Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bush Capital 25km

I had decided about a week or so ago that I would enter the Bush Capital 25km event that was held last Saturday morning. I have run the event on 2 previous occasions, the last time being back in 2006.

So it was I fronted up in freezing conditions Saturday morning for the 9am start not feeling particularly enthused about running through the Mt Ainslie and Majura nature parks when I had lost feeling in most of my fingers and my legs were turning a chilly shade of purple. The first kilometre of this course is particularly challenging, especially as I like to ease into hills at the best of times. Its not that the start is particularly steep but just that the path gradually rises upwards. My legs had gone lactic and I still had 24km to go!

For most of the run there was a discussion (argument?) going on between my mind and my body (generally my legs) which went something like this:

Body (legs): Are we there yet? This is too hard – lets stop and walk a bit

Mind: don’t be so wimpy; just take it slowly. You’re not worried about times so enjoy it.

15mins later
Body (legs again): Are we there yet? This hill is too hard – we’ll have to walk.

Mind agrees: I walk the first of many hills

About a km before the turn for the 16km runners
Mind: you know you do have the option of doing the 16km course instead of the 25km one. The pain could be over with a whole lot earlier.
(The faster 16km runners had overtaken me at this point)

Body decides to show a streak of stubborness and refuses to wimp out. A quick drink at the drink station and then we pass the point of no return - on to Majura nature park. Body then regrets streak of stubborness. Mind has switched off and is focused on the music instead - anything to blot out the tiredness and the constant 'are we there yet?' from body. After all body was given the chance to do the 16km and knocked it back, so suffer!

By now feeling and colour have returned to fingers. Long sleeved top is off and tied around the waist. Concentrate on footing - the last thing I want is to do a CJ out on the course (there were a couple of people who weren't so lucky and were sporting bloodied knees and arms). Occasionally pass a walker - feel really good about this. Ok, so they might only be walking but hey I'm happy to pass anyone at this stage, though there was a time heading up a hill when I couldn't catch the walker, and I was running. Sad, I know. Started seeing runners returning after reaching the turn around - some look way too comfortable and relaxed. Others more closely resemble how I feel. Say hi to Mango as he goes past (he's one of those infuriatingly relaxed runners).

On the return trip I focus on the runner in front of me and try not to let the gap between us get any bigger. Pass some more walkers plus the occasional runner. Mind and body have finally made a pact to work together to get me over the finish line - then I think both will be rebel and refuse to do anything else for the rest of the day. I start to appreciate nature and accompanying chorus of cockatoos - not the most musical bird song but quintessentially Australian. Finally the finish line comes into view and then its over - that's my long run for the day done and dusted - mind and body very happy. Then I spent almost as long trying to unpin my number and hand it to one of the officials - there was no hand/eye coordination happening. Stand around for some chit chat, make arrangements to meet Jen and others later in the day (Jen went on to do an awesome 10km time on a tough course) and then I headed off home for a) coffee, b) shower and c) a doze on the couch before meeting up with Strewth, Rochelle, Aki and Jen at Tilleys for a very pleasant couple of hours (and to hear about the up and coming Jen's Big Adventure).

Later heard that Kelley did 3hr 41min in the marathon and was the second female. To quote Strewth, "awesome!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008


...and it was a lovely 5 days away (despite the weather) with Strewth and Mr B!!!!

The Cold Coast

Just a quick note as I'm about to head home but thought I should post something about the Cold Coast marathon (and no, its no typo!). The weather was abysmal and I even purchased a thermal top at the Expo, as well as a snazzy pair of "skins-type" running knicks, black and pink short sleeved and long sleeved tops...... Then at Harbourtown I bought the cutest pink running top with 'Chocolate without the Guilt' on the front (hmmmm).

Met up with Roger, Ewen and LL for dinner on Friday evening at Tooleys - had a really delicious risotto. Then we went back to LL's amazing apartment - one very swish, stylish apartment.

We had lunch and coffees with Katy and Ewen on Saturday - when the weather was at its worst (rain, wind, and cold). It was great to catch up with Katy (soon to be an aussie - oi, oi, oi!) but never managed to catch up with Mark - a cryin' shame.

What's that? The marathon? You want to hear about the marathon? You don't really but if you insist - it was very ordinary but then my running has been very ordinary lately (like the last 8 months). However there is a very good (medical) reason for the decline, and hopefully things may pick up shortly.

I had a revelation while chasing the green balloons (the 3.30hr pacer) - a) I wasn't going to catch him, b) for the past few months I haven't been enjoying my running because I've been too focused on trying to run PBs and getting nowhere fast and running was becoming a chore, and c) this was going to change as of now (probably about the 10km mark of the marathon!). So I settled into some sort of rhythm and just enjoyed the journey rather than beating myself up for not meeting a particular 'time'.

And that's how I'm going to run from now on - no PBs in time, no beating myself up for not meeting some arbitrary time, and enjoying the journey. If I do run a good time then that will be a bonus - but its not the sole focus of my running.

Next event - Bush Capital 25km. Bring it on!!!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Minus one degree but who’s counting

Went for a run this morning resembling the Michelin woman, I had that many layers on. It was cold, clear and frosty and a very chilly minus one degree. My face was frozen into a Joker-like grimace. The only thing that kept me going was the thought that tomorrow I’ll be on the Gold Coast, tomorrow I’ll be on the Gold Coast…..

I had a quick look at the weather forecast for the Gold Coast, for the weekend, and they are forecasting showers and a maximum of 21 degrees (the minimum temperatures are our maximums!) Looking out the window just now it looks like a lovely day – blue skies, no wind……until you actually go outside and the cold air hits you.

Good luck to those who are running anywhere on the weekend. The next time you’ll hear from me will be after the marathon…..some time…..