Running Cairns

the real world

This photo was not selected for use on Instagram

Those who follow my escapades on Instagram may remember that when I visited Cairns just over a month ago, I was in the throes of running deprivation due to injury and I had to make do with some casual strolls along the Esplanade, which was lovely but close to useless for triathlon training.  And that made me feel bad.

So when I discovered I had miraculously recovered and was able to run, I knew that last week’s trip to Cairns would be much more successful. Continue reading

I’m Not Dead

Matilda the Dog

I like this picture of Matilda The Dog

I’m still alive!  But it has been a bit dark in my triathlon brain.  There has not been much room for jokes and lighthearted blogging tomfoolery.

I’ve been pondering my existence.  As in, how useless is a human being that can’t run without warming up for 20 minutes?  What kind of caveman would I have been, if at the first hint of a delicious wild boar racing past my rocky abode I had to stop and limber up while the rest of my clan starved to death? Would I have been a caveman vegetarian? How did I make it through evolution, along with whichever of my ancestors cursed me with these non-natural runner genes?  Do I actually deserve to be on this planet?

And so on and so forth.  It has been challenging, but challenging in a way that was totally made up in my head.   Continue reading

Surprise! Part Three – Smite Me

Techy stuff

The Elevation Map from last week’s race. The one provided on the website must have been from last year’s event I think, which was a different course. The Elevation gain was 339 metres, not 244.

I am smitten.  No, wait, that’s not what I mean.  I have been smited.  Yes, I think that’s more like it.

The Triathlon Gods heard me crowing and saw me strutting about my 26.94km run (is anyone going to back me up if I call it 27km?) and they decided I must be punished.

This CRETIN dost believeth that she hast becometh a runner!  We art angry!

-Triathlon Gods.  Yes they talk funny.

I spent the first few days assuring myself that I was merely sore from my epic achievement of running 26.94km, which is nearly 27km.

SIDENOTE: Yes I’ve taken to casually mentioning the distance as often as any conversation allows.  In Aldi this morning the man at the checkout said ‘that’s 93 dollars and 10 cents please’ and I replied ‘Sorry did you say 26 dollars and 94 cents?  Cos what a coincidence, that is actually how many kilometres I ran last Sunday!  Ha!’

So on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – because my legs were ‘sore’ – I took gentle strolls and focused on my swimming to ‘let my legs recover’.

On Thursday I tried a bike ride and a short ROTB (run off the bike) which totaled 200 metres before I was doubled over in pain.

I pleaded with Matilda (an angel dog and therefore – logically – in possession of a direct line to the Triathlon Gods) to let me learn my lesson some other way.

But it was no good.

So it is time to announce: I am injured. Continue reading

Surprise! Part Two – The 26.4km Blow-By-Blow Race Report

The map of the course

I took a photo of the map provided at check-in, just in case I needed to refer to it on my journey.

I apologise for the delay in this race report, it was delayed when I vomited everywhere in my bathroom and had to lay down for an hour or so before I could face cleaning it up.

First things first, I was wrong about the Flinders Tour trail run course being not hilly. It was really bloody hilly.

Secondly, I was wrong about my body loving trail runs and not getting sore after. I am really bloody sore and I feel like crap.

Thirdly, I would like to sue whichever member of my family had the original idea to move to Queensland. Because yesterday it was 33 degrees outside and I am pretty sure that today was about the same. And we’re supposedly in the middle of winter! This was an issue because I always run faster in the cold so I am blaming the State of Queensland and its incomprehensible weather for how slow I went in the race.

But yes, despite some obvious problems which I will provide further detail about below, I made it. I am alive. The 26.4km loop was conquered. At this point in time I am saying I will never do it again, but I guess we will see how I feel when the afterglow sets in properly. Continue reading

Surprise! Part One – Screw The Half Marathon

Matilda was surprised

Oh. My. Dog. What HAS she done now?

I have a surprise for you today.  Because I’ve written a race report that nobody saw coming… Even me, to an extent.

Admittedly, I started writing this ‘introduction section’ which I’m calling Part One a week and a half ago, with nervously shaking hands and shallow breath.  Because I had an inkling about what might happen and I wanted to document some of the crazy thoughts I had in the lead-up.

Even though I had no intention of sharing such information until today, just in case I chickened out.

Chickened out of what?  You ask.  Be patient, I reply, I need to build it up.

You see, I accidentally found a race I wasn’t ready for.  And even though I knew it was ridiculous, I couldn’t get it out of my head.  I woke up at 2am thinking about it, night after night after night.  As I sat typing emails at work, dramatic and crystal-clear visions of the race interrupted my thoughts ominously.  I had butterflies in my stomach and a tingling in my toes whenever I thought about it.

This accidentally-found race, I felt, was calling to me.

I must reiterate: I wasn’t searching for another race.  I didn’t need a ridiculous challenge.  Regular readers will remember that I was (am!) already engrossed in training for a momentous running race: in fact the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon was only 40 days away when I sat myself down to begin writing this prelude to the race report. Today there are just 4 weeks to go until that highly-anticipated event.

I already have enough on my plate.

And let’s not forget that I find comfort in sticking to the training plan I map out, which allows me to follow logical and progressively harder steps that I set myself to gradually reach bigger goals.  That’s the smart way to train.

It would seem ridiculous, then (and totally stupid, probably) to skip some steps and sign up for a 26.4km trail run, which would take me over 3 hours to complete this morning.  Ridiculous.

But, well…

Surprise!
Continue reading

The Pavlova Made Me Do It

Crocs and stingers

Townsville. Where Shecantry will not go swimming in the sea, thanks anyway.

To those who follow me on Instagram, I must apologise. I promised to blog about the run I did in Townsville on Monday morning as soon as I got home on Tuesday AND IT IS NOW FRIDAY so I suppose I am officially fired as chief blogger.

In my defence, I have been getting deep and meaningful, thinking about my spirit animal. I think I am going through a hippy phase, brought on by all the meditating I inevitably end up doing on my runs.

If you are like me and struggle to do the whole ‘ohhmmmmm’ thing but you kind of know that meditating could be good for your poor frazzled brain, maybe give running a go. I think there is something about the rhythmic pounding of the pavement and sound of your hot breath heaving in and out. Or maybe it is the faintness and lack of oxygen getting to your head that makes you hallucinate that you are meditating. Either way, it seems to leave me feeling more at one with Mother Earth or something.

SIDENOTE: Individual results may vary, etc. You probably should never take anything you read on this blog as advice.

So anyway instead of blogging I was thinking about my spirit animal and hoping it might be a dog, because just like Matilda the dog who features heavily in my writing, I think I am soft, cuddly and pretty cute. I also love food and sleeping.

But interestingly, the more I pondered the various possibilities, I realised my spirit animal is not a dog. Nor a wolf or bald-headed eagle, both of which might seem appropriate to a badass triathlete.

I couldn’t ignore the evidence:

1. I am soft and sweet on the inside.

2. Sometimes a bit hard and crunchy on the outside.

3. I am a bit fruity, sometimes a bit nuts.

4. No one can tell if I am really Australian or not.

5. You either love me or hate me.

So… My spirit animal is apparently a Pavlova.

What the? Continue reading

My First Trail Run – The WH@N Race Report

Wild Horse @ Night by AdiDwi

Wild Horse @ Night by AdiDwi

I do most of my run training in the late afternoon or at night time, so signing up for Wild Horse at Night (a race at night, as you may have guessed even if you didn’t read my previous post on it) seemed perfect. Except I had all day to get nervous. That bit wasn’t so perfect.

When I get nervous I turn into a psychopathic b*tch.  It’s unfortunate but true; My family suffers immensely.

I am sure there are plenty of you out there who really won’t understand why I might get nervous about a 16.5km trail run.  I know that for many people, this is the equivalent of ‘a walk in the park’ and perhaps a ‘fun event’.  Because the comments I got on the last post mostly used the word fun and even Grandpa said ‘it sounds exciting’ and that’s when I realised I was possibly alone in my fear of this event.

But don’t be too judgmental of my wimpiness – not only was this race the longest distance I’ve ever committed to running in my entire life, it was also my first outing on the trails since I was a schoolkid.

Just turning up at the start line was going to be a win for me.  For some reason, 16.5km seemed like a much more imposing challenge than 14km had.  Two hours of running (the time I expected to finish in) seemed like an almost impossible ask for my old-lady joints.

You may be asking why I even signed up for the event if I felt this way, but trust me when I say that the thought process when signing up for races goes something along the lines of ‘If I pay money to run it then I will deserve to complete it’. Zero logic or forethought is involved.

It got to the point yesterday where I had to tell myself that if I could just make it through to 4pm (when I could finally get changed and head off to Wild Horse Mountain car park, aka the start line) then I would have made it through the worst bit.  Yes, overcoming the nervousness and just turning up actually became a bigger mental challenge than running for two hours through treacherous trails with snakes and rocks in the dark.  Feel free to judge me for that.
Continue reading

Wild Horse at Night

Wild Horse at Night confirmation email

Another registration!

Thank you to the organisers of Wild Horse at Night (also known as WH@N) for providing me with the best blog post title I ever had. It sounds so romantic and dramatic, don’t you agree? Wild Horse at Night. NEIGH!! I particularly like that when combined with the previous post, the blog has developed something of an equestrian theme this week.  I should have themed weeks more often, I think.

Wild Horse at Night is a race I have signed up for, taking place this coming Saturday night. As the name would suggest to those of you familiar with the Sunshine Coast here in Australia, it is held on and around Wild Horse Mountain (which is one of the Glass House Mountains at Beerburrum)

Yes, this means it is a trail run – or a cross country run, if you are from the UK. Although POMs and ex-POMs (such as myself) should be careful if we use that phrase in other countries, because I used it myself in a conversation a few days ago and my friend thought I literally meant I was going to run across the country.

SIDENOTE: I do class myself as crazy but I seriously wonder how I must come across to others when people who know me think there is any kind of likelihood that I would attempt to run across the country of Australia.  For the record, the likelihood is definitely zero.

So anyway, what’s the deal with WH@N and trail running? Continue reading

City2South Race Report, or My Quest to be Mates With Ronda

Medal

The benefit of running over triathlon-ing is getting a medal at the finish line!

As I ran around the house yesterday morning, trying to get ready for my epic trek into the city, I stubbed the little toe on my right foot. You know how it goes; I kicked the lounge chair that I have successfully walked past approximately 927 times a day for the past 7 years and which has not moved more than a millimetre in that time.

It hurt like a mother-effer, as all toe stubbings do. I performed the mandatory doubling-over, followed by swift sucking in of breath through my teeth. When I was satisfied that I wasn’t going to vomit, I continued with my preparations.

About thirty minutes later, I realised my toe was still throbbing and was starting to hurt more as time wore on. I tried to touch it but that hurt too much. I stared at my toe.

‘Don’t you be broken, you useless flap of bone and skin’ I warned.

‘Too late,’ it may as well have said.  Continue reading

Mother Nature Vs City2South

Radar image

It is raining a bit

I am really pleased that I have a race tomorrow, to force me to do some goddam exercise. I have done close to nothing all week, which is most unlike me. Sometimes life just gets in the way and your usual routine is a physical – and literal – impossibility.

So I am pleased, except that on Thursday I started getting messages from my crew (ie, Grandpa) that Brisbane was going to be in for torrential rain this weekend. I was travelling at the time and hadn’t seen a weather forecast for about 4 days, so I told Grandpa he was a bloody liar and hung up on him.

I do not like to run in torrential rain.

Then I arrived back to Brisbane with this weird wet stuff falling from the sky and had to decide on a new approach. I love running in the rain, I told myself. It will make me a badass, and none of my family will want to come and cheer me on (which usually makes me feel guilty, especially for an unimportant training race such as the City2South) Continue reading