Friday, April 2, 2010

Introducing the HILL OF DEATH

Do you remember me saying that FAST is made up of Speedwork Tuesdays and Hillwork Thursdays? Well, as all of my alert readers know, yesterday was Thursday.

I would like to introduce you to Glen Oak Hill, aka, The HILL OF DEATH (you have to say that with a deep, echo-y voice for the proper effect). This bad boy is about 100 feet of vertical ascent over 1/4 mile. Take a good hard look at the graph below (click it to see it larger) - the green graph is elevation. I'm sure it's not difficult to figure out where the *echo-y voice on* HILL OF DEATH *echo-y voice off* is. Although it's worth noting that even the 2 mile warm-up has a fair bit of ascent, but it's much more gradual. And it's a warm-up, so it's not like we run it all-out. When it comes to running the *echo-y voice on* HILL OF DEATH *echo-y voice off*, we are basically supposed to be running as hard and as fast as we can (well, not so hard that we can't make it to the top).

I was lucky. I only had to run the HILL OF DEATH once. The reasons for that were twofold: (1) I'm in a recovery week and (2) I'm running a half-marathon tomorrow, so in order to have fresh legs for the race, Coach Brad didn't want me running myself to exhaustion. But many of my teammates had to run the HILL OF DEATH twice or even thrice. HAHA - sucks to be them! (Sorry, Becky! ;-) )

I must say, running the HILL OF DEATH last night was a bit discouraging for me. I've lost a lot of my uphill power from Summer FAST last year. I know that this winter was about base-building and increasing endurance, and I am very pleased with how far I've come in that regard. But my power has definitely diminished in the mean time. It's also possible that yesterday's unseasonably warm temperatures came into play as well. It was 83ยบ outside! I know I'm not acclimated to running in that sort of weather yet - I was sweating... er... like a pig! As a side note - does anyone know where the saying "Sweating like a pig" comes from? Because pigs don't actually sweat. But I digress....

The HILL OF DEATH is probably one of the most puke-worthy hills in the Greater Peoria area. It's right up there with Bishop Ave Hill. I have a love-hate relationship with these hills. Running up them hurts like crazy (I believe I gasped to Coach Bekah as I was nearing the crest of the hill, "THIS SUCKS!!!"). But they are so good for developing speed and power. And so I shall embrace the *echo-y voice on* HILL OF DEATH *echo-y voice off* with open arms and speedy feet.

Peace. Love. Train.


  1. It did suck to be me last night! However, I'm determined before this session of FAST is over I can run the entire thing without walking!

  2. Becky, you will be able to run the whole thing before you know it. You'll be amazed how quickly you improve! :)