I hope Saturday’s walk turns out to be one of our harder training walks! I went with one of the other team members who had done a couple of kilometres before I joined him. He set a cracking pace and didn’t slow down for hills! Realising I would never make the distance if I killed myself on the hills I waved him good-bye with a call that I’d meet him at the top when we got to the second incline.
Until now our team strategy has been to stay together, but we hadn’t done any serious hills. Tackling these ones – with a total elevation gain of 1,345m (that’s more than our older kids did when they summited Ngauruhoe!!) – showed us the need to allow for individual differences within the context of working as a team.
We also learnt about fueling our bodies better. A sandwich and banana are fine if you are doing 30km street walking, but when you hit uneven trails with hills and want to cover a good distance we discovered we need to eat more and sooner. We were also rationing out our water, thinking it needed to last all day, but a guy we stopped to chat to told us of a potable supply further along our route so we increased our intake and felt better for it.
We covered quite a range of terrain – roads, stony trails, dirt tracks with protruding tree roots, grassy fields, sand dunes, stream crossings, gravel.
And the weather ranged from very pleasant at 6:30am to increasingly warm to positively hot to scorching when the sun broke through the cloud cover to intermittent drops of welcome drizzle to constant unrelenting drizzle.
It’s amazing to think you can be quite the intrepid traveller even in our own backyard – with a little poetic license we were fording streams and crossing deserts and trudging through tropical rainforest. We passed groups picnicking by the lake, a Dad towing his kids in a boat up a river and cars full of young people and topped with surfboards. We sure have a great place to train.
I found the walk to be physically demanding, but was most encouraged that nothing *hurt* – the legs weren’t sore at all, but just needed coaxing up hills when they lacked energy. True triumph was the following morning when I felt fine……even a month ago I found myself hobbling after a long walk. It’s encouraging to experience the improvement.
(the one spot of mud – not at all indicative of the general state of the trail when we took the photo!! However, after three hours of constant drizzle, the paths were slippery underfoot)
Last week’s training
Saturday 39km – HARD!!