I have officially registered for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.
This is a big deal for me. Pittsburgh is filled with some of the most terrifying hills I've ever seen. For example:
|Canton Avenue, which is the steepest officially recorded public street in the U.S.|
After years of playing the avoidance card, I now HAVE to get real with hill training. Otherwise, I'll most certainly be doing a long, painful death waddle on May 1.
Adam is very proud of his hometown, so he is beyond thrilled, of course. He is going to have a great time spectating! We've got several local friends who run the race every year and I am pumped to join them this year. It'll be fun to take the extended tour in my running shoes.
From a timing standpoint, I'm not going to start training in earnest until my Pure Barre membership ends in a few weeks. In the meantime, I've started researching indoor hill training plans. Since there are almost no hills in Chicago, I definitely have to rely on the treadmill for help.
Based on the guidance in this article, I plan to try doing the following workout once a week:
- Warm up for 10-15 minutes
- At moderately hard pace, run:
- 2 minutes at 4-6% incline
- 2 minutes at 6-10% incline
- 2 minutes at 2% incline
- Cool down 5-10 minutes.
I'd also like to try mimicking the Pittsburgh Half Marathon's elevations in training. According to the course elevation map, there are massive hills between approximately Miles 11.5 and 13. (Yikes!) Therefore, when I do my long runs, I will ideally add some hillwork at the end. So help me, God. This will require doing the tail end of my long runs on the treadmill.
I'm already trying to think of positive affirmations to keep myself going mentally. I know I'm going to have many moments of ugliness along the way. But hey, style points don't matter, right?
At the moment, I'm planning ambitiously, of course. When push comes to shove, we'll see how strongly I actually execute. But I figure that even if I'm not completely consistent, a little bit of hillwork is still better than the zero I'm doing right now. Baby steps.
Any other thoughts or suggestions on how to whip a Midwestern flatlander out of her comfort zone? What are your best hill-running strategies? Any war stories to share?
Linking up with Marcia, Patti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run on the topic of "Goals."