I really do not like running this course all that much, it hurts to run it and the times are always screwed up – yet I keep using it as my primary test course to check out how shoes work for me and what kind of shape I actually am in.
Also during the winter, at times it is about the only route available to me without doing laps on Philbrick and Howard and then it really sucks.
It is the run down to the end of Pepin Road and then back home with a lap around Howard Circle thrown in to get the full 4.0 miles.
I don’t usually
As you can see going out is pretty much all downhill. So I get to find out how the shoes work going down a fairly steep downhill and then if I can pick up the speed in them going down a much more gradual downhill.
That part of the course I love and have rocked some pretty good paces down through Pepin.
However, once you get to the end of Pepin it is just about all uphill with a couple of rest points along the way. What is a gradual and fast downhill on the way out is a gradual uphill that eats away at your focus and prepares (gets your legs tired) you for going up the Bitch. A hill with “s” curves in it that just doesn’t seem to end. The worst part of the hill is the last 50 yards, because it is also the end of 3.0 miles and it just seems to get even steeper.
Then it goes gradually downhill again until you get to the new road at the bottom of Howard Circle then there is another gradual climb back out to Philbrick. By this time I am swearing under my breath and just want it over on that last 1/2 mile which is flat and fast.
Yep, this course throws just about the kitchen sink at you and makes you work for decent times. I think that is why I love to hate it so much.
So how did the test course do today…
I wasn’t trying to push the pace going out, I just ran pretty comfortably and still was a lot closer to 8:00 pace than I thought I would be.
Which meant that things were pretty good for where I am after that last lingering hip stuff. This is the first time I have run the Kismet 2’s on the course and they did fine.
Unfortunately, my stamina didn’t like the hill too much and I struggled going up it, but I made it. Even though I wasn’t bounding up the Bitch like a deer, I did maintain a solid cadence and was able to still pick up the pace again, once I got over the top.
I did focus on keeping my hips level and how my foot was landing for my form intervals – I would like to think that I did pretty good, well except coming up the Bitch when my form pretty much came unglued towards the top. That is something that I will have to work on.
Overall a pretty good run and only 2:30 off my best time for the course this year, so I was pretty happy with that.