Thursday, August 30, 2012

Heartbreak Hill

I don't normally take advice from clothing retailers, even if they are as awesome as lululemon, but I love their manifesto. Yesterday, I took one part of it to heart.

"Do one thing a day that scares you"
from lululemon's awesome blog
I've been avoiding Heartbreak Hill in the northwest corner of Central Park during my training for the Grete's Gallop Half-Marathon. Even though I'll have to run up Heartbreak Hill twice since the race loops around Central Park two times, I was petrified of this hill. I had biked up it a few months ago when I was casually biking around the park with a friend and had no idea The Hill existed. I remember pedaling and pedaling, wondering what on earth this giant thing was in a city I considered flat (I'm from Washington State, I know mountains, so Manhattan's hills don't impress me unless I have to run up them).

I had built up Heartbreak Hill in my mind as this horrendous trial that was going to break me come half-marathon day. I had gotten completely scared off from even approaching the northern part of the park.

Today, I told my mind to shut up (I may have used stronger language). I was determined to get over my fear of The Hill. I didn't take the last turn-off before the upper loop of the Central Park road. I told myself I wasn't allowed to stop as I ran up it. So... I didn't stop. I believed I could run up the whole hill at a steady pace. And I did!

Running up a hill without stopping might not seem like a lot to the experienced runners out there. Yet for me, running up this hill--The Hill--that I had built up so that it loomed large whenever I considered the half-marathon, felt like a huge personal achievement. I fist pumped and had a giant smile on my face as I jogged down the hill to finish my 4.5 mile run. This might be one of my favorite running memories for a long time.

What's your favorite running memory?

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