Celebrating being able to move

The Quackers had a great day at Tassie Trail Fest yesterday.  Tassie Trail Fest is a long weekend full of running on different bush tracks around the little town of Derby.  Derby is out the back of beyond, it’s pronounced as it’s spelt as opposed to the English Darby.  Derby was a thriving tin mining area back in the 1870s and has a colourful history as a multicultural mining town as well as of boom, decline and regrowth.  There were different old, unused tracks in the bush from mining days that have been brought back to life in recent years as mountain bike tracks.  These tracks are known as Blue Derby;  they have done wonderful things for this area of our state, putting it back on the map.    Once a year they are closed off so that the trail runners can have a turn.  There are events on for each of the three days and some people take on what’s called Multiday Ultra Madness doing multiple events each day with over 90kms total for the weekend.

Today is a rare sleep-in day for Pauly and I.  Usually to get a sleep-in we have to be off the farm, but today we managed one at home.  I brought my cup of coffee to the pc to catch up on blogs before I started to tap away at this one.  First I read Sue’s post about being born to move and her recovery from an injury complete with wonderful video that is a brief capture of her story.  Next I read Joanne’s post about her plan along with her friend Helen to travel all the wonderful Canadian tracks, all 21,000kms of them!  Sue, Joanne and Helen have all had their 50th birthdays, two have had their 60th and one their 70th.  These ladies inspire me to keep on planning and moving and illustrate in living breathing ways that age is only a number.  This got me thinking about my ability to move.

Last September I hurt my knee thanks to a calf giving it a huge head butt.  It saw me off running for four months.  Most days now my knee is about 98% and I’m over the moon about this.  But my confidence with running and getting out there is only around 30%.  I refuse to give into this and have kept on going.  Last Saturday I ran a half marathon in a team for the Coles Bay Triathlon.  13kms of that was on sand that went from hardish to soft every few paces.  Agreeing to help out in the team for this event wasn’t my smartest decision.  This last week the knee has been hovering around 90 to 95%.

Going through the rehab race while battling the issues on the farm was dark.  I felt that the one thing that kept me sane had been taken away.  I felt like I would never get back to running.  Joanne has recently had a shoulder injury and now she’s off to do this amazing adventure.  Sue went through the rehab race and went on to run a marathon and got back to all the adventure and endurance sports she loves.  It’s tough and dark at the initial fazes of this rehab race and perhaps for some of us there will always be a bit of a mental thing that comes with us even though we’re rehab race finishers.

Rather than this post being about what we did yesterday at Tassie Trails, this post is a celebration of being back out there.  That mental demon called Lost Confidence hasn’t got the better of me.  It has slowed me down but hopefully in time I might be back at the pace that was my normal.  But even if I’m not, being out there and doing it is what is important to me.

Louie smoked the half yesterday in 2:34:26, Pauly took on the 44km marathon event in 6:41:41.  Janette and I ralked and wunned in 3:45:59.  We stopped to take photos and had lovely chats with the volunteers who were all friendly and encouraging.  We made friends with a lovely young couple.  He was an experienced trail runner and she was doing her first ever half marathon.  We stepped aside for many fast marathoners coming through on the narrow single laned tracks.  Some had manners and many didn’t.  In all we had a wonderful day out in the Tasmanian bush.  The scenery was stunning.

If running off-road is your thing, put Tassie Trail Fest on your list.

Now for some happy snaps!

We stayed in Bridport the night before and strolled on the beach at sunset.

…Pauly chose the couch instead of a stroll. Note the expression!

The face of a dairy farmer getting up early for a marathon. Crab mug, crabby runner.

The Quackers pre-run.

Dewey, Huey and Louie. This is the first time we had our Quacker names on our bibs.

Listening to the briefing.

Snaking around the mountain bike tracks at the start of the marathon. Much of the course was like this only steeper and rockier.

Half marathon briefing.

Another section of switchbacks.

There were hollyhocks dotted through the bush.

We had to carry compression bandages for snake bite, but the only ones we saw were of the lolly kind!  The Volunteers were LOVELY!!!!

Chivalry is not dead. Ted helping Flick with her shoe. Janette and I loved meeting these two and chatting along the way.

Oh no! Janette had a bandaid so all was ok. the big toe came off a bit worse for wear and is a lovely shade of blackish purple today.  This is the knee that the calf head butted but I’m pleased to say the fall didn’t worry it.  Pauly puts this down to all the extra strength exercises I’ve been doing.

A remnant of tin mining days.

Miss Speedy Louie loved her bush run yesterday!

Done! Sitting in our deck chairs cheering on the finishers and waiting for Pauly.

Crossing the line!  As soon as I saw Pauly on his way to the finish line I ran to the announcer to make sure he knew that Pauly was finishing the marathon.  He changed his registration from half to full less than a week ago so had a half marathon bib on.  Go Old Man!  I yelled.  And thanks to me telling the announcer, the announcer let everyone know that my Husband will be 60 this year.  I’m a very good wife!

Proud of my Husband.

True love is taking off your Husband’s shoes after a 44km marathon.

All up a wonderful day out in the bush.  It’s days like this that make the rest of the hard times we are currently facing easier.

Happy running 🙂

PS Janette spotted an echidna while she was waiting for me to catch up to her at one point.  I might be an Australian and see our wildlife frequently but I LOVE all our wonderful animals and am always excited about meeting one up close and personal.  The echidna on the other hand is hoping I will go away and leave him be.

19 thoughts on “Celebrating being able to move

  1. What a wonderful day!!!! Thank you so much for ‘encouraging’ me to do this! I had a great time ralking. We may have been towards the rear of the pack, but we met some lovely people and got to see beautiful scenery! (those speedy gazelles wouldn’t have spotted and spoken to an echidna!) Great memories. Louie, you are a machine- and Pauly, you are one tough, stubborn ol’ dude WELL DONE to you!!!!!

    • The day was so much better with your company Janette! You make things fun and I’m very grateful for the bandaid and the ‘jack jumper check’ after I fell over. Those proper ‘trail runners’ must’ve missed heaps of stuff not just the echidna. Let’s put it on the list for next year? Perhaps a whole weekend but maybe not all that Ultra Madness stuff. In fact definitely not! Perhaps the night ralk?

  2. What a lovely post, Annie and thank you so much for the shout-out. You really hit the mark with the comment that rehab is dark and depressing … coming back from it is scary because you wonder if you’ll ever be the same again. An injury can either break your spirit, or make you stronger. It appears you have come out stronger 🙂

    Congratulations to all of you on a great race weekend. It looks like a tough course and you have bragging rights!!

    • Thank you Joanne x you have been an inspiration to me since Sue first recommended your blog to me. It was a pretty tough course but when it got tough we went to ralking and talking so the time went by quickly. It’s beautiful country to spend a little time in.

      • I don’t know if I ever told you this story before, but during my Ironman years, there was a woman I knew very well who was an elite athlete in her age group. She was on the podium in every race she entered.
        She knew I struggled a lot and one morning before the start of a race she told me ‘keep it nice for yourself. Whatever you need at that moment when you’re not having fun, make it nice for yourself’.
        Your comment about “ralking and talking” when the going got tough made me think of that conversation.
        When we stop worrying about our time, our pace, the people passing us, etc, etc, and “keep it nice for ourselves”, the joy stays in the sport 🙂

        Happy Running ❤

      • I love this Joanne so much! This is the best advice ever. If there isn’t any joy why do we do these things. This is yet another gem from you that I’m taking a way to put in my treasure box x

      • I’m glad it was as meaningful for you as it was for me. Sometimes we forget that we’re doing it for fun and get too caught up in the performance part.
        We tend to be hard on ourselves. Maybe “keep it nice for yourself” should be our motto for everyday living 😉

  3. Great post Annie! I loved the fact you stop and chat along the way and encourage others so freely. Good on you. I look forward to cycling some of this area in May when we’re down that way as it will be just nearby where we’re staying for the wedding. I had a chuckle at you telling the announcer that Paul will be 60 this year – such a good wife you are 🙂 Well done on making the most of everything and sharing your enthusiasm and love of it all with us 🙂

    • Hehe I am a good wife! 60 is a good age especially for a crusty old dude who runs marathons. Pauly said he was waiting for the ‘Go Old Man’ cheer. He knew that as soon as I saw him I’d make some noise. I couldn’t disappoint him hehe. It was a good day out in the busy. Not sure about this ‘trail running’ business. They are a different lot to the usual fun runners. A bit ummm quiet and reserved. They needed a bit of loud to stir them up. I don’t get how all of a sudden a bush walking track is a ‘trail’.

  4. Loved your post as always Annie, you never fail to amaze me with your running, you are always out there doing so many different things!
    I hear you about the rehab, I’ve been up and down so many times since starting the running journey 4 years that the constant little voice in my head saying “quit, you’re not meant for this” is hard to ignore but we’re strong stubborn women and refuse to bow out gracefully!

    • Thanks Sam 🙂 Here’s to strong women who stubbornly refuse to give in. And definitely no bowing out gracefully. Your couch and mine can stay cold for many years to come. We have goals to pursue and finishing lines to cross. You inspire me so much Sam. During each run of a triathlon (all 2ishkms) I think of you and try to keep going. At the end I giggle at how tough I found such a short event compared to how tough an Ironman must be.

      • The longer stuff is actually easier, especially for a slower athlete like me! There’s no rush, no intensity, just plod along, you’ve got all day to get it done, 17 hours after all!!
        This weekend will be my first Olympic distance, I’m very nervous, the hamstring and flute are still not right even after all this time, the swim makes me anxious as I’m so slow and I always come with the last few swimmers but I really want to just enjoy taking part and as you say, I want to celebrate being able to!

  5. Annie so sweet of you of you to include me in your post. I’m hugging you through the screen. Can you feel it? 🙂
    Yes it’s all about getting out there and moving. You have overcome so much in a year. Look at you now!
    Dave and I watched the echidna video about five times. You can show us wildlife videos any time!
    Congrats to the whole gang on a great run. Such a good wife to share Pauly’s age. 🙂

    • Thanks for the hug! That video brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure your story brings strength and hope to many doing the rehab thing. I just wanted to stay and watch the little echidna all day! He was so cute but he was so annoyed that we were there making a fuss. And yes, 60 is an age that needs sharing. hehe.

      • Please tell the next echidna you see that those of us on the other side of the world were thrilled with the video appearance. :0

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