Monday
Jun042012

Off To Europe!

Two days later I was sitting on an aeroplane bound for Germany. I spent a couple of days in Germany (no jet-lag, thank goodness!!) then I was off to Austria. What a beautiful location! I found it amazing that the land was generally flat, then straight up for the mountains. There was no in-between!
I met up with the rest of the Australian team and had a day in the area.
The day before the race had been raining, but race day itself dawned clear, dry and, later, sunny. The gun went, and we were off.
The course was undulating for the first 15kms, with the first 7kms involving a loop that brought us back through the start in Soell. We mainly ran on bitumen during this time.
After 15kms, the course started to climb some more, but only gradually. However, after 21kms the real climb kicked in. I had never seen anything like it, it was incredibly steep. My hill training in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne could never compare!
This continued on for about another 5-6kms, then it was more undulating again.  A lovely fast and flowing descent followed (a nice quad trasher!!) This went on for about 6kms.
The last 4kms of the race was even steeper than the first main ascent! In fact, the last 3kms climbed 700m! We were going straight up a ski run. I found this impossible to run, and in fact did not see anyone running! Not only was it steep, but grassy, muddy and slippery as well! I am not too bad at steep hill walking, and passed quite a few men in this section.
Before I knew it, I was nearly at the top, “Thank goodness!” I thought. This feeling was short-lived as I gazed up at the last pinch. I forced my weary legs on, but at each step the finish line appeared to recede! It felt as if I would never make it, but of course I did! Once over the line I was wrapped in a space blanket because the top was enveloped in fog, with a brisk wind up. I was doubled over struggling for breath for what felt like an eternity. Once I recovered, I grabbed a warm soup and watched the other finishers.
This race was a great challenge, and like all challenges, very enjoyable in retrospect! I was the 21st female, and 3rd in my age group, but believe I could have done better without my health issues before the race. However, the fact of racing, and life, is that not everything always goes to plan. Sometimes we just have to do the best that we possibly can given difficult circumstances, and this is what I did. In this way, I can reflect on the Kaisermarathon and believe that it was a success.
I am back training now and my next focus is the 6 Foot track 45km off-road marathon.  The plan is to be fit and healthy so I can prove what I am really capable of!!

FRIDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER 
The last day of school before holidays!! Yay!! Not only that, but only two weeks till I leave for Austria! I'm getting excited and nervous all at once!I'm feeling good, so that's positive! I will be doing the 15km DeCastella race in a week, which will be a good hit-out two weeks before the big day.
The 38km run to Carrum went really well. I started off relatively slowly then wound it up. It's always nice to finish a run faster than when you started, and feeling good!
SUNDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER.
Well after a solid week of training I ran in the innaugural Grape run from Yarra Glen to Healseville yesterday. I came 2nd by 15 seconds, bummer!! I nearly had her! 11th place overall, so that was good. It was a great workout on a beautiful course. It was very windy, with a headwind most of the way, but that did not bother me too much. This was my second race since my stressie, so was happy with the result. Not totally happy of course, as I had wanted to win!!
My training is going very well,luckily because I've booked my ticket to Austria. I'm really looking forward to the trip, but not to the travelling! I picked up my ticket on Thursday from Jetset in Ringwood. Thanks Tony for organising that!
I have been working 4 days a week, so I've been having to get up very early to fit in all my training. It's really nice that it is starting to get light earlier. I can now do parts of my run in daylight which is great.
I've got a 38km long run planned for this Saturday with the Knox Road Runners. We run from Knox city to Carrum. It's always a great run, especially because they are such lovely people. I have also entered the DeCastella 15k on the 27th September, and may do the Dingley Dozen on the 20th. Races are a good workout, and also help me to practise race nerves!
BTW, I still haven't washed my bike after the Adventure race!!!!!!
WEDNESDAY 12TH AUGUST
The Teva Adventure race was so much fun!! I had to do the first challenge that established our teams start time, which was the beep test. This wasn't too hard, but we did have to do the turns on slippery mud and grass! It was very congested too, so there were a few elbows out! All part of the fun though. We got an early start, and off we sprinted, phew! It was a freezing morning! Gembrook tends to always be very muddy, and there was lots of bog to get the bikes caught in (I'm very naughty and still haven't washed my bike!), but we soldiered on. I was the 'punch bunny' which means that I dibbed our control checker at each point. This was tough work as all of the controls were in the thick scrub of the bush. My legs and arms are now covered in scratches and bruises, thank god it's winter and my legs are covered up!There was an obstacle course as one of the challenges that involved heights, not my forte. I was scared, but I made myself do them for the team. I was so rapt to do them, as on my own I might have gone for the time penalty instead!
We ended up winning the women"s event, and coming fifth overall. This was a fabulous result when you consider that the three of us had never raced or trained together as a team!
I would recommend these races to anyone, as they are heaps of fun, great training, and an excellent way to spend a day with friends!
My speed training is going really well, too. I am enjoying running at the faster paces and just feel so energised!
We are off skiing this weekend, I shall try to get some running in!
THURSDAY 6TH AUGUST
I went out for a great training run today, 33 kms through the hills with about 1,300metres of elevation!! As soon as I got home I sprayed my legs with cold water. We have a shower head on a cord, so this is easy to do. It was horrible and cold though!! AS soon as that was over with I put my Linebreak compression pants on. I really believe this helps with recovery. TOnight before bed I will put Qoleum recovery cream on my legs to further help the process. All these things make a difference.
I weighed myself after my run and I had lost just over a kilo!! That was with drinking! However, obviously not enough. I was drinking High-5 4:1, but ran out...silly me didn't take enough for the run. I will need to ensure I do better, especially with Summer around the corner (YAY!).
I started my speed work phase this week. I went out on Tuesday for a set of 12x400ms with my friend Veronica. It wasn't as bad as we were fearing! In fact, we quite enjoyed it!
I will be racing in the Teva adventure race on Sunday which should be lots of fun! Let's hope the weather stays nice...although the wind can go away!
SATURDAY 1ST AUGUST
Only one month till Spring!! Woo hoo!! Mind you, the blossoms are already out because it has been so unseasonably mild. The daffodils are out at my place too. I did a 5k time trial this morning, and on my cool down I ran past some houses with the trees in blossom and the smell was magnificent! Isn't running fantastic??? I improved my time since I last did a 5k TT, 44 seconds than when I did it a month ago. This is an improvement without any speed work either! I start that phase on Monday. I shall have to see how much improvement that makes!!
I raced in Canberra last weekend and stayed with my friend Pam Muston. Thanks to Pam and her family for making it such a brilliant weekend!I came 4th in the race (out of 21 women) which I was pretty happy with seeing as this is my first running race since returning from my stressie, and 25kms at that!! I feel that I don't have the speed over distance at the moment, heaps of endurance though! My legs are also not 'race tough' so I will need to work on both of these with lots of under-distance races and TT. The street orienteering helps too.
I have a new sponsor!! Linbreak is supporting me by providing me with their fantastic compression garments. Not only do they look fantastic, they are comfortable to wear all day (under my work clothes!!) and help me recover form all my hard sessions...and easy ones! Check out their range through my link on my sponsors page.
I'm off now to spend some quality time with the kids!
WEDNESDAY 22nd July
I am having a week of reduced kilometres this week as I prepare for the 25k trail race in Canberra this weekend as part of the Bush Capital Marathon. I have been wanting to do this race for a while, so it will be great to finally do so. I'm just hoping it's not snowing like the last time I raced in Canberra!! My training has been going really well and I am feeling really good. This very mild winter is certainly helping with that. It's always a little bit harder to go out when  it is raining or freezing, or both!I have been doing lots of hill work to build up strength in my legs, and I do believe it is working.
Happy training everyone!
Wednesday 24th June
It was the Winter solstice on Sunday, so that means the days are now officially getting longer! Not that I notice it when I'm out there at the crack of dawn running in the dark with my feeble head torch throwing an abyssmal ray of light whilst sucking through the AA batteries!! Can't complain about the cold, though. I started a run the other morning at 5.15am and it was 12.6 degrees!! I didn't even need a long-sleeved top, which was nice, but a bit weird for the middle of winter. I have another Enduro coming up in a week and a half, so that should be more fun, then the Bush capital marathon a couple of weeks later. All lots of fun!!
MONDAY 8TH JUNE
Well, it's well and truly Winter now!! It hasn't been too bad, though.
I did my first MTB Enduro on Sunday 31st May in over four years! I came 3rd out of about 14 women, so I was pretty happy with that. I feel that this is great cross training for me, and really good for developing my physical and mental strength. I did my next Enduro (6 hours this time instead of 5) yesterday!! I did 95kms in just over 6 hours, all off-road at the You Yangs. Once again it was great, but it was really mentally challenging because the last one was still so fresh in my mind (and legs!!) It was really good to see all the old faces from my MTB days. I was 3rd again!! I will keep doing these every now and then just for something different, and because I believe they are great cross-training.
It is raining at the moment, and I know I have to get up at 5 tomorrow morning for my trail run...it will be a wet and slippery affair! That's okay, all part of the fun, but I do hope it's not still raining!! I'm soft!
THURSDAY 14th MAY
Once again, I can say I have another new sponsor. Everest sports (at everestsports.com.au) are providing me with Nathan and Qoleum products. Nathan make fantastic hydration packs and drink bottles designed for racing and training. They are absolutely brilliant, and I recommend them to everyone, not just because I am sponsored by them!! Qoleum make great skin care, massage and anti-chafing products. All runners know how important these are! Hopefully I will update my sponsors page soon with a link to Everest Sports, but you can always just go straight there anyway!
It's hard to believe half the year is nearly over. October with the World Champs is drawing ever closer, and I am starting to look at how I can raise the funds for the trip!! I already have some positive indicators from my local council (Knox), so that's encouraging! I am working on my base fitness at the moment, with lots of cross-training as I return from injury.
I hope you are all running injury-free!!
THURSDAY 20TH MARCH
I am very lucky to have a new sponsor on board, PowerBreathe. This is a great product, which really strengthens the breathing muscles. It's also great to use in your warm-up to get you ready to work hard! Anyway, check out the Australian stockists through the link on my sponsors page. I have also added a link to the Injinji blog website on my links page. There's lots of great articles there!
We are experiencing beautiful AUtumnal weather at the moment, with crisp, cool mornings and warm afternoons. Great for training, enjoy!!

Monday
Jun042012

THURSDAY 12TH FEBRUARY

I did not end up doing the 10k race in January because we went to the Cattleman's Cup near Mansfield instead. Just as well, because I had a bit of a cold so probably would not have done so well. I did the Queen of the Lake at Albert Park Lake last Sunday (8th Feb) and came 5th. I did not do as well as I had hoped because I was developing an injury and was limping a bit. It is my sciatic nerve playing up a bit, so I have had a bit of a rest this week. I was going to have a rest anyway because I was meant to be competing in the 30k Maroondah Dam trail race. This has been cancelled due to the devastating bushfires in the area. It has been re-scheduled for 5 weeks away, but I'm not even sure if we will be allowed to run in the area then as I think it will still be very unstable. I hope it will go ahead, as I do really enjoy that race. 
THURSDAY 8TH JANUARY
I have had a nice rest after the Deep Space marathon. I am now working on building lots of strength during my base stage. I am doing some mountain biking to help with this. I'm really enjoying being back on the bike! I find I really have to focus on what I am doing to ensure I stay on a good line, which will also help me with my running, I'm sure! I been doing lots of Street Orienteering lately, and am slowly getting better at it. In fact, for the first time I was the first woman in last nights event. I hope the other girl (who normally beats me) didn't think I was following her because we did a few check points in the same order! I know I wasn't though, because I had my course mapped out in my head. This is another great way for learning to focus. As soon as you stop focusing in this sort of event, you get lost! It's happened to me before!
I am doing my first race for a while this Sunday, a 10k in the city. I'm not expecting to do a PB, it's more to see where I'm at currently, and give me something to work from. I am still hoping to do well of course!!
We haven't been having much of a summer, which is a pity, but at least I can easily train twice a day! More news soon!!
THURSDAY 27TH NOVEMBER
DEEP SPACE MARATHON RACE REPORT.
I headed to Canberra for the Deep Space Marathon (a mountain marathon that is the selection race for the World Long Distance Mountain Marathon in Austria, 2009) on Saturday 22nd November. The weather was pretty wild in Melbourne, in fact we were late taking off because the airport was closed down due to an electrical storm. The ride was pretty bumpy, but I arrived safely in Canberra to cold, wet, wintry weather.
On the morning of the race, my friend woke me at 3.30am to get ready for the 5.45am start (designed to beat the heat!!). It had been raining all night, and it was still raining and very windy as we headed off to drive to the course, but it was to get worse!! When we arrived at the start/finish area (1100m altitude), we were greeted by the sight of snow everywhere! We didn’t bother doing a warm-up, we just waited, shivering, in the car whilst it alternated between snow and rain. At 5.45 on the dot we jumped out of the car and headed to the start area.
Once we were off and running, it was a 6k run down the bitumen road to the base of Mt. Tennet, which was a drop to 700m. Luckily, I had packed my rain jacket, long sleeve top, ¾ pants and gloves at the last minute. Originally, I had only planned to take my singlet and shorts!! I was very thankful of this as I ran down the hill in the rain.
The climb to the top of Mt. Tennet (1400m) was next, and we climbed further up into the snow line again. The snow was very slippery, making running impossible in parts. Running through the icy puddles and swollen streams made my feet very cold! I have to admit, my mind started to turn negative at this point, I was grumbling to myself about the weather and so on. I then thought, hang on! I have a choice here!! I don’t have to suffer so much! That’s when I realised what a fantastic adventure this was! Here was I, a week before Summer, running in the snow! How amazing! I started to laugh inside, and to have fun. It’s just amazing what a difference your outlook can have.
Once I touched the lookout tower (which I found out later was unnecessary and I had added about a km to my distance!!), it was back down through the snow, slush and ice, but it was not as sketchy as I had expected it would be. We backtracked on our route, then climbed back up to the start/finish (25kms), where I stopped briefly to have a drink (you can’t take the cups with you and throw them, as you are in the bush). I was the second woman at this stage, and third overall, a situation that did not change. The next climb was steeper again, and there was even more snow and ice than on Mt. Tennet! I climbed through the snow, ice and sleet to the next lookout, then plunged down into the Orral Valley (900m). At the turnaround, I knew I only had 8kms to go, but over 5k of it was uphill. I pushed myself on, looking forward to the last 3km downhill to the finish. Little did I know how torturous that would be! My legs were in such agony by this stage that I had to force one foot in front of the other, pain shooting up through my body from cramps and exhaustion. Finally, I was at the finish line, and suddenly, with hindsight now on my side, not only had it been tough and challenging, but also incredibly fun!
TUESDAY 10TH NOVEMBER
Well, I raced Melbourne, but ended up getting gastro a week before which left me run down enough to get the flu!! I've only just gotten fully better! I did not go very well, which is a pity because before I got sick I was feeling really good. That's the way it goes though. Anyway, I have the Deep Space Marathon in a week and a half in Canberra. It's a busy time in my life because I also have reports to do for all the kids in my class!!
I have started racing in Street Orienteering events every Wednesday night, and they are so much fun! Even for the directionally challenged like myself! I always find the first checkpoint the hardest as I get my bearings.
I raced a VRR racxe at Jells Park yesterday, a 15k undulating course with lots of twists and turns. I really enjoyed it. I won as well!!
Isn't it great that the days are longer?? It makes training so much more enjoyable!!

FRIDAY 3RD OCTOBER
Yes, once again it's been an age since I've updated!! Anyway, I have decided to race the Melbourne Marathon after all. This is because I am not doing the Kepler Challenge. It's just too much for the kids for me to be off again, and I also have a terms full time work lined up. Instead I will do the Deep Space Marathon in Canberra. This race is also a selection race for Austria next year. Unfortunatley it is only 6 weeks after MM, so I hope I recover well.
I am, of course, going for a PB at MM, so am hoping everything goes to plan! I am in the middle of my taper now, and of course feel lethargic and horrible, feeling every twinge as a major injury!! It's always the way!!
I hope you enjoy all the new pics I have put up on my website!
Happy training and racing!!
SUNDAY 10TH AUGUST
I really need to update more regularly, I just get soooo busy!
I have been racing a fair bit lately, but just using the races as hard training runs. I don't believe you can full-on race all the time without over-training. Here are my races so far (after Run Melbourne):
Como Landing 14k (6th July): 1st woman, 4th overall
Princes Park 1/2 marathon (20th July): 1st woman, 7th overall.
Queen of the Lake (3rd August): 3rd
I was especially happy with the Lake race because I did a 10k run beforehand, which included some speed work too!! I am feeling really good.
Some news: I am not going to do Melbourne Marathon. I just do not feel that I will be at my best to race this fast. Therefore, I have entered the Kepler Challenge in NZ, which is a 60k off-road race!! Check out the website: http://www.keplerchallenge.co.nz/ I am really excited about this!! So, I have had to change my training. I am still doing speed work, but I am upping my ks, and will certainly be including some longer 'long' runs!! I shall keep you posted. I hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics!!

TUESDAY 1ST JULY
I was thinking today as I ran that now there is only two months of Winter to go!! Woo hoo!! I am so over Winter. I have had two revolting colds in the last month, with the rest of the time spent on the fine line between sickness and health...a nowhere land of crappiness! Work has been going well, I have basically been full-time at my kids new school, which has kept me busy. Working where my kids go to school makes juggling training, work and family so much easier. It is still a tough juggle, but you have to try to make it as simple as possible. I am on holidays at the moment, so hopefully I will get over the dreaded lurgy! Training has been going surprisingly well, considering I've been carrying a cold for the last month!
I ran in the Run Melbourne 1/2 marathon on Sunday 22nd June. I was starting to get full-blown sick again so did not run as well as I should have. It was still a good solid work-out. I am racing again on Sunday 6th July, a 14km Sri Chimnoy race. I am going to try for a PB in the first 10ks, then pull myself through to the end. Should be a good session of running on knackered legs!! Peter and I have figured that we will use these tune-up races to try out different tactics: slow or fast starts, different paces, etc. It is also just good to have the race practise, as  racing is indeed very different to standard training!!
Happy training everyone!!
TUESDAY 5TH MAY
I am now back in Oz. I have to admit, being overseas always brings home to me how much I love Australia, and how fantastic we have it here.
The race did not pan out as I had hoped. The day itself dawned clear and sunny, but I firstly got a bad start (boxed in), then I had leg cramps the whole way. I felt fairly ordinary for most of the run, even though I picked up over 200 places after my bad start. Normally I get good starts as I am good at pushing to the front, but it was not to be this time. As everyone who races knows, you have some good days and some bad!! Unfortunately I went over to the other side of the world to have a bad day....an expensive exercise. I came 20th in the women's, which isn't too bad really, but I was hoping to do a lot better, not just in the placings, but in how I felt within myself about the race. I still pushed to the limit, it's just that the limit was much lower than usual!! I am having a few weeks break from running, going to Genesis gym in Wantirna instead and doing spin classes and going on the Elliptical trainer. These are all great, but I do love running the most!! I am looking forward to getting back into it, but it is healthy mentally and physically to have a break every now and then. I have done so much racing, and travelling to races, over the last 12 months that it is no wonder I am exhausted. I shall spend this time regrouping, then come back stronger than ever!!
TUESDAY 22ND APRIL
The countdown is on, there are only four more sleeps till the race... I'm getting excited now as the reality hits that all my preparation will soon be tested!!The weather has started to 'warm up', which means it is not as freezing as it was!! Race day is forecast to be overcast, but mild. We shall see!! now that I've trained in the bog of the course, I want it to stay that way!! I will be travelling up to Settle tomorrow, which is where the team is staying. I don't know whether I will have internet access once I am there so this might be my last entry before the race!!
The race starts at 10am here, which means 7pm Melbourne time. Think positive thoughts for me! I appreciate everyone's support along my way to this race, and look forward to racing my best!
SATURDAY 20TH APRIL
I did the full recki on Thursday that did not include going to the top of Pen-y-ghent (3/4s of the way instead), nor Whernside (2nd hill). The course down from Pen-y-ghent after the rocky section is boggy, boggy. Horrible and slow. Then you get onto a ‘road’ and it is muddy too, with bumps like speed humps continuously. The course is either over ankle bending rocks or scrubby bog. Ingleborough is a tough climb that makes firebreak on the Dandenongs look like a cake walk. Coming down from it is very rocky, interspersed with bog. It was incredibly tough going. This is the toughest course I have ever run on. I was on the last km coming in to Horton in Ribblesdale and the bog was so thick it sucked my shoe off as I was running and I ended up running in my socks! This muddy bog was often up to my ankles. It was absolutely exhausting. I was stopping a lot, checking the map, and going through gates and over stiles. On race day the gates will be open, but I assume we will have to climb the stiles. The wind was out of control. Making my way up to Ingleborough before the summit section it was pushing against me. Up the summit part it was a tail wind, not that it helped much with that steepness!! Coming back down, it was nearly pushing me backwards. The ‘downhill’ section was very much with headwind too, and I have to say a lot of this section is ‘flat’ and not very fast, what with the bog and the rocks.
In all a tough day that has left me very tired, and a bit apprehensive about the race.
Today I did the Whernside loop, 16.6kms. Unfortunately the course is not flagged yet so I tried to find the steep way up Whernside, but was not sure of it, and thought it was probably not the best idea to be doing it on my own in  the middle of nowhere, especially as I had no mobile reception. I went the long way round instead, which is what the organisers had wanted us to do anyway as the course is not a public path, but through farm land.
If I thought the wind up Ingleborough was out of control, man was I in for a shock. The wind was so strong blowing up the hill to the path that I was 'running' on a 45 degree angle to my feet!! There were lots of people there, and I was either getting blown into the fence or into people. It was scary in some spots. I was staggering like a drunk woman, banging into people as I passed them.
The downhill was steep and rocky at first, made all the more difficult by the incredibly strong wind that was pushing me in dangerous directions. I had had my top tucked in and the wind blew it up to my hydration pack strap!! Unfortunately right when a group of school boys were climbing towards me!! The rest of the downhill was good, with only a small bit of bog. The road section back to the car was so windy I could barely run. It was horrendous.
One things for sure, everyone will struggle with this course, especially road marathoners!!!


 

Monday
Jun042012

WEDNESDAY 16TH APRIL

Well, I ran Pen-y-ghent yesterday, and it was a fantastic. I couldn't believe it, though, it snowed just for when I was running! I left the car (which had told me it was 6 degrees) thinking, that's a reasonable temperature, but then half-way up the mountain the wind whipped up and it snowed!! Not like in the Dandenongs where it melts on contact with the ground, either! The ground was so cold I was soon running through snow!! I couldn't see the track, which made my going a little tricky. There are lots of rocks on the course which are nice and slippery too. The downhill was great fun though!! Luckily the snow had started to melt. I am off tomorrow to do another recce so shall update with that tomorrow!!
MONDAY 14TH APRIL 
Oh my god!!I can't believe it was February when I last updated this blog!! Well, I am currently in the UK, having just arrived this morning. I've already been for a run too!! i can't believe that last week I was running in 20 degrees at 6am, and here I was today running at 1pm and it hailed on me! My singlet provided excellent protection..not!! :-) Oh well, all part of the fun, isn't it? I am going out to do my first reconnossaince (spelling??), which should help with getting to know the course. I've hired a car, which I drove from Manchester airport after getting off my flight from Oz, which was a bit nerve racking!! Only one person honked at me and gave me the finger!! I will be using my friends GPS to help me get out to the race course, thank god!! As you know, I am directionally challenged, even near where I live, let alone on the other side of the world! I shall update tomorrow on how my run goes!
SUnday 24th FEBRUARY
On Tuesday evening Andrew and I went to the Telstra Dome for the Leader Sports Star of the Year Awards (2007). I was up for contention for the Knox region, with 12 others in the Senior Category. It was narrowed down to three finalists, one of which was me! It was very exciting, but unfortunately (for me!!) a netballer won. Oh well, not to worry! It was a great night, and very inspiring to hear athletes of a variety of ages and from diverse sports talk about their achievements.
My leg is getting better, and I am just about fully over my cold. I am back into full training again, but I do have another race coming up. On Saturday I will race just down the road from here, which will be a nice change to be so close! It is The Basin fun run from the local Baptist Church. I am not sure yet whether to do the 11km or 16km event! I shall have to see how I feel. It is all on the local bike tracks, and should be a lot of fun.
MONDAY 18TH FEBRUARY
It has been a while since I have updated this! Well, at least it is good news. I raced the Maroondah Dam Trail 30k yesterday, and won the women's event, breaking the record I had set two years previously. I was very happy with this result, especially considering I was just getting over a cold, and my RHS hip/glute has been giving me a bit of grief.I was 20 minutes ahead of the 2nd woman, and placed about 7th (Am yet to see official results) in the men's category. It was extremley hot, and a lot of people suffered with this, myself included. Fortunately, the organisers had done a fabulous job of putting water out on the course about every 7kms, no mean feat in such terrain. It was great to catch up with lots of runners after the race, too, especially as the weather was perfect for a BBQ. Andrew encouraged me to ice my legs in the stream which runs from the Dam, man was it freezing!! My feet hurt so much I couldn't stay in too long. I think it helped, however, as my hip felt much better afterwards. I'm off to the osteopath this afternoon, hopefully he can give me some exercises to do, and he can work out what is actually causing the problem (Running, perhaps???)! I have booked my flights for England, so everything is happening! I can't wait!!
WEDNESDAY 23RD JANUARY
I raced on the track on Monday night and, honestly, it was the windiest night I have seen in a long time! Even driving to the track, I could feel the wind pushing my car sideways! This did not bode well for a PB. The race did not run early, so I had plenty of time to warm up.
There were not many women racing, so we ended up racing with the men, and the juniors who were doing the 3000m.I have never raced a 5k on the track, so I was a bit nervous. It seemed like a long way to be running just around a 400m track!! Oh well, at least I wouldn't get lost like I did at Bogong!
I enjoyed the race (as much as you can!), mainly because it didn't feel as long as I thought it would just running in circles. I didn't let the wind get to me either, like I sometimes do. It was very tiring pushing into the headwind, which sometimes felt like it was trying to push me backwards!
Well, I didn't PB, but I won the women's and was happy enough that I had mainly stayed positive throughout the race. My next race will be the Maroondah Dam 30km trail race. I better enter as that date is coming up awfully quickly...
SATURDAY 19TH JANUARY
I did my long run at Lysterfield Lake today. We did some hills first through Churchill Park, then onto the flatter stuff on the mountain bike course. I do love the single track through this area!
It was so humid this morning!!I find humidity makes you a lot more tired, and I certainly felt it, I just kept to a rhythm.
An easy 1 hour trail run tomorrow morning with some friends up in the Sherbrooke area is planned. Then, Monday night I am racing at the track again. I shall get there with plenty of time to spare, and really work hard to get a PB!! Hopefully, my next report will be positive!!
WEDNESDAY 16TH JANUARY
Well, I raced at the track last night, and actually the late hour didn't bother me. Unfortunately, I arrived at the track in Frankston a bit later than I would have liked, and then they ran the race 20 minutes early!! Thus, I had no warm-up, which led to a pretty ordinary race! oh well, good training. Like the Bogong to Hotham race, these problems that pop up teach me to be mentally strong, so it is all useful practise for me. I will race next week on Monday night on the track again, this time the 5000m. I will arrive there nice and early!!
MONDAY 14TH JANUARY
I have had a bit of trouble lately updating this as our internet (and telephone line!!) keeps dropping out. That is the problem with living in the bush, I suppose!!
I ran the Langford 35 as part of the Bogong to Hotham race on Sunday 6th January. This was a fantastic course that I really enjoyed, and I was doing quite well until I got lost! I then had to back-track, and all up added about 40-45 minutes to my time! Oh well, it is all part of it I suppose.
I was wearing my Yankz laces in my Saucony shoes in the run and I have to say they were absolutely fantastic. I have raced in a number of road races before where my laces have come undone, a very frustrating situation to be on the side of a course tying your laces whilst everyone runs by! Anyway, in this race I ran up and down tricky, technical hills, went through a river, climbed over fallen trees and more, and my feet were comfortably secure the whole time!If only my sense of direction was halfway as good....
I will be racing on the track tomorrow evening in a 1500m race at Frankston. I'm not sure how I will fare racing at such a time as that is usually my bed time! I will let you know how it goes!
SATURDAY 29TH DECEMBER
Well, I have just gotten home from a 28km trail run through the flatter area of Lysterfield lake. Mind you, it was already 24 degrees celcius when I picked up Peter at 6.15am!! It was also very windy! I have to admit, I am not used to the heat and it took it out of me a fair bit!! I am also not used to running on the flatter stuff and have lost a bit of that speed. I am racing the Langford Gap 35 this coming Sunday (6th Jan), which is the first half of the Bogong to Hotham race. This should be a tough, hilly race which will be a good, hard hit-out for me.
The temperatures look like continuing to rise over the next few days, so I shall really have to watch my hydration, and probably keep training early in the morining!
THURSDAY 6th DECEMBER
Finally, I am feeling better again!! It is so nice to wake up in the morning looking forward to training rather than feeling like I could sleep for another 4 hours!! I have decided that I need to 'embrace the pain' of hard training rather than dreading it, and then not doing my best. It's all about attitude, really, because you still have to do the training either way!! I have heard the whole 'embrace the pain' stuff before, but now I think I am beginning to understand it.
MONDAY 26TH NOVEMBER
I was feeling a little flat last week, just a  bit run down I think. Adam (my son) had bad bronchitis and I had to stay home from work for two days to look after him. He is off antibiotics now, but starting to get sick again!! Now Zara is getting sick too! It never ends when you have children, there is always something to keep you on your toes. That is why it is very difficult to combine motherhood, fulltime work, and intense training. It is very important for me to keep on top of my nutrition and supplmentation to ensure I stay as healthy as I possibly can. I started taking Echinacea this year and now swear by it.
I am racing the track again this Saturday, a 3000m race. Im a bit nervous already!! Peter and I are planning on doing 2 x 1500m on the track tomorrow to help me get ready. Speed work is always so hard, but you feel like you've really achieved something when you are done. I am also focussing on plyometrics this season, I am hoping it helps with form and strength.
 
SATURDAY 3rd NOVEMBER
Training has been going well. I went for a hilly run today with Peter, my coach. We did a total of 758m climbing, which was good. SOme of the hills were really steep and I had to concentrate on my form and small steps. I have found that making sure I look up towards the horizon and taking small steps really helps to get up steep climbs. I used to have to walk hills a lot, now I don't!
I'm out to a party tonight, so it will be an easy run tomorrow. 
SUNDAY 28th OCTOBER
Well, it has been a long time since I have updated this page. I ended up pulling out of the Melbourne Marathon because I was just not feeling right. I felt incredibly tired and my legs were like lead! And this was at about 3kms in!! Hmm, with only 39kms to go, it looked like being a hard slog. By 15kms I knew that it was an exercise in futility and I decided to cut my losses. I pulled up the next day with some minor injuries so it was jsut as well I stopped when I did. Basically, I don't think I had fully recovered from my race in Switzerland.
I did my first track race on Saturday 27th October. It was a 1500m race (in about 29degrees with wind!!), and I actually enjoyed it! I thought I wouldn't, but it was a great experience, albeit hard work. I came 5th in a field of 10. I am going to be racing the track a lot this year in an effort to increase my speed over shorter distances. I really think racing the track will help heaps, also with getting used to pre-race nerves!!
I am racing the track again this Saturday in a 3000m race! I shall let you know how it goes!
SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER
Well, it's just over a week now till the Melbourne Marathon. I was straight back into full-on training after my return to Melbourne two weeks ago. I did not suffer too badly from jetlag, with only a few sleepless nights.
I did my last long run today: 25kms, which felt quite short compared to what I am used to!!Atleast it wasn't raining! Yesterday Peter and I did a 5km TT and it absolutely poured down on us. This was not so good for Peter, who is suffering from the flu at the moment, in fact it has dragged on for 4 weeks!! I swear by my echinacea and Vitamin C to keep me healthy!
I have a very easy week coming up in preparation for the marathon, which I am really looking forward to. I am also on school holidays which should hopefully have me very fresh!
WEDNESDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER
wow, it's been a very busy week!! After the race, my friend Oliver from Germany (who had come to Switzerland to watch the race) drove us back to his home. On Sunday we did some sightseeing near his home. On Monday we were up at 4.30am for a day trip to Paris!! we took in all the sights, which was just so amazing. Then, it was another 5 or so hour drive home and we were back by 1.15am!!
Funnily enough, the next day I felt so exhausted my training run was really ordinary. Oh well, such is life.
I am still pretty tired today, so I only did an easy 12kms. I have 32 kms planned for tomorrow though!! Well, only two more sleeps then I'm on my way home. I am actually quite looking forward to being home, just not the plane flight...
SUNDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER
Well, the race is over,and I can't believe it! I had so much fun, even up the very steep sections. I just really focused and was positive the whole way. The weather was perfect, it was 13degrees at the start. I let everyone else sprint off, then started reeling them in after about 7kms! The race went to plan, going moderately at the start, then pushing up the hills. This paid off, as I was the 7th fatest on the steepest, most difficult section. The last downhill was hard, because my legs were like jelly. I had no choice but to sprint!! I heard lots of 'Go Aussie!!" which was fantastic.
The atmosphere of this race was second to none. The organisers did a brilliant job, and all the locals really supported it. I am so glad I made the effort and came over, it was well worth it. Thankyou so, so much to everyone who helped to make this trip possible!
FRIDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER
Well, the big race is tomorrow and Interlaken is getting pumped!! There are runners everywhere, and banners, etc.
To take my mind off the race, I took a cable car up one of the Alps called Schilternhorn. There is a revolving restaurant there that was used many moons ago in a James Bond movie, and man are they still milking it!! Brilliant views, though, and I took heaps of photos.
On my way back, I had to walk through Interlaken again and see all the race set-up...it got those butterflies going. Now all I have to do is get them to dance in formation!!
I really want to enjoy the challenge and the process of the race, not just look towards the end. What an adventure I am having, I want to absorb every moment of it, even the painful parts!!
Well, next time I blog will be after the race, so let's hope it's all positive, and I can wonder why I worried so much!!
WEDNESDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER
I arrived in Germany at 6.30am Monday morning. I managed to stay waake till 6pm, when I lay down just to have a rest, not a sleep, mind you! I woke up at 8pm!! I still managed to sleep a full night, and felt fantastic the next day.
I ran this morning from the town of Bensheim where I am staying with friends. I did a beautiful 14kms through the Odenwald. It was just amazing, and I have to admit I had to stop a few times just to enjoy the views!!
I am currently on a train to Interlaken. I am looking forward to arriving and am starting to get really excited (and just a bit nervous..) about the race on Saturday.

SATURDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER
Well, I have packed, and will now sit down to watch some more of the Athletics. My last training session in Australia will be early tommorrow morning, then its into the car and off to the airport.!!

 

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