Monday, April 25, 2011


I convinced my good friend Renae to come onto the World Famous 6 Foot Track for a training run, so I would not have to get an “eperb” from the “Cop Shop” in Katoomba! Thank you Renae for doing that for me. It is just really nice to know you have a friend that you can contact while you are out there on your own, it just feels safer.
She saved me heaps of time and the extra weight of 400grams in my pack, that takes up about the same amount of space as 400mls of water. So her help was priceless! Thank you!
We ran together for about 400m , but to release any pressure that Renae may feel, I said it is best that we both run at our own pace, so when we hit the “Bush Stairs” I ran off allowing Renae to look after her knee injury. I ran down so quickly I lost 2 energy gels on the way down out of my running belt, this happened to me in a race, I should have learnt from my mistake, and secured them to my pack. Sometimes some lessons are hard to learn.
I ran to the 10km mark, and left a running belt on the marker so Renae would know when to turn around and run back, as the track gets considerable steeper and more technical after this point. I then ran a further 6km down to the Coxs’ River. This 16km of tough trail took me about 1:23min, so not too shabby for my first time running again since August. I was happy with that.
I then turned around for the climb out, the track descends over 1km in elevation from the height of The Blue Mountain into the Valley, the Bottom being the Coxs’ River, so I had 1km of climbing to get out.
The heat was unbearable, it was amazing, I was fine in the cooler sections of the track, but as soon as I hit an exposed section I was stuffed, I had stomach cramps, Im was incredibly over heated, I drank all my water in the hope to keep myself cool. I even took off my singlet, placed my back pack down mistakably on an ant’s nets! I had nasty black and red ants all over my pack and now on my shoes. The rest was over I had to keep going and get away from eh killer ants! I was running in my bra to allow myself to cool off, the heat was like I have never felt before, it must have been over 40C in some sections of the track. I ran and walked, kept my head, I was just thinking of the running belt with 1.5L of water in it just up above. I  picked trees to walk too, and to run to, shadows were my friend and they became my goal, just walk to that shadow and then run again to the next shadow.
Just keep moving forward and you will eventually get out of here. Your self-talk is so important, you have to tell yourself that you can so it, just put one foot in front of the other and you will get there, just start running again when you get to that tree. It is so simple, but so tough.
I got back to the 10km marker, cool only 10km to go and I will have water! But my running belt had disappeared! I rang Renae when I had reception, left a message, “ Renae, someone has nicked my pack! If you see them get it off them I have run out of water” she was not there. I just kept running. I was without water for 5km now. I said to myself, I have run out of here before without water I can do it again. I ran on a further 1.5km and I received a phone call from Renae. She said that she moved the belt into the shade. “Sorry”. I started walking and running back the 1.5km over rolling descending hills that I had just ascended to get out of the valley. I was almost in tears, trying to conserve my energy, stomach cramping, dehydrated.
I got to the belt, the belt was boiling, I took of a bottle and sprayed myself and the belt with precious water, and started to climb back out again. A plus side was that there was no “Cows” on the track. I am petrified of “Cows”. Have a giggle.
I felt good, I had water, I had gels I was moving in the right direction. I have back to the road and I had only 8km to go, purely climbing to get out of the valley.  The track became cooler and I felt composed, my stomach was still in pain but it was cool, I was on track for a good time to get out, maybe I would catch Renae and she will have my much needed energy gels.
The wheels all fell off when I was due to eat again and I was out of food. I still had at least an hour to go to get out and I had nothing. I had drunk another 1.5L of water, I knew I had another 600ml at the 1km to go mark, but I was out of glucose, all I could do was walk. I felt like calling Renae and asking her to come down and help me out of here. But I did not want to risk her getting injured, I still had 6km to go and I was spent. I felt like lying down on the track and resting. The heat was insane and I was obviously dehydrated. So I just walked and hoped that the precious 600ml of water would be there soon.
I did not eat well the night before, and I did 2 sessions before I got to the track, so I really should have pre-pared much better. But hey you get cocky after a while and when you have not been able to train for so long,  you just forget how dangerous it can be if you are not totally pre-pared.
After much crazy self-talk of just walking, and trying to keep my concentration to prevent myself from falling over I made it back to the “Nelly’s Glen” where my 600ml bottle was waiting. Still no glucose or salt, but it will have to do. I drank the water, then re-filled it in a mountain stream that was coming straight off the cliff, no “Cow paddy’s” here, so it was clean water. The is cold water, was just what I needed to cool my core temperature down. I just hoped there would not be any nasty bugs in it. For the first time all day I felt myself sweat! It just took 3:45minutes to feel it!
After another 20minutes of climbing stairs and a 400m fire trail I was out. Poor Renae was sitting there in the shade for about 45minutes worrying about me. She too was extremely hot. Feeling like she had heat stroke. There was water so close only 5m away, but in a locked car. She did not have a key for my car. She thought I would catch her. I just had nothing else to give.
Much relieved we both jumped into the car, drove back to Katoomba to get “Hot Chips” , “Chocolate Milk” and more water. The recovery was quick, and we then became really proud of our achievements. Renae did 21km of the Hardest Marathon in the World, and I did about 34kms.
I can’t wait until I can get out there again and do it all again, but do it right and respect the Track.

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