Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Gone Loopy

It's quite amazing how quick a week goes by. I was planning to write this last Sunday and suddenly it's Wed. Time flies if you load yourself up. Jaden even starts school today which should be interesting. He won't tell us how is best start assessment went yesterday outside of "it was hard" and I doubt it involved him running around headbutting stuff, catching balls, booting them at windows and sword fighting anyone within range with anything he could pickup that resembled a sword.

My last week of running revolved around the Knapsack 3hr solo race I competed in on Australia Day. Run over 5.1km technical and mostly single file trail in Glenbrook, this event is simple. Run the furthest distance and you'll win it.

The idea is that if you hit the finish line in any time under 3hrs, you can head off for another lap. My pre-race goal was to try and get to an 8th lap so 7laps by 2:59:59. On the line was Mike Litchwark but no Tony Fattorini. Apparently he missed the entry deadline I hear. Good news for me but Mike was always going to be a tough opponent. I casually asked him at the start whether he had done the HuRTs very hot session 2days previous and he said he had and too hard. I empathised a little before the gun went and I took off, immediately racing with all the team and pairs runners.

Yep out hard yet again but this time in an event I had not trained for and had decided to enter reasonably late in the piece. But I felt great. Rested and with a voltaren or two working their magic, my legs felt fresh and I went with it.

The course loops around the bush and offers everything. Rocky drops that need to be carefully negotiated, short sharp climbs involving careful foot manoeuvres, a ridge line that provides a vista of stunning Penrith (and beyond), and then some really fun single tracks that drop and ascend by the minute until you pop back out onto Knapsack Oval again and start your next lap.

First lap was just under 22mins, 2nd lap roughly the same. Feeling great and with the goal of getting through 4 laps strongly, open up a decent lead and then simply hang on. Not a technical plan but I went with it.


Joining me at the race was Craig (sweaty) Wiseman, Jac (Corky) O'Connor, James (Taffy) Matthews and Neil (insert many options) Pearson. Jac and Taffy also doing the 3hr solo with Craig and Neil the 3hrs pairs. With the Rejoov Marquee and food station setup on the course transition area, we were all set for a great event. But wow did it go by really quickly.

And this is where I do enjoy the loop courses. Despite the concentration needed, I could all but switch off, get into a lap course trance and as such, they became shorter mentally. Before I knew it, the 4km signage came into view each time and I was almost done with another lap.

By the 6th lap, I was starting to feel it and by the 7th lap, I started to fade. The first 4laps were done in 88mins so I was on for a shot at getting a 9th lap done if I could get through the next 4laps in 91mins ish. But as the next few laps evolved, I quickly realised that the pace was dropping and I would miss the cutoff. I needed to be through 7 laps in 2:38 at the very latest but my time was 2:43 so 5mins outside. I wasn't too upset to be honest. The decision was made for me and I enjoyed the final 8th lap and crossed in 3:07 / 41km to win the event.

We were quite lucky with some cooler weather and the event really is well organised. I doubt I'll be up for the 6hr version next year but we'll see if things pan out, I may return for another shot at 9laps.

So the week that was before and after didn't really consist of much substance outside of casual easy paced runs.

Mon 23rd Jan: Easy 10km (4:40 pace)
Tue 24th: 10km as per above
Wed 25th: 8km as per above
Thur 26th: 41km
Fri 27th: No run
Sat 28th: 11km with the group
Sun 29th: 15.5km in the morning with the Hurts guys. Absolutely stuffed so stopped short of my 20km. But being the obsessed runner I am, I ran the 4.5km on the local oval later in the day.

100km for the week.

Nothing much on the observations and opinions front this week. I'll leave you with this from a stubby holder I used at my brother's place whilst watching that great 5 set match up between Fed and Rafa.

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