First post (a long one). Not too sure on my the decision to have a blog but thought i might give it a go and it might prove a easy place for friends to follow how my running has been going.
2011 was a decent enough year with a cumulative distance of about 4500km and probably just shy of 100,000m of ascent. An average weekly mileage of just under 90km is not bad but i never really strung together any significant number (maybe 10?) weeks in a row and generally each race only had a couple of weeks leading up to it and i never really came into any race feeling really good, trained and rested. Still, the year did yield some decent results with wins at Oxfam Melbourne, Macedon 50km and You Yangs 50 Mile, which would indicate the consistent running throughout the year and lack of injury (attributed to finally having the restraint to back off when things start hurting) has built up some quality base level fitness.
Onto 2012 and i'd obviously like to continue the consistent running but would like to eliminate the low mileage weeks that are attributed to a lack of motivation. I've still no desire to formulate and stick to a training plan, but for a first this year i've actually jotted down a racing plan and taken into account recovery time between races. The plan at this stage is:
8/1/12 - Bogong to Hotham
6/4/12 - Tasmania 3 Peaks
21/4/12 - Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne
19/5/12 - The North Face 100
1/7/12 - Gold Coast Marathon
22/7/12 - You Yangs 50 Mile
15/9/12 - Glasshouse 100 Mile
13/10/12 - Great Ocean Walk 100km (big maybe)
20/11/12 - Great North Walk 100 Mile
Keen to do a couple longer events this year (GH and GNW), a road marathon that i can get a bit of training going in to (GCM) and return to 3 Peaks and Oxfam, both which i had great fun at last year. I haven't got entry to TNF100 but am hopeful of picking up a late entry off someone provided i pull up ok after Oxfam. This is a event that i've somewhat avoided in the past as i've generally taken issue with the amount of gear required and the amount of support provided considering the entry fee. But, it seems that this is a race which is going to be stacked with competition and during the last year i've developed more of a desire to race against other fast runners. It doesn't hurt that the blue mountains are a beautiful place to run as well. Great Ocean Walk is only a small possibility, i tried racing within 4 weeks of another race last year (YY and GOW) and didn't feel nearly recovered enough, however i did go into YY un-tapered and then trained way to hard in between the 2 races.
Lastly, B2H. After GOW in october the plan was to take a few weeks off to make sure the quad was all healed up then really focus and B2H. I really had intended to spend the majority of my time from mid november (when i finished up work) until christmas around the Alps training hard. Unfortunately i only made 2 trips up there for running, both times having the weather close in and sending me home prematurely, though in reality it was more likely a lack of motivation that was the reason i didn't stick out a day or 2 of bad weather. Eventually (mid december), the motivation returned and then it was a last minute cram, trying to get in enough quality sessions. I got in a couple of really good weeks but probably left myself with too little time to rest. The first half of the week before the race my legs felt dead but by end of week they were starting to feel a lot more rested and i genuinely though i was capable of putting down a fast time. Off the start line i went out pretty hard with half a dozen (or more) others and the legs felt to be handling it pretty well along the rolling first couple of kms. Unfortunately within a couple hundred meters of staircase spur my legs went dead and lactic and i knew that i wasn't going to be too competitive today. I summited in about 1:30, which is the same time i ran the staircase in december when i'd run Buffalo less than 18 hours earlier and hadn't pushed particularly hard. I felt pretty gassed at the top but the conditions were entertaining enough to not dwell on it with 100+ kph winds, sideways rain and a river running down the middle of the track.
I loved running in these conditions, and was travelling pretty well on the way to and down T-spur, passing a few runners, but once again started battling as soon as i started making my way up Duane Spur. At Ropers we were unfortuantely informed the race was being stopped at Langords, a tough, but definitely correct decision. Andy (RD) should be applauded for making the hard decision and doing what was best for safety of the field.
I left Ropers with Dave and Caine and ran with them for a bit then later with Matt Cooper on the way into langfords in what was fun, and at times hilarious conditions. I ended up getting in Langords almost 10 minutes faster than last time i ran B2H, and given how terrible my legs were feeling and the conditions its nice to have a clear indication of improvement to take away from a disappointing (though thoroughly enjoyable) day.