“Dadathoner” – Day 4 …. Hill Repeats

Posted: September 2, 2010 in Training
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Thursday marked day number 4 in our transition from Marathoner to Dadathoner.  We had been hoping to bring little Miss Landry home on Tuesday morning, but her Bilirubin number was just a bit too high for our Pediatrician’s liking, so Dawn, Landry and I needed to spend one extra day at the Hospital.

Missed my calling?

I was able to sneak home in the wee hours of Wednesday morning to pick up Landry’s Grandmother who had flown in from Pittsburgh on Tuesday evening.  In between feedings I was able to also squeeze in a quick 8.5 miles on the Brushy Creek trail and give our dog Kayla a little bit of attention.

It felt really good to get out there and get the heart pumping a bit and release some of those endorphins that had been pent up.  When I checked back through my training log, this week was the first time we had taken off two straight days from running since May 5th, the week after the Pittsburgh Marathon.

Looming on the training calendar when we arrived home were Thursday morning’s Hill Repeats.  This was the week we would be stretching those repeats up to 10.  I was excited to reach this point in the schedule – as 10 repeats up and down the 4/10 of a mile hill was our goal that we set out to achieve 6 weeks ago.  I had planned however on doing so with my normal 7 hours of sleep.

As you Mom’s and Dad’s know out there, 7 hours of sleep was not in my future.  Landry was a little fussier than normal for her last night.  We’d be hitting the trail on about half that much.

As I dressed for the run at 5:45 a.m. the thermometer in the bathroom window was showing 77 degrees, and a humidity level of 88%.  I wondered if I should put some rocks in my pockets or perhaps carry Kayla in a backpack to make it even more interesting, but on second thought, we probably had enough variables stacked against us.

After a warm-up mile I made my way to the hill and took on the repeats.  As you may imagine this is a pretty grueling workout as I climb about 5.5 stories or 55 feet over the 4/10 of a mile stretch to the top of the dam.  I race up this incline at near 5K effort – basically how “hard” I would run to hit 6:15 min/mile pace.  The incline knocks the actual pace down to between 6:30 and 6:45 min./mile. 

When I reach the top I take a 180 degree turn and jog back down the hill at 8:30 pace to “recover” before the next repeat.  At the bottom, another 180 degree turn, a quick punch on my GPS watch and up we go again.

I don’t know if it was the fact that I will be able to watch Sesame Street again in my near future, but as I was trying hard not to forget which repeat I was on, (Was that four or five?) – My mind somehow landed on “The Count” from Sesame Street.

You know the guy who would count bats or cobwebs and once he reached the number of the day the lightning would “FLASH” with a big burst of thunder?  Now I’ve had my fair share of “strange thoughts” when I have been out running in the early morning darkness before, no doubt about it.

I once turned in a smokin’ fast 6:25 mile split on a training run in Arizona when a 6 foot tall cactus with its “arms” out scared the bejeezus out of me.  That was back in my 7:50 min./mile days.

But the count from Sesame Street?  Definitely new territory for me.

Surprisingly we turned in a great workout this morning.  The final two repeats were very tough to be honest, but it felt good to push hard well over an hour into our workout and post a 2:28 and 2:26 to finish off those final repeats.  It is very encouraging to look at the chart below and see how much improvement has been made over the last 6 weeks.

So coming off of Saturday morning’s 5K Male Masters victory, a new 5K PR and a nice step-up in performance on the hill today with limited sleep – I think we are in pretty good shape to make a run at that sub 40:00 10K time at the IBM Uptown Classic in 6 weeks.

Hill Repeats - Click to Enlarge

I’m hoping that little Miss Landry will be up for her first race that morning – that extra incentive to see her at the finish with her Mommy should be just about all we need to come in at 39:59 and lock up a spot in the elite amateur starting coral at the Cooper River Bridge Run this spring.

Shamelessly, I have to include one more baby picture of Landry as she is such a cutie!

Landry 2 days old

  1. onelittlejill says:

    You really do have a beauty. And seven hours of sleep- aaaaahahahaha…maybe in 18 years! 🙂

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi Jill! Hope vacation is going fantastic. She really is a cutie …. and a really good eater so far which is great news for sure. Check-up tomorrow at the Doctor, and hopefully it will be smooth sailing from there. Funny story I have to share with you, but I found a “near-authentic” cheesesteak shop right near the hospital, less than 10 miles from our house – the owner has been in Austin for 21 years from Wilmington, DE originally.

      Had my first Tastycake in about 4 years yesterday!

  2. Jodi Higgins says:

    Cute, cute, cute!! Boy do I remember the days of sleep deprivation!! I did my hill repeats today but not on lack of sleep. I was crazy enough to do them at 3:30 this afternoon in 93 degree heat after working in a 110 degree kitchen all day. I found a .25 hill (hope that’s okay) and had to cut it short at 5 repeats because I wasn’t feeling so hot (see dailymile for story). I am proud of myself though! Thanks for the encouragement.

    GREAT JOB OUT THERE TODAY and did I mention that Landry is absolutely adorable? Congratulations again!!

    • joerunfordom says:

      Jodi – that is so great, I think that hill sounds perfect for your repeats right now. You will crush it next week with some cooler temps and if you are able to stay out of that kitchen! On my way to see your workout over on DM.

      Thanks again for the encouragement!

      • Jodi Higgins says:

        Thanks again Joe! Unfortunately, I can’t stay out of the kitchen since my office is literally in the kitchen. Our high school is old and doesn’t have air conditioning so once you turn on all of the industrial equipment it is HOT!! Dare I say I might actually be looking forward to the hill repeats next week?

  3. joerunfordom says:

    Jodi – that’s when you know you are in the right frame of mind to train …. looking forward to a tough workout on the schedule is when I know I’m going to kick some butt. Great stuff Jodi! (Sorry on the kitchen heat … sounds like when the weather cools, so will the workplace I’m hoping!)

  4. She’s adorable Joe! I think there will be very few years when you get enough sleep…maybe the few between when she can sleep through the night and before she starts going out with friends (I say this as a daughter…my dad still stays up until I get home when I visit my parents, and I’m nearly 30!).

    I thought of you on MY Thursday hill repeats! You’ve started quite a tradition. I had a stressful day and was feeling very “it’s Thursday before a long weekend” but once I hit the hills…I lost track of how many I had done and had to do some quick arithmetic! Still slower than I am aiming for, but feeling strong the whole time.

    • joerunfordom says:

      Hi AJ! Thanks for the visit – Yup, I can tell already that once this one starts leaving the house on her own I’ll be a nervous wreck …. I guess that’s what Dads are supposed to do!

      Great job on those repeats – As you get more and more into it, you’ll be able to really start pushing the pace of each one. Don’t be afraid to “struggle” a bit towards the end of the hill, that recovery jog back down will replenish you and get you ready for the next one.

      Great job AJ! You are going to rock that next race. Best to R!

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