Last Saturday morning I woke up early and ran 12 miles with Sharon.
Doesn’t that sound so wonderful! And healthy! And refreshing!
An early morning long run sounds wonderful when you’re talking about it, but doing it is entirely something different.
Sharon arrived at my house with caffeinated Gu packs for mid-run fueling and a 12-mile route she’d mapped. She mentioned it was hilly. Helly? Hellish?
It was a masochistic 12-mile run. (But aren’t all 12-mile runs a little masochistic?) For local folks, we ran around neighborhoods near University of Richmond. For non-local folks, the hills were the worst combination of short and steep and gradual and long — one was over a mile long. We measured.
The hills started about 5 miles into the run and stopped…well…actually, I’m not sure they’ve stopped yet.
The run wiped me out, so I took two recovery days. This morning, six days later, my quads are still a little achy.
I’ve written about running hills before, and though it may seem like it, I don’t hate hills. They’re hard, calf-burning and quad-aching, but all that burning and aching eventually turns into strength and endurance…and hopefully reaching race goals. Running hills is like getting up early on a Saturday morning and going for a run. It’s work, but it’s the kind of work that gets you where you want to go.
Race day is four weeks away.
P.S. Sharon is running to raise money for the organization “Show Hope,” which helps families who are adopting connect with their children and bring them home. Read more about her decision to run for Show Hope here. And if you’d like to donate, click here.