Better late than never!!

Rested, Reflected Recovered and getting ready for Race No. 2




REST


Summing up the first race is not easy! 
The whole experience – the people, place, culture, pain, what I learn’t… I could go on all day but no-one has the time for that Ha! Ha!…and if you know me you know I could talk with a mouth full of marbles under water. 

What comes first after finishing 250k?

Running under the finishing banner – the moment I had been longing for all week! I had envisaged it would be similar to the massive rush of endorphins you experience when you complete a marathon but it was pretty different to that… 

The last 10k leading up the the finish was horribly painful and involved just over an hour of slogging through salt flats. I was using 2 walking poles I had salvaged from lost property although I don’t know how much they were helping each time I dug them into the ground they would get stuck in the salt flats and almost rip my arm of out its bloody socket (clearly I didn’t know how to use poles very well)! At one point I had a full on tantrum and threw the poles about 10 metres ahead of me followed by a lot of yelling Ha! Ha!… not sure how I thought this was going to help me. 


So I finally made it to the finish line and running under the banner was a feeling of relief and… confusion at the same time. I am not sure why I felt confused but I guess it was sort of like okay.. so what now??


I had just spent a whole week in a completely new routine. Daytimes were spent running, the evenings around a camp fire and all the usual everyday stresses of life were eliminated. So when it came to an end I honestly didn’t really know how to feel and was okay with that.

It was a 4 hour bus ride back to the Hotel in Swakopmund in Namibia. 5 minutes into the bus ride everyone had to hop off and walk about 800 metres because a bus ahead was stuck in the sand flats, haha some competitors were a bit sooky about it but I thought it was pretty hilarious watching 100 runners hobbling along what’s another few hundred metres after just doing 258kms (the total we ended up completing).

Arriving back at the hotel was amazing, I showered, sussed out the damage to my feet, back and lips and then popped my PJs on and ordered a cheese burger and fries from room service – LIVING THE DREAM! It was nice to have some time to myself and just lay on a comfortable bed.

My roommate Zeana arrived back a few hours later. Zeana is also a part of the Racing the Planets amazing team of people who are behind the organisation of these events. She competed in this one as they like to rotate through and each be able to participate in an event. Zeana got back to the hotel room with a Salad.. I was NOT IMPRESSED to say the least… here is me munching away on my cheese burger and she had a salad.. after a week in the desert eating dry packaged foods I was judging her for a poor choice in post run meal!

That evening was the Awards dinner which was a really nice way to celebrate the week we had all endured. Just imagine 100 runners after a week in the desert with an amazing buffet dinner – everyone was in HEAVEN. A fair few people were getting into the bevies to celebrate but I just honestly couldnt stomach the idea of alcohol so by 11 p.m. I was back in the room with my feet elevated on ice as my Achilles were really swollen and sore. I was pretty excited to read all the messages I had received from everyone back home – the amount of support from everyone was overwhelming so thank-you!

PS. I wasnt controlling my Facebook and Instagram for the week, I was in the Desert, that was ma gal Kayla who did an amazing job. I definitely dont get internet out in the desert Ha! Ha! The blog was received by satellite which the event staff have us write on small tablets offline and then they upload them a day or so later. 

REFLECTION

My reflection didn’t really kick in until about 2 weeks after the event… and to be honest I am still processing the first race! 

So how does the everyday girl find herself running 250kms through a desert??…4 times!

Well firstly I love running, not only because it keeps me feeling fit and healthy but because it clears my mind and gets the endorphins pumping. My biggest battle is my mind, so I wanted to prove to myself that if I could overcome this almighty physical and mental challenge then I am capable of anything.  Having this enormous goal for 2018 has been able to give me direction, keep me focused and crazy busy! 

Aside from the training there is a huge amount of work that is put in to organise 4 big overseas trips – raising money for my chosen charity and also seeking out sponsors to help make it all happen… on top of working 30 hour weeks can sometimes be challenging! But that is what makes it all worth it 🙂

So running is one thing but ULTRA RUNNING – that’s a whole new ball game…. Why Ultra Running?

For me ultra running is about so much than the running itself – it’s about the friendships you form, the impact these amazing and unique people have on you and also this sport shows what you are really made of.
Being out in the Desert there was absolutely no where to hide from insecurities that you are usually distracted from in everyday life.

How often are you by yourself without a phone, computer, book, driving a car, coffee or some other luxury?? … not very often. At about 170 km into the run I was not only being physically challenged but I mentally hit a wall. It was brutal. When the going got tough I found myself in a world of negativity which I really struggled to dig myself out of. I had two choices at that point – to be angry, upset and continue crying or to get over it, toughen up, solider on and be positive. My negativity wasn’t helping me and it sure wasn’t helping anyone around me.

I”m glad to say I eventually went with the 2nd option and was able to enjoy the moment I was in and the beautiful sand dunes and surroundings. All I had to do was accept that yes things weren’t playing out as I had envisaged but what ever does?

My chosen charity The White Cloud Foundation believe that for a person to be healthy they need emotional, physical, and social well-being. What better way to challenge each of these traits than running x 4 250 km across 4 of the harshest Deserts in the World.

I have learn’t just recently that my own mental health is MY responsibility. Talking about things only gets me so far and it is my own actions and decisions that play a massive role. If I make poor choices that directly affect my mental health then it will take its toll. 


Donate to my Charity (White Cloud Foundation) HERE







RECOVERY

Honestly muscle soreness was not the major issue – day 1,2,3 my quads were really sore and a few different muscles but the main pain was my Achilles – day 4 I couldn’t walk, they were super super swollen and grinding – I now had barely any to no plantar and dorsiflexion. Try to imagine 45 km of sand dunes with this… not a fun time Ha! Ha! but hey I got through it… somehow.

Back home – I thought there was some serious damage to my achillies – I was struggling to walk on them for a few days. I got X-rays and ultrasound scans done and consulted my podiatrist – The Foot and Ankle Specialist and Physiotherapist – Body Leadership Physio and put a plan in place. I had strains and inflammation to almost all of the ligaments and tendons surrounding my right ankle, also some small spurs and a number of other little issues that made it feel like one BIG issue.

With a little TLC I was back up and at it – 5 days after being back home I was back cross training, doing weights and boxing. I was amped to get back into things because I knew exactly what I wanted to work on for Race number 2 so I can go there to compete. I learn’t a lot from Race 1 so am ready to implement those things and improve.

1 month on from Race 1 and it has been pretty hectic since getting home!



… WAIT A MOMENT – Lets just take a quick moment to mention my 7 toe nails I have now lost Ha! Ha! seeeyaaaaa little fellas!

Anyyywayy..

It definitely took a little adjusting getting back into the swing of working and training again… especially after throwing a quick Bali trip into the mix to head over and support the Bali Hope Ultra Marathon which was the first ever 84km Ultra from one side of the Island (Lovina) to the other (Canggu). There were some amazing runners and this definitely got my motivation back and I began my run training again whilst in Bali. Bali is a tough place to run though as you have to dodge thousands of mopeds, barking dogs that you think might tear your leg off and battle through the polluted air and humidity!… wow I really just sold Bali to everyone on being a super tropical amazing location Ha! Ha!.. 

Honestly though the struggle has been real – my body hasn’t been loving getting back into the longer distance stuff and I have been finding it pretty tough!.. until my friend Scott who is attempting all 4 Deserts this year aswell reminded me that this RIGHT NOW is going to be the best I feel for the rest of the year HA! Thanks Scotty! 
This is because there is such a small gap between the Mongolia and Chile Race and Chile and Antarctica Race… EEEK! 

So now is the time to cover all bases in regards to my physical fitness and draw from my experience in the Namib Desert to get stronger and fitter for Race 2! My new Strength Coach Rory Tim’s from Science of Fitness in Milton has put together a program that covers all bases for me to do 2-3 times a week – depending on my running loads and schedule. Rory has been so enthusiastic since he first found out what I was undertaking last year and is one of my biggest supporters! He is always listening to me ranting on and any question I have he always goes above and beyond to answer! 


I am also Week 2 into working with Brendan Davies an Ultra Runner from Melbourne. I am finally using Garmin Connect, Strava and Training peaks to track my runs and all the stats that come with it. Lets just say it definitely keeps you accountable and makes you pickup the pace a little instead of my usual shuffle.



32 Days of solid training to go before Mongolia!

Massive Thank-you to my New Sponsors

Science Of Fitness

   

The MAN – Rory Tims (Strength Coach & Sport and Ex. Science Degree) 







Some more MASSIVE Thank-you’s!

Elle P – Owner of 12 Rounds Fitness Greenslopes, your constant support blows my mind!
Thank-you for your very generous personal sponsorship which helped me a great deal in Desert number 1 and for organising the charity day at the gym where $550 was raised for The White Cloud Foundation! 
I am stoked to of now raised over $11,000 for The White Cloud and am on track to hit my $20,000 goal by the end of the year!

DONATE HERE !

Kayla and Serg Baradel – Kayla for your amazing work – on my blog/facebook/instagram whilst I was out in the Desert! Yep Kayla was the legend keeping you all informed 🙂 And to you both for your amazing sponsorship – it went a long way and meant a lot!


Thanks for following along everyone reading – I leave to Mongolia in just 32 Days!


JB xx


This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Close Menu