This weekend saw the start of the Road to Wollongong. I'd decided on a 21-ish kilometre run to see what my pace is over that distance. I'd have set the run for Sunday, but I was already committed to other things that day and so it was Saturday or never.
The weather made itself known, in the form of 100% humidity and near-constant drizzle with an option on rain. Anyway, I headed out, since you may as well train in the conditions you might have to race in. By the third kilometre my sneakers were full of water. I pressed on through Birrarung Marr, past the Federation bells, and then up the Yarra trail to the Powerhouse Boatsheds. This meant a quick trip down memory lane for me, to my one brief season as an oarsman countless moons ago.
I turned back at that point for Church Street and kept going until I hit the Yarra. Well, actually I stopped short: I didn't know that Church Street came to a dead stop by the Carlton & United Breweries plant. I weaseled through some residential streets until I found Gipps Street and then picked up the Capital City Trail for the final leg. By this stage (roughly 15kms) I was feeling the load and hills were a hell of a challenge. I wasn't even game to free-run down hill on wet ground as I wasn't sure that I could react well enough if I slipped on something.
In the event, my pace was, well, ratchit. Basically, I need to pare 45 minutes off of this to get back to my best time, and a full hour off this time to feel properly happy with it. Good thing I like a challenge!
On the plus side, my legs were sore but not smashed afterwards and so I found I'd put up a respectable number of walking miles by the end of the day. Some of these were to Our Lady's for Mass and then on to the Great Northern for beer. I take care of body and soul.
So there we have it: I know what I'm running now. I just need to get fast!