Belated catch up
On April 1st I did the 50 km Duncan's Run in Gippsland. There were only 12 of us in the race. It was a bit harder than I expected on the one hand, but on the other hand I finished earlier than my anticipated time. The highlight of the run for me was getting to the top of Mount Tassie and finding it all in fog, so romantic. I like these foggy mountain tops, like the one I experienced when running Mary's Peak ultra in Oregon last June. There were few aid stations on this run and the low point in the day was definitely when I realised I had left the half way aid station without having a drink. Sounds bizarre, but I had refilled my drink bottle and forgotten to drink as well. Another highlight of the day was that the owner of the hotel I stayed at said I could return and have a shower after my run, and she didn't mind that I wouldn't be finished until mid afternoon. It was absolutely the best shower ever.
On April 22 I did the trail marathon from Bendigo to Heathcote, most of which is on the O'Keefe rail trail. Although all on bush trails the scenery was disappointing apart from views over Lake Eppalock in the later stage of the run. Pleased to see a kangaroo, that always lifts the spirits.
On April 30 I did the Maroondah Dam 50 km race. I have done this race several times but not for about ten years and the course has changed considerably. It's now an out and back and involves climbing Mount St Leonard. I loved it. There's nothing like running some hills to make me feel good about life. I was pretty much running alone near the back of the field for the whole day, but hey I'm getting used to that and it's peaceful back there. At one point I thought I might be on the wrong trail and I stopped to look at the photo of the map on my phone; I have never stopped during a race to consult the map before, so an unusual first for me. I was on track which was a relief.
Then last weekend I did the Great Ocean Road marathon which is a stretched marathon of 44.5 kilometres. Unlike last year we had perfect running conditions. Last year I felt I was very well trained for the race and I expected to run a PB on the course which meant going under 4:25, my time in 2005. However we had a headwind and later on hail and sleet so I missed my target by five minutes. This year I thought I might be too fatigued to run a good time as I have been doing high mileage recently. This week I was going to do 110 kilometres including this race. However I felt really good and as always I enjoyed the scenery a lot. In the later part I moved up through the field even though I did not feel I had started especially slowly. I thought I might go a bit faster than last year. But it was not to be, and even though I tried really hard I was a minute slower. That doesn't matter though since I had a good day. After finishing I sat outside a cafe in Apollo Bay and ate a bowl of hot chips. It was wonderful. Unfortunately I felt quite sick on the bus back to Lorne and it was a relief to doze a bit.
The following day, continuing with my high mileage trend, I headed out on what was meant to be a short run. I felt really stiff when I started running but the stiffness magically subsided and I felt overall that running was good therapy. Somehow I missed a turnoff and ended up running 14 kilometres. I went to the She Oak picnic area with lots of hills on the way and then along the She Oak trail heading to the coast, then followed the road back to Lorne. I was truly finished when I got back to my hotel but glad of the experience of running the day after an ultra. It was a beautiful day in Lorne; although Lorne is a lovely place I don't find that the weather is often this comfortable there, with no wind and perfect blue sky.
It seemed a shame to rush home so I made a detour to the You Yangs on the way back to Melbourne. I'd never been there before. I did a 4 kilometre bushwalk around Flinders Peak and decided I had had enough exercise for one day.