A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Helloooooooo Hills!

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This past Saturday, I ran a beautiful 9 mile route that I hadn't run since summer. It is an extremely hilly route, and I hadn't run hills in many, many months. The weather was gorgeous and I had all the time in the world, so I decided to give it a go!

Here are some thoughts about my run...

1. First of all, one of the reasons I hadn't run this route in awhile is because it involves driving about 10 minutes away and running a huge circle in the middle of nowhere. For the past few months, I have not felt comfortable running so far from home in case Paul needs me. I prefer to be a 5-10 minute sprint away at the most. But on Saturday, Paul spent the day with his family so I felt like a free woman!

2. I was apprehensive as soon as my feet hit the pavement. It was "only" 9 miles, but it was 9 HILLY miles. Could I do it? How would my leg hold up? How would my joints hold up? It sucks not being in prime running shape due to a nagging injury.



Wharf Road


Moore's Mountain

Hills never look as steep in pictures as they are in real life...

3. Before I had even run a mile, I realized that I should have brought water along. It was warmer than I thought, and I was going to be running between 80 and 90 minutes. What was a thinking? What kind of trainer am I to be so cocky and think I don't need water on a 9 mile run?

4. Central Pennsylvania truly is beautiful. To my blogger friends who live nowhere in the vicinity of PA, I wonder what you think of the state I live in? I hope you know that there are some very beautiful views!


Conewago Creek

Sawmill Road

Looking down from the top of Sawmill.

5. At mile 3.57 I realized there was still some fresh, clean snow on the ground and I could easily use that as hydration. So I had some. The snow tasted exactly the same as I remember snow tasting. When was the last time I ate snow? 15-20 years ago!? (I used to eat sand as a child, so snow is nothing.)



This is what happens when you don't bring water.

6. My pee spot was gone! I hadn't run this route since summer, and since then, all the trees around my pee spot were cut down and a housing development was going up. COME ON!

7. The most daunting hill on the route was Moore's Mountain Road. I haven't had to stop and walk up that dang hill in years, and I was determined not to stop and walk on this day. Even though I ran up it at a pace in which I could have probably walked, I still did it!




8. I felt invigorated after my run. But how comes my heart rate was higher while trying to put on my compression socks than it was when I was trying to run up Moore's Mountain?




This should be more difficult than putting on compreshies. (That's what me and Paul call compression socks.)

9. I felt proud I completed my good 'ol hilly 9 miler, even though it was about a minute per mile slower than I ran it when I was in "hill running shape". Oh well, now I have a goal, right!?

10. Knee/IT band update: It felt great during the run and great after! It was not aching or pulsating so that is good. I was trying to focus on using my glutes a lot, and I have a feeling the hill factor maybe worked in my favor?


Have you ever had to do something, um, creative when you didn't have water?
How often do you run hills?
What do you think of when you think of Pennsylvania? Be honest!

22 comments:

  1. Way to go! That is awesome, Meg.

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  2. I think PA looks so wintery right now! I love seeing snow and sparse trees since that's so different than what I'm used to seeing. If I could, I would pay money to have four real seasons here in S. Florida where the leaves and weather actually change!

    Pulling on compression socks is a HIIT workout. I mean, it's only two intervals long, but it's not easy!

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    1. LOL it is a HIIT workout. We should do a tabata of putting on compression socks. Oh man I just hate putting them on!

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  3. Glad that your leg held up well! I find that when I run hills it does make my glutes work harder. However, when they don't feel like working then I run into a real problem.

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    1. That's why I was trying to focus on my buns. I think it worked!

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  4. I have been doing a lot of hills lately too...I have learned NEVER make decisions when you are running up a hill. Life lesson, right there.
    What do I think of when I think of PA? I lived there for 2 years as a kid, Lewistown PA, near Harrisburg, I think. I think of hills, interstate 80, Amish country, and sledding. We did A LOT of sledding in PA!

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    1. I know Lewistown :) I used to drive through there to and from College. There were a lot of Amish in the town I grew up in.

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  5. Hills! Brave girl :) Snow was good idea!
    This time of year I would have never carried water in the past, but now since i have been running so much less and doing things where I have a water bottle with me all the time, I noticed even on a three mile run I am missing water.
    I hate when your pee spot goes missing lol - I had a few on my longer routes and now they are building which sucks! if i ever to get marathon train again I have no idea what I will do lol
    I am glad your leg held up- I am banned from hills for awhile still lol The doctor made me repeat hills are bad. I think your pace looks awesome for a hilly run.
    I haven't been in years but I liked everywhere I've been in PA :)

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    1. Altoona - what an adventure that was lol in HS a bunch of us drove there. Hershey, but i can barely remember it. Lancaster a few times, and I think Gettysburg that was a HS trip again lol I grew up in Baltimore.
      Hubby said he would like to visit Pocono Race way and stay there sometime in the future. Have you and Paul stayed anywhere in the Poconos?

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    2. No we have never stayed there but we ran a Warrior Dash up there. Turns out it was on a Pocono race day and we sat in traffic for HOURS waiting to get to the WD!

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  6. I completely agree with you that hills never look as steep in pictures as they do in real life. Why the heck is that?

    I run hills all the time, but only because I live in a hilly area and they are tough to avoid. It is a challenge finding a flat surface around Bend to run. It’s good for me though, and every time I run a flat course I appreciate the fact that I trained on hills. Every effort counts.

    I’ve never had to do anything super creative when seeking out water. If I am really desperate I will run into a store or run by a friends house to see if they are home.

    Great work on the hills. I’m glad your knee/IT band held up!

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    1. PA is pretty hilly too, but I have not ventured out of my neighborhood in several months. I am going to have to though because I have a trail half coming up.

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  7. I love that picture looking down from Sawmill - very cool! I've been to Pennsylvania once and thought it was pretty - not sure I would enjoy it in the winter with all the snow and cold!
    Great job completing the 9 miles with the big hills!!!

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  8. That run looks beautiful! I bet having the freedom to drive to your starting point was really nice. I love hills, but I usually cap my hill workouts at 5 miles. I'm daunted by hills for long distances!

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    1. It was definitely a mind over matter thing for me. It's like, I knew I USED to be able to do it, but could I still do it? Apparently yes, as long as I slowed down! That's the good part about hills- I feel like garmins don't matter on them!

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  9. It is impossible for me to run without rolling hills. I know a flat race course would drive me nuts because there would be no climbing involved. I spent the weekend climbing mountains, so I did a whole lot of hill training. I hate them, but they totally make you a stronger runner.

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    1. They sure do! I used to run hills all the time and it really helped me in races. Hey my parents were just out in your neck of the woods on vaycay :)

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  10. That is a beautiful run! Great job pounding out those hills. (virtual fist pump). I love that you ate snow! LOL. Once on a hot sunny 10 mile run without water I became a little delerious and considered going down and sitting in our super dirty harbour front...eww.

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    1. Haha it is crazy what we will do when we are thirsty and panicked. From now on, I'm gonna try to tell myself not to be a hero and take some freaking water if it is warm out.

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