Weekly Hill Workout: Just A Little Up-Note...

November 29, 2010

Ahhh...Monday hills.  Is there a better way to kick-off the week?  Apparently so, since the majority of you were spending your lunch hour elsewhere yesterday.  However, a hard-core group of runners went hunting for hills and got-er done. The proud few were headlined by the Commish (occasionally know as John Sheakoski), who ran all the way from ARL's satellite campus to join us and then back out again.  Supporting cast members included Jim Moore and Costas Maranas (who was man enough to offer me the hairband off his own head!).  Mark Traband and Tom Hilands provided us with an escort out to the hills (we're kind-of celebrities around campus....I heard a signed print of the Thursday track-crew studs from the Town and Gown photoshoot was auctioned off for 15 grand at the CVIM benefit dinner!).  Mark and Tom led us up the first hill of the see-saw into Overlook Heights and then disappeared into the wild gray yonder.  Kim Nelson met us out at the hill, sporting her hill-hunter orange blazer.  We tracked down two see-saws before we ran out of ammo.  Judd Michael joined us for the last hill, and was disappointed that Ken wasn't there to run umpteen more hills with him.  We did run into Ken on the way back to Rec Hall. He was gimping along, his knee having suddenly seized up on him that morning.  I think the devil's just collecting what Ken sold him before the MTB.

Anyway, even though I clumped through the workout, I'm still seriously considering donating my body to science and starting over.  Although,  word has it that there's a women's roller derby team starting up in S.C....so at least I have that to fall back on if this whole running thing doesn't work out.....

Weekly Hill Workout: It Only Takes A Spark...

November 22, 2010

....to send them heading for the flatlands!

It was a beautiful late-summer November day as Jonathan Thurley, Mike Weyandt, Ken Davis, Bob Cornwall, John Domico, Tom Cali, Jim Moore, Esther Prins, Costas Maranas, and Super-Sub Nick Downs headed for Sparks St.  When they reached the hill, Jim Myers and John Sheakoski had already made their mark--Sheakoski, who had five hills behind him, left a nice trail of sweat splatter to guide our climb. Lance Bland made a last minute arrival to the main event.  As per usual, a large contingent, (who I will refer to by pseudonyms out of (lack of respect)), including Whiny, Schweaty, and Girly, reached ground zero and just kept on going.  By employing some minor harassmental techniques, I was able to convince Cornwall, Thurley, and Downs to join us for one hill.  Thurley also reported post-run at Rec Hall that he ran another repeat on the way back--effectively doubling his hill workout for the day.  The rest of our crew did six repeats, except for Ken (this hill is for sissies) Davis, who, at last count, had put in 12 repeats, which I would think would get a little repetitive, but that's just me.....

Anyway, I hope to see some of you tomorrow or Wednesday--but if not, have a great holiday and good luck on all those Turkey Trots!

Weekly Hill Workout: Unfulhilled

November 1, 2010

It was a cool, blustery day--the perfect day to take your windmill for a spin. A well-formed group of individuals including Tom Cali, Jonathan Thurley, Jim Moore, John Domico, Ken Davis, Dean Capone, Mike Renz and Baby-Face Weyandt blew out of Rec Hall and hauled tail to the Valley of the Hills. Davis, his pockets full of sand, expressed serious displeasure at the excessive display of speed during the warm-up. The group traded stories about the past weekend's extracurricular activities, or at least what they could remember about them. (I kept my tales of grocery shopping, lesson planning, laundry folding, and seltzer drinking to myself). When we reached our destination, Marty Mazur, John Sheakoski, Lance Bland, and Kim Nelson were already logging their hills. So were a few elderly joggers and a cyclist that fell victim to our hard-charging group of hill bandits. As I started up the first hill I heard the firing of twin turbines in the background. Then, whoosh!!!! Davis flew by me like a pinwheel on fire with sand flying everywhere. When I finally dragged myself to the top, he was still buzzing. The other side of the see-saw was apparently not hill enough for Davis, who extended his repeats much further in order to get his fill. His inspiring performance today has earned him my vote for next semester's Hill King, since I will be a full-time kindergartner in the spring. Charlottesville doesn't have any hills, does it?

Weekly Hill Workout: Better Never Than Late

November 15, 2010

Ok--I realize that hills are so *four days ago*, but I wanted to make sure that my hillsters got the credit they deserve--or else my faithful followers may decide not to "re-up" when the next hill workout rolls around. 

A nice-thighed group set out from Rec Hall--Jim Moore, John Domico, Tom Cali, Tom Karnezos, Bob Cornwall, Julie Grubb, and Tom Hillands, Costas Maranas, and Mark Traband--and headed out over the IST bridge for a warm-up along the golf course.  However, when it came time to turn toward the Hill Du Jour, there was a sharp division among the ranks.  The thinning of the herd left Moore, Domico, Cali, and Karnezos as my H-list celebrities.  However, when we got to Hill Central, we found several other H-listers: Jim Myers, Lance Bland,  Joel Niemann (who already had a couple of hills under his drawstring) and Matt Degges, already there.  We opted for the Corl St. see-saw (Park Ave Hill on one side, golf course path paralleling Teaberry Ridge on the other).  We plodded through two of those circuits.  Cornwall, Grubb, Hilands, and Traband made a reappearance on our last Park Ave Hill, and get credit for a high-quality rep. Cornwall even re-enlisted with the group and ran the last Teaberry hill as well.  We finished off with a loop around the golf course where we consoled Calidonna on the lack of respect he's been receiving lately.  Don't test this man's knowlege--especially when it comes to female sports!

Weekly Hill Workout: Rocky Return

October 25, 2010

It was a wonderfully mild late October day with not a single freak ice storm in sight as Jim Moore, Jonathan Thurley, Bob Cornwall, John Domico, Tom Cali, and Esther Prins (girl-power--YAY!) headed out for Hillville.  Everyone was thoroughly excited about rededicating themselves to the pursuit of Hillyness after too many weeks of marathon and MTB distraction, as evidenced by remarks such as "She's not really going to make us do hills today"...and "Five Guys Burgers and Fries is two blocks that way."  You should have seen the way they took off for Rocky Top--I actually had to remind them to "save some for the hills" at one point.  I thought a few might actually cry when I told them we were only going to do four repeats.  Especially a freshly man-scaped Cali, who, after a month of marathon, Mountainback, and Californication, claimed that he needed to get back to some serious training.  As long as that training doesn't involve trails or heavy schweating.   Anyway, Rocky Top lived up to her name, forcing several runners to miss precious hill training time while they extracted rocks from their shoes.  Darn those pesky pebbles!!  I have to confess, seeing the group doubled-over and gasping for breath at the top of each hill made me realize just how rewarding the job of hill queen can be. It's a feeling that can't be expressed by a "terrain factor" or measured by a GPS. It can't be derived, normalized, or standardized. Perhaps my feelings would best be expressed by a monologue from some obscure after school special starring Kristy McNichol......