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.
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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

Race Day Plan

Stradbroke Ferries

Boarding the ferry

Well I have had absolutely the polar opposite lead-up to tomorrow’s race, in comparison to the lead-up to the Bribie Island Triathlon (my only other tri!)

I started my new job on Monday and although I had been warned that my first week would be insanely busy, I was not really prepared for the impact it had on my sleep, my eating, even how much water I have been drinking. My ‘taper‘ was more of ‘an abrupt stop to all physical movement’ which was also not what I had planned.

So I am trying not to freak out about how badly set up I am for The Straddie Salute. Instead, I am concentrating on the things I will be able to control from this moment of arriving on the island – yes I am here! We had a great trip over and the weather looks absolutely perfect; the Triathlon Gods are shining down upon me. It is a relief to have not missed the ferry and despite the recurring nightmares, I was pleased to see our accommodation had not burned down last night.

My focus for today is to eat all the carbs I can find in the local restaurants. God help the other triathletes who might be feeling peckish. I am hopefully in control of this final rest up and going to bed at a reasonable time (sleep is not under my control)

Oh, and the race day plan. I am in control of that, and I am trying to put all of my spare thoughts into it.

So what is there to plan about race day?  Surely you just show up and do the things you have trained for!

Yes, there is that.  But as a regular reader of this blog, you know how I like to over-complicate most things. So bear with me. Continue reading

On Sundays We Are Fit

beautiful

Arriving at Redcliffe on Sunday morning

Ah, remember the days when a Sunday Session meant a few beers (or more) in a sunny beer garden?

In my quest to become a triathlete, many things have taken on new meanings. For instance, ‘a short bike ride’ now means anything less than 90 minutes, ‘I’m going for a run’ is no longer the punchline to a joke I’m telling and ‘doing the laundry’ means untangling 20 pairs of sports socks, 7 pairs of leggings, 2 pairs of cycling knicks, 3 of running shorts, 9 sports bras, 10 fluorescent-coloured lycra tops and a swimming costume, whilst holding your breath to avoid the stink.

And so it is that, thanks to triathlon, the phrase Sunday Session now involves less beer* and actually refers to training sessions of a Sunday nature, which means that they are a bit longer, or require a special journey to get there, or are conducted in a group I can’t catch up with during the working week due to clashing schedules etc.

*I won’t claim zero beer is involved in these new Sunday Sessions, but there is definitely less beer. Continue reading

Such A Show-Off

Chocolate cake from the Grimsey Brothers on Easter Sunday. Well worth the tortuous swim.

Chocolate cake from the Grimsey Brothers on Easter Sunday. Well worth the tortuous swim.

Happy Easter, Homies!

Don’t panic; I haven’t turned into an American hipster over the course of the long weekend (although I did have a nightmare in which a really rich potato with a toupee was running for president and I had an uncontrollable desire to vote for him, so…)

I’m still an average-Joe Queenslander.  It’s just that I was sitting here, staring at my screen ready to type and had no idea what else to write except ‘Happy Easter, Homies!’

Which is when I realised that I am trying to avoid a certain topic.  A topic that is actually unavoidable on a triathlon blog. Continue reading

Straddie Nerves Kicking In

swimming poool toilets

The glamorous life of a triathlete

Now that I have no silly swimming races with which to distract myself, the unavoidable disaster that is  looming closer by the minute is The Straddie Salute.

I signed up for this race just before Christmas, as a way to bridge the massive gap between my baby Bribie Triathlon (300m-10km-3km) and the Olympic distance Noosa Triathlon coming in October (1.5km-40km-10km)

And suddenly the Straddie race day is only 7 weeks away on Saturday!  Which means THE TAPER is only 6 weeks away.  Which means PEAK WEEK is only 5 weeks away.  Which means it is time to FREAK OUT.

Let me explain. Continue reading

A Half Marathon, or She Does A Stupid Thing

Don't panic

Don’t panic until you have actually read the post, mum.

When I commenced this journey of triathetising myself and my life, I felt confident that the running portion would be my favourite part of the sport. Dare I say it? Ok yes, I thought that running was the easy bit.

Regular readers may remember the reality check the Triathlon Gods cast down upon me, which helped me to realise that I could not run for sh*t.  Really, I look back on those early days and marvel at my naivety; back then I never expected that simple cockiness could earn spiteful lesson-learning from the now-dreaded Triathlon Gods.  Imagine how much easier this sport would be without an ego!

Anyway, even though I should have known better, I clung to the notion that once Jake the Physio had fixed me up and made me pain-free, I would be a running machine. My lesson would be learned: I would not be cocky.  I would be able to run again.

Even in my baby Triathlon (aka my first triathlon, aka the tester) when the run truly sucked and I briefly experienced a truth – that physically being able to run might not be enough, I felt sure that I would eventually emerge to be a natural runner.

Because my mum was a fantastic runner. Surely that counts for something? I basically grew up thinking I was from a family of running people.  And once upon a time, years ago, I did a 10km run with my sister. Granted, I couldn’t walk for three days afterwards, but I did it!

And let’s not forget of course the fundamental, underlying, omnipresent reason that I thought the running side of triathlon training would turn out to be alright, which is that I am actually a complete moron. Continue reading

The (Mis)Adventures of Frogwoman

the Adventures of Frogwoman

The start (and probably the end) of my comic strip-writing career

The complete true story of the daring exploits of the one and only Frogwoman!

(Yes, I totally borrowed that from Superman issue 1)

Recap: A cretin on the East Coast of Australia, determined to push her mental boundaries and physical limits, Frogwoman had begun life as a normal human but morphed into a disgusting monster after torturing her ego to an extent from which it would never recover.  And after buying some hilarious-looking frog goggles.

Believing herself invincible, and fancying that she had become ‘the champion of the oppressed’ – the hero of sh*t athletes everywhere – she was unaware that her feeble attempts at (dun dun duuuun) TRIATHLON TRAINING had taken over her life, until one day she could no longer return to the simple, humble beginnings she had once known.  She would forever be… FROGWOMAN Continue reading

The Comeback Report

Christmas dinner at mum's

Ah, thanks for the memories, Christmas.

After two glorious weeks of mostly fun and relaxation interspersed by minimal amounts of triathlon training over Christmas, it was then gloriously fun although not at all relaxing to get back into my proper triathlon training this week.  I guess when you find training that you love, it’s easy to look forward to it and enjoy it, especially after a well-earned holiday.

January is a tough month for those of us with nothing but first-world problems to contend with.  Faced with 12 months to struggle through until we can have more pavlova and drink beer every lunch time again, it feels like we’ve got to run a work ultra-marathon 12 times over before we can even dream of having more fun.

The reality of over-spending has sunk in.  My two precious weeks of holiday that I didn’t even want to take (but was rudely forced to) have flown by.  And worst of all I have got to go to bed at a reasonable time and stop taking naps in the middle of the afternoon.  I miss my late-night ‘Scandal’ marathons (For goondess’ sake Olivia, FORGET FITZ!!) Continue reading