Training for any long distance event, especially ultra’s is tough, and I have been running and training for them them for 4 years now. Without a break really. I am beginning to wonder if it is all catching up with me. My first ultra was in 2015 and was the 60km race in Carcoar called the Carcoar Cup. This really instilled in me my love for ultra running. Once I started trail running it all made sense that I would run ultras. I mean, where can you head out for a long time on the trails to see amazing things that couldn’t be seen otherwise? You would have to run ultra’s or a long way to see them. This is all part of the drawcard for me, however the training that goes with this is a hard slog sometimes. I am not super fast, and I don’t win podiums (although I have for carcoar been third twice now), but I do love it. It is my passion.
Yes, I could just be content with getting out and running and trudging on getting it done, but the competitive nature in me always wants to do one better, go harder, faster, longer. Hey, I wouldn’t sign up to UTA100 otherwise!
The thing that fascinates me about running 100km, and UTA1oo in particular is how I can push my body along that kind of terrain while enjoying the scenery and the atmosphere. There is something about the challenge that ignites something in me so great. I can’t explain how it makes me feel other than content and satisfied.
The issue of late has been that the load on my body during training this summer is starting to take it’s toll. It has been the hottest summer. Lately I have felt like every run, even the easy one’s are a real effort. My body is tired. This is concerning to me, as I don’t wan’t to feel tired. I want to feel like I can keep building in my training. I have done blood tests etc and have come to the conclusion that I need to pull back slightly and get more balance in my training by not pushing so hard on the easy running days, and also cut back on my time spent online and also highly strung. Running RMA is a full time job in itself and one that I do alone behind the scenes. I need to learn to prioritise my time better, eat better and get a full nights restful sleep to function as a human, let alone run 100kms through some of Australia’s toughest trails! Things are going to have to change, and I am also going to have to learn to say no to people. This goal means too much to me, and sometimes sacrifices just need to be made.
I have a sports dietitian going over my diet from the last week leading up to and after my epic failure training run at the Megalong Mega, and I know that she is going to say that there are big flaws in there. Namely I don’t think I eat enough to sustain the load I am taking on. I also notice that I am a HUGE sweater while running. I drip buckets of sweat off myself and this needs to be replaced. This is something she will work with me on. Even though I have consciously made an effort to run in the heat this summer to get my body adapted, it still doesn’t really like it or tolerate it very well. Lucky the UTA100 is in the middle of May, however that being said we could still have an unseasonably warm day, so I need to prepare my body.
I am working with my coach to balance out how I feel and what I need to do, and things are still rolling along.
Last weekend at the megalong mega I think it came down to a few things….HEAT and lack of strength and my body just having not enough in the tank perhaps. I literally felt like I had no energy to run a hill. And they are some mountains. It was a long day out because of this, even with all my training, and it was a real hard day for my mental state and my positivity moving forward. Now that I have had time to process this, I know that days like this (as much as they seem to be happening all the time lately) are what are going to make me more resilient on race day if I can push through and get them done, regardless of how hard or slow they are. Days like that are what makes you achieve your best. And your best is always good enough.
So when I am in the bottom of Kedumba Valley with 10kms to go to the finish of 100kms I am going to draw on all these hard days where I feel I can’t go on to get me out of the valley and to the finish line.
From here we knuckle down and just get it done. I have 6 foot track as a training run in around 4 weeks. From now until then I have a fair bit of hill work to do as I am so undertrained on hills at the moment. I also need to listen to my body and rest it when I feel like it is saying “no more”, because I don’t want to start hating my training.
All in all, keep believing you can do what you set your mind to, even when there are glimpses of doubt. Don’t let fear kill your dream.