Emily v Hills

This time, I won.

Last week I ran my first hill workout. To be fair, it was not my first. I think I might have done a hill workout with Buckeye Running about a million years ago, or so it feels. I was looking through all of my garmin data to see if I could find that workout, but unfortunately no luck. I am apparently not very good at naming things there, so searching for "hills" and "mason" yielded zero results. Anyway, that workout was quick and steep. I think we did 8-10 repeats up a VERY short hill.

This past week it was a little bit different. LONG repeats at a hard effort. I had 5K effort for 5x 1/2 mile. And while I was not overly stressed about it (because I knew that it was not going to be 5K pace, just hard), I was stressed about trying to find the "right" hill to do a workout like this.

Enter my former (before he left my company and moved to Lexington) training partner Charlie. He had done a hill workout near our office once. I had come up with my own option early in the week. I went to scout it out and realized it was only about 0.16 miles long, AND I was breathing like 5K effort just walking. Where Charlie comes in is finding this website: www.findhills.com. And he sent me directly to the section near the office that he had run previously. The elevation profile looked like this:
So yes, tough, but not all red, right? And long enough. When he told me about that stretch before he sent me this, my response was "there is a hill there? I don't remember thinking of that as a hill." He asked if I had ever done hill repeats, and that I should expect to feel like death no matter what by the end.

Now, I had a bit of a mental hurdle when I actually got out there and started running. Basically, I made a dumb mistake and started running hard after two miles, but I was going down hill. I had the starting and ending point mixed up. And I almost broke down as a result. I got to the bottom, I was at 2.5 miles, and I had 5 miles to repeats to go. Half mile up and half mile down... 5 times. And then I had to get back to my office. I started to freak. I almost threw in the towel. But then I decided, well, I am about a mile from my office at the top of the hill. So instead of running a mile cool down, I do a half mile recovery and then a half mile cool down.

I am super proud of myself for relaxing and going with the flow when something turned into what I did not expect. That is not my strong suit, so getting over little dumb things like this are a big deal for me. And while the miles were not fast (not even CLOSE to 5K pace) they were all sub 8 (even with recovery), so I know that I met my goal of running at 5K effort.

Another 8 mile workout, done and done.


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