Tuesday, May 8, 2012

TNF Last Tough Sessions Testing Inov8 Roclite 285

I have the perfect end of training for The North Face 100km. On Saturday I helped out the organisers from Wild Endurance  http://www.wildendurance.org.au/ 50km and 100km team event to raise money for the Wilderness Society. I was the Forerunner for the second leg CP2-CP3 21km from Katoomba to Queen Victoria Hospital (QV). I put out markers through the Furber Stairs, check the makers through the Leura Forrest and Sublime Ridge and to put out count down markers for the last 5km heading into the Queen Victoria Hospital up Kedumba to the Kings Tableland road.
I had a fantastic day. I felt great. The sun was shining and the early frost was melting and I had the dream drive from Sydney to the mountains, it only took me 1 hour and 15 minutes. Helping out Wild Endurance also meant that I got a last hit out in the Blue Mountains before I hit the taper. There is just something about running in the Blue Mountains with a back pack on then coming back to the sea level to run without a pack, everything just seems so much easier.
On the run from Katoomba to QV I past many The North Face (TNF) runners doing the same as me, everyone was out just getting in their last session before the taper began. I tested out my new Inov8 Roclite 285 and they are amazing. They are everything that I could wish for in a trail shoe. Super light. Mine being a size UK 5.5 only weigh 217 grams. The teeth like grip on the sole of the shoe locks into any surface and they have enough padding under the balls of my feet so I not feel a single rock as I descended down Sublime Ridge into the Jamison Valley. They have all the protection I need but they still feel extremely racy. On the flat it just felt so natural to kick on and run fast. Just perfect.
I also tested out the Go Pro Hero 2 on the run and I had a ball descending dow the Furber Stairs recording it on my chest brace. Stay tuned for the footage from that descent. I was happy to say that the strap did not chafe me once. I also tested my new Garmin 910. At first I was in swim mode, and it did not read my heart rate. Hey that's why you test it all out.
I tried out a new hydration formula Hydralyte Sports and generally worked my legs on the climb out of  the Jamison Valley. When I arrived at the QV I spotted Marcus Warner running the next section for Wild Endurance. He was only meant to run 35km. But he ended up having to run 61km because someone  removed some of the markers that I put out or checked through the Leura Forrest. It was not the best lead up for his race the next day the 10km Footpoint Trail Series Race 2 or an ideal preparation for TNF. He is a strong and experienced runner. I am sure he will pull up just fine.
I also spotted the two most amazing women at QV on a training run for TNF. Meredith Quinlan and Jess Baker out training together again. Both women broke the record for the Great North Walk (GNW) 100 Mile and they now how the record for the GNW 250km. Those two women are an unstoppable force. They both looked fresh and as fit as ever.  Their presence together is so powerful, they work so well as a team. It is clear to me that all the kilometres they have put in their legs have not taken the spring from their legs. The are both bound to have a great run at TNF 100km.
After some of my usual chit chat with anyone who will listen, I jumped on my road bike and headed back 15km to Katoomba Oval where I had parked my car.
On Sunday I ran a 10km Footpoint Trail Series Race 2. http://www.footpointshoeclinic.com.au/footpoint-trail-series It is the same as the down hill version but in reverse. I was not looking forward to running an up hill event after putting so many tough kilometres in my legs the day before. The race started at Sirus Cove and followed the trail around Bradley's Head, Chowder Bay, over the Balmoral Ridge, down the stairs around the Balmoral Oval, along the Espanade then up the steep climb of Manderlay Street and finished at Alan Boarder Oval.
I lead out from the start and I was past by 2 guys who later got lost in the bush around the 4km mark. They later re-found the track but ended up running an extra 4kms.  I almost went the wrong way on a few ocassions but I asked the guy my friend Keith Hong, who was running behind me where to go. I ended up winning my first ever event out right with a time of 43:12 only 14 seconds slower than my down hill time. Everyone got "Chicked" that day it was awesome. I had 4 of my personal training and bootcamp clients run the 5km event. They all surprised themselves too. It was a really fun event. I will be back in July to try and make it 3 wins in a row.
I've pulled up okay from my mad 10km sprinting though the bush and I can't wait to race TNF 100km in only 10 days time. I have realised that I can climb and I can climb fast. I can run faster than I think I can when I am pushed. Bring on TNF100km.

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