Thursday, July 12, 2012

Weeeee Did It! Hills as Therapy! And 14 Easy Miles

Seems like I have a little catching up to do.

Last week Julie and I started our 4th of July celebration by running 12 miles.  It was HOT.  It was HUMID.  It was HARD.  But..we did it!  We met at 7:00, but even though it was early, it was humid and already warm - in the 80's!  Running was hard, pretty much for the get go.  I'm pretty sure we made it to the top of the Beckett Ridge Hill without stopping, but much of that run is a blur to me now -- I recall running by some sprinklers and trying to cool off a bit.  When we got to the top of the hill, we got rewarded with a teeny bit of water...Julie put out the world's smallest water bottle on one of the hottest days of the year!  That Julie!  If I didn't love her so much, I never would have made it through that run.  The rest of the first 6-mile loop was pretty uneventful. It was hard, though, and we took a break to walk every once in a while.

The second time around the loop was even more difficult -- hotter, more humid, and now we're tired.  I think we had to walk some to make it to the top of the hill -- we figured we weren't going to kill ourselves, but we would get the mileage in.  Lots more walking on the second lap, but again, we ran when we could and got all 12 miles in on a very hot, and did I mention humid, day...  Never was I so happy to get through with a run.

Two days later it was just as hot and humid, and Julie was busy, and I really needed a therapy run.  I knew I couldn't run 6 miles without stopping (110 heat index for goodness sakes!), so I went back to our Miami Bluffs Hill and did hill repeats.  They were hard, but it felt great to push myself.  I could barely breathe by the time I got to the top of the hill.  I wanted to do more than 4, but was dying on the 4th one.  By the time I got back to the bottom of the hill, however, I decided to try for 5.  Off I went, and I only made it about 20-30 feet when I had to stop -- I was going to try to just walk up the hill, but even that felt too hard. I went back down to the bottom trying to convince myself that 4 repeats was enough.  I sat down on a bench for a while and was thinking of something that would spur me in to getting that 5th repeat done.  A good song came on my Ipod (China Grove), and I poured a little water over the top of my head and decided to give it one more try.  I had to use baby steps, but I made it up  to that top of that hill.  Very slowly, but I made it. It felt great to accomplish something that I was about to give up on. 

Yesterday was our 14-miler.  I think we are ahead of the training schedule, but since it was a beautiful day, we wanted to take advantage of the nice weather.  We met at 7:00 at my house and took off fast.  We had lots to talk about and lots to catch up on so the run went pretty quickly.  We both felt great, and ran the first 10 miles in 1:43 minutes. Not sure what our time was for the last 4 miles, but I'm sure it was at about the same pace.

We both felt great afterwards - legs felt strong, and we both feel good about conquering San Francisco! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hill Repeats!

Julie and I attempted our first Hill Repeats last Friday.  It was a hot and humid morning, so I was happy to work on hills, rather than go out and run for an hour.  We chose the Miami Bluffs Hill, which is about 4/10ths of a mile long with an incline of 150 feet. That doesn't sound like much, but this is a hard hill -- we've run it a few other times, but always toward the end of a 6 mile run.  I've been able to make it to the top only a handful of times, and Julie hadn't yet conquered the hill, so we knew we had our work cut out for us.

It was hard, but we conquered that hill...six times! Oh yes we did!  For me, it seemed to get easier each time, except the last time, when the last part was super hard.  We weren't really sure how many times we should have done the hill.  I thought I read something about 4-6 times, so of course we did the larger number. 

I felt great that we were able to run the hill six times and make it to the top each time.  It really gives me hope for San Francisco.  Imagine, though, my surprise the next day when I woke up feeling more sore than after I ran the last marathon!  Our glutes got a workout, and I certainly felt it the entire day!  I know that means we got a good workout, but I never expected to be so sore!  Glad to report that Julie was sore too!

But all in all, I am glad we did the hill training, and I know we will keep it up throughout our training.  Our goal is to not let those San Francisco hills get the better of us!