Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm "Over the Hill(s)"

Having given myself the last 2 days off to rest my heel, today was a must run day. Decisions, decisions...what route and distance was I going to conquer?? As much as I hated to admit it, I needed to run a route with some challenging hills. In 9 days I plan to run the Tradition Run. It's a run that, well, here's what it's all about:

"This year the Tradition Run will take place on Sunday, January 18th at 10:30 A.M. There is no charge to participate. Registration begins at 9:30 A.M. at the Maintenance Facility in Hubbard Park. The run is sponsored by the Meriden Parks and Recreation Department and the Record-Journal newspaper.
It starts at the old zoo area, running 3.1 miles to Castle Craig. There is a 700 foot elevation gain, 500 feet in the last mile. There will be water at the top, and a van to bring you back down, but the hardcore runners run down the mountain to make it 6.2 miles for the day. There are pre/post run refreshments and a raffle prize." (I plan on being "hardcore" and run down the hill also)

So now you understand why I need to do some hill training. I chose my most difficult and hilly 5 mile course and checked the weather: Temperature 28 degrees, feels like 23 degrees. Perfect! I was dressed appropriately for the weather, and off I went. I took a look up in the sky, wanting see whatever I might see...clouds, the, I saw the moon. It was almost full, and big and bright considering it wasn't even sunset. I was already getting a runner's high, and I had just begun running. I was actually enjoying the cold, brisk, winter day. Yeah, I know. I always complain how much I dislike winter. For whatever reason, today was different. Maybe the fact that I was running comfortably and pain free in my heel helped elevate my mood. Mile 1 came quickly, although it was an average time of 8:21. Mile 2 was slower, 8:34, which surprised me since the first mile is mainly uphill, and the second mile is mainly downhill. Mile 2 to 3 is the "torture test," with a total incline of about 300 feet. Mile 3 split was 8:46, a nice surprise. I say that now, since I was timing my split times, but not looking at them while I ran. Mile 4 was 8:20, and my final mile, mainly downhill I confess, was an 8:06. Total time: 42:07; 8:25 per mile pace. Considering I hadn't done any serious hill work lately, it was a great run. Most importantly, I kicked some hill ass today. Tomorrow to Sunday we're supposed to get around 6 inches of snow. I've run 9 of the 18 total miles I'm supposed to run for my marathon training. Looks like I'll come up short again for the second week in a row. Well, May 3rd is a long way off. I won't worry about it yet, since it's only week 2 of my 18 week training schedule.

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