Yesterday (Saturday) - Ran with Sugar and Sas from Darlington up to Mt Helena, down to Brooking Rd, up Brooking Rd, rejoined heritage trail and then about 6.1km back down to Darlington. Quite a cold morning, didn't really notice it on the scooter out to Sugar's but really noticed it when we got to Darlington. Annoyingly, my nose ran for the entire run (except I think when running up Brooking Road, or perhaps I was otherwise occupied and just didn't notice). Really annoying and I'm sure it must have been annoying for Sas and Sugar to hear me sniffing the whole time.
On the overwhelmingly positive side though, it was a lovely morning for running and it was probably the first time I have really been able to appreciate the surroundings as the trails were a bit smoother on this run plus I think I am getting more comfortable running on them. Some magic moments, especially as the sun was coming up over the hills and sunlight was shining up and along the canopied trails - absolutely brilliant.
Felt good out there which was probably as a result of having a slightly easier week this week. Brooking Road is a monster, about 3km over two hills (although I think "hill" is an understatement). On bitumen though, so I found that I was able to get into a bit of a groove and just slog on up them. Found the second hill maybe 50m too long as it got a bit steeper at that point but managed to run on to the top. From there it was basically 6.1km back down the trail to Darlington and I had one of those little spells when it feels like your feet are hardly touching the ground. Probably didn't run as fast back down as we did last week (in fact, I'm sure we didn't) but whereas last week was a real effort for me, I felt great this week.
Total running time 2 hours and 39 minutes, 34.62km (4.36/km). 4.36/km is roughly my marathon pace from the Perth marathon last year, so am definitely ahead of where I was then. Feeling really strong in my running at the moment and no little niggles injury wise either which is great. Since I have been running my long runs with Sugar and Sas in the hills, haven't felt the need to take any anti inflammatories after long runs which was always the case after long runs on bitumen and concrete paths.
Rest day today - Ben and I are going to ride our bikes into town to go to Borders as he is getting a book for passing his senior swimming certificate.
Went to a quiz night last night and caught up with our friends Pete and Jill. Pete ran a 3.06 marathon a few years back and is back running now after a couple of years off after he did his knee and needed a reconstruction. His long run is out to 16km so will try to fit in a run or two with him over the next few weeks where it fits in with my program.