Inadvertent Trail Run

Saturday just past the plans for our respective days went somewhat pear shaped and my Parkrun 5k turned into an awesome trail run. Hubby had a more stressful change yet still managed to get a motorbike ride in.

So what actually happened?

It started like any other Saturday really. I was at our eldest’s ready to Tourist Parkrun while hubby was taking mr 15 to Maydena for a skills lesson and some runs on the MTB downhill track.
We had spoken earlier and I was doing a warm up jog when the phone rang again and a voice told me there was a problem. The ute (with two bikes on board) had simply died on the side of the highway, he had been thinking (and swearing no doubt) and there was only one way to fix it straight up.
I take mr 15 to Maydena and he waits for the tow truck and sorts out the vehicle.
Parkrun can wait, so I rang my appointment for later and cancelled, filled the car with petrol and headed north to be the rescue car.
We were going to be late but if I could make up some time I was going to do it.
I pushed it the whole way and we got there as on time as we could – hubby had rung and sorted out the costs and timing.
I got mr 15 under way on the bike and I settled in by the fire pit to have my first, and most delicious, coffee of the day.

It’s time to run and time to explore.

I finish my coffee and pump one of the guys for info on where I can go running, aside from up and down the highway.
I head off and find the road easily enough, an undulating gravel road that winds for a few kilometres before coming to a stop and the rain-forest path with cave entrance signage awaits me.
As I head up here, ducking under logs and minding my step on the greasy path, I am in wonder of the amazing scenery we have and how it changes so dramatically in a matter of metres really…step off the road and there are new things to be found.
I am creeped out by the cave entrance and head back towards the road. I am 8-9 kms in so decide to see if I can get to 15. I’m feeling like a challenge. The rail track heads east and I figure it crosses the highway at numerous points, I’ll follow for say 3 km and then head back along the road to where I started.

You know what they say about ‘All good plans…’

Turns out the train track winds further inland and for longer before it crosses the highway. I do a run walk along the tracks, some parts are not runnable and slippery – this is trail running after all. While I don’t want to rush I did have a basic time restriction. About 2 hours, so am constantly checking my watch to gauge where I am at. I’m around 11 kms so am conscious of the need to head back. I also have to go to the toilet. And not a wee.
I notice a track and head off the rail lines. Google is my friend and I see that I am pretty close. If I follow this road I will get back to where I am going. By the looks of it, it’s a track in the bush as compared to a gravel road or train lines.

Note to self: I need to bring wet wipes in my shorts pockets next time.

Lucky for me the tracks heads up hill towards the highway and I am at the main road. Bitumen. Easy to run back to my destination.
I google again and notice I have less than 3 kms to go. Woohoo. So happy. I head off and as I get to the car realise I just have to even the distance so keep going for another couple of hundred metres.

And that is how I accidently ran a 15km trail run.
And got back right on time.

Hubby finished sorting out the mess, did a few chores, then went ‘&*#* it’ and surprises us both by taking Mr 20’s motorbike and coming to see us.

The joy on Mr 15’s face was a wonderful thing to see.

As a side note, I am feeling so very lucky and grateful. The strength workouts I am doing are really helping my running. While my hammy still hurts, the DOMS, and general soreness the next day was next to nothing. Like it used to be when I would eat that distance for breakfast.

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convicts & wenches, 25k trail

I was under prepared.
I had a basic plan.
A vague hope for finish times.
Get out there..have fun..finish.

I did it.
I finished and fell into hubby’s arms, sobbing tears of both exhaustion and the joy of it being over.
The last few kms were of utter pain and ‘where is the end?’ coupled with an inner joy of having done it. The tears threatened to flow. I stopped and walked, then jogged and repeat…anything to keep moving and not keel over completely. My legs felt like lead, like the end of my marathon where I didn’t think they would take me another metre. My husbands words ran through my mind..’remember that tattoo on your ankle..mind over matter’ That thought would carry me the last 5 kms where I was so tired I nearly fell several times through exhaustion.

This race started like all the others. Getting there early for bib pick up, photos, and more than one loo stop. Catching up with other running friends eased my nerves, and I was relaxed, even though my arms were heavy from the day before’s activities.

Some of the RMA ladies before we started. 25 & 12 km runners.


This race is cut into 4 sections – 3kms beach, 6kms trail, 10kms beach then replay the 6km trail.
Getting onto the trail was a bottle neck with the 12k’ers but it soon spread out and we moved easily along the route. It felt like it would never end, but that was before I saw The Beach.
The Very. Long. Beach.
Scrambling over rocks was almost the easy part.
You know when you’re driving a flat road and the horizon kept moving, never seeming to get any closer. That’s how it felt. With both a head and side wind, wet feet and the roaring waves to our right, I began to wonder if I was in some sort of weird recurring dream. I ran walked this section to preserve my energy, trying not to feel too deflated, yet still amazingly happy that here I was, actually doing this bucket list run!
Onto the road for 200m to the shelter where they ticked you off the list (making sure everyone was accounted for). I oggled the chips and bananas, scruffed a handful of lollies and headed back out. Tried sending hubby a video to say I was on the return, but it didn’t work so he got weird selfies instead.
I was slightly quicker along the beach with a tailwind, although somewhere around the 16-17k mark my ITB decided to play up. Dammit. And I was going so well too.
My plan was to run as much as I could and walk where I needed. I couldn’t help it, so had to work by its rules.
Over the rocks, grabbed more lollies from the stand and headed up the hill at 19kms. I had to walk as my hammy wasn’t letting up either.
Sent the last message to say I was heading bush again and would see him soon.
Checking my watch it was 2h:30 and I was hoping for the last 6k in around 40 mins, even in my head knowing how fast I would have to be to do that.

I was the only one on the trail for the most part during my return, with very few people around, meaning I almost took a wrong turn on several occasions.
The last 3 kms were the hardest with me nearly coming a cropper after tripping on my own feet. I had visions of the next person along finding a body sprawled face down on the ground. It wasn’t a pretty thought.
I pushed through and counted down the last km.
I can see the beach.
I can see the flags.
I’m at the flags…
Hitting the board and seeing that finish line.
Fist pumped the air as I came to the end and then saw hubby and mr 15 waiting.
Nearly missed my medal.


I was under prepared.
I’m not as fit as I thought I was.
I am also not as un-fit as I thought I was.

For my very first trail run I am absolutely stoked with my achievement.
They say to add half again on your regular distance time when doing trails, so to have finished my first in the time I did, makes me even happier.

This is also the first race where I am happy with all my photos.
Official time: 25kms – 3.25.35.
I Owned Today.

Bling and tank top.

Alum Cliffs Track 7k

I wanted to get a run in, but have some fun at the same time so when the opportunity presented itself on Monday I took it.  I’m sure there will lots more opportunities where this mini trail run is concerned. I’ve driven past it many times, seen the sign, heard about it and yet have never made the effort with hubster to go ad do it.

Alum cliffs track. A relatively short and easy walking track that winds along the coastline with a couple of dips into valleys, through beautiful Aussie bushland. That is the easy part, the last 750m there abouts is Brutal, with a capital B. It’s straight down a gravel track – with hand rails and stairs if you need it, then straight up the other side (in two parts). It’s steep and tough on the quads, but when you make the return, you’ll find those quirky little valleys you didn’t like on the way out, to be nothing more than bumps in the road. I know I certainly found the return quicker and easier.
The track is suitable for dogs but not bicycles, although they would have a ball if allowed to use it, and time forecast is 2.5hrs return.  You could easily take that long by the time you stop to admire the view and take pictures.

My journey on this track was simple. Run where I could, walk where I had to, take snaps, enjoy it, no stress, no speed/time.
I went nice and early – as the sun was rising and had very little company. Given the time I thought there would be more people out in the sunrise, but thankfully, no, I only saw a lady at one end and a dog walker as I reached the finish. Beautiful.

If you get the chance, it’s a must do for both recreational and sports wise.