Wednesday, 18 October 2017
I woke up feeling like death this morning. The past four days (& 31 years) had finally caught up to me. Motivation was low, but I dragged myself out (as you do). I was about to start when a car pulled over and told me to have a rest. It was Charlie. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to say much, as the impatient driver behind started beeping their horn. So, “hello Charlie.” Speaking of Charlie, I’ve since learned that the goat I reported yesterday actually belongs to his neighbours, and it’s name is Honey. It also charges down any dog that tries to have a go at it, defying logic as to why you would walk it along a busy beachfront like Manly. You learn something everyday! Shelly-Fairlight loop this morning, and it was busy! People everywhere, to the point where I even did some steeplechasing at Manly LSC as the B&B swimmers were entering the water (and blocking the path, as they are so good at doing). Saw a number of people I knew including Christian, Justin, and Mike (who was doing B&B)! Like always, I really had to put the brakes on a few times today for fear of going too hard. Most notably at about the 4km mark, then along the west esplanade. A nice but firm northerly wind made the final mile cooler but tougher - the trade off being worth it as it was otherwise very humid around the harbour! Crossed the finish line in 54:06 (3:35’s), only a second slower than Monday! Without the steeplechasing, it would have been faster as well! So very happy with that, as it definitely didn’t feel like my morning this morning! Very tempting to jump in the water now, but I’m not falling for that again!
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
I had one of those rare moments where I woke up this morning feeling great! I was almost certain that I would have sacrificed today’s run after yesterday’s effort. I was happy to be proven wrong! Tuesday means North Head, and after my usual procrastinating, I hit the road at 6:47am. Moments after I ran past Darren and Ben with some regret, as they were cooling down as I was just starting. I had to do a double-take while running along the beachfront as I saw a person walking a goat (yes, a proper goat) among all the dog walkers! Had I gone too hard that I was hallucinating? My initial thoughts were confirmed on the run home when I ran past the goat and it’s owner again! Anyway, I was feeling good and strong, so I went with it. If anything, I purposely backed the pace off more purposely today compared to yesterday, so the actual intensity was somewhat easier (not much, but enough to notice, which is the way it should be). Got back in a huge new benchmark of 54:14 (3:36’s), my first time under 55 for North Head, and only 9 seconds slower than yesterday’s flatter 15km! I was confident that today was going to be quicker, but had no idea that it would be by that much! Good conditions, barely any wind, 17 degrees, overcast and mildly humid. Can’t complain with that!
Monday, 16 October 2017
An amazing morning out there today, not a cloud in the sky, a very light southerly wind, and although still humid, the top temperature was a very tolerable 16 degrees. Monday is hit and miss for me - I always have a weekend’s worth of running in my legs, but sometimes this works for me (while other times I suffer). Today was the former, although I arguably pushed the pace a bit harder than usual (but as always, tried to consciously slow it down throughout the run). The Shelly-Fairlight loop it was (I don’t know which one I prefer - this or North Head). Why is it taking the council so long to rebuild the toilets between Manly and Shelly? The path is narrow enough through there at the best of times. It’s been over two months now! Back to the running, I saw a few familiar faces out there this morning in Jamie, Macca and Laurent (the latter who I also bumped into a Hakan’s Cafe yesterday as well). As I said, I probably pushed this one a bit more intensity-wise, but got home in a new benchmark of 54:05 (3:36’s), so it was well worth it. Not far off a sub-54 now! Similarly to yesterday, today’s run was powered off last night’s gado-gado. I’ve got one more dinner leftover for it tonight! It is the food of champions!
Sunday, 15 October 2017
Out for a solo 30km run around the lake this morning. Feeling quite good this morning, must have been the home made gado-gado last night! A nice southerly made for less humidity, which is always welcomed. Didn’t look at my watch once throughout the run, as I really wanted to run this on feel, keeping it firm but comfortable the whole way. That I did, running a fairly even split 30km, with the last few kilometers slightly faster (which is extremely common, a combination of anticipation and downhill). Got back to Harris Farm in 1:55:05 (3:50’s), so nearly 30 seconds quicker than last week. I felt more relaxed and controlled this week, so this is encouraging (but to be honest, I couldn’t have cared if I was two minutes slower this morning). Ran into Justin and his family on the walk back home, so at least I’ve had a bit of a social outing this morning.
Saturday, 14 October 2017
Tough conditions out there this morning, but I actually felt slightly better than usual for a Saturday morning. This was negated, however, as soon as I took off - straight into a strong southerly! Luckily it didn’t last too long, as soon as I hit Fairlight it turned into more of a tailwind/crosswind. Once I hit the trails, I was relatively sheltered - minus a few random exposed bits here and there. As mentioned above, I felt strong, but I didn’t feel particularly fast. To be honest, I wasn’t concerned too much about the time this morning - just really running on feel (so obviously good times will come when I’m feeling good, and vice versa). The ordinary weather had the positive effect of keeping the trails relatively quite though, except for a few too many CanToo runners at the beginning. Quite surprised to get home quicker today than before, finishing in 86:15 (4:17’s, as the GPS read a more accurate distance of 20.16km this week), as I was almost positive I wouldn’t have gone under 87 (and was actually anticipating close to or above 88). So a nice little surprise. Avoiding the rain, although I am still yet to see it (and if anything, it looks less likely now than before). Time for some freshly baked granola!
Thursday, 12 October 2017
Back to my usual Thursday feeling of lethargy and fatigue (last week was an exception). Coupled with a humid 21 degrees, it was never going to be easy. The North Head loop this morning, I simply ran it at my usual intensity, not caring at all about the time. To be honest, I had no idea what time I would get back in. It felt very similar to Tuesday in terms of effort, so perhaps I was in for another surprise. Of course I wasn’t, getting home in 55:55 (3:43’s). I’ve had a few tougher runs this week with the humidity and wind, but still relatively consistent. I guess it’s that law of diminishing returns - each week you get progressively less faster, then you reach the point where you plateau and/or regress slightly. That’s where I am now. But other than that, still feeling good and just enjoying it!
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Today I realised how good a run we’ve had in terms of weather. While not shocking by any means, today was a heavy dose of reality. A very light sprinkle towards the end, it was a howling north-easterly seabreeze that made my living hell this morning! From the get go, running towards Queenscliff straight into it set the tempo and the mood for what laid ahead. Wednesday is my usual Shelly-Fairlight loop. Heading to Manly LSC, I made the most of the tailwind. Then up to Shelly I was straight into it again! The back half around Fairlight was thankfull sheltered somewhat, allowing myself to recompose - although I knew my fate for the final few kilometers, which I was dreading. And dreading was right, as the final stretch from Manly to Queenscliff was hell! I reckon I lost about 20 seconds per kilometer on that final mile (well, not quite ‘final’ mile, as I turn around about 200m past the bridge and run back home to North Steyne). I completely reset my expectations this morning, thinking a sub-56 would be a great time. So to get home in 55:18 (3:41’s), despite being slower than my last few runs, would have to be one of my best runs so far given the conditions! Glad that one is over and done with. We’ve been blessed with such amazing weather (albeit humid lately) that I’ve actually become a weather-snob (along with concurrently being a coffee-snob, an ocean-snob, and a hummus-snob). Don’t know how I’d deal with living in the UK one day!