Monday, February 25, 2008

What Hills?

Yesterday Annette and I met with some of the Cruisers at South Side Elementary for our long run. My original goal was to run 12-13 miles. We had a pretty good group when we arrived. Brenda, Cindy, Lisa, Michelle, Bailey, Joan, Annette and I. Joan only wanted a slow 6 and picked what I call the Mt Tabor Loop or some call it the Big Loop. We started at the school, headed south on Hwy 89 to Mt Tabor. Then took Mt Tabor to Dogwood. Dogwood over to Mt Carmel/321 and back to the school. This is right at 7 miles so we figured we could add on to get our mileage afterwards.

Brenda, Cindy, and Lisa took off fairly fast and the rest of us sort of hung back and ran with Joan for a while. Joan is very fast in races but likes to do most of her long runs at a much slower pace which was nice today. Our first mile was an 11:06, much slower than I intended but very comfortable. About 1.5 we turned on to Mt Tabor and by about 2 we started hitting the bigger hills. Bailey hung with Joan and I ran ahead for a while with Michelle with Annette alternating between groups. It wasn't long before Annette and Michelle were ahead of me. We were still trying not to push the pace that much but I could really feel the hills today. I was thinking that Saturdays speed work helped add to this.

Let me tell you, Mt Carmel/Hwy 321 has some hills on it. This whole route is hilly. When you get done running on this route you dread seeing another hill. Here is what the elevations look like on this run:

When you hit about the 4.5 mile mark, all you can see is the last hill looming down the road. You have a somewhat downhill section but then just past mile 6 its one last hard uphill. This one may not look so bad on the chart but let me tell you, it is. I have biked it several times also and I could walk up it faster than I can pedal up it. It is steep. We have nicknamed this one Heart Break Hill because its just tough, especially when its at the end of a 17-20 mile run. Been there done that!

I tried to capture the steepness of this little monster in this photo but it really doesn't show it. It's still way up the road there. Thats Annette and Michelle out in the middle of the road.

Michelle has had IT problems so she tries not to run on the shoulder that much so everyone was constantly yelling when cars were coming so she would get out of the road.

Just before the school we saw Brenda and Cindy coming back to run everyone in. Then a little dog ran across the road and started following me. I couldn't get rid of it. Annette, Bailey and Michelle headed for the bathroom while I waited in the parking lot at the school to finish our run. I had finally gotten rid of the dog but it followed Bailey to the parking lot when they came out of the store. Brenda looked at the dog and determined that it had to belong to someone so she took it upon herself to go find the owner. I told her it had to come from one of the houses just across from the Church. So she loaded the dog up in her car and went to find its home. Latter we saw her and she said it was one of the houses across from the church and the owner was very happy to see their dog again.

When Annette and Michelle got back we took off to finish our run. Everyone was complaining about their legs. By this time we had more or less settled on doing 10-11 miles. We sort of made up a route as we went, crossing over to Deitrich. Before we got to the end Annette was not feeling it. She turned around and said she was done. Michelle decided she would run back to her house and Annette was going to drive her car there so Bailey and I kept running. I was not feeling it either at this point. My upper legs were hurting and I know it was all those dang hills. We also did 8 miles of hills on Wednesday night so it all made sense. I think the extended break in the parking lot cooled my muscles down because after about a mile I was feeling better. It might have been my Apple Hammer Gel too.

Bailey and I ended up running down by the Jr High and Middle School. By the time we got back to our parking lot we were just under 10 and got the final .1 in the parking lot. I wish I had done more but the hills had to be worth some extra mileage. I know they were a good workout thats for sure. The Little Rock Marathon's motto is "what hills?" Well, today we had hills. And Cabot has some hills that would compete with anything in the Little Rock Marathon. They may not be as long but some of them are straight up. It is good training and in my head, it will make me stronger and faster for running them. The crazy thing is now that some of us have learned the proper way to run hills, we sometimes run faster uphill than in the flats. Now thats weird! I think its the fact we just want to get them over with.

Here were my slow, hilly times from Sundays run:
Total Miles - 10.04
Time- 1:49:29
Avg pace - 10:54
1361 calories

Next up - 1 mile time trial on Tuesday night.

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