The Rundown: Hill Repeats That Almost Killed Me

You may think I’m being overly dramatic with this title, but I beg to differ.  Perhaps many of you have done hill repeats.  Even more of you, I’m sure, have done speed drills.  But, how many of you have combined the two into one of the most grueling workouts you can imagine – – speed/hill repeats?  Who thinks of this stuff?  Someone who is a rocket scientist and coach, and I was the (un)lucky recipient.



At the start of each week, I check out my online plan from CRS (coach rocket scientist) and Wednesday seemed interesting with a swim (that’s right!), run and teaching my Power Sculpt class.  I barely gave a second thought to the hill repeats on Friday, especially since I only had spin class scheduled for Thursday.  I’m pretty used to two-a-days now and even three-a-days (see Wednesday) so it just seemed meh.

However, when Friday arrived and I took a closer look at what was actually expected of me I saw this:

WU (warm-up) 20 min at easy pace increasing intensity to Z2 (zone 2 heart rate)

3 x 1k hill repeats in upper Z3

Translation: find a hill that’s almost a mile long & run up it at 10% less then 10K pace, which, for me is 7 min miles.  Um, WHAT?

Needless to say, I almost lost my breakfast each time I (finally!) made it to the top of the hill.  I was never so happy to be done with a workout in my life.  I found myself scanning the woods, actually hoping the mountain lion would just come and get it over with.  The only issue, after the last repeat, was that I then had to run home (another mile or so) and up my mountain to get there.  And, yes, I ran up the mountain.  I also texted CRS to let her know that workout made me think very bad thoughts about her.  She laughed.

Here’s what they look like on paper.  Take note that the steepest peak is the one at then end – the one I climb to get home:

Screen Shot 2014-04-06 at 6.37.33 PM

WEEK OF MARCH 31, 2014

RUNNING:  Besides the near puke fest that was my Friday, I was also lucky enough to run a long run – 10.6 miles -on Saturday at a 7:42 pace.  Woot woot.  That was also the day after the hill repeats and before a 30 mile bike/20 min run brick.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  I have to say that I’m loving it.  I got a lot of running in this week (almost 32 miles!) and speed work with 200s at the track.  All in all, it was a great running week.

CYCLING:  The good news is I was able to go outside for a 30 mile ride on my bike this weekend.  The bad news is that it felt like I was riding in a tornado and my hands and feet were ice the entire time.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to shift when your fingers feel like blocks of ice?  Hard.  I was really trying to enjoy the ride but the wind was so brutal.  Did I mention it was also about 35 degrees?  Right.

…even though the season is just beginning!  Same thing.

…even though the season is just beginning! Same thing.

CROSS-TRAINING:  I went swimming!  Sometimes CRS surprises me with a little treat mid-week.  This week it was 1000/100 yard swim and I loved it!  Initially I didn’t want to get in the pool because it’s still pretty cold, but once I did I got in a flow and really enjoyed it.  Of course, I also loved the 5.7 mile run that followed.

RACING:  I’m starting to get nauseas every time I think about Spain and how close it’s getting.  I think that’s a good sign.  I also have a 5k and shorter Duathlon to get though before then.  Small details.

FUEL:  Must eat all the things!  I have the appetite of a pregnant sumo wrestler lately.  A fantastic lunch place just opened up in these parts called Garbanzos.  It’s all Mediterranean food; think hummus, tabuleah, whole wheat pitas, peppers, olives and the yummiest falafels you’ve ever had.

THINGS I LOVE:  Being named to the first ever Team HMF!  What’s that you ask?  It’s our local running association (Hartford Marathon Foundation) who I’m a big proponent and participant of anyway.  A friend told me they were looking to put together a social media/badass runner representation team to market, promote and (of course) run a lot of their races.  In return we get a cool running kit to wear, free race entries, Timex watches and more.  I’m really excited and can’t wait for our first team meet-up!  #TeamHMF


THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH:  The fu**ing wind.  *see cycling above

MUSIC:  Here’s a little ditty my kids came home from preschool with:


What do I think of that?  I don’t think you want to know.  I mean, really?

TV:  I’m pretending that by me not caring one bit about UCONN being in the big game (what’s it called?) I’m actually helping them win.  Just go with it.

READING:  If I have time to read, I’m going to sleep.  Although you should read this week.  Shameless plug, but we’re featuring stories from runners getting ready for Boston and a dear friend of mine, Denise Pantason is one of them.  All of the stories are incredible, and prove just how unforgettable this year’s race is going to be!  #BostonStrong

RANDOM THOUGHT OF THE WEEK:  Miles told me that if I was a robot, he would take my batteries out.  Ah motherhood.  It’s so magical.

Is it Spring where you are?

Do you know anyone running Boston this year?

Did your kids ever bring home songs like the one mine did?


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  1. I just love reading your weekly Rundown! You get me smiling and laughing at zero dark thirty. And the f-ING wind…
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Marvelous is…My Profile

    1. I’m so glad to hear that Angela! I know you were probably running that 10 miler in the wind this weekend too!! UGH!

  2. hahah that poem killed me… everytime I hear pussycat I can’t hold it together.
    Wow those hill repeats just mean you are one badass mother runner little lady! Congrats! I’m sore just thinking of that!
    emma @ be mom strong recently posted…Winners and Another Giveaway!My Profile

    1. I really had to read a few times over and I’m still laughing.
      Once you pop that baby out – you would kill those hill repeats – no problem 🙂

    • bethp262 on April 7, 2014 at 6:36 AM
    • Reply

    My grandmother used to sing us that song and taught us how to “play” it on the piano. (It’s basically going up and down a C scale!). Funny!

    1. That is TOO funny! I knew it had to be a really old song.

  3. I feel like I just died a little inside reading all the working out you’ve done in a week. My heart would give out if I had to do a fraction of what you do.

    Pregnant sumo wrestler appetite – that’s me!

    Yay #TeamHMF!
    Alison recently posted…The Art of MotheringMy Profile

    1. If you really wanted to – you could do it too Alison. Now that you’re going to be a twin mom, you can do anything! Hooray for BIG appetites and feeding babies/muscles 🙂

  4. The robot comment so made me laugh and totally something my girls would probably say to me. To have pre-school age kids is definitely entertaining if not else! That said, I am asking the same thing about Spring and seriously hope she gets here soon, because I caved yesterday and was wearing a hat and gloves for Lily’s soccer game at 10:30 in the morning! Crazy, but need warmer weather stat!
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Might Just Find You Get What You Need, Peeps!My Profile

    1. I have to admit that Miles’ comment made me laugh too – even though I was not happy with him at the time.
      And ugh to this Spring! It’s very deceiving because the sun is out but then you get slammed with the wind. No fair.

  5. The wind has been awful and why was in 34 degrees yesterday when I woke up?! Not that I have been doing much running with the pneumonia recovery. You have spain and we have Lake Placid. I started panicking last week about planning so I am in full on IMLP organization mode.
    Tara Newman recently posted…2014 Goals ReviewMy Profile

    1. I didn’t know you had pneumonia? OMG how did I miss that? I hope you’re feeling MUCH better. That is awful!!
      I just got back from Target and now have a three-ring binder, 20 sheet protectors and tab separators. Here’s to full organizational mode!

  6. Very interesting song and that’s all I’m going to say. You had a great workout this week again! I would love to know more about what you fuel with. I’m sure you eat a lot to get you through but it seems like this is an area where I struggle. Keep up the awesome work!
    Kristina Walters @ Kris On Fitness recently posted…Staycations – The SpinMy Profile

    1. Thanks Kris!! On my actual bike or runs I have NUUN tablets in my water and I eat GU Chomps (starting with 2 around 45 min in, and then every 15 minutes as needed) or Honey Stinger Waffles (one during transition between run/bike) and then I eat a lot of protein afterward like eggs, peanut butter, fish and my fav lately is just a huge fruit salad with granola – YUM!

  7. I think what Miles said was sweet. Better than saying he would put batteries in! And yes, that song was horrible. I can imagine you are eating constantly – you’re expending so much energy in all your amazing workouts! I would love for you to be my personal trainer, Allie. Wanna move to Maryland?
    Dana recently posted…April’s Luv ListMy Profile

    1. For you Dana? YES. As long as you can make that wreath for me 🙂
      And, yes, I guess it’s better then having to put batteries IN me! HA HA HA

  8. I BURST out laughing at what Miles said. And honestly felt sick for you just reading about the hill repeats. Sweet Jesus. My little one’s teacher is running in the Boston marathon this year to raise money for Dana Farber. So proud of him! The whole class is doing a big celebration next week before he leaves! :)-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted…Would You Rather: Always Have To Take A Cold Shower Or Always Lose An Hour Of Sleep?My Profile

    1. Sweet Jesus was definitely called upon during the those repeats – let me tell you!
      LOVE that you have a personal connection to Boston this year and that your community is getting behind your hometown runner. So many lessons for the kids…and adults. Good luck to him!!!

  9. The wind on Saturday was ridiculous! I hate the wind more than anything.

    Also ridiculous–those badass hill repeats! Those are seriously long. The longest ones i have done are 90 seconds and I hated them. But that which does not kill you…
    misszippy recently posted…It’s track week!My Profile

    1. Isn’t the wind just the worst? I scream into it, trying to calm it. Very frustrating and I’m glad you feel my pain on this one.
      I know I’m stronger, but I was on the verge of dying at the same time during those suckers – HA!

  10. Um, ok….I think that rhyme is wildly inappropriate! Am i wrong!? Haha.

    Ugh, it was so windy this weekend. I don’t know how you survived on your bike!

    Congrats on the HMF! That is so exciting and will be so much fun!

    Miles is hilarious. Where on earth did he come up with that? Maybe he just means you deserve a spa day? I’m sure that is what he means!

    I am going to head over and read the Fitbie article. As someone who grew up outside of Boston, the bombing last year was incredibly scary and disappointing. I know a lot of people who have raced in the past but I don’t think I know anyone this year. Excited to read!
    FitBritt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Cupcakes, the Circus and How to Get Rid of Cellulite with BlissMy Profile

    1. Wildly inappropriate for sure!!! What are they thinking?
      I foolishly thought that Sunday would be less windy then Saturday. I was wrong.
      I’m going to assume that he meant I need a spa day and I’m going to TAKE IT!
      Thanks so much for reading the article. I have been friends with Denise since I ran a 9 min mile and she’s taught me A LOT about running, parenting and being a friend. I’m beyond excited for her this year and cannot even comprehend how amazing it will be. Thanks again Britt!

  11. Wait, what?? That song?? Oh my god. I’m laughing.
    Also, yes, being nauseous is a good thing, I tell myself. It either means I’m pregnant or I’m nervous – either way – that means I’m living. Right? (or that I ate a bad burger?)
    I can’t even..with UConn. Cassidy has $900 riding on tonight’s game. I kid you not. In his pool. He only paid $20 but if UConn wins, he gets $900. It Kentucky wins, he still gets $300.
    I want him to take me out for our anniversary. And we have a half husky. And his dad was a professor at UConn for decades and just lost his best friend to a heart attack (also a UConn professor) so…

    I can’t even talk about it.
    Tamara recently posted…My Writing Process.My Profile

    1. OMG!!!! They will WIN – I just know it. You gave me a reason to care about the game. Now I will be watching!

  12. Lol at Tamara’s comment.

    I can’t believe that poem…oh my word!!

    Your coach rocket scientist is NO JOKE. That routine sounds incredibly hard. You are surely getting your money’s worth! No pain no gain right?

    I want uconn to win. because they are local. I don’t have any reasons beyond that lol. Miles is very smart. Maybe he wants you to get some rest?? 😉
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…Interview With Ruben Studdard on Life After Biggest Loser & His New Album!My Profile

    1. That is definitely the sweetest way to look at Miles’ comment, but I don’ think that’s what he meant 🙂
      I’m very happy I could help UCONN win by completely ignoring the game. I actually had to check FB when I woke-up this morning to see if they won. I’m very happy for Tamara that they pulled it off 🙂
      And yes, CRS is definitely no joke!

  13. GO team HMF!

    We’re a family of swimmers so I was pretty excited to hear that you got back in the pool.

    The little ditty from preschool?. Nope, not going there.

    Karen @BakingInATornado recently posted…Secret Subject Swap, April 2014My Profile

    1. I have another “optional” swim this week and I’m definitely going to opt IN! I really enjoyed the swim – it was relaxing.
      UCONN did it!!! woot woot! Now we can all get back to normal until football season 🙂

    • Kim on April 7, 2014 at 10:28 PM
    • Reply

    Hooray for being on Team HMF – of course they want you – you are a pro!!!
    I can’t even imagine those hill/speed repeats – sort of making me nauseous just thinking about them!!! You are a badass to the nth!!!
    Tell Miles you need your batteries at least a little longer.
    And, what are they thinking with that song?! Seriously???
    Kim recently posted…Remember – Have Fun!My Profile

    1. Thanks Kim! I’m sure you could tackle that hill repeat workout with me. We would have to encourage each other with the promise of wine afterward! I definitely need my batteries and I could actually use a little boost.
      I haven’t a clue why they would think that song is a good idea. Luckily, the boys haven’t started signing it!

  14. Congrats on Team HMF! That is so awesome! That Friday workout, on the other hand, sounds HORRIBLE. Awful. I think I would have puked. That’s the kind of workout that will make you a machine, though. Also, that song is hysterical. So, in Australia, we say ‘pussy cat’ instead of ‘kitty cat’ and once when my nephew (then 4 years old) was visiting, he loved our two cats and kept telling us he was ‘trying to pet the pussy.’
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted…NYRR Run For The Parks 4 Mile Race RecapMy Profile

    1. OMG that is too funny about your nephew. I’m sure his parents were thrilled!
      I kept telling myself the workout would make me stronger, and that helped…a little. But, it’s that kind of workout I’ll think about when I’m racing and know I can push though the pain.

  15. Sheer awesomeness!!!!!! Those hill repeats sound brutal! All hills are brutal…but killing that at that pace is crazy hard! Congrats on your HMF team…that is really great!!!!! You definitely have some supermom action going on at your house :)!!! Way to nail your workouts and keep up with your boys 🙂
    Jen@milesandblessings recently posted…Not the week that I was hoping for…but thankful!My Profile

    1. Thanks Jen! It’s getting more difficult by the day to balance being a mom and training for this thing. I’m trying to just take it one day at a time 🙂

  16. I love Miles’ comment! The things that kids come up with! I used to love hill repeats. Not so much anymore! Congrats on Team HMF – very cool!
    Michelle recently posted…Clean Burnt Pots and Pans in MinutesMy Profile

    1. I still write stuff like that down. Not just here but in a little journal I keep. I know someday they will love to hear about all their crazy comments! Thanks Michelle – I’m really excited about Team HMF!

  17. LMFAO LMFAO LMFAO LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I always have the appetite of a pregnant sumo wrestler!!!! OH YOU AND I NEED TO GO GET SHAWARMA TOGETHER!!!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted…Not So Devilish Deviled EggsMy Profile

    1. YES WE DO!

  18. You are killing it in your training! I have to live through you for now- can’t wait to push myself again, even though I do remember well how torturous it can be. But hills and speed like that? Can’t say I’m ever had to do it. Amazing!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…5 by the 5th Winners + Coconut Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

    1. Thanks so much Laura. You will be back at it in no time. It’s kind of fun to build your fitness back up – especially after such a joyful event!!

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