Sunday, June 05, 2005

Running in borrowed shoes

I waited until the last day of 'early bird' entries at the Gold Coast. I was still wondering if I could (or wanted to) run a slow marathon. I've been gradually rebuilding my training since the Canberra Marathon.

In the past month I've been doing some reasonable long runs. Not good enough to do a 'fast marathon' but there was a possibility I could somehow survive a slow marathon. I even had a rough plan. This was to jog for 5km then do a 5km walk thus leaving a 32km run to complete the marathon.

In the end I decided I didn't want to risk a recurrence of the hamstring soreness that slowed me in Canberra. I sent off an entry to race in the Gold Coast Asics Half Marathon. Now I feel a little lonely about the Gold Coast as I'm not running with anybody.

Don't you hate it when you drive to a run and forget things? Like your sunglasses, or GPS, or tracksuit, or towel, or spikes or any number of things you 'need' to run. Running was supposed to be simple. You head out of the cave and run. Yesterday I forgot my shoes.

I was half way to the Cotter when I realised I was wearing the racing flats I'd slipped on to retrieve the newspaper from the front lawn. It was too late to go back as I was meeting the group at eight. Running 18 miles in racing flats was going to kill my feet, not to mention my legs and back.

Luckily when I arrived Chris offered me his spare pair of size US-13 Asics 2080s which he keeps in the boot of his Peugeot. They felt better than the flimsy flats so I ran off up the bitumen hill in borrowed shoes.

Only three of us were running the Cotter '18'. Mick was hiking while Anna and Graeme were doing shorter loops. Carol took off up the bitumen and waited for us after 2.7km at the gate. There was a small crowd of runners and cyclists inside the gate preparing for a 'Treeathlon'. This was a run, plant, bike event organised to replant trees on the burnt out Mount McDonald.

The rest of our run went well. We paused a couple of times. Once to chat to Graeme at the top of Jellylegs and again at Padovan's crossing for a drink before tackling Cliff Road. I could still remember the twists and turns up that hill but the track was much rougher than when I last regularly ran the '18' more than twelve years ago. With the top of 'Cliff' behind us it was the smooth run along Wark's Road and over the creek to the Yellow Rabbit Road intersection.

We waded through the freezing water at Vanity's Crossing and then the long drag up to the summit of 'Ma and Pa'. It was on this climb that Carol once again demonstrated her Ultra-running prowess. She just kept on moving showing no weakness at all on the climb while Chris and I steadily lost ground. Finally, a clear view of Black Mountain Tower in the distance on what was now a beautiful winter's day.

The steep down on the other side of the 'Pa' hill was followed by a bit of a struggle up to the Pierce's Creek settlement. Then it was the long, winding run down to the Cotter Reserve before finally handing back my now very dusty but trusty borrowed shoes.


Blogger Carolyne said...

Ewan, lots of Canberrans (and CR's) are doing the half on the GC . . . just state your pace and there will be many people put their hands up!
Good to hear that you are not going to risk longer term injury.
Look forward to seeing you on the Cotter!

4:49 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

Well, I don't like it! I'm sorry you're not doing the could at least have tagged along with Chickybabe!

5:39 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Ewan, I certainly will look out for you. There will be lots of people to run with in the Half I imagine.
Actually on Sunday I can't believe I got it so wrong in the first couple of Ks.

10:55 pm  

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