"Never be limited by other people's limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won't exist because you'll have already shut it out." -Mae Jemison, astronaut

Monday, July 9, 2012

New Trail Jedi

Part of the night course 10k - this is going to look great with headlamps!
I had an atypical running weekend.

Friday, which is typically a day off (strength work day during non-peak times), was spent up at Yanchep National Park doing some recce work on the upcoming Perth Trail Series "Trailathlon." Our official approvals are all in place! Hooray! Now I just have to build the webpage and open entries. And then do all that other stuff that makes events happen.

We have an "A" plan for the event courses and a "B" plan in case there are any major changes to the trails over the next three months whilst we're overseas. I'm excited with the courses - not too many hills, since there's a lot of distance to cover (42k over a weekend), but some good, fun, twisty single track with some views, as well.

Then on to Saturday....
16km of hill repeats! Not as bad as it sounds, as it was spread out over several hours. I decided to lead a "Beginners+" trail running course. A three hour session, which included some basics on strength/core work, nutrition and hydration, and talk about gear or blisters or anything else of interest to trail runners. It sold out with 15 people. So I opened an afternoon one and it sold out, too. I guess there was a need!

Single track Jedi chicks
The day was fantastic. We had a few no-shows due to work and illness, but 23 people came out in total to run up and down the big hills around Wungong dam. It was incredibly rewarding to see people improving their technique, and thus their confidence, over the course of 3 hours. The smiles were great!

I tried to run down the hills with the faster ones for a bit, to give them ongoing feedback on technique, then would sheepdog back up to check on the others and do the same. On the climbs, I ran up and down to different people as well. At other times I was doing demonstrations of technique, so running short up and down short sections while they watched. My quads and hip flexors were fairly trashed on Sunday! I was a bit surprised, but when I looked it up on Garmin Connect, I saw it really was a bit of a 16k hill interval session. (Or maybe it was from when I demonstrated how NOT to run downhill, locking your knees and hips!).

Learning the steep hill climb "disco dance"

We got to run through brooks and watch the roos in the hills. I even saw a few winter butterflies still around. The sun shone for much of the day - winter days in Perth are still like a lot of summer days in Canada!

And guess what else unusual I did last week? I put in my citizenship application! Last time I checked, it said my application was "being processed further." Further is good. Ultra runners like further.

On Friday I'm off to the UK, for the beginning of a 2.5 month training/running/racing adventure in the northern hemisphere. Happy to leave my cold house, but unhappy to leave my trail mates.

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