Tuesday, September 3 – Day One of OMG!Mountain!
So, if you don’t know anything about Montreal, here’s a tip. It’s built on a mountain. Mount Royal. Montréal. That’s French for Mount Royal. Now, I’m pretty lucky in that I don’t have to walk up any steep parts to get to work, but there are streets in this city that make me want to cry. (Whenever I had to visit Monkey in her last apartment in this city? Yeah. Painful. She moved to another Province and I find I get the urge to visit her more often just because THERE IS NO MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB. Bonus, I get to take a TRAIN!)
This week one of my besties was back at work from her summer leave and she suggested that we go out running at lunch. Only she jumped on this running thing a lot quicker than I did when I started because she was home and would do it after dropping her kids off at school. I was (still am, sometimes) very uncertain about going out with her because I am slow. Very slow. And I don’t have a lot of endurance and I don’t like feeling stupid as I stagger behind and have to stop and catch my breath every 3 seconds. But I brought in my running stuff on the first day of work this week with the intention of going out on our lunch break. We weren’t sure what to do so I suggested a route. It meant walking uphill for a while but we’d come back eventually and it would be about 3km.
Turned out, once I managed to make it to one intersection up on Parc I was ready to just fall to the ground and tell everyone to think of me fondly and go on without me. Ugh. But then there was a PATH. “Ooooh! Where does THAT go?!” I like paths that look like secrets. So we took it. Turns out it brings you up some mega-steep parts of the mountain and then you find a road and that evens out and you just walk, stagger, stop, lie down, curl up and cry. Or, you try to run, hurt too much, keep limping along, all the while apologizing to your friend Mo for being so out of shape and sore and slow and whale-like.
But in the end, you get back to the office, covered in sweat and limping slightly and you realize you’ve done over 5km on a mountain and even though there wasn’t as much running as you would have liked… running DOWNhill is pretty fun and you surpassed your distance record without even thinking about it!
And you survived! (questionably)
Wednesday, September 4 – Day Two of OMG!Mountain!
I was completely shocked when I woke up the next morning and nothing hurt. I was certain pain would cripple me as I tried to stand up. Nope. I felt great! Huh.
On my morning bus ride into town I realized I forgot to pack my shirt with my running gear, so I had to make a stop on my way to the office (thankfully one store is open before 9am on my route AND it has fitness clothes.) Hence the fancy purple tank top in the photo above.
So we went out again that lunch hour. It went a lot better (for me) than the day before, although I still had to stop multiple times as we walked UP the mountain. Not as long as the day before, but I had two sharp pains – one in my right Achilles and one on the left side of my lower-back/glute area. It made for difficult movement.
But this time? This time I ran a LOT. I also managed to run a full kilometre, even though it was downhill.
Turns out the trick to running is to just always run downhill. Maybe I’ll make sure my first 5k is a downhill all the way, one. Heh. Mo took my Victory Photo after I made that run. She also ran slightly ahead of me to wait for me to make it to the end of the snake path to give me a big victory hug as I ran the entire thing. I have some of the best friends EVER.
Thursday, September 5 – Day Three of OMG!Mountain!
There was very minimal running on the third day out. This is the most I have been out “running” in one consecutive swoop and it was so much UPHILL. I hurt. A lot. I just wanted to cry. I didn’t want to be there anymore, but once up on the mountain, you’re sort of stuck. You still have to walk to get down it. There was stopping. There was gasping for air. There was a feeling of despair.
But it was really nice out. Cool in the shade and in the forest, but nice in the sun. There were so many people out (passing us multiple times. I tell a lot of people that I hate them while out there. Quietly. Mostly to Mo. But still.) it was gorgeous and the best part was that we weren’t in the office. This week was brutal and we needed to get out, get away and work off some of the stress.
Due to sharp pains in my chest (indigestion, most likely) when I tried to run and breathe, we didn’t run much. We even walked back to the office in a slightly different route so we covered less ground. But all afternoon I struggled to stay awake, walk, move. Exist. Holy cow was I done.
I had to stay awake for a dinner with Jill that night! I’m surprised I didn’t fall asleep, face-first into my food. (It was close.) I hurt. I was so tired. Ugh.
But we went out three days in a row and I covered over 15km on my lunch breaks. Plus two of those three days had 2km+ dog walks at night. I was ACTIVE!
And last night I was asleep before 9pm. Almost before 8:30pm. I was so happy that Friday was a rest day. I don’t think I could have climbed that hill without collapsing. I don’t hurt at all this morning. Last night, aside from being so tired I thought i was drugged, I wasn’t sore either. My body is so much better at bouncing back after activity. I know this is progress.
And my new goal is to be able to run on this mountain. Run like all of the other people who pass me by while up there – young, old, with multiple babies in a stroller, etc. This is my lunch time activity. I am extremely lucky that I get a decently long lunch break and I am even luckier that I have an amazing friend in Mo. She encourages me, helps me and is so supportive as I stumble along and gasp for air. She slows down and walks with me. We chat, laugh, bitch, walk and run. In another week our aqua fit class starts back up and we should hopefully be alternating these outings with that class. Next week will be another three (maybe 4?) days of mountain walking/running. Bring. It. On. (And thank you, Mo!!!)