Yesterday I got up at 3.15am to get a long run in before work. And yes it was quite tough getting out of bed at that time, but I plan ahead the night before I run early and had everything ready to go for when the alarm went off. All I had to do was throw on some running gear, grab my pack and I can be out the door within 10 minutes.
I ran with a friend called Jason who I had met at the training camp in the Blue Mountains a few months back and we’ve kept in touch via facebook. There were a few of us at that camp who (we realised) live close by so we exchanged details and planned to do some training runs together. It’s amazing the amount of people who I have kept in touch with since that camp, it’s been most helpful in more ways than I ever thought possible.
Jason and his mates (Andy & Clint) run together regularly before work most days, and they’re all training for The NorthFace100 like me, so when he emailed me yesterday asking if I’d like to come along I jumped at the chance. It would be good “night” training for me and a chance to test out my new Hokas.
So we met up at the Sutherland Bike Track car park at 3.55am and headed across and over the Loftus train station. We went along a couple of streets and eventually hit a gate that led to the fire trail we would be taking today. Most of the run follows a big pipeline and I’ve heard about locals who’ve run this before. I’ve wanted to run the tracks close to home before but haven’t known many people who’ve run them and I’m too much of a scaredy cat to go by myself.
It was pitch black and the only thing lighting the way was our headlamps. I was using a Petzl R+ and 2 of the other guys were using Ayup (I think that’s how you spell it). The Ayup actually had 2 torches so you could have one pointing up and one down towards the ground and they were very, very bright. My headlamp was much more compact (didn’t have the huge battery pack at the back like the others) and you can adjust the direction of the beam quite easily while running as it has a few different setting spots. The Petzl had a couple of brightness settings (as they all do) and I wanted to try the sensor setting yesterday, this setting actually takes information in about how bright the area is in front of you and adjusts the brightness accordingly to save power when less light is needed. And I think as the guys headlamps were much brighter it meant that my torch didn’t have to be at full power for the whole run.
Most of you who read my posts regularly will know that I usually stop and take a lot of photos so i can share my running journey, but during this run I only managed 1 photo and even then by the time I got the phone camera working the guys were so far away from me that you can hardly see them.
We ran across a creek and up and down the trails and came out at another road which we crossed and then found another gate which led us back to running along the pipeline again. Luckily Jason knew where he was going as I honestly would have gotten very lost. The guys were running at a pace faster than what I would normally run but I didn’t want to fall behind so I kept pushing myself, only having to walk a few small hillier sections, which they kept running and doubled-back to get me.
This was an out and back trail so once we turned around we knew what was coming, and it actually seemed much quicker on the way back. And when we got back to the cars the sun was only just starting to rise over the horizon. What an awesome way to start the day!
I did not have any problems with my new Hoka One One Stinson Trail shoes and they felt very comfortable, going downhill was a breeze for my knees and ankles due to the extra support they provided. I was a little worried when I bought them that my weak ankles (from years of netball) wouldn’t cope well in them, but after a little while of jogging you hardly even notice a difference. Here’s a shot of them nicely christened from the run.
The guys were fun to run with and we chatted a lot and had a few laughs along the way. It’s always great to have new company on the trails and i felt like the time passed so quickly during that whole run. All in all we ran just over 23km and it took us 2 hours and 45 minutes, here’s the Nike+ App information.
Happy Trail Running 🙂