Monday, June 20, 2011

10K Hill Practice Run

Today, I ran hills.

Six miles up and down the two steepest hills of my regular route (which are normally miles 7.75-10) as a test run, however imperfect it may be, for the Dreaded Druid Hills 10K on Saturday. I think today's route as "The Half Pipe", since it starts at the top of the hill in Manchester, heads down a steep hill toward Mt. Wolf, and then up another include to its end at the corner of 5th and Main in Mt. Wolf, and then back again. I ran three loops, plus the few relatively flat blocks at the beginning and end of the run to get to and from my car.

It went surprisingly well, and if these hills are comparable to the ones at the park, then a PR may not be out of the question, despite race directors' insistence that this is not a PR course, since I got through 6.3 miles in 59:50, and was under my 10K PR at 6.2. (As I said before, my 10K PR should go down pretty easily.)

I did the elevation map on dailymile, and here's what it looked like:

I admit that I don't really know how to read these things, but seeing that there's really only about 100ft elevation change each time up and down each hill, if I'm reading this right, makes me think that this route probably isn't up to the standard of the Dreaded Druid Hills 10k. After all, these are some quotes I've seen about the race, either on its site or on facebook in response to my questions about what the course is like:
  • "Beyond bad... surpasses sick... the ultimate 'what the hell am I doing here?' And then, there's the downside.... LOL!"
  • "Torturous and totally worth it!"
  • "I love running hills, but that was mean and totally uncalled for."
  • "A torturous race by runners for runners through Baltimore's famed Druid Hill Park, beginning and ending at the Moorish Tower and traversing the most wicked hills to be found in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area."
Maybe people are just having some fun with the new guy or exaggerating (Baltimore's got some hilly sections, as "Earn Your Donuts" found out during the marathon relay, but it's THAT hilly?), but I have a feeling I'm going to get my ass kicked.


  1. I would take anecdotal quotes with a grain of salt. It always amazes me how many 'flat-lander' road runners are out there. True pansies those flat landers. They see one mole hill and think its Mt. Everest. Come race day just remember no matter how hard you try the energy expended on the uphill is never made up on the downhill. Just like headwind/tailwinds, its not a net zero game, unfortunately.

  2. I usually find it's somewhat the opposite, where every 5K says "flat and fast!" no matter how hilly it is or every marathon in the back of Runners World is a GREAT BOSTON QUALIFIER!

    I don't think I'll PR at this race, but I'm not too worried about not finishing. I'm not ready for the Mt. Washington Road Race or anything ridiculous like that, but it's pretty hilly around here.