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Over the hill

August 3, 2012

There was a time when I used to do it daily, sometimes even multiple times per day (craziness!). Lately I’ve been struggling to bring myself to do it even once a month. I can make excuses — life got in the way, or work’s been really busy, or I simply don’t feel up for it, or maybe I got too comfortable and lazy. But we both know there is more at play here (after all, wasn’t I the one giving multitasking advice?!)…

After some long pondering I determined the real cause – the honeymoon phase is over. The thrill, the novelty, and the excitement of opening Windows Live Writer, clicking on New Post  and letting the words pour out of me have faded. And before you gasp in fear that this might be my last post, I’d like to reassure you this is not the case. Quite the contrary, this is me embracing the reality of my long-term commitment to blogging. It might not always be puffy clouds and unicorns funny posts, scenic pictures, and tasty recipes. I might disappear for some days, weeks, months. But if you stick with my blog, one thing I can promise you, just as you are about to lose all hope (and click on the unsubscribe link) I come rushing back to sweep you off your feet, couch, chair, toilet (or wherever the place might be that you read my posts). So while I am working to re-kindle my blogging fire, something happened this week that I could not help but eagerly log into my computer to share the news. (No, I am not pregnant!)

Like every hero has their nemesis, so do runners. For runners, it’s hills!

Does not matter whether it’s little, steep, long, short, up or down, running the hills will be unpleasant and affect your time vs running on flat ground. Some hills are like the sidekicks of the bad guys – one punch and they are done. But some are super-villains — no matter how many times you beat them, keep coming back and getting you again and again.

My greatest nemesis of all is the hill near our house. This thing stretches for over a mile with my house located in the middle.


Over time, I have learned to avoid shin splints and knee injuries while running down the hill to get to the trail, but never ever have I been able to run back up. Never, that is, until Monday. Smile

On Monday, I went for my usual 6 mile routine: – 0.5 mile to the trail, 5 miles on the trail and 0.5 mile back home. Every other day, I’d stop right as soon as the trail ends. I’d eye my nemesis and decide how far I want to run up until deserting to a slow walk, with the sidewalk cracks smirking at my weakness.  But something happened on Monday morning. I kept my head down and chugged along one step at a time until I reached the house. I find my “running” thoughts always surprising (at times disturbing):

  • Do your elbows really sweat or is it sweat from your arms, neck, face that runs down?
  • Could Waste Management’s strike (and the stinky garbage in the street) be the real factor of why I am rushing to get home?
  • Did Miley Cyrus run up the hill for her “Climb” song? That would make a good music video, with all that elbow sweat rolling down.
  • Is the screechy whistling sound coming out of my chest normal?
  • Oh my eyes are burning! I should stop eating so much cheese. I taste and feel salty.

When it comes to my running accomplishments, as soon as I get something new done, I have to redo it better, faster, harder. The day I ran my first marathon in Portland, I signed up for a second one while my raw, blistered, chafed body was recovering in a hot tub.

So, come Friday morning, I was up at it again. This time, I ran the hill three times past my house, for a total of 5 miles.

Most superheroes get rewarded with a kiss. For runners, it’s a good meal. Smile



[Jane Asks]: What’s your biggest nemesis?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Kristin permalink
    August 4, 2012 6:28 am

    I might be crazy – but I would rather do hill repeats then a speed session any day… and if you are looking for an awesome hill for repeats other then your own, the hill on 40th up to the entrance to the bridal hills trail is my old stomping grounds.

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