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Woodford to Glenbrook

The Terrigal Trotters team ready for the Woodford to
Glenbrook 25km trail race
(Courtesy Judy Murray)
It was with some trepidation that I joined the Terrigal Trotters bus down to run the Woodford to Glenbrook 25km trail race in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.  My right Achilles hurt, even just walking around this morning, and the poor run I had yesterday cast further doubt over my ability to perform well.

At least it was cool and overcast in Woodford, and we were there in sufficient time for me to jog a gentle 3km warm-up, including a couple of stride-throughs over 50 metres.  The Achilles gradually warmed up, but was still restricting my stride.  This injury is starting to get serious, and I fear, may lead to an extended period off running.  Anyway, for today, I decided to stick to my plan of starting slowly, and hopefully, getting faster once loosened up.

Post race presentations
(Courtesy Judy Murray)
The first few kilometres incorporated several short hills and I was quickly well back in the field, but thereafter I gradually started to make up ground and continued to do so for the balance of the race.  There were plenty of steep loose rock and gravel fire-trail descents in the first half of the race, and I backed my sure-footedness and passed plenty of people.  I wasn't trying to run fast, but instead just tried to make use of gravity, avoid braking, and maintain momentum.  In days gone by, I used to pride myself on how fast I could descend technical track.  You can get into a zone where the decision about where to plant your foot at the end of each stride is not made until you are in the air.  The adrenalin pumps and split-second decisions are important.  It's exciting, and I felt a little bit of that excitement at times today on the descents.

Mistakenly receiving the trophy for the first Over 60.  I had to
hand it back 10 seconds later to someone who had beaten me
by 30 seconds  (Courtesy Judy Murray)
The last 10km of the race is mostly flat or slightly downhill on broad fire-trail, and although I was tired and well-back in the field, I successfully maintained good form and momentum and made up a number of places.  My finishing time of 2:01 was well-below what I would have hoped to run if fit, but I was pleased with the way I maintained my effort for the whole race, and had feared I might do much worse.

On the downside, my right Achilles heel has become extremely inflexible and painful since the race, and I'm having difficulty walking.  I don't plan to run tomorrow, and will just hope, that as the inflammation wanes, I get some flexibility back and can run on Tuesday.  If not, I think it will be off to the doctor for an MRI.