Wednesday was hill day! Warmup….8 hill repeats and cooldown. Simple enough. A nice 9 mile run.
Our friend Lusire from the Downtown runners group, had an unexpected day off work due to the weather and asked on facebook who was running. So I let him know I would be heading out for hills and he jumped right in on the plan! I am not sure that he knew what he was getting into…but he has been increasing his mileage, and even running two a days in preparation for what I am sure will be an awesome year of running. His great attitude means that he is getting it done by saying YES! and then asking what it is that he agreed to afterwards – and those are the people that we “groovy girls” love.
We were spoiled by the weather on Wednesday, with a warm front moving through and the raining stopping just in time for our soggy hill session splashing through puddles in the mid fifties.
The great thing about hill repeats or speed work on the track is that you can run with people at different stages of training, and everyone is working at their own pace – their own version of just sustainable pain – and each can still support each other with those minimal breath expenditure exchanges….”halfway there” and “only two to go”!
I was a little worried that I may have accidentally “broken” Lusire during the first few minutes of the warmup but we made it to the bottom of the hill without incident and got going! On repeat two, as I was jogging back down the hill and Lusire was running up he shouted to me “THIS is what I have been missing!” I love his enthusiasm for this potentially painful workout because it reminded me why I love hill repeats. Hills make you feel strong, the switch between all out effort and recovery – gasping at first and then enjoying the freewheeling of downhill running as the breath returns and you steel yourself ready to pick it up again – and then finally those last two repeats….feeling the fatigue in your legs and giving everything you have to try to keep the pace up. Knowing this is what is preparing you for mile 20…teaching your body how to finish strong no matter how tired you are.
Lusire’s smile and enthusiasm was contagious. We love to surround ourselves with people who love to run, strive to run better and are always willing to help and cheer them on in any way we can. He even says he is coming back! I guess I didn’t break him too much! 😉