After a disastrous two-week downfall of my training schedule preparing for my first half marathon, Run From the Hills which is fast approaching (16 Nov) I decided the best remedy would be registering for a 10km run through similar terrain to shock me back into action! Hello Brackenbury Classic.
So this morning, after a restless night and not as much sleep as I’d have liked, I left the house early to return to my first “home town” in Central Victoria – Creswick.
I just had to wear my new favourite running shirt – I love the simple message! anything that helps. 🙂
It was a disappointingly small turnout for the event, I’d have thought; a field of only thirty or so, spread across three distances – 5km, 10km and half-marathon. All three races started and ran together for the first 2.4km at least, so that created a bit more atmosphere than there might have been otherwise.
After doing a ridiculous amount of warm up exercise in an effort to avoid my usual calf pain, I hung out at the back of the field for the start, proudly holding that position for quite some way into the start I must say, before eventually passing one person. But that was it for the whole race, no major overtaking moves for me in this game!
My friend Andrew, who came along for the 5km only as he was feeling a bit out of shape (why can’t I be that sensible?) very patiently plodded alongside my pedestrian pace from the start until we parted ways – him to his attractively-nearby turning point before his return; me to continue another 2.6km before I could turn and head back to the finish line. And then the hills really started! What fun.
And the verdict in the end? Well actually not too disastrous, considering my disappointing week since I registered for the run.
Four days ago I couldn’t even manage a 3.5km run up my nearest favourite hilly training ground – ended up limping most of the way with a mysterious pain in my left foot just below the ankle bone that wouldn’t go away. And worryingly, that pain kept me company most of the rest of that day too.
After a couple of days rest, it seemed all better again though, and having reached the half-way drinks stop today my only concerns were overheating (28 maximum today) and having walked up large uphill stretches, particularly the last very long steep one of that first 5km, cos I was too woossy to run them.
Then, three quarters of the way through my joyful, skipping, tumbling jog back down that hill after I had tipped most of a bottle of water over my head, I heard it…
Faintly at first, then it grew louder and stronger – “hey, hello, you up there! I’m your left foot, remember me, and how I wasn’t happy on Wednesday? Well, I’m still here… – and what do you think you’re doing?!”
Bugger. Thought I was going to get away with that.
Only at about the 6km mark at that point, the remainder of the run was therefore unfortunately mostly walking (especially downhill, which hurt more than uphill) and a bit of jogging. And then I thought, what the hell I might as well stop and take some photos.
The run took us past St Georges Lake, which I remembered from a couple of walks I’d done when I’d been living in Creswick. This picturesque lake, surround by steeply wooded hills, happily reminds me of The Lake District, where I’d spent five very distracting months working in a pub during my first year in England in the 90s. Just stunning.
The whole run was pretty picturesque to be honest – it’s so gorgeous to run through the dappled shade of a cool forest on dirt tracks, rather than on a hot bitumen road. For me, it’s the only way to run.
I’m looking forward to Run From the Hills, where most of the run is on a walking track rather than a vehicle track – even more special I’m sure. Though according to one of the other runners Andrew was talking with while he waited for me to return (which must have seemed like hours!) today’s hills are nothing compared to what I’ll be facing in four weeks. Hmmmm…
Anyway, I’m just overjoyed that my calves don’t hurt. That’s phenomenal! The first time I ran 10km a few years ago, which was mostly on the flat, I couldn’t walk properly for a week afterwards. And after my 11.5km Run the Gap experience earlier this year, it was two days before I felt back to normal. This time – so far, fingers crossed – all seems pretty good! Even my foot has calmed down now I’m not subjecting it to trauma.
Well, that’s progress at least. 🙂