Dopey training – week 2

I’m sure it will come as no surprise that week 2 of training has also involved a ‘modified’ plan. My 2 x 45 minute runs weren’t 45 minutes (one longer and one shorter) and my long run was longer than I needed. And I had a hike thrown in there for good measure. All of this is partly thanks to the flexibility of school holidays – I know it will get a lot harder to get the kilometres in once Term 3 hits. More than any other statistic, I’m proud to have managed 1035m of elevation this week…and my calves are feeling every metre of it.

Tuesday started with exploring a new running route close to home – there is only so many times I can run around my block without lapsing into a boredom coma. My new route is quite scenic and reminded me how lucky I am to live where I do – there really is more variety than I give it credit for and no reason to get bored.

We then headed away for a few days camping in the stunning Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) and enjoyed an amazing hike from Halls Gap to the Pinnacle. It’s not an easy hike at all but I was really pleased to find that it was nowhere near as strenuous as I remembered. I last did the whole thing as an unfit 14 year old and I think it had haunted me ever since. I couldn’t stop grinning as we powered up the hills, steps and rocks to reach the top. Coming down was more of a challenge with some horrid metal steps to navigate but I felt very grateful for the opportunity to be out in such a beautiful landscape.

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These steps were not fun, especially in trail shoes which kept getting caught in them.

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We made it to the Pinnacle!

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Silent Street – one of my favourite places in the Grampians

Parkrun on Saturday saw us adventure to Frog Hollow – a slow one as my calves were definitely still angry with me about the hike.

And, to end the week, I joined the Surf Coast Trail Runners on their introduction to the You Yangs. A bit funny really as it’s just up the road from me and is the home of the parkrun I am a Run Director at but it was a wonderful chance to find some new trails that I hadn’t explored before. I had been rather nervous in joining this run – scared of holding everyone up and I was very glad that I had 2 great running friends join me which helped make it a positive experience.

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Photo courtesy of Matt @ SCTR

Weekly summary:

Tuesday – 7.3km (59:58)
Wednesday – 10.5km (4:49:04) – hiking
Saturday – 5.0km (39:10)
Sunday – 11.6 (1:56:18)

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parkrun tourism @ frog hollow

I’ve wanted to go to Frog Hollow parkrun for ages, mostly because of the name. It sounds so cute and conjures up images of Beatrix Potter inspired landscapes. Being in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, I knew that was unlikely but wanted to do it nevertheless.

So, in what is now becoming something of a ritual, husband and I got up at a time starting with a 5 and headed off on a bit over an hour drive for a run. It’s a very easy parkrun to find, just off the freeway. On arrival, we followed the request on this parkrun’s home page to not park in the reserve itself and walked the very short distance to the meeting point.

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Briefing and a visitors/first timers briefing to clue us up about the course done, we headed to the start area and, very soon, were off. It was a slower than normal start for me – a very hilly hike earlier in the week has left me with sore calves so they took a bit to get warmed up.

The course follows a concrete path out and along the side of a lake before heading under the freeway and up to a turn around point. After this, you head back towards the lake and complete a full lap around it before running back to the finish. And it is quite scenic, especially considering the freeway and backs of houses which surround the course. The lake was tranquil this morning with a few other walkers about but plenty of room for everyone.

Coming back around the lake, I had a few other parkrunners around as faster runners were heading back in while I was doing my lap and many of them shared friendly words of encouragement which were much needed. There was a great mix of faster runners and walkers this morning with all speeds in between – made for a great atmosphere and very welcoming.

This is definitely another hidden gem of a parkrun – a scenic course tucked away into suburbia with a friendly welcome for regulars and visitors. And another Victorian parkrun ticked off my list 🙂

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