Sunday, 14 October 2012

All aboard the Ultramarathon Roller Coaster....

The past few weeks have involved a lot of ups and downs. Since the Esperance Half Marathon on the 30th September I have been having a few issues with my hamstring tendon and popliteus muscle which has meant I have done very little training, and the training I have done has not had much quality to it at all. On the Thursday after Esperance I met Adam and James out at the Heritage Rail Trail to do an easy 1.5hrs along there. To be honest, the most exciting part about this run was trying out a new nutrition product from Hammer Nutrition called Perpetuem. Perpetuem as far as Ultra running nutrition goes is the bees knees from what I had heard so after completing the Glasshouse 100 I was pretty keen to try some of this.

The Perpetuem seemed to work a treat and my energy levels maintained consistency throughout the run, although it's hard to get a real gauge on such a short run. The rest of the run with Adam and James was pretty average. My leg wasn't too happy, not enough to make me stop or slow at all but enough to keep reminding me it was there. I decided after this run that I really needed to get things right before I even thought about running again. Back to the drawing board...

The day after the run along the heritage trail I went and saw a new physio to get his opinions and thoughts on what exactly was going on with this leg of mine. After a quick analysis he told me that due to having really tight upper hamstrings & glutes it was putting a lot of pressure through the hamstring tendon and in effect causing pain in the popliteus. So..... five minutes later I had a leg full of needles and was clutching at the sheet on the physio table.

The next day I was feeling the benefits of the physio treatment and was optimistic things were going to turn for the best. Liz and I were heading down to do the Cape to Cape for our honeymoon/one year anniversary which is a 135km hike from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin on the south west coast of WA. After 13km and 5 snakes we decided to pull the pin and take an alternative route down the coast. I was pretty happy with this decision also for the fact my hamstring tendon wasn't too happy being under the load of a 20kg pack walking along the sandy beach.

I didn't run again until the Wednesday with frequent self massage and icing during this period to try and get things to settle again. By this stage I was starting to get pretty annoyed with my current situation as it had been near on 4 weeks since Glasshouse and all I had really done running wise was the Esperance half marathon. So in the space of a little over 2 months I had gone from running near on every day and absolutely loving how things were going, doing Glasshouse and then seeing things slowly ease back to basically no running at all. It has mainly been so frustrating because my body apart from the mentioned injuries has been feeling absolutely fantastic, I started feeling much better even only 3-4 days after Glasshouse.

I got a short run in on some really nice trail in Margaret River on Tuesday 9th October, only 30mins which went pretty well, no pain as such but things didn't feel 100% still. No snakes so pretty stoked with that too!

On Wednesday, I managed to get a 2hr run in when we were in Augusta on a relatively warm day. The Great North Walk 100km in November is likely to be very warm so I was pleased to get a run in and also in the heat. The run went pretty well, apart from forgetting to take any food or gels (I'm pretty good at forgetting that!). I ran some really cool trails in and around the air strip and then headed out towards Cape Leeuwin. It wasn't until about 3km from the house that I started feeling the leg again. Nothing too major but definitely that same pain. A pretty good run and saw a really cool Monitor Lizard which was pretty awesome!

When we returned to Perth on the Friday I was feeling good and optimistically hoping I could go for a run. I headed out to Kalamunda aiming at around a 1hr30min jog/run along some of my favourite trails. FINALLY!!! I managed to get through a run with NO pain at all. I was so happy running along and just loving being back on the trails. If anyone was watching me I would have looked like a real loose unit gallivanting around the bush with a massive smile on my face. I just couldn't get enough!

Saturday morning involved an early morning run around the Swan River with fellow Hoka lover Dan. We did an easy 14km with the final few km pushing into a fresh breeze. Dan has just been getting back into running since footy finished for the season in preparation for the Anaconda Adventure Race and is already running pretty well with a month or so to go before the race!

Saturday afternoon was a catch up with James on the Bib again for 2hrs of great trails. Once again I finished this run feeling really good and stoked with the progress I was making and how the body was pulling up after each run.

Sunday morning involved meeting James at his place in Kalamunda and then we headed to the Bib again but much further south in search of some new trail. The run started off with a bit of drizzle but that soon passed. We just planned on doing an out and back to keep things simple. I tried the Cafe Latte flavour of the Perpetuem in a 3hr bottle today which was interesting. I based the mixture off the directions online and then soon found out that there were new directions based on body weight and I had put too much powder in. Whoops! Long story short, I was thankful for the huts along the way and more so the long drop toilet facilities that they had. Rookie error number one with the Perpetuem, fingers crossed there aren't too many more. It was great to get out on a new trail and explore a new part of the Bib. I also managed to convince James it was a good idea to run back up a few hills just off the Bib which was real fun too!

So basically the last week of running has been going really well! I have managed to put together a pretty solid week and I am really happy with how things are going. I am seeing my massage therapist Nathan tomorrow so looking forward to giving the legs a good shake out.

The other super exciting, absolutely awesome news that has happened in the past 2 weeks is that I now have RaceReady Australia taking me on as a sponsored athlete. I am stoked to have their support and am really looking forward to seeing where things go with it as they have some truly outstanding products, mainly their super pocket shorts. I have been running in these shorts religiously since moving to Australia so I was over the moon when they approached me. Go to if you would like to check out some of their gear. The shorts are outstanding and really awesome for carrying gels, tablets, gloves, cell phone etc etc and as I have found out this week the shirts and singlets are really comfortable to run in as well!!

The last couple of weeks as you can see have been a real roller coaster of a ride and I am so happy to be where I am now, 4 weeks out from the Great North Walk 100 and starting to feel like I am getting back to normal and I am excited about the next few weeks training and getting some really good hills in.

Total distance : 116.7km
Elevation gain: 2,184m

Running along the Bib with my flash new RaceReady gear :)

Some colourful flowers :)

The trail I ran along in Margaret River

The Blackwood River in Margaret River at sunset

Along the Airstrip

Running alongside the Airstrip in Augusta

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse viewed from the scenic route

Amazing coastline in Augusta

Monitor Lizard on the scenic route to Cape Leeuwin

Brookton Hut on the Bib

Some nice fast Bibbulmun trail

Top of Mt Dale

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