Desperately Seeking Cardio

Nashville is covered in a blanket of snow with a layer of ice underneath. My friends from Northern states enjoy reminding us Southerners that “this is nothing.” But because we don’t get much snow in these here parts, the city is not well equipped to handle it and everything pretty much shuts down.

This morning I found myself unable to get to the gym, assuming it was open. I didn’t work out yesterday and, endorphin junky that I am, I was itching to torch some calories. So I layered on the clothing, laced up the hiking boots, grabbed the trekking poles and got out there.

I live at the bottom of a steep hill. It’s so steep that runners from other neighborhoods come here for hill training. I’ve always considered it my nemesis. Seventy pounds ago I had to take several rest breaks while walking it. The last few times I ran in my neighborhood I had gotten to the point where I could jog the first third of it, then finish by walking with no rest breaks needed. Believe me, I was puffing hard by the time I got to the top. But it’s been quite a while since I’ve run in the hood.

I had no intentions of running in the snow today. I don’t own those “clamp on” thingies that are like snow chains for running shoes. Walking would have to do, but I also knew that walking in snow and ice would increase the cardio effort and a great workout was possible.

As soon as I started the climb my heart rate shot into the proper training zone for fat-burning. I was THRILLED at the ease in which I got to the top of Mount Nemesis. Coming down was a different story. I was being so careful my heart rate dipped below a proper training zone. That’s actually a good thing because it shows me my cardiovascular health is good if my heart rate recovers so quickly. Once on level ground I picked up my pace and kept my heart rate in the fat burning zone for the remainder of the hour. A check of my heart rate monitor told me I burned 482 calories. Not bad.

Accept for the cold air on my face (which was slathered in moisturizer) I didn’t feel cold. I’m not the best at layering; I either wear too much or not enough. But today I was layered to perfection. Here are some stunning photos.

Layer 1 = Champion compressed long sleeve shirt with hood; full length running tights.
Layer 2 – Nashville Predators thick sweatshirt, pair of yoga pants
Layer 3 – Ugly green coat with hood that I bought in a Walmart men’s department before losing any weight.
Also – two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, sunglasses

Because walking the hill felt really easy to me, I have a new training goal. I want to be able to run to the top by April 1. This will serve as part of my training for the Country Music Half Marathon, which boasts a hilly course.

Right now I still have that relaxed, floaty feeling I experience after a great cardio session. I’m so glad I didn’t let the elements rob me of that feeling.

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2 Responses to Desperately Seeking Cardio

  1. Dave says:

    You inspire me! I haven’t ran in some time but have changed my weight training to shorter rest periods between sets & have added an extra set.
    “Too cold to run!” I’ve been saying. It’s awesome that you dictate to the weather & stay on your path.
    Thanks for your posts!

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