run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hills and Defying Laziness.

I woke up yesterday morning to my alarm at 5:57 (I like setting my alarm to odd numbers, it's a thing with me). I should have bounced right out of bed and into my running clothes... but instead, I laid there. I swallowed and was greeted with severe throat pain. Good Morning, Amy. Nothing like a wicked sore throat to start your day off right. I turned my alarm off and rolled over.

About 20 minutes later, I woke up again. I swallowed. Throat pain still there. I went back to sleep.

Another 20 minutes later I wake up and think to myself... I'll just do my hill workout this afternoon. It will be bad for my throat to get out in the cold, damp and run. And then I finally got real with myself and realized that while I might try to run yesterday afternoon, there is no way in hell I'd do hill repeats that afternoon. Not after spending all day dreading it. It just wouldn't happen.

So, I got up and decided to just do it. The "last week Amy," would have blown the run off. But, this is new Amy. This is "have to get up and actually train and not just run whenever I feel like it Amy."

I decided early on, that it was going to be purely a hill workout. A warm up, hill repeats, and a cool down. No extra mileage for me yesterday (mainly because of time constraints). I ran about a 1.5 mile warmup and then met up with my old arch nemesis: Wedgewood Hill.

First of all, I want to thank an anonymous commenter last week. They had very good suggestions, let's review what they said...
As a veteran runner, you're probably not inclined to do this, but do some reading in the next week about how to run hills. It's all stuff you know, but the refresher might be good. Ideally, boil it down to about 5-8 tips and find some way to be reminded of each of them during your repeats. Have someone memorize all 8 and say them periodically while you run together. Write them on notecards and read one at the rest/water in between each hill and focus on it for the next repeat. It's basic stuff and you know it, but sometimes refreshers are good for even the fastest of the fast veterans.
Aside from the good advice, observe how this commenter schooled us all on the proper way to give advice. Because, I'm going to be honest with you... if they had just said something like... "be sure to brush up on proper form and technique for running hill repeats." I'd been like.. Pshaw. Are you kidding me?? Some anonymous commenter is going to tell ME that I need to brush up how to run hills? Haha.

But instead, by appealing to my ego, the commenter immediately got my attention within the first 3 words by referring to me as a veteran runner.  And then... they followed up with the phrase... It's all stuff you know... and the kicker? even the fastest of the fast veterans. Which translates to: you are not the running goddess that you think you are, but even if you were... you still need to remember these tips.

Bravo. This is possibly the best commenter's advice I've ever gotten. I tip my hat to you.

So, yes... I took this commenters advice and remembered the tips that I received from Scott Jurek on hill running.

Scott Jurek... aka a real running god on how to run hills

And for the first couple of repeats, I channeled my inner Jurek* and held my neutral pelvis and tried to keep from dumping my pelvis forward (I'm not talking about bowel movements here people... watch the video, you'll see). And then by the time the third repeat hit, I was flailing and bending into the hill and dumping my pelvis forward all over that hill. Basically, everything you're not supposed to do, I was doing.

Next time, I'm going to focus more on form on those last couple of repeats, instead of my speed. As it was, I was powering up the hill at a 7:30 pace (which explains my exhaustion level by the last two repeats).

All in all. It was a good thing. The hills sucked, I only did 4 repeats, but it's a victory in that I actually got my ass out of bed and got them done.

*Clearly, if you've ever ran trails with me, you know that I have no "inner Jurek," but there's always hope that one day I will.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Score! This is the second time you have specifically responded to me! (The first was when I gave you something from McMillan about predictions.) I seriously think that if Paula Radcliffe were tackling a hill, and her coach whispered "neutral pelvis" in her ear partway up (or pump your arms or whatever targets her weakest hill running technique), her form would improve and she'd do better. It's hard to remember all the tips in the heat of the final hill repeats, but I know you can make hills your friend eventually (and I know I can too...). But everyone can improve, and pretty much everyone can learn how. It's just a matter of always having some tips in your mind and working on those tips consistently, trying to always avoid resorting to whatever is poor form for you. I love your idea of focusing more on form than speed for at least some of the repeats. I may try that too!