Jan 14, 2015

Despite it being a very hot and humid day here in Sydney, I felt quite strong during a 15 km run this morning. That’s in contrast to yesterday, when I felt very drained and lacking in energy. But there was more to yesterday than just that.

Shortly after my run, and wondering why I felt less than energetic, I decided to take my pulse with a new and fancy I-Phone app. One’s heart rate usually doesn’t get back to its resting state for several hours after exercise. Yet mine was down to 44 beats per minute. It’s often around 40 when I awaken, but 44 seemed very low so soon after exercising. Later, I decided to measure it again immediately after carrying furniture and heavy boxes up and down stairs. It was just 45 bpm. Shortly after I helped Carmel install chains in her classroom for hanging artwork. I was up and down ladders. Despite this moderate workload, my heart rate was still at 44 bpm. Was my heart rate naturally this low. If so, I hadn’t previously been aware of it.

So, intrigued by this development, I did a light jog in the afternoon, finishing with a slight uphill and some stairs, then immediately took my pulse again. I’d managed to get it up to 51 bpm. A few minutes later it was back down to 46.

Today, about an hour after finishing a tough run, it’s at 54 bpm. This is more normal. I think yesterday’s ultra low heart rate was an anomaly and contributed in some way to my feeling low in energy.

It’s not long now until the article about my world run appears in Runners World magazine in the US. I believe it will be in the March edition, though this is yet to be confirmed. There will be a three page story in the paper version, with a much comprehensive treatment in the on-line version. I’m actually looking forward to reading it myself, despite knowing the story better than anyone.


On This Day


Jan 14, 2012

Distance today = 62.79 km; Total distance = 731.82 km; Location = Christchurch, NZ –  43 33.643′ S, 172 40.117′ E; Start time = 0830, Finish time = 1659


My biggest day yet – 62.8 km – but I was helped quite a bit by a strong tailwind for most of the day. If you are going to cop a windy day, that’s the direction you want it. Once again, click on the link above to see all the details of the day. Click the Change to Metric button on the top right, and also scroll back through past days by clicking on Previous.

Soon after leaving Rakaia I had to cross the Rakaia River, which is NZ’s widest at 2 km. However, the road bridge has essentially no place for pedestrians to cross. You need to make yourself very thin against the railing as cars pass, and it becomes a nightmare when a massive truck comes by. However, Ken (from last night’s guesthouse) told me there was pedestrian access on the rail bridge. I was a bit tentative about crossing a 2 km long bridge on a railway line. However, Ken’s advice was accurate, as there was a nice walking path alongside the rail track. Thanks Ken. It saved me a lot of angst.

Early in the afternoon I was joined unexpectedly by Chris from Rolleston. He had been watching my progress on the GPS Tracker, noted I was getting close to his place, and decided to come out and have a run with me. This was great for two reasons.

Obviously it is positive to have people come along and run with me, and the tracker is a great way for such people to locate me. The other reason is more subtle, and something I have been advocating for a while. You see, when anyone can turn up to see a runner at a precise location, according to where their tracker is placing them, there is a very heavy onus on the runner to “obey all the rules”. In the sport of multi-stage ultra running, it  is, unfortunately, not that unheard of for runners to cheat by claiming they ran certain distances when, in fact, they did not. There was a recent case of this, so I’m told, in regard to a run around Australia. When anyone can turn up to “surprise” the runner, it makes it a lot harder for cheats to prosper. Anyhow, having Chris surprise me today on the road validated my belief that real time GPS trackers have a large role to play in this sport.

I had to race a bit to get into Christchurch before the battery in my Garmin GPS (not to be confused with the GPS tracker, which is i-Phone based) ran out. It’s a bit disappointing that such an expensive toy only has a battery life of 8 hours. A 60 km day with stops and breaks can easily add up to 8 hours on the road.

I finally arrived in Christchurch, noting various signs of the recent earthquake damage. Tomorrow I will run through the city centre, and will, no doubt, see even more evidence.

I would like to thank Rebekah and Steve for putting us up in their very nice home for the next two nights. The hospitality of the NZ people continues to be unsurpassed.