Packed up my stuff to go to Lorne on Thursday, making sure I had everything I needed. I distinctly remember packing a running bra (remember this, it gets important later). As I headed out the door, I realised I’d forgotten the food so went back to get it. Even though the weather forecast said it’d be hot the whole time including balmy overnight temps, I grabbed a hoodie just in case.
We set up the camp site and within an hour, the weather dropped to almost zero degrees! Thank god for the hoodie. We went off for coffee and cake after dinner & the wind started blowing like a big gale-y storm. That convinced me that a tree branch would surely fall onto my tent overnight, killing me dead (a much more realistic disaster scenerio than most I come up with that were based on episodes of the X files… have you noticed you never see anyone on TV in a “close to nature” situation without it ending in disaster?)
Back at the campground the wind wasn’t so bad but it was bloody cold. I’d only packed a thin quilt, not my doona or anything expecting it to be hot so I put on most of the clothes I owned (including jeans – unzipped for comfort) and put my beach towel over the quilt for extra warmth. I woke up about every half hour to readjust layers of clothing – the top half drifting up and the bottom half drifting down leaving my middle frozen. I guess that’s another reason to lose weight, less middle to be exposed to the elements.
The next morning, I woke up and had a pre-breakfast snack (some delish sugar-free cranberry cookies I found at the Asian supermarket – going back for more of them) because my food was in the other tent and I didn’t want to wake anyone. I lolled around, reading my book until the others woke up and had my muesli and stewed nectarines.
The people camping beside us had a couch that I very much envied and, when they were packing up, left it behind (I think they’d inherited it from other campers). I sat, ready to pounce as soon as they left and scored myself a comfy seat for the rest of the holiday 🙂
I packed up my gear for the day and OH NOES! No running bra! I absolutely swear I remember packing it. But I’m rugged and can run in a lacy underwire if the situation demands it.
After that, we headed to a berry farm for a devonshire tea then to a winery for tastings and then an olive farm for tastings and a coffee and a yummy platter of stuff. Okay – by this stage it’s 11.00 am and – count them, 4 meals! Oh yeah, that’s how I can run and still put on weight!
We got to Lorne and registered for the run then hit the op shops for tracky dacks and jumpers and other warm clothing, just in case (the volunteer at the run laughed at us when we asked for cheap clothing shops cos you don’t get cheap in Lorne… then she told us about the op shop). After that we headed to a less crowded beach for swimming and lazing. About 4.00 we went back into Lorne so we didn’t get caught out when they closed off the road. I got changed and OH NOES! No tee-shirt! Plus I had to get showered and ready in the public showers at the beach.
It is hell trying to get sand off your feet when everything around you is covered in it. A couple of young girls stood on the bench to get their running shoes on but even the bench had sand all over it. I stood on my towel and rubbed my feet, then folded the towel and repeated then did it again — I think sand between the toes would the last thing you need when running (well maybe sand in other places could be worse!)
Anyway, luckily we got freebie tee-shirts for the run. Mine was awful tight (again with needing to lose weight) so I borrowed Simon’s.
My plan for run had been to do a decent warm up. The Mountain to Surf starts on the side of the “mountain” (I guess it’s a real mountain cos it’s part of the Otways?) so you get into the ascent straightaway. But when we got to the start, the run had been delayed. Like most of the competitors, we slumped in the shade on someone’s nature strip. The announcements kept coming over – another delay, another delay. I think they had a certain temperature it had to drop down to before they could start the run.
The longer I sat around, the less I felt like running let alone warming up. By the time we headed to the start line, I’d fully convinced myself I’d not finish and, if I did, I’d take way over an hour for the 8 km run.
I had one goal for the run – to make it up the mountain without walking. We finally got started and I kept to a slow jog, finding it hard to get into because of all the walkers in front of me. About 10 metres into the run, I felt like shit. There was a big bend in the road then even more hill so I told myself to keep going at least to the bend. About halfway up to the bend, I had to give up. I dunno what happened – I’ve done better than that in training runs but maybe it was the heat or something – I felt terrible and it took about 5 minutes to get my breathing back to normal.
I think spending 4-5 hours at the beach in the hot sun before a run is not the best idea plus I hadn’t drank enough water. I puffed and wheezed my way up the hills and actually managed to run some on the downhills. I usually don’t run downhill because I’m terrified of falling over but had no issues.
By the time we got to the bush, I felt better although disappointed – not only had I not managed to run up the hill but it’d taken me 18 minutes to do the first 2 kms! OH NOES. The bush track is my favourite bit of the run though so I grabbed a cup of water to drink and one to throw over my head and face and took off.
I actually find it a lot easier to run on the bush track than walk. When I’m walking, I worry about the uneven ground (esp on some of the dodgy downhill bits) and where to put my feet, when I’m running I don’t think about it and end up more sure footed. I had to stop and walk a few times but even walking I managed to overtake people.
About 2 kms from the finish, I realised I could do it in under an hour so that motivated me to push myself a bit harder. I got in at around 58 mins, very hot and sweaty and tired. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so bad in a run before. After I got through the finish area and met up with Simon, we stripped off our shoes and headed into the sea for a dip. The water was so nice after all that hot running.
I did around 3-4 minutes slower than last year but last year not only was I fitter and lighter, we’d spent the day constantly thinking about the run — staying out of the sun and drinking heaps of fluids and avoiding anything like booze and non-run-friendly food. This year we enjoyed ourselves all day. I think I’d rather run a little slower and not be fretting all day than waste a day of holidays sitting around waiting for a run to start. Still I think it’d have been wise to spend less time in the sun!
The other thing I’ve been thinking about is that I always start right at the back of the pack because I figure I’m going to be slower than most other people. But, while I might be a slow runner, I have to take into account that most of the people at the back are there to walk and take it easy. That means lots of dodging and weaving. Maybe I’ll try to position myself a bit better next time.
Back at the camp, we had a night of wine and chocolate and lazing around. It definitely wasn’t as cold but did feel good to put on the new tracky dacks.
I don’t know if we’ll do the run next year. I’ve said before how much I hate Lorne but I do like getting away and camping and all that. We only started doing the Mountain to Surf cos a few friends do the Pier to Pub swim but it’s getting really hard to even enter that now so we’re thinking of maybe getting away and doing another run/swim along the coast. This Friday we’re heading down to Torquay to do one at Bells Beach (I think). Not only do I get to run, I get to quote lines from Point Break as well.
Anyway, I learnt a few things this weekend: always triple check the running gear is packed, always pack warm clothes (I normally do this), stay out of the run and remember to hydrate lots.