To hell with hills

I’ve been keeping a list of things that have become noticeably more difficult for me – and specifically, the runner in me – since we hit the other side 30 a couple of years ago.

Warm-ups: need to be longer.

Recovery from a hard effort: seems to take forever.

Hills: have become steeper.

I used to be kind of okay at hills – at least on a comparative basis. It was the one place on a race course where I had a shot at chasing down my more willowy counterparts. Something about a low center of gravity, I guess.

Well, my center of gravity hasn’t changed, so I’m going to go with: the hills have become steeper. That’s clearly the only way to explain the pain and suffering of this week’s speed workout.

Eight times up a stretch of neighborhood blocks, amounting to a quarter mile and about 80 feet of elevation gain. My speedwork group from last fall is back in action (yay!), so I had a nice pack to work with. (For the first six, anyway. It’s fun being the only person working on full marathon this spring…)

Our coach told us to shoot for 15 seconds slower than we’d normally run 400 repeats on a track. If I were going to do 8X400 on a track, I’d like to think I’d be down in the low 80s, so I plugged 95 seconds in to my head for this hill workout.

But my splits were: 100, 100, 99, 99, 98, 97, 102, 99. (Obviously, I lost a little steam when I had to do the last couple on my own…)

Apparently I was optimistic. Still, I guess there’s nothing wrong with that workout. It just felt kinda crappy. Meh.

Anyway. On to the next one. I’m hoping to hit 60 miles this week and as I am sitting here sipping some Friday night wine, I’m at 34. I have some work to do this weekend.

Which means I should probably put down the wine glass. 

This South African outfit’s Rose has long been a favorite, but I’d never tried the simply-named Red 2010 from Goats Do Roam before. It’s mostly Syrah (72%) and Cinsault (13%) with a little Grenache and some other stuff mixed in. Very bright and berry-forward, it was sweeter and lighter-bodied than I expected it to be, and very smooth. A respectable choice if you’re looking for something on the grocery store shelf that will be widely enjoyed, with food or without. 14% ABV.

Bottom Line: I received this from a friend, but I’d buy it again! Retails for around $10.

Time for me to chug some water so I don’t wake up feeling like I slept with a cotton ball in my mouth. And give my teeth a good cleansing. Don’t want to show up to morning running group with a headache and purple lips.

Add that to the list of thirtysomething woes….

Red wine: kicks my ass if I’m not careful.

To hell with getting old.

5 responses to “To hell with hills

  1. Soo yeaa I’m in my 20’s and the idea of pulling out a 60 mile week is soo far beyond my reach. Maybe by the time I’m 34 I’ll be able to do it! Something to work towards! Kind of incredible

  2. Ha! I am at the other side of 30 as well and well…to hell with hills!

  3. So if I’m 26/27 [i forget], this means hills should be getting annoying to do right? Becuase that’s pretty much were I stand when it comes to those pesky things. I used to love them, and now I just tolerate them.

    Good luck on hitting the mileage, get it girl!!

  4. Hmm, hills & I don’t get along very swell now; guess I’ll have to really watch out for them in a few years. Your 60-mile weeks totally kick my 20-something year old butt. Hope you have a great long run this weekend.

  5. Yeah, I’m really bummed that I got BACK into running at the ripe old age of 38. Now, here I sit at 40, and realize that things are all up hill from here.
    And hangovers hurt a lot more than they used to (to quote Hank Williams Jr.).