I have not been bashful about my current running slump. My running group is averaging less than 10 miles a week (okay, now that was a little embarrassing to type). We need to change our name to The Under 10 Club. <sigh>
My knees must be feeling the slump as well, and do not like it because I actually started to develop knee pains during long periods (i.e., four days) of no running. Naturally, my immediate response to the pain is to sit out and rest because the pain must be from running, right? Perhaps not.
Finally, on the fifth day, I ran despite feeling a slight ache in both knees. But lo and behold, after running, the pain is gone! This pattern has repeated for three weeks straight (but the lack of running is from bad weather (and laziness).) After three or four days of inactivity, my knees hurt, and as soon as I run, the pain disappears. Now someone please explain this to me.
Since I have reverted back to my night owl nature in the past two months, 6 a.m. runs have been less than appealing, and consequently not happening. I have definitely entered the running slump zone.
Nonetheless, I have been (trying) keeping active during these no-running weeks with a few hikes. Today’s hike was more of a stair climb. More than 1000 “steps” up the 648 foot Koko Head. The steps are actually remnants of derelict railway ties once used by the military to transport supplies up to the summit bunker.
It’s a popular hike among locals, but it was only my first try today. My awareness of the trail was only raised by a recent stabbing at the location last month. And now that I’ve climbed it, I realize there was no place for the victims to escape from the lunatic.
Between trying to get the weather to cooperate and waiting for friends (who forbade me to walk solo) to go with, it was three weeks before I took my virgin steps on this trail. Finally, Jacks, who has done this climb once before, indulged me on this nice Sunday afternoon.
Once started, there was no stopping because the trail does not plateau until the summit. Some steps were much too wide for my 5’2″ stature, and I had to take big lunges. About half a mile up the trail are these views, but just wait because it gets better.
Suddenly and with no forewarning, a strip of about 50 yards of the railway ties made my legs shake as I stood there frozen.
In retrospect, even if I have fallen through the rails, it would probably have been no more than a 15-20 feet fall, but my acrophobia made it seem bottomless. With several deep, apprehensive breaths, I was determined to conquer my fear factor.
Hey, I didn’t say how I was going to conquer it.
The rest of the trail is back to normal. I trod along with consistent momentum. The last twenty steps were, admittedly, tough. But, finally, I arrived.
The reward was certainly worth the sweat.
After a few more photo ops, there’s only one way to get home…here we go again.
The best part of it is that it was enough hill work for two weeks!