Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tear the roof off the sucker!

I did it. I ran 4 miles today: two up Heartbreak Hill and two back down!

For those of you in the cheap seats that didn't hear me:


Sundays on Heartbreak Hill are busy. A lot of running clubs do their long runs from some point in Boston to the firehouse at the corner of Rte 16 and back. It was interesting for me to see people driving along, hiding their water bottles along the route and then hopping in to drive to the next spot. Today there was at least one big-ass blue cooler concealed by the Johnny Kelley statue.

There were all sorts of runners out today - solo, small groups and big groups. Sort of like someone yelled, "Running party on the Commonwealth Ave carriage road," and everyone poured out of their homes and started running - like in those teen/college movies when someone yells "Party at..."

I'm not sure why I can break mental barriers on Heartbreak, but I can. I did think about the hill itself today. Where I start, behind City Hall, you have a couple of blocks that are pretty level and then you start climbing as you pass Bullough's pond. It continues like that for a while more and then it levels off for another block. So you've gone from, "Oh fuck!" to "that's not too bad." The climb after that is a bit more gradual for a little and it continues in that sort of pattern. So when you "conquer" it, you feel like you've accomplished something.

When I couldn't seem to do 2 miles without walking, I started running to Centre Street and I found I could do it. The other day when I broke past Centre Street to the Kosher strip mall, I felt like I could do anything and it made up for the scary, crazy military guy run a couple nights earlier. Today when I made it past Centre Street it was no biggie. I made it past the Kosher strip mall with the thought, "That's 2.5 miles," because I knew turning around there meant 2.5 miles.

When I got to Hobart Street, I knew that was the 3 mile point on the turn around and I figured anything at this point was gravy - so I kept going.

It was funny, I got to Ward Street - marking 2 miles out and I yelled, "Woo Hoo! I did it!" and turned around to see a real runner guy grinning. "Congrats," he said, "how far?"

"Two miles out, now two back."

"Good job, keep it up," he said as he went back to his LSD.

On my way back down I began passing people I passed on the way up. Many of them were really encouraging, "Keep going..." "Looking good..." "Stay strong..." and other sorts of greetings.

Today when I passed Johnny on the way down I yelled, "I'm going for four today Johnny - got that four!" and I held up 4 fingers. I could hear him in my mind saying, "Good job - you'll be doing six before you know it. Keep up the good work."

Wow... four miles at a 13:14 pace. Who'd have thought I'd be able to do that? Up until this morning, not me. But now I that I have, I'm a happy pika and I can hardly wait to do it again!

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