My 6-Month Run Challenge: Week 6

New Year, new tweaks to my 6-month run challenge! Whooooo’s with me?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

As I alluded to yesterday, I am all about unseating comfort zones. And that includes this little run-challenge. Now that I am deeper into it, I think it’s worth adding some tweaks and variety to keep the progress going, while not getting too comfortable in the ‘routine’ of it, too.

So what did I decide?

Change up the intervals, of course.

And add hill tempo/interval-y things.


The fabulous Samantha over at Running and Cupcakes (who I got the chance to MEET finally!! Wheeee! On New Year’s Eve, no less, and it was utterly fantastic. More on that later, though, I got a fun idea for a post…end side note) posted awhile ago about a scary good hill climb & tempo interval-ish treadmill workout that caught my eye for two reasons: ย 1) eek scary, hills AND intervals? Um no. 2) *grumble* I need to focus on hill conditioning.

You see, I avoid hills like the plague. I will re-route my planned route around a big hill if I can avoid it. I won’t even attempt to run on a few of the side streets near my place because they start on a huge hill. Or…worst case, I decide upfront that I will walk them. Bad. bad. bad. I need to quit the avoidance and just learn to run them properly (since I tend to just run as fast as I can up them, poop out and then start wheezing. Doi. Stupid.)

So…after chatting with Samantha to better understand WTF a tempo run is (since I still don’t quite get it, though I get it a teensy bit better now…though I still wonder, why run slow if my goal is to increase pace? But for this run, the purpose of the first half was to burn out the legs, not the lungs, so in this context, I ‘get’ tempo runs. In every other context, I still don’t quite ‘get’ it even though I try…end side note. LOL), and figure out what pace I should aim for, I set out to get this run over with on this morning.

Here’s what I did (someย modifications):

1.5 mile steady state at 6.0

1.5-2 mile: .5 incline at 5.5

2-2.5 mile: 1.0 incline at 5.5

2.5-3 mile: 1.5 incline at 5.5

3-3.5 mile: 2.0 incline at 5.5

3.5-5 mile 2.5 incline at 6.0 (whoa nelly, this is when my hamstrings REALLY started to burn!)

5-6 no incline 6.2 (this felt like I was running downhill after that incline!)


While I did not bump up the incline to 4.0 as Samantha’s plan had, this was my first time trying this and I honestly didn’t want to kill myself or scare myself away from this run, so I took it a little slower, and let me tell you, I was dripping sweat. Everywhere. Gross. (TMI) But those 6 miles freaking flew by.

And what did I notice? My lungs felt great during the majority of this run, even though I was basically running up a steady incline for 4 miles! Steady inclines, vs. straight up kill-me-now hills are my nemesis, so to be able to run this and not feel like I was going to keel over was a huge rock for me! I also noticed that my hamstrings and glutes really took a beating on this run and it’s something I need to focus on more – strong hamstrings – to be able to power through hills consistently. So, long story short? I am thrilled with this run and will be adding it in either weekly for awhile or every other week on my interval day.

I also realized that this is the third week in a row where 2 of my 4 runs will be outdoor. To say that in January is HUGE for me. I literally never run outside from October – April in years past, and to be at this stage and feeling good running outside in the cold is more huge progress. As is being at 7 miles for my ‘long’ runs in January. Usually I hover around 3-5 max all winter and then have to claw my way back all spring. Not this year ๐Ÿ™‚

Now it’s your turn…report back! What did you do this week? Anyone doing my run challenge care to report back? ๐Ÿ˜‰

**asslap to everyone adding some sweat to their lives, no matter what form it comes inโ€ฆyoga, running, walking, swimming, kickboxing, barre, you name it, it countsย ;-)ย **

27 thoughts on “My 6-Month Run Challenge: Week 6

  1. I did Zumba 2x this week. Likely tomorrow, too. They introduced a step class at work on Friday’s, which I’ve always enjoyed. Depending on how my legs feel, I will try that. Been in the gym, I did have some drinks during the Lions’ game Sunday. Booey. But other than that, been doing well.

    And no…definitely not doing any running lol. I wish I liked it. I try to like it…to be friends with it. But no. Getting up at 4 am to run scarred me for life I think. LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Congratulations to you!

    1. Nice job!!! You are doing great (hey, I drink too, love me my wine!). You’ve done your fill of running, I don’t blame you one bit!! And thank you!

  2. I am SO PROUD OF YOU! You did an amazing job with this workout. Don’t do it every week though, continue mixing it up like you have!

    Since I did my long run on Monday this week – it’s going to be a PR Mileage week for me. 12 Monday, 4.5 yesterday, 6 tomorrow, 14 Saturday woweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! What a way to start 2012 right?

    We’ll chat more about the lingo when we do lunch, I’ll get you all filled in ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thanks girl ๐Ÿ™‚ Appreciate all of your support and help on lingo too hehe! You are going gangbusters on mileage, you are awesome!!! (lunch, yes!)

  3. Nice job on doing the hills. I kind of have a love/hate with them. You feel so accomplished once you get up one. I’d actually rather have a short, steep incline over a LOOOONNNGGGG slow incline. That’s what is around my neighborhood. They are so deceiving.

    1. Thanks friend! I definitely still hate hills but I might as well learn to run them better ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hate short steep inclines!!

  4. YAY!!!!!! You are in full on runners high MOJO land, sis! I am SO SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! Because I totally know first-hand how much you LOATH hills and avoid them like the PLAGUE. Next time we run/barre/rundate, you are totally killing that big hill near my house and I want NO WHINING from you so plan to zip it and kill it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Thank you sis ๐Ÿ˜‰ I definitely LOATHE and ABHOR hills. Absolutely. But if I can learn to run them, I’ll hate them a wee bit less ๐Ÿ˜‰ And um, yeah, what you said about that effin hill near your house ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. WHAOOOOO…BIG HUGE CONGRATS!!!!! That looks like an amazing workout…I’m going to borrow it once I get my running mojo back ๐Ÿ™‚ And it has been COLD – well done!!! I’m trying to get myself pumped for an outside run tonight.

    Oh, and if you ever want an outside route that has some fun hills, come visit me in Southie…we have some good ones!

    1. Thank youuuuu! You should try this one, it flew by! I was surprised!! Outside run tonight? it’s soooooo cold!! And yes, we def def DEF need to meet up to run together!!

  6. that’s awesome!! you’re way ahead of me because I also avoid hills and intervals like the plague.

    i did my first run of the year on monday and I am STILL sore. that’s what i get for not stretching because “oh i feel fine…” learned my lesson!! I’m going to try and run again tomorrow.

    1. I still hate hills, for the record ๐Ÿ˜‰ Intervals, however, newfound love for! I am proud of you for starting to run again!! Bring it on!! (I need to stretch more too!

  7. All I can say is I can’t wait to get to the point where I’m running miles 5 and 6. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The intervals look great, and I, too, used to avoid hills like the plague. I *try* to embrace them now…yesterday I did not. I was scared I’d hit black ice on that bridge!

  8. I may have to give this workout a try when I become friends with the treadmill again. I have always found TM runs are best for speed work. And glad you are being introduced to tempo runs – they are my favorite (I can’t believe I actually just admitted this).

    1. Definitely do!!! Treadmill runs are great for speedwork and for avoiding arctic air in these parts ๐Ÿ˜‰ Wow, you love tempo runs? maybe once I figure them out… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. I am really bad about making myself do hills too. I almost always walk them which is sort of an issue since Atlanta is hilly.

  10. Ugh, this was kind of inspiring. And I abhor running. Lol. Maybe I should set another resolution to become a runner or sorts?

    1. LOL! Love your comment, girl, ‘sort of inspiring’ – that made me giggle ๐Ÿ˜‰ What about a couch to 5K or something?? And if you really hate running though, pick something you like, that would make it easier to do, too.

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