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I climbed my challenge hill today

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

All 750 feet of it. All one mile of the road. All the switchbacks and turns and curves and steep climbing. I just decided that today would be the day. This was it. I was gonna tame that hill and make it mine.

I fueled up with an apple, a granola bar, an energy bar, and water. I started out at 3:20 PM, after a full day of school and with 5000+ steps on my pedometer. I did a little warm up walk, and then I was off.

Climbing a hill just means putting one foot in front of the other and breathing hard. Take a rest when the HRM says I'm in my 80% target heart range. Mop the sweat occasionally so I can see. And then put one foot in front of the other and head upward again.

Stop occasionally to look at the view while catching my breath. Enjoy the stillness of this place, a road with only the occasional vehicle, with the tourist cable cars going up and down the highwires overhead. I have the road to myself, and the random lizard. And we climb, one foot in front of the other.

I passed my halfway marker. I passed the gate. I knew I would make it. And before I knew it, one last steep turning switchback and there it was, the bar, the mall, Elroy with ice and water and a ready smile, and I could call DH and my SP buddy and gloat that I made it!

I cooldown walk around the top, drinking two huge glasses of ice water, and then another 30 minutes to walk back down, slowly slowly one foot at a time, retracing my footsteps and letting gravity ease me down the hill. Another cool down walk around the parking lot, another apple and some more water, and that was the day.

The day I conquered my challenge hill.

Next challenge, you ask? Keep walking this hill until I can climb it without stopping. THEN I will own this hill!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVBONNIE 1/30/2008 11:10PM

    WOW; Mazel Tov! You are Queen Of The Hill !

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ASTROS_FAN 1/23/2008 1:59PM

    I am so proud of you!!!! Dang, when you get challenged, you don't let go!!! great job, sweetie!

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NOTBLUSHING 1/22/2008 10:18PM

    That was gloating? You sure are sweet when you gloat!!
Big (((HUGS))) and congrats on your fitness achievements!

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SECRETFUN 1/22/2008 9:47PM

  I was going to ask what you were doing for three more months! Super woman! Go until you have no need to stop. Then increase your speed. then then then.....I am one grinning lady.

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I rewarded myself with exercise! I don't believe it!!!!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What a U turn in my thinking!!!!!!!!!

I worked out all week, every day, training for this half marathon. I walked 2 hours three or four days, and walked steep hills the other days, alternating. I lifted weights. I did tons of stretching. I did yoga positions/holds to stretch and strengthen at the same time. I followed my plan and gave myself a big gold star every day for over a week.

So on Friday, my begin to relax for Sabbath day, I rewarded my commitment and my work with more exercise!!!!!

I went to the beach and walked in the sand for about 80 minutes. Back and forth. Kept my heart rate at about 60% max (proudly wearing my new HRM). I enjoyed the sun in my face, the wind in my hair, the sound of waves crashing, and my feet sinking into the wet sand. I watched families with small children playing in the water, a father teaching his children to body surf, an old (80 yr old or so) couple walking hand in hand up and down the beach. I enjoyed the day and living in the Caribbean and all of creation.

I logged over 16,000 steps yesterday, at least half of it at the beach. And that walk, my reward, truly was rewarding. It was energizing for my body, relaxing for my mind, and nourishing for my soul.

Thank you, Notblushing, for dragging me to this point! And thank you, SparkPeople, for this polar change in my thinking........I don't know when or how it happened, but it did.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEWEL-LEE 1/19/2008 2:40PM

    This is truely inspiring! Thanks for the visual of walking on the beach! I can't wait for summer!

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SMURFETTE0725 1/19/2008 12:22PM

    It came from within ....

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NOTBLUSHING 1/19/2008 10:49AM

    It's all you, babe.

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I think I'm in better shape than I think I am

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Today was a hill day. So I drove to my challenge hill, and decided to start by driving the hill and clocking the miles. Turns out the road is all of .9 miles - yet it goes from sea level to 750 feet. Can we say steep?

Sunday, when I started this hill, I made it to .5 mile. Halfway on the road. Which is probably less than half the elevation.

Today, I walked to the same point, and then beyond for another 5 or 10 minutes. It was hot. It was sunny. I spent a full day at school, and ran around. I started the hill with 7,000 steps. And yet, I was able to walk .5 miles uphill in about 17 minutes.

I know this isn't fast. I know I will never break a world record in any speed.

But for me to walk uphill - going at 65-75% of my max heart rate - half a mile in about 17 minutes - WOW! For me, that's pretty speedy.

And all I can think is, maybe I'm not in such bad shape after all!

I finally figured it out - I have to challenge myself with what I think I CAN'T do in order to achieve it, and realize how much I CAN do!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 1/18/2008 7:32AM

    I think my inner athlete is a long distance speed walker. Think that could become an Olympic event?

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PIKAGIRL 1/18/2008 7:23AM

    Good job! It won't be long before you're running up and down it like a pro. :D

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NOTBLUSHING 1/17/2008 9:25PM

    You'll be jogging this in two weeks.

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SMURFETTE0725 1/17/2008 8:18PM

    Yep, you got it .... we are SO MUCH stronger than we think!! And every single one of us truly DOES HAVE an inner athlete living within! We just have to give ourselves the opportunity to discover ....... (CONGRATS PHEBE!!!)

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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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