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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The One About Last Night’s Hill Workout

It was brutal.

That is all.

Ok, so I did survive, so it couldn’t have been that bad, but boy I am totally out of shape when it comes to hill repeats; I honestly cannot remember the last time I did repeats…. It’s been a while!

On Wednesday nights I usually go to Bible Study at my church which is pretty close to the train station, so I don’t ever go home on Wednesdays, I just go straight to the church. I usually have around an hour or a little more of time to kill so I try really hard to use that time to get a run in. Running on Wednesdays is hard though - it’s the middle of the week, I’m tired and it’s just no fun and last night was no different. But I also know that I would be really mad at myself if I wasted that hour.

 Over by my church there are two areas that have some decent hills to run, they aren’t great, this is Dallas after all but they are inclines and they get the job done. One hill is my favorite and it’s pretty much the perfect hill for hill repeats but it’s about 2 miles from the church and I didn’t really have time to run 2 miles, do 5 hill repeats and then hobble the 2 miles back last night. I know I’m not as fast in this heat and so I settled for the smaller hill that was a mile away.

I ran the mile out and only felt some slight pain and discomfort in my calves since I was wearing my Brooks PureFlows, but I think I am finally settling in to them and it’s getting better (yay! Success!!). I managed an 11:36 mile for the warm up which is pretty good for me considering how hot it was been. This summer has definitely been better than last summer and I’m just a little bit proud of myself for the running I have been doing in this heat, even though it’s not much.

Once I hit my mile, which was pretty close to the hill I was running up I got set up to do 5 hill sprints, like I said, it had been a really long time since I had done a hill workout, so long in fact I don’t really remember the last time that I did. But I tend to like hill workouts, if only the for the fact that they are fast workouts and they make me feel strong. The first sprint was quite a wakeup call as to just how out of shape I was when it came to hills, um wow, hello sky-high heart rate! I most definitely WALKED down the hill to recover from that first one.

I wanted to keep my rests at under 2 minutes but I quickly realized that was going to be out of the question, so I just walked around at the bottom of the hill trying to catch my breath and tell myself that I wasn’t not going to die, but if I did then at least I would die doing something I loved. I was actually recovered and ready to start my second repeat when all of a sudden a guy starts mowing this really tall grass right in my pathway about 30 yards in front of me, well that was no bueno. Can we say allergy attack just waiting to happen?  I was already hot, sweaty and annoyed and then this… so I had an extra long break waiting for him to move after the first repeat which would explain why the second one was probably my fastest one. Three was hard and 4 was so brutal I almost quit at that one. But I was bound and determined to get my quota of 5 repeats in so I trudged back down the hill and told myself that even if I have to crawl as fast as I can up that hill I’m getting back up it, and besides, if I wanted to get back home I had to go up anyways. So before I could change my mind I jogged back down the hill for one last repeat. And it sucked, tremendously, but I did it nonetheless.

All of my sprints lasted from 55 seconds (that was the 2nd one) to about 75 seconds (that was the last one) and I covered about 0.13 of a mile on each sprint. Boy was I glad that I only had time for the small hill today! Hopefully as the weather gets cooler and I get more used to doing hill workouts again I can go to the BIG hill and get in some serious hill repeats, I’m going to need them this winter when I run Austin again. 
See, major hill work is required!!

But for now I was happy with that workout and I felt accomplished.

I was spent after that last sprint and walked for a little bit before jogging the half mile or so back to the church in time for bible study. As tough as it is to get my act together and make myself go out and run before bible study it really works out well for me to utilize that time right before so that it’s over and done with. I like that it’s always a shorter workout and I know that in an hour’s time I’m done for the day, I’m thankful that I’m able to have that time built into my evening.

And if you happened to read this really long and boring post about my hill repeats workout, then thank you, I really appreciate it!


Erin said...

Keep doing them! They will get easier and make you stronger (not to mention prepare you for the Austin Marathon - it is hilly, but much easier if you've trained on hills). You're on the right track, keep up the great work!

The Unlikely Runner said...

Thanks Erin! Have a great weekend!!