Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Well I am off to get my back sorted tomorrow - this is weird to write, but something finally gave up after running every week for the past 21 months! Similar but more intense pain than Toowoomba, the top of my back felt like it was pinching and by 6km I just couldn't breath.

I think it was driving the car on Saturday - so hopefully it isn't too serious and Polly can sort it tomorrow.

I finished 18th, in a very slow 1.20 for the 15k. On a recent training run on my own I ran 1.10 - so this result is a very poor indication of where I am at. BUT as they say, the results (or lack there of) are on the board. Last week I finished with the 5th fastest time at the Cap Coast Road Runners cross country, so I won't go and hang myself yet.

I won't depress myself with the splits post the Miami "hill" (a big set of stairs at the 5km mark) but as promised my splits up to that point were:
1km - 4.43
2km - 4.24
3km - 4.31
4km - 4.30
5km - 4.32

After I went through the 5km aid station and started up the stairs, my back just started to tighten and by the time I went down the back side of the hill I just couldn't breath. I slowed, hands on my head trying to breath in get my breath back. So my split times just fell off, I struggled to even run 5.30s.

11.5hrs in the car yesterday to think long and hard about my year ahead. Work is going to get MORE busy with the confirmation the Uni is merging with CQ Tafe and am committed to more study. Something will have to give and considering the racing and sacrifices Bel has made this year
 travelling for races will probably be it.

As I am starting to think about 2013 originally I had planned to run Great Ocean Road then Gold Coast then Melbourne. Now it seems Gold Coast will clash with a work commitment, hopefully I can still get there as it will be my 5th GC Marathon.

Onto the other Rocky Runners and they all ran extremely well. Michael was 4th in the 30km, Gav was 6th and Raelene snuck under 3hrs.

Marty finished 3rd in the 50km with a 3.45, Benny ran 3.49 in 6th and Rod finished 9th in 4.06. All of which are insanely quick times, considering the heat and humidity on Sunday morning.

Marty has killed Ultra races this year, 3rd at the 50km, 4th at Glasshouse 100 miler and 2nd at the Caboolture 12hr this year.

Benny looked strong and healthy, the plant based diet is working wonders for him, I know a sub 2.55 marathon is close.

Rodney has finished top 10 in the 3 ultra's he has run this year, considering he isn't full time running it is a huge achievement - looking forward to seeing him further improve once he knocks over the Ironman at Cairns next year.

Seriously these guys are awesome athletes, and the best to travel with. Very lucky to call them mates.

Marty 3rd place!
Rod (red singlet) "where is my Ice Break?"
Benny (white singlet) "how cool is that bridge"
Post 50km!
Drowning my sorrows at the surf club!

It was great to see Geoff and catch up with my sister - meaning the trip wasn't a total write off.

I'll knock out a year in review post next week.

Be safe on the roads, keep hydrated!


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

There have been a couple of really good articles this week about risk taking and racing.

This article on Running Times here Winner Runs Through It  is pretty interesting, it really provided me with some perspective to my racing. This blog post by Wyatt is along the same lines Taking Risks.

So what does it mean for me, and what does it mean for my upcoming race? Well my races have generally fallen into 2 baskets, success or failure. As I move forward with more races under my belt it is pretty clear that I let my watch (as in overall time) tell me if I have been successful or not.

Take my race at Toowoomba, if I had run more conservative and used my speed on the down hills and conserved on the uphills, I would most likely of had a much more enjoyable day (and likely a faster overall time). But I took a risk early and was sitting in the top 10, running hard, only to  blow myself up.

So what is a better way to race? Balls to the Wall? Just go for it? Smash your PB but risk blowing up? Or take it easier, never knowing if you could of went faster as you don't leave enough distance to really "go for it"?

I have had 1 race where this worked, it was the Rocky River Run in 2010 - I just went berserk and ran out of my skin, one of those days where it was just easy to run hard. The problem with a race like that, is that it reinforces that type of approach to racing. Which has been my issue since.

If you remember in my pre-GC race post "Running Naked" - I had to run by feel, so I wasn't able to be so fixated by my pace as apposed to effort and listening to my body.

Maybe some people are better at running conservative and finishing strong, whilst others relish going hard and hanging on. At the end of the day, your Personal Best is a TIME and doesn't have an * beside it saying "blew up" or "had plenty in the tank". How you get to the finish line is just that, your personal best. 

What we do know from a science perspective is that it pays to conserve at the start and your goal (particularly for the marathon) is to evenly split the two halves of the race. For shorter races particularly the 10k and 5k it never feels very comfortable, as you are near your limit the whole time.

The Running Times article posses an interesting idea, the idea of purposely DNFing a marathon - that is, racing at your absolute limit for as long as possible. I just call this "hitting the wall" :) But seriously it is an interesting idea, as in theory if you have left it all out on the course, you would take 1 step after the marathon and collapse.

On Sunday I am going to give the 15km a different approach to normal, I am going to start conservative and will run harder/faster towards the end. As I know there are about 3 people in the world who read this blog, it is really just a chance to make ME more accountable for my running, and stick to my word.

I will be back next week with a race review.....and KM by KM race splits, so you can see that I ran the first km at 4.50 pace!

Run Safe


PS - Thank-you for the Movember support, our CQUniversity Team raised nearly $15 000!!!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Blogging, Racing and Saying Goodbye

So I have been in Blog overdrive this week. 3 posts in a week is some sort of record for me!

SO how did my race go?! Well I can honestly say that I have never felt more in control of a short sprint race ever. As it was 8km (5 miles for my USA readers) I had a well constructed plan, which was to start easy then settle into a pace and actually SAVE some juice for the last km.

Yes I can hear Jason saying "you never stick to plan" "you always blow yourself up early" - which is true, I always log a sub 3.45km first k BUT I knew that I had the pace and am in good shape to run a negative split if I just got my excitement controlled at the race start.

"3, 2, 1, GO" we were off for the Rocky Road Runners Movember club race. Now here is the point where I relaxed, and actually slowed and let a couple of groups of runners through. I was sitting on 4.00 pace but that was still too quick so I slowed, let another couple of people past. First KM 4.17! YES I actually felt like it was easy, so the plan was to run another 4.15-4.20 then start running sub 4.15s. Second KM takes us all the way down to the water stop, great to see Benny there handing out cups (hope his back is better by our next race) - I started to eyeball who I was going to catch on the 3rd KM. Second KM 4.12 feeling great!

So as we wound our way through the gardens I start to pick up some of the other runners - wow this is weird! I NEVER pass anyone. Thats the problem with starting too fast, people are always coming past you as you fade! Not today thought. We run past a couple of people with kids and strollers on the path which slows me from 4.10 to 4.15ish - then just as we get to a fork in the course



My right foot doesn't land on the path but on the edge and my ankle just rolls under me. I immediately stop and it hurts enough for me not to run another step. So I walk slowly back to the race start. Frustrated that I have rolled my ankle - my mind switches on the big race is coming up in a couple of weeks down on the Gold Coast, so no point wrecking it.

Rest, Ice, Elevation and it is looking and feeling heaps better this morning. I'll take it easy today and see how it is on Monday.

Jason thinks it is Mo Karma as I had accidental shaved my Mo off trying to trim it up Tuesday. Lets hope I have paid the Mo gods back now!

Very impressed with Jacob "Hammer Time" Williams cleaning up Miles, Michael and Gav for the win! It is his first race win, really pumped for him! He was sandbagging all week!

The other big news this week is that Geoff the Grandfather of the Road Runners is leaving for Brisbane. I have said it before but Geoff is the only reason I kept turning up to Saturday morning running. He always ran back and checked on Jason and I as we were struggling out the back.

I have turned into a bit of a Saturday long run snob, running my own pace as prescribed in the session. Saturday group running are a bit daunting, as there are always a heap of faster runners there. When I started running I had Jason to run with, but he improved faster than I did, Geoff was always there to come and run some k's with me, making sure I was OK, and giving me the encouragement to keep running. Geoff encouraged Jason and I to turn the idea of HRE into a reality.

Geoff hasn't run for most of the year, as he has had a few injuries. It was great to see him at running Thursday night, looking forward to seeing him at our Brisbane races.

Thanks for keeping us running Geoff!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Run Rails Run – Interview

It feels good to be back blogging!

As I said last week I promised when I kicked the blog off that it wouldn’t be a training diary and for me, and that’s all I have been doing. Who wants to hear about me doing 1km repeats or those 400m track sessions....if I am bored thinking about writing it, I can guarantee you would of been bored reading it.
A few weeks ago Australia’s hardest 100mile race “The Great North Walk” was run. Now I know half of my blog readers would be thinking “yes I know that race, it is insane and only for crazies” and the other half of you would be thinking “never heard of it”. So the abridged version of the course description is that it is a point to point 100 mile race run in NSW along the Great North Walk track. The 100 mile race is actually about 175km, insane – the elevation profile is ridiculous and normally the heat (over 40 degrees in the middle of the day) makes dropping out from dehydration is near certainty.
Taking all of that into consideration two runners braved the elements and embarked on the challenge last weekend. Marty “White Caviar” Hack and Raelene “Rails” Bendall both had signed up for the 100 mile race, but with different goals. Whilst Marty was focussed on the pointy end, Rails hadn’t been training too heavily and was really just focussed on finishing.
To paraphrase Rail’s “I didn’t do anything special anyone could do it” – this statement pretty much sums up her unassuming, self deprecating approach to her own achievements. Raelene has completed the 100k at The North Face and 100k at Glasshouse 100 in September and now Australia’s toughest 100 miler, by anyone’s standard this has been an absolutely stellar year, but as I try to load on the compliments Rail’s brushes them aside.

When it comes down to it, she is mentally stronger than any of the crew we train with. If I am a mixed up mental mess when it comes to racing, Rail’s is the opposite a strong willed and focussed racer, she knows her limits and races within them.
So you haven’t been training much due to work, uni etc – have you just been doing a long run a week to prepare?
I’ve been doing two hours of hill intervals every Wednesday on the Mount Archer and a long run including hills and trails on weekends. Leading into the GNW my largest weekend was a 4.5hr run on a Saturday in the middle of the day, followed by a 5hr run at Byfield on the Sunday. Gavin and I also used the hill at Kemp beach in our training and also ran a loop around the Razorback Road and Mount Morgan Range to mix it up one day.

You mentioned the cool conditions helped this year, how much did that factor into you finishing?
It got hot on the second day and I really started to struggle keeping enough fluid in. I felt like I was cooking from the inside out and having to drink so much makes it even harder to keep solid food down. The middle section of the course is known as ‘The Basin’ and I guess it’s really a big volcanic iron kettle with a rainforest in it. There is no airflow and two years ago they reckon it was over 46 degrees. I honestly believe that with my present fitness, as slow as I ran, I would not have made the finish line if the temperature had been like it was in previous years. I used this as motivation many a time to make it to the finish line. It was obviously my lucky year.

For myself, being caught by the sweepers would mentally snap me. How did you use being caught by the course sweepers to your advantage?  
Having the sweepers meant that I didn’t have to navigate for the entire back end of the course. It guaranteed me that I wouldn’t get lost and that is a huge relief. Having to navigate takes up heaps of time reading through maps and double checking directions, and until you saw a GNW marker, which were sometimes quite spread out, I was always fearful that I had taken a wrong turn. (Again) I also got to meet some really interesting people. Gary Pickering and Rob Scoines are both running the Coast to Kosi in a couple of weeks and Matt O’Shea broke his ankle less than 11 weeks ago. They also kept me on pace ensuring that I made it to the next Checkpoint in time. Most people run with their own crew and pacers to keep them moving at a descent pace, and as it turned out I had the best local running legends.
For a runner who loves the numbers – it blows my mind that you didn’t run with a GPS to track distance and pace. Another great example of how different we all are. Have you considered using a GPS for your races coming up? 
 I do own a GPS but lately it has been unreliable and gives me the shits. It’s a constant reminder that I’m too slow. I did take Gavin’s GPS with me to help track with the directions and Navigation, but the batteries were playing up, so I turned it off. (I probably put them in upside down) I tend not to use my GPS during races anyway as I find them distracting. I’ve often found them telling me I’m going too slowly, but there’s not much I can do about that. If I could be going faster I would be. I tend to try and listen to my body and put in a certain effort for an event. For a 36hr race I ran at about 75 per cent, but in a 5km race I’d run at 95 per cent. (

To answer a couple of the questions that have been posted, yes you do walk in Ultra Marathons. Walk/Running (that is transitioning from walking to running) is a learned skill. Once you power walk a hill, it can often be the case where it is difficult to start running again. Mentally you can use little tricks like “I am running once we get past that tree” etc to get you going again.
Footwear is also a personal choice. You ran most of the race in Salomon Speedcross 3 – the racing shoe from Salomon. It is light and doesn’t provide much cushioning, but has excellent grip which is important on the muddy trails.

How did your feet cope with the 36hrs? I expected them to be worse. Unfortunately I carried some pre-existing blisters over from my last 100km run and training that hadn’t quite heeled, so they flared quite quickly. The pads of my feet got pretty sore after about 30 hours and the last few hours of rock jumping were fairly uncomfortable. I didn’t lose any toenails though. I wore two pairs of socks on the first day because it was cold and my feet didn’t swell like they usually do, and changed my shoes at the 85km mark. I use lanacane on my feet and wear sockette stockings under my socks to prevent general rubbing.

You said you didn’t drink once from her hydration pack, instead preferring to drink from two handheld water bottles. You said one contained endura the other a really weak endura mix (personally I hate endura). How many gels/cliff shot bloks did you consume? I thought I was taking heaps but when I got to the end I found I had only used 5 packs. I also drank 7 poppers, 15 cokes, 4 cups of tea, pretzels, chippies, bananas, porridge and some vegie soup.
Yes to answer a question posted, you do go to the toilet during a long trail race usually off in the bushes out of everyone’s view. Going “number 1’s” is a good sign of hydration, not going number 1’s is a not a good sign, a point Raelene made that she went a number of hours without needing to go to the toilet.

Another question from a Facebook stalker – did you get tired? And what motivates you to keep going? No I didn’t get tired. I did have some low blood sugar problems just before sunrise which left me a little faint and slowed me down for about 45 minutes. I guess with all the panic of being last and barely making the cut offs with only minutes to spare I was also busy busting my guts to get somewhere so I just didn’t have time to be tired. I never had a problem with motivation. I wanted the finish soooooooo bad that to deny myself the finishers medal would have been certain heartache that I just didn’t want to contemplate. The GNW has a lot of credit with other race organisers and a finish here, even if it is in last place, is worth a lot on future race entries. I also had a stressed out husband at home who I knew was following me every step of the way, and I couldn’t come up with a single excuse for not finishing that was better than a finishers medal.

Besides running with the sweepers at various points later in the race, you spent time between CP 3 and CP 4 with a running buddy who she has run with from a number of other Ultras, how did you help each other get through the rough patch?
My friend Siev did not want to leave CP3, but she agreed to come with me. We got lost together and it ended up costing us an hour. Between the two of us we were able to work out exactly where we’d gone wrong, turned around and kept going. Seiv had decided to pull out at CP4 after running 110km, so she wasn’t too concerned about how long it took her to get there, but as I was continuing, I needed to get there before the 4am cutoff. Without a GPS I had no idea how far to CP4 or how fast we were going. Seiv had it sorted and took charge of the pacing. She was determined to get us there with at least 20 minutes of time to refuel. And she was spot on! Two headlamps at night are certainly better than one. Seiv got another 100km finish instead of a DNF and she gave me the chance at my 100mile finish.
When did you realise you were going to make it?
About 4km out the sweeper had left me and run back to a guy that was behind me on the last leg. He was positive that I’d make it if I ran all the way but I still wasn’t sure. It wasn’t until I came around the last lookout, turned the corner and finally saw the beach and the finish line a km away with about 15 minutes to spare. Even then there is a really steep descent down on to the beach and I was hoping that it was pretty much straight down, not too much zigg zagging or it would take too long. It was my quickest descent of the entire race.

So what’s next? You just finished Oz’s toughest 100 miler so what else is there to run?
There’s heaps of Australia I haven’t seen and even more to explore overseas. But I’m broke. So the big plan is definitely the Coast to Kosi next year. It’s a 240km run from a beach near Eden in NSW to the Summit of Kosi in the first week of December. Gavin and I would both like to run it.  You need to submit a resume to the race director to be accepted, so the rest of the year will be building that resume. We’ll certainly try to do the Glasshouse trail runs, starting with the 50km Hares and Hounds in early January. Because I like mental things we’ll do the 12hr track race in Caboolture in Feb. We are hoping to do 6 foot track and the North Face 100 again, as well as the 100miles at Glass later in the year. The rest of the year is needs to be flexible around injury and finances. Gavin wouldn’t miss the Goldcoast and there are also other 12 and 24hr track races in winter.
There are a couple of gems of information in our conversation that  I needed reinforced, we joked that I am a messed up racer – in particular when I start to get negative thoughts I let those dominate my thinking, called negative self talk. Raelene said she just snaps herself out of those negative thoughts, she doesn’t let them fester or dominate her thinking for any extended period.

That is good advice for everyone, especially new runners where the going gets tough and you just want to stop – don’t. That feeling and moment will pass and you can push through it and come out the other side to feeling OK again.

Thank-you so much Raelene, I know you weren't too keen on the interview, but you have acheived so much and it is so great to share it with everyone. Congrats again on the finish!

As a note, Marty was up the front in the top 4 but took a wrong turn and ended up doing an extra 16km before finding the checkpoint. He then dropped from the race. White Caviar will be back to smash up a race near you soon!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend - hope to see you at the Movember run.



Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Hard Running

I sometimes get nervous going to a training run, recently it is just because I know it is going to be hard, it will require me to concentrate on holding a set pace or not getting dropped with the faster group.

Last Thursday I ran with Rod on his "Range Loop" and he purposely smashed me. Just really run the legs off me up the hills and I know he enjoyed it.

Are you having fun yet PEX?

Tomorrow morning I face the music again. Hard Running. I know it is going to painful - I am planning to hold on for a little longer and not die.

Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Lost and Found

Cannot believe that it's been 2 months since I blogged. Plenty of crazy stuff happening, just not motivated to put pen to paper.

Sorry I have been lazy with the blog posts. I am back on track now!

I have started the "Run Rails Run" interview, it is in draft and should go up by the end of the week. Thanks for the questions - I have tried to include them in the blog.

So what's new?! Jason and Vicky have had their baby, a little beautiful girl Makenzie. She is nearly 3 weeks old now, it certainly is bringing back some memories for Bel and I remembering when Hayden and Joel were born.

Hayden and Mak

On the running front, I had a tough run down at Toowoomba half marathon. I blew myself up running too hard too early! WHEN WILL I EVER LEARN!

A week later I ran the Rocky Road Runners Pink Ribbon Run and finished 5th overall, my garmin had me finish at 20.37 for a touch under 5km. Not quite a PB as I have recently run a 19.48 with Benny, but the course was a tough one. Besides winning the short course duathlons last season, this is the highest I have ever finished at a running race, pretty happy with the progress so far.

Rod and I did a 3hr Mountain Bike Enduro - we finished 4th in our category! Which is pretty awesome considering I am a runner, and Rod is tentative riding hard on the trails with that huge plate in his arm. It was great fun, I am keen do more MTB riding in the future. I came off a number of times, nothing bruised but my ego!

Post race beers

What is next? Well we have the Movember run coming up this weekend, which is another local race. There is an 8km event, which is perfect as I have been doing some harder running in preparation for a 15km race on the Gold Coast on the 9th of December.

Whilst on the subject of Movember - I am doing it again, which is my 7th year of trying to grow a Mo! If you have a spare $5 please pop over to my Mospace and donate. It is for a great cause.

I've tried to use Instagram to make my mo look better FAIL
Of course the planning has started for 2013 including what races I am thinking of running. I am locked into doing the Great Ocean Road (GOR) Marathon in May. All of the local guys have said it is a ripper of a course, everyone has run a PB there. The other reason is that Greg has moved back to Geelong so accommodation and sightseeing is already locked in! It will end up being a pretty cheap trip (note the fun police are onto me about spending too much money on races).

So thats about it. A new blog is coming this week and then a Movember Race blog, so I am back on track with some content for the next month!

PS - I found an insanely funny running blog whilst I was "working" hard last Friday afternoon. Check it out if you like funny running blogs :) http://www.theboringrunner.com/ 

Be safe running out there!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Make The Days Count - RIDERODRIDE Interview

So a bit of a detour from our normal running related coverage, this week we have local athlete sub 5 hour half ironman and Ultra Runner Rodney Enkelmann in for an interview.

1. Rod - thanks for the catch up. Congratulations on your second place at the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic! I touched on it last week in the blog, you have just come back from Smiling for Smiddy. What is it?

Smiling for Smiddy is a charity set up in honour of Adam Smiddy. Adam passed away from an aggressive cancer in 2006, aged just 26. Adam and his good friend Mark “Sharky’ Smoothy loved to ride and often talked about doing a credit card ride , just going for a ride for a few days with nothing more then a credit card and catching a bus home. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to fulfil the dream together. Soon after Adam’s passing in 2006 Mark and 2 other mates rode from Brisbane to Townsville (1600kms) as a tribute to his late mate – and the Smiddy challenge was born. There is a number of rides now conducted throughout the year with the main ride being the 8 day, 1600km ride from Brisbane to Townsville. Since the charity has been set up more then $3million has been raised for cancer research. You can still donate to my page at
www.smiddyfundraising.com.au/rodney_enkelmann or in general at www.smiddy.org.au
2. So you rode 1600km in 8days from Brisbane to Townsville, some basic runner to rider questions:

a. What did you eat through the day?

Breakfast was fairly simple, cereal, toast or fruit. As you know, I am very partial (blatant advertising) to an Icebreak so I made sure I snuck one in pre departure as well. The road crew were fantastic and the morning tea spread was an assortment of fruit, homemade slices, biscuits etc but the favourite of us all was the classic Sao with tomato and cheese. Lunch was a sandwich consisting of cold meat and coleslaw and again fruit. A lot of riders also made themselves additional sandwiches consisting of peanut butter, nutella and banana (remember it is fuel – not really food). I couldn’t bring myself to give this a go though. And coke, can’t forget the softdrink. Afternoon tea consisted of fruit and slices and powerade. Dinner was always a lot of carbs, potato bakes pasta’s etc. I watched what I ate as I didn’t want to be in discomfort on the bike so I really didn’t eat much more then I would at home. Some boys were having thirds and dessert!
b. Did you pick up any injuries?

I wouldn’t really say any injuries. My ITB tightened up by day 3 and by lunchtime day 4 I was struggling to put pressure on my pedals with my right leg. We had a masseuse travelling with us and she was an angel. A quick massage at lunch, some magic spray and I was good to go. Seriously though, it would take until morning tea everyday for it to warm up and then be a dull pain for the rest of the day. I have had 2 massages since the ride and my ITB is still a little tight – guess that is what 8 days of constant pedalling will do to you – but, I am alive and have the opportunity to live everyday so I have got nothing to complain about!
c. How did you train for the event?

To be honest, I didn’t train specifically for the event. I registered for the event back in November last year so kind of figured I would have plenty of miles on the bike come September. Then I had my accident in January, which saw me off the bike until April. By May I was starting to get a little concerned about ‘bike’ time, but I was training hard for Cairns 70.3 in June so thought I would be okay. After Cairns was the Yeppoon 70.3 mid August, leaving about 10 days post the event to recover and be fresh for the ride. I felt awesome in Cairns, and backed it up with a good outing at Yeppoon. Sometime between the 2 I thought I would have no issue with overall fitness, but was a little worried about not having enough bike fitness. After Yeppoon I had an easy 10 days and thought I would pick up my bike fitness on the ride.
d. Did your bum get sore?

It is impossible for your butt not to!!! It was funny watching all the riders move around on their seats every day trying to find that 1 spot where it didn’t hurt. I must say that on day 2 I finally relented and tried ‘butt’ cream for the first time and it is a god send! Cyclists will know what I am talking about.

3. What was the highlight?

Impossible to pick just 1. Everyday brought new challenges, achievements and highlights. The entire journey was a highlight. Very special people from all walks of life doing something about cancer. And could you get a better way to see the greatest state in Australia? It is amazing how much more you can take in on a pushbike! Tuesday’s morning tea stop was extra special for me personally though. My beautiful girl Sonya brought Jakeb, Connor and Mason out to Dululu to ‘steal’ 20 minutes with me. As soon as I turned the corner and saw them there I cried, such was the emotional high we were on daily. Reaching Townsville ranks pretty highly too, realising that we have ridden 1600km in just 8 days – I still don’t think it has sunk in and having Sonya there to meet me was extra special.

Wives certainly are understanding!!! Sonya deserves a medal for putting up with your crazy events!

4. You have 3 awesome son’s what was it like leaving them behind?

As we all do, I travel for work frequently so I was able to treat the first couple of days like a normal work trip. But after day 1 of the ride I really started to miss them. I think it was the combination of the physical effort we were putting in and listening to the stories shared at the dinner functions by those touched by cancer that made us all appreciate what we have. Riding off after morning tea Tuesday broke my heart. I found strength in the knowledge that what we were doing was for a great cause, and from my fellow riders. That, and with each day that passes I was closer to getting home!

5. 8 solid days on the bike, did you have any light bulb moments?
A number! As I mentioned in the prelude, every morning that I wake up is a blessing. Every time I have the opportunity to run with you, or the awesome Rocky Road Runners crew, or ride my bike or simply lay in bed with my family I am truly lucky. The ride has changed my perspective on life – ‘..do not count the days, make the days count!’. 

6. You are a normally pretty quiet person, how was it with 49 strangers?

Ha! It was a little different. I didn’t realise how introverted I am until on day 7 Rowman got excited when I spoke to him as I passed. Then on day 8 Sharky nearly fell off his bike when I did the same!!

7. Would you do it again? If so what would you do differently?

In a heartbeat! It is truly amazing to be part of something like the Smiddy challenge. What Mark has set up is inspiring. It is amazing what you learn about yourself by completing something that isn’t just about you. What I would do different is take a friend with me...keen?

Yeah - just bought a road bike - training started today 40km :( 1600km seems a long way off!!

8. You have had a massive year with 2 ultras, two Ironman 70.3 and the smile for smiddy, what is next....?

Next major event for me is a 50km ultra in December. Beyond that is my first full ironman at Cairns next June.

9. Who is the big unit in the photos?

Scott Fraser. The biggest bloke on the trip (as you can see by the photo) but every day he saddled up and rode until he couldn’t anymore! He managed to ride just under 1000 k’s for the trip, including the entire last day!!! A massive effort for someone his size.

10. Anything you wanted to add? 

As I am telling you this I am getting emotional, such is the impact that the ride has had on me. Too often we take life for granted, when everything just becomes ‘too tough’. I have a new found respect for just being able to get out of bed in the morning, to have the opportunity to ride/run/swim or to do whatever it is that your passion is. Adam doesn’t get that opportunity. On the Monday after the ride I went for a run from the motel to the Strand (Townsville) return – because I could, and I swear I was grinning like a Cheshire cat. I loved it, every minute of it (and yes I was still hurting from the ride). What I did take note of that day was the pained look on other faces as I passed them, like it was a chore to be out enjoying the morning air! Every morning that we wake is a blessing people!!!

Great words Rod!!!!

"Do not Count the Days - Make the Days Count"


Monday, 17 September 2012

Racing, Running and Surviving!

Why do I run?

Its a question you ask yourself a bit when things aren't going well or you are injured.Thoughts like 'This is hard, what am I training for?' can be common.

Well the reason I RUN is the finish line. More specifically that awesome feeling of accomplishment as you power down the finish chute and under the finish arch. Crossing the line, telling yourself "never again" only to tell yourself 5 minutes later "where can I sign up for another?".

Did you have that feeling yesterday? Did it come mid way through your run, where it got hard, and the body started to tell you to ease up, slow down a little, that you can't push any harder? But you didn't listen? You kept going, and you got to experience that flood of emotion coming down the finish chute.

Words cant normally express what it means to go to that point and overcome it, to finish when the going gets tough. I saw it yesterday, on the faces of people who I have never met. You achieved something quite remarkable, a Personal Best or your first race a new distance goal. You are all champions.

I have gone into a bit of sensory overload from yesterday, so many people, so much adrenaline and excitement. The vibe is very addictive.

With so many moments, it it hard to pick out clear images or details of the actual races. Here's a few of my own personal snapshots, I hope you have your own:

From the HRE Kids Dash I was just so proud of all of the kids who gave it a go. I know many adults who would never attempt a 2k race, and watching the kids just have a crack, was so rewarding. Obviously both of my boys running really made my heart swell. Seeing my youngest son Joel run his first race, and smash it up down the finish chute is simply awesome. He slept with his medal last night - an Athlete for Life.

In the 5km - Miles pipped Rodney in a reversal of last years event, and I am so proud of them both. Miles has really been training hard, and will be a force over the next few years when he steps up to the longer distances. Rodney just coming back from his 1600km "warm up" ride, shows what sort of insane runner he is to get so close. 

The women's 5K also saw athletes who we haven't seen at other events dominate and also repeated podium efforts. Many in the 5K walked the event; for some this may be the start of an athletic career. For others, your valued support is greatly appreciated.

In the 10km defending champs Paul and Alice were back to dominate, different preparation to last year, with a number of weddings and bucks/hens parties hampering their preparation. Paul really looked comfortable up the front each time I saw him. Both are champions and deserve their respective wins. Paul also holds his title of NEVER being beat here in Rocky.

Second place in the men's 10k Raleigh continues his meteoric rise locally. He obviously got the memo that Paul was keen for someone to challenge him, and he absolutely buried himself yesterday at the race. If you want to see what it looks like to push yourself past your limit, you should of seen him at the pool after the race. Insane. Hard work pays off!

Ladies 3rd place in the 10k Hanah who was making her debut was also very impressive, she is another of the young group of local State Cross Country finalists. There is some serious talent coming through the ranks.

In the half marathon, there were some really awesome stories. Somehow people managed to PB on the course, as course director, I know it wasn't going to be the fastest course in the world with the grassed section - so for anyone that PB'ed congratulations to you, you should be very proud.

Greg ran another PB - he continues to improve on the run less run faster program. Well done on your 1.45 PB.

Greg Wilkes part of "Team Wilkes" ran his first half marathon, and I am so impressed - he never looked like he was having a bad day. He just locked into his pace and kept knocking the km's off. Very solid.

Up the pointy end it was great to have a high quality ladies field assembled, Michelle and Catherine were in a battle for 2nd and 3rd. It was a very close finish. Well done to the ladies winner Emily.

The most impressive run of the day though, was the race win by the Queensland Telegraph Sports Editor and all round good guy/dad of the year Aaron Kelly. I honestly thought he was going to blow himself up when I saw him, I said to Fallon at the 3.5km turn around "there is no way he can keep this pace up, Michael will catch him for sure...." but it never happened, he just kept running hard and actually lengthened his lead on the last lap! For his debut half marathon, off very little training, I was extremely surprised. Time to ditch the beers and start training with Lawto!! Jason said whetever you do just don't buy a bike - you have him running scared! You are officially "Undefeated" at the half marathon distance!

My friend Joe from The Marathon Show in the USA has a quote which we live by at HRE the quote is "Its not about the finish time, but about the finish line". Its very true - we aim to bring you an experience which makes you hungry to do more races.

For Jason, you contributed something that is more personal and rewarding than many will know. He and his brother are Type 1 Diabetics. Everyone who raced know knows a little bit more about Type 1 Diabetes or about our charity partner JDRF. Awareness is powerfull

We aim to inspire you to do other events, maybe the Pink Ribbon Run, or race in the Frogs Triathlon Series, maybe join the new Cap Coast Road Runners or come and race me at the Toowoomba Marathon in October....DO SOMETHING!

Use your positive race experience as fuel to do another.

Thank-you for the memories, it truly was one of the best days of my life. 



Tuesday, 11 September 2012


Its quite fitting that I write this on September 11, the date of last years event!

As you can imagine life at Human Race Events HQ has been insano!

Not even sure that is a word, but it surely describes how Jason and I both feel. This year the organisation has gone to another level and we have spent a lot of extra time getting all of the details right. For those of you that work and have a hobby business, you know what I mean. Both Jason and I have day jobs as Safety Professionals, and then after hours squeeze in the other work required to make the magic that is the "CQPhysio Group Spring Classic".

As we both train in the morning, nights are the only time available. The other barrier this year is that we don't train together. Last year we were able to cover off a lot of stuff on long runs or mid week runs, this year it has all been a lot of email and phone. Not ideal!

There is an incredibly strong bond of trust between the both of us, something which if we didn't have, would make doing this impossible. When destiny brought me a training buddy, it brought with it a mentor, coach, sounding board, counsellor, cheer squad, business partner and mate. I am sure this week will have a few more surprises for us, I am just so lucky to have Jas in the trench with me.

The best thing though is that the pain is nearly over (for us), and if you have kept up to date with Facebook the event is a near sell out. The 5km and 10km races are full and at the time of typing only a couple of spots left in the half and kids dash. This is quite remarkable, we will have over 400 runners racing on Sunday, that is TWICE as many as 2011.

It certainly feels like Christmas!! Bring on the weekend!

In Ultra news - Benny, Marty (White Caviar), Gavin, Raelene & Matt (Tattoo Runner) are off to smash it up down at the Glasshouse 100. Yep that is 100 MILES not 100km!!!! This is Australia's oldest hundred miler and Benny is back to make up for his DNF last year. Matt has been running really well and I expect him to sneak under 24hrs (yes 24hrs of running). Gav and Marty have their first crack at the distance, and hopefully Raelene's injured ankle is OK and she can run the 100k.

Its a funny feeling, because a big part of me is really jealous and wants to be trail running with them, but as you know I have chosen the path to get fast and efficient. I wish them all the best on Saturday/Sunday.

Big Rodney has just arrived back from his epic 1600km Brisbane to Townsville Smile for Smiddy Challenge. Yes don't adjust your screens BRISBANE to TOWNSVILLE in 8 days! NUTS!!! I wont go into too many details, as I will interview Rod this week and you will have a RideRodRide interview in couple of weeks with some photos etc. All I can say is I am both impressed and inspired to do more to help raise funds for charities!

Jason has refused to give me an interview, choosing instead to "fly under the radar" - but he raced locally on the weekend for a second place in the Rocky Cycling Club Road Championships "B" Grade. This is bloody impressive and goes with his B Grade King of the Mountain win a month ago. Having been on the bike for a little over 12 months it is nothing short of extroadinary. Hard work pays off. I am sorry that you cant race this weekend in the Criterium championships as you will be working the microphone at the Spring Classic!! At least you will give some of the other guys a chance at a podium!

Come Sunday, if you are running you will experience the BEST race that has ever been put on in CQ. No exceptions. Remember we ARE runners too - and we want your race day to be a special memory.

When you cross that line Sunday you will be part of "the family", our family that is Human Race Events.

Best of luck to everyone.

"Running is not what I DO, but who I AM" - Sean Peckover

Friday, 31 August 2012

Blatant Advertising – Honey Shotz

So this past week has involved some easy running, that was until Sunday when the unofficial Turkey Chase was run! It was a recovery week, and I should have been taking it easy BUT when Leah announced we were heading up the trail on Sunday it was too good of a chance to return to the trail.
So I busted out the Salomon’s and filled up the hydration pack, and got to spend some time on the trail. The “some time” ended up being 4hrs worth, and to be honest it was really great to be back out on the dirt, walking, running and generally having a laugh.
There were a heap of us there from Team HRE, Benny, Rodney, Raelene, Gav, Greg and Miles. Greg had decided to see what all the fuss was about. As it was Greg’s first trip up Mt Archer we took it pretty easy, on the return trip it heated up but we pushed on. It was really great to be back out there running the familiar trail.
Plenty of firsts for Greg, first trail run and first fall! HA! All part of the fun.
On the way back I remembered I had some Honey Shotz left over from the race last weekend. This gets me onto the Blatant Advertising part of the blog! I rate Honey Shotz as the BEST newcomer to the nutritional market in the past 12 months.
Sure its “just honey” – but honey is such a great source of energy when you are running. As it is all natural, there is nothing to interfere with you digestive system. Honey Shotz also come in 100kj sized packs, so a ¼ of a gel. This makes them awesome to have in between a gel OR if you are replacing a gels altogether one every 10-20 minutes.
The way I use them most, is on a 15-20km run, having one every 5km. Just to give you a little more blood sugar. A whole gel can often produce a spike and a crash, but with Honey Shotz you can sort of “drip feed” your system.
Joel my youngest boy call the draw where I put all of my running gear, the “Honey Draw”. It took me a while to realise he was sneaking in there and eating the Honey Shotz without me knowing!! I’ve had to put the box up in the cupboard now!
HRE are really excited to have Honey Shotz on board as our nutrition sponsor for the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic. They will be on course at all of the aid stations. As the aid stations are so close, you will be able to use the “drip feed” approach if you are doing the half marathon, and take one at each aid station. http://capilano.com.au/sport-nutrition/honey-shotz/

Speaking of the Spring Classic we shot the video - it was a little windy, but I think it turned out really well!!
There are still a few spots left on the kids race, so I really encourage you to register your kids for the 2k dash. Each kid will receive an awesome t-shirt, and finishers medal. Active kids are happy and healthy kids, my boys are proof! www.cqphysiosc.com

Last but certainly not least, a big shout out to Rodney who is doing the 1600km Smiddy Challenge starting tomorrow. Yep that's 1600km of bike riding over 8 days! Crazy! It is all for a great cause, raising money for Cancer so best of luck to him!!! You can track him at this web page

Watch for magpies if you are on a bike!


Monday, 20 August 2012

PBs and Rookie Mistakes

Well it isn’t often that I get to my Blog straight after a race, but I thought I would get it out of my system before I forget how it all went yesterday.
First things first – I PB’ed. I ran the half in 1.41 and on THIS course that is 27 minutes faster than the time I ran in 2010. 27 minutes is a fair bit so I am happy with that amount of improvement in 2 years. In the bigger picture, I am really pleased that I can see that I am improving. My goal of 1.35 was a little ambitious on this course, BUT you need to have those stretch goals. I believe I am in close to 1.35 shape on a cool, flat road course....which this course wasn’t.
I will explain the course now, it is broken into 3 parts, about 3.5km of is exposed road running – quite large gravel (not smooth hot mix material) then there is 2km of “trail” which by the time I started to run on it, resembled the beach. It was very sandy and had a number of undulations. Then the final 1.5km is on compacted gravel – which is quite fast to run on. The course is 3 7km loops.
The trail part of the course really zapped me of any energy in my legs, and whilst I was running comfortably at 4.30 pace for the first 3.5km on the road the trail section and weaving in and out of runners, took its toll on my pace. I really noticed the huge difference in my exertion level through the sandy trail section, which by the 3rd lap it felt really HARD.
So for me, it was quite a difficult race. My energy felt quite low. I also had a tummy upset on race day. Without going into the details, I thought it was nerves but I had 6 trips to the toilet before the race started and about 8 post race.
How did I end up with a tummy bug? Saturday was my nephews 4th birthday and we had a great day at the Botanic Gardens, and whilst lunch involved a bit of “party food” dinner was a rushed affair and included hot chips and frozen food at Bel’s sisters house.
Seems like a very bad rookie error eating something very different to my normal pre-race, Subway lunch and pasta/thin pizza dinner. I am really regretting not planning my Saturday meals in advance. As I have been eating quite cleanly for the past couple of weeks, the high fat dinner really disrupted my body Sunday, to the point I had massive stomach cramps all Sunday night. Not good. Pre-race nutrition lesson reinforced.
So in adding all of those details up, very happy to PB considering the condition I was in and the course. Lawto, Jason and I finished 4th Men’s team and 5th team overall out of 42 teams.
Lawto swam like an animal – very impressive swim time, Jason rode unreal 2hrs 28minutes – he had a guy sitting on his wheel the whole 90km drafting off him!

Pre-Race Pex, Lawto, Cadel
JP Pre-Race
Lawto - post swim
Jason smashing it
Mid Race
More running!
In the other teams, Gav held off Paul “Tex” Tucker for the team win. Gav ran very impressively going 1.28 which is awesome on that course, Paul ran 1.19 not enough to catch Gav, Aiden in his first half marathon went under 1.35 – again I can’t stress how impressive those times are considering the course and running in the middle of the day. Also note – Paul did run at the Botanic to Bridge in the morning (8km) and drove the 90 minutes back to Yeppoon before he raced again at lunch!
It was so great to see heaps of local athletes out there smashing it up in the over the full 70.3 distance, Brendan “Big M” Motley went 5.21, Rodney smashed his PB he went 4.56 for, Raleigh Wallace smashed it with a 4.42. Very happy for these guys, hard worked payed off for them!!!
So I have a block of 8 weeks of training before the Toowoomba Half Marathon, a bit of a rest week this week then straight back into the speed work.
DO NOT forget to register for the Spring Classic!! www.cqphysiosc.com I promise a FAST course to set a PB!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Chasing a PB....

My memories of primary school athletics are crystal clear, I was the "bigger" boy who tried his hardest but regularly came nearly always last. In general I was a tryer. I would never skip anything I would never fake it or sit out, I was just never that good.

That moment when I realised I might be an athlete came when in Year 7 I was trailing running dead last in the cross country, I surged up the oval and put the hammer down and out sprinting two of the other boys to come third last! I threw up a little and layed on the ground trying to breath, I was happy with my "win". The memory is still fresh in my mind.
It's an interesting observation that most runners talk about a shared lack of "athletic" ability from an early age. I've lost count the amount of blogs I've read that start "I hated running, until XX happened - then I ran, now I am a marathoner".

I certainly believe getting started is the hardest part of running. "I'm too unfit, too fat, too slow". Last week I was reminded that runners come in all shapes and sizes, Step Into Life (personal training group) were out running at the same time as we finished our Saturday run. Here was a lady in her mid 40s - running, then walking to catch her breath, then running again. I slowed and spoke to her for a couple of minutes and encouraged her. She is at the start of her journey - in 12 months she could be 30kg lighter and runner her first half marathon.

All week I have been thinking about that lady and the others like her. Those that don't look like the Olympic Marathoners, but are out there running, getting fit and striving for their own goals.

Which gets me onto this week - its race week. Races arent the reason I run, they are more like the icing on the cake. I always have an event coming up - something to plan and train for. Having a very goal orientated personality, it helps give me some focus to what I am doing.

This week though is a little different, for once I am not doing a mega event. This is the first of my "shorter" races. I havent really explained, but after my marathon PB at Gold Coast, I became even more motivated to run faster. I am hungry for a fast marathon time, like the others from our running group that have gone under 3.20, or even faster. So after spending the past 3 and half years building my marathon war chest (7 marathons and 3 ultras) - I have switched to shorter races to build speed. I never did this as part of my running journey, I went for the big fish, the marathon, and have tried to improve by just running more marathons.

So I am running half marathons from now till Gold Coast 2013. Loosely my goals are to improve my pace so by the Rocky River Run next year I am running close to 90 minutes for the half marathon.

This weekend is the first step in the process. Jason, Lawto and I are in a team for the Yeppoon Ironman 70.3.

Simply I have been training to run a 1.35 half marathon. As you know from my previous blogs, my half PB is 1.42 from 2010 - so it has been a while since I have had success over this distance.

As boring as it sounds, training has been going very well - hard sessions are hard and the easier sessions have been enjoyable. It has taken me 8 weeks to get used to the idea that a training session might only include 25 minutes of really hard running. Most sessions are over and done within the hour. Saturday long runs are finished before the kids are out of bed!!!

The other fun part of this weekends race is the "team" competition. There are 3 other local teams who are all trying to win the mens team event, and without going right into all of the athletes I will be running agains Paul "Tex" Tucker (yes 2.42 marathoner and 1.12 half marathoner YIKES!), Gav Bendall (TNF finisher and 2.58 marathoner) and Aiden. I have no idea what Aiden will run, but he was a national level swimmer so fair guess he has a massive engine and eye of the tiger when he races.

So what does this mean for our team? Well on paper we certainly will match it with the other teams in the water and on the bike. My race plan is to run nice and evenly through the 21km, so maintain an even 4.30 average pace the first 10km will be OK at that pace, but I know I will need to dig deep to hang on for the second part of it.

The course isnt the easiest to run on, nor is it ideal that you have to wait around for your team mate to come in on the bike (the waiting killed me last time). Getting nutrition and hydration right is a bit of a juggling act, and keeping cool on the run is also important as it can be hot out on the exposed part of the road.

So I will be out there chasing 1.35 trying not to let Jason and Lawto down. Hopefully it all comes together, I can hang on and we can finish somewhere near the pointy end for the men's teams. If it comes down to a sprint finish, which it may do, I hope my leg speed and memories of that Year 7 cross country will get me to the finish in front of the chase pack.

“You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do.”  - Henry Ford

PS - If you are in Yeppoon on Sunday why not come out and watch the race, there will be PRO triathletes in town, and as a spectacle it certainly is an awesome sight watching them race for the cash!

Also if you havent registered yet....DO IT! Less than 40 singlets left! www.cqphysiosc.com

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Train Like Crazy

First things first, the blog looks a little different this week. I have added the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic Banner to the top and also added a blog counter to the right hand tool bar.

The banner is really just to remind you that you need to register for the race www.cqphysiosc.com - but the blog counter is really just to pump my own tyres up. You see I have tried to write this blog as a self reflection piece and those blogs are really raw and honest, then other blogs are really "information" blogs for you the reader.

It certainly is weird to think I have regular readers from the USA and Canada, people who I dont know and probably never will. They probably stumble across my blog as they are googling for "Boston Marathon" or "JDRF logo" or "Nude Race" and my blog pops up so they have a scroll through.

Is that you? Are you one of those people who just stumble across my blog and have a read, check out my profile and never return?

If you are a regular reader, or have stumbled across my blog and you would like me to write about something - leave me a comment on the blog, on facebook (www.facebook.com/HREoz ) or twitter @RunPexRun .


Watching the olympics this week has really pumped me up to knuckle down with my 1%'ers. A term often used in team sports, where the difference between winning and loosing is very small (1%) - leaving no stone unturned to achieve the best I can be.

I have been really pumping out my speed work and sticking to the new half marathon plan. There are great positives with this, as I am already running stronger and faster and feel like I can hold a higher pace for longer now. The only negative has been my diet. Now I am not fat. Nor do I need to loose bucket loads of weight. BUT I did have a trip away with work last week which resulted in a LOT of beer and some questionable diet choices. Whilst my training was still spot on, I really am sabbotaging myself by eating like that.

Now I am not going fully vegetarian like RunBennyBoyRun or vegan like the TattooRunner - I am just concentrating on eating healthy again and being sensible with my portion sizes. I know I was running my best when I was closer to 72kg, which isnt stick thin for my frame - so by the end of the month I am going to clean the diet up to get back to that point and see how I feel then.

The thing I think about watching the Olympics is that the athletes dont cut corners. I have mentioned this a long time ago, but I was a fan on "get fit fast" "run less run faster" "less is more" type running programs. For me they dont work. I doubt any Olympians are competing on a less is more training program.

I have had a couple of comments about Jason's bike time up Mt Archer last week. It is insanely fast. Did he get strong from skipping sessions? NO. Jason does close to 20hrs per week on the bike....TWENTY hours! That is half a work week!!! Are you investing that volume of time? I'm not thats for sure. I am investing about 12-14hrs a week. I know Ben and Mat (Tattoo Runner) are running 100 MILES a week! Thats 160km! Both Ben and Mat smashed their PB's last week at the Flinders 50km trail race. They will probably tell you that it is because they are tree huggin vegetarians, BUT the real reason is they, like Jason are training hard and putting in the work.

Do the work - get the results. Train Like Crazy.

It may have slipped off the radar of the blog, but I am racing with Scott "The King" Lawton and Jason "Cadel" Paull at the Yeppoon 70.3. Lawto is swimming the 1.9k, Jas will bike the 90k and I get the run leg 21k half marathon....I have been training well and will set a new half marathon PB - hoping to go close to 1.35. Its in 2 weeks! Cant wait!

Best of luck to Leah, Gav, Trisha, Kathryn and Michael at the Brisbane Marathon this weekend. Mel and Dave in the half too! Rip it up.

Also good luck to Jason - he will smash it at Cunningham Classic in Brisbane on Saturday!


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Launch of CQPhysio Group Spring Classic

I had originally planned to do a bit of a race review of the other Rocky Road Runners -  but RunBennyBoyRun sort of stole my thunder... thanks Ben!

Then sh!t got crazy. That was a month ago!

Jason and I started pulling everything together for the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic. When I say crazy I mean, really nuts. Working late most nights on the "back end" of the event, this includes building websites, registration platforms, singlet design, Risk Management plans, obtaining insurance etc etc. Plus we have our own training to do, which is fairly intense for me and about 20hrs a week for Jason. Plus we have our day jobs and I've also got my boys. Somewhere in there is sleep. No wonder we are both regularly threatened with divorce!!!

Last year HRE brought the big city race experience to Rocky and this year we wanted to build on the event to really ensure everyone leaves with great memories of a great race.

We had a ball delivering the race. It is actually more rewarding for me to see someone set a PB at OUR event than it is to run one yourself. My sister smashed her 5k PB, Big M ran a 10k PB and we had a lot of first timers at our event last year, I loved it. HRE introduced many new runners to "the family", it was very satisfying to see plenty of running virgins finish their maiden races.

So what is in store this year???

A pretty good question. We have added the Half Marathon and a kids 2k dash to the event. The Half Marathon will be perfect for a your first attempt at 21.1. There are no time cutoffs, so if you are unsure of how long you are going to take you need not worry, the course will be open as long as it takes for the last finisher to cross the line. There will be great aid stations carrying Endura and Honey Shotz - and of course a finishers medal for all Half Marathoners. Who stages a Half Marathon without a finishers medal! I believe the Half Marathon is the perfect distance for any recreational runner - it doesn't require crazy amounts of training and is still a massive achievement for any runner.

The kids dash will be great fun for the under 12s. I personally think it is very important to role model healthy behaviours for our kids, and provide safe and fun environments for them to do it. Both of my boys will be running - and it will be Joel's first race.

So with 4 events we really will have an event for everyone!
Seeing the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic singlets at every running event in Rocky this year has given me a big kick. The 2012 singlets are RED and we only have 200, so you better get in quick and register - they will sell out quickly.

The other huge news which I blogged about earlier is that JDRF are our official charity partner. We will be making a large contribution to JDRF on your behalf if you race with us at the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic.

September 16 is going to ROCK we will have a live band playing at the race precinct, Rocky's elite as our pace runners, muffins by Degani's and live race commentary. You will also be able to check your race time and place straight after you finish on your iPhone! How awesome is that!

Time to "pull the trigger" and register - come and sign up at


In racing news, Jason has finally cracked a win on the local cycling scene. It was really emotional yesterday watching him race the Rockhampton King of the Mountain (KOM) - and win "B" grade by over 90 seconds. He has been close to a victory lately, including a puncture late in the race last week BUT finally he was able to show us what he is made of.

Cycling is a hard sport to know where you at. In comparison to running, where you are VERY comparable to other athletes, cycling involves many types of races (crit, road race, hill race, time trial) it is often hard to know where you sit in the pecking order. Running offers a distance/time comparison which is very easy for everyone to know how good you are. I am a 3.45 marathoner, 43.55 10k - you could go out and run those distances tomorrow and know if you are a faster runner than I am.

Yesterdays race up Mt Archer is a real comparison though, no tactics, no slip streaming, just PURE effort. What is really great is that Jason's time gives everyone a chance to see if they are faster than he is. Is he REALLY that good, has quitting running been worth it? SO if you are sort of wondering how fit he is - go and ride from the Mt Archer sign at the base the top in 22 minutes 49 seconds. A word of warning, the last time I tried to ride it - I didn't even make the 2k point of the 4.9k summit!

Don't miss out on the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic news, come and like our HRE Facebook page


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Lucky Number 7

“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”  Michael Jordan.
So it has taken me 7 marathons to get to this point. I have flown to Melbourne, Canberra, Gold Coast and Brisbane chasing PBs. I have gone from a massive over-pronator, to barefoot runner and somewhere in between in 3 ½  years. On the 1st of July 2012 it happened, I finally feel that I have run somewhere near my potential. A point where I can look in the mirror, and be satisfied that the investment has been worth it.
In a quiet moment on the start line on Sunday morning I thought long and hard about my two distinct and race finish options. One is that I have “another” race where the wheels fall off and I write a painful soul searching race report, one where I ask myself a million questions and get zero answers. The other is that I climb into the race and seek out the pain and know that I am the most mentally tough runner there is on the course.
And so I did just that.

But before we get to Sunday’s race and all of its glory – I thought I would just take you back through the other 6 marathons. I have eluded to a number of marathon race failures, so here is the abbreviated version of what has happened over the past 3 years.
1.    Gold Coast Marathon 2009. Net Time 4.38.03. Splits 2.03.42 and 2.34.20.
First marathon on very little training. I ran a half marathon PB in this race (by 6 minutes) and went too hard too early. Payed for it terribly out the back end of the course, but loved every moment. As I ran back to the finish, seeing Bel and the boys and my mum I was very emotional, the love affair with the marathon was born. I was aiming for 4.30 so only 8 minutes off, I was pleased with the finish time.
2.    Gold Coast Marathon 2010. Net Time 5.16.40. Splits 1.55.31 and 3.21.09.
My first marathon where I have run injured. I had run a 1.42 half marathon at the river run 3 weeks earlier in Vibram Five Fingers and just after the race had injured the top of my foot. Top of Foot Pain (TOFP) was terrible – but I made the mistake of not returning to shoes and persevering with the Vibrams. I had taken a few pain killers at the start and thought that if I could get through 10km I should be OK. At 14km, before the turn around I was cramping badly, so bad I was reduced to a walk at about 21km. I walk ran the last half of the marathon. Reduced to suffering in unbearable pain in my left foot and cramps. Luke ran the last 10 with me, and watched as I suffered badly. My sister ran past me on her way to her marathon debut in a touch over 5hrs. It was a very weird feeling having her pass me at the 34km mark. Two panadene forte at the finish line knocked me out. I woke up at 7pm that night, with no recollection of how I got back to the motel from Jason’s. That was my last race in Vibrams, I needed shoes!
3.    Melbourne Marathon 2010. Net Time 4.17.20. Splits 1.54.45 and 2.22.25. Melbourne was so beautiful. The race started early and I ran with Mon’s coach Roger for the first 25km. We went through the half with 5 minutes in the bank for a sub 4hr marathon. This was my second serious attempt at going under 4hrs, this time I wasn’t going to be stupid and go too hard, so we ran comfortably for the first half. I needed a toilet stop and lost Roger in the crowd. Going back up Flinders St I hit the wall, and needed fuel, I hadn’t taken any gels on board for a while and ended up fading in the last 10. Coming into the MCG was a very special moment, you run a lap of the oval and it was very special. I knew I was going to run a PB so I was very excited! I felt great that I finished strong, but it was bitter sweet. Luke had busted his knee and hadn’t run, so it was tough seeing him sitting on the sidelines. Hayden came with me to Melbourne, it was the best father son trip you could wish for. PBs for me, and a big day at the Zoo the next day for him. Thanks Tiger Airways for $40 flights! I was shooting for sub 4 but was happy with the PB.
4.    Canberra Marathon 2011. Net Time 4.39.55. Splits 2.02.25 and 2.37.30. Another marathon with TOFP this time from trying to do too much in my Nike Free’s. This is my famous “fat marathon” – where I was tipping the scales at 80.5kg (I am around the 72.5-73kg now). I flew to Canberra with Michael and really just hoped to be in one piece at the end. The pain in my foot resulted in me changing my gait and in the end my left glute locked up, it felt like it was in my hip joint and resulted in me suffering quite badly at the end. I was cold and miserable – but resolved my fuelling issues. No crashing due to lack of fuel like I had in Melbourne. When I got back and Jason looked at my photos, the famous “loose some weight” line was said. So I began dropping weight before Gold Coast. I was realistically aiming for a 4.10-4.15 Marathon. Disappointed again. I stop wearing the Nike Free’s and went back to a real shoe, actually the opposite to Free’s. I ran in Jason’s Nike Vomero’s (Nike’s most plush shoe) and within a week my TOFP was gone. I bought a pair within 3 weeks and haven’t had a foot injury since.....
5.    Gold Coast Marathon 2011. Net Time 4.18.52. Splits 1.54.33 and 2.24.18.
My race was punctuated by another injury, this one I didnt see coming! ITB pain at the 25km mark and I thought my race was over. It eventually became a little looser, but I just couldn’t run hard on it. 12 months of training and I hadn’t even improved upon my Melbourne PB. I seriously needed a decent marathon to make this all worthwhile. Best moment was seeing Michael and Gav at the Grand after the race, they both had gone under 3hrs for the first time and it was very special seeing them both so ecstatic. I had another one of those awkward moments, where people tell you that you did a great time, but you know they are just being nice. All I had was another excuse why I hadn’t gone under 4hrs. Jason and Luke both snuck under 4hrs, I was so happy for them. My turn must be coming.....
6.    Brisbane Marathon 2011. Net Time 4.05.57. Splits 1.48.43 and 2.17.25.
Jason and I flew to Brisbane and just went crazy at the race. Jason ran with no watch and simply crushed it, running 3.36 – I was on track for sub 4, right up to the last 6 or so kms where I crashed and had nothing left. I was vomiting at km 39 and had “burnt” all of my matches. Finishing with my sister was special – when I finished I sat there sobbing like a 5 year old girl, I had given 100% and finally got close to the elusive 4hr mark. Was I ever going to get there? Maybe this is as fast as I will ever run....

Which gets us to Sunday, Lucky Number 7.

What does it feel like to have a decent race? I spent time visualising the course on Saturday, thinking about the feeling of running through the 37km turn around at the top end of the course (I have always been walking through there), coming down the finish chute – seeing the clock say 3.XX.
The start of the race felt very familiar, like meeting an old friend for coffee. Nothing felt new, or different quite the contrast to TNF where it was an overload to the senses. I hugged Greg and wished him luck for his marathon debut, climbed through the fence and found a spot to wait for the start.
As you know I had no watch. So it felt like  an eternity for Deek to get on the microphone and give his marathon speech. I shed a tear at the end of his speech he said, “do it for your yourself, do it for your family”.
This was my time.
The gun went, and it took a while to get to the start line, no watch meant that I just ran by feel. I started a fair way back off the 3.30 balloons, in between the 3.30 and then 3.45 balloons. As the race started, I got into a rhythm early – not pushing, just getting comfortable.
I made a decision early to wait for a couple of kms before trying to get onto the back of the 3.30 balloon, but the volume of people though made it a non event so I just stuck to a pace that felt hard but not crazy (like I have run in the past). I realised that there were 2 ladies running the same pace, they look comfortable and weren’t surging or doing anything stupid. So I just sat behind them all of the way down to the 15km turn around.
Within that 15km nothing exciting happened. I purposely left my ipod off, just tried to listen to my feet and my breathing. Both sounded great. Luke went past at about 8km, and Big M (Brenden) went past me I think at 10 or 11km.
As we got closer to the turn around, it was great to see the crew all coming back the other way. Paul, Pete, Michael, Benny, Gav, Jacob, Leah, Polly...each one of them gave me a little boost as they each went past.
Heading back towards the start finish, I had a little down period where I felt a bit off, it lasted from about 18km to 22km then all of a sudden I was feeling great again. I did notice that the weather was quite warm, much warmer than normal. As we went through Surfers Paradise I was cruising, feeling great. Up ahead I saw Big M – which was weird, I shouldn’t be catching him, I knew something must be wrong.
Within a km I was on his shoulder and slowed to have a chat. We ran for a while together, I was a little hyper at this stage, feeling awesome ready to tear the race up. Brenden said he burnt too many matches running 4.30s earlier, and was paying the price. I knew how he felt, and as my pace was starting to push again he told me to push on. So I did.
The sun was beginning to really beat down on me. What was weird was that I was able to actually plan the back section of the race, I knew it was hot, so I needed more fluids at the aid stations. My left calf was beginning to cramp so I grabbed some cups of Endura at the aid stations, I took a couple more Clif Shot Bloks and got ready for it to get hard.
I ran over the bridge at the 30km marker, this was the first time ever for me, I was starting to really heat up – so I made a very smart move. The next aid station – the really big long one that I knew was coming, I got to it. Grabbed two cups of endura, got those in, walked some more, and grabbed a total of 6 cups of water. 4 for my head and body and 2 to drink. I said to myself, you have 11km of hurt. Lets get this done.
I went through the 30km in 2.33 – and knew that I would finish with 3.40-3.45. I began to think very clearly. Right, it is hot and hard, so don’t spend too much energy until the 37km mark, then push if there is anything left.
Back at home, my 30km split come up on Jason’s screen. Jason was watching with his brother Troy. Troy said “Sean will find a way to f$%k this up, he always does” – Jason thought about it for a moment, the comment was raw but honest. Jason said back “not today – he has this”.
32km rolled around and Rodney was on the sideline, He jumped into the race to be my unofficial pacer. He knew the drill, I wanted to run 3.45. He asked how I felt, I said cooked, and my calf was beginning to cramp. We just pushed on, he was ½ a step in front always just trying to push the pace a little.
As we saw the "big three" go past it looked like Leah had dug the deepest she had a lead over Jacob and a fair lead on Polly. The look on her face was sheer determination. The boys looked like they were hanging on. Again as I went past them, I got a little surge in me and as we ran over the bridge into the roundabout towards the 37km turn around I spotted Luke.
He was maybe 3-4 minutes ahead of me. He said his ITB was playing up, which was always going to be a risk as it has been sore for month.
I hit the turn around and Rodney said PUSH HARD. So we did. I burnt up every single one of my last matches, the first 3.45 balloon came past at 40km and the second balloon went past at 40.80 – I surged past it trying to stay in front, but as I did my left calf cramped and locked at 41km. I stopped and stretched it on the gutter – then just bit my lip and tried to hang on for the last km.

Coming around the finish area was surreal. I knew I had run a huge PB and was close to 3.45...I just ran as hard as I possibly could in the last section. All I could think of was Joel and Hayden yelling “HULK SMASH” – I made a bit of a spectacle of myself and was yelling out “Come ON” – then I saw the clock it was slowly ticking over to 3.46.59, 3.47.00.....I raced jumped to touch the sign then collapsed as both my legs went into spasm.

7.    Gold Coast Marathon 2012. Net Time 3.45.37. Splits 1.44.35 and 2.01.02.
Boom. Personal Best by 20 minutes.
Looking at all of my splits I ran faster between 35-40km than what I did from 30-35km! Which is an excellent sign.
I learnt lots, but most importantly I realise that my recent race experiences have made me mentally very tough. I am more experienced now to problem solve on the run and just have the ability to tough it out. When the race got hard, I didn't go looking for excuses to quit like I have in the past....I just sucked it up enjoyed the hurt and went to the limit.

Rocky Road Runners race report next week.......

Enjoy your week off and your beers!