This weekend was fantastic! I achieved the goal of running 30k towards the marathon training and the following day completed a 50k bike ride with friends. Not only that, I learned a few tips and tricks about riding a road-bike and realised how wrong I was all the way until now.
The plan was to get to the airport from our university. There is a well established trail running most of the way offering quite a scenic view as it sits alongside a creek. It’s called Moonee Ponds Creek Trail. I won’t be wrong if I say that we followed the trail for at least 15k.
Once the trail was over, we followed standard roads to get to the airport to stop at the aircraft viewing area. It’s a pretty cool experience to just sit/stand in the middle of nowhere and see some planes taking off and landing.
Only when the winds started to freeze the bones within us, we decided to hit back the roads and make our way back. Surprisingly, the return trip was much faster than the way around. And not to forget, our bikes didn’t breakdown unlike the last time. I love these rides not only because we get a chance to explore the city, but also some part of the personality of the people you are riding with and for that matter, I am lucky to have such a great bunch of people to hang out with.
Me: Hey! I am going to French Island tomorrow. The plan is to ride around the island for as long as we can. You know how bad cyclist I am!
Friend 1: Aww that’s so cool. But where is this place?
Friend 2: Never heard of it man.
Friend 3: Why are you going to an island to ride? You can just do that here, no?
For the first two questions, the answer is somewhere north to Philip Island (which is famous for it’s Penguins Parade aka tourist attraction). Unlike Philip Island, French Island is actually an island with no road connections. Perhaps that’s the reason why it is not so popular/known to people living in Melbourne. With it’s population of about 100, it offers a lot of land with nothing built on it. It is a classic countryside with not-so-well developed roads, more than half of the island being a national park (where no-one visits), huge and numerous farms and rare sights of humanity every once a while. For the last question, I’d say it’s a cool idea. You get to see an entire island within a day, without any travel van or tour bus! You can stop wherever you want, you don’t need gasoline on the way and in the end, you’d be proud of yourself for doing something that not many would prefer to do.
My vision of this island was not as barren as it really was. There was one, only one, general store cum post office on the island. No other restaurant/convenience store/grocery store/hotel/motel/you name it. If you are going there, you can count on your fingertips the number of houses you’ll see. I don’t think I’d be wrong if I’ll tell you that there are more cows than humans on this island!
Our original plan was to get to the farthest “view” point called as the Albions. It just seemed like a good turn-back point for the whole-island plan. Though I have never rode this far, I thought that if we’ll just go slow, I could make it without passing out on the way back. But as the mighty Forrest Gump once said “SHIT HAPPENS”. It happened with us too.
One of our friends got a flat tire a couple of times during the way. It was not always his fault, thanks to the bumpy ride (I hope it’s okay to be a little sarcastic 😉 ). We mended it less than a couple of times before finally calling it off. Alas! We couldn’t get to the point where we wanted to but it was hell of a ride amidst those muddy roads and the beautiful landscapes offered by this tiny piece of land.
With a bike punctured completely, we resorted to a hike back to the ferry terminal. Due to limited number of ferries, the change of plans was inevitable. We reached half an hour earlier before the last ferry departs. In the meantime, we enjoyed the clear night sky and let me give you the privilege to enjoy the scenery of this place 😉
Mechanic-al Engineers at work
A long long road.
Mud! More mud!
Aftermath of the muddy island
On the way back taking the last ferry, it was a bad idea that we didn’t check the train schedule as the last ferry that arrives stony point at 6.45, the next train is 8.30!! Had we taken the previous ferry (which arrives SP at 6.15), the next train would had been at 7. Much better! Anyway, we hung out with the kiosk guy until 8 (when they were closing). He made us some nice hot chips which was a treat in the shivering cold.
Thursday could not be any more active or inspiring for my training. I got up early as I promised to myself. The motivation to do this was pretty easy: I know how I feel after my morning ritual i.e. a more-than-little walk, some jog if I feel like that. Then it becomes easier to get rid of warmth of a loving blanket.
Explore the dawn. You’ll be amused at how b’ful and refreshing it could be.
I got up at 4.45 and was out the doors at 5. I walked for around twenty minutes before jogging to a nearby park where I ran barefoot. It was the best start to the day I could ask for. My legs felt cold but I was warm and fresh within.
To end this day was the Thursday badminton game. I rode to the court, played some good shots and rode back home. Riding to the court is always easier than riding back home. The games were more intense than usual and I felt that on the way back. If you could have seen me, you’d probably walk faster than me. I was more than happy when I called it a day because I rode 27k for the second time in my life (yeah I really suck at cycling). I had no energy left inside when I headed to the bed and then out of nowhere I saw a 15% off SALE at eBay and ordered a new running watch on which I had my eyes locked at! Now, I can not wait to try to-be-my-partner Garmin Fenix 3 😉
Last week, I decided that instead of writing training posts on a daily basis, I better combine them into a weekly log. For this week, my goal was to achieve 35k of mileage which was almost 40% more than the last week’s i.e. 26k. I knew I could do it because I had skipped a run last week.
Monday: On Mondays, I do a easy to moderate pace run. Last week, I ran for 45 minutes and so this week, I capped 5 minutes. Nothing too much! I had thought of a running route beforehand which was just enough long to put me back home right on time. However, I missed a street marker in between and ended up somewhere else. Although, I had a sense of direction in which I should be heading, I still confirmed it by asking a lady walking in the streets. I actually liked this feeling of running with no rigid route. I’ve always loved running on new streets so perhaps, this run was meant to give me the same feeling. My final stats were 48 minutes of running (8.8k).
Wednesday: Now this is a special day to me. It’s the track time. I run up to the track, exhaust myself there and run back. This running back and forth usually requires 15 minutes in each direction and so I have a sense of how much time I should spend on track. Last week, I did 5 sets of 100m fast accompanied with 300m jog. So, this week I wanted to make this harder. And at the same time, I did not want to increase the mileage (or time) significantly. I ended up doing still 5 sets of, 100m fast followed by 100m walk. This allowed me to effectively run half a lap as compared to quarter a lap the week before. As I got back home, I’d run 7.4k in 44 minutes.
Friday: My schedule says that on Friday, I should have a recovery run. Now I know why it is important. Because I have a long run the next day (at least that’s what I think). If I don’t include this run, I’ll have a two days gap until Saturday. So, this run prepares me for the long run the next day. But I messed it up. I changed this recovery run into a tempo run because of lack of time. I couldn’t even cool myself down after the run (so I was a bit scared that my tender body might collapse). Anyway, I ended up running 5.25k in 28 minutes and most of it was under 5-min-km pace. I’ll seriously recover next week.
Saturday: My favourite. I love long runs. It allows me to stay on my feet for long times and to explore a lot of places. I extended the route on which I ran last week. Also, instead of running on the walk-way, I ran on a trail which runs besides it the whole time. Running on a trail is wonderful. Surrounded by trees, it doesn’t feel like I am running around any urban traffic. Before the run, I didn’t intake anything, no carbs, no water. I wanted my body to stay away from carbs on these longer runs, so that if needed, it could learn to extract energy from fat stores, which in my case must be abundant. However, during the run, I had diluted coconut water to keep me hydrated as well as, as a minor source of sugars. By the time I stopped my watch, I had logged 14.2k (thereby completing my weekly goal) in 1:22 hours. Though the pace wasn’t great, but I don’t mind it.
Final summary of the week as recorded in my diary, including the morning walks, is:
For the next week, my target is 40k (including the same long run as this week, maybe 15k). I want to make my body re-familiar with longer distances, but without a lot of carbs.