Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Hills Are Alive...

...with the sound of my feet pounding the pavement. Yes, I said it - HILLS. We ain't in Illinois any more.

My week of vacation brought me back to the great state of CT. After a year in the midwest, the northeast looked downright mountainous, forget hilly. But I have to say, it definitely is beautiful.

With New England topography came a new challenge for training: I'm used to running on very flat land. Not too much of that in the Litchfield Hills.

I tried to scope out some areas in my parents' town that were flat-ish, and tended to run these areas. However, one day I went for a relatively blind run in Orange, CT and it somehow felt like I never STOPPED running uphill. I felt as though I should have been on top of Everest when I was done!

I think the hills lit a bit of a fire in me. In general, my times were great at home, but I think I was always subconsciously thinking I needed to keep my pace up and not slow too much on those pesky climbs. In total, I ran 33.3 miles of Connecticut terrain in a week's time, and let me tell you... my legs felt it.

So let me share a little story... on my last day in CT, I squeezed in my long run for the week. I did 9.1 miles by running 7 laps around a loop near my parents' house. First and foremost, running in circles is insanely boring, but it was flat and easy to get to, so that's what I did. As I'm running by my house, the dog decides she wants to come to, and blows through her electric fence to run by my side. Despite my best efforts, I could not get her to stay home, so she ran next to me. She's not outstanding with cars, but luckily there's very little traffic in the area. She's also very responsive and follows commands, so if a car came by I'd call her to my side and she'd stick with me. Good doggy.

But then... bad doggy. We were coming down the street, and one of the neighbor's cat's darted across the street into the neighbor's yard, and Mya took off. Normally, this would not be a big deal. But the yard she darted into has a German Shepherd that could (and would) eat her for a snack, and an owner who freely wields a shotgun and picks off small, furry woodland creatures. I about had a heart attack. After screaming for her at the top of my lungs, she emerged from the yard unscathed. My father finally reigned her in, put a new battery in her electric fence collar, and I finished my run. Afterwards, the aforementioned neighbor called my folks to tell them the horrors of Mya's visit... and ratted me out for running with the dog off leash. It was like I was 8 and my friend's parents called to inform mom and dad I misbehaved. Turns out said neighbor was sitting on her porch counting the number of times I ran by. Not too much to do in Woodbury, I guess.

Anywho, vacation was amazing. Spent lots of time with the fam, saw tons of family and friends I hadn't seen in a long time, was in 2 amazing weddings, and overall had an absolute blast. I've returned to working nights, but have spent my afternoons before work hitting the Lakefont Trail. Nice and flat, just the way I like it.

1 comment:

  1. Flat may be better for running, but you have to admit you miss these hills! Funny to think that the next time I see you, you will be s/p a 23 mile run! (yes, I just used s/p in a post. You love it)