|Single track running on|
It seems strange that there's a single kilometre I look forward to in a much longer run but this little kilometre is magic. You have to keep your wits about you to maintain a good pace while carefully picking where you put your feet. We run it at dawn so the forest is just waking up, with a few bird calls to accompany the heavy breathing of runners. There is a fairly solid hill before this section is reached, so it's a challenge to maintain momentum when you are already tired. But the clincher probably is, that as a sixty-three year old, if my fitness is good, it makes me feel young and competitive again. I'm still quite good on technical track when running hard (though I usually avoid running hard unless it's a race), and the closeness of the bush on each side of the trail makes you feel like you are running fast. When I'm in shape, I can still match it with most of my club-mates on this section, which is then followed by one of the best gradual fire-trail descents you can find on the Central Coast.
Unfortunately, for this morning, I worked hard not to be competitive on this favourite run, because I have a 40 kilometre trail run tomorrow. I knew that if I exhausted myself on the uphills, and pounded my body on the downhills, I would struggle tomorrow. I held back, though still probably ran a little faster than was wise. Tomorrow will tell the tale.