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Erina Valley is part of Woody's Wun.

The Terrigal Trotters Saturday morning run this week was the 14.2km "Woody's Wun".  Coincidentally, it was the last Trotters run I did while still fully functional, back in mid-December.  It was also 6km longer than my longest run since resuming training nine days ago, and incorporated some very steep and long hills.  That made me (and others) quite apprehensive about whether I should be attempting it.  On the other hand, there was a sort of appealing symmetry if I could get around the run OK.  I wouldn't be resuming where I left off, because last time I ran quite hard and well, but just completing the course without incident would be a significant step on the road back in my mind.

I managed to fall over crossing these paddocks this morning.

I was last of the hundred or so runners climbing the first rise away from the Terrigal Surf Club, but that was a good place to be, and pretty much where I stayed for the first few kilometres.  Despite constantly self-assessing my respiration and heartbeat, it was a great pleasure to be running along in the pre-dawn darkness bantering with my club-mates again.  There have been times during the last two months when it seemed possible those days were over, and probable that the hiatus would be much longer.

Woody's Wun goes right through the Erina Fair
Shopping Mall.

On each of the solid climbs in the next two kilometres, I slowed to a walk with some of my colleagues, only resuming when the gradient eased.  Normally I would never walk up a hill during a Trotters run, but my expectations have changed, at least for the time being.  They were the kind of hills that would have brought me to a staggering halt with a heart rate of 230bpm before the Cardioversion eighteen days ago, so it was encouraging to get up them comfortably.  From there, I ran the whole way, apart from climbing a few fences and one fall while crossing a paddock.  I particularly enjoyed the steady slow climb up the side of forested Kincumba Mountain along a very technical kilometre of single track and the gentle descent which followed along a beautiful fire-trail.  Magic!

The fire-trail on Kincumba Mountain.

I even caught a few people over the last half of the run, as I settled into an easy unstressed pace, but had to keep reminding myself not to get competitive.  This will be one of my challenges going forward.  Although there were still some aches and pains, particularly in the knees, I was in better shape than a few days ago, and really enjoyed the run.  May there be many more!