Thursday, February 18, 2010

My View

I went for a nice run today. It was nice because I got to run naked and let loose. What? That means I got to leave the HR monitor home and go fast! That's what Jen tells me, leave the heartrate monitor home and run naked. Gotta love it. I was told to work the middle 4 miles. I was fired up for this run. I've been waiting for this kind of run. I've been on the keep it moderate list for way too long because of this foot but now I've been let out of my cage. This is also a rest week. (sort of a joke because it's school vacation week and I have 3 boys and very little snow to play in and so there isn't a lot of resting going on for this Mama bear.) But in terms of training, yes, the load is quite light. So back to my run. Since I was given instructions to push push hard on those middle 4 miles, I intended to do just that. I had two choices. I could stay in my neighborhood, at the top of the hill (you'll see) and run 1 mile loops to keep the course flat and fast. If I did that...I could report a nice speedy pace back to Coach on Training Peaks. Hmmm. OR...I could make the choice that will make me faster. And stronger. But it's the course that would hurt more and appear slower. The pace that I typed into that little block on TP wouldn't be nearly as impressive. Here's where I ran.

Out my door and UP the hill. It's 1/2 mile up. I start every single run of my life...up.this.Hill.

I decided to finally take some pictures of this running route I love. The pictures really really don't do it justice. But I'll try. After cresting the hill above, I turn right and head down the one flat stretch of road. It lasts about . 3. yippy.


and then I climb this bad boy.



Here's where my photo tour falls apart a little bit. Idon't have shots that show all the hills in between that last one and this down hill. Trust me...it's a continuous game of up and down. The climbs are steep and quite long. It's beautiful and it's unforgiving. It's the best training land around. You can't find an easy 6 miles regardless of how hard you try. Unless of course, you want to run around and around and around in circles.

I took pictures of these downhill areas because the sun was behind me. The shots going uphill were overexposed. But remember, I had to turn around and go back Up these puppies. You know, the pictures aren't that effective...it's hard to get the full picture.

Here's the best thing....our natural spring water stop. The water is tested and 100% clean and safe. It's absolutely delicious on hot summer days. I can stop here for a drink multiple times on my runs on this route. It's perfect.


This is actually the toughest climb on the road. It appears immediately after the water stop. The picture is blurry...but trust me...it goes on and on and on. When I say these are steep, I have to fight to break 11 min miles on these. It's tough stuff... What you see as the top in this picture, isn't really the top. It turns and keeps going. And it's much much prettier with snow on the trees...maybe next year.

Here's the point of this post. Don't take the easy route. We all want to break barriers. We want to be faster and stronger. We want to beat the person we haven't beaten before.
There are lots of ingredients to getting there. You must work hard and keep your eye on the prize. So when you are given a choice, the easy route or the hard route, never never take the easy way out. It won't get you to that new --faster---stronger--place.
Just go for it. Every time.








19 comments:

Melissa said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one with rolling hill in every direction from my house. I too ususally start with a hill in the beginning. Maine is so beautiful. I loved the pics. Thanks for showing us your route.

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Wow...those hills are crazy! Good job on your run! I'm glad your foot is better. I think it's so neat that you have a natural water spring on your route. That must be so nice on hot runs!

Laura said...

Oh now I'm sooooo homesick! I miss Maine soooo bad! Thanks for a little trip down memory lane....

Running and living said...

I live in Arlington Heights, so yes, lots of hills. I start going downhill on 2 .25m hills, which I have to take up on my way back. I actually love hills bc they make my legs stronger.

cheryl said...

beautiful - and no wonder you are such a great runner!

Jennifer Harrison said...

YES!! Thanks for posting these pics, Ange....so now I know where you run all the time! I LOVE IT!!! STRONG LIKE BULL. hee hee :)

Ewa said...

I could never run naked. :) Run without my Garmin? Just the thought of it makes me shiver. Now I do recall braving a run without Garmin once... a long time ago.
Anyway, beautiful area. It does not seem you guys have a lot of snow there. I used to live in New England and this does not look like NE winters I remember.

Ange said...

Ewa...thanks for visiting my blog!
You made a very good observation regarding the snow. We are experiencing a very very strange Maine winter. We had a lot of snow and then it rained on 1/18..all day. It hasn't snowed a flake since. We're all doing our snow dances!! :) No joke.

sallyaston said...

Great pictures. WTG on taking the hard route! I posted some pictures in my blog recently of where I train- it is very different from your neck of the woods :-)
http://sally-whatamidoing.blogspot.com/2010/01/where-do-you-train.html

Kim said...

i heart the beautiful place you get to run! no matter which route i choose leaving from my apartment in charlestown, i always hit a big ole hill - at the beginning AND end. but your hills look so much prettier :)

yay for running nekked!

Angela and David Kidd said...

It's a beautiful and tough area to run! I am jealous. Here in the Chicagoland area we drive out of our way to run on "hills" and they don't even come close to comparing to what you have right outside your front door.

Jennifer Cunnane said...

So true, my friends and I at home always do our long Run on a very hilly trail course which kicks my but, but in the end, its not the pace I measure myself by but how much stronger I feel the next time I tackle it!

Mama Simmons said...

Great post! It's super hilly around here too and I'm remember thinking (when I first moved here) that I would either get really strong or else I would just quit. Haven't quit. ;)
Glad you've got the green light to push some on your runs now. That feels so good.

GoBigGreen said...

Whoa i cant believe how barren you guys are up there. Blah. I wonder if NH is the same way. Bummer. As i said, take some of ours!
Since i moved from the city to the burbs ( actually only a few miles) my runs are like your's...all down all up not much flat in btwn, and even the flat has a deceptive 2-3% grade. But it is all good and it makes me love hills even more:)
Glad your foot is better!

Annie Cat said...

Oh! Awesome! Love those hills! I'm out in flat-as-a-pancake Chicago now after living much of my life in mountains, and boy do I miss hills. Every time I go see my in-laws in SW Ohio I have to get in as many hill runs as possible. Thanks for the photos!

MaineSport said...

Seems like an interval run to me with all of the pictures...

Meg said...

I just LOVED the last paragraph in your post. I think I turned the corner in running last year when I chose to take the hilly route home even though it was tougher and added two more hilly miles to my already tiring long run...just because I wanted to be tougher, faster and stronger. I LOVE your attitude...take the hard route every time. You rock!

Mary IronMatron said...

The pictures do not do justice as to how mountainous it REALLY is where you are. Every time I drive to your house I think--I can't believe she runs here like every day. :)
It's hilly here. But not like there!
I take the easy way sometimes... (but only for a recovery run!! :)

Marni said...

I love this post!! Your pics are so beautiful and i wish I could run with you!! It's so great to hear you are running again, I know you waited a while for it!
-marn