Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Ups and downs...

What a week it has been....some good, some bad and some just straight painful!

GLASSHOUSE 100miler - I have been training hard for pretty much the last year for this event.  I was leading up to it not doing 100% of what I would have liked (when do we ever?!) but feeling confident I could go well under 24hours......that was until Tuesday/Wednesday last week I started getting sick. 

My daughter was very crook two weeks ago and I thought I had avoided it.  WRONG!  I was feeling ordinary and on Thursday I pretty much completely lost my voice.  I then started coughing up yellow and green muck.  I didn't tell anyone about this as I didn't want them to worry, I thought it would pass and it was just the flu.  Anyway, I downed as much multivitamin, fruit and cold and flu medicine that I could handle.  I rested and did my best to be ready for race day.

I started the run very excited!  After the briefing Friday night and catching up with old and new friends, the anticipation  of a super day was in the air.  I started off and whilst not feeling 100% was cruising along nicely, running and chatting with friends.  I completed the first 10k look easily, saw my crew then headed up Mt Beerburrum.  We then had to complete about another 11-12km before seeing our crews again.  I ran the majority of this section, only power hiking the steep hills.  I again was feeling pretty good but a little cautious.  I saw my family/crew at Checkpoint 4 and everything was going to plan.  I was keeping a good pace and spirits were up.

After leaving this Checkpoint, things kept going along OK, until about the three hour mark.  I started to come into some good hills and I started to struggle.  I just felt like I had no energy in my legs, my breathing felt laboured and I was still coughing.  I had hoped I was just having a 'down' patch and that I would work through it.  I struggled thought this section and reached my family at Checkpoint 6.  I was feeling the pinch by now and was starting to wonder what was up.  I sat down for a second and then headed off to one of the tougher parts of the course, the power lines.

Now I usually LOVE this section but in this race, I battled!  I walked a fair chunk of the big ups and downs and just felt rough.  What was happening!!!???

I have run enough races and trained hard enough to know my own body.  This day, something wasn't right.  My natural heart rate was higher than normal and I couldn't get it down quickly like I normally would.  My breathing was very heavy where it shouldn't have been and my engine room (lungs) just felt bad and heavy.

I continued on very slowly to just before Checkpoint 8.  Upon approaching this Checkpoint I started to get quite emotional, something that hasn't happened to me for a long time in a race.  The only other time I have got emotional in a race was in happiness when I finished my first marathon.  I got to my crew and broke down.  I cried, felt completely beat up, and helpless.  I felt like I was letting them down.  I had never pulled out of a race before however this time it felt ominous!  The power just wasn't in my legs and the sickness was killing me.  I walked to the Checkpoint with Dad and Tegan and after a sit down (I had already lost three kg's...not too concerning but still a little) Dad convinced me to do the Western loop and then see how I felt. 

I set off on this 10km loop and for the first third shuffled and walked along.  After this though, it was again slow going, my body feeling the same as the last three or so hours.  I am grateful that I did this extra 10k though as I really gained clarity and peace in my decision to withdraw from the race upon returning to Checkpoint 8.  I am glad I didn't pull out when I was emotional as I didn't want to make a decision based on feelings.  When I got back, I had a little chat with Tegan and after only 59km, handed my number in.  Just like that.

I returned to the finish line that night to see my friends finish the 100k and then again returned the following day for presentations and to see some friends finish the 100miler.  I am so very proud of them all!

Barefoot at the Tattoo Shop!  A true believer!
In reflection I am still VERY disappointed that I pulled out.  I have never pulled out of a race and I don't want anyone to think of me as weak or as a quitter.  Upon going into Sunday and Monday after the race though, I was very happy and proud of my decision to pull out.  I went to the doctors Monday and found out I had a chest infection.  I am now on a weeks worth of antibiotics and still feeling pretty ordinary.  I have no doubt that if I would have continued I would have done some pretty serious damage to myself.  It is the first time in a race where I have actually been concerned for my long term health and well being.  I guess sometimes you just need to know when to be smart and say enough is enough.

A few shout outs to my buddies... Andy in his first 100miler - 29hrs!  What a legend, redemption brother!!  To Tegween who just scrapped in for the cut off in 29hr58min!  What an effort!  To Dion and Lee who went under 24hrs, awesome!  Proud of you boys!  Lori, Chris and Amy in your first 100km even...inspirational!  To finish and to be able to share in your joy was a privilege!  Well done!  The speedsters - Andy B and Scotty W finishing 3rd in the 50k and 2nd in in the 30k respectfully, top effort!   Thanks also to all that came out to support me and help out in any way!  Mum, Dad, Ma, Tegan, Pria and Dan, bless your heart!  Thanks again to Chris at the Mower Doctor for support me in my jaunts and adventures!  GOLD!

The new edition.  Only a little colour to go.
So, since then, I have continued to be sick but am slowly on the mend.  I spent a couple of days at Lori and Chris house chilling out and talking our heads off!  SO FUN!  They really picked my spirits up!  YES!!! 

To keep the TattooRunner name flowing, I then went and got tattooed all day on Tuesday...BAREFOOT!  OMG!  It was a LONG painful day but the end result was well worth it!  I only need to return for a little colour and my little wolf is done!  YES!

The new treds!  Light as a feather!
And...some of you may be wondering what the teaser was from the last blog...well, I have been in talkings with a Rep from New Balance and they have hooked me up with some shoes!  That's right, your read it correctly, SHOES!  Don't get too fired up though, they are complete flat, zero heel lift from front to back and only a very thin sole.  No cushioning or any of that rubbish!  I am going to be trying them out and providing some feedback with the potential for on going dealings with the company.  Some exciting times ahead.  I am continuing to run in my sandals and completely barefoot as well as my feet are going to take some getting used to being back in a shoe...such an odd feeling after not being in them for over a year!  Thanks Paul!

So that is it my friends, what a week it has been!  From here until the end of the year I am planning on running as much as possible and without a program.  LOADS OF K'S!  I have a few potential events in the pipeline but well see what pans out.

Regardless of what each day brings friends and what challenges life throws at you, keep your head up, keep strong and fight till the end!  'Can't stop, won't stop!' Love you all...Run on...

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