Wednesday, 9 July 2008

I hate hills

[Editor's note: This is not a picture of the hill I run on. This photo is of Silbury Hill in Wiltshire.]

I skipped my hill session last week because of logistical issues. This week I decided to switch the hill run from Wednesday to Tuesday to make sure I had no excuse for missing it other than general laziness.

Returning home yesterday from yet another muddy day on site, I threw on my running gear but then proceeded to procrastinate for a good hour before finally heading out the door. I was set to do six 400 meter hill repeats each at a 2:40 pace.

The hill I run on is interesting and I’m not referring to the path’s name which happens to be Cuckoo Lane. It’s got a decent incline for the first half then plateaus a bit, but the second half rises steeply with a slightly less severe slope near the end. The second half is killer. I have to pump my arms a lot to keep pace on that part which I’m sure makes me look like a crazed chicken or a flailing Icarus right before his demise.

I felt okay through the warm-up mile and the first repeat but by the middle of the second repeat I already had a list of excuses in my head to cut the run short. My lungs felt like they were going to burst out of my chest Alien-style. There were too many people on the path at this time of day. The black flies kept seeking asylum in my mouth. My knees were a bit achy. The trump card presented itself during the third repeat when my bladder signaled its need to be emptied.

I have to say I surprised myself. For once my stubbornness worked in favor of the greater good rather than dragging me over to the dark side. I completed all six repeats, some more successfully than others, but at least I got them done.

My repeat times were as follows:

2:40 (woo hoo!)
2:36 (I’ll pay for that)
2:49 (scheisse)

Making my way down the hill for the last time I encountered a group of students walking towards me. Three of them had linked arms and were taking up the whole path and then some. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but this is a real pet peeve of mine. I moved as far as I could to the side of the path, but they didn’t do a damn thing. This irritated me so much that I made sure my shoulder slammed into the girl walking right in my way. I’m pretty sure a comment was thrown at me, but my ipod prevented me from hearing it. I wouldn’t have cared anyway. The twit deserved it.

On that cheery note, let me wish you all a happy hump day. Friday can’t get here fast enough for me, let me tell you.

Ciao tutti.


chia said...

I had to drive through Wiltshire every morning to the office :-). You make me "homesick"!

I swear I refrained from body checking 2/3rds of the people I passed "whilst" running. I wonder what it is about over there and not yeilding the slightest amount of walkway to oncoming people.

Happy hump day to you as well :-).

chia said...

Another thing, I could never figure out what *side* of the walk to go on. In the US we all tend to walk like we drive, I didn't find it the least bit similar over there. Meh. Something to ponder lol.

Marcy said...

LMAO at Chia. I'm all about the "body check" except it's funny, the only time I really do it is when I'm not running. Usually it's when I have 20 bags and both Nuggets in tow. Seriously people, could you gimme some room? So ANNOYING.

Viper said...

I keep waiting for this Rapture thing I keep hearing about to clear up my running routes. Seriously, leave me behind already!

Do you think playing the Blondie song will help it along?

Nitmos said...

Holy hill repeats with descending times! That's very concave like if charted on a neat little graph.

Hip checks are all a part of the sidewalk experience though I would like to know why the problem is so prevalent on your island.

Jamie said...

Great job on the hills! We share pet peeves and I too have shoulder checked more than a couple of them ;)

Xenia said...

Chia--I think the Brits are just greedy. I still haven't figured out which side of the path to walk on either but I tend to stay to the left like the traffic.

Marcy--People are asses. I would move for you. :)

Viper--I don't think the Rapture would take as many people away as we would like. And please god don't start playing the Blondie song!

Nitmos--I now want to send you all the figures from my dissertation so you can make my charts and graphs for me. Sound good? :)

Jamie--Glad to know I'm not the only semi-violent stubborn runner out there.

Steve Stenzel said...

NICE JOB!!! I love the "I'll pay for that" comment after the 2:36!!!

Viper said...

What, you don't like to hear Debbie Harry rap?

Running Knitter said...

Nice job on the hills! People taking up the whole path is my pet peeve too - especially at races.

Meg said...

Hills scare me! Nice job!
I'm especially impressed with the shoulder check. I hate it when people walk together and don't move for others.

Frayed Laces said...

When people take up more than their fair share of space, I just think to myself "they are practicing how much space their lazy fat ass is going to take up in 5 years". Makes all my anger go away...

Lily on the Road said...

I just yell, RUNNER UP!! and they scatter!!!

Try it, I love especially when I running up on a group from the back!! YIKES!!