Yes, I actually said it. Well, at least I don’t hate them anymore. I feel a sense of accomplishment if I can get up a very steep one without stopping. I did many of them tonight, so many I really can’t remember how many, and I’m not kidding! Total mileage was something like 4.68, and my time averaged out to a bit more than 10 minute miles. I’ll take it for the first time doing serious hills! (I need to map out the route and see the elevation changes.)Β  I remembered part of my training from cross-country in high school – just look at a point about 25 feet in front of you and focus on that, but don’t look at the entire hill all the way up – you just get overwhelmed.Β  And keep the shoulders back as much as possible, don’t hunch over.

Before I forget, this was my power song tonight and the one that helped me push through the last few hills. It came on and I knew I couldn’t let myself stop at that point! Yep, it’s definitely going in my playlist for my 10K this weekend! πŸ™‚ (Thank you to everyone who was so generous with their song suggestions last week – I had heard this on the radio but didn’t know who sang it – you guys are awesome! (Chris, Kreesha Turner was a close second place!)

Good charlotte – I Don’t Want to be in Love (Dance Floor Anthem)

My town itself doesn’t have tons of hills, so I thought it best to stop at one of the towns on my way home from work. The town that starts at one point on South Border Road (my arch-nemesis) has a lot of hills to run on. By the way, is it weird that I have just given human qualities to a 2 mile patch of asphalt?! It makes it better for me to tackle it if I can treat it like an enemy I need to conquer/beat, week after week.

Anyway, I digress. I stopped in Winchester, parked my car on a hill where I felt it was necessary to put on the emergency brake (are you getting the picture now). Did I also forget to mention that it has been on the very windy and somewhat cold side today, so the idea of getting out there and pushing up hills was not the most inspiring? At some points, when I was running downhill, it was actually against the wind. Nice! (not.)

I thought it might be a good idea for my legs to get used to the up and down of hills, so I decided I would run up one block, over another to the next street, run down that one, and then up the next one, over and over, like a winding maze of sorts. Each hill was about .15-.20 in distance, and most felt like they were at least 45 degrees. They were the kind of hills that you can’t walk up and be standing up straight. Rather you feel like you should be crawling up them. On one of them, I was almost at the top and a teenager rode down it in one of those motorized skooters, and gave me a dirty look. I wanted to yank him off of that motorized go-cart of sorts and make him feel what my lungs were going through…

However, one time I got to the top of one of the hills and I had a moment to which I think most runners can relate, and it’s this:

Have you ever run a certain distance, either on a treadmill or outside, and when you finally get to your goal, whether it be time or distance, where you feel like you want to yell out or throw your hands up in victory?! Yep, I did it! I didn’t even care that there was a car pulling up right next to me, with the driver looking at me like I had just lost it. I thought to myself, “buddy, if you had just run up that hill without stopping, rather than sitting in your nice cushy SUV with leather seats, you’d be celebrating too!” πŸ™‚

I admit, I occasionally did walk a bit sometimes after I might get to the top of a hill. But you need to understand, never while running up the hill. It really is mind over matter. At one point, I imagined my brother and some others coaching me and telling me to keep going, and I found I was almost sprinting at the top of that hill (or as close to it as I could muster.) That was the hill that ended with the raised arms!

Kind of like this lady here, which photo I found on flickr.com.

Celebrate!

And with this image, I leave you.

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