|Second from left, with the University of Melbourne|
Cross-Country team in Canberra for the 1979
I was very slow, and felt very unfit. At one point, I was passed by ultra-running friend, Darren, who was himself running very slowly as he came back from injury. How slow can you go, and still be running? My joints creaked and my chronic bad knee hurt, but my breathing remained steady. All the time, I was examining my heart and chest with my brain, looking for signs that something was amiss, but nothing happened.
When I reached the last few small hills, hills that I had originally intended to walk up, I chose to keep running. I felt a little reckless, but was gaining confidence, that so long as my breathing was comfortable, I was not stressing my heart. Back at The Haven, I reached my car and stopped running. It hadn't been any tougher than other first runs after two months off, and I felt a glimmer of hope that I was on the way back to recreational running, if not competition.