Sunday, December 20, 2015

Touring some of Canberra's ridges

There have been lots of events on my wish list this year that have passed me by due to injury and illness. The final one in the calendar for 2016 was Tour de Ridges - a half marathon that covers several ridges in Canberra's south including Farrer Ridge, Mount Wanniassa and Isaccs Ridge. All up somewhere between 550 and 650m of climbing, depending on who's Garmin you believe. The weather report for this weekend was for super hot conditions, and with a history of poor heat tolerance I was rather anxious about whether it would be wise to attempt this run. Therefore a back up plan was in place that included switching to the 15km event if I was struggling at the 10km mark and having Gregg out on the course with ice water and high power water sprayer in his Bob trailer. As it turned out the early start made for a pleasant temperature for most of the run and there was much more shade than expected. The water spray and ice water were much appreciated, but ended up not being critical for staying cool on course. The legs don't have a lot of training for this distance, so it was always going to be a long run at a comfortable pace rather than an attempt to race.

Jen Bright doing it easy out on the course

Finish line in sight!
Given the conditions, all the water stations were frequented and many steep sections on the course were walked. I made it to the finish line in pretty good shape (feeling much better than in the Bush Capital HM), but it was at a pretty casual pace. Happy to finish feeling pretty fresh. Also grateful the ankle roll in the first 500m was only minor so I could keep running! Time to plan the wish list for 2016, hopefully sneaking in parkrun #50 before the end of 2015.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Dogged in December

Things are moving along in the right direction on the Kikka front. She has showed up for the last couple of runs as promised and she is starting to really enjoy the routine, yay! I am fortunate to have some inside help to enable me to stay ahead in 'the Kikka challenge'. That help is in the form of a 'ball of fluff' on four legs. Kikka's venture to Gungahlin parkrun, where a sub 42 should have been a piece of cake, was all too exciting for Yogi Bear (aka ball of fluff number 1). Yogi managed to slip his halter at the start and as I was starting the run with all the other runners, I spotted this massive ball of fluff out of the corner of my right eye running along side. This was quickly followed by a loud yell of "Yogi!" as Kikka quickly controlled the situation. A good thing he is an obedient ball of fluff! However, this meant Kikka had a delayed start. I ran super tired and did not have a good run. But with the ball of fluff shenanigans it meant my jog back to Kikka had a good head start and our meet up point was around the 3.5 km point. That would have been a win for me if at Gindy. Instead another target has been set for the 'Kikka challenge'.  Our next run was back on the Gindy course. I was not feeling at all confident given my run the previous week. However, a new ball of fluff entered the equation. Nala (aka ball of fluff number 2) was to tag along with Yogi bear, Kikka and Leah. Nala had some 'equipment issues' just before the start, so another head start for me. As it turns out I did not need the head start as my run was much better than last week. Jogging back to Kikka she was a few hundred metres behind the previously set mark, a win for me! Woot!
Kikka, Leah and my secret helpers - balls of fluff 1 and 2

Kikka now has the opportunity to set herself up for a 'Kikka challenge' win. I have work travel coming up and will miss the next parkrun. She has the opportunity get in some secret training while I'm away. I wonder if I will be able to continue to count on 'ball of fluff' assistance? The plot thickens.