In my happy place

21 Apr

For the first time in over a year I returned to one of my favourite off-road running routes. It takes me behind the suburb of Hawker and into the Pinnacle nature park. When I do my looooong runs, this is really only the start (and almost the end) of the run, as I continue over behind the adjacent suburbs of Cook and Aranda (through the bushland) and into Black Mountain nature park, where I can choose any number of trails to follow. Why do I love it? I think it’s because it has variety – there are hills and flat bits, its through the bush, has great views across to the Brindies, and there are not usually too many other people out there.

I have to admit that at times it is a love/hate relationship especially near the end of the long runs, when I’m tired, lacking energy, and really struggling to get up the hills. Those are the times when its tempting to ring home and get someone to come and pick me up. But that has only happened once and that was because of an ITB problem, I literally couldn’t take another step. All other occasions its been a case of suck it up and struggle on, doing a mixture of shuffling and walking. But it’s also those times that builds my resilience and is what gets me over the line when it counts – on race day.

This morning, however, it was a pleasant 8km jog, reacquainting myself with familiar territory and reminding me why I love to run that particular route. I also had a close encounter with a kangaroo – I think it was as surprised as I was when we almost came face to face. I had been listening to my music when I looked up and looking back at me, at very close quarters, was a startled kangaroo, who had been interrupted while grazing on grass. We briefly made eye contact then he/she bounded away, over the fence and into the adjoining paddock.

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