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Run Report: The 8km Hawthorne Route

Happy Australia Day! Although I'm not an Australian I definitely understand why people who live here love it so much. Today was the day I went really adventurous and took the road less traveled. And today is the day I found out my favorite running route. Today I also found out that running with other people and keeping a pace is definitely much more enjoyable than running alone. This run report won't go into too much details as the last one, but I point out a few observations. Read on if you're interested in the details.


View 1/26/12 1:07 PM in a larger map

For the first three kilometers of the run, my left achilles heel had been bothering me. Instead of focusing on my running form I tended to favor my left leg more than I really liked. Note that I was running in my Vibram Five Fingers and I learned that if I loosen the fit that I could run better in them. I wasn't about to take them off as I was running on asphalt shared running/walking/bike paths and sidewalks in the hot Sydney summer sun. This time though I had come prepared with sublock before going out of the house.

What happened at kilometer three, which was somewhere in the Hawthorne Canal Reserve was that these two runners (one woman, one man) overtook me while I was pacing slowly. That gave me motivation to try and keep up with them staying three, four, or five steps away with my headphones on just far enough to not be eavesdropping (and be creepy generally) and near enough so that they know I was pacing them. I didn't want to distract them by striking up a conversation so I just ran behind them until we got to the intersection of Mortley Ave. and Dobroyd Parade. At this point they turned right presumably to circle the bay while I continued on alone.

Now though after looking at the map (embedded above) the next time I'm going out for a run I should do it in the morning when the sun is not in full force, and I should go around the bay through the various parks and on the shared bike and run paths. Maybe even when I get back from my trip to the US, I should get myself a bike and cross-train by cycling to the office, or through the scenic routes around this area.

Did I mention that this was my new personal distance best? I also did this 8km run in the same time I did the 7km runs -- which was around the 1 hour mark. I'm particularly happy with this run because I felt like I was getting a real workout and that I was sweating better this time than the last times I did the 7km runs. It may be because of that continuous 1.5km run with the two other runners and because I walked less this time.

One other observation I had was that Australians are an appreciative bunch. Running in the sun, topless (I think I've gotten to a shape where I can almost bear the thought of strangers seeing me without a shirt again, last time was when I was swimming in college) I got a few honks from drivers, lots of smiles from pedestrians, and approving waves and thumbs up along the way. These were those "Happy Australia Day" moments that made this run very much more memorable than the other runs I've done. And it's a personal distance best so far!

Anyway, if you know people who do regular runs around the same routes (around Five Dock, Haberfield, and Leichhardt) who are keen on having another person join them in their runs, introductions would be most appreciated. Being able to run in a pack is definitely an experience I wonder why I've never tried before!

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