Legs felt good enough to give the hill workout a go. I felt great during my 3-mile warm up - 6:54 pace in the trails, but that wouldn't last long.
The plan was to do 8 X 45" up about a 10-12% grade w/ a jog back down and a total of only about 90 seconds between repeats. The problem was that I didn't have anything exactly in the 10-12% range, but I did have one that I mapped out earlier to 14% so I figured that was close enough. Only later did I realize that the 14% grade was considering a much longer segment of the hill - the part I ran my repeats on today was actually between 17-20%. Big difference!
First repeat felt good - nice and quick up the steep incline. Second repeat about the same, just a little tougher. Third rep - really started to feel it in the quads, and by the 4th rep my quads felt like they were on fire. Checking the Garmin later I realized that I was running up this near 20% grade at about 6:30/mile pace for the first few reps - that'll kill your quads quickly!
By the time I got to rep #5 my legs simply weren't functioning the way you'd like - anytime I tried to surge it was like someone poured gasoline on my legs and lit a match. Not fun at all. I did manage to do a 6th rep but I was clearly going downhill fast (which really means uphill - SLOW) so I just cut it off there. No way I was going to be able to do 8 reps on that hill - not a chance.
I came away from the workout really encouraged - why you ask? Because this hill just killed me today - chewed me up and spit me out. By the 5th rep my quads were mush - unable to do much of anything. So what that means to me is that this is an area where I can REALLY improve over the next few months - and when I get better here, by default I'll be a lot faster, and that will help my middle distance times a ton! So I'm already looking forward to this workout next week - the plan calls for 10 x 1-minute, but again that's assuming a 10% grade hill. If I can find such a hill, then that's what I'll do, but if it's this hill again - I'll probably just try the 8 X 45" again.
I'm supposed to run 9 - 11 miles tomorrow, but I have no idea how my legs are going to feel when I wake up. I guess I'll have to play it by ear.
10/4: 5- miles including 3-miles @ 6:54, HR - 145 and 6 x 45" hill repeats (17-20% grade)