Task 1: Complete

Run Fat Boy Run

  1. Sunday 28 April                  52km trail run  You Yangs Regional Park
  2. Saturday 11 May                 Salomon Trail Running Clinic, Studley Park
  3. Sunday 12 May                   8km Mothers’ Day Classic (with 17kg sandbag)
  4. Sunday 30 June                  15km trail run  Salomon Trail Series – Race 1
  5. Sunday 28 July                   17km trail run Salomon Trail Series – Race 2
  6. Sunday 25 August              21km trail run Salomon Trail Series – Race 3
  7. Saturday 14 September   20km Melbourne Tough Mudder, Phillip Island
  8. Saturday 21 September  100km Surf Coast Century, Anglesea
  9. Saturday 2 November     42km Spartan Ultra Beast, Sydney
Well, after spouting off about “getting stuck back into it” and the like, I was duty bound to follow through.
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As scheduled, and thanks to the organisation from fellow WTM12 compatriots, our 52km trail running epic went ahead as agreed. Out of the ten that had RSVP’d via FaceBook as “going”, we had eight standing at the gate to YouYangs Regional Reserve at 0700 on Sunday morning. Not bad. What was particularly gutsy was that about four of this group had never completed a run further than 20km. So, to climb out of bed before the birds on a Sunday morning for a PB was worthy of applause on its own.
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Already tired, I was up at 0520 for the 1hr journey on the motorbike to this trail running and mountain biking haven. The weather was perfect….overcast, no wind, moderate temperature and a bit of low cloud cover. We were hit with a bit of rain after first hour or so but we all loved that…52km in the rain?….hardcore.
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At the 30km mark we had dwindled from eight to two as many were using this waypoint as their time to call it quits…a significant PB for most of them while others were bound by domestic responsibilities and had to head home. I was fighting the self-doubt of my own capacity to cover the distance, remembering the post run pain and torment I I suffered during and after my 63km Prom run last year. The temptation to withdraw with the others was nearly deafening.
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Bail Out Gauge
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SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY

 I am not a stranger to moments like this. Pull out vs Push on. Whether it’s a long run, a race or a CrossFit MetCon, for me it comes down to this:
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“At the end of the day, can you live with yourself if you pull out now? Is that pain worse than either what you’re feeling right now or what you may feel at the finish line?”
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When you broadcast your intentions to do something severe, you better be ready to follow through. Based on that logic, this blog virtually holds me hostage with stuff like this.  It just has to be done.
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So with that short-lived mental debate done with, it was up to Tim and I to complete the job together.  Tim averages around 100km/wk compared to my meagre 35-40km/week, is quicker than me and free of the quirks of an ageing body. However, on Sunday he was kind enough to hang at my pace to keep me going….but every time I drew up to his shoulder he would speed up a bit again. Bastard 😉
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This six-hour run was not flat. We ran two laps of a long, grinding climb and two shorter laps with a savage, sharp peak giving us a total ascent of 1,250m over the 52km distance. My 81kg frame spent 5,100kcal of energy and maintained an average speed of 6:54/km.
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YouYangs Finish

LESSONS

1. Magnesium
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While critically important in sports performance and controlling muscle cramps the phrase “If a little bit is good, more must be better” does NOT apply on this occasion. I consumed too much and paid for it via the back end. Take my word for it, your digestive system does not like it.
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2. Footwear
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I spent some time with the podiatry staff at Active Feet during the week to have my gait analysed so they could recommend the best footwear for the events ahead. Firstly – and nice to hear – my biomechanics are apparently excellent and very stable.
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However, I have an issue with long runs (this one being no exception)…each seems to demand a sacrifice in the form of the toenails on each of my big toes. When I told my new podiatrist, Reneé, she simply gave me these two pieces of advice:
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[ i ]  Buy your trail shoes a +0.5 size bigger to allow for the extra movement typical of trail running and for the slight, but inevitable swelling.
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[ ii ]  Ultra trail runners have been known to buy one pair +0.5 size bigger for the first half of the race and a second pair +1.0 size bigger for the second half.
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Recommended footwear?….Asics GEL-Fuji Sensor. Stay tuned for my review.
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Asics GEL-Fuji Sensor
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Overall, despite the discomfort of a distance like that, this was a very worthwhile experience. I’ve confirmed what I need for my feet, tightened my supplement intake, suffered no chaffing whatsoever and recovered far better than I did after the Prom run. I’m sore, but far more mobile and could go and run (slowly) now. A 1km recovery swim, steam room and hot water stretch has done me wonders.
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POST RUN

What would be the best thing to do straight after a 52km trail run?…a 1-hour motorbike ride home, followed by standing in the mosh pit at a TOOL concert. Yep…I had two tickets to see TOOL. Being his favourite band, I was really glad to take my big guy Liam along with me…turning 18yrs last November meant we enjoyed a pre-gig beer before collecting our tickets. Bonus.
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TOOL
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Thankfully, when I picked them up we weren’t standing after all, but were treated to VIP seating around 20m from stage left, slightly elevated. Awesome seats!!
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The show was spectacular. The music, the lights, the video graphics…all absolutely first class. We LOVED it. When we thought it couldn’t get any better, an angel descended upon our seats and presented us with a hug and two After-Show VIP Backstage Passes (thank you, Steff x). Yep, that’s right…Liam and I were off to meet the band. Can you f**king believe it?!
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VIPs Bitches
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In an intimate crowd of about ten others we chatted to the guys from TOOL and met a few of their production team. Friendly, humble and good humoured…they were so cool and really good to Liam. Suffice to say, he was star-struck into total speechlessness and I had to quietly “reboot” him a couple of times. After all, there he was chatting to his all-time rock gods, sharing a few beers…it was the best thing for a dad to see and something that I imagine will stay with him forever (thank you, Steff x).
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Us & TOOL
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8 thoughts on “Task 1: Complete

  1. That was awesome day, Simon! 52 km run in the bush sounds like sheer yakka with black toenails, but I bet cooling down over beer with the Rock Gods was out of this world, specially with presence of Liam. You are cool dad! Marumi

    • Ha! Thanks Marumi…it was a pretty good day from start to finish. I may have scored one or two “cool dad” points in the process. Hope you and Gary are both well 🙂

    • Thanks baby x Will try one pair for now to see how they feel…I won’t even need to come up with the usual “What new shoes? These old things?” 😉 xx

  2. Thanks for the great run mate, as always your determination and tenacity to complete your goals shows your true character, you’re a champion

    • Hey Tim. Mate, big thanks for putting the run on and for hanging back with me….for the second time your work output has pushed me through distances I normally wouldn’t have even contemplated.

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