I’m Coming Home

Maybe a strange title for a reflection of a 100 km Ultramarathon through rocky, Australian outback (with a few hills 😉 ), but a sure summary of my headspace.
Oscars Hut 2 Hut was the first adventure I decided to put onto my ‘funventure’ calendar for 2018. Being relatively close (a domestic flight and mini road trip away), timing being conducive with my work calendar and my yearn for a spiritual run, all signs pointed to ‘join’.

My entry was confirmed about a month out of the event and life just kept on rolling as usual. The weekend before leaving I finally had a good look at the mandatory gear list and realised that there must be some descent elevation and potential for disaster. The list of necessities included: thermal top and bottom, waterproof pants, waterproof jacket, compass, course maps, spot tracker, emergency beacon, first aid kit, emergency blanket, mobile phone, spare battery, food, head lamp, spare batteries…. And I’m sure there were a few more (you get the gist). This was diametrically opposed to the ultra I was participating in at the same time last year; a jungle ultra marathon in Thailand where mandatory gear was virtually water carrying capacity, phone, emergency blanket and headlamp. read more

Universal Prayer

Every night I am blessed with what I call my night travels. Be it the random firing of neurons, a disconnect of body and soul or just a chemical onslaught traversing my brain, my dreams are madly vivid. I wake some 4 to 6 times nightly as dream cycles conclude and oftentimes I am left with a quote, song, image or idea that I can’t shake. As my head hits my pillow I very much look forward to these journeys and more often than not, I find that all my mental woes have been solved by the next morning. I feel reborn and that is something I hope to never lose. read more

Life Train

The title is somewhat deceiving; this isn’t about life on a train, no vehicular reference (at least not in a literal sense). This is kind of about training for life. Yesterday I watched a video clip from one of the world’s most accomplished ultrarunners, Kilian Jornet. This Spanish beast of an athlete has won virtually every world renowned Ultramarathon out there, most times smashing records to boot.
Now, the guy isn’t what I would call a show pony, in actual fact, I wouldn’t even suggest he was very media savvy or motivated by accolades. This guy simply loves the outdoors, finds solace in motion, peace in movement. Truth is we don’t know what really happens behind the scenes. Maybe he is a media hungry mogul, does what he does for the money, plays the media very well; but I’d like to stick with the poetic belief that he manifests living one’s passion. read more

Panoramic Overview

Another adventure comes to an end. As I sit in the confines of my plane seat (where I start but don’t finish this report), thoughts ponder – a time to reflect. Having waved goodbye to dad who joined me from Korea, to ‘bond’ and crew me (as has become our tradition), the true extent of our experience is slowly settling in.
Holidays for me are about removing oneself from routine and experiencing another reality; hence I travel and ‘ultrarun’. This event was a somewhat ‘last minute’…. or rather ‘last month’ decision, made upon completing my last ultramarathon in Thailand in late October. Having run 145 km instead of the course of 122 km (on account of taking a wrong turn), I felt that maybe it was a sign that I should add at least one 100 miler into this year. I also had some annual leave up my sleeve as well as some stashed away funds that were yearning to be blown.
Without getting into the nitty gritty of things, eventually I made it to Mae Hong Son in Thailand, meeting dad and getting on with ‘holidaying’. This was our third Thailand adventure this year, all our events being Ultramarathons run by the fantastic crew at Teelakow headed by Peeradon Suksawat (aka Nop). Based on our previous experiences, we had no doubt that this would be another unforgettable, sensational event. We weren’t disappointed! read more

160 km Panoramic Journey

It’s been a while since my last post; study, work, training, contemplation all seem to have taken up my energies. Having submitted a major essay and finished my last day of work before two weeks annual leave, I can finally express the internal monologue that has been busting to be released.

Tomorrow I fly out to Thailand for my final Ultramarathon of the year, the 160 km Panoramic with just over 7000 m elevation ( http://teelakow.com/en/event/ultra-trail®-panoramic). It will be an ideal way of closing the doors to this year. I hadn’t planned on running 100 miles in 2017, the decision was another one of those sporadic ones that just seemed ‘right’ after finishing my last Thailand jaunt a month and a half ago. After some geographical ‘embarrassment’ in that event, the 122 km course turned into a 145 km slog…. What’s 15 more kilometres to make 160… (famous last words right…..) read more

Sh*t Service – I’m not complaining, I’m letting you know!

It takes a lot for me to write a negative review about a business, company, service or experience. I like to reserve my energies to focus on the good things, the services I can compliment; amazing food, super friendly staff, efficient execution, reasonable prices, you know the things that make you want to return. I remember when I was a little tacker, being immensely embarrassed by my mothers unhindered tendency to voice her disapproval of poor products. If my twenty dollar sneakers from Target tore after the first week, she’d be the first to take them (and me) back to the store, expressing her disgust at the lack of quality and naturally, demand a refund. read more

Identity – when are you no longer you?

Who am I? It’s a bit of a loaded question, isn’t it. Maybe it’s easier to ask who I’m not? I’m not a pensioner, I’m not a terrorist, I’m not a smoker, I’m not 19 years old. These answers aren’t too challenging to elicit. Pursuing the same line of thought, I am a female, an Australian citizen, a brunette, 168 cm tall (weight shall remain undisclosed, naturally), a resident of the northern suburbs…I am a lot. But what I am and what I am not don’t really answer the initial question, WHO am I? WHO are YOU? read more

Coastal Onslaught – 65 km of Tummy Troubles

About a hundred of us stood in the gusty winds that assaulted us along the exposed shore. Aldinga beach, a relatively bare shoreline with an awkwardly positioned blow up banner touting the start line for our 65 km Ultramarathon. The course was essentially a very liberal version of ‘follow the sea for 65 km until you get to North Haven’. This naturally meant course marking would be not only sparse, but potentially non existent.

I was a ‘bus starter’. Leaving our cars at the end point, about 20 of us caught the grey liner at 5:30 am to the commencement point. If only I had anticipated what the day would entail, I may have made some very different decisions with my food consumption the night before. You will understand my meaning very soon…. read more

It Takes Guts

‘She’s got guts’, ‘butterflies in the stomach’, ‘gutsy move’, ‘how gutless’ -a myriad of terms in our common vernacular that represent feelings, sensations and even personal characteristics. Take a look at the terms and recognise the common theme – the gut. Yes, that body part common to us all, quintessential for survival and ultimately, the nutrition extractor and thus energy provider fueling our existence. Clearly the gut is kind of a big deal, and I suggest that it’s health is more sweeping than merely determining whether we suffer from diarrhea or constipation. read more

Embrace the Funk

Sometimes, unchecked thoughts can lead us to quite destructive mental avenues. We pollute our minds with self deprecating assessments, analyses that put us into a negative light, a poor self concept. Today was one of those days for me. The sun was out, a cool breeze tickled my skin, the world allowed me to flow unhindered. My morning training was accomplished, my commute to the city to sign for my new investment unencumbered, my belly finally recovered after a week of post gastro troubles. Yet for some reason, the sensation of contentment, the deep down, soulful satisfaction, was just not there. read more