Breaking Barriers

There are benchmarks in our lives. Things that you look ahead to, like turning 18, or your first trip overseas, or graduation, that mark the beginning of something new, a barrier broken, an end to something withheld.

And some benchmarks are smaller, but are still important barriers that you want to break through. Little tests for yourself. I make a million of these, I set them all the time. Sometimes they set themselves. To me these are the things that seem out of reach, unless you put in a big effort and lots of work!

For example, riding my bike to the end of the bitumen and back the first time on Police Pools Road (20km), was massive! Then there was riding ALL the way to Woodanilling (20km with hills), where I got picked up and driven back home, completely exhausted by the ordeal. Then there’s the ride to Woody and BACK! What an achievement! And after riding to Kojonup (40km with huge hills and no real resting spots) I was on a high for days!

These were all big bike barriers, and when broken, there was such a great sense of accomplishment, I can recall thinking: I’ve made it that far! I NEVER would have thought I was capable of that 3/6/12 months ago.

And today I busted through the 10km running barrier.
FINALLY!! And it was AWESOME!!

I had been planning for it for ages, but if you had asked me 6 months ago when it would happen, or even if I would be possible, I would have completely doubted it. Six months ago I struggled to run 1km without pain. I frequently had to walk, rest, I tried different kinds of shoes, knee braces, techniques, speeds, training programs… and then I found the combination that worked and kept working at it!! And I made it!

Running 1km without stopping and without pain was the first barrier. And it took ages to get to that big 5km mark. From there, 10km wasn’t too far away, but it held out a little longer than I had hoped, my training program would have had me running it a few weeks ago, but it doesn’t matter, because I did it!!

And, I never would have thought I would ever say this with the truth and enthusiasm that I am about to, but IT WAS FUN!

I know, fun?! What? Seriously?

I had an absolute blast! The weather was nice, especially considering we were getting some of our first winter rains and we didn’t get rained on, the track was good, and in a few places required some quick feet, or a little jump over some obstacle, which made it interesting. There were a few hills, and it wound along… and I got to do some reminiscing. I used to ride my horse, Cassie, along that track, and I started thinking about taking TK down there.

And I felt strong and capable. When we turned around at the 5km mark, I felt like I was running really freely, strong and fast. Well it turns out I’m not fast, but it FELT fast, and for me that’s good enough! And I didn’t have to stop to rest, and I didn’t even want to!!

It was great! I couldn’t have been happier with that run!

Next big benchmarks:

  • 12km run – the actual distance of the event. And after that, hitting anything over 20km will be incredible!
  • 50km bike ride to Dumbleyung
  • 20km enduro on TK

There’s still swimming and paddling to work on, but no water makes for no training which makes for no benchmarks. They’ll come though! All in due time!

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