Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fanatics Christmas Run 2013

Distance 65.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5632.5km] Week00  year total 1548.6km

Monday, 23-Dec. 11km

Holiday at last! I still got up early as I wanted to get the shopping out of the way before the crowds built up to the levels that make you want to scream. I set of to the shops at 8am and there were quite a few there but nothing like what would be there in a few hours time.
After the shopping expedition was complete, I called around to an old neighbour who was having some shoulder problems, I had some books that would be able to help him fix the problem if he followed the instructions in them.
It was after that I headed out for a mid morning run. I'd not run earlier as the tide was in and I had the intention to run north to Semaphore but when I got to the beach and felt the wind I decided that running south would be the better option. The run went well, no aches or pains to report. I did a beach stretch to mix it up at the end. I still haven't done any speed work so far so still feel slow.

Wednesday, 25-Dec. 13.5km

It was early to bed for me on Christmas Eve, 9pm but, unfortuantely with it still being a bit light outside, warm and people moving around, sleep took a while to overtake me.
I had my alarm set to wake me at 5.15am and that seemed to go off shortly after I fell asleep. I stumbled around in the dark and grabbed my gear, shorts, t-shirt and heart rate monitor then out of the door, no breakfast as there wasn't enough time.
I drove the 5km to the shopping centre at West Lakes along dark empty roads, wondering if maybe I had the time wrong, was it 7am and not 6am.
I saw more headlights as I got closer to the shopping centre so I was ok. I parked the car and wandered down to the gathering crowd of Christmas Fanatics to look for familiar faces.
I saw David and Cathy who run with me on our monthly barefoot runs, I saw another friend Ian who had just returned from the west after one of the big Ironman contests in Bussleton.
As 6am came we all gathered to sing a Christmas carol which it was agreed was the most harmonious in quite a few years and then it was time to run. Of the 3 distances 8.5km, 13.5km and 21.1km, I decided that I would do the 13.5km this morning.
I started slowly, running along Brebner Drive with Ian chatting and catching up on news. Doing this stops me setting off too fast and lets my body get up to running pace in a controlled maner.
I did notice, before the race started that there were around 6 people wearing VFF's in the run this year, I did have a brief chat to them, non were ready to shed the shoes completely. I wonder what time they finished in.
From Brebner drive the route takes a right turn for 1km along Frederick Road, we mainly run along the concrete footpath, as this is a unofficial run there is no traffic control or distance markers.
We take another right turn at Trimmer Parade which takes us to the south end of the lake before taking another right turn into Military Road that runs along the west side of the lake.
The sun was now up above the hills and the temperature rising from its early 15C up to 22C, the air was perfectly still and the lake like a sheet of glass. The magpies were singing away in the trees with their distinctive warble and only the occasional car broke the natural sounds.
After 2km along Military Road another right turn into West Lakes Boulevard and the split point between the 8.5km and the longer runs.
The 13.5km now turns left along Bartley Terrace for a 2km distance then back along the same route.
Only at one point did I hit a patch of the very rough bitumen where I had to run in the gutter which had a steep camber, a small road bridge where the footpath disappeared.
Ian did a good job as a pacer as we started on ourt way back, he split off at the 12km point to run the 21.1km where I ran left along the Boulevard and back to the shopping centre finish. I had a bit of a race against a lady for the last kilometre and we took the same time at the finish with a time of 1:10:54 for the distance.
It would have been nice to do 5 minute kilometres but I was just outside that. It was a very enjoyable run anyway, a great way to start Christmas Day.
There were plenty of cakes and fruit at the finish line, all baked by various runners.
I waited around to meet David and Cathy as they arrived back from their run then I headed off home..... to sleep.

Friday, 27-Dec. 16km

Dragged myself out of bed at 7.30am for a pre breakfast run. It was due to be over 30C today so getting a run in early when the day is fresh would be good. I was surprised how cold the sand was this morning as I ran down the beach towards Glenelg. I felt a bit creaky today, the calves are a bit stiff from the race on Christmas day so I'd lost a bit of bounce. I chugged away along the beach until I hit the breakwater at Glenelg. I was unsure if the tide was coming in or going out as I ran down, as I made the return journery I could see it was coming in as the areas that were clear were now submerged. There were areas where the beach was covered with lots of rocky obstacles which keeps the eye-foot co-ordination sharp. I did a bit of road running for a change of surface on the way back before finishing back on the beach getting back at around 9.15am, it was a leisurely pace after all.

Sunday, 29-Dec. 8.2km

Well, I must have had a rocket underneath me today as I zoomed around knocking a few minutes off my normal time around this route. Not the fastest ever by any means but much better than the last 12 months. The weather was perfect, still, sunny and 18C. I must have been insprired watching the Bay-Sheffield races yesterday at Glenelg. One of the winners in the over 35 category was 55 years old, there is hope for me yet.
The winds of yesterday had blown themselves out, they must have been a real challenge for the longer distance runners yesterday, no records set.
After the run I did a bit of a lacklustre gym session, not really very focused I will admit. The gym was quite full as well which surprised me, I thought very few would have been there due to the holidays.

Monday, 30-Dec. 10.5km

A pre-breakfast run, I debated whether I should have some oats and fruit for breakfast then run an hour or so later but that would have meant running at 9am. I wanted to get it over with before the sun got too strong. Luckily the temperature had dropped quite low last night and it was cold under foot where the concrete was still in the shade. There were plenty of runners out today, making the best of the cool conditions.
Running before breakfast is tough, my body feels asleep, it takes a few kilometres to wake it up, my feet felt a bit slappy on the ground, lack of control. It got better though. I was starting to feel tired from the lack of food by the end of the run.

Tuesday, 31-Dec. 6km

A warm day of 35C today so an early morning run was called for. Funny thing I have found is that it is harder for me to run during holidays than while at work. That is because the routine has been broken up, I am usually forced to run in the evenings after work but during the holiday when you can choose whatever time you like, the urgency drifts away.
I didn't feel up to putting a long run in today, in fact I had planned just to swim today but, as it was the last day of the year an easy slow run to wind down would be good. It actually didn't feel as good as I hoped though, the slow run made me feel tired, maybe a sprint would have been better. After the run I braved the sea, it felt cold but probably wasn't. I slowly acclimatised to the water temperature and had a swim around for a 30 minutes. I wouldn't stay out too long as the sun would be fierce after 10am and I had no sunblock to protect me. I headed home at 9.45am into the cool and dark waiting for the sun to set. That sounds like some kind of vampire.

Yearly Totals

Total kilometres run in 2013           1548.6km   (962 miles)


Monday, December 23, 2013

43C Now That Is Warm

Distance 28.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5567.3km] Week52

Monday,  16-Dec. 11km

The heat is being turned on this week as we head into the high 30's later in the week. I ran a bit later once more but only had a light snack before. The sea breeze was blowing briskly from the south west which seems to be a regular pattern now. The run was good and I finished off with a 2km stretch along the sand. I still can't seem to get some good speed up. Maybe I should be practicing 500m sprints for a session or two. 

Thursday, 19-Dec. 9km

This was due to be one of the hottest days of the year at 43C, a real head boiling temperature. Running in the afternoon is out of the question so that is why I'm pulling my running shorts on at 5.30am and heading out to the beach. At the moment it is a pleasant 22C, the sun is still down but there is some light in the sky.
No breakfast before the run and my body still feels asleep, I will have to gradually wake it up.
I ran from Grange sailing club to West Beach and back. I wonder if people thought I was sleep running.
After a kilometre I started to wake up and the legs worked out how to run again. It was a fantastic run at that time of day. The air was still the sea was as smooth as glass. People were out walking, some swimming, some doing early morning assault courses on the beach. 

Sunday 22-Dec. 8.2km

Thankfully the weather cooled off on the Saturday. We had our break up from work on the Friday at a pub a little way down the road from the workplace and the air conditioner chose that day to break down. Maybe the heat of the day before caused it. It was an hot sweaty afternoon meal crammed into this pub with inside temperatures around 30C.
I didn't run on the Saturday as it was my recovery day from the breakup so I slept in a little late. We had rain today to freshen the place up after the heat. Sunday was a nice day to run. Cool but bright. I did my lap of the lake, felt a little depleated still. I don't think alcohol agrees with me these days. The time was respectable but still around 5 minutes shy of my best. One more run and then it is the Christmas Day run.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Almost Christmas

Distance 47.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5539.1km] Week51

Monday, 9-Dec-13. 10.5km

Wow what a run today, the wind was the strongest I have run in for a while. I could see the trees and bushes swaying before I even got to the beach, that is always a sign that it will be far worse at the beach.
The wind wasn't a southerly but more a west wind so it was blowing on my right side on the outbound leg and on the other side coming home. The wind speed was measured at 46km/h.
Sand was being whipped up and stung my legs but was not much of a problem otherwise. As I approached West Beach surf club the path runs alongside some higher dunes, this is where it was interesting. From a distance it looked like mist but as I approached, sand filled the air. I squeezed my eyes behind my sunglasses to stop the sand getting in my eyes. That didn't stop it getting in my mouth, ears, hair. It stuck to the sweat on my forehead.
I reched the halfway point, turned around and had to run through it again.
It was great to have a shower later and was the sand from my hair, it took another few days to get it out of my ears.

Thursday, 12-Dec-13. 10.5km

I had a work related meeting after work, just a get together with a supplier for a few drinks and food. As I was in the car I didn't drink and I also hoped to go for a run later. I got home at around 6pm and felt pretty hungry so had a light dinner of scrambled eggs. I then found I was in the same situation as last week when I ate before the run, it sat in my stomach and made my running very uncomfortable. It got better by the end of the run but it was a bit late by then.

Saturday, 14-Dec-13. 18.5km

A rare day without a strong wind blowing so I managed to put in a few extra kilometres by running from Henley jetty to Semaphore jetty. It took me a while as I went at a relaxed pace. I did manage to get some chaffing on the legs which was an annoyance. I didn't feel tired or anything after the run and even managed to go to a birthday party and got back home at past midnight, how is that for stamina!

Sunday, 15-Dec-13. 8.2km

After my late night yesterday it was tough getting up to go for an early run, I eventually got to the lake at 9.30am and did my loop in near perfect conditions. The weather is gradually warming up and should hit highs later next week.
Only one week until the Christmas holiday kicks off and I can get some swimming in to diversify a bit of my physical exercise.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Summer season

Distance 85.9km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5491.4km] Week50

Monday, 25-Nov. 10.5km

A warm afternoon where we got up to 29C. Would it be too warm to run on the bitumen, proabably yes if I had to run on the blacktop over the entire course but I have plenty of choice.
The tide was out so I started my run along the shoreline. Quite a few people on the beach today. An afternoon sea breeze was blowing from the south so I would be ok running on the concrete and brick. I did 2km on the sand then came up onto the concrete which as cool. There is a length of 0.5km which is a light bitumen that feels warmer under foot then it is back to the cool concrete. The last 100m is black bitumen which is the hottest surface, luckily the wind had cooled it off.
On the way back I had the breeze behind me, gently pushing me forward. I went back onto the sand for the last 2km and passed a large crowd of young people doing a beach training run. I passed the lead runner, running towards me around 100m from Henley jetty. The race was on, would he beat me to Grange jetty. Well the answer is yes. He passed me around 250m from the jetty, I gave chase but he was wirey and had about 30 years of advantage. He did look over his shoulder a few time so at least he was nervous, that's a small amount of satisfaction I had.

Thursday, 28-Nov. 10.5km 

I had a bit of a stiff neck from a gym workout yesterday so decided to take the day off. Working at a computer all day would not be good for it whereas a run might loosen it up.
We had some warm weather earlier in the week, up to last night. They day temperature had got up to 38C, overnight a cool change came in. I went for a run at 9.30am, rain was forecast for later so I wanted to beat it.
There was a strong south-westerly wind that accompanied the cool change so I ran into it. It was a good running temperature of around 20C. Finally they have opened the upgraded pathway between Grange and Henley and I must admit it is a great improvement. Much wider so I don't have to dodge around people and more smooth concrete rather than the uneven brick that it replaced, a big thumbs up. After the run into the wind I had it pushing me homeward bound. I did the last 2km on the sand again to get my speed up. The rain started as I got to the end but it felt nice as it cooled me off.

Saturday, 30-Nov. 15km

Out for my run early today and with no breakfast to sustain me. It was going to be a warm day or 30C so you can imagine my surprise to find it quite chilly at 8am. It was sunny but the sand on the beach was cold and my feet soon went numb and there was a cool breeze blowing from the north. I started running gentlyto try to warm up but I don't think I did until I was on my way back. I could just start to feel some warmth as the sun had been shining on the sand.

Sunday, 1-Dec. 8.2km

 My usual sunday lake loop. A wind blowing from the north that I had to battle for a few kilometers before doing the gradual turn and having it behind me. The first day of Summer and not long now before Christmas holidays and my next run on Christmas day at 6am. I may run in the 13.5km run this year. I don't think I'm up for the 21km yet. I'll decide closer to the time.

Monday, 2-Dec. 10.5km

A hot one today so I tried switching my run to a later time. I had a dinner of pasta around 5pm with the idea if I run at 7.30pm it should be digested by them, well, not exactly. I think maybe because the metabolism slows down in th evening it was still sitting heavily in my stomach when i started out running along the new stretch of path along the foreshore. It was very uncomfortable and spoilt what would have been a nice run at that time of the evening. There were crowds of people out walking in the cooler evening air. I felt better on the way back. THe sun had set by the time I got back to the car. As I drove back home I came across several houses that were decorated to the extreme with Christmas lights, it was actually quite heartwarming.

Friday, 6-Dec. 10.5km

Even though it was a relatively cool day the ground was quite warm in places. The hot weather at the start of the week had broken by wednesday with rain and thunder. Quite a good run especially on the return, I put in a good effort. A bit of beach running for the last 2km, the sand was a bit soft to get up a decent speed.

Saturday, 7-Dec. 12.5km

That damn north easterly breeze, warm and draining as I got to the beach after a early morning haircut. It felt better to get rid of some hair now that the summer heat is here. I found the run quite draining today so I cut it a bit shorter, turning around at the start of the Esplanade rather than carrying on to the jetty. I had quite a few things I needed to do today as it was the first of my Christmas parties so I had to make up a dish to take along. Hopefully the run would inspire me.
I was glad to get to the halfway mark and have the breeze out of my face and on my back. The legs were a bit stiff from the gym session on the thursday, why do I keep doing heavy legs at the gym when all they do is stuff up my running? 

Sunday 8-Dec. 8.2km

It was still warm this morning, 26C at 8am when I got to the lake. I was a bit creaky to start off but gradually increased my speed as the distance increased. The warm breeze dried my mouth out as I ran. Luckily the sun was obscured by clouds so I didn't have to wear my sunglasses and have the sweat dripping off them and into my eyes. Not any spectacular time, I've not got past my best times of a year or so ago when I could manage around 42minutes for the course.