Given I’m training for a 46km trail marathon, good sense dictates I should get out on an actual trail at some point.
Last Sunday Railway Reserves Heritage Trail had my name all over it. Ok, well all over 25km of it.
Oh my actual fuck. Ok, that’s not how it started but that’s certainly how things ended…
1. My Garmin failed before I got out of the car. Wow. Winning so far.
2. I realised I had passed the “wear high vis” component of the run:
3. Jeremy gave me a lesson in how to stop your water sloshing around in your hydration pack.
4. The start of the run involved one fully sick old railway tunnel #creepy #donottrip #couldntseeafuckingthing
5. I took in the scenery and realised immediately I’d fallen in love with trail running. My last long run had been through exhaust choked streets. This was a different creature all together and I fucking loved it.
6. Ben dropped back to chat with me for a bit and while I probably could match his pace for a short I knew that if I did that I’d be out for the count 5km in and we had 25km to go. I excused myself from Ben’s cheery company.
7. We ran 12.5km out on the non-technical track. From time to time we stopped to regroup as the slower runners (ie me) caught up. I enjoyed some quality chat from new people I’d met. So many interesting stories.
8. We turned around and started to head back to the car. I ran most of the way with Kelly who is also training for 6 Inch. We are relatively close as far as speed goes and today was also Kelly’s longest run ever.
9. I reckon I managed about 15km comfortably before slowly slowly my body/brain started to panic. Without a garmin it was hard to know exactly how I was going, all I knew was that when we got to the toilet blocks we were 5kms from the cars. Come on toilet blocks!
10. 15-18km my knee started to hurt. I really did feel as if I’d have to stop very shortly and that I’d not be able to make it back without having my sorry arse collected by a vehicle. But I concentrated on lifting my knees higher. That was fucking hard because my legs were so goddamn heavy.
11. I don’t even know what km it was but I was wooed by Jez and Kelly with their own harmonious rendition of a song about fucking dogs…. about having carnal knowledge with dogs… It was weird to hear singing out in the bush and they weren’t too bad! I was grateful for the distraction. My body was hurting.
12. All I could think about was getting to the toilet blocks. Not because I needed them, but because they meant we were 5kms from the finish. 35mins ish until the end of the pain. Fuck me they were nowhere. I am pretty sure I whined a lot to poor Kelly who was nothing but supportive and encouraging. Kelly loves a good chat, so she talked, I whined and together we actually made it to the toilet block.
13. Bitter sweet toilet block experience: STILL 5 WHOLE KMS FROM THE FUCKING CARS. I declared my death to be imminent. Jez reassured me that should that be the case, he had his GoPro on standby to film it. I felt hazy. I felt gross. I thought maybe that I was bonking (my favourite running word). I felt so out of it. It was a weird sensation. (I spoke with Scott about this later, he thinks maybe I was thinking I was bonking when I actually wasn’t, I just thought I was…I have no idea what to make of a psychosomatic bonk.)
14. At about 21.1kms Kelly mentioned that I was now running in uncharted territory – further than I’d ever run before. I can’t remember if I felt happy at that point? Maybe. It is pretty awesome to run further than a half marathon in one morning. I think Kelly’s longest distance was 22km…we celebrated her longest run ever too….
15. My body was starting to fail. I had pain where I have never had pain before. My right hip/groin was fucked. Ouch. My feet felt swollen and they fucking hurrrrrrt. I’d proudly maintained a mid foot strike for the distance but I’d had enough. Too bad for me we still had 3km to go.
16. We walked a bit, ran a bit, walked a bit more, ran a bit more. I didn’t know if Kelly was hurting as much as me but she seemed happy to stay with me. Did she need to walk too? I dunno but at that stage I was more than happy to declare myself Queen of Whiny Land and just fucking stop, walk, carry on about all sorts of paaaaaaaain….
17. 24km. We ran the last km.
18. We finished 25 whole kilometres. Oh my actual fuck. I had no words. My body was screaming and I wanted to just lie down. But the rest of the group was there, and the phrase “fake it til you make it” came to mind. I attempted a casual stroll to the group, “yeah hey guys, totes just ran 25kms, but whatevs… anyone keen for another lap?” kinda thing… It started to rain, we took a photo of all the people who’d conquered their longest run that morning:
19. Got in the car and I declared I was absolutely fucked. Broken. That it was very, very fucking hard. To which Jeremy replied “Yeah but you finished it”. Yanno what? I fucking did.
19. Car. Bakery. Chat. Home. Couch. Movies. Wrecked.
Can’t rate Kelly and Jez highly enough. I am thrilled they’re likely to be close by at 6 Inch. They are so good for the soul. So good for the broken running spirit. They dragged me across the line on Sunday.
I am super proud of what I achieved on Sunday. And even more stoked that my body bounced back without any issues within 2 days. Fucking go me!