MCM Training – Week 4 (8 mile epic fail to hill repeats redemption)

The two week visit of my family really through a wrench into my training and my blogging. Lugging 12+ people around the what seems to be the entire Mid-Atlantic region was very taxing. I posted on my personal FB page that it was the equivalent of herding cats. From Baltimore to NY and to DC, I herded cats everywhere – and I wasn’t too good at it either. It seemed that the only time I had the entire group together was in the 15-passenger van that I had to quickly learn how to drive. I’m now a van driving fool. Anyway, the sight seeing gave me plenty of time on my feet, but left little time for proper nutrition, sleep, and of course training.

I pushed my Saturday long run to Sunday as I was just too tired to get up early after spending the day in NY. The weather has been consistently in the upper 90’s and now 100’s that a late long run was just unthinkable. Apparently I moved to hell and didn’t realize it. What’s with this dang heat anyway?!

Met up with a friend for 8 miles on Sunday around 8:30 am (it was a cut back week) and ended up doing a measly 4. The humidity made it feel like I put a plastic grocery bag over my head before I headed out for a run. It didn’t help I wasn’t properly hydrated and I pretty much lived off of hot dogs and Chinese food the week before. I whined, I walked, I gasped for air. So the long run turned in to a short run and we took the “cut back” to a whole new level. EPIC FAIL.

Family left on Monday, so yesterday was the day to get back with the program! And there’s no better way then to do the good ol’ fashion hill repeat workouts. I was determined to let this workout detoxify me. Yes, it was a bazillion degrees (well, only 94), and yes I forgot my hat and sunglasses, but I was going to sweat it out and cleanse my body!

And boy did I! I could smell the hot dog sweats coming off of me. I bet the runners behind me had no idea why they had a sudden hankering for a dog or maybe perhaps Chinese food.

Hill repeats are tough, but so worth the hard work. Not only does it strengthen your legs, they are a great workout to help build aerobic capacity and lactic acid tolerance (the ability to clear lactic acid from the blood). We ran an easy 1 mile warm up, followed by 3 sets of hill repeats on a 1/4 hill, then cooled down with another mile.

Below is great advice from the following article:

Fatigue is going to hit you hard when pushing up hill and form is the first thing to fail. However, while you are practicing hill repeats it is important to continue concentrating on form. Make sure to:

1. Look ahead to help you stand tall as the incline will make you want to hinge forward.

2. Drive up your knees while still staying light on your feet, helping to quicken your stride.

3. When your feet start slowing down, focus on pumping your arms, and your feet will follow.

4. Try to stay relaxed and breath as normally as possible.

I did the best I could, but I was definitely doing the Clompin’ McClompin’ towards the end. It wasn’t pretty but we finished. YES! REDEMPTION!

Tomorrow is my 5-mile tempo run. I’m hoping that 5:30 a.m. start is early enough to beat the heat. If not, I guess I’ll have to start doing midnight runs.

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