Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Running Up the Hill

At the beginning of this summer, I made a goal to be able to run up this steep hill near where I live without walking or stopping by the end of August.

This hill is about 1.1 miles long and it's got a 10% grade to it. When you drive up it, it doesn't seem that steep. But when you walk it, oh my gosh I feel like I'm gonna fall over! (Ok not really, but you get what I mean!)


I've walked up this hill multiple times in the past year and it's a great workout just walking. Now running? Holy moly that is hard. You definitely do not see many people running up it.

So I made a goal for myself that I would run enough during the summer to be able to run up this hill without walking. I ran about once a week, but not a whole lot. I did lots of hiking this summer, which is also a pretty good workout, but it's nothing like running.

Yesterday, I was not having a good day. I was feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I was feeling tired and cranky. I left work a little early just because I wanted to be some where comforting, like my home. I had planned on going home and sitting in front of my computer, watching Mythbusters and stuffing my face with food.

Then I remembered what I had heard while watching the Biggest Loser a while ago. I don't remember who said it or what exactly was said, but the gist was that when you are feeling down or upset or angry or anything, instead of stuffing your face with food, it's a better idea to go for a walk or a run, and you will feel better afterwards.

So I decided to run up the hill. The last time I tried, I made it about 1/3 of the way up before turning around. While I was at the bottom, I decided to run as far as I could. I got to the point where I had turned around before and I was starting to feel tired. I was breathing heavy, my legs felt like lead. I could have so easily turned around at that point. I couldn't see the top of the hill, and it felt so far away.

But I pushed on.

I rounded the corner of the hill and kept running. I had made up my mind that I was going to make it to the top without walking. Then, my mind started to play tricks on me.

You can't do this. You should walk. You are too tired. Why don't you turn around?

I said, Brain, shut up! I so can do this!

And I did. I ran all the way to the top till I hit the light pole at the intersection. I was so proud of myself and it was at that moment that it clicked.

I am stronger than I think I am. I really can do anything I set my mind to.

I took a quick walk around the small park that is at the top in order to get some water from the fountain, then slowly jogged my way back down the hill.

And then as I got towards the bottom, the crazy part of my brain that I love so much said these famous words from that one Boston song:

Wanna do it again?

And I said yes. But I was so tired, I only made it a 1/3 of the way back up before turning around and walking back down. I was still proud that I had made it to the top without stopping. Going 1/3 of the way a second time was just icing on the cake!

I felt great after my run. It gave me a sense of peace and calm that I so need in my life. Before this run, I had believed only hiking and skiing could give me that same feeling. In fact, before I started hiking, I thought only skiing would do it for me. I have proved myself wrong twice now, and I'm sure I will prove myself wrong again.

But now I want to run more. I think I have found my solution to calm down my emotions and make me more even keeled.

I also want to conquer bigger things, climb bigger mountains. Maybe I'll do this one next:












Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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