Nemesis

It looked such an innocuous little bump.  My God, it was only 427m high! We used to swallow up those wee molehills on our way to much bigger things.  It created mayhem did Dumgoyne…the little sod.

.

.

.

It was all the fault of Cap’n Jack of course.  He opted to tackle it head on – straight up the face.

.

.

As the gradient increased to 50% my right leg blew and became redundant.  I made it to the top, just.  At least we’d completed the hill and The Fatdog was in good form, trotting about happily after Cap’n Jack.

.

.

.

Only problem was – this wasn’t our target hill.  We were heading for Earl’s Seat (off to right in photo below), some 3km to the east.  We dropped down off Dumgoyne and began the continued ascent of Earl’s Seat.  20m later I shook my head…the right leg was giving nothing .

.

.

And so it was game over for a few weeks as I puzzled over what to do next.

.

.

Having put the distraction of the blog on hold I got down to some more serious analysis of the problem.  A review of past break downs highlighted a particular feature…they were all connected to routes involving “stepping” up on steeper gradients or, for a similar leg movement, prolonged periods on marginally less steep slopes.  Basically as soon as I had to lift my feet, as opposed to shuffling along, things took a downturn.

At least that particular revelation solved one part of the problem…I would have to stay away from steep slopes on “stepping” paths.  I reckoned I was struggling above 25%.  Shallower hill trails would have to be an essential part of any day’s walking.  The actual leg aches would be more difficult to resolve.

All I could do about the legs was to hope that the core/stability exercises would set the muscles up to work properly and that the stretches would ease the legs along.  Exercise breaks became part of my routine and 3 to 4 times a week I would be found “bridging” and “planking” around the house.  A couple of weeks later I could feel the legs strengthening.  The aches still remained, but more muted than before.

Almost 3 weeks after the Dumgoyne melt down we took to the hills once more to check on the effectiveness of the new regime…

.

coming next:  The travails of Bertie “Wrong Hill” Brown and his travelling companion, Parkes.