Would you like to go for a run with me? A text from my friend J came in on Monday. I reply Sure. J texts back Don’t forget your torch.
J is incredibly fit and very brave. She has been running for a long time, much longer than me, she bushwalks and climbs mountains that only die-hards would consider and is all round fit, agile and fearless!
I consider what I’ve just agreed to.
A few times a year I have to go to Hobart for work meetings. We literally sit and eat and talk our way through three days of non-stop meetings. It’s usually quite valuable workwise but my body hates sitting that long. One nice thing about going to Hobart is that I get to have a catch up with J.
Today I sat. I sat in the car for three hours to drive to Hobart. I sat for the rest of the day in meetings.
At about 3pm I text J. I bet she has something incredibly out there planned. How many kms are we doing tonight? I ask. Oh about 8kms she texts back, I’ll be slow, we’ll do the Pipeline Track.
Oh ok, I thought to myself, I’ve been doing 7kms on Tuesdays so I’m sure I can cope with that. In the dark. Out in the bush. On a trail. With a head torch as my only light. mmm I shall have a go at that. Husband was a bit concerned.
Insert a few more hours of meetings, a hasty goodbye to my colleagues who can’t understand why I would choose going for a run in the dark over going to the pub with them. Yes crazy, I know. Open fire, nice glass of Tasmanian sparkling OR cold, dark run. What a choice. Except for those of us who have clicked with running, we know that there is no choice to be made. Our bodies were made to move not sit, not to be still. We know that a run in the dark, in the cold after a day of being stationary is the only choice that we can make. We must be true to our passion to move with running feet.
Can’t say I’ve been feeling that crash hot today. In fact I’ve been feeling bloated and slightly queasy.
J collects me and off we go. Just for fun I push go on my GPS while we are in the car because GASP we are travelling on the road GASP that is part of the route of the Point to Pinnacle. OH MY GOODNESS hills hills hills – inclines – steep corners – hills – inclines – more steep bits. What am I doing in November, not this surely? I think I might go find a nice flat half-marathon instead of the world’s toughest half-marathon. No, you are committed now. In only a few kms we climb nearly 500m in altitude! But that is a post for another day.
We get to the start of the Pipeline Track just near the Ferntree pub. I can’t see a thing because it is pitch dark. My head torch is wonderful and lights my way but I am a little tentative with my steps, I have my glittery lights and my luminous arm band on. J told me that she would be slow. HA! She and I hadn’t ever run together before, she hasn’t run with the Unsporty Woman. Now she has and she knows what slow is! 4.5kms out and 4.5kms back, wending and winding our way through a blissful bushy track, crossing over little steams and being careful of rocks and tree roots. Off in the distance is the glow of the city lights. I can just make out Wrest Point Casino, the start of the P2P, it looks like a teeny tiny miniature version of itself – and where we are is less than halfway up the mountain. Wallabies hear us coming and bump and bounce off in the scrub. I’m a bit tired after my day of sitting and J has to slow down a bit for me. All up we climb 100m in altitude. I’m tired and a bit sore, but the queasy bloated feeling is gone! Running is so good for the whole body, not just the soul.
Then back down we go. I phone Husband to let him know that we are back at the start. There is a real old fashioned country pub with a welcoming open fire at Ferntree. I’d like to say we had a nice warm but it was a bit of a meeting point for a large group of cyclists who had just finished their ride. They were happy and chatty and enjoying a post-ride beer.
J and I had a good old chat like we always do. It was good to catch up. It was lovely to go for a run with a friend. It was lovely of J to take me on my very first night trail run. I’m sure there will be many more.
Happy running 🙂