Watermark hill repeats

I love having one of those runs when everything seemed to go really well. Today my hill repeat run was one of those. I almost wasn’t going to do it. Temperatures seemed like they were rising but actually weren’t. Clouds snuck in and cooled off the afternoon, so I figured I had no excuse for not doing it. My schedule called for a quality run so off I went.

I have found a route that I like a lot that winds up and down the side of this sloped area. It gives me three blocks of varying degrees of uphill followed by five recovery blocks. Basically it zig-zags giving me ten up and downs along it for four miles or so. The uphills at the start (and end) are tough ones with the middle hills being the flattest. Once I got going it felt really good and I did my best to power up the hills. After the first five sets I turn around and go down the ones I went up on and up the downs. I gobbled an espresso gel which probably had something to do with the way I kept up for the second half. The final hill was hard, it is the largest and consistently uphill the entire way of  the series.

The watermark was in my heart rate. Previously my high was 186 which had risen from the estimated 184 I started with. After the first couple of hills I was starting to get pretty high HRs; over 180. I slowed into the high 170s as the hills flattened out. Once my return covered the easy hills my HR rose again. The third hill from the end was the first of the tough ones. I did a good job of powering up it. I didn’t want to slow down too much, I knew I was a bit anyway. As I neared the top my HR climbed over 180, then kept rising. As it got close to 185 or so I felt really strong and kept going. All of a sudden, 188. New Max HR. My recovery was really slow and I was able to bring my HR down to the 130s after my downhills.

The second to the last hill was progressively larger and I powered up with my new HR in mind. With a block to go my pace was ok, not fast but steady. My HR climbed again, soon 188 again. Then right as I neared the top of the hill: 189. Ok, that was it, no more setting Max HR. The last hill was slower, but I made it up despite indecisive drivers. Lastly, a mile back to the house for some proper recovery food and drink. After a whey protein bar and 24 ounces of G2 I felt pretty good. Also, was awarded a year contract with my largest client and invited to a meeting with a Vietnamese business delegation. So my proper recovery was followed with a celebration dinner at our neighborhood spot Toast. Great gnocchi!

I felt really good after this run, much like I have been after the quality runs I do. This run is 6.5 miles, though I think I might have missed a hill after the turn around. 6.5 or 7, either is a good distance. It was sort of nice not to spend a long distance on my feet for this run. I need to get it consistent so I can start comparing them.

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