Frustrations at the new residence of Simlin, crisis over my link to the running community that is CR. More on that later, today I am sneaking this post in from my work computer…lots to write about, but I will start from where I left off, which was Christmas.
Warning, this is pretty much a blow by blow description of two trail runs and may bore some people.
Christmas was spent down in Mt Gambier with future in-laws. I packed two running outfits, keen for a bit of a hit-out, especially with the anticipated Christmas Feast.
Having trouble sleeping past 6 o’clock most days I woke up early on the first morning in the Mount and left a silent dark house to head up to the Blue Lake. I parked on the Northern edge and after observing some other joggers/walkers headed off in an anti-clockwise direction as appeared to be the norm. The Blue Lake was definitely looking resplendently royal blue in the morning light. After a couple of hundred metres I spied a trail which appeared to head off up and around the Valley lake across the road, and harbouring a secret desire to run around their instead of the touristy concrete path around the Blue Lake I crossed the road and struggled up a flight of very narrow stairs…oh dear, this wasn’t going to be pretty.
On the up side, there was no sign of a niggle in my right knee which had plagued me ever since the 15th of December (that date I will never forget…I promise…). I ran around the edge of the crate for a little while mainly across some grass past some look outs, then sped a track going down hill into the crater, alas it was Mountain Bikes only and looked narrow and straight down. Regardless 100metres later there was a wide walking track doubling back and down the hill…off I went. I pulled back a little on the down hills, not wanting to jar my knee etc too much or trip over a root or something. Running down through the trees I was running along a saddle between the Valley lake and a smaller crater within the large crater, soon it was up the other side and damn…too steep for me and I walked a little. After the gradient reduced a little I took up running again and could feel some fatigue in my Achilles, I stopped and had a rest at the car park reached to paw over the walking trail sign. I decided upon the “easy” grade track around the outside of the crater on the South side of Centenary Tower and back around to where I crossed over the road from the Blue Lake.
Setting off for the Centenary Tower car park there were a few more steep uphill bits along the edge of the Devil’s Punchbowl and then it was the Easy grade down hill around the outside of the crater. This is where the term “easy” grade had me miffed, after the gentle slop down and around the outside of the crater the track turned and went straight back up to the rim (the steepest part of the whole route) Needless to say I walked most of it. Back up to the rim and it was gorgeous running along the exposed rim, the Valley lake on the right and Mt Gambier spread out below on the left. I had to walk one little steep bit up to the highest point of the run and then it was slightly undulating track all the way back to the Blue Lake.
Once I got back to the Blue Lake, there was no way I was leaving the Mount without running around it, so I went back over to the footpath I had left 7k ago and continued around it in an anti-clockwise direction. It was undulating around it but nowhere near as steep as some of the places earlier and I made it back to the car for a stretch after 1hr10mins and 10k.
Christmas was a glutenous affair with every imaginable roast meat and vegetable…not to mention the plentiful beer, wine and spirits consumed. Boxing Day I got up early again, this time just before 7am end before heading up to the lakes, nipped down to Target to pick up a post-Christmas sale bargain I had seen in the Catalogue (1000 thread count sheet sets if you must know).
Instead of doing both lake again I headed for the Centennial Tower car park and set off on a loop of Valley Lake as per the first half of the above run in a fine misty rain. This time I made it up at least half way back up to the rim after coming around the back only to succumb to walking, due to an EP* and mad look for a toilet around the Northern side of the Lake. I finished off the 4.5k run in 40mins and headed back down to town for a third go at the Roast meat and veg.
*Emergency Poo (often accompanied by a Whooooop! Whoooooop! Whooooop! sound)