Committed, with a sprinkling of crazy

This is how tribron described my efforts on the weekend before last. The hangover marathon was... something. Even I'm not sure exactly what it was.

This weekend just gone was something else entirely. With four weeks til the Glasshouse 100, it was slated to be my last big weekend of training.

So what did I do, and how would I describe it?

The main plan was to run the length of South Boundary road from The Gap to Mt Nebo, return. As I've previously noted, that's a 42k round trip.

When I plotted my run for the weekend I found that I was actually looking down the barrel of closer to 45ks. But depending on which 100k program I consulted, I was meant to do anywhere between 30 and 50k as my longest run, coupled with a companion run of anywhere between 18 and 35ks. As this 45ks would be more challenging than the terrain of the race, and also the mental boost I'd get from doing something that sounds kinda hard, I decided the 45ks up Mt Nebo was the perfect longest run.

The forecast for the weekend, however, was not so perfect, with rain building on Saturday. Lots of rain. And a maximum temperature of just 16 degrees.

I was dreading so much that on Friday I took solace that some of my colleagues were doing Tough Mudder on the weekend. Misery loves company, and even if they wouldn't be with me, I knew they would be "with me".

I'd broken the 22ks down into the 7ks up to Centre Road, the next 8ks up to the Scrub Road Bush Camp, and then the final 7ks to Boombana. The first 7ks or so was OK with just light rain. Somewhere in the middle the rain got really heavy. I was pretty much soaked through, and with the temperature low, I started getting cold. From the Bush Camp I concentrated on keeping my pace up, because by now I just wanted to get there.

During the last 7ks I also had thoughts of what I was going to do when I met KKB at the top. I was cold. I wanted to pull the pin, but would that be taking the easy option? Or would it be the smart thing to do? After all, there was always tomorrow for another attempt.

I wondered whether KKB would even let me continue in this weather and at one stage laughed out loud when I thought to myself, "He can't possibly let me. What would his mother say if she found out he'd let me run down Mt Nebo on fire trails, by myself in the pouring rain!!"

But true to form he left the decision up to me.

I considered my options, and thought to myself, "it's only another three hours, just do it!".

Followed immediately by, "there's no way I'm staying this cold for three hours."

Decision made.

The result of Saturday was this. Wet clothes and equipment, and me hopeful they would dry out so I could have another crack on Sunday. I was, after all, committed to the challenge of running up Mt Nebo and back, and the more I thought about the 22ks up, then the 45k round trip, I probably couldn't have planned a better, last tough weekend of training.

The more immediate challenge was logistics, as KKB couldn't support me on Sunday. Could I carry enough food and water? Could I get to the cafe if I needed to top up? I had been told there was a path, but the maps I'd seen weren't that clear, but I decided that if all else failed and I really needed water at the top that I could always run along the road to the cafe.

On Sunday I checked the radar to find that the worst of it really had passed, and although it was overcast there was little likelihood of rain.

Thank goodness.

There were times where I wondered what I was doing backing up like this, but mostly I concentrated on the task at hand. Yesterday's rain had changed the nature of the trail, with more exposed rocks and more loose gravel, for me that means more tripping hazards so concentration was vital.

When I got to Boombana I continued on the Thylogale walking track and around Pitta Circuit, before turning onto what I guessed was Postman's Track to Mt Nebo Village.

I had my doubts - the track looked like this in some places (not a lot like a track).

But before too long I got the cafe and refuelled with a Mars bar and a piece of cake before turning for the run back down.

Now when I say the run back "down", what I actually means is the run "up and down with an overall trend of down". It's lumpy both ways.

The hills kept coming as lunchtime turned into afternoon. By the time I got to the last 7k section from Centre Road - I'm going to just say it - I was feeling pretty over it. I'd started running with other runners doing their morning run, and now I was being greeted by mountain bikers setting out on their afternoon ride. It struck me that I might have run further than some of these guys were intending to ride. At the time I couldn't feel proud of that, I just thought I was nuts and I wanted it to be over.

On Monday and Tuesday this week I was tired, and I was hungry, and is probably part of the reason why this post is so late. I take from that that I'm probably still not eating enough when running so this is something to keep in mind during the race in a few weeks time.

While last weekend was hard, I have no doubt it has set me up as well as I could hope for the race in a few weeks.  And if the previous weekend was "committed, with a sprinkling of crazy" I'm not sure how to this one. I'm open to suggestions though!


  1. I think it was simply a matter of getting the job done! You knew you had to get the km under your feet (literally!) and even though Saturday didn't work out, you tried again on Sunday and finished it off.

    Well done!