Monday, November 19, 2007

SMC November

It's almost CR SMC these days! I love going out here each month to catch up with everyone. I wish I could run faster, so I could chat to more people at the end.

Saw Belinda, Horrie and Tim before the start, as well as Johny Dark, Space Cowboy and others. Intoduced myself to Whippet gal at the start line, after double checking to make sure it was indeed her!

Caught up with Spud and sailaway briefly before the gun went off. There seemed to be so many in the half today, which is great for the series. It did mean however, more people to beat me to the line!! Caught up briefly with Blue Dog during and after the race. He was taking some photos out on the course, and as luck would have it, snapped me staggering up a hill. Shame I wasn't looking my usual 'magazine model' self ;)

Every second person passing me/lapping me seemed to be someone I know, which was great. What a fabulous community this is.

I came an inglorious last today. I started off ok, but by 10km I was feeling pretty shocking. The 75k from last weekend was biting me on the arse, unlike others who seem to be able to do this type of thing constantly! I guess I'll improve with time. Space Cowboy caught up with me before 2km, and very kindly ran/walked with me to the end. You are indeed a gracious person and a good friend.

By about 12/13k my knees began to protest the notion of holding me upright. I guess it was all the downhill pounding last weekend, but I'm not good at knowing when to throw the towel in, so carried on. Even when the SES guys offered me a lift with about 1km to go.... they don't understand about DNF I guess.

Finished feeling a bit less than brilliant, I don't think the sports drink agrees with me, but after some watermelon all returned to normal.

Both my girls ran today with Alana in the 5k and Sara in the 10k, having done 10k last weekend at Fishers Ghost. I am so proud of both of them. Sara is taking to the challenge of the longer races with enthusiasm and drive (and she tells me she wasn't last today hehehe) so she beat me. Two of the other competitors 'ran her' to the finish line when she was tiring, which was really awesome, she appreciated it a lot.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Awesome Race - Awesome People!

Nov 10-11 2007

What an incredible weekend! I have met some of the most talented and insane people you could ever hope to come across. People who run 100km, or 100miles and can still walk afterwards. Some of the most humble and unassuming athletes this country has to offer.

Tim asked me a while ago if I'd like to pace for him for the last 75km of the 100mile GNW. I've been reading about these type of runs for years, so I jumped at the opportunity. Scared that I wouldn't be able to keep up, let alone be a help to him, I trained more than ever and still I have so far to go.

I decided to go with the tried and tested old Nike Frees for this run, which proved perfect. I have no injuries and no blisters. If these shoes ever wear out, I'm in big trouble! Today I have totally trashed quads, but the rest of me is fine, meaning I must be getting fitter as the months roll by.

I waited at Yarramalong for a few hours as the finishers for the 100k race came in and the runners in the 100mile race came and went. It was amazing to watch... people who looked like they'd taken a walk in the park and others who looked like a truck had hit them.

Around 12ish Tim came in with Andrew (Whippet Man) and an American guy named Phil. They had a quick stop to refuel and we were off. It was great walking out into the dark, hearing the stories of the last 100km, knowing another 75k lay ahead. I admit to being slightly relieved when we walked for a while, as the first bit was mighty steep. The rest of it was a piece of cake...

Actually it was remarkably tough for the whole course. Tim was having trouble with his feet but just kept on going and going and going. Phil had some asthma issues, but managed it well. I got to know these 3 guys so well in the next 16 hours, all tremendous athletes and great guys.
We met up with a number of other Cool Runners and ended up with Ray (Eagle) as part of the group for most of the latter stages. So it was the 4 bald men and 1 blonde chick. We ran, walked, ran, walked ran some more. It was a much faster pace than I had anticipated and began to worry a little that I would slow them down. I decided that if I was lagging behind I'd pull out at one of the checkpoints, but I managed to stay with them til the end.

I loved the technical downhill runs and the uphills, but I struggle mostly on the flats where the pace was a little fast for my ability. Nothing like the notion of being lost in the bush on your own to make you see how far you can really push your body!!

We covered 75k in 15.56, much faster than I expected, but everyone in our group finished well. In August we did 100km in 35 hours, so this was a blinding pace for me! This race was trailwalker on steroids! Pain became a new friend after 60odd km, when my shin started to cramp going dowhill and my hip ached going uphill. But to complain in front of 4 men who had done 100k more than me would have been rude and pathetic. I realised at one stage that my longest run to date had been 42k, so this set a new benchmark for me.

It is a truly awe inspiring moment watching the runners cross the line after 175km... I cried. Next year I want it to be me crossing that line. I thought a lot about the finish today, and I cried a bit more (or was that when I tried to bend my legs???) For me this race crosses over from the physical and mental to a place where it touches your soul.

At this point I must thank Tim. Thank you for inviting me along, for believing that I could do it, and for the fabulous sense of humour you shared along the way. I have been reading for years about Tim and others doing Fat Ass runs and ultra runs and I have wanted to just meet them for so long. To run with Tim on the GNW has been the highlight of my running 'life' so far. To have run with Whippet Man and eagle as well.... priceless.

Watch this space same time next year to see if there is a longer post about my own attempt at this craziness......