I am learning very quickly that I have the ability to take hills. Yes, I mostly mean while running (but we all know how I love to link running to life). Since moving from Louisiana, I feel that every surface I run while outside is an uphill surface. To say the terrain of Stewart County is not flat would be an understatement. All roads roll. And while I find these roads fun to drive, they present a special challenge while running them.
I read somewhere that one of the best way to take a hill is to imagine pushing yourself over the hill. Don't just focus on making it to the peak, mentally imagine yourself going past the top and working the downhill. I didn't have much practice of that while in Louisiana. Now I can practice that between 8 and 15 times every mile.
Most recently, I am training for the Oak Barrel Half Marathon in Lynchburg, Tennessee. I would like to also run a few 5ks in the Spring and then try to run the Ragnar Relay race in the summer (and/or fall). I like having these distant races in my mind while I train. It makes me push myself harder. It makes me think beyond the day's run and what I am ultimately running for. I run for my health, yes. I run to keep in shape and not have to buy bigger pants, yes. But I especially run for race day. I love the excitement of race day.
When I think of myself up and over hills during my training runs, I am imagining myself taking the hills of the half marathon course around Lynchburg. I imagine the spectators cheering and the feeling of crossing the finish line. And with each hill, I feel a sense of accomplishment. They are minor accomplishments, but accomplishments, nonetheless.
I find myself encountering hills in life, too. I have to push myself to see beyond the steep grade and think of pulling myself up and over the hill. Ultimately, I have to remember in the grand scheme of things, these hills are tiny and that there are bigger things (like the festivities after a major race) that I work for.
Besides, if I didn't get out to stretch my legs, how else would I catch sunsets like this?