From where I was positioned with my head in downward-facing dog, leg and foot flexed
in the air at some humanly impossible angle and sweat dripping up my nose, the idea of
running around in circles suddenly didn’t seem so crazy. In fact, quite a logical and natural
thing to be doing to your body at 6 am.

This week I had my first foray into the world of hot power yoga. Perhaps I didn’t quite
reach my mystical moment of clarity from good practice, but I definitely gained a clear
idea of how far my body was prepared to be stretched! I’m still not sure how I feel about
communal sweating in an incensed room while attempting to be a contortionist.

After a few disappointingly flat months of running, I took some time out in an attempt to
break the rut I had gotten into. Yoga, trail running, swimming and cycling were a few
activities I had a go at during my break. I really missed the usual hard sessions with my
training squad so it has been a good feeling to be gradually building my mileage again. It
sounds weird, but you almost crave the feeling of being exhausted after an interval session
and collapsing into bed with jelly legs!

The break has meant a re-evaluation of my goals for the year and my well-laid plans have more or less fallen apart. It’s both depressing and exciting to face training with no particular race in mind and with the singular objective of getting fit again. Last weekend we had another regular visit from training partner Bridey Delaney, who travelled up to Newcastle from Sydney for some squad training. Even though it’s hard seeing how much form I’ve lost, it’s great to have someone closer to my pace to train with and I think it really helped me to lift in the session.

Another thing I really enjoyed was a return to trail running at home in the Blue
Mountains. Nothing quite compares to an early winter morning out on the quiet trails,
with the sun creeping through the trees and no one else for miles around. It’s a world I’d
always taken for granted growing up, even silently cursed on those boring long runs.
During my uni holidays I was involved in a Little Athletics NSW training workshop in
Newcastle. It was refreshing to see the wide eyed faces bound up in the morning and get
stuck in to long jump, sprints, shot put and hurdles like it was the best thing they’d ever
seen! I wish I could get a bit of that enthusiasm back again…cos I’d be lying if I said I
bounce out of bed on training mornings! An important reminder too, of why we choose to
do our sport day in, day out.

In a month, I travel to Canberra for a uni clinical placement. I’m enthusiastic about a
complete change of setting and determined to use the chance to get some solid training in.
It’ll be a stretch fitting in running around a full day’s work but I will have to get used to
this lifestyle! Fingers crossed that the weather will have warmed up a little by then too.
So I hope to be back racing in the near future! It’ll be good to feel like a runner again. At
least our sport is performed right-way-up out in the fresh air!