By Cool J in Minneapolis
Just stopping by for a quick hello, after a late night of hills with the Calhoun Beach Running Club.
I have a love/hate relationship with a hill workout. The hate? Why is it so damn hard? Why doesn’t it get any easier? Why am I moving so slowly? Did someone make this hill longer?
But it’s not just the actual hill workout that stresses me out. It’s the whole day leading up to it! I think about the impending doom all day at work. I think about what I’m putting into my body more than ever. Those leftover jelly beans? Probably a bad idea. I constantly check the weather, debating how to dress. Windy, with a high of 47 degrees? Shorts? Capris! Ah, the stress!
The love? When the hill workout is over! It’s awesome to have completed close to ten miles on a weeknight. Your quads and butt are tired and sore, but you feel great. It’s true that you end up getting home pretty late, and you end up whipping up some food, (whatever kind of food you can whip up as quickly as possible), and before you know it, it’s time for bed, but hey, you just ran a bunch of hill repeats! You rock! Oh, and tomorrow is a rest day!
Our club usually does repeats of a certain hill that is about half a mile long, or one mile roundtrip (up and down). It’s located on Kenwood Parkway in Minneapolis. You know who else lived on Kenwood Parkway?
It’s a two mile warmup to the hill from the club, and then a two mile cool down afterwards. Throughout the marathon season, we increase the number of repeats from four, up to perhaps eight! Tonight was my second hill workout of the season, so I managed to do six repeats.
I don’t have the stats on the elevation for the hill. Mason tells me it’s over a 100 foot gain, which may not sound like much, but remember, that’s over just a half mile. And in Minneapolis, that’s a mountain! But it’s challenging for everyone. I dare all you SoCal bloggers to come do repeats on this hill and tell me our city is flat!
**Actually, side note- one of the SoCal bloggers that I read- Run, Eat, Repeat– is coming here in June for the Women’s Half Marathon in Bloomington (a suburb of Minneapolis). This half marathon is only two weeks after the Newport Marathon, but I decided to sign up for the heck of it. Who doesn’t love an all-women race? All that she-power is inspiring. Let me know if you’re running it!
I don’t necessarily have to prepare for a ton of hills at my next marathon, as the Newport Marathon (which is in eight weeks!!!) isn’t supposed to be that hilly. However, hill training makes you a stronger runner, no matter what. I’d rather do some extra hills today and be prepared just in case!
Afterall, Newport won’t be hill free. Here is the course description from the marathon website,
“Starting in Yaquina Bay State Park at the historic “haunted” lighthouse, runners will head north along the ocean through some of Newport’s picturesque neighborhoods. This loop through the city is primarily residential with a few short gentle hills and turns at street corners. Heading back through the starting area, runners will proceed DOWNHILL under the Yaquina Bay Bridge to the bayfront. Past shops, restaurants, galleries, and a large fishing village, the course continues along the bay. Just past mile four, there is a short hill that rises about 40 fee, then descends back to back to bay level where it continues for the remainder of the race. The course follows the Yaquina Bay and River estuary to mile 15 where it turns back toward town, retracing the same route. The same hill at mile four reappears at mile 26, and then it’s downhill from there to the finish. Along the course runners will be treated to a splendid variety of views and scenery, wildlife and shipping, fisherman and crabbers. It is a very flat, very fast, and beautiful course that will produce numerous PR’s. The course is USATF certified and ahas proven to be an excellent qualifier for the Boston Marathon.”
The course sounds beautiful! I’m getting really excited- only eight weeks!
What kind of hill workouts do you do? Do you like hills? If you live in Minneapolis, let me know where you do your hills!