This has been my 3rd run at 6 Foot and originally when I planned my 2017 racing it was to be a big one. This is a sentimental race for most and for me it offers many positives that help in motivating me as an athlete.
|On my way to a 1st place finish on what is becoming my favourite trail race|
at Wentworth Falls. Photo - XThomas Photography
I managed a good 30km long run, jagged an unexpected quality performance at Wenty Falls where I felt good and recovered well afterwards. I then spluttered my way to the finish in Orange a week later taxing myself more than expected with recovery being far more difficult than my normal half marathon effort. After a small block of racing, my training needed to be altered and I was focusing on quality rather than quantity, with 6 Foot fast approaching I was fast running out of time. This approach has me in good shape and I do feel I'm making real progress, but I know I am missing suitable long runs and hill sessions in my legs. Going into a race like 6 Foot where the variety of terrain, level of competition and distance of the race mean runners are truly tested from start to finish, right now to me seems like complete madness.
|Below Pinnacle Hill - I knew here I did not have the required|
additional 35km in my to get to the Caves.
6 Foot is a race that I want to thrive at and not merely survive. As a coach I would advise my athletes to always only race if they were fit and ready, so as a runner should I heed this advice? I want to be able to run 6 Foot on my terms not just holding on hoping I finish off ok, running isn't like a team sport where when you start getting flogged the opponent can back off. It's you against the course and this course throws challenges from start to finish and I'm well aware of just how taxing it can be on a prepared body let alone one underdone!
I often get asked "are you crazy running that distance?" To which I answer… I would only be crazy if I wasn't prepared properly for that event. This time around I am not, I know this deep down and while it's hard to withdraw I need to for my health and peace of mind.
|At Pinnacle where a moment clarity came across my mind.|
I'm not going to make this mistake again and not racing 6 Foot in 2017 is a tough but important decision I have to make. It's not made lightly and I'm sure I'll have mixed feelings next Saturday but it means I can keep building towards UTA on my terms. No compromise, no excuses but a chance to run in manner that I feel I'm capable of.
|Hurting all the way to the finish chute not willing to give up|
one place. Photo - Orange Running Festival
Running is part of my lifestyle and it's something I want to do for as long as possible and being able to make the right choices when it comes to my health and racing will only increase my longevity in the sport.
Orange Running Festival Shutterfly