Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Foul Weather Run Manly-Long Reef Return

I was woken at 4:30am by the sound of rain plummeting down the drain pipes outside my window. The wind was howling, the weather was as wild. “Are you going to call it off?”. Mikey, my hubby asked. I did not answer. I had spent the last two days trying to organise 11 people to do this 28km run from Manly to Long Reef return. 5 of my clients running that day have never run further than 21km, 1 had never run more than 15km before, so it was a huge event for everyone.
My race the Glenbrook Marathon was cancelled on Sunday due to flooding, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get my 3 Coastrek 50km Teams together for a solid training session. I did not think that the weather would stop my training too. Bugger, I’m so busy with all my races and training for all my events, that I have trouble fitting in all my training sessions, and then try and train my clients and team mates too. I know that everyone one else is busy too, and what is the likely hood that I will be able to get everyone out again on the same day to train, it just was not possible. We had to train no matter what.
I got up and checked the weather on my iPhone, we were going to get hit with so much rain it was unbelievable. But, there was a dry patch just about to arrive. So hopefully this will prevent too many people from pulling out of the session and they will be lead into a false sense of security, thinking that the worst had passed. (I giggle to myself at this thought).
One person pulled out due to sickness, another pulled out because she was just going to run it for fun, and she was not in one of our teams. It was best that she stayed home, there was no need for her to be out in this potentially dangerous weather. We were down to 9. Cool, the attrition rate was not so bad, and we now fit into 2 cars.
Mia and Zandra met at my house, we had a coffee and left and picked up Brian, who rode his bike to Cleveland Street, I put is bike on my bike racks on top of my car. I can’t believe how handy those very expensive but trusty bike racks have become. We drove to Manly and parked near the Wharf and waited for the others. It was just before 6am and it looked like everyone was arriving on time. It was raining, but it was warm, so we were not in danger of hyperthermia unless someone got seriously injured. I made sure everyone had an emergency blanket and a wet weather gear. I offered everyone a choc cookie, I have been told to eat more by my nutritionist, and a VLA reading showed that I had lost a kilo of muscle since August, so I get to eat again, more slow burning carbs and protein! Yay!!! We sorted out our gels, and without to much fuss, I handed 6 girls, my clients a map, and we were off.
I was running with 2 guys, Jeff and Brian, Renae was sick and was resting. Brian is a Irish 25 year old male with red hair, who is extremely fit, Jeff is in his early thirties, strong as an ox and I am always in disbelief with his athletic ability.He just should not be able to move like he can, he is just an agile machine.
It was going to be so much fun running with the 2 boys today. The group had to split up, 9 people running together was just too many, so I ran with my team, Jeff and Brian. Mia, a client and my 2nd placed Oxfam Team Mate, and winning Coastrek Team Mate, lead the girls in the other group. She is just a reserve at the moment, but wanted to come along to help out and have a great day in the bush.
With a few words, we were off.
I ran along slowly setting the pace, trying to keep the boys slow for the first 10 minutes, so their joints could warm up properly. It was our first training session with Jeff. We were so happy to have him venture out with us, the early morning starts had been getting to him a bit. We really appreciated the extra special effort he made to get up on this revolting day. We ran along the course-way, up over a hill in the burbs of Manly, and descended down to Little Manly Beach. We then climbed into the Sydney Harbour National Park, dropped down into Little Collins Beach then climbed for 1km up the the North Head. This climb always bites, especially when you have just started, but we hit a rhythm that we could all manage, usually this meant that we go no faster than the pace I am able to talk the whole way up then hill, if I stop talking we are going to fast. We crossed the road and threaded our way through some heath scrub on metal grates. I find these grates really fun, they are slippery, but I find the faster you go the better, I can bounce my way along these types of paths. We crossed another small road and hit a small trail that followed the sandstone headland around North Head, we ducked through a stone tunnel and ran down some bush stairs and onto Shelly Beach.
Instantly we were exposed to the full force of the wind and rain. We had a direct head wind, and that head wind was going to stay for the next 10km. Damn the head wind!!! We crossed Shelly beach then hit a footpath past Fairy Bower, ran around a point and hit the sand on Manly. In training for Coastrek, I encourage my Team Mates and Clients, to hit the sand, grass, or soft ground where ever possible. I want to avoid any unnecessarily high impact injury. So for all the training we run the sand along the beaches.
The wind was so strong that we felt like we were running in a wind tunnel, piercing rain and sand was stinging our exposed limbs. I hit the front, finding the stride rate of the boys too slow for me. I am only 5 foot 2 inches, so I have to turn my legs over much faster than the guys to remain at the same speed. Being out in front meant that I could set my own rhythm. Damn you head wind!!!! We ran on the sand, searching for the sweet spot, just on the edge of the tide line, where our feet could get traction without sinking too much. These were tough conditions. I really could not think of a time when I was wetter. The rain was pelting down on us, and I really thought my running singlet was a useless piece of clothing that I really did not need at that moment. The beach was littered with countless blue bottles, and tangled on the tide line. The wind was so strong that the Blue Bottles were being blown down the beach like tumble weeds. I have never seen such a thing. We now had moving balls of venom to dodge as well as stationery blue bottles, plus the floating Bluies, that were still being washed up by the sea.
We ran past the Pool at Queenscliff, then hit the steepest climb of the day, straight up the headland between some apartment complexes and up to the headland. This one hurt, and forced the boys to walk for a bit. We were already tired from the beach running into a headwind and we needed to rest for a while and wait for our bodies to switch back into aerobic. 
I had been very lost around this area before and I showed the boys which route to take. Without a map around this area, you can end up going off a cliff. We found the walking track and descended into Freshwater Beach. Freshie was a relief, as it was protected from the hollowing wind, we made great time across this beach and headed over the headland, around the point, where the path switched to a beautiful broad walk along the cliffs edge for the next kilometre. On the pathway to Curl Curl beach the waves were monstrous, crashing violently against the rocks below.
What a better way to spend a Saturday Morning I thought. What else could one be possibly be doing?
This was madness. The tide was high, there was a storm surge of water making the seas fuller and more ferocious, and the rivers and lagoons will be full. I was starting to worry about what was ahead of us. Shit I forgot to tell the girls about the rules of water crossings. I hope Mia will guide them through and water crossing safely. That they should not enter water that is deeper than their knee height.
We hit Curl Curl beach and again we were greeted with a cyclone strong head wind. I hate running on Curl Curl Beach. The sand is deep and soft, what’s more is that the beach is set on an angle, so it puts uneven stress on your limbs. Damn you head wind!! It better not change direction for our return. I am looking forward to the tail wind I will be getting for our return.
We dodged Blue Bottles, passed a dead baby rat, washed up logs that were covered in shell fish and were bemused by live fish that had been flung out of the water. Man it does not get any more wild that this. The sea was angry, and we were feeling the full brunt of its force. Jeff lead, I tried to hide behind him. He was running so fast I could barely keep up. Brian hung back with me and kept a steady rhythm.
We waded into Curl Curl Lagoon, and waded straight back out again. We have had so much rain over the past week,the lagoon was flooded. A brown rapid of a river had formed at the mouth of the lagoon. The tide was high also, added to the depth of the crossing. The water was up past my chest. I took my back pack off, not wanting to submerge my iPhone in the water, then waded across the Mouth of turbulent the Lagoon. Far out, it better not get any worst than that. I looked at the headland at Curl Curl, and remembered our experience of this section of the track from last years race. At high tide the headland track is un-passable. The waves are too big and there is not enough dry path to follow around the rocks. I decided that it would be too dangerous to follow the track so I went to the Curl Curl SLSC and asked for directions
“Hi, is there a path to Long Reef?”, I asked the weather harden surf life saver. “Where do you want to go? Long reef, yeah, just head up to the traffic lights and follow Pittwater Road, you will be there in no time.” He replied. “Is there another path, through the bush?” I ventured. “Oh, you want to follow the head land, yeah, just follow the path to the right, and walk up the steeps”. He replied. Cool, we were off. We got to the top of the head land, I found some shelter and I texted the Team of Girls following us the directions, and that they should not try and follow the track around the head land due to the tide being so high. With this done we were off again. Brian lead through this section, followed by Jeff and I hung at the back having a little rest. We were protected by heath scrub in the reserve, it was so nice to be off the dreadful beach and running on a single man track. We passed some amazing houses, with equally amazing views as we winded our way down to Dee Why Beach.
We passed the pool, the SLSC. The Weather was so horrendous we could not see Long Reef Point only 2km away. This was our last beach crossing that we had to do before we had to head back. We ran along the grey foggy beach and then waded into Dee Why Lagoon. We waded straight back out again. “Shit, this is deep”, and with that we took off our back packs and held them above our heads and started to wade across the rapid filled lagoon mouth. I walked in, and I was soon in head deep with the water swallowing me. I was going to go under, it was too deep for me. Shit. I turned over onto my back so I could float, then started to do back breast stroke across the divide of fast flowing water. The current was so strong it was pulling my legs under into a whirl pool. I lifted them up and started to kick my breast stroke harder, using my legs only, whilst holding my back pack up out of the brown storm water. My iPhone was in my pack and I did not want to drown it, so I held my pack up as high as I could. Jeff was out first. He dumped his pack then ran back to get me, fearing that I was going to be swept away with the current. By the time he came back to me I was already out of the water dripping wet. We then looked for Brian. He was making his way out of the torrent. “That was really hairy, I’m not a strong swimmer” The Irish Team Mate said. Jeff and I looked at each other in shock, f*cK we almost could have drowned our team mate. Us Aussies take it for granted that everyone is a strong swimmer. Whoops. (Technically you should not enter any water of a river that is above your knee height, please don’t do this on your runs, I’d hate to hear that one of you got injured).
On Long Reef Beach, I found a surfy watching our crossing. I asked to be sheltered under is umbrella, it was raining heavily and I wanted to text the other team to tell them not to cross Dee Why Lagoon, but to take the Road. I chatted to the surfy, he said he use to be a runner, and that he is 53. I almost fell over, he looked so young. The running and the surfing has kept him in the best shape. Finding out this just reforms all my thoughts about exercise. Knowing that there are people in their 50s, 60s and 70s still living healthy active lives is one of my main motivators.
The rain was coming down, and we were over the head wind. Jeff took off running, Jeff was a machine and ran ahead, whilst Brian and I did our best to keep up with him. He hooned up the hill to the top of the point gaining 100m on us. At the top he rested and waited for us to catch up. We hit the 14.5km point and we had some food, and headed straight back down the hill again. I was looking forward to the tail wind all the way back to Manly. This took us 1 hour 44 minutes.
On the return we decided to take the road instead of the rapids at Dee Why Lagoon, and headed along the path past the SLSC at Long Reef and out onto Pittwater Rd. There was only a narrow path of about 50cm between the forest, us and the 3 lanes of traffic, it was unnerving suddenly being so close to civilisation. I felt vulnerable. The cars were speeding past, splashing us. Jeff was at the front setting the pace, stretching his legs. We ran for about 1.5km and then turned onto a cycleway that headed back to Dee Why Beach.
At the beach I had another gel, then looked for the other team. I could not see them along the beach near the lagoon, they should be around this area, they should not be that far behind. Bugger. Oh well we will just run into them later I thought.
The tail wind was fantastic. With is added help we were blown down the beach, it was making our return on tired legs so much more enjoyable. We past Dee Why Beach, then hit the bush again at Dee Why Head after a steep climb, Jeff lead us again through the bush. It was his first time out with us and he showed us what he was made of. I was having troubles keeping up with him. Brian was right on my tail, so I had no choice but to speed up. It was great to be pushed by these 2 guys. I was rising to the occasion. We took the turn off to Curl Curl SLSC, and on doing this we spotted some walkers that I’d seen earlier in the day. “Have you seen any girls wearing a singlet singlet like this?”.I asked pointing to my singlet, wondering where the others had gotten too. We should have passed them by now. “Yes back there”, the guy said, pointing towards Freshwater. With this knowledge I had the shits. How could they have turned back so soon? They better not have whimped out I thought. They should have told me they were having problems. The weather was not that bad, or so I thought. Bugger. The girls really needed to complete at least 25km today to keep them on track for their 50km.( I am a tough trainer, but it was not cold out there, it was really warm).
With these thoughts we headed down to the crossing at Curl Curl Lagoon. We waded into the water, and waded straight back out again. The water had risen since our last passing only 1 hour ago, it was brown, dirty fast flowing and unpredictable. We took off our back packs and waded though the shoulder deep water. I had to swim for a section of it as it was too deep for me to stand. Okay if the other team did turn back because of Curl Curl Lagoon, fair enough. It was bloody dangerous, and I would not suggest that anyone goes into water that they did not feel confident that they could cross with out any danger.
We ran down Curl Curl Beach trying to avoid the blue bottles, picking the sweet spot in the sand, enjoying the tail wind that we were receiving. On the pathway between Curl Curl and Freshwater Beach the tide had risen some more and the waves crashed into the rocks and splashing us as we ran along the clifs edge. This was madness. I have never been in such conditions, the seas were monstrous we were wet from the rain, and wet from the sea. My allergies were feeling fantastic. The salt water was clearing out all my sinus, there had to be some perk to running on a day like that. My chest had been bad ever since The GNW 100km, when in the last 10km I inhaled smoke. But the sea side air and spray was helping me so much.
We flew down the steps onto Freshwater Beach, crossed the beach with out much fuss, hit the stairs on the south end of the beach and started one of the final climbs of the day. This one stung. I lead up the stairs, knowing that we were so close to our finish, and push on up feeling really strong. We had been on our feet for over 2 and a half hours and the boys were starting to get tired. At the top they wanted to walk to catch their breaths. But after only a minute or so they were off and running again back down the hill, around the apartments and down to a flooded rock baths at Queenscliff. The rock pool was under water by about 20cm.
It was the last long beach we had to run along. Jeff again hit the front, just wanting to get the hard work over and done with. Brian and I did our best to keep up. After a few hundred metre of running, I noticed that my groin was starting to show signs of a strain. If mine felt like this, the others may be feeling it too. I watched the boys ahead of me avoid the blue bottles in the ever rising tide. Jeff narrowly avoid being stung by one. There was not hard sand left to run on, only the soft sand was available for running.
“Jeff, Brian off the sand, let’s rest up and take it easy, lets not get injured now, and lets avoid getting stung by a blue bottle”. I said. I this this made the guys day. We ran onto the broad walk, and stopped and stretched our groins, ate some food and started running down the beach towards Shelly Beach. It was great to be back on solid ground, I stretched my legs, hit the front and I felt great. I strided out, feeling my niggly hamstring have a stretch and warm up. This is when I enjoy my running to most, running at top speed and feeling my body flow naturally with every step.
The sea became angry again, the pathway between the SLCS at Manly and Shelly beach was being pounded by the waves crashing onto the rocks. Even blue bottles were being thrown up out of the sea and onto the footpath. This was again crazy conditions to be running in, but nothing will be this bad for a long time.
At Shelly beach I stopped and had another gel, Jeff had a power bar, and Brian ate spiced hot pepperoni sausages. This I personally find repulsive. I don’t know how he can eat a protein and run on it. I am a pretty vego, only eating fish 2 times a week at the most. If it was me it would be vomited up the pepperoni sausage after the first hill I run down. But everyones body works differently and what works for me may not work for someone else. After our little snack, we hit the last major climb of the day as we headed up to North Head. I still felt great, I’d been eating every 30 minutes,so my energy levels were high. Here, on this climb was when the guys started to feel it. We had been on our feet for about 3 hours. They were eating 50% less than me and it showed. We slowed to a walk. Jeff felt sick.  The power bar did not agree with him. If I am going to eat something that is not a gel I usually eat it early on in the session or race, so my body has time to digest it. Or if I am hungry in a long run I only take a tiny bite at a time, then wait 15 minutes so it does not shock my stomach. Jeff, ate too much too late. But hey, this is why you train, so you can learn what works and what does not work.
At the top of the hill I started to run again, trying to motivate the boys. With this Jeff regained his strength, soon followed by Brian and I stayed at the back. Letting the boys set the pace. We were on the home stretch and they knew that it was only 2km more to go. We ran along the metal grates, crossed North Head Rd, and headed down the beautiful steep hill to Collins Beach. I hit the front again, and was amazed that the pathway to the walking track to Manly was under 50cm of water, next to a beer coloured water fall. We waded through the water, meandered through the small bush track of Spring Cove, past Little Manly reserve, rolled our legs down to Little Manly Beach .Yay, our last beach was crossed and we started the last climb for the day. With this Jeff could no longer run. He had to walk. We walked up the last hill together, then before too long we were running again. Jeff hit the front, again just wanting to get the run over and done with, he was cramping. I suggested that we did a cool down jog. But Jeff just wanted it over with. So Brian and I ran along side him, keeping him company and keeping the team together. The rain was still pissing down, it had hardly stopped all day. We passed the wharf at Manly Cove and ran back to our cars.
Training Session Done. The 30.5km took us 3 Hours 34 Minutes.
I opened the car, grabbed some cookies and shared them out. I gave Jeff and electrolyte mix to have to help his cramping, and Brian went and bought some warm clothes from the shops. I checked my phone, I saw nothing from the girls, I texted to tell them that we had finished. They must have gone all the way to Dee Why Lagoon. Cool, they have probably completed about 27km. Excellent. This made my day knowing that my other clients were still out training making the most of their opportunity.
Jeff and I walked into the water at Manly Cove to aid with our recovery whilst I waited for the others to return. We were soon joined by Brian. I made everyone stay in for at least 15 minutes. Jeff was cramping really badly, so we sent him home to be properly fed and to recover. Brian and I jumped into the car and waited for the others. I turned the car engine on, with the heating on full blast to warm myself up. I was freezing. Suddenly I heard some giggling and chatting, it was the other group. They had survived these awful condition with energy to burn, happy faces. “That was the hardest thing I have ever done”, Jayne and Kellie said. But their faces were glowing, almost contradicting what they have just said. They looked like they that a ball. The ran the 27km in 4 hours 4 minutes. “I am so proud of you guys, you made it here faster that your schedule by over 30 minutes, well done!”. I said, truly stoked with their effort. I tried to dry out Jaynes phone that Curl Curl Lagoon drowned, and Brian and I waited while they hit the water at the beach for their recovery. Sweet, they made my day!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Great Outdoor Training News

Hi Everyone,
I am just the proudest trainer in the world this week. I managed to convince the above group of 6 amazing women, plus myself and 2 blokes to run 27plus kilometres in the foulest weather in Saturday. We had to fight our way through more than 2 river crossings which claimed one “iPhone”,  on a run that was more of a swim through a wind tunnel than a run. The wind was blowing not only the sand along the beaches, but the blue bottles were blown like tumble weeds, and were rolling down the beach trying to catch our soaked ankles. The sea was so rough that even the live fish were being flung out of the water. I even passed a dead rat on the sand and logs covered with barnacles.
I could have called the run off that morning, everyone expected me too, but I would personally run in that weather, and the fact that we were in a group made it so much safer, so I let my clients decide what they wanted, and everyone who was fit, uninjured and healthy trained. As you can see from the faces above, they too are so bloody proud of their achievement. We know that there will be very few days ever in our lives that will have to face conditions worse than what we have just run through, and we have gained so much mental strength knowing that we fought the elements and won that day. We are making champions in our running group. There they are pictured above. The girls ran about 27km, they stopped short of their goal of 28km due to Long reef lagoon Turning into a fast flowing rapids. they ran the 27km in 4 hours and 7 minutes. My team made it across the rapids, and ran 30.5km in a time of 3 hours 34 minutes.
A special thanks goes out to Mia for being such a fantastic coach on the weekend. I think you saved the girls so much frustration and made the day run so smoothly, you are a star, and your skills were much appreciated by the Go Go’s and the Racers on the weekend.
I will write a personal account of the training session in my blog. So stay tuned for that instalment in the next few days.

Sponsor Your Favourite Team/Buddy by clicking on the link below.

The Racers
Jane M, Kellie , Lauren and Zandra. Total Raised so far $100.00

The Go Go’s
Leanne, Paula, Liz and Jane A.  Total Raised so Far $1020!!!!! Almost there!!!!!!!!

The Flyers
Brian, Jeff, Renae and Shona. Total Raised so far $320.


Running Group/ Coastrek Training
Flat 18-22km is what is required this week to give your body a bit of a rest.
The Northsiders will run from Kirribilli though to Centennial Park and Back Again.
The Inner Westies will run from Camperdown Oval into Centennial Park also.
Inner Westies Meet at 6:30am at Camperdown Oval.
Centennial Park is great if you go off road and explore, I will be doing some adventurous trail running off the main track. There is also a filming of the “Great Gatsby” on there at the moment. A huge set is being built, so I will be leading a group past for some “Star Spotting”.
Allow for 2 hours this weekend.

Photo Shoot.
Camperdown Oval at 9am.
For all those who have volunteered please just wear natural make up and your running singlet with black tights. Hair, if long, it would be great if it was pulled back, so it is clean and tidy. Short hair, just make it nice.

Treasure Hunt
The Pink Team won the Treasure Hunt so their prize is a running singlet.
Please collect it from me this week.

2XU.
The Order has arrived, so remind me at the sessions to give you your order.
I have also ordered a few 2XU caps, please tell me if you would like one, they are $16 each.

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.

Enter The North Face 100km Tomorrow!!!
I can here you all laughing now!!!!!

Enter 6 Foot Track 45km on Saturday!!! 9am
Your still laughing
http://www.sixfoot.com/2012entry.php

Running Calendar

3/12/2011 Photo Shoot 22km Run from Camperdown Oval or Kirribilli into Centennial Park

10/12/2011 Coastrek Training for those who can’t train the week after, 33km from Long Reef to Bilgola and Back Again

17/12/2011 Coastrek Training Session 33km Important Session Long Reef to Bilgola and Back Again

18/12/2011 Glenbrook Marathon re-schedule (6 Foot Track Qualifier) 25km,34km 42km
http://www.runningwildnsw.com/glenbrook/

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, you can all run that, other wise I am not a good trainer!!!
http://sunrun.com.au/

05/02/2011 Cole Classic 2km Swim, Shelly Beach to Manly, Yes I am swimming, it will be your first chance to beat me!!
http://coleclassic.com.au/

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 (I can’t go)

19/02/2011 1/2 Iron Man Huskisson 2, Triathlon Series
http://www.eliteenergy.com.au/

25/02/2011 6 Foot Training Jenolan Caves Rd to Coxes River and Back Again 30km Return

2/03/2012 Coastrek 50km

10/03/2012 “6 Foot Track” Marathon 45km
http://www.sixfoot.com/2012entry.php

8/04/2011 TNF Training Kings Tableland Circ

28/04/2011 TNF Training  Katoomba Circ

19/05/2012 The North Face 100km

Oxfam 2012!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great Outdoor Training News

Hi Everyone,
I have so much or organise this week in the Newsletter I have had to write a content list
Newsletter Content
  • Coastrek Treasure Hunt Fundraiser (Thank you!!!)
  • Coastrek Training 28km
  • The Glenbrook Running Festival
  • Nutritional Tip of the Week Iron
  • 2XU Order Up Date

The Treasure Hunt Coastrek Fundraiser was a huge success on Friday Night, everyone had a ball.
Suzy from http://goodthrillhunting.com.au/ did an amazing job organising the event. Thank you so much those you managed to get to the event to help support our 3 Coastrek Teams. Each Team mate has to raise $400 for the Fred Hollows Foundation. So that is $1600/team a total of $4800 from your training buddies. If you attended the Hunt and if you have not already given cash to Kellie or sponsored online already please go to the links below and support your training buddies;

The Flyers
Brian O’Reilly, Jeff Gordon, Renae van der Pol and Shona Stephenson.

Total so far $200

The Go Gos
Jayne Andrews, Liz, Leanne, and Paula

Total so far $140

The Racers
Jane Montgomery, Kellie Clarke, Lauren Carman and Zandra Rhodes

Total So far $60

Coastrek Training 28km

Meet at 5:45am for a 6am Start on the West Esplanade Manly.
You will complete 14km one way, that takes you to Long Reef Point, then return back the same way you came to Manly EPS Again.
A great goal is to aim for 10min Kilometres, so 28km will take you 4 hours 40 minutes.
You will need to allow for 9 pieces of food. A Power-bar counts as 2 pieces of food and a gel 1 piece.
You will need 1 Power-bar and 7 Gels.
I suggest that you get use to taking a gel every 30-45 minutes. Please listen to me and do so. I did not win a 100km race by starving myself when I was out on the track. I looked after my energy levels, my hydration and it paid off with a Win. I avoided muscle meltdown, kidney problems and cramping by eating and drinking correctly. So please do what I am suggestion above, and your concentration as well as your energy levels will stay high throughout the Long Run. It is just too dangerous not too, and you must look after yourself to make sure you can function as normal for the rest of the day, weekend and weeks to come. If you feed yourself correctly when you are training,you will avoid injury, and help with your recovery.
Please drink Sustain the day before your training session to ensure your electrolytes levels are sufficient to complete the 28km. If you are going to take a spare water bottle if you are prone to cramping fill it with Sustain, I did on my 100km Victory and I did not cramp once.
Organise for someone to grab some “Up and Go’s” for your recovery. Have an “Up and Go” with in 40 minutes of finishing your session and you will replenish your glycogen stores in your muscles. You will help re-build your muscles straight away and aid with your general well being. You will also help with your immune system and prevent you form getting sick.

Before you begin the training session on Saturday you will need to decide the following;
Make sure everyone is wearing a watch (I remember last year, I once had to lend the training teams my watch when I dropped them off for their 44km session last year when I was injured!!! Not one of the 2 teams had a watch, they all relied on me for time keeping.)
Who is the Navigator, I have maps for each team, grab them off me this week.
Who is in charge of monitoring the energy intake, every 30-45 minutes. So eat a gel or a Power-bar on the hour and the 1/2  Hour.
Who is in charge of fluid intake every 15 minutes. As well as Hyrdolyte consumption, on the 15min and 45min.
Who is in charge of scheduling and time keeping to so your team stays focused on your time goal.

Grab some strapping tape and strap ankles if needed. I never go on a track without them strapped.

We are so lucky to have Mia, who competed 100km in my Oxfam Team, and last year was in the  winning Coastrek Team to help you out on the weekend.
Mia, an extremely experience Ultra Endurance Athlete has offered her training assistance for the coming training sessions, ask her as many questions as possible I am sure you will learn so much from her practical experience. She will also be a handy navigator!

The Glenbrook Running Festival, Running Wild NSW

This weekend Brian, Kathy, Kellie E, Matt (Kim’s Hubby), Julia, Renae and myself have entered either the 25km, the 34km or the 42km. The 34km and the 42km are qualifiers for The World famous Historic 6 Foot Track. Kellie E, Mia and Myself have already qualified for 6 Foot Track. To qualify runners must complete 34km in 4 hours 20 minutes or 42km in 5 hours 20 minutes. I wish them good luck this weekend, I know they will run to their best of their ability.
If you need a lift please email me below and I will do my best to organise transport for you.

Nutritional Tip of the Week
Iron
I found this great website from the Australian Gov. about Iron and why some of you may be needing more than you have in the past.
Click on the link above and me amazed at how much Iron us Females actually need, we need more than 2x the amount men need, and if you sweat you need more, and if you exercise on hard surfaces you need even more!!!

2XU Order Has been Shipped!!
Please chuck the money into my bank account if you have ordered Shorts for Summer!

Our Schedule

  • 26/11/2011 Optional Team Training 28km Either this session or the Glenbrook Marathon must be completed.

  • 27/11/2011 Central Coast 10km,1/2 Marathon http://centralcoasthalfmarathon.com/

  • 27/11/2011 Glenbrook Marathon http://www.runningwildnsw.com/glenbrook/

  • 17/12/2011 Coastrek Training Session 33km Important Session!!!!!!

  • 8/01/2011 Explorer’s Tree to Cox’s River 30km Return

  • 14/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 36km Important Session!!!!!

  • 28/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 38km Important Session!!!!!

  • 5/02/2012 Megalong Mega 36km On the 6 Foot Track

  • 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

  • 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!!!


See you all soon
Cheers
Shona

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cp3 The Basin to Yarramalong PS 103.7km

I ran into the check point after 81.7km feeling great, I was at the final check point, and I had completed the toughest climbs of the day. The crowd cheered me on, recognising me by now, cheering me on. “Go Shona”. I ran into the check point desk, “One, One, One, One or however many ones you needed”, I said in a rush. “Shona Stephenson”.
I found Mikey, he had everything ready. He only filled up the small water bottles though thinking that would be enough to get me the 23km home, so I was going to be light, and carry only 1.7L of water.
I quickly drank my 3 hydrolytes, had another drink of water, swopped my food bag and emptied my rubbish. I picked up my maps and I was out of there, feeling like a million bucks.
I was properly hydrated, properly feed, and I was living my dream in 2nd position over all and 1st Female. What more could I ask for? I fought back from feeling sick, de-hydrated, and now I just felt great. This was just amazing. I could not believe I was actually doing it. I ran over the the Marshals to be checked out. I was covered in mud, Mikey set up in a muddy area, and when I was checking my gear I noticed I had a leech crawling up my leg on my compression sock. “Leech, I need some Salt”, I screamed. A marshall came running to my aid. I then Spotted another one on my Shoe. “Get the little bastards.” I exclaimed. Another Marshal came to help spraying my legs with Aeroguard, and cutting the leech in 1/2. I wanted my shoes to be covered in salt and Aeroguard tropical strength. The Marshals must have set up their stand in a leech  breeding ground. When I was given the all clear, I started running again just as Mal came running into the Check Point.
I decided to walk and run up to the top of the small hill then when I reached the single man track again I started to run. I was savouring the moment, enjoying the run, having a ball, but I always had the thought of Mal being on my tail. I bounded along the rainforest trail, moving side to side depending on the obstacles that lay ahead. I try not to stop myself when I am running, I just use the energy that I have put through my legs to avoid a rock and re-claim that energy to jump over a tree root. I pick my path along the trail, looking up to spot the pink dots and down to miss any tree root, stones, stairs, vines and logs, but always trying to spot the trail, and move with the rhythm of the track. I hit the turn off to the GNW again and started the final climb of the day. 
Bring it on I thought, I wanted it over and done with as soon as possible, I had lost some times climbing from Cp2 to Cp3, and I really wanted to pick up the speed so I could still beat my goal time of 12 hours 50 minutes. I pushed, counted, ran my way up the final climb. 10 Steps running 10 Steps walking, 20 steps running, 10 steps walking, 30 steps running, 10 steps walking, 50 steps running, 10 steps walking, 60 steps running, then I was able to run, still counting but only to keep my rhythm. I was climbing from 250m back up to 404m. I drank regularly, ate regularly, and I was soon up and over the climb, at last away from the leeches and back on a fire trail. I followed the fire trail past some tracks, having to stop to check my maps, fearing I had gone in the wrong direction before  spotting foot prints in the soil again. The trail went steadily up but it seemed like nothing, and I just set a pace I could manage. I passed another junction, and I again had to stop and check my maps. I had come so far and I just did not want to get lost at this late stage. I spotted some foot prints and I was again assured by this that I was on the correct track. I moved on wishing the descent would just come.
At the 92km mark I turned onto a narrow single man track again and I started the descent. I knew that the last section of the course was predominately down hill, so I knew I was getting close to the end. The trail dropped from an elevation of 318m down to 57m in 5km, so I was running down a mountain side at lightening speed, listening to the snakes, lizard and spotting goannas in the shrubs close to the track. It was like running down a goat track, that ribboned over the ridge of the mountain. I had to decipher what was a trail and what was just erosion, spotting stairs and the small path, my vision was amazing, it just felt like I knew where to run, where to turn next, as the trail appeared ahead of me. I picked up the pace on this fun section of the trail. I had a ball. This is what I love about trail running. My mind, body are being pushed they become one.  Agility, co-ordination, vision, were razor sharp. I was making decisions by the mili second. I felt like I was gliding down this mountain. It was just the perfect run.
Suddenly I had to stop and pee, but just as I was about to relieve myself I noticed a Leech on the toe of my shoe. This stopped my urge to pee, and I tried with my other foot to scrape the leech off my shoe. The little sucker, would not budge. I then dragged the toe of my shoe through the soft soil about 10 times in the hope the leech would be dis-lodged. This worked. Right you can not stop until you are safe and out on a road with a 5m radius around you I thought. I ran on, fearing another leech attack, down the mountain and through a paddock and out onto the road. As soon as I hit that beautiful, flat dusty road I have a massive pee, ahhhhhhhh. I left a big wet patch in the middle of the road. Mal, will probably have a giggle at that, I thought.
I hit the dirt road, spotted the sign and it said 10.5km to Yarramalong. I was expecting a beautiful down hill descent, but I was greeted with small rolling hills. Bugger, I was going to have to use some of my energy to get to the finish line. I had another gel, and picked up the pace. My watch said 5:45pm. I needed to get there in about an hour to make my goal time of 12 Hours 50 Minutes. I thought about my technique, and I knew I was tired, I did not have any lift left in my legs, but I still had some speed, so speed was what I could use. I concentrated on being fast, turning my feet over as lightly and as quickly as I could, whilst using my hips, buttocks and hamstrings to propel me forward. I looked around and I said to myself, enjoy it, it’s beautiful, taking my mind off the pain and exhaustion I was feeling. On the side of the road were pink and purple flowers, the farms looked like they were just taken from a children's story book.  The road shifted gradient, and I started to run down a slight hill. This was an easy section on a road so I had no excuses, I had to take advantage of what I have been given. This was the best finish to a 103.7km race I could think of. I had to make the most of this easy finish.
I then began to worry, smoke was in the air, it was coming into bush fire season and the locals were burning off their properties. This was crap, I was finding it hard to get enough clean air in my lungs. I’m going to pay for this next week I thought. I drank some more water hoping that this would help clean my mouth from the smoke that I was inhaling, I had completed over 95km, breathing as hard as I could and I was now going to make my lungs so sick by breathing this in. I had another gel to boost my energy levels and sadly finished the last of my water source.
I hit the bitumen, and a Farmer in a Toyota Land cruiser drove up next to me,”There is a bloke about 500 yards behind you”. He said. “I don’t care, I’m a female”. I replied. I was going as fast as I could and I could not go any faster. I looked back and I could not see him. But I really did care, I wanted 2nd position, and I deserved 2nd place. I picked up my leg speed, and kicked it on.
I passed the 100km mark in about 12 hours 30 minutes. I wanted the race over. I was over this and I wanted a drink of water. I was starting to feel sick again, and I needed to be re-hydrated. I was getting tired, so tired. I checked my maps, looking for landmarks to give me some indication of where I was as my GPS ran out back at the 75km mark. I looked back and I still could not see anyone behind me. I wanted to know what colour shirt he had on. If it  was a 100 Miler I would not have care so much , but if it was a green singlet, I new it was Mal, who had been closely following me since the 35km mark.
I was exhausted, and I slowed to a walk. Checked the map, trying to gage my distance. I spotted a bridge that recognised with cross reference from the map, some power lines, then the next turn off. I willed my feet back into a run. Come on there is only a few 2km to go, less than running from your house to Glebe. I cursed the race organisers for placing the finish at 103.7km instead of 100km.
A car drove past and waved, called out “Go Shona, only 1km to go”, I felt sick. I was going as fast as my legs would stretch. I just wanted it to be over with. I dug in, counted my steps and kept my feet ticking over. I passed over the last bridge, asked some locals “Where is the school?”.They replied with a confused look on their face, “Up there on your right about a kilometre away.” Better not be a kilometre away, I hope it was only 900m away. I ran past a cafe. “Go Shona”, the patrons cheered. “Only 600m away”. I wanted it over with. I spotted Darren with another runner. “Go Shona, only 500m to go”. The school came into view, I crossed the road and ran up the final hill to the finishing line, a marshal apologised for making me run up a hill, but I was not too bothered. I was finished.
I ran across the finishing line, hoarse from the smoke I had breathed in and dry from de-hydration. I thought I would collapsed and cry the minute I crossed the line but, I just went into business like mode and got the next job done. I checked myself in and told the marshals I was finished. Mikey gave me a pat on the back, and everyone let out a cheer ( The cheer was small, not too many people were at the finish line, I was so far ahead of the rest of the runners). I won the women’s race and I came 2nd overall in the 100km Open Race. I could not have been happier. I did it, and I was so relieved I had made it through the entire 103.7km without getting lost or hurt, I did not fall over once, I fell down some parts of the trail, sliding on my bum, but I did not fall over. I avoided leeches, fixed a broken toe nail, and broke the record for a female by 2 hours and 22 minutes. I now have the 5th all time fastest time for the 100km. One thing Ultra Endurance Trail Running does not prove that their can be an even playing field between both both men and women. I got my hydration almost right, my electrolytes right and my energy right, these three key things are what got me such a great time.
I had my number checked. I then had to go an weigh myself to make sure I had not put on weight. I stepped on the scales and I weighed 53.8Kilos. I was the same as when I left Check Point 2. I was safe from being effected from water toxicity. I still felt sick though. It was funny, no one handed me a drink, thanks Mikey!
Within 2 minutes Mal crossed the line. I managed to stay ahead of him from the 35km mark right until the finish 103.7km, and that just sweetened my victory. Only 1 male could beat me out there that day, and I was beaten by a true champion Brendan Davies. He ran the 103.7km in a time of 11 Hours 36 Minutes. He broke the record by 45 Minutes. I managed to beat the next female by 2 hours 20 minutes.
I grabbed a chocolate milk, ate some corn chips, drank some water, and chatted to Mal and a few spectators. But I needed to get home so I could really start my recovery look. I still felt sick. I jumped in the car and drove back amazed at Mikey’s navigational skills, as we really were in the middle of no where, somewhere north of Wisemans Ferry. Mikey was such a trooper out there that day, and I was so lucky he did not get lost on these remote country roads.
On the way home I was finally sick. I hurled up the chocolate milk, the corn chips and a gel or 2 with some lactic acid, in that exact order. I must have looked so bad on the side of the road in my bra top and running gear, chaffing all over my back that looked like I had been whipped that another driver stopped and asked if I needed any help. “I’ve just run 100km, I’m okay, just feeling a bit sick”. He looked at me and processed what I had just said and noticed I had my running gear on and promptly left. Mikey and I laughed. I was such a sight. After chucking I felt so much better. I opened 3 more hydrolytes icy pols, and jumped back in the car again feeling refreshed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cp1 Watagan Forestry HQ 28.6km to Congewai Public 52.5km School

I ran up the 494m climb before the first CP of the day Watagan HQ, realising that I was safe from running out of water before the check point so I emptied any excess water I was carrying to take some of the weight off. The first 28km were almost all up hill, I had climbed from just above sea level up with 3 major climbs over ridges, and up bush stairs, though a rain forest and I was feeling the strain on my legs. I just wanted to be as light as possible.
I ran past the marshals, showed them my number and found Mikey, I was in a panic. Mikey is not the best person to have as a crew member. He has not really run these sort of distances himself, so he just does not get it. He tries his best but is easily distracted by a good book. I did chat with him before the race about the gear, supplies and what I will be wanting, but he is a bloke, and he was reading a Neal Stephenson Book,  and he is my husband so I just have to hope half of what I said will be remembered.
I found my Gear and Food Box, switched my food bag, filled up with water, switched my water bottles that I was carrying in my front filled with Sustain, a high salt electrolyte mix. I asked “Where are the Hydrolytes?”, I knew Mikey would forget something. He left the Eski in the car. “Don’t worry!”. And I was out of there. I ran 1/2 way down the hill and realised he forgot to get the rubbish off me.”My Rubbish, you forgot to get my rubbish off me!” I yelled. I emptied it out on the track hoping Mikey would be allowed to come and collect it. I wanted to leave it on the trail, trying to conserve my energy and avoid running back up the hill. “You have to come back” the marshals said. “Fu3k”, and with that I flung my back pack on the ground, picked up the rubbish and ran it back to a rubbish bin in the fenced off check point area. “You need to calm down”, A female marshal said to me. Bugger off I thought, you try and be calm when you are pushing it as hard as I am, on a trail that you have never been before, with a husband who is not a skilled support crew member. But I said nothing, and just ran off back down the hill enjoying the leg stretch I was having from being so light. I soon started to panic again, as one of my wrist bands broke off. It must have ripped when I removed my back pack from my body.My stupid outburst was costing me. I called back to the marshals, telling them what had happened fearing disqualification. They could not hear me, so I decided that I was sick off running around waisting precious energy for stupid reasons, so instead of running back to the check point to tell them what had happened so they could hear me properly I decided to place the stupid wrist band in my Tri-belt pocket and keep moving, fearing that if I waisted any more time at this stupid check point I was going to explode.
My adrenaline was pumping, I had the shits. I had no idea what the rules were about the wrist band, and all I could think of was that this incident better not get me disqualified. Another runner came up next to me. “Are you okay?” He asked. It was Darren, another PT but from Terrigal. “I have the shits, my husband is a terrible support crew and my wrist band was broken.” I said, trying to remain clam. We spoke about the climb coming up. For the next 10km we would be climbing up a ridge to a height of 521m. “I don’t want to know”, he replied. I walked for a bit, trying to recover from my outburst. I tried to think of positive things whilst running along this featureless rolling fire trail. I was feeling slightly sick, the day was starting to warm up, and I missed my hydrolytes. All I could think of was the stupid wrist band! The uneven ground really played havoc with my ankle which had been giving me problems in the last few weeks. My tendons on my inside ankle were being pulled, with every step on a descent at just the wrong angle on the rocky fire trail I would feel a sharp stabbing pain. Thoughts of a stress fracture entered my head. I do have a very recent history with stress fractures, and I would hate to have another one appearing in my foot. I had been running for over 3 hours now and I was starting to get bored with the monotonous trail. Darren soon disappeared out of sight.
I decided that I was too heavy, and I would empty out some water, I carried too much water for to the first CP, and I was not going to make the same mistake again. Immediately I felt relief, I felt lighter. Before long I was joined by Mal, the guy I spoke to before the Race. “You’ve done well to catch me”, I said a bit depressed, as his time last year was not so good. He was either running super well or I was just getting my first taste of reality. I waved at him, encouraging him to join be on the climb. But at the top of every climb I would float off down the hill and be just out of reach. This happened for some time. I even invited him to pass me again, wanting to take the pressure off myself so I could just concentrate on my own race. “Nah, your just to fast down the hills for me” He grunted up the climb, “I’ve run too much and I have taken Voltaren to help with the pain.” Knowing this I left him, he would not be able to catch me if he was injured. The pain in my foot had stopped, and my body was feeling pretty good, except for some tightness in my hamstrings.Voltaren also decreases your performance by up to 10%, and it plays havoc on your stomach and  kidneys when you are taking them with any endurance sport. I tried to manage my own pain my being smart with my hydration. If I felt tight, I just tried to have a small sip of my electrolyte mix, it seemed to help relieve the strain on my body. I was moving at a better pace, and loving the long descents into the valley. My body had recovered from the climbs that i had conquered earlier in the day and we had past the 40km mark and I knew it was pretty much all down hill for the next 12km. I pushed on at a great speed, managing sub 5 min Kilometres again.
Suddenly I had to stop and wait for Mal, I hit a turn off and I was unsure of which way to go. We both checked my map. “Follow the sign posts for the GNW”, he said, even though there was a bright Pink arrow pointing in the same direction as the map notes in another direction. I had to trust him as he had completed the course before. I continued to rolled down the hill, using my speed and agility to gain some distance between myself and Mal, I hit a turn off for a single man track descended from 521m down to 160m I was having a ball. I just enjoy running down the side of ridges on a single man track at top speed, picking out the trail ahead of me, quickly deciding which rocks would hold my weight at the same time using my gymnastic skills to keep me from over balancing on the even ground. I listened to the lizards, snakes and other animals rustling in the bushes as I come pounding past. The thought of snake bites do cross your mind, you are made to take a compression bandage in your pack just in case this happens, with every stick that brushes your leg you do just hope that it was not anything sinister.I could only wish that the males running ahead of me have scared all the Dangerous Australian Animals away.
I made it out of the bush, through a paddock where I hoped there would not be any cows, or bulls waiting for me. Here I quickly peed , checked to see if Mal could follow me down the descent and crossed over a fence and continued onto a country road.
I was making great time, I was back on track for my splits and even made up some time. But I soon realised that I was out of water. I had my last gel and finished off my last mouthful of water, cursing myself for tipping it out on the climb coming out of CP1. You idiot. You have 100km to run, not just 50km, and I had just made such a stupid mistake. It was now midday, and I had only a cap on to protect me from the scorching suns rays. I forgot to put suncream on at CP1, as Mikey did not have it ready. I again did not want to wait any time waiting for him to get it at the last CP.  I had 5km of open exposed road to go before I could have another drink. I was so stupid. De-hydration is just so hard to recover form, there is a reason why they are going to weigh you in at the next check point. I usually have heaps of little tiny sips of water or hydration fluid every 15 minutes. But I was dry, so for these last 5km I will be running as fast as I could to get to a water source.
Fast feet, was all I could think of. I have been spending some time a a bike of late trying to work on my cadence whilst resting any injured part of my body. I just tried to move as fast as I could without expending too much energy. But I was hot, and thirsty. I was running past ponds, and puddles on the side of the road contemplating having a drink from the murky water. But I thought better of it. We were surrounded by farms with cows and cow shit. I’d hate to be running the next 50km with gastro. So I pressed on willing myself to get to the Check Point as quickly as possible.

Cp2 Congewai School to Cp3 The Basin

I spotted some of the leading male contenders running back to the trail after they had been to the check point. I was feeling green, I pushed on knowing that the check point was only a kilometre to go, so it will be only a few minutes before I could have a drink. Mikey better get the bloody Eski out of the car and have my hydrolytes and sunscreen ready for me.
I ran up a final small climb and entered the gates of the small bush school. I could hardly take in my surroundings, I have no idea what the school looked like, I was just so focused on getting the food, hydration, water and any gear I needed. I run to the check in, said my number, “One, One, One, I think One, One, Shona, Shona Stephenson”. My number was 111, but I just said as many Ones as was needed! Not totally with it at the time.
“Where are the scales?”, I was interested in what I was going to weigh, I had been without water for at least 30 minutes, and I wanted to know if I was really that effected. I stood on the scales and I felt dizzy,“I ran out of water 5km ago” I informed the marshals, “53.8 Kilos, I had lost 1 kilo.” Cool I thought. That must be expected. I probably pissed out 500ml before the race even began, and I had a huge bowl of pasta the day before, and 2 lunches of carbs so no wonder I was heavy at the start and loosing weight as I completed the kilometres. this amount of weight being lost did not bother me. I weigh myself all the time, and losing a kilo in a day is not that hard for me especially when it is mainly fluid that I purposely put in the day , night and morning before.
I ran to Mikey and my gear area, trying my hardest to be calm. He had my hydrolytes out for me but where were the scissors? He only had 2 hydrolytes out, but I read the back of the packet and it stated I could have 3 in 30 minutes, and considering I had been out of all fluid for 30 minutes I was going to have the 3. He ran back to the car to get another Hyrdolyte. I found the scissors, downed the hydrolytes, swopped my food bag over. “Where is the sunscreen?”, again he left that in the car. “Far out Mikey, you are such a bloke!”. He ran back to the car and when he returned I was smothered with sun screen, whilst drinking water from my containers, and re- filling my water bladder for my pack and swopping my electrolytes over.
I was then ushered into the gear check area. “Do you have your head torch, spare batteries, and reflective vest, plus all your other mandatory items?”, Mikey, what have you been doing for an hour whilst you are sitting here I thought. “No, I’ll get them”, I said in a hurry. Mikey started running back to the car. “Nah, they are in the gear box”, I ran back to our gear station and grabbed the extra required gear and ran back to the check point marshals and my gear was then assessed.
“Head Torch, Check, Spare batteries Check, Reflective Vest, Check, Rain Jacket Check, Whistle, Check, Crepe bandage, Check, Mobile Phone, Check, Compass, Check, Maps Check, Water, Check, Food Check, Emergency Blanket Check”. Cool I had everything and I was allowed to go.I grabbed the Voltaren and rubbed it all over my hamstrings and quads. My hamstrings were tight, and my quads had taken a pounding from all the climbing and running at speed down the hills, so I decided to give them some pain relief. I thanked the marshals,and Mikey and I started to leave.
I could tell Mikey was worried about me as I had already run out of water once. He could tell I was feeling sick. I was staring to become de-hydrated. It was hot, and I knew it was going to be stifling on those climbs. “This section is much harder, be careful, use your water wisely”, he said with a concerned voice. “ I will fill up at the top of the climb, I can have an extra 2L, I will fill up there I will drink all my water, I’ll be okay.” Then I was off, running out the gate and back down the road. I suddenly stopped. I had forgotten my maps, I must have left them on the ground at the check point. Again I had to run back to the check point for something stupid, I ran and grabbed my maps. I would be totally lost without them.
I hit the dusty country road again, soon turned right and entered the Glenagra Farm. There were cows right near the pathway, the one thing I am scared of is cows. I quickly scanned their privates, and noticed that they were mothers with their calves. One of the calves was getting a bit feisty, cantering in a playful way near the trail, he must be a young male getting all boisterous. Just don’t chase me I thought, and I moved as far away from them as possible. Trying not to offend any of the mothers, moving as quickly as possible to get away form them.
I ran on, up a climb along a fire trail through this gorgeous farm. I was conscious to take small sips regularly. I usually drink every 15 minutes, but I switched to drinking small sips every 10 minutes in the hope to try and re-hydrate myself. I was feeling a bit green and I still had a long way to go,the mercury was rising fast, especially on these exposed rocky fire trails. I was really paying for my mistake of tipping out the precious water. On TNF 100km race I was in back in May, I was without water for about 5km or more, and I really did not recover from my mistake. I knew I was not drinking enough during that race and that was in winter. This is practically Summer and I have already run out of water once, I can’t afford to run out again.
I turned left onto a walking track and I was shaded by the gum trees. The trail then started to climb the steepest climb of the day, I climbed from 179m to 496m in only 100m. The trail was so steep that I had to meander up the rocky ridge like a snake, saving my legs from being over extended. Mal was still not too far behind. Every now and again I would turn back and wave at him encouraging him to come on and join me. But he just did not have the pace, or the legs that I had. 
As soon as I was up the top of the climb I was running down again. Cool a recovery, that was not so bad I thought. I knew the climbs were going to bite, I just had to wether the terrain. I threaded my body along the narrow steep descent from 496m back down to 150m to cross Watagan Creek. I made my way through about 5 cattle gates, which in it’s self were like working out a a puzzle and I spotted a spectator. “There was a guy about 7min ahead of you”, He said. “I don’t care, I’m a female, how hot is it?”, I replied. “27 in the car”. I looked behind me, Mal was still there, he was almost like Gollum, just in the back ground. I looked down at my body, I was covered in sweat, either I was finally hydrated again, or this place, being in this gully at about the 65km mark was so hot and still I was for once showing signs of sweat.
I hit the next climb, again it was a rocky exposed ridge line which went straight up to 402m I knew that once I was past this the trail would get easier. There was also an unmanned water stop up ahead. I kept drinking small amounts, hoping that my diligence would pay off. At the 68km mark I spotted the drink stop. I drank the rest of my water from my hand held bottles and filled up with only 1.2L, and topping up my bladder with another 800ml,  knowing that this would be enough to get me to the next check point at the 81km mark.
When I was finished I spotted Mal entering the area. He looked relieved, we said a few words, I think he said he had just spewed. He seemed alright though, he looked like he was just pushing as hard as I was, so I was off again and running. The trail changed to rolling hills ascending on a single man track. I was at the highest point on the trail, Mt Warrawalong, and there was a storm brewing over my head. I heard loud cracks of thunder, and the sky grew dark. Please rain. Rain now, and I will be the luckiest runner in the race. I needed desperately to cool off and a good thunder storm would be just what I needed. I hit the top of the climb reaching a height of 547m and the rain started, and it was absolute bliss. It cooled me down and I relished every big thunder storm drops that hit my heat stressed body. I am the luckiest person around I thought. It only rained for a about 10 minutes, and then it stopped. I was just in the right place at the right time. Someone was looking out for me. The trail soon changed into dense scrub again, with bush stairs and I could hear voices up ahead. I had caught some other runners,I could hear them talking to each other. This spurred me on. I was starting to feel great I had conquered the biggest climbs of the day, and everything else just seemed easier.  I crossed over some trails, and I had to stop and check my map, track notes and the track itself to make sure I was heading in the correct direction. I looked for foot prints in the sandy clayish ground.
I crossed Pig and Sow Road and before long at about the 75km mark I came across the 2 runners. When one of them saw me he said a few words to the other and was off and running.  The 2nd runner was walking, walking very slowly. He look knackered. Defeated. Barley able to walk in a straight line with his shoulders stooped forward. “Are you okay? Do you need a gel?”. I asked as I ran past feeling bloodily good compared to him. “Nah”, was all he could manage. “Your in 2nd position”,(There were 2 races happening at the same time, a 100km and a 100 Mile, I was now 2nd in the 100km race) He said totally deflated. “Are you bloody kidding me?”, and with that I charged on feeling so good about myself. I was shocked that no other male could stay ahead of me in the 100km race.  I was just so chuffed, thinking only positive thoughts about my race, and how far I had to go.
I was doing so well and I was feeling great, then bang. I hit one of my “Runners Toe’s” on a large rock. I took a step and I felt sharp stabbing pain coming from my toe nail that I knew had a “Hot Spot” on it. I tried to run on but the pain was so immense that I had to stop. Thoughts of having to stop because of a bloody toe nail crossed my mind. I had only just moved into 2nd position, and I was winning the Women’s race by a chunk and a silly toe nail was going to cost me time. I quickly took my shoe off , fearing an attack of leeches if I stayed in the same place for too long, especially now that it had just rained. I tried to pull the toe nail off but it was so incredibly painful and still joined to my toe so I could not move it. I popped the blisters that had formed at the start of my toe nail due to the impact they had received from all the down hill running and tore off some callused skin that was underneath the toe nail at the end, I pushed the excess fluid out of my blisters and with care in put my injinji socks back on, replaced my shoes and took a step. The pain subsided, and I was running again. Thank you. I had come too far to have something as insignificant as a stubbed toe nail force me to retire from the race.
The trail narrowed and entered a sub tropical rainforest again. The fear of leeches spurred me on through the maze of trees, rocks, creek beds, vines, following the little pink dots in the lush green surroundings. I came across some more runners, and I flew straight past them using my small size and narrow frame to my advantage. I past some more trying to cross a fallen tree. It was odd, I did not think I would be fairing so well at this late stage of the race. The descent was not so steep, so it was really fun to run along the thin shady trail. I dropped from 445m down to 250m in about 3km, but because it was technical trail I made up some great time compared to these big blokes. I was hydrated, so hydrated I needed to pee, as soon as I ran some distance between my self and my fellow runners I peed. I only had a short climb to go, willing the camp ground at the check point to come closer. I spotted a clearing in the trees, and desperately listen for voices up ahead, and like magic I was greeted with a beautiful trail of ferns for my descent into the Basin Camp.
I was feeling great, and I only had about a 1/2 Marathon to go. I knew Mikey would have the gear ready for me this time. So Hopefully it will be clear sailing in and out of the check point. I felt great and I knew that the worst was behind me.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Great Outdoor Training News


I have just set a date for our Christmas Party, which will be a Treasure Hunt to raise money for the 3 Coastrek Teams on This Friday Night the 18th of November. RSVP shonastephenson@me.com asap!

2XU
My clients receive a 20% Discount.
I am going to Order more 2XU Products.
If you would like anything from the range email me and I will send you a PDF of the Order Form.
We receive 20% off the entire range. I will be ordering on Tomorrow, so get your order into me via email shonastephenson@me.com


Running Singlets
Keep cool in this summer in a Great Outdoor Runners Singlet.
I have especially chosen the fabric to be cool, dry and light to avoid chaffing and sweating.
The fabric dry’s quickly and is extremely cool. It also does not hold odours.
I still have a few available and they are $40/per singlet. But hurry as some sizes are selling fast.
I always have them in my car, so ask me about them at your next session.

VLA

I will be organising it for the groups so please tell me if you wish to have it done.
It cost $40 and it is one of the best indicators of your health and fitness without having to do an invasive test. At the bottom of the page I will have one of my readings for you to have a look at.

Our Schedule

  • 18/11/2011 Christmas Party Friday Night Treasure Hunt “Coastrek Fundraiser”.
  • 19/11/2011 I think I will be hung over........but you can run if you like!
  • 26/11/2011 Optional Team Training 28km Either this session or the Glenbrook Marathon must be completed.
  • 27/11/2011 Central Coast 10km,1/2 Marathon http://centralcoasthalfmarathon.com/
  • 27/11/2011 Glenbrook Marathon http://www.runningwildnsw.com/glenbrook/
  • 17/12/2011 Coastrek Training Session 33km Important Session
  • 8/01/2011 Explorer’s Tree to Cox’s River 30km Return
  • 14/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 36km Important Session
  • 28/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 38km Important Session
  • 5/02/2012 Megalong Mega 36km On the 6 Foot Track
  • 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
  • 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!!!





Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Great Outdoor Training News

I have just set a date for our Christmas Party, which will be a Treasure Hunt to raise money for the 3 Coastrek Teams on Friday the 18th of November. I will email you all the details by the end of the day.

This weekend I am running 100km through the bush along the Great North Walk.
I have not been on the trail before, I just have to hope that the training I have been doing will be enough to get me a great time.
I will be running the 100km mainly by myself as there are only 12 Women entered in the event and 130 people entered in both the 100 Mile and 100km race together.
There are few sign posts, the trail is not “Marked every 500m” like a normal race, so I will have to use my navigational skills to get me through.
I will be running with a map, and colour coded directions in my hand, constantly checking and cross referencing my position whilst I try and take a chunk out of the record for the fastest women’s time.
I will be climbing hills up to 550m, so twice the height of Oxfam Climbs, but there are fewer mountains to conquer. I have 8 major climbs in the 100km and they are steep, climbing up over 500m three times.
There are only 3 check points, so I will have to carry enough food and water for 30km. There are 2 extra Unmanned drink stops on the trail, but we have been told we can only fill up if needed, and we must limit our intake from these stops to less than 2L. I have to rely on my own food and water at the stop to prevent the event from running out of supplies, so i have to be super organised with my food and water consumption.
What is on my side is the huge descent from the 85km for 15km mark from 404m to 50m at the finish.
The fastest time a female has ever run for the event is 15 Hours 15 minutes. My North Face 100km time was 12 Hours 50 Minutes. I think I can do better than her previous time, so I am going to give it a crack.
I think I am going to do well, I just have to run to my own goals and hope that is good enough to get me a position.

Running Club

On the Weekend Lauren, Kellie, Paula and Myself discovered a new route that all you North Siders could take to Taronga Zoo. We headed off from Cremorne Pt a long the Harbour, past Mosman Wharf, to Taronga. We had to stop once to get out iPhones out to check the map but we managed to find a set of nasty stairs to the absolute horror of Lauren who was suppose to be resting her hip and staying flat.
We had to do some walking to manage her injury. We accomplished the 7.8km in the hour and we were just happy to have discovered a new part of beautiful Sydney!!!
( I have seen Lauren since and her hip is getting better, we are just being really gentle with it at the moment until it has healed).

Kellie E, and Kathy ran 25km down south in preparation for the Glenbrook Marathon.
Renae and Mia ran 17km to get some extra time on their legs.
Jeff ran the Spit to Manly and Back again in about 2 hours.

Treasure Hunt and Christmas Party and Coastrek Fundraiser
Friday Night the 18th of November the Rocks!!!!!!
Mark this into your Calendar
Cost $20/ Person

2XU
My clients receive a 20% Discount.
I am going to Order more 2XU Products.
If you would like anything from the range email me and I will send you a PDF of the Order Form.
We receive 20% off the entire range.

Running Singlets
Keep cool in this summer in a Great Outdoor Runners Singlet.
I have especially chosen the fabric to be cool, dry and light to avoid chaffing and sweating.
The fabric dry’s quickly and is extremely cool. It also does not hold odours.
I still have a few available and they are $40/per singlet. But hurry as some sizes are selling fast.
I always have them in my car, so ask me about them at your next session.

VLA
Sonya Renyolds from the Rite Bite Visited Carrs Park on Thursday last week.
I had my reading gain and I was again happy with my results.

I will be organising it for the groups so please tell me if you wish to have it done.
It cost $40 and it is one of the best indicators of your health and fitness without having to do an invasive test. At the bottom of the page I will have one of my readings for you to have a look at.

Our Schedule
  • 12/11/11 The Great North Walk 100km
  • 13/11/11 Bare Creek Trail Run 6km and 10km http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=1-7924-0-0-0
  • Newtown Festival weekend
  • 18/11/2011 Christmas Party Friday Night Treasure Hunt “Coastrek Fundraiser”.
  • 19/11/2011 I think I will be hung over........but you can run if you like
  • 26/11/2011 Optional Team Training 28km Either this session or the Glenbrook Marathon must be completed.
  • 27/11/2011 Central Coast 10km,1/2 Marathon http://centralcoasthalfmarathon.com/
  • 27/11/2011 Glenbrook Marathon http://www.runningwildnsw.com/glenbrook/
  • 17/12/2011 Coastrek Training Session 33km Important Session
  • 8/01/2011 Explorer’s Tree to Cox’s River 30km Return
  • 14/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 36km Important Session
  • 28/01/2011 Coastrek Training Session 38km Important Session
  • 5/02/2012 Megalong Mega 36km On the 6 Foot Track
  • 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
  • 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