Long Ramble


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I wasn't too sure what I would be up to today. Once the overnight eyes had de-fogged I felt pretty good in most ways, although the ill effects of something (perhaps the Osmolite) were continuing. I had hoped to spend some time on my feet today - a long run - with plenty of time before the C2S and needing some solid preparation for the Sydney Marathon.

I prepared a few things slowly, in an attempt to quell my gut. I found that I was looking increasingly stupid, with a predominately purple cycling singlet (Pearl Izumi with great fitted pockets in the back), lairy Forster shoes to see how they stood up to a longer distance, with a polar footpod on the left shoe, and a 'test run' of the red foot pocket (barrel draw at Bilby's yesterday) on the right. Blue fuel belt with 2 x 300ml bottles, and gels and medication in the pocket. At the last minute, added another pocket on the belt with ancillary medical supplies. Shorts did not match. Socks were too long. On stepping outside the air was cold, so on went a lightweight lime green long sleeve cycling jersey.

This no doubt affected my veering off the 'public' bike path quickly, and I found myself heading over the route I ran to the AIS on Thursday. On arriving, I had found that I was a bottle from my Fuel Belt short, and on reflection that night realised that it was likely to have been knocked off climbing through one of the many fences. I retraced my steps, crossing a deserted Belconnen Way instantly this time, although I needed some of the supplies I had brought with me by the water tower and only three and a half kilometres covered. I wasn't feeling optimistic about 'long'.

Further along, at the fence blocking off the roadworks, my new bottle (first time used) was sitting on the ground winking at me. Pleased, I gathered this up, and stuck it in one of the pockets in the singlet. It was pretty comfortable. I then just went exploring, following tentative tracks through Bruce Ridge and then across into O'Connor Ridge. Deciding to take some single track around the western perimeter, I was just playing, scaring kangaroos, coming across overflowing billabongs resonant with frog-calls, and twisting and turning up the trails with cut through the bush. I came to Ginninderra Drive and eventually crossed, although not without some colicky pain making itself known.

After a short section of dry storm water drain, I entered a cul-de-sac in the suburb of North Lyneham and made my way towards the Barton Hwy. I came to a park next to the shops as I had been out for 45 minutes. I thought that I should try to have a gel every 45 minutes, and the provision of a garbage bin there for the packet was a great advantage. Over the road, and then across Barton Hwy, I was considering what my options were. Many years ago, there had been a '3 Peaks' run in Canberra which encompassed Mt Majura, Mt Ainslie and Black Mtn and I was wondering about what help that course may be to me now. About now I tripped over my shadow. Can't think of any other explanation! Luckily, the grass was quite thick and soft, and although I felt like a goose, my pride was more grazed and bloody than the rest of me.

Picking up, I continued along and run past a gate which read 'ACT Parks and Conservation'. It looked like a horse paddock, but with a sign like that I climbed over, and followed a vehicle track in the paddock to a yard, and then through a run which was obviously used by both sheep and horses. The Canberra Race Course was nearby, and the grazed tussocky grass became more and more linked to the Race Course, and I found myself having to climb over more fences. I ended up on the road outside, and after a short distance, decided to run through EPIC rather than along the busy road. It would have been a pleasant and short excursion up through the suburbs to enter Ainslie Nature Reserve, but by now I had the firm thought to seek out the Federal Hwy underpass from the western side where we turned around during the Bush Capital 25k.

EPIC is unknown territory for me, whilst I used to live within cooee, I have only spent time at the National Tally Room. The Canberra Show, Summernats, and markets have no appeal to me. It was a good call though, and emerging at the Service Station I continued along to the area where dog shows are held and there are camping sites. A few false moves, but on a good gravel road I was back on the highway verge opposite where Just Tri It lives. Not much fun in making my way up the highway, but it wasn't far, and the traffic was very light. From cues on the other side, I found the underpass quite easily, although where the runners in the marathon and ultra continued to eluded me. Back along the same route taken by the 25k, I diverted over a stile joining the track thinking it may be that used for the Sri Chimnoy Triple Tri during the first run leg. This was confirmed by conspicuous, and fairly regular white arrows painted along the rocky single track which climbed up and around the edge of Mt Majura. I was delighted that I took the risk to come up this way.

I came across an itinerant cyclist nearer the highway, the second time I had seen him in roughly the same place. Long grey beard, weathered features, a huge bike frame with upright handlebars, I was cycling in the opposite direction over the course a couple of weeks earlier. Today he and his bike were partly obscured in long grass at the side of the track. I thought how strange I must look, as I trundled along. Up on the single track I came across a woman walking and my bubble of feeling rather virtuous and intrepid was deflated somewhat as she didn't look particularly fit.

Soon after, Bob rang, and fumbling through layers of clothes and the long sleeved top now tied around my waist, I dropped the phone and stopped running to talk to him. We chatted for a few minutes, and a little reluctantly, used the opportunity while stopped to have another gel, a drink, and, as I was putting the phone back in my pocket, attempted to take a couple of photos with the camera in the phone of the view and the track. I couldn't see the screen in the light, but knew that I wouldn't stop to fiddle around while running another time.

Back to the single track, I followed the Sri Chimnoy course up to the summit of Mt Majura, and then on a whim, down the roadway following the course (and arrows) of the triple tri. It was nice to be moving again! there were clear markings of arrows veering right and a cross to indicate that one had gone too far. From my one time on this course last year, I remembered the drink station here, and then following a trail along a fenceline into Majura Pines. Today I could not find it, and wandered around the forest of casuarina's for quite some time, first running along this track and then diverting to another that looked like it was near a fence. It wasn't. Cutting my losses, I headed back to the roadway, either travelling cross country through an open forest of needles, or along tracks made by the roo's. I hadn't stopped my watch, and on reviewing it, it seems that I travelled about 450m in about 12 minutes.

I made it back to the roadway up the Mt Majura, and backtracked to where the single track joined, this time opting to head down the same way I did on Tuesday. It's such fun running downhill! At the back of houses once more, more people were around, riding home from school, or walking dogs (with a worrying number wearing dog coats). Crossing the storm water channel at Ainsle, I run along the narrower, raised trail which runs along the back of houses in Duffy St. From here I headed home, along Chisholm St, through Ainslie public school, and along the side of Haig Park to avoid scaring too many people in the city with my appearance. Cutting through Turner I crossed into the Black Mountain Laboratories of CSIRO where I had worked in the late 1980's. Nearing home, into the familiar trails of Black Mountain and the usual route home.

A top afternoon of adventuring. I should do orienteering! Time on my legs was good, and I was able to do a fair clip at the end when hills weren't being climbed, fences straddled or bearings lost. Hard to judge pace though, although I know it was slow. Heart rate averaged 134 (too low), and total ascent was 860m.

Feel better in the mid section than I did at the start, and won't venture into the Osmolite until I talk to the Dietitian on Thursday.


5 Responses to “Long Ramble”

  1. Blogger Jen_runs 

    Last weekend I saw the weather prediction for Canberra that night: minus 4. I thought to myself - bbbrrrrrrr; what on earth am I doing thinking of moving to Canberra. After reading your blog about your sensational run yesterday, I am very much looking forward to it !! I'm looking forward to meeting you on Sunday. J

  2. Blogger allrounder 

    as i read your report i thought you should take up O and then there you were saying it!

    i like how you just go on instinct - i'm a route planner (although it doesn't seem that way with O!) - and your descriptions continually bring your wanderings to life...

  3. Blogger Gronk 

    Mt Majura. Hmmm. Mental note for self. Don't go there. That spike on the garmin graph looks like hard work !

    Best of luck on Sunday. I'll be in the CR cheersquad cheering for you. Hope to catch up afterwards as well.

  4. Blogger Cirque 

    Wow! What a fantastic run report. Half way through I was also thinking 'you should be doing orienteering'. Thanks so much for providing motivation for those of us who are so far from achieveing anything like that, your description makes it sound like such an exciting goal to aim for!

  5. Blogger CJ 

    I loved the description of you heading out the door in your technicolour gear! You made that run sound so appealing - like allrounder I'm a bit of a planner when it comes to running ie I usually know where i'm going before I start running. Will look out for you on Sunday :)

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  • Aki Runs!
  • allrounder
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  • Team Moore
  • CJ
  • Run Ben!
  • Strewth!
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  • Distance Swum
    February 17,400m
    October 3,800m
    November 4,150m
    December .
    Distance Cycled
    November 120km
    December 297 km