I love/hate Mountain Street

So, I have this relationship, you see.  I love something and hate it all at the same time.  What is it? It is Mountain Street.  The street that leads to Chimney Peak, a local small mountain/foothill in my town. We’ve decided that the hills I was doing (11th St and just the first 1.5 miles of Mountain Street) weren’t quite enough. While not abandoning them, we have decided that future hill runs leading up to the SF Marathon will be up Mountain and down Mountain.   The run has it all, 1.5 miles of slight grade that wears on you as you run, about half a mile of straight up “death shuffle” climb, and then another mile of winding uphill steadiness, enough to raise the heart rate to near max, make the legs burn, and the lungs cry for more air.  Perfect. I love it. And I hate it!

But, if I plan to have hill strength and meet my goals in SF, I need this run. So, I do it each hill run day, as I have for the past 2 weeks.  Here is the elevation:

So, I warm up for 1.5 or so miles, climb mountain, and then run 2 miles at goal marathon pace (7:37 or better), then cool down.  Ten miles of fun!  I can see from last week to this week a gain in strength and stamina already. The climbing is getting slightly easier and I’m transitioning into MP more efficiently. I am excited about what this is doing for my strength not only on hills but in flats as well.


  1. Gordon: This is the first time I have commented on one of your posts, but I really wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your blog and your podcast. I discovered the podcast in January 2011 and not only have listened to the ones from 2011 but from some of the earlier Run to Disney podcasts. Yours was the first-ever podcast I had ever listened to, and it has led me to many other great podcasts full of information. You are an inspiration to those of us (me included!) 40-somethings who are not content to let age get the better of us.

    In part because of your podcast (and related ones like VeganRunningMom and RunLikeHealth), I became a vegan earlier this year. I “roared” into vegan-ism – I changed almost everything about my eating habits. I have lost 23 lbs. and 5% body fat since the beginning of January and I feel awesome. I still have about 7 lbs. to go and I’ll be at my goal weight of 147 lbs. It’s amazing how much you can cut off of your time when you are 23 lbs. lighter!

    When my alarm goes off at 4:21 AM (in part to “snooze” for 9 minutes to 4:30), I often think of you getting up this early as well to get your run in. Sometimes that’s the difference between getting up and out and turning off the alarm. Thank you! Your total dedication to getting out there every day really motivates me.

    I’m in training for the Columbus OH Marathon in October and I have gotten a lot out of your training information. Although Columbus is fairly flat, I plan to incorporate hill training in to my workouts, knowing that it will make me stronger.

    I’ll close with a big “Thank You” to you for the great work you do. I’ll look forward to more blogspots and podcasts (both “This Running Life” and “Country Vegan City Vegan”) from you. I’ll think of you out there on the roads when I drive through Alabama in a couple of weeks on my way to our vacation in Florida!

    By the way – your comments about how you felt about your son when you discovered he was near-sighted really hit home for me (the comments about wanting your child to be perfectly healthy). I am the father of 6 children – 5 boys and 1 girl ranging in age from 2 to 14. One of my sons has Asperger’s Syndrome which was (finally) diagnosed this year. I have definitely had those heart-felt emotions when thinking of him. Yet, every day, I realize how incredibly blessed I am to have these incredible children and how much they teach me. I wanted to let you know that your comments touched me very much – I definitely teared-up out there on the run.

    Royce Phillips

  2. Hey gordon – just discovered your podcasts. THANK YOU. kept me going today as I ran around my neighbourhood in the freezing cold….I am on episode two and I thought, geez Liz if this guy can run in a tornado warning you can run in the cold.
    🙂 Cheers

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