Yurrebilla Ultra…..

•October 1, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Wow it’s been a while! I’m not sure if i am being lazy or just life is busy but it’s time to put pen to paper or in this case fingers to keyboard.

A lot has happened for me in the last month or so, my injury finally gave up the fight and I could run, I am moving into my first home and of course Uni assignments are never ending. I’m the first to admit I like living in the fast lane but for me everything always comes at once.

Last weekend I flew to Adelaide with some running buddy’s and competed in the Yurrebilla Ultra. The race is 56km of mostly hills, heat and wind (well last weekend it was anyway). It was only 4-5weeks ago that I was still battling with a running niggle in my knee, this race had been entered but the idea that I may actually be able to finish it was a little up in the air. However we went, we ran and we had fun! Plus I saw like 5 Koalas just hanging out in the trees, always an added bonus when you are from Kiwi land.10666088_281927078673683_6091657563480888651_n

This ultra is known as the gourmet ultra. It’s food and drink stations are so well stocked it was like a smorgasbord, I didn’t know where to start when I arrived at them!! Lamington’s, fruit cake and fruit were some of my selections on the day but there was so much more on offer. The other awesome aspect of the race is that the locals get out to the course and support all the runners coming through, kinda cool when you are from out of town.10710770_281979145335143_9006048748147962351_n

The run is loaded with hills so plenty of ups and downs. You run through bush and open fields scattered with wild flowers. There is a good mix of single trail, fire trail and road so plenty of variation for your legs over the distance. The views looking out towards Adelaide city from the hills is something rather special and the wildlife make this run one worth putting on your list of to do’s!!!

For the race I used my Solomon hydro vest, which even though we had ample drink stations I’m glad I had as it was super hot and windy. I had to refill my flasks at every drink station minus the first one or two. I kept on top of my nutrition with Endura Gels every 30-40mins and ate what I could at the aid stations. Even if I was only consuming a few mouthfuls I knew it was better than none and I avoided any major tummy upsets. The biggest thing for me was to keep the fluids up so stopping to get a few cups in was key. There were times when the wind was barreling past and the heat was intense I would question what on earth I was doing but that soon was forgotten as I concentrated on one foot in front of the other and realized how stoked I was just to be out there running pain free.

For me the race went a little better than expected after my wobbly build up. I placed 2nd to Beth Cardelli and also felt I took a step in the right direction with my pacing experience. So another good learning experience but also so much more to work on!! These legs need plenty more work before I tackle another adventure so always back to the drawing board to plan and prepare for what’s to come……..

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No road, no race………160km you have to wait……..

•August 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So the last month has been a tough one for me! More mentally than anything. I have had to put serious thought in to the goal that got me running in the first place. My first 100miler. At this stage I have been only able to run for the last few weeks which has been restricted at best! Limited to time and terrain which certainly has made running 160km on road seem a little to far from reach.
I have been kept to trail running as the continuous motion the road gives my ITB is causing it to remain inflamed. Running on the trails allows me to never really place the same step twice and seems to keep the friction to a minimum.

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However this does not bode well for attempting to run 160km on the road. With flights booked and sights set, it has been hard to see that the most sensible option here is to not race in November. A tough one to swallow but 160km on the road with not enough time in my legs is probably not my smartest idea to date! Over the last year I have come to love running and to throw it all into one race, at the risk of injuring myself to the point where I would be out of running for months on end is not something I’m willing to do just yet! There is far to much running in this world to be done.

Now don’t get me wrong I love the trails so secretly its not to bad but it is hard to walk away from a goal having not achieved what I set out to do! One day I will get that 100miles but this year it is not meant to be. I have a few other races (Trail) lined up and am hoping that this niggle I have had for a few months, departs sooner rather than later.

Not the outcome I wanted for this race, but never say never as I will one day complete that around the mountain solo race. It is hard not to be a little disappointed when you don’t get to follow through with a goal, but I am sure there will be more opportunities for me to give it a hit out.

So for now those 160km’s of road can wait. However they will not be forgotten. I’ll be back!

But in the mean time I’m going to make the most of the trails and enjoy the fact that I can play in the mud without being told off!

Yours in Mud

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A topic that breaks me………..

•July 31, 2014 • 1 Comment

Everyday we are exposed to images and advertising that flood our newsfeed with body transformations, de-tox’s and fitspo images. All in the aim of gaining that ideal body image that we all crave. Well to be honest it makes me furious, it is a debate I don’t mind putting my two cents in worth too. The effect these images and constant battering or this ideal beach body is harmful not just to adults, but to the young girls and boys that are not given a choice due to their parents eating insecurities.

How about we just breathe take a step back and see how much this barrage of bullshit is effecting the youth of today. It upsets me to think that everyone is after a quick fix and at any cost. Who cares if we ingest a drug that is harmful, who cares if we drink a liquid diet for weeks all for the sake of looking good! Whats wrong with us!

I get asked all the time about fat burners or what diet do I follow? Well I can tell you right now there is no diet, there never has been and there sure is no fat burner, and never has been!!! I eat whole foods and I exercise! Pretty simple really!
I feel good inside and out and I love the fact more that my food and body image doesn’t consume me. My heart breaks for the young ladies of the future who are exposed to such worry as they are led to believe this is how it is! Eat well and move, don’t be lazy with your cooking make time for you health.

We all know the drill so stop looking for a quick fix your only cheating yourself. Look for a life long solution one you can enjoy and maintain. I used to follow all the fitness and fitspo pages on social media it used to consume me to the point I got upset! So I deleted and bid  farewell to the constant garbage and hello to normality! It was so refreshing to do and I have never looked back. It is something I highly recommend doing if you suffer the constant beat down of social media. Just hit that un-follow button and feel the stress shift!

Be happy with who you are and teach the youth of the future how to live a active and healthy lifestyle. We all owe it to one another.

What next….

•July 20, 2014 • 2 Comments

So the last few weeks have been an interesting time for me with my back and of late a little niggle in the knee! I love injuries!!! NOT The biggest test I believe with injuries is the mental side, the self doubt that creeps in as you continually try to run with no success, this I find is what eats away at me more than anything. All you want to do is run but you also know you need to let it settle!!! Arrrrh image Injuries suck and I hate letting them get the best of me which I feel I have been so thanks to Tymeka (my running buddy) I’ve entered another race in Adelaide in September with the hope it’s the kick in the butt I need to break this cycle! (living in a house of runners is all the motivation I need). It certainly goes with the saying surround yourself with the right people and I am fortunate enough to be under the same roof at the moment. Since my attempt at the 100km my attitude towards the 160km has changed. Not in a bad way but more so with what I have learnt and know now I need to race a different race. There is no going out guns blazing as the result is no good, more its a long way and all on the road so the aim will be to take care of my body as much as I can over that time. My aim now: I want to complete the distance having PACED myself correctly the whole way. That way what ever the result I have left myself enough in the tank to finish the race and hopefully not have done anything to major to my legs! With running long distances there is just so much to learn and I have plenty of that to do. Im not sure anyone is ever an expert but the experiences and knowledge gained with years of running goes a long way! So I’m a very fresh in the running world. I believe though the best way to learn is to try and you will either succeed or fall short but what you learn as you go only builds your knowledge and experiences. Being that I am very unexperienced in the world of running I am trying to learn as much as I can as quick as I can. Good things take time so I also need to learn to be patient. Something I’m maybe not so good at ha! image

Pain, Pleasure and the European Mountains – Sky Running Worlds.

•July 9, 2014 • Leave a Comment

No words needed just that im off for a run after reading this!!

Running on the Edge

Epic Start Line! Credit to Jean-François Cabre Epic Start Line! Credit to Jean-François Cabre

If you had asked me 12months ago where I thought my running would take me the answer would certainly not have been “to Chamonix for the Sky Running World Championships”. After all I am just an amateur runner, a Queensland  boy who was once overweight and known more for his drinking ability than his sporting prowess. So it was quite surreal to find myself sitting in Chamonix…the home of mountain adventure staring up at the majestic peaks the night before the race.

Even more surprising was my complete lack of pre-race nerves! I was completely clam, relaxed and content, perhaps I shouldn’t have been? But I knew why I was so relaxed…. I had already well exceeded my wildest dreams just getting here and to be honest I was almost certain an amateur like me wouldn’t be factoring in anywhere NEAR the pointy end…

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Injury blues…

•July 4, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Well I have been terribly lazy on the blog this month been rather busy since the race and also been injured something I don’t bond with well.
After the race I had three uni exams so it meant head in the books and not a lot else. With all the sitting down my Psoas muscle (hip flexor) decided to jam up. I can say I have never experienced as much pain as that week. The one night it was at its worst I couldn’t walk and had to do some sort of roll into my bed from the floor. I think a few sneaky tears amongst laughter got out! You quickly realize how much we take for granted being healthy.
With two weeks of forced rest, which I probably should have had any way I am finally on the mend. I have had physio and regular massage and am able to run with little pain so a gradual build up over this week and next and hopefully I get the green light to get back to the good stuff.
It’s almost a guarantee in running that you will at some point experience injury, most runners are not a fan. However sometimes you do just have to stop and repair. It’s not just the physical or lack of it we hate but mentally I think people find it hard. Injuries are inevitable how you respond to being injured is something you can control. Trust me it is not the end of the world and with most little niggles and minor injuries you bounce back and sometimes for the better as the body has had time to recover.
The biggest thing is to listen to your body it will know when it is ready to hit the road again.
Onward and upward lets see what the next few months bring, I have a sneaking suspicion its got me some hills!!! Watch this space………..

Post race report….

•June 11, 2014 • Leave a Comment

On sunday at 6:10am the gun went and I began the first leg of what was meant to be 4 in my first 100km race. Now as soon as the gun went I was aware of telling myself to slow down BUT I really suck at this pacing business and I felt good so away we went! The pace at which some runners launched into this race was insane I was like whoa its 100km not meters! They were so impressive. It was hard not to get carried away. It was a mild day on Sunday and not a drop of rain in sight so it was a very picturesque run the whole way too and from Kirra.

As we set off I attempted to stick to my race plan as we rounded the first hill out of Burleigh people were jostling for positions myself included (first fail) and very quickly the race plan went out the window. The aim was to try hold around 5min/km (which I know is probably to fast for me for 100km but the idea was to see if I could crack the qualifying time for NZ for the world champs) or just over and for the first 50km I sat in between 4:40-5min/km. This felt good at the time, however what struck my legs later did not. The first 50km flew by I was surprised as I thought that I would have become bored with looping the same track all the time. However I had people to talk to and sat on a few others heals, I always find that helps with making the time go by and breaking the head wind that had started building with the sunrise. 

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We plodded along and rounded the turning points. All was going as expected, nutrition was ok minus my little wardrobe malfunction with my sipper bottle, first mouthful and the lid poped off causing me to get covered in gel!! Delightful ha! Nutrition is key in these longer runs so it was important to nail this. I was sipping on Endura gel every 15mins as I find the full gel on the hour gives me a crook stomach and at each end so every hour roughly I was consuming endura optimizer which is a blend of carbs, protein and electrolytes. 

On the turning mark at the 50km my support person asked how I was doing I answered with a yeah not to bad even though I knew inside that I was in trouble and that I had gone to fast at the start. I continued on the first half of the third lap but this is where the wheels really fell off! Halfway down my legs went nope thats us done for the day!! I could barely move, it was a feeling I had never had before, I couldn’t decide if they were going to cramp or they were completely seizing up. It brought me very quickly to a grinding halt! I was all of a sudden walking/ running however the walk was much faster than the run! I knew I was in trouble now! 

I managed to stumble my way to the Kirra turning point which was 62km as I came around the corner I knew there would be no more. Now part of me hates not finishing so my mind was debating what to do at this point. Give up or push though!? However this race was to be used as a training run the result wasn’t important for me. I opted to pull the pin which I hate doing but knew if I continued I, 1: would be out there for far too long and 2: I would risk injury which could put me out of my main focus the November race. 

So at 62km I retired from the race. A lot was learnt from this race and many positives still taken. I clocked through 42.2km at 3:27 and 50km at 4:10 which are times I can be happy with. I can also take away that the block of training I had just completed was exactly what I needed and need to continue with to develop my running. All in all I was happy to walk away knowing I’m only 9months into my running career!! wahoo exciting things to come I hope. 

So maybe a hiccup not finishing but certainly not a fail! Even if you don’t quite gain what you want you can still take away many positives. 

Next adventure please…. well after a week of letting the legs recover!! To the pool me thinks!

 

 

 
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