Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Celebrate the Pain

Let us celebrate, revel even, in the punishment we are about to endure.

That was the sentiment as we approached the first of four large hills that I planned as our daily run. We joked, those hills at home or at a school will be nothing.
The hill, from here, is a quarter mile to the top and a climb of 204 feet in elevation.

Here's my running partner finishing off the first hill.

Here is the view from the top of the first climb.

Here I am standing in front of the second hill. The drop before this one is pretty small, but the climb was another 100 feet.

Here's hill three, with my running partner, Brianna, running at the bottom. This gives you an idea of how steep they are.
And of course, every time you run, if you look, you'll find something unexpected. Like a Kris Kristofferson record that someone blasted with a shotgun.

The thing about this run is that the hills were loose and steep. I fell running up them a few times. Going down was precarious and if you fell, you were sliding to the bottom and leaving a lot of bodily tissue behind! So, caution was the word of the day on the descents.

In Born to Run, there's a woman who describes a Monster. The Monster is what urges you to stop, slow down, give into the pain. I think about that a lot while I'm running. I want to face the Monster, beat it. I want to challenge it every time.

Today's run was supposed to bring the Monster, but it really didn't. Yesterday's two mile flat run did, I felt like crap. I didn't expect to see it there, but was happy when I did. It made me pick up my feet, take a deep breath and GO. I wanted to see it again.

But today, we showed no humility in the face of the hills. We were both thoroughly beat, after having run up each one as fast as we could. Each hill made us feel better, more accomplished and more confident.

My knee hurt, Brianna twisted her ankle, a dehydration headache was setting in and we were both exhausted. We can't wait to do it again.

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