I woke up Sunday morning to find myself with no voice. The cold that had been hanging around the past few days had gone in for the kill and I was miserable. A couple of codral and a cup of tea had me feeling a bit better, but still unsure if I would run or not. We got everything sorted and headed out for our orienteering event out at Lake Parramatta. Nick would run first and there was bound to be a playground for me to entertain the girls while he ran and then I would see how I went. The only option was a circuit of the lake, so it would be open for me to run and see what I could do or walk and aim to just get around in the allotted time.
My turn came and I set off, the usual warm up niggles, and then I hit my stride. It was my ideal setting – single track trail full of twists and turns that make you pay attention to where you put your feet. I was mindful not to push too hard, didn’t want to risk going over on the ankle again and I wasn’t sure how much “puff” I had in me. I had put in some steep climbs in my planned route, and I reeled them in, feeling strong and hoping that the fire trails on the return side of the lake would be a bit less demanding. I ran most of the time, walked up the hills and quick stepped down. Not all the controls were quite where expected, but I found them all easily and made good time. I judged my timings and my route perfectly. I made the full loop I planned (plus an extra 20 pointer) and was still running at the end as I clocked back in with less than 20 seconds to spare and a score of 450! Finishing in second place (for my category) by 10 points with a series score of 98. One of my most enjoyable runs in a long time!
Oh boy! Wednesday Summer Series in Lane Cove, I was keen to check this one out. Getting my gear ready in the morning to put in the car, I nearly forgot my shoes. I finally made it after work a little later than hoped and walked up to the oval with shoes and socks in hand to put on when I got there. Put sunscreen on, forgetting to take my makeup off first (lucky I don’t wear much!). I forgot my Garmin. Nick and I were both feeling pretty under the weather and grumpy, so it took no convincing for Nick to run with me for the first time this season (I wanted to get the route of his Garmin at the end!). We made a plan, with lots of options towards the end depending on how we were going for time.
Started off ok, tough getting going and we knew there were plenty of hills, but made what felt like a good pace and I was able to keep moving on most of the hills. That first half took a loooong time though, a lot more than we had hoped. There was much negotiation over the final part of our run and I think we made every wrong decision we could. Cut straight to 19 and along the creek back to the start – nah, lets go long. Skip 3 and go straight to 28 – an 8 minute gap between controls! Go for 30, the extra time will be worth the points – it really, really wasn’t. By the time we finished, we were both grumpy and tired, to find we were 6 minutes over time for a paltry score of 270.
Reviewing the course, we made the call that no one would manage the 600 points within the 45 minute time limit – at least we were right on that! I made a throw away comment, that I would probably do ok within my category, not great, but 60+ points IF rogaining superstar Gill Fowler didn’t make a showing. Which of course she did for the first time this season. Beating the rest of the pack by 100 points and pushing my weeks contribution down from a 64 to a 51. It was a miserable run and I didn’t feel at all energised afterwards. At least there was one compensation – I had an amazing nights sleep afterwards!