Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Newsletter Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas.
I am the luckiest trainer in the world. 
I thank you so much for supporting me throughout 2011 and I only hope 2012 is as good as 2011.
We have all had our ups and downs, injuries and illnesses, but I think we have all finished the year stronger. This time last year I was taking a full week off to rehab some stress fractures in my feet. This year, they are fully healed and I will be able to train through my holiday. We have come a long way in 2011. Check out the achievements below, I have completed a re-cap of results from our running club and client weight loss achievements.
For my holiday, I'm heading back to South West Rocks for an Aussie Christmas by the beach. I plan on spending some much needed time with my immediate family, Mikey and the Kids. I will be swimming, running and riding my way around South West Rocks. Keisha and Milla both have new bikes, I have to run to keep up with them.  I can't wait to get them on the bike track at the beach. They will be good pacers for me when I am out training.

I hope you all have the best holiday you can have. 
Enjoy the company of your friends and family and take a well deserved rest.

Weekend Running Clubs
  • On the weekend, we were all over Sydney and surrounds.
  • Renae and I headed out to the Leura in the Blue Mountains and clocked up 30-39km on some georgous trails. I have written a blog about it, check the last blog,with training notes.
  • Brian completed 50km around the city beaches. 
  • Kellie and Kathy completed 28km down at the Royal National Park. 
  • Zandra and Mia completed 33km in 5 hours 8 minutes on the Northern Beaches. 
  • Jane M was back training with the group after coming back from a achllies injury. Jane Managed to complete 15km. 
  • Leanne, looks like she is back in action for Coastrek Training. She will start back slowly at first as Jane has done. We welcome her back into the training group.

Outstanding  Weight Loss Achievements 
  • I look at what all my clients have achieved and I just have to be proud. 
  • The stand out weight loss clients of 2011 are;
  • Zandra has lost 11 kilos.
  • Cheesie has lost 12 kilos.
  • Sarah has lost 12 kilos.
  • John has lost 8 kilos with me and a whopping 18 kilos since the beginning of the year. 
  • Gretel lost 8 kilos before wanting to have another baby ,and is now 8 months pregnant, she is expecting in Febuary. 
  • Michelle has lost 6 kilos since April, and has kept the weight off, she is now a runner and is totally hooked. 

Outstanding Athletic Achievements 

  • Coastrek 2011, Great Outdoor Runners Go Go's 1st Position Outright. Lesley, Mia, Renae, Shona
  • Coastrek 2011, Great Outdoor Runners Flyers 2nd Position, 4th overall Jane M, Kathy, Kellie, Sophie
  • Natasha and Kate W also finished the 50km event.
  • Oxfam 2011 Great Outdoor Runners 2nd Position, 8th Overall. Lesley, Mia, Shona, Suzy.
  • Jane M finished Oxfam in 5th gen position, and Julia Hoets completed her first 100km with her work team.
  • Shona 6 Foot Track 4 hours 32 min 9th Position
Sydney 1/2 Marathon
  • Renae van der Pol, 1 Hour 44 Minutes
  • Kathy Johnson, 1 Hour 45 Minutes
  • Lesley Greenwell, 1 hour 45 Minutes
  • Mia Rose, 1 Hour 46 Minutes
  • Julia Hoets, 1 Hour 55 Minutes
  • Kellie Ellis 1Hour 53 Minutes
  • Lucy Fenton, 2 Hours 42 Minutes (Sick)
The North Face 100km
  • Shona TNF 100km 12 Hours 50 min 6th Position
  • Jane Montgomery, 20 Hours 15 Minutes
  • Suzy Cipollone, 19 Hours 37 Minutes
The Great Nosh
  • Shona 77:50 1st Position Gen
  • Renae van der Pol, 93:43, 8th (cat/gen)
  • Lesley Greenwell, 94:45, 9th (cat/gen)
  • Kellie Ellis ,95:09, 10th (cat/gen)
  • Mia Rose, 95:10, 11th (cat/gen)
  • Suzy Cipollone, 99:45, 16th (cat/gen)
  • Julia Hoets, 107:15, 12th (cat/gen)
  • Zandra Rhodes, 111:43, 15th (cat/gen )
  • Kathrine Cheeseman, 127:31, 37 (cat/gen)
  • Gretel Connell, 131:44, 38 (cat/gen)
  • Kim Grant 131:44 39 (cat/gen)
  • Sophie Roberts 136:27 40 (cat/gen)

The Woodford to Glenbrook 2011

  • Shona Stephenson 1 hour 48 Minutes 23 Sec 4th Position 1st in her Category
  • Kellie Ellis 2 hours 20 minutes 51 sec 21st in her Category


  • Kathy 52:36
  • Kellie E 54:15
  • Liz 55:47
  • Katrina 57:08 
  • Matt Grant 1:02:49 ( Kim's Husband, she had to look after the kids)
  • Michelle 1:08:57

The City 2 Surf 2011
  • Brian 58:23 (The first time I have been beaten, he is fast.)
  • Shona 59:23 (I will write Flu affected, I wanted to give up running DOWN the first hill.)
  • Renae 66:01 (PB by 12 Minutes)
  • Kathy 70:34 (First Time)
  • Mia 72:20 (PB by 10 Minutes)
  • Julia 77:42 (First Time)
  • Lauren 87:34 (First Time)
  • Jayne 79:18 (PB by 10 Minutes)
  • Karen 82:59 (PB by 9 Minutes)
  • Michelle 91:14 minutes (First Time,could not run a lap around an oval back in April. Most Improved.)
  • Suzy 91:25 minutes (Going Slow, Running with her sister)
  • Cheesy 102:54 minutes (Injured Calf and an 8 Minute Toilet Stop! CHEESYYYYYYYYYYY)
Blackmores Running Festival
1/2 Marathon
  • Ian Rose 1:28
  • Jayne Andrews 1:58
  • Liz 1:58 (First 1/2 Marathon)
  • Kellie C 2:04
Bridge Run 9km
  • Zandra 49:57
  • Chris 52:15
  • Michelle 55:25
  • Andrea 58:35
  • Sally 58:46
  • Amanda 1:00:41
  • Lauren 1:01:07 (sick with gastro)
  • Chantal 1:05:49
Coastal Classic 2011
  • Shona, 2 hours 57 min 30 sec, 1st Female.
  • Kellie Ellis, 3 Hours 48 Min 33 sec, 34th Female
  • Mia Rose, 4 Hours 9 min 10 mSec, 50th  Female
The Great North Walk
  • Shona 12 Hours 48 min 2nd position overall, 
  • 1st Gen position, breaking the record by 2 hours 22 minutes.
Okay back to training.

Explorers Tree to Cox's River Return 30km
Tuesday the 3rd of January 2012 at 9am.
Let's get back into training early this year. 
I am running a free session in the Blue Mountains. 
Meet at 9am
Location at the Explorers Tree Great Western Hwy left hand side after Katoomba. 
Meeting point is at the Start of the 6 Foot Track.
It is a return run, so you can decide how far you should go.
A nice run is to go to the Megalong Valley Rd, 16km return, or to run in 10km and run out 10km so 20km return. The 20km return you get to see some amazing scenery, and is worth the extra 4km.
I will be running 15km to the Cox's River then returning 15km so 30km in total.
This usually takes me about 3 hours 40 something minutes, so it is tough. 
But when you make it out you are so much stronger!
You will need a camel bak, or some form of hydration. 
It is usually stinking hot whenever I train in that gorge. 
You will also need food every 30 min- 45 minutes. 
I tape my ankles for this training run, it might be a good idea to do the same.
There are some really cool bush stairs at the start of the track.....

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, I hope 2012 is as successful as 2011.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

TNF100km Fairmont Training Circuit

The Glenbrook Marathon was cancelled for the 2nd time in a row. I'd eaten too many Christmas biscuits and brownies. I had arranged my kids to go to my mum's house for a sleep over, so I had to make the most of my opportunity. I had to go for a long run inn the mountains like I had originally planned. I talked one of my clients and good friend, Renae into coming with me to Leura, The Fairmont Resort to do a 39-40km Circuit on the trail of The North Face 100km (TNF100) track. Renae's goal was to complete about 30km of tough trails to get her ready for 50km Coastrek and 6 Foot Track. She too was entered in the Glenbrook 34km event. She needed it to qualify for 6 Foot Track.
Renae, often comes with me for a run. We both live in the city, only a few blocks from each other, we both have kids. Both of us really appreciate the effort we go to, to be able to hit the trails every few weeks. Renae knows that when she comes for a run with me, we are always going to have fun, and I will take her to a place she will not have ventured to on her own.
We leave the Fairmont car park at 7:15am, and follow the streets through Leura on the course of TNF. We need to stop a few times to check the maps and read the street signs to make sure we are going in the right direction. Last year when I was training for TNF, I spent most of my time lost. I was constantly cross referencing maps. Again it seemed that for the first 9km or so of our run we were doing the same. The tracks around the cliffs of the Blue Mountains are just like spaghetti. They are just so hard to follow. We made a few wrong turns in the first 8km. I really needed to use my memory and my intuition to find the correct trail to run on.
I ran slowly with Renae for the first 9km, making sure her knees were fully warmed up, until we had ran past the Leura Cascades and dropped down onto the valley floor. We passed behind the Federal Pass Sign, which Renae laughed at. For the trail is hidden, and only with local knowledge, or TNF 100km Track Notes would you ever find this track to follow. Soon trail widen and turned into a fire trail. At this point, knowing that Renae could not get lost. I left her with my only set of maps, to run at her own pace, and I started my training. Up to this point it took us about 1 hour 15 minutes to complete the first 10-11km, it was slow, but we were warming up, a bit lost and easing Renae's knee into the long day of training.
I felt great, I was able to run down Sublime Point Ridge on my toes averaging under 4min kilometres. I am really enjoying my running at the moment. I am feeling strong. I am not injured, and I think my life is just getting better with every day. With these positive thoughts, I only had to put my heals down once, to slow myself down as I hit a gravel corner. It was great to make up some time that I had lost in the earlier section of the course. 
I remembered how I had felt when I ran the TNF 100 in May. I was overheating when I was running in the last 25km. I was having a really bad time. I was de-hydrated, and my fuel consumption was not that good. This time I ran though a clearing and felt the air temperature rise, and thought that maybe I was not so hot after all when I completed the race back in May, maybe in the race this section of the track was actually warmer than other sections, maybe it was my mind playing tricks with me, my lack of confidence and experience was what really slowed me down. 
It was nice to go back, and re-visit some of events of the race, and put them back into perspective. I passed 3 male hikers loaded up with massive packs and thought about how I use to see the bush, I use to hike a lot when I was in my early 20's. I smiled knowing I was having way more fun than them, running down this massive roller coaster of a hill.
I hit the bottom of the valley at Leura Creek and started a short climb. I remembered this was when I lost 4th position to a lovely English girl who lived in Hong Kong. This year I will be stronger, and harder to catch. I started the climb, and my legs with all the bike training I have been doing felt like they were running up the hill with a life of their own. My husband, Mikey calls me "The Little Tank". He stresses that it was not because I am wide, but because I can go across any terrain. When I was climbing my first climb of the day, I did feel like a little german tiger tank, just moving it's way up and over the uneven fire trail.
I hit the top of the climb of Sublime Point Ridge, and I was dwarfed by the Kedumba Walls towering above, this sight is always so imposing. You know that towering 900m above you is your only exit from the valley. To get up and over it is is going to hurt. I thought about Renae, a few kilometres behind me. She refused to look at the elevation of the course. I tried to tell her there was a 9km climb, but I think she was avoiding reality, like a blind folded horse, not wanting to acknowledge what was happening. Knowing the truth would scare the hell out of her and play havoc with her anxiety.
I hit the top of Sublime Point Ridge, and started the descent down to the valley floor again. I could run on my toes the whole way, and again I could average under 4 minute kilometres with out really pushing it. I remembered my experiences from TNF, and how the other runners around me knew I was having problems, and how supportive they were being. In the race, I let them all go ahead of me at this point. Back then I wanted to be alone so I could go as slow as I needed. 
I ran through Jamison Creek, loving the icy cold water, cooling my feet, reducing any swelling I might have from all the fast descent. I had been running for 2 hours and 15 minutes. I knew I had about 20km to go to my car, and I had to get out fast so I did not miss Christmas Celebrations that were scheduled at my Mum's house in the afternoon.
I started my long 9km climb back up the Kedumba Walls. I knuckled into my little german tiger tank mode and started to climb. I enjoyed it, knowing that I had not worked very hard, knowing that in the year that had past I was stronger. My legs felt more powerful, and I was finally starting to turn into a climber. In the past, I have only managed to stay close to the leaders by being quick on the descents. It has taken 3 years to become strong enough to climb. 
I passed some wallabies that scared the crap out of me, my imagination turned them into wild boars. I passed the Solitary Mountain Turn off, promising myself to get out there some time soon for a 45km Training Run. I passed the swine fence, and passed under the over hanging cliff and dug into the steep gradient, and pushed harder up the climb. 
I thought about running out of water at TNF 100, and asking fellow runners to spare a mouthful at this point. I was in such bad shape without water for 8km by now, in the race I was now freezing without a thermal on, it was getting dark I could barley work out how to turn on my head torch. But today I had water, and I only felt the cold draft of air coming up the southern side of the deep valley below. It was summer and still the morning. I pushed on as the terrain flattened and finally I made it to the white fence at the top. I scooted around the outside and hit the flat dirt road. It was nice to stretch my legs again, and I did my best to move them as fast as I could even though they were fatigued. I can't remember how long it took me to get to Queen Victoria Hospital, about 1 hour 10 minutes I think. I only had about an hour to complete the last 11km so I could pick Renae up and make it to Christmas Drinks in time.
I picked up the pace, and ran along the road, taking the left turn, past the Observatory, and right onto the dirt track and back into the bush. I spoke to a elderly lady, who looked amazing. She must have been in her 60's or 70's but her body looked like it was only 30, it was only her wrinkled face that gave her age away. "Which is the best way to Leura, the Fairmont Resort, it's about 8km away?". I asked her. "Follow the sign's to Conservation Hut then decide if you are going to go on the road or drop back down into the gully. Where is your map source?". I felt a bit stupid. I gave Renae my maps. I knew I was heading back into spaghetti land of tracks up ahead and it would be a miracle if I got back to the car without getting lost. "With my friend who is behind me, I'm heading back to my car." I said . "I did TNF100 last year and I have trained on this track before, so I kind of know which way to go. I just know it can be confusing."I mumbled feeling irresponsible, but trying to sound like an experienced mountain woman. I was meant to print out another set of maps, but I just did not get around to it. "Just follow the signs to Conservation Hut and you will be okay, you can then either drop down to a little bridge or follow the road it is up to you."
With is vital information I was off and running again. I followed the trail, thinking how easy it was compared to when I ran through this section of bush in TNF100 in darkness with the worst lighting I could possibly  have. I remember another runner helped me out by insisting on me get out my spare head torch so I could use two torches to I improve my lighting so I could see better. My main head torch was rubbish and it has making me so slow I lost another place to a Kiwi girl around this area, and acknowledged my stupidity of not testing my gear before the race. 
I followed the signs, and somehow managed to make every correct turn until I made it to Conservation Hut. I asked a local for directions. "Is Leura this was way?"I asked. She pointed into the direction I was to head. "We will never see you again", said her male English Tourist friend, implying I was heading off into the abyss. I laughed and started to run down the stairs,  dropping back down into the gully. I ran over Lillian's Bridge and swore that if I had taken the wrong turn now I was going to find a tourist to drive me to my car. But I had made all the correct turns, followed all the right paths, climbed the all right sets of stairs, and I spotted the edges of the Fairmont Resort golf course.
I ran along the track listening to my phone messages going off. Renae must have made it to the Western Hwy. I ran as fast as I could to the Resort, wanting to get back to my car so I could get to Christmas Drinks. I passed through the gardens of the resort thinking I could take a short cut through their grounds back to my car. But I was forced to ask a resort guest for directions in the games room and I was advised to jump in the lift and take the elevator up to level 4. I walked through the resort lobby, feeling very out of place, covered in mud and in my full running gear, trail shoes, compression socks, compression shorts, running singlet, TNF 100 visor, and hydration vest. I smiled and waved to the staff, thinking they must get runners coming through here all the time and headed out of the foyer and back to the car. I rang Renae whilst getting into the car. She was waiting for me at the nursery on the Hwy opposite the Kings Tableland Rd.
I headed back to the Kings Tableland Rd and picked up Renae. "I'm not speaking to you!"She said as she got int the car with the biggest grin on her face. "How is you knee?" I asked. I was so worried that she injured herself whilst out on her own. "Fine, it's a a bit sore, but not bad". Cool she is no injured. I won't get in trouble from her husband. She looked as proud as can be. Excellent. She completed at least 30km of a tough part of the mountains, with the longest climb that I know of. Renae ran from the Fairmont Resort in Leura, down Leura cascades, out to Sublime Point Ridge and up Kedumba Walls and along Kings Tableland Road to the Western Hwy. "You did not tell me about the 9km of climbing". This I could only laugh at. I tried to tell her.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Stress Fracture Re-hab Program

Pictured above is me, the shortest girl on the right hand side, celebrating my first win of the year. It was special to me because I had trained the 3 other runners, Renae, Mia and Lesley to complete their first Ultra, 50km Coastrek March 2011. I was also celebrating because I was able to run 50km pain free, and I had recovered from my stress fracture injuries.

In August 2010, I suffered stress fractures after running on concrete in shoes without enough cushioning in them. I broke both of my feet running 14km, the City2Surf in racing flats. It was a rookie error, and I paid for it badly. I did not seek advice, kept the injury to myself. I then ran Oxfam TW 2 weeks later, knowing that at least one of my metatarsals was broken. When I finished my first ever 100km event, I took myself off to the emergency ward to be x-rayed and to obtain crutches. This was the start of my healing process.
I'd suffered stress fractured in both of my 2nd Metatarsals as well as my 3rd, 5th Metatarsal in my left foot.
I almost shattered my heal on my right foot, and I was really lucky not to have totally crippled myself.

This is what I did to heal my fractured feet

Rest, I was on crutches for 8 weeks. I was given a boot as my left foot was the more injured out of the 2 feet, however both of my feet were broken, so I had to stay off both of them. I also found that my foot was more inflamed after wearing the boot. I later discovered that I had another stress fracture in my 5th metatarsal, the boot hurt that section of my foot . I also found it better to stay symmetrical on my body. I had the worse lower back pain from wearing the boot, as the height of the sole put un necessary stress on my disc in my lower spine. So I stayed on crutches for 8 weeks.

Ice. I would fill a container with about 2 inches of cold water, then empty 1-2 ice trays in to the container.
I would ice my feet regularly throughout the day like this for 20-30min at a time.  I iced my feet as soon as I got in my house, and before I went out on my feet. I would sit down on the computer and work, eat my breakfast, lunch and dinner with my foot in a container of ice and water. This made a huge difference. I continued to ice my foot regularly for up to 6 months after I had my initial injury. When ever my foot was inflamed it went into a container of ice and water.

Ultra Sound. I discovered the Stress Fracture Clinic in St Leonards. I became part of a free test trial of the Ultra Sound device. I used an Ultra Sound on all my stress fractures, or hot spots on my feet, for 4 weeks. I received free MRI's as part of the study and I was assigned a specialist to look after me for free as part of the study. Here is the link to their website. 

Pain Threshold. With any of the exercises that I am suggesting, you must work within your pain threshold. So if it hurts your injury, stop and change what you are doing, find something that you can do that does not give you pain. You will only extent the healing process if you work through your pain. This is what worked for me, it may not work for you, but it will give you an idea of how to rehab your injury.

Deep Water Running.
After a week of immobility, I was in so much pain in my lower back. 
So to get me moving again safely I jumped in the pool and started deep water running.
The deep water running helped to keep me fit, but also helped with the swelling in my feet, and relieve any pain that I was starting to suffer from being unbalanced.
My left foot was so bad, that I had to run in Deep Water for 4 weeks. I found shallow water running painful right through the rehab stage, so I stuck to deep water running. Usually you would be able to shallow water run, but my 2nd metatarsals were really bad.

After about 4 weeks of deep water running, I was able to move to a bike, with low resistance. I slowly built the resistance up as I could take more weight on my feet. I also worked out techniques to push with my legs and not with the balls of my feet, so I did not inflame my injuries. I still got a great work out but I did not use my injured area.

Stair Machine
At 8 weeks mark I was able to hop on a stair machine. I had to be careful at first as my 2nd Metatarsal was still inflamed at times.  I started on a low resistance and slowly built it up. I would swop from the bike to the stairs, to the bike, rowing machine and back again. Again when I felt any pain I would just stop and get back on the bike and wait a few days, or a week then try the stair machine again.

Rowing Machine
At about the 8 week mark I was able to row. This was great, again I had to watch the amount to pressure I put through my 2nd Metatarsal, but I was building my cardio and strength back up again, and I was starting to be able to build up my time in the gym also.

My team mates were out on the track completing 3-4 hour sessions. I tried my hardest to spend the same amount of time in the gym, as they were spending on the track, it was boring there is nothing like being out on a trail, but I had to do it. So I would complete 1 hour on the bike with a hard resistance on random with my RPM at 100. Then jump on the stair machine for 30 minutes to an hour, then hop on the rowing machine, the repeat.
I found that with my injury, I could not use the cross trainer, as it hurt my injuries. I stuck to the machines that did not hurt.

I started running again, after 8 weeks, and it was too soon. I am a personal trainer, so I was running around with clients before I was fully healed. I ended up re-injuring my 5th Metatarsal again. My job, that was mainly on concrete, was injuring me. I then had to stop running for 4 weeks, jump back on the bike, stair and rowing machine and wait for my feet to fully heal. 
I completed my first long run in Mid- January, Explorers Tree to Cox's River return 30km on a trail. 
I then ran the Megalong Mega 36km on a trail. I found that if I stuck to soft ground I could run without pain.
I then won Coastrek 50km Trail Team Event March 6th, and the week later I managed a PB of 8 minutes in the 6 Foot Track 45km Trail Run, nabbing a top 10 position of 9th. 
I found that every time I tried to run fast on the road, it inflamed my injuries. 
So I did all my speed work, which was very little I completed on an oval. I found that when ever I ran  intervals I inflamed my injury, so to get me through the races with PB's I had to use my new found climbing skills that I had built in the gym on the stair, rowing and bike machine.
I found that I could run 50km, 100km on the trail and not aggravate my stress fractures. So I was able to complete my first solo 100km The North Face 100km, in a time of 12 hours 50 Minutes and manage a 6th place.
It took me almost a full year to be able to run on the road again at full pace. 
I have been able to complete a full calendar of running, starting with Coastrek 50km 1st March, then 6 Foot Track 9th March, TNF 100 6th May, The Great Nosh 15km 1st June, Woodford to Glenbrook 4th 25km July, City2Surf 14km(with the flu only just making under the 60min) August, Oxfam TW  100km 8th August, Coastal Classic 29km September, Fitzroy Falls Marathon 2nd October, GNW100km 1st November. 
I am about to run the Glenbrook Marathon. I am fully healed, and I have not even been running fully for a year. I have achieved so much, especially with my injuries in mind. My hamstrings hurt, my feet don't.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Newsletter Long Reef SLSC to Bilgola

Hi Everyone,
Kellie C, Jayne A, and Lauren pictured above and Mia, who is taking the photo, ran and walked their way from where in their previous trail training session was cut short due to flooding at Dee Why Lagoon to Bilgola. This week they were fortunate enough to have a mild dry day with no rain. They started their run at Long Reef SLSC on Saturday for a 33km Coastrek training session. Mia, again has been a life saver. She has been so kind to offer her skills, and help me out with the training of the Coastrekers on the weekend while I could rest my legs and head down to Huskisson to train for my 1/2 Iron Man. 
For Kellie and Lauren, it is the furtherest they have ever been on 2 legs. They are busting through she milestones and still looking happy. Kellie's parents meet the girls at Bilgola, the 1/2 way point, and acted as a mini support crew, providing water , sunscreen and some much needed encouragement. They managed to all stay together as a team, even along the 6km long stretch of beach that is Narrabeen and Colleroy. They and pull though some tough times towards the end, with Lauren struggling a little bit. Jayne now seems to have an Achilles problem (That makes 3 team members, Jane, Jayne and Paula) . The girls all proved to be super tough and found her second wind to complete the 33km within their goal time of 5 hours 05 minutes. They were again about 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Well done.
Next week Mia, Jane M, and Zandra will be heading out to do the same route to completed their 33km for their training. Let's wish them the best of luck.
The teams are doing amazingly well with their training and are excelling, especially with their fundraising. The Go Go's and Racers are almost at their target, my team is coming a dismal last.

If you want to donate to your training buddies raise money for the Fred Hallows Foundation and help the save the sight of 53 people and you still have not had a chance click on the link below.

The Go Go's
Leanne, Paula, Liz and Jayne
Amount Raised: $1020, only $580 to go.

The Racers
Kellie, Lauren, Jane M and Zandra.
Amount Raised $1190, only $410 to go.

The Flyers
Brian, Jeff, Renae and Shona
Amount Raised $320, a long way to go....$1280. I hate coming last.

The Glenbrook Marathon
This weekend myself and Brian will be running the full 42.2km of the Glenbrook Marathon. It will be a good race between to 2 of us....If I was a beating man I would put some money on it. 
The Glenbrook Marathon is a trail run in the Blue Mountains. Kathy, Kellie, Matt (Kim's Hubby) and Renae will be running the 34km. Renae and Kathy, need to run the 34km in less than 4 hours and 20 minutes to qualify for the event. This should not be a problem for either of them. Julia is running in the 25km race at the Glenbrook.
This year for the first time I have clients that are fit, confident ,fast and strong enough to qualify for the famous race the "6 Foot Track". Kathy, Kellie, Mia and Renae have all entered. Mia and Kathy are on the wait list for the race. But I am sure they will soon have a race bib.
Our first training session will be on the Tuesday the 3rd of January. 
Explorers Tree to Coxes River Return 30km. It is a favourite for me, and a session that I have fond memories of....running out of water....over heating....running out of glucose....stinking hot....drinking out of the creeks because you are desperate for a drink because you think you are going to die. You get the picture it is a tough session.

Christmas Holidays
I will be away from Saturday the 24th of December.
I will be back training again on the 2nd of January for anyone who wants to do PT's.
On Tuesday the 3rd I will be training PT's in the morning then running from Explorers Tree to Cox's River Return. Aiming to start at the tree by 9am. This training session usually takes about 4 hours or so...
Then on Wednesday the 4th of January, I will run Bootcamps and Morning PT sessions, before going to a wedding on the Central Coast.
On Thursday the 5th I am having the day off, I will se seedy, and still up at the Central Coast.
Friday the 6th I will be back at training as usual.

Races To Enter ASAP
Sun Run enter the 6.5km Sun Run from Dee Why to Manly, no excuses.
All my beginner runners have entered, the Sun Run. So if you want to start your year off running, the relative easy 6.5km should be a great start. All of my clients should be able to finish this off in less than an hour.
The Cole Classic, 1km, 2km and 9km swim, yes people can swim for 9km, I’m doing the 2km.
Since I did the Bondi2Bronte, I think it has motivated a few people to try an ocean swim. There will be a team of at least 5 of us so far. If you want to do an ocean swim, try this one. We can all freak out together.
Huskisson Triathlon Festival
I have entered my first Triathlon. I am going to do the long course on the Sunday the 19/02/2012.
The Short Course is on the Saturday. Kellie and Kathy might give it a go. I will be down there, and I will be going down again to train for the event in January.

Running Calendar
  • 17/12/2011 Coastrek Training Session 33km Important Session Long Reef to Bilgola Return
  • 18/12/2011 Glenbrook Marathon re-schedule (6 Foot Track Qualifier) 25km,34km 42km
  • 3/01/2011 Explorer's Tree to Cox's River 30km Return Tuesday the Public Holiday.
  • 8/01/2011 Explorer’s Tree to Cox’s River 30km Return
  • 14/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 36km Important Session.
  • 22/01/2011 Megalong Mega Run as a Running Group 36km (I sadly can’t be in the real run.)
  • 28/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 38km Important Session.
  • 04/02/2011 Sun Run 5.6km from Dee Why to Manly 6.5km. No excuses.
  • 05/02/2011 Cole Classic 2km Swim, Shelly Beach to Manly.
  • 11/02/2011 Coastrek Training Session 45km Important Session!!!!
  • 18/02/2011 6 Foot Training Jenolan Caves Rd to Coxes River and Back Again 30km Return Option 1 
  • 19/02/2011 1/2 Iron Man Huskisson 2, Triathlon Series
  • 25/02/2011 6 Foot Training Jenolan Caves Rd to Coxes River and Back Again 30km Return Option 2
  • 2/03/2012 Coastrek 50km
  • 10/03/2012 “6 Foot Track” Marathon 45km
  • 8/04/2011 TNF Training Kings Tableland Circ
  • 28/04/2011 TNF Training  Katoomba Circ
  • 19/05/2012 The North Face 100km
  • Oxfam 2012.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Huskisson 2, ½ Iron Man Training

I travelled from Sydney to Jervis Bay on Friday so I could do a reconnoissance of the Huskisson 2, ½ Iron Man, which is my fist ever Triathlon I have entered. The Huski ½, is on the 19th of February, so I thought it was a great time to get a swim, bike and a run in before the re-scheduled Glenbrook Marathon. Mikey and I camped to save some cash, and to test drive the experience for our kids, Milla and Keisha who we left at my mum's house, are always nagging us to go camping.
I woke up on Saturday morning at 5am in a panic. I'd forgotten my goggles. Bugger, with all the gear for the three sports, swim, bike and run. I was bound to forget something. Cool, no worries, I will just go into town and either borrow or buy a pair. I ate my oats, yogurt and berries. I drank my coffee and dragged Mikey out of bed. It started to rain. There is nothing worse about being in a blue, dreary tent in the rain. It is just a motivational killer. After a few arguments with Mikey about getting up and getting our training session started and some complaints about him not preparing for the wet weather. (Who in their right mind would not pre-pare for the wet weather?) We were dress and on our way into town to find me some goggles. 
I felt so stupid, forgetting a crucial piece of equipment. I spotted some Kayaker's out the front of a store. I asked them  if they had any goggles I could buy. It was 7:30am and everything was closed. I was then informed about the local pool, The  Bay and Basin Leisure Centre. Cool, they would have goggles, and at 8:02am, 2min after they open I had my missing piece of equipment and I was ready for my 2nd ever real ocean swim.
I headed down to the beach and waded out into the cold water noticing pain in my neck. I rode into a pole at speed on the Iron Cove bridge on Wednesday, and I think I was suffering from whiplash form the bump . It was cold, but I had to get out there and get moving, and practice my weakest third of the Tri. There was sea weed on top of the water, to make matters worse I use to scuba dive. I know there is a seal colony around this area, so I was prettified of being attacked by a shark. I know people have been taken by a sharks out of the heads, I was swimming alone, in totally deserted water. Great. I'm splashing around in the morning, drawing heaps of attention to myself with no one watching me. Mikey had left the beach so I was all alone. Fantastic. I was scared. After swimming free style for a 100m or so, I resorted to breaststroke for a while to calm myself down. I could see what was underneath me, and I was unnerved by what I saw. Come on get free styling again, I urged myself to toughen up. I started to free style.I swam out to the red channel marker buoy, stopping about 5m short of it, not wanting to push my luck with the sea creatures. I then turned around and swam back to the beach. I did this again and I was relieved to see that Mikey was on the beach again. He was not much help though. "Look at all the shark eggs on the beach",he said as he commenced to kick the empty Port Jackson Shark Eggs along the beach. Great, now I am terrified. I knew Port Jackson Sharks are harmless, but usually there will be other types of sharks breeding in this marine sanctuary too, I was shitting myself. But I had to keep going.
It was so much easier swimming in this bay, compared to last week swimming the Bondi2Bronte. I was making great time. I timed myself and noticed that as I warmed up and relaxed I got faster. I swam out to the buoy and back again 4 times, and when my feet started to go numb, decided to get out of the water and call it quits for the day I'd spent about 30 minutes swimming . I was really scared, cold. I'd swam in the same area I was going to swim my race in, so I was happy I'd done enough so far.
I then jumped on a bike and started my 83km Bike leg. I was so cold initially that Mikey just flew away along the country roads. I could not catch up with him.  He lead me for the first of the three laps. The three 27km loops were slow, we had to avoid traffic and ride on the edge of the road, being forced to take the longest line around the corners. I do not have aero wheels or Tri bars fitted to my bike yet. So I know my time will get better.
We started the 2nd 27km lap, and I was almost hit by a car. I fell off my bike again, with my cleats still attached to the pedals and landed on my already sore shoulder and already bruised hand. We were riding through an intersection and had the right of way, the driver of the car who almost hit me even saw us, made eye contact with us, but still chose to cut me off. I could not believe it. Clearly she was in the wrong, and she had to give way. I gave the stupid woman a piece of my mind. I was so angry. I could have really injured myself. I landed heavily on my right shoulder and arm. My limbs were grazed and it reminded me how sore my neck really was. My chain came off. I made her stop, and apologise for her crappy, dangerous and inconsiderate driving. I showed her that we were locked onto the bike with our cleats and that when we fall, we fall hard.
After a few running repairs, I got back on my bike in a rage and speed off, this time leading Mikey. I lead Mikey around for the next 2 laps, as he slip streamed me. I tried to stay as consistent as possible. But to get anywhere near to top girls I am going to have to get faster and stronger. It was the longest I'd ever been on a bike by almost double, so I was happy with my effort. I was averaging about 27km/hour, but this is not good enough. 
On our last lap on the way back into town we spotted an elderly couple on a tandem bike. Mikey stopped them so he could take their photo. They chatted and made some comment about my erratic riding style. I was seeing stars from my fall, and my neck and shoulders were killing me, not to mention my butt from not being use to sitting on a seat for so long. "She would be faster, if she could ride in a straight line". The old man said. Cool, point taken. I have got to get better. I'd just spent 3 hours on the bike, and I was getting tired. I am a runner, I am use to being able to move my upper body to find a rhythm. But I will have to learn how to minimise movement to the bike. It is just energy that I am losing.
I then jumped off the bike, put my running shoes on. I checked the map and ran as fast as I could hold for 5km. I wanted to see the run course for the Triathlon and I wanted to prove to myself that even after 3:30 min of exercise I could still run fast. The course was, and I consistently pushed out 4min Kms. Cool. Mikey had only just arrived at the park to pick me up when I completed the 5kms. The run felt great. It was flat as anything, as so easy compared to what I'd just been doing. It was a footpath the whole way, and it felt like heaven.  I called it quits, knowing I had a marathon the following week, and headed for some calamari, chips and nurofen for the neck pain.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Great Outdoor Training News

Hi Everyone,

I have recovered from my icy first 2.3km B2B Ocean Swim and The GNW, and I am feeling speedy again. I was able to run intervals twice this week and I have recovered well from both sessions. This is a first for me ever. Maybe it is mental, or maybe I just have everything working correctly finally. I am feeling so strong, and fast.
On Tuesday at 2:30pm I was interviewed on the sports radio station SYN by Dougal Austin straight after the Australian Champion 100m Sprinter Matt Shirvington. I was so flattered to be thought of. It was so nice to be recognised as a true athlete, it was such a fun and extrodinary experience. As soon as I get the pod cast of the interview I will up load it to my blog.
Also this week, the 2 winners of the GNW 100 Mile Meredith Quinlan and Andrew Vize were interviewed on Fox Sports. Here is their interview below. They too are both champions of the sport and they deserve the recognition.

Ultra Endurance Running is a new sport, a sport that is just finding it feet now. We are pushing the boundaries every race we enter, we are all just seeing how far the body can go. I think it is one of the last frontiers of athletics and it is an exciting sport to be involved in at the present moment. Records are being broken all over the world as information about nutrition and hydration improve.

Also there was a movie screening this week about the Western States 100 Mile Ultra.
Here is the link below.

For the first time I have 2 clients entered in the world famous 6 Foot Track 45km Ultra Marathon (Technically anything over 42.4km is classed as an Ultra, especially if it is on a trail) 6 Foot Track is in Blue Mountains.
Kellie Ellis and Renae van der Pol are in. Mia and Kathy are on the waiting list. The race starts at the Explorers Tree in Katoomba and finishes at the Janolan Caves. Renae and Kathy have to run 34km next weekend in the Blue Mountains on the Glenbrook Trail Running Festival to qualify. They both ran Coastrek 50km last year, so the distance should be not a problem for them. Let's all wish them the best of luck with their qualifying run. Brian has entered the Glenbrook Marathon with me. I think it will be a great race between us. He has also just entered TNF 100km Ultra in May. We are both entered in this epic race.

My Christmas Holidays
I am on Holidays from the 24th of December until Thursday the 5th of January.
I may do a bootcamp at 6am on the 4th of December if anyone is interested just let me know.

Coastrek 50km Training Session
Date:10th of December
Where: Long Reef SLSC to Bilgola
Distance: 33km.
Time: Meet at 5:45am for a 6am Start at the Long Reef SLSC.
Mia will need a lift to the start of the training session as Liz is now really sick.
I would give Mia a lift to the start, but I am going to be down in Huskisson.
Goal Time: 5.5 Hours
Fuel Intake: 11 Gels, 1 Power Bar or Cookie, eat the Power Bar or Cookie First or break it up into bite size pieces and eat 1 bite at 15min intervals.

Sir Chinmoy 14km
Date:11th December
Where: Centennial Park
Distance: 4km, 7km, 14km
Time: 8am Registration from 6:45am
Cost: $25, $30, $35 On the Day. (cheaper if you enter online)
Brian is doing this race. It will be a trail run around Centennial Park.

2XU Order
I have ordered 4 extra black visors for summer. They are $16 each. Let me know if you want one.
I also have a spare XS Elite Compression Short $88. (I should never have placed an order after running 100km) Let me know if would like me to put it aside for you.

Pink Team Treasure Hunt Winners
Please remind me to give you your running singlet prize this week.

Races To Enter ASAP
Enter the 6.5km Sun Run from Dee Why to Manly, no excuses
The Cole Classic, 1km, 2km and 9km swim, yes people can swim for 9km, I’m doing the 2km.

Running Calendar

  • 10/12/2011 Coastrek Training 33km from Long Reef to Bilgola and Back Again
  • 17/12/2011 Coastrek Training Session 33km Important Session Long Reef to Bilgola Return
  • 18/12/2011 Glenbrook Marathon re-schedule (6 Foot Track Qualifier) 25km,34km 42km
  • 3/01/2011 Explorer's Tree to Cox's River 30km Return Tuesday the Public Holiday.
  • 8/01/2011 Explorer’s Tree to Cox’s River 30km Return
  • 14/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 36km Important Session.
  • 22/01/2011 Megalong Mega Run as a Running Group 36km (I sadly can’t be in the real run.)
  • 28/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 38km Important Session.
  • 04/02/2011 Sun Run 5.6km from Dee Why to Manly 6.5km. No excuses.
  • 05/02/2011 Cole Classic 2km Swim, Shelly Beach to Manly, yes I am swimming again.
  • 11/02/2011 Coastrek Training Session 45km Important Session!!!!
  • 18/02/2011 6 Foot Training Jenolan Caves Rd to Coxes River and Back Again 30km Return Option 1 
  • 19/02/2011 1/2 Iron Man Huskisson 2, Triathlon Series
  • 25/02/2011 6 Foot Training Jenolan Caves Rd to Coxes River and Back Again 30km Return Option 2
  • 2/03/2012 Coastrek 50km
  • 10/03/2012 “6 Foot Track” Marathon 45km
  • 8/04/2011 TNF Training Kings Tableland Circ
  • 28/04/2011 TNF Training  Katoomba Circ
  • 19/05/2012 The North Face 100km
  • Oxfam 2012.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bondi 2 Bronte Ocean Swim 2.2km

You’d never know from the picture above that I woke up with gastro, I had it the day before, I had it the night before and I knew it was going around my clients. Crap. How am I going to swim with a stomach like this I thought. I’d hate to leave a trail!
“Just take an Imodium”. Says my supportive husband. Cool. So I had one, and waited then ate my breaky, I’d run out of quinoa, I’d run out of oats, I was down to a muesli bar and cous cous. Not a good omen I thought.
The day outside looked like it was going to be perfect for a swim, blue sky, no wind, I was going to have the best conditions for my first ocean swim, my first ever swim in the ocean. I’d only swam at the beach or in a bay. I’d never swam out into the depths of the ocean. I was not even that nervous. I did not have any pressure on me that day. I knew it was going to be totally foreign. I was not going to be the best, far from it. But I was trying something new, and really getting outside my comfort zone.
We arrived at the beach as a family, I grabbed my rubber yellow swimming cap and ankle strap and went to the bath room, and the imodiums had done their trick, I posed for the pic above so I was good to go, go on an adventure.
The concept of an ocean swim was really daunting. The fear of that is unknown is what stops most people. Most people are scared they are going to be eaten by a shark. But this thought was far from my mind. I have scuba dived before and snorkelled in the ocean so I knew what laid beneath the sea.  I have also been taking swimming lessons to improve my stroke, and swimming an extra day on top of that so I felt confident that I could make the distance, even though I’d probably only ever swam for 2km in the pool. I said good bye to Mikey and the Kids and went to the start area.
I did my normal thing, found people to chat to and help me out. I found someone to put my cap on for me, because I had no idea how to put it on. I had not put a swimming cap on since I was in high school, and that was 15 years ago. I then found the only other “Shona” in the crowd to chat to for some time. She said that she was going to do breast stroke for most of the way. Cool, I was not going to be the only one resorting to breast stoke. I am a natural breast stroker, not free-styler, so this was going to be a challenge. I actually hated free style until probably a week ago, I have only just now started to get into my rhythm with my stroke.
I looked out to sea, and there were white caps everywhere. There was a strong South- Easterly blowing, and it looked cold. The water temperature was 18.2C. I had no idea what this meant. The marshal was giving us direction on where to swim and how to breathe, but again I was clueless, I had no idea what he was talking about.
My wave was called to the start line, I rinsed out my goggles and went to the far end of the pack, not wanting to get dunked at the start of the race. I found a swim coach to chat to form where I have swimming lessons. John gave me some tips. “Just remember to breathe in and breathe out, stay calm and don’t go out too hard”. Cool. I was ready. I put on my goggles and I could not see a thing. This is crazy.
The marshall said go and we were off. I tried my best to follow the swim behind John following the line that he chose. I was diving through the waves, then gasping for air. I was gasping so hard I was hyperventilating. Man it was cold. I was trying to stay calm and just breath and start to swim. One arm went over then the other then breathe. I was still gasping. I tried again, one arm then breathe, stroke breathe, stroke breathe, stroke, crash of the wave  breathe goggles filled up with water, stop tread water to fix them, stroke breathe, stroke breathe. Cool, I had my rhythm and I was actually moving, I started to warm up. I’d passed the first marker, all the swimmers were crowded between two cans, it got cramped and I got kicked, and pushed, but not badly, so I’d relaxed into the swim, feeling okay, not great, but everything was new to me.
Stroke crash of the wave breathe, stroke crash of the wave breathe, I hit the second marker, cool your moving your doing well, just keep ticking off those bright pink markers. I then felt lost, I could not see the next marker,I just had to trust that the person in front of me was going in the best possible direction for the most efficient route. I put my head up to have a look, a few breast stroke strokes, then I spotted the marker and felt safe again. It was so weird, I really felt lost with out a point of reference out there. It was really un settling. Stroke, crash of the wave breathe, stroke crash of the wave breathe. The swimmers jostled around me, I must be close to the third marker, your doing well, your swimming, stoke crash of the wave breathe, stroke crash of the wave breathe, I past the third marker, I was out of Bondi and heading past Tamarama.
This was when it all when pair shaped. The cold southerly head wind picked up and turned into a gale force wind. The sky went black and the water temperature suddenly dropped.The water chopped up and I felt like I was swimming in a washing machine. I was having problems finding a space to stroke and breathe without getting a mouthful of water. My goggles were crap and they kept filling up with water on the left side that was exposed to the waves. I started to feel sea sick. This sucked. I started to breast stroke. I like breast stroking. I felt safe when I was breast stroking. I knew it was going to slow me down. But I just was not ready to free style it the whole way.
Then the cold really set in. My body temperature dropped and I was getting cold, really cold, really cold, so cold. My toes were numb. I looked at the life guards and thought about getting out. But how would I find my husband and kids. They were asking people if they were okay. I tried to free style again, but I got another mouth full of water, then again my goggles felt like they were going to fill up again. I was not thinking clearly, I was lost. I did not have a real goal out there and it showed. I breast stroked again, and I noticed that the pink marker kept getting closer. The swimmers crowded around the the marker and I was swam over by a guy wearing a black cap, damn the wave behind has caught me. Oh on I was going to get swam over all the time, this was a huge fear of mine, I did not want to be pushed under the water my people coming up behind me. I was feeling so green. I tried to kick it on, I tried to free style, my kick was amazing, I felt really buoyant, but I just did not trust the conditions, I did not trust my breathing . I went for a safe option of breast stroking.
For an instant the sun returned and warmed me up for a second, but it soon disappeared. I was frozen again. I was past another marker, past Tamarama Beach and almost at Bronte, I could see the beach. Amazing.
There was one more marker to swim around and then I could sprint for the beach. Cool. But then the waves blew up and I was being crashed on by my right. I tried my free style again, getting a free strokes in before I got a mouthful of water. Now I could get a rhythm, but the surf felt massive. I tried to breathe and stroke then I’d get a crash of a wave in my face, the waves were crashing over my body.
I spotted the exit point to the beach and I tried my hardest to swim free style in, but I felt I like I was going no where. I must be in a rip. F2ck. I waited for a wave then tried my hardest to swim with it, I tried again, and again, but I felt like I was going no where, I tried again to swim, and I had my feet on the ground, I waited and swam with the next wave and I was able to run out of the water on to the beach.
My husband and kids were in the crowd screaming my name, but I was in shock. I had no idea that they were there calling for me. I ran across the line and started to cry. I was so cold, I had never been so cold in all my life. I could not find my family, and I was handed an emergency blanket to put around by body to stop any further heat loss. My jaw was locked and I was barely able to move my limbs I was so cold. I stood there all alone and cried.
I heard my husband and kids and they came running out of the crowd and found me. I was instantly relieved. I started to walk off and find my cousin who was also in the crowd. I was freezing. I stopped and put on a t-shirt. “Do you want a hot shower?”, one of the race organisers asked me. I looked like death. But Mikey my awesome support crew did not bring my clothes down to the beach, so I declined his offer. “Running 100km is easier that swimming that”, I said. “You picked the worst day to the history of the race to do your first ocean swim, well done you finished”.The organiser said.
I started to run on the spot, then I started to sprint, it felt so good, I was flying around, running up and down the small grassy hills around the Bronte Playground.  I found my cousins, and after getting properly wrapped up in towels and a blanket I was taken back to their house for a hot shower.
I swam the 2.2km in 1 hour 2 minutes. I thought it would take me about an hour. So I was happy with that. Next time, I just want to improve on my time.  I will be back.