When I was invited to attend the 2nd running of the Ring of Fire Ultramarathon in New Zealand late last year I was excited. The excitement was fuelled not only by the fact that it is an international race, but because the prospect of running around a volcano was something that I thought was a little out of the comfort zone, and I have been all about pushing myself out of that zone in the last few years. Although the 72.9km ultra sounded like a great challenge, straight away I realised that this was one event that I didn’t want to experience alone. The reason that I say yes to these experiences is so that I can share them with others and encourage other women to participate in grand adventures too, so it was a no-brainer that I was going to ask that I do the team ultra event and bring my RMA teamies along. With support from the race and sponsorship from our amazing partners fisiocrem Australia we were able to make it happen.
There are so many women in RMA that I could have asked, but I chose two of my close RMA buddies and also RMA volunteer admins who help behind the scenes and who are as adventurous as I am. I wanted team mates who were ready for a challenge and ready to showcase how much fun we could have on a trail. The fact that our teamie Mel resides in Canberra wasn’t a problem as on occasion we just FaceTime into her when we are on some of our training runs out in the bush! The team vibe is strong!
My training had commenced as soon as I landed in Sydney from my holiday with family over the Christmas break. I started with some base training to get my fitness back and have gradually added in hills and interval training again over the last month. As the Ring of Fire falls before Ultra Trail Australia we have also been heading to the Blue Mountains to get some decent elevation in on our long runs. As I am running leg 1 which is technical and a lot of climbing I have been trying to simulate this on my weekly adventures and adding in strength training which is always something I struggle to fit into my weekly routine. I have found I am enjoying that challenge, and feeling stronger each week.
Training for Ring of fire hasn’t exactly gone to plan, after falling victim to hamstring tendinopathy shortly after excitedly accepting to be part of the team, but like most things us Mums do, I have found a way to keep on training despite being sidelined for about a month.
Between physio appointments of needling and massage I have started strength training, riding my bike and slowly building my kms and elevation and now I am feeling confident about tackling the volcano! I feel like the injury has been the kick I needed to incorporate cross training into my regime, which in turn is helping to build a stronger body, so I guess there are some positives to being injured. On the flip side everyone knows how frustrating an injury can be, but the amazing RMA community and of course my beautiful team mates Nicole and Laura have kept me sane and optimistic.
It is 30 days until we fly out to NZ and the excitement is definitely building, presently I am visiting my physio fortnightly, strength training twice a week, riding my bike around 50kms a week, running 4 times a week (including building distance into my long runs) and enjoying lots of time with the beautiful Canberra RMAs. I am so excited to run my first international event and to share the adventure both on the trails, in training and online with women who inspire, support and encourage me.