A jog down memory trail


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We managed to leave home within half an hour of our planed departure, which is close to a record for the ever delayed twins. We were able to fill each other in on our plans for the next few months (Bob should read my blog, but he doesn't) and we just enjoyed each others company for the drive.
After directing Bob to the TA (Triathlon Australia) office at French's Forest via a slightly dubious 'shortcut' through Seaforth, I changed into running gear and headed down to the bushland adjacent to where I spent the first nine years of my life. Back then it was simply "the bush" or variations on the theme of Bantry Bay bushland. I drove past my childhood house (it now looks so small, where is the giant front yard and the gardenia bush?) and to the end of the suburb where there hadn't been too much development in the last 35 years. Parking at a sportsground opposite some new (to me) buildings for social clubs I spent a fair bit of time fiddling around assessing what to wear (warm compared to Canberra, but windy), what to take (phone, drink and car key in Fuel Belt), and wondering where to go.
I kept wondering rather than planning and left the sealed road to a sign reading "Garigal National Park". That's new. At the gate the path was familiar, but quite overgrown and apparently less used than it used to be. The first few hundred metres were comfortingly familiar, although National Park signs now appeared indicating hikers and track names. I didn't know what any of this meant, so followed my nose down to where a favourite cave used to be. The trail melted into a rock-face, and I spent a little time here wandering over the shelf looking for old stamping grounds. I didn't find what I remembered, so backtracked a little to follow once more the white paint which marked the route.
Here the track was totally unsuitable for running, although I did try! Deep, wide timber 'steps' had been constructed as a retaining wall for sand, and the undergrowth was often thick and prickly. This trail terminated at a broad sandy trail, with more track names, and I followed my nose again and settled into an easy jog. Alas, this was not for long, and I was climbing hands over heels at times over rock faces and fording a small running stream. It might not have been good running training, but it was fun!
This led me to the back of some houses on an escarpment which I followed for a short distance, however the track disappeared and I backtracked to the broad trail. Headed in the other direction this time, and shocked a group of four older bush-walkers coming in the other direction as I flowed over the rocks leading to the creek downstream. Not easy running, but it was easier to move here and though slow it was actually suitable as training. Another creek crossing and more scrambling over rocks. I had become much better at this now and found this bush-walking/jogging good value, even if I was covering very little distance. Joining up with a fire trail again, I met a bloke jogging with two dogs and a solo walker. From here I backtracked the kilometre to where I had parked the car.
I had covered about six kilometres, in close to an hour. I continued on past where the car was parked and completed a loop which took in my route from home to the local milk-bar (where I was sent to buy my mother cigarettes), and then to my Primary School. I jogged over the bridge which was built when I was in Kindergarten or First Grade, and then back along the route I used to walk home each day for four years. When I started school (at the beginning of second term in 1969, as I was too young at the start of the year), I refused to allow my mother to come and pick me up, and insisted on catching the bus home instead. She emptied a matchbox and placed my 5c bus fare in that. It wasn't long before I insisted on walking instead of catching the bus . . . it took about the same time I argued, but I just liked walking.
An interesting journey, even if not of maximum training value. Hopefully, a longer more consistant training journey around the northern beaches tomorrow.


3 Responses to “A jog down memory trail”

  1. Blogger Jen_runs 

    Sounds like a great, fun run Flash. If you are likely to be in Mosman on this trip to Sydney and have some spare time, send me an email and we can catch up for a coffee. Take care and enjoy the (slightly) warmer weather. J

  2. Blogger CJ 

    Talk about a run down memory lane or over rocks, through creeks, in the bush!! Sounds like fun and certainly beats my ho hum street runs round the 'burbs!

  3. Blogger Aki 

    Sounds like fun! Heh, probably not the rocks...

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