This time last year I could count on one hand the number of International trips I had made and I had never been to Europe. I am now getting ready for my 2nd trip to Europe in 6 months and by the end of the year I will have doubled the number of international trips I have made. My travel has been and is associated with running and I can’t wait to get back into the Australia uniform. I am extremely fortunate to be selected into the 100km World Championships team. I exceeded expectations at the 24 hour World Championships in Turin back in April finishing 6th, but 100km is not 24 hours. My performance at last years 100km World Championships did not result in a personal best or a time that would guarantee future selection. Many found the course, heat and humidity and the fact the event was run at night challenging and one third of the female field did not finish. I was 31st female at the 27th IAU World Championships and I am confident I can improve on that placing in The Netherlands.
My preparation started the day after I received the call that I had made the Australian team. Initially I wasn’t sure I wanted to go, running 100km on the road is really challenging physically and mentally but it is such an honour to be selected and I wanted to make the most of the opportunity.
This time around my training has differed but not substantially. A typical training week is structured as follows;
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Intervals at Queensland State Athletics Centre
Wednesday: Easy run day about 60 minutes
Thursday: Tempo Run up to 90 minutes in total duration
Friday: Easy run day up to 90 minutes at the peak
Saturday: Long easy run on trails 2- 3 ½ hours
Sunday: Long run up to 4 hours usually incorporating some tempo type efforts
At the beginning of the year I decided to race less this year aiming to be more focused on achieving some significant goals. As a result I’ve suffered some serious FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), which peaked the weekend of the 1st/2nd August when the Brisbane and Townsville Marathons and the Centennial Park ultra were on. I have to continually remind myself of the goals I have set myself and have been working hard to achieve them.
July was my biggest month of training ever, here are a few statistics from that month.
- Distance run – 616.68km;
- A total of 27 activities;
- Total time running – 52 hours 43 minutes 5 seconds;
- 7,879m elevation gain;
- 4 rest days (Mondays);
- 2 parkrun’s (Main Beach – freedom run & Wishart 20:07);
- 8 sessions were on the athletic track at the Queensland State Athletics Centre (QSAC);
- I ran 275 laps or 110km in total on the athletic track at QSAC;
- I crossed the Story Bridge about 10 times;
- I visited and ran the trails at Mt Coot-Tha 3 times; and
- I ran the Gold Coast Marathon just for fun.
I participated in parkrun Wishart after a 2 year parkrun hiatus and ran the 5km in 20:07, was 1st female and 3rd overall but felt one calf really tightening up in the 4km warm-up and it was very uncomfortable on the 20km run back home again and for a few days afterwards until I visited the physiotherapist who tortured me with some dry-needling which did provide me with some sweet relief soon after.
As part of my preparation for the 100km World Championships I entered the River Run 100 50km event. The River Run course is made up of 10km loops the same format as the World Championships so was ideal event to run without overdoing it with just 4 weeks to race day.
I aimed to run the 50km at a comfortable and controlled pace and came home with the win and a personal best and some great memories from this well organised event. Most of the participants at this event are running the 100km or 50km event as part of a relay team with each member running at least 5km which meant there was plenty of support out on the course and a vibrant start finish precinct.
The flights have been booked, travel insurance sorted, new shoes sourced, race nutrition considered, I still have to get some Aussie memento’s to take with me to exchange with the international athletes and there are a few more weeks of targeted training but most of the hard work is done. I’m really looking forward to catching up with my team mates. Half of the team Brendan Davies, Andrew Heydon, Nikki Wynd and Marita Eisler were part of the team in 2014. I am excited that my Oxfam Trailwalker team mate David Overend aka El Capitano will be joining us representing Australia for the first time and I can’t wait to share the experience with the others Gary Mullins, Barry Keem, Sonia McDermott and Kirstin Bull.