Comrades 2020



  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    @justanothrrnr regarding yoghurt. I have not done any of this, lazy tyke that I am, but I know someone who is loving this one...

  • Debra BourneDebra Bourne ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    lowrez: not in junk/spam.  I could try again, I suppose.
    I'm thinking of getting some coaching, as I would like to aim for the Robert Mtshali sub-10-hour medal, as well as seeing if I can improve on my marathon PB. I've spent the last few years getting back up to distance after my injuries, and pushing myself on challenges such as the 10-in-10s and 100-milers. Now I'd like to see whether I could get a bit faster.
    Presently I'm sporting lovely blue plasters (aka kinesiology tape with dressings underneath) on both knees, having tripped over a tree root during parkrun on Saturday. Highly ironic as I'm often the run Director giving the pre-run briefing and warning everyone to watch out for tree roots!
  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    Oh no Debra, both knees is spectacular, and after you did 100 miles on the highly tree rooty NDW.  
  • Becca: I know. 97 miles along the SDW in the Devil's Challenge: no injuries. NDW50, one minor fall, managed to go sideways and had only a couple of very minor scrapes and bruises. SDW100 again one fall, but I only bloodied one knee - and now I manage to open up BOTH knees at my home parkrun.
    Hoping they will be scabbing well by friday evening for Wendover Woods night 50K, but I might keep them covered for protection in case I trip again.
  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    Ah, I was getting the events you'd done mixed up but still unlucky to fall at your home parkrun.  Good luck for Wendover Woods, keeping the knees covered sounds like a good idea.
  • Southern SnailSouthern Snail ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Sounds like you'll all need fingers on buzzers in 2021!!

    Jar - I'd join an actual yoga class if I were you. I think you'd be much more likely to attend and get use out of it than if you plan to do it at home. I'm not far from you if I remember. I do one on Thursday evenings. Have Tuesdays too but in all honesty there's loads around and probably one even closer.

    Dubai Runner - I've also used the Comrades online training program. It's got me through 2 runs fine.
  • Thanks for the responses, I checked coach parry and have now been bombarded by emails. Will probably use the online program and dust off my copy of Lore of Running.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Sounds like a typo Debra, do try again, Mr Parry doesn't usually miss a trick to send you an e-mail :D.

    Hope the knees fix soon.

    I think all this scary stuff about running down Fields Hill is salt pinchable. The year I needed to get home smartish I attacked Fields Hill, bloody loved it, and ran out the bottom laughing me head off it gave me such a boost.

  • Debra - sorry to hear about the knees. Hope they fix soon and good luck with wendover woods. Am planning  both NDW 50 and 100 next year. It never occurred to me I might trip over. Must remember to look where I'm going :)
  • Thanks SS,  you're right and they have a lot of classes at my gym, I'll check it out when I can.

    Since i last posted I've taken a very awkward fall while running home from work and suffered a grade 3 hamstring tear (serious tear but not complete break).   Looks like massive bruising up the back of my right leg atm - need to rest and plan on a few weeks of down time.  

    Will continue to register for Comrades this year but it'll be a 2020 qualifier for me I think.   

  • Becca7Becca7 ✭✭✭
    Ouch jar that sounds painful, sorry to hear that.  
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭

    Blimey that sounds horrible jar - hope  recovery goes well.

    I have just entered Barcelona - 15th March - also have manful so not up to making a list just yet.

  • Jar - that sounds really painful. Heres hoping for a speedy recovery.

    Lowrez - is that going to be your qualifier or are you going to do one this year?
    BTW are you being manful or do you have manflu? :)
  • Slow DuckSlow Duck ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    JAR - sorry to hear about your injury - hope it heals up soon.

    Re: coaching - I have been coached since December (for the first time)when I found myself with a place in Comrades, Western States 100 and Hardrock 100. It wasn’t cheap but totally worth it as I finished both Comrades and Western States - just three weeks apart. (Hardrock was cancelled!)
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019

    SS I was finally manful about Barcelona :D thanks

    But I do have manflu... I am sure a spell checker is messing with me.

    Want the NHS to diagnose me before I do anything sooner, I hope I will be able to do other events sooner.

  • Coaching is an interesting one. It is (in my opinion) basically just paying for accountability and/or a good option if you really don't have the time to do research (see below). That said.. the time commitment doing the training for something like Comrades is significant as is so if you are going for it the additional time to 'learn' about running/training should be insignificant.

    Running is just science, and training is like following a good recipe - you just need to find that recipe. Fortunately, Google is your friend and you can find everything you need to know online. I have basically coached myself, trialling and erroring my way through races and experiences over the past few years and if you are so inclined, anyone can do this.
  • DannirrDannirr ✭✭✭
    I disagree with thomascloses.  Coaching is not just accountability.  A good coach can read your training runs, races etc and figure out what works best for you, when to push, when to lay off etc, etc.   If self coaching were a s effective, why do the best athletes in the world have coaches, and why did  Ryan Hall tanks as soon as he gave up his coach in favor of self coaching.   It is silly to think that self learning can replace years of experience and training.

    It is tempting to look back at one's own success without coaching with some level of "proof" that it works - however, what you don't know, it where you would have been with professional coaching.
  • JAR: sympathies. Do rest and let that heal properly.  It will take a while,  alas. 

    Slow Duck: interesting to hear about you being coached. Really hoping it will help me.
  • Slow DuckSlow Duck ✭✭✭
    I agree with Dannir on this one - it’s not just about trialling and erroring your way to success - or reading up on stuff.

    Besides you can’t do that for something like Western States where your chances of getting a place are very low (I finally got in after trying for 5 years). You might not get a second chance...

    My coach had detailed insights on the Western States course, the terrain, technicality, likely conditions, and tailored my training accordingly. And it really paid dividends especially on the tougher canyons section of the course.

    She also had twice done the Comrades/Western States double so was able to instruct me on how to run Comrades (and what to do in the 3 weeks between) without compromising my A-goal which was Western States. I don’t think you’ll find that sort of information online however hard you google! :D 

    Finally, I had a chat with her the day before which was fairly crucial in keeping my head together when I found myself 40 min behind cut-off pace early in on the race.
  • Southern SnailSouthern Snail ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Slow Duck - hope you're all recovered and glad the coaching worked but..... Is there a race report coming up for western states? 😊
  • Slow DuckSlow Duck ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Western States Endurance Run race report (30 hours permitted)

    Sorry, goes on a bit...

    One of the final bits of advice that my coach Ellie gave me on Friday was to stay calm if things didn’t go to plan early on the race...

    The race started at 0500 in Squaw Valley and goes straight up a ski slope. Because of the heavy snowfall this year that meant running on snow for a significant part of the first 15 miles.

    But the sun was shining, the scenery was beautiful and fellow runners were nice - it was fabulous.

    After what I thought was a steady good effort I arrived at Red Star Ridge at 0945am.

    Each checkpoint displays 3 targets by which you should be leaving: for a 24 hour finish, a 30 hour finish and a check point cut-off when you are stopped from continuing.

    So I was shocked to find that I was seriously behind the 30 hour target of 0910am.

    Previously I would have either panicked and speeded up too much or would have mentally thrown in the towel and been cut-off at the next checkpoint.

    But amazingly I calmly thought “this is not great but there’s plenty of opportunity to recover this as long as you don’t lose any more time.”

    Talking to other runners afterwards, the general consensus was that the snow slowed everyone down.

    Anyway, I stayed calm, didn’t speed up and simply applied myself diligently through the next section to Robinson Flat and found that I recovered 10 minutes - then gained another few minutes to Last Chance (43 miles).

    Going up and down the canyons are known as the more challenging parts of the course. This went amazingly well for me and all the uphill and treadmill training that Ellie prescribed really paid off. (As well as the sauna sessions)

    The canyons can also get very hot (well over 100 Fahrenheit) but we were lucky that the weather was mild this year. (around 90 Fahrenheit).

    So when I left Michigan Bluff I was only 10 min behind the 30 hour target.

    Michigan Bluff to Foresthill is where I started to feel a bit tired (around 60 miles into the race). Bits of stuff had also got into my shoes but I didn’t take care of them straight away - stupid I know but I thought I could clear out my shoes at Foresthill when I was back on schedule. (Stupid x1)

    I arrived late at Foresthill and left at 1100pm still 10 mins behind target. Did not clean out shoes. (Stupid x2)

    Foresthill - Rucky Chucky. This is a really runnable downhill part of the course - which had been identified by Ellie as one of the best sections to gain time - but I didn’t feel comfortable running really fast in the dark with a  headtorch so I took it steady.

    The only exception was around 0300am when I came across a feline on the trail around 15 ft in front of me. Saw the two eyes first -gulp- then saw the body shape - feline about the size of a Labrador- so not an adult cougar - the creature left the trail to the side -phew- then I suddenly thought what if it was a baby cougar and the mother is lurking somewhere in the dark! Aaaaaaagh! My Strava shows a mile that is 3 minutes faster than the others around it! 😀 Happy to get out of there unharmed!

    At Rucky Chucky I was finally 5 min ahead of schedule - so despite not going that fast I gained 14 mins here - thanks partly to the scary cat!

    Approaching the Rucky Chucky river crossing was amazing. The whole place was lit up brightly and it was a hive of activity with multiple dinghies ferrying runners across the river.

    The amazing memory of sitting in a dinghy with a life vest crossing the river in the middle of the night with floodlights still makes me smile - it was so much fun! Gordy, the man who founded this run was there greeting the runners! (It was around 3am!)

    I finally cleaned out my shoes on the other side of the river but the damage had already been done - today I am nursing blisters on each foot and suspect I will be losing a couple of toenails from each too...

    I found the section up to Auburn Lake Trails (85 miles) hard - I’m not good at keeping things going in the early morning before sunrise (DNFs at Hardrock and Run Rabbit Run were both in the early morning). So I was not surprised but mildly disappointed to lose a couple of minutes on this section - now only 3 minutes ahead of target.

    After sunrise I think may have become less cautious as I tripped on a rock, went flying off the drop to the side and was really lucky to fall into a bush, which stopped my fall at around 6ft - otherwise I could have tumbled a loooong way down into the woods! (and my race probably would have been over - but not my life...)

    I was helped back into the trail by a Japanese pacer (I know what are the chances!) who was just ahead of me with her runner and came back to see if I was ok - I may have sworn very loudly when I went flying :D 

    Anyway this incident probably gave me an adrenaline rush as shortly after - I decided for no reason whatsoever to “put the hammer down” to try and build up an unassailable time cushion.

    Ran wildly (ok it felt like that but I was only doing 13 minute miles 😀  - but a couple of the miles were uphill...) for 6 miles before calming down/running out of steam.(Stupid x3, maybe - not sure...)

    Arrived a Pointed Rocks (93 miles) 20 mins ahead of schedule - for the first time in the race felt that I would make the 30 hours cut-off if I didn’t do anything stupid.

    But my legs were shot - I didn’t go any faster after that...(Maybe stupid x3 after all...)

    It got hot on Sunday morning - I was so glad that Saturday was significantly milder - lucky me!

    The final section was just a careful jog, taking care that I didn’t trip, that I didn’t overheat and to keep the pace steady to get to the finish.

    And what a finish in Auburn! People supporting on the streets, a wonderful run around the track which I really took the time to appreciate - greeted by Craig the race director to finish in 29:44:50 (303rd) - great memories!

    The volunteers on this race were truly amazing - I was told that there were over 1500  to look after just 369 runners!

    And I made some great friends on the course and over the weekend.

    One final thing: I was so happy during the run that I had to resist shouting “I’m running Western States, woohoo!” on more occasions than I can remember - I would have looked like an idiot - because no one else was shouting - but I wished I had - just once! 😀
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    Great report SD :D I've suffered greatly, through ignorance and absence of coaching too. Big rule "take care of your feet". Loved your descriptions of the sections and the time factors were so scary. Well done in keeping a level head. I have heard it said that if you see a cougar it is already too late; you are a gonner, however that rule is clearly just scaremongering... There was that bloke that killed his attacker recently.
  • Dubai runnerDubai runner ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Great read Slow Duck, congratulations!! And great hearing the opinions on coaching.

    Escaping the heat of Dubai tomorrow for the heat and humidity of Thailand for the next few weeks, will hopefully find some hills to train on.

  • Slow Duck, that sounds amazing. It's a race I'd love to do (assuming I could get a place), but I'm not sure whether I'm good enough. What do you suggest would be good races over here to do to assess capability? NDW100, Lakeland 100? Others?
  • Terry48Terry48 ✭✭✭
    JAR, sorry to hear about your hamstring tear.  Much rehab to follow but at least it's far away from Comrades.  I did exactly the same to my left hamstring in Durban, just 3 days before Comrades 2012 - resulting in a slow painful plod to 65km before quitting in pain (despite still being well inside the cut-offs).

    Well done Slow Duck! A great result and excellent report.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    Comrades 2020 Qualification
    25Aug Qualification Opens
    Chester (M) Mc Hilly
    Poznań (M) Becca7
    Abingdon (M) Fido2Dogs, baldstan
    New York (M) Becca7
    Barcelona (M) 1owrez
    Two Oceans (M) thomasclowes
    02May Qualification and
    Race4Charity (PenCC) Closes

    baldstan, johnny1984, Terry48, Debra Bourne, Becca7, pottermiss
    Hilton 1owrez, Mc Hilly, Dubai runner
    ONOMO Slow Duck, justanothrrnr
  • Plan to run Muscat marathon 17 Jan and Dubai marathon 24 Jan.
  • marty74marty74 ✭✭✭
    Great report SD and well done once again. I'm sure you still have the smile on your face.

    Thought you were too ill for lists lowrez...obviously you are getting better :)

    Anyway, please can you add Hull marathon for me on 22nd September. And also booked Onomo again.
  • 1owrez1owrez ✭✭✭
    Sliding between okish (when I take lemsip) and comatose (when that stuff wears off) so had a good spell today where I compiled that little lot. Currently shivering and aching needing to drag myself to the kettle. Will update sometime when I am high again and looking for something to do...
  • SD - great race report. Thanks and well done again. I could see you were close to cut offs at the end and knew that's where you thought you'd be but hadn't realised you were close to them all the way through. Big well done for being level headed. Have you come back down to earth yet?
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