Bunny Hills

The heat broke yesterday, and I’m not sure it even got above 80. There was a beautiful breeze blowing in my window in the morning, and I didn’t wake up sweaty and gross from another hot July night. The timing was perfect because I tried out my new amped-up version of a hill workout after work.

Chester Bowl x 4 today. #duluth #trailrunning #slowrunner #conservationofmomentum #hardernhellhalf

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I ran up the Chester Bowl ski hill 4 times today. It’s a tough climb, although as ski hills go it is not that frightening.

I warmed up with a nice uphill run because that’s how one gets to Chester Bowl, and then started at the base of the hill. The first pass, I went out rather aggressively, and I was breathing pretty heavily halfway up when I slowed to a hike. I took it easy on the way down, and on the second pass, began at a very slow run, then slowed to a walk again about halfway up. I made the third pass a “sustainable” effort, meaning closer to what I would actually do in a race, and hiked the whole way up, still huffing and puffing. On the way down, my quads were a little shaky. I mixed up running and walking on the fourth pass, running about a quarter of the way, hiking, running, hiking, and running to finish. Then snapping the photo and heading back down, again on uneasy legs.

I realize this workout is like, the opposite of what is metabolically efficient, as I am giving an anaerobic effort on the climbs. I don’t need a heart rate monitor to tell me my heart’s about to explode. I don’t even really know if this workout is a good idea, although I think it is, for whatever that’s worth. I think it’s going to make my legs stronger on uphills AND downhills. I definitely need to mix in some more practice power hiking, since that’s what I’m actually going to do in the race, and I need to practice getting my arms involved more. I’m barely pumping them at all. The handheld is throwing me off, so I think I need to bring both for my next hill workout (in 2 weeks), as bringing none is not an option. I plan on doing 5 more repeats of this workout between now and the race date, and doing intervals or tempo runs on the alternating weeks. The more hills I can do, one after another, the better I think it will be come race day. I don’t have a way to quantify any improvements, but I hope I’ll be able to feel a difference in effort between this week and week 11, when I do the final set of hill repeats.

After the hills, I ran down to the 9th St. bridge using the Chester Creek trail and then cruised home. I actually felt pretty good, and my legs felt strong. I wanted to do a yoga video when I got home, but Chromecast wasn’t cooperating, so I just did a little freestyle yoga that lasted maybe 5 minutes. It doesn’t count. Today is another rest day, and I am getting a massage. This week will practically count as another recovery week. Two rest days (so far), a break in the heat wave, and some pampering!

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