And this is why I was dead:
Look at the green graph. That's the elevation plot. Check out that crazy sawtooth-looking stuff in the middle. That's the Hill of Death six times. SIX TIMES.
Let me tell you something, boys and girls... When you run the Hill of Death six times, it truly lives up to its name. Coach Brad's instructions for our workout were simple: Run as many repeats of the Hill of Death as you can possibly do, and when you think you can't do anymore, do one more. After my third round on the hill, I really didn't think I had anymore in me. I felt sluggish, tired, and heavy. Then Brad told me that Collin, who is new to FAST and happens to be an 8th grader, was planning to run five repeats. Well crap. I couldn't let myself get bested by an 8th grader! (I do realize that many 8th graders could easily outrun me... but let's stick to the topic at hand, shall we?) So I plugged on, despite the fact that my legs felt as if they were made of lead.
After my 5th hill, I met up with Collin and casually asked "So, how many'd you do?" You know, just to make sure he hadn't run a bunch more when I wasn't looking. Turns out he had done five too. Well, I would've been content to let it go then, but then Tim came sailing down the hill on his tenth repeat. TEN! Five repeats seemed pretty wimpy at that point. And many of my fellow FASTies were busting out six and seven hills. It made me feel oddly left out.
So I turned to Collin and said "Alright, let's do one more. We can do one more, right?" He agreed, and together, the 8th grader and I charged up the hill a sixth time. We huffed and puffed and probably both felt near death (or at least near puking), but he didn't fall behind, and neither did I. After we rounded the final turn, I wheezed "Almost there!" and he grunted in enthusiastic agreement. And before we knew it, we were at the top. Woo hoo!
Then, that little whippersnapper took off down the other side of the hill at breakneck speed and left me in the dust! Hmph. Kids these days!
But when I reached the bottom of the hill, we high-fived on a job well done, and he thanked me for helping him get through that last hill. I, in turn, thanked him for getting me through the last hill. Teamwork made us victorious, and we celebrated that victory together. Okay, so I celebrated, and Collin was like "yeah, cool. whatever."
And then I died.
But I got better!
I never would've imagined I could run six Hills of Death in a row... especially on a night when I just wasn't "feelin' it". But a little peer pressure goes a long way in FAST. There are a lot of things we do in FAST that I would probably never do if left to my own devices. And if I was left to my own devices, I would still be running 33:00 5k's and 6:23 marathons. So I conclude that a little death by hill repeats never killed anyone... at least not permanently.
Peace. Love. Train.