There’s nothing like a morning in Perth to re-awaken my running self. I’m just here for the day on my way back home to Brisvegas but that might be just enough to get my running legs back. I woke at 5:15am to darkness outside my window. After a few night in a tent sleeping on hard ground (I didn’t bring a thermarest or anything) the hotel bed was luxurious (actually, it always is luxurious here where we stay in Perth). But somehow I managed to get myself out of bed, into my board shorts and t-shirt, and out onto the road.
It is still dark as I run along the Swan River towards The Causeway. A strong breeze blows, causing the palm trees to sway and small waves to lap against the concrete wall along the river. It’s not strong enough to cause white horses so the lapping is quite pleasant to hear. I imagine it would be delightful for kayaking.
There are few runners out at this early hour so I have most of the pathway to myself. The few runners who are out don’t acknowledge my presence. It makes me feel awkward for giving them a courtesy nod and ‘morning’. Maybe the greetings are just a Brisbane thing or maybe these early morning runners are far more serious than me. Whatever the story, I quickly realise that it’s not the done thing here so I quickly fall into line and keep to myself for the remainder of my 10km trot.
Light starts to filter into the day as I cross The Causeway. I can start to more clearly make out the silhouettes of runners and walkers making their way along the non-city bank of the Swan. The Narrows Bridge is still brightly lit some 5km in the distance and I decide to make it my target. I hadn’t been feeling strong when I left the hotel and set myself a 15 minute turn around but all along I knew I’d push through.
I don’t have a GPS so I’m running with my mobile phone, using the stopwatch to gauge my progress (and make sure I don’t get too distracted because I have a business meeting this morning). It passes 20 minutes as I get across The Causeway. I decide to pick up my pace and do the next 20 minutes as a tempo run. So, as the city comes to life I surge forward, enjoying the sense of power it brings. The stiff breeze that was causing the river to chop up is now a strong headwind. I put my head down and work through it. Occasionally I challenge myself by running on the sandy ground next to the concrete path. I am feeling strong but working hard. I reach the Narrows Bridge in 20:45 including stopping four times to take photos and water, which means I ran the 4.8km at 4:20 pace. Maybe that’s why running is starting to feel tougher for me – because I’m running a lot faster than I was early in the season.
I ease off after I cross the Narrows Bridge and cruise most of the way back to Victoria Avenue. I say most because I finished strongly after I reached the Eiffel Tower looking structure; I believe every run should be finished strongly because that’s how you will start the next one.
The run was a huge confidence boost. I completed the 10km circuit in 52:35. Maybe I am still on track for a 45:00 10km at the end of the Byron Bay Triathlon. Perhaps my recent sense of struggle with training has been because I’m taking a big step up in performance and pace. Almost two-thirds of this run were at aerobic capacity and only the middle section was at tempo. That should tell me something.
Total: 10km run in 52:35