Being a Peachtree Road Race newbie, I try to listen closely when vets talk about past races. So far, I’ve picked up on two overriding themes — prepare for humidity and prepare for hills.
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot I can do about the humidity. I’ve already resigned myself to the fact that I’m going to look like a sweaty Sideshow Bob that morning. The hills, though — in theory, I can prepare for those. In theory.
If it’s possible to have an arch nemesis that isn’t a person, mine would be hills. I think they exist to be my own special brand of torture. When I’ve trained for long races in the past, I make sure to incorporate hill training into my routine, thinking it’ll make it easier to conquer those evil bumps come race time.
But really, the problem isn’t that I can’t physically run at an incline — it’s that I mentally put a block up when I see an incline in the distance. It usually takes a good mile into a race before I feel like I have my sea legs, and when I finally feel like I’ve gotten into a rhythm — here comes a hill.
It’s like most of the confidence I’ve built up running on level ground starts to seep out of me when I know a hill is coming up. It’s gotten better as I’ve gotten more experience running longer races, but it’s still a problem. I will say it’s gotten to be sort of a love-hate thing — I hate going up, but I love the way I feel going down.
Am I the only one who has a hatred of hills? Do you have any tips — both physical and mental — on conquering them?