I don't actually cheat on hills so much as it feels like cheating. In fact, on a recent long run accompanied by my Dad, who was thinking I had run enough that day, we had a bit of a mileage dispute. He tracks my miles on his bike and on this particular day he was wanting me to end my run before I hit this last hill. But his quirky little grin had me believing if I quit before the hill I might be cutting that last mile short. Being that I was nearly finished and out of breath which is not necessarily the best time for an argument, I decided not to have one and just told him that if the run was ending anywhere near the hill, I was going up it. The run ended about 1/4 mile past it.
But back to my cheating, it was on one of those desperate running days. I took my then 4 month old, Madelyn, out with me on a (semi) long run in her jogging stroller. It was unusually warm for the middle of winter in MI but still cold enough to be running with 3 layers, a hat and some gloves. My daughter I had bundled up pretty much like that kid from A Christmas Story (I'm sure she would have been crying "I can't put my arms down," if only she could say more the "gaaaa") My Dad also came with us looking like some sort of derranged mad man in his ski mask and snow suit. Needless to say, but nobody was gonna mess with us being that I was accompanied by what was obviously a mass murderer for my protection.
Anyhow, the trail I ran has 5 hills, which I had the distinct pleasure of running twice (please detect sarcasm here). Let's just say by the time I hit hill number 5 with legs that would not seem to warm up in the unseasonably warm yet still ridicuously cold weather, I was wishing my car was not so far away.
But it was about that time Madelyn woke up from her nap, peeked her little head out of the tiny opening of her car seat cover and flashed me her best toothless grin. The heat from my heart melting, seemed to warm me up a bit and I forgot about that hill and every hill after as my littlest little fan cheered me on without saying a word or even clapping her hands. If everyone had a Madelyn nobody would complain about hills. Then again it might actually be easier to run up them without the 30lbs of jogging stroller/car seat/baby combo. I swear if I keep doing long runs with her I'm going to look like a freak when I run my next race. I won't know what to do with my arms.
Question of the week: Where in fact is global warming when it's time for your long run and you forget your hat? Just wondering...