Always run up the hills

This weekend — Sunday! — is my first half marathon. My motivation and confidence about this race has waxed and waned with good days/runs, and not-so-good days where I feel every bit of my 40-some-odd years.

I’ve had some problems with a nerve issue in my foot (caused most likely by too many years in too-high heels) and some creaks in my knees when I probably added too many miles too quickly after a couple of wonky weeks of traveling. My longest training run has been 10 miles; it felt awesome to hit double-digits but this race is three miles further than that, plus there are three big ol’ bridges to cross. Yikes!

But I’ve been training for this for months. I can do this. That’ll probably be my mental refrain throughout the race, when the miles are feeling long.

Running always makes me think of my dad, who became a runner back in the days before the advent of fitness trackers and fancy running-shoe stores. I don’t even know where he bought his running shoes but I do remember him using duct tape to reinforce the worn parts to make them last longer. I also remember his collection of race t-shirts and those cheesy running shorts men wore back in the 1970’s/80’s.

Running advice from Dad

We never got to run together, and never really discussed running in much detail because I never thought I’d want to be a runner. But I do remember Dad saying to always run up the hills because that’s the hard part, and if you could do that the rest felt easier.

(part of a hilly run when I was back in Georgia a couple of weeks ago)
running advice: always run up the hills

You could apply Dad’s logic to most of life, much like that Mark Twain’s eat-the-frog philosophy: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

Personally, I’d rather run a hill than eat a live frog. I’ll try to remember that when I’m running those intimidatingly big bridges this weekend. And there will be Marines in dress blues to present me with my medal — assuming I do actually finish this race!

I hope to post a race recap here on the blog next week, but you can follow my fitness instagram account to cheer me along and see if I have enough of an endorphin high to overcome my introvertedness and take a post-run selfie with a Marine. 😉