Yesterday I did my first run workout of the year. During the first half of training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon my coach Mike had me doing weekly hill repeats. This workout never fails to humble and ground me. I remember the first time I did this workout I thought I was going to throw up during it. I wanted to quit after the first repeat and had to fight to finish all five repeats. This was one of the few workouts that left me sore the next day.
It dawned on me that my first race of the season is coming up quicker than I realized. My running isn't where I want it to be and I'm was getting sick of feeling out of shape. The only way to get my running fitness back is to start running more and faster. Enter hill repeats.
20 min warm-up
5 x 2.5 min hill repeats, jog recovery back down hill
20 min cool down
Turns out when you are out of shape and do a hard workout it's just as hard as the first time you did it. The first repeat felt hard but doable. The second one I felt invincible. The last three I had a terrible side stitch, was on the verge of puking, and felt like my legs were going to fall off. I couldn't will them to turnover faster no matter what.
It was even more of a wake up call of how out of shape I am. I probably shouldn't have but I looked up what paces I held the first time I did this workout and the results were crushing. I'm trying to look at it as even more motivation to not give up and keep at it but honestly it's frustrating.
2/21/2013- 5.7 miles, 9:05 avg pace // 8:11, 8:01, 8:15, 8:10, 7:57
2/19/2014- 6.7 miles, 9:37 avg // 8:44, 8:32, 8:48, 8:39, 8:41
Seeing those numbers side by side is really humbling. As easy as it is to feel like all hope is lost and I will never regain my speed, I'm trying to pay attention to things that I can do a better job at. I'm also trying to take a long-term approach and realize that both speed and endurance will eventually make their return.