Had a headache, sore legs and a general malaise. Outside was cold and grey. Thursday though, you know? I’d told myself I was going to do some hill repeats today. I’d told myself this on Monday but you know how it is, you say you’re going to do something and if it’s a few days away then who gives a fuck? You could get hit by a bus before the thing happens. I accept all invitations to anything as long as they’re a few days away.
Hey Jamie, you wanna come and see a play next week?
Do I?? Sure I do! Sign me up, front row seats!
Gets to the day of the play and you just groan and then don’t answer your phone. A fucking play. Who wants to see grown men pretending? Not me. Not if it’s today. Fuck that.
So all day I didn’t expect to do any hill repeats. I hadn’t totally discounted it but I’d’ve been very surprised if I did them and so I was very surprised when I found myself jogging to the hill. All malaised and sore and head-achy. The hill’s only down the road. It’s a big long steep motherfucker. Jogging to the hill meant nothing. Occasionally I don my running gear, get outside, start the Garmin run about twenty steps and stop. Nah, I tell myself as I walk the few steps home, head down.
Then I was running down the hill. I live at the top of it. Seemed to take about three hours to get to the bottom. No fucking way am I running up this, I thought. Eventually I got to the bottom and did a big sigh. Puffed my cheeks out. Probably shook my head and then I turned around and ran up the hill as fast as I could.
As fast as I could didn’t seem particularly fast. The hill is a twat. There’s a straight bit, That bit’s okay but then it gets to a hairpin. I lose all momentum going around the corner but it opens out onto a steeper bit. And then there’s another corner – and I’m in the middle of the road for this bit. It’s tough enough moving forward so getting to the side just doesn’t seem to happen. Gonna get splattered my a quiet vehicle one day. Then you get to the school gates and from there you can nearly see the top. You can see the steepest part of the hill and that’s where I started smiling. It was the ‘nah, this ain’t happening’ smile. And then I got to the top and looked at my Garmin. one minuted forty seconds. One minute forty seconds wasn’t bad. Considering I’d pretty much given up. One minute forty-five is probably the average time it takes me.
Earlier in the week I’d told myself I was going to do twelve of them. I do twelve because that’s how many I need to do to make the uphill running time over twenty minutes. I wasn’t going to do twelve, though. Maybe five. No six. Half of them. Half is okay. I jogged down the hill and ran back up. I was quicker the second time. The second one is always the easiest.
Jogging down the hill the I saw a cyclist cycling up. So the third one I had something to aim at, the cyclist. Don’t get as tired when people can see you. I caught and passed the cyclist. They said something to me. I couldn’t talk until I was jogging back down. The cyclist wasn’t at the top and asked my how many I was doing. ‘Gonna try twelve’, I lied. But then I’d done nearly five. And I was getting into a rhythm. Not going too fast at the bottom made a big difference. Before I knew it I’d done seven which was only one shy of eight and eight was two-thirds of what I’d planned. And then I’d done nine so I may as well do ten and after ten, well. The last one doesn’t even count so there was only one more to do. One more real one, anyway. Because the last one doesn’t count. Nobody’s going to give up during the last one. Don’t have to worry about the last one. I did the last. I did twelve and felt pretty fucking good about myself as I hobbled home because I’d pretty sure I didn’t have any genuine intention of doing them.
I wore black Nike shorts with orange side panels. Some free T-shirt from a half-marathon. A long sleeve Adidas top. More Mile socks and a pair of these, mainly for the cushioning in the heel, you know, for the down hills.
I really like those shoes. They’re miles nicer than Asics Tarther 2s. Oh yeah, it was fucking freezing. Shoulda worn gloves. I will next week. If I do them again, which I doubt.