It’s been a long time since I went trail running. It’s been so long that I almost forgot how to do it. A combination of factors have kept me away from my running shoes but the biggest has been a recurring Achilles injury. But I’ve decided to put all that behind me and get back out there.
Last night I entered the Surf Coast Century 100km trail run. The event will be held on 13 September, so I have 13 weeks until race day. Not that I will be racing. I will be walking and jogging the course in the hope of making the 24:30 cutoff. If I do, it will be my fastest 100km after I completed Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney in 2004 in 36:29 and Oxfam Trailwalker Brisbane in 2011 in 32:58. I did both of those on little or no training so hope that the cycle touring and some training will get me across the line at Surf Coast Century those few precious hours faster.
I have marked the start of this Surf Coast Century adventure by buying a new pair of trail running shoes. I went with a pair of Innovates with a 3mm drop. They have more padding than my Merrel Trail Gloves, which feels good on my feet. I can’t run in traditional shoes because my ITB and shin splints always play up when I do. But the 3mm drop went well today so this might be a good move. The shoes are a full size too big, which allows me to wear socks without my feet cramping. I think this will be a good thing when I train through winter.
So that’s where I’m at today. I have decided to embark on an adventure within my adventure. I kind of like the idea of returning to trail running. But this time I want to do it on my terms: as a slow back of the pack walker/jogger who is content to be out on the course until cut-off.
Today’s session was just a 50 minute walk/jog in the bush near my parent’s place. I walked all the inclines, and jogged all the downhills and flats. I didn’t run fast. My only goal is to stay injury-free and enjoy the event. If I conserve energy and take quick transitions, I am sure I can beat the cut-off. My best time for 50km (without training) is 6:59 and I slept 4-5 hours in each of my Trailwalker efforts.