The Eugene Women’s Half Marathon is coming up, and I’ve been running hills for three weeks on my own to get back into Half shape. My running partner, Rebekah, who likes to run about a minute faster than I do, was out of town for a while, so I figured I’d push myself a bit, to gain some advantage over her.
Not that I’m competitive or anything. It’s just that Rebekah’s 10 years younger than me, and I have to keep up with her somehow or she might ditch me for someone else eventually. I’ve heard that can happen.
One week you’re happily running along together lollygagging at 11:30-12:00 minutes per mile, gabbing about your kids and your dogs, and the next week you see your running partner on a trail across town with some young gazelle who runs a 9 minute mile, while pushing a double jog stroller.
So I’ve been running hills, like I said. And yesterday I invited Rebekah along to one of the hardest hill runs I know – a 4.5 mile loop that includes a hill that winds it’s way one mile straight up. I’ve only kicked that hill a few times, about 7 years ago, for the record, but figured it was time to try it again.
We made it half way up before we had to stop and then set short goals like “let’s run to that mail box, then walk to the next one” the rest of the way up the hill.
“This is a really big hill,” she said when we got to the top, “I am tired!”
“I know it,” I said. “But I know we’ll conquer it eventually. In fact, our goal should be to run it twice in a row! Then we’d be in great shape for the Half!”
“Okay,” she said.
Dang it. I realized at that moment that Rebekah is gonna kick that hill’s butt in about a week, and after two weeks, I’ll be eating her dust as she laps me on the second round of the hill.
Oh well, whaddya do? Keep running up the hill, I guess.