Lunch run in the hills!
I decided that for my Thursday ‘form’ run, I would go at lunch today. Ivan looked at me this morning and said, “Do you know how lucky you are that you get to wear your running clothes to work?!” Yes, I said, I do know how lucky I am, but see, I am taking a whole bag of other clothes to change into after my run… cause I can shower at work too! He smirked.
So my run today was to be a 55 min form run. I didn’t quite know what to expect from my body on today’s run because my last run, the track episode on Tuesday, turned out to be a bit of a disaster (isn’t that ‘switching’ tip wonderful? have you tried it? it works!)… I started off slowly and didn’t really know were I was going to go, but decided that maybe I ought to just go without thinking. I headed up towards the Grove Park Inn which is known for how beautiful it is, and the neighborhoods around there are quite plush. I figured if nothing else, I’d be distracted by huge mansions and fancy cars and nice lawns. I was pretty much right, but the run turned out to be a huge success.
On mapmyruns.com, I have included the route I ran, and you can check out the elevation. I know it doesn’t look like a ton, but really, the whole run was basically a huge hill. Uphill for 35 minutes and downhill for 20, nice loop so I didn’t have to do an out-and-back.
After the Instructor Training last week, I got to practice running hills more, and also teaching how to run hills. I finally just understand how much I have to use my arms to really make the uphills so much easier. I have always REALLY disliked running hills, and was really probably one of the major reasons I never ran them. I always felt like my heart my come out of my mouth, or worse, I would expire, right there on the side of the road. “Poor young lady, thought she could run, turns out she was incredibly inefficient on hills”, that’s what the paper heading would say…
But really, the run was glorious. I took it very easy for the first warm up, which was basically a false flat for a mile and then the uphills really started. It was the middle of the day and surprisingly, there was little traffic where I was running. It was on a very nicely paved black top and the leaves are all starting to change, so it was so amazing, with the left-over rain from yesterday still falling down the trees…
I was really focusing on keeping my head up, chin down, legs limp or as relaxed as possible (but not scuffing the ground) and really swinging those arms. Part way up the hill, (which was really windy and I’ave never been up there, so I had know idea what to expect) I really finally let go. I just totally relaxed and while I don’t think anything changed to the observer’s eye, I think my PRE really dropped and I just felt light. I must have really been leaning and letting gravity do the work. It was GREAT.
On the downhill, I was careful at the beginning because I didn’t want to overdo it, and fall on my face… But the hill just kept going down down down down. It was kind of incredible, but partway through, I realized that I had biked a section of the road earlier in the summer with my friend Rachel (I remembered that the biking was WAY more difficult than the running was today)… Anyway, I really managed to just open up at the end of the run and let it all go. I was going really fast but not really doing anything. I was keeping my arms swing back, trying to get my ankle lift up so that I didn’t land on my heel, really trying to reduce the impact on my leg (my muscle in the right leg started to talk to me partway through the downhill) and I eventually got into a pace that my body really liked. I think I was probably approaching anaerobic, which isn’t the point of this run, so I backed off, but I kind of wish I hadn’t, because I had a hard time keeping on after that.
I finally found my way back to familiar ground, and walked about the last 1/2 mile back to the office, but i was running at about a 10 min pace with what I felt was good form.
I would say over-all, probably an 8-9 run on scale.
[note: i was walking downtown tonight after dinner back to my car. Asheville is very hilly and i was passing this family group of visitors and one of the ladies said, “it’s much easier if you lean into the hills!” I almost turned around to say something, but just kept leaning into the hill myself. I passed them. Then I smiled and thought, “you bet!”]
- lunch run