Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hill meet Legs. Legs meet...wait, where are you going?

I do not like hills.  I'm pretty sure hills do not like me.  But hills and I need to become very good friends if I'm going to become faster and stronger as a runner (not sure what the hill will get out of it, but I'm thinking it doesn't really care).

Yesterday I decided to do hill repeat and chose to tackle the two steepest hills in a nearby neighborhood.  Although I am unsure of the incline, one hill was 200m and one was 194m.  I told myself I would be happy with just three reps, but I was shooting for six.  In the end I just did four.

I ran the 200m hill 3x, finishing the first run with a time of 1:24.  Aiming to knock at least one second off that time, I was super stoked when my second run clocked in a 1:20!  Yippee!

But something changed by the time I got to the bottom of the hill.  Maybe it was the fact that I had to run past this guy that wanted to talk to me as I ran, and I was tired of his tired jokes the third time around.  But really I think it was because I lost focus.  I got so excited about my 4 second improvement that I forgot to concentrate and wound up finishing the third run in 1:23.

I tried the 194m hill next, to avoid the overly-friendly resident, and finished that first, and only, attempt in 0:58.  And that was it.  My legs felt tired.  Plus, I told myself, I would have to push to get back to work before my lunch break was up.  I really should head back to work.  But really I had hit a mental wall.  I didn't want to do hills anymore.  The hill wasn't being friendly (unlike that neighbor), and I wanted a hug.

I'm not sure this qualifies as a bonk, but I felt like it was.  As I was running along that flat, paved road to my building, I felt the adrenaline rising for a final push.  "Where the hell was that push 10 minutes ago?" I asked Self.  Self shrugged, and I pushed anyway, because why the hell not?

My mental state didn't improve much today when I mounted my stationary bike for cycling class.  My colleague next to me apparently has legs of lead because she was cranking along, but I just couldn't muster 100%.  I probably performed about 75%.  I realized that I've been pushing hard for a week and a half, which is a lot for me - someone who runs occasionally and never more than 4 miles at a time - and I need a break.  So thats what tomorrow is.  No work-out.  Not even easy core.  Instead of running on my lunch break, I'm going to Target.

And then my husband comes home with this. Which makes me want to run all the more.

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