Waking up to a little bit of rain this morning was a bit of a treat. It took the heat down a notch — just enough to push my mental strength over the top of the brim, so my cup-runneth-over. The time had come….it’s time to run the Real HILL. The RealMcCoy. Oh Baby! Let’s Do IT!
I welcomed the rain today. Not a hard-driving rain, not a simple mist. A consistent light rain, bringing with it memories of my Half Marathon Day. That was a p.r.e.t.t.y. g.o.o.d. d.a.y! I ended the race soaking wet, but happy. The happiest I had been with myself in a long long time. So the rain was kinda like good karma for me. It wasn’t a second unknown…nope — I had done rain before and been successful. So there was No Problem adding it in as a variable to what needed to be done today. What was about to Happen. I, Diane….was taking on the King of all HILLs — the Goliath of my neighborhood. A simple 2 mile run. Out and Back. Down and then b.a.c.k. u.p. Yup. Up. Up.Up.Up.Up, and more Up the HILL. This obstacle is important. This HILL is at the start and finish of all of my Marathon Training runs that are beyond 3 miles. LMAO, which is almost all of them. So I have to conquer it. Climb it. Bake it into the “flipping the switch” program — so it doesn’t become the problem. The fly in the ointment. The kink in the chain. So I set out this morning, like David, armed only with my favorite Brooks running shoes, and a waist belt and bottle full of Vitacoco — to take on the Goliath — the giant, the powerhouse, the King of the HILLS. Steep, entrenched, unmovable, is seemed. But I carried with me the faith, the drive….the Belief.
The mile out was fine. Surprising, right? LOL, does anyone ever complain about downhill and flat? Hmm, well, maybe. 26.2 miles of it is complain-able, I guess. Turnaround occurred at the traffic light on Main Street where Old Bridge Turnpike ends. At the corner where East Brunswick and Old Bridge kinda intersect. (Sidebar, this is the same spot where they picked up that silly ole (BIG) black bear about a month ago. Ha, ha, ha, um, er ha. Noooot so funny since my runs take place in the dark most times. Go away bear. Willy, nilly, silly, old SCARY Bear)!
Heading back, I felt great. The entire mile out I was working myself up for the return. This was the moment of truth. It’s here that my mind begins to focus on just how ACTIVE running is. Really an Ah-Ha moment when Push-Comes-To-Shove moments like this occur. As I turned the corner and began the incline…..I was working hard in my mind before, long before, it ever began to feel hard. I found a life line of sorts out there on the side of the hill.
On the shoulder, I located the white line that indicates the shoulder for drivers, and put my Brooks O.N. that white line. Then I put my eyes O.N. that white line. And began the climb. One foot in front of the other. Now, I’ve climbed this hill many times before in walking mode. I know every bush, pole, mailbox, rock and fence. But today, I didn’t wanna look at it. I didn’t wanna know how much further I had. But it started to hurt. In my mind. That’s when I REALLY went to work. What happened next was a happy accident.
Over the summer, Peter and I had biked my long run paths — mapping out my 10 mile, 13 mile and 15 mile runs. So as my eyes tracked that white line on the road, my mind went to a place where I visualized how it felt to bike up that same HILL. One pedal, then the next. One pedal then the next. Keep pedaling, keep pedaling. Because on a bike…ya can’t stop. You MUST keep pedaling to get to the top. This visualization was wickedly powerful. As I was running up that hil….I put one foot in front of the other, and just kept pedaling myself up that HILL. In a small way — it became easier. In a huge way — it became possible. I had pedaled up this hill (painstakingly and slowly) many times. All of a sudden, what I was doing wasn’t new anymore. It wasn’t an iffy proposition. It became something I had done before. And THAT made it instantly easier. AMAZING. I WAS In AWE!
I pedaled myself, on my feet, up the HILL. When I hit the top and rounded the corner into my development, my mind was doing a happy dance, singing a happy song — balloons and confetti were falling around me. I looked at my Garmin and it read 13:13 at that point. Not bad. I had expected worse, honestly. From there I did the short downhill into my development, and then ran the last .30 of a mile on my street straight to my “street sign finish line”. I finished the mile back home at 12:45. I was thrilled.
Yet, more important than the pace, the mind trick of visualizing myself pedaling on my feet — was an awesome find today. I’ve already biked my 10, 13, and 15 miles long run paths, and I’m thinking that I may use this visualization trick to help me get that work done….and maybe….maybe even help me “flip the switch!”
Good, juicy learning took place today — In the Rain! LOVED IT!
Ciao for now……..Diane