Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Hills are Alive in Kent

I said I wanted hills. And, oh, Kent gave me hills!

Because I have recently become obsessed with running, I skipped another swimming day to take to the notorious hills of Kent, Ohio. Well, maybe it had more to do with the sunny 72-degree afternoon we’re having, but I ran about 5 miles during lunch and ran over every single big hill on and around the Kent State campus. Some I took twice.

The last time I ran the hills of Kent was last summer when I first started running outdoors (quick lowdown: I started running last March and built up to 5 miles by August, when I lamed out during a vacation in Boston. For the next four months I maxed out at 2 miles on the track every couple days, but that was it. Then I started training on Jan. 1 this year… and here I am today!). It was a muggy, o-zone action day complete with rushing buses and construction on North Campus. I ran le tour de campus with Jeff, but teetered on the edge of an asthma attack for most of the trip. And now I’m certain it was half the air, half the me.

My fingers are crossed that when summer and muggy weather return this year I will be in good enough physical shape to build up some lung strength as well.

Breathing today was all right. I’ve noticed — between St. Malachi and today — that I’ve definitely surpassed the point at which stopping to walk is NOT an option. Sure, if I were on the brink of collapsing or in any type of danger, I would consider it. But when I hit that painful “ooh, if only I could stop” point now: Psshaw! I keep going.

In fact today, I was about 35 minutes into my run when I was summiting the sledding hills on North Campus. My breathing was quick and a little wheezy, and I slowed quite a bit from a flat-ground pace. I can only imagine how sweaty, gross and tired I looked (only because people were looking at me funny), but the pain made me feel like I was getting somewhere. Other than up a steep hill.

A few months ago I would have stopped to walk for 10 minutes, but I ran for another 20 minutes. And then I only stopped because I had arrived at the rec. center front door.

Then shortly after I arrived at the front door of my office, Jeff was offering up the cranberry-apricot amaretto pie that was featured in the latest issue of Feast! Magazine. Ahh, nothing like making a run totally worth it.

A group of pie-eaters had planned on taking our pie and eating it too on the picnic bench outside of our building, but it still has a mound of dirty snow surrounding it. At least I had my run to take advantage of this lovely day. I think it might snow on Friday.

So, what’s next? Landon has proposed the Cleveland half marathon on May 20, which he will be running as well. I’m not confident in my ability to run a half marathon yet, but I’ll have to see what a difference two months could make. It’s either the half marathon or 10K. What should I do?


Papa Louie said...

If you find a beginner training schedule for a half and can stick to the training schedule (for the most part) then I'd say go for it. If anything you can use the half traing for the 10K if you don't feel ready for the half come May. You can find plans on runners world web site or do a google search. I would look at least 3 different plans and make a decision. And get out there and run.