Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hills, hills, and more hills

I am sitting in front of the fireplace, feet propped on a pillow (frozen corn conveniently placed under my left achilles tendon), computer in my lap, sick kid asleep on the couch, ..... reflecting on my recent achievement. I am back from my Mendon Ponds 10k trail run. The organizers said that today would not be a day for personal records. They said the course was long and hard; hilly and muddy. What they should have said was the course was BRUTAL. What they didn't account for as they threw down the challenge (no personal records) was that I WAS RUNNING MY FIRST 10k today. So, guess what? Personal record - HELLO! After last week's uphill 5k battle to a 27 minutes finish, I figured that an hour and change would be great for today. At the onset of the race, everyone was recalculating their paces to accomodate for the massive hills. Now, I don't run with a watch, I don't even own one. I just listen to the beat of my heart and the cadence of my, that's nice. So, I started when the gun fired, and was in AWE at the size of the hill after hill after hill after hill............... Now, I began walking the hills when I realized that I could save energy and that I could probably walk faster up these hills than run. Much of the time, I was out there on the trails by myself. I even passed a large Buck in the meadow next to me. "Hello, Buck" The 5k ers turned off and I kept going. When it seemed like there couldn't possibly be more trails and hills, there were. I kept thinking that I must be soon coming to the finish line. At one point, I began a conversation in my mind about how I needn't be discouraged when my time ends up being more along the lines of 1hr 30 minutes rather than the 1 hour that I originally plotted.

At last, the trail emerged from the woods, I heard the crowd cheering and I saw it - - - the finish line, right there in front of me. The HUGE clock that was ticking away was a pleasant sight for my eyes, although I wouldn't have cared what it said - I was nearly done with this dreadful course. (did I mention that I saw two full-grown men fall during my race? That's how brutal it was.)

1hour 5 minutes YEAH BABY. Sure, it may sound slow, sluggish, snail-like, etc... but you should have seen the hills. (Did I mention that I walked them?) Even better, I was 7th overall for the ladies and - -- wait for it - - - 1st in my age bracket (at least, preliminarily. I know there were some issues with the timing.) I'm happy. How's that for a personal record?

So, as I sit here with my frozen corn, I am thankful that I have the inner drive to challenge myself because it feels so damn good to be done with that very BRUTAL race and know that I could do it again, if I had to. Heck, I'll probably do it again. Every small challenge is one step closer to that 26.2 mile one hanging over my head. Kari and Maegon, how are you doing? Are we going to kick some serious butt in Paris, or what?

While I'm thinking of it: so many of these people who run these races with me have done marathons. They think it is cool as heck that we are doing this. It pushes me on, ya know?


  1. an aside note - I will be taking it easy this week. I am worried about my foot. The nagging pain has turned a bit more severe. I will probably have it looked at this week at the physical therapy place in town - fingers crossed that I can hit the streets again soon (in the non-prostitute sort of way, of course.) Until then, I think I will continue lifting and try my hand at swimming.

  2. AND - I forgot to tell you all that the perk about this 10k race was that at 10:30am, the race organizers were handing out beer to the of-age finishers. NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL CARB REPLACEMENT. Sante.