I had a few days away from running after the half marathon last weekend. Partly this was in order to allow my feet the time to recover from blisters, and partly it was because I was at uni late 4 out of the 5 nights, and couldn't find the time to run.
On Saturday, though, after a day walking around inside talking to 12-year olds, I decided a run was in order. So, profitting from another beautiful Brisbane winter afternoon, and headed out along the Norman Creek greenway to blow out the cobwebs.
I had initially only planned to take it fairly easy, but I felt really good, so I actually kept up a strong pace, running up to Stanley St East and back, on what has become my goto route for about 8km. I took my phone, strapped to my arm, but it proved pretty useless, with first the mp3 player (perhaps because of dodgy headphone) and then RunKeeper both letting me down, the latter insisting I had run 830m at 7:23 pace, rather than 8km at (I reckon) about 4:40.
On Sunday afternoon, I found a few reasons to go out again. In recent times I've had trouble running two days in a row, with shin splints in my right leg causing me a lot of shin pain. A recent visit to the podiatrist, though, has given me some hope of alleviating that, so my first reason for going out was to see whether the exercises and new shoes would make it possible for me to back up. The second was that I have recently had my eyes on Toohey Forest Park as a promising place to go running, and wanted to scout it out. The third, and most significant, was that I had so enjoyed running the previous day that I wanted to make the most of another perfect afternoon.
I headed south down to Toohey Road, and followed it south up and over Weller's Hill (past the school of some of the students I'd met the day before) then up to the forest. Once there I headed along the Toohey Ridge track. I was feeling good, though, so I doubled back along the Sandstone circuit, before again following the Ridge track through the park before emerging on Monash Rd along what I think was the Tallowwood Track (although it wasn't signed as that). The park was everything I hoped it would be, isolated from the city bustle with only a few dog- and bushwalkers, with native birds calling and even a few native plants in bloom. The path was in good condition, and although I stumbled once, I quickly adjusted to running on a less stable and predictable surface, and really enjoyed the extra challenge. Its a bit of a hike to get there (4km each way over some reasonably significant hills, although I mucked around a bit on the way back winding my way through Tarragindi), so it won't be my regular run, but I can see myself spending a fair bit more time getting to know the other trails in the park. I may even consider riding my bike down so I can try some runs up and down the hills.
This was certainly the best couple days of running I've had since I ran in Berlin earlier this year, and perhaps beyond that.
Who knows, I may turn into a runner yet.