My Sweaty Date With A Hill

Last night I had probably one of the most painful, this hurts so good, dates with the hill in Prospect Park. (What's Prospect Park? Prospect Park is Brooklyn's beautiful park. The loop around it is about 3 point something miles and it has one BIG hill.) When I moved to Brooklyn I only looked near the park because I love this park. It's beautiful in every season and there are always parties, picnics, bbqs, puppies, and humans running around.

One thing I have been trying to do during my marathon training is incorporate hills into my workouts. I have heard that the NYC Marathon is full of inclines (specifically the bridges) and hill repeats are the best way to ensure success on race day. So why bother with hill repeats or long hill runs? I'll give you 3 reasons:

  1. They build strength. Nothing is better for building muscle strength in your legs than running hills. Whether you are doing short hill blasts, long hill repeats, or incorporating rolling hills into your long runs they are essential to any training plan.
  2. They prevent injuries! Injuries are a runners nemesis but when you are strengthening your muscles you are preventing injuries! (Just remember to focus on form up and down hills.)
  3. Overall conditioning. Not only do hills strengthen muscles but they increase your VO2 max and develop mental toughness. A happy heart and a happy brain make for a happy runner. It just makes sense.

Sounds great right? They are! But they also kick your ass! Hills are basically the Jillian Michaels of the running world. Last night specifically I had quite the experience. I did 6 repeats of a .3 mile hill AND I WAS READY TO PUNCH THAT HILL IN THE FACE! Granted, I can tell I am getting stronger. There is a huge difference in my stamina throughout and I am not as spent after each repeat as I was in the beginning. So that's exciting. But towards the end it was tough. This is how it went.

Repeat 1:

I was like:

Repeat 2:

I was like:

Repeat 3.

I was like:

Repeat 4.

I was all:

And then the Hill was like:

And I was like:

And then the Hill was like:

And I was like:

Repeat 4.

I was like:

And the Hill was like:

And I was like:

And the Hill was like:

Repeat 5.

I was like:

And the Hill was like:

And I was like:

And the Hill was like:

Repeat 6.

I was like:

And the Hill was like:

And I was Like:

And the Hill was like:

And I was like:

And the Hill was like:

And I was like:

But then I was done and I was like:

And the Hill was like:

And I was like:

And then I ran the mile home feeling pretty proud of myself.  Hills may not be the most fun but they are so very good for you, just like that gosh darn foam roller and flossing. While the hills may be alive with the sound of pain and suffering right now, they will be alive with success and bliss eventually. Keep with it.

Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

2 Comments

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.