Friday, February 22, 2013

Day 2/17 Climbing Mt Ainslie


Last night my legs were so sore and I was so tired that I went to bed before 9.00 pm. I slept pretty soundly but woke whenever I turned over because my legs hurt, especially my calves and just above my knees. Who would have thought that only ten minutes of really intense exercise would exhaust me so much? And this morning I was very stiff.

The plan was to walk up Mt Ainslie with my friend Caroline this morning. It was raining a bit, so it was yes then no then yes. We didn't mind rain but were worried about it being slippery. We left an hour later than expected but it stayed rain-free for us. I had driven up Mt Ainslie once, to the look-out, but never walked up; Caroline had done it many times. She is much fitter than me.

I didn't have a really good idea of what to expect, I was thinking lots of stairs (particularly as Caroline had suggested it as good training for my Verti-cool challenge). Actually there were very few. The first two thirds of the climb is very steep, the path going on a straight line up through bushland with just the occasional rocky step. Then the next bit zig-zags back and forth so it's not as steep, then finally about 50 stairs at the top to the look-out with really magnificent views of Canberra and the lake.

The first ten minutes or so were the worst. My legs were already stiff and sore, and Caroline walks faster than me although I'm sure she slowed down for me. I was panting and sweating and trying to keep up. Then my muscles loosened up a bit and it wasn't so hard, but still very steep. After 30 mins we sat down briefly, Caroline thought we were more than half-way but it still looked like a long way to go. She asked if I wanted to stop but I decided to keep going. But shortly after that I said I couldn't go any further. We were up to the gentler zig-zags but my body was just so tired. Caroline asked me to wait for her while she jogged to the top (jogged! I was dying from walking!) and I decided to keep walking and I wouldn't turn around until she got back to me. But by the time she got back I had covered more than half the remaining distance on my own and was determined to get to the top. She encouraged me that it wasn't too much further and we walked up together, lots of stairs mainly which was pretty painful!

We got to the very top after 41 mins and 40 seconds of climbing. Maybe that doesn't sound so much to you, but remember it was very steep nearly all the way. After a few minutes we started down again. It was generally much easier going down, but the steepest bits were very hard on the knees. It took about 30 mins to get to the bottom.

I am exhausted. My whole body aches. I can forsee another very early night. But we are doing it again next week! Great exercise.

It was really good chatting time too. Well, when I had enough breath to talk.

Day 2 of 17 Day Diet. Started the day with hot water and lemon, fruit and yoghurt. Chicken and vegetable stir fry for lunch. No sugar in my tea. Being very good.

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