Hills & Stress Fractures

First off, no, I don't have a stress fracture. I'm just going to write about it. There! Didn't want to worry anybody!

After warming up with a couple of easy miles, I headed over to the new hill area - a bridge with hills on both sides. I started out easy and progressed to the "I think I'm going to blow up stage" after a few minutes. One word kept coming to my mind on the uphill part: burst, burst, burst! That's what I thought my lungs would do! I sprinkled in some easy-paced, flat sections, too. A girl's got to breathe, ya know!

Then I ran on the flat loop to recover. The thought of too many more hills made me feel a little nauseous so I made a bargain - just do a few. I ran fast up the hill and there was that word again: burst! I think I'm going to burst! But it was over quickly because the hill wasn't very steep. Someday I'll post a picture of these "mountains" I'm running on and you and I can both share a good laugh!

Why, oh why am I torturing myself so? Well, there's this one horrible hill in the middle of the Houston marathon that gives me nightmares. Every time we drive up it, my poor husband has to hear me gripe about it. This year, I want to run up it strong! This year, me and that hill, we're gonna be friends.

OK, so... Thought much about preventing stress fractures lately? This has nothing to do with my hill work. I hope! I hope! But it might be helpful. Here's Gretchen Reynolds' article about preventing stress fractures I read a couple of days ago. Two main points:

  1. Run with short strides.
  2. Strengthen your calves. One way to do that is to stand up, raise your heels off the ground and drop them to the floor a dozen times daily. If you can remember to do these, they're pretty easy to do just whenever. I did some while putting on my make-up today. Don't worry, just while putting on foundation, not my mascara!

There! I wrote an entire post in which I did not tell you the number of miles I ran or the pace I ran. Whadya' think? Like it? Dying to know? Don't care? Just wondering!

Photo: The banner in my yard with last week's snow in the grass. That snow has melted, but in memory of that happy snowfall, I give you blog snow! : )


  1. You are so sweet, thanks for the reminder of last week. BS also reminded me and I needed it. Also, thanks for the reminder on preventing stress fractures...we're in the thick of training so this is very important! So happy you didn't do exercises while putting on mascara...that could be scary! Have a fun weekend running!

  2. That's funny because I was just thinking - how far did you run?

  3. I was wondering how far, too!

    I kind of like hill training--at least hill repeats, but I like to do them alone. I did some long hill repeats (that hill is like .25 or something that feels like forever) with a group and I was always bringin' up the rear. That's never fun!

    I'm registered for the super-flat Jacksonville marathon. Maybe the training I did on hills will help me go faster on flats!

  4. I'm so glad you don't have a stress fracture. That was my worry when I saw that heading.

    You're very smart to be training on hills to combat your hill in the marathon.

  5. I like the details = ) We're fairly close in our training (except you're able to do more total weekly miles than I am) so it's kinda like keeping me on track.

    If you run faster than me that day, it gives me something to reach for. If I run faster than you that day (not often! ha!), then I feel good about my effort... like I'm measuring up to someone I think is just awesome = )))

  6. Yay for hill training! It will never be easy, but it does get a little better, "more breathable" Ha Ha. and yes, like Meg mentioned even on a flat course hills will make us stronger. I remember that hill @ Houston well. As I ran up it I was thinking what about the flat and fast course. Thankfully, overall it was ok.

    I think I read the same article about the stress fractures. I have been doing mine in the shower.

  7. That snow is cute.

    Yay for hills -- they definitely make you stronger!

  8. Interesting post! I feel so fortunate that I have never suffered a running injury, hope my luck continues. Like the blog snow too! (May have to borrow some of that, if we ever get snow around here.) About Boston, yes, 2011! I just hope that they don't make it more difficult to get into (e.g. change the standards or add a lottery element) with all the people who are qualifying this winter but can't do 2010 because it's full. Oh well, no need to borrow trouble!

  9. Yeah, speed work makes me feel like I'm gonna explode too. But ain't it great? Glad you don't have a stress fracture though! Whew!


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