ran to Yankee Stadium.All I could think about was the one mile doozy of a hill that is Fort Lee Rd. between Broad and Fletcher. I haven't run that route since that Sunday in August. In fact, I asked myself a bunch of times if it's really necessary running a hill with such a steeep grade. Seriously, I know that hills have a place in marathon training but is it really necessary to incorporate a hill with a maximum grade of 9% into any of my training routes? The jury is still out on that, but who am I to back away from challenge?
It was another cold morning, albeit much less windy than last weekend. I layered up, 3 on top, 2 on bottom, double gloves, my trusty smortwool socks, and my Under Armour ColdGear Hood. The first 3.5 miles were uneventful. I ran at an easy pace so I could conserve energy for what was coming. As I'm going up the hill I got strange some strange looks from folks out walking their dogs and from people driving. They're looking at me thinking this guy must be out of his freaking mind! It's 15 degrees out and he's running up this hill for fun? Meshuga I tell you! Maybe I am, but I kept going, one foot in front of the other. I finally reached the top and after I few more rolling hills, I'm at the entrance to the George Washington Bridge. For a minute I thought about running over the bridge but I looked at my watch and realized I had to get back. I took the above picture, took a gel, and headed home.
As the old saying goes, what comes up must go down. In order to get home I had to run down the same hill. Easy schmeasy right? Wrong. Go down a hill that steep too fast and you'll fall right on your face doing some serious damage. I took it easy and made it to the bottom without incident. I purposely threw in one more hill towards the end of the run to get myself ready for the Manhattan Half Marathon on January 24. Chances are there will be some hills in the later miles and I wanted to get my body used to that feeling.
When all was said and done, I ran 11.88 miles in 1:42:41 for a 8:38/mi pace. My fastest mile was 8:15 and the slowest 9:57 (going up the hill). Here is the elevation chart to get a better idea what I was faced today.
Lastly, congratulations to everyone who ran down in Disney today. I know the weather was unusual, more typical for for the Northeast than for Florida.