Bring it on.
Good hustle ;)
Today we were out on a team training walk, 30km in total from CP6 to CP9 on the map (Lower Beeding to Lewes basically).
We started at one of my personal HELLs on the course, which is in Lower Beeding and on a hill that I swear is vertical. As we rounded the corner the hill lulled Simon into that false sense of security (Oh I'm not that bad see...) so we got a few "oh cmon girls, this hill isn't THAT bad" (which is what I made sure to repeat to him as I overtook him halfway up the hill and he'd had to sit down on the corner of the path). But the hill is sneaky you see. What it's actually covering up with that gentle start is A BLOODY CLIFF FACE. Ok, maybe I'm being melodramatic (I'm not) but that hill is HUGE. On the elevation map it's the equivalent of 0-60 in about .5seconds. Ok fine. Maybe 1s. But it's steep people. I actually have footage to prove it (there were also some very rude comments made about my camera *sniffs*).
It's the sort of hill that you get half way up and decide that this is a definitive moment in your life. Will this HILL BREAK ME?! NEVVAAAAAA. YOU CAN TAKE OUR FREEDOM BUT YOU CAN NEVER TAKE OUR SPIRIT DEATH HILL!! *thumps chest*
Apparently my motivational comments during the "death hill" struggle aren't going down too well....after a sustained period of "come on guys, I believe in you, you can do it!!" I could hear muttering behind me about....well, I shan't report it. But I'll do my inside voice next time!
So, sweating, panting and crying with relief we finally reached the top of the hill. You always get that moment when you reach the top of a really big hill and look over the scenery only to spot the hills that are to come....oops!
After death hill it's pretty much up a hill down a hill up a hill down a......BANG. Bloody hills. We saw loads of people out on the paths and roads, most said hello as we passed them which is really lovely. I've no idea what we looked like, soaked to the skin in sweat, red as tomatoes and burnt around the edges.
The sun was out in full support of the team, I'm currently sporting the ice-pack on my shoulder to prove it! (yes people, wearing something that covers your shoulders is a GOOD IDEA). I did however pack a hat, so I avoided sun-stroke. Not by much though, I feel a bit like my brain is ready to go on some french toast....!
Tasha did an AMAZING JOB! She hit the 20k fatigue wall and almost stopped, but something happened and she pushed. She pushed through that barrier we create that keeps us in our safe little parameters and she kept on going. Watch out, she's on the loose now people!
Amber rocked the whole journey, aside from a few incidents with rocks on the path and one incident with a rather large BOULDER.
Simon's first 30k was strong! He slipped on a hill and felt the knees go, but I told him, if he'd done leg day people it wouldn't have been that bad. LEG DAY SAVES LIVES PEOPLE. Keep at it ;)
The first 10k everyone was pretty chipper. The second 10k people started crying. The third 10k everyone had gone numb and it went pretty fast. I like that numb feeling. Eventually you get the sensation of floating away from your body and it's like you're high (what, just me? *ahem*).
Facing that final 10k in a training walk is always the hardest bit. It always happens - whether you're going from 10k to 20, from 20 to 30 or from 40-100k it's facing up to the fact that you're pushing yourself that little bit harder. So what do I do? I take a deep breath and I let go of my pain. I figure that pain is a purely psychological sensation - yes, it has a physiological cause but the acceptance or rejection of pain is in the mind. We've all had those dreams where we've felt pain and woken up to find nothing has changed with us - like cutting your finger in a dream. You can FEEL it, clear as if you'd just sliced it open - but you haven't. It's a remembered phantom pain. So if the mind can cause pain, why can't it take it away?
It can! But you have to be ready to let go of it. How many times have you clung to the fact that you're hurting when you've been training? It gives us a sense of reality, that martyr sense that says the more pain we're in the better we're doing - right? But you don't need to hold it to you.
Accept the pain, if there's something seriously wrong - stop, if it's just fatigue....you can conquer your mind. For me, that is what fitness is. The acceptance and mastery of both my mind AND my body.
Death hill. We're going to meet again. I've walked you with a broken toe and several torn and broken ligaments. I'll be walking you again Death Hill. You'll be MINE.