Snake Ridge, enough said?

So clearly someone from up above has been reading my blogs because after my last post, the weather has been nothing but perfect. Amazing sun and perfect days! Training has been gearing up again and made so much more enjoyable in this fantastic weather.

Callum came back to train for another week after spending a few days up at his home.  It was a week of intervals and runs in the forest. The best place for intervals and gnarly terrain is a set of hills called Snake Ridge.

Now with all this sun and warmth, this has brought out Australia’s wildlife. One morning I was with Callum, my folks and my aunty and uncle (who had very kindly driven up to see me for a few days before I leave Australia for 6 months.) We were all walking (me without any shoes on) along beside the river, enjoying the view and then suddenly Callum yells out SNAKE! There, sitting on a log just a metre or two from us was a very angry looking tiger snake, rearing up and hissing at us. The problem with snakes this time of year is that they have just come out of hibernation and are always rather aggressive. Luckily, after a bit of a show, it backed off and slid away.

A lunchtime feast, from left. Callum, June, Graham, myself and Dad

The next day Callum and I had bounding intervals with poles scheduled for the morning, so we headed up to Snake Ridge to do them. The face we do them on is bare rock and it’s extremely hot (I ended up with a filthy heart rate monitor tan). I haven’t done as many as Callum because I haven’t been healthy enough recently and it was pretty easy to see the difference. I think you could easily describe Callum as a mountain goat frolicking up the hill, compared to me, my “gorilla-like clamberings.” After that we were jogging home off the ridge and we had taken a short cut which passes a cliff. Just before the cliff I stopped to get a rock out of my shoe and Callum went on a few meters. Suddenly he calls out and says; “Check out this massive black snake just over the edge here.” So I jog up and as I do, I scare it away under a little over hang. Disappointed at not seeing the snake, I start to throw rock at the overhang (not my brightest idea). That didn’t have a reaction so I hung off the edge a little and start whacking the rock ledge with my poles to see if this would cause a reaction (definitely my ideas are getting worse…). Now here I am, off the edge of the cliff and completely focused on getting a look at this snake and then Callum screams IT’S BESIDE YOU!!! Needless to say I broke the World High Jump record as I just panicked and leapt up the cliff towards Callum. I looked up to see where Cal was and if he’s still running away and he’s bent over laughing barely holding it together… I wasn’t too impressed…

Running home discussing all things snakes, with Snake Ridge and our interval track in the background.

As consolation, Callum had convinced himself so well with that shout and I was so nervous that the rest of the run home was the most intense and edgy run I’ve ever had. Every stick and rustle in the grass made us jump and sprint off. So we basically did a double intervals session for the day. Our entire conversation was based on snakes, and what we’d do if either of us got bitten (so light-hearted and pleasant!).

Now that it is warming up, the river is almost swimmable again. So we’ve started to a few “ice baths” in the river to relax after sessions, which has been refreshing!

Ice bath in the Ovens River

Train hard. Rest easy. Live for the moment.


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