Tuesday, February 12, 2013

And on the 8th Day, God Created LOTS of Hills

I don't think God was really done on the 7th day and rested as they say in good ole book.  No, he had something else brewing in his head to prep me for my upcoming race this weekend:  HILLS!!   He made hills on the 8th day - and lots and lots of them.

In a mere 4 days, I'll be running this....

Moab Red Hot course
I know, life is rough over here in Western U.S. and the scenery is pretty crappy, but you may not be drooling so much when you hear that the race climbs over 3300' over the course of the 33k race. Not huge by most standard ultra races here in the West, but considering my current fitness level is still in the slow build-up process, this is actually going to be a pretty tough challenge - scenery be dammed!  Yeah, poor, poor me...I know you're really feeling my pain. 

So lots of vertical miles on my plan recently to get me ready for Moab.  "Lots" is relative, of course, but considering my training up to a few weeks ago involved a grand total of 100' in any given week (which is actually really hard to do living in mountain-esque Colorado), suddenly seeing 'vertical long', "2x(45"/1:00"/1:30) at sub-7:00", and "6x3:00 fast at 6-7% grade", just to name a few of many, is ... well.... a little exciting - and hard!

But I love seeing 'hard', considering I've been plodding along for a few months in my slow MAF HR zone of 135-145.  Anything, pleeeeeease, just to get out of those super slow miles and change up the scenery.  Literally! But since 'vertical' and 'long' miles require a bit of strategic planning on my part, since living Suburbia USA doesn't equate to long, rocky, dirt-infested hill climbs, I bestowed the help of Beth from SUAR a few weeks ago and headed to a trail near her neck of the woods in Boulder, Walker Ranch. (super old news for all you who read her blog regularly...I think she posted about this run about 3 weeks or more ago, immediately after we ran it...but you know me and how long it takes me to get up a post :)).  It was a 2-hour commute (thank you rush-hour traffic) each way so the entire day was spent for this one run.  But oh what a run!

Considering this was my 2nd vertical run in my quest to not die in Moab, did we pick a dozie of a 'hill'.
I broke no speed records doing 1 1/2 loops of this 'baptism by fire' trail, where I climbed about 2850' that day, and demonstrated that my climbing muscles have some serious work to do.  Mountain goat Beth had to wait for me often, and her 7.55 mile loop run turned into probably 20 miles circling back for me, but running about 900' vertical feet before Beth got there made my muscle memory get a glimpse of what they used to be able to do and gave me hope that some day they might just be able to do it again. 



When they have to put in stairs because it's so steep, you know it's going to be painful
Beth only ran the flat sections, that's why she was so much faster than me ! :)
Boulder Creek.  It freezes in January (imagine) but still so pretty!



It was tons of fun to share the trails behind with Beth and I hope to get up there soon again.  Maybe Beth will only have to do 18 miles next time :).

Last week, I had one last long vertical run before Moab but the germ-infested petri dish I work in got the better of me and decided I needed to battle a stomach virus instead of my long run.  Bummed, for sure, especially after spending the entire weekend on my bathroom floor hugging the commode instead of 3 key workout days I needed to do, but I did get in a little medium length run on some snowy trails before the stomach decided at mile 14 that was enough.



So that's a wrap as far as training for Moab goes.  I'm not going into the race in tip top fitness, that's for sure, but I have made some ground tackling some hills and I hope it's enough to get me up them in Moab feeling good.  A lot sort of rides on how I finish in Moab in terms of what comes next; I have no real race plans for the rest of the year (with the exception of the Boise Half IM) so we'll see what this weekend's hilly race produces and where my next adventure takes me. Regardless, I'm sure there'll be plenty of hills involved - I actually can't wait.

Run strong!

39 comments:

Adrienne said...

Wow, I am in awe looking at that elevation chart that you are able to do such a feat! This wussy TX flatlander is registered for the "hilly" RNR Seattle Half and then 70.3 Austin this fall. Pale in comparison-and beauty.

Hope you're feeling better! I'll visualize running in Moab when I'm doing my hill repeats where I can find em:)

Char said...

They're some pretty intense hills. You did an amazing job to get your lap and a half done. Pity Beth only wanted to do the flat bits. Soft, isn't she!

Molly said...

I actually like hills. Although I run pansy hills compared to those puppies, I don't doubt that Moab will be an epic run for you!

Aside from three races, my year is wiiiide open. Which is good, but maybe bad too. But we got good news today so I now can open up the wallet for registrations : )

Mike said...

Beautiful pictures! As a flat lander, I request we don't run that route when I'm out there next month :-)

HappyTrails said...

Make sure to have fun and enjoy the fresh and beautiful red rock scenery of Moab. You are going to do great and I am betting that when you hop in bed after the race, you will have a big, ole happy grin of satisfaction on your face for hard work well done and paid off. We will look forward to the full report! Be safe and enjoy a renewed sense of fun and excitement in running!!!

ShutUpandRun said...

Oh geez, you were not that far behind, plus you ran double of what I did!! Good luck this weekend, cannot wait for the details...and glad you are feeling better. Did you keep your heart rate at 135 while you were puking?

Kate Geisen said...

Good luck!!!

Your pictures are so beautiful! Definitely jealous of your scenery. I can't really identify with your elevation charts at all...when ours look pointy like that it's on a much smaller scale.

Yea for muscle memory. Pretty sure they'll shake off their mountain Alzheimer's and carry you through Moab, right? Right? Oh yes, I'm sure if it. :)

Julie said...

Woohoo! Imagine that! You wrote a post and I read and commented! :) I will be thinking of you this weekend and betting you will surprise yourself. Can't wait for the details! Send me a text when your done and get a chance!....just go out and have fun!

brg said...

you'll do great! Esp after running Walker. I hope you have great weather and speedy feet. git it!!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Wow! Holy Hills! But you seem to have experience with the tough stuff so you'll do great.

Jamoosh said...

After doing Columbia Gorge back in October, I was thankful that I realized the only thing that can prepare you for hills, is hills! Best of luck in your prep.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Holy cow, I need hills like that to prep me on the bike for IMSW

Johann said...

Some awesome training there, well done! You are hardcore enough to go show those 8th day creations. I love that scenery! All the best for the race! Enjoy!

Robin said...

Wow that looks like some run! Beautiful scenery for sure and quite the workout no doubt! Glad you are feeling better. Have a great race.

Tasha @Healthy Diva said...

Those look like some super steep hills. I would probably cry if I had to run them!

onelittletrigirl said...

It is always funny to see real hills since where I live, a speed bump is considered a hill!

CautiouslyAudacious said...

Holy hills batman!! Good luck and have fun!!!

Teamarcia said...

I think my HR is at 135 just sitting here reading this! Better you than me my friend, unless you have a wagon..or a donkey...or better yet both! I'm quite certain you will be your badass self and rock this weekend! xoxo

Terzah said...

Best of luck, Jill! You are going to be so happy to be let out of your cage and racing, and in such beautiful scenery too. You've done a lot of great training, and as you said the muscle memory is there. I'll be sending good karma your way this weekend.

Jenn said...

"Mountain Boat Beth" Bahahaha!

Yes, your scenery is crappy. I would just run on the treadmill all the time if I had to look at that. Blaahhhh....AHHH-HILLS!!!I wonder if there is 1500 feet of elevation gain ANYWHERE in Minnesota. YES, a tough challenge:)

I have been in the same plodding along stage here for awhile. NO speed, same old same old. My scenery has almost been exclusively the wall in my basement. Sometimes I look at the wall in the gym...these kiddos better thank me one day for the perfect upbringing I gave them in small frozenville hickorama hockeytown USA.

Best of luck to you this weekend Jill!! One of these days I'm making my way that direction and you're going to be the mountain goat:) XO

petraruns said...

I am SO jealous of your scenery! wow! It's gorgeous out there. Not quite so jealous of the hills - they look pretty from here but that 8M run looks painful! Living at sealevel on the flat I don't think I could even begin to join you but it does look gorgeous.

I owe you an email and am on it - pronto!

Liz said...

Wow, that scenery. I'd love to come and run in Colorado one day! Good luck with the race, it looks tough but great!

misszippy said...

Very excited for you! It will be an awesome adventure. You did some great training leading up to it, so you have that in your pocket to take with you.

Take lots of pics of the beautiful scenery!

funderson said...

Good luck this weekend!!! I'll be thinking of you while I'm in Denver traffic-driving to the 3 separate rinks in which Aidan's hockey tournament is apparently being held. UG. Is it too late to change my mind and come to Moab? My friend Sherri is going..maybe I can hitch a ride w/ her? Wait...her son is on Aidan's hockey team! Now, I'm understanding her "I'm already signed up!" strategy for missing front range hockey tournaments...brilliant!
I hope you have more fun than you can handle and kick those hills butts...have a beer at Woody's Tavern for me.

Matthew Smith said...

Um, you're nuts! That just looks like a world of hurt! Ouch! But, you're going to do great despite the fact that those hills are beastly. Good luck!

mighty termitey said...

after i read your post i thought about how funny life can be. and it's all how we see things.. for example: i see your pics and i think - no way in hell could i do that. i'm not equipped. i'm not used to hills - i'd die.
and then i think how people can't and won't even consider running a marathon in the heat we have in New Orleans. I JUST LOVE IT.

i say we compromise and run a race in the BVI's :D

cheers!
xo

Meg said...

Such pretty pictures and your Moab race is going to be so fun! Your hill work has prepared you, stay strong!! See you in April!?!!

Jesse said...

Good luck in Moab this morning!
(at least I think it's this morning!)

Jenny @ The Little J-Bird said...

I'm late in reading this but am so glad you had a great race today!! You rock! :)

Black Knight said...

I feel tired only looking at the elevation chart!
I hope you had fun and you have run a good race.
Beautiful photos.

Anne said...

That is incredible! Can't wait to read all about your race Jill :) Definitely an impressive challenge!

Raina said...

Loved every one of these shots Jill! I hope that things went well for you this weekend :)

I love hills...hate them at first...then love them. Nothing makes you stronger aerobically or muscularly faster than hills. Unfortunately I like them too much and might have had a tendon get angry about it, but that has nothing to do with you :)

Looking forward to your race report!

Doreen said...

WoooHOo
Can't wait to read your race report! xoxoxoxo

One Crazy Penguin said...

I would feel bad for you except that scenery is freaking amazing. I'm green with envy!

How did the race itself go?

ajh said...

You are really hard core! Those are some incredible pictures. And those stairs look amazingly steep. Good luck and have fun!

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Suz and Allan said...

Looks like a beautiful course but it certainly sounds like a toughie! Hope it went well!

Stacey UltraPrincess said...

Beeeeeeeutiful!

Caratunk Girl said...

Gorgeous course! Those are some hills!

As always, your pictures are fabulous!