I would have to look back through my blog, but I *think* I wrote a blog last year about running the LungStrong 15K in October. The course, was very, very, very, very hilly. Did I mention that it was hilly? And, that was the start of my Achilles tendonitis problems. That was my first road race ever, and despite the injury status and the feeling of utter exhaustion afterwards, I was very proud that I completed it. Even if the race walkers DID beat me. O_o
All along this course, there were signs along the side of the road, encouraging the runners. One that we kept seeing said, "Hills Build Character!" It was right after a particularly challenging hill. If I had had the energy, I probably would have run over and kicked it. Really? Because all they are building for me is PAIN!
The RunStrong Meet Up I participate in, was founded by the organizer of that race. He laughed when I was reminiscing one night about those crazy signs. They WERE funny...but not until after the race. Ha!
So now, I find myself doing hill repeats with the meet up every other week. 1 week is speed work, the other week is hill work. After the first 2 workouts I was thinking, "I cannot keep up with this. This is the stuff I used to do in high school, and I'm 17 years removed from this. Seriously." But I have to say, I rather enjoy the challenge. These are the types of workouts I never thought I'd do ever again. Run 3 leisurely miles - sure. Run hills? Nah.
Last night was the usual Monday night 4 Miler with the Run Strong group. As usual, Stacey and I were bringing up the rear. But I noticed that we're bringing up the rear a little faster. The first mile is mostly a steady incline. The first few weeks I ran this course I felt like I was DYING by the time I got to mile 1. DYING. And there were more inclines and small hills to go! I noticed last night, it wasn't so bad! For the first time in a while we didn't get caught at the light after the first mile. We ran the first 2 miles straight. By the time we got to the 2 mile mark, the rest of the group had rested for about a minute, and as they saw us coming up the hill, they started back. We actually took about two minutes of rest.
I love running back because it's mostly down hill from there. Except for at the very end. There is an incline up to the gas station and then back down to the flat parking lot where we end. Past runs, that incline has gotten the best of me, but yesterday I was really able to put the pedal to the metal and "beast it in," as KD would say. I surprised myself!
I know that was nothing but the speed training and the hill work. It's nice to see results from the hard work during those workouts. That is definitely motivation to continue attending those sessions.
If you're a runner, how often do you do speed work and hill training?