Sunday, 21 June 2015

Hilly Rides and the Salomon Series Trail Run (Studley Park)

So this morning, I ran my 3rd ever (official) trail run event. I didn't do a "preview" like I did the previous events because I wasn't sure if I was actually going to do this event and which distance I was going to actually race.

I am still recovering from Run Forest. That event broke me and brought me out of my comfort zone by a mile. I wasn't sure if I was going to do another trail run for a while but I really need to stay consistent with running in order to achieve my goal of a half marathon < 2 hours (road race). I bit the bullet and signed up for the long course on the 11th June. I had a bit of a breakthrough run on Tuesday evening so I knew that running was on the right track.

As this was a "run" and not a "race", I still went out on my hilly ride on Saturday. My friend Dale and I have decided to make the next 12 months count in terms of our cycling goals and both have signed up for some events to pick up our game. I did my first "hilly" ride last week (13th) up at the Dandenongs by myself. I wanted to ride at my own pace as I couldn't ride with the tri squad as they were doing a 130km ride from GESAC and then through to Dandenongs and then doing a loop at Emerald - this would have been too much for me and would be left out on the highway by myself which is unsafe. I am happy that I did this ride last week as it set my expectations for the Dandenong ride for this week and I could pull back slightly without compromising my bike strength work.

I did a similar ride yesterday with Dale but without the SkyHigh loop which is an extra 6km or so. We started around 7:15am and the temperature was hovering zero degrees. It was hard to breathe as it was that cold, Luckily I had a buff, beanie, deFeet gloves and booties, knee warmers, wool socks, arm warmers, base layers and a vest over my normal cycling attire. We ended up with 2.5 hours and around 43km. I ended up riding up 1-in-20 in the big chain ring which was comfortable enough so I know that my strength work is coming along well. Whilst we rode repeats of the 1-in-20, a few guys were attempting their everesting attempts. They started at 3am and estimated that they would finish around midnight with 35 laps of the 1-in-20.

Next week, we will aim to do more than 3 hours and maybe try Sky High and Devil's elbow (which I am yet to tackle).

With the trail run, I had planned on arriving around 7:40am (an hour before race start) so I can pick up my race number, visit toilet, drop off bag, warm up the legs before race start. Tried to sleep at 10pm but was still awake at 10:30pm. The alarm was set at 6:30am so I can leave the house at 7am.

When I got there, the temperature was so cold that I dug around the car hoping to find a pair of gloves  (which I did) and wore for the entire event. I caught up with a few Tri Alliance friends and chatted with them for a while before the start.

The actual run was pretty good although I had some bad moments - my shoe laces came undone twice, I rolled my ankles once and towards the last 4km, the fast 10km guys were finishing which meant that I had to stop mid run to get out of their way as the paths are narrow along the Yarra. I ran pretty much most of the trail except for the steep stair climbs and some of the rocky descents which I was careful so I don't roll my ankles again. I really liked my Mizuno Hayates and they worked well on some of the slippery surfaces. The course wasn't muddy and I would rate the difficulty of the Studley Park course as a 10th of Run Forest.

I had a gel at about 8:30am with the next at 45min and 30min mark along with about 300ml of hydration over 15km. Although it was a freezing morning, I was sweating due to the Ultimate Direction vest and on the insides of my elbows as I was wearing a long sleeve. I kept my gloves on the entire time and I was able to use it to wipe the sweat off my face.

My goal was to finish the run under 1:45 and my time was 1:40:11 so I am pretty happy with that time. If I was to run 15km by myself, I would have finished it around the 2 hour mark with plenty of walks in between.

My Stats
Overall placing for long course run: 439/460
Gender placing: 166/182
Category 20 - 39: 103/110

I know the pacing wasn't great and might have some fatigue in the legs due to the hilly ride (especially spending much time in the large chain ring) but this is not an A race for me but just a motivator to keep running.

Next week, I will do the run session on the Tuesday and Thursday as the weekend will be about cycling with a long hilly ride on Saturday followed by Melburn Roobaix on Sunday. It is also my rest week so I am not getting too worried about it. I am still yet to decide if I am to run Race 2 of the Salomon Series or TrailX in July.

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