Peaks and valleys

19 Aug

Yesterday it was up Grefsenkollen again. I’d been avoiding that cruel bitch goddess of a hill lately. Runkeeper has been showing significant downward progress in per km time on my Gamle Maridalsveien route. But progress on Grefsenkollen remains elusive.

My legs were already smarting from a hard spinning class at the gym. I need to learn to take it easy so I don’t hurt the next day. But when the instructor comes around midway and asks everyone “Hanger du med/Are you hanging with”, my silly pride always responds “No problem”.

When I told my physiotherapist neighbour I was thinking of dropping the spinning, she insisted I continue. You can evidently grow yourself a richer network of capillaries with interval training. Like spinning. And more capillaries mean better oxygen transport and better results even in endurance races.

So, with smarting legs I climbed. And just to make things really rough, I went all the way up the hill instead of taking part of it via the stairs. It hurt, and I was building capillaries. The trick I’ve found is to just focus on the next ten meters. Looking at the horizon is too depressing.

Then it happened. I saw the stick lying there at the last second. But I put my tired leg down anyway and said “I’ll roll over it”. Roll I did. With my whole body. Smacked my elbow and knee. The positive thing, I guess, was that the force of the impact proved I was climbing fast.

I decided to hate some evil dog for leaving it there because that was more satisfying than blaming the wind.

After lots of painful writhing I finally scraped myself up off the asphalt and checked my pace. Even with the pause for suffering I was over 13km/hour. That was some solace as I hauled myself the last 200 meters to the top.

Considering that I’d done all the damage I’d do for the day, a bloody elbow and banged-up knee, I took the whole hill back down instead of taking the stairs part way. Hit a peak speed of 35km/hour without it becoming a new experiment in personal dermabrasion.

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