Monday, 26 May 2008

Table Mountain 16km race

On Saturday I managed to run the route for the Table Mountain 16km race that is going to be run on the 1 June 2008, with a group of friends. Entries/invites are closed so running to route to see if it was safe for next week was a bonus.

The route is mainly dirt road and cement with a short stretch of very rocky path.

Here is the kmz to open in Google Earth: Table Mountain 16km

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Route Profile:

Friday, 16 May 2008

Running in the dark

One thing I have noticed is when I am running in the dark with my uber-nonfashionable reflector vest people driving cars love to put their bright lights on. I think they like the way it looks all lit up. That would be fine except for the immediate blindness that follows. I have also assumed another possibility that they might think that I have a death wish and will jump from the pavement and damage their car as they ride me over.

Sometimes when cars see you running in the dark it can be a bad thing. Last night we where running in the dark all reflector-ed up. Towards the end of the run we needed to cross a busy road near an intersection. We crossed to the painted island in the middle of the road and were waiting until it was the right time for us to cross. A car then decided to do us a “favour” and just stopped (in the middle of an intersection while the traffic light was green) to let us cross. This was so unnecessary. Clearly the reflector vests were a distraction and prevented the drive from noticing the 4 cars behind him. The horrible sound of breaking in busts as cars slammed on breaks and swerved. Fortunately none made contact with each other. I am sure the cars in the back assumed we were the culprits and must have muttered “Stupid runners” or something along those lines under then breath.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Garmin Forerunner 405

I am still happy with my Forerunner 305 but the Forerunner 405 does look sexier. The difference is not as great as the style improvement between the Forerunner 301.

Damn there is catch – it has a few less features from what I can see. Then the heart rate monitor is extra and has a shorter battery life. The only reason I got the 305 was because of 3 things:
  1. Being able to upload my run data to my pc – (something that for other sports watches end up being quite expense).
  2. Heart Rate Monitor
  3. GPS route tracking
Now with the heart rate being separate it is becoming a bit of a hard sell. Now I wonder how long Garmin is going to continue support the 305.

I think Garmin is pulling a Vista. The situation is like me and XP it works. I think I will stick with the 305 and save up for the 505 whenever that comes out.

After thought:
Selling the Heart Rate monitor as an extra make sense because the previous models 201 and 205 did not have it as a feature. Now there is one model that should allow you to buy a heart rate monitor later on. Also not everyone can or wants to use heart rate monitor.

The Forerunner is what it is. It is not a GPS device for navigation geo caching and missile guidance nor is it a stop watch for a 100 meter sprint. It is the first real “toy” I have ever had. I don’t need it – maybe, but now I associate it with running and feel naked when I run without it.


Megan commented that you can use the Forerunner 305 heart rate monitor with the Forerunner 405 and you can save some bucks. Wonder if that means that they have not changed/improved the HRM.

You can go here to compare the each of the Forerunner models by their features.

Running when the weather is bad

Something about being outside when the weather is really bad just makes me smile inside. Tonight I ran in a gale and drizzle it was dark and unpleasant and at the same time it was wonderful. I am sure I feel more an endorphin fix when the weather is bad. Rain is needling my eyes have gone past the point of getting wet it is cold but not freezing blood left my fingers. I forget everything my mind begins to wonder. A few minutes later I release that I am still running. That is what excites me.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Safari Half Marathon 1 May 2008

This is my nemesis race. In 2006 it was my first half marathon. The weather was really bad. Everyone I know that ran it in 2006 also mentions the bad weather. Trees had blown over because of really strong wind there was also a bit of drizzle. I remember how my running vest was being blown around and my race number almost tearing off. I really was not a happy running. So after 2 hours and 45 minutes I finished it in total pain. Later I discovered I was wearing the totally wrong shoes and this was turning point that made things better because it helped me get the right advice.

2007 was a far better race I was fitter than the previous year but just did not manage to do a sub 2 hour race. I had to settle with 2:05. The weather was much better and I enjoyed the race.

This year the weather was amazing a bit of wind but nothing too intense. From the start I knew it was not going to be my day my legs felt empty (just too much racing for me lately). So I adjusted my goals for the race and ploughed through it. I eventually finished in 2:20.

Last Saturday I ate the tail, today I was the tail; a bit of a humbling experience.

Case of the missing tent

When I got to the finish it was a bit stressful I was responsible for the club tent and when I got the where I left it on the field it was gone. I was a horrible feeling. Why would someone want to steal a branded tent? My wife got the announcer to ask if anyone knew anything about it but, as usual the announcers echoing request did not carry to the whole of the field. Thoughts of having to go to the police station to report it and the shame of being the guy that lost the tent.

Then out of sheer luck my Colleen went to throw something away the saw two club tents in their bags; a black tent bag and a blue VOB one underneath it. Someone in their wisdom decided to move it to this location – really annoying and stupid. At least it was stupidity (a world wide phenomenon) and not crime (that South Africa is supposedly notorious for).

The black tent bag with the black handle was not collected or stolen the whole time we were there and we stayed there a long time. We did try to notify the owners of the black tent but I doubt it was heard everywhere on the field.

Here is the route kmz file: Safari Half Marathon (Click to open in Google Earth)

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and the route profile:
Safari Half Marathon Route Profile

Photo at the finish: