Thursday, August 03, 2006

Heartbreak Hill

Even though my virtual trainer, Jason Varitek, is on the DL for 4-6 weeks, (Tek Stays With Team) I am still out there running. Today's 2 mile challenge: Heartbreak Hill.

I drove over to City Hall and parked. Since I didn't have the warm up walk I normally do, I walked to the Johnny Kelley statue and then back down the block to the the corner of Lowell Ave. to start my run. About a two minutes into the run I was thinking, "What the hell am I doing? This is hill is fucking steep..." I began thinking about all the people who hit this hill after running 19 miles knowing they still have 7.2 more to go and thought maybe I was picking up a bit of that energy.

Plugging on I had other thoughts:

  • Why did I forget my sunglasses?
  • I hope no one I know drives past now
  • Is this weather ever going to break?
  • I can't believe they make the track kids run this hill all the time
  • Maybe this isn't so bad - I mean I'm already half way up
and other such things. When I made it to the top, I just felt really happy and proud as I circled around and headed back down for what, I assumed, would be an easy run. I was wrong. It wasn't hard, but it wasn't easy either. There were a couple of "serious" runners that smoked me both directions, but it was OK. The majority of the people out there looked sort of like me - mostly middle aged who left their best bodies back in their 20's struggling up and down the hill with no water in sight to even think about fetching.

When I passed the statue on the way down, I called out, "24.2 more to go Johnny."

He just smiled that enigmatic grin through the decades. There were no memorials or tributes to him today - DPW must have cleaned up around there recently since the trees are trimmed back
and the grass is mowed. I know they'll start popping up again - the blown sneakers, empty gatorade bottles and such always seem to find their way there. Oftentimes with messages of thanks and running stories.

But I'm still glowing from this run. I did it, I ran Heartbreak Hill in 27:57 - a great time for me. In the background, as I crossed the crosswalk marking the 2 mile mark, I could hear Tek clapping while he leaned on his crutches next to Johnny who yelled "you go girl."

It was a good run.

No comments: