I hate running hills. I’ve become more accepting of them, but I still dread them. For the first time ever, I’m doing some real speed training for a half marathon and that involves hill sprints. Because the first leg of the relay I’m running is hilly and described as, “hard,” I thought I’d better stick to the training plan and tackle some hills.
I had planned a particular stretch of road but it’s busy and noisy and I’d feel too exposed, so I changed my plan. There’s a pretty decent hill by the kids’ school that I usually avoid (ha ha!) so I measured it and its grade – it was 0.16 miles and almost a 6% grade. That would work!
I started my fitness band (which has the plan programmed into it so it beeps at me when it’s time to transition) and was off on my 15:00 warm-up run. I finished the warm-up at the bottom of the hill and went straight into it. I charged up that thing for 1:30:00 and then jogged another minute and a half back down to do it again. I did that 10 times – it took 30 minutes and ended up being 3.2 miles of my 6.0 mile run, half of which was up that hill. My pace suffered some but in was still under a 10:00 pace and had I run down the hill faster, it would have been similar to Mondays run (I had to pace myself down the hill to not over-shoot my starting point to run up the hill again).
And do you know what? I kind of liked it. I did. I’m learning to really enjoy the directed training runs (intervals, hills, tempo) quite a bit. I’ve never been one to coast through challenges but that is exact what I’ve usually done in regards to distance running training. It’s time to push myself.