We ran The Hill tonight. Being in the middle of the big bald prairie, The Hill is only elevation in this city. It is dwarfed by a single-storey warehouse, but does provide a slight incline to tempt the masochistic who pine to Do It (whatever It is) harderfasterbetter. We ran it six or seven times, an incline of maybe 8 or 10 degrees. It took less than five minutes per ascent. Every minute was unpleasant, and felt much like one of those anxiety dreams where you are running as fast as you can and getting nowhere. As OT pointed out, it’s a bit of a reality check… people who have run marathons and half marathons like to think they are in pretty good shape, but you feel like you should be breathing a little easier at what feels like a snail’s pace, and, well, it hurts the ego a little.
Thrown in was one lung-and-leg-burning trip up Puke Mountain, the 30 or 40 degree inclined dirt path that only the hard-core attempt. I walked up the last two thirds… the T’s did the testosterone thing and pounded up it as fast as their little legs could carry them. Neither puked, this time, but at least they agreed that it was extremely unpleasant. Whereas the regular Hill was just plain unpleasant.
We only did a half an hour or so, because Jack is sick and I wanted to get home in case he had West Nile or something. My last run up The Hill, done alone as the boys wanted one more shot at the Testosterone Cup at the top of Puke Mountain, I pushed it harder, thinking all the while of Lance, riding up steeper grades for four hours at a time. It helped me not feel so sorry for myself, knowing there were very few people in the world who would offer any sincere expression of sympathy or even commiseration.
Suck it up, I thought. Still, not bad for a 33 year old mother of two. My belly button did hurt with every chub-jiggling step. Another reminder of my attempts to find the fountain of youth.
Back to real life: aging, adequate fitness, and the sick kid.