Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hill session

Today was an absolute doozie. I had no idea that the area I was going to was basically all hills. But now that I have done it I am so glad. What a total rush.

I went with a dear friend Sharon, both of us not knowing anything about what we were about to do. The only basic information we had was that there were 2 loops. One was 4km in length and the other was 4.8km in length and there were some hills. But when I heard the word "hills", I had just imagined that they were going to be little baby mole hills. One's that a two year old could ride around on on their tricylce. Boy, was I wrong.

Sharon and I both decided to take Loop one to the right. Not for any reason - just because. So as we took off we were faced with our first hill almost instantly. Down went the gears and off came our backsides from the saddle. All I kept thinking was "I don't want to stop". The next thing that came to mind was "OUCH OUCH OUCH". But I kept on pedalling straight up that hill regardless and within minutes made it to the top. Thank God was all I could say and I hoped that was the worst of it. Ha! NOT

The remainder of loop one saw another big hill. Big because it never seemed to end. Just as I thought it was coming to an end I was faced with another incline and another. I couldn't drop my gears any lower and I was already up out of my saddle, so I started to zig zag my way up. This definately made it easier but I was not liking the burn on my calves and quads. Nevermind, had to make it to the top. I hate quitting so that was not an option.

Loop two, made loop one look like a piece of cake. Loop two had me facing a sign which clearly indicated a steep ascent ahead. Boy was I scared. I just had to grin and bear this hill. Out came the zig zagging method again, but this time it just took so long and it felt like I wasn't going anywhere. I decided not to look too far ahead and just try to focus on a couple of metres ahead of me. Looking to where I had to cycle to was too disheartening. Before I knew it I made it to the top. Yay for me and Sharon. We did it. But was this it? Not on your life. Time to do it all again.

Second time around was absolute murder. My legs felt like jelly from the first time around and I was expecting myself to get up those hills again. What was I thinking? Obviously I don't know my own strength and determination. The same rules applied second time around. Get up those mountains and don't get off the bike. DONE. The ramifications of an hours worth of hills could be seen when I got back to the car. My legs were bright red due to the increased circulation and I felt as though I was standing in a tub of jelly. My legs quivered everytime I took a step. What a great day.

A beautifully sunny day. I got to spend it with a good friend. and I did my first ever hill session. JOB DONE. I am one happy little vegemite.

Back in the swing.

It had been ages since I last got in the water and to tell you the truth - it felt so good. The weather was absolutely delicious yesterday. Sunny, warm, no breeze and not a cloud in the sky, what a glorious Autumn day. How could I not take full advantage of what life had to offer. Being in the water yesterday reinforced the idea of wanting to complete the Half Ironman in May next year.

I feel so at ease in the water. Nothing hurts apart from the usual strains that you feel when working your arms hard. My joints feel supported and as such I am able to give a little more. But yesterday was more like an introductory swim to get back into it again. My swim session went as follows:
  • 500m Freestyle warm up
  • 10 x 50m kick 5 x freestyle, 5 x backstroke
  • 5 x 100m Freestyle with paddles at 75%
  • 500m cool down breastroke

Using the paddles always hurts as it makes you focus on your stroke whilst making you pull more through the stroke. But despite the pain, I like the feeling as you glide through the water faster. And with that said - 2000m was completed. Only half of what I was doing a short time ago but still good enough. Now it's just a matter of increasing the distance and my stamina. I know this will happen, I have more than enough faith in my swimming ability.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage