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GNW: Sydney to Newcastle FKT 2021

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Turning Feral

After completing Hume and Hovell 100 miler it was now a matter of seeing whether I’d be recovered enough to complete another 100 miler in 4 weeks time. I waited a couple of weeks to check and make sure I could still run, all was good so I booked the trip. Feral Pig Ultra was in my sights! If I completed this race I would have 16 points over 3 races. Enough points to qualify for entry into the UTMB lottery next year. We flew into Perth on the Thursday, with the race starting on Friday night at midnight, a terrible starting time. I didn’t really know when to eat or sleep. the pre-race dinner was actually a pre-race lunch on the Friday. Then I tried to sleep, but it’s really hard to sleep when it’s not sleeping time. Unfortunately our hire car also got backed into while I was trying to sleep, so that was something else that had to be dealt with (and is still ongoing). We got up at 8pm and I got ready to race, then headed out to the Perth Hills Discovery Centre for rego, bag check and afte

100 miles/162.8km on the Hume and Hovell Track

I had serious FOMO after volunteering at GNW this year, so the quest to find a 100 miler to enter was underway. At first I thought I’d go Feral Pig (163kms on the Bibbulmun track in WA). But then I saw a Facey post from Hume & Hovell announcing that they were worth 6 UTMB points. Looked good, so I sent a few messages to people who’d done the race in previous years to get a sense of what the trail and race are like and all I heard back were good things (apart from the flooding last year), and being in a location that I’d never raced before and on an actual hiking track, I was sold! The race was very very well organised, a fully marked course with tape every few hundred metres and reflective strips for the night. Plus the Hume & Hovell walking track signs with their direction arrows. The directions leading up to the race were great, locations were made clear enough even for someone not from the area and we scoped out a couple of the aid stations early on, just to make sure mum (s

Trying another Triathlon

Being injured for such a long time meant that there was plenty of cross-training. So I decided it was time to put all of that extra training to use and compete in a Triathlon. I did my first ever Triathlon at TriWyong last year with the Try-aTri event, but this year it was time to up it to the longest they had available. The Club distance event, with 1km swim, 30km cycle & 8km run. I was pretty nervous about both the swim and the cycle. So in preparation for the swim I’d been doing lots of laps various Newcastle pools and I had a couple of 1km long open water swims to see how I’d go. Attempt 1 at Toowoon Bay went great. Attempt 2 at Patonga was a total disaster and I learnt why the swim leg is the first leg of a Triathlon. I’d just finished a tough 25km trail run and had packed my cossies and wetsuit to have a practice swim. As soon as I hit the water my feet started cramping, so I stretched them out a little and set off. It didn’t really get any better, at one stage I was floating

UA - Charged Bandit 2 Review

Thanks to Under Armour Australia & Running Heroes I recently got to try out the new UA Charged Bandit 2 running shoes. This happened to fit in nicely with my return to running, having been out injured for the past few months. I really like my Under Armour Speedform Gemini 2’s and have been happily wearing them around for the past year, so I was quite keen to try out the new UA shoes and the Bandit 2’s did not disappoint! They feel very similar to my Gemini 2 with a fairly rigid sole and light material on top. However unlike the Gemini 2’s the material on top is less like mesh and more of a stretchy fabric. Which I actually prefer as it means my toes are no longer being blasted by wind and freezing while riding my bike in the early hours of the morning. The sole provides a good amount of cushioning while remaining fairly dense so I can push off hard, but can also run comfortably on a concrete bike track. There isn’t a great deal of grip on the bottom, but being the style of runn

ITBS Rehab - The first fortnight “Melissa does all the things”

After my DNF at UTA I was pretty bummed out, I didn’t want to go anywhere near the race finish line or even read about it on Facebook. But by far my biggest concern was when could I run again? I talked to my coach Matt Murphy whose advice was to stop running, start Reformer Pilates and look at getting a cortisone injection to get the inflammation down in my knee. I really wasn’t keen on cortisone and am still not keen on it, but at the same time I haven't ruled it out. However I have stopped running and have started Reformer Pilates.... What have I done so far? Reformer Pilates There was some initial confusion when Matt told me to go and do Pilates. The gym classes didn’t suit and I didn’t know why following a video wouldn’t work. That’s when he taught me about Reformer Pilates (Refer to the stock photo). It’s done on a moving bench thing, and is very hard. But hard in the concentration sense, muscle wise it’s fine. I also feel incredibly uncoordinated doing it. I found a Pilates