The past four Saturdays have consisted of hill reps in my Operation Ultra plan.
Week 1: 3x5mins continuous hills with 2min recovery jogs inbetween each set
Week 2: 4x5mins continuous hills with 2min recovery…
Week 3: 4x5mins continuous hills with 2min recovery…
Week 4: 4x6mins continuous hills with 2min recovery…
Just outside my house there is a long, sloping path down into the high street of the town I live in. It’s pretty steep and I have often seen people walking back up it stop to take a breather before they reach the top! I decided that this would be the best hill to use when I saw ‘continuous hills’ written into my plan the very first week. It’s right outside my house, meaning if I have any problems, or forget anything I don’t have far to go. It’s also a dead flat path through town, making it ideal running for my recovery jogs inbetween sets.
Week one I got up at 6:00am all enthusiastic and powered up those hills! It was actually our engagement party that lunchtime and we had had friends over the night before to stay before the event so I got up early before they woke and spent half an hour sweating it out in the morning sun. I passed an elderly man several times during one of my first sets, who took great pleasure in telling me I was crazy to get up so early to run on a Saturday.
Week two – a little later rising. I got up at 7:15am and got through my hill session before heading with Dan and his friends to Nottingham festival.
Week three – Dan joined me for this session so we waited until 8:15pm to head out (Dan does not do mornings!). I was a little nervous about heading out for repeats up and down the hill on a Saturday night as the teenagers from the area tend to bring bottles up and sit on the bench halfway up the hill until late on a Friday or Saturday night. Running forty times past drunk teenagers was bound to get a few call outs, but at least I would be running with Dan. There actually ended up being no negative comments at all. In fact, the group of about 5-6 kids that had gathered watched us both in silence with their mouths hanging open! Two older lads joined them a little later on and I overheard the group telling them that we’d been out there for over twenty minutes running up the hill. Another commented that he had barely been able to walk up the hill earlier that day! When Dan missed out on the last trip to the top and back one said to the others ‘The girl is really showing him how it’s done. She’s just not stopped!’ Might have had a smile on my face at that comment!
Week four – today, I headed out at 9am. Luckily, although it was already hot, it hadn’t yet become completely unbearable. I was a little concerned about how I would find 6mins of continuous hills. The hill outside my house takes approximately 1 minute to run up and back down again, so today’s session required me to run to the top and back six times before a recovery break and repeat that four times! I was super speedy with my first set, at a close to 10mm pace, although the following three sets dropped in pace by about a minute. I didn’t struggle as much as I thought I would though and felt that the session pushed me just the right amount to get me motivated for the day! There’s always something about getting a workout in before getting on with the rest of the day.
I passed somebody I knew at the beginning of today’s session so smiled and said ‘Hello’. I then ended up passing them 6-7 times as I headed back up and down the hill as they had let their dog off on the grass. How many times is it acceptable to say hello to someone you pass? Would it be considered rude if I ignored them after the first time?…! I ended up acknowledging them three times in the end and then just put my head down and looked really into my workout to avoid further conversation!
Bella has been loving the garden in the daytime since it got sunny. Her new favourite indoor spot in this heat has been on the top step of the stairs. I have no idea why. It doesn’t feel particularly cooler or warmer up there, but she has been abandoning us and our cuddles in the evenings just lately. She’s up there right now…I’m hurt!