January 28, 2009

Random Thoughts on my Training

Is it possible that I'm starting to love something I used to hate? I used to hate hills. Having lived in the hilliest part of Alabama for 8 years, I know hills. I've never been one to want to push it to the top. I always wanted to save my speed for flat parts. Well, Coach has incorporated quite a few hill workouts into my training plan. The first week I was really, really dreading that workout. I even put it off two days and then moved my workout from morning to night, just trying to avoid it. Thankfully, he started me off small- scheduling on 20-30 second efforts at a time. I had two problems at hand:
#1) There are no hills in Brewton.
#2) I have a major lack of confidence in myself regarding hill running.

To solve problem #1 I decided to use the Country Club Golf Course. (THIS HAS A FUNNY STORY THAT I WILL TELL AT THE END OF THIS POST.) I found 2 good hills, one long, one short. After my first hill workout (10X25 second repeats), I felt good. It was kind of fun powering up the hills. I also liked the jogging down part. Well, the 2nd and 3rd hill workout were exactly the same and at this point, I wasn't dreading them at all. I was actually looking forward to them. Until last night...

Coach decided to up the punishment from 10X 25 seconds to 10X200m hills. Okay, I was still pumped. I had to use Hill#2, which was actually more like 2 hills. It goes up sharply, then tapers for a split second, then begins a nice upward slope. During my first repeat, I noticed that these were going to be considerably harder. Wow- like really hard. I was panting after the first one. After the first 3, something started to click. I was tiring, but in a good way- a working hard, getting better way. Something about powering up those hill and holding that hard effort makes me feel strong, like a real runner. I can practically feel the seconds dropping from my PR.

One aspect of my training that I am really hating is progressive runs. I think what I don't like is the ambiguity. I am total type-A runner. I thrive off a set schedule. Even though Coach has given me room to play with my mileage, I make my own schedule and follow it to a "T' each week. I don't like the whole start-slow-then-speed-up thing. What- no goal paces for each mile? The only stipulation is not slow down. It sounds easy enough, right? No, not for me. I think and rethink the workout to a point of becoming insane. I even asked Coach to give me set paces. He refused. I've even tried copying fellow runners' progressive runs from RWOL. Why can't I think for myself as a runner?

Okay, time for the funny story. This story is funny b/c I am such a rule-follower. I like rules. Rules provide structure and stability; they are good. I said that my hill repeats were on the golf course, right? Well, a man actually came up to me and told me I wasn't allowed to run there. I gave him my word that it wouldn't happen again. The thing is, it did happen again, and it will happen again. I've done 2 more hill workouts there since I was reprimanded. The thing is- we are members at that country club and I don't even play golf! So, if I was to run on the course, I should be allowed. Right? Plus, no one was playing on it at the time. It was practically dark. I was on the golf cart path, too. So, no harm done, right?


  1. i remember that you would always make me run up that huge-o hill behind saulter "just for fun" in college. you loved the hills and would power up them as i whimpered my way to the top.

    i've been kicked off many of golf course. actually, i've gotten in trouble several times in sandestin.

  2. Rules Breaker. Hee Hee Hee.

    I thought you had said before that you run at a golfcourse, I would think that would be great if the cart paths are dirt.

    How do you feel about running Statue to Statue this year? Yeah I know it is hilly, but hills are good for you, and bonus it isn't on a golf course so nobody will call the law on ya. :)

    Take care!

  3. Hey girlfriend!

    Sorry, I have been out of the loop but been busy and will continue to be, I will email you soon...

    Nothing wrong with running up the golf course, especially if it is after hours. When I am up at our cabin in the summer, I will sometimes run through the golf course like a kid, well in fact I will run with my kids, love the smell of the grass and I like to charge up the hills. I don't think you are breaking the rules and if you are... SO WHAT? Gotta live a little and be dangerous, eh?

    Talk to you soon! Oh yeah, think about when you want to come out this summer... ;)

  4. Way to embrace that which you once filled you with dread. Everything's either a little or quite a bit hilly over here, but I have other areas where I can relate.

    On golf courses...I live spitting distance from one here, and love to trail run above it, or on the road through it for hill workouts. Great place to work the hills.