Wk6 R2 -- Great Start, Hard Finish

The short story? I ran these legs empty. There was no question of carrying on running in the cool down walk time.

Looking at the track on the map, I ran a total of about 3.5 km before the cool down started. Of those, 2 km were during the combined warm up walk and first ten minute run. My warm ups involve a lot of loitering to lunge, try to kick my bum with my heel, can can dancing (well almost), and little jogs that go nowhere, so most of that 2 km belongs to the run, which is quite good, for me.

To start with, all went well. The warm up worked well, and so I quickly got into a nice stride along reasonably level roads or gentle downhills (with one little thing us highly experienced runners no longer call "hills" near the start). When I got onto the highway shortcut, I turned on a bit of speed to get off there as soon as possible, then it's quite a steep embankment down to the road under the highway, and after that the hills that we still call "hills" (even at this advanced level) start.

The first hill is quite steep, but I went up it quite nicely. The only problem I had was I nearly got hit by someone flying off the off ramp that comes in at the crown of the hill. I didn't notice him partly because he was going too fast, but also because my mind was preoccupied with the fact that just a little way ahead was a downhill section I was starting to either crave or look forward to (one of the two).

After the downhill past the off ramp where it's a good idea to keep a careful look-out comes the Evil Hill. It's at least as steep as a badly designed staircase, and it goes on for many imagined miles. It didn't help, outwitting it by cutting the corner at the bottom.

I tackled the Evil Hill with plenty of enthusiasm, but it countered by tackling me with even more enthusiasm. By the time the first run had expired, I was half way up the Evil Hill, I was dead, and walking just added to the tiredness in my legs. It was quite a hard recovery walk.

I was still on the Evil Hill when I had to start running again. Fortunately this was on its upper reaches, where it becomes just an ordinary "fairly steep hill", so I set off S-l-o--w----l-------yyyyy (ow!), made it over the top, and carried on slowly, knowing that up ahead was the next hill. If I chugged along in the comfortable zone, I could postpone the reckoning with the next hill.

As I said, the second run was hard. I had nothing left in me when Laura said I could walk again. I almost had not even a walk left in me. The cool down walk was up the steeper part of that next hill, and was quite a challenge, itself.

So it was Fantastic! What a great run! (once it was over). I might as well teach myself to think that, so that the next challenging run is something I'm better prepared, mentally, to Enjoy.

14 Replies

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  • Sounds like an adventure. I'm not a fan of hills, but they are a test of stamina and shear determination.

    Very well done.

  • Thanks. Unless I go down the beach (about 15 km away), hills are not something I can opt out of, unfortunately, otherwise I would've probably done so. But yes, in a sick kind of way, I rather like the Evil Hill now. How strange is that? (I mean for this particular potato to end up with that kind of thought in his potatohead?)

  • MIles_Yonder, who used to post on here lots, always called hills 'inclinous friends' because they do you so much good. Not a big fan myself but there's nothing like them for building stamina. Maybe it might be a good idea to slow right down for w6r3 if you're planning to do the same route. Good luck ;)

  • Thanks! "Inclinous Friends"! Yes, I'll try to call them that. Maybe I can even make friends with the Evil Hill.

    I don't have much choice in this. Most of the world I live in is hilly. We live near the banks of a stream at the bottom of small valley that's about 50m deep, and already we're on (almost exactly) the 100m contour. We're only about 15km from the sea. By contrast, I have friends in Australia who live about 600 km away from the nearest sea, whose elevation is 60m. If I go about 3km West of here, I have to ascend to the 200m contour. (Going North, I can get away with the 150m contour .. and if I went South and then East, I'd end up somewhere in the harbour).

    I actually don't know what the elevation is at the top of the Evil Hill, but it's sure to be somewhere between 200 and 300 m.

    Going 50 km inland from here will take you up to about 800m, I think. 100km would push you up over 1000. Actually you only have to travel about 250km to get to mountains that rise to around the 3000m mark. And it's hilly all the way.

  • Yep, that's certainly hilly!!

  • Not many hills around for me to climb, I hate having to change direction lol

    Sounds like youve had a good run!

  • I would avoid them if I could, but unfortunately they're everywhere, so I'll have to try the "inclinous friends" approach. And yes, once it was over, it was a good run. While the last 60 seconds were refusing to just end, now, I'm not so sure how good it was, though. :-)

  • That was a fun read :) Well done for finishing the run despite the hills. I'm still avoiding "inclinous friends" like the plague, but will have to incorporated some in runs soon, as I've decided to run my first 10K in a very hilly region of France next year. (Cue face-palm for rash decisions).

  • OOh! Are you coming to see me lol? Nowhere flat here...

  • Nope, although we're not that far from each other, I think. It's in Molsheim, Alsace - where the Bugatti is built, in eastern France. Its called the "vineyard marathon", cut into various sized runs that start at 5K. The watering stops also serve up local wine to runners along the route... Can't imagine the state of runners who complete the marathon:D marathon-alsace.com

  • With inclinous friends, it's largely a matter of managing expectations. Abandon all hope of moving perceptibly forward, all who enter here. Do that, and just perform leg motions with a running gait for some period of time, and between the complete absense of all hope, and the running simulations, you manage to somehow complete the hill section at some point (or Laura realeases you from your purgatory halfway up the hill).

  • I've found one solution: stare at the ground and convince yourself that it's flat. If I look up and see what's left before I get to the top, the Gremlins attack :D

  • Very well done. I avoid hills so I applaud you for running and walking them during your training.

  • Well I'm definitely going to avoid the Evil Inclinous Friend tomorrow when I do the long run again. I think I'll start somewhere almost level, and loiter there. Maybe if I go slow enough the hill will never appear.

    (But actually the new route I'm thinking of to take me to the end is a long hill, so the loitering plan is only going to save me once, if at all. At least my proposed hill has a long downhill on the other side. The nice part about hilly country is you get to flow like water down the other side if you're lucky.)

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