Uphill Both Ways

So, today I had a major accomplishment:

This was apparently a 284 ft climb according to Runkeeper. I don’t know much about hill training, so I don’t know if that’s good or not. I mostly ran it because I expressed to one of my friends that I wanted to try to incorporate some hill training, since most of the places I run are super flat, and he was like “um…you live at the top of a giant hill.” When I replied with something like “but that hill is really giant and intimidating!” he was basically like “you can handle it,” so I decided that he was probably right and that I would think about trying it.

I really did think long and hard about trying it out – I have set records for biggest elevation change on Runkeeper by going down a flight of stairs before, so I think it’s pretty clear how super flat my routes usually are. I decided to survey the hill a bit while I was driving up it the other day, and realized that even though it was along a busy road, there was a wide shoulder the whole way and I wouldn’t actually have to cross the road at any point. Plus, the “hill” (as in the whole thing, not the actual climb) is almost exactly 1.5 miles in length, so it was practically begging me to use it as my 3 mile route today. I decided that the worst that could happen was that it would be too hard and I would have to walk up and try again some other time.

But then – I almost didn’t go! I woke up and the weather channel said that it was going to start raining around 9, so I was going to relegate myself to the treadmill/indoor track. However, they then updated that to “dry conditions for the next 6 hours” and I also realized that it was only 8, so I had plenty of time to complete a 3 mile run before the rain came. When I got back, I thought I was just in time – observe the looming dark clouds!

Ok so they look less dark and scary in this photo than they did in person and it is still not raining over an hour later, so maybe I’m being melodramatic, but I was almost certain when I saw them that I was just beating the rain!

Once I decided to go, I was still pretty nervous. I put on a highlighter yellow shirt so that the cars would see me and headed out tentatively. Obviously, the run was not “uphill both ways” as the title suggests, but it certainly felt like it. When I starting descending, I got that feeling that you get when you start to climb the biggest hill on a roller coaster (only I suppose this would be some sort of weird reverse roller coaster). All I could think about the whole way down was how when I reached the bottom of the hill I would have to turn around and run back UP it. But then, when I turned around, and could actually see the crest of the hill, I realized I would probably be ok. I must admit that I felt pretty awesome when I finally reached the top without walking!

The only bad thing: I almost lost my headband! When I was almost done with my run I thought I felt it fall off, but I was so close to being done that I didn’t want to stop. I decided to finish the 3 miles and then cool down by walking back to see if I could find it. This turned out to be a good decision – I got a good cool down, found my headband, and was able to get that great pic of the “looming” clouds!

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