Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Running Year in Review

Where did this year go? Already time to do some self indulgent reflection on the year that was.

Number one is mileage - I recorded over 5000km for the first time this year. It was a consistent year  - I don't think I went 2 days without slipping in a run of some distance this year. It also reflects the fact I took very little time off this year - a long weekend early in the year and two weeks for my 40th. 2014 will be different from that regard.

Lack of injuries also played a part - I've carried a right groin injury all year which seems to be an athletic pubalgia/sports hernia involving the insertion of the conjoined tendon and perhaps the adductor tendon. It flares after long and fast runs but seems stable. i had a couple of minor ankle sprains and hamstring sprains, mild flaring of plantar fasciitis, but nothing to stop me running.

Running shoes have stayed the same - Saucony Kinvara remains my workhorse training shoe, Saucony Type A5 my racing shoe for distances up to 32k (and probably will go to marathon in 2014), with some Saucony Virrata thrown in, barefoot grass sessions and some trail running with Kinvara trail and Salomon S-Lab sense ultra.

January - Matilda bay 10k in 37:29 - one second faster than last year
March - Perth 32k 2:10 - reasonable run with a PB for this race
and in training a 44k run, my longest training run, and a 17:14 wind assisted 5k effort

April -Bridges 10k - 36:18 - 10k PB

May - Joondalup Half Marathon 1:19:24 - HM PB and i think my fastest VDOT level race ever
HBF Run for a reason 12k 43:03 - good run and I suspect went through 10k in a PB

June - Perth marathon 2:52:44 - main disappointment for the year, stomach troubles stopped a PB but before this I was already not going to hit my 2:48 goal

July - Perth Trail Series 21k 'Eagle and Child' - 3rd place. My first foray into PTS and despite a mild ankle sprain and navigation issues, really enjoyed it

August - City to Surf HM 1:20:57

November - Perth Trail Series 'Moonshadow" night race - 2nd place and great fun
parkrun 5k 17:18 - an official 5k PB without specifically preparing for it
Run leg Augusta Adventure Race - fun event as part of a multisport team

December - 6 Inch Trail 47.5  Ultra - 3:52, 9th position

Overall a pretty good year with PBs at 5k, 10k, 12k, HM, 32k

Looking ahead to 2014, i have a 4 week holiday jan-Feb including 21 days on a cruise, so it's going to be back to the treadmill, then July a trip to Europe.

My goals are again to get that 2:48:xx Marathon time, to break 36 min for the 10k, 17 min for the 5k.

And finally... on the weekend i jumped on a bike for the first time in nearly 20 years, and rode 55k with my brother-in-law and cousin. It was great fun (apart from still having a painful backside). Could I start doing some more cycling? maybe, especially if/after i get that Marathon goal time.

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 15, 2013

6 Inch Trail Ultra 2013

Another year, another 6 Inch race - my 6th. Up until now my worst official finish was 4th, but i knew this was going to change this year - there was a pretty hot field

For what it's worth, my predictions were :
Brendan Davies
Gerry Hill
Scott Hawker
Tom Bakowski
James Roberts
Kevin Matthews as the top 6.

I then thought they's be a number of people battling me for the rest of the top ten - including Etienne Rodriguez (who I saw win last week's WAMC 5k in a canter as i timekept), Luke McLean (recently moved from SA and fast in a couple of runs with me), Brett Coombes, John Pendse, Nathan Fawkes, Lauren Shelley. I didn't quite get it right.

So it was hot - hottest since 09 with a 17 degree start at 0430 rising to nearly 30 at the time i finished. There was little wind, and along the course lots of microclimate variation - some lovely cool sections and a couple of exposed very hot ones.

Second, it was long - 47.5km by my garmin - almost 1.5k longer than before, enforced changes due to track closure.

My leadup was OK - a lack of long runs as is generally the case for me at this time of year, but 100km weeks for the last 2 months. I carbo-loaded too well.

On to the race - the change to using the hall to register was good, and things went off in the usual low key fashion. I intended taking it a little more slowly up the hill and thought I' d succeeded as i sat in 7th at the top (5k). I was 50-100m behind James and Etienne (with Scott/Gerry/Tom/Brendan in front). Etienne took a brief stop at 10k and I gradually caught james to run with him for a while.

i twisted my ankle on a gravel descent in this section and in the process seemed to hurt both my left hip flexor and hamstring - they didn't bother me much in the race but are pretty sore now.

Coming in to aid station 1 there were 5 of us at one point, with Etienne and i leaving first and running the next 10k together. I was having some fluid/nutrition issues mainly due to nausea. This was partly an issue of 'lack of fibre' (read constipation) from carboloading and partly due to me deciding to put Gastrolyte in my bottles, which was too salty for my tastes. i made things worse by overfreezing the drinks and my insulated camelback bottle never thawed during the 23-36k section.

I managed to stick with Etienne 23-36k as we see-sawed, me walking briefly every km trying to suck some fluid out of the ice in my bottle, then catching him, passing him and repeating the process.

We walk/jogged up the steep hill and came to aid station 2 together, with James and another guy just behind. We'd seen Scott out ahead, then Brendan, Tom, but no Gerry.

From this point on i really struggled, my km times moving out to 4;30s. I was overtaken by 4 people, most notably by ?Mike Ho who would have been 4 minutes behind me into aid 2 and passed me only about 2k after it - running incredibly at that point (I believe he finished 4th). Big Kev took me at the 43.5k mark, and I tried to stay with him but couldn't. I walk/jogged the last 4km which seemed to go on forever.

I crossed the line in 3:52, 9th position (I think). i really struggled at the end with nausea and wasn't really able to drink anything. I didn't hang around for the presentations as i lay in the back of the car as my long-suffering support team (Dad) drove me home. Really need to look at this side of things - 2 years in a row with these problems now.

I thought the event organisation was the best yet, given my history if i don't get lost then the course is well marked. now I've done the 6 i'm not sure if I'll keep going (or at least will take a break) - in the immortal words of Roger Murtagh - 'I'm getting too old for this shit'