The night before Thanksgiving, determined to get a run in before Turkeyday, I headed out from my gym on my usual route. My goal was not speed or fast pace, but to run the entire 2 miles up the street and back. In the end I finished running 3.2 miles, including a monster hill that I have always had to walk. It was no where near my fastest pace, but my goal was to run the entire length without walking, I did that plus additional miles from what I had originally planned. My last race (details here) I felt like I controlled my pace perfectly. It ended up being my fastest race and I loved the feeling of control I had exerted. One thing I have found in my training that was lacking was continuous running. I found my pace often dictated my runs and I was not completing enough slow endurance runs, with progressive mileage.
Due to procrastination and other circumstances I did not get my run in til after dark. Running at night with a half moon to light up the road, along with frequent head lights provided a surrealistic running experience. I started off deliberately slow and stayed at that pace for the entire duration of the run. Mile two of this run usually marks the return of the road next to the gym where I start and usually indicates a spot where I call the run at 2 miles and head back to the car or head down a steep hill and then back up to tack on an additional mile. While planning to run only 2 miles non-stop initially, I decided my legs felt good for another 1/2 mile down hill, away I went. At the bottom of the hill the sidewalk ends and I usually turn around and head back, walking up most of the steep hill. Rough estimates indicate in a quarter mile it rises over 60 feet of elevation and has a max grade percentage of 6%. I turned around as usual, determined to not walk until I absolutely had to. Shortly after starting the hill, my legs ached and were complaining about the climb, at that moment I decided I would no longer let this hill beat me and I pushed myself to run it, granted at a snails pace. I got to the entrance of the gym where I turn in and I kept running around buildings, pushing the total mileage I was running. Near the end my legs got to a point where they felt like they could go for more miles, not sure if this resulted from my being at the end or if I hit a true turning point.
Not my fastest run, but like my road biking, hills no longer dictate and control me. I am now Chatter, dominator of hills that make the weak cry. I owned that hill and like so many other hills that have now fallen to my will, I made it mine and controlled my run. I felt tired in the end and my legs later would feel sore, but that did not matter… I got a great run in and pushed the limits of what I am able to do once again, proving to myself how far mentally and physically I can go once I put my mind into an action. Til next time.