Saturday, August 04, 2007

Back to Banging up Buck

This morning I slept in, made the the boys breakfast, made myself breakfast and packed a cooler to take out to Buck Hill. I didn't stop for a big bag of ice as it was drizzling out and the temperature was only supposed to hit 75 for a high. Just some gels, 4 bottles of water and a baggie of HEED if necessary.

I made a mental note to get at least 17 hill repeats, but I really was hoping I could do 20.

One hour and 15 minutes later I arrived to Buck Hill. And a ton of rain. Oh well, guess I don't need heat training anymore anyhow.

I ran the 2.5 mile warm up and then proceeded to the hill. It's daunting looking up that hill, thinking that I wanted to run 20 of them and I don't even have one in the bag.

Up the hill I went, iPod playing, bottle in hand. Rain coming down, feeling pretty good on my skin. It's been a long time since I've run in the rain.

I ran faster down the hill, trying to let go a bit. I did learn at Vermont that I'm pretty good at climbing the hills-thanks to Buck-but not so hot coming down. I mean, some people FLY down the hills. I tried. I wasn't very flyish, but I'm getting better at it.

After each hill repeat I put a rock in a line, each rock counting my repeat. Wondering if I could have 20 rocks there in my line at my finish.

I continued. After one hour I had 7 repeats in. I did 3 more, had a Hammergel, refilled my bottle with water and headed out for the 2.5 mile run. The transition from hills to run didn't make me complain as it did the last three hill sessions. It was fine, actually, it was a nice change. Wow, major change of opinion there.

Back to the hill, now I knew I could bang out another 10 hills. I just knew it.

Nobody else was out at Buck Hill today while I was out there. Well, there were some 4 wheelers getting a lesson and a tour. I met the instructor with a new group of students a few times on the top of the hill, he asked me how many and what I was running the hill for. Nice little conversation to break up the 4 + hour run.

OK, number 16. Wow, new territory and feeling strong. Up I go, down I come. Pretty soon I place rock number 19 in my line. I go up the hill and think how banging these hills out is like shot of something in my vein. Something to get me to the finish of Superior. Something to make me stronger, fitter, faster and more stubborn. All of that.

As I'm trudging up the last hill a song plays on my iPod: Staind; So Far Away and I begin to cry. The words "I can't forget that I'm not ashamed to be the person that I am today" I realize how far I've come. How much I've changed. How much of my life that I've been ashamed of myself. The lies, the drugs, the drinking. I've let that go. I'm not ashamed of myself anymore. Sometimes, I'm even proud of myself.

Boy, what running can do for a gal.

I place my last rock and count 20 of them in line. I write Julie 20 in the sand. Pick up my supplies and drop them in the car, to run my final 2.5 miles as a cooldown. Boy, was it a cooldown-the rain really began to fall. I turned my face up to the sky and thought how grateful I was to be out there running.

As I came back into the lot, there was Les Martisko, ready to pound out his repeats!

This afternoon we're all going to The Simpsons Movie. What a great day, enjoy it!


Adam said...

Hey Julie,

Sounds like a great workout! Could you tell me more about how you climb and descend? Is it a slow jog, do you walk portions, etc? Do you then come straight down the same hill or is there a trail that weaves you back to the bottom? Is this 2.5 mile loop entirely within the confines of Buck or out on the frontage road?I'm very familiar with the hill but have never run there. Thanks!

I'm jealous of your upcoming Lutsen trip. If you happen to do the final section close to Lutsen where us 50M'ers will also be, please give a trail report!

Anonymous said...

I am in AWE! I am teary eyed and don't know you but as proud and moved by someone I have never met as I am of you right now.

I have an addiction too and I was thinking the other day how you over came yours. Mine isn't has severe as yours, but still my own and hope I can deal with it with the same grace as you.

You are a grea athlete. But more so an amazing human being and even more important, Mother. The example you are setting for them and all of us is something to be VERY proud of.

I feel so lucky to have totally stumbled across your blog when I really needed it most. I have to thank you for that.

Sometimes it is about more then the workout. I like how you stop to take photos and let your dog wallow in a pool. You have been to the bottom and are stopping to smell the roses at the top. What a great perspective. I try to remember that everyday as well.

Great job and thanks again.

Julie B said...

aharmer, I run up to the first ski pole thing and then walk up the rest of the hill, up to the top, touch my toes and run down as fast as I can; turn around, repeat. For the warmup cooldown - it's not on the frontage road, just a bit of it is, I run on the asphalt past the gasstation down another mile, to a stop light and turn back. I just do the same hill over and over. The longest, steepest one.

Anon, thanks for the kind words. Running has helped me cope immensely! I firmly believe that one has to replace their bad habits/addictions with other habits.

Olga said...

Juls, well said. Don't you want to grabs the moment of such thoughts ands hold on to it long after?..That running doesn't just change and help, it makes us darn too emotional:)

Anonymous said...

What a great summary of a run. I found your blog on CRN and read through some posts - but this one I could feel your love of running. Way to go!