I’ve been training on hills since late February, so they don’t worry me too much. This week I did my hill repeats on the treadmill, which are always a higher incline than the actual hills I’ll be running. I’ve also been employing a trick mentioned by the run5k-a-day blog. He suggests pretending you’re not running up a hill by focusing on the road just ahead of you and not at the top of the hill. It’s surprising how well this works, proving how much of running is mental (and not just mental as in crazy).
Today I did an easy 3.3 miles on the treadmill and was not all that surprised that “easy” today is a faster speed than my last 5k race time. I’m trying not to get hung up on my time for tomorrow’s race because:
1) the hills
2) it will be a training run in preparation for next week’s half marathon so it’s not meant to be an all-out effort
3) I don’t want to hang too much weight on a time that I might be bummed over, affecting my mood as I head into the half marathon.
The half marathon is also a training run, but obviously much more effort and energy is going into a 13.1 mile run than a 3.1 mile run. I do have a goal of 2:15 for it, which seems reasonable but could go south under any conditions. There will be 5000 other runners there and I have no illusions of doing anything better than a mid-pack finish. If that. Last year a couple Kenyans won it, the man at just over an hour and the woman in 1:07. That flummoxes me.
Tomorrow I have a shot at placing well in a local race. Even if I don’t, I’m pretty sure I’ll be glad I tackled the hills.