Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Move over Hill of Death... there's a new kid in town!

It's been weeks since I've written about a training run. Since Summer/Fall FAST has come to an end, there haven't been any crazy, tough or puke-inducing workouts to speak of. I have spent the last 6 weeks either tapering for or recovering from the Chicago marathon. But now, it's time to step it up again. And what better way to step it up than to run up a crazy-ass hill?

Crazier than the Hill of Death?

Oh yes. The Hill of Death is but a wee little knob compared to this new beast.

Some of my fellow FASTies/Stashies and I decided to meet for an after-work run yesterday. As we were contemplating what sort of run to do, Claire mentioned that she knew of a good hill in the High Point subdivision.

Thanks a lot, Claire.

The four of us (plus Claire's dog) did an easy warm-up run through High Point and then we got to the top of the purported "good hill". In order to run up the hill, we would first have to run down it. No problem - it would be a sort of extended warm-up. We couldn't see all the way down it, as it was a winding road, but how bad could it be?

Famous last words.

As we kept running down and down and down and DOWN, my concern grew. Would we ever reach the bottom of this valley? And how would we ever get back up? Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we reached the bottom. It was a beautiful curvy road with fall trees and big houses - a very scenic place to run. But as I looked up the hillside we had just run down and realized that I couldn't see the top of the hill, I got a little worried.

Slowly, we began our ascent. At first it wasn't too bad. That was mostly because I was running at a snail's pace. But as I climbed and climbed, it got harder and harder. I led the pack and I could hear Louisa behind me yelling "Are we there yet? Is this the top???" My initial thought was that Louisa should probably be running harder if she was able to yell like that. I certainly couldn't yell. But then I realized that I, too, wanted to know the answer to her questions. Where was the top??? Why weren't we there yet???

After huffing and puffing and running up this hill for approximately 1.6 million years, we finally crested it.

And then we all died.

But we got better!

I was itching to get home and check out the Garmin data. How high was that hill? As it turned out, it was almost 250 vertical feet of climb over 0.55 miles. In comparison, the Hill of Death has "only" 110 vertical feet of climb over 0.25 miles. A hill that's more than twice as big (in both height and length) as the Hill of Death? Oh, a hill like this needs a very special name.

I'd like to introduce the Mountain of Mayhem. *insert scary horror movie music*

Here is the Mountain of Mayhem in all it's steep and winding road glory. Look at the green graph. That big V-shape is where we ran to the bottom of the hill and then back up. The red graph shows how my heart rate skyrocketed while climbing said hill. And then it dropped off because I died. But as you can see, I got better.

So there you have it, folks. The mean older brother of the Hill of Death has made his debut. And I'm sure we haven't seen the last of the Mountain of Mayhem. I know Louisa wants to go back. I think she's crazy, but then, aren't we all a little crazy?

Oh, and don't tell my coaches about this new hill, okay? We don't need to go giving them any ideas for some new "Extreme Hill Repeats On Crack" workout or anything like that. Believe me, FAST workouts are extreme enough already!

So shhhhhhhh! This Mountain of Mayhem will just be our little secret. What the coaches don't know can't hurt them. But if the coaches do know, it will only hurt us, the innocent FASTies. And you don't want that now, do you? Of course not!

*looks shifty* So, mum's the word. *sneaks quietly out of blog entry*

Peace. Love. Train.

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