a blog about running fast with style
Wednesday Night Speed? (Okay maybe not…): Steady hills x 3
If there was ever a workout you don’t want to run a lone it’s the steady hill workout. No really, people avoid this one. So when I saw it on my schedule for Saturday and I saw that I’d be in Dallas for workout on Saturday I knew I was in trouble.
Pretty much no chance I’d find a hill in Dallas and pretty much no chance I was talking anyone into running this one with me.
My only option was going to be an early Tuesday morning on my own. So early on a fall morning in Seattle I made my way over to Madrona park: in the rain. (It just keeps getting better).
I think I’ve described this hill before but in case you missed it here’s the low down.
The “steady hill” starts in Madrona Park by the water and “the hill” starts off easy enough, there’s about .75 miles of gentle uphill. But that all changes with a tight left had turn when all the sudden you see the climb. Point two five miles further and the mile mark chimes and you take a hard right and surprisingly a steeper climb.
You feel like you’re walking.
This lasts for two blocks.
Then the slow steep crawl to the finish; it’s deceiving. It doesn’t look that bad until you hit the purple house and then two of the longest blocks of your running life.
And then you stop. Fake that you’re okay. Swear that there’s no way it’s 1.6 miles and question if you have two more left in ya.
Before you know it you’re running back down the hill (the short way- only a mile) and find yourself back at Madrona Park.
How’d this happen?
Before you answer you’re on your way back up and then down and then up and then down one last time.
On this particular day my legs were beat. Saturday was the big 21-er (that is miles) with pacing and Sunday was a speedie (for me) 11. Monday was rest but not gonna lie, could have used another day. #marathontraing
My goal for this day was to run right under 12 minutes per rep. I’d bonked this workout earlier in the summer on this very hill so I was trying to set myself up for success. I also knew I’d run this during my last marathon cycle right around 12’s so I figure I’d be happy with that on tired legs.
I’ll try to not bore you with details but the weather was tricky, cold and wet at the start but pretty warm once running (imagine that).
I started my first rep and tried to stay conservative. The last time I ran this in the summer I went out way too fast and died (11:35).
My legs were tired and I was cold so it was hard to tell if I was running too fast. I made my way to the top and stopped my watch: 11:46.
Okay, that hurt. Maybe relax a bit on the second one.
Here we go.
I started off through the park and on to the trail. It was at that moment some guy with a dog tried to hit on me. This really doesn’t happen that often but really dude? This isn’t a casual jog here.
I smiled nicely and kept running hoping he’d be gone for round 3.
It’s hard to gage your pace on the hill but I checked my split around the first corner and I was a bit slower: good.
I climbed and climbed and climbed some more and somehow made it though the final block: 12:02. I know it was closer to the pace I wanted but it honestly it felt faster and harder than rep one. Ugh.
Back down the hill trying to stuff my discouragement deep inside and trying desperately to not think about the final rep.
Here we go (no weird park guy) through the park and up, up, up and up. I made it to the .75 marker at the same pace as my first rep. Things are looking good.
I pretty much wanted to die after that part but just kept going (can’t quit now right? Why am I doing this to myself???).
Two long horrible blocks to the finish and 11:52. Can’t complain but really can’t celebrate either; I hate it when my first rep is my fastest. At least it wasn’t 12:20 like it was in during the summer.
Long cool down back to my car and 14 miles run in all. Not bad for a Tuesday morning.
See ya in 4 months steady hill.
run pretty run fast