Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The holidays have been a bit blogless

I've spent most of the uni holidays in Sydney and have had some fantastic adventures in the Blue Mountains. I'm still getting a bit of hamstring pain, but it's definitely improving.
I can't think of anything meaningful and interesting to blog unfortunately, so I may aswell just list a few adventures in dot-point form:
- 1.5hr run at Wentworth Falls: Charles Darwin Walk, Wentworth Pass, Under/over-cliff track. - Sweet views, stairs, waterfalls & forest. A willy-wonka's of trail running.
- Overnight stay in Blackheath: 6k walk out and back from Govett's leap on the Cliff-top-track (Nat and I were sick). Even better views!
- 2 hr run at Leura: Leura Cascades, Dardanelle's pass, Giant Stairs, Prince Henry Cliff Walk. I attempted to run the Giant stair case. Got about 3 ladders in and nearly died. The road back to fitness is long and slow.
- 2 hr run at Lawson: North Lawson Park, Blue Mountain - thick scrub, smaller and more interesting waterfalls followed by some fire-trails with lofty views.

Interval in Brisbane
- 3hr hike/scramble on Mt Beerwah with Mike - Lots of fun and a bit nervy as always on the huge exposed slab of the first section. Explored some butresses on the North side of the mountain, but didn't venture very far because of the cliffs that surrounded us.

Back to Sydney
- 3hr run/bushbash at Medlow Bath. Went down on the Colusseum track - carefully manouvered steep stairs without railings at the edge of long drop-offs (eek), was suitably impressed by the huge cliff-cove which gives the trail its name, and started to venture down towards the Megalong valley on a faint track without checking the topo map first. Well, it turns out that I went the wrong way, and was up to my nuts in ferns for a fair while before hopping down a rocky, mossy creek and running through the open forest at the bottom. I arrived at the road back to Blackheath, ran about a kilometre, then thumbed my way up as I had no food, was flagging and, frankly, couldn't be fucked running 5km uphill on tarmac. The man who gave me a lift was a really friendly beef-farmer, living on a property in the valley.
- 2hr run/walk at Bilpin. Down Mt Irvine Road to the bridge over Bowen's Creek. More of a fact-finding mission for an article I'm writing than anything else, but it was awesome to get out in the mountains with my dearly beloved.
- 1.5hr run at Wentworth falls. Charles Darwin Walk, National pass, under/overcliff track. Again, these are possibly the most enjoyable trails that I've ever run on. If I had some friends and a job in the area, I would love to live in this little town. The trail begins 300m from the train station, there's an awesome second-hand bookshop in the centre and it's only 90 minutes from Sydney. Oh well, one can but dream.

Also, I had a speed session on Monday and last night I ran a 5k time trial at the Hills Athletics track. The first km passed in about 3:40 and felt super-comfortable, but then the hard week of training so far (as well as the run earlier that day) seemed to catch up with me. 19:06 as an embarassingly pedestrian final time - the road back to full fitness is certainly a long one.

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