Independence day hill workout

Hills at Breakheart

“The road to freedom must be uphill, even if it is arduous and frustrating.”
-Andrew Goodman

What did you do for the the 4th of July?

As much as I wanted to sleep in on my day off from work, I decided to take advantage of the extra time and do my hill workout instead of trying to squeeze it in on Wednesday. The training plan called for 6 miles of hills. Yippee.

Hills of Breakheart

I asked my training buddy where we could do hills and she mentioned Breakheart Reservation, which is a public recreation area in the towns of Saugus & Wakefield MA. It has a few trails and of course quite a few hills. There are some wooded trails, but there are also some paved ones as well. The “outer loop” was about 2.9 miles, so it was easy to get the 6 miles in doing two loops (with some extra backtracking of course). That morning, me and a few training friends headed up nice and early to get after those hills. The first loop felt pretty good – the hills start off right away and there was a lot of uphill to make me work. We got a little confused at one of the intersections, unsure where the trail would take us back to the beginning. We were about to head in the wrong direction, when our other friend came up and pointed us to the right place. After the first loop, I felt confident I wouldn’t get lost, despite being directionallychallenged in general. The second loop, felt better since I knew what to expect but I also felt stronger going up the hills. When I reached the end, I was at 5.7 miles so I kept going a little ways up and back to make sure my watch hit 6.0.

Hills of Breakheart
Some water scenery at Breakheart Reservation. What a beautiful morning for a run!

The scenery in the reservation was quite nice – lots of trees and some water views as well. ┬áIt was fun trying out a new place to run, plus the tree cover was much appreciated on such a warm day. As much as I complain, I actually like running hills. They are a great way to challenge yourself and I know they make me a stronger runner. As I was powering through on that last loop I kept thinking “I am a warrior!” Of course it could have been because I had the song “The Warrior” by Scandal playing on my phone while I was running (I swear it was on shuffle).

Breakheart Reservation
Some people were actually enjoying the 4th of July holiday at Breakheart while we were training. Barbecues and coolers were everywhere, which felt a little cruel.

Even though Chicago is considered a fairly flat marathon, I think adding in these hill workouts will be beneficial to my marathon training. Plus I don’t think there is a greater high than after you finish a big hill workout.

“Victory is mine!”

Breakheart hills


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