08 June 2011

The hills are alive...with bugs

In an effort to be super-good at life, I hauled my booty out of bed at 5:30 am yesterday to go run hill repeats. I KNOW. I was very proud of myself, especially since I didn't have coffee first.

I went to Elver Park to do repeats on this hill, which according to the internet is the highest point in Madison:

Ugh okay. I know. It looks tiny. This is due mostly to the fact that I took this photo after I was done with repeats and also done with my cool-down run and was disgusting and wanted to go home so I could not be bothered to walk ALLLLL THE WAY back over to the bottom of the hill for a photo session; I shot it from near the parking lot with a wide-angle lens. It is also due to the fact that I live in the Midwest and we are a simple people living in a flat land. But just trust me, that hill is a beast and it's long and it sucks. Actually, if you make the picture big you can see a runner going up it, which should give you some perspective on its BEASTLINESS.

We used to run this hill in cross country, and as I was driving over to the park I tried to remember what those workouts were like. Mostly, I tried to remember how many repeats we would do. I failed. So I set out to do five. I ended up doing eight, plus a 20-minute warm-up and cool-down. It was weird, I think I have written about this before, but certain parts of Madison just smell a certain way in a certain season, and the whole time I was in this park I was 17 all over again, waiting for the evil Coach Spolar to come crack the whip and make me do more speedwork. It's kind of helpful in a way as I was awesome at life when I was 17 and it makes me work a little harder when I'm running. Hopefully that makes sense.

One of the main reasons I wanted to do this workout in the morning is that Wisconsin has been DISGUSTING this week. It's been in the mid-90s with at least 80 percent humidity since Monday, and by the time late afternoon/evening rolls around I am too busy wishing I was dead to even contemplate running. When I walked out of my apartment building before 6 am yesterday it was still a little humid, but mostly cool and dewy and lovely. The park was the same way until I started running the hill and ran into my friends the mosquitoes. They were EVERYWHERE and they LOVED ME. I felt like Lady Gaga with a swarm of paparazzi, except not at all because instead of taking my photo and not telling me my lady bits were exposed, they just wanted to cluster around my head and bite my face off.

It was good motivation to keep moving, because every time I stopped I looked like Pigpen.

Pigpen in a wifebeater with a ponytail, anyway.

I also looked like this when I was done:

And the bottom of my shoes were CAKED with mud. It was awesome.

The only downside to morning workouts is that I inevitably run out of time to do a proper stretch/ice/foam roll session. I halfheartedly stretched my hamstrings and quads before jumping in the shower to get to work on time. As a result my right IT band, from my butt to my knee, is SCREAMING today. So I'm going to push today's run to tomorrow and spend some quality time with my foam roller boyfriend tonight. HOT DATE FOR SURE. It's better anyway because it's in the 90s again today but tomorrow the high is 63 or something ridiculous like that. Thank you weather for endorsing my week's training plan, I appreciate it!


  1. Lol pigpen. And I hear ya, hills never look as big in pics as they do in real life! The high tomorrow is 63 for you? Color me jealous!

  2. Whew, good job on the hills!! Isn't that funny how certain smells can immediately take you back to a certain time?

    You'll do great on your 10k. :)

  3. Gaga is the awesome. You should one up her by wearing a dress made of live mosquitoes between layers of mosquito netting.

    Great work on the hills. B-) I aspire to match it one day.


  4. Nice workout! It's 90 here too and I haven't even STEPPED outside to run. You're inspiring me to do so NOW!!