Pit stopping

Yesterday I had an extremely uncomfortable run which was the inspiration for the title of this blog. I had to make several unexpected stops during the run and it made it very tough on top of an already tough trail.

Let me start at the beginning. Yesterday at 6.00am I met with our Striders 6ft training group to run the Quarry Road Track in Hornbsy. We had a pretty big turn out and it was a lot darker than usual when we started this morning too. It’s a bit hard to see me but i’m wearing a blue t-shirt and a white cap front row, 2nd from the left.

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Todays coarse was an out and back lap that we planned to do 3 times and which would add up to 39km. It’s a very hilly course and the only flatter section is right at the other end from where we started. Most of this course is fire trail so it’s not very technical, I think looking back it’s more of a mentally challenging course than anything.

So the first section was a whole lot of downhill which when you’re a runner you know can only mean one thing…… what goes down, must come up. And it did, lots of ups and downs but before the first real ups there was a beautiful historic military bridge to cross.

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And the view looking both ways on the bridge wasn’t bad either.

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On my first lap out I ran into some stomach pain and was starting to get desperate for a toilet when we luckily came up to a camping ground with a pit toilet. I’m so glad Maria knew where she was going and told me it was coming up, it was a lifesaver (more than once). And I have never been so happy to see a pit toilet, lol (they are not the nicest of places but when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go). And unfortunately I had to visit this stop a few times during my run as I had an upset stomach for the entire run.

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Here’s my trusty pit toilet in the distance. It was so good to see it and so well placed in between the middle section of the course. And in my tradition of being totally honest in my posts, I did have to visit the bush toilet a few times too. Not pretty, but had to be done.

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So aside from the horrible pain in my stomach, it was hot and getting very hot. I got worried about becoming hydrated and almost pulled out after the first lap. But I hung in there and set out for the second lap. It was nice to be able to see everyone running past and encouraging each other. They really are a lovely bunch of people to run with.

So after a few more pit stops on the second lap, we noticed a sign in the trees on the way back to the start area and that’s when I realised what the banging noises where I had heard in the background all morning!!!!

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I got back to the start area after the second lap and I thought I was done, I felt dizzy and horrible. All the way up the last steep hill I thought “this was it, I couldn’t do another lap. There’s no way”. I had fallen behind my group of runners and was feeling the pain. Then I experienced something I’ve never experienced before….

My legs got me up and started running, even though my head was saying “stop you fool, you can’t do this”. But my body wasn’t listening. My head had no control and the legs kept moving. I felt cramps in my stomach and pain in my legs but I kept moving. I was running so slowly. But I pushed on and when my watch hit the 30km mark I turned around and ran back to the start.

The 30km mark also happened to coincide with the camping area and another pit stop so it was well planned 😉 LOL

So I slowly, trudged my way back to start and felt a little beaten and actually a little better than I had done at the end of the second lap. Okay, maybe not better. I think I felt better because I knew it was over!!

A group of us sat in the shade sharing stories and recovery remedies and talked of upcoming races and training. We waited for a few other who were still out on the trail and i really enjoyed that time.

Although it was one of the most painful runs I have experienced due to the upset stomach, I’m really glad that I hung in there and overcome as much as I did. I was sad not to have done the full 3 laps, but I was also glad to have not given up after lap 1 or 2. Go me!

I haven’t posted a picture of my watch before, but thought you might be interested to see the data. So this screen tells me I ran for 4hrs 31 minutes, did 32.87 km with an average pace of 8’17” and burnt 2383 calories!!

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After fuelling up with water, powerade, bananas and chips, I jumped in my car and headed for home. I had some friends coming over in the afternoon and wanted to fit in a nap before they arrived. Plus I had another run on sunday to prepare for. I will write more on that race soon too. But it’s been an awesome weekend of running!!

Happy Trails 😀

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