Support Me
My quiet year!
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 02:30

I am having a year of rebuilding.  Of participating in events and enjoying spending time with training partners, but not training hard and trying to build some consistency again.


Since Boston, I have run in the Barossa marathon - a beautiful event with a 2 lap in and out style course, so despite the lack of crowds, there is much support from fellow marathoners and half marathoners as we pass each other on those legs.  It is a very flat course, and I think is an ideal candidate for a PB run.  For me, it was 5 weeks after Boston, so I was very pleased to do my run / walk routine again and finish only a minute slower than I did a month earlier.

Barossa road

At the finish, Beck and a small cheersquad of friends chanted 'Tory, Tory, Tory', just like strangers had in Boston, which had me throwing my head back with luaughter in the final metres of the event.

Barossa finish


I had a fun June / July with 4 events in 5 weeks, starting with a duathlon that Charlie and I did as a team.  He called us 'Chuckntors', and we managed to win the long course team event - my first ever Duathlon trophy!  The following week was the Mt Crawford event run by Trail Running SA - a beautiful sunny morning for a friendly jog along mostly wide firetrails in the Mt Crawford forest.  I spent the whole time chatting to Karen Bentley, discussing life, the universe and everything.  We decided we were very glad to have signed up for the single lap (12.5km) rather than the full event given the nature of some of the hills.  She was tapering for the Big Red Run, a multiday event in the Simpson desert which was starting the following week.

duathlon start

duathlon bling 

w KB Mt Crawford

The next event on the list was the Pichi Richi Marathon, an uphill run from Port Augusta to Quorn - the southern section of the mighty Flinders Ranges.  I had not trained much during the week - some rowing, an ergo test, I'd had a cold late night with a basketball game at Mt Barker (3 degrees!) and we all drove up to Melrose to stay for the night.  Melrose is 65km south of Quorn, so I had an early drive to get to Quirn toi catch the bus to drive me 42 km to Pt Augusta for the race start.  Phew!  Meanwhile, Charlie and the girls enjoyed exploring the town, the playgrounds, the creek and the extensive mountain bike trails in Melrose.  The run itself was beautiful, on another gorgeous winters day.  I ran the whole way with Rachel - chatting, occasionally running with others for a while, but we started and finished together.  An unremarkable time of 4:49, but we were both happy with the time on the feet and the chance for a long run without feeling worse for wear.

pichi bib 

start pichi

pichi train

The Pichi Richi Railway, after which the event is named 

Two weeks later was the biggest run of my life.  On the back of almost no training.  I had signed up for the Yumigo 24 Hour running event, thinking I could, but really, no, I wasn't thinking.  I did the 12 hr run 2 years ago, so it seemd a natural progression, to see what it is like.  I didn't want to do the 12 hour, because I was not fit enough to improve on my distance last time, I argued to myself.  I did no prep, other than to run a couple of marathons at low intensity.  A grand total of 830km of running for the year heading into the event.  In terms of goals, I thought that 100 miles sounded nice and round (161km).  Except that I haven't trained.  And my feet were so sore not so very long ago.  


I spent the week before the event in a bit of a flurry of activity, planning what I'd need to wear, to eat, to drink, when I'd need company, whether I'd share space in another tent or pitch my own.  I had an offer from Karen Winters to crew for me - to record what time I did my laps in and what I ate and drank and to hand me what I needed as I passed by her each lap.  What a trouper!  I also put out a plea on facebook for people who might want to run through the night with me.  Wow, what a response!  Those hours from 10pm - 10am were all snapped up within a few hours.  What an amazing community of runners.  Logistically, and because the event also has 6 hour and 12 hour options, the course is too busy before 6pm on the Saturday.  


The weather forecast, after a couple of glorious weekends with sunshine and warm air, was for severe weather warnings, the coldest day we had experienced in 5 years and snow falling all around the country.  Of course.  24 hours, with a howling wind, rain and occasional hail.  Excellent.  The forecast hel true, as the coldest day we had experienced in several years, with wind, hail and rain.  But there were also dry bits, being Adelaide, the capital of the driest state on the driest continent in the world.

24 hr course


I managed to keep going all day and all night, until just before dawn when my feet were so sore.  I had many blisters, I was tired, I was cold, my shoulders hurt, I was hobbling, I was sore from peeing practically every hour, and I managed to convince myself that my aching left foot could be *a bad sign* so I should just rest.  No point getting really hurt.  I snuggled under blankets, ate a bit, snoozed a bit.  Apologised to runners who had come out to help me (but were still able to run without me).  I decided that I had done enough, and changed into my warm dry clothes.  I pulled out my phone to look at facebook.  77 notifications to look over, and then I clicked on the link to the event results which were being updated every minute.  The results tent was 3 tents away - I wasn't walking that far!  I saw that I was somehow still in 3rd place for the women, with 135km completed.  I was 9km or so ahead of the 2 women behind me.  No one was running much anymore except for the very front runners.   If I stayed snuggled under blankets on my warm recliner chair in the tent, I could lose 3rd place.  I couldn't lose 3rd place by just laying on the couch! I would have to be run past to lose that.  So, up I got.  Grabbed my raincoat, and started hobbling (oh!  Those blisters!).  Charlie arrived with our girls, Karen walked with me, my mum arrived, my running buddies kept doing their laps, and I kept moving for the remaining 2 hours.  My walking smoothed out a bit, and I was able to finish on 144.93km and third female :)


The race was won by a first timer, 29 year old Lee, who was so strong in her running all day, all night and all morning again.  Her spirits stayed high throughout as she set new national age group records for 100km, 12 hour, 150 km, 100 mile, 200km and the total (207km).  It was amazing to watch.  It was also amazing to see David, a running buddy on and off for years, achieve his 100 mile goal with absolute relentless forward progress. We all had running buddies throughout the night, as well as the volunteers spending all day, all night and all day again to keep the event moving smoothly and safely.  It is a credit to race director Ben from Yumigo! as well as our local running community.

finish 24




I am struggling with the consistency this winter.  It is cold.  Bed is warm.  Bed wins more often than not.  


The training sessions where I am meeting people work better - my surf rowing sessions, where I must turn up.  But they are only happening about fortnightly right now.  I did a few river rowing sessions as well in an 8+ at Adelaide Rowing Club, but we are struggling with numbers, which I think becomes a self fulfilling prophecy - you need 9 to attend to get an 8 on the water, and if everyone can't make it some smaller combinations can go out, but it is not quite the same.  I was very consistent with gym 2x per week, but even that has dropped off in the last few weeks.  I am trying not to overload, and the 24 hour running event less than 2 weeks ago meant that I didn't really want to do weights the week before that, nor since.  And there was a marathon only 2 weeks earlier, so weights the week before and week after that seemed unecessary.  Except that it's now a month since I last did weights...


I did a few of the Friday morning speed work sessions, but I haven't joined in for a little while - maybe this week is the week for that!


For the rest of the year - there are a couple of other local marathons I'd like to do (Adelaide and Kangaroo Island), Yurrebilla Ultra again (#3 for me!), the Australian Masters Games in October and an Outback Epic mountain bike event in late October with Charlie and friends.  Then the surf life saving season starts.  So it's time to keep strapping the shoes on, as well as getting on the bike, and out on the gulf to row!  Not so quiet after all.


As always - bowel cancer screening saves lives.  If you're 40 or over, please do a simple test at home.  And if you'd like to support the work of The Jodi Lee Foundation in increasing awareness of bowel cancer screening, please donate to them via my 'Running For Jodi Lee' project


Latest Blog Entry

My quiet year!

My quiet year!

I am having a year of rebuilding.  Of participating in events and enjoying spending time with traini...

More entries:

Health News

This weeks links

The Cancer Council came out this week and announced that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, and that alcohol should be considered to be as carcinogenic as smoking and asbestos are.  As well as being highly associated with throat and mouth cancers, it is now found to correlate highly with breast and bowel cancers.  Perhaps it should not be so surprising that a substance that can so alter mood and ability, even at very mild levels should turn out to be in fact, not good for us.

This story, an editorial from the British Journal of Sports Medicine earlier this year has some amazing targets - it ties in with our look at sitting and health, and is about developing healthcare systems that support exercise - recognise it as being as vital a measure of our health as is blood sugar levels or blood pressure.  It recommends 150 minutes of physical activity per week for adults as a minimum.  30 mins on 5 days.  For children, it is 420 mins / week - 60 minutes every day.  How close are you?

This is another article on inactivity / obesity and health from Sports Medicine Australia, highlighting the link between an inactive childhood and a lifetime of battling depression.  It is food for thought (!) these days where there seems to be much paranoia about safety of children away from their parents watchful eyes, and therefore a tendency to want to keep them closely under watch instead of encouraging more activity and indeed risk taking behaviours.  The ability to judge situations for risk and to be able to take appropriate risks builds self esteem and resilience.  Not much to do with bowel cancer awareness, but close to my heart as well.

Another article on sitting

This one is in really simple terms - if you walk 30 mins (as recommended) and sleep 8 hours, most of us still have 15.5 hours per day not moving.  You cannot sit all day behind a screen, then drive your car and sit and watch tv with out it being bad for you.  A good read.