Ok...so I'm a little behind on the blog posting. I have a few half-started posts about events, and travel, waiting in the wings, but if I wait until I finish those to post...well, lets just start fresh again.
So last night was hill repeat night. And as is usual for me, I procrastinated the run until I could not possibly procrastinate any longer. Because that is what I do. I wallow in the dread of the workout as. long. as. possible. Because apparently, I like to torture myself.
Well, then a funny thing happened. Hill repeats DID. NOT. SUCK.
I have no idea how that is possible. But it is a fact. I felt great. I mean, as great as someone can feel while running repeatedly up a hill. But even during the "cool down" I was cranking out sub 10-minute miles and feeling like I could keep going. (Still "slow" but a major breakthrough in The Slowest Triathlete land!)
This is perplexing in the best possible way.
I have a few theories about how this happened:
1) The hill I ran was not as steep as my usual tool of torture. It was a more gradual incline that got steeper in the last half, but overall I think it was less of a grade. Which, to be honest, I think works better for the intent of the hill-repeat workouts; to repeatedly push to the lactic acid threshold -- not to make me want to die.
2) It was not melt-your-face-off hot. It was late, and dark, and the temps have cooled a bit this week. And apparently when I don't feel like my head is going to spontaneously combust from the baking rays of the sun, I run pretty well.
3) I had a run buddy. A run buddy who normally runs circles around me but hasn't trained one iota since May. And if you don't think I would take that opportunity to feel like a total bad-ass and make every effort I had to run him into the ground, well, you'd be wrong. You better believe I wanted to show off just how hard I'd been working. And apparently, when I feel like being a little competitive, that makes me run pretty well too.
So all the signs keep pointing to the effectiveness of this "actually train before your races" theory. I guess I'll stick with it.