Loving the hills!

“You should run Sterling since you haven’t run the mountain lately.”

That text from TJ changed my running.

It happened a week ago.  I had been in a bad rut as I was running the same 4 mile route in my neighborhood since summer started.  I am not a fan of the heat and the only time I have to run is at 3:00 in the afternoon.  So I would run my route and usually have to take breaks to walk a bit because of the heat.  Running just wasn’t fun or interesting anymore, but I had to keep going no matter how I felt as I have a huge investment of time and lost weight in all those miles I’ve accumulated over the past 2.5 years.

Back to TJ’s text.

I thought to myself, “I don’t want to run Sterling”.  It is hot and the hills there are insane.  But TJ was right.  I hadn’t run my mountain in a while.  I was just not interested in the investment during the heat of the summer.

So I headed out to run and made my way to Sterling.

Sterling is a neighborhood about a mile from my home.  I used to run the hills there a year or so ago.  The main hill on the main road is about .25 miles long and ascends 100 feet.  So I looked up at that hill last Monday and thought, here I go.  I ran up the hill and at the top, I took a right turn and went on a more level area to recover and then headed back down.  It was tough!  I did this three time and headed home.  It was the first time in a long time that I felt like I accomplished something.

So Tuesday I headed back to Sterling.  I ran the big hill and then came back down and ran another smaller uphill road that is in the same neighborhood.  After that I headed home.

As the week went on, my times started getting faster.  My sluggish, boring summer runs were starting to be fun again.  I ran this run all week.

I have found from my mountain runs that I have really begun excelling on hills.  Many times after my mountain runs I will actually run faster up hills then on level ground.  While I have been away from the mountain for a while, this has been much less the case, but my legs “remembered” the love of the hills when I went to Sterling last Monday and throughout the week.

Finally on Sunday I actually ran a “long” run in my neighborhood.   It was only 7.5 miles, but it is the longest run since my half marathon in April.  The run itself was uneventful and hot, but just the fact that I was motivated enough to run it, is a good thing.

So things are looking up.  I am just trying to get to October where temps will start dipping into the 50’s and average that throughout the winter.

Even then, I’ll be running hills.

Tom

PS – Sort of ironic as I have now hit 278 followers on 278toBoston.com.  I guess I need to get back to writing! 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Loving the hills!

  1. Perfect timing with my whining about hills yesterday 🙂 But you are so right. Hills can really make some huge improvements to your running and help mix it up a bit. I was telling my husband that if you stop focusing on how hard the hill is and just run, you will find that you stop noticing the difficulty. Sometimes I even get to the top and realize I just ran up and didn’t notice it. Good work mixing it up!

  2. So true. Thanks. The more you do, the better it gets (within limits of course). At my last half marathon my 24 year old son who was pacing me couldn’t believe how well I ran the hills – and there were a lot of them. It is a nice benefit to feel good running uphill. Of course there is benefit from running down a big hill too! 🙂

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