We gather outside the Redland Bay Golf Club in the cold darkness. It’s 5:15am and for the first time this year it’s actually cold enough to start our run wearing my fleece vest. There are seven of us out here this morning ready to brave the cold. Five are training for the Gold Coast Marathon and two of us are ring-ins coming along for the ride. At 1hr 20mins, this is a a long run but for the marathoners this is one of their shorter outings.
We set of in the darkness, following the footpath along the water’s edge. It’s slightly eery running through the trees with only the headlights of some of our group lighting the way. I am among those who have forgotten their headlights so I pick my way along the path using the beams my more organised club-mates have provided. The air is warmer here down at the water’s edge but still crisp.
After about half an hour the red light of the sun starts to glow up over the black blobs that are all we can see of the bay islands. Dawn comes quickly here in the sub tropics. The path goes through a grove of trees and we still rely on our club mates’ headlights to shine the way. Then, two or three minutes later when we emerge back out into the open the day is bright and the sun has risen high over the islands, no longer relegating them to the status of black blobs but rather tree-covered land masses rising from the water.
As always, I enjoy running with my club-mates. I am finding it increasingly easier to keep up with them for longer and longer runs. Though for some reason my heart rate is always higher when I run in a group; perhaps I feel pressure to perform when I’m in a crowd. Even when I feel comfortable on a group run my heart rate is about 10-20% higher than it would otherwise be. I’m sure it’s normal and that the increased effort is good for my fitness.
Total: 12.94km run @ 5:48 pace with average heart rate of 86% maximum.