And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems.
Running up that hill, or as it is known by me and my mate Amanda, that f**king hill. I was owed a training session so we decided to stick that session in today, my 35th Birthday. I got to the session in a really positive frame of mind.
We walked up that f**king hill and I had a funny feeling what was coming. Hill Sprints. Bloody, bastard hill sprints. These have been my stumbling block for a while. There is always something you have a mental block on. In the past it’s been burpees or step ups with a medicine ball, powerbags etc but this time it has been hill sprints.
Now let me point out this hill is pretty steep, this ain’t your average hill. I don’t know what gradient but it is steep. The path is uneven, it can be muddy at times. Standing at the bottom is very daunting, You trudge the first few metres and then you look up at how far you have to go & just think “christ, I can’t do this” Now the last time I did “hill sprints” was epically challenging. I certainly couldn’t sprint them, I stopped quite a few times, I cried and I almost bottled it. I eventually did them but it was the slowest walk ever, at one point i debated crawling on my hands and knees. (see https://andthatsjustthewarmup.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/negative-nora-comes-out-to-play/ )
So I was apprehensive to say the least. So the first two ascents were very sedate, a gentle walk (I still felt out of breath!) but nothing too bad, did some squats, lunges & walking single leg deadlifts at the top. All good. But the 3rd time “when we get to the concrete water trough, I want you to run”. Now this concrete trough is only a few metres from the top. But omg, it hurt. My lungs were burning, my thighs were horrifically painful but “its ok he only makes me do 3” I thought, WRONG!!! “Let’s go again” he said. So back down we went and back up, this time jogging from about half way up. Now if I thought my lungs were burning last time, then I was mistaken because oh my god I honestly thought they would explode this 2nd time, my heart felt like it was going to burst. “it’s ok that will be it” WRONG!!! “let’s go a 5th time” he said, “are you kidding me?” I said. No he wasn’t. This time he wanted me to run the whole way (when I say run, I mean the slowest jog ever, team GB will not be needing me any time soon!) Now i didn’t manage to run the whole way but the fact I attempted and finished it was a big thing. But oh my god I really thought I was going to keel over. I have never felt such burning in my lungs.
It wasn’t perfect. I still keep saying “I can’t” (note to self I must work on that!) But it was a million miles from my last attempt.
I’m glad I’ve done it but that was really bloody hard. I had to push, I mean really push past the pain in my lungs and legs, I had to consciously make that decision to do that, to reason in my head that yes it would hurt, a lot but the pain is temporary and the positives outweigh it. That is something I have struggled with in the last year or so. It is the hardest part of training, to push yourself through something you know will hurt when every cell in your body is screaming “no, don’t do it, go home”. I had forgotten what it felt like to do that, the euphoria you get from achieving something you thought you couldn’t and also being so sweaty your hair is literally dripping. I’ve not done that in ages and my god it was hard but it felt so good. It is the thing I’ve been missing, I didn’t even realise till tonight, how much I have been holding back.
But yes everything aches now and I fear getting out of bed in the morning maybe interesting. but for now I am well chuffed.