Finally… the 20th edition weekly recap has arrived! It’s been slow going for recaps in 2015 with the only other editions being #18 and #19 and we are now into March. To be fair I have published plenty of race reports in the last few months as I have focussed on my trail running. The most recent 2 being the Running Wild Wentworth Falls race and the Sydney Trailrunning Series 20k.
As I write this recap, the Six Foot Marathon is now less than 1 week away! As usual I feel underdone and as usual my numbers suggest I am in good form to at the very least, do my best and leave nothing at the startline. It should be good.
So onto the updates since my STS report 2 weeks ago…
1. 200k in Feb
I have been working on building my volume up and as much as possible making sure every km counts. I don’t see the point in junk miles and so in Feb, I pushed out 200k of running. This is a big benchmark for me (typically I average about 100k per month) and something I need to keep hitting month on month in the lead up to TNF100. My February run km’s were bolstered by 3 main ‘races’: the Megalong Mega, Wentworth Falls and STS 20k. These races should give me a solid base to build off and dig into for the 6ft track.
2. Joining club Hoka
Straight up, Hoka’s actually don’t make much sense to me. I love reasonably minimalist running shoes and have always sought out shoes of that genre. It’s why I developed a strong preference for Inov-8 when I started running. I also love Salomon and especially the S-Lab shoes. My Sense 3 Ultra SG shoes are amazing and my XT5’s work great on long runs. The dilemma I was having is the XT5’s have pro-nation control which I really don’t need and I was rolling my left ankle too often because of it. I was also concerned the Sense 3s with their big lugs and minimal padding would leave me beaten up over my longer races. I needed a new shoe that would carry me through TNF100 and I needed to start breaking them in now.
My shortlist consisted of the Salomon S-Lab 4 Ultras (not the lugged SG edition), Salomon Sense Pros, Nike Terra Kigers and the Hoka One One Challenger ATRs. I picked the Hoka’s… Why?
There are heaps of really good reasons and a few pretty lame ones. I’ll get the lame ones out of the way first. Firstly, I just wasn’t that interested in the Nike option right now so they were cut. Even more lame… I didn’t like the design of the Sense Pros (and they weren’t S-Lab). That left the Sense 4’s and the Hoka’s. As an aside, I actually would quite like a pair of both the Terra Kigers and the Sense Pros, and will probably get them at some point.
My main concern with the Sense 4’s was that they weren’t going to be that different from my Sense 3 SG’s. So the Haka’s won. Why no Inov-8’s? I think they have gone past the point of being “identifiable” there are so many options I couldn’t really hone in on one particular shoe.
I will review the Hoka’s down the track but I can say they feel pretty amazing. They certainly have the lightweight and low drop aspects I like in shoes and the padding works a treat. I find myself smashing through some pretty difficult sections of trail with more confidence and momentum. I haven’t done any long runs yet so will hold off on judging the comfort factor. In the meantime the Ginger Runner review pretty much ticks the boxes anyway.
3. An 18 day run streak
As someone who spent the last year doing triathlons (and training specifically for the 70.3 and Ironman distance) its almost inconceivable that I would not do anything other than run. But that’s what I have done the last 18 days (my lunch run today will be #19). I guess I’m focussed on my upcoming running events, and that’s a good thing. I must admit that the streak was almost broken Sunday last week. I headed out for a quick run when a huge thunderstorm hit and as I was running along high ground beside a steel pipeline surrounded by lightning I decided to turn around, logging the grand total of 500m. It still counts in my book though and so the streak remains alive.
4. Running around Singapore
Last week I was in Singapore for work. In spite of this, or perhaps because of this, I kept my run streak alive with 3 early morning runs. I know Singapore has a couple of really cool ‘trail’ runs including the Southern Ridges and around the MacRitchie reservoir, and I really wanted to do them but my schedule meant I simply wasn’t going to make it to them and back in the mornings with any sort of light in the sky (I didn’t have a headlamp).
The MRT also seems to start running relatively late (~6am) doesn’t take credit card (for a progressive first world country this is incredibly backward).
My runs therefore focussed around the amazing Marina Bay area. The running is flat and the paths are generally well built and continuous except that there seems to be works upgrading the footpath every few hundred meters! I also got lost a couple of times but for the most part it was a really positive experience and one I have never had in Singapore before (what did I do before I took up running!). I actually wouldn’t mind returning to Singapore to spend a bit more time running around it.
5. Kids Go Triathlon
My son raced at the Go Triathlon at Manly Dam on the weekend. I made a video, or more a silent movie! He did his best as usual and had a reply good result. After a bit of a slow swim caught in traffic he had a great ride and finished in 8th in his AG.
6. Narrabeen Lagoon Trail
On Saturday we decided to check out the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail. I ran while the rest of the family rode their bikes, pacing me!
Its a great piece of infrastructure if still not quite complete with some big gaps in the quality and standard through Billarong Reserve. Warringah Council has done a great job with its sections of the track and Pittwater has done absolutely nothing. I don’t even know why Pittwater Council exists when it can’t even deliver a basic coordinate outcome and provide a consistent quality of path to that Warringah Council. Shut them down and merge them I say.