My epic weekend

Despite going back to work after 4 weeks off I have had a great week and have some of cool stuff to share with you all.


Last Saturday I started my training with Sydney Striders again for the 6ft track trail (ultra) marathon which takes place in march 2015 in the Blue Mountains. Last year this was my first trail marathon and it was a most memorable experience. I loved every part of training for this race too, the people, the trails, and the challenges I conquered out there each week. If you would like to read about the 2014 race see here >

And now for last Sunday where I headed up to Narrabeen for the Sydney Trail Series (STS) with a few of my buddies from Sydney Harbour Runners (SHR). STS were hosting 7km, 10km & 15km events and normally I would always go for the long option, but seen as I had run the day before I chose the 7km short course. When I arrived the 15km race had just started and I got to say hello to a few friends I recognised out there and wished them well. I picked up my bib and ran into the lovely Kristy Dearinger, a friend and Iron(wo)man who is also a great person. She was running the 10km event with her friend Andrew.

I got to the start line with my SHR buddies and we all wished each other well. We had all signed up for the short course and those 3 are super speedy so I doubted that I would see them again until after the race. The gun went off and we all got moving up the first of several hills that would make up the first half of the race. It was steady going on fire trail and then got more and more technical as the course went along. I love technical so I was really feeling great and enjoying the playtime out in this new neck of woods. The first half of the course was pretty tough but the views at the top were amazing as promised, however I did not stop to take photos like I normally do, instead I carried on and tried to catch up to those in front of me.

I kept a very steady pace the whole run and the second half played to my strength, downhill. I overtook people as I worked my way down the trails and rocks and caught up with some of the 15km & 10km runners too. I saw Troy from my RunLab Cronulla crew who was doing the 15km event and it was also his first trail run. I felt great, my calves were a little tight but overall I felt I was in good shape. I kept moving down the hills and gained a lot of speed on the final descent, even though Troy went flying past me (ha ha). I looked up at one point and I could see my friend Kate about 200m ahead which was strange because she is very fast, but I just kept moving and made my way around the athletics track which was the final lap and finished the course in just under 43 minutes. I had been hoping for 45mins so i was very happy with my time. I saw the girls and we chatted about the course and how much we loved it.

And here’s the best bit, I came 4th!! 4th female outright!! That has never happened before in my life (well perhaps in primary school, over 20 yrs ago) and I actually did not even realise until I got home that night and checked the results online. Apparently they called my name out as I won my age group too, how awesome is that!! I was very, very proud 🙂


Happy Running 😀


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.


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.


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



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.


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.


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!!!!


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!!


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 😀

Fessing up

I”m not sure if I should be admitting this, but early on Thursday morning I got up and got dressed to go and hit the Honeymoon Trail for a stair session before work. It’s an awesome 1km staircase through the bush in the Royal National Park.

I packed my headtorch as it was still dark and set out in the car. What I failed to remember when I planned this session in my head the night before was….. spiders. I hate them. I’m scared of them and I will avoid them at all costs. So I got out of the car and proceeded towards the steps and did a few warm up exercises. I then started the ascent and went up about 4 stairs before I froze at the sight of a giant, no humongous, hairy spider that was blocking the path. Needless to say I legged it back down the stairs and quickly got back into my car. There was no way I was going up those stairs.

What a wuss!!

I know, I can hear you saying it. But i didn’t let it stop me from training as I drove to the local running track in Sylvania and punched out some intervals instead. Now that I have gotten that off my chest and it is out in open I can start from the beginning….

In preparation for the killer mountains that I am going to face during my races in March and May, I have decided to make stairs my friend. So last Tuesday a work colleague and I set out to run some stairs in Woolloomooloo, Sydney and it was not as hard as I had expected. I”m not sure if this is because we only did a short session or if I am getting stronger. I have been doing some hilly loops around home more frequently than usual so maybe it was helping. So when I got home that night I made a plan to incorporate more stairs into my training, and that’s when the Honeymoon Track came into my mind, and you know how that turned out!! ha ha

Anyway, last night while I was taking  my dog for a walk around the neighborhood I decided to go a slightly different way and I’m very glad that I did because I found a large staircase that will be great for training (and won’t have any spiders). Yay!!

Happy Friday and Happy Running! 😉