Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Hill

That was the name of this week's Goat run. Now we run hills every week. It's a mountain goat trail group after all. But this week would be special. A hill that put the others to shame. A hill to break your spirit, swallow your soul, break your body and have you ending up like this guy.

hill 2

"Please! Make it stop!"

For sadistic fun, the group leader told us all to time the hill so it could be recorded for future reference and seeding. So it was a race! No slacking!

OK, fine, how hard could it be? It was another trail near the other trails we run every week. Well, here's how it looked on my Garmin. It's that first hill in mile 1...

the hill
The next 6 miles were just for kicks and giggles. THE HILL was 0.59 miles, and 793 feet of elevation.

I did some math...0.59 x 5,280 feet = 3,115 feet.  793/3,115 = 25.5% grade. 25.5%! Average! (Some parts were steeper than others, despite the straight line on the chart)

For perspective I checked the "killer" hill from last week's Flying Pig. About 250' over 1.7 miles. Less than 3% grade!

Anyway, after a 1/4 mile warmup, up we went! I ran for about 15 seconds. And then the walking started. It was all walking after that. And hands on knees hiking. And stopping. Fricking brutal it was. Hills are not my strength anyway and I got passed by people who normally never pass me. My calves were screaming on the steepest bits as each step took supreme effort to keep going. I would have killed for a walking stick for some leverage. My lower back was aching. Plus I was on the lookout for the critters that left scat all over the trail, and it wasn't dog.

It took me 15:40 for 0.59 miles. A lovely 26+ minute per mile pace! And I was going as hard as I could because it was a race after all! Anyway, I survived without wallowing in the dirt or falling backward and tumbling to my death. After a little break all was well and I was able to go on and enjoy the rest of the run. Just 2,200 total elevation gain over 7.2 miles. Lots of fun.

Since I "only" did 7 on Saturday I doubled up with 9 easy flat miles on Sunday. A nice topless run on a hot day, finishing up at the beach with some hard sand running. Fun. Legs are tired, but that BQ isn't going to be handed to me.

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