Weekly Hill Workout: Down Goes Fraser!

December 17, 2013

Or up they went on Fraser, depending on how you look at it.  This week’s Hill Workout included 6, yes six – a new hill record, repeats up the Fraser St hill, between Hamilton and Fairmount Avenues.  Lance Bland was the first one there, beating John Domico, Jonathon Thurley, Meira Minard, Barb and Brent Kelsey, Andrew Maguire and Mike Renz to their first climb.  Mike Martin even decided to show up just in time to miss out on this first trip up the hill.  The workout originally only called for 4 repeats, but the group was hungry for more so they tacked on what they thought would be their fifth and final traverse of one of the steeper climbs in the hood.  Atop the hill, the mighty Domico triple dog dared the crew (in a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple-dare-you and going right for the throat!) to do a sixth trip since it’s bad luck to end on an odd number on the 17th day of a month ending in “ber.”  

This Alberta Clipper proved to be another hoax of misrepresentation by local weather forecasters.  The temp was a balmy 25 degrees, the streets were clear, no snow was falling…and the hillsmen and hillswomen were happily trotting up and down Fraser to pass some time while enjoying the outdoors on this wonderful winter day.

Weekly Hill Workout: Hillistic Workout

December 10, 2013


/hil ‘listik/


  1. 1. Characterized by comprehension of the sections of a geographical incline interconnected and explicable only by those stupid enough to repeatedly run up and down said geographic anomaly.

It was a real feel of about 17 degrees as Jonathon Thurley, Meira Minard, Ken Davis, Rob Peterson, Sara Noss, Marty Mazur, Barb Kelsey, and Mike Renz set out to repeatedly conquer the Park Ave hill, which runs along the PSU White Course.  It was a very light turnout, possibly due to some runners recovering from this past weekend’s Nittany Half Marathon, or possibly due to the chilly weather.  Whatever poor excuse was instilled into the minds of the non-hill-runners shall be forever considered the wrong decision.

Four was one again the magic number of repeats that most of the crew hammered out.  Thurley received only partial credit for his repeats due to cutting them short, every rep.  But hey, at least he was there doing a workout!  A passing grade is still better than a 0 and detention for skipping class.  Some of the group even set out to trailblaze a new hill for a future workout – Hillcrest Ave.  Suitably named, this hill definitely is more than steep enough to work its way into the ranks of the ever beloved Lunchtime Hill Workout.

Weekly Hill Workout: Gill Hill - Chilled & Fulfilled

November 26, 2013

Continuing to instill hills into the weekly regimen, everyone was thrilled to attack the Gill Street Hill to fulfill their workout until the distilled beverages beckoned as winter chilled the drill. It was a large turnout, which we’ll pretend was due to excitement of a hill workout and not the promise of Fireball shots and lunch at Westside Stadium, as Tom Cali, Andrew Maguire, Dean Capone, Mike Martin, Marty Klanchar, John Wilcock, Mark Lee, Lance Bland, Mike Renz, and Mike Weyandt headed to Gill Street to complete a few reps of hills.  The group decided to go over-the-hill and back (although miraculously most of the group remained over-the-hill ever after the workout was over), with half the group going the ‘extra mile’ by heading all the way do! wn to Westerly Parkway to complete a rep of the full hill.  In all, half the group completed 4 traverses to the peak while the other half headed to Maquire’s house for a pre-Westside pre-fireball brew after a measly 2 climbs (But hey, at least they showed up!).  

Join in on the fun next week as we trot uphill repeatedly to attempt to run off the turkey we engorge over the holiday.  Suggestions and requests for hills to conquer have been submitted in small amounts, so there is at least SOME eagerness within the group to do hill repeats.  The good thing is that hill workouts are usually a quicker and shorter (mileage) workouts.  Marathon season is just a few weeks and snowfalls away – get those late-mile muscles ready!

Addendum by Hill Queen Emerita Tara Murray:

Allison and I did an alternative workout Tuesday morning. After this report, I'm sure you'll all be clamoring to come out and run with us!

The workout started at 5:45 am at Fishermans Paradise, but Allison warmed up with a bobsled ride down an unplowed Paradise Road. Luckily all of the neighborhood mailboxes jumped out of the way. After that excitement, we set out on foot over untouched snow, our headlamps guiding the way. On a few occasions, we discovered ice hiding beneath the snow, nearly sending one of us sliding over the bank and into the creek. Once our heartrates were sufficiently elevated, we did a light pre-Turkey Trot workout of drills, strides, and 5x35 second intervals. The slippery footing made the intervals a lot more interesting than running around a nice, dry track. (My coach says under these conditions the primary benefit is stride mechanics. My tiptoe running style does seem to help me stay upright on just about any surface!) As we cooled down with a jog back to the parking lot, it was finally light enough to turn off the headlamps. Whatever you think of winter weather, snow clinging to tree branches over Spring Creek sure is pretty!

Then I discovered I had a snow day and didn't need to run at 5:45 am after all. I could have been doing hill repeats and Fireball shots!

Weekly Hill Workout: A Hilluva Hell

December 2, 2013

On this second day of hunting season, Mike Martin, Dean Capone, Andrew Maguire, Meira Minard, Jon Thurley, John Wilcock, Marty Klanchar, Mark Lee, Fred Wright, and Mike Renz went hill hunting and tracked, shot, gutted and dragged (themselves) up and down the Sunset Park to Overlook Heights hills/valley as a see-saw hill workout.  

At first there were even more hill attacksmen, but they seemingly got confused as to what a hill repeat was, by just conquering the first partial hill and continuing to run to Walmart – for what I can only guess was to purchase their hill hunting licenses.  We all fully expect the! ir camouflaged faces at next week’s arsenal now that they’re fully legal to run hills.

This hill was new to many as a hill workout, and proved to be unpleasantly long yet pleasantly steep.  With an short quick climb on the other side of the valley, the hunters had an easy hill to semi-catch their breath before once again trudging up the main attraction.  A majority of the group stuck through 4 entire climbs of both sides of the valley.  Andrew Maquire was a man on a mission and ensured he was first up the main hill every single time, by quite a few lengths.  The important thing was getting those repeats in – which will only help towards the end of the Nittany Half Marathon this weekend!

Weekly Hill Workout: Arise From The Grave..Er...Grove!

November 19, 2013

The temperature was low, the wind speed was high, and morale was somewhere in between as Jim Moore, Ben Tolton, Aaron Hofelt, Meira Minard, Dean Capone and Mike Renz set out to reinstate a weekly hill workout upon the NVRC lunchtime running elites.  As an introductory workout for those who had not previously had the pleasure of doing hill repeats, Grove Hill was chosen (a new rail trail style path from the Bellefonte Central Rail Trail, i.e. Toftrees Trail, that leads up to the new student housing in Toftrees, named The Grove).  Having only run up this hill once before, the squad was not fully aware of what lay ahead of them as they did their first climb up Grave, err I mean Grove Hill.

This hill is not for the faintest of hearts, it is now known put hair on your chest, bunions on your feet, punish runner canklettes, cause running induced asthma, and/or possibly worse.  All of these symptoms of which are a problem for some of today’s crew in one way or another.  Somehow the entire group managed to push through 4 repeats, and at extremely even reps which was impressive considering both the challenge of the hill and the newness of the hill workout.

Stay tuned for next week’s Hill Workout callout, hopefully we’ll have a bigger turnout for all to enjoy the pain and suffering of throwing oneself up a steep incline, for seemingly no good reason.