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!