So I won’t go as far as saying that hills are the devil, but they’re pretty darn close.
It warmed up enough to head out for a bit today. I’m pretty good with endurance, but hills are my Achilles’ heel. Although my first half, the Maryland Half, isn’t terribly hilly, there are some rolling hills, and I’m planning on running the Baltimore Half again in October, so I want to start hill training as soon as possible. Plus, I think it just makes for a more well-rounded runner.
Last year when I tried running hills, the .6 mi warm up nearly did me it. This year, I did a 1 mile warm up and it energized me. Just from that I know I’m in better shape now than last summer. I did three repeats on a 300 m hill on a 19% incline. This hill is ridiculous. I’ll never encounter anything like it in any race I plan on doing, but it’s more psychological for me. If I can conquer this one, I can conquer any race. I made it about 2/3 of the way up each time, with the last time being my best run. My legs hurt. My lungs ached. But it’s a start. It gives me a baseline for the rest of the season.
While I was out today, I noticed something that made me smile. Something barely audible, but inherently springy. Peepers. If I stopped and turned my head in just the right direction, I could hear a faint chorus of peepers along the shores of the river. That was music to my winter-weary ears! I also noticed some wild grasses popping up in one of the streams leading to the river – another sign that spring is surely here, even if the thermometer disagrees.