So as promised the second blog for my Australian winter series! It almost feels like winter at home. All the leaves have turned and then fallen. The days are short and the weather has been grey with some serious storms thrown in. It’s just come into June. Everything is indicating winter, apart from the temperature! Every day it’s 15 degrees and just so warm. A week ago as I did intervals on Mt Buffalo there was a thunderstorm, with torrential rain. I was just in a long sleeve shirt and shorts. It was too hot for anything else. It felt like training in the tropics! It hasn’t fallen below zero on any of the mountains now for a few weeks, which isn’t ideal!
Enough with the weather worries for the time being. Two weeks ago I participated in the Mt Beauty half marathon weekend and an Australian training camp. I was really looking forward to the run on Saturday morning and I’d opted to do the 10km because it’s all on road and I haven’t been off single track for running yet.
I rocked up to the race with one of my good mates and also one of the Aussie team physios Ben Bond and we had a very relaxed warm up, just cruising out on the course for a jog to get us feeling relaxed. We both then paced it back and found our spots on the line, perhaps a little too casual…
There were record entries this year with a few hundred in the 10km and 21km races combined, which is awesome for the community. So the gun went and the mass of runners surged forward, I found myself at the very front of the race leading. Apparently Dad did the comical palm to the forehead and said to Mum, “Oh shit, what’s Paul doing leading”, when he saw I was in front. It was never my intention to lead the race that early on. I was hoping to just sit behind one or two runners and let them lead out the race. After about one kilometre, two 21km racers and one of my teammates (also a 10km runner) Jackson Bursill formed a small pack and we all broke away from the rest of the runners. The group eventually splintered just before the 5km turn around point and as I rounded the turn I was in the lead and planning on it staying that way. There are two gradual hills on the way back that I love running. The gradient just suits me really well. So I put down the pace and opened up a lead of around a minute and a half, which I held onto for the win. I was stoked to get the win and run a 34:47, so I came away pretty happy from the day!
Sadly I didn’t get to do much Australian team training with the rest of the athletes. But on the up, I was selected as one of the two Athlete Representatives on the Ski and Snowboard Australia Cross-Country council and spent the remainder of my weekend working and getting brought up to speed by the council.
Since then I have just been back training and loving my running! Andrew (my brother) came home for a few days and I managed to get some good runs in with him and one day when I was doing rollerski intervals he rode beside me, which was great for motivation!
Train hard, rest easy and live for the moment.