Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I said I was intending to do some more quality workouts, something that would help put the oomph back in my running, and one way to get that heart pumping and jumping, without circling a track all the time or doing speed drills on a treadmill, is to do hill repeats. So that's what was on the agenda today.

This hill, one of quite a few all going the same direction near downtown, from bottom to top is about 1/4 mile long, but I'm no way good enough shape to be doing repeats on something like that. When I trained for my first marathon (eons ago), my girls and I used this hill for our repeats, doing the full 1/4 mile, up to 9 times, starting at 90 seconds and decreasing by the 6th repeat. Fond and not so fond memories of those days. But the result of that hard work paid off.

Today? I started about 1/4 of the way up from the 1/4 mile mark, so I'm not really sure how long it was, but it was definitely long enough. I will take a picture of that hill one day when it is light out.

And yes, while I don't mind running in the dark in the mornings, doing something this crazy was definitely better done under cover of darkness. I was afraid if someone could actually see the pain in my face, they might call the paramedics.

The goal was to do 4 repeats, and I'm happy to say I was able to accomplish that. The first one was definitely the hardest. Once I got that over with, the next ones seemed easier, although I can't say I wasn't happy to be done. And don't even bother asking my time. I was not doing this for time, only to get it done. On the second repeat, two high school boys were dragging themselves up the hill, and I was glad they were at the top before I had to start my third. Like I said, I don't want someone knowing how crazy I am.

On the first hill, I couldn't help but notice a familiar silver scion parked along the street. Chia, is that yours?? I'm not stalking you girl, but I couldn't help but wonder. And if you did look out your window in the 7 o'clock hour and saw some crazy woman in a glowing yellow jacket going up and down your hill, now you know it was me.

This wasn't the hardest thing I've done by any means, and doing the hills sure made the time pass quickly. Before I knew it, I had been out there for 30 minutes, long enough on a very cold morning. I now realize 2 pair of tights will be necessary on these mornings.

And the best part about this workout? The loooong downhill going back to the gym. Like I said, the hard part makes the easy stuff really seem easy.

After my stretching routine, which I'm paying more attention to again, it was time to get up close and personal with the old tennis ball for some self-inflicted massage torture. That could be an oxymoron there. If you've never tried the tennis ball for self massage, let me tell you that while it can be quite painful, it does the trick. A tennis ball is once again standard equipment in my gym bag. And fortunately, we missed out on all this fun.


Lily on the Road said...

Good work on getting out there so early in the A.M. When I heard that Michigan was hit with a storm I thought of you, Jan & Chia immediately! Glad to hear it missed you!

jeanne said...

i'm impressed. and inspired. I HAVE to start hills again! i have a love/hate relationship with this time of year: too cold, not cold enough, too dark too early, when to run, blah blah blah.

as yogi used to say: if it were easy, it would be easy. :)

Marlene said...

Hill repeats in the morning?! Way to get 'er done!

Fe-lady said...

Yeah, hill workouts are on my "to do" list also....now, just trying to get myself to drive to them so I can run them....a little bit harder!
Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Yep - I'll be doing hill repeats this winter, too...to get ready for Big Sur. I'm like you in that the first hill is always the hardest!!

Sunshine said...

That's quite a picture.. more snow than we have had. Temp could get down to single digits tonight. Brrr

Impressive training.. again.