This morning I ran hills with the Luke's Locker group for the first time. It's a 5.75 mile stretch around the Colonial Golf course and Texas Christian University here in Fort Worth.
It was murderous.
Even though I averaged an 8:24 minute mile, don't let the good times fool you. Some of the hills were so steep that at one point, while running downhill, my Garmin said I was running under a 7-minute-mile. I wasn't really running downhill. I was falling. So you can imagine how tough it was to run up said hill.
My heart rate soared to well over 90 percent max and I was not feeling strong at all at the end.
But I'll use some of this space to brag on Noreen. She leads the Tuesday and Thursday morning Luke's Locker runs (and works at the place). This is a woman well into her 40s, has run a 3:25 marathon, but had been battling injuries (hip, I think). I knew she was strong, but today was the first time I'd seen her doing something other than a recovery run. Noreen didn't run up the hills, she floated. Glided. Bounded. She wasn't even breathing hard. The rest of us were shuffling and gasping and wheezing. (Well, there was an old guy named Ed who ran good too _ he's run 45 marathons _ doesnt it just make you sick.
It's pretty awesome to see an accomplished marathon runner at work.
Afterwards, I told her, "Looks like your marathon muscle memory is coming back."
If you live in Fort Worth and are looking for running shoes, go to Luke's, ask for Noreen. It's nice to get shoe advice from a person who has actually run a marathon.