Training: 4-10 Dec

This was the first full week of Advent Running, which involves running every day until Christmas. I’ve found it easy to fit the runs in each day, even when we went down to Melbourne for a cheeky few days visit. Sadly though there are only a few days left until this holiday in Australia is over.

Monday: Run

Mum’s actual birthday kicked off with a delicious breakfast at the Cove Café in Terrigal – yuuuuuum. Big serving of avocado on toast set me up for a brilliant day. Later Sye and I went to Kincumber for a flatter run along the side of a bay. 6km at a more decent pace than what I’ve been managing on the hills lately made me realise just how much elevation impacts speed!

Tuesday: Trail run

Headed to the next beach over via a single track leading down to Winney Bay, and then the wider 5 Lands Walk path heading back up and down to Avoca Beach. Partway into the run I remembered that spiders and snakes are a thing in this country, and became increasingly paranoid as I ran through some 10 spiderwebs… I even brushed off a (dead?) spider when I got to Winney Bay, so that was fairly terrifying. Spent the rest of the morning feeling like there were things crawling all over my skin 🕷

Wednesday: Run

Arrived in Melbourne for a quick visit and the first thing we did was go for a run along Merri Creek. Melbourne is great for all of its running and cycling paths which are well-marked and easily accessible. I split off from Sye for a while to run a little faster, but we met again to run the return together. At just over 10km, this was one of my longest runs in a while and I was struggling towards the end (not helped by the heat), but beers and Lebanese food afterwards made it worthwhile.

Thursday: Threshold run

The most well-known running track in Melbourne is a 3.8km loop around the Botanical Gardens called the ‘Tan track’. The last time I ran it (a few years ago) I was slow and disappointed, so this time I wanted to give it a proper crack. It has an official start and end point, complete with timing clock & record board. I did a warm-up 3km before finding the start, then set off at speed. There were times I wanted to slow down or stop, especially on the uphill section, but I managed to hold out to finish the loop in 17:47 – very pleased with that!

Friday: Easy run

Our last day in Melbourne and Sye joined me for an easy lap of Princes Park: another runner-friendly track of 3.183km (as per the sign) with markers every 0.5km. I really love this attitude towards sport – Sydney should take note!

Saturday: Mosman parkrun

Up at 5am to drive 1.5 hours down to the city to run at my old parkrun. Getting out of the car I felt pretty stiff and should have done a warm-up given that I wanted to run a fast parkrun. Sped my way around the first lap, but was thrown by the sharp hill which I had completely underestimated. My legs got progressively stiffer and stiffer, and I slowed dramatically on the second and third laps until I felt like I was just shuffling along. Dropped from 2nd female into 5th, but did managed to pick up the pace again in the last 500m to finish in 23:45. It was great to catch up with old friends and get high-fives from Sye on the way around, but I know I could (and have) run that a lot better.

Sunday: Long run

One of my favourite routes on the Central Coast is the Gosford to Woy Woy bayside path, where I did a decent portion of my training for the Melbourne Marathon back in 2015. It’s a beautiful run which takes you through some wetlands, past playing fields and along the water. It’s fairly exposed, so I armed myself with a hat, sunglasses and water pack and set out to do a long run, which ended up being an incredibly evenly-paced 90min (45min out, 45min back). I had to stop at times to cool down and did walk some of the hills, but it was lovely to just get out and run long. 16.1km (10mi) and that’s the longest I’ve run since Nice-Cannes marathon. (Don’t remind me that I have another marathon in three weeks…)

Total kilometres: 58.7km

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