As I am running along, I can see the crest of the hill, and I get excited. Over that crest is the half way point of the run, the four mile turn around where I usually tell myself
"just stick with it, it's all down hill from here". As I summit this hill, which had a long, gradual incline, I really, REALLY, start to hate marathon training. This is not a hill, but a mountainous peak, and before me a very steep long road enfolds down into a valley where my half way stop sign lies. The run so far, not so bad, the run down, not bad either. But running back up this beast of an incline on my way back? PURE HELL.
Hill training is intense, but rewarding. Come marathon day, I am going to be glad I didn't settle for a hilly route and instead choose the road of extreme vertical inclines. It is good I run with an ipod, as it blocks the hateful dialog going through my mind when the hill is so steep you practically need a ladder or rope to scale it. My long run time was on target for training, but slower than last week: 1:37:00 for 8 miles, averaging 12:07/mi. 37 seconds slower per mile, but 1000% more hills. I think that is a good start.
So this is what week 13 of training brings. Only 2 days of running due to moving and interviewing, but I only missed one cross training and one day of tempo training. My total mileage is 204 miles (11 miles added this week), reaching another important milestone in training! Thats the distance from Richmond to Reno. And, still no knee pain! Wowza! I am looking forward to starting speedwork this Thursday. I wonder if I will have a new personal best for the mile :) Mileage increases, and so do the hills. Yikes!
Training is about to get intense, but I am so ready for this! This week's mantra: just one step at a time. No more of this "it's all down hill from here" crap. Out here, there is always another hill.