Yesterday I ran what I thought at the time (notice the past tense) was a great hill workout. There is a half mile hill (.47 miles according to Garmin) that climbs 100 feet. My calculator says that is about a 4.0 incline. My plan was to run up twice, power walk up once, and repeat for a total of an hour and 40 minutes. I ran down the hill at a medium pace for recovery. Keep in mind that less than two years ago, I couldn't make it up this hill once without maxing out my heart rate and being forced to walk.
My times for the uphill repeats were:
5:16 (11:01 pace) (My first marathon was 11:24 pace on a flat course)
5:39 (11:47 pace)
7:31 (15:49 pace) (Power walk which was faster than the pace I'll have to maintain at my upcoming 50K)
5:26 (11:26 pace)
5:40 (11:55 pace)
7:37 (16:04 pace)
5:41 (12:01 pace)
5:37 (11:53 pace)
I did 8.57 miles total in 1:40 for an average pace of 11:40. I was very happy with the result, especially since the temperature was 80 degrees with high humidity.
Then I read my brother's race report from the Superior Trail 50 mile race he completed this weekend.
Then I got an email from Susan Donnelly who is race directing the Cumberland Trail 50K I am running in about 3 weeks. She also ran at Superior, but she ran the 100 mile option, this after running the Mont Blanc 166K a mere two weeks prior to that. I had asked her, if she happened to run into my brother, to casually mention to my brother that her race was much tougher, but to not tell me if it actually was. (You know, kind of get some sibling one-upmanship) She did look for my brother, but since they were running at different times, they never did get to meet each other. Then, apparently she forgot about the not telling me if it actually was tougher part. Here a few quotes from her email. "Believe me, your race will be a comparable challenge to his. They have an easier course." "It's going to be a small, intimate group (15 with several more possibles, only one other woman) of really good runners" (the bolding is mine). At least I've got second place female locked up!
This will definitely be my most challenging run to date. I'm looking forward with anticipation and a whole lot of trepidation. I'm working on a list of goals for this race which I will post in the future. (One of them is: Don't get eaten by a bear)