July 10, 2014

Running hills including heartbreak hill!

On Sunday, I had the good fortune of running with my sister on part of the Boston Marathon course.  We specifically chose the hills of Newton which are known to be arguably the toughest section of the course.  Alison who lives in the area, is very familiar with our route. I only had the vague memory on my car ride over the hills from back in the spring on my last visit to the area.
Pre run all smiles!
Into mile 18 of the Boston marathon, we started from Brae Burn Country Club parking lot just after the Newton fire station.  The first part was what else, uphill!  The air was clear, the sky was blue and it was not too hot!  Having Alison talking and keeping me company made the run much easier. While the first uphill is the steepest, the longest is the last at heartbreak hill. This is the one that most runners dread the most.  I actually thought that one was the least steep, but being the longest must be how it got it's famous name in the world of running.  In any case, after a brief stop at the top for a gel, we turned around and repeated what we had already done.  Actually, we added to our run by going to the corner of Route 16 and Commonwealth Avenue where the Newton fire station is situated so we had completed all the hills.

While this run went well, there are several things to note when attacking these hills.  My biggest form fault when running is my posture, and going uphill makes me tend to slouch even more than I already do.  So, concentrating very hard on Sunday, I tried to press my shoulder blades together as coach Kristen tells me at many of our running group workouts!  Next was a great tip from Alison.  She said to lift your feet slightly higher than normal on the uphill parts of our run.  Surprisingly, this made the assent of the hills a bit easier.  Finally, taking our time and not worrying about pace also was a huge factor in making this a successful run.

I'm really happy I had the opportunity to run this part of the course and on April 20, 2015, I will know exactly what I have to do during those tough miles in Newton.

Have you run the Newton hills?  Any tips or tricks?
(Pam)

8 comments:

  1. How awesome that you got to practice some of the hills on the Boston Marathon course! Not everybody has the opportunity to preview a course, particularly the difficult sections of a course, prior to race day. Its only going to make you that much more mentally and physically prepared for next April.

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    1. It was amazing how much better I felt after running those hills. My marathon won't be fast, but I am not anxious about that part of the course anymore!

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  2. Glad you got to practice on a bit of the course you'll be running in the spring. Lacey may have some tips for you. She is working all night but will probably comment when she can!

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    1. Thanks Meranda. I would love to hear Lacey's advice!

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  3. That's awesome you got to run those hills so you will know what to expect come race day! No I've never been to Boston so I've never run those hills. They kind of scare me lol!

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    1. When you train on flat land like we do, hills are mentally challenging for sure. I am just glad I had that opportunity!

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  4. That is awesome you were able to do some practicing on heartbreak hill! I am so excited that you'll be running the Boston Marathon next year!!

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    1. Me too Lauren. It feels like a dream. Can't wait to register this fall! :)

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