Need a cure for ornithiphobia? Don't ask me.

Those of you who follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter would already have seen this photo. I snapped it part way through my weekly run to work.

Nice isn't it?

I have a confession to make. 

Taking this photo got my heart rate up more than the run did. I think I'm ornithophobic. While sneaking up to take photos like this might be considered therapy, I don't think my fear of birds is going anywhere, anytime soon.

Beerwah @ Night

This weekend saw the first of the Run Queensland day/night series - Beerwah@Night.

It was my first event of the year, first trail run for a while, and first time out in the dark since the Glasshouse 100. I was happy to find out last week that for once I'd have some reinforcements. Daggy and Matt, who both trained in the same triathlon squad as me many moons ago, were having a hitout too.

Glasshouse Mountains National Park is a beautiful place but the 200mm of rain that had fallen in the area in the few days before were bound to throw in some challenges.

The guys both gave me a bit of stick for writing out the directions like I always do, but I don't know whether either of the understand what it's like to be a back of the pack athlete. I can't count on having someone around to help with directions so it's comforting to me to know I have a bit of extra help if I need it.

As we stood at the start line they announced that they'd had to change the course at the beginning and I wondered whether that preparation would be in vain and the km pointers I'd written down wouldn't match up - but just a few ks in I found that everything lined up perfectly. Alun and Brett had worked out their contingency route with great precision.

With this stress out of the way there was time for a couple of snapshots along the way. I couldn't resist the sun setting on Mt Beerwah.

And halfway through "The Dungeon" I tried to capture the ruggedness and steepness. There was a good few ks of this. I was pretty happy it was in the first half of the event when we had natural light.

This shot doesn't do justice to the sun setting and a sliver of moon poking up over the pine forest but I'll use it anyway.

Of course the question I get asked most is, "don't you get frightened out in the dark by yourself?"

At night time the wildlife is more noisy and less visible, and that's a bit unnerving. On Saturday night I saw countless cane toads which quite frankly, freaked me out. (I screamed quite loudly when I saw the first one, less loudly for the second, and then just tried to ignore them.)

Not to mention, they were deafening! I wish I had have taken some video so you could hear how loud mating frogs and toads are.

I didn't take any pictures of the creek crossings and mud holes - my shoes and socks probably tell the story.

I didn't do a great time but that's no surprise, my fitness isn't the best right now after my Christmas lurgy. But I felt so much more confident climbing up the steep bits and stepping down off rocks than I ever had. The strength work I'm doing is paying off.

The only real down side is that I rolled my ankle slightly at one point and I'm still getting a bit of discomfort. A trip to the physio may be on the cards this week but hopefully it won't be a lingering injury.

How to do a one legged burpee

Firstly, don't ask me. I didn't even know they were a thing until this week's PT session.

Suffice to say - I'm pretty sure I didn't look like this.

Obviously I don't really know what I looked like but I felt like I looked like a cross between these next two videos.

(I've always maintained that I have the coordination of a dead fish so the title of the second video is apt.)

I promised my trainer I would practice. I will. Tomorrow.

Runner's high / runner's low

What, never heard of a runner's low?

I've had one for about the last month. And I had even a few acute attacks on this morning run.

Nobody ever talks about the runner's low but I'm pretty sure it's a thing.

My guide to Brisbane's best* parkruns

For the last few months I've been enjoying time off serious training and spending many Saturday mornings being a parkrun tourist.

By my calculations, Brisbane has 18 park runs, including west to Ipswich, south to Logan River, and north to North Lakes. I've done 11 of them now. So the * in my blog title is a disclaimer that my ratings are based on *most* but not *all* parkruns in Brisbane.

My training now has to get a little more specific for what lies ahead, which means I'll have less time to parkrun in the near future. While I intend to get to the rest of the parkruns as soon as I can, I thought I'd summarise my time as a parkrun tourist with my awards for the fastest, the friendliest, the hardest, most scenic, best community atmosphere, and the most surprising.

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.