I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.
In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.
I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Snot without the trauma

People say if you want something badly enough, you’ll make it happen. Put it out to the universe, believe with all your heart, do all the necessary groundwork to prepare for it, and it will be.

I do believe that, and I live by it. I believe positivity attracts good things, and that self-belief is the way forward. There’s no point dreaming about goals and hoping that by some flash of chance they’ll just happen. It takes hard work, determination, planning and a lot of perseverance to make those dreams real.

And often, the journey is not a smooth one – there’re often bumps and hiccups along the way. I’m in mid-bump at the moment: as I write this blog post, I’m just 31 days away from Day One of the biggest, most difficult and exciting physical challenge I’ve ever taken on, and somehow I’ve managed to pick up yet another %*# bug. Unlike a month ago this one’s just a head cold and there’s no coughing involved, but my nose is so bunged up that I feel I’ve forgotten what it’s like to breathe through it.

Noses aren’t the most attractive appendages at the best of times but right now mine could win awards – for size, colour... and contents (sorry).

My TransAlps partner Ryan Sandes, aka The Machine or Mach1 for short, is being ever-encouraging – it’s just a hiccup, he assures me, the legs will enjoy the rest... But truth be told, I’m terrified these legs have been so long off proper training that they’ve forgotten HOW to run up mountains. And in 31 days, they must see Mach1 and I safely through 8 days and 296km worth of the most mountainous terrain they’ve ever encountered, up 18 000m of ascent, and the same in descent – all without flinching.

For months we’ve prepared, we’ve planned, we’ve visualised our race. We both want to do our best – for ourselves, for each other, for our sponsors, for our loved ones and friends who’ve supported and encouraged us along the way. We all want this race.

And damn it, I’m not going to let a snotty nose get in the way!

“Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we’re made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” (Patti-Sue Plumer, US Olympian)


  1. Now there's the determined, focused and positive friend I know. A snotty nose is also far away from your legs - and more importantly - your lungs. I know you'll be fine and the many months of training behind you will come to the fore.
    PS I like it when you send it to my inbox - it's the lazy way of getting to read your blog!

  2. WOW Linda, I'm more then impressed how positive you are, how straight you're thinking forward and how much you believe in yourself!!!
    Think I must start doing the same...
    I'm 100% sure it will work out for you at the Trans Alpine! And James and I will be there on day 1 to support you for a good start :)


  3. As always a great blog! your positive out look on life is a great example to us all. Your legs will never forget how to run up a mountain, they love it too much!!


  4. Hang in there Linda!

    You will be absolutely fine! Nobody and nothing cna take away the prep that you have done up until now. You are prob more prepared than you think. The nerves are a big thing in events like this. Don't let them spoil the experience for you.

  5. Just stay positive. You have a lot of strength & memory in those legs. it will carry you through on the day (or 8 days). Enjoying sharing the expecience with you so far and can't wait to share in the Trans Alps.

  6. Your good HBTC run shows you're in good shape. Maybe your body is trying to tell you something? As we get older, we get mentally stonger and with running years, I'm starting to believe (maybe John's cautioning is getting through to me) that we can do, and need less training. Sometimes you do your best runs when you are forced to rest more. BTW. Are you taking Vit E (good anti-oxidant) and Salmon oil (Omega 3)?