My goodness so much to tell.
Last week I did this:
9.5km of up hill down dale. Lucky Dale.
When we started the sun had barely started to rise. It was sitting just on the horizon casting the most stunning crimson hue as we, at the tale end of the pack, conquered the steps of death and came to a flat rock facing straight east out the Heads. That this bushland setting with incredible views is in the middle of our city never wears thin, even when your heart is bursting through your chest and your legs are mounting an impressive campaign of mutiny.
I did not know there were such steep sections. Or torturous sections of graduated steps heading ever upward. People say it’s such a pretty walk. It’s a hellacious run.
1 hour 18 minutes.
Hats off to R who ran it in 56 minutes. I’m not even sure that’s allowed. Most of the crew did it in just over an hour which is, you know, alarmingly impressive.
The hardest part were the two steep rises after the massive one at North Harbour headland. For me a telling psychological impass for the sole reason that my brain was mighty cranky that we’d mastered those god-forsaked steep irregular sandstone steps and now you’re telling me to do it again? Even if it is for a quarter of the distance of the first round?
The 20 or so stairs up to Spit Bridge from the harbour below almost killed me.
Our trainer (now in the States for the CrossFit Games – GO CHRISTIAN AND TEAM!) stuck with me the entire time – WALKING as he was heading to the US the following day. I would have been offended were I not so exhausted. We had a fantastic chat as I ran and he walked along behind me (what a farewell vision for him) about my dodgy thyroid and chronic stress blah blah blah.
The upshot of it all was this flogging myself uber-aerobic is probably the worst sort of exercise I could be doing – putting my already stressed and highly toxic body under even more stress. The ironic flipside of this is just how good it makes me feel in a comprehensive manner. There’s no way I’m stopping but it has opened my mind to the reality exercise can take many forms and that’s something I’ll explore once Tough Mudder is done.
So fast forward to this week. Three eight minute circuits. I got through the burpees, ring rows, wall balls session (I think there were 45 burpees all up? MAYBE 55? RIDICULOUS whatever the total.) but came totally undone on the kettle bells, 400m runs circuit. During warm up with the kettle bells I commented my back was a bit niggly and then, first session with them I knew I was in trouble. My first 400m run had my lower back feeling like it was slow setting cement. It was difficult to get my feet off the ground (Cliff Young shuffle anyone?) and I could feel the panic and hot tears of ‘oh no’ welling.
Coach of Awesome Pete (he took us for the soft sand running session weeks ago and I just like how he does it) got me through some really deep stretches and I actually pushed out another run (a bit disappointed because I think I would have got at least 4 maybe 5 runs in that workout) and then did the final session of rows, walking lunges and bear crawls.
Of course I’m now paying the price. My back is busted, I’m popping anti-inflammatories at stomach-ulcer inducing levels and am, once again, intimate with heat packs. I need one of those stretch bands to get into the deep stretches Pete showed me but have a kids birthday party to get through today. I prepped most of the food last night and am about to get my parental tones on to get the boys cleaning and stacking lego away.