Day 6 -- Aug. 12, 2012
Today I am 191.6 pounds of rolling thunder.
Believe it or not, on yesterday's run I was a mound of rolling thunder. Not sure if it was the cooler air or drop in humidity, but I was able to run almost non-stop for 40 minutes -- hills included.
There's a hill on my normal route that I usually attempt about twice a week. For a good runner, I'm sure it's little more than an annoyance, but for me it's definitely a three-walk (maybe four) slog up the half-mile slope.
But yesterday, for some reason (call it bio-rhythms, dumb luck, a dog's day, whatever) I owned my nemesis hill.
I started the day on a quick break from my normal saddle time as an online news writer and editor for television station news websites. It's usually enough time for a quick change of clothes, a 40-minute run and a shower before heading back to work.
On this day, I rolled out jogging from the house instead of walking to warm up. I had no real target route, just time, so I looped around on some flats and downward slopes to get my confidence going.
After making the turn onto a street with some of what I term rollers, I stated up a two-block incline. Normally I hit this point about a mile or two into my run, so it can be a slog. But on this day, I just kept going, thinking that if I could clear this incline it was downhill to the stop light.
But the stoplight was green so there was no rest. And then another short, not-so-steep climb to the next light. But beyond that was the Kilimanjaro of the neighborhood.
Actually, there are longer and steeper climbs in the area but this was the hill I frequently run and have never made it to the top without a walk break. I kept crossing streets, adjusting my pace to the incline and finally passed a walker with about 20 feet to go from the top.
Walkers don't really count. I retain the world's slowest human title despite passing a walker, especially one who makes room on the sidewalk for me.
I hit the top of the hill wheezing but fully aware that once I made the turn, it would be downhill for at least a quarter mile, so I could gather my breathing.
I cruised through the normal rollers that cause me to walk on a frequent basis and turned for home. Through the park -- no walking. Blew through the stop light -- I had momentum on my side, and like an old horse, I could smell the barn.
After nearly 40 minutes I was less than half a mile from home. I rolled up the last incline and gravity caught me. I walked across the street for about four strides and then jumped back on my horse and jog/ran it in.
So today, if you see the slowest human running, watch out, I have new status on the road.