Sometimes hills are OK

 
Who knew that hill repeats could make you smile?
   
But today, the hills were great. I guess the hill gods were on my side. 
 
I went out to Fort Ben Harrison before breakfast, fully expecting a difficult workout.  

The last time I was there, running hills, I felt like I was going to collapse. To quote my blog entry from a couple weeks ago: After a few blasts up the hill, I was wheezing and gasping and praying that I would reach the top before I blacked out. It wasn’t pretty.   

What a difference a few weeks makes. Today I was running hills with wings on my feet, and watching my times drop by a second or two on most repeats.   

I started off with an easy loop around the two-mile long bike path, which took about 18 minutes.  The weather was perfect: cool air and cloudy skies. I had the place to myself, aside from a couple of dog walkers and a group of high school girls.   

Then I got down to business: vertical running. Up, up, up I went, along this homemade course of mine, stitching together several back-to-back hills.   

To make it even tougher, I decided to add an extra bit of climb, by starting even lower than usual, adding another 20 or 30 feet. (The hill route I use is very difficult to describe, so I won’t try, except to say it’s mostly on pavement, has several twists and turns, and is just under one-third of a mile.)   

About halfway through my workout, it startled to drizzle, but I didn’t mind. Most of the raindrops were blocked by the canopy of trees in the park. The few drops that reached me felt good.   

 I knew something was weird when I felt myself pick up speed halfway up the hill on the fifth repeat. I was able to do it again on the sixth, and then went for broke on the last one.
 

Here are my times: 2:18, 2:15, 2:18, 2:16, 2:13, 2:13 and 2:07.   

Don’t ask me what made the difference today.  Maybe I just had a good dinner last night. Maybe all the long runs in recent weeks have toughened me up a little.  Whatever it was, I wish I could bottle it.   

*******************************************************************   

What makes all this even better is that for the past two days, I have had tough outings. On Tuesday, I waddled through four-plus miles in about 40 minutes, after losing my mind and eating lots of pie the day before.   

And yesterday, I struggled while running in 85-degree weather at lunchtime, after not sleeping well the night before. I ran for a half-hour on the towpath with low energy. I was so discouraged by that outing that I didn’t even blog yesterday.   

So bouncing back from those bumpy runs was a wonderful feeling, indeed.   

Even Mrs. Trail Boy noticed when I came home with a big smile. “I wish you would stay away from pie and go run hills every day, if that’s what it takes to keep you in a good mood,” she declared.

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One Response to “Sometimes hills are OK”

  1. run2boston Says:

    If you’ve been training in hot weather, it’s amazing how energizing a relatively cool day can be. Sounds like you’re going to tear up the BT50 course. Go Trail Boy, go!

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