Monday, 6 December 2010

Run for Hope

After Saturday's exertions I was not sure I'd make the Run for Hope but I did and I was pleased I did. It was a fun morning.

I had the pleasure of running with a grade 4 student who had never run that far before and just wanted to get round without stopping. That said she was holding a very respectable 10 minute mile pace when I started chatting to her. A pace she held pretty much until the finish. It was a fun run and some good people turned out for a good cause. It was very affirming to see the determination on a young runners face, and the pleasure at achieving her goal. I still don't think she believed me when I told her that I knew many adults who aspire to run that pace for 5k.

Trail Run

It was a beautiful Saturday, and for once I got up early (ish) and set off up the mountain. My plan had been to go up to the temple on the Rokko traverse turn right and head for Takarazuka. I had thought I would make it as far as the temple that marks the real trail head above Takarazuka.
The ride up was good, steady and comfortable. The start of the run was brilliant. The weather was good, the scenery stunning and the trail was littered with multicolored maple leaves making for a richly colored carpet underfoot.
I continued to make reasonable progress until I was well above the golf course and then things began to get hard. By the time I had reached the temple I was tired but smiling.
I then ventured down the Rokko traverse. I was expecting it to be like the trail to Arima, which is for the most part very runnable. The trail to Takarazuka is mixed. There are some beautiful runnable sections but they are linked by some extensive, very steep, loose sections with 'fixed' ropes and chains in place to make the descent easier, as well as some road sections and some pretty steep steps.
Just short of 7 miles after leaving the Sumiyoshi trailhead I came across a long set of steep steps down to another road section. I came to the conclusion that if I was to venture down those steps I would almost certainly not be able to bring myself to turn round and scramble back to the top of Rokko Mountain. The thought of carrying on and getting the train home would undoubtedly overcome me. So I stopped turned and headed back up the hill from there.
I filled my bottle at the vending machine and drank some much needed hot chocolate at the cafe just below the summit of Rokko and then headed down towards Sumiyoshi. The run down was fun, I took the west side route and opted for the singletrack path without a bridge back towards the pond. 13.5 miles and about 4500' of ascent later I got back to my bike. It was cold in the shade and the bike computer was reading 5C.
A great day out but if I am going to stand an chance in this summers exploits, let alone the January run, I need to be quicker, lighter, and capable of going much much further.

For those that like maps and numbers have a look here

Tioga Mountain bike Enduro

So Sunday 28th November I once again joined the Galleria2001 boys and girls to go and ride around a course in Greenpia Miki for 4 hours. Despite a very hard but very short down pour that sent me back to the apartment for more clothes it was an ideal day. The course, much the same as last year, was a little drier in the bottom but still contained what I estimated to be at least half a mile of hike a bike for me in every 2.5 mile lap. Everything went according to plan for the first few laps as I lapped slightly faster than last year with a completely different mental attitude to the hiking and quite possibly due to my improved fitness, much easier climbs. Then I got a puncture, not just one snake bite pinch puncture, but two, so 4 holes in the tube. I made no attempt at the repair, fitted a new tube and carried on.
The support through the 'pit area' was great with both the Filipino families from school and the Galleria group cheering me on. A small crash on lap 8 cost me a little time and shook me up some but again I recovered and despite feeling a little hollow, don't think I got the fueling quite right, I just missed out on setting out for lap 11 finishing 10 laps in 4:03, 2 laps and 5 miles further than last year.