Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hill Training and other random things.

So, I haven’t blogged anything in quite some time. I have been really preoccupied at work. Retail is tough right now. I don’t have anything else to say about that.

The Silver Classic 5k in Killeen Texas redeemed itself by sending me a certificate for 1st place female walker and some gift cards from Applebee’s. I will send them a thank you note.

I had been taking my training kind of easy… only walking the races and a few weekday miles. My longest walk before last Sunday was the 20k on March. Then the weather changed. It was cold and rainy all week, so I didn’t get any walking done until I went to a track meet on Saturday, March 14 for a 1500 meter racewalk. It was raining and about 42 degrees when I arrived. 5 out of the 10 schools that were scheduled to attend the meet were no-shows. I have a lot of admiration for high school kids who will show up to run in those conditions. I wasn’t really feeling it, but under the circumstances, I felt like I would be the cop out if I didn’t do the race. So, I did. I did a 1 mile warm up, then jogged a lap and stretched before the race. I REALLY didn’t want to take off the wind pants to show the knees, but oh well; I was there, so I did. Not as fast as I wanted to be, but it was so cold. 1500 meters in 10:05:16.

I walked 5.37 miles on the 17th, 7.44 miles on the 19th, and 4.14 miles on the 20th. It was a pretty good week. No walking on Saturday, then it was time to get down to business with the hill training for Mohican.

I will have to sacrifice some of my shorter distance race speed in order to do the hill training, but it is critical that I do it in order to be able to walk the 100 miles at Mohican. I mapped out a hilly 3+ mile loop in Bellville where my mom lives. Sunday morning, not early enough, I went to Bellville to walk at least 16 miles, 18 miles if I felt good. The plan was to walk the loop in one direction, then reverse the loop and add a block on the every other time so that I would only have to walk it 5 times to add up to 16 miles. I also need to get used to stopping at the aid stations, so I set up my own on my mom’s front porch with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fig newtons, fritos, orange slices, water to refill my handheld, a clif bar just in case and some extra electrolyte for the fuel belt. I only brought one GU along, because I am going to try to fuel for the 100 miler with mostly REAL food.

Funny thing, I haven’t had a migraine in a long time. About a mile into my walk I started to see the aura that usually precedes a migraine. I was glad to have the Chocolate Outrage GU along because it has caffeine in it. Caffeine is a quick cure for a migraine. It only took a few minutes for the aura to go away. Did I mention that I was walking up and down hills? It’s funny that Bellville is only 12 miles north of Sealy and it is so much hillier. My goal for Mohican is to average 17mpm, including stops, I want to finish in 28 ½ hours. I was doing great and walking in the grassy shoulders of the roads when I could, and on the pavement when I had to. I made the first loop, then walked around the block and then reversed the loop. The loop also goes around a park where I can practice dodging tree roots, I made it to the park at about 4 miles and that is where I stopped for about 4 minutes to stretch during the second loop. My first AID STATION stop was at 6.7 miles, the end of loop #2. I refilled my handheld water bottle and ate some of the real food. It took me about 4 minutes, not too bad. The walk was going well, and I didn’t start to feel bad at all until about mile 12. I still had a little more than a mile to get back to the AID STATION, so I slowed down a little until I got there. I refilled the water bottle, ate the rest of the PBJ, orange slices and Fritos and brought the fig newtons for the road. After refueling, I felt better. I really could have used that GU at mile 12, but I used the only one I had with me to combat the migraine. Mental note… bring extra GU. I walked mile 15 and 16 at an average pace of 14:45, so I was able to finish the walk strong.

Anyhow, I made it. There was app 2,000 feet of elevation gain and loss over the 16 miles. I didn't stop my timer when I stopped to refuel, but I did keep track of how much time it took me at each stop and when I stopped to stretch at mile 4. Total time (incl 15 minutes dawdle time) 4:09:28, total distance 16.34 miles for an average pace 15:16. So, if I take out the stopped time, my actual walking pace was around 14:20. Average HR 69%, max HR (achieved at mile 12) 78%. This was a really good test. I plan to start doing this hilly LSD every other weekend. I have also started taking yoga to strengthen my core. Once a week after yoga, since I have to drive to Bellville for the class, I will do a hilly weekday walk.

I really thought that hilly 16 miler was going to tear me up, but I went to walk at the track today after work and walked a quick 6.11 miles. It looked like it was going to rain, so I drove to the track instead of walking. I figured if there was a quick downpour, I could always hide under the bleachers for a few minutes until it passed. Well, it didn't rain at all. I usually walk fast when I go to the track for a workout, and today was no different. I'll call it a tempo walk, because the first 5 miles were done in 1:02:27 with an average HR of 153 or 79% and I achieved 175 or what I believe to be 90% at the end of mile 5. The last 1.11 miles were done slow for cool down.

I think the hilly walk on Sunday helped the tight hamstrings rather than hurt them like I expected.

I guess that’s enough for now, except to say that I am walking in Angie's Half Crazy half marathon in Clear Lake Texas on Sunday. It is going to be a fun race, because as I always say... it's better to be crazy than lazy!


  1. Hi! I popped over here from the Ultrawalking Yahoo Group. :) Looking at your profile, we have a few things in common. I'm 48, and also have utilized walking long distances as a way to finally shed and keep off extra weight. Over the past year, my weight has dropped from 225 lbs to 138 lbs, and I've progresssed from couch potato to doing my first ultra distance two weeks ago (46 miles in the 12 hour time limit). I love your "crazy not lazy" tagline. :) Keep up the miles... --heather

  2. Thanks, Heather. You have done a great job also! I think it's kind of funny (strange) to be calling myself an athlete after all those years of overindulgence.

  3. lol...was reading some of your past entries and got excied about the Rocky Raccoon race in Huntsville....until I got a clue it was in Huntsville TX and not Huntsville AL where i am! Gotta pay attention to small details like that.:)

  4. good luck on your 1/2 on Sunday! And keep up the good work prepping for your 100-miler. I admire you for doing that. I have no desire to do 100, ever!

    Yes, isn't it strange to be an athlete now? But that's what you are! I had a hard time getting used to that idea, too.

  5. Hi! I found your blog from the yahoo group also. I enjoyed reading about your races. I am training to walk my first marathon in Cleveland on May 17th. Any tips for a first timer?