Monday, January 10, 2011

Hill repeats in an evening blizzard!

Today was hill repeat day. One of my favorites as far as training goes. The idea was to run a total of 1500' up and down in less than an hour. I had Vye drop me off on the mountain because she was taking the kids to swimming lessons at the nearby rec center. I told her to pick me up in an hour and off I went. It started to flurry about the second I started my run. It was really peaceful, tranquil and the mountain was almost devoid of life (my last few runs there have been terribly crowded). I warmed up for 5 minutes up to where the trail turns right up the south face. I really focused on pushing myself much harder than last week and nailed my first 500' quite quickly. I tightened my shoes in preparation for the steep downhill and began to realize that the slope was going to be quite slippy from the newly fallen snow. Apparently I didn't learn my lesson from Saturday's icy descent because I just flew right down the steep South slope of Doug with no questions asked. There was one time where I almost lost my footing which is surprising considering this pair of Brooks I am running have over 1000 miles on them and their tread is basically gone. I exited the rocks and really flew down the steep dirt trails below the rocks. I find I am a lot slower on my downhill currently than the last two years and I need to make some improvements in that arena (thats what these hill repeats are for). The second summit was a bit harder and I ended up running weakly nearly the entire 500' up. I chalk this up to mental weakness, because on my third and final summit of the day I decided I needed to stop being a wuss and hammer it. So with a 1000' behind me I hammered the last 500' with reckless abandon. The snow really began to fly and it almost pushed me to run harder. Within minutes of starting my final summit my legs found a strong pace where I was taking quick bites out of the hill. At the summit the skies opened up and as I began my descent the city below was swallowed up in a swirling blizzard. It really was an amazing site. I was concerned that Vye would arrive at the parking lot before I did and worry I was dead on the side of the hill so I really pushed and sprinted the last 500 meters to the meeting spot. I ended up beating her there by about 8 minutes and finished my entire run in about 57 minutes. I honestly have no idea what sort of distance I covered but know roughly what the elevation is. What a great run. Can't wait to nail 2000' next week!

As I flew down the steep snowy slopes and slipped on the rocks I began to think how easy it would be to get killed if I wasn't careful or just made a clumsy error. This put a song called "Death" in my head by a group called "White Lies". The group is a Indie Pop group from England and were influenced by Talking Heads, Tears for Fears, Joy Division, and Interpol. I am including the original and a remix by Crystal Castles whom I posted a song from last post. I like both versions of the song and prefer one over the other depending on my mood. I realize the lyrics and song title are a little dark but hey, when your are gripping to the side of a snow-covered rocky slope by your worn out Brooks these thoughts are not unrealistic. I hope you enjoy! (I couldn't embed the originals so if you are interested in the actual video you will have to go to you tube to watch).


don said...

awesome tune. I am certainly going to pick that one up. Thanks for the tip.

Tim said...

That is some serious running! It sounds awesome yet miserable to run in a storm like that. I have been a wuss and have not ran really at all in the elements save the cold all winter long (not that I don't have the gear to handle it). You are going to be working us on Baldy if workouts like that! You just need to be careful so you don't hurt yourself going down the slippery rocks.

You also have some SERIOUS mileage on your shoes, you were right when you said it was time for new shoes! Over 1000 miles on a pair of shoes is absolutely mind boggling. Hear I have been complaining about my shoes have about 550 miles on them.

Last of all, were you sore the next day? I am fairly certain I would be dead after doing something like that. VERY inspiring, I can't wait until I hit the trails!!!