A Twist in the Story

And now it’s nearly three weeks since I’ve been for a run.  Damn sore throat lingered and took a turn for the worse.  Finally dragged my butt off to the doctor at the persistent urging of my husband.  Cough must have sounded pretty bad as the doctor barely believed me when I said I wasn’t coughing up anything.  Then she took a listen to what was going on, chest is clear (yay!) but airways are “quite constricted”.

Diagnosis – you have asthma.  What?!?!  Here’s a script for a puffer. Two puffs, twice a day for a week, then two puffs daily for a week, then if feeling better stop otherwise keep going for another week.  I forgot to ask any other questions though…  silly me, because now I have about a million!

It helped pretty much immediately, pretty amazing to sleep through the night again after three nights sitting up on the lounge.  Now to get back to the doctor again so that I can ask all my questions and find out how I manage things.

My biggest concern, of course, is that I ended up signing us up to the Great Nosh Footrace which is NEXT WEEKEND!  No way in hell I’ll be hitting anywhere near my goal for this year, at this point I’ll be happy to just make it to the end.  Oh well, there’s always next year.

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More inspiration

Still no running, but I did sign us up for Great Nosh Footrace even though I’m not sure we will be up for it.  Gotta try!

I’ve been perusing the Ultra Trail Australia (UTA) site and searching for race recaps and reviews so that I can get a bit excited about an amazing “one day” race held nearby.  I had a quick scan through some of the results, looking for some names I’m starting to recognise and admiring the achievements of some of the women out there.

One person I’ve started following had a DNF which is a shame, would love to know the story behind it.  Then I stumbled across another name I recognised – my GP!  Out there doing the 100km! And she came first in her age group (60+) – how inspiring is that!  Then another name that I recognise from orienteering – she did the 50km and ALSO came first in her age group.  Talk about inspiring women!

Not Running

I feel like I’m confessing… My name is Kim, and I haven’t been for a run for 12 days.  It started with a throat infection courtesy of a three year old with tonsilitis.  Last week was a blur of being back at work and not quite being better.

I had planned a 12km run this weekend, a one way run through the national park meeting Nick and the girls at the end for a play in a park.  Up until Friday, I thought this was still going to happen then I succumbed to my cold and the whole weekend has been spent miserably coughing my lungs up and unable to sleep.  I’ve spent the nights on the lounge getting what rest I can as lying down to sleep just makes it worse.

The final straw came Sunday morning with the air filled with smoke – burning off exactly at the mid point of my planned route!  Not that I was in any shape to run anyway.

The Great Nosh Footrace is now only two weeks away and I’m in two minds as to whether to enter or not.  I had hoped to have a couple more long runs under my belt and, unlike last year, to not be sick in the lead up.  I’m pretty sure we will still go ahead and run, but certainly won’t be reaching anywhere near my goal time for it.  At this point, I think I will be grateful just to finish – which is pretty much where I was at with it last year…

Inspiration

Last weekend there were some BIG races on nearby!  The SMH Half Marathon in Sydney and Ultra Trail Australia in the Blue Mountains.

Can’t say the city run appeals to me all that much, although it is one of the Sydney races.  Too much road, too many people and crowds for my taste, but definitely some beautiful scenery.  And faster times than anything I could do on a trail.

UTA on the other hand… I’ve seen so many posts on Facebook over the past few days from people completing the 100km, 50km or 22km races.  The location is stunning, the number of runners is limited and the elevation involved is down right scary.  At this point I certainly can’t do any of those distances, but long term… anything is possible, right?  Maybe starting with the 22km in a year or two?

Longest run in a while

Been a few weeks since I have done a longer run (all relative, 10km IS long for me) and I needed to get out there and just run, not orienteering which I seem to be getting slower and slower at.

I decided to re-run part of my last 10km, but do the rest a little differently to see if I could put together the distance staying on trails and avoiding the rough section that gave me grief before.  It was chilly out there this morning and the capri’s made their first appearance for the year, luckily it didn’t take long to warm up though.

I started with a downhill stair run into the valley.  It was a gorgeous autumn morning, crisp and clear, the birds were making a racquet and the track was damp but not overly muddy after recent rain (phew!).  The air was cold and the wind was up, it was sheltered down low, but every now and then a gust of warm air would reach me.  I guess summer isn’t quite ready to disappear just yet.

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I could feel my calf was still a bit tight, but this time it didn’t get any worse, no pain, nothing – yay!  I love the little creek crossing pictured above, although I don’t think it would be too good after serious rain.  After that it’s the push on up the damn hill – steps, rocks, tree roots and all.  Eighty metres of elevation in around 1.5km definitely made this the slow section of the run.

Made it to the top and was looking forward to the long downhill, took a quick water stop and then relaxed and headed off down the trail.  Bliss.  This is why I run, this is what I enjoy about it.  Most of the trail is hard packed, with the occasional sandy section and a few rock outcrops, then the long, steep drop off the ridge back down again – I’m glad it’s been surfaced, because it was covered in pine needles and would be damn steep, slippery and rocky otherwise.

Then it was back to the main track again for a little way and then the loooooong, slow uphill out of the valley.  That sucked to do right at the end, I’m a little under the weather at the moment and was struggling by this point – nearly 9km into things.

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Made it to the top of the hill, picked up the pace again and had my final goal in my sight.  But – the garmin was telling me I had only done 9.7km, so I ran the extra 300m as an out and back (flat!) and finished up at the local shops.  Time for a well earned snack – coke and a donut, post run fueling of champions, well, me anyway!

It was a bit slower than I had hoped, but I’ll forgive myself today as I think I might be getting tonsillitis (thanks to my 3yr old), so just happy to make it through in one piece.

The numbers:

  • Distance: 10km
  • Time: 1:24:16
  • Elevation: 170m

Numbers

I love numbers.  I find them endlessly fascinating and running produces a continuous stream of data to view, compare and put together in a multitude of ways.  So here are some of mine…

Last year I managed a total of 356km in a little over 50 hours of running and 3500m of elevation gained.

So far this year I am 1km off 200km and just shy of 30 hours on my feet and 2500m elevation gained so far.

The past 12 months (I love this running total that Garmin gives me!) I am at 422km  with 59 hours running and 4700m elevation.

My aim for the year is to hit 500km and keep the running “past 12 months” total over that mark.  I haven’t thought about any goals for hours on feet or elevation I’d like to hit.  Maybe just see what I can hit this year and look at elevation goals next year.

For May – I did a huge month in May last year, hitting around 55km (last year I was lucky to hit 30km in most months).  So far I’m only at 11km.  The plan is to try and get 3 x 10-12km runs in to prepare for a trail race in early June, along with a few shorter runs, so maybe I will still get there.

Goat Race Anyone?

This weekends event was a goat race.  An interesting orienteering format that is basically a line race – go to all controls in the specified order – but with a few twists.  There was a “box” with four controls that you can visit in any order before moving on again, there are forks where you have to decide which option to take and which control to visit, and finally you can skip a control completely.

Last year we ran this, we picked the long course and I after the first couple of k’s I did NOT enjoy it.  This year I chose the medium course in the hopes that we would be able to keep some momentum throughout.  My head was not in the right space at all today though and we got off to a very, very rocky start.  I think we were a very definite last by the first control!

A few more controls in hand, we had passed a couple at the tail end of things, but we never really got back in the midst of it.  Another run where you can’t look at the map until time has started and it took about 20 minutes before I really got my head in the map.  I need a LOT more practice at this!  Once I was in, my navigation was pretty good, even guiding us through the box pretty neatly.  This was a really tricky one this year.  Last years box was in a small open area, easy to move around and find the controls.  This year was in a rabbits warren of trails in dense scrub.  We came across loads of people here, wandering around, checking and rechecking maps.  Several we passed a few times and we were out before they finished.

The last part of the race was much faster – quite a bit of it on road with in and outs to the last couple of controls.  The final control was in hand and we made the last dash to the finish – a headlong, reckless downhill dash along a twisty, but open, trail.  That was the most fun I had on the entire thing.

We finished in over an hour, taking around 6.6km to do the 5.3km course.  Results are already up and we finished 25/26th out of 34 doing the medium course in a time of 1hr 8min, nearly 27 minutes after the fastest person.  According to Garmin our moving time was closer to 50 minutes…

Not a great event, but it was nice to be outside once I could actually stretch my legs a bit and run.  Looking forward to getting out for a no pressure run on the local trails soon.

More Orienteering?

So I’ve been bad and haven’t been for a run this week.  Every evening, I plan to head out the next day, then I get caught up in other things, or people post a photo of a red bellied black snake sunbathing on my local trail… Probably just as well we have an orienteering event today or I would talk my way out of another run.

Actually, I was scrolling through eventor again the other day and it’s been updated with several more orienteering events over the next couple of months.  So just as we thought we had a month off and might finally get back along to Parkrun again, I’ve managed to find two more weekends with something to go to.

Looks like we can take the girls along too for a couple of them which will be a lot of fun – out first chance to introduce them to orienteering.  Not too sure what the 2yr old will think of it, but our 3yr old is going to love the chance to run with mummy or daddy and use a map as well!

Now just to make sure I take advantage of the opportunity to go for a decent run this week!

Post MetrO

Overall, we didn’t do too badly for our first visit to a MetrOLeague event.  Nick came in 18th and I was 21st in a field of 39.  The winner finished in 30 mins, the longest person was in 1hr 22min.  Admittedly, I think I would have been a fair bit longer and struggled a bit more on my own.

I think next time I will let Nick run Div 4 on his own and I’ll drop back to Div 5 and work on my map reading a bit more.  See how we both go solo!  It’s a while before there’s another one we can get to, but the aim this year is to only get to a couple and see what it’s all about.

While running and cranky, I felt bad for Nick, it can’t be too much fun running with someone who’s a bit snippy and grumpy.  I did apologise and his response was perfect.  He was outside, running trails, map in hand, with me beside him – this was his happy place.  He just wished I was enjoying it more.  Just what I needed to hear, and I should enjoy it more in the future knowing what a little more what to expect, although my plan has us running separately!  Ah well, can’t have everything.