Supermum to Jogalong

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This morning was the monthly Women & Girls Jogalong at Weston Park. The Jogalong was my first 'race' as an adult, and I recall that I came up with every excuse in the book about why I shouldn't go (it was December 1990 and was raining). The 6km course in the Stromlo Forest included a couple of good climbs and quite a few puddles, but I remember how exalted I felt when I finished in 28:01 on an accurately measured course. I was hooked! I was also much younger, healthier and faster . . . and over the last 15 years I have only racked up about 15 runs, however it remains a sentimental favourite, especially to introduce non-runners to the sight of around 200 women of all ages and shapes getting out there and giving it a go.

Today Aki and I introduced 'Supermum' to exercise at the Jogalong, and, with any luck, may have encouraged a convert! It is such a social event, there is hardly any need to run, and this is clearly evidenced by the number of blokes who turn up to help. I caught up with so many people, running or walking at all didn't seem important . . . until I saw allrounder in her bright Cool Running cap. She hadn't been to the jogalong before, and she is running so well at the moment (about a minute and a half faster than me over the Customs 5k on Friday) I suggested that she leave off the handicap group that I was down for. At that stage I still didn't know that I was going to run. Purporting not to know the course (and as it turned out, neither did I as it had been altered), we both left off group 40 for the 6km course.

The die had been cast.

I had to remind myself that allrounder always goes off too fast, and let her sprint ahead of me over the first 100m or so. To my chagrin, I still had the Garmin on custom page set mode, so did not start it correctly at the beginning. On the gradual downhill sections I edged slightly ahead of her, however was not confident of holding on. She has a fantastic spirit and such depth of fitness that I expected her to overtake me any minute. My "gross and disgusting habit" of continual spitting continued, my mouth was foul despite repeated tooth-brushing this morning, so I was checking around me frequently to ensure that I did spit on anyone!

The altered course (to avoid wet sections I believe) was obviously short by the time we got to the turnaround for the MiniJog (1km for teeny weeny kids) or 3km Walk/Jog. At our turnaround I saw allrounder close behind me. I had ay been overtaken by a couple of fast gals who started from a later group, including fellow Team Moore runner 'Speedy' Katie. I was breathing hard, although still able to chat to many of those along the way. I didn't want allrounder to catch me, and slowed down terribly on the smallest of inclines. The finishing time of 25:53 is virtually meaningless; it was by consensus a bit under the internationally recognised distance of 5.5kms. Very frustrating.

Afterwards, presentations and barrel draws (nothing again, although Aki did miss out on a voucher from the Runners Shop by one place. Next time!) and the Perfect Running Buddy, Aki, Supermum and J retreated to the cafe in the gardens for a social coffee. It was full of cyclists, gardeners and others enjoying the glorious spring weather, and the wait for coffee was lengthy, but it was nice to have further social element. We drove home via the Embassy Belt in adjoining Yarralumla, making it a long mornings' outing for a 3km walk, but very enjoyable. The PRB is also doing the 10k tomorrow morning, and it will be great to run with him. Unfortunately, I don't think I will be able to give 45minutes a shake tomorrow, although my fitness is on the way back, the legs are slower than I would like.

Maps and kilometre markers coming soon!

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  • Distance Swum
    February 17,400m
    October 3,800m
    November 4,150m
    December .
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    November 120km
    December 297 km