So a few days ago I was on a hilly run. When I get to Lincoln hill, I silently swear to myself. That hill can be killer. The first part hurts and then it levels out a bit and then goes up again on the second part and I've had to walk part of it everytime. The going is slow on that hill which is just plain annoying. By the time I get to the top, my calves are on fire. I don't mean like some nice campfire either. I mean the kind of fire that sets hell a blaze! My lungs are expanding to their fullest and I still feel like I need more air. But a few days ago, things changed.
The second part was starting to take the spring out of my legs and my lungs started to beg for mercy, but amazingly, I wasn't slowing down. I think I actually may have sped up! In a haze of endorphine and the theme song of Rocky in my head, I made it to the top WITHOUT STOPPING. I kept on going down the otherside of the hill and finished my run practically skipping back home.
A few days later, I went on a 5 mile run on the rollings hills above my house. Up one long hill, and down another, up again, and down again....repeat. And did that one too without stopping and without being in pain at the end.
Hills are still harder than flat ground. They still put more burn in my legs than a normal run. But hills no longer dominate me. Training on hills has done more for me as a runner than so many flat runs. I still love flat runs, so don't get me wrong. But hills are my little thing I got going on the side. Shhhh... don't tell my flat runs.