Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Training My Inner Billy Goat

Sunday I challenged myself with both the longest training run since March, and also the biggest hill around these parts. I did a 12.7 mile loop around and over the Palos Verdes peninsula. First time for me to go up this particular hill. I am trying to prepare for my 25K Bulldog trail run in late August, which has a 2200' climb over 4 miles. This run was like a mini-version of that, with about 950' of climb in 3 miles. But compared to my beach runs with elevation changes of up to 20 feet, it was a big change!

I carried my own fuel belt with water in one bottle and gatorade in the other for the first time. The gatorade tasted GREAT during a run! First 4 miles were uphill - over what I normally would call a big hill. But this time it was merely preparation for the biggie from 4.5 to 8. In this picture, mile 4.5 is on the curvy road at bottom, and then I basically go straight up to the top of the hill.

I was doing about 8:30 pace on the flat, and the hill dropped me to 10:15 pace real fast. My plan was to just plug along as slow as I needed, but not walk, as long as I could keep the oxygen flowing. After about a mile at 10:15, it got really steep, about 10% grade for 3/4 mile. Here my pace got close to 12 min/mile! But I was plugging along and eventually it got better. The last mile of uphill was "only" about 2-3% grade and it felt like a downhill! I dropped back close to 9 minute pace and felt really good, despite still climbing and having just conquered a beast.

Then I hit an actual downhill and was flying! Pace dropped close to 7, but it was so steep, my legs took a pounding. The last 3 miles were gradual down, which should have been fun, but my legs and body were pretty beat up by this time, so I was just getting through it. It was sunny and warm too (for here...75*...don't judge me).

Anyway, I felt pretty BA. 12.7 miles in 1:55 with giant hill conquered. A good day's work. I definitely gained confidence that I can tackle any hill, as long as I do it smart.

1 comment:

  1. Uphill running is pretty tough! 10% is nothing to sneeze at. It would drop my pace pretty quickly too.
    Sounds like training is going well!