I went out for a 7 mile tempo run. My goal for the run was a 7:30 per mile pace or better. I may have been over-reaching a bit as it was morning (I am not a morning runner), I had not taken in many calories (I normally eat breakfast), and I am a pansy (I am a pansy).
By mile 4, I was feeling better than expected and about 30 seconds faster than my goal time for that mark. Mile 5 led me down into a ravine, upping my lead on the virtual pace guy by more than a minute. But, as Sir Issac Newton (who was a triathlete, in case you didn't know) pointed out, what goes up must come down. Or, in this situation, what goes down must go up. At the end of mile 5, I had to climb out of that ravine.
The uphill is roughly 0.35 miles long at about a 10% grade. It's a beast. I can count on the hill itself to sap at least a minute off my average pace. But, as I said, I was feeling good and I was ahead of schedule. My confidence levels were rather high.
Shortly after glancing her watch, I heard a familiar beep as she hit a button and came to a walk. This was one tough hill. It can eat you up, spit you out, and laugh in your face. I have felt this agony before. Not today. I was tackling this hill with efficiency and verve. I didn't want this woman to be defeated. My brain rummaged for the perfect choice of words. Here's a brief mental list of my options:
-Get your @$$ movingI picked one and went with it. I took a deep breath and handed out my H&H, "HEY, YOU GOT THIS!"
-You start running now
-There's no walking in running
-Suck it up and run
-You can do it (in my Rob Schneider from 'Waterboy' voice)
She turned her head and finally noticed me running up the hill behind her. Her shoulders rose, the watch beeped again, and she resumed running.
I finally passed her about 80 yards from the crest of the hill. She glanced in my direction. I gave a nice smile coupled with a, "Nice work. You look great." She smiled back and replied, " Thanks <cough cough> You too." I made the pass and we both kept running.
So there you have it. A well timed, well placed H&H was more powerful than that killer of a hill. It might also be proof of the elusive female-ego gene.
P.S. My pace for the tempo run was 7:28. Good run indeed.