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 😀


Ourimbah 30km

I have not run 30km since I did my marathon training last year (about 6 months ago) which was on the road, so I was a little scared about running last weekends 30km trail at Ourimbah with the Sydney Striders.

We had a small group of 6 runners show up for the 7am start, thankfully I had previously met most of them and our trusty leader Andy was there to see us off. Apparently 2 other runners had mistakenly arrived for 6am and when nobody showed they decided to start early, and they were 2 runners I knew so I looked forward to seeing them on the course.

The course was an out and back trail to the Quarry 15kms away, with very few turns so it was easy to stay on course. One of the veterans in our group told us that the trail had many more uphills on the way out and that the course would be easier and mostly downhill on the way back which was very reassuring. Unfortunately I had a few stomach issues early on and had to make a pit stop very early on, however I managed to catch up to the group again without too much effort. I felt much better after that!

We ran into Steph and Leonor at about the 10km mark as they were coming back down the hill. After a quick chat and happy new year well wishes we were back into climbing that hill. It seemed to go forever!

I wore my BSC calf compressions for the first time today and although I did have some very tight calves for the first 10-12km (probably due to the many hills), they seem to have recovered much quicker than usual, so I will definitely be wearing them again and maybe investing in some of the full compression socks.

For most of the course I ran with a lovely lady called Maria. She has been with the Striders for about 5 years now and she started with them before she signed up for her first marathon in 2010 (i think it was?). I had met Maria on my first run with the Striders as Mosman and we had run together for some of that course too. We realized that we both actually finished our first marathons in the same time, 4 hours 14 minutes. So we decided that we would start the 6ft track marathon together, a comforting thought to know that a familiar face will be there on race day.

The trip back down from the Quarry was a tough one and we were both feeling it. For the last 5km my hamstrings and calves were starting to tighten and I could feel my quads shaking on some of the downhill sections. But we did not give up and we kept each other on track. I was so happy to have made the distance, when only 2 weeks ago the most I had done was 20km.

I thanked Maria for the enjoyable run and a few of us did some much needed stretches before getting in our cars to make the long journey home.

Overall it was a most enjoyable run thanks to the company and I look forward to running with them again soon. Here are some pictures from the trail.

Before the run

30trail 5

During the run


30trail 4

30trail 2

Our crew at the Quarry.

30trail 3

Happy Running 🙂

Whale Rock Run

Last Sunday the Sydney Striders 6Ft Training Group met up at Waterloo Park in Marsfield. We had quite a large group of runners, as another local running group was joining us for the trail.

Group Shot

I ran most of the course following Gordon, a veteran to the trail and regular at these group runs. I also got to share the road with Pete and Stef who you can see in the photo below. I even managed to recruit Pete as support crew for my Northface100 challenge next year. He has crewed for some others in the same race in prior years and he offered so I jumped at the chance!

runing shot

We eventually made it to the famous “Whale Rock” (see photos below) and the trail had been quite an adventure. There were some very uneven surfaces and some of the narrowest tracks I have come across yet, you couldn’t even really see there was a trail in some parts. But we followed our trusty guide and he never let us down.

The trail was good experience for me, as it was different from the ones I’ve done so far. It was also very hilly and we had to walk some of the up-hill sections. However i think it was the most enjoyable one yet!

whale rock

If you live in the area I recommend you go and check it out, it’s a great course!

Next weekend we head to the Blue Mountains and run the first section of the 6Ft Track Marathon. It will be a very tough run, one of my longest in a while but I’m really looking forward to it.

Happy Running 🙂

2014: The Year of the Ultra

To say i’m nervous would be an understatement. I’m very, very nervous and with good reason. In the past week I have signed up for not only 1, but 2 ultra marathons for 2014.


As I take a deep breath I try to calm myself with thoughts of training hard and staying positive. But i’m excited, nervous and scared all at the same time (not necessarily in that order, ha ha).

A couple of Saturday’s ago I was lucky enough to register for the 6 Ft Track Marathon, a 45km trail stretching across the Blue Mountains from The Explorer’s Marked Tree, near Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. I have been told that this race sells out within minutes of registrations being opened so I made sure that I was sitting by the computer 9am and it paid off.

I’ve heard and read that it’s a tough course to say the least, and the elevation chart makes you want to cry just looking at it because the last 5km is all uphill…!!! But I do love hills and have some friends who can testify, Megan? Laura?! Seriously, i’m going to have my work cut out for me. I love a challenge!

Then last week I decided to register for the Northface100. The Northface100 is Australia’s premier 100km trail running event, held in the Blue Moutains National Park in New South Wales. That’s right, 100km. Surprised? Yes I was too!! What was i thinking!! I’m not sure I was thinking at all, but I figure that by May I will have the 6 Ft Track Marathon under my belt and can continue training for this adventure. What have i got to lose?! 

Now comes the planning and preparation, so feel free to share any info about ultras or trail running with me as I’m going to need all the help I can get, and…… wish me luck!

Happy Running 😀