In Training (Day 99)….The Other Side of the Mountain

I did it!  My longest run to date.  19 KM in 2:32.  My pace was 8:15.  I’ll take it.

This was one of the last training sessions for the 1/2 marathon with my run group today.  It was by far the most difficult course I have run so far.  I do know that the 1/2 marathon pales in comparison to the route Lara mapped out for us today.  At one point there was a steady hill that covered 1 km.  Trust me when I say it felt a lot more like 2 km to this girl.  And this is one hell of hill!  At the top of it you will find yourself surrounded by some of Vancouver’s most expensive houses and the view likely figures into the price of these homes as well.

Of course it stands to reason that if you are going up hills, at some point you have to come down.  Vancouver is made of rolling hills.  And the first 10 km of this course were rolling up and up some more.

I ran today as a 10 and 1 (run 10 min. & walk 1 min. format).  I will likely do the 1/2 marathon in this manner as well.  At times today I considered cutting the route short.  Each time this thought was produced, I dug down a little deeper, fought a little harder, pushed a little further.  I finally came to the portion of the run that was either on grade or downhill.   For me this is the gravy.  The muscles are tired but they don’t have to work quite so hard.

I ran the last few kilometers based on a fartlek format which is an exercise I have done with my run group.  Basically you run a minute then walk a minute, or run 30 seconds and walk 30 seconds.  I didn’t really do the time thing but rather used markers.  Looking ahead I would tell myself ‘Okay, you are going to run up to that tree / lamp standard / sign, etc.’  You get the idea.  Upon arriving I would walk and look ahead and decide where I was going to walk to.

And I feel really good right now.  I actually am really emotional right now.  This was a big one today.

At times I feel like my whole life has been uphill.  And I am okay with that because it has made me a stronger person in so many ways.  Let me tell you too, whenever you find yourself continually ascending, do stop and enjoy the view from time to time.  Today when I got to the top of Puget Drive, I looked out over Vancouver in all her splendor and smiled.  There is a reason why I love this home of mine so much and today’s gift was just one of the many reasons why.

With each step too, I fought through all the doubt and fear that has seemingly been rather prevalent during this training session.  No, I never considered that this would be an easy undertaking.  And the idea of finishing this race as a….God, I can’t even quite remember now what I was shooting for.  What I can tell you is that this has been one the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life.  Along with all the little health blips that came along I came to terms with the reason I was doing this in the first place.

I love to run.  It is a gift that was offered for my taking a few years ago and I took it.  I might be slow.  My gait may be awkward with my crooked foot, but I have been blessed in this movement.  Running has given me my life back, enriched it and helped me face some of the most difficult emotional issues in my life.  It gave me the stamina and strength to address some very painful memories and lay them to rest.  And just like running up a hill, emotionally I have come to the top and am looking out over the other side of the mountain.  I gotta tell you it looks pretty damn good from up here.

There is a life waiting for me to live it which is what I fully intend to do.

Thank you for stopping by and have a great day.


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