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Six Foot Track Recap

Going into the race was a little concerned, fear was consuming the mind to how my body was going to hold up and how hard I would be able to push, not so much early but in the later stages after half of the climbs from the 30km mark.

Breaking the toe the in November put a holt in the progress as was coming off the Alpine Challenge 3rd pace and the niggle with the knee was good. Suddenly halted the training and running was difficult to handle without pain, but i pushed through as they said it would hurt but would be fine. Trying my best to run without messing my running form, the hamstring just wasn’t firing and then my hip was locking. so running was not a happy place, i still run in December - the six foot training run and the averaging 130km per week. But i didn't address the tightness and do the maintain that was needed to fix the body, January, February were two months of managing when and what i could run, no speed, only maximum of 10k at a time. Found some really good stretches to open and release the hips, along with stretching the quads and using the foam roller, spiky ball at least twice a day. So this was key to keep releasing the the hips and quads and making sure the ligaments around the knee were loosened and I was getting the movement and the whole right left was firing.

February - March (rehab - prehab) running was still around 100-130km per week 10km max per session only 4:45 - 5:30 per km pace, along with no hills and including the runs while coaching. Did two long runs on the 2nd and third weekend or February 30km mark, build in some tempos in to them. But no speed work from the previous 10 weeks.

Two weeks leading into Six Foot, Was able to run 12-15km at 4:40 pace, tried to to a speed session at track 800m @ sub 3:30 pace and the hamstring flared up, so pulled the pin on it and it recovered well.

We all have our troubles and almost never have a perfect build, somethings just happen, and managing workload is always a struggling, early rises and late finishes, food is always on point those and eat mostly the same times and same foods throughout the week. I didn’t drink any alcohol from the 5th January till the race.

I did extra weights in the gym while hours had been cut back. But had lost about 2kg in the that process of doing extra weights, wasn’t lifted to heavy on the the legs as body wasn’t up to that but upper body and core was strong. Also started doing Yoga twice a week for the month of February. was good to use a relaxation and work on breathing, the Power yoga sessions were good for core strength also.

I didn't want to go into Six Foot struggling from the start, having 4:30 in sight, i knew the splits on where i needed to be and the paces I wanted to cross at the checkpoint. I knew the speed wasn’t in the legs for the single track and the flatter section after the climbs, but the hills was where i knew I could make some ground. Even though I hadn’t been running hills for the last 10 weeks, muscle has memory and the gym exercises / strength would assist.

Travelling down the Friday, my hips was feeling the best it had so I was ready. keeping Hydrated and a Sandwich from Fed in Leura and Thai for dinner with some chocolate at dessert, was ready for race day.

Nutrition Pre-Race

Race morning breakfast at 4:30am / my brownie breakfast and a coffee, some electrolytes before the race. in my belt was a IsoWhey gel, Cliff Blocks and my 350ml hand held with my Temple Nutrition Mix, but Tailwind was on course so that was going to be fuel for the race.

Nutrition During the Race

350ml 0-10km / Toping up my 350ml with tailwind from 12km - 35km (only skipped 2 aid stations)

Had the IsoWhey get at 29km Aid station

Switch to Coke in the last 2 aid stations (35- 42km)

Post Race 12-4pm

1.25ml Water / 600ml coke no sugar - should have had more water

The Lunch Pack - A wrap and Salad Bowl

1/3 of a Pack of Corn Chips

Pizza and salad for Dinner + 2 Goose IPA Beers.

Race Start

  • Wave 2 - Hitting the line nervous as always, concern but excited !!! Went out down hill towards the stairs in top 1/4 of the front of the wave, a few went past going down the hill, but - practice downhills, i had done and was a little cautious as that is where i had had knee pain running down hills, so didn’t go as hard as i wanted in which was why i got held up going down the stairs, 2 guys were in front of me and lost the front group to which Marty and Bucko were in, where I wanted to be, but they had got away, so having to just go down with there paces which was okay but not as fast. Hitting the flat and opening up the field after the stairs, took to the front and had a group of 6 with me, leading them at about 4:18 pace and then hitting the paddocks and into the single track all the way from Nellies - Megalong Valley - Cox River. was happy with pace,I was leading the group running around 5- 5:20 pace, knowing the speed work had not been was going to just push what I had and felt i pushed what i could through that stage, knowing the hills were ahead after the crossing. Was smooth through the single track, quick feet and the guys behind commented (i just said it helps chasing Vlad all the time)

  • Nellies - Cox 0-15.5km (Goal 1:23) actual 1:22

Cox’s - Pluviometer

The Climbs - Ran all the hills except for 3 sections where it was faster to hike then to run. Felt good on the climbs, next time would like to move quicker for the hills, but I was climbing faster then everyone else around me, pacing the back end of the first wave by now. Found a girl that was charging the climbs to worked with her going up and was good to keep the mind on the task and help work in the pace and rhythm with her, but when it flattered out a bit i just couldn’t get the pace in the legs and the speed wasn’t there, was stilling on 4:50 - 5:10 but I didn’t let my head get the better and kept questioning and pushing using the markers on tap. 23-25km felt like it went forever and was a mentally hard keep pushing

- 15.5-26km (Goal 1:15) actual 1:16

Pluvimeter - Deviation

Lost a bit of time on the flatter sections on speed, still was climbing okay, the felt the hip flexor go a little at the 30km mark. Was a little worried and had a gel at 29km to just make sure nutrition was okay as started to feel a little flat but but got a cup of coke in with my tailwind. Digging deep throughout this section, using my mantra’s know the tough months i had in the last 10 weeks, mentally struggling and the sacrifices I had made in spending the time training and isolating myself sometimes. Using it to push on and not let it waste, one chase, one opportunity, today is the day !!!

- 26-34.7 (Goal 51min) actual 54

Deviation - Caves Road

Looked at my watch and it was 3:20 - thought of Vlad and hoped he had won as the time he wanted was then, it was 11.5km and was switched, come on its 11.5km you can do that in an hour !! get going !!! Was on a flatter section and knew there was one more winding climb ahead, saw 5 in front and just got the head down and started powering on up, leaving the 5 behind all struggling up the hill and powered into the next aid station, topping up with coke and pushed out over the road and started to open the legs up,

- 34.7-38km (Goal 24mins) actual 19:53

Janolan Caves Road - Janolan Caves Finish

Running along the track next to the road trying to bit up speed, legs weren’t quiet wanting to go any fasted, after going down the first lot of stairs, my left abductors cramped right up, so i skulled down the rest of the coke that was in my soft flask and it slowly went, kept pushing, knowing that this would be a stage to gain some places and time, I just kept pushing, the cramp was still there a little but again the legs didn’t quiet have the pace i thought i was capable of running, but driving forward know people were ahead, knew Marty was going to be close, remembering the words of Bucko saying go and catch Marty :) Took to the downhill and hitting the rocks, my toes and bottom or feet were killing, i just kept pushing along passing a few runners and almost stumbled on the last little rocky section, the left calf grabbed, but get going. Could hear the bells and the crowd so that just fed from the energy and hit the path 1km to go…. powered down and along to the finis… crossing the line 4:27:05

- 38-45km (Goal 36mins) actual 35min

Finished 3min under my goal time.. No hip issues, felt okay throughout. Know where can improve and make the gains for next year !!!!

Work on and Improvements

  • Speed on Single Track

  • Speed Work + Downhill Running

  • Strength on Hills

Mantra’s - How Bad Do you Want it / One Chance, One Shot, One Opportunity / Love Hills / Just push it

Still have a long way to go to improve myself and to step up into the next level, but learning a lot and have the right people around me to do so. thanks to Vlad especially for all the support, guidance and help. Chez, Pren, Terry, No.1 Support New :) Chris and Tanja Sealby - you are legends !!

The Runlab crew, each week I am lucky enough to coach in so many groups, being involved in so many or your own journeys. So happy to see the 25 of you running the Six Foot Track. The Elite Crew for smashing me to know i have to lift the standard.

The Stroke No Limits and Newcastle Triathlon Club Crew, been there to all the way, seeing all the efforts and work that you all put in and make your own sacrifices to achieve your goals is inspiring and motivates me to push on….

Mentally been really tough few months, not just the set back in injury but the stress is stress and dealing with demons about my life, forms of depression is real and you can hide it, I am strong and thick skinned but its still hits you and you just have to fight and push through it. Not all peaches and cream and or perfect and I am far from it. Learning and experience, the last few months have been the hardest for me I would say mentally at times, You can feel lonely at times and having a feeling of being a failure, yes I am not, but you can still feel that way, its hard to pull yourself out and open up but you just have to be strong for those around you and lead the way. You hold strong behave in the that manner and don’t show weakness. There are times when it's needed and times when you can let your guard down. But never give up and never quit - it you want something bad enough you will achieve it, its take hard time, hard work, but it will happen, fight and fight, each day and it will get easier to break through. Not everyday is a good day, take the time when needed, its okay to be sad and to reflect on life. But just take one step at a time and move forward, as long as you move forward you will win.

Set those scary goals, continue to feel uncomfortable and just step up and do it

UTA sub 11 hours for a top 20 finish !!!!

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