Thursday, April 10, 2014

Damn Hills DO Make You Stronger

Before I get to hills, let me tell you that my baby girl Emma becomes a teenager today. Hard to believe 13 years ago I was cussing and screaming as I pushed out this precious child.

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I don’t know why this birthday is hitting me so hard. Well, yes I do know. I am now officially not a parent of little children any more, but a parent of teenagers. There is something so bittersweet about this. I have been honored to watch my kids grow and learn and become more of themselves. But sometimes I wish for just a few more days of the age when they were cuddly little dough balls with big diaper butts, smelling all sweet from their latest bath.

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Last year at this time (when Emma turned 12), I wrote a post about what I wanted my daughter to know. You can read it HERE. I went back and re-read it today. And, I agree with everything I said back then.

Now onto my morning with my other child, Heidi, who is still very much a toddler. I had hill repeats on the agenda today (from my Fast Forward training plan), and I was trying to figure out how to make running up and down hills fun and not hellish. I decided to go here (Eagle Trail/Boulder):

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We got out there and the first thing Heidi did was take a huge dump (told you she was a toddler).

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I love dog’s faces when they crap. It’s as if they’re thinking, “What? I’m not doing anything. Don’t mind me…just looking around.”

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Yeah. You need to move here.

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Heidi was patient during the warm up.

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Then the prairie dogs started taunting her and she got pissed.

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She wanted to poop in that hole, but I wouldn’t let her. It’s not nice to poop in someone’s house.

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After a 10 minute warm up, I did 8 hill repeats. Heidi was so confused as to why I kept running up and down the same trail.  But she joined me anyway.

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I can never remember where I am in my repeats (because I am trying to not die), so I kept tracks with rocks. I am pretty much a genius. I could SO live in the wild.

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By the 8th repeat I was very ready to be done. In all it was 6 miles. The up hills were done in heart rate zone 3 (very hard effort, anaerobic).  The down hills were recovery.

Here was Heidi’s reward:

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And, here was my reward. Not overly healthy, but it contains protein for recovery so I am going with that.

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You may think running up and down hills is stupid, but here’s why you should do it:

1. Combines strength training with running
2. Strengthens tendons/ligaments
3. Improves form
4. “Hills are speed work in disguise,” said Frank Shorter.

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Favorite cereal? I’m not a  huge cereal girl, but I do like ^^^^^^^^ this one.

Do you make hills a part of your training? If so, do you do them outside or on the treadmill?

How old are your kids? If they are older, do you ever miss the younger days? I’ve got to say I love the ages they are now, but sometimes I’d like to go back to toddlerhood for a day or two. ONLY a day or two. I don’t miss crappy diapers and tantrums and having to be so unselfish (hah!)

SUAR

50 comments:

  1. I'm not a huge cereal girl either but I do like Honey Nut Cheerios. I normally do hills outside as part of my training but I didn't do much this year because of all the ice and snow we had. Should make for an interesting experience in Boston, ha ha.

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  2. Oh, I'm so with you on wanting to revisit my kids' babyhood/toddlerhood...for a day! My oldest turned 10 five days ago, and my youngest turns 8 in 15 days. Fortunately they still like to hang out with me and think I'm pretty cool (well, sometimes), but I know my days are numbered. Watching your children grow up is definitely bittersweet at times.

    I am currently addicted to Puffins cereal...I'd never even heard of it until Trader Joe's came to town, and now I'm addicted to a whole new world of random products.

    BTW, are you aware of the controversy over the Cap'n not really being a captain? Apparently the stripes on his uniform indicate he is actually "Commander Crunch"...scandalous.

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  3. My boys are 12 and 14 and sometimes I miss their cuddly baby days. Although my youngest is still a cuddler, my oldest is embarking on the evil teen years. It came on with a vengeance. I thought it was just girls who were supposed to be that way;)

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  4. I love cereal and could eat it for every meal if I let myself, my favorite being Cap'n Crunch Berries.. Even though it tears the shit out of the roof in my mouth, I can't stop.

    Hills are a necessary evil and so I regularly run hill repeats in the steepest of neighborhoods in downtown SLC. Up two blocks, down one.. Good lord. My reward at the end is the gorgeous run downhill through the park near our Capitol building at the end. But I sure cuss a lot on the way up...

    My one and only little man is turning seven soon and I find I miss his chubby toddler face. But I'm with you, I'd only go back for a day or two. I have found that with him each age/stage brings with it a ton of things to appreciate... with a few frustrations as well.

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  5. I like cereals especially those that are healthy with a touch of bad (frosted mini wheats and
    The Special K with fruit and yogurt). . Give me a box of lucky Charms.... Yummmmm.
    I had a bad experience with hill repeats requiring a dreaded "recovery". My gf who is an athletic trainer yelled at me about me knowing how old I was and how hills are bad. Hello? I live on a damn hill.
    I have 2 kids 16 and 13. I don't miss the younger years. My kids are pretty cool now and with the exception of my 16 yo daughter knowing everything, I'm quite content!

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  6. After being childless for 45 years, I met and am now living with a wonderful man -- who has 2 teenagers living with us part time. I have to say, I love having teens around (most of the time). They give such a unique perspective on life and bring such a breath of fresh air into our lives. We're actually on a child-free trip right now scoping out the Denver/Boulder area for potential places to live when we're empty-nesters in a few years (we live in Boston right now). Any suggestions you have would be much appreciated! (we're both very active -- boyfriend is an Ironman and I'm a runner.)

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    1. Boulder is awesome if you can afford it. Lafayette (about 15 min from Boulder) is also really nice. Longmont is great too (where I live) and close to lots of trails, I can just go out my door for a 100 mile bike ride no problem.

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  7. Keep posting all those #trailporn pictures and we'll all be headed out to Boulder! My kids are now 22, 19 and 9 and while I love these ages it is bittersweet realizing how fast they grew up - enjoy these next few years with your two, those high school years (and college years) really fly by!!

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  8. Both my boys will be in high school in the fall. It's so HARD to believe. When i see toddlers or babies in my job, I keep thinking that my boys are still that age. It seems like yesterday. I really feel old now. Thanks. :p

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  9. I live at the ocean so it's really tough to find hills. When I was training for Marine Corps, I used the treadmill for hill work and I also did repeats at Mount Trashmore. Yes, it's a real thing...basically a mountain of trash that the city turned into a park. It's pretty cool until you really start to think about it.

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    1. Too funny, I am in VB too :)

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  10. I like combining two cereals together in one bowl. The more different the texture or type of flavor, the better. (Granola pretty much goes with everything).

    Hate hill repeats too. But I love the result - a shorter recovery at the top of hills during a run.

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  11. Hills are part of every run where I live - I don't have a choice! I usually average 100'/mile. Hit a part of a trail the other day that was an insane 500' in less than a mile.

    No kids and not a cereal eater. I think of cereal as more of a snack food than breakfast.

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  12. I don't eat much cereal, and almost never buy it, but when I do, I like Honey Bunches of Oats

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  13. I could eat a whole box of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch!! I actually don't miss my kids' younger days...I'm weird, I know :p
    I'm on a running hiatus after another stupid injury, but I'm seriously going to add hillwork when I start again.

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  14. Oh, "diaper butts". Yes, I miss those days like crazy. My big, tall redheaded sons are 16 and 17. They are wonderful, but these days are not so carefree and silly. Now it's college choices and SERIOUS stuff. (I'm working on myself to lighten up for these SERIOUS topic cuz life is short.

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  15. Last week, King Soopers had all their Cap 'N Crunch products on sale for $1.88. I now have 8 boxes of that stuff. YUM!

    My boys are graduating this year.....whaaaaa!

    Happy Birthday, Emma!!! :)

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  16. Stealing your rock trick!! Good thinking! I always lose track as well. Happy birthday to your big little one!

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  17. I am still trying to see where you did hills.... it looks flat in all those pictures you posted!!! or am I missing something?

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    1. I was thinking the same thing.

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  18. Hi! First of all, let me tell you I love love love love love your posts. They always brighten my day up!

    Favorite cereal? Cereal is not huge over here, but I liked Quaker Oats while in the US :D

    Do you make hills a part of your training? Training? What's that? No, I don't... I am suffering from Plantar Fasciitis since end of November and just don't know how to get flipping rid of it... if you have any tips, I'll be happy to listen to them!!!! I started hills and then have fallen injured each time but I add them... I so need them! Oh! Always outside... please! I live in Girona (northeast Catalunya, above Barcelona, just an hour's drive north)... perfect place to run, swim, bike or just do anything!

    How old are your kids? Just 11, almost 9 (in 8 days) and 5... keeping me VERY busy, especially the 5 year old who's a cheeky little devil. They all play sports though and that makes things easier. The older ones train 17 hours a week (gymnastics), youngest does roller hockey 3xweek and gymnastics 2xweek... BTW, I will be a mother of 4 next week as I am having another 11 year old girl from England at home... the gym club is doing an exchange so... someone give me strength!!!!!!!

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    1. So sorry you're suffering from PF! I had it for a long time and the only thing that finally helped me get rid of it was ART (active release technique) and Graston. Hurts like a muther the first few times, but totally worth it. Good luck.

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  19. I have been doing hill work lately and they really do help you so much! I had to do them on a treadmill this week, but still the same idea!

    I love cereal but we don't keep it in the house too much since I go crazy! I really love Oh's those have to be my favorite of all time!

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  20. I've been telling myself I need to add in hills now that the snow is gone! It definitely is a love/hate relationship though haha.

    Lucky Charms is my favorite ceral still but I try not to eat it regularly.

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  21. In central PA we have lots of hills. I love a hilly long run. I'd rather do that than something like hill repeats- but hill repeats are faster and are more of a git 'er done type thing. Love hills!

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  22. I love Post Honey Bunches of Oats just bunches, but every time I buy them I eat way too much so I try not to buy them. Sometimes I lose control of my arms, I guess.

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  23. Thank you for posting this. It was exactly what I needed to read before going out this morning to do hill repeats. Especially when I really didn't want to! I'm trying to incorporate them in now to get my road legs back after a long winter on a treadmill (that doesn't have an incline option). I thought exactly this "If Beth can do 8 repeats, I can surely do 4 this morning. Shut up and run!"

    I have a 2 year old, and right now I love that we are leaving more and more of the baby stuff behind. I know when she is 13, 16, 21, etc I will feel differently! I don't really eat cereal, so we mainly only keep cheerios on hand as a quick snack for my daughter.

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  24. Happy Birthday to Emma!

    I LOVE cereal. But now that I'm lucky enough to be lactose intolerant, it's not as much of a treat. I miss milk...Sigh.

    I live in western PA so hills are just naturally part of training but I actually love hill repeats. What? Who said that? Yeah, I know it's crazy but I truly enjoy them. I feel really strong when I do them, maybe that's why.

    I'm just now getting out of the toddler stage (my kids are almost 5, 7, 9, and 11). I have nieces who are younger (1 and 2 1/2) so I get my toddler fill with them when I need. I'm not looking back - FORWARD!

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  25. What a view! I also live in Western PA, so, yes, pretty much every run is a hill run. I don't do repeats, but I do like doing hills (when I am done). Your daughter looks like Cindy Lou Who in the old picture. Mine are out of the house, we were so busy, no matter how much I try to remember things, most of it is a blur.

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  26. I love reading about your runs with Heidi! http://instagram.com/p/mpk5ezA55q/ <- picture of my Duke on a run this morning! Chicago dogs unfortunately have to stay tied up... :(

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  27. I don't buy cereals for me...but I will occasionally sneak a bowl of the kids. Favorites: Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles. Goodness - those can still be good - and do you know how hard it is to sneak a bowl of cereal, isn't like you can hide it in a coat pocket if you get caught. Not that I would do that with any other treat, no sir, not me....(whistling and moving along now)....

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  28. I am a big fan of Honey Nut Cheerios, and have developed a soft spot for mixing Corn and Chocolate Chex. Kid is 8. it is a great age as she is finally "getting it" and can have pretty decent conversations, yet still thinks i am brilliant (most of the time, the rest of the time i don't know anything).

    Living in Vermont I feel like all i do is run up and down hills, but i don't have a dedicated "run up and down this hill 8 times" routine. There is a ski jump near my house that has stairs that i run up and down a few times though. http://www.harrishillskijump.com/
    ReneeW
    ReneeW

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  29. My kids are 20-17-10...I miss them being younger but am glad for this stage too. I love the independence I know have :) I don't usually eat cereal. I don't do hills but know I should.

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  30. Hilarious with the rock counting. I may have to steal that brilliant idea!

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  31. I LOVE cereal. My favorite: Trader Joe's Corn Flakes. So good with a few berries!
    And yes, I run hills. I live in a hilly area, so it's pretty unavoidable. I need to do more repeats though to get better at them.

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  32. My cereal options have diminished since being diagnosed with Celiacs, but the GF Chex that are out are pretty tasty. Before the diet change, my favorite was Trader Joe's Berry Granola cereal and Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Hills....are a part of my daily running life. I don't necessarily do hill repeats right now (recovery from a nasty on/off 2 years of shin splints, I think they're finally gone), but my area in Kansas City is nothing but hills, so I just get used to them. It makes running on flat ground feel super easy though!

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  33. I don't do hills- but I need to start. Living in the plains of North Dakota, the biggest hill I ever encounter on my runs is when the path I'm on goes over the dike (we need those to keep our rivers from washing the town away). My first full marathon is in 2 months, and it's known to be fairly hilly. Which means I NEED to start doing hills. I guess I'll have to figure out how to do them.....

    My kids are 11, 14 and 18. I loved the baby/toddler stages, adore school-age kids.... Teenagers are unfortunately not as much fun. I can't wait until the days when my kids are no longer convinced that they know way more than I possibly could. Luckily my 11 year old is still nice to me :-)

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  34. I do hill repeats every week right now as part of my half marathon training, they're actually one of my favourite workouts. I love the challenge. In the past, I've used stones as counters as well :)

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  35. Boulder is so pretty. I wouldn't mind moving there. My hubby and I have talked about moving to CO, but he's more in favor of Fort Collins. (He says Boulder is too full of hippies! LOL!) I like cereal, and I like it even more since I had a kid because it's sooooooo fast to get myself some breakfast. Honestly, I liked Shredded Wheat, but I recently discovered Dark Chocolate Cheerios and those are pretty good. I put some of those in with plain Cheerios so I don't feel like I'm being too crazy! LOL!

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    1. Ft. Collins would be a great choice too!!

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    2. I've lived in Denver and Boulder and currently live on the other side of the state in Grand Junction. After living out here, I don't know that I could ever move back to the more crowded Front Range; however, we recently spent a weekend in Fort Collins and I liked it a lot.

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  36. Hill repeats are good for the early weeks in a marathon training session. They really do strengthen the calves. Then I like to do interval/speed training in the second half of the cycle. And the long runs are my go to workout - ramping up a mile or two almost every weekend.

    I love your stoner method of keeping track of repeats. When I'm at the track for interval/speed work, I keep track of laps by starting in lane 8, and moving over one lane each lap. So by lap 8 (lane 1), I know I've gone two miles. Wash, rinse repeat. And there's the added benefit that I can go just that much faster in the shortened circumference of lane 1 at the end versus lane 8 at the beginning. Are most runners OCD?

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  37. I can only imagine how you must feel (finally) being out of the kiddie/tweenie parenting stage. Although I can hardly wait to get there myself, I still do my best to treasure all of the precious moments. Great trail/hill run! Your dog (last child) made it more fun I guess than dreadful. I need to incorporate some hills for quad strength.

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  38. Favorite cereal is Chocolate Cheerios. I try to do hill repeats every training session. I'm also one of those weirdoes that enjoys them, but I usually run them with a group, so it's much more enjoyable!
    I have 3 boys; 27, 24 and 22. At least once a month, I wish they were little again for a day; just one day! I love the men they've become, but they grew up so fast, I'd like to relive a tiny portion of their childhood.

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  39. My daughter's birthday is on the 10th too! She's 7, not a baby any more but still cuddles. I know I'll be sad as my kids grow up but it is so much fun getting to know them and see the person they'll become.

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  40. Thank you for reminding me about the Eagle trail. I love that one but rarely get my butt down there to run it.

    My babies are almost three and 8 months. Said almost 3 yo thinks she's a teenager already. Maybe she'll get t all out during toddlerhood and be a super awesome teen. I can dream.

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  41. I thought I was going to meet you today! F4 ran out of our Louisville Runner's Roost and I went on the group run! Oh well. Guess you did your workout yesterday so you didn't need to go today. Next time!

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    1. Oh shoot! I talked to Scott about that run and he said that the IM people should do a ride instead. Sorry we didn't cross paths!

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  42. My baby is of the 4 legged variety. He is 8 and acts like a puppy. Took him out for a long walk/run today for the first time in quite a while. I think he was out of shape from the long cold winter. Instead of him pulling me, I was pulling him. Maybe he isn't such a puppy anymore.

    Not a big cereal fan, when I do eat it, I eat Chex, with bananas, blueberries or strawberries on it. Nothing too exciting.

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  43. Happy Birthday to Emma! My babies are 8 and 11 and I occasionally have flashbacks to their baby/toddler days and have an "Awwww!!" moment, and then I'm happy to have them them way they are. Truly bittersweet being a parent: to love and cherish, and occasionally miss, the previous years, all while loving who they are in the process of becoming.

    I know I should do hill work but I battle problems with my IT Band and I think hills irritate them. It's kind of a catch-22 because doing the hill work would probably strengthen things, but I have total PTSD about my ITB blowing up on my during training. I swear I've tried everything (new shoes, making sure I run on level surfaces, good stretching) and this spring I've been trying to work on building up a bit more muscle in case it's a muscle imbalance issue. Anyway, I don't do hills. I should. But I'm scared.

    As far as cereal, I buy it for the kids, they eat half a box, claim they don't like it, it gets stale, I throw it away. I occasionally eat a bowl, but for some reason I'm not a huge cereal fan anymore. Probably because the stuff I *do* like has no nutritional value whatsoever - Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes - so I don't buy it. I really need to buy those individual serving boxes that have a variety of sugar-coated cereals. Because really, I only ever want like one bowl of something.

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