Taking to the Hills

The Midwest is a pretty flat place and, if you are so inclined, it’s possible to run for miles and miles without ever meeting a hill.

2013-09-05 18.32.59

So flat!

Until recently, I avoided hills. I don’t enjoy huffing and puffing up to the top, so I let the voice in the back of my head talk me into taking the easy routes.

In May, this finally caught up with me. I ran a half marathon that was hillier than my previous races…and it was awful. I survived the rolling hills early in the course but when we hit a bigger one at mile 11, I wasn’t mentally or physically prepared. I ended the race feeling disappointed – not just with my finish time, but with myself.

To avoid future disappointment, I have begun to embrace the pain of hills and incorporate them into my training. It’s still not fun, but I can feel myself getting stronger with every run.

For tonight’s run I did a series of hill repeats. Basically I ran up the hill…and then back down…and then back up…and, well, you get the drift.

It looks bigger in real life...

It looks bigger in real life…

I made it up the hill 7 times over the course of my run and I couldn’t be prouder.

Elevation profile for tonight's run!

Elevation profile for tonight’s run!

This was the same hill that I battled in mile 11 of my May half marathon. This time, however, I came out on top.