The Flying Beetroot: Still Flyi….er….Flapping

The Flying Beetroot Still Flying

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the vegetable crisper.

[puts on sing-song voice] She’s ba-ack.

I see dead-tired people.


Okay, enough of the scary movie references. It’s bad enough you have to face the aviated vegetable again as it is.

I thought you might be thinking that the purple running shoes had been hung up for good – or at least for winter – post-mildly-acceptable-half-marathon-running-event.

However, if you were really paying attention you may have picked up in a post (way back when) that before I even knew if I could run a half marathon, I’d signed up for another one. It was a moment of momentary insanity. Or, given my usual state of insanity, perhaps a moment of weird sanity.

But being a Bear of Very Little Attention Span, running yet another half marathon on asphalt (or bitumen or whatever you call that black stuff) roads or bike tracks would be boring. If I was going to tackle this distance again it had to be something different.

Enter Run Forrest. (Yes, yes, let’s get the movie reference out of the way early. All together now: “Run, Forrest, run!” Thank you. Can we move on now?)

Here’s a description of the course:

The 21km course will start in the township of Forrest at the beautiful Barwon River.

The trail run will follow the Barwon River along the famous Red Carpet to Lake Elizabeth. The Red Carpet is a favourite amongst mountain bikers for its dynamic technical sections, fern covered single track and fast downhill corners.

Now we get a chance to run it…..

Run Forrest also gives trail runners access to the beautiful fern banks surrounding the majestic Lake Elizabeth.

The course is tough with tight, off cambered turns, fast down hills and undulating with plenty of flow.

The course is a circuit ending at the race village on the banks of the Barwon River.

I’m rather attracted to the phrases “dynamic technical sections” and “fast down hills”, providing, of course, that there are no “very slow up hills” to go with them.

Naturally, a course of this description has necessitated the purchase of more er… grippy shoes (otherwise known as trail runners) and a modified training regimen.

Unfortunately, trail-like running tracks are not immediately handy – the most suitable being at least a twenty minute drive away – so in these time-pressured days of work and family life, I have had to make do with running on nature strips* and gravel tracks where available. Fortunately, footpaths* are in short supply close to home so running on grass is readily available.

(*See International Vocabulary Reference at the bottom of the post.)

Winter has also arrived so as the days have become more heavily discounted, I have often found myself running in the dark. This actually has some advantages, mostly in regard to speed:

  1. Racing the light home with the darkness hot on one’s heels can tend to make one pick up the pace.
  2. In the increasingly chillier weather, one is compelled to move a little quicker to prevent certain extremities from freezing.
  3. Running along the river in the dark by oneself adds a feeling of “thrill” that does make the legs move faster. (I prefer the term “thrill” to “shit-scared”.)

Racing the light

What I keep forgetting is to bring along a head torch so I can see properly once the darkness inevitably catches up with me (a speedy runner I am not as evidenced by my first half marathon time). Here’s a stretch of nature strip near my home that is ripe for running along:


Sorry, that’s in the dark without a flash. Here it is with a flash:


Hm. Not much better, is it? Do you want to see what it looks like in daylight?


Yeah. A head torch is probably a good idea. One inconvenient wobble on that stretch…..

Before you ask, yes, I have a training spreadsheet. No, I will not be publishing it.

Because I don’t want to.

Because, unlike the glorious evergreen of the previous spreadsheet, this one is widely stained with the blood red of failure.

One week into the set training I came down with a bad case of “Falling Into A Hole” with a side order of “Losing The Plot”. There was no running for a week while I clambered my way back out of the hole. I got back on track (figuratively and literally) but was left with a debilitating dose of the “Can’t Be Bothered”s. Add some cold and wet winter weather and a stressful workload and it’s been too easy to take the “I’ll do it tomorrow” route to non-compliance.

I’m not overly concerned about it. One advantage of choosing a second race drastically different to the first is that there is no time to beat. It’s a picturesque location, it’s something different and this one I will not be running alone. My friend Carolyn, the notorious Spreadsheet Enforcer, is running with me.

I’ve decided (for the sake of my sanity and not to be overwhelmed with regret) that it is not a race on Sunday. It is a (admittedly hopefully rather rapid) stroll through the beautiful southern Victorian rainforest on a lovely winter morning.

Lake Elizabeth

Lake Elizabeth in the Otways. (Photo:

I’ll let you know exactly how that works out…


International Vocabulary Reference

Nature Strip –  berm, curb strip, devil strip / devil’s strip, parking strip, planting strip, sidewalk buffer, utility strip, verge, neutral ground

Footpath – pavement, sidewalk, footway, platform

(With thanks to Wiktionary)




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54 thoughts on “The Flying Beetroot: Still Flyi….er….Flapping

  1. Errrr…how exactly do you run the blackness of darkness? I was thinking you might have some superpower eyes that allow you to see in the dark 😀 Where there are downhills, surely there must be uphill of some sorts at some point. Maybe it’s in the fine print.

    Winter has certainly arrived and I don’t blame you for not wanting to move very fast outdoors. The cold is biting and even I have trouble keeping warm indoors.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Errrmmm…. it kind of sneaks up on you and only realise just HOW dark it is when someone comes at you with a torch.

      I’m kind of relying on a Course Preview I found on a running site that said “No smashing hills, just a gradual incline out of the start before it’s a downhill roll to Lake Elizabeth”. Mind you, it said it in 2013 so I’m also relying on the fact they haven’t changed the course…

      How bad was today??? I was supposed to do a training run this afternoon after work. It didn’t happen. I cooked a roast and opened a bottle of red instead. (oops)


      • Lol. And I bet when someone comes at you for your touch, you run a bit faster. Eeep.

        Gradual incline doesn’t sound bad at all. Hopefully that is to be trusted and you will breeze through the run in such wintery conditions. Today was indeed bad. Very wet and slippery. The stay-at-home plan sounded wise. I stayed indoors all day.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well Beetroot, you are braver than I am. My hiking partner Helen – she of 100-miler Ultra Running events – has been trying to get me into trail running for YEARS. I’ve deftly dodged this bullet each time 😉

    I assume you’ve been warned that it is very common to end a trail race bloodied from at least one fall. Tripping over roots and half-buried rocks are usually the cause. Fore-warned is fore-armed.

    My very, very best wishes! I shall be anxious to hear how your virgin trail race ended. Who knows? … I might even be inspired to give one a try. Don’t tell Helen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good luck! It sounds like a nice, hopefully quick, stroll in the woods to me – you’ll have to let us know if they snuck in any uphills to go along with all of those glorious, fast downhills with treacherous turns 😉

    I signed up for a couple of 5Ks and one 10K this summer. No half marathons! Well, not this year, at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good Luck with the run! I have done a trail race in California. Although I was dreadfully slow on the uphill i loved that downhill bit very much. I liked the trail running because the ‘careful you don’t break your ankle’ attention requirement distracted me from the ‘I think I may have a cardiac arrest’ feeling. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Have a lovely stroll…. although, technically, once its ‘rapid’, I don’t think it is a stroll any more. When its done in a cold, dark, forrest, and on a course described as tough, and is called a Forrest Run, pretty sure the meaning of ‘stroll’ is being stretched. Just a tad…
    Have a lovely, rapid one, though, whatever it is – and enjoy the scenery. 🙂 I’ll pray for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A post about running that had me entertained all the way through! Really interesting and fun, MoSY. I understood it all, too, other than “nature strip”, with which your glossary helped not a bit: NONE of the alternate words are part of my culture’s terminology. I have a vague understanding of “berm” as the side of the road. “Planting strip” I would have understood to be what I was brought up to call the “swale”, and what in F#cking Florida they called the “parkway”: It would require a road on one side and a sidewalk on the other.

    The thing in your photos? Everyone I grew up with, both in the Midwest and back East, would have called a path or trail by the side of the road.

    Your “at least a twenty-minute drive away” cracked me up. Golly, that IS a long time. It takes me that long to go to the nearest TREE in L.A. (I exaggerate, but not by that much.) It really does take me fifteen to the nearest park, thanks to multiple stoplights inserted and timed to separate Type As from Bs in some evil town plan to cull out the lions to rule over the sheep (or the sheep to smother us in our sleep with their cuddly softness).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You seem to have morphed back into a normal human being, H ! – one who says “Oh, to hell with it” occasionally.
    Good stuff, mate ! 🙂
    Hope you enjoy the Victorian countryside as you flash by it – or mebbe it flashes by you …

    Liked by 1 person

  8. After reading this post, I’m convinced there is a market for personalized sensurround running rooms – all that challenge in the safety of your own home (complete with panic button).

    Roasties (that’s what we call nasty raw grazes where I come from) aside, the upside of the real thing is that it is marvellous for your balance and brain, if not for your dignity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry, BB. I missed replying to this comment.

      I think you’re on to a good business idea. If you combined sensurround with virtual reality goggles, I’d buy one. “I think today I shall run in Paris…” Although, there’s probably nothing really like flying down a mountain trail in the sunshine. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m coming in at the beginning of this saga (I think!) and the fact that you left a comment on mine means that you survived. How, I’ll never know! But I’m glad that you did 🙂 It looks like a fine place for a daylight stroll to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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