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Hills, Hills, Hills + one more Hill...

Posted Jan 22 2009 6:49pm


"Hills are speedwork in disguise."

--Frank Shorter, 1972 Olympic Marathon Champion.

Hill workout #2. This time around instead of three repeats, I had to do 4. I woke up dreading the run. I know I’ve mentioned before that I love hills, but hate hill workouts. Confusing? Probably… but let me explain. There have been many times that I’ve been out on a 15+ mile run and at some point, the monotony starts to take its toll. You’ve slowed down, your gait is a little wobbly, you’re daydreaming of what gluttonous food that you’d like to rip into as soon as you get home… and then you see this massive, looming hill up ahead. Initially, you freak out. Oh my god. There is no way I can climb up that hill, I’m already too tired. And then as you’re climbing it, you’re thinking… Oh my god, I should have taken a gu before this hill, there is no way I’m going to be able to run the entire way. My legs feel like they are about to burn off. And then, all the sudden you at the hill’s peak and you are coasting down, thinking… Oh my god, I can’t believe I just made it up that hill and the boost of endorphins or adrenaline or whatever the hell it is kicks in and you feel like you could fly for the next mile or two. It’s awesome.

Now, compare that to this scenario. It’s 6:30 in the morning, you have to run 2 miles to warm up and then you start sprinting up the hill for the first time. You have a pretty good speed, but that last little hump makes you feel like you are going to die. Then you jog back down the hill to do it all over again… 3 more times. I think my fastest hill was the 2nd one and my slowest was definitely the 3rd. Next time, I’ll wear my stop watch to record the splits. It was brutal though.

At the end of my 4th repeat, I ran by a construction worker and he looked at me with a very concerned look on his face and I realized… damn, I’m probably red faced and breathing so loud that it looks like I’m on the verge of a heart attack.

I’m just glad tomorrow is a rest day. Tonight, I’m going to do some strength training finally, it’s been too long.

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