Not Done Yet


8K Training Team – Week 7: We Take the Hill


Here’s a secret for you:

Runners curse like sailors.

But the cursing is saved for special circumstances.

Circumstances like these.

Hill, thy name is Mandy, and we curse thee…

Yeah, I know McKayla doesn’t look impressed, but trust me — it’s a BIG hill!

Oh, But Wait – There’s More!

This week’s team assignment was either going to bond us or break us. Here was the assignment:

1. Run five (yes, 5) miles, possibly for the first time in your life.

2. Run a good chunk of that uphill. Both ways. In the snow.

Okay, I jest slightly. There was no snow. Just impending rain as we waited with dread for Hurricane Sandy to make her arrival in Central Virginia. As we gathered on the roof, the sky was ominous.

Who Let the Bugs Out?

On Wednesday, Dexter and I did our normal dry run of the Saturday training team distance. However, we were not equipped with the Evil Hill route, so Dexter plotted a nice run through the streets of the Fan. It was a lovely evening, not too warm but not yet chilly, a slight balm in the air but not uncomfortably so. We took off down Monument and made our way toward Franklin Street, ready to see what five miles would be like.

Unfortunately, as the streets narrowed, the bugs thickened. Who knew there would be gnats in October? Crazy! I guess as long as the locusts stay away, we’re good.

This was the first time I had ever run five miles, and it was a little daunting. Turns out, the last mile was the toughest. Dexter and I continued to push and encourage one another through the final stretch.









And we made it. Here’s the post run photo to prove it.

When I got home, I was definitely using the RICE method recommended by Coach Mandy and Coach Dan in our latest training tip. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. I added a little ibuprofen for good measure.

Wait, Is There An Alternate Route?

Despite the impending storm, we had a great turnout for the run. This really is an incredibly dedicated team, and we all find strength in showing up to support one another.

Of course, we should have known we were in trouble when Coach Mandy introduced the Route for the day as follows:

“Feel free to curse me. But I run this hill all the time, and I promise you, it will make you stronger. Just be sure you’re careful going down the hill – it’s easy to stop running and start rolling.”

My fellow training team members did their best impressions of McKayla Maroney. Surely, after all we have accomplished, one stupid little hill is not going to break us!

With strains of Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” growing louder in my head, we took off for our run.

Five miles. Race distance. Do or do not. There is no try.



We Take The Hill

I’ve often heard runners describe various courses, and their descriptions begin with a smile and the phrase, “It’s a great course, fairly flat…”

I never appreciated until we started this training team how important it is that the world be flat.

As we made our decent down 5th street heading toward Tredegar iron works, we met up with the Marathon training team following much the same route. They turned to the left, and we went right…

Right back up the hill.

And then up another hill. And another. I began to appreciate what an uneven town Richmond is.

But we did it. And along the way, we encouraged one another, hung out with fellow teammates along the route (thanks for stopping by, Courtney!) and pushed through that dreaded last mile.

Turning the corner, we met with the sign at the hospital, our official stop/ start point, and truly felt a sense of accomplishment. We had made it. We had proven – all of us – that we are able to finish the race.

Such an accomplishment is a photo worthy moment. Awesome job, Team!!



Let the Taper Begin!!

Wishing You an Awesomelicious Day!


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