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Heartbreak Hill

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

For those of you not living in the Boston area, Heartbreak Hill is the name for a very famous stretch along the Boston marathon route:

"Heartbreak Hill is an ascent over 0.4-mile (600 m) between the 20 and 21-mile (32 and 34 km) marks, near Boston College. It is the last of four "Newton hills", which begin at the 16-mile (26 km) mark and challenge contestants with late (if modest) climbs after the course's general downhill trend to that point. Though Heartbreak Hill itself rises only 88 feet (27 m) vertically (from an elevation of 148 feet (45 m) to 236 feet (72 m)),[34] it comes in the portion of a marathon distance where muscle glycogen stores are most likely to be depleted—a phenomenon referred to by marathoners as "hitting the wall."

I'm beginning to feel some signs that I'm hitting my own personal "Heartbreak Hill". Not so much with my eating plan; I am basically pretty content with following the IP protocol, even with the restrictions. Three things are strongly in my favor for staying on-plan: I have liked vegetables since an early age, I am more satiated by protein than carbs, and the hot chocolate and protein bars are satisfying my sweet tooth. I actually don't envision my maintenance eating to change dramatically, although I will welcome back some limited amounts of fruit, "sweet" veggies like carrots, and oatmeal.

But I am starting to struggle a bit with exercise. I'm running into my two usual obstacles: fatigue and boredom. Since it's winter I am exercising indoors at the local Y, which I find works best if I go before work. The down side is that as the weeks go on, I struggle more and more with getting out of bed with enough time to still work out. I have fibromyalgia and feel like I am always functioning with less rest than I really need, so this places an additional demand on me, even though I'm lucky to not have to get up very early. And also as time passes, it starts to feel more and more like a chore and less like enjoyable time. I do bring a tablet and stream some TV shows when I'm on the elliptical, but even so it just makes it tolerable, not fun.

Having said all that, I am determined to power through this. I have made a deal with myself that as soon as the weather improves I can start walking again, which I can do during the day, doesn't require getting up early, and I really enjoy. I'm also calling this my "Heartbreak Hill" phase to keep this in perspective. Somehow those runners find the way to get up that hill; I can do this too.

What have you done to break through your obstacles?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
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    1586 days ago
    I know you will keep at it. Music makes the big difference for me during workouts...but even this isn't a guarantee...there are some days where I'm just slogging through to get 'er done!

    Cheers to getting through the wall!

    1586 days ago
    I like to occasionally dig out the old Sweatin' to the Oldies videos and laugh at Richard Simmons in his sequin spandex and dance to the oldies.
    emoticon emoticon
    1586 days ago
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