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Cautious optimism

Part of the trail loop in Chiltern-Mt Pilot
National Park yesterday.

Yesterday was another day spent driving, this time the 1,000km back to Copa from Melbourne.  Even though it was supposed to be an easy day, I felt compelled to stop in at the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park en route to run a favourite 9km hilly single-track bush trail loop.  It's about three hours north of Melbourne, so is well-timed for a morning run after an early start and helps break up the journey.

McMasters Firetrail on this morning's run.

I ran very slowly, particularly at the start, and enjoyed the quiet bush solitude, disturbed only by some bird life and a few startled wallabies.  My legs were tired after Sunday's 15km, but not too bad, and I finished comfortably and refreshed.

Cockrone Lagoon on this morning's run.

My current training plan is to run longer every second day, with an easy day in between, so long as I feel my heart and lungs are good and I don't get over-tired.  So, for today's run, I again cadged a lift from Sharon to her school and then ran a somewhat circuitous 19km route, maximising the bush content, back from Erina to Copa.  It was yet another perfect day and I felt remarkably fresh as I negotiated Erina Valley, Kincumba Mountain and some of Bouddi National Park.  I ran up all of the hills, some of them quite steep and technical, but never pushed the pace to the point where I was gasping for breath.

I'm definitely fitter than a month ago when I resumed running after my two-month break, and I feel like my lungs and heart are functioning well again after the Pulmonary Embolism and Atrial Flutter scares.  I'm starting to enjoy my running again, and particularly, my ability to run longer distances on the trails.  The question now is how much further my fitness can improve and how much I can push it?  And how much is it safe to push it?  For the moment, I'll keep it "recreational".