When I was training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society half marathon I worried a lot about hills when I should have been worried about something else. Here’s what I said on November 13th, 2005:
No running today. I had enough time for CBS Sunday Morning, coffee and off to work. Since I don’t run after dark I won’t be hitting the pavement at all. So, why the blog? Two things: a new strategy for facing the inclines and advice on running longer. The good news is I now have a route I like to run. The bad news is that it ends with a slow, steady incline that I don’t have the gumption or energy to face. My solution, thanks to Mr. Practical? Run the route backwards! Genius! I’m cheating. I know it. But, at least I’ll avoid the psychological ball-buster until I’m ready – mentally and physically. Strategy Number two: running longer. I met a drummer today. Or rather, a drummer’s mother. Son is 17 and in a band (aren’t they all?). I’m hoping she can get him to lay down some heavy, pulse pounding, spur-me-on beats. I should also mention I am getting great advice from honest-to-goodness real runners. “Run on soft surfaces as much as you can to save your knees (note that didn’t work) and shins. Keep your eyes down when you run uphill. Looking up a huge hill can psyche you out (aha!). Thin running gloves help a lot in the winter. Don’t believe the sports drink hype- nothing’s better than water.” I’m putting all that to the test tomorrow. Goal: hit the three mile mark.
So. Here I am six years later. I honestly believe I never really trained for the half, let alone trained properly. I was alone with me, myself and moi for company. We read a lot of decent books, talked to a lot of good people, surfed a lot of interesting websites, but in the end, ran completely and utterly alone. It made me gun shy of groups. It made me insecure about my abilities. I see that now. And yet, nothing has changed. I have reclused myself even further. Instead of running outside where the potential for human contact is present (other runners, dog walkers, baby strollers, cars backing out of driveways, kids walking home from school, dads taking the trash out) I run on a treadmill, staring at a big red wall. It’s the color of cayenne pepper but who am I kidding? I found the answer to hills on a treadmill I control.