Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yeah Baby!

Moving here in 2009 was one of the best moves I could have made in regards to my running. Not only do I have endless trails to explore, with all levels of difficulty, but living at the base of three mountains means that no run is ever flat. Yes, sometimes I complain about that, but it has certainly made me a stronger runner!

There is one giant hill in particular that I have longed to conquer since I moved here. It's a mile long and quite steep. With my injury last year and the resulting loss of fitness, I had to start over again this year from scratch. I've only attempted this hill a handful of times, but it has become for me a measure of my fitness. I could never seem to run up more than 2/3 of it without taking walk breaks.

Over the past few months I hadn't attempted it at all, but my strength and fitness were increasing through my long trail runs, higher mileage, and speed work. So tonight I thought I would tackle it again and see where I'm at.

As I was approaching the hill, I remembered what a friend said to me before my 10k last week: "You won't die, run hard." Good to keep that in mind.

The journey up this hill is punctuated by distinctive white fire hydrants. There are six hydrants altogether, and I've always measured my progress by how many sections I could run. I started slowly, focused on keeping my breathing as easy and steady as possible, and headed up. Passing the first hydrant, I thought, "I don't think I'm even going to make it to the second." But I kept going, and before I knew it was passing the second. Ok, breathe, focus, keep a steady pace. Suddenly there was the third hydrant, and then the fourth. When I reached the fifth, I knew I was going all the way to the top without walking, even though I was breathing hard and my legs were burning. The last section is the easiest, since you crest the hill and it levels off a bit.

I passed the sixth hydrant, giving it a little victory tap as I ran by it, and cruised on down the other side of the hill, taking in an awesome view of the Vancouver skyline sparkling in the distance. Victory!!

I think I am more excited about running all the way up this hill than I was about my 10k pb last week. This calls for champagne!! :)


  1. Great job on 'the hill'! Always nice to have a benchmark and to get some positive feedback in your fitness outside of a race.

    Running is great. Challenges and triumphs can come in so many different ways.

  2. Fantastic, well done! That is awesome and you absolutely have to celebrate.

  3. Awesome, now run back down and start back up that sucker ;)

  4. you didn't tell us how you danced like Rocky once you reached the top!
    (oh yeah...maybe you're too young to know what I'm talking about ;-)

    congrats on the victory, and for your 10k PB as well. It is a great time to have those successes, now you can build on them through the winter to be even stronger come Chuckanut!

  5. I think you showed me those hydrants, didn't you? Is that up where those froo-froo houses are? Way to go, Holly! That's quite a coup. <3

  6. Awesome! It is pretty impressive to accomplish a long term running goal in December! It is hardly peak season. Congrats and keep on truckin'