Friend or Foe? My struggle with hill repeats ensues

This week has been a struggle.  Starting Sunday night.  I hit a wall shortly after 8pm and I was done.  I desperately needed to call it a day and go to bed.  Which, I did.  Monday morning, my early wake up call to instruct spin was very unwelcome.  I was groggy and just plain tired!  I hit snooze an extra time and bolted out the door.  After class, I promised myself I would go to yoga later in the day and thus skipped my strength training after class.  I did not make it to yoga later.  As the day wore on, I felt worse and worse.  I was nauseated.  I wasn’t hungry, but made myself eat anyway.  I was experiencing a flare up of GI issues that I haven’t encountered in several months.  UGH!  I felt like death and I couldn’t wait to crawl into bed.  Which, I did, an early night for a 2nd night in a row.  I had the intention of getting up at 3:45am to run hill repeats with Josh on Tuesday morning.  I woke up and was hit with nausea.  I got out of bed and tried to get my head in order.  I couldn’t shake the feeling and promptly text Josh I was sorry, but I couldn’t run.  I crawled back into bed and again, hit snooze several times more than I should’ve.  I realized in addition to my GI flare up, my head was a hot mess from the changing weather.  A slight ear ache.  A slight sore throat.  A stream of snot running down my throat.  Chills. And slight body aches.  Wonderful combination, huh?  I took some pseudo ephedrine and throughout the day, I did start to feel better.  I still wasn’t hungry, and this time, I didn’t force myself to eat.  Once I felt a tad bit hungry, I would eat something small, like a piece of fruit and wait for it to settle.  Amazingly, that is all I needed for both breakfast and lunch.  Dinner was very marginally bigger, but I did manage to get in some protein.  Once again, I headed to bed around 8pm and it wasn’t long before I was fast asleep.
Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling mostly refreshed and ready to instruct spin!  I had decided yesterday that I would tackle my hill repeats after class.  No excuses!  Class was awesome yesterday morning.  The cyclists were engaged.  1 woman who recently started coming to class was singing out loud to the playlist, which made me giggle and happy that someone else is enjoying the playlist as much as I am!  Another guy who recently starting joining us in the mornings would yell out “hey!” when I switched up the workout and increased intensity in a robust, exciting tone!  I had to remind myself to take it easy during class and save my legs for my hill workout.  Throughout class I battled the mental monkeys.  It was cold outside. It was really windy outside.  I could just skip the hills and do 8x800s on the treadmill instead.  As long as I get in the speed work, right?  It shouldn’t matter what the workout is… yeah, I know.  Even I know, it is not the same.  I decided to buck it up and listen to the same music that was pumping us up during class during my run.  I needed something to get me revved up and keep me motivated.
I drove to the “hill” on Fuller Road in West Des Moines, parked my car, started my iPod, and set out.  I killed it on my first run up.  I knew I killed it and it felt good.  I run up and down the same hill.  Up side x, as fast as I can, down side y nice and easy, then I turn around and run up side y as fast as I can and down side x nice and easy.  Turn around and repeat.  So, you would think side x and side y would be the same effort, the same consistency in time, seeing as it is the same hill.  Not so.  I consistently killed side x, running a sub 7 minute mile pace.  Running up side y seemed to kill me, however.  My pace was 7:20-7:30.
Overall, my hill repeats were better than the last time, but I don’t have a “feel” for how hard to push myself.  I feel like I’m giving it my all and I want to die as I near the top, but then I recover really quickly in between sets.  I suppose hill repeats are comparable to a HIIT interval.  Run it all out, then recover, and repeat.  I just can’t tell if I’m going all out or if I’m being a weenie.  Why, if I’m running the same hill, just different sides of it, are my times so drastically different?  Is it mental?  Could it have been the wind? (gusts were up to 16mph yesterday morning…) Could the slope be that much different on each side?  Or am I just not pushing myself consistently?  Each of these workouts feels like an epic fail.  Yes, I know it’s supposed to be challenging, but am I missing something?
On the up side, after spin class and hill repeats, my appetite was finally back!  Cheers to feeling great and strong! 🙂

2 thoughts on “Friend or Foe? My struggle with hill repeats ensues

  1. One thing I love/hate about running is knowing that I’ll never understand why sometimes it is so hard and I feel like dying and other times I kill my run and feel like a conqueror. Usually when I go through a phase like you just describe here I am on the verge of another breakthrough in my ability.


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