Training for this half has started off pretty strong. Three runs down and a whole lot of fun cross training.
I'd been a little nervous to get back into speedwork because it meant finding out exactly how much speed I've lost. But I was pleasantly surprised. I did 8 x 400m on Thursday, and during the middle six repeats I hovered around a 7:50 pace. It makes me think that getting faster is definitely within reach.
This week's long run wasn't too long: just 6 miles. I kept it around a 9:15-9:20 pace and ran the [sunny, hot, beautiful] Greenbelt.
I did my long run yesterday because today I had plans to hike Camelback Mountain for the first time. Check one big thing off my Arizona List!
We set out at 7am, so our side of the mountain was shaded for most of the hike—which was really nice, because this hike is challenging. We chose the more difficult path, and the online reviews were not kidding: this mountain is serious.
I am not a great climber, so I was the slow one in the group. I was primarily focused on not falling and killing myself. I don't have great eyesight, and this incline is so serious that at times you're pretty much pulling yourself up by poles that are secured in the rock. (Or if you're me, clinging for dear life.)
Here's the view from just halfway up—so gorgeous.
And here's a candid shot of me. I probably looked as if I was about to faceplant throughout most of this hike. (Do I think pretending my arms are wings will help me miraculously take flight if I lose my footing? Maybe.)
I actually used my arms during this hike a lot because my hiking style involves a lot of what can only be called scrabbling: using all four limbs and both knees to hoist myself up in whatever manner gets the job done.
Out of our group, I think I felt the most self-satisfied when we reached the top. (There was one point when, wrapped around a pole and unsure of where to step next, I thought for a moment I might not make it.)
But make it I did, and the views were very worth it.
There's Phoenix—way, way out there in the distance.
The way down was just as difficult as the way up. I am not ashamed to say that I did a lot of what I have deemed granny scooting. Yes, I descended parts of the mountain on my butt. "Whatever gets you there" was pretty much my hike MO.
I'll definitely be back. I kept thinking that Daniel would love this hike, so I can't wait to take him next time he visits.
So how did this week look in terms of training?
I switched things up a bit, but I feel really good. This coming week I'm ramping up the mileage for sure, but it's a good start.
p.s. I'm tracking my individual workouts on Fitocracy, so feel free to follow me there if you're a Fitocrat!