Um, make it three?

For all my talk about the value of resting and recovery days (maybe I have just been thinking that and not writing it, but I am pretty sure I have said on several occasions rest, rest, rest!) recently I haven’t been living up to it. I have been listening to my body though and have felt strong enough to do these multiple hard days in a row.

So my running partner and I chatted on our Wednesday tempo run and IM’d all day Thursday about doing a hill repeat run on Friday. At first I was a tad concerned because of the two hard runs (one solo) I had done already this week. But our long run the previous Sunday was on a reduced mileage week for my partner’s program and we would both have a day off on Thursday to recover. So I felt pretty good about the whole thing.

So Friday morning came around and I got the dreaded text “Too tired, can’t make it”. My first instinct was to go back to bed happy (especially since I hadn’t slept that well the night before) but I had already had a cup of coffee and I was pretty peppy. So I decided to go out and do it on my own. We had discussed several routes and I decided to do the one I wanted to try. I know the area pretty well, but wasn’t too sure how good of a hill repeat route it would be. It runs along a ridge that has streets running perpendicular to it, the blocks are about three blocks long. So it seemed perfect for going down one street then up the next alternating as far as the ridge went (the ridge drops down so eventually the hills got less and less before ending at Johnson Creek.

So after a quick bathroom break at the college I started my hills. The first ones were really steep and tough but I was just getting going so I wasn’t too concerned. However coming back to them and ending here would be a different story, but I wasn’t going to worry about that yet. So on I went, the hills were pretty tough, but I was able to push the pace pretty well. I found myself getting my heart rate up over 170 (into my 85-90% range) and then dropping down to 130 on my recovery blocks (one block over to the down hill, 3 down and then another over to the up hill, so sufficient for a recovery). Sure enough as I continued down the ridge, my hills flattened out a bit, but they were still effective as I would push even harder.

After five up hills, I decided to reverse course (I would actually hit six on the way back.) I crested my first hill on the return and realized that I would have the additional elevation gain of going back up the ridge, ugh. But I kept at it. I felt a bit tired, but still strong. HRs were still climbing high, but never higher that 175 and my recoveries were still dropping underneath 140. Sure enough as I neared the finish the hills got tougher and tougher. The last two almost broke me (actually it was the second to last that almost did it), but I made it. My final mile was run underneath my recover HR of 143 and was very enjoyable boosted by the successful completion of the run. I only wish my running partner had been there to enjoy the feeling (I knew she was going to be mad at herself for bagging all day (and she was!))

Overall my pace was really slow (over 10) but I felt great about the HRs I kept throughout. I look forward to improvement. Today we are scheduled for 11 miles at our recovery pace (actually we are going with out 70% HR counts- 143 for me and 151 for her.) It is totally raining, so I expect we will be very wet on this run. Maybe more on that later toady or tomorrow.

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