Today was the first time in many months that I returned to my favorite workout: hills! Hills are my favorite workout for several reasons:
1. Great speed workout - like a track workout but without the track.
2. Mental toughness - For me hills are the most challenging workout mentally. There isn't much rest and you can't "cruise" like you could in a track workout or when doing a tempo run. Every time up the hill is punishing and is a struggle.
3. Helps with your kick - Basically for the same reasons as above. Nothing helps you close out the last 400m of a race like sprinting straight up a hill when you're completely exhausted. And the importance of having a good kick cannot be understated when racing.
4. No stressing about times - you don't have to worry about running a certain pace. Just get up the hill as fast as you can. I do write down my times, but that's only because I am anal about record keeping. Conceivably you could keep the watch at home for hills.
Since I moved to the west side I have discovered that the best place for hill workouts is the Hogsback Hill in the Rocky River Reservation. Westsiders who are familiar with the park probably know the hill I'm talking about. Basically, it goes up and then splits, making a y-shape. Going straight leads you out of the park and onto the main road, and the other road goes up to a little picnic area. The workout is to run straight up the hill, then jog back to the intersection in the middle and then run up the other side (to the picnic area), then jog back down to the bottom of the hill. That is one circuit and it is almost exactly 1 mile (depending on where you start/finish it could be a little different). The most I've ever done is 5, and the this week was 3. The record, set by my future father-in-law, is 10! Needless to say, I was excited to get back to Hogsback this week.
This week's runs:
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 6.81 miles (8:12 pace)
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 5.67 miles (7:46 pace)
Friday: 6.81 miles (8:03 pace)
Saturday: 4.8 miles (7:40 pace)
Sunday: Hill workout! 3x 1 mile hill circuit. 1.5 mile warmup and cool down for 6 miles total.
Total mileage: 30.1 miles
Also, I got Angelo's Pizza this week (one of my favorite pizza places, and one I highly recommend) and I noticed this little gem: