Up, Up and Run Away!
This weekend I am doing a 10K. Normally, I wouldn't be too worried about a 10K race but this one is a bit of a doozy. I've been calling it the "Verdugo Hills 10K" but in actuality I just found out it's called the Verdugo MOUNTAINS 10K. The website says it's a "challenging" course with 1,745 feet of climbing.
I didn't have a good sense of what 1,745 feet really is, but I realized I had to do some hill training so I started running the bike loop we often do in Griffith Park after work. I knew that the bike course wasn't a huge hill but I thought it would be good base training. I've been running it for the past couple of weeks.
With the official race one week away, I thought it would be a good idea to do sort of a dress rehearsal and try some serious climbing. I decided I would start at the bottom of a hill (Travel Town) and then run uphill for 30 minutes (taking the detour road at the top of the bike loop). I didn't expect to make it a full 3 miles in 30 miles, but this was just going to be a practice run.
So I ran. Up and up and up. I was terrified to look at my watch, because I was worried I would think I was 20 minutes in and it would turn out to be only 12 (you know how time plays tricks on you when you're tired.) I kept ignoring the urge to check my time until I finally thought "OK, this HAS to be more than 20 minutes and I'll have less than 10 minutes to go." I looked down: 31 minutes. Woohoo! I had run pretty much constantly uphill for over 30 minutes and was still feeling pretty good. I rounded up to 35, turned around and rolled breezily down to my car.
I was feeling great! I had no problems with the hill and even though I knew it wasn't the full elevation I figured the excitement of race day would help me with the extra 200 feet or whatever I needed to do. When I got home, I charted my run to see how close I came to simulating this weekend's 10K:
That little orange bump is the regular "hill" run I've been doing for the past couple weeks. The green chart is the training run I was feeling so good about. That brown monstrosity in the background is what I actually have to do on Sunday. I'm screwed.
In hindsight, I probably should have looked at the elevation a little more closely a few weeks ago. At this point, there is nothing I can do about it. I'm hoping to make it at least 2 miles up the mountain before doing some walking but it's going to be a LOOOONNNNG 10K.