The relationship that I have with Hills is pretty public. From “I hate hills” a few years ago to “It is just a hill” we have come a long way. The Hyderabad half marathon is proof of that. I shaved off 4 minutes of time from my run 2 years ago, but more than that- the run felt easy. Which was a pleasant surprise.
Considering that it is the “Toughest City Marathon” – I did only the Half Marathon, so not to take away from the challenge that the terrain offered, it reflects my mental make up, that I fear the hills, and a full marathon on this course is unthinkable for me…YET!
As per the memory of my run 2 years ago, I had come prepared for war. My only goal was to run it non stop, with no focus on timing as it was too early in the season. And that is what I did. After an easy warm up of 3 km- I got into a rhythm, and monitored the run as per my effort level. I ran to ensure that my breathing did not get heavy, Poonam was alongside until the 7 km mark and then I got into the groove on a downhill and took off. Along the way, I met lots of runners, full marathoners who inspired me with their grit. I gathered strength from them and rolled on. My Garmin kept moving along, and at every new hill, at every new turn found a reason to stop. But- this was a RACE- I had to keep going. So I dropped my pace and kept on going.
At every point I waited for the race to get harder- it didn’t. Approaching the climb at 17 km and I knew that the stadium was just beyond. I changed gears and charged on to a strong finish.
I could have never imagined a run like this.
Over hills, which I dread.
So maybe hills are not that bad.
Maybe I am stronger.
Maybe I was well prepared.
I had a good day.
This has given me confidence. When the going gets tough, I need to get tougher. I have found the strength to get tougher. I just need the will. I cannot give up at the crest of hill. If I keep on going, the hill will end at some point and everything will ease off. Including the effort. And the downhill will start.
I need to run when I don’t want to run. I need to keep running when I feel like stopping. I must keep running when my brain screams it is difficult. I have found the ability and willingness to lean in to discomfort and vulnerability.
This is the end of base building and Phase 2 begins. Marathon training for SCMM. There is no point in conserving, may as well burn.
Eventually, by SCMM 2016, I want I reach “It is just a Hill, get over it!” Hope is a function of struggle.