Run, Goldy, run!

My hair used to be very blond. And in the summer, it would get curly. Thankfully, no one ever called me Goldilocks.

Still, the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears stuck in my mind today as I tried to find the perfect hill for repeats.

I went out to Crown Hill Cemetery at lunchtime. The cemetery, as I noted before, has some of the most challenging hills around, including the highest point in Indianapolis.

"Porridge is great fuel for running hills!"

The last time I went to the cemetery, I ran the steepest incline, the south face of the Riley Hill. It’s a tough climb, nearly straight up, with no breaks, or dips or anyplace to catch your breath. So it’s a great workout. 

But I wanted to mix it up a bit today, and experiment with a few of the other approaches to Riley’s hilltop tomb.

There are about four or five ways to the top of the hill — some steeper and more challenging than others. After a 10-minute warmup, I got to work.

I started with a run up the opposite side of the hill, the north face. That took 2:26, but it felt a little too easy. I reached the top before I knew it. I wasn’t even breathing hard.

So I trotted over to the east side, and started back farther, for a longer approach. It’s a steadier climb. By stepping up the pace, I got my heart going a little faster. I did three repeats of this hill, in 2:25, 2:28 and 2:27. Still, it felt a bit too easy.

Finally, I decided to make the longest approach I could find, starting back probably a half-mile, at one of the lowest points in the area.  This road twists and turns a bit more, with a mix of steepness and flats. I trotted to the top in 4:41. That felt pretty darn good. And all this exploring was making me hungry, so I decided to do a short cooldown and get some lunch. 

Yes, I could have done several more repeats, but I want to save my legs. Tomorrow, I need to get in a long run before work, because on Saturday, I’m getting up early to go on a Scout campout, and who knows what I’ll feel like Sunday after a night on the ground.

Next time, I will go back to Crown Hill and blast up the south side of Riley Hill six times. I hope it won’t be too tough. Or like Goldilocks, I might scream “Help!” — and run away, never to return.

 

This is the final stretch of incline, about two-thirds of the way up the hill to Riley's monument at the top. This picture really doesn't do justice to the climb. It's a lot steeper when you're huffing and puffing your way up.

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