Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Barossa Duathlon.

One of the goals I set for myself this year was to take part in a triathlon. Now this hasn't happened yet, but there is still time. However on October 16th. I competed in the Barossa Duathlon which was part of the Master's Games here in South Australia.
One of the main differences between the Chubby Hubby and I is that he is very cautious whilst I will have a go at anything and think of the consequences later.

The Chubby Hubby usually gets support from our Dear Friends John and Lil. Lil is very much like Daryl and tends to be more hesitant while John reluctantly joins me in my latest pursuit and hopes the Hell everything will work out. And so it was that I coerced John into doing the duathlon with me.


The duathlon involved a 5km. run, followed by a 20km.bike ride and finished with another 2.5km. run.
Both John and I are runners, although he prefers the shorter distance sprints. And we often go out for long bike rides on the weekends as a group. So on paper it all looked easy peasy and I couldn't see that it would be difficult.


The first 5km. run was a breeze and although I am more used to the much  slower pace of an ultra marathon I managed to keep up with the pack and came second in my age group in this leg at 27:40

I was a bit nervous about the transition which is where you have to go from running straight into the 20km. cycle leg.


Coming into transition.
The first 500 metres of the cycle leg was tough until my legs adjusted to the different muscle groups being used. But once the quads were warmed up it was manageable and I really enjoyed the challenge.There were a few gentle hills but with strong head winds they were hard work at times especially on my little hybrid bike.

I completed the cycle leg in 1:02:39, first in my age group.

Absolutely nothing could have prepared me for how my legs felt in the last leg however. Getting off the bike after a 20 km. cycle and going back into a run was hard. My legs felt like jelly and it was a weird feeling trying to get the legs to do what you wanted them to. I had very little awareness re how my legs were moving, however I again came first in my age group in14:32
My final overall time was 1:44:50, 2nd in my age group. And guess what, it was dear friend John who beat me.

Crossing the finish line on legs that felt like jelly.

John and I happily sitting in the gutter after finishing, and both of us very happy and pleased with ourselves.

Cheers and thank you for visiting,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Yurrebilla Ultra Marathon.


I had unfinished business with this race this year. The Yurrebilla Ultra is a grueling 56 km. through the Mount Lofty Ranges in Adelaide following the Yurrebilla Trail. This was the 3rd year that I have taken part in this race. Two years ago I successfully completed the run but last year withdrew at 21 km as I  was really unwell on the day.
I was very nervous about this year's race as last year was such a disaster for me and was very disappointing. Apart from being unwell last year I also made some very poor choices on the day. I went out far too fast, over heated, dehydrated and had a bad reaction to my pre race nutrition which for some stupid reason I changed on the day. One thing I've learned about doing ultra marathon events is that pre race preparation is more than just simply putting in the miles on the trails.
Dear friend Susi no Bum really got stuck into me this year about my poor hydration and nutrition during a long event . I've always had issues with drinking and eating during a long run as I completely loose my appetite and consequently have had issues with dehydration and loss of energy. I must stress this is about the only time I loose my appetite but during a race is not the time to diet !!


So this year I completely revamped my approach to preparation and race time nutrition. The day before I increased my carb. load moderately and also hydrated on electrolyte replacement fluids. I was quite anxious about the pre race carb load as I have always been a carb addict. Over the last 2 months I have been on a lower carb eating plan, have lost 5 kg. and so was concerned a high carb meal would undo all the hard work I have done.
On the morning of the run I had my usual high protein oats and 600mls. of Endure drink before the start. 5 km. into the run I ate a high protein muesli bar. I had to really force this down but Susi's idea was that if I ate before I lost my appetite I may just be able to take in enough calories to prevent energy loss.


At the 35 km. mark and feeling great.

The Yurrebilla is well known for being the only ultra where you can actually gain weight. This is because there is a check point every 5 km. and all provide buckets of food. Now whilst I just couldn't do the pastries, sandwiches, pizzas etc which were available I did make myself have a slice of watermelon at each stop and a pear at 21 km. The sustained me really well for the whole run and I had plenty of energy throughout. There was also coca cola at each stop and the caffeine hit that gave was brilliant. It was also a nice change from the Endure drink.

The Chubby Hubby at 35 km.

 I also approached the start of the run differently this year. Instead of going out too fast as I did last year, I went out slowly and paced myself with the Chubby Hubby. I allowed myself to warm up gradually over the first 6 km.and once the legs and I had settled in,  I took off and felt great for the rest of the run. I had a support team following me but they just let me go as they could see I was on fire.
What interested me was that I reached the 21 km. point this year faster than I did last year when I went out too fast.

That's me coming up in the background. This is nearing the top of Black Hill, 52 km. into the event and everyone has nightmares about this climb.


These signs were all along the course and always bought a smile to my face.


Whoo hoo, made it to the top of Black Hill and now only 3 km. to go.


 This is one speeding fine I would love to get.

The Chubby Hubby gets to the top of Black Hill.

Four of our running team entered this race this year; Moi, Susi no Bum, my Chubby Daryl and Susi's Chubby Mike. This year it was Susi's turn not to finish. Unfortunately she had a severe gastric upset on the day and withdrew at Morialta. So I was the first of our team to finish in 8:55, a massive 2:30 hours faster than my first year. I was absolutely stunned with my result. Mike came in next about 90 minutes after me and Daryl finished about 2 hours after me. They both finished well in the qualifying time.
Somewhere along the trail Mike lost the concept that it was a race and he crossed the finish line with 4 young ladies he had collected on Black Hill. Unfortunately that photo didn't work out but here he is with one of his girl's !!


 Happy running to all,
May the trails be with you.
Cheers Karen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

3 Beez in TuTu's.

Here in Adelaide, like most capital cities in Australia we have our annual City to Bay Fun Run. Adelaide is only a small city but this year record numbers took part in the run. There are 3 distances to attempt; the full 12 km., 6km., or 3km. We had just over 34,000 people take part this year, and for many it is the only run they will attempt all year. For a lot of folk this event is about just getting to the finish line without dying in the process ! Many charities use it as a fundraising opportunity and various groups of people enter just because. You always have a small collection of serious runners but for most it is just a great day out and an excuse to celebrate at the end having breakfast with friends.

It is not uncommon to see people in fancy dress for the event and prizes are awarded for the best costumes on the day.This year I went dressed as a Bumble Bee with dear friends Margot and Sonya.


 Margot, Moi, and Sonya.

It all started with Sonya winning entry tickets to the event. However one of the conditions for winning was to run dressed in a TuTu. Margot, Sonya and I are all part of the South Australian Trail Running Club so we got together and Sonya devised the idea of dressing as Bees. We borrowed 2 TuTus off fellow running sisters and I very quickly made a third. I googled a pattern for a no sew TuTu and ta da, it took only an hour to make.
All it took was 1" elastic made into a waist band. ( which I did sew to make a seam ) Then 12 metres of tulle cut into 6" strips and tied and knotted over the elastic waist band. I then put it on and the Chubby Hubby cut it to length. Easy Peasy. Sonya found some Bees wings and antennae in a costume shop and Margot covered us in body glitter. We were all pleased with the results and we had lots of photos taken of us on the day. We even made the Channel 7 news.

 Here we are with another Bee who found us at the starting line.

This picture was taken during the run along the Anzac Highway, and that's the Chubby Hubby turning around to see where I am. I ran with him for the first 7km. and then could stand his snail pace no longer, so shot off and left him. You can see quite a lot of folk walking in the picture as 12 km. is just too far for many to run.


Daryl and his friend John at the finishing line and feeling very pleased with themselves.


 Dear Friend Susi no Bum and I at the finish line together. Susi and I always run back to the city after to make it a decent distance and in a true test of friendship she stayed with me in my costume  all the way back.

This is the 3 of us with a local radio station. They asked if they could use this photo on their web page.

 Here's hoping that wherever you are,  your running days or sewing days are filled with fun.
Cheers Karen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adelaide Marathon Festival.

I feel I have been neglecting my blog of late and have been away again far too long. But once again life has interrupted my blog posts. I have been using Face Book mostly for regular updates and find I enjoy the more immediate interaction with people that goes with Face Book.
I've been running a lot, much more than usual, but this hasn't left much time for blogging or stitching.

 Friend Cathy, Chubby Hubbys Mike and Daryl and Susi no Bum at the start of the half marathon.

Last year many of my blog posts were focused around our training sessions out in the hills, and whilst we are still doing the same training there are only so many photos of the trails that can be shown. And so this year my blog posts have been mainly about the various events that the Twisted Sisters take part in. Our most recent event that we all took part in was the Adelaide Marathon Festival. We all made the decision to run the half rather than the full because we are all running in the Yurrebilla Ultra on September 25.

   Dear Friend Bette and I waiting to start the half marathon.

The route was very pretty and it was a lovely cool but sunny late Winter morning. Perfect running conditions really. The first 10 km. was along the foreshore of our local Adelaide beaches. I was feeling really good and was able to maintain a fairly consistent pace.


After about 10 km. the run then headed up Linear Park along the River Torrens and back into the city of Adelaide. This path is very pretty but is deceptively undulating. Those small hills start packing a bit of a punch after about 15 km.


My time was going really well and at the 18 km. mark I was confident I could come in at 2 hours. However from then on I really slowed down for some reason and just couldn't maintain my pace. The back was screaming and my legs felt very heavy.


 Running the last 3 km. along the River Torrens.

The Chubby Hubby in action.


The run finished at Adelaide oval, or for my overseas readers, the iconic Adelaide Cricket Ground. I finally came in at 2:16. Bit disappointing but I was still happy to finish.

Take care folks,
Happy running.
Cheers Karen.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm Back.

 Hello there Peoples. I haven't visited blog land for a few weeks, mainly because I haven't had much to say. Sometimes life just gets in the way.
The Twisted Sisters and the Chubby Hubbies are all still out training hard but we have had a few weeks break from any events here in Adelaide. This is soon to change again as we have quite a few coming up, plus we are going over to Portland in Victoria in October to compete in their Marathon Festival.
In September the Yurrebilla ultra marathon is being run in Adelaide. This is a really tough trail run so every weekend every one is out in the Adelaide Hills training hard. I  have competed in this event twice. The first time finishing well, but last year I was forced to withdraw at the 21 km. mark due to illness. And so this year I have some unfinished business to settle.

These photos are of me trail running around Mt. Noorat, an extinct volcanic crater in Victoria and were taken a couple of weeks ago.
It was freezing cold, pouring with rain and was an absolutely exhilarating run . I loved every single kilometre of this run and just wanted to keep running forever.

I love the feeling of standing close to a steep edge.

These photos were of another Trail that the Chubby Hubby and I did around the same area. This is Hopkin's Falls and were truly spectacular.


Meanwhile back in the sewing department not a lot has been happening. I'm still plodding along with the hexies and whilst I enjoy making the hexie flowers, putting the little suckers together is not as much fun.
I do have about four projects very close to being finished so will have something to show soon.

Cheers for now
Happy Running or sewing or both

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Nice Ladylike Jogette.

 Today's trail run seemed a really good idea. A nice 10 km. ladylike jogette around Lake Bullen Merri. No stress, no pain and it certainly looked inviting from the lookout .

It started off a bit tricky with all these  small volcanic rocks scattered everywhere. This lake is in an extinct volcanic crater and as there were so many rocks, some concealed under the grasses,  it made running quite dangerous.
There were also lots of cows grazing in the area and so there were plenty of cow poo's to be had. The scenery around the lake was truly spectacular, so it was nice to walk and enjoy it.

As we made our way around the lake the grasses became long and prickly. And as there has been a lot of rain just lately is got muddier and muddier. I tried to dodge a large area of mud and ended up getting into the worst mess of my life. I sank up to above my ankles and when I tried to lift my foot, my runners stayed firmly bogged. The mud was very thick and black and I'm thinking that there was a generous amount of cow poop in it. It took me some time to get out of this mess and I can tell you that the end result was less than ladylike.


 This trail eventually became quite irritating as there were no discernible trails to be found and the local farmers kindly had barbed wire or electric fences going right down to the lake. As the walk is a tourist attraction I can only think that the farmers were making it as difficult as possible to discourage runners. In some places we had to wade through the icy water to get around fences which we couldn't climb over.
Despite all of this the walk was enjoyable and I'm glad we persisted with it and didn't give up.

When we finished I was in such a mess that I had to take a small dip in the water and it was FREEZING.

 Thankyou for visiting my blog,
Cheers Karen and the Chubby Hubby.