Week 17: Over the Hill - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Week 17: Over the Hill

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I know, I know, I skipped a post for Week 16. Lisa joined me for my workout last week, so I didn't have pictures to post, and it was a pretty standard strength/ cardio interval routine. It was crazy hot so we took a break from the beach and stayed in the gym, and only ran outside a little.

So, here we are, week 17 of training, and we were back at the beach. I can't believe there's only six weeks until race day!!! It's time to seriously hit the sand and start pounding the pavement, too; that's something I did during our session, which I'll explain in a minute.

To start off, I did 25 bicep pushups on a picnic table bench. The it was time for the first run, on what would be a cardio- heavy day. I got a little obstacle practice in as I ran down Beach 1 through rocks and driftwood. I have to add that the dead fish smell was incredibly pungent on this particular day, and that posed a much greater obstacle during the run than any of the logs I had to jump over (I did not want to breath!)

Anyway, after my initial sand run I did 25 pushups in the sand and then 20 burpees. These were meant to confuse my muscles and get the blood to go back from my legs up to my arms. The burpees were way harder than I thought they should be, but I was also still sore from lifting on my own the day before (I need to do more of that, too).

Then I got to jump in the water for another run. Water runs in past sessions haven't felt too difficult, but this week's run was like nothing I'd done before. I made an extra effort to stay "mid-shin deep" at Lisa's request, and the resistance from the water was a whole different experience from only being ankle deep. I tried to lift my legs out with each stride to make it easier, but that just took more effort with decidedly less gain.

I ran in the water a total of five minutes, but it felt so much longer, My heavy shoes weighed me down, while globs of seaweed slowed me further. My legs were absolutely on fire by the end of it, and the now tepid July water didn't offer as much relief as it used to.

I had a little break while we walked from Beach 1 to the street by Sarah's for the second half of the session. One of the biggest challenges on race day will come at the end, after 12 or more miles of sand running, crawling and obstacle jumping, competitors will be required to run up the hill by Waldameer for the final stretch.

I have dreaded the hill since running it in my high school days on the crew team. I probably only ran it once or twice, but every time I see someone jogging or even biking up that long uphill stretch, I cringe and wince at the pain I know they're feeling.

It could be much worse, really… it's just a steady climb and it's not that steep, but it's annoying. I ran up and down three times in a row, each round taking me about seven and a half minutes.

I definitely paced myself each time. I didn't want to burn out by trying to sprint. Plus, if I went really fast, Lisa would just make me do more! But honestly I don't think I could've gone much faster uphill. I noticed that making it up was hugely mental. The first time around I just thought about how much it sucked the whole time, how my stomach hurt, and how I still had so far to go.

The second time was actually easier, because I knew how far I was going and I tried to think about things other than how much my legs hurt or how hot I was getting. I still think that running this after 12 plus miles etc., no happy thoughts will be able to replace my fatigue. But as Lisa reminded me, there will be people lining the path to the finish, cheering us on and bolstering our dwindling, sandy, wet, beat up spirits.

Lisa suggested that I return to the hill and tackle it myself, each time taking on more and more laps. I think it might be a little easier if I don't do a sand and water run directly beforehand, so I'm willing to give it a try, although I'm pretty scared to attempt the 15 in a row she said to aim for. Three times was hard enough. Having music might help distract me though.

So, my goals for this week are to run the hill 5 times, and go on another sand run of at least four miles. What are your goals? Leave them in the comments or share on our Facebook page!

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