"Uphill" --Picture by Stefan Jansson
Copyright © by Ralph F. Couey
Except for photo and cited quotes
I love to read. Unfortunately, my busy schedule doesn't leave me much time to delve. However, one place I can go and be guaranteed a few minutes of uninterrupted peace are the...um...facilities. I'm sure I'm far from being alone in that department.
I was at work when I found a copy of a magazine oriented towards runners -- not 3-to-5 milers like myself, but really long distance folks, half-, full-, and ultra-marathoners. Myself, I've been running regularly now for about 15 months and have gotten to the point where I feel guilty for skipping a day, even when my Achilles acts up. So, I was idly flipping through the 'zine when I came across a page full of printed tweets about running. One of them caught my eye.
"Never make a decision going uphill."
It took a bit of digging after I got home to find the source of this captivating piece of wisdom, but I was able to track it to a fellow named John Burton who is the "pacer" (no, I don't know what that is) for ultra-marathoner W. Caitlin Smith.
Anyone who has taken on the challenge of running (not on a treadmill) should immediately be able to relate to this statement. I run primarily the streets, sidewalks, and occasionally, trails in and around the delightfully sublime village of Vienna, Virginia. I've mapped out about 9 different routes, ranging from flat and easy 3 milers on the W&OD trail, to 5.5 milers through the attractive "Leave It To Beaver" neighborhoods. Vienna is a hilly town and as a result these courses tend to take on the character of a roller coaster ride. While it's nice to go downhill, at 58 years old, I find that my joints will only allow me so much speed, hence my pace tends to be a glacial 12- to 13-minute mile.