So, in central florida, there are not so many hills. I don't know if you knew that. Saturday, I had to wake up at 4:20 AM to drive to an area that has hills to find one to run up and down. Runners in the area call it Big Bertha. I picked up Kate, and headed for the hills. We arrived at just before 6, and since Google Map directions said we were supposed to make a u-turn at the Diamond Players Club, we spend an extra 5 minutes looking for a strip club in a residential neighborhood.
We finally found the correct parking lot, and found the group we were training with - the TNT Nike Women's Marathon team. We ran around the parking lot, then stretched, then we started running to the hill that would allow the TNT team to experience what it is like to run in San Francisco. The one request for getting to the hill was for everyone to run together.
We got to the base of Big Bertha, and chatted for a bit while we waited for the rest of the team to get there. It was truly a hill that looked like San Francisco. Coach said we were going to go up and down 4 times.
First Climb: I headed up, just like I was supposed to, small quick steps. at about 3/4 to the top I glanced at the HR monitor and noticed that I was at 95% of my max heart rate. I also noticed that my breathing was doing something that had never happened before. I normally start out breathing in 3 steps, and breathing out 3 steps, then lower it to 2 when i get into running. This time when I got to where I would normally lower it to 2 steps, my body said "NO" and kept it at three. My lungs were filling up like a bizzare overfilled balloon. I thought as I crested the top that I would not be too happy if my lungs did what I saw most overfilled balloons do. Then I supressed that thought and went to get my paper shot glass of PowerBar exercise drink. Mmmmm. Tastes like bubblegum.? WTF? Then I clomped down the hill and got ready for climb two.
Second Climb: I headed up, just like before. This is when the coach found me and told me that I was doing my arms wrong. "Forward, not up and down!" Ok. Lungs filling, heart racing, arms pumping, I made it to the top. Headed to the Power-?Bar? for my Power-?Shot? of bubblegum tasting liquid. Man, my mouth is dry. On the way to clomping down the hill again I was teased about my fist pounding. "You look like you are milking a cow! - You are pounding the ground!" ok, i get it. No more fist pounding. Clomp down the hill and try again.
Third Climb: I started out thinking about how my arms should go, and about how my legs are starting to feel a little weird. Maybe my arms should be like a train, back and forth, back and forth. About 3/4ths up the hill, I hit my max HR, and walked about a minute, then finished up the hill, heart pumping, lungs filling, arms chug-chug-chugging, legs burning. Go get my shot. Clumping down the hill. (Clomping is a spry way of descent, Clumping is the step before falling.)
Fourth Climb: Wheeze, Wheeze. Chug-Chug. Thump, Thump. Burn Burn. I made it up to just over half way, and then had to slow to walking fast. I walked to the Power-bar to get my Power-shot, and then I started stretching and waiting for the rest of the group to finish. It was a nice rest. I felt good, but a bit beaten. The mountain wins again.
Now we have to run back to the parking lot. about 1.5 miles. I clumped down the hill, and started a regular pace back to the car. As I am running, I notice that Hope - TNT Miami Tri team-mate - is keeping pace, so I decide to run with her back to the car. We chat about life, and training, and stuff, and about 3/4 of the way back I think to myself, "This is great, if it hadn't been for her running, I probably would have walked a bit." I don't know if you know this, but your body likes to tell you to stop running and walk before you really need to stop running and walk. I felt the urge to walk, but kept running because she was running. Then she turned to me and said, "I would have stopped running a while back if you weren't running with me, thank you." Cool. Between the two of us, we made a pretty good time running back to the cars. We waited there for a bit for the rest of the group, then everyone packed up and went home. Training success. Next step, drive home and ice bath - per coaches orders. By orders I mean she said, "If you do not let me know you have taken an ice bath, I will call you and yell at you."
Kate and I went to publix on the way back to dropping her off, and picked up a bag of ice for each of us. The 10lb bags looked small, based on the fact that both of us have garden tubs, so we opted for the 20lb bag of ice.
Ice bath: ok, it takes 10 minutes to get the tub filled up to my waist to cover my legs. Then I dump the ice in. brrr. BRRRR. so, after a sec, it doesn't seem so cold. then i adjust my position, and the cold hits me again, BRRR. so, i make a point to wiggle my legs so that the cold water gets mixed up and it is cold all the time. good idea? i am not sure, but why should I sit in a tub with icewater if the water that is contacting my legs has been warmed up? 10 minutes in the ice-tub, then a quick shower to get the stink off the rest of my body.
Then dress, and off to help my son with his Basketball moves. It seems the coach has taught my son to shoot from the knees. my 6'2 13 year old. 6 inches taller than most everyone else in the league. Ugh. Time to retrain.
Now it is Sunday, and my muscles are sore, but tollerable. My ankles are stiff, and stepping over the piles of laundry (it is laundry day) make them pop and twinge, but I like it. Can't help but make them pop when they feel like they want to pop. Like picking a scab. can't help but do it.