The 10 Mile Experience

When: April 2, 2016

Where: Charleston, WV

Route: Train station, across South Side Bridge, east on Kanawha Blvd, up Greenbrier St to NorthGate, to the very end of NorthGate (the very furthest end of the Ticket Master parking lot), filled in with about ½ mile more on the boulevard and back to the train station.

Wow, it was a very eventful 10 miles, even though I was by myself.  I missed my walking partners. One was on a cruise, poor thing, and one had a wedding to go to.  For me, the biggest advantage of having a workout partner is the social aspect.  It really makes the time go by faster.  But being alone also has its upside.  It gives you time to think. And you get a chance to appreciate the beauty and scenery that surrounds you as you get your miles in (see photos). In case I haven’t mentioned it lately, we have the most beautiful Capitol in the country, including DC.  But I wasn’t totally alone.  During the 10 miles I passed some of my favorite people along the way- long-time friend Steve L., college friend (so also “long time”) Sarah Crandall Fletcher and one of my mentors who is always supportive and encouraging, WK Munsey.  Seeing other people working toward their goals, definitely motivates you to step it up and work toward your own goals. Sky on walk

Wind was a huge challenge on several levels.  It really picked up when I would walk on the boulevard by the river.  Now, it could have worked in my favor…but it didn’t.  I could have had a tailwind when walking up hill, helping me propel to the top, and a headwind going downhill so it wouldn’t be so bad.  But NO.  Just the opposite.  Headwinds to further challenge me up the hills and tailwinds to make me just slightly off balance coming down.  The other joy that the wind brought was more allergy issues.  At times it looked like it was snowing with all the leaves blowing off the blooming trees.  Good thing I used the inhaler before and after.  I’m sure that helped.  But the breathing was labored at times.  And finally, the wind was so blustery that it kept blowing the earbuds out of my ears. No lie!  I had to keep putting them back in and once I got the right one in, the left one would pop out.  Not the end of the world, but so very annoying! I wasn’t actually wearing my usual earbuds because I lost them.  These were shaped differently and not in a good way, obviously. Northgate sign on walk

Enough of the bellyaching!  Let’s get to the good stuff. When you’re all alone, what is a girl to do?  SING!  I was listening to ‘70’s Funk on Pandora.  Nothing better to get your groove on.  As if Pandora knows when I need a pick me up, they always play something inspiring when I need it.  Today was no exception.  As I am walking up the last leg of Greenbrier St. before reaching NorthGate, I was huffing and puffing but refused to slow my pace.  What song comes on? Michael Jackson’s ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’.  Damnit!  I hadn’t gotten enough yet.  I needed to get up that hill!  So The Gloved One ad I got it done.  Even NorthGate has a couple of little hills to conquer.  I was heading back on the return 5 miles and hit one of those hills.  Again, Pandora comes through for me.  ‘Baby Come Back’ from Player came on.  And this is where being in an isolated area comes in handy.  My favorite part of the song is “Have you used up all the love in your heart? Nothing left for me, aint’ there nothing left for me-hee”. I sang it at the top of my lungs on the top of the mountain.  I’m telling you, if you’ve never rocked that lyric, you are missing out on life. Other notable tunes that kept a spring in my step were Al Green ‘Let’s Stay Together’, Wild Cherry ‘Play That Funky Music White Boy’, Marvin Gaye ‘Let’s Get It On’ and Hall & Oates ‘Sara Smile’.  That one isn’t upbeat,  but I just love Hall & Oates. Capitol on walk

Stats of walkI have to give partial credit to the wind for the next positive of the walk.  Because I was rockin’ to the oldies and keeping up the pace, I was able to finish the hilly walk with an average mile time of under 13:00.  I think that’s the first time that’s happened. The other factor was that I jogged a little portion of the route.  Every little bit of time with a faster pace helps the final time.  I’ve been trying to incorporate some jogging with a future goal of jogging a whole half marathon. You just might read a blog about that in the future.

I have strong leg muscles.  But at 45, the backside seems to be sliding down my legs a bit.  Recently, I have asked my trainer(s) to help me raise that up to match the muscles that are underneath.  Walking the hills definitely helps.  I sort of do my own little evaluation after each walk.  After this training, I could feel the glute muscles very prominently.  So I text Micah, my trainer, and said “I may never get an Allison booty (the other trainer).  But my muscles underneath are fierce. If it wouldn’t be inappropriate for you to touch my ass, I’d prove it to you!” His response was “Haha I can tell working with you that they are all muscle.”  That is just the kind of relationship we have.  When it is time to work, we work hard.  And when it is time to laugh, while still being supportive and encouraging, we do that too. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And finally, if you use a Fitbit you know that one of your goals is to hit 10 flights of steps per day.  I usually hit that goal because my house has steps.  But when you train on hills that is not a problem!  Yesterday, on the walk alone, I earned 85 flights of steps. For the whole day I had 104 flights. It’s relatively accurate.  It is calculated by a combination of elevation and arm movement. So, unless you’re flapping your arms around in an elevator or on an airplane, the Fitbit knows not to count that. City Skyline on walk

Overall, it was a great training day with only a little over 2 months until race day.  I will continue to add mileage to my long walks and continue to push myself on the hills.  My hope is that all the conditioning will make the actual race a piece of cake.  Remember to keep your goals in sight and never give up.

Next week, Walk Fiercely will be celebrating 1 year of publication! I hope you’ll stick around and read that too. Don’t miss it! Sign up through the website to receive the blog in your email every week.

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4 Responses to The 10 Mile Experience

  1. Shell says:

    So proud of you! Always enjoy reading these posts! Xoxo

  2. Micah says:

    Great literary peice 😉 love that you worked out to some 70’s funk, that made me smile. And 85 flights!? That’s awesome!! Very enjoyable read spiced up with a solid assortment of pictures!

  3. Christa Hamra says:

    Thanks Micah. This week’s walk had so many hills it was 135 flights! And if it’s not 70’s funk, I’m rocking to 80’s cardio. Lol

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