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Hornsby to Brooklyn

My trail running club-mates on their way to Hornsby

The trail run from Hornsby to Brooklyn that I scouted two weeks ago for Terrigal Trotters was on yesterday morning.  As we travelled by train to the start at Hornsby, having car-pooled to Brooklyn, I wasn't feeling that fresh and wondered about the wisdom of my third 42km tough trail run in fifteen days.  On the plus side, I had already determined that I would be tapering, and hopefully freshening up, over the next two weeks before having a crack at the Central Coast Half Marathon.  On the negative side, I had a number of niggles - lower back, quads, right heel - that could all turn into something more serious when I was running tired and long.

The first creek crossing proved a challenge

If I didn't feel an obligation to participate in an event I had organised, maybe I wouldn't have run, but the camaraderie on the train revived my spirits.  It had rained all night and most of the previous day, and more rain was forecast, but miraculously it had stopped as we set out on the run north along The Great North Walk.  Only a few kilometres into the run we encountered a flooded creek which took time and care to cross and we wondered what other challenges we would meet but the rest of the run turned out fairly routine.  Somehow, I ended up running on my own pretty much the whole way, with a faster group of five ahead of me and a slower group of four some way behind.  It was probably for the best, since I would have run harder as part of the leading group and perhaps risked injury.  Running on my own, I did things at my own comfortable pace, though still became very tired over the last third of the course.  The climbs were relentless, often involving huge step-ups, and the descents never allowed you to relax.  The more tired I became the more reluctant I was to trust my leg muscles on the very technical trails.

I finished, tired and sore, particularly my suspect right heel, in 7:45.  This was a disappointingly slow time, but still 1:40 faster than two weeks ago.  The real test of any damage came today when I walked an easy 5km.  My heel was stiff and painful, but I think it will come good by tomorrow, and my legs and back are aching.  However, nothing seems bad enough to change my training plan which now involves a steady taper to the half marathon in two weeks.