MARCH 29, 2012

Had an awesome, crazy time this past weekend at the Northburn100 Ultra Marathon! Strangely enough, watching ultra runners slogging it out, some being ambulanced off the hill hasn’t out me off climbing hills, sometimes in less than ideal conditions, or attempting the bigger mileage. I sadly didn’t get to pace my runner (and good friend, Virginia) on the final 60km of the 160km course – poor thing took a wrong turn in the middle of the night on her second 50km loop. Her husband and I had a couple of very nervous hours trying to figure out where she was (headlight was dimming and she was expecting to be back at base starting third loop, where the extra set of batteries were) with two badly sprained ankles. She had also stopped for about 20min which we were very concerned about as she had been going about 18-20 hours by then and the weather was atrocious, very very bad. Snow, the works. So a very tired Virginia sitting down thinking a rock might be quite nice to sleep on, started to ring high alarm bells.
Angus her hubby did some pretty sweet 4WD-ing in terrain his Mercedes would have bellied out in – so he did very well. I missed him leaving to go and get her as I was on my way to the site after a 1:30am alarm. I think I wore a hole in the grass going for nervous pees between 2 and 4am waiting to see what was happening. I still had to make sure I was eating like I was going to be on my feet for 12+ hours and mentally preparing. In a nutshell I came out of that weekend having felt like I was hit by a freight train with no more than 8 hours sleep in a couple of days. It was a shame I didn’t get to run, especially on something so gnarly but it wasn’t my time. Met some great people that are passionate about the same things and getting out there so a weekend I will not forget in a hurry that’s for sure! Lisa Tamati runs one grueling event – but everyone is there for each other and helping out – that is so much what the trail running community is about 
I had definite gains from 5 days off anything strenuous though. God it was good to not have any niggles. Hip flexors seemed to be tight as well as having to take good care of my Achilles and calves. Me as a runner even a year ago would have been panic stations with, heaven forbid, 5 days off! I ran a strong 12km on Tuesday night including a power up and over Mt Iron, no doubt because I was nice and fresh. Training for an event such as the Routeburn, a couple of sets of more than a couple of days off not only refreshes those constantly pounded muscles, but gives the mind a rest. It’s a long time building up to something like this – rest is equally as important as the training itself.
Off on the Albert Town – Hawea track after work tonight with a friend (always good to have a chat to take the mind of the work) and we have been so lucky with the weather. Eeeking out the daylight hours like nobodys business.