Some of you will be painfully aware that I did a sprint triathlon last month, as I keep on banging on about it. Even with less training than my first outing last August, I still managed to knock 5 minutes off my time. However when I got the break down I realised that was gained mainly in the transitions. Basically, I can get dressed quicker than I used to. Still, I signed up two days later to do it again in August as an incentive to keep up the the exercise regime over the Summer months. Such was my enthusiasm that I packed my running shoes when we came away as I thought an early evening run may make the first vodka and tonic of the evening taste even better. 

I live on the South Lancashire plane, which, by definition is a plane i.e. flat. I start my morning up a hill knowing that I will have to come down it at the end. I commented in my blog the other night that it’s well hilly around here and I was a bit concerned about how I would cope, but undeterred the other night I set off down the ski slope driveway for a run. I use this fat burning app where a very perky American lady called Holly tells me when to run, when to sprint, when to walk etc. She also offers encouraging words of advice such as “you’re such a lovely person, you deserve to stay healthy”. Holly obviously doesn’t know some of the things I harbour in the deepest recesses of my mind, but thanks anyway; and please stop calling me “buddy”. 

I headed off in the opposite direction to the way we came to the villa, so I had no idea what was around the next corner. Well, let’s be honest, I had a pretty good idea. It’s a hilll. It will always be a hill around here. What I hadn’t anticipated was that it was a down hill. Great, you may think, but no. By the magic of turning around, this down hill would become an up hill, right at the end of my run. What’s worse, this hill just kept on going down…and down…and down. Eventually it went up…and up…and up. Within 10 minutes I was ignoring her run, sprint, walk instructions. I walked up the hills and ran down them.  

At one point, on a particularly downy bit, she piped up “now run at 100% for 30 seconds”. Now gravity was doing a fairly good job of propelling me in a downward direction and its mate inertia had joined the party, and whilst my total body mass was definitely accelerating, my legs were not moving quite as quickly as I would have liked. My head and body were definitely getting ahead of my legs and to avoid my head having a close encounter with the tarmac, I actually had to slow down, not speed up. All the time this was happening, I knew that when I came to do this in reverse, this would be a very, very up hill. 

Eventually she said “you are exactly half way through your workout” which was my cue to turn around and head back upon the hills. When she told me that I had finished and done “a great workout” I still couldn’t even see the villa, so I was definitely slower on the way back. As I crawled up the driveway, Nik and Tibu were sat in the sun on the terrace with the good news that we had no hot water for a shower. So I spent the rest of the evening sat in the corner occasionally being doused with deodorant to try and ease the stink I was emitting. 

As a footnote to this, it has taken approx. 3 days for my legs to recover. I didn’t even experience pain like that when I did my triathlon. I have new found respect for hill runners and as for the guys we keep seeing on their bikes around here, I have no idea how you do it. Now pass me my vodka and tonic. 

Tomorrow night: “We keep the ladies locked to stop the men going in…”

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