Checking in

Last week I cam down with a sinus infection and it knocked me off my feet. I spent a good 4 days sleeping and even though i’m only just starting to feel human again, I’ve got a lot to look forward to. You see tomorrow I fly out to New Zealand and next weekend I will run my first overseas race, the Shooter Moonlight Mountain Marathon.

I have never visited New Zealand before so thought I’d get some extra time off work either side of the race to explore the country. I will be flying solo for this trip as the hubby is already back at work.

So tomorrow I fly to Auckland where I stay for a few days before flying to Christchurch to rock out at the Foo Fighters concert (yes i’m only flying to Christchurch and staying for 1 day to see them, they are my fav band and I would never miss a chance to see them in concert!!). Then I jump onto a bus and travel to Queenstown where I spend the rest of my holiday. I have a couple of days before the race to settle in and relax, then on 21 February i’ll be toeing the start line. After the race I have a couple of days rest and then I set off tramping Milford and Routeburn for just over a week. Then I fly home.

I am feeling very nervous and excited, but today i’m struggling to pack and keep worrying that I’ll forget to take something important. Fingers crossed that I don’t.

Keep well my friends and I promise to report back with all my stories when I return in March.

Happy running 😀

Packing for an ultra

Packing for an ultra marathon is a little bit like packing for a holiday. You write your list of clothes and items to take to cover all bases, then you end up over packing and only wearing/using half the items in your luggage. But that won’t stop me doing it all again next holiday, but I have learnt to pack a little smarter for my ultras.

On Saturday my friend Brad and I will be running the Narrabeen Alnighter which involves us running 6 hours each in blocks between 8pm to 8am. I scored the second half of the journey so my run commences at 2am Sunday morning after Brad has been running for 6 hours. The course we run on is a 5km trail loop and the aim is to run as far as you can in the time given. Brad and I are both aiming to reach 50km so if we can reach 100+ total that would be awesome!

So that’s where the packing comes in, to run 50km, or to run for 6 hours means that you need to have a plan for Nutrition and clothing. It’s summer here so could be very hot, which means very sweaty, so a change of clothes is needed. I think I might also take a second pair of shoes to put on if needed too. I also plan to use Cliff bars and gels for the run, along with water and Shotz for electrolytes, as this is what I have used in the past and never had any issues. And you never change anything on race day. I also like to have real food during long runs, so will probably throw in a few vegemite or nutella sandwiches (or both) and some rice pudding, gummy bears, bananas and coke.

Then I sit and pray that I haven’t forgotten anything and start to mentally prepare for my run. Staying positive and in control of your thoughts and emotions plays a huge part in long distance running, so you need to be ready inside and out. Sometimes I think too much, buy maybe I can do more than 50km…? Only time will tell 😉

Wishing all my other running mates a happy run for this weekend, some at the same race as me and others like Ganesh doing his first 12hr race in Singapore – Go Ganesh! We will be thinking of you during our run too, run strong! I can’t wait to hear all about your journey and I know you’ll be fantastic!

Happy Running 😀

Getting on track

I’m finally back in the habit of running on a more regular basis and i’m loving the challenges and hard work that I’ve had to put in lately. From starting to increase distance on my long weekend runs and also pushing myself harder and harder at the RunLab interval sessions I do twice a week.

Our Striders 6ft training group have run the Equalizer course (14km) and the Buffalo Creek Reserve (16km) over the past 2 weeks and while I will admit that they haven’t been easy they have been rewarding and it feels great to be on track towards my next marathon.

This Saturday we are heading to the infamous Quarry Road and let’s just say that last year it was not a very good experience for me, however it taught me a lot. The key lesson I learnt last year was not to try any new or exciting (spicy) foods within 2 days before a long run, or you’ll spend the rung making many, many trips to the pit toilet located in the campgroud on the course. But god was i lucky the pit toilet was there!!

Quarry Road is an out and back trail full of hills and the return trip is about 13km. This weekend we aim to do 2 laps and I’m hoping that it’s nice and cool as the track is quite exposed.

And the other exciting news for this week is that my friend Brad and I have decided to run the Narrabeen Allnighter on 3 January. Brad and I chatted about this race ages ago and he contacted me recently to see if I was still interested so of course I jumped at the chance. This means I will be more disciplined with my eating and drinking over Christmas and new year and head into 2015 on a good note.

The Allnighter is set on a 5km trail and starts at 8pm and goes through till 8am the next day. We have decided to run the option that means we will each do a 6hr block. This will be good night training for TNF100 and we have agreed to use it as a training run so there is no pressure on how far we want to get, although Brad is much faster than me.

Stay tuned for more running updates and happy running 😀

Where have I been….

It’s been over a month since my last post which was also my last race and my last long run. Since then I’ve battled pneumonia which went undiagnosed for more than 3 weeks, and cruised for 12 days through the South Pacific to 5 ports around New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The latter being much more enjoyable!

About a month ago I also joined RunLab, an interval training group that I go to twice a week (with the exception of the week spent cruising) to work on my speed and technique. There have been some really tough sessions but I really feel like I’m starting to get somewhere. I know that I am no good at pushing myself to go faster and always err on the slow side as a precaution, but it’s time I pushed myself and got outside of my comfort zone. It’s working!

So what’s next on the agenda for my running? Where do I start! Let’s start with my A race next year, the big kahuna – TNF100 in May. That race will be my #1 priority in 2015 and all my training and preparation will be in the build up to this great race, which beat me in 2014. I have unfinished business that needs tending to and the plan is to smash it in under 20 hours. It goes on sale next week 😉

In the lead up to my main race I will also be running in the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon in Queenstown New Zealand during February. This is a trail marathon that some of my Strider buddies did last year and they really talked me into it. Plus if you look at the photos…. breathtaking! This will be used as a training run and not a race. Not that I ever race, but it just means I’ll be taking it easy and stopping for lots of pictures and sightseeing. I’ve already signed up for this and have tagged on a 2 week holiday as I have never been to NZ before – score!

My second big run before TNF100 will be the 6 Foot Track Marathon in March in the gorgeous Blue Mountains.  I will be training with the Sydney Striders 6ft training group from next weekend for this event, a fantastic group that I trained with last year. I have learnt so much from them and they taught me the fundamentals of trail running. Our group is open to all so let me know if you’re interested and i’ll send you an invite on Facebook. Last year this race was my first Ultra and it was a day I will never forget, so rewarding and an amazing finish line that takes your breath away. It goes on sale soon so make sure you’re ready as it sells out super fast!

So there are my 3 key races for 2015, it’s going to be an exciting year!

Happy Running 😀

LaurenHaileyLumia_20141020_11_38_52_Pro

4 more sleeps…

We only have 4 more sleeps until we hit this bad boy….

Oxfam course profile

… and i’m so excited, scared, nervous, happy that it’s finally here!

Our team, the 4*100 Trailblazers are aiming to run 100km and finish in 20 hours, so if we start at 7.00am on Friday 22 August then we should be finished by around 3.00am on Saturday 23 August, while you’er all tucked away in your warm beds. Time to carb-load and get plenty of rest, bring it on!!

If you want to track us or make a donation you can do so via this link: https://trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/team/home/17564

Please support our Oxfamily

train buddies

on the train

Firstly I want to thanks Roger for taking such great photos, they really capture the fun times that have on the trails and it’s great to be able to share that with you all.

Last Saturday we boarded the train at Berowra Station early on Saturday morning headed for the Hawkesbury River. The plan was to run sections 1 and 2 of the Oxfam course and we were all looking forward to the first checkpoint where Roger’s mum & her partner norm were going to meet us with coffee and food. It was bloody cold that morning.

sign

We got to Hawkesbury River and lots of hikers/runners got off the train and headed for the trail just like us, it’s great to see so many other groups out there training on the course too. We had a little chat with most of the groups that we ran past as they were all walking, and we wished each other well for race day.

Only 6 weeks to go!!

sunrise 2

 

sunshine shot

Emma and Dominic were leading the pack and Roger and I both stopped to take some photos in a few spots, my favorite shot of the day is the one below.

sunrise

The water was so flat up there amongst the hills, such a clear sky too.

lake 2

 

 

lake

We all ran and laughed and joked around quite a lot for this run, it was a great morning and check out our support crew below. I had decided to make a kilt to keep me warm at the stop while i ate everything offered to me (I don’t recommend this, ha ha) – hard boiled eggs, bread, salt packets, coffee….

our checkpoint crew

How good is my kilt?

my kilt

At the checkpoint Roger also picked up his bacon & egg subway wrap and proceeded to eat it during the next section as we ran down the mountain – talk about showing off. Clearly we were going way too slow for him – ha ha

roger eating sub and running

And not only did our run involved running, it also involved climbing up and down rock surfaces which is always fun. At one point I made my own way down a rock and Emma followed me as i led her astray. We got there in the end and it was one of the most enjoyable trail runs I’ve ever had. Thanks team!!

rock climbing

So here is my awesome Oxfamily (below) and if you want to support us you can do so via this link: https://trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/team/home/17564

oxfamily

 

Happy Running 🙂

GCAM & KOM

Two of my running friends Karie and Samaiya will be tackling their first marathon this weekend at the Goldcoast Airport Marathon and I’m so excited for them. They have both done a lot of hard work to and put in countless hours of training to get to this point and the marathon is purely the victory lap.

I wish them both the very best of luck, and everyone else who is competing up on the Goldcoast this weekend. I know you’re all going to have a blast and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

As for me, this weekend I will be taking on the 32km Shoalhaven King of the Mountain course which will be my longest run before some tapering in the lead up to the M7 Marathon next month.

The race starts at 9am and is about a 2 hours drive from home so it’s going to be an early start again on Sunday, which means early to be on Saturday night for me. I am also thinking that i should carb load a little before this one too, the course profile doesn’t look easy.

Sholahaven King of the Mountain - Course Profile

Wish me luck 😀

Heading to my happy place

While many of the worlds elite trail runners are taking part in Western States and Chamonix this weekend, i’ll be heading to my happy place in the Blue Mountains for the 25km Woodford to Glenbrook Classic along with many other running friends from SHR and Striders. The course is mostly fire trail and from about 13km onward it is mostly downhill to the finish.

Woodford to Glenbrook - Course profile

I’m really looking forward to this course and only 2 more sleeps!

Happy Running 😀

What’s next?

A lot of people have been asking me “What’ next?” on my running journey and that’s a very good question.

If you’ve read my earlier blog about my TNF100 experience you’ll know that I plan to be back to conquer the course in 2015 so that’s the next big goal, however it has left me wondering “What else” I should do in the meantime. I had spent so much time and energy preparing for that 100km race and waiting 12 months for it to come around again would be painful without some small goals in between. So let’s see shall we…

Maybe I should find another 100km run in Australia that’s within the next 6 months?

Maybe I should do another marathon?

So I started looking back through my running CV (I have an excel spreadsheet, very nerdy) and I thought I might share the following information on the number of races i have done.

Ultra Marathons x 4

Marathons x 1

Half Marathons x 4

Looking at the above it seems i’m a bit lob-sided so my plan is to run another marathon within the next 6 months, now I just need to decide which one….?

Happy Running 🙂

Goals

The Longest Run

This Sunday I will attempt to run my furthest distance yet, a 50km road race as part of the Australian Running Festival in Canberra. I’m getting very nervous about this event, which is probably a good thing, but it’s going to be a great weekend as I am travelling down with the SHR crew and lots of my running mates from the Striders are competing too.

The Ultra Marathon course covers the same course as the marathon, with an extra loop at the end.Below is the elevation chart, which looks much easier than some of the tough climbs that I have done on the trails over the past months, however I know it will be challenging in many other ways (especially that last 10km – ouch!).

Canberra Ultra Marathon Elevation Chart

Originally I was signed up for 10km run on the Saturday, but my training buddies (after much heckling and encouragement) told me to pull up my big girl pants and sign up for the 50km, so I did!! Geez I have rubbery arms!!

The plan for Sunday is use it as a training run for TNF100, as it’s only 6 weeks away now. So i’ll be taking it very slow and easy for the entire run as it’s going to be about getting the time on my feet. I’ve been reading up about the course and the toughest sections are from 20-30km and 40-50km, so about halfway and right at the end, which means that most runners shouldn’t be pushing it too hard to early anyway.

It will be so nice to know that lots of my running friends will be the course that day too and I hope to encounter them all at some stage, even if it’s only at the start line to wish them good luck (Shaun Hardy).

The rest of my week will be spent doing yoga, getting a massage, walking the dog around the block and taking it easy. Tapering is much needed but very hard at time so I just need to keep my mind busy.

Happy Running 😀