Striders 6ft training run at Narrabeen

Luckily I had some great company for our 25km run up at Narrabeen last weekend and thank god they were with me or I think I would have walked the last 5km.

Our Striders 6ft training group met for a 6.30am start and we had another great turnout for the run. Our organiser Andy has done a great job spreading the word about these runs and he even marks the trail with pink tape so we don’t get lost. This week we also had written directions and we managed to follow them without getting lost, 10 points Maria!!

Narrabeen 25km

The first section of the course was rather flat and there were only really 2 hilly sections during the run, with flats either side of them. So it went… flat, hill, flat, hill, flat. Sounds easy right? Well I can tell you it wasn’t. Okay so it wasn’t as hard a course as the week before at Quarry Road loop but I had not run more than 18kms in a while so my legs were struggling towards the end. In saying that, this was a very scenic run and i’d love to do it again soon.

During the run Maria, Carolyn and I shared some great banter and at one point instead of crossing a footbridge to avoid the slightly flooded road, instead we charged through the water living life on the wild side! (ha ha) We were also channeling our inner Emelie Forsberg (can you see the flowers in our visors in the shot below) to help get us up some of those big hills. If you haven’t looked Emelie up on google then you need to do so, she’s an amazing trail runner and seems like a really kind-hearted person to boot.

Thankfully there was some water at the end of your run so Maria and I eased our muscle pain with a quick dip, it felt soooo good 😀

Narrabeen 25km swim

Photos courtesy of Andy Stiddard.

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 😀

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.

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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 > https://haileyruns.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/2014-six-foot-track-marathon/

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 🙂

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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 😀

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Southern Highlands Challenge 2014

Although feeling a little stiff and sore from the previous weeks Oxfam run I headed down to the Southern Highlands last weekend to take part in the SHC Half Marathon (advertised as closer to 22km, nice) organised by Race Director April Palmerlee (Pink Skirt Promotions). And after having a weeks worth of rain we were blessed with fantastic weather!

I was lucky enough to score a free room for the night with an old friend from Tafe who now lives in Penrose (10 minutes from the start line), and we spent Saturday afternoon catching up and reminiscing about old times. I must make sure I visit again soon as it’s a gorgeous area and I’ve missed her company so much! She even spoiled me with home cooked spaghetti the night before to help carb-load, how lucky am I!

After filling my belly and catching up on my celebrity gossip (thanks to Foxtel in the background) I headed for bed. I didn’t sleep too well but I don’t think anyone ever does the night before a race so I wasn’t too worried. I woke and scoffed down a crumpet and a banana then geared up and headed to the Wingello state Forest.

Someone had organised for road signs to guide the way so there was no chance of me getting lost (that would come later during the race), and when I got to the entrance there was a lovely display pf balloons which made me smile. I parked the car and ran into some of my Sydney Striders mates Anthony, Sarah, (me) & Andy are pictured in the photo below. It was great to catch up with them.

before the race

I also ran into Carol, Leonor & Mick at the start line – more of our wonderful Striders family.

Start line

We talked so much at the start line that we missed the race briefing… oops! This is probably where I made my first mistake. Leonor and I did a lot of runing together when we were training for the Six Foot Track and she was planning on using this run as a training run so we spent the first lap of the course catching up. And I must say thank you to Leonor for lending me one of her gloves so that I could warm my hands, it was so cold!!

The first section of the course was a 6km loop and at about the 4km mark the whole group in front of us turned around and started running towards us… what the?! Apparently there was a dead end and we had to run up the hill of the other path next to us, so we went halfway up that fire trail and then all of a sudden everyone started turning around and coming back towards us again – what the…?! AGAIN!!

Eventually we got back on track after another wrong turn and we figure somebody must have moved the arrow sign as it was pointing the wrong way. Oh well, I love a good adventure.

When we got to the end of the first loop I saw a friend Ian from one of Hanny’s camps I had done last year, I also saw Sarah and her kids who ran with me and she took the happy snap below. Gavin was there too cheering us on and it was great to have people supporting us and the kids running along next to us, that does not happen much during a race and it was a great vibe.

end of first loop B

I did not take many photos during the run as it was all fire trail and we were mostly surrounded by pine trees, however we did manage to escape the trees during the last few kms of the course and the fog had lifted to reveal a gorgeous day!

6km to go

leaving him in my wake

My goal during the second half of the run was to pick up the pace a bit and try to make up some of the time i had lost getting lost…. and I slowly made progress at this and overtook quite a few people but was cautious not to over-do it.

I chatted to some other runners to take my mind of the pain that had developed in my left knee, it had been a little niggly after Oxfam. They were all such lovely people, trail runners are the best. I even got told by another lady that I had the best butt she’d ever seen, hilarious!!

And I did a few pirouettes… apparently!

pirouette

I decided to ush it hard for the last 500m and crossed the line in 2.5hrs, not a PB for me but a comfortable run in a beautiful spot. Very, very enjoyable.

finish line shot

After the race I scoffed down a bacon & egg roll provided by the local school’s sausage sizzle and was given lots of freebies by the event sponsors. I saw Victoria Mitchell who had won the 6km race & Brendan Davies who had come 2nd in the 50km race, both great athletes and awesome people.

April did a great job organising the race and it was nice to see that families had been catered for too, not that I have any kids, but if I did they would not have been bored. Thanks for putting on such a great event.

Happy Running 🙂

2014 Westlink M7 Cities Marathon

Most of you already know that yesterday I ran the Westlink M7 Cities Marathon to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of my first marathon (the same race in 2013) and what a challenge it was.

I knew this year was going to be a lot tougher as not only was I finding it harder and harder to stay motivated when road running these days (as I prefer trails), but I also wouldn’t have the cheer squad that i had last year to spur me on. So my plan was to talk to as many other runners as possible and this year I also had my headphones as backup if things got really tough.

So i rocked up at the start line feeling very nervous and a little under prepared having done only 1 long distance training run on road, as the others had all been on trail. I saw many people I know and also made some new friends while we all gathered in the warm(er) registration room before the race – it was freezing outside!!

I ran into Sarah-Jane who I met at this same marathon last year and we had a good chat. Later she told me that this was  be her 30th marathon…. what a legend!! Go SJ!!

We all slowly made our way out of the warmth and over to the start line and it was nice to know there were lots of others team mates from the Sydney Striders there to compete too (see photo below).

Striders at start line

Tom from Sydney Harbour Runners was also there at the start line with me so I was surrounded by lots of my running family, the best way to start a race!

Start line with Tom

Did I have a race plan? Not really. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself as I know Oxfam is only 4 weeks away, but I really wanted to beat my time from 2013 (4:14:00). And I wondered if a sub 4 hour marathon possible? Maybe, but would that be too much for my body to handle? Don’t you hate it when there are more questions than answers. I guess you have to live and learn and I am still new to the marathon game so why not play along.

The gun went off and I realised there were some real heavy weights competing in the mens field, such as David Criniti, Brendan Davies and another guy (Alex?) who had won the King of the Mountain a few weeks back. They sped back past us after the first turn around point and I was luckily enough to see them one more time at a later stage in the course. Those guys make it look so easy!

Tom and I ran together and caught up to the 4 hour pacer. We sat in neatly behind the group and I thought this sub 4 hours thing might be a possibility, I just had to stick with them for as long as possible. To finish a marathon in 4 hours means that you should stick to a 5’40” pace and this was definitely achievable for me over shorter distances, especially since I had run under 5’00” pace last weekend for an 11km race.

Our pacer was Andrew and he runs with the Berowra Bushies group which my running friend Gavin also does. Gavin was pacing the 4:15 group so I had given him permission to yell at me if/when he caught up to me, but deep down I hoped it didn’t come to that!!

Andrew was great and we all chatted and encouraged each other. Although further into the race a few people began to slowly dropped off at various water stations and hills. Tom, myself and another guy in a red shirt (who was competing in his first marathon) kept hanging in there (see below photo).

group with pacer

The first 20kms seemed to go past quite quickly. I did start the race with calf pain and frozen toes (AGAIN!!!) which was a bit of a struggle but I was determined not to let it slow me down and that the pain would go away as it had done last year. And it did, but not until after the biggest hill of the race, oh well. Our group kept moving and was a little ahead of schedule but it was better to have a little time in the bank than not.

I was so happy to see my friend’s Todd and Erin on the course too, they were in the same spot I had my support crew last year and it really lifted my spirits. I had been struggling to keep up with Andrew but was determined and kept pushing myself more than I probably should have been. So seeing the familiar smiling faces was such a pleasure and I knew that I would see them again after the turn around point, another reason to keep moving and stick with the pacer.

The legs were getting tight and i could feel my hip was not happy with me, but I kept moving and kept positive. I think it was about this point that we lost Tom, he slowly fell behind and unfortunately I didn’t see him again until after the race.

So then there was just Andrew stuck with us 2 amateurs. I told them i was struggling and might fall behind but they encouraged me and I kept with them for a little while longer.

Andrew said something that I will never forget, and even though I had heard it before I think it’s important to remember “the real race starts at 32km”.

I got to about the 38km mark I felt spent. I felt like there was not much left in the legs. I think the other guy was feeling the same way as we both dropped back in pace and Andrew slowly crept ahead, he called to us to try and motivate but I know I couldn’t keep up that pace any longer. So I just kept running as fast as i could, as fast as my legs could carry me. Not sure how I managed a thumbs up for this photo (below) or the smile!!

lost pacer

I saw Todd & Erin again which gave me another burst of energy and Todd let me know that the pacer was not that far ahead, in fact I could still see him and I thought maybe I was still in with a chance… just maybe. It’s amazing how much of a lift you get from having the support out on the course, I must make sure that I try to do the same for others in future.

37km mark

The chances of running a sub 4 hour marathon were very slim now, I had slowed to a 6’00” pace which wouldn’t get me there in time, but it would get me there eventually. Ahead of me I could also see April, another fellow Strider and I thought I was slowly catching her which gave me a bit of a push. April and I played leap frog for a few kms but she eventually got ahead of me and stayed there. I also spotted Enrique, another Strider who was aiming for sub 4 hours, I hoped he was okay.

Then I saw the big lights of the stadium and something sparked in me, there was less than 2 kms to go and I decided that I was going to give it everything I had left in the tank. My legs were hurting, but somehow I managed to speed up and I actually overtook April as I went up the last hill. She cheered me on and I wished her well but I didn’t look back. I made a left turn to cross over the M7 which is the last time I would see the highway and then the course heads downhill towards the stadium for the final victory lap.

I knew that sub 4 hours was out of reach, but I wasn’t going to let that slow me down. I was going to fight till the end and as I saw the athletics track unfolding in front of me I picked up the pace and took aim to try and catch the 2 guys in front of me, one of them was Enrique.

When i got to the last 100m I gunned it. I found another gear and sprinted towards the finish line overtaking the 2 guys with only seconds to spare. It felt amazing! My legs were completely shot and I had nothing left in the tank but I had made it and i had finished strong. Enrique shook my hand and seemed impressed with my finish, I was chuffed.

The legs were very wobbly and I made my way over for some food and drink, then collected my finishers medal & cap, then headed for the massage tent. I chatted to some other runners while we waited in line and then it was my turn. The calves were agony and I almost cried out in pain as I got a a massage. Did he not know how sore my legs were!!! ha ha

I got up from the table and headed for a shower then caught up with Sarah-Jane and a few others while we sat and cheered on the last of the runners. I really enjoyed this part too. Cheering on the people who were out there struggling the longest, it takes a lot of courage to hang in there. People are so amazing!

Happy Running 😀

2014 Shoalhaven King of the Mountain

Last Sundays run felt like a trail run due to the spectacular location, however it was 99% on road. I actually didn’t realise this until the day before the race when I eventually checked out the website, oops!

I arrived at Cambewarra Public School in time to register, visit the toilet and still have 45 mins to spare. And i remember thinking, most of my friends are probably still tucked up in bed…. I must plan a sleep in one weekend soon…..

Start line

The weather was very, very windy but thankfully not too cold. As i waited I ran into Sam and Gavin from Striders and a few other familiar faces. We gathered at the start line under the banner and when the gun went off we all wishes each other well and I promised myself to sit at a nice slow, comfortable pace for the start of the race.

Start line with gang

Thankfully I suck to the plan. This race was 32km and I had not run that far since attempting TNF in May so it was going to be a bit of a challenge, especially as it was road which is a lot tougher on the body. However I did need the road practise as I have a marathon coming up in under a month – arghhhh!!

There were lots of rolling ups and downs and the local Nowra Athletics Club had put up some encouraging (and funny) signs along the road to cheer us along. These were most amusing at times.

I ran with Geoff who is a local and has one the race about 8 times, though he missed last year due to an achilles injury. It was great to have his company for about 5-6 kms as they flew by but eventually he struggled on the hills and I had to let him go.

There was a very rainforest-like section where we came flying down the hill and over a water crossing, this section was beautiful and the photo below makes me look like i’m running on water. How cool is that! (Thanks to specshots.com)

running on water

The largest hill we would encounter on the day was Mt Scuzi, where I met a lovely woman called Tina who ended up running with me all the way to the end. We chatted all the way up Mt Scuzi as we power walked and it made it such an easier challenge, check out the view from the top (below)

View from top of Mt Scuzi

I did not stop at the drink stations as I had my hydration pack with all my goodies, however I waited for Tina and then we headed back down the mountain on the gravel road.

Down Mt Scuzi

We chatted a lot and kept a very good pace as we moved down the mountain, and we realised that we had actually already met at the Mt Solitary Ultra a few months back when i ran with her for a section of that. it’s a very small world within the running community and i love it.

View from Mt Scuzi 2

We ran a very consistent and competitive pace with each other through the rolling streets in front of us and we over took a few people who were struggling in the last 5-6kms. I actually felt better when i got to about the 16km mark and I’ve felt this before so it must take me a while for my body to warm up.

We ran into Kangaroo Valley on the main street (road closures of course) and we saw some people in front of us that we wanted to get past, so we both stepped up the pace and even though there was an incline we were both determined to push hard all the way to the finish.

As I got to the fence at the top of the last incline I heard Sam cheering for me and pointing at the finish line, so I kicked it up one more gear and went past Tina. She was struggling a little and I cheered her on and we sprinted over the finish line.

I had just run 32km in 3hrs 19 mins 12 seconds – I was very happy with that!!

Below is the always lovely Luigi (Sydney Striders) crossing the finish line too.

Finish Line

 

I had a most enjoyable run and will definitely be back next year to give it another crack, i highly recommend it to anyone as it was awesome!!

Happy Running 🙂

2014 Woodford to Glenbrook Classic

bib

Just looked up my results from Sundays Woodford to Glenbrook Classic and I came 15th in my age group (out of 41) – I’m so happy with that. I had so much fun running on that course, especially the last downhill section where I felt like I was unstoppable.

It started out a very, very, very, very chilly morning but I was thankful of the late start time (10am) as it would have been even worse if we started at sunrise like most trail events. So I got a little sleep in and drove to Glenbrook to park the car. I easily got a spot and headed for the train to Woodford.

I ran into a few of my running mates John, Andy, Georgie and met a guy called Joe. We chatted about current training and our next big races and the weather was feeling quite lovely at this point. The train pulled up and I sat with Georgie from SHR all the way to Woodford and when we got off the train it was  FREEZING!!!! The wind was so much stronger up here and the chill factor was – 4, yuck! The only good thing was that it would provide a lovely tailwind during the race, it would be very unfortunate if it has been blowing the other way. We met up with Todd & Michael from SHR for a coffee at a place on the highway and then headed for the start area.

When we got there we huddled near a rock wall in the sun, trying to shelter from the wind as it was bitterly cold. At that point I wished I had worn log sleeve pants and top, however in hindsight my choice proved to be right. (that’s me second from the left with my blue pack)

photo (1)

We talked ourselves into giving up the jackets at the bag drop and headed for the start line with teeth chattering. We found a spot in the sun and wished each other well (after a few photos of course).

end shot

photo

And then we were off. Georgie was super fast so there was no way I’d try and keep up with her. My plan was to use this as a training run so I went very slow and steady at the start, which would hopefully leave me some energy at the end if i felt like kicking up a gear.

The course was fire trail the whole way and there was actually a bike race that started before us, so that’s why we had the later start time. Maybe next year I should come back and do the ride instead? Something to think about as I’m getting a MTB next month – woohoo!

Back to the race. I warmed up quickly and even got a cheer from one of the SES Volunteers who yelled out “Go Hails!!”. At the time I had no idea who he ways, but later I found out he was my friend Nigel’s friend, Eric a fellow Corporate Cup runner.

The trail was up and down and I only walked about 3 or 4 of the hills, they were not as big as some of the mountains I’ve conquered this year! I eased into pace and let people go past me. I had a chat to Anne from work who is lovely as always. I ran past Michael getting a pedicure (and secretly hoped that he would not catch up to me). I chatted to Todd from run club for a bit when he caught up to me too and when I got to the 16km mark I decided to go for it. I put the foot on the gas a little more and decided to use my downhill strength to pick up the pace and start drawing back some places. It worked and I quickly began to overtake people who seemed to be doing it tougher than i was. I looked at my watch at one point and saw that i was running at 4’45” min pace – very fast for me!

The km’s seemed to tick away very fast and soon I was sprinting down the last hill, rounding the bend and sprinting up a small hill to the finish line. I had made it and I had felt fantastic the whole way. What a wonderful experience!!

finish line

I highly recommend this race to anyone, especially beginners as there’s no technical trail sections and it’s not as hilly as some courses. I even managed to get a new 21km PB… and it was on the trail. How awesome is that!

A huge thank you to all the volunteers for making the day run so smoothly, it was a very enjoyable event. Even when the announcer stuck the microphone in my face at the finish line to interview me….. ha ha

For anyone who wants my run details see screenshot below from the Nike+ App, I still can’t believe my average pace considering it’s a trail run, but i’ll definitely take it.

map

I watched some more of our crew come through the finish line and we celebrated with some sausage sandwiches and coffee while sitting in the sun and sharing our experiences. Everyone had really enjoyed the course and vowed to be back next year. Will you join us?

Happy running trailies 🙂

 

Sea Change with the Striders

Last weekend i thought it would be a good idea to do 2 smaller runs instead of one big long run as I felt like my legs were still recovering from the race 2 weeks back. So Saturday I had done the Kedumba Half marathon and Sunday I joined the Sydney Striders for an early morning road run along the coast.

We met at Centennial Park in Randwick  and headed off just before the sunrise towards the coast. We started with a group of about 20 runners and although the cloud cover kept us nice and cool it meant that we didn’t get to see the sunrise.

clovelly group

This course had a few options with a short 15km, a medium 22km and a long 32km. I had chosen the 15km as my legs were still sore from Kedumba and I didn’t want to over do it. As i slowed down to get some photos I rang into Brad and he and I ended up running the shorter option together.

Clovelly Brad

Brad was a lovely guy who helped to take my mind of the pain in my legs so i could keep running. He works as a full time Personal Trainer (which is what I hope to do one day) so we had lots to talk about. And when I was tempted to cut our run even shorter he pushed me and kept me on track. He was recovering from an Achilles issue and had been told to take it easy. I’m pretty sure my slowness meant that he was forced to take it easy! ha ha

We came across a lady walking her Labrador puppy and we had to stop and pat the excited little devil. I love dogs, especially puppies – they are so playful and cute! We made another stop soon after this too so i could get a shot of the colours in the sky, you can almost see the sunrise behind.

Clovelly beach

The coast was a lovely sea change to the mountains and it took my mind off the fact that I was road running (and sore).

clovelly 2

We eventually got back to the start location and had some lovely food and refreshments (provided by the Host, thank you) and I decided not to hang around and wait for the others because I hadn’t seen my husband much that weekend, and wanted to get home and spend some time with him.

Most of my day was spent on the couch recovering and the only time I left the house was to take the dog for a walk. I hope you all had a lovely Sunday and weekend.

Happy Running 🙂

10km @ North Head with Sydney Striders

Tapering obviously agrees with me. Two weeks out from the 6 Foot Track Marathon I started to back off the kilometers and switch my routine to less running. Monday I did a recovery pool swim session, Tuesday a cycle session, Wednesday a remedial massage, Thursday was Pilates and Friday I rested. So when I got up ready to run on Saturday morning I felt great.

I jumped in the car and headed for North Head at Manly for the 10km Sydney Striders race. I ran into Missy and Simon from my SHR run club in the city and then settled at the start line next to and ex work mate and friend Chloe who had come along for the ride.

The sky was very dark and it had rained most of the night, but although it was quite cool the humidity could be felt as soon as you started running. My goal today was to try and hit the 50 minute mark, as my current 10km record was 51 min 53 seconds.

I ran the first few kilometers a little faster than I normally do and I continued with the pace as I was feeling confident and could control my breathing. I started to overtake a few people and remembered I’d been told this course was flat and fast. So why not give it a good crack!

At one point I caught up to Simon and decided that I should slow down and run with him as I might not be able to keep up the pace I’d been doing for the whole distance. So we ran together for a couple of km’s and it was nice to have someone pushing me along. Normally I just run by myself and don’t push myself much at all, especially on the longer runs I’ve been doing most of the time lately.

My breath started to get a bit uneven and I decided to slow down a little more and let Simon go ahead. I was still making great pace and thought for certain I would be in with a chance of a new PB. I kept pushing and at the point when I normally would have slowed down even more I just get digging deeper, I wanted that PB and I wanted it today.

I ran as fast as my legs could take me and when I rounded the last bend and headed up the last incline I sped up. I wanted to feel like I had given it my all, so I busted my guts and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest.

I crossed the line with a new PB of 47:41, more than 4 minutes faster than any other 10km that I have run before. How amazing is that?!

You could not wipe the smile off my face and when I finally got my breath back I reassessed the body and found my legs felt fantastic, at no point during the run did I get any pain or strain. I felt ready for 6 Foot and I felt unstoppable.

We all gathered around to have snacks and a drink after the race and it was great to hear that many people had gotten PB’s as well. Everyone was smiling and in a great mood. What an awesome way to start the weekend!

Happy Running!