There’s a “Spring” in My Step

After months of cold weather and overcoming the “blizzard of 2016”, it has finally happened. Spring is here! I know it isn’t officially spring until March 20th.  But as far as I am concerned, it’s here early and it’s here to stay.  Definitely giving me a spring in my step.  The longer, warmer days not only boosts my general mood and wards off the winter blues, but it also means my training can move from inside to outside. In the wise words of the Doobie Brothers, I’m “Takin’ It to the Streets”. spring-has-sprung

Last week I was able to do all but one of my training walks outside.  It felt so good to literally pound the pavement and feel the sun on my face.  My walks ranged from 5-11 miles.  The shorter walks were flat and the longer walks had hills.  The two short, flat walks both had a per minute mile average of under 13:00 minutes (12:40 and 12:55 respectively).  And even the longer walks with hills were a respectable pace of under 14:00 minutes (13:53 and 13:57 respectively).  As always, I have to thank my walking partners who make those long walks tolerable.  Jennifer and Angel helped make the 10 and 11 miles feel like a stroll. They are both rock stars.  Jennifer walks with me so we can have “girl time” and catch up with each other’s lives.  Angel walks with me because he is training for the same marathon and is my gym husband.  Being outside with the beautiful scenery, wind on your face and traffic breezing by certainly breaks up the monotony, some (me) would say torture, of being on the treadmill for almost 3 hours.  The only downside of being outside is missing my gym family.Garmin Collage

The race in June is full of hills.  I am trying to learn from the mistakes of my last marathon with hills by making sure the long walks include hills, hills and more hills to build stamina.  The 11 mile walk was chock full of hilly goodness.  The route started at the train station, west on MacCorkle Ave and up Corridor G.  The first hill on Corridor G is affectionately referred to as Capital Punishment Hill so it’s no cake walk.  Then down to Kroger, crossed over to the access road to Davis Creek and then it got interesting.  We went up the hill to the new church.  That hill is fierce!  Trust me when I tell you I was praying I would survive by the time I got to the top. On the way back we stayed on the access road to Oakwood.  There are two hills on that route.  Both are short but both will make your ass muscles scream! We still had about a mile and half left once we got back to the train station so we went up and over South Side Bridge to the Boulevard and finished it out coming back over the bridge for that last little incline for good measure.  I have to admit that I wasn’t feeling the 11 miles before we started.  And I am proud to say that we both killed it today.  The sun wasn’t out so it wasn’t hot and humid, walking conditions were good and once we got in our stride we were unstoppable.

One of the mental mantras I use when training on hills is “What goes up, must come down”. No matter how steep, long and tough the hill is you eventually get to the top and get to reap the reward of coming back down.  While I am walking uphill, between the blood red face, sweating and panting, the people around me probably think I am having a heart attack.  If I am able to talk, I usually assure them that I am fine.

Ultimately, my training goal for this race is to incorporate a walk up to the airport and back, with other hills as well, as part of my 20 mile day.  That’s a big and scary goal.  But that’s the thing, goals are made to challenge you.  So bring it on!  And if you see me walking on Greenbrier St. in a few weeks, give me a friendly honk and an “atta girl”.  I’m going to need it.

On Saturday, I’m taking a break from hills to participate in the University of Charleston half marathon.  If you’ve wanted to try a half or even if you’re a veteran racer, give this a try.  It’s flat and scenic. Below is a link to register.  Join me, won’t you?


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2 Responses to There’s a “Spring” in My Step

  1. Micah says:

    Love to read about how well you are progressing. The weather definitely has the same effect on me and makes me feel fired up motivated! :)

  2. Christa Hamra says:

    The only downside is that I miss my gym family when I do so much outside. :(

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