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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Oh yeah! I remember hills now!

Run: 5.9km @ 34min (Rideau Canal Locks, downtown Ottawa)
- 7 x 1min hills at 90-95% effort

With legs still feeling heavy and slow, I forced myself out for the hills prescribed as per the marathon training plan: a total of 7min uphill time was needed. I headed towards the Ottawa River, wondering just how much ice and snow remained on the pathway there. Turns out there's a lot still, and I could only do about 2/3 of the hill. Thankfully, it resulted in hill intervals of about 1min10 for each climb – perfect!

Getting there was a bit of a pain in the ass. The pathway I take goes right along the Rideau Canal and beside the locks down to the river at the base of Parliament Hill. The problem was the huge number of crews that were removing all of the winter stuff from the area – lights from trees, huts and structures from the Canal, staircases that used to go to ice level. And if that wasn't enough, there's a heap of construction at the top of the Locks to negotiate. Trucks, dumpsters, cranes – you name it, I had to dodge it.

But I finally made it and did the prescribed hills. I had forgotten how much I suffer on hills. I know they're good for me as a runner, and I know they help make things better, but I dislike the blatant reminder of how weak my glutes and quads are. :) With the hills done, I headed back to the Canal for flat land and did a short cooldown.

Oddly enough, it was harder to get back to the Canal pathway. Obviously I had hit the lunch break of all the crews on the way down, and now they were all back at work. More cranes, more heavy machinery, more roadblocks. My only option was to doubleback to stairs that were roped off for the winter and weasel my way up past the ice that had formed there.

Finally I was on the flat pathway along the Canal, but it wasn't feeling so flat at this point. I sucked it up, kept my heart rate in check, and eased back towards the office. At the end, I stretched near City Hall enjoying the warm, sunny day, and then forced myself back into my office to complete the workday.

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