Group training for my next half marathon was a four mile run last night, which of course I didn’t choose to do, as I prefer my runs in the morning, or at the very least during a time when there is at least a modicum of daylight to be had. Even the lure of free pizza which was to be our group snack was not enough to persuade me, so I opted to do my run today. WOW! So glad I did! The weather was amazing! Beautiful, clear, sunny, and mild! Dream running weather! I had wanted to get out to the park and try running some, (if not all) of the 10k route for my miles. This is a pretty hilly route and would be great strength training.
Today I decided to warm up by walking down to the actual run routes start sign. I usually begin right where I park, but the run routes start with a gradual steady uphill climb. I was going for the gusto today! I started with an easy two miles, (mostly ha!) to which I was ‘getting down’ to the ‘Moves Like Mick Jagger’, (none of the moves of which I actually possess.) Then at the third mile of the 10k route, there are some interesting and challenging hills. These would require something with more of a kick, more motivation, more……’Maniac’ like. This called for ‘Maniac’! Over and over and over again, until I got through these hills. It is the perfect beat for my pace. I keep my feet hitting the pavement in perfect rhythm to the song at all times. Going up the hills, I shorten my strides and coming down, I lengthen my strides and lean into it.
Check out the picture of one of the long gradual climbs. It is unbelievable how this can look so benign and feel so brutal! I know just exactly where this incline begins to level out , but every single time I’m running this thing, I think the distance has increased and that it will truly never level out!
|About a third of the way, up and off to the right is a speed limit sign, this is where it begins to level off.|
See? Doesn't look steep at all...but trust me.....
I was beginning to really feel zapped of strength and opted to get in my four miles today as opposed to the full 10k, so since I was only going to do four miles, I decided to turn around after completing the third mile and repeat the hills for the fourth mile. Now, I’m a maniac, but only with my music. Not in the sense that I love the climb up the hills, but oh how I do love knowing that after I get to the top….I get to run down!! WEEEEEEEEEEE………! My absolute favorite!
What a great time! And at the end of my fourth mile, I stopped to take a breather. It was perfect timing to run into a park regular and we took a moment to rest and chat. This gentleman is very thin and lean and is quite religious about getting in his walks. He is out there rain or shine. He was telling me how he was over 220 pounds when he started walking due to his past drinking and that he had been alcohol free for 12 years and that this was his 10th year anniversary of walking up here with his hands weights. We discussed the benefits of the hills and added weight for strength and resistance training. I personally prefer to just pack my extra weight in the trunk as opposed to carrying free weights! And yes, while I am annoyed about the extra weight in the trunk, it truly is going to benefit my training. I do get added strength and resistance training every single time I go out for a run, but the real perk is when I hit those hills! Brutal as they may be, they will be helping me rebuild an even stronger foundation.
|They got out again today!|
We parted company and I headed back the two miles to the car. This would make a nice route to do the fifth mile on for next week, as it has a challenging couple of hills as well, even walking. I headed up to some picnic tables to take a break and get some pictures. I KNOW! I will get a pic of me running! Yeah, that’s what I’ll do! Amazing how strong you feel after a moment’s rest. I headed back out, started the Garmin and started piddling with the phone camera, (pace really reflected this!). I think I’ll run back that last mile and a half, I feel great! *snap*, maybe one more. *snap*. Put the phone up and get some running music on this IPod now! Hey, look…there are a couple of people on bikes in fluorescent green riding jackets off in the distance. Hey, look….they are all sparkly now…and fuzzy…and black and sparkly….
|I'm sexy and I know it.....I work out....|
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle....
I was completely out of readily available calories and had not even brought any water with me. I had some back at the car, but that would not do me any good right now. I really didn’t want to do the whole wobble, stumble, and graceful (not) plop down onto the pavement in a faint, so it was truly time to call it a day with the running.
I enjoyed singing and walking the rest of the way back to the car. What a great day!
anyone else remember this?