Saturday, December 13, 2008

Handed My Pride

Sarah handed me my pride on a platter today. We only ran for an hour but I swear it was all uphill! I'll put it down to having dead legs, and I think it's a reasonable excuse in the circumstances.

After Sunday's crazy 10km fun run I rested then got through RPM and Balance on Tuesday. On Wednesday I was back on my feet again and, despite feeling a little tight still, decided I was going to attempt the Kelburn loop. This is a roughly half-hour run, featuring a long, gradual to moderate climb on the road alongside the Botanical Gardens. Once at the top there is a kilometre or two of flat road across the viaduct and through the Kelburn shops, and then it is back down through the Botanical Gardens on tarmac path and, providing I take the right turnoff, a short, winding gravel stretch. Then it's back onto tarmac for a short, flat sprint, then down through the steep path leading through the cemetary and across the motorway, before sprinting along a flat path alongside the motorway and back to the gym. It's an excellent short, sharp run and because I know how long it should take me I can race the clock.

I wasn't planning on racing on Wednesday and made myself leave the Garmin at the gym. In the end I wished I had taken it with me as the climb up to Kelburn felt remarkably easy and I fairly sprinted through the shops and into the gardens. By the time I was back at the gym I was pleasantly surprised by the seemingly rapid return of my run fitness.

I wasn't feeling quite so smug on Thursday as all those running-specific muscles in my quads and calves reminded me that they haven't had much use over the last couple of months! I had a session with Dave booked for 5.00pm and I was a little nervous about how I would cope. In the end I need not have worried. We headed up to the playing fields in the Gardens where we did a series of running and ladder drills, then Dave put a harness around my shoulders and made me run while he pulled me backwards. I think that was what left me with sore shoulders, armpits and abs the next day.

We then upped the anti with a series of three sprint intervals, which I managed in 39 seconds, 40 seconds and 39 seconds. At least I proved I was consistent! I certainly gave my all and was left heaving for breath at the end of each. I guess I wanted to prove myself capable to my new trainer, stupid pride and all.

We finished up with some more drills and stretches then I headed off back to the gym and hobbled home. My bruised left toes were no longer my friends and as the night went on I stiffened up. By Friday morning my hips and upper quads were screaming in a way that spoke of my commitment to the prior day's intervals. I hobbled around the office all day and felt increasingly worried about running with Sarah the next morning.

Which is how I came to have my pride handed to me on Tinakori Hill! Sarah, fresh from the Korokoro run, took me up Grant Rd and then into the town belt at Wadestown. Me, with my legs screaming, found it hard to make it even up Grant Rd. Something almost separate from me almost wanted to give up.

The almost vertical street that took us to the entrance to the town belt didn't help either. It was difficult enough to walk up! After entering the park, however, things did at least level off a bit. Although in Sarah's mind it was all downhill from there, whereas the path in fact climbed steadily for a good couple of kilometres. All thoughts of proper form were wiped from my mind as I simply concentrated on forward momentum.

At least I managed to take the lead once we were on the downhill. Sarah is stronger at hill climbing than me at the best of times and, given how little running I've been doing and how dead my legs were, she could have really rubbed my nose in it had she been so inclined. As it was she had to stop and wait for me on several occasions.

We picked the pace up a bit once back on Grant Rd and managed to make it back to the gym in one hour, one minute and one second. I realised that I actually wasn't feeling as bad as I'd imagined and that I could have kept running.

We had just enough time to collect our thoughts and then it was straight into Clare's Balance class. My body wasn't feeling very cooperative, but I made it through and the twist, hamstring and rest tracks were absolutely heavenly.

So there it is, my week of unexpected pain! Goodness knows how I'm going to cope riding the Makara loop tomorrow. It's going to be interesting. Right now I hurt. A lot! And some of it's my pride ...


Sass said...

I AM SO SORRY!! Honestly, I had forgotten about all that other uphill and considering I was so called "fresh", I did not mind stopping to wait for you in the slightest;p Has it put you off ever doing another Sarah Adventure Run? Believe me, you don't know fun till you follow the Northern walkway back the other way;p Kaukau anyone?

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