My Bix run is in 26 days. If you've somehow missed this detail: my goal this year is to run every single step of the 7 miles up and down hills that comprise the Bix.
The general rule for running is that you don't run during the week of your race. Cross training is fine, but no running. So that means I have 3 weeks of running left before the race (and I plan to ride my bike the week before). TO ME, that feels like: time to get intense with the practice runs.
I've been picking up distance. But it's a long, flat run from my house to any big hills. So as I was falling asleep last night, I decided my strategy, for July: I will drive my car to a hilly area, so that my runs can be focused on incline. That's how I managed 2 runs up Brady Street hill. My plan had been to run Brady and some other, lesser-but-still-substantial hill, like Main Street.
But I had done some serious resting over the weekend. Other than the Critical Mass ride on Friday night and a little walk with Gary Saturday night (2ish miles, I think), I mostly sat around talking to people all weekend. The result? I woke up this morning (on a MONDAY morning, even) without that old familiar so-tired-my-stomach-hurts feeling. I woke up before the alarm. I woke up ready to run, without having to push my butt out of bed for it.
So when I got up Brady Street hill and then back down, via another side street...I was bouncing, still. Ready to take it on again. I was kind of laughing as I did. Kind of impressed. (Lest you think I'm trying to create an impression that I'm something I'm not - full truth - I was running nearly 18-minute miles, when doing that hill - I'm only a rock star as compared to MYSELF, not as compared to the general running community. But that's okay. I'm still impressed!)
But, funny thing: I had turned my phone down, last night, while listening to a podcast and not wanting to disturb my friends. I hadn't remembered to turn it back up. So, I heard the MapMyRun app on my iPhone announce the end of mile one..very, very quietly. I pulled it out of my pocket, but with no glasses on, I managed to turn it only DOWN, not up. So I had no little coach voice telling me my split times and such for the entire rest of my time out there. I just had to run around and run around until I thought it had maybe been long enough.
Which is why I finished at under 5 miles. I was concerned about not being late for work, so I ran back to my car...and that was when I discovered it had been a short run.
Another bonus: my feet didn't hurt after. I assume that was partly the rest over the weekend, and partly the shorter run. All I know is, usually on run days, my feet hurt like heck all the way until bedtime. Sometimes a couple of Aleve will send the worst of the pain away. But it's pretty stubborn pain - it doesn't leave without fight. But today...my feet didn't hurt AT ALL. Not even in the shower, after I got in from the run. CRAZY STUFF!
Tomorrow is an off-day for the run.
Wednesday, I'm considering trying to run Augie hill twice. While it is shorter than Brady Street hill, I concluded today that it is definitely steeper. I suspect running it twice might make me puke.
We'll see if I work up the nerve to try it!
Two more runs this week - three runs for each of the next 2 weeks. That makes 8 runs before the Bix.
Gotta make 'em count.