That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. - Nietzsche

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hillz - I hatez dem

I am so not a cold-weather person. I love the fall/winter holidays, I love looking at the snow (out the window), I love fireplaces and curling up in warm pajamas. I hate the very thought of being outside when it's cold, and I generally resign myself to the fact that from about November until sometime in April, I will never be completely warm.

So it's a whole new mental game with myself to get my butt out the door and running. I still enjoy running, I still want to run, and about five minutes into my run, I find the cold to be incredibly tolerable - even invigorating. But until I get to that point, it's really hard to make myself believe that voluntarily spending more time outside in 30-40 degree weather is a good idea.

I'm really annoyed that the perfect, 60 degree running weather window was so painfully short, while the heatstroke and frostbite seasons last soooo long. Welcome to Cincinnati.

So I took Thursday and Friday off from running. To be fair, I couldn't run either morning due to work, and I had to work too late on Friday to go to my usual circuit training class, so I was all off. I almost ran Thursday evening, but then it started to rain. Running in the rain AND cold? Screw that.

At least I made up for it this weekend. Yesterday I ran the 5 mile airport loop in 50:40, wearing capris, knee socks, my USAF marathon shirt, a fleece jacket, a stocking cap and gloves. I passed a woman wearing capris and a light jacket with none of the extras. Told ya I hate cold.

Today I did Hal Higdon's prescribed 6 mile run. (Actually, I inadvertantly made it a 6.2.) But I took it to the next level. Realizing that I've been running on a lot of flatness - flat trails and my flat neighborhood - and realizing also that the Thanksgiving 10k is downtown and goes over bridges, so it will NOT be flat, I decided to do some hill training. Boy did I ever. I wanted some new scenery anyway, so I went to Indian Hill. Note: if you run in a place that has Hill in the name, and everywhere you look there are streets with "hill" in the name, you will be running over lots of hills. There were some flat stretches, but the majority of my run was hills, including one that, a year and a half ago, I discovered I could not conquer on a bike without stopping to walk my bike.

Needless to say, that run was a huge challenge - a challenge that I completed in 1:06:48, including stops at 5-6 traffic lights. It probably had over twice the hills of the Flying Pig 10k (also downtown). I haven't been able to get up off the couch for the past hour.

As far as I'm concerned, my hill training for this upcoming race = complete. Now to try to peel myself off the couch and make some coffee so I can do something else with my day.

Cool thing about that route - Indian Hill is home to some of the fanciest, most expensive houses in the neighborhood. Naturally I wore my classiest running clothes to pretend like I belonged, and I had some pretty mansions to look at!


  1. I don't like cold either, but that's one of the great things about running...getting your core temp up so that the cold is tolerable for a little bit :-)

  2. When the Spring group at Roncker's fired up in January, the first question the head coach asked - as it was 8 DEGREES at 7:30 that morning - was "If you weren't meeting with the group, who would be out running by themselves this morning?" Let's just say the show of hands was non-existent. And accurate. I wouldn't have been out of bed if I hadn't been scheduled to meet up with a hundred of my running buddies. :) Something to think about.

    Also - Oakley has some awesome hill runs. You could also try Spring Grove Cemetary.

  3. I was thinking about joining the Pig training group at Ronckers. How was it??

    I thought about Oakley. I could put together a nice hilly long run there. Spring Grove is where my work put on a 5k; it was nice although our route only had one hill (although it sucked!) Is there a map somewhere? (a) I'm afraid of getting lost; (b) I'm anal about counting my miles!