Running On Empty

I used to despise running. In high school I thought I might be a successful runner based on the fact that my dad was an avid marathoner back in his day and still held his high school’s record for the mile. So I joined track, hoping to make him proud. I hated every minute of that sport, except for jumping off of the loft in the storage barn onto the high-jump mats. That part was awesome. But after 3 years that wasn’t even doing it for me anymore, and I quit. I didn’t run for fun again until a year and a half ago. And as it turns out, I’m not terrible. Not that you can be “bad” at running…which is one of the things that is so great about it. Anyone can run! And anyone can enjoy it! What I am referring to is the competitive side of the sport. I’m no Joan Benoit, but for not seriously training, I’ve crossed that finish line way before anyone thought I would.

And so here lies my frustration: I’ve been spoiled and running on flat roads at sea level since I began a year and a half ago. 3 weeks ago I moved to hills at 5500′.
I have yet to log more than 6 miles in one outing, and I am running quite a bit slower than I used to. I am out of breath in minutes and exhausted for much of my jog. I feel like a diabetic chain smoker. While I have yet to puke, there has been more than one occasion where I was pretty sure I was about to. People keep telling me that the altitude is going to help me in the long run (pun maybe intended), but the fear that I can’t fully train to the best of my ability up here has me shaking in my Brooks. I am far from completely adjusted, and I have 2 races in the coming 7 weeks. My hope is to get down the hill to do a bit of training if I can, but that requires a lot of driving and a lot of time and, well, I’m just a sack of lazy. So, we will see. In the meantime, I am going to focus on the gorgeous roads I get to slog on [my new word for sloppy jogging]. No more smoggy Los Angeles streets for this girl!!

For what it’s worth, here is my Brooks endorsement: I LOVE BROOKS SO MUCH THEY ARE LIKE RUNNING ON CLOUDS. [Seriously, though, I will never run in anything else. Also, if you buy the sneaks right before the new models come out, they’re way cheaper! Bargains!]

For the first time, the first thing I see when I leave the house is not a traffic light.

The hill of death = Future thighs of steel!