I wrapped up this first week of 2011 with a 7 mile hilly non-hill run. Let me explain. My usual favorite route from my house is a 6 mile out and back that goes up a hill that is a mile long at the halfway point. Here's the elevation profile:
I was running with a friend that had done hills the previous day and she didn't want to run "the hill" so I offered the alternate slightly longer lollipop loop that goes around the hill. It literally takes a sharp turn left at the bottom of "the hill" just when you think I'm going to make you run it anyway and goes through some lovely back roads around and then to the top and we run down "the hill" back to my house. We added on another block at the end to make it an even 7 miles. At the finish of the run my friend commented that although we went around "the hill" the run was still pretty hilly. She wasn't complaining, but simply stating the fact that instead of doing one big hill we did a lot of little hills. Here's the elevation profile of the 7 miler:
I mean, I guess she's right, but I love hills so I didn't really notice them. Only thing I noticed was the severe case of boo boo belly I got in the last mile. I had broccoli for lunch, a mistake I will never make again. Not entirely sure if that's what caused it, but I was in pain for the rest of the night.
Friday, I decided to do the stair climb work out again. This time I kept track of my splits every time I went up the 5 flights. I did the same work out: up 5, 5 burpees, down 5, 15 squats, up 5, 5 burpees, down 5, 20 lunges - repeat 3 more times. Each time up the stairs took me 45-50 seconds, even on the last rep when I was totally spent. I know that it's not the same as climbing 40 flights all at once because I get the recovery effort of going back down the stairs inbetween, but if I can do even half the stair climb event at that pace and then slow down in the second half, I might be able to place in my age group. At 45 seconds for 5 flights thats approximately 6 minutes for the entire climb. The 1st place finisher for my age group last year did it in 7 minutes and change. I just want to try and get under 8 minutes. If I actually place I'll freak out!
I was going to go for a short run after the stair climb workout, but I kind of lost my motivation and when I got home I decided to relax and do laundry instead. Good thing too because all my running pants were dirty and I had a group run planned with friends this morning.
It's funny, a year ago I was in the airport in Manchester on my way to Disney to do the Goofy Challenge and I ran into this girl that I recognized from the Good Times 5K series in downtown Lowell. We both scoped each other out from a distance before introducing each other and admitting we were both each other's biggest competition. Now a year later, this morning I ran to her house a little over a mile away from mine and we did a 6 mile run together with some other friends (oh and she's 7 months pregnant and still running! ROCKSTAR!). Amazing how running brings people together. I think that's a huge part of what makes it so addictive. Well, that and the endorphins.
Me and my biggest competition/running buddy, Kim (from a race a few weeks back):
The 6 miler was great. It was about 8 miles for me since I ran to the starting point. It was a little chilly and dusting snow as we ran. Not really enough snow that it was accumulating, but enough that you could see the footprint of the person in front of you for a few seconds before the wind whirled the snow away. We kind of did a tour of Lowell; running through the Bellvidere section past Saints hospital over the bridge and down the VFW highway to Aiken St. and back over the river and through downtown. Only part that sort of sucked was along the river because the wind picked up and it chills you to the bone no matter how many layers you have on. I made a mental note to wear my super warm hat tomorrow on my long run. It's suppose to be really windy and cold and I'm planning on doing 14 miles.
After the run, we all went out for breakfast. I can't remember the last time I went out for breakfast. Actually, now that I think about it, I think it was in California when I ran the Disneyland half marathon. Ah, running and food, my two favorite things. And now I can add to that equation the friends I have met along the way for a trifecta of happiness.