Saturday, 23 February 2013
100km walk training update & more
I've definitely filled that "what shall I do after the marathon's complete" void, with plans now in place to walk the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker in under 24 hours (we are entered as a team and the cutoff is 48 hours but I want a boundary I can push) and visions of a further long run (marathon or half marathon tba) in late May in the Barossa Valley.
Stupidly I’ve been thinking “if I can run 42.2kms surely I can walk 100kms”, I really put that theory to the test on Friday night where myself and my fellow Trailwalker Team mates pulled an all-nighter and walked from Olinda to Warburton in the Dandenong’s a total of 48kms . With backpacks stacked with supplies, spare socks, jumpers, long pants, gloves and beannies in case it got cold, as well as gels, anti infalm tablets, band-aids and more we loaded up on carbs at a local Olinda restaurant and then chucked the laden backpacks on, adjusted our headlamps, checked our maps and headed off into the moonrise (sun hadn’t quite set).
The first trail, as soon as it was becoming dark, was a little gnarly, with tree roots and rocks and I was seriously thinking “how the hell am I going to go 11 or so hours with this little lamp” as my 50 year old eyes were struggling to see 5 metres in front of myself. Our navigator was top class, firmly reading all instructions at each turn and making sure we didn’t wander off track in any way (although we did get lost a couple of times it wasn’t her fault the instructions left a lot to be desired in one or two places). The first section of the trail was quite narrow so you couldn’t walk 2 abreast, and our leader took control of a decent sized stick, once she became sick of walking into cobwebs, to clear the way for the tail enders. There were a number of fallen trees to clamber over and we could only really imagine to remoteness and the beauty of the place as it was pretty bloody dark.
Once we got to Mt Evelyn only to wander around aimlessly for a while at the local sports ground trying to find a “bridge to our right” and then eventually onto the Warburton trail things eased up a bit. Even though the first 30 minutes of that trek was taken up by our navigator debating the poor instructions to find the trail, at least we now know our right from left and we are grateful to another team who were resting in a car park who told us we were going the wrong way and most helpfully put us back on track.
The Warburton Trail is easy for walking with a gravel surface which is flat and wide enough to take all four of us abreast if we’d have wanted it that way. It would be a great trail to run, and something I may do one day. We generally split into pairs for the majority of the trail, swapping around at intervals and chatting to keep ourselves on the job at hand. We did have a few repair stops where socks and/or shoes were changed, snakes consumed, bread rolls and bananas devoured and drinks of various types guzzled. I did have a burning desire for a coffee about 3am and may have to ask our ever helpful support crew to carry a thermos or two to keep us caffeinated during the night.
Once we hit the 30km mark a few blister injuries did kick in for my team mates (thankfully I was blister free – the legacy of working that out during my marathon training) so the remaining 18kms was a struggle for some. But full credit to all of them, they soldiered on under duress to fulfil the planned 48km hike. Even though our support crew member, who had risen at 4.40am, must have been laughing at the sight of us staggering up the hill as sunrise beckoned, she was kind enough to hold back the laughter until we all groaned about the pain, moaned as we tried to stretch, and generally whined about the various ailments.
Recovery at home was not ideal with a sleepless night not a wonderful mix with an 8 and 10 year old wanting their due attention, and them being booked into a birthday party. But the duties required added to my training and I am now mentally stronger for the effort (although probably physically weaker).
The theory of do Radox baths actually work was put to the test, and I don’t care if the whole salt bath theory is total bunkum the bath I did have was the most enjoyable I’ve ever had, and that include the ice cold bath I had after my marathon. There is probably nothing better than a nice water based relaxation after an endurance activity and this bath break was probably one of the highlights of my week (throw in the added bonus of one kid being on the playstation3 and the other playing on the pc so there was silence, I could well have thrown in a meditation session).
Other training has consisted of following the Gold Coast Marathon Beginners Training plan and I’ve run each recommended run for weeks six and seven, although skipping today’s planned long run as I think a 48km walk equates to 17.5 km jog, and even if it actually doesn’t I’m not really in any state to go running today. But plans are in place to hit the running track with sprint training on Tuesday, and to ensure I’m in tip top shape I spend 30 minutes the morning going through a full stretch routine, I can’t be in that great a shape though as it did raise a sweat at one stage – I’m blaming the 32 degrees Celsius temperatures and no amount of convincing will make me change my mind – just the same as “it said left at the traffic lights” is not a clear instruction.