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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Finding the Joy Again One Hill at a Time

I haven't written about my running efforts for a while, so I thought I'd bring everyone up to date.  My half marathon is mere weeks away, and the panic firmly settled in last week, when I realized the farthest I'd run was four miles.  Wow.  Bad.  All the will in the world isn't going to make running 13.1 miles a very good experience if I haven't trained at all!

I started last Friday making a determined effort to run farther; my goal was 6 miles.  I accomplished that on Monday after a weekend of running a 3 and 4 miler.   The weather has been downright fantastic and has made the running a pleasure.  I put some new tunes on my Super Wee Pod, and that helped me immensely--listening to some new stuff took my mind off the run.  I felt tired and sore afterwards, but it felt good--like I'd accomplished something.  I also realized that since training for my marathon two years ago, I had shortened my stride quite a bit.  It was making me run much slower, and keeping my hips really stiff.  Duh.  I lengthened my stride just a bit, and what a huge difference that made!  Much more comfortable, and gee, I was running faster.

Unfortunately, I had to work that night, and by the time I got home at 10:30, I was wiped out and ready to sleep.

I took Tuesday off from  running, and decided while the weather stays warm and sunny, I would run some hills after work today.  I drove over to my sister's house.  She lives on a hill, and all the streets around her are perfect for the torment running up and down hills will bring to a soul.  I don't listen to music when I run in neighborhoods because I like to pay attention just in case some rogue car decides to drive up the curb and take me out.  I don't want "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen to be the last thing I hear!

 I ran around this neighborhood.  It was maybe two miles, but all hills.  I was very proud that I got all the way up the longest hill without stopping.  So, I've locked into hill running.  For the next three weeks, I will take at least one day a week and run like a mad woman up and down hills, chanting to myself "Hills are my friends.  Hills are my friends."  

Every running magazine, book, and article on the net swears that hill running will help you run farther and faster since your legs are used to working hard to get up hills.  We shall see in a few weeks!  My next long run this week:  8 miles--rain or shine.

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