Today was another Buck Hill workout. I arrived a bit earlier than our regular 12:00 start. I ran the 2.5 mile warmup and then headed for the hill. As I was carrying my cooler and stuff to the hill I saw Les and Cindy Martisko approaching. Les is a veteran of 100 mile races; Leadville, Superior, Hurt, to name a few. He usually runs 100 miles at FANS each year as well.
Les is training for Superior this fall so he is out hitting the Buck Hill. He and Cindy were just wrapping it up as I approached. Les told me that when he runs Leadville, the bulk of his running is done right there, on Buck Hill. We conversed a bit and then we were on our way.
As I climbed up repeat 1 I looked down into the lot, but didn't see Paul and Pierre anywhere. I turned on my iPod (thank goodness I had it in the car in my gym bag) and began cranking the repeats out. I drew a line in the sand and began to place a rock on the line for each repeat. I didn't want to lose count; you know, come up short or anything. I placed a rock in the line for each repeat I finished.
While I was climbing repeat 3 I felt someone approaching. He asked if I were Julie Berg, yes, I stated. He introduced himself as Steve Quick. I recognized his name from this blog. He left a comment after FANS. Apparently the Pioneer Press did a story on him and his quest for breaking the FANS men's record. He had a hard time and called it a day at 77 miles. He told me he was hoping some others would be running (mainly Paul and Pierre I imagine) so that he could prove he wasn't as odd as the article may had made him seem. I told him I hadn't read the article so I had no preconceived notions of him.
He seemed like a very nice guy, I was happy for the company and I'm sure he'll be back out at Buck Hill again. Steve ran 7 repeats with me, then a 2.5 mile run before he called it a day. He'll be at Afton 50K next week and wanted to get in a good hill workout before the race.
After Steve left I had another 5 repeats to make it to 15. Today was much easier than the past two weeks. It is so nice to see improvement in my climbing of hills. I don't gasp as loudly, my calves don't feel like they are going to pop out of my legs and my quads aren't trashed. I'm getting stronger. The 2.5 mile run doesn't suck anymore either. Yippee.
It's so much fun to see progression. 2 weeks ago 10 repeats killed me. I was sore, stiff and tired for a week. Last week the 12 repeats exhausted me, but didn't bring on pain. Today I could have done more. I didn't think I should as I had already put in too many miles this week and I am planning on running Afton 50K next week. After the 15 repeats I ran the 2.5 mile cool down and felt fine.
I remember when I was training for my first marathons. I would run 7 miles, was on top of the world. Then 10 miles, 13 miles, watching the progression and endurance grow was incredible to me. Pretty soon I was running 20 miles and I couldn't believe it. 20 freaking miles! I thought it was incredible.
The repeats kind of give me the same feeling. Watching my strength grow, watching the progression. It's fun.
Two weeks ago I didn't think 30 repeats was possible. Ever. Now I know better. My body is adapting. So is my mind. It's possible!