The Hill · 16 May 2013

I love the hill.

I know it sounds crazy, but I love running the hill. I have previously mentioned (at least a couple times) this half-mile stretch of steep road that is closed to traffic, but I figured I needed to give it its due.

I have always liked to run hills. Or at least that is what I tell myself. I remember running Bloomsday back in 1977 when I was in eighth grade. Doomsday hill was long and torturous, and I am sure I did not like it much when I was running it. Even so, I still liked going uphill more than going on the flats or downhill.

Nowadays, I still like going uphill over downhill. Running any hill helps me get faster. Or at least I tell that to myself. It also keeps my feet in the right alignment.

That alignment is probably why I used to hate going downhill. I never realized it until I got my minimalist shoes, but those shoes with the raised heels wreaked havoc on my knees. Those raised heels hurt my knees and even though I did not know it at the time, were probably the reason I hated running.

In shoes with zero drop from heel to toe, I can run downhill with no added stress to my knees. My foot strikes flat and I can run quickly, actually using little energy going down. Which brings me back to the hill.

The hill is a challenge. I can run quickly down it and then push myself on the way up. I have run quick sprints up part of the hill to do speed work. And as I have mentioned before, making it up to different fractions of the hill has been my measure of fitness.

Yesterday, the hill was most of my run and I hated it. I hated it because it worked me so hard.

Actually, I did not hate the hill or the difficult workout it gave me. After all, that hard work is the main reason I love the hill.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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