Posted in Australia, Half-marathon, Writing

Sydney Morning Run

via Mapmyrun.
via Mapmyrun

Sunday, March 10, 2013

At 7.30am I looked at the clock. Too early. Sleepy. It’s Sunday morning.

At 9.30am I looked at the clock … sigh … I’d better get up and do my run.  Of course it was already waaaay too late by then.  Sydney was heating up – it would eventually reach 28C with 60% humidity.

On with the shoes, a gulped breakfast, Garmin set and out the door.  I ran in the shade to start with, along city streets, before thinking to myself: wouldn’t it be cool to run across the Harbour Bridge?

I saw steps up – I ran up them. Mostly.  My legs were jelly by the time I got to the top.  I was in (or near?) The Rocks but I still couldn’t see the bridge. I knew I was close though. The tall buildings were behind me now so there was no shade. So I ran on with the sun baking down passing cafes full of people chugging lattes.

I spied signs to the bridge!  More steps, one wrong turn and then I was on it.  Distance so far: 4km.  Exhaustion: complete.  I ran to the first pillar, sweat and sunscreen stinging my eyes and the asphalt of the sun-baked bridge cooking my legs.  At the first pillar I had to turn back and walk but noticed I was now facing downhill – joy!

Deciding my legs were ok after all, I jogged back off the bridge, down the steps and onto the road.  Next destination: Opera House.

I struggled to find my way out of The Rocks.  I ran past a market – all incense, beads and bags. I ran past more cafes and could smell pancakes.  Torture.  Down another flight of steps then I finally onto the Overseas Passenger Terminal.  It was now perhaps 10.30am and the place was getting crowded with tourists.

It was all harsh concrete and a maze of tourists, cameras, children, prams and other runners as I dodged my way around Circular Quay to a welcome stretch of shade.  It was short lived – maybe 250m before I was back out in the screaming sun by the steps to the Opera House.

Unbelievably there were more steps in my path! It was a temporary bridge over construction work – then no shade, meandering tourists, baking heat, still no shade and a thick hot breeze from the harbor. I ran along the path between the water of the harbor and the grass of the Gardens.

I had now done about 7km and had planned to run right around Mrs Macquarie’s Chair but I was too hot and too thirsty and too exhausted.

I walked a shortcut through the park to the road then walked some more:  maybe as long as 5 minutes before I had the strength to run again.  I got another short break at a crossing before heading through the cool shade of the avenue in Hyde Park.  Finally, desperate, I ran an as-the-crow-flies, jay-walking straight line back the hotel.

Distance: 9km. Time: 1hr. Lesson: learned.

Posted in Australia, Travel

Australia trip – summary part 2

Next on our Australian adventure I flew to Sydney (Qantas again) to meet my husband. We stayed in World Square at an extremely overpriced Ibis (my review here).

We went with friends on the ferry to Watson’s Bay and ate Fish and Chips, we walked under the Harbour Bridge and around Circular Quay, and we had dinner at Darling Harbour and were treated to a random fireworks display. I went for another 10km run and nearly collapsed with heat exhaustion (I plan to write about this soon!).

Big coathanger from Circular Quay
Big coathanger – from Circular Quay
View of city from Watson's Bay.
View of city from Watson’s Bay.
Harbour Bridge up close.
Harbour Bridge up close.

After a lovely long weekend we hired a car (a snazzy Audi A3) and drove to Ulladulla – our favourite holiday spot when we lived in this area.

Things are a long way apart here!
Things can be a long way away here!

We stayed at Beach Haven Holiday Park (my review here) and walked on the beach a lot.  We also played mini golf at our usual course and my husband won (only because he cheated).

Ulladulla beach.
Ulladulla beach.

I ran more but not too fast.

After a couple of nights in Ulladulla we drove to Canberra – not my favourite place ever (long story). But it was nice to catch up with family.  You know I only took two photos there… opps.  Here’s one of them…

Yes Canberra's there somewhere... view from Mt Stromlo Observatory.
Yes Canberra’s there somewhere… view from Mt Stromlo Observatory.

Our the last leg of our Australia adventure was back in Melbourne…. more on that next time!