Sunday, January 9, 2011


Distance 41.5km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 833.4km] Week 2

Monday, 3-Jan: 4km
At last a run in the country, in less familiar territory. This was going to be the milder of the days during the week at only 27C so it would be an ideal day to run.
I set off at around 8.20am expecting to see quite a bit of traffic on the road but it was very quiet due to the public holiday.
Morialta Falls is across the city from where I live and takes, on a good day like this, around 30 minutes to get there. The worst stretch is North Terrace in the city which must have around 15 sets of traffic lights, horrible.
I had expected Morialta Falls park to be busy with walkers by the time I arrived but I was pleasantly surprised to find very few cars at all in the parking area where the walks start from.
The fist decision was do I run barefoot or do I wear the VFF's, awe what the hell, leave the shoes and see how it is.
The trail distance was only around 4km (from Google maps) but is is quite steep. As soon as you set off you are climbing for the first 0.5km a hight of 125m (417 feet)before you get to a lookout. The path was good at first then got progressively more rocky, my feet seemed to know what to do and handled the obstacles quite well.

I was hoping for some areas of the trail where it would be smooth and allow a bit of faster running but alas, just when it seemed to be evening out the rocks would reappear.
While running through some shady woods I rounded a corner and bumped into a koala, I think we were both surprised. He (or she) didn't bolt off but hung around watching me for a while before deciding that breakfast was more important that watching the strange guy with no shoes.

Umm what are you doing disturbing me?

Breakfast of eucalyptus leaves.

One of the easier parts of the course to run on was the gravel fire track, ironically, due to its consistent surface of small stones.

Fire Track with gravel surface

The better parts of the trail look like the photo below but they are few and far between, most is much more rocky and uneven.

Morialta Falls walking trail

And now at last nearly home, a self portrait with the gorge in the background (taken with my mobile)

So, how were the feet by the time I got back, pretty good actually, a bit tingly from the over stimulation, pretty dusty and grimy. No cuts or blisters. Oh and on the signs and leaflets it does suggest wearing some sturdy hiking boots.
Trusty feet do work after all!

Tuesday, 4-Jan: 14.5km 
Well, I made it, a longer run and I'm still in one piece.
20 years ago this kind of distance would be a piece of cake but now I have to really work at it a lot harder. I guess it will get easier as I get more longer distance runs under my belt (or feet).
I reckon this would be the longest run I have done in many years actually.

The temperature was just about right, probably around 24C and I had a nice flat beach to play with. The plan today was to do my Grange jetty to Semaphore Espanade run which is around 6km (12km round trip) then if I felt ok to run on to Semaphore jetty which is just over 1km more.

I decided to not worry about timing at all, so no glancing down at the watch to see what time it was when I get to certain landmarks, just keep up a steady pace and stay comfortable.
I could feel some calf ache in my right leg which was an indicator that I should relax more and pull my feet from the ground.
I reached my usual turnaround point and felt ok so pushed on towards the jetty at Semaphore. I reached there in just over 45 minutes, had a bit of a rest then set off back.

Beach running is hard from a psychological aspect as you can see where you have to run to and it looks a long way and doesn't seem to get any closer despite your efforts. All you can do is keep concentrating on your feet and putting in step after step.
I was feeling tired by the end but managed to liven up in the last kilometre as the end was in sight and that eased the aching of the lower legs.
What a relief to reach Grange jetty, to stop and just paddle in the water was heaven. I soaked my lower legs and kept an eye on my heart rate, I stayed in the water until my heart rate is consistently below 80 bpm, that is my cool off and exercise over signal.
I'll have to keep up the fluid intake for the rest of the day as I will have lost a litre of fluid maybe more over that run. Time: 1:33:30 (6:27/km)

Thursday, 6-Jan: 7km
After my long run on the Tuesday I was a bit achy in the tendons, just adding that extra distance makes a difference.
I think I have been getting more km's in as well, so, not exactly sticking to the 10% per month rule is it?
It wasn't actually tendon soreness more of a cramp feeling in my low calves, if I had then in the wrong position I could see them going into an uncontrollable spasm.
I am still in a transition phase all these months on from my start.
It was due to get up to 36C today, a bit on the warm side so I got to the beach at just after 9am. It was about 26C already.
I did the road stretch first and felt fine in the legs if a little dry in the throat, very dry in fact. The warm north wind was blowing and drying me out.

I stopped for a drink at on of the beach taps at Henley before carrying on the run to the river.
The run back along the firm sand was incident free, I was just so thirsty.
I could have extended the run past the jetty to put in another km but I think I had done enough for the day.

Legs are great at the moment.

Friday, 7-Jan: 7km
I was a bit undecided this morning if I should do some training at the gym today or go for a run.
It was going to be another warm day up towards the mid 30's. By the time I'd decided I could handle another run and the legs were fine it was coming up to 11am, at 9am the temp was around 28C now it was around 32C.

I parked the car by the cafe at Grange and ran my usual route along the roads & footpaths to the river. I could feel the heat, the brick paving was ok to run on probably around 40C but I crossed the road near the Henley Hotel, the bitumen was really hot, I had to move fast over that to avoid blisters.
Then it was back to cooler tile footpath which was far better. At the river I crossed onto the beach, over that road again, I could feel it burning through the pads on my feet.
The sand was hot in the areas that the tide never touches but the slightly damper sand was better.
Running back up the beach I was beginning to feel overheated. I took a 3 minute break under the jetty at Henley before steeling myself for the 2km dash to the next jetty.

I got to Grange jetty without any problems except heat fatigue. It was a joy to wade into the water to cool off.

On the foreshore I did some cool down dynamic stretches, it took quite a while for me to cool of completely, around 15-20 minutes.

I should aim to get out at 8am on these hot days, as the holiday progresses it's harder to get out of bed really early.
Work starts up next week, that will be a shock to the system, early mornings again.

Sunday, 9-Jan: 9km
This was going to be a longer ran but I ran out of oompf about 3km from the end.
I did have some breakfast so I did have some energy to start off.
The problem today was the humidity.
I got to the beach at 8.30am and the temperature was in the mid 20's but the humidity must have been around 70%.
I set off running trying to keep an efficient pace that would not be tiring or cause me to lose too much water through sweating.
After 3km I was getting pretty sweaty and the breeze if any was behind me. I kept on going until I reached the Esplanade at Semaphore and made my way to a tap and filled up on water I just drank and drank.
On the way back I ran with a bloke who was running in the same direction, it would take my mind off the distance.
He mentioned that he was just coming back from a knee injury. So I mentioned he may like to read the Pose Running book and Born to Run.
He ran about 3km before turning back I carried on back to Grange.
By this time the wind had picked up and was much cooler. I was drenched in my efforts of the way up and just had no energy to continue.
I walked the remaining 3km.
Maybe I should have had some of my energy drink to keep me going before I set out.


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