Fat Runner: the super sized update

My goodness so much to tell.

Last week I did this:

Manly to Spit run
9.5km of up hill down dale. Lucky Dale.

When we started the sun had barely started to rise. It was sitting just on the horizon casting the most stunning crimson hue as we, at the tale end of the pack, conquered the steps of death and came to a flat rock facing straight east out the Heads. That this bushland setting with incredible views is in the middle of our city never wears thin, even when your heart is bursting through your chest and your legs are mounting an impressive campaign of mutiny.

I did not know there were such steep sections. Or torturous sections of graduated steps heading ever upward. People say it’s such a pretty walk. It’s a hellacious run.


1 hour 18 minutes.

Hats off to R who ran it in 56 minutes. I’m not even sure that’s allowed. Most of the crew did it in just over an hour which is, you know, alarmingly impressive.

The hardest part were the two steep rises after the massive one at North Harbour headland. For me a telling psychological impass for the sole reason that my brain was mighty cranky that we’d mastered those god-forsaked steep irregular sandstone steps and now you’re telling me to do it again? Even if it is for a quarter of the distance of the first round?

The 20 or so stairs up to Spit Bridge from the harbour below almost killed me.

Our trainer (now in the States for the CrossFit Games – GO CHRISTIAN AND TEAM!) stuck with me the entire time – WALKING as he was heading to the US the following day. I would have been offended were I not so exhausted. We had a fantastic chat as I ran and he walked along behind me (what a  farewell vision for him) about my dodgy thyroid and chronic stress blah blah blah.

The upshot of it all was this flogging myself uber-aerobic is probably the worst sort of exercise I could be doing – putting my already stressed and highly toxic body under even more stress. The ironic flipside of this is just how good it makes me feel in a comprehensive manner. There’s no way I’m stopping but it has opened my mind to the reality exercise can take many forms and that’s something I’ll explore once Tough Mudder is done.


So fast forward to this week. Three eight minute circuits. I got through the burpees, ring rows, wall balls session (I think there were 45 burpees all up? MAYBE 55? RIDICULOUS whatever the total.) but came totally undone on the kettle bells, 400m runs circuit. During warm up with the kettle bells I commented my back was a bit niggly and then, first session with them I knew I was in trouble. My first 400m run had my lower back feeling like it was slow setting cement. It was difficult to get my feet off the ground (Cliff Young shuffle anyone?) and I could feel the panic and hot tears of ‘oh no’ welling.

Coach of Awesome Pete (he took us for the soft sand running session weeks ago and I just like how he does it) got me through some really deep stretches and I actually pushed out another run (a bit disappointed because I think I would have got at least 4 maybe 5 runs in that workout)  and then did the final session of rows, walking lunges and bear crawls.

Of course I’m now paying the price. My back is busted, I’m popping anti-inflammatories at stomach-ulcer inducing levels and am, once again, intimate with heat packs. I need one of those stretch bands to get into the deep stretches Pete showed me but have a kids birthday party to get through today. I prepped most of the food last night and am about to get my parental tones on to get the boys cleaning and stacking lego away.



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  • Wow! Inspiring exercise regime!! Although I feel like I can feel your DOMS just from reading this. V.

    • Is it bad or sad that I don’t even know what DOMS are?

  • Denyse Whelan. Education Specialist

    Thank god you like this because I do have so much concern for you…then up you pop so blinking positive and all! You almost ran past my old home! About 2 streets away from Dobroyd …love ya guts lady!!
    Denyse Whelan. Education Specialist recently posted..The Shortest Blog Break Ever.

  • OK, I’ve taken the ferry past those places–from the Circular Quay to Manly/Zoo/Luna Park–and holy crap, that is FAR. What a tough slog. Good for you!
    Poppy Buxom recently posted..Beauty Deals and Exclusives at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale: Dior

    • It was a big deal for me but don’t get too carried away, it was to the Spit Bridge, not the Harbour Bridge. That would have been sheer madness.

  • Laura

    Hi Kim,
    I have been reading your 2007 archives from Grover’s birth. I can’t stop reading. Hope that is not too weird.
    Stay healthy and strong. I want to be able to congratulate you when you finish the Tough Mudder.
    P.S. Thank you for the laughter.

    • Not weird at all – I do that often, just get stuck into a section of someone’s archive. It’s intriguing and engaging. We are, after all, a curious people.

  • Holy crap, Kim. I’m exhausted just reading this. Legendary effort!

    Hope the birthday party goes well – be kind to yourself and try and squeeze in a rest somewhere!!

    What Sarah Did Next recently posted..What Sarah Ate Next: Pumpkin Soup

    • There was prosecco AND champagne. To wash down party pies and sausage rolls. Klassy.

  • Big love from me honey. We had one of my sisters-in-law over for dinner last night with her new bf (she thinks he might be THE ONE!) and they were saying that they have signed up for Tough Mudder. They’re the kind of crazy cats who do IronMan triathlons and rode from Neutral Bay to Palmie on Saturday just for the fun of it. Honestly, Mr Duyvken’s family have a very impressive base level of fitness. I don’t know if they appreciate how lucky they are. What takes me a massive amount of effort to achieve is simply a starting to point for them. Crazy! Burpees kill me too, I feel so unco when I am doing them and then all dizzy when I am done. I have training tonight so will let you know how much hell he puts us through 🙂

    • there are people who are just innately fit. I am deeply envious of these types.

  • That’s brilliant! I’ve registered for Tough Mudder in Melbourne in January and am about a month into Couch to 5k. I’ll think of you and your legs are light as a feather comment on Wednesday when I’ve got to run 20 minutes without stopping. Scared, but I have to keep reminding myself that i’ve done each session so far, and the one time I stopped a bit early, I didn’t actually feel any better than the times I’ve completed it properly. It’s all mental for me, and I need to learn to trust my body that it can do these things.

    Good on you.

    • Oh the psychological side of it is huge. HUGE. As my trainer says, ‘you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable’ and that is so SO true. I can feel myself pulling back as soon as physically I am pushed to the edge. What’s over that edge? maybe vomit but otherwise nothing, just pushing myself that little bit further. I’m still working on not being scared of that.

  • OMG – I *seriously* admire you. Well done. =)
    Melody recently posted..Go West to head North

  • Paola

    As the wife of a runner I say GO KIM!!!! It’s a tough world, the runner’s one.