Jun 9, 2014

I seem to be making progress in my quest to get faster. I’m pretty much using a three week cycle, so today I did exactly the same workout as three weeks ago. This allows me to compare times and gauge my improvement at three week intervals.

This morning the speed work entailed the same 260 metre hill at 8% gradient, a 400 metre flat sprint, and a flat 1 km. I improved on all three. I covered the hill in 42.0, compared to 45.3 last time. The 400 metres was run in 70.3, compared to 74.0; and the 1 km was completed in 3:20, compared to 3:26 last time.

My effort was equivalent each time – I pushed just as hard this time as last. That’s the only way to accurately gauge one’s progress. So I’m getting faster. But will it be at a faster enough rate to achieve my goal of beating my time from my very first City to Surf in 1983 of 57:54. Running faster at 53 than I did at 22 is quite a formidable challenge. You can’t say I don’t set tough goals.

On the subject of the City to Surf, the organizers have granted me a Preferred Start, which means I can start from the front without lining up at the back of the 80,000 strong pack or standing for hours in the crowd while being squashed from all sides.

This Thursday I have to fly to Melbourne early, so I’ll do my time trial on Wednesday instead. It will be 3 km again, the same as three weeks ago. The aim will be to beat the 10:59 I ran on that occasion.


On This Day


Jun 9, 2012

Distance today = 53.10 km; Total distance = 7525.30 km; Location = Wahpeton,  North Dakota (9 km west of) – 46 15.643′ N, 96 44.464′ W; Start time = 0830, Finish time = 1636


It was a day I was dreading. After a week of temperatures above 30C, today was predicted to be the crescendo. When I headed off at 8:30 am, it was already 28C. When I finished at 4:45 pm, it was 36C. I assume it reached nearly 40C at its peak.

Despite all this, I had a relatively good day. I couldn’t have done it, though, without Carmel’s support through the middle of the day. Between the 15 km and 37 km marks, she provided me with drinks every few kilometres – and a delicious lunch. All the same, I was still very thirsty by the time I finished my day at 53 km.

Following my mention yesterday of the cyclists who have circumnavigated the earth according to the Guinness World Records rules, I learned that a race based on these rules concluded earlier this week. The winner was a guy called Mike Hall, who completed his lap of the world in 92 days – an incredible average of about 320 km per day – which is more than six times what I’m averaging on foot. This smashed the previous cycling world record, which had already been broken several times in recent years.

It must have been as tough mentally as physically, to get up each day knowing he had over 300 km of riding in front of him, rain, hail, or shine (or worst of all, a headwind). Given that most people who ride or run around the world will only do so once, it’s a pity he had virtually no chance to see the sights. To a large extent, it’s the seeing, hearing, smelling, and touching that really makes a trip around the world under your own steam worthwhile.

However, I’m sure Mike Hall won’t be too concerned, having won the most gruelling race ever devised (the only tougher race would be one where the participants had to run around the world). Well done, Mike!!!!

PS I have T-Mobile reception again, allowing the tracker to update in real time. Let’s hope this is the case for a while.