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.