Chasing hills to drop the stress
In early 2016, I was running hills everywhere. In preparation for Big Sur Marathon I sought out elevation instead of speed. Luckily, New Hampshire, even in the southern end, is full of hills. Rolling hills, large hills, gradual hills, mountains and valleys, its harder to find flats here (our fastest half marathon courses tend to be near the ocean).
This year has only seen limited intentional hill work. Hills stress my rehabilitating ankle. So most of my 2017 running has sought treadmills and the flatter routes near me.
This week has been crazy in preparation for vacation. I had to finalize plans for our pets and our house (chickens and cats aren’t really boarding animals), organize our stuff, plan a schedule, purchase international health insurance, and generally keep up with a significant to do list. On top of that my job is always extra stressful pre-vacation. Everyone is trying to meet end of June deadlines and I’m frequently a gating approver. I had been working through lunches and packing in the evenings.
Thursday night, I came home crabby. Mentally, my tank was running low. I was snappy with the kids and unmotivated to get to the homestretch on packing. So I informed my husband that after the kids were in bed, my only to do would be to take the dog for a run.
I decided to run towards a large hill in the center of town. I figured I would get to the base and turn around. But when I got there I decided to take on the hill. I needed to push my body a little to get the focus out of my head.
I got to the top of the hill without difficulty and am happy to report I ran 5 miles without incident last night. I came back with a better attitude and felt more ready to finish the needed tasks and the last day of work.
How do you feel about hills? Love them? Avoid them? Can’t find them?