Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baby Hill

This weekend was my first attempt to incorporate hills into my run and bike training. With my upcoming triathlon and 10 mile road race being on hilly courses, I figured it was time. I know most of you other runners do hill workouts as part of your regular training, but I am a wimp. If I could run on a flat trail all the time, that would be just fine with me. A few hills on the bike are a welcome change of pace, but I would prefer to stay seated and not have to stand and grind the pedals.

My plan for Saturday morning was to go to Baker Park where there is a really long hill broken up by a couple short plateaus. There is a parking lot about a mile away from the hill, so I planned to drive to the park, run to the hill as a warm-up, do the hill three or four times, and run back to the car. Before I go to bed each night, I always have my workout for the next day planned out. What time am I leaving? Where am I going? What am I bringing? I don't like surprises.

You can see where this is going... my son had a Cross Country practice and needed to be dropped off and picked up at the same time I was going to run. I only had an hour after I dropped him off to get my run finished. This meant I had no time to drive to and from the park as I had planned. The plan became: find the nearest hill and run it. That's it. There was no time for searching out the perfect spot. The beach where we did the Splash & Dash was right there and I remembered that the first half mile was up a steady incline. I parked at the beach and took off. As I did my first trip up, I measured out a quarter mile. Up and down the hill I went 8 times. After the last climb, I went a little further so that when I got back to the car I would be right at 5 miles.

Technically, I guess it was a hill workout. The hill wasn't very long and honestly, it wasn't super steep. It wasn't the well planned workout that I had hoped for, but it will have to do. Since my hamstrings have been hurting, maybe it was good that I didn't pound them on this first attempt. They felt fine today and I was able to ride the bike for a hilly 26 miles. Since the run hill was pretty easy, it's too early to say whether I truly like hill workouts, but I will say that it went by fast and I liked the short efforts.

We're headed to St. Louis, MO for a couple days next week. During my last run out at Forest Park, there were a couple of nasty, long hills. They will make this week's hill look like a small bump in the road. Until then, I'll keep working on the run on my regular flatter, sane routes. They are still my favorite!


Mark said...

Sounds like the perfect hill to train on! Have a great trip!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

i suck at running hills too... guess i'll be in the shock of my lifetime when I get to San Fran for the HM in Oct. lol. sigh... oh well. Have a great trip!

AZ said...

Sounds like a good way to ease into the hills. St. Louis sounds fun too. Never been there.

Sunshine said...

Lewis & Clark Marathon is in St. Charles (St. Louis) on September 13 You will be back here by then I think.
Fun trip, though, I hope.

Velma said...

I hope you have a great time in Forest Park. I usually run there on the weekends, but I am with family this week. Good job fitting in the work out when you can!