I wanted to put in a lot of miles (a lot for me being 5 or 6) today, but wasn’t too thrilled with one long slog after running 4 miles last night and doing them slowly, slowly, oh so slowly.

So I decided I’d do some hill repeats. Thinking back on it, I’m not sure why, exactly, that sounded better than just pounding out 5 miles in one go. The hill I was thinking of is pretty steep, at least a 3% grade, I guesstimate.

Decided before I left that I would run about a mile to warmup, not keeping track of the time but trying to just keep running, then stretch out and do 6 repeats of about a quarter-mile each, jogging or walking quickly down before going back up. Further decided to time my first run, then aim to just keep shaving 5-10 seconds off each interval until I was done.

This I did, until the final go.

First run up was 3:09, second was 3:00 even, third was 2:57, fourth was 2:50, fifth was 2:39. Wow. Hard. I was breathing very hard on that fifth try. I was bargaining with myself: “If I can do this one in 2:40 or less, I won’t do my 6th one.” It was starting to sprinkle a bit, and I ran through a cloud of gnats and breathed a couple of them down, and basically wasn’t having a good time by then.

But, once at the top again, I realized that I had set a goal, and I was going to finish. I did the sixth and final interval in 3:04, and it was as hard as any of the others, but I did it. Then I turned around, headed down the hill at a light jog, and jogged the mile-plus home.

At home, I drank a couple of glasses of water, ate an energy bar, and collapsed on the couch. I had no energy left for anything. Smacky came over and started licking the sweat off of me, which was irritating and kinda gross but I couldn’t move for 15 minutes. I texted a friend about my accomplishment but otherwise zoned out until I could get enough oomph to get up and shower off.

Feels good, now, after the fact. I’ll try it again next week and see if I can improve.