Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Run For The Hills

Yesterday,  during our 3 mile run with our group, we ran a different route to help increase our stamina and speed for Sunday’s 5K.  About a mile in, we ran down this very big hill which we have done once before. It wasn’t pretty on the way back up then and on a cold, misty Monday morning, it was even worse.  For the first month of running, it was only about 30 degrees each morning and I took to wearing my pink and green argyle hat (of course) and my white mime gloves. If I was feeling good, my mime hands would turn into jazz hands. If the run was particularly horrible, my mime hands would be balled up into little fists. I really wanted my mime gloves yesterday...and there wouldn’t have been any jazz hand action, that’s for sure.

My approach on hills is always the same…..I put my head down and just bust ass up the hill as fast as I can to get it over with. Why prolong the misery?  The problem with this approach is that by the time I get to the top of the hill my legs are barely moving and my lungs have jumped out of my chest and now I’m wearing them like a backpack. This isn’t a free ride, here, guys.  
During the next mile, I could only think about the hills we had yet to run. There is a cemetery nearby that has 3 streets and each one has 2 hills each….and I’m talking crazy up and down hills. On street one, I cursed the entire time under my breath.  Seriously, this is stupid. 

When Tim and I travel for long periods of time to get to our camping destinations, we play “Wouldn’t it be great if….?” to keep ourselves from going stir crazy. This game involves describing a horrible accident that could happen at that moment…but of course, everyone would be fine in the end. You can tell you are near complete insanity when you are hoping to spice up the drive with a crazy accident. For instance, once we saw two guys on motorcycles go flying by us at close to 90 miles an hour. Tim broke the silence first with “Wouldn’t it be great if they just wiped out right now” and after we cracked up then I added “But everyone would be fine in the end.” Another time we saw a dead deer on the side of the road and I said, “Wouldn’t it be great if the deer just got up and started running next to that car in front of us and the driver freaked out?” and then Tim added “But no one got hurt.” It’s important to caveat the horrific accident that you are laughing at with a mental note that everyone needs to be okay in the end. When I was attempting to run up the last hill on street number two, I envisioned my friend Cori, who was in front of me, almost making it to the top but not quite …. and just rolling backwards down the hill. It made me giggle. If she did roll backwards, of course, she would be fine. Sorry, Cori….I needed that laugh or I wouldn’t have made it up the hill.

The final set of beastly hills, on street number 3, is designed to just take you down. By the end, you feel like you are dragging your legs behind you as though you just had to gnaw them out of a bear trap. Last week, at the end of a run, I thought to myself “this is just 30 minutes out of my entire day….I can do this.” At that moment, I just didn’t want to run anymore. There was no song on my ipod that was doing it for me. There was nothing I could come up with to take my mind off of running. But then it hit me, it’s not like I have to run for 8 hours. This is just 30 minutes out of a very long day. I can do this. I pulled that one out on street number three. My friend Cori was going to stop and walk and I pulled out my “it’s only 30 minutes out of our day…we can do this” and we kicked into gear, running the final hills.

Cori texted me later in the day saying that she was going to miss our morning runs next week. How could she miss getting up at 5:15 am, running in the cold in mime gloves, attempting to haul ass up hills, all while dragging your heavy legs behind you?? But it’s true. I’m going to miss it too.  There is something to be said for group motivation and doing things you would never do on your own. There is something to be said for going through the ridiculousness of situations together.  There is something to be said for the Lucy & Ethel comedy routine that Cori and I put everyone through each time we run. We don’t even need an audience…we crack ourselves up all on our own. Yep, I’m going to miss it all too.

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