Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gastro, Shoe Sponsorship, a Hernia and a Wedding!

I've had a crazy week, gastro, shoe sponsorship, a hernia and a wedding!
I finished off the previous Saturday, with an awesome 35km Coastrek Training run. Whilst getting dressed for a quick dip in the Ocean and the beach my trail shoe fell down the drain. I was by myself with no one around to help . So I lifted a heavy drain grate to save my old trail a shoe. I've had stress fractures in the past, so I am always rotating my shoes. Trying to prevent one injury gave me another one. In the process of lifting I must have opened up my separation in my rectus abdominis muscles that I ruptured during pregnancy. But I was not aware that I had re-injured myself at the time.
On Tuesday I then gastro, on Thursday then finalised a shoe sponsorship from the Bare Foot Running Inc, and I have been so lucky to have been given Five Fingers and Inov8 shoes to wear. I then had an express photo shoot by Michael Leadbetter, of me in the Five Fingers and Inov8 shoes and accessories.  I then ran out to a bootcamp that night and at 11:30pm I woke up in excruitating pain. A tennis ball size  mound was sticking out of my abdominal wall. My stomach was still tender from the gastro, so I new something was not right. The pain was so un-bearable that I was not able to lie down. I then walked to RPA hospital knowing that I was going to need some attention. Mikey had to stay home and look after our two children. I was in too much pain to drive, I thought about catching a taxi, a couple passed me, but I was too slow to move towards them out of the shadows, and my stomach was killing me, and the thought of straining my body to get in and out of a taxi was too much to bear. My gut felt like I had 1000 sharp stabbing knives ripping at my stomach in 30 second waves. I decided that walking was my best option. I felt vulnerable, normally speed is my weapon, but I was in thongs, and injured, so I walked to the hospital, only 1.5km away from from my house trying to hide from the cars as I walked through the Inner West of Newtown, avoiding a crazy homeless man at 12pm on a Friday night.
I entered emergency and explained my situation. I visited triage, and was told to wait. I was happy to see that the Tennis was on and the waiting room had only 3 people waiting for a Doctor.  The tennis was a welcomed distraction to the pain I was experiencing. After about an hour I was given panadene fortes, blood pressure was taken, and it was low, for me at least, 105 over 59, my heart rate was 65, so my heart rate was elevated. I was soon examined more thoroughly by another nurse. The entire right side of my abdomen was swollen, craping and spasming. She took some bloods, which almost made me vomit and pass out, it was hard to find a vein in my hand and she inserted a canliea into my wrist. "Have you eaten today?". If only she knew. I don't go anywhere with out a solid meal! But I was clearly unwell, I had to lie down or else I really was going to faint.  She let me lie there until I recovered and expressed that I was the next in line to see the doctor.
After another hour or so I was taken in see a doctor. He checked me over, and expressed that he thought I had a hernia. Cool, so it was not my appendix, it was something manageable....Usually you need an operation to get the intestines back into position, and they also insert mesh into the abdomen to prevent it from happening again. I was sent off for an x-ray to confirm the existence of hernia. The radiologist ended up knowing me. "Are you a personal trainer?", She asked. "Yes, Iv'e been in here a few times with sting ray barbs, stress fractures, who do you know?". She ended up knowing my neighbour and my nutritionist. "I've been meaning to call you, and join one of your sessions". Too funny, it's  4am, and I am picking up clients . I must have looked like a real sight. Whilst being x-rayed, I was told to keep still, and to hold my breath. While she was finishing up, I popped my head around the screen to see what my x-rays were showing. There was a big black blob the size of my fist on the right side of my stomach just under my ribs. So the hernia was confirmed. Bugger. I have a wedding on for Mikey's family tomorrow up in Newcastle, and I will now have to cancel my 6am bootcamp, which is only on in 2 hours. Damn.
I was then escorted back to my chair to wait some more. After about another hour the doctor told me that the surgeons were interested in my x-ray and they will be in shortly to chat to me about it. Now I was cancelling all my sessions that day, knowing that I did have a hernia, I was probably going to be operated on if the surgeon wanted to see me.  I really needed to rest. 30 minutes later I was examined by the surgeon, it was 5:30am, 6 hours after I first felt the pain. The surgeon asked me where the pain was and started to prod the area. The pain had diminished to almost nothing. "Where is the abnormality in your abdomen?"I pointed and after a few more minutes of being poked and pushed in my stomach, I looked and saw that my abs had returned to normal. Well almost normal, I self examined my rectus abdominal and I could fit my entire hand in between my abs. So this was where the problem started.
I could not believe it, I had escaped an operation . After some lovely words of complements form the surgeon about my beautiful obliques and abdominal muscles, I was allowed to leave. I realised that the pain killers, relaxed my stomach muscles and allowed for my intestines to return to their correct position. Holding my breath for the x-ray, pulled my transverse abdominis towards my spine, closing off my rupture just enough to save me from surgery. I was cleared to go and head to the wedding up in Newcastle the next day.
I still need an ultra sound, but it's a week later and I have no pain.I ran 40km yesterday and rode 24km on a bike. I am also working on my transverse abdomens and it feels like has closed off my rectus abdominis.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10 Bare Foot Running Tips

To Run Bare Foot or not to? That is a huge dilemma for so many runners. I personally love to run barefoot on grass weekly, I just feel like a kid again. I love to watch my eldest daughter Keisha running barefoot also, she just looks so balanced. Untainted.
There are so many pro's and con's on both sides of the fence, but if you want to start running more naturally and freely, and barefoot here is a few of my tips.

1. Start slowly, start on grass or sand. Head to your local oval or park land.
I love to run for 30 minutes on grass weekly as part of my strengthening program for my feet. I use my "Five Fingers" for this.

2. Land on the balls, or fleshy part of your foot. I almost cry when I see runners in Five Fingers "Heal Striking". If you are a heal striker, you will have to shorten your stride slightly, and land on the mid section of your foot, then  push through to your balls of your feet. You reduce the impact on your knees and hips, and you start to build up the correct muscles in your calves and hamstrings to allow you to run bare foot.

3. Start with a 10 minute cool down after a session to build up the strength in your feet.
Week 1 jogging 10 min, Week 2 jogging 10 min,  Tempo running 5 minutes, Week 3 Jogging 10 minutes Tempo Running 10 minutes Minutes, Week 4, Jogging 10 minutes Tempo Running 15 minutes, Week 6 Jogging 10 minutes running Tempo 20 minutes.
Add 5 minutes onto this weekly and within 6 weeks you will be running for 30 minutes.

4. Get a pair of Five Fingers. Why? To prevent any nasty infections that you can pick up from running around an oval or potentially in an area where fertilisers or other contaminates may have been.

5. Stretch and Massage your feet after your new found feet training program, this will help prevent any weakness for inflexibility injuries like plantar fasciitis, and Achilles tendonitis. I also love really hot Epsom Salt Baths and then a massage and a stretch afterwards to help with any niggles.
Key Stretches for Bare Foot Running.
Calf Stretch
Lower Calf Stretch or Achilles Stretch and Planta Stretch.
Step Calf Stretch with your heal dropped down off the edge of the step.

6. When 30 minutes is reached hit the trails next not the roads. I live right in the middle of the city, so my next move for distance is a trail.

7. I personally need some more protection for my feet on a trail with my current injury history, I'm built like a bird and I want to run fast! I want to fling myself around the trails with full confidence that my feet are protected. So I would pick for a light weight trail shoe like running bare foot, Inov8 X-Talon. This shoe is great for Grass, Grass Interval Training, Sand, Dirt, Rocks. I would race "The Great Nosh 15km", or "Coastal Classic 30km" in this shoe.

8. Longer Distances with  rugged fire trails with long descents, to protect the balls of my feet on the descent I would switch to the Inov8 Roc Lite 268. It has great toe protection, and extra padding under the balls of the foot but it is still so light and flexible .

9. Tape Your Ankle Joint. I am hyper-mobile, so I tape before every trail run to prevent injury. I have had so many sprains in my ankles that I have to tape. I have found that the correct taping can also help prevent Achilles tendonitis and Calf Strains. I always tape 2-3 stirrups around the heal of my foot up to my calf about 20cm on both feet to make my ankle joint more ridged with a lock. It also helps with energy lost through the down wards push off the surface with each stride. It will also prevent an overuse or weakness injury when you are swopping to a light weight and flexible trainer. So you have the benefits of a light weight trainer with the ridgity and hence more leverage of a heavier weight shoe. It is a win win!

10. Strengthen Your Calves.
I have had Achilles tendonitis in the past, so I always add in calf raises performed on a step into my weekly routine. Stand on a step and drop your heal off the edge of the step and quickly raise your heal and squeeze your calf. Reps 10, with 3 sets. Do this every day for 3 weeks. This will have your calves strengthened in no time. You will find that you can handle the extra force of "Toe Running". This is the exercise I give to my injured Achilles Tendonitis clients, and they are heal in no time.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Coastrek Training 35km North Narrabeen to Palm Beach

Above is a picture of my Trail Shoe down the drain.

It was again cold, and raining day for our 50km Coastrek Training. We had 3 separate teams head off on Saturday to train for Coastrek. I ran with Jeff. Brain, Renae, Liz, Zandra were away. 
Jayne, Kellie, Lauren, Mia and a new runner Gemma, worked together in the 2nd team. Jane and Leanne worked together in the 3rd team. Both Jane and Leanne have had injuries, so I placed them together so they could be nice slow pacers for each other, they could run without any pressure and just nurse their injuries back into running.
Jeff seemed to have learnt his lesson from out 6 Foot Track Training session. He started to take note of the descents he was running down, and he made sure the kept some glucose in his blood for the return. Coastrek will be his first Ultra, and his first Trail Run, so his training is very different from marathon training.
Coastrek 50km seems like it should be an easy run. Only small climbs of a few hundred metres compared with the Blue Mountains. But the sand running and the constant descent, and climbs in and out of the 18 beaches to Palm Beach and then return back again, just works your an-aerobic, lactic system hard. It is really hard to find a rhythm, especially when you are working in a team.
Jeff and I started off and we soon lost the other runners. We were just happy to run at 6 minute pace. 
We climbed the first headland then quickly descended into Warriewood Beach, ran up a set of stairs then over the Robert Dumn Reserve, then down a set of stair onto Mona Vale Beach. Here we found the wet sand and followed the footprints int he sand for a few hundred meters, then ran up off the sand onto the footpath past the SLSC, past Basin Beach, up over the Mona Vale Headland through some heath scrub along wooden stairs, then onto a suburban street. The course took us out onto the main road, where we spotted NSR (North Side Runners) training, running the Opposite direction. We waved and cheered them on. 
The trail then dropped Jeff and I down a really steep drive way followed by some wooded framed sand stairs onto Bungan Beach. We ran along the soft sand dunes, then onto the wet sand  along the beach for a few hundreds metres, then started our steep climb out of Bungan Beach straight up to the top of the Headland. It was the steepest climb for the day so far. Jeff took his time and decided to walk and have a gel. I had a gel too, but decided that I wanted to run it as part of my training. I ran up to the top and waited for Jeff. I was happy that he was being smart about his training today, taking it easy.
We hit the top of the super steep climb and ran down the super steep descent, avoiding the un-expecting traffic in the back streets of Newport. We made great time, but we were not pushing each other as we had in the past. If he was faster than me up a hill, I just tried to stay with him. Giving just a little more. We started to work better as a team. And I knew that this pace would still get us the record for the Event. I am also mindful, that there is no point being quick, and burning your team mates up, and have them slowing to a walk after 30km.
We ran along the reserve and up and over the Newport Headland, through some heath bush, then down another wooden set of stairs and onto Bilgola Beach. Any other day I would want tho jump into the water here, but it was drizzling, and there was a strong cold Easterly blowing. We past a really good Cafe at Bilgola, where last year we had breakfast after the race, and headed onto the soft sand, but tried to run along the sand dunes of Bilgola Beach then to another set of stairs. We ran up the stairs climbing out of the gorgeous beach and past some of the most amazing houses in Sydney. We ran around Bilgola Head, along a street, then onto the Barrenjoey Rd, and found our way through a col-de-sac past some houses and units down to Avalon Reserve.
We ran along the footpath, up the street climbing over the Avalon Head, through a hidden footpath and out onto Bangalley Head. Bangalley Head, has just the best front yard in Sydney, a lush green lawn, that meets the jagged cliffs that make up the Head Land. Jeff and I looked into the front rooms of the multi million dollar houses. No one was awake. Who would be up early on such a awful day. It was not beach weather, it was great running weather, about 19C. 
The trail turned from a lawn into a uneven sand stone stairs to climb over the headland, I trailed Jeff on this climb, and did my best to keep him in sight, then catching him at the peak. We rose to the top and ran though the scrub along a single man stone track. I then lead, showing Jeff the way. Like anything in Coastrek, as soon as you are up, you are running back down a set of stairs. This was the biggest descent of the day. Jeff was mindful that he was going to have to come back up them soon. I just enjoyed myself, letting my body go as I flung myself down the ribbon of a trail down into the suburbs of Whale Beach.
Cool, only 1 more climb before the return. We ran along the streets again, then headed down to Whale Beach. On Whale Beach we scooted along the dunes, past Ripples the restaurant, and more beautiful houses, and found a hidden set of stairs to climb. We ran up the stairs, out onto the road, around Little Head, then when you think the climb has finished, the course of the race takes you up over the highest point in Palm Beach, through a slither of a reserve which is only really a path between houses, then down a driveway, down a set of stairs past the rock baths and onto the dunes behind Palm Beach. I ran with Jeff to the Start line, and we stretched. The 17.5kms took us 1 hour 50 minutes. So a manageable speed. A speed I hoped my whole team would be able to manage.
After stretching, I did not want to stop for long, my hamstring was sore, but it is always sore. I still had water. So after a few minutes we started our long journey back. Back over the 9 climbs and almost as many beaches. We walked and ran back up the Palm Beach Headland, over little head and back to Whale beach. On the sand we spotted Jayne, Gemma, Mia soon followed by Kellie and Lauren. They looked great. Still smiling, but they were not enjoying the constant climbing up stairs, and running on the sand. They were almost 1/2 way. So they were only about 5 kilometres behind us. They were doing really well and they were on schedule. Their goal was to manage 10 minute Kilometres, so 6 kilometres an hour.
We said our good byes, and headed along Whale Beach. Jeff was out of water. We filled up at some of the nicest public toilets around. I think the timer on the tap was for exactly 1.5L of water for my back pack. I chatted to a few locals and then headed off up the hill out of Whale Beach.  Jeff discovered his pack was leaking. I informed him that my Oxfam Team Mate, Suzy had the exact same problem with her pack by the same company. "Send it back, it's faulty, poor design, whole puts a bind on a water bladder, that's crap?" I said. His back was wet. The pack had been leaking for the 20kms or so that we had been running.  
We ran on along the suburban streets I picked out the trail that was covered with over grown trees and started the climb back up the Bush Stairs to Bangalley's Headland. Jeff started to slow down. He was feeling the effects of the 10 climbs that he had already conquered. When he caught up, we ran down the stone trail then rolled down the lawn past the Multi Million Dollar houses, where I waved at one of the owners. We ran out onto the road, around the back of Avalon Beach, where I looked at the surf, thinking that I was suppose to be doing a Ocean Swim there the next day. The Easterly winds, chopped up the surf, and turned it into a washing machine. I was not looking forward to swimming in it.......
We ran around Bilgola Headland, descended the stairs onto Bilgola Beach, ran past one of my favourite cafes, back up a set of stairs, over another headland, down a set of bush stairs and down onto Newport Beach. Jeff was getting slower on the climbs, his back was hurting and he was running out of energy. We ran and walked up Bungan Head. I tried to convince Jeff to walk 20 steps,then run 20 steps. But he was having nothing of it. He was knackered. We made it to the top and speed down the concrete driveway down to Bungan Beach.
Another Beach conquered, only 3 beaches to go. Jeff and I ran along the now soft sand of Bungan Beach, noting a mistake that I made in the race last year, and made the correct turn up the soft sand dunes, up a set of stairs, up a steep concrete private driveway and back out onto the main road. Jeff's back was really sore now. He took his pack off. Trying to relieve some of his pain. I suggested that he tried to stay more up right, "Ear's over your hips, and switch on your glutes". This seemed to help elevate some of the pain.
We ran through the Hill Crest Ave, over Mona Vale Headland, and spotted our finishing point. We flew down the stone stairs down to Basin Beach.
We made some turns and made our way along the streets behind the SLSC and down onto Mona Vale Beach. The tide had risen, we were forced onto the soft sand. This hurt Jeff. He had not run on much sand in the past. Soft sand running is all about technique. You have to lift , not push. Jeff was having trouble with this on tired legs and could only manage to walk. I suggested that he head down to Cronulla sand Dunes for some "Dune Running". They are the biggest dunes in Sydney, and they just take your breath away. I usually have to crawl my way up them at the top. They are just so steep. It also takes a "lap" of the dunes to work out how to run on them. By the 2nd lap, your brain and body works out how to run on them. Just lift, lift, lift. I use to spend 2 hours running up dunes, talking to myself saying "Lift, Lift, Lift!"
We ran up the stairs, up the Robert Dumn Reserve, along the street, and down a set of stairs, past Warriewood beach, past a cute cafe at the SLSC, and up our final set of stairs of Turimetta Head, where Jeff spotted his car, and scooted down our final set of stairs, through the scrub and back to the cars.
I was sore, my hamstring was hurting, but not that bad, just over used. I was sore, but happier to be finished. The 35kms to us as a team 4 hours 18 minutes with stops.
I got my stretching mats out of the car and got Jeff to stretch. We were soon joined by Jane. Jane only completed 25km. She is recovering from an Achilles tendonitis, and we thought that that was good enough distance for her. Jane seemed to pull up okay. She ran with Leanne. Leanne only completed 12.5kms. Which was a huge improvement for her. She has been suffering from a hip bursar. It was her first time out on the track and the longest she had run since her injury was for 45 minutes. She ran for 2 hours, and I think she will pull up okay.
After eating some of my cookies, drinking hydralytes and choc milk for our recovery, I sent Jeff and Jane on their way. I still had to wait for the others. I changed into my swimmers. I had been suffering from hay fever, and I was hoping that a recovery dip in the ocean would help me out. In the process of getting my things together I managed to drop my trail shoe down the drain. Bugger. I was so stupid. I was clearly tired from the 4:30am wake up, and a bit fragile from the training, and the hay fever was playing havoc with my concentration . Bugger. 
I tried to think what I had in my car that I could use to hook onto and pull it back out. But I had nothing. So dressed in my bikini, and one trail shoe, I used my childhood skills of drain exploration around the streets of Turramurra, to lift the heavy drain grate up. I almost did my back, I can't believeI use to do this all the time as a kid. I dragged the rusty metal grate to the side, I checked for any creepy crawlies that may be hiding in then the frame drain, and I then threaded my head and shoulders down the square man hole and reached for my trail shoe. I grabbed it and put it back on my foot, and lumbered the metal grate back into its original position.
I headed down the stairs to the Turimetta Beach for a recovery soak. The weather was still crap. Drizzling and a strong easterly blowing. But I had to soak my legs to speed up my recovery. I stayed in the water until I started to shiver, about 15 minutes. I then made my way back up the beach stairs and to a wooden platform, and decided to have a rest and wait for my girls to finish their session. I must have looked like a hobo, dressed in a bikini, a fitted spray jacket, with trail shoes on, all covered in a big towel that wrapped around my small frame.
The girls emerged from the bush, happy but tired and sore after 6 hours exactly. They were on target and that had completed the hardest section 17.5km of the course twice. They are on track for a good time.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Newsletter Coastrek Training 36kms

Hi Guys,

Welcome back. I hope you all had the best holiday. Let's all get back into training now for 2012.
On Tuesday the 2nd of January Jeff, Kellie, Mia, Renae and I decided to kick start the years training in style. We tackled 31kms of the 6 Foot Track. I think everyone out there learnt something about themselves out there that day. The conditions were tough. It was over 32C, and in some sections of the valley  it would have been hotter. Everyone ran out of water. We had to climb 1000 stairs up Nellies Glen, the climb went for 800m straight up.We ran for 15.5km down into the valley, and we had to run 15.5 kms straight back up out of the canyon back up to the plateau again. We all discovered a new respect for the Australian Bush. We were all really lucky there were a few creeks and rivers to jump in to cool ourselves down to avoid heat stroke. We all drank out of trusty "Nellies Glen" (a clean fresh running stream) and survived a hot hot day of training.
After the initial swearing that I copped from my clients/mates when they emerged out of Nellies Glen. Everyone recovered, and was soon filled with a sense of real achievement. I was just so proud of them. I knew exactly how they felt. 3 years ago I was emerging from Nellie Glen feeling just as defeated. But nothing will be that though again for a long time.

On Friday I was interviewed by Subaru Magazine, in regards to Trail Running and Fundraising events like the Fred Hallows Foundation and Oxfam. I will let you know when the magazine has been published.

Coastrek Training 36km

Start Turimetta Beach 6am.
Run and walk to Palm Beach SLSC and then return back to Warriewood Beach.
Allow for 6 hours of Training.
You will need 13 pieces of food.
You will hopefully be finished by 12pm.
It is the toughest session yet, we will be doing all the biggest climbs twice.

If you are injured, you can decide how far you want to train for and turn back at that point.
Getting to the Top of the Whale Beach Climb at Caree Headland Reserve may be enough, you will complete 25kms. So still a good run. It is best to finish still able to run than to be totally injured.

The forecast is for 25C, a shower or two. So perfect conditions for running.
Low Tide is at 6:22am at 0.45m. High Tide is at 12:35pm at 1.65m.
Bring your swimmers for the end.

Enter the Sun Run
It is a 6km run from Dee Why to Manly.
No excuses, all of my clients will be able to run this.

Enter the Cole Classic Ocean Swim.
There are a few of us venturing into the ocean for the first time. If you wanted to try an Ocean swim try it with me and a heap of friends. I have a club entered as Great Outdoor Swimmers.

There is an entire calendar for Ocean Swimming, check out the link below. 
Tell me if you are entering and I might do it with you. 

Avalon 1500m is on this Sunday. I am pretty sure I will do it. 
Nothing will be as bad as the Bondi to Bronte.

Training Schedule

  • 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, I can't do this one either.)
  • 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.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Start 6 Foot Track to Cox's River Return 31kms

I managed to convince a 4 of my clients to join me on one of my favourite training training runs for 6 Foot Track, 45km Trail Marathon, from Katoomba, the Explorers Tree to Jenolan Caves. I am pretty good at motivating people. I got them all up to Katoomba on a hot day to run 31km of the 6 Foot Track, which consists of some of the toughest terrain in NSW. We were going to run from the start of The 6 Foot Track  down into the Megalong Valley for 15.5km to the Cox's River, then return the 15.5km back out of the valley, up hill for 15.5km back to Katoomba.
I was just getting over food poisoning. I finished my last anti-biotic tablet that morning. I knew I was not 100%, but I just had to hope that I had enough glycogen stores in my liver to get me though. I'd turned into the cookie monster, I ate almost an entire batch of home made whole meal, oat, walnut, date and chic chip cookies to give me enough energy to train.
Jeff, Kellie, Mia and Renae all met up and hit the track at about 9:15am. The Girls headed off before me and Jeff. I had to run back to grab and extra 1.2L of water, with Sustain mixed in. I ate a gel, as I ran down the roller coaster of a fire trail, and chatted with Jeff. I felt tired. It was a Tuesday, and for 5 days I have been really sick. Not just gastro sick, but full blown food poisoning sick, with injections from the doctor and maxalon tablets to stop me from vomiting. Even the imodims did not work with this. I felt like I had just enough energy in me to run the 31km. But that was it. It would not be one of my best days.
After running for only a few hundred metres I realised I had nothing, nothing extra to give. I was exhausted and we were only running down the first hill of only 400m. It was going to be a long day I thought.
We hit the gorge, and headed down the steep, uneven bush stairs. It was beautiful, we were surrounded by lush green ferns, and the trail followed the creek into Nellies Glen. I think there is over 800 to descent straight down into the Megalong Valley. Jeff and I soon caught Kellie. She was being really cautious on the stairs. I had tapped my ankles, so I felt really secure, and I was able to catch and pass her easily as I leaped down the stairs. Jeff had taped his ankles too. But as well as mine. By the time we had caught Renae and Mia, he'd already twisted his ankle. "Man I need to teach you how to tape your ankles properly". I said to Jeff. 
The steps stopped and the trail became a thin and rocky single man track. Jeff then went over on both ankles another 4 or 5 times before the trail open up and became a fire trail. I checked my GPS, we had only run 3 kilometres and already I was feeling really bad. Jeff is really fast. I was doing my best to stay with him, but the minute a small climb came along he just charged up it. On that day, I did not have the energy to kick on. I decided that I needed to slow down, or else I was going to  be walking out. "I feel sick, I have nothing". I said to Jeff, really struggling to keep up with him. " I can't run faster than this". I said. "I need to stay aerobic, I have no stores left."I don't know if Jeff totally understood what I had meant. I wanted to give up. "Do you want to go back ?", He asked.
"Bugger that, I just need to slow a bit". I slowed down, and let him go on a ahead of me. I did not have enough glucose floating around in my blood to go fast. I needed to try and stay aerobic.
The fire trail continued to descend down into the valley for another 5 kilometres, I could manage 4 minute 20 sec kilometres, but it was not doing me any favours. I ate a gel, and slowed. I let Jeff go on. He was really funny. He'd gain a 50m gap over me, charge to the top of the hill and then wait. I would then run past and he would start running fast again. I tried to get him to slow down and just "Knuckle" in behind me and try and find a rhythm he could keep going at forever. But he seemed to want to stretch it out  when he could. So I let him I guess I just let him wear himself out. 
At the 7km mark I left out a 600ml of water for my return. We passed the Megalong Valley Road at the 8km mark, and the trail widens even more, we are exposed to the full force of the summer sun. It was 32C in Sydney that day. It was hot. But the landscape was breathtaking. The trail takes you though lush green farmland, decorated with a carpet of yellow and purple wild flowers. I stopped to take a photo of Jeff. It was hot and it was humid down in the valley.
He was starting to feeling a bit green too. But he seemed determine to charge up all the hills as fast as he could and wait for me at the top, while I just tried my best to find a rhythm. I did not have a push in my legs. No glucose equals, no power. 
We ran on. I started to get a bit worried about Jeff and his hill intervals that we was performing on himself. "Just run behind me. Rest behind me, don't go any faster". He sat behind me for a few kilometres, but as soon as we hit a climb and he went straight past me. I stopped had another gel. I think I was having enough problems of my own, that I was not thinking enough about Jeff, and how he was doing. "You need to leave enough in your body for the climb out". I said as I caught him again. 
We past the 10km mark and I was happy to do it in about 55 minutes, well outside my best, but good enough. I left another 600ml water bottle out with Sustain in it.
Jeff and I then ran the next 5km down to the Cox's River, with Jeff always increasing the gap on me. When we got to the bottom, the 15.5km took us both 1 hour 28 minutes. "No PB's for me today" I announced. I was very slow for me. I think in a race I will do this section in 1 hour 15 minutes or less. But considering how I was feeling, this time was okay. We took off our packs and jumped into the river to cool off. It was approaching midday, and the temperature was rising. I got out of the water and noticed that my back tape had come off my back. I put Paw Paw ointment on my back and hoped it would prevent any further chaffing. I was ready to go. I knew it was only going to get hotter. I just wanted to get back to Nellies Glen before it really got hot. "Jeff, let's get going, the longer you stay in the water for the hotter is is going to get out there, we need to keep moving." I explained. 
"I don't think I can run out, I'm done, you have broken me". Jeff is from Brisbane, he is not really use to running on trails in terrain as tough as this. "Too bad man, you have to run out, it's the only way out". I said feeling a bit sorry for him. "Can you get the car?". He asked hopefully. "Nah man that's 4WD.You have to run out. And I'm not picking you up from Megalong Valley Rd either. It takes 45 minutes to drive down to the track on the road."I replied. "Get out, let's get going, get out of the water, get out".  I turned from being his friend back into personal trainer. I had to get him up and moving again. Now I was thinking this was funny. He really did not want to get out of the river. "Get out." I continued. Jeff eventually got out. I made him take his shirt off and I smothered his back with Paw Paw ointment. Put his pack on and we both had a gel and started to head out. 
Jeff again charged straight up the hill. Man he still has not learnt his lesson. It's 15.5km straight up a hill, you can't just get it over and done with. I was still struggling, but I had switched to aerobic, and I was starting to feel a bit better. I put in an extra gel in by mistake, and it seemed to have done the trick. I finished my gel and Jeff was again gone. After about 1km, we I spotted Kellie and Renae. Kellie looked great, she looked like she was in fire. Really charging through the trail.
Renae closely followed her. She had the biggest headache. She asked me for panadol. I did not have any.  I hardly ever take drugs when I am training or racing. It just plays havoc with my gut. For me the advantages just don't out weigh the disadvantages. "Sorry Renae. I can't help".
The temperature was creeping up, and I think Renae was starting to become dehydrated. I asked her if she was eating her gels, electrolytes. She replied no. "Start eating, other wise you won't get back out. Sit in the creek at the bottom for a bit to cool yourself down too."I said before running on to try at catch Jeff, who again ran off ahead.
We spotted Mia. She looked as fresh as a daisy. She was just chilling, keeping her cool and pacing herself. She had only just had 2 wisdom teeth removed a few days before. She was an absolute champion for being out there at all. She looked great. I was not worried about her.
I ran on up the climb, and eventually catching Jeff. I passed him and told him to stay behind me and not run fast. He tried is best, but I could hear his breathing, and he was in his an-aerobic system. I knew he was at his limit. The trail was a again a rocky single man track. The footing was extremely treacherous. You really had to be conscious of your footing otherwise you can break an ankle. "I'm Done." He said. I turned and looked at him. "Just take little steps." We ran on for a another twenty metres. "Nah, that's it I'm out. I can't. I have to walk." I looked at him and weighed up the dangers of leaving him alone. He had enough food and water. He is a young fit guy. He has just gone out too hard. The girls were only 2 kilometres behind, if he got worse, he could walk out with one of them. He needed to get out at his own pace, not mine.
I said good bye and I turned and started to run. I was feeling better, not my best, but I had enough to get out. I hit my climbing grove and started to run, pushing with my legs every stride. Not as much as normal, but enough. I had LFMAO, songs going though my head. They were perfect for the climb. Before I knew it I had completed 21km and I grabbed my drink. It had taken me about 2 hours. Ahhh. The extra fluids went down so well. I ran on, passing hikers along the way. I passed though the cattle gates and I was so happy that all the cows decided that it was way too hot to move around. They all stayed under the shade of the trees, far away front the track in the fields. Excellent. I have a cow phobia, long story.
I passed over the fence ladders, down into the open exposed Megalong Valley, passing another hiker who I had passed at the start of the run and headed back along the wide fire trail. I was feeling great now, and I was making fantastic time for this climb out. I passed another family of hikers. I crossed over the cattle grates and started to climb. I would now be climbing solidly for 9 kilometres. The trail narrowed again and I starred to feel my reserves of water dry up. I stopped and tried to pee. Nothing came out. Damn, I was de-hydrated. I ran on knowing I had water only 2 kilometres up the road. On this part of the climb, I could still manage a great pace and I was soon re-united with my water. Whew. I drank, and had another gel. Cool. Not long now to go. 
The fire trail got steeper. I tucked in, with the silly "Party Rockers" song in my head. But it seemed to do the trick. I ran up the 5km of fire trail. The track narrowed and I welcomed the shade. I was now watching the clock. I wanted to get back to the car in less than 3 hours 45 minutes. I knew I had lost at least 15 minutes running down to the Cox's River, because I felt so lethargic. I did not think I could do a PB on the track just after food poisoning. So when the time still had a 2 in front of it I was really happy with my performance. I drank the last of my water and I entered Nellies Glen. Here I stopped and filled up my water bottles with Creek water. I drank as much as I thought my body could handle without over doing it. I filled my 2 bottles and left them out for my running buddies, who were still out on the track, fully exposed to the full heat of the 32C midday sun.
I had 2 kilometres to go, but it was a tough 2 kilometres. I had to climb straight up over 800 bush stairs. Bush stairs are almost worth at least 2 normal stairs. I hit the climb, feeling great, knowing I had achieved what I had set out to do, and with in the time goal that I had set for myself. I put my hands on my knees and pushed with all my body up the enormous stair case. There is about 3 or 4 sets in total. At the top of each one, you ware just amazed that there is another set to climb the stairs just seem to go on forever. The climb is for 800m in elevation and it uses  up all your glucose reserves.
I came to the top, and I technically needed to eat. I had been running for 3 hours 30 minutes. I had run out of water, so I just had to get to my car to replenish my stores. I ran run the steep roller coaster fire trail, but I was soon slowed to a walk, as I started to suffer from cramp in the front of my shin. Who gets a cramp in the front of their shin? Bugger, I wanted to finish strong, but my shin just would not let me. The food poisoning had caught up with me, and I needed some salt and glucose in fast. I walked for a few hundred meters  and the cramp went away. I started to run again. Before I knew it, I spotted the gates and  I was finished. 3 hours 42 minutes. Done. It ended up being a PB by about 10-15 minutes.
I went straight to the car and got the eski out with a frozen chocolate milk, hydralytes and some ice cold water. I sat in the shade of the information hut and chatted to hikers as I waited for my running buddies to appear from the trail. 
Jeff was first. He came out swearing and was desperate for some water. He had just run out. I am not sure of the time but it was about 30 minutes or so after me. I handed him dome water and a hydralytes icy pol to re-hydrate. I think he really learnt something out there and he will become stronger for it. I sent him on to find some more food so he could recover.
Just when Jeff was leaving to get home and recover whilst watching the cricket with his feet in ice and a beer in his hand, Renae appeared. She completed the 31kms about 15 minutes after Jeff. She came out swearing and shaking, she too had run out of water. Again I passed her her frozen chocolate milk , a hydralyte icy pol, and some ice cold water, and sat her down in the shade. 
She was soon followed by Kellie who was carrying a set of sticks she had picked to help her with the climbs. She said use was so out of energy she crawled up out of the 800m Nellies Glen climb. She arrived about 15 minutes later, she also swore her head off at me. Which made me laugh. When I first came out of Nellies Glen, 3 years ago, I was totally demoralised, I saw so much of myself in these runners. 
Mia, who had run out of water, also was in de-stress. Again I grabbed her a frozen chic milk, hydralytes and cold fresh water. She soon recovered.
They needed to run on the trail, we all live in the City of Sydney or the Inner West, and there are no climbs like the climbs in the mountains. They are 2 to 3 times bigger than anything  within 10km of where we live. I can't think of another training run that toughens you up as much as that run in the heat.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nourishing Brown Rice Breaky

Happy New Year.

Brown Rice Nourishing Breakfast Serves 2   

Here is a beautiful recipe to help kick start a healthy year of eating.

1 Cup of Brown Rice 386 Calories
1 Cup of Soy Milk or Rice Milk
3/4 Cup of Water
2 Tablespoons of Coconut Desicated Shredded
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 Tablespoon of Raisins or Dates
1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup
In a saucepan place Brown Rice, Soy/Rice Milk, Water and Coconut. 
Bring to a boil, stir, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. 
After 20min stir in Raisins and Cinnamon and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the Brown Rice is cooked.
When the Brown Rice is cooked remove from the saucepan and place in 2 bowls.
Drizzle with your pudding with Maple Syrup and Serve.

It helped me get over my food poisoning.
See you soon