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Week 19: Back On Top
Written by Tina Sibley in May 2019

After a weekend of pretty much complete rest, I was feeling much better at the start of this week.  My determination came back and I recognised that, while I may not be where I hoped to be by now, I've still actually come a long way. 

The Jebel Musa hike is starting to loom, which is both exciting me and terrifying me at the same time!

Monday 6th May

I had a good long walk into Gibraltar today and kept up a brisk pace all the way.  I decided to finally go to the optician because I've been having problems with my eyes.  The rash that appeared at the beginning of February is still there and I noticed my vision in my left eye seems to have got worse. 

The good news is that it appears to be some kind of allergy and while my vision has got a little worse, there are no major problems apart from dry eyes and irritation caused by the dryness - probably a side effect of my blood pressure medication.  Another reason to come off them asap. 

1 Hour dance lesson.

Tuesday 7th May

Feeling good so back to the circuits today and did a legs workout.  I could feel that I'm doing these much better than when I began them. 

I had to take my car to the garage, so did some walking around Palmones and bought some hiking gear at Decathlon - it's all starting to feel very real now!

2 hours dance lesson.

Wednesday 8th May

I must have really pushed my legs yesterday as I could feel them aching a bit today.  Nothing like when I first started though!

Did a round of upper body and abs with the circuits today.  Feeling great!

Thursday 9th May

An epic day today!  I set out to do the Med Steps twice and I did it!

Because I was intending to do them twice, I thought I would park as close as possible and then get the  bus up to the nature reserve.  Not to be!  I had to park a long way away, past the fort and then missed the bus so ended up walking all the way to the start point. 

Nevertheless, I was determined to push myself - and I did!  I felt great starting out and made good progress.  I started flagging the second half because it was another really hot day, but I kept pushing and made the top in just 56 minutes!  11 minutes faster than my previous best.  I was so happy to have made it in less than an hour and the achievement felt wonderful.  

I walked down towards the start past St Michael's cave and went into the shop to buy some more water (I had already consumed 2 litres!), at which point, I suddenly started to feel sick and faint again!  I had to sit down on a chair in the shade for a while and wondered if I was up to doing them a second time.  But after a while, I felt OK again and set off.  As soon as I was out of reach of the apes, I stopped, rested and had a banana. 

When I got to the start, I figured it would be sensible to take my time this time round so I went at a comfortable pace. It took me a couple of minutes longer to reach the caves, where I stopped, ate a cereal bar and drank more water.  Then I set off again.  Amazingly, rather than feeling tired and wiped out, I suddenly started to feel stronger than ever.  It helped that the sun had dropped behind the rock and I was now in shade all the time. 

I kept a comfortable pace all the way up and - miracle of miracles, my time was once again 56 minutes!  And that included the 7 minutes I stopped for a rest at the cave.  Totally incredible - I was over the moon. 

The entire hike from and back to the car was 17.5 kms and it took me 6.5 hours.  That included shopping at Eroski on the way back!  Total actual moving time was 4 hrs 50 mins.  Elevation was somewhere between 700 m and 850 m depending on which mapping tool I used.  I was cross with myself as I forgot to use Wikiloc.  One of the Jebel Musa trails on Wikiloc is 12kms with elevation of 800 m - so I reckon I'm not going to disgrace myself too much when I tackle it! 

Despite getting back late, I still just about made it to dancing and only felt tired right at the end of the class. 

What a great day! 

Friday 10th May

After yesterday's big hike, I decided that today would be a rest day, although I did have a one hour private dance lesson, where I felt really good and was liking what I saw in the mirror!

I had lots of work to do with meetings and I didn't finish my work in time to go to kizomba class.  I considered going to a Bachata party but knew I wanted to hike again tomorrow, so got an early night. 

Saturday 11th May

Another great day with a good hike.

I was busy working and preparing for my sister's visit next week, so didn't manage to start my hike until 3pm but I hiked up the Sierra Carbonera hill behind La Linea.  

It was amazing up there!  The views were absolutely spectacular.  Although a popular hike, I was the only one on the hill and it was so peaceful and serene. 

I decided to try out my new hiking pole and this was a very good move.  I found the pole helped me when going uphill and when going downhill, I slipped on loose gravel a couple of times and the pole helped me keep my balance and stop me from falling. It was also great when there were spiders webs across my path!

I also used Wikiloc for the first time and followed a trail, as well as recording my own.  Total hike was 11 km and the elevation was 383m.  Total time was 4 hrs 44 mins. Moving time was 3 hrs 42 mins - I had a late lunch at the top and then explored around before deciding on my way back down. 

The great thing is that my legs didn't feel tired at all - I still huffed and puffed on the steel uphill bits, but I can really feel how much I've improved.  

And then I went dancing to a party and felt great!  I wasn't tired at all and felt like I could have danced until 6am.

Sunday 12th May

Had a rest day today.  Sadly there was no dancing at the casino, so I didn't get my usual Sunday party. 

I still felt really great considering my two hefty hikes over the last few days.

Health Overview
Feeling absolutely blinking AMAZING!  At last I've pushed myself to improve and don't feel like a wreck at the end of it.  I feel really strong and full of energy!  

Weight has dropped to 168.75 lbs YAY!  I finally broke the 170lb marker!  Next is to break the 12st marker - currently 12st 0.75 lb

Blood pressure was nice and low when I last recorded it as well. 

I'm really happy with my progress this week. 

Preparation This Week 

Monday 12,990
Tuesday 8770
Wednesday 4885
Thursday 32,438  up 140 floors
Friday 6,102
Saturday 20,816 (don't know the floors as my watch battery died)
Sunday 7,180
2 Circuits, 6 hours dance lessons, dance party Saturday.
2 really good hikes

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