How to raise $1000 for charity

Now, I'm not an expert on this but just before my attempt to run 100ks at the Glasshouse 100, I asked you whether you thought I was inspirational or insane, and asked you to donate to a charity to show it.

It would appear that you think I'm inspirational, because together we raised over $1,000 for The Smith Family, a charity I regularly support through their Learning for Life program.

Several of you also donated to QUT's Learning Potential Fund, a scholarship I make a payroll donation to each fortnight.

Part of my pitch for donations was the promise of a handmade thank you card. The fact that it's two months after my run that I'm writing this blog post is testament to the fact that making nearly 30 cards is a bit of a marathon effort in itself.

A three-week-late update

Over a month ago I promised you an update in a week's time about making sure I limited eat week to just three weeks.

My inability to keep this promise doesn't bode well but I can report some progress on the eating and training front. 

You may also be curious to find out whether I earned a purple cycling jersey, or running shirt, or indeed, both.

The 130k quest for a purple Strava cycling jersey

Probably the less I say about this the better. The day was long, it was hot, and not surprisingly, I was not prepared for 130ks on the bike. 

For simplicity I chose to ride in familiar territory, with loops around Brighton, Sandgate and Scarborough, Boondall Wetlands, and the criterium track at Albert Bishop Park. 

It was boring as hell but I stuck to my goal and got a good day of endurance training in.

The 21.1k quest for a purple Strava running shirt

This is a much happier story. I did most of this run along Kedron Brook. About 8ks in I was greeted by the cycle escort for the walkers in the Weekend to end Women's cancer.

Hundreds of women, many in pink for breast cancer or purple for ovarian cancer, who were just over 5ks into their 30k walk, backing up from the same distance on the day before.

I had their company for maybe 5-6 ks and it gave me a lift for the middle portion of the run.

I was worried that the 8 or so remaining ks would feel flat and hard but it didn't; it felt good. And that felt good in turn.

The support crew were superheroes.

Eat three weeks? 

I can't hand on heart say that I've been perfect but all in all I've been much better with my diet and somewhat consistent with training. 

When I say 'somewhat consistent' I mean I've run 2-3 times a week and either cycled or a session on the wind trainer a couple of times a week. I have not ridden to work once a week like I said I would but have run to and from work a couple of times. (Not every week like I said I would.)

I've always known that I train better when I have a goal and I am the first to admit that I'm a little lost right now. Not for much longer though. As of last Wednesday I'm a confirmed entrant in The North Face 100.

It's weird though - the prospect of entering, and actually getting in, took a bit of wind out of my sails last week. I know, you would think it would put the fear of God into me and I'd be training the house down.

Well it has put the fear of God into me, but I have felt paralysed by the enormity of it all.

There is a lot to do. Sort out my mandatory equipment (and learn how to use some of it!), work seriously on my core strength, and mst importantly, develop my training program.

As these start falling into the place, my fear will drive me rather than hold me back.

Eat (three) week(s)

"Eat Week" is a tradition for me. It's a very simple concept - after completing a major event I eat whatever I want for a week.

I've celebrated "Eat Week" for years now, even though I've only been serious about dietary intake before major events in the last few years. It's really no secret that I love food.

It's now just over three weeks since the Glasshouse 100. My "Eat (three) Week(s)" peaked  on Friday. It's now time to admit my sins and start eating at least a little cleaner.

Here are just the things I remember from the last three weeks of eating really quite terribly.

Ask me: what's it really like to run 100 ks

I have answered so many questions about running 100ks at the Glasshouse 100 last weekend that I decided to write them up into a blog post.

Some of them even have interesting answers.

Glasshouse 100: I'm an ultramarathon finisher

There's always a first time for everything. Last weekend I did my first real ultramarathon.

Technically, my 50ks at Kurrawa 2 Duranbah last December counts as my first ultramarathon, a term which describes any foot race of over 42 kilometres. But when you up the stakes to 100ks on trails, somehow 50ks of road running seems remarkably different. I felt like what I had ahead of me was more significant.

I didn't know what to expect but as the event approached I was hopeful that I had trained enough to be physically and mentally able to get through 16 or so hours on the trails.

Lunch and dinner, ultramarathon style

How does this look for a nutritious and tasty day's worth of food?

I have diverted from primarily sports nutrition and been eating more real food while training for this race. This seems to be how ultrarunners roll, so when in Rome...

So the full repertoire of energy replacements is:

  • fruit cake
  • cookies
  • rice with custard
  • rice with cream cheese
  • Sustagen poppers
  • Mars bars
  • boiled eggs
  • potato chips
  • energy gels and gel chews
  • coke
  • coconut water with electrolyte powder.
  • cup a soups in case of emergency (can't run any more and I start getting cold)
  • bananas 

I've spent today cutting and wrapping many of these things into small portions I can easily carry between checkpoints, and eat quickly on the go.

I feel confident from the training I've done with these foods that I can handle running on solid food and eating real food seems to have helped with the tummy issues I've previously had.

(I am also packing some gastro stop and nurofen, just in case.)

I'm finishing this post off on the way home from the race briefing and pasta dinner at Beerburrum State School. An early night now before a day of adventure.