On running…

For the last 22 or so years, I have had an on and off again affair with running. Never much of an athlete, I took my first tentative steps in my early forties and have continued at some level since.  While my best running years were my mid 50’s, I believe the later in life start has allowed me to continue running into my 60’s and hopefully beyond.  Running has been good for me providing a sense of accomplishment and a tool to help manage my weight.

Though I rarely go a week without at least one run, some weeks I am all about running and some weeks not so much.  My biggest running motivator is an adventure goal with a deadline!

Which brings me to my current situation.  John and I have committed to a 6 night/7 day late August trek in Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon. Because we have spent the last few months “in discussion” about our destination, I have struggled to get my mind around getting in shape (cue up violin music).  This week reality finally settled in!  Yikes, only 89 days till departure.  I think I found my motivation!
So this is how Eagle Cap Training Week One shook out :

Monday, May 22: Set my alarm for 4:30 AM and, at 4:30 AM, reset it for the regular time.  Grrrrrr, still tired from Saturday’s 8 mile hike to Charlie’s Bunion and couldn’t convince myself that running was a good idea.  On the plus side, 1-min of planking done.

Tuesday, May 23: Ditto Monday,  but yay for another 1-min plank.

Wednesday, May 24: Third time is a charm.  Up at 4:30 Am for a 2:42 mile run around the neighborhood. It is really dark at 4:30 AM and NO ONE else is stirring.  Lucky for me I have my trusty headlamp and John to keep me company.  When we got home, we patted ourselves on the back for getting out the door! And yay for another 1-min plank.

Thursday, May 25: Riding high from yesterday’s  early wake up, we were up again at 4:30 AM.  This time for a 2.11 mile run, I had an early meeting at work so we cut our distance a little.  Nope, still no one out that early and yes I did the 1-min plank.

Friday, May 26:  This is my late day at work and my hardest day.  Nobody in our house is getting up at 4:30 AM.  1-min plank done.

Saturday, May 27: We slept in (7:30ish). After all, it was my 64th birthday and gosh I deserved it!! Went for a 4.02 (yes, .02 counts) around and just outside the neighborhood.  Since we are in a build phase (read: just getting back in to it), we (I) avoided the hills and kept it flat.  Going for distance this day and hills would have crushed me!!

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Flowers at Suttree Park with the Tennessee River and city skyline in the background

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Flowers and dandelions at Suttree Park

Sunday, May 28: I think my husband tried to kill me today (well in a loving, let me help you get in shape sort of way).  After another sleep-in/relax and drink coffee sort of morning, we headed out for the second run of the weekend, 3.57 miles.  Again, around the ‘hood, not too exciting but getting it done. My legs are feeling a little tired now but I am feeling quite happy with the weekend effort.

But it appears I was not done.  John announced that we really MUST do steps.  After all, we will be hiking a lot of uphill and well, how do you get in shape to go uphill if you don’t go up hill.  So off to the University of Tennessee we head to walk the steps on The Hill or as it is known by the faculty and students, “Cardiac Hill.” We climbed all the steps around the hill, then one wicked set at Neyland Stadium and the and up and down through the stadium parking garage.  We climb 631 steps up, I did not count the down.  By the end of the effort, I was gasping for air, my legs were trashed, I don’t think my husband even took a deep breath.

So, that was our effort for Eagle Cap Training-Week One.  All in all, not a bad effort for our first week.

Total Miles Run:  12.1 miles

Total Steps: 631

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 2nd Creek runs along the base of the east side of “The Hill”.  It is usually a drainage ditch but based on recent rain, the water level is higher than usual. 

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Ayres Hall, the hallmark of the University of TN.  This is half of the staircase that climbs from Cumberland Avenue to the Ayres Hall patio. The steps are on the north side of “The Hill”.  

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The staircase from Phillip Fulmer Way to the top of The Hill .  This is roughly the west side of The HIll. The top of Ayres Hall is visible above the enclosed walkway.

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Knoxville skyline and the Tennessee River from the top floor of Neyland Stadium parking garage.  The green roofed boathouse contains the women’s rowing team sculls and workout area. 

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