The last week has been fantastic…feel like I’ve got my training mojo back after a short break. We jumped in the van and drove up to the Blue Mountains on Friday afternoon. It was 44C when we got there so we had a swim at the Vic Falls waterhole and decided what we were going to run the next day.
We opted for the Grose Valley and Grand Canyon track because of the high temperature and fantastic swimming holes. We threw some lunch and lots of water into a bag and set off on our loop from Govetts Leap and back via Rodriguez Pass, Junction Rock, Evans Lookout and the Cliff Top Track.
Bridal Vail Falls wasn’t running as heavily as normal but it was still stunning to see from the bottom of the valley. We wound our way through the stunning Grose Valley and swam at every opportunity. The climb out from the base of the valley was hot and exposed but I think it’s one of the most beautiful tracks in the Blue Mountains. After missing the river crossing point and looping back we covered a hot and steamy 18km with 1,806m of climb. With only three and a half months before I return to The Track and the start of the Continental Challenge, it was good to get out and put some vert and KMs on the legs in the mountains. …Oh and saw my first ever Blue Mountains snake 😃😃
When I got back to Sydney I locked myself away in my house for 2 days. I had a speech to give in Christchurch, New Zealand about mindset and motivation in ultra running and how I use the lessons in everyday life. Public speaking makes me a little uncomfortable and I don’t really know why however it’s getting much easier the more I do. Knowing what I wanted to get across in this speech helped, I just needed to structure it and get some stories together that would make the ideas land.
I threw my kit in a bag and headed off to the airport. It had almost 20 years since I’d been to New Zealand and I’d forgotten what a beautiful country it is. I presented my speech to a fun audience of about 40-45 people in the Mt Pleasant Community Center and had a great Q&A session afterwards. Talking about my running adventures, the way that I prepare for an event and the mental lesson I learn and use from each race has really fired me up for my Track training.
Excerpt from my talk in New Zealand
Snippet from Tales from the Trails in Christchurch
While I was in New Zealand, I was also going to recce the proposed course for a new ultra-marathon, “Valley Ultra” to be run in Craigieburn on the South Island on November 9th this year. It’s the brainchild of Christchurch based events company Fusion Events who also run the very popular Christchurch 10km day and night series’.
Unfortunately I didn’t get out to Craigieburn on this visit although I did get to run some of the Crater Rim walk with its stunning views over Lyttelton and Christchurch. Running the Greenwood Track and the Captain Thomas Tracks from Mt Pleasant to Sumner was a real highlight. These are beautiful flowing single tracks that wind their way down hill adjacent to the road to Sumner. We finished off with a great breakfast at Joe’s Garage in Sumner and it was home time. Very much looking forward to visiting New Zealand again and hopefully will get out to visit Craigieburn next time.