Too much, Too soon

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Bob was planning to sleep in, horrified at the prospect of my waking at 4:20am to prepare for the Mt Majura Vineyard Two Peaks Classic, a 26km trail run up the summits of Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura. I did both of these summits fairly regularly, so it was neither novel nor daunting. Just another day at the office, with drink stops provided, in a beautiful part of the city. I slept in my study (new bed still to be delivered), with Lucy the cat, and the kettle set up on my desk with coffee at the ready to be made. I needed to start taking large quantities of Imodium no later than 2 hours before the start of the event. With a slated 6:30am start, 4:30 was a bit late to be roused. However, I woke up to go to the bathroom around 1:30am . . . my mind started to whirr, and sleep did not return.

Felt pretty good when I got up, around a quarter past four, and fiddled around updating my blog entry. A cup or two of (yuck) instant coffee, and a steady stream of tablets until I left home about 5:30am. I drove via Dickson, in the vain hope that there would be somewhere that sold decent espresso open, and then continued up the Federal Highway to Mount Majura Vineyard. It was a beautiful setting, and there were quite a few cars already parked on the paddock near the road. Many of the cars were familiar belonging to the usual suspects from Customs, BBQ Stakes and Cross Country Club runners. I wasn’t very sociable at first, racing up to the “Cellar door” to pick up my registration number (207), seeing the PRB on his way back and loads of people registering late. There was a good buzz of excitement in the still early morning fresh air.

The start of the measured 26km course was closer to the roadway, and I stripped off to shorts and a crop top. I was shivering during the briefing, but knew that I would quickly warm up. With both the One Peak (Mt Majura 15km) and Two Peaks (Mt Ainslie and Mt Majura) runners starting at the same time, there seemed to be a huge field, with many excellent runners amongst them.

We started conservatively enough, the PRB staying with my slow legs, and I was content to start slowly and warm up knowing that there was a long way and some big hills ahead. The familiar trails of the Mountain Running Championships were at the start, and I was surprised at my pace of 6 minute k’s on the flat, although less so at the number of walkers passing me on the climbs as I kept chugging away in a running motion. Mrs Mountain Running, Carol was manning the first drink stop and here I could tell that I wasn’t right at the back but close to it. No worries. I always improve, don’t I?

Well, suffice to say, I didn’t really improve. A bit better on downhill sweeps, I just couldn’t get going, and the PRB who insisted on staying with me the whole way, suffered silently as I spluttered an endless stream of gunk ~ spitting on a metre by metre basis, and using the melodic “bushies blow” in an attempt to stop the constant post nasal drip that was making me feel pretty crook. We had travelled over 10kms before the climb up Mt Ainslie started. There were quite a few Saturday morning walkers coming down from the summit, and as we made our way up the sealed track there were many ‘G’Days’ exchanged, including a short conversation with Emilio, the brother of my hairdresser, Angelo who is also a runner and member of Team Moore.

I was drenched through, my sweating mechanism was working overtime, and my socks were holding a surprising amount of water, especially the left which made an audible squelch with every foot fall. Despite the brief reprieve at the summit of Mt Ainslie (814m), I wasn’t feeling so good. I was really struggling, the drip down my throat was making me feel very nauseous, and I was not travelling very well. Only Mt Majura to go! My stomach suddenly made a loud, long rumbling reminiscent of thunder for a prolonged period that did not sound organic. There was some pain associated with it over the left lower quartile. This was disturbing, but there was nothing to do other than finish.

In one part we ran through rye grass up to my knees, then waist and then skimming my (short) shoulders. Horses corralled at the paddock at the end of this stretch were spooked and galloping frantically from one end of their enclosure to another. Just before the start of the climb up Mt Majura, I had to stop and walk, something I’ve never done in a race before. I was overcome with an overwhelming nausea, faintness and chills. The PRB insisted once more on staying with me, although I didn’t feel that I would pick up too soon. Occasional attempts at slow jogging after this were quickly terminated. We resumed walking. At one point I was icily cold – I asked the PRB to feel my hands which looked white and bloated to my gunky eyes. He helped my trying to warm them and I attempted to stop my teeth chattering. So cold . . . .

There was a big silver lining in this enforced break however; with so much recent rain and warmer conditions, not only did the hills shine with an emerald glow, but there were masses of wild flowers everywhere. Nowhere was so blessed with masses of wildflowers though as the slopes of Mt Majura, where meadows of massed colours carpeted the sides of the narrow track. Without the constant need to check ones footfall from running, we could really enjoy the spring bounty.

David Baldwin was manning the last drink station at the top of Mt Majura (824m), we advised him that we thought that we were last, and with a sealed road down to the finish to go, I was able to jog, slowly, for the first time in around 45 minutes. Despite a long downhill stretch, no land speed records were broken, but it was able to carry me though to the recently mown strip of paddock parallel to the busy roadway and up (it seemed up!) to the finish line among the young Pinot Noir Vines. The vineyard owner handed us each a bottle of 2002 vintage Pinot, with a great smile and ‘well done’, although I didn’t feel like I had done well, nor much able to smile. Lots of water later, I headed down to the parked car, where I faded further and only focussed on getting home.

3 Responses to “Too much, Too soon”

  1. Anonymous Friar 

    Whar a struggle that must have been, and on practically NOOO sleep.

    Hope when you're drinking the wine, you feel better.

    Their catalogue lists each bottle at $20.

    How generous is that, to give each finisher a bottle, and the winners got a six-pack of the same wine. !!!!

  2. Anonymous 2P 

    Sounds gruesome FD but well done - that looks like one tough run with sinus and bugger all sleep. In fact it looks like a tough run even without sinus and a good sleep!

  3. Anonymous Gronk 

    Sheesh ! Two biiiiig speed humps. Well done FD. :)

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  • Distance Swum
    February 17,400m
    October 3,800m
    November 4,150m
    December .
    Distance Cycled
    November 120km
    December 297 km