blasted hills

I had a hard time motivating yesterday… it was a lovely day, and it was actually really warm, and i didn’t run until the afternoon, so needless to say, i was hot as hell. (sorry for the bad word)

really, it was such a lovely fall day, I felt like I should be riding with the top down in a convertible on winding roads and rushing through leaf piles. although i didn’t have a 600 horsepower engine to tour through the lovely hills of Asheville, i had my own two legs and a little engine that could.

sorry, that was corny!

and another note: [i mentioned above driving a car through leaf piles. Well, don’t do it. My father, who went to University of Iowa law school years ago, had a mock trial his first year about this scenario: it’s Fall time, and there is a car driving down the road in a neighborhood and sees a large leaf pile in the road near the sidewalk. He drives the car through the pile and strikes a child who’s hiding/playing in the pile. Manslaughter. Tough lesson… anyway, my Dad told that story enough times that I will never drive through a leaf pile, and though I know it’s a heavy thought, I felt compelled to share…]

But fall time is lovely and my run, although a bit warm for my taste, was okay. The neighborhood where I ran is near the Grove Park Inn, and quite hills, but the intricate curves in the roads made for unique driveways and cool home sites. I hadn’t ever been up there before, so it was nice to just take in the scene and work on my form on the hills.

Last week I was asking Danny about the hills and how I was having a hard time on the uphills. He said, “Well you want to try to go gear 3 down the hills and maintain that for a little bit on the uphills, but don’t let your heart rate go up.. Even if you have to go creepy slow up the hills, try to keep your heart rate down.”

Well, that’s all I was thinking about on most of the uphills yesterday: my new mantra, creepyslow creepyslow creepyslow. I love the term and it makes me smile. I think I did okay with keeping my heart rate generally pretty even. Problem is that on a lot of the hills, the up hills are long and my heart rate just does go up, and then the long downhills, my heart has time to recover and then of course it’s going to go up on the uphills. Alas, the dilemma of running for consistent heart rates.

My form on the downhills was focused totally on keeping my head forward and my core engaged. I know why people must ruin their bodies running downhills without keeping the core engaged: it’s like taking a hammer to you knee and banging it every time you take a step. Thank goodness for ChiRunning.

There were a couple of times when my speed on the downhills peaked and I was a little nervous. I was turning over at a healthy pace and I tried to keep my stride long behind me, without getting too overzealous. I didn’t want to do a face plant.

When I was on the uphills, I just keep thinking: no legs no legs no legs. I am not sore at all today, which makes me believe I did run with good form, even if it was creepy slow. Who cares?

Scale: 6/7. I felt great on the downhills and on the slight uphills/slight downhills and flats. The steep uphills were hard, but I didn’t get frustrated or cry, I just applied my tools and knowledge and finished the hill to thankfully glide down the next crest. Whew.


Posted in Technique

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