Halfway to 1000km Journey to become the Youngest Female to Complete Racing The Planets Grand Slam!

ALMOST GO TIME!

Race 3… another desert… another 250km’s…September 2018…

Wow! The year has absolutely flown by! It is not often that I find myself looking back but it really makes me realise how much work has gone into the past year since starting out. To think I am now halfway to my goal of being the Youngest Female to Complete The Grand Slam blows my mind.

It was just a few weeks ago that my best friend Kayla sent me a voice recording that she has of me from last September, a year ago! In the voice recording we are both laughing at me trying to explain that I was going to attempt the x4 250km Desert Runs this year… yep I was serious but at the same time I had no idea how I was going to get it done and at that point it was still just a pipe dream…and Kayla, well she just thought she better record it just incase.

Fast forward 6 months and it was early 2018 that things began to get more serious!
My running was increasing, a lot, I was taking my training and preparation a lot more seriously and started seeking out sponsorship and organising charity events to raise money for The White Cloud Foundation. The main reason I began this whole journey was to help find my drive, my passion and my ‘get up and go’ attitude for life again that had somehow dimmed.

So early this year…before race 1 in Namibia…

I knew I needed to simulate the conditions I was going to be experiencing in Nambia to put my mind at ease that I was actually capable of this huge undertaking. I spent a weekend at Tangalooma Island running 75km’s split over 2 days testing out my pack and gear across the sandy Stradbroke Island Desert just off from Brisbane. This was an awesome practice run, thanks to my parents for taking me away for that training weekend.

The second running trip was in Sydney where I was lucky enough to be selected to go down for a 3 day video/photo running camp with 2 amazing runners Aaron Knight and Mark Bourne where all of our training and preparation for our various events was captured.

James Tyrell did an amazing job putting together a video for me (which I will pop in a link below) and Brett Hemmings with his assistant Ben Sanford took some amazing images. I am so excited that one of these images is being used on the front of Trail Run Australia, Asia, New Zealand Magazine for this months issue which is going to be out within the next few weeks!

Training for 4 Deserts Grand Slam Video

Image: Brett Hemmings, Sydney.

Jump forward another 6 months and here we are… I am now HALFWAY!

I never wrote a blog reflecting on Mongolia… but for me it wasn’t a struggle like Namibia – I had an amazing trip, it honestly felt like I was in the Sound of Music whilst running – it was green and so so pretty. The race itself was absolutely spectacular and the fact that I cut about 10 hours off my time in Namibia I was stoked. My body held up x10 better and I had no major issues. I was back into training very quickly after aswell. Obviously, I still had some very rough moments and it was no easy fete but it was nothing compared to Namibia – struggle wise haha.

Well I am now here in San De Pedro, Chile preparing and acclimatising for Desert No. 3.
The Atacama Desert – I think this is going to be the toughest undertaking yet and it all begins in just 3 days.

Over the past week here I have had an incredible time acclimatising – I tried to make the training I have done over here as fun as possible and honestly I have loved every minute of it. Since I arrived I have ridden over 200km’s on a mountain bike, done yoga, a few workouts and a couple of runs!

I have Sand-boarded in Death Valley,

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Ridden to Laguna Cejar,

Worked out in local parks,

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Attempted to ride to the Hot Springs – gained over 700m’s in elevation in 1.5 hours,

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Explored San Pedro Town with fellow aussie competitor Benny Seymour and Videographer Alec Baker,

Ran around Valle De Luna,

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Had an amazing dinner with the Racing the Planet team – minus Sammy,

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So as you can see it has been an EPIC week!!

But now it is time to slow the tempo down, get some R & R and get organised for the race which kicks off in just 3 sleeps! The layout for this race is slightly different to the other 2. Instead of running 4 days in a row, day 5 being a rest and then day 6 as a big day and day 7 finish it is 5 days in a row of running! So 241km’s will be covered in just 5 days – day 6 is a rest day and day 7 is just 9km’s finishing in San De Pedro Town.

I plan to do some swimming, yoga, enjoy sleeping in a big bed and hopefully sneak in a massage before the start day… oh and eating lots of delicious food as the next week of rations and dehydrated foods is far from gourmet haha!

What have I learn’t from the first 2 deserts that I am changing for this event? 

It doesn’t feel like I have learn’t much or have made any dirastic changes from race one… but lets be real I have. Looking back on Desert 1, meeting my roommate Zeana and realising that I had a lot to learn. From culling all the little unnecessary things like taking just 7 baby-wipes instead of the whole pack of 12 to choosing foods based on their weight vs. cals and learning how to pack the bag in regards to the weight distribution.

Race 1 I also had no idea how to preventetivley tape for blisters… when I was done with my feet it looked like I had been in an episode of The Mummy haha and it was a mess – probably doing more harm than good. I also had the mentality that I would charge up all the hills, get one up on my opponents who were hiking up them (how competitive) haha silly girl….. well try doing this over the duration of a week and 250k… you don’t last too long… everyone is passing you haha!

I remember day 1 Bruno saw me sprinting up the inclines and made a passing joke… well by day 3 I understood… I seem to like to learn things by myself/the hard way. Also poles – OH MY GOSH, best decision of my life!

So yep I have learn’t lots of things that I am implementing into Desert number 3. I honestly cannot wait to begin, I am feeling as ready as I could be and have worked really hard to get my fitness to where it is at now. If you have been following along with all my training you will know I have been spending hours and hours day in day out training. I have still been struggling with Plantar Fascitis but I know how to work around this as best I can for the moment until I can get this completely rectified.

So game plan for Atacama – run my race, enjoy the incredible experience, keep a positive mindset, dig deep and give it all I’ve got.


CHARITY – WHITE CLOUD FOUNDATION

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The White Cloud Foundation is a Mental Health Charity that believes you need to have not only good mental health but also your physical health, emotional and social wellbeing is just as important.

For me I love to be able to live everyday to the fullest and I know that if even one of these elements is out of balance then my quality of life is affected.

I recently was made an Ambassador for White Cloud Foundation which I was absolutely stoked about. This year I have raised almost $15,000 and am on track to reach my goal of $20,000 so if you would like to donate please jump on this link below. It would mean so much to me personally and The White Cloud Foundation.

DONATE HERE!

TRAINING

I have honestly never trained harder for something in my life. It has pretty much become the new normal for me, training is something that I absolutely love… I feel pretty lost without it. From a very young age I would wakeup on my own accord at 4am before tennis training at 6am to fit in an extra 1.5 hours of my own fitness so its nothing new for me to be waking up ridiculously early.

It is hard sometimes when I begin work at 5/530am to get gym done beforehand but if it is a 530am start I have now started doing an hour before work by getting up at 330am, yes this sound ridiculous but it means that by the time members at 12 rounds (boxing gym I work at) are rolling in to train I am bouncing off the walls from the endorphins. Training really does make me a better person.

I personally find that I work better off having performance based goals rather than aesthetic goals. If I have a race coming up that I am training hard for everything goes hand in hand, I try to eat better to fuel myself right and in turn look better and feel better. I get asked all the time if I follow a specific diet, what I eat, do I try to weigh a certain weight etc?.. well I am not one to use scales, from my past issues with food/eating/control etc they are just something that I don’t go well with. If I struggle with an exercise or movement due to discomfort in my body then I know I need assess where I am at and make adjustments with my food/training. So to answer the question I always have a plan in regards to my training and food but I mainly like to eat as intuitively as possible and I listen to my body. If I’m feeling crushed and need a rest day – I will take it!

NEW SPONSORS

True Protein – for the next 2 races True Protein were generous enough to jump on board to help support me for this event and my 4th and final race in Antarctica!

Michael Jordan – CEO of 12 Rounds of fitness has given me ongoing supported – thank-you.


PERSONAL CONTRIBUTIONS

A HUGE thank-you to Lenore Gresham, James Hopkins, Angela Shaw, Yousef Khourshid and most importantly my Nana and Grandma for your personal support this year. None of this would be possible without your contributions to my race entries and expenses. I can’t expression my gratitude enough.


DONATIONS

Thank-you to the following people for donation to my Charity Fund the White Cloud all of these Funds go directly to the Charity 🙂

Kat Straka, Karen Buckley, The Ipswich Investment Team, Camilla Burnett, Nicole Vartto, Mcinnes Wilson Lawyers, Michelle and Emily Burns, Mark Bailey, Sarah Robertson, Acacia Powell and Jessica Beamish!

HOW TO FOLLOW THE RACE

Kayla will be uploading my blogs to my facebook page for easy access to view how I am going and she will also be putting it on my Instagram. Otherwise you can directly follow this link to view the blogs.

The actual race links where you can leave me race blog comments which I can read during the race and emails will be below here. I really love getting emails and blog comments to read at the end of each day when I am battling – please leave me any little funny comments, messages or stories from your day 🙂



SEND ME AN EMAIL

As you can see – you can click ‘send an email’ and I will receive these whilst running. 



https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/competitors

WRITE ME A BLOG COMMENT

https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/blogs

Blog comments can be written on my website blog. Emails are probably easier to send though.

RESULTS 

https://www.4deserts.com/atacamacrossing/results


Thanks so much and happy following!


JB xx

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