After creating my third running route here in Bartlett, one thing is apparent: hills are now a part of my life.
It's quite the departure for me, because in all the years I lived in Aurora, very few of my routes contained any discernible hillage. Sure, there were a couple of rises here and there, but nothing like where I am now.
Which is a nice change, and a new challenge. If you read between the lines of my post of my 5K race on Saturday, you'd discover that I'm not super confident on hills. I tend to tolerate and survive them instead of attacking them like I should.
Now it seems like I have no choice! Since it was another late-night run (about 10 p.m. again) I stayed off the paths and just wound around some streets than I had driven but not yet run on. I was hoping that it would stretch out to about four miles, but I drove it afterwards and it was 3.7. That's easily fixed for the next time.
But by my count, there were six downhills (starting right out of my driveway) and five uphills. I think that evens out. No doubt, lots of chances to practice.
What's nice about my most recent three runs is that the felt kind of easy. Tonight took a shade longer to get loose -- about a mile -- but the rest of the way I felt really, really free. It also helped that just after 2 1/4 miles I got a long downhill that was a great quad workout!
As I approached my neighborhood I turned in a couple of blocks early because the hill on that street is a little longer and steeper than the other entry. Instead of putting my head down and just kind of shuffling up, I really attacked the hill...and it felt great! No doubt it was a nice relief to finally get to the top, but it was a nice confidence boost to really charge the hill a little bit and not be totally spent from it.
It feels good to have the sense that I'm making a little bit of progress. I'm not friends with the hills yet, but things are starting to get a little better between us.