Diary of a Fat Adventurer

As some of you know by now, I’m registered for the 20km race of the Simpson Desert Ultra in June. I’m part of a team headed up by Plus Size Adventurer Cath Wallis. Thanks Cath!

I’m not experienced at long events at all. My first ‘long’ event was the 35km Bloody Long Walk in 2018. That one took me 9 hours. Last year I did the BLW again but as I hadn’t trained I only managed 20km (which I was happy with given the preparation).

For SDU I’ve started early (though I had hoped to be well into in December). But hey, better late than never.

I thought I share my training regime, and capture it in a diary each week.


By end of each month I’m aiming to increase my comfortable distance- so

  • By end of February – 10km
  • By end of March -15km
  • By end of April – 20km
  • By end of May – working on hills, sand and running/walking with poles.

Saturday is going to be my long-run/walk day. I’ll do parkrun in the morning (5km), once I’m scanned in, then I keep going for the remainder. If you follow me on Strava, you’ll see I list each Saturday as parkrun #x + ykms.

  • Last week was parkrun #18 + 2km = 7km
  • This week was parkrun #19 + 3km = 8km

There are lots of other things to work on in the next few months – what is my pre-race preparation? how much do I need to hydrate? what food will I need during the race. There will be lots of experiments as I learn to understand my body and what it’s capable of.

15 weeks to go – Diary of a Fat Adventurer!

It was humid again. I got straight up at 6am and drank a full glass of water before I headed to parkrun. I don’t think I drank enough yesterday though. I’m running with a pack for the first time. It’s one I bought a few years ago – not a vest. I’m trying to only spend money on what I need. If I can use this old pack I’ll be really happy. I haven’t bought a bladder yet.

On the Mitchelton parkrun track, the last bridge before the turn around.

parkrun was pretty smooth – everyone is learning the new track. I have emotional connections to particular sections – when I know I’m nearly at the turn around or just a little more and then we’re home. I need to get find a way to keep up the pace throughout the 5k – especially when I’m by myself (as a back of the pack runner) – I find myself slowing down, reminding myself it’s not meant to be a stroll and then speeding up again.

I got scanned, and had a big drink of water straight away. I went back along the parkrun course to the first bubbler and back again (this is 1km), then turned off the concrete to the grass (really should have thought about this – it’s been raining for over a week so was really muddy).

As I was coming up to 7k, I felt quite fatigued. I had a couple of rests as I made my way across the park towards Pullen Road. I even had to shout at myself to keep going (surprisingly worked). I then smashed the final 1km walking up the hill to Osbourne Road, then down back to the bike path and to my car.

I will need food for the next increase in distance- next week’s experiment.

Post event meal – 2 scrambled eggs + 1 toast in the morning. Might add some more protein next week (mushrooms?). Chicken on bread in the afternoon/evening (plus a couple of glass of red) -> too tired to cook food.

I was quite tired through the day – will again need to get to sleep sooner and I know I didn’t eat properly on Friday night. My left knee has also been a bit niggly. I think that’s because of my push-up challenge more than the walking. I bought a knee brace at the chemist and it felt much firmer. I’ll keep an eye on it.

Must stretch more.

Performance 15th Feb 2020

  • Distance: 8.06km
  • Elevation Gain: 42m
  • Time: 1:46:43
  • Average Pace: 13:13/km
  • Fastest Split: 11.32/km