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?