On Sunday morning, I had to pop a few ibuprofen to calm my feet down after having run the roads for 50 minutes on Saturday barefoot.
I caught the train up to Caboolture, intending to get the connecting service out to Beerburrum and to cycle from there to Tibrogargan for a bit of a climb. The train was delayed, so I cycled from Caboolture to Beerburrum. My quads didn't like that at all, and I started to rue my lack of condition and fitness.
When I was walking up to the base of the mountain, my mind felt really hazy and I was becoming a bit unenthusiastic. All I had to do was to remind myself of the alternative - sitting on my ass in front of a book or a computer - and I was mentally back in the game.
Upon arriving at the mountain and beginning to climb him, however, my legs seemed to have plenty of juice - I warmed myself into it, completing the first climb fairly methodically and slowly, and scrambling the second at a sometimes-dangerous pace. I saw the other people (mainly bushwalkers) on the mountain, and remembered that I couldn't be in such a poor condition.
I decided to try a few more ambitious sections of rock face this time, the most notable being a 5-metre high section of vertical exposed rock, with a drop of about 15 metres. This would be nothing for a real free-climber, but I consider myself to be more of an ambitious trail runner than a mountaineer. I chickened out of a few others, but I will definitely be try a few more next time.
Plenty of people commented on my lack of shoes on the way up; one woman calling me crazy. Yes, it would be crazy if my feet were completely uncalloused, but since they are fairly thick-skinned they will be more responsive, flexible and gripping than any shoe on the market.
I was less impressed with the view from the top than I usually am, however, the climb was so fluid, beautiful and joyful. This probably signifies a paradigm shift more than anything else; from being focussed on the results to being focussed on the journey. I need this to translate to my running now - I would like to get a consistent four months of training into my legs before I start to focus on racing again.
50 minutes of cycling and 120 minutes of walking/climbing later, I am pleasantly tired - but not exhausted. This is a great substitute for fortnightly long runs, and I will use it to stop myself from going crazy until I can cruise through Brisbane Forest Park for hours on end again.
I'll take the camera next time too, and write a report which isn't as piecemeal.