Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The couch and the Desert

So, I didn't achieve my goal at Kurrawa to Duranbah 50km; 4:37 was my final time. The fact that I hit the halfway point in 1:53 immediately highlights one of my mistakes. Anyways, I will post a longer report in the coming days.
On Sunday night, I flew out to Adelaide, and spent the next five days sitting on the couch, eating, reading, but above all, watching Spanish arthouse cinema. I was pretty disgusted with myself, but I'm sure that I needed the rest.
Then, on Saturday morning, Dad and I loaded the car up and drove for about five hours up to Wilpena Pound, an incredible natural amphitheatre in the Flinder's Ranges. We were incredibly well equipped, making camping at the massive commercial ground on the edge of the pound pretty luxurious.
I convinced my Dad to climb Mt Ohlssen Bagge on the first day (941m), which was a climb/descent over 6.5km with about 400m of up and the same of down. He groaned and puffed his was up, but got there in the end, and was "deeply satisfied" after we had returned to camp and had our dinner of polenta, broccoli and eggs.
On the second day, we set out to climb the highest peak in the Flinder's, St. Mary's, which stood at about 1150m above sea level. The climb itself involved only about 600m of vertical though, over 21km, but all of it was concentrated in about 4km, making it steep and rocky. We were pretty afraid of being blown off a narrow ridge at one point, with the winds blasting at our sides, towards a not so insignificant cliff. Dad was pretty good here, although he needed plenty of breaks, he maintained a solid pace while we were walking, and I didn't hear a word of complaint. What an ironic reversal it was though, from the days when I was struggling behind him on the bike and on foot, trying my best to keep up.
In the end, it took eight hours, and I was pretty exhausted, probably due to the heavy pack to which I was unaccustomed (I was dad's mule) and residual fatigue. I kept trying to talk dad into a flat walk the next day, but he was sceptical of how his body would feel. To my surprise, when Dad woke, he said he was up for another climb of Ohlssen Bagge. I was a bit unenthusiastic, as my hip had started to play up again, but was happy to go along for his sake. We went slowly, but I was still tired by the time we came down, and rueing my apparent lack of strength/condition.
The week on the couch had fried my brain, so I really needed the weekend in the bush to get me back to reality. I really enjoyed both parts of the week, and will be continuing a hiatus from running probably until the Fats Festive Fatass up to Mount Nebo on the 28th, which I will run provided that my body is ok. Then, my body permitting, I will be running the Hares and Hounds 55km on the 9th of January, before starting a long and slow prep for Cooks Tour 50 mile in May. That's the plan atleast.

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