Andrew Corcoran set the bar high this weekend at Hell Hill. As many people know Hell Hill was first introduced on the PACE scene 4yrs ago. Since then we have been using it as our long hill climb and descent workouts. Doing 3-6 repeats has been the 'norm' over the years and it was early this spring while doing a group run on the PACE scene, it was suggested that Sarah and I should do 10 repeats to help us prepare for the Alps.
Well, we never did discuss this '10 repeat goal' since then... until this Wednesday. After the time trial, I asked Andrew if he was going to join Sarah and I at Pin Cushion for repeats. I said our goal was 7 repeats, 3-3.5hrs and approx. 6000 feet. Due to the commute and time restraints, Andrew said he thinks he will go to Hell Hill early instead. I joked 'yea, and do those "10 repeats"... LOL Well, later that week Andrew posted on facebook that he was indirectly challenged to do 10 repeats at Hell Hill.
And here, ladies in gentleman, was the start of great suffering... a new PACE Hell Hill record and possibly a legend that will be told time and time again... (Okay, maybe that is stretching it just a bit... but anyone who has done a few repeats will appreciate the bar that Andrew set today and the speedy time he completed the repeats in.)
I texted Sarah the night before and we decided to go to Hell Hill instead of Pin Cushion. Andrew got started at 5am and was done just before 8am. Sarah arrived around 7:30am and I was miss lazy bones who arrived at 8am. So I never saw Andrew or talked to him... he was gone before I arrived. Sarah and I bumped into each other at the 1/2 way mark and Sarah was coming down her 2nd repeat and I was 1/2 way in my first. She quickly informed me of Andrews accomplishment and that he did it in 2hrs 47min! Right there I knew I was doomed... in my mind I thought 8 would a honest days work, but NOW I knew it had to be 10... any less and I would never forgive myself.
Sarah and I were cursing his name as we passed each other on each repeat. During Sarah's 5th repeat, she actually stopped to tell me she was going to go find some flats to run for awhile... only 15min later there she was coming back up on her 6th repeat and confessing she too was in the for long haul, after all.
It was hard. It was actually just hard to get your head wrapped around. The bottom piece of the climb is very steep. So after a quick descent, you turned and immediately went lactic as you hunkered up this section. Both Sarah and I commented on how our repeats got slightly slower as we went on. My descents, however, were steady and the poles helped a lot on the climbs.
I had 1.5 laps to do on my own. Andrew was gone... Sarah was gone... I paused for a second to think "nobody would know. you could just go home now and save yourself any further torture.' Of course, I would never live with myself so I continued on until the 10 were complete. At the bottom, I looked up and considered going up ONE more repeat. For 20min more, I could have the record. That would be way easier than starting over from 1 and building to 11 again. But once again, my evil thought was replaced with reality. One more repeat may have got me the record, but it also may have lost the respect of two friends...
So, as the legend goes... the Three Amigos share the 10 repeat record at Hell Hill. Andrew holding rights to the first person to accomplish it and with the fast time. (insert deserted western town music) But the question now remains... who will ever return to that hellish place to face the pain and suffering that would be required to do 11...