After too many days of indoor workouts, I figured it was time to get out the door early Saturday morning to catch some sunshine and boost my vitamin D. I had signed up for the Long Beach Walking Club Meet-Up group for the Signal Hill Challenge, which I had walked with four times before. Five of the six people who RSVP’d showed up. As is often the case, I was the only male. There were a couple of newbies who were apprehensive of the hills and distance so the pace seemed slower than usual. I felt the need to work harder so I could at least break a sweat. Even though it was warmer than usual, there was a slight cold breeze blowing. So I powered up the first uphill, walking as fast as I could. The 13% grade had me breathing hard within a minute and I could almost feel an endorphin buzz. Unfortunately, that hill lasted for only about 5 minutes. I walked back downhill to the rear of the pack so I could rejoin the other walkers. After all I signed up so I can have some company. We engaged in short conversations between uphill climbs and I learned that the newbies were nurses from Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and Los Alamitos Medical Center, while the other two ladies were ex army and ex air force. As we approached the second uphill, I decided to jog up, and upon reaching the top, I again jogged back down to rejoin the others. And so it went on the subsequent uphill climbs. I just hope that I wasn't going against walking club etiquette while doing the jogging part. I just felt the need for a little bit more effort on my part so I could get a decent workout.
By the way, this club has a meet up planned for the Long Beach half marathon - the same one that I missed last year due to work obligations. Well I tracked my work schedule for this year and I'm working on the day of the race again. The only difference is that I'm not yet signed up for it and have no plan on doing so. So why do I bring up this topic? Because when I asked about what they were going to do about training, no one seemed to know how to go on about it even though a website link was sent out to the group which included a training plan. Lord, help them for they know not what they do about increasing the distance of long walks every couple of weeks! I may send the organizer the courses and distances that my running club has for marathon training.
As the walk continued on the 6 mile route, I kept on jogging up the hills and walking the downhills and the flats. By doing this then going back to the pack, I covered a total of 6.91 miles by the time we were done. It was my longest distance in months and on a hilly course to boot. Easy peasy.
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