Weekly Hill Workout: Hill The Crest

March 4, 2014

Try climb the Crest
‘Cause you’re on a run
And runners gotta train to take it

Try to believe
Though the hills get rough
That you gotta climb hard to train it

Hills repeat themselves
Climb and you’ll succeed
Never doubt that you’ll scale it

And you can have your dreams!
Climb the Crest!  Repeat!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
Climb the Crest!  Again!
Nothing’s gonna stop you from training haaaard!

The Karate Kid was busy, so it was up to Mike Martin, Dean Capone, Jim Moore, Ben Tolton and Mike Renz to run some repeats on HillCrest Ave.  It’s a short steep hill, so they climbed it 6 times in total! Quite the tiring workout, but they persevered and knocked them out in quick succession. Small turnout for good weather. Hopefully, everyone was just on a short break from hill workouts. Marathons are just around the corner, and you’ll kick yourself later when you have no kick in the later miles of your race!

Weekly Hill Workout: The Great Escape

February 25, 2014

Imprisoned by their captive day to day activities and jobs, Andy Maguire, Tom Cali, Meira Minard, Mike Renz, and Ken Davis needed a way out before facing their demise known as the couch potato famine. With many obstacles blocking their path to freedom, like students, vehicles, laziness, seemingly never ending winter or far off springtime…they needed to devise a way to escape. The only thing that could possibly work was to hit the tunnel graciously dug out by their preceding brethren of captive fate. It was risky, but they knew what they had to do.

Ken Davis made it halfway to the tunnel before being spotted by the guards. In an effort to help the rest of the crew evade their captors and regain the freedom that was rightfully theirs, he unselfishly peeled off from the team of escapees, luring the guards away. No one has heard from him since, hopefully he made it back to camp unscathed.

It was the remaining fearsome four that made it through the tunnel only to face their next challenge: a hill. Not just any hill however, this hill was different. This hill is paved, secluded, covered from the wind, and pretty much ideal for a hill workout. And what a workout it was. Still moderately gassed from the long trudge to make it to the base of the hill, the fearsome four managed to scream up the hill like kids leaving school on the last day of the year (which will likely be around August 3rd for State College). Once at the peak, the team took a moment to reflect on what they had just accomplished and stare off into the freedom that lay ahead – Tom Cali was overly excited by this and took off into the sunset, leaving his tunneling peers still basking in the glory. The remaining ! trio had the grand idea of doing a few more repeats, including a new hill workout option: to do one UNrepeat of the hill, racing down it instead of just up. As they sped down the hill they were all almost stopped in their tracks – they had been followed. As they got closer they realized it was not a guard, but Jim Moore who had also managed to escape! Now back to a fantastic group of four, they attacked the hill together one last time, with most of the crew getting the requisite 4 repeats in before setting off for home, parting their separate ways within only a mere mile or two from the top of the hill. It was, in fact….a great escape.

Weekly Hill Workout: A Tale Of Too Sh*tty Hill Workout

January 28, 2014

It was the best of hill workouts, it was the worst of hill workouts,
it was the run of wisdom, it was the run of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief that this workout helped, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of bitter cold, it was the season of negative wind chill,
it was the spring of legs, it was the winter of despair,
we had Rec Hall steps before us, we had nothing but misery before us,
we were all going direct around the loop, we were all going direct up the stairs
– in short, the period was! so far unlike a normal hill workout,
that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on not even attempting,
for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of training only.

Ben Tolton,  Meira Minard, Aaron Hofelt, Jim Moore, Mike Martin and Mike Renz all took to the Rec Hall “track” and proceeded to do many laps with many many traverses up and down the steps of the bleachers.  The ‘normal’ lap consisted of 10 up and downs, with 2 ups being double-footed hops, and 1 up of a left leg hop climb, and 1 up of a right leg hop climb.  Most of us did 5 complete laps.  We looked like fools, but had the burning legs to prove that the workout was seemingly worthwhile.  We all missed the outdoors dearly.  Tom Cali and Andrew Maquire even showed! up at the track to cheer for and admire us as we ran step repeats, but failed to join in for even 1 loop-o-fun.  Shame on them!  Meira decided the prescribed workout was far too confusing for a 40+ yr old to remember or understand and did some sort of concoction of her own. Jim Moore found a different yet still challenging method…but hey at least they were hitting the steps!

Hopefully next week will prove above 0 temps so that we can once again find a nice hill to run up and down without spectators staring in disbelief of our strange and abnormal ways.

Weekly Hill Workout: Iron Curtin

February 11, 2014

The Iron Curtin symbolizes the conflicting desire and physical limitations dividing today’s runners into 2 separate groups through the cold winter war of below freezing temperatures.  On either side of the Iron Curtin, runners have developed their own alliances of personal gratification of staying inside and have an overdeveloped case of post treadmill stress disorder.  Many runners were present to help demolish the Iron Curtain. Tom Cali and George Lesieutre showed up without their appropriate blacksmithing apparati and were unable to wage battle with the Iron Curtain, venturing on to Walmart to fight another day.  Meira Minard was apparently afraid of crucial conflicts and is presumed to be hiding in her attic, hopefully keeping a diary charting her nontraining.

Today was a day of victory, however,  as Bob Cornwall chipped away 3 not! ches of the Curtin St climb.  Although we would have been much more impressed with the requisite 4 repeats, but we’ll cut him some slack since he did put in work.  Jim Moore, Andy Maguire and Mike Martin did their fair share of attack - each netting 5 triumphant travels atop the hill.  But it was Ben Tolton, Emily Fertig and Mike Renz, who through blood, sweat, tears, and overall lack of sanity, showered the Curtin with an incomprehensible 6 repeats.  The Iron Curtain fell, along with its reigning totalitarian training program.  Hill Repeaters prevail, ready to conquer next week’s challenge…wherever it make take us.

Weekly Hill Workout: I Love Rocky Top!

January 21, 2014

With the jet stream dipping low, bringing that polar vortex down, I couldn't help but think of Joan Jett today:

I saw them running there by the climbing machine
I knew it was so cold about seventeen
The repeats were going strong
Running my favorite direction
And I could tell it wouldn’t be long till the hill was through with me, yeah me
And I could tell it wouldn’t be long till the hill was through with me, yeah me

Runnin'!...

Chorus:
We love Rocky Top!
Toss another cookie in the puke box, baby!
We ran in the snow!
‘Cept for those wimps that stayed inside!

(Repeat chorus ad infinitum)

Tom Cali, Andrew Maquire, Mike Martin, NVRC Indoor Mile Series Women's Masters record holder Meira Minard, Ben Tolton, and Mike Renz met at the base of the rockytop hill, in hopes of having traction and minor cover from the snowy windy weather – they had neither.  Armed only with high spirits and tall tales of unprecedented subjects…the crew set out to 4 to 5 reps up the snow covered hill.

One thing was apparent from the lack of attendance – running hill repeats in this weather today took balls.