This week saw the first week of extended hill climbs, and it was hard. If you recall, the previous week, I’d been doing hill repeats on a 1km hill climb, and I’d worked it up to running up and down it five times, before tackling the last hill climb (another 1km) on the way home.
This week I ran the whole thing each time – so each lap was a 2km climb (actually a bit over 2.5kms) and 2km descent. I did this three times, and then ran for home. Needless to say it was totally knackering!
Monday was a good hard run. I felt pretty good the whole run and put in a respectable time, finishing with an average pace of 5:54 min/km. It was under my target of 6 min/km so I was pretty happy with that.
Tuesday was a bit slower. I was definitely feeling some fatigue from the previous day. But I managed to get the laps done, even after considering turning and heading for home on the second lap because I was so knackered already. But I persisted and I’m glad I did, because while I was running towards home I was treated to the most spectacular sunset.
The sky turned purple, with a full moon bright white in the middle of it, above a calm harbour. It was truly beautiful. It lasted for around five minutes and then it was gone.
Wednesday and Thursday were non-running days due to other commitments. So that left Friday to make a statement and get a good hard run in. But things didn’t go according to plan. I missed out on eating during the day due to work pressures, and hit the road hungry. Not good.
I bonked really hard before I even got to the bottom of the hill. I had no strength, I was nauseous, I was sweating way more than I should be, and I just wanted to lie down and sleep. That wasn’t an option however so I pushed on, waiting for my body to switch to burring fat so I could feel my strength return.
The first lap up the hill was really slow. I ended up walking bits of it – and this was only the first lap! By the time I got to the top I was feeling like my legs had turned to jelly and there was no option but to turn for home. So I didn’t. I ran (and even walked) back down the hill to the start – furious at myself. The second lap was even slower, but at least I didn’t feel sick any more. I was determined to finish the third lap, even if I had to walk it, so I ran back down and gritted my teeth for the final climb.
It wasn’t any better. In the end I stumbled home around 10 minutes slower than I was on Tuesday. Oh well, you can’t have a good session every day.
The problem is however that this was a mostly wasted session. Because I wasn’t running fast and hard enough, my breathing – the thing I’m training, wasn’t affected at all. I was barely panting at the top of the last climb (because I walked a bunch of it).
Next week we do it all over again, but this time it will be five laps. Then I’ll get another week off to recuperate. After that things start to really ramp up in preparation for race day. But let’s get through the next week first.
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