rest day Sunday. We were a player short for Ben's soccer so a 2-1 loss when we only had 10 men was good effort. A draw would have been a fair result so we were a little unlucky. In the afternoon, Ben and I went to watch Perth Glory play their first home game of the season. A 2-0 over the Newcastle Jets including a cracking goal from Adriano Pellegrino. A generally good performance although both teams could easily have scored more goals. Glory's new striker Branko Jelic didn't impress me much. Big and strong but seemed to lack mobility. When he was subbed off, Matthew Mayora, who is on a short term contract came on. Had a couple of chances including one where he had basically an open goal but shot wide. He created a few good opportunities and while he didn't take them, he looked like he might have bit to offer when he settles.
I watched the Men's and Women's marathons at the World Champs over the weekend. Both excellent races especially the men's. Pretty disappointing that Jaoud Gharib was a late withdrawal (especially as he was in my fantasy team - I was the absolute "kiss of death" in that comp - Isinbaeva, Kaki, Saladino, Pars, Robles. If you were a favourite and I picked you , basically you were screwed). Emmanuel Mutai showed heaps of guts (literally) finishing second in the men's race and it seems like Kara Goucher similarly struggled with some stomach issues in the women's race. Great to see the Aussie men's 4x400m team crack a bronze medal. I thought they were a chance when we had 3 make the semis but to get a bronze without Joel Milburn was huge.
The less said about the cricket the better. What a stuff up, the selectors have to go. Andrew Hilditch shows about as much intelligence in his selections as he did when he was batting. Not sure it would have changed the result once we lost the toss on that wicket but I don't think they would have got as many in their second innings if we had a specialist spinner. In the same way as political leaders step down after an election loss, (and especially after two losses), I think it's time Ponting stood down as captain. Time to look long term and I think Michael Clarke is the long term bet but I would love to see Simon Katich given the job. Reckon he would be as tough as Steve Waugh but without the "slouch hats at Gallopoli" etc.
The City to Surf website keeps talking up the weather for this Sunday. Most forecasts have it not looking too bad but not as "clear and sunny" as the organisers (who are clearly still looking for a few thousand more entrants) would have us believe.
No real speedwork for the rest of this week. Will probably throw some strides in later in the week but that will pretty much be it. I will be getting to the start around 7.45am which is a bit early but I want to get a good spot to see the leaders in the marathon come past.