TNF50 Race Report 2014 – When wil the hurting stop?!

This was my first ever ultra-marathon and this is my first ever race report.A� So if you’re a seasoned runner, stop right now because you’ll have seen this all before and will be rolling your eyes at all my mistakes.

Pre Race Training

The first real training session was a run in the Blue Mountains with Brendan Davies in February (you can read that blog here).A� It didn’t go well and I was left with two bad knees that required continuous support and I really doubted whether I would be able to finish the TNF50 let alone run it.

Thanks to Google and the Modern Monk blog on Chronic Knee Pain I was able to self-diagnose, self-medicate and self-rehabilitate my knees to a level where I felt that I could complete TNF50.A� My training consisted of squats, lunges, stairs and soft sand walking three times per week, yoga at least twice a week and the occasional bush walk.

The Week Before buy pills

On the Tuesday before the race I had a soft Thai massage which I would actually recommend to anyone.A� Not only did it iron out any existing aches and pains it helped to relax my mind too.

Eating? Yes and lots of it!A� I ate everything with the excuse that I was carb loading.A� Pasta, ice cream, bread, rice… did I mention ice cream?

For the ladies, watch your stress levels!A� I had a pretty tough week leading up to the race and so my period arrived a week late.A� Two days before race day!A� By Thursday afternoon I was popping ibuprofen like candy and by Friday I was a walking zombie.A� Logistics wise I was prepared and made every use of facilities as and when they arose. For the record I did not wear a pad, not because of chaffing but because I once ran 24 km with one and there was nothing left of it by then end – so what was the point!

Race Day

I slept really well the night before (considering the strange bed and the imminent race).A� Breakfast was a bowl of muesli with milk which i ate at 6am.A� i had a quick shower (didn’t wash the hair) before dressing in my race outfit.

My race buddy and I walked to Scenic World (about 1km) this was a great idea as it warmed us up and helped to exercise out some of the nerves.A� We both made the start line with ample time to meet and greet fellow runners.

TNF50 Start 140517A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A�A� Catching up with TNF100 buddies

The First 19km

I’d like to say that I trotted out the first 20km without a hitch but I’d be lying.A� After climbing what felt like 100 sets of stairs, I realised that I had not done enough stair training.A� The knees were starting to grumble and I was beginning to doubt whether they would make it to the finish.

Behind the Fairmont, I made the decision to pull over and strap up the knees.A� This cost me about 15 minutes but when I set off I was instantly more relaxed as the knees felt a damn sight perkier.

20km to CP1

My foot placement had been dodgy right from the start and I kept hitting stones and twigs at awkward angles.A� At 20km as I was running down a single track when I landed on a tree root and rolled my ankle.A� I pulled up, shouting various expletives and as the adrenaline kicked in my ankle went numb.A� A couple of runners stopped to ask if I was ok but I waved them on as I didn’t know how bad it was going to be.

When the throbbing started I began to be concerned.A� With no painkillers in my pack I began calculating how hard it would be to walk to CP1.A� Then my hero appeared.A� I shall refer to him as “Advil Man” because after 2 Advils I was soon on my way albeit much slower.

CP1 = 9 minutes

I am so proud of myself! I whipped through CP1 and would have been faster had I actually planned to fill my bladder.A� I had emptied my rubbish, grabbed some lollies and was about to leave when I thought to check my water levels – EMPTY!! So it was back to the water tank for a re-fill.A� Had I planned to do this from the beginning I would have saved a bit of time.

how much toradol can be given im 28km – 35km

Finding myself on a familiar trail was a real mental boost.A� By nature I am a nervous runner and prefer to descend at a slower pace.A� Sadly, the knees were hurting and I needed to take the pressure off them.A� So using a technique learned from Brendan Davies (thanks mate!) I hurled myself down the descents and power walked up the inclines.

I apologise to all those I passed coming down Kedumba.A� I am not a light footed gazelle…. more like a rhinoceros in full stampede.A� I think I scared a few people with the noise I made and unfairly caused them to think that I was an elite runner powering through TNF.A� I think this thought was adjusted when they overtook me later on in the race!A� But CP1 to 35km was my fastest split.

35km – 45km (When will the hurting stop?) v v iiaagra

Coming up Sublime was brutal.A� I had made a last minute decision to pack poles and I am so glad that I did.A� At this point mental toughness is what counts.A� Plugging away at the inclines and making up mantras in my head helped me get through this particular section.A� Despite my knee pain I believe I was able to maintain a good pace and was only over taken by the first two TNF100 runners and another TNF50.

TNF50 40km 140517

The Last 5km – KILL ME NOW!!!!

I was passed by 5 more TNF100 runners (including Brendan Davies) and a number of TNF50s.A� I knew that I was losing time but I could not go any faster.A� Every step was excruciating and I had developed a sharp pain in my chest and pins and numbness in my left hand.A� Before anyone panics I am 99% sure that it was referred pain from using the poles….99% sure!

The Furber Steps – $&*%&@!!!

Partway up the Furber Steps I heard a familiar voice.A� Steven Gates had caught me up and provided the motivation and encouragement I needed to climb this stairway from hell.

I gave everything to this race and managed a zombified limp across the finishing line in 9hrs 30mins.A� Emotions took over as did the tidal wave of pain and I burst into tears.A� Hugs and physical support got me to medal desk, soup kiosk and First Aid tent in that order.A� I am eternally grateful for the guys from Windsor Original Bootcamp for propping me up so I didn’t collapse in a heap on the floor.

TNF50 Finish 140517 This guy got me up the Furber Steps!

The Kit (Stuff of Interest)

  • Hydration Pack – $30 from the Post Office (Bloody amazing! yes it’s heavy but it’s comfortable and fits everything in it)
  • Jacket – $60 in a sale from Mountain Designs.A� It’s not sexy, it’s not super light-weight but it’s squeezes up small into a little bag
  • Headlight – $40 LED Lenser from Catch of the Day.A� Another Bargain!

  • Nutrition – I packed too much but this is what I actually ate, 2 choc chip muesli bars from Coles, 2 Lo-Carb protein bars from Better Bodies, 2 Gus (Peanut Butter & Salted Caramel), Allens Lollies and about 10 dates.
  • Fluids – Probably around 3 litres of water and a small flask of Tailwind lemon flavour.

What would I change?A� Assuming that I would do it again…

  1. I would find a clip on drink holder for my small flask of Tailwind (or other electrolyte drink).
  2. Take painkillers – you never know
  3. Take less food
  4. Do more stairs
  5. Make sure I have covered all of the course at least once (even if I do it in bits)
  6. remove the pitts from the dates!

Final Words

The experience was incredible and 6 days on I’m feeling pretty good.A� The knees are still sore and my arse feels like I’ve been horse riding for a week.A� I’ve been to one yoga class, walked the dog everyday and I’m going for a massage on the weekend.A� Another couple of days and this will all be a fond memory!

cheap cabgolin 0 TNF50 TGIF 140517 Cheering on TNF100 runners!