Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Hills and Hills...

It's a hilly week folks - biking hills and running hills. That's what it's all about. Guess that's what happens when you tell your coach that you are a slug on the hills and want to get better?? Me and my big mouth! Kidding, I DO want to get stronger, and I know this is how.

So yesterday I tackled riding the hills. I went out for a quick out and back warm up on Hwy 1A. The wind was behind me on the way out, then I fought it all the way back - of course. However, I did not let it get me. I pushed as hard as I could to try and maintain a decent speed.

Lately, the name of the game is to set new normals. I won't be afraid to push myself this year - or so I've realized the last couple of weeks.

The hill I was going to go up and down was my bonus hill. It's 0.75 km in length and has some steepness to it, although it's not Cochrane Hill. My schedule called for 70-90 minute bike ride with 8-12 hill repeats, 2-3 minutes long. Oh, and I was to alternate between easy and hard.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure the word 'easy' and 'hill training' don't go together. Ah well... to the hill!

I checked my watch at the bottom and set off in my easiest gear. Well now, this isn't so bad - umph - oh, there's the incline. I had my mantra set - 'perfect little cirlces'. Stole that one from a fellow at camp and just love it! So that's what I said as I made my climb...

I checked my watch by the time I got to the top - 4 plus minutes. Oh. Well, I'll do this for 8 sets and see where I'm at.

I almost forgot! I also did my Sesame Street 'Count' impersonation. Whenver I got to the top of the hill I said 'ONE BONUS HILL - AH AH AAAAAAA'. My neighbors will be putting their places on the market soon after hearing me gasping and counting.

The next hill I went one gear harder. Yup, this was harder. Perfect Little Circles... push! Again, 4 plus minutes up the hill.

Thoughts that went through my head as I rode this wee hill over and over again...

  • I wonder if by the time I get to the last set my mantra turns into 'perf lit circ' due to lack of oxygen and energy?
  • Hey kid, don't be a wuss, if I can ride up this hill so can you! Sheesh, I'm like 30 years older than you and I'm doing it. Get on your bike and ride!
  • Oh I am so thankful the wind is at my back!
  • Please Mr. Car that I can hear behind me, don't hit me when you turn right...please see my bright neon yellow riding jacket and know that I'm going straight and don't try to beat me to the corner because I can't stop or I'll fall over.
  • Okay, I think I'm getting in the groove now...
  • Wait, what number was that one? Oh right, FOUR BONUS HILLS AH AH AAAAAAA
  • Water, I need water. Gasp.
  • Feeling the quads now...burn baby burn.
  • Is this really the easiest gear I can go? Why does the harder gear seem easier come to think of it?
  • Holy hannah banana. Ow.
  • Food. I need food now. What should I have for dinner?
  • Okay, focus, perfect little circles.

The result was I had a great workout and made sure to leave it all on the hill. Not figuratively of course, I didn't hurl. Remember I had no food in stomach after exerction, so couldn't hurl.

The last set was hilarious - at least it was hilarious in my twisted Ironman mind. I was climbing the last set in the 'hard' gear and about 1/4 of the way up I felt it. The wind. It had turned 180 degrees and was now slamming into me. I practically came to a standstill! Did I switch to an easier gear though? Heck no! I powered through it. I did, however, have to stand for this one or it would have pushed me back down the hill. I think it was going about 30km/h (I think that translates to 18.6 mph for my Southern friends).

I felt great at the end of the workout and I was still saying 'perfect little circles' to the end. Not the abbreviated version. Oh, and I got 8 of them done for a total of 98 minutes on the bike. Funny thing was when I got to the top I thought 'hey, for once I don't have to go up the bonus hill after my workout!' Riiiight, apparantly I was delerious from the need of food and forgot that I just rode up the darned thing a million times.

This morning I went for my swim and had a great time. I was sad that my buddy Fran (Snorkel Lady) wasn't there though - she's gone in for hip surgery. So I am sending her bright white healing light so she gets back soon.

This afternoon it was all about running hills. My hip/arse has been off and on lately and to be honest, I've about had it with it. During my run I did have it. I was supposed to do a 60-70 minute run and 3 hills during the last half. I ran around the river for about 45 minutes to warm up.

My hip wasn't happy for most of the run, but at the 40 minute mark it started to really hurt. Negative thoughts started to creep into my noggin. So I stopped running. Fear not, I was not about to stop this workout! Nope. I was ticked off. I started walking and said 'Okay wind, blow the negativity off of me because I am so not going there! You know what this is? It's fear. Fear is making my hip hurt. It's giving me an excuse to hold back and to go slow. Well I'm not going to let this go on. Mind over matter. That's what this is about. I am not going to hurt anymore! I am strong!' With that I started back into my run. I took it just a tich slower and focused on perfect form. Guess hip/arse felt better.

By the time I got to the steep hill I was ready for it. Up I went. I tried to think light step, but was still a bit heavy. I didn't worry about it though, I know the first hill climb is the worse. The second time I went up I felt great then had a sharp pain in the glute happen. In my mind I yelled 'NO!' As in no you are not going to hurt. You know what? The pain stopped immediately! I then carried about my business.

On my third climb there was a gal on a mountain bike in front of me. She looked a little unstable on the bike and was zigzagging on the road. Did I mention its a steep hill? I knew she was in trouble when I caught up to her. My third hill climb was great, I had a light step and energy. I said hello and she said that she was at the end of the ride and wasn't going to make it up the hill. I kept going as I was in my groove.

I thought maybe she'd be walking up the hill when I ran down and was going to see what gear she was in. (She didn't look experienced and I think she may not have been in Granny gear.) She wasn't there though. I was kind of sad because I felt maybe I should have stopped when I was going up so I could help her, then tell her that she could ride beside me and we'd both get up the hill together. Yes, I was going to do fourth hill to get her up there. I hate to see people not reach a goal. Ah well, next time I'll make sure to help out right away rather than waiting.

Of course the run would not have been complete without running up the bonus hill to my house! So that was hill number four. It's longer than the steep hill, but not as steep. However, my pace was certianly a lot slower at the top. The hip felt pretty good though.

I was telling a friend about my hip experience and getting ticked with it and the pain going away. She sent me the following quote from Abraham:

"Physical pain is just an extension of emotion. It's all the same thing. There are two emotions. One feels good and one feels bad. Which means, you're connected to your Energy Stream or you're not allowing your Energy Stream."

Definitely something to ponder.

Peace out my brilliant friends!


  1. I know all about coming to a stand still on hills...member that damn hill you gave me the last part of that ride. I saw the ants carrying away the dead I looked at the pavement as I

  2. HARD CORE! That's the only words that come to mind. HARD CORE!

    Awesome workouts Susi, your attitude towards this hard training inspires me.

    I love reading your thoughts on the page!

    Here's to a beer in Cozumel after the race!!!!!!!!!

  3. Niceeeee on all the hills! They'll only make you stronger. Doesn't it just make you giggle when you pass someone while you're running and they're on a bike. Poor bastards;)

    Oh, I've totally stolen your B+ Personality type and have been applying it to my training - totally more enjoyable than being the anal freak that I normally am. It's still all getting done just not so militant about it. Thanks!

  4. I loved the thoughts going through your head -- especially the Sesame Street count! I'm going to remember that nifty trick. Hahahahaha!!

    I totally empathize with you about coming to a virtual halt when the wind slams you....Ahhhh, yes. ;)

  5. My mom used to do the Count from Sesame Street for us when we were little and you did it perfectly!!! Ah Ah Ah.

    So, I did that MAT thing today and it's basically talking to your muscles to get them to fire properly again. I really think you'd like it. Hopefully I'll explain in my next post. :) Great job on your workout!

  6. AMy...can they make them fire faster, and stronger too?LOL