Monday, January 9, 2012

Welcome to Heartbreak

Our team met up for a group run yesterday. The location couldn't be beat as it was held at the gym right by my house. I debated on walking over (about 30-40 minutes), but realized that after a late night out, I prefer the extra sleep. The course was one I see and drive on just about every day right in my back yard! Fortunately, not like the Charles River Run, I had no temptations to turn down a side street right to my house.

The group set out for a 14-16 mile run, but I'll be honest, I am so not ready for that distance! With the cold that kicked my butt and a ton of other excuses, 10 miles was all I could squeak out. I write that and say only 10 miles, but the realization is that I was 3 miles away from a half marathon. Who have I become? My real fear for not running the entire distance is that I don't want to be the last kid back. We all know I am a slow poke and most people had finished their 14 miles in the time it took me for 10. The volunteers are so nice and the last thing I want to do is make them wait for me. Everyone on the team reassures me that I shouldn't worry and that it is totally fine. As I require more and more miles, I have a feeling I won't care about making people wait, but for now 10 miles was just fine.

Now back to the purpose of the title and away from my ranting...Heartbreak Hill!

Anyone who knows about the Boston Marathon knows that it is a mostly downhill marathon with the first real hills coming at around mile 16 finishing at Heartbreak Hill at mile 20. Many people find that they hit their wall at this point and end up walking up or slowing down greatly at this point. While training for Covered Bridges Half, my tri coach suggested I jog to the hill, run down it, and then walk up it to prepare for my downhill half. Over the last year, this portion of the course has become my friend. I know those four miles are going to be brutal, but when I see that final hill and those houses I have fallen in love with, I am going to smile. From Centre Street to the finish, the run is a snapshot of my life in Boston. You pass by where I live now and move on to my first apartment right on the course in Washington Square and then head over to Coolidge Corner right past my other former abode. From Coolidge Corner, I pass by my dentist and then to Fenway where I spend quite a bit of time and on to the bars and restaurants you can find me on the weekend. It sounds pretty boring, but the last 6 miles to me are home and I am so excited to get to run on them. So while many view Heartbreak Hill as what it sounds like, a place of heartache, I instead view it as home. I can't wait to run on this hill dozens of more times between now and race day. In fact, I think it is on my schedule for tomorrow ;)

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