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I started working my way back home from New Zealand yesterday morning. Due to the way my airline ticket was, I ended up having a roughly 30 hour layover in Sydney. So I was determined to take advantage of it. By time the day was over, I’d done all three legs of a triathlon – though in a somewhat convoluted order, and in a very non-standard distance. Here’s a look at my day.
Despite having run just the night before in Wellington, I was back at it again. And while my legs were a touch sore from scaling the mountain/hill/thing, I was ready to throw down in a fartlek run. A fartlek run is effectively free-form intervals. No specific set number of repeats or work/rest intervals, or specified intensities. Just a block of time where I’d go hard and easy mixing it up. My coach often schedules these towards the ends of longer trips where I may be getting more tired. This allows me to go as hard as I feel like (which, is sometimes perhaps a touch too hard).
I was staying in the Bondi area, so naturally, I started this from a boardwalk overlooking the beach.
This morning, that happened to include a bunch of surfing classes taking photos.
The run would last a touch over an hour, with the first 10 minutes of the run a bit of a warm-up. The path I was following on my route would take me south along the coastline, on what turned out to be a very non-flat route.
At the end of Bondi, I’d ascend up past and over one of the most iconic pools in the world. Home of the Bondi Icebergs. You can actually swim there without any issues as a visitor. But I saved that for another time.
As usual, all the photos taken during the swim/bike/run were taken on my small point and shoot camera – which is waterproof. The only exception to this post is the very first photo, which I went back out and took early this morning with a DSLR. While on any runarounds, all photos are taken ‘on the run’, I generally don’t stop – hence why some are slightly fuzzy.
Speaking of waterproof, it rained a bit on and off during my run. Prior to starting my run I was bummed it wasn’t sunny, but in retrospect, I was pretty happy for the cooler temps and lack of direct sun.
The route went up and down, and down and up, and every variation in between.
Here’s the elevation profile:
Along the way, I ran through a cemetery. I’m not quite sure where I took the wrong turn, as it seemed the path was going that way, and then boom – I see dead people places!
Thankfully, I quickly found my way back onto the normal running path.
Perhaps the coolest thing about many of the beaches in the Sydney area are the public pools filled with ocean water that are everywhere. I think I passed 4-5 of them on my roughly hour-long run. Both of the ones below are in addition to the Bondi one.
On my way back (I did an out and back), I passed a lawn bowling place. A bunch of older gentleman were just beginning their game.
Since this was effectively a DIY interval run, you’ll see my heart rate was up and down all over the map for the section that I was doing fartlek’s on.
Soon, I was working my way back across Bondi beach. I noticed this guy pushing around sand, and thought to myself: “There’s always that one kid who was the sand castle over-achiever. This is that kid.”
And finally, back at the start.
Post-run I walked across to a small grocery store and attempted to make sense of the chocolate milk section. So many options, so little actual chocolate milk.
Finally, I found it. Next to (logically), the strawberry milk. Woot!
Now to rest a couple hours before my next adventure begun.
Next up was a bike ride. The Magellan Fitness guys that are over Australia and New Zealand had reached out and asked if I’d like to go for a ride with them. Obviously, I wasn’t about to say no to riding into Kangaroo land.
They picked me up at the hotel and we drove about an hour north. From there they supplied me with a bike/helmet/shoes and we were soon off. I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one who rides with multiple GPS units.
It didn’t take long until we were out on fairly quiet roads.
Much of which was initially along the coastline, small bays and harbors.
From there we’d head up into some of the mountains.
Soon though, it was time to enter Kangaroo territory! I saw a couple of these signs, and obviously had to get a photo. Just aren’t signs like these in Paris. Though ironically enough, one of the guys I was riding with was named Paris.
As a side note, the bike I was riding was outfitted with little skull stickers. This should have served as a warning, as neither of my brakes were actually snapped tight (the little levers). No worries, despite their best efforts to dump me into the bush while descending, I survived without incident.
The bike I was outfitted with had a new Magellan Cyclo105 unit on it. This is sorta like the Edge 500, but with the Magellan Switch style interface. Everything worked well for me, though, I didn’t play with it too much on this ride.
Unfortunately I didn’t see any wildlife on the ride, but the scenery more than made up for it. Really nice out in the national park, just generally quiet roads and plenty of climbing.
More perfect scenery on a road where only a single car passed us for at least 30 minutes:
Here’s us, taking a brief cookie break. Or rather, a ‘turn on your brakes break’.
As we climbed one chunk of the route, there were actually markers till the summit. Apparently this is a popular Strava segment, and the markers correspond exactly to the segment start/end point.
After this, we worked our way back down into the town and towards the beach. I have enjoyed seeing the crosswalk signs here, with the two legs/feet.
Here we parked our bikes right next to the ocean-fed pool. Can’t really get a better parking spot than this.
The pool is fed and emptied continuously with fresh sea water. You can see the water coming in at the very far corner from a pipe (in addition to any waves).
Because I didn’t bring my goggles with me in my jersey pocket, my swim was limited to about two laps. But still, it counts! Plus, with swimming my least enjoyable triathlon sport, I was happy with this ratio.
Even better is that they have freshwater showers for a quick rinse afterwards. Perfect!
Here we are, post-swim, and post-ride. Ready to ride to dinner.
Thanks to the Magellan guys for the ride – I loved getting out there!
And with that, my flight is boarding off to Hong Kong, working my way home – so I’ve gotta run! I had a great time down in Australia and NZ, and look forward to returning.
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