Hills. Love ’em or …

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HATE is a strong word, we teach our kids. A mask for more intricate feelings that bears unpacking.

You do not actually hate candied sweet potatoes topped with raisins and marshmallows, do you? Well in fact, yes, yes, I do.

Okay, then, let’s simply state I have a strong and established antipathy to that other H word: hills.

There are 2 kinds of individuals in this world: Those who enjoy hills and those who … dislike them. In today’s divided nation, it can feel difficult to reach throughout the aisle and have compassion for the opposite. However I do count amongst a few of my preferred individuals those who enjoy hills. (I understand! What a betrayal!)

And now let us unload my complex feelings about the H word– it is the UP that makes me all beady-eyed. DOWN hill? Wheeeeeee!

When I resided in New Mexico for a bit (hills! and elevation!), I chose to run the St. George, Utah, marathon. It was legendarily downhill, coming down almost 2,600 feet. Appeared like a great chance to break through a Turning point Time Objective I ‘d been going after for 7 years.

A freshly satisfied runner pal consented to run it, too. Sara had actually run cross-country in high school back East with a traditional crusty coach who pressed his charges to add hills difficult For some confusing factor, this indicated she liked hills. She all however avoided up them. She had never ever run a marathon however in her sweetheart’s (now spouse’s) extended household, there was some cash on the line about breaking that Turning point Time Objective, so she was all in.

My BRF is likewise UP talented. She in fact WISHES TO run the Mt. Washington Roadway Race, if you can think it, in New Hampshire, which happily boasts going all uphill for 7.6 miles, acquiring 4,650 vertical feet, with a max 22% grade. It’s difficult to enter. There’s a lottery game and it offers out in minutes. What is this nation pertaining to??

Now I do understand, though I abhor confessing, that if I rode my bike more or did Dimity’s workouts, hills would not harm a lot.

So in September, in a fit of pandemic-induced masochism, I chose to take on the regional Big Hill, which our town calls “the Mountain,” though it increases to a height of just 823 feet. I can hear all you Western Staters FOTFL.

How difficult could it be? Oh.

Once I found simply just how much the “Mountain” slowed me– 3 minutes per mile! oh, wow— I chose I needed to run it each week till I might break XX: 00 speed. [Insert whatever per-mile-pace makes you go “oh, wow,” and not in a good way.]

The weeks went something like this: XX: 49, XX: 27, XX:38 Plod, plod.

Lastly, 10 (!) weeks of “Mountain” running later on, I broke XX: 00 by a complete 40 seconds! Forty seconds!

In these times, when every day can seem like a metaphoric mountain, we take our little wins any place we can discover them. I still have not baked a pie or changed the damaged knob on the cleaning device.

In Utah, Sara broke the Turning point Marathon Time Objective by a great 4 minutes. I missed it by more than 6. Gah!

Required at age 7 or 8 to a minimum of SHOT the candied sweet potatoes topped with raisins and marshmallows, I immediately tossed up. See? That’s hate.

Once I nailed the “Mountain” time objective, I gave up running it each week. And returned last Tuesday to see how difficult it might be. Oh right. Back to XX: 00 speed. Sigh.

HILLS? Love em or … have a severe unfavorable response to them?



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