AS I sit here I can feel every muscle, every bone and every part of me physically sore and exhausted. Yet deep inside there is quiet satisfaction which comes from achieving a goal which you are never quiet sure you will be able to achieve. Six days ago I set out in rain, driving wind and cold to find the sunshine of Alice Springs. Over the next 4 days my body covered 80 kms of the most spectacular scenery ; rock hopping through gorges, sliding through sandy river beds, mountain goat descents, breathtaking ridge tracks, and on and on. The flight home was a great time to reflect on what I had learnt from this experience;
Trail running is the only sport I know where walking is not only ok, but actively encouraged on the ascents.
Small short steps are more economical and efficient than big powerful ones.
Eat while ascending, hydrate on the ridges and save your mental focus for the descents.
To descend a mountain like a goat you need to have “spinal rotation” in your movement repertoire.
Forget expensive running shoes, my $4 op shop ones lasted the distance and my feet arrived home with zero blisters. So many of my colleagues had invested $150 + in shoes which left them with welts. Comfort First.
The bond you form with strangers when you are near your physical limits is for a lifetime.
Most of my fellow runners had prepared with an average of 80 – 200 kms of running for the past 20 weeks. My preparation was about 20 kms! Having said that, I pulled up a lot better than most, purely by noticing my movement and adjusting it frequently. To know how to move is one of life’s greatest gifts: it protects us from injury, and improves our performance. Having options to access when one way becomes too painful, or too fatigued is the art of motion. After running 30 kms on one particular hot day… The reward is a MUG!!!