MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 28, 2010

You Can’t Make Me

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:02

Do speed work that is. At least out and out speed work.

Because today I tackled the HILLS.


I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this.  Hell I’m NEVER sure I want to do this.  Hills are like reverse frenemies.  They are nasty to you outright but behind your back they help you become a better runner.

I’m glad you guys don’t really have a problem with me complaining so much about the weather — or at least you guys were too polite to do so.  Because I suppose I’m going to do it again. When I last left you guys the weather was cool and misty.  This morning it was 71* with a humidity of 91%.  I guess  I can’t really complain because late afternoon yesterday the humidity was 97%. Hello summer? WTF New England?!

I also got to sleep in (AGAIN) today.  My body woke me at 0715 but I laid there until the alarm was supposed to go off 45 minutes later.  In hindsight it might have been a mistake because adding the hill repeats, and the subsequent recovery jogs, into the route caused me to run slightly late for work this morning.  But everything miraculously worked out and I got here on time.  And the repeats let me feel good.

It didn’t start out that way.  I woke up and, as the title of the post suggests, I did NOT want to do anything other than an easy run.  It’s easy.  Duh.  I think one of the best things I incorporate into my running is this blog.  I mean, I had SAID that over the weekend I was going to do this workout.  And then I said it again yesterday.  At some point I’ve got to nut up or shut up

How I tackled these hills hahah

And so I did.  The first few warm up miles were NOT pretty.  My legs felt DEAD and TIRED and NOT MOVING. But by this time I knew that I was doing hills so I told myself that by the time I got to the two hills I wanted to do that my legs would feel better.

LIES.  But it got me to stop at the hills rather than just continue on my way.

  • ~40 minute warm up
  • 4 X Hill 1: ~.1 miles @ 12% [Edit: I lied, this hill is really 26%. Eep. the funny thing is that this one hurt less than the other one!] 
  • 4 X Hill 2:  ~.1 miles @ 15%
  • ~ 55 minutes warm down
  • Total hillage: 8 repeats for ~1.5 miles
  • Total miles & pace: 12 miles @ 9:05

Ouch.  I was expecting a faster time than that.  But the slow start and the killer hills (and granny jog — aka barely moving — recovery) and then slow to get my legs moving after the hills (plus I realized that I still had to go up more hills to get back to my apartment!) all add up to a SLOW overall pace. I’m not too upset by it.  Obviously I cringed a bit when calculating it out but I’m happy with getting those hills in. It was a very challenging workout for me.

These guys were TOUGH.  My legs BURNED after the first one. My butt and hips are going to be very VERY sore tomorrow.  I could feel them being sore during the workout.  And I could feel them sore during the runn granny shuffle afterward.  Heck I can feel them being sore right now as I type this at clinic.

That said, looking back on the workout I’d have to classify these guys as just hill repeats.  Not hills sprints.  Of course my legs were tired and hurt like the dickens by the end but I never felt like I was going to hurl.  I do know that is what I always want out of racing but I also think a good hard session of hills or intervals should give you a slight feeling of vomit-ness. 

But again, I’m not disappointed with this workout.  My heart was pounding in my chest and I wanted to stop.  But I didn’t. I know that the next step in my running scheme is to get from repeats to sprints.  But considering that I haven’ t done a hills workout since Boston training (and those were on TMs because of the lack of hills in my area) this one was a doozy.

Which suits me just fine 8)


  1. way to attack the hills!!! what % do you think chestnut hill is that we did together way back (not sure if you’ll be able to remember to estimate but i thought it was worth asking). i have no idea of grades!! true hill work is something i have never actually done. i think because most of my running routes are hilly i rationalize that it’s enough… but i would SO benefit from true hill work. great job today!!!

    Comment by Lacey — September 28, 2010 @ 14:10

    • I know (for some reason) that it’s about 7%. And I lied and my first hill was 26% grade!. Ohhhh hill workouts. I tend to avoid them too because I live in a reall hilly area as well!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 28, 2010 @ 16:03

  2. Great hill workout! I have those tomorrow!

    Comment by Matt — September 28, 2010 @ 14:11

  3. Haha “reverse frenemies.” That’s great.

    Comment by Jess — September 28, 2010 @ 14:20

    • Glad you like it. I thought I was pretty clever coming up with it!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 28, 2010 @ 16:05

  4. Loooove hill repeats. You are dead-on with the ‘reverse frenemies’ comment — awesome. I wouldn’t even bother calculating an average pace for a workout like that(then again I don’t bother calculating lots of my paces…) but any run that includes a hill workout is definitely not about your average pace, so pshhhhaaaa to that 9:05, it’s not telling the whole story at all! Sounds like you DID WORK and that’s what matters. Hills for me later on in the week… ooh I’m already dreading/loving them.

    Comment by sweatykid — September 28, 2010 @ 14:22

  5. Reverse frenemies – agreed, that’s a great phrase. Thanks 🙂

    Comment by Tracy — September 28, 2010 @ 14:45

  6. Great job on the hills. And I don’t mind you complaining about the weather at all. It’s been raining here for 2 days… BLEH

    Comment by Kim — September 28, 2010 @ 14:48

  7. Zombieland was one of the strangest movies I’ve seen in quite some time. Just bizarre… but I do sorta like that Jesse Eisenberg (is that his name?) kid. He seems like he’d be hilarious.

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — September 28, 2010 @ 15:11

    • I know, right? Whatever happened to him?! Has he been in anything else?

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 28, 2010 @ 16:05

  8. That is quite a workout!! I like your reverse frenemies idea, very true!

    Comment by Laura — September 28, 2010 @ 15:55

  9. I’ve been hating on speed work lately.. I don’t know why because I usually kind of like it.
    Great job tackling those hills! As for the weather.. I’m dreading going out to class in the rain right now..

    Comment by BostonRunner — September 28, 2010 @ 15:58

  10. Love the hill workout, awesome job. I tried to throw some in yesterday because you always talk about hills and it inspired me, I don’t look as good on the hills as you do my friend!

    I think everyone near the atlantic coast had 90% + humidity today from all the lingering rain storms.

    Way to rock it out!!!

    Comment by Stephanie — September 28, 2010 @ 16:21

    • Sure I always talk about it but I rarely do it! Glad you got out there and did them too 🙂

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 28, 2010 @ 22:22

  11. Wait to tackle those hills! The workouts that are the most satifying are sometimes the one’s that we don’t want to do the most! Cuz not only are you BAMF physically, but mentally too!

    Question: how do you know the % grade of the hills? I would be interested to know that about a few of the doozy’s in my area….

    Comment by tmart — September 28, 2010 @ 17:01

  12. Great job as always. Could you do some of those hills for me?

    Comment by Marcia — September 28, 2010 @ 17:18

  13. I love hill repeats – they’re awesome!!! Long hill repeats are actually best for Boston training. Just sayin…in case you wanna head up Heartbreak again :).

    Comment by Jill — September 28, 2010 @ 18:02

    • You’re trying to make me sign up aren’t you?! I really didn’t think Heartbreak was that bad last year. Or maybe I just ran enough repeats. I did longer ones last winter in training.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 28, 2010 @ 22:23

  14. dear god that is a steep hill… I wonder if it might have been the nasty bugger on the RI 70.3 course, although I would have put that around 15%. I can’t believe (well, I can, but it’s impressive) that you ran for so long afterwards, that’s the part I try to avoid!

    Lacey- I have to check again, but I think you can calculate the percent grade of any hill by getting gmap-pedometer to show you the elevation profile. mark the uphill section as your route and then just a matter of doing the math.

    Comment by kristinschleicher — September 28, 2010 @ 19:17

  15. Sounds like a tough workout. I see some treadmill hill intervals in my future this winter because the first race of the spring has a HUGE hill in the middle of it.

    Comment by Chelsea — September 29, 2010 @ 11:13

  16. Woot on the hill work!!! Might painful stuff, but so good for you. Great job.

    You have a lot more posting to do to catch up to my level of weather complaints. 😉

    Comment by elgin — September 29, 2010 @ 11:20

  17. 26% grade! That’s 1500′ in a mile. How on earth did you run on that???


    Comment by shelly — September 29, 2010 @ 11:29

    • Without thinking! I think because it was only ~.1 miles that is made it easier

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 29, 2010 @ 18:43

  18. I was ctually thinking of trying some short hill sprints soon. I read about them in “Run Faster” and they said to help prevent injury you just have to run ~8x for 8-10 seconds up a steep hill twice a week and that really helps with your strength. I hate hills though. I love the track and all its flatness.

    Comment by J — September 29, 2010 @ 12:13

  19. Bwaha, love this post! Esp. the frenemies comment. I did a killer hill workout last week and wanted to yell #$%*!! at the top, but in the end I know it will make me a stronger runner 🙂

    Comment by Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) — September 29, 2010 @ 12:34

    • You should have yelled $#$%# at the top. In hindsight I wish I had.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 29, 2010 @ 18:43

  20. Oy – nice job getting through this one! I hate hills. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever done an actual “hill workout”, I just incorporate them into my daily runs. I may try after marathon training…who knows! New England weather kind of sucks – or at least, it’s very finicky, huh?

    Comment by Kelly — September 29, 2010 @ 12:41

    • I think finicky is a good way to describe it. A very good way indeed.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — September 29, 2010 @ 18:44

  21. […] never felt any kick at all.  But I guess it just means I *really* pushed myself the day before with those hills. Similarly my legs didn’t feel the greatest when I got up this morning. And my body in […]

    Pingback by Make It A Hurricane Before I Go Insane « MarathonMaiden's Blog — September 30, 2010 @ 14:43

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