Hill Repeats

Today was my hill repeats workout day. That means, I run for about a mile or so to warm up and then find a hill and run up and down it four times. Next Wednesday, it will five times…the same way the following Wednesday and then my training plan switches to track only Wednesday workouts.

For the past few weeks, my good friend Elise has been watching my little muffin while I run my hills. The routine has been to drop off my little guy at school, head to Elise’s to drop off the little one, run, hang out with Elise and then pick up the little guy again. She’s out of town this week so I didn’t have that option. Love her but hate it when she’s away!

No one else was available this morning so I decided to woman-up and bring the muffin along. At first, I wasn’t certain how I could do it because I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the hill repeats while pushing the running stroller (well, at least not without getting a hernia or some other icky problem!). Then I realized that the hill isn’t that long, it’s just really steep. So if I parked my little muffin in the stroller around halfway up the hill, she could watch me.

So I did.

Ok, I really parked her at the bottom of the hill but you get the idea. And sorry for the blurry image…I had been carrying the phone in my bra so that’s my sweat obscuring your view. Ew. TMI? Not on this blog.

Admittedly, I did get the stink eye from some old ladies who walked by and scolded me stating that I “left my baby behind.” That was partially true but she wasn’t really ever out of my sight, except briefly at the tippy top of the hill. She never even cried…she just watched me with a scowl on her face. Each time I passed her, I said, “Hey Baby Girl, Can I get a ‘go mommy go’?” Nope, not a single one. Just the scowl as she sipped her apple sauce squeezer pouch.

Oh well, we’ll chalk this up to what my husband would call, “field expediency.” I’m pretty sure that’s US Military for “getting shit done under less-than-ideal circumstances.” Net-net, my hill repeats got done and we weren’t late for the muffin’s PT appointment at 10:30am. Not bad, eh?

And the hills are actually getting easier. Last week, I did 4 repeats and cursed through the last two. Today, I sailed up the first two, cursed up the 3rd and charged again up the 4th. It will be interesting to see how next week’s 5 repeats go. In the meantime, I looked at my training plan and did a little quick addition this morning. In my 3rd to last week of training, my long Sunday run will be 20 miles. Add to that the mid-week mileage and I’ll have run 43 miles that week! Holy running shoes, Batgirl! On the (very) bright side, I’m not feeling guilty that I just ate the last pack of the kids’ Valentine M&Ms…pretty certain I’ll burn them off.


Too Long!

It’s been too long since I’ve posted and I’m sorry about that. I love writing and sharing how my training is going and today is an ideal day to share because it’s been tough.

First of all, now that I’m FULLY RECOVERED from my surgery (read: running COMMANDO – OMG!!), I have put in place a marathon training plan, which you can find here. If you clicked the link, you may have been confused as you read the intro, which says it’s a plan for a runner’s 3rd or 4th marathon. Since the Santa Rosa Marathon will be my first, clearly this is a stretch (and given all my other hurdles, like how slowly I’ve been running and how I’ve never run farther than 13.1). It’s no secret or surprise that attempting to kill it with a 3:45 first marathon is a potentially unrealistic goal. After all, that’s why they make movies about people who do extraordinary things. I have no idea whether I’m such a person but I’m trying my best to achieve this gigantic goal anyway.

Today’s workout (I’m on week 3, Wednesday) was a 4x hill workout. The hill I’ve chosen is in a park called Heather Farm which is near my house. It’s not the 1/4 mile length that Hal Higdon suggests, but it’s quite steep and it’s a challenge for me. Because my daughter isn’t in preschool on Wednesdays, this workout could be extra tough for me. Thankfully I have an angel friend named Elise who has watched my little angel for the last 2 weeks while I run myself up and down that hill. (I can’t even imagine trying to do hill repeats with the jogging stroller, although it would certainly be a quick way to improve my level of fitness!). 

Last week, the Wednesday workout was 3x hill repeats. I thought that would kill me. Doing it 4 times today was obviously tougher. The warm up mile from Elise’s house to the hill was tough (including a VERY LONG traffic light, the mile took me 13:13! OMG SLOW, right?). I just wasn’t feeling it at all today. But I banged out the 4 hills and now I know I can do it.

In the midst of our massive California drought, we got some epic rain last week. I wasn’t deterred (although my warm bed nearly took me down a few times) and I ran!

As I continue to ask myself why on earth I’m doing all of this, I just keep reminding myself that I set this goal because I believe I can do it. Each little obstacle, like running 4x hill repeats this week and my 35 minute tempo run on Saturday (after I figure out what tempo I need to work for!), pushes me closer to being a marathon runner and a Boston Marathon Finisher. Those 2 things really mean something to me. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can!

Please share your goals with me so I’ll feel less crazy…