Friday, December 12, 2014

LYNO

OK so if you have been reading this blog for some time you will know that I'm injured and have been for a long time. So I can run, but not the way I want too, I can't come into the home straight and kick for the finish... "Cross Training": I might be up for a waltz, but there won't be any "Murder On The Dance Floor".

Clear the dance floor I'm on fire!
Back to the injury, I look at it this way:

You get 2 types of injuries...
  • Acute injuries, like when you twist an ankle on the dance floor!
  • Overuse injuries, Like what I have...
Now if you run perfectly you really shouldn't ever get an overuse injury unless you do something stupid like run 1000 miles on a camber!

With very few injuries over the last 30+ years of running I would say I run OK, so why the injury now? I can't answer that but there are a number of things that could be the cause and I'm not going to get into that now (it could turn into a blog on it's own!), the question now is where to from here?

On Facebook I saw that Benita was hosting a LYNOTHERAPY course and was looking for models (imagine me on the catwalk!) to be assessed... I put my name down!

Think of it like this: your car has one wheel that is wearing flat on the one side, now you could just change the wheel and drive on, but the wheel will just wear again, so what do you do? You take it for wheel alignment and your problem is solved, RIGHT? So why not with your body!

OK so if you were standing/sitting in front of a physio, you would be telling them where it hurts! While with Benita things are very different! While knowing where you hurt is important, it's not what she's interested in! She looks at you, she bends/moves your legs and arms to see how your body moves! (There are also a couple exercises she makes you do!) Each movement she records on her clipboard so she get a full picture of how unbalanced you are!

Then the treatment starts... I read the theory like this:

If your left leg only bends 90* while the right leg moves 115* you have a problem and she will aim at getting them the same...

Look there is a lot more to it than that, but that is the simple idea, so with the "wheel alignment" fixed the injury will come right!

If you want to know more about it have a look at her website:


Then get your running back on track!

Running off into the sunset!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BIRTHDAY 2014

Some people sleep late on their birthday, me on the other hand... I was up at 05h00 to meet a friend at Constantia Nek. Last year Ake had joined me for 3 hours of mountain trail running... This year I didn't have that sort of time as the day was full, in fact the weekend was full and it was only Thursday!

While I had asked a couple of guys if they had wanted to join me only Katya found the time. (It could have been the early morning or the fact that it was a week day, I don't know!)

It was such a perfect morning we could have met at 05h00, the mountain was ready for us... We weren't the only ones up there as we caught someone else venturing out before the rest of the Mother City woke!

the first bit of sun!

The top was deserted and full of morning magic, will have to do this again...

I would have love to have spent 3-4 hours exploring every single track again, but my day was not ending there I had places to go and people to see...

Katya took the picture...
By 09h30 I was home after fulling the car with petrol and a case of beer! That is not all the bags were packed and I was infront of the PC...

Entries for the Two Oceans trail opened at 10h00 and in order to get an entry you need to be sitting there waiting for the site to open.

With the entry confirmed we packed the bags and the dogs and headed out to the wine country for a few days...

Vineyards forever...
We only stopped at 4 farms before reaching Mcgregor the little town we were staying at for a couple of nights.

Hurry up with the key
Since it wasn't a hot evening, and with the cloud cover and few drops of rain had cooled it down enough to really settle in for the night...

What more could a man want?
The next morning started like any other morning which doesn't include work...

Running on the mountain
I had to go looking for trails to run on and I was lucky to end up on top for the mountain... it wasn't a long run, but just enough to stretch the legs and shake out the cobwebs befor we hit the wine farms again...

Let's go wine tasting!
7 wine farms later it was time to head back to our little cottage...

OK I took this as we were leaving in the morning
Come Saturday mornng and it was time to drive the 200km home so there wasn't time to explore the other mountains around Mcgregor. Don't worry I did have time to head out for a run, but the the sun rising and the thermoneter heading to 30*c I didn't want to be out there for more than an hour... I stuck to a gravel road and after a couple of km decided that since we had a couple of friends coming over that evening I had better earn the right to eat... So I upped the pace and ran 6km tempo before taking a single track back to the cottage!

It was after 13h00 when we got home (maybe we shouldn't have stopped at another wine farm!) and with guests arriving from 18h30 there was no time to sit around... While Dawn hit the shops for a few things I headed for the kitchen!

Remember I had bought beer before leaving? Well other than needing a couple of beers to drink I also make a beer bread...

It didn't last long


Friday, November 28, 2014

THE DEVILS IN THE DETAIL

PERFECT DAY ON THE MOUNTAIN
In my books every day's a perfect day on the mountain... but last Saturday was kind of nice!!! It been sometime since I spent any time on Devils Peak so a little run was planned: 06h30 from UCT... Ake was/is in Wales, Will was sick, Eddie was on Baby duty, Katya was working, Richard went home, Bernie had no transport, Elske's moved to Somerset West, and Ian to the USA...

Lucky for me...

MARIE WAS IN...
So from UCT we headed up to Rhodes Mem and onto the gravel roads to round the base of Devils before taking the single tracks up to the saddle. We could have stayed on the Oceans trail route and rounded Devils on the top contor, but...

Today was Devils day, so up we went...

THE LAST TIME I WENT UP!
Unlike the last time I went up there wasn't a cloud in the sky of even a breath of wind...

WE MADE IT UP

At 1000m it's enough of a climb to get amazing views of the city... Since we didn't have brealfast with us we had to head down as time was marching on...

ON THE WAY DOWN
We didn't head back the way we have come, but headed through the saddle (the path needs a bit of clearing) to "climb" down Newlands Ravine...

HIDDEN BY THE BUSHES
3h15 of running later we had covered only 20km but with more than 1200m of climb and plenty of bushes to fight no-one was complaining!

This weekend: VLAKENBERG

Monday, November 24, 2014

WINELANDS

We woke before the partying youth would return home and with Dawn and the Puppies packed we headed out to Stellenbosch...

The rain had left a chill in the air, I hear there was snow on the mountains, and with most of the clouds lifted and very little wind it was ssetting up to be a great day for marathon running!

OK so we should really have left 10-15 min earlier to beat the masses and the traffic. I didn't need a real parking bay as Dawn was going to be following the race.

I left Dawn to feed the 'Children' and walked to the start joining a couple of friends on the front line!

It wasn't long before we set off, well I set off while half the field bolted off as if they had lined up for a 100m sprint!

Slow down, Slow Down a marathon is a long way and I can't run that fast... 

Finally I caught my friend Eddie and a couple of other guys, the pace felt good and we passed 1km in 4:08 perfect just want I wanted..

Now when it comes to running I am a bit of a control freek! and it was long before I was setting the pace with maybe 10 guys feeding of my energy! It was easy going to start with and while Eddie only stayed up front with me for a couple of km (he wasn't have a good day) I had plenty of over guys to chat too.

5km 20:37, next 5km 20:23, and the 5km to 15k 20:28... Now having arived at the start a little letter than planned ment one thing, no 2nd toilet stop! So while on any normal training run this isn't needed, there is something about a race (even if not racing)... I left the grown at 17.7km and rejoined the race 1min 20sec later and a kg lighter! 5km to 20k 22:22.

I was now on my own and full of running, so I set about chasing the sub 3 bus down... 20:20! OK let me tell you a little about the route now: While it's very flat till 15km then there is a hill to 20 and another to 25, and while I thought the weather was still great for running it was raining! (and I was ahead of the hail!) The bus I had kept together for the first 17km was in pieces I by 22km I was passing them. The wind now picked up a bit, but that was a good thing as it was time to turn and head back. I now had the last 2 guys from my bus in my sights and by 26 I caught them, it was a slight inclimb so I just went by dropping the Nedbank runner, but Seppie joined me. On the other side of the 'hill' Seppie picked up the pace, I told him to keep it easy as we still had a long way to go... I did think it was a little cheeky of me as he is a super star runner in his own right with a 62min half to his name! (but that was a long time ago and I do have more Marathon under my belt than him!)
We ran together 20:08 21:05 (up a little hill and on a gravel road) 20:32... That would take me to 40km, but Seppie who had struggle on the hill wasn't struggling any more and at 39km kicked... HA HA HA I wasn't going to race him it was about keeping the body moving smoothly and that's all I did... 2.2km to go 9:02.

OK have you done the maths? 2h54:57 and still running 4:05/km at the end... maybe there is a little fitness coming back!

Sorry no pictures today, while dawn was watching it was chilly and wet, so she was supporting from the car, and not jumping out to take pictures!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

THE COME BACK KID (or should that be OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN)

Before we talk about my "Come Back" there is a lot of other racing that has been happening:

First up, on the 25th was the UTCT (100km or 62km trail race), while they started in the dark and some would be ending in the dark I was only up at first light, early enough for me! I started my run at the Nek and ran over the mountain to meet the runners at the top...

Finding the perfect shot!
So much for the perfect short, the clouds closed in and...

Leading lady, no Lion's Head in the back ground
It was cold and windy up there and I didn't stay long, I was only dressed for a run on the mountain!

So I headed back...

I decided to follow the 2nd lady down!
OK I was really up there to support her and would have run a couple of hours with her if it was aloud! I took a shortcut and let the guys race on... I did catch the race again on top before heading back down to the Nek.

Leg 1 finished
I didn't see Chantel again, but I was back on the route a couple of hours later to watch the front guys finish leg 2 (loop into Hout Bay).




















Eric had been leading since the mountain and was a long way ahead and looking strong, Andrew in red was 3rd, but would catch 2nd... I watch 6 guys come through, but I had to go home before I found myself out the whole day...

Watching ultras can take a long time!

Now a week later I was back up the mountain watching the next race: 3 Peaks... I had left home 5 min later than planned and had to run hard to see the front guys come through!

Martin in 2nd place, but would end up winning
 I left Maclears before the first lady came through but was heading on the route so I saw Katya flying along the top...

Katya leading the leads as she turns at Maclears
When she caught me I let her pass and tried to stay with her till Platterklip! She bounced down while I watched a couple more guys (and ladies) slogging up before I headed back to Constantia Nek...

Me playing on the mountain!

On on with my comeback...

While I might never have really taken off and I even run a couple of races while on holiday, I don't feeling I racing if I'm not on the road or track lining up for something fast!
Now not that I was hoping to be running fast I lined up for the Old Mutual 10km race in Pinelands. I didn't race, but ran as hard as I could, and those last 3km hurt. I was happy with my 37:15.

With 3 peaks on the Saturday (2h30 on the mountain supporting), Sunday's half (Landmarks) was not going to be easy, but it would be good training for Winelands Marathon on the 15th... The race breaks up into 5km flat, 5km climb, 5km down, and 5km (6.1) flat. it was hard work, but the body held out.  I was aiming at 84min and while the last 5 required a bit of work and I finished with 3 sec to spare...

Winelands, here we come ready or not!

Friday, October 24, 2014

LOOKING AHEAD

First up I think I might have turned the corner with my injury... the sessions I do are just a little faster, still a good 10-15% slower than 2 years ago, but getting there slowly!

So what now? I have a few race lined up... not that I plan on breaking any records I do plan on being on the start line!

First up is the Old Mutual 10 km race: 29 Oct. No problem, I am thinking about running with one of my athletes and helping them to a PB.

I've run 17 of them!

Then we have the Landmarks Half : 2 Nov. I've run all of these and would like to keep my record up, and then I think it's about time I ran another half, I won't race, but will use it as a training run for my next race!

On the 15 Nov is the Winelands Marathon and if I make it through the half in one piece I will head out to the Winelands to buy wine... and run a marathon! Now in years gone by a sub 3 was easy, but this year this will be different, and it will be hard work (best I get marathon training)!

Then there are a couple more 10km races I will try and line up for...

Trail? what about TRAIL... there are very few trail races left in the year, but I might look out for one to run before the year runs out.

This weekend sees the Inaugural Ultra-Trail Cape Town and while I'm not running I hope to find myself on the mountain with my camera taking a couple of pictures and getting in a couple of hours running, should be fun and maybe even an early morning!

Sitting around waiting... or resting?



Now my real aim is to get the legs working again and to head to the track, too line up for a 5000m! 



Thursday, October 2, 2014

STON WALL MARATHON 2014



With our tour of Croatia well underway and my trail race a thing of the past... I was in taper mode for my next race, a marathon, and was only running easy...

Around the lakes at Plitvice...

OK this was on a walk
 
There was a lot of water there!
Along the coast of Sibenik, 

The Sun was out after the rain!
on the island of Hvar. 

Didn't head inland.
I was ready to take on the walls of Ston.

We picked up our race numbers as we drove past on our way to Dubrovnik. This was Friday and with the race on Sunday we would miss the pasta party on the Saturday night, next time...

Race day and the small field gathered on the main road. I was standing on the 2nd row with Dawn, who was running the 15km.  The guys in front were all running the 4km! 

With a clash of cymbals we were off, the kids in front all bolted like someone had let a wind-up toy loose! But like a wind-up toy their energy didn't last long as we left the Little Town of Ston heading to the sister town of Mali Ston! With the juniors now walking I moved through the small field...


I'm in the middle there next to Dawn
Out front was an Australian setting the pace then a triathlete and a tall skinny youngster whom I passed as the 1st km flew by in 3:37... That would be the fastest km of the race as things were about to change!

On entering the old town we turned straight for the wall, up the stairs and through a small 'door' and headed for the stairs that would take on onto the wall and back to Ston...




           



Dawn showing us the way later in the day as we went for a walk to look at the view!





 She didn't like the stairs, but I had no problem... I didn't hammer the stairs as 42km is a long way and I would need my legs for later! 

Ahead of me was the Triathlete (had seen his half Ironman bag at the start) and the Aussie was way out front setting the pace. There is something special about being on a wall, built over 500 years ago. I was walking hard and saving energy, that was till the top when I got back into my running... With my trail running background I danced along the narrow wall at the top weaving round the towers like a seasoned rugby player. Without missing a step I passed the Triathlete and flew down into Ston...

Came down from the right on the wall then across the pic and off the wall in the left corner...
The small town watched as we ran by... The 4km route would turn into town for the finish, while the rest of us headed out past the salt fields (no salt this year with the floads in the area!)

The Aussie was still flying, and while I wanted to chase (yes I'm mad...) I was running a marathon and he was only doing 15km... The Triathlete and tall guy soon joined me as we ticked over at 4:00/km till the small town of Broce when we left the water's edge and climbed over the peninsula. The Aussie was now heading back and soon the other 2 guys would turn leaving me on my own...

The route map did nothing to tell me just how rolling the rolling hills were!!! I was alone and eating up the km just enjoying the unspoilt nature and the Oceans views. The lady manning the water table offered me food and water, I just grabbed a bottle and headed down a rough gravel road (more 4x4 trail!). I was loving this... and as the km slipped away I wondered when they would turn us. Then there on his own was a young guy who turned me and sent me back. Looking at my watch I took a quick split to see where 2nd place was... about 5min back and not enjoying the gravel! (3rd was with him as well)

The small field was spread out and I greeted the runners as I headed back, all seemed to be enjoying the run! Now I knew why the going out was easy, it was rolling hills alright, the they were rolling down... I was now climbing again! That last hill about 1km long had 101m climb in it! I wasn't making up any time on a sub 3 marathon today... I grabbed another water bottle on the top and and headed down to Broce and the waters edge!

The road was damp in places and then while opening my water the unthinkable happened! My right leg disappeared under me and I hit the tar... HARD... I sat there thinking my race was over, my lead had counted for nothing! I climbed to my feet picking up my water and sunglasses before heading off again, Thumb, elbow, leg, back... yes there was blood mostly running from my elbow down to my Garmin! Slowly I started up and the running came back...

Dawn was at the 24km mark, she had finished the 15km and was now watch on the road as we started on the next loop...


Dawn would stay there till I got back, but I had many km to go! By 25km we were running on another gravel road through the farmlands. I kept my work up thinking about building as big a lead as a could while the running was in my favour. That said it was nice to get back on the tar after 2km. for the first time I had a little support! The organizers were out to see what was happening.

The last turn was at about 36km and again I took a split... the 37km mark was coming up when I saw the 2nd placed guy, he was look better than I felt but with almost a 2km lead I just had to keep running. 5:35 up the hill, but the speed didn't come back as I headed down! The legs were shattered and I wasn't running freely, the Town didn't want to come any closer...

It doesn't matter how many marathon you run, it always seems to be a long way...

There was Dawn waiting for me... and she still had time to pop through town and catch me finishing!

HOME
Ladies and mens winners...

The atmosphere after the race was great, but that is a story for another blog...

This race is no Berlin, London, New York or Boston, But I will be back before I ever run one of those over-crowded fun runs!