Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hump Day

During the training for my spring marathon, I think I ran hills once, maybe twice at the most. I remember trying to run the hill between Labatt Park and the Art Gallery when my left foot couldn’t find the ground. (later diagnosed as a compressed nerve). This training cycle has included a steady diet of hill work, mostly hidden in Tuesday runs but Le Routier has been ensuring every time we run there is a hill component.  The past few weeks, due to my never-ending early morning shift at work, I’ve been running hill repeats on Wednesday nights from the Running Room.

Last night was one of the best hill sessions ever. You wouldn’t ever think hauling your assets up and down hills for an hour with a humidex 98.6F would be classified as fun but I’ve gotta tell yah, “This was a blast”.  Maybe not as much fun as these guys, but fun none the less.

First of all, we ran a couple of kilometers to the first hill, but before we finished the first 1000 meters the lead group (about 5 of us) crossed the train tracks before a freight train cut off the remainder of the pack. Traffic on the other side of the tracks across Oxford Street was heavy and backed up. We didn’t stand a chance of getting across so we ran a block to cross at the lights at Talbot. While we’re waiting for the lights, along comes the rest of the pack under the underpass. Laughing at us standing there waiting for the light. A quick dip to the park pathway and we’re at the first hill. A short very steep curving hill. The plan – five repeats. Not too much of a problem. Up the hill at about 75% and walk most of the way back down to get the heart rate down, jog a bit, and then back up again.

I was thinking about running Friday’s 5K Race in my Zoot’s so I wore them for the hill training. These shoes are light, but like The Princess and the Pea, I could really feel the road. I don’t ever think I could run a full marathon in them and am not sure I’d even consider them for a half. I’ve become accustomed to my orthotics and Salvation II’s and the lack of arch support and heel lift was very noticeable by the end of the night.

After this hill set was completed, back to the multipath and south to Harris Park for another set of four hill repeats. Just to keep things light, there is a “bump” that many considered being an undisclosed tenth hill. Really? Would Jane have been so sneaky to add a hill?

The Harris Park hill is longer but not as steep. This one I ran a bit harder and jogged back down. Last week we did eight of these, so four were over quite quickly. Hot, sweaty, and lead legged a short jog back to the Running Room and Hump Day was over.

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