March 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
So after a steady build in February, March turned out to be ‘event full’.
It kicked off with Amy’s Big Canberra Bike Ride on Sunday 1 March. I rode 95 km all up and took just 2 and a quarter hours for the hilly 68 km course. I was really stoked with my time, my energy levels, my relative comfort during climbs, and my positive mood throughout. I only saw one other rider I knew but I just bunched up with whoever and kept up a steady pace. Good training for a great cause!
A week later I joined the AMRA Rob Roy Romp on Monday 9 March. The Australian Mountain Running Association runs under the stewardship of John Harding, a local hero of the running scene. This was the third year in a row I’ve done this event (although the courses have changed subtly each year). This year it consisted of 25 km of steep, rocky trail running with 1,000 metres of ascent and amazing views of the Brindabella Mountains. I ended up 5th female out of 10, in a time of 2 hours and 53 minutes. If that sounds slow, it’s because it was!
The following weekend was spent in the Blue Mountains for the other half’s Six Foot Track Marathon. (He got a 10 minute PB, so it is possible for a couple with young kids to train simultaneously – but it’s a juggling act!) I took the kids bush walking on Saturday (flicking leeches off our shoes) and on Sunday I took off alone for an ambitious solo run. It was a bit of a debacle. First we locked ourselves out of our holiday house (with unfed kids in their pyjamas). Then I left my maps and course directions in the car. Noooo! I set off anyway, running out towards the cliffs that plunge into the Grose Valley, but wasted too much time trying to find a very obscure turnoff. Feeling glum, I retraced my steps and eventually found the point of descent – a victory of sorts, but too late to finish what I started. Next time!
Then came the Ultimate Snowy Challenge on Sunday 22 March. I really threw myself in the deep end with this one. The idea of it just captured my imagination – a huge 40 km climb to the roof of Australia. Could I even do it? I’m so happy with how it turned out. I woke up in a sleeping bag next to my bike for the first time in my life. Wasn’t sure whether to wear short or long sleeve; ended up wearing both on the 6 degrees + windchill morning. I started conservatively because I’m completely untested against that much hill, then picked it up a bit after 20k. The coolest thing was when a deer ran across the road in front of me, it was so beautiful! (introduced species notwithstanding). The second coolest thing was the smooth bitumen and sweeping curves through the alpine landscape. I loved this event! I rode 85 km with 1,900m of ascent, drank 700 mls, ate 3 gels, a piece of banana and a homemade cookie.
I’ve come away with a few reflections but will share those another time. I’m leaving March (literally) on a high 🙂