Peter Stephenson

My Activity Tracking

182.3 km

42 km

Day 28 - Lillydale Lake parkrun

I'm not sure what happened today.  Running was awful - felt out of breath straight away and had to take 4 walk breaks.  The conditions were good - sunny with a little breeze, so no excuse there.  Maybe it's just tiredness after the biggest month of running since well before surgery.  All I know is I can do much better than this.  I came 8th in the Age Group, unusually low, but I can guarantee I'm the oldest in the age group today as I move up to a new group tomorrow.

Run 5 km in 31:13
Walk 3.8 km to start/finish
Total 8.8 km
Monthly total 155.5 km

Day 27 - Heathmont to Bayswater

A beautiful morning.  The relatively slow pace of the run is due to my taking a wrong turn, as this part of the Ringwood-Belgrave Rail Trail is poorly signposted.

I've now run 2 marathons, and including walking, have completed 3 marathons.  The plan for the final 4 days is Parkrun, day off, last leg of Warburton Trail and final day long walk / run respectively.

Run 3 km in 20:08
Walk 1.4 km to start/finish
Total 4.4 km
Monthly total 146.7 km

Day 26 - Ringwood to Heathmont

Geography wasn't my strong point today, as I failed to locate the rail trail and ended up running on the roads.  Mild and cloudy but the running didn't feel smooth.  You get days like that.

Thanks to Laura and James Campion for your donation - that increases the final day walk / run to 10.2 km and pushes the start point back to Oban Road in Ringwood (finishing in Lilydale).

Run 2.4 km in 12:39
Walk 1.4 km to start / finish
Total 3.8 km
Monthly total 142.3 km

Day 24 - Yarra Junction to Millgrove

Alternately sunny and windy, with the Warby Trail now closely following the highway.  Decided to press on at Wesburn as no brekky options evident, so Millgrove was today's end point.  I probably should have continued to Warburton as I could have run there in about another 20 minutes, but I'll save that pleasure for later in the week.

Run 5.2 km in 29:25
Walk 1.4 km to start / finish
Total 6.6 km
Monthly total 138.5 km

Day 23 - Nunawading to Blackburn

Finally some downhill for a change.  A straightforward run and, including walking, I've now done 3 marathons this month.  
The final day walk/run is up to 5.6 km from Croydon North to Lilydale.  Any further donations will push the start point farther towards Melbourne.

Run 2.4 km in 12:00
Walk 1.4 km to start/finish
Total 3.8 km
Monthly total 131.9km

Day 21 - Parkrun and Dandenongs

Ran my local Parkrun at Lillydale Lake in 29:02.  Took 2 1-minute walk breaks as an experiment to see if I could do a post-surgery PB, but the warm weather put paid to that.

Made the mistake of telling my better half that I had a free Saturday (rare).  I should have known she'd take the opportunity to drag me up and down the trails in the Dandenongs, so lots of walking was done to add to the daily total.

Run 5 km in 29:02
Walk 15.2 km to start/finish, then up a bloody great big hill and back down again.

Day 20 - Mitcham to Nunawaqding

Murphy's Law states that the day you forget to take your water is the 29-degree day.  The route was as exciting as it sounds, with what looked like a shot tower in a wasteland being the only sight to break the monotony.

The runs are getting shorter as the stations get closer together - maybe I'll start doing doubles next week to stretch the legs.

Another donation has pushed the last-day walk up to 5.6 km, starting at Croydon North.

Run 1.8 km in 9:10
Walk 1.4 km to start/finish
Total 3.2 km
Monthly total 107.9 km

Day 19 - Heatherdale to Mitcham

The run was short but almost entirely uphill, Mitcham being the highest point on the Lilydale line.  I can't really run hills any more due to medication, so I probably should have run this leg the other way....

However, then i would have to miss my favourite coffee shop on this line - Collectors at Mitcham.  Treated myself to a ham and cheese croissant.  Don't tell my cardiologist - he reckons it's that sort of food that got me into this mess in the first place.

Meanwhile, recent donations mean I'll be walking / running from Chirnside Park to Lilydale on the last day - thanks.  To "push me back" to start in Melbourne will take another $795 in donations.  

Day 18 - Woori Yallock to Yarra Junction

Cold, misty and sunny.  My fingers were frozen but the scenery was gorgeous as I headed to Launching Place.  Just before LP was a sign to a bakery, but I ignored it as I hadn't finished the stage.  Then when I got to LP there were no facilities....

So I decided to press on to Yarra Junction, which luckily was only another 2 km.  This meant I set a new personal record for my longest run since surgery, but I feel fresh as a daisy.  My reward was coffee and a huge cookie in a cafe whose decor and crockery were probably designed by your Nan.

Run 8.5 km in 47:10
Walk 2.3 km to start/finish
Total 10.8 km
Monthly total 101.2 km

Day 17 - Ringwood to Heatherdale

Today's run was short and prosaic, but not featureless - there were a few hills to keep things interesting. I was going to skip Heatherdale and carry on to Mitcham, but I did find a place for coffee in Heatherdale (I'm using the runs as an excuse to try new coffee shops).

The legs will certainly be fresh for tomorrow's run from Woori Yallock to Launching Place.

Run 1.6 km in 9:38
Walk 1.4 km to start / finish
Total 3 km
Monthly total 90.4 km

Day 16 - Seville to Woori Yallock

Day 15 was a rest day.
Day 16 - the weather at Seville was cloudy, windless, cool - perfect for my longest run since surgery.  By Killara there were spots of rain, but no point stopping here as it's too far away from the main road - quicker to run on to the next stop.
Just before Woori Yallock the heavens opened and I got thoroughly drenched, to the concern of the two cyclists who had stopped to take shelter.  It was freezing cold by now - the hot shower when I got home was blissful.

Run 7.3 km in 39:46
Walk 3.6 km to start/finish
Total 10.9 km
Monthly total 87.4 km

Day 14 - Lillydale Lake Parkrun

A blustery day but I paced the run quite well.  Oddly still ran 7 seconds slower than when I took walk breaks a few weeks ago.

My theory is that:
- the walk breaks refresh your legs so you can attack the running part and go quicker
- because the running section is only 7 minutes you know the pain will be over soon, so you run harder

Next week I might try 1 walk / 7 run again to see if i can go quicker.

Run 5 km in 28:49
Walk 3.8 km to start / finish
Total 8.8 km
Monthly total 76.5 km

Day 13 - Ringwood East to Ringwood

Cloudy and cool.  An easy run which surprisingly left me lightheaded and disoriented.  En route, Bob Marley was blaring across the grounds of Ringwood Secondary College.  
Meanwhile my run total has gone up to 42.6 km, so I've run a marathon in 13 days - slightly longer than my PB of 2 hours 58.

Run 2.3 km in 11:53
Walk 1.4 km to start/finish
Total 3.7 km
Monthly total 67.7 km

Day 12 - Wandin to Seville

Murphy's Law: when it's sunny (yesterday) you can't run.  When you resume running (today), it's dull and rainy.  Also, instead of a proper vest, you decide today's the day to wear your Heart Foundation T-shirt, which soaks up all the rain and weighs a ton.

Apart from that it was lovely.

Run 3.4 km in 17:33
Walk 2.6 km to start/finish
Total 6 km
Monthly total 64 km

Day 11 - Walk to the shops (again)

My daughter is still at home so just the minimum again today - a gloriously sunny day.  Hopefully back on the running trail tomorrow.

Walk 2.7 km 

Monthly total 58 km

Day 10 - Walk to the shops!

The bare minimum today as I have a sick child at home.  

Walk 2.6 km
Monthly total 55.3 km

Day 9 - Croydon to Ringwood East

Day 8 was a rest day, my first one this month.
Day 9 was a run from one set of level crossing removal works to another.  It was also net uphill again, as the highest point on the Lilydale line is not reached until Mitcham.  At least some of today's short run was off-road, but even the mildest uphill is challenging these days - apparently, it's due to the medication but that's another story....

Run 3.6 km in 22:26
Walk 1.4 km to start/finish point
Total 5 km
Monthly total 52.7 km

Day 7 - Lillydale Lake Parkrun

Cool and cloudy.  I must be tired because today I ran non-stop, but almost a minute slower than when taking walk breaks a few weeks ago.  Maybe I need a rest day.
I've hit my distance target of 42.2 km, but only 33.3 km of that has been running so another 9 km or so will get me there.

Run 5 km in 29:34 
Walk 3.8 km (to start/finish point)
Total 8.8 km
Monthly total 47.7  km

Day 6 - Mount Evelyn to Wandin

Cool and sunny.  A nice gentle downhill gradient makes this the best pace I've managed this week, but I still felt like the approach to Wandin was hard work.  Still a long way from full fitness but it would be churlish to complain about a sunny Friday with some pleasant forest scenery.

Run 5.4 km in 28:38
Walk 2.1 km to start/finish points
Total 7.5 km
Monthly total 38.9 km

Day 5 - Mooroolbark to Croydon

A cool 15 degrees and mostly flat, but as usual, the slightest uphill almost stops me in my tracks.  There's a reason the doctor told me to avoid hills, but it's almost impossible round here.  Left knee is complaining and only 5 days in the body feels tired, but stubbornness will see me through as usual.

Run 3.7 km in 21:33
Walk 1.4 km to start/finish
Total 5.1 km
Monthly total 31.4 km

Day 4 - Lilydale to Mount Evelyn

Chilly but no rain.  Ran the first section of the Warburton Trail.  It's the longest, and hardest, as it's all gently uphill (apart from a section at the back of Mount Lilydale Mercy College, which is a nasty uphill).  By far the longest I've run since surgery - need an easy day tomorrow!  

Run 6.9 km in 44:26
Walk to start/finish 0.8 km
Daily total 7.7 km
Monthly total 26.3 km

Day 3 - Lilydale to Coldstream

Yesterday was hilly and sunny.  Today was flat and very wet.  Yarra Valley Trail is flat and rather monotonous but at least it's off-road.  Only came across 2 other people this morning and they were both runners - unsurprising given the weather.  I enjoyed the rain and the solitude.  Tomorrow the plan is to run the first section of the Warburton Trail to Mount Evelyn.

Today's run - 4.5km in 25:49
Walk to start/end - 1.9 km
Total 6.4 km
Monthly total 18.6 km

Day 2 - Lilydale to Mooroolbark

Run 5.3 km in 32:27
Walk 1.4 km in 13:00
Daily total 6.7 km
Monthly total 12.2 km

The first 10 minutes were excruciatingly slow - all uphill on Maroondah Highway up to Mooroolbark Road.  Then everything clicked and I was running smoothly to the end.  Nice sunny weather and the legs felt good. 

Exactly 13 months after surgery I hit my first target of running  30 minutes without walking.  I feel like I'm making the transition from post-surgery recovery back to being a runner.

I recovered straight away so plenty left in the tank.

Day 1 - Lillydale Lake

Ran 2.5km in 15:06, and walked 3km in 28:47.
Warm, cloudy, and windy.  Felt harder than I expected, but this is the farthest I've run non-stop in 18 months.
Tomorrow will be a challenge - Lilydale station to Mooroolbark station, which is a hilly 5km.

Support my challenge for Australian hearts

This October, I’ll be doing my personal best to raise funds to support The Heart Foundation.  

I’m going to conquer 42 km to raise funds for heart disease research that will help save lives.

Why?  Because after 40 years of running marathons I was diagnosed with heart disease, and underwent major coronary surgery last year.

I once ran 42km in under 3 hours.  These days it's more of a challenge - I'll spread it over a month, but the reality is that I'm just happy to be doing it at all.

Whatever else you do, listen to your body.  I did and it probably saved my life.

My Achievements

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First Donation Received

Halfway to $ Goal

Met $ goal

Logged First KM

Halfway to KM Goal

Reached KM Goal

MyMarathon T-shirt

Heart Hero

Thank you to my sponsors





Natasha Goss

Well done Peter, great cause and I am so impressed that you can run! I am not sure I would make it around my block! :)


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Just completing my own Heart Foundation 6 week walking challenge. This is amazing Peter!


Sabrina Zhu

Haha, it’s me


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Can't believe you're back running that much already Stephen, hugely impressive, hope you enjoy the challenge.


Dave Barber

Well done Pete. Great effort


Perrin Yazmin


Henry Ng

Good luck!


Laura & James Campion

Keep up the good work. We saw you crossing the lights at Woori Yallock.


Stuart Milne

Go get em tiger



Great effort Pete, keep it up!


Michelle T

What a great cause! Enjoy the runs!


Lorena Lou

Go Peter!


Ava & Mattena Stephenson

Hope you had a good first run. Ava & Mattena


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Grace T


Stephen Mcateer

Good on you Peter - hope you hit that goal!


Kathryn Boucher

Go Peter!


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Tony B

Inspiring effort Peter more power to you


Sketchley Family


Bekki Thompson

25 donation from Christine friend Bekki


Iona Annett


Simone Bohan


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Jo Marsh

Awesome effort Peter


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