Saturday, October 4, 2008

A new Feeling

The feeling hit me on Thursday. I was running up Tower Mountain with a local high school cross country team. The run started easy with casual chit chat and joking around, but after a couple miles things started to change. The laughing and talking slowly disappeared, and the heavy breathing began. Starting at mile 1.2 of this run the hill begins and it does not loose a grip on you until mile 5.2. With every mile runners began to drop, and soon it was just Adam and I charging side by side to the top of the mountain.

I must say I have never run a road that teases you more. It climbs and climbs, and when you think you have reached the top, the pitch gets steeper and the hill reveals that it isn’t about to give up. After you get off the road, you then hit a trail that makes you wish you could go back to the tolerable pain that the road inflicted. Hitting the last long climb, my legs were begging me to Stop, my lungs were about to explode, and every ounce of my body was begging to concede to the mountain before me. The only thing that kept me going was my mind. I felt this strong urge to push my body harder than I have ever pushed it before, Raising the bar and stretching the limit.

In years past I pull back when pain approaches. In high school my strategy was to train so I feel no pain when I race. I avoided and hated this pain that would occur in my legs. But on this day I find myself taking pain to its own limit. I was seeing how much a dose of itself that pain could take. Enjoying this exploration of the limit of my pain is something not too often experienced by me. I reached the top of the mountain and it felt great. I knew I ran hard, but more importantly I learned to beat pain, and use it to motivate myself.

Now that the top was reached it was time to finish the rest of the run. The remainder of the run winds back down the mountain, and back to the school. The climb is only for five miles, but the whole run ends up being twelve miles. Looking back at my times I realized the 5 mile climb, was run at 6:38 pace. Not too bad for steep uphill running. I ended my run in 1 hour 13 min. coming down a mountain really helps your time J. That night I had an hour swim, after a bite to eat and some homework it was time for bed. The only thought spinning in my head, was an excitement to race.

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