Training Week 12/14 to 12/20/15: The Hills Are Alive

This was the second week of Not Injured. It still feels like something that should be said in a hushed tone and indirect gaze, at least until I have a full month of this new state. I’m only starting to think about what my race schedule will look like and what kind of goals I’m trying to hit, but also still sorta holding my breath.

In the meantime, I am staying busy in my routine.

M: Upper Body
Tu: Legs; run 4 miles
W: Run 4 miles
Th: Hills (about 2 miles)
F: Rest!
Sat: Run 10 miles
Sun: Run 4 miles
Total: 24 miles!

Instead of our usual track workout, Trainer took me out to these newly(ish) formed berms on my park/lake route for a hill workout. Up to this point, not only had I never done a hill workout with him, I don’t remember if or when the last time I’d done hill intervals. When I do hill “work,” I either do a rolling hill road route or a trail run, neither of which I’ve done in like six months at least. So this was going to be interesting. Or hell.

After warming up, Trainer explained the route he had set out with his cones and what he wanted me to do. Eeks.

Up one medium hill down the other side and finish at the top of a steeper hill. Neither hill was too long; the hard part was that he wanted me to charge not only up the hills but down the one side too, which was a little scary. When I run trails or do my rolling hills route, I pretty much cruise and kick it. I figure the fact that I’m doing hills is enough of a workout — I don’t need to be sprinting up these damn things too!

Pretty sky for my first hill workout. This little guy wasn’t so little about the seventh time up.

Anyway, I did this nightmare seven times and ended up a disappointing 15-20 seconds slower than the time Trainer had hoped for. The steeper second hill just did me in, and I at times almost (no way in hell I could get a way with actually) walked the last few steps. I was light headed and my legs had that jelly feeling…but the workout didn’t stop there. Then Trainer had me run the steeper hill another seven times, only the first half up I couldn’t use my arms. Nice. And for the finale, I started halfway up the steeper hill and sprinted up another seven times. Yikes.

At one point, I panted out “What-[gasp]-is-[gasp]-this-[gasp]-doing-[gasp]-for-[gasp]-me-[wheeze]?” All I got in response was “A lot.”

Come the weekend, even though I have no Plan yet, I started thinking about incorporating some half marathon pace (HMP) miles into my long run. I’ll be downgrading my Surf City Marathon registration to the half, which leaves me about eight weeks to train. It’ll be my first race back since being injured, and my first race ever on a midfoot strike! I have read that training and race times are generally slower as you transition, which is about a 5-6 month process that I’m about two months into, so I have no idea what to expect.

I finally got a double digit long run in – a whole 10 miles! – and planned to do two of them at HMP. I had aimed for one mile at HMP last week, with that pace being 9:09. I ended up doing it at 8:58, so I figured I’d aim for that this week, but planned to just go by feel…yeah, so I ended up doing my two HMP miles at 8:40 and 8:41. Overall the run was on my faster side, averaging 10:26. I could tell the endurance was an issue, but I’m hoping that will sort itself out over time. Just don’t know if I’ll be there in time for Surf City though.

Anyway, I guess Trainer was right when he said the hills were doing “A lot” for me. Ha.


Anyway, we’ll be back at it, the same hill workout next week, and I hope to improve my times. My legs are getting that tired feeling again as I add on the mileage slowly, and it’s feeling like racing season is on the horizon. Yay.

Hope everyone has a great running week!

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