Humbled By Hills

THIS…is my September race…

kauai elevation
HOLY HILLS, BATMAN!!  Seriously…we’re talking some ELEVATION!!

Here’s the deal…when I first started back to running, my physical therapist, Katie, had me specifically working on…hills.  Why?  Well, when you come back form a hip labrum tear…the hip muscles remain weak.  And…sadly…for me as I stare at that elevation chart…I truly understand why this was the first thing she had me working on.  You see, by simply pushing off to run, your hip extensor muscles are working overtime.  But they work even harder when you are running uphill.  And guess what doesn’t want to fire correctly for me all the time since my injury and very slow return to running.  You guessed it…the hips.  They are weak from the tear for sure…and the time off…but the hip adductor, especially, was quite the issue when I was in physical therapy.  Once some of the strength in my legs evened out and balanced…well…there was a bit more power…but…it’s nowhere near where it used to be.

Needless to say, hill repeats are now a part of my Tuesday routine.

This does not thrill me…nor do I enjoy having to do them, but you’re supposed to train for the race you are running and obviously…mine has quite a lot of climbing involved.  I may not like it, but I gotta do it.

I’ve gone out to run hills twice now.  Last week, I thought I did pretty good.  I am slow on the uphill climbs…especially the steeper it goes, but I could keep up with the group of 5 that came out to do them.  So, that was good.  This week, however…this week all the local hill climb elites were out or something because they were all…

upstirs
And I felt like I was being left in the dust.  I was lapped on EVERY hill.  Seriously.  And I was pushing as hard as I could manage…I just wasn’t getting the power.  So while they are all up, up and away…I felt like I was more…

horizontalrun
I might be able to leave them in the dust with horizontal running, LOL!!  I know, the more I do it, the better I will get at it.  It was a very humbling, and at the same time, frustrating experience.  I ran hills from winter into spring and was hoping to see a bit more power and strength for having done so…but it’s not there.  Not yet.

Maybe one day I will know what it is like to be that runner who sees a hill and can just…

runuphill

But for now…I’ll be huffing and puffing and pushing as hard as my legs can push to get me up each steep incline, only to turn around, jog easily to the bottom…and do it all again.  The only way to get better…is to keep doing it.  The only way to get stronger…is to never give up.

hills_zpsolewmf42
Find your strong, friends.  And do something that scares you.

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