Oh, Hill No!

Running, while hated by my body, is a fantastic outlet for my mind. Since running is such an intense physical activity, I am forced to let my instincts take over and not try to over-think it. Somewhat because I will tend to focus on one things like breathing or stride length and that will start to trip me up, and mostly because I would be like “Oh, God, why am I trying to torture myself in such a slow and impractical fashion!” This mental freedom allows me to think about all the things I forgot to do at work, or figure out my grocery list for the week, or come up with new blog titles such as this one. So if you ever find yourself wondering how I came up a new topic; chances are it happened to click while I was trying to find that line between exhaustion and hyperventilation.

That was definitely a long way to introduce the main idea of this post. As I was running this evening, I started out on my typical path. Approaching the first place where I have to turn, I found myself hesitating and slowing down even though I had just started. Here I was, not even 30 seconds into my run, and I was almost walking. At that moment it clicked – I had already mentally checked out on this run. I knew what was coming just down the street, a hill tends to make you want to stop and walk, and I didn’t have enough confidence in myself that I would be able to make it. I also knew that if I stopped to walk there, it would set the pace for the rest of the run. 30 seconds in and I had already put a wall up between a successful run and myself.

I am sure if you have ever done anything athletic you have been in that type of situation at some point in your life. Where the self-doubt kicks in and you don’t know if you are going to be able to do it. This is why I have had to teach myself to not think, and just run. You see, my body knew it could handle the hill; it was my mind that wasn’t sure. I have run that hill before, more times than I would like; simply for a time like this. I needed to prepare for when my mind was going to tell me that I couldn’t do it and my body was going to have to take over. As a runner of every level, you should find a hill in your area and conquer it. Sprint up it and sprint down it. Make it longer by traversing side to side. There will come a day when you are running and you encounter such a hill and feel like you don’t have enough gas to make it up the hill. Trust in your training and yourself. The more you embrace these obstacles, the more likely you are to say Oh, Hill Yes instead of Hill No!

Next time we will get more in depth into what my training plan is, what are some good ones that I recommend, and things to avoid. For now, I encourage you to find a hill and push yourself. Keep your head down and pump your arms, and in no time you’ll be on your way to the finish line. I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey training for a few races coming up this fall and that you will join me on September 12th, 2015 at the Race 4 Freedom. If you are interested you can sign up at www.race4freedom.com. You can donate to ICT S.O.S. at www.runsignup.com/runningdadbrad or create your own fundraising page when you register. Also please check me out on Twitter for daily posts and tips @runningdadbrad. Tweet me this week with your favorite local hill and I will choose some to run and I’ll tweet at the top.