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Old Great North Road Run

Terrigal Trotters getting ready to tackle the Old Great
North Road
I set out on the Terrigal Trotters 42km trail run along the convict-built Old Great North Road with some optimism, hoping that once I got onto the trail and amongst the beautiful and wild scenery of Yengo National Park, some kind of running form would return.  However, in the back of my mind lurked the thought that this might be wishful thinking.

Heading up Devines Hill
I started slowly, walking most of the first long climb, and then settled into a comfortable slow pace, glad to find that my right Achilles tendon was less painful than yesterday and that my right knee and arch were more or less behaving.  Around 20km, however, I started to feel quite tired on what was a warm and sunny day.  After that, it became a slog with plenty of walking on the hills and rockier parts of the trail, and I finished close to the back of the field in just over six hours.

Peter and Al tackling some single-track
In retrospect, I had no justification for thinking that I could run a solid 42km today, but it was disappointing, nevertheless.  I only resumed light running three weeks ago and haven't done any long runs, but I kind of hoped that the fitness I had before I got injured would have lingered longer.  At times like this, it is easy to think that good form and performances will never return.  As you plod along, an hour or more behind people you think you should be running with, it can be hard to fathom how you are going to make up that hour.

I just have to remind myself that a runner's potential is defined by their best performances, not their worst, and that if I stick to a well-thought-out program, and don't get injured, good form will return.  On the subject of injury, it was a bit worrying that my right arch began to get quite painful again in the last hour or two of the run, and I'm hoping I haven't set myself back.  I'll just go for a walk tomorrow and will have a better idea then.