I know, I know, I'm shit at updating this. For my own sake (not for yours, why should you care) I'll endeavor to be better. Before I begin the overdue diatribe let me just cover off a couple things.
Why do I even have a blog?
- For a couple of reasons but primarily because I hope to maintain an amount of a presence on the internet. Because those good people and companies that help me out and support my sport deserve something in return. If this feeble gesture of online rambling makes just 1 person notice my 'sponsors' then it's done it's job.
- This is a place for me to get it off my chest. It's my place, so I'll say what I want. I could probably post half this crap on sportzhub or NZRun forums but I don't like to feed the trolls (and there are plenty).
- Public declaration of my goals and 'notes to self' to remedy attitudes or behaviors I need to kick.
Why should you bother reading my blog?
Sometimes, reading blogs are just a boring pain in the ass. I still follow a heap of them but many I barely skim through. I can't ask you to follow this but I can try and keep it entertaining for those that do. Sorry it's almost entirely running specific. The rest of my life just isn't for discussion.
So what's new?
Well since I last posted, a great deal of things! Moved to Cambridge, I'm back training again and training pretty well. I took roughly 8 months off through the middle of 2010 before getting some cycle time in along with some easy running over November, December. January I shifted my focus to the repetitive consumption of fermented vegetable drinks and felt as though the fitness suffered a bit. By Feb the rough self assessment was that I was in about 16:30 5km shape. I tested thistheory one Friday on the Eastside course and suffered through to 16:27. Lay down on the grass and almost died. Stupid sport.
So at that point I figured if I can run what I consider an acceptable 5km off very little training, I should probably get off my fat ass and do a little more than 2 runs a week. Props to the 2hr Sunday runs. Even when I was training stuff all the 2hr+ Sundays were still a staple.
Last week I did 6 runs which included 2 tempo sessions,
a hard 2:20 and a balls-to-the-wall 22km trail race which I'll get to in a bit. How did I feel after that load? Not flash but most importantly my achilles isn't fucked so ROCK ON!
I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm not a big fan of people that don't race when they're not at their best because they don't want a poor showing. I hear excuses like "I'm training through" or "It's not a target for me" and the like, but I can tell when you're just being chicken. I've been there so I know all the excuses, I've used them myself. Will I go there again? Probably, though I hope I'll be man enough to just say I'm not racing because I'm a blouse. There's no point dwelling on this, suffice to say if the REAL reason you're not on the start line is because you care too much about what OTHER people think then perhaps you should find a different past time (see #3 above).
Tarawera Ultra (Relay)
This could take a while so you may want to go get a cup of what ever it is that makes reading pony-poo more bearable.
Love Love Love this event. No need to dwell on this. If you've not done it, ENTER NEXT YEAR!
I entered as part of a 4 person relay team but swapped to a 2 person team to help out a fellow club member. However, at the last moment swapped back to the original 4 person team. There's at least an entire blog in that last paragraph alone but since it is a bone of contention for some people I'll leave at that for now.
I was running the 18km Leg 1 from the Redwoods Visitor Center to Okaraka via the Blue Lake with a not insignificant climb in the 1st 5km. For me the best thing about this leg was that I get to start with the whole race field in the pre-dawn darkness, but best of all I got to race head-to-head against training partner and good friend Richard Harris (Right of Picture)
Rich' murdered me up the climb and I lost a minute heading into the Blue Lake. To my surprise a couple of mountain bikers around the back of the lake said "you're doing well, you're in 1st place!". Turns out Rich was sent the wrong way by the lead bike who was struggling to match his pace. I finished the leg breaking my old record in a time of 1:20. A seriously pissed off Richard came in 4 minutes later.
I made the decision to help Rich out on his 2nd run (25km) for his 2 person team so we set off on leg 4 together (despite my 4 person team runner already being out on this leg). Richard was tired from our morning race but he didn't show it at 1st. Around 9km from the finish he faded rapidly before coming to an abrupt halt. We spoke briefly about what to do and he sounded comfortable to walk it in. I took his transponder and finished out his race for his team. Probably not the right thing to do since his 2 person team had now become a 3 person team (though to be fair I did leg 1 and leg 4 just like him).
Not long after a defeated Richard staggered to the finish he collapsed and suffering severe cramps was bundled into an ambulance and taken to Whakatane hospital.
I feel kinda bad for the dude, he didn't want to disappoint so he let me push him to his limit and then some.
Other than breaking poor Rich the event was the annual success it always is. 2:19 marathoner Sam Wreford won the event taking over an hour off my 2010 time (easy beats).
Sam Wreford (right) and Sjors (pacer) rounding out 100km at TuM
We broke the 4 person relay record, set records on legs 1 and 3 (thanks Aaron Pulford). I lost my 100km record but retained my 60km and 85km records. All in all, a successful outing.
The Nugget! 21.9km 786m ascent.
I acquired a free entry to this rapidly growing 'total sport' event. With plenty on offer I chose the 22km trail run mainly because the 1st 10km pretty much started at my Waihi Beach batch. It was a good chance to get away for probably the last of the summer weather and spend a little time away.
I didn't recognize any of the guys on the startline and given that this event has really only just come into existence I assumed I would be in for an easy win. NOT SO. Angus Bell was history after the 1st 100m. I did see him briefly at 10km and measured the split at a little over 3 minutes but never really held out any hope that I'd be able to do much about it. No biggie, I'd race for the minor places. I was also passed early by Nick Nirschfeld (Auckland) who managed to put 2 minutes on me by half way. 10km in and things weren't going well at all. Through a flat section on Golden Valley Road I was able to make significant in roads into Nicks lead getting within 7 seconds of him before heading into another steep ascent over to the Mine tailings dam. 40 seconds back with not far to go things were looking pretty bad and Nick was showing no signs of slowing. He knew I was chasing hard and I could see him looking over his shoulder (a good sign for me). I remember thinking to myself "WHY WONT YOU JUST DIE!?!?!"
Nick didn't slow 1 bit but my speed on the flat was too good for him and I passed him with only 400m to go. I could hear him suffering not far back making those sounds only a runner can make at maximum effort. I knew I was getting away. I could sense 2m had become 5 and 5m was heading to 10 when a voice in my head said something along the lines of "wow, I suddenly feel like I'm going to-BLEEERRRRRRGGGH!!!!"
I threw up 3 times, maybe 4, only 200m short of the line and an almost certain 2nd place (my kick is mighty indeed, FEAR THE KICK!). Gutted, I let out some choice words which echoed nicely around the enormous open cast pit for all the spectators in attendance (whoops). Walked it in. Small black cloud following.
Nick summed it up well when he said it was all or nothing and I think I'm ok with nothing knowing I was able to give it my all. I can't rightly pinpoint the cause of the sudden stomach mutiny and since it doesn't appear to be anything obvious like a tummy bug or fuel/hydration issues, I am pretty sure I just pushed myself pass the limits my innards would allow. And in that regard, quite glad it was a top end failure and not something else....
it felt further than it looks
The next big thing I'm amped about is EasterLAN/TrainingCamp. Headed to Owhango near National Park and, angry Achilles willing, I'm going to run trails day after day after glorious day.
More to come, watch this space (google reader + subscribe)