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Hidden treasures

Trails atop Kincumba Mountain
Summer has come early to the NSW Central Coast, and it was even warm for the Thursday morning track group going through their paces at 6:00am at the Terrigal Haven.  By the time I headed out for my run around 7:00am it was warm and sunny, but not oppressive.  After the easy recovery day yesterday, I hoped to run about 15km today, and since I was car-less after the track session (Sharon attended the session and drove my car home), I picked a course that included some nice trail and avoided some of the busiest peak hour roads.

Looking east over Avoca Beach from Kincumba Mountain
My route was up and over Kincumba Mountain, one of the hidden jewels in our area.  I suspect that there are people who drive around the base of Kincumba Mountain for much of their lives without ever venturing into the 700 hectare reserve, and they don't know what they are missing.  Atop the mountain, you could be hundreds of kilometres from suburbia. It's far enough from the roads to avoid traffic noise and the only sounds tend to be those of the birdlife.  The climbs on the trails through the forest up the 200m high mountain are steep, but runnable, while the top is almost plateau-like with some nice long flattish fire-trails where you can stride out.  But perhaps the best thing of all about Kincumba Mountain is that you can frequently run right across, as I did this morning, and not see another person.  You feel that you have the whole place to yourself, a precious pleasure amid the hubbub of the Central Coast.  And, to those in the know - mostly runners, mountain bikers and hikers - there are other mountains around the Central Coast where you can enjoy the same solitude.

My right knee was very sore during the run, but I tried to tread carefully and avoid stress on the inside where the pain is greatest.  I suspect I also have some bone bruising at the top of the tibia, but that's a layman's diagnosis based on previous MRI's and the prevailing pain at the time.  On the positive side, my Achilles tendon wasn't too bad and for the last 5km, when I came down from the mountain and ran along the roads with more reliable footing, I felt like I was moving well, and with some stamina for a change.  It's probable that the reduced pain in the Achilles was allowing me a longer stride length and better running form.  Whatever the reason, the beautiful run over Kincumba Mountain followed by a good stride out along the road back to McMasters Beach, made for a great morning session.  It was good to be alive.