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Hill #3, I'm in training

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I have found my hill to train for the half marathon. It goes from sea level to 750 feet. I'm not sure at this point how many miles the road to the top is, I'm guessing 2 or 3.

On Sunday, I made my first attempt. I didn't plan to walk the entire hill, just to assess how far I could go. I made it about 1/3 of the way up - maybe just shy of 1/3.

This is a STEEP hill - 20-45% grade, maybe even closer to 60% incline up on the last little bit. I've seen trucks stall out because it was too steep.

It's a killer hill. But I am gonna make it MY hill! This is my Everest. I will climb it in stages. And when I can walk this hill in one hard climb, I will be ready for my half marathon.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As I was walking the hill, both up and then return, the occasional car would stop and someone would ask if I needed a ride. I'd say no thank you. They'd respond with are you sure? My next response was, "I'm in training."

That's what I'm doing. Training for a half marathon. Training myself to do bigger and better things. Training myself to keep up with a healthier life.

"I'm in training."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 1/20/2008 7:53PM

    Pika, St. Thomas isn't on - I tried! Apparently no one here has uploaded a map on line, so it doesn't show up on places like that. Plus most of our roads don't have posted names, so it's kind of strange. That's why I go out and clock distances with my car - it's either that or a GPS, and I haven't invested in that yet.

Weird place, huh?

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PIKAGIRL 1/17/2008 9:09AM

    Have you tried plotting out your distance on something like - which will give you distance and elevation. Also, what training plan are you using? I'm using Hal Higdon's novice plan ( for a half.

I look forward to the day you post you ran all the way up the hill and all the way back down.

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SMURFETTE0725 1/16/2008 10:59AM

    And I'm LOVING that you're in training!! ;) Your posts bring such a smile to my face! I'm so proud of you Phebe!!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

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SMURFETTE0725 1/16/2008 10:59AM

    And I'm LOVING that you're in training!! ;) Your posts bring such a smile to my face! I'm so proud of you Phebe!!!!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

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Marathon training, day #3, and hill #2

Friday, January 11, 2008

Blogdate 1.11.07

Mahogany Run hill

1.5 miles - estimated elevation change 200 feet in .75 mile distance

Time: 43 minutes - maybe 25 minutes up, and 18 minutes down.

Not too bad, but I need to speed up.

Charlottesville, here I come.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PIKAGIRL 1/13/2008 8:16AM

    Remember - hills are just speedwork in disguise. :D

Living in the Boston area, whenever I feel the need to get back on track, I head over to Newton City Hall and run up Heartbreak Hill to BC and back for a 5 miler. My neighborhood has some incredibly steep hills as well, but I don't like running here with snow on the ground because a lot of folks don't shovel their sidewalks - which means running in the street. So off to Newton for the hills.

I'll run the 10k race at the Hyannis marathon at the end of February and I'm planning on a 1/2 marathon later in the spring. Maybe the Johnny Kelley Memorial (which is the same route as the Hyannis marathon) since it's a pretty level course and should be good for a first half... I don't know yet.

I know I'm slow, I've started to embrace that reality. If you ever feel discouraged keep this in mind: a friend of mine ran a marathon last spring and at the pasta dinner before the race, she sat with an elite runner and was in total awe of him. He asked her how long she expected to take and she said around 5:30. He told her he was in awe that she could run that long as he didn't think he had the endurance to keep going for that long.

I'm sure you'll kick butt and take names!

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SECRETFUN 1/11/2008 8:48PM

  keep doing that hill!

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Taking the initiative vs. talking the initiative

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm starting to tell people that I'm signed up for a half marathon in April. I don't pretend that I'm running it, I'm upfront about the fact that I'll walk most of it (with small amounts of jogging).

Most people are surprised, then smile and tell me that's great. They are totally supportive. My principal even told me what to do to get time off for the half marathon. Some people are a little skeptical - "you're going to what? Why?" And then they offer advice, like walk 6 miles twice a week. Uh, I can easily walk 6 miles, I need to work on walking 10 miles at a time. Then add a mile a week.

Then my husband. My DH.

Last night, he said he needs something to challenge him to get in shape. I said join me in this half marathon; he talked about the fact that he's run races, it's fun to participate and measure yourself against other people doing the same thing. And that he doesn't need to do that at this point in time - so he isn't even thinking about joining me in this effort. But he's looking for something to spur him into action.

Uh, NO. That isn't why I'm doing this half marathon. I am challenging MYSELF. I am looking at how much I have improved, and how much more I can improve. I am looking at increasing my endurance and stamina. I am looking at increasing my speed. I am looking for something to challenge my concept of myself, as well as to challenge my body. I am also challenging the concept that 50-something year old women don't suddenly become athletic and take up sports. I am challenging societal norms. I am challenging other people's vision of me.

But first and foremost, I am challenging myself. I am doing something. And in the doing is the becoming.

I have taken the initiative. Without a lot of talk, without a lot of fuss. I signed up, I've started wearing a pedometer and keeping a step log, I've planned my weekend around several long walks to see how I'm doing before I plan a training program. I've mapped out routes and found safe but challenging (read, hilly) places to walk. I've started amping up my fitness routine - no more flat beach walking for me. It's the hills and valleys I'm aiming for, with distance the priority and speed a close second.

I am challenging MYSELF. Not measuring myself against someone else. I am challenging ME.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSZIZ 1/13/2008 6:37AM

    I should take the initiative too! Your blog is so moving and motivational. Who cares if you are running, walking or jogging it, YOU are going to do it!!

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SECRETFUN 1/10/2008 9:17PM


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Step blog

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

1/7/08 - 11,110 steps
1/8/08 - 10,452 steps

1/9/08 - wardrobe malfunction - seriously, the pedometer got wrapped around my slip and didn't count half my walk. My walk one way went from 4000-something to 7000-something. My return walk (same route) ended at 7800something. Where did the other 2200 or so steps go? It reads 8975 right now. I'll just go with that.
Note to self -- clip the pedometer to undies when wearing a dress.
End of day # - 9624 steps.

1/10/08 - 6492 steps - not my big cardio day

1/11/08 - 5265 steps by 10:30 AM
- 11,158 steps by 5:15 PM
- 12,447 steps by end of day

1/12 - 15,948 steps by 4:30 PM - 17,735 steps at end of day

1/13 - 13,051 steps
1/14 - 14,513
1/15 - 6,418 (facial day - limited hill walk and elliptical)
1/16 - 10,267 steps (and a small ped/wardrob malfunction)
1/17 - 12,576
1/18 - 16,438
1/19 - - kind of a lazy day with limited walking
1/20 - 13,067
1/21 - 8,325
1/22 - 13,126
1/23 - 14,114
1/24 - 14,233
1/25 - 5,038 (day off)
1/26 - 15,009
1/27 - 4,902 (day off)
1/28 - 11,984
1/29 - 8,357 (day off)
1/30 - 15,114
1/31 - 10,306

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SECRETFUN 1/9/2008 7:37PM

  Go Phebe! Go Phebe!

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So, uh, I'm in training for a half marathon

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

How did this happen? How did I get here? And why am I doing this?

Well, it makes sense to have a goal - I've always worked best when having a goal in mind. And I have the type of body that is built for endurance (and very little speed) - I've always said that I come from a long line of ancestors who carried buckets of water across Russia and Poland, and that's the body I have - square, strong, and the ability to go forever.

And my SP BFF is planning on walking a half marathon in April. So I'm working on joining her.

Yes, I am 53. Yes, I am still 40+ lbs over goal weight. Yes, I have a knee that has had two surgeries.


I am only 5 lbs from changing my BMI from obese to over. I am dedicated. I love to walk outdoors. And I am one of the most stubborn people I know.

So HAH to my family (I come from a long line of anti-jocks) and HAH to all my PE teachers (I also am not the most coordinated person) and HAH to everyone who looks surprised when I tell them I'm in training.

I'm gonna do this. It's only 13.something miles. I probably have walked that much when travelling in any of those countries where walking is considered normal.

I don't care if I come in last. I will complete a half marathon in April.

Oh, yeah, and I will remember not to wear my pedometer in bed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SECRETFUN 1/8/2008 9:56PM

  In Alaska I kept forgetting and sleeping in my pedometer :-) Marathons and half marathons are all about endurance. We will stick around to cheer you on however long it takes! but I bet you finish faster than you think. Safe healthy training!

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PHEBESS 1/8/2008 2:07PM

    I emailed my youngest brother - his response was "Go Phebe!"

I think that's my new theme!

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NOTBLUSHING 1/8/2008 2:06PM

    I am so happy Phebe!!

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