After my failed attempt in April I finally found the guts to try again, this time with a better understanding of what it takes to run so far. 

This time it was a 70km trail run through the forest out onto the coast through beautiful country. The day was perfect, light rain as we hit the start line and then clearing up during the day.

This time I had no watch on and just decided to run by feel. Sometimes I feel like the watch stresses me and I keep looking at the time and heart rate, so this time it would all be by how the body felt.

The body felt great, but the first 30km I was feeling fantastic. The check points were at peoples summer houses and they had got the BBQ going and we had grilled halumi and sausages. I didn't want to leave the check points.There were 5 check points and each one was better than the last, the final one even had a band playing.

I started running with a group of 12 and at 30km we split into a group of 6. The hardest part was when we hit the coast and had to run on the might be overkill more like climb up the rocks. The trail was quite technical with many roots and stones to trip on.

By 35km I now hit the wall and remember from my April run exactly that same feeling. I started to run by myself and kept talking to myself, basically saying it will pass, one foot in front of the other. A group of 3 then caught up to me and said why don't I join them so I fell in behind them and just watched their feet and kept on their heels. 

At 49km the wall finally lifted and the feeling was amazing...all I can describe it as was like on a cloudy day and then the clouds part and the sun comes out and that feeling of when the warm sun hits your skin. 

I left the group of 3 behind and caught up to another guy who was an experienced long distance runner. If it wasn't for him I really don't think I would have made the last 20km. We talked the whole way, encouraging each other. We got lost twice, which is part and parcel of this race. With 3km to go he then told me we have to do it in under 20 minutes to secure a time under 8 hours 30 min. I just clapped my hands and said lets go. 

Those last 3km were the most painful ever, but my feet had their own momentum and just kept going. Crossing the finishing line was unreal and tears of joy started to fall after realizing I had finally achieved it in a  time of 8 hours 25 minutes. 

Ater that it was pretty much down hill, I drove 40 minutes home and sat on the toilet for 3 hours. All that sugar finally taking its toll no doubt.

Not to mention my feet which suffered and I am now dealing with inflammation under my foot which has left me not being able to run. The Naprapath I have is great and he said he will have me running again. 

For now it is cycling that is keeping me going while I take a break from running.

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Comment by Lori Enlow on July 27, 2012 at 6:40pm
Comment by brendan wild on July 23, 2012 at 4:50am

Well done Petra. Great effort.

cheers brendan

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