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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Hills Are Alive...Me Not So Much!

Today was my day to recommit to regular, weekly hill repeats.  The Rush Running crew led by Mike Rush does hill repeats on Friday evenings right after work.  We take a break from hills during the winter months because of how dark it is and it's tough to find a safe place to run in a group on a hill! But hills are officially back on the schedule and have been for a few weeks. 

I've had good excuses for why I missed the first couple...too close to a race, travelling, etc.  But this week I didn't have an excuse, I was going to run hill repeats.  I reached out to Mike and put in a request for Old Dump Road.  This is a gravel road that is a long gradual climb of about 1/2 mile.  When I made the request the weather was supposed to be cool but dry...I think you can probably see where this is headed!

Yep, the skies turned cloudy and there was a steady rain/drizzle going on.  Around 4PM the following showed up on Facebook:
I would say the gauntlet had been laid down and since I had requested this hill I took it personally.  As in I had better show up or I was not going to hear the end of it all season! You see Mike and I have quite the history when it comes to hill repeats.  I'm not the strongest hill runner and I have been known to mentally give up on hills.  My entire first season running with Mike I almost always shortened the hill or did fewer repeats than what he suggested.  I improved last year and did better at doing the hill as it was prescribed.  In fact last year I managed to do four full distance repeats on Old Dump Road (it's about a 1/2 mile repeat so 1 repeat equals a mile.)

Looking up Old Dump Road
I got to the designated hill and was the first one there.  Mike pulled up shortly after me and we proceeded to talk from our cars (at first with the windows down and then by phone since it was raining after all.)  He would kill me for telling you all this but he actually said I was excused and didn't have to do the hill due to the cold and wet rain.  Crazy right! I offered to wait and see if anyone showed up and at least try to do the hill.  My original goal before the rain was to try to make this my long run of about 10 miles with six miles in the middle being the up/down of the hill repeats. Obviously I forgot how tough hills can be and was unrealistic in that thought process.  

Matt Martin, me, Matt Blaty
Lucky for me the two Matt's showed up.  I made the stupid decision to skip a warm-up and started up the hill.  I paid for that with that gross taste of blood that you sometimes get. Yuck! I had to take a few minutes to regroup after making it down from the first repeat because I wasn't sure I could do any more.  I did make it all the way to the top for number one but sadly I only made it the full distance once.  I sent Mike a text telling him that one repeat might be all I had in me but that I would try for one more.  Well, take a look below and even though I shortened the hill I still did six repeats total!

It won't be long before all six are the full distance!
Now back to the weather part, I mentioned that this was on a gravel road so with the rain/drizzle the road was soft and mushy in some spots and rocky in others.  This resulted in messy calves and mud crusted shoes and socks.  Fingers crossed that next week the weather doesn't conspire against me and that I can keep building up my stamina for hills because hill workouts make a huge difference in my overall fitness.  I can't wait to have the rest of the team out on the hills too.  I'm so lucky to be a part of a team that is always supporting and encouraging each other.  Thanks to the two Matts for cheering me on tonight and thanks to Mike for not making a video of me trying to slog my way up the hill.  That would have probably been more painful than the actual hill to experience!


  1. Way to go! I would have turned around and went home lol...I hate hills and I hate running in rain. Way to stick it to the hills :)

  2. Good job! I hate starting off right away on an uphill too : )