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‘Speed’ session

25 mins in the gym. Lame. The fact that I got back from a 2 day trip to Zim last night is no excuse as I didn’t bother to train when I was there either.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Wembley Square
Time started: 6:10am
Total time: 30 mins
Total distance: 4km ish
Temperature: 20˚

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Favourites, Races

Third race of 2011: Kloof Nek Classic (21km)

I can’t say I was relishing this much because I bloody hate this race. Its a half marathon which goes from 0 to 390m in less than 4km. Straight up Kloof Nek from Camps Bay High with no warm up and just when you’ve coughed up a lung at the roundabout you get to cough up the other one on the near vertical incline up to the Cable Station. I can’t breathe let alone think. Oh yeah and to make this experience even better I’m going for a time. On the last two occasions I’ve hovered around 2:05 and today I’ve promised myself I’ll get a sub 2 on this monster. I know that to reach this I need to run hard at the beginning, because I won’t be able to make up the time during the fade on Signal Hill.

By the time I pass the Cable Station my legs are like lead, but I press on faster. Finishing Comrades last year gives you this weird perspective on pain. I’ve noticed that I can push myself harder over shorter distances (i.e. anything less than 89km) because I know it will be over and done with in a couple of hours. I’ve also started to think on races that if its not hurting then I’m not trying hard enough. Now that is perverse.

I’m running with Gregg who is much better runner than me and would be an excellent runner if he trained properly. Gregg is the sort of guy that has a couple of pints the night before, does a couple of easy runs a week and then posts a 3:30 marathon. Unbelievable. I’ve showed Gregg my scribbled-on-a-post-it-note-at-4am estimated times at the key turning points, and now he is along for the ride. He got me a sub 50 minute 10km in December when we ran the Gugs 10km together and now I think I’m his pet project. Make no mistake, today Gregg is out for a training run not a race, so whilst I’m frothing at the mouth, he’s chatting amicably with me. ‘How’s this pace?’ he enquires, ‘Can’t. Speak. Right. Now’, I croak. I’m feeling stronger than last year at the Tafelberg Road turn and storm the downhills in order to make up the time I’ve lost on the uphill. I hit Kloof Nek at such a speed I thought my knees my give in and then its the slog up Signal Hill.

Now I’ve lost the momentum and start slowing to a crawl whilst everybody passes me. This is the part I hate. I run this road every week, I know it like the back of my hand yet it defeats me on this race every year. Gregg glances over his shoulder to see where I am, staying just out of reach and speeds up when I speed up which gets me up the incline. I’m gritting my teeth now as the pain is beginning to bite, so I remind myself of the time I want to see on that clock and the downhill stretch to the finish.

We turn at the cone and I’m away. I can hear Gregg telling me we’re going to make it even if we do 6 minutes a km so we can ease up. With 6km to go I know I’m going faster than this and its in the bag, but just how far in the bag? I’m taking runners one by one on the Signal Hill downhill and I’m feeling good so I step it up down the Glen. So if you’ve driven down here you’ll know its a collection of bends on a very steep downhill. Last year I was crapping myself because if you trip here at speed, next stop is Accident and Emergency. Last year I was cautious, this year I couldn’t give a stuff.

‘Do you realise you’re doing 4:08 a km?!’ yells Gregg as I’m tearing down the hill so fast my eyes are watering (its the sweat and the smell of the finish line). ‘I’m at terminal velocity!’ he says in a concerned voice. Gregg is a tall guy and is also thinking about the probability of stitches. Right now I can’t slow down even if I wanted to. I’m gritting my teeth as we turn into the school and its 400m round the grass track to the finish. Gregg, now on the softer surface, is looking more confident and we cross the line at 1:55:59.

Read my post race report from 2010

Race notes
Route: Start Camps Bay High School, up The Glen to Kloof Nek, turn right onto Tafelberg Road, turn back to Kloof Nek, Climb Signal Hill and try not to fall as you fly back down to the school
Height climbed: 500m
Time started: 06:00
Total time: 1:55:59 smashing 9 minutes off last year’s time
Total distance: 21.1km
Weather conditions: Sunny
Temperature: 25˚
Runner’s condition: Smug

 

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Fartlek: Day 2

Absolutely nothing worse than running the same session back to back.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Keizersgracht Street for the 30 mins fartlek session and back
Time started: 6:24
Total time: 30 mins
Total distance: 4.5km
Weather conditions: No wind today

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Fartlek: Day one

Running notes
Route: My flat to Keizersgracht Street for the 30 mins fartlek session and back
Time started: 6:15
Total time: 30 mins
Total distance: 4.5km
Weather conditions: Windy as hell (40kmph + winds) nearly got blown into the road

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Take that Bellevue Street!

What a difference a week makes, the weather was cool and damp and I stormed up my hill repeats reaching the summit of the 5th at one hour on the nose. I wasn’t laughing quite so hard when I got home and the lift was out of order.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Bellevue Street, 800m hill repeats at 30% x 5
Time started: 6:11am
Total time: 1:37
Total distance: 13km ish
Temperature: 17˚
Runner’s condition: As my Dad would say, ‘not bad’

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Monday evening

Running notes
Route: Kloof Nek car park to the Lower Cable Station turn at the end of the tarmac on Tafelberg Road and back
Height climbed: 180m
Time started: 17:45
Total time: 1:20
Total distance: 12.5km
Weather conditions: Windy at the corner of Devil’s Peak
Temperature: 25˚
Runner’s condition: Slightly slow due to race on saturday

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Keizersgracht again

Damn lamposts. Though a pretty good achilles stretch after 36km yesterday.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Keizersgracht Street for the 30 mins fartlek session and back
Time started: 10:15
Total time: 30 mins
Total distance: 4.5km
Weather conditions: Mild
Temperature: 27˚
Runner’s condition: Didn’t have the energy or the inclination to do a treadmill and spin session at the gym so I didn’t bother.

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Races

Second race of 2011: Red Hill Classic (36km)

Every year I do this race and every year I forget how hard it is. Today I used my New Year’s resolution of slacking off a bit, and selected to make it a little less hard by picking the 36km rather than the marathon distance. Or as Steve shouted to all and sundry as he passed me at the 3km marker, I was running the ‘Gay Hill’ rather than the ‘Red Hill’. Yes indeedy.

I ran the marathon last year and hated every second of it, if I wasn’t the control freak that most of my acquaintances know me to be I would have given up and walked home. I swore then I’d never do it again, I’d rather line up at the start of the Death Valley UltraMarathon (reputably the toughest, most likely to kill you race on the face of the Earth) than run this again. The 36km still follows the same route, it just doesn’t make you run the soul destroying 3km out and back.

I still hated every second of the 36km, but its 6000m closer to the finish line and thats all that counts.

Read my post race report from 2010

Race notes
Route: Start Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, Scarborough, Red hill, Simonstown to Fish Hoek
Height climbed: 420m
Time started: 06:00
Total time: 3:28
Total distance: 36km
Weather conditions: A South Easter with a force capable of sucking the life out of any breathing thing
Temperature: 23˚
Runner’s condition: Ready to give up in the middle, but a pep talk and some strong painkillers rallied the troops.

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Hill torture

I can’t even think of a swearword that would come close to my training session this morning.

It took 55 minutes for me to convince my body to get out the door (I knew this would happen so I set the alarm for 5am) and onto the street. Usually when this happens I roll over and get another hour of shut eye, but today I forced myself. This was my first mistake, because after I managed to get out in the fresh air it just got worse.

My legs just wouldn’t work.

You know those pampered pooches on the promenade that have to be carried because otherwise their scrawny necks would snap if their doting owners dragged them along by their leashes? It was a bit like that. And my arse still hurts from those lunges on Sunday – how the %£@! is that possible?

So not only did I have to endure the hell of 5 (the evil plan slapped another one on this week) hill repeats that would have made Dante’s eyes bleed, I had to do it twice as bloody slow.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Bellevue Street, 800m hill repeats at 30% x 5
Time started: 5:55am
Total time: 1:45
Total distance: 13km ish
Temperature: 20˚

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Monday

Managed a good sprint up to the Cable Station – a bit slow on the rest of the run.

Running notes
Route: Kloof Nek car park to the Lower Cable Station turn at the end of the tarmac on Tafelberg Road and back
Height climbed: 180m
Time started: 17:45
Total time: 1:20
Total distance: 12.5km
Weather conditions: Light breeze
Temperature: 25˚
Runner’s condition: Good

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3 days in one

So because I couldn’t get up on Thursday, and then it was windy (40kmph gales) on Friday I had to do three training sessions this morning. Sigh. Then I got all energised and did 50 lunges with 6kg weights and now I can’t sit down in a chair.

Running notes
Route: My flat to Keizersgracht Street for the 30 mins fartlek session, run to the gym for a 25 minute speed session on the treadmill followed by a 30 minute spin class and topped off with lunges.
Time started: 08:10
Total time: 2:00
Total distance: 10km
Weather conditions: Warm
Temperature: 27˚
Runner’s condition: Surprisingly okay

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First Chappies run of the season

20.5km mostly uphill, but the view was fantastic. The chocolate milkshake in Dunes cafe afterwards was even better.

Running notes
Route: Car park opposite The Chapman’s Peak Hotel to the farmstall in Noordhoek and back
Height climbed: 380m
Time started: 06:30
Total time: 2:07
Total distance: 20.5km
Weather conditions: Sunny
Temperature: 24˚

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Sad face

Must have put quite a lot of effort in yesterday as I couldn’t even keep up with the group tonight.

Running notes
Route: Kloof Nek car park to the Lower Cable Station too windy to run Tafelberg so did the out and back on Signal Hill.
Height climbed: 250m
Time started: 17:45
Total time: 1:20
Total distance: 12.5km
Weather conditions: Windy
Temperature:
Runner’s condition: *£%^@(

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