Saturday, September 18, 2010

Waterfall Gully to Mount Lofty Walk

This morning six brave 12WBTers fronted up for the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty walk.  There were nervous looks as people tried to pick out potential 12WBTers amongst the groups gathering at the start of the track.

I was feeling pretty nervous.  My boss - a running fit freak - had nearly chocked on his morning brew the day before when I said I was doing the walk.  Other comments had not been encouraging either.  The nerves were growing as we waited for stragglers, but I was quite adamant i was going to JFDI.

Its 3.9 kilomters from the carpark to the summit ... and its pretty much climbing all the way.  After you set off there was a pretty steep section which got the heart rate up and then the walk settled into a constant uphill slog.  I was puffing, my heart rate kept going off the dial.  My fellow walkers seemed concerned I was going to give up, but I wasn't.  I was getting to the top if it took me all day and I had to crawl!

The climb is tough, there was lots of people overtaking and plenty doing it at a run O.o  Kinda mad when I am trying to put one foot in front of the other!!  The guy carrying a todler on his back gets the gold star. 

As it gets harder and hotter, there is less banter, but no less encouragement from the team - or from the happy smiling descenders, many random strangers with encouraging words.

It took a while to get in the grove, I found that I was best walking at a good pace with frequent short stops to let the HR down.  A couple of times, especially towards the top when my legs were wearing out I fell into the trap of keeping up.  When I would catch the waiting group they would set off again, and I would not get the chance to recover.  At the road crossing I stopped long enought to feel like my HR was not red-lining and felt so much better.  Frequent short stops the rest of the way and the "killer" last climb to the summit actually felt OK to me. 

The top is kind of an anti climax - its taken us just under two hours of slogging it and there is a road that goes right there! and lots of not-sweaty folks are admiring the view too!!!

The descent was slower than expected, the gravel is slippery, and cooling muscles tightening up.  Though that doesn't stop the runners carreeening past - out of control it seems.  Its much better lower down where the track is sealed and I can pick up the pace.  just when its feeling good, and the finish is literally in sight, appear there are stairs.   Who would have thought going down would be harder than going up?

I am so happy we all made it to the top and back again !!!  7.8kms in 2hrs 53 minutes (including the “We Did It” photo session at the top).  It was really impressive how everyone worked together as a team, even though we had all just met that morning!  Way To Go Team SA !!!!

My average heart rate was 145 ... and that was including the rest at the top and the descent !?!  I burnt 1253 cals on my HRM !  What an event to mark the kickoff of my 12WBT !!!

| 2:53:39 | Av HR 145 | Max HR 185 |

1 comment:

  1. fantastic work! You must be feeling proud!

    I just did the mount lofty walk on saturday. I also had those horrified reactions when I told people what my plans were, but hey, it's even better when you kick their butts and can say you proved their expectations wrong. MY muscles are still screaming two days later though!!! I've decided I want to do this every week. :) Also thanks for the info on heartrate. I was wondering how much energy I burned and your metre gives me a rough estimate since I don't have one of those little machines. :)

    I was quite shocked by how many people were running down the hill completely out of control. I kept thinking it cannot be good on their knees. Running uphill is another matter and running on the flat sections of the path isn't too bad. but if anything,I would have thought it would be building more strength to resist gravity on a very steep slope downhill, not using gravity to propel homeward bound. :))