Is this the eeriest start to the day ever? I just embraced the weirdness and listened to Radiohead for the first 10 minutes of spooky darkness (and by the way, John Mayer does a cover of the linked song even better in my opinion!!). DSC02155

But anyways. Today was one of those days where I was thiiiiiisssss close to sleeping in. So close. But the thought of coffee gets me going every morning! Especially on these cool wintery days.

Not that today was even chilly, though. I sported capris and short sleeves because it was a glorious 56 degrees out. What? I thought it was supposed to be cold. Not that I’m complaining. Actually this was a huge blessing because all of my heavy-duty winter running gear is currently sitting, soggy, in the washer. Chores are the death of me.DSC02156

I’m struggling to stay on topic here, so let’s jump right to the technical stuff shall we? Today’s run was pretty hilly in my opinion. I had a 300-foot climb there for a while, and then another 200 feet a couple times later! Phew. I was beat. If there’s anything I loathe more than laundry, it’s running hills.

Screen shot 2012-12-04 at 8.17.34 AM

And if we want to get super geeky, you can see that my dislike for inclines is pretty clearly reflected in my speed (or, lack thereof).

Screen shot 2012-12-04 at 8.17.06 AM

During mile 2 (in the heart of the first big hill) I was almost a full minute over my normal pace — miles 6 and 8, also right at the start of a climb, were slower than the rest, too.

I’ve always struggled with hills. During my last training season, I made sure to do hill repeat runs every week or so in hopes it’d make me stronger and faster. I’m not quite sure if it worked, because come race day, I still slowed down pretty hard during inclines.

Race-day face says,”Why you make me so slow, hills?” DSC02975

I think I got part of the equation right by doing hill repeats, but was missing an important piece of the puzzle: strength conditioning. Since I was recently informed that I have super-weak glutes, perhaps my wimpy butt is holding back my speed! This Runner’s World article discusses some techniques to improve your hill fortitude, and goes over some specific glute and hamstring exercises to strengthen and speed-ify those legs. Luckily, I’m already doing some of these! I’m so sore!

  • Favorite weird/depressing band? (I love listening to depressing music while running)
  • How do you tackle hills?
  • What’s one area you’d like to strengthen?




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