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Physical introspection

Quarry Track in Bouddi National Park.

Motivation was low today and I down-scaled my originally intended 15km road walk to one of 10km including bush trails and beach.  Part of my ennui stems from the feeling that I could do more exercise than is currently wise.  The 10km walks all week have been completed easily and I haven't strayed into the "Amber Zone" where I begin gasping for breath and feel my heart pounding.  Maybe this is because I'm getting better at managing my impaired cardio-vascular system, or maybe it's because it is gradually improving.

While not forcing the pace, I walked steadily at around 5km per hour, and after circling round the southern side of Cockrone Lagoon, followed roads and a fire-trail steadily upward to the highest point in McMasters Beach.  As I walked I found myself constantly reviewing how I was travelling, especially up the steeper climbs.  Was my breathing steady or was it becoming more laboured?  Was my heart racing?  Was that slight ache in the back of my left chest heart-related?  Was I at all light-headed?  All runners coming back from injury, or tapering for a race, will recognise this nervous physical introspection phase where every niggle and sign is examined to see if it is something more ominous.

View from Bombi Point in Bouddi National Park.

I continued walking towards Little Beach, then on reaching a trail junction, decided to change my planned route and followed the Quarry Trail up into Bouddi National Park.  It's a trail I have run along a few times over the past ten years, but it's not part of my regular training routes.  One advantage of walking, as opposed to running, is that you get more time to look around and appreciate your surroundings, and once up on the plateau, this trail passed through some beautiful and peaceful woodland, disturbed only by an encounter with Joe and Deirdre, some Terrigal Trotter friends out on a long bush run.

View from Bombi Point in Bouddi
National Park.

I was starting to enjoy my walk and decided to follow the Bombi Point trail, a dead-end trail that I have often passed, but never followed, when running through the Park.  After a gradual 1km descent on the sandy track it ended at the top of a precipitous cliff offering spectacular views along the wild coast and out to sea.  A heavy swell was crashing into the base of the cliffs and the spray was rising high into the air, though still many metres below my vantage-point.  It was a breath-taking location, and a little scary closer to the cliff edge.  I will be including it in future walks and runs.

My route home followed some familiar and lovely single track winding through sheltered and mossy rainforest, and then after some road walking, finished along the beach from McMasters to Copa.  It was low tide which makes the walking easy and there were lots of holiday makers out enjoying the Australia Day weekend and the end of summer vacation for many.

I have discussed in previous posts ("Getting out the door" and "Small explorations") the value to me of training somewhere more interesting when you have one of those days when you just can't be bothered, and today proved the point.  It wasn't quick, and there was a bit of dallying here and there, but I covered 13km without trouble.