Running warm up/down 5:00  0.5 km (10:00 / km) shoes: Peregrine7
Back along path from road to Explorers Tree till I found some bush to duck behind. Then back again.
Running race 4:05:27 43.92 km (5:35 / km) +1368m4:50 / km ahr:154 max:167 shoes: Peregrine7
Six Foot Track Marathon. Run it 3 times before with times of 5hrs25 (not a good day!), 4hrs38 and two years ago 4hrs22( a good day). I'd looked at splits and other info and race strategy was to go a bit harder than previous to Cox's River, then steady through the two big climbs, find a rhythm along Black Range and aim to bring it home on the downhill into Jenolan Caves.
Cool morning and very dark. Race starts at 7am and even as dawn came the clouds seemed to keep things fairly dim. I headed to the start line about 10mins prior and was well placed as the start group formed and crowd cleared, probably 2nd or 3rd line. Took off really well and probably faster than intended but it felt easy and others were a bit tentative. Bit of push and shove at one point which I won (I think the other guy was ok ;) ). Down Nellies Glen which is fairly treacherous and I was going well - exercises and downhill practice over last few weeks held me in good stead. Got past a few slow coaches and then was in behind Shaun Creighton. He was a bit tentative but someone to chat too and he was always gonna take off at the bottom so stayed behind him.
We hit the firetrail and as predicted Shaun took off. Was a bit spread out and not many around me. As always a bit hard to find that marathon pace rhythm - faster than long run pace but not too fast? Megalong Valley appeared relatively quickly and onto the single track through the forest and paddocks. More stiles to cross than I remembered. At times with noone in sight in front I could see why Marty went off course a few years ago. I figured I'd got a good start through Nellies Glen and this was confirmed when James Minto passed me at about 10k - I thought he'd be well ahead of me by the end.
A bit of chat with blue singlet as we ran on single trail beside Cox's and then a bit sooner than expected to the river crossing. River was very still at the usual point and barely waste deep - probably my easiest crossing. I'd written down times on my arm for 4hr and 4hr10 splits and I was pretty bang on 4hr pace. About 9mins quicker to Cox's than my previous PB. Pleasantly surprised but I didn't think I'd raced too hard.
On to the big climbs of Mini Mini Saddle and the Pluvi. Mini mini was tough with longer than I remembered beyond the Lemongrass (?) Drink station in the paddocks. Ran for a while with woman who ended up being second - well she past me up the hill and then I passed her as we started out down the hill, she was calling out "Be the Turtle" I assume to herself.... Found a better rhythm up the Pluviometer, the toughest climb, with a slow, steady pace. Was near the Turtle, blue singlet and Andrew who won Gindy Parkrun last week.
At the top of the Pluvi was the Black Range where the plan was to grind out a rhythm. And a grind it was. 26-34k section of the race and 2hrs20-3hrs10 in time. Kept going steady but it was tough and i certainly wasn't breaking any records, but I knew what I had to do. Blue Singlet pulled away from me and passed a few people who were falling into their own Black Range holes (metaphorically speaking). Got some encouragement from a bloke who was prancing along the range which later worked out was Ben St Lawrence - pretty sure he ran at Rio. 5k maybe?
At the end of the Black Range and into the section known as the Deviation which is some rolling shorter hills in a damper section of forest. Definitely feeling it now but kept grinding away. There is one super steep hill in here which I'd thought beforehand I would walk as I ran it last time and used up the last of my petrol tickets there with still 8k to go. So I walked it and it was a good move as gave my glutes a rest.
Caves Rd crossing came quicker than expected and then set out to push to the end. I was fairly had it but efficient and rolled down the hills. Glutes were shot and I was having trouble generating much speed. Struggled going down the last 4k of steep hill. In fact fair to say I hated it. And while I lost time on others around me in this section I would've been way quicker than in the past. Martin Fryer came past me here and I tried to go with him but just didn't have it. Having said that I passed a few guys who were blowing up in their own worlds of hurt.
Of course glad to see the finish and very happy to do 4hrs05. Kinda couldn't believe it in a way - some of the guys whose times I beat or were near are guys I never thought I would be up with. But ran to plan and having run 6 foot a few times already helped a lot. It was also a different experience running nearer the front - less people to run with, much more on your own.
I ended up 33rd male, 11th in M40-50 and very pleasingly counted for the Gramps Army team that won the Mens Teams race. Was a little nauseous after finishing but not too bad and lots of coke seemed to do the trick there. Also tried to keep doing some walking to help legs not stiffen up too bad. Had a nice picnic lunch with Belinda, Spottage and Emma and families and headed back to our house in Blackheath. Ripping race.
Running17:30 3.59 km (4:53 / km) +78m4:24 / km ahr:143 max:159 shoes: Peregrine7
Lap of Aranda. Feeling fresh while at the same time obsessing about niggles. Heel feeling a little better - seems to correspond with taking anti-inflams, funny about that. Shoes seemed ok for downhill with addition of a bit of shoe goo.
Running intervals 52:07 10.6 km (4:55 / km) +167m4:33 / km ahr:140 max:161 weight:77.4kg shoes: Saucony Peregrine6
Run to work including 3 efforts - 1st downhill off Aranda Hill, 2nd a km through Cork Oaks and up hill to Himalayan Pines and final a k at marathon pace (4min k) along bike path. Usual tapering overanalyses where I didn't feel great but that was probably coz I was noticing every tweak.