How Long Until Racing The Planet: Nepal

Countdown to Racing The Planet: Nepal

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Three Peaks

Well my first big run since my calf accident also has the distinction of being the last big run before I head out to Nepal next week.
Three Peaks is really not for everyone.
As I started out at 5:00 on Saturday morning, we had to weave in and out of the 24 hours party people congregating in Long Street, watching all these funny people in lycra and backpacks heading up towards to mountain.
From the start, I found that my heart rate was way too high for the pace I was running at, and I started struggling to breathe.
Heading up Devil's Peak was quite a slog, and I started feeling headachey and short of breath. It's funny how your mind takes over and can become a huge asset or more of a liability than actually just not being fit because immediately I started thinking about bailing on the race. Touched to top of the beacon and on the descent I found myself alone on the trails. Its a very unique race in some respects because of the limited number of entries, you can run large sections of the race without seeing another runner for a long time.
I made up my mind to do the second peak, so that come what may I would have at least gotten a good training run under the belt. I must admit that I think felt worse trekking up through Deer Park than I did going up Platteklip.
The weather across the table top was quite eerie, very misty and very cold, and thankfully I started seeing other runners start appearing out of the mist on the way back from Maclear's Beacon.
A strange thing started happening on my way back to Platteklip, I felt my energy levels start to pick up and descending the gorge, I started feeling a little bit like my old self, and I started passing people for the first time that day.
I took the path down passed the wash houses and by the time I hit Orange Street, I somehow started feeling back in the driver's seat and made the decision to see this one through. The slog up through town to the German school is never pleasant but I ran street lamp to street lamp and hit Tafelberg Road sooner than expected.
I decided to take the steeper, shorter route up Lion's Head and then scramble up the chain section to the peak rather than running around and doing the stairs.
Touching THAT beacon was AWESOME. I started cramping a little in my quads on the way down, but on the slightly flatter gradients, I found some better running legs and managed to put my third Three Peaks to bed. Suffice to say that i fell asleep very very early on Saturday night. But happy.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Countdown Begins

Howsit! Attaching a photo of Kit Purchase Part One!
Time is running down very quickly to the kick off of Nepal 2011, and I must admit the nerves are really starting to get itchy now.
For those of you who don't know (and haven't had to listen to sob stories hehehe) I tore my calf pretty badly in September, and haven't been able to run until fairly recently.
The race itself has become a very different animal, hopefully one that I get to tame.
(Seriously, that sentence actually didnt sound so cliched in my head.)
I am very proud of my Bear Grylls knife hahahahahahaha.

Trainigs been ok, been trying to do what I can that will give the best training without doing too much damage to the calf! Unfortunately because of it, I've had to deviated quite a bit from my normal training program, but luckily been keeping Ian in the loop and adapting as I go along.
My biggest hurdle will definitely be the pack and its weight.

Anyway, this weekend is the BIG tester - Three Peaks. It's gonna be slow, and will mostly hurt, but going to see how I fare through it.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Huff and Puff

The Monday after Puffer and I feel WRECKED.
I think it actually started with a bit of a tummy virus because I felt like crap from the start and the day just got progressively worse!!!!
Puffer really is an amazing race, but it's beauty is only matched by the sheer nastiness of the course if you're unprepared or not well.
I must admit that I had actually made the decision to bail out of the race at Constantia Nek, I was dizzy and I could not run, my legs felt like lead.
The cool thing for me was that the people who saw me in trouble were so encouraging that I felt almost as if I couldn't let them down, and I suppose it's wrong to finish something like this for any other reason than for yourself, but that ended up being my "dangling carrot" especially on the solitary march across the mountain.
This weekend represented the first of three big block weekends, and although this one ended with a bit of a whimper, I am looking forward to recovering and getting onto Nepal !

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Check out this video clip of the contour path above Chapman's Peak Drive

This video was clip is taken from a run a couple of weeks ago but I thought it made for interesting viewing!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Longest Day

Sitting at home now, the day after probably the toughest event of my life.

We met at the Yacht Club in Hout Bay on Friday night, just before eight o'clock.
The evening was cool-ish, but I think we had all dressed quite warmly and after the send off, the four of us probably got about 3 kilometers before we had to stop and take some of the layers of clothing off.
The first two legs went by without too much incident, it steadily became colder, but by the time we got off Table Mountain, it was about 2:00 and it dawned on me that Leg 3 (or leg one to the single way racers) would be tough, and it was - the slog up to Suther Peak just went on and on and you can feel the strain it takes in your legs. I think everyone was in pretty good spirits as we headed back to the harbour and the entourage that we knew was waiting for us.
We waited to be scanned, and reluctantly began the trip home (by leaving home, ironically).
I knew half way up to the Radar station that there could be a very, very likely scenario of me not finishing the race as it fully dawned on me what this undertaking REALLY entailed.

There's a little bit of humour in that when we reached Suikerbossie, most people asked if we were alright (kind of redundant consider what we were attempting to do, and what we had just done) because we looked tired and pale....

The sight of the climb up Llundadno corner is enough to make anyone pale on a good day to be honest and we took the climb really slowly. By this time we had split into Janette and Eric up front and Rob and I trailing slightly. I had gone through a nauseous patch just before the Radar station and was trying to conserve energy - oh and yes, I was f****** :)

The trip across went by ok-ish, but the new loop seems to take forever and if it weren't for a strategic Bar One consumption, it might have ended quite badly. Back at Constantia Nek, we were greeted by Chris with the food, and luckily Sonia who offered soup and egg mayo sarmies.

We heard that JT and Eric were about an hour ahead of us at this stage and so happy to hear it, Eric and JT are going to kick ass at Puffer and Tuffer respectively.

By this stage, my knees had taken strain from the descent to the Nek and all the hopping over rocks going up Vlakkenburg seemed to be accompanied by an "ow" or "oomph" sound. Vlakkenburg is never an easy climb at the best of times but was soooo relieved to get to the tar road at the top and take the path off to begin the descent to Manganese Mine.
To be honest, I am really happy with the way the run went to Manganese, it was pretty good for two guys closing in on 80km.

Of course, I had always reckoned that the trip down to canon was the final indignation of a really tough race route, but changed my mind in that once you've crossed the beach, the final indignation is actually the slog across the river before heading home to the finish line in a princely 20:43:59.

No finish line has ever seemed sweeter!!!!

As per Coach Ian's instructions, going to take a bit of a rest week this week and see how it feels this weekend.

The race would not have been possible without firstly the brilliant support of Chris and Mike, (those night sections could not have been that great) Eric (for the constant support along the route and those awesome trophies and for masterminding the snoozefest on Suther Peak) Janette for not only the support on the day, but all the support in the in between times as well) and Rob for making it another awesome run and getting me through it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Almost time

Hi everyone
It's almost time now until Double Hout Bay trail challenge!
Been a busy work week - luckily the good kind of busy :) so don't have to worry too much about getting large amounts of training in.
Busy trying to finalise last minute arranagements - meeting Claire, the race organiser tonight to sort out any last minute details.

If you haven't already, please join our facebook group for updates!

Sunday, July 17, 2011