Visit to Oz, run 6. Believe me, this is a good one! If ever you need proof that the C25K programme works, this is it. Get ready to rush out and tell all your friends that you're doing something unbelievable.
OK - so if you've been following my antics as I visit my son and his partner in Adelaide(if not, go to the bottom of the class - but not until you've read the rest of this post), you will have heard some tales of derring do and a few of derring don't. After my last run, I said that son's partner Emily had decided we were going to do Mount Lofty. 727 metres high, with an estimated time for me of about three hours up and down. No idea how far the route was - I was realy focussing on the height, and how many stops I would have on the way.
However, before we left, there was the little matter of today being ANZAC Day - the equivalent of our Remembrance Sunday. The dawn service started at 06:15, which meant a 5am start. OUCH! (we're flying to Sydney at 6am on Friday, so it was good practice). mmcinteractive.com/oz/13.jpg
Two services and a coffee later, we headed to Mount Lofty. Absolutely amazing - even that early in the morning, every parking place was taken. Just as I imagine the Lake District on a public holiday. Fortunately, we were being dropped off.
The plan always for a steady run to the summit, take in the view and regain our breath for a few minutes then run back down. Emily does this run at least a couple of times a week and knew what to expect. I didn't. I started the Nike+ thingy running and off we went. The ascent was obviously uphill and some bits really were UP HILL with a vengance. However, to my surprise, I coped remarkably well. All that running must have helped, even though we were only walking, albeit at quite a brisk pace. In fact, I'm rather proud to say that because the track was so busy, we had to continually excuse ourselves to get past the others making the climb.
So, how many times did I have to to for a breather? NONE! How many times did I have to ask Em to slow down a bit? NONE! You know what? I made it all the way to the top with no real difficulty. And if you saw the route, you'd be as surprised as me. mmcinteractive.com/oz/10.jpg
We checked our time at the top - just over 44 minutes. That compared to the two hours that we has expected. Was I pleased? WAS I PLEASED! Apparantly, first timers rarely get up in one go, and the time was good for regulars on the route (well, for most, who are like myself). Still no idea of distance because I didn't check, but hey, this felt soooo good.
Time to head back down and now, with the wind in my sail so to speak, I could let Emily see what I was made of. Especially if I lost control and went off the track - my innards would have been simply everywhere. That didn't happen, we shot past the others on the path - with the exception of one guy who flew down the hill like a man possessed. It was, of course, downhill all the way with the exception of a few rises near the bottom. But surprisingly, I got tired and had to give in and walk for the last bit.
Obviously this made me diasppoined, but Emily insisted that it was fine and that she had been so amazed at how well I had coped. The downhill time was pretty good too - about 24 mins. However, the big surprise was still to come.
This is the bit where you go "GOSH - DID YOU REALLY DO THAT?" That was certainly my reaction when I checked the distance. Would you believe Mount Lofty was 5.7 miles for the return journey? That's almost 3 miles up and 3 more down. That 3 miles up was steep! I simply couldn't believe I had done the equivalent of a 10k run up the side of a mountain.
Here's me, the boring fat old bloke who struggles to cope with even minor hills. And just look at what I did this morning.
When I started the C25K programme, I WAS the boring, old, fat bloke. I stuck with the programme, and graduated with a certain amount of pride and self satisfaction. Yet, if you had asked me yesterday if I could even get to the top of Lofty, I would have doubted it. Today, I'm on top of the world!
If you EVER doubt your capability, or the programme, take another read of this post. You will hear lots of colleagues on the foum saying that if they can do it, so can you. Believe me, in my case that is absolutely the case. The boring old fat guy that lost weight, got fit and ran up and down a bloody mountain. And all thanks to Laura, the programme and the encouragement I found in this community. Thanks to all and I hope I can help some others on their own route to the top!