Thursday, May 28, 2015

Injury strikes again.

I knew that things were going too well. I got through Iron Man training injury free, and have been pushing it a fair bit since. Not to mention a year straight of training before Iron Man almost injury free and not really giving the time to rest my body properly

My training of recent has been ramping up distance wise with about 50kms of running a week. Throughout this training  over the past few weeks some groin area tightness was building up. I ignored this as it felt no more than fatigue and the kind of muscle fatigue you would expect from a lot of running.

This is where I broke a key rule. Listen to your body. On Saturday I did 22kms through Belair on trails, and then although the muscle pulled up fairly sore I went for a 60km bike ride on Sunday. Damage done! Now I'm looking at weeks of rest and no riding for 6 weeks.

When will I learn!

Since writing the first few paragraphs of this post, I have been back to the physio to discover that it is not an adductor strain, but tendonosis of the adductor origin tendon. Not good as it is a very difficult place to treat and to minimise use, as you use it a bit every time you walk.

I can however continue swimming, so the next few weeks of recovery is going to mix swimming and some vital core and functional strength work. Hopefully with being smart I can still get back on track for the Yurebilla trail 56km, but unfortunately Adelaide Marathon will be off again :-(

For more info:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Killer New Shoes...

So I love running and therefore I love running shoes! My old trail shoes were starting to lack on the support side of things and were giving me a pain at the inside of my foot arch where my arch meets my heel. So new trail shoes were a must.
Next on the list were new road shoes. My current and beloved Saucony Verratas are getting worn after a lot of miles of Iron Man training. I don't 100% need them now, but seeming the Verratas have been discontinued I figured it would be best to find a new shoe to ease into while the Verratas still have some life rather than just get a new shoe and go for it without any transition period.
Off to the Running Company Unley store to see what they had on offer. A quick gait analysis showed me my first video recording ever of my foot strike. I was really happy other than a bit of foot crossover which caused an injury a few years ago, it was looking good.
I tried on a lot of shoes. First the trail shoes. I tried the Saucony trail shoe, Salamon SLab, Nike and I think that's it. The Nike felt horrible, like the was a big cylindrical air bag running down the centre of my foot. The Saucony felt good, but I think the reason I liked it was because they felt very similar to my Verratas. The S Labs felt great. After jumping between shoes a few times I chose the SLabs because they just felt more stable than the Sauconys. The Sauconys just felt a bit high and floppy. Potential ankle rolling material so I decided against them.
Now the road shoes. I have been running recently in a 3mm heel to toe drop trail shoe (Inov8 Trail Roc something) and the 0mm hel to toe Verrata. So I specifically wanted something in this ball park. The Slab met these requirements for the trail shoe, but funnily enough it was hard to get a road shoe in this realm that wasn't a racing flat. I specifically wanted a marathon shoe and wasn't super enthusiastic about running a marathon./..or training for a marathon, in racing flats.
Bring on the Hoka One One. TBC....

Monday, May 18, 2015

Chambers Gully Challenge 10km

Last Sunday (17th May) saw the running of the annual Chambers Gully Challenge. I had signed up a few weeks ago with Kate knowing full well that it was a hill climb trail race up Mt Lofty. Kate did not realise this.
The race left from Chambers Gully Road at Waterfall Gully Road. The first 3kms are all uphill, the first km being a steady grind, and the next 2km being a hard calf burning ascent. Not so steep that I had to walk, but very close to. As I was running this steep section I was concerned about how Kate would be feeling. Not only was this unlike anything she had ever run...ever, but the air was cold and I was aware she hadn't brought her asthma medication.
It's interesting running a race like this. Only 10kms. I ran 27 kms last week, descending this exact trail. I knew how steep it was but you never really appreciate it until you run up it!
At the top of this grind, the next 5 kms is a beautifully flowy trail called the Wine Shanty Trail. It meanders along the contour of the ridge, providing a nice even running surface and beautiful scenery through Sclerophyll forest. At the end of this 5kms, is the final 2kms which is once again a steep climb to the summit. Given it was a race you always push yourself a bit harder, and I hit the summit in 51mins, about 9 mins faster than I normally run it. The second I hit the top I turned around and ran down to meet Kate.
She was doing really well given her absolute lack of race preparation. I met her as she was about to start the final 2km ascent. I ran it with her, her calves were burning but she persevered and smashed it in 1hr4mins I think. Obviously I was super proud of her achievement and laughed at the fact that she just rocks up and runs a steep as trail race with almost no trail running experience.
This race taught me a lot about trail running. I felt like a total newbie compared to road racing. I have no issues with pacing myself for a road race, however on the trails I had no idea how to tackle the race. Also 10kms is super short for me and I haven't been training for short bursts, and especially not short bursts with this kind of steepness. t also taught me to pay attention. First tail race, first wrong turn! I started chatting to someone and zoned out and once they backed off I continued to run my usual route. Next thing I heard someone yelling at me, I turned around to realise I had overshot the turn off by about 100 meters, and luckily someone had seen me before I went out of sight. I quickly turned around and when I caught up to the other competitor thanked them greatly. That could have really ruined my race!
In the end Kate finished with a 3rd place for her age group, very proud :-) All in all a fun race and I think it has inspired Kate to get out on the trails a bit more.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Running, Trail Running, Yurebilla Trail, Buffalo Stampede

Running is awesome! I am having the most fun running in a long time. Just running for the sake of running. How could it be better.

A bit over a year ago I was ramping back up from an injury that I sustained in the Victoria, BC, Marathon. I learnt a lot from this injury. Don't force speed. I always end up injured. Instead I am now focusing on running because I like it, not because I want to go fast. I am running a lot of miles and speed will slowly come with experience. I'm not pout to prove anything, but what I do want to achieve is to be able to just run for as long as I like.

This is a goal as I love running everywhere I go. It is such an amazing way to spend time with friends, meet new people and see a lot more than if you walked! For example, I could run the Yurebilla Trail in one day. If you walk it, you need to allocate 3 days.

Aside from loving running, I am also living Trail Running. Being out in the hills I just forget that I am running. The views are beautiful and ever changing. The air is fresh. It is a perfect time for meditation, delving deep into your mind and investigating all sorts of interesting thoughts or just finding a total point of clarity in which your mind is empty, free from the weights that we impose upon ourselves in this hectic life.

Running has inspired me to take on a few different challenges in the coming year. These two events will pose a new challenge and replace the challenge that Iron Man presented itself. The first is the Yurebilla Trail 56km. This race will take me the length of the Yurebilla Trail in hopefully 8ish hours.

The second is the Buffalo Stampede. A 76km Ultra that will take me and hopefully my great buddy from Colorado, Ty, from Bright to the top of Mt Buffalo and back to Bright in who knows how long. Since talking about this with Ty I have been so pumped. Running with buddies is amazing, but running with buddies that share a passion for being outdoors and running as much as we both do will be a once in a lifetime opportunity! The 76kms has a LOT of elevation gain and is going to be a great physical and mental challenge for us both, and it is going to be really interesting running together and seeing how comradeship helps pull us through the hard times of the race!

I guess this blog post is a random dribble of why running makes me stoked! I'm just so pumped right now that I had to write something!

Get out there and get running! It's awesome. Till next time, happy running!

Greenbelt Half Marathon

After opening my mouth a few weeks ago at one of the ARC Wednesday night sessions and saying that I "might" race the Greenbelt Half, and then backing that up with a few more statements the following Wednesday at ARC, I figured I should sign up. So a day before registration cutoff I signed up. Impromptu half marathon. I was pretty excited though as I've been running some long Kms and had no expectations so it was just going to be a fun run. I obviously hoped for a sub 1hr30min time, but if not I wasn't going to cry

By race day, Sam has signed me up for a 1hr24min race through a coaching app that I am testing, so game on! This little spark set me a new goal. If I raced this it would be a PB. I woke to a beautiful day. Crystal clear blue skies. No wind. Amazing autumn day, perfect day for a run.

The race started at 8am at Athlestone Primary School and headed to the river Torrens and then down the Linear Park trail and into the city. Sam and I had previously discussed our goal pace, and in the end we ran together, talking endlessly about events and training. We stuck to our goal pace and time flew by.

With 5 or so kms to go we managed to open up as we had preserved the legs by not going out too hard and shaved a few more secs off our avg pace. We finished with 1:24:44, Sam crossing the line about a meter ahead of me. I can't remember my old half marathon PB, but I think this shaved off about 3mins. I was super stoked to have set a PB in a race that I wasn't planning on running until 4 days ago. A good re introduction to speed work and a good basis to my Marathon training.

The rest of the ARC killed it, with PBs all around! We backed up a solid race effort with brunch at "The Deli" with the whole crew! Amazing eggs! It's been really great running with the ARC again and meeting a lot of great like minded people. The group is so cool and Kate and I have really found that we are getting pushed, but also making some great new friends!

Till next time, happy running!

Adelaide Running Crew

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Wandering around the quaint little town of Melrose, SA. It is a beautiful location and was a really nice little town full of history to wander around and take photos :-)