I know, I know. Based on the title of this post, you now think I’m crazy. And I get that. Most runners don’t really like hill repeats. They don’t typically include them in their workout routine. But you know what? I LOVE hill repeats, and I’m not afraid to say it.
Hill repeats make me feel like a badass. They make me stronger. They make me faster. They make me feel like a runner. And they’re a great metaphor for life. Yes, the uphills suck. They hurt. They’re hard. Looking up that hill, it can seem to go on forever. Your lungs are burning and you don’t know how much more you can take. But after the uphill, you get the down. You can relax, cruise, speed along. The downhill is so much fun, you can actually forget how sucky the uphill was. And that’s life–you take the good with the bad, the up with the down. That’s how it goes.
Yesterday, I ran hill repeats on Battery Street. I’ve talked about this hill before. It’s kind of a doozy. Usually, I run here in the mornings, because it can be a zoo in the evenings, with tourists and cyclists clogging up the sidewalk. But I went last night at about 5, and lo and behold, I’m not the only runner going up and down, up and down. There’s another woman running hill repeats.
She’s faster than me–skimming up the hill, lightly touching down, almost flying UPHILL. She’s leaner than me–she looks like a runner. She’s going further than me–up the hill, into the park, and back around and down. And here’s the kicker–she’s older than me. Significantly older. At least 50, maybe even 60. And she is freaking FIT! She’s a boss.
For about 2 minutes, as I was huffing and puffing up that hill, I started feeling really bad about myself. I don’t look like a runner. I’m not fast. I’m not graceful. I don’t skim; I plod. I suck. I’m a horrible runner. I started thinking that maybe I’d just cut this workout short and go home. But then I turned around and hit the downhill. My breathing eased up, and I got to thinking.
I am here. I’m running hills. I just started running a few months ago, but look at me! It’s a bit of a miracle that I’m even doing this, running up and down this hill. I could be sitting on my butt drinking a beer and playing Skyrim. But I’m HERE, running UP and DOWN this beast of a hill. I could be that lady some day. If I keep doing what I’m doing, someday I’ll be that 50-something woman breezing uphill and leaving the 20-somethings in the dust. YES!
And then I turned around and went back up the hill. I finished my 5 hill repeats, and ran back home. I even went an extra block just to hit 3 miles. And I felt AMAZING. Sweaty, exhausted, and blissful. So thank you, mystery runner. You have inspired me to stick with it, so that someday I can be as badass as you.
How do you feel about hill repeats?