Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hill Repeats

I gotta say, I was pretty disappointed about missing my quality run on Tuesday since I was sick. Given that running is my weakness, I've really been looking forward to those key run sessions, knowing that no matter how much they hurt, they are making me stronger. So skipping them sometimes hurts worse than actually doing them.

Given that I was feeling back to my old self yesterday, I sent Jen an email and asked if I could do Tuesdays run this morning instead of the easy run that would have been on tap had I been following the normal schedule. She said ok. YES!

The run workout this week was to find a hill that would take about a minute to run up, and charge up it 8 times. That didn't sound all that hard to me, but I figured it would be once I was actually doing it. See, I run hills all the time here. There's no flat option unless I were to drive myself to the track- even just running over to the track I've got some hills to cover before I get there.

But I've heard that running up hills during normal workouts is different than running up hills during a hill workout. I was about to find that out for myself.

Part of my challenge was to pick the right hill. I was pretty much a victim of overchoice when it came to this... But when she said to run about 2 miles before and after, I knew just where to go.

This incredible park is just over 2 miles from my house. I know I've written about it several times before, but it's just the most awesome place to run and it's my sanctuary so I can't help but write about it again. Humor me. ;)

So this first hill was where I watched the sun come up this morning.

I placed my water bottle on the grass next to a plant that would serve as my Start Line. Then I charged up the hill and around the corner until I got to a 'Caution Pedestrians' sign that would serve as the Finish Line. First time up, OUCH. This is going to hurt. 7 more times.

I gave myself two minutes to walk/jog down the hill to recover, so the repeats were on 3 minutes (You just can't take the swimmer out of me- I need interval 'Go' times.) I let my watch run continuously and went off on my hill attack every time the number was a multiple of 3. This was key because then I didn't have to worry about losing count after my brain was officially oxygen deprived and ceased having the ability to do simple math. Just keep going until the watch said 24 minutes and then jog home.

By the sixth one I could feel myself starting to fall apart... desperately swinging my arms (and whole upped body) as if that would help my feet pick themselves up off the pavement... I had to make a conscious effort to not let my shoulders actually touch my earlobes... My legs felt like J.E.L.L.O. Who would have known that just a few hard minutes could produce such an effect?

I barreled up the hill for the eighth time as fast as I could. WOW! I made it~ 5 seconds faster than I'd done the first few! Gasping for breath at the top. Hands on my knees as I tried to steady myself and not actually fall over. Goal accomplished. I worked that hill. I own that hill.

But I was happy for every red light I got to stop and wait at during that jog home.


Natalie D said...

sounds like a great workout. so scenic!!

DC Running Mama said...

I was just thinking about hill repeats and how I haven't done them since 2004/2005 probably! Maybe I'll see if I can get my coach to throw some of these in my training plan!

Alicia Parr said...

You were only sick a day or two? Lucky girl. The crap that's going around on the mainland is a lot more lingering. I'm trying to have positive images of complete health by Sunday (when I race).

Good job on the hill repeats. I bet you've got some good hills to work with.

Often, our bodies make us take a break when we need it, even if we don't want to.

Lizzie said...

Jello sounds a lot better than cement, which is what my legs felt on my long run on Monday! I am blaming the hipster doofuses in the townhouse behind our apartment who chose to party on at 3.45am, 4.30am, and 5.15am Saturday night/Sunday morning. :)

I am just starting on hills - eek!!!

Angela and David Kidd said...

Way to tackle that hill. And I am so jealous of your options. To find a hill here that takes a minute to climb I either have to drive or get on the treadmill.

GoBigGreen said...

I am an interval user as well:) And i am slipping backwards up the icey hill near my house this winter can i come run that hill with you. Please?:)
PS and we can invite jen. ( maybe we dont want to do that..hehehe)

Clare said...

i have just the i want to try it!! but 8 sounds like a bit much for me. i think i will do it though this week!

Angela said...

great workout. I'm jealous, I haven't had the time with packing/working/kids/husband and moving to work out since Tuesday.