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: 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: On-Ramp Rambling

September 20, 2011

The weather was pleasant and sunny with a gentle breeze as Lance Bland, Jim Myers and Mike Casper headed to the selected hill, the old University Drive-College Ave. ramp, Mike had already put two reps in when reinforcements arrived. Then, lo, down the hill came prancing a score of other Rec Hall Regulars, including Tom Cali and 2011 Dam Half Queen (sans sash) Meerkat Minard. Tom admitted he was tapering for a half marathon a few days away and Wineglass Marathon in 10 days. A few side-fives were exchanged as we climbed the hill; we were acknowledging their bravery in showing up. But as we turned to descend again, alas, they were long gone, probably searching in vain for some flat ground. Their loss!

This is, as it turns out, quite a crossroads venue. Down the hill walked a professionally dressed lady student who seemed to understand what the heck we were doing. As it turns out, it was the girlfriend of Mike Williams, president of the PSU XC Club. She wasn’t missing out on anything, she pointed out, as the XCers will be doing 800s tonight. If you’re a glutton for repeats, show up at Rec Hall after 5.

Keep hilling!

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.

Weekly Hill Workout: A Lonely Climb

May 24, 2011

Spontaneity (or zero planning) has its virtues. Today’s advance hill discussion was a single FYI sent out less than half an hour before noon. Though not calculated this way, this boosted my chances of running solo hills on the path behind the high school. Thus I focused on nature and how I felt and not on shrinking figures climbing ahead of me. I’m just getting into speed and hills again after months off, so rep speed is a very relative term. The water gizmos at the revamped pool across Westerly Parkway were all gushing away for one or two onlookers – and of course to get all the drivers-by talking and planning for the grand opening. To optimize climb time and minimize flats, I stuck with just the pathway ascent, leaving off the flat yardage to Westerly as well as the flat-ish macadam between the path and the next bumps of road. This allowed the climb and recovery times to be nearly similar, while the climbs felt better and better and got faster. I did 11. The path went from mostly wet to mostly dry in 30 minutes, just from the heat of two feet.

So, no aspersions to cast, but I do wonder who else was making multiple ascents somewhere . . .

[Note: Judd Michael and Jon Oatley did another impromptu hill workout on Park Ave... -Ed.]